Page images

Gen. Brown to the Secretary of War.

Fort Erie, Sept. 29, 1814. [Extract] SIR-In my letter of the 18th inst. I briefly informed you of the fortunate issue of the sortie which took place the day preceding.

The enemy's camp I had ascertained to be situated in a field surrounded by woods nearly two miles distant from their batteries and entrenchments, the object of which was to keep the parts of the force which was not upon duty, out of the range of our fire from fort Erie and Black Rock. Their infantry was formed into three brigades, estimated at 12 or 15 hundred men each. One of these brigades, with a detail from their artillery, was stationed at their works, (these being about 500 yards distant from old fort Erie, and the right of our line.) We had already suffered much from the fire of two of their batteries, and were aware that a third was about to open upon us. Under these cırcumstances, I resolved to storm the batteries, destroy the cannon, and roughly handle the brigade upon duty, before those in reserve could be brought into action.

On the morning of the 17th, the infantry and riflemen, regulars and militia, were ordered to be paraded and put in readiness to march precisely at 12 o'clock. Gen. Porter with the volunteers, Col. Gibson with the riflemen, and Major Brooks with the 23d and 1st infantry, and a few dragoons acting as infantry, were ordered to move from the extreme left of our position upon the enemy's right, by a passage opened through the woods for the occasion. Gen. Miller was directed to station his command in the ravine which lies between fort Erie and the enemy's batteries, by passing them by detachments through the skirts of the wood-and the 21st infantry under Gen. Ripley was posted as a corps of reserve between the new bastions of fort Erie; all under cover, and out of the view of the enemy.

About 20 minutes before three, P, M, I found the left columns, under the command of Gen. Porter, which were destined to turn the enemy's right, within a few rods of the British entrenchments. They were ordered to advance and commence the action. Passing down the ravine, I judged from the report of musketry, that the action had commenced on our left; I now hastened to Gen. Miller, and directed him to seize the moment and pierce the en

emy's entrenchments between batteries No. 2 and 3. My orders were promptly and ably executed. Within 30 minutes after the first gun was fired, batteries No. 2 and 3, the enemy's line of entrenchments, and his two block houses were in our possession, Soon after balt ry No. 1 was abandoned by the British. The guns in each were spiked by us, or otherwise destroyed, and the magazine of No. 3 was blown up.

A few minutes before the explosion, I had ordered up the reserve under Gen. Ripley. As he passed me at the head of his column, I desired him, as he would be the senior in advance, to ascertain as near as possible, the situation of the troops in general, and to have a care that not more was hazarded than the occasion required; that the object of the sortie effected, the troops would retire in good order, &c. Gen. Ripley passed rapidly on-soon after, E became alarmed for Gen. Miller, and sent an order for the 21st to hasten to his support towards battery No. 1. Col. Upham received the order, and advanced to the aid of Gen. Miller. Gen. Ripley had inclined to the left, where Major Brooks' command was engaged, with a view of making some necessary enquiries of that officer, and in the act of doing so was unfortunately wounded. By this time the object of the sortie was accomplished beyond my most sanguine expectations. Gen. Miller had consequently ordered the troops on the right to fall back-observing this movement, I sent my staff along the line to call in the other corps. Within a few minutes they retired from the ravine, and from thence to camp.

Thus 1000 regulars, and an equal portion of militia, in one hour of close action, blasted the hopes of the enemy, destroyed the fruits of 50 days labor, and diminished his effective force 1000 men at least.

[ocr errors]

Lieut. Gen. Drummond broke up his camp during the night of the 21st, and retired to his entrenchments behind the Chippewa. A party of our men came up with the rear of his army at Frenchman's creek; the enemy destroyed part of their stores by setting fire to the buildings from which they were employed in conveying them. Wel found in and about their camp a considerable quantity of cannon ball, and upwards of 100 stand of arms,

I send you enclosed herein a return of our loss. The return of prisoners enclosed does not include the stragglers that came in after the action.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

