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Limmediately prepared to weigh, but owing to a strong wind evne nurch nerth-east, was not able to get out of the river before the plerung of the 27th, and, owing to the extreme darkness of the mishi, a part of the squadron got separated, and did not join befor next morning at 8 o'clock. On the 28th, the General Pike, Madison and Sylph, each took a schooner in tow, and made all sail for York. Soon after, discovered the enemy's fleet under weigh in York bay-shaped our course for him, and prepared for action; he perceiving our intention of engaging him in his position, tacked and stood out of the bay, wind at east. I formed the line an run down for his centre. When we had approached within about three miles, he made all sail to the southward. I wore in succession and stood on the same tack with him, edging down gradually in order to close. At 10 minutes past meridian, the enemy finding that we were closing fast with him, and that he must either risk an action or suffer his two rear vessels to be cut off, he tacked in succession, beginning at the van, hoisted his colors, and commenced a well directed tire at this ship, for the purpose of covering his rear, and attacking our rear as he passed to leeward: perceiving his intention, I was determined to disappoint him ; therefore as soon as the Wolf (the leading ship) passed the centre of his line and abeam of us, I bore up in succession (preserving our line) for the enemy's centre; this manouvre not only covered our rear, but hove him in confusion. Heimmediately bore away: we had, however, closed so near as to bring our guns to
car with effect, and in 20 minutes the main and mizen-top-masts, and main yard of the Wolf, were shot away; he immediately put before the wind, and set all sail upon his fore-mast. I made the signal for the fleet to make all sail; the enemy, however, keeping dead before the wind, was enabled to outsail most of our squadron. As it brought all the sail upon one mast, he did not feel the loss of his main and mizen-top-mast. I continued the chase until near 3 o'clock, during which time I was enabled in this ship (with the Asp in tow) to keep within point blank shot of the enemy, and sustained the whole of his fire during he chase. Captain Crane, in the Madison, and lieutenant Brown, in the Oneida, used every exertion to close with the enemy; but the Madison having a heavy schooner in tow, and the Oneida sailing very dull before the wind prevented those officers from closing near enough to do any execution with their carronades. The Governor Tompkins kept in her station, until her fore-mast was so badly wounded as to oblige her to shorten sail: lieutenant Finch, of the Madison, who commanded her for this cruize (owing to the indisposition of lieutenant Pettigrew) behaved with great gallantry, and is an officer of much promise. Captain Woolsey, in the Sylph, was kept astern by the Ontairo, which he had in tow, but did considerable execution with his heavy guns.
At fifteen minutes before 3 P. M. I very reluctantly relinquished the pursuit of a beaten enemy. The reasons that led to this deter
mination were such as I flatter myself you will approve-they were these: at the time I gave up the chase, this ship was making so much water, that it required all our pumps to keep her free, (owing to our receiving several shot so much below the water's edge, that we could not plug the holes from the outside) the Governor Tompkins with her fore-mast gone, and the squadron within about six miles of the head of the lake, blowing a gale of wind from east and increasing with a heavy sea on, and every appearance of the equinox. I considered that if I chased the enemy to his anchorage at the head of the lake, I should be obliged to anchor also, and although we might succeed in driving him on shore, the probability was that we should go on shore also ; he amongst his friends, we amongst our enemies, and after the gale had abated, if he could succeed in getting off one or two vessels out of the two fleets, it would give him as completely the command of the lake as if he had 20 vessels. Moreover, he was covered at his anchorage by a part of his army, and several small batteries thrown up for the purpose. Therefore, if he could have rode out the gale, we should have been cut up by their shot from the shore: under all these circumstances, and taking into view the consequences resulting from the loss of our superiority on the lakes at this time, I without hesitation relinquished the opportunity then presenting itself of acquiring individual reputation at the expense of my country.
The loss sustained by this ship was considerable, owing to her being so long exposed to the fire of the enemy's fleet; but our most serious loss was occasioned by the bursting of one of our guns, which killed and wounded 22 men, and tore up the top-gallant forecastle, which rendered the gun upon that deck useless. We had four other guns cracked in the muzzle, which rendered their use extremely doubtful. Our main top-gallant-mast was shot away in the early part of the action, and the bowsprit, fore and main-mast, wounded, rigging and sails much cut up, and a number of shot in our hull, several of which were between wind and water, and 27 men killed and wounded, including those by the bursting of the gun. The Madison received a few shot, but no person hurt on board. The Governor Tompkins lost her fore-mast and the Oneida her main-top-mast badly wounded. We have, however, repaired nearly all our damages, and are ready to meet the enemy. During our chase, one, if not two, of the enemy's small vessels, was completely in our power, if I could have been satisfied with so partial a victory: but I was so sure of the whole that I passed them unnoticed, by which means they finally escaped.
The gale continued until last night, but the wind still blows from the eastward. I thought it important to communicate with general Wilkinson, to ascertain when he meant to move with the army. I therefore ran off this place for that purpose ; and he thinks that the public service will be promoted by my watching sir James
at the head of the lake, and if possible preventing his return to Kingston, while he proceeds with the army for Sackett's Harbor. I shall, therefore, proceed immediately in quest of the enemy:
I have great pleasure in acknowledging the assistance I received from captain Sinclair during our chase, in using his best exertions to bring this ship into close action. The other officers and men behaved to my perfect satisfaction, and were extremely anxious to close with the enemy, even singly, and if he ever gives us an opportunity for close action, they will show that they are not inferior to any of their countrymen.
