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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as well as a large ship upon the slocks nearly finished
— the only vessel found here is the Duke of Glouces-
ter, undergoing repairs — the Prince Regent left here
on the 24th for Kingston. We have not yet had a
return made of the naval and military stores, conse-
quently can form no correct idea of the quantity, but
have made arrangements to have all taken on board
that we can receive — the rest will be destroved.

I have to regret the death of midshipmen Thomp-
son and Rntfield, and several seamen killed — the ex-
act number I do not know, as the returns from the
different vessels have not yet been received.
I have the honor to be, &c.



Entered uito on the 27lh of April 181 :, for the sur-
rendei of the town of York, in Upper Canada, to
the army and navy of the United States, under the
connnand of Major-Gen. Dearborn and Commo-
dore Chauncey :


That the troops, regular and militia, at this post,
and the naval officers and seamen, shall be surrender-
ed prisoners of war. The troops, regular and militia,
are to ground their arms immediately on parade, and
the naval officers and seamen be immediately surren-

That all public stores, naval and military shall be
immediately given up to the commanding officers of
the army and navy of khe United States. — That all
private property shall be guaranteed to the citizens of
the town of York.

That all papers belonging to the civil officers shall
be retained by them— that such surgeons as may be
procured to attend the wounded of the British regulars
and Canadian mditia shall not be considered prison-
ers of war.

That 1 Lieut. Colonel, 1 Major, 13 Captains, 9
Lieutenants, 11 Ensigns, I Q,uaii,er-ma.ster, i deputy
Adjutant-General, 19 Serjeants, 4 corporals, and 204
rank and tile, of the militia. — Of the field train de-
partment J, of the provincial navy 21, of his Majesty's
troops 2, and of the Roval artillery 1 bombardier
and 3 gunners, shall be surrendered as prisoners of
war, and accounted for in the exchange of prisoners
between the United States and Great-Britain.
G. S. MITCHELL, Lt. Col. 3d A. U. S.
SAMUEL S. COiXINER, Maj and A. D. C. to

Maji Gen. Dearborn.
WILLIAM KING. Maj. U. S. Infantry. '
JESSE D. ELLIOT, Lieut. U. S. Navy.
W. CHEVVITT, Lt. Col. com. 3d Reg. Y. militia.
W. ALLAN, Maj. 3d Reg. York militia.
F. GAURREAU, Lieut. M. Dpt.

Extract of a letter from Major- General Dearborn
• to the Secretary of War.

Niagara, May 3, 1813.
York was one immense magazine, which supplied
Niagara, Detroit, and fort George. The troops were
hulled a few moments to bring up the heavy artillery


to play on the block house, when Gen. Sheaffe des-
pairing of holding the town, ordered fire to be put to
the principal magazine, in which was deposited 500
bariels^of powder, and an immense quantity of shells
and shot. The explosion was tremendous, and rak-
ed our column from front to rear with such effect thai
it killed 52, and wounded 180 of our men, among the
latter was Brig. Gen. Pike, who died of his wounds
shortly after. Notwithstanding this calamity, and
the discomfiture that might be expected to follow it,
the troops gave three cheersy histanily formcdyand ^
warched on for the tonm. Notwithstanding the im- )|
meiise amount destroyed by them, we found more
public property than our vessels could bring away.
Gen. Sheaffe's baggage and papers fell into my hands;
they are a valuable acquisition. A SCALP was a
found in the Executive and Legislative Council "
Chamber, suspended near the Speaker's chair. A
statement of our loss, as well as that of the enemy is


Killed in battle 14 — do. by the explosion 52—
total 66.

Wounded in battle 23 — do. by the explosion 180
—total 203 total killed and wounded 269.


Killed in battle 75 — do. by their explosion 40 — ;
total 115.

Wounded in battle 62 — do. by iheir explosion 23 — ;
total 85.

Prisoners, militia 700 — do. regulars 50 — total 750
total killed, wounded, and prisoners, 930.
^, ___-_^

Brigadier Gen. Winchestery to the Secretary at War,
Fort George, Upper Canada y Feb. 11, 1813.
SIR — On the 23d ultimo, I had the honor of com-
municating to your excellency the result of the action
utFrenchtown on theriver Raisin, of the preceding
day. I have it now in my power to transmit to you a
more detailed account of that transaction, together


*w'\ih a more minute statement of our loss. A list of
the killed, and wounded, and missing^, is herewith en-
closed. The attack upon our camp was commenced
about 6 o'clock in the morning, b} a heavy fire of
small arms, tog'ether with the discharge of 6 pieces of
artillery, directed immediately at our lines, and the
Louses and temporary breatwork, from behind which
a portion of our troops were engaged with the enemy.
Early in the action a charge was made by the assail-
ants; but the tire from our lines was so intense that
they were quickly compelled to retire.

