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means necessary for transportation provided, the combatants began their movement in boats, along the lake shore, to Two-mile Creek, the point designated for a general landing.

James should chronicle so extraordinary a circumstance as the want of powder in the principal British fort in Western Canada, had we not so recently seen that a frigate was built, When Hull's surrender had put the British and a quantity of provisions and stores depoin possession of the artillery they so much sited in so exposed and indefensible a position required, five of the twenty-four pounders as York. Whoever was the culpable party, had been brought from Detroit, four of which whether Sir George Prevost or General had been mounted at Fort George, and the Sheaffe, there is very little doubt but that to fifth on a battery, en barbette, about half a this circumstance may be attributed much of mile below Newark, now Niagara. A fire the impunity with which the Americans mado from some field pieces had been opened on their preliminary movements on this occasion. the American boats, when proceeding, on the The British force was posted as advantage26th, to the rendezvous. This had provoked ously as circumstances would admit by Genea return from Fort Niagara, by which the ra! Vincent, and they made a most gallant block houses, some scattered dwellings near resistance, being overpowered only by the the fort, and the fort itself were considerably numerical strength of the assailants, and the damaged. On the morning of the 27th a fire from the American shipping, which comheavy cannonade was again commenced from mitted dreadful havoc, and rendered their fort Niagara to cover the attacking party, and efforts to oppose the landing of so immeasur"in addition," (says James,)" two schooners, ably superior a force altogether ineffectual. by the use of their sweeps, had reached their Three times, under cover of the heavy fire stations at the mouth of the river, in order to from the fort and the shipping, the Americans silence the twenty-four pounder and the nine- attempted to land, and were repulsed, by the pounder, also planted en barbette close to persevering courage of their opponents; and Newark. Another schooner stationed herself it was only at last, when considerably reto the northward of the light house, and so duced in numbers, that General Vincent, who close to the shore as to enfilade the first saw the inutility of persevering in so unequal named battery, and cross the fire of the re-a contest, retired, blowing up, before his maining two schooners." The remaining five retreat, the small quantity of powder which schooners anchored so as to cover the landing yet remained in the magazine at Fort George. of the troops. The frigate Madison, Oneida The heavy fire had rendered the fort altobrig, and a schooner, took up also advanta-gether untenable; General Vincent had, theregeous positions. The united broadside of fore, no alternative left but to retreat in the these vessels was fifty-one guns, many of direction of Queenston, first despatching them thirty-two and eighteen-pounders. orders to Col. Bishopp at Fort Erie, and to Against this formidable array what had the Major Ormsby at Chippewa, to evacuate their British? —a weak position entirely exposed to respective posts, and to move with as little a cross fire of shot and shells, and a scarcity delay as possible, by Lundy's Lane, to the of powder-incredible as this last assertion Beaver-dam. In the retreat about fifty of the may appear, we are, nevertheless, borne out in regulars unfortunately were made prisoners. making it by James, who asserts, in speaking The remainder, both regular and militia, made of the events of the 26th, that "the guns at an undisturbed retreat, and were joined at the Fort George were compelled, owing to a scar-place of rendezvous, by the garrisons of Fort city of powder, to remain silent, while Com- Erie and Chippewa. In General Vincent's modore Chauncey, on that evening, was sound- dispatch* full particulars of this action will be ing the shore within half gunshot." The


Americans, in speaking of this circumstance, *From Brigadier-General Vincent to Sir George and looking at the impunity with which Fort Niagara kept up, almost unanswered, its fire, may well boast that they received comparatively little injury from the British cannon. It would excite astonishment that

FORTY-MILE CREEK, May 28, 1813. SIR, I have the honor to inform your Excel lency, that yesterday morning, about day-break, the enemy again opened his batteries upon Fort George: the fire not being immediately returned,

found, we must not, however, omit to notice one exaggeration contained in it, relative to the American struggle. We allude to the passage "His whole force is stated to amount to nearly ten thousand men." This, in all probability, unintentional overstatement was quite unnecessary, as General Vincent made a very gallant resistance, and, when he was overpowered by numbers, he made a very able retreat-collecting by the next morning nearly sixteen hundred men, with a position, Burlington heights, to fall back on, which, accor log to D.erborn, while it remained in the power of the British, rendered the success ful occupation by the Americans of the Western peninsula impracticable. As at York, Gen. Vincent again saved the kernel, and left, as the fruits of victory, to the Americans, the shell, consisting of a few ruined houses and untenable


