Page images
PDF
EPUB

The following conversation took place between Maj. Chanbers and Gen. Harrison, on a demand for the surrender of fort Meigs.

Maj. Chaberms--Gen. Proctor has directed me to demand the surrender of this post. He wishes to spare the effusion of blood.

Gen. Harrison—The demand, under present circumstances, is a most extraordinary one. As Gen. Proctor did not send me a summons to surrender on his first arrival, I bad supposed that he believed me determined to do my duty. His present message indicates an opinion of me that I am at a loss to account for.

Maj. ChambersGen. Proctor could never think of saying any thing to wound your feelings, sir.—The character of Gen. Harrison, as an officer, is well known. Gen. Proctor's force is very respectable, and there is with him a larger body of ludians that have ever before been embarked.

Gen. Harrison I believe I have a very correct idea of Gen. Proctor's force, it is not such as to create the least apprehension, for the result of the contest, whatever shape he may be pleased hereafter to give to it. Assure the Gen. however, that he will never have this post surrendered to him upon any terms. Should it fall into his hands, it will be in a manner calculated to do him more honor, and to give him larger claims upon the gratitude of his government than any capitulation could possibly do.

CAPTURE OF FORT GEORGE.
Gen. Dearborn to the Secretary of War.

H. Q. Fort George (U.C.) May 27, 1813. (Extract.] SIR-The light troops under the command of Col. Scott and Major Forsyth, landed this morning at 9 o'clock. Major Gen. Lewis's division, with Col. Porter's command of light artillery, supported by them. Gen. Boyd's brigade landed immediately after the light troops, and Gens. Winder and Chandler in quick succession. The landing was warmly and obstinately disputed by the British forces; but the coolness and intrepidity of our troops

compelled them to give way in every direction. Gen. Chandler, with the reserve, composed of his brigade and Col. Macomb's artillery covered the whole. Commodore Chauncey had made the most judicious arrangements for

soon

silencing the enemy's batteries, near the point of landing. The army is under the greatest obligations to that able naval commander for his co-operation in all its important movements, and especially in its operations this day. Oar batteries succeeded in rendering Fort George uztenable, and when the enemy had been beaten from his positions, and found it necessary to re-enter it, after firing a few guns and setting fire to the magazines, which soon exploded, he moved off rapidly by different routes. Our light troops pursued them several miles. The troops having been under arms from one o'clock, in the morning, were too much exhausted for any further pursuit.

pursuit. We are now in possession of Fort George and its immediate dependencies-tomorrow we proceed further on. The behaviour of our troops, both officers and men, entitles them to the highest praise ; and the difference in our loss with that of the enemy, when we consider the advantages his positions afforded him, is astonishing -Col. Meyers of the 49th, was wounded and taken prisoner. Of ours, only one commissioned officer was killed-Lieut. Hobart of the light artillery. I have the honor to be, &c.

H. DEARBORN.

Gen. Dearborn to the Secretary of War.

H. Q. Fort George, May, 29, 1813. [Extract.] Lieut. Col. Preston took possession of fort Erie and its dependencies last evening ; the post had been abandoned and the magazine blown up.

I have ordered Gen. Lewis to return without delay to this place, and if the winds favor us, we may yet cut off the enemy's retreat.

I was last evening honored with your dispatch of the 15th inst. I have taken measures in relation to the 23 prisoners, who are to be put in close confinement I have the honor to be, &c.

H. DEAR BORN.
AMERICAN LOSS.
Killed 39Wounded 111-total 150.

BRITISH LOSS.
Killed 108--wounded 163-Prisoners 622-total 893,

[ocr errors]

Com. Chauncey to the Secretary of the Nuvy.

U. S. S. Vadison, off Niagara, May, 28, 1813. SIR-Agreeable to arrangements which I have already had the honor of detailing to you, I left Sacket's Harbor on the 22d inst. with about 3:30 of Col. M'Comb's regiment on board the winds being light from the westward, I did not arrive in the vicinity of Niagara before the 25th; the other parts of the squadron had arrived several days before, and landed their troops. The Fair American and Pert: I had ordered to Sacket's Harbor, for the purpose of watching the enemy's movements at Kingston. I immediately had an interview with Gen. Dearborn, for the purpose of : making arrangements to attack the enemy as soon as possible, and it was agreed between him and myself to make : the attack the moment that the weather was such as to ale: low the vessels and boats to approach the shore with safety. On the 26th, I reconnoitred the position for landing the troops, and at night sounded the shore, and placed buoys to sound out the stations for the small vessels. It was agreed between the General and myself to make the attack the; next morning (as the weather had moderated, and had every appearance of being favorable.) I took on board of the Madison, Oneida, and Lady of the Lake, all the heavy artillery, and as many troops as could be stowed. The remainder were to embark in boats and follow the fleet. At 3 yesterday morning the signal was made for the feet to weigh, and the troops were all embarked on board of the boats before fou", and soon after Gens. Dearborn and Lewis came on board of the ship with their suites. It being however nearly calm, the schooners were obliged to sweep into their positions. Mr. Trant in the Julia, and Mr. Mix in the Growler, I directed to take a position in thie mouth of the river, and silence a battery near the light bouse, which from its position commanded the shore wbere the troops were to land. Mr. Stevens in the Ontario, was. directed to take a position to the north of the light house, so near the shore as to enfilade the battery and cross the fire of the Julia and Growler. Lieut. Brown in the Governor Tompkins, I directed to take a position near Two Mile creek, where the enemy had a battery with a heavy gun. Lieut. Pettigrew in the Conquest, was directed to anchor to the southeast of the same battery, so near in as to open on it

