The Battle of Bladensburg was a significant part of the War of 1812 – a turning point before the burning of Washington DC and the eventual Battle of Baltimore.  Major American figures were on the field that day – James Madison, James Monroe, Joshua Barney, and Francis Scott Key. While the battle was a loss for the American forces, it was also a time when the government realized the need for a stronger standing military. We commemorate this battle with signage, trails, and tours.

Prior to 2012, there was little to no recognition of this battle.  However between 2010 and 2014, the Prince George’s County Committee on the War of 1812 and the Battle of Bladensburg Task Force worked to tell the story of the military actions and civilian life that preceded, surrounded, and followed the march across the county, the Battle of Bladensburg on August 24, 1814, and the burning of Washington D.C. Through interpretation at Bladensburg Waterfront Park, walking and bike tours, sites, events and signage, the Task Force continues to work with partners to ensure a complete visitor experience. Maryland Milestones/ATHA Inc. provides staff support for this program.

Visit Bladensburg Archaeology for a detailed video about the battle history as well as detailed historical information about the battle and the town of Bladensburg!

Battle of Bladensburg Walking Tour

Starting from the Waterfront Park, use this PDF version or pick up your own copy at the Visitors Center. The audio tour (below) corresponds with the following locations:

Background Information Audio Tour Stop 1
Background Information Audio Tour Stop 2
Background Information Audio Tour Stop 3
“The British Attack” Audio Tour Stop 4
“The British Attack” Audio Tour Stop 5
Battle Tour Stop 1 Audio Tour Stop 6
Battle Tour Stops 2 & 3 Audio Tour Stop 7
Battle Tour Stops 3, 4, & 5 Audio Tour Stop 8
Battle Tour Stops 7 & 8 Audio Tour Stops 9, 10, 11 & 12
“After the Battle” Audio Tour Stops 13 &14
Battle Tour Stop 6 Audio Tour Stop 15

Battle of Bladensburg Walking Tour

To explore the history of the Battle of Bladensburg, we recommend walking or biking the remains of the battlefield. With modern development, there isn’t much left of the landscape. However, the first and third line do have remnants that evoke the landscape of the time.

The route was marked from the end of the Bladensburg Waterfront Park pedestrian bridge with small white stars painted along the route, however, many of these stars have been worn away over the last few years. Efforts in 2020 will be made to renew these markings.

Contact Us

War of 1812 related interpretation in Prince George’s County are coordinated through the offices of Maryland Milestones/ATHA Inc. working in cooperation with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, local governments, county agencies, and private citizens.

Maryland Milestones/ATHA Inc.

4310 Gallatin Street

Hyattsville, MD 20781