Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
War of 1812
City of Alexandria Est. 1749
Fearing occupation by British forces, several townspeople met with Secretary of War John Armstrong on March 21, 1812, about preparing a defense for the District of Columbia, which at the time included Alexandria. President Madison and General William Winder were also apprise that unless funds were expended for Alexandria's defense, the town would be at the mercy of the British. Although the Common Council and area banks provided secured loans to the Federal government for the region's protection, when General Winder inspected Alexandria on July 25, 1814, he declared the town inadequately defended.
In August 1814, British ships sailed up the Potomac, and Alexandria's militias were ordered to cross the river and take up post near Fort Washington, Maryland. They took with them nearly all the arms belonging to the town, leaving Alexandria defenseless. Soon after, realizing the dire situation, the militias retreated
After positioning his fleet to attack the town, Capt. Gordon offered terms which called for the removal of naval supplies, ships and agricultural commodities from the port. The town council acceded to the demands, and for the next five days the British looted stores and warehouses of 16,000 barrels of flour, 1,000 hogsheads of tobacco, 150 bales of cotton and some $5,000 worth of wine, sugar and other items. On September 2, the British weighed anchor and made their escape.
On Christmas Eve 1814, American and British peace commissioners signed the Treaty of Ghent, formally ending the War of 1812.
Erected by City of Alexandria.
Location. 38° 48.252′ N, 77° 2.421′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of King Street and South Union Street, on the right when traveling east on King Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 King Street, Alexandria VA 22314, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John Fitzgerald (a few steps Alexandria Archaeology Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); Alexandria (within shouting distance of this marker); Waterfront Walk (within shouting distance of this marker); Raise the White Flag (within shouting distance of this marker); Torpedo Factory Art Center (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Pioneer Mill (about 300 feet away); Torpedo Factory Art Center / United States Naval Torpedo Station (Building Two) (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
Categories. • War of 1812 • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 2, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 1, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 1, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.