Battle Monument

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Battle Monument
Battle Monument MD1.jpg
Battle Monument, Baltimore, October 2011
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LocationCalvert St. between Fayette and Lexington Sts., Baltimore, Maryland
Coordinates 39°17′26.5″N76°36′44.7″W / 39.290694°N 76.612417°W / 39.290694; -76.612417 Coordinates: 39°17′26.5″N76°36′44.7″W / 39.290694°N 76.612417°W / 39.290694; -76.612417
Area1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built1815 (1815)
ArchitectGodefroy, J. Maximillian M.; Capellano, Antonio (crowning statue sculpture)
NRHP reference # 73002181 [1]
Added to NRHPJune 4, 1973

The Battle Monument, located in Battle Monument Square on North Calvert Street between East Fayette and East Lexington Streets in Baltimore, Maryland, commemorates the Battle of Baltimore with the British fleet of the Royal Navy's bombardment of Fort McHenry, the Battle of North Point, southeast of the city in Baltimore County on the Patapsco Neck peninsula, and the stand-off on the eastern siege fortifications along Loudenschlager and Potter's Hills, later called Hampstead Hill, in what is now Patterson Park since 1827, east of town. It honors those who died during the month of September 1814 during the War of 1812. The monument lies in the middle of the street and is between the two Baltimore City Circuit Courthouses that are located on the opposite sides of North Calvert Street. It was sponsored by the City and the "Committee of Vigilance and Safety" led by Mayor Edward Johnson and military commanders: Brig. Gen. John Stricker, Maj. Gen. Samuel Smith and Lt. Col. George Armistead (of Ft. McHenry).

Battle of Baltimore War of 1812 battle

The Battle of Baltimore was a sea/land battle fought between British invaders and American defenders in the War of 1812. American forces repulsed sea and land invasions off the busy port city of Baltimore, Maryland, and killed the commander of the invading British forces. The British and Americans first met at the Battle of North Point. Though the Americans retreated, the battle was a successful delaying action that inflicted heavy casualties on the British, halting their advance consequently allowing the defenders at Baltimore to properly prepare for an attack.

Kingdom of Great Britain Constitutional monarchy in Western Europe between 1707 and 1801

The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 1 January 1801. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government that was based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". Since its inception the kingdom was in legislative and personal union with Ireland and after the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover.

Royal Navy Maritime warfare branch of the United Kingdoms military

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years' War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.


The site of the former first Baltimore County and Town/City Courthouse (torn down in 1809) was originally designated as the location for the newly planned Washington Monument. Designed by Robert Mills (1781-1855), the cornerstone of the Washington Monument for Baltimore had just been laid on Independence Day, July 4, 1815. But fears that the designed shaft of the column would be too tall for the smaller open space of the old Courthouse Square, and might fall over onto nearby close-in townhouses, caused a last-minute change in location. [2] The monument site for the nation's first president was moved further north of the city into "Howard's Woods" of the "Belvindere" estate of Col. John Eager Howard (1752-1827).

Washington Monument (Baltimore) artwork by Enrico Causici and Robert Mills

The Washington Monument is the centerpiece of intersecting Mount Vernon Place and Washington Place, an urban square in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood north of downtown Baltimore, Maryland. It was the first major monument begun to honor George Washington (1732–1799).

Robert Mills, a South Carolina architect known for designing both the first Washington Monument, located in Baltimore, Maryland, as well as the better known monument to the first president in the nation's capital, Washington, DC. He is sometimes said to be the first native-born American to be professionally trained as an architect. Charles Bulfinch of Boston perhaps has a clearer claim to this honor.

Independence Day (United States) Federal holiday in the United States

Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States, on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer subject to the monarch of Britain and were now united, free, and independent states. The Congress had voted to declare independence two days earlier, on July 2, but it was not declared until July 4.

1846 Battle Monument 1846 view of Battle Monument.jpg
1846 Battle Monument

The monument, designed by Baltimore architect J. Maximilian M. Godefroy (sculptor to the Court of Spain) and built in 1815-25, is 39 feet (11.9 m) tall. The base of the monument is an Egyptian Revival cenotaph. It is an unusually democratic monument for the time in that it records the names of all who died, regardless of rank. [4] The eighteen layers of the marble base represent the eighteen states that made up the United States at the time of the war. A griffin is at each corner of the base. The column, carved as a Roman fasces, is bound with cords listing the names of soldiers who died during the battle, while the names of officers who died are at the top. [5]

Maximilian Godefroy French-American architect

J. Maximilian M. Godefroy was a French-American architect. Godefroy was born in France and educated as a geographical/civil engineer. During the French Revolution he fought briefly on the Royalist side. Later, as an anti-Bonaparte activist, he was imprisoned in the fortress of Bellegarde and Chateau D'if then released about 1805 and allowed to come to the United States, settling in Baltimore, Maryland, where he became an instructor in drawing, art and military science at St. Mary's College, the Sulpician Seminary. By 1808, Godefroy had married Eliza Crawford Anderson, editor of her own periodical, the Observer and the niece of a wealthy Baltimore merchant.

Cenotaph "empty tomb" or monument erected in honor of a person whose remains are elsewhere

A cenotaph is an empty tomb or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been reinterred elsewhere. Although the vast majority of cenotaphs honour individuals, many noted cenotaphs are instead dedicated to the memories of groups of individuals, such as the lost soldiers of a country or of an empire.

