Reminiscences of Thomas Beacham (1796-1878): 27th Maryland Regiment at North Point, 1814

“America has thus secured a character and standing among the nations of the earth she never would have obtained had it not been for the late war [of 1812].”

In the years following the War of 1812, Baltimore’s  Old Defenders, had resumed their individual livelihoods, while others took advantage of having served in the war to obtain US government bounty lands in the mid-west. Among those was Thomas Beacham who served for 90 days as a private in Captain Peter Pinney’s 27th Maryland Regiment at the Battle of North Point. In 1817 he left Baltimore and settled in Xenia, Ohio, where he married Elizabeth Butler on November 7, 1826. He followed his remaining years as an ordained minister. On June 25, 1847 Beacham wrote his reminiscences about his role at Baltimore. In 1852/55 he received 120 acres of land in the new state of Ohio, Queen County (1803). He died in 1878 at the age of 74 years in Xenia, Ohio.

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Reminiscences of Rev. Thomas Beacham

“….Our spades and shovels were employed in throwing up breast-works – our guns were all put in order, and we then waited the approach of the enemy until Sabbath, the 11th of September. In the morning we performed military duty, we then went to the house of God, and from this we were called always before 12 o’clock. The balls of the Observatory [on Federal Hill] were run up – the alarm gun fire – the city was in commotion, weeping and lamentation were heard in almost every house: and yet, we found at our headquarters more men numbered than we had before. We took up our line of march, and encamped near the spot “where came the tug of war.” In the morning [Sept. 12], at sun rise, we formed a line, and then, for the first time, I heard those affecting words, “load with ball cartridges;” after which we marched about one mile, and drew up for battle….On the right we saw the 5th [Maryland] regiment and a few rifle companies, and on the left was the 39th and 51st regiments. Two or three companies, with one of the four little cannons [of the Baltimore Union Artillery], volunteered to go and hunt up the enemy, and they found them just in sight.

There a desperate battle ensued, every man did his best, and a young man by the name of Wells; belonging to the company of [1st Baltimore] Sharpshooters, stopped the career of [Maj. General Robert] Ross. They now came on in earnest. In front was an extensive old field, and after filling this, they flanked our left. The three little six pounders (one having been spiked) commence4d, and never were three little guns more constantly at work, not to better purpose, for the space of an hour.

The hardest of the battle was with the 27th, and the first musket was fired from that regiment. On my right, I saw the valiant young man, with trailed guns and quick step, advance forward at least 30 rods, while hundreds were calling, “come back!” “come back!” all to no purpose. He fired and this was the signal – in a moment the whole line was in a blaze. Brave boy, I doubt whether he ever returned to his home.

Our Adjutant, [James] Donaldson, the beginning of a great man, had just passed in the rear, advising the men to shoot low. Hit them, said he, about the middle. We fought hard until a retreat was called for, and forty-two boys and two old men were killed in the company to which I belonged, (Captain Pinney’s.) We rallied again, with the 6th and other forces, about two miles from the city. We were now willing for another trial, but were soon ordered in front of the entrenchment. The 27th and 5th [regiments] were allowed to sleep at home that night, and the next morning, while rallying at headquarters, the sound of the first bomb saluted our ears.

Undaunted we marched out, and although thirty-three years have passed away, I have not forgotten the feeling caused by the loud cheer from the soldiers in the entrenchment, as the little 27th passed away to take our position in front. This day we were looking every moment for the onset which was to decide the fate of the city, but it came not. At night we drew nearer the entrenchment, and enjoyed all the comforts of a dark, rainy night, enlivened by the rocket’s blaze, and the dismal roar of the bomb. They had been at work all day and all night, and we could witness the truth of that patriotic sentiment, which a Baltimorean will always lobe and admire.

“The rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”In the morning we heard with astonishment, the enemy had fled to their ships… We mustered three months; sometimes walking as sentinels at the six gun battery [known as Battery Babcock on the Ferry Branch]. Our city was kept in peace and safety; some said the Lord would keep it so, and so he did. Baltimore was then almost as distinguished for soldiers of the cross of Christ as soldiers of the musket. I have never seen any history of the battle of North Point; these few particulars are from memory, and in the main are true. My home is in the west, yet I love Baltimore still.”

 [END]

Source: The Battle of Patapsco Neck, Sept. 1814: Reminiscences (Unpublished, 2009, 172 pp. Scott Sheads).

