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During the action a battery of a 12 pounder and a howitzer was opened on our rear, but without doing any execution, and was silenced by a few shot. Our loss is four privates killed and five privates wounded.
Towards the close of the action the flag-staff was shot away; but the flag was immediately hoisted on a sponge staff over the parapet. While the flag was down the enemy kept up their most incessant and tremendous fire; the men were withdrawn from the curtins and north-east bastion, as the enemy's own shot completely protected our rear, except the position they had chosen for their battery. Where all behaved well it is unnecessary to discriminate. Suffice it to say, every officer and man did his duty; the whole behaved with that coolness and intrepidity which is characteristic of the true American, and which could scarcely have been expected from men most of whom had never seen an enemy, and were now for the first time exposed for nearly three hours to a force of nearly or quite four guns to one.
We fired during the action between 4 and 500 guns, most of them double shotted, and after the first half hour but few missed an effect.
September 16th, 11 o'clock, A. M. Upon an examination of our battery this morning, we find upwards of 300 shot holes in the inside of the north and east curtins, and north-east bastion, of all calibres, from musket ball to 32 pound shot. In the north-east bastion, there were three
dismounted ; one of which, a four pounder, was broken off near the trunnions by a 32 pound shot, and another much battered. I regret to say that both the 24 pounders are cracked in such a manner as to render them unfit for service.
I am informed by two deserters from the land force, who have just arrived here, and whom I send for your disposal, that a reinforcement is expected, when they will doubtless endeavour to wipe of the stain of yesterday.
If you will send the Amelia down, we may probably save most or all of the ship's guns, as her wreck is lying in six or seven feet water, and some of them are just covered. They will not, however, answer for the fort, as they are two short.
By the deserters, we learn that the ship we have destroyed was the Hermes, but her commander's name they did not recollect. It was the commodore, and he doubtless fell on his quarter deck, as we had a raking fire upon it at about two hundred yards distance for some time.
To captain Sands, who will have the honour of handing you this despatch, I refer you for a more particular account of the movements of the enemy than may be contained in my letters; his services, both before and during the action, were of great importance, and I consider fully justify me in having detained him, Captain Walsh and several men were much burned by the acci
dental explosion of two or three cartridges. They are not included in the list of wounded heretofore given.
The enemy's fleet, this morning at day break, were at anchor in the channel, about four miles from the fort; shortly after it got under way and stood to sea; after passing the bar they hove to, and boats have been constantly passing between the disabled brig and the others. I presume the former is so much injured as to render it necessary to lighten her.
Fifteen Minutes after 1 P. M. The whole fleet have this moment made sail and are standing to sea.
I have the honour to be, &c.
WILLIAM LAWRENCE. Major general Andrew Jackson, &c.
HEAD QUARTERS, 7th MILITARY DISTRICT,
Mobile, September 17th, 1814. SIR,
With lively emotions of satisfaction, I communicate that success has crowned the gallant efforts of our brave soldiers, in resisting and repulsing a combined British naval and land force, which, on the 15th instant, attacked fort Bowyer, on the point of Mobile.
I enclose a copy of the official report of major William Lawrence, of the ed infantry, who commanded. 'In addition to the particulars communicated in his letter, I have learnt that the ship which was destroyed, was the Hermes, of from 24 to 28 guns, captain the honourable William H. Percy, senior officer in the gulf of Mexico; and the brig so considerably damaged, is the Sophia, 18 guns, captain William Lockyer. The other ship was the Carron, of from 24 to 28 guns, captain Spencer, son of Earl Spencer; the other brig's name unknown. On board of the Carron, 85 men were killed and wounded; among whom, was colonel Nicoll, of the royal marines, who lost an eye by a splinter. The land force consisted of 110 marines and 200 Creek Indians, under the command of captain Woodbine, of marines, and about 20 artillerists, with one four and an half inch howitzer, from which they discharged shells and nine pound shot. They re-embarked the piece, and retreated by land towards Pensacola, whence they came.
By the morning report of the 16th, there were present in the fort, fit for duty, officers and men, 158.
The result of this engagement has stamped a character on the war in this quarter, highly favourable to the American arms; it is an event from which may be drawn the most favourable augury.
An achievement so glorious in itself, and important in its consequences, should be appreciated by the government; and those
concerned are entitled to, and will doubtless receive, the most gratifying evidence of the approbation of their countrymen.
In the words of major Lawrence," where all behaved well it is unnecessary to discriminate." But all being meritorious, I beg leave to annex the names of the officers who were engaged and present, and hope they will, individually, be deemed worthy of distinction,
Major William Lawrence, ed infantry, commanding; captain Walsh, of the artillery, captains Chamberlain, Brownlow' and Bradley of the 2d infantry, captain Sands, deputy-commissary of ordnance, lieutenants Villard, Sturges, Conway, H. Sanders, T. R. Sanders, Brooks, Davis, and C. Sanders, all of the 2d infantry
I am confident that your own feelings will lead you to participate in my wishes on this subject. Permit me to suggest the propriety and justice of allowing to this gallant band the value of the vessel destroyed by them.
I remain, &c.
ANDREW JACKSON, Brig. Gen. Com The Hon. Secretary of War.
ATTACK ON BALTIMORE.
On the approach of the fleet destined against Baltimore to the mouth of the Patapsco, consisting of nearly forty sail, and among them several ships of the line, the alarm spread quickly through the adjacent country. The largest vessels anchored across the channel; the troops intended for the land attack were debarked upon North Point, fourteen miles distant from the city, by land, and twelve by water, and on the morning of September 12th, between 7 and 8000 soldiers, sailors, and marines, had effected a landing, while 16 bomb-vessels and frigates proceeded up the river, and anchored within two miles and an half of Fort M'Henry. The further result of the enterprize will be found in the letter following, from major general Smith, to the Secretary of War.
