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pose general M'Clure acted, as he says, by the former's orders. This confers additional atroeity upon the offence; but, on that head, we shall forbear comments, “ Distressing to my feelings :"-was not some such language used by captain David Porter, of the American navy, after he and his crew had been massacring the natives of the small island of Nooaheevah, which he had unfortunately visited during his celebrated cruize to the Pacific ?* As to the “ twelve hours' notice,” the liberty to cross the river,” and the promise that the poor people should be “ provided with all the necessaries of life,” we give Mr. O'Connor himself credit for the whole; and can only attribute his not having come forward with a better excuse, to a sudden qualm of conscience, or perhaps to a momentary torpor in those inventive faculties, on most other occasions so serviceable to him.
The nearer colonel Murray approached to the neigbourhood of Fort-George, the louder were the complaints of the people against the “ law. less banditti” by whom they had been oppressed. That active officer immediately wrote to general Vincent; and, anticipating the answer he should receive, dashed forward to Fort-George. General M'Clure's scouts gave him timely intelligence of the approach of the British ; and the cowardly wretch, with the whole of his minions,
* Quart. Review, Vol. XIII. p. 364-9.
abandoned Fort George, and fled across the river. Not the slightest opposition did he make; although the fortifications had been so much strengthened, since the capture of the fort in the preceding May, that the American commander, with only half the force he possessed, might have maintained a regular siege. He was in too much haste to destroy the whole of bis magazines, or even to remove his tents; of which a sufficiency for 1500 men were left standingColonel Murray, in his first letter, states that general M'Clure had passed over his cannon, as well as stores.* But, in a second letter, he mentions that one 18, four 12, and several 9-pounders, together with a large supply of shot, were found in the ditch. Even the destruction of the new barracks, which we had recently erected on the Niagara, was not deered, by Mr. Armstrong and general M'Clure,
necessary in the military operations there,” as Mr. Munro has since declared the burning of Newark to have been: consequently, the former were allowed to remain untouched. The indignant feelings of the soldiers, as they beheld the smoking ruins of what was once, as acknowledged by all, a beautiful and flourishing village, would have burst with a heavy vengeance upon the heads of the American general and his troops, had they not followed up their atrocious conduct by a precipitate flight.
* App. No. II.
three miles above Fort-Niagara. At about four o'clock the troops commenced their march ; and the advance, consisting of the grenadiers of the 100th regiment, and a small party of the royal artillery, succeeded in cutting off two of the enemy's piquets; as well as in surprising the sentries on the glacis, and at the gate, by which means the watch-word was obtained, and the entrance into the fort greatly facilitated. While three companies of the 100th, under captain Martin, stormed the eastern demi-bastion, five companies of the same regiment, under colonel Murray in person, assisted by lieutenant-colonel Hamilton of the 100th, entered the fort by the main gate, which had been left open for the return of the guard from relieving sentries. The American main guard now rushed out of the south-east block-house, and fired a volley or two; and some musketry was fired from another stone building within the fort ; but the bayonet overpowered all resistance, and the British union, in a few seconds more, waived triumphantly upon the stone-tower of Fort-Niagara.
The number of prisoners taken, including two officers and 12 rank and file wounded, amounted to one captain, nine lieutenants, two ensigns, one surgeon, one commissary, 12 serjeants, and 318 rank and file. Add to this number 65 in killed, * and “ about 20 that effected their escape," and we have 429 for the
* Appendix, No. 3.
garrison of Fort-Niagara. Upon the different defences were mounted no fewer than 27 pieces of ordnance; and, among them, some 32-pound carronades. The arsenal contained upwards of 3000 stands of arms, and many rifles. The ordnance and commissariat stores were immense; and so
was the quantity of armyclothing and camp-equipage. A portion of the articles consisted, no doubt, of such as general M-Clure, in his flight, had brought across from Fort-George. Had the garrison afforded an opportunity for a greater display of gallantry on the part of the assailants, the capture of Fort-Niagara, a post by far the strongest of any on the inland frontiers, would have been a still more brilliant achievement: it was no slight consolation, however, that we managed the business with the trifling loss of six men killed, and five wounded; including the gallant projector and commander of the enterprize, colonel Murray, severely in the wrist. Nor is it without feelings of exultation, that we compare the number of British sent against Fort-Niagara; with the number of Americans, covered too by the fire from a fleet of ships, and from that same fort, --sent against Fort-George, * so much its inferior in point of strength and armament.
The deputy incendiary M'Clure, with wellgrounded apprehension of British vengeance, had, since the very day of his crossing from Fort
* Sec Vol. I. p. 153.
Mr. O'Connor informs us that “ a council of war," that' fatal damper of American military ardor, decided that Fort-George
was not tenable.” Of the guns, or the fortifications, he says nothing. : Mr. Thomson concurs in opinion that the post was “untenable;” and gives as a reason, that the British force outside consisted of 1500 regulars, and at least 700 Indians ;!' calls general M'Clure's troops “ the remnant of an army;" and then informs us, that the American general “ determined on destroying the batteries ;" * leaving to doctor Smith to advance the next step; who, as is to confirm his predecessor's discernment, says roundly: “ FortGeorge was soon afterwards abandoned, and blown up, by general M'Clure.”'t
Early in November lieutenant-general Drummond and major-general Rial had arrived from England ; the former to relieve major-general De Rottenburg, in the military command and presidency of the upper province. These officers had been detained below, to see the end of general Wilkinson's expedition. That business concluded, they moved on to Kingston and York; at which latter place general Drummond was sworn into office ; and then, along with major-general Rial, hastened to join the centre division of the army. Both generals arrived at St. David's, major-general Vincent's present * Sketches of the War, p. 188. History of the War, p. 265.