Tag: History

I Will Remember

I Will Remember

Here, at the end of history, we know that the war that is The Great War would only last one more year until on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour the guns across Europe would fall silent. But one hundred years ago they did not know that.

Least We Forget

The men and women who served, in another 100 years will they names be read aloud by the public? Will their names still be remembered? Will our grandchildren know of the sacrifice of those who died 200 years before? Will there be the same fanfare of sober celebration?

In Memorial

I don’t know about then, that’s the future, I’m here now, and I know that I will remember. And I take my duty actively to make sure the generation after me remembers as well.

Least We Forget

Because if I forget, how can the future remember?

DO:T 2017 - Church of the Redeemer

All the photos featured here were taken in 2017 of war memorials I have photographed in my travels. The icon on social media is a simple 3D replica of a carving found in the tunnels beneath Vimy Ridge in France. I hope you, dear reader, take the time to attend a ceremony tomorrow or take a moment to be silent and remember at 11 am. If you need to know where you can attend such a ceremony in Ontario, you can find the details on the Ontario Government Site.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.

Technical Details (From Top to Bottom)
Cambridge, Ontario – Downtown Galt
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Toronto, Ontario – Kew Gardens
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 (Yellow-15) – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Pyrocat-HD (2+2+100) 8:00 @ 20C

Oakville, Ontario – Georges’ Square
Nikon F5 – Lomography Achromat 64mm/2.9 (Orange-22) – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:45 @ 20C

Toronto, Ontario – Church of the Redeemer
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

The Battle of Fort George – 2017

The Battle of Fort George – 2017

Many people have asked me how I first got into the reenacting hobby; my answer is a strange one for some. I got into the hobby through photography. It was back in 2008 when the Fort York Guard requested that I come along to the annual Siege of Fort Erie event to grab some photos. I walked away with some great shots, and my presence soon migrated to the 7th Battalion, 60th Regiment of Foot, a brand new reenacting unit at that point. I watched as these dedicated individuals portrayed what the British military was like during the Anglo-American War of 1812 and learned a lot more about the conflict than I had in Grade 8 history. In 2011, I made a decision, having saved up enough money I was going to join the hobby, and trade my camera in for a musket (not literally of course).

A Spring in his Step
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Microphen (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Taking the Polish
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Microphen (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Getting the Polish On
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Microphen (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

I would still bring a camera with to some events, capturing more behind-the-scenes actions of camp life as a reenactor and the quirks of my unit (7/60th of course). Occasionally, I would still visit an event as a photographer, or even take a day off if I had some injury or lack of a unit to march with, which has become less an issue today. But I usually left the big guns at home because often I don’t have the room to lug around any more than a small collection of compact cameras and no long telephotos. This year’s Fort George Event had a bit of a twist; we were staying in the blockhouse on the site, so I had a secure spot for my camera gear and not having to bring all the camping gear I had room in my car.

Stalking the Line
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

You Call that Polished?
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

Drum Major
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

Saturday I stuck to the Hasselblad 500c as I was shooting for the July Summer Film Party contest and I joined the 10th Royal Veteran Battalion for both the change of command ceremony and the two battles. All of them went off wonderfully with the evening tactical being a favourite of mine. On Sunday I was ready to shoot differently, with a proper event kit, that is my Nikon F5 and 70-200mm telephoto lens and several rolls of film.

The Look
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Kodak Plus-X @ ASA-125 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

Sentry Duty
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Kodak Plus-X @ ASA-125 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

Oh Hai
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Kodak Plus-X @ ASA-125 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

Having studied the work of several photographers who frequent events, namely Michael Hurley, and taking the critique from my lovely wife to heart I left the wide and normal lenses at home and packed the only the 70-200mm and 105mm lenses in order to photograph the people as well as the battle itself. And the best part is that I woke up Sunday in the right mood for some people photography. Locking my lens into f/4, I went to work around camp. The joys of being known as both a reenactor and a photographer are that I can wander about at will.

Come on Lads
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Agfaphoto Vista Plus @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

Let's Show 'em what we're made of
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Agfaphoto Vista Plus @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

One Final Volley
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Agfaphoto Vista Plus @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

When it came time to do battle I switched out for a colour film stock, thanks to my friend James. I had never shot Agfaphoto Vista Plus a fast colour negative film but it sure felt and behaves like Fuji Superia 400, even down to the negative marks on the edges. And of course switching into a shutter priority mode, something I had not done before when shooting a battle sequence. Now the trick with shooting a reenactment is burst shooting, but having only a single roll of 36-Exposures, I had to trust my gut and ability to shut off the brain and listen for the commands. Make ready, bring the camera up and compose the image, present, half-press the shutter release to get focus and exposure, FIRE, fire off a single shot. A little different than with a musket, but sometimes you need to adapt to a situation. A different way of doing things like the two digital shooters flanking me. If you want to see the full set head over to my Flickr set.

Black Creek – Party like it’s 1867!

Black Creek – Party like it’s 1867!

Without a doubt, there’s plenty to do in Toronto. And while many prefer to stay in the downtown core, there’s a particular draw to see what the city is like on the outskirts. One such location is right on city’s north line with Vaughn, and that’s Black Creek Pioneer Village. Black Creek is a living history museum, and a ‘false’ village in the sense that it is an amalgamation of many historical buildings from around Ontario gathered into one spot and dressed to look like a small settlement of the 1860s. If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you may remember seeing this place as the backdrop for my review on the Mamiya Universal. After shooting at the village, I had wanted to return with a bigger camera. So having a week off with my wife, we decided to head over to the village for a morning.

