The Battle of Bladensburg; Modern Information Page

200th Anniversary of the Battle of Bladensburg; What's Here Today?

As stated in September of 2012 on the previous website, the War of 1812 matter has become fashionable. Lots of related stuff has popped up: building, rebuilding, and cleaning has been done - some as charity but most at taxpayer expense.
As stated before; whenever there is state or federal money involved, all sorts come out of the woodwork to grab what they can and take charge; people who, yesterday, didn't even know that there ever was a battle. In two years they'll be embroiled in some other funded project and won't remember the ol' War of 1812, except that it helped make the final few payments on that BMW they are sporting around in.

For some of us, this issue is not trendy fashion or a money-grab. We've been here for years and will still be here when the dollars quit dropping.

That said, good things have being done in greater Maryland, Virginia, and especially Bladensburg; to show people that a battle was fought there, why it was fought and when, and where it was fought. Perhaps the spirits of those who died in the battle for America's Capitol rest better.

As of 2006, the only recognition of the Battle of Bladensburg has been the Annual August Anniversary Encampment and Re-enactment at the Riversdale Mansion in Riverdale, MD just south of UMD and College Park, MD and just north of Bladensburg itself. While the battle was actually on August 24, the "anniversary" encampment was usually around August 14. Now that the Waterfront Park has been fully established as a focus for recognizing the Battle of Bladensburg, the 2014 reenactment will be there and not at the Mansion and grounds,

The Calvert Mansion, also known as "Riversdale" (with an "s" in the otherwise-familiar name of Riverdale) is in a residential section near East-West Highway in Riverdale, MD not far from the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. It existed at the time of the battle, and a resident at the time, Rosalie Calvert, wrote that she could hear the battle taking place.

"Riverdale? What about Bladensburg?"
There was no recognition given the battle by the town of Bladensburg itself until 2012 when design of a monument was begun. Previously, the only connection to be found in town was a couple of houses of that period (still standing and well preserved), one of which was viewed on an appointment basis when available, but that is seldom and only to groups as it is a functioning, private home, and this may no longer be the case.

If you want to see where the battle took place, look outside Bladensburg's town limits, just south of the river on 450 (Annapolis Rd). There you will find the large, private Fort Lincoln Cemetery (was a "fort" in Civil War days, not during 1812-1814) that covers a good deal of land upon which the actual battle was fought. British marines fired rockets from inside the town out into the battle, but there is no way to know exactly where it was they set up their equipment. These rockets were smaller versions of the rockets fired at Ft. McHenry later on and mentioned in our National Anthem.

Within the Lincoln Cemetery grounds, on the hill, behind the large (Chapel?) building, there is a monument to the particular struggle (at the end of the hour-long battle) fought by Commodore Joshua Barney's sailors and Marines. It was the only hard resistance displayed by the American side. It was here and then that the US Army and Militia units, on either side of Barney's 600 men and cannnon, fled upon approach of the enemy, leaving Barney and his men to stand and fight alone. They, too, eventually had to retreat when faced by an overwhelming number of soldiers.

Barney stayed until his men had retreated, but was wounded and found he could not follow them. He was captured but treated very graciously by his civilized enemy as the hero he was.

In addition to the monument, there is a well house that was there during the battle, and is said to have been there even a hundred years before it!

A very nice monument to the battle is being put up in the circle that sends drivers off to either Rt. 1 or Rt. 450 (Annapolis Rd.).

Finally, some respect!