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The Star-Spangled Banner - John Carpenter

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by John A. Carpenter

On August 18, 1814, Admiral Cockburn, having returned with his
fleet from the West Indies, sent to Secretary Monroe at
Washington, the following threat:

SIR:  Having been called upon by the Governor-General of the
Canadas to aid him in carrying into effect measures of
retaliation against the inhabitants of United States for the
wanton destruction committed by their army in Upper Canada, it
has become imperiously my duty, in conformity with the
Governor-General's application, to issue to the naval forces
under my command an order to destroy and lay waste such towns and
districts upon the coast as may be found assailable.

His fleet was then in the Patuxent River, emptying into the
Chesapeake Bay.  The towns immediately "assailable," therefore,
were Baltimore, Washington, and Annapolis.

Landing at Benedict's, on the Patuxent, the land forces,
enervated by a long sea-voyage, marched the first day to
Nottingham, the second to Upper Marlborough.  At the latter
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