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Havre de Grace in Harford County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Screaming Rockets

Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

 
 
Screaming Rockets Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, April 6, 2013
1. Screaming Rockets Marker
Inscription. On the morning of May 3, 1813, the British came ashore at several points and set to work plundering and burning the town. they used Congreve rockets, which made horrible whizzing and popping sounds, to create chaos and terror.

The British confiscated belongings, destroying anything they did not take, and set fire to the buildings in town. Although initial reports said that every building in Havre de Grace was burned except one, later reports stated that 20 to 40 of the approximate 60 dwellings were lost.

"The air seemed alive with Congreve rockets, squirming and hissing about like so many fiery serpents"
Daniel Mallory, Short Stories and Reminiscences of the Last Fifty Years, 1842.

Painting
This Charles Hubbell painting called the Rockets' Red Glare depicts the Congreve rockets the British used in their attack on Havre de Grace.
Image courtesy of NASA

Inset
Congreve 12-pound Shell Rocket, circa 1808. Congreve rockets were used by the British to create chaos and terror as they raided Havre de Grace during the War of 1812.
Image - Brown University Library
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail marker series.
 
Location. 39° 32.378′ N, 76° 5.099′ 
Screaming Rockets Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, April 3, 2013
2. Screaming Rockets Marker
W. Marker is in Havre de Grace, Maryland, in Harford County. Marker can be reached from Commerce Street. Touch for map. Marker is on the Havre de Grace Promenade near the Concord Point Lighthouse end. Marker is in this post office area: Havre de Grace MD 21078, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. America's 25th Earth Day (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to Our Wetland Home (within shouting distance of this marker); President William J. Clinton (within shouting distance of this marker); Principio Destroyed (within shouting distance of this marker); Birds by the Bay (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Crucial Connection (about 300 feet away); British Landing (about 300 feet away); Susquehanna River/Chesapeake Bay (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Havre de Grace.
 
Regarding Screaming Rockets. Congreve rockets were used primarily to cause a fire when they exploded. Only two people were killed by direct hits from these rockets during the War of 1812. The first was one of the fleeing militiamen from Havre de Grace who received a direct hit.
 
Categories. War of 1812
 
Congreve Rocket being launched image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, April 6, 2013
3. Congreve Rocket being launched
Diagram of Congreve Rocket image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, April 6, 2013
4. Diagram of Congreve Rocket
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 6, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 310 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 6, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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