Military Subjects:  War of 1812


The War of 1812 Magazine

Issue 14: October 2010

Documents, Artefacts and Imagery

Brigadier-General Leonard Covington, U.S. Army (1768-1813)

By John R. Grodzinski

Leonard Covington was born in Maryland and joined the U.S. Army in 1792. He participated in “Mad” Anthony Wayne’s campaign in the Northwest and played a prominent role at Fallen Timbers in 1794. He left the army the following year to manage his property. He was also elected to the House of Representatives in 1805 and the state senate in 1807. In 1809, Covington rejoined the now expanding army as a lieutenant-colonel of the First Regiment of Light Dragoons.

In 1812, Covington was serving at New Orleans and in August 1813, he was promoted to brigadier-general and ordered to Sackets Harbor, New York. He was appointed to command the Third Brigade (Ninth, Fifteenth and Twenty-Sixth Infantry) of Major-General James Wilkinson’s army for the campaign on the St. Lawrence that attempted to take Montreal in 1813.

Covington was shot in the stomach while advancing on foot with his brigade during the Battle of Crysler’s Farm on 11 November 1813. He died two days later and was first buried at French Mill’s, New York, which was renamed Fort Covington. In 1820, the remains were moved to Madison Barracks near Sacket’s Harbor. In 1909, that cemetery was located to a new site in the village itself.

On 21 July 2010, a special ceremony was held at the Sacket’s Harbor Military Cemetery to commemorate Brigadier-General Covington and to unveil a new marker for his grave site. The ceremony included speeches by several notable dignitaries, including the Lieutenant-Colonel Kenneth J. Mintz, Commanding Officer of the 1-32nd Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team of  10 Mountain Division.  Music was also provided by the band of the 10th Mountain Division, while a firing party added to the solemnity of the occasion. 

Other notable figures buried in this cemetery include Brigadier-General Zebulon Pike, who was killed on 27 April 1813, during the attack on York, Upper Canada; Lieutenant-Colonel Electus Backus, who played a key role in the defence of Sackets Harbor in 1813.

The new marker for the Covington grave site. The marker was ordered by Lieutenant John Young, of the 10th Mountain Division, who is a descendent of Brigadier-General Covington. (Photo by John R. Grodzinski)
The commanding officer, officers and men of the firing party from the 10th  Mountain Division.
(Photo by John R. Grodzinski)



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