The War of 1812 in Jefferson County & Lake Ontario
The troubles that preceded the declaration of war to some degree prepared the public
for the event. On December 22, 1807 Congress laid an indefinite embargo of trade to and from England and Canada. This applied
to the inland lakes as well as the seaboard.
In the summer of 1808, Lt. Melancthon T. Woolsey was sent to Oswego to supervise the
building of the brig Oneida, which was launched in early 1809. She was built by Christian Bergh & Henry Eckford and was
pierced for 16 guns. A company of infantry under Lt. Cross was stationed at Sackets Harbor in 1808, and early in March, 1809
two detachments of militia (a total of 45 men), were taken from Sackets Harbor, twenty were stationed on the St. Lawrence
opposite Kingston and the remaining twenty-five were stationed on the Oswegatchie Road where several routes united.
The embargo had the effect of lowering the price of grain while at the same time increasing
the price of potash, which the embargo prevented from reaching England, except indirectly by way of Canada. Potash rose to
$300. per ton in Montreal, from where it could be exported without obstruction to England. There existed in Canada no law
against importing potash into the country, the only difficulty was in evading or opening defying our own laws. Potash was
brought to the northern frontier, and temporary roads were beaten through the forest in the winter by those engaged in the
illegal traffic. Among these was the embargo road, from the Black River, near Brownville, to near French Creek.
Previous to the militia being called out in early 1809, Mr. Hart Massey had seized 54
barrels of potash and pearl-ash and 20 barrels of pork near Cape Vincent. This property was promptly rescued and carried off
by 50 or 60 armed men and taken to Kingston on sleighs.
The collector at Sackets Harbor wrote to his superior on March 14, 1809: "Nature has
furnished the smugglers with the firmest ice that was ever known on this frontier. There is scarcely a place from the Oswegatchie
to Sandy Creek, a distance of 110 miles, but that the ice is good. Sleighs pass off Sackets Harbor ten miles from shore, and
all the force I can raise is not sufficient to stop them. They appear determined to evade the laws at the risk of their lives."
This open and bold defiance of laws, was not entirely due to a mercenary spirit, but
to opposition to a law which they declared unconstitutional and void. The great price received for ashes led to extensive
clearings for this object as more could be made from this than from the ordinary pursuit of farming. The embargo was lifted
in May 1810, and was again laid on April 4, 1812.
In May 1812, the Lord Nelson, a British schooner, bound for Niagara from Kingston, was
found in American waters on Lake Ontario and was captured by Lt. Woolsey and brought into Sackets Harbor, and condemned as
a lawful prize. The Lord Nelson was changed to the Scourge, and was afterwards recaptured by the enemy.
The Declaration Of War
War was declared on June 18, 1812, by a vote of 79 to 49, in the House of Representatives,
and 19 to 15 in the Senate. The event was 1st announced in Jefferson County in a letter from Governor Tompkins to Brigadier
General Jacob Brown of the Militia, dated June 23, in which he was empowered to re-enforce Col. Christopher P. Bellinger at
Sackets Harbor, with the militia of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, and to arm and equip them at the state arsenals
at Russell and Watertown, if occasion required. Col. Benedict of DeKalb, St. Lawrence county, was ordered to turn out immediately,
to guard the frontiers from Ogdensburg to St. Regis. General Brown ordered a force to be posted at Cape Vincent and Ogdensburg.
On the first announcement of war, some families left the county. The fear of Indian massacre,
which the memories of the revolution suggested, was in general the leading cause. The news of the war had scarcely reached
this frontier, when hostilities were begun in a small way, by Abner Hubbard, a revolutionary soldier, who, without authority,
and with only the aid of a man and a boy, made a descent upon Fort Carleton, near Cape Vincent, and without firing a gun,
took the garrison, consisting of 3 invalid men and 2 women, prisoners. The next day a boat was sent to the island for stores,
and the buildings were burnt.
