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Not to be confused with Fort Henry (disambiguation). Fort McHenry National Monument IUCN Category III (Natural Monument) Location Baltimore, Maryland, USA Coordinates 39°15′47″N 76°34′48″W / 39.26306°N 76.58°W / 39.26306; -76.58Coordinates: 39°15′47″N 76°34′48″W / 39.26306°N 76.58°W / 39.26306; -76.58 Area 43 acres (0.17 km²) Established March 3, 1925 Established: March 3, 1925 Visitors 731,886   (in 2007) Governing body National Park Service Fort McHenry, in Baltimore, Maryland, is a star shaped fort best known for its role in the War of 1812 when it successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy in the Chesapeake Bay. It was during this bombardment of the fort that Francis Scott Key was inspired to write "The Star-Spangled Banner", the poem that would eventually be set to the tune of the "To Anacreon in Heaven", to become the national anthem of the United States. Designed by Frenchman Jean Foncin[1] in 1798 and named after James McHenry, a Scots-Irish immigrant and surgeon-soldier who became Secretary of War under President Washington, Fort McHenry was built after America won its independence to defend the important Port of Baltimore from future enemy attacks. It was positioned on the Locust Point peninsula which juts into the opening of Baltimore Harbor, and was constructed in the form of a five-pointed star surrounded by a dry moat — a deep, broad trench. The moat would serve as a shelter from which musketmen might defend the fort from a land attack. In case of such an attack on this first line of defense, each point, or bastion, was fortified, so that the invading army would be caught in a crossfire of cannon and musket fire. Contents 1 War of 1812 2 Star Spangled Banner 3 Prison 4 Hospital 5 Coast guard base 6 National monument 7 Gallery 8 See also 9 References 10 External links // War of 1812 Adjacent to Fort McHenry lies a monument of Orpheus that is dedicated to the soldiers of the fort and Francis Scott Key. Beginning at 6:00 A.M. on September 13, 1814, British warships continuously bombarded the fort for 25 hours.[2] The American defenders had 18, 24, and 38 pound (8, 11 and 17 kg) cannons with a maximum range of 1.5 miles (2.4 km). The British had a range of 2 miles (3 km) with their cannons, and their rockets had a 1.75-mile (2.8-km) range, but they were not very accurate. The British ships were unable to pass Fort McHenry and penetrate Baltimore Harbor because of defenses including a chain of 22 sunken ships, and the American cannon. They were, however, able to come close enough at maximum range to fire rockets and mortars on the fort. Due to the poor accuracy of the British weapons at maximum range, and the limited range of the American guns, very little damage was done on either side, but the British ceased their attack on the morning of September 14, 1814,[3] and the naval part of the British invasion of Baltimore had been repulsed. The Americans were under the command of Brevet Lt. Col. George Armistead. They did suffer casualties, amounting to four killed and twenty-four wounded, including one African American soldier and a woman who was cut in half by a bomb as she carried supplies to the troops. At one point during the bombardment, a bomb crashed through the fort's powder magazine. Fortunately for the defenders, either the fuse was extinguished by the rain or the bomb was merely a dud.[citation needed] Star Spangled Banner Flag that flew over Fort McHenry in 1814 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 exactly $405.90[4] in anticipation of the British attack on the fort. When Key saw the flag emerge intact in the dawn of September 14,[3] he was so moved that he began that morning to compose the poem "The Defence of Fort McHenry" which would later be renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner" and become America's national anthem. Prison 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. Among the imprisoned were Baltimore Mayor George William Brown, the city council, and the police commissioner. Ironically, Francis Scott Key's grandson, Francis Key Howard, was one of these political detainees. Fort McHenry was also used as an artillery training post during this time period, from when the Rodman guns presently located and displayed at the fort originated Jim Bailey, National Park Service. Hospital 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. Coast guard base During World War II Fort McHenry served as a Coast Guard base, helping to defend the port of Baltimore from invasion. National monument 15-star/15-stripe U.S. flag that flies over the Fort 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 vital 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, which increases its appeal with tourists. 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. 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 current Governor of Maryland, who was made the unit's honorary colonel in 2003. Fort McHenry was named after early American statesman James McHenry (November 16, 1753 – May 3, 1816), who was a signer of the United States Constitution from Maryland. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from Maryland, and the third United States Secretary of War (1796–1800), under presidents George Washington and John Adams. 