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extracted text


Extract from Wilkinson's Memoirs, 1st vol., from page 564 to 581.


annexed Letters and General Orders will show

the difficulties General Van Rensselaer had to contend
with ; and the measures he pursued to meet them ; his
devotion to the interests of the service, the comfort of the
troops, and the honour of their arms. The Letters
which passed after the battle between him and General
Sheaffe, rival chiefs as they were, in fame and in courtesy, will be read with interest and profit.

Major Gen. Dearborn had been placed in the command
of the Northern frontier early in 1812, with views to the invasion of Canada, but if I am rightly informed, without being
furnished with any plan, general or particular, or any indication of the course which might probably be pursued for the
direction of his operations. Lake Champlain presented the
great military highway to the centre of the enemy's province,
and the American settlements at the foot of that lake were
remote and exposed; the general therefore judiciously determined to take his first position with the regular recruits in
that quarter; but in the progress of the campaign, the misfortune at Detroit put the western frontier of the State of
New York in danger, and in defect of regular troops, the
general called on the Governor of the State for a body of
militia. This gentleman who distinguished himself as a
supporter of the war did not hesitate to comply with the
requisition and Major General Stephen Van Rensselaer was
selected for the command, The motives for this selection

were equivocal, but in relation to the public service it was
well judged, because of the amiable disposition, the elevated
patriotism, the sound discretion, the solid judgment, inflexible
honour and firm resolution of this officer. But Gen. Van
Rensselaer was opposed in politics to Governor Tompkins,
and had differed also with him in opinion as to the expediency
of the war, and at the same time they were rival candidates
for the government of the State. In the spirit of the times,
when almost every public measure is regulated by interested
intrigue; the suggestion may not be uncharitable, that this



command was offered to Gen. Van Rensselaer, in the expectation that he would refuse it, and that his refusal would
affect his popularity. But this virtuous citizen, although in
possession of the first patrimonial estate in America, and in
the enjoyment of every blessing which can sweeten domestic life, notwithstanding his opposition to the policy of the
war, was too sensible of the obligation which he owed to his
country and its government, to pause a moment for the course
he should pursue. He received the orders of Gen. Dearborn, and commenced his march for the frontier, accompanied by Col. Solomon Van Rensselaer, adjutant general of
the State of New York, of whom I must be permitted to say
a few words. This high-minded citizen soldier, and honourable man, made his noviciate in arms under my orders as a
Cornet of dragoons, more than twenty years before, and at
that tender age was distinguished for his coolness and intrepidity in action. His father had served as a lieutenant colonel in the revolutionary war, and fought and bled for his
country in the affair near Fort Ann, against the 9th British regiment of Infantry, in 1777 ; he had transfused his spirit and patriotism into his son, who in my presence during the campaign
of 1794, fought with sang froid and bled with complacency.
Rising by regular promotion to a troop, he was particularly
noticed by General Washington, and raised to the command
of a squadron; but he was among the disbanded at the
reduction of 1800; and after that period, although anxious
for a military appointment to which he would have done honour, his politics, as a good federalist, opposed an insuperable
bar to his applications.
On reaching Utica, General Van Rensselaer was called
to Sacketts Harbour, by a rumour of the movements of the
enemy in that quarter, and from thence after a short halt he
proceeded to Ogdensburgh, where Colonel Van Rensselaer
projected a handsome enterprize, which failed through the
want of a few regular troops ; an armed vessel of the enemy,
Jay along side a wharf adjoining the British magazines at


Prescott, on the opposite shore. Colonel Van Rensselaer
proposed with one hundred and twenty men, to ascend the
St. Lawrence four or five miles, after night, cross the river,
fall down under the Canada shore, take possession of the
buildings and carry the vessel, boarding her by land and
water at the same time. Volunteers from the militia, turned
for the enterprize at evening roll-call, but at midnight:they
had changed their minds, and as they believed there existed
no competent authority to order them beyond the limits of
the state, this feasible project was abandoned.
From Ogdensburgh, General Van Rensselaer returned to
the southward and established his Head Quarters at Lewiston,
on the Strait of Niagara, whilst General Smyth, of the Continental service, was ordered to take post in the vicinity of
Black Rock at the head of the Strait. This association was
unfortunate, as the latter gentleman's high military pretensions, could not be reconciled to the command of a militia
general, on his first tour of duty, however respectable as a
citizen ; and it is presumed this temper produced a spirit of
insubordination, repulsive to the harmony and concert which
is essential to cordial co-operation, and that the public service, was sacrificed to personal sensibility.
The campaign glided away under the tardy levy of reguular troops, and the dilatory assembly of the yeomanry ;
and it was October before General Van Rensselaer found
himself in force to warrant of offensive operations. It appears that at this period, his solicitude for his own reputation
and more especially the interests of the service, and the
honour of the country, determined him to strike at the enemy.
Pursuant to this object, on the 5th of October, he, by letter,
required a conference with Brigadier General Smyth, and
the commanding officers of corps under his immediate
orders. He addressed Major Gen. Hall to the same effect ;
and after these preliminary steps, on the 8th, he made
the following
ollowing interesting communication to the commander
in chief.



Head Cluarters, Lewiston, Oct. 8th, 1812.

It is now nearly three months since, in obedience to
the call of my country, I took the field to form and discipline
an army, and to shape and direct a campaign on the very
extensive frontiers of this state. This service, even in prospect, presented innumerable difficulties and embarrassments.
Thus far I have met them in that manner which my own
mind justifies and I trust my country will approve. After a
general review of our frontiers, my own judgment did not
suffer me to doubt that the Niagara river must be the scene
of our decisive operations, and I selected this neighbourhood
as the place best adapted to our measures, and here encamped.
Well knowing that the duties of the station you hold were
complicated and embarrassing, I have patiently endured much,
that the affairs of my department might embarrass you less.
The crisis through which I have passed for the last month
has been trying indeed •, particulars upon this occasson are
unnecessary; but the result has justified my measures and I
am satisfied. Yet I am well aware that any merit which
may be attached to this negative service, will not satisfy the
expectations of my country : to have barely escaped disaster, will not be thought enough ; the object of the war remains unaccomplished, a new crisis is opening, and as in it,
you, sir, as well as I, have a deep stake of responsibility, I
shall with great freedom, state to you a number of facts,
submitting my opinions connected with them, and with defer.
ence leave the general conclusion to your own judgment;
and as the honour and interests of the United States, your
own character and mine, are most intimately connected in
the subject of deliberation, I hope and trust it may receive
all the attention which its importance merits.
The United States declared the war. One army has surrendered in disgrace, and another has but little more than



escaped the reiteration of the blow. The National character is degraded, and the disgrace will remain corroding the
public feeling and spirit, until another campaign; unless it be
instantly wiped away by a brilliant close of this.—A detail
of particulars is needless ; you, sir, know service. Our best
troops are raw; many of them dejected by the distress their
families suffer by their absence, and many have not necessary
clothing : we are in a cold country, the season is far advanced, and unusually inclement; we are half the time
deluged with rain. The blow must be struck soon, or all
the toil and expense of the campaign go for nothing or worse
than nothing, for the whole will be tinged with dishonour.
With my present force, it would be rash to attempt offensive
operations. I have only seventeen hundred effective men*
of the militia on this whole line. The regular troops have
nearly all arrived in the vicinity of Buffalo, except Schuyler's regiment. The batteaux have not arrived and I learn
they very narrowly escaped the Royal George, at the mouth
of Genesee river, where she had just cut out the schooner
Lady Murray, and a Revenue Cutter. But two or three
companies of the Pennsylvania troops had arrived at Buffalo,
when I received my last advice from thence.
Under these circumstances and the impressions necessarily
resulting from them, I am adopting decisive measures for
closing the fall campaign; but shall wait your approbation
of the plan, and the arrival of a competent force to execute
it. I have summoned Major Gen. Hall, Brig. Gen. Smyth,
and the commandants of the United States Regiments, to
meet me on a consultation ; and I am well aware that some
opinions entitled to great respect, will be offered for crossing
the Niagara a little below Fort Erie, and pursuing the march
down the river. I think this plan liable to many objections.
The enemy have works at almost every point, and even an

* His reinforcements had not then arrived.


inferior force might hold us in check and render our march
slow ; by taking up the bridges at Chippewa, they might
greatly embarrass. us ; the cleared country is but a mile or
two wide; one flank would be constantly liable to be galled
by Indians from the swamps; for a considerable distance,
the rapidity of the current, and the height of the banks render transportation across the river impracticable; of course,
our supplies must follow the line of march, with the trouble
and hazard of them every day increasing; and should the
enemy retreat from Gen. Harrison, they would have a double object in intercepting our supplies; and by falling on our
rear, and cutting off our communication, we might experience the fate of Hull's army. Besides these, and many
other objections, there is no object on that side, until we
should arrive at the commanding heights of Queenstown,
which are opposite my camp.
The proposal which I shall submit to the Council will be,
that we immediately concentrate the regular force in the
neighbourhood of Niagara and the militia here, make the
best possible dispositions, and, at the same time, the regulars
shall pass from the Four-mile Creek to a point in the rear
of the works of Fort George, and take it by storm ; I will
Pass the river here, and carry the heights of Queenstown.
Should we succeed, we shall effect a great discomfiture of
the enemy by breaking their line of communication, driving
their shipping from the mouth of this river, leaving them no
rallying point in this part of the country, appalling the
minds of the Canadians, and opening a wide and safe communication for our supplies. We shall save our own land—
wipe away part of the score of our past disgrace, get excellent barracks and winter•quarters, and at least be prepared
for an early campaign another year. As soon as the result
of the Council shall be known, I shall advise you of it. I
have received your letter of the 29th ultimo, and shall acquaint Mr. Harrison with your direction. I regret the


slowness of the mail. I have furnished an escort for it from
this to Buffalo.
With great respect and consideration, &c.
Hon. Major Gen. Dearborn.

From this letter, it will appear to any professional man
acquainted with the country, and the circumstances of the
enemy at that time, that, although Gen. Van Rensselaer
was not a military man, he reasons very much like a soldier; his point of attack was selected with masterly judgment, because, from its apparent difficulty it was least suspected, when, in fact, the counter currents under the opposite shores, and the narrowness of the river,* rendered it the
preferable traverse; and as to the plan of the enterprize
which he had finally determined on, it was so simple and
so perfect, that an act of God alone could have prevented
the success, which would have reflected honour on a master
of the trade.
If the reader will cast his eyes over the annexed map,
he will perceive General Van Rensselaer's camp at Lewiston, (B) from whence a road (isn't) has been cut by
his order, six miles through a wood, to (N), at Four-mile
Creek, where sixty batteaux lay equipped for service ; from
whence it is four and a half miles by water to Fort George,
under a high bank, which conceals the movement until the
boats turn the point of Niagara. The ground is so much
elevated at Lewiston and Queenstown, that it may be called
mountain; it is an immense platform which overlooks the
plain below, until it is terminated by Lake Ontario. Of
consequence, every movement from Fort George would have
been under the General's eye, as well at that of the officer
at Fort Niagara. It was General Van Rensselaer's intention, to have marched General Smyth and one thousand
'0 Three hundred and fifty yards wide.


five hundred regular troops, to the mouth of the Four-mile
Creek, by the new road (mm,) cut for the purpose, there to
have been held in readiness to embark at a minute's notice.
Queenstown was then to be attacked; and as it was guarded
by two companies of the 49th regiment, with a party of militia and Indians only, it would have been carried with the
battery on the heights, as afterwards happened. These
operations, within hearing of Fort George, could not fail to
draw forth the garrison to sustain the post of Queenstown,
and repel the invaders; and, as soon as the British column
was discovered in motion, General Smyth would have embarked by a signal, and when it approached Queenstown he
would have been ordered by a courier, to proceed to the attack of Fort George, which could not have been anticipated
more than twenty minutes, and being deprived of its garrison, resistance would have been vain. In the spirit of these
memoirs I shall forbear to condemn, except when urged by
facts. That so feasible a plan, and one of such importance
to the national honour and interests should have failed was
to be deplored, and the occasion certainly presented a fair
subject for inquiry ; because it could not have happened
without some fault, which, for the good of the service,
should have been ascertained, especially when General
Van Rensselaer defied investigation; but the crooked policy of a corrupt cabinet will not bear inquiry, except when
it is deemed necessary to hunt down obnoxious individuals..
Disappointed by causes he could not control, in the meditated attack on the 11th of October, to which the impatience
of the militia had compelled him to assent, before his measures were matured ; and not having heard from Brigadier
General Smyth on the 11th, in answer to his note of the 5th ;
General Van Rensselar hoped the temper of the troops
would allow him time to repeat his summons for a consultation with the most experienced of his officers who lay near
Buffalo, with the intention to carry into effect his original
design; but the ardour of those under his immediate orders,



had been heated by disappointment, and numbers now proposed to him the alternative, of marching against the enemy,
or marching home. In such a dilemma he could not hesitate, and on consulting the principal officers of his camp,
and finding them earnest for an immediate attack, he determined to carry the works of the enemy on the morning of
the 13th, before day ; having the evening before received tt
reinforcement of three hundred and fifty regular recruits
under Lieutenant Colonel Christie, who volunteered his
No fault can be found with the plan of attack, except in
the deficiency of transports, which, consisting of thirteen batteaux, limited the assaulting party to three hundred noncommissioned officers and privates, and this defect is ascribed
to the deficiencies of competent means in the quarter-master's department. The embarkation was to have taken
place on the morning of the 13th, before day, in the following order, viz. Col. S. Van Rensselaer with three hundred,
militia, Lieut. Col. Christie, with three hundred Regulars;
the whole to be commanded by Colonel Van Rensselaer ;
Lieutenant Colonel Fenwick and Major Mullany, were to
follow with five hundred and fifty regular troops, and
some pieces of flying artillery, and then the militia, according to order. The attacking party was formed in good
time, and marched off by files abreast, Lieut. Col. Christie
leading the regulars, and Major Morrison the militia. When
he arrived at the bank of the river, Col. Van Rensselaer
halted the detachment, and descended with Major Lush and
Lieut. Gansevoort, who acted as his aids, to see the boats
arranged, and formed in two divisions, one for the regulars,
and the other for the militia ; as it was intended their embarkation should be simultaneous, as far as the craft would
suffice to receive them : but, in descending the bank by a
narrow path, which had been -dug out of it, the regular
troops got possession of it, to the exclusion of the militia;
and the necessity occurred of countermarching a part of the




regulars, or embarking the whole, in the first instance ; and
to save time, the latter plan was adopted, and Major Morrison ordered to follow with the militia in the return boats.
Col. Van Rensselaer had examined the bearings of the
enemy's heavy battery, on the mountain at (c,)* and that of
one gun below Queenstown, at (L), and perceived that by
by crossing the river near the gorge of the mountain, he
should in a great measure escape the range of their shot; he
accordingly made his traverse at (o), and landed on a narrow beach, undey a steep bank of forty feet elevation ; but,
unfortunately, three of the boats which put ol? with him,
bearing Lieutenant Colonel Christie,t Captain Lawrence,
and a subaltern whose name is not known, returned without
the orders of Col. Van Rensselaer, and carried back seventyfive of the detachment, which too sensibly impaired his
force ; but the retreat of this party produced a most pernicious effect on the militia, particularly as it made no immediate attempt to effect a passage. The natural reflection produced by this spectacle in the minds of the yeomanry was, " If the regular troops cannot cross the river,
surely it cannot be expected of us." Thousands of spectators were looking on, and there can be up doubt that the incident staggered their resolution,
The narrowness of the river, without the agency of spies,
would necessarily warn the enemy of the movement; and
they were prepared for Van Rensselaer's reception. Their
force at Queenstown, when the attack was made, consisted of
two companies of the 49th regiment, I suppose one hundred
and sixty men, with a party of militia, and a few Indians, who
resisted their landing. They ascertained Van Rensselaer's
approach by the sound of his oars, and opened their fire from

the top of the bank, as soon as they could discern his movements, by which Lieut. Rathbone was mortally wounded on
board of Col. Van Rensselaer's boat. The landing was effected
with two hundred and twenty-five men,who formed under a very
warm fire, climbed the bank, and routed the enemy at the point
of the bayonet, without firing a shot; but in this operation Ensign Morris was killed, and Capts. Malcolm, Armstrong, and
Wool were wounded; Col. Van Rensselaer himself was peculiarly unfortunate, and, to the accident which befel him,
the day's disaster may be partly attributed ; he received one
ball in his hip, which passed out at his spine, two in his
thigh, one of which lodged, two in his leg, and a sixth contused his heel ; he however kept his feet, and the enemy
having fled towards the town, he ordered Capt. Wool, the
senior officer capable of duty, to ascend the mountain and
carry the battery ; giving him a direction for his movement,
by which he would avoid the enemy's artillery ; placing
Lieuts. Randolph and Gansevoort, who volunteered, at the
head of the little column, and Major Lush, another volunteer,
in the rear, with order to put to death the first man who
should fall back. During this time, he had concealed his
wounds under a great coat borrowed from Major Lush; and
when the party had filed off before him, no longer able to
support himself, he fell to the ground. It was just then clear
day-light, and he found himself among the wounded, the
dying, and the dead. A crust of bread, and some water,
furnished by one of the former, prevented him from fainting.
The anguish resulting from his wounds, and every selfish
feeling, was silenced by the contemplation of his wounded
companions ; but even these lost much of their interest, when
put in competition with his anxiety for the safety and success of the gallant detachment he had ordered to the heights.
It pleased, however the great Disposer of events, that this
anxiety should be short-lived ; and for the blood he had thus
spilled in his country's cause, he was remunerated by the
consoling shouts of victory. I had marked the patriot sol2

* See the Map.
f Col. Christie whose high standing as an officer placed his courage
above suspicion is no more ; but Capt. Lawrence, who lives, and is
second to no officer of his grade, alleges, I understand, that he retreated
by order of Col. Christie. At all events, no satisfactory reason has
been given for the boats not proceeding.






dier some eighteen years before, when " the callow down
had scarce begun to shade his cheek, and call him man,"'
giving earnest of future promise, and asserting claims to future tame; I beheld him in a gallant charge at the head
of his troop, shot through the body and with the blood oozing
from his lungs, still smiling with complacency; yet since the
days of General Washington, nor the blood of the father,
nor the son has found grace in the eyes of the executive;
and amidst thousands of offices which have been indiscriminately lavished on the worthy and the worthless, this faithful
citizen and honourable man has not been deemed worthy of
The sequel of the affair of Queenstown, about which we
have heard almost as much misrepresentation and folly as
about the battle of Bridgewater, will be best described by
an extract from the official letter of General Van Rensselaer;*
and the following report of Capt. Wool will put to rest several controverted points.

hold Gen. Brock in check, but in consequence of his superior force they retreated. I sent a reinforcement, notwithstanding which, the enemy drove us to the edge of the bank,
when with the greatest exertion we brought the troops to a
stand, and ordered the officers to bring their men to a charge
as soon as the ammunition was expended, which was executed with some confusion, and in a few minutes, the enemy
retreated. We pursued them to the edge of the heights,
when Col. Mc. Donald had his horse shot from under him,
and himself mortally wounded. In the mean time Gen.
Brock, in attempting to rally his forces, was killed, when
the enemy dispersed in every direction. As soon as it was
practicable, I formed the troops in a line on the heights
fronting the village, and immediately detached flanking parties which consisted of Captain M'Chesney of the 6th Regiment, Lieut. Smith and Ensign Grosvenor with a small
detachment of Riflemen which had that moment arrived;
at the same time I ordered Lieut. Gansevoort and Lieut.
Randolph with a detachment of artillery to drill out an
eighteen pounder which had been previously spiked, and if
possible to bring it to bear upon the village. The wounded
and prisoners I ordered to be collected and sent to the guard
house. About this time, which was between three and four,
o'clock in the afternoon, Lieut. Col. Christie arrived and
took the command. He ordered me across the river to get
my wounds dressed. I remained a short time. Our flanking parties had been driven in by the Indians, but Gen:
Wadsworth and other officers arriving, we had a short skirmish with them and they retreated, and I crossed the river.
The officers engaged in storming the Battery, were Capts.
Wool and Ogilvie; Lieuts. Kearney, Hugonin, Carr, and
Sammons of the 13th ; Lieuts. Gansevoort and Randolph of
the Light Artillery, and Major Lush of the Militia. I recommend to your particular notice Lieuts. Randolph, Carr,

Buffalo, Oct. 23, 1812.

Dear Sir,—
I have the honour to communicate to you the circumstances attending the storming of Queenstown battery on the
13th instant; with those which happened previously, you are
already well acquainted.
In pursuance of your order we proceeded round the point,
and ascended the rocks, which brought us partly in rear of
the battery. We took it without much resistance. I immediately formed the troops in the rear of the battery, and fronting the village, when I obsreved Gen. Brock with his troops
formed, consisting of four companies of the 49th Regiment
and a few Militia, marching for our left flank. I immediately detached a party of one hundred and fifty men, to take
possession of the heights above Queenstown battery and to
* See Appendix, No. 2.





and Kearney, for their brave conduct exhibited during the
whole of the action.
I have the honour to be
Your most obt. humble servt.,
Capt. 13th Regt. Infantry.

