Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Extract of a letter from general M Arthur to the Secretary of War.

“DETROIT, October 6th, 1813. “ You have no doubt been advised by the commanding general, that Malden and this place were abandoned by the enemy previous to the arrival of our army, and that all the public buildings, &c. were destroyed. On our arrival at Sandwich, my brigade was ordered across the river to disperse some Indians, who were pillaging the town, and to take possession of the place. Information was received that several thousand Indians had retired a small distance into the woods, with instructions to attack general Harrison's army on its passage, for the purpose of retarding its progress; consequently my brigade was left to garrison this place.

“Since general Harrison's departure, five nations of Indians, viz. the Ottaways, Chippeways, Pottawatamies, Miamies and Kickapoos, who were but a few miles back, hare come in for peace, and I have agreed that hostilities should cease for the present on the following conditions : “ They have agreed to take hold of the same tomahawk with us, and to strike all who are, or may be, enemies to the United States, whether British or Indians., They are to bring in a number of their women and children, and leave them as hostages, whilst they accompany us to war. Some of them have already brought in their women, and are drawing rations.

· I have just received a note from general Harrison, advising that he had last evening overtaken general Proctor's force, and had gained a complete victory; that all the principal officers, general Proctor excepted, were in his possession, which no doubt ends the war in this quarter.

“I have the honour to be, &c. « DUNCAN M'ARTHUR, Brig. Gen. U. S. army,

[ocr errors]

Extract of a letter from brigadier general M°Clure, to his excel

lency governor Tompkins, dated
“ FORT GEORGE, HALF PAST 5 O ́CLOCK, P. M.

October 6th, 1813. - We have commenced offensive operations against the enemy. About 500 militia volunteers, and about 150 Indians, commanded by colonel Chapin, attacked the picket guard of the enemy, about a mile and a half from Fort George, and drove them in upon the main body, when the enemy opened a fire from several field pieces. Our men retired in good order into the fort, with the loss of one man killed and two or three wounded. The enemy's loss was seven killed, many wounded, and four prisoners,

“In a short time the enemy appeared in considerable force within five hundred yards of the fort, at the edge of the woods. Chapin again sallied out with about 300 men and some Indians,

commenced a brisk fire on the whole of the enemy's line, and drove them half a mile ; but perceiving by the movements of the enemy that they would outflank us, I ordered 200 to reinforce him, and in two detachments to attack the enemy's flanks. We succeeded in driving the enemy into the woods, when night coming on put an end to the conflict. Our loss was trifling; I have not ascertained that of the enemy. Colonel Chapin is a brave man. Every officer and soldier did his duty.”

U. S. SHIP GENERAL PIKE, SACKETT'S HARBOR,

October 6th, 1813. SIR,

I have the pleasure to inform you that I arrived here this morning, with five of the enemy's vessels, which I fell in with, and captured, last evening, off the Ducks. These were part of seven sail which left York on Sunday with 234 troops on board, bound to Kingston. Of this fleet five were captured, one burnt, and one escaped. The prisoners, amounting to nearly 300, besides having upwards of 300 of our troops on board from Niagara, induced me to run into port for the purpose of landing both.

I have the honour to be, &c.

ISAAC CHAUNCEY. Hon. Wm. Jones, Secretary of the Navy.

UNITED STATES' SHIP GENERAL PIKT,

Sackett's Harbor, October 6th, 1813. SIR,

As soon as the last of the flotilla with the troops, cleared the Niagara, I proceeded in quest of the enemy. On the 2d instant, at 10 A. M. discovered him steering a course for Niagara, witi, studding sails, and all sails set, wind from the south and westward; we made sail in chase, but as soon as we shot out, he took in studding sails, and hauled upon a wind to the westward, and made all sail from us; the wind being light all day, we made but little progress against the current, and at sun down, the enemy was off

' the Twenty Mile Creek, and had evidently gained considerably from us. During the night, the wind continued so light that we altered our position but very little, and at day-light, on the 3d, saw the enemy at anchor 'close in with the land, between the Twelve and Twenty Mile Creek; as soon as he saw us, he weighed and made all sail to the westward, wind from south to south-west, and squally. We made all sail in chase, and continued the chase the whole day, it blowing very heavy in squalls; at sun down, we could barely mark him out from the mast-head, when he appeared nearly up to the head of the lake; it continued squally with rain, and the night very dark ;' at daya light, on the 4th, hazy, could see nothing of the enemy-contin

ued working up for the head of the lake; towards meridian, it became calm. ' I ordered the Lady of the Lake to sweep up to Burlington bay, and ascertain whether the fleet was there; at half past 9 P. M. she returned, with information that the fleet was not there. Saw but two gun-boats. It struck me at once that he had availed himself of the darkness of the preceding night, and had either run for Kingston, or down the lake, for the purpose of intercepting the flotilla with the army; I therefore made all sail and shaped my course for the Ducks, with a view of intercepting him or his prizes, if he should have made any. The wind increased to a strong gale from the northward and westward, and continued during the whole day on the 5th ;-we therefore made a great run, for at 1 P. M. we passed Long Point; at 3, discovered seven sail near the False Ducks; presuming thein to be the fleet, made all sail in chase; at 4, made them out to be sloops and schooners. I made the signal for the Sylph and the Lady of the Lake, to cast off their tow, and chase north-east; soon after, perceiving the enemy separating on different tacks, I cast off the Governor Tompkins from this ship, gave the squadron in charge of captain Crane, and made all sail in chase; at 5, the enemy finding us to gain fast upon them, and one of his gun-vessels sailing much worse than the rest, he took the people

out and set her on fire. At sun down, when opposite the Real Ducks, the Hamilton, (late Growler) Confiance (late Julia) and Mary Ann, struck to us. The Sylph soon after, brought down the Drummond, cutter rigged. The Lady Gore run into the Ducks, but the Sylph (which was left to watch her) took possession of her early the next morning. The Enterprize, a small schooner, is the only one that escaped, and she owed her safety to the darkness of the night.

