H. M. (Henry Marie) Brackenridge.

History of the late war between the United States and Great Britain: online

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Online LibraryH. M. (Henry Marie) BrackenridgeHistory of the late war between the United States and Great Britain: → online text (page 1 of 32)
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But'U ,'t' tJu n',/,-7' and Frv'.u .—F.T.rc A

Sfptf) 3Et)ftion, im^jrobeTi an"D rcbiscti bp tijc ^utjior.




May 19U


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Entered according to the act of congress, in the year 1836, by James Kay, Jun. &
Brother, in the clerk's office of the district court of the United States in and for the
the eastern district of Pennsylvania.

Printed and Bound bv




The work now presented to the public, after passing
through five large editions, has been for many years en-
tirely out of circulation, and it was with much diflficulty
that a copy of it could be procured by the publishers. At
the time of its publication it was the only one calculated
for general use, and none has yet appeared comprising in
so small a compass so many details of the events of the
last war between Great Britain and the United States.
The frequent demands for the work have induced the
publishers to prevail on the author to revise and prepare it
for a new edition with great care. This is now offered to
the public.

As to the merit of the work, the reader must judge for
himself. Its general accuracy has received the approbation
of those most capable of judging. It has been translated
by a French writer, M. Dalmas, who speaks in high terms
of the energy of the style, and the clearness of the narra-
tive. It has cilso been translated by an Italian writer of

The design of the work was not a history of the times,
embracing the legislative, diplomatic and statistical sub-
jects connected with the war. These are occasionally
glanced at. But it was the intention of the author to
bring within one narrative, as far as it was practicable,
all the campaigns, battles, skirmishes and incidents which
may properly be considered as constituting the events of the
loar. In a popular goverimrjent like that of the United
States, where every individual occupies an important sta-
tion in society, a war necessarily assumes a certain cast


of individuality; hence the necessity of introducing the
names of so great a number of persons as we find in this

It was difficult, if not impossible, to weave all these
materials into one connected story, especially when we
consider that the war was carried on at so many difierent
points having no connection with each other. There was
the war of the south, that of the north-west, that on the
Niagara, that along the seabord at various points; and
there was the maritime contest, which was entirely distinct
from that on the land. On the Niagara frontier tliere was
much hard fighting; but every campaign opened under a
new general, and sometimes before its close that general
was superseded. After the fall of general Pike, the war
in that quarter was carried on without any settled plan or
object, and it ended without accomplishing any thing,
except to afford opportunity to a number of oflScers to dis-
tinguish themselves for their military talents and intrepi-
dity : of these, generals Brown, Scott, Jesup, Miller,
Ripley, Towson, are among those most deservedly emi-
nent. To the north-west our military affairs were con-
ducted on a different plan, and under a commander who
was completely successful in what he undertook : in the
south, the war was also confided to a single individual,
who was found fully competent to the duties assigned him.
Harrison and Jackson are therefore the only generals
who can be said to have conducted entire plans of operation
to a successful issue ; and their names are decidedly the
most conspicuous in the history of the war.



Causes of the War with Great Britain. .13

Rule of 1756 14

firitish Impressment of American Sea-
men 15

Attack on the Chesapeake 19

Differences with France 21

French Decrees 21

Embargo 23

Nonintercourse 22

Indian Hostilities 23

Tecumseh 23

General Harrison 24

Battle of Tippecanoe 24

War with Great Britain inevitable 27


Declaration of War 28

General Hull reaches Detroit 31

Crosses into Canada 32

Successful Skirmishes on the River
Aux Canards 33

Taking of Michilimackinac 34

Battle of Brownstown 35

Battle of Magagua 36

Taking of Chicago 37

Surrender of Hull 38


Naval Events 43 Cruise of the Argus 48

Cruise of Commodore Rodgers 43 The United States captures the Mace-

The President chases the Bel videra 44 donian 49

Cruise of Captain Hull 44 <' The Wasp captures the Frolic 49

The Constitution captures the Guerriere. 45 Exploits of American Privateers 51

Commodore Portt- r captures the Alert. . .47 Results of the Naval Warfare 52

Cruise of the President and Congress. . .48 Sensations excited in England 53




Military Enthusiasm in the West..