Marble Non-foliated metamorphic rock commonly used for sculpture and as a building material

Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite. Marble is typically not foliated, although there are exceptions. In geology, the term "marble" refers to metamorphosed limestone, but its use in stonemasonry more broadly encompasses unmetamorphosed limestone. Marble is commonly used for sculpture and as a building material.

The monument is topped by an 8 feet tall 2,750 pound Carrara marble statue by Antonio Capellano of a female figure representing the City of Baltimore that wears a crown of victory and holds a laurel wreath in one hand and a ship's rudder in the other. It was hoisted to the top of the column during the middle of the period of construction on the eighth anniversary ceremonies, Defenders Day, September 12, 1822. [4] Colloquially called Lady Baltimore, the statue was relocated to the Maryland Historical Society on October 5, 2013 in order to preserve it from further damage caused by time and nature. It was replaced by a concrete replica. [6] The monument is the oldest stone monument and first public war memorial in the United States. [7]

Carrara marble type of white or blue-grey marble popular for use in sculpture and building decor

Carrara marble is a type of white or blue-grey marble popular for use in sculpture and building decor. It is quarried in the city of Carrara in the province of Massa and Carrara in the Lunigiana, the northernmost tip of modern-day Tuscany, Italy.

Laurel wreath wreath made of branches and leaves of the bay laurel

A laurel wreath is a round wreath made of connected branches and leaves of the bay laurel, an aromatic broadleaf evergreen, or later from spineless butcher's broom or cherry laurel. It is a symbol of triumph and is worn as a chaplet around the head, or as a garland around the neck. The symbol of the laurel wreath traces back to Greek mythology. Apollo is represented wearing a laurel wreath on his head, and wreaths were awarded to victors, both in athletic competitions. This includes the ancient Olympics — for which they were made of wild olive tree known as "kotinos" (κότινος), — and in poetic meets; in Rome they were symbols of martial victory, crowning a successful commander during his triumph. Whereas ancient laurel wreaths are most often depicted as a horseshoe shape, modern versions are usually complete rings.

Rudder Control surface for fluid-dynamic steering in the yaw axis

A rudder is a primary control surface used to steer a ship, boat, submarine, hovercraft, aircraft, or other conveyance that moves through a fluid medium. On an aircraft the rudder is used primarily to counter adverse yaw and p-factor and is not the primary control used to turn the airplane. A rudder operates by redirecting the fluid past the hull (watercraft) or fuselage, thus imparting a turning or yawing motion to the craft. In basic form, a rudder is a flat plane or sheet of material attached with hinges to the craft's stern, tail, or after end. Often rudders are shaped so as to minimize hydrodynamic or aerodynamic drag. On simple watercraft, a tiller—essentially, a stick or pole acting as a lever arm—may be attached to the top of the rudder to allow it to be turned by a helmsman. In larger vessels, cables, pushrods, or hydraulics may be used to link rudders to steering wheels. In typical aircraft, the rudder is operated by pedals via mechanical linkages or hydraulics.

The monument is depicted on the seal of the City of Baltimore that was adopted in 1827 and the city's flag adopted in the early 20th century.

The monument is erroneously depicted as being in Washington, D.C. in the film Live Free or Die Hard starring Bruce Willis, which had numerous scenes actually filmed in downtown Baltimore.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city, located on the Potomac River bordering Maryland and Virginia, is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

<i>Live Free or Die Hard</i> 2007 US action film directed by Len Wiseman

Live Free or Die Hard is a 2007 American action thriller film and the fourth installment in the Die Hard film series. The film was directed by Len Wiseman and starred Bruce Willis as John McClane. The film's name was adapted from New Hampshire's state motto, "Live Free or Die". In the film, McClane attempts to stop cyber-terrorists who hack into government and commercial computers across the United States with the goal of starting a "fire sale" that would disable key elements of the nation's infrastructure. The film was based on the 1997 article "A Farewell to Arms" written for Wired magazine by John Carlin.

Bruce Willis American actor, producer, and musician

Walter Bruce Willis is an American actor, producer, and singer. Born to a German mother and American father in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, he moved to the United States with his family in 1957. His career began on the Off-Broadway stage in the 1970s. He later achieved fame with his leading role on the hit television series Moonlighting (1985–89). He has since appeared in over 70 films and is widely regarded as an "action hero", due to his portrayal of John McClane in the Die Hard franchise (1988–2013), and other such roles.

The Battle Monument was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 4, 1973. [1] It is contained within the Business and Government Historic District and is within the Baltimore National Heritage Area. [8]

See also

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  1. 1 2 "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
  2. Laura Rich. Maryland History In Prints 1743-1900. p. 46.
  3. Tom (2015-10-12). "Incredible 1846 Photo of Battle Monument". Ghosts of Baltimore. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  4. 1 2 Dorsey, John & Dilts, James D., Guide to Baltimore Architecture (1997) p. 145-146. Tidewater Publishers, Centreville, Maryland ISBN   0-87033-477-8
  5. Joyce Mcclay and Catharine Black (September 1972). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Battle Monument" (PDF). Maryland Historical Trust. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  6. Walker, Andrea K. "Lady Baltimore moves into its new home," The Baltimore Sun, Saturday, October 5, 2013.
  8. "Baltimore National Heritage Area Map" (PDF). City of Baltimore. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 22, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2012.