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Re: [WarOf1812] Star Spangled Banner

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  • Scott Jeznach
    ... In the spirit of giving credit when credit is due, I must admit my observations were originally pointed out by LCPL Ed Seufert. When speaking with him
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 1, 2000
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      >Scott,
      >Excellent observations! If Key was indeed nine miles,
      >I thought it 3.5, away then I find it difficult to
      >believe he could actually see the Color, accounting
      >for smoke, dark of night, air quality, etc.


      In the spirit of giving credit when credit is due, I must admit my
      observations were originally pointed out by LCPL Ed Seufert. When speaking
      with him this morning, he re-iterated those observations.

      Ed also corrected me by stating F.S. Key actually had "On Anacreon In
      Heaven" in mind as he penned his poem. Something to do with the long and
      rambling pentameters lending itself to longer verse lines. It was probably
      only a year after the poem first saw light in printed hand-bills that it was
      joined with the popular melody.

      Scott J.
      Royal Marines
    • easeufe@aol.com
      In a message dated 6/1/00 12:50:56 PM Eastern Daylight Time, scottj@carr.org ... Awwww, shucks. Thanks Scott! (Mutual Admiration Society co-member) The
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 1, 2000
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        In a message dated 6/1/00 12:50:56 PM Eastern Daylight Time, scottj@...
        writes:

        > In the spirit of giving credit when credit is due, I must admit my
        > observations were originally pointed out by LCPL Ed Seufert.

        Awwww, shucks.

        Thanks Scott! (Mutual Admiration Society co-member)

        The transports that landed Ross's army would have anchored in Old Roads
        Bay, a tributary of the Patapsco, approximately 8-9 miles from Ft McHenry.
        The vessel carrying Key and his companions would have been among the
        transports. Further upriver, about 5 miles from the fort, were the frigates
        and
        lighter vessels. The bomb and rocket ships were beyond these, anchored
        2-2.5 miles from their intended target. For Key to have seen the flag at
        night,
        he would have had to stare into a rainy horizon, through a forest of masts
        and
        through a veil of smoke punctuated by explosions from the bomb and rocket
        ships and the bombs themselves.

        As already put forth, the flag that would have flown over the fort during the
        bombardment was the storm flag. It was not until morning of the 14th with the
        rain clearing AND the Royal Navy retiring down river that the "Star Spangled
        Banner" was raised. The flag supposedly remained the property of the
        Armistead family (Major Armistead, the fort's commander). The 'battle damage'
        sustained by the flag was caused by pieces being torn off and presented to
        defenders of the fort. The inverted "V" was reported to be an attempt to sew
        the
        name of 'Armistead' onto one of the white stripes.

        When we talk to the public, we ask them to think about the words of the
        National Anthem. (Of the 4 verses, most people only know of the first.) Key
        starts off by asking a question "Oh say can you see......." because it is
        obvious that he can't, due to the distance and conditions. His next
        statement
        also admits that he can't see the flag because "And the rockets red glare;
        the bombs bursting in air gave PROOF......our flag was still there". Again,
        with the
        last stanza, he questions "O say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave"
        because of his not being able to see the fort.

        To be fair to Key, there was a lull in the bombardment around midnight to
        allow for the diversionary attack up the south branch to get in place. This
        was
        was probably an anxious moment for him and his companions.

        Ed Seufert, LCpl
        1812 Royal Marines
        (The Royal Navy's Friend)
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