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British force on the Niagara in October, 1813— Attack upon the piquets-Effects of the surrender of the right division-Major-general Vincent's retreat to Burlington-His orders from the commander-in-chief to retire upon KingstonFortunate contravention of those orders-General Harrison's arrival at, and departure from FortGeorge Association of some Upper Canada militia after being disembodied-Their gallant attack upon, and capture of, a band of plundering traitors-General M'Clure's shameful conduct towards the Canadian inhabitants—Colonel Murray's gallant behaviour-Its effect upon general McClure-A Canadian winter-Nightconflagration of Newark by the AmericansMcClure's abandonment of Fort-George, and flight across the river-Arrival of lieutenantand capture general Drummond Assault upon, of Fort-Niagara- Canadian prisoners found there- Retaliatory destruction of Lewistown,
MILITARY OCCURRENCES BETWEEN
Youngstown, Manchester, and Tuscarora-Attack upon Buffaloe and Black Rock, and destruction of those villages-American resentment against general M'Clure-Remarks upon the campaign; also upon the burning of Newark, and the measures pursued in retaliation.
HAVING brought the campaign of 1813 to a close upon the northern, and north-western, Canadian frontiers, the operations along both shores of the Niagara come, next, to be detailed. Major-general Vincent, who again commanded, in the absence of general De Rottenburg, the centre-division, had received, since the middle of September, a reinforcement of the 100th regiment; in order to counter-balance the reduction his force would sustain in the departure of the 49th and 104th regiments, already noticed. The general's head-quarters were at the Cross Roads; and the piquets of his advanced corps, which was commanded by colonel Murray, occasionally showed themselves in the town of Newark. From the American accounts only we learn, that, on the 6th of October, "about 500 militia-volunteers and about 150 Indians, commanded by colonel Chapin," attacked the piquet-guard of the British; and," after an bour and a half's hard-fighting," drove it upon the main-body; when "the whole British army, See Vol. I. p. 261.
consisting of 1100 men, with the great general Vincent, at their head, fled into the woods." The British are declared to have sustained a loss of 32 in killed only, and the Americans of four killed and wounded. * This is the way the "literary gentlemen" of the United States contrive to fill their "histories." Colonel, or doctor Chapin (for he professes, and is equally mischievous in, both characters) had lately escaped from the British, † and, for that exploit, been promoted; probably by the secretary at war himself, as he was known to have been in the neighbourhood of the Niagara, while the Montreal expedition was preparing.
On the 9th of October intelligence of the disaster that had befallen the right division, reached the head-quarters of the centre-division; and caused general Vincent, after destroying considerable quantities of stores, provisions, and Indian goods, to retreat, with his troops, towards Burlington Heights: where colonel Proctor joined him with the small remnant of his division. As soon as general Vincent and his troops had got well on their way to Burlington, major-general M'Clure, with the whole of his force, numbering 2700 men, besides Indians, marched a few miles along the road, and back. This was not without an object; for we were afterwards told, that * Hist. of the War, p. 158. + See Vol. I. P. 218.
"general M'Clure, with the New York militia, volunteers, and Indians, succeeded in driving the British army from the vicinity of FortGeorge, and pursued them as far as the Twelvemile Creek."*
Major-general Proctor's discomfiture reached the head quarters of the commander in chief about the middle of October; and orders were instantly forwarded to major-general Vincent, directing him to commence upon his retreat without delay, and to evacuate all the British posts beyond Kingston. Some delay did fortunately take place, owing chiefly to counterorders, not from head-quarters; and a council of war, summoned at Burlington Heights, came to the noble resolution of not moving a step to the rear, in the present conjuncture of affairs on the peninsula. Fatal, indeed, would have been the retreat. There was still a considerable number of sick, both at Burlington Heights and at York; and, considering the season of the year, and the state of the roads, the whole of them must have been left to the protection of the enemy. Nor, for the same reason, could the ordnance, ordnance-stores, baggage, and provisions, have followed the army; and yet the garrison of Kingston, upon which place the troops were directed to retire, had, at this time, scarcely a week's provision in * History of the War, p. 158.