John] 1793-1863 [Russell.

The history of the war, betwee the United States and Great-Britain, which commenced in June, 1812, and closed in Feb. 1815 .. online

. (page 12 of 38)
Online LibraryJohn] 1793-1863 [RussellThe history of the war, betwee the United States and Great-Britain, which commenced in June, 1812, and closed in Feb. 1815 .. → online text (page 12 of 38)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

increased by the capture of the Chachaga packet, by
which the medicine and hospital stores were lost.
He was commencing the best arrangements in the de-
partment of which he was the principal, with the very


small means which he possessed. I wis likewise
deprived of the necessary services of C;i|)t. Partridge,
by sickness, the only officer of the corps of engineers
attached to the army. All the officers and men have

fone to their respective homes, excepting* the 4th
Jnited States' regiment, and a small part of the first,
and Caj)t. Dyson's company of artdlery. Capt. Dy-
son's company was left at Amherstburg, and the oth-
ers are with me prisoners — they amount to about 340.
I have only to solicit an investigation of my conduct,
as early as my situation, and the state of things will
admit; and to add the further request, that the gov-
ernment will not be unmindful of my associates in
captivity, and of the families of those brave men who
have fallen in the contest.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your most
obedient servant. W. HULL, Brig. Gen.

//o?i. W. EustiSi Secretary of War.

[enclosed in the preceding dispatch.]
Sandwich, 7th August, 1812.
SIR— On the 4lh inst. Maj. Vanhorn. of (!ol. Fnidley's
regiment of Ohio volunteers, was detached from this
army, with the command of 200 men, princnpally rifle-
men, to proceed to the river Raisin, and further, if ne-
cessary, to meet and reinforce Cipt. Brush, of the
state of Ohio, commanding a company of volunteers,
and escorting provisions for this army. At Browns-
town a large body of L»dians had formed an ambus-
cade, and the M ijor's detachment received a heavy
fire, at the distance of fifty yards fiom the enemy,
Ttie whole detachment retreated in disorder. Major
Van Horn made every exertion to form, and prevent
the retreat, that was possible for a brave and gallant
.V officer, but without success. By the return of killed
;. and wounded, it will be perceived that the loss of offi-
cers was uncommonly great. Tiieir eftbrts to rally
their companies was the occasion of it.
I am, very respectfully, yours, &c.

lion. Wm. Euslisj ^r.


KILLED, in Major Yjin Horn's defeat — 4 Captains,
—1 Lieutenant — 2 Ensig-ns — 10 privates. — Total 17.

[enclosed in the preceding dispatch.]
Detroit, 13th August. 1812.
SIR. ^

The main body of the army having" re-crossed the
river at Detroit, on the night and morning of the 8th
inst; six hundred men were immeirately detached
under the command of Lieut. CjI. Miller, to open
the communication to the river Raisin, and protect
the provisions, which were under the escort of Capt.
Brush. This detachment consisted of the 4th Unit-
ed States' regiment, and two small detachments un-
der the command of Lieut. Stansbury and Ensign Mc
Labe of the 1st regiment ; detachments from the Ohio
and Michigan volunteers, a corps of artillerists, with
one six-pounder and an howitzer under the command
of Lieut. Eastman, and a part of Captiins Smith and
Sloan's Cavalry commanded by Captain Sloan of the
Ohio volunteers. Lieut. Col. Miller marched from
Detroit on the afternoon of the 8th mstant, and on the
9th, about four o'clock, P. m. the van guard, com-
manded by Capt. Snelling of the 4th United States'
regiment, was hred on by an extensive line of British
troops and Indians at the lower part of the Maguago
about fourteen miles from Detroit. At this time the
main body was marching in two columns, and Capt.
Snelling miintained his position in a most gallant
maimer, under a very heavy fire, until the line was
formed and advanced to the ground he occupied, when
the whole, excepting the rear guard, was brought into
action. The enemy were formed behind a tempora-
ry breast work of logs, the Indians extending in a
thick wood on their left. Lieat. Colonel Miller or-
dered his whole line to advance, and v?hen within a
small distance of the enemy made a general discharge,
and proceeded with charged bayonets, when the Brit-
ish line and Lulians commenced a retreat. They
were pursued in a most vigorous manner about twa


