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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servant. WM. H. WINDER,

Brig. Gen. lOth mditary district.

Com. Barney to the Stcretary of the Navy.

Farm, at Elk ridge, Aug. 29, 1*814.
[Extract.^ SIR — This is the first moment I have
had it m my power to make a report of the proceed-
ings of the forces under my command since 1 had the
honor of seeing you on Tuesday, the 2?5d mst. at the
camp at the * Old Fields.' On the afternoon of that
day we were informed that the enemy was advancnig
upon us. Our army was put into order of battie aud
our positions taken; my forces were on the ng t,
flanked by the two baltallions of the 36lh and o8th
regiments. A little before sunset Gen. Winder came
to me and recommended that the heavy artillery
should be withrawn, with the excejtion of one twelve
pounder to cover the retreat. We took up the line of
inarch, and in the night entered Washington by the
Eastern Branch bridge. Tfie Gen. requested nie to
take command and place my artillery to defend the
passage of the bridge on the Eastern Branch, as Ihe
enemy was approaching the city in that direction.
I immediately put my guns in position, leaving the
marines and the rest of my men at the barrac ks, to
■wait further orders I was in this situation uhcn I
bad the honor to meet you with the President and
heads of Departments, when it was determined I
should draw off my guns and meii, and proceed to-


^Vards Bladensburg-, which was immediately put into
execution. On our way I was informed the enemy
was within a mile of Bladensburg" ; we hurried on,
thoug-h the day was very hot, and my men much
crippled from the severe marches we had experienced
the preceding days. I preceded the men, and when
I arrived at the line which separates the District from
Maryland, the battle began. •! sent an officer back
to hasten on my men — they came up in a trot. We
took our position on the rising ground, put the pieces
in battery, posted the marines under Capt. Miller,
and flotilla men, who were to act as infantry under their
own officers, on my right, to support tho pieces, and
waited the approach of the enemy. During- this pe-
riod the eng-aj^emeiit continued — the enemy advanc-
ing, and our army retreating befon them — apparently
in much disorder. At length the enemy made his
appearance on the mam road in force and in front of
my batttrv, and on seeing us made a halt ; I reserved
our fire; m a few minutes the enen»y again advanced,
when I ordered an 18 pounder to be fired, which
completely cleared the road ; shortly after, a second
and third attempt was made by the enemy to come
forward, but all who made the attempt were destroy-
ed. The enemy then crossed over into an open field
and attempted to flank our right. He was tliCre met
by three 12 pounders, the marines under captain Mil-
ler, and my men acting- as iutantry, and again was to-
tally cut up. By this time not a vestige of the Ame-
rican army remained, except a body of five or six
hundred posted on a height on my right, from whom
I expected much support from their fine situation. —
The enemy from this period never appeared in front
of us. He however pushed forward his sharp shoot-
ers, one of vhom shot my horse from under me,
which fell dead between two of my guns. Theene-^
my, who had been kept in check by our fire nearly
half an* hour, now began to ont flank us on the right.
Our guns were turned that way — he pushed up the
hill about two or three hundred-men towards the corps


of Americans stnlioned as almve described, who io
niv greai mortification m;^de no resistiince, giving a
fire or two and retiring'.

In this siluatidn vse had lie whole army of the en-
emy to contend with ; our annumituin was expended,
and unfortnnateiv the drivers of my ammnnilion
was^pons had gone ofl' in the g'cnnal panic. At ihis
time I received a sevtre woniid ni my thigh. Finding
the enemy now c<;mplelely in our rear and no me; ns
of defer»ce, 1 ga\e orders to m> oflhcers and men to
retire. The great loss oi blood occasioned such a
weakness that I was com jelled to lie down I le-.
questedmy ( fhcers to leave me, which they obstinale-
ly refused, but upon being ordered, they obe>ed :
one only remained, fn a short time 1 observed a
British soldier and had him called, and directed him
to seek an officer ; in a lew mn utes an officer came,
■who, on learning who I mhs, brought Gen. Ross aid
admiral Cockburn to me. These offit ers behaved to
me wit!; the most n>aiked attention, res[)ect and po-
liSeness; lad a surgeon biought, an< ni} wound (ires*
std immediately. Altera few minutes convtrsation,
the general infoimed (after paying me a handsome
compliment) that I was jfiniedf aitd at bberly to
proceed to Washington or Bluciensburg, offering me
every assistance in h s power, giving orders for a lit-
ter to be brought, in vvhich 1 was carried to Blaueiis-

My wound is deep, but T flatter myself not dange-
rous ; the ball is not yet extracted.


