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It blew heavy in squalls from the westward during the night, and there was every appearance of a gale of wind. The pilot became alarmed, and I thought it most prudent to get into a place of more safety. I therefore (very reluctantly) deferred renewing the attack upon the ships and forts until a more favourable opportunity.
At 7, A. M., on the 10th, I made the signal to weigh, and we beat out of a very narrow channel under a very heavy press of sail to the open lake. At 10 we fell in with the Governor Simcoe running for Kingston, and chased her into the harbour. She escaped by running over a reef of rocks, under a heavy fire from the Governor Tompkins, the Hamilton, and the Julia, which cut her very much. All her people ran below while under the fire of these vessels. The Hamilton, chased her into nine feet water before she hauled off. We tacked to the southward with an intention of running to our station at the Ducks, but it coming on to blow very heavy, the pilots told me it would be unsafe to keep the lake. I bore up for this place, where I arrived last night.
In our passage through the bay of Quanti, I discovered a schooner at the village of Armingstown, which we took possession of; but finding she would detain us (being then in chase of the Royal George), I ordered lieutenant Macpherson to take out her sails and rigging, and burn her, which he did. We also took the schooner Mary Hall from Niagara, at the mouth of Kingston harbour, and took her with us to our anchorage. The next morning, finding that she could not beat through the channel with us, I ordered the sailing master in the Growler to take her under convoy, and run down past Kingston, anchor on the east end of Long Island, and wait for a wind to come up on the east side. I was also in hopes that the Royal George might be induced to follow for the purpose of retaking our prize, but her commander was too well aware of the consequences to leave his moorings.
We lost in this affair one man killed, and three slightly wounded, with a few shot through our sails. The other vessels lost no men, and received but little injury in their hulls and sails, with the exception of the Pert, whose gun bursted in the early part of the action, and wounded her commander (sailing master Arundel) badly, and a midshipman and three men slightly. Mr. Arundel, who refused to quit the deck although wounded, was knocked overboard in beating up to our anchorage, and I am sorry to say was drowned.
The Royal George must have received very considerable injury in her hull and in men, as the gun vessels, with a long
32-pounder, were seen to strike her almost every shot, and it was observed that she was reinforced with men four different times during the action,
I have great pleasure in saying that the officers and men on board of every vessel behaved with the utmost coolness, and are extremely anxious to meet the enemy on the open and as long as I have the honour to command such officers and such men, I can have no doubt of the result.
I think I can say with great propriety, that we have now the command of the lakes, and that we can transport troops and stores to any part of it without any risk of an attack from the enemy; although the whole of his naval force was not collected at Kingston, yet the force at the different batteries would more than counterbalance the vessels that were absent. It was thought by all the officers in the squadron that the enemy had more than 30 guns mounted at Kingston, and from 1000 to 1500 men. The Royal George, protected by this force, was driven into the inner harbour, under the
protection of the musketry, by the Oneida, and four small schooners fitted out as gun boats; the Governor Tompkins not having been able to join in the action until about sundown, owing to the lightness of the winds, and the Pert's gun having burst the second or third shot.
We are replacing all deficiencies, and I shall proceed up the lake the first wind, in the hopes to fall in with the Earl Moira and the Prince Regent; at any rate I shall endeavour to prevent them from forming a junction with the Royal George again this winter. I shall also visit Niagara river if practicable, in order to land some guns and stores that I have taken on board for that purpose. If the.enemy are still in. possession of Queenstown, I shall try to land them a few miles below. I shall have the honour of writing you more in detail upon this subject on my return, or perhaps before I leave here if the wind continue ahead.
I have the honour to be, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
ISAAC CHAUNCEY. Hon. Paul Hamilton, Secretary of the Navy.
CANNONADING BETWEEN FORTS GEORGE AND NIAGARA.
Official Report to Brigadier-General Smyth, commanding the
Army of the Centre. Sir,
I beg leave to inform you, that on the morning of the 21st Nov. at six o'clock, a heavy cannonading opened upon this garrison from all the batteries at and in the neighbourhood of Fort George, which lasted without intermission until sundown. They had five detached batteries, two mounting 24pounders, one mounting a nine, and two mortar batteries, one 10, the other 51 inch. The batteries firing hot shot, which set some of our buildings on fire, but from the extraordinary vigilance of the officers and men, particularly major Armistead of the United States corps of engineers, whose indefatigable exertions were extended to all parts of the garrison, the fires were got under without being observed by
Our garrison was not as well provided with artillery and ammunition as I could have wished-however, the batteries opened a tremendous fire upon them, in return, with hot shot, admirably well directed.
