Bladensburg Dueling Grounds

Bladensburg Dueling Grounds (HM1DZ9)

Location: Colmar Manor, MD 20722 Prince George's County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 56.044', W 76° 57.147'

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Battle of Bladensburg

— Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail —

Throughout much of the nineteenth century, the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds were well-known as a place to settle differences. The site was a secluded location, close to taverns, and fell outside of Washington D.C.'s boundaries, where dueling was prohibited. The first notable fight was between two members of Congress in 1808.

More than 26 recorded and 50 reported duels were fought in the 1800's — including the duel between Commodore Stephen Decatur and Commodore James Barron in 1820. Decatur and Barron were both captains in the Navy. Decatur was on a court-martial board that found Barron guilty of neglect of duty. They met to duel with pistols at eight paces. Decatur was killed and Barron wounded.

Duels were officially banned in 1839 in Maryland, but likely continued here until the Civil War when this site was used as a camp adjacent to Fort Lincoln.

Barney's Position

During the battle, Commodore Joshua Barney took a position on the hills above the dueling grounds — providing the tactical advantage. He held his cannons until the British were within a few hundred yards and fired the massive eighteen-pounder, clearing the road several times. The British retreated to the safety of the natural ravine.
HM NumberHM1DZ9
Series This marker is part of the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail series
Year Placed2014
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 4:59pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 330770 N 4311272
Decimal Degrees38.93406667, -76.95245000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 56.044', W 76° 57.147'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 56' 2.64" N, 76° 57' 8.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3559-3599 Bladensburg Rd, Colmar Manor MD 20722, US
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