Historic Niagara Digital Collections

Chapter 6

Item

Title
Chapter 6
Identifier
http://www.nflibrary.ca/nfplindex/show.asp?b=1&ref=oo&id=298037
page
178-201
Type
Text
extracted text
GREAT BRITAIN - AND

-;

iminia.

179

and the recovery of theSurrendered territory,
became one of the first objects of the Anaerican
government. A report, indattfnuslY spr ead,
that the inhabitants of Michigart':" were now
governed by an authority too rigorous to be
compatible with thosenotions of liberty inspired
by the genius of theii •ziW'n constitution, and
were awaiting tlie''eipeciett . sticcour from their
friends, with the i104p (eStatiiiety. ,"# hastened the
collection of a, neNV anti, which soiill'outnihti:.:
bered the old. 'A ) brigade Of Ohio i ltititeerg
a second of Virginians, and a third Of'Ken"tuckians, alSo 2000 PeiiiisylViiiiaifiolunteers;
and the 17th United igi &e regi4elii, Were, b§
the early part of Septiemberriii full march . front
different point4 tilitards the Miarni rapid's;
place which hail' beeri assigned as iWe'gen :dr4
ti .
rendezvous.
r
intci-tWei
This army was afterWards
wings ; and the command of one iven ttt rnajorgeneral Harrisorti; of the otbePtto Aikjol'=genera
Winckester. By way 'of 'fies hineifie ifidtvg;
they 4re'sent 'against the "numerous tribes'n't
Indian` geiattered ovei 'are a i Oiiftivated pa:°rtg -il
the - nortir-Wsterti The demi-barbarous KeYtiickiitrig;' i41 s Varticulat, .pillaged the
provisinhl'intindS, and cle's`ii )nieCI. tang
and their inhabitants', witliraehtlesTiiry.
Notwithstanding the appareiti liifuethishriess
: •? .
1 it L./
;

.

.

P.-1 AT

(ID ITTAIRN

/

* Sietchc§ ig the War p p. 4.
N 2
-

arta_ of the

c 118

3F, I AWIR 1F. IT Cr TR.

180

MILITARY OCCURRENCES BETWEEN
GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.
-

of the United States' government, about accepting the aid of the savages, we are told of " arrangements having been made between general
Harrison and the executive government, which
authorized him to employ them ;"* and accordingly, the services of the renowned chief Logan,
and of 700 warriors, were accepted, but merely
in consequence, it is carefully added, " of their
desire of being taken into the service."—This
happened in the early part of September, 1812;
yet Mr. Madison's speech to congress, dated on
the 4th of the succeeding November, and in
which he notices the accumulating force under
brigadier-general Harrison in the north-west,
contains the following charge against the British : —" A distinguishing feature in the operations which preceded and followed this adverse
event," (general Hull's surrender,) " is the use
made by the enemy of the merciless savages
under their influence. Whilst the benevolent
policy of the United States invariably recommended peace, and promoted civilization,}
among that wretched portion of the human race,
and was making exertions to dissuade them from
taking either side in the war, the enemy has not
scrupled to call to his aid their ruthless ferocity,
armed with the horrors of those instruments of
carnage and torture, which are known to spare
.neither age nor sex."
. :
t Sketches of the War p. 58.
t Sec p. 63.

181*

Immediately after the capture of Detroit and
the Michigan territory, colonel Proctor, pursuant to directions he had received from majorgeneral Brock, prepared to send captain Muir,
with a detachment of troops and Indians, to
reduce Fort-Wayne, on the Ohio frontier ; and
which was then garrisoned by not more than 70
men. But the colonel received from general
. Brock, by the orders of sir George Prevost, the
notification of the fatal armistice concluded with
general Dearborn. The former communicated,
at the same time, sir George's wish, that, although the armistice did not extend to general
Bull's late command, it should be acted upon by
colonel Proctor; who was also instructed to refrain
from every hostile act, and to restrain the Indians
by every means in his power. This apparent want
of vigor on our part sent many of the Indians,•
highly dissatisfied, to their homes; and enabled
the Americans to strengthen the whole of their
north-western frontier, till then completely exposed ; as well as to forward to their different
posts ample supplies of stores and provisions.
ter relieving Fort-Wayne from the hostile
After
attacks of some Indians led by the Prophet,
(Tecumseh's brother,) or, as it is falsely said,
" of the allied British and Indians," majorgeneral Harrison determined to make the Indians
feel those effects of the war, which their repeated