Several times during the cannonading, the town of Newark was in flames, but was extinguished by their enginesas also the centre building in Fort George. Their mess-house and all the buildings near it were consumed. Capt. M'Keen commanded a twelve-pounder in the S. E. block-house, and distinguished himself by his usual gallantry and skill. Captain Jacks, of the 7th regiment militia artillery, commanded a six-pounder on the north block-house, and, together with a part of his own company, though placed in a situation the most exposed to the fire of the enemy, maintained their position like veterans.
Lieutenant Rees had the command of an eighteen-pounder, on the S. E. battery, which was pointed at the battery en barbette mounting a 24-pounder, and also at Fort George ; several well directed shots were made from this gun, which proved the skill of its commander. About ten o'clock, lieutenant Rees had his left shoulder bruised by a part of the parapet falling on him-which, though it did not materially injure him, obliged him to retire, and captain Leonard of the 1st regiment United States artillery at that moment arriving, he took the command of this battery for the remainder of the day. Lieutenant Wendel, of the second regiment artillery, had the command of an 18 and four-pounder on the west battery and Dr. Hooper, of captain Jack's company militia artillery, had the command of a six-pounder on the messhouse. Of these gentlemen and their commands I cannot speak with too much praise; they distinguished themselves highly, and from their shot, all of which was hot, the town of Newark was repeatedly fired, and one of the enemy's batteries silenced for a time.
An instance of extraordinary bravery in a female (the wife of one Doyle, a private in the United States artillery, made a prisoner at Queenstown) I cannot pass over. During the most tremendous cannonading I have ever seen, she attended the six-pounder on the mess-house with red hot shot, and showed fortitude equal to the maid of Orleans. Lieutenants Gansevoort and Harris of the first regiment United States artillery, had the command of the salt battery at Youngstown mounting an 18 and a four-pounder; these two guns played upon the garrison of Fort George and the buildings near it: from every observation I could make during their fire, I am happy to say they merited my warmest thanks for their skill in the service of these guns. Lieutenant Harris from his four-pounder sunk a schooner, which lay at their wharf; she was one of those taken by the enemy at the mouth of the Genessee river a short time since. He also assisied in burning and destroying the buildings near the wharf. These two officers and their men in the warmest part of the cannonading having fired away all their cartridges, cut up their flannel waistcoats and shirts, and the soldiers their trowsers, to supply their guns.
I cannot say too much in praise of all the officers and soldiers of the artillery immediately under my observation, in this garrison; they merit the thanks and esteem of their country for the defence of it, and I believe it never sustained so sharp and continued a bombardment.
The enemy threw more than two thousand red hot balls into it, and a number of shells amounting to more than 180, only one of which did injury to our men.
Lieutenant-colonel Gray commanded the artillery; the unremitting attention paid to his duty, proves him an officer whose zeal and science do honour to himself and country: to this gentleman I feel much indebted for the manner he acquitted himself.
To the officers of my regiment (particularly captain Milligan) and the soldiers who assisted the artillery, and those employed in extinguishing the fires and carrying off the kill. ed and wounded, I am also much indebted; they merit my warmest thanks.' To Dr. West of the garrison, Dr. Hugan VOL. II.
of the 14th regiment United States infantry, and Dr. Craige, of the 22d regiment United States infantry, I offer my thanks. They were employed during the entire day in the most critical duties of their profession.
Our killed and wounded amount to eleven.
Killed—Serjeant Jones, first regiment United States artillery ; Salisbury, 2d do. do. do. - Privates, Stewart, 22d do. United States infantry; Lewis, first do. United States artillery.
Wounded-Officers, lieutenant Thomas, 22d regiment United States infantry-Privates, Boman, 14th do, do. M'Evoy, first do. do. Campbell, first do. do. Welsh, first do. do. Ray, third do. do. Woodsworth, seventh do. militia artillery.
From the number we saw carried off from the enemy's batteries, I presume many more were killed and wounded on their side.
Only two of the above men were killed by the enemy's shot, the rest by the bursting of a 12-pounder in S. E. blockhouse, and by the spunges of the guns on the north blockhouse, and at the Salt battery.
GEO. M‘FEELEY, Lieutenant-Colonel commanding Fort Niagara.
GENERAL SMYTH'S EXPEDITION.
Official Letter from General Smyth to Major-General Dearborn, respecting the failure of his projected enterprise against
Camp, near Buffaloe, 8th December, 1812. The troops under my command having been ordered to hut themselves for the winter, it becomes my duty to report to you the proceedings had there since I took the command on this frontier.
On or about the 26th of October, I ordered that 20 scows should be prepared for the transportation of the artillery and cavalry, and put the carpenters of the army on that duty.
On the 26th of November ten scows were completed, and by bringing boats from lake Ontario, the number was increased to seventy.
I had issued an address to the men of the state of New York, and perhaps 300 volunteers had arrived at Buffaloe. I presumed that the regular troops, and the volunteers under colonels Swift and M.Clure, would furnish 2300 men for duty;