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With these means, what can be accomplished by human exertion, I will attempt. With a mind devoted to the general objects of the campaign,
I have the honour to be, &c.
W. HAMPTON, His excellency maj. gen. James Wilkinson.
HEAD QUARTERS, BURLINGTON TUEIGHT?,
November 10th, 1813. SIR,
Lieutenant Le Breton having delivered your letter of the 34 instant. I have directed captain Merritt, of the Provincial dragoons, to proceed with a flag to fort George, as the bearer of this acknowledgment of your obliging communication.
The account given of the British officers, whom the fortune of war has lately placed at the disposal of the United States, is such as cannot fail affording very consoling reflections to this army and their anxious friends.
Though you must be sensible there are several points in your letter, respecting which it is wholly beyond my power to afford you the satisfaction of an “ explicit declaration,” yet, be assured, sir, I shall never feel the smallest degree of hesitation in joining you in any pledge, that it will ever be my anxious wish and endeavour to alleviate as much as possible the fate of those who may
fall into my power by the chances of war.
Believe me, sir, I deprecate as strongly as yourself, the perpe. tration of acts of cruelty committed under any pretext; and shall lament equally with yourself that any state of things should produce them. No efforts of mine will be ever wanting to diminish the evils of a state of warfare, as far as may be consistent with the duties which are due to my king and country,
The Indians, when acting in conjunction with the troops under my command, have been invariably exhorted to mercy, and have never been deaf to my anxious entreaties on this interesting subject.
'I shall not fail to transmit the original of your letter to the Lower Province, for the consideration of his excellency the commander of the forces.
I feel particularly anxious to be made acquainted with your instructions relative to the disposal of the gallant and truly unfortunate captain Barclay, whose wounds, I lament to hear, are such as to preclude all hope of his being ever again able to resume the honourable duties of his station. Under these circumstances I am induced to rely on your liberality and generous interference to obtain a release or parole, that he may be allowed the indulgence of immediately proceeding to the Lower Province.
I have the honour to be, &c.
Major general, British army. Ilis excellency maj. general Harrison
By his Excellency,
MARTIN CHITTENDEN, Esq. Governor, captain general, and commander in chief in and over
the state of Vermont.
A PROCLAMATION. Whereas it appears, that the third brigade of the 3d division of militia of this state, has been ordered from our frontiers to the defence of a neighbouring state; and whereas it further appears, to the extreme regret of the captain general, that a part of the militia of said brigade have been placed under the command, and at the disposal of, an officer of the United States, out of the jurisdiction or controul of the executive of this state, and have been actually marched to the defence of a sister state, fully competent to all the purposes of self-defence, whereby an extensive section of our own frontier is left, in a measure, unprotected, and the peaceable, good citizens thereof are put in great jeopardy, and exposed to the retaliatory incursions and ravages
of an exasperated enemy; and whereas disturbances of a very serious nature are believed to exist, in consequence of a portion of the militia having been thus ordered out of the state :
Therefore-to the end that these great evils may be provided against, and as far as may be, prevented for the future:
Be it known, that such portion of the militia of said 3d division as may be now doing duty in the state of New York, or elsewhere, beyond the limits of this state, both officers and men, are hereby ordered and directed, by the captain general and commander in ehief of the militia of the state of Vermont, forth with to return to the respective places of their usual residence, within the territorial liunits of said brigade, and there to hold themselves in constant readiness to act in obedience to the orders of brigadier general Jacob Davis, who is appointed, by the legislature of this state, to the command of said brigade.
And the said brigadier general Jacob Davis is hereby ordered and directed, forthwith, to see that the militia of his said brigade be completely armed and equipped, as the law directs, and held in constant readiness to march on the shortest notice, to the defence of the frontiers : and, in case of actual invasion, without further orders, to march with his said brigade, to act, either in co-operation with the troops of the United States, or separately, as circumstances may require, in repelling the enemy from our territory, and in protecting the good citizens of this state from the ravages of hostile incursions.
And in case of an event, so seriously to be deprecated, it is hoped and expected that every citizen, without distinction of party, will fly at once to the nearest post of danger, and that the only rallying word be our country.”
Feeling, as the captain general does, the weight of responsibility which rests upon him, with regard to the constitutional iluties of the militia, and the sacred rights of our citizens to protection from this great class of the community, so essentially necessary in all free countries : at a moment too, when they are so eminently exposed to the dangers of hostile incursions and domestic difficulties, he cannot conscientiously discharge the trust reposed in him by the voice of his fellow citizens, and by the constitutions of this state and the United States, without an unequivocal declaration, that, in his opinion, the military strength and resources of this state must be reserved for its own defence and protection, exclusively; excepting in cases provided for by the constitution of the United States; and then, under orders derived only from the commander in chief.
Given under my hand at Montpelier, this 10th day of November, in the year of our Lord 1813, and of the independence of the United States, the 38th.
SAMUEL SWIFT, Secretary.