;

i.!‘,.;

182 MILITARY pCpURRENCES BETWEEN

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

cruelties had provoked ; and to conyince them
that the America,n. troops were not sa.,contemptible and degraded„as..the Indians might conclude them to be,from the surrender of the late
commander-in T chief on the same station."* The
major-generajoherefore, divided his force into
scouting parties ; ;, and depatched them, under
active and zealous „officers, to massacre, burn,
and destroy, the. Indians and, their towns.
Through .a sickening detail of sev,eral pages of
Mr. Thomson's hook,, the destruction of ;numerous to)yw..is pompously displayed, but the
editor possessed too patriotic ; Ampirit tp,attempt
to describe; : the slaughter, committed by his
enlightened countrymen among. those oppressed
tenants off; the woods,--' : the wretched people,"
whose " civilization"the United Sfltes' government was so; anxious to `‘ promote.' ;,..
The spirit of party is ;often a valuable friend
to the cause of truth. ; While :the . democrats
labored at glossing over, the federalists ; employed
equal industry in rummaging every dusty corner
for materials that might expose, the odious measures of. the government. That they sometimes
succeeded, appears by the following extract,
taken from an old newspaper, published. at
Vittsburg, in the United States :

-" Pittsburg, May 17, 1791.
" We, the subscribers, encouraged by a large
subscription, do propose to pay 100 dollars for
every hostile Indian scalp, with both ears, if it
be taken between this date and the 15th day
of June next, by an inhabitant of Alleganycounty."
" GEORGE WALLIS,
" ROBERT ELLIOTT,
" WILLIAM AMBERSON,
" ADAMSON TAUNHILL,
WILLIAM 'WILKINS, junior,
JOHN IRVINE.)
"

,

.

* Sketches of the War, p.. 57.

183

11

Lest the world should imagine that a period
of 21 years had wrought any other than a nominal improvement in the civilization of the American people, a general officer of the United
States, employed against the Indians at the first
of the war, inadvertently writes to a friend:—
" The western militia always carry into battle a
tomahawk and scalping knife, and are as dexterous in the use of them as any copper-coloured
warriors of the forest. Eight hundred tomahawks have been furnished by the war-department to the north-western army."—Nay, the
battle of Brownstown afforded ample proofs
that this was actually the case.*
The preceding account illustrates a .passage
The KenThe
in one of our three histories..
* See p. 66.

181 MILITARY OCCURRENCES BETWEEN

tuckians," says Mr. Thomson, " were held in
great dread by most of the Indian warriors, and
the expression of Kentucky too lnuch,' has not
unfrequently accompanied their orders to retreat, in the form of justification "* We can
now understand what is meant, when Mr.
O'Connor extols the prowess of the " veterans
of Kentucky," and when Mr. Madison boasts of
" the benevolent policy" of the United States.
Major-general Harrison, like his brothergenerals to the northward, expressed a resolution of quartering for the winter in one of the
Canadian garrisons. His more immediate object
was the recovery of Detroit. To effect that, and
the capture of Amherstb urgt , abundance of ammunition, of ordnance and ordnance stores, and
of provisions, had been ordered to Sandusky, the
general's head-quarters. The two w ings of his
army had each taken a separate course through
the Michigan territory ; and were to concen- trate at Presqu' Isle, preparatory to the combined attack upon Detroit. On the morning of
the 17th of January, general Winchester, commanding the left wing, sent forward to Presqu'
Isle, at the alleged solicitation of the inhabitants
of Frenchtown, two detachments of troops, consisting, by one American account, of 11 companies of regulars, by another, of 800 men,} under
f Sec p.48.

* Sketches of the War, p.
t. Viet. of the United States, Vol. HI. p. 211.

