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Re: [WarOf1812] Star Spangled Banner

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  • 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 1 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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