“The Boy Martyrs of 1814”: Daniel Wells and Henry G. McComas

During the Battle of North Point, in a pre-battle skirmish these two “boys” (18 & 21 years of age) are reputed to have killed Major General Robert Ross, RA. as the army advanced towards Baltimore on September 12, 1814. This popular event heighten great interest in the “folklore” of the Battle for Baltimore.


The popularity of the Wells and McComas story was further heighten on the evening of September 15, 1859 at the Holliday Street Theatre in Baltimore, when the famous playwright, dramatis, actor and theatre manager Clifton W. Tayleure (1832-1891) produced in three acts “The Boy Martyrs of Sept. 12, 1814: A Local Historical Drama.” It was complete “with representations of The Battle of Bladensburg, The Rescue of the Colors, The Bombardment of the Fort, Death of Ross, and the Battle of Baltimore.”


Only a year before were the remains of Daniel Wells and Henry G. McComas were removed from their temporary graves at Green Mount Cemetery and reposed in state in the Hall of the Maryland Institute, then to Ashland Square in west Baltimore where they were interred, awaiting the completion of the monument in their honor in May 1872.


Sources: “The Boy Martyrs of Sept. 12, 1814: A Local Historical Drama.” (Boston: Wm. V. Spencer, 1859); The Sun, September 11, 1858.

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Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 9:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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