“This Regiment of Artillery, is emphatically the pride of Baltimore…” (Baltimore Patriot, December 2, 1814.)
Organization – The First Regiment of Artillery of the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division of the Maryland Militia was commanded by Lt. Colonel David Harris (1769-1844), consisting of ten companies of 70 men each, composed of “a very valuable portion of Baltimore’s society, young ardent, enterprising men, of reputable standing and honorable feeling…” During the Baltimore campaign of September 1814 they were distributed among the defenses at Hampstead Hill (*), Battle of North Point (**) and Fort McHenry (***).
Each company usually had four 6-pdr field cannon, a regimental total of thirty-four guns, each owned a company, each equipped with a common two-horse two wheel-cart to carry munitions of cartridges, slow match, port-fires, and 60-70 rounds of cartidges each.
Artillery Effectiveness – Round-shot had a fearsome psychological effect on troops. Tests demonstrated that, under optimum conditions, a 6 pound solid shot would cut through nineteen men, who were in close formation or seven feet of compacted earth. The advantage of round-shot lay in its long zone of effectiveness which made it a useful projectile against targets as close as 250 yards and out to 1,100 yards (3,300 ft.) or more. It essense its volacity and low to the ground projection did extreme physical and psychological damage to soldiers in lineral firing formation.
Battle of North Point – Captain John Montgomery’s Baltimore Union Artillery with four guns was the only American artillery in the Battle of North Point on September 12, 1814. It is apparent that Brigadier General John Stricker’s troops at the Battle of North Point was only a delaying action, biding time for the American forces at Baltimore to prepare for the main assault. More artillery would have proved that General Stricker would have meant to make a stand on the grounds. The amount of the artillery upon Hampstead Hill (today Patterson Park) proved this.
First Regiment of Volunteer Artillery
Capt. George Stiles, The First Marine Artillery of the Union *
Capt. Samuel Moale, Columbian Artillery Co. *
Capt. James Piper, United Maryland Artillery *
Capt. George J. Brown, Eagle Artillerist Co. *
Capt. Joseph Myers, Franklin Artillery *
Capt. John Montgomery, Baltimore Union Artillery Co.**
Capt. John Berry, Washington Artillerist Co. ***
Capt. Charles Pennington, Baltimore Independent Artillerist Co.***
Capt. Joseph H. Nicholson, Baltimore Fencibles, owing they were U.S. Volunteers they were allowed to parade and exercise with the First Regiment. During the bombardment the Fencibles assisted the regular garrison at Fort McHenry, the U.S. Corps of Artillery, in manning the much heavier and powerful 24-pdr garrison artillery mounted on the fort walls.
Sources: “Military Notice,” Baltimore Patriot, December 2, 1814; Col. Decius Wadsworth to Maj. General Samuel Smith , July 25, 1814. Samuel Smith Papers, MSS 18974, Library of Congress; “Field Artillery of the War of 1812: Equipment, Organization and Tactical Effectiveness,” by Donald E. Graves, The War of 1812 Magazine (Issue 12, November 2009); Citizen Soldiers at North Point and Fort McHenry, September 12 & 13, 1814 by James Young (Baltimore, 1889).