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War of 1812 - Educational Activities

The War of 1812

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A Lesson Plan Containing Primary Source Documents

Contributing National Historic Sites:

Activity Description

This War of 1812 activity evokes critical thinking skills by encouraging students to analyse historic information, and apply it through inference, to draw their own conclusions as to how history shapes Canada's identity and culture today.

The activity includes suggested research questions and a package of resource documents collected from several of Ontario's War of 1812 National Historic Sites. The research questions are designed to challenge students to investigate events from Canada's past from several points of view, and to draw conclusions and make inferences about Canadian identity and culture today. Students are required to research historic documentation on their own, which supports outcomes in Methods of Historical Inquiry.

The collection of resource documents accompanying this activity provide students with copies of some primary sources that may not be readily available. Students are encouraged to research a variety of information sources that present a diverse range of perspectives on Canadian history and culture, and are encouraged to communicate their opinions and ideas based on their research.

Estimated Time: 75-150 minutes plus independent research time

Resources Provided

  1. Map: Military and Naval Establishments of the Great Lakes System (1812)
  2. Description of the scene of the purchase of St. Joseph Island from the Natives in 1798.
  3. Letter from Madelaine Askin to her Mother, written from St. Joseph Island, 1807.
  4. U.S. point of view of British and Aboriginal People; from the Aurora, Philadelphia, Tuesday, October 29, 1811.
  5. Proclamation to the Inhabitants of Canada by William Hull upon the American Invasion of Canada from Detroit, July 12th, 1812.
  6. Proclamation by Major General Isaac Brock upon the "invasion of this Province" by the "armed forces of the United States." 22nd of July, 1812.
  7. Copy of the letter of August 15, 1812 sent to Brigadier-General Hull by Major-General Isaac Brock requesting the surrender of the Fort at Detroit.
  8. The Battle at Brownstown; American and British accounts from the Columbian Centinel, Sept. 12, 1812.
  9. Excerpt from Richardson's War of 1812 regarding the siege of Fort Meigs, Toledo, Ohio.
  10. Letter by Dr. Robert Richardson, one of the British surgeons present at the Battle of the River Raisin.
  11. The Battle of Fort George; Major-General Dearborn to the Secretary of War, May 27, 1813.
  12. The Battle of Fort George; Brigadier-General Vincent to Sir George Prevost, May 28, 1813.
  13. The Battle of Fort George; from the Buffalo Gazette, June 8, 1813.
  14. The Battle of Beaver Dams; from the Montreal Gazette, July 6, 1813.
  15. The Battle of Beaver Dams; from the Buffalo Gazette, July 29, 1813.
  16. Copy of speech made by Chief Tecumseh to the British at Amherstburg, September 1813.

NOTE: Students are encouraged to research various aspects of the War of 1812 to assist with completing the following research questions. Some suggested topics/websites include, but are not limited to:

Battle of Crysler's Farm
Battle of Lundy's Lane
Battle of Stoney Creek
Battle of the Châteauguay

Fort George National Historic Site of Canada:
Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada:
Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site of Canada:
Fort Wellington National Historic Site of Canada:
St. Andrew's Blockhouse National Historic Site of Canada:

Fort Erie
Fort Mississauga
Fort York
Queenston Heights
Treaty of Ghent

Research Questions

Using the resources provided, in addition to other resources students have found through their own research, answer the following questions in essay format.

Question #1 - Part 1

You must take on several personalities to complete this task [eg. a British military official, an American military official, a civilian in Upper Canada, a civilian in the United States (Boston area)]. Each personality would have been living between 1810 and 1830. The personalities will reflect a variety of ages, social status, economic background and political beliefs. Compile a series of letters, notes, diary entries and other communications reflecting the events of the day. You must refer to the social, economic and political conditions of the time. Remember, few people had the capacity to write and much of the communication would have occurred through word of mouth.

Question #1 - Part 2

As a researcher during our current time period, you have stumbled across the package of communications you developed from Part 1. You have been able to see the changes for many people in the years following the War of 1812 as a result of reading the communications. Using this as a basis for comparison, explain the social, economic and political impact the War of 1812 had on the Canadian identity from today's perspective.

Question #2 - Part 1

Find primary sources from American, British (protestant and catholic), French and Native writers describing the events of the War of 1812. Compare the points of view and the perspectives of each of these participants by writing a news article for each of the five groups. Limit the number of events you describe to three or less.

Question #2 - Part 2

Write the front page news article to answer the question "Who Won the War of 1812?"

CriteriaLevel 0Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4
Knowledge demonstrates no understanding of historic relationships, socio-economic concepts or political themes demonstrates little understanding of historic relationships, socio-economic concepts and political themes demonstrates some understanding of historic relationships, socio-economic concepts and political themes demonstrates considerable understanding of historic relationships, socio-economic concepts and political themes demonstrates effective understanding of historic relationships, socio-economic concepts and political themes
Thinking no use of critical and creative thinking skills

applies no skills involved in the inquiry process
no use of critical and creative thinking skills

applies no skills involved in the inquiry process
some use of critical and creative thinking skills

applies some of the skills involved in the inquiry process
considerable use of critical and creative thinking skills

applies most of the skills involved in the inquiry process
effective use of critical and creative thinking skills

applies all or almost all of the skills involved in the inquiry process
Commu-nication communicates information and ideas with no clarity

communicates with no sense of audience or purpose
communicates information and ideas with limited clarity

communicates with limited sense of audience or purpose
communicates information and ideas with some clarity

communicates with some sense of audience or purpose
communicates information and ideas with considerable clarity

communicates with considerable sense of audience or purpose
communicates information and ideas with effective clarity

communicates with effective sense of audience or purpose
Application uses the required language conventions with no accuracy of effectiveness

makes historical connections with no effectiveness
uses the required language conventions with limited accuracy of effectiveness

makes historical connections with limited effectiveness
uses the required language conventions with some accuracy of effectiveness

makes historical connections with some effectiveness
uses the required language conventions with considerable accuracy of effectiveness

makes historical connections with considerable effectiveness
uses the required language conventions with thorough accuracy of effectiveness

makes historical connections with thorough effectiveness

Thank you to Nick Paranosic from the Thames Valley District School Board for writing this rubric.

1. Map: Military and Naval Establishments of the Great Lakes System (1812)

Military and Naval Establishments of the Great Lakes System © Parks Canada

2. Description of the scene of the purchase of St. Joseph Island from the Natives in 1798.

From: Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa. Reference # R.G. 8

The British leased St. Joseph Island but did not formally purchase it before construction began in 1797. Colonel Alexander McKee, deputy superintendent of Indian Affairs, and Captain Thomas McKee, his son and Indian Department superintendent of Fort St. Joseph, met with the local natives in the summer of 1797 to purchase the Island. The parties reached a settlement, and in 1798, government ships reached Fort St. Joseph with three different officers from the Indian Department and the agreed payment. The scene was described:

'The whole of the Indian tribes to whom the goods were to be delivered, having assembled on the ground...' the merchandise consisting of blankets broad -cloths of every colour, guns, flints, powder, shots, ribbons, a few large silver medals for chiefs, steels for striking fire, some silver brooches, earrings and drops, and a very moderate supply of rum reduced to one third of the ordinary strength: The whole of these articles were worth, according to their value at Montreal, five thousand pounds.'

