Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

16th Aug. might bave arisen from great fatigue and anxiety..... The testimony of Capt. Hull also proved that the trunk containing the General's official paper was sent on board the unarmed vessel at the rapids by accident, and contrary to the General's expectation and wish.

The decision of the court was pronounced as follows.....All the evidence being read (whether on the part of the prosecution or the defence) applicable to the first charge, and the specifications attached to that charge, and after due deliberation had thereon, the court express the following opinion:

The accused having in his final defence protested against the jurisdiction of the court to try the charge of treason, and the opinion of the court being that the objection would have been tenable if the same had been pleaded by the accused on his arraignment .....and believing also that the court cappot acquire jurisdiction of the offence by the waver or consent of the accused, they decline making any formal decision on that charge.

The evidence on the subject having however been publicly give en, the court deem it proper, in justice to the accused to say, that they do not believe from any thing that has appeared before them, that Brigadier General William Hull has committed treason against the United States.

On the second charge, and the specifications attached to that charge, after hearing all the evidence, and defence, and after due deliberation thereon) the court find Brigadier General William Hull guilty of the first, second, and fourth specifications under that charge, except that part which charges the said Brigadier William Hull with " forbidding the American artillery to fire on the enemy, on their march towards said fort Detroit.”

The court find the said Brigadier General William Hull guilty of the second charge.

On the third charge the court, after having heard the evidence (as well as the defence) and after due deliberation, find the said Brigadier William Hull guilty of neglect of duty and up-officerlike conduct, as charged in the first specification under this charge, in omitting with sufficient care and frequency to inspect, train, exercise and order, and to cause to be trained, inspected, exercised and ordered, the troops under his command, from the 6th day of July until the 17th day of August, 1812 ; and acquit him of the residue of the charge contained in that specification.

The court acquit the said Brigadier General William Hull of the second and third specifications of the same charge.

The court find the said Brigadier General William Hull guilty of the whole of the fourth specification of that charge, except that part which charges him with not seasonably repairing, fitting and transporting.....or causing to be fitted, repaired and transported, the guns, and gun-carriages which were necessary to the operations of the war in the said British province of Upper Canada.

The court find the said Brigadier General William Hull guilty of so much of the fifth specification to that charge as relates to neglect of duty and unofficer-like conduct in suffering his commu. nication with the River Rasin and the state of Ohio to be cut off.... and sending Major Van Horne to attempt to open the same, with an inadequate force ; he, the said Brigadier Gen. William Hull having reason to know or believe the same was insufficient....and the court acquit him of the residue of that specification.

The court find the said Brigadier General William Hull guilty of the sixth and seventh specifications of that charge.

The court find the said Brigadier General William Hull guilty of the third charge.

The court, in consequence of their determination respecting the second and third. charges, and the specifications under those charges, exhibited agaiøst the said Brigadier General William Hull....and after due consideration, do sentence him to be shot to death, two thirds of the court concurring in the sentence.

The court, in consideration of Brigadier General Hull's revolutionary services, and his advanced age, earnestly recommend him to the mercy of the President of the United States.

The court then adjourned to meet on Monday morning, March 28, 1814, at 10 o'clock...... when

The proceedings having been read once, approved and signed by the president, the court adjourned sine die.

H.DEARBORN, major general, president of the court.
M. VAN BUREN, special judge advocate.

PHILIP S. PARKER, army judge advocate. April 25, 1814..... The sentence of the court is approved, and the execution of it remitted. (Signed)

JAMES MADISON.

CHAPTER III.

Capture of Michillimackinac, and geographical description of

the upper lakes.

The capture of Michillimackinac had, without doubt, been contemplated by the enemy, previous to the declaration of war.... The Indians in the vicinity of lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron, had been stimulated to hostilities as early as May, 1812 ; and were doubtless collecting for this very enterprise at St. Jo. sephs, in the early part of July. On the 15th news of the dec.

G

laration of war reached St. Josephs, and such was the preparation of the enemy, that they were enabled to embark the next day for Mackana, with a force consisting of 40 regulars, 260 militia, made up principally of the engagees of the north-west company, and 500 Indians. With so formidable a force, our garrison, consist ing of 57 effectives, was unable to contend, and accordingly surrendered the fort and island, on the 17th. Subjoined is an official account of the capture, in a letter from Lieut. Hanks to Gen. Hull, accompanied with a copy of the articles of capitulation.

