- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Battle of Bladensburg was a humiliating defeat for the U.S. in 1814, but 200 years later the sword of naval Commodore Joshua Barney has made its way back into American hands at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.

While defending Washington on August 24, 1814, the officer and roughly 600 sailors and Marines attempted to repel British naval forces. Ultimately, Commodore Barney would hand over his sword in surrender to British Army Gen. Robert Ross. Francis Hamilton, a descendent of Gen. Ross, donated the sword to the U.S. Navy from his personal collection, the Navy said in a press release on Tuesday.

Mr. Hamilton, on behalf of the United States Navy, I would like to extend my gratitude for your generous and thoughtful donation,” U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Michael T. Franken, acting chief of staff, Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff, said Monday at the museum, the Navy reported.


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The sword is featured as a part of the commemorative exhibit “From Defeat to Victory, 1814-1815.”

“Having heard that the exhibition was going to take place here, we decided to loan the sword to the museum. It’s an American sword, it’s the 200th anniversary of the battle, and the friendship between the two countries has endured, so it just seemed to us that donating it instead of loaning would be a nice gesture and an appropriate action,” Mr. Hamilton said, the Navy reported. “It’s a huge pleasure for us to be a part of the bicentennial and to be able to add a piece of history to it.”



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