were four times as great as the force we were sending to oppose them.
Without a panegyric, the names of every one of those young men
of Upper Canada who volunteered their services upon this import
ant occasion deserve to be immortalized.
They ought to be handed
down to succeeding generations as a model to futurity upon like
occasions. Our gallant General s progress was so rapid and his
movements so warlike that General Hull and his forces, justly
anticipating the fury of an attack from him, shrunk from the idea
of endeavoring to resist the impetuosity of their shock and re-
crossed the river to their o\vn shore in the utmost precipitancy a
day or two previous to the arrival of General Brock and his force.
Upon the arrival our troops, seeing (torn and illegible)
could be effected by proclamation or a drunken frolic.
Such conduct as that of our brave troops clearly evinced to
them that men who were the actors in so brave an enterprise would
fight, and that they must in reality possess the most sovereign,
venerable and respectable opinion of the country, government and
constitution in and under which they had the happiness to live, and
they, disgracefully to themselves as the subjects of any nation, sur
rendered their whole army to the supreme heroism and bravery of
our handful of troops. This allayed all fears throughout the Pro
vince and the inhabitants were perfectly tranquil, pursued their
necessary avocations as usual in quietude, and a pleasing gleam of
hope and confidence pervaded the countenance of every man that
we should always be able to brave the rude assault of our enemies.
Fired with military enthusiasm and indignation at the base
conduct of the enemy in the Western District, the militia were all
in perfect readiness to cross the river and reduce all the fortifica
tions from Buffalo to Niagara, but the wise system of policy pur
sued by General Brock, in imitation of that of the mother country,
was to assume the posture of reconciliation : not to be the first
aggressor : to act on the defensive and to flog them terribly when
they attempted to invade us.
The French party in the States have argued that the people of
the Provinces would never resist their encroachments, but the cap
ture of Detroit, the battle of Queenston, the battle near French
man s Creek bridge below Fort Erie ferry, the capture of General
"Winchester and his whole army, the late glorious achievement at
Ogdensburg when the militia behaved equally as well as at Detroit,
the general conduct of the militia throughout the Province, estab
lishes it as an incontrovertible fact that the inhabitants are invari
ably loyal, with a very few exceptions, and possess all the warmth
and respect to good government, which is a happiness in any
History boasts of the brave conduct and heroism of the ancient
Greeks and Romans in contending with their enemies as unequaled.
but considering the infant state of Upper Canada, the difficulties
which it has labored under for several months in contending with a
powerful nation, and the success with which it has beaten and
repelled their assaults, it may vie with any of them for loyalty,
patriotism and valor. It is possible for it to be overrun and
destroyed, but it is absolutely impossible, while the art of printing
exists, for it ever to lose its good name. The venerable reputation
its inhabitants have acquired in arms since the commencement of
hostilities against it by the United States can never be forgotten,
and while it continues to possess the same spirit, with the reinforce
ments we may reasonably expect early in the spring, we may con
tinue to put our assailants at defiance until their own distracted
policy can have its necessary operation and meet with its deserved
fate, and we be rid of all our troubles.
It appears almost impossible in the nature and fitness of things
for the present government of the United States to exist under a
war for a series of years, as their resources for carrying it on must
entirely depend upon loans from individuals or a direct taxation
upon the people, and as a taxation, although trivial, was the cause
of their separation from their mother country, we may reasonably
conclude that they are but illy calculated at present to submit to it,
particularly when we know by what a small majority war was
declared, and what abilities opposed it in the House of Congress.
And when we see such productions amongst their own public prints
as the New Hampshire Memorial to the President of the United
States, remonstrating against the war measures, the proclamation
of Governor Griswold of Connecticut, and many more documents
which might be adduced if necessary.
The loss of His Honor Major-General Brock at the battle of
Queenston was seriously lamented, as all knew his bravery and
experience and were convinced that the defence of the country was,
uppermost in his breast, but the conduct of His Honor Major-
General Sheaffe, who immediately succeeded him in the command,
in gaining the heights at Queenston and completely defeating 1 the
enemy on that day, has given the country the most implicit con
fidence in his military abilities. And above all, what seems to war
rant and insure us success is that every man when he takes the
field to meet the foe carries in his own breast a self-evident and
strictly religious conviction that the GOD of BATTLES is with
him. Such men can and will act nobly and gloriously, being
entirely devoid of that remorse of conscience which touches, stings
and confuses the feelings and actions of all men when they are
doing wrong, and which we are sure every one of our invaders
carries his due proportion of.