General Harrison takes command of
tlie Northwestern Army 55

The Army advances under General
Winchester 56

Expedition to the Rapids under Gene-
ral Tupper 57

Failure of the Expedition to the

Second Expedition to the Rapids under

General Tupper 50

Foray under General Hopkins 60

Second Expedition under General Hop-
kins 61

Defence of Fort Harrison 62

Expedition under Colonel Russell 63

Expedition under Colonel Campbell.... 63


.58 Security of the Frontier established 64


Troops on the Canada Frontier 64

Capture of the Caledonia 65

Battle of Queenstown 66

Death of General Brock 68

Abortive attempt of General Smyth 71

Northern Army 73

Incursion of Forsyth — of Colonel Pike. .74
JtVdiT on the Lakes 75

British bombard Fort Niagara. 70 First Cruise of Commodore Chauncey. .75




Meeting of Congress 76

Proposal for an Armistice 77

Reverses of IVapoleon 78

Measures for carrying on the War 79

Blockade of our Coasts 79

War with the Southern Indians 80

Tecumseh's Visit to the Creeks 81

War with the Seminoles 82

Third Victory over a British Frigate. . . .84
Disasters of our Arms to the West 86


Harrison returns to Ohio 86

General Winchester sends a Detach-
ment to the relief of Frenchtown... 87

Defeat of the British and Indians 88

Winchester arrives with Reinforce-
ments 88

Surrender at the River Raisin 89

Cruelty of the British and Indians 90

Humane Conduct of the People of De-
troit 93

March of General Harrison 94

Siege of Fort Meigs 95

Defeat of Colonel Dudley 97

Sortie under Colonel Miller 97

Siege of Fort Meigs raised 98

Exploit of Major Ball 100


British Preparations in Canada.

Incursion of Forsyth

Attack on Ogdensburgh

General Pike

Taking of York


Explosion of a Magazine 105

Death of Pike 105

Taking of Forts George and Erie 108

Battle of Stony Creek 113

Capture of Generals Chandler and

Winder 114

British attack Sackett's Harbour 116

Repulsed by General Brown 117

Resignation of General Dearborne 119

Town of Sodus attacked 119

Affair at Beaver Dams 119

Lieutenant Eldridge 120

Indians enter the American Service ... 120

British attack Black Rock 120

Second Taking of York 121

British devastate the Borders of Lake

Champlain 121

Cruise of Commodore Chauncey on

Lake Ontario 122


War on the Coast 123

British attack Lewistown 124

Gun Boats attack some British Vessels

ofWar 125

Exploits of Admiral Cockburn 125

Attack on Frenchtown; 126

Plundering and Burning of Havre de

Grace 126

Plundering and Burning of George-
town and Fredericktown 128

Arrival of Admiral Warren and Sir
Sydney Beckwith 128

Southern Cities threatened 128

Attack on Craney Island — gallantly

repulsed 129

Hampton assaulted and plundered 131

Enormities committed there 131

Correspondence between General Tay-
lor and Sir Sydney Beckwith 132

Cockburn plunders the Coast of North

Carolina .133

Blockade of the American Squadron at

New London by Commodore Hardy 134
Torpedo System 134



Naval Affairs 135

The Hornet captures the Peacock 136

Humane and generous Conduct of
Captain Lawrence and the Crew
of the Hornet 137

Captain Lawrence appointed to the
Chesapeake 137

The Shannon challenges the Chesa-
peake 138

The Shannon captures the Chesapeake. 139


Death of Captain Lawrence 139

The Pelican captures the Argus 141

Cruise of Commodore Porter in the

South Seas 142

The Enterprize captures the Boxer. . . .142
Cruise of Commoflore Rodgers 143

Cruise of the Congress 143

Conduct of American Privateer*.— of
the Comet — of the General Arm-
strong 144

The Privateer Decatur captures the
Dominica 144


Affairs of the West 145

Patriotic Enthusiasm of Ohio and Ken-

tucliy 145

Governor Shelby 146

Character of the Kentuckians 146

Gallant Defence of Fort Sandusky by

Major Croghan 147

Humane Conduct of the Besieged 148

Tecumseh raises the Siege of Fort

Meigs 149

Naval Preparations on Lake Erie 149

Commodore Perry sails with his Fleet. .149

Battle of Lake Erie 150

Gallant Behaviour of Perry 150

Capture of the Enemy's Squadron 151

Northwestern Army reinforced 151

Capture of Maiden 152

Skirmish at Chatham 152

Battle of the Thames 153

Capture of the British Regulars 154

Colonel Johnson wounded 154

Death of Tecumseh , 154

Character of Tecumseh 155

Escape of General Proctor 156

Public Testimonials of Respect to Gen-
eral Harrison 156

Generous Treatment of the British

Prisoners — of the Savages 157

Correspondence between General Har-
rison and General Vincent 157


Preparations for invading Canada 158

General Armstrong appointed Secre-
tary of War 158

General Wilkinson takes command of
the Troops on the Niagara, and
General Hampton of those at

