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of the expedition; and that if it was agreeable to him we would wait the return of the scout, to take such measures as were deemed proper on their return. General Winchester made no objections to this arrangement; at the same time I informed him that we had not three rounds of ammunition to a man, and requested him to order me a supply. He replied to me that he would order his ammunition examined, and would endeavour to furnish me a part of what was required to complete the 12 rounds. My brigade quarter master attended this day and returned at evening with information that no ammunition could be had. Early the following morning I ordered the horses for a march, and repaired to general Winchester's quarters, and again requested a supply of two thousand cartridges, being about one-third of the quantity required ; without which I could not feel myself justifiable in proceeding on the expedition. In answer he stated to me, that he had but six thousand cartridges not issued; that his men had but very few in their boxes; that he had a good supply of powder and ball, but no paper; the latter was in the wagons and expected to arrive that or the day following-and then directed me to return to my camp and make report of the actual quantity on hand, and he would then inform me whether he would deliver the two thousand cartridges. I hastened back to my camp, and gave the necessary orders for furnishing the return; but in a few minutes after, received from general Winchester the following order:
General Tupper. Longer delay inconsistent with strict military principles cannot be indulged; you will therefore proceed immediately on the reconnoitering duty ordered yesterday with the troops under your command, except colonel Simral's corps, who shall return without delay to the settlement, to recruit their horses, agreeably to general Harrison's orders.
Brigadier General, gc. When colonel Simral's company moved off, a large proportion of two companies of major Roper's battalion from Kentucky fol. lowed, which reduced that battalion, (being the whole force now remaining from Kentucky) to less than eighty men. I was indebted to colonel Simral for all the cartridges he
had exceping two rounds; but as the most of them had been damaged and dried, they did not add one sound round to each man. I was on the point of taking up the line of march to execute general Winchester's orders, when colonel Allen, commanding a regiment of Kentucky troops in general Winchester's camp, came up, and informed me he had obtained leave to accompany me to the Rapids in any station I thought proper to place him, from a soldier upwards. I thankfully accepted his services and caused him to be announced as an aid. Colonel Allen proposed, that as it was general Winchester's wish that the troops should move on the direct route to the Rapids, that none should be taken but such as would go freely. The experiment was made, when about 400 volunteered for the service. Scarcely had the troops moved forward from the ranks, when colonel Allen beckoned me aside and shewed me an order which general Winchester had that moment forwarded to him, giving colonel Allen the command of the men ordered for the Rapids. I requested of colonel Allen a copy of this order, which he declined giving. It would be difficult for me to describe the state of my feelings at this moment: I turned to the troops which had refused to volunteer, and ordered them across the Auglaise on the route you directed me to take, as the best calculated to carry your orders into effect. When it was found that general Winchester had superseded me in the command, the whole force from Ohio crossed the Auglaise and refused to march as directed by general Winchester. Colonel Allen and major Brush returned to general Winchester, who assured them he had mistook the object of colonel Allen's request. General Winchester then proposed to divide the force and have a part to move
a on the direct route to the Rapids, the other to proceed by Tawa towns, to unite at a certain time 12 miles above the Rapids. I was unwilling to consent to this measure. The force united was not half the number you thought necessary to order on the most secret route. A division of less than 500 men, to meet in an enemy's country, where many circumstances might prevent their junction, was to me a measure I could only consent to by compulson-this measure was in the end abandoned.
It is a duty I owe to colonel Allen, that I have not the smallest reason to believe, he was privy to the order of general Winchester, giving to him the command : his character, and every part of his conduct on that occasion, convinces me he is above it.
The whole force proceeded to Tawa towns, where we reached the day following. Early on the morning of the 9th, I ordered the march for the Rapids, when at the distance of half a mile it was found our whole force was reduced to 200 men, exclusive of officers: the other part of the force had refused to march, and remained in the encampment: scarcely a man marched from the second battalion of colonel Findley's regiment, commanded by major Taylor. Manary's company of United States' rangers, both officers and soldiers, refused to march. · When it was ascertained that our whole force for the Rapids was reduced to 200 men, I called a council of the officers to determine whether with that force it was advisable to proceed on to the Rapids.
The council considered that our force was not sufficient to carry the first object of your orders into effect; that we were too numerous to act as a spy party, and too weak to carry offensive operations into the enemy's country; and that it would be improper and unadvisable under those circumstances to continue the expedition.
With the then remaining force I proceeded to this place, where. I directed colonel Findley and major Roper, to discharge such men only as had continued to do their duty.
Thus, sir, has terminated an expedition, at one time capable of tearing the British flag from the walls of Detroit, wherein our troops might have returned with the pleasing reflection of having rendered their country an essential service.
It is a duty, sir, I owe to the officers of the Kentucky forces, to colonel Findley and the officers of his first battalion, to say that they were zealous of pressing forward the expedition ; while the officers of the second battalion, commanded by major Taylor, with few exceptions, were shrinking from their duty, and shåmefully deserting the cause of their country.
The detaching of colonel Simral's regiment from our force stands prominent among the causes of our failure. Already was there a panic in some parts of our camp: the enemy that had retired at general Winchester's approach had been greatly magnified. The day succeeding the alarm general Winchester drew in one wing of his lines and strengthened his camp with a breast work. Even this circumstance was noticed, and urged as an evidence, that he apprehended a force superior to his own. Thus, when imaginary obstacles unite with those that are real, to oppose the movement of a force so insubordinate, as that every man's will is his law, little can be expected to the officers, but a plentiful harvest of mortification and disgrace.
