Escape Across the Potomac Historical

Escape Across the Potomac Historical (HM1TYY)

Location: Washington, DC 20227
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 53.229', W 77° 1.928'

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Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

As war with Britain wore on, some U.S. military leaders believed the nation's capital, with its inland location and military defenses, was safe. So Washingtonians were cruelly surprised when the British invaded on August 24, 1814. As the enemy burned some of the public buildings, people gathered what they could carry and fled. Many crossed the Potomac River to Virginia on the Long Bridge, a wooden drawbridge on the site of today's 14th Street Bridge.
Bridge on Fire
The next day, the British captured this end of Long Bridge while the Americans held the Virginia side. After a fierce thunderstorm crippled the drawbridge mechanism, each army set its end of the bridge on fire, reducing the Potomac crossings to either the Georgetown ferry or Chain Bridge, five miles upstream.
"The streets were...crowded with soldiers and senators, men, women, and children, horses, carriages, and carts...all hastening toward a wooden bridge which crosses the Potomac. The confusion...was terrible, and the crowd upon the bridge was su;ch as to endanger its giving way."
Lt. George Robert Gleig, British soldier.Left IllustrationA British engraving dated October 14, 1814, shows the destruction of Long Bridge (letter H) among other key events.Right IllustrationA historical illustrator later imagined the British watching the Capital burn.
Series This marker is part of the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, August 25th, 2016 at 5:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 323746 N 4306216
Decimal Degrees38.88715000, -77.03213333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 53.229', W 77° 1.928'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 53' 13.74" N, 77° 1' 55.68" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 201 14th St SW, Washington DC 20227, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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