momentary effect of the wound in his head in time to escape down
the mountain. This happened, I think, about ten o clock.
Our forces rallied about a mile below. Gen. Sheaffe, with the
41st from Fort George, nearly 300 in number, came up soon after
with the field-pieces of the Car Brigade. All the force that could
be collected was now mustered and we marched through the fields
back of Queenston, ascended the mountain on the right and re
mained in the woods in rear of the enemy till intelligence was
gained of their position. During this time the Americans were
landing fresli troops unmolested and carrying back their dead and
wounded in their return boats. About 8 o clock P. M., General
Sheaffe advanced through the woods towards the battery on the
mountain with the main body (composed of the 41st and the
Niagara Militia Flank Companies, with the field pieces,) on the
right. The Mohawk Indians and a Niagara company of Blacks
proceeded along the brow of the mountain on the left, and the
light company of the 49th with our company of militia broke
through the centre. In this manner we rushed through the woods
to the encamping ground on the mountain, which the enemy then
occupied, and which had been the scene of their morning s success.
The Indians were the first in advance. As soon as they perceived
the enemy they uttered their terrible war-whoop, and rushing
rapidly upon them commenced a most destructive fire. Our troops
instantly sprung forward from all quarters, joining in the shout.
The Americans gave a volley, then retreated tumultuously and fled
by hundreds down the mountain. At that moment Capt. Bullock,
with 150 of the 41st and two flank companies of militia, appeared
advancing on the road from Chippawa. The consternation of the
enemy was complete. Though double in number they stopped not
to withstand their pursuers, but fled with the utmost precipitation.
Never were men more miserably situated they had no place to
retreat to, and were driven by a furious and avenging enemy, from
whom they had little mercy to expect, to the brink of the mountain
which overhangs the river. They fell in numbers -the river pre
sented a horrid spectacle, filled with poor wretches who plunged
into its stream from the impulse of fear, with scarcely the hope or
probability of being saved. Many leaped down the side of the
mountain to avoid the horrors which pressed upon them and were
dashed in pieces by the fall. The fire from the American batteries
ceased. Two officers were now observed coming up the hill with
a white flag, and with some difficulty the slaughter was suspended.
They were conducted up the mountain to Gen. Sheaffe. A cessation
of hostilities for three days was asked for and assented to Gen.
Sheaffe very properly and considerately insisted upon the immediate
destruction of their boats, which they permitted.
Thus about 4 o clock P. M. ended the business of this day, so
important and so interesting in its occurrences to the inhabi
tants of this Province. The invasion of our peaceful shores by its
unprincipled and insidious neighbors has terminated in the entire
loss of their army with everything brought over, not excepting
their standard with the very modest device of the "Eagle Perched
upon the Globe." The exact number of Americans landed cannot
be easily ascertained by us, but we know that we have taken more
than 900 prisoners with 60 of their officers, probably their bravest
and their best, and that, except the poor wounded men who were
carried over in boats while they retained possession of the moun
tain, scarce a man has straggled back to relate to his country the
disastrous event of an expedition planned by their unrighteous
government to destroy our unoffending, and as they hoped defence
less, Province. Never was an infernal and unprovoked and unjust
attempt at plunder and oppression more completely frustrated, and
the view of dead bodies which strewed the ground, and the
mangled carcasses of poor wounded suffering mortals who filled
every room in the village, while it rent the heart and provoked the
execration of their measures and those men that led the deluded
wretches to their ruin, afforded a proud, a just and an honest exul
tation that the hallowed cause of our country had so gloriously
Still, we have much to sorrow for. Our country has a loss to
deplore which the most brilliant success cannot fully atone for, and
private feelings will have received wounds which even time tho it
may soothe can never heal. The General, who had led our little
army to victory, whose soul was wrapped up in our prosperity, and
whose every energy was directed to our defence, is now shrouded
in the grave. Brave to admiration and entertaining no idea but of
conquering in so sacred a cause, he met the fate which he dis
dained to shun and ended a life which was an honor to his pro
fession by a death which must ever be its glory. Who will not
sympathize in another misfortune nearly related to the former,
though of a nature more deeply interesting because it affects our
nearer and more kindly feelings ? I mean the death of Lieut. -Col.