3. Letter from Madelaine Askin to her Mother, written from St. Joseph Island, 1807.

From: The John Askin Papers, 1796-1820, vol.ll. Detroit: Burton Historical Collection, 1931, pg 576-577.

St. Joseph, October 13, 1807

My dearest Mother: I have only time to tell you that we are all well and at the same time beg your acceptance of a little mocock of sugar that I am sending you. I am sorry I could not send a bigger one, but hope to have the pleasure of making up for it this next spring. I am also sending you a shawl, the only large one I could buy here. I am sorry I have no vessel in which to send you some more cranberries. Perhaps between now and the time when the other boats come I shall find one and by then I shall have the pleasure of sending you more. I send you three or four apples in a small mocock. They are from trees of which you planted the seeds at old fort mackinac, transplanted at the new fort on Dr. Mitchell's place and were given to me by his daughter, Mrs. Crawford, 33 who lives here now. She seems to be a lovable woman. She will soon be confined. I intend to take every means possible to repay what her father did for Johnny the time he was imprisoned. He only happened to come tonight. He is well and sends love to you and to his grandfather. the children join me in assuring you of their loving remembrance. Adieu, my dear Mother. Give my love to my dear father and to Nelly, James, and Alexander. Please give my regards to Mr. and Mrs. Barthe. I hope that they enjoy good health. Again adieu.

Your fond and affectionate daughter,

Madelaine Askin

P.S. I am sending a little mocock of sugar to my dear Nelly, and am sorry that I have no time to write to her. The boat is just leaving. M. Askin

33 Lewis Crawford was a prominent trader in the Northwest in the decade prior to the War of 1812. he seems to have remained at St. Joseph until the summer of 1812, when he led the contingent of Canadian volunteers in the expedition against Mackinac which resulted in the surrender of that place to the British. Thereafter, until the end of the war Mackinac seems to have been Crawford's center of operations. He held the rank of --- in the volunteer company, and in this capacity assisted in the defeat of the American attack on Mackinac, Aug. 4, 1814. A letter of John Askin Jr.. from Drummond Island, Feb. 6, 1816, speaks of Crawford as having "left the country." In 1806, he married Jessica, daughter of Dr. David Mitchell, for whom see B. H. R., I, 85. Information adapted from Mitch.Pio.Collr., passim; and Irving, op,cit.

4. U.S. point of view of British and Aboriginal People; from the Aurora, Philadelphia, Tuesday, October 29, 1811.

From the Aurora, Philadelphia, Tuesday, October Z9, 1811.

Richmond, (Kentucky), Sept. 28. A letter has reached this place from a gentleman who accompanied col. Daviess on the Indian expedition, from which we learn that the savages are collecting in bodies with a determination to protect the prophet. If so, we may expect a skirmish. The writer of the letter was, at its date, acting in the sphere of a spy. When will British perfidy, outrage, and insult be at an end?

Cincinnati, August 20. A gentleman of veracity arrived in this town yesterday directly from Fort Malden, Upper Canada, via Sandusky, who informs, that he saw a large number of Indians from the Mississippi collected at the former place, receiving presents from the British. And at Sandusky, a white man had just been found in the woods near the United States' line murdered, stripped and scalped. Three strokes of a tomahawk had penetrated his scull.

The interference of the English, with the Indians, ceases to wear a questionable shape. Evidence continues to appear that the English anticipate a war with us, and are getting ready to strike a heavy blow upon our frontiers. We trust, if so, that it will be the last time that they ever will be near enough to the savages of America to excite them to hostilities against us. Though the blood of the innocent may be spilt, yet the friend of the massacre should have no habitation in North America. If plunder on the ocean must be united with the cruelty of the tomahawk, then let freemen to their duty.

Essex Reg.

5. Proclamation to the Inhabitants of Canada by William Hull upon the American Invasion of Canada from Detroit, July 12th, 1812.

By WILLIAM HULL, Brigadier General and commander of the North Western Army of the United States.


INHABITANTS of CANADA! After thirty years of PEACE & prosperity, the UNITED STATES have been driven to Arms. The injuries & aggressions, the insults & indignities of Great Britain have once more left them no alternative but manly resistance or unconditional submission.

The ARMY under my command, has invaded your country, & the Standard of the UNION now waves over the Territory of CANADA. To the peaceable unoffending inhabitant, it brings neither danger nor difficulty. I come to find enemies, not to snake them. 1 come to protect, not to injure you.

Separated by an immense Ocean, & an extensive Wilderness from Treat Britain, you have no participation in her Counsels, no interest in her conduct. You have felt her Tyrany, you have seen her injustice, but I do not ask you to avenge the one or to redress the other. The UNITED STATES are sufficiently powerful to afford you every security, consistent with their rights, & your expectations. I tender you the invaluable blessings of Civil Political & Religious Liberty & their necessary result individual and general prosperity; That Liberty which gave decision to our counsels and energy to our conduct, in our struggle for INDEPENDENCE, and which conducted as safely and triumphantly, thro' the stormy period of the Revolution. That Liberty which has raised us to an elevated rank among the Nations of the world, and which has afforded us a greater measure of PEACE and security, of wealth and improvement than ever fell to the lot of any people.

In the name of my Country and by the authority of my Government, I promise you protection to your persons, property and rights. Remain at your homes. Pursue your peaceful and customary avocations. Raise not you hands against your brethren. Many of your fathers fought for the freedom & INDEPENDENCE we now enjoy. Being children therefore of the same family with us, and heirs to the same heritage, the arrival of an Army of friends, must be hailed by you with a cordial welcome. You will be emancipated from Tyrany and oppression and restored to the dignified station of freemen. Had I any doubt of eventual success, I might ask you assistance, but I do not. I come prepared for every contingency. I have a force which will look down all opposition, & that force is but the vanguard of a much greater. If contrary to your own interest, and the just expectation of my Country, you should take part in the approaching contest, you will be considered & treated as enemies, & the horrors & calamities of war will stalk before you.

If the barbarous & savage policy of Great Britain be pursued, and the savages are let loose to murder our citizens, & butcher our women and children, the war, will be a war of extermination.

The first stroke of the Tomahawk, the first attempt with the scalping knife, will be the signal for one indiscriminate scene of desolation. No white man found fighting by the side of an Indian, will be taken prisoner. Instant destruction will be his lot. If the dictates of reason, duty, justice and humanity cannot prevent the employment of a force which respects no rights, & knows no wrong, it will be prevented by a severe and relentless system of retaliation.

I doubt not your courage and firmness: I will not doubt your attachment to Liberty. If you tender your services voluntarily, they will be accepted readily.