His Excellency Sir George Prevost from Quebec, the Com
mander of the Forces in British America, is now on a tour to view
the different military posts on our frontier, and from such a signal
mark of his determination to afford us all the assistance in his
power, together with the military skill and vigilance of His Honor
Major-General Sheaffe, our beloved President, we may anticipate
everything salutary and desirable.
The present parliament now in session is about to be as liberal
as possible in providing. .....
(From the Buffalo Gazette, 23d March, 1813.)
On Wednesday morning last. (17th March,) at about one o clock,
in conformity with some previous arrangements, our batteries at
Black Rock opened fire upon those of the enemy, which continued
with but little intermission during the day. The Sailors Battery
at the navy yard silenced the enemy s lower battery and probably
killed several of the enemy. One man was killed at our battery by
a cannon shot from the enemy, one lost his hand in the act of load
ing one of the pieces, and several accidents happened, 2 or 3 balls
passed thro our barracks and several private houses were injured a
little. A few shot were exchanged on Thursday morning.
Three families residing on the Niagara River below Fort Erie
made their escape from Canada with most of their household effects.
They took the back road in rear of Fort Erie, and passing up the
lake they made the beach near Sugar Loaf. They immediately
took the ice between the sentries, and succeeded in getting a fine
start on the lake before they were discovered. They passed through
this village. They represent the situation of the poor class of the
Canadian people as truly distressing.
(File in Buffalo Public Library.)
I/ieut. Patrick McDonogh to his Parents.
BLACK ROCK, March 19th, 1813.
We had a cannonading here on the 17th inst. It commenced
from an alarm given on the lake at one o clock in the morning and
lasted until dark the next evening. There have been several ex
peditions on foot for crossing, but none has been carried into effect.
They are very weak on the opposite side and we are not strong,
altho double their number on the Niagara probably.
We have had correct information from General Harrison : he
has had to entrench his army, being so weakened by the defeat of
Winchester, and some, whose term of service had expired, returning,
that an issue of an engagement would have been doubtful and per
haps fatal. They were in good spirits, and such was the secrecy
observed in camp that the men were ignorant of their own weak
ness ; not a line was permitted to go out of camp.
(From advance sheets of the Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of
(From the Quebec Mercury, 27th April, 1813.)
MR. GARY :
SIR, The following is an extract of a letter from a private in
the Newfoundland Regiment. If you think it worthy of notice it
is at your service.
FORT ERIE, 20th March, 1813.
SIR, The Yankeys began to cannonade us on the 16th, about
10 o clock at night, and continued their fire until the next night at
8 o clock. We lost one man killed and eight wounded, one of whom
lost his hand by a round shot. The Yankeys had their boats all
ready to cross, but like cowards they pulled in their horns when
they saw we were ready to receive them. We received each half a
pint of whiskey, just as the boats made their appearance, and were
fully determined to dispute every inch of ground at the point of the
bayonet. I am certain that every man of us would have fallen be
fore we had given up to the enemy. We are in the greatest state of
preparation to receive the Yankey cowards, and that we may be
the more ready to give them that reception which they deserve, we
sleep with our clothes on, each man being provided with a blanket
for that purpose.
(File in the Library of Parliament, Ottawa.)
Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe to Sir George Prevost.
YORK, 18th March, 1813.
SIR, After despatching the letter which I did myself the
honour of addressing Your Excellency on the 13th instant, the
importance of forming without delay an efficient force from the
militia, and of giving effect on its first publication to the new plan
adopted for that purpose struck me so forcibly that I determined to
offer in the instructions I had prepared an addition sum of ten
dollars to each volunteer for the Incorporated Militia. I hope that
the critical situation in which the Province is placed will justify me
for having adopted the measure without waiting for an answer from
Your Excellency to my application on the subject.
