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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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after ilie lig'ht iroops, and Generals VVnider and Ciian-
dier in quick succession. Tiie landing' was warmiy
and obstinately disputed by the British forces ; but
the coolness a. id intrepidity of our troops soon com-
pelle<l them to (y-ive way in every direction. Gen.
C.iandler, with the reserve, composed of his brigade
amlGoionel IVl icomb's artillery covered the w-iole.
Commodore Cuauncey had made the most judic.ous
arrangements for silencing the enemy's batteries, near
the point of landing. The army is under the great-
est obligations to that al)le naval commander for his
co-operation m all its importaut movemonls, and es-
pecially in its operations this day. Onr batteries suc-
ceeded in renderi ig Fort George untenable, and
when the enemy had been beaten from his positions,
and found it necessary to re-enter it, afler tiring a few
guns and setting tire to the magazines, which soon ex-
ploded, he moved otf rapidly by different routes. Our
light troops pursued them several miles. The troops
having been under arms from one o'clock, in the
morning, were too much exhausted for any further
pursuit. We are now in possession of Fort George
and its immediate dependencies — to-morrow we pro-
ceed further on. The behaviour of our troops, both
officers and men, entitles tliem to the highest praise ;
and the difference iifour loss with that of the enemy,
when we consider the advantages his positions affor-
ded him, is aKtonishing. — We had 17 killed and 45
mounded. TUe enemy had 90 killed and I GO woun-
ded of the regular troops. We have taken 100 pris-
v'>ners, exclusive to the wounded. — Col. Meyers of the



238 HISTORY OF THE WAR:

49fh, was woundefl and taken prisoner. Of ours, on-
ly one cotnniissionecl officer was killed — Lieut. Hobart
or" the liii'lit arrillery.

I have the honor to be &c

H. DEARBORN.

Gm. Dearborn to the Secretary oj War.^
Hmd-Quartersy Fort George j 3Iay 29, 1813.
\FJXtract.^^ Lieut. Col. Preston took possession of"
_fort Erie an<l its dependencies last evening, the post
had been abandoned and the magazine blown up.

I have ordered Gen. Lewis to return without delay
to this place, and if the winds favor us, we may yet
cut off the enemy's retreat.

I was last evening honored with your despatch of
the 15th inst. I have taken measures in relation to
the 23 prisoners, who are to be put in close confine-
ment. I have the honor, &c.

H. DEARBORN.

AMERICAN LOSS.

Killed 39— wounded 111— total 150.
British loss.
Killed 108-wounded 163— Prisoners 622— total 893.
E. BEE BE, Asst. Adjt. Gen.

Com, Chauncey to the Secretary of the Navy.
U. S. Ship Madison, Niagara, May 28, 1813.
SIR — Agreeably to arrangements which I have
already had the honor of detailing to you, I left Sack-
et's Harbor on the 22d inst. with about 350 of Col.
M'Comb's regiment on board — the winds being light
from the westward, I did not arrive in the vicinity of
Niagara before the 25th ; the other parts of the squad-
ron had arrived several days before, and landed their
troops. The Fair American and Pert I had ordered
to Sacket's Harbor, for the purpOvSe of watching the
enemy's movements at Kingston. I immediately had
an interview with Gen. Dearborn, lor the purpose of
making arrangements to attack the enemy as soon as
possible, and it was agreed between him and myself



