Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
— War of 1812 —
During the War of 1812
the young United States was embroiled in conflict with Great Britain. From 1812 to 1815 Americans fought to protect their rights and economic independence. They faced superior enemy forces on the homefront and the high seas.
The strategically important Chesapeake Bay region felt the brunt of the war, choked by shipping blockades and ravaged by enemy raids. The events in this region were crucial to the outcome of the war.
Though there was no clear victor at the end of the war, the United States protected its democracy and emerged with heightened stature on the world stage.
Explore this pivotal time in American history along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
"O! say can you see..."
The Star-Spangled Banner
National Historic Trail traces the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake. Along the trail you'll encounter tangible evidence of the war and stories that bring the people and events to life. Discover the far-reaching impacts of the war on this country and the world.
Experience the Trail
· Drive through rural landscapes and historic communities
· Paddle or cruise waterways where British and American troops once traveled
· Witness battles at reenactment events
· View the original Star-Spangled Banner flag and visit the house where it was made
· Hike or bike trails with stops at historic sites and scenic overlooks
· Join in commemorative events throughout the region
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
After a 25-hour bombardment, soldiers at Fort McHenry raised a large American flag early on September 14, 1814. That flag, signaling British retreat, inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the words that became America's national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner
Chesapeake Engagements, 1814