Page images
PDF
EPUB

before a change of wind, I took the opportunity of running into Sackett's Harbour.

I remained but a few hours at the Harbour and left it at daylight on the morning of the 18th, but did not arrive here until yesterday, owing to continual head winds, not having laid our course during the passage. On the 19th I saw the enemy's fleet near the False Ducks, but took no notice of him, as I wished him to follow me up the lake.

There is a report here, and generally believed, that captain Perry has captured the whole of the enemy's fleet on lake Erie. If this should prove true in all its details, (and God grant that it may) he has immortalized himself and not disappointed the high expectations formed of his talents and bravery,

I have learnt, from a source which can be depended upon, that we did the enemy much more injury, in our encounter on the 11th, than I had expected : I find that we killed captain Mulcaster, of the Royal George, and a number of his men, and did considerable injury to that ship, as well as several other vessels. It was truly unfortunate that we could not have brought the enemy to a general action on that day, as I am confident the victory would have been as complete as that upon lake Erie. I have, however, the consolation to know, that every exertion was used to bring him to close action. If we did not succeed, it was not our fault.

I have the honour to be, &c.

ISAAC CHAUNCEY, Hon. William Jones,

Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

GENERAL ORDERS

Of Debarkation, of March, and of Battle.

HEAD QUARTERS, ON BOARD THE U. S. SCHOONER ARIEL,

September 26th, 1813. As it is the intention of the general to land the army on the enemy's coast, the following will be the order of debarkation, of march, and of battle:

The right wing of the army will be composed of the Kentucky volunteers, under the command of his excellency governor Shelby, acting as major general. The left wing, of the light corps of lieutenant colonel Ball, and the brigades of generals M Arthur and Cass. The arrangement is made with a view to the localities of the ground, upon which the troops are to act, and the composition of the enemy's force, and is calculated, in marching up the lake or straight, to place our regular troops in the open ground on the lake, where they will probably be opposed by the British regulars, and the Kentucky volunteers in the woods, which it is pre

sumed will be occupied by the enemy's militia and Indians. When the signal is given for putting to the shore, the corps of lieutenant colonel Ball will precede the left wing: the regiment of volunteer riflemen the right wing: these corps will land with the utmost celerity, consistent with the preservation of good order, and as soon as landed, will seize the most favourable position for annoying the enemy and covering the disembarkation of the troops of the line. General Cass's brigade will follow colonel Ball's corps, and general Calmes the volunteer riflemen. The regiments will land and form in succession upon those which precede them. The right wing, with its left in front, displaying to the right; and the left wing with its right in front, displaying to the left. The brigades of generals King, Allen, and Caldwell, will form successively to the right of general Calmes. General M·Arthur and Childs's brigades will form the reserve.

The ge neral will command in person, the right brigades of generals Cass and Calmes, assisted by major general Henry. His excellency governor Shelby will ħave the immediate command of three brigades on the right, assisted by major general Desha. As soon as the troops are disembarked, the boats are to be immediately sent back to the fleet. It will be observed that the order of landing, here prescribed, is somewhat that of direct eschelons deployed into line upon the advanced corps of the right and left wing. It is the intention of the general, however, that all the troops which are provided with boats, should land in as quick succession as possible; and the general officers command towards the extremities of the line, are authorized to deviate from the arrangement to counteract any movement of the enemy, by landing any part of their commands, previously to the formation of the corps, which is herein directed to precede them. The corps

of lieutenant colonel Ball, and the volunteer rifle regiment, will maintain the position they occupy on landing, until the troops of the line are formed to support thein ; they will then retire through the intervals of the line, or to the flanks, and form in the rear of the line.

A detachment of artillery, with a six, four, and three pounder and howitzer, will land with the advanced light corps; the rest of the artillery will be held in reserve, and landed at such point as major Wood may direct.

The point of landing for the reserve, under brigadier general M·Arthur, cannot now be designated; it will be made to support any point of the line which may require aid, or be formed on the flanks, as circumstances may render necessary. The arrangement for landing the troops, will be made entirely under the direction of an officer of the navy, whom commodore Perry has been so obliging as to offer for that purpose. The debarkation of the troops will be covered by the cannon of the vessels. The troops being landed, and the enemy driven off, or not opposing - the landing, the army will change its front to the left, and form

in order of battle in the following manner. The two brigades of regular troops, and two of the volunteers, to be formed in two lines at right angles to the shore of the lake.. Generals M'Arthur's brigade and Calmes to form the front line, and Cass's and Childs's the second line; the regular troops still on the left; that flank of both lines, resting on the shore,—the distance between the two lines will be 300 yards. The remaining three brigades of volunteers will be drawn up in a single line of two ranks, at right angles to the line of march, its head upon the right of the front line, forming a crotchet (en potence) with that line, and extending beyond the second line. The corps of lieutenant colonel Ball will form the advance of the left wing, at the distance of 300 yards, the regiment of rifle volunteers, the advance of the right wing, at the same distance.