HISTORY OP THE WAR. 239

to make the attack the moment that the weather was
such as to allow the vessels and boats to approach the
shore with safety. On the 2tJth, I reconnoitred the
position for landing the troops, and at night sounded
the shore, and placed buoys to sound out the stations
for the small vessels. It was agreed between the
Gen. and myself to mvikethe attack the next morning
(as the weather had moderated, and had every ap-
pearance of being favorable.) I took on board of the
Madison, Oneida, and Lady of the Lake, all the
heavy artdlery, and as many troops as could be stow-
ed. The remainder were to embark in boats and fol-
low the fleet. At 3 yesterday morning the signal
was made for the flett to weigh, and the troops were
all embarked on board of the boats before four, and
soon after Generals Dearborn and Lewis came on
board of the ship with their suites. It being howev-
er nearly calm, the schooners were obliged to sweep
into their positions. Mr. Trant in the Julia, and Mr.
Mix in the Growler, I directed to take a position in
the mouth of the river, and silence a battery near the
light house, which from its position commanded the
shore where the troops were to land. Mr. Stevens
in the Ontario, was directed to take a position to the
north of the light house, so near the shore as to enfi-
lade the battery and cross the fire of the Julia and
Growler. Lieut. Brown in the Governor Tompkins,
I directed to take a position near to Two Mile creek,
where the enemy had a battery with a heavy gun.
Lieut. Pettigrew in the Conquest, was directed to an-
chor to the southeast of the same battery, so near in
as to open on it in the rear, and cross the fire of the
Governor Tompkins. Lieut. M'Pherson in the
Hamilton, Lieut. Smith in the Asp, and Mr. Osgood
in the Scourge, were directed to anchor close to the
shore, and cover the landing of the troops, and to
scour the woods and plain wherever the enemy made
his appearance. All these orders were promptly and
gallantly executed. All the vessels anchored withm
musket shot of the shore, and in ten minutes after thev



240 HISTORY OF THE WAR.

opened upon the ba^lteries, I Le^f ^\ ere completely si-
kiiced and abandoned.

Our troops then advanced in three brigades, the
adv:ince led b) Coi. Scott, and landed near Ihe tort,
which had been silenced hy Lieut. Brown. The env
emy, who had been concealed in a ravine, now ad»
vanced in great force to the edge of the bank to
charge our troops. The schodners opened so well di-
rected and tremendous a fire of grape and canister,
that the. enemy soon retreated from the bank. Our
troops formed as soon as they landed, and niimediate-
ly ascended the bank, charged and routed the enemy
in every direction, the schooners keeping up a con-
stant well directed fire upon him in his retreat towards
the town. Owing to the wind's having sprung up
very fresh from the eastward, which caused a heavy
sea directly on shore, I was not enabled to get thd
boats off' to land the troops from the Madison and
Oneida, before the first and second brigades had ad-
vanced. Capt. Smith with the marines, landed with
Col. M'C<mb's regiment, and [had prepared 400
seamen, which I intended to land with myself, if the
enemy had made a stand ; but our troops pursued him
so rapidly into the town and fort George, thatl found
there was no necessity for more torce ; moreover, the
wind had increased so much and hove such a sea on
shore, that the situation ol the fleet had .become dan-
gerous and critical. 1 therefore, made a signal for
tlie fleet to weigh, and ordered them mto the river,
where they anchored immediately after the enemy
had abandoned fort George. The town and forts
were in quiet possession of our troops at 12 o'clock,
ad the enemy retired in a direction towards Queens-
town.

Capt. Perry joined me from Erie on the evening of
the 25th, and very gallantly volunteered his services,
and 1 haNe much pleasure in acknowledging the
great assistance which I received irom him. We
lost but one killed and two wounded, and no injury
done to the vessels.

ISAAC CHAUNCEY-



HISTORY OP THE WAB. 241

Com. Chauncey to the Secretary of the Navy.
XJ. S. Ship Madison, Sacket's Harbor, June 4, 1813.
SIR — I have the honor to present to you by the
hands of Lieut. Dudley, the British standard taken at
York on the 27th of April last, accompanied by the
mace^ over which hung a human hCALP. — These
articles were taken from the Farlaimeut houtte by one
of my officers and presented to me. The scalp I
caused to be presented to Gen. Dearborn, who 1 be-
lieve still has it in his possession. I also send by the
same gentleman, one of the British tlags taken at fort
Geerge on the 27th of May.

I have the honor to be, &c.

ISAAC CHAUNCEY.

Lieut, Chauncey to Com. Ciiauna^.

