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ance of Gen. Brock.
Aguin, General Brock had not then arrived, evidence to render any further comment superand it was his arrival that led to the brilliant fluous, especially as our notes will show the charge in which an inferior force compelled a sentiments of the Province on the occasion of superior force retire UP HILL; one of the his death. most brilliant and daring feats on record, and
The “Quebec Gazette"contained the notice in which the militia distinguished themselves to
of his death which will be the full as much as the regulars, fighting side
Public opinion of
Gen. Brock's charac- found below ;* and the senby side, and animated with a burning desire to ter and value.
timents of the British Gorevenge the loss of a commander whose intervernment on the melancholy occasion, were course with them had inspired at once respect thus expressed in a despatch from Earl and affection. There is very little doubt that Bathurst, Secretary of State for the Colonies, to the death of the British General cost the life Sir George Prevost:of many an invader on that day, which would
“ His Royal Highness the Prince Regent is otherwise have been spared.
fully aware of the severe loss which His Ma
jesty's service has experienced in the death of As we are unacquainted with the preserva
Major-General Sir Isaac Brock. This would tion of any portrait, public have been sufficient to have clouded a victory
or private, of Gen. Brock of much greater importance. His Majesty has in this country, it may not be uninteresting to lost in him not only an able and meritorious give here a slight sketch. In person he was officer, but one who, in the exercise of his tall and stout, even inclining to corpulency; functions of provisional Lieutenant-Governor of fair and florid complexion, with a large fore of the Province, displayed qualities admirabily head and full face, though the features were adapted to dismay the disloyal, to reconcile not prominent. His eyes were rather small, the wavering, and to animate the great mass of a greyish blue, with a slight cast in one of of the inhabitants against successive attempts them. His mouth was small, with fine teeth, of the enemy to invade the Province, in the and when his countenance was lighted by a last of which he fell, too prodigal of that life of smile the expression was particularly pleasing. which his eminent services had taught us to In manner he was exceedingly affable and understand the value.” gentlemanlike, of a cheerful and social habit partial to dancing, and, though never married, * The news of the death of this excellent officer
has been received here as a public calunity. he was extremely partial to female society.
The attendant circumstances of victory scarcely of the soundness of his judgment and checked the painful sensation. His long residence bravery we have already adduced sufficient in this province, and particularly in this place, had
made him in babits and good offices almost a
citizen ; and his frankness, conciliatory disposition The wounded and prisoners I ordered to be col. and elevated demeanour, an estimable orie. The lected, and sent to the guard-house. About this expressions of regret as general us he was known, time, which was about three or four o'clock in the and not uttered by friends and acquaintance only, afternoon, Lieut.-Col. Christie arrived, and touk but by every gradation of class, not only by grown the command. He ordered me across the river persons, but young children, are the test of his to get my wounds dressed. I remained a short worth. Such too is the only eulogium worthy of time. Our flanking parties had been driven in the good and brave, and the citizens of Quebec by the Indians, but Gen. Wadsworth and other have with solemn emotions, pronounced it to bis ollicers arriving, we had a short skirmish with memory. But at this anxious moment other feelthem, and they retreated, and I crossed the river. inys are excited by his loss. General Brock had
The officers engaged in storming the battery acquired the confidence of the inhabitants were Captains Wool and Ogilvie; Lieutenants within his own government. He had secured Kearney, Hugouin, Carr. and Simmons, of the 43d their attachment permanently by his own regiment; Lieutenant Ganesvoort and Randolph, merits. They were one people animated by of the light artillery; and Major Lush, of the mili- one disposition, and this he had gradually tia.
wound up to the crisis in which they were placed. I recommend to your particular notice Lieuts. Strange as it may seem, it is to be feared that he Randolph, Carr, and Kearney, for their brave had become too important to them. The heroic conduct exhibited during the whole of the action. militia of Upper Canada, more particularly, had I have the honor to be,
knit themselves to his persor ; and it is yet to be Your most obedient humble Servant, ascertained whether the desire to avenge his death
John E Woon, Capt. 13th regt. inft. can compensate the many embarrassments it will Colonel Van Ranselaer.