Com. Mncdonovijh to the Secretary of the ISavy.
U.S" shipSitratdga,ofi Plallsburg, ^ept. 1I,1M4.
MR — The Almighty has been pleased to grant
ns aMgnal victory on Lake Champlain, in the cap-
ture of one frigate, one brig, and two sloops ot war
of the enemy.

1 Jiave the honor to be, .^c.



Com. Macdoiwugli to the ^^ecretory tif the Navy.
XL S. ship HaialoL^a, at anchor off |
Paltsbmg, Stpt. l-i, IS 14. f
SIR — By lieulenaiil commandant Ca^sin I have
the honor to convey to you the tl.i«i^s of his Britannic
Majesty's late squadron, ca tared on the llth inst.
by the United Slates' squadron untler mv command.



Com. Miicdnnoiiyh to the ISecretary of tlie Navy.
' I'. S. ship Saratoga, Platlsburg- bay,)
September 13, l814. §

SIR — I have tlie honor to give you the particulars
of the action which took place on the llth inst. on
this Lake.

At >S A. M. the look-out boat announced the ap-
proach of the enemy. At 9, he ancliored in aline
ahead, at about three hundred yards distance from
niv line ; Ins ship opposed to the Saratoga, his brig"
to the Eagle, his gallies, thiiteeu in number, to the
schooner, sloo •, and a division of our gallies ; one
of his sloops assisting their ship and Ijrig, the other
assisting their gallies. Our remaining gallies with
the Saratoga and Eagle.

In this situation the whole force on both sides be-
came engaged, the Saratoga suffering much from the
heavy fire of the Confiance. I could perceive at the
same time, howev<^r, thit our tire was very destruc-
tive to her. The Ticonderotra <> allantly sustained her
full share of ihe action. Ai half paxt 10 o'clock the
Eagle, not being able to bring her guns to bear, cut
her cable and anchored in a more eligible position,
between my ship and the Ticonderoga, where she
very much annoyed the enemy. Our guns on the
starboard side being nearly all dismounted, or not
manageable, a stern anchor was let go, the bower
cable cut, and the ship winded with afresh broadside
on the enemy's ship, which soon after surrendered.
Our broadside was then sprung to bear on the brig,
which surrendered in about 15 minutes after.


The sloop that was opposed to the Eagle, had
struck some time be» ore and drifted down the line;
the sloop which was with their gal lies having struck
also. Three of their gailies are said to he sunk, the
others pulled off. Our gallies were about obeying
■with alacrity the signal to follow them, when ail the
vessels were reported to me to be in a sinking state :
it then became necessary to annul the signal to the
gallies, and order their men to the pumps.

1 could only look at the enemy's gallies going off
in a shattered condition, for there was not a mast
in either squadron that could stand to make sail om.

The Saratoga had fifty-fi\e round shot in her hull ;
the Confiance one hundred and live. The enemy's
shot passed principally just over our heads, as there
were not 20 whole hammocks in the nettii gs at the
close of the action, which lasted without intermis-
sion two hours and twenty minutes.

The Saratoga was twice set on fire with hot shot
from the enemy's ship. I have the honor to be, &c.


P. S. — Accompanying this is a list of killed and
"wounded, a list of prisoners — and a precise slate-
ment of both torces engaged,


Ships. guns.

Saratoga, 26
Eagle, 20 ,

T.cotideroga, 17
Preble, 7

10 Gun Boats, 16


















86 820 62 58























Ea^le, 11 40 8 10

l;3GunBoats,18 6d0

9o lOoO 84 110

Several of the gun boats struck ; but the sinking
stale of the huge vessels required the assistance of
the men in our j^aUies, which enabled them to escape,
excepting" three, which sunk with all on board, which
makes their loss 174 killed, 110 wounded, and 416

Note. — The following valuable property was taken
on board the Jieel, to wit . — 1 1,800 lbs. oj powder ex-
clusive of Jix^ed amniun.tion — 85,000 /6s. of cannon
had — 0000 muskets — 0)0 suits of sailors' clothiufft
and aU the winter clotlwiy oJ the whole of their land

Bnrniny of Petipauf/e. — Between 10 and 11 o'clock,
P. M. of April 7lh, 1814, six British boats were dis-
covered coming into Connecticut river ; by 12, a
large force of the enemy had taken possession of an
old fort at Saybrook Point, where finding nothing,
the fort having been decayed for several years, re-
eiitered their boats, anil proceeded for Petipauge
Point, about miles higher up the river, where they
arrived about 4 o'clock. The vessels in harbor being
on tire, first gave notice that the enemy was near.
T ;ere was not time alter the alarm, to get the wo-
men and children otf frt)m the PoinU betore the ene-
my had landed, and began burning nie vessels on the
stocks; they immediatelv commenced searching the
houses and stores, tor arms and ammunition, taking
ail tht-y could find, and destroying furniture to a con-
siderable amount ; liquors of ail kinds, when found,
after satisfying themselves, were destroyed by staving
the casks. There was no opposition to their plunder,
although they remained on shore till 10 o'clock, when
they called in their men, and proceeded down the
river about a mile, with a brig, a schooner, and 2


sloops, where ihey anchored and lay till dark, "wheii
they set lire to their prizes, and proceeded down to
their vessels.

