9.30.2012

Henry Dearborn to James Madison, September 30, 1812, with news and suggestions from the campaign


Head Quarters
Greenbush, Sept. 30th, 1812
Dearborn H.

Sir,
            Unless the Troops destined for Detroit & Niagara, with those on the Eastern shore of Lake Ontario & Upper St Lawrence, aided by the Naval Preparations, now commencing in that quarter, shall be fortunate enough to penetrate Upper Canada, before winter sets in, - we shall have the credit of an unfortunate Campaign.
            After it becomes necessary to detach a large proportion of the regular troops to Niagara, & Lake Ontario, that had been originally destined for (what I considered my immediate command) Lower Canada – I was compelled to relinquish all ideas of offensive operation against Montreal or its dependencies this year, - & to confine my movements in that quarter to a feint – which would operate as a diversion in favor of our operations on the great Lakes. That object has been so far effected, as greatly to alarm Montreal & its vicinity. & to detain a considerable number of the regular forces there, which otherwise would have gone to Upper Canada.
            I shall continue such movements toward Montreal as will threaten their outposts. If the Enemy Fortunately delays his attack at Niagara, a few days longer, we shall be prepared not only to meet him on our side, but to attempt carrying his posts. But I have been in hourly expectation of hearing that our Troops had been obliged to fall back, if nothing worse. For the disaster at Detroit enabled Gen. Brock to immediately concentrate a Force at Niagara. That would have empowered him to drive Gen. Van. Rensalaer from his position, before the reinforcements could reach him. I have detached upwards of sixteen hundred regular troops from this camp, for Niagara & Lake Ontario; some have arrived there & the remainder will reach there in eight or ten days, about which time, the four small Regiments from Virginia, Maryland, & Pennsylvania, with the two thousand Pennsylvania Militia & a considerable number from this State will probably arrive at the same place. I calculate strongly the exertions of Capt. Chauncey especially on Lake Ontario; he has gone on with about seven hundred fine seamen, exclusive of Marines & Carpenters. We have made an unfortunate beginning, but we shall ultimately I hope do well. Gen. Hull has been at Head Quarters, & several of the Officers captured with him. His story will not satisfy the most intelligent & candid part of community. The tedious delays in the appointment & organization of the Quarter Master, Commissary of Purchase & Ordinance & Pay Masters Department, as well as the deficiency of Major Generals, have had an unfortunate effect on all our measures. I am averse to complaining, but I have been so incessantly engaged in the minute details of those Departments, as well as the usual employments in organizing The Troops & preparing them for service as to have rendered my duties perplexing & painful. I hope & trust that measures will be early taken by Congress & by the Executive that will place the Army on such a footing in point of organization & strength as will render competent to the services expected from it by our country.
            I am far from being convinced that One Man can manage the War Department. Something must be done; it is impossible to get on as we are at present. I doubt whether an army of sufficient strength can be brought into the field without additional encouragements. We should have a regular force next campaign of not less than fifty thousand men. The expences of the Militia are enormous & they are of little comparative use except at the commencement of war, & for special emergencies. The sooner we can dispense with their services, the better, on every consideration.
 If I should be continued in my command, I hope & trust that it will not, as at present, extend to such distant points as will render it impossible, to perform the duties in a manner, the good of the service requires. There should be at least five Major Generals North & West of Washington & four additional Brigadier Generals. The Quarter Master General should be allowed to appoint an additional number of Deputies & Assistants. There now appears to be a prospect of forming considerable bodies of Volunteer Corps, but the encouragement is not sufficient to ensure success. The Officers of these Corps should have one or two months advance pay, when called into service, & the men should either be supplied with clothing, or receive at least twenty five dollars each in lieu of clothing to enable them to purchase it before they march. By giving additional encouragement – say eight dollars pr month instead of five, I presume an Army may be raised, competent to all purposes. It should be recollected that at the commencement of our Revolutionary war, the best of hands could be hired to labor for five dollars pr month - & we gave our Soldiers forty shillings - & now such laborers can have ten or eleven dollars pr month & the pay of a soldier is thirty shillings.
I presume the greatest part of that description of men, that can be enlisted for five dollars pr month, is already engaged. I find that the Regiments in Pennsylvania, Maryland, & Virginia, are less than one half of their complement of men. The Northern Regiments are not much better, except in the State of New York. I engage Sir, not to trouble you soon with another such a long & tedious letter.
                      I have the honor, Sir, to be with the highest consideration & respect, 
                      your Obedient & humble Servant,
                      H. Dearborn

From John Borlase Warren to James Monroe

Halifax
September 30, 1812

Sir:
Having received information that a most unauthorized act has been committed by Commodore Rodgers, in forcibly seizing twelve British seamen, prisoners of war, late belonging to the Guerriere, and taking them out of the English cartel brig Endeavor, on her passage down the harbor of Boston, after they had been regularly embarked on board of her for exchange, agreeable to the arrangements settled between the two countries, and that the said British seamen, so seized, are now detained on board the United States' frigate President, as hostages; I feel myself called upon to request, sir, your most serious attention to a measure so fraught with mischief and convenience, destructive of the good faith of a flag of truce, and the sacred protection of a cartel.  I should be extremely sorry that the imprudent act of an officer should involve consequences so particularly severe as the present instance must naturally produce if repeated; and although it is very much my wish, during the continuance of the differences existing between the two countries, to adopt every measure that might render the effect of war less rigorous, yet in another point of view, the conviction of the duty I owe my country would, in the event of such grievances, as I have already stated, being continued, not admit of any hesitation in retaliatory decisions: but as I am strongly persuaded of the high liberality of our sentiments, and that the act complained of, has originated entirely with the officer who committed it, and that it will be as censurable in your consideration as it deserves, I rely upon your taking such steps as will prevent a recurrence of conduct to extremely reprehensible in every shape.
I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration.
Sir, your most obedient and most faithful humble servant,
John Borlase Warren


Courtesy of Library of Congress

9.29.2012

Washington City


WASHINGTON CITY
Tuesday September 29

     One word more, perhaps the last word about the surrender of Detroit. - The following statement was given by a captain in the Fourth Regiment to a brother officer, by whom we have been favored with a sperusal of it. It is said to have been obtained from the Quatermaster of that Army:

Memroandam of the Arms, Ammunition &c, in Detroit, 16th August, 1812, the day of the surrender of that place to the British forces by Brig. Gen. Wm Hull.

