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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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 26 of 38)
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formed into three brigades, esliraated at 12 or 15 hun-
dred men each. One of these brigades, with a de.
tail from their artillery, was stationed at their works,
( h -se bemg- aliout 60;> yards distant from old Fort
Kiie, and the right of our line.) We had already
sutil red much from the lire of two of their batteries,
an I were aware that a third was about to Ojien uport
us, Under these circumstances, I resolved to stonn
the batteries, destroy the cannon, and roughly handle
the brigade Uj)on duty, before those in reserve could
be bioagnt into action.

Oil the morning of the I7lh, the infantry and rifle-
in"M, regulars and mihtia, were ordered to be |»ara*
ded and |)ut in readiness to march precisely at 12
o'clock. Gen. Porter with the volunleers, Col. Gib-
son With the riflemen, and M ijor Brooks with the
23d and 1st infantry, and a few dragoons acting as
infantry, were ordered to move from the extreme letl
of oiir position upon the enemy's right, by a passage
opened through the woods for the occasion. Gen.
Miller was directed to station hs command in the ra-
vine which lies between Port Erie and the enemy's
batteries, by passing them by detachments througlithe
skirts of the wood — and the 2 1st intantry under Gen.
Rijdey was posted as a corps of reserve between the
new bastions of Fort Erie ; all under cover, and out
of die view of the enemy.

About 20 minutes before 3, P. M. I found the left
columns, under the command of Gen. Porter, which
were destined to turn the enemy's right, within a tew
rods of the British entrenchments. They were or-
dered to advance and commence the action. Passing
down the ravine, I judged from the report of mus-
quetry that the action had commenced on our left ; I
now hastened to Gen. M dler, and directed him to
seize the moment and pierce the enemy's entrench-
ment between batteries No. 2 and 3. My orders were
p omptly and ably executed. Within 30 minutes af-
ter the first gun was tired, batteries No. 2 and 3, the
enemy's line of entrenchments, and his two block


liouses, were in our possession. Soon after batlerv
]Xo. 1 was abandoned by the British. The g-uns in
each were spiked by us, or otherwise destroyed, and
the magazine of No 3 was blown up.

A few minutes before the explosion, I had ordered
up the reserve under Gen. Ripley. As he passed
me at the head of his column, 1 desired him as he
would be the senior in advance, to ascertain as near
as possible, the situation of the troops m general, and
to have a care that not more was hazarded than the
occasion required : that the object of the sortie ef-
fected, the troops would retire in good order, &c.
Gen. Ripley passed rapidly on — soon after, 1 became
alarmed for Gen. Miller, and sent an order for the
21st to hasten to his support towards battery No. 1.
Col. Upham received the order, and advanced to the
aid of Gen. Miller. Gen. Ripley had inclined to the
left, where Major Brooks' command was engag-ed,
with a view of making some necessary enquiries of
that officer, and in the act of doing so was unfortu-
nately wounded. By this time the ubject of the sor-
tie was accomplished beyond my most sanguine ex-
pectations. Gen. Mdler had consequently ordered
the troops on the right to fall back — observing this
movement, I sent my staff along the line to call in the
other corps. Within a few minutes they retired from
the ravine, and from thence to camp.

Thus lOUO regulars and an equal portion of mili-
tia, in one hour of close action, blasted the hopes of
the enemy, destroyed the fruits of oO d.iys labor, and
diminished his effective force 1000 men at least.

Lieut. Gen. Drummond broke up his camp during
the night of the 21st, and retired to his entrenchments
behind the Chippewa. A party of our men came
up with the rear of his army at Frenchman's creek ;
the enemy destroyed part of their stores by setting
fire to the buildings from which they were employed
in conveying them. We found in and about their
camp a considerable quantity of cannon ball, and up*
%vards of 100 stand of arms.


