Reenactors recreate the Battle of Ogdensburg over 200 years later

Updated: Feb. 22, 2020 at 11:17 PM EST
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OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - The streets of Ogdensburg are being overrun by the British. But the bangs of rifles and cannons are only for show.

It’s the reenactment of the Battle of Ogdensburg. The fight took place on February 22nd, 1813.

Reenactor Ron Keeler says it involved the British crossing over from Canada on the St. Lawrence River.

“In those days the river froze up. So he marched his troops across the river, including cannons with him. People were absolutely astounded,” said Keeler.

And reenactor John Miller says American soldiers were caught off guard.

“It was actually February 22nd, which was our president George Washington’s original birthday. So, some of the American troops might have been having a little celebration. So, they might have been caught a little bit unaware that morning,” said Miller.

The reenactment followed the same path as the actual battle.

It started at the corner of Franklin and Riverside streets and ended downtown at Ford and State streets.

Keeler says the real fight didn't take too long.

“They came over about seven in the morning, and probably by noon at the latest it was all over,” said Keeler.

From the British perspective, there were a couple reasons for the battle.

“Revenge, because the Forsythe’s had come over and attacked Prescott. I think it was strategic too, as far as the point. They had artillery here, and there was a lot of supply lines here,” said reenactor Amanda Fasken.

Keeler says the Americans and the British made amends shortly after the fighting was done.

“The British left shortly thereafter. Reparations were made. Plundered property was returned,” said Keeler.

Miller says while fighting took place in the city, a separate group of British soldiers attacked a different target.

“They went a little bit to the west to attack where the old fort was,” said Miller.

The second part of the recreation of the Battle of Ogdensburg takes place Sunday at Lighthouse Point at 1:30 PM.

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