Question: Did you know American barges used St. Leonard’s Creek in Calvert County to find haven against British forces during the War of 1812?
It’s true! A British invasion took place during the War of 1812 when Calvert County became a battleground, both on land and sea. One of the most famous naval battles in Maryland history took place against British forces in the Patuxent River in 1814.
Of the few large naval vessels in the American Navy, none could be spared for defense of the Chesapeake Bay. This was left to Commodore Joshua Barney and the small flotilla of barges under his command. These barges were rowed by oarsmen and it was thought that they would have an advantage over the wind-driven British ships. However the American barges were forced to find haven in St. Leonard Creek in Calvert County, which was too small for British ships. The British put ashore many raiding parties that burned and destroyed much property. Recently divers discovered the remains of that famous flotilla at the bottom of the creek where Barney’s men scuttled their barges to keep them from falling into British hands.
Source: Calvert County’s website