2600 muskets and accoutrements stacked on the esplanade.

450 muskets and accoutrements brought in after the surrender, by colonels M'Arthur & Cass, stacked on the esplanade.

700 Muskets in the hands of the militia of the Michigan territory, brought in and stacked on the esplanade.

N.B. - The number in the Arsenal not known.

9 24-pounders mounted.

27 iron & brass pieces from 12 to 3 pounders, 4 or 5 of which not mounted.

2 howitzers

1 mortar.

480 rounds of fixed ammunition for the 24-pounders.

600 rounds of fixed ammunition for the 6-pounders
- for the other ordnance not ascertained

200 cartridges of grape shot for the 6 pounders

200 tons of cannon ball of different sizes

The shells prepared and fixed not ascertained, but the number was considerable.

60 barrels gun powder

75,000 musket cartridges in possession of each man.

150 tons of lead

25 days' provisions on hand, besides 120 pack horse leads of flour, & 400 head cattle, a River Raisin, under the escort of capt. Brush & 300 men from Chilirothe. The River Raisin is 36 miles from Detroit. And under the same escort 120 bbls of flour.

2600 men under arms in Detroit, besides the detachment of 450 men under M'Arthur and Cass, who had been sent to meet capt. Brush at River Raisin, but for want of provisions had returned on the 15th and encamped that night within 6 miles of Detroit.

Published in the National Intelligencer – September 29, 1812. 

"They are ready to breast the shock of arms ..."


Volunteering

     Proceeds with much more spirit since the surrender of Detroit than before. In the neighboring town of Alexandria, the patriotic spirit is awakened, and a full company of more than sixty men are ready to obey the call of their country. On Saturday last they chose James M'Guire Captain, Robt, Smith, Lieutenant, & Chas. L Nevitt Ensign of the company. These are no summer patriots, no sunshine volunteers. They are ready to breast the shock of arms, and intend to solicit immediate employment in the northern war.

Published in the National Intelligencer September 29, 1812. 

Letter from William Henry Harrison to William Eustis

Head Quarters
St Marys 
29th Septr 1812

Sir,
I have thought it proper to appoint Mr. Thomas Butler to act as Quarter Master for the Troops under General Hopkins in the Indiana and Illinois Territory until the decision of the President can be Known. Mr. Butler was many years an officer of the army and when he resigned (a year ago) was perhaps the oldest Lieut in his Regiment, he has experience and capacity to qualify him for the appointment he will accept of the Commiss- ion of Ensign in any of the Regiments.
I have the Honor to be &c Willm Henry Harrison

Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society

9.28.2012

"If we are to go against the enemy, I wish it was to-morrow."

From the Columbian.
PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE.
From a Young Gentleman In
Camp, near Plattsburgh, Sept. 28.


   You make no enquiries how we are going to live here this winter. You will be supprised when I tell you, that on the night of the 18th inst. the snow fell on Vermont mountains to all appearance kneedeep. The mountains are about 15 or 20 miles from here, on the opposite side of the lake, and I saw the snow on them for two or three days. When I arose this morning, a barrel at my marquee door was covered with ice on the head. We live in camp, and no appearance yet of winter-quarters being furnished. If we are to go against the enemy, I wish it was to-morrow.
   I have got to be quite a soldier, in regard to living, and I trust a little in regard to duty. I have learned to swing my knapsack and canteen, and march twenty miles in a day; to sleep on a bundle of straw stuffed in a bag, & often not to sleep at all; to take a piece of bread in one hand and a piece of pork in the other - and in short, to undergo the most of the duties of a campaign.
   About three weeks ago, about 11 o'clock at night the piquet guard fired; the alarm spread like lightning, and in less than 5 minutes every man of every regiment here was under arms, and the line formed. The alarm was given on account of the officer of the piquet hearing a rustling in the wood, and receiving no answer to his hail, fired two platoons. No bodies have been found; and if the Indians were there, they escaped pretty narrowly. Our force here consists of the 6th, 9th, 11th and 15th regiments of regulars; 2 companies of field, and two of flying-artillery, besides part of 2 or 3 regiments of detached.