A considerable number or militia from Jefferson County were gathered at Cape Vincent,
together with part of Colonel Bellingers force, to keep Kingston in a state of alarm. Kingston was a naval station of the
British, where armed vessels had been built for the previous two years, and from whence an attack was expected. It was expected
that the British would attempt to destroy or take our vessels at Ogdensburgh, and the Oneida, Scourge and other vessels at
To be ready for any attack, Governor Tompkins ordered cannon to be forwarded from the
state arsenals to Sackets Harbor. On July 11, 1812 two brass nine pound canons arrived at Sackets Harbor, but no nine-pound
The First Battle of Sackets Harbor:
On Sunday July 19, 1812, Captain Woolsey, of the Oneida discovered from the mast-head
of his brig, 5 British ships sailing for the harbor at Sackets Harbor, they were the Royal George, 24 guns; the Seneca, 18
guns; Prince Regent, 22 guns; Earl of Moira, 20 guns and Simcoe.
The Oneida attempted to gain the lake, but failing, returned and was moored outside of
the point with one broadside of 9 guns to the enemy, while the others were taken out and hastily placed on a breastwork on
the shore, near which, on the previous, a 32 pounder (intended for the Oneida, but found too heavy) had been mounted on a
pivot, upon a mound 6 feet high. Alarm guns were fired, and expresses sent to call in the neighboring militia, most of whom
did not arrive in time to render assistance, but who, in the course of the day, came in to the number of about 3,000.
The British had, early in the morning, captured the custom-house boat laden with flour
for Cape Vincent, and the crew was set on shore, and sent to Col. Bellinger with the message "that all they wanted was the
brig Oneida and the Lord Nelson, and that they would burn the village if there was a single shot fired at them. The British
had been misinformed about the defenses at Sackets Harbor, and supposed there was nothing to be feared in the way of resistance.
The force at that time in Sackets Harbor was, besides the crew of the Oneida, the Regiment
of Col. Bellinger, a volunteer company of artillery under Captain Camp, and a few militia. Captain Woolsey left the Oneida
in charge of a Lt. and took the general command on shore, the 32 pounder was in charge of Mr. William Vaughan, a sailing master,
and the other guns under that of Capt. Camp. There was no shot in town larger than 24 pound balls, which were made to fit
in the 32 pounder and wrapping them in patches of carpet from Mr. Vaughans house.
By the time these arrangements were made, the enemy was within gunshot, nearly in front
of the battery, when the action was begun, the 1st shot being from the 32 pounder on shore, upon which a shout of laughter
was heard from the fleet, at the attempt at resistance. The fire was returned briskly, and continued for two hours. All of
the enemys cannon balls but 1 or 2, falling against the rocks at the foot of the bluff. On 32 pound ball fell near by, and
plowed up the ground for some distance. The ball was picked up by Thomas D. Spicer, a militiaman from Hounsfield, and Master
Vaughan returned it striking the stern of the Royal George just as she was turning and stroke her stern, took her whole length,
killing 8 men. Upon this the signal of retreat was given by the British and the fleet returned to Kingston. As the fleet left
Thomas Spicer stood on the mound and amid cheers and shouts led the men in a chorus of Yankee Doodle. Mr. Vaughan, who pointed
and fired the 32 pounder, claims the honor of having fired the first hostile gun in the war. As there was no opportunity for
the use of small guns, the greater part of the troops who were gathered, were passive spectators of the engagement.
Events After the 1st Battle of Sackets Harbor
On July 30, 1812, the "Julia, armed with the 32 pounder, 2 sixes, and about 60 volunteers
under the command of Lt. Wells, from the Oneida was proceeding to Ogdensburgh, when she was attacked by the Earl of Moira
and the Duke of Gloucester, with 14 guns and 10 guns respectively, on the St. Lawrence about twelve miles above Ogdensburgh.
