Thursday, June 6, 2013

War of 1812 Bicentennial - The Battle at Sodus Point

Battle at Troupville (Sodus Point)
Referred to as "America's Second War of Independence" by some historians; this war firmly established the United States as an independent nation.  The War of 1812 began on June 18, 1812 and lasted more than two years as the fighting continued until February 1815.  The French and British were at war with each other and did not want the United States trading with the other.  As a result, both Britain and France established naval blockades of American ships. (O'Toole, J. 2013)

After the French navy's defeat at Trafalgar, the British began to board U.S. merchant ships and demanded American sailor's allegiance to the British crown.  At this time, the U.S. had only recently gained independence from Britain, and this of course did not set well with the United States. Meanwhile, in the Niagara region, the British were coaxing the Native Americans to attack American settlers.  The declaration of the War of 1812 was brought on by a list a grievances sent to Britain by President James Madison.
Lake Ontario and the Battle at Sodus Point by Doris M. Sims

The Great Lakes marked the United State northern frontier and provided the most efficient east-west means
of transportation. To ensure a successful campaign, it was especially crucial to maintain control over Lake Ontario's waterways. The U.S. government kept supplies for the military at various ports along the south shore of Lake Ontario, including Troupville (Sodus Point).  Hearing of the attack at Charlotte on June 15, 1813 a battalion was ordered to Sodus Point. This advance warning gave townspeople enough time to bury their valuables so not to be confiscated by the British.
Sodus Point 1813 - by Doris M. Sims

On June 19, 1813, a small group of poorly trained militia and farmers lined up along the woods edge to engage the enemy. It was so dark that neither side were aware of each other's numbers.  Shots were fired and both sides retreated. The british fled to their ships and the Americans into the woods. Two British soldiers were killed and two Americans were mortally wounded and three were captured by the British.

On June 20, 1813 the British opened fire upon the village, raided the remaining warehouses , seized valuables, and burned any buildings still standing except for the tavern.

For more information on the War of 1812; the Battle at Sodus Point check out theses publications: Sims, Doris M., (1985) The Battle of Sodus Point; War of 1812, Lyons, NY.
O'Toole, Joe, (June 2013), Sodus Bay Historical Society Newsletter,

Visit the War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden Trail along Lake Ontario. For trip planning aids that include suggested intneraries, special events, nearby attractions, accommodations, driving directions and more  goto:

Bicentennial Events :

  • June 9, 2013  1PM - 2 PM at the Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum, 7606 N. Ontario St. Sodus Point: A presentation by Joe O'Toole on the Battle of Sodus Point.
  • June 19, 2013 6PM  at the Sodus Point Fire Hall: Dedication of the Historic Mural of
    Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum
    the Battle of Sodus Point.
    • 7 PM - 8 PM  at the lighthouse pavilion: War of 1812 music.
    • 8 PM - 9 PM Peace Garden on Bay Street: A commemoration.
  • June 22, 2013  1:30 PM  at the Oscar Fuerst Ball Field on Greig Street: an Old Fashioned Ball Game with the Sodus Point Fire Department taking on the Mumford All-Stars.
  • July 13, 2013 9 Am - 4 PM at the Oscar Fuerst Ball Field on Greig St.: War of 1812 Reenactors camp and demonstrations.

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