. I send yoii enclosed herein a return of our loss.
I'he return of prisoners enclosed does not include the
stra«jgiers that came in after the action.
I have the honor to be, &c



Killed 79 — wounded 214 — missing 218.


Killed 271— wounded 3 LI— Prisoners 38-3.

Gen. Macomb to tJie Secretary of War.

Plaltsburgh, .Sept. 12, 1814.

\E,xtract.~\ SIR — 1 ha\e the honor to mform you
tliat the British army commanded by Sir George
Prevost, consisting of four brigades, a corps of artd-
lery; a squadron of horse, and a stiong light corps,
amounting in all to 14,000 men, after m vesting this
place on the north of the Saranac river since the 5th
inst. broke up their camp and raised the siege this
morning at 2 o'clock, retreating precipitately, and-
leaving their sick and wounded behind. The strength
of this garrison is oidy 1500 men fit for duty.

The light troops and militia are in full pursuit of
the enemy, making prisoners in all directions. Up-
wards of 300 deserters have already come in, and
many arrive hourly. Our loss in the fort is trifling
indeed, having only one officer and 15 men killed,
and one officer and 30 men wounded.

Vast quantities of provision were left behind and
destroyed, also an immense quantity of bomb shells,
cannon ball, grape shot, ammunition, flints, &c. 8cc.
intrenching tools of all sorts, also tents and marquees.
A great deal has been found concealed in the ponds
and creeks, and bupied in the ground, and a vast
quantity carried oft" by liie inhabitants. Such was
the precipitance of his retreat, that he arrived atCha-
zy, a distance of eight miles before we discovered
that he had gone.

We have buried the British officers of the army
and navy, with the honors of war, and .shewn every


attention and kindness to those who have fallen into
our hands. The conduct ot the officers, non-com-
missioned officers and soldiers of ni}' command, (iur-
ingthis trying occasion cannot be represented in loo
high terms. 1 have the honor to he, Sec.



Killed 37 — wounded 62— missing 20.


Killed 368-wounded 49 4 - prisoners 2o2-deserled786

Capt. Blalieley to the Secretary of the Navy.

U S. S. Wasp, L'Orienl, July 8, 1814.

SIR- On Tuesday the 28ti; ult. bemg then ni lat-
itude 48, y6 N. and long. 11, 15 VY. we fell in with,
engaged, and alter an i.ction of 19 mnutes, captured
his Britaiiuic \ ajesty's sloop of war Reindeer, Wil-
liam Mrinners, Esq. commander.

At half past 1;^, P. M. the enemy shewed a blue
and white flag diagonally at the fore, and fired a gun.
At 1, 15, Ccdicd all hands to quaiters and prepared
for action; 1,22, believii-g we could weather tbe en-
emy, tacked ship and stood for him ; 1, 50 the ene-
my tacked ship and stood from us ; 1, 5(5, hoisted our
coiors and fired a gun to wind v> aid ; at 2, 20, the en-
emy still standing trom us, set the royals; at 9, 25,
set the flying gib ; at 2, 29, set the upper staysails;
at 2, 32, the enemy having tacked for us took in the
staysads ; at 2, 47, furled the royals ; at 2, 51, seeing
that the enemy would be able to weather us, tacked
ship; at 3, 3, the enemy hoisted his flying gib — brail-
ed up our mizen ; at 3, 15, the enemy on our weather
quarter, distant about 00 yards, fired his shitting gun,
a 12 pound carronade at us, loaded with round and
grape shot from his top-gallant torecaslle ; at 3,17,
fired the same gun a second time ; at 3, 19, fired it a
third time ; at 3, 21, fired it a fourth time ; at 3, 24,
a fifth shot, all from the same gun. Finding the en-
emy did not get sufliciently on the beam to cnvibleus
to bring our j>uns to bear, put the helm a-lee, and at
20 minutes after 3, commenced the action with the af-


tet* carronade on the starboard side, and ifired in snc-
cession ; at 3, 34, hauled np the mainsail ; at 3, 40,,
the enemy having- his hirboard bow in coi.tact uith
our larboard qnarttrr e ideavored to boaid ns, but was
repulsed in every altempt ; at 3, 44, orders were s^iv-
en to board in turn, which were promptly executed,
when all resistance immediately ceased, and at 3, 46,
the eneniv haaletl down his flag-.