BCPV - Broom maker Shop

The Province of Ontario, formerly known as Upper Canada before the Canadian Confederation of 1867 has a rich and long history. And I’m thankful that we have several museums around the province that make a point to preserve and teach about this history. I’ve been lucky to visit three such locations, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Westfield Heritage Village, and Upper Canada Village. A Fourth, the Lost Villages Museum remains on my hit list. But this post is about Black Creek Pioneer Village.

BCPV - Laskay Emporium

The village, formerly the property of Daniel Strong; you can visit his barn and other farm buildings. His original log cabin and larger home where he and his wife, Elizabeth, raised their eight children. The Strong Family continued to work the land well into the 20th-Century with the family farm forming the core of the museum in 1960. Over the next decade, the museum increased their inventory of historic buildings from around the Greater Toronto Area.

BCPV - Roblin's Mill

These are the types of museums that make history fun because they make it come alive. Heather and I had a chance to listen in on how one employee came up with her historic impression. Based on an actual person, she researched through the massive archives of historical data in the Provincial and City Archives to build her character. As a reenactor myself, I find this dedication amazing. She brought this one woman back to life here in the 21st-Century. Plus the commitment to ensure that many of these buildings are saved from demolition by the slow march of progress ensuring that our pioneer history isn’t lost.

BCPV - Half Way House

And of course, the highlight of the village is the historic brewery located in the basement of the Half Way House, a pre-confederation inn, and tavern from Scarborough. Where dedicated brew masters continue to use traditional techniques to create some of unique beers I’ve ever tasted. And yes, I brought a growler of their fantastic India Pale Ale back home with me.

All Photos Taken At: Black Creek Pioneer Village, Toronto, Ontario
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 1:4,7/135 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100
Pryocat-HD (1+1+100) 16:00 @ 20C

Project:1812 – Last Post

Project:1812 – Last Post

Here we are, a long time coming but, this is the end, and it has been a long and fascinating journey to reach this point. It’s always a bittersweet feeling when such a long and involved project comes to an end. But all things must end, and so must my journey into the War of 1812. At least I can say that I’ve done more than just scratching the surface of the conflict that would go on to define the relations between Canada, England, and the United States still today. When I first started the project way back in March 2012, I had no idea how big it was going to be. And sure as it moved along it suffered from scope creep, but I was able to reign it in.

Project:1812 - End of Part One
The Canadian National War of 1812 Monument outside the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Ontario
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Krueznack Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400 – PMK Pyro (1+2+100) 12:30 @ 20C

This project has taken me far and wide, I’ve learned a lot more than I was expecting and found a conflict far more complicated than the one I was presented with when I first learned about the War of 1812 in Grade 8. I went from knowing only about Isaac Brock, Laura Secord, the battle of Queenston Heights, and the burning of Washington DC. Now I know of battles out in Wisconsin, to a British Major-General to died fighting in the war. I learned how the events of Europe’s Napoleonic Wars directly influenced the fighting in North America. I heard of legends dispelled myth and patriotism and learned how this small footnote conflict has directly affected how Canada, the US, and Great Britan interact today. And if anything had been only slightly different, how it could directly affect our history today.

Project:1812 - The Treaty of Gent
A sign marking the spot where the American delegation to the treaty negotiations in Ghent, Belgium.
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Kodak Plus-X 125 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 7:30 @ 20C

And now you probably want to know who won the war, because in war there always has to be a winner and a loser. And in that sense, you would be right. But the truth is far more complicated than that. As the old phrase says, history is written by the victors. And in this war, three groups claimed victory. The British, the Americans, and now the Canadians. So of course, it depends on who you ask. So let’s break it down. This was a war that the British did not care too much about, the American threat at the time was so minor that London kept on advising Prevost to fight a defensive war, and only after Napoleon was on the run did they start to pour on the pressure. However, the British can claim victory as they repulsed the American invasion and kept them confined to small corners of the colony. The Americans can claim victory for the same reason, but we can also say they lost the war as they failed to achieve their objective, that was the removal of British influence in North America. The Canadians can claim victory for the same reasons as the British can, but in reality, only one battle was won solely by Canadian troops, the Battle of the Chateauguay. So in all this mess, did anyone win? Well not really, both sides barely avoided not losing. Neither side many any significant gains to have anything to hold over the other during treaty negotiations. So when the treaty was finally signed, it was peace with honour and a big giant reset button was pressed. There is one group that completely lost the war, the first nations of both countries; that is still very clear.

Project:1812 - The King's Navy Yards (Amherstburg)
The Forged Peace Memorial in Amherstburg, Ontario dedicated to the peace between the USA, England, and Canada
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tri-X 400 (400TX) @ ASA-200 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 6:30 @ 20C

Of course, if you’ve been following along with this project from the very beginning you know I’ve pumped out a lot of material over the process of these four years. And while being able to access a lot of the material online is great, even online material dies over time. So since 2013 I’ve been working hard to compile everything into book form and I’m happy to announce that the book is now done! I’ve taken four years of work, a little over 600 images captured, many blog posts all boiled down into 152 pages. And you can pick up a copy over at my bookstore on Blurb.com!

52:500c - Week 36 - Castle
The monument to the Rush Baggot Agreement at Fort Niagara, a key piece to the border shared between the Canada and the USA
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

So my dear readers, thank you for coming along on this journey, and I hope I’ve inspired even one of you to explore some aspect of history that you may not know much about.