Finding much difficulty in shifting the prisoners, owing to the smallness of our boats and a heavy sea, I determined to take the prizes in tow, and run for this place, and land the prisoners and troops that I had on board. On the 6th, the Lady of the Lake having towed one of the prizes in, I despatched her immediately to cruize between the Real and False Ducks. She returned the same afternoon, having discovered the enemy's squadron going into Kingston.

I have repaired the principal damages sustained by this ship in the action on the 28th ultimo, and liave put in a new fore-mast into the Governor Tompkins. We are now ready, and waiting the movements of the army, which is contemplated will leave here on the 10th.

The vessels captured on the 5th, are gun vessels mounting from one to three guns each, with troops from the head of the lake (last from York) bound to Kingston. We learnt from the prisoners, that the enemy was very much cut up in their hulls and spars, and a great many men killed and wounded, particularly on board the Wolf and Royal George. I enclose, herewith, a list of

the prisoners taken on the 5th [Already published, see ** The War” of the 19th ultimo.]

I have the honour to be, &c.

ISAAC CHAUNCEY. Hon. Wm. Jones, Secretary of the Navy.

U. S. FRIGATE PRESIDENT, PAWTUXET,

October 7th, 1813. SIR,

Enclosed I have the honor of transmitting you a letter this moment received from lieutenant Nicholson,-commanding the gun-boats at Newport, informing me of the capture of the private armed sloop Dart.

With great respect, &c.

JOHN RODGERS. Hon. Wm. Jones, Secretary of the Navy.

HEAD QUARTERS, DETROIT, October 9th, 1813. SIR,

In iny last letter from Sandwich, of the 30th ultimo, I did myself the honour to inform you, that I was preparing to pursue the enemy the following day. From various causes, however, I was unable to put the troops in motion until the morning of the 2d instant, and then to take with me orly about 140 of the regular troops, Johnson's mounted regiment, and such of governor Shelby's volunteers as were tit_for a rapid march, the whole amounting to about 3500 men. To general M'Arthur, with about 700 effectives, the protection of this place, and the sick, was committed. General Cass's brigade, and the corps of lieutenant colonel Ball, were left at Sandwich, with orders to follow me as soon as the men received their knapsacks and blankets, which had been left on an island in lake Erie.

The unavoidable delay at Sandwich was attended with no disadvantage to us. General Proctor had posted himself at Dalson's, on the right bank of the river Thames (or French), fifty-six miles from this place, where I was informed he intended to fortify and to receive me. He must have believed, however, that I had no disposition to follow him, or that he had secured my continuance here, by the reports that were circulated that the Indians would attack and destroy this place, upon the advance of the army; as he neglected the breaking up of the bridges until the night of the 2d instant. On the night our army reached the river, which is 25 miles from Sandwich, and is one of four streams crossing our route, over all of which are bridges, and being deep and muddy, are unfordable for a considerable distance into the country. The bridge here was found entire, and, in the morning, I proceeded with Johnson's

regiment, to save, if possible, the others. At the second bridge, over a branch of the river Thames, we were fortunate enough to capture a lieutenant of dragoons and eleven privates, who had been sent by general Proctor to destroy them. From the prisoners I learned that the third bridge was broken up, and that the enemy had no certain information of our advance. The bridge, having been imperfectly destroyed, was soon repaired, and the army encamped at Drake's farm, four miles below Dalson's.

The river Thames, along the banks of which our route lay, is a fine deep stream, navigable for vessels of considerable burthen, after the passage

of the bar at its mouth, over which there is six and a half feet water.

The baggage of the army was brought from Detroit in boats, protected by three gun-boats, which commodore Perry had furmished for the purpose, as well as to cover the passage

of the army over the Thames itself, on the mouth of its tributary streams; the banks being low and the country generally open (prairies), as high as Dalson's, these vessels were well calculated for the purpose. Above Dalson's, however, the character of the river and adjacent country, is considerably changed. The former, though still deep, is very narrow, and its banks high and woody. The commodore and myself, therefore, agreed upon the propriety of leaving the boats under a guard of 150 infantry, and I determined to trust to fortune, and the bravery of my troops, to effect the passage of the river. Below a place called Chatham, and four miles above Dalson's, is the third fordable branch of the Thames. The bridge over its mouth had been taken up by the Indians, as well as at M'Gregor's mills, one mile above. Several hundred of the Indians remained to dispute our passage, and, upon the arrival of the advanced guard, commenced a heavy fire from the opposite bank of the creek, as well as that of the river. Believing that the whole force of the enemy was there, I halted the army, formed in order of battle, and brought up our two six pounders to cover the party that were ordered to repair the bridge, and cross the troops. Colonel Johnson's mounted regiment, being upon the right of the army, had seized the remains of the bridge at the mills, under a heavy fire from the Indians. Our loss, upon this occasion, was two killed and three or four wounded; that of the enemy was ascertained to be considerably greater. A house near the bridge, containing a very considerable number of muskets, had been set on fire, but it was extinguished by our troops, and the arms saved. At the first farm above the bridge, we found one of the enemy's vessels on fire, loaded with arms and ordnance stores, and learned that they were a few miles a head of us, still on the right bank of the river, with the great body of the Indians. At Bowles's farm, four miles from the bridge, we halted for the night, found two other vessels, and a large distil. lery, filled with ordnance and other valuable stores, to an immense amount, in flames. It was impossible to put out the fire ; two

« AnteriorContinuar »