Some light pieces of artillery will be placed in the road leading up the lake, and at such other points as major Wood may direct. When the order is given for marching, the first and second lines will advance by files from the heads of companies : in other words, these two lines will form two columns, marching by their flanks by companies at entire distances. The three brigades on the right flank will be faced to the left and marched forward-the head of this column still forming en potence with the front line. It is probable that the two brigades of the front line will extend from the lake, some distance into the woods, on the right flank, and it is desirable it should be so: but should it be otherwise, and the crotchet or angle be at any time on the open ground, his excellency governor Shelby will immediately prolong the front line to the right, by adding to it as many companies of the leading brigade of the flank column as will bring the angle, and consequently the flank column itself, completely within the woods. It is to be presumed that the enemy will make their attack upon the army on its march, that their regular troops will form their right upon the lake, their militia occupy the ground between the regulars and the woods, and the Indians the woods, The formation herein prescribed is intended to resist an arrangement of this kind. Should the general's conjecture on that subject prove correct, as it must be evident that the right of the enemy cannot be turned, and on that wing his best troops must be placed, it will be proper to refuse him our left, and direct our principal effort to uncover the flank of his regulars by driving off his militia. In the event supposed, therefore, it will be proper to bring up a part or the whole of general Cass's brigade, to assist the charge made by general Calmes, or that the former should change positions with the brigade of volunteers in the second line. Should the general think it safe to order the whole of Cass's brigade to the right, without replacing it with another, general Cass will march to the right, formed in oblique eschelons of companies. It will be the business of general M Arthur, in the event of his wing being refused to watch the motions of the ene

[ocr errors]

my, with the assistance of the artillery, to prevent his front lin: at least from interrupting the progress of our right. Should the enemy's militia be defeated, the brigade of ours in advance will immediately wheel upon the flank of the British regulars, and general M Arthur will advance to attack them in front. In the mean time, his excellency governor Shelby can use the brigade in reserve of the second line to prolong the flank line from its front or left, or to reinforce any weak part of the line. In all .cases where troops in advance are obliged to retire through those who are advancing to support them, it will be done by companies in files, which will retire through the intervals of the advancing line, and will immediately form in rear. The light troops will be particularly governed by this direction.

The disposition of the troops on the right flank is such as the commanding general thinks best calculated to resist an attack from Indians, which is only to be expected from that quarter. His excellency governor Shelby will, however, use his discretion in making any alteration which his experience and judgment may dictate. Lieutenant colonel Ball, lieutenant colonel Simral, and the general officers commanding on the flank line, are to send out small detachments in advance of the two former corps, and to the flank of the latter. Should they discover the enemy in force, immediately notice will be sent to the lines. The general commanding on the spot will immediately order the signals for forming in order of battle, which will be the beat" to arms."

All signals will be immediately repeated by all the drums of the line the signal for the whole to halt, is the retreat. Drums will be distributed along the heads of companies, and the taps occasionally given to regulate their march.

Lieutenant colonels Ball and Simral are to keep the general constantly advised of the discoveries made by the advanced parties. Where it shall become necessary for the corps of Ball and Simral to retire, they will form on the flank or in the rear of generals M'Arthur's and Calmes's brigades, and receive the orders of the brigadiers respectively.

Brigadier general Cass will designate such officers as he may deem proper, to assist captain Elliott, of the navy, in the arrangement of the troops. The general will be the signal for the whole to move. By command,

EDMUND P. GAINES, Col. Adj. Gen.
Truly copied from the original.

ROBERT BUTTLER, A. Adj. Gen.

NIAGARA, September 27th, 1813, 6 o'clock. A, M. DEAR SIR,

I received, at eight o'clock last evening, your interesting letter of the 22d, and shall employ its authorizations to the best poga sible effect.

Fifteen hundred men were embarked with orders to sail the day before yesterday, but a strong easterly wind has made it impossible to move.

The whole force, say three thousand combatants, after deductting the garrisons of Fort George and Niagara, were ready for embarkation yesterday, and as the weather is serene at this moment, I hope the whole may be able to move at dusk this day : I say at dusk because I am desirous to keep my neighbours under a delusion as long as possible; they are perplexed as to my intentions, and will not be able to penetrate them before they have discovered the course of my flotilla.

I have authentic information from York the evening of the 24th instant. The brigade of the militia in the vicinity were required to assemble the 25th, and six hundred men of the 41st and 49th regiments, second battalion, were daily expected there on their route to this neighborhood : this is good ; and still better, three spacious block houses are ordered by sir George to be erected at York.

But, sir, here is one drawback; the tantalizing sir James Yeo was in shore with his fleet on the evening of the 24th, (Friday) about twenty-eight miles east of York. Where he is now, we know not, for he has not since been heard of, and Chauncey is just sending out the Lady of the Lake and the Neptune to reconnoitre York and the coast in that quarter. What may be the views of the knight ? to gasconade, to retard my movement, or to enable De Rottenberg to follow me? I am unable to divine ; but will not be longer delayed, and, therefore, shall be twenty miles to the eastward before to-morrow morning, should the weather permit. If sir James can be discovered, Chauncey will seek him, otherwise he will sail with me to cover my left flank.

As we have not a moment to lose, I shall proceed directly to Grenadier Island, writing you and sending orders to the commanding officer by a despatch boat, en passant.

After all, we are so strastened for transport that we shall not find room for more than fifteen day's provisions ; indeed, we have little more to spare from this position, and therefore, our sole dependence must be on the magazines at Sackett's Harbor, of which the contractor should be personally advised. Heaven protect you.

Truly yours,

JAMES WILKINSON, Honourable John Armstrong,

Secretary of War.

U, S. SCHOONER ARIEL, MALDEN HARBOR,

September 27th, 1813, 5 P. M. SIR,

I have the honour to acquaint you, that the army under major general Harrison, have this moment marched into Malden,

« PreviousContinue »