McDonell. This heroic young man, the constant attendant of the
General, after his fall strove to support to the last a cause which
should never be despaired of, because it involved in its event the
very salvation of his country. But he was not reserved to witness
its triumph. I have mentioned the manner of his death. His
career was short but honorable, his end was premature but full of
glory. He will be buried at the same time with the General. The
tears of every lover of his country will honor their fate, and never
can their memory be too much venerated. Our company of volun
teers suffered considerably. One man was killed and eleven
wounded, some of them very badly. But all these, tho melancholy
circumstances, are the inevitable consequences of war, and grateful
should this Province be to Heaven if by a sacrifice of some of its
gallant defenders it can save itself from unjust aggression and
preserve to our Mother Country a possession which has been ever
the object of her affection and will soon contribute eminent^ to her
prosperity. The cause of our enemies has received a deadly shock.
They have lost a great number of their regular troops. Their
militia were unwilling to partake in the enterprise, and it cannot be
supposed that they will hereafter be more forward in a cause
which was ever repugnant to their feelings, and which they now
find to be as big with danger as it is hostile to every principle of
humanity and right. They have besides lost some of their leading
officers. Col. Van Rensselaer, who commanded the expedition, was
wounded in the boats arid obliged to return. General Wadsworth,
who succeeded him, is taken by us with several others of their
field officers. All the arms they brought over have fallen into our
hands. We, on the contrary, except in the calamitous instances I
have mentioned, are not at all impaired in the means of defence
against a similar invasion. The loss on our part was providentially
small. Only twenty men have fallen in a contest in which four
hundred of the enemy unquestionably perished. Our troops will
have received fresh courage from their victory, and the cool tho
determined and vigorous conduct of General Sheaffe and the gallant
behaviour and spirited exertions of the officers under his command
on that occasion claim from us every confidence in the anticipation
of the future.
(From a copy in possession of Lt.-Col. G. Villiers Turner, Reading, England.)
I/ieut. Patrick McDonogh, ad U. S. Artillery, to
BLACK ROCK, Nov. 13th, 1812.
Here we are, sometimes in grand spirits at others in the dumps :
when there are any signs of crossing we are cheerful, but the
thought of passing a dull winter on the banks of the river brings
down the lip. Since my last the infantry were ordered to build
huts to quarter in. After they had pitched upon the ground and
some companies had struck their tents to march to it, an express
arrived from General Dearborn or the Secretary of War which
caused the order to be countermanded, and General Smyth in an
address to the men of the State of New York says that in a few
days we shall plant the American standard in Canada, that we will
conquer or die, and that no savages shall cross to tarnish our
ungathered laurels by ruthless deeds. Before this reaches you it
will be in the Philadelphia newspapers. There was an order issued
yesterday that the officers should dress as much like the men as
possible, so that they could not be distinguished from them at 150
paces, and that the soldiers should be drilled in squatting or lying
down and loading their pieces. There are from 1,500 to 2,000
drafted militia coming on from Pennsylvania, 200 of which they
say are riflemen, and that they will all cross. They are within two
or three days march of here. After they get a few days drilling
we may expect to move. It has been snowing lightly for the past
three days, but the bottom not being good the snow has not
remained any depth on the ground.
P. 8. Roach is getting much stronger ; he sits up part of the
day. Major Mullany is still here and says he will remain until we
get the town-major opposite to exchange for him.
14th I open my letter to mention the probable time the
armistice will cease. I have just received orders to go to Niagara
with twenty men for the purpose of bringing up all the ammuni
tion and camp equipage there and to have them here by the 20th,
when you may expect hostile operations will begin.
(From advance sheets of the Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of
(Brig. Major Evans?) to Hon. Win. D. Powell.
FORT GEORGE, 4th Dec., 1812.
