The War of 1812 in the North Country: 200 years later

Posted 7/3/12

Connie Molnar Sterner has recently completed extensive research on the War of 1812 in the North Country. "The document is much bigger than I anticipated when I began. I tried to keep it to events …

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The War of 1812 in the North Country: 200 years later


Connie Molnar Sterner has recently completed extensive research on the War of 1812 in the North Country. "The document is much bigger than I anticipated when I began. I tried to keep it to events that happened along the St. Lawrence River without expanding to the Great Lakes or other parts of our country," she said. "I'd like to thank John Austin for the input he has provided over the years with his research on the War of 1812. Some of the following information came from records he has obtained from the National Archives."

From data assembled from various sources

As New York City commemorates the War of 1812 this summer with tall ships to kick off Fleet Week, it's time to reflect on skirmishes and battles along the St. Lawrence River and northern New York 200 years ago.

In many ways the War of 1812 was a carry over of issues not quite resolved during the Revolutionary War and triggered in part by the England's needs during the Napoleonic War. Over the past couple years I have watched a couple specials on the War of 1812 on TV. They skip over the events of this war along the St. Lawrence River as skirmishes not amounting to much. That doesn't settle well with me. Sure the British burned the White House as Dolly Madison fled with George Washington's portrait and Francis Scott Key wrote the words to the Star Spangled Banner after watching the bombardment of Ft. McHenry, but I grew up in northern New York. Those skirmishes along the St. Lawrence River are much more interesting to me than what went on in other parts of the country.

Ogdensburg Military Post

A military post in Ogdensburg was occupied by the British from 1776 until 1796 when it was surrendered to Judge Nathan Ford as a result of the Jay's Treaty.

Between 1805 and 1807 a regiment was formed in St. Lawrence County under Alex J. Turner and in 1807 an Artillery company was formed. A battalion of four companies under Alric Man was formed in Franklin County by 1808. In 1807 Thomas Jefferson and United States Congress called for an embargo on all ships in US ports blocking trade with France and England.

This was a political disaster which backfired causing economic disaster at home as well as abroad. Major sea ports as well as towns along the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes counted on shipping and trade. Britain had been at war with France for many years and did not want the United State to trade with that country. France, of course, had backed our country during the Revolution.

Napoleon was not defeated at Waterloo by Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, until June18, 1815. In the years leading up to this victory Great Britain enforced a blockade along America's Atlantic Coast. Britain resented our country's growth in merchant shipping.

To further enrage Americans, Britain's Royal Navy captured and forced American Merchant Marines into service on the high seas. Troops were placed in Ogdensburg under Capt. Samuel Cherry and Captain Thomas Anderson to enforce the Embargo Act. On the last day of Thomas Jefferson's presidency, the embargo was revoked in 1909.

Lewis and Clark's expeditions in 1804 led the way to westward expansion. In St. Lawrence County there were very few towns established before 1800 - Ogdensburg was one.

However between 1800 and 1812 towns in northern New York were beginning to be settled. People moved out of the New England states westward in great numbers following the St. Lawrence River making their way through the center of the state and then north along the Black River. Britain tried to block US expansion westward by making a pact with the Indians.

To top it off there remained border disputes which were unresolved since the Revolutionary War between the United States and Canada. A failed objective of this country was to capture Canada. The Anglo American Convention or Treaty of 1818 resulted in drawing the border at the 49th parallel.

The relationship between Americans and Canadians along the St. Lawrence River was complicated by the War of 1812. Many people depended on trade along the river for their livelihoods. People on both sides of the river had friends and family on the other side of the river. Since there were very few roads in upstate NY at the time, the river was used for transportation. So any disruptions caused by the war caused economic hardships on both sides. During this period there was a fair amount of smuggling between the two countries.

Below are events in northern New York arranged by date. Information I have collected is sketchy and sometimes conflicting and comes from various sources that I identify below. I am not writing this paper. I am simply assembling information obtained from other people's work, putting it in chronological order and quoting my sources. I can't list all the battles and skirmishes but have selected a few that might have some meaning to people interested in north country history.

Before the War of 1812:

(from Hough's History of St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties as well as from History of St. Lawrence County, NY - Gates Curtis)

A New York State Militia regiment was formed by Morgan Lewis, Governor of NY State in April 1806 in St. Lawrence County naming Benjamin Stewart (Lisbon 1800 Census) as Captain of the company and Alexander J. Turner (Lisbon 1800 Census - town supervisor and land agent - moved to Lisbon from Salem, Washington County) became Lt.- Colonel. Members signing an oath to the allegiance of New York state, and not to any foreign King, Prince or Potentate. It was signed before Joseph Edsall , Esquire & first Major (from Madrid). It was signed by Isaac Bartholomew - Capt. (Potsdam) , Nathan Stone (Massena) , Abner Wright (Massena), Solomon Linsley Capt. (Madrid), Elisha Denison (Massena) , Seth Mathews/Mathers (d. 1811 Massena). On April 3rd, 1806 the following appointments were made in Turner's Regiment:

• Isaac Beach - adjutant

• John King - paymaster (Ogdensburg)

• Daniel W. Church - Quartermaster (Ogdensburg)

Daniel Whipple Church was born in Brattleboro, Vt. in 1772. His father Jonathan had been a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Daniel was a prolific builder, master carpenter, surveyor and millwright. He came to Canton, NY in 1801 to build a grist mill. Red Mills, a combined saw mill and grist mill was completed in Lisbon in 1804. During 1806 he built a dam in Waddington for David Ogden and Joshua Waddington. He completed a stone store which would become the US Customs House in 1809/10 for David Parish. He would work for him to settle Rossie in 1810 building a saw mill, a bridge over Indian River and constructing roads. Church built a three story tavern in Parishville in 1812 and served as their Town Supervisor. One wonders how he did that with so much action going on during the War. He also built a large house there for Parish during 1813/14. In Ogdensburg Church built the Parish Mansion, now the Remington Art Museum. Church moved to Morristown in 1818 where he died in 1858 and is buried in Pine Hill Cemetery.

• Joseph W. Smith - Surgeon (Ogdensburg)

• Powell Davis - Surgeon's mate (Morristown)

• Louis Hasbrouck - Capt. (Oswegatchie/Ogdensburg - attorney and politician - NY State Assembly & NY State Senate)

• Timothy Pope - Capt. (Oswegatchie/Macomb - Pope's Mills/Morristown)

• Timothy Crosset - Capt. (there was a David Crosset in Lisbon at this time)

• Nathan Stone - Capt. (b. Ma., lived in Louisville/Massena more: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Stone&GSiman=1&GScty=102362&GRid=29597382&)

• William Perry - Capt. (Canton)

• Thomas B. Benedict - Capt. (De Kalb) - born 10/23/1783 in Woodbury Ct. He came to De Kalb, NY with Judge Cooper. In 1812 he was a Colonel and was in charge of military operations in Ogdensburg. During the war he was promoted to General. He died March 11. 1829 and is buried at the Old De Kalb Cemetery.

