North Point, Maryland, September 12, 1814
On the morning of September 12, 1814, a British force of 9,000 men landed at North Point, Maryland, with the intention of marching inland and capturing Baltimore. Brigadier General John Stricker, commander of the 3d Brigade of the Maryland militia, was ordered to delay the British advance so that the defensive entrenchments around the city could be completed. The 5th Regiment was assigned the task of holding the American right flank. Despite two hours of artillery and rocket fire, the 5th Maryland stood their ground. After inflicting some 300 casualties, the 5th was ordered to fall back to a new position in front of the Baltimore trenches. The British army, exhausted by the fighting and surprised by the stubborn defense of the Maryland militia, withdrew, while the British navy failed to silence the guns of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor. Thwarted on land and sea the British force sailed away. The successful defense of Baltimore, after the humiliating capture of Washington, shored up the confidence of the American people and directly contributed to the ending of the War of 1812. Moreover, an American militia regiment had withstood two hours of difficult fighting against British veterans of the Napoleonic wars. Today’s 1st and 2d Battalions, 175th Infantry, Maryland Army National Guard, carry on the gallant traditions of the 5th Maryland.