How to Use the Images
Illustration 1: Fort McHenry in 1814
(Historic American Buildings Survey)
When it was built between 1794 and 1802, Fort McHenry’s basic form was essentially the same as it is today. The fort was modernized and strengthened in 1813 in anticipation of a British attack.
Questions for Illustration 1
1. Identify and describe the various elements shown in this drawing. Armistead mentions the possibility that the British might try a land attack. How many barriers would they have to fight their way through to get into the fort? Where is the main entrance? What protects it?
2. Why do you think people called forts like Fort McHenry “star forts”? Look carefully at this drawing. What advantages might a fort shaped like this have?
3. Refer to Map 1. What advantages would a star fort have in Fort McHenry’s location?
4. Where did the fort’s designers expect attacks to come from?
5. Refer back to Reading 1. Can you identify the location of each of the units Major Armistead mentions?
Click for a larger version of Illustration 1.