Attack on Stoninqton, — The British fleet off New-
liOndoii having- been reinforced on the 9ih August^
1814, a pari of it, to wit, one 74, two frig-ates, a sloop
of war, and a brig-, appeared off Stoiiington, when
Sir Thomas Hardy sent a flag on shore for the in-
formation of the women and children^ that if the town
-Was not surrendered in one hour, the whole should be
laid in ashes. The inhabitants informed Sir Thomas,
that Slonnyton was not Petipanyey and prepared their
cannon, 2 long IS's, and one (3 pounder, for defend-
ing themselves. Tlie attack began at 9, at night, and
continued tdl 1 in the moi'oing, with round shot,
bombs, and rockets. The militia, 30 in number, re-
turned the fire with great vigor and eflect. The at-
tack was renewed next morning, and as warmly re-
sented — their brig, whic h lay nearest shore, was al-
most cut to pieces, and one barge, full of men, was
sUiik, when the enemy withdrew. Our loss was 4
wounded, 2 houses fired, and 2 horses kiiled. On
the 11th they ag-ain attacked the place, before which
the humane Sir Thomas sent in another demand for
its surrender, accompanied with a threat, that if it
was not complied with, he would lay the whole town
in ashes, or sacrijice his whole force, consisting of 13
ships of war. Our little band ot Heroes paid little
attention to his threat, but went steadily to vvoik at
their cannon, and numled the enemy so, that he was
obliged to abandon the expedition.

Gen. Gains to the Secretary of War.

Fort Erie, Aug. 23, 1814.
[ F^/mc^]— SI R — I have the honor to communi-
cate the particulars of the battle fought at this place,
on the loth insl. I have heretofore omitted stating to
you, that during the 13th and 11th, the eaemy had
kept up a brisk cannonade upon this fort, which was


briskly returnerl from our batteries, without any con-
siderable loss on our part. At tj, A. M. of the l-jth,
one o\' their shells lodged in a small macrazine, in
Fort Erie, which was fortunately almost tmpty. It
blew up with an explosion more awful in its appear-
ance, than injurious in its eftects, as it did not (lisaijle
9 man, or derange a g-un. It occasioned but a mo-
nientary cessation of the thunders ot the artillery on
both sides ; it was followed by a loud and joyous
shout by the British army, which was immediately
returned on our pnrt, an(l Capt. Williams, amidst tha
smoke of the explosion, renewed the contest, by aa
animated roar of his heavy cannon.

The night was dark and rainy, but the faithful cen-
tinel slept not. At half past 2 o'ch>ck, the right col-
umn of the enemy approached, and though enveloped
in darkness,* black as his designs and principles,
was distinctly heard on our left, and promptly mark-
ed by our musqnetry and cannon. Being mounted at
the moment, I repaired to the point of attack, where
the sheet of tire enabled me to see the enemy's column,
about 1.500 men, approaching on that point ; his ad-
vance was not checked until it had approached within
ten fe^t of our infantry. A line of loose brush rep-
resenting an abetlis only intervened; a column of the
enemy attempted to pass round the abcttis ihrou^^h the
■water, where it was nearly breast deep. At this mo-
ment the enemy were repulsed, but instantly renewed
the charge, and were again repulsed. My attention
was now called to the right, where our batteries and
lines were lighted by a most brilliant tire of cannon
and musquefry ; it announced the approach of ti.e
centre and left columns of the enemy, under Cols.
Drummond and Scott; they were soon repulsed.
That of the centre, led by Col. Drummond was not
long kept in check; it approached at once every as-
sailable point of the fort, and wilh scaling ladders,

* I, with several of my officers, several tinies, heard orders giv-
en, ' to give (he damned Yankee rascals tio ([uariers.'


ascended the parapet, bul was lepulsed with dreadful
carnag'e. The assault was twice repeated, and as
often checked ; but the enemy liaviii^ moved round
the ditch, covered with darkness, and the heavy cloud
of smoke which rolled froju our cannon and niiis-
quelry, repeated the charge, a.:d re-ascended the lad-
ders, when their pikes, bayonets, and spears, fell upon
our o-allant artillerists. Our bislion was lost ; Lieut.
M'Donough, being severely wounded, demanded
quarter, — it was refused by Col. Drummond. iVI'Do-
nou<»'h then seized a handspike, and nobly defended
hnnself until he was shot down with a p stol by the
monster who had lefused him quarter, \^ho often re-
iterated the order — cfwe the damned Yankee rascals no
quarter. This hardened murderer soon met histate ;
he was shot through the breast while repealing the
order to give no quarter.