Project:1812 – Lieutenant Colonel George Armistead

Project:1812 – Lieutenant Colonel George Armistead

George Armistead, one of the great defenders of the United States of America, stalwart commander of Fort McHenry, an action that would lead him to an early grave. George was born in New Market, Virginia on 10 April 1780. He along with his five brothers would all serve their country in the armed service. But for George, his service began at the age of 19 as an Ensign in the 7th US Infantry. He proved himself an excellent officer and promoted to First Lieutenant by the turn of the century. However, with the end of the Quasi-War with France, the army was reduced in size, George found himself back in civilian life. Such life did not sit well, and he was quick to rejoin the US Artillery as a Lieutenant, earning a quick promotion to Captain then by 1813 Major and assignment to Fort Niagara on the frontier.

52:500c - Week 36 - Castle
The French Castle at Fort Niagara as it stands today, still the original building, Armistead would have lived in this building during his time at the fort.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

Major Armistead would command Fort Niagara batteries during the invasion of Upper Canada and capture of Fort George in May 1813. His guns playing a key role in the suppression of the British artillery. Henry Dearborn assigned Armistead with the honour of carrying the captured British flags back to Washington DC. Upon their presentation to President Madison, Armistead was directed to take command of Fort McHenry. With the threat of British attack looming, Armistead joined in Baltimore’s defense. He ordered the expansion of the fortifications and as a personal touch ordered a new garrison flag made. Inspired by the huge garrison flag at Fort Niagara, he commissioned a local woman, Mary Pickersgill, to produce a 30×42 foot fifteen-star, fifteen-stripe flag. When the British bombardment began in September 1814, he had the foresight to move the fort’s powder supply from the magazine to the far wall, to prevent the bombs hurled at the fort from smashing through the magazine. The fort withstood the bombardment with only four deaths, and Armistead would earn a promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel.

CCR Review 49 - Minolta Maxxum 700si
A statue of George Armistead stands today at the Fort McHenry, honouring the hero of the defense.
Minolta Maxxum 700si – Maxxum Zoom AF 35-70mm 1:4 – Eastman Double-X (5222) @ ASA-200 – FA-1027 (1+19) 10:00 @ 20C

Armistead remained in command of Fort McHenry following the war; he would also be the last casualty of the bombardment. The stress from the bombardment ate away at his mental wellbeing. He suffered according to accounts from the period a strained heart and nervous system. George Armistead passed away 25 April 1818, and his body was laid to final rest at St. Paul’s Cemetary in Baltimore, with full military honours

Project:1812 - The Battle of Baltimore
The Cemetary in which Lt. Col. Armistead is burried, sadly it was closed when I visited.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:30 @ 20C

It would be one hundred years before terms like shell-shock and two hundred years before the full extent of Post-Traumatic stress disorder would be realized. But Armistead did suffer from it, based on my understanding. He remains today a hero with Fort McHenry standing firm, and the flag he ordered on display in Washington DC at the Smithsonian museum, a gift from his family in 1912.

Written with Files from:
Hickey, Donald R. Don’t Give up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2006. Print.
Lossing, Benson John. The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812 Volume 2. Gretna, LA: Pelican Pub., 2003. Print.
Whitehorne, Joseph W. A. The Battle for Baltimore, 1814. Baltimore, MD: Nautical & Aviation Pub. of America, 1997. Print.
Web: www.geni.com/people/Lt-Col-George-Armistead/6000000012222749217
Web: www.campaign1776.org/war-of-1812/biographies/george-armistead.html

Project:1812 – Major General Robert Ross

Project:1812 – Major General Robert Ross

Robert Ross is unique among the British Military leaders of the time as he never accepted any honours due to his actions. Born at his family estate at Rostrevor, Ireland in 1766. Before he joined the British army he attended Trinity College in Dublin while attending classes there he also served as the treasurer for the college’s historical society. Upon his graduation, he purchased an ensign’s commission in the 25th (Sussex) Regiment before advancing to captain a few years later in the 7th (Royal Fusiliers) Regiment. Ross would taste combat for the first time in 1799 at Krabbendam in the Netherlands during the French Revolutionary Wars. He would continue to see combat at Alexandria and by 1803 had been promoted to Major and would be given command of the 20th (East Devonshire) Regiment. As the war with France continued Ross and the 20th would move to the European peninsula, fighting in the Kingdom of Naples and the Battle of Corunna, by 1808 he was raised to the rank of full Colonel, even serving as Aide-Du-Campe to the King.

Congress
The US Capitol Building was the first building in the city that Ross directed to be destroyed
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Angulon 1:6,8/90 – Fuji Provia 100F @ ASA-100 – Unicolor Rapid E-6 Kit

Ross was a popular officer, respected by both the men and his subordinate officer. Ross was also a stickler for discipline and excellence in their drill. Ross would also lead from the front and received several wounds as a result. His actions did not go unnoticed, and he was given a promotion to General and served alongside Arthur Wellesley. Ross and Wellesley would go on to serve at Vittoria and Roncesvalles among other battles. Ross’ actions earned him the Army Gold Medal, but a wound would force him to return to England. During his recovery, the Sixth Coalition would deal Napoleon his death blow, and Ross received a promotion to Major-General and given a new assignment, command of an army to invade the United States.

Project:1812 - The Battle of Baltimore
A Memorial to the early skirmish which saw Ross killed before the Battle of North Point.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Ross was in the first wave of troops to land at Benedict, Maryland. He found a kindred officer in Rear Admiral Cockburn and the two men began to plot the ensuing battles. Ross and Cockburn would go on to defeat a small force of Americans at Upper Malborough and rout a much larger force at Bladensburg. From Bladensburg, Ross marched on Washington DC and unable to find an officer or official to negotiate the city’s surrender ordered the destruction of a majority of the government buildings in the American capital. An action that his peers and superiors would question but would be ultimately praised by General George Prevost. Ross would proceed to his original target, the city of Baltimore. Landing at North Point he marched the army north and at midday on 12 September 1814 rode forward upon hearing the sound of musket fire from an advance force of American militia troops. An act that would end his life as an American sharpshooter killed the general.

