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MOVEMENTS ON THE NORTHERN FRONTIER, IN 1812.
SOON after the declaration of war, troops began to assemble at Greenbush on the Hudson, directly opposite of Albany. From this depot detachments were marched to different points of the Canadian frontier. A brigade of regulars rendezvoused at Plattsburgh, under the orders of General Bloomfield. Several companies of New York militia were also ordered to this post. Major C. D. Young, commanding a detachment of N. Y. militia at the French Mills, having obtained. information that a party of the enemy had landed at the Indian village of St. Regis, determined to make an attempt to surprize and capture them before a reinforcement should arrive to increase their numbers. ordered his men to be well supplied with two days' rations and a liberal supply of whiskey, and at eleven o'clock at night on the 22d of October, marched silently on a circuitous route through the woods to the execution of his design. At 5 in the morning they had arrived within half a mile of the village, where they halted behind a rise of ground to reconnoiter and refresh the men. The detachment was then divided into three parts, each taking different directions. Captain,
Lyon soon engaged the enemy, who surrendered at diseretion, after a short and feeble resistance. The result of this little affair was five of the enemy killed and 40 prisoners, one stand of colors, two batteaux and 38 guns. Major Young's force consisted of Captains Lyon's, Higbie's, Tilden's and M'Niel's companies, who entered the village so silently that they were unheard even by the Indian dogs. They returned the same day with the prisoners and captured property, without the loss of a man. In November our troops passed into Canada, but the movement terminated in the mere capture and destruction of an inconsiderable block house, when the army retrograded and went into winter quarters at Plattsburgh.
In September a brigade of N. Y. militia and several independent companies were detached to protect the shipping and military stores at Sackett's Harbor, the whole under the command of Brig. Gen. Dodge.
On the 6th of October, 1812, Commodore Chauncey arrived there as commander of the U. S. naval forces on lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan, &c. at which time the only vessel owned by the United States on those waters was the brig Oneida. He immediately purchased all the merchant vessels and fitted them out as gun boats.
On the 8th of November, he sailed from S. Harbor, in pursuit of the enemy with the Oneida and 6 schooners, and having fallen in with the Royal George on the 9th, chased her into the bay of Quinta. In the night he lost sight of her, and the next day chased her into Kingston, and engaged her and the batteries for an hour and an half, until he was compelled to haul off by the violence of the wind. On the 19th he chased the Earl
Moira into Kingston, and captured the transport sloop Elizabeth, with the brother of General Brock on board. On the 12th he took, off Kingston, the schooners Jane and Mary Hart. The blockade of Kingston was continued as long as it was practicable to keep the lake on account of ice, when Commodore Chauncey returned to Sackett's Harbor. On the 26th of November, the ship Madison of 32 guns was launched, having been built in 45 working days. He then proceeded to Erie and purchased all the private vessels on that lake, and made preparations for building the Lawrence and Niagara. From thence he went to New York, made contracts for building on the two lower lakes and sent on carpenters and mechanics to Erie and Sackett's Harbor. The campaign closed on the St. Lawrence without any military movement worthy of notice, if we except the gallant and daring achievement of Capt. Forsyth, who with a small detachment made a descent on the Canada shore, near Gananoque, in which he made several prisoners and captured a considerable quantity of arms, stores, &c.
Forts were erected at the Harbor in the autumn of 1812. The position of Fort Volunteer was calculated to defend the camp from the southeast. The locality of Fort Tompkins commands the approach from northwest to northeast..