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May 6, 2010

The British Raid on Fort Oswego, 1814 Recounted This Weekend at Fort Ontario

"Eight Days in May"
By Paul Lear, Historic Site Manager
Fort Ontario State Historic Site

General Gordon Drummond led the British amphibious assault on Fort Ontario in May 1814.


The British force suffered many casualties in their attack on Fort Ontario. Here British wounded are being transported back to their ships. By William Steele. Collections of Fort Ontario State Historic Site.


OSWEGO, NY - As Spring approached in 1814 British military leaders in Canada knew that the fury of shipbuilding that winter would give them only a brief advantage over American forces on Lake Ontario. Determined to make the most of it, they planned and executed an attack on Oswego, New York, to cripple American shipbuilding efforts at Sacket's Harbor.

On Saturday, May 8, at 1:15 p.m., Harold Youmans will present a program on the 1814 British raid on Oswego at Fort Ontario State Historic Site. Youmans will use primary sources and present some new information and insights on the battle; he will discuss the strategies, available forces, execution, and results of the British efforts. Seating is limited.

Harold W. Youmans (Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired) is an historian and editor of the Journal of the War of 1812. He has written and lectured on the war for more than 20 years and presents occasional pieces for the Journal on relevant topics of interest. He comes to Oswego this year following appearances at the War of 1812 Symposium in the West at St. Louisa, Missouri, and at the 118th Associate Council of the National Society, United States Daughters of 1812 in Washington, DC. His recently completed study on Fort Preble, Portland, Maine, has appeared in the latest issue of the Journal of America's Military Past. While not engaged in these pursuits, he is a civil hearing officer and special magistrate in Florida.

The Friends of Fort Ontario is a not-for-profit 501C3 educational organization formed in 1989 to encourage community participation in programs, assist in the preservation and enhancement of the artifacts and documents, develop educational programs and services, and to engage in activities which are in harmony with the operation of Fort Ontario State Historic Site.

For more information on the Friends contact Chuck Harrington, President (315) 343-6310, and for 1812 event information contact Historic Site Manager Paul Lear (315) 343-4711. The fort is located off Route 104 East at the north end of East 4th Street in the City of Oswego, New York , www.fortontario.com.


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