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA. 183►

the command of lieutenant-colonel Lewis. On
the morning of the 18th, the two detachments
united at Presqu' Isle ; whence colonel Lewis
marched in the direction of Frenchtown, where,
he states that he understood, " an advanced
party of the British and Indians, amounting to
about 500," were encamped.
At three o'clock in the afternoon of the 18th,
colonel Lewis's force, encountered, in the neighbourhood of Frenchtown, well-posted behind
some fences, 30 of the Essex militia, under the
command of major Reynolds of that corps ; assisted by a 3-pounder; to the use of which a
bombardier of the royal artillery, who was also
present, had trained three of,,t he militia. A band
of 200 Indians (Pottawattamies) accompanied the
militia-force. After a desperate resistance, in
which, says one American editor, major Reynolds and his men several times intrepidly attempted to break the American line, the militia
and Indians, without losing their gun, or any
more of their party, than one militia-man and
three Indians killed, retreated to Brownstown,
18 miles from the scene of action. The Americans state their own loss at 12 killed, and 55
wounded ; a satisfactory proof that, notwithstanding their superior numbers, they had no
great reason to boast.
The American commander encamped upon
the ground abandoned by major Reynolds; and

186

187

MILITARY OCCURRENCES BETWEEN

GREAT BRITAIN: AND AMERICA.

i mmediately prepared to maintain his position
till he should be joined by general Winchester.
That junction was effected on the 20th ; " when,"
says Dr. Smith, (for which we heartily thank
him,) " their united forces formed a division
1000 strong."*-.
On hearing of the Americans being in possession of Frenchtown, (a village about 26 miles
from Detroit,) and that the junction of the two
wings for the attack on Detroit might shortly
take place,,colonel Proctor moved forward to
Brownstown, at which place he had directed his
force to assemble. This force, consisting of 140
rank and file of the 41st, and royal Newfoundland regiments, a few men of the 10th veteran
battalion, together with militia,, Canadian sailors, and royal artillery, the latter_ having with
them three 3-pounders and a 52 inch howitzer,
did not amount to 500 white troops. To these
were added about 450 Indians ; not more. -I
We have American authority for stating, that
the force under brigadier-general Winchester
amounted to 1000 men. These, according to general Harrison's letter,t consisted of the greater
part of colonel Wells's regiment of United States'

infantry, of the 1st and 5th Kentucky regiments,
and of colonel Allen's rifle regiment ; and were,
in truth, the flower of the north-western army.
General Winchester, piqued at general Harrison's
having been promoted over him, was anxious to
engage, previously to any junction ; the more so,
as he had received certain information of the
inferior number, and motley description, of
colonel Proctor's force.
Colonel Proctor advanced from Brownstown
on the 21st ; and, at day-dawn on the 22d, attacked generat;Winchester at his encampment.
The American right division, after a few rounds,
retreated, , and was almost wholly cut 44,vieces
by the Indians, who had been stationed in the
rear of the encampment. „The left division, consisting, by one American account, of 650,. and,
by general Winchester's- letter, of " about 400
Men," was stationed behind a breastwork ;
against which the British 3-pounders produced
little or no effect. Admitting tli strength of
general Winchester's left division to have been
500 men, a number less than the mean of the
two American accounts, how ridiculous appears
Mr. Thomson's description of this battle.
Three furious onsets were made upon it" (the
left division) " by the British 41st, each of
which was received with distinguished coolness,
and each of which terminated in the repulse of
the enemy. In the desperate resistance which

-

* Mist. of the United States, Vol. III. p. 211.

-I- Sir George Prevost says 600, but he had received no returns, when he wrote his despatch covering colonel Proctor's
letter.
4; App. No. 28. .ndr.