it ceased for some time. About 4 o'clock, A. M. a combination of circumstances led to a belief that an invasion was meditated. The morning being exceeding hazy, neither his means nor his intention could be ascertained, until, the mist clearing away at intervals, the enemy's fleet, consisting of fourteen or fifteen vessels, was discovered under way, standing towards the light-house, in an extended line of more than two miles, covering from ninety to one hundred large boats and scows, each containing an average of fifty to sixty men. Though at this time no doubt could be entertained of the enemy's intention, his points of attack could only be conjectured. Having again commenced a heavy fire from his fort, line of batteries, and shipping, it became necessary to withdraw all the guards and piquets stationed along the coast, between the fort and light-house, and a landing was effected at the Two-mile Creek, about half a mile below the latter place. The party of troops and Indians stationed at this point, after opposing the enemy, and annoying him as long as possible, were obliged to fall back, and the fire from the shipping so completely enfiladed and scoured the plains, that it became impossible to approach the beach. As the day dawned, the enemy's plan was clearly developed, and every effort to oppose his landing having failed, I lost not a moment in concentrating my force between the town of Fort George and the enemy, there awaiting his approach. This movement was admirably covered by the Glengarry light infantry, joined by a detachment of the royal Newfoundland regiment and militia, which commenced skirmishing with the enemy's riflemen, who were advancing through the brushwood. The enemy having perfect command of the beach, he quickly landed from three to four hundred men, with several pieces of artillery, and this force was instantly seen advancing in three solid columns, along the lake bank, his right covered by a large body of riflemen, and his left and front by the fire of the shipping, and bat

The British loss in killed and wounded was very heavy. The 8th, Glengarry and Newfoundland detachments lost full one-half of their united force, and the militia appear to have also suffered severely, at least eighty-five having been either killed or wounded. The total British loss was estimated at four hundred and forty-five. Thomson, in his "Sketches of the War," makes up a very imposing total of prisoners; like most of his statements, however, his account is grosely exaggerated. He counts the wounded regulars twice over; once as wounded, and a second time as prisoners he adds further, "the militia prisoners who were paroled to the number of five hundred and seven," &c. Now, in the first place, no unwounded regulars fell into the hands of the Americans, except the fifty who were captured at the fort. Again, Mr. Thomson forgets to inform us how the

teries in the fort. As our light troops fell back upon the main body, which was moved forwards to their support, they were gallantly sustained by the 8th (king's) regiment, commanded by Major Ogilvie, the whole being under the immediate direction of Colonel Myers, acting Quarter-mastergeneral, who had charge of the right wing. In the execution of this important duty, gallantry, zeal, and decision, were eminently conspicuous; and I lament to report that I was deprived of the services of Colonel Myers, who, having received three wounds, was obliged to quit the field. Lieutenant-Colonel Harvey, the deputy AdjutantGeneral, whose activity and gallantry had been displayed the whole morning, succeeded Colonel Myers, and brought up the right division, consisting of the 49th regiment, and some militia.

The light artillery under Major Holcroft were already in position, awaiting the enemy's advance on the plain. At this moment the very inferior force under my command had experienced a severe loss in officers and men; yet nothing could exceed the ardor and gallantry of the troops, who shewed the most marked devotion in the service of their king and country, and appeared regardless of the consequence of the unequal contest. Being on the spot, and seeing that the force under my command was opposed to ten-fold numbers, who were rapidly advancing under cover of their shipping and batteries, from which our positions were immediately seen, and exposed to a tremendous fire of shot and shells, I decided on retiring my little force to a position which I hoped might be less assailable by the heavy ordnance of the enemy, and from which a retreat would be left open, in the event of that measure becoming necessary. Here, after awaiting the approach of the enemy for about half an hour, I received authentic information, that his force, consisting of from four to five thousand men, had re-formed his columns, and was making an effort to turn my right flank. At this critical juncture not a mo

five hundred and seven paroled militia prisoners on the part of the British, in resisting the were obtained-as he has failed in this, we attack." must refer to James. "No sooner had the American army got possession of the Niagara frontier, than officers with parties were sent to every farm-house and hovel in the neigh bourhood, to exact a parole from the male inhabitants of almost every age. Some were glad of this excuse for remaining peaceably at their houses; and those who made any opposition were threatened to be sent across the river, and thrown into a noisome prison. We cannot wonder, then, that by these industrious, though certainly unauthorized means, the names of as many as five hundred and seven Canadians were got ready to be forwarded to the Secretary at War, so as, not

only to swell the amount of the loss sustained, but by a fair inference of the force employed,

enemy was quite as great in proportion—that Our loss was very great, but that of the is, the number that fell in the hand-to-hand conflict would be about equal, were we to make an allowance for the terrible execution done by the fifty-one gun broadside of the vessels. The Americans themselves state their loss at thirty-nine killed and one hundred and eleven wounded, which is very satisfactory; and, as James has it, not a little creditable to the few regular troops and Cana ilans by whom the fort was defended. One extraordinary bit of modesty is observable in Dearborn's

