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guns were cracked in the muzzle, which rendered their use extremely doubtful. Her main-top-gallant-mast was shot away in the early part of the action, and the bow-sprit, fore and mainmast wounded, rigging and sails much cut up, and a number of shot in her hull, several of which were between wind and water, and twenty-seven men killed and wounded, including those by the bursting of the gun. The Madison received a few shot, but no person was hurt on board. The Governor Tompkins lost her fore-mast, and the Oneida had her main-top-mast badly wounded.
During the chase, one or two of the enemy's small vessels were completely within Chauncey's power, but in the eagerness of his pursuit of the larger, he passed them unnoticed, by which means they finally escaped.
Meanwhile general Wilkinson had arrived at Fort George, in order to take the command of the army. About the same time the secretary at war arrived at Sackett's Harbour, in order to be more conveniently situated for superintending military operations.
The wind still continuing unfavourable for an attack on the British squadron at the head of the lake, Chauncey ran off Niagara for the purpose of communicating with Wilkinson, to ascertain when he meant to move with the army to Sackett's Harbour. It was the general's opinion, that the public service would be best promoted by his watching the enemy's squadron, or, if possible, preventing its return to Kingston, while he moved with the army down the lake. Chauncey, therefore, having taken part of the troops on board his squadron, the remainder proceeding in boats to Sackett's Harbour, immediately proceeded in quest of the enemy. The following morning, October 2d, he discovered the British squadron standing towards him, and made all sail in chase; but as soon as the fleets approached so near as plainly to discern each other, Yeo put about, and stood towards the head of the lake. The chase continued until the 4th, little progress being made against the current, from the lightness or variableness of the wind, the British, however, evidently gaining ground of the American squadron. The morning of the 4th proving hazy, nothing could be seen of the enemy, and about noon it fell calm, when Chauncey ordered the Lady of the Lake to sweep up to Burlington bay, which was not far distant, to ascertain whether or not the squadron was there. In the evening she returned with information that the fleet was gone, there being nothing in the bay but two gun-boats.
$ 13. It was now evident that Yeo, availing himself of the darkness of the preceding night, had either run for Kingston, or down the lake for the purpose of intercepting the flotilla with the army. Chauncey, therefore, immediately made all sail, and shaped his course for the Ducks, with a view of intercepting him, or his prizes, if he should have made any. The wind blowing a strong gale from the northward and westward, the fleet made a great run, and at three in the afternoon of the 5th, discovered seven sail near the False Ducks, to which, presuming they were the enemy's fleet, they instantly gave chase. In about an hour, however, they were discovered to be sloops and schooners, and were perceived to be separating on different tacks, on which the Sylph and the Lady of the Lake were dispatched after one part, and Chauncey in the Pike pursued the others. About five o'clock the enemy, finding that the Pike was fast gaining on him, took the people out of one of his gun vesvels which sailed worse than the rest, and set her on fire. This, however, availed them but little, for, at sun-down, three of their vessels were forced to strike to the Pike, and soon after the Sylph captured another. A fifth ran into the Ducks, but the Sylph, which was left to watch her, took possession of her early next morning. A small schooner was the only vessel that escaped, owing to the darkness of the night.
The captured vessels were found to be gun-vessels, with troops from the head of the lake, but last from York, bound to Kingston. Two of them were the Julia and Growler, which Chauncey had lost in the action of the 9th of August. The prisoners taken amounted to nearly 300, principally belonging to the De Watteville, a German regiment. From them it was learnt that the British fleet; in the action of the 28th of September, at the head of the lake, was very much cut up in their hulls and
spars, and had a great many killed and wounded, particularly on board of the Wolfe and Royal George.
$ 1. Movements on lake Champlain. 2. General Hampton invades
Canada. $ 3. Wilkinson moves down the St. Lawrence. $ 4. Battle of
1. In addition to the army in Ohio, and that on the Niagara frontier, a considerable body of troops was collected in the summer of 1812, upon lake Champlain; a number of vessels also were built to gain the command of those waters. In the campaign of that year, however, no important movement was made in this. quarter. Towards the end of May, 1813, several of the British gun-boats having crossed the lines, for the purpose of capturing the craft upon the lake, two of the American armed sloops, the Eagle and Growler, sailed from Plattsburg on the 2d of June for their protection. They arrived within about a mile of the lines about dark, where they cast anchor for the night. Next morning, about day-break, they discovered three British gun-boats, to which they gave chase, but the wind being south, they unfortunately ran so far into the narrow channel that they found it difficult to return, and the Eagle, not being sufficiently strong for her weight of metal, became unmanageable, and at last went down; the water, however, being shoal, the crew were saved.