Yet we heard of no mark of distinction, no honorary promotions on the occasion; the efficacy of Brevets had not
then been discovered, nor had it become necessary to cover
the disgrace of the cabinet, by raising up idols for the adoration of the people; but if the executive could for a moment
have forgotten that Gen. Van Rensselaer was a federalist,
and opposed to Gov. Tompkins as a candidate for the government of the State of New-York, his reluctance to render
common justice to the principal actors in this gallant scene,
would have been counteracted by the self-evident policy of
exhibiting it to the country in its true light—by contrasting
it with the melancholy tale of Detroit, thus dissipating the
gloom that hung over the soldiery and the country, and
shewing them what deeds Americans were capable of performing. It is true complete success did not ultimately
crown this enterprize •, but two great ends were obtained for
the country—It re-established the character of the American Army, and deprived the enemy by the death of Gen.
Brock, of the best officer that has headed their troops in
Canada throughout the war, and with his loss put an end to
their then brilliant career.
- I proceed to discharge a pleasing office by stating that
the officers who accompanied Col. Van Rensselaer, were
Major of Brigade, Lush of the militia, Lieuts. Randolph and
Gansevoort, volunteers from the light artillery ; Lieut.
Rathbone of the heavy artillery ; Capts. Malcolm, Wool,
Armstrong, Ogilvie, and Lieuts. Kearney, Sammons, Carr,
and Hugonin, and Ensign Morris of the 13th Infantry of
whom two were killed and four wounded. The conspicuous
gallantry of Lieut. Randolph attracted the attention of the
enemy, and excited the admiration of his brethren in arms.
Things turned out exactly as Gen. Van Rensselaer had
anticipated; Gen. Sheaffe, who succeeded to the command,
on finding that the force at Queenstown had been routed and
Gen. Brock killed, stripped Fort George of its garrison, and
leaving it in charge of the ordinary guard, marched against

Col. Solomon Van Rensselaer.

The names of the officers who accompanied Col. Van
Rensselaer on this hardy enterprise, deserve to be engraved
on the scroll of fame, for surmounting obstacles almost insuperable, in the face of a determined enemy, under a heavy
fire, and dislodging and pursuing a superior force, composed
of two Companies of the 49th British Regiment, advantageously posted, with a body of auxiliary Militia and Indians :
It was indeed a display of intrepidity rarely exhibited, in
which the conduct and the execution were equally conspicuous. Here true valour, so often mistaken for animal
courage,* was attested by an appeal to the bayonet, which
decided the conflict without a shot. It must not be forgotten
that two hundred and twenty-five men accomplished what
six hundred were intended to achieve, and the reader will
bear in mind, that with the single exception of Col. Van
Rensselaer, it was the first military combat in which either
men or officers had been engaged. Under all the circumstances, and on the scale of the operation the impartial soldier and competent judge, will name this brilliant affair the
chef-d'oeuvre of the war.
* In the American service, temerity is too often taken for bravery,
yet the distinction between them is as wide as between blindness and
vision. Marshal Saxe when a youth was seen to court danger in the
battle of Malplaquet, and afterwards at the siege of Bethune in Flanders, for which he was complimented by the tribe of courtiers. This
drew from Prince Eugene the following wholesome admonitions: "La
temerite ne passera pas pour bravour, vous ne devez pas les confonda
car les connoisseur ne s'y meprendront pas.




the invaders•, and if a great part of the militia had not violated their promise, and abandoned their duty he might have
been crushed in fifteen minutes, and the peninsula would
have fallen into our hands. In this state of things an experienced officer, on seeing Sheaffe advance and file off from
the direct route towards St. Davids by (q,qq*) in order to
avoid a conflict in ascending the mountain, would have met
him at that point where he could have been repulsed with
half numbers; or having made the previous arrangement
with his officers for the coup as soon as Sheaffe had reached
St. Davids, he would have precipitated himself upon Fort
George by the direct road and leaving the enemy four or
five miles in his rear could have taken the place before they
could have succoured it, and turned their own guns upon them.
A single reflection would have justified the attempt—without
retreat, the American detachment could not avoid an action,
and by the abandonment of the militia were exposed to defeat, from which the capture of Fort George alone could
save them. If they had failed in the attempt their misfortunes would not have been increased •, but the chance was in
their favour.—They might gain much, and could lose little.
By some persons, Gen. Van Rensselaer was censured for
his conduct on this occasion; but this was more the effect of
party animosity, than any just ground of condemnation. In
entering upon his command when a rival of the Governor
of the state for a succession to the government, he evinced
his disinterested patriotism, and exposed himself to great
hazard in point of reputation•, for it is a fair presumption,
that it was not Gov. Tompkins' intention by the selection to
strengthen the interests of his opponent, as this gentleman,
with a thousand amiable and generous qualities, could not be
expected to commit political suicide. Advocate as I am for
the yeomanry of my country, I can find no excuse for the
conduct of the militia on that occasion. By imperiously de* See Map.




manding the attack on Queenstown, they virtually pledged
themselves to support it. The attack was made, but their
pledge remained unredeemed; it is in vain that we search
for the cause.
The army on the Straits of Niagara could have been assembled for offence only : therefore, Gen. Van Rensselaer,
in making the attack, fulfilled the obligations of duty, and
the views of government. The adjoining return,* taken
from the official documents, will show that his force was
more than sufficient for the occasion ; and if blameable at
all, it was in yielding to the alternative presented to him by his
fellow-citizens and fellow-soldiers, before his preparations
satisfied his own judgment; yet under the actual circumstances of the operation, as far as they have reached my
knowledge, if the militia had been faithful to their engagements, and true to themselves, the whole might have passed
the straits before the arrival of the British column under
General Sheaffe, whom they might have cut off from Fort
George, and captured or destroyed, after which the surrender of the Fort would have become a matter of form.
* Return of the troops under the command of Major General Stephen Van Rensselaer of the New-York Militia, Head-Quarters, Lewiston, October 12th, 1812.
Brig. Geh. Miller's,
Lt. Col. Jno R. Fenwick's,
Lt. Col. P. Swift's, and
Lt. Col. S. Hopkins's, S
Brig. Gen. Wadsworth's,
Brig Gen. Stnyth's,
Lt. Col. Christie's,


Bl'k Rock & t
Black Rock,

present for






N.B. Having omitted it its proper place, I will here particularize,
that it was the grenadier and light companies of the 49th regiment,
which opposed Col. Van Rensselaer's landing: they were 175 strong,
commanded by Capts. Dennie and Williams, who were both wounded,
and had three sergeants and thirty-nine rank and file killed and
wounded. This was from an official return taken at York .


From Major General Van Rensselaer to his Excellency Governor
Ogdensburgh, July 23d, 1812, 8 o'clock, P. M.

On receiving information that Sackett's Harbour was
menaced by the enemy, I deemed it expedient that General
Brown should repair there ; and, accordingly, he departed
from this place early yesterday morning. One reason for
my remaining a day or two longer at this post was, to
await, and possibly improve the success which might attend
a projected attack upon a ten-gun British schooner which
has for several days been lying at the dock in Prescott, opposite to this place. The proposed attack was concerted
by my aid-de-camp, Col. Van Rensselaer, and Col. Benedict who commands at this post. Yesterday was spent in
preparations.. The boarding-boats were ready at 1 o'clock,
last night, and the attack was to have been made by land
and water, at 3 in the morning. But when every thing was
prepared in such manner as to promise complete success, it
was discovered with infinite chagrin and mortification, that
only sixty-six men would volunteer for the service ! This
!number being by no means competent, Cols. 'Van Rensselaer and Benedict, who would certainly have led the men to
action with the most cool and determined bravery, were
compelled to abandon an enterprize honourable in itself; and
upon the result of which might have depended the whole
command of the Lake and river.
This promising project having been blasted, and as nothing further of consequence appeared to demand my longer
stay here, I was on the eve of my departure at five o'clock


this afternoon, when a large armed ship was discovered
coming down the river. She has anchored close on shore,
on the opposite side of the river, near to the schooner, and
appears to be a fourteen-gun ship. Considerable solicitude
prevails in this place. It is generally believed that the vessels in the harbour are the object of the enemy. The owners of the vessels are preparing to scuttle them, or remove
them as far out of the reach of the enemy as may be. The
troops are busy constructing a fort of timber north of Parish's store, on the best ground for the purpose. But, sir,
our very great misfortune is, that we have only two sixpounders. If this harbour is to be protected, it is absolutely necessary that I should be immediately furnished with
cannon of competent calibre, for the probably approaching
emergency. I shall wait your answer by the return of the
express, and govern myself accordingly.
I have the honour, &c.
His Excellency Gov. Tompkins.
From Major General Dearborn to Major General Van Rensselaer.
Head Quarters, Greenbush, July 29th, 1812
Major General Van Rensselaer,

Your situation, I presume, will enable you to ascertain
what force the enemy can bring into action against offensive
operations on our part at Kingston and its vicinity; and
what forces, in addition to those under your command, would
be necessary to render offensive operations in that quarter
sufficiently sure of success. Any information you can give
me on this, and all other points in relation to your command, and on the general state of things with you, and in
Upper Canada, is requested ; and it is highly desirable that
you afford me the earliest information, from time to time, of
any occurrences in your vicinity sufficiently important to
be communicated. You will readily perceive the expediency of employing suitable characters for obtaining and




communicating to you correct information in relation to the
enemy's force, and the disposition of the militia, and inhabitants generally in the Province.
Proper encouragement should be given to such persons as
you may confide in, for their services in this employment ;
and I shall hold myself accountable for any necessary expenditures attendant on it. I have not had an opportunity of
conferring with Governor Tompkins; but as he is shortly expected home, I shall soon have the pleasure of a conference
in relation to your command, and the situation of the frontier
generally. Not being informed of the extent of your command, I have written to the commanding officers at Niagara
and Plattsburgh, from the presumption that there might be
three distinct commands; but if I am mistaken, I trust no
material inconvenience will result from it. Be assured, sir,
that your appointment to your present command, your ready
acceptance of it, and promptitude in repairing to the frontiers, affords high satisfaction to our good citizens, and is
peculiarly gratifying to your very, &c.
From Major General Dearborn to Major General Van Rensselaer.
Head Quarters, Greeobush, Aug. 3d, 1812.

Major Gen. Van Rensselaer, or the Comm'g Officer at Fort Niagara.

You will please take measures for keeping up a correspondence with Gen. Hull, and ascertain his movements by
express, or otherwise ; and as he has crossed over to Upper
Canada, and taken possession of Fort Malden, it will be expedient to make every exertion in your power to co-operate
with him. If your force will not admit of any strong offensive operations, it is highly desirable that such diversions
should be made in his favour, as will prevent the enemy from
detaching any force from the vicinity of Niagara to oppose
the movements of Gen. Hull. I trust you will soon be
called to act in a more decisive mann6r.

I urn, Itc,,


From Major General Van Rensselaer, to His Excellency Governor
Buffalo, August 11th, 1812.. 1

I have to advise your Excellency that I arrived here
last evening, and various considerations induced me to adopt
measures for obtaining the most satisfactory information
respecting the situation of General Hull. Accordingly, I
this morning sent my aid-de-camp to Black Rock, having
heard that Judge Porter, brother of the Quarter Master
General, had lately returned from Detroit. Col. Van Rensselaer has returned, having had a conference with the Quarter Master General, and Judge Porter. The amount of information obtained is substantially this.—That Judge Porter,
left Detroit, on the 29th ult. General Hull, was entrenching
himself opposite to Detroit ;—Fort Malden was not taken as
has been reported ;— General Hull's force was eight hundred. At Brown's Town, below Detroit are fifteen hundred
hostile Indians. Quarter Master General Porter has lately
sent several boats with provisions for General Hull ; but
unfortunately, one boat has been taken by the enemy, and
unfavourable apprehensions are entertained for the other
boats. It is here, generally believed that detachments of
troops have been sent from Fort George, to relieve Fort
Malden ; the number remaining behind, I have not been able
to ascertain, but shall endeavour to make this an object of
early inquiry. It is said that the enemy abound on the opposite shore, with ordnance, and every munition of war.
We are, here, as indeed at all of our posts, lamentably deficient in ordnance. The situation of Ogdensburgh, and the
necessity of supplying it with heavy ordnance, I have before
stated to your Excellency in my letter by express from that
place. Every consideration connected with the success of
any operations in this quarter, urges me to solicit the earliest possible supply of heavy ordnance, and some skilful
engineers, and artillerists. Without such aid and supplies, I




can hardly conceive how it will be possible for us to achieve
any thing of importance, or even defend our posts in case of
attacks from the enemy. I shall, to-morrow, proceed on to
Black Rock and Lewiston, and make further communications
of every incident of moment.
I have spent a part of this day with Red Jacket, Corn
Planter, and a number of other Indians of influence. They
very kindly consider me as the messenger of peace and
friendship, specially delegated by your excellency. Their
professions are unreservedly friendly, and I believe sincere.
I have this day received a letter from Major General Dearborn, in which he speaks of Fort Malden as being taken : I
have given him such information on the subject as I have
here obtained.
I have the honour, &c.
From Major General Dearborn to Major General Hall ; or Commanding officer, &c.
Head Quarters, Green Bush, Aug. 8, 1812.
Major General Hall,

Having received from Sir Geo. Provost, Governor and
Commander in Chief of the forces in Canada, by Col.
Baynes, his Adjutant General, despatches from England, to our
government, of a conciliatory nature ; and a proposition on
the part of Sir George Provost, for a mutual cessation of
hostilities on the Frontiers, I have so far complied with the
proposition, as to agree to direct the respective Commanding
Officers on the side of the United States, to confine their respective operations to defensive measures until they receive
further orders. Similar orders are given to the British Commanders. You will, therefore, confine the operations of the
troops under your command to defensive measures until you
receive further orders. It being explicitly understood, that
if General Hull should continue to act offensively, and any
movement of the enemy's troops in your vicinity should


take place with a view to offensive operations, it will be considered as an infraction of this agreement and you will govern yourself accordingly.
I am, sir, &c.
From Sam. S. Conner, A. D. to Gen. Dearborn, to the commanding officer at Niagara.

Sir, —
You will please to communicate the enclosed communication which is from the British Adjutant General, to the
British commanding officer, opposite Niagara and Detroit,
that he may immediately communicate it to Col. Proctor.
Yours, &c.
From Major General Van Rensselaer to Major General Dearborn.

Head Quarters, Lewiston, 18 August, 1812, 6 o'clock, A. M.

Your letter of the 8th inst., by some mismanagement
passed this place in the mail, last evening, on to Niagara,
and was sent to me by express from Capt. Leonard at a late
hour in the night. I have written General Hull inclosing
your letter to him. I have also written General Porter to
forward the despatch to General Hull immediately, by some
very trusty express. I have written the commanding officer
at Fort George enclosing the letters from Adjutant General
Baynes to him, and sent my aid-de-camp, Col. Van Rensselaer, to Niagara, with orders to pass over with a Flag and
deliver the letters.
I have•the honour, &c.
Major General Dearborn.
From Major Gen. Van Rensselaer to Lieut. Col. Myers, 70th Regt.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 18th Aug., 1812.

I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of
your letter of this date, by your flag of truce.
When I this morning transmitted to you the two letters



from the Adjutant General of the British army, I authorized
Cola Van Rensselaer my Aid-de-camp, to make with you
the necessary arrangements in relation to the armistice
agreed on at Albany.
In your absence from Fort George, the letters were left
without accomplishing the object. But I am now ready to
send an officer to Fort Niagara, there to meet one whom
you may appoint to make such arrangements for the government of the troops on the lines, as may be proper. In the
mean time, it is explicitly understood that any movements of
your troops in this vicinity, with a view to act offensively
against Gen. Hull will be considered an infraction of the armistice agreed upon between Gen. Dearborn and the British
Adjutant General.
I have the honour, &c.
Lieut. Col. Myers.
Col. Myers, 70th Regt. D. Q. Master Gen. commanding the Niagara
District, to Maj. Gen. Van Rensselaer.



. From Major Gen. Sheaffe, to Major Gen. Van Rensselaer.


Fort George, 19th Aug., 1812.

Having arrived at this Post to assume the command
of his Majesty's troops stationed in the Niagara district, I
have the honour to acquaint you that I shall be happy to
receive, as speedily as possible, the officer suggested by
Lieut. Col. Myers to be sent over, if it meet with your concurrence, or should you prefer it, Brigadier Major Evans,
the bearer of this will communicate my sentiments, and arrange with you the mode of carrying into effect, the order
for a cessation of hostilities betwixt the forces of our respective countries, stationed on the line along the Niagara
I have the honour, &c.
( Signed) R. H. SHEAFFE,
Major General, &c.
Major Gen. Van Rensselaer or Officer commanding United States
forces, Niagara District of New-York.

Chippewa, 18th Aug., 1812.

I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of
your letter of this date, transmitting one from the Adjutant
General of the British army, addressed to Major Gen. Brock
or officer commanding Fort George—relative to refraining
from all offensive warfare between the troops of his Majesty
the king of Great Britain, and the army of the United States
of America, until further orders : and taking it for granted,
that similar directions have been received by you from Gen.
Dearborn, I shall strictly conform to those which have just
reached me upon the subject : and should you deem any
further explanation upon the terms of this armistice requisite, I will receive such officer as you may be pleased to
send to Fort George for the purpose—my duty, however,
will not allow of my being there before Thursday ; but from
which I trust no inconvenience will arise.
I have the honour, &c.
Major Gen. Van Rensselaer, &c. &c., Lewiston.

From Major Gen. Sheaffe to Major Gen. Van Rensselaer.
Queenstown, 20th Aug., 1812.

Brigade Major Evans is directed to repair again to
your head-quarters, charged with propositions connected
with the armistice, and which I hope will prove perfectly
satisfactory to you.
I have the honour, &c.
( Signed) R. H. S. Maj. Gen. commanding
H. B. M. Troops,
Niagara Frontier.
Major Gen. Van Rensselaer.
From Major Gen. Van Rensselaer to his excellency Gov. Tompkins.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, Aug. 19th, 1812.

After having visited Buffalo, Black Rock, the Camps
at Niagara Falls, and this place, and having by inspection





and other means of information satisfied myself of the efficient force, the state of discipline among the troops, the munitions of war at command; the strength, number, and condition of the enemy I should probably have to engage, and all
other circumstances connected with my intended operations,
I was perfectly satisfied that although some very imperious
considerations urged an immediate descent upon Canada, yet
that such descent with my present disposable force, would
be rashness in the extreme. From Buffalo to Niagara,
my force of militia, is less than one thousand ; without any
ordnance heavier than six pounders, and but few of them :
without artillerists to use the few pieces I have, and the
troops in a very indifferent state of discipline ; finding myself in this truly unpleasant situation, I saw but one course to
pursue which was to concentrate the troops scattered on this
line, perfect their discipline as fast as possible, and order in
such further detachments as might ensure success in my proposed operations. Accordingly, on the 15th inst. I issued
my order to Lieut. Col. Fenwick at Oswego, to detach and
march to this place Major Moseley's battalion of riflemen ;
on the 16th an order to Major Septimus Evans, of Lieut.
Col. George D. Wickham's regiment of detached cavalry,
for a troop of horse from his squadron :—to Lieut. Col.
Henry Bloom of the 19th regiment of the 7th brigade of
detached militia to march his whole command: with this additional force, and such other as I had reason to believe was
on the march to this neighbourhood, and as might be called
out at short notice, from this and Ontario county, I concluded that the plan which I had adopted might be attempted,
unless the enemy on the opposite shore should be strongly
reinforced. With the view of these intended operations, I
had, on the 15th inst. written to the Quarter-master General
to put immediately in readiness all the boats at his command
—such was the arrangement of the troops on this line, and
such my orders issued, when, in the night of the 17th I received by express from Capt. Leonard at Niagara, a letter

from Major Gen. Dearborn, informing me of the agreement
he had entered into with the Governor General of Canada,
through his Adjutant General, for an armistice. By this
arrangement, thus communicated to me, which I presume
has been done with your Excellency's approbation and
consent, I am instructed to confine the troops under my
command to defensive measures only, until further orders;
and I have issued my general orders accordingly. The inclosures from the Adjutant General of the British army in
Canada, which I received from General Dearborn, I sent,
yesterday morning, by my aid-de-camp Col. Van Rensselaer,
with a flag to Lieut. Col. Myers commanding at Fort George ;
at the same time,authorizing Col. Van Rensselaer to enter with
Col. Myers into a definite arrangement for the government of
the troops on both sides of the lines. Col. Myers was absent ;
but in the afternoon of yesterday I received by flag, a letter
from him acknowledging the receipt of the letters which had
been transmitted to him, with his pledge to conform strictly to
the terms of the armistice and his proposition that I should,
on Thursday next, send an officer to Fort George, to meet
one whom he will appoint, for the purpose of settling definitely the terms of an arrangement for the government of
the troops :—To which I have replied by flag, that I am
now ready to send an officer to meet such one as he may
appoint for the above purpose, but to meet at Niagara, as
I consider that place, under existing circumstances, the most
proper. I have no reason to doubt but this arrangement,
will in two or three days be made, in good faith.
His Excellency Gov. Tompkins.
From Major General Van Rensselaer, to Major General Sheaffe.
Head Quarters, Lewiston, 20th August, 1812.

