Raid on Gananoque
September 21, 1812 in Gananoque, Upper Canada
The village of Gananoque was a very important point on the British supply line linking Upper and Lower Canada. It was a forwarding point for supplies moving up the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to Kingston and was garrisoned by a detachment of the 2nd Leeds Militia under Col. Joel Stone.
Capt. Benjamin Forsth, with one company of the U.S. Rifle Regiment, almost 170 regulars, and approximately 30 militia, crossed the St. Lawrence River in the early morning of September 21 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. 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 American force but were quickly pushed aside by Forsth's disciplined troops. After a spirited resistance, Stone withdrew his force. The Americans entered the town and destroyed food supplies, burned the government depot, and gathered ammunition supplies to be brought back to the United States. They then went through the home of Stone.
This raid, although small, showed the British that their supply line was vulnerable. As a result of the raid, a blockhouse was begun in Gananoque the following month and completed in 1813. The blockhoouse was garrisoned by different regiments during the war, and supply convoys were escorted.