Friday, August 17, 2018

Samuel Smith of Baltimore-- Part 1: Veteran of Two Wars

From the War of 1812 Archaeology blog.

Samuel Smith fought in both the American Revolution and the War of 1812.  There is a monument in Baltimore honoring him.

AMERICAN REVOLUTION and persevering defense.

On September  23, 1777, Lt. Col. Samuel Smith, 24, was ordered by General Washington, to take command of Fort Mifflin in the Delaware River, below Philadelphia.

Washington told him:  "The keeping of this fort is of very great importance, and I rely on your prudence, spirit and bravery for a vigorous and persevering defense."

Forts Mifflin and Mercer were important because they could help starve the British out of their newly captured Philadelphia.

However, Samuel Smith did not succeed in defending Fort Mifflin.  He was attacked and even when it became clear that he couldn't keep Fort Mifflin out of British hands.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Wells and McComas Monument, Baltimore-- Part 3:

To commemorate Defenders Day 1858, the coffins were carried in a procession to their current resting spot in Old Town's Ashland Square.  An unknown person from Baltimore even made a song for the occasion, "TheWells and McComas Funeral and Monument Song," sung to the tune of the "Star-Spangled Banner."

"Twas McCOMAS and WELLS- SO Fame the fact tells /  This heroic deed their fame evermore swells / As martyrs of liberty!  And we now raise / A monument high, to continue their praise."

In addition, , famed playwright  Clifton W. Tayleure published a play:  " "The Boy Martyrs of September 12, 1814, A Local Historical Drama in Three Acts" which played at the Holliday Street Theater.

The remains lay at Ashland Square for fifteen years until the monument was completed.  The simple 25-foot tall obelisk, made of Baltimore County marble, cost a total of $3,500.  Most of the funding was provided by the Baltimore City Council.

Monuments, Baltimore has removed Confederate Monuments.

Can You believe That?  --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Wells and McComas Monument-- Part 2: Both Killed At Battle of North Point

Although evidence that they fired the shots that killed Robert Ross is scant, they have received credit for it.  There were other sharpshooters in their unit.  Regardless, the loss of General Ross was a heavy blow to the British.

Sadly, McComas and Wells could not confirm or deny the story as both were killed on the battlefield.  Two of the 24 who died at the Battle of North Point.

It wasn't until some 40 years after the battle that the two boys gained local celebrity status.  In the 1850s two military companies formed the Wells and McComas Monument Association and solicited subscriptions  from citizens to erect a monument in their honor.

They had the bodies exhumed from their vault in  Baltimore's legendary  Green Mount Cemetery and lay in state at the Maryland Institute building at Market Place.  Thousands came to pay their respects.


The Wells and McComas Monument-- Part 1: "The Boy Heroes of the Battle of Baltimore"

From the site.  Wells and McComas Monument.

I wrote briefly about this monument in the last post.  These two were given credit for killing British General Ross.

The historical record, however, offers slim evidence that they did, in fact, kill Ross.  Nonetheless, Baltimore has celebrated their story for over bicentennial.

The young men, aged eighteen and nineteen were privates in Captain Edward Aisquith's Sharpshooters of the First Rifle Battalion of the Maryland Militia at the Battle of Baltimore.

Wells was an Annapolis native and McComas had enlisted in Baltimore.  Their battalion had first encountered British General Robert Ross at the Battle of Bladensburg on August 14, just three weeks before the Battle of Baltimore.


Monday, August 13, 2018

Other Baltimore War of 1812 Monuments-- Part 3: The "Star-Spangled Banner" House and Wells-McComas Monument

**  The "Star-Spangled Banner" flag was designed and primarily sewn at Baltimore's Flag House.  The historic house was once occupied by Mary Young Pickersgill and her successful flag making business.

**  The Daniel Wells / Henry McComas Monument.  These two men were members of Captain Edward Alsquith's Militia Rifle Compnay and are credited with killing British General Robert Ross, who had led the sacking and burning of the Washington, D.C..

The monument was completed in 1873 and is made of Baltimore County marble.


Friday, August 10, 2018

Other War of 1812 Monuments in Baltimore-- Part 2: Bomb and Rack Monument

**  The War of 1812 Bomb and Rack monument displays a shot fire from a British fleet that landed inside Fort McHenry during the bombardment.

On Redwood Street.  The bomb was found inside of Fort McHenry after the bombardment,  An officer retained it as a souvenir and eventually gifted it to iron merchant Michael Keyser who later gifted it to city.

The monument was dedicated in 1963 and was knocked over  during the Great Fire of 1904, and rededicated in 1906,  It sits at about the location of the Keyser building.

The rack, where the bomb sits, was used extensively to bend iron bars for Conestoga Wagons which were used extensively during the wagon train era.


