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a valuable canoe and many other articles, which I assured him was the property of the natives, and that I was merely conveying them and it from one island to the other, the weather being too boisterous at that time for them to make the passage in their canoes) that every thing found in a prize ship belonged to the captors. I thus had the mortification to see the people, from whom I had received so much kindness, sent on shore, deprived of all they had been collecting for twelve months, and were about to present to their king as a tribute.
The Cherub proceeded to Atooi, where she captured the ship Charon, and made many fruitless attempts to get the cargo of that ship, and of several others which had been deposited on the island under the immediate protection of the king of the Leeward Islands. She took her departure on the 15th of July, and on the 28th of November arrived at Rio de Janeiro with her prizes, touching on the passage for refreshments at Otaheite and Valparaiso. During her stay at the latter place, the frigates Britton and Tagus arrived from the Marquesas, where they had been in search of the ships left under my charge. On the 15th of December the prisoners were sent on shore, having received the most rigorous treatment from captain Tucker during their long confinement in his ship, and the greater part of them, like the natives, left destitute of every thing, save the clothes on their backs. The men belonging to the Essex had little to lose, but those I shipped at Woahoo, had received in part money and goods, for one, two, and some of them three years services in the Canton ships.
On the 15th of May (by the advice of a physician who attended me,) I took my departure from Rio de Janeiro in a Swedish ship, bound to Havre de Grace, leaving behind acting midshipman Benjamin Clapp and five men, having lost one soon after my arrival at that place, with the small pox. No opportunity had previously offered by which I could possibly leave that place, the English admiral on that station, being determined to prevent, by every means in his power, American prisoners returning to their own country.
On the oth instant, in latitude 47 north and longitude 18 west, I took passage on board the ship Oliver Elsworth, captain Roberts, 15 days from Havre de Grace, bound to New York.
I arrived here last evening, and have the honour to await, either the orders of the Navy Department or the commandant of the
I have the honour to be, &c.
JOHN M. GAMBLE.
The Secretary of the Nary.
UNITED STATES' FRIGATE ESSEX, AT SEA,
July 14th, 1813. SIR,
Allow me to return to you my thanks for your handsome conduct in bringing the Seringapatam to action, which greatly
facilitated her capture, while it prevented the possibility of her escape.
Be assured, sir, I shall make a suitable representation of the affair to the honourable Secretary of the Navy.
With the greatest respect, &c.
D. PORTER. Lieut. John M. Gamble, commanding
the prize ship Greenwich.
NAVY COMMISSIONERS' OFFICE, February 10th, 1816; SIR.
Captain John M. Gamble of the marines sorved with me in the Essex, from the time of my taking command of that vessel, until my departure from Madison's Island ; during the whole of which his conduct was such as to entitle hiin to my respect, as an officer and a gentleman. During a great part of my cruize in the South Seas, captain (then lieutenant) Gamble, continued in command of one of my most valuable prizes, and while in that situation brought to action with an inferior force, and caused to surrender, an armed vessel of the enemy, which had long been the terror of the American ships, which had been engaged in commercial and other pursuits in that ocean.
Honourable mention was made of this affair to the Secretary of the Navy, but by the capture of the vessel, the account was lost, and of course never reached the United States.
Captain Gamble at all times greatly distinguished himself by his activity in every enterprize engaged in by the force under my command, and in many critical encounters by the natives of Madison's Island, rendered essential services, and at all times distinguished himself by his coolness and bravery. I therefore do, with pleasure, recommend him to the department as an officer deserving of its patronage.
I have the honour to be, &c.
DAVID PORTER. Hon. B. W. Crowninshield, Secretary of the Navy.
NAVY COMMISSIONERS' OFFICE, February 28th, 1816. SIR,
Captain Gamble of the marine corps, has informed me that he had understood it to be your wish that I should state my opinion positively, whether I think him entitled to a brevet for the services rendered. Making part of the department, motives of delicacy prevented my doing so before, but I now avail myself of the opportunity of assuring you, that no marine officer in the service, ever had such strong claims as captain Gamble, and that none have been placed in such conspicuous and critical situations, and
that none could have extricated themselves from them more to their honour.
I have the honour to be, &c.
D. PORTER Honourable B. W. Crowninshield,
Secretary of the Navy.
HEAD QUARTERS, CHIPPEWA PLAINS, July 7th, 1814. DEAR SIR,
On the 2d instant I issued my order for crossing the Niagara river, and made the arrangements deemed necessary for securing the garrison of fort Erie. On the 3d that post surrendered at 5 P. M. Our loss in this affair was four of the 25th regiment under major Jessup, of brigadier general Scott's brigade, wounded. I have enclosed a return of the prisoners, of the ordnance, and ordnance stores captured.
To secure my rear, I have placed a garrison in this fort, and requested captain Kennedy to station his vessels near the post.
On the morning of the 4th, brigadier general Scott, with his brigade and a corps of artillery, was ordered to advance towards Chippewa, and be governed by circumstances; taking care to secure a good military position for the night. After some skirmishing with the enemy, 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 general Ripley, our field and battering train, and corps of artillery under major Hindman. General Porter arrived the next morning with a part of the New York and Pennsylvania volunteers, and some of the warriors of the Six Nations.
