8.31.2014

Battle of Caulk's field as reported by a British soldier


31 August 1814

Battle of Caulk’s field as reported by a British Soldier G. R. Gleig:

“..Whenever a favorable opportunity presented itself, (British) parties landed, plundered or destroyed the government stores, laid towns and districts under contribution, and brought off all the shipping which could be reached. 

In a word, the hostilities carried on in the Chesapeake resembled the expeditions of the ancient Danes against Great Britain, rather than a modern war between civilized nations. But these hasty excursions, though generally successful, were not always performed without loss to the invaders. Many men and some officers were killed and wounded, among whom was Captain Sir Peter Parker, of the Menelaus frigate, an officer distinguished for his gallantry and knowledge of naval tactics…. at the distance of a few miles from the banks of the Potomac, and about nine leagues below Alexandria, he determined, with part of his ship’s crew, to surprise it, and to capture the guns. 

Running his frigate with this view up the river, he cast anchor opposite to the place where the American forces lay; and leaving on board only a sufficient number of sailors to manage the ship, and…. with…200 seamen and marines, he landed and marched rapidly towards the enemy’s camp. But intelligence of his proceedings had already reached them…When, therefore, he arrived at the point of destination; he found the bivouac deserted, and the rear-guard in full retreat.

With these a little skirmishing ensued, and he received a rifle-ball in the thigh…. he continued to push forward…and before any proper assistance could be afforded, he literally bled to death…”

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