I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your
letter of this date, covering the articles which you propose,
for carrying the Armistice into effect. I have to regret that




the articles proposed, are so variant from the orders which I
have received that I cannot accede to them.
In the letter which I had the honour to transmit to Lieut.
Col. Myers, on the 18th instant, it was explicitly stated, that
any movements of the troops in this .vicinity with a view to
act offensively against General Hull, would be considered an
infraction of the Armistice. if an article, fully embracing
the above is inadmissible, any further attempts for an adjustment, will be unavailing.
I have, &c.

From Major General Van Rensselaer to Major General Dearborn.


Head Quarters, Lewiston, August 21, 1812.

Inclosed I transmit you a copy of an agreement, this
day entered into between Major General Sheaffe, commanding Fort George and Dependencies, &c. &c. and myself, for
the government of the forces on each side the line. You
will readily perceive, that terms more favourable than those
expected in your letter, have been obtained. The agreement
speaks for itself.
Major General Dearborn.

We, the undersigned, in conformity with the instructions
of our respective Commanders, hereby agree to a cessation
of all acts of hostility between the troops and vessels of all
descriptions under our command, until we shall receive further
orders : and the party who shall first receive orders for the
renewal of hostilities, shall give four days' notice, computing
twenty-four hours to each day, before any offensive operation
shall take place.
And we further agree, that no reinforcements of men, or
supplies of ammunition shall be sent, by either party, higher
up than Fort Erie ; and it is also to be understood, that no
reinforcements of men, no supplies of ammunition which now
are, or hereafter may arrive in our respective districts shall
be forwarded above that Post. And further, that no troops
are to be sent up from any stations in either of our districts
above Fort Erie, without four days' previous notice to be
be given by the party intending to make such movements :
Subject, however, to the above restrictions, either party
shall be at liberty to make such changes and movements of
troops, vessels, and boats as he may deem proper.
Agreed to this twenty-first of August, in the year one
thousand eight hundred and twelve.
Major General, commanding Frontiers, New York.
Major General, commanding Fort George and Dependencies.

From Major General Van Rensselaer to Major General Sheaffe.
Head Quarters, Lewiston, 25th August, 1812.

I have learnt, with regret, that last night a subaltern
officer with a few soldiers and citizens, contrary to my orders, passed over from the American shore, and on Buckhorn Island, surprized and brought off a sergeant and five
men, with a boat. Early this morning, I ordered the sergeant and men released, and the boat restored to them.
I have the honour, &c.
Major General Sheaffe, Commanding, &c.
Major General Isaac Brock to Major General Van Rensselaer.
Head Quarters, Fort George, 25th August, 1812.

Major General Sheaffe having communicated to me
your letter of this date, addressed to him, I seize upon the
first moment to express my thanks for the measures you have
adopted to prevent the possibility of any misunderstanding
which might have arisen in consequence of the unauthorized
act of one of your subaltern officers.
It was not until my arrival at Fort Erie, late in the evening of the 23d instant that I learnt that a cessation of hostilities had been agreed upon, between General Dearborn and



Sir George Provost ; and I, in consequence, despatched early
yesterday morning, an express to Amherstburgh, ordering a
cessation of all offensive operations against the United States,
in that quarter; and likewise to exert every influence in restraining the Indians from committing any acts of hostility.
The fortune of war having put me in possession of
Detroit and its dependencies, a small garrison has been
ordered to occupy the Fort, the chief object of which was
to afford protection to the inhabitants of the Territory. I
have the honour to enclose a copy of a Proclamation which
I issued upon this occasion.
I have the honour, &c.
Major General Van Rensselaer, commanding Lewiston.
From Major General Van Rensselaer, to.Major General Dearborn.
Head Quarters, Lewiston, 26th August, 1812.

I have the honour to enclose you a copy of a Proclamation, which I this day received from Major General
Brock, under cover of his letter of this date to me; a copy
of which letter, I also transmit to you. My letter to Major
General Sheaffe, of which mention is made, was to disavow
an imprudent act of a subaltern officer, who, with a few soldiers and citizens, passed over, since the Armistice, to Buckhorn Island, and there surprised a sergeant and five men, of
the enemy, and brought them off, together with their boat,
which men I ordered to be immediately released and the
boat restored.
The surrender of General Hull's army excites a great
deal of alarm in this vicinity. I shall, however, as far as
in my power, check and keep it under.
I have, &c.
Major General Dearborn.




Proclamation by Isaac Brock, Esq., Major General commanding his Majesty's forces in the Province of Upper
Canada, &c. &c.
Whereas the Territory of Michigan was this day by capitulation ceded to the arms of his Britannic Majesty, without any other condition than the protection of private property; and wishing to give an early proof of the moderation
and justice of the government, I do hereby announce to all
the inhabitants of the said Territory, that the laws heretofore in existence shall continue in force until his Majesty's
pleasure be known; or so long as the peace and safety of
the said Territory will admit thereof; and I do hereby also
declare and make known to the said inhabitants, that they
shall be protected in the full exercise and enjoyment of their
religion of which all persons, both civil and military will
take notice, and govern themselves accordingly.
All persons having in their possession, or having knowledge of any public property, shall forthwith deliver in the
same, or give notice thereof to the officer commanding, or
Lt. Col. Nichol, who are hereby authorized to receive and
give proper receipts for the same. Officers of militia will
be held responsible that all arms in possession of militiamen,
be immediately delivered up ; and all individuals whatever,
who have in their possession arms of any kind, will deliver
them up without delay.
Given under my hand at Detroit, this sixteenth day of
August, 1812, and in the fifty-second year of his Majesty's
( Signed)
IsAAC BRocx, Major General.
A true copy.
J. MAC DONELL, Lt. Col. Militia, P. A. D. C.





From Major General Dearborn to Major General Van Rensselaer.

these frontiers, both to the citizens, and the little army
under my command. Alarm pervades the country, and
distrust among the troops. They are incessantly pressing
for furloughs, under every possible pretence. Many are
without shoes; all clamorous for pay. Many are sick.
Swift's regiment at Black Rock are about one-fourth part
down. 1 have ordered Doctor Brown to associate Doctor
Chapin with him, and to examine as to the causes producing
the diseases, the mode of treating them, &c. and to report to
me their opinion of the best mode of restoring the sick, and
preserving the health of those who remain well. This duty
they are now performing.
Captain Jennings has been tried by a court-martial, and
found guilty of such charges as forfeited his commission;
and I have approved the sentence. The proceedings, in
form, will soon be forwarded to your Excellency.
While we are thus growing daily weaker, our enemy is
growing stronger. They hold a very commanding position
on the high ground above Queenstown, and they are daily
strengthening themselves in it, with men and ordnance. Indeed, they are fortifying almost every prominent point, from
Fort Erie, to Fort George. At present we rest upon the
armistice; but should hostilities be recommenced, I must
immediately change my position. I receive no reinforcements of men, no ordnance, or munitions of war. I must
hope, that I shall not long be left in this situation.
Two gentlemen, Messrs Johnson and Bascom, came over
in a flag to the garrison, at Niagara, and the first I knew of
them they were in my camp. Being satisfied that they were
American citizens, men of intelligence, and some standing in
society, I permitted them to pass on, with orders to report
themselves to your Excellency.
There is one fact, which though not immediately connected with my department, I cannot refrain from mentioning ;—the unfortunate soldiers of General Hull's army, who
marched by my camp on their way to Lower Canada, are

Head-Quarters, Greenbush, August 21, 1812.
Major General Van Rensselaer.

Your letter of the 12th inst. has been duly received. As
it is believed that a detachment has been made from Niagara,
to reinforce the garrison at Malden, it will be necessary to
be as well prepared as possible to take advantage of the
reduced forces in your front : and, as soon as there shall be
orders to act offensively ; considerable reinforcements from
the detached militia, and volunteers, are ordered to Niagara,
Sackett's Harbour, Ogdensburgh, and Plattsburgh. With
the detachment of regular troops under Lieut. Col. Fenwick,
there is some heavy ordnance, ammunition, and intrenching
tools, which will be immediately, with additional ordnance
and military stores, sent to Niagara, Sackett's Harbour, and
Ogdensburgh. I have, also, ordered a considerable number
of batteaux from Schenectady to Niagara and Sackett's
Harbour, and the construction of suitable scows at the respective places, including Ogdensburgh, for the transportation of ordnance. I hope that Col. Porter will proceed in
the construction of boats and scows, with all possible despatch. It will be highly gratifying to me to receive intelligence from you by every mail, and, in case of emergency,
by express.
With much consideration, &c.
From Major General Van Rensselaer to his Excellency Governor
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, August 31, 1812.
S ir,—

Presuming that the surrender of General Hull's army has
been officially announced to your Excellency through the
proper channel, I shall not enter into any details upon:the
event so disastrous to our country : its consequence must be
felt every where; but they are peculiarly distressing upon



very destitute of clothing. Every consideration would urge
that some attention should be paid to their condition.
I have the honour, &c.
His Excellency Governor Tompkins.
From Major General Dearborn to Major General Van Rensselaer.



Lt. Col. Fenwick with the cannon, and stores shall be rendered certain, within, four days, before you send the enclosed
letter to Fort George. I presume he must arrive before this
reaches you; but it may be otherwise.
( Signed)
Major Gen. Stephen Van Rensselaer.

Head-Quarters, Greenbush, Aug. 25, 1812.

As soon as practicable after the receipt of this, you will
please to have the enclosed letter directed to the Commanding Officer of the British forces at Fort George, at Niagara,
conveyed to him by a flag; and the letter directed to Gen.
Hull, you will please to have forwarded to him by express,
with as great despatch as practicable; and at the expiration
of four days after the letter is delivered to the British Commanding Officer at Fort George, you will consider the temporary conditional agreement for suspending offensive operations between the forces under your command, and the
British forces in your vicinity, as no longer binding on
either side; and you will act accordingly ; and you will
make every exertion in your power for annoying the enemy,
as well as to guard against any attack from him. Considerable reinforcements have been sent on from Montreal to
strengthen their positions in Upper Canada; and I trust
you will very soon receive such additional force from this
State, and from Pennsylvania, as will enable you to pass
into Canada with safety and ejfect. A large reinforcement is on its march under Brig. Gen. Dodge, for Sackett's
Harbour and Ogdeusburgh, as well as for Plattsburgh. I
have ordered thirty batteaux to Niagara, and an equal number to Sackett's Harbour, and have directed the building of
proper scows for the transportation of ordnance. If the
enemy should have detached from Fort George, it may af-

ford you an opportunity to strike a blow.
I have the honour, &c.
P. S. Sir, it will be advisable to wait until the arrival of

From Major General Van Rensselaer to Major General Dearborn.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 1st September, 1812.

I have just received your letter of the 25th ult. I
shall ascertain the movements and situation of Lieut. Col.
Fenwick, with the cannon and stores ; and as soon as he can
be considered safe, I shall terminate the armistice in the
manner prescribed.
Upon this occasion, I conceive it a duty I owe to my
country, to the troops under my command, and to my own
character, to state, that we are not, on this Frontier, in that
condition which the approaching crisis will require. My
force of militia, rank and file, now fit for duty, is six hundred
and ninety-one, as will appear by the inclosed return; these
have to guard a line of thirty-six miles. My sick list is
more than one hundred. Many of the men are without shoes,
and all clamorous for pay. Besides, it is a fact that cannot
be concealed, that the surrender of General Hull's army
has spread great alarm among the inhabitants on this Frontier, and I every day perceive strong symptoms of distrust
among the troops. They have seen their countrymen surrendered without a single effort, and marched, prisoners, before their eyes. They cannot comprehend it.
At this hour, I have received no reinforcements of men,
no supplies of ordnance, tents, nor ammunition. There are
not ten rounds per man, on the Niagara Frontier ; nor have
we lead to make cartridges. We are extremely deficient
of medicine and Hospital stores; of lint and bandage cloth
we have none, —nor any surgical instruments. Lieut. Col.



Swift's regiment, at Black Rock, and the troops in garrison
at Niagara, have no tents to take the field ; unless Bloom's
regiment, and the troops with Lieut. Col. Fenwick have
tents with them, they cannot be covered. This is a brief
sketch of our condition. Our enemy are every moment on
the alert ; they hold a very commanding position on the high
ground above Queenstown ; and are daily strengthening it,
with men and ordnance. Indeed, almost every point of any
importance from Fort Erie to Fort George, is in some state
of defence. At each Fort on the Lakes, their shipping is
ready to act. The troops which had been detached from
this quarter to act against General Hull, have returned and
may now be concentrated at this point. Before the termination of the armistice, I must change my position, and can
only act on the defensive, until I shall be reinforced with
troops, well disciplined, and commanded by able officers.
I am, with respectful consideration, &c.

inhabitants, still further force for their protection, and I have
issued another order to Lieut. Col. Mc Mahon, to detach one
captain, two sergeants, two corporals, and twenty-six privates more, for the service aforesaid, until your Excellency's
pleasure can be known on the subject.



Major General Dearborn.
From Major General Van Rensselaer to His Excellency Governor
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, September 1st, 1812.

In the letter, which I yesterday had the honour to
address to your Excellency, I mentioned the general alarm
which the surrender of General Hull's army had spread
through the Frontiers.
The inhabitants every where think themselves in danger.
This is particularly the case in the County of Chautauque ;
in consequence of representations made to me by the inhabitants of that county, I had on the 27th ult. issued an order to Lieut. Col. John Mc Mahon, to order into service two
full companies of his regiment for the protection of the inhabitants. This morning again, I have been called upon by
Captains Baldwin and Mack, gentlemen of respectability,
from that county, very earnestly soliciting, in behalf of the


September 2d, 4 o'clock, P. M.

Col. Fenwick has not yet arrived at Fort Niagara, and
of course, I have not delivered the letter I yesterday received from Major General Dearborn, by express. Four or
five vessels have just arrived at Fort George, it is supposed
with reinforcements. Our enemies appear to be on the alert
at every point.
This morning Lieut. Branch and about forty men arrived
here, with two pieces of flying artillery ; also, at the same
time, Capt. Camp, with about twenty-five dragoons. The
company lately under the command of Captain Jennings, in
Lieut. Col. Swift's Regiment, had become so clamorous for
pay, and contended so strenuously that their time had expired, that I have ordered them to be dismissed, in the opinion
that this would meet your Excellency's approbation. I was
strengthened by learning from Brigadier General Brown,
that Lieut. Col. Bellinger's regiment, who were on the same
standing in service, at Sackett's Harbour, have been disr. charged by your order.
I have the honour &c.
His Excellency Governor Tompkins.
Head Quarters, Lewiston, 2d September, 1812.


Major General Van Rensselaer directs that you land
the troops, cannon, and stores, under your command, at the
Four Mile Creek ; and make every military preparation to,
protect them, and to give him immediate information of your
arrival by express.
By order,
Sot, VAN RENSSELAER, Aid-de-camp.
Lieut, Col. Fenwick, Light Artillery.



Lieutenant Colonel Fenwick to Major General Van Rensselaer.
Four Mile Creek, September 3, 181Z

Agreeable to your instructions,* I am landing the ordnance and stores at this place. They are of great importance, and I do not think them safe in this position. The
powder I must keep on board, as it will sustain injury by being taken out. I pray you, sir, to assist me so soon as possible, and receive the assurance of my consideration and
( Signed) JOHN R. FENWICK,
Lieut. Col. Light Artillery.
Colonel Sol. Van Rensselaer to Lieutenant Colonel Fenwick.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, September 3, 1812:


Major General Van Rensselaer has ordered the Quarter Master to proceed immediately to the Four Mile Creek,
and furnish you with the necessary transportation for the
cannon and military stores in your charge; and has also
detached one captain, one subaltern, and forty men to assist you in their removal and protection to this place. The
troops and wagons will reach you this evening,
I have the honour, &c.
( Signed) S. V. REN. A. D. C.
Lieut. Col. Fenwick, Four Mile Creek.
From Major Gen. Dearborn to Major Gen. Van Rensselaer.

of Gen. Hull, and the army under his command, is as mortifying as it was unexpected. We must endeavour to redeem
our honour by increasing our exertions. In addition to the
militia detachments ordered from this State, and two thousand ordered from the north-western part of Pennsylvania
to Niagara; three regiments of new-raised troops of the army have been some days on their march towards your post.
I am forwarding additional supplies of musketry and cannon,
with forty batteaux to Niagara—a detachment of troops will
accompany the boats from Oswego. It will be necessary to
have teams ready to take the stores and boats from a safe
landing place; and it may be well to order a detachment to
meet the boats at some distance from Niagara on the shore.
I hope Lieut. Col. Fenwick, with the troops and stores under
his command, will have arrived in season. I have no doubt
but that you will improve the earliest opportunity for retaliating on the enemy our misfortunes at Detroit. Gen.
Dodge goes to Sackett's Harbour with a fine force. I have
detached Gen. Bloomfield with a brigade of regular troops,
with artillery, &c. to Plattsburgh, and other troops in addition to the militia of this State and Vermont will accompany
or follow him.
I shall endeavour to draw the reinforcements back from
Upper Canada to Montreal.
With great consideration and esteem.
From Major Gen. Van Rensselaer to Major Gen. Brock.

Head-Quarters, Greenbush, 1st Sept., 1812.

Stephen Van Rensselaer.
I received your letter of the 25th ult. this morning,
enclosing a communication from Capt. Leonard.—The fall
Major Gen.

* An express had been sent to Col. Fenwick, to land at Four Mile
Creek. This precaution was taken lest the Armistice might have been
terminated below, or some accident might throw the cargo into the

hands of the enemy. No copy was kept of the note to Col, Fenwick„


Head-Quarters, Lewiston, Sept. 4th, 1812.

By the articles which I had the honour to conclude
with Major Gen. Sheaffe on the 21st ult., for the government
of the troops of the United States under my command, and
his Brittannic Majesty's forces on this frontier, during the
temporary armistice, it was, among other things, stipulated
that " the party who shall first receive orders for the renewal of hostilities shall give four days' notice, computing





twenty four hours to each day, before any offensive operation shall take place."
Having now received orders to terminate the armistice,
in conformity to the above recited stipulation, I have the
honour to transmit you this notice, that the armistice will be
terminated at twelve o'clock, at noon, on Tuesday, the eighth
day. of September, inst.
I have the honour, &c.

Major Gen. Isaac Brock, or officer commanding Fort George.
From Major Gen. Sheaffe to Major Gen. Van Rensselaer.
Fort George, 5th Sept., 1812.
I have the honour of receiving your communication,

signifying the intention on the part of the United States of
renewing hostilities, after four days shall have elapsed from
the period at which the notice was given. Thus declaring
that the armistice shall terminate at twelve o'clock at noon,
on the eighth day of this September.
I have the honour, &c.
Maj. Gen. H. B. M. forces, commanding, &c.
Major Gen. Van Rensselaer, commanding frontiers.
From Major Gen. Dearborn to Major Gen. Van Rensselaer.
Head-Quarters, Greenbush, Sept. 2d, 1812.
Major Gen. Stephen Van Rensselaer,

I send this by express for the purpose of putting you
on your guard against an attack, that I have reason to apprehend is intended by the enemy. A considerable force
has lately passed into Upper Canada, for the obvious purpose of striking not only at Detroit, but at other posts.
From the number of troops which have left Montreal
for Upper Canada, I am not without fear that attempts will
be speedily made, to reduce you and your forces to the
mortifying situation of Gen. Hull and his army. If such an


attempt of the enemy should be made, previous to the arrival of the principal part of the troops destined to Niagara, it
will be necessary for you to be prepared for all events; and
to be prepared to make good a secure retreat as the last
resort. I hope, however, you will not be reduced to the
mortifying alternative of falling back. But from the unfortunate event at Detroit, we may expect great exertions on
the part of the enemy; and as far as the means in our power
will admit, we, I trust, shall be at least equally vigilant and
I am, sir, with high consideration and esteem, &c.
P. S. The Frigate Guerriere has been captured and sunk
by the U. S. Frigate Constitution, Capt. Hull.
From Major Gen. Van Rensselaer to Major Gen. Dearborn.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 5th Sept., 1812.-7, P. M.

