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Ogdensburg in Saint Lawrence County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Battle of Ogdensburg

British Attack Across the Ice

 

—War of 1812 —

 
The Battle of Ogdensburg Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 4, 2014
1. The Battle of Ogdensburg Marker
Inscription.

February 22, 1813
British Lieutenant Colonel "Red" George Macdonnell led a force of about 650 soldiers and artillery across the ice to attack the American garrison at Ogdensburg commanded by Captain Benjamin Forsyth. Macdonnell moved to put an end to American raids across the river.

[Map highlights]
1.
Two columns leave Prescott to march on Ogdensburg. One is hauling artillery on sleighs. Macdonnell's column makes a frontal assault on the town near the unfinished Fort Oswegatchie.

2 Captain Jenkins of the Royal Artillery leads the artillery column toward Fort Presentation and the gun positions on the point.

3. Macdonnell's troops fight their way through the settlement and capture American artillery.

4. American artillery drives Jenkins' force back to Prescott from where they join Macdonnell's advance.

5. The larger main column from Canada reaches the east bank of the Oswegatchie, and crossing the river, enters Fort Presentation as Forsyth's troops retreat toward Sackets Harbor.

The American Fort Oswegatchie, never completed, was on the shore bounded by Washington, Franklin and Elizabeth Streets.

Through the Drifts
The advance of the British regulars and Canadian militia was hampered by the snow drifted
Map of The Battle of Ogdensburg on Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 4, 2014
2. Map of The Battle of Ogdensburg on Marker
on the St. Lawrence, as well as the musket and artillery fire from American positions. However, the attackers succeeded in overrunning the guns and driving the American defenders through the streets. The victors burned several schooners and gunboats frozen in the harbor, captured 11 artillery pieces, and arms, ammunition and military supplies. What could not be removed was destroyed.

Ogdensburg 1813
In 1813 Fort Presentation was abandoned and no American forces garrisoned the town for the duration of the war. The Town of Ogdensburg thrived on the east back [sic - bank] of the river thanks to contraband trade with Canada.

Fort Presentation was named by the Americans in honor of Fort de la Présentation founded on the site by the French in 1749. From 1760 to 1796 it was called Fort Oswegatchie while under British control. By 1812 Fort Presentation was in disrepair; Forsyth established his artillery in positions outside the fort.

Events Leading to the Battle
1813
February 22nd
- Macdonnell launches his successful two-prong assault against Ogdensburg. Before withdrawing, British troops and some civilians plunder the town

February 19th - Lt. Col. Macdonnell demands the return of civilian goods and an end to American raids into Canadian villages. He is answered with insults.

February 7th - Crossing
Fort la Présentation Obelisk and Related Markers image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
3. Fort la Présentation Obelisk and Related Markers
the river from Morristown, Forsyth retaliates by freeing the prisoners, taking more than 50 locals hostage and capturing a supply of arms.

February 4th - British forces cross the river, capture a handful of American civilians and troops, and retire to Elizabethtown (Brockville).

1812
October 4th
- Responding to the 1st US Rifle's [sic - Rifles'] raid on Gananoque September 21st, Col. Robert Lethbridge, commanding at Prescott, leads an ill-fated amphibious assault on Ogdensburg.

Summer - American Captain Forsyth and his company of the 1st US Rifles are stationed in Ogdensburg to observe British movements on the St. Lawrence River.
 
Erected by Great Lakes Seaway Trail.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway marker series.
 
Location. 44° 41.667′ N, 75° 30.073′ W. Marker is in Ogdensburg, New York, in Saint Lawrence County. Marker is on the Downtown Arterial (New York State Route 68) west of Commerce Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ogdensburg NY 13669, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort la Présentation (here, next to this marker); Fort de la Présentation - 1749-1759
Map of Seaway Trail War of 1812 Wayside Markers image. Click for full size.
By Seaway Trail, Inc., undated
4. Map of Seaway Trail War of 1812 Wayside Markers
(here, next to this marker); Fort Lévis - 1760 (here, next to this marker); Fort Oswegatchie 1760-1796 (here, next to this marker); Aka Se We':Ka Tsi (Oswegatchie) (here, next to this marker); Frederic Remington (1861 - 1909) (approx. half a mile away); Ogdensburg And Forsyth: Friends Or Enemies (approx. half a mile away); Remington Art Memorial (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Ogdensburg.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Battle of Ogdensburg. (Submitted on August 2, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. The Battle of Ogdensburg. (Submitted on August 2, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. The Battle of Ogdensburg at Wikipedia. (Submitted on August 2, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesPatriots & PatriotismWar of 1812Waterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 240 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   3. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   4. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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