Fort McHenry


statue memorializing Francis Scott Key on the grounds just north of the fort.

In 1814 the British had already burned the U.S. capitol in D.C. and were set to invade Baltimore.  The death of a major General stalled their on-land attack but the British navy ruled the world at that time, and popular opinion had that it would soon rule Baltimore as well.

O say can you see?

In 2010 the fort defends an industrial pier and rail yard.  My thermometer said 10 degrees, my watch said 7 am, and from my view over the ramparts I watched legions of joggers circle the fort below me.  They made me feel lazy.

Bombs bursting in air

While the British amassed their fleet outside the inner harbor, Francis Scott Key watched from a ship behind British lines under a white flag.

The bombardment of the fort lasted 25 hours.  Over 1,500 bombs and rockets were launched from the English warships and in the morning, only four Americans were killed, 24 were wounded, and the 30 x 40 foot flag was still waving over head.

The sight of the flag and the American victory inspired the song we sing at every sporting event worth attending.

Broad stripes and bright stars

When I showed up I was hoping for Old Glory but due to the windy conditions I got Glory Jr.  The museum is first class, the place is restored wonderfully, and no one there could answer my questions about the Fort Pitt stamp on the mouth of the large cannon pointing out over the harbor.

3 thoughts on “Fort McHenry

  1. Thanks for the gorgeous pictures! Have you visited any historical sites in North or South Carolina? You may enjoy that too.

  2. I will be working my way South through the winter, then north as the weather gets better.
    I love Charleston, it will be my Southernmost point on this project.

    1. I had in mind Fort Fisher, in North Carolina and Fort Macon as well as all the lighthouses. Fort Fisher is well preserved and has a neat little museum.

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