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Saturday, 2 September 2017

Save Sackets Harbor

Save Sackets Harbor

Earlier this year, you and I preserved our very first piece of hallowed ground at a battlefield from the War of 1812. This land Horse Island at Sackets Harbor, New York was the site of an amphibious assault in which British troops overwhelmed a few hundred Albany Volunteers. But that was only the first phase of a larger battle that spread to the New York shoreline the first chapter in the story of the Battle of Sackets Harbor.

As you may recall, British forces under Sir George Prevost, Canada’s governor general, attacked the U.S. naval base at Sackets Harbor in the predawn hours of May 29, 1813 payback for the American raid on York earlier that year. However, American General Jacob Brown anticipated such an attack, and had months to plan. Horse Island—the land you and I saved this year offered the only place for British infantry to land, but it was connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway of rocks and sand. Brown planned to concede Horse Island if necessary and prepare to defeat the British on the New York shores of Lake Ontario.

As expected, the British came ashore on Horse Island and, after defeating a small force of Albany Volunteers, chased the Americans across the causeway. But once across, they received an unsettling welcome: American artillery crashing down among their ranks. After driving off another band of New Yorkers, Prevost’s forces assaulted the town, only to run headlong into well-entrenched U.S. Regulars. Seeing that his ultimate objective destruction of the naval base at Sackets Harbor could not be achieved, Prevost ordered his troops back to their boats.

You and I now have the opportunity to save a small-but-crucial tract associated with the second phase of the fighting: the crossing of the causeway. This one-third-acre property sits where the wartime causeway met the shore of Lake Ontario land over which American and British forces would have fought in 1813. We can not only save this site for $10,035 and add to the land preserved by the Civil War Trust, but further help tell the story of a key battle in America’s second war of independence.

Campaign 1776
The Civil War Trust