Decked out Monday at Lighthouse Point in full Forsyths Rifles uniforms and regalia, Inspector Gen. Grover B. Katzman and gunner Charles F. Abel stuffed the replica 1800s cannon with gun powder packets, lit the fuse and let it rip.
It was, after all, a historically special anniversary that prompted them midday cannon fire in the otherwise quiet city.
This is the first day of the War of 1812, Mr. Katzman said. It was two hundred years ago today.
The 200th anniversary of the two-and-a-half-year-long British-American battle has significance for Ogdensburg. That is because eight months later, the two sides would square off in the Battle of Ogdensburgh at Lighthouse Point.
It was a victory for the British, capturing for them what was then a village and removing the American threat to British supply lines for the rest of the war.
Mr. Katzman, a veteran member of the Forsyths battle reenactment group - named for 1st U.S. Rifle Regiment Maj. Benjamin Forsyth - said Ogdensburg was an unwitting yet inevitable participant in the war.
I dont think they wanted it to happen, he said. It (the war) was up and down the (St. Lawrence) river. It was their supply line.
And it would prove to be a costly battle for both sides. The British sent in 520 troops, of which six were killed and 44 were injured.
The Americans were, by contrast, outnumbered with 250 troops. They also suffered more casualties with 20 deaths, six troops injured and 70 more captured.