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the eneiny on land was retreating, and whilst the bombardment was most severe, two or three rocket vessels and barges succeeded in getting up the ferry branch; but they were soon compelled to retire by the forts in that quarter, commanded by lieutenant Newcomb, of the navy, and lieutenant, Webster, of the flotilla. These forts also destroyed one of the barges with all on board. The barges and battery at the lazaretto, under the command of lieutenant Rutter, of the flotilla, kept up a brisk, and is believed, a successful fire during the hottest period of the bombardment. Major Armistead being seriously ill, in consequence of his continued exposure to the weather, has rendered it impossible for him to send in his report. It is not, therefore, in my power to do justice to those gallant individuals who partook with
the danger of a tremendous bombardment, without the ability of retorting, and without that security, which, in more regular fortifications, is provided for such occasions. Our loss in the fort is, I understand, about 27 killed and wounded; amongst the former, I have to lament the fall of lieutenants Clagget and Clemm, who were both estimable citizens and useful officers.
From general Stricker's brigade, the return of the killed and wounded has not yet come in. It is supposed, however, to amount to about 150; among the former, this city has to regret the loss of its representative in the state legislature, James L. Donaldson, esq. adjutant of the 27th regiment. This gentleman will ever be remembered by his constituents for his zeal and talents, and bf his corps for his bravery and military knowledge.
I cannot conclude this report, without informing you of the great aid I have derived from commodore Rodgers. He was ever present and ready to afford bis useful counsel, and to render his important services. His presence, with that of his gallant officers and scamen, gave confidence to every one.
The enemy's loss in his attempt on Baltimore, amounts, as near as we can ascertain it, to between 6 and 700 killed, wounded and missing. General Ross was certainly killed.
I have the honour to be, &c.
S. SMITH, Maj. Gen. Camdg. Col. James Monroe,
acting Secretary of War.
HEAD QUARTERS, FORT ERIE, September 20th, 1814. SIR,
Among the officers lost to this army at the battle of Niagara falls, was my aid-de-camp, captain Ambrose Spencer, who, being mortally wounded, was left in the hands of the enemy. By flags froin the British army, I was shortly afterwards assured of his convalescence, and an offer was made me by lieutenant general Drummond to exchange him for his own aid, captain Loring, then a prisoner of war with us. However singular this proposition
appeared, as captain Loring was not wounded, nor had received
Indignant as I am at this ungenerous procedure, I yet hold
''ery respectfully, &c.
Fellow citizens of the Senate
and of the House of Representatives :
The result is not yet known. If, on one hand, the repeal of the
This increased violence is best explained by the two inportant circumstances, that the great contest in Europe for an equilibrium guaranteeing all its estates against the ambition of any, has been closed without any check on the overbearing power of Grvat Bri:
tain on the ocean; and it has left in her hands disposable armaments with which, forgetting the difficulties of a remote war with a free people, and yielding to the intoxication of success, with the example of a great victim to it before her eyes, she cherishes hopes ot still further aggrandizing a power already formidable in its abuses to the tranquillity of the civilized and commercial world.
But, whatever may have inspired the enemy with these more violent purposes, the public councils of a nation, more able to maintain than it was to acquire its independence, and with a devotion to it rendered more ardent by the experience of its blessings, can never deliberate but on the means most effectual for defeating the extravagant views or unwarrantable passions with which alone the war can now be pursued against us.
In the events of the present campaign, the enemy, with all his augmented means, and wanton use of them, has little ground for exultation, unless he can feel it in the success of his recent enterprizes against this metropolis and the neighbouring town of Alexandria, from both of which his retreats were as precipitate as his attempts were bold and fortunate. In his other incursiours on our Atlantic frontier, his progress often checked and chastised by the martial spirit of the neighboring citizens, has had more effect in distressing individuals, and in dishonoring his arms, than in promoting any object of legitimate warfare. And, in the two instances mentioned, however deeply to be regretted on our part, he will find in his transient success, which interrupted for a moment only the ordinary public business at the seat of government, no compensation for the loss of character with the world, by his violations of private property, and by his destruction of publíc edifices, protected, as monuments of the arts, by the laws of civilized warfare.
On our side, we can appeal to a series of achievements which have given new lustre to the American arms. Besides the brilliant incidents in the minor operations of the campaign, the splendid victories gained on the Canadian side of the Niagara, by the American forces under major general Brown, and brigadiers Scott and Gaines, have gained for those heroes, and their emulating companions, the most unfading laurels; and, having triumphantly tested the progressive discipline of the American soldiery,
taught the enemy that the longer he protracts his hostile el forts, the more certain and decisive will be his final discomfiture.