ilules, and the pursuit discontinued only on account
of the fatigue of ihe troops, the approach of eve-
ning, and the necessity of returning- to take care of the
wounded. The judicious arrangements made by.
Lieut. Col. Miller, and the gallant manner in which
they \^ere executed, justly entitle him to the highest
honor. From the moment the line commenced the
tire, it continually moved on, and the enemy main-
tained their position until forced at the point of the
bayonet. The Indians on the left commanded by
Tecumseh, fought with great obstinacy, butwere con-
tiimally forced and compelled to retreat. The victory-
Mas complete in every part of the line, and the suc-
cess would have been more biilliant had the cavalry
charged the enemy on the retreat, when a most favor-
able opportunity presented. Although orders were
given for the purpose, unfortunately they were not
executed. Majors Van Horn and Morrison, of the
Ohio volunteers, were associated with Lieut. Colonel
Miller, as field officers in this command, and were
highly distinguished by their exertions in forming the
line, and the firm and inlripid manner they led their
respective commands to action.

Captain Baker, of the 1st United States regiment,
Capt. Brevort of the 2d, and Capt. Hull of the 13th,
my aid-de-camp, and Lieut. Whistler of the lst,j re-
quested permission to join the detachment as voldn-
teers. Lieut. Col. 31iller assigned commands to
Capt. Baker and Lieut. Whistler; and Capts. Bre-
vort and Hull at his request, attended his person and
aided him in the general arrangements. Lieut, Col.
Miller has mentioned the conduct of tliese oflicers in
terms of high approbation. In addition to the Cap-
tains who have been named, Lieut. Col. Miller has
mentioned Captains Burton and Fuller, of tlie 4th
reginient. Captains Saunders and Biovvnof the Ohip
voU\nleers,and Capt. D?landreof the Michigan volun-
teers, who were attached to his commanii — and dis-
tinguished by their valor. It is impossible for me, ia



this comnmnicfition, to do justice to the officers and
soldiers, wlio gained the victory winch I have descri-
bed. They have acquired high honor to themselves
and are justly entitled to the gratitude of their country.

Major Muir, of the 41st regiment commanded the
British in this action. The regulars and volunteers
consisted of about four hundred, and a large immber
of Indians. Major Mun- and two subalterns were
wounded, one of them since dead. About forty In-
dians were found dead on the tieid, and Tecumseh,
their leader was slightly wounded. The number of
wounded Indians Mho escaped has not been ascertain-
ed. Foarof Major Muir'sdetachmenthave been made
prisoners, and fifteen of the regiment killed and
wounded. The militia and volunteers attached to his
command were in the severest part of the action, and
their loss must have been great — it has not yet been

I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,
WILLIAM HULL, brty. Gen.

Hon. Wilham Eustis, Secretary of War.

Return of the killed and wounded in the action fought
near MaguagOy August Othj 1812.

4th U. S. regiment — lOnon-corarmissioned officers
and privates killed, and 45 wounded : Capt. Baker of
the 1st regiment of infantry; Lieut. Larabee of the
4th; Lieut. Peters of the 4th ; Ensign Whistler of
the 17th, doing duty in the 4th ; Lieut. Silly, and an
Ensign, whose name has not been returned to me
were wounded.

In the Ohio and Michigan volunteers, 8 were killed
rind 12 wonnded.




Head-Quarters at Detroit, Aug. 16, 1812.

It is with piiiii and anxiety that Brigadier General
Hull announces to the North- Western army, that he
has been compelled from a sense of duty, to agree to
the following- articles of capitulation.


Camp Detroit, Avg. 16, 1812.

Capitulation of surrendering fort Detroit, entered
into between Major-General Brock, commanding his
Britannic Majesty's forces, of the one part, and Brig.
General Hull, commanding the North- Western army
of the United States, of the other part :

Article 1st. Fort Detroit, with all the troops, reg-
ulars as well as militia, will be immediately surren-
dered to the British forces under the command of
Major-General Brock, and will be considered as
prisoners of war, with the exception of such of the
militia of the Michigan territory, who have not join-
ed the army.

Article 2d. All public stores, arms, and public
documents, including every thing else of a public na-
ture, will be immediately given up.

Article 3d. Private persons and private property
of every description will be respected.

Article 4th. l|is excellency Brig. General Hull,
having expressed a desire that a detachment from the
state of Ohio, on its way to join the army, as well as
one sent from fort Detroit, under the command of
Col. M'Arthur, should be included in the above stip-
ulation, it is accordingly agreed to. It is, however,
to be understood, that such parts of the Ohio militia
as have not joined the army, will be permitted to re-
turn home on condition that they will not serve during
the war — their arms, however, will be delivered np
if belonging to the public.


