To Mr. Macon

Communicated to the House of Representatives
July 31, 1813

Mr. Macon, from the committee to whom was referred that part of the President's message "which relates to the spirit and manner in which the war had been waged by the enemy," made the following report:
That they have collected and arranged all the testimony on this subject which could, at this time, be procured. 
This testimony is submitted to the consideration of the House, arranged under the following heads:
First. Bad treatment of American prisoners.
Second. Detention of American prisoners as British subjects, on the plea of nativity in the dominions of Britain, or of naturalization.
Third. Detention of mariners, as prisoners of war, who were in England when the war was declared.
Fourth. Compulsory service of impressed American seamen on board British ships of war.
Fifth.  Violation of flags of truce.
Sixth. Ransom of American prisoners from Indians in the British Service.
Seventh. Pillage and destruction of private property on the Chesapeake bay, and in the neighboring country.
Eighth. Massacre and burning of American prisoners surrendered to officers of Great Britain, by Indians in the British service. Abandonment of the remains of Americans killed in battle, or murdered after the surrender to the British.  The pillage and shooting of American citizens, and the burning of their houses, after surrender to the British under the guarantee of protection.
Ninth. Outrages at Hampton, in Virginia.
The evidence under the first head demonstrates that the British Government has adopted a rigor of regulation unfriendly to the comfort, and apparently unnecessary to the safe keeping, of American prisoners, generally.  It shows, also, instances of a departure from the customary rules of war, by the selection and confinement in close prisons of particular persons, and the transportation of them, for undefined causes, from the ports of the British colonies to the island of Great Britain.
The evidence under the second head establishes the fact, that, however the practice of detaining American citizens as British subjects may be regarded as to the principle it involves, that such detentions continue to occur, through the agency of the naval  and other commanders of the Government.  It proves, too, that, however unwilling to allow other nations to naturalize her subjects, Great Britain is disposed to enforce the obligation entered into by their citizens, when naturalized under her own laws.  This practice, even supposing the release of every person thus detained, obviously subjects our captured citizens, upon mere suspicion, to hardships and perils from which they ought to be exempt, according to the established rules in relation to prisoners of war.
The evidence under the third head shows that, while all other American citizens were permitted to depart within a reasonable time after the declaration of war, all mariners who were in the dominions of Great Britain, whether they resorted to her ports, in time of peace, for lawful purposes, or were forced into them under the pretence of illegal commerce, are considered prisoners of war. The injustice of this exception is not more apparent than the jealousy it discloses towards that useful class of our fellow-citizens.  But the committee can but remark, that, if the practice of hiring American seamen to navigate British vessels is generally adopted and authorized, and that it is suffered appears from the advertisements of George Maude, the British agent at Port Royal, which is to be found with the testimony collected under the first head, that the naval strength of that empire will be increased in proportion to the number of our seamen in bondage. The present war having changed the relation of the two countries, the pretended right of impressment can no longer be exercised, but the same end may be accomplished by the substitution of this mode.  Every seaman thus employed (the terms of whose engagement have not been ascertained) increases the naval strength of the enemy, not only by depriving the United States of his active services, but by enabling Great Britain to carry on, and even extend, her commerce, without diminishing the number of sailor employed in her vessels of war.
The testimony collected under the fourth head proves, that it is the ordinary practice of the officers of British armed vessels to force impressed Americans to serve against their country by threats, by corporal punishment, and even by the fear of immediate execution-an instructing commentary upon the professions of the Government of its readiness to release impressed American seamen, found on bard ships of war.
On the evidence collected under the fifth head it is only necessary to observe, that, in one case, (the case of Dr. M'Keehan) the enormity is increased by the circumstance of the flag being divested of every thing of a hostile character, having solely for its object the relief of the wounded and suffering prisoners who were taken at the river Raisin on the 22d January, 1813.  The treatment of Dr. M'Keehan, not by the allies of Britain, but by the officers of her army, can only be rationally accounted for by the supposition, that it was considered good policy to deter American surgeons from going to the relief of their countrymen, as the Indian surgeons had a more speedy and effectual mode of relieving their sufferings. 
The evidence respecting the ransom of American prisoners from Indians, collected under the sixth head, deserves attention, principally from the policy it indicates, and as it is connected with Indian cruelties.  Considering the savages as an auxiliary military force in the pay of Great Britain, the amount of ransom may be regarded as part of their stipulated compensation for military service; and, as ransoms would be increased, and their value enhanced, by the terror inspired by the most shocking barbarities, it may be fairly concluded, whatever may be the intention of the British Government, that the practice of redeeming captives by pecuniary means will be occasionally quickened, by the butchery of our fellow citizens, and by indignities offered to their remains, as long as the Indians are employed by the enemy.  The justice of this conclusion is confirmed by the testimony of those witnesses who were retained after ransom as prisoners of war.