Sacket's Harbor, June 18, 1813.
SIR — According" to your orders of the 14th inst.
J proceeded off Presque Isle in the schooner Lady of
the Lake. On the morning of the 16th I fell in with
and captured tiie English schooner Lady Murray,
from Kingston bound to York, loaded with provisioiib
^nd anmiunition.

Enclosed is a list of one ensign, 15 non-commis-
sioned officers and privates found on board, with 6
men attached to the vessel.

I have the honor to he, k.c.

WOLCOTT CHAUNCEY,

JSatile at forty wile ^reek. Upper Canada.
Gen. Vincent having taken his stand at forty mile
Creek, about 33 miles from fort George, after his de-
feat at the fort, Brig. Gen. Winder was sent in pur-
$uit of him. On the 4th of June, Brig. Gen. Chand-
ler, with another detachment, was sent off from fort
George to reinforce Gen. Winder, and arrived at
Jlead Q;Uarters the 5th. A deserter from the Amer-
ican camp informed Gen. Vincent of the situation of
the army, and gave him the countersign ; in five min-
utes the whole English army were in motion, aud at
31



242 HISTORY OF THE WAR.

2 o'clock on the Trjorning- of the 6lh entered onr camp.
The two Generals Winder and Chandler, in endeav-
orino^ to form the troops, and the deputy quarter-mas-
ter General Vandeventer, were surrounded and taken
prisoners. Our army formed immediately and at-
tacked the enemy at the point of the hayonet, v^hich
soon occasioned a qi^eneral roule, the enemy taking
■oft" his prisoners, and leaving* Col. Clarke, sixty pris-
oners, and 2o0 killed in our hands. Our loss was 17
killed, 38 wounded, and 100 missing- total 155

ATTACK ON SACKETT'S HARBOR.

Gen. J3rmvn to the Secretary of War.

Head Quarters, Sachett's H arbor ^ June 1, 1813.

On the 25lh ultimo, I received a letter from Gen.
Dearborn, requesting- me to repair to this post for the
purpose of taking command. Knowing that Lieut.
Col. Backus, an officer of the first regiment of dra-
goons, and of experience, was here, I hesitated, as I
would do no act which might wound his feelings. In
the night of the 27lh I received a note from this officer,
by Maj. Swan, deputy quarter-master Gen. joining in
the request already njade by Maj. Gen. Dearborn. "1
could no longer hesitate, and accordingly arrived at
this post early in the morning of the 28th. These
circumstances will explain how 1 came to be in com-
mand upon this occasion. Knowing well the ground,
my arrangements for defence, in the event of an attack,
were soon made.

In- the cour<5e of the morning of the 28th, Lieut.
Chauncev, of the navy, came in from the lake, tiring
guns of alarm. Those of the same character, intended
to bring in the militia, were tired from the posts.
The enemy's fleet soon after appeared accompained
by a larjj-e number of boats. Believinj;^ that he
•would land on the peninsula, commonly called Horse
Island, I determined to meet him at the water's edge
with such militia as I could collect and the Albany
volunteers, under the command of Lieut. Col. Mills ;
Lieut. Col. Backus, with the regulars, formed a se-



HISTORY OF THE WAR. 5^-13-

coiul line; the cure of fort Tompkins was coinmilled
to the reoular artillerists and some volunteers, and
tliatofNavv Point to Lieut, Clianncey ofthenavv.
If driven Irom my position. Lieut. Col. Backus, was
ordered to advance and meet the head of tli© enemy's,
column, while rallying my corps. I was to fall on
its Hanks. If uuable here to resist the enemy's attack,
Lieut. Chauncey was in that case to destroy the stores,
Nic. and retire lo the south shore of the bay, east of
Fort Volunteer, while I proceeded io occupy that
fort as our dernier resort.

