North Point Battlegrounds – Old Methodist Meeting House (c. 1808-1921)

Sunday, 11th September 1814. This has been a day of great alarm, and to some of terror and dismay. I feel a confidence that God will mercifully spare the city and save the inhabitants from destruction.” Journal of the Reverend John Baxley.

 Though situated .038 miles to the north of the battlegrounds, the Old Methodist Meeting House along Bread and Cheese Creek, witnessed the aftermath of the battle. Here the wounded and dying, British and American, lay as the British encamped that evening upon the site. The next morning as the British pushed forward towards Baltimore, Dr. James H. McCulloh, U.S. Army Garrison Surgeon visited the site to care for the fallen remarked “I was shewn the meeting house in which some of our wounded men lay – along with a few British…”

Admiral George Cockburn who accompanied the army reported that [The Americans] gave way in every Direction, and was chased by us in a considerable distance with great Slaughter, abandoning his Post of the Meeting House situated in this Wood, and leaving all his Wounded and Two of his field Guns on our possession…”  It appears the British army had ventured near the Meeting House in the declining remnants of the  battle as the Americans had retreated to Perego’s Hill .032 miles where the 6th Maryland Regiment was posted, as ordered to receive their comrades as they fell back towards Baltimore. The Meeting House was reported to still have the leaden balls embedded in the wood frames, presumably fired upon the militia upon their withdrawal form the battle.

 His aide-de-camp, Lieutenant James Scott, remembered in his memoirs that “The meeting-house, a place of worship, the only building near the scene of battle, was converted into a temporary refuge for friends and foes. The temple of God – of peace and goodwill towards men – vibrated with the groans of the wounded and the dying. The accents of human woe floated upon the ear, and told a melancholy tale of ebbing tide of human life…”

In 1914 during the centennial of the battle the Patriotic Order of Sons of America in Maryland commemorated the site with a granite monument. It is situated at 2440 Old North Point Road near Bread and Cheese Creek.

Sources: “Patapsco Neck Church,” Baltimore American, August 30, 1897; Admiral George Cockburn to Admiral Alexander F.I. Cochrane, September 15, 1814. Printed in The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History, vol. 3, Ed. Michael  J. Crawford, (Washington: Naval Historical Center, 2002), 279-282; Recollections of a Naval Life by Captain James Scott, R.N. (London: Richard Bentley,  1834), 342.

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Published in: on April 6, 2011 at 1:08 am  Leave a Comment  

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