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o poseph Nampler Calle
ANNALS OF AMERICA.
§ 1. Iitroduction. 52. Expedition of general Hull. $ 3. March through.
the Indian country. 9 4. Invasion of Canada. $5. Reconnoitering
01 DURING the last thirty years the United States has been increasing in population and wealth in a ratio unparalleled in hisbry. Within that period, its numbers have been more than coublel, while its forests have been rapidly changing into cultiva ed fieds, and flourishing towns and villages rising, as if by magic, in the midst of the wilderness. These blessings, however, have not been entirely unalloyed. The rapid increase of wealth has ntroduced luxury, with its accompanying evils, and has, especally in the larger cities, considerably sullied our republican simplicity of manners. Our extensive commerce, too, has embniled us with several of the European powers, and finally invdved us in war; while the thirst for speculation which it has exited in almost every class, has undoubtedly had a demoralizing tendency, though not perhaps in the degree attributed to itby some politicians, who have placed solely to that account the want of public spirit and nationality, which has been charged to this country. The present war, whatever other evils it nay have introduced, has certainly checked this evil. It has raised the character of the nation in the eyes of foreig powers, and erected an altar of national glory on which all loca prejudices have been sacrificed, and politicians of every party hive joined hand in hand to celebrate the triumphs of our country.
In commencing this work, we have chosen the declaration of war againt Great Britain as a point from whence to set out. Historical vents in general are so closely connected, that it is difficult to give a clear
account of any particular period, without VOL. II.
extending the view. considerably backward. This, however, is hardly necessary on the present occasion, as our intention is rather to present a digested statement of passing events, than to enter into historical discussions of their causes, and as we intend to publish, by way of introduction, a digest of state papers and of the proceedings of congress, from the establishment of the constitution, which will present an authentic view both of the foreign and domestic transactions of America, up to the present time.
A formal declaration of war against Great Britain, was passed by congress on the 18th of June, 1812*, which was proclaimed by the president on the following day. At this time the vhole naval force of the United States amounted only to seve: fri. gates, and a few sloops of war and other smaller vessels. The
• This year will form a memorable era in history, as the commencenent of two wars, which seem destined to effect an important revolution in the world, to oppose limits to powers hitherto deemed invincible, and which threatened to reduce Christendom into two mighty empires,
France and England have waged a war nearly without intermisson fo: twen. ty years, during which the former has been gradually enlarging its power by land, and the latter by sea, until at length the whole continent of Europe seemed to be prostrate at the foot of the one, while the boast of he otler, that the ocean was her domain, and that not a sail but by permission pread, seemed true, almost without a hyperbole.
Though possessing boundless power on one element, howevé, both nations have been comparatively harmless on the other, and therefore either has been able to make any serious impression on its adversary. In this tate of things it would seem as if, inflated with the pride of power, and unale to vent their fury on each other, they had with one consent laid down the usual modes of warfare, and entered on a contest of rapacity and injustice oward all other powers. Decrees and orders have followed in rapid successin, and friendly neutrals have been oppressed and plundered without mercy.
While both parties have thus pursued the same track, etch has lavished the most opprobrious epithets on the conduct of the other, Te most plausible pretexts, however, have not been wanting for their own justif:ation. The oppressor of the continent is fighting for the liberty of the seas, and the glorious object of the conflagrator of Copenhagen, and the tyrant of he ocean, is the emancipation of Europe from the chains of its despot. It is with the utmost regret that both have been forced, through just and necessary retaliation, in a war waged, not for their individual glory, nor through the list of power, but for the liberties of the world, to depart from the rules of civili:ed warfare and to plunder indiscriminately friends and foes.
