Page images
PDF
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

and Spilsbury and their party of seamen and marines
made an obstinate resistance, their loss amounted to
18 killed, including Mr. Hoare, a master's mate of
the Montreal, and 50 dangerously wounded, includ-
ing lieutenants Cox and MoVeagh. Captain Popham
concludes his official letter on the subject with this
paragraph: “The exertions of the american officers
of the rifle corps, commanded by major Appling, in
saving the lives of many of the officers and men,
whom their own men and the Indians were devoting
to death, were conspicuous, and claim our warmest
gratitude.” -
On the 11th of June the Americans launched at
Sackett's-Harbour the Mohawk, of about 1350 tons,
mounting 28 long 24-pounders on the main deck,
two long 24s and 18 carronades, 42-pounders, on
the quarterdeck and forecastle, total 48 guns, with

saco" a complement of 460 men. This made the british

[ocr errors]

IEffects
of capt.
Bar-
clay's
defeat
on
Lake
Erie.

and american forces in this lake stand, in relative
broadside force at, british 2752 lbs., and american
4188 lbs., and in number of men at, british 1517,
american 2321. In the latter end of July sir James
Yeo raised the blockade of Sackett's-Harbour, and
returned to Kingston; and on the 1st of August
commodore Chauncey sailed out of port, vexed at
the unwillingness of the British to meet him on
“equal terms.” *
Some operations on the upper lakes now demand.
our attention. The possession of captain Barclay's
fleet had not only given to the Americans the entire
command of Lake Erie, and the large lakes, Huron
and Superior, leading from it, but had restored to
them the immense territory of Michigan, and gained
over on their side five nations of Indians, late the
allies of the British. Had the spirit of the Ameri-
cans, indeed, kept pace with the apathy and neglect,
so conspicuous on the part of the british commander
in chief, the province of Upper Canada could not
have held out as it did. -
. After the capture of the british flotilla on this
lake, captain Perry retired to Lake, Ontario, to

serve under, commodore Chauncey, and the com-'84, mand on Lake Erie devolved upon captain Arthur A. Sinclair. In the month of July, taking with him the capt. two large brigs, Niagara and St.-Lawrence, and the . Caledonia, Ariel, Scorpion, and Tigress, captain in. Sinclair entered Lake Huron, and on the 4th of . August failed in an attack upon the british port of on Mi. Michilimacinac at the head of that lake. Having . obtained intelligence that lieutenant Miller Worsley, nac. of the british navy, with the north-west company's schooner. Nancy, was at Nattawassaga, captain Sinclair, first despatching the St.-Lawrence and Caledonia brigs, with a portion of the troops to cooperate with the american army at Fort Erie, proceeded with the remainder, to attack a post deemed far less difficult of reduction, than the “Gibraltar,” (Michilimacinac,) from which he and colonel Croghan had just been repulsed. The Nancy was lying about two miles up the Nattawassaga, under the protection of a block-house, situated on the south-east side of the river; which here runs parallel to, and forms a narrow peninsula with, the shore of Gloucester bay. This enabled captain Sinclair to anchor his vessels Attacks within good battering distance of the block-house.:* A spirited cannonade was kept up, between the No. block-house, where, besides two 24-pounder car-two. ronades on the ground, a 6-pounder was mounted, * and the three american vessels outside, composed of the Niagara, mounting, as formerly stated, 18 carronades, 32-pounders, and two long 12-pounders, and the Tigress and Scorpion, mounting, between them, one long 12, and two long 24 pounders. In addition to this force, a 5}-inch howitzer, with a suitable detachment of artillery, had been landed on the peninsula. Against these 24 pieces of cannon, and upwards of 500 men, were opposed, one piece of cannon, and 23 officers and seamen. . Further resistance was in vain; and, just as lieutenant Worsley had prepared a train, leading to the Nancy from the block-house, one of the enemy’s shells

[ocr errors]