The Reindeer mounted sixteen 24 lb. carronades,
two long 6 or pounders, and a shiftinj^ 12 lb. car-
ronade, with a com|)lement on board of 118 men.
Her crew was said to be the pride ot Plymouth.

The Reindeer was literally cut to pieces in a line
wilh her ports : her upperworUs, boats and spare
spars were one com[)lete wreck. — A breeze springing-
up the next afternoon her foremast went by the board.

Having received all the prisoners on board, which
from the nuudDer of wounded occupied much lime,
t«»gether with their baggage, the Reindeer was on the
evening of the 29th S(4 on fire, and in a few hours
blew up. I have the honor to be. Sec

Amprican Loss. — Killed 5 — wounded 21.
British Loss. — Killed 23 — wounded 42.

Cajyt. Blakelei/ to the Secret art/ of the Navtj.
U. S.' S. Wasp, at sea, Sept. 11,1814.
\Kxf.racl^^ SIR — I have the honor of informing
Vou of the destruction of H. B. IM. brig Avon,of 18guns
by this ship on the 1st inst. At 0, 30 minutes P. M.
discovered 4 sail -, 2 on our starboard, and 2 on our
larboard bow ; hauleil np for one on our starboard
bow, being farthest to windward. At 7, the brig
made signals, with flags, lanterns, rockets, and guns.
At 9, 29, the chase being under our lee bow, com-
menced the action by tiriiig a 12 lb. carronade at
him, which he returned, when we run under his lee,
bow to prevent his escaping. At 10, beiieving the
enemy to be silenced, ceased tiring, and hailed and
asked if he had s-arrendered. No answer being giv- "


en, and he having- recommenced firing', it was return^
ed. At 10, 12, the enemy having suffered greatly,
and having* made no return to our two last broadsides,
I hailed the second time, when he answered in the
afiirmative. The guns were then ordered to be se-
cured, and the boat lowered to take possession. In
the act ot" lowering the boat, a second brig was dis-
covered close under our stern, and standing for us.
Sent the crew to quarters, and prepared for another
action, and waited his coming up. At 10, 36, dis-
covered two more sails astern, standing for us. Our
braces having been cut away, we kept off the wind,
until others could be rove, with the expectation of
drawing the second brig from his companions, but was
disappointed ; having continued approaching us until
within gun shot she suddenly hauled by the wind, fir-
ed a broadside, which done considerable damage,
and soon retraced her steps to join her consorts. Our
prize, when we abandoned her, was firing guns of
distress ; the two last sails came to her assistance, in
time to save her crew from sinking with the vessel,
which went down soon afterwards. I have the hon-
or to be, &c. J. BLAKELE Y.
American Loss. — Killed, 2 — wounded, 1.
JbrUish Loss. — Killed, 12 — wounded 33.

Gen. 31' Arthur to the Secretary of War.
Head-Q,narters, Detroit, Nov. 18, 1814.

[Extract.^ SIR I have the honor of reporting to
you the safe return of fche mounted troops to this place.

It was deemed expedient, from the arder of the
Kentucky and Ohio volunteers and militia, that they
should be actively employed in the enemy's terlrtory,
with a view to destroy their resources, and paraliae
any attempt they might make on this post during
the winter. Accordingly (530 troops, and 70 Indians,
were put in motion to destroy the valuable mills at
the head of Lake Ontario, and Grand River. We
proceeded over the river Si. Clair, down to the Scotch
Settlement, up Bear Creek, abovit 30 miles, and a


cross to the Moravian towns, where we arrived the
3Utli ult.