Project:1812 - Major General Robert Ross
Ross’s Tomb in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the city’s old Burrying Ground.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – FA-1027 (1+14) 5:00 @ 20C

The loss of Ross was a devastating blow to the army, and he was mourned by officers and men alike. The general’s body aboard the HM Ship Royal Oak (74) sailed for Halifax, preserved in a barrel of Rum. After a full military funeral at St. Paul’s Church in Halifax, Ross’ remains were laid to rest at the city’s burying grounds. You can still see his tomb today. A larger monument was raised at Rostrevor as well by the officers and men that served under the general. Neither Ross or his family would receive any titles or knighthoods. But that’s not to say that his family did not receive an honour, his widow would carry the name “Ross of Bladensburg”. And in an odd twist, you can find a portrait of Robert Ross inside the rotunda of the US Capitol building in Washington DC.

Written with Files from:
McCavitt, John, and Christopher T. George. The Man Who Captured Washington: Major General Robert Ross and the War of 1812. Norman: U of Oklahoma, 2016. Print.
Stephen, Leslie, and Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder, 1885. Print.
Web: www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng/Topic/91

Project:1812 – The British Invasion Part III – Baltimore

Project:1812 – The British Invasion Part III – Baltimore

With Washington’s destruction, Major General Ross could turn his attention to his primary target, Baltimore. The city was a hotbed of privateer activity and Anti-British sentiments. Capture of Baltimore also would cause a ripple effect in the American economy that was crucial for the continued war effort and might tip the negotiations in Gent to favour the British. Ever since the British blockade began in 1813, General Samuel Smith, tasked with the city’s defense had constructed a ring of redoubts and bastions around the city. General Smith had the support of the state government and called out the militia when Ross landed at Benedict, and now the defenses housed an army of 15,000. The inner harbor would be an equally hard nut to crack with landward batteries and at the Center, Fort McHenry.

Project:1812 - The Battle of Baltimore
A plaque to the British landing site at North Point.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Project:1812 - The Battle of Baltimore
A memorial to the Battle of North Point near Ross’ Wounding Site, I was unable to locate that plaque.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

To divert American attention away from Ross’s army, Cockburn landed a small force of sailors and Marines on the eastern shore, only to have it forced back in defeat and did little to dissuade the Americans. With his army recovered Ross landed at North Point on 12 September and marched north. General Smith having learned of the British assault, sent a column of troops under General John Strickler to intercept. Strickler, having learned from the mistakes at Bladensburg, Strickler deployed his men at a choke point, a series of tidal basins and swamps would force Ross to fight on a front only a mile wide, and he hoped to prevent a flanking maneuver. Much to the annoyance of Strickler, the British made camp a short three miles distance for a midday meal. He would have to force the issue. While Strickler held the main body of men back, sending a vanguard of 250 forward to engage the British pickets. He hoped such an act would rattle the British into action. General Ross, upon hearing the musket fire left his meal and rode forward to direct the troops.

Project:1812 - The Battle of Baltimore
Battle Acre Park where the main Battle of North Point took place.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Project:1812 - Fort McHenry
The Civil War Era artillery battery at Fort McHenry.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Such an action was typical for the general; Ross was well liked by men and officers under his command for leading from the front. By the time Ross and Cockburn arrived both sides were equally matched and had each other pinned, neither willing to move. Cockburn in a strange turn suggested caution and wait until the main army could be brought up. Ross agreed and made to wheel around to ride back and lead the men forward. An American sharpshooter had taken aim against the General, and a bullet caught Ross and dropped the general. Local legend attributed the death to Daniel Wells or Henry McComas. However, there’s no evidence to support it was either of them. Ross’s final action was to turn over the army’s command to Colonel Arthur Brooke. Brooke pushed forward, engaging Strickler’s main force at Battle Acre. By 3 pm, the 4th had fought around and managed to flank the American line; Strickler ordered a retreat. Unlike Bladensburg, the Americans fell back in good order to the main line at Roger’s Bastion. Knowing that such an assault would be suicide Brooke held a few miles south and sent word to the main British fleet that they would need help if they were to break through. And for the British fleet they knew they had to take out Fort McHenry.

Project:1812 - The Battle of Baltimore
The Young Marter’s Monument in Baltimore Maryland to the two young men who are attributed to shooting General Ross.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

CCR Review 49 - Minolta Maxxum 700si
A Plaque mounted on a cannon marking the spot of Roger’s Bastion, now part of Patterson Park in Baltimore, Maryland.
Minolta Maxxum 700si – Maxxum Zoom AF 35-70mm 1:4 – Eastman Double-X (5222) @ ASA-200 – FA-1027 (1+19) 10:00 @ 20C

Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane having arrived from a successful capture of eastern Maine ordered a squadron of ships to bombard the American fort. The squadron consisted of HM Rocketship Erebus (26), HM Bombship Terror (2), HM Bombship Volcano (16), HM Bombship Meteor (12), HM Bombship Devastation (8), and HM Bombship Atena (10). And in the early hours of the 13th began a devastating bombardment in a hope to the fort up to a land assault by Royal Marines. The fort’s commander, Major George Armistead, worked hard to ensure the fort’s protection. He had the powder stores moved to a secure location at the far end of the fort. He also ordered that the small storm flag remains flying all through the night. From the harbor, an American Lawyer, Francis Scott Key, would observe the bombardment from a British Ship. He had been sent to secure the release of some American prisoners.