The express has just arrived with your letter of the
2d inst. I thank you for the information which your letter
contains, and for suggesting precautions against a disaster,
which would deeply implicate the honour of my country, the
fate of the little army under my command, and my own
Every exertion which the small force I command can
make, to avoid either a surprise or defeat, will be attempted.
So small and scattered has been my little band, and so depressed by the fate of Gen. Hull, that every movement has
been heavy. But within forty-eight hours, the scene seems
to have changed a little for the better.—Lieut. Col. Fenwick has arrived safe, with the cannon and stores. To
avoid any possible casualty, I ordered them landed at the
Four Mile Creek, a little below Fort Niagara, and from
thence they have been brought by land : the boats have returned. A battalion of about seventy riflemen, which on the
16th ult. I had ordered from Oswego, has this day arrived





I have determined, with the concurrence of Lieut. Col.
Fenwick's opinion, to throw up a strong battery on this side
of Fort Niagara, on the bank of the river, and there place
the four eighteen pounders. With this view I went this
morning on the spot, and we have broke ground. This
evening Lieut. Col. Fenwick and Capt. Leonard are with
me. I understand that our movement has produced great
activity at Fort George. The enemy have immediately
commenced some new works. It is my intention to support
the battery near Fort Niagara, with as strong a camp as I'
am able, and to cut a road back of it for greater safety, in
case I should be hard pressed.
Agreeably to your instructions I waited for the safety of
Lieut. Col. Fenwick, the cannon, and stores, before I gave
the notice necessary to terminate the armistice, conformably
to the stipulations between Major Gen. Sheaffe and myself
The notice was delivered at Fort George yesterday before
noon, and by it the armistice will be terminated at 12 o'clock
at noon, on the 8th inst. This day Major Gen. Sheaffe has
acknowledged the receipt of my notice. My present camp
being within the reach of the enemy's guns, on the high
grounds in Queenstown, I have determined to quit. I had
designated a spot for my new encampment about one mile
from the river, on the ridge road; but I may reconsider this
subject. It might be expected, from my situation, that I
could with facility obtain correct information of the enemy's
force and movements in this vicinity; but so is not the fact.
Every effort for that purpose is absolutely vain. I can only
obtain information too general to calculate upon. It is
generally believed that the enemy are concentrating their
forces to this neighbourhood; but what their numbers are,
is to me wholly unknown.—They appear to be on the alert.
At Fort Niagara we have (concealed) two thirteen and
a half inch brass mortars, and four eight and a half inch howitzers. Capt. Leonard has this evening handed me a memorandum of articles that in his opinion, which I respect, are

very much wanted for these pieces, and some others, as
follows : 400 shells for the mortars.
1603 cannister and grape shot for the howitzers.
16 dozen port-fires—harness complete for the mortars
and howitzers—also wanted, harness for the 6 six
pounders now at Fort Niagara.
With the information of which you are possessed, relative
to my force and that of the enemy, I presume you cannot
expect that I shall, immediately, attempt to act offensively.
I shall endeavour to watch the motions of the enemy as far
as possible, and so dispose my little force as to avoid a surprise, or risking too much with raw troops in case the enemy should cross to attack me :—the surrender of Gen. Hull's
army has put it in the power of the enemy to turn a strong
force, to act either defensively or offensively against me. My
situation requires arduous duty: it may be critical ; but I
shall meet events in that manner which my judgment shall
dictate as most prudent and safe, and to the utmost of my
power discharge my duty.
The conduct of Capt. Hull in the Constitution was gallant
indeed, and has justified the high expectations we have all
entertained of our navy, and the brave men who command it.
I have the honour to be, sir,
with respect and consideration, &c.
Major Gen. Dearborn.
Major General Van Rensselaer to Major General Dearborn.
Head Quarters, Lewiston, 8th Sept., 1812.
S ir,—

I have this day received your two letters of the 1 st instant, and have made the communication you requested to
the Contractor.
No occurrence of importance has taken place since I
wrote you on the 5th, by your express. I have, yesterday,




removed my camp to the Ridge Road, as I proposed. The
battery near Fort Niagara is fast progressing, also the cutting of the back road, mentioned in my last letter. The
enemy appear to be very active ; but whether their preparations are for offensive, or defensive operations, is impossible for me to determine.
The night before last two men came over from Canada,
but the information they give is of very little consequence :
indeed, the character of the men would not give much
weight to any thing they might say. They state that Gen.
Brock had returned from York to Fort George—that 1500
militia were ordered for Fort George yesterday—some
troops have this day passed up through Queenstown. Not
knowing what the termination of the armistice might produce, I have taken every precaution in my power to meet
any attempt the enemy might make. But it is now five
o'clock, and I neither see nor hear of any movements. General Wadsworth and Col. Van Rensselaer have been the
whole day at Niagara. Should they return before the mail
closes, and have any thing of importance to communicate, I
shall add it in a postscript.
I am, sir, with great respect.

and they can, in that case, carry the work. The regular
force should be concentr tted, and organized. Our stores
should be removed; they are not in safety; for, if they
threw over two hundred men, they can carry the Fort.
This I beg your consideration to, as your strength is six
miles off, and four hour's time. I have no means of express
at my command.
JOHN R. FENWICK, Lt. Col. &c.

Major Gen. Dearborn.

Memorandum.—The following note was received on
the Sth of September :Lt. Col. Fenwick to Maj. Gen. Van Rensselaer.
Sir, —

I am induced to believe from every observation I have
vigilantly made, that the enemy is prepared and ready for
an attack. They are so with shipping and boats, which today brought them a reinforcement of men and stores. Our
patrole are very lax in their duty. The work erecting cannot be finished in time, without additional strength. When
finished, it is not secure without being strongly covered in
the rear; for we have nothing to prevent their landing;


From Lt. Col. John R. Fenwick to Maj. Gen. Van Rensselaer.
Fort Niagara, Sept. 10th, 1812.


Fatigued and harassed as the troops have been, I
really do not think our situation a safe one. I submit to
your judgment whether the troops should not be concentrated : as they are all young and undisciplined, they may
be cut up in detail. The defence of this place is precarious,
outside of the store-house. I apprehend nothing but surprise ! We should be then prepared to act in force, and in
any given point. The Contractor is very inattentive. Our
men are extremely dissatisfied. The enemy has erected
another battery. I ordered the light artillery down. They
called in their fatigue parties, and prepared for attack—the
Indians moving in every direction. The movement puzzles
them; and I am pleased at giving them so much trouble.
I hope I shall have the honour of a visit from you tomorrow.
I salute you, General, with consideration and respect,
JOHN R. FENWICE, Lt. Col. Lt. Art.
Major General Van Rensselaer.
From Maj. Gen. Van Rensselaer to Maj. Gen. Dearborn.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 10th Sept., 1812.

When I had the honour of receiving your communication




of the 1st inst., acquainting me of the dispositions you are
making to reinforce me upon this frontier with men, cannon,
musketry, stores, etc., my attention was immediately arrested by the proposition of sending them from Oswego to
Niagara, or, indeed, any part of that distance, by water. It
will be recollected that the passage of Lt. Col. Fenwick with
boats, was rendered safe, under a clause of the agreement
for the observance of the armistice. But, upon the receipt
of your letter, my own opinion was against risking any
thing, hereafter, along that shore by water ; but I wished
further information on the subject before I should advise
you The opinions of others whom I have advised with on
this subject, and who are competent judges, fully accord
with my own, that it would be very hazardous for the batteaux to attempt coming from Oswego to Niagara in the
very face of our active enemy, having command of the
water. The batteaux might, and probably would, have
some days of head wind ; and, in such case, it would be
next to impossible that they should escape the observation of
the enemy : and, when once discovered, they would undoubtedly be attacked in some place where the landing
could be effected with most difficulty. My opinion is further strengthened by some late movements of the enemy.
The day after the termination of the armistice, the Royal
George, and another armed vessel, chased some vessels returning from Niagara to Oswego, into the Genesee river,
and fired a few shot. This has excited an alarm among
the inhabitants ; and, according to the custom prevailing on
the whole frontier, they have sent a deputation to me praying protection. I have ordered them some ammunition ; I
can do no more. I am so entirely convinced that the cargoes of the batteaux will be in danger on the passage from
Oswego to Niagara, that I shall send an express to Three
River Point, to have the batteaux come up to Cayuga
Bridge, and there land their cargoes, to be transported by


Land to this place. * I shall bestow further consideration on
this subject.
Believing that the best use which I can make of the old
stone mess-house at Niagara, is to convert it into a battery,
I have ordered the roof to be taken off, the walls above the
upper floor to be strengthened by embankments of earth on the
inner side, and two twelve-pounders, and one howitzer
mounted in that battery. It is high, and may, perhaps,
avail us something. I expect it will be prepared in this
manner, in a day or two. I was yesterday there, and the
roof was nearly taken down.
I have the honour to be, sir, with great consideration.
Major General Dearborn.
Major General Van Rensselaer to Lieutenant Colonel Fenwick,
commanding Niagara.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 15th September, 1812.


I have this moment received your note of this date.
It is a fact too true, that many of the arms both here, and
at the garrison are not fit for use. The armourers are here,
busily engaged ; nevertheless I send you one of them.
Please to order the line of sentries extended up the river as
far as you deem expedient.
It seems to be impossible to obtain grain for our horses.
I have this day issued an order to the Quarter Master General, as to forage; and shall make every effort in my power,
to get a supply. General Brock will, undoubtedly, make
every effort; let us employ every moment in making the
best possible dispositions, to receive him, should he attempt
an attack. As to the salt, the teams and men were left behind for the express purpose of removing it. If the service
* Perhaps some precautions may be adopted so as to get round the
batteaux to the Eighteen-Mile Creek, or to some near position on the
lake shore, from whence they may be drawn over land to this place.




requires any more men for fatigue I will send them immediately.
With consideration and respect.
Lieut. Col. Fenwick, Light Artillery commanding Niagara.
Major General Van Rensselaer to his Excellency Governor
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 15th September, 1812.

Agreeably to the instructions contained in your Excellency's last letter of the 14th ult , I have endeavoured to
keep Major General Dearborn fully advised of all my movements and operations, since that time, and to my letters transmitted to him, I beg leave to refer your Excellency for particulars. If the little army under my command has not yet
achieved any thing brilliant, I endeavour to console myself
with the belief, that we have not yet suffered any disgrace.
My force is yet small—about sixteen hundred militia; of
course the necessary service renders the duty of the troops
very severe. They, however, endure it with as much patience, as could be expected from men in their situation.
Many of them destitute of shoes, and indeed of such clothing
as is necessary for the approaching season ; and they are
all extremely clamorous for their pay. Some money must
be furnished for the troops in a very short time, or the consequences of omitting it will seriously affect the service, and
at least render every movement heavy.
Since my first arrival on this frontier, I have found myself
much embarrassed with the situation of Fort Niagara. To
attempt defending it with the ordnance I found here, I considered idle : and after the return of General Brock from
Detroit, I had great reason to believe that he could command
a competent force to carry the garrison, should he attack
it. But apprehending the very serious consequences which
must inevitably result from abandoning the Fort altogether,
I took the precaution of removing the most valuable stores,



and determined to risk events, until Lieut. Col. Fenwick
should arrive, when I might avail myself of his opinion, at
least, and of the ordnance he had with him, should it be
deemed advisable to attempt holding the garrison. By suspending the notice for terminating the Armistice, Lieut. Col. Fenwick arrived safe with the cannon and stores, under his charge,
at Four Mile Creek. Fort Niagara became one of the first
subjects of deliberation, and it was determined to attempt
maintaining it. For this purpose it was deemed expedient to
remove the roof of the old stone mess-house, and convert
the upper story into a battery, to be mounted with two twelve
pounders, and a howitzer. I also determined to throw up a
strong battery on the bank of the river about a mile above
the garrison ; nearly opposite the main battery on the Canada shore, and there mount three eighteen pounders.
As the enemy can rake the river-road, from this to the
garrison, even with musketry, I determined to cut a road for
communication between my camp and the garrison, back in
the woods, and, cut off the reach of the enemy's fire; these
have been the main objects of our fatigue for some days past,
and are all of them nearly completed. These operations
have produced great activity at Fort George; no sooner
were our works commenced than the enemy began opposing
batteries. Their force is certainly very respectable, and
constantly employed. Whether the enemy will attack Niagara or not, is impossible for me to say. There are some
very imperious considerations to urge them to it. Newark
is a very considerable village ; the enemy have there, valuable barracks and accommodations for winter quarters; and
whatever might be the final result of a bombardment, the
enemy must inevitably suffer very considerably. My present opinion is, that I had better attempt to maintain the garrison, than to risk the consequences of abandoning it.
Liable as I am to an attack from the enemy at any hour,
and my troops worn down with fatigue, I have resorted to a
measure which, perhaps, exceeds the letter of my orders;




yet considering that not only the tranquillity of this frontlet!,
but possibly the fate of my little army may be at stake; and
having been advised by Major General Dearborn to adopt
every measuse of precaution, against a surprise from a
strong force which he had reason to believe the enemy were
directing against me; I have ordered a detachment of five
hundred men from Brigadier General Hopkin's brigade, and
some companies of the detachment have actually marched.
I wish to be favoured with your excellency's early instructions on this subject ; as at present I only consider these
troops ordered into service during your pleasure.
From a source not to be doubted, I learn that the enemy
are forwarding very large supplies of arms and military
stores to Upper Canada: one hundred loaded boats have
lately come up the St. Lawrence ; also two regiments are
on their way to Upper Canada.
Having been advised by Major General Dearborn that
forty batteaux, with cargoes for the use of the army on this
Frontier, were on their way from Schenectady to Niagara,
by the way of Oswego, I have advised him of the danger
to be apprehended in their voyage from Oswego to Niagara :
as I am clearly of opinion from the best information, that
that passage ought not to be attempted, by the boats witk
their cargoes; and fearing that my despatch might not reach
Major General Dearborn in season for him to act, I have by
express, ordered the commanding officer of the batteaux, to
stop at Three River Point, come up to Cayuga Bridge—land,
and store the cargoes—and then go down to Oswego, adopt
every precaution to avoid capture, and proceed with all possible despatch, to the Eighteen Mile Creek. I have advised
the Quarter Master of this arrangement, and he has deputed
a person to receive the cargoes of the batteaux, and furnish
the necessary transportation to Black Rock.
The alarm which lately took place in the County of Ontario, by the enemy's ships chasing some vessels into the
mouth of the Genesee river, has induced Judge Atwater to



make a communication to me of a very unpleasant nature.
After stating the great zeal with which the militia turned out,
he says, "But, sir, I lament when I tell you, that neither
arms, nor ammunition are provided for those brave men: no,
not one musket to six men. that would cheerfully risk their
lives, in defence of their country." He says, they "are destitute of arms and ammunition ; they are neither of them to
be purchased in the country."
I have the honour, &c.
His Excellency Governor Tompkins.
Extract of a letter from his Excellency Governor Tompkins to Major
General Van Rensselaer.
Albany, September 9th, 1812.
Dear sir,—

Your various communications have come to hand, the
two last while I was in New-York. My return from that
city was expedited by the news of Hull's discomfiture. Previously to my leaving this place for New-York, I had ordered
out two regiments, in addition to Bloom's, to reinforce you,
but their march has been retarded by circumstances, over
which I had no control. They are now directed to move
on with the utmost expedition. Until reinforcements arrive
I am sensible of the delicacy of your situation. Your proceedings hitherto, in concentrating in one place, and disciplining a large body of your troops, changing your encampments, your disposition of the despatch relative to the termination of the Armistice, and every other official act has
met my entire approbation, and will receive that of your
fellow-citizens generally. I pray God you may be able to
maintain your post, until reinforcements shall arrive.
His Excellency Governor Tompkins to Major General Van Rensselaer. Extract from.
Albany, September 9th,


The government has at length been awakened to its






duty, with respect to the command of the Lakes. The
most unbounded authority has been given to Captain
Chauncy for that purpose, and he will he with you soon.
Forty ship carpenters came up with me, in the last steamboat, and have gone on Westward. Marines and seamen,
will be on as soon as vessels and gun-boats are ready.
A large supply of ordnance of every description, is now
on its way from New-York. The orders embrace Erie as
well as Ontario. I despatched an express for Captain
Chauncy, on that subject from New-York, on Friday evening to Captain Woolsey. The despatches have returned
this morning, and have gone down by express. Should you,
my dear General, be able to maintain your position a short
time, these arrangements for the Lakes, and the reinforcements, will place you in a situation of defiance. To enable
you so to do more effectually, the militia of every description in the counties above mentioned are placed at your disposal, and you may instantly call upon all, or any portion of
them, under the act of 1795, (enclosed) or under the militia
law of this state, and I will approve, confirm, and maintain
your proceedings. The Quarter Master General of the
state is ordered by me into regular service, and is now, in
every respect subject to your directions. have remitted
him ten thousand dollars, by Major Noon.'
You have probably felt hurt at the unfrequency of my
answers to your communications : but when I inform you
that I have no private secretary here, that the adjutant general is in declining health, and that none of my staff or aids
are in service, or with me, though the latter have volunteered
their services without pay, and have been with me occasionally, at their own expense, and when I inform you furtheri
that the drudgery of attending to a variety of details in rendezvousing, supplying equipage, and paying troops, &c. devolves upon me, or must remain unattended to, I trust you
will extend great charity to my apparent inattention to your

Receive, dear general, an assurance of my great considertion and sincere esteem.
Major General Van Rensselaer.

From Major General Dearborn to Major General Van Rensselaer.
Head•Quarters, Greenbush, Sept. 10th, 1812.
Major General Van Rensselaer.

Your letter of the 7th, by the returning express, reached us at S o'clock last evening. The safe arrival of Lieut.
Col. Fenwick, with the troops, cannon, and stores, has reI am satisfied that the
lieved me from some anxiety.
abandonment of the Old Fort is a prudent measure; and I
have the fullest confidence that, whatever relates to your
actual command, will be performed in the manner that the
good of the service, and the best interests of the country
From Major General Van Rensselaer to His Excellency Governor

Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 2d Sept., 1812.

Since I had the honour to address your Excellency and
General Dearborn, on the 17th inst.,* nothing of very great
importance has taken place. The position of the army is
still the same, guarding with great vigilance, as far as our
force will admit, every point accessible by the enemy. On
the night of the 20th, all the ships which the enemy have
on Lake Ontario, were anchored in the mouth of Niagara
River. What was the object of this movement, I know not,
unless it was to avoid the violence of a most tremendous
storm which we have lately had, in which our Troops have
suffered much. By the great violence of the wind, many
tents were blown over; my own marque, bed, and all, was
completely deluged. My morning report of sick is 149.
Colonel Van Rensselaer went, yesterday, to Fort George, to
* Both inserted in the narrative.



carry my answer to a communication I had received from
General Brock, relative to a firing between our sentinels, by
which one man on the Canada shore was killed. There
was no General Officer at Fort George, yesterday; and the
ships were all gone.
From Major General Dearborn to Major General Van Rensselaer.
Head-Quarters, Greenbush, Sept. 17th, 1812.
Dear Sir,—

Your letter of the 8th was this day received. I have
ordered two regiments from this camp, and two companies
of artillery for Niagara. When they arrive with the regular troops and militia, from the Southward, and such
additional numbers of militia, as I reckon upon from this
state, the aggregate force will, I presume, amount to upwards of six thousand. It is intended to have a force
sufficient to enable you to act with effect, although late. Brigadier General Smith will leave this place to-morrow, to
take command of his Brigade of regular troops, when they
arrive. I persuade myself that you will not, under your
present circumstances, risk more than prudence will justify;
and that, of course, you will be prepared, in case you are
pushed, to fall back, so as not to hazard an action on very
unequal footing. If the enemy should make an attempt on
you, his endeavour will undoubtedly be to cut off your retreat by light parties and Indians. You will excuse my
repeated cautions; but from the best information I have
received, I am induced to fear that an attempt will be made
on your post before sufficient reinforcemnts will reach you.
This will be conveyed by a safe hand, and in confidence.
Yours, with respect and esteem.
Major General Van Rensselaer.
From Major General Van Rensselaer to Maj. General Dearborn.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, Sept. 27th, 1812.

By Captain Dox, who arrived in camp yesterday, I



received your letter of the 17th inst., and I can assure you,
it is consoling to learn that I shall soon be partially relieved
from that severe suspense and solicitude which have, for
some weeks past, been inseparably connected with my situation. In the view of those important interests which I
considered to be at stake, it required much deliberation, to
decide on the proper course to be pursued, and when that
course was determined, in the manner which I have before
stated to you, it required new efforts, by night and day, to
dispose my small force to meet events in such manner, as to
justify the course adopted. But, as yet, I am satisfied of
the correctness of the decision : and, although I have acquired
nothing, I have surrendered nothing.
From the various accounts I have received, we must, I
think, in a few days be able to act, at least, on the defensive,
with better prospects.
Lieut. Colonel Boesler has arrived, and, by him, I learn
that three regiments will soon arrive. But I am mortified
to understand, by a letter from Col. Winder, that the aggregate of the troops will be but about 900 men, and that
his regiment is entirely without cloth clothing, which is
indispensable for them in the field at this season.
The enemy continue their operations with great activity
fortifying their camp, at Fort George, in every direction.
Seven of the 24 pounders taken, at Detroit, and there
mounted, part on travelling carriages.
Notwithstanding the most positive orders on both sides,
we are constantly troubled with the warfare of sentries.
By their firings across the river, one man on each side has
fallen, within the past week. It is next to impossible, to
keep our guards sufficiently vigilant on their posts. I presume, His Excellency, Governor Tompkins, has shown you
an extract of a letter which I lately forwarded him, relative
to the strength of the enemy, in the rear of Fort Erie.
Captain G.bson has arrived. I presume, Lieut Elliott of
the navy has apprised you of his arrangements : the ves-





sels had escaped from Genesee River to Oswego. He is
now, with fifteen of his men at Buffalo. More ordnance seems
indispensable for our future operations.
P. S. As the post at Sackett's Harbour is within my command, I take the liberty of suggesting for your consideration
the propriety of continuing so many troops—about sixteen hundred—there. While the enemy hold command of the Lake,
Sackett's Harbour is not a point from which a descent upon
Canada can be made. We are not to apprehend general
invasion, at every point; and the village, at that place, is
certainly not of importance in proportion to the force which
guards it. I know of no consideration which ought to claim
more than a regiment of troops at that Post, to man the battery, and guard the Harbour. In my opinion, every consideration, connected with the general interest of the service
dictates, that part of the troops at Sacketts Harbour should
be ordered immediately to this station.
I am, sir, with respect, &c.

upon Canada, that the result must be unfavourable. I therefore adopted the plan of concentrating my forces scattered
on this line, and calling in such further reinforcements as
might enable me to act. But the face of things is now
wholly changed by the incomprehensible disaster of Gen.
Hull's army. Within forty-eight hours past Gen. Hull, and
a considerable portion of his regulars, have been marched
through Queenstown, in fair view of my camp. The effects produced by this event are such as you will readily
imagine. I understand that Gen. Hull and his troops are
now embarking at Fort George, probably for Montreal.
I wait with solicitude to learn the result of our Government's deliberation on the armistice; in the mean time,
adopting such measures as I must pursue, if a recommencement of hostilities shall take place.
I shall immediately apprise Gen. Porter of your instructions respecting boats.
I have the honour, &c.
Major Gen. Dearborn.