Published in the Maryland Gazette - October 15, 1812

9.27.2012

Letter from William Henry Harrison to William Eustis

Head Quarters Piqua
27th September 1812

No. 13.
Sir Impt
The final arrangement for the march of the army towards Detroit is as follows, the right column composed of the Pennsylvania & Virginia Troops are directed to rendezvous at Wooster a Town upon the head Waters of Mohecan Johns creek; 35 miles North of Mount Vernon and 45 West of Canton; and proceed from thence by the Upper Sandusky to the rapids of Miami
The middle column consisting of twelve hundred Ohio Militia will march from Urbanna where they now are taking General Hulls trace to the rapids. And the left Column composed of the Detachment of regulars under Colo Wells and four Kentucky Regiments will proceed from Fort Defiance down the Miami to the Rapids --
The mounted force under an Officer whom I shall select for the pur- pose will take the rout mentioned in my former letter from Fort Wayne up the St Josephs & across to the waters of the river Reisen -- Upon reflect- ion I am induced to abandon the scheme of attacking Detroit - for should it be successfull, as the Infantry will not be [in] readiness to support them it must necessarily be abandoned, and the Inhabitants be more exposed to the depredations of the Indians than they now are - a more useful employment will be to sweep the Western side of the Straight and lake of the Indians who are scattered from Browns Town to the rapids -- rioting upon the plunder of the farms which have been abandoned -- I expect to have more than three Thousand rations purchased by the Commissary at Fort Defiance in the course of the present week and Two hundred Thousand at Urbanna to be taken upon pack Horses - - both these deposits will be taken at two trips to the rapids - I have directed the Contractor White to deposit 200,000 rations at the second block House 42 Miles beyond Urbanna, 200,000 at a block house which [is] now building between St. Marys and Defiance -- and the like quantity at Wooster. At the latter place also Mr. John H Piatt is about to deposit 300,000 rations and to procure the means of transportation to Detroit -- I have also directed Major Denny to send to the same place the 300,000 which he has been dir- ected to purchase at Pittsburg. I am confirmed in the opinion which I before gave that supplys of provision can be obtained in this State, I shall take means to ascertain it and write to Major Denny of them should [it] be a necessity for purchasing in the purchase of 198,000[?] rations - I have dispatched an Express this day to Pittsburgh to direct that the Artillery and all the supplies destined for the N W Army should be sent to George Town upon the Ohio and from thence by New Lisbon & Canton to Wooster -
In consequence of my application to the Govr. of Kentucky I have understood that 1600 mounted men have gone from that State to Vincennes. I have directed them to be employed against Tippecanoe and Peoria on the Illinois river, with the addition of the rangers and some other Companies in the Territories they will form a force of 2400 men.

Agreeably to the authority given me by your letter of the 17th. I have appointed Mr. John H Piatt Deputy Commissary he is the same person. employed by General Hull and will I think make a most excellent officer -- There is nothing that gives me more apprehension than the destitute condition of many of my men is the article of clothing and Blankets. It appears to me that it is impossible that they can act in such a climate as that of Canada without warm clothing. I have applied to the Governor of Kentucky and have addressed the Citizens of that State on the Subject myself - Great exertion will I am persuaded be made to releive them but I must beg leave to recommend that some assistance if possible be afford- ed by the Government. I have put in requisition all the Woollens that have been sent out for the Indians and will leave them distributed and accounts kept against the men who receive them that the price may be deducted from their Pay. I Have the Honor to be &c (signed) Will Henry Harrison

P.S. I fear that the western Country cannot supply Stores and Blankets for the Troops - permit me to recommend that a supply of those articles and of possible woollen Jackets and overalls be sent on from Pittsburgh to Wooster by land to be disposed off to the Militia in the same manner that the surplus Clothing is to the regular Troops. It appears to me also proper that the Government should furnish Watch Coats for the Militia Centinels, from the Short period of their Service they cannot purchase those things out of their own pay -- I have therefore taken upon myself the responsibility of directing them to be procured - I fear however that materials cannot be found below Pittsburgh. Lieut Johnson has orders to furnish 150 from thence. It is fortunate that there are many members of Congress who will be enabled to give Testimony that will not be quest- ioned upon the floor of that body, as to the propriety and necessity of many alterations in the Military arrangements. I have no less than seven members elect of the next Congress under my Command and two of them Messrs Johnson and McKee belong to the present house of Representatives W.H.H.

Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society

9.26.2012

"In peace a price was paid for these murders ..."



WASHINGTON CITY.
Saturday, September 26. 

     The late rumours from the westward of the savage barbarities committed by the Indians in British pay, have excited the sympathy of all feeling hearts, and the indignation of every man in the community against the hellish fiends who instigate them. But they are not unprecedented; they are not even to be attributed to the fortune of war. Every man who reads these lines well remembers that for many months preceding the Declaration of War our Western Border had witnessed similar scenes; and the fact was established that even IN PEACE A PRICE WAS PAID FOR THESE MURDERS by the British agents on our frontiers – yes, for the murder of the unoffending border settlers. Independent of the support given to the savage tribes, and the general enmity inculcated to the Americans, the price for each American scalp was as precisely fixed, and paid as punctually, as the price of a bear-skin. It was difficult, however, for men of ordinary humanity, for men who were not educated in a destitution of all principle, to credit the fact; and we do not marvel that many doubted and some disbelieved it. But when it is ascertained, when no man can any longer shut his eyes and ears to the damning fact, that there barbarians are in British pay – when their employment is unblushingly recognized by the British officers and they are distinguished as his Majesty’s allies – what shall we say to those who endeavour to palliate such atrocities – nay, more, who endeavour to turn the current of popular feeling against THE WAR as the cause of them? What of those who rave against the administration who wage a war to resist such and similar enormities – for every schoolboy knows that the encouragement of these butcheries was one of the causes instead of being an effect of war. Listen to the language of a feder, I print in a neighbouring town, when announcing the late massacre of several families of men, women, and children, on the frontiers. He asks whether the people will support an administration, whose declaration of war has caused (observe! Has caused) these scenes – and answers his own questions thus: We quote his own language literally – “No, never; 

“ Give us A CHANGE; give us ANY
“BODY; ANYTHING rather than
 “total destruction of trade and UNIVERSAL
“MURDER, and a BLOODY LOSING
“WAR!” 