Project:1812 - The Battle of Baltimore
The Battle of Baltimore Monument in downtown Baltimore, Maryland.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Project:1812 - Fort McHenry
Looking out into the Harbor from Fort McHenry in the direction which the British assault fleet would have been.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Major Armistead efforts were not in vain, during the devastating bombardment did little against Fort McHenry. Expanded defenses and the range of the ship limited American casualties to 4 dead and over 20 wounded. Out of 2,000 projectiles fired only 400 hit the target. As dawn rose on the 14th, twenty-five hours later, Armistead ordered the massive 30-foot by 40-foot garrison flag hoisted. Francis Scott Key moved by what he had witness began working on a poem. Having failed to break through, Cochrane sent word to Brooke and left the final choice in the next move up to the colonel. Brooke ordered a general retreat and pulled the troops back and reembarked. The Americans had prevailed. For the British, the loss of General Ross was devastating, and would only create more problems as the fleet headed south to disrupt American trade in the Gulf of Mexico. In the days that followed, Francis Scott Key’s poem, the Defense of Fort M’Henry, began to circulate in local newspapers. The bombardment had one final casualty, three years later, George Armistead, now a Lieutenant-Colonel, passed away due to the stress the bombardment took on his mind and body, today it would be considered post-traumatic stress disorder.

Project:1812 - The Battle of Baltimore
The Francis Scott Key monument portrays a rather patriotically correct scene of Scott penning his famous poem.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

CCR Review 49 - Minolta Maxxum 700si
A Shell on display at Fort McHenry that was fired during the bombardment.
Minolta Maxxum 700si – Minolta Maxxum AF 35-70mm 1:4 – Eastman Double-X (5222) @ ASA-200 – FA-1027 (1+19) 10:00 @ 20C

The bombardment of Fort McHenry and the repulse of the British at Baltimore was one of two battles that created the American mythos that surrounds the war, the other being the Battle of New Orleans. Just as the Battle of Queenston Heights and the Battle of Beaver Dams forms the Canadian mythos of the war. Both sides maintain their victory over the other because of these actions. Key’s poem was set to music and in 1931 was declared the national anthem of the United States of America. A national anthem that today has become a center of controversy among athletes. Fort McHenry stands today as a historical monument and national shrine and has the honour of flying the first of every modern version of the American flag. Armistead’s ‘star-spangled banner’ would stay in his family for many years before becoming a part of the Smithsonian collection in 1912 and can be viewed in fully restored glory in the Museum of American history. Markers at North Point (now Fort Howard) and along the route mark the spot of the British Landing, Ross’s death, and the battle. Roger’s bastion is marked by a plaque in Point Plesant Park. Three additional monuments stand in Baltimore related to the battle. General Ross would be carried back to Halifax where he remains in the old Burrying Ground, Armistead was burried in Baltimore at St. Paul’s Cemetary.

Special thanks to Christopher T. George for helping me out in pinpointing some of the locations for this post.

Written with Files from:
Collins, Gilbert. Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812. Toronto: Dundurn, 2006. Print
Hickey, Donald R. Don’t Give up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2006. Print.
Hickey, Donald R. The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict. Urbana: U of Illinois, 1989. Print.
Lossing, Benson John. The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812 Volume 2. Gretna, LA: Pelican Pub., 2003. Print.
Berton, Pierre. Flames across the Border, 1813-1814. Markham, Ont.: Penguin, 1988. Print.

Project:1812 – The British Invasion Part II – Washington DC

Project:1812 – The British Invasion Part II – Washington DC

One of the more controversial actions of the War of 1812 is the destruction of Washington DC. It is something that Canadians hold over the heads of our American neighbors, something we have no right to do. The fact was that the Americans in the area were used to British raids and destruction of property. The commander-in-chief of the North American Station had in 1813 issued a proclamation to his subordinates that any and all American property was forfeit. But now amassed British army had a clear path to the capital, and in the aftermath of the Battle of Bladensburg the American government was hurriedly packing up shop and heading out. While Ross had won at Bladensburg, he needed some time to reorganize his troops, sort out the wounded and have a meal. But the British had no intentions of stopping for the night.

The Capitol
The US Capitol was the first target for the British Sappers, in 1814 the building was far from complete
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 (Orange-22) – Adox CHS100II @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+25) 5:00 @ 20C

President James Madison, having witnessed the American loss at Bladensburg sent a message back to the Presidential Mansion to his wife and first lady, Dolly Madison that she should leave as soon as possible. While the President made tracks for the home of his friend Caleb Bently in the village of Brookeville, Maryland. Dolly tried her best to organize an escape with some of the treasures found. But it was efforts of two servants of the house, Jean Sioussat, and Paul Jennings that preserved many of the home’s treasures. Ahead of the column Ross and Cockburn, under a flag of truce, entered the city unopposed. Even an effort by Winder and Armstrong to form a line of defense had failed as the militia had fled to defend their homes. Only a small force was left, and they upon seeing the British officers opened fire, despite the flag of truce. That little action was enough to set the British fury alight. Without a formal surrender that Ross and Cockburn had been seeking the city was fair game.

