Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fort McHenry

The War of 1812 was precipitated by British ships capturing Americans to help sail her ships in her war with France, and conflicts over the Northwest Territories and the Canadian border.

In 1814, British troops attacked Washington D.C., burning important buildings. Americans frantically moved documents to safe places. Then the British troops moved up the Chesapeake Bay, where their next target was the important city of Baltimore. American troops were ready at Ft. McHenry, the water entrance to Baltimore. Infantrymen and sailors exchanged cannon fire through the night of September 13, 1814.

An American lawyer, Francis Scott Key, had been on a British warship when the battle started, trying to effect the release of an American doctor. Dawn brought him the moving sight of our flag flying over the Fort. The American troops had triumphed. Key jotted the Star Spangled Banner on an envelope, and passed it around later that month as a handbill.

We got a feel for this era of our country, during our visit to Fort McHenry, where we saw canons similar to the ones that had been used, and visited the barracks where the soldiers had lived and worked.

The Battle for Baltimore had been the turning point of the War of 1812. Our young nation had once again proven our liberty from Great Britain as a separate country, so we could then move on to become allies. Today we can work side by side; and learn from one another's literature and other contributions to society.

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