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charge, during the continuance of the war them, and scalp our prisoners? In case of with Buonaparte, was not so well founded war with the pirates of the Barbary coast as that relative to the navy; but as soon as why should we not, on the same principle, the European war was terminated, it was ex make slaves of our prisoners? In short, if pected that the American would be speedily we were right in imitating the devastation brought to a close.
of the Americans, we should be justified in This expectation had very mueh the ap- imitating and retaliating all the inhuman pearance of being gratified; for, as soon as practices of the most savage nations, with possible after the peace of Paris, the British whom we might chance to be at war. The ministry sent to America about 14,000 of inexorable consequences resulting from such those troops who had gained such fame under a system of retaliation would be a general the duke of Wellington. The annihilation feeling of alarm and revenge: the federalists, of the American army was now thought to who hated Mr. Madison, and were averse to be at hand: even the most sceptical could all his measures, would be drawn into the not hesitate to expect that troops which had arms of the republican party, in order to ignominiously fled before a Canadian militia, avoid the greater evil of being passive while would be dissipated like chaff before the vic- their country was laid waste, and our chators of the peninsula; and the more sanguine racter for rectitude, humanity, and moderaalready anticipated the conquest of at least a tion, would be lost. But the determination part of the United States, and that we should of the British ministry, remained iminovedictate peace at Philadelphia or Washington. able; the commercial and mercantile classes
Besides the troops which were sent to in England regarded the American war with Canada, a strong naval force, with an ade- comparative indifference, now that the trade quate number of troops on board, was col- of Europe was open to their goods ; a great lected for the purpose of invading different proportion of the community who had opparts of the United States. The object of posed the war while the orders in council this kind of expedition seems to have been remained in force, considered themselves two-fold: in the first place, by actually land- bound to support the system of hostility as ing in different places, and keeping the coast soon as they were repealed. The ministers, in constant alarm, to prevent the American therefore, exulting in this change of public government from sending as many troops as temper, confiding in the supposed unpoputhey would otherwise have done to the in- larity of Mr. Madison, and trusting to the vasion of Canada ; and in the second place, prowess and experience of the veterans whoin to retaliate on the Americans the destruction we had sent from Spain, publicly announced which they had committed at York Town their sanguine anticipations of success. and other places. It was also expected that, The operations began in the early part of if either or both these objects were effected, July. The American army effected a landthe war would become more unpopular in ing at the ferry of Lake Erie, having driven America than it actually was; and that the in the picquets of the garrison of Fort Erie. clamours of the inhabitants of those towns As soon as major-general Riall, who comand districts which were invaded and laid manded the troops in the neighbourhood, waste by our troops would either compel the heard of this event, he ordered the immediate president to make peace, or to withdraw the advance of five companies of the royal Scots, troops from Canada for their protection and towards Chippawa, to reinforce the garrison defence. These invading expeditions were of that place. About the same time a dealso defended on the ground that they were tachment of the 100th regiment, with some intended to retaliate the devastation and militia, and a few Indians, moved forward cruelty which the Americans had committed for the purpose of reconnoitring the position in their invasion of Canada. But it was and the numbers of the enemy. asked in the house of commons, why did not amounted to about 6000 men, with a numewe, on the same principle, imitate the cruelty rous train of artillery, and were strongly of the Indians when we were at war with posted at and above Fort Erie. The force
of the British, in regular troops, amounted which attended their first operations, looked to about 1500, exclusive of 300 militia and forward to still greater advantages; but in Indians. In the afternoon of the 5th, ma this they were disappointed, for general jor-general Riall having made the neces Drummond advanced in considerable force sary dispositions, ordered the attack to com to the support of general Riall
, who was had taken
