What did Founding Fathers Look Like?
General Alexander Macomb was born April 3, 1782. He won national acclaim during the War of 1812 as the brigadier general in command of the Right Division of the Northern Army, responsible for defending the frontier of northern New York. At the Battle of Plattsburgh on September 11, 1814, with only 1,500 regular troops and some detachments of militia, he was opposed by a British force of 10,531 men under Lieutenant General Sir George Prevost.
Knowing full well he would be greatly outnumbered, in the weeks leading up to the battle Macomb worked with his men to move trees and create fake roads in order to obscure the genuine roads. Then Macomb's heavily outnumbered troops fell back before the British columns leading them into dead-end traps far from the three nearby American forts. In the maze of narrow false roads the British were unable to easily maneuver and became entangled in Macomb's trap where they became targets for American ambush. The British land attack was diffused by these efforts.
After the stunning victory, Macomb was lauded with praise and styled "The Hero of Plattsburgh" by some of the American press. He was promoted to Major General for his conduct, receiving both the Thanks of Congress and a Congressional Gold Medal.
Macomb remained in the military for life, rising to the rank of General of the United States Army on May 29, 1828. He held that post until his death on June 25, 1841.
John Henri Issac Browere cast Macomb's likeness in the form of a life mask September 1825 in Washington, D.C.
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