Battle of Big Sandy Creek
The battle of Big Sandy Creek was fought between the days of May 29-30, 1814 during the war of 1812 in Northwestern Yew York. Here American rifleman and Militia and Oneida Indians had launch a surprise attack on British soldiers chasing them inland from Lake Ontario. The surprise attack had resulted in an important victory for America during the War of 1812. The battle field is now located near present day Ellisburg, NY.
Backstory and Context
On May 5-6, 1814, after a successful American attack, British forces had withdrew from fort Oswego to the Galloo islands in the northern part of Lake Ontario. After the British had retreated Oswego the Americans had decided to transport the guns and other supplies at Oswego Falls to Sacket's Harbor in New York for frigate Superior. In charge of this task was Lieutenant Melanchthon Taylor Woolsey with charge of 150 rifleman and under the command of Major Daniel Appling. Woolsey had loaded 18 ships with cargo on the night of May 28th bound for Sackets Harbor. Unfortunately during this transportation of supplies one ship was lost on that night and captured by the British now alert to the American movement.
On the morning of May 29th Lieutenant Woolsey, his men, and the cargo boats, minus one, had arrived at the mouth of the Big Salmon River. It was here where the American forces had met up with 120-130 Oneida Indians. The Oneidas had marched north along the shore as the boats proceeded on and had reached the mouth of the Big Sandy Creek by the afternoon of that day and all boats were sent inland as far as possible. Afterwards Woolsey had sent a scout to survey for British ships.
While on lookout the scout had discovered a British gunboat and three British barges were heading for the location of the American forces. When Woolsey had received word of this he immediately sent out a call to a neighboring militia and quickly prepared for battle. At around 8 a.m., the British force had begun to shooting cannons towards the American forces from the mouth of the Big Sandy Creek. The Americans hid along the shoreline of the Big Sandy Creek to wait for the British to make an advancement inland. At around 10 a.m., the British had progressed up the creek, as they had progressed up the creek the American forces along with the Oneida Indians had risen from their hiding spots and engaged the British in a ten minute skirmish where the British officers quickly surrendered to avoid any more casualties.
In a report sent to Brigadier General Edmund P. Gaines from Major Daniel Appling on the 30th of May Appling had listed casualties for both sides. On the American's side there were two wounded: a U.S rifleman and an Oneida Indian. The British casualties were much more heavier. On the British side there had been 13 killed, 2 lieutenants of the Royal Marines and 28 sailors and marines captured and wounded, 7 officers and 133 other were taken prisoner along with the capture of three gunboats, two cutters and one gig.