Cheseapeake Theater Continued (Part Four)

North Point Battlefield
North Point Road south of Eleanor Terrace
North Point, Maryland 21222
(410) 284-2331 (Dundalk Historical Society)

Early on the morning of September 12, General Robert Ross and his 4,000-man invasion force set out from North Point and marched toward Baltimore about fourteen miles away.

About halfway to their objective the British came up against an American defensive position that had been hurriedly established by General John Stricker and 3,200 Maryland militiamen. The American lines lay across a narrow neck of land between the waters of the Back River to the north and Bear Creek to the south, completely blocking the road to Baltimore. When General Ross rode forward to see if he could find a way to outflank Stricker, a shot fired by an American sniper struck him in the chest. Ross died soon thereafter, having handed over command to Colonel Arthur Brooke.

Supported by artillery fire and screaming Congreve rockets, Brooke’s troops forced back the American militia and by 4 p.m. the battle was over. Unfortunately for the British, the delay had provided time for the Americans to better prepare their defenses, and it was now impossible to take Baltimore by storm. The fate of that important city now depended on the results of the artillery duel by that already time in progress between the British fleet and the gunners at Fort McHenry.

Today, Maryland Highway 151 and the Patapsco Parkway pass right through the North Point Battlefield. A plaque located near the village of North Point off Old North Point Road commemorates the battle. Nearby is a monument marking the spot where General Ross is said to have fallen. Interestingly enough, the monument is not dedicated to Ross but rather to Aquilla Randall, a young American sharpshooter believed by some to have fired the bullet that killed the British commander.

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Rodgers’ Bastion Cannon Monument
East Pratt Street at South Patterson Park Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
(410) 659-7300 (Baltimore Visitors Center)

This cannon commemorates the successful strategy devised by Commodore John Rodgers for defending Baltimore against British attack in 1814. Located in Patterson Park, the cannon is marked with a dedication describing the plan for the city’s defense.

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St. Michaels
213 North Talbot Street
St. Michaels, Maryland 21663
(410) 745-2916 (Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum)

During the summer of 1813, Admiral George Cockburn’s fleet swept into the Chesapeake Bay where it raided several coastal communities including St. Michaels on the Maryland Eastern Shore, which was attacked at night. According to legend, local home and business owners hung lanterns in the tops of trees so that the gunners on the British ships would aim too high. Apparently, the deception worked since only one structure was damaged.

Having survived a fierce British attack, the town of St. Michaels itself is perhaps the most significant local monument to the War of 1812. The so-called Cannonball House on St. Mary’s Square is said to have been hit by British artillery during the fighting. A few blocks away, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum celebrates the history of St. Michaels and the entire tidewater region. St. Michaels can be reached by way of U.S. Highway 50 and Maryland Highway 33.

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Star-Spangled Banner Flag House
844 East Pratt Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
(410) 837-1793

Mary Pickersgill made the oversized flag that flew over Fort McHenry the night of the British bombardment and inspired Francis Scott Key’s poem, The Star-Spangled Banner. Her home and business was located in this house, and it is now a city landmark. The house stands on the northeast corner of Pratt and Albemarle Streets.

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Star-Spangled Banner Memorial
East Pratt Street at South Patterson Park Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
(410) 659-7300 (Baltimore Visitors Center)
(519) 736-5416

The memorial statue consists of two children holding a scroll with the writing: “To commemorate the centennial of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner, the pupils of the public schools of Baltimore have erected this memorial upon Hampstead Hill where in September, 1814, the citizen soldiers of Maryland stood ready to sacrifice their lives in defense of their homes and their country.” The memorial is located in front of the Pagoda in Patterson Park, where East Pratt Street meets South Patterson Avenue.

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