Yes, reader, this editor, by way of remedying these distresses which it was one object of the war to put an end to, wants a change – anybody – anything – rather than war anything in preference to resisting the open aggressions and covert wiles of the enemy. Is this federalism? Are federalists willing to take ANY BODY and base submission to Britain, rather than present administration and what the writer calls a bloody losing war? We answer for them, NO. But if this be not obvious import of our text, what does it amount to? Anybody or any thing in preference to war. What is meant by ‘anybody,’ we very well understand: despairing of success in the federal ticket, they are willing to vote for any ticket in opposition to the present administration. But what is meant by the prayer for “ANY THING?” We cannot imagine, unless it it be intended to mean any state of things. The sentence is capable of no other construction than this: that the writer would put down the war and those who carry it on, at any sacrifice, even should it be of our blessed government itself. One would suppose, in charity to his head and heart, that this had been a slip of the writer’s pen, that he had in the perturbation of his mind given utterance to language his sober reason would have condemned. To this opinion we incline; for although a separation of the Union has been advocated in some of the federal prints we are happy to see that the mere force of public opinion has put it down - & no man is now to be found who has the hardhood to advocate it. The same plea of error will not avail another editor in a town not a hundred miles hence, who has “in cool blood and unprovoked” doled out to his readers this same scrap about the “bloody losing war,” to the great terror of all the little children in his neighborhood. When such trash is substituted for political discussion, the Editors who utter it are not only guilty of circulation base coin, but show an utter contempt for the understanding of their readers in supposing that they are weak enough to be gulled by it. 

Published in the National Intelligencer – September 26, 1812.

Advertiser: Further from England

Advertiser

Further from England. 

NEW YORK, SEPT. 26-Yesterday arrived at this port the fast sailing ship Independence, capt Bailey, in 36 days from London, with a valuable cargo. She brings London papers to the 15th August, two days later than any previous advices from England. From one of that date, received at the office of the Mercantile Advertiser, the following important articles are copied.
Sir John B. Warren, with the fleet under his command (consisting of 2 vessels of 98 guns, 3 of 74, 2 of 64, 6 frigates, and 2 sloops of war) for the American station, dropped down to St. Helca’s on the 14th August, and would sail the first fair wind.
Mr. Foster had not arrived in England on the 15th.
No general battle had been fought between France and Russia, but the Russians had been defeated with considerable loss in a partial engagement.
It was expected in England that the Repeal of the obnoxious Orders in Council would produce a Peace with the United States.
One hundred American vessels were licensed on Wednesday by the board of trade, on condition, that they proceeded to the ports of Spain and Portugal.
Joseph Bonaparte abandoned Madrid on the 20th of July.



Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-October 2, 1812

9.25.2012

Volunteers of the Republican Greens


New York, Sept. 25.

     Yesterday sailed from this port, on a cruise, the beautiful private armed schooner Governor Tompkins, carrying 14 guns and 120 men, J. Skinner, Esq. commander.

     On Wednesday the volunteers of the Republican (Hibernian) Greens, of this city, commanded by lieut. col. M'Clure, and consisting of the companies of capts. Tave, Powers, H. Walker, Dillion, and A. Walker, embarked for a six month's tour of public service in defence of their adopted country on the northern frontier.

Published in the National Intelligencer September 29, 1812. 

VERMONT ELECTION

   The following is an extract of a letter to the Editor of the National Intelligencer, from a gentleman in Rutland, Vt.
   "I have the great pleasure to inform you that the Republican Ticket has succeeded in Vermont by an increased majority from the last year of from 1500 to 2000 votes. You may therefore calculate that President Madison will take eight electoral votes from this state."

Published in the Raleigh Register & North Carolina Gazette - September 25, 1812. 

Official Arguments


[The editor of a democratic paper, with an audacity peculiar to himself, calls open as for the proofs of ministerial incapacity in the management of the war. We shall not, in consequence of this challenge, enter into any detailed exposition of the subject. The columns of this paper are reserved for more useful matter. Let him show the acquittal of the administration on the charge which is now preferred against them by the country at large, of having lost, at the very threshold of the campaign, two entire armies, and we promise that he shall have from us what he demands. In the mean time, however, we present him with the ensuing very interesting collection of fragments, which we do assure him is copied without the slightest alteration, from a paper neither patronized by federalists, nor paid with British gold.]

U.S. Gaz.

 
OFFICIAL ARGUMENTS.
No. I.
General Harrison to the people of Kentucky, Sept. 25.
“Upon the point of leading my brave men into a rigorous northern climate, I discover that many of them are without blankets, and much the greater part of them totally destitute of winter clothing.”

 
No. II.
Letter to the editor of the Whig, dated New-Orleans, September 14.
“A fresh supply of brigands have arrived at Pensacola from Havana! Why was not Pensacola taken? Our war, if not better managed than it has been, will injure us more than England. As long as Gallatin and Eustis are in the cabinet, ruin must follow. Wood, the conspirator, has been hanged.”

 
No. III.
Letters from France by the Meteor.
“The Berlin and Milan decrees are still in force. An American vessel was condemned under them in June last. No colonial produce is admitted into France, unless under imperial licenses. The French attempt to bribe American seamen to swear to such points as shall bring American vessels within the operation of the Berlin and Milan decrees. The very vessel which Barlow said was released, and on which case he predicated his opinion that the decrees have ceased to operate, is now sequestered under those very decrees.”

 
No. IV.
Letter from St. Louis, dated 11th September, published in the Aurora.
“We are all under arms here-the British have assembled a host of Indians on our frontiers-the garrison of Chicago has been cut to pieces-our fort at Bellevue is now besieged by Saacs, Winnebagoes, and 200 Sieux to back them. We have only SEVENTEEN regular soldiers with the settlements of this territory! We will not ask aid! THE SECRETARY OF WAR KNOWS OUR SITUATION!!”

 
No. V.
National Intelligencer.
Mr. Dobbin, the lake trader, is appointed a sailing master, and has a contract to build gun boats!!

 
No. VI.
Gov. Harrison to Gov. Shelby, Sept. 5, 1812.
“My God! what an opportunity to acquire glory! to avenge my country! And to save the frontiers! May I not lose for want of two trifling articles. Thank Heaven, we have bayonets.” 

 
No. IX.
“Vermont alone would take the Canadas,”
Was the declaration at Washington.-“We have lost a territory-the lakes-all our posts, an army, and its baggage”-says fact.

 
No. X.
Albany Register, October, 1812.
“By a calculation lately made, it appears that on our frontiers, there is one officer for every two and a half men, besides drummers and fifers. “We can take the Canadas without soldiers, said Eustis, in his moment of infatuation; we have only to send officers into the province, and the people, disaffected towards their own government, will rally round our standard.” 

