Print by J. Bower, Philadelphia, 1816. One of the soldiers who was in the fort during the 25-hour bombardment wrote, “We were like pigeons tied by the legs to be shot at.”
America’s future seemed more uncertain than ever as the British set their sights on Baltimore, Maryland, a vital seaport. On September 13, 1814, British warships began firing bombs and rockets on Fort McHenry, which protected the city’s harbor. The bombardment continued for twenty-five hours while the nation awaited news of Baltimore’s fate.