The battle now raged with increased fury, on the
right, but on the lett the enemy was repulsed and ])ut
to dight. Thence and from the centre I ordered rein-
forcements. They were promptly sent by Bng. Gen.
Ripley and Brig.' Gen. Porter. Capt. Fanning, of
the corps of artillery, kept up o spirited and destruc-
tive fire with his field piecrs on the enemy attempting
to approach the fort. Major Hindman's gallant ef-
forts, aided by Maj. Trimble, having failed to dnve
the enemy from the bastion with the remainuig artil-
lerists and infantry in the fort, Capt. Buvisall of the
4lh rifle regiment, with a detachment of riflemen,
galUuitly rushed in through the gatew ay to their as-
sistance, and with some infantry charged the enem\ ;
but was repulsed, and the captain sevt^rely woundi d.
A detachment from thelllh, 19th, and •22d,uifaiiliy,
under Capt. Fo ter of the lllh, were ii.trouuced o\ tr
the interior bastion, for the purpose of charging the
enemy. Major Hail, Assist. In Gen. \ery hand-
somely tendered his services to lead the charge. The
charge was gallantly made by Caj)t. Foster and Maj.
Hall, but owing to the narro\M»es., ol the passage up
to the bastion admitting only 2 or d men abreast, it


failed. It was often repeated, and as often checked.
The enemy's force in tlie bastion was, however, much
cut to pieces and diminished hy our artillery and
small arms. At lliis moment every operation was
arrested hy the e\[)losion of some cartridges deposit-
ed m the end of ihe slone budding adjoining- the con-
tested bastion. The explosion was tremendons-r-it
was decisive: the bastion was restored. At this ntOf.
mejit Capt. Biddle was ordered to cause a held piece
to be posted so as to enfilade the exterior plam aud
salient glacis. Capt. Fanning's battery likewise play-
ed upon them at tins lime with great effect. The
enemy were in a few moments entnely defeated, ta-
ken, or put to flight. I have the honor, (kc.



Killed, 17 — Woundeil,o6 — Missing, 11 — total, 84.


Killed, 422 — Wounded, a54— Prisoners, 186—962.

Gtn. Smith lo the Secretary of War.

Baltimore, September 19, 1815.
[E.r/rrtc/.] SIR — I have the honor of statmg that the
enemy landed between 7 and 80U0 men on the 12tU
inst. at North Point, 14 nnles distant from this cily.
Anticipatnig this debarkation. Gen, Striker had been
detached on Sunday evening w ith a portion of his
brigade, to check any attempt the enemy might make
in that quarter to land ; the General took a position
on Monday, at the junction of the two roads leading
from this place to the Point, having his right flanked
on Bear Creek, and his left by a marsh. Here he
waited the approach of the enemy, after having sent
on an advance corps. Between two and three
o'clock the enemy's whole force came up, and com-
menced the battle by some discharges of rockets,
which w ere succeeded by the cannon from both sides,
when the action became general. Gen. Strieker gal-
lantly mamtained his ground against this great supe-
riority of numbers, one hour and 20 minutes, when


his left gave way and he was obliged to retire to the
ground in his rear. JHe here formed his brigade^
but the eiieniy not thinking it adviseable to pursue, he
fell back, according to previous arrangements, and
formed on the left of my entrenchments. I feel a
pride in the belief, that the stand made on Monday,
in no small degree, tended to check the temerity of
a foe, daring to invade a country like ours. Major
General Ross the commander in chief of the British
forces, was killed in this action. About the time
Gen. Strieker joined my left, he was joined by Gen.
Winder, (who had been stationed on the west sme of
the city,) with gen. Douglass' brigade of Virginia
militia, and the U. S. Dragoons, who took post on
the left of gen. Strieker. Meanwhile, gens. Stans-
bury and Forman, the seamen and marines under
com. Rodgers, the Pennsylvania volunteers under
cols. Cobean and Findley, the Baltimore artillery
under col. Harris, and the marine artillery under
capt. Stiles, manned the trenches and batteries — all
prepared to meet the enemy.