The UNITED STATES offer you peace, liberty and security. Your choice lies between these & WAR, slavery, and destruction. Choose then, but choose wisely; and may he who knows the justice of our cause; and who holds in his hand the fate of NATIONS, guide you to a result the most compatible with your rights and interest, you PEACE and prosperity.


Capt. 13th. U.S. Regt: of Infantry and Aid de camp.

(This proclamation. issued by Gen. Hull upon the U.S. invasion of Canada, was also published in French)

6. Proclamation by Major General Isaac Brock upon the "invasion of this Province" by the "armed forces of the United States." 22nd of July, 1812.


The unprovoked declaration of War, by the United States of America, against the United Kingdom, of Great Britain and Ireland, and its dependencies, has been followed by the actual invasion of this Province in a remote frontier of the Western District by a detachment of the armed force of the United States. The officer commanding that detachment has thought proper to invite his Majesty's subjects not merely to a quiet and unresisting submission, but insults them with a call to seek voluntarily the protection of his Government. Without condescending to repeat the illiberal epithets bestowed in this appeal of the American Commander to the people of Upper Canada, on the administration of his Majesty, every Inhabitant of the Province is desired to seek the confutation of such indecent slander in the review of his own particular circumstances: where is the Canadian subject who can truly affirm to himself that he has been injured by the Government in his person, his liberty or his property? Where is to be found in any part of the world, a growth so rapid in wealth and prosperity as this Colony exhibits. - Settled not thirty years by a band of Veterans exiled from their former possessions on account of their loyalty, not a descendant of these brave people is to be found, who under the fostering liberality of their sovereign, has not acquired a property and means of enjoyment superior to what were possessed by their ancestors. This unequalled property could not have been attained by the utmost liberality of the Government or the persevering industry of the people had not the maritime power of the mother country secured to its colonists a safe access to every market where the produce of their labor was in demand.

The unavoidable and immediate consequence of a seperation from Great Britain must be the loss of this inestimable advantage, and what is offered you in exchange? To become a territory of the United States and share with them that exclusion from the Ocean which the policy of their present Government inforces - you are not even flattered with a participation of their boasted independence, and it is but too obvious that once exchanged from the powerful protection of the United Kingdom you must be reannexed to the dominion of France from which the Provinces of Canada were wrested by the arms of Great Britain, at a vast expense of blood and treasure, from no other motive but to relieve her ungrateful children from the oppression of a cruel neighbor: this restitution of Canada to the Empire of France was the stipulated reward for the aid afforded to the revolted Colonies, now the United States; the debt is still due and there can be no doubt but the pledge has been renewed as a consideration for Commercial advantages, or rather for an expected relaxation in the Tyranny of France over the Commercial world.- Are you prepared Inhabitants of Upper Canada to become willing subjects or rather slaves to the Despot who rules the nations of Europe with a rod of Iron? If not arise in a Body, exert your energies, co-operate cordially with the Kings regular forces to repel the Invader, and do not give cause to your children when groaning under the oppression of foreign master to reproach you with having too easily parted with the richest inheritance of this Earth, -a participation in the name, character and freedom of Britons.

The same spirit of Justice, which will make every reasonable allowance for the unsuccessful efforts of Zeal and Loyalty, well not fail to punish the defalertion of principle: every Canadian Freeholder is by deliberate choice bound by the most solemn oaths to defend the Monarchy as well as his owe property; to shriek from that Engagement is a Treason not to be forgiven: let no Man suppose that if in this unexpected struggle his Majesty's Arms should be compelled to yield to an overwhelming force, that the Province well be eventually abandoned; the endeared relation of its first setlers, the intinsic value of its Commerce and the pretensions of its powerful rival to reposess the Canadas are sledges that no peace will be established between the United States, and Great Britain and Ireland, of which the restoration of these Provinces does not make the most prominent condition.

Be not dismayed at the unjustifiable threat of the commander of the enemies forges, to refuse quarter should an Indian appear in the ranks. --- The brave bands of natives which inhabit this Colony, were, like his Majesty's subjects, punished for their zeal and fidelity by the loss of their possessions in the late colonies, and rewarded by his Majesty with lands of superior value in this Province: the faith of the British Government has never yet been violated, they feel that the soil they inherit is to them and their posterity protected from the base arts so freaquently devised to over-reach their simplicity. By what new principle are they to be prevented from defending their property? If their warfare from being different from that of the white people is more terrific to the enemy, let him retrace his steps - they seek him not - and cannot expect to find women and children in an invading army; but they are men, and have equal rights with all other men to defend themselves and their property when invaded, more especially when they find in the enemies camp a ferocious and mortal foe using the same warfare which the American Commander affects to reprobate.

This inconsistent and unjustifiable threat of refusing quarter for such a cause as being found in arms with a brother sufferer in defence of invaded rights, must be exercised with the certain assurance of retaliation, not only in the limited operations of war in this part of the King's Dominions but in every quarter of the Globe, for the national character of Britain is not less distinguished for humanity than strict retributive justice, which will consider the execution of this inhuman threat as deliberate murder, for which every subject of the offending powered must make expiation.

Maj. Gen. and President
Head Quarters Fort - George 22nd July,
1812 By Order of His Honor the President.
J.B. GLEGG Capt. A.D.C.

7. Copy of the letter of August 15, 1812 sent to Brigadier-General Hull by Major-General Isaac Brock requesting the surrender of the Fort at Detroit.

Head-Quarters, Sandwich
August 15, 1812


The forces at my disposal authorize me to require of you the immediate surrender of fort Detroit. It is far from my inclination to join in a war of extermination; but you must be aware that the numerous body of Indians, who have attached themselves to my troops, will be beyond my control the moment the contest commences.

Isaac Brock,

Brigadier-General Hull did not surrender the Fort immediately, but waited until Brock's forces crossed the river to Detroit.

8. The Battle at Brownstown; American and British accounts from the Columbian Centinel, Sept. 12, 1812.

From the Columbian Centinel, September 12, 1812.

British Accounts of the Battle at Brownstown (On the American side of the Detroit River, opposite the British Fort Malden)

Official despatches from Col. Proctor, dated Malden, 11th August, state the complete defeat of the enemy in two engagements, thirty miles in the interior of his____, with the loss of from two to three hundred men, a convoy of provisions, and Gen. Hull's despatches. In the intercepted despatches the situation of the American army is represented to be most deplorable. The same despatches state, that both the Canadian Militia and the Indians, which the American government has attempted to bribe by_____of their chiefs to Washington, by promise of supplies, and by Proclamations and "talks", are crowding round the British standard, and demanding to be marched against their cruel invaders and persecutors for a series of years. The Wyandots and several other Indian tribes, with whom the United States have various treaties, which the Indians say they have refused to fulfil, have joined the British standard to a man. List of killed and wounded. 41st regt. 5 rank and file killed; 1 Captain, 1 Lt. 2 sargeants and 19 rank and file wounded. Canadian Militia, 1 rank and file killed, 2 rank and file wounded. Indians, lecomece (the brother of Meanemisceh, the Prophet) slightly wounded; 1____and seven Indians killed and wounded.

