The Defense of the Eagle off of Hallockville in 1814.
The Defense of the Eagle off of Hallockville in 1814.

This weekend, Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead will host “Defense of the Eagle,” a weekend-long commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 battle that took place on the Long Island Sound shore near Hallockville over this very weekend in 1814.

The event, which takes place both Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11 & 12, will include demonstrations by the 3rd NY Regiment 1775 Company, who will show off the accoutrements of military life during the early 19th Century, including a fashion show, encampment, formal drills and musket firing and more.

The regiment will perform as th Sound Avenue farmers who served as militia men who rushed to the Sound shore to aid the defense of the Eagle, a revenue cutter that was driven ashore by British warships from Oct. 11 through Oct. 13, 1814. This battle was the only war-time engagement ever to come to Riverhead.

“It’s our battle,” says Dr. Richard Wines, Hallockville’s Board Member and historian, whose extensive research locally and in the British Archives was the genesis for this project.

The Revenue Cutter Service was a precursor to today’s United States Coast Guard, and handled customs enforcement for the maritime trade and aided American interests during wartime.

The US Coast Guard Color Guard will present the colors and remarks will be made by Coast Guard personnel on Saturday. Living historian Chip Adams, performing as Captain Frederick Lee, a Connecticut native who was the cutter master of the Eagle during the War, will make remarks at the ceremony.

Following the remarks, local equestrian Emily Deerkoski, playing the role of Herman Hallock —who rode Paul Revere-style down Sound Avenue in 1814 — will ride on horseback and sound the alarm, calling the militia into duty. Visitors and re-enactors will take a short hike through the Hallockville fields to the adjacent Hallock Pond State Park and Preserve to observe the battle site and pay respects.

Hallockville’s War of 1812 exhibit “The Defense of the Eagle” will be open for viewing throughout the weekend. The exhibit traces the events of the battle and includes replica War of 1812 officer’s uniforms on loan from the United States Coast Guard, excavated cannonballs from the battle on loan from the Suffolk County Historical Society, as well as a diorama of the battle constructed by Riverhead High School history students from teacher Justin Cobis’ classes.

Admission is free for children and there is a suggested donation of $3 for adults. Light snacks and beverages will be available for purchase, and visitors are invited to bring their own picnic if they’d like.

The schedule of events for the weekend is as follows:

Saturday October 11 (a modified schedule will be presented on Sunday, Oct. 12)

10AM- Open

10:30- First Formation and Military Drill

11:00- Children’s Drill Activity

11:30- Period Fashion Show

12:30PM- Coast Guard Color Guard Presentation of the Colors*

12:45- Official remarks (USCG, Hallockville, Captain Frederick Lee)*

1:00- Herman Hallock “Sounds the Alarm” on Horseback, Militia March to Battle site*

2:00- Commemoration on bluffs in Hallock Pond State Park & Preserve*

Firearms Demonstration; Discussion of Battle

• subject to postponement to Sunday due to weather, updates will be posted on Hallockville.com Friday after 1 p.m.*

Hallockville Museum Farm is located at 6038 Sound Avenue in Riverhead. More information is available at www.hallockville.com or by calling 631.298.5292 or hallockv@optonline.net.

 

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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