To his Excellency
MARTIN CHITTENDEN, Esq.
the State of Vermont. SIR,
A most novel and extraordinary proclamation from your excellency, “ordering and directing such portion of the militia of the third brigade in the third division of the militia of Vermont, now doing cluty in the state of New York, both officers and men, forth with to return to the respective places of their usual residence," has just been communicated to the undersigned officers of said brigade. A measure so unexampled, requires that we should state to your excellency, the reasons which induce us absolutely and positively to refuse obedience to the order contained in your excellency's proclamation With due deference to your excellency's opinion, we humbly conceive, that when we are ortered into the service of the l'nited States, it becomes our duty, when required, to march to the defence of any section of the union. We are not of that class who believe that our duties, as citizens or soldiers, are circumscribed within the narrow limits of the town or state in which we reside; but that we are under a para
meunt obligation to our common country, to the great confederacy of the states. We further conceive, that while we are in actual service, your excellency's power over us, as governor of the state of Vermont, is suspended.
If it is true, as your excellency states, that “we are out of the jurisdiction or controul of the executive of Vermont,” we would ask from whence your excellency derives the right, or presumes to exercise the power of ordering us to return from the service in which we are now engaged? If we were legally ordered into the service of the United States, your excellency must be sensible that you have no authority to order us out of that service. If we were illegally ordered into service, our continuance in it is either voluntary or compulsory. If voluntary, it gives no one a right to remonstrate or complain ; if compulsory, we can appeal to the laws of our country for redress against those who illegally restrain us of our liberty. In either case, we cannot perceive the right your excellency has to interfere in the business. Viewing the subject in this light, we conceive it our duty to declare unequivocally to your excellency, that we shall not obey your excellency's order for returning; but shall coutinue in the service of our country, until we are legally and honourably discharged. An invitation or order to desert the standard of our country, will never be obeyed by us, although it proceeds from the governor and captain general of Vermont.
Perhaps it is proper, that we should content ourselves with merely giving your excellency the reasons which prevail upon us to disregard your proclamation; but we are impressed with the belief, that our duty to ourselves, to the soldiers under our command, and to the public, requires that we should expose to the world, the motives which produced, and the objects which were intended to be accomplished by such an extraordinary proclamation. We shall take the liberty to state to your excellency plainly, our sentiments on this subject. We consider your proclamation as a gross insult to the officers and soldiers in service, inasmuch as it implies that they are so ignorant of their rights, as to believe you have authority to command them in their present situation, or so abandoned as to follow your insidious advice. We cannot regard your proclaination in any other light, than as an unwarrantable stretch of executive authority, issued from the worst of motives, to effect the basest purposes. It is, in our opinion, a renewed instance of that spirit of disorganization and anarchy which is carried on by a faction, to overwhelm our country with ruiu and disgrace. We cannot perceiver what other object your excellency could have in view, than to embarrass the operations of the army, to excite mutiny and sedition among the soldiers, and to induce them to desert, that they might forfeit the wages to which they are entitled for their patriotic services.
We have, however, the satisfaction to inform your excellency, that although your proclamations have been distributed among the
soldiers, by your agent delegated for that purpose, they have failed to produce the intended effect—and although it may appear incredible to your excellency, even soldiers have discernment sufficient to perceive, that the proclamation of a governor, when issued out of the line of his duty, is a l armless, inoffensive and nugatory document—they regard it with mingled emotions of pity and contempt for its author, and as a striking monument of his folly.
Before we conclude, we feel ourselves, in justice to your excellency, bound to declare, that a knowledge of your excellency's character induces us to believe, that the folly and infamy of the proclamation to which your excellency has put your signature, is not wholly to be ascribed to your excellency, but chiefly to the evil advisers, with whom we believe your excellency is unhappily encompassed.
We are, with due respect, &c. Luther Dixon, lieutenant colonel ; Elijah Dee, junr. major ; Josiah Grout, major ; Charles Bennet, captain ; Jesse Post, captain; Elijah W. Wood, captain; Elijah Birge, captain ; Martin D. Follet, captain; Amasa Mansfield, captain ; T. H. Campbell, lieutenant ; G. 0. Dixon, lieutenant ; Francis Northway, lieutenant ; Joshua Brush, lieutenant ; Daniel Dodge, ensign ; Sandford Gadcomb, captain ; James Fullington, quarter master ; Shepherd Beals, lieutenant ; John Fasset, surgeon ; Seth Clark, junr. surgeon's mate; Thomas Waterman, captain ; Benjamin Follet, lieutenant ; Hira Hill, surgeon's mate.
CAMP STROTHER, NEAR TEN ISLANDS OF COOSA,
November 11th, 1813. SIR,
I am just returned from an excursion which I took a few days ago, and hasten to acquaint you with the result.
Late on the evening of the 7th instant, a runner arrived from the friendly party, in Lashley's fort, (Talledega) distant about 30 miles below us, with the information that the hostile Creeks, in great force, had encamped near the place, and were preparing to destroy it; and earnestly entreated that I would lose no time in affording them relief. Urged by their situation, as well as by a wish to meet the enemy so soon as an opportunity would offer, I determined upon commencing my march thither with all my disposable forçe in the course of the night; and immediately des. patched an express to general White, advising him of my intended movement, and urged him to hasten to this encampment by a forced march, in order to protect it in my absence. I had repeatedly written the general to form a junction with me as speedily as practicable, and a few days before had received his assurance, that on the 7th he would join me. I commenced crossing the