Press-Republican

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January 2, 2013

Mural proposed to capture Battle of Plattsburgh

PLATTSBURGH — Dean Mosher has found a soft spot in his heart for the history of the Champlain Valley, including that day in September 1814 when American forces defeated the invading British war machine.

Mosher, a nationally renowned artist whose work hangs in such venues as the Smithsonian Institute and the U.S. Naval Academy, is in line to create a massive mural of those moments on Plattsburgh Bay when American Commander Thomas Macdonough stole victory from a much larger British fleet in the Battle of Plattsburgh.

“I started out about 15 years ago to create an epic series of the five great naval battles in early American history,” Mosher said recently from his home in Fairholt, Ala. “You can’t do the five without including the Battle of Plattsburgh.”

The Battle of Plattsburgh Association has started working on a campaign to raise $100,000 to commission the artist to create a mural to hang at the Battle of Plattsburgh Interpretative Center and War of 1812 Museum.

BATTLE RECONSTRUCTED

Mosher visited Plattsburgh in 1998 and met several people who were involved in promoting the significant role the Battle of Plattsburgh played in America’s subsequent victory in the War of 1812 against Great Britain.

“Most notably was Keith Herkalo,” Mosher said of his initial contact with the man who would become a premier moving force in the recognition of this area’s role in the history of America. 

“He was somebody who worked so hard to bring to light as much of the nuance of that history as possible.”

Herkalo, who is now president of the Battle of Plattsburgh Association, led the local impetus to place the importance of the Battle of Plattsburgh alongside the more commonly known battles at New Orleans, Baltimore and Sackets Harbor.

A year after his first visit to Plattsburgh, Mosher participated in a mammoth project to capture the strategies used on Plattsburgh Bay during that Sept. 11, 1814, battle by using gym space on the recently closed Plattsburgh Air Force Base to display huge maps of the battlefield.

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