Fight for the Cantonment Area

Fight for the Cantonment Area (HM1FMP)

Location: Watertown, NY 13601 Jefferson County
Country: United States of America

N 43° 56.994', W 76° 7.592'

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The Americans' Last Stand

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 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.
Marker Number7
Placed ByState of New York.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 12:50am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 409605 N 4866925
Decimal Degrees43.94990000, -76.12653333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 43° 56.994', W 76° 7.592'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds43° 56' 59.64" N, 76° 7' 35.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)315
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 505 Washington St, Watertown NY 13601, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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