The testimony collected under the seventh head shows, that the private property of unarmed citizens has been pillaged by the officers and crews of the British vessels of war on our coast, their house burnt, and places of public worship mutilated and defiled.  It appears that the officers, animated by the presence of Admiral Cockburn, particularly distinguished themselves in these exploits.  This evidence proves, that they were governed by the combined motives of avarice and revenge; not satisfied with hearing off, for their own convenience, the valuable articles found, the others, which furnished no allurements to their cupidity, were wantonly defaced and destroyed.  It has been alleged, in palliation of these acts of wanton cruelty, that a flag sent on shore by the Admiral was fired upon by the American militia.  The evidence proves this not to have been the facts.  This pretence has been resorted to only to excuse conduct which no circumstances can justify.
The committee forbear to make any observations upon the testimony collected under the eighth head, from a perfect conviction that no person of this or any other nation can read the simple narrative of the different witnesses of the grossest violations of honor, justice, and humanity, without the strongest emotions of indignation and horror.  That these outrages were perpetrated by Indians is neither palliation nor excuse.  Every civilized nation is answerable for the conduct of the allies under their command, and , while they partake of the advantages of their successes, they are equally partakers of the odium of their crimes.  The British forces concerned in the affair of the 22d, at the river Raisin, are more deeply implicated in the infamy of these transactions than by this mode of reasoning, however correct. The massacre of the 23rd January, after the capitulation, was perpetrated without any exertion on their part to prevent it; indeed, it is apparent, from all the circumstances, that, if the British officers did not connive at their destruction, they were criminally indifferent about the fate of the wounded prisoners.  But what marks more strongly the degradation of the character of the British soldiers is, the refusal of the last offices of humanity to the bodies of the dead.  The bodies of our countrymen were exposed to every indignity, and became food for brutes, in the sight of men who affect a sacred regard to the dictates of honor and religion.  Low, indeed, is the character of that army which is reduced to the confession that their savage auxiliaries will not permit them to perform the rites of sepulture to the slain. The committee have not been able to discover even the expression of that detestation is to be presumed from the choice of an Indian trophy as an ornament the legislative of Upper Canada.
The committee have considered it their duty to submit the evidence collected under the ninth head of the atrocities committed at Hampton, although these enormities have been committed since their appointment. These barbarities may be rationally considered as the consequence of the example set by the officers of the naval force on out coast.  Human turpitude is always progressive, and soldiers are prepared for the perpetration of the most dreadful crimes by the commission of minor offences with impunity.  That troops who had been instigated by the example of their officers to plunder the property and burn the house of unarmed citizens, should proceed to rape and murder, need not excite surprise, however it may inspire horror.  For every detestable violation of humanity an excuse is fabricated or found.  The wounded prisoners on the Northern frontier were massacred by Indians; the sick murdered; and the women violated at Hampton, by the foreign troops in the pay of Great Britain.  These pretexts, admitting them to be true, are as disgraceful as the conduct which made a resort to them necessary.  Honor and magnanimity not only forbid the soldier to perpetrate crimes, but require every exertion on his part to prevent them.  If, in defiance of discipline, acts of violence are committed upon any individual entitled to protection, the exemplary punishment of the offender can alone vindicate the reputation of the nation by whom he is employed.  Whether such exertions were made by the British soldiers, or the character of the British nation thus vindicated, the evidence will show.
The shrieks of the innocent victims of infernal lust, at Hampton, were heard by the American prisoners, but were too weak to reach the ears of disturb the repose of the British officers, whose duty, as men, required them to protect every female whom the fortune of war had thrown into their power. The committee will not dwell on this hateful subject.  Human language affords no terms strong enough to express the emotions which the examination of this evidence has awakened; they rejoice that these acts have appeared so incredible to the American people, and, for the honor of human nature, they deeply regret that the evidence so clearly establishes their truth.  In the correspondence between the commander of the American and British forces will be found what is equivalent to an admission of the facts by the British commander.  The committee have yet to learn that the punishment of the offenders has followed the conviction of their guilt.  The power of retaliation being vested by law in the Executive Magistrate, no measure is considered necessary to be proposed but the resolution annexed to this report.
As such enormities, instead of inspiring terror, as was probably intended, are, in the opinion of the committee, calculated to produce a contrary effect, they submit, for the consideration of the House, the following resolution:
Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to have collected presented to this House, during the continuance of the present war, evidence of every departure by the enemy from the ordinary modes of-conducting war among civilized nations.

