In 2010 and 2011, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), the US Navy, and Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) conducted archaeology surveys in the Patuxent River on a War of 1812 shipwreck. This blog documents our underwater archaeology surveys.


July 26, 2010

The History

Under the leadership of Commodore Joshua Barney, the U.S. government and citizens of Maryland united to defend the Chesapeake Bay against British forces during the War of 1812. A flotilla was established for this cause, and on 24 May 1814, that force, led by Barney’s flagship Scorpion, sailed for the lower Chesapeake Bay. Over the course of several weeks, the flotilla engaged the British on many occasions and succeeded in delaying the British advance. Finally, on 21 August 1814, facing overwhelming odds, Barney strategically retreated and landed his men up river from Pig Point. Barney and his men then marched to defend Washington, leaving Scorpion and the rest of the flotilla to be scuttled by a detail of men to prevent British capture.

3 comments:

  1. You state: "Under the leadership of Commodore Joshua Barney, the U.S. government and citizens of Maryland united to defend the Chesapeake Bay against British forces during the War of 1812. A flotilla was established for this cause, and on 24 May 1814, that force, led by Barney’s flagship Scorpion, sailed for the lower Chesapeake Bay in an attempt to intercept a British advance toward Washington."

    This is a cart before the horse statement. When the flotilla left Baltimore on 24 May 1814, the British invasion force had not left Bordeaux in southern France and the Americans could have had no knowledge of the possible British targets, if the British really had formed an intent to strike before they actually did it. Rather, it seems Barney's mission in sailing down the Bay at the end of May 1814 was to attack the British fort on Tangier Island, as I state in my book.

    Best regards

    Christopher T. George
    Author, Terror on the Chesapeake: The War of 1812 on the Bay

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  2. Thank you for the clarification.

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  3. Greetings:

    Pig Point clarifcation... The British Report was that the Flotilla was in the "Reach" of water above Pig Point. "Reach" is a Nautical Term. On a River it is Strait of Water between Two Bends. Pig Point is where the British unloaded their Marines and there was a pop shot of gun fire that came from the River's wooded banks. During this excavation Let's set the Record about what really happened or did not happen at Pig Point Please. Otherwise Exciting News* Thanks Keep up the Good Work*

    Robert E. Reyes
    Friends of North Point Battlefield
    Star Spangled Banner NHT Initiator

    ReplyDelete