Benjamin Forsyth

Born 8/22/1759 in Stokes County, N. C
Died 6/28/1814 in Odelltown, North Carolina


Benjamin Forsyth was an American officer of Rifle troops in the War of 1812 between Britain and America.

Originally from Stokes County, North Carolina, he obtained a lieutenancy in the U.S. 1st Rifle Regiment when it was formed in 1808. By the time the War broke out, he had risen to the rank of Captain and commanded a company.

Based at Ogdensburg, New York during the autumn and winter of 1812, he led the successful Raid on Gananoque and other attacks across the Saint Lawrence River, which threatened the British supply lines to their forces in Upper Canada. In February 1813, the British used a temporary superiority in strength to drive Forsyth from his positions at the Battle of Ogdensburg.

Forsyth's company was ordered to join the main American force at Sackett's Harbor rather than reoccupy Ogdensburg. They led the American assault at the Battle of York, and played a major part at the Battle of Fort George.

Later in the year, Forsyth (now a major) and his men took part in the campaign aimed at capturing Montreal, but were not present at theBattle of Crysler's Farm. Forsyth was promoted to brevet Lieutenant Colonel the following winter. He was active in skirmishing and patrolling north of Lake Champlain in the late spring and summer and was killed in June in a clash at Odelltown.

His death made him a hero to the people of North Carolina. Because of this, North Carolinians named a county after him; Forsyth County. In addition, the state General Assembly paid for his son's education through special legislation and gave him a jewelled sword. Forsyth Street in Manhattan, New York City is also named for him.