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Published in: on February 26, 2014 at 12:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Lieutenant Gregorious Andre (1787-1814) of the Union Yagers

During the early morning hours of September 12, 1814, Captain Dominic Bader’ of the Union Yagers, 5th Maryland Regiment, directed Lieutenant Gregorious Andre to employ a line of riflemen along a tree line of a clearing. Near mid-day, moments before the Battle of North Point ensued; the riflemen skirmished with the advancing forward vanguard of British light infantry, falling steadily back to the American lines. In a curious note in his official report to the First Lord of the Admiralty, Vice-Admiral Alexander F.I. Cochrane privately reported, noting a curious affair:

 “One of the American field officers [Lt. Andre] in the late affair was Shot upon a Tree rather a Strange place for a Commander of a Regt., [company] but I understand he went there to direct his men how to fire with Most effect, but staying there rather too long he was brought down by a Soldier.”

 Andre was a native of Bremen, Germany and was buried along with others that had been mortally wounded at Old Christ Church Cemetery on Broadway, the present site of the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was later reburied in Green Mount Cemetery.

On September 12, 1828, fourteen years after the Battle of North Point, his son, John Andre led a detachment of the Union Yagers to the battlegrounds. Here having partaken of a repast, prepared for their solemn remembrance of Lieutenant Andre, they formed a hollow square around the tree “where that brave and lamented officer met his untimely fate…” Lieutenant A.B. Wolfe, commanding the corps addressed those gathered in an “eloquent and impressive manner.” 

Following the brief ceremony the corps returned to their homes.

 Sources: Baltimore Patriot, September 18, 1828. Gregorious Andre received his commission on July 24, 1813;  Admiral Cochrane to First Lord of the Admiralty, September 17, 1814. The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History, Vol. 3 (Washington: Naval Historical Center, 2002), 289-291.

Published in: on October 24, 2011 at 1:36 am  Leave a Comment  

“Ross Tree” under which Major General Robert Ross Died, Sept.12, 1814

In the second of two skirmishes that led to the Battle of North Point, Major General Robert Ross, having been shot by members of Captain Edward Aisquith’s First Baltimore Sharp Shooters, who were in the forward advance, was taken in route back to the British landing site. Along the North Point Road, his staff laid the General by the side of the road under a large poplar tree that over hung the roadside. It was here he breathed his last. An entry in the captain’s log of HM Ship-of-the-line Royal Oak states clearly that Ross’ remains arrived onboard that evening at 9 p.m., some eight hours after having been shot.

The tree was situated on the farm of Mr. Vincent Green, a veteran of the battle near the crossroads of North Point Road and present day Wells Avenue. In March of 1844 the venerable old tree was cut down for fear it may fall on an unsuspected traveler. It was known as the “Ross Tree.” “Such was the veneration in which it was held that many individuals secured pieces as relics.”

Sources: The Sun, March 22, 1844;  September 8, 1907.

Battle Acre: A Deed of Land by Dr. Jacob Houck (1792-1850) “for the purpose of erecting a Monument thereon….”

On the eve of the 25th Anniversary of the Battle of North Point, a prominent physician of medicine and purveyor of his famous “Houck’s Remedies” gave to the State of Maryland an acre of land on the battlefield for the princely sum of One Dollar. His gift today is known as Battle Acre along the North Point Road in Baltimore County.

He was born in Frederick County, the son of a prominent merchant, and came to be a graduate of the Maryland University School of Medicine. In December 1839 he purchased the land called “Swan Harbour” and soon thereafter built “one of the most splendid hotels in the vicinity,” that became known as “Houck’s Pavilion” that for years thereafter served as a prominent annual commemorative gathering site for the Old Defenders’ of Baltimore. 

The following is an extract of the deed of land to the State of Maryland.

“Know all men by these presents, that I Jacob Houck of the city and county of Baltimore in the State of Maryland am held and firmly bound unto the State of Maryland in the full and just sum of one Dollar lawful money to be paid to the said state, or to its attorney to the payment whereof. I bind myself, my heirs Executors and Administrators firmly by these presents, sealed with my seal, and dated this eleventh day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty nine.