Early in the morning of the 5th, the enemy commenced a petty war upon our pickets, and, as he was indulged, his presumption increased; by noon he showed himself on the left of our extensive line, and attacked one of our pickets as it was returning to camp. Captain Treat, who commanded it, retired disgracefully, leaving a wounded man on the ground. Captain Biddle, of the artillery, who was near the scene, impelled by feelings highly honourable to him as a soldier and officer, promptly assumed the command of this picket, led it back to the wounded man, and brought him off the field. I ordered captain Treat, on the spot, to retire from the army, and as I am anxious that no officers shall remain under my command who can be suspected of cowardice, I advise that captain Treat,* and lieutenant
who was also with the picket, be struck from the rolls of the army.
At 4 o'clock in the afternooon, agreeably to a plan I had given general Porter, he advanced from the rear of our camp, with the volunteers and Indians (taking the woods in order to keep out of view of the enemy), with the hope of bringing his pickets and
*Captain Treat was tried by a court martial and honourably acquitted:
seouting parties between his [Porter's] line of march, and our camp. As Porter moved, I ordered the parties advanced in front of our camp to fall back gradually, under the enemy's fire, in order to draw bim, if possible, up to our line. About half past 4, the advance of general Porter's command met the light parties of the enemy in the woods, upon our extreme left. The enemy were driven, and Porter advancing near to Chippewa, met their whole column in order of battle. From the cloud of dust rising, and the heavy firing, I was led to conclude that the entire force of the enemy was in march, and prepared for action. I immediately ordered general Scott to advance with his brigade, and Towson's artillery, and meet them upon the plain in front of our camp. The general did not expect to be gratified with a field engagement, He advanced in the most prompt and officer-like style, and in a few minutes was in close action upon the plain, with a superior force of British regular troops. By this time general Porter's command had given way, and fled in every direction, notwithstanding his personal gallantry, and great exertions to stay their flight. The retreat of the volunteers and Indians caused the left flank of general Scott's brigade to be greatly exposed. Captain Harris, with his dragoons, was directed to stop the fugitives, behind the ravine fronting our camp; and I sent colonel Gardner to order general Ripley to advance with the 21st regiment which formed part of the reserve, pass to the left of our camp, 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 were made by the 21st regiment to gain their position, and close with the enemy, but in vain ; for such was the zeal and gallantry of the line commanded by general Scott, that its advance upon the enemy was not to be checked. Major Jessup, commanding the left Hank battalion, finding himself pressed in front and in Hank, and his men falling fast around him, ordered his battalion to “support arms and advance ;" the order was promptly obeyed, amidst the most deadly and destructive fire. He gained a more secure position, and returned upon the 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 as fast as possible. As soon as the enemy had gained the sloping ground descending towards Chippewa, and distant a quarter of a mile, he broke and ran to gain his works. In this effort he was too successful, and the guns from his batteries opening immediately upon our line, checked in some degree the pursuit. At this moment I resolved to bring up all my ordnance, and force the place by a direct attack, and gave the order accordingly. Major Wood, of the corps of engineers, and my aid, captain Austin, rode to the bank of the creek towards the right of their line of works, and examined them. I was induced by their report, the lateness of the hour, and the advice of general Scott and major Wood, to order the forces to retire to camp:
My most difficult duty remains to be performed; I am depressed with the fear of not being able to do justice to my brave companions in arms, and apprehensive, that some who had an opportunity of distinguishing themselves, and promptly embraced it, will escape my notice.
Brigadier general Scott is entitled to the highest praise our country can bestow : to him, more than any other man, I am indebted for the victory of the 5th of July. His brigade has covered itself with glory. Every officer and every man of the 9th and 22d, 11th and 25th regiments, did his duty, with a zeal and energy, worthy of the American character. When every officer stands so pre-eminently high in the path of his duty and honour, it is impossible to discriminate, but I cannot deprive my. self of the pleasure of saying, that major Lavenworth commanded the 9th and 22d, major Jessup the 25th, and major M.Neil the 11th. Colonel Campbell was wounded early in the action, gallantly leading on his regiment.
The family of general Scott were conspicuous in the field; lieutenant Smith of the 6th infantry, major of brigade, and lieutenants Worth and Watts, his aids.
From general Ripley and his brigade, I received every assistance that I gave them an opportunity of rendering. I did not order any part of the reserve into action, until general Porter's command had given way, and then general Scott's movements were so rapid and decisive, that general Ripley could not get up in time with the 21st, to the position as directed. The corps of artillery under major Hindman, were not generally in action ; this was not their fault. Captain Towson's company was the only one that had a full opportunity of distinguishing itself, and it is believed, that no company ever embraced an opportunity with more zeal or more success.
A detachment from the 2d brigade under the command of lieutenant M‘Donald, penetrated the woods with the Indians and volunteers, and for their support. The conduct of M.Donald and his command reflects high honour on the brigade to which they belong.
The conduct of general Porter has been conspicuously gallant. Every assistance in his power to afford, with the description of force under his command, has been rendered. We could not expect him to contend with the British column of regulars which appeared upon the plains of Chippewa. It was no cause of surprise to me, to see his command retire before this column.
Justice forbids that I should omit to name my own family They yield to none in honourable zeal, intelligence, and attention to duty. Colonel Gardner, major Jones, and my aids, captains Austin and Spencer, have been as active and as much devoted to the cause as any officers of the army. Their conduct merits my warmest acknowledgments ; of Gardner and Jones I shall have occasion again to speak to you.