General Brown gives an account of the engagement in a letter to the Governor, dated Sackets Harbor, August 4, 1812:
Dear Sir: The Julia engaged the Earl of Moira and Duke of Gloucester on the St. Lawrence,
about 12 miles above Ogdensburgh. They closely hugged the Canadian shore, as the wind at the time was down the river, and
it was impossible for them to beat to windward. The fire was continued for full three hours, during which time the Duke hauled
up within half a mile of the Julia, and seemed prepared to board her, when two well directed shots from the Julias 32-pounder
forced her to abandon to idea, and with night coming on, Lt. Wells very prudently made his way to Ogdensburgh. The Julia was
very injured, had few balls struck her, there was neither killed nor wounded on our side, and we have not been able to learn
what injury the enemy suffered."
The Julia was moored near Ogdensburgh until September 5th when availing herself of the
armistice in September, she returned to the lake in company with a fleet of eight trading vessels that had been detained at
On July 30, 1812 a company of riflemen under Captain Benjamin Forsyth joined General
Brown at Sackets Harbor, this was the first regular force on this frontier since the declaration of war.
On the night of Sept. 9, 1812 an expedition was dispatched from Sackets Harbor against
Gananoqua, a small British post, 20 miles below Kingston, with the view of capturing some of the enemys ammunition. Captain
Forsyth commanded, with several of the local militia including Captain Samuel McNitt of Smithville, Lt. Brown, and Ensigns
Hawkins and Johnson. They landed in open day, 2 miles above the village, his whole force amounting to 95. At. 3/4 mile he
met 2 horsemen, one was shot, the other fled to the village, where Capt. Forsyth found on his arrival, the enemy 110 strong,
and as he approached, the villagers commenced a heavy fire over them. Capt. Forsyth, rushed on, without firing, until within
100 yards, they made a few deliberated shots, rushed on, and broke the enemy, and drove them across the bridge, which for
his security, Capt. Forsyth broke up. He had 1 man killed and 1 wounded. The loss to the enemy was 10 to 15. Twelve prisoners
were taken, 3,000 ball cartridges and 41 muskets. The Kings store along with 150 barrels of provisions, for which we had no
means to carry, were burned. Private property was not destroyed.
On Sept. 21, 1812 General Brown and his detached militia were ordered to Ogdensburg.
Brig. General Richard Dodge took command at Sackets Harbor. General Brown arrived in Ogdensburgh on October 1st. On October
2nd, the enemy cannonaded the town, and on October 4th made an unsuccessful attack, in which, they were repulsed with considerable
loss. General Browns presence and the efficient use of his troops saved Ogdensburgh from capture.
On Oct. 6th, Commodore Isaac Chauncey, commander of the naval forces of the United States
on the lakes, arrived. The vessels on the lake were immediately brought and fitted with armaments, and ship-building on an
extensive scale began under the direction of Henry Eckford, master ship-builder.
The enemy had at this time a naval force of 105 guns and 890 men, the ships Royal George,
Earl of Moira, Prince Regent, Duke of Gloucester, Simcoe and Seneca.
Commodore Chauncey, by Nov. 8, 1812, had the Oneida, Conquest, Hamilton, Gov. Thompkins,
Pert, Julia and Growler. These vessels together mounted 40 guns of different calibers and numbered 430 men.
The Remainder of 1812:
On November 6, 1812, Commodore Isaac Chauncey set out on an expedition to intercept the
enemies vessels on their return from Fort George to Kingston. The enemies force was the Royal George, 26 guns, 260 men; the
Earl of Moira, 18 guns, 200 men; the Prince Regent, 18 guns, 150 men; the Duke of Gloucester, 14 guns, 80 men; the Simcoe
12 guns, 76 men; and the Seneca, 4 guns, 40 men.
On November 8th, Commodore Chauncey fell in the Royal George and chased her into the
Bay of Quinte. On the morning of Nov. 10th he took a small schooner and burnt it, and chased the Royal George into Kingston
harbor, and engaged her batteries for an hour and forty-five minutes, but stood off with night coming up. The American loss
in this engagement was one killed and three wounded. The next morning, with winds to strong to attack, he turned out and soon
came upon the Simcoe. They chased her over a reef of rocks and severely disabled her with shot. Commodore Chauncey returned
to Sackets Harbor on the 12th of November. In this cruise our squadron captured three British trading schooners.
