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The unoffending citizens of Canada are many of them our own countrymen, and the poor Canadians have been forced into the
Their property, therefore, must be held sacred; and any soldier who shall so far neglect the honour of his profession as to be guilty of plundering the inhabitants, shall, if convicted, be punished with death. But the commanding general assures the troops, that should they capture a large quantity of public stores, he will use his best endeavours to procure them a reward from his government. This order shall be read at the head of each corps,
every field officer shall carry a copy, in order that he may at any moment refer to it; and give explanations to his subordinates.
All those found in arms in the enemy's country, shall be treated as enemies; but those who are peaceably following the pursuits of their various vocations, friends-and their property respected. By order of the brigadier general,
Z. M. PIKE.
CRARLES G. JONES,
UNITED STATES' SHIP MADISON,
at anchor off York, Upper Canada, April 28th, 1813. SIR,
Agreeably to your instructions and arrangements with major general Dearborn, I took on board the squadron under my command, the general and suite, and about 1700 troops, and left Sackett's Harbor on the 25th instant for this place. We arrived here yesterday morning, and took a position about one mile south and westward of the enemy's principal fort, and as near the shore as we could, with safety to the vessels. The place fixed upon by the major general and inyself for landing the troops, was the site of the old French fort Tarento.
The debarkation commenced about 8 o'clock A. M. and was completed about ten. The wind blowing heavy from the eastward, the boats fell to leeward of the position fixed upon, and were, in consequence, exposed to a galling fire of the enemy, who had taken a position in a thick wood near where the first troops landed; however, the cool intrepidity of the officers and men overcame every obstacle. Their attack upon the enemy was so vigorous, that he fled in every direction, leaving a great many of his killed and wounded upon the field. As soon as the troops were landed, I directed the schooners to take a position near the forts, in order that the attack on them by the army and navy might be simultaneous. The schooners were obliged to beat up to their position, which they did in a very handsome order, under a very heavy fire from the enemy's batteries, and took a position within about six hundred yards of their principal fort, and opened a heavy cannonade upon the enemy, which did great execution, and very much contributed to their final destruction. The troops, as soon as landed, were formed under the immediate orders of brigadier general Pike, who led in a most gallant manner the attack upon the forts, and after having carried two redoubts in their approach to their principal works, the enemy (having previously laid a train) blew up his magazine, which in its effects upon our troops, was dreadful, having killed and wounded a great many, and amongst the former, the ever to be lamented brigadier general Pike, who fell at the head of his calumn by a contusion received by a heavy stone from the magazine. His death at this time, is much to be regretted, as he had the perfect confidence of the major general ; and his known activity, zeal and experience, make his loss a national one.
In consequence of the fall of general Pike, the command of the troops devolved, for a time, upon colonel Pearce, who soon after took possession of the town. About 2 P. M. the American flag was substituted for the British, and at about four our troops were in quiet possession of the town. As soon as general Dearborn learned the situation of general Pike, he landed, and assumed the command. I have the honour of enclosing a copy of the capitulation which was entered into, and approved by general Dearborn and myself.
The enemy set fire to some of his principal stores, containing large quantities of naval and military stores, as well as a large ship upon the stocks, nearly finished. The only vessel found here, is the Duke of Gloucester, undergoing repairs. The Prince Regent left here on the 24th, for Kingston. We have not yet had a return made of the naval and military stores ; consequently can form no idea of the quantity, but have made arrangements to have all taken on board that we can receive; the rest will be destroyed.
I have to regret the death of midshipmen Thompson and Hatfield, and several seamen killed—the exact number I do not know, as the returns from the different vessels have not yet been received. From the judicious arrangements made by general Dearborn, I presume that the public stores will be disposed of, so that the troops will be ready to re-embark to morrow, and proceed to execute other objects of the expedition the first fair wind. I cannot speak in too much praise of the cool intrepidity of the officers and men generally, under my command, and I feel my self particularly indebted to the officers commanding vessels, for their zeal in seconding my views. I have the honour to be
ISAAC CHAUNCEY. Honourable William Jones,
Secretary of the Navy.
HEAD QUARTERS, YORK, UPPER CANADA,
April 28th, 1813. SIR,
After a detention of some days, by adverse winds, we arrived here yesterday morning, and at 8 o'clock commenced landing our troops, about three miles westward of the town, and one and a half from the enemy's works. The wind was high and in an unfavourable direction for our boats, which prevented the troops landing at a clear field, the ancient site of the French fort Tarento. The unfavourable wind prevented as many of the armed vessels from taking such positions as would as effectually cover our landing, as they otherwise would have done; but every thing that could be done was effected.
Our riflemen, under major Forsyth, first landed, under a heavy fire from Indians and other troops. General Sheaffe commanded in person. He had collected his whole force in the woods, near where the wind obliged our troops to land, consisting of about 700 regulars and militia, and 100 Indians. Major Forsyth was supported, as promptly as possible with other troops ; but the contest was sharp and severe for near half an hour. The enemy was repulsed by a far less number than their own; and as soon as general Pike landed with 7 or 800 men, and the remainder of the troops were pushing for the shore, the enemy retreated to their works; and as soon as the whole of the troops had landed and formed on the clear ground intended for the first landing, they advanced through a thick wood to the open ground near the enemy's works, and after carrying one battery by assault, were moving on in columns towards the main works; when the head of the columns was within about sixty rods of the enemy, a tremendous explosion occurred from a large magazine prepared for the purpose, which discharged such immense quantities of stone, as to produce a most unfortunate effect on our troops. I have not yet been able to collect the returns of our killed and wounded, but our loss by the explosion, must, I fear, exceed 100; and among them, I have to lament the loss of the brave and excellent officer, brigadier general Pike, who received such a contusion from a large stone, as terminated his valuable life within a few hours. His loss will be severely felt.
