Page images

paired, and transported, the guns and gun-carriages which were necessary to the operations of the war in the said British province of Upper Canada.

[ocr errors]

The court find the said brigadier-general William Hull guilty of so much of the fifth specification to that charge as relates to neglect of duty and unofficer-like conduct, in suffering his communication with the river Raisin and the state of Ohio, to be cut off, and sending major Van Horn to attempt to open the same with an adequate force; he the said brigadier-general William Hull, having reason to know or believe the same was insufficient; and the court acquit him of the residue of that specification.

The court find the said brigadier-general William Hull guilty of the sixth and seventh specifications of that charge. The court find the said brigadier general William Hull guilty of the third charge.

The court then adjourned to meet to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock.

March 26, 1814.

The court met pursuant to adjournment.

PRESENT-All the members.

The court, in consequence of their determination respecting the second and third charges, and the specifications under these charges, exhibited against the said brigadiergeneral William Hull, and after due consideration, do sentence him to be SHOT to death, two thirds of the court concurring in the sentence.

The court, in consideration of brigadier-general Hull's revolutionary services, and his advanced age, earnestly recommend him to the mercy of the President of the U States. The court then adjourned to meet on Monday morning next, at 10 o'clock

March 28, 1814.-The court met pursuant to adjournment.-PRESENT-All the members.

The proceedings having been read over, and approved and signed by the President, the court then adjourned, sine die. H. DEARBORN. President of the court.

M. V. BUREN, special judge advocate. PHILIP S. PARKER, Army judge advocate, assistant. April 25, 1814-The sentence of the Court is approved, and the execution of it remitted.


By directions of the court martial the President gave the following directions to General Hull :

Albany, March 28, 1814. Sir-You will please return to your usual place of residence in Massachusetts, and there continue until you shall receive orders from the President of the United States.

Your humble servant,

H. DEARBORN, President of the court martial. Adjt. and Insp. General's office, Washington Apr. 25, 1814. GENERAL ORDER The roll of the army is not to be longer dishonored by having upon it the name of brigadier General William Hull.

The general court martial of which Major-General Dearborn is President, is hereby dissolved. By order, J. B. WALBACH, Adjt. Gen.


Capt. Porter to the Secretary of the Navy.

U. S. F. Essex at sea, August 17, 1812. SIR-I have the honor to inform you that on the 13th inst. his Britannic majesty's sloop of war Alert, Capt. T. P. Laugharne, ran down on our weather quarter, gave three cheers, and commenced an action (if so trifling a skirmish deserves the name) and after 8 minutes firing struck her colors, with 7 feet water in her hold, and much cut to pieces, and three men wounded.

I need not inform you that the officers and crew of the Essex behaved as I trust all Americans will in such cases, and it is only to be regretted that so much zeal and activity could not have been displayed on an occasion which would have done them more honor. The Essex has not received the slightest injury.

The Alert was out for the purpose of taking the Hornet! I have the honor to be, &c.


Capt. Porter to the Secretary of the Navy.

U. S. F. Essex, at sea, August 20. SIR Finding myself much embarrassed by the Alert, from the great number of prisoners we have already made, [about 500] I concluded that before our arrival in America, the number would be considerably augmented, and as soon as I found my provisions and water getting short, and be

ing well satisfied that a plan had been organized by them for rising on the ship in the event of an engagement; I considered it to be the interest of my country to get clear of them as speedily as possible, particularly as I was well assured that immediately on their arrival in St. Johns an equal number of my countrymen would he released and find a sure and immediate conveyance. I therefore drew up written stipulations corresponding with the accompanying letters; threw all the guns of the Alert overboard; withdrew from her all the men belonging to the Essex; appointed Lieut. J. P. Wilner to command her as a cartel, put all my prisoners on board of her, and dispatched her for St. Johns, in Newfoundland, with orders to proceed from thence to New-York with such Americans as he may receive in exchange.

Ata more suitable opportunity I shall do myself the honor to lay before you copies of every paper relative to this transaction, and sincerely hope that my conduct in this affair may meet with your approbation.

As the Essex has been so annoying about Bermuda, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, I expect I shall have to run the gauntlet through their cruisers; you may however rest assured that all a ship of her size can do shall be done, and whatever may be our fate, our countrymen shall never blush for us.

I have the honor to be, &c.


