Battle of Puerto Plata Harbor

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Battle of Puerto Plata Harbor
Part of the Quasi-War
Capture of the French Privateer Sandwich by armed Marines on the Sloop Sally, from the U.S. Frigate Constitution, Puerto - NARA - 532590.tif
Capture of the French privateer Sandwich by U.S. Marine infantry, Copy of painting by Philip Colprit, 1960.
Date May 11, 1800
Location Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Result American victory
Belligerents
 United States  France
 Spain
Commanders and leaders
United States Silas Talbot
United States Isaac Hull
Unknown
Strength
Land:
~100 Marines and Sailors
Sea:
1 Frigate
1 Sloop
Land:
1 Spanish Fort
Sea:
1 French Corvette
Casualties and losses
Unknown 1 Corvette captured
1 Fort destroyed

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

In early May 1800, Captain Silas Talbot organized a naval expedition to Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo. His object was to harass French shipping around the colony of their Spanish ally. After capturing the small French sloop Sally, the USS Constitution arrived at Puerto Plata. A French corvette was seen at anchor in the harbor.

Unwilling to take fire from Spanish defenses, the USS Constitution sailed around to a beach, out of the Spanish fort's range. There she off loaded a landing force of about 100 marines and sailors. The landing party then marched on the Sandwich while the prize sloop Sally was sent in to attack by way of sea. No doubt shocked at the approaching American force, the French hardly put up a fight and the Sandwich was captured. Then the Americans turned their attention on Fortaleza San Felipe, which had been taking pot shots at the Americans since they came into range.[citation needed] After another brief fight, the Spanish defenses were overrun and the marines spiked the fort's cannon.

With the capture of the Sandwich, and the assault on the Spanish 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; what is known is that not many people became casualties that day.

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