Major General Dearborn.
From Major General Dearborn to Major General Van Rensselaer.
From Major General Van Rensselaer to Major General Dearborn.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 28th Aug., 1812.

By the mail of this day I received your letter of the
21st inst. I had hoped that his excellency Gov. Tompkins
might have detailed to you the condition of the troops under
my command on this frontier ; and also the ordnance, &c.
at my command. The whole number of militia on this frontier is less than eight hundred; more than one hundred on
the sick list : many without shoes, and otherwise illy prepared for offensive operations. 1 have only five or six
pieces of ordnance : none larger than six pounders.
After having satisfied myself of the strength and condition of the enemy, I was fully convinced that however imperious the considerations which urged an immediate descent

Head-Quarters, Greenbush, Sept. 26th, 1812.
Major General Van Rensselaer,

Your letter of the 17th inst. was not received until
this morning. Although I had taken as early measures as
circumstances admitted of, for having your post strongly
reinforced, I have been disappointed as to the time of the
actual arrival of the different corps at their places of destination ; and also in regard to the transportation of military
stores to your camp. A strange fatality seems to have pervaded the whole arrangements. Ample reinforcements of
troops and supplies of stores are on their way, but I fear
their arrival will be too late to enable you to maintain your
position. I had hoped from your former letter, that the old
fort had been abandoned, and the stores removed to a place





of more security. I fear it will, in case of an attack from a
superior force, be a trap for the garrison that may be
placed in it. I' this should reach you previous to the enemy's movement against you, I must take the liberty of advising to such a concentration of your force, and such arrangements for the safety of the principal military stores,
boats, &c., as will enable you, in the last resort, to risk no
more than shall be absolutely necessary. 1 have requested
the Quarter Master General to send on a deputy quartermaster with funds, and capacity for furnishing whatever
may be necessary in his line. By putting on the best face
that your situation admits, the enemy may be induced to
delay an attack until you will be able to meet him, and
carry the war into Canada. At all events, we must calculate on possessing Upper Canada before winter sets in.
Gen. Harrison will, I am assured, enter Canada, by Detroit,
with not less than from six to seven thousand men, exclusive of the troops necessary for guarding the frontier against
Indian depredations. The force at Sackett's Harbour, and
that vicinity, is over two thousand, including an old company of regular artillery, and a large company of old riflemen. I have great confidence in the exertions now in operation in the navy department on Lake Ontario. In fact, we
have nothing to fear, and much to hope as to the ultimate
success of measures now in operation with a view to Upper
Canada; but much may immediately depend on what may
happen at your post.
Your's with high respect and consideration.
Lieut. Totten, of the Engineers, to Major General Van Rensselaer.
Fort Niagara, October 5th, 1812.

I beg leave to lay before you the following few observations on the works of this place.
The form of Fort Niagara, with the exception of its east

front, is irregular, being adapted to the brow of the banks •,
and all its faces, with the same exception, are only musket
proof. Lying as it does, under the command of the English
Fort George, no defence can be expected from it against a
cannonade ; and it might even be prudent for the greater
security of the garrison, if such an event is to be apprehended, to cut down the pickets on the sides exposed. It
will certainly be unwise to attempt making ourselves equal to
the enemy in batteries, for we have but few pieces of ordnance, and I believe no means of procuring more. Such
works would only cause a useless expense of time and
labour. But if this post should be conceived (as I apprehend it will) important to cover a landing on the English
shore—to protect a retreat, and to command the entrance of
the river, we cannot too soon make the commencement of a
considerable battery. I will make the necessary plans, and
a particular representation, if you consider the object of sufficient importance, and will honour me with a requisition.

Lieut. Col. Fenwick to Maj. General Van Rensselaer.
Major General Van Rensselaer.
Si r,—

Lieut. Col. Christie is of opinion, after the ammunition
and ordnance stores are removed, that a subaltern's guard
will be sufficient for the protection of the boats and the remaining stores ; and that his officers and men, full of ardour, and anxious to give their country a proof of their patriotism, by being engaged in the first expedition, induces
me to solicit, as a favour, that you will allow him and his
detachment to accompany me this night. I think it essential, that, if a blow is struck, it should place us upon such
ground as will prevent the enemy from giving us a check.
Col. Christie, after placing a strong guard, and invalids, can
march with three hundred effectives. As silence will be
necessary on our march to Lewiston, would you permit two




cavalry to attend me, that the sentries on the road may be
acquainted with our movements.
I am, &c. &c.
From Major General Van Rensselaer to Lieut. Col. Fenwick.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, Oct. 10th, 1812.

I have received your letter of this evening, acquainting
me that Lieut. Col. Christie is desirous of marching with his
men to this place, to share in the contemplated movement.
Upon Col. Christie's leaving a sufficient guard for the ordnance stores, I most cheerfully grant his request. But it
will be necessary for him to march by 11 o'clock this
night, to be here in season.
I am, &c. &c.
Lieut. Col. Fenwick.
From Major General Van Rensselaer to Major General Dearborn.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, October 14th, 1812.

As the movements of this army undef my command,
since I had the honour to address you on the Sth, 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, I 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
'udgment of my country.
In my letter of the 8th instant, I apprised you that the
crisis in this campaign was rapidly advancing ; and that (to
repeat the same) " the blow must be soon struck," or all



the toil and expense of the campaign go for nothing,:for the
whole will be tinged with dishonour.
Under such impressions, I had, on the 5th instant, written
to Brig. Gen. Smyth of the United States forces, requesting
an interview with him, Major Gen. Hall, and the commandants of regiments, for the purpose of conferring on the
subject of future operations. I wrote Maj. Gen. Hall to the
same purport. On the 11th, I had received no answer
from Gen. Smyth ; but in a note to me of the 10th, Gen.
Hall mentioned that Gen. Smyth had not yet then agreed
upon any day for the consultation.
In the mean time, the partial success of Lieut. 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 here commenting upon the obvious consequences, to
me personally, of longer wAhholding my orders under such
I had a conference with —, 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 controling effect upon the movement 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.
Lieut. Col. Fleming's flying artillery, and a detachment



of regular troops under his command, were ordered up in
season from Fort Niagara. Orders were also sent to Gen.
Smyth to send down from Buffalo such detachment from his
brigade as existing circumstances in that vicinity might warrant. The attack was to be made at 3 o'clock on the morning of the 1 Rh, by crossing over in boats from the old ferry,
opposite the heights. To avoid any embarrassment 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. Lieut.
Sim was considered the man of the greatest skill for this
service; he went ahead, and, in the extreme darkness, passed the intended place far up the river, and there, in the most
extraordinary manner, fastened his boat to the shore, and
abandoned the detachment. In this front boat he had carried nearly all the oars which were prepared for the boats.
In this agonizing dilemma stood officers and men, whose ardour 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. Col. Van Rensselaer was to have commanded the'
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 then be expressed.
But my hope was idle; the previously excited ardour 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 the 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
Lieut. Col. Christie, who had just arrived at the Four
Mile Creek, had late in the night of the first contem-



plated attack, gallantly offered me his own and his men's
services; but he got my permission too late. He now again
came forward, had a conference with Col. Van Rensselaer,
and begged that he might have the honour of a command
in the expedition. The arrangement was made. Col. Van
Rensselaer was to command one column of three hundred
militia, and Lieut. Col. Christie a column of the same number of regular troops.
Every precaution was now adopted as to boats, and the
most confidential and experienced men to manage them. At
an early hour in the night Lieut. Col. Christie marched his
detachment by the rear road, from Niagara to camp. At
7 in the evening, Lieut. Col. Stranahan's regiment moved
from Niagara Falls ; at 8 o'clock, Mead's, and at 9, Lieut.
Col. Bloom's regiment marched from the same place. All
were in camp in good season. Agreeably to my orders issued upon this occasion, the two columns were to pass over
together as soon as the heights should be carried. Lieut.
Col. Fenwick's flying artillery was to pass over; then
Major Mullany's detachment of regulars, and the other
troops to follow in order.
Col. Van Rensselaer, with great presence of mind, ordered
his officers to proceed with rapidity, and storm the fort.
The service was gallantly performed, and the enemy driven
down the hill in every direction. Soon after this, both parties were considerably reinforced, and the conflict was renewed in various places. Many of the enemy took shelter
behind a stone guard-house, where a piece of ordnance was
now briskly served. [ ordered the fire of our battery to be
directed upon the guard-house ; and it was so effectually
done, that, with eight or ten shot, the fire was silenced.
The enemy then retreated behind a large store-house ; but,
in a short time, the rout became general, and the enemy's
fire was silenced, except from a one gun battery, so far
down the river as to be out of the reach of our heavy ordnance, and our light pieces could not silence it. A number





of boats now passed over unannoyed, except by the one unsilenced gun. For some time, after I passed over, the victory appeared complete; but, in expectation of further attacks, I was taking measures for fortifying my camp immediately; the direction of this service I committed to Lieut.
Totten of the Engineers. But very soon the enemy were
reinforced by a detachment of several .hundred Indians from
Chippewa; they commenced a furious attack, but were
promptly met and routed by the rifle and bayonet. By this
time, I perceived my troops were embarking very slowly. I
passed immediately over to accelerate their movements, but,
to my utter astonishment, I found, that, at the very moment
when complete victory was in our hands, the ardour of the
unengaged troops had entirely subsided. I rode in all directions; urged the men by every consideration to pass over—
but in vain. Lieut. Col. Bloom, who had been wounded in
the action, returned, mounted Iris horse, and rode through
tke camp, as did also Judge Peck, who happened to be here,
exhorting the companies to proceed—but all in vain.
At this time a large reinforcement from Fort George was
discovered coming up the river. As the, battery on the
hill was considered an important check against their ascending the heights, measures were immediately taken to send
them a fresh supply of ammunition, as I learned there were
left only twenty shot for the eighteen-pounders. The reinforcements, however, obliqued to the right from the road,
and formed a junction with the Indians, in the rear of the
heights. Finding, to my infinite mortification, that no reinforcement would pass over, seeing that another severe conflict must soon commence, and knowing that the brave men
at the heights were quite exhausted, and nearly out of ammunition, all I could do, was to send them a fresh supply of
cartridges. At this critical moment I despatched a note to
Gen. Wadsworth, acquainting him with our situation, leaving the course to be pursued much to his own judgment,
with assurance that, if he thought best to retreat, I would

endeavour to send as many boats as I could command, and
cover his retreat, by every fire I could safely make; but the
boats were dispersed;' many of the boatmen had fled panic
struck, and but few got off. My note, however, could but
little more than have reached Gen. W., about 4 o'clock,
when a most severe and obstinate conflict commenced, and
continued about half an hour, with a tremendous fire of cannon, flying artillery, and musketry. The enemy succeeded
in repossessing their battery, and gaining advantage on
every side. The brave men who had gained the victory, exhausted of strength and ammunition, and grieved at the unpardonable neglect of their fellow-soldiers, gave up the
I can only add, that the victory was really won, but lost
for the want of a small reinforcement ; one-third part of the
idle men might have saved -all.
I have the honour to be, &c.


Hon. William Eustis, Secretary of War.
Brigadier General Alexander Smyth to Major General Van Rensselaer.
Buffalo, 29th September, 1812.

I have been ordered by Major General Dearborn to
Niagara, to take command of a brigade of the U. S. troops;
and directed, on my arrival in the vicinity of your quarters,
to report myself to you, which I now do. I intended to have
reported myself personally ; but the conclusions I have
drawn as to the interests of the service, have determined me
to stop at this place, for the present. From the description I
have had of the river below the falls, the view of the shore
below Fort Erie, and the information received as to the
preparations of the enemy, I am of opinion that our crossing should be effected between Fort Erie and Chippewa.
It has, therefre, seemed to me proper to encamp the U. S.
troops near Buffalo, there to prepare for offensive operations.




Your instructions, or better information, may decide you to
give me different orders, which I will await.
I have the honour, &c.
Major General Van Rensselaer.
Major General Van Rensselaer to Brigadier General Alexander Smyth.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 30th September, 1812.
Sir, —

On my return, this moment, from Niagara, I received
your letter of yeterday, advising me of your arrival at
Buffalo, and the encampment, there, of the United States
troops, in consequence of the conclusions you have drawn
that offensive operations against Upper Canada ought to be
attempted between Fort Erie and Chippewa. Nothing could
be more unpleasant to me than a difference of opinion as to
the place of commencing those operations in which our own
characters, the fate of the army, and the deepest interests of
our country are concerned. But, however willing I may be,
as a citizen soldier, to surrender my opinion to a professional
one, I can only make such surrender to an opinion deliberately formed upon a view of the whole ground.
It would have been highly gratifying to me, could I have
had a seasonable opportunity to avail myself of the opinions
of the officers of the United States troops, as to the time,
place, and competent force for the contemplated descent.
But as the season for operations was far advanced, and as
the counsel I wished was not at command, it has been the task
of my own judgment, guided by the best attainable information to designate the places for our operations. This I had
some time ago decided : and although, on account of my
small force, I have been obliged to bestow much labour on
measures calculated for defence, in case of an attack, still
have I urged, as fast as possible, other local preparations,
connected with that mode of descent on which I had determined. My judgment may have deceived me, but I shall
certainly stand acquitted of a hasty decision. For many
years, I have had a general knowledge of the banks of Ni-

agars river, and of the adjacent country on the Canada shore.
I have, now, attentively explored the American side with
the view of military operations; combining, at the same time,
a great variety of circumstances and considerations intimately connected, in my opinion, with our object. So various
are the opinions, and such the influence of personal and local interests in this vicinity, that many circumstances are to
be carefully balanced before any correct conclusions can be
drawn. My decision has been made with due regard to all
these things, and to the important consequences connected
with it. All my past measures have been calculated for one
point ; and I now only wait for a competent force; as the
season of the year and every consideration urges me to act
with promptness, I cannot hastily listen to a change of position, necessarily connected with a new system of measures,
and the very great inconvenience of the troops. I will not
say that no considerations shall induce me to change my
plans of operations, but to this I cannot yield, without very
weighty reasons ; conclusions drawn, at least, from an attentive examination of the banks of the Niagara river, and all
other circumstances connected with a successful result of the
I hope soon to have the pleasure of seeing you here; and,
perhaps, after conference and thorough examination of the
river and country, your opinion and mine, as to the plans of
operations, may coincide. I trust we are both open to conviction, and we have but one object—the best interest of
the service.
I am, sir,with consideration and respect, &c.

Brigadier Gen. Alexander Smyth, of the United States forces, Buffalo.
Brigadier General Smyth, of the U. S. Forces, to Major General Van
Camp, near Buffalo, Oct. 2d, 1812.

I have had the honour to receive your letter of the
30th Sept., dated at Lewiston. The detachments of Col


Winder and Col. Parker have arrived. They are recruits
without clothing and with little instruction. Neither of them
have medicine chests. Col., Winder's detachment is already
encamped on an excellent piece of ground for exercise,
where Col. Parker's will join it to-day. Col. Milton's detachment will also arrive to-day; and within a week I expect the
other detachments. I have taken quarters at the place, and
propose to devote six hours daily to their instruction, in discipline and evolutions.
The delay of a part until the whole arrive, cannot, possibly, be injurious, and any order I may receive will be obeyed with alacrity.
There has been a mutiny in the 5th, and a general court
martial has become necessary. Should you deem it proper
to order one to be held at this camp, Col. Parker might preside, and the other members be detached by my Brigade
Maj or.
I have the honour to be very respectfully, &e.




Major General Van Rensselaer to Major General Hall.

Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 5th Oct., 1812.

This letter was the same as above.
Major General Van Rensselaer to Brigadier General Smyth, of the
U. S. forces.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 6th Oct., 1812.

Apprehending that my letter of yesterday, on the
subject of the proposed conference at Niagara, may not have
been sufficiently explicit, I deem it necessary to add, that
my intention was, that Major General Hall, yourself, and
the Commandants of the several regiments of the United
States troops, should attend the conference. You will please
to make the necessary communications to the gentlemen intended.
I am, &c.
Brigadier General Smyth, of the U. S. forces.

Major Gen. Van Rensselaer.

Major General Van Rensselaer to Major General Hall.

Maj or General Van Rensselaer to Brigadier General Smyth.



Same date as above, and same in form and substance,
except as to extending the communications.

Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 5th Oct., 1812.

Believing that an early consultation of general officers, commandants of regiments, and corps on this frontier
will promote the interest of the service, I have to request that
you will be pleased to confer with Maj. Gen. Hall on the
subject, and agree with him upon the earliest day possible,
consistent with the business of the court martial, and other
indispensable duties, when I can have the pleasure of seeing
you at Fort Niagara for the purpose above proposed.
Of the day agreed upon, you will please to give me early
I am, &c.
P. S. I have written to Maj. Gen. Hall to the same pur-

Brig. Gen. Smyth, of the U. S. forces.

Buffalo, Oct. 10th, 1812.
Major General Hall to Major General Van Rensselaer.

I saw General Smyth yesterday : he could not tell
the day when he would attend at Niagara for the consultation.
I am, &c.


Major General Van Rensselaer to Brigadier General Smyth.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 10th October, 1812.

In consequence of some intelligence recently receiv-



ed, relative to the force of the enemy on the opposite shore,
I shall this night attack the enemy's batteries on the heights
of Queenstown. Should we succeed, I shall, to-morrow morning, cross over and intrench.
Immediately on the receipt of this you will please to give
orders to all the United States troops under your command to
strike their tents, and march, with every possible despatch,
to this place.
With respect and consideration, &c.
Brigadier General Alex. Smyth, of the U. S. forces.
Major General Van Rensselaer to Brigadier General Smyth.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, Ilth Oct , 1812.

The object of my order to you yesterday, to march
your troops to this place, was to support the militia in an
attack upon the enemy's batteries in Queenstown, warranted
by information which I had received, too direct to be doubted,
and too favourable to be passed by without an effort. But
the expedition has failed; and the failure is owing to some
circumstances vitally connected with the highest interest
of the service, but the particulars are more proper for the
subject of personal conference than for this mode of communication; I shall, therefore, reserve them until I shall have
the pleasure of seeing you here. In the interim the United
States troops under your command will remain at their encampment, near Buffalo.
I am, &c.
Brigadier General Smyth, of the U. S. forces.
Brigadier General Smyth to Major General Van Rensselaer.
Camp, near Buffalo, 12th Oct., 1812.

I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your
letter at ten o'clock, P. M.
The badness of the weather and roads harassed the



troops yesterday more than can well be conceived. Tomorrow I expect 1114 clothing, and they will wash; next
day they might march, to the number of l2',10 effective men,
but imperfectly disciplined. It is said the enemy are in
considerable force opposite to Black Rock : and as Lieut.
Cols. Scott and Christie have arrived with you, the time for
your attack is favourable—and may you conquer ! is my
I have the honour to be, with great respect,
Your most obedient,
ALEX. SMYTH, Brig. General.
Major Gen. Van Rensselaer.
Major General Van Rensselaer to Brigadier General Smyth.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 12th Oct., 1812.

have this moment received your letter of yesterday.
To-night I shall, again, attack the enemy's batteries on the
heights of Queenstown; should circumstances render it necessary to march your brigade, I will advise you to morrow.
Lieut. Col. Christie has arrived with boats, stores, &c.
I am &c.
Brigadier General Smyth, of the U. S. Forces.

From Major General Van Rensselaer to Major General Brock.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 17th Sept., 1812.

In a communication which I had some time since the
honour of receiving from Lieut. Col. Myers, he assured me
that it had been the constant study of the general officer,
commanding the British forces on this line, to discountenance,
by all means in his power, the warfare of sentinels; yet,
occurrences for some days past, would warrant the presumption, that such orders no longer exist. If so be the
fact, I wish to be ascertained of it.
I have the honour to be,
with consideration, &c.



