The Battles at Plattsburgh: September 11, 1814

By Keith Herkalo
Foreword by Donald E. Graves

Both Roosevelt and Churchill recognized the strategic and political importance of the land and naval battles of Plattsburgh on September 11th, 1814. Yet time and other events can obscure facts, and the United States' second war for independence became a forgotten war, the Battles at Plattsburgh lost in the "rockets red glare" of Baltimore.

In this text, Keith Herkalo, using personal journals, military journals, contemporary newspaper accounts, and other original source documents, examines the evidence that leads to the conclusion that the Battles at Plattsburgh, on land and on Lake Champlain, were the key battles of the War of 1812. The other battles, Baltimore, Washington, and Sackets Harbor, were ruses meant to divert United States troops away from the prize: Plattsburgh, Lake Champlain, and a clear pathway into New England.

If not for the explemlary talents and skills of two young military officers, Commodore Thomas Macdonough and General Alexander Macomb, a small force of regular army and naval personnel and New York Militia, a few thousand Vermont Militia, a handful of Native Americans and Veteran Exempts (those too old for military service), and a group of boys from the local school, the United States, as we know it today, would not exist.

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