Sally Hartman hands a check for $1,150 to Dana Denhoff and John Miller III of Forsyth’s Rifles, Inc. for their participation in the Russell Arsenal Heritage Weekend. From left are Dana Denhoff, Sally Hartman and John Miller III. Denhoff represents the dress of 1812 and Miller is dressed as a Revolutionary War soldier. Photo by Kyle Hartman.
OGDENSBURG -- A reenactment of the Battle of Ogdensburg will be held Feb. 23 and 24 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle, which was fought in February 1813.
The battle occurred after an invasion by Canada. Forsyth’s Rifles unsuccessfully fought in the battle, defending Ogdensburg. Forsyth’s Rifles will again fight the historic battle at the reenactment.
A direct descendent of Captain Benjamin Forsyth, who commanded at Ogdensburg during the battle, will attend the 200th anniversary activities on both sides of the St. Lawrence. Mary Lou Peterson from Boulder, CO can trace her familial line through Forsyth’s youngest daughter.
"Friday evening the Ontario shore will shower us with a barrage of fireworks and Saturday afternoon the invading Anglo-Canadian army will battle the American troops from the waterfront to past Ogdensburg City Hall," said Tim Cryderman, President of Forsyth’s Rifles. "The invaders will be inspired by the skirl of the pipes and drums of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highland Regiment from Cornwall, Ontario. After the battle, they’ll give a free public concert in the Ogdensburg Public Library." The concert will take place at 3 p.m., following the 2 p.m. reenactment.
A chicken dinner at the Freight House for $10 will also be held Friday at 6 p.m.
Other Saturday activities include a ceremonial flag raising at 1 p.m. and a 19th-century medical display at the Dobisky Center and a period dance at the Am Vets at 7:30 p.m.
The flag raising will feature the flag that flew over the USS Detroit during Desert Storm. The flag is owned by James Drouillard of Richardson, Texas.
Sunday afternoon Jim Reagan will narrate the re-enacted battle on Lighthouse Point where the Feb. 22, 1813 battle ended at Fort Presentation at 2 p.m.
"In most of America the War of 1812 is unknown, but here it is an important part of our history," said Cryderman. "Think about Ogdensburg’s connection to history. The Feb. 22, 1813 invasion from Canada happened on George Washington’s birthday."
The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highland Regiment descends from the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles. Lt. Col. "Red" George Macdonnell of the original Glengarries led the invading Anglo-Canadians.
This historical event follows on the heals of the Arsenal Heritage Weekend in September, which was designed to commemorate the town of Russell’s connection to the only St. Lawrence County arsenal built during the War of 1812.