In the course of the ^Tth and durinnf the nisihts of
the "iHth, and 'jyiii, ultimo, a considerable militia force
came in, and were ordereil to the water side near
Horse Island, on which was Lieut. Col. Mills and
his volunteers. Our strenj>th at this point was now
500 men — all anxious for battle, as far as proiession
wou'd g-o. The moment it was light enough to dis-
cover the approach of ihe enemy, we found his shi[)s
in line between Horse Island and Stony Pomt, and in
a few mmtites afterwards ;3."3 large bo its filled with
troops, came off to the larger Indian or Garden Island,
under cover ot the fire of his gun boats. iVl y orders
' Avere, that the troops should lie close and reserve
their fire till the enemy had ajjpioached so near that
every shot might hit its object. It is, however, im-
possible to execute such orders with raw troops unac-
customed to subordination. My orders were in this '
case disobeyed. The whole line fired, and not. with-
out effect — but in the moment while I was contem-
plating this, to my utter astonishment, thev rose from
their cover and tied. Col. Mills fell gallantly m
brave but in vain endeavors to stop his men. I was
personally more fortunate. Gdhering together about^
100 militia, u.ider the immediate command of Capt.
M'Nitt of that corps, we threw ourselves on the rear
of the enemy's left flank, and I trust, did some execu-
tion. It was during this last movement that tlie re-
galai's under Col. Backus, first engagi^d the enemy- —
nor was it long before they deieated him.



•244 HISTORY OF THE WAR.

Hnrryinef to this point of action, I found the battle
still raging", but with obvious advantage on our side.
The result ot the action, so glorious for the officers
and soldiers of the regular army, has already been
communicated in my letter of the 29th. H«d not
Gen. Pre vost retreated most r«/>tV//y under the guns
of his vessels, he would never have returned to Kings-
ton.

The enemy's force consisted of 1000 picked men,
led by sir George Prevost in person. Their fleet con-
sisted of the new ship Wolfe, the Royal George, the
Prince Regent, Earl of Moira, two armed schooners,
and their g-un and other boats.

Lieut. Col Tuttle was in march for this post, but
with every exertion was unable to reach it in time to
take part in the action. This is felt by the Col. and
every officer of his detachment, as a misfortune.

JACOB BROWN. Brig. Gen. iV. Y. Militia.

AMERICAN LOSS.

Killed, 21.— Wounded, 84,— Missing, 50,— total 155,
WM. SWANN. Act. Adjt. General.

BRITISH L' SS.

Killed, 39, — Wounded, 112, — Prisoners, 35,— total,
186.

Gen. Lewis to the Secretary of War.

Sacket's Harbor, July 20, 1818.

[Extraft.~\ Our fleet has gone out of the inner har-
l)or, and appearances are in favor of its going to sea
in 48 hours at farthest.

A little expedition of volunteers from the country,
to which, by the advice of C;»ra. Chauncey, I lent 40
soldiers, sailed from hence three days since on board
of two small row boats, with a six pounder each, to
the head of the Ht. Lawrence, where they captured a
fine crun boat mounting a 24 pounder, 14 batteaux
loaded, 4 officers and tJl men. Two ot our schoon-
ers went out and convoyed them m.



HISTORY OF THE WAR. 246

Gen. Harrison to the Secretary of JVar,
Head-Q,aarters, Seneca, Auu:. 5, 1813.
I have the honor to enclose you Major Cro^han's
report ot the attack upon fort Stephenson, which has this
luoment come to hand. W ith great respect, ^c.

W. H. HARRISON.

Major Croghan to Gen. Harrison.

