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engaged on, prevent all complaints on that account. It is not probable that you will hear of me for several months to come, unless some disaster happens; but I beg leave to assure you, sir, that I shall not be idle.
I have the honor to be, &c.
-Loss of fort Niagara. Gen. M'Clure, about the first of Dec. 1813, abandoned fort George, in Canada, and burnt the town of Newark, adjoining it, as a measure, to prevent the enemy's occupying fort George after he had left it. On the 18th of the same month, the British crossed to Lewistown, in considerable force, and burnt it to the ground; when their Allies were set at liberty, and indulg ed freely in their brutal excesses, in murdering our defenceless citizens; they then attacked and burnt Manchester, and Tuscarora, the latter an Indian town. In the mean time the British attacked fort Niagara, and took it by storm, at 4 o'clock on the morning of the 19th; the gate being open, they surprised the picket, and entered the fort before they were discovered, when a scene of terrible slaughter took place. They were not opposed by any, except a few wounded men in the southeast block house, and a few of the guard; but, strange as it may appear, the enemy bayonetted about 80 of our men, chiefly, after they had cried for quarters. The preceding facts were sworn to before a justice, by Robert Lee, a gentleman of Lewistown, who was in the fort when taken.
Burning of Buffaloe and Black Rock.-Soon after the storming of fort Niagara, and the burning of Lewistown, &c. Maj. Gen. Hall repaired to the frontiers, for the purpose of collecting a force, (militia) sufficient to defend Buffaloe and Black Rock. From the 22d Dec, to the 29th, Gen. Hall had collected about 2000 troops, militia and exempts, but was reduced to 1200 by desertions, on the morning of the battle of the 30th. In the evening of the 29th (says Gen. Hall, in a letter of the 30th Dec. to Gov. Tompkins,) at about 12 o'clock, I received information that one of our patroles had been fired on, one mile below Black Rock. The enemy advanced and took possession of the battery near Conjokaties creek. The troops were immediately formed, and stood by their arms. I was not yet
certain what point the enemy meant to attack. Being anxious to anticipate the enemy's landing, and meet him at the water's edge, I gave orders for the troops at the Rock, to attack the enemy, and dislodge them from the battery, and to drive them to their boats. The attempt failed through the confusion into which the militia were thrown, on the first fire of the enemy, and the darkness of the night. I then ordered the corps under Major Adams, and Col. Chapin to make the attack. These three detachments were thrown into confusion, and were of no service afterwards. As the day dawned, I discovered a detachment of the enemy's boats crossing to our shore, and bending their course towards the rear of Gen. Porter's house. I immediately ordered Col. Blakeslie to attack the enemy's force at the water's edge. I now became satisfied as to the disposition and object of the enemy. Their left wing composed of 1000 regulars, militia, and Indians, had been landed below the creek, under cover of the night. With their centre, consisting of 400 royal Scots, commanded by Col. Gordon, the battle was commenced. Their right which was pur posely weak, was landed near the main battery, merely to divert our force, the whole under the immediate command of Lieut. en. Drummond, and led on by Maj. Gen. Riall. They were attacked by four field pieces in the battery and at the water's edge; at the same time the battery from the other side of the river opened a heavy fire upon us, of shells, hot shot, and ball. The whole force now opposed to the enemy was at most, not over 600 men, the remainder having fled, in spite of the exertions of their officers. These few, but brave men, disputed every inch of ground, with the steady coolness of veterans, at the expence of many valuable lives. The defection of the militia, and the reserve, and loss of the services of the cavalry, by reason of the ground on which they must act, left the forces engaged, exposed to the enemy's fire in front and flank. standing their ground for half an hour, opposed by an overwhelming force, and nearly surrounded, a retreat became necessary to their safety, and was accordingly ordered. I then made every effort to rally the troops, with a view to attack their columns as they entered the village of Buffaloe; but all in vain. Deserted by my principal force, I fell back that night to Eleven Mile creek, and was forced to leave.
the flourishing villages of Black Rock and Buffaloe a prey to the enemy, which they have pillaged and laid in ashes. They have gained but little plunder from the public stores ; the chief loss has fallen upon individuals.'
Our loss was 50 killed-40 wounded-and 69 missing, and one cannon. 'I regret to add, (says Gen. Hall, to Gov. Tompkins in his letter of Jan. 13) that on repossessing the battle ground, we collected 50 dead bodies, yet unburned, of the battle of the 30th ult. The enemy admit their loss to be, in killed and wounded, 300.'
Col. Butler to Gen. Harrison.
Detroit, March 7, 1814.
[Extract] SIR-By Lieut. Shannon. of the 27th regiment U. S. infantry, I have the honor to inform you, that a detachment of the troops under my command, led by Capt. Holmes, of the 24th regiment U. S. infantry, have obtained a signal victory over the enemy.
