Battle of North Point
The Battle of North Point occurred on September 12, 1814 between the Maryland State Militia and landing forces of the British army. Following the defeat of American forces at the Battle of Bladensburg and the burning of Washington, British forces turned their attention north towards Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore was was considered a vital port and believed by the British to be the base of many of the American privateers that were preying on their shipping. While a tactical loss, the Battle of North Point was a strategic victory for the Americans because it allowed valuable time to prepare for defending Baltimore.
Backstory and Context
Fourteen mile outside of Baltimore at North Point, British General Robert Ross landed his 4,500 troops. 3,200 militia and six cannon under the command of General John Stricker were sent by Samuel Smith to delay the British advance. While they were unsuccessful in stopping the British advance, the British paid a high price for victory, suffering 340 casualties. Ross himself was killed in the skirmish by a sharpshooter.
During the battle, the Americans lost 163 killed and wounded with 200 captured as compared to the British casualties of 46 killed and 273 wounded. While a tactical defeat, the Battle of North Point considered a strategic victory for the Americans. The battle allowed Samuel Smith to complete his preparations for defending the city. Today the Battle of North Point is commemorated by the Maryland state holiday known as Defenders Day.