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.

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