I have the honour to be, &c.
ISAAC CHAUNCEY, Hon. W. Jones, Secretary of the Navy,
TO THE PATRIOTS OF THE WESTERN DISTRICT.
The period being at hand which is to decide the fate of the province of Upper Canada, and the command of the Niagara frontier having devolved on me; I think proper to invite the old and young patriots of the western district, to join my brigade in defence of their country and rights—any number not exceed-ing 1000 will be accepted and organized immediately on their arrival at Lewistown, and officered by the choice of their men.
As the movements of an army require secrecy, objects in view cannot be particularly developed ; but those who feel disposed to distinguish themselves and render services to their country, may be assured that something efficient and decisive will be done. The term of service will be 2 months, if not sooner discharged ; and every thing shall be done to render their situations as comfortable as possible. I wish none to volunteer who may
any constitutional objections to cross the Niagara river. One thousand four hundred of my brigade haye already volunteered to cross the river, and go wherever they may be required ; and 600 of them are now doing duty at Fort George. I flatter myself that no other consideration need he urged, than love of country, to excite the patriotism of the yeomanry of the western district. Given at head quarters, Lewistown, October 2d, 1813, GEORGE M'CLURE, Brig. General
Commanding Niagara frontier.
Extract of a letter from colonel Smith, of the rifle regiment, to colonel A. Y, Nicholl, inspector general, dated
“LOWER SANDUSKY, October 20, 1813. "I have already collected 520 men of my regiment. The last accounts from the general, state, that he was in pursuit of Proctor,
who had evacuated Malden, a few hours before he landed. I fear he will make his escape. I leave here immediately for Portage, and probably for head quarters, to procure transports for my detachment.
WAR DEPARTMENT, October 4th, 1813. SIR,
Understanding that the defence of the post committed to your charge, may render it proper to destroy the town of Newark, you are hereby directed to apprize its inhabitants of this circumstance, and to invite them to remove themselves and their effects to some place of greater safety.
I am, &c.
JOHN ARMSTRONG. Brig. General M'Clure or officer commanding
at Fort George, Upper Canada.
HEAD QUARTERS, NEAR MORAVIAN TOWN,
on the River Thames, 80 miles from Detroit, October 5th, 1813. SIR,
I have the honour to inform you, that by the blessing of Providence, the army under my command has obtained a complete victory over the combined Indian and British forces under the command of general Proctor. I believe that nearly the whole of the enemy's regulars are taken or killed. Amongst the former are all the superior officers excepting general Proctor. My mounted men are now in pursuit of hím. Our loss is very trifling. The brave colonel R. M. Johnson is the only officer whom I have heard of that is wounded, he badly, but I hope not dangerously.
I have the honour to be, &c.
WILLIAM H. HARRISON, Hon. J. Armstrong, Secretary at War.
NEWPORT, October 5th, 1813. SIR,
I have the pleasure to inform you of the capture of the British armed sloop“ Dart,” by the revenue-cutter of this place, last evening. She appeared off the harbor before sun-set; the captain of the cutter offered his services to go out. I put on board three sailing masters and about 20 men; she immediately made sail and Taid aboard the Dart, and carried her by boarding; her first officer was killed; two of our own men were wounded slightly. The prisoners I send for your disposal. Very respectfully, your most obedient humble servant,
JOHN NICHOLSON. Com. John Rodgers, U. S. frigate President.
Extract of a letter from general M Arthur to the Secretary of War,
“ DETROIT, October 6th, 1813. “ You have no doubt been advised by the commanding general, that Malden and this place were abandoned by the enemy previ. ous to the arrival of our army, and that all the public buildings, &c. were destroyed. On our arrival at Sandwich, my brigade was ordered across the river to disperse some Indians, who were pillaging the town, and to take possession of the place. Information was received that several thousand Indians had retired a small distance into the woods, with instructions to attack general Harrison's army on its passage, for the purpose of retarding its progress; consequently my brigade was left to garrison this place.
“Since general Harrison's departure, five nations of Indians, viz. the Ottaways, Chippeways, Pottawatamies, Miamies and Kickapoos, who were but a few miles back, have come in for peace, and I have agreed that hostilities should cease for the present on the following conditions: “They have agreed to take hold of the same tomahawk with us, and to strike all who are, or may be, enemies to the United States, whether British or Indians.” They are to bring in a number of their women and children, and leave them as hostages, whilst they accompany us to war. Some of them have already brought in their women, and are drawing rations.
“ I have just received a note from general Harrison, advising that he had last evening overtaken general Proctor's force, and had gained a complete victory; that all the principal officers, general Proctor excepted, were in his possession, which no doubt ends the war in this quarter.
“I have the honour to be, &c. “DUNCAN M'ARTHUR, Brig. Gen. U. S. army."
Extract of a letter from brigadier general M'Clure, to his excel
lency governor Tompkins, dated
October 6th, 1813. “We have commenced offensive operations against the enemy. About 500 militia volunteers, and about 150 Indians, commanded by colonel Chapin, attacked the picket guard of the enemy, about a mile and a half from Fort George, and drove them in upon the main body, when the enemy opened a fire from several field pieces. Our men retired in good order into the fort, with the loss of one man killed and two or three wounded. The enemy's loss was seven killed, many wounded, and four prisoners.
“ In a short time the enemy appeared in considerable force within five hundred yards of the fort, at the edge of the woods. Chapin again sallied out with about 300 men and some Indians,