“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Middle Branch Park in Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

On Guard

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail


— War of 1812 —

On Guard Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, December 18, 2014
1. On Guard Marker
Inscription.  Three gun batteries hugging the upper shore of Ferry Branch guarded the west flank of Fort McHenry. They included the makeshift earthworks of Fort Babcock, the incomplete Fort Covington, and a temporary redoubt at Ferry Point.

During the bombardment of Fort McHenry on September 13-14, 1814, these Ferry Branch fortifications stopped a surprise British maneuver to attack Fort McHenry from the less well-defended rear.

This close call exposed Fort McHenry’s vulnerability to a flanking attack. The fortifications were strengthened and a defensive boom added across Ferry Branch in case the enemy returned.

“About one in the morning the British passed several of their vessels above the Fort and near to town, but providently they were met by the fire of …marine battery.”
Eyewitness account in Salem (MA) Gazette, September 27, 1814.

(Inscription on the left)
Two of the Ferry Branche fortifications show in this 1829 painting by Alfred Jacob Miller. Fort Babcock is right of center, Fort Covington is at far right.
Erected by National Park Service-United

On Guard Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, December 18, 2014
2. On Guard Marker
States Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War of 1812. In addition, it is included in the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail series list.
Location. 39° 15.3′ N, 76° 36.918′ W. Marker is in Middle Branch Park in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is on Waterview Avenue. The marker is located in Broening Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Brooklyn MD 21225, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. John Smith Explores Patapsco (within shouting distance of this marker); Maryland Vietnam Veterans Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gwynns Falls Trail (approx. 0.3 miles away); Senator Harry McGuirk (approx. 0.3 miles away); Reviving the Waterfront (approx. 0.3 miles away); Cherry Hill (approx. 0.4 miles away); Strategic Post (approx. 1.2 miles away); Fort Look-Out (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Middle Branch Park.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 21, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 723 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 21, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Sep. 22, 2020