up a position now posted near the falls of Niagara. Scarcely with his right resting on some villages and had the junction taken place when intelliorchards close on the river Niagara, and gence arrived that the American army was strongly supported by artillery; his left was advancing in great force. General Drumtowards a wood, having a considerable body mond immediately proceeded to meet them: of riflemen and Indians in front of it. These he found them already in possession of a riswere first attacked, and after a sharp buting ground, while their light troops were in short contest were dislodged. After this the surrounding woods. The 84th regiment, success major-general Riall ordered the king's the royal Scots detachment, and the 41st regiment to move to the right, while the light companies, were immediately formed in royal Scots and 100th regiments were di- the rear of the hill, their left resting on the rected to charge the enemy in front. On road; while two twenty-four pounders were this arduous enterprize they advanced with advanced in front of the centre, and the rethe greatest coolness and gallantry, notwith- mainder of the British troops were posted on standing they were exposed to a very heavy the left of the road. Scarcely were the troops and galling fire. The enemy, aware of the thus arranged, when the whole front was advantages of their position, and finding that warmly and closely engaged. The principal their fire was very destructive, stood firm, efforts of the enemy were directed against till at length major-general Riall finding that the left and centre of the British. They farther efforts would be unavailing, and that made repeated attacks, in the course of which his troops had suffered severely, ordered them the troops on the left were partially forced to relinquish the attack. In this affair lieu- back, and the enemy obtained a momentary tenant-colonel Gordon, and lieutenant-colonel possession of the road. He derived, how. the marquis of Tweedale, who charged in ever, no material advantage from this cirthe most gallant manner at the head of their cumstance, as the troops which were forced respective regiments, were wounded. A re back formed again in the rear of the 89tlı treat now became necessary on Chippawa, regiment, fronting the road and securing the which was conducted with good order and flank. About this time major-general Riall, regularity, not a single prisoner falling into having been wounded, fell into the power of the hands of the enemy, except those who the enemy. In the centre, also, their attacks were disabled by wounds. The object of were repeated with considerable determinathe enemy's advance was evidently to gain tion, but they were met and repulsed by our possession of Fort Erie, and major-general troops in that quarter with the most perfect Riall was in hopes of being able to save it. steadiness and gallantry, and with very conAfter the battle, he understood that it had siderable loss to their opponents. The intresurrendered on the Sd. Major Back, who pidity of the Americans was equally remark. commanded that fort, appears to have been able; our artillerymen were bayonetted in the very ill informed of the movements of the act of loading, and the muzzles of the eneeneiny, since he was wholly unapprized of my's guns were advanced within a few yards their having landed on both sides of lim, of ours. The darkness of the night during and only at the distance of a mile. After this extraordinary conflict occasioned several this, instead of endeavouring to atone for his unusual incidents. Our troops having for a want of circumspection by determined cou moment been pushed back, some of our guns rage, he surrendered the fort without firing a remained for a few minutes in the enemy's gun; himself and 150 men being made pri- hands. They were, however, not only quickly soners of war.
recovered, but the two pieces which the AThe enemy, emboldened by the success mericans had brought up were captured.
One of the enemy's six-pounders was put by troops retreated towards the battery. Our mistake on a limber or cradle of ours, and loss was very severe in killed and wounded, one of our six-pounders on a limber of theirs, and a very great number were made priby which means the pieces were exchanged.
About nine o'clock, three hours after the It was abundantly evident from these accommencement of the action, and during a counts, that we had beaten the Americans short interruption of the firing, the Ameri- till we had taught them to fight. But it was cans brought up the whole of their remain- fondly hoped that, as soon as sir George Preing force, and shortly afterwards renewed vost received the reinforcements which were their attacks with fresh troops, but were dispatched to him immediately after the peace every where repulsed with equal gallantry of Paris, he would obtain a splendid and deand success. They continued their efforts, cisive victory over the enemy. As soon as however, against the hill till midnight, when these reinforcements did arrive, he lost no they had suffered so severely that they gave time in advancing to the frontier ; on which up the contest, and retreated with great pre- the American army abandoned its entrenched cipitation to their camp beyond the Chippa- camp. Sir George immediately proceeded
On the next day they abandoned their against Plattsburg, which place it was detercamp, throwing the greatest part of the bag- mined to attack both by land and water.gage and ammunition into the rapids, and The enemy were resolved to defend this continued their retreat in great disorder to- place; and for that purpose their land forces wards Fort Erie. The loss of the Americans, occupied an elevated ridge, while their floin this severe contest, was estimated at 1500 tilla were at anchor out of gun-shot from men; and their two commanding generals the shore. As soon as this disposition of were wounded. Our loss was also very se the enemy's forces was observed, sir George