in the rear, and cross the fire of the Gov. Tompkins. Lt. M Pherson in the Hamilton, Lieut. Smith in the Asp, and Mr Osgood in the Scourge, were directed to anchor close to the shore, and cover the landing of the troops, and to scour the woods and plain wherever the enemy made his appearance. All these orders were promptly and gallantly executed. All the vessels anchored within musket shot of the shore, and in ten minutes after they opened upon the batteries, they were completely silenced and abandoned.

Our troops then advanced in three brigades, the advance led by Col. Scott, and landed near the fort, which had been silenced by Lient. Brown. The enemy, who had been concealed in a ravine, now advanced in great force to the edge of the bank to charge our troops. The schooners opened so well directed and tremendous a fire of

grape and canister, that the enemy soon retreated from the bank. Our troops formed as soon as they landed, and immediately ascended the bank, charged and routed the enemy in every direction, the schooners keeping up a constant well directed fire upon him in his retreat towards the town. Owing to the wind's having sprung up very fresh from the eastward, which caused a heavy sea directly on shore, I was not enabled to get the boats off to land the troops from the Madison and Oneida, before the first and second brigades had advanced Capt. Smith with the marines, landed with Col. M'Comb's regiment, and I had prepared 400 seamen, which I intended to land with myself, if the enemy had made a stand; but our troops pursued him so rapidly into the town and fort George, that I found there was necessity for more force; moreover, the wind had increased so much and hove such a sea on shore, that the situation of the fleet had become dangerous and critical. I therefore, made a signal for the fleet to weigh, and ordered them into the river, where they anchored immediately after the enemy had abandoned fort George. The town and forts were in quiet possession of our troops at 12 o'clock, and the enemy retired in a direction towards Queenstown.

Capt. Perry joined me from Erie on the evening of the 25th, and very gallantly volunteered his services, and I have much pleasure in acknowledging the great assistance

no

which I received from him. We lost but one killed and two wounded, and no injury done to the vessels.

ISAAC CHAUNCEY.

Com. Chauncey to the Secretary of the Navy. U. S. Ship Madison, Sacket's Harbor, June 4, 1813.

SIR-I have the honor to present to you, by the hands of Lieut. Dudley, the British standard taken at York, on the 27th of April last, accompanied by the mace, over which hung a human SCALP.-These articles were taken from the Parliament house by one of my officers, and presented to me. The scalp I caused to be presented to Gen. Dearborn, who I believe still has it in his possession. I also send by the same gentleman, one of the British flags taken at fort George on the 27th of May. I have the honor to be, &c.

ISAAC CHAUNCEY.

Lieut. Chauncey to Com. Chauncey.

Sackett's Harbor, June 18, 1813. SIR-According to your orders of the 14th inst. I

proceeded off Presque Isle in the schooner Lady of the Lake. On the morning of the 16th I fell in with and captured the English schooner Lady Murray, from Kingston bound to York, loaded with provisions and ammunition.

Enclosed is a list of one ensign, 15 non-commissioned officers and privates found on board, with 6 men attached to the vessel. I have the honor to be, &c.

WOLCOTT CHAUNCEY.

Battle at forty mile Creek, Upper Canada. Gen Vincent having takep his stand at forty mile Creek, about 33 miles from fort George, after his defeat at the fort, Brig. Gen. Winder was sent in pursuit of him. On the 4th of June, Brig. Gen. Chandler, with another detachment, was sent off from fort George to reinforce Gen. Winder, and arrived at Head Quarters the 5th. A deserter from the American camp informed Gen. Vincent of the situation of the army, and gave him the countersign; in five minutes the whole English army were in motion, and at two o'clock on the morning of the 6th entered our camp. The

« PreviousContinue »