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 • Jefferson County
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LTC Electus Backus
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Birth: unknown
New York, USA
Death: Jun. 7, 1813
Jefferson County
New York, USA

Lt. Col. Electus Backus was stationed at Sackets Harbor, NY, located on the shores of Lake Ontario, when British forces invaded at 1 am on the dark, rainy morning of May 29, 1813. The British units landed on adjacent Horse Island and waded across the shallows to the mainland. The American troops were aware of their presence in advance and already prepared for the onslaught with local militia and U.S. Regulars. Brig. Gen. Jacob Brown offered Backus, an experienced regular, command of all forces, but he declined.
Backus held the line in a drainage ditch with his dismounted Light Dragoons, unyielding despite the ferocious enemy advance and a large conflagration that raged behind his lines. The majority of the militiamen fled back to the town, but Backus's Dragoons held the line and eventually repulsed the increasingly disorganized British. During the melee, he was wounded and taken to Brownville, NY, for medical treatment, where he died eight days later. His brother officers, including commanding officer Gen. Brown, extolled his performance with "unstinted praise".
Backus is buried at the Military Cemetery in Sackets Harbor, along with Zebulon Pike. The exact position of his grave is a perplexing mystery. Three headstones bearing the words "Unknown Officer, U.S.A., War 1812", and the headstone of Lt. Col. John L. Tuttle of the 9th US Infantry are situated in a semicircle around a monument dedicated to Zebulon Pike and his fellow officers. It is an irony of history that one of these "unknown" markers might indicate the final resting place of a distinguished hero whose identity is in fact known. Even more astounding is the absence of a discernable marker for Zebulon Pike's grave. The current monument, topped with a mortar, replaces an earlier wooden one that had decayed into nonexistence (see Benson Lossing's "A Pictorial Fieldbook of the War of 1812").
Backus's son, Electus Jr., distinguished himself as a capable soldier during the American Civil War. 
Family links: 
  Electus Backus (1804 - 1862)*
*Calculated relationship
Military Cemetery
Sackets Harbor
Jefferson County
New York, USA
Created by: The Rebel Innovator
Record added: Aug 24, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15485124
LTC Electus Backus
Added by: Bruce Coyne
LTC Electus Backus
Added by: Bruce Coyne
LTC Electus Backus
Added by: Bruce Coyne
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For My Maternal 4th Great Grandfather.
- Renee Tanger Scott
 Added: Jul. 2, 2016

- Kaitlin Smith
 Added: Apr. 13, 2015

- Veteran's family
 Added: Sep. 25, 2013
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