MY DEAR SIR :
I embrace a leisure moment to detail to you a few of the mili
tary occurrences which have taken place on our frontier. Previous
to the 19th ulto. nothing worth recital took place. On that day
the termination of the armistice was notified to us. A land enter
prise had been contemplated whenever that event should happen,
embracing the destruction of the battery opposite our fort, that of
the contiguous houses affording shelter for their troops, and if prac
ticable to attempt the capture of the fort, debouching by the Four
Mile Creek, destroying the boats and depots established there, and
finally returning by the lake by means of the Pi-inc-f Refjcnt and
boats to have been stationed within pistol shot of the shore. This
movement was to have been favored by a brisk cannonade on the
fort of Niagara. For some reason or other the General abandoned
the land enterprise and confined himself to the cannonade in which
the enemy are stated to have lost one officer, and 10 killed and be
tween 20 and .SO wounded. Ours was a half-pay officer and a
soldier of the 49th killed and some trifling wounds. Outbuildings
were consumed and the mess-house of the 41st. The town has
sustained considerable injury. The houses most damaged are those
of Mr. Symington, Mr. Forsyth and the one in which 1 live. The
enemy has been particularly uncivil to me, having destroyed almost
everything in my quarters and my epaulettes stolen from my coat,
and my bed was scarcely to be discovered, such was the ruin and
destruction of everything around it. From that moment our toils
and privations have been excessive. The dangers of the field have
been nothing to what we have suffered. Scarcely an hour s rest
anv night, without any longer a single establishment for even a
breakfast. At two in the morning of the 28th the enemy landed
above Grand Island in 14 boats, each containing from 34 to 40 of
their chosen troops and rowed by their desperate [sailors] ? They
were timely opposed by the h eld artillery which did much execu
tion previous to their landing, but by some mistake or other
unaccountable cause the proportion of the 49th stationed for the
defence of the batteries did not do all that was reasonably expected
of them. The batteries were in consequence carried, the guns
spiked and the h eld artillery disabled. Poor King will, I fear, lose
his leg. Lamont [isj wounded in five places, but expected to
recover: some officers of the militia wounded and about 80 killed,
wounded or prisoners : 36 of the militia and 49th gave themselves
up as prisoners to the enemy. King is a prisoner. Our estima
tion of the enemy s loss is from 100 to 120, of whom about 40 are
prisoners, including their great character, Captain King, General
Smvth s A. 1). C. The latter surrendered on reinforcements arriv
ing: the others got off after burning many houses. Some hours
after a second division of eighteen boats approached our shore, but on
Col. Bishopp s appearance he easily repulsed them. From that
period nothing but indications of crossing by the enemy. Of course
you may imagine our anxiety and fatigue. Yesterday we received
the most gratifying intelligence corroborated from many quarters.
The enemy had 6,000 men and 118 boats. Their failure had excited
such disgust that General Smyth had been repeatedly fired at, the
belt of his A. D. C. shot off. The militia had expended all their
ammunition, disembodied themselves and marched home. The
regulars were dying upwards often a day, and the sickness increas
ing. Had I time I would transcribe Smyth s proclamation. It
beats Hull s for falsehood. He openly declares that the British
were bringing the savages to butcher their women and children,
and offers a reward oi 40 dollars for the spoils of every one who
shall be killed. It is impudent and infamous throughout. We are
still on the alert, prepared for whatever may happen. We have
accounts from above. The enemy still at Fort Defiance. Young
Elliott, the lawyer, and an Indian chief were killed in recon-
Poor old Major Campbell was buried yesterday; he was fairly
worried and died of cold and anxiety.
We are all in spirits here. Myers and Bisshopp are looked up
to from all quarters. The former commands the right of the line.
It is in good hands. Our disposition and arrangements have of
course had a complete change and our main strength now lies above
Chippawa. Fort Erie has been summoned by General Smyth in
presence of 6,000 of his troops embarked in their boats. A sure
proof this of irresolution. You may imagine the answer returned.
On the night of the 28th, after having rode at least 70 miles
during the day, and arranging our new line, I had the misfortune
to sprain my ancle and wrist by my horse galloping in the darkness
of the night against a wood fence. They have not, however, been
sufficiently severe to cause a moment s confinement, nor have I
since that period had my clothes off for two hours together. You
may imagine I am now anxious to see my family, and I believe it is
expected I should immediately descend, but as I have not yet
abandoned this line for a single minute it would grieve me much
at such a crisis to be taken away. Nothing but a positive injunc
tion from headquarters shall compel me thereto.
(Prom MS. in possession of George Murray Jarvis, Esq.. Ottawa.)
I/ieut. Patrick McDonogh to his Parents.
WILLIAMS VILLE, December 12th, 1812.
We are now encamped in the woods, building
huts which we expect to get into by the middle of next month. It
is rather late in the season to be in tents. We have a very hand
some situation on Eleven Mile creek. The place is called after its
owner, a Colonel Williams of Xew York. I hear he contemplated
building his house next spring on the very ground on which we are
building, and desired that not a piece of timber should be cut, as he
wished it entirely shaded, but I can promise him that by that time
there will not be a sapling standing within a mile of it. We
marched from Black Rock to this place on the llth inst. You
have heard ere this of the duel that took place on the 12th between
Generals Smyth and Porter, and the latter s statement of facts.
