This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations . (September 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Fort McHenry National Monument|
|Location||Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.|
|Area||43.26 acres (17.51 ha)|
|Authorized||March 3, 1925|
|Governing body||National Park Service|
|Website||Fort McHenry National Monument|
Fort McHenry is a historical American coastal pentagonal bastion fort located in the Locust Point neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. It is best known for its role in the War of 1812, when it successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy from the Chesapeake Bay on September 13–14, 1814. It was first built in 1798 and was used continuously by the U.S. armed forces through World War I and by the Coast Guard in World War II. It was designated a national park in 1925, and in 1939 was redesignated a "National Monument and Historic Shrine".
During the War of 1812 an American storm flag, 17 by 25 feet (5.2 m × 7.6 m), was flown over Fort McHenry during the bombardment. It was replaced early on the morning of September 14, 1814 with a larger American garrison flag, 30 by 42 feet (9.1 m × 12.8 m). The larger flag signaled American victory over the British in the Battle of Baltimore. The sight of the ensign inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem "Defence of Fort M'Henry" that was later set to the tune "To Anacreon in Heaven" and became known as "The Star Spangled Banner", the national anthem of the United States.
Fort McHenry was built on the site of the former Fort Whetstone, which had defended Baltimore from 1776 to 1797. Fort Whetstone stood on Whetstone Point (today's residential and industrial area of Locust Point) peninsula, which juts into the opening of Baltimore Harbor between the Basin (today's Inner Harbor) and Northwest branch on the north side and the Middle and Ferry (now Southern) branches of the Patapsco River on the south side.
The Frenchman Jean Foncin designed the fort in 1798,and it was built between 1798 and 1800. The new fort's purpose was to improve the defenses of the increasingly important Port of Baltimore from future enemy attacks.
The new fort was a bastioned pentagon, surrounded by a dry moat—a deep, broad trench. The moat would serve as a shelter from which infantry might defend the fort from a land attack.In case of such an attack on this first line of defense, each point, or bastion could provide a crossfire of cannon and small arms fire.
Fort McHenry was named after early American statesman James McHenry (1753–1816), a Scots-Irish immigrant and surgeon-soldier. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from Maryland and a signer of the United States Constitution. Afterwards, he was appointed United States Secretary of War (1796–1800), serving under Presidents George Washington and John Adams.
Beginning at 6:00 a.m. on September 13, 1814, British warships under the command of Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane continuously bombarded Fort McHenry for 25 hours. The American defenders had 18-, 24- and 32-pounder (8, 11, and 16 kg) cannons. The British guns had a range of 2 miles (3 km), and the British rockets had a 1.75-mile (2.8 km) range, but neither guns nor rockets were accurate. The British ships were unable to pass Fort McHenry and penetrate Baltimore Harbor because of its defenses, including a chain of 22 sunken ships, and the American cannons. The British vessels were only able to fire their rockets and mortars at the fort at the weapons' maximum range. The poor accuracy on both sides resulted in very little damage to either side before the British, having depleted their ammunition, ceased their attack on the morning of September 14. Thus the naval part of the British invasion of Baltimore had been repulsed. Only one British warship, a bomb vessel, received a direct hit from the fort's return fire, which wounded one crewman.[ citation needed ]
The Americans, under the command of Major George Armistead, lost four killed—including one Black soldier, Private William Williams, and a woman who was cut in half by a bomb as she carried supplies to the troops—and 24 wounded. At one point during the bombardment, a bomb crashed through the fort's powder magazine. However, either the rain extinguished the fuse or the bomb was a dud.
Francis Scott Key, a Washington lawyer who had come to Baltimore to negotiate the release of Dr. William Beanes, a civilian prisoner of war, witnessed the bombardment from a nearby truce ship. An oversized American flag had been sewn by Mary Pickersgill for $405.90in anticipation of the British attack on the fort. When Key saw the flag emerge intact in the dawn of September 14, he was so moved that he began that morning to compose "Defence of Fort M'Henry" set to the tune "To Anacreon in Heaven" which would later be renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner" and become the United States' national anthem.
During the American Civil War the area where Fort McHenry sits served as a military prison, confining both Confederate soldiers, as well as a large number of Maryland political figures who were suspected of being Confederate sympathizers. The imprisoned included newly elected Baltimore Mayor George William Brown, the city council, and the new police commissioner, George P. Kane, and members of the Maryland General Assembly along with several newspaper editors and owners. Francis Scott Key's grandson, Francis Key Howard, was one of these political detainees. Some of the cells used still exist and can be visited at the fort. Fort McHenry also served to train artillery at this time; this service is the origin of the Rodman guns presently located and displayed at the fort.
