1814 - Attack on Baltimore


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1814 Attack on Baltimore 319

through his right arm into his breast, and fell mortally wounded. The firing had at this time wholly ceased ; and the expiring general lay on the road, unheeded, because unseen, either by friend or foe, until the arrival at the spot of the light companies, who had hastened forward upon hearing the musketry. Leaving some attendants in charge of the lamented chief, the officer commanding rushed on ; and it was then that Rear-admiral Cockburn learned the loss which the army and the country had sustained.

As soon as the British main body, now under the command of Colonel Brooke of the 44th regiment, closed upon the advance, the whole moved forward ; and, at about two miles further, and about five from the city, came in sight of the American army, drawn up, with six pieces of artillery, and a body of cavalry, numbering in the whole about 4500 men ; and backed, in case of a retreat, by at least 8000 more, and these hourly augmenting, and by heavy batteries in all directions. As the British advanced to the attack, the Americans opened, a fire of musketry from their whole line and a heavy cannonade from their field-pieces, and then retreated to a wood in the rear. From this position the Americans were quickly expelled, chiefly by the bayonet, leaving all their wounded and two of their guns in the possession of the British. The latter, however, were too much fatigued to follow up their victory on that evening.

The British loss amounted to one general-staff, one subaltern, two sergeants, and 35 rank and file killed, seven captains, four subalterns, 11 sergeants, and 229 rank and file wounded, of the army. The navy lost one captain's clerk (Arthur Edmondson), five seamen, and one marine killed, one captain of marines (John Robyns), one lieutenant (Sampson Marshall, severely), one midshipman (Charles Ogle), 30 seamen, and 15 marines wounded ; making the total loss of the British on shore amount to 46 killed, and 300 wounded. The great disproportion of wounded arose from the employment, by the enemy, of buck-shot ; and the magnitude of the loss, altogether, to the enemy's sheltered position. The loss of the Americans upon the field, according to their own account, was 20 killed, 90 wounded, and 47 missing, The last item is evidently erroneous, as the British commanding officer carried away with him about 200 prisoners.

Early on the morning of the 13th, leaving a small guard at a meeting-house, from which the enemy had been driven, to protect the wounded, Colonel Brooke moved forward with the army, and at 10 a.m., occupied a favourable position, about two miles to the. eastward of Baltimore. From this point, the strong defences in and around the city were plainly visible ; and arrangements were made for storming, during the ensuing night, with the co-operation of the fleet, the American intrenched camp ; at which lay General Stricker and his army, now reinforced by

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