General 8. has left here on furlough. Col. Porter of the Light
Artillery commands in his absence, and as we are eleven miles from
the enemy everything is quiet.
(From advance sheets of the Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of
Major-General Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe to Hon. Wm. D. Powell.
FORT GEORGE, 20th Dec., 1812.
MY DEAR FRIEND :
I have acted on your suggestion regarding the alleged combin
ation, having written, or rather directed a letter to be written, to the
Acting Attorney General to take the necessary steps, and desired
him to show it to you that it may be ascertained that all is right
and according to law, for I really have so much to do that I cannot
do anything well.
I have answered the chairman s letter accompanying the plan,
which cannot be too highly extolled.
I have sent a copy to Col. Talbot and an express is going to
Amhferstburg] by which I shall also send one, and more if I can.
I presume that it is in print by this time. I put my name down
for 200, Lt.-Col. Bisshopp, 100 further I have not yet had a
The persons of the sect alluded to and who reside near this are
not yet of the association, at least so says T. Dickson, whom I have
put on enquiry. I have received several letters from Mrs. S., tell
Mrs. P., and to one a postscript from Miss S. dated 3rd Dec.
I send to Mr. McMahon a form of prayer and thanksgiving I
have received from the Lord Bishop of Quebec, which I am desirous
of disseminating for the use of our churches in this Province.
Major Clerk goes to New York to act there in the Q. M. G.
Dept. He is a worthy man and a pleasant one withal when known,
and much esteemed in the Regt, I have cut a linger and can
scarcely write as legibly as yourself.
Some of the enemy s troops are said to have been moved back
to Batavia, and 8 or 10 to be buried daily at Buffalo. B[rigadier]
G[eneral] Smyth is reported to have declared that he would be
either in Canada or in Hell on Ximis day. He may be fortunate
enough to escape both.
Adieu -with thanks for your friendly hints, the benefit of
which I trust will never be withheld.
(From MS. in possession of George Murray Jarvis, Esq., Ottawa.)
Commanding Officers of Militia Regiments in Upper Canada in
1st Regiment, Glengarry Lieut.-Col. McMillan.
2d Regiment, Glengarry Lieut.-Col. Macdonell.
1st Regiment, Prescott Lieut.-Col. Fortune.
1st Regiment, Grenville Colonel Wm. Fraaer.
2d Regiment, Grenville Lieut.-Col. Burritt.
1st Regiment, Dundas Lieut.-Col. Thomas Fraser.
1st Regiment, Leeds Lieut.-Col. Sherwood.
2d Regiment, Leeds -Colonel Stone.
1st Regiment, Frontenac Hon. Colonel Cartwright.
1st Regiment, Addington Colonel Wm. Johnston.
1st Regiment, Prince Edward Colonel Archibald McDonell.
1st Regiment, Lennox Major Crawford.
1st Regiment, Hastings Colonel Ferguson.
1st Regiment, Northumberland Lieut.-Col. Peters.
1st Regiment, Durham Lieut.-Col. Baldwin.
1st Regiment, York Lieut.-Col. Graham.
2d Regiment, York Lieut.-Col. Beaseley.
3d Regiment, York Lieut.-Col. Chewett.
1st Regiment, Lincoln Hon. Colonel Claus.
2d Regiment, Lincoln Lieut.-Col. Clark.
3d Regiment, Lincoln Lieut.-Col. Warren.
4th Regiment, Lincoln Major Tenbrock.
5th Regiment, Lincoln Lieut.-Col. Bradt.
1st Regiment, Norfolk Lieut.-Col. Ryerson.
2d Regiment, Norfolk Lieut.-Col. Nichol.
1st Regiment, Oxford Lieut.-Col. Bostwick.
1st Regiment, Kent Hon. Colonel Baby.
1st Regiment, Essex Colonel Elliott.
2d Regiment, Essex Lieut.-Col. Baptiste Baby.
1st Regiment, Middlesex Colonel Talbot.
(Report of Loyal and Patriotic Society, pp. 50-1.)
Notes on Upper Canada.
