Page images

the British naval force consisting of four large ships, three brigs and a number of gun and other boats were descried at reveille beating about seven miles from the fort. Information was inmediately given to Capt. Woolsey of the navy, (who was at Oswego viilage) and to the neighboring militia. It being doubtful on which side of the river the enemy would attempt to land, and my force (290 effectives) being too small to bear division, I ordered the tents in store to be pitched on the village side, while I occupied the other with my whole force. It is probable that this artifice had its effect, and determined the enemy to attack where, from appearances, they expected the least opposition. About 1 o'clock the fleet approached. Fifteen boais, large and crowded with troops, at a given signal, moved slowly to the shore. These were preceded by gunboats sent to rake the woods and cover the landing, while the larger vessels opened a fire upon the fort. Capt. Boyle and Lieft. Legate, (so soon as the debarking boats got within range of our shot) opened upon them a very successful fire from the shore battery, and compelled them twice to retire. They at length returned to the ships and the whole stood off from the shore for better anchorage. One of the enemy's boats which had been deserted, was taken up by us, and some others by the militia. The first mentioned was sixty feet long, carried thirty-six oars-and three sails, and could accommodate 150 men. She had received a ball through her bow, and was nearly filled with water.

At day break on the 6th the fleet appeared bearing up under

easy sail. They took a position directly against the fort and batteries, and for three hours kept up a heavy fire of grape, &c. Finding that the enemy had effected a landing, I withdrew my small disposable force into the rear of the fort, and with two companies met their advancing columns, while the other companies engaged the flanks of the enemy. Lieut. Pierce of the navy and some seamen, joined in the attack and fought with their characteristic bravery. We maintained our ground about thirty minutes, and as long as consisted with my further duty of defending the public stores deposited at the falls, which no doubt formed the principal object of the expedition on the part of the enemy. Nor was this movement made precipie

tately. I halted within 400 yards of the fort. Capt. Romayne's company formed the rear guard, and, remaining with it, I marched to this place in good order, destroying the bridges in my rear. The enemy landed six bundred of De Watteville's regiment, six hundred marines, two companies of the Giengary corps, and three hundred and fifty seamen.

Gen. Drummond and Com. Yeo were the land and naval commanders. They hurned the old barracks and evacuated the fort about 3 o'clock in the morning of the 7th,

Our loss in killed is six; in wounded 38--and in mis, sing, 25. The enemy lost 70 killed, and 165 wounded, drowned, and prisoners.

Gen. Brown to the Secretary of War.

H. Q Chippewa, July 7, 1814. [Extract.] SIR-On the 20 inst. I issued orders for crossing the Niagara, and made arrangements deemed ne, cessary for securing the garrison of fort Erie--the 3d, that post surrendered, at 5 P. M. Our loss in this affair, was 4 wounded.--137 prisoners, including 1 Major, 1 Capt. 3 Lieuts. and 1 ensign, with the ammunition and cannon beloging to the post were surrendered to us."

O. the morning of the 4th, Brig. Gen. Scotl, was ordered to advance towards Chippewa, and be governed by circumstances; taking care to secure a good military po sition for the night; alter some skirmishi..g, he selected this plain with the eye of a soldier, his right resting on the river, and a ravine being in front. At 11 at night I joined him, with the reserve under Brig. Gen. Ripley, with our field and batteri g train, and corps of artillery. The next morning Geri. Porter arrived with a part of the Pennsylvania and N. York volunteers, and some Indians. "Early in the morning of the 5th, the enemy commenced a petty war upon our pickets, and, as he was indulged, his presumption increased,

Ai 4P. M. agreeably to my orders, Gen. Porter advance ed from the rear of our camp, taking the woods in order to keep out of view of the enemy, in bopes of surrounding their scouting parties. In half an hour Porter's command wet the light parties and drove them to camp ; and near Chippewa, met their whole column in order of battle. I

[ocr errors]

immediately ordered Gen. Scott to advance with his brigade, and Towson's artillery, who met them upon the high plain in front of our cam. He advanced in the most offi- , cerlike style, and in a few minutes was in close action, with a superior force of British regulars. Gen. Porter's command had given way, and fled in every direction, which caused Scott's lett tank to be greatly exposed. Capt. Harris, with his dragoons, was directed to stop the the fugitives, behind the ravine fronting our camp; Gen. Ripley was directed to pass to the left and skirt the woods, so as to keep out of view, and fall upon the rear of the enemy's right flank. This order was promptly obeyed, and the greatest exertions made to close with the enemy, but in vain; for such was the zeal and activity of the line commanded by Gen. Scott, that it was not to be checked. Maj. Jessup, commanding the left flank, finding himself pressed in front and flank, and his men falling fast around him, ordered his battallion to support arms, and advance ;' the order was promptly obeyed, amidst a most deadly and destructive fire. He gained a more secure position, and returned



enemy so galling a discharge, as caused them to retire. By this time their whole line was falling back, and our gallant soldiers pressing upon them, when they broke their lines, and ran to regain their works. In this effort he was too successful, when the guns opened immediately upon our line, and checked, in some degree, the pursuit. At this moment, I determined to bring up my orduance, and force the place by a direct'attack; Major Wood, of the engineers, and Capt. Austin, my aid, rode to the right of their line of works and examined them; I was induced by their report, to order the forces to retire to camp, tili a future time. Respectfully and truly yours. JACOB BROWN.Killed 60—wouded 244-missing 19.

