The Wash­ing­ton Navy Yard dis­as­ter

The Dundalk Eagle - - OBITUARIES -

Mean­while, the burn­ing con­tin­ued through­out Aug. 25, 1814, with the Long Bridge over the Po­tomac River fired at both ends by pan­icky Bri­tish and Amer­i­can sol­diers, each fear­ing that the other side was about to cross!

In 1868, noted Amer­i­can au­thor/il­lus­tra­tor Ben­son J. Loss­ing es­ti­mated the dam­age in 1814 dol­lars at $ 2 mil­lion, quite a sum for that time.

But the work of de­struc­tion wasn’t with­out its at­ten­dant risks, as a party of 200 sol­diers found out at the US Navy Yard on the 25th when pow­der, shot, and shell dropped down a well was ac­ci­den­tally set off by a dropped, lit match.

The ex­plo­sion also det­o­nated a nearby pow­der mag­a­zine that rained down de­bris onto the heads of the in­cen­di­arists, killing 12 and wound­ing more than 30.

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