Prevost communicated the circumstance to Soon after the decision of this battle gene- captain Downie, who had been recently apral Drummond resolved to attempt the re pointed to command the vessels on Lake capture of Fort Erie, For this purpose, on Champlain. When sir George observed the 13th of August, he opened the fire of a the flotilla steering for Plattsburg Bay, he battery against it, and having soon afterwards ordered his troops to advance, and to escalade reason to believe that a sufficient impression the enemy's works had been made, he determined on assaulting In consequence of the light airs and the the place. Two attacks were ordered to be smoothness of the water, the fire between the made; one against the entrenchments on the flotillas was very destructive on both sides. side of Snake-hill
, and the other against the From the commencement of the engage fort and entrenchments on the opposite side. ment, it was evidently the intention of the The troops appointed for the latter enterprise enemy to direct nearly all his efforts against advanced to the attack as soon as the firing captain Downie's vessel the Confiance. This occasioned by the other attack was heard, vessel was fought with great gallantry, till and succeeded in getting possession of the on the death of her brave commander she demi-bastion, the guns of which they had was compelled to strike her colours. The actually turned against the enemy; when whole of the enemy's force was then directed most unfortunately some ammunition caught against the Linnet of 18 guns, which was fire, and a most tremendous explosion took also most bravely defended by her commanplace, by which almost all the troops which der, till at length he was under the painful had succeeded in making a lodgment were necessity of giving orders that her colours dreadfully mangled. Panic was instantly should be struck. Another of the British spread among them; and the enemy taking flotilla unfortunately stranded on a reef of advantage of it pressed forward, and com- rocks, and of course was prevented from renmenced a heavy fire of musketry : under dering any assistance. these circumstances it became absolutely ne In the mean time the land forces had successary to abandon the fort, and the British ceeded in effecting a passage across the Sara
But at this time sir George Prevost attended our troops towards the close of the
It is scarcely possible to conceive the de- cuated Fort Erie; and the campaign termi-
attention to the circumstances and results of
them; since, even if they had admiral Griffith, who commanded the land
reached the town and fort of Castine, built Nor was this the only misfortune which on a peninsula on the eastern side of the Pe
nobscot. The officer commanding this fort Machias, where they landed without opposi-
declare any territory as essentially and perBefore the boats got within good gun-shot manently attached to the conqueror, of which of the battery thrown up to defend the fri- he has only gained a temporary possession, gate, the Americans abandoned its defence can only serve to expose his weakness when and set fire to her, and she was totally de- he is compelled to give it up, and to irritate stroyed; while the troops that were stationed the enemy. It was said that the territory of at the other battery ran away with great pre- which we had gained possession was necessary cipitation the moment our troops ascended for the purpose of an open and direct comthe hill. The pursuit continued as far as the munication between Canada and New Brunstown of Bangor ; where some of the inhabi- wick :—but as it was to the Americans of tants who had not fought, but pretended to little value, it might have been obtained, in fight, at Hamden, threw off the military the event of a peace, for an equivalent ; character, and as magistrates, &c. made an whereas they were not likely to permit the unconditional surrender of the town. Shortly disgrace of having it forced from thein, of after this the American general Blake, with however little real value it might be to them. 191 troops, also surrendered, and were ad The expedition against the southern, or mitted to their parole. During these opera- rather the middle, states of America, it was tions, another body of British troops, to the determined, should be on a larger scale, and muumber of 700, were marched up the eastern should, if successful
, not only amply retaliate bank of the river, about 18 miles, to Buxton; the devastations of the enemy in Canada, but the destruction of the frigate, and the but strike such terror into them as would indispersion of the enemy's troops in that quar- duce them totally to desert Mr. Madison, ter being fully effected, the British force was and compel him
to make peace. The land withdrawn from Bangor, Belfast, and Buxton, forces employed on this expedition were unto Castine, where the head-quarters of sir J. der the command of major-general Ross, and Sherbrooke were fixed. The only fort be the sea forces under the command of admiral tween the Penobscot and the Passamaquoddy Cochrane : these officers determined to disis that of Machias
, which it was originally embark the army at the village of Benedict, intended to have attacked first; but the on the right bank of the Patuxent, for the attempt against Hamden was considered as purpose of co-operating with real-admiral preferable, from the necessity of taking or Cockburn in an attack on the enemy's flotilla destroying the frigate. This object, however, under the command of commodore Barney. having been accomplished, no time was lost Admiral Cochrane landed the marines on the in dispatching another body of troops against left bank of the river, at the place where he