 
No. XI.
Letters from Piqua, September 6.
“Our muskets are useless on account of the touch holes being too small, and our bayonets do not fit!”

 
No. XII.
Extracts of letters from a young man in the army, dated near “Piqua, Sept. 20, 1812.
“It is pretty well ascertained that Detroit is the immediate object of our attack.”
“Every department , with which we have any thing to do, is most abominably managed. I fear nothing so much as being obliged to run a foot race to get an ear of corn, or of dying for want of it-a death which a man of my appetite would dread above all others.”
“The commissary’s, the paymaster’s and quartermaster’s departments, are so miserably arranged, that it is my candid opinion, that more men will be lost, this campaign, for want of provisions and other necessaries than will perish by the sword.”

 
“St. Mary’s, Sept. 28.
“We march tomorrow for Fort Defiance. Gov. Harrison commands; Winchester will resign. Our army in a few days will amount to 8000 men-out of which 4000 will probably starve.”

Read the above attentively, my countrymen. If you have not mercy on your defenders-if you like to see human blood and national glory trifled with, go! Do all you can to support that Madison who retains in office Gallatin and Eustis; but if there remains in your bosom one single unextinguished spark of patriotism, go! Vote against him.
Statesman.

 

Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-November 6, 1812

Extract of a Letter, date Beaufort

Extract of a letter, dated Beaufort, (S.C.)
Sept. 25, 1812

“The militia (drafts and volunteers) that have been stationed in this place about four months, are about to be disbanded-why, I know not, unless, as rumour says, it be, that the government has not the means of paying their wages!! This may seem incredible; but I believe it is the simple track. One thing is certain, that they have become clamorous and even mutinous for the want of payment-and yet have obtained no more than one month’s wages. Their numbers, at first, were three hundred, but by furloughs and desertions, they are reduced probably one half. Sometime since 25 or 30 of them mutinied in a body, with an intention of returning to their homes, and carrying the muskets, furnished them from the arsenal in this place, with them. But they were overpowered, and the ringleaders confined. Such are the troops on which the government relies to cripple the naval power of our enemy-Proh Pudor! These troops have not to this day been furnished, by the general government, with a single round of ammunition! The very little they have, was loaned to them from the arsenal of this town. Truly from Maine to Florida every thing is of a piece.”


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-October 23, 1812

Late From England


Late From England

“N. York, SEPT. 25.-Yesterday morning arrived at this port the brig Georgia, Capt. Smith, in 37 days from Liverpool, with a valuable cargo. By her the Editors of the Mercantile Advertiser have received their file of London papers to the 13th August, inclusive.
The Courier of the 13th, states, on the authority of letters from Heligoland, that a general battle had been found between the Russians and the French, in which the Russians lost 60000 men, and the French 30000.
Sir John B. Warren was to sail for the American coast about the 15th of August.
Mr. Foster and Col. Barclay had not arrived in England.
No official account had been received of Lord Wellington’s victory over Marmont.
The following important article is in our latest paper:-
Office of Trade, Whitehall, Aug. 12.-.The Licenses granted for the protection of ships belonging to the United States of America, which required their clearing out before the 15th of this month, will be extended to the 1st of September next, and if it shall happen that goods now on hand shall not then be ready to be shipped, on a statement of such fact by the merchant or manufacturer, the said licence will be further extended to the 15th September. The above indulgence is in both cases to be limited to ships which are now protected by licences.”
The English papers contain the 8th and 9th Bulletin of the French Grand Army. The former dated at Gloubokoe, July 22, and the latter at Beehenkoviski, July 25. They contain no important movements of the army, though extended to great length, and filled up with the show and bustle of military operations. The intelligence from the North of Europe, contained in several articles, selected from the last London papers, is of later date, and deserving of more attention than these manufactured Bulletins.




Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-October 2, 1812

Late From England


Late From England

“N. York, SEPT. 25.-Yesterday morning arrived at this port the brig Georgia, Capt. Smith, in 37 days from Liverpool, with a valuable cargo. By her the Editors of the Mercantile Advertiser have received their file of London papers to the 13th August, inclusive.
The Courier of the 13th, states, on the authority of letters from Heligoland, that a general battle had been found between the Russians and the French, in which the Russians lost 60000 men, and the French 30000.
Sir John B. Warren was to sail for the American coast about the 15th of August.
Mr. Foster and Col. Barclay had not arrived in England.
No official account had been received of Lord Wellington’s victory over Marmont.
The following important article is in our latest paper:-
Office of Trade, Whitehall, Aug. 12.-.The Licenses granted for the protection of ships belonging to the United States of America, which required their clearing out before the 15th of this month, will be extended to the 1st of September next, and if it shall happen that goods now on hand shall not then be ready to be shipped, on a statement of such fact by the merchant or manufacturer, the said licence will be further extended to the 15th September. The above indulgence is in both cases to be limited to ships which are now protected by licences.”
The English papers contain the 8th and 9th Bulletin of the French Grand Army. The former dated at Gloubrokoe, July 22, and the latter at Beehenkoviski, July 25. They contain no important movements of the army, though extended to great length, and filled up with the show and bustle of military operations. The intelligence from the North of Europe, contained in several articles, selected from the last London papers, is of later date, and deserving of more attention than these manufactured Bulletins.





Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-October 2, 1812

Commodore Rodgers


Commodore Rodgers.

