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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

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any knowledge of any public property, shall forthwith
deliver in the same, or give notice thereof to the offi-
cer commanding, or Lt. Col. Nichol, who are hereby
authorized to receive and give proper receipts for the
same.

Officers of the militia will be held responsible that
all arms in possession of militia-men be immediately
delivered up ; and all individuals whatever, who btive
in their possession arms of any kind, will deliver them
up without delay. Given under my hand at Detroit,
thislGth day of August, 1812, and in the 52d year of
his Majesty's reign.

(Signed) ISAAC BROCK,

A true copy, ^ Mnjor-General,

J. M'DONELL, Lt. Col. Militia & A. D. C,
21



162 MISXJivY OF THE WAR.

A CARD.

Colonel Synimes, of the senior division of the Ohio
militia, presents his respectful compliments to Major*
General Brock, commanding his Britannic majesty 'f*
forces, white and red, in Upper Canada. ^

Colonel ISymmes, observing, that by the 4th article"^
of liie capitulation of Fort Detroit to INIajor-general
Brock, all public arms moving towards Fort Detroit,
are to be delivered up, but as no place of deposit is '
pointed out by the ca|)itulation, ybr/^y thousand stand
of arms coming within the description, are at the ser-
vice of Major-general Brock, if his excellency will
Goi\i\e%c,e[i\\ to come and take tham.

Copies of letters received at the navg department from ''^

Capt, Porter y of the United States frigate Essext of

32 giins.

At Sea, AugvstM, 1812.
SIR — I have the honor to inform you that on the 13th
his Britannic Majesty' ssloop of war Alert, Captain T.
P. Laugharne, ran down on our weather quarler, gave
three cheers, and commenced an action (if so trifling
a skirmish deserves the name and after 8 minutes fir-
ing struck her colors, with 7 feet water in her hold, and "
much cut to pieces, and three men wounded.

T need not inform you that the officers and crew of
the Esse,x behaved as I trust all Americans will in
such cases, and it is only to be regretted that so nmch
zea! and activity could not have been displayed on an
occasion which would have done them more honor.
The Essex has not received the slightest injury.

The Alert was out for the purpose of taking the
Hornet !

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your
obedient servant,

Signed DAVID PORTER;

Hon. Puul Hamilton, Secretary of the Navy.



HISTORY OF THE WAR.



m



ftlK-l^.namg myself much embarrassed l)v h.

event of an elloaa•P,npn^ • i ^ ? "^ *"'P '»

ly as poss,bl., parlicularlfas I wa* eu" "' ''"r.'""
immediately on their Mriv7\ in IT T ""■*'' "'•''

Alert overboard; will.drew from her aM the L
to.a"f t^^^''' «PPO'"ted heut.J.P. VV.Ime,.

ceivemexcliancre ^'"eucans a. he may re-

ihetiriaf;:etJre;re':pt^j,t'' "" -^-'^

lative to tb,s transaction! and ,i .cerelv h^7 TT"^
conduct n. th. affair may m'er,^,:";r;;":^p2

Not %^c!rat ^N^^LSj^t^^rrf 1i

can do shall be done, and «vhl,e er m Tbe om f^
our counlrymeu shall never blush Co. us '

i have the honor to be, lac.

oj thi N,imj, Wathinglon. \



|<J4 HISTORY OF THE WAR.