• Solomon Linsley Jr. - Capt. (Madrid)

• Isaac Bartholomew - Capt. (Rev War Soldier, b, Vt. lived in Waddington & Potsdam)

• Richard Flack - Capt. (Lisbon)

• Elisha Denison - Capt. (Massena)

• Benjamin Stewart - Capt. (Potsdam)

• Jehiel Dimmock/Dimock - Lt. (De Kalb - Carpenter - Cavalry at Sackets Harbor

April 3, 1806 - appointments to Alexander Turner's Regiment - on Militia rolls - Capt Jehiel Dimock, Co of Col Major Benjamin Forsyth, entered into service Sacket's Harbor . Says he died Sept 20, 1813. (provided by Bryan Thompson, De Kalb Historian)

• Kelsey Thurber - Lt. (Oswegatchie)

• Samuel Armstrong - Lt. (Lisbon)

• Martin Philips - Lt. Madrid? Reuben Phillips

• Medad Moody - Lt. (Canton; Father-in-Law of Silas Wright)

• Potter Goff - Lt. (De Kalb)

• Seth Gates - Lt.

• John Hawley - Lt. (Madrid)

• John W Lyttle/Lytle - Lt. - Lisbon

John Lytle's Obituary - New York Spectator, July 19, 1843:

"In Lisbon, St Lawrence C o on the 28th June, Captain JOHN LYTLE, age 63 years.

The subject of this notice was among the first settlers of Lisbon, having emigrated from Washington County in 1800. He held the rank of Captain in the militia and regular service during the last war, and took an active part in most of the exciting events of that contest. He entered the service here soon after the war commenced, and was engaged in most of those petty contests and collisions which harassed this frontier during the first year of hostilities. After the taking of Ogdensburg and its abandonment as a military post he was ordered to Sackets Harbor and formed a part of the expedition under Dearborn in the descent upon Canada in the spring of 1813. He was engaged in the capture of Fort George near Toronto, then York (Toronto) and Fort Erie, opposite Buffalo, and in other contests on that frontier. He had the reputation of being one of the best drill officers in the service." According to Franklin Hough's " The History of St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties" John Lytle held the office of Justice of the Peace in Lisbon for more than twenty years. His father Robert had been a soldier in the Revolutionary War and he also served in the War of 1812 along with John's brother William.

• Calvin Hubbard - Lt.

• Benjamin Bailey - Lt. (Potsdam)

• Jacob Arnold Jr. - Ensign

• Thomas Lee - Ensign (Oswegatchie)

• John A. Armstrong - Ensign (Lisbon)

• Abner Wright - Ensign (Lisbon)

• James Parkil Jr. - Ensign

• Joel Woodhouse - Ensign (William Woodhouse - De Kalb)

• Daniel Greene - Ensign (Madrid)

• Nicholas Reynolds - Ensign

• Robert Jackson - Ensign (De Kalb)

• Seth Matthews/Mather - Ensign (Seth Mather - d. in Massena NY 1811)

• David French - Ensign (Potsdam)

Artillery formed April 6, 1807:

• Alex Richards - Captain (Abie Richards - Madrid- related?)

• Amos Wells - 1st Lt. (Madrid)

• Joseph Freeman - 2nd Lt. (Madrid)

Over the past number of years I have compiled a list of names of north country men who participated in the War of 1812. There are over 750 names on that list to date:


In 1808 a battalion of four companies was formed in Franklin County with Alric Mann, Major (from Constable) under General Benjamin Moore (Mooers - from Plattsburgh). Also that year Lt. Melancthon Taylor Woolsey, born close to Plattsburg, NY was stationed by the US Navy at Sacket's Harbor to supervise the construction of a large gun boat called the Oneida (built in Oswego). He was placed in command of this ship and the shore station there where boats were built.

In 1809, to enforce the Embargo restricting trade established in 1807, two companies were placed in Ogdensburg under Capt. Samuel Cherry (from Oswego, NY) and Capt. Thomas Anderson. Their presence was greatly resented by the citizens of Ogdensburg. Described in "The History of St. Lawrence County", "These two companies of troops are represented as the worse set of men that ever lived, and were charged with being needlessly officious in searching persons crossing the river, which led to jealousies that almost ripened in the citizens." When these troops finally left their departure was met with horn blowing, cowbell ringing and jeers from the crowd on onlookers.

War of 1812 events along the St. Lawrence River in chronological order:

• April 10, 1812:

Congress Requires 100,000 men to be raised for preparation for war.

• May 2, 1812:

General Jacob Brown (b. Pa. 1775 moved to upstate NY in 1798 to Brownsville - outside Watertown - claimed by some to be a potash smuggler. He was a land agent for the LeRay family) wrote to Col. Benedict to raise 43 men to be stationed in De Kalb. Colonel Stone of Herkimer (probably Old Madrid Cemetery - Col Ithiel Stone http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~stlawgen/CEMETERY/OldMadrid/CIMG_2945.JPG ) also raised about 37 men. Totaling 80 in all a company was raised with Darius Hawkins of Herkimer, Captain; John Polley of Massena and Elisha Griffin of De Kalb as Lieutenants. They arrived in Ogdensburg at the end of May.

Capt. John Polley's father, John Polley Sr. was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. They settled in Massena Springs in 1802. More on John Polly below.

• June 18, 1812 - Declaration of war against Great Britain:

Major Darby Noon from the Albany Volunteers, arrived in Ogdensburg to erect Barracks. Darby Noon would later become a Major of the 41st infantry and as Aid-de-Camp for General Robert Swartwout and would be wounded at the Battle of Crysler's Farm (across the river from Waddington and Massena).

• June 23, 1812:

Abner Hubbard (Brownville, NY Census 1810, Lyme, NY 1820 Census), a veteran of the Revolutionary War who lived at Millen's Bay and operated a Tavern at Cape Vincent, set out from Cape Vincent with another man and a boy and sailed to Carleton Island. When Hubbard landed, he found the fort occupied only by a single sergeant, three invalid soldiers, and two women. Without fighting Hubbard set fire to the buildings and departed with his prisoners taking them to Sacket's Harbor.

• June 29, 1812 - Ogdensburg:

Eight schooners from Ogdensburg harbor attempted to make it to the Great Lakes. D. Jones, a partisan, who lived in Maitland, Canada, took off after them and stopped them above Brockville. The Sophia and the Island Packet were boarded and the vessels were burned. The crew and emigrants who had been set on an island, were taken back to Ogdensburg.

