Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Patrick Brady
MSA SC 3520-17796

Biography:

Patrick Brady enlisted as a private in the Maryland First Regiment’s First Company, underneath the leadership of Captain John Hoskins Stone, on January 24, 1776. [1]

The First Company was primarily recruited from Charles County, Maryland, but trained in Annapolis until the summer of 1776. That July, Maryland’s First Regiment marched north to rendezvous with General George Washington outside of New York. There, the majority of the Maryland Line experienced the bitter taste of war for the first time. [2]  

The Battle of Brooklyn (or The Battle of Long Island) erupted on August 27, 1776, and was the first major battle that followed the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The British troops, totaling nearly 15,000 men, and the British Royal Navy arrived with the intention of ending the war with this single battle. Meanwhile, General Washington was determined to defend New York. Ultimately, between General Washington’s smaller army and the poor intelligence he referenced when preparing for the British invasion, the Battle of Brooklyn ended in a Continental retreat and a crippling loss. [3]

The Maryland 400 earned their heroic title during the peak of the conflict at Brooklyn. The First Maryland Regiment split into two separate wings, stretching in a continuous line from the Gowanus Road to the Continental artillery stationed upon a ridge. Under the command of Major Mordecai Gist, the Marylanders fought off the first wave of advancing British troops. The British eventually retreated a few hundred feet, giving the impression that the Continental Army had successfully stopped the British invasion. Shortly after the first wave of British troops receded, the Marylanders were shocked as another larger group of British soldiers snuck up on their rear and threatened to surround them. Quickly, the Continental Army’s confidence culminated into fear, their line broke, and the companies retreated. [4]

During the retreat, the Marylanders found themselves unfortunately positioned in between enemy fire and the Gowanus Creek. About half of the Marylanders, including the first company, attempted to cross the creek and reach their allies. The other half of the Maryland regiment had no other option but to turn back and face the enemy, allowing their fellow countrymen to reach safety. That day, 256 of the First Marylanders that stood on Gowanus Road were killed or made prisoners. Following the Battle of Brooklyn, 77 percent of the First Company was accounted for, including Patrick Brady, because majority of the men underneath Captain Stone's leadership made it to the Gowanus Creek and successfully swam across. [5]

After the Continental Army retreated from Brooklyn, Brady presumably fired his musket at the  battles of White Plains and Fort Washington, resulting in a full Continental retreat to New Jersey in the fall of 1776. On December 10, 1776 , he enlisted again in Maryland’s First Regiment. That same winter, Brady most likely partook in the Continental victories at Trenton and Princeton, followed by the upsetting losses at Brandywine and Germantown in the fall of 1777. [6]

Sometime between December 1776 and May 1778, Brady reached the rank of sergeant. Unfortunately, on October 12, 1778, he was reduced to the rank of private. He was discharged on December 27, 1779, having spent forty-seven months with the First Maryland Regiment, an enlistment time far greater than the average soldier, but normal for a Marylander. [7]

Following his service, Brady most likely returned home and attempted to assimilate into civilian society. There are records of Brady receiving payments from his military service in 1785 and 1787. However, after that there is no clear evidence of his life as an American citizen. [8]

-Elizabeth Cassibry, Washington College Explore America Research Intern, 2018

Notes:

[1] Muster Rolls and Other Records of Service of Maryland Troops in the American Revolution, Archives of Maryland Online, vol. 18, p. 6.

[2] Mark Andrew Tacyn, “‘To the End:’ The First Maryland Regiment and the American Revolution” (PhD diss., University of Maryland College Park, 1999), 21.

[3] Tacyn, 23-30.

[4] Tacyn, 30-60.

[5] Return of the Maryland troops, 27 September 1776, from Fold3.com.

[6] John Dwight Kilbourne, “A Short History of the Maryland Line in the Continental Army,” (Baltimore: The Sons of the American Revolution, 1992), 11-25.

[7] Archives of Maryland Online, vol. 18, p. 81.

[8] Auditor General, Army Officer Accounts, no. 1, p. 20, MdHR 1758 [MSA S148-1, 01/01/04/011]; Commissioner to Settle and Adjust Pay Due Officers and Soldiers, Depreciation Certificates Register, no. 2, p. 11, MdHR 1761 [MSA S170-1, 01/01/04/026].

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