The House of White
In 1812 The White House was simply “The Presidential Mansion” it was also burned so that only the walls were left.
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Fuji Provia 100F @ ASA-100 – Unicolor Rapid E-6 Kit

The first building to be destroyed was that in which the small American force was occupying. Pioneers and Sappers set it ablaze and then turned their eyes on the only building of note in the city. The US Capitol was still partially under construction and served as the next target. Finding it hard to light the stone building on fire the troops pillaged the senate and house chambers and piled the wooden furniture in the middle. Using powder from Congreve rockets started the fire. The whole building was ablaze, a deadly beacon in the night. The fire spread to the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court. The Presidential Mansion, today known as The White House, was next on their list. With the treasures gone, the British troops repeated their actions and using the furniture set the building on fire. The War Department, State Department, and Treasury building were all next to go up in flames. A local newspaper, the National Intellegencer, was saved from the torch but Cockburn, having been slandered by the paper, ordered the building torn down brick-by-brick. The historic Washington Navy Yard was set alight to prevent the capture of supplies by the US Navy officers present. An attempt to seize some powder located outside the central city resulted in an explosion and death of several British soldiers. Within several hours almost all public buildings were on fire. The superintendent of the US Patient Office stepped in, many of the records from the patient office remained inside, and he convinced the British troops to spare the building. They agreed, and it remained unfired. A sudden storm blew through the city less than 24 hours after the destruction began torrential rains and the wind doused the blaze and forced Ross to retreat to the fleet.

Project:1812 - The Destruction of Washington
The US Treasury was also targeted with hopes of finding currency, they only found records. Today the Treasury stands next to the White House.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 100 (TMX) @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

But the damage was done, much of the city was in ashes. All that remained of the Presidential Mansion and the US Capitol was flame-scarred walls. Ross’s decision to burn the city saw criticism by both American and British Officials because such acts are commonly prevented by terms of surrender. During the American occupation of York, most of the destruction of the city had been carried out before Dearborn signed the surrender order. In Washington’s case, no terms were ever discussed, and when Ross actively entered the city to find an official, he was fired upon instead. But many citizens in the British Empire and especially up in Canada were pleased when news of the US Capital’s destruction reached them. Reverand John Strachan went so far as to write a letter to former US President Thomas Jefferson rubbing his nose in the action. President Madison and the rest of the US Government returned on 1 September, Madison issuing a proclamation that the local population should come back and defend the capital. Many in the government believed in the face of the attack the capital should be moved and rebuilt elsewhere. A bill that was quickly defeated. Reconstruction of the city would be slow; the Capitol would meet briefly in the patient office before the Old Brick Capitol was completed. The Presidential Mansion and Capitol would both be completed by 1818.

Project:1812 - The Destruction of Washington
The Octagon House where President Madison lived during the last months of the war, he would ratify the Treaty of Gent in a second-floor room now known as the Treaty Room.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 100 (TMX) @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

Today Washington DC is a thriving metropolis, the only two buildings that remain from the War of 1812 period is the US Capitol and the White House. For the White House, you can still see some surviving scars from the burning of 1814. Many of the other buildings that were destroyed have been rebuilt and demolished over the 200 years since. Today you can see some artifacts relating to the War of 1812 at the Museum of American History, part of the Smithsonian, although the Octagon House Museum where Madison setup the Executive Branch is a better choice as you can see both the Treaty Room and his Desk on which he conducted business.

Project:1812 - The Destruction of Washington
Today the old Patent Office is the Smithonian Gallery of American Art, this structure was built after the one saved in 1814 burned in 1838.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 100 (TMX) @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

Written with Files from:
Collins, Gilbert. Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812. Toronto: Dundurn, 2006. Print
Hickey, Donald R. Don’t Give up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2006. Print.
Hickey, Donald R. The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict. Urbana: U of Illinois, 1989. Print.
Lossing, Benson John. The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812 Volume 2. Gretna, LA: Pelican Pub., 2003. Print.
Berton, Pierre. Flames across the Border, 1813-1814. Markham, Ont.: Penguin, 1988. Print.
McCavitt, John, and Christopher T. George. The Man Who Captured Washington: Major General Robert Ross and the War of 1812. Norman: U of Oklahoma, 2016. Print.

Project:1812 – Brigadier General William H Winder

Project:1812 – Brigadier General William H Winder

Brigadier General William H Winder, like many officers in the American Army, made a name for himself in the War of 1812, and I don’t mean that in a good way. Winder has been grouped by many in the same category as William Hull and is considered one of the worst generals of the war. The ill-starred general was born in 1775 near Baltimore, Maryland, Winder wound attend the University of Pennsylvania and study law and return to Baltimore and began to practice law in 1798 and earned a reputation for being one of the best lawyers in the entire state.

Project:1812 - The Battle of Fort George
The battle field from the capture of Fort George, now a Golf Course in Niagara-On-The-Lake.
Modified Anniversary Speed Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Fuji Neopan Acros 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak Tmax Developer (1+4) 5:30 @ 20C

Winder, being the nephew of the governor of Maryland was granted a commission of colonel when the war with England began in 1812, and he would be sent to the Niagara Frontier to join the shattered army, repulsed at Queenston Heights. The new commander of the army, General Alexander Smyth had his designs for the invasion of Upper Canada, and in November that same year Winder would command a relief force that was sent to rescue the trapped American soldiers and escape under fire from the British army who attacked Winder’s brigade at Frenchman’s Creek. General Smyth would be dismissed and would earn Winder a promotion to Brigadier General. When the American invaded again in the spring of 1813 Winder joined Dearborn’s army forcing the British army to fall back to Burlington Heights. Winder would join the occupation and lead a division to occupy the Gage Farm at Stoney Creek. In the resulting night assault by the British Winder found himself a prisoner of the British.