The following extract from the Journal of Com. Rodgers, has been published in the National Intelligencer, and completely justifies the statement given in our paper of the 4th inst. found on board the Guerriere. We feel a pleasure in communicating this article, as we have always entertained the highest opinion of his skull, prudence and bravery. Though opposed in politicks to many members of the Administration, be still holds the highest rank in the Navy, and retains that confidence which a brave and veteran officer will always possess.
June 23rd. Pleasant breezes from N.N.W. to W.S.W. at 3 A.M. spoke an American Brig from Madeira, bound to New-York, the master of which informed me that four days before (in lat. 36, lon. 67,) he passed a fleet of British merchantmen, under convoy of a frigate and a brig steering to eastward: I now perceived intelligence, prior to leaving New-York, and shaped our course E. in pursuit of them: at 6 A.M. (Nantucket Shoal bearing N.E. distant 35 miles) saw a large sail in N.E. standing to S.W. which was soon discovered to be a frigate: The signal was made for a general chase, when the several vessels of the squadron took in their studding sails and made all sail by the wind (on the starboard tack) in pursuit: At half past 8 he made signals, when perceiving we were coming up with him he edged away a point or thereabouts, and set his top gallant studding sails: At 11 cleared ship for action, in the expectation that we would soon be up with the chase; the breeze about this time however began to incline more to the westward and became lighter, which I soon discovered was comparatively an advantage to our opponent: At a quarter past 1 P.M. the chase hoisted English colors: At 2 the wind veered to the W.S.W. and became lighter: At 20 minutes past 4, having got within gun shot of the enemy, when perceiving that he was training his chase funs and in the act (as I supposed) of firing, that the breeze was decreasing, and we now sailed so nearly alike, that to afford him an opportunity of doing the first injury to our spars and rigging would be to enable him to effect is escapes, I gave orders to commence a fire with the bow chase funs, at his spars and rigging, in the hope of crippling one or the other, so far as to enable us to get alongside: The fire from our bow chase funs he instantly returned with those from his stern, which was now kept up by both ships, without intermission, until 30 minutes past 4 P.M. when one of the President’s chase funs burst and killed and wounded 16 persons, among the latter myself. This was not however the most serious injury, as by the bursting of the fun, and the explosion of the passing box, from which I was served with powder, both the main and forcastle decks, (near the gun) were so much shattered as to prevent the use of the chase fun, on that side, for some time. Our main deck guns being single shotted, I now gave orders to put our helm to starboard and fire the starboard broadside, in the expectation of disabling some of his spars, but did not succeed, although I could discover that his rigging had sustained considerable damage, and that he had received some injury in the stern.
I now endeavoured, by altering course half a point to port and wetting our sails, to gain a more effectual position on his starboard quarter, but soon found myself losing ground. After this a similar attempt was made at his larboard quarter, but without any better success, as the wind at this time being very light, and both ships sailing so nearly alike that by making an angle of only half a point from the course he steered enabled him to augment his distance: No hope was now left of bringing him to close action, except that derived from being to windward, and the expectation the breeze might favor us first: I accordingly gave orders to steer directly after him, and to keep our bow chase guns playing on his spars and rigging, until our broadside would more effectually reach him. At 5, finding, from the advantage his stern guns gave him , that he had done considerable injury to our sails and riggings, and being within point blank shot, I gave orders to put the helm to starboard and dire our main deck guns. This broadside did some further damage to his rigging, and I could perceive that his fore top sail yard was wounded, but the sea was so very smooth, and the wind so light that the injury done was not such as materially to affect his sailing. After this broadside our course was instantly renewed in his wake (under a galling fire from his stern chase guns, directed at our spars and rigging,) and continued until half past six; at which time being within reach of his grape, and finding our sails, rigging and several spars (particularly the main-yard, which had little left to support it except the lifts and bracet) very much disabled. I again gave orders to luff across his stern and gave him a couple of broadsides.
The enemy at this time finding himself so hardly pressed, and seeing while in the act of firing, our head sails to left, and supposing that the ship had in a measure lost the effect of her helm, he gave a broad yaw, with the intention of bringing its broadside to bear: finding the President, however, answered her helm too quick for his purpose, he immediately re-assumed his course, and precipitately fired his four after main deck guns on the starboard side, although they did not bear upon us at the time by 25 or 30 degrees, and he now commenced lightening his ship by throwing over board all his boats, waste anchors, &c. &c. and by this means was enabled by a quarter before 7 to get so far ahead as to prevent our bow chase funs doing execution, and I now perceived, with more mortification than words can express, that there was little or no chance left of getting within gunshot of the enemy again. Under every disadvantage of disabled spars, sails and rigging, I however continued the chase with all the sail we could set, until half past 11 P.M. when perceiving he had gained upwards of three miles, and not the slightest prospect left of coming up with him, I gave up the pursuit and made the signal to the other ships as they came up to do the same.
During the first of the chase, while the breeze was fresh and sailing by the wind, I thought the whole of the squadron gained upon the enemy. It was soon discoverable, however, the advantage he acquired by sailing large, and this I conceive he must have derived in so great a degree by starting his water, as I could perceive, upwards of an hour before we came within gun shot, water running out of his scuppers.
While in chase it was difficult to determine whether our own situation or that of the other vessels of the squadron was the most unpleasant. The superior sailing of the President was not such (off the wind) as to enable us to get upon the broadside of the enemy; the situation of the other was not less irksome, as not even the headmost, which was the Congress, was able at any time to get within less than two fun shots distant, and even at that but for a very little time.
In endeavoring to get alongside of the enemy the following persons were killed and wounded; 16 of whom were killed and wounded by the bursting of our own gun, viz.



Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-September 25, 1812










North Western Army


North Western Army.