(Canadian Archives, Q. 317, p. 97.)
Sir George Prevost to Earl Bathurst.
(No. 50.) QUEBEC, 19th March, 1813.
MY LORD :
I have been honored by the receipt of
No. 13, l(jth Nov., 1812. Your Lordship s despatches, dated as
No. 14, 8th Dec., do. per margin. That the measures which
No. 15, 9th do., do. 1 had thought it expedient to adopt for
the defence of this portion of His
Majesty s dominions upon the first intimation of hostilities with
America, and those which have been since continued, should have
met with the approbation of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent
is highly gratifying to me, and particularly, as in this instance, my
opinion of the propriety of defending with all the means at my
disposal the frontier of the Canadas led me to an opposite line of
conduct to that pursued by my predecessor, whose sole object
appears to have been directed to the concentration of his force at
Quebec, the only post which Sir James Craig considered capable of
a protracted resistance.
I have not failed in calling forth every exertion to preserve the
superiority of the British naval force upon the lakes, so essentially
necessary for the defence of Upper Canada, and I beg leave to
enclose for Your Lordship s information the copy of a report I have
received upon this subject, accompanied by a comparative statement
of the British and American Marine force upon the lakes, as far as
that of the enemy can be ascertained. By these documents it will
appear that the number of officers and seamen required to make
good the deficiency in the ships already employed and to man those
now building will far exceed the proportion that have been allotted
for this service. I cannot therefore omit the opportunity of craving
Your Lordship s consideration to this important object, that our
\vants may be complied with.
It has afforded me great pleasure in conveying to Major-General
Sir Roger H. Sheaffe and the officers and troops under his com
mand the entire approbation of His Royal Highness the Prince
Regent, of their zealous exertions and exemplary courage displayed
in repelling and defeating the enemy in his attack at Queenston on
the 13th October last, and of the distinguished marks of favor which
His Royal Highness has in consequence been graciously pleased to
confer upon the Major-General and the several officers in testimony
of the sense entertained of their services.
I did not fail at the same time to make known that His Royal
Highness was fully aware of the serious loss which His Majesty s
service has experienced in the death of Major-General Sir Isaac
Brock, and that His Royal Highness has been pleased to express
his regret at the loss which the Province must experience by the
death of the Attorney-General, Mr. Macdonnell, whose zealous co
operation with Sir Isaac Brock will reflect lasting honour on his
The assurance which Your Lordship has enabled me to make
to the Indian tribes, that whenever negotiations for peace may be
entered into the security of the Indian possessions shall not be
compromised or forgotten, will no doubt have the effect of securing
the cordial co-operation of those nations which upon so many occa
sions have proved of the utmost importance to His Majesty s
Government, and by a continuance of the same general line of con
duct which I have always adopted towards the Indians I have no
reason to apprehend that their assistance will during the present
contest be withheld or transferred to the enemy.
I have received with infinite satisfaction Your Lordship s com-
IStl F t mun i ca tio n acquainting me that it has been found
qofv. ? 4 possible to withdraw from other services the three
41 ,f " regiments named and that they will proceed immedi-
/T? 4.4. ately to Bermuda for the purpose of entering the St.
zd natt n T J ,, . -, ., ta
Lawrence as soon as the season will admit.
I am aware of the great exertion that has been required to
collect this force, and of the anxiety His Majesty s Government has
shown to place me in a situation conformable to my wishes.
The expectation of the above reinforcement and the arrival of
six companies of the 104th Regiment from New Brunswick has
enabled me to strengthen the several posts in Upper Canada, and
for this purpose I have directed the removal of the headquarters of
the 1st Battalion of the 8th (or King s) Regiment to Kingston, where
six companies of that corps will be stationed, with five companies
of the Glengarry levy and the Marine detachment of the Royal
Newfoundland Regiment, for the defence of the shipping and dock
yard at that port until the naval means of defending Upper Canada
have arrived from England.
I have also ordered four companies of the Canadian Voltigeurs
to be put in motion for Kingston, to be stationed there or advanced
to the Niagara frontier as circumstances may require.
