« AnteriorContinuar »
CANANDAIGUA, June 29, 1812,
9 o'clock A. M. SIR,
I avail myself of the same express which conveyed me the letter of general Porter and yours of yesterday, to inform you that I will not hesitate in assuming the responsibility of marching for the defence and protection of the Niagara frontier under existing circumstances; should I be fortunate in preventing or repelling invasion, and inspiring our frontier settlers with confidence, I shall feel well rewarded.
It is only two months ince I arrived in the district, and commenced the recruiting service, and with the blessing of Providence I will march by two o'clock to day, three companies of infantry and one of artillery, and I trust I will quarter with them in fort Niagara on the 4th of July. Be pleased to make this known to general Porter, and inform him that the arms and ammunition will accompany my command.
Major U. S. Infantry. To Major Genl. Hall, Batavia.
BY WILLIAM HULL,
army of the United States.
INHABITANTS OF CANADA! After thirty years of peace and prosperity, the United States have been driven to arms. The injuries and aggressions, the insults and indignities of Great Britain, have once more left them no alternative but manly resistance or unconditional submission. The army under my command has invaded your country, and the standard of union now waves over the territory of Canada. To the peaceable, unoffending inhabitant, it brings neither danger nor difficulty. I come to find enemies, not to make them ; I come to protect, not to injure you.
Separated by an immense ocean and an extensive wilderness from Great Britain, you have no participation in her councils, no interest in her conduct; you have felt her tyranny, you have seen her injustice, but I do not ask you to revenge the one, or to redress the other. The United States are sufficiently powerful to afford every security consistent with their rights and your expectations.
I tender you the invaluable blessing of civil, political and religious liberty, and their necessary result, individual and general prosperity. That liberty which gave decision to our councils and energy to our conduct, in a struggle for independence, and which conducted us safe and triumphantly through the stormy period of the revolution. That liberty which has raised us to an elevated rank among the nations of the world, and which afforded us a greater measure of peace and security, of wealth and improve. ment, than ever fell to the lot of any country.
In the name of my country, and by the authority of government, I promise you protection to your persons, property and rights; remain at your homes, pursue your peaceful and customary avocations, raise not your hands against your brethren. Many of your fathers fought for the freedom and independence we now enjoy. Being children, therefore, of the same family with us, and heirs to the same heritage, the arrival of an army of friends must be hailed by you with a cordial welcome. You will be emancipated from tyranny and oppression, and restored to the dig. pified station of freemen. Had I any doubt of eventual success, I might ask your assistance, but I do not. I come prepared for every contingency. I have a force which will look down all opposition. And that force is but the van-guard of a much greater. If, contrary to your own interest and the just expectation of my country, you should take part in the approaching contest, you will be considered and treated as enemies, and the horrors and calamities of war will stalk before you. If the barbarous and savage policy of Great Britain be pursued, and the savages be let loose to murder our citizens, and butcher our women and children, this war will be a war of extermination. The first stroke of the tomahawk, the first attempt with the scalping knife, will be the signal of one indiscriminate scene of desolation
No white man found fighting by the side of an Indian will be taken prisoner; instant destruction will be his lot. If the dictates of reason, duty, justice and humanity, cannot prevent the employment of a force which respects no rights, and knows no wrong, it will be prevented by a severe and relentless system of retaliation. I doubt not your courage and firmness. I will not doubt
attachment to liberty. The United States offer you peace, liberty and security—your choice lies between these and war, slavery and destruction. Choose then, but choose wisely; and may He who knows the justice of our cause, and who holds in his hands the fate of nations, guide you to a result the most compatible with your rights and interests, your peace and happiness. By the General,
A. P. HULL,
Sandwich, July 12, 1812.
WILKINSON'S GENERAL ORDER.
HEAD-QUARTERS, NEW ORLEANS, July 15, 1812.
Brigadier General Wilkinson resumes his command of the district of the Mississippi.
The eventful moment in which he enters on the arduous and critical duties of his station, will, he trusts, justify the deviation from ordinary rule, when he appeals to the pride, the spirit, honour, zeal and patriotism of those who may be placed under his orders.
After a series of long continued aggressions, which the love of peace only could have induced the American people to tolerate; after reiterated wrongs without remedy or relief; after having drained the cup of conciliation to its very dregs; the government of the United States of America have been driven to the last appeal of nations in support of its independence, and to assert those inalienable rights which are derived from God and nature. The patience and forbearance which have marked the course of the public councils furnish the strongest assurance of the firmness and inflexibility with which that course will be maintained until its objects are accomplished.
The crisis is imperative, and the call to arms must alike animate every
soldier. But we owe still more to the public service and the common safety of our beloved country; Let political feuds and personal animosities be buried at the shrine of patriotism, and let our only contest be for personal glory and the national weal.