In this charge the 4 1st regiment of British regulars
principally suffered, their loss during the charge and
in the subsequent engagement, being very considera-
ble. Out of three hundred of these troops about 30
fell dead upon the field, and 90 or 100 wounded were
removed from the ground.

It is impossible to state with any degree of accuracy,
the number of Canadian militia and Indians which
were killed or wounded during the engagement ; it
could, however not have been small, having received
forthree or four hours the constant tire of the nmsque-
try and riflemen, from the breast-work under which
tliey were formed. The action had endured about a
quarter of an hour, when the right division of our
troops, who were less secured by a breast-work, and
exposed to a heavy fire from a body of Indians and
militia, who had possessed themselves of some out-
houses withm their reach, were obliged to retreat
from their lines in the encampment, for the purpose of
occupying ground less exposed. This retreat being
discovered by the enemy, the whole Indian force, to-
gether with a portion of the mihtia, bore down upon
them with redoubled violence, and prevented, by their
superiority of numbers and the severity of their fire,
the practicability of ever again forming this portion of
o\if troops in order of battle. It was from this divi-
sion that our principal loss was sustained, few indeed
having escaped. Every effort in vain was employed
to form them in some order of action, as affording the


only means of either repelling-the pursuers or regain*
ing" the lenij.orary breast-work from behind which
the remaining part of our troops still gallantly defend-
ed themselves ; but every exertion was in vain em-
|Dh>yed, and the very few who survived of the parsty sur-
rendered as prisoners to the enemy.

. Our loss in this action will be ascertained by the list
herewith enclosed. Among the killed, I have to la-
ment several brave and valuable ofhcers, some of
whom had distinguJshed themselves in the action of
the evening of the 18th, and fell on the 22d while uu-
availingly engaged in rallying the troops, who re-
treated in disorder from the lines. Amonjy those, the
loss ot Col. John Allen, and Maj. Elijah Mc Cianna-
liiui, is to l>e particularly regretted, as also Capt. John
H. Woofolk, one of my aids-de-camp ; their exertions
were unsuccessful, notwUhstandmg every possible ex-
ertion was employed ; they bravely fell in discharge
of their respective duties. While I regret the fate of
those who bravely fell upon this occasion, I should do
injustice to pass over, without notice, the few parta-
kers in their danger, wlio were fortunate to survive
them. To Lieut, Col. William Lewis, who com-
manded on the 18th, and to Capt John Overton, my
aid-de-camp, who attended my person on the fields
my thanks ai e particularly due, for their prompt and
■willing exertion, during every period of the conflict.
To the officers and soldiers who bravely maintained
their ground m the temporary fortifications, too much
J r- ise cannot be bestowed. Assailed by numbers, great*
ly superior, suporled by six pieces ot artillery,
they gallantly defended themselves with their small
arms alone, for n- ar four hours of constant battle,
JNo troops ever behaved with more cool anddeternnn-
ed bravery ; from the commanding-ofHcer down to
the private soldier, there was scarce a single abandon-
ment of duty ; and at the last when their ammunition
was nearly exhausted, and surrounded by the enemy,

greatiy sujjerior in number and tht means of war, snr-»
rendered with a reluctance rarely to be found upon


similar occasions. The officers commanding in the
breast-work and whodeserve particular notice, if dis-
tinction could easdy be drawn, were Majs. Benjamin
Graves and George Madison j Capts. Hightower,
Hart, Williams, Chulier, Sebree, Hamilton. Keleby,
Bledsoe, Ballard, and James ; Brig-ade-Maj. James
Garrai'd ; Adjt. John Mc Calla, and quarter-master
Pollard Keen ; they defended ihemse'ves to the last,
with great gallantry, and merit my warmest gratitude,
as well as the highest praise of their country.

With sentiments of the highest respect, I am, sir,
your obedint servant, J. WINCHESTER.

17 iiegi. V. S. lufautiy
Kdled and Missing 120,— Prisoners, 64,— total 184,

Kentucky Volunteer Militia.
Killed and Missnig — 277 — Prisoners — 452. — total,
729-ofthemissing5U arrived at Gen, Harrison's Camp
safe. Total killed, wounded, and Missing, 863.

The force of the enemy was about 1500, — they lost
150 killed, and 158 wounded ; among the latter, were
Col. Procter, and Lieut. Col. St. George.


