Baltimore Battle Monument
Public Art: Baltimore Battle Monument
Sculptor: © Antonio Capellano
Architect: The column was designed by French
architect J. Maximilian M. Godefroy (1765 – c 1838)
Description: The 39ft Battle Monument commemorates
the Battle of Baltimore (when the British Fleet attempted to take Fort McHenry in 1814). The
monument features an Egyptian Revival cenotaph base with a griffin sitting on each corner . It has
been suggested on various websites that the 20 layers of marble that make up the cenotaph base represent
the 20 star flag that became the Official United States Flag on April 13th, 1818 during the time the
Battle Monument was being built, but I have yet to verify this. On top of the base is a Roman column, which
is bound by cords and lists all the souls who died during the battle (starting with officers at the top). At the
top of the column is Capello's female statue fondly referred to as Lady Baltimore. She represents victory,
with a crown upon her head and a laurel wreath in her right hand, lifted high into the air. Her left
hand rests on a ship's rudder. On October 2013 the statue was taken down off its column and relocated to the
Maryland Historical Society to prevent further damage and wear. In its place now stands a concrete replica.
Date Unveiled: The Battle Monument was built between
1815-25 and the Lady Baltimore statue was hoisted into position on Defenders Day, September 12, 1822.
Location: The Baltimore Battle Monument is located in
Battle Monument Square on North Calvert Street between East Fayette and East Lexington Streets in Baltimore,
Things That You May Not Know About the Baltimore Battle
The French architect Godefroy won the commission to build the monument a year after the battle.
He also hired Italian artist Antonio Capellano to create the statue and relief.
While Capellano hung around, waiting for Godefroy to get going on the monument he was hired by
Robert Cary Long Sr to create some reliefs for Old St Paul's Church.
The monument is depicted on both the seal of the City of Baltimore (1827) and on the city's flag
(early 20th century).
The site of the Battle Monument was originally earmarked for the Washington Monument, for which the
cornerstone had already been laid on the 4th of July, 1815. But due to fears the Washington Monument was too
tall and could potentially fall onto nearby townhouses a new location was found.