It cannot be denied that at the time those men refused to march, that there was a scarcity of provisions in the camp ; not three days rations of meat to each officer and soldier remained, and no bread or flour. But we had found at those towns, an abundant supply of good sound corn, together with nearly 30 bushels cured when green, or tossamonona. Our sufferings with this supply could not have been great in going or returning from the Rapids.
The man whose courage and patriotism expires when his rations are reduced, ought never to place himself between his country and his enemies.
When you shall have examined and considered the whole causes of our failure, should doubts rest on your mind whether some part of it does not attach to my conduct, may I not hope, sir, that you will order a court of enquiry, that I may have an opportunity of meeting an investigation.
I have the honour to be yours, &c.
EDW. W. TUPPER,
Brigadier General. Gen. William Henry Harrison.
HEAD QUARTERS, LEWISTOWN, October 14, 1812. SIR,
As the movements of the army under my command, since I had last the honour to address you on the 8th instant, have been of a very important character, producing consequences serious to many individuals; establishing facts actually connected with the interest of the service and the safety of the army; and as I stand prominently responsible for some of these consequences, 1 beg leave to explain to you, sir, and through you to my country, the situation and circumstances in which I have had to act, and the reasons and motives which governed me; and if the result is not all that might have been wished, it is such, that when the whole ground shall be viewed, I shall cheerfully submit myself to the judgment of my country:
In my letter of the 8th instant I apprized you that a crisis in this campaign was rapidly advancing; and that (to repeat the same words) " the blow must be soon struck, or all the toil and expense of the campaign go for nothing, and worse than nothing; for the whole will be tinged with dishonour."
Under such impressions, I had on the 5th instant written to brigadier general Smyth, of the United States' forces, requesting an interview with him, major general Hall, and the commandants of the United States' regiments, for the purpose of conferring upon the subject of future operations. I wrote major general Hall to the same purport. On the 11th, I had received no answer from general Smyth; but in a note to me on the 10th, general Hall mentioned that general Smyth had not yet then agreed upon any day for the consultation.
In the mean time, the partial success of lieutenant Elliott, at Black Rock, (of which however I have received no official information) began to excite a strong disposition in the troops to act. This was expressed to me through various channels in the shape of an alternative : that they must have orders to act; or at all hazards, they would go home. I forbear bere commenting upon the obvious consequences to me, personally, of longer withholding my orders under such circumstances. I had a conference with lieutenant colonel
as to the possibility of getting some person to pass over to Canada and obtain correct information. On the morning of the 4th, he wrote to me that he had procured the man who bore his letter to go over. Instructions were given him; he passed over-obtained such information as warranted an immediate attack. This was confidentially communicated to several of my first officers, and produced great zeal to act; more especially as it might have a controlling effect upon the movements at Detroit, where it was supposed general Brock had gone with all the force he dared spare from the Niagara frontier. The best preparations in my power were, therefore, made to dislodge the enemy from the heights of Queenstown, and possess ourselves of the village, where the troops might be sheltered from the distressing inclemency of the weather.
Lieutenant colonel Fenwick's flying artillery, and a detachment of regular troops under his cominand, were ordered to be up in season from Fort Niagara. Orders were also sent to general Smyth to send down from Buffaloe, such detachment of his brigade as existing circumstances in that vicinity might warrant. The attack was to have been made at 4 o'clock in the morning of the 11th, by crossing over in boats at the Old Ferry opposite the heights. To avoid any embarrassinent in crossing the river, (which is here a sheet of violent eddies) experienced boatmen were procured to take the boats from the landing below to the place of embarkation. Lieutenant Sim was considered the man of greatest skill for this service. He went ahead, and in the extreme darkness, passed the intended place far up the river; and there in a most extraordinary manner, fastened his boat to the shore, and abandoned the detachment. In this front boat he had carried nearly every oar which was prepared for all the boats. In this agonizing dilemma, stood officers and men, whose ardor had not been cooled by exposure through the night to one of the most tremendous north-east storms, which continued, unabated, for twenty-eight hours, and deluged the whole camp. The ap: proach of day-light extinguished every prospect of success, and the detachment returned to camp. Colonel Van Rensselaer was to have commanded the detachment.
After this result, I had hoped the patience of the troops would have continued until I could submit the plan suggested in my letter of the 8th, that I might act under, and in conformity to the opinion which might be then expressed. But my hope was idle: the previously excited ardor seemed to have gained new heat from the late miscarriage : the brave were mortified to stop short of their object, and the timid thought laurels half won by an attempt.
On the morning of the 12th, such was the pressure upon me from all quarters, that I became satisfied that my refusal to act might involve me in suspicion, and the service in disgrace.
Viewing affairs at Buffaloe as yet unsettled, I had immediately countermanded the march of general Smyth's brigade, upon the failure of the first expedition; but having now determined to attack Queenstown, I sent new orders to general Smyth to march; not with the view of his aid in the attack, for I considered the force detached sufficient, but to support the detachment should the conflict be obstinate and long continued.
Lieutenant colonel Chrystie, who had just arrived at the Four Mile Creek, had late in the night of the first contemplated attack, gallantly offered me his own and his men's service; but he got my permission too late. He now again came forward, had a conference with colonel Van Rensselaer, and begged that he might have the honour of a command in the expedition. The