Capt. Taylor to Gen. Harrison.

FORT HARRISON, Sept. 10, 1812.

Dear Sir-On Thursday evening, the 3d inst. after retreat beating, four guns were heard to fire in the direction where two young men (citizens who resided here) were making hay, about 400 yards distant from the fort. I was immediately impressed with an idea that they were killed by the Indians, as I had that day been informed that the Prophet's party would soon be here for the purpose of commencing hostilities. Prudence induced me to wait until 8 o'clock the next morning, when I sent out a corporal with a small party to find them, which he soon did; they had been each shot with two balls, and scalped and cut in the most shocking manner. I had them brought in and buried.

In the evening of the 4th inst. old Joseph Lenar, and between 30 and 40 Indians arrived from the Prophet's town, with a white flag; among whom were about ten women: the men were composed of chiefs of the different tribés that compose the Prophet's party. A Shawanoe man, that spoke good English, informed me that old Lenar intended to speak to me next morning, and try to get something to eat. At retreat beating, I examined the men's arms, and found them all in good order, and completed their cartridges to 16 rounds per man. As I had not been able to mount a guard of more than six privates and two non-commissioned officers, for some time past, and sometimes part of them every other day, from the unhealthiness of the company; I had not conceived my force adequate for the defence of this post, should it be vigorously attacked. I had just recovered from a very severe attack of the fever, and was not able to be up much through the night. After tattoo I cautioned the guard to be vigilant, and ordered one of the non-commissioned officers, as centinels could not see every part of the garrison, to walk around on the inside during the whole night, to prevent the Indians taking any advantage of us, provided they had any intention of attacking us. About 11 o'clock, I was awakened by the firing of one of the centinels; I sprang up, run out, and ordered the men to their posts; when my orderly sergeant (who had charge of the upper block house) called out that the Indians had fired the lower block house (which contained the property of the contractor, which was deposited in the lower part, the upper part having been assigned to a corporal and ten privates, as an alarm post.) The guns had begun to fire pretty smartly from both sides. 1 directed the buckets to be got ready, and water brought from the well, and the fire extinguished immediately, as it was hardly perceivable at that time; but from debility or some other cause, the men were very slow in executing my orders-the word fire appeared to throw the whole of them into confusion; and by the time they had got the water, and broken open the door, the fire had unfortunately communicated to a quantity of whiskey (the stock having licked several holes through the lower part of the building, after the salt that was stored there, through which they had introduced the tire without being discovered, as the night was very dark,) and in spite


of every exertion we could make use of, in less than a moment it ascended to the roof and baffled all our efforts te extinguish it. As that block house adjoined the barracks that make part of the fortifications, most of the men immediately gave themselves up for lost, and I had the greatest difficulty in getting any of my orders executed and, sir, what from the raging of the fire---the yelling and howling of several hundred Indians-the cries of nine women and children a part soldiers' and a part citizens wives, who had taken shelter in the fort)-and the desponding of so many of the men, which was worse than all, I can assure you that my feelings were very unpleasant; and indeed there were not more than 10 or 15 men able to do a great deal, the others being either sick or convalescent--and to add to our other misfortunes, two of the stoutest men in the fort, and that I had every confidence in, jumped the picket and left But my presence of mind did not for a moment forsake me. I saw, by throwing off part of the roof that joined the block house that was on fire, and keeping the end perfectly wet, the whole row of buildings might be saved, and leave only an entrance of 18 or 20 feet for the Indians to enter after the house was consumed; and that a temporary breast-work might be erected to prevent their even entering there. I convinced the men that this could be accomplished, and it appeared to inspire them with new life, and never did men act with more firmness and desperation. Those that were able (while the others kept up at constant fire from the other block house, and the two bastions) mounted the roofs of the houses with Dr. Clark at their head, who acted with the greatest firmness and presence of mind, the whole time the attack lasted, which was 7 hours, under a shower of bullets, and in a moment threw off as much of the roof as was necessary. This was done only with the loss of one man, and two wounded, and I am in hopes neither of them dangerous.-The man that was killed was a little deranged, and did not get off the house as soon as directed, or he would not have been hurt; and although the barracks were several times in a blaze, and an immense quantity of fire against them, the men used such exertions that they kept it under, and before day raised a temporary breast-work as high as a man's head; although the Indians continued to pour in a heavy fire of

« PreviousContinue »