Baltimore Quotes of War:1814

“We should have to fight hereafter, not for ‘free trade and sailors’ rights,’ not for the conquest of the Canadas, but for our national existence.” (Captain Joseph Hopper Nicholson, May 20, 1814)

“I think the handsomest sight I ever saw was during the bombardment to see the bums and rockets flying and the firing from our three forts. It was much handsomer at night than in the day…I could see plenty of redcoats but could not get within musket shot of them” (Lt. John Harris, U.S. Marine Corps, Hampstead Hill, September 27, 1814.)

“…after a night of awful darkness, interrupted by the yet more awful fires of bombardment, while the thunder of hostile squadrons poured its long and terrific echo from hill to hill around our alters and our homes, our wives and children, the flag of the Republic waves on our ramparts; scattering from every undulation, through an atmosphere of glory, the defiance of the free, and the gratitude of the delivered…” (Sermon, Reverend James Inglis, First Presbyterian Church to the 1st Regiment, Maryland Artillery , October 2, 1814.)

We could see the shot strike the frigates in several instances, when every heart was gladdened, and we gave three cheers, the music playing Yankee Doodle.” (Private Isaac Munroe, U.S. Volunteers, Fort McHenry, September 17, 1814.)

“…the houses in the city were shaken to their foundations for never, perhaps from the time of invention of cannon to the present day, were the number of pieces fired with so rapid a succession….” (Niles’ Weekly Register, September 1814.)

“It is, at this moment, said the enemy are now standing up the river for this place with about 40 sail. I shall stay by my ship and take no part in the militia fight.” (Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, US frigate Java, Fells point, September 12, 1814)

“The attack on Fort McHenry, by nearly the whole British fleet was distinctly seen from Federal Hill, and from the tops of houses which were covered with men, women, and children…the whole awful spectacle of shot and shells, and rockets, shooting and bursting through the air.” (Salem Gazette, Massachusetts, September 28, 1814)

“At the first dawn, every eye was directed towards the Fort, to see whether the American banner still waved there; and when the morning mists had sufficiently dispersed, we were filled exultation at beholding the stars and stripes still floating in the breeze.” (Private John Dagg, 57th Virginia Regt., Federal Hill, September 1814)

“All this night the bombardment continued with unabated vigor; the hissing of rockets and the fiery shells glittered in the air, threatening destruction as they fell; whilst to add solemnity to this scene devastation, the rain fell in torrents – the thunder broke in mighty peals after each successive flash of lightening, that for a moment illuminated the surrounding darkness…” (Midshipman Robert Barrett, HM frigate Hebrus, September 1814)

“All hearts and able hands have cordially united in the common cause…At this moment we cannot have less than 10,000 men under arms…all sorts of people, old and young, white and black, in so much we expect that every vulnerable point will be strongly fortified.” (George Douglass, Merchant, Baltimore, September 2, 1814)

“Your birthplace may be in different countries, and your national names different. – But united with us in affection and interest, asserting our cause against an implacable enemy, you are one with us…prepare the musket; sharpen the bayonet; take the tent for your house; and your dinner from the knapsack…A Militia Man of 1776.” (Baltimore Patriot, August 22, 1814)

“After a night of awful darkness…while the thunder of hostile squadrons poured its long and terrific echo from hill around our altars and our homes, our wives and children, the flag of the Republic waves on our ramparts; scattering from every undulation, through an atmosphere of glory, the defiance of the fire and the gratitude of the delivered.” (Baltimore Mayor Edward Johnson, November 5, 1814)

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Published in: on March 12, 2011 at 10:16 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Scott: Another masterpiece that I am only just getting around to reading. I have made your blog compulsory reading for my seminar this semester.

    Where are the George Douglass papers? Do you have a copy of the source of the quote you use that I may have?

    Ed Papenfuse


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