Plattsburg 159

Rendezvous of the American Forces

at Grenadier Island 160

General Wilkinson descends the St

Lawrence 161

British harass the American Army . . . .162

Battle of Chrystler's Field 164

General Hampton descends the Cha-

teaugay River 166

Is attacked by the British 166

Repulses them and retreats 166

His Inability or Unwillingness to co-
operate with General Wilkinson ..167
Both American Armies go into Winter

Quarters 167

Failure of the Expedition against Mon-
treal 167

Cruise of Commodore Chauncey on

Lake Ontario 168

He captures five armed British Schoon-
ers 169

Burning of Newark by the Americans. .170

British Retaliation 170

Fort Niagara surprised 171

Destruction of Lewistown, Buffalo and
other places 171


Meeting of Congress 172

Violence of Party Spirit 172

Unfriendly Deportment of the New

England States 173

Measures for carrying on the War 174

Recourse to Taxation 174

Adoption of means for recruiting the

Army 175

Interesting case of twenty-three Ame-
rican Prisoners 175

Arrogance of the British Government. .176
Debates in Congress on the subject. . . .176

Result of the Debates 177

Inquiry by Congress into the manner
in which the War had been carried

on by the Enemy 178

American Commissioners of Peace

sent to Gottenburg 179

The War gains ground in Public Opi-
nion 179



War with the Creek Indians 180 General Jackson marches to the relief

Massacre by the Creeks at Fort Mims. .180 of Fort Armstrong 184

Expedition under Generals Jackson His Critical Situation, and Retreat ....184

and Cocke against Tallushatches. .182 Defeats an Indian Ambuscade 185

Battle of Talladega 182 Indians attack General Floyd at Camp

General Cocke surprises the Indians Defiance, and are repulsed 185

on the Tallapoosa River 183 General Jackson gains the sanguinary

General Floyd's Expedition against Victory of Horse-Shoe-Bend 186

the Autossee Towns 183 Terminates the War with the Creeks,

Claiborne's Expedition against the and dictates Peace to them on

Towns of Eccanachaca 183 Severe Terms 188


Plans of Operations against Canada

proposed 189

General Brown marches to Sackett's

Harbour 189

General Wilkinson retires to Platts-

burg 190

Attacks the British at La Colle and is

repulsed 190

Suspended from the command 191

Discouraging difficulties in the Econ-
omy of the Army 191

Smuggling 192

Unsuccessful Attack by the British at

Otter Creek 192

British Fleet enters Lake Champlain. .193
Lake Ontario — Contest for Superiority. 193

Gallant Defence of Oswego 194

British land at Pulteneyville 194

Blockade of Sackett's Harbour 194

Engagement at Sandy Creek and Cap-
ture of the British there 195

Death of Colonel Forsy the — of Captain
Malloux, in a Skinnish 196

Colonel Campbell's Expedition against

Dover, Canada 196

Affairs to the Westward , 197

Colonel Baubee taken Prisoner 197

Gallant Defence by Captain Holmes... 197

Serious Crisis in our Affairs 198

Napoleon overthrown 199

Great Britain directs her undivided

Energies against the United States. 200
Northern Sea Coast invaded by Com-
modore Hardy 200

Attack on Saybrook and Brockway's

Ferry 200

Engagement in Long Island Sound 201

Ravages at Wareham and Scituate 201

Attack on Booth Bay repelled 201

Occupation of all the Islands in Pas-

samaquoddy Bay by the British 202

Gallant defence of Stonington 202

Territory east of the Penobscot River
claimed and occupied by the Brit-
ish 203

Destruction of the Frigate John Adams .203


Naval Events 204

The Plantagenet Seventy-Four de-
clines a Contest with Commodore
Rodgers 204

Captain Stewart chases a British Frig-
ate of equal force 204

Cruise of Commodore Porter in the
Essex 205

He captures twelve armed British
Whale Ships 205

Arrives at the Island of Nooaheevah.. .205

Takes possession in the name of the
American Government 205

His Difficulties with the Savages there. .205

He burns the Typee Villages 206

British Abuse ^06

Commodore Porter arrives at Valpa-
raiso 207

Is attacked by the Phoebe and Cherub, .208

His Desperate Resistance 209

Capture of the Essex and Essex Junior. .210
The Peacock captures the British Brig

