During the War of 1812, British forces sailed to Baltimore, Maryland, intent on attacking the city. But Baltimore was defended by Fort McHenry — a star-shaped fort perfectly situated on the Baltimore Harbor. On the morning of September 13, 1814, the British navy attacked the fort for 25 hours. Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombardment from a ship in Baltimore harbor and expressed his gratitude and relief at the victory in a poem that became "The Star-Spangled Banner."

A Century of Service

Following the Battle of Baltimore, Fort McHenry remained an active military site for more than 100 years. During the Civil War, the fort served as a prison for Confederate soldiers and sympathizers, and during World War I, it was used as an army hospital for soldiers and veterans.

More about Fort McHenry

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