Wednesday, June 27, 2012

O' Maryland, My Maryland (actually, you should have let the Brits takeBaltimore)

Today was my big day of driving around to War of 1812 sites. Unfortunately I only made two-Bladensburg and North Point. I'm posting from my iPhone, so I'm not sure about pics but I'll do my best.

I blew out of Baltimore this morning at about 10:30 and successfully navigated my way south toward D.C. Not an easy feat given the aggressive drivers near our nation's capital. Lots of highway should make it easy to find things, but it doesn't. I finally broke down and used information from websites and the GPS feature on my phone to locate the village of Bladensburg on Maryland Hwy 1.

Bladensburg is located on both sides of the Anacostia River. It seems pretty unprosperous by any standard I'm used to. The Maryland Historical Association/Society received a grant to begin studying the battlefield, which includes the state highway bridge over the river and a lot of privately owned businesses.

There are two valuable sites to see in Bladensburg. First is the Waterfront Park on the river. From here you can look across the Anacostia along the British line of advance. The other site is the Fort Lincoln Funeral Home/Cemetery-strange place for awar memorial. Yet, at the top of the hill behind the largest structure on the grounds is a marker showing the position of Joshua Barney's flotilla men and a memorial to the handful of Marines that accompanied him.

North Point post tomorrow
Fort Lincoln Cemetery is located on the site of Fort Lincoln, an actual Civil War fort in the outer defenses of Washington D.C.  In the distance is Lowndes Hill which was more easily defended than the Bladensburg crossing

View upriver to the (Maryland) Highway 1 bridge.  Likely crossing point for the British, and proposed archaeological site.for Maryland Historical Society
Marker for the small band of Marines that fought alongside Barney's bluejackets.

Barney's view from the American third line, down the hill toward the Anacostia crossing
Plaque dedicated to Barney in the Fort Lincoln Cemetery
British view of their line of advance across the Anacostia River.  Taken from the Bladensburg waterfront park.


RodFleck said...

Ok,at Enfilade! 2013, I am preregistering for this! I am envious you got to do an inperson visual. Cool. There is a great interview on a Madison biographer that I need to share w you too

Dave S. said...

I always think it is interesting how little attention War of 1812 sites get. You would think the city would be playing it up a bit more with the 200th anniversary approaching. I'm looking forward to the next update! On a side note, I have been following the recovery of Barney's flotilla ships on the Naval History Blog.

RodFleck said...

Here is that interview I mentioned -


Richard Brookhiser: James Madison Author: National Constitution Center
Fri, October 14, 2011

James Madison led one of the most influential and prolific lives in American history. Although often overshadowed by his more celebrated contemporaries, Madison helped to shape our country as perhaps no other Founder did. Eminent historian Richard Brookhiser joins Michael C. Quinn, president of the Montpelier Foundation, to discuss his newly released book about the “Father of the Constitution,” an accomplished yet humble statesman who nourished Americans’ fledgling liberty and vigorously defended the laws that have preserved it to this day. This program is presented in partnership with James Madison's Montpelier. Program recorded on 10/11/11.