"Buffaloe", Aug. 27. Capt Baker, one of General Hull's officers, has arrived here on parole, in a flag of truce, and gives the following particulars of the battle of Brownstown. On that 8th August, Col. Miller, of the 5th U.S. regt (detached to the 4th) who had been sent by Gen. Hull from Detroit, to open the communication with the river "Rasin", marched from Brownstown, and on the 9th was attacked by 750 British and Indians (two thirds of the latter) the whole commanded by Major Muir, of the regular army, having Tecumseh, Marpot, McKee and other Indian chiefs under him. The moment Col. Miller arrived on the ground, they sprang from a strong hold, formed in line of battle and commenced a fire upon the Americans. Col. Miller instantly formed, fired engaged bayonet, and put the enemy into disorder. A scene ensued beyond description.. The almost naked and painted Indians fighting, yelling and whooping, and led on and encouraged by the British regulars. But the Americans did not disgrace themselves nor their {yankee} country, they dealt out death to the_______wretches, and drove them inch by inch, to the village of Brownstown, two miles where they embarked, after a battle of two hours. We had 15 killed, and from 40 to 50 wounded. We killed and took seven of the British and about 100 of the Indians were left dead on the field! Capt. Baker had one shot in the leg, one between his sword belt and body, and another which cut his hair above his right ear. Lt. Larabee, Lt. Peters, and Ensign Whistler, were also wounded. The British boats returned to Malden, and the Americans after remaining 36 hours on the ground returned to Detroit."

{The Battle at Brownstown was a relatively minor battle in the Detroit theatre of war}

9. Excerpt from Richardson's War of 1812 regarding the siege of Fort Meigs, Toledo, Ohio.

Excerpt from Richardson's War of 1812

"During the early part of the siege 1, Metoss with his warriors frequently passed over from the left to the right bank of the river 2 (where the 41st flank companies were stationed, in support of the small battery which had been constructed there) with a view of picking off such of the enemy as showed themselves above or without the ramparts of the fort. In these excursions the Sacs were generally successful and the enemy seldom went to the river for water, for themselves or their horses, without a shot from a lurking Indian. Metoss himself killed several in this way. One he contrived to make his prisoner, whom he kept in his wigwam, well secured. On the day following this capture, a favourite son of the chief- a fine lad of about thirteen - insisted on accompanying his father, notwithstanding all entreaty to the contrary. By this time the enemy had become so annoyed by the temerity of the Indians who, under cover of the night, used to creep close under the fort, that upon the appearance of any of them on the skirt of the surrounding forest, a shower of grape was instantly poured forth. Unhappily, on this occasion, the American telescopes discovered Metoss and his son in ambuscade when a discharge of grape followed, and the poor boy was struck dead, dreadfully mangled in his bowels. Almost frantic with grief, the chief raised up the dead body, conveyed it to his canoe, and recrossing the river, hastened to his wigwam, with the stern determination of sacrificing his prisoner to the manes of the deceased. Fortunately, Mr. Robert Dickson, who had brought the Sacs with him from the Mississippi, and whose influence over the Indians has already been shown to have been great, heard of the circumstance in time to intercept Metoss on his way to his wigwam, and to entreat that he would not destroy his prisoner, assuring him at the same time, that if he did so, his Great Father 3 the King would hear of his refusal with unfeigned sorrow. Metoss, who had torn off the gay head-dress with which he ever went into battle, at length yielded, and going to his wigwam, whither his son's body had already been conveyed, he went up to the American, and severing with his knife the thongs by which he was fastened, took him by the hand, and led him to Mr. Dickson, saying in a mournful voice, "You tell me that my Great Father wishes it -- take him," and this noble-hearted Indian, no longer able to suppress the feeling of his bereaved heart, wept like a child. The gaudy colours with which he was painted were soon replaced with black, and many months passed away before he was again seen to smile."

1 The British siege of Fort Meigs, Ohio, 1812.
2 The Miami River which flows below Fort Meigs.
3 King George III

The Battle of the River Raisin, 1813, was a British victory, however it was marred by the subsequent murder of several American wounded, left at the battle site by Fort Malden commander, Col. Henry Proctor. Later in the war at the Battle of the Thames, the American Battle Cry was "Remember the River Raisin!".

10. Letter by Dr. Robert Richardson, one of the British surgeons present at the Battle of the River Raisin.

This letter was written by Dr. Robert Richardson, one of the British surgeons present at the Battle of the River Raisin.

"I suppose it would be considered high treason to speak out this way. There is another circumstance which has hurt me more that I can express. That is with respect to some wounded men belonging to the Americans who were left without proper protection and some of whom I have been informed were the same evening murdered by the Indians. Had I been commanding Officer, I should have considered myself responsible for the lives of everyone of them, and within my hearing protection was promised for these poor people. Be assured we have not heard the last of this shameful transaction. I wish to God it could be contradicted".

11. The Battle of Fort George; Major-General Dearborn to the Secretary of War, May 27, 1813.

Major-General Dearborn to the Secretary of War.


SIR,-The light troops under the command of Colonel Scott and Major Forsyth landed this morning at nine o'clock. Major General Lewis's division, with Colonel Porter's command of light artillery, supported them. General Boyd's brigade landed immediately after the light troops, and Generals Winder and Chandler followed in quick succession. The landing was obstinately disputed by the British forces, but the coolness and intrepidity of our troops soon compelled them to give ground. General Chandler with the reserve, (composed of his brigade and Colonel Macomb's artillery) covered the whole. Commodore Chauncey had made the most judicious arrangements for silencing the enemy's batteries near the point of landing. The army is under the greatest obligations to that naval commander for his co-operation in all its important movements, and especially in its operations this day. Our batteries succeeded in rendering Fort George untenable, and when the enemy had been beaten from his positions and found it necessary to reenter it, after firing a few guns and setting fire to the magazines which soon exploded, he moved off rapidly by different routes. Our light troops pursued them several miles. Rifle troops having been under arms from one o'clock in the morning were too much exhausted for any further pursuit. We were now in possession of Fort George and its immediate dependencies to-morrow we shall proceed further on. The behavior of our troops, both officers and men, entitles them to the highest praise, and the difference in our loss with that of the enemy when we consider the advantages his positions afforded him, is astonishing. We had 17 killed and 45 wounded. The enemy had 60 killed and 160 wounded of the regular troops. We have taken 100 prisoners exclusive of the wounded. Colonel Myers of the 49th was wounded and taken prisoner. Of ours only one commissioned officer was killed — Lieutenant Hobart of the light artillery. Enclosed is the report of Major-General Lewis.

(From the Historical Register of the United States, 1814, Vol. 11., pp. 227-8.)