In the following week, Commadore Chaunceys fleet made two short cruises and captured
three vessels. Two of the vessels were brought into Sackets Harbor and the third was burnt and sunk. The Royal George was
so injured she had to put ashore to keep from sinking. She had received several shots, several guns were disabled and a number
of people were killed or wounded. Of our loss, Commodore Chauncey wrote: Our loss was trifling, one man killed and four wounded,
two of the latter by the bursting of a gun aboard the Pert, the commander of which, Mr. Arundell, was knocked overboard and
drowned. The damage done to the rigging and sails not much, and a few shots in the hulls of one of the vessels, but the injury
was soon repaired.
Late in November, while the Governor Tompkins, Hamilton, Conquest and Growler kept the
enemy blockaded at Kingston, Commodore Chauncey in the Oneida, along with the Julia, Pert, Fair American, Ontario and Scourge
sailed to meet and engage the enemy near Niagara.
On Nov. 26, 1812 the ship Madison was launched at Sackets Harbor, having been built in
45 days. In early December the navigation on Lake Ontario closed for the season, and both sides spent the winter improving
During the preceding autumn, the Americans added the following vessels to their fleet,
in addition to the Madison, previously mentioned, the Ontario, the Scourge, the Fair American and the Asp.
On April 7, 1813 the brig Jefferson was launched at Sackets Harbor and on the 10th, the
brig Jones. By the middle of April the ice disappeared off the lake and on the 19th of April the Growler sailed out to reconnoitre.
On April 25th, the American fleet sailed out of Sackets Harbor to aid in the capture of York (now the city of Toronto). The
fleet arrived at York on the 27th and provided cover as the infantry proceeded to capture York. The Duke of Gloucester and
several gunboats that were in the port of York were captured. A large ship in stocks and a quantity of naval stores were burnt
by the British to prevent them from falling into our hands. American naval losses at York were 4 killed and eight wounded.
The Americans took on board all the navla stores that could be transported, evacuated York, and took the army to Niagara.
Chauncey returned to Sackets Harbor on May 13th. The Americans again sailed for the Niagara frontier on May 22nd, and on May
28th aided the land forces in the capture of Fort George.
During May 1813 while most of our fleet was engaged in an attack on Toronto, Sackets
Harbor was poorly prepared for defense. Fort Tompkins was manned by about 200 dismounted dragoons under Colonel Backus, a
detachment of artillery numbering 40 or 50 and 70 to 80 infantry invalids, recruits and parts of companies. A little east
of the village was Fort Volunteer, a slight work erected by a company of exempts or Silver Greys (The Silver Greys were men
too old for active duty, but who could help in other ways, such as building earth works and guarding the beaches, most of
them were Revolutionary War veterans).
Between the village and Horse Island, a mile distant, was a thin wood that had been partly
cutover and filled with brush, logs and stumps. Opposite the island was a clearing of 4 acres and the island itself, which
contains 29 acres and lies at the entrance of the bay. At this time the island was covered with a growth of timber and was
connected with the mainland by a bar that afforded a nearly dry crossing. The beach opposite was composed of a ridge of gravel,
which at that time made a natural breastwork four or five feet high. A short distance back, and further south on the shore,
a strip of woods extended, which had been obstructed as much as possible by felling trees in every direction.
The enemy embarked from Kingston on the evening of May 27th with 1,200 men under Sir
George Prevost, on board the ships Wolfe, Royal George, Earl of Moira, Prince Regent, Seneca, 2 gun boats and about 40 barges.
The following morning (Friday, May 28th) the enemy was discovered by the schooner Lady of the Lake. She returned to Sackets
Harbor and General Brown was warned of the coming invasion. Gen. Brown issued orders for rallying the neighboring militia
and prepared the place for defense. No landing was attempted by the enemy on the 28th, their attention being drawn off by
a fleet of barges from Oswego, of which 12 were taken, their crews having fled to the wood, and 7 out sailed the enemy and
made to safely into Sackets Harbor.
