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Plattsburgh in Clinton County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Pike’s Cantonment

 
 
Pike’s Cantonment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, September 21, 2019
1. Pike’s Cantonment Marker
Inscription.  
If you were here in the late-fall of 1812, you'd see neat lines of two-man tents stretching down to the Saranac River. Those canvas shelters, which provided little protection against sleet, snow, and bitter winds, were filled with 700 soldiers suffering from dysentery, pneumonia, and measles. Each slept under a small blanket on pine boughs laid over frozen ground.

On November 25th, 1,300 additional wet and discouraged troops limped into camp. They had marched 10 days - some without shoes - in General Henry Dearborn's ill-fated attempt to capture Montreal. Dearborn was stopped at Lacolle, Quebec after a "friendly-fire” incident reversed a victory into a retreat. In a pre-dawn raid, a detachment led by Colonel Zebulon Pike drove Canadian and Indian defenders from a blockhouse only to be fired upon by other American reinforcements. The Americans withdrew ahead of the rallying Canadian forces, leaving behind two dead, five missing and 13 wounded.

Worsening weather, no tents, and low rations combined with his militia refusing to cross the Canadian border forced Dearborn to return here. Put in charge of the cantonment,
Pike’s Cantonment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, September 21, 2019
2. Pike’s Cantonment Marker
Looking towards the marker in the direction of the cantonment site and the Saranac River. The marker is shown on the map on the marker at the yellow star in upper left corner.
Pike ordered log huts to be built by Christmas Day. More than 200 men, however, died from disease and exposure before spring.

In March 1813, Pike and 400 men marched west to defend Sacketts Harbor, New York. Some men froze to death en route. Pike later led a successful assault on York (Toronto) where he was killed.

On July 31, 1813, the vacant cantonment was burned during British Lieutenant Colonel John Murray's raid on Plattsburgh.

C'est sur ce site que se dressait, à la fin de l'automne 1812, des rangées de tentes à deux hommes déployées jusqu'à la rivière Saranac. Offrant peu de protection contre le froid et le vent; ces abris de toile abritaient plus de 700 soldats, plusiéurs souffrant de dysenterie, pneumonie et rougeole. Chaque homme dormait sous une mince couverture et sur un sol glacé recouvert de branches de pin.

Le 25 novembre, 1,300 hommes trempés et découragés arrivèrent au camp. Après leur vaine tentative de capture de Montréal sous le commandement du général Henry Dearborn, ils furent stoppés à nouveau à Lacolle après qu'un incident vit une victoire se changer en retraite forcée. En effet, avant l'aube, un détachement dirigé par le colonel Zebulon Pike avait chassé les canadiens et indiens d'un bastion fortifié pour se voir immédiatement attaqué par des forces amies américaines de renfort. Le canadiens regroupèrent et
Pike’s Cantonment Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel
3. Pike’s Cantonment Marker
an adjacent marker
obligèrent les américains à retraites laissant derrière 2 morts, 5 disparus et 13 blessés.

Le mauvais temps, le manque d'abris et de nourriture et le refus de la milice à croiser de nouveau la frontière canadienne força le général Dearborn à retourner ici. Mis en charge du camp, Pike donna l'ordre de construire des cabanes en rondins avant Noel. Ravagés par la maladie, plus de 200 hommes périrent avant le printemps.

En mars 1813, le colonel Pike accompagné de 400 hommes marcha vers l'ouest pour défendre Sacketts Harbor, New York. Plusieurs hommes moururent de froid en route. Pike devait éventuellement rendre l'âme à York (maintenant Toronto) où il dirigea une offensive couronnée de succès.

Le 31 juillet 1813, le cantonnement vacant fut brûlé par le lieutenant colonel britannique John Murray durant son raid sur Plattsburgh.

Photos and Illustrations (starting top and going clockwise):
A map of the fortifications around Plattsburgh. The cantonment was burned during a British raid a year prior to the battle.
Une carte des fortifications entourant la ville de Plattsburgh en 1814. Le camp fût détruit par les flammes pendant un raid britannique un an avant la bataille.

General Henry Dearborn by Gilbert Stuart.
Le général Henry Dearborn de l’artiste Gilbert Stuart.

Bullets holes from the War
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of 1812 are still visible in the Lacolle Mills Blockhouse. Open to the public, it is located just over the border in Quebec on Route 223.

Les trous de balle de la guerre de 1812 sont toujours visibles sur cette fortification de Lacolle Mills. Ouvert au public, ce blockhaus se situe juste après la frontière au Québec sur la route 223.

Colonel Zebulon Pike in 1813.
Le colonel Zebulon Pike en 1813.
 
Location. 44° 40.35′ N, 73° 28.962′ W. Marker is in Plattsburgh, New York, in Clinton County. Marker is on New York State Route 22 1.6 miles north of Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87), on the left when traveling north. Marker overlooks the Plattsburgh Airport. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Plattsburgh NY 12901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Pike's Cantonment (here, next to this marker); FB-111A Strategic Bomber (approx. 1.8 miles away); B-47 Strato-Jet Bomber Memorial (approx. 1.9 miles away); Headquarters Plattsburgh Barracks (approx. 1.9 miles away); Old Post Cemetery (approx. 1.9 miles away); Troop Barracks (approx. 1.9 miles away); The Remarkable One-Armed Joe Forkey (approx. 1.9 miles away); Plattsburgh Barracks Veterans Park (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Plattsburgh.
 
Also see . . .
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1. Zebulon Pike. Pikes Peak in Colorado was named after this general. (Submitted on October 8, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.) 

2. Henry Dearborn, Wikipedia article. (Submitted on October 8, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
3. The War of 1812, Wikipedia article. (Submitted on October 8, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar of 1812
 

More. Search the internet for Pike’s Cantonment.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 10, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 7, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 7, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.
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