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

Battle of Bladensburg

 
 
Battle of Bladensburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
1. Battle of Bladensburg Marker
Inscription. This is the site of the Battle of Bladensburg which took place in the War of 1812. Commodore Joshua Barney and his 500 Marines were greatly outnumbered by the British Expeditionary Force of 4,500 trained regulars. The battle raged for four hours but eventually the overpowering numerical odds won out for the British who went on to burn the Capitol and White House. On this location, Commodore Barney was wounded and taken prisoner.

This memorial is in honor of Commodore Joshua Barney who made the supreme sacrifice in defense of his country and to his detachment of Marines for their distinguished display of valor and gallantry.
 
Location. 38° 55.689′ N, 76° 57.24′ W. Marker is in Colmar Manor, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker can be reached from Bladensburg Road (Maryland Route 450) 0.2 miles from 38th Avenue, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is located within Fort Lincoln Cemetery, behind the mauseleum. Marker is in this post office area: Brentwood MD 20722, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Barney Monument (here, next to this marker); Fort Lincoln Mausoleum (a few steps from this marker); The Lincoln Oak (about 300 feet
Battle of Bladensburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
2. Battle of Bladensburg Marker
away, measured in a direct line); Little Church of Fort Lincoln (about 300 feet away); Old Spring House (about 400 feet away); Fort Lincoln (about 400 feet away); Abraham Lincoln (about 800 feet away); Living Sculpture (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Colmar Manor.
 
Regarding Battle of Bladensburg. Commodore Barney commanded the Chespeake Bay Flotilla, which defended the Cheseapeake Bay and central Maryland from attack by the British in the War of 1812. In 1814, as the British pushed up the Patuxent River, Barney scuttled the flotilla and moved his 500 Marines to Bladensburg to help the U.S. Army defend the District of Columbia.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Man Who Captured Washington - General Robert Ross. (Submitted on November 3, 2009, by Christopher T. George of Baltimore, Maryland.)
2. Joshua Barney's Chesapeake Bay Flotilla. (Submitted on January 25, 2010.)
 
Additional comments.
1. The Battle of Bladensburg
Fought on the afternoon of August 24, 1814 between an American
Memorial to Commodore Barney and His Marines image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
3. Memorial to Commodore Barney and His Marines
"This is the site of the Battle of Bladensburg. It was here that Commodore Barney and his Marines were defeated in the War of 1812. The British moved on to burn the Capitol and White House."
Army of some 6,200 men, comprising mostly Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Georgetown militia under Brigadier General William H. Winder, U.S. Army, and some 4,000 British regulars under Major General Robert Ross (1766-1814), a vastly experienced Peninsular War veteran. After the withdrawal of the first American line west of the bridge over the Eastern Branch of the Potomac (now the Anacostia River) toward Georgetown, as ordered by Winder, the British advanced up the Bladensburg Road toward the second line, anchored by Commodore Joshua Barney (1759–1818) and his men: a force of some 400 seasoned men (note: the inscription appears to overstate the size of the Barney's force).

The men of the Chesapeake Bay Flotilla had five naval guns in the road. Key British officers were wounded during the advance as a result of the cannonballs and/or canister fired by Barney's battery. The British stated that the Sailors and U.S. Marines gave them the "best fighting" they had that day. Barney and his men manned their guns until overrun by the British. The Commodore himself was severely wounded with a musket ball in his thigh that was never removed during his lifetime and that is sometimes said to have contributed to his death in Pittsburgh in 1818, possibly due to lead poisoning. (The musketball is now in the museum of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C.)
Commodore Joshua Barney by Rembrandt Peale (1819) image. Click for full size.
By Christopher T. George
4. Commodore Joshua Barney by Rembrandt Peale (1819)
The City of Baltimore commissioned Peale to paint the "defenders" of the city during the War of 1812 and this oil on canvas rendering of Barney is one of those paintings. The original is 38 9/64 x 31 3/32 inches. The following is the Maryland Historical Society’s description of their portrait: half-length portrait; short tousled hair; military uniform, brown coat with gold buttons; right hand holds sword; gray background.
    — Submitted November 3, 2009, by Christopher T. George of Baltimore, Maryland.

2. The Bladensburg Marker
Joshua Barney was the Commodore in charge of the Chesapeake Bay Flotilla. Under his command at Bladensburg were roughly 400 sailors. They were in charge of two 18-pound guns. Those not serving the guns were used as infantry. To the right of Barneys's men were 117 US Marines, including members of the Marine Band, under the command of Capt. Samuel Miller. They had three 12-pound guns. This is why the monument lists Barney's force being 500 men even though the Marines were not directly under command they had cooperated before and Barney did have the higher rank.

Editor's Note: While the actual number of Sailors and Marines appears in dispute, Barney's force was about 500 combined, and he was in command. Thank you for clarifying the number.
    — Submitted October 6, 2010.

 
Categories. Notable PersonsWar of 1812
 
View of the Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
5. View of the Cemetery
View of Fort Lincoln Cemetery from the Battle of Bladensburg marker.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 8,183 times since then and 52 times this year. Last updated on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.   2, 3. submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.   4. submitted on , by Christopher T. George of Baltimore, Maryland.   5. submitted on , by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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