DEFENCE OF FORT HARRISON.
Letter from tapt. Z Taylor, commandimjjort Hai^
riion, Indiana Territory, to Gen. ^^^rr''^'^' -^
Fort Harrison, feept. lo, iwi.?. ^.t
Dear Sir— On Thursday evening, the 3d inst after
retreat beating, four guns were heard to fire in the di-
rection where two young men (citizens who resided
liere) were making hay, about 400 yards distant from
the fort. 1 was immediately impressed with an idea
that they were killed by the Indians, as 1 had that day
been informed that the Prophet's party would soon be
here for the purpose of commencing hostilities. Pru-
dence induced me to wait until 8 o'clock the nex
morninff, when I sent out a corporal with a small
party to find them, which he soon did ; they had been
each shot with two balls, and scalped and cut in the
most shocking manner. I had them brought m and
buried. In the evening of the 4th inst. old Joseph
Lenar, and between 30 and 40 Indians arrived trom
the Prophet's town, with a white flag ; among whom
' Avere about ten women : the men were composed
of chieis of the d.fierent tribes that compose the
Prophet's party. A Shawanoe man, that spoke good
Enolish, informed me that old Lenar intended to
speak to me next morning, and try to get something
to eat. At retreat beating, 1 examined the men s
arms and found them all m good order, and com-
pleted their cartriges to 10 rounds per man. As 1 had
Tiot been able to mount a guard of more than six pri-
vates and two non-commissioned officers, tor some
time past, and sometimes part of them every other
day, from the unhealthiness of the company ; 1 had
not conceived my force adequate for the defence at
this post, should It be vigorously attacked. 1 had just
recovered from a very severe attack of the fever, and
was not able to be up much through the night. Alter
tattco I cautioned the guard to be vigilant, and or-
dered one of the non-commissioned officers, as centi-
nels could not see every part of the garrison, to walk
around on the inside during the whole night, to pr^-



HISTORY OF THE WAR. 165

vent the Indians takin- any aavantage of us, Foyid-.
ed they had anv intention ot attacking us. About U
o'clock,! was liwakem a by the hnng of one ot the
centiuels ; 1 sprang uj,, rui. out, and ordered the men
to then- posts! when my oraerly sergeant (who had
chai-ffeof the upper block house) called o«t th^t the
Indians had tired the lower block house (which con-
tained the property of the contractor, which was de-
posited in Ihe lower part, the upper part having been
assingnedto a corporal and ten privates, as an alarm
post ) The guns had begun to hre pretty smartly
Lm both sides. I dnecled the buckets to be got
ready and water brouaht from the well, and the hre
extinguished immediately, as it was hardly perceiv.
able at that time; but from debility or some other
cause, the men were very slow in executing my or.
acrs-theword^Ve appeared to throw the whole of
them into confusion ; and by the time they had got
the water, and broken open the door, the hre had un-
fortunately communicated to a quantity ot whisky (the
slock havmg licked several holes through the lower
part of the building, after the salt that was stored
there, through which they had introduced the fire with-
out being discovered, as the night was very dark,)
and in spite of every exertion we could make use ot,
in less than a moment it ascended to the root, and baU
fled all our cftbrts to extinguish it. As that blocKi-
house adjoined the barracks that make part ot the tor-
tifications, most of the men immediately g^e them-
V selves up for lost, and I had the greatest difficulty in
t {retting any of my orders executed - and, sir, what
T' Irom the raging of the tire-the yelling and howling
of several hundred Indians— the cries ot nine women
and children (a part soldiers' and apart citizens
wives, who had taken shelter in the fort)-and the
desponding of so many of the men, which was worse
than all, I can assure you that my teelings were very
unpleasant ; and indeed there were not more than 10
or 15 men able to do a great deal, the others beit^g
either sick or convalescent— and to add to our other