On our southern border, victory has continued also to follow the American standard. The bold and skilful operations of major general Jackson, conducting troops drawn from the militia of the states least distant, particularly of Tennessee, have subdued the principal tribes of hostile savages, and, by establishing a peace with them, preceded by recent and exemplary chastisement, has best guarded against the mischief of their co-operation with the British enterprizes which may be planned against that quarter of our country. Important tribes of Indians on our northwestern
frontier have also açceded to stipulations which bind tnem to the interests of the United States, and to consider our enemy as theirs also.
In the recent attempt of the enemy on the city of Baltimore, defended by militia and volunteers, aided by a small body of regulars and seamen, he was received with a spirit which produced a rapid retreat to his ships; whilst a concurrent attack by a large feet was successfully resisted by the steady and well directed fire of the fort and batteries opposed to it.
In another recent attack by a powerful force on our troops at Plattsburgh, of which regulars made a part only, the enemy, after a perseverance for many hours, was finally compelled to seek safety in a hasty retreat, with our gallant bands pressing upon him.
On the lakes, so much contested throughout the war, the great exertions for the command made on our part, have been well repaid. On lake Ontario our squadron is now, and has been for some time, in a condition to confine that of the enemy to his own port; and to favour the operations of our land forces on that frontier.
A part of the squadron on lake Erie has been extended into lake Huron, and has produced the advantage of displaying our command on that lake also. One object of the expedition was the reduction of Mackinaw, which failed, with the loss of a few brave men, among whom was an officer justly distinguished for his gallant exploits. The expedition, ably conducted by both the land and naval commanders, was otherwise highly valuable in its effects.
On lake Champlain, where our superiority had for some time, been undisputed, the British squadron lately came into action with the American, commanded by captain Macdonough. It issued in the capture of the whole of the enemy's ships. The best praise for this officer, and his intrepid comrades, is in the likeness of his triumph to the illustrious victory which immortalized another officer, and established, at a critical moment, our command of another lake.
On the ocean, the pride of our naval arms has been amply supported. A second frigate, indeed, has fallen into the hands of the enemy, but the loss is hidden in the blaze of heroism with which she was defended. Captain Porter, who commanded her, and whose previous career had been distinguished by daring enterprize and by fertility of genius, maintained a sanguinary contest against two ships, one of them superior to his own, and under other severe disadvantages, till humanity tore down the colours which valor had nailed to the mast. This officer and his brave comrades, have added much to the rising glory of the Ameri can flag, and have merited all the effusions of gratitude which their country is ever ready to bestow on the champions of its rights and of its safety.
Two smaller vessels of war have also become prizes to the enemy; but by a superiority of force which sufficiently vindicates the reputation of their commanders; whilst two others, one commanded by captain Warrington, the other by captain Blakely, have captured British ships of the same class, with a gallantry and good conduct which entitle them and their companions to a just share in the praise of their country.
In spite of the naval force of the enemy accumulated on our coasts, our private cruizers have also not ceased to annoy his commerce, and to bring their rich prizes into our ports ; contributing thus, with other proofs, to demonstrate the incompetency and illegality of a blockade, the proclamation of which is made the pretext for vexing and discouraging the commerce of neutral powers with the United States.
To meet the extended and diversified warfare adopted by the enemy, great bodies of militia have been taken into service for the public defence, and great expenses incurred. That the defence every where may be both more convenient and more economical, Congress will see the necessity of immediate measures for filling the ranks of the regular army, and of enlarging the provision for special corps, mounted and unmounted, to be engaged for longer periods of service than are due from the militia. I earnestly renew, at the same time, a recommendation of such changes in the system of the militia, as, by classing and disciplining, for the most prompt and active service, the portions most capable of it, will give to that great resource for the public safety, all the requisite energy and efficiency.
The monies received into the Treasury during the nine months ending on the 30th day of June last, amounted to thirty-two millions of dollars, of which, near eleven millions were the proceeds of the public revenue, and the remainder derived from loans. The disbursements for public expenditures during the same period, exceeded thirty-four millions of dollars. The demands during the remainder of the present year, already authorized by Congress, and the expenses incident to an extension of the operations of the war, will render it necessary that large sums should be provided to meet them.
From this view of the national affairs, Congress will be urged to take up, without delay, as well the subject of pecuniary supplies, as that of military force, and on a scale commensurate with the extent and the character which the war has assumed. It is not to be disguised that the situation of our country calls for its greatest efforts. Our enemy is powerful in men and in money, on the land and on the water. Availing himself of fortuitous advantages, he is aiming, with his undivided force, a deadly blow at our growing prosperity, perhaps at our national existence. He has avowed his purpose of trampling on the usages of civilized warfare, and given earnests of it in the plunder and wanton destruction of private property. In his pride of maritime doininion,