« PreviousContinue »
large, should induce me to surrender it. So soon as the flag had returned, a brisk fire was opened upon us from the gun boats in the river and from a 5 1-2 inch howitzer on shore, which was kept up with little intermission throughout the night. At an early hour the next morning, three sixes (which had been placed during the night within 250 yards of the pickets) began to play upon us, but with little effect. About 4 o'clock P. M. discovering that the fire from all his guns were concentrated against the north-western angle of the fort, I became confident that his object was to make a breach, and attempt to storm the works at that point. I therefore ordered out as many men as could be employed for the purpose of strengthening that part. which was so effectually secured by means of bags of flour, sand, &c. that the picketing suffered little or no injury; notwithstanding which, the enemy about 500, having formed in a close column advanced to assault our works at the expected point, at the same time making two feints on the front of Capt. Hunter's lines. The column which advanced against the north-western angle, consisting of about 350 men, was so enveloped in smoke, as not to be discovered until it had approached within 18 or 20 paces of the lines, but the men being all at their posts and ready to receive it, commenced so heavy. and galling a fire as to throw the column a little into confusion; being quickly rallied it advanced to the outer works and began to leap into the ditch. Just at that moment a fire of grape was opened from our 6 pounder which had been previously arranged so as to rake in that direction) which together with the musketry, threw them into such confusiou that they were compelled to retire cipitately to the woods...
During the assault, which lasted about half an hour, an incessant fire was kept up by the enemy's artillery (which, consisted of five sixes and a howitzer) but without effect. Seventy stand of arms, and several braces of pistols have been collected near the works. About three in the morning the enemy sailed down the river, leaving behind them a boat containing clothing and considerable military stores. Yours with respect, &c. G. CROGHAN.
Killed 1-wounded 7.
Killed 52-wounded 98-prisoners 25.
By a letter from Gov. Huntington, dated Lower Sandusky, Aug. 4, it appears that Major Croghan's force was 160, and that of the enemy, 800. It further states that the enemy lost 40 men killed in the ditch with Lieut. Colonel Short, and several officers; and about the same number of regulars while advancing to the attack, besides Indians. Our loss was one killed, and five wounded.-The enemy 83 killed and 25 prisoners.
'What will Gen. Proctor say, when he finds he has been baffled by a youth but just passed his 21st year. He is, however, a Hero worthy of his gallant uncle, Gen. George R. Clarke.' [See Gen. Harrison to the Secretary of War.]
LOSS OF THE CHESAPEAKE.
Lieut. Budd to the Secretary of the Navy.
Halifax, June 15, 1813. SIR-The unfortunate death of Capt. James Lawrence, and Lieut. Augustus C. Ludlow, has rendered it my duty to inform you of the capture of the late U. States frigate Chesapeake.
On Tuesday, June 1, at 8, A. M. we unmoored ship and at meridian got under way from President's Roads, with a light wind from the southward and westward, and proceeded on a cruise. A ship was then in sight in the offing which had the appearance of a ship ship of war, and which, from information received from pilot boats and craft, we believed to be the British fri gate Shannon. We made sail in chase and cleared ship for action. At half past 4 P. M. she hove to, with her head to the southward and eastward. At 5, took in the royals and top-gallant-sails and at half past five hauled the courses up. About 15 minutes before 6, the action commenced within pistol shot. The first broadside did great execution on both sides, damaged our rigging, killed among others Mr. White the the sailing master, and wounded Capt. Lawrence. In about 12 minutes after the commencement of the action, we fell on board of the enemy and immediately after one' of our arm chests on the quarter-deck was blown up by a hand grenade thrown from the enemy's ship. In a few minutes one of the Capts. aids came on the gun deck to inform me that the boarders were called. I immediately called the boarders away and proceeded to the spar deck, where
I found that enemy had succeeded in boarding us and had gained possession of our quarter deck. I immediately gave orders to haul on board the fore tack, for the purpose of shooting the ship clear of the other, and then made an attempt to regain. the quarter deck, but was wounded and thrown down on the gun deck. I again made an effort to collect the boarders, but in the mean time the enemy had gained complete possession of the ship. On my being carried down to the cock-pit, I there found Capt. Lawrence and Lieut. Ludlow both mortally wounded; the former had been carried below previously to the ship's being boarded; the latter was wounded in attempting to repel the boarders. Among those who fell early in the action was Mr. Edward J. Ballard, the 4th Lieut. and Lieut. James Broom of marines.
