And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air .........

Fort McHenry Travel Blog

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Fort McHenry
     I always wanted to visit Fort McHenry.  I stood at the southern end of the peninsula the fort is situated on and strained my eyes, staring out into the bay, trying to imagine where Francis Scott Key might have stood when he watched the British bombard the fort that night.

     As it turns out, the British rockets looked like a 9 or 10 foot version of the modern bottle rocket, except the range was about 2 miles.  The cannons at the fort had a range of about a mile and a half, so I feel pretty certain that while Francis was observing the fort from a British ship, he was probably closer to 2 miles away, rather than a mile and a half.

     The visitors center was informative and contained several displays of items from the fort's heyday.
Guarding the Chesapeake Bay
  Down a short path we went to the fort itself.  You could explore most any part of the facility.  Our daughter wanted her photo taken in the jail (of course), and she had to explore every inch of the bomb shelter.  Officers and enlisted men's quarters were not large not luxurious.  The armory and powder house had walls 10 feet thick.  Wouldn't want a direct hit from a rocket making a crater out of the compound.

     Many sets of cannons on swivel mounts were placed all around the fort.  Don't know how they could really hit a ship from a mile or so away, but the cannons effectively protected the Baltimore harbor.  My wife has had enough history for the day.  She says she has earned time to do a little shopping.

     The fort was great if you like forts and such.  A definite must on a history tour.
wildntexas says:
The day we went, 4 children's choirs had come to visit the fort. None of the groups expected the other groups to be there. The children were encouraged to help raise that flag. Afterwards, the 4 groups got together and sang the Star Spangled Banner. It was amazing!!
Posted on: Jun 19, 2010
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Fort McHenry
Fort McHenry
Guarding the Chesapeake Bay
Guarding the Chesapeake Bay
3-D layout of the fort
3-D layout of the fort
Commander Armistead
Commander Armistead
Swivel mounted cannon
Swivel mounted cannon
Barracks
Barracks
Gun powder storage
Gun powder storage
Bomb shelter
Bomb shelter
Hope this is not an omen!
Hope this is not an omen!
Fort McHenry
photo by: jmaretich