16^ HISTORY OF THE WAR. •

misfortunes, two of the stoutest men in the fort, and
that 1 had every confidence in, jumped the picket and
left us. But my presence of mind did not for a mo-
ment forsake me. I saw, by throwing off part of the '
roof that joined the block-house that was on fire, and
keeping- the end perfectly wet, the whole row of build-
ings might be saved, and leave only an entran<te of
18 or 20 feet for the Indians to enter after the house
was consumed ; and that a temporary breast-work
might be erected to prevent their even entering tiiere.
I convinced the men that this could be accomplished,
and it appeared to inspire them with new life, and
never did men act with more firmness and despera-
tion. Those that were able (while the others kept
up a constant fire from the other block-house and the
two bastions,) mounted the roofs of the houses with
Dr. Clark at their head, who acted with the greatest
firmness and presence of mind, the whole time the
attack lasted, which was 7 hours, under a shower of
bullets, and in a moment threw off as much of the roof
as was necessary. This was done only with the loss
of one man, and two wounded, and I am in hopes ■
neither of them dangerous. — The man that was killed
was a litlle deranged, and did not get off the house
as soon as directed, or he would not have been hurt ;
and although the barracks were several times in a
blaze, and an immense quantity of fire against them,
the men used such exertions that they kept it under,
and before day raised a temporary breast-work as
high as a man's head ; although the Indians continu-
ed to pour in a heavy fire of ball and an innumera-
ble quantity of arrows, during the whole time the at-
tack lasted, I had but one ott>er man killed inside the
fort, and he lost his life by being too anxious — he got
into one of the gallies of the bastions, and fired over
the pickets, and called out to his comrades that he had
killed an Indian, and neglecting to stoop down, in an
instant he was shot dead. One of the men that junip-i.
ed the pickets, relumed an hour before day, and run*
T)ing up towards the gate, begged for God's sake for



illSTOnY OF THE WAR. 167

ilto be opened. I suspected it to be a stratagem of
the Indians to get m, as I did not recollect the voice
—I directed the men in the bastion, where I hapi>en-
ed to be, to shoot him lethim be who lie would and one
ot them fired at him but fortunately he run up to the
other bastion, wliere they knew his voice, and Dr
Clark directed hirn to lie down close to the pickets be*
land an empty biirrel that happened to be there, and
at day li-ht I had him let in. His arm was broken in
a most shockiniT manner, which he says was done bv
the Indians— which 1 suppose wastheVause of his re-
Ujrning-.I think it probable that he will not recover
ihe other, they cauoht about 120 yards from the
garrison, and cut him all to pieces. After keepino-
up a constant fire m.til about six o'clock the next
morning, which we returned with some effect- alter
day-l.ght, they removed out of the rtach of our Vans
A party ot them drove up the horses that beloTio-ed
to the citizens here, aud as thev could not catch tirem
very readily, shot the whole of' them in our siirht as
well as a number of their hogs. They drove off \he
whole ot the cattle, which amounted to sixtv-five
head, as well as the public oxen. 1 had the vaaancv
nl.ed up be ore night, (which was made by the burn-
ing of the block house) with a strong row of pickets
which I got by pulling down the guard house. We
ost the whole of our provisions, but must make out
to hve upon green corn until we can get a supply
M hich I am in hopes will not be long. 1 believe the
vvhole of the IVl.amies or Weas, wer? among the Pro-
phet s party, as one chief gave his orders in that lan-
guage, which resembled Stone Eater's voice, and I
believe ^egro Legs was there likewise. The In-
dians suflered smartly, but were so numerous as to take
ott all that were shot.

(Signed) z TAYLOR.

Ills t^xctllency Governor Hurrison.



168 HISTORY Ol? THE WAK

Com of a letter from Major ThomasJ. Jessup ««^
^7al Tayto/, Q. M. Oen N. W An,.,, to_a
aentUmanin WaMnffion (My, dated
J* Chilitotliey (Ohio) Oct. i.

SlR_Yom- leller has been received. req.iestu,g
from us a corwboralion of Ccl.Casss fen.ent o
the Secretary of War, of the surrender of the nortlv-
wesufrarmv. We have read the colonel's stateme«t
»Uh "llention, and find it a pretty correct h.story of
: 'suSn. 'although .e »> - observed .hat som«
important facts have been on""^'^'- behave a so
Slnd examined the official report of Gen. Hull, nd
bavefound ,1 abounding with inaccurac.es and m st-.^e-
Tents • the ffeneral has not only undcireled his o«n
force bnt hat, in our opinion, magnified mfim.clv that
of*; enemy, and enumerated dangers and d.fhc«l.
lies that existed only ii> unas;matio;i.

