American Defenders of Land, Sea & Sky
Protecting the New Nation
   The War of 1812 (1812-1815)


We repelled a familiar foe.

Plattsburgh Bay
Plattsburgh, New York

  The waters are calm now, but on September 11, 1814, Plattsburgh Bay was the scene of a major American victory during the Battle of Lake Champlain.This is how Captain Thomas Macdonough used the American fleet and his flagship, Saratoga, to gain a tactical advantage over the enemy.

  First, he took a position at the narrow end of the bay, forcing the British fleet to sail into the wind. Then, once at anchor, British and American ships fought a fierce two-hour battle at close range. Macdonough knew that the largest British ship, Confiance, was too big to maneuver its way out of the Bay. As the ship struggled to turn around, a gun was flung from its carriage, killing the British Commander. The battered Confiance was soon overpowered. The fleet surrendered to Macdonogh and British ground troops fled north to Canada.

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