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Maj Thomas Lancaster Lansdale

Maj Thomas Lancaster Lansdale

Death 19 Jan 1803 (aged 54)
Burial Bowie, Prince George's County, Maryland, USA
Memorial ID 24962507 · View Source
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Date: February 3, 1803
Location: Massachusetts
Paper: Salem Gazette


In Prince Geoge County, Maryland, Major Thomas Lansdale

An article, in part by:

The Bowie Blade, Published 12/13/07
By Chuck MacDonald

A path from modern times to the pages of history was just a short walk Saturday from Bowie Town Center and Route 197. On that day a handful of history lovers walked up a new asphalt path that led to the top of a hill and Bowie's smallest park. In that backyard-sized park was the grave of the only known Revolutionary War veteran buried in Bowie. A short ceremony dedicated Lansdale Park at that time.

Maj. Thomas Lancaster Lansdale is buried next to an aged gnarly tree. The historical flavor was accented by a five-man color guard representing the Sons of the American Revolution, and a three-man honor guard from the Maryland Matrosses, a re-enactment group, attired in Revolutionary War uniforms. The soldiers presented the colors and fired off a five-gun musket salute, followed by a single musket salute from Maryland Revolutionary troops. Several groups presented wreaths for the dedication of the park including the Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of the Foreign Wars, and the Collington Lodge, 230 AF&AM Masonic order, who paid for a permanent marker installed adjacent to a brick memorial pedestal placed by the city of Bowie. The small graveyard, which also contains the burial plot of his son, was located on what was once Lansdale's brother's plantation.

Lansdale's life intersected with some of the famous dates in American history. You could almost see him as a character in a History Channel special. Born in 1748, Lansdale was a tobacco planter and merchant in Queen Anne District, which is now located in the city limits of Bowie.

The same month that the Founding Fathers traipsed up to the desk of John Hancock and signed the Declaration of Independence, Lansdale joined the cause for the revolution as a first lieutenant. From that day in July 1776, Lansdale's career advanced along with the suffering and hardships of the Continental Army. By December of that year, he attained the rank of captain in the 4th Maryland Regiment. Promoted in 1779 to the rank of major, he served under Gen. William Smallwood. As the tides of battle surged back and forth, so did the fortunes of Lansdale. Twice he was captured and became a prisoner of war.

The culmination of his service occurred in 1781 in the Battle of Yorktown. This historic battle, which led to the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, was fought with some 12,000 Americans and French allies who began the siege of Yorktown. The allies occupied trenches and reinforced positions close to the British. Under the cover of darkness the allies constructed additional trenches and positions of cover edging ever closer to the British lines. The situation of the British Gen. Cornwallis was becoming desperate. The superior force was slowly hemming him in and the walls of his fort were being hammered to pieces by the cannon of the allies. On Oct. 17 Cornwallis proposed surrender.

Undoubtedly this was a banner day for Lansdale and other members of the allied forces. He was discharged from the Continental Army about two years later.

Lansdale was an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati, a patriotic organization of commissioned Revolutionary War officers who served under Gen. Washington's command. This organization, which has continued under the heirs of the founders, has Lansdale's tombstone and some of his correspondence in its museum collection.

Following his lengthy service in the Continental Army Lansdale settled into a prosperous life with his firm of Lansdale and Clagett. He was the owner of a store, counting room, and one of the largest tobacco warehouses in the state. He died in January 1803, leaving a large estate to his family.

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  • Created by: C
  • Added: 29 Feb 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 24962507
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Maj Thomas Lancaster Lansdale (10 Nov 1748–19 Jan 1803), Find A Grave Memorial no. 24962507, citing Major Thomas Lancaster Lansdale Park, Bowie, Prince George's County, Maryland, USA ; Maintained by C (contributor 46588217) .