Russell Turnpike War of 1812 grave-sites

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If you have ever traveled St. Lawrence county RT24 through Pierrepont, you may have noticed a small blue & yellow historical marker beside the road. Nothing seems to be there but a stand of beech trees. If you stop to read the sign, and better yet walk into the woods about a hundred yards – you’ll come to a small opening in the woods. Here are buried two American soldiers that died marching on the Russell turnpike during the War of 1812. The soldiers Probably were not traveling together, as the dates on the marker show the dates of their deaths six days apart. The name of the first soldier to pass (April 7th,1813) is unknown to this day. The second soldier, Elijah Sackett, died on April 13, 1813.

pizap.com14950717510021The Russell Turnpike was a military road used to transport troops and supplies between Plattsburg (from where these soldiers were coming) and Sacketts Harbor. It was commissioned by the state legislature in 1809. At the same time, an arsenal was constructed in the town of Russell (about 15 miles from the graves). This served as a storage facility for small arms, ammunition and artillery- each stored on a separate floor. The 30’x50’ arsenal was three stories high, and was constructed with stone walls three feet thick. During the war, a guard was always on duty. This was one of nine arsenals constructed at the time.

pizap.com14950718482701 Today the town of Pierrepont maintains the small grave site. The site is less than a mile and a half South West of NYS rt56. There is only roadside parking. If you happen to be traveling past, take a moment to stop and pay a moment of respect to a pair of young men that died in the wilderness, defending our country.


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