We were fortunate at this phice in taking- a Bri-
tish officer who was proceeding to Burliu«!:ton witii
the information of our aj)proach, which enabled
us to reach Delaware town undiscovered. Tlie ran-
gers were dettiched across the Thames, to pass in
rear of the town, to guard the different roads, whilst
the troops were swimming their horses across. We
were thus enabled to reach Oxford, 150 miles from
Detroit, before they heard of our approach. A few
hours before our arrival at Buford, the enemy retreat-
ed to Malcom's mills, on the road to Burlington
where they were reinforced, to the number of «jOO
ifiilitia, and about 100 Indians. A deep creek of
difficult passage, except at a bridge immediately in
front of their works, which had been partly destroyed,
lay between us. Arrangements were made for a joint
attack o\\ their front and rear. The Ohio troops were
thrown across, under cover o( a thick wood, and the
Kentucky troops were ordered to attack in front.
The enemy were entirely defeated and dispersed, with
the loss of 1 Capt. and 1 7 privates killed, and 3 Capts.
5 subalterns, and 103 privates, taken prisoners. Our
loss was only one killed, and six wounded. The
next day we proceeded on and took several prisoners,
200 stand of arms, and destroyed five valuable mills,
when we commenced our return much for this place,
which we reached yesterday.

I have the honor to be, &c. D. M' ARTHUR.


Gen. Jackson to Gov. Early.

Head-Quarters, Tensaw, Nov. 14th, IS 14.

[Extract.^ SIR — O.i iast evening I returned from

Pensacola to this piace — I reached th it post on the

evening of the 0th. On my approach, 1 sent Maj.

Pierre with a flag to communicate the object of my


visit loll'e Gov. of Peiisacola. Ke approached fort
St. George, with his flag- clisphiyecl, and was iired oii-
by the ca.inoii iroiii the tori — :ie reluriied and luatle
report thereof to me. 1 inmitdiate!)' wtht with the
Adj. Gen. and the Maj. with a sn»all escort, and
viewed the fort and found it defended by British and
Spanisli troops. I immediately determined to storm
the town.

On the morning of the 7th I marched with the
effective regnhirs of the 3d, 39lh, and 44th infantry,
part of Gen. Coffte's hrigade, the Mississippi dra-
goons, and part of tlie West Tenessee regiment, and
partoftheChoctaws led by Maj. Bhie, of the 39th
and Maj. Kennedy of Mississippi territory. Being
encanjped on tjie west of the town I calculated they
would expect the assault from that quarter, and be
, prepared to rake me from the fort, and the British
armed vessels, seven in number, that lay in the bay.
To cherish this idea 1 sent out part oftlie mounted
men to show themselves on tiie west, whilst I passed in
rear of the fort undiscovered to the east of the town.
When 1 appeared within a mile, I was in full view.
My pride was never more heightened than viewing
the unilorm tiimnessof my troops, and with what un-
daunted courage they advanced, with a strong fort
ready to assail them on the right, 7 British armed ves-
sels on the leff, and strong blockhouses and batteries of
cannon in their front, b'lt they still advanced with
unshaken hrmness, entered the town, when a battery
of tw'o cannon was opened upon the centre column
composed of the regulars, ball and grape, and a
shower of musketry from the houses and gardens.
The battery was inmiediately stornud by Cajtl. Le-
vall and company, and carried, and the musketry
was soon silenced by the steady and v^eli direcleti tue
of the regulars.

I'he Gov. met Cols. Williamson and Smith, who
led the dismounted voluntens, with a flag, begged
for mercy, and surrendered the town aiul fort uncon-
ditionally ; mercy was granted and protection given
to the citizens and their property.


