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August, inst., a duplicate of which is enclosed, marked G. Nothing however but honour was acquired by this victory; and it is a painful consideration, that the blood of seventyfive gallant men could only open the communication, as far as the points of their bayonets extended. The necessary care of the sick and wounded, and a very severe storm of rain, rendered their return to camp indispensably necessary for their own comfort. Captain Brush, with his small detacliment and the provisions, being suill at the river Raisin, and in a situation to be destroyed by the savages, on the 13th inst. in the evening, I permitted cols. M'Arthur and Cass to select from their regiment four hundred of their most effective men, and proceed an upper route through the woods, which I had sent an express to captain Brush to take, and had directed the militia of the river Raisin to accompany him as a reinforcement. The force of the enemy continually increasing, and the necessity of opening the communication, and acting on the defensive, becoming more apparent, I had, previous to detaching cols. M'Arthur and Cass on the 11th inst. evacuated and destroyed the fort on the opposite bank. On the 13th in the evening, general Brock arrived at Amherstburg about the hour colonels M'Arthur and Cass marched, of which at that time I had received no informa'tion. On the 15th I received a summons from him to surrender fort Detroit, of which the paper marked A. is a copy. My answer is marked B. At this time I had received no information from cols. M'Arthur and Cass. An express was immediately sent, strongly escorted, with orders for them to return. On the 15th, as soon as general Brock received my letters, his batteries opened upon the town and fort, and continued until evening. In the evening all the British ships of war came nearly as far up the river as Sandwich, three miles below Detroit. At day-light on the 16th (at which time I had received no information from cols. M'Arthur and Cass, my expresses, sent the evening before, and in the night, having been prevented from passing by numerous bodies of Indians), the cannonade recommenced, and in a short time I received information, that the British army and Indians were landing below the Spring wells, under cover of their ships of war. At this time the whole effective force at my disposal at Detroit did not exceed eight hundred men. Being new troops, and unaccustomed to a camp life; having performed a laborious march; having been engaged in a number of battles and skirmishes, in which many had fallen, and more had received wounds, in addition to which a large
number being sick, and unprovided with medicine, and the comforts necessary for their situation; are the general causes by which the strength of the army was thus reduced. The fort at this time was filled with women, children, and the old and decrepid people of the town and country; they were unsafe in the town, and it was entirely open and exposed to the enemy's batteries. Back of the fort, above or below it, there was no safety for them on account of the Indians. In the first instance, the enemy's fire was principally directed against our batteries; towards the close it was directed against the fort alone, and almost every shot and shell had their effect.
It now became necessary either to fight the enemy in the field; collect the whole force in the fort; or propose terms of capitulation. I could not have carried into the field more than six hundred men, and left any adequate force in the fort. There were landed at that time of the enemy a regular force of much more than that number, besides Indians. Considering this great inequality of force, I did not think it expedient to adopt the first measure. The second must have been attended with great sacrifice of blood, and no possible advantage, because the contest could not have been sustained more than a day for the want of powder, and but a very few days for the want of provisions. In addition to this, colonels M'Arthur and Cass would have been in a most hazardous situation. I feared nothing but the last alternative. I have dared to adopt it. I well know the high responsibility of the measure, and I take the whole of it on myself. It was dictated by a sense of duty, and full conviction of its expediency. The bands of savages which had then joined the British force were numerous beyond any former example. Their numbers have since increased, and the history of the barbarians of the north of Europe does not furnish examples of more greedy violence than these savages have exhibited. A large portion of the brave and gallant officers and men I commanded would cheerfully have contested until the last cartridge had been expended, and the bayonets worn to the sockets. I could not consent to the useless sacrifice of such brave men, when I knew it was impossible for me to sustain my situation. It was impossible in the nature of things that an army could have been furnished with the necessary supplies of provisions, military stores, clothing, and comforts for the sick, on pack horses, through a wilderness of two hundred miles, filled with hostile savages. It was impossible, sir, that this little army, worn down by fatigue, by sickness, by wounds,
and deaths, could have supported itself not only against the collected force of all the northern nations of Indians ; but against the united strength of Upper Canada, whose population consists of more than twenty times the number contained in the territory of Michigan, aided by the principal part of the regular forces of the province, and the wealth and influence of the North-west and other trading establishments among the Indians, which have in their employment and under their entire controul more than two thousand white men. Before I close this despatch, it is a duty I owe my respectable associates in command, colonels M‘Arthur, Findley, Cass, and lieutenant-colonel Miller, to express my obligations to them for the prompt and judicious manner they have performed their respective duties. If aught has taken place during the campaign, which is honourable to the army, these officers are entitled to a large share of it. If the last act should be disapproved, no part of the censure belongs to them. I have likewise to express my obligation to general Taylor, who has performed the duty of quarter-mastergeneral, for his great exertions in procuring every thing in his department which it was possible to furnish for the convenience of the army; likewise to brigade-major Jessup, for the correct and punctual manner in which he has discharged his duty; and to the army generally for their exertion, and the zeal they have manifested for the public interest. The death of Dr. Foster, soon after he arrived at Detroit, was a severe misfortune to the army; it was increased by the capture of the Chachaga packet, by which the medicine and hospital stores were lost. He was commencing the best arrangements in the department of which he was the principal, with the very small means he possessed. I was likewise deprived of the necessary services of captain Patridge by sickness, the only officer of the corps of engineers attached to the army. All the officers and men have gone to their respective homes, excepting the 4th United States' regiment, and a small part of the first, and captain Dyson's company of artillery. Captain Dyson's company was left at Amherstburg, and the others are with me prisoners; they amount to about three hundred and forty. I have only to solicit an investigation of my conduct as early as my situation and the state of things will admit; and to add the further request, that the government will not be unmindful of my associates in captivity, and of the families of those brave men who have fallen in the contest.