1814. burst in the latter, and both the block-house and ‘s... the vessel were presently blown up. Lieutenant Nancy Worsley and his men escaped in their boat up the too. river; and, fortunately, the whole of the north-west ja company's richly laden canoes, bound across the goon lake, escaped also into French river. , Having thus Sir led to the destruction of a vessel, which the american ... commander had the modesty to describe as “his irie, britannic majesty’s schooner Nancy,” captain Sinclair departed for Lake Erie; leaving the Tigress and Scorpion to blockade the Nattawassaga, and, as that was the only route by which supplies could be readily forwarded, to starve the garrison of Michilimacinac into a surrender. §. ... After remaining at their stations for a few days, Iey and the two american schooners took a trip to the ... neighbourhood of St-Joseph's. Here they were ameri discovered, on the 25th of August, by some Indians ..o. on their way to Michilimacinac. On the 31st lieuher... tenant Worsley and his men arrived at the garrison, *bringing intelligence that the two schooners were five leagues apart. An immediate attempt to effect their capture was, therefore, resolved upon; and on the lst of September, in the evening, lieutenant Worsley and his party, composed of midshipman Dobson, one gunner's mate, and 17 seamen, reembarked in their boat; and lieutenant Bulger, of the royal Newfoundland regiment, along with two lieutenants, two sergeants, six corporals, and 50 rank and file, of his own corps, one hospital-mate, one bombardier, and one gunner of the royal artillery, with a 3 and 6 pounder, major Dickson, superintendent of indian affairs, four others of the indian department, and three indian chiefs, making a total of 92 persons, embarked on board three other boats. A body of Indians also accompanied the expedition in their canoes. It was sunset on the 2d, before the boats arrived at the Detour, or entrance of St.Mary's strait; and not until the next day, the 3d,

that the exact situation of the american vessels

became known. At 6 P.M. the boats pulled for the 1814. nearest vessel, ascertained to be at anchor about six so miles off. The Indians, who, as just stated, had quitted Michilimacinac with the expedition, remained three miles in the rear; and at 9 P. M. the schooner appeared in sight. As soon as she discovered the boats, which was not till they had approached within 100 yards of her, the american vessel opened a smart fire from her long 24-pounder and musketry. The boats, however, advanced rapidly; and, two of them boarding her on each side, lieutenant Worsley carried, in five minutes, the United States' schooner Tigress, of one long 24-pounder on a pivot-carriage, and 28 officers and men. The british loss was two seamen killed, lieutenant Bulger, and four or five soldiers and seamen wounded; and the american loss, three men, including one or two officers, wounded. On the 4th, early in the morning, the prisoners Also

were sent in one of the boats, under a guard, to . Michilimacinac, and preparations were made to pion. attack the other schooner, which was understood to be at anchor 15 miles further down. On the 5th the Scorpion was discovered working up to join her supposed consort, the american ensign and pendant being still kept flying on board the Tigress. In the evening the Scorpion anchored at the distance of about two miles from the Tigress; who, just as day was dawning on the 6th, slipped her cable, and, running down under her foresail and jib, was within 10 yards of the Scorpion before any discovery was made. In five minutes more the deck of the latter was covered by the two lieutenants and their men, and the british flag was hoisted over that of the United States. The Scorpion was manned with 30 officers and men; and carried one long 24, and, in her hold, one long 12 pounder. Her loss amounted to two killed and two wounded; that of the British to one or two soldiers wounded, making the total british loss, in capturing the two vessels, amount to three

1814, killed and eight wounded. These two american A. “gun-boats” averaged, according to british measurestate ment, 100 tons. They had on board abundance of 2:... shot, including some 32-pounders, and in small-arms, jor between them, 64 muskets and 104 cutlasses and 5... boarding-pikes. As a proof of the value of these &c.” two schooners, now that they were afloat upon Lake Huron, their hulls and stores were appraised by the proper officers at upwards of 16000l. sterling. In another point of view, they were still more valuable. Commodore Perry's victory left the Americans without an enemy to fear upon the lakes Erie and Huron; and yet do we find, still remaining on board of the four (including two that will be named presently) smallest of his nine vessels, three times as many experienced seamen, as were on board all the “very superior british fleet,” which that “illustrious american commodore,” after an obstinate struggle, succeeded in capturing. cap- . On the 12th of August the three United States' ... armed schooners, Somers, Ohio, and Porcupine, each can with 35 men commanded by a lieutenant, being sta... tioned close to Fort Erie, then in the possession of the ners by Americans, for the purpose of flanking the british #. army in their approach against it, captain Dobbs, of the Charwell, with a detachment of 75 seamen and marines from his vessel and from the Netley, lieutenant Coples Radcliffe, lying opposite to Fort George, resolved to attempt their capture or destruction. For this purpose, the seamen carried the captain's gig upon their shoulders from Queenstown to Frenchman's creek, a distance of 20 miles. From this spot, by the aid of lieutenant-colonel Nichol, the quartermaster general of the militia, five batteaux, as well as the Charwell's gig, were got across through the woods to Lake Erie, a distance of eight miles. Two of the american schooners, the Somers and Ohio, were presently carried, sword in hand; “and the third,” says captain Dobbs, “would certainly

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »