Lieutenant Colonel Electus Backus, leader of the U.S. Light Dragoons, was commanding officer before General Jacob Brown assumed the post. While holding the line of defense with his dragoons from the nearby drainage ditch, Backus was wounded and removed from he field. After the battle, he was transported to Brownsville, New York, where he died eight days later. Fellow officers regarded Backus's leadership during the battle as critical to containing the british attack. Lieutenant Colonel Backus was buried in the military cemetery in Sackets Harbor.
After the war, the bodies of Colonel Backus and a number of other officers, including Zebulon Pike, were moved to the military cemetery near Madison Barracks, where this wooden monument was placed. By 1860, the monument had decayed and vanished. Illustration from Benson Lossing, A Pictorial Fieldbook of the War of 1812.
From Cantonment to Farm
Following the battle, Smith's Cantonment, an enclosed, fortified barracks for 2,500 troops, was built on a portion of this land. It was abandoned, however, with the development of Madison Barracks in 1816. The nearby well house is situated over the 1814 cantonment well.