• Early Summer 1812 - Massena:

"History of St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties: by Franklin Hough

"Early in the summer, 1812, an American Durham boat on its way up from Montreal, was stopped at Mille Roche, a corporal's guard was put on board, and it was ordered to Cornwall. The militia officer, Mr. Grant, being somewhat a stranger to the river and its channels, gave up to the captain and crew of the boat and its management, and the latter in running it down, steered across the foot of Barnhart's island (named for George Barnhart who died in Cornwall 1811 & his son William who settled on the island in 1804 - Barnhart's Island then part of Canada and after the Treaty of Ghent, became part of USA), and before the guard on board had time to realize their situation, they were moored to the shore, and taken prisoners by the inhabitants, who seeing the boat approaching, and comprehending the movement, had seized their arms and rushed to the water's edge, to await them. The boat's crew had moreover carelessly spattered water upon the guns of the guard, so as to render them entirely useless. A militia training was then in progress at Massena village, and thither a messenger was dispatched for help, but before they could arrive, the boat and the guard had been secured, and the latter were on their march to the village as prisoners. Their leader henceforth bore the title of Commodore Grant, and the thing was looked upon as a good Yankee trick. The boat was never recovered by the British and the guard having been handsomely treated, were dismissed on parole.

During the same summer, the inhabitants of Massena village, by voluntary labor,

undertook to enclose a portion of their premises with a stockade. This was built

of timber set into the ground, with two sides hewed to make the joints somewhat perfect, and the tops cut off about twelve feet from the ground and sharpened. A difference of opinion having arisen, in relation to where the line of pickets should run, and what premises should be included, the work was abandoned, and of course never afforded any protection, if indeed any was in reality required. Quite an amount of labor was expended on this work. During the months of July and August of the same year a barrack was erected near the center of the town, north of the Grass river, at the expense of the government, under the direction of Lieut. Emerson. It was a frame building, about one hundred feet in length , and occupied by militia of the county, under the command of Col. Fancher, of Madrid (first tavern in Madrid was kept by Gould Fancher....maybe same man or John Fancher is on the 1810 Madrid Census, or this is John Gould Fancher), for about three months. The numbers posted here were about 200 or 250. At the expiration of this period a part of these returned home and a part repaired to Ogdensburgh." (Ogdensburg originally had an "h" at the end of it which has since been dropped.)

Summer 1812 - A story too good not to be remembered:

Gouverneur Press 1871 - from Seth Alexander's Obituary:

"Mr. Alexander was a soldier in the war of 1812, and created quite an excitement in the military camp at Ogdensburg, on one occasion, when a new recruit, he was placed on guard with the usual order to allow no one to pass without the countersign, but the countersign was not given him. He obeyed the order so faithfully that he at length had a dozen men disarmed and seated on the ground, under guard of his loaded musket - his Captain and Sergeant being of that number. At last his musket was discharged, without effect, in the dark, at one who refused to obey his order, and his prisoners seized the opportunity to attempt to disarm him. The Captain and Sergeant were wounded by his bayonet, and the party fled, leaving their arms in his possession. A line of sentries was posted around him, to prevent others from falling in with him, and he stood his ground till morning, and till ordered off by the man who gave him his orders the evening before. "

Reminiscences of Ogdensburg:

Capt. Hawkins was officer of the day. a squad of volunteers had come in from the near towns, had come in on an alarm. I detailed one of the best of them, Seth Alexander, on guard that day. Seth Alexander of DeKalb with whom I was well acquainted. Ensign (Nathaniel) Holt (De Kalb - in Moses Burnnel/Thomas Benedict list) was officer of the guard and sergeant Barheyte (possibly Jacob Barhyte - Shodack, NY) was sergeant of the guard. I told the sergeant to look well to the guard and see the new recruits instructed in their duty. The Adjutant of a regiment never knows when his duty is done, he is liable to be called upon by every one for something and my duty kept me busy until near midnight, and as I was going to my quarters I met the officer of the day who wished me to turn and go the grand rounds with him. When we came to the guard house we found no sentinel at the door, we went in and found the guard all asleep on the floor. Hawkins mustered them up and inquired for the officer of the guard, they said he went with the sergeant, corporal and relief and had not returned. What said Hawkins have they deserted No I said Holt or Barheyte would not desert they are true men. something very strange has happened. We started on the grand rounds and at the first post we came to were hailed who comes there, who comes there, who comes there, without giving time for an answer between the hailing. Hawkins answered the Grand Rounds. I'll grand rounds you d — n ye. (Darius) Hawkins (from Herkimer) says, what does this mean. I expect it is some new recruit that don't know his duty, he ordered one of us to come along, one of the escort went up he ordered him to lay down his musket and sit down, then ordered another up. the other escort started but Hawkins stopped him and said he would go and reason the case with him. He went to him and began to speak but Alexander said damn you not a word out of your head sit down there, he sat down, now another came along. — the other soldier went up and was seated. I had reflected while all this was doing that I would rather risk his fire than go there and sit down, besides it was very dark — now darn ye do you come along — I'll see ye darned first ye darned fool. He fired and missed me and I went up and as I came up Hawkins had closed with him and fell back saying he has wounded me do you take him off his post. I took a pistol out of my belt to drop him but on reflection concluded I would not sacrifice a man I well knew and let him stand and took Hawkins to the guard house. I went to one of the companies and got volunteers in addition to the guard and set a line of sentinels around Alexander's post leaving him to stand there, in going to my quarters saw a light in a tavern. I went in some young officers were gambling, when I told them what had happened one of them ensign Emerson, pished at it and said he could get him off his post. I answered you may try. H e started off and I went to my quarters — the next morning Emerson was found there a prisoner. Alexander as soon as he came seated him and stood with his piece at a charge before him the remainder of the night, if he lifted his hand to brush off the moschetoes he would fly at him again darn ye sit still and would not let him say one word, sometimes the wind would stir the plume of his hat and Alexander would fly at him again — darn ye sit still — such is the way with new recruits. History tells us that Seth Alexander of De Kalb did not leave his post at daybreak until Capt. Hawkins had been carried near enough to order him off duty."

A little bit about Seth Alexander:

"Seth Alexander was born in Winchester, N.H. in 1779, and was within a few weeks of 95 years old at the time of his death. He came into this county in 1803, after which time, until his death, he always resided in the town of De Kalb, pursuing the avocation of farming. He was married in 1815, and had five children....The wife of Mr. Alexander died in 1839. Later in life he was married a second time, to Mrs. Barnes..... He was supervisor of his town for several years and held other town offices. "He was a trustee of the First Methodist Episcopal Church in De Kalb and gave sermons there from 1827 until his death in 1874. Seth is buried at the East De Kalb cemetery.