The last Keene paper, after mentioning the arrival, in that town, of Col. Miller, subjoins the following statement of Gen. Hull’s army, with this remark-“ that it is made from a disrect source, and one entitled to a high degree of credit”:-
“Gen. Hull’s orders were discretionary as to the time of entering the enemy’s territory.-The decent was originally made more particularly to prevent redoubts being thrown up on the British side, by which the town of Detroit might be destroyed, or greatly injured. Fort Malden might easily have been taken, had field artillery been ready when the decent was made. After the retreat to Detroit, at the time the American Fort was summoned, the effective force within did not exceed 1100, and the report from the Brigade inspector made the number 2 or 300 less. The British (militia and regulars) amounted to 800, and the Indian force, “No body (says our informant) but God knows, for they were scattered in all directions,” probably as many more. The very next day 900 Indians from Mackina, arrived. It was a matter of extreme doubt whether a repulse would have rendered their situation in any degree safe, unless the victory had been complete, and the principal part of the British officers taken or killed, so as to prevent the possibility of again rallying. Under the circumstances, Gen. Hull ought not to be censured for his conduct on that day. The garrison would willingly have risked a battle, had the General so determined. [Here it may be remarked that the Indian reinforcement could not have been foreseen.] Our informant, with apparent indignation, repelled the insinuation, that Gen. Hull was willing in fidelity to his country. “He is no traitor.” The garrison did not want for ammunition, and had about ten days provision on hand.
The regular troops, with General Hull, and even the officers wives (in carioles) were marched through the Streets of Montreal to the tune of Yankee Doodle, until they came to the monument of Lord Nelson, when God save the King was struck and hats off, ordered. Our indignant Yankees, however, to a man refused to obey the order.
The Keene paper also contradicts (and we presume on the authority of Col. Miller) all the charges of treason, cowardice, and imbecility, exhibited in the democratic papers against Gen. Hull. It says-“It is not true, as stated in the Patriot, that Col. Miller offered to attack Fort Malden with his own regiment alone, (about 300 men) or that Gen. Hull threatened to arrest Col. M. It is not true that Col. M advised to hold out, situated as they were at the time, without reference to the measures which brought the General into that situation. It is most probably true, that no terms, (or at best, the most humiliating) could have been obtained the next day, unless the British army had been totally defeated and dispersed. It is not true, that the surrender was made to an inferior force. It is, doubtless, true, that the militia had been much neglected in their discipline. It is not true, that Gen. Hull will probably “take up his residence on the fast-anchored isle, where TRAITORS are sometimes rewarded,” the General having already proceeded to Albany. It is probably true that Gen. Hull was unequal to the critical situation in which he was placed. Gen. Dearborn, we believe, is still older, if age is a fault. It is most probably true, mismanagement, and ill advised conduct, have attended the whole business, from beginning to end.”




Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-September 25, 1812


General Hull!



General Hull!

Col. Cass, of the Ohio volunteers, who was attached to the North Western Army, has made a communication to government, in which the valour, as well as integrity of Gen. Hull is strongly impeached. Whatever truth there may be in the general charges, exhibited in this production, it will be admitted, by every candid man. that as the General must undergo a legal trial for his conduct, it is uncharitable, as well as unsoldier-like, to prejudge his case. If the disingenuous spirit manifested by Col Cass, in this publication, and which we are ashamed to see countenanced by the government paper, is to be infused into the breasts of the military officers, what change has Gen. Hull of obtaining a fair and unbiased trial? We say none-and that an evident attempt is making by the war party, to shield the weakness of the government, by sacrificing this unfortunate man.




Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-September 25, 1812

From England


From England.

Our London accounts, which are to the 4th Aug. state, that in consequence of the receipt of our Declaration of War against  England, no further Licences were to be granted; that applications had been made in favor of those vessels which sailed from New Orleans before the declaration of war reached that place, and were refused; as well as similar ones from those coming from Archangel; excepting such as went there from England; that the American ships in the North of Europe received advices of the war, long before the English ships got orders to capture.





Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-September 25, 1812


EVENTS OF THE WAR


Events of the War

Brigad. Gen. Smyth, attended by Capt. Bankhead, and Lieut. Smyth, passed through Albany on Friday last, to assume the command of the regular troops assembling at Niagara. On the same day Col. Schuyler’s regiment of U.S. troops left Greenbush for Niagara. The regiment was nearly full, was well cloathed, equipped and armed; and had with them a fine regimental band. It is also stated, that twenty large wagons, had arrived at Greenbush from Pennsylvana loaded with cloathing, &c. for the army.






Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-September 25, 1812

In the year 1809, congress passed a law, imposing restrictions upon our commercial intercourse with both Great Britain and France

In the year 1809, congress passed a law, imposing restrictions upon our commercial intercourse with both Great Britain and France. At that time our merchants had 20 or 30 millions of property in France, protected not only by the laws of hospitality, which govern all civilized nations in time of peace, but by the positive stipulations of a solemn treaty. In consequence of the above mentioned act of congress, which, as Mr. Monroe says, “was impartial as related to the belligerents,” certainly was not partial in favor of England, Bonaparte, by his Rambouillet decree, “made a sweep of all American property within the reach of French power,” “involving in indiscriminate ruin, innocent merchants who had entered the ports of France in the fair course of trade.’ Not one particle of this property has been restored. In the mean-time our merchants had an equal or greater amount of property in Great Britain, in the hands of the people with whom our commercial treaty had expired, and with whom our government had been for several years in continual and angry collision. Our law, which gave so much offence to France, if it could be construed into an insult, was at least equally insulting the Great Britain, and more injurious to her interests, because the intercourse with her, which was restricted by it, was more extensive; yet our property there remained safe.
In November, 1810, our government removed the offensive law as it operated against France, and continued it against G. Britain. Yet our property in France remained under confiscation, but our property in G. Britain still remained safe.
We declared war against G. Britain; and because formerly, while we were at peace with her, the leading men in our present administration proposed to confiscate all her property in this country, many men feared that she, in time of war, would adopt that measure against us. Yet American property there still remained safe.-This property in G. Britain, in the course of trade, has been continually increasing, because there it was safe, and, in our open ports, it was liable to confiscation.  At last an event happened, which, in the opinion of the agents for this property abroad, would entitle it to a legal return into the hands of its owners. But on the same day, our declaration of war abandoned it to legal capture by any British cruiser which might fall in with it on the ocean. To remove the apprehension of capture, the British government granted to all American vessels, which applied for them, protections, which should secure vessel and cargo against seizure by their own cruisers, to which they were liable by a law, which all nations acknowledge; and American property, contrary to even the hopes of its owners, on the ocean, in time of war, within the reach of the enemy’s cruisers, still remained safe. Thus we have lived to be witnesses of the strange spectacle, of a vast property belonging to citizens of the U. States, liable to seizure and confiscation in France, liable to seizure and confiscation in our own ports, liable by all the laws of war to seizure and confiscation by British cruisers, at the moment when we are blowing up the flames of discord with G. Britain, and invading her unoffending territory, safe to our merchants by the voluntary proffer of British protection. Strange as this fact may seem, there is one yet more strange. Very large amounts of this same property, after three years detention abroad, after escaping the perils of the ocean, after escaping lawful and almost certain capture, under the protection of our enemy, now lies under seizure by our own custom house officers.