Whereas the said Jacob Houck in consideration of the sum of one dollar to him paid at or before the sealing and delivery hereof, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged and also delivered good causes and valuable considerations herein thereunto moving, hath contracted to give grant and convey or to cause and procure to be granted and conveyed unto the said state this or part of a tract, piece or parcel of herein after described the same constituting a part of the North Point Battle Ground “for the purpose of erecting a Monument thereon.” Now the Condition of the foregoing obligation is such, that the said Jacob Houck, or his heirs do and shall within six months next ensuing the date hereof, grant and convey, or cause and procure to be granted and conveyed to the State of Maryland aforesaid, to be held by the said State for ever, for the use and purpose aforesaid. All that Lot or parcel of Land situated and lying in Baltimore County aforesaid being part of a tract called “Swan Harbour” which is contained  within the meter and bounds, courses and distances following, that is to say; Beginning for the same part at a stone standing in the ground on the southwestern most side of the road leaving from the City of Baltimore to North Point…” [the remainder of document shows survey points of distances.]

For 75 years no monument was erected, despite the elaborated ceremonies held on September 12, 1839. A granite monument was finally dedicated in 1914 on the centennial of the battle.

Jacob Wever Houck was the father of Mrs. Ella Virginia Houck (Mrs. Reuben Ross Holloway/1862-1940) who often was described as the “number one patriot in Baltimore” who consistently advocated for the making The Star-Spangled Banner” the official national anthem and other patriotic causes. Dr. Jacob Houck, Sr. died in 1850 and is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in West Baltimore.

Source: Baltimore County Court (Land Records) TK 292, pp. 246-247 Jacob Houck, “Swan Harbor,” 11 September 1839 [MSA CE 66-342]. His son, not to be confused with his father, was Dr. Jacob Wever Houck, Jr. (1822-1888); The Sun, May 23, 1888.

British at the Gates: Three Country Estates East of Baltimore:

Following the Battle of North Point and the death of Maj. General Robert Ross, the British army under Col. Arthur Brooke advanced on the morning of September 13 towards the outskirts of Baltimore west on the Philadelphia Road (Rt.40) along Herring Run. It was within this area three miles east of the American main defenses on Hampstead Hill (Patterson Park) that Col. Arthur Brooke and Rear Admiral George Cockburn reconnoitered the American lines, finding themselves at the gates of Baltimore of three country estates. They halted on the highland heights (present site Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital).

Joseph R. Foard (1765-1869). The British immediately began to reconnoiter and visit the farms in the area. The heights offered Colonel Brooke and Admiral Cockburn an unobstructed view of the American lines before them. First they visited the 245 acre farm of Joseph R. and Mary Foard’s farm fronting on the north of the Philadelphia Road. Foard served as second lieutenant in Capt. Jehu Bouldin’s Independent Light Dragoons. Along with neighbor and fellow dragoon Thomas Kell,  Foard had barely escape the day before near North Point by the British advance guard sending his servant to warn his family to leave and go north to safety with relatives. No sooner had the household departed than a house servant, having tarried too long, barely escaped as the British approached the farm firing at him. The British advanced guard took procession of the farm shooting the cattle in the field. Finding a militia uniform in the house, the British cut it into pieces and began to destroy the household furniture.

Within two weeks of the battle Foard posted a newspaper notice declaring “Having sustained very heavy losses and damage in my Household Property, from the depredations committee upon it by the British army…” he asked any citizens if any of his property had been found to return it. The British continued next to the country estate of Lt. Thomas Kell whose family also had departed for safety.

Judge Thomas Kell (1772-1846). Lieutenant Kell’s estate of “Orangeville” was situated on a high knoll with a commanding view of Hampstead Hill situated at the present intersection of North Point Boulevard and Pulaski Highway. Here Colonel Brooke and Admiral Cockburn and their officer’s staff made temporary headquarters. Admiral Cockburn related “I not know what kind of a hole Baltimore is in, for I can see the very eyes of the people and yet cannot do execution.”

Lt. Colonel Joseph Sterett (1773-1821)- Lt. Colonel Joseph Sterett and his wife Molly Harris’s  260 acre estate of “Mount Deposit”  lay to the north of Judge Kell’s estate along the Philadelphia Road, two miles east from Baltimore, overlooking Fell’s Point and the harbor. At midnight on September 12, Colonel Sterett having returned with his regiment from the North Point battlefield made arrangements to remove his family. He then took post on Hampstead Hill within sight of his estate along with the gathering militia and federal forces.  As Col. Brooke and Admiral Cockburn surveyed the American defenses before them, their commissioned officers and accompanying soldiers took leisure on Sterett’s estate. A British subaltern and four fellow officers decided to venture forth.