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Other Baltimore War of 1812 Monuments and Sites-- Parrt 1: Westminster Burying Grounds and Patterson Park

From Navy Bicentennial of the War of 11812, War of 1812 Monuments page.  Has sites across the U.S..  But I am dealing just with those in Baltimore.


Has the gravestones of many influential Americans, including many War of 1812 veterans.  Those who rest here include Brigadier General John Stricker, Major General Samuel  Smith and David Poe, Sr. (the grandfather of Edgar Allan Poe)


Three War of 1812 monuments are located in front of the Patterson Park pagoda.  J. Maxwell Miller's Star-Spangled Banner Monument depicts two school children holding a memorial scroll; the Rodgers' Bastion cannon commemorates the land battle where  Commodore Rodgers fought; and a row of five cannon represent the War of 1812 fortifications on Hampstead Hill (now part of Patterson Park)/


There Is Also a George Armistead Monument on Federal Hill in Baltimore

This marble monument was dedicated in  in 1882 and designed by architect G. Metzger.  It features an outline of Armistead's career on the shaft.  It stands 14 feet tall and is on a base of a foot and a half.

This monument is a substitute for an earlier, circa 1828 tablet of commemoration which had become defaced by time.

This monument was moved from its original place at Eutaw Place to federal Hill.

This is one of two memorials to the major.  The other is at Fort McHenry.  This one sits atop federal Hill overlooking Baltimore's Inner Harbor.    The Samuel Smith Monument and a large American flag are nearby.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Baltimore's George Armistead Statue: Fort McHenry

From Wikipedia.

The Armistead Monument at Baltimore's Fort McHenry, is a bronze statue of Col. George Armistead done by Edward Berge and dedicated September 12, 1914.

Its inscriptions read:

"Erected September 12, 1914 by the City of Baltimore Soc. of War of 1812 contributing in commemoration of the gallant defense of Fort McHenry under the command of Col. George Armistead which was the inspiration of the National Anthem The Star Spangled Banner.

To George Armistead April 10 1779 April 25 1818.  Commander of this fort during the bombardment by the British fleet Sept. 13-14 War of 1812.


Baltimore's Battle Monument-- Part 2: 8 Foot Tall Statue on Top

The monument is topped by an 8 feet tall, 2,750 pound marble statue by Antonio Capellano of a female figure representing the City of Baltimore wearing a crown of victory and holding a laurel wreath in one hand and a ship's rudder in the other.

It was hoisted to the top of the column during Defenders Day, September 12, 1822.  The statue was moved inside of the Maryland Historical Society in 2013 to preserve it from further damage caused by time and nature.  It was replaced on the monument with a concrete replica.

It was placed on the NRHP in 1973.


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Baltimore's Battle Monument-- Part 1

Another reason for Baltimore being called "The Monumental City."

From Wikipedia.

Located on Calvert Street between  Fayette and Lexington streets.  On one acre.  Built in 1815.

Commemorates the Battle of Baltimore which included the bombardment of Fort McHenry and the Battle of North Point. in September 1814.  It honors those who died.  It sits on the site of the first Baltimore County court house.  The site was originally picked for the city's Washington Monument, but it was feared that would be too tall, so its construction was moved to another site.

The monument was designed by Baltimore architect J. Maximilian M. Godefroy and built between 1815 and 1825 and stands 39 feet high.


Monday, August 6, 2018

Baltimore's Washington Monument

A big reason Baltimore is referred to as The Monumental City is this monument.

From Wikipedia.

It was the first monument built honoring the American leader in the Revolution and the nation's first president.  It stands  178.feet 8 inches tall and was begun in 1815 and completed in 1829.  It stands north of downtown Baltimore.  It is 227 steps to the top.

It was designed by noted architect Robert Mills who also designed the Washington Monument in D.C..

Washington's statue was made by Italian-born sculptor Enrico Causici and shows Washington resigning his commission as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army.


Who Dubbed Baltinore "The Monumental City"?-- Part 3

A big reason for Baltimore being called "The Monumental City" was because of its monument to George Washington.

Masonry work was completed by the mid-1820s and the statue of Washington was placed on top in 1829.  Other exterior and interior details were completed in the 1830s.

A person would have expected the first monument to George Washington to be in the city that bears his name, but the cornerstone of that  one wasn't laid until 1848 and dedication in 1885.

In addition, work on the Battle Monument was begun in 1815 to honor the fallen defenders of the Battle of Baltimore and finishing touches were being put on it in 1823.


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Who Dubbed Baltimore "The Monumental City"?-- Part 2: A Put-Down Then Honor

What Wilber Hunter didn't have available to him when he said John Quincy Adams had been first to use the term were the thousands of historic newspapers as are available today.