• July 19, 1812 - First Battle at Sackets Harbor:

Sacket's Harbor was a very small community in 1812. After M.T. Woolsey captured the British Schooner Lord Nelson on June 5th, a squadron of five British boats, the Royal George, the Prince Regent, the Elmira, the Seneca(or Simcoe) and the Earl of Moira, under the British command of Sir James Lucas Yeo were sited by Lt. Melancthon Taylor Woolsey (Plattsburgh)on July 19th approaching Sackets Harbor. Woolsey made an attempt to escape to Lake Ontario with his gunboat, the Oneida, but was stopped and moored off Shiphouse Point. Lt. Woolsey took part of his crew to shore, leaving the Oneida under command of one of his lieutenants. There was a 32 pound gun on shore that had been too large for the Oneida. She was referred to as the "Old Sow" and was manned by Captain William Vaughn (Oneida?). Meanwhile another gun ashore was under a volunteer company of artillery under the command of Captain Elisha Camp (Hounsfield), part of a Regiment under Colonel Christopher Bellinger (Lewis County - German Flats). Although the Americans had a 32 pound cannon at their disposal they only had 24 pound balls as ammunition. The women of Sackets Harbor wrapped the smaller balls with strips of carpet from their homes to fit the larger cannon. Shelling went on for about two hours when a 32 pound ball fired from the British flagship, the Royal George, was retrieved by Thomas D. Spicer (Hounsfield) after it plowed a deep furrow into the earth. It was then placed in the "Old Sow" and shot back boat that first sent it hitting the stern. 14 British were killed and 18 wounded.(Different document report different casualty numbers.) Having suffered other hits to various boats, the British retreated toward the lake, probably to Kingston for repairs, while the Americans on shore sang "Yankee Doodle". Many of these British boats would be met again later on in the war.

Plattsburgh Republican Aug 7, 1812:"A letter from H.L. Woolsey, dated Potsdam, July 25th, to his father in this town, states that "some travelers have arrived at Ogdensburgh from Kingston - they state that the British squadron on Monday following their repulse at the Harbor, came into Kingston, Colors half mast, and that the Commodore and fifteen others on board the Royal George were killed, with the three shots that hulled her. I know that the ball which went through her quarter must have come within a few feet of the Commodore's station. "I must believe the above account exaggerated but that some are killed there can be but very little doubt.""

• July 29 - Aug 1, 1812 - Morristown:

Many US merchant vessels were converted to gun boats. The schooner Julia , which had been built in Oswego was dispatched by General Brown and commanded by Lt. H. W. Wells accompanied by Captain Noadiah Hubbard (from Champion) of a rifle company along side in a Durham boat. The first night they made it to Cape Vincent. The next day they moved on toward Ogdensburg where they met the British Earl of Moria by Morristown. There they anchored and both sides commenced fighting. Injured badly, the Earl of Moria made it to Brockville where her guns were moved ashore. The Julia, only slightly injured, made it to Ogdensburg. There she was placed under the command of William Vaught, Sailing Master, Samuel Dixon (from Hounsfield - employee of David Parish) and Abram Shoemaker (Manlius & Oswego), volunteers. Lt. Wells returned to Sackets Harbor.

Just a note here on David Parish. He was a German born land speculator, owning over 200,000 acres of land in the St. Lawrence Valley. Parish lived in Ogdensburg, built a blast furnace in Rossie and the town of Parishville was named after him. Parish helped the US finance the War of 1812 by chartering the Second Bank of the United States and brokering a $7.5 million loan. Interestingly, he later drowned in the Danube River.

"Rise of the House of Rothschild" Egon Caesar Corti:

"Parish, David, Baron Von Senftenberg: Son of a Hamburg banker(John Parish). Set up on his own, and later became a partner of the Vienna Banking firm Fries and Co., in whose fall he was involved. Committed suicide at Vienna in April 1826"

• July 1812:

Historical Sketches of Franklin County and It's Several Towns" by Frederick Joel Seaver:

"General Mooers reported to Governor Tompkins in July, 1812 that of the men sent here from Essex County under Major Noble, a number had no blankets, some not a second shirt, and some were without shoes."

• September 5, 1812:

The Julia and her several charges were able to make their way from Ogdensburg up the St. Lawrence to Sacket's Harbor where they were converted into ships of war.

• September 16, 1812 - Prescott ONnt.- Toussaint's Island (across the St. Lawrence River from Lisbon, NY):

Canadian Version of the Raid: http://www.warof1812.ca/ambush.htm From "The History of St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties" by Franklin Hough:

"About the middle of September, it was learned, that a umber of bateaux were coming up the river laden with stores, and a party under Capt. (Elisha) Griffin (from De Kalb), in a Durham boat, accompanied with a gun boat, having eighteen men and a brass six pounder, under (Daniel) D. W. Church, left Ogdensburgh in the evening, and late at night landed on Toussaint Island opposite the town of Lisbon, and near the place where the enemy lay. The only family on the island was secured, but he man managed to escape by swimming and gave the alarm, and the provincial militia were hastily rallied. The bateaux lay under the north shore behind the island. The party under Capt. Griffin, took a position near its head, while Church was directed to station his gun boat near its foot. A sharp firing soon began and was continued for some time, when the boat was abandoned with the loss of one man, (Macomb's) and one wounded. It drifted down the channel, and was taken up by the enemy before it reached the foot of the island. The gun boat about sunrise came to anchor and was immediately fired upon: at the second discharge having five of the eighteen wounded, but before the third shot, the cannon was brought to bear, and very shortly after the regulars, who accompanied the enemy's boats, broke and ran. Failing in its object, the party returned by land, and the gun boat was sent to (Waddington). Adjutant James Fitzgibbons, (later was the officer who accepted the American surrender at Beaver Dams in 1813) was said to have charge of the British party, two of which at the time were reported killed and several wounded. We had but one man killed."

Background on some of these people:

Daniel Whipple Church - see bio above

Elisha Griffin -born in 1777 in Wyndham Ct. moved to De Kalb. He is buried at East De Kalb Cemetery - d 1855. An issue of the Canton Commercial Advertiser in 1937 indicates that Griffin established the first dairy in the vicinity of Canton in the Town of De Kalb and had 31 cows by 1831.

Reminiscences of Ogdensburg:

Although the attempt, in September of that year, to capture a number of British boats laden with supplies was unsuccessful, the bravery of the men ordered to the undertaking was remarkable. The account, taken from one of Mr. (Daniel W.) Church's letters, is most interesting.

" We got news of a number of boats coming up from Montreal and I was ordered down with a gun boat and 18 men to capture them and their boat a detachment of men was to accompany us, we landed about midnight on an island near the British shore, opposite Madrid and a scouting party sent out to reconnoiter reported the boats lying in the narrow run between the island and Canada. At daylight we

went around the island below while the other boat went around above in order to have the boats surrounded, when we came round the lower point of the island, we found the boats lying in a narrow run and a detachment of 150 redcoats of the 49 Regiment Paraded close by them we run up the narrow channel against the boats and came to an anchor, they fired a volley upon us and before we had brot the gun to bear upon them they fired another volley, the first did us no harm but the second wounded five out of the 18 one Sergeant (John) Clitz (also at battle of Crysler Farm: http://www.findagrave.com/cgibin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7316310) badly and others slightly. I fired the gun at their center, then to their right and then again to their left when they broke and all run helter skelter back into the field a mile off, we had no more trouble with the redcoats when I was leaning against the mast with my shoulder a rifle ball nicked a little notch out of the mast close by my ear I presume within an inch. After waiting four hours for the other boat (for I had only 10 men at the oars and six at the gun one of the best of them shot through the knee and entirely disabled) news came that the men had abandoned the boat. If the other boat had joined me nothing could have hindered the capture of the boats. I had kept the enemy at a respectful distance the space of four hours and nothing to do but shove off and go out but so it was. — We left them with regret. "

These brave men endured hardships and surmounted difficulties which would seem beyond human endurance. In writing of a trip to Madrid to guard some boats coming up the river, Mr. Church says:

" We left Ogdensburg after dark in a drizzling rain. We were accompanied by an escort of infantry under Capt. Lytle we had no horses to draw the six pounder it was extremely dark so much so that we could not see each other except one of the men who had a white frock, he was a bright active fellow and we constituted him leader. The roads were new and eight miles of woods between Lisbon and Madrid and a number of deep gulfs to pass, we got on well until we all had to help the horses at all the hills and deep mire, the drag ropes were rigged and the officers &

men were all in requisition at the bad places and a muddier set of fellows could not be found after the light of the morning came. Capt. Lytle and myself lifted at the wheels of the gun carriage until we were saturated with mud."

