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BATTLE NEAR BALTIMORE.

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8. After the capture and destruction of Washington, the British re-embarked on board their fleet and returned down the river. On their way, however, they halted at Alexandria long enough to demand and receive the surrender of the city. This took place August 29th.

9. This expedition on the part of the British afforded a brilliant triumph to them, and caused great humiliation to the Americans. It, however, was in two ways disastrous to the victors; their conduct in several respects was a shameful outrage on the customs of civilization. even in warfare, and left a permanent bitterness of feeling in the hearts of the Americans toward Great Britain; it also roused the people of this country to greater activity in the struggle that was then impending.

CHAPTER CLXXVII.

MADISON'S ADMINISTRATION, CONTINUED.-Battle near Bal

timore.

1. THE British sailed as rapidly as possible from Washington to Baltimore. They reached the mouth of the Patapsco, fourteen miles below the city, on the 11th of September. The next day six thousand men were landed from the fleet, at North Point, and, under the command of General Ross, they proceeded toward the city.

2. But they found more opposition here than in the neighborhood of Washington. An army of three thousand two hundred men had been collected and placed under the command of General Stricker, to annoy the British and keep them in check as much as possible, in order, at least, to give more time for putting the forts and batteries about the city in a proper condition for defence. A severe battle was fought, and the Americans were obliged to retire with considerable loss. The killed and wounded amounted to one hundred and three among whom were many of the first inhabitants of Baltimore.

3. Next morning, the British advanced to the intrenchments, about two miles from the city. At the same time, a vigorous attack had been made on Fort McHenry from the fleet. Great numbers of bombs were thrown toward the fort for a whole day and night, but they produced very little effect. All this while preparation was making in the city to give the enemy a warm reception if they should determine on an attack.

S. What more was done by the British? 9. What was the effect of the British capture and burning of Washington?

CHAP. CLXXVII.-1. To what place did the British now proceed? 2. Who did they And there to oppose them? What of the battle? 3. What fort was attacked?

4. After remaining before the city, however, at a somewhat respectful distance, till the evening of the 13th, the British retired to their shipping, and abandoned the enterprise. They had lost, in the battle of the 12th, their commander, General Ross, which doubtless had its effect in discouraging them from carrying out their plan.

5. During these events, the enemy ravaged the coasts of the Chesapeake, in a manner which reflected little credit on the British character, and only served to exasperate the Americans, and to unite them in the attempt to repel a foe that paid so little regard either to the law of nations or to that of honor.

CHAPTER CLXXVIII.

MADISON'S ADMINISTRATION, CONTINUED. The War on Lake Champlain and in the vicinity.

1. THE army of the United States at the north, had been greatly

reduced during the spring and summer of 1814; large portions having been ordered to other stations. On the 1st of September the whole effective force at Plattsburg, the head-quarters of the army, did not exceed fifteen hundred men.

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2. About this time, intelligence was received that the British, under General Prevost, the governor-general of Canada, with a force of fourteen thousand men, were on their way to Plattsburg. These forces, for the most part, were of a character calculated to intimidate, for they were from well-fought fields of battle, the conquerors of the conquerors of Europe.

COMMODORE MCDONOUGH.

3. But, though the land forces of this division of our army were inconsiderable, the naval force had been raised, during the war, so as to

4 What did the British do on the 18th? 5. What served to exasperate the Americans' What had the enemy done, about this time, along the coasts of the Chesapeake?

CHAP. CLXXVIII.-1. What of the army of the United States in 1814? 2. What news was now received What of the British troops now approaching Plattsburg?

THE WAR ON LAKE CHAMPLAIN.

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be at this time quite respectable. It consisted of a brig, a ship, a schooner, and a sloop, and ten gunboats, mounting, in all, about ninety guns, and manned by eight hundred and fifty men; the whole under the direction of Commodore Thomas McDonough.

4. The British, too, had a navy on the lake, equal, if not somewhat superior to that of the United States. Of men, it contained at least two hundred more. One of the vessels was, moreover, equal in force to an ordinary frigate of thirty-two or thirty-six guns.

5. General Prevost and his army arrived in the neighborhood of Plattsburg about the time expected, and General Macomb, the commander at that place, had ordered out a body of militia, and made every preparation which the nature of the case and the time admitted. The fleet was lying near, ready to aid him if necessary.

6. While the two armies were thus before each other, the British fleet appeared in sight, and gave battle to the American. The contest was a fearful one, and lasted two hours and twenty minutes; terminating in the surrender of the British fleet to Commodore McDonough. A few of the smaller vessels only escaped.

7. While the battle was going on by water, the British general began his attack on Plattsburg-pouring upon it a shower of bombshells, balls, and rockets. The Americans answered them by a destructive fire from the fort. Before sunset, the attack ceased, and the British retreated, with the loss, in killed, wounded, and missing, of about twenty-five hundred men.

