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The War of 1812
No Supper in Baltimore The Invasion of Baltimore, Part 2



No Supper in Baltimore The Invasion of Baltimore, Part 2
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.49

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    arrogance, chest-high, leatherworks, militiamen, repast, stymied, unvanquished, incensed, refusing, reinforcement, timid, gunfire, grapeshot, rallied, leisurely, felled
     content words:    Brigadier General Stricker, General Sam Smith, Long Log Road, Daniel Wells, Henry McComas, British Rear Admiral George Cockburn, Apparently American, General Ross, Colonel Arthur Brooke, But Brooke


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No Supper in Baltimore The Invasion of Baltimore, Part 2
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     The invasion of Baltimore was underway. Unknown to the British, local scouts watched and reported on the advance of the British troops. U.S. Brigadier General Stricker was fully aware of Ross's every move. He had been deployed by General Sam Smith to engage the British forces and delay their advance long enough for the city's defenses to be completed. Stricker had established his line across Long Log Road, in the path of the British advance. Troops and six cannons stood ready and waiting for the enemy.
 
2     Hearing of Ross's leisurely breakfast at the Gorsuch farm, Stricker and his men were incensed at the British arrogance. Many among the American troops volunteered to go forward and interrupt the general's repast. Stricker sent two companies ahead. Two young militiamen, Daniel Wells, 19, and Henry McComas, 18, apprentices in a Baltimore leatherworks, were a part of the advance company. The unit stationed itself in the trees next to the road down which the British column marched.
 
3     Ross and British Rear Admiral George Cockburn rode at the head of the British column, discussing the invasion. In the midst of their conversation, Cockburn felt a sudden chill of unease. He warned Ross that they and their group were wandering too far ahead of the main body. At that moment, shots ripped the afternoon quiet. Apparently American scouts had fired upon Ross's forward guard. Ross had turned and started back to rejoin his main force when more gunfire erupted. Suddenly the general wobbled in his saddle and toppled from his horse. Aides tended to the fallen general. The horse, spattered with blood and bearing its empty saddle, panicked and bolted back through the British line.
 
4     A bullet had torn through Ross's right arm and lodged in his chest. Refusing a faster ride in a wagon bearing weapons, the general was placed in a nearby farm cart for the long ride to the shore. When the cart reached the Gorsuch farm where Ross had breakfasted earlier in the day, the general died. His body was taken back to the ships.
 
5     The volley of shots that felled General Ross was immediately answered by British regulars. Americans suffered their first casualties of the day with the return fire. Among the fallen were the two young militiamen, Wells and McComas, whose first shots had killed General Ross. Colonel Arthur Brooke took command of the British troops and the column pushed forward. But Brooke lacked the skills and experience possessed by General Ross. The loss of the beloved General was a serious blow to the British forces.

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