They stopped at Waddington at one the next morning and at daybreak afforded protection to the boats passing, pushing on later to a point opposite Iroquois for the same purpose.

• Sept 21, 1812 - Raid of Gananoque, ON (near Clayton, NY and Kingston, ON):

Captain Benjamin Forsyth (from Stokes County, North Carolina) with his company of riflemen and some New York militia attacked the village of Gananoque, near Clayton, NY(then called French Creek) and Kingston, On. The object of the raid, as Brown stated in a letter to Governor Tompkins, was to "capture some of the enemy's ammunition". Americans advanced on local Canadian Leeds militia who broke and fled. Gananoque’s military stores built by Col. Joel Stone were seized or burnt. After this raid British military officials in Quebec deployed trained professional soldiers to the upper St. Lawrence region.

Americans had one killed and one wounded. Canadians reported 4 wounded and 8 prisoners.

A little bit about Benjamin Forsyth:

Benjamin Forsyth was from Stokes County, North Carolina. Forsyth County was annexed from Stokes County in 1849 and was named for him. He led a company of Riflemen during the war. Forsyth was active in skirmishing along the St. Lawrence River and engaged in major battles around Lake Ontario. Towards the end of the war he was engaged in patrolling north of Lake Champlain and was killed in June 1814 in a clash at Odelltown. (near LaColle, Quebec - north of Rouses Point, NY along Lake Champlain)

Canton Free Library - Scrapbooks - Vol 1a - 1934:

"War of 1812, Captain Ben Forsyth, known as the Raider, was in command of the American forces in Ogdensburg, a company of riflemen and a few Albany volunteers. The British attacked from Prescott, crossing the river on the ice, drove Forsyth into the woods and plundered the village. Forsyth, a jaunty figure in riflemen's jacket of green and with feathered hat, had made quite a name for himself along the border by his raids on Gananoque and Brockville. Called by Governor Tompkins "that intrepid officer" and by one who served under him a "great big, good-looking damned fool." Forsyth had incensed the British by his raids and they proposed to administer a lesson to him."

A Canadian Historian, J. M. Hitsman described Forsyth as a "big, dashing daredevil from North Carolina".

Burlington Republican, October 30, 1812 - letter to Brig. Gen. Brown :

"Watertown, (Jefferson Co.) Sept 29, We are indebted to the politeness of Capt. Forsyth for an official statement of the Battle of Gananoque in Upper Canada. Pursuant tot he order of brig-general Jacob Brown, of the 5?th brigade of New York Militia - I embarked on the 18th Sept. 1812, with two-thirds of my rifle company, (say 80 exclusive of myself and 2nd Liet. Wm. C. Beard) for the purpose of taking the garrison of Gananoque, in Upper Canada, supposed to be about 100 strong, commanded by Capt Stone; which is about 40 miles distance from this place by water.

The wind being ahead we were only able to sail abut five miles when we went on shore and encamped. The 19th about sunrise proceeded on our voyage; the wind still ahead, was only able to made Cape Vincent by midnight, (the distance about 20 miles) went on shore and encamped - where Capt. M'Neil, Lieut. G. Brown, Ensigns Johnston and Hawkins of the New York Militia, and 19 privates volunteered their services in the expedition. From thence on the 20th about dark, sailed for our contemplated destination, wind still ahead - was only able to reach the shore about two miles above Gananoque between the break of day and sunrise, landed, took 1 prisoner and made a guide of him. In the interim we were discovered from the garrison of the enemy, who directed two horsemen to meet us, returned and reported, one of whom it is supposed we killed, as three riflemen fired at him, and he was seen to fall in the woods; the other we took prisoner. We proceeded to the garrison, formed in extended order with all possible expedition, where we found the enemy, about 100 strong, formed in order of battle. Their camp guard fired upon us at about 100 yards distance, and retreated into the garrison - immediately after, (say about sunrise, on the morning of the 21st) the enemy commenced a tremendous fire of musketry but much too high to do us any injury, which was immediately returned by us with a very rapid movement towards them, which caused them to retreat to the woods, and leave the garrison in about 15 minutes.

Our gain was 12 prisoners, (number of killed not precisely ascertained) about 30 barrels of flour and a quantity of beef, 41 muskets, 25 bayonets, 21 cartouch boxes, 9 bayonet belts and scabbards, 120 musket flints, 2047 ball-cartridges, one boat & sails.

Our means of transportation being insufficient to bring off the flour and beef, I ordered it to be burnt, together with the public store-house, which was accordingly done - the balance of property brought safe into camp.

Our loss was one killed, and one wounded - not dangerous.

Ten thousand dollars worth of private property was in our possession, which I ordered to be left with the individual owners.

Col. Stone the commandant was a Tory in the time of the revolutionary war, fled to Canada for refuge, where he has remained since a notorious enemy and opposer tot he government of the United States.

I lament that my 2d lieutenant, Wm. C. Beard, and 4 privates of my best riflemen lost their course, and did not get into action. I cannot close this report without expressing my entire approbation of the courage and conduct of the officers and soldiers under my command in this engagement. Benj. Forsyth, Captain US Riflemen Comm'dt."

• Rifle Regiments 1812: http://civilwarthosesurnames.blogspot.com/2009/01/united-states-rifle-regiment-of-war-of.html

"Sword of the Border - Major General Jacob Jennings Brown 1775 - 1828" by John D Morris:

"....Brown fitted out an expedition against the Canadian river town of

Gananoque, twenty miles downstream from Kingston. Capt. Benjamin Forsyth traveled to French Creek (Clayton) with 110 men, including ninety of his own riflemen and twenty militiamen led by Capt. Samuel McNitt (b. 12 June 1789, d. 1882 - Buried in Dugway cemetery near Mexico, Oswego Co., NY http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=37878153), and crossed the St. Lawrence to land two miles above Gananoque. An American force drove off the local militia, took ten prisoners, and carried away about forty muskets, three thousand cartridges, a barrel of powder, and other equipment. Public stores that could not be carried away were burned. Forsyth lost only one man killed and one wounded in his raid."

