Friday, May 24, 2013

The Miraculous Defeat of the British at Fort McHenry and a Book Giveaway!

AND THE WINNER IS KAYM!!!!!  Congratulations to Kay! And thank you all for entering!!!



I had the privilege of traveling to Baltimore, Maryland while doing research for my series, Surrender to Destiny, a romantic War of 1812 trilogy set in that fair city. Having already read so much about it, I walked around the port district in complete awe, imagining my characters walking
down those same cobblestone streets! For those of you who don't know much about this war, believe me, it's fascinating. In particular, the miracles that occurred over and over again. Against all odds, this fledgling American nation with a ragtag army and barely a navy defeated the most powerful military and navy forces of the day and sent them running for home! Only God could preform such a feat.
Another miracle occurred while I was in Baltimore. It so happened that on the EXACT day I was there, they were having a War of 1812 reenactment at Fort McHenry. This was not planned. I had no idea it was happening until I got there!  Cool huh?  Here are some pictures I took and if you don't know what happened that night, here's a summary of how this tiny fort, along with Baltimore's militia, defeated the British troops on land and sea and sent them packing for home.

At noon on September 11, 1814, the British fleet sailed to the mouth of the Patapsco River and anchored off North Point, just fourteen miles from Baltimore. Arrogantly spurred on by their successful march into Washington DC three weeks earlier, the British planned to attack the “Nest of Pirates,” as they called the city, from both land and sea. Early in the morning on September 13, while British troops advanced on land from North Point toward Baltimore, five bomb ships and several other war ships maneuvered into a semi-circle two miles from Fort McHenry. Just after dawn, the bombing commenced.
Major Armistead, commander of the fort, would later estimate that in the next twenty-five hours, the British would hurl between 1500 and 1800 exploding shells at them. A few never hit their mark, but most exploded directly over the fort, showering destruction on the defenders. One bomb exploded on the southwest bastion, destroying a twenty-four-pounder, killing Lieutenant Levi Claggett, and wounding several men. Soon after, another shell crashed through the roof of the gunpowder
magazine. By the grace of God, it did not ignite. Major Armistead soon ordered the barrels of powder removed and stored elsewhere.
While the British land invasion was failing due to the courage and preparation of Baltimore’s militia, the bombardment of Fort McHenry continued throughout the long night. Finally at 7:00 a.m. on September 14, the shelling ceased, and the British fleet withdrew. Major Armistead immediately brought down the dripping storm flag that flew over the fort and hoisted in its place the forty-two by thirty foot flag sewn by Mary Pickersgill, the action accompanied by the fort’s band playing Yankee Doodle.
Eight miles away, aboard an American truce ship, Sir Francis Scott Key, overcome with emotion 
at the sight of the flag, penned what would become our national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner Miraculously, Baltimore successfully defended itself against an attack by the greatest military and naval power on earth. The humiliating defeat suffered by the British changed the course of the war, and three months later, on Christmas eve, Britain made peace with the United States at Ghent. In Baltimore, the Niles Weekly Register announced the news with the headline: “Long live the Republic! All hail! Last asylum of oppressed humanity!”
May it ever be so!


You  also might be interested in reading the last stanza of the Star Spangled Banner.


Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

I'm GIVING AWAY a copy of SURRENDER THE DAWN,  the last book in my Surrender to Destiny Trilogy, aromantic adventurous tale of privateers that ends with the victory at Fort McHenry. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address.

64 comments:

  1. Great post! You really know how to make history come to life in your novels! No need to enter me into the drawing. God bless!

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  2. I love reading about the war of 1812. We know so little about it as Americans but so many amazing things happened in that war. I love your book! I hope I win it!! kkakins at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks Karla!! I love the War of 1812 too.. Thanks for coming by!

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  3. I love the last verse of "The Star Spangled Banner"! Actually, I love all the verses. It's more than about a great nation defending itself, but about a nation who trusts in God, and whose God defends them. Our nation would do well to remember and return to that kind of trust in God!
    Thanks, MaryLu!

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    1. Yes. the entire anthem is beautiful and there's so many references to God. I totally agree, Bethany!

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  4. I enjoyed reading this post and learned something from it. I had not read about this battle before. How cool you got do be there for a reenactment. Thank you for the chance to win this book.

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

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    1. Hi Angela! Yes, it truly was a God moment running into that reenactment. :-)

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  5. Wow, so awesome you happened to be there when they did a reenactment! I remember a little bit about it high school, but of course I don't remember much from then. Haha. I hope to instill this love of history in my kids now and teach them things like you have in your post. The stuff that isn't in history books!
    Susan P
    farmygirl at hotmail dot com

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    1. I don't remember much from High school either, Susan. ;-) History is so fascinating.. it should be taught in story form rather than in some dry textbook.. it makes it come alive and kids will remember it.. anyway just my opinion.

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    2. I totally agree! That is how I do my homeschooling with my kids - I try to teach it in story form. :) They remember so much more that way.