Article .5th. The g-;irrison will nvarcb out at ihv
hour of 12 o'clock this day, and the British forces
will take immediate possession of the fort.

J. M'DOWEL, Lt. Col. Militia B. A. D. C.
I. B. GREGG, Major A. D.C.
CApproved) WILLIAM HULL, Brig. Gen. ^
JAMES MILLER, Lt. CoU5th U. S. Infantry.
£. BRUSH, Col. 1st Reg-. Michioan Militia.

(Approved) ISAAC BROCK, Maj. Gen.

The army at 12 o'clock this day will march out of
the east g-ale, where they will stack their arms, and
will be tlien svibject to the articles of capitulation,

Letter from Col. Cass of the army late under the com-
mand of Brig. Gen. Wm. Hull, to the Secretary
of fVar.

Washington, Sept. 10, 1812.
SIR — Having- been ordered on to this place by
Col. M' Arthur, for the purpose of communicating- to
the government particulars respecting the expedition
lately commanded by Brig. General Hull, and its
ilisastrous result, as might enable them correctly to
apprecinte the conduct of the officers and men ; and to
rlevelope the causes which produced so foul a stain
upon the national character, I have the honor to sub-
mit for your consideration, the following statement.

When the forces landed in Canada, they landed
with an ardent zeal and stimulated with the hope of
conquest. JNo enemy appeared within view of us,
and had an immediate and vigorous attnck been made
upon Maiden, it would doubtless have fallen an easy
■victory. . I know General Hull afterwards declared
he regretted this attack had not been made, and he
had every reason lo believe success would have crown-
ed his eftbrts. The reason given for delaying our
operations was to mount our heavy cannon, and to
afibrdto the Canadian militia timeaiid opportunity to
"quit an obnoxious service. In the course of two
"^veeks the number of their militia, who were embodi-


fed, hud decreased bv desertion from six hundredth
one Imndred men ; and, in tlie coarse of three weeks,^
the cannon were mounted, tfie animnnition fixed, and
every preparation made for an immediate investment
oftliefort. At a council, at which were jiresent aH
tl)e fijeld officers, and winch was held two days before
our preparations were completed, it was unanimously
ag^roed to juake an immediate attempt, to accomplish
the object of the expedition. If by waiting- two days
We could luive the service of our heavy artillery, it
was agreed to wait ; if not, it was determined to i^o
without it, and attempt the place by storm. Tins
opinion appeared to correspond with the views of the
General, and the day was appointed for commencing'
our march. He declared to me, that he considered
himself pledged to lead the army to Maiden. The
ammunition was placed in the waggons ; the cannon
embarked on board the floating batteries, and every re-
quisite article was prepared. The spirit and zeal, the
ardor and animation displayed l>y the officers and men,
on learning the near accomplishment of their wishes,
was a sure and sacred pledge, that in the hour of trial
ihey would notbe found wanting in their duty to their
country and themselves. But a change of meiisures,
in opposition to the wishes and opinions of all the oflS-
cers, was adopted by the General. The plan of at-
tacking Maiden was abandoned, and instead of ac-
ting offensively, we broke up our camp, evacuated
Canada, and recrossed the river, in the night, without
even the shadow of an enemy to injure us. We lell
to the tender mercy of the enemy the miserable Can-
adians who had joined us, and ihe protection we af-
forded them was but a passport to vengeance. This
fatal and unaccountable step dispirited the troops, and
destroyed the little confidence which a series of timid,
irresolute and indecisive measures had left in the com-
manding officer.

About the lOlh of Aug-ust, the enemv received a
reiiitorcement of four hundred men. Oil the tweitth
the commanding officers of thiee of the regiments.



(Ihe fourth was absent) were informed through anie«
dium which admitted of no doubt, that the General
had stated that a capitulation w ould be necessary.*
They on the same day addressed to Governor Meigs,
of Ohio, a letter, of which the following is an extract.

* Believe all the bearer will tell you. Believe it,

however it may astonish you^ as much as if it had

been told by one of us. Even a c n,

is talked of by the The bearer will

fill the vacancy.^

The doub.ful fate of this letter rendered it necessa-
ry to use circumspection in its details, and therefore
these blanks were left. The word * capitulation' wili
fill the first, and * commanding general,' the other.
As no enemy was near us, and as the superiority of
our force was manifest, we could see no necessity for
capitulating, nor any propriety in alluding to it. We
therefore determined in the last resort to incur the re-
sponsibility of divesting the General of his command.
This plan was eventually prevented by two of the
commanding officers of regiments being ordered upon

On the 13th the British took a position opposite to
Detroit, and began to throw uf> works. During that
and the two following days, they pursued their object ;
without interruption and established a battery for two
18 pounders and an 8 inch howitzer. About sun^^et
on the evening of the 14th a detachment of 350 men
from the regiments commanded by Col. M' Arthur,
and myself, was ordered to march to the river Raisin,
to escort the provisions, which had some time remain-
ed there protected by a party under the command of
capt. Brush.