T at the means wUhin our power were "o P™pu-
Iv^nnlied is a melancholy fact; and that the aimv
ls'uWcess..'ily sacrificed, and the An-ncan arms
disgn>ced, none -but .he base and cowardly wdlat-

''•f ou mt;:^lhonsed to mnkewhat use you may think

Q. M. Oen. JS. W. Aunt/.
^kirmishivn - C^vi. Williams, on the 30lh of An-

r'' St Ma y"t 'S olm-: nveir was uLcked by
trom St. Ma J s to ai „ ho killed one man

an •'"'''"«'f^!"Sl'"2,re ncludmo- Cap.. Williams.

:i:ire;vtds::cnr.::;s'rti-un.ou';i.on^

WHO rectiveii sc pffpcted a retreat about 200

and tour "' ""^'fS-T^Vem^, stand, and fought

hawks, which this little band soon put a slop to, by,



HISTORY 05" THE WAK. 16^

Aargin^ bayonet and rushing on them. TV.e In-
dians destroyed one waggon and took the other to
carry off their killed and wounded. Capt. Williams
then proceeded to St. John's with his well and wound-
ed, excepting one man, who was not able to travel.
The next day a party of Indians returned to the spot;
when the wour»ded man rose up as well as he could,
and called upon his parly to rush upon the Indians,
which startled them in such a manner that one of
them sprung from his horse, which, the wounded,
man caught^ and arrived safe at Si. John's.

(/apt. Forsyth, with 70 of his rifle company, and 34
militia'volunteers, on the night of the 20th September,
1812, went over to a small village called Gananoque,
in the town of Leeds, from C ipe Vincent, for the
purpose of destroying the kuig's -store house at that
place. They landed unobserved, but were soon dis-
covered by a party of regulars of about 125, and fired
Upon. — Capt. Forsyth returned the fire with such
spirit, that they were obliged to retreat to the village^
where they were reinforced by a number of militia,
when they agam rallied, but finding the contest too
sanguine, retreated the second time in disorder, leav-
ing 10 killed, and 8 regulars and a number of militia,
prisoners : Capt. Forsyth had otily one man killed
and on© slightly wounded. After destroying the
store house, with a quantity of flour and pork, our
little band of heroes, returned to Cape Vincent, tak-
ing with them the prisoners, 00 stand of arms, two
* barrels of fixed ammunition, one barrel of powder,
» one barrel of flints, and a quantity of other public
•>( property taken from the store-house.

On the 4th of October, about forty British boats,
escorted by two gun boats, attempted to pass from
Johnstown to Prescott, by Ogdensburg. — On their
leaving Johnstown, the batteries at Prescott opened on
Ogdensburg* and kept up a brisk fire, which was re-
22



170 HISTOKY OP THE AVAR.

iurnedin a spirited manner, and continued UvoliourS'
The next morning- the enemy commenced a lieavy
cannonade on us trom Prescott, where tlie boals hiy,
Avliich was continued wilh little i n term issi on,- through
the day without any return from us; General Urown
considering it useless to fire such a dislance. The
enemy was very busy during the day iii preparing for
an attack on Ogdensburg — -the next morning about
10 o'clock, 25 boats, aided by 2 gun boats moved up
the river three quarters of a mile, when they tacked
and stood over for our shore. As soon as the boats
changed their course, the batteries from PresColt
opened their fire upon us, which w as not answered
till the boats had advanced to about the middle of the
river, when our batteries commenced a tremendous
lire upon them, which destroyed three, and caused
the remainder to seek shelter under the batteries of
Prescott. Cols. Lethridge and Breckenridge, led
the British. There was not one man either killed
or wounded on our side, whilst the enemy lost twelve
killed and 20 wounded.

