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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Colmar Manor in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Famous Footsteps

Battle of Bladensburg

 

—Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail —

 
Famous Footsteps Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2014
1. Famous Footsteps Marker
Inscription. As the militia – local citizens—defended this road, then known as the Bladensburg or Washington turnpike, from approaching British troops in 1814, three historical figures stood in the thick of the battle at or near this point: President Madison, Secretary of State James Monroe, and Francis Scott Key. They were making and preparing plans for the battle alongside commanding General William Winder and Secretary of War John Armstrong.

Francis Scott Key was here acting as an aide to American General Walter Smith of the Georgetown militia and helping direct positions of troops. After the battle, Key traveled to Baltimore with American agent for prisoners of war John Stuart Skinner to seek the release of William Beanes of Upper Marlboro. While waiting aboard the truce ship in Baltimore's harbor, Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry and was inspired to write what would become America's national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner."
 
Erected 2014 by National Park Service.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail marker series.
 
Location. 38° 56.136′ N, 76° 56.943′ W. Marker is in Colmar Manor, Maryland, in Prince George's
Famous Footsteps Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2014
2. Famous Footsteps Marker
County. Marker is on Bladensburg Road (Alternate U.S. 1) east of 40th Avenue. Click for map. Just west of the Burger King at 3933 Bladensburg Rd. 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. The Road to the Capital (here, next to this marker); Second Line Falls (a few steps from this marker); Dueling Grounds (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Road to the Capital (approx. 0.2 miles away); Marines & Flotillamen (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Second Line Falls (approx. 0.2 miles away but has been reported missing); Bladensburg Dueling Grounds (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Valiant Stand (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Colmar Manor.
 
Categories. War of 1812
 
Three Markers image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2014
3. Three Markers
"Famous Footsteps" is the middle marker.
James Madison image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2014
4. James Madison
James Madison, the fourth president and the principal writer of the United States Constitution, was the only sitting president to lead troops into battle. At one point on the Bladensburg battlefield, he rode ahead of his troops and nearly crossed into enemy lines but was turned back by an American scout.
Close-up of image on marker
James Monroe image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 19, 2014
5. James Monroe
James Monroe, the fifth president, was serving as secretary of state to president Madison. For days before the Battle of Bladensburg, Monroe rode across the countryside scouting the British troops, trying to determine where they would strike—Baltimore or Washington?
Close-up of image on marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 338 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 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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