official letter on this occasion. He does not this is particularly striking in an American— state that the British were superior in force-he, however, hints at "the advantage the enemy's position afforded him." We have

ment was to be lost, and sensible that every effort had been made, by the officers and men under my command, to maintain the post of Fort George, I my little army;-every one most zealously discould not consider myself justified in continuing charged the duties of his respective station. The so unequal a contest, the issue of which promised struggle on the 27th continued from three to four no advantage to the interests of his Majesty's ser-hours; and, I lament to add, it was attended with vice. Having given orders for the fort to be very severe loss. evacuated, the guns to be spiked, and the ammuI have the honor to enclose a list of the killed, nition destroyed, the troops under my command wounded, and missing, with as much accuracy as were put in motion, and marched across the conn- the nature of existing circumstances will admit. try in a line parallel to the Niagara river, towards Many of the missing, I hope, will be found to be the position near the Beaver Dam, beyond Queens- only stragglers, and will soon rejoin their corps. town Mountain, at which place I had the honor of I shall reach the head of the lake to-morrow evenreporting to your Excellency that a depôt of pro-ing. Hitherto the enemy has not atempted to visions and ammunition had been formed some interrupt my movements. Information reached time since. The rear-guard of the army reached me this morning, through an authentic channel, that position during the night, and we were soon that he had pushed on three thousand infantry, afterwards joined by Lieutenant-Colonel Bisshopp, and a considerable body of cavalry, towards with all the detachments from Chippewa to Fort Queenston. His whole force is stated Erie. The light, and one battalion company of amount to nearly ten thousand men. the 8th, (king's,) joined us about the same time, as did Captain Barclay, with a detachment of the royal navy.

Having assembled my whole force the following morning, which did not exceed sixteen hundred men, I continued my march towards the head of the lake, where it is my intention to take up a position, and shall endeavour to maintain it, until I may be honored with your Excellency's instructions, which I shall feel most anxious to receive. I beg leave to suggest the great importance that exists for a communication being opened with me, through the medium of the fleet. The anchorage under Mr. Brandt's house is perfectly good and safe. I believe your Excellency need not be informed, that in the event of it becoming necessary that I should fall back upon York, the assistance of shipping would be requisite for the transport of my artillery. I cannot conclude this long communication, without expressing a well merited tribute of approbation to the gallantry and assiduity of every officer of the staff, and indeed of every individual composing


I send this despatch by Mr. Mathison, who acted as a volunteer on the 27th; and I am happy to inform your Excellency, that his conduct was very honorable to his character, and merits my marked approbation. Ammunition will be wanting by the first vessel. Captain Milnes has been kind enough to remain with me until my next despatch.

I have the honor to be, &c.
His Excellency Lieutenant-General
Sir George Prevost, &c. &c. &c.
Return of killed, wounded, and missing, of His
Majesty's troops in action with the enemy at
Fort George, May the 27th, 1813.

One captain, one lieutenant, one ensign, one serjeant, forty-eight rank and file, killed; one general-staff, one major, two captains, five lieutenants, two ensigns, four serjeants, twenty-nine rank and file, wounded; one lieutenant, thirteen serjeants, eight drummers, two hundred and forty rank and file, wounded and missing.

already stated the exposed position of the would have reflected honor on a band of veterBritish; our readers may, therefore, take ans long accustomed to 'the din of arms.'" this insinuation at its proper value. O'Con- We left General Vincent at the Beaver nor in his account, reversing the real state of Dam, where he had been joined not only by things, makes the British "five to one." the detachment from Fort Erie and Chippewa, Thomson, more modestly, says, "the action but by one flank and one battalion company was fought by inferior numbers on the Ame- of the 8th, and Captain Barclay, R.N., with a rican side," and Dr. Smith, giving no numbers, small body of seamen on their way to Lake dwells only on "the firmness and gallantry of Erie. To cut off this force, Dearborn, who the American troops." seems never to have been in a hurry, deThe escape of General Vincent and his spatched, on the 28th, a considerable body; troops left the Americans as far as ever from but, luckily, he sent them in the wrong direethe desired undisturbed occupancy of the tion, for had he chosen the Lake road, there western peninsula. Ingersol observes, "Vin- would have been a probability of cutting off cent, the British General, effected his retreat General Vincent. Two days were occupied (probably without Dearborn's even knowing it, in this fruitless pursuit, and, on the recall of for he stayed on shipboard), to the mountain the troops, two days more were passed in a passes, where he employed his troops in at- consideration of how the lost time was to be tacking, defeating, and capturing ours during made up. Dearborn's idea was to use the all the rest of that year of discomfiturcs." fleet as a means of transportation to BurlingArmstrong, in his remarks, has, "if, instead ton Bay: but, fortunately for the British, the of concentrating his whole force, naval and Cabinet at Washington gave this arm of the military, on the water side of the enemy's de- expedition a different direction. No alternafences, he had divided the attack, and, cross-tive, therefore, remained to Dearborn but the ing the Niagara below Lewiston, advanced on pursuit by the Lake shore, which should have Fort George by the Queenston road, the in- begun, had Dearborn possessed any energy, vestment of that place would have been com- on the morning of the 28th. plete, and a retreat of the garrison impracticable."