On Saturday, the 15th about 1 o'clock, a flag of
truce arrived from Sandwich, bearing a summons
from General Brock for the surrender of the town and
fort of Detroit, stating he could no longer restrain the
fury of the savages. To this an immediate and spir-
ited refusal was relurned. About four o'clock their
batteries began to play upon the town. The fire was»


returned and continued without interruption and with
little effect till dark. Their shells were thrown till
eleven o'clock.

At day-light the firing on both sides recommenced ;
about the same time the enemy began to land troop$
at the Spring wells, three miles below Detroit, pro-
tected by two of their armed vessels. Between 6 and
7 o'clock they had effected their landing, and imme-
diately took up their line of march. They moved in,
close column of platoons, twelve in front, upon the
bank of the river.

The fourth regiment was stationed in the fort ; the
Ohio volunteers and a part of the Michigan militia,
behind some pickets, in a situation in which the whole
flank of the enemy would have been exposed. The
residue of the Michigan militia were in the upper par
of the town to resist the incursions of the savages
Two 24-pounders, loaded with grape shot, were post-sv,
ed on a commanding eminence, ready to sweep tha >
advancing column. In this situation the superiority
of our position was apparent, and our troops, in the
eager expectation of victory, awaited the approach of
the enemy. Not a discontent broke upon the ear ;
not a look of cowardice met the eye. Every man ex-
pected a proud day for his co.nnlry, and each was
anxious that his individuiil exertion should contribute
to the general result.

When the head of their column arrived within about
five hundred yards of our line, orders were received
from Gen. Hull for the whole to retreat to the fort,
and for the 24-pounders not to open upon the enem3^i '
One universal burst of indignation was apparent upon
the receipt of this order. Those, whose conviction
was the deliberate result of a dispassionate examina-
tionof passing events, saw the folly and impropriety of
crowding 1100 men iiito a little work, which 300 men.
could fully man, and into which the shot and shells of*
the enemy were fallings The fort was in this manner
filled ; the men were directed to stack their arms, and
scarcely was an opportunity afforded of moving

358 HISTORY OF the war.

Shortly after a white flag was hung out upon the vvallr..
A British officer rode up to inquire the cause. A
communication passed between the commading Gen-
erals, which ended in the capitulation submitted to
jou. In entering' into this capitulation, the General
took counsel from his own feelings only. Not an offi-
cer was consulted. Not one anticipated a surrender,
till he saw the white flag- displayed. Even the wo-
men were indio;naut at so shameful a deg-radation of
the American character, and all felt as they sliould
have felt, but he who held in his hands the reins of

Our morning report had that morning made our
effective men present, fit for duty 1060, without inclu-
ding the detachment before alluded to, and without
includinof 300 of the Michigan militia on duty.

About dark on Saturday evening the detachment
sent to escort the provisions, received orders from Gen,
Hull to return with as much expedition as possible.
About ten o'clock the next day they arrived within
sight of Detroit. Had a firing been heard, or any re-
sistance visible, they would have immediately advanc-
ed and attacked the rear of the enemy. The situa-
tion in which this detachment was placed, although
the result of accident, was the best for annoying the
enemy and cutting ofl" his retreat that could have been
selected. With his raw troops enclosed between two
fires and no hopes of succor, it is hazarding little to
say, that very few would have escaped.

I have been informed by CdI. Findley, who saw
the return of their quarter- master-general ihedny after
the surrender, that their whole force of every descrip-
tion, white, red, and black, was 1030. They had
twenty nine platoons, twelve in a platoon, of men dres-
sed in uniform. Many of these were evidently Can-
adian militia. Tlie rest of the militia increased their
while force to about seven hundred men. The num-
ber of ther Indians could not be ascertained with any
degree of precision ; not many were visible. And in
the event of an attack upon the town and foil, it was a


species offeree which could have afforded no material
ad\ anlfio-e to the enemy.