[ The following iSarrative of the Massacre at brench-
lotvHf after Gen. Winchester s defeaty was drawn up
hy Lieut. Baker of the 2d liegt. U. S. Infantry.}
So much ha-s been said about the Indian massacres
at Frenchtown and its neighborhood, that something
circumstantial from one who had an opportunity of
acqun-ing information on the subject may not be un-
acceptable to the public, I therefore submit the fol-
lowing narrative.

On the morning of the 22d of January, I was
captured by the Indians about 9 o'clock, with anoth-
er officer and about forty men. Closely pursued by
an overwhelming force of Indians, we were endeav-
oring to effect our escape, and had attained the dis-
tance of a >out three miles from Frenchtown, when an
offer o\ quarter was made us by an Indian chief.
Many Indian chiefs on horseback being in our


rear, tomahawking the hindmost, and wilhalthcmen
being" much wearied with runnnig through the
deep snow, we concluded it best to accept the chief's
proposition. Accordingly we assembled around him,
and gave up the few remaining arms that were still
retained in the flight. In a few minutes the Indians
on foot came up, and notwithstanding the chief ap-
peared solicitous to save, massacred about half our
number. I was led back towards the river along the
road we had retreated in. Tlie dead bodies of my
fellow comrades, scalped, tomahawked, and stripped,
presented a most horrid spectacle to my view. 1 was
at length taken to a lire near Col. Proctor, where I
remained till our army capitulated, and marched by
me towards Maiden. Major Madison,* as he was
marching past, demanded me of the British officer
commanding the guard, as an American officer; but
the noble Briton replied with a sneer, ' You have too
many officers,' and ordered the column to advance
-which had made a partial halt. I was taken to San-
dy creek, about three miles off, on Hull's road, and
there kept during the night with about 20 other pris-
oners. Next morning my master left me in charge
of the old Indian, and with the exception of 20 or 30,
all the Indians in the camp went back towards the
river Raisin. They returned about 2 o'clock, P. M.
bringing a number of fresh scalps and about 30 pris-
oners, many of whom were wounded, though with a
single exception, none dangerously. I was told by
the prisoners that the Indians had that morning re-
turned to the village, and massacred Capt. Hickman
and a great many others, and that they were fearfu)

* After the surrender of our troops to the British, at the river
Kaisin, the Indians, in violation of the articles cf capitulation,
crowded among them, and were plundering tlieir property — when
the heroic Madison desired Col. Proctor to keep them off: — ' the
Indians are fierce and unmanageable, (said Proctor) it canrui be
dwie' Madisun cooly replied, ' if you cannot disperse them, I will'
— the men were ordered to shoulder their arms and Proctor fear-
ing that ' charge bayonet* would follow, waved bis sword, and the
Indians iostantly withdrew.


Maj. Graves and Capt. Hart were of the number;
that some of the wounded had been scalped alive and
burned in the house s. I had scarcely been told these
things, when a volunteer who was standmg by my
side, was knocked down, scalped, and afterwards
tomahawked. Three others were successively treat-
ed in the same manner.

Seven days afterwards, I was sold in Detroit to
some American gentlemen, and the next day sent
over to Sandwich, where I remained nearly three
weeks. In this time I had an opportunity of making
enquiry about the massacres, and found that 60 had
been massacred subsequent to the day of battle, and
two officers the day on which the battle was fought,
after they had surrendered. Of the first were Capt,
N. G. S. Hart of Lexington, Capt. Paschal Hickman
of Franklin, John H. Wooltolk, Esq. the eneral's
Secretary ; and of the latter Capt. Virgil M'Cracken
of Woodford, and Ensign Levi Wells, son of Col.
Wells of the U. S. Infantry. Judge Woodward has
ascertained several instances of great barbarity exer-
cised on our prisoners, which w ill aj)pear as soon as
that truly philantropic and patriotic gentleman returns
to his own country. — Massacres were not only com-
mitted on the 22d and 23d, but also on the 24th, 25th,
and 26th, and even three weeks afterwards fresli
scalps were brought into Maiden.

Should this relation be doubted, many living wit-
nesses of high standing for piobity, may be louad to
attest them.

Expedition against the Indians — Maj. Gen Sam-
uel Hopkins, on the lith of Nov. 1812, marched
with 1000 men under his command, from fort Harii-
son, on an expedition to the Prophets town for the
purpose of destroying their village, provisions, &c.
On the morning of the 19th, a detachment of SOO
men destroyed a town, and a great quantity of corn,
belonging to the Winebago t-ibe, lying on the Ponce


passu creek, one mile from tlie Wabash, and fouir
from the Prophets town. On the 20lh. 21st, and 22d
they destroyed, the Prophets town and a Kickapoo,
village, on the opi'osite side of ti)e river, consisting" of
upwards of 200 houses, a considerable quantity of
corn, &c.