I have been induced to adopt the latter measure to afford an
early proof of the disposition of the Canadians of the lower Pro
vince to contribute to the defence of Upper Canada, where circum
stances inseparable from the calling forth the militia force of an
infant colony are frequently evident in the losses, privations and
hardships which are inevitably entailed on the peasantry.
I look forward with some anxiety to the arrival early in the
spring of the several articles of arms, camp equipage, clothing and
stores which Your Lordship has stated to have been ordered in
compliance with my requisitions, and I am thankful to Your Lord
ship for the assurance that no exertions will be wanting to place
such means at my disposal as may lessen the difficulties of my situ
ation, and ensure the security of His Majesty s Provinces under my
I have much satisfaction in the opportunity which my visit to
Upper Canada has afforded me of reporting to Your Lordship that
a proper understanding is restored in that Province by the extinc
tion of the cabal operating against the person administering the
government, for whilst I remained at York I received the most
unequivocal assurances from the legislative body then and there
assembled, of their decided disposition to discharge their duty to
His Majesty and the people with unanimity, promptitude and
(Canadian Archives, Q. 121, p. 140.)
Major- General Sheaffe to Mr. Noah Freer.
YORK, 20th March, 1813.
DEAR SIR :
Thinking that it would be proper to transmit to Earl Bathurst
the documents received from B. General Procter as explanatory of
his motives for establishing martial law in the Territory of Michi
gan, I have looked for them, but in vain. I therefore take it for
granted that they accompanied you from hence, and that His Excel
lency will send them home if he thinks it necessary.
I have been favored with your communication of the llth of
March, containing much agreeable intelligence ; the promised rein
forcements will not be the less acceptable for having been unex
pected. I wish the Riga heroes were at their destined posts.
I believe that the sum to be transferred by Sir George s war
rant to the Receiver General cannot be ascertained until I go to Fort
George, where I hope to be in a very few days : the sum first asked
is perhaps not sufficient at present.
Major Heathcote and detachment arrived to-day. I expect
two companies of Glengarry in a day or two.
You will have the goodness to complete the information about
all the allowances for the several militia staff departments, clerks
and their allowances ; what for, office rent, stationery ; of what rank,
the Gn. allowances of the D. Q. Master General, &c.
The enemy celebrated St. Patrick s day by firing on us at our
right flank. One man was killed and two wounded of the N t" I d
Regt. We dismounted, it is said, three of their guns.
(Canadian Archives, C. 678 p. 133.)
Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe to Earl Bathurst.
YORK, 20th March, 1813.
MY LORD :
The various documents connected with the business of the late
session of the Legislature of this Province, w r hich are preparing for
transmission, will no doubt afford high satisfaction as furnishing
strong evidence of the spirit of unanimity and of true patriotism
which has governed the proceedings of that body. The means at
its disposal being inadequate to the paying of so large a bounty to
volunteers for the Incorporated Militia as would be necessary to
answer every purpose, there were only eight dollars voted for each
man. The Speaker of the House of Assembly told me he wished
they could have raised it to twenty each, the same which His Excel
lency Sir George Prevost had mentioned to me as that which he
thought might be required for an outfit. It being my own decided
opinion that the sum granted was insufficient either to operate as an
inducement for engaging in the Incorporated Militia during the
war or even to provide the necessary articles for an outfit, I addressed
a letter to His Excellency applying for further aid. and soon after
its departure I wrote another, of both of which I have the honour
to transmit copies (Nos. 1 and 2). I have only to add, in order to
lay the whole before Your Lordship, that they were written under
the impression which I had received from a communication made to
me by Sir George Prevost that but little if any hope could be enter
tained of a reinforcement from Europe, and that a most urgent
necessity existed for forming without delay a force more efficient
than the ordinary militia of the Province. As an additional aid for
the purpose, I have announced it to be my intention to recom
mend the services of the Incorporated Militia to the favourable
consideration of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent for a grant
of land, and I do accordingly solicit Your Lordship s attention to
that mode of rewarding faithful services, the most acceptable in an
infant colony, and that you will be pleased to lay my humble
recommendation of it at the feet of our most gracious Prince.
