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175 Main St.
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
Ph: 410-535-4583
Fx: 410-535-4585
Star-Spangled Banner Trail
Star-Spangled Banner Trail signThe Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail is a 560-mile land and water route that tells the story of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake Bay region. It connects historic sites in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia and commemorates the events leading up to the Battle for Baltimore, the aftermath of which inspired Francis Scott Key to write our National Anthem. The trail traces American and British troop movements, introduces visitors to communities affected by the war, and highlights the Chesapeake region’s distinctive landscapes and waterways.Congress established the Star-Spangled Banner Trail in 2008.

War on the Chesapeake
During the War of 1812, the British occupied the Chesapeake Bay to disrupt trade, bring war to the center of the country and draw troops from the north. Waterfront towns were raided and burned at will. Southern Maryland suffered more raids and skirmishes than any other region of Maryland.

In an attempt to open the bay, a flamboyant ex-privateer, Commodore Joshua Barney, came up with a plan to use a flotilla of nimble gun boats that could access the bay’s shallow waters. Barney assembled 18 small gun boats, barges and sloops and headed down the bay in June of 1812. Barney’s Chesapeake Flotilla came upon the British fleet commanded by Rear Admiral George Cockburn at the Patuxent River. The British chased the fleet up the Patuxent where they battled on June 8-10 and again on June 26 during the Battles of St. Leonard Creek. This was the largest naval engagement in the history of Maryland. The naval engagement was supported on land by American Army, Marine and militia units. Both the land units and the flotilla engaged the British, with hundreds of shots per hour exchanged between the two forces. Today you can visit this location, now the site of Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum.

Video Preview
Maryland's Scenic Byways: Star Spangled Banner 

Additional Resources
Official website of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission

The Chesapeake Campaign

The Battles of St. Leonard Creek

Travel map and guide to War of 1812 destinations in Southern Maryland