CHESTERTON | Nearly 233 years ago on the sandy shore of Lake Michigan, American patriots and British allies fought a skirmish.
The site, and the men who fought there, were honored Saturday by various chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution and Children of the American Revolution societies.
"We want to dedicate and commemorate every site in Indiana where there was a skirmish between the patriots and the British," said Bill Sharp, of Ann Arbor, Mich., and president of the Indiana SAR.
The site of the battle is now part of the Indiana Dunes State Park. On the southeast side of the pavilion parking lot, the DAR erected a plaque more than 50 years ago. The SAR's marker was attached to that memorial's post.
The skirmish happened on Dec. 5, 1780, when a group of patriots led by Lt. Thomas Brady and Jean Baptiste Hamelin were on their way back along the Sauk Trail after successfully raiding Fort St. Joseph near present day Niles, Mich.
They confronted British loyalists near Le Petit Fort, which wasn't more than a trading post, said Sharp. There the British were successful, with some of the patriots killed and others captured.
Lois Huntington, vice regent of the Indiana DAR, said they take part in such commemorations to "acknowledge the sacrifice of patriots" in the hopes that those who pass by the plaque will continue to remember the patriots.
"We want to pay honor and homage to the Revolutionary War soldiers who died many years ago," said Roger Barnhart, past president of both the Indiana and national SAR societies.
Group representatives laid wreaths at the base of the memorial. Members of the Portage American Legion Post 260 provided a gun salute. Members of the SAR Color Guard posted flags — both today's and those of the time of the battle. The ceremony ended with the firing of a musket salute and a flag folding ceremony.