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Youngstown, Manchester,and Tuscarora-Attack
campaign; upon the burning of Newark, and the measures pursued in retaliation.
HAVING brought the campaign of 1813 to a close upon the northern, and north-western, Canadian frontiers, the operations along both shores of the Niagara come, next, to be detailed. Major-general Vincent, who again commanded, in the absence of general De Rottenburg, the centre-division, had received, since the middle of September, a reinforcement of the 100th regiment; in order to counter-balance the reduction his force would sustain in the departure of the 49th and 104th regiments, already noticed.* The general's head-quarters were at the Cross Roads; and the piquets of his advanced corps, which was commanded by colonel Murray, occasionally showed themselves in the town of Newark. From the America: accounts only we learn, that, on the 6th of October, “about 500 militia-volunteers and about 150 Indians, commanded by colonel Chapin," attacked the piquet-guard of the British ; and,
or after an hour and a half's hard-fighting," drove it upon the main-body; when “ the whole British army,
* See Vol. I. p. 261.
consisting of 1100 men, with the great general Vincent, at their head, fled into the woods." The British are declared to have sustained a loss of 32 in killed only, and the Americans of four killed and wounded. * This is the way the “ literary gentlemen” of the United States contrive to fill their “ histories.” Colonel, or doctor Chapin (for he professes, and is equally mischievous in, both characters) had lately escaped from the British, † and, for that exploit, been promoted; probably by the secretary at war himself, as he was known to have been in the neighbourhood of the Niagara, while the Montreal expedition was preparing.
On the 9th of October intelligence of the disaster that had befallen the right division, reached the head-quarters of the centre-division; and caused general Vincent, after destroying considerable quantities of stores, provisions, and Indian goods, to retreat, with his troops, towards Burlington Heights: where colonel Proctor joined him with the small remnant of his division. As soon as general Vincent and his troops had got well on their way to Burlington, major-general M'Clure, with the whole of his force, numbering 2700 men, besides Indians, marched a few miles along the road, and back. This was not without an object; for we were afterwards told, that * Hist. of the War, p. 158. + See Vol. I. p. 218.
general M'Clure, with the New York militia, volunteers, and Indians, succeeded in driving the British army from the vicinity of FortGeorge, and pursued them as far as the Twelvemile Creek.”*
Major-general Proctor's disconfiture reached the head quarters of the commander in chief about the middle of October; and orders were instantly forwarded to major-general Vincent, directing him to commence upon his retreat without delay, and to evacuate all the British posts : beyond Kingston. Some delay did fortunately take place, owing chiefly to counterorders, not from head-quarters; and a council of war, summoned at Burlington Heights, came to the noble resolution of not moving a step to the rear, in the present conjuncture of affairs on the peninsula. Fatal, indeed, would have been the retreat. There was still a considerable number of sick, both at Burlington Heights and at York; and, considering the season of the year, and the state of the roads, the whole of them must have been left to the protection of the enemy. Nor, for the same reason, could the ordnance, ordnance-stores, baggage, and provisions, have followed the army; and yet the garrison of Kingston, upon which place the troops were directed to retire, had, at this time, scarcely a week's provision in
* History of the War, p. 158.
store. This abandopment of territory so soon following up the affair at the Moravian village, what would the Indians have thought of us?-In short, it will not bear reflection.
Towards the end of October, among other sacrifices caused by the dread of general Harrison's zeal and promptitude, two companies of the 100th regiment, which had been stationed at Charlotteville, in the London district of Upper Canada, were ordered to evacuate that post, and join the main body of the centredivision of the army at Burlington, distant 60 miles. Orders were at the same time issued, to disembody and disarm the militia. The officer who had this duty to perform, having ascertained that a large body of traitors and Americans had been plundering the houses of the inhabitants, while the latter were away in the service of their country, left a supply of arms and ammunition with some of the militia officers and privates. These, in number 45, immediately formed themselves into an association; and marched, with lieutenant-colonel Bostwick, of the Oxford militia, at their head, against the marauders; whom they fortunately fell in with on the Lake Erie shore, about nine miles from Dover. An engagement ensued; in which several of the gang were killed and wounded, and 18 taken prisoners, These 18 were afterwards tried at Ancaster for high treason; and all, except three, convicted.
Eight of the 15, so convicted, underwent the penalty of the law. The remaining seven were respited, to await the prince regent's final decision; and have since been transported. How highly, and yet how justly, this well-planned and well-executed enterprise was appreciated by the president of Upper Canada, will be seen in the general orders which he caused to be issued upon the occasion.*
About the 1st of November general Harrison arrived at Fort-George, with about 1700 of his troops; who, agreeably to Mr. Secretary Armstrong's orders, were immediately quartered upon the inhabitants of Newark. In the course of November, both general Harrison and colonel Scott, with their respective corps, embarked on board commodore Chauncey's fleet for Sackett's Harbor; leaving general M'Clure, with his 2700 militia, and a few. regular troops, in charge of Fort-George. General M'Clure, now having the entire command to himself, and being disappointed, notwithstanding all the intrigues of his friend Wilcocks, in his endeavours" to secure the friendship and co-operation of the inhabitants," began sending the most obstinate of the latter across to the American side, and then set about pillaging and destroying the farm-houses and barns in the neighbourhood of Fort-George.
* App. No.l.