untimely fate was deplored throughout, not Opinions of the Press respecting General Brock's only these Provinces, but the Mother Country
character and value, continued.- Armistice also. Yet we feel tempted to add one or two concluded the day after the battle.—Treatment more tributes to his memory. The first is of the prisoners.—Disposal of the prisoners. - from a Montreal paper of the day;* the second Attempts of the Press to keep up the “war from Howison's “Sketches of Upper Canada.”+ spirit” by misrepresentation.—Refusal of the The most conclusive proof, however, of the Militia to cross the Niagara River, another proof general estimation in which Sir Isaac Brock that the war was not as popular as represented. was held, is, perhaps, to be found in General -Resignation of General Van Ranselaer, and Van Ranselaer's letter of condolence to Gen. appointment of General Smyth.-- Destruction Shcaffe, on the occasion of his funeral, in which of the fortifications at Black Rock, and of the
Gen. Van Ranselaer expresses his desire to pay furs taken in the Caledonia. -Capture of Cana
'a just tribute of respect to the gallant dead," dian voyageurs.-General Smyth's proclamations. — Invasion of Canada by General Smyth. and informs Gen. Sheaffe, that “I shall order
- Effects of this failure at invasion.—Position a salute for the funeral of General Brock to of affairs on the Detroit and Lower Canadian be fired here, and at Fort Niagara this afterfrontiers.--Causes of General Dearborn's in- noon. action.
This generous conduct of Gen. Van Ranselaer Tie two notices, we have already given, might evinced feelings worthy of a soldier and a
almost be considered suf-man. Opinions of the Press: ficient evidence of the respecting Gen. Brock's
The President, Mr. Madison, when alluding character and value, eminence to which Gen. to the battle of Queenston in his message to
Brock had raised him- Congress, observed, “Our loss has been conself by his civil and military talents, and of siderable, and is deeply to be lamented. That the correspondently deep grief with which his of the enemy, less ascertained, will be the
* The private letters from Upper Canada, in giv fHe was more popular, and more beloved by the ing the account of the late victory at Queenston, inhabitants of Upper Canada, than any man they are partly taken up with encomiastic lamentations ever had among them, and with reason ; for he upon the never-to-be-forgotten General Brock, possessed, in an eminent degree, those virtues which do honor to the character and talents of which add lustre to bravery, and those talents the man they deplore. The enemy have nothing that shine alike in the cabinet and in the field. to hope from the loss they have inflicted; they His manners and dispositions were so conciliating have created a hatred which panteth for revenge. as to gain the affection of all whom he commanded, Although Gencral Brock may be said to have fallen while his innate nobleness and dignity of mind in the midst of his career, yet his previous ser- secured him a respect almost amounting to venevices in Upper Canada will be lasting and highly ration. He is now styled the Hero of Upper Cabeneficial. When he assumed the government of nada, and, had he lived, there is no doubt but the the province, he fou:d a divided, disaffected, war would have terminated very differently from and, of course, a weak people. He has left them what it did. The Canadian farmers are not over. united and strong, and the universal sorrow of burthened with sensibility, yet I have seen sevethe province attends his fall. The father, to his ral of them shed tears when an eulogium was children, will make known the mournful story. pronounced upon the immortal and generousThe veteran, who fought by his side in the heat minded deliverer of their country. and burthen of the day of our deliverance, will General Brock was killed close to the road that venerate his name.
more felt, as it includes amongst the killed the of its garrison. Instead of doing this, and of commanding general, who was also the Gover- putting an end to the campaign upon the nor of the Province."
Niagara frontier, General Sheaffe allowed General Brock was interred on the 16th himself to be persuaded to sign an armistice, October, with his A.D.C., Col. McDonnell, at the very thing General Van Ranselaer wanted. Fort George. Major Glegg says on the sub- The latter, of course, assured his panic-struck ject, —"Conceiving that an interment, in militia, that the British General had sent to every respect military, would be the most implore one of him; (rather a hasty conclusion appropriate, I made choice of a cavalier bastion this of James,) and that he, General Van which he had lately suggested, and which had Ranselaer, had consented, merely to gain time just been finished under his daily superintend to make some necessary arrangements. Such ence."
of the militia as had not already scampered On the morning after the battle,an armisticet
off, now agreed to suspend their journey home
ward, and try another experiment at invasion.” Armistice concluded was concluded by Genethe day after the battle. rals Van Ranselaer and
When James penned the above, he did not Sheaffe. James, in reference to this proceeding,
take into consideration, that the number of remarks,—“It is often said that we throw American prisoners, then in General Sheaffe's away with the pen, what we gain by the charge, far exceeded the united strength sword. Had General Brock survived the of his whole army, when the Indian force was Queenston battle, he would have made the withdrawn; and, besides, that with his very 18th October a still more memorable day by
liznited means of defence, he had a frontier of crossing the river and carrying Fort Niagara, forty miles to protect. He seems also to have which at that precise time was nearly stripped lost sight of the fact that General Van Ran.
selaer retired from the command on the 18th leads through Queenston village ; this spot may be called classic ground, for a view of it must awa. British-born subjects soon felt convinced that with ken in the minds of all those who duly appreciate him their religion or their birth-place was no obthe greatness of his character, and are acquainted stacle in their advancement. Even over the minds with the nature of his resources and exertions, of the Indians Sir Isaac Brock gained, at and after feelings as warm and enthusiastic as the contem- the capture of Detroit, an ascendency altogether plation of monuments consecrated by antiquity unexampled, and which he judiciously exercised can ever do.
