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passed, I did hope and expect that general Winder, on tlie first dawn of light, would see their situation, and bring colonel Milton with the 5th (whom I had still kept in reserve until I could have day-light to discern their situation) to attack this column, which I am sure he would have done to advantage ; but, to my mortification, I soon learned that he had fallen into the same mistake with myself; and by endeavouring to learn what was taking place in the centre, he was also taken, as well as major Van De Venter. To the extreme darkness of the night, the enemy's knowledge of his intended point of attack, and our not knowing at what point to expect him, must be attributed this partial success, and not to a want of strength or bravery in our troops, who generally behaved remarkably well under all circumstances; and however unfortunate the event, as it relates to myself, I only ask that all the circumstances may be taken into consideration, in making up your opinion upon the conduct of general Winder and myself in this affair, which I am sure you will do, and I fatter myself you will see no cause of censure. I regret that my decrepid situation, and the rapidity with which we have been brought to this place, has put it out of my power to give you a detailed account of the affair earlier. I am now able to walk some with the aid of a cane, and hope I shall continue to recover.
I have the honour to be, &c.
Brigadier General. Major General Dearborn.
NAVY YARD, GOSPORT, June 21st, 1813. SIR,
On Saturday, at 11 P. M. captain Tarbell moved with the flotilla under his command, consisting of 15 gun-boats in two divisions ; lieutenant John M. Gardner, ist division, and lieutenant Robert Henley, the 2d, manned from the frigate ; and 50 musketteers general Taylor ordered from Craney Island, and proceeded down the river; but adverse winds and squalls prevented his approaching the enemy until Sunday morning at 4 P. M. when. the flotilla commenced a heavy galling fire on a frigate, at about three quarters of a mile distance, lying well up the roads, two other frigates lying in sight. At half past 4 a breeze sprung up from east north east, which enabled the two frigates to get under way, one a razee or very heavy ship, and the other a frigate, to come near into the action. The boats in consequence of their approach hauled off, though keeping up a well directed fire on the raz.ee and other ship, which gave us several broadsides. The frigate first engaged, supposed to be the Junon, was certainly very severely handled. Had the calm continued one half hour, that frigate must have fallen into our hands or been destroyed. She inust have slipt her mooring so as to drop nearer the razee, whe had all sails set coming up to her with the other frigate. "The action continued one hour and a half with the three ships. Shortly after the action the razee got along side of the ship, and had her upon a deep careen in a little time with a number of boats and stages round her. I am satisfied considerable damage was done to her, for she was silenced some time, until the razee opened her fire, when she commenced again. Our loss is very trifling. Mr. Allison, master's mate on board number 139, was killed early in the action by an eighteen pound ball, which passed through him and lodged in the mast. Number 154 had a shot between wind and water. Number 67 had her franklin shot away, and several of them had some of their sweeps as well as their stauntions shot away; but two men slightly injured by the splinters from the sweeps. On the flood tide several ships of the line and frigates came into the roads, and we did expect an attack last night. There are now in the roads thirteen ships of the line and frigates, one brig and several tenders.
I cannot say too much of the officers and men on this occasion, for every man appeared to go into action with so much cheerfulness, apparently to do their duty, resolved to conquer. I had a better opportunity of discovering their actions than any one else, being in my boat the whole of the action.
I have the honour to be, &c.
JOHN CASSIN. The Secretary of the Navy.
ATTACK UPON CRANEY ISLAND.
NAVY YARD, GOSPORT, June 23d, 1813. SIR,
I have the honour to inform you that on the 20th the enemy got under way, in all thirteen sail, and dropped up to the mouth of James River, one ship bearing a flag at the mizen. At 5 P. M. were discovered making great preparation with troops for landing, having a number of boats for the purpose. Finding Craney Island rather weak manned, captain Tarbell directed lieutenants Neale, Shubrick and Sanders, with 100 seamen on shore, at 11 A. M. to a small battery on the north west point of the island. Tuesday 22d, at the dawn, the enemy were discovered landing round the point of Nansemond River, said to be 4,000 troops ; and at 8 A. M. the barges attempted to land in front of the island, out of reach of the shot from the gun-boats, when lieutenants Neale, Slubrick and Sanders, with the sailors; and lieutenant Brackenbridge, with the marines of the Constellation, 150 in number, opened the fire, which was so well directed, that the enemy were glad to get off, after sinking three of their largest boats. One of them, called the Centipede, admiral Warren's boat, fifty feet in length, carried 75 men, the greater part of whom were lost by her sinking. Twenty soldiers and sailors were saved, and the boats hauled up. I presume there were forty fell back in the rear of the island, and commenced throwing rockets from Mr. Wise's houses; when gun-boat 67 threw a few shots over that way, they dispersed and went back.
We have had all day deserters from the army coming in ; I have myself taken in 25, and 18 prisoners belonging to the Centipede.
The officers of the Constellation fired their 18 pounder more like riflemen than artillerists. I never saw such shooting, and seriously believe they saved the island. In the evening their boats came round the point of Nansemond, and at sun-set were seen returning to their ships full of men. At dusk they strewed the shore along with fires, in order to runaway by the light.
I have the honour to be, &c.
JOHN CASSIN. The honourable William Jones,
Secretary of the Navy.
AFFAIR AT BEAVER DAMS.
