“I am happy to inform you (wonderful as it may appear) that our loss amounts to four men killed, and 24 wounded.” Lt. Colonel George Armistead, Sept. 24, 1814.
Of the four defenders who were killed during the bombardment of Fort McHenry in September 1814 – Lt. Levi Clagett, Sergeant John Clemm, Privates Charles Messenger and Thomas V. Beason, none have been found – save one!
In December 1872, Jacob Cobb one of the Old Defenders’of Baltimore in 1814, discovered while walking in South Baltimore within an old burying ground near Fort Avenue and Webster Street a crumbling tombstone, upon which was deciphered the name of “Thomas V. Beeson.” The Association of the Old Defenders’ of 1814 at once made arrangements for the re-interment of the remains to Mount Olivet Cemetery on Frederick Road west of the city. The remains were transferred to a handsome casket and were re-entered with appropriate ceremonies.
Beason had served as a private in Captain John Berry’s Washington Artillerist, 1st Maryland Artillery, posted on the shore batteries of Fort McHenry during the bombardment, when a British mortar shell fragment killed him.
One of the speakers and Old Defenders’ who attended the ceremony “referred to the debt of gratitude due to the deceased by those whom he had defended and thought no more beautiful expression of that obligation could be made than the erection of a monument over his remains.” Several of the Old Defenders’ were present to act as pall bearers.
A search of Mount Olivet Cemetery has yet to find his grave, perhaps one of the many gravestones that lie flat upon the ground covered by grass.
Source: “An Old Defender Re-interred – Interesting Ceremonies,” The Sun, December 25, 1872