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cipitately, continued his route along the mountains, and will reach the head of the lake by that route.
Lieutenant-colonel Preston took possession of Fort Erie and its dependencies last evening; the post had been abandoned and the magazine blown up.
I have ordered general Lewis to return without delay to this place, and if the winds favour us we may yet cut off the enemy's retreat.
I was last evening honoured with your despatch of the 15th instant. I have taken measures in relation to the 23 prisoners who are to be put in close confinement.
I have the honour to be, &c. &c.
Head-Quarters, 8th June, 1813. I hasten to state to you, that the whole of our officers and men discovered, in the action of the 27th ultimo, that readiness and ardour for action which evinced a determination to do honour to themselves and their country. The animating examples set by colonel Scott and by general Boyd deserve particular mention. I am greatly indebted to colo. nel Porter of the light artillery, to major Armistead of the third regiment of artillery, and to lieutenant Totten of the engineer corps, for their judicious and skilful execution in demolishing the enemy's fort and batteries. The officers of the artillery generally, who had the direction of the guns, are very deserving. I have the honour to be, &c.
H. DEARBORN. Hon. Gen. Armstrong, Secretary of War.
Return of the Loss of the Army of the United States, in the
Action of the 27th May, 1813. The light troops under the command of lieutenant-colonel Scott-captain Roach of the 23d infantry wounded; lieutenant Swearingen, do. ; 23 non-commissiond officers and privates killed ; 64 do. wounded ;-total 89.
General Lewis's division-first or Boyd's brigade, lieutenant H. A. Hobart, killed; rank and file, 1 wounded.
Sixth regiment of infantry, captain Arrowsmith, wounded ; rank and file, 6 killed, 16 wounded.
Fifteenth regiment of infantry, major King, wounded; rank and file, 1 killed, 6 wounded.
Sixteenth regiment of infantry, captain Steel, wounded; rank and file, 8 killed, 9 wounded.
New York volunteers, rank and file, 4 wounded.
Of the wounded, but 61 have been sent to the hospital.
Return of the Loss of the Enemy in killed, wounded, and taken,
in the Action of the 27th May, 1813. Killed-108.
Prisoners—wounded, 1 colonel, 3 subalterns, 7 serjeants, and 152 rank and file-163. Not wounded 1 captain, 1 subaltern, 1 surgeon, 8 serjeants, and 102 rank and file-113. Total loss of the enemy, 384— Militia paroled, 507.
E. BEEBE, Asst. Adjt.-General.
AMERICAN AND BRITISH ACCOUNTS OF THE ATTACK ON
Secretary of War.
You will have received my despatch of the 29th ultimo, written from the field of battle, and stating generally, that this post had been attacked by sir George Prevost, and that we had succeeded in repulsing him, principally owing to the gallantry of colonel Backus and the regular troops under his immediate command. Now I beg leave to offer to you the events of that day more in detail.
On the 25th ultimo, I received a letter from general Dearborn, requesting me to repair to this post for the purpose of taking the command. Knowing that lieutenant-colonel Backus, an officer of the first regiment of dragoons and of experience, was here, I hesitated, as I would do no act which might wound his feelings. In the night of the 27th I received a note from this officer by major Swan, deputy-quarter-master-general, joining in the request already made by major-general Dearborn. I could no longer hesitate, and accordingly arrived at this post early in the morning of the 28th. These circumstances will explain how I came to be in command upon this occasion. Knowing well the ground, my arrangements for defence, in the event of an attack, were soon made,
In the course of the morning of the 28th, lieutenant Chauncey of the navy came in from the lake firing guns of alarm. Those of the same character, intended to bring in the militia, were fired from the posts. The enemy's fleet soon after appeared, accompanied by a large number of boats. Believing that he would land on the peninsula, commonly called Horse Island, I determined to meet him at the water's edge with such militia as I could collect, and the Albany volunteers, under the command of lieutenant-colonel Mills; lieutenant-colonel Backus, with the regulars, formed a second line; the care of Fort 'Tompkins was committed to the regular artillerists and some volunteers, and that of Navy Point to lieutenant Chauncey of the navy. If driven from my position, lieutenant-colonel Backus was ordered to advance and meet the head of the enemy's column, while rallying my corps.
I was to fall on its flanks. If here unable to resist the enemy's attack, lieutenant Chauncey was in that case to destroy the stores, &c. and retire to the south shore of the bay, east of Fort Volunteer, while I proceeded to occupy that fort as our dernier resource.