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICAS

188

MILITARY OCCURRENCES BETWEEN

was made to the charges of this regiment, 30
of its men were killed, and between 90 and 100
wounded." 4.
The American infantry and riflemen, advantageously posted as they were, proved excellent
marksmen. Several of the British were shot,
'While stretched on the snow,' disabled ; others,
although wounded, did not quit their ranks ;
others, again, returned to their duty, as soon as
their wounds were dressed. Such gallantry,
although " repulsed" so often, must conquer at
last. The whole of the left division surrendered,
colonel Proctor says, " at discretion ;"t but,
according to general Winchester, •" on condition
of their being protected from the savages, being
allowed to retain their private property, and
having their side-arms returned to them." t Had
this been the understanding, one may suppose
that some writing would have been drawn up ;
hut, indeed, general Winchester was not in a
condition to dictate terms. Stripped to his shirt
and trowsers, and suffering exceedingly from
the cold, the American general was found by
colonel Proctor, near to one of the Indian fires,
in the possession of the Wyandot chief Roundhead. The Indian had decked himself out in
the general's great and uniform coats, waistcoat,
and hat ; and was so pleased with his new dress,
-

Sketches of the War. p. 103. + App. No. 2 4
App. No. 27.

.

189

that the British commanding officer had great
difficulty in persuading him to make restitution.
The whole number of prisoners, including
those brought in by the indians, amounted to
538.* Mr. Thomson states the killed and missing at 297 ; and general Harrison, in his letter
dated two days after the battle, mentions that
30 of the fugitives had joined him. Thus we
account for 115 more than Mr. Thomson's" 750 ;"
and there will be no difficulty in accounting for
the whole of doctor Smith's " 1000," if we make
allowance for those of the flying right division
that escaped to their homes, or were killed by
the Indians in the woods, without being included
in the returns. The only difficulty is, to reconcile so small a number as 1000 men with general Harrison's statement, that the greater part of
one, and the whole of three regiments composed
general Winchester's force.
The American official account is silent as to
the strength of colonel Proctor's army, beyond
that it was " greatly superior in numbers ;"
but Mr. Thomson has found out that the British
force amounted to 2100 men, t and doctor Smith
has just saved himself from the charge of pia,
giaristn, by lopping off the odd 100. There is
no difficulty in discovering how Mr. Thomson
* App. No. 25. + !bid No. 27.

Sketches of the War, p. 104.

190

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

MILITARY OCCURRENCES BETWEEN

obtained his numbers. He gathered from sir
George Prevost's letter, that colonel Proctor's
combined force amounted to about 1100 men ;*
but, in his confusion, he did not, or in his zeal
he would not, perceive, that the three companies,
or, as he has it, the whole, of " the British 41st
regiment," were included' in that estimate.
Knowing, therefore, that a full regiment gene
rally contains 1000 men, this shrewd historian
adds. that number to the 1100, and produces his
2100. In his account of the British loss, Mr:
Thomson is not so happy. He obtains from
colonel Proctor's return, t " 24 killed, and 158
wounded ;" but has the hardihood to say, that
the loss sustained by the " 41st regiment" is not
included ; and this, although the very returns he
had in his hands numbered 15 of those gallant
fellows among the killed, and 97 among the
Wounded. But Mr. Thomson has now the satisfactio► of saying :—"I arri'. more than borne
out in my assertions by the highly respectable
te timony of the reveren&S.S. Smith, D.D. and
LL.D. and other literary. gentlemen." True it
is, :indeed, that the authors of the " History of
the United States" say thus :—" The enemy acknowledged a severe loss on their side. Of the
41st regiment, which three times charged the
picqueted detachment under major Madison,
and which was repulsed as often, 150 were killed

s

* Seep. 186, Note F.

-I- App.:No. 26.

and wounded." *—To rail at these Munchausen,:;
tale-writers, would be a useless and an endless
task : suffice it that we pursue them through all
their wiles and turns ; and finally, drag them,
like culprits, before the bar of the public.
The severity of colonel Proctor's loss had reduced his number of white troops below the
number of prisoners taken. This and the momentary expectation of general- Harrison's arrival with the right wing, determined the colonel to quit the scene of action on the same evening, and retire to Brownstown. On this occasion, a few of the wounded Americans were unavoidably left at Frenchtown, in' :charge of the
Indian department, as their surest protection,
until a carriage could be sent to convey them
forward. Unfortunately, a false alarm, that general Harrison's force was approaching, caused the
individuals stationed as aprotection to the wounded Americans, to desert their charge ; and some of
the latter were;in consequence, killed by straggling Indians ; but not by the main body, for
that had followed the troops. It is upon this that
the American " prints known to be friendly to the
war"t have raised a superstructure of calumny
and abuse against the British character. Vain
were the efforts of the few federal or opposition
editors to explain the nature of the case. We
are declared to have aided and abetted the
*Hist. of the United States, Vol. ILL p. 213. Sce p.162.
,11