Project:1812 - The Battle of Stoney Creek
The monument to the Battle of Stoney Creek which saw both American generals taken prisoner.
Modified Anniversary Speed Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Ilford Ortho Copy Plus @ ASA-40 – PMK Pyro (1+2+100) 12:00 @ 20C

The general’s capture was a cause of great concern with news of poor treatment of American prisoners littered the newspapers. And much to their relief, Winder was exchanged in the summer of 1814 and returned home to Baltimore. When news of a British invasion reached Washington DC, President Madison and Secretary of War, John Armstrong created the 10th military district to defended the capital, and to the annoyance of Armstrong, President James Madison appointed General Winder to the post of commander of the new district. The President’s choice resulted in bad blood between Winder and Armstrong. While Winder did the minimum to inspect the area’s fortifications and militia troops he received little logistical support from the government. When the British landed in August 1814, Winder had to struggle to call up the area’s militia and divide the force as the British plans remained unclear. When Ross attacked, Winder out of fear moved back thinking that Ross would launch a night assault. Winder’s fear would spread, and when he arrived at Bladensburg, he found that the general there had given up a tactically sound position. And when Ross attacked, Winder was unable to control the retreat left the door open to Washington DC.

Project:1812 - Battle of Bladensburg
The new memorial to the Battle of Bladensburg in Bladensburg, Maryland.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

The defeat at Bladensburg and destruction of Washington would be laid squarely at Armstrong’s and Winder’s feet, while Armstrong would resign his post, Winder retained his commission but would never hold a senior command for the rest of the war, spending it on the Niagara frontier. After the war was over, he would return to Baltimore requesting a court of inquiry in an attempt to clear his name. The court would only give him the vague judgment that he was worthy of a better fate. Resigning his commission, Winder would return to his law practice. But the war had broken his health but not his spirit. He would go on to serve twice on the Senate of Maryland, and at the time of his death at the age of 42, his firm was one of the largest in Baltimore. His remains would be laid to rest at Greenmount Cemetary.

Project:1812 - General William H. Winder
General Winder’s grave at Greenmont Cemetary in Baltimore, Maryland.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Written with Files from:
Mayer, Brantz. Baltimore: Past and Present, with Biographical Sketches of Its Representative Men. Baltimore: Richardson & Bennett, 1871. Print.
Web: casebook.thewarof1812.info/People_files/Winder/people_summary.html
Web: www.geni.com/people/Brig-General-William-Henry-Winder-USA/6000000000907794457

Project:1812 – The British Invasion Part I – Bladensburg

Project:1812 – The British Invasion Part I – Bladensburg

One of the most iconic and controversial campaigns of the Anglo-American War of 1812 are the British operations in the Chesapeake Bay region of the United States during the late summer and fall of 1814. This action was a true invasion; it was an attempt to force the US to sue for peace but on British terms, but it was more than that, it was revenge. It was the action that took the war to President Madison doorstep.

Project:1812 - Battle of Bladensburg
The Anacostia River as it stands today. The British would approach from this side, while the fighting would occur on the other side.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 100 (TMX) @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

Just as the war in North America started because of the war in Europe, so to the invasion of the American east coast was linked to the end of that war. Napoleon had in October 1813, lost the Battle of Leipzig and as a result, the allied nations had chased the French Emporer back to Paris and by the spring of 1814 Napoleon had abdicated ending the War of the Sixth Coalition. With Napoleon established as the king of the small island nation of Elba, Great Britain could turn their attention to the War in North America. Since March of 1813, the Royal Navy had established a blockade on the eastern seaboard and squadrons were raiding all along the coastline with little respect for American property. By 1814 several thousand British regular troops were beginning to arrive in the Canadas. A majority of these forces were put under General George Prevost’s command at Quebec City to affect an invasion of upstate New York which ultimately ended in disaster at the Battle of Plattsburg. A second group arrived in Halifax and under the command of General John Sherbrook successfully invaded what is today eastern Maine holding it under British control. The third and finally group acted on their own under one of Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley’s ( Lord Wellington) top commander, Major General Robert Ross. Ross’s army was attached to a squadron of 24 warships under Rear Admiral George Cockburn and consisted of 4,500 British Regulars. And these weren’t colonial troops; these men were battle-hardened in the fields of Europe. When word of Napoleon’s defeat reached Washington DC, the American capital, the government was not too concerned. Both the President and Secretary of War, John Armstrong, did not think that the British would attack the capital city. Washington DC offered little of strategic value; Armstrong was sure that the British would attack the larger port city of Baltimore and ordered that General Samuel Smith increases the defenses around the harbour city. Armstrong did create the 10th Military District to defend Washington DC but offered little help or support to the District’s commander, General William H Winder.

Project:1812 - Battle of Bladensburg
The Bladensburg Bridge today, today it carries US-1 into Washington DC.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 100 (TMX) @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

Winder and Armstrong did not see eye-to-eye. Armstrong would go out of his way to show his annoyance to Winder’s appointment to the district command, even blocking his attempts to call up the militia. Armstrong felt that the militia could be called up quickly to surprise any potential British invasion or attack. While Winder did inspect the region, he did little to shore up the defenses around the capital, either through his lack of desire, or lack of support from the government. The British, on the other hand, were in a much better position. Cockburn having been raiding along the coast for the better part of a year had a strong knowledge of the region and had even captured Tangier Island, a small island just outside of the Chesapeake Bay off the coast of Virginia. The island was to act as a staging ground for the British forces. Cockburn wished to launch a direct assault on Washington DC; Ross urged caution. He did not feel comfortable attacking without cavalry and artillery support, and there was the question of the small American naval force under Commodore Joshua Barney and his Chesapeake Bay Flotilla. The flotilla was the only thing keeping the British out of the bay, giving Winder a bit more time, and even though he could outnumber the British, at least on paper, he was commanding a mostly militia army that was both under trained and under equipped.

