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

Fight for the Cantonment Area

The Americans’ Last Stand

 
 
Fight for the Cantonment Area Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 10, 2014
1. Fight for the Cantonment Area Marker
Inscription. The Americans suffered heavy losses and were ordered to retire and form a new defense line at their wooden barracks. it was here that some of the most intense hand-to-hand combat occurred. The U.S. regulars were trapped in their rooms stubbornly holding back the British forces sweeping around them. The British, raked by direct fire from cannon mounted on Fort Tompkins, were unable to gain access to the fort. A furious bullet and bayonet fight continued through the windows of the barracks as the exhausted defenders began a pre-planned retreat to Fort Volunteer across the bay.

Following the battle, the barracks in the cantonment were enlarged and strengthened with blockhouses, as shown in this 1814 map by Daniel Rose, an army engineer. Courtesy of the National Archives.

Centennial Park
The 4.69 acre site upon which Smith's Cantonment once stood was recognized soon after the war of 1812 as hallowed ground. During the 1870s, the site became a popular meeting place for patriotic celebrations and village events. The monument was dedicated in 1913 as part of the celebrations marking the battle's centennial. New York State took ownership of the park in 1932. Soon after, the Civilian Conservation Corps built the park's stone wall and replanted maple trees.

The cantonment site
Fight for the Cantonment Area Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 10, 2014
2. Fight for the Cantonment Area Marker
A close-up view of the diagram of the 1814 strengthened cantonment.
was an open field until 1905 when 100 maple trees were planted in "Fort Tompkins Park" in preparation for a celebration of the centennial of the Battle of Sackets Harbor in 1913.

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Assemblyman Lewis Day at the unveiling of the battlefield monument, May 19, 1913. Courtesy of the franklin D. Roosevelt Library-Museum, Hyde Park, New York.

 
Erected by State of New York. (Marker Number 7.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Civilian Conservation Corps marker series.
 
Location. 43° 56.994′ N, 76° 7.592′ W. Marker is in Sackets Harbor, New York, in Jefferson County. Marker can be reached from Washington Street east of Ontario Street. Touch for map. This historical marker is located near the southeastern edge of the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Park, near the Lake Ontario shore line, along the walking trail, a short distance north the parking lot at the end of Washington Street. Marker is in this post office area: Sackets Harbor NY 13685, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to Sackets Harbor Battlefield (within shouting distance of this marker); 1913 Centennial Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Smoothbore Muzzle Loader Cannon
Fight for the Cantonment Area Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 10, 2014
3. Fight for the Cantonment Area Marker
Close-up view of the historical marker's picture of Roosevelt and Day at the 1913 centennial celebration of the Battle of Sackets Harbor.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Tompkins (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); American Dragoon Commander Wounded (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Tompkins (about 400 feet away); The British Withdrawal (about 500 feet away); The British Advance is Halted (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sackets Harbor.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar of 1812
 
Fight for the Cantonment Area Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 10, 2014
4. Fight for the Cantonment Area Marker
Close-up view of the Centennial Park that is displayed on the historical marker.
Fight for the Cantonment Area Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 10, 2014
5. Fight for the Cantonment Area Marker
View of the historical marker with the Battlefield Park in the background.
Fight for the Cantonment Area Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 10, 2014
6. Fight for the Cantonment Area Marker
View of the historical marker, looking south towards the location where the battlefield walking trail begins at the edge of the parking lot.
Fight for the Cantonment Area Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 10, 2014
7. Fight for the Cantonment Area Marker
View of the historical marker, looking north along the battlefield walking trail.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 30, 2014, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 267 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on July 30, 2014, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.
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