Epervier 2II

The Wasp captures the Reindeer 212

The Wasp sinks the Avon 212

Mysterious Loss of the Wasp 213



^XJrviiae of the President, the Peacock

and the Hornet 213

The President captured by a British
Squadron 214

The Constitution engages and captures
the Cyane and the Levant 215

The Hornet, Captain Biddle, captures

the Penguin 216

Exploits of Privateers 217

Capture of the American Privateer
Armstrong, after a dreadful Car-
nage of the Enemy 217


Plan of Campaign on the Canada

Frontier 218

General Brown collects an Army at

Black Rock and Buffalo 219

Captures Fort Erie 219

Battle of Chippewa 220

Gallantry of Major Jesup 221

British retreat 222

American Army advances 222

Death of General Swift 223

Movement on Fort George 223

General Brown retreats to the Chip-
pewa 223

Battle of Niagara 224

General Riall taken Prisoner 225

Colonel Jesup 226

Colonel Miller 226

British Cannon charged upon and

taken 227

Desperate Efforts of the British to re-
gain their Cannon 228

Generals Scott and Brown wounded.. .228

British retire from the Field 230

British advance again the following

Morning 231

Americans retreat to Fort Erie 231

Defences of Fort Erie enlarged and ex-
tended 231

Siege of Fort Erie 232

Projected Attack on Buffalo reptilsed. .232
General Gaines assumes the Command

at Fort Erie Q32

Assault upon Fort Erie 233

Death of Colonel Drummond 234

Tremendous Explosion 235

The Besiegers driven back to their

Works 235

Renewal of the Cannonade 235

Sortie from Fort Erie 236

Destruction of the Enemy's Works 237

British raise the Siege and retreat to

Fort George 238

Arrival of General Izard at Fort Erie. .238
Americans advance along the Niagara. .239

Engagement at Lyon's Creek 239

Destruction of Fort Erie by the Ameri-
cans 239

Evacuation of Upper Canada 239

Tlie Army retires into Winter Quar-
ters 240

Important Results of the Campaign.... 240

Affairs of the West 241

Unsuccessful Expedition against Mi-

chiliniackinac 241

Capture of two United States Schoon-
ers 241

General M'Arthur's Expedition into
Canada 241


American Army takes post at Bladens-

burg 248

Battle of Bladensburg 249

Defeat of the Americans 250

War on the Sea Coast 242

Engagements between the Enemy and

Barney's flotilla in Chesapeake

Bay 242

Plunderings of the British 243/ Washington abandoned to the Enemy . .251

'Washington and Baltimore threatened. ,243

Preparations for Defence 244

General Winder appointed to com-
mand the Troops to be assembled. .245
Inapracticability of collecting a suffi-
cient Force 245

Arrival of Reinforcements to the Brit-
ish 246

Landing of the British Army under

General Ross 246

Advance of the British on Washington .247

British burn the Public Buildings 252

Retreat of the British to their Shipping.. 252

Plunder of Alexandria 253

Repulse of the British at Moors Fields,

and Death of Sir Peter Parker 254

Resignation of the Secretary of War... 254
Trial and Acquittal of General Winder. 254
Letter of Admiral Cochrane to the

American Secretary of State 255

His Reply 255

Reflections 256



Sensations produced by the Capture of
Washington in Europe and in

England 257

Effect of it in the United States 257

Preparations for defending Baltimore.. 258
Admiral Cochrane appears at the

mouth of the Patapsco 259

Debarkation of the British Troops at

North Point 260

General Strieker marches from Balti-
more to meet them 260

Battle of North Point 261

Death of General Ross 261

Retreat of the American Army 262

British Army appears before Baltimore. .263

Bombardment of Fort M'Henry 264

Attack on Baltimore abandoned 265

British fleet retires to the West Indies. .265

Affairs on the Northern Frontier 266

Invasion of New York State by the

British under Sir George Prevost..266
Progress of the British impeded by

General Macomb 267

British Army occupies Plattsburg op-
posite the American Works 268

Gallant Enterprise of Captain M'Glas-

sin 269

British and American Fleets on Lake

Charaplain 269

Battle of Lake Champlain 270

Defeat of the British Squadron, and

Capture of its principal Vessels.... 271
Retreat of the British Army from the

American Territory 272


Unanimity of Sentiment in Con-
gress 273

Negotiations with Great Britain 273

British Sine GLna. Non 274

i^Hartford Convention 275

Mr Biddle's Report in the Legislature

of Pennsylvania 275

Removal of the Seat of Government

from Washington agitated 275

Mr Dallas appointed Secretary of the

Treasury 276

. Improvement in our Finances 276

Affairs to the Southward 276

Attack on Fort Bowyer most gallantly

repulsed 277

Inroad into Florida, and Capture of

Pensacola by General Jackson . . . .277
Invasion of Louisiana meditated by

the British 278

Preparations for Resistance 279

Arrival of General Jackson at New

Orleans 980

His Presence inspires Confidence 280

British Fleet arrives off the Coast 280

Capture of the American Gun- Boats. . .280
Martial Law declared by General
Jackson 281

