Maryland Militia Brigadier General John Stricker (1759–1825) is among the honored Baltimore defenders for his skillful command of the Baltimore brigade in the Battle of North Point on September 12, 1814. This battle inflicted heavy casualties on the British, including the death of Major General Robert Ross, and delayed the British land attack on Baltimore.
Born in Frederick, Maryland, Stricker served in his father’s militia regiment during the Revolutionary War. At age 17, he marched to Princeton with the First Maryland Regiment, and for years after that war, Stricker proudly wore a blue Society of Cincinnati Medal, identifying him as one of a small fraternity of officers who had risked everything serving under George Washington.
At the onset of the War of 1812, Stricker sympathized with those who opposed the war. He was in command of the local militia at the time the people of Baltimore rioted against the declaration of war. Stricker was slow to call the local militia to intervene, and he was blamed for the night of mayhem and death that resulted from the riots. Two years later he was the celebrated Hero of North Point. His story shows the complex and difficult choices that soldiers and civilians make during times of war.
After the war, Stricker became a merchant and president of the Bank of Baltimore.