 “About a couple of hundred yards in front of videttes, stood a mansion of considerable size, and genteel exterior … That a place so neat in all its arrangements, and so well supplied with out-houses of every description…When a crowd of stragglers, artillerymen, sappers, sailors and soldiers of the line, rushed into the hall. In a moment, the walls of the building re-echoed with oaths and exclamations, and tables, chairs, windows, and even the doors, were dashed to pieces, in revenge for the absence of food… through a chasm in a brick wall under ground, the interior of a wine cellar, set round in magnificent array, with bottles of all shapes and dimensions. In five minutes, the cellar was crowed with men, filling in the first place, their own haversacks, bosoms …In less than a quarter of a hour, not a single pint, either of wine of spirits, remained…”

 Col. Sterett’s daughter, Louisa remembered vividly:  from the family narratives the events that took place at “Surrey” on September 12-13, 1814: “Fearing that the outrages and atrocities perpetrated by Cockburn and his men might be repeated… the family coach and large farm wagon made their exit by the west road as the British entered on the east by [Judge] Kell’s woods.”

A colored woman Ellen Smith and her children seized what family valuables and secreted them to their slave quarters when British officers denied any soldiers to enter the negro quarters. On a sideboard three officers, Captain Brown, Wilcox and McNamara of the Royal Marines left an inscription on the parlor mantel; “Captains Brown, Wilcox and McNamara, of the Light Brigade, Royal Marines, met with everything they could wish for at this house. They returned their thanks, notwithstanding it was received through the hands of the butler in the absence of the Colonel.”

Today the structural two story remains of “Surrey” still survives in northeast Baltimore, boarded up once used as a community center.

 Sources: The Sun, October 18, 1866; April 10, 1869; Sept. 12, 1903; Sept. 12, 1888; Baltimore American & Commercial Daily Adv., September 29, 1814; Baltimore Gazette , November 26, 1831; Judge Thomas Kell (1772-1846) was a Judge Circuit Court  and later Maryland Attorney General (1824-1831); The Torch Light and Public Adv., (Hagers-Town, Md.), October 25, 1827; A Subaltern in America; Comprizing His Narrative of the Campaign of the British Army, at Baltimore, Washington, &c.,.by George Robert Gleig (Baltimore: E.L. Carey & a. Hart, 1833), 153-154; The Sun, September 12, 1888.

Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 12:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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.

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

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.

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

Battle of North Point – American Prisoners of War, September 12, 1814

In the aftermath of the Battle of North Point, fifty-three American militia found themselves prisoners of war and were conveyed to the British fleet via Bear Creek to His Britannic Majesty’s frigates Havanna, Severn and Surprise. In a collective letter upon which their names were listed they described their confinement;

“We had the misfortune to be captured in the affair of Monday last at Bear Creek and were on Tuesday brought on board this ship where we are detained as prisoners of war…we are in captivity & distressed (not one of us having a change of raiment, a blanket, or cent of money – some have no coats, others no vests or shoes). Should not an immediate arrangement be made for our benefit, we expect to be sent to England…We pray an immediate attention may be paid to our situation by a flag of truce…Several of us being already very unwell, we fear confinement by fever which will be certain death in our situation…”

 Independent Company, 5th Maryland Regt.; Thomas Bailey, Talbot Jones, Edward Murray, Frederick Seyler, and William Jenkins.

Independent Blues – 5th  Maryland Regt.; Francis M. Wills, George Heidelbach, William Levely, Richard Lawson, John Huzza.

First Baltimore Sharp Shooters – 1st Battalion Maryland Riflemen; Thomas G. Prettyman, and John Howard.

Patriot Company, 5th Maryland Regt.; Benjamin Meredith.

United Volunteers, 5th Maryland Regt.; Henry W. Gray, and John G. Poug.

Union Volunteers, 5th Maryland Regt.; George Collins, and Henry Suter

1st Mechanical Volunteers, 5th Maryland Regt.; John Redgrave.  

51st Maryland Regt.; Andrew Miller, John Kepler, Morgan Carson, Adam Miller, Andrew Cole, Peter Stedman, Patrick B. Powell, John Kesler, and Adam Miller.

27th Maryland Regt.; John Fordyce, Ephraim Nash.

39th Maryland Regt; William Baltzell, Lewis Baltzell.

Non-combatants – Daniel Wells, Joseph G. Whitney

Two other British warships also held American prisoners of war from North Point.

 Onboard HM frigate Surprise – William B. Buchanan, Ezekiel Partett, Peter Abraham, James Gettings, Edward H. Dorsey, John Lowleas, William Balson, John Griffin, Thomas Herring, George Boyle, Richard Polkinhorn, Thomas Norris, Andrew Kaufman, and George T. Hersey.

 Onboard HM frigate SevernJohn Chesley, John Baxley, Nicholas Wilson, Joseph Chaoman, and John Dougherty.

 In October they were released under the efforts of Colonel John S. Skinner, prisoner of war exchange agent for the U.S. State Department, who only recently had been with attorney Francis Scott Key on board a flag-of-truce vessel and had witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry.

Sources: Letter dated September 17, 1814, onboard HBM frigate Havanna. Samuel Smith Papers, Reel 2, Container 2-3., Library of Congress; Baltimore American & Commercial Daily Adv., September 26, 1814.

Myths & Legends: The Thomas Shaw House, North Point: September 12, 1814

Like many historical events, myths and legends have their own unique place in the documented stories providing a time line of events along with the documented main events. The Battle of North Point has too it’s own share of stories that have made their way into the historic lore as the British marched along the old North Point Road towards Baltimore.

Thomas Shaw House (also known as the Foulkes Farmhouse, circa1800). On the morning of Sept. 12 as the British army began their march along the Old North Point Road, British Major General Robert Ross’s staff took possession of the house on the ground floor, while ordering the family upstairs.

Eleanor Shaw, the daughter of Mr. Shaw (1745-1829), was forced to climb out of a second story window, to avoid the unwanted advances of a British lieutenant. Ever the disciplinarian, Major Gen. Robert Ross, RA ordered the officer back to the fleet for later punishment. The lore does not record the name of the young lieutenant nor any records that may substantiate the claim – but the story remains. The origin of the story appeared in The Sun on September 8, 1907.

Thomas’s son Joshua Shaw (1791-1832) served in Captain Joel Green’s company, 46th Maryland Regiment of Baltimore County. Today the site of the house is located on Foulkes’ Farm Road off the North Point Road. It survived until 1967 when it was torn down. A private family graveyard is nearby.

Source: “Battle of North Point in Legend and Tradition,” The Sun, September 8, 1907; Baltimore Gazette and Daily Adv., January 16, 1830 and December 1, 1832.

Lieutenant Gregorious Andre (1787-1814) of the Union Yagers

During the late evening of September 11, 1814, Captain Dominic Bader’ directed Lieutenant Gregorious Andre to employ a line of riflemen along a tree line of a clearing in preparation to meet the Brtiish the following day. They were one of five companies of the First Battalion of Maryland Riflemen. Near mid-day, moments before the Battle of North Point ensued on the 12th; the riflemen skirmished with the advancing forward vanguard of British Light Infantry, before falling steadily back to the main American lines. In a curious note in his official report to the First Lord of the Admiralty, Vice-Admiral Alexander F.I. Cochrane privately reported, noting a curious affair:

 

“One of the American field officers [Lt. Andre] in the late affair was Shot upon a Tree rather a Strange place for a Commander of a Regt., [company] but I understand he went there to direct his men how to fire with Most effect, but staying there rather too long he was brought down by a Soldier.”

 

On September 12, 1828, fourteen years after the Battle of North Point, his son, John Andre accompanied a detachment of the Baltimore Union Yagers to the battlegrounds. Here having partaken of a repast, prepared for their solemn remembrance of Lieutenant Andre, they formed a hollow square around the tree “where that brave and lamented officer met his untimely fate…” Lieutenant A.B. Wolfe, commanding the corps addressed those gathered in an “eloquent and impressive manner.”  Following the brief ceremony the corps returned to their homes.

Andre was a native of Bremen, Germany was buried along with others that had been mortally wounded that day at Old Christ Church Cemetery on Broadway, the present site of the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was later reburied in Green Mount Cemetery.

 

Sources: Baltimore Patriot, September 18, 1828. Gregorious Andre received his commission on July 24, 1813;  Admiral Cochrane to First Lord of the Admiralty, September 17, 1814. The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History, Vol. 3 (Washington: Naval Historical Center, 2002), 289-291.

Published in: on April 5, 2011 at 5:22 pm  Leave a Comment