From Major General Brock to Major General Van Rensselaer,
Head-Quarters, Fort George, Sept. 17th, 1812,

It has been with the utmost regret, that I have perceived, within these few days, a very heavy firing from both
sides of the river. I am, however, given to understand,
that on all occasions it has commenced on yours; and, from
the circumstance–of the flag which I did myself the honour
to send over yesterday having been repeatedly fired upon,
while in the act of crossing the river, I am inclined to give
full credit to the correctness of the information. Without,
however, recurring to the past, you may rely upon my repeating my positive orders against the continuance of a
practice which can only be injurious to individuals, without
promoting the object which both our nations may have in
I have the honour to remain,
with respect, &c.
Major General Van Rensselaer.



That these firings have been repeatedly commenced on
both sides, is not to be questioned : the fact is established,
by the testimony of officers whose rank and character, in
both armies, utterly precludes all doubt. It is a circumstance, which, in this explanation, ought not to be omitted,
that there may be, on both sides the river,—there certainly
is reason to believe there are on this side—persons not under immediate command in either army, who, occasionally,
approach the river, discharge their pieces, at the sentries,
and then escape unobserved in their retreats, while the fire,
thus begun, is returned upon an unoffending sentinel. I
have caused patrols to be sent out to take such persons, but
without success.
I can only repeat, sir, that I deeply regret the unfortunate
occurrence which has happened; that my orders against the
practice which has occasioned it have been most peremptory:
my efforts to enfbrce them are unremitting, and every attempt to convict any one of disobedience, as yet, is unavailing.
With consideration and high respect,
I have the honour, &c.
Major General Brock, Fort George.

Major General Van Rensselaer to Major General Brock.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 20th Sept., 1812.

It was with extreme regret and concern that I yesterday learned through Lieut Col. Myers, that in a repetition
of the practicp of firing between sentinels, which I have so
peremptorily prohibited, one shot has proved fatal to a man
at the Lime Kilns on the Canada shore. Immediately, on
receiving information of this unfortunate event, I caused
strict inquiry to be made, to the end, that the offender, if
discovered, might be punished according to his demerit.
But the result of this inquiry has not furnished me with the
least evidence against any man. I cannot ascertain that
a single gun has been fired, at, or near the place from
whence the shot was supposed to have been thrown.

From Major General Isaac Brock to Major General Van Rensselaer.
Head-Quarters, Fort George, 23d Sept., 1812.

I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of
your letter of the twentieth instant. I never doubted for a
moment that the firing from your side of the river, upon individuals, was contrary to your intentions, and in violation of
your orders, and I beg leave to repeat, that every effort
shall be made on my part to prevent a recurrence of such
acts of insubordination, on this side.
I have the honour to be,
with very great respect, &c.
Major 6i eneral Vin Rensselaer.




Major General Van Rensselaer to Major General Brock.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 13th Oct., 1812.


Major General Sheaffe to Major General Van Rensselaer.
Fort George, 16th Oct., 1812.

Humanity induces me to request your permission to
send to Queenstown some surgeons to attend the officers and
men who have had the misfortune to be wounded this day,
and are prisoners at Queenstown.
Agreeably to the proposition which I had this afternoon
the honour to receive, as coming from you, I have agreed to
a cessation of firing for three days.

I have the honour, &c.
Major General Isaac Brock.

I have heard with great regret, that Col. Van
Rensselaer is badly wounded. If there be any thing at my
command, that your side of the river cannot furnish, which
would be either useful or agreeable to him, 1 beg that you
will be so good as to have me apprised of it.
I have the honour to be, sir, with much esteem,
Your very devoted servant,
Major General Sheaffe to Major General Van Rensselaer.
Fort George, 16th Oct., 1812.

Major General Sheaffe to Major General Van Rensselaer.
Fort George, 13th Oct., 1812.


I lose not a moment in acknowledging the receipt of
your letter of this date, and am pl ased to learn, at the same
time, that the officer commanding at Queenstown, having
opened it, had acceded to your proposal of sending surgeons
to aid the wounded prisoners, without incurring the delay
which would have been occasioned by a reference to me;
but, as our means of affording assistance to them, as well as
to our own wounded, may be inadequate, I beg leave to propose that the wounded prisoners, whose cases may admit of
removal, should be sent over to you, on condition of riot serving again, until regularly exchanged.
Though the proposition which I had the honour of making
to you to-day, did not go to the extent which, by some mistake, you were led to suppose, yet I readily concur with
you in agreeing to a cessation of firing for three days, and 1
transmit orders to that effect to the officers commanding at
the several posts on this line.

I have the honour, &c.
Major General Van Rensselaer, comroan.ding


As the period assigned to the cessation of hostilities
is drawing to a termination; and the intended exchange of
prisoners and sending over the wounded and the militia will
require much more time than remains of it ; and as, moreover, part of this day is to be devoted to paying the last
offices of humanity to the remains of my departed friend and
General, I feel it to be my duty to propose a prolongation of
the armistice to such a period as may be necessary for the
complete execution of those humane purposes. Lists are
prepared for all the prisoners here, distinguishing those of
the line from militia ; and Brigade Major Evans, who has
been appointed by me to arrange the business with Capt.
Dox, will be ready to proceed in it, as soon as that offices
comes over.
I have the honour, &c.
Major General Van Rensselaer.
Major General Van Rensselaer to Major General Sheaffe.
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, Oct. 16th, 1812.

Sir,- I have this moment had the honour to receive your




two letters of the present date. I most cheerfully agree to
extend the cessation of hostilities for a time amply sufficient
to discharge all duties of humanity to the brave who are
wounded, or prisoners ; and the just tribute of respect to the
gallant dead. For these purposes I agree to the further
cessation of hostilities, until 4 o'clock of the afternoon of the
19th instant.
I shall order a salute for the funeral of General Brock to
be fired here, and at Fort Niagara, this afternoon.
You will please to accept, sir, the grateful acknowledgments of Col. Van Rensselaer and myself, for your kind
offer of any thing in your power which might contribute to
to his comfort. 1 do not know that he is at present destitute
of any thing essential.
As this, sir, is probably the last communication I shall
have the honour to make to you from this station, I avail
Myself of the opportunity to tender you the assurance of my
great esteem and consideration.

respective countries, may afford me an opportunity of assuring you, personally, of the respect and esteem with which
I have the honour to be, sir,
Your most obedient and devoted servant,
R. H. SHEAFFE, Maj. General, &c.



Major General Sheaffe to Major General Van Rensselaer.
Fort George, 16th Oct., 1812.

I feel too strongly the generous tribute which you
propose to pay to my departed friend and chief to be able
to express the sense I entertain of it. Noble-minded as he
was, so would he have done himself.
1 have directed the prolongation of the armistice until
four o'clock in the afternoon of the 19th instant, to be communicated along this line.
I feel a perfect confidence, sir, that nothing will be omitted
on your part to ensure a strict execution of the agreement
respecting the militia officers and men, as well as any others
not yet exchanged, who are released from their captivity.
Allow me, sir, to express a hope that the time is not far
distant when the restoration of peace and amity between our

Maj. General Van Rensselaer.
Head-Quarters, Fort Washington, May 26th, 1797.

You are, this day, to cross the Ohio river, with your
troop, and to commence your march for Knoxville, in the
state of Tennessee, without one moment's unnecessary delay.
You will proceed by easy marches, on the most convenient
road for Fort Blount, on the Cumberland river. Should you
discover on your approach to, or arrival at this place, that
the Indians are hostilely disposed, you are to fall back, either
to Nashville, or take some intermediate secure position,
where your cavalry can be well subsisted, and wait the arrival of Lieut. Col. Commandant Butler, whose orders you
are to receive.
But should you find the Indians in a state of tranquillity,
you will proceed on to Knoxville, with due military precaution and on your arrival there, will report to the senior officer on that station, and require quarters and subsistence for
your men and horses, where you are to wait the arrival of
Col. Butler, unless otherwise disposed of under the authority
of the president.
Wishing you an agreeable tour, I remain with much
friendship, your obedient servant,
Captain Van Rensselaer.
New-York, August 8th, 1800.
Dear sir,—

Major Rensselaer, who was eldest captain of dragoons before the late augmentation of the army, was, under
that augmentation promoted to a major. He has some time




since devoted himself to military affairs, as a professor for
life, and is unwilling to quit. For my part I have conceived
there was a discretion in the president on this subject, which
may be exercised in favour of the major. A field officer for
the cavalry appears to me in every view proper. For the
character of Major Van Rensselaer, as an officer, I refer
you to Gen. Wilkinson, with whom he served. The inquiry
I know will result greatly in his favour, and as a man, there
is none more worthy : he is a kinsman of Mrs. Hamilton.
With esteem and regard,
A. HAMILTON, Secretary of War.

should be retained in service, is a question on which it would
not be proper for me to make any remarks.
But if it should be deemed expedient, that such an officer
should be retained, I take the liberty of informing you, that,
from what I have heard and know of Major Solomon Van
Rensselaer, who wishes to devote himself to the military profession, I really think he merits the attention of government.
His qualifications and conduct as an officer have probably
been made known to you by Gen. Wilkinson and others.
His character here as a citizen and a gentleman, attracts
general esteem : and for my own part, I consider him as one
of the most valuable and promising young men that I know.
1 have the honour to be, with great respect,
Sir, your most obedient servant,


Extract of a letter from General Wilkinson to the Secretary of War.
City of Washington, August 9th, 1800.

General Hamilton warmly recommends the retention
of Major Van Rensselaer in service; but I fear the ground
he takes is not tenable, though the circumstance is undoubtedly essential to the service, and is devoutly to be desired, as
the major is a gem worthy preservation. A squadron of
cavalry without a leader, is an unseemly thing ; and not unlike a body without a head, from which much good cannot be
Mr. Van Rensselaer's pretensions to patronage are peculiarly strong. On the 20th August, 1794, he received a shot
through his lungs, at the head of the troop. At the reduction of the then army, he continued in service, and on the
levy of the late contingent force he was taken from his troop
and promoted to a majority. The disbanding this force has,
I fear, thrown him out of service, unless you may judge
proper to retain him on the ground of expediency, until the
president or legislature may be consulted. Certain it is,
he is essential to the formation and discipline of the squadron, which, without a chief, presents an original spectacle.
Albany, 19th Nov., 1800.

Whether a major for the cavalry of United States

The Honourable Samuel Dexter, Esq., Secretary at War.

• Iirtetri4 . n10 15#4
"1 :•' 444.491til 7?4:116,






State of New-York,
Head Quarters, Albany, July 13th, 1812.

Major General Stephen Van Rensselaer having been requested to repair to the command of the militia heretofore
ordered into the service, and to be hereafter ordered into the
service of the United States, for the defence of the northern
and western frontiers of this state, between St. Re'gis and
Pennsylvania, enters upon his command this day.
All the militia comprehended in the brigades of detached
militia organized into the first detached division, by general
orders of the eighteenth day of June last, together with the
corps commanded by Lieut. Cols Swift, Flemming, and Bellinger, are hereby declared to be subject to the division 'orders
of Major General Van Rensselaer, without waiting for
further general orders upon that subject; and all officers
commanding the militia, from which the first detached division was taken are promptly to obey and respect such division
orders accordingly.
By order of the commander in chief,
Wm. S. WILKIN, Aid-de-camp, p. t.

Head-Quarters, Niagara, Aug. 13th, 1812.

Major General Van Rensselaer having been appointed to
the command of the troops on the northern and western
frontiers of this State, announces his arrival. Having assumed this command, the general assures the officers and
soldiers, that, as on their part he will require prompt obedience to orders, and strict discipline, so from him they may


'expett his unremitting exertions to render their situations at
all times as eligible as possible •, and when their exertions
shall be called for against the enemy, he trusts with confidence that they will be such as will redound to the honour
of the troops, and the service of the count?".
The troops at Lewiston will be reviewed and inspected at
10 o'clock to-morrow ; for that purpose, blank returns will
be furnished.
An accurate inspection return will be made out by the
commanding officers of companies, who are to account for
_ their men, arms, and accoutrements : in their returns, they
will note the deficiencies of arms or accoutrements, to the
end that measures may be adopted to obtain supplies from
the proper departments.
By order of Major General Van Rensselaer,
Head Quarters, Lewiston, 16th Aug., 1812.

Major General Hall will please to order the troops in the
vicinity of Niagara Falls, to repair to Lewiston as soon as
as may. be convenient, reserving a necessary guard at that
place until it shall be relieved by a detachment from Lieut.
Col. Swift's regiment. The court-martial whereof Brigadier General Wadsworth is President, will adjourn to headquarters, and there finish the business before them.
The troops between Lewiston and Fort Niagara will, with
their baggage, march to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock, to
Lewiston, leaving guards at the places heretofore occupied
for watching the movements of the enemy. The quartermaster will furnish the necessary transportation.
Lieut. Col. Swift will furnish small guards of observation,
from Buffalo to the Falls of Niagara inclusive. They are
to communicate to the General in Chief, by runners, any
movements of the enemy, with all possible despatch.
By order of Major General Van Rensselaer,




Head Quarters, Lewiston, 18th Aug. 1812.


Major General Dearborn having communicated, that,
agreeably to an arrangement made between him and the
Governor General of Canada, through his Adjutant General,
all hostilities between the troops on either side should be
suspended until further orders. Major General Van Rensselaer directs the officers and soldiers under his command,
strictly to conform to this arrangement; and if any of the
troops have the hardihood to fire on the enemy, they will be
punished accordingly.
Lieut. Col. Swift will order under arrest Capt Dogherty
of his regiment, for absenting himself from his company;
and will investigate the cause of the firing of a field piece at
Black Rock, on the opposite shore; and by whoin , and report the filets to the Major General without delay.
By order of Major General Van Rensselaer,

Head Clu.arters, Lewiston, 19th Aug,. 1812.



Countersign, parole.
Officer of the day to-morrow, Lt. Col. Dobbins.
Adjutant, G. L. Dox.
The Major General directs that the following regulations
shall be observed by the troops under his command:—
The reveille will be beat at day-break when every
officer and soldier will appear on parade, and the companies be exercised by their respective commanding officers for
one hour, and the like time at 4 o'clock in the afternoon;
and by battalions, on Tuesdays and Fridays of each week,
at the company and battalion parades. The fr3ld officers
will attend and superintend the manoeuvres of their corps.
The troop will beat at 9 o'clock; A. M., and the retreat at


6 o'clock, P. M., when the line will be formed for roll-call ;
the music will take their post on the right of the regiments,
and not on the right of companies. On those occasions, the
dress of the officers and soldiers is to he clean, and their
arms and accoutrements bright and in perfect order. The
Major General flatters himself that the troops will vie with
each other in the cleanliness of their dress, as well as their
soldier-like and orderly conduct, when on, or off duty. The
corps which shall distinguish itself for orderly conduct and
discipline, shall be reported by the Major General to the
Commander in Chief; and every refractory officer or soldier shall be dealt with as the law and the usages of armies
point out : for as they are called upon by their country to
defend it, and paid for their services, it is expected that
"every man will do his duty," for on that the lives of the
troops, the honour and success of the enterprises in which,
in all probability, they will shortly be engaged, will depend.
The tattoo will be beat at 9 o'clock, when the men will
retire to their tents, and the sentinels begin to challenge.
Two captains, and two subaltern guards will be mounted
daily ; one captain's guard will take post on the front, and
one in the rear of the camp ; and the subalterns on each
flank. The guards will be sufficiently strong to form a
chain of sentinels round the camp; and they will be augmented, or diminished as occasion may require. The guards
will assemble on the grand parade, at half past 9 o'clock,
when they will be formed by the major of brigade and
marched of precisely at 10 o'clock. A portion of the music of the line will attend and do duty until the guards are
marched off to their respective pickets. The adjutant•
will march the men detached from the respective regiment*
for this service, to the grand parade, and will be- responsiblee
for the soldier like appearance of the men, arms, and accou
trements. Eac'h man of the guard will be famished with
twenty-four rounds of fixed cartridges : their pieces will be





loaded after sunset ; and when the guards are relieved, they
will return to the grand parade, from whence they will be
marched in a body, by the officer of the day, to some convenient spot, where their pieces will be discharged at a target,
of the size of a dollar, at one hundred yards distance. And
on all other occasions firing is strictly prohibited, unless it be
by the sentinels, at night, to give the alarm.
The officer of the day will be taken from the regimental
field officers ; whose duty it shall be, to visit the guards
and sentinels three times in the course of the day and three
times at night ; to regulate the guards, to see that they are
vigilant and in soldier-like order; for on their alertness the
lives of the men and the safety of the army depend.
The officers are strictly enjoined to attend to the cleanliness of their men ; they must frequently visit their tents, and
examine the situation of them. On the faithful performance
of this duty depend the lives and health of the troops.
The commanding officers of regiments and corps will
cause two vaults, or sinks, to be dug in the rear of each company, at least one hundred yards in the rear of the rear
tents, hi a line parallel to the tents : and if any soldier shall
be found to leave excrement in any other place within the
line of sentinels, he will be punished.
The ground in front and rear of the tent is to be levelled
and cleared by the respective companies. The Brigade Major will direct the Adjutants to cause the music, when not on.
duty, to practise the different calls and marches.
The Court Martial, whereof Brigadier General Wadsworth was appointed President, will meet to-morrow morning at ten o'clock, for the trial of such prisoners as may be
brought before them. General Wadsworth will please to
make the necessary arrangements, and meet in such place
as he may think convenient.
By order of Major General Van Rensselaer,



Head Quarters, Lewiston, August 22d, 1812.

Officer of the day to-morrow,
It is painful to the Major General to find that some part
of the troops are so regardless of their duty as to disobey
the orders issued for preventing scattering firing in and about
the camp. This dangerous and disgraceful practice is once
more, and for the last time, prohibited. If any man of the
line (the guards and sentinels excepted) shall, after this,
discharge his fire-arms without orders, he will be instantly
confined ; and the field and company officers are strictly
enjoined to enforce this order.
The Major General regrets that he is compelled to remind the officers under his command of the necessity of being in camp at night : for if they will be regardless of their
duty, what can be expected of their men by such an example? They are, in future, directed to be at night in their
tents, unless otherwise ordered; and in perfect readiness, at
any .moment, to commence or repel an attack, to which
troops in the face of an enemy are at all times liable.
The officers and troops meet with the perfect approbation of the Major General, for their alertness in parading at
reveille; with the exception of one or two companies, which
were not this morning on parade, and the captain of one
company not in camp. But let him beware for the future;
if caution and remonstrance will avail nothing, more decisive
measures shall.
To-morrow being the Sabbath, the guards will not discharge their pieces until Monday, after roll-call ; and this
regulation will be observed until further orders.

By order of Major General Van Rensselaer,


Head Quarters, Lewiston, August 28th, 1812.

The army under the command of Brigadier General
Hull has surrendered at Detroit. This is a national disaster ;
but it is the duty of soldiers to turn even disasters to profit.
To this end the General calls upon the troops under his command to make every effort in perfecting that discipline on
which they must rely for their own safety and for their
country's honour, in that crisis which may be fast approaching. The General is persuaded that Americans know the
inestimable rights which they enjoy ; and he confidently
trusts, that their bravery to defend is in proportion to the
knowledge they possess of those rights.
The troops will be exercised at reveille, and from four
o'clock in the afternoon, two hours instead of one, as mentioned in general orders of the 19th instant.
Capt. Dogherty and Lieut. Hewit, of Lieut. CoI. Swift's
regiment, are released from their arrests, and will return to
their duty. This renewed instance of clemency of the Major General, it is hoped, will be properly appreciated by
them : it is not his wish to punish, but orders must and shall
be obeyed.
The unhealthy state of the troops under the command of
Lieut. Col. Swift, at Black Rock, renders particular attention to them, and to the causes of their maladies, necessary.
For this purpose Doctor Brown will associate with him Doctor Daniel Chipman ; and they will proceed, without delay,
to that place, and make full inquiry into the , situation of the
sick, the causes which have produced the diseases, and the
manner in which they have been treated ; of all which they
will make report, in writing, to the Major General ; suggesting the best mode, in their opinion, to restore those who are
sick, and preserve the health of the well.
These, and all other orders, are to be read by the Adjutants to the troops under the command of the Major Genera I


The Commanding Officers of regiments and corps will give
orders accordingly.
By order of Major General Van Rensselaer,
Head Quarters, Lewiston, 29th Aug., 1812.

The Major General is gratified with the attention which
is paid by the officers to the health of the men. Striking
the tents, as has been this morning done, will in a great measure prevent disease among the troops : and the General recommends that it be done as often as occasion may require,
and that cleanliness be observed, in every particular, by the
individuals of the army ; it is absolutely necessary to the
preservation of health. It is particularly enjoined on those
who have charge of the few sick, in this camp and the hospital, to see that they are well supplied with every thing
necessary for their accommodation, and that expert and faithful nurses are provided to attend them.
On this occasion the General cannot refrain from expressing his satisfaction at the attention of the officers in general
to their duty, and the orderly conduct of the soldiers in obeying orders: such cheerful and soldier-like behaviour is to
him a pleasing presage of what he has to expect from them
in the hour " which will try men's souls."
To the Commanding Officer of the 7th brigade, and to
the Colonels of the 18th and 20th regiments, the General
tenders his acknowledgments, for their strict attention to the
discipline of the troops and the preservation of their health.
By order of Major General Van Rensselaer,
Head Quarters, Lewiston, 4th Sept., 1812.