On the 21st a larg-e body of Indians were discovered
about seven miles from the town, by a small party,
who the Indians tired on, and killed one man; the
next day Lteut. Cois. Miller, and Wilcox, anxious
to bury their comrade, as well as gain a more com-
plete knowledge of the situation, and strength ot the
Indians, set out with a party ot horsmen, consisting of
about sixty ; the Indians had placed themselves in a
strong place, on a ridge of land, running betv^een two
large and rappid creeks, which could not be ascended
only by a steep ravine, — our party returned, afera
smart skirmish, in which we lost, in killed, wounded,
and missing, 18 men. On the 24th, the main body of
the army sta'ted tor the pupose of destroying the ene-
my in their strong hold ; but when they arrived at the
spot, they found they had fled, previous to the storm
of snow, which fell very deep, on the 23d which pre-
vented any further pursuit.

Brig. Gen. Smyth. — In November 1812, General
Smyth issued several addresses to the inhabitants on
the frontiers, for the purpose of raising volunteers, to
cross iiito Canada opposite Niagara. — Including the
regular army under his command, and the volunleers
that repaired to his camp, he had, on the 27lh Nov.
4000 men. Two parties were sent across the river
to destroy abridge below fort Erie, and capture and
spike the caimon in the batteries, and some pieces of
light artillery. After accomplishing their object, ihe
parties separated by misapprehension ; Lieut. Angus,
the seamen, and a part of the tioops returned with all
the boats, while Capts. King, Morgan, Spronl, and
Houston, with about 00 men, remaned. The party
thus reduced, took %w\ rendered unserviceable two of



tlie enemies' batteries, raptured 34 prisoners, and 2
bovits, in which Capt. Kini^ sent his prisoners, his own
officers, and halt of his men across, remaining him-
S'elf with -iO men, refusiiiy^ to abandon tht m

On the 3<)th Nov. Gen. Sin\th again attempted to
cross, with 300U men, l>ut by some.msnnderstandmg.
O'dy a few woul(i, or couhl be made to embark.
The killed in both these attempts amounted to about
20 — the wounded 30 — and prisoners 31. The ene-
my lost 10 killed — 17 wounded, and 34 prisoners,
besides an Indian chief.

Capt. Forsyth, commandant at O^^densburaf, crossr
ed over to Ehzabethtown on the 7th of February,
1813, with about 200 volunteers from the mditia and
citizens, where they surprised the guard, took 42 pris-
oners, with 1 Major, 3 Captains, 2 Lieutenant«, and
120 muskets, 20 ntles, two casks of fixed ammunition,
and <'onsiderable other public properly, which was
effected without the loss of a man.


Gen. Harrison to the Secretary at War,
Head QuarlerSy Lower Sandusky, May 13, 1813.

SIR — Having ascertained that the enemy (Indians
as well as British) had entirely abandoned the neigh-
borhood of the Rapids, I left the command of camp
Meigs with Gen. Clay and came here last night. It is
with the greatest satisfaction, I inform you, sir, that I
have every reason to believe, that tlie loss of the Ken-
tucky troops in killed on the north side of the nve.t


does not exceed fifty. On the 10th and llth inst. I
caused the ground which was the scene of the action
and its environs to be carefully examined, and after
the most diligent search 45 bodies only of our men
"Were discovered — among them was the leader of
the detachment, Col. Dudley. No other officer of note
fell in the action. I have strong- reason to believe
that a considerablenuraber of the Kentuckians effect-
ed their retreat up the river to fort Winchester,
Gen. Procter did not furnish me with a return of the
prisoiicrs in his possession, although repeatedly prom-
ised. His retreat was as precipitate as it could pro-
perly be, leaving a number, of cannon ball, a new ele-
gant slino^-carnage for cannon, and other valuable ar-
ticles. . The might before his departure two persons
that were employed in the British gun-boats (Ameri-
cans by birlh) deseited to us. The information they
gave me was very interresting — they say that the In-
dians, of which there were from 1600 to 2000, left the
British the day before their departure in a high state of
dissatisfaction, from the great loss which they had
sustained in the several engagements of the 5th, and
the failure of the British in accomplishing their prom-
ise of taking the post at the Rapids. From the ac-
count given by these men, my opinion is comfiimed
of the great superiority of the enemy which were de-
feated by our troops in the two sallies made on the
5th inst. That led by Col. Miller did not exceed 350
men, and it is very certain that they defeated 200
British regulars, 150 militia, and 4 or 500 Indians.
That American regulars (although they were raw re-
cruits) and such men as compose the Pittsburg, Penn.
and Petersburg, Va. volunteers, should behave well,
is not to be wondered at — but that a company of mi-
litia should maintain its ground against four times its
numbers, as did Capt. Sebres, of the Kentucky, in
truly astonishing. These brave lellows were at
length however entirely surrounded by Indians, and


