Sunday, April 29, 2012
The Raid on Elizabethtown
Raid on Elizabethtown occurred on February 7, 1813, when Benjamin Forsyth and 200 men crossed the frozen St. Lawrence River to occupy Elizabethtown and seize military and public stores, free American prisoners, then capture British military prisoners. On February 4, 1813, a British detachment from Prescott, Ontario crossed the St. Lawrence River on the ice and took a few prisoners in Ogdensburg, New York. Two days later, Benjamin Forsyth, a major in the United States Rifle Regiment, left Ogdensburg at 22:00 hours at the head of about 200 regulars and volunteers. He marched to Morristown, New York, twelve miles (19 km) up the river, crossed over at 1:00 hours and took Elizabethtown by surprise. He freed the American prisoners from the Elizabethtown jail and took 52 British prisoners at a cost of one man wounded on each side and a 28-mile (45 km) march in the bitter cold. His performance convinced the British commanders that Ogdensburg had to be neutralized.