192

MILITARY OCCURRENCES BETWEEN

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA:

Indians, in torturing and massacring defenceless
Americans; and so well have the slanderers succeeded in their aims, that the bulk of the American people still believe it to have been the fact.
Our three historians, with shameless depravity,
have copied into their pages none but the most
violent paragraphs upon the subject ; and one
of them actually ushers his lies into notice with :
The fidelity of history will not allow them to
be magnified."* But, out of all " the solemn
affirmations" called in aid of so serious a charge
against us, one officer only, and he in the militia
service, has been brought forward. Mr. Thomson tell . us, frankly, that " colonel Elliot was
an American by birth, a native of Maryland."t
He is described to have " long been notorious
for his activity in exciting the savages to arm
themselves against his fellow-citizens ;" t and,
in the present instance, to have promised his
protection to, and then basely deserted, a young
class-mate, his countryman. Admitting that
this was an act " of the most unparalleled
atrocity," it was perpetrated by a native of the
United States: how, therefore, can it apply to
" British officers" o.—Mr. O'Connor has acted
more consistently. He describes colonel Elliott
as " a British officer ;" and, after stating the
promise which the latter had made to his "old
* Sketches of the War, p. 104.
1 Ibid. p. 106.

199

acquaintance," — not " countryman". Mr.
O'Connor emphatically adds :—" These were
the promises of the British ;—let our countrymen see how they were fulfilled."*
It is but justice to general Winchester to mention that, when about to write his official letter,
he expressed himself highly gratified with the
attention which had been paid to him, his officers, and the prisoners generally, by the British.
That not a word of this appears in the official
letter, can be accounted for only, by the supposition, that the American government, for reasons of policy best known to itself, has suppressed the paragraph.
The author of the " History of the United
States" is, as may be supposed, very severe in
his remarks upon our " employing the ruthless
savages as auxiliaries in war, against a Christian
people ;" but, in his assertion, that " the government of the United States rejected the proffered
assistance of the Indians, the reverend gentleman
is quite misinformed ; for, we have already shewn
that, nearly four months previous to the battle
of the Raisin, a formidable Indian chief and his
tribe served as the allies of the United States.f
It was with the greatest reluctance that the Inthan chiefs at the Raisin acquiesced in the surrender of the Americans ; whose destruction they
had determined upon. Nothing induced them

-

* list. of the War, p. 70. t. See. 180.


VOL. I.

0

p
194

MILITARY

oceuRne§nis

BETWEEN

to telent, but the probability of general Harrison's immediate arrival. That the Indians, in
general, do entertain an " inveterate animosity
towards the Americans," no one can doubt, who
has read •of the tribes, and of the towns, that,
from time to time, have been massacred and
burnt by the " Christian people," during their
33 years of sovereignty and independence ; or,
as the Indians would say, of usurpation of their
name and territories.
After the battle colonel Proctor marched back
to Detroit ; and thence crossed to Sandwich,
to await the further operations of general Harrison's division, which was still in the neighbourhood of Upper Sandusky. General Winchester's
movement to FrenchtOwn, and the subsequent
disaster attending it were entirely subversive of
general Harrison's plans, and rendered a new
1'67 of troops indispensably necessary, towards
fulfilling the important object in view. From
Sandusky the American commander and his
army advanced to the rapids of the Miami, accompanied by the whole of the artillery and
Stdros. Here general Harrison commenced building a fort, afterwards called Fort-Meigs ; and he
also caused fortifications to be erected at Upper
-Sandusky, under the directions of an intelligent
officer.
In ate midst of these alleged precautionary
measures for the protection of the troops and the

