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a circuitous march and coming down on the Harford or York roads. Generals Winder and Stricker were ordered to adapt their movements to those of the enemy, so as to baffle this supposed intention. They executed this order with great skill and judgment, by taking an advantageous position, stretching from my left across the country, when the enemy was likely to approach the quarter he seemed to threaten. This movement induced the enemy to concentrate his forces (between one and two o'clock) in my front, pushing his advance to within a mile of us, driving in our videttes, and showing an intention of attacking us that evening. I immediately drew generals Winder and Stricker nearer to the left of my entrenchments and to the right of the enemy, with the intention of their falling on his right or rear, should he attack me; or, if he declined it, of attacking him in the morning. To this movement, and to the strength of my defences, which the enemy had the fairest opportunity of observing, I am induced to attribute his retreat, which was commenced at half past one o'clock on Wednesday morning. In this he was so favoured by the extreme darkness and a continued rain, that we did not discover it until day-light. I consented to general Winder's pursuing with the Virginia brigade and the United States' dragoons; at the same time, major Randal was despatched with his light corps, in pursuit of the enemy's right, whilst the whole of the militia cavalry was put in motion for the same object. All the troops were, however, so worn out with continued watching, and with being under arms three days and nights, exposed the greater part of the time to very inclement weather, that it was found impracticable to do any thing more than pick up a few stragglers. The enemy commenced his embarkation that evening, and completed it the next day at one o'clock. It would have been impossible, even had our troops been in a condition to act offensively, to have cut off any part of the enemy's rear guard during the embarkation, as the point where it was effected was defended from our approach, by a line of defences extending from Back river to Humphrey's creek, on the Patapsco, thrown up by ourselves previous to their arrival.

I have now the pleasure of calling your attention to the brave commander of Fort McHenry, major Armistead, and to the operations confined to that quarter. The enemy made his approach by water, at the same time that his army was advancing on the land, and commenced a discharge of bombs and rockets at the fort as soon as he got within range of it. The situation of major Armistead was peculiarly trying. The enemy having taken a position at such a distance as to render offensive operations on the part of the fort entirely fruitless, whilst their bombs and rockets were every moment falling in and about it; the officers and men being at the same time entirely exposed. The vessels, however, had the temerity to approach somewhat nearer; they were as soon compelled to withdraw. During the night, whilst

the enemy on land was retreating, and whilst the bombardment was most severe, two or three rocket vessels and barges succeeded in getting up the ferry branch; but they were soon compelled to retire by the forts in that quarter, commanded by lieutenant Newcomb, of the navy, and lieutenant, Webster, of the flotilla. These forts also destroyed one of the barges with all on board. The barges and battery at the lazaretto, under the command of lieutenant Rutter, of the flotilla, kept up a brisk, and is believed, a successful fire during the hottest period of the bombardment. Major Armistead being seriously ill, in consequence of his continued exposure to the weather, has rendered it impossible for him to send in his report. It is not, therefore, in my power to do justice to those gallant individuals who partook with the danger of a tremendous bombardment, without the ability of retorting, and without that security, which, in more regular fortifications, is provided for such occasions. Our loss in the fort is, I understand, about 27 killed and wounded; amongst the former, I have to la ment the fall of lieutenants Clagget and Clemm, who were both estimable citizens and useful officers.

From general Stricker's brigade, the return of the killed and wounded has not yet come in. It is supposed, however, to amount to about 150; among the former, this city has to regret the loss of its representative in the state legislature, James L. Donaldson, esq. adjutant of the 27th regiment. This gentleman will ever be remembered by his constituents for his zeal and talents, and by his corps for his bravery and military knowledge.

I cannot conclude this report, without informing you of the great aid I have derived from commodore Rodgers. He was ever present and ready to afford his useful counsel, and to render his important services. His presence, with that of his gallant officers and seamen, gave confidence to every one.

The enemy's loss in his attempt on Baltimore, amounts, as near as we can ascertain it, to between 6 and 700 killed, wounded and missing. General Ross was certainly killed.

Col. James Monroe,


acting Secretary of War.

I have the honour to be, &c.

S. SMITH, Maj. Gen. Comdg.

HEAD QUARTERS, FORT ERIE, September 20th, 1814.

Among the officers lost to this army at the battle of Niagara falls, was my aid-de-camp, captain Ambrose Spencer, who, being mortally wounded, was left in the hands of the enemy. By flags from the British army, I was shortly afterwards assured of his convalescence, and an offer was made me by lieutenant general Drummond to exchange him for his own aid, captain Loring, then a prisoner of war with us. However singular this proposition

appeared, as captain Loring was not wounded, nor had received the slightest injury, I was willing to comply with it on captain Spencer's account; but as I knew his wounds were severe, I first sent to ascertain the fact of his being then living. My messenger, with a flag, was detained, nor even once permitted to see eaptain Spencer, though in his immediate vicinity. The evidence I wished to acquire failed, but my regard for captain Spencer would not permit me longer to delay, and I informed general Drummond that his aid should be exchanged even for the body of mine. This offer was no doubt gladly accepted, and the corpse of captain Spencer sent to the American shore.

Indignant as I am at this ungenerous procedure, I yet hold myself bound in honour to lieutenant general Drummond to return captain Loring; and must therefore earnestly solicit of you his immediate release. He can return to lieutenant general Drummond by the way of Montreal.

Hou. James Monroe.

Very respectfully, &c.