• October 1, 1812:

"The Pictoral Field Book of the War of 1812" by Benson John Lossing:

"General Brown arrived at Ogdensburg on the 1st of October."

• October 2-4, 1812: Battle of Ogdensburg:

From the Plattsburgh Republican, Friday Oct 9, 1812:

"On Sunday(Oct 4) last, the British made an attack upon the Village of Ogdensburgh. The Friday and Saturday preceding, they cannonaded the town for several hours each day, from the fort at Prescott and on Sunday, having prepared 40 boats with from ten to 15 armed men in each, and six pieces of artillery, they advanced to storm the town. When they arrived within a short distance the American troops under Gen. Brown (from Brownville, by Watertown), commenced a warm fire upon them, which continued on both sides for about two hours, at which time, the British, having two of their boats so knocked to pieces as to render it necessary to abandon them, and one taken, on board of which was six men, were compelled to relinquish the unprofitable contest, and fled precipitately to Prescott. No damage was sustained on our side, except the injury of some buildings, by their cannonading."

Ogdensburg Advance 1886 - reprint of the Ogdensburg Palladium Nov 3,1812:

"About 40 British boats, escorted by two gunboats, were proceeding up the river towards Prescott, when a cannonade was commenced from the enemy's batteries upon the village (Ogdensburg) to cover the boats, which was returned a short time, until it was found that long shots had but very little effect. On the 3rd the firing was renewed but not answered. On Sunday morning, the 4th, an attack was made by 25 boats and two gunboats. They proceeded up the river about a mile and then turned their course towards the village. The morning parade had just been dismissed, but order to rally was instantly issued and a wooden battery near the stone warehouse...was manned with the brass six-pounder, under Adjutant Church (Daniel W. Church) and an iron twelve-pounder, under Joseph York, (Ogdensburg's Sheriff) a volunteer citizen. A regiment of soldiers under the orders of Gen. Brown, Forsyth's riflemen, and the militia, numbering in all 1200 men, were drawn up on the west side of the Oswegatchie. The British attempted to land but were kept off by the Americans. The firing lasted but two hours and resulted in a loss of two men killed and one boat disabled for the British, while not a drop of blood was lost on the side of the Americans, but some little injury was done to property by firing of the enemy."

Reminiscences of Ogdensburg:

" Gen. Brown came to the door and ordered me (Daniel W. Church) with

my piece down to the shore ready to receive the enemy and by this time the shot came into the village merrily they had fourteen guns playing on us nine in the fort and five gun boats, we had only two guns, one twelve and another a six- pounder except an old four-pounder with but one ball to fit it — when they came near enough we opened up on them the twelve pounder recoiled on descending ground and being manned by villagers under Sheriff York they could not bring it back. I sent some of my men to assist them. Gen. Brown was soon with us he asked me where my men were. I told him at the 12 pounder. Where is Cook he said pointing to him curled up under the net work. Why do you not assist at the 12 pounder. I am no Artilleryman. You're a darned coward was what passed between them. We hammered at them. I requested Capt. Dixon a sea Capt. to see where my shot struck, he leaped up and stood on the battery, he said you have raked them quartering. I have since heard that shot took off one man's head and another's legs

close to his body, poor fellows they had their work finished for this world. This is war they came on within musket distance, the 12 pounder under York began to use grape shot I had none and used only round shot but they were beaten back and that sufficed, the battle was reported next morning in the newspapers and no names mentioned of those that did the work but others who stood parade and ready and undoubtedly would have done well, however they were celebrated for what they would have if — this is the way puppies get Peoples food, by snatching — they were behind the stone store in a safe place while we with two guns against

fourteen were in the field there was but one shot and two or three pieces of broken iron fired from the four pounder — this has always operated in my mind when I read accounts of battles, there is always some puppy to run away with the credit."

Writing of spying on the enemy, Mr. Church says : " Our method was to tie a white handkerchief on our heads and a white blanket around us and walk as near as would answer and then creep as far as that we could hear and understand their conversation and lie still on the ice until morning or towards it so as to get away undiscovered."

• From the British Perspective:

A convoy of boats carrying supplies led by James Pentz of the Canadian Fancibles was arriving near Prescott October 2nd when the Americans opened fire on them from Ogdensburg. The gun emplacements of a shore battery at Prescott answered the cannonade from Ogdensburg by hurling waves of shot at US positions. Under the cover of Prescott’s guns, Pentz and Gilbert (Sibbley - from Nova Scotia) with the Canadian Fencibles slipped past the barrage headed to Kingston.

In response, Colonel (Robert) Lethbridge decided, without consulting his superiors, to attack Ogdensburg on October 4th. With the arrival of additional regular troops, Lethbridge loaded his force of six hundred men into small boats and headed across the river. Before reaching the other side the invaders were met with a barrage of grape shot from the US artillery forcing them back to Prescott. After this, Lethbridge was recalled to Montreal and replaced by Lt. Col. Thomas Pearson.

Read more about engagement from the Canadian perspective at: http://www.warof1812.ca/stlawrence1812.htm

"The Pictoral Field Book of the War of 1812" by Benson John Lossing:

"....about forty British bateaux, escorted by a gun-boat, were seen approaching Prescott from below, and as they neared the town a battery at that place opened upon Ogdensburg to cover the flotilla. ...William E Guest, Esq....says" The villagers came out in large numbers, and stood in Washington Street, near the residence of Mr. Parish. Among them were a number of ladies, who felt safe, as no balls had yet come into the village. While all were intently watching, with great excitement, the movements of the contending parties, a 12-pound shot, with it's clear, singing, humming sound, passed over out heads, in the line of State Street, as near as we could judge, and fell in the rear of the village. A sudden change came over the scene, it became an intimate matter to all, and the ladies beat a rapid retreat."....The heavy guns at the latter place consisted of a brass six-pounder under the charge of Adjutant Church, and an iron twelve-pounder managed by Joseph York, Sheriff of the county and a volunteer, citizen, These relied to the British battery for awhile. On the following day the firing from Prescott was renewed, but was not answered; and on Sunday morning, the 4th two gun-boats and twenty-five bateaux, filled with about seven hundred and fifty men, under Colonels Lethbridge and Breckinridge, went up the river almost a mile and then turned their prows towards Ogdensburg with the evident intention of attacking it. Forsyth's riflemen were encamped at the time near the old fort on the west side of the Oswegatchie, and General Brown, with regulars and militia, were stationed in town....The subordinate commanders on this occasion were Colonel (Thomas) Benedict, Major (Jehiel) Dimock, Adjutant Hoskin and Captains (Benjamin) Forsyth, (Elisha?) Griffin, (Noahdiah?)Hubbard, Benedict and M'Nitt (Samuel McNitt)..... The whole American force amounted to about twelve hundred effective men. These were immediately drawn up in battle order to receive the invaders. When the latter had approached to within a quarter of a mile of town, nearly in mid-channel, the Americans opened such a severe fire from their two cannon that the enemy retreated in confusion and precipitation, with the loss of three men killed and four wounded.....one account says that one of their gun-boats was disabled, and the another that two of their boats were so knocked to pieces as to render it necessary to abandon them... About thirty rounds were fired from each of the two cannon, and the action lasted two hours. Not one of the Americans was injured in the action, but some damage was done to the town by the cannon-shot of the British."