Return of the loss of the Army of the United States in the Action of the 27th May, 1813.
The light troops under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Scott
Captain Roach of 23d Infantry wounded ;
Lieutenant Swearingen. do.;
23 non-commissioned officers and privates killed;
64 do., wounded. Total 89.
General Lewis's division-First or Boyd's brigade.
Light Artillery-Lieutenant H. A. Hobart killed; rank and file, 1 wounded.
Sixth Regiment of Infantry-Capt. Arrowsmith wounded; rank and file, 6 killed, 16 wounded.
Fifteenth Regiment of Infantry-Major King wounded; rank and file, 1 killed, 6 wounded.
Sixteenth Regiment of Infantry-Captain Steel wounded; rank and file, 8 killed, 9 wounded.
New York Volunteers-Rank and file, 4 wounded.
Second or Winder's Brigade-Rank and file, 6 wounded.
Third or Chandler's Brigade-None. Of the wounded, but 61 have been sent to the hospital. The wounds of the others are very slight.

From Ernest Cruikshank's Documentary History Part V - Campaigns upon the Niagara Frontier., pp.246-7.

12. The Battle of Fort George; Brigadier-General Vincent to Sir George Prevost, May 28, 1813.

Brigadier-General Vincent to Sir George Prevost.

FORTY MILE CREEK, May 28, 1813.

Sir,-I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that yesterday morning about daybreak the enemy again opened his batteries upon Fort George. The fire not being immediately returned, it ceased for some time. About 4 o'clock a.m. a combination of circumstances led to a belief that an invasion was meditated. Time morning being exceedingly hazy neither his means nor his intention could he ascertained until the mist, clearing away at intervals, the enemy's fleet, consisting of 14 or 15 vessels, was discovered under way standing towards the lighthouse in an extended line of more than two miles. covering from 90 to 100 large boats and scows, each containing an average of 50 or 60 men. Though at this time no doubt could be entertained of the enemy's intention his points of attack could only be conjectured. Having again commenced a heavy fire from his fort, line of batteries and shipping, it became necessary to withdraw all the guards and piquet's stationed along the coast between the fort and the lighthouse, and a landing was effected at the Two Mile Creek, about half a mile below the latter place. The party of troops and Indians stationed at this point, after opposing the enemy and annoying him as long as possible, were obliged to fall back, and the fire from the shipping so completely enfiladed and scoured the plains that it became impossible to approach the beach. As the day dawned the enemies plan was clearly developed, and every effort to oppose his landing having failed I lost not a moment in concentrating my force and taking up a position between the town, Fort George and the enemy, there awaiting his approach. This movement was admirably covered by the Glengarry Light Infantry, joined by a detachment of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and militia, which commenced skirmishing with the enemy's riflemen, who were advancing through the brush wood. The enemy having perfect command of the beach quickly landed from 3 to 4,000 men with several pieces of artillery and this force was instantly seen advancing in three solid columns along the lake bank, his right covered by a large body of riflemen and his left and front by the fire of the shipping and batteries in their fort. As our light troops fell back upon the main body which was moved forwards to their support, they were gallantly sustained by the 8th (King's) Regiment, commanded by Major Ogilvie, the whole being under the immediate direction of Colonel Mieers, Acting Quartermaster-General, who had charge of the right wing. In the execution of this important duty, gallantry, zeal and decision were eminently conspicuous, and, I regret to report that I was deprived of the services of Colonel Mieers, who, having received three wounds, was obliged to quit the field. Lieutenant Colonel Harvey, the Deputy Adjutant General, whose activity and gallantry had been displayed the whole morning, succeeded Colonel Mieers and brought up the right division, consisting of the 49th Regiment and some militia.

The light artillery under Major Holcroft were already in position, awaiting the enemy's advance on the plain. At this moment the very inferior force under my command had experienced a severe loss in officers and men, yet nothing could exceed the ardor and gallantry of the troops, who showed the most marked devotion in the service of their King and country, and appeared regardless of the consequence of the unequal contest. Being on the spot and seeing that the force under my command was opposed with ten-fold numbers, who were rapidly advancing under cover of their shipping and batteries, from which our positions were immediately seen and exposed to a tremendous fire of shot and shells, I decided on retiring my little force to a position which I hoped would be less assailable by the heavy ordnance of the enemy and from which retreat would be left open in the event of that measure becoming necessary. Here, after awaiting the approach of the enemy for about an hour, I received authentic information that his force, consisting of from 4 to 5,000 men, had re-formed its columns and was making an effort to turn my right flank. At this critical junction not a moment was to be lost, and, sensible that every effort had been made by the officers and men under my command to maintain the post of Fort George, I could not consider myself as justified in continuing so unequal a contest, which promised no advantage to the interests of His Majesty's service. Having given orders for the fort to be evacuated, the guns to be spiked and the ammunition destroyed, the troops under my command were put in motion and marched across the country in a line parallel to the Niagara river, towards the position near the Beaver Dams beyond Queenston mountain, at which place I had the honor of reporting to Your Excellency that a depot of provisions and ammunition had been formed some time since. The rear guard of the army reached that position during the night, and we were soon afterwards joined by Lieutenant-Colonel Bisshopp with all the detachments from Chippawa to Fort Erie. The light and one battalion company of the 8th, (King's) joined us about the same time as did Captain Barclay with a detachment of the Royal Navy.

Having assembled my whole force the following morning, which did not exceed 1,600 men, I continued my march towards the head of the lake, where it is my intention to take up a position, and shall endeavor to maintain it until I may be honored with Your Excellency's instructions, which I feel most anxious to receive. I beg leave to suggest the great importance that exists for a communication being opened with me through the medium of the fleet. The anchorage under Mrs. Brandt's house is perfectly good and very safe. I believe Your Excellency need not be informed that in the event of it becoming necessary that I should fall back upon York, the assistance of shipping would be requisite for the transport of my artillery. I cannot conclude this long communication without expressing a well-merited tribute of approbation to the gallantry and assiduity of every officer of the staff, and indeed of every individual composing my little army. Every one most zealously discharged the duties of his respective station. The struggle on the 27th continued from three to four hours, and, I lament to add, it was attended with very severe loss.

I have the honor to enclose a list of the killed, wounded and missing, with as much accuracy as the nature of existing circumstances will admit. Many of the missing I hope will be found to be only stragglers, and will soon rejoin their corps. I shall reach the head of the lake to-morrow evening. Hitherto the enemy has not attempted to interrupt my movements. Information reached me this morning through an authentic channel that he has pushed on 3,000 infantry and a considerable body of cavalry towards Queenston. His whole force is stated to amount to nearly 10,000 men, [and I cannot conceal from Your Excellency my conviction that unless some disaster attends their progress that force will daily increase. My sentiments respecting the militia are already known, and it will not be supposed that their attachment to our cause can be very steady under the peculiar complexion of the present times.

P. S.-I send this dispatch by Mr. Matheson, who acted as a volunteer on the 27th, and I am happy to inform Your Excellency that his conduct was very honorable to his character and merits my marked approbation. Ammunition will be wanting by the first vessel. Captain Mimes has been kind enough to remain with me until my next dispatch.

Canadian archives, C -678.
Return of Killed, Wounded and Missing of His Majesty's Troops
in Action with the Enemy at Fort George, May the 27th, 1813.

