Maj. General James Wilkinson (1752-1825) was born on Hunting Creek in Calvert County, Maryland and was engaged in two failed campaigns, the Battle of Chrysler’s Farm ( November 11, 1813) and the second Battle of Lacolle Mills (March 30, 1814) in Upper Canada. He was then relieved from active service, but was cleared by a military inquiry. While awaiting trial at home he informed former Maryland Governor Robert Bowie of the British landing at Benedict, Md., on August 19, 1814.
“Twenty-seven sail, up as high as Taney’s (about three miles above Benedict…) commenced landing troops…No doubt they are for the City of Washington and will be there by Sunday…On Friday, a part of the squdron anchored before Benedict, at at Noon commenced debarking troops. Barges continued to ply between the ships and the shore during the remainder of the day…Piquets being stationed at the various passes near Benedict, all travelers are made prisoners and sent into the town…By the division of the forces on both sides of the Patuxent there can be no doubt that Barney’s flotilla is the first object of attack, and will of course be destroyed as no adeqate defence can be made against such numbers… If Washington is the next object, several days must elapse before so considerable an army can be marched over the ground between Benedict and the city…
Source: Poulson’s American Daily Adv.,( Philadelphia), August 24, 1814. He later wrote his Memoirs of My Own Times (1816) in hopes of clearing his name.
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