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should discover to him the number and move. ments of the enemy. While here he was joined by the 41st light infantry, which had also been partially engaged; and, at day-light, lieutenantcolonel Bisshopp arrived on the ground with the expected reinforcement. His whole force, when first drawn up, did not exceed 250 regulars and 300 militia, aided by a light 6-pounder ; but, by 11 o'clock in the forenoon, the number of regular troops became nearly doubled.
The expected day-light had not only stilled colonel Bærstler's “Stentorian voice, but driven him and his party to the safe side of the river; in such haste too, that captain King and about 30 of his men were left “ in possession of the conquered ground,"* and became, in consequence, prisoners to the British. Just as day dawned, colonel Winder, with his five boats, containing 250 men,* was again on the river; bat two or three well-directed shots from the 6-pounder, and a few rounds of musketry, made this division, as it approached the Canada-side, again wheel about, and retire, for the last time, under the shelter of Squaw Island, to the American shore:
The circumstances attending this predatory excursion having been as much exaggerated as the affair at Queenstown, it may be worth our while to bestow a glance at some of the more
* Sketches of the War, p. 84.
prominent mistatements. Mr. O'Connor has, strange enough, not thought this “ brilliant service” deserving a place in his book; but Mr. Thomson has devoted four or five pages to it, and doctor Smith, in his usual way, has borrowed his account from the Jatter;, first taking cảre, by trapsposing the words, and embellish, ing the style, not to be guilty of plagiarism.
Both of our zealous historians describe lieutenant Lamont's force as “ 250 men;" and aver that captain King made from this party alone " about 50 prisoners.” The dismounting of the two heavy guns, spiking of the two field-pieces, and the burning and destroying of private property for a few miles along the beach, are repre. sented thus : -" Every battery, between Chippeway and Fort-Erie, was now carried; the can. non spiked or destroyed, and 16 miles of the Canadian frontier laid waste and deserted.” Doc. tor Smith, having been informed that the guns were not destroyed,” and justly considering that'" laid waste" might imply what, along an extent of a few miles, actually happened, to the disgrace of the invading force, states thus :
Every battery, between Chippeway and Fort Erie, was carried, the cannon spiked, and a frontier of 16 miles entirely, cleared." Captain
remaining in possession of the conquered ground, until the
main body of the army should cross over the strait, and march to the assault of the British förls,” was because he and his ** 12," n
not 30, were anxious to complete the destrụctión of every breast-work' and bárrack of the
The flight of colonel Bærstler and thë remainder of the American regulars and sailors is denominated, returning from their sụccessful enterprise,"* " as soon as the ends of this daring and well executed adventure had been completely accomplished.”+
The loss of the British, on this occasion, was in proportion to the strenuous exertions they had made to repulse an enemy, whose numbers werè' so superior. By the returns there were 17 killed, 47 wounded, and 35 missing. And yet, according to the American accounts, besides the “ 50 prisoners” taken at the Red House, colonel Bærstler made several in his excursion. The loss of the Americans, except as to officers, no where appears. Mr. Thomson names, among the killed, sailing-master Watts and, antong the wờunded, a midshipman, and three captains and a lieutenant of infântry; adding, that seren out of 12 of the navy-officers were wounded.
In expectation, no doubt, that this gallant and successful enterprize," seconded by four or
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* Sketches of the War, p. 84 + Hist. of the United States, Vol. IIl. p. 204 App. No. 13.
five hours' bombardment by the batteries at Black Rock, had inspired the British with dread of the American arms, general Smyth, about one o'clock in the day, sent across a flag of truce, to demand the surrender of Fort-Erie to the American army. To this ridiculous demand, * colonel Bisshopp sent a very proper reply, which may be summed up in these words : "Come and take it.” Captain Fitzgerald carried the return-message ; and general Smyth, displaying before him his numerous force, tried every means in his power to frighten the British commander into a bloodless surrender of his
post. The morning's success was to have been folļowed up by the embarkation of the whole 4000
One half of this force, it appears, had actually embarked ; " and,” says Mr. Thomson, “about 500 British troops had been drawn up in line, about half a mile from the river, sounding their trumpets and bugles, and indicating their readiness to receive the Americans.”+ The American troops, however, after being allowed to enjoy this scene till late in the afternoon, were ordered to disembark, with 46. an assurance, that the expedition was only postponed until the boats should be put in a state of better preparation.?'+
On Sunday the 29th, the troops received orders to prepare for embarkation on the following App:
No. 15. + Sketches of the War, p. 85.
morning, at nine o'clock. After a squabble among the general officers about the proper time for embarking, and the proper point for disembarking, the troops, the expedition was ordered to be ready by three o'clock on Tuesday morning. The men were ready, and partly in the boats; when general Porter received orders from general Smyth, to disembark immediately. " He was at the same time informed,” says the American account, “ that the invasion of Canada was abandoned, for the season ; that the regulars were ordered into winter quarters; and that, as the services of the volunteers could now be dispensed with, they might stack their arms, and return to their homes. The scene of discontent which followed was without a parallel; 4000 men, without order or restraint, indignantly discharged their muskets in every direction; and the person of the commanding-officer was threatened.” Two or three pages more of Mr. Thomson's book are filled with complaints against general Smyth, for his behaviour on this occasion. To all of which he answers, that be “ had called together a council of his officers, and they decided against the contemplated operations, upon the ground of the insufficiency of force; and that, circumstanced as he was, he thought it his duty to follow the cautious counsels of experience, and yot, by precipitation, to add to the list of defeats."