On 25 May 1861 John Merryman was arrested in Baltimore County and imprisoned in Fort McHenry. Merryman had had a role in destroying bridges in Maryland to impede the movement of Union troops. Merryman petitioned Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney for a writ of habeas corpus , and Taney granted the petition, demanding that Merryman appear in his courtroom the next day and sending U.S. Marshals to the fort to enforce the ruling. A famous and dramatic standoff then occurred at the gates of the fort between the Federal Marshals and General George Cadwalader, the commander of Union troops of the Fort. The commander refused to comply with the order on the grounds that he was acting under orders from President Abraham Lincoln, who had suspended habeas corpus. The court case, Ex parte Merryman, remains unresolved, and the Executive Branch continued to refuse to comply with Taney's ruling.
During World War I, an additional hundred-odd buildings were built on the land surrounding the fort in order to convert the entire facility into an enormous U.S. Army hospital for the treatment of troops returning from the European conflict. Only a few of these buildings remain, while the original fort has been preserved and restored to essentially its condition during the War of 1812.
During World War II, Fort McHenry served as a Coast Guard base.Used for training, the historic sections remained open to the public.
The fort was made a national park in 1925; on August 11, 1939, it was redesignated a "National Monument and Historic Shrine", the only such doubly designated place in the United States. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. It has become national tradition that when a new flag is designed it first flies over Fort McHenry. The first official 49- and 50-star American flags were flown over the fort and are still located on the premises.
The fort has become a center of recreation for the Baltimore locals as well as a prominent tourist destination. Thousands of visitors come each year to see the "Birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner." It's easily accessible by water taxi from the popular Baltimore Inner Harbor. However, to prevent abuse of the parking lots at the Fort, the National Park Service does not permit passengers to take the water taxi back to the Inner Harbor unless they have previously used it to arrive at the monument.
Several authorized archaeological digs have been conducted, and found artifacts are on display in one of the buildings surrounding the Parade Ground. These structures, as well as the Visitor Center, have numerous other exhibits as well that show the fort's use over time.
Every September, the City of Baltimore commemorates Defenders Day in honor of the Battle of Baltimore. It is the biggest celebration of the year at the Fort, accompanied by a weekend of programs, events, and fireworks.[ citation needed ]
In 2005 the living history volunteer unit, the Fort McHenry Guard, was awarded the George B. Hartzog award for serving the National Park Service as the best volunteer unit. Among the members of the unit is Martin O'Malley, the former mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland, who was made the unit's honorary colonel in 2003.[ citation needed ]
The flag that flew over Fort McHenry, the Star Spangled Banner Flag, has deteriorated to an extremely fragile condition. After undergoing restoration at the National Museum of American History, it is now on display there in a special exhibit that allows it to lie at a slight angle in dim light.
The United States Code currently authorizes Fort McHenry's closure to the public in the event of a national emergency for use by the military for the duration of such an emergency.
In 2013, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine was honored with its own quarter under the America the Beautiful Quarters Program.
On September 10–16, 2014, Fort McHenry celebrated the bicentennial of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner called the Star Spangled Spectacular. The event included a parade of tall ships, a large fireworks show, and the Navy's Blue Angels
As of 2015 [update] , restoration efforts began to preserve the original brick used in construction of the Fort, primarily through mortar replacement.
Francis Scott Key was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet from Frederick, Maryland, who is best known for writing the lyrics for the American national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner".
"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics come from the Defence of Fort M'Henry, a poem written on September 14, 1814, by 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the large U.S. flag, with 15 stars and 15 stripes, known as the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the U.S. victory.
Ex parte Merryman, 17 F. Cas. 144 (No. 9487), is a well-known and controversial U.S. federal court case that arose out of the American Civil War. It was a test of the authority of the President to suspend "the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus" under the Constitution's Suspension Clause, when Congress was in recess and therefore unavailable to do so itself. More generally, the case raised questions about the ability of the executive branch to decline enforcement of judicial decisions when the executive believes them to be erroneous and harmful to its own legal powers.
Major-General Robert Ross was an Irish officer in the British Army, who served in the Napoleonic Wars and its minor theatre, the North American in the War of 1812.
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, halted their advance and, consequently, allowed the defenders at Baltimore to properly prepare for an attack.
The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, formerly the Flag House & Star-Spangled Banner Museum, is a museum located in the Jonestown/Old Town and adjacent to Little Italy neighborhoods of eastern downtown Baltimore, Maryland, United States.
Locust Point is a peninsular neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland. Located in South Baltimore, the neighborhood is entirely surrounded by the Locust Point Industrial Area; the traditional boundaries are Lawrence street to the west and the Patapsco River to the north, south, and east. It once served as a center of Baltimore's Polish-American, Irish-American and Italian-American communities; in more recent years Locust Point has seen gradual gentrification with the rehabilitation of Tide Point and Silo Point. The neighborhood is also noted as being the home of Fort McHenry.