British Forces land within seven Miles

of New Orleans 282

Battle of the 23d of December. . , 282

Results of the Battle 283

General Jackson encamps, and fortifies

himself 283

Affairs of the 28th of December, and of

the 1st of January 1815 284

Position of the American Troops 285

British prepare to storm the American
Works on both sides of the Missis-
sippi 285

Memorable Battle of the 8th January ..285

Death of General Packenham 286

Defeat and Terrible Carnage of the
British on the Left Bank of the

River 28^

Americans driven from their Intrench-

ments on the Right Bank 286

Louisiana evacuated by the British 287

Unsuccessful Bombardment of Fort St

Philip by the British 287

Depredations of Admiral Cockburn

along the Southern Coast 288

Peace with Great Britain 288

Terms of the Treaty 288

Conclusion 289

ERRATUM.— .4« line 3 of page 43, and line 1 of page 44, for captures
read chases




Causes of the War with Great Britain— Rule of 1756— British Impressment of Ameri-
can Seamen — Attack on the Chesapeake — Differences with France — French Decrees —
Embargo — Non- intercourse — Indian Hostilities— Tecumseh— General Harrison— Bat-
tle of Tippecanoe— War with Great Britain inevitable.

The perseverance of the British nation in attempting to exer-
cise a power without right, over her American brethren, first
broke the ties of dependence, whicli it was so much her interest
to preserve ; and her subsequent illiberal policy tended to weaken
the influence of affinity, which a true wisdom would have
taught her to cherish. Why is it that the enmity of those,
between whom there are by nature the most numerous bonds
of friendship, is the most bitter ? It is because each of these
is a distinct cord which may vibrate to the feelings of hatred,
as well as of love. With China, with Turkey, with France,
we may be governed by temporary and varying policy ; but
towards England we can never feel indifference. There
always have been, and there still are numerous ties to attach
us to Britain, which nothing but an ungenerous and unnatural
policy can weaken or destroy.

With the acknowledgement of our independence, Great
Britain did not renounce her designs of subjugation. Force
had been found unvailing, she next resolved to try what might
be done by insidious means. For many years after the peace
of 1783, our affairs wore no promising appearance. The con-
federation which bound the states during their struggle against
a common enemy, was too feeble to hold them together in a
time of peace. The cement of our union being thus eaten


Causes of the War with Great Britain Rule of 1750.

away, England foresaw what we had to encounter, and pro-
phesying according to her wishes, solaced herself with the
hope of seeing us divided, and engaged in civil broils. The
seeds of dissension had been abundantly sown ; our state of
finance was deplorably defective ; it might almost be said, that
the nation was at an end, for so many jarring interests discov-
ered themselves in the states, as almost to preclude the hope
of reducing these discordant elements to harmony and order.
A state of anarchy and civil war might restore us to Great
Britain. Happily for America, she possessed at this moment,
a galaxy of sages and patriots, who maintained a powerful in-
fluence over the minds of their fellow-citizens. By their exer-
tions, aspirit of compromise and accommodation was introduced,
which terminated in our present glorious compact — a second
revolution which secured to us the benefits of the first.

By this event Great Britain lost, for a time, the opportunity
of tampering with the individual states, of fomenting jealousies,
and of governing by division. Her policy was changed ; it
became a favourite idea, that our growth should be repressed,
and so many impediments thrown in our way, as to convince
us, that we had gained nothing in becoming free. We soon
experienced the effects of her disappointment. Contrary to
express stipulation, she refused to surrender the military posts
on our western frontier, and, at the same time, secretly instiga-
ted the savages to murder the frontier settlers. Spain was, at
this very moment, practising her intrigues to draw off the west-
ern states from the confederacy ; of which there is little doubt
England would soon have taken advantage.

But we also came in contact with Britain on the ocean : our
commerce began to flourish ; and on the breaking out of the
French war, she found in us formidable rivals. In order to
put a stop to our competition, she called into life the odious,
and almost obsolete rule of 1756, which is in palpable violation
of the law of nations. The spirit of this rule is to prevent the
neutral from enjoying any commerce, which would not, at the
same time, be open to the belligerent ; in other words, to per-

Online LibraryH. M. (Henry Marie) BrackenridgeHistory of the late war between the United States and Great Britain: → online text (page 1 of 32)