The militia, number about 600, arrived, were armed and sent to Horse Island, which was
where the enemy was expected to land. The shore, for most of the way between Horse Island and the village is an abrupt precipice,
15 to 20 feet high, and the fleet, to land above the village, would have to pass the batteries on shore, and would require
a favorable wind. During the night the enemy landed about 40 Indians, under Lt. Anderson, on the mainland in Henderson Bay,
with the view of attacking the rear of the militia. Towards morning the militia were withdrawn from the island. About 400
militia, with a six pounder, under Col. Mills, were stationed near the shore opposite the island, with orders not to fire
until the enemy approached within pistol shot. The remainder of the militia under Col. Gershom Tuttle, were posted at the
edge of the woods behind the clearing, and Col. Backus, with his dismounted Dragoons, were stationed along the woods near
the village, with orders to advance through the woods towards Horse island, the moment it was known that the enemy had landed.
Col. Aspinwall and his men were posted to the left of Backus. The artillery under Lt. Ketchum was stationed at Fort Thompkins.
The militia on the shore was directed that, in case of being driven from their position, they should fall back into the woods,
and annoy the right flank of the enemy as they advanced towards the town. Col. Tuttle was directed, in the same event, to
attack their rear, and destroy their boats.
The morning of May 29th dawned clear and calm. As soon as it was light, the enemy was
seen approaching in 33 large boats, under cover of gunboats, directing their course to the outside of the island, where they
landed and formed without opposition, but in crossing the bar that connected it to the mainland, they encountered a galling
fire, and lost several in killed and wounded. The fire of the militia was at 1st well directed and deadly; but Colonel Mills,
who was stationed a short distance towards the village, with his cannon, was killed early in the engagement, and his death,
with the unaccustomed whistling of balls that cut down the branches of the trees around them, struck terror in the inexperienced
militia and many turned and fled towards the village. Captain Samuel McNitt, who was stationed with his company on the extreme
left of the militia held his ground until his company was nearly cut off. The enemy gained the beach and dispersed the militia,
and marched towards the village. Colonel Backus and his men continually opposed the advance of the enemy, while General Brown
rallied the militia. As the enemy gained the clearing next to the village, Colonel Backus fell mortally wounded, and Capt.
Gray, commander of the British column, was killed. At this time, the signal for retreat was given from the fleet, and the
enemy retreated to their boats. This retreat is said to have been in part caused by hearing a report of small arms on the
right, from the rallied militia, but which the enemy mistook for reinforcements of 450 regulars which they had learned were
advancing under Col. Tuttle. Their arrival would have given us the advantage in numbers. Having re-embarked, at about 10 oclock,
the British sent a flag demanding a surrender of which they had been unable to capture, and were of course refused. We did
however promise that descent attention would be paid to the dead, and humane treatment to the wounded. Shortly after, they
made sail for Kingston. The loss to the British was 150 killed and wounded and 36 taken prisoner. Our loss was 21 killed (20
regulars and 1 volunteer), 85 wounded (82 regulars and 3 volunteers), and 26 missing (9 regulars and 17 volunteers). The enemy
took a few prisoners and one man was found killed and scalped in the woods by the Indians.
At the time that it looked as if the British would make it to the village, the military
stores were set on fire. The ship Pike, then on the stocks, was saved from the fire and the prize schooner Duke of Gloucester,
was saved by Lt. Talman, who boarded it, extinguished the fire and moved it away from the stores. This heroic conduct was
appreciated when it became known that a large quantity of gunpowder was on board.
On June 12, 1813 the Pike was launched at Sackets Harbor. On June 16th Lt. Wolcott Chauncey,
in the schooner Lade of the Lake, fell in with and captured the English schooner Lady Murray. Laden with provision, powder,
shot and fixed ammunitions, the prize was taken into Sackets Harbor along with 16 prisoners. On July 2 an expedition left
Kingston with the intent of burning the Pike and the naval stores at Sackets Harbor. On arriving at the isthmus of Point Peninsula
they drew their boats out, and concealed then in the bushes till circumstances might favor them, but one their number deserted
and warned Sackets Harbor, and the British returned to Kingston.