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

195

defence of the territory, detached parties from
the American army were frequently " indulged"*
in short excursions, " none of which resulted in
any material advantage." In one excursion,
against a party of Indians at Presq' Isle, general
Harrison himself commanded. The American
historian has prudently drawn a veil over the
manner in which his countrymen " indulged"
themselves .during these their '" frequent" visits.
to the Indian villages. A great portion of general
Harrison's troops were Kentuckians. They,
above all; could appreciate the general's indulgences; and, having their passions heated almost
to frenzy by what, they had been told, had occurred at the Raisin, these " Christian people"
no doubt employed their tomahawks and scalping-knives in taking of their less cruel—because
less cultivated—enemies, a full measure of retaliation. ► .7,
Towards the end of March colonel Proctor
received intelligence, that general Harrison was
in expectation of considerable reinforcements
and supplies, and that, on their arrival, he intended to commence active operations against
Detroit. , Resolved to try the issue of a contest,
before the enemy, already much superior in numbers, gained a fresh acquisition of strength,
colonel Proctor embarked at Amherstburg, 43,4
the 23d of April, with 5'22 regular troops,. inSketches of the War, p. 108.
02

Irr
197

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.
196 MILITARY OCCURRENCES BETWEEN

eluding the staff and other officers ; and 461
Officers and privates of militia ; total 983 men.*
After some delay in ascending the Miami, owing
chiefly to the heavy rains that prevailed, the
troops, with their baggage, stores, guns, and
ammunition, landed on the north-side of the
river,in the course of the 28th ; and soon afterwards pitched their tents, near the scite of the
old Fort-Miami, distant about a mile.and a half
from Fort-Meigs, general Harrison's head-quarters.. By this time an Indian force of about 1200
had attached itself to the British army.
Fort-Meigs was situate on a commanding
eminence; mounted 18 gulls, chiefly 18 and
I2-pounders ; and was supplied with every necessary munition of war. General Harrison had,
since early in April, received intelligence, by
two Frenchmen, of colonel Proctor's intended
attack ; and, therefore, " was every day erecting
fortifications of different descriptions," t to defeat his adversary's plans. The number of Ame:
rican troops in the fort it is not easy to ascertain; but we read of the 12th and 13th regiments, and of a body of Kentuckians, exclusive
of general Greene Clay's brigade, in hourly
expectation at the fort.
On the 1st of May, two 24, and three 12pounders, one 8-inch howitzer, and two 52 inch
mortars, were opened upon Fort-Meigs, from
► App. No. 30.

+ Sketches of the War, p. 100.

the opposite bank of the river ; but, although
260 shots fell during the day, no effect was produced, beyond killing one, and wounding seven,
of general Harrison's men. On the 3d, a small
battery, consisting of two 6-pounder fieldpieces, and one of the 51 inch mortars, was constructed on the south-side of the river, in the
rear of the American fort. Both British batteries continued an ineffectual fire till the morning of the 5th, when general Harrison ordered
major-general Clay, then in sight from the fort,
to land 800 men, or rank and file, on the opposite, or north side of the river, to storm the British
batteries; while a sortie, with 350 rank and file,
was to be made from the garrison, for the purpose
of capturing the two 6-pounders and mortar,
at which had been stationed the two flank companies of the 41st regiment, and two companies of militia, altogether, 260 rank and file ;
under the command of captain Bullock of the
41st. About 300 Indians had crossed the river
with the regulars and militia.
The American storming party, consisting , by
the American accounts, of 800 rank and file,
landed from the boats, in which, assisted by the
spring-flood, they had descended the river ; and
they" now resolutely marched up to the mouth"
of the British guns, at which were stationed not
more than 30 artillerymen and additional gunners from the 41st regiment ; and these without
-

198

MILITARY OCCURRENCES BETWEEN

smalharins.. This, in the American version, is
putting the British regulars and Canadian
militia to 'flight."* The American troops spiked
the guns and colonel Dudley, with about 400
men, marched, by a,a neighbouring wood-side,
-to attack the British camp, leaving the remainder of his party, under major Shelby, in charge
of the captured batteries. Scarcely had colonel
Dudley got out of sight, before up marched two
battalion-companies of the 41st regiment, and
one company of militia, in all, 180 rank and
file ; commanded by captain Muir of the 41st.
These gallantly attacked the American troops
near the batteries ; recaptured the latter, at the
point of the bayonet ; and took as prisoners
major Shelby, and 430 inferior officers and privates; making, with 57 officers and privates
found dead on the spot, a force of 488 men.
Although this was an effort on the part of the
'British,''Certainly as brilliant as it was success' 4 it is but lair to state that, except about
one company, the American force consisted of
newly-raised militia ; or, as• Mr. Thomson, by
tvay of compliment, styles them, of " brave 'but
indiscreet Kentuckians:"
all this was going on at the fatal batte,
- ries, colonel Dudley =and his detachment were
drawn into an ambuscade, by a body of Indians,
stationed in the woods. ;Here fell the colonel,
,

* Sketches of the War, p.'-'111.

