Lt. Colonel George Armistead Monument, Federal Hill

Armistead Monument

Armistead Monument

On April 25, 1818, Brevet Lt. Colonel George Armistead (1780-1818), age 38, died at the home of his brother-in-law Christopher Hughes, Jr. His funeral procession included the 1814 defenders’ of Fort McHenry and citizens who proceeded to Old St. Paul’s Cemetery while minute guns were fired from the Federal Hill Observatory. Here among the enclosing stone walls of the burying ground his remains were laid to rest. On the high earthen eminence of Federal Hill overlooking Baltimore’s waterfront is a marble monument to the commander of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

The City Spring, 1827 – Nine Years after his death the first monument was authorized by Mayor Jacob Small on March 24, 1827 and February 4, 1828 for its erection at the Old City Spring on Calvert and Saratoga Sts., the best known of the city’s many natural springs, located in what was a fashionable ornamental resort of Baltimore’s social elite. Its construction was directed by German merchants Peter Hoffman and Jesse Hollingsworth, the grounds designed by architect John Davis. By the Civil War the monument had already become dilapidated and in ruins from vandals and neglect. On September 12, 1882 was rebuilt and dedicated upon Federal Hill, a municipal park where it may be seen today.

The Monument – The monument represents “a cenotaph surmounted by a short column, and rests upon a plinth, or terrace, of the same material, forty feet square and four feet high. At each angle is placed a cannon, erect, having a [cannon] ball apparently issuing from its mouth.”

[Monument Inscriptions]

[North Side] – This monument is erected in honor of the gallant defender of Fort McHenry near this city during its bombardment by the British fleet on the 13th and 14th September 1814. He died universally esteemed and regretted on the 25th of April 1818 in the 39th year of his age.

[West side] – Appointed Second Lieutenant of 7th Infantry January 8th 1799. Appointed Ensign of Infantry January [illegible] 1799. Appointed First Lieutenant of the 7th Infantry May 14th 1800. Transferred to the 1st Regiment of Artillerists and Engineers February 16th 1804. Appointed First Lietenant in the Regiment of Artillerists April 17th 1802. Appointed Assistant Military Agent at Fort Niagara [NY] May 1802.

[East side] – Transferred to the [U.S.] Artillery Corps under the Act of May 20th 1814. Appointed Brev. Lieut. Col September 20th 1814 for gallant services in defense of Fort McHenry September 12th, 13th, and 14th 1814 [as] such from September 12th 1814.

[South side] – Erected by the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore September 12th 1882. Wm. Pinkney White, Mayor, in pursuance of a resolution approved May 3rd 1882, as a substitute for the monument erected by a former Mayor and City Council, in pursuance of resolutions approved March 4th 1827 and February 4th 1828, which stood in the Calvert street Spring grounds until it became defaced and destroyed by time during a period of thirty-five years.

Source: (Extract) The War of 1812 in Maryland: New Discoveries & Interpretations by Scott S. Sheads (2011, unpublished); Baltimore” Past and Present with Biographical Sketches of the Representative Men (Baltimore: Richardson & Bennett, 1871, 296; “Baltimore Water Works,” History of Baltimore City and County, by J. Thomas Scarf (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881); Federal Gazette, April 25, 1812; Baltimore Gazette, April 6, 1827.

Published in: on April 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm  Comments Off on Lt. Colonel George Armistead Monument, Federal Hill  
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