On Sept. 1, 1813 the forces on the lake were:
American - General Pike, 34 guns; Madison, 24; Sylph, 20; Oneida, 18; Duke of Gloucester,
10; Governor Thompkins, 6; Conquest, 3; Ontario, 2; Asp 2; Fair American, 2; Pert, 2; Lady of the Lake, 2 and Raven, 1. Total
of 126 guns.
British - General Wolfe, 32; Royal George, 22; Earl of Moira, 16; Prince Regent, 14;
Simcoe, 12; Seneca, 4; Hamilton (late the Growler), 5; Confidence (late the Julia), 3; total 108 guns, besides several gun
boats. They were building a 40 gun frigate and 2 sloops of war at Kingston.
On Oct. 4, 1813 the British flotilla left Niagara after burning the villages of Black
Rock and Buffalo. Commodore Chauncey sailed from Sackets Harbor to divert or engage the enemy. On Oct. 5, we recaptured the
Growler and the Julia, and captured the Mary Ann, Drummond and Lady Gore gunboats and caused the enemy to abandon and destroy
a sixth. The boats along with 300 prisoners were taken to Sackets Harbor.
The winter of 1813/14 at Sackets Harbor was devoted to shipbuilding. On May 1, 1814 the
frigate Superior with 66 guns, which was built in 80 days, was launched. The Mohawk and Jones were still on the stocks, the
armaments of which, as well as that of the Superior, had to be transported through Wood Creek and Oswego Rivers, as the roads
through the Black River valley were nearly impassable from mud. This the enemy well knew, and were also informed that the
rigging and armament for these vessels was on its way to Oswego. To possess these supplies would be equivalent to the destruction
of our squadron, as without them the new ships could not appear on the lake, nor could the fleet of the previous year venture
out in the presence of the greatly increased naval armament of the enemy.
Oswego had not been occupied by regular troops since the Revolution, and Colonel Mitchell
had arrived on April 30, 1814, with four companies of heavy, and light artillery, serving as infantry. Of cannon, the fort
had but 5 old guns, 3 of which had lost their trunions. Platforms and pickets were repaired, and the place was hastily put
in as good a state of defense as possible; when the enemy arrived, on the 5th of May, with a force of 4 ships, 3 brigs and
a number of gunboats. A cannonade was begun and returned with much spirit, and a landing attempted, but not accomplished.
At day break on the 6th, the fleet again approached the village, and after a fire of 3 hours, landed 600 of DeWatervilles
regiment, 600 marines, 2 companies of the Gengary corps, and 350 seamen, who took possession of the public stores, burned
the old barracks and returned on board their fleet on the morning of the 7th. The naval stores were then at Oswego Falls (Fulton),
but Col. Mitchell, having retreated in that direction, destroyed the bridges, and filled the roads with timber after him.
The enemy though it inexpedient to follow and returned to its station near the Galloo Islands to blockade the passage of the
stores, which it was known must pass in that vicinity.
