“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Oswego in Oswego County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

British Invasion

The Battle of Oswego

— War of 1812 —

British Invasion Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, July 31, 2014
1. British Invasion Marker
Site of British Attacks on Fort Ontario, May 5-7, 1814
After enduring a heavy bombardment by a British fleet under the command of Sir James Yeo, and repelling an amphibious assault on May 5, 1814, 290 men of the 3rd U.S. Artillery and 200 militia under the command of Col. George Mitchell met a landing force of about 700 British troops under the command of General Sir Gordon Drummond near this spot on May 6, 1814.

1. Spare tents are erected and the militia is positioned to make the British think that the west side is fortified.   The U.S.S. Growler is intentionally sunk to prevent capture.
2. Well-aimed cannon fire and southerly winds repel first attack, but the British regroup and launch a second assault.
3. Main British force lands east of the fort.  Militia fires from positions in the woods.
4. 200 British seamen armed with pikes come ashore and storm the northwest bastion of the fort, forcing out or capturing its defenders.
5. American troops engage landing party in battle, but they are forced to fall back.
6. American flag is captured on the 4th attempt
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at climbing the pole.   American soldiers are concealed in the fort and ditch.
7. The American defenders make a fighting retreat to the south.

Failing to find supplies and munitions destined for the American naval base at Sackets Harbor, the invaders destroyed Fort Ontario before leaving on May 7, 1814.

American losses:
      13 killed, 31 wounded, 25 missing.
British losses:
      19 killed, 73 wounded.

Efforts to control shipping of supplies on the lake were at the root of contests for control of Fort Ontario from 1812-1814.

< Sidebar : >   Battle Timeline
May 5
6 am
  British fleet spotted.
      USS Growler sunk.
1 pm   British attack.
8 pm   British move off and regroup.

May 6
6 am
  British ships commence cannon fire.
Noon   British troops land.
      Fort captured.
      Americans withdraw.

May 7
      British depart.
Erected by Seaway Trail, Inc.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War of 1812. In addition, it is included in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1814.
Location. 43° 28.1′ N, 76° 30.42′ W. Marker is in Oswego, New York
British Invasion Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, July 31, 2014
2. British Invasion Marker
The British invasion fleet arrived on Lake Ontario, seen behind the marker.
, in Oswego County. Marker is on E 4th Street. Marker is located near the Fort Ontario Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Oswego NY 13126, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Ontario State Historic Site (here, next to this marker); Holocaust Survivors (within shouting distance of this marker); 12 Unknown Revolutionary Soldiers (within shouting distance of this marker); Revolutionary War Patriots Monument (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Post Cemetery (about 300 feet away); Those Buried At Fort Ontario (about 300 feet away); From the Hearth of America Come the Heart of America (about 400 feet away); Fort Ontario (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oswego.
More about this marker. The marker features a picture of the battle. British ships are in Lake Ontario, and British and American troops can be seen in and around Fort Ontario.
Also on the marker are pictures of a British Navy Officer, British Captain, US Artillery Sergeant and US Militiaman.
Also see . . .  Fort Ontario State Historic Site. NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website entry (Submitted on December 25, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
Markers at Fort Ontario image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, July 31, 2014
3. Markers at Fort Ontario
Two markers can be found at this location. The British Invasion marker is seen here on the right.
Fort Ontario image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, July 31, 2014
4. Fort Ontario
The May 1814 battle took place in and around Fort Ontario.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 1, 2014, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 583 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 1, 2014, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.

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Dec. 6, 2023