In the course of the 28th, and during the nights of the 28th and 29th ultimo, a considerable militia force came in, and were ordered to the water side near Horse Island, on which was lieutenant-colonel Mills and his volunteers. Our strength at this point was now 500 men-all anxious for battle, as far as professions would go. The moment it was light enough to discover the approach of the enemy we found his ships in line between Horse Island and Stoney Point, and in a few minutes afterwards 33 large boats, filled with troops, came off to the Larger Indian or Garden Island, under cover of the fire of his gun-boats. My orders were that the troops should lie close and reserve their fire till the enemy had approached so near that every shot might hit its object.
It is, however, impossible to execute such orders with raw troops unaccustomed to subordination. My orders were in this case disobeyed. The whole line fired, and not without effect-but in the moment while I was contemplating this, to my utter astonishment, they rose from their cover and fled. Colonel Mills fell gallantly, in brave but vain endeavours to stop his men. I was personally more fortunate. Gathering together about 100 militia, under the immediate command of captain M‘Nitt of that corps, we threw ourselves on the rear of the enemy's left flank, and I trust, did some execution. It was during this last movement that the regulars under colonel Backus first engaged the enemy-nor was it long before they defeated him. Hurrying to this point of the action, I found the battle still raging, but with obvious advantage on our side. The result of
the action, so glorious for the officers and soldiers of the regular army, has already been communicated in my letter of the 29th. Had not general Prevost retreated most rapidly under the guns of his vessels, he would never have returned to Kingston.
One thing in this business is to be seriously regretted. In the midst of the conflict, fire was ordered to be set to the navy barracks and stores. This was owing to the infamous conduct of those who brought information to lieutenant Chauncey, that the battle was lost, and that to prevent the stores from falling into the enemy's hands, they must be destroyed.
The enemy's force consisted of 1000 picked men, led by sir George Prevost in person. Their feet consisted of the new ship Wolfe, the Royal George, the Prince Regent, Earl of Moira, two armed schooners, and their gun and other boats.
Of the officers who distinguished themselves, I cannot but repeat the name of lieutenant-colonel Backus, who, praised be God! yet lives. Captain M Nitt's conduct was noble, he will deserve to be placed in the regular army. Major Swan of the army, served as my adjutant-general, and was highly useful. Lieutenant Chauncey is a brave and honourable man. To him no blame can attach for what happened at Navy Point. He was deceived. Lieutenant-colonel Tuttle was in march for this post, but with every exertion was unable to reach it in time to take part in the action. This is felt by the colonel and every officer of his detachment, as a misfortune.
At the moment I am closing this communication, commodore Chauncey has arrived with his squadron. This renders my longer stay here unnecessary. I shall therefore immediately return to my home. I am, sir, with the highest respect, &c.
Brig.-Gen. of the New York Militia. The Hon. General Fohn Armstrong,
Secretary at War, Washington.
Report of the killed, wounded, and missing, in the action of the
29th May, 1813, at Sackett's Harbour. Killed-29 privates, regulars, and 1 volunteer.
Wounded-i lieutenant-colonel, 3 2d lieutenants, 1 ensign, 7 pon-commissioned officers, 1 musician, and 68 privates, regulars, and i musician and 2 privates, volunteers.
Missing2 non-commissioned officers, 7 privates, regu. lars, 1 non-commissioned officer, 1 musician, and 15 privates, volunteers.
Aggregate loss-110 regulars and 21 volunteers. Number not known, but not to exceed 25 militia-Total 156.
WM. SWANN, Major 2d Regt. Infantry, & Act'g. Adj.-Gen. Sackett's Harbour, June 1, 1813.
N. B. About 400 of the regular troops sustained the heat of the action ; these consisted chiefly of the 1st regiment light dragoons, some of the 9th, 21st, and a few of the 23d infantry, 3d and light artillery.
Report of the enemy's loss in the action of the 29th May, 1813,
at Sackett's Harbour. Adjutant-general Gray, colonel Moody, major Edwards, 1 captain, and 25 rank and file found dead in the field.
2 captains, and 20 rank and file found wounded in the field. 2 captains, 1 ensign, and 32 rank and file made prisoners.
In addition to the above many were killed and wounded in their boats by the militia and Albany volunteers, while effecting a landing; a number were likewise carried off the field by the enemy, previous to the commencement of his retreat.
Major 2d Infantry, & Act'g. Adj.-Gen. Sackett's Harbour, June 1, 1813.
From the London Gazette
Head-Quarters, Kingston, June 1, 1813. Although, as your lordship will perceive by the report of colonel Baynes, which I have the honour herewith to transmit, the expedition has not been attended with the complete success which was expected from it, I have great satisfaction in informing your lordship, that the courage and patience of the small band of troops employed on this occasion, under circumstances of peculiar hardship and privation, have been exceeded only by their intrepid conduct in the field, forcing a passage at the point of the bayonet, through a thickly wooded country, affording a constant shelter and strong positions to the enemy; but not a single spot of cleared ground favourable to the operations of disciplined soldiers.