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Raid on Gananoque, 1812
by R. Taylor

Gananoque was a very important point on the British supply line linking Upper and Lower Canada. Captain Benjamin Forsth with one company of the United States Rifle Regiment and approximately 30 militia crossed the St. Lawrence River in the early morning of September 21st, 1812 from Cape Vincent New York. They landed on the Canadian shore at Sheriff's Point 2 miles west of Gananoque.

Intelligence collected earlier stated that Gananoque would be lightly defended. And the mission was to destroy any and all supplies. As the Americans approached Gananoque the Leeds Militia were alerted by British Dragoons. The flank companies of the Leeds Militia met the U.S. force but were quickly pushed aside by Captain Forsth's disciplined troops. The Americans entered the town and destroyed food supplies and gathered ammunition supplies to be brought back to the United States. They then went through the home of the Leeds Militia commander, Joel Stone. Mrs. Stone was hit in the hip by a stray musket ball and was effected by this wound for the remainder of her life.

This raid, although small, showed the British that their supply line was vulnerable. They built a blockhouse which was garrisoned by different regiments during the war, and supply convoys were escorted.

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