Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

June 19, 2014

Victory won at Sandy Creek

Cooperstown Crier

---- — From the Otsego Herald

for Wednesday, June 22, 1814

Compiled, with comments



Washington City, June 10...Letter from Brig. Gen. Gaines...Sacket’s Harbor May 31, 1814.

“I have the honor to transmit herewith Major Appling’s report of the gallant affair which took place yesterday morning between a detachment of the 1st Rifle Regiment and Oneida Indians under his command, and a detachment from the British fleet, consisting of sailors and marines commanded by Captain Popham of the Royal Navy.

“Major Appling had been ordered to co-operate with Captain Woolsey of the Navy, in escorting the cannon and Naval stores from Oswego, destined for the fleet here, on board a flotilla of barges, and after having gotten safely into Sandy Creek, 16 miles southwest of this place [Sacket’s Harbor], they were pursued up the creek by the enemy’s force, which they met and beat and took, after an action of 10 minutes, without any other loss on our part than one rifleman wounded.”

Copy of a letter from Major Appling to Brig. Gen. Gaines, dated Sandy Creek, May 30th 1814.

“Sir—Presuming that you have already been made acquainted with the result of the affair of this day, I consider it necessary only to furnish you with the return of the killed, wounded and prisoners on the part of the enemy, which is as follows:—

Prisoners: 37 marines, 106 sailors

Wounded: 28 sailors and marines

Killed: 15 sailors & marines, 1 midshipman....

The dead will receive all the honors and attention due unfortunate soldiers; the wounded remain at this place waiting the arrival of medical aid from [Sackets] harbor. The prisoners have been marching into the country, and to-morrow they will proceed for the harbor.

The enemy’s boats also fell into my hands, consisting of two gun-boats and five barges, some of which carried howitzers.... D[aniel] APPLING

COMMENT: Following their successful raid on Oswego, at the eastern edge of Lake Ontario, the British Navy sought to intercept badly needed naval supplies being carried from Oswego to the main American naval base at Sackets Harbor, where the St. Lawrence River leave the Lake..

When 130 British sailors and marines chased the Americans up the Sandy Creek, the American force led by Melancthon Woolsey successfully ambushed them with a force of American soldiers and Oneida Indian allies.

Master Commandant Melancthon Woolsey (1782-1838) was a rising young naval officer who, in 1806, had led a squad including young Midshipman James Fenimore Cooper at Oswego, supervising the construction of the USS Oneida, the first American warship on the Great Lakes—which Woolsey later commanded. Cooper in 1846 wrote a biography of him.

Another Publication Change

In consequence of a new arrangement of the arrival of the Mails, the day of publication of this paper, will henceforth be on THURSDAY.

COMMENT: The weekly Otsego Herald had originally been published on Saturdays, but had shortly before this switched to Wednesdays in order to coordinate with postal routes. Newspapers were allowed to exchange their papers with other newspaper publishers without paying postage.

Sale of Pews

NOTICE: The annual sale of the PEWS in the Presbyterian Meeting House in this village, takes place on Wednesday the 6th of July next, at 2 o’clock P. M. – E. FOOTE, Clk. Cooperstown, June 20, 1814.

COMMENT: Note that pews had to be bought! Also, the Presbyterian Church here in Cooperstown, as elsewhere, refused to use the word “church” (or to display crosses) on the grounds that these were Roman Catholic symbols.


At Milford, on Friday last, Mr. Jonah Foster to Miss Martha T. Nile, both of this village.

COMMENT: They were still living in Milford in 1820.

Trees and Lightning

Another warning to avoid trees in thunder storms.

From a Cincinnati paper of May 24. On Friday afternoon, the 20th instant [May], while Archibald Craige and Thomas Craige his brother, sons of Mr. John Craige of Green township, Hamilton county, were busily employed in planting corn for their father, near his house, there came up a shower of rain, attended with thunder and lightning, when they both took shelter under a tree.

In a few minutes afterwards the tree was struck by lightning, and they were both killed.

On Saturday following, their remains were interred in one grave, in the burying ground at Hopewell Baptist meeting house, attended by a numerous procession of respectable citizens who evinced the deep and general regret excited by the unexpected event.

COMMENT: Still good advice.

Navy Launching

The 74 building at Charlestown, which is to mount 110 guns, will be launched on Saturday, the 18th inst. (two years from the declaration of war) between 11 and 12 o’clock. – Pittsburgh Sun

COMMENT: The USS Independence was the first “ship of the line” and the largest ship in the American navy. She saw no real action, had a deck removed in 1836, became a “receiving ship” in 1857, and was decommissioned in 1912.