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North Point, battle of

The humiliating events of the capture of Washington in 1814 created intense excitement throughout the country, but were somewhat atoned for by the able defence of Baltimore, which soon afterwards occurred. On Sunday, July 11, the British fleet appeared off Patapsco Bay with a large force of land troops, under the command of General Ross. At sunrise the next morning he landed 9,000 troops at North Point, 12 miles above Baltimore, and at the same time the British fleet bombarded Fort McHenry (q. v.), which guarded the harbor of Baltimore, a city of 40,000 inhabitants at that time, and a place against which the British held a grudge, because of the numerous privateers.

The citizens of Baltimore had wisely provided for the emergency. A large number of troops were gathered around the city. Fort McHenry was garrisoned by 1,000 men, under Maj. George Armistead (q. v.), and supported by batteries. [489] The citizens had constructed a long line of fortifications on what afterwards became Patterson Park. Intelligence of the landing of the British at North Point produced great alarm in Baltimore. A large number of families, with such property as they could carry with them, fled to the country, and inns, for 100 miles north of the city, were filled with refugees. The veteran Gen. Samuel Smith was in chief command of the military at Baltimore, then about 9,000 strong. General Winder had joined him (Sept. 10) with all the forces at his command. When news of the landing of the British came, General Smith sent General Stricker with 3,200 men in that direction to watch the movements of the invaders and act as circumstances might require. Some volunteers and militia were also sent to co-operate with Stricker. Feeling confident of success, Ross, accompanied by Admiral Cockburn, rode gayly in front of the troops as they moved towards Baltimore. They had marched about an hour, when they halted and spent another hour in resting and careless carousing at a tavern. From Colonel Sterett's regiment General Stricker had sent forward companies led by Captains Levering and Howard, 150 in number, and commanded by Maj. R. K. Heath. They were accompanied by Asquith's (and a few other) riflemen, seventy in number, a small piece of artillery, and some cavalry, under Lieutenant Stiles. They met the British advancing at a point about 7 miles from Baltimore. Two of Asquith's riflemen, concealed in a hollow, fired upon Ross and Cockburn as they were riding ahead of the troops, when the former fell from his horse, mortally wounded, and died in the arms of his favorite aide, Duncan McDougall, before his bearers reached the boats. The command now devolved on Col. A. A. Brooke. Under his direction the entire invading force pressed forward, and, at about 2 P. M. (Sept. 12), met the first line of General Stricker's main body, when a severe

John Stricker.

combat began. The battle raged for twohours, when the superior force of the British compelled the Americans to fall back towards Baltimore; and at Worthington's Mill, about half a mile in front of the intrenchments cast up by the citizens, they were joined by General Winder and his forces. The British halted and bivouacked for the night on the battle-field.

Meanwhile, the British fleet had prepared to attack Fort McHenry, and, on the morning of the 13th, began a bombardment, which was kept up until the next morning. At the same time the land force began to move on Baltimore. Their movements were very cautious, and, at. evening, Colonel Brooke had an interview with Admiral Cochrane. It was decided that the movements of the British on land and water were failures, and that prudence demanded an immediate abandonment of the enterprise. At 3 A. M. on the 14th, in the midst of darkness and rain, the land troops stole away to their ships, and, at an early hour, the bombardment of the fort ceased and the British ships withdrew, Baltimore was saved. The British had lost, in killed and wounded, 289 men; the Americans lost, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, 213. The [490] grateful citizens of Baltimore devised a memorial of the salvation of their city and of the actors in it, as enduring as marble could make it. For them Maximilian Godefroy designed the beautiful structure which stands in Calvert Street, almost in the centre of the city. This monument is a cenotaph, surmounted by a column representing the Roman fasces. The whole monument, including the exquisitely wrought female figure at the top, symbolizing the city of

Battle monument, Baltimore.

Baltimore, is almost 53 feet in height. It was erected in 1815, at a cost of $60,000.

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