General Staff-I wounded.
Royal Artillery - 1 rank and file killed 1 rank and file wounded.
8th or King's Regiment - 1 lieutenant killed; 1 major, 3 lieutenants, 1 ensign wounded; 11 sergeants,
4 drummers, 181 rank and file missing.
41st Regiment - 3 rank and file wounded and missing.
49th Regiment - 2 rank and file killed; 2 rank and file wounded; 4 drummers, 28 rank and file wounded and missing.
Left in hospitals and wounded on former occasions - 10 rank and file, not included. Glengarry Regiment - 1 captain, 1 ensign, 1 sergeant, 24 rank and file killed ; 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, 1 ensign, 3 sergeants, 20 rank and file wounded; 1 lieutenant, 2 sergeants, 23 rank and file wounded and missing.
Royal Newfoundland Regiment - 21 rank and file killed; 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, 1 sergeant, C rank and file wounded; 5 rank and file wounded and missing.
Total - 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, 1 ensign, 1 sergeant, 48 rank and file killed ; 1 general staff, 1 major, 2 captains, 5 lieutenants, 2 ensigns, 4 sergeants, 29 rank and file wounded; 1 lieutenant, 13 sergeants, 8 drummers, 240 rank and file wounded and missing.
Names of officers killed and wounded:
Killed - 8th or Kings Regiment-Lieutenant James Drummie.
Glengarry Regiment - Captain Liddle, Ensign McLean.
Wounded - Colonel Myers, Acting Quartermaster-General, severely, not dangerously.
8th Regiment-Major Edward Cotton, Lieutenant J. W. Lloyd severely and prisoner; Lieutenants Mortimer, McMahon and Horace Noel; Ensign Richard Nicholson, severely and prisoner.
Glengarry Regiment - Captain Roxborough, Lieutenant Kerr, Ensign Kerr.
Royal Newfoundland Regiment - Captain Winter, Lieutenant Stewart

Edrd Baynes
Adjutant-General, North America

From Ernest Cruikshank's Documentary History Part V-Campaigns upon the Niagara Frontier,pp.250-3.

13. The Battle of Fort George; from the Buffalo Gazette, June 8, 1813.

(From the Buffalo Gazette, 8th June, 1813.)


The following comes from a respectable and indisputable source and may be relied on as perfectly correct:

To the Editor of the Buffalo Gazette:
SIR,-That the public may have a correct idea of the descent on Canada at Newark, I enclose you an extract from the General Order:

A corps of light infantry, consisting of 400 men, Forsyth's riflemen, the flank companies of the 15th infantry, accompanied by one 3-pounder, are to form the advance under Colonel Scott. It is intended that corps should first effect a landing, scour and possess the shore and cover the landing of the troops who are to follow. The riflemen to advance in front and on the flanks or obliquely to the flanks, according to circumstances. It is not intended that Colonel Scott should advance beyond 300 paces before he is supported by the first brigade. Boyd's brigade, (the first,) will follow quickly in support to advance or display, [i.e., deploy,] according to the disposition and movements of the enemy. Lieut.-Colonel Porter's corps of light artillery to accompany this brigade, and the volunteers will be on its flanks. In like manner Winder's brigade will follow in quick succession to advance in column and display on Boyd's left or remain in column, as may be deemed expedient by General Lewis. Chandler's brigade and Colonel Macomb's corps to constitute the reserve. As soon as the main line is formed Colonel Scott will advance, not more than 300 paces, in front of the infantry, and if the enemy appear in force the light troops will fall back and form on the flanks. The direction of the boats and the embarkation of the troops will be arranged by Commodore Chauncey.
By order of the Major-General, Commanding in Chief,
W. SCOTT, Adj. Gen.

The charge of the light troops and Boyd's brigade upon the enemy on the bank was so impetuous that Winder's brigade and the reserve were not gratified in coming into action. The enemy fled, leaving 260 of his regulars killed and wounded on the field, among whom were Colonel Myers of the 49th and several officers of distinction. The cannonade commenced at dawn of day; the day was fine and the American bank covered with spectators. On a signal given by General Dearborn* from the Madison the advance pushed for the shore; the different brigades of boats under cover of the shipping followed in rapid succession. The enemy was drawn up in battle array on the hostile shore, and as the boats advanced the water appeared in foam from the impression of his fire; after fifteen or twenty minutes struggle the American arms again triumphed in Canada. The tremendous cannonade kept up by the shipping-the atmosphere filled with fire and shells from Fort George and Niagara

-Fort George, in flames from our hot shot, still keeping up a spirited fire of grape and shrapnel shells on our troops, now formed in rear of the town-these combined with the contest on the bank contributed to render it one of the most grand and interesting spectacles that has ever been witnessed.

Further Particulars-From an intelligent officer we learn that the American loss in the action was 39 killed and 110 wounded; 105 of the enemy's regulars were found on the field of battle and buried by our troops; 163 wounded were taken into hospital and 115 prisoners, (not wounded,) were taken from the enemy, exclusive of officers.
The inhabitants of Canada opposite to us appear to be well suited in the recent change of affairs. We learn that nearly all the militia from Chippawa to Point Abino have come in and received their parole from Colonel Preston at Fort Erie.
At Fort George multitudes of the Canadians have come in and claimed the protection of the Commander in Chief.
The fleet under Commodore Chauncey left Niagara on Sunday week for Sackett's Harbor. So we may soon expect to hear of compliments passing between the gallant Chauncey and Sir James L. Yeo,

The British army, it appears by recent advices from Niagara, is now at 40 Mile Creek near the head of Lake Ontario, at a stronghold about 6 miles from the lake, at a pass in the mountain which extends from Queenston Heights to the head of the lake. It is said they have several pieces of artillery with them, that their force is about 2,000 regulars and a few Indians. We also understand that Generals Boyd, Winder, and Chandler have marched against the enemy. It is expected that General Procter is on his march from Maiden to the head of the lake.

*General Dearborn had been confined several days to his room by a fever and, contrary to the advice of his physician, Insisted en being ;envied en beard the Madison where he might superintend every movement.
(File in Buffalo Public Library)

From Ernest Cruikshank's Documentary History Part VI - Campaigns upon the Niagara Frontier.pp. 28,29.

14. The Battle of Beaver Dams; from the Montreal Gazette, July 6, 1813.

From the Montreal Gazette of 6th July, 1813.