for purposes conducive equally to the cause of Nature had been very bountiful to Sir Isaac humanity and to the interests of his country. He Brock in those personal gifts which appear to such engaged them to throw aside the scalping knife, peculiar advantage in the army, and at the first implanted in their breasts the virtues of clemency glance the soldier and the gentleman were seen. and forbearance, and taught them to feel pleasure In stature he was tall, bis fine and benevolent and pride in the compassion extended to a van, countenance was a perfect index of his mind, and quished enemy. In return they revered him as his manners were courteous, frank, and engaging. their common father, and while under his comBrave, liberal, and humane; devoted to his sov- mand were guilty of no excesses. It is well known ereign, and loving his country with romantic fond that this untutored people, the children of the ness; in command so gentle and persuasive, yet forests, value personal much more highly than 80 firm, that he possessed the rare faculty of ac- mental qualities, but the union of both in their quiring both the respect and the attachment of all leader was happily calculated to impress their who served under him. When urged by some haughty and masculine minds with respect and friends, shortly be ore his death, to be more care- admiration; and the speech delivered by Tecumful of his person, he replied: "How can I expect seh, after the capture of Detroit, is illustrative of my men to go where I am afraid to lead them;" the sentiments with which he had inspired these and although, perhaps, sis anxiety ever to shewa warlike tribes. “I bave heard,” observed that good example, by being foremost in danger, in-chief to him, “much of your fame, and am happy duced bim to expose bimself more than strict pru. again to shake by the hand a brave brother war. dence or formality warranted, yet, if he erred on rior. The Americans endeavour to give us a this point, bis error was that of a soldier. Ele- mean opinion of British Generals, but we have vated to the government of Upper Canada, he re- been the witnesses of your valour. In crossing claimed many of the disaffected by mildness, and the river to attack the enemy, we observed you fixed the wavering by the argument of success; from a distance standing the whole time in an and having no national partialities to gratily, that erect posture, and, when the boats reached the rock on which so many provincial governors have shore, you were among the first who jumped on split, he meted equal favor and justice to all. land. Your bold and sudden movements fright
The armistice was to be in force only on the frontier ened the enemy, and you compelled them to surbetween Lakes Ontario and Erie.
render to half their own force."
October. He (Gen. Van Ranselaer) seems on the Indians during their long and numerous indeed to have resolved on this course even frontier wars. two days before, for in his letter of the 16th, to General Sheaffe, he writes, -"As this is
Two days after the battle, the prisoners probably the last communication I shall have Disposal of the pris
and wounded, both milithe honour to make to you,” &c. This does
tia and regulars, were not look much like entertaining hopes of a
sent across the river, upon their parole, as third descent on Canada Christie's remarks were General Wadsworth, and (James says all, are more deserving of consideration.
Christie some) the principal officers, the non
In speaking of the armistice be writes:—“This commissioned officers and privates of the and the former armistice, without affording regular army were sent to Montreal to await any present advantage, proved of material
their exchange. Christie remarks on the prejudice to the British on Lake Erie. The subject,-“ Among the American prisoners, Americans availed themselves of so favorable twenty-three men were found, who, having an occasion to forward their naval stores,
declared themselves British-born subjects, were unmolested, from Black Rock to Presque Isle,
sent to England for trial as traitors." by water, which they could not otherwise
This gave occasion to retaliate upon British have effected, but with immense trouble and prisoners in America, and a like number of
the latter were put into close confinement as expense, by land, and equipped at leisure the fleet which afterwards wrested from us the hostages for the safety of the traitors by order command of that lake." There is much
of the American government. force in these remarks, yet with a body of The attempts of the press to prevent prisoners equalling in number his whole force,
Attempts of the press the supporters of the and with an enemy in front of double his to keep up the war
spirit" by misrepresen
now unpopular war from strength, it is not to be wondered at, that tation.
becoming disgusted with General Sheaffe should have adopted prudent the manifold reverses which had, so far, attendmeasures, so as to dispose, at least, of his ed all the military operations undertaken, prisoners
would be amusing, were not a feeling, akin Although it has been very generally acknow
to contempt, excited. The Official Organ, corTreatment of the ledged that the prisoners responding to our Annual Register, or the prisoners.