It was certainly fortunate for the British that the Americans had generals who were not tacticians enough to profit by their superiority in numbers. Had Brock commanded the Americans, the campaign of 1813 might have had a more fortunate issue for our enemies.

Before, however, following the fortunes of the brigade despatched in pursuit, we will turn to Sackett's Harbor, and the fate of the expedition prepared against it by Sir George Prevost, and a considerable body of troops destined to act in concert with the fleet under Commodore Yeo.

After disposing of this subject, we will return to Gen. Vincent and his fortunes, taking, Although the disasters at York and Niagara while in the west, a glance at Proctor, whom were disheartening in some degree, yet the de- we left just after his return from Fort Meigs scendants of the brave men who composed the Another chapter will, however, be required militia at that time have cause to look on both for a consideration of all these subjects; we these events with much pride and satisfaction. will, therefore, conclude the present one with It is clear, from the conduct of the militia on Ingersol's testimony as to the defence of Caeach of these occasions, that they had attained | nada :—“On the land the defence of Canada a high degree of military discipline, and, as a was couducted with much more energy, encontemporary justly observes, "the marked terprise and spirit, than the American attempts coolness and fearless intrepidity with which at invasion, which failed, after a long series of the York and Lincoln militia resisted the ap-delays and reverses, and proved abortions as proach of the enemy towards their shores, discreditable as Hull's."



the attention of the entire Province was directed, which, in consequence of the preExpedition against Sackett's Harbour, 27th May. sence and co-operation of the two commanders-Proceedings at west end of Lake Ontario; in-chief, the inhabitants had flattered themsurprise at Stony Creek.-Result of the Dear-selves would have a very different result, and born and Chauncey expedition.-Affair at the the failure of which inflicted a blow on the Beaver Dam.-Capitulation of Col. Borstler military character of Sir George Prevost from and five hundred and forty-one American which it never recovered. troops.-Reinforcements arrive at Queenston, but return to Fort George.-Proceedings in Congress on receipt of news of Borstler's surrender.—Colonel Clark's expedition against Fort Schlosser.-Colonel Bisshopp's expedition against Black Rock.-American alliance with Indians.-Proctor, and aspect of affairs in the


Prone to exaggeration as we have in most cases found American historians, it is a singular feature in the present instance, that they seem to have laid aside their natural characteristic, and to have modestly set forth, with but little coloring of misrepresentation, the facts as they really occurred. This moderation bears the harder on Sir George Prevost, as it would almost seem as if his discomfiture appeared in their eyes something scarcely

Before entering on the subject of the ex-worth boasting of, ready as they always were

Expedition against Sackett's Harbor, 27th


to lay hold of every circumstance, however trivial, (and of this we have already adduced several striking proofs,) that they could in any manner distort, or magnify into a victory.

pedition against Sackett's Harbor, we would premise that we have hitherto endeavoured to do full justice to Sir George Prevost, wherever it appeared that blame had Without farther preamble, then, we would been unjustly imputed to him, and to point remind the reader, that Commodore (Sir out the real quarter to which discredit should James) Yeo's arrival from England, with a attach, whether the causes of his failure party of officers and seamen, had given an might be attributable to the orders from the impetus to the naval preparations at Kingston, Home Government, by which he was in a and that the vessels there had been manned great degree fettered, or arose from the in- and equipped in a manner sufficient to warrant sufficient force under his command, and the the expectation, that the fleet, under so able extended frontier which he was called upon a commander, might once more boldly appear to defend. We can scarcely, then, be accused on the lake. Great, therefore, was the delight of blindly or capriciously joining in a crusade of all, when it was ascertained that Sir George against this officer's memory in the present Prevost's consent had been obtained for eminstance, the more especially as we have ploying, this acquisition of naval strength, in a diligently sought to discover, in the American combined attack, on the important post of accounts of the descent on Sackett's Harbor, Sackett's Harbor, now considerably weakened some extenuating causes for the failure of a in its defences, by the absence of Commodore movement, on which the ultimate success of Chauncey's fleet, and of the numerous army the war seemed so mainly to depend, to which which had recently been stationed there.

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