The Major General announces to the troops, that, agree8*



able to an order received from Major General Dearborn, the
armistice entered into between him and the Governor General of Upper and Lower Canada will be terminated at twelve
o'clock, at noon, on the eighth day of September instant.
The troops under his command will, however, understand,
explicitly, that they are not to act offensively without previous orders from him ; but to be vigilant in their duty, and
ready to execute any command they may receive when a
proper occasion presents itself.
The troops will strike their tents to-morrow morning at
reveille : the tents, tent-poles, and baggage, will be packed
up,! ready to move, in one hour from that time. The Quarter
Master will measure the space necessary for a double row
of tents for each company, and furnish the necessary transportation.
A fatigue party, of a sergeant, corporal, and twelve men,
will attend at the same time at head quarters.
By order of the Major General Van Rensselaer,
Head Quarters, Lewiston, 9th Sept, 1812.



having assigned Walter Cotton as Surgeon of Major Charles
Moseley's battalion of riflemen, the Major General confirms
that assignment, and orders that Doctor Cotton do duty accordingly, in that corps, until further orders.
Major General Hall will please to take command of
Lieut. Col. Swift's regiment, and the detachment of troops
ordered out by Brigadier Gen. Hopkins, and make such disposition of this force, as the security of the frontiers may require ; and will make weekly reports to Major General Van
Rensselaer. Major General Hall will please to bear in
mind, that all permits, for any persons to pass into Canada,
are to be obtained only from Major General Van Rensselaer.
Lieut. Col. Bloom will make morning reports of the regiment under his command, to Major General Van Rensselaer,
and will cause Mr. Rolph, the prisoner, to be delivered to
Major General Hall at Black Rock.
By order of Major General Van Rensselaer,
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, September 15th, 1812.


'Lieut. Col. Bloom will 'parch immediately to the neighbourhood of Niagara Falls and relieve the guards of the de.
tachment of United States' troops, under the command of
Major Mullany, by his regiment. The Commanding Officer
of this detachment, after being relieved by Lieut. Col. Bloom,
will march with the troops under his command, without delay, and join Lieut. Col. Fenwick, and is to be subject to his
By order of Major General Van Rensselaer,
Head Quarters, Lewiston, 6th Sept., 1812.

Lieut. Col. George Flemming, Commanding Fort Oswego,

The Quarter Master General and the Contractor will furnish, on the order of Doctor Brown, hospital surgeon, the
necessary supplies for the sick in camp, and the hospital ;
To Doctor Brown, the surgeon of regiments, and corps will
apply, for supplies necessary for the accommodation of the
sick under their care ; and they are strictly enjoined to attend faithfully to the sick of the Regiments and corps, to
which they are assigned, whether the sick are in the camp,
or hospital.
The Quarter Master General will furnish a sufficient
quantity of straw, far the accommodation of the troops, in
the camp and barracks : he will also furnish forage for the
dragoons, and other public horses, and cause the horses of





Captain Camp's troop of volunteer cavalry to be appraised
as the law directs, without delay.
Lieut. Col. Fenwick, the Quarter Master General, and the
Commissary of military stores on this frontier will, without
delay, make returns to Major General Van Rensselaer, of
all the public property of every description under_ their
By order of Major General Van Rensselaer,
Head - Quarters, Lewiston, September 19th, 1812.

The Major General calls the attention of the officers to
the 41st, 42d, 43d, 44th, 45th, 46th, and 53d articles of war,
and directs that they shall be read to the troops ; if any officer or soldier, has the hardihood to violate either of them,
he shall be treated as those articles direct. The shameful
inattention to duty, in the face of a powerful enemy, by
many of the officers and soldiers will render this resort necessary, however unpleasant it may be to the Major General.
In violation of a general order of the 19th August, several
of the field officers did not attend parade duty yesterday : it
is hoped that such conduCt in them will not again occur; for
if it should, the Major General will be compelled to resort to
measures which will be very unpleasant to himself and
The guards will be augmented this night, and if any officer or soldier discloses the watch-word, he will be dealt with
as the 53d article of the rules and articles of war directs.
• The officer of the day will direct every officer and soldier to be taken up after the beating of the retreat, whether
he has the countersign or not, if found out of camp without
permission in writing from the Major General.
Lieut. Col. Fenwick will order a general court martial for
the trial of such prisoners of the United States troops, as may

be brought before the court ; and report the proceeding;
without delay, to the Major General. The following members will compose the court martial.
By order of Major Gen. Van Rensselaer,
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, September 27th1 1812.

Complaint having been made by the troops, as to the
quality of the provisions issued by the Commissary,
Major John Beach of the town of Lewiston, a disinterested
person, is appointed on the part of Major General Van
Rensselaer, and he, together with the person to be appointed
on the part of the commissary, will, without delay, inspect
the quality of the provisions, against which complaint has
been made, and report their opinion, thereupon to the Major
By order of Major General Van Rensselaer,
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, 25th September, 1812.

The detachment of Lieut. Col. Hopkins' regiment will be
stationed at Tonawanta, and guard the passes on the river ;
and will relieve the guards of Lieut. Col. Swift's regiment,
now there. All the supernumerary officers of Lieut. Col.
Hopkins' regiment will be disbanded, and such only kept in
service as are absolutely necessary to officer this detachment agreeable to law.
Generall Hall will give orders accordingly. Captain
Ellicott's company of artillery will be stationed at the battery
opposite Fort Erie, to which place one eighteen-pounder is
Returns of the state of the troops, their arms, and accoutrements, will be made to the Major General once a week,


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Author of the New Universal Gazetteer, New-York Annual Register, etc.

180 Broadway.
Extracted critical remarks from the English Reviews of Pinnock ,
Modern Geography and History.

Comstock, Eaton, Lindley, Lincoln, Torrey.


From the London edition of " Pinnock's Modern Geography," and
adapted to the use of Academies and Schools in
the United States, with an Atlas.

" Mr. Pinnock's Catechisms and other publications
have made his name universally known throughout the
country, as one of the most meritorious and successful authors in this department of literature, who have ever directed their attention to inform the rising generation.
The present volume is, in all respects, worthy of his name ;
it is well conceived, well arranged, diligently edited, and
beautifully got up, at a very moderate cost. By mingling
the attractions of history with the dry details of geographical
science, the study is rendered pleasing and interesting.
Ample intelligence is produced, in the first instance, and
then the learner is judiciously exercised by questions on
the subjects as they occur."—Literary Gazette.
" This is truly the age of intellectual improvement,
and in every form and manner exertions are multiplied to
advance it. Daily the unwearied press teems with new
publications in aid of truth and knowledge. Compendiums, abridgments, and compressments of scientific lore,
rapidly succeed each other in their pretensions to public
favor ; and it is now a point of competition amongst authors and publishers to give the greatest quantity of valu-

able information for the least money. It was, however, it
seems, reserved for the experienced author of the work
before us to excel all his predecessors in this particular ;
and we cannot restrain our admiration when we observe
the immense collection of geographical and historical
learning comprised in this little book. It is impossible,
in the limits to which this notice can extend, to give a detailed account of the plan of Mr. Pinnock's work : suffice
it, that its title is fully answered in the compilation, and
that it is, in our judgment, eminently calculated to supersede the use of those elementary geographical works in
present use, which, however useful they may be, are ut.
terly poor and meagre when compared to this. The astronomical portion of Mr. Pinnock's book is excellent,
and the historical memoranda, which follow the account
of each country, are highly interesting, and tend to en.
liven the study of geography, while they furnish a fund
of instruction to the learner.
" On the whole, this multum in porno, for such it preeminently is, is calculated to become a universal instructer in the knowledge of the earth. It will not be confined to the use of schools, for adults will find it a valuable addition to their Biblical store."—Courier.
" This is unquestionably the very cheapest work of
the sort that has hitherto issued from the press ; and it is
but doing a bare act of justice to the public-spirited publishers to say, that they deserve the most unlimited pat.
ronage. The literary arrangement of the whole does
great credit to the well known talents and indefatigable
research of Mr. Pinnock; and instead of the study being,
as was the case some twenty years ago, dry and almost
appalling, it is rendered familiar and entertaining, from
its being mixed tip with numerous anecdotes associated
with the history of the countries described."—Berkshire

"A truly comprehensive compendium of geographical
and historical information, judiciously blended, has been
heretofore a great desideratum. Mr. Pinnock's name
has for many years been a standard warranty to school
books ; and this, his last labor, fully sustains his eqab-

fished reputation. It is a very comprehensive condensation of all which is necessary in teaching the important
science of geography. The statistical details of countries are pleasantly relieved by a series of admirable historical memoranda, which bear evidence of fidelity and a
deep research. We are surprised, in looking through the
book, to observe what a vast quantity of instruction is
comprised in its 446 pages."—Sunday Times.
" We have just now before us a handsome and compact little volume, got up' with great care, taste, and
judgment : A Grammar of Modern Geography and History.' The quantity of really useful information that it
contains is astonishing."—La Belle Assemblee.
"To Mr. Pinnock belongs the merit of inventing those
Catechisms of Science and General Knowledge, which
even a Lord Chancellor condescended to read and to
praise. Nothing more is necessary to be said to recommend his book in every quarter."—London Magazine.

" Grammar of Geography and History.—Every person engaged in the education of children, will be much
pleased to turn over the pages of one of the best, because
most simplified, and at the same time compendious works
on geography that has ever yet appeared. The name of Pinnock stands at the head of modern pioneers in the march of
Juvenile Intellect ; and the present volume is another exhibition of his meritorious industry. It is announced among
our advertisements, and we are sure that our readers will be
thankful for thus having specially directed their attention
to so useful, elegant, and withal very cheap a publication."
Taunton Courier.
" Pinnock's Modern Geography.—We call the attention of our readers, and more especially the heads of seminaries, to a useful, splendid, and singularly cheap work,
just published by Poole 4. Edwards, entitled A Comprehensive Grammar of Modern Geography and History.'
Without any exception, it is the best book of the sort
hitherto published." —Windsor Herald.
" This little book is of a description much superior to
the ordinary class of school books. Its author needs no



praise from us, as his long and faithful services to the cause
of education have met that general approbation which is
their fittest and highest reward. We are happy to say, that
the same judicious industry which distinguished his
smaller works for the benefit of children, is displayed in
full force in the little volume now on our table. It is
well arranged, and written in a clear, simple style. But
it is also much more than a mere outline of geography,
for it also contains an admirable summary of the most
i mportant points in history and chronology : and its pages
are interspersed with interesting physical facts relating
to the various countries under consideration. We approve much the catechetical system of teaching, which is
provided for by questions appended to each section. These
will enable the self-instructer to ascertain with ease and
certainty what real progress he has made in the acquisition of knowledge. A good treatise of this comprehensive nature has long been wanting in our schools. To those
whose time will not.permit them to turn to more ponderous sources of information, and to those who may wish to
refresh their memories by looking over an accurate summary of facts already known, we heartily recommend this
Geography as the best elementary work we have seen."—

both in England and this country, and its value is now very
greatly increased by the extensive and judicious improve.
ments made by Mr. Williams. To convey some idea of
the superior excellence of the present edition over any previous one, it needs only to be stated that the portion relating to America, has been wholly rewritten and enlarged
so as to extend through more than a hundred additional
pages. The recent changes in the political divisions of
South America are also carefully noted, and a succinct and
clear history of its various revolutions is given. Numerous other improvements of the original work have been
made by Mr. Williams, but what we have stated, will
serve to convey some idea of the additional value he has
imparted to a production which before enjoyed a high rep.
utation. The publishers deserve credit fo the exceedingly
neat style in which they have published this useful elementary work.

London Weekly Review.
From the New-York Evening Post.
To the publishers, the public are indebted for an elementary work on Geography, which, from a more attentive examination than we are usually able to give to books
of that description, we think will prove a very useful volume in the education of young persons. The work we allude to is a very neat and well printed edition of Pin.
nock's Modern Geography and History, wholly revised and
much enlarged by Edwin Williams, of whose accuracy
and research, as a statistical writer, the public have already had various satisfactory evidences. The department of knowledge in which the labors of Mr. Williams
have been mainly exerted, have necessarily furnished him
with a copious store of materials highly useful to be employed in a work like that which has now engaged his pen.
The original work of Mr. Pinnock bore a high reputation

From the Commercial Advertiser.
' Pinnock has done very essential service to the cause
of education, by his excellent editions of established
school books. To go no farther, this is the best compendium
of geography we have yet seen for schools. Tl e European States are never treated with the importance they de
serve in our ordinary school books of this description.
Here they receive great attention, and the American department, under Mr Williams' careful and accurate superintendence, is not behind them, while the history of each
State is woven in its leading facts with its description.

From the New-York American.
This is a well printed, and we dare say, a well digested
compound of geography and history, adapted for young
persons. The portion relating to America has been rewritten here and much extended, and in that very fact we
see evidence to strengthen a conviction we have long entertained, and occasionally expressed, that the elementary
works—those of history especially—designed for American schools, should be written at home.

From the New-York Weekly Messenger.
We have rarely met with a work of this size embrac-

ing so large a fund of useful, we might say necessary,
knowledge of a geographical and historical character.
This work is formed on the basis of Pinnock's celebrated Manual of Geography, combining the leading facts of
history. It has been revised by Edwin Williams, Esq., a
gentleman well known as the author of the New-York Annual Register, and New Universal Gazetteer, &c. That
part of the work relating to our own country has
been entirely rewritten, and occupies about one hundred
closely printed pages. It will command a place, as a
class book, in all our respectable seminaries of learning ;
but a work of this kind ought not and will not be confined to schools. It will be found in the library of the
scholar—the cheerful and happy dwelling of the farmer—
the workshop of the mechanic—the closet of the student
—and the counting-room of the merchant, by all of whom
it may be advantageously consulted as a book of reference.
From the Knickerbocker.
Mr. Edwin Williams, whose "Annual Register" and
" Universal Gazetteer" are so favorably known to the
public, has recently issued—revised and enlarged from the
London edition, and adapted to the use of Academies
and Schools in the United States—Pinnock's celebrated
Modern Geography. The part relating to America has
received numerous important additions in the revision, and
the whole may be relied on us affording a faithful picture of
the present state of the world, as far as known. The
work presents a combination of geography and history,
which renders it both useful and entertaining. The latter
quality is an unusual feature in most of our modern school
From the New-York Courier and Enquirer.
Williams' Geography.—The habits and studies of Mr.
Williams render him peculiarly fitted for an undertaking
of this sort, and he has performed the task well. Pinnock's
original work is in some respects one of the best to be
found, but the labors of Mr. Williams have rendered this
edition exceedingly valuable. We have looked this book
through with considerable attention, and find a mass of

American information there embodied far beyond our expectation. We question, indeed, whether any other book
in print contains as much ; and we are mistaken if it is not
extensively made use of hereafter in our schools and academies. Few men in the country have amassed more statistical material than Mr. Williams, and none have spread
it before the public with more accuracy. This book alone
is sufficient to entitle him to the thanks of the community.

From the New-Yorker.
Pinnock's Geography.—Mr. Edwin Williams, favorably known as the compiler of several statistical works of
acknowledged merit, has just submitted to the public an
Americanized edition of Pinnock's " Comprehensive System
of Geography and History"—the part relating to the United States having been entirely re-written and extended
over one hundred pages. The high reputation of the original
author as a geographer, affords a satisfactory guaranty for
the character of the work, which is adapted to the use of
seminaries without forfeiting its claims on the attention of
the more abstract student of geography and history.
From the New-York Observer.
Williams' Geography and History.—Mr. Edwin Williams, the publisher and compiler of the New-York Annual
Register, has prepared a new geography for the use of
schools, founded on Pinnock's work on modern geography,
which has been revised and extended. The plan is to combine a summary of the history of each country with its
geography, and to adapt it to the use of schools and academies, by references to the maps, and by questions. The
part of the work relating to America has been entirely rewritten, and copious additions have been made to other
parts of the volume. We have not found time to examine
the work critically, but we have no doubt, from what we
know of the qualifications of the author, that it is one of
the most valuable works of the kind in the market.
From the Albany Argus.
Modern Geography and History.--Mr. Edwin Williams,
the publisher and compiler of the New-York Annual Re-



gister, has added another to the valuable publications for
which the public are indebted to his industry and enterprise, in a revision and extension of Pinnock's celebrated
work on modern geography. The plan of this geography
is to combine a summary of the history and present condi.
tion of each country with its geography, and to adapt it to'
the use of schools and academies, by references to the maps,
and by questions designed to elicit from the learner the
facts stated in the historical and statistical parts of the
work. Numerous additions have been made in the revision, particularly in that part relating to America, which,
it appears, has been entirely re-written and extended over
one hundred pages. It gives also full descriptions of the
West India Islands, not particularly noticed in any other
geography ; extended notices of the modern divisions and

and not inferior in value to any which have been put-forth
by this most industrious compiler and author.
The work is of that terse, comprehensive character,
which distinguishes his former productions. It is full of
entertainment and instruction, clear and judicious in style

revolutions in South America, and in Greece and Belgium,
&c. &c. The entire work appears to have been prepar.
ed with the usual care and accuracy of the America edit.
or : and his own additions are among the most valuable of
the many important and interesting facts with which the
book is replete. The character of both the American and
the English author must commend the work to the favorable notice of teachers and all interested in facilitating the
business of public instruction.
Pinnock's Modern Geography and History, revised
by Edwin Williams, is an excellent compendium of the
branches on which it treats, and we cheerfully recommend
it for adoption by teachers and others. Were this work
in general use by the higher classes in academies and
schools, the labors of instruction would be greatly diminished and the youth of our country, of both sexes, would
exhibit a knowledge of Geography and History which is
from being frequent at present.
JOHN F. JENKINS, Principal of
1 Mechanics'
the Male Department ;
ARABELLA CLARK, Principal of
the Female Department ;
February 22, 1836.
Pinnock's Geography.—This is an excellent book,

and arrangement, discriminating in the selection of topics,
abundant in details, and conducted with that peculiar bre
vity which leaves not a word redundant or deficient. It is a
valuable class book, and merits general adoption in the

schools.--Silliman's " American Journal of Science and
Arts." Vol. XXVII. No. 2. July, 1835.


Works Published by Leavitt, Lord,

4. Co.

Works Published


Leavitt, Lord,

4' co.



From Abbott's Religious Magazine.

year to year, and age to age, and Nvi thou t any end, and you have a faint
view of the sufferings of those who are in hell.
"8. There is a place of suffering beyond the grave, a hell. If there is
not, then this parable has no meaning. It is impossible to make anything
of it unless it is designed to teach that.
"9. There will never be any escape from those gloomy regions. There
is a gulf fixed—fixed, not moveable. Nor can any of the damned beat a
pathway across this gulf, to the world of holiness.
"10. We see the amazing folly, of those, who suppose there may be an
end to the sufferings of the wicked, and who on that supposition seem
willing to go down to hell to suffer a long time, rather than go at once to
heaven. If man were to suffer but a thousand years, or even one year,
why should he be so foolish as to choose that suffering, rather than go at
once to heaven, and be happy at once when he dies?
us waing sufficient to prepare for death. He has sent
"11. God gives
his word, his servants, his son ; he warns us by his Spirit and his providence, by the entreaties of our friends, and by the death of sinners. He
offers us heaven, and he threatens hell. If all this will not move sinners,
what would do It? There is nothing that would.
" 12. God will give us nothing farther to warn us. No dead man will
come to life, to tell us what he has seen. If he did, we would not believe
him. Religion appeals to man, not by ghosts and frightful apparitions.
It appeals to their reason, their conscience, their hopes, and their fears.—
It sets life and death soberly before men, and if they will not choose the
former they must die. If you will not hear the Son of God, and the truth
of the Scriptures, there is nothing which you will or can hear; you will
never be persuaded, and never will escape the place of torment.
If we have any influence with our readers, we would recommend them
to buy these volumes. There is hardly any Christian in the land, who will
not find them an invaluable treasure.