The Growler, unwilling to abandon her companion, continued to fight until after the Eagle sunk, when she was compelled to strike to superior force. The enemy had five gun-boats in the action, besides a considerable force in musquetry on both sides of the channel, which was só narrow as to place the sloops within their reach from both shores. An official account of this affair has not been published, but it is stated, on the authority of the enemy, that they had two killed, the Americans only one, but a considerable number of the latter were wounded. The British afterwards succeeded in raising the Eagle.
The loss of the sloops giving the British the superiority on the lake, on the 30th of July a considerable force crossed the lines in forty-four barges, protected by the Growler and Eagle, three row-gallies, and a gun-boat, under the command of colonel Murray. The following day they appeared off Plattsburg, and a flag of truce was sent into the town to demand its surrender, with the assurance, that if no resistance was made, private property should be respected. There being no troops in the place, of course there was no resistance, and the enemy landed and burnt the public buildings, consisting of a blockhouse, barracks, arsenal, &c. when they again embarked.
On the 2d of August the enemy appeared off Burlington, on the other side of the lake, where the American army was stationed under general Hampton, and opened their fire from two sloops and a galley, which was returned from a battery in front of the town, the fire from which soon compelled them to make off. Several gun-boats and sloops lay under the battery, but were unable to pursue the enemy, having suffered severely in a gale a few days previous.
0 2. In the month of October, Hampton's army crossed the lake, and proceeded towards the Canada lines, which they crossed about the 20th or 21st. The army moved in two divisions, one on each side of the Chateaugay river, and on two different days drove in the British pickets, one of which they succeeded in capturing. Every precaution had been taken by the enemy to intercept the progress of the army. The roads were filled with trees, which had been previously felled in every direction; the bridges were destroyed, and the houses burnt or pulled down. Notwithstanding these impediments, however, they continued slowly to advance till the 26th, when the advanced guard was attacked on both sides of the river by a body of regulars, voltigeurs, and Indians, posted in strong positions in a wood, Hanked by the river and impassable swamps. The attack was several times renewed, and the enemy always driven behind their works. On the 27th one of the divisions forded the river, and the whole army returned within the American lines to Four Corners. The British claimed great merit from the splendid victory, as they call it, which they assert was achieved by a force of only 300 men, against Hampton's whole army, which consisted of 3000 or 3500. From their own statement, however, it would appear that their force was much larger than they represent it. They state it to have consisted of
"Captains Levesque and Debartzch, with their flank companies of the 5th battalion incorporated militia, together with about 200 of the Beauharnois division.”
“ Lieutenant-colonel De Salaberry, with his voltigeurs, and captain Ferguson's light company of the Canadian regiment." Besides these are mentioned, in the course of the action, “A large body of Indians under captain Lamothe."
“ Lieutenant-colonel M.Donnell, of the Glengary light infantry, with a part of his light brigade.
These forces do not include the reinforcements which are stated to have arrived the following day. And yet we are grave ly told, that, “ though it may appear incredible, the whole force engaged on our side did not exceed 300 men*.?
But even allowing their force to be as small as it is here represented, it by no means follows, either that a victory was gained, or that Hampton's measures were baffled. It does not appear that it was the intention of the American general to push on by this route to Montreal, for the reduction of which his small force was utterly incompetent, independent of the natural impediments which this part of the country presented to an invading army. There is no reason to doubt, indeed, that this movement was merely intended as a demonstration, to divert and distract the attention of the enemy from the movements on the St. Lawrence, and this end being completely attained, it was not the general's intention to risk the loss of any part, however small, of his army, by an attempt to force a position so strong as the British represent this to have been.
3. General Wilkinson having transported his army in safety from Fort George to Sackett's Harbour, in the beginning of October, in a few days they were again moved to Grenadier Island, with the intention of immediately proceeding down the St. Law. rence against Montreal. Considerable delay, however, took place, owing to the uncommon severity of the weather, and it was not until the 3d of November that he was enabled to move. On the evening of the 6th he reached Ogdensburg, whence he wrote to general Hampton at Four Corners (where he had established his head-quarters after his return from Canada), ordering him to form a junction with him on the St. Lawrence, and recommending St. Regis as the most suitable place, where he expected to be on the 9th. " On the subject of provisions, continues Wilkinson, “ I wish I could give a favourable information ; our whole stock of bread may be computed at about fifteen days, and our meat at twenty. On speaking on this subject to the secretary of war, he informed me ample magazines were laid up on lake Champlain, and therefore I must request of you to order forward two or three month's supply by the safest route, in a direction to the proposed scene of action. I have submitted the state of provisions to my general officers, who unanimously agree that it should not prevent the progress of the expedition,
and they also agree in opinion, if you are not in force to face the enemy, you should meet us at St. Regis or its vicinity."
* The statement here alluded to is not the official account. It is a detailed account, apparently written by an officer who was present at the affair.