Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Beyond the Battle of Bladensburg - Symposium October 11, 2014

Bladensburg was more than a battlefield in the War of 1812.  What kind of place was Bladensburg during this era?  What was life like for its townspeople?  How did Bladensburg's residents, white and black, native born and foreign, interact in a time of dramatic political, social and economic change?  Find answers to these questions and more at the "Beyond the Battle: Bladensburg’s History in Context” symposium Saturday, October 11, 2014, 8:30am - 4:30pm at R. Lee Hornbake Library, University of Maryland, College Park.  Registration is $15 per person and includes lunch.
Register at
For more information please contact, or
Scholars, community researchers and artists will share their work on Bladensburg in the era of the War of 1812.  Panel topics and speakers include: 
African Americans: Maya Davis, Mark Leone, Dennis Pogue
Archaeology: Richard Ervin, Donald Creveling, Noel Broadbent
Art and Interpretation: Peter Brice, Joanna Blake, Mark Hildebrand
Bladensburg in Detail: John Peter Thompson, Susan Pearl, Doug McElrath
Keynote Speaker: Alan Virta
A reception   will immediately follow the symposium at the new exhibit, Beyond the Batttle: Bladensburg Rediscovered, in the Hornbake Library Gallery.
This event is sponsored by Prince George's Heritage, Inc. with support from the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area.   Please visit our blog at
Prince George's Heritage, Inc. is located at the Magruder House, 4703 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg, Md.  20710
Following the symposium, the Prince George's Philharmonic will perform music of the War of 1812 era on Saturday, October 11, 2014 - 8:00pm at the 
Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, Bowie, MD. at 8pm. Single price tickets are $20.  For more information please visit their website at


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.