Battle of Puerto Plata Harbor

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The Battle of Puerto Plata Harbor was small battle in 1800 between a French privateer, a coastal fort, and the United States Navy and Marine Corps during the undeclared Quasi-War between the French First Republic and the United States.

History[edit]

In early May 1800, Captain Silas Talbot organized a naval expedition to Puerto Plata on the island of Hispaniola. His object was to harass French shipping, after capturing the small French sloop Sally, USS Constitution arrived at Puerto Plata. A French corvette was seen at anchor in the harbor.

USS Constitution sailed around to a beach, out of the fort's range. There she off-loaded a landing force of about 100 marines and sailors, the landing party then marched on Sandwich while the prize sloop Sally was sent in to attack by way of sea. The French were no doubt shocked at the approaching American force and hardly put up a fight; Sandwich was captured. Then the Americans turned their attention on Fortaleza San Felipe, after another brief fight, the fort's defenses were overrun and the marines spiked the fort's cannons.

With the capture of Sandwich and the assault on the coastal fort, U.S. forces returned to their ships and sailed home. The Battle of Puerto Plata Harbor was one of the few land battles during the Quasi-War. Detailed casualties of the engagement are unknown.

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