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 forts 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. 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.
- Abbot, Willis J. (1896). The Naval History of the United States. 1. Peter Fenelon Collier. OCLC 3453791. http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/22305.
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