8. This was a most signally fortunate day to the Americans. The British were, in fact, so completely defeated that they did not attempt to renew the war in that quarter. They hastened down the shore of the lake as fast as they could, not even taking with them their wounded or their military stores.

9. The loss in the engagement on the lake was great on both sides, but greatest, by far, on the side of the British. They had eighty-four killed and one hundred and ten wounded; the Americans had only fifty-two killed and fifty-four wounded. So, at least, it was reported. And yet it is stated by Cooper in his Naval History, that nearly every soldier on board of the Saratoga, Commodore McDonough's vessel, was more or less injured.

íú. Commodore McDonough was twice supposed to be killed during the action. In the first instance, a broken boom was thrown against

8. What was the extent of the United States navy on Lake Champlain? Who was the commander? 4. What of the British navy on the lake? 5. What preparation was now made for battle? 6. Describe the action between the two fleets. Which was victorious? 7. What attack was made by land? 8. What was the effect of this battle on the British? 9. What was the loss, on both sides, in the naval engagement?

him with such violence as to leave him, for a few moments, senseless. A little while afterward, he was knocked down, and besmeared with blood, by the head of one of the seamen, which had been shot off and thrown against him.

11. However, he survived, and was not even reckoned among the wounded. It seems to have been agreed, beforehand, to call no person wounded as long as he could keep out of the sick room. One man, like the commodore, was knocked down by the head of a seaman, and yet returned to his post and said nothing, though he did not im mediately recover from the shock.

12. One venerable old sailor had his clothes actually stripped off by a splinter, without breaking or, so far as could be perceived, so much as injuring the skin. He tied his pocket handkerchief around him and went to work again, and continued at his post till the contest was over; though he died a few months afterward, as it was thought, of some internal injury.

13. Another anecdote of the battle of Lake Champlain is commonly reported, and is doubtless true. Some hens, confined on board Commodore McDonough's vessel at the commencement of the battle, got loose during the tumult, upon which a cock, which was among them, flew to an elevated part of the vessel, and crowed vigorously. Not a few of the seamen regarded this as foretelling victory, and were encouraged by it to fight on, despite the danger.

CHAPTER CLXXIX.

MADISON'S ADMINISTRATION, CONTINUED.-Convention at

Hartford.

1. THE refusal of three of the New England states to order out their militia, to be subject to other officers than their own, at the opening of the war, has been mentioned. Demands were subsequently made by the governors of the several states respectively, on the militia, to repel the attacks of the enemy, especially at Saybrook, New London Stonington, Castine, etc., and these were readily complied with.

2. But the opposition to the war in the New England states had been increasing rather than diminishing. In October, 1814, it was

10. How did Commodore McDonough narrowly escape death? 11. What was agreed before the battle? What of a seaman knocked down? 12. What can you say of an old sailor? 13. Relate the anecdote of the cock.

upon

CHAP. CLXXIX.-1. What had been demanded by the governors et some of the states? What was the result of these demands?

CONVENTION AT HARTFORD.

357

proposed by the Massachusetts legislature to call a convention of delegates, from the several states of New England, to meet at some con venient place, and inquire what ought to be done.

3. This convention met at Hartford, December 15th. It consisted of twenty-four delegates from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, and a partial delegation from Vermont and New Hampshire. As a state, Vermont had refused to have any concern in the measure.

4. These delegates, consisting, for the most part, of aged men, of the highest consideration in the states to which they belonged, proceeded to canvass, with much freedom, the motives and measures which had led to the war, and to set forth the evils which the country was suffering in consequence of its continuance. They remained in session about three weeks.

5. This convention was denounced by the friends of the administration in the severest terms. It was said to be not only impolitic, as giving encouragement to the enemy, but absolutely traitorous to the general government. It was branded, in every possible way, with odium; and the Hartford Convention is, to this day, with many, but a title of contempt or reprobation. There are others, however, who maintain that it was a patriotic and useful measure. This latter opinion, as the mists of passion fade away, appears to become more and more prevalent.

6. It is certain that, whatever may have been its general tendency, the convention broke up without adopting any treasonable resolutions, or attempting any dangerous movements. A few amendments of the Constitution of the United States were proposed, such as, it was thought, would thereafter prevent a recurrence of the evils under which the country then groaned.

7. These amendments of the Constitution were proposed, in the usual form and manner, to the states, but were rejected. Meanwhile, as we shall presently see, the war was brought to an end. Indeed, a treaty was actually signed at Ghent in December, 1814, before the convention at Hartford broke up, but the news had not reached this country.

2. What was proposed by the Massachusetts legislature in 1814? 3 Of what did the Hartford Convention consist? 4 What was the character of the delegates? What did they proceed to do? 5. How was this convention considered? 6. What was proposed by the convention? 7. Were these amendments accepted? What treaty was signed in December, 1814?

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