Samuel A. Neale (1795-1880): An African-American at the Battle of North Point

On August 18, 1880 Professor Samuel A. Neale, age eighty-five, a distinguished colored citizen of Frederick, Maryland and former graduate and faculty member of Emory College, Pennsylvania  died at his home in Frederick, Maryland. He was one of the Old Defenders’ of Baltimore during the War of 1812.

In late August 1814, Lt. Colonel Frisby Tilghman (1773-1847), commanding the 1st Cavalry District of Washington and Frederick Counties, the American Blues, of 80 dragoons, rode  to Bladensburg, Maryland where with the American army on August 24th defended the approach of the British expeditionary forces. Col Tilghman’s command were ordered to harass the approaching British at Wood Yard, Maryland and to gain vital intelligence. In the aftermath of the American defeat Colonel Tilghman’s command left with the army for Baltimore. Accompanying Tilghman was an African-American slave who served as a steward to Surgeon William Hammond, then as an aid carrying his medical instruments on the field. According to a pension application Neale claims he was armed and equipped as a soldier. At Baltimore he was present at the Battle of North Point where he was accidentally wounded by one of Dr. Hammond’s pistols, perhaps in cleaning or handling it. The petition is endorsed by Hon. Wm. P. Raulsby, chief judge of the sixth judicial circuit; Hon. John A. Lynch, associate judge of the same circuit; Hon. P.H. Marshall and others.

In 1870, Samuel Neale received an annual pension of eighty dollars, in four equal and quarterly installments of twenty dollars to each soldier or surviving widow from the Maryland Legislature or his services and was endorsed by none other than the Hon. William P. Raulsby, chief judge of the Sixth Judicial District of Maryland and the Hon. John A. Lynch, associate district judge.

On August 19, 1880 at the age of 85 years, Samuel Neale died and was buried at the Frederick Catholic Graveyard leaving his wife Ellen, 72 and his children Rebecca and Sophia all mulattos. In his obituary in the Frederick, Md., Examiner it stated Neale, age 80 “was a prominent and respected colored man …who served his country with fidelity during the War of 1812.”

Sources: “Petition of a Colored Veteran for a State Pension,” The Sun, January 27, 1870; “An Act to repeal the Act of eighteen hundred and sixty-seven,” Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1870, Volume 188, page 3448; The British Invasion of Maryland, 1812-1815 by William M. Marine (Baltimore, 1913; Genealogical Pub., Co., 1977), 89; Frederick, Md., Examiner, June 19, 1872.

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Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 11:25 am  Leave a Comment  

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