Military and Naval Chronicle, appears at this were treated with great
time to have been “Nile's Weekly Register,” kindness and consideration, yet a few mis
and a few short exracts will show not only representations have crept abroad on the
how, with General Van Ranselaer's dispatch subject. One writer (Author of Sketches of
before them, they misrepresented every octhe War) says-“ For want of will or power
but how ignorant they actually were they put no restraint upon their Indian allies
of the true position of the affairs on the frontier. who were stripping and scalping not only the slain but the dying that remained on the field
In No. 9 of Vol. 3, we find the following of battle," and in proof of his assertion he particulars, page 140: adduces the facts, that a Capt. Ogilvie recog
| “The landing appears to have been effected nised the corpse of an Ensign Morris, which under a dreadful fire from the enemy. An had been stripped of its shirt, and a dead instant appeal was made to the bayonet, and soldier whose scull had been cloven by a toma- the British were soon dispossessed of all the adhawk; he forgets, however,or seems to consider vantages they had in the ground;" no notice it unnecessary, to enquire whether the ensign's is taken of the manner in which Wool, “ the shirt had not been stolen by one of his own hero of the day,” as he is styled, ascended the. men, or whether the soldier might not have heights without exposing himself or the troops received the fatal blow during the contest. under his command to a single shot. A little We only bring these trifles forward to show farther on, “ three hundred and twenty men how anxious to misrepresent some American charged the famous 49th British Regimento writers have been, and how desirous to palliate six hundred strong, and put them completelyto the monstrous cruelties perpetrated by them flight," and as a crowning glory to the brilliant
achievements of the day, the afternoon oc- refusal to cross the border, on the plea of its currences are thus disposed of: “our men being unconstitutional, was one of the factious though outflanked and almost surrounded, dogmas of the war, preached by the disaffected fought for an hour and a half more; when, of Massachusetts, who imagined, doubtless, worn down with eleven hours exertion, they that the doctrine might be very convenient retreated without the loss of a man, to the in the event of war in that region. margin of the river, but to their extreme
The Kentuckians marched anywhere, they mortification, not a boat was there to receive had no scruples; why? Because the war was them.” Such gallantry deserved a better popular with them, and they laughed at the fate, for after waiting in this painful situation idea that it was unconstitutional to cross a for over a quarter of an hour, this GALLANT river or an ideal frontier, in the service of their little band surrendered to five times their
country. number." On page 141 we find that “the position opposite Queenston is Black Rock !"
Three or four days after the battle, General Enough, however, on this subject, although it
Resignation of Gene- Van Ranselaer, disgusted might have been expected that a paper, ral Van Ranselaer, and
appointment of General
with the conduct of the almost bearing an official character, would Smyth.
Militia, and, as he exhave scarcely dared to give publicity to such pressed it, with being compelled to witness ridiculous statements : statements which only the sacrifice of victory, so gallantly won, on the serve to show how strenuous were the efforts shrine of doubt,” received permission from made to prevent the refusal of the Militia to General Dearborn to retire, and the command cross at Lewiston, appearing in its true light, of the central or Niagara army devolved on viz. as a proof that the war was an unpopular Brigadier General Smyth, an officer from
whose patriotic and professional pretensions, We contend that the conduct of the greater
the multitude had drawn many favorable con
clusions. “Nor was," says General Armstrong, part of the American Refusal of the Militia
“the estimate made of his military character by to cross the Niagara Militia on this occasion
the Government, more correct, as it took for may be fairly adduced popular as represented. as an additional' proof
granted, a temperament, bold, ardent and
enterprising, and requiring only restriction to that the war was far from being as popular as
render it useful.” In the orders given for the one party in Congress would fain have
represented it. It is notorious that many of the regulation of his conduct, he was accordingly
forbidden most emphatically by the minister Pennsylvania Militia refused to cross into
at war, “to make any new attempt at invaCanada, while others returned, after having
sion with a force less than three thousand crossed the line, on constitutional pretexts.
combatants, or with means of transportation An attempt has been made to excuse this, and the argument has been brought forward that (across the Niagara) insufficient to carry
over simultaneously the whole of that numthe English Militia are not transported over
ber." sea to Hanover, and that the French National Guards and the German Landwehr are troops Ingersol, in his notices of the war, observes, appropriated to service within the country; “General Smyth closed the campaign of 1812, but on the other hand it should be borne in mind in that quarter, by a failure much ridiculed, that there are standing armies in these coun- and yet vindicated, at all events a miserable tries, and that there is none, or next to none, abortion, which, in November, instead of in America, and that this doctrine is tanta- atoning for, much increased, our discredit of mount to a virtual renouncing of all offensive October.” Before, however, entering on the operations in war, by that country where there subject of the invasion of Canada by General is but a regular standing force equal to Smyth, we must not omit two events which, garrison duties, and destroys at once all though not of importance, yet should not be military operations.
entirely lost sight of, as one especially was The truth is, and American writers may made the subject of much boasting on the blink it or explain it as they please, that the part of the Americans.
River, another proof that the war was not as