Chesapeake Theater Continued (Part Two)

Hampton Roads Naval Museum
One Waterside Drive
Norfolk, Virginia 23510
(757) 322-2987

This fine local museum offers a highly informative display on the Battle of Craney Island fought on June 21, 1813. The island was the lynchpin for the defenses protecting the Elizabeth River, the Norfolk Naval Yard, and the U.S. frigate Constellation. The British attack proved a calamity of errors when landing craft ran aground on shoals and became easy targets for American artillery.

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Havre de Grace Potato Battery
Concord and Lafayette Streets
Havre de Grace, Maryland 21078
(410) 939-3213

In April 1813, the town of Havre de Grace, Maryland was attacked by amphibious British forces led by Admiral George Cockburn. Local citizenry and militia attempted unsuccessfully to resist, and the British burned the town. A pair of historical markers describing the attack on Havre de Grace can be found on Concord Point as well as an antique cannon said to have been used in the battle. The cannon was part of a so-called “potato battery” which fired potato-sized rounds at the enemy ships. It is said that artilleryman John O’Neil refused to leave his cannon when his comrades retreated. As a reward for his considerable bravery, O’Neil was later named keeper of the nearby Concord Point Lighthouse which still stands and remains in operation to this day.

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Francis Scott Key Monument
Eutaw and West Lanvale Streets
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
(410) 659-7300 (Baltimore Visitors Center)

This fountain monument shows Francis Scott Key standing in a rowboat as he returns from the British ship from which he watched the enormous U.S. battle flag flying during the bombardment of Baltimore. Looking up toward a bronze statue of Columbia holding the flag, Key offers his poem. This evocative monument is located in Eutaw Place Park near the junction of West Lanvale and Eutaw Streets.

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Lewes Cannonball House
110 Shipcarpenter Street
(302) 645-7670 (The Lewes Historical Society)

In April of 1813, a sizeable British fleet descended on the coastal town of Lewes, Delaware and demanded supplies. When the residents refused to meet these demands, the British opened fire, bombarding the town on and off for nearly two days. Lewes suffered little damage, but a cannonball hit the home of two local boat pilots, David Rowland and Gilbert McCracken, embedding itself in a wall. The Cannonball House, as it came to be known, is now the Lewes Maritime Museum, which houses many fascinating artifacts from the war era.


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