The affair took place on the 4th inst. about 100 miles from this place, on the river De Trench. Our force consisted of no more than 160 rangers and mounted infantry. The enemy, had from their own acknowledgment, 236. The fine light company of the royal Scots is totally destroyed; they led the attack most gallantly, and their commander fell within ten paces of our front line. The light company of the 89th has also suffered severely; one officer of that company fell, one is a prisoner, and another is said to be badly wounded, In kilied, and wounded, and prison ers, the enemy lost about 80-whilst on our part there were but four killed and four wounded. This great disparity in the loss on each side is to be attributed to the very judicious position occupied by Capt. Holmes, who compelled the enemy to attack him at great disadvantage; this, even more than his gallantry,,merits the laurel.
We took one hundred head of cattle also from the enemy, intended for Long Point or Burlington.
Capt. Warrington to the Secretary of the Navy. U. S. sloop Peacock, at sea, April 20, 1814. [Extract.] SIR-I have the honor to inform you, that we have this morning captured, after an action of 42 min
utes, his majesty's brig Epervier, rating and mounting 18 32 pound carronades, with 128 men, of whom 11 were killed and 15 wounded. Not a mai. in the Peacock was killed, and only two wounded, neither dangerously so. The fate of the Epervier would have been determined in much less time, but for the circumstance of our fore-yard being totally disabled by two round shot in the starboard quarter from her first broadside, which entirely deprived us of the use of our fore and fore-top-sails, and compelled us to keep the ship large throughout the remainder of the action.
This, with a few top-mast and top-gallant back stays cut away, a few shot through our sails, is the only injury the Peacock has sustained. Not a round shot touched our hull; our masts and spars are as sound as ever. When the enemy struck, he had five feet water in his hold, his main-top-mast was over the side, his main boom shot away, his fore-mast cut nearly in two and tottering, his fore rigging and stays shot away, his bowsprit badly wounded, and 45 shot holes in his hull, 20 of which were within a foot of his water line. By great exertion, we got her in sailing order just as the dark came on.
In 15 minutes after the enemy struck, the Peacock was ready for another action, in every respect but her fore-yard, which was sent down, finished, and had the fore-sail set again in 45 minutes-such was the spirit and activity of our gallant crew. The Epervier had under her convoy an English hermaphrodite brig, a Russian and a Spanish ship, which all hauled their wind and stood to the E. N. E. I had determined upon pursuing the former, but sound that it would not answer to leave our prize in her then crippled state; and the more particularly so, as we found she had $120,000 in specie, which we soon transferred to this sloop. Every officer, seaman, and marine did his duty, which is the highest compliment I can pay them.
I have the honor to be, &c.
· Killed none-wounded 2.
Killed 11-wounded 15-prisoners 117.
Lieut. Woolsey to Com. Chauncey. Sackett's Harbor, June 1, 1814. [Extract.] SIR-I had the hónor to receive per express your communication of the 27th, vesting in ne discretionary powers, I immediately despatched Mr. Dixon in the long gig to reconnoitre the coast, and went with my officers to the falls, to run the boats down over the rapids. At sun set we arrived at Oswego with the boats (19 in number) loaded in all with 21 long 32 pounders, 1024 pounders, 3 42 do. (carronades) and 10 cables, besides some light articles, and distributed in the batteaux a guard of about 150 riflemen, under command of Major Appling. Mr. Dixon having returned with a report of the coast being clear, we set off at dark and arrived at Big Salmon river about sunrise on the 29th, with the loss of one boat having on board two 24 pounders and one cable.
At Big Salmon we met the Oneidas, whom I had despatched the day previous, under the command of Lieut. Hill, of the rifle regiment. As soon as they had taken up their line of march along the shore to Big Sandy Creek, I started with all the boats and arrived at our place of destination about two miles up the Creek. At 2 P. M. on the 30th, I received your letter of the 29th, 6 P. M. per express, and agreeably to the order contained therein, sent Lieut. Pierce to look out as far as Stony Point: about 6 he returned, having been pursued by a gun boat and three barges. The best possible disposition was made of the riflemen and Indians, about half a mile below our boats. About 8 A. M. a cannonading at long shot was commenced by the enemy, and believing (as I did)that no attempt would be made to land with their small force, I ordered Lieut. Pierce to proceed in erecting sheers and making preparations to unload the boats. About 9 o'clock Capt. Harris with a squadron of dragoons, and Capt. Melvin with a company of light artillery and 2 6-pounders, arrived. Capt. Harris the commanding officer, agreed with me that this reinforcement should halt, as the troops best calculated for a bush fight were already on the ground, where they could act to the greatest advantage, and that the enemy seeing a large reinforcement arrive would most probably retreat. About 10, the enemy having landed and pushed up the creek with four gun boats, three cutters, and one gig—the riflemen