Dedicated to PVTs Daniel Wells and Henry McComas, the monument also marks the site of their reburial. According to legend
On September 12, 1814, following the landing of a British force of between 3000 - 9000, commanded by Major General Robert Ross, at North Point, Brig. Gen. John Stricker, commander of the 3rd Brigade of the Maryland militia, was ordered to delay the British advance so that the defense entrenchments around Baltimore could be completed prior to the advance of the British forces on the city. The 5th regiment was assigned the task of holding the American right flank of which Wells and McComas were members.
According to legend, Wells and McComas rode up Long Log Lane (present-day Old North Point Road) where they came upon Ross at the Gorsuch family farm. Taking advantage of the situation Wells and McComas would discharge their muskets hitting Ross in the right arm and in the chest, Ross would die a short time later from his wounds. In the ensuing firefight both Wells and McComas would also be killed.
Whether it was Wells and McComas or other soldiers that fired at Ross remains in dispute, as no soldiers witnessed who shot Ross. However the military companies of Baltimore thought highly enough of the two fallen heroes to form a Wells and McComas Monument Association to honor their memory. In 1858, the remains of the two riflemen were disinterred from their vault in Greenmount Cemetery, laid in state in the old Maryland Institute, and reburied in Ashland Square at Monument and Gay Streets. In 1873, after funding had been raised by public subscription (in a manner similar to the way citizens raised the money to build the Battle Monument), a 21-foot high obelisk of marble was built over their grave. However. no claim is made on the monument that the boys shot Ross.