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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 house, which from its position commanded the shore where the troops were to land. Mi. 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 Conqrest, 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
which I received from him. We lost but one killed and two wounded, and no injury done to the vessels.
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.
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.
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
two Generals, Winder and Chandler, in endeavoring to form the troops, and the deputy quarter-master General Vandeventer, were surrounded and taken prisoners. Our army formed immediately and attacked the enemy at the point of the bayonet, which soon occasioned a general route, the enemy taking off his prisoners, and leaving Col. Clarke, sixty prisoners, and 250 killed in our hands. Our loss was 17 killed, 38 wounded, and 100 missing.
ATTACK ON SACKETT'S HARBOR.
H. Q. Sacketi's Harbor, June 1, 1813. * SIR-On the 25th ultimo, I received a letter from Gen. Dearborn, requesting me to repair to this post for the purpose of taking command. Knowing that Lieut. Col. Backus, an officer of the first regiment of dragoons, and of experience, was here, I hesitated, as I would do no act which might wound his feelings. In the night of the 26th I received a note from this officer, by Maj. Swan, deputy quarter-master Gen. joining in the request already made by Maj. Gen. Dearborn.' I could no
I could no longer hesitate, and accordingly arrived at this post enrly in the morning of the 28th. These circunstances will explain how I came to be in command upon this occasion. Knowing well the ground, my arrangements for defence, in the event of an attack, were soon made.
In the course of the morning of the 28th, Lieut. Chauncey, of the navy, came in from the lake, tiring guns of alarm. Those of the same character, intended to bring in the milit:a, were fired from the post. The enemy's Heet soon after appeared accompained by a large number of boats. Believing that he would land on the peninsula, commonly cailed Horse Island, I determined to meet him at the water's edge with such militia as I could collect, and the Albany volunteers, under the command of Lieut. Col. Mills; Lieut. Col. Backus, with the regulars, formed a second line ; the care of fort Tompkins was committed to the regular artillerists and some volunteers, and that of Navy Point to Lieut. Chauncey of the navy. If driven from my position, Lieut. Col. Backus was ordered to advance and meet the head of the enemy's colum!, while rallying my corps. I was to fall on its flar:ks. It unable
here to resist the enemy's attack, Lieut. Chauncey was in that case to destroy the stores, &c. and retire to the south shore of the bay, east of Fort Volunteer, while I proceeded to occupy that fort as our dernier resort.
In the course of the 27th and during the nights of the 28th and 29th ultimo, a considerable militia force came in, and were ordered to the water side, near Horse Island, on which was Lieut. Col. Mills and his volunteers. Our strength at this point was now 500 men-all anxious for battle, as far as profession would go. The moment it was light enough to discover the approach of the enemy, we found his ships in line between Horse Island and Stony Point, and in a few minutes afterwards 33 large boats filled with troops, came off to the larger Indian or Garden Island, under cover of the fire of his gun boats. My orders were, that the troops should lie close, and reserve their fire till the enemy had approached so near that every shot might hit its object. It is, however, impossible to execute such orders with raw troops, unaccustomed to subordination. My orders were in this case disobeyed. The whole line fired, and not without effect-but in the moment while I was contemplating this, to my utter astonishment, they rose from their cover and fled. Col. Mills fell gallantly in brave but vain endeavors to stop his men. I was personally more fortunate. Gathering together about 100 militia, under the immediate command of Capt. M'Nitt of that corps, we threw ourselves on the rear of the enemy's flank, and I trust, did some execution. It was during this last movement that the regular's under Col. Backus, first engaged the enemy-nor was it long before they defeated him.
Hurrying to this point of action, I found the battle still raging, but with obvious advantage on our side. The result of this action, so glorious for the officers and soldiers of the regular army, has already been communicated in my letter of the 29th. Had not Gen. Prevost retreated most rapidly under the guns of his vessels, he would never have returned to Kingston.
The enemy's force consisted of 1000 picked men, led by sir George Prevost in person. Their fleet consisted of the new ship Wolf, the Royal George, the Prince Regent. Earl of Moira, two armed schooners, and their gun and other boats.