Previous to the explosion, the enemy had retired into the town, excepting a party of regular troops, which did not retire early enough to avoid the shock; it is said that upwards of forty of them were destroyed. General Sheaffe moved off with the regular troops, and left directions with the commanding officer of the militia, to make the best terms he could. In the mean time, all further resistance on the part of the enemy ceased, and the outlines of a capitulation were agreed on. As soon as I was informed of general Pike's being wounded, I went on shore. I had been induced to confide the immediate command of the troops in action to general Pike, from a conviction that he fully expected it, and would be much mortified at being deprived of the honour,
which he highly appreciated. Every movement was under my view. Our troops behaved with great firmness, and deserve much applause, especially those who were first engaged, under circumstances that would have tried the firmness of veterans. Our loss in the action in the morning, and in carrying the first battery, was not great, probably about fifty killed and wounded; among them, were a full proportion of officers; and although the enemy had a decided advantage in point of numbers and position, at the commencement, their loss was greater than ours, particularly in officers.
It was with the greatest exertion that the small vessels of the fleet could work into the harbour against a gale of wind directly ahead; but as soon as they got in contact with the batteries, a tremendous cannonade commenced from 24 and 32 pounders, and was kept up without intermission, under a heavy fire from two batteries, until the enemy's batteries were carried or blown up by the explosion, which undoubtedly had a powerful effect on enemy. I am under the greatest obligations to commodore Chauncey for his able and indefatigable exertions in every possible manner that could give facility and effect to the expedition. He is equally estimable for deliberate sound judgment, bravery and industry. The government could not have made a more fortunate selection for the important trust he holds. Unfortunately, the enemy's armed ship, the “Prince Regent,” left this place for Kingston, four days before we arrived. A large ship on the stocks, nearly planked up, with a large store of naval stores, were set on fire by the enemy, soon after the explosion of the magazine. There are no vessels fit for use in the harbour. A considerable quantity of military stores and provisions remained. We shall not possess the means of transporting the prisoners from this place, and must, of course, leave them on parole. I hope we shall so far complete the necessary measures at this place, in the course of this day, as to be able to sail to-morrow for Niagara, by which route I shall send this by a small vessel, with notice to general Lewis of our approach.
I am sir, your obedient servant,
H. DEARBORN. Hon. John Armstrong,
Secretary of War.
HEAD QUARTERS, CAMP MEIGS, May 5th, 1813. SIR,
I am sorry to inform you of another disaster to the Kentucky troops, not indeed bearing any comparison to that of the river Raisin in point of killed and wounded, but exceeding it as to the number of prisoners. I had the honour to inform you in my letter of the 28th instant, that the British troops destined to besiege this place were then in view. On the succeeding night they broke ground upon the heights opposite, and on the following morning our batteries opened upon them and continued a partial firing throughout that and the following day. On the first of May the enemy returned it from a two gun and one mortar battery, and on the second from a third gun battery. On the night of the third they passed a part of their troops to this side of the river, and opened another gun and mortar battery within two hundred and fifty yards of our lines. They were soon however driven from that position, and obliged to take one at a more respectful distance,
On the first, second, and third instant, the fire was most incessant and tremendous. Five and a half and eight and a half inch shells, with twenty-four pound ball, fell in showers in our camp, and would have produced the most unfortunate effect, but from the great pains and labour which had been bestowed in the erection of traverses, which in a great degree shielded our camp from the former. For the latter there was no preventative but that of taking the batteries: About twelve o'clock last night an officer arrived in a boat from general Clay, to inform me of his approach, and that he would reach this place in about two hours. I immediately determined upon a general sally, and sent an officer to general Clay directing him to land eight hundred men some short distance above, to attack and carry the batteries, spike the cannon and destroy the artillery. The general was unfortunately delayed longer than he expected in passing the Rapids, and the detachgent destined to make the attack did not reach the landing until near nine o'clock. This however did not prevent them from making the attempt, and never was any thing more completely successful. The four batteries were immediately taken possession of, and their defenders driven off, and the cannon spiked. Here the work of our men was done. But that confidence which always attends militia when successful, proved their ruin, although there was time sufficient to return to the boats before a reinforcement arrived to the enemy. They remained upon the grounds in spite of the repeated calls which we made across the river to bring them back, suffered themselves to be amused and drawn into the woods by some faint skirmishing, whilst the British troops and an immense body of Indians, were soon brought up. A severe action then took place. The British immediately interrupted the retreat of our men to the plain over the river, where they would have been under cover of our cannon ; but about one hundred and fifty only, out of nearly eight hundred effectives, made their escape to the boats. Where the balance of general Clay's force made its appearance and attempted to land above the garrison, their flank was attacked by a large body of Indians. I immediately ordered out a detachment consisting of part of the 19th United States' regiment, about one hundred twelve months’ volunteers, and some militia. They however succeeded in driving the enemy entirely off. Pursuant to the plan which I had formed, an attack was then