The respect in which the general holds his own humble fame, presents to his subordinates a safe guarantee for the justice and impartiality of the commander in the exercise of his functions ; and while he requires from his officers a candid and manly cooperation for the support of those principles of subordination and discipline, without which military bodies become worse than useless, while he demands from them harmony, zeal, discretion, constancy, valour, as the best security for personal repute and efficient service. Considerations of delicacy require that he should draw an impenetrable veil over the scenes which have ensued during his absence; and he pledges himself to make even handed justice the rule of his conduct, rewarding merit according to its worth, and awarding punishments with inflexible rigour when the laws may impose them.
SANDWICH, UPPER CANADA, July 17, 1812. SIR,
In conformity with your instructions, I proceeded with a detachment of 280 men, to reconnoitre the enemy's advanced posts. We found them in possession of a bridge over the river
Canas, at the distance of four miles from Malden. After examining their position, I left one company of riflemen, to conceal themselves near the bridge, and upon our appearance on the opposite side of the river, to commence firing, in order to divert their attention, and to throw them into confusion. I then proceeded with the remainder of the force about five miles, to a ford over the Canas, and down on the southern bank of the river. About sun-set we arrived within sight of the enemy. Being entirely destitute of guides, we marched too near the bank of the river, and found our progress checked by a creek, which was then impassable. We were then compelled to march up a mile, in order to effect a passage over the creek. This gave the enemy time to make their arrangements, and prepare for their defence. On coming down the creek we found them formed; they commenced a distant fire of musketry. The riflemen of the detachment were formed upon the wings, and the two companies of infantry in the centre. The men moved on with great spirit and alacrity. After the first discharge the British retreated we continued advancing. Three times they formed, and as often retreated. We drove them about half a mile, when it be. came so dark that we were obliged to relinquish the pursuit. Two privates in the 41st regiment were wounded and taken prisoners. We learn from deserters, that nine or ten were wounded, and some killed. We could gain no precise information of the number opposed to us. It consisted of a considerable detachment from the 41st regiment, some militia, and a body of Indians. The guard at the bridge consisted of fifty men. Our riflemen stationed on this side the Canas, discovered the enemy reinforcing them during the whole afternoon. There is no doubt but their number considerably exceeded ours. Lieutenant colonel Miller conducted in the most spirited and able manner. I have every reason to be satisfied with the conduct of the whole detachment. Very respectfully, sir, I have the honour, &c.
Col. 3d reg. O. vol. His Excellency Brigadier General Hull.
British account of the capture of Fort Michilimackinac.
MACKINAC, 18th July, 1812. DEAR SIR,
I am happy to have it in my power to announce to you that Mackinac capitulated to us on the 15th instant, at 11 o'clock, A. M. Captain Roberts at our head, with a part of the 10th B. V. battalion. Mr. Crawford had the command of the Canadians, which consisted of about 200 men ; Mr. Dickenson 143 Sioux, Forlavians, and Winebagoes; and myself about 280 men, Attawas and Chippewas, part of Attawas of L'harb Croche had not arrived. It was a fortunate circumstance, the fort capitulated without firing a single gun, for had they done so, I firmly believe not a soul of them would have been saved.* My son, Charles Longdale, Augustin Nolin, and Machello Badotte, jr. have rendered me great service in keeping the Indians in order, and in executing, from time to time, such commands as were delivered by the commanding officer. I never saw so determined a set of people as the Chippewas and Attawas.
Since the capitulation they have not drank a single drop of liquor, nor even killed a fowl belonging to any person, (a thing never known before) for they generally destroy every thing they meet with. I am, dear sir, your most obedient servant,
JOHN ASKIN, Jun.
Store keeper's Dept. The hon. col. W. Claus, &c. Fort George.
DETROIT, 4th August, 1812. SIR,
I take the earliest opportunity to acquaint your excellency of the surrender of the garrison of Michilimackinac, under my command, to his Britannic majesty's forces under the command of captain Charles Roberts, on the 17th ultimo, the particulars of which are as follows :-On the 16th, I was informed by the Indian interpreter, that he had discovered from an Indian that the several nations of Indians then at St. Joseph, (a British garrison, distant about forty miles) intended to make an immediate attack on Michilimackinac. I was inclined, from the coolness I had discovered in some of the principal chiefs of the Ottawa and Chippewa nations, who had but a few days before professed the greatest friendship for the United States, to place confidence in this report. I immediately called a meeting of the American gentlemen at that time on the island, in which it was thought proper to despatch a confidential person to St. Joseph to watch the motions of the Indians. Captain Daurman, of the militia, was thought the most suitable for this service. He embarked about sun-set, and met the British forces within ten or fifteen miles of the island, by whom he was made prisoner and put on his parole of honor. He was landed on the island at day-break, with positive directions to give me no intelligence whatever. He was also instructed to take the inhabitants of the village indiscriminately to a place on the west side of the island, where their persons and property
* British magnanimity.