It is certainly a remarkable coincidence, that the Russian and Americar wars should have broken out within a few days of each other, and that nearly at the same moment Bonaparte should be threatening to plant his victorious eagles on the walls of St. Petersburgh, and Great Britain boasting that she woud sweep every American cock boat from the ocean, little suspecting that, in a ew short months, the invincible legions of France would be nearly annihilated by a herd of "barbarous Cossacs,” and the British ensign be repeatedly strck to the “ fir-built” frigates of a despicable foe.--It is sincerely to be hope that both nations, and the world in general, will profit by the important løsons of this eventful year.
land forces were next to nothing. An army of 35,000 men, it is true, were authorized by congress, and the president was empowered to call out 100,000 militia; but the latter species of force, though strong in defensive operation, in offensive is perhaps vorse than nothing, and in a free country like this, where a confortable subsistence is so readily procured, the embodying of a arge regular force is far from being the work of a day. Besides, some time is necessary to change the habits of men from civil to military; men brought up to ease and indolence caino, at once execute the duties and meet the perils of war. Considerable difficulties were experienced likewise in finding oficers fitted for command. Many of the revolutionary charaiters were dead, and those who survived were almost too old fo' active service. In this state of things, can it be a subject of wnder that the raw forces of the United States, headed by oficers who had never seen service, and accompanied by rash mütia, without subordination, should experience some disasters inthe commencement of their career ? These disasters, howeter, have thrown no disgrace on the American name. On the contrary, the conduct of the American armies has reflected hnour on their country, and all their reverses have been occasõned either by the rashness of undisciplined bravery, or by tle misconduct or inexperience of their leaders.
From the disadvantages under which the army has laboured, tłe little navy of America has been entirely free. The previols embarrassments of commerce rendered it easy for our naval ofcers to supply themselves with a sufficient number of seamen, and with men too who had all their lives been engaged in simila pursuits, and under the most rigorous discipline ; for we aprehend that but little difference exists as to discipline and çeneral habits between a merchantman and a ship of With these circumstances in view, then, while we rejoice over the brillant exploits of our naval heroes, let us not doubt but that the American army, when it has overcome the difficulties vhich have arisen from the long peace with which the United States has been blessed, and from the very nature of its free political institutions, will shew what can be achieved by freemen by land as well as by sea.
$2. At the time of the declaration of war, general Hull, governor of the territory of Michigan, was on his march through the Indian country in the state of Ohio, with an army of about 2000 men, destined for Detroit. ļu the preceding month of April the governor of Ohio had been ordered by the president to call out 1200 militia. This requisition was principally filled by volunteers, who rendezvoused at Dayton on the 29th of
treaty a free
April, and were shortly after placed under the command of general Hull. In the beginning of June the detachment advanced to Urbanna, where, on the tenth, they were joined by the 4th regiment of United States infantry. The following day they commenced their march through the wilderness.
§ 3. From Urbanna to the rapids of the Miami of the Lakes, the country belongs to the Indians, and is entirely destitute of roads. From the rapids to Detroit, along Lake Erie and Letroit river, are various settlements, principally of French Canadians. By the treaty of Greenville, concluded by geneal Wayne with the Indians in 1795, a number of tracts, generaly six miles square, were ceded to the United States, which fom chains of posts joining the lakes with the Ohio by the course of the navigable rivers and the portages connecting them. By the
passage both by land and water was to be allowd to the people of the United States, along these chains of poss. Forts or block-houses have been erected and garrisoned in mot of these ceded tracts since the declaration of war, but at qe time that the country was traversed by general Hull's detaciment, no civilized being was to be seen between Urbanna an the rapids, a distance of at least 120 miles.
Towards the end of June the army arrived at the rapid, where a beautiful and romantic country suddenly opened o their view, enlivened by the signs of cultivation, and by th dwellings of their countrymen. Here a beam of joy animate! every countenance, and gave fresh energy and fortitude to thos who had undergone with difficulty the fatigues of a march t once gloomy and oppressive. On men who had just emergd from a dreary wilderness, unincumbered by a single hut reare by the hand of civilization, occupied by nought but Indians an beasts of prey, the change of scenery had a wonderful effect.
After stopping here one day for refreshment, the army recommenced their march, having previously loaded a small schooner with the hospital stores and officers' baggage, which was dispatched to Detroit by water, under a guard of a lieutenant and thirty men. Before they reached Detroit the army were informed of the capture of the schooner, and of the declaration of war. On the morning of the 5th of July, they arrived at Spring Wells, opposite Sandwich, within a few miles of Detroit, where they encamped.
4. As general Hull had received, before his taking com. mand of the army, discretionary powers to act offensively in case of war, the invasion of Canada was now determined on, and the utmost diligence was used in preparation for that event. The arms of the troops were repaired, a part of the ordnance