I have the honour to be, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
W. HULL, Brig.-Gen. Hon W. Eustis, Secretary of the Department of War. Copies of letters from Brigadier-General Hull to the Department of War, accompanying the preceding despatch.
Sandwich, August 7, 1812. Sir, on the 4th inst. major Vanhorn, of colonel Findley's regiment of Ohio Volunteers, was detached from this army, with the command of 200 men, principally riflemen, to proceed to the river Raisin, and further, if necessary, to meet and reinforce capt. Brush, of the state of Ohio, commanding a company of volunteers, and escorting provisions for this army. At Brownstown, a large body of Indians had formed an ambuscade, and the major's detachment received a heavy fire, at the distance of fifty yards from the enemy. The whole detachment retreated in disorder. Major Vanhorn made every exertion to form, and prevent the retreat, that was possible for a brave and gallant officer, but without success. By the return of killed and wounded, it will be perceived, that the loss of officers was uncommonly great. The efforts to rally their companies was the occasion of it. I am, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
WILLIAM HULL. Hon. W. Eustis, Secretary of War.
Report of killed in Major Vanhorne's defeat. Captains Gilchrist, Ullery, M.Callough of the spies, Bærstler severely wounded, and not expected to recover (since dead); lieutenant Pentz; ensigns Roby and Allison; 10 privates. Total 17.
Number of wounded, as yet unknown.
Detroit, August 13, 1812. Sir, the main body of the army having re-crossed the river at Detroit, on the night and morning of the 8th inst. six hundred men were immediately detached under the command of lieutenant-colonel Miller, to open the communication to the river Raisin, and protect the provisions, which were under the escort of captain Brush. This detachment consisted of the 4th United States' regiment and two small detachments under the command of lieutenant Stansbury and ensign M'Labe, of the 1st regiment; detachments from the Ohio and Michigan volunteers, a corps of artillerists, with one six pounder and an howitzer, under the command of lieutenant Eastman, and a part of captains Smith and Sloan's cavalry, commanded by captain Sloan of the Ohio volunteers. Lieutenant-colonel Miller marched from Detroit in the afternoon of the 8th instant, and on the 9th, about four o'clock, P. M., the van guard, commanded by captain Snelling of the 4th United States' regiment, was fired on by an extensive line of British troops and Indians at the lower part of Maguago, about fourteen miles from Detroit. At this time the main body was marching in two columns, and captain Snelling maintained his position in a most gallant manner, under a very heavy fire, until the line was formed and advanced to the ground he occupied, when the whole, excepting the rear guard, was brought into action. The enemy were formed behind a temporary breast-work of logs, the Indians extending in a thick wood on their left. Lieutenant-colonel Miller ordered his whole line to advance, and when within a small distance of the enemy made a general discharge, and proceeded with charged bayonets, when the whole British line and Indians commenced a retreat. They were pursued in a most vigorous manner about two miles, and the pursuit discontinued only on account of the fatigue of the troops, the approach of evening, and the necessity of returning to take care of the wounded. The judicious arrangements made by lieutenant-colonel Miller, and the gallant manner in which they were executed, justly entitle him to the highest honour. From the moment the line commenced the fire, it continually moved on, and the enemy maintained their position until forced at the point of the bayonet. The Indians on the left, under the command of Tecumseh, fought with great obstinacy, but were continually forced and compelled to retreat. The victory was complete in very part of the line, and the success would have been more brilliant had the cavalry charged the enemy on the retreat, when a most favourable opportunity presented. Although orders were given for the purpose, unfortunately they were not executed. Majors Vanhorn and Morrison, of the Ohio volunteers, were associated with lieutenant-colonel Miller, as field officers in this command, and were highly distinguished by their exertions in forming the line, and the firm and intrepid manner they led their respective commands to action.