. On the niornincr of the 8lli I prepared to march and
storai liie B «raiicas, btilb lore I could move treuieiicl-
ous expios.oiis told ine that I he Baraucas, with all its
appeiidaovs, was blown up. I dispalched a detach-
ment ol" two huiidieil men to explore it, who returutd
in the nig'itt witn die iiitorniation that it was b.own up,
uU the combustible parts barnt, the cannon spiked
a!id dismounted except two : this being" the case, I
determined to withdraw my troops, but before 1 <lid I
had the pleai^ure to see the British depart.

The steady hiinness of my lrt>oj>s has drawn a just
respect (rom our enemies — It has convinced the Red
Slicks that they have no stroiii^' h')ltl or protection,
only in the friendship of the U. S The good order
and conduct of my troops whdsl in Pensacoia, has con-
vinced the Spaniards of our friendship, and prowess,
and has drawn from the citizens an expr. ssion
that our Ciioctaws are more civilized than the British.

1 have the honor to be, \.c.


Gen. Jackson lo the Secretary of War.
Head-Q,iMrlers, NevN -Orleans, Dec. 27, 1814.
\_Extract.\ SIR — I have the honor to intorm you
of the result ot the action on the 23d. Tlie loss of
our gun boats near the pass of the Hii^Dlets, having
given the enemy command of lake Borgne, he was
enabled to choose his point of attack. It became,
therefore an object of importance to obstruct the nu-
merous bayous and canals leading from that lake,
to the highlands on the Mississippi. This important
service was committed to Major Gen. Villere com-
manding the district between the river and the lakes,
and who, being a native of the country, was presum-
ed to be best acquainted with ail those passes. Un-
fortunately, however, a picquet whicli the Gen. had
established at the mouth of the bayou Bienvenu, and
which notwithstanding my orders had been left un-
obstructed, was completely surprised, and the enemy
penetrated through a canal leading to his farm, about
two leagues beiow the city, and succeeded in cutting


ofFa company of militia stationed there. — This inte].
ligence was communicated tome about 12 o'clock on
the 22d. My force at this time did not exceed in all
1500. I arrived near the enemy's encampment about
seven, and immediately made my dispositions for the
attack. His forces amounting- at that time on land to
about 3000, extended half a mile on the river, and in
the rear nearly to the wood. Gen.Coifee was ordered
to turn their right, while with the residue of the force
I attacked his strongest position on the left near the

Com. Patterson having dropped down the river in
the schooner Caroline, was directed to open a fire up-
on their camp, which he executed at about half after
seven. Tins being the signal of attack. Gen. Coffee's
men with their usual impetuosity, rushed on the en-
emy's right and entered their camp, while our right
advanced with equal order. A thick fog arose about
8 o'clock occasioning some confusion among the dif-
ferent corps. Fearing the consequences, under this
circumstance, of the prosecution of a night attack
with troops then acting together for the first time, I
contented myself with lying on the field that night;
and at four in the morning assumed a stronger posi-
tion about two miles nearer the city.

In this affair the whole corps under my command
deserve the greatest credit. The best complement
I can pay to Gen. Coffee and his brigade is to say
they have behaved as they have always done while
under my command. The two field pieces were well
served by the oflficer commanding- them.

We have made 1 major, 2 subalterns, and sixty-
three privates prisoners. I have the honor, &c.

American Loss. — Killed and wounded 100.
British Loss. — Killed (k wounded 344, prisoners 66.

G(n. Jackson to the Secretary of War.
Head-Q,ir.iiters, New-Orleans, Jan. 13, 1815.
\Extract.\ SIR — At such a crisis I conceive it my
duty to keep you constantly advised of my situationi<*


Early on the morning' of the 8th, the enemy having
been actively employed the two preceding days in
making preparations for a storm, advanced in two
strong columns on my right and left. They were re-
ceived iiowever, with a firmness which seems, they lit-
tle expected, and which defeated all their hopes.
My men undisturbed l)y their approach, which indeed
they long anxiously wished for, opened upon them a
fire so deliberate and certain, as rendered their scal-
ing ladders and fascines, as well as their more direct
implements of warfare, perfectly useless. For up-
wards of an hour it was continued with a briskness of
which there have been but few instances, perhaps, in
any country. In justice to the enemy it must be said,
they withstood it as long as could have been expected
from the most determined bravery. At length how-
ever when all prospect of success became hopeless,
they fled in confusion from the field — leaving it cov-
ered with their dead and wounded.