Fellow citizens of the Senate

and of the House of Representatives :

Nothwithstanding the early day which had been fixed for your session of the present year, I was induced to call you together sooner, as well that any inadequacy in the existing provi ions for the wants of the Treasury might be supplied, as that no delay might happen in providing for the result of the negotiations on foot with Great Britain, whether it should require arrangements adapted to a return of peace, or further and more effective provisions for prosecuting the war.

The result is not yet known. If, on one hand, the repeal of the orders in council, and the general pacification in Europe, which withdrew the occasion on which impressments from American vessels were practised, suggest expectations that peace and amity may be re-established, we are compeiled, on the other hand, by the refusal of the British government to accept the offered mediation of the Emperor of Russia; by the delays in giving effect to its own proposal of a direct negotiation; and, above all, by the principles and manner in which the war is now avowedly carried on, to infer that a spirit of hostility is indulged more violent than ever against the rights and prosperity of this country.

This increased violence is best explained by the two important circumstances, that the great contest in Europe for an equilibrium guaranteeing all its estates against the ambition of any, has been closed without any check on the overbearing power of Great Bri

tain on the ocean; and it has left in her hands disposable armaments with which, forgetting the difficulties of a remote war with a free people, and yielding to the intoxication of success, with the example of a great victim to it before her eyes, she cherishes hopes of still further aggrandizing a power already formidable in its abuses to the tranquillity of the civilized and commercial world. But, whatever may have inspired the enemy with these more violent purposes, the public councils of a nation, more able to maintain than it was to acquire its independence, and with a devotion to it rendered more ardent by the experience of its blessings, can never deliberate but on the means most effectual for defeating the extravagant views or unwarrantable passions with which alone the war can now be pursued against us.

In the events of the present campaign, the enemy, with all his augmented means, and wanton use of them, has little ground for exultation, unless he can feel it in the success of his recent enterprizes against this metropolis and the neighbouring town of Alexandria, from both of which his retreats were as precipitate as his attempts were bold and fortunate. In his other incursions on our Atlantic frontier, his progress often checked and chastised by the martial spirit of the neighboring citizens, has had more effect in distressing individuals, and in dishonoring his arms, than in promoting any object of legitimate warfare. And, in the two instances mentioned, however deeply to be regretted on our part, he will find in his transient success, which interrupted for a moment only the ordinary public business at the seat of government, no compensation for the loss of character with the world, by his violations of private property, and by his destruction of public edifices, protected, as monuments of the arts, by the laws of civilized warfare.

On our side, we can appeal to a series of achievements which have given new lustre to the American arms. Besides the brilliant incidents in the minor operations of the campaign, the splendid victories gained on the Canadian side of the Niagara, by the American forces under major general Brown, and brigadiers Scott and Gaines, have gained for those heroes, and their emulating companions, the most unfading laurels; and, having triumphantly tested the progressive discipline of the American soldiery, have taught the enemy that the longer he protracts his hostile efforts, the more certain and decisive will be his final discomfiture. On our southern border, victory has continued also to follow the American standard. The bold and skilful operations of major general Jackson, conducting troops drawn from the militia of the states least distant, particularly of Tennessee, have subdued the principal tribes of hostile savages, and, by establishing a peace with them, preceded by recent and exemplary chastisement, has best guarded against the mischief of their co-operation with the British enterprizes which may be planned against that quarter of our country. Important tribes of Indians on our northwestern

frontier have also acceded to stipulations which bind them to the interests of the United States, and to consider our enemy as theirs also.

In the recent attempt of the enemy on the city of Baltimore, defended by militia and volunteers, aided by a small body of regulars and seamen, he was received with a spirit which produced a rapid retreat to his ships; whilst a concurrent attack by a large fleet was successfully resisted by the steady and well directed fire of the fort and batteries opposed to it.

In another recent attack by a powerful force on our troops at Plattsburgh, of which regulars made a part only, the enemy, after a perseverance for many hours, was finally compelled to seek safety in a hasty retreat, with our gallant bands pressing upon


On the lakes, so much contested throughout the war, the great exertions for the command made on our part, have been well repaid. On lake Ontario our squadron is now, and has been for some time, in a condition to confine that of the enemy to his own port; and to favour the operations of our land forces on that frontier.

A part of the squadron on lake Erie has been extended into lake Huron, and has produced the advantage of displaying our command on that lake also. One object of the expedition was the reduction of Mackinaw, which failed, with the loss of a few brave men, among whom was an officer justly distinguished for his gallant exploits. The expedition, ably conducted by both the land and naval commanders, was otherwise highly valuable in its effects.

On lake Champlain, where our superiority had for some time been undisputed, the British squadron lately came into action with the American, commanded by captain Macdonough. It issued in the capture of the whole of the enemy's ships. The best praise for this officer, and his intrepid comrades, is in the likeness of his triumph to the illustrious victory which immortalized another officer, and established, at a critical moment, our command of an other lake.

On the ocean, the pride of our naval arms has been amply supported. A second frigate, indeed, has fallen into the hands of the enemy, but the loss is hidden in the blaze of heroism with which she was defended. Captain Porter, who commanded her, and whose previous career had been distinguished by daring enterprize and by fertility of genius, maintained a sanguinary contest against two ships, one of them superior to his own, and under other severe disadvantages, till humanity tore down the colours which valor had nailed to the mast. This officer and his brave comrades, have added much to the rising glory of the Ameri can flag, and have merited all the effusions of gratitude which their country is ever ready to bestow on the champions of its rights and of its safety.

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