Courtesy of Library of Congress

A letter from Alexandria

A letter from Alexandria, of 2d August, states, that the ship Monsoon, Captain WILLIAMS, had returned into port, with her Clearance endorsed, as follows:-

“Whereas the within mentioned ship Monsoon, is laden with flour, and must pass within the control of the enemy’s squadron now within, and blockading Chesapeake Bay, if she is allowed to proceed on her intended voyage; and as the enemy might derive from her, such intelligence, and succor, as would be serviceable to themselves, and injurious to the United States:-I do therefore forbid her proceeding on her voyage, while the enemy’s force shall be so disposed, as to prevent a reasonable possibility of her getting to sea, without falling into their possession.

U.S. Frigate Adams,

River Potomac, July 31, 1813.

(Signed) C. MORRIS, Capt. U.S. Navy.”

Acts of Congress.
The following are among the heads of the acts, sixty in number, which have passed during the late session, viz.-

An act making compensation for wagons and teams captured by the enemy at Detroit.

An act to continue in force for a limited time certain acts authorizing corps of rangers for the protection of the frontiers of the United States and making appropriations for the same.

An act to provide for the widows and orphans of militia slain and for militia disabled in the service of the United States.

An act concerning invalid pensioners.

An act freeing from postage all letters and packets to and from the superintendant general of military supplies.

An act to authorize the appointment by the president of certain officers during the recess of congress.

An act explanatory of an entitled “an act to raise ten additional companies of Rangers.”


An act to authorize the raising a corps of sea fencibles.

An act for the further defence of the ports and harbours of the United States.

An act authorising the President to cause to be built barges for the defence of the ports and harbours of the United States.


An act to reward the officers and crew of the sloop of war Hornet and Lieut. Elliot and his officers and companions.

An act for the relief of the officers and crew of the late United States brig. Vixen.


An act to relinquish the claim of the United States to certain goods, wares and merchandize captured by private armed vessels.

An act for reducing the duties payable on prize goods captured by private armed vessels.

An act to amend and explain the act regulating pensions to persons on board private armed ships.

An act allowing a bounty to the owners, officers and crews of the private armed vessels of the United States.


Eleven Acts laying a DIRECT TAX, INTERNAL DUTIES, &c.

An act authorizing a loan for a sum not exceeding seven million five hundred thousand dollars.  

An act to provide for the accommodation of the household of the President of the U. States.



Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-August 16, 1813.



BALTIMORE, JULY 31.-By a gentleman who arrived to day from Annapolis, we learn, that a party of the British fleet were seen yesterday, by the commander of the look-out boat, off the mouth of the Patuxent.” It appears they are advancing up the Bay.

*The Patuxent empties into the Chesapeake Bay, about 16 miles above the extreme point of Point Look out.
ANNAPOLIS, JULY 31.-The enemy’s force now in the Bay, is said to consist of three 74’s, two double deckers, 54’s or 64’s, six frigates, five brigs, and nine smaller vessels.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-August 6, 1813.

Letter from Andrew Jackson to Willie Blount

July 31st. 1813.

