Fourteen months after the British had unsuccessfully attacked Elk Landing in April 1813. In July 1814, while the British resumed their campaign to destroy the U.S. Chesapeake Flotilla, on the Patuxent River under Commodore Joshua Barney. With Barney blockaded in the Patuxent River, Rear Admiral Cockburn directed Captain Robert Barrie, H.M. frigate Loire to proceed “to the upper parts of the Chesapeake” to resume the raids. On the afternoon of July 10th H.M. frigate Loire, and H.M. schooner St. Lawrence with several tenders and barges were sighted off Spesutie and Poole’s Islands, ascending the bay “looking into every creek on the eastern and western shore,” as residents began removing property and livestock into the countryside as the British presence came into view.
Lieutenant Colonel Philip Reed, 21st Regiment, Kent County, while visiting neighbors on Worton Creek observed four British landing barges. Fully expecting an attack, he borrowed a musket and gathered twenty-nine neighbors armed with duck guns, muskets, forming an ambush upon the enemy barges as they passed. It was reported that though the British had rowed 24 oars when they entered the creek, “they could man but four when he went out of it.”
“A List of the Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers & Privates who composed the Detachment engaged with the enemy on Sunday the 10th of July in Worton.” Col. Philip Reed, Maj. Thomas Carvill, Adj. Thomas [B.] Hynson, Paymaster William Crane, Ensign William Skirven, Ensign Richard Grant, Serg. Maj. Joseph Wickes, Serg. James Eagle, Jr., James Hyland, Jr., John Urie, Jr., Benjamin Hynson, John Bradshaw, Jesse Covington, John Humphrey, Jr., Classelbury Collier, Nathan Smith. RIFLEMEN: Captain Simon Wickes, Corp. William Downey, William Martin, John Smith, James Rollinson, Joseph Middleton, Horatio Stokes, Thomas Colemen, James Gregory, Stephen Kinnard, Peregraine Beck, Eliphay Danling and William Bryan.
Sources: Baltimore American & Commercial Daily Adv., July 14, 1814; Baltimore Niles’ Weekly Register, July 16, 1814;Rear Admiral George Cockburn to Captain Robert Barrie, July 11, 1814, The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History, vol. 3 (Naval Historical Center: Washington, D.C., 2000), 151 .