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. Gallery Historical re-enactment at Fort McHenry Fort McHenry The sally port (main entrance) into Fort McHenry. See also List of forts Fort McHenry Tunnel - opened November 23, 1985; passes just a few hundred feet south of Fort McHenry War of 1812 portal References ^ J.E. Kaufmann, J.E., & Idzikowski, Tomasz. (2005) Da Capo Press. "Fortress America" Electronic version, 144. ^ George, Christopher T. (2000). Terror on the Chesapeake: The War of 1812 on the Bay, p.145-148. White Mane Books, Shippensburg, PA. ^ a b "A Moment of Triumph". Retrieved 12 January 2009.  ^ Smithsonian flag receipt External links Official NPS website: Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine Fort McHenry Guard British Attack on Ft. McHenry Launched from Bermuda Fort McHenry is part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network Weather & Maps - Unearthed Outdoors Baltimore, Maryland, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary Ft. McHenry on Google Street View 2008 Photo Feature v • d • e Protected Areas of Maryland Federal National Historic Parks, Sites & Monuments Antietam National Battlefield • Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park • Clara Barton National Historic Site • Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine • Hampton National Historic Site • Monocacy National Battlefield • Thomas Stone National Historic Site National Park Service Parks Catoctin Mountain Park • Fort Foote Park • Fort Washington Park • Glen Echo Park • Greenbelt Park • Harmony Hall • Oxon Cove Park and Oxon Hill Farm • Piscataway Park National Wildlife Refuges Blackwater  • Eastern Neck • Martin • Patuxent Research Refuge  • Susquehanna River National Trails System Appalachian Trail • Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail • Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail • Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Other Protected Areas Assateague Island National Seashore • Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network • Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve State State Parks Assateague • Big Run • Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park • Calvert Cliffs • Casselman River Bridge • Chapel Point • Cunningham Falls • Dans Mountain • Deep Creek Lake • Elk Neck • Fort Frederick • Fort Tonoloway • Gambrill • Gathland • Greenbrier • Greenwell • Gunpowder Falls • Hart-Miller Island • Herrington Manor • Janes Island • Jonas Green • Martinak • Matapeake • New Germany • North Point • Palmer • Patapsco Valley • Patuxent River • Pocomoke River • Point Lookout • Purse • Rocks • Rocky Gap • Rosaryville • Sandy Point • Seneca Creek • Smallwood • South Mountain • St. Clement's Island • St. Mary's River • Susquehanna • Swallow Falls • Tuckahoe • Washington Monument • Wye Oak State Forests Cedarville • Chesapeake • Doncaster • Elk Neck • Garrett • Green Ridge • Pocomoke • Potomac-Garrett • Savage River • Seth • Stoney • Wicomico Wildlife Management Areas Avondale • Belle Grove • Billmeyer • Bowen • Cedar Island • Cedar Point • Cheltenham • Chicamuxen • Dan's Mountain • Deal Island • Diersson • E.A. Vaughn • Earlville • Ellis Bay • Fairmount • Fishing Bay • Frederick City Watershed • Grove Farm • Gwynnbrook • Heater's Island • Hugg-Thomas • Idylwild • Indian Springs • Islands of the Potomac • Isle of Wight • Johnson • Le Compte • Linkwood • McKee-Beshers • Maryland Marine Properties • Millington • Mt. Nebo • Myrtle Grove • Nanticoke River • Old Bohemia • Pocomoke River • Prather’s Neck • Pocomoke Sound • Sideling Hill • Sinepuxent Bay • South Marsh • Strider • Taylors Island • Warrior Mountain • Wellington Natural Environment Areas Belt Woods • Dundee • Governor Parris N. Glendening • Mattawoman • Morgan Run • Severn Run • Soldiers Delight • Zekiah Swamp County and Municipal Parks & Sanctuaries Acorn Park • Clifton Park • Constitution Park • Fort Smallwood Park • Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary • Lake Centennial • Lake Elkhorn • Lakelands Park • Oregon Ridge Park • Patterson Park • Robert E. Lee Memorial Park Non-governmental Parks & Sanctuaries Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Sanctuary • Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary • Sherwood Gardens • Somers Cove Marina • Sugarloaf Mountain • Western Maryland Rail Trail • Youghiogheny Scenic & Wild River Maryland Department of Natural Resources (web): Maryland Park Service (web) and Maryland Forest Service v • d • e U.S. National Register of Historic Places Keeper of the Register · History of the National Register of Historic Places · Property types · Historic district · Contributing property List of entries · National Park Service · National Historic Landmarks · National Battlefields · National Historic Sites · National Historical Parks · National Memorials · National Monuments v • d • e Maryland in the American Civil War Battles Maryland Campaign · Battle of Antietam · Battle of Boonsboro · Battle of Crampton's Gap · Battle of Folck's Mill · Battle of Funkstown · Battle of Hancock · Battle of Monocacy · Battle of South Mountain · Battle of Williamsport Burnside's Bridge at Antietam Events Baltimore Riot of 1861 · Ex parte Merryman · Special Order 191 · Maryland Constitution of 1864 Miscellaneous Maryland, My Maryland Museums Baltimore Civil War Museum · National Museum of Civil War Medicine · President Street Station · Surratt House Museum · USS Constellation People Maryland Civil War regiments · Soldiers and civilians Places Antietam Battlefield · Burnside's Bridge · Fort McHenry · Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area · Loudon Park Cemetery · Monocacy Battlefield · Point Lookout State Park