Detroit, 4th Aug. 1812. SIR.....I take the earliest oppportunity to acquaint your excellency of the surrender of Michillimackinac, under my command to bis Britannic majesty's forces under the command of Captain Charles Roberts, op the 17th ult. the particulars of which are as follow's : On the 16th I was informed by the Indian interpreter, that he had discovered from an Indian that the several uations of Indians then at St. Josephs, (a British garrison, distant forty-five miles) intended to make an immediate attack on Michillimackinac. I was inclined, from the coolness I had discovered in some of the principal chiefs of the Ottawa and Chippawa nations, who had but a few days before professed the greatest friendship for the United States, to place confidence in this report. I immediately called a meeting of the American gentlemen at that time on the Island, in which it was thought proper to despatch a confidential person to St. Josephs, to watch the motions of the Indians. Capt. Daurman, of the militia, was thought the most suitable for this service, He embarked about sunset, and met the British forces within ten or fifteen miles of the island, by whom he was made prisoner and put on his parole of honour. He was landed on the island at daybreak, with positive directions to give me no intelligence whatev. er. He was also instructed to take the inhabitants of the village indiscriminately to a place on the west side of the island, where their persons and property should be protected by a British guard : but should they go to the fort, they would be subject to a general massacre by the savages, which would be inevitable if the garri. son fired a gun. This information I received from Doctor Day, who was passing through the village when every person was flying for refnge to the enemy. Immediately on being informed of the approach of the enemy, I placed ammunition, &c. in the blockhouses : ordered every gun charged, and made every preparation for action. About 9 o'clock I could discover that the enemy were in possession of the heights that commanded the fort, and one piece of their artillery directed to the most defenceless part of the garrison. The Indians at this time were to be seen in great numbers in the edge of the woods. At half past 11 o'clock, the enemy sent in a flag of truce, demanding a surrender of the fort

and island, to his Britannic majesty's forces. This, sir, was the first information I had of the declaration of war ; I, however, had anticipated it, and was as well prepared to meet such an event as I possibly could have been with the force under my command, amounting to fifty-seven effective men, including officers. Three American gentlemen, who were prisoners, were permitted to accompany the flag : from them I ascertained the strength of the enemy to be from nine hundred to one thousand strong, consisting of regular troops, Canadians, and savages : that they had two pieces of artillery, and were provided with ladders and ropes for the purpose of scaling the works if necessary. After I had ob. tained this information, I consulted my officers and also the Amer. ican gentlemen present, who were very intelligent men : the result of which was, that it was impossible for the garrison to hold out against such a superior force. In this opinion I fully concurred, from a conviction that it was the only measure that could prevent a general massacre. The fort and garrison were accordingly surrendered.

The enclosed papers exhibit copies of the correspondence between the officer commanding the British forces and myself, and of the articles of capitulation. This subject involved questions of a peculiar nature ; and I hope, sir, that my demands and protests will meet the approbation of my government. I cannot al. low this opportunity to escape without expressing my obligations to Doct. Day for the service he rendered me in conducting this cortespondence.

In consequence of this unfortunate affair, I beg leave, sir, to de. mand that a court of enquiry may be ordered to investigate all the facts connected with it ; and I do further request, that the court may be speedily directed to express their opinion on the merits of the case. I have the honour to be, &c.

P. HANKS, His Excellency Gen. Hull,

Lieut. of artillery. Commanding N. W. army.

“ P. S. The following particulars relative to the British force were obtained after the capitulation, from a source that admits of no doubt :..... Regular troops 46 (including 4 officers,) Canadian militia 260..... Tatal 306.

Savages. ...Sioux 56 ; Winnebagoes 48 ; Talleswain 39; Chippawas and Ottawas 572....savages 715, whites 306..... Total 1024.

It may also be remarked, that one hundred and fifty Chippewas and Ottawas joined the British, two days after the capitula tion.

P. H. Heights above Micbillimackin

17th July, 1812

[ocr errors]

CAPITULATION Agreed upon between Capt. Charles Roberts, commanding his Britannic majesty's forces, on the one part, and Lieut. Porter Hanks, commanding the forces of the United States, on the other part.

1st. The fort of Michillimackinac shall immediately be suriendered to the British forces.

2d. The garrison shall march out with the honours of war, lay down their arms, and become prisoners ; and shall be sent to the United States of America by bis Britannic majesty, not to serve this war until regularly exchanged : and for the performance of this article, the officers pledge their word and honour.

3d. All the merchant vessels in the harbour, with their cargoes, shall be in possession of their respective owners.

41h. Private property shall be held sacred as far as it is in my power.

5th. All the citizens of the United States, who shall not take the oath of allegiance to his Britannic majesty, shall depart with their property from the island, ip one month from the date hereof. (Signed)

CHARLES ROBERTS, Captain, commanding his Britannic

majesty's forces.

P HANKS, Lieut.

Commanding the U. States' troops. Supplement to the articles of capitulation signed on the 7th July.

The Captains and crews of the vessels Erie and Freegoodwill, shall be included under the second article, not to serve until regularly exchanged, for which the officers shall pledge their word of honour.

CHARLES ROBERTS, Captain, Fort Michillimackinac, 2 commanding the forces of his 230 July, 1812.

Britannic majesty.
GRANTED.

P. HANKS, Lieut.

commanding the U. States' troops. Geographical..... We give the following extracts of an able geographical sketch of the three upper lakes, from Niles' Register, (with some little alteration) by which our readers will be enabled to form a more correct idea of the relative situation of some of the most important places alluded to in this and the succeeding number.

“ The position of the great lakes is so well known to the people of the United States, from the common use of the map, that we shall waste no time in describing them; but proceed immediately to the main objects of enquiry.

“ Lake Erie is of an eliptical form, three hundred miles long from east to west, and ninety broad at its widest part, from north to south. The depth is rated at twenty fathoms : but there are

« ForrigeFortsett »