In endeavoring to appreciate the motives and to in-
vestigate the causes, which led to an event so unex-
pected and dishonorable, it is impossible to tind any
solution inlhe relative strength oflhe contending parlies,
or in the measures of resistance in our power. Tiiat
we were far superior to the enemy ; that upon nuy
ordinary principles of calculation we would have de-
feated them, the wounded and indignant feelings of
every man there will testify.

A few days before the surrender, I was informed
by Gen. Hull, we had 400 rounds of 24 pound shotfix-
ed, and about 100,000 cartridges made. We surren-
dered with the fort, 40 barrels of powder, and 2500
stand of arms.

The state of our provision has nol been generally
understood. On the day of the surrender we had fif-
teen days' provisions of every kind on hand. Of
meat there was plenty in the country, and arrange-
ments had been made for purchasing grain and grind-
insr it to flour. It was calculated we could readilv
procure three months' provisions, independent of lOfO
barrels flour, and 1300 head of cattle, which had been
forwarded from the slate of Ohio, and which remained
at the river Raisin, under Capt. Brush, within reach
of the army.

But had we been totally destitute of provisions, our
duty and our interest undoublecUy was to fight. The
enemy iiwited us to meet him in the field.

By defeating hiju the whole country would have
been open to us, and the object ot our expedition
gloriously and successfully obtained. If we had
been defeated we had nothing to do but to retreat to
the fort, and make the best defence which circum-
stances and our situation rendered practicable. But
basely to surrender, without firing a gun— tamely to
submit, without raising a bayonet — disgracefully to
pass in review before an enemy, as inferior in the
quality as in the number of his foi-ces, were circum-

160 fliSTORY OF THE WAll.

stances, which excitetl feeling's of indignation more
easily felt than described. To see the whole of our
men flushed with the hope of victory, eagerly await*
ing the approaching contest, to see them afterwardis
dispirited, hopeless and desponding, at least 500 shed-
ding tears, because they were not allowed to meet
their country's loe, and to fight their country's battles,
excited sensations, which no American has ever be-
fore had cause to feel, and which, 1 trust in God, will
never again be felt, while one man remains to defend
the standard of the Union.

I am expressly authorised to stale, that Colonel
M'Arthur, and Col. Fuidley, and Lieut. Col. Miller,
viewed this transaction in the light which I do. They
know and feel, that no circumstance in our situation,
none in that of the enemy, can excuse a capitulation so
dishonorable and unjustifiable. This too, is the uni-
versal sentiment among the troops ; and I shall be
surprised to learn, that there is one man, who thinks it
was necessary to sheath his sword, or lay down his

I was informed by Gen. Hull the morning after
the capitulation, that the British forces consisted of
of 1800 regulars, and that he surrendered to prevent
the effusion of human blood. That he magnified
their regular force nearly five-fold, there can be no
doubt. Whether the philanthropic reason assigned
by him is a sufficient justification for surrendering a
fortified town, an army and a territory, is for the
government to determine. Confident I am, that had
the courage and conduct of the General been equal
to the spirit and zeal of the troops, the event would
have been as brilliant and successful as it now is dis-
astrous and dishonorable.

Very respectfully sir, I have the honor to be your
Bnost obedient servant,

Col. 3(1 Regt. Ohio \ oluntecrs.

Thf TJov. WiUiom Evstis., Secretary of War,


[By the following Proclamation, it appears that Gen.
Hull surrendered the whole of Michigan Territory,
to Gen. Brock, although he has never made public
any instrument to that effect !]


JStf Isaac Br ocliy Esq. Mnjor-Geueral., commanding
his majesty s forces in the province of Upper Canada.
Whereas the Territory of Michigan was this day
\jy capitulation, ceded to the arms of his Britannic
JVIajesty, without any otiier condition than the protecr-
tion of private property ; and wishing to give an early
proof of the moileration and justice of the govern>-
mcnt, 1 do hereby announce to all the inhabitants of
the said Territory that the laws heretofore in existencye
>hall continue in force until his Majesty's pleasure be
known, or so long as the peace and safety of the Ter-
ritory wiU admit thereof. And I do hereby also de-
clare and make known to the said inhabitants that
they shall be protected in the fidl exercise and enjoy-
ment of their religion ; of which all persons, both civil
and military, will take notice and govern themselves

All persons having in their possession, or having

Online LibraryJohn] 1793-1863 [RussellThe history of the war, betwee the United States and Great-Britain, which commenced in June, 1812, and closed in Feb. 1815 .. → online text (page 12 of 38)