FORT HOWARD — Once again, a local militia has warded off the strident monarchists and defended the nascent country we hold dear. And it appears the Baltimore County Executive has staked his claim for the Americans.
The Battle of North Point was a turning point for the War of 1812, and every year Fort Howard celebrates Defenders Day. The event is sponsored by the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical society, one of the most active in the state.
On Sept. 12, 1814, British troops landed at what is known today as Fort Howard with the intention of laying siege to Baltimore. They had done the same to Washington just weeks before.
While many may overlook the Battle of North Point in favor of the more well-known bombardment of Fort McHenry days later, the importance of the battle is clear. It was at North Point that local militiamen were able to successfully hold off British forces long enough for defenses to be fortified in Baltimore.
And with signature aplomb, we did it again this year.
The militiamen would inflict heavy casualties on the British, including killing British commander Maj. Gen. Robert Ross, before falling back. The British suffered approximately 325 wounded and killed, while about 163 Americans were wounded or killed.
While the British would go on to march toward Baltimore, the battle had taken its toll on the troops. American forces would ultimately beat back the British invaders at Fort McHenry.
While the Battle of North Point is often a forgotten part of an oft-forgotten war, the citizens of Dundalk, Edgemere, Fort Howard and surrounding areas continue to commemorate the battle and its impact on American history.