C.I.




Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-September 25, 1812




From the N.Y. Evening Post


The great body of the federal party are opposed to the present war, not merely because it is a great national calamity, but because, in their opinion, the points in controversy between this country and Great Britain might have been easily adjusted without it. And in this view the war is clearly unjust. Besides, the points in controversy were not worth the blood and treasure that must be expended in relation to them. We could not hope to gain as much as we were certain to lose by the war. In this view the war was evidently impolite. Respectable gentlemen in the republican party, and many of them too though belonging to a school whose patriotism is too sublimated to permit sober reflection and cool thinking in relation to any thing that regards Great Britain, were nevertheless opposed to this war because the country was not in a condition to commence it. We had neither prepared (said they) competent means of defence in points where we were vulnerable, nor sufficient force to assail G. Britain with a fair and reasonable prospect of success. These, though they did not condemn the war in principle, were opposed to it on the ground of expediency. They thought it was better not to wage even a just and necessary war, than to wage it without a prospect of prevailing. It is presumed that both combined constituted a majority, and a large one too, of the whole people. But the orders in council have been repealed since the declaration of war. These having ceased, the war which their existence may have justified, their revocation renders unnecessary. Suppose the orders had been revoked before the declaration of war, would congress or the nation have been willing to go to war? If not, then ought the war now to cease, because its object is attained.-What more do we want, that is worth the calamities of war? If we had gained great advantages, which would warrant an increase of our demands, there would a difficulty arise between the suggestions of policy and morality. But how stands the account? We have sunk the Guerriere; and the enemy has captured our army. The balance is against us. But we may retrieve our losses. So we may; but we may add to them too. This is a gamester's argument, and unworthy a statesman. The continuance of the war is evidently to longer necessary or moral. Henceforth at least, the war will be unjust and unnecessary; and the god of armies cannot approve it.
Every body knows, that the affair of the Chesapeake has been satisfactorily adjusted.
Our own government can be made concerning impressments.
The British revocation of the orders in council, leave it with us, whether they shall hereafter continue in force, or not.
Why then do we continue the war? Why have not some steps been taken to negociate for peace? Let us test these questions by reason, not by party, and honest men cannot differ in their decision.
The manner in which the information of the revocation of the British orders was received by the President, proves, that this GOOD NEWS had no good effect upon him. It was not announced by him, or his cabinet, or his prints, as a joyful event! The only remaining cause of war had ceased, and the President received the information in sulky silence. The form of the revocation was not satisfactory. God of truth and mercy; our treasure is to be wasted, our immense frontiers are to be one scene of devastation, where the merciless savage is to riot in the blood of defenceless men, women and children, because the form of the revocation is not satisfactory to our precise and critical President!
"Is there not some hidden thunder, some bolt
"Red with uncommon wrath.--
Gen. Dearborn has been sometimes blamed and even ridiculed for the late armistice. How unjustly, we shall see presently.
When the non-intercourse law was declared at an end, in 1809, it was because the minister of the British government had promised that his government should make reparation for the attack on the Chesapeake, and should revoke the orders in council.-When Gen. Dearborn agreed to the proposed armistice, reparation for the attack on the Cheseapeake had been made, and the orders in council had been revoked, and that by the British government itself. The general reasoned like an honest man. "if an agent promise that a certain thing should be done, was a good reason for putting an end to a measure whose object it was to compel that thing to be done, then the actual doing of the very thing may well arrant me in suspending for a while the operations of a war, which has the doing of that thing for its sole object. At least I will give my country an opportunity of ascertaining, whether peace may not be honorably restored without further and perhaps unnecessary bloodshed." Such would be the reflections even of a democrat, if he had no feelings but such as were merely American. But the President differed from his General-the armistice was not ratified; the overtures of peace were rejected, and the war is "continued, without an object:" that is, without an American object.
The President, then, is not only unwilling to seize favorable occasions to negociate for peace himself, but sullenly rejects even the overtures of the enemy, thought made in the only way in which they can now possibly be made.
We have all witnessed, with the deepest humiliation and shame, the disgraceful issue of the first enterprize of this disastrous war, and can have no difficulty in deciding on the probability of Mr. Madison’s "conquering peace," as the French express it.
The conclusion from the whole premises is, that he is neither willing to make peace, nor able to dictate it.
The peace party can view him and his measures only with abhorrence.
The war party can have but one reason for supporting him; and that is, that they are so determined to have war, that, convinced now, that no consideration will induce Mr. Madison to make peace, they will elect him, let him carry on the war ever so unskillfully or unsuccessfully. There can be no other reason why even they should support him.
If Mr. Madison is re elected, history must pass this judgment on the present generation of the American Republic: that they re elected for their first magistrate a man, whom the strongest inducements could not make favorable to peace-although he was proved utterly incompetent to carry on war. But it will be impossible to decide, whether there was more insanity in the people, or in the magistrate.

Quem dues vult perdere, prius dementat.





Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-September 25, 1812