Sunday, October 5, 2014

Heroic Action near Upper Marlborough — The British on their retreat from Bladensburg October 4, 1814

From the political examiner (Frederick, Md.[1])

            Heroic Action — The British on their retreat from Bladensburg left twenty-one men, who were not able to keep peace[sic] with the main army, a shot[sic] distance in the rear. Col. Cross[2], of Prince George's county, observing their isolated situation, hastily collected about 14 of the neighboring militia, and when he came up with the enemy ordered his men to fire and kill every damned rascal of thew stragling [sic] band. The British being panic struck with this order and the firmness with which it was uttered, laid down their arms, but as Col. Cross and his brave comrades advanced to seize them, they were hastily resumed and levelled[sic] with an intention to fire. This did not intimidate our men but on the contrary an impetus to their movements. — They boldly pushed forward when the enemy again laid down their arms. This had scarcely been done before they took them up. Conduct such as this so provoked Col. Cross, that he ordered his small but determined party to charge bayonet and gige[sic] the d____d rascals no quarters. They accordingly advanced with a steadiness and composure, which evinced their resolution to die or conquer; and when in the act of charging, the enemy again threw down their arms and begged lustily for mercy. This was granted and all made prisoners of war. Col. Cross then conducted them to his house, and entertained them at his hospitable board. — They afterwards told him they would have surrendered when he first them to be attacked, but from his fierce and threatening looks they expected nothing short of death. In this short affair, raw militia captured twenty-two of Wellington's choice troops, well armed and equipped. if our militia would generally act in this manner we should soon clear the land of a set of cut-throats abd plunderers.

[1] Green-Mountain Farmer Date: 10-04-1814; Volume: VI; Issue: 11; Page: [2]; Location: Bennington, Vermont.

Transcribed by John Peter Thompson [ October 5th, 2014].

[2] Perhaps: Joseph Cross or Fielder Cross of Prince George's County.

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