First Battle of St. Leonard's Creek:
On June 10, 1814, Captain Barrie's sailed his British barges up the creek to entice Barney into a fight. Barney took the offensive and managed to ground the schooner HMS St. Lawrence. Neither side had much success, however, and Barney returned to the head of the creek. These engagements are known as the First Battle of St. Leonard Creek. To draw Barney out, the British, and for the first time a detachment of the Black Colonial Corps, conducted raids up and down the Patuxent River plundering and burning Calverton, Prince Frederick and Lower Marlboro in Calvert County, Benedict in Charles County and Magruder's Landing in Prince George's County.
Second Battle of St. Leonard's Creek:
On June 22, the Daily National Intelligencer reported that American land forces -- militia, army, and marines -- were marching to the mount of the creek to support Barney. On June 26, after the arrival of these troops commanded by Colonel Decius Wadsworth, the army's Commissary General of Ordnance, and US Marine Captain Samuel Miller, Barney attempted a breakout. A combined attack form land and sea on the blockading frigates at the mouth of St. Leonard's creek allowed the flotilla to move out and up-river to Benedict, though Barney had to scuttle gunboats No. 137 and 138 in the process. The British entered the then-abandoned creek and burned the town of St. Leonard.
Scuttling the Flotilla:
Instead, Secretary Jones ordered Commodore Barney to take the squadron as far up the Patuxent as possible and to scuttle the vessels should the British appear. Barney moved his flotilla as far north as Pig Point, near the present Route 4 bridge. Having heard that the British had landed at Benedict, Barney left the flotilla with a small contingent of men and marched, with about 400 of his men and with such cannons as were movable, to Upper Marlboro. On the following morning, having heard from General Winder that he was with his army at the Woodyard, they continued their march to that place, where they were joined by Captain Miller, of the marines, with 80 men and five more pieces of artillery. On August 22, 1814, the British attempted to capture the Flotilla, and Barney's men ordered its destruction.