would have been entirely cat off, but for the gallantry
of Lieut. Gwynne of the 19th resc-meu', who, with
partofCapt. Elliott's company, charged the enemy
and released the Kentuckians. I mclose you a list
of the killed and wouiided during the whole seijre. It
IS considerably larger than I had supposed it would
be when I last wrote to you — but it is satisfactory to.
know that they did not bleed uselessly — but in the
course of successful exertions.

You will also receive herewith a monthly return of
the troops at camp Meigs for the last month; the
communication with the other post beijior cut off, the
returns were not received. A copy of Gen. Clay's
report to me of the manner of his executing my order
for the attack on the enemies batteries, is likewise
forwarded, by which it will be seen that my intention
was perfectly understood, and the great facility
with which they might have been executed is appar-
ent to every individual who witnessed the scene. In-
deed the cannon might have been spiked, the car-
riages cut to pieces, the magazine destroyed and the
retreat effected to the boats without the loss of a man,
as none were killed in taking the batteries, so com-'
plete was the surprize.

An extensive open plain intervenes between the
river and the hill upon which the batteries of the ene-
my were placed ; this plain was raked by four of our
eighteen pounders, a twelve and a six. The euemy,
even before their guns were spiked, could not have
brought one to bear on it. So perfectly secured was
their retreat that 150 men who came off effected it
without loss, and brought off some of the wounded,
one of them upon the backs of his comrades. The
Indians followed them to the woods, but dared not en-
ter into the plain.

I am unable to form a correct estimate of the ene-
my's force. The prisoners varied much in their ac-
counts ; those who made them least, stated the regu-
lars at 550 and militia at 800 ; but the numbers of In-
dians were beyond comparison greater than have

ever |t)een brought into the iipld btlore; ntuitb^r^ ar^
rived aiter the seige commenced, and ihey wpre indited
the efficient tV,n e ot ihe enemy.

I have the h^ uorlo be, with great respect, sir, your
bumble servant. :


Fetum of the k lied and wounded at the siege effort
I\u igs, and the se\eral sorties against the besiegers.
Killed, 81.— A\ ounded, 189.— total 270.

J. C FALLAN, Asst. Adjt. Gen.
The folloniny conversalh^n took place between Moj.
ijhainbersiund Gen. Harrison, on a demand Jor the
anrrehcier of Jbrt Mei(/Sf

Moj. Chamhera — Gen. Proctor has directed pie to
demand the surrender of this post. He wishes to
spare the efi'usiou ot blood.

Gen. Harrison — The demand under present cir-
cumstances, is a most extraordinary one. As Gen..
Proctor did not send me asumn^ons to surrender on
his first arrival, I had supposed thai he believed use de-
tcrn»ined to do my duly. His present message indi-
cates an opinion of me that I am at a loss to ac-
count for,

Miij. Chambers — Gen. Prbctor could never think
of saying any thing- to wound your leelings, sir, — -
The chara( ter of Gen. Harrison, as an ofticer, is well
known. Gen. Proctor's force is very respectable, ai»d
there is with him a larger body of Indians that hav^
ever before been embodied.

Oen. Jiarrison — 1 believe I have a very cprrect
ideaol Gen. Proctor's torce, it is not such as to create
the least a| prehension, for the result of the contest,
vhatever shape he may be pleased hereafter to give
to it. Assure the Gen. hov\ever, that he will never
have \\\\8 \iOsl surrefidered \o him upon any ternis,
Should it fall into his hands, it will be in a manner
caiculaled to do lilm more honor, and to give him lar-
ger ciauns upon the gratitude of his goverinnenl, thai?
any capitulation could possibly do.



General Oiarbom to the Secretary of War — Flead*
quarlf^rs. Fort George (U. C.) May 27, 1813.
SIR — The lig-'it troops under the coiiiiuaiul of Co-
lonel Scott and M ijor Forsyth, landed this moruhi^
at 9 o'clock. M ijor-general L wis's division, with
C<>lon^l Porter's command of li;^ntarldlery, supported
by them. Gen. Boyd's brig'ade landed iminediately

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 18 of 38)