• From the Ogdensburg Palladium of October 6.

Attack on Ogdensburg.

On Friday last about 40 British boats came up the river St. Lawrence. They arrived at Johnston about sunset, escorted by two gun boats. On their leaving Johnstown for Prescott (opposite this place) a heavy cannonade was opened from the batteries at Prescott upon this village, which continued for two hours, in order to cover the boats, in proceeding to Prescott from Johnstown. The fire was returned in a very spirited manner from batteries, until it was perceived that long shots made but little effect. On Saturday morning the boats were discovered to be in the harbor at Prescott, and early in the morning the enemy commenced a heavy fire on this place from 12, 9 and 6 pounders, which General Brown thought proper to answer. The fire continued for about half an hour. The enemy were mostly engaged all day in preparing their botas for something more serious and at about 10 o’clock on Sunday morning, 25 boats, aided by two gun boats, mounted with nine pounders, moved up the river from Prescott about three fourths of a mile, and then tacked and made for this place. As soon as they altered their course, all the cannon on the batteries at Prescott opened a fire on this village, which was not answered until the boats had advanced about the middle of the river, when our batteries commenced a tremendous cannonade upon thm, which after about an hour caused the enemy to return to Prescott in great confusion.

From the judicious arrangements made by Col. Benedict, Capt Forsyth, Capt. Griffin, Major Bull, Major Demcock, Adjutant Horcakiss, Capt. Hubbard, Capt. Benedict, Capt. McNit, and others, of the troops under their command, as directed by general Brown, had the enemy attempted a landing, an immense slaughter most inevitably have ensued. No person could have been more zealous and attentive than General Brown, through the whole action. Praise is also due to his field, staff and commissioned officers.

By this action the British are taught that 400 Yankees will not decline a combat when attacked by 1000 of their troops. Colonels Lethbridge and Backenbridge led the British in person. Although several hundred twelve, nine and six pound shot were thrown into this village, we are happy to inform our readers that not a single person was either killed or wounded, and very little damage to our village. From several deserters we learn that a number were killed and several wounded on board the bias – that one of their batteries gave way, by which circumstance a 12 pounder was dismounted and that one of their iron 9’s burst and mortally wounded a number of those who were managing the piece. Messers, York, Parsons(could be Silas Parsons on 1810 Oswegatchi Census) and Tattle (could be Ichabod Tuttle on Oswegatchi 1810 census) of the artillery deserve praise for their bravery and good conduct through the action.

Reminiscences of Ogdensburg 1749 - 1907"

" Mr. Parish narrowly escaped being hit, just passed over his head, as he was walking from the red house to the store, it struck just beyond him and bounded against Le Groi's garden fence. "

• October 23, 1812 - French Mills (Ft. Covington):

Historical Dictionary of the War of 1812 by Robert Malcomson:

"A small company from the Corps of Canadian Voyageurs under Captain John Macdonell guarded Akwesasne. On Oct. 23, 200 New York State Militia under Major Guilford Dudley Young attacked and captured the post killing eight of the British and capturing about 40. Some of the Americans remained to occupy it."

Ft. Covington Sun - Sept 12, 1985 - "History of Fort Covington" by Olga A. Robinson written 1906-1907 - "Chapter 3, French Mills in War Time 1812 - 1815:

"When war was declared against England in June 1812, a blockade was begun at French Mills, east of the river. This blockhouse was never completed. A company of militia from Lieutenant Colonel Alric Mavis' (typo in the article - should be Alric Man from Vermont, then Essex, NY and then 1820 Constable, NY) regiment (66th Reg, 40th Brigade) were posted here commanded by Captain Rufus Tilden (early settler of Moira, NY). In the fall, other companies of the 8th regiment under Ransom Noble of Essex joined and afterwards others under Major Guilford Dudley Young.

More on Ransom Noble, Guilford Dudley Young: http://www.omdhs.syracusemasons.com/sites/default/files/history/War%20of%201812%20-%20Grand%20Lodge%20of%20NY%202.pdf

As soon as it became known in Northern New York that war was declared, the people especially those in scattered settlements and on farms, thinking that the Indians would side with the British as in the previous war, lived in continual dread of Indian attacks and scalping parties. Many ridiculous panics occurred on account of false alarms, which probably did not seem so ridiculous at the time they occurred. In spite of many such delusions and awakenings there from, everyone fled at the sight of an Indian until the poor people were in danger of starvation as neither Americans or Canadians would sell them food. At last they appealed to Albany and found redress for their wrongs and a commissioner was sent to French Mills for sole purpose of selling rations to the Indians during the war. It had been agreed between an American and Canadian commissioner that the Indians at St. Regis remain neutral, but this agreement was broken by a British officer, Captain Montigny, (Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Testard Louvigny de Montigny) who posted a small company at St. Regis village.

When Major Young at French Mills heard this, he resolved to surprise the company and take them prisoners. The first attack made bout the first of October failed because he could not get his men across the St. Regis River; but after the general alarm in the village had subsided, he tried again and on the 21st of October with William Gray, the Indian Chief, for a guide, he crossed the St. Regis at Gray Mills, now Hogansburg, and gave the British a surprise party at 5:00 in the morning. The Americans were about as welcome as surprise parties usually are, but no resistance was offered and the garrison numbered about forty-four men were taken prisoners and sent to Plattsburgh." (note this can't be totally correct, about "no resistance was offered" as Montigny later dies of wounds from this surprise visit.)

• Background on some of these people:

"The Pictoral Field Book of the War of 1812" by Benson John Lossing:

"Guildford Dudley Young was born at Lebanon, Ct. in June 1776 and in 1798 married Miss Betsey Huntington of Norwich. In 1805 he settled in Troy, NY where he engaged in mercantile pursuits. He raised a corps of volunteers in the summer of 1812 and joined the service on the St. Lawrence Frontier under Colonel Benedict. Because of his exploit at St. Regis he was promoted to major in the 29th Regular Infantry in February 1813 and was raised to the rank of lieutenant colonel two months afterward. He was disbanded in 1815 and soon afterward joined Miranda's Mexican expedition. He left New York for that purpose July 1816. In August, the following year, he was in Fort Sombrero, with two hundred and sixty-nine men, when it was encircled by three thousand five hundred Royalists. While standing exposed on the ramparts on the 18th of August 1818, a cannon shot from the enemy took off his head."

• Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Testard Louvigny de Montigny:

Montigny served as an agent for the Indian Department of Lower Canada and was stationed at the Iroquois reserve of St Regis and was on the staff of the Lower Canadian militia. Following an American raid at St Regis, Louvigny de Montigny was captured on 23 Oct. 1812 and taken the next day to Plattsburgh, N.Y. He returned to Lower Canada on December 8, having been exchanged for an American colonel and died of his wounds on Feb. 24, 1813, at 62 years of age. Read more about him here: http://www.biographi.ca/EN/009004-119.01-e.php?id_nbr=2685

• Malone Farmer 1933:

The "Man Homestead (was) located between Westville Center and Constable village in the town of Westville. Occupied by Dr. Albon Man and Alric Man, brothers from Vermont (in) 1802. Both (were) officers in the War of 1812"

Ft. Covington Sun - Sept 12, 1985 - "History of Fort Covington" by Olga A. Robinson written 1906-1907 - "Chapter 2, The Beginning of French Mills:

"Fort Covington owes its beginning to William Gray, an Indian by adoption, whose life was one of long romance and adventure. He was born in Cambridge, NY of white parents. At the age of seventeen he joined the American Army in the War for Independence and was captured by the British and imprisoned in Quebec. When peace was declared, he was released but he lived at the Indian village of Caughnawaga and afterward at St. Regis. He won the hearts of the Indians by adopting their dress and manner of life so they took him into their tribe and he was finally made a chief. After he had won a wife from their number, and had lived of roaming the woods and rivers, he built a saw mill on the St. Regis River. The place became known as Gray Mills, now Hogansburg. When he grew tired of this he turned to new fields and this time hit the Salmon River. In 1793 he made a contract with his tribesmen by which he bound himself to build a saw mill and to give the Indians two hundred dollars; they in return were to give him the use of a tract of land one mile square around the mill. Gray built the mill and in three years assigned it to a Frenchman, Thomas Aroquente, and French Mills had begun its history."

• November 3, 1812:

"Historical Sketches of Franklin County and it's Several Towns" by Frederick Joel Seaver:

"Under date of November 8th Lieutenant (Charles) McNeil (Jr.) tells of "a wild goose chase" on the 3d inst., when Major young order our the battalion upon representation that there was a party of Indians within eight or ten miles, stealing and driving off cattle, hogs and sheep. A force of about one hundred and twenty soldiers took up the march, expecting to find a hundred plunderers. After proceeding four miles a swamp was struck and crossed, and then another longer one, in crossing which the men could not see two rods from each other, and in which many got mired. This second swamp was seven miles through. then, having advanced another mile or two, and having learned from the inhabitants that there were no plunderers in the vicinity, and also that the major had sent the pack horses to the very place where he had represented that the Indians were operating, the other officers became convinced that the major was in fact leading them to Baker's near Montreal., with the purpose of taking a fort there, not withstanding it was garrisoned by two hundred men, with five hundred more within easy call, and Captain Rufus Tilden, Captain Pliny Miller and Lieutenant McNeil, with ensigns, held a council, and determined to proceed no farther. being militia, these troops could not be ordered to service beyond the frontiers of the country. They accordingly went into camp for the night, without shelter of any kind, except a very few blankets, and with no food save a little pork and bread. "The next morning they started on their return to French Mills without appraising the other companies. These later followed some six hours later, and Major Young was furious at having been deserted. Lieutenant McNeil gives no further explanation of the affair. Soon afterward his company was transferred to Champlain where he died December 10, 1812."

More on Charles McNeil: http://www.omdhs.syracusemasons.com/sites/default/files/history/War%20of%201812%20-%20Grand%20Lodge%20of%20NY%202.pdf

More on Plinny Miller (Saranac Lake, NY): http://hsl.wikispot.org/Pliny_Miller and http://hsl.wikispot.org/Pliny_Miller's_Sawmill_and_Gristmill

• November 9, 1812 - Battle of Kingston, ON Harbor:

Isaac Chauncey learned from spies in Kingston that Hugh Earl (Commodore Hugh Earle) would be taking three ships- the Royal George, the Prince Regent and the Duke of Gloucester - onto Lake Ontario to support Fort George. On Nov 6th Chauncey took his ship, the Oneida and six armed schooners including the Hamilton and gave chase. After losing them that day they found the British Ships again on November 7th where they captured two Schooners. On November 9th in Chauncey followed the other ships into Kingston Harbor and engaged in firing on the Royal George, killing one man and significantly damaging the ship.

• November 23, 1812 - Raid of French Mills (Ft. Covington):

Historical Dictionary of the War of 1812 by Robert Malcomson:

British "Captain Andrew Gray was proceeding up the St. Lawrence River in a convoy of bateaux with supplies during the third week of November when he was ordered to recapture the Akwesasne post and then attack the American post at French Mills, New York, on the Salmon River about nine miles east of Akwesasne. Gray gathered a detachment of troops under Major Alexander Clerk, 49th Foot, which included men from the Glengarry Light Infantry (under Major George MacDonell), the 1/49th Foot and the Royal Regiment of Artillery, and 250 of the Glengarry and Stormont Militias. Gray, though junior in rank, appears to have held command. The British crossed to the Salmon River in the predawn hours of 23 November. The Stormont Militia reoccupied Akwesasne without any apparent opposition, while the rest, joined by 30 native warriors, proceeded across country to attack French Mills. Here, they surprised and overwhelmed the NY Militia garrison, which had three men killed and 42 captured. The British withdrew after destroying arms, ammunition and bateaux.

Plattsburgh Republican Dec 4, 1812:

"Captain Tilden's company of militia, about fifty in number, have been taken prisoners by the enemy at the French Mills without firing on either side, we understand the enemy consists of two or three hundred, and that captain Tilden had several hours notice of their coming. The enemy killed one man (Thomas Fletcher - on 1800 Chateaugay census) who stood in his own door, and plundered two houses in the village."

After the Major Young's attack on October 23rd on the Canadians at St. Regis village, Young left French Mills in November.

Ft. Covington Sun - Sept 12, 1985 - "History of Fort Covington" by Olga A. Robinson written 1906-1907 - "Chapter 3, French Mills in War Time 1812 - 1815:

"The English under Lt. Colonel (Alexander) MacMillan planned a retaliatory attack. On the 22nd of November an alarm was brought to French Mills and the company under Captain Tilden was marched to the blockhouse for as this structure still lacked a roof the soldiers were quartered in a building on Water Street. The British marched in on the old St. Regis Road, crossed the river and paraded up and down Water Street. Captain Tilden surrendered his party prisoners to the number of forty-four. These were taken to Montreal and after three weeks, were exchanged for the prisoners taken at St. Regis."

• November 24, 1812 - Ogdensburg:

Plattsburgh Republican, Dec. 1, 1812:

"Ogdensburg, Dec.1. Skirmishing. Last Tuesday two or three British gun-boats attempted to intercept some boats that had been sent up the river by captain Forsyth, of the U.S. regiment, for the purpose of obtaining fuel; on observing which, Capt. Forsyth manned a boat with 12 men and went against the enemy, and, notwithstanding the fire of the gun-boats, one of which mounted a twelve pounder, he succeeded in getting within rifle shot of them, and forced them to sheer of(f). One rife man was slightly injured by a musket ball. The gun-boats on their return to Prescott Harbor were fired upon by ou