HEAD QUARTERS, BALTIMORE, September 19th, 1814, SIR,
In compliance with the promise contained in my letter of the 15th instant, I have now the honour of stating, that the enemy landed between 7 and 8000 men, on Monday the 12th instant, at North Point, fourteen miles distant from this town. Anticipating this debarkation, general Stricker had been detached on Sunday evening with a portion of his brigade on the North Point road. Major Randal, of the Baltimore county militia, having under his command a light corps of riflemen and musketry, taken from ge neral Stansbury's brigade and the Pennsylvania volunteers, was detached to the mouth of Bear creek, with orders to co-operate
with general Stricker, and to check any landing which the enemy might attempt to make in that quarter. On Monday, brigadier general Stricker took a good position at the two roads leading from this place to North Point, having his right flanked by Bear ereek, and his left by a marsh. He here awaited the approach of the enemy, having sent an advanced corps under the command of major Heath, of the 5th regiment. This advance was met by that of the enemy, and after some skirmishing it returned to the line, the main body of the enemy being at a short distance in the rear of their advance, Between two and three o'clock the enemy's whole force came up and commenced the battle by some dischares of rockets, which were succeeded by the cannon from both sides, and soon after the action became general along the line. General Stricker gallantly maintained his ground against a great superiority of numbers during the space of an hour and twenty minutes, when the regiment on his left (the 51st) giving way, he was under the necessity of retiring to the ground in his rear, where he had stationed one regiment as a reserve. He here formed his brigade ; but the enemny not thinking it advisable to pursue, he, in compliance with previous arrangements, fell back and took post on the left of my entrenchments, and a half mile in advance of them. In this affair the citizen soldiers of Baltimore, with the exception of the 51st regiment, have maintained the reputation they so deservedly acquired at Bladensburg, and their brave and skilful leader has confirmed the confidence which we had all so justly placed in him, I take the liberty of referring you to his letter for the more particular mention of the individuals who, new to warfare, have shown the coolness and valor of veterans; and who, by their conduct on this occasion, have given their country and their city an assurance of what may be expected from them when their sețvices are again required. I cannot dismiss the subject without expressing the heartfelt satisfaction I experienced in thus bearing testimony to the courage and good conduct of my fellow townsmen, About the time general Stricker had taken the ground just mentioned, he was joined by brigadier general Winder, who had been stationed on the west side of the city, but was now ordered to march with general Douglas's brigade of Virginia militia and the United States' dragoons under captain Bird, and take post on the left of general Štricker. During these movements the brigades of general Stansbury and Foreman, the seamen and marines under commodore Rodgers, the Pennsylvania volunteers under colonels Cobean and Findley, the Baltimore artillery under captain Stiles, manned the trenches and the batteries-all prepared to receive the enemy, We remained in this situation during the night.
On Tuesday, the enemy appeared in front of my entrenchments at the distance of two miles, on the Philadelphia road, from whence he had a full view of our position. He manouvred during the morning, towards our left, as if with the intention of making
a eircuitous march and coming down on the Harford or York roads. Generals Winder and Stricker were ordered to adapt their movements to those of the enemy, so as to baffle this sup: posed intention. They executed this order with great skill and judginent, by taking an advantageous position, stretching from my left across the country, when the enemy was likely to approach the quarter he seemed to threaten. This movement induced the enemy to concentrate his forces (between one and two o'clock) in my front, pushing his advance to within a mile of us, driving in our videttes, and showing an intention of attacking us that evening. I immediately drew generals Winder and Stricker pearer to the left of my entrenchments and to the right of the enemy, with the intention of their falling on his right or rear, should he attack me; or, if he declined it, of attacking him in the morning. To this movement, and to the strength of my defences, which the enemy had the fairest opportunity of observing, I am induced to attribute his retreat, which was commenced at half past one o'clock on Wednesday morning. In this he was so favoured by the extreme darkness and a continued rain, that we did not discover it until day-light. I consented to general Winder's pursuing with the Virginia brigade and the United States' dragoons; at the same time, major Randal was despatched with his light corps, in pursuit of the enemy's right, whilst the whole of the militia cavalry was put in motion for the same object. All the troops were, however, so worn out with continued watching, and with being under arms three days and nights, exposed the greater part of the time to very inclement weather, that it was found impracticable to do any thing more than pick up a few stragglers. The enemy commenced his embarkation that even. ing, and completed it the next day at one o'clock. It would have been impossible, even had our troops been in a condition to act offensively, to have cut off any part of the enemy's rear guard during the embarkation, as the point where it was effected was defended from our approach, by a line of defences extending from Back river to Humphrey's creek, on the Patapsco, thrown up by ourselves previous to their arrival.
I have now the pleasure of calling your attention to the brave commander of Fort M.Henry, major Armistead, and to the operations confined to that quarter. The enemy made his approach by water, at the same time that his army was advancing on the land, and commenced a discharge of bombs and rockets at the fort as soon as he got within range of it. The situation of major Armistead was peculiarly trying. The enemy having taken a position at such a distance as to render offensive operations on the part of the fort entirely fruitless, whilst their bombs and rock ets were every moment falling in and about it; the officers and men being at the same time entirely exposed. The vessels, however, had the temerity to approach somewhat nearer; they were as soon compelled to withdraw, During the night, whilst