Friday, September 14, 2007

History is Our Stories ~ Fort McHenry

Fort McHenry is the "Star Fort" at the entrance to Baltimore Harbor.
It is the site that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem
we know as the 'Star Spangled Banner.'

The large replica flag with 15 stripes and 15 stars.

Colonel George Armistead commanded the gallant defense
of Fort McHenry during the British attack in the War of 1812
on September 13-14, 1814
In the 24 hour bombardment, four Americans were killed:
Lt. Levi Claggett, Sgt John Clemm, Thomas Beeston, Charles Messinger
and 24 were wounded.

Fort entrance


Fort McHenry is one of the most interesting and well maintained historical sites in the National Park Service. It is a fascinating place to visit, and so much to see: cannons, barracks, earthworks, bomb shelters, jail cells, bunkers.

The fort was begun early in the history of the country as a defense for the city of Baltimore. It is named for James McHenry, George Washington's Secretary of War - 1796-1800.

During the War of 1812, Fort McHenry was fired upon by the British ships with rockets and mortars for over 24 hours. Francis Scott Key was on the deck of a British truce ship during the bombardment. He penned the poem, which is now our national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, when he saw the huge flag still flying over the fort.

During the Civil War, the fort was used as a detention center for Confederate prisoners.

During WWI, many buildings were erected around the fort and used as a hospital for wounded soldiers.

The first time I saw Fort McHenry was at dusk, from a ship in the Baltimore Harbor.
It was one of the most touching moments of my life.


Sarge Charlie said...

We spent the night a Ft McHenry in 1976, our 200th birthday, they had a contineous show all night with fireworks mixed in, I will never forget.

Flag Gazer said...

What a great experience!

One to remember!

Mike's America said...

I wish I had gone to Fort McHenry when I lived in Washington. And I haven't been to Fort Pulaski on the Savannah River here either.

Though I did go to Fort Sumter.

CopTheTruth said...

Thanks for the history lesson, I'll put it on the list of "must visits" the next time I get out that way!

Gunslinger said...

I had the great fortune to visit this site several times while I was stationed at Fort Meade. It is a fantastic place. I got to see a civil war re-enactment there. Got a folder of photos from it.