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Seeing Stars The Battle of Fort McHenry, Part 2



Seeing Stars The Battle of Fort McHenry, Part 2
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.42

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    camped, clop-clopped, downriver, ducked, evans, militia, opening, sergeant, studded, urgent, moat, booms, ghostly, ashes, fell, hearing
     content words:    North Point, Fort McHenry, General Ross, Sergeant Harris


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Seeing Stars The Battle of Fort McHenry, Part 2
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     Every bump of the wagon wheels made Thomas gloomier. It just wasn't fair. The closer he got to the city, the more he wanted to be back at the fort. It was now early afternoon. The redcoats had landed at North Point that morning. British ships had dropped the soldiers off. Then the fleet had sailed toward Fort McHenry.
 
2     At least the British ships couldn't close in on Baltimore. Col. Evans' soldiers had taken care of that. Weeks ago, old ships had been sunk in the opening. Now the water was too shallow for ships to pass. The British would have to attack from far out in the sea.
 
3     The battle could begin at any moment. Thomas groaned. How could he bear to be away at a time like this? Just then, a horse clattered up the road from the fort. On its back rode a man in uniform. Caleb! Thomas jumped to his feet.
 
4     "Come on, Tommy!" Caleb grabbed him. "Sorry, Mother." Caleb paused as his mother reached out to stop them. "Orders! Father needs him at the fort. Don't worry. I'll watch out for the little sprout." Thomas caught hold of Caleb's saddle. His big brother boosted him up. They were off at full speed.
 
5     "Well, Sprout, you got your wish," Caleb grunted. "We need a runner. The Major asked for a little bug like you." He grinned down at Thomas. The boy grinned back and held on.

Paragraphs 6 to 14:
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