Col. George Armistead,
April 10, 1779 – April 25, 1818,
commander of this fort
during the bombardment
by the British Fleet,
Sept. 13-14 1814. War of 1812.
Erected Spet. 12, 1914
by the City of Baltimore,
Soc. War of 1812 . . . — — Map (db m2595) HM
The arched chambers on either side of the sally port are identical bomb shelters for the fort's soldiers. They were built immediately after the bombardment of 1814, when it became obvious that such places were needed. Fortunately, Fort McHenry was . . . — — Map (db m12246) HM
Fired by the British Naval Forces during the bombardment of this fort Sept. 13-14, 1814 when by the light of “Bombs bursting in air” the National Anthem – The Star Spangled Banner had its birth. — — Map (db m10882) HM
Fort McHenry has had several guardhouses. This one, built in 1835 and enlarged in 1857, is one of the best preserved buildings in the star fort. Soldiers on duty in this room guarded military offenders in the adjacent cells.
During the Civil . . . — — Map (db m2590) HM
The rooms on the left end of this building stood as a separate structure during the 1814 period. this was the residence of Major George Armistead, commanding officer and “Hero of Fort McHenry.”
It was Armistead who directed the . . . — — Map (db m2592) HM
After the Battle of Baltimore in 1814, Fort McHenry continued as a military post for more than a hundred years. The U.S. Army constructed buildings outside the star fort and modified existing structures to serve the needs of the time. During the . . . — — Map (db m10881) HM
Funds for developing new weapons decreased after the Civil War, forcing the Army to upgrade the cannon they already had.
These three 19-inch Rodman gun tubes were probably made during the 1870’s, but their carriages are improved versions . . . — — Map (db m2637) HM
1814 - 1914
Whetstone Point shore battery
Star Fort begun.
Later named for Washington’s Secretary of War
Reservation partly acquired by the United States
Gallant defence during British . . . — — Map (db m2569) HM
As a guardian of Baltimore’s harbor, Fort McHenry is the site of the sucessful defense of the city by American Forces during the British attack on September 12–14, 1814 which inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled . . . — — Map (db m2568) HM
When the British attacked in 1814, guns of this type – but larger – were fired from the ramparts and the water batteries near the riverbank. They kept the British warships from entering Baltimore Harbor, but they could not shoot far . . . — — Map (db m10885) HM
If you had been standing on this rampart with the American gunners on the morning of September 14, 1814, you would have had a close-up view of the dramatic scene Francis Scott Key described in our National Anthem.
About two miles downstream, . . . — — Map (db m2572) HM
The heroic bronze figure in front of you is not, as many suppose, a likeness of Francis Scott Key. The statue represents Orpheus, the artful poet, musician, and singer of Greek Mythology.
In 1914 Congress appropriated funds for a . . . — — Map (db m707) HM
This complex of earthen embankments and masonry structures has been the site of Fort McHenry’s heaviest artillery since about 1840. The U.S. Army kept this battery heavily armed during the Civil War to discourage any Confederate attempts to take . . . — — Map (db m10891) HM
Magazines are structures designed to protect gunpowder and ammunition from moisture, sparks and impact.
In 1814, a much smaller magazine stood here. During the famous bombardment, a British shell crashed into the roof, but miraculously failed . . . — — Map (db m2593) HM
Fort McHenry protected the water approaches to Baltimore for more than a hundred years, but was attacked only once. On September 13-14, 1814, British ships fired rockets and mortars at the fort for twenty-five hours. Fort McHenry withstood the . . . — — Map (db m10875) HM
Sailors provided the backbone of Baltimore’s defense during the War of 1812. A strong detachment of U.S. Navy seamen defended trenches on the outskirts of the city while members of the U.S. Chesapeake Flotilla served Fort McHenry’s largest cannons . . . — — Map (db m2588) HM
By order of the President, the flag of the United States of America flies day and night here at the place where Francis Scott Key saw it when he wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Without words, the unfurled flag answers Key’s . . . — — Map (db m2571) HM