Killed 199--woundeid 320-prisoners 245.


Capt. Blakeley to the Secretary of the Navy.

U. S. S. Wasp, L'Orient, July 8, 1814. SIR-On Tuesday the 28 h uit. being then in latitude 48, 36 N. and long. 11, 15 W. we fell in with, engaged, and after an action of 19 minutes, captured his Britannic majesty's sloop of war Reindeer, William Manners, Esq. commander.

At half past 12, P. M. the enemy shewed a blue and white flag diagonally at the fore, and fired a gun. At 1, 15, called all hands to quarters, and prepared for action ; 1, 22, believing we could weather the enemy, tacked ship and stood for him; 1, 50, the enemy tackerl ship and stood from us; 1, 56, hoisted our colors and fired a gun to windward ; at 2, 20, the enemy still standing from us, set the royals ; at 2, 25, set the flying gib; at 2, 29, set the upper staysails; at 2, 32, the enemy having tacked for us took in the staysails; at 2, 47, furled the royals; at 2, 51, seeing that the enemy would be able to weather us, tacked

, ship; at 3, 3, the enemy hoisted his flying gib_brajled up our mizen ; at 3, 15, the enemy ou our weather quarter, distant about 60 yards, fired his shifting gun, a 12 pound carronade at us, loaded with round and grape shot from his top-gallant forecastle ; at 3, 17, fired the same gun a second time; at 3, 19, fired it a third time; at 3, 21, fired it a fourth time; at 3, 24, a fifth shot, all from the same gun. Finding the enemy did not get sufficiently on the beam to enable us to bring our guns to bear, put the helm a-lee, aid at 26 ininutes after 3, commenced the action with the after carronade on the starboard side, and fired in succession; at 3, 34, hauled op the mainsail ; at 3, 40, the enemy having his las board bow in contact with our larboard quarter, endeavored to board us, but was repulsed in every attempt; at 3, 44, orders were given to board in turn, which were promptly executed, when all resistance immediately ceased, and at 3, 45, the enemy hauled down bis flag.

The Reindeer mounted sixteen 24 lb. carronades, two long 6 or 9 pounders, and a shifting 12 lb. carronade, with a complement on board of 118 men. Her crew was said to be the pride of Plymouth.

The Reindeer was literally cut to pieces in a line with her ports; her upperworks, boats, and spare spars, were one complete wreck. A breeze springing up the next afternooii, her foremast went by the board.

Having received all the prisoners on board, which from the nunber of wounded occupied much time, together with


[ocr errors]

their baggage, the Reindeer was on the evening of the 29th set on fire, and in a few hours blew

I have the honor to be, &c.

Killed 5-wounded 21.

Killed 23--wounded 42.

Gen. Brown to the Secretary of War.

Buffalo, Aug. 17, 1814. [Extract.] SIR—You are already apprised that the army had on the 25th ult. taken a position at Chippewa, About noon of that day, Col. Swift, who was posted at Lewistown, advised me by express, that the enemy appeared in considerable force in Queenston, and on its heights ; that four of the enemy's teet had arrived duri" g the

preceding night, and were then laying near fort Niagara, and that a rumber of boats were in view, moving up the strait. Within a few minutes after this intelligence had been received, I was further informed by Capt. Denmon, of the quarter master's department, that the enemy were landing at Lewistown, and that our baggage and stores at Schlosser, and on their way thither, were in danger of inmediate capture. Gen. Scott, with the 1st brigade, Towson's artillery, and all the dragoons and mounted men, were accordingly put in march on the road leading to Queenston, with orders to report if the enemy appeared, and to call for assistance if that was necessary. On the General's arrival at the Falls he learned that the enemy was in force directly in his front--a warrow piece of woods alone intercepting his view of them. Waiting only to give this information he advanced upon them. · By the time Assistant Adj. Gen. Jones had delivered his message, the action began ; and before the remaining part of the division had crossed the Chippewa, it had become close and general between the advance corps. Though gen. Riply with the 2d brigade, Major Hoodman with the corps of artillery, and Gem. Porter as the head of his conimand, bad respectively pressedi, forward will ardor, it was not less than an hour before they were brought to sustain Gen. Scott, during which time his command most skilfully and gallantis

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »