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

The Battle of Bladensburg (1814)

The War of 1812

 
 
The Battle of Bladensburg (1814) Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
1. The Battle of Bladensburg (1814) Marker
Inscription. On August 24, 1814, British forces broke camp at Melwood Park and moved northwest to Bladensburg. The Baltimore militia, under the command of General Tobias Sansbury, was positioned west of the Anacostia River along the Bladensburg-Washington Road in the area of present day Cottage City, Colmar Manor, and Fort Lincoln Cemetery. Marching in the intense heat along the river road paralleling today's Kenilworth Avenue, the British arrived in Bladensburg about noon and attacked the American defenders shortly thereafter.

When the British forces led by Major-General Robert Ross entered Bladensburg by marching down Lowndes Hill, American riflemen fired. However, Ross's infantry continued undaunted toward the bridge over the Anacostia, which the ill-prepared Americans had not yet destroyed. American General Winder's men had since moved behind Stansbury's as brigades from Annapolis arrived from the east.

Seized by fear of exploding British Congreve rockets and uncertain of any rear-line support from Winder, the Americans rushed to the rear of the battle line. Here, Ross dealt a crushing blow by bringing up another regiment that forded the stream and confronted a Baltimore regiment. The rest of the American forces retreated to the rear, thus opening the turnpike leading to Washington for the British. The only resistance came
Campaign Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 18, 2010
2. Campaign Map
when Commodore Barney and his 500 sailors engaged the British.

Commodore Barney and his seamen made a heroic stand in Bladensburg against overwhelming odds. Even after several thousand supporting militiamen had fled in the face of British bayonets and fire, Barney's men stood their ground. Armed with hand pikes and cutlasses, they launched a successful counterattack against the British infrantry with cries of "Board'em! Board'em!" Only when hopelessly surrounded did Barney, by then seriously wounded, order his officers to disarm their guns and retreat. At their commander's insistence, they reluctantnly left him lying next to one of his cannons to await capture. After being captured by the British, Barney was congratulated for his bravery and released.

With the American forces vanquished and in full retreat, the British marched into the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., and sacked and burned significant portions of the city, including the Capitol and the White House.

Text with lower-middle picture: A contemporary British illustration depicting the invasion and burning of Washington, D.C., in August of 1814. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Text with upper-right photo: British Rear-Admiral Cockburn joined forces with Major-General Robert Ross for the Battle of Bladensburg. Courtesy of The
Battle Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 18, 2010
3. Battle Map
National Maritime Museum, London.

 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Battlefield Trails - War of 1812 marker series.
 
Location. 38° 56.15′ N, 76° 56.313′ W. Marker is in Bladensburg, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Annapolis Road (Maryland Route 450) and 46th Street. Touch for map. Marker is in Bladensburg Waterfront Park, .2 miles south of the entrance at this intersection. 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. Historic Bladensburg Waterfront Park - Port Town History (within shouting distance of this marker); Clearing the Way to Washington (within shouting distance of this marker); First Unmanned Balloon Ascension (1784) (within shouting distance of this marker); Dinosaur Alley (within shouting distance of this marker); Duels and the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds (within shouting distance of this marker); The Incidental Cause of the Star-Spangled Banner (1814) (within shouting distance of this marker); Encampment of Coxey's Army (1894) (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Colonial Ropemaking (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bladensburg.
 
More about this marker.
The Battle of Bladensburg (1814) Marker image. Click for full size.
By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
4. The Battle of Bladensburg (1814) Marker
Another "Battle of Bladensburg" marker is located inside Fort Lincoln Cemetery, about 1.5 miles east, where Commodore Barney and his marines made their "heroic stand".
 
Also see . . .
1. Bladensburg Waterfront Park. (Submitted on March 9, 2008, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.)
2. The Man Who Captured Washington - General Robert Ross. (Submitted on November 3, 2009, by Christopher T. George of Baltimore, Maryland.)
3. Commodore Barney's Chesapeake Bay Flotilla. (Submitted on November 3, 2009, by Christopher T. George of Baltimore, Maryland.)
 
Categories. War of 1812
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 9, 2008, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 6,805 times since then and 84 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 9, 2008, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.   2, 3. submitted on July 18, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4. submitted on March 9, 2008, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.
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