May 30, 1814
— War of 1812 —
Americans Set An Ambush
An American flotilla carrying critical shipbuilding supplies to Sackets Harbor was forced to land along South Sandy Creek. Near this spot Major Appling's 120 riflemen, 150 Oneida Indian warriors and naval Captain Woolsey ambushed a pursuing force of 180 British seamen and marines in 7 gunboats and cutters. In this short but sharp action the entire British landing force was defeated - 18 killed, 50 wounded, and the rest captured.
Under cover of night, Captain Woolsey transports men and vital supplies to the military and shipbuilding center in Sackets Harbor. He plans to land at Stoney Creek.
British gunboats spot the flotilla and chase them into Sandy Creek.
The British enter the creek and commence firing.
British troops land on both sides of the creek and advance toward the supplies.
Americans take up positions in a small grove of trees and fire on the British, inflicting heavy casualties and capturing the entire force.
Although the Americans win the battle, the British still control the lake, so the overland route becomes the Americans' only option.
Route taken by rope carriers and wagons.
You can drive the 'carrying cable route'. Follow South Landing Road to Ellisburg, County Route 289 to Belleville, then County Route 75 to Sackets Harbor.
Like a Giant Centipede
Ox carts were collected to carry most of the supplies, but the cable was too heavy for a cart, so it was carried centipede-style. Around 100 men at a time carried the cable 20 miles from here to Sackets Harbor. Each man was bearing about 100 pounds on his shoulder, and when one became tired, a new recruit stepped in.