Affair at St. Reyis. — Major Young, of the Troy,
N. Y. militia, stationed at French IMills, on the St.
Regis river, having received intelligence that a parly
of the enemy had arrived at, and taken possession of
St. Regis village, marched a detachment, on the
night of the 21st October, w hich crossed the river about
3 o'clock, and arrived within half a mile of the village
by 5 in the morning, unobserved by the enemy. Hert
the Major made such a judicious disposition of his
force, that the enemy were entirely surrounded, when
a few discharges upon them caused them to surrender,
after having 5 killed, and. several wounded. — The
result of this afllair, was 40 prisoners, with their arms,
equipments, &:c. one stand of colors, and two bat-
teaux, without having one man hurt, on our side.

Major Young had the honor of taking the first stan-
dard tiom the cueuty in the present war.



HISTORY OF THE Vv AR. 171

Letter from Captain Elliot to the Secretary of
the Navy.
Black Rock, Oct. 0, 1812.

SIR — I have ihe honor to inf'onn you that on the
morning- of ihe 8th inst. two British vessels, \Vhicii I
was informed were his Britannic Mnjesly's brig' De-
troit, late the United States bri^ Adams, and the
hrij^- Hunter, niountinsj' 14 g-uns, but which afterwards
proved to be the brig Caledonia, both said to be well
armed and manned, came down the Lake and anchor-
ed under the protection oV Fort Erie. Having- been
on the lines for some time and in[a measure inactively
employed, I determined to make an attack, and if
possible to get possession of them. A strong induce-
ment to this attempt arose from a conviction that with
these two vessels added to those which I have purchas-
ed and am fitting out, 1 should be able to meet the re-
mainder of the British force on the Upper Lakes, and
save an incalculable expense and labor to the govern-
ment. On the morning- of their arrival I heartl that
our seamen were but a short distance from this place,
and immediately dispatched an Express to the officers,
directing them to use all possible <lispatch in getting-
their men to this place, as 1 had important service to
perform. On their arrival, which was abouut 12
o'clock, I discovered tint they had onlv 20 pistols
and neither cutlasses nor battle axes. But on appli-
cation to Generals Smith and Hall of the regulars and
militia, I was supplied with a few arms, and Gen.
Smith was so good on my request as innne<ltatelv to de-
tach fifty men from the regulars, armed with mus-
kets. ,

By 4 o'clock in the afternoon, I had my men select-
ed and stationed in two boats, which I had previous-
ly prepared for the purpose. With these boats, 50
meft in each, and under circumstances very disadvan-
tageous, my men having scarely had time to refresh
themselves after afatigueing march of oOO miles, I put
off from the mouth of Buflfalo creek, at 1 o'c'ock the
allowing morning, and at 3 I was along side the ves«



179 HISTORY OP THE WAR.

sels. In the space of about ten minutes I had the pvis-
oners all secured,\he topsails sheeted home, and Ihf
Tessels under way. Unfortunately the wind was not
sufficiently strong to 8:et me up against a rapid current
into the Lake, where I had understood another armed
vessel lay at anchor, and I was obliged to run
down the river by the Forts, under a heavy fire of
round, grape, and cannister, from a number of pieces
of heavy ordnance, and several pieces of flving
artillery, and compelled to anchor at a distance oi
about 400 yards from two of their batteries. After
the discharge of the first gun, which was from the fif-
ing artillery, I hailed the shore, and observed to the
officer, that if another gun was fired I vi ould bring
the prisoners on deck, and expose them to the same
fate we would all share — but notwithstanding, they
disregarded the caution and continued a constant and
destructive fire. One single moment's reflection de-
termined me not to commit an act that would subject
me to the imputation of barl)arity. The Caledonia
bid been beached, in as safe a position as the circum-
stances would admit of, under one of our batteries at
the Black Rock. 1 now brought all the guns of the
Detroit on one side next the enemy, stationed the
men at them, and directed a fire which was continued
as long as our ammunition lasted and circumstances
permitted. During the contest I endeavored to get
the Detroit on our side by sending a line, there being
no wind, on shore, with all the line I could muster ;
but the current being so strong, the boat could not
reach the shore. I then hailed our shore, and re-
quested that warps should be made fast on land, and
sent on board, the attempt to all which again prov-
ed useless. As the tire was such as would, in all
probability, sink the vessel in a short time, I determin-
ed to drift down the river out of the reach of the bat*
teries, and make a stand against the flying artillery.
I accordingly cut the cable, made sail with very light
airs, and at that instant discovered that the pilot had
abandoned me, I dropped astern for about 10 mi-
nutes, when 1 was brought up on om* shore on Squaw