The intelligence last week from the theatre of war in Western Canada is not of a very sanguinary nature, but it is not the less interesting, and we have much satisfaction in communicating to the public the particulars of a campaign not of a General with his thousands but of a lieutenant with his tens only. The manner in which a bloodless victory was obtained by a force so comparatively and almost incredibly small with that of the enemy, the cool determination and the hardy presence of mind evinced by this highly meritorious officer in conducting the operations incident to the critical situation in which he was placed with his little band of heroes, and the brilliant result which crowned those exertions will, while they make known to the world the name of Lieutenant FitzGibbon, reflect new lustre if possible, on the well earned reputation of the gallant 49th Regt., and class the event with the most extraordinary occurrences of the present accursed war. We shall at present make no further comment, but refer our readers to the following detail of Mr. FitzGibbon's operations as communicated to us by a friend who had the particulars from the best authority. Immediately after the gallant affair of our advance on the 6th ultimo., Lieut. FitzGibbon made application to General Vincent to be employed separately with a small party of the 49th Regiment and in such a manner as he might think most expedient. The offer was accepted and this little band has been constantly ranging between the two armies. Many events would naturally occur on such a service, which would be very interesting, but are necessarily proscribed in our limits of detail, and we will confine ourselves to two very extraordinary occurrences. About the 20th ult., Lieut. FitzGibbon went in pursuit of 46 vagabonds, volunteer cavalry, brought over by Doctor Chapin from Buffalo, and who had been plundering for some time the inhabitants round Fort Erie and Chippawa. He came near to them at Lundy's Lane, below the Falls, but he discovered that they had been joined by 150 infantry. His force was but 44 muskets-he did not think it advisable to attack, and therefore his party was kept concealed. He, however, rode into the village at the end of the Lane to reconnoiter. He could not perceive the enemy.

Mrs. Kerby, who knew him ran out and begged him to ride off, for that some of the enemy's troops were in a house at a short distance. He saw a horse at a door and supposing there were none but the rider in the house he dismounted and approached it, when an infantry soldier advanced and presented his piece at him; he made a spring at him, seized his musket and desired him to surrender. The American resisted and held fast. At this instant a rifleman jumped from the door with his rifle presented to Lieut. FitzGibbon's shoulder, who was so near to him that he seized the rifle below the muzzle and pulled it under his arm, keeping its muzzle before and that of the musket behind him. In this situation Lieut. F[itzGibbon] called upon two men who were looking on to assist him in disarming the two Americans, but they would not interfere. Poor Mrs. Kerby, apparently distracted, used all her influence, but in vain. The rifleman finding that he could not disengage his piece, drew Lieut. FitzGibbon's sword out of his scabbard with his left hand with the intention of striking at Lieut. F., when another woman, Mrs. Danfield (Defield?) seized the uplifted arm and wrested the sword from his grasp. At this moment an elderly man, named Johnson, came up and forced the American from his hold on the rifle, and Lieut F. immediately laid the other soldier prostrate. A young boy 13 years old, son of Dr. Fleming, was very useful in the struggle, which continued some minutes. Lieut. F., thus relieved, lost not a moment in carrying off his two prisoners and the horse, as the enemy's force was within 200 yards of him, searching a house round a turn of the road.

At 7 o'clock in the morning of the 24th ult. Lieut. F. received a report that the enemy was advancing from St. Davids with about 1000 men and 4 pieces of cannon to attack the stone house in which he was quartered at the Beaver Darn. About an hour afterwards he heard the report of cannon and musketry; he rode on to reconnoitre and found the enemy engaged with a party of Indians who hung upon his flanks and rear and galled him severely. Lieut. F. despatched an officer for his men; by the time of their arrival the enemy had taken a position on an eminence at some distance from the woods in front. He estimated the enemy's strength at 600 men and two field pieces, a 12 and a 6-pounder. To make the appearance of cutting off his retreat, Lieut. F. passed at the charge step across his other flank, under a quick fire from his guns, which, however, did not the smallest injury. He took post behind some woods and saw that the Indians were making very little of the enemy, and it would have been madness in him with 44 musketeers to dash at them across him off or make good their retreat, he determined to play the open fields where every man he had could be so easily perceived of the Indians were at this time taking themselves off and he began to think of his own retreat. He had a hope, however, that Col.DeHaren would soon join him, but fearing that the enemy would drive him off or make good their retreat, he determined to play the old soldier and summon the enemy to surrender. He tied up his handkerchief and advanced with his bugles sounding the "cease from firing." A flag was sent to him by a Capt. McDowell of the artillery. Lieut. F. said that he was sent by Col. DeHaren to demand their surrender and offer them protection from the Indians, adding that a. number had just joined from the west, who could not be controlled, and he wished to prevent the effusion of blood. The captain sent back to his commanding officer, Lieut.-Col. Boerstler, and soon after returned saying that Col. B. did not consider himself defeated and would not surrender. Lieut. F, proposed that Col. B. should send an officer to see Col. DeHaren's force, when he would be better able to judge of the necessity. He soon returned with a proposal that Col. B. should himself be shown the British, and if he found the force such as to justify his surrender he would do so. To this Lieut. F. said he would return to Col. DeHaren and state Col. B.'s proposal. The real intention of showing to the enemy's officer our small force never existed, but appearances must be kept up in order to carry out the propositions of Col. B. Lieut. F. found on his return Capt. Hall, who happened to arrive with 12 dragoons. To him was communicated what had passed, and immediately Capt.. 11. assumed the rank of Colonel for the purpose. On this Lieut. F. returned and stated that Colonel Hall, being now the senior officer on the spot, did not think it regular to let the enemy see his force, but that it was perfectly ample to compel a surrender, and from motives of humanity five minutes would be allowed for acquiescence, and if he refused hostilities would be commenced at the expiration of this period. Col. B. agreed to surrender on condition that the officers should retain their horses, arms and baggage, and that some militia and volunteers, (among whom were Dr. Chapin and his marauders,) should be permitted to return to the States en parole. When the extent of our forces is considered it is no wonder that these conditions were immediately acceded to. Lieut. F. at this moment, most fortunately, met with Col. Clark of Chippawa, who came galloping up and who proceeded to assist him in disarming the enemy, as Col. Hall could not appear, and his only officer, (an ensign,) must remain with the men Col. DeHaren immediately afterwards appeared with the flank companies of the 104th Regiment, and the whole affair was soon settle I thus putting into our possession 26 officers, one 12 and one 6-pounder two caissons and two wagons and above 500 prisoners, including about 20 dragoons. Had not Col. DeHaren arrived at this moment this large number of the enemy would have yielded to 48 soldiers of the 49th Regiment, for all the arrangements were made previous to the arrival of that officer. The Indians behaved well; they killed and wounded during their skirmishing about 50 of the enemy. We are informed that at the time of the summons being sent many of the enemy had gone off. The \number of Indians engaged did not exceed 80. Thus terminated a bloodless victory on our part. If promotion and reward await the officer selected to be the bearer of dispatches announcing an enemy's defeat, we cannot doubt that the hero of the achievement will receive that favor front his sovereign to which services have established so just a claim, and who, we believe, has no other patronage but his own distinguished merit.

On Saturday last arrived in this city four officers and 110 nor commissioned officers and privates, forming part of the America prisoners captured on the 24th ultimo by the gallant Lieutenant FitzGibbon and his small party of the 49th Regt., in the advance of or army under General Vincent. The remainder arrived this morning en route to Quebec in charge of Captain Renvoisey, 3d Batt. Inc. Militia.
(file in Parliamentary Library, Ottawa.)