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA. 199

and the greater part of his men. About 150
effected their escape, and subsequently arrived
at Fort-Meigs ; and 42 appear, by the returns,*
to have been delivered up to the British. It is
surprising that the American historians, so minute on other occasions, should not have attempted to enumerate their acknowledged heavy
loss in prisoners. We shall see that they hay.v
not been forgetful of the few they took from us,,,
on the opposite side of the river.
This brings us to the sortie made by colonel
Miller upon captain Bullock's small detachment,.
Mr. Thomson says: " He (colonel Miller) assaulted the whole line of their works, which was
defended, as has since been ascertained, by 200
regulars, 150 militia, and 4 or 500 Indians; and,
after several brilliant and intrepid charges, succeeded in driving the enemy from his principal
potteries, and in spiking the cannon. He then
returned to the fort with 42 prisoners, among
whom were two lieutenants."t
0yr
Now, let us descend from figurative, to plain
language. Colonel Miller's party consisted of
a detachment of the 19th,regiment, and some
militia, amounting, at least, to " 350 men."'
These, after a pretty smart struggle, aided by a
few well-directed shots from a gun which the
garrison had the day previous turned in that
direction, succeeded in, defeating captain Bulrof the War, p. 112.
* App. No. 32. q . Sk.e,tekep
'3/

200

MILITARY OCCURRENCES BETWEEN

lock's two flank-companies of the 41st, and in
taking possession of one of the 6-pounders,described as " the enemy's principal batteries."
After the Americans had performed this exploit,
in which they captured two lieutenants, one
"serjeatit, and 37 rank and file, they " spiked
the cannon." While doing this, and not before,
300 Indians, and the two companies of militia
who had been detached, joined the few retiring
regulars. The men immediately re-advanced,
and, in a twinkling, recaptured the monstrous
cannon." The tables were now turned ; and
colonel Miller and his men, after sustaining a
severe loss in killed and wounded, precipitately
fled under cover of their batteries. Not a word
of this appears in Mr. Thomson : unless we are
to imply as much, from the gentle phrase,—
" He then returned to the fort." The remainder of general Clay's brigade, consisting of
about 400 men, assailed a body of Indians in the
wood, near to Fort-Meigs ; and, says Mr. Thomson, " would have been also drawn into an ambush, had not general Harrison ordered a party
of dragooni to sally out, and protect their retreat
to the fort."*
The British loss, during these operations,
amounted to no more than 14 killed, 47 wounded, and 40 missing, or prisoners. The American loss, as far as it could be ascertained by
* Sketches of the War,p; 112

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

201

their own people, amounted to 81 killed, and 189
wounded, besides the prisoners. We must not
omit here to mention, that the famed Indian
warrior, Tecumwh, buried his tomahawk in the
head of a Chippeway chief, whom he found
actively engaged in massacring some of colonel
Dudley's men. The Americans, as usual,
greatly exaggerated the British force ; of which
not much more than half was actually engaged ;
the remainder being at the encampment. The
Indians, according to their custom after success,
retired to enjoy the plunder they had obtained
from the captured boats. So that, of colonel
Proctor's 1200 Indians, Tecumseh and about
20 chiefs were all that were present at the close
of the battle : by which time, also, it appears,
half of the militia,"* having their corn to
plant, had retired to their homes. Thus situated, colonel Proctor considered himself obliged
to raise the siege of Fort-Meigs. After re-embarking his small force of regulars, and the
whole of his ordnance and stores of every description, he returned to Sandwich ; there to
await the expected reinforcements from the
Niagara frontier.
* App. No. 29.

Item sets