Daily Archives: September 13, 2014

Committee of Vigilance and Safety: “Mr. Bond be and he is hereby requested and directed to send provisions immediately to the Troops under General Douglas command”

On September 13, 1814 at 3:00 pm, the members of the Committee of Vigilance and Safety reconvened for an afternoon meeting. Continuing the discussion from their morning meeting, feeding the thousands of troops stationed around the city remained a serious concern.

The Virginia militia in the Sixth Brigade under Brigadier General Hugh Douglas had been called up for the defense of Washington on August 22 but arrived too late to join the forces at Bladensburg. After the burning of Washington, the Virginia militia were ordered to Baltimore where they arrived with little ammunition, none of the equipment they needed to set up camp and no food to eat.

Baltimore 3 O’Clock P. M. 13th September 1814

The Committee of Vigilance and Safety met pursuant to adjournment—The proceedings of the forenoon were read—
The Major General informed the Committee by a verbal communication that, the troops under General Douglas command were in want of provisions: therefore—
Resolved, That Mr. Bond be and he is hereby requested and directed to send provisions immediately to the Troops under General Douglas command—
Resolved, That Mr. Payson be and he is hereby authorised and requested to purchase for the use of the Army, on the best terms he can, of Mr. Robert Barry all the provisions he has on hand—
The Committee then adjourned to 8 O’Clock tomorrow morning—

Henry Payson (1762-1845) was merchant who lived on Hanover Street and representing the city’s Second Ward on the Committee. Peter Bond (d. 1821) was another merchant who lived at 9 Bridge Street (today’s Gay Street) and represented the city’s Sixth Ward on the committee. Robert Barry

Sept. 13th
These 24 hours commences with fresh Breeze and clear Weather. At 3 PM came up with and captured the British Schooner Rapid (formerly of Baltimore.) Tha. Dodd Master, from New Foundland bound to Lisbon, with a Cargo of Fish. took out several small articles dismantled and burnt her, at 9 PM got through with the Rapid and filled away head as p. log.

Middle and latter part fresh breezes and cloudy weather. Nothing in sight. Hands employed in repairing Rigging

From the Schooner Mammoth Logs, 1814. MS 3082, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society.

Committee of Vigilance and Safety: “have as much of the provisions for our army cooked in his own Family… as he possibly can”

On the morning of September 13, 1814, near 8:00am, the members of the Committee of Vigilance and Safety met. With around 15,000 troops in Baltimore one of the most pressing issues is how to keep the militia fed during the fight against the British.

Baltimore 13th September 1814

The Committee of Vigilance and Safety met pursuant to adjournment– The committee received a verbal communication from the Major General, requesting that, they would have the provisions of our fellow citizens in arms cooked every day for them during the actual investment of our city by the Enemy; therefore—

Resolved, That the several members of this Committee be and they are hereby requested to have as much of the provisions for our army cooked in his own Family and also by others, every day, as he possibly can during the present emergency—

The committee then adjourned to 3 O’Clock of this day—

While the committee met, British bombs continued to fall on Fort McHenry with as many as four or five bombs in the air at once. Two-thirds of the guns at the fort could not even reach the British bomb ships. Around 9:30am, George Armistead gave the order to cease firing. He had fifty-seven cannons at Fort McHenry but none of them had the range to reach the British ships.


General John Stricker sets up camp near Worthington’s Mill

On the evening of September 12, General Stricker and the Maryland militiamen ended their march back from the Battle of North Point at Worthington’s Mill, positioned at the edge of the long line of earthworks centered on Hampstead Hill in today’s Patterson Park. Historian Neil H. Swanson captured the scene in The Perilous Fight writing:

Courtesy Maryland Historical Society.
Courtesy Maryland Historical Society.

Towards sunset, Stricker began a deliberate retreat. He left behind at intervals, details of axmen to fell trees across the road…

By midnight the campfires of his regiments were blazing in the fields around Worthington’s mill. Behind them and to their right the work on Loudenslager’s hill drew a long arc of redly winking light… To the left flared the watchfires of General Winder’s brigade, Douglass’s Virginia militia….

The rain came a little after midnight, without wind or thunder but in drenching torrents. It beat with a low, unbroken roaring on the fields and roads. Fires sputtered and went out. The trenches became flooded ditches, the militia garrisons stood ankle deep in muck.