Wed, March 19, 2014
Through the Perilous Fight: Six Weeks that Saved the Nation (War of 1812, Chesapeake Campaign)
All lectures are held in the multipurpose rooms of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The building opens at 6:30 p.m., the talk begins at 7:15 p.m., and the question period concludes around 8:30 p.m. All are welcome, and the event is free! For further information, please call 717-245-3972
March 19, 2014 (Wednesday)
Before the USS Maine, Pearl Harbor, or the attacks on 9-11-01, the United States suffered an often forgotten national tragedy: the burning of Washington, DC in 1814. Washington Post correspondent Steve Vogel’s second book, Through the Perilous Fight: Six Weeks that Saved the Nation, will focus on the events surrounding the British campaign during the War of 1812, which included burning the Capitol Building and the White House. He will tell the story of the fateful summer of 1814, when the United States was on the brink of defeat at the hands of its former masters. Vogel’s character-driven narrative highlights both the American and British main players in the Burning of Washington and the Battle of Baltimore. While President James Madison and Secretary of State James Monroe contemplated American defense, British Admiral George Cockburn and his men invaded Washington and burnt city landmarks in an attempt to cripple the government and crush the American spirit. After the attack, American troops regrouped and successfully defended Baltimore, changing the outcome of the war. During the Battle of Baltimore, a Washington lawyer, Francis Scott Key, witnessed this “perilous fight” and composed “Defense of Fort M’Henry,” a poem eventually turned to song and renamed, “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Steve Vogel is a reporter on the National staff for The Washington Post. He covers the federal government, specializing in military and veterans’ issues. From 1989 to 1994, he reported first-hand accounts of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, and U.S. military operations in Africa and the Middle East. Vogel’s reporting on the war in Afghanistan contributed to a selection of Washington Post articles nominated for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize. He covered the September 11th attack on the Pentagon and followed its reconstruction, leading to his first book, The Pentagon: A History, published in 2007 by Random House. Vogel is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and earned a master’s degree in international public policy from John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.