Home Citizens of Baltimore Accounts of an Unknown Woman Killed During the Bombardment of Fort McHenry 1814
Accounts of an Unknown Woman Killed During the Bombardment of Fort McHenry 1814

Accounts of an Unknown Woman Killed During the Bombardment of Fort McHenry 1814

Annals of Buffalo Valley, Pennsylvania, 1755-1855, 1877-John Blair Linn (pages 420-1):


Twenty-second Infantry .

Captain Bethuel Vincent.

N. B. Our total loss in killed, wounded, and missing on that day must have been eight hundred. The British loss no doubt exceeded that, as General Ryall acknowledged that they were whipped when he was taken, and we fought two hours after that, and took nineteen British officers.

You shall see the report in my next. I wish you to show it to my friends, but it must not be published.

13th September, occurred the bombardment of Fort McHenry, Baltimore. Frederick Evans was then a captain in the second regiment of artillery. His commission is dated 23d July, 181 2, to rank from the 6th. Mrs. George Kremer told me he assisted in building the fort, and was one of its noble defenders. He often described the scene inside as terrific. Three bomb-shells struck and exploded inside of the fort, and he remarked one man shaking as if he had a chill. He asked to sit under one of the cannon. Evans gave him permission, when shortly another shell struck inside and killed him instantly. Another man was killed within three feet of him. Their coffee ran out, and they had very little to eat for three days. He spoke of a woman who brought water for them. A bomb-shell hitting her, exploded, and she was blown to atoms. He brought a small piece of her dress home with him, the largest part of her remains that he could find. The fourth shell that came in was marked a present from the King of England." This did not explode. It weighed within two pounds as much as an ordinary barrel of flour. This he brought home with him and it may still be seen at Evans' mill, in Juniata County. He said only four shells fell inside.


Frederick County Maryland Militia in the War of 1812-Sallie Mallick and F. Edward Wright, 1992(pages 16-17):

Captain Nicholas Turbutt1 from the Frederickstown area served from 1 September to 27 October 1814 when they were discharged at Camp Hampstead, Baltimore.  Jacob Crumbaker, who served as 1st lieutenant of the company, later gave his account of the preparations and battle from his vantage point.  He said (excerpt)2:

“On the night between the 12th and 13th the roaring of cannons and the bursting of boms was like one continuel peal of thunder in the night.  3 of their vessels run up on the Patapsico side of the fort without being heard & when they got above the fort they gave three cheers thinking they would throw their bombs in Baltimore not knowing their [there] was a little battery above the fort but when they came even with that they let loose our Bull Dogs on their ships and soon made them cry for mercy and in a little time 2 of their ships were cut to pieces and a third made a narrow escape for when she came down again even with the fort they let loose on her and raked her fore & aft so that terminated with the loss on our side of four men & one woman and on the side of the Enemy with the loss of two of their vessels and about two hundred men.”


1In the History of Frederick County, Williams incorrectly spelled his name as Turnbull.

2 From a typewritten copy lent to the Monument by John Crumbaker, 416 E. North Ave.  Baltimore Maryland.  The original letter was in the possession of his father, Mr. M.W. Crumbaker, New Concord, Ohio, 26, July 1942. On page 89 of Frederick County Maryland Militia in the War of 1812, 1992, indicates that Crumbaker’s letter was “on display in the museum at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine”.