HISTORY OP THE WAR. 17S

Island — got the boarding boat ready, had the prison-
ers put in and sent on shore, with 'directions for the
officer to return for me and what property we could
get from the brig. He did not return, owing to the
difficulty in the boat's getting on shore. Discover-
ing a skifF under the counter. I put the four remain-
ing prisonei-s in the boat, and with my officers I went
on shore to bring the boat off. I asked for protec-
tion to the brig of Lieut. Col. f^cott who readily gave
it. At this moment I discovered a boat with about
40 soldiers from the British side, making for the brig.
They got on board, but were soon compelled to aban-
don her, with the loss of nearly all their men. Ma-
jor Ormsbee, Commandant of Fort Erie and 30
privates were killed, while on board. During the
whole of this morning both sides of the river kept
up alternattely a continual fire on the brig, and so
much injured her that it was impossible to have floiiti-
ed her. Before I left her, she had several shot of
large size in her bends, her sails in ribbons, and rig-
ging all cut to pieces.

To my officers and men I feel under great obliga-
tion. ToCapt. Towson and Lieut. Roach of the 2d
regiment of artillery. Ensign Prestman of the infantry.
Captain Chapin, Mr. John M'Comb, Messrs. John
Town, Thomas Dain, Peter Overstocks, and James
Sloan, resident gentlemen of Butfalo, for their soldier
and sailor like conduct. la a word, sir, every man
fought as if with their hearts animated only by the in*
terest and honor of their country.

The prisoners I have turned over to the military.
The Detroit mounted fourteen long guns, a com-
manding Lieut, marines, a boatswain and gunner,
and 56 men — about 30 American prisoners on board,
muskets, pistols, cutlasses, and battle axes. In boar-
ding her I lost one man, one officer wounded, Mr.
John C. Cummings, acting midshipman, a bayonet
through the leg — his conduct was correct, and de-
serves the notice of the Department. The Caledonia
mounted two small guns, blunderbusses, pistols, mus-
kets, cutlasses, and boarding pikes, 12 men including



174 HISTORY OF THE WAR.

officers, 10 prisoners on board. The boat boarding
her was commanded by sailing- master Geo. Watts,
who performed his duty in a masterly style. But
one man killed, and four wounded badly, I am afraid
mortally. I enclose you a list of the officers and men
engaged in the enterprise, and also a view of the
Lake and river in the dift'erent situations of attack.
Ill a day or two I shall forward the names of the pri-
soners. The Caledonia belongs to the N. W. Com-
pany, loaded with furs worth I understood S200,000<,

With sentiments of respect, I have the honor to
be, &c.

JESSE D. ELLIOT.

Hon. Paul Hamilton^ Secretary of the Navy.

Extract of a letter from Capt. Heald, late cammand"
ant at fort Chicago, dated at Piltsbnryj Oct. 23,
1812.

' On the 9th of August last, I received orders from
General Hull to evacuate the post and proceed with
my command to Detroit by land, leaving it at my dis-
cretion to dispose of the public property as 1 thought
proper. The neighboring Indians got the informa-
tion as early as I did, and came in from all quarters in
order to receive the goods in the factory store which
they understood were to be given them. On the loth
Capt. Wells, of Fort Wayne, arrived with about SO
Miamies, for the purpose of escorting us in, by the re-
quest of General Hull. On the 14lh I delivered tho
Indians all the goods in the factory store and a consid-
erable quantity of provisions which we could not take



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 13 of 38)