My loss was inconsiderable ; being only *seven
killed and six wounded.

Such a disproportion in loss, when we consider the
number and the kind of troops engaged, must, I
know, excite astonishment, and may not, every where,
be fully credited : yet I am perfectly satisfied that the
account is not exaggerated on the one part, nor un-
derrated on the other.

Whether after the severe losses he has sustained,
he is preparing to return to his shipping, or to make
still mightier eft'orts to attain his first object, I do
not pretend to determine. It becomes me to act as
though the latter were his intention. One thing,
however, seems certain, that if he still calculates on
cft'ecting what he has hitherto been unable to accom-
plish he must expect considerable reinforcements as
the force with which he landed, must undoubtedly be
diminished by at least 3000. Besides the loss which
he sustained on the night of the 23d ultimo, which is
estimated as four hundred, he cannot have suffered

* This rvas in the action on the line — afterwards a skirmishing
'Vas fcept lip in which ujhr more q/'oiir men T:ere.l.ost.

830 History of the war.

less between that period and llie tnoniing of ihe 8lb
irist, than 300; h-.ivino- within that time, been repulsed
in two general attempts to drive us from our position,
and there having been continual cannonading and
skirmishing, during the whole of it. Yet he is stiH
abie to show a very formidable force.

The commanding Gen. Sir Edward Packenhara
was killed in the action of the 8lh, and Maj. Gtns.
Kf an and Gibbs were mortally wounded.

I have the honor to be, ^kr.

American Loss — Killed 7 — wounded (3.

BrUisli Loss — Killed 700 — wounded 1400 — pris-
oners 500.

Lieut. Shields to Com. Patterson*
{Extract.] JNew Orleans, Jan. 25th, 1815.

SIR — T have the honor of rept rtingthe result of
the expedition orden-d by you on the 17th inst. The
19th, at night, I left the Pass Cheuf Menteur, having
made the necessary observations on the enemy before
dark, wtlh5 boats and your gig, n anned with 50 men.
At 10. P. M. captured a boat by surprize, manned
■with ^5 men. The number of prisoners exceeding
my men, I thougiit it most prudent to land them, to
prevent weakening my force, which was accordingly
done, and the prisoners were put into the charge of
the army at the Pass. The 21st, at day light, I again
fell into the track of the ileet. Finding it impossible
to make any captures, witliout being discovered, I
determined to run down among' them, and strike at
every opportunity — hoisted English colors, and took
a transport boat with 5 men ; ordered her to follow,
and stood for a transport Schooner, with 10 nien->
which I boarded with 8 men, and took without op-
position. From 9, to 12 o'clock, we were in the
midst of their boats, and succeeded m taking 5 more,
with about /Omen. The enemy's loss on this occa-
sion w as 140 prisoners, 7 boats and llransport Schoon-
er. 1 have the honor to be, &c.



Sailin(/- Master Johnson to Com. Patterson.

New-Orleans, Jan. 7th, IHlo.
[Extract.] SIR — I have the pleasure of informing-
yon of my succeeding' in destroyinij a transport l)rig
in lake Borgne, yesterday, at 4. A. M. Ot» thi^ otii
inst. I proceeded down to the east month oi the Pass,
to ascertain the enemy's (»osition ; finding at anclior
there one brig, 3 guidioats, 3 Schooners, and several
barges, the brig lying a mde distant from the oljurs,
I returned, and determnied on making- an altenipt to
destroy her. M . crew now amounted to 38 men ;
with this force [ was confident I should be able to
destroy her, although I had been previously inlorm-

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 26 of 38)