Today’s Document from the National Archives

Document for September 14th:
Report of Lt. Col. George Armistead on the defense of Fort McHenry, September 24, 1814


Report of Lt. Col. George Armistead on the defense of Fort McHenry, September 24, 1814; Records of the Office of the Secretary of War; Record Group 107; National Archives

In this report, American Lt. Col. George Armistead described a bombardment that continued, largely unabated, for 25 hours. When Francis Scott Key, an American lawyer watching the battle from behind the British lines, saw that the American flag was still waving over Fort McHenry on the morning of September 14, he knew the fort's defenders had prevailed. He was so moved by their heroism, he wrote a poem, whose words became our national anthem on March 3, 1931.

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Yesterday's document: September 13th
Wearing a Mask Against Influenza

Tomorrow's document: September 15th
Leathernecks storm ashore at Inchon

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