On Tuesday the enemy appeared in front of my
entrenchments, at the distance of two miles, on the
Philadelphia road, and attempted by a circuitous
route, to march against our left, and enter the city ;
gens. Winder and Strieker were ordered to adapt
their movements so as to defeat their intentions, which
completely succeeded. This movement induced the
enemy to concentrate his forces by one or two o'clock,
in ray front, pushing his advance to within a mile of
our videltes, and shewing an intention of attacking
us that evening. 1 drew gens. Winder and Strieker
nearer to the left of my entrenchments, and to the
right of the enemy, with the intention of falling on
his rear, should he attack me ; or, if he declined it,
of attacking him in the morning. To this movement,
and my defences, which the enemy had the fairest
opportunity of observing, I attribute his retreat,
which was commenced at one o'clock, the next morn-
ing, in which he was so favored, by the extreme
darkness, and continued rain, that we did not discov-


€rit until day light. A considerable detachment was
sent in pursuit, but the troops being so worn down by
fatigue, that they could do nothing more than pick
up a few straglers ; they completed their embarka-
tion the next day at 1 o'clock.

I have now the pleasure of calling your attention to
the brave commander of fort McHenry, Maj. Ar-
mistead, and to the operations in that quarter.

Maj. Armstead had under his conunand one com-
pany of U. S.' artillery, two do. sea fencibles ; three
do. of Baltimore artillery, a detachment from Com.
Barney's flotilla, and about 600 militia, in all about
1000 men.

On the 12th, 16 ships, including 5 bomb ships,
anchored about two miles from the fort. The next
morning, at sunrise, the enemy conuiienced the at-
tack from his bomb vessels, at the distance of two
miles, which was out of our reach. At 2 o'clock
one of our gnus was dismounted which occasioned
considerable bustle in the fort, killing one and wound-
ing several, which induced Uie enemy to draw his
ships within a good striking distance, when the Maj.
opened a well directed tire upon them for half an
hour, which caused them to haul offlo their old posi-
tion, when our brave little band gave three cheers,
and again ceased firing. Availing themselves of the
darkness of the night, they had pushed a considerable
force above the fort, and formed in a half circle,
when they commenced firing again which was retnrn-
ed with spirit, for more than two hours, when the
enemy were again obliged to haul ofi".

Durmg the bombardment, which lasted 25 hour*,
on the part of the enemy, from 15 to 1800 shells were
thrown by the enemy ; 400 of which fell in the fort,
threatening destruction to all within, but wonderful
as it may appear only 4 of our men were killed, and
24 wounded. I have the honor &c. S. SMITH.
American Loss.
Killed, 24— Wounded, 90— Missing, 47.

Brilish Loss.
Killed, 97 Womided, 165 Prisoners, 136


Gen. Jackson to the Svcrelary of IVar.

Mobile, Seplem. er 17, 1314.

[Ea^tract.] SIR — With lively emotions of satis-
faction, 1 communicate that success has crovvnetl the
gallant ellorts of our brave soldiers, m resistuig ar.d
repulsing- a combined British naval and land force,
which on the 15ti» inst. attacked FortBow>er, on the
point of Mobile

The shij) which was destroyed, was the Hermes,
of from 24 to 28 gULS, Captain the Ion. TV ui. H.
Percy, senior officer in the Gulf of Mexico ; and the
brig so considerably damaoed is the Sojihie, 18 guns.
The olher ship was the Carron, of from 24 to 28
guns ; the other br g's name unknown.

On board the C.irron, 85 men were killed and
wounded ; among whom was Col. Nicoll, of the
Royal Marines, who lost an eye by a splinter. The
land force consisted of 110 maripts, and 200 Cieek
ladians, under the command of Capt. Woodbine, of
the marines, and about 20 artiberists, with one four
and an half inch howitzer, from which they discharg-
ed shells and nine |>ound shot. They re-embarked
the piece, and retreated by land towards Pensacola,
whence they came.

By ihe morning report of the 16th, there were
present in the fort, fit for duty, officers and men, 158.
I have the honor to be, 6cc.


Gen. Brown to the Secretary of War.

Fort Erie, Sept. 29th, 1814.

\Extract.'] SIR — In my letter of the 18ih inst. I
briefly informed you of the fortunate issue of the sor-
tie which took place the day [)receding.

The enemy's camp 1 had ascertained to be situated
in a field surrounded by woods nearly two miles dis-
tant from their batteries and entrendmients, the olv
ject of which was to keep the parts of the force which
was not upon duty, out of the range of our fire from
Fort Erie and Black-Rock. Their infantry was

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 25 of 38)