BLAKELEY'S SECOND VICTORY. Capt. Blakeley to the Secretary of the Navy. U. S. S. Wasp, at sea, Sept. 11, 1814. · [Extract.] SIR--I have the honor of informing you of the destruction of H. B. M. brig Avon, of 18 guns by this ship on the 1st inst. At 6, 30 minutes P. M. discovered 4 sail; two on our starboard, and two on our larboard bow; hauled up for one on our starboard bow, being farthest to windward. At 7, the brig made signals, with flags, lanterns, rockets, and guns. At 9, 29, the chase being under our lee bow, commenced the action, by firing a 12 lb. carronade at him, which he returned, when we run under his lee bow, to prevent his escaping. At 10, believing the enemy to be silenced, ceased firing, and hailed and asked. if he had surrendered. No answer being given, and he having recommenced firing, it was returned. At 10, 12, the enemy having suffered greatly, and having made no return to our two last broadsides, I hailed the second time, when he answered in the affirmative. The guns were then ordered to be secured, and the boat lowered to take possession. In the act of lowering the boat, a second brig was discovered close under our stern, and standing for us. Sent the crew to quarters, and prepared for another action, and waited his coming up. At 10, 36, discovered two more sails astern, standing for us. Our braces having been cut away, we kept off the wind, until others could be rove, with the expectation of drawing the second brig from his companions, but was disappointed: having continued approaching us until within gun shot she suddenly hauled by the wind, fired a broadside, which done considerable damage, and soon retraced her steps to jom her consorts. Our prize, when we abandoned her, was firing guns of distress;

the two last sails came to her assistance, in time to save her crew from sinking with the vessel, which went down' soon afterwards.

I have the honor to be, &c.



Killed 2-Wounded 1.


Killed 12-Wounded 33.

Gen. M'Arthur to the Secretary of War.
H. Q. Detroit, Nov. 18, 1814.

[Extract.] SIR-I have the honor to report to safe return of the mounted troops to this place.



It was deemed expedient, from the ardour of the Kentucky and Ohio volunteers and militia, that they should be actively employed in the enemy's territory, with a view to destroy their resources, and paralize any attempt they might make on this post during the winter. Accordingly 630 troops, and 70 Indians, were put in motion to destroy the valuable mills at the head of Lake Ontario, and Grand River. We proceeded over the river St. Clair, down to the Scotch settlement, up Bear Creek, about 30 miles, and across to the Moravian towns, where we arrived the 30th ult.

We were fortunate at this place in taking a British officer who was proceeding to Burlington with the information of our approach, which enabled us to reach Delaware town undiscovered. The rangers were detached across the Thames, to pass in rear of the town, to guard the different roads, whilst the troops were swimming their horses across. We were thus enabled to reach Oxford, 150 miles from Detroit, before they heard of our approach. A few hours before our arrival at Buford, the enemy retreated to Malcolm's mills, on the road to Burlington, where they were reinforced, to the number of 500 militia, and about 100 Indians. A deep creek of difficult passage, except at a bridge immediately in front of their works, which had been partly destroyed, lay between us. Arrangements were made for a joint attack on their front and rear. Ohio troops were thrown across, under cover of a thick wood, and the Kentucky troops were ordered to attack in


front. The enemy were entirely defeated and dispersed, with the loss of 1 Capt. and 17 privates killed, and 3 Capis. 5 subalterns, and 103 privates, taken prisoners. Our loss was only one killed, and six wounded. The next day we proceeded on and took several prisoners, 200 stands of arms, and destroyed five valuable mills, when we commenced our return march for this place, which we reached yesterday.

I have the honor to be, &c.



Gen. Jackson to Gov. Early.

H. Q. Tensaw, Nov. 14th, 1814, [Extract.] SIR-Last evening I returned from Pensacola to this place-I reached that post on the evening of the 6:h On my approach, I sent Maj. Pierre with a flag to communicate the object of my visit to the Gov. of Pensacola. He approached fort St. George, with his flag displayed, and was fired on by the cannon from the fort-he returned and made report thereof to me. I immediately. went with the Adj. Gen. and the Maj, with a small escort, and viewed the fort and found it defended by British and Spanish troops. I immediately determined to storm the


On the morning of the 7th, I marched with the effective regulars of the 3d, 39th, and 44th infantry, part of Gen.. Coffee's brigade, the Mississippi dragoons, and part of the West Tennessee regiment, and part of the Choctaws led by Maj Blue, of the 39th, and Maj. Kennedy of the Mississippi territory. Being encamped on the west of the town I calculated they would expect the assault from that quarter, and be prepared to rake me from the fort, and the British armed vessels, seven in number, that ay in the bay. To cherish this idea I sent out part of the mounted men to show themselves on the west, whilst I passed in rear of the fort undiscovered to the east of the town. When I appeared within a mile, I was in full view. My pride was never more heightened than viewing the uniform firmness of

« PreviousContinue »