The Battle of Big Sandy:
The American stores, under the charge of Lt. Woolsey, and escorted by Major D. Appling,
of the 1st rifle regiment, with a company of 150 men, left Oswego in the evening of the 28th of May, 1814, in 19 boats, in
the hope of gaining Stony Creek unmolested, from whence there would be but 3 miles of land carriage for the heavy ordinance
and stores, to Henderson Harbor, 12 miles from Sackets Harbor. The evening being dark and rainy, the brigade of boats rowed
all night, and at dawn on Sunday morning met a party of Oneida Indians, under command of Lt. Hill, of the rifle regiment at
Salmon River, and at noon, May 29th, with the British fleet chasing them, they entered Sandy Creek, except one boat, which
fell into the hands of the enemy. This boat contained 1 cable, and 2 - 24 pounders; and from those on board the enemy learned
the particulars of the expedition. Upon entering Sandy Creek, Lt. Woolsey sent as express to Commodore Chauncey and couriers
were dispatched to rally the militia to get the stores removed by land to Sackets Harbor. The boats were run up the south
branch of the creek, till they grounded, a distance of 2 miles form its mouth. The enemy entered the creek with 3 gunboats,
3 cutters and 3 gigs. The British commenced a cannonade in the direction of our boats. Major Appling was concealed behind
a brush and log fence, entirely unobserved by the enemy. Soon, Capt. Harris, with a squadron of dragoons, and Capt. Melvin,
with a company of light artillery and 2 six-pounders arrived. The enemy slowly advanced up the creek and landed on the south
side, but finding it impossible to proceed, on account of the slimy condition of the marsh,, they re-embarked and proceeded
on to within about 20 rods of the woods, where they landed, and formed on the north bank. The advancing column, headed by
Mr. Hoare, had approached within 10 rods of the ambush, when, on a signal, the riflemen of Major Appling arose from their
concealment and fired. Several British fell dead, and their leader fell pierced with eleven balls. So sudden and effectual
was this movement, that it threw the enemy into confusion, and , after a fire of a few minutes, the order was given to charge,
upon which the riflemen rushed forward with loud cheers, holding their rifles in the position of charging bayonets. The result
was the surrender of the enemy at discretion. The enemies loss was 19 killed, 50 wounded and 133 taken prisoner. At the moment
after the 1st fire, the enemy had attempted to retreat, but the recoil of their heavy ordinance had forced the stern of their
larger boats into the mud, and they found it impossible. They then attempted to throw overboard their armament, and succeeded
in getting out just one brass piece. Our loss was 1 Indian killed and 1 rifleman wounded. Shortly after the battle, reinforcements
from Sackets Harbor and neighboring militia arrived. The British dead were buried in an unmarked grave on the homestead of
John Otis, and the militia marched the prisoners to Sackets Harbor and the heavy freight was unloaded. The roads were then
new, and almost impassable, and the labor of removing the guns, cables, and rigging, was one of no ordinary magnitude. Our
flotilla had 21 long 32 pound cannons, 10 - 24 pound cannons, 3 - 42 pound cannonades, ten ship cables, a quantity of shot
and other articles. The prizes taken in the creek were 1 - 24 pounder, a 68 pound carronade, several smaller cannons, and
a considerable amount of small arms and ammunition. The militia played an important role in moving the supplies to Sackets
Harbor by Oxen and wagons and by Thursday there remained but one large cable meant for the Superior, which was found to difficult
to load in any one wagon. Part of the cable was loaded on a wagon and a group of militia, having made mats of plaited grass
for their shoulders and arranged in the order of their stature, at the word of command shouldered the ponderous cable, and
took up their line of march for Sackets Harbor, about 20 miles distant, being as near together as they could conveniently
walk. The first round of militia to carry the cable was reportedly from Ellisburg and Lorraine. This novel procession passed
by way of Ellis village where they slept Thursday night, Friday they passed through Smithville, and on the second day reached
Sackets Harbor. Upon arriving at Sackets Harbor the men were met by cheering crowds of soldiers from the garrison and citizens
from the countryside.
On the 5th of June the enemy lifted the blockade and the captured British boats were
moved from Sandy Creek to Sackets Harbor. The frigates Mohawk Superior and Jones were launched from Sackets Harbor. Commodore
Chaunceys fleet was sent to the Niagara frontier and while workmen built 2 frigates, the New Orleans and Chippawa. The neighboring
militia was called out (numbering about 2,900 men from Herkimer, Oneida, Lewis and Jefferson counties) and quartered at Sackets
Harbor to protect the village and shipworks. The hulls of the 2 frigates were partly completed when the news of peace put
a stop to all work. The Lady of the Lake and the Jones were kept up until the Peace Treaty was signed in April 1818. The Pike,
Jefferson, Mohawk, Madison, Superior and Sylph were dismantled soon after this. Other vessels were covered until March 3 1824
when an act was passed that all ships on the stocks under cover were to be sold or dismantled.