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  6. Very powerful words. I'm sure I've probably heard or read them before but it's been a while.
    I read the first book in the series, would love to win this one!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks Patty! I had never read the entire anthem before I started researching.. and I was shocked at the beauty of the words. :-)

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  7. Wonderful post!!! Would love to win this book. Minabucket2@Verizon.net

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    1. You're entered, Minabucket!! Thanks for coming by. :-)

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  8. I love reading about the faith of our forefathers!!! I wish as a nation we had that faith now. Would live to win a copy of your new book!!

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    1. Indeed, our nation has strayed so far from God, I imagine our forefathers wouldn't recognize it anymore. :-( Thanks for dropping by!

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  9. Great post MaryLu. I learn something every time I read some of your post or reviews. I love your books . Thanks for the giveaway. I have not read Surrender The Dawn ,the last book in this series. I have read the other two and was so good. I would love to win this book .
    Blessings,
    lizd225(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Liz!! You haven't read Surrender the Dawn yet?? My goodness, we shall have to rectify that. :-)

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  10. I loved Fort McHenry when I went to visit! Thanks for bringing the memories back :) Ninjaspy13(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. It's a beautiful fort, isn't it?? I just loved it.. and could fee the history.

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  11. I read this series and it is wonderful. That story about the fort gives me goosebumps every time!

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  12. Oh how cool! My husband does civil war reenacting it's so interesting. I haven't read this series but I think I need to now. Bookwormgal2011(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. That is so awesome your hubby does reenacting! I would love to do that if I lived out east. There's nothing to reenact out here in California. :-)

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  13. Awesome! I love that period of history!

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    1. Thanks Teish! So many people don't know much about this war...

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  14. Awesome!! I love history and I love your books! You are one of my favorite authors! I am an aspiring writer and these types of books are my favorite to read and write about. kerilynn.r.spencer@gmail.com

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    1. Bless you, Kerilynn!! And may God bless your writing too!

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  15. What a fascinating period of American history! I can only imagine what Sir Francis Scott Key must have felt as he looked at the flag. Would love to win this book, but I'll have to check out the first two as well. :)

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    1. I have a scene in the book describing how Francis Scott Key felt as he watched his country being bombed... and how he got started writing our beautiful anthem. Thanks for coming by!

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  16. What a history we have in the making of the United States! Enter me for the book please!

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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    1. I agree... our history is so interesting and full of so many miracles!

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  17. Would love to win the book. I love ALL your books! :)

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  18. Very interesting post. It is a shame that, as a nation, we no longer credit the power of God for our good fortune.
    may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. I couldn't agree more, Kay. The state of our country makes me very sad these days. That's why we who believe must get the word out. :-)

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  19. I love your posting!! I've read about this war many times, but every time it still touches me. We have so much to be thankful for. Thank you for your posting! Please enter me in your giveaway!
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Barbara!! We do have much to be thankful for in this country.

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  20. I love historical fiction! Your writings look very interesting to me.
    Thanks - Julie (pudy68 @ gmail . com)

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  21. I wish our country relied on God as much as we did back then.
    Please enter me in the giveaway.
    Blessings,Jill
    j4fortner(at)att(dot)net

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    1. Me too, Jill. I pray for this country nearly every day.

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  22. I love all the history - thanks for the great post! truckredford(at) gmail (dot)com

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  23. Love historical fiction as it gives me the opportunity to experience life in a different time . . .

    carg96@at)aol(dot)com

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    1. So true, Carol! It's like a time machine without leaving your home!

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  25. I like free books of any genre.
    deneuiocelot@gmail.com

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    1. LOL. I like free anything, too, Nettie!

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  26. I must say I love all the history (true) and as others have said you bring it life!!
    I would love a book to read...

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  27. This book sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win.
    mandaandtom(at)gmail(dot)com

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  28. Of course, the British Forces wre mainly tryign to defend Canada from invasion, and, incidentally, Britain was in the 18th Century a very devout Christian Nation.

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    1. Zarove, yes, Indeed! I agree. I meant no disrespect to Britain. I simply meant that God wanted the USA to become a separate nation and in His providence He aided the American cause. Blessings!

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  29. I see what you mean about God's miracles abounding, He was all over that battle! That was a really neat history lesson from you! I've been very anxious to read your Surrender to Destiny series and am wicked excited to get the chance to win a copy of this book.

    Thanks!
    kam110476 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thank you, Kam!! I'm wicked excited for you to win!! :-)

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    2. Wait, I'm confused. I won!?!? Or you're excited for me to win in general? Sorry, I really am confused! :-s

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  30. Interesting post - thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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  31. I love your books... I have to say though this series is one of my favourites! :)
    Have a great day!

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  32. This looks great! shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  33. Omgosh! I love Marylu Tyndall! She's my all-time favorite author! I just finished reading Surrender the Heart last week and this book would help me finish the series! Marylu Tyndall always has a way to have you hooked to the plot until you're completely finished with the book! I can't wait to read this book!
    hisprincessdaughter (at) gmail (dot) com

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