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

Undaunted In Battle

The Battle of Bladensburg

 

—August 24, 1814 —

 
Undaunted In Battle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 18, 2014
1. Undaunted In Battle Marker
Inscription.
Undaunted
War of 1812
This Monument Stands as
A Tribute to the American
Soldiers, Sailors, and
Marines who fought and
Died here defending their
Nation's Capital

This monument depicts Commodore Joshua Barney of the U.S. Navy a moment after being wounded by approaching British troops. Barney is assisted by Charles Ball, former slave and flotillaman of the U.S. Navy, and by a U.S. Marine, part of a force of nearly 500 troops who refused to retreat until ordered to by their commander, and stood "Undaunted in Battle" in defense of Washington, D.C.

On August 19, 1814, Approximately 4500 British troops under the command of Major General Robert Ross landed in Southern Maryland and marched to Upper Marlboro. The British convened a council of war and marched toward Washington, intent on attacking the capital. They arrived in Bladensburg on August 24, 1814.

The American force, numbering nearly 6000 and composed largely of militia units together with U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine regulars, occupied the ground across the river from Bladensburg. The British troops, who arrived at noon, crossed the bridge and engaged the American forces on the far bank. The British fired Congreve Rockets whose sound and "red glare" distracted and confused the Americans. The screeching
Undaunted In Battle Monument image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 18, 2014
2. Undaunted In Battle Monument
rockets were new but relatively harmless weapon that left billowing smoke trails and caused panic in the ranks of U.S. troops.

American riflemen and artillery inflicted significant causalities as the British soldiers crossed the bridge. A separate British contingent forded the river to the north and outflanked a militia artillery regiment from Baltimore. U.S. Army General William Winder, commander of the American forces, ordered the troops to fall back, which led to confusion and a full-fledged retreat of the untrained militia.

Although the battle was lost and nearly over, an epic moment is still remembered with pride — Commodore Barney's final stand. Armed with muskets, boarding pikes, and cutlasses, with support from heavy cannon, Barney's men engaged the British troops with vigor and made several counter-attacks. Barney's courageous an undaunted efforts delayed the British and provided valuable time for the evacuation of the Nation's Capital.

While rallying his troops and directing cannon fire at the British, Barney was severely wounded in his right thigh by a musket ball. Beset on all sides by overwhelming number, Barney, unable to stand, ordered his troops to withdraw without him. Barney was captured soon thereafter.

The victorious British commander General Ross recognized the valor and resolute spirit of Commodore Barney and his Marines
Undaunted In Battle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 18, 2014
3. Undaunted In Battle Marker
and flotillamen. He received Commodore Barney's surrender with respect and magnanimity, and immediately paroled him.

Accompanied by Rear Admiral George Cockburn, the British forces marched into Washington, then torched and burned many government buildings, including the Capitol and the White House.

While marching back to their ships, the British arrested Dr. William Beanes of Upper Marlboro. Beanes had angered the British by capturing and jailing British stragglers. Beanes was held on board as a prisoner while the British sailed toward Baltimore.

Francis Scott Key, a Maryland-born Georgetown attorney, came aboard the British ship, seeking the release of Dr. Beanes. On the night of September 13, 1814, after returning to an American flag of truce ship in Baltimore harbor. Key witnessed the unsuccessful naval bombardment of Fort McHenry. He was inspired to pen the "The Star-Spangled Banner" which later became the National Anthem.

Prior to the bombardment of Fort McHenry, the British had landed at North Point, near Baltimore. During a skirmish, General Ross, the victor at Bladensburg, was killed in action.

Unable to take Fort McHenry or advance on Baltimore, the British withdrew their forces and eventually left the Chesapeake Bay.

This interpretive panel has been financed in part with State funds from the Maryland War of 1812
Undaunted In Battle image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 18, 2014
4. Undaunted In Battle
This Sculpture by local artist Joanna Blake depicts Joshua Barney at the moment of his wounding accompanied by flotillaman Charles Ball and a Marine. Myron Peterson posed for Barney; Robert Stuart portrayed Charles Ball and Gunnery Sergeant Tom Williams posed as the Marine.
Bicentennial Commission.
 
Erected 2014 by Aman Trust.
 
Location. 38° 56.411′ N, 76° 56.469′ W. Marker is in Bladensburg, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Bladenburg Road (U.S. 450) and Baltimore Avenue (U.S. 1) when traveling west. Click for map. This interpretive panel is on the back of the Bladensburg Battle monument in Balloon Park. Marker is in this post office area: Bladensburg MD 20710, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Road to the Capital (within shouting distance of this marker); Bladensburg Monuments (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); British Advance (about 300 feet away); Peace Cross (about 300 feet away); George Washington House (about 300 feet away); Veterans Memorial (about 400 feet away); World War II Honor Roll (about 400 feet away); Indian Queen Tavern (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Bladensburg.
 
Categories. War of 1812
 
Commodore Joshua Barney<br>U.S. Navy Fotilla Commander image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 18, 2014
5. Commodore Joshua Barney
U.S. Navy Fotilla Commander
Close-up of image on marker
Major General Robert Ross<br>British Army Commander image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 18, 2014
6. Major General Robert Ross
British Army Commander
Close-up of image on marker
The Final Stand at Bladensburg<br> – Colonel Charles H. Waterhouse USMCR image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 18, 2014
7. The Final Stand at Bladensburg
– Colonel Charles H. Waterhouse USMCR
Close-up of image on marker
The Affair of Bladensburg, August 24, 1814<br> – James Wilkinson. image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 18, 2014
8. The Affair of Bladensburg, August 24, 1814
– James Wilkinson.
Close-up of map on marker
Joshua Barney image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 18, 2014
9. Joshua Barney
A Marine image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 18, 2014
10. A Marine
Charles Ball image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 18, 2014
11. Charles Ball
Barney's Wound image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 18, 2014
12. Barney's Wound
J.C. Blake 2012 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 18, 2014
13. J.C. Blake 2012
Joanna Campbell Blake's signature on the "Undaunted in Battle" sculpture
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 418 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. 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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