The words "Monumental City" were used to refer to Baltimore in 1823 by the editors of the Daily National Intelligencer, the main newspaper in nearby Washington, D.C., and most likely by its main editor, Joseph Gales Jr..

On February 3, 1823, there was a big political debate going on over Maryland's support of the Potomac Canal (later named the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal).  Gale was scornful of Baltimore for not supporting the canal and he was flabbergasted that "the monumental city" was not supporting  this grand civic work for the betterment of the country.

Gale was being sarcastically, but his term was picked up all over the country and in Baltimore and by the early 1830s, American and foreign publications and travel books were using "The Monumental City" to refer to Baltimore.


Saturday, August 4, 2018

Who Dubbed Baltimore "The Monumental City"?-- Part 1: JQA?

From the August 15, 2015, Baltimore Sun by Lance Humphries.

And, speaking of memorials in Baltimore, on July 4, 2015, the Baltimore Washington Monument had the bicentennial of the laying of its cornerstone.  That was way before the more famous Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. was begun.

In 1971, Baltimore historian Wilber Harvey  Hunter was the first to suggest that former President John Quincy Adams, while visiting the city in 1827 gave Baltimore its moniker "The Monumental City.  The story goes that he was at Barnum's Hotel at a banquet and gave the toast:  "Baltimore -- the monumental city -- may the days of her safety be as prosperous and happy, as the days of her danger have been trying and triumphant."

While Adams did toast Baltimore as the Monumental City, he was not the first to give it that name.

Find Out, Next Post.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, August 3, 2018

Baltimore's Defenders' Day-- Part 3: "The Monumental City"

Over the yeaars there were additional fatalities due to the firing of actual musket balls in the re-enactments.  In the years leading up to the Civil War, Baltimore newspapers would have a lot of advertisements for "now available --  blank ammunition."

  In 1857, statues to the two privates credited with killing British General Robert Ross were dedicated.  Many monument, in fact, to the War of 1812 caused Baltimore to get the nickname "The Monumental City."

The designation "The Monumental City" is attributed to the U.S. 6th president John Quincy Adams in 1827 during a civic toast at a banquet.

Of course, now Baltimore must hand its head in shame as it has removed some of its monuments due to political correctness and the current Confederate-hatred thing.

Shame On baltimore.  --Brock-Perry

Old Fort Niagara Holds Large War of 1812 Reenactment

From the July 28, 2018, WKBW (Buffalo, NY)  "Old Fort Niagara holds one of the largest War of 1812 reenactments: Nikki DeMentri.

Over 500 reenactors from the United States and Canada attended

The 1812 Grand Tactical Committee's biggest annual event.  It took place this past Saturday and Sunday.

During the war, the Americans controlled Old Fort Niagara until there was a surprise British attack in December 1813 and the fort surrendered.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Baltimore's Defenders Day-- Part 3: The "Old Defenders"

While the "Old Defenders" survived, they were the ones who fought the battle, the commemorations of Defenders Day revolved around them.  Following the War of 1812, many of the "Old Defenders" became civil leaders of Baltimore.

While they were still alive, ceremonies began with rallies and speeches at Baltimore's Battle Monument and then the militia units marched out to the North Point Battlefield (on occasion taking a steamboat)where a sham battle would take place.

One of the unfortunate results of this was that more militia died from the exertion   A few even died when actual musket balls were fired during the sham battle.

In 1822, an unusually hot day in Baltimore the combination of heat and the wool uniforms produced a significant loss that caused the cancellation of it the following year.and heat than died on the actual battlefield in the war.


Baltimore's Defenders Day-- Part 2: To Celebrate the Victories At the Battle of North Point and Fort McHenry

The early celebrating of Defenders Day started soon after the event and centered on the American victory at the Battle of North Point on September 12 with people going out to the battlefield for picnics.  Later the celebrations came to include the entire city of Baltimore. with parades and speeches.

Initially the celebration of Defenders Day  was divided between the Battle of North Point and the Star-Spangled Banner Fort McHenry.  It also developed along the role of militia which had been involuntary prior to the War of 1812, to voluntary militia that emerged during the war itself.

there were a lot of politics involved with the militia units and the celebration of the victory.


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Defenders Day in Baltimore-- Part 1: Battle of North Point and Fort mchenry

From Wikipedia.

Is a legal holiday on September 12 in Baltimore, Maryland.  It commemorates the successful defense of the city September 12-14, 1814.

In September 1814, just three weeks after the burning of Washington, D.C., the British Army, under Major General Ross landed at North Point, near present-day Fort Howard, and began an advance on the city from the southeast.  They were met almost immediately by American forces, commencing the Battle of North Point.

Later, Fort McHenry was shelled and, of course, "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Baltimore Was Saved.  --Brock-Perry