We have previously, in a brief notice, recommended to our readers
Barnes' Notes on the Gospels. But a more extended acquaintance with
that work has very much increased our sense of its value. We never
have opened any commentary on the Gospels, which has afforded us so
much satisfaction. Without intending, in the least degree, to disparage
the many valuable commentaries which now aid the Christian in the
study of the Bible, we cannot refrain from expressing our gratitude to the
Author, for the interesting and profitable instructions he has given us.—
The volumes are characterized by the following merits.
1. The spirit which imbues them is highly devotional. It is a devotion
founded on knowledge. It is a zeal guided by discretion.
2. The notes are eminently intellectual. Apparent difficulties are fairly
met. They are either explained, or the want of a fully satisfactory explanation admitted. There is none of that slipping by a knot which is too
common in many commentaries.
3. The notes are written in language definite, pointed and forcible. There
is no interminable flow of lazy words. Every word is active and does its
work well. There are no fanciful expositions. There are no tedious display of learning.
There may be passages in which we should diffe- from the writer in
some of the minor shades of meaning. There may be sometimes an unguarded expression which has escaped our notice. We have not scrutimized the volumes with the eye of a critic. But we have used them
in our private reading. We have used them in our family. And we have
invariably read them with profit and delight.
We have just opened the book to select some passage as an illustration
of the spirit of the work. The Parable of the rich man and Lazarus now
lies before us. The notes explanatory of the meaning of the parables, are
full and to the point. The following are the inferences, which Mr. Barnes
" From this impressive and instructive parable, we may learn,
"1. That the souls of men do not die with their bodies.
"2. That the souls of men are conscious after death; that they do not
sleep, as some have supposed, till the morning of the resurrection.
" 3. That the righteous are taken to a place of happiness immediately
at death, and the wicked consigned to misery.
"4. That wealth does not secure us from death.

"How vain are riches to secure
Their haughty owners from the grave.

"The rich, tne beautiful, the gay, as well as the poor, go down to the
grave. All their pomp and apparel ; all their honors, their palaces and
their gold cannot save them. Death can as easily find his way into the
mansions of the rich as into the cottages of the poor, and the rich shall
turn to the same corruption, and soon, like the poor, be undistinguished
from common dust, and be unknown.
"S. We should not envy the condition of the rich.
" On slippery reeks I see them stand,
And fiery billows roll below.

"6. We should strive for a better inheritance, than can be possessed
this life.


" ' Now I esteem their mirth, and wine,

Too dear to purchase with my blood,
Lord 'tis enough that thou art mine,
My life, my portion, and my God.'"

"7. The sufferings of the wicked in hell will be indisenbably great.
Think what is represented by torment, by burning flame, by insupportable
thirst, by that state when a single drop of water would afford relief. Remember that all this is but a representation of the pains of the damned,
and that this will have no relief, day nor night, but will continue from
• e



Extract of a Letter from a distinguished Divine of New England.

It (Barnes' Notes) supplies an important and much needed desideratum
in the means of Sabbath School and Bible Class instruction.
Without descending to minute criticism, or attempting a display of
learning, it embraces a wide range of general reading, and brings out the
results of an extended and careful investigation of the most important
sources of Biblical knowledge.
The style of the work is as it should be, plain, simple, direct ; often
vigorous and striking; always serious and earnest.
It abounds in fine analyses of thought and trains of argument, admirably adapted to aid Sabbath School Teachers in their responsible duties :
often too, very useful to Ministers when called suddenly to prepare for
religious meetings, and always helpful in conducting the exercises of a
Bible Class.
Without vouching for the correctness of every explanation and sentiment
contained in the Notes, its author appears to have succeeded very happily
in expressing the mind of the Holy Spirit as revealed in those parts of the
New Testament which he has undertaken to explain.
The theology taught in these volumes, drawn as it is from the pure
fountain of truth, is eminently common sense and practical.
It has little to do with theory or speculation.
The author appears not to be unduly wedded to any particular school or
system of theology, but to have a mind trained to habits of independent
thinking, readily submissive to the teachings of inspiration, but indisposed
to call any man master, or to set up anything in opposition to the plain
testimony of the Bible.
We would here say, once for all, we consider Barnes' Notes the best
commentary for families we have seen.—N. E. Spectator.

Works Published by Leavitt, Lord, 4- Co.
IF the


degree of popular favor with which a work of biblical instruct
tion is received by an intelAgent Christian community
be a just criterion
of its value, the volumes which the Rev. Mr. Barnes
are entitled to a high place in the scale of merit.—N. is giving the Church
Y. Evangelist.


From Review 4f the Gospels in Biblical Repertory.'

We have only to say further, by way of introduction, that we admire
the practical wisdom evinced by Mr. Barnes in selecting means by which
to act upon the public mind, as well as his self-denying diligence in laboring to supply the grand defect of Our religious education. Masterly exposition,
a popular form, is the great desideratum of the Christian public.
are always readable, and almost always to the point. Nothing appears to have been said for the sake of saying something.
This is
right. It is the only principle on which our books of popular instruction
can be written with success. Its practical value is evinced by the evengive circulation of the work before us, as well as by the absence of that
and langour,
which inevitably follow from a verbose style, or the
want of a definite
Mr. Barnes' exdiligne
plaations are
the fruit of very
nt research. in general brief and clear, comprising
We have been much pleased with his condensed synopsis of the usual
on some disputed points, as well as with his satisfactory solunon
of objections.
But Mr. Barnes' has not been satisfied with merely explaining the
language of the text. He has taken pains to add those illustrations which
verbal exposition, in the strict sense
cannot furnish. The book is rich in
archaeological information. All that could well be gathered from the common works on biblical antiquities, is wrought into the Notes upon those
passages which need such elucidation.
In general we admire the skill with which he sheds the light of archwology and history upon the text of scripture, and especially the power of
compression which enables him to crowd a mass of knowledge into a
narrow space without obscurity.
While the explanation of the text is the primry
object kept in view
throughout these notes, religious edification is by ne
o means
a due
the whole.
From what we have said it follows of course, that the work before us
ihas uncommon merit. Correct explanation, felicitous illustration, and
mpressive application, are the characteristic attributes of a successful
commentary. Though nothing can be added in the way of commendation
which is not involved in something said already, there are two detached
points which deserve perhaps to be distinctly stated. We are glad to
that Mr. Barnes not only shuns the controversial mode of exposition, but
often uses expressions on certain disputed subjects, which in their obvious
sense, convey sound doctrine in its strictest form.
meaning these expressions may admit of, or are likelyWhat
to convey,
we do
not know ; but we are sure that in their simple obvious meaning they are
strongly Calvanistic in the good old sense.
The other point to which we have alluded is Mr.
Barnes' frankness
decision in condemning fanatical extravagance and inculcating
With respect to Mr. Barnes' style we have little to say beyond a general commendation. The pains which he has wisely taken to be lori4
have compelled him to write well.



SHIP AND SHORE, or Leaves from the Journal of a
Cruise to the Levant—by an officer of the Navy.

ribution from a source, to which nobody would have
Another ccontribution
years ago; but which is now beginning
g, but a few
to yield fruit abundantly and of an excellent flavor, sound, wholesome
and trustworthy ; not those warm-cheeked and golden pippins of the
Red Sea, which " turn to ashes on the lips"—but somethinoagf ayou m y
bite with all your strength, of a grapy, and oftentimes
gem.—New-England Galaxy.
flavor. The preface itself is a
This book is written with sprightliness and ease, and may justly
claim to be considered an agreeable as well as an instructive companion. It is inscribed in a brief but modest dedication to Mrs. E. D. Reed—
lady of uncommon refinement of manners, and intellectual accoma
The descriptions of Madeira and Lisbon are the best we
ts.The pages are uniformly enriched with sentiment, or enliplish read.
vaned by incident. The author, whoever he is, is a man of sentiment,
taste, and feeling.—Boston Courier.

MEMOIRS OF MRS. WINSLOW, late Missionary to
India, by her husband, Rev. Miron Winslow—in a neat 12mo,
a Portrait.
book contains a good history of that Mission, including the

plan and labors of the Missionaries, and the success attending them,
together with almost every important event connected with the mission.
It also presents much minute information on various topics which must
be interesting to the friends of missions, relating to the character, custhe people—their manner of thinking and living :
and the
country and its climate. It also describes the
perplexities and encouragements of Missionaries in all the departments
of their labor, and throws open to inspection the whole interior of a
what missionary
mission and a mission family, exhibiting to the reader
better, perhaps, than any thing before
work and missionary life are,
Winslow would have been a remarkable character under any
situation. Had she not possessed a mind
circumstances, andand
in any
decision, she never could have triumphed over

of unusual power

the obstacles which were thrown in her way. We hope that in this
memoir many a pious young lady will find incitements to prayerfulness
and zeal—and that our readers will enjoy the privilege of reading all
the pages of this interesting volume.—Abbott's Magazine.

PASTOR'S DAUGHTER--or the Way of Salvation explained to a Young Inquirer ; from reminiscences of the conversations of the late Dr. Payson with his daughter.
ZINZENDORFF, a new original poem—by Mrs. L. H.
Sigourney, with other Poems, 12mo. This book is in a neat
style, and well calculated for Holiday presents.
HARLAN PAGE'S MEMOIRS, one of the most useful
books ever published.
There has been much fear that the attention of the church was
becoming too exclusively turned towards the great external forms of
sin. These fears are not groundless. Here, however, is one remedy.
The circulation of such a work as this, holding up a high standard of
ardent personal piety, and piety, too, showing itself in the right way—
by quiet, unpretending efforts to spread the kingdom of Christ from
soul to soul.—Abbott's Magazine.

a plan embracing the Hebrew Text, with a New Literal Version.
By George Bush, Prof. of Heb. and Orient. Lit. in the NewYork City University.
This commentary, although it every where discovers evidence of
highly respectable research, is not designed exclusively for the use of
mere biblical critics. It is true the author has constant recourse to the
Hebrew, and to ancient translations and commentaries, &c. in the explanation of difficult passages : but he does it with such clearness of
perception and such tact of language, that even unlettered readers can
hardly fail to be profited by his comments. He has hit, with an admirable degree of precision, the happy medium between a commentary purely scholastic and critical, which could be interesting to only a few very
learned men, and one exclusively practical, which would be likely to be
unsatisfactory to men of exact and scrutinizing minds. It is a pleasing circumstance, although some perhaps may be disposed to make it
a ground of carping and disparagement, that the work is an
one. It is written in our own land, and by one of our ownAmerican
brethren, and is therefore entitled, on the ground of country and patriotism, as well as of religion, to all that kindness and favor of reception,
which may be justified by its intrinsic merits. The work is published
in a highly creditable style, by the house of Leavitt, Lord & Co, NewYork.—Christian Mirror.
We have spent so much time, delightfully, in reading this number,
that we have little left for description of its contents. We have first
an admirable preface of two pages, stating the plan and object of the
work. Persons wishing to revive their knowledge of neglected Hebrew,
or desirous to learn it anew without a teacher, can find no book better
adapted to facilitate the acquisition than this, in addition to a grammar
and dictionary.
The good sense of Mr. Bush is well indicated by his remarks on the
word Selah where it first occurs. No mere empiric would have made
such an acknowledgment.— /b.

While the work is adapted to be a real treat more particularly for
scholars, it is so conducted that readers merely of the English version
can hardly fail to receive from it much profit and delight. —Pittsburgh
We have not examined critically all the notes, but we have examined
them enough to satisfy ourselves of the author's competency to his
work and of his fidelity.—Christian Register.
The mechanical execution of the work is beautiful, particularly the
Hebrew text, and fully equal to any thing that has come from the
Andover Press, which hitherto has stood unrivalled in this country, for
biblical printing. The introduction and notes give evidence of laborious
and patient investigation, extensive biblical learning, and heartfelt piety.
It promises to be a work of great value and we hope it will meet with
ample encouragement.—Cincinnati Journal.

it brief Chrestomathy for the use of beginners, by George Bush,
Prof. Heb. and Orient. Lit. in the N. Y. city University.
We hail sincerely this finely executed volume, with its tasteful dis-

play of the University front labelled in gilt on the back. But the outward dress is a matter of minor moment. It is the marrow of the book
which gives us pleasure. That it is calculated to be an important accession to the elementary works on Hebrew, no one acquainted with
the ripe scholarship of Prof. B. can doubt, much less any one who has
examined the book. The main object of the author in preparing it, as
we learn from his well written preface, was to facilitate the acquisition
of the holy tongue by the simplification of its elements. With the
book as a guide, the student will find the entrance upon the language
instead of difficult and repulsive, easy and inviting. Taken altogether,
we regard the grammar of Prof. B. as eminently adapted to the use of
students in our Theological Seminaries; and we see not why it should
not successfully compete with the ablest of its predecessors. In addition to its intrinsic rights it has moreover the recommendation of being
sold at the low price of $1 25.—N. Y. Evangelist.
It is enough to say for the information of students in this most interesting and valuable department of human (rather divine) knowledge,
that in this grammar they will find all the information requisite for
ordinary purposes in a form more accessible and inviting than has usually been given it. Minor recommendations are, the inviting character of
the print, and the moderate price of $1 25 (the chrestomathy being part
of the same volume.) Students in Hebrew, especially if they have
made trial of other grammars, will deem this work a valuable accession to our facilities for the acquisition of this original and sacred tongue.
It need scarce be added that this commendation is given without any
disposition to injure the deserved repute of the almost father of Hebrew
literature in this country. He will not surely, regret that a spirit which
has done so much to promote, should develop itself in new and felicitous attempts to improve the field that he so arduously and successfully
cultivates.—N, Y. Churchman.
r Prof. Stuart's grammar is full and copious. Prof. Bush bears
timony to its merit, and observes that his design has been, by a greater
simplification of the elements, to produce a work better adapted to the
wants of those who are beginning a course of careful study of the
language, while the grammar of Prof. Stuart, which leads at once
into the deeper complexities of the language, answers in a great degree
the purpose of an ample Thesaurus to the advanced student. We believe


there is a greater simplification, combined with as much fullness and
detail as are requisite to aid the student in attaining an accurate knowledge of the language. We are glad to see that Prof. Bush has returned,
or rather adheres to the old system of the distinction of vowels into
long and short. It has always appeared to us that the change adopted
by Prof. Stuart from Gesenius, substituting for the distinction into
long and short vowels, a classification into three analogous orders,
brought with it much greater complexity without any adequate compensation in the advantage which might result from it. —Christian
His grammar is more intelligible and contains less of unnecessary
and doubtful matter, than any other equally complete work with which
we are acquainted. We have no doubt that its circulation will prove an
i mportant means of recommending the study of the Hebrew language.
—N. Y. Observer.
n- The publishers are happy to state, from information recently
received from the author, that the above work has been adopted as the
text-book on Hebrew Grammar at the Theological Seminary, Prince.
ton, N. J., and that it is under consideration, with a like view, at several other institutions in the country.

FEMALE STUDENT. LECTURES TO YOUNG LADIES, comprising Outlines and Applications on the different

branches of Female Education. For the use of Female
Schools, and private Libraries ;
to the Pupils of the
Troy Female Seminary. By Am Almira H. Lincoln Phelps,
late Vice Principal of that Institution : Author of Familiar
Lectures on Botany, etc.
This lady is advantageously known as the writer of "Familiar
Lectures on Botany," and other popular works for the use of students
and the young generally. Her present work may be safely commended to the class for whom it is more especially designed, and to the use
of schools in particular, as one of various interest, and of very judicious
and useful composition.—Evening Gazette.
We recommend the work to teachers and all others who are sensible of the 'vast amount of influence which woman exerts on society,
and how inadequately she has hitherto in general been prepared to make
that influence beneficial to our race.—Boston Mercantile Journal.
Her views of the various methods of instructing are practical, for
they are the results of experience. To parents,
particularly mothers desirous of pursuing the mostjudicious course in the education of their
children, I would recommend this book as useful beyond any other
I am acquainted with, in arming them against that parental blindness
from which the best of parents are not wholly exempt and which often
leads them unawares to injure in various ways the character of their
children and lay the foundation of future misfortune for their offspring
and sorrow for themselves. To young women who cannot afford the
expense of attending such schools as afford the highest advantages,
Mrs. P.'s lectures afford substantial aid in the work of self-education.
Young Ladies about to go abroad to schools or those already from
home, may consult this book as they would a judicious mother, or
faithful and experienced friend:. it will warn them of the dangers
to which they will be exposed, or the faults into which they are liable
to fall, so that being "forewarned" they may be forearmed
to escape

them.7—In my opinion the peculiar tendency of this work is to produce
in the mind that humility" which "goes before honor," to impart to
the thoughtless, a sense of the awful restraints of morality.—Mrs. Willard, Prin. Troy Female Seminary.
The present work is intended to unfold the natural objects of female
education. This is accomplished in a series of lectures, written in a
perspicuous, pleasing style, and treating of the various studies pursued
in a well regulated school for young ladies. It is really and truly what
it proposes to be, a guide, in the intellectual education of woman, and
will, we have no doubt, become a standard work in our schools and
families.—Ladies' Magazine.
We think this plan is generally executed in a manner calculated to
instruct pupils, and to furnish useful hints and maxims for teachers.
We can cordially recommend the work, generally, as sound in its principles of education, interesting in its style, and excellent in its spirit—a
valuable gift to pupils and teachers.—Annals of Education.
We know not when we met with a book which we have perused
with more pleasure, or from which we have derived more profit. The
authoress is evidently possessed of a vigorous understanding, with just
so much of imagination as to chasten down the matter-of-factness of
her style, which is eminently beautiful. She is perfectly acquainted
with her subject, and expresses herself in a manner at once clear and
forcible, affectionate, and convincing. It is well known how much the
intellectual character of the child depends on that of the mother, and
yet girls are brought up and educated as if they were born only to buzz
and flutter on the stage of life, instead of forming the character of a
future generation of men. Montreal Gazette.
Mrs. Phelps's course of Lectures furnishes a guide in the education
of females, for mothers as well as for the young : all may profit by
the just and practical ideas it contains relative to the various branches
of education. It should be in the hands of all who are educating
others, or attempting to instruct themselves.—Mad'Ile Montgolfier of
Mothers may find in this book a valuable assistant to aid them in
bringing up their daughters to prefer duty to pleasure, and knowledge
to amusement ; and who would teach them to be learned without pedantry, and graceful without affectation. Educate your daughters "to
be wise without vanity, happy without witnesses, and contented without admirers "—Smatfiern Religious Intelligencer.
Of Mrs. Phelps's Lectures to young ladies, I cannot speak in sufficiently high terms of commendation. Such a work was greatly needed,
and must prove of inestimable value. I am in the practice of reading
portions of it to my school, dte. I shall recommend to all young ladies who are or may be under my care, to possess themselves of copies
of the book.—Miss E., Principal of the celebrated school for young
ladies at Georgetown, D. C.
Rev. Wm. Cogswell, Sec. A. B. C. F. M., writes the publishers, I
understand that you are about issuing a second edition of Mrs. Phelps's
"Lectures on Female Education." This fact I am happy to learn. 1
can cordially recommend them as being well adapted not only to interest and instruct the young ladies of the institution for whom they
were originally designed, but also others in similar institutions. The
style and execution of the work is highly commendable ; and the subjects on which it treats important to young ladies acquiring a finished
education. Its originality and value entitle it to an extensive circulation, which I doubt not it will obtain.
Boston, Oct. 16, 1835.



One excellence of the publication before us, almost peculiar to this
writer, when compared to-others who have written upon this subject in
our country, is, that it handles the matter of discussion with calmness,
the writer not suffering himself to indite his letters under the influence
of exacerbated feelings, but wisely avoids those harsh and blackening
epithets which do more to irritate the passions than to convince and
enlighten the judgment. On this account the book may be read with
profit by all.—N. Y. Christian Advocate. ( Methodist.)
The letters' of Brutus deserve an extensive circulation.—Missouri,
St. Louis Observer. (Presbyterian.)
"From what I have seen and know, the fears entertained by the
writer in the New-York Observer, under the caption of 'Foreign Conspiracy,' &c. are not without foundation, especially in the West."—Letter of a Traveller in the West. ( Maryland,) Methodist Protestant.
" BRUTUS. —The able pieces over this signature, relative to the designs of Catholicity in our highly favored land, originally published in
the New-York Observer, it is now ascertained were written, not by an
individual who was barely indulging in conjectures, but by one who
has witnessed the Papacy in all its deformity. One who has, not long
since, travelled extensively in the Romish countries, and has spent
much time in the Italian States, where the seat of the Beast is. Rome'
is familiar to him, and he has watched the movements there with great
particularity. We may, therefore, yield a good degree of credence to
what Brutus has told us. His numbers are now published in a pamphlet, and the fact which has just come out in regard to his peculiar
qualification to write on this great subject, will give them extensive circulation."—Utica Baptist Register.
The numbers of Brutus.—" Our readers are already acquainted with
their contents. The object is to awaken the attention of the American
public to a design, supposed to be entertained by the despotic governments of Europe, particularly of Austria, in conjunction with his Holiness the Pope, to undermine gradually our free institutions by the promotion of the Catholic Religion in America. The letters are interesting, from the numerous facts which they disclose; and are deserving
the careful attention of the citizens of these United States, who should
guard with vigilance the sacred trust which has been confided to us byour fathers."— N. Y. 'Weekly Messenger.
The work embodies a mass of facts, collected from authentic sources, of the deepest interest to every friend of civil liberty and Protestant
Christianity. The efforts of despotic European sovereigns, to inoculate our country with the religion of Rome, are fully proved. Could
they succeed in these efforts, and annihilate the spirit of liberty on our
shores, the march of free principles in our own dominions would cease.
They could then sit securely on their thrones, and rule with a rod of
iron over their abject vassals.—Ohio, Cincinnati Journal. (Presbyterian.)


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