From Ernest Cruikshank's Documentary History Part VI Campaigns upon the Niagara Frontier.p. 116

15. The Battle of Beaver Dams; from the Buffalo Gazette, July 29, 1813.

(From the Buffalo Gazette, July 29th, 1813.)

On Wednesday night last Major C. Chapin arrived in this village together with his company, escaped from the enemy on Monday preceding. The Major has given us the following narrative of the action at the Beaver Dam, &c., which we now lay before the public:

On the 23d of June last a party of the regular troops consisting of five hundred infantry and twenty light dragoons under the command of Lieut.-Colonel C. 0. Boerstler, together with forty-four mounted riflemen composed of militia from the country under Major C. Chapin, were detached from the American encampment at Fort George for the purpose of cutting off the supplies of the enemy and breaking up the small encampments they were forming through the country. On the 24th, about nine miles west of Queenston they were attacked by a body of about five hundred Indians and nearly a hundred regulars, who lay concealed in the woods near the road they were passing. The attack was made upon the dragoons, who were placed in the rear. The infantry were soon brought into a position to return the enemy's fire to advantage and succeeded in driving them some distance into the woods. In a short time the Indians, having taken a circuitous route, appeared in front and opened a fire on the mounted riflemen who were stationed there. Here they met with so warm a reception that they were compelled a second time to retreat in much haste. After this every exertion was made to drive the Indians from the woods to the open ground, hut without much effect. The few who were bold enough to venture out were handled so roughly that they soon returned to their lurking place. In the in meantime the enemy were receiving considerable reinforcements, which at length gave them a great superiority. A retreat for a short distance was ordered and effected with very little loss.

The Indians soon made their appearance on our right and left and the regulars and militia in front. Our troops were formed into close columns for the purpose of opening for themselves a way through the enemy with their bayonets. At this juncture a British officer rode up and demanded the surrender of the American party The demand he said was to prevent the further effusion of blood. He asserted upon his honor and declared in the most solemn manner that the British regular force was double that of the American and that the Indians were seven hundred in number. Lieut.-Colonel Boerstler, under a belief of these facts and thinking it impracticable to get off the wounded whom he was unwilling to abandon to the mercy of the savages, and deeming it extremely uncertain whether a retreat could be effected, thought proper to agree to terms of capitulation, which were at length signed by himself on the one part and Lieut.-Colonel Bisshop on the other. By these it was stipulated that the wounded should be taken good care of, the officers permitted to retain their side arms, private property to be respected and the militia paroled and permitted to return home immediately. The articles of capitulation were no sooner signed than they were violated. The Indians immediately commenced their depredations and plundered the officers of their side arms. The soldiers, too, were stripped of every article of clothing to which the savages took a fancy, such as hats, coats, shoes, &c. It is impossible to give any correct account of the killed and wounded, as the enemy did not furnish a list. The loss of the enemy is supposed to be much greater than ours. Between thirty and forty Indians were counted that lay dead on the field. From their known practice of carrying off their killed and wounded it is believed they must have suffered severely.

The regular troops were in a few days sent to Kingston, from whence it is probable they have proceeded to Quebec. Major Chapin and his corps was detained under guard at the head of Lake Ontario and no attention paid to the article of capitulation which provided for their being paroled. On the 12th instant they were ordered down the lake to Kingston, for which place they were embarked in two boats, accompanied of the men with the lieutenant were stationed in the forward boat by a guard of fifteen men, under command of a lieutenant. Thirteen with Major Chapin and the other officers, while the remaining two, (a sergeant and one man,) took the direction of the other boat, which contained the soldiers. An agreement had been entered into previous to their departure of seizing the first opportunity that offered to regain their liberty, which they determined to effect or die in the attempt. When they were within about twelve miles of York the boat, which was filled with the prisoners, was moved by them alongside the other under pretence of taking something to drink. The signal being given they sprang upon the guard, who little expected such a maneuver, and in a short time disarmed them and gained possession of the boats. They immediately altered their course from Kingston to Fort Niagara, and after rowing hard for most of the night and escaping with difficulty from one of the enemy's schooners, which gave them chase, arrived in safety with their prisoners at the American garrison. When the Major and his company arrived in this village they were welcomed with suitable demonstrations of public feeling.

(File in Buffalo Public Library.)

From Ernest Cruikshank's Documentary History Part VI- Campaigns upon the Niagara Frontier, pp.142-4

16. Copy of speech made by Chief Tecumseh to the British at Amherstburg, September 1813.


In the name of the Indian Chiefs, and Warriors, to
Maj. Gen. PROCTOR, and Representative of their Great

FATHER, Listen to your Children ; You see them all before you. The war before this, our British Father gave the hatchet to his red children, when our old Chiefs were alive; they are now all dead. In that war our father was thrown on his back, by the Americans, and our father took them by the hand, without our knowledge; and we are afraid that our father will do so again at this time.

Summer before last, when I came forward with my red brethern, and were ready to take up the hatchet in favor of our British father, we were told not to be in a hurry, that he had not yet determined to fight the Americans.

LISTEN. When war was declared, our father stood up, and gave us the tomahawk, and told us he was now ready to strike the Americans; that he wanted our assistance; and that certainly he would get us our lands back, which the Americans had taken from us.

LISTEN. You told us at that time to bring forward our families to this place; we did so; and you promised to take care of them, and that they should want for nothing, while the men would go and fight the enemy; that we were not to trouble ourselves with the enemy's garrisons; that we knew nothing about them, and that our father would attend to that part of the business. You also told your red children, that you would take good care of your garrison here, which made our hearts glad.

LISTEN. When we last went to the Rapids, it is true we gave you little assistance; it is hard to fight people who live like groundhogs.

FATHER, listen. Our fleet has gone out; we know they have fought, we heard the great guns; but know nothing of what has happened to our father with the one arm (Com. Barclay). Our ships are gone one way, and we are very much astonished to see our father tying up every thing and preparing to run away the other, without letting his red children know what his intentions are.

You always told us to remain here and take care of our lands. It made our hearts glad to hear that was your wish; our great father the king is the head, and you represent him. You always told us that you would never draw your foot off the British ground; but now, father, we see you drawing back, and we are sorry to see our father doing so without seeing the enemy. We must compare our father's conduct to a fat animal, that carries its tail upon its back; but when affrighted, it drops it between its legs and runs off.

FATHER, listen. The Americans have not yet defeated us by land, neither are we sure that they have done so by water; we therefore wish to remain here, and fight our enemy, should they make their appearance. If they defeat us, we will then retreat with our father. At the battle of the Rapids, last war, the Americans certainly defeated us, and when we retreated to our father's fort, at that place, the gates were shut against us. We were afraid that it would now be the case; but instead of that, we see our British father preparing to march out of his garrison.

FATHER. You have got the arms and ammunition which our great father sent for his red children. If you have any idea of going away, give them to us and you may go and welcome. For us, our lives are in the hands of the Great Spirit; we are determined to defend our lands; and if it is his will we wish to leave our bones upon them.