(Canadian Archives, Q. 317, p. 92.)
Memo, by I<ieut. -Colonel Glegg.
Route from Sandwich to Fort George:
Belie Riviere 22
River Thames 18
Matthew Dolson s 16
Mr. Richardson s 20
Fairfield Village 6
George Ward s 10
Delaware... 24 Total 134
McMullen s 7
McCartney s 29
Yeigh s 13
Grand River 12
Vanderlip s 14
Hotel (Ancaster) 4 Total 90
John Petit s 18
40 Mile Creek 5
Henry s 10
Fort George 20
Grand total 277
From Fort George to Ancaster 57
From Ancaster to Delaware 90
NIAGARA, 20th March, 1813.
SIR, You will please to have your company paraded at Ship-
man s on Tuesday next, the 23rd instant, at 12 o clock, with such
arms and accoutrements as they may have in their possession. You
will also have a roil of your company.
W. GLAUS, Colonel,
1st Regt., L. M.
To Capt. J. A. Ball.
ADJUTANT-GENERAL S OFFICE,
QUEBEC, 20th March, 1813.
The Commander of the Forces directs that a detachment of
four complete companies of the Canadian Yoltigeurs, under the
command of Major Heriot, should proceed to Kingston, Upper Can
ada. Major-General De Rottenburg will cause this detachment to
commence its march from the Montreal District as soon as it may
be in readiness after the settlement of their accounts to the 24th
A. G. X. A.
Brigadier-General Vincent to Major- General Sheaffe.
FORT GEORGE, 21st March, 1813.
SIR, I have the honor herewith to forward a letter from
Lieut.-Coloriel Bisshopp, commanding at Fort Erie, containing a
report of a cannonade commenced by the enemy on the morning of
the 17th inst., with a list of the killed and wounded.
I have been since at the fort and found all quiet. I have also
to report the wounded are doing well. The man reported danger
ously has lost his left arm.
(Canadian Archives, Q. 317, p. 100.)
From P. If. Walsh to Thomas Welch.
FIFTH LETTER FROM CARTER S POINT.
To Thomas Welch :
After writing my 4th letter it was my turn to go to the lower
picquet on duty for 24 hours that was from 4 o clock of the 16th
inst. to 4 o clock of the 17th inst. They had thrown four shots at
the ferry within 24 hours, a circumstance I intended to mention in
my last letter but sealed it without its immediate occurrence then.
The picquet I commanded mounted at about 7 p. m. of the
16th, when I continued to watch with the Gentries during the fore
part of the night. About one o clock we heard vollies of musketry
at or near Buffalo, at short intervals, for about two hours. The
night was very still. About 3 o clock the enemy offered a heavy
cannonade from their batteries upon our people at the ferry, &c.
The fire was returned, about one shot of ours to eight or ten of
theirs. Col. Clark, of the 3d Regiment of Lincoln Militia, now rode
up to give his regiment, (who were stationed above us, at Haun s,)
orders to march for Fort Erie, and at the same time communicated
similar orders to Capt. Rapelje, who set forward with his and Capt.
Powell s united companies. They soon reached the lower picquet
where we joined the party, except one left on centry. We found
on our route that the regulars had marched down before us. We
could discover some of them, however, at a great distance on the
ice as a guard, and was told next morning that one of them deserted
from that position in the night and undoubtedly got safe across.
The countersign was changed. When we reached Fort Erie we
could discover the batteries of the enemy as they fired, and saw
one shell sail across the river, but it did not burst. A number was
fired on both sides. Still the cannonade increased. However,
instead of being ordered to join the army near the ferry we was
ordered to return to Rose s Point, two-thirds of the way back, which
was almost to the lower picquet, where I resumed my station for
the night. The cannonading continued till the 17th at evening.
An officer of the regulars informed me about noon of the 17th that
we had one man killed and eight wounded, and was since told that
two of the wounded were dead. Next night (17th) we were
all collected at Davis s Point, where we all lodged in a barn all night
without blankets. On the 19th we had a general parade at Carter s
Point. Col. Nichol arrived just after the parade and said a sleigh
was crossing the ice. Several gentlemen rode off in pursuit. One