The most beautiful section of Upper Canada is the peninsula
south of the river Severn, which empties into the bay of Gloucester
in Huron lake, and of the river Trent, which empties into Ontario
near Kingston. The province is denominated " Upper," because
the Niagara and St. Lawrence runs N. and N. E., and Lake Erie,
tho but 34 miles distant, elevates its surface 250 feet above Lake
The rivers of the peninsula are the Thames, Escartic and Grand,
the former running southwest into Lake St. Clair, the latter south
east into Lake Erie. The Chippawa Creek empties into the Niagara
about three miles above the falls ; the Credit empties between the
head of Lake Ontario and York, the Don and the Humber into
Ontario near York. The Thames is navigable for vessels of seventy
tons for nineteen miles from the mouth, and for vessels of any
burden ten or twelve miles. Boat navigation is good to the Mills
at Delaware. Of these rivers the Thames is the largest, tho none
of them very considerable.
Detroit (the strait) is fifty-seven chains wide at the Fort
Detroit and is much narrower at Maiden by occasion of an island
opposite that fort. The channel here is within effective musket
shot of the shore.
The Niagara at the garrison is wider than at Detroit it is pro
bably half a mile wide. At Black Rock a flat bottomed boat or
scow crosses in seven minutes.
Mountains of any importance are not seen in the peninsula.
An elevation which forms the Genesee Falls, the Ridge Road,
Queenston Heights, and terminating a little to the west of the head
of Ontario, about sixty-five miles from Niagara, is emphatically
styled " the mountain." It presents from its brow the most exten
sive view of tho plains at its foot and of Ontario, which approaches
and recedes from one to seven miles from its base. From the sum
mit of this mountain to Erie the country is level ; the traveller
meets with no hills from Niagara to Detroit, save the ravines here
and there formed by streams and rivulets.
The New Englander travelling west takes leave of hills in the
county of Onondaga in New York State and sees no more until
Detroit is in his rear.
The principal roads are from Erie to Niagara, from Niagara to
Detroit, and Dundas Street, which, commencing at the lower Fort
St. Lawrence and running along Ontario by its head, joins the old
Detroit road at Oxford on the Thames.
From Erie to the ferry opposite Black Rock is two miles, and
from thence to Fort George, or Newark, is thirty-five miles. The
road is perfectly level (excepting the easy descent at Queenston)
and runs upon the bank of the river (excepting from the falls to
Queenston) through a delightful cultivated country. Between
Chippawa and Erie is a small creek crossed by a bridge.
The Chippawa is a small black stream coming from a level,
fertile country to empty into the Niagara at the Village of Chip
pawa, three miles above the falls. Ten or twelve rods above the
bridge on the north bank is a blockhouse, manned in time of peace
by a sergeant s guard.
The furs and merchandise which are brought from the North
west drop down to some place within a few miles of Chippawa,
whence they are carried to this spot and deposited. The stream of
the Niagara below this creek is too rapid for navigating in safety.
The Niagara here is two miles wide, yet there is a ferry, but the
ferrymen cautiously ascend the stream to the point of Navy Island,
half a mile above Chippawa, before they cross to Fort Schlosser.
The Chippawa, though a considerable stream, cannot effect to
mingle its dark waters with the pellucid current of the majestic
Niagara for one mile and a half. It is confined to a narrow path
along the shore and the line is as definite between the waters as
between the land and water. The passage of this creek in a hostile
manner, except on the ice, may be disputed. Nature opposes no
other obstacle in a march to Fort George by this road.
Fort George, or Newark, is approached by three roads : one from
Queenston : one by the lake from the creek, called the Twelve, (the
number given to it by the surveyors:) and another by the middle
road through the swamp from the Ten. (another creek, so called).
Between Niagara and the head of Ontario are creeks called the 8,
10, 15, 16, 20, 30, 40 and 50. The 15, 16 and 20 form deep ravines.
No road leads directly from Erie to Detroit. One road turns
west from the Falls thro Beaver Dams and the Beech Woods ; one
from Queenston to the mills, and one from Niagara by the lake.
The two last unite at the Twelve. The first joins them at the
Twenty. At the Forty, 30 miles from Niagara and 20 from Queens-
ton and the Falls, is a village, mills, &c. At the Fifty, 40 miles
from Niagara, the road to York inclines to the right, and seven
miles from thence crosses the beach which divides the head of Lake
Ontario from Little Lake or Burlington Bay, then turns to the
right for York, which is about 40 miles from the head of the lake
and 180 from Kingston. The Detroit road continues on from the