Project:1812 - Battle of Bladensburg
Eathworks in Fort Lincoln Cemetery represents both Fort Lincoln and Commodore Joshua Barney’s fortifications during the battle
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 100 (TMX) @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

While the two British commanders worked well together, they still had not agreed on a target, but they did agree it was time to make a move on the American mainland. Cockburn would take a small number of ships with his flagship, HM Frigate Menelaus (38) in the lead headed for Baltimore to throw off the Americans while another group of bomb and rocket ships made a successful raid against Alexandria, Virginia. Ross landed his troops on the 19th of August at Benedict, Maryland and began his march north. By the time he reached Nottingham, it was enough to scare Commodore Barney. Barney would order the flotilla scuttled and his men marched towards Bladensburg. At Bladensburg, Winder had ordered Brigadier General Tobias Stansbury to establish a defensive line at Bladensburg while he took a body of troops to occupy Long Old Fields (today the town is known as Forestville, Maryland). Winder was hoping to stop the British at Upper Malborough. Winder’s army engaged the British vanguard on the 22nd and gave Winder pause enough to pull back as Ross occupied Upper Malborough. From there, the British could strike at either Baltimore or Washington DC. At Bladensburg, Stansbury had established a strong defensive line controlling all roads leading into and out of the village and held the high ground. By the 23rd Ross had been convinced to attack Washington DC at the urging of Cockburn and the personal plea from General Prevost to avenge the wanton destruction of the village of Port Dover. Ross had two routes to choose from, if they went south, they would need to find a way to ford the Anacostia River or head north through Bladensburg which had a bridge across the river. On the 24th Ross first headed south then swung north. Winder though in a strong position to attack the British opted to retreat across the river destroying the bridge in the process out of fear of a night assault.

Project:1812 - Battle of Bladensburg
A memorial to Commodore Barney’s Marines that were the last to fall during the Battle of Bladensburg
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 100 (TMX) @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

At Bladensburg, news reached General Stansbury that Winder had abandoned Long Old Fields and the British were on the move. Stansbury, despite holding a strong position retreated across the river leaving the Bridge intact and reorganizing the men into three defensive lines. At Washington, it became apparent that the British were moving towards the capital and in a rush began to remove as much as they could from the government buildings in a mass exodus. Ross would be facing close to 5,000 American troops at Bladensburg, but only 1,000 of them were regulars a mix of US Infantry, US Dragoons, US Navy Sailors, and Marines. The remainder local Virginia and Maryland militia units supported by Artillery. Ross, on the other hand, had a mix of veteran troops from the Royal Marines, 4th, 21st, 44th, and 85th Regiments supported by Royal Marine Artillery and Rocket troops. As the British took the field, it became painfully clear that Stansbury in retreat across the river had been a tactical error. Had the American general stood his ground he would have made the British pay for every advance and engage them in dirty street fighting in the village. Ross’s officers would mock the appearance of the farmer’s army that they now faced across the river.

Project:1812 - Battle of Bladensburg
A close up on the plaque memorializing the battle
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 100 (TMX) @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

Seeing the bridge intact, Colonel William Thorton of the 85th Regiment along with other light troops took the lead and made to cross the bridge. The American artillery on the opposite bank did little to stop them. The light troops in skirmish order, spread out rather than tightly packed lines, made it difficult to hit them with solid round shot and the Americans lacked canister shot. Thorton’s steady advanced forced the American gunners and militia into a retreat. Winder upon seeing this made an attempt to drive off Thorton’s light brigade, only to have his flank turned by the 44th that had forded the river. With the reinforcements Thorton’s brigade pushed in against the American’s second line only to be repulsed, Thorton himself wounded in action. The 44th moved up and drove back the line. Winder in a panic ordered a general retreat. The militia fled in terror, and the word did not reach Barney and his sailors and Marines entrenched on a hill that made up the third and final line. Barney’s men held on the longest, taking the combined effort of the 4th and 44th to break through. The battle had turned into a route and Winder lost complete control over his men. The British would mock them calling it the Bladensburg Races as the militia fled towards Washington.

Project:1812 - Battle of Bladensburg
A memorial to the battle at the rather odd intersection of US-1 over the Anacostia River.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 100 (TMX) @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

The city already in general panic was not comforted by the sight of their militia fleeing in the streets. The action had cost the British, with 64 dead and 185 wounded. Many troops simply collapsed under the summer heat. The Americans counted only ten dead, four wounded, but the British had taken over 100 prisoners. They also carried off the field some American artillery pieces and the colours of two units, the 1st Hartford Light Dragoons, and the James City Light Infantry. Ross would wait, knowing that there was no way the Americans could secure the way to the capital. Washington was almost a ghost town, only a handful of people remained, most of the government had fled to Maryland or Virginia in the face of possible capture or death.

Project:1812 - Madison House
The home of Caleb Bentley, where President Madison fled to ahead of the British army. It still stands in nearly original shape today as a private home.
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Adox CHS100II @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+25) 5:00 @ 20C

Like many battlefields from the War of 1812, there is not much left of Bladensburg. The expansion and urbanization of the area have rendered the field all but covered up. The old Bladensburg Bridge although sketched by Lossing in the mid-19th century was replaced in the 20th-Century by the new US-1 bridge that now spans the river. The Bladensburg Waterfront Park has a visitor’s centre relating to the battle that featured artifacts from the battle on display.

Written with Files from:
Collins, Gilbert. Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812. Toronto: Dundurn, 2006. Print
Hickey, Donald R. Don’t Give up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2006. Print.
Hickey, Donald R. The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict. Urbana: U of Illinois, 1989. Print.
Lossing, Benson John. The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812 Volume 2. Gretna, LA: Pelican Pub., 2003. Print.
Berton, Pierre. Flames across the Border, 1813-1814. Markham, Ont.: Penguin, 1988. Print.
McCavitt, John, and Christopher T. George. The Man Who Captured Washington: Major General Robert Ross and the War of 1812. Norman: U of Oklahoma, 2016. Print.