Lower-Sandusky, Aug. 5, 1813.
Dear Sir — 1 have llie honor to inform you that the
combined force of the enemy, amounting to at least
500 regulars and seven or eight hundred Indians,
under the immediate command of Gen. Proctor, made
its appearance before this place, early on Sunday
evening last, and as soon as the Gen. had made such
disposition of his troops as would cut oti' my retreat,
should I be disposed to make one, he sentC >t. Elliott,
accompanied by Major Chambers, with a flag, to de-
mand the surrender of the fort, as he was anxious to
spare the eftusion of blood, which he should probably
not have in his power to do, should he be reduced to
the necessity of taking the place by storm. My an-
swer to the summons was, that I was determined to
defend the place to the last extremity, and that no force
however large, should induce me to surrender it. So
soon as the flag had returned, a brisk fire was opened
upon us from the gun boats in the river and from a
6 1-2 inch howitzer on shore, which was kept up with
little mtermission throughout the night. At an early
^ hour the next morning, three sixes ( which had beeu
A placed during the night within 250 yards of the pick-
els) began to play upon us, but with liltle eflect.
,Y About 4 o'clock P. M. discovering that the fire from
© all his guns were concentrated against the north-
t' western angle of the fort, I became confident that his
: object was to make a breach, and attempt to storm the
works at that point. I therefore ordered out as many
men as could be employed for the purpose of strength-
ening that part, which was so eflectually secured by
means of bags of flour, sand, 6tc. that the picketing



246 HISTORY OF THE WAR.

suffered little or no injury ; nolwithstanding; which,
the enemy about 500, having formed in a close col-
umn advanced to assault our works at the expected
point, at the same time making two femls on the front
of Capt. Hunter's hnes. The column which advanc-
ed against the north-western agle, consistmg of about
850 men, was so enveloped in smoke, as not to be
discovered until it had approached within 18 or 20
paces of the lines, but the men being all at then* posts
and ready to receive it, commejiced so heavy and gal-
lino- a fire as to throw the column a litlle into confu-
sion ; being quickly rallied it advanced to the ouler
works and began to leap into the ditch. Just at that,
moment a fire of grape was opened from our 6 poun-
der (which had been previously arranged so as to
rake in that direction) which together with the mus-
ketry, threw them into such confusion that they were
compelled to retire precipitately to the woods.

During the assault, which lasted about half an hour,
an incessant fire was kept up by the enemy's artillery
(which consisted of five sixes and a howitzer J but
without effect. My whole loss during the siege was
one killed and seven wounded slightly. — -.The loss of
the enemy in killed, wounded, and prisoners, nmst
exceed 150; one Lieut, Colonel, a Lieut, and hfty
rank and file were found ni and about the ditch, dead
or woun^ied. Those of the remainder who were not
able to escape, were taken off during the night by the
Indians. Seventy stand of arms, and several braces
of pistols have been collected near the works. About
three in the morning the enemy sailed down (he riv-
er, leaving behind them a boat containing clothing
and considerable military stores.
Yours with respect.
G. CROGHAN, Maj. 17th U. S. Infantry.

By a letter from Gov. Huntington, dated Lower
Sandushyy Aug. 4, it ap|)ears that Major Croghan's
force was 160, and that of tiie enemy 800. It further
states that the enemy lost 40 men kdled in the ditch.



HISTORY OF THE WAR. 247

witli Lieut. Col. Short, and several officers; and
about the same number of refjulars while advancino"
to the attack, besides Indians. Onr loss was oiie
killed, and tive wounded. — Tlie enemy 83 killed and
25 prisoners.'

' What will Gen. Proctor say, when he finds he has
been baffled by a youth but just passed his 2 1st year.
He is, however, a' Hero wortijy of his g-allant uncle
Gen. Georije Ji. Clarke.' [See Gen. Harrison tojlie
Secretary of War^^

LOSS OF THE CHESAPEAKE.

Lieut. Budd to the Secretary of the Aavy,

Halifax, J axe 15, 1813.

SIR — The unfortunate death of Capt. James LaW'
rence and Lieut. Auyustus C. Ludlow, has rendered
it my duty to inform you of the capture of the late
U. States Frig-ate Chesapeake.

