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CHAPTER XII.

The following letters relate chiefly to the enterprise against Detroit, aud although not in the chronological order we have hitherto observed, will form, with some passing comments, the subject of this chapter.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

Head Quarters, Detroit, Aug. 16, 1812. I hasten to apprize your excellency of the capture of this very important post: 2,500 troops have this day surrendered prisoners of war, and about 25 pieces of ordnance have been taken without the sacrifice of a drop of British blood. I had not more than 700 troops, including militia, and about 600 Indians, to accomplish this service. When I detail my good fortune, your excellency will be astonished. I have been admirably supported by Colonel Proctor, the whole of my staff, and I may justly say, every individual under my command.

Major-General Brock to Sir George Prevost.

Head Quarters, Detroit, Aug. 17, 1812.†

I have had the honor of informing your excellency, that the enemy effected his passage across the Detroit river, on the 12th ultimo, without opposition; and

*We can discover none from Colonel Baynes on the subject..

+ This dispatch was published in a Gazette Extraordinary, in London, on the 6th of October.

that, after establishing himself at Sandwich, he had ravaged the country as far as the Moravian town. Some skirmishes occurred between the troops under Lieut.-Colonel St. George and the enemy, upon the river Canard, which uniformly terminated in his being repulsed with loss. I judged it proper to detach a force down the river Thames, capable of acting in conjunction with the garrison of Amherstburg offensively; but Captain Chambers, whom I had appointed to direct this detachment, experienced difficulties that frustrated my intentions. The intelligence received from that quarter admitting of no delay, Colonel Proctor was directed to assume the command, and his force was soon after increased with 60 rank and file of the 41st regiment.

In the mean time, the most strenuous measures were adopted to counteract the machinations of the evil-disposed, and I soon experienced the gratification of receiving voluntary offers of service from that portion of the embodied militia the most easily collected. In the attainment of this important point, gentlemen of the first character and influence shewed an example highly creditable to them; and I cannot, on this occasion, avoid mentioning the essential assistance I derived from John M'Donell, Esq., his majesty's attorney-general, who, from the beginning of the war, has honored me with his services as my provincial aide-de-camp. A sufficiency of boats being collected at Long Point for the conveyance of 300 men, the embarkation took place on the 8th instant, and in five days we arrived in safety at Amherstburg.

I found that the judicious arrangements which had been adopted immediately upon the arrival of Colonel Proctor had compelled the enemy to retreat, and take shelter under the guns of his fort: that officer commenced operations by sending strong detachments across the river, with a view of cutting off the enemy's communication with his reserve. This produced two smart skirmishes on the 5th and 9th instant, in which

the enemy's loss was considerable, whilst ours amounted to 3 killed and 13 wounded; * amongst the latter, I have particularly to regret Captain Muir and Lieutenant Sutherland,† of the 41st regiment; the former an officer of great experience, and both ardent in his majesty's service. Batteries had likewise been commenced opposite Fort Detroit, for one 18-pounder, two 12 and two 5-inch mortars, all of which opened on the evening of the 15th; (having previously summoned Brigadier-General Hull to surrender;) and although opposed by a well-directed fire from seven 24-pounders, such was their construction under the able direction of Captain Dixon, of the Royal Engineers, that no injury was sustained from its effect.

The force at my disposal being collected in the course of the 15th in the neighbourhood of Sandwich, the embarkation took place a little before daylight on the following morning; and by the able arrangements of Lieutenant Dewar, of the quartermastergeneral's departinent, the whole was in a short time, without the smallest confusion, landed at Spring Well, a good position, three miles west of Detroit. The Indians, who had in the mean time effected their landing two miles below, moved forward and occupied the woods, about a mile and a half on our left.

The force, which I instantly directed to march against the enemy, consisted of 30 artillery, 250 41st regiment, 50 royal Newfoundland regiment, 400 militia, and about 600 Indians, to which were attached three 6-pounders and two 3-pounders. The services of Lieutenant Troughton, an active and intelligent officer, commanding the royal artillery, being required in the field, the direction of the batteries was entrusted to Captain Hall and the marine department, and I cannot withhold my entire approbation of their conduct on this occasion.

* This loss does not appear to include that of the Indians on the 9th of August, at Maguaga.

+ Lieutenant Sutherland died of his wounds.

I crossed the river, with an intention of awaiting in a strong position the effect of our force upon the enemy's camp, and in the hope of compelling him to meet us in the field; but receiving information upon landing that Colonel M'Arthur,* an officer of high reputation, had left the garrison three days before with a detachment of 500 men; and hearing, soon afterwards, that his cavalry had been seen that morning three miles in our rear, I decided on an immediate attack. Accordingly, the troops advanced to within one mile of the fort, and having ascertained that the enemy had taken little or no precaution towards the land side, I resolved on an assault, whilst the Indians penetrated his camp. Brigadier-General Hull, however, prevented this movement, by proposing a cessation of hostilities, for the purpose of preparing terms of capitulation. Lieut.-Colonel J. M'Donell and Captain Glegg were accordingly deputed by me on this mission, and returned within an hour with the conditions, which I have the honor herewith to transmit. Certain considerations afterwards induced me to agree to the two supplementary articles.t

The force thus surrendered to his majesty's arms cannot be estimated at less than 2,500 men. In this estimate, Colonel M'Arthur's detachment is included, as he surrendered, agreeably to the terms of capitulation in the course of the evening, with the exception of 200 men, whom he left escorting a valuable convoy at some little distance in his rear; but there can be no doubt the officer commanding will consider himself equally bound by the capitulation.

The enemy's aggregate force was divided into two troops of cavalry; one company of artillery, regulars; the 4th United States regiment; detachments of the 1st and 3d United States regiments, volunteers;

*Colonel M'Arthur was second in command of the American army.

+ In Appendix A, Section 1, No. 3, will be seen a copy of these documents, from the originals found among Sir Isaac Brock's papers.

three regiments of the Ohio militia; one regiment of the Michigan territory.

Thirty-three pieces of brass and iron ordnance have already been secured.

When this contest commenced, many of the Indian nations were engaged in active warfare with the United States, notwithstanding the constant endeavours of this government to dissuade them from it. Some of the principal chiefs happened to be at Amherstburg, trying to procure a supply of arms and ammunition, which for years had been withheld, agreeably to the instructions received from Sir James Craig, and since repeated by your excellency.

From that moment they took a most active part, and appeared foremost on every occasion; they were led yesterday by Colonel Elliott and Captain M'Kee, and nothing could exceed their order and steadiness. A few prisoners were taken by them during the advance, whom they treated with every humanity; and it affords me much pleasure in assuring your excellency, that such was their forbearance and attention to what was required of them, that the enemy sustained no other loss in men than what was occasioned by the fire of our batteries.

The high sense I entertain of the abilities and judgment of Lieut.-Colonel Myers,* induced me to appoint him to the important command at Niagara; it was with reluctance I deprived myself of his assistance, but I had no other expedient; his duties, as head of the quartermaster-general's department, were performed to my satisfaction by Lieut.-Colonel Nichol, quartermaster-general of the militia.

Captain Glegg, my aide-de-camp, will have the honor of delivering this dispatch to your excellency;

* So bare was Major-General Brock of experienced officers at this time, that Lieut.-Colonel Myers, who had recently joined, was considered a most valuable acquisition; nor could the general have left Niagara, had it not been for the confidence he reposed in Colonel Myers. Every enterprising staff officer, who could, was at this period serving under Lord Wellington, in the Peninsula.

N*

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