Monday, May 19, 2014

Malone & Chateaugay: The War of 1812, Part 2

Fort Covington, Franklin County, New York, USA
Fort Covington, Franklin County, New York, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Everyone in the Malone and Chateaugay area has used the Old Military Turnpike. Did you know it got its start in the War of 1812?

After the capture of General Tilden in the French Mills (Fort Covington area--seen to the left), the next "significant" battle took place in Chateaugay.

Chateaugay River
Chateaugay River (Photo credit: NapaneeGal)
Late in the summer of 1813, the United States thought it would be a good idea to capture Montreal. According to Fredrick Seaver, it could have been accomplished had the United States had some competent generals.

From September 26-October 4, 1813, General Hampton's men worked improving the road from Plattsburgh to Chateaugay--our old military turnpike. Ostensibly, we could get goods, but some people believed it would be needed for a hasty retreat. The latter proved more likely.

On October 21, Hampton, whose troops had been camping on the Chateaugay river NW of the village, followed the river north for twenty miles.

Here he came into contact with the enemy which numbered only about nine hundred.

The Canadian army, under the command of deSalaberry, ran away when the American forces came into view. DeSalaberry grabbed his bugler by his collar and wouldn't let him flee. He then made every buglar space himself in the woods. Together they sounded the alarm. The Indians fighting with the Canadians let out war whoops.

Hamilton's troops, who far outnumbered the Canadians, descended into chaos. One troop got lost. Others fired at each other. Eventually they retreated to their camp in Chateaugay.

Hamilton's officers figured, had their boos been competent and sober, they would have won Montreal and possible all of Canada.

Good thing we didn't succeed. How else would we have gotten our poutine, eh?
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