I herein enclose to you a return of the killed and wounded, by which you will perceive that every officer, upon whom the charge of the ship would devolve, was either killed or wounded previously to her capture.
The Shannon had, in addition to her full complement, an officer and 16 men belonging to the Belle Poule, and a part of the crew belonging to the Tenedos.
I have the honor to be, &c.
Killed 60-wounded 86.
Killed 27-wounded 58.
Com. Chauncey to Secretary of the Navy. U.S. S. Gen. Pike, off Niagara, Aug. 4, 1813. [Extract.] SIR-On the 25th I was joined by the Pert, and on the 27th by the Lady of the Lake, with guides, and Capt. Crane's company of artillery, and Col. Scott, who had very handsomely volunteered for the serviceAfter conversing with Col. Scott upon the subject; it was thought advisable to take on board 250 Infantry, which by the extraordinary exertions of that excellent officer, were embarked before six o'clock the next morning and arrived, and anchored in the harbor of York, at about 3 P. M. on the 31st, run the schooners into the upper harbor, landed the marines and soldiers under the command of Col. Scott,
without opposition, found several hundred barrels of flour and provisions in the public storehouse, five pieces of cannon, eleven boats, and a quantity of shot, shells, and other stores, all which were either destroyed or brought away. On the 1st inst. just after receiving on board all the vessels could take, I directed the barracks and the public storehouses to be burnt; we then re-embarked the men and proceeded for this place, where I arrived yesterday. Between 4 and 500 men left York for the head of the lake two days. before we arrived there. Some few prisoners were taken, some of whom were paroled, the others have been landed at Fort George.
I have the honor to be. &c.
CAPTURE OF THE DOMINICO.
Charleston, Aug. 21, 1813,
[Extract.] I have the honor to inform you that the privateer schooner Decatur, of this port, arrived here yesterday, with H. B. M. schooner Dominico, her prize.
She was captured on the 15th inst. after a most gallant and desperate action of one hour, and carried by boarding, having all her officers killed or wounded except one midshipman. The Dominico mounts 15 guns, one a 32 pounder on a pivot, and had a complement of 88 men.
She was one of the best equipped and manned vessels of her class I have ever seen. The Decatur mounts 7 guns, and had a complement of 103 men.
I have the honor to be, &c.
JOHN H. DENT.
Killed 5-wounded 14.
Killed 18-wounded 42-prisoners 70.
Burning of Sodus, N. Y.-Sodus was the first towu burnt in this war. This was a handsome little village of about 40 houses. The British appeared off the place, the 17th June, 1813, but finding a considerable militia force, put off into the Lake. The militia were disbanded on the 20th when the enemy again returned, and effected a landing
Finding the public stores, chiefly removed, they immediately set fire to every valuable house in the village, and returned to their vessels, after suffering a loss of 4 killed, and several wounded, by a few citizens. The enemy's force consisted of the Royal George, Earl Moria, Prince Regent, Simcoe schr. and several small boats and tenders.
Attack on Craney Island. (Vir.)-On the 20th June, the British attempted a landing on this Island, for the pose of more easily conquering Norfolk. Thirteen ships of the line anchored off James river, from which about 3500 troops were embarked for Craney Island.Com. Cassin, of the gun boats, and Capt. Morris, of the Constellation frigate, manned two batteries with 250 men on the point of he Island to receive them; the remainder of the force, 200 were stationed on the beach. At 8 o'clock the barges attempted to land, but were driven back, with the loss of 250 killed and wounded, and 45 prisoners. and their largest barge, which was sunk, with 75 men on board; the boat and 20 men were finally saved by the Americansour loss was 28 killed and wounded.
Capture of Hampton.-The 25th of June the force that attempted Craney Island, landed at Hampton, and carried it after a gallant defence made by our militia, 436 strong, for forty-five minutes. The enemy attacked us by land and water; their land force was about 2500 strong, of whom 400 were riflemen. After our men were completely surrounded, they saw that they must either surrender, or break their way through the enemy's lines. They resolved upon the latter, when the gallant Maj. Crutchfield, led them on, and broke the lines, and made good their retreat, after killing and wounding 200 of their adversaries. Our loss on this occasion was seven killed, twelve wounded, and twelve prisoners.
A scene now commenced sufficient to chill the blood of the Savages, and even put them to the blush.
To give you, sir, (says Maj. Crutchfield in his official account to Gov. Barbour,) an idea of the savage-like disposition of the enemy, on their getting possession of the neighborhood, would be a vain attempt. Although sir Sidney Beckwith assured me that no uneasiness need be