Mary Pickersgill, was the maker of the Star Spangled Banner Flag hoisted over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. The daughter of another noted flag maker, Rebecca Young, Pickersgill learned her craft from her mother, and, in 1813, was commissioned by Major George Armistead to make a flag for Baltimore's Fort McHenry that was so large that the British would have no difficulty seeing it from a great distance. The flag was installed in August 1813, and, a year later, during the Battle of Baltimore, Francis Scott Key could see the flag while negotiating a prisoner exchange aboard a British vessel, and was inspired to pen the words that became the United States National Anthem.
George Armistead was an American military officer who served as the commander of Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.
The Francis Scott Key Bridge, also known originally as the Outer Harbor Crossing or simply as the Key Bridge or Beltway Bridge, is a steel arch-shaped continuous through truss bridge spanning the lower Patapsco River and outer Baltimore Harbor / Port in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.. The main span of 1,200 feet (366 m) is the third longest span of any continuous truss in the world. It is also the longest bridge in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
Defenders Day is a longtime legal holiday on September 12th, in the U.S. state of Maryland, in the City of Baltimore and surrounding Baltimore County. It commemorates the successful defense of the city of Baltimore on September 12th-13th-14th, 1814 from an invading British force during the War of 1812, an event which led to the writing of the words of a poem, which when set to music a few days later, became known as "The Star-Spangled Banner", which in 1931 was designated as the national anthem of the United States.
The Star-Spangled Banner, or the Great Garrison Flag, was the garrison flag that flew over Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor during the naval portion of the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. It is on exhibit at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. Seeing the flag flying over Ft. McHenry on the morning of September 14, 1814, after the battle ended, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the poem "Defence of Fort M'Henry". These words were written by Key and set to the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven" by John Stafford Smith, a popular song at the time. It was not until 1931 that the song became the national anthem of the United States.
The Baltimore County Sheriff's Office (BCoSO) is the enforcement arm of the Baltimore County, Maryland court and is headquartered in the Baltimore County Courthouse, in the County Seat of Towson, Maryland. The Baltimore County Sheriff's Office is one of the oldest sheriff's offices in existence in the State of Maryland, dating back to 1659, the traditional year of the County's "erection" (founding).
The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail is a National Historic Trail that commemorates the Chesapeake Campaign of the War of 1812. The 290-mile (467 km) trail was named after "The Star-Spangled Banner," the national anthem of the United States. Consisting of water and overland routes, the trail extends from Tangier Island, Virginia, through southern Maryland, the District of Columbia, the Chesapeake Bay, and Baltimore, Maryland. The trail also contains sites on Maryland's Eastern shore.
John Stuart Skinner was an American lawyer, publisher, and editor.
William Beanes was an American physician during the U.S. colonial period.
Frank Key Howard was the grandson of Francis Scott Key and Revolutionary War colonel John Eager Howard. Howard was the editor of the Daily Exchange, a Baltimore newspaper sympathetic to the Confederacy. He was arrested without a warrant just after midnight on September 13, 1861 at his home by U.S. Major General Nathaniel Prentice Banks on the direct orders of General George B. McClellan enforcing the policy of President Abraham Lincoln. The basis for his arrest was for writing a critical editorial in his newspaper of Lincoln's suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and criticizing the fact that the Lincoln administration had declared martial law in Baltimore and imprisoned without charge George William Brown, the mayor of Baltimore, sitting U.S. Congressman Henry May, all the police commissioners of Baltimore, and the entire city council. Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus in Maryland had already been declared unconstitutional by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney in Ex parte Merryman, but Lincoln had ignored the federal court ruling. Howard was initially confined to Fort McHenry, the same fort his grandfather Francis Scott Key saw withstand a British bombardment during the War of 1812, which inspired him to write The Star Spangled Banner, which would become the national anthem of the United States of America. He was then transferred first to Fort Lafayette in Lower New York Bay off the coast of Brooklyn, then Fort Warren in Boston.
The Armistead Monument is a bronze statue of Col. George Armistead, by Edward Berge. It is located at Fort McHenry, Baltimore. It was dedicated on September 12, 1914.
Edward Johnson (1767–1829) was an American politician and businessman. He was a native of Baltimore, Maryland and served as that city's mayor for six terms between 1808 and 1824. A staunch member of Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party, he led Baltimore during the War of 1812 and was instrumental in organizing the civilian defense of the city. For several years he was the owner of one of Baltimore's largest breweries and also served as a director of the Bank of Baltimore.
Born Frederick Hall who used the alias William Williams as a runaway African American slave who enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812 and who died from a mortal wound while defending Fort McHenry from the British naval bombardment in 1814.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine .|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article Fort McHenry .|