How Cockburn and Ross differed
As Cockburn reveled in the destruction (for which he would still be lauded by The Times of London in his obituary notice in 1853 when he died at age 82), Ross meanwhile protected private property as best he could. He’d watched with dismay as Lt. Pratt’s men chopped up the furniture and sprinkled this instant “kindling” with buckets of rocket powder before firing the rockets directly into piles heaped in the centers of the public buildings.
There were also several instances of his placing sentries in front of private residences on the request of their occupants to ensure that they weren’t burned. He had a soldier flogged for stealing a Yankee goose as well.. Md. on the Patuxent River, thus throwing away the military value of the victory he’d just won at Bladensburg.
From the jaws of victory, therefore, was defeat snatched, for the overall campaign objective of destroying Baltimore as the center of privateer construction was then lost.
Ross arrived back at Bladensburg at midnight on Thursday, Aug. 25th, and left a reported 83 wounded men there under the command of British prisoner-of-war CommodoreBarney (!)
At 1 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 26, therefore, Gen. Ross was en route once more on the Bladensburg-Upper Marlboro road. At 7 a.m., he halted for a five-hour rest for his men to once more escape the hot morning sun.
Then the march resumed, and at dusk they were back in Upper Marlboro once again. The next morning, the British pushed on toward Benedict, and all that Saturday kept expecting an American counterattack that never came. On Aug. 30, Ross’ men were back aboard their troop transports, and thus ended one of the most incredible 11-day periods in the history of the United States!
Blaine Taylor was a member of the former Napoleonic Society of America/NSA, as well as of the current International Napoleonic Society, of which he was named a Fellow for his medical article on Baron Dr. Dominique Larry, Surgeon of the Imperial Guard of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French (1769-1821.)