On Teusday, June 1, at 8 A. M. we unmoored
ship and at meridian got under way from President's
Roads, with a light wind from the southward and
westward, and proceeded on a cruise. A ship was
then in sight in the offing which had the appearence
of a ship of war, and which, from information received
from pilot boats and craft, we believed to be the Brit-
ish Frigate Shannon. We made sail in chase and
cleared ship for action. At half past 4 P. M. she hove
to, with her head to the southward and eastward.
At 5 P, M. took in the royals and top-gallant-sails
and at half past five hauled the courses up. About 15
minutes before 6 P. M. the action commenced within
j>islol shot. The first broadside did great execution
on both sides, damao'ed our riu^ino-, killed amontv
others Mr. White the sailing master, and wounfled
Capt. Lawrence. In about 12 minutes after the com-
mencement of the action, we fell on board of the en-
emy and immediately after one of our arm chests on
the quarter-deck was blown up by a hand grenade
thrown from the enemy's ship. In a few minutes one
ot the Captain's aids came on the gun deck to inform
me that the boarders were called. I immediateK



248 HISTORY OF THE WAH,

called the boarders away and proceeded to tlie spar
deck, where I found that the enemy had succeeded in
]i)oarding us and had gained possession of our quarter
deck. 1 immediately gave orders to haul on board
the fore tack, for the purpose of shooting the ship
clear of the other, and then made an attempt to re-
gain the quarter deck, but was wounded and thrown
down on the gun deck. 1 again made an effort to col-
lect the boarders, but in the mean time the enemy had
gained complete possession of the ship. On my being
carried down to the cock-pit, I there found Captain
Lawrence and Lieut. Ludlow both mortally wound-
ed ; the former had been carried below previously to
the ship's being boarded ; the latter was wounded in
attempting to repel the boarders. Among those who
fell early in the action was Mr. Edward J. Ballard,
the 4th Lieut, and Lieut. James Broom of marines.

I herein enclose to you a return of the killed and
wounded, by which you wdl perceive that every offi-
cer, upon whom the charge of the ship would devolve,
■was either killed or wounded previously to her cap-
ture. The enemy report the loss of Mr. Watt, their
first Lieut, the purser, the Captain's clerk, and 23
seamen killed; and Capt. Broke, a midshipman and
66 seamen wounded.

The Shannon had, in addition to her full comple-
ment, an officer and 16 men belonging to the Belle
Poule, and a part of the crew belonging to the Ten-
dos. I have the honor to be, Sec.

GEORGE BUDD.

Killed on board the Chesapeake 60 — wounded 86.

Commodore Chauncey to the Secretary of the Navy,
U. S. ship Gen. Pike, Niagara, Aug. 4, 1813.
[Extract'] On the 25th 1 was joined by the Pert,
and on the27lh by the Lady of the Lake with guides,
and Capt. Crane's company of artillery, and Col.
Scott, who had very handsomely volunteered for the
service — After conversing with Col. Scott upon the



HISTORY OF THE WAR. 249'

snbiect, it was thonocht advisable \o take on board 250
lij.a try, which by the extraordinary exertions of that
excellent officer, were enibarked before six o'clock
the next mornin»" ; we arrived and anchored in the
harbor of York, at about 3 P M. on the 31st, run
the shooners nHothe up er harbor, landed the marines
and soldiers under the command ol Col. Scott, with-
out opposition, found several hundred barrels of flour
and provisions in the public storehouse, five pieces of
cannon, elevei» boats, and a quantity of shot, shells and
other stores, all which were either destroyed oi*
broug'ht away. On the 1st inst. just after receiving-
on board all the vessels could take, I directed the
barracks and the public store houses to !)e burnt ; we
then re-embarked the men and proceeded for this
place, where [ arrived yester<lay. Between 4 and
.500 men left York for the head of the lake two days
before we arrived there. Some few prisoners were
taken, some of whom w ere paroled, the others have
been landed at Fort George.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully vour
obedient servant. ISAAC CHAUNCE Y.

Burninr/ of Sodns, N". V. — Sodus was the first
town burnt in this war. This was a handsome little
village of about 40 houses. The British appeared off
the place, the 17th June, 1813, but finding a consider-
able militia force, put off into the Lake. The mili-
tia were disi^anded on the 20th, when the enemy
again returned, and effected a landing. — Finding the
public stores, chiefly removed, they immediately set fire
to every valuable house in the village, and returned to
their vessels, after suftering a loss of 4 killed, and sev-



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 19 of 38)