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Colmar Manor in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Clearing the Way to Washington

 
 
Clearing the Way to Washington Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 14, 2012
1. Clearing the Way to Washington Marker
Inscription. The Battle of Bladensburg on August 24, 1814, ended in defeat for the United States and allowed the British to invade Washington, D.C. Once the Americans realized the British route of advance, there was little time to prepare. They hastily established lines of defense near the port town of Bladensburg, where the British would cross the Eastern Branch of the Potomac (known today as the Anacostia).

The poorly trained and ill-equipped American militia, though superior in number, were no match for the seasoned British army. That night, as buildings in Washington burned and the victors ravaged the White House, news of the rout at Bladensburg spread throughout the countryside.

"The enemy are in full march to Washington. Have the materials to destroy the bridges." -- Secretary of State James Monroe to President James Madison, August 23, 1814.

(Side bar)

Tour several War of 1812 sites in the Bladensburg area:
Start at the visitor center at Bladensburg Waterfront Park for information on these and other attractions:
* Bostwick House -- Home of a British prisoner-of-war agent
* Upper Marlboro -- Several 1812 sites from time of British occupation
* Dueling Grounds -- Site of significant battle engagements
* Riversdale -- Historic house museum with exhibits and programs on plantation life

Commodore Barney lying wounded in the Bladensburg Road image. Click for full size.
2. Commodore Barney lying wounded in the Bladensburg Road
"Wounded in battle, American hero Joshua Barney was captured by the British, then pardoned for bravery."

'Embrace of the Enemies. L.H.Barker (c) 2011. All rights reserved.'
during the war
* George Washington House -- Cannon fire from the battle reputedly scarred this 1765-era structure

(Caption)

Wounded in battle, American hero Joshua Barney was captured by the British, then pardoned for bravery.
 
Location. 38° 56.126′ N, 76° 56.318′ W. Marker is in Colmar Manor, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Click for map. In Bladensburg Waterfront Park in front of the Visitors Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: Anacostia Tributary Trail System, Bladensburg MD 20710, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Unmanned Balloon Ascension (1784) (a few steps from this marker); Dinosaur Alley (a few steps from this marker); Historic Bladensburg Waterfront Park - Port Town History (within shouting distance of this marker); The Incidental Cause of the Star-Spangled Banner (1814) (within shouting distance of this marker); Duels and the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battle of Bladensburg (1814) (within shouting distance of this marker); Encampment of Coxey's Army (1894) (within shouting distance of this marker); Colonial Ropemaking (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line).
 
Also see . . .  The Parole of an American Hero
Clearing the Way to Washington Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 14, 2012
3. Clearing the Way to Washington Marker
. An interactive annotated version of L.H. Barker's painting (Submitted on December 16, 2012, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. War of 1812
 
The Battle of Bladensburg Visitors Center sign image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 14, 2012
4. The Battle of Bladensburg Visitors Center sign
On west wall of the nearby visitors center
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 482 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   2. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   3. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   4. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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