FORT GEORGE, June 25th, 1813. SIR,
I have the mortification of informing you of an unfortunate and unaccountable event which occurred yesterday. On the 23d, at evening, colonel Boerstler with 570 men, infantry, artillery, cavalry and riflemen, in due proportion, was ordered to march, by the way of Queenstown, to a place called the Beaver Dams, on the high ground, about eight or nine miles from Queenstown, to attack and disperse a body of the enemy collected there for the purpose of procuring provisions and harassing those inhabitants who are considered friendly to the United States; their force was, from the most direct information, composed of one company.
of the 104th regiment, above 80 strong; from 150 to 200 militia, and from 50 to 60 Indians. At 8 o'clock yesterday morning, when within about two miles of the Beaver Dams, our detachment was attacked from an ambuscade, but soon drove the enemy some distance into the woods, and then retired to a clear field, and sent an express for a reinforcement, saying he would maintain his position until reinforced. A reinforcement of 300 men, marched immediately, under the command of colonel Chrystie; but on arriving at Queenstown, colonel Chrystie received authentic information, that lieutenant colonel Boerstler, with his command, had surrendered to the enemy, and the reinforcement returned to camp. A man who belonged to a small corps of volunteer rifiemen, came in this morning, who states that the enemy sorrounded our d.tachment in the woods, and towards 12 o'clock, commenced a general attack; that our troops fought more than two hours, until the artillery had expended the whole of its ammunition, and then surrendered, and at the time of the surrender, the informant made his escape. Why it should have been deemed proper to remain several hours in a position surrounded with woods, without either risking a decisive action, or effecting a retreat, remains to be accounted for, as well as the project of waiting for a reinforcement, from a distance of 15 or 16 miles.
No information has been received of the killed or woundede i The enemy's fleet has again arrived in our neighbourhood.
I have the honour to be, &c.
H. DEARBORN. The Secretary of War.
U. S. FLOTILLA, CAPE MAY, June 29th, 1813. SIR,
Laying off Dennis's Creek this morning, I discovered that an enemy's sloop of war had chased a small vessel, and had taken her near the Overfalls. I immediately got under weigh and stood down the bay. The sloop of war stood so near the Overfalls that she grounded slightly on the outer ridge of Crow's Shoals. I thought proper to endeavour to bring him to action. I succeeded and got within three quarters of a mile, and anchored the boats (consisting of eight gun boats and two block sloops) in a line ahead. A heavy frigate had by this time anchored about a half mile further out. After a cannonade of one hour and fortyfive minutes, in which the ships kept up a constant and heavy fire, heaving their shot from a half to three quarters of a mile over us, they doing us little or no damage, their shot seldom striking us, the sloop of war and frigate finding our shot to tell on their hulls, manned their boats, ten in number, ( 2 launches, the rest large barges and cutters) with from 30 to 40 men each, and despatched them after gun boat No. 121, sailing marter Shead, which had unfortunately fell a mile and a half out of the line, although it had been my possitive and express orders to anchor at half cable length apart, and not further. From the strong ebb tide they succeeded in capturing her, after a gallant resistance, (for three times did No. 121 discharge her long gun, apparently full of cannister, among the whole line of boats, when at a very short distance, which must have done execution, and not till after he was boarded did the colours come down) before any assistance could be given her: however, we got near enough to destroy three or four of their boats, and must have killed a vast number of men. It being a calm, they succeeded in getting her away, by sending all their boats ahead and towing her, but have paid dearly for their temerity; they must at least have had one-third of their men killed and
wounded. They put one shot through the foot of the Buffaloe's jib, and one through the under part of the bowsprit, and cut gun boat No. 125, sailing master L. Moleire's rigging in several places, and an eighteen pound shot struck her long gun and indented it several inches; but happy am I to say, that not a man was wounded in any of the boats, except the one captured, and have not yet learned their fate. I feel much indebted to lieutenant Mitchell, and officers commanding gun boats, for their spirited conduct in carrying into execution my orders; and if I may judge from the gallant resistance made by sailing master Shead, in engaging when surrounded by the boats of the enemy, that every officer and man of the flotilla will do their duty in all situations.
I have the honour to be, &c.
SAMUEL ANGUS, Commanding U. S. Del. flotilla.
P. S. The action commenced at 7 minutes before 1 P. M.and ended at 37 minutes after 2 P. M.
U. S. FRIGATE ESSEX, PACIFIC OCEAN,
July 2d, 1813. SIR,
I have the honour to inform you that on the 29th of April, in the latitude of 40 north, longitude 91 15 west, about 20 miles to the northward of the island of Albermarle, one of the Gallapagos, in the Pacific Ocean, I captured the British ship Montezuma; two others being in sight, close together, distant from us about 7 miles, which we were informed were the British letters of marque ships Policy and Georgiana ; the first mounting 10 guns, 6 and 9 pounders ; the other six 18 pounders, 4 swivels, and 6 long blunderbusses mounted on swivels. The wind being light and variable, and confiding greatly in the bravery and enterprise of my officers and men, and apprehensive of their escape from the prevalence of fogs in that climate, I directed the boats of this ship to be armed and manned, and divided into two divisions, placing the first under the command of lieutenant Downes, 1st lieutenant, in a whale boat, accompanied by midshipman Farragutt. The officers in command of boats under lieutenant Downes, were lieutenant S. D. M'Knight, in the 3d cutter, accompanied by midshipman W. H. Odenheimer, sailing master John P. Cowell, in the jolly boat, accompanied by midshipman H. W. Ogden, and midshipman George Isaacs, in the 2d cutier. The 2d division under the command of lieutenant Wilmer, 2d lieutenant in the pinnace, accompanied by midshipman Henry Gray, and master's mate James Terry; lieutenant Wilson and Mr. Shaw, purser, in the 1st cutter, and lieutenant Gamble, of the marines, in the gig.