Dear sir,
       From a letter recd. from the Hon'ble G.W. Campbell last mail I am advised that Government has come to a determination to march an expedition against the Creeks; the writer further observes "that part of the troops will be from West Tennessee, under your command it is presumed, this will afford employ for your detachment should they still be disposed to be engaged in active service"--
       From the above it appears that I may have some part in the contemplated expedition, and from which I take the liberty of giving you my ideas on the subject--and first it is my duty to make known to you that the Volunteers composing my detachment in the late expedition down the Mississippi two thousand strong stand ready at the call of their country to march at a moment's warning--
      There can be no doubt but the Creeks and lower Choctaws are excited to hostilities by the influence of the British; if so, there is no doubt but we will have to fight the combined powers of both--There is no instance within my recollection wherein an Indian Tribe or Nation has been invaded but they united their whole force against the Invaders Therefore in the calculation of the force to be employed by the U.S. against the Creeks and their Allies no calculation ought to be made on the division of the Nation--The force  employed may either unite them or create divisions; if an incompetant force is employed against them, they will be united and on the first reverse of our army in that quarter we will not only have the fight the whole Creek Nation, but the greater part of the Choctaws--If a competant force is employed to insure success the Creek Nation will be divided to secure their Territory and their property--The scenes in the N.W. is an awful lesson on this subject to the Government, and to every beholder, and from which we ought to learn from experience that the true way to oeconomize is to employ sufficient force to insure success and crush all opposition in that quarter at one blow--The question therefore will occur what force will be competent to the object. Will the number pointed out by the Secy of War, say 1500 from Tennessee, and 1500 from Georgia, with the 3d. U.S. Regt., say 500 strong be a sufficient force to ensure success and crush the hostile Indians and their allies in that quarter? I answer in the negative--If it was intended to barely make an incursion thro' their Towns, burn their houses, destroy their crops and hastily to return, this force would be more than competent for a flying camp, but I understand the object of the expedition to be different, that is, to crush all hostility in that quarter, this then will require fortified places in the heart of the Creek Nation, and a military campaign--
       It is a large calculation to say that three fourths of any military force will be any length of time fit for service:  it will take one fourth to guard the baggage &c. &c., one half therefore of the force ordered into the field may be calculated on to be a disposable force, we can therefore count with certainty only a disposable force of 1750 men after a junction is formed in the Creek or Cherokee Country--I will hazard an opinion that no military man impressed with a belief that the Indians are excited to hostilities by the British, and knowing their contiguity to Pensacola, and the ease with which Britain can land a reinforcement and cooperate with the Indians will say, that the above force is competent to insure success-- The experience of the N. W. armies forbid such a belief--and when any force that may be required can be had, I am of opinion that from three to five thousand from this state ought to be employed on this expedition, the latter perhaps the better calculation, these with the 3d. U.S. regt., and a Brigade from Georgia would be amply sufficient to drive the Indians and their Allies into the Ocean, and should the Spaniards give our Enemies an Assylum in Pensacola would be sufficient to take possession of the place, cut off all supplies from the straggling Indians and put an end to hostility in that quarter--
        As soon as the expedition is determined on I shall do myself the pleasure of submitting some ideas on the details of the campaign; the field ordinance necessary: the proportion of Cavalry and mounted men to that of the Infantry; the point of concentration; the Scite for a Garrison & depot of provisions, Magazine stores &c &c.
      At present I shall close these remarks by observing that four thousand man can be rendezvoused in my Division in twenty days from the promulgation of the order--My brave volunteers two thousand strong stand ready for the call-- I am sir, with due consideration and respect,

                                                                            (Signed)             Andrew Jackson

Courtesy of the Andrew Jackson Papers Project


Accounts from the N.W. Frontiers

Accounts from the N.W. Frontiers.

We have many rumors from this quarter, but nothing of a distinct or satisfactory nature.-Scraps of letters and unofficial details make up the history of this campaign.
A letter from Albany of the 25th inst. states, that a number of American boats had made a dash on the St. Lawrence, and succeeded in capturing 15 batteaux, loaded with provisions and military stores, and one gun-boats, carrying a 12 pound carrkonade, that the same party were afterwards attacked by three gun-boats, having 250 men, and finally succeeded in repulsing them.
Maj. Gen. Dearborn has received orders from the Secretary of War, “to retire from the command of the army  until his health shall be re-established, and until further orders.” On the 15th inst. the general and field officers, to the number of 27, presented him an address, in which they extol his “revolutionary services” and his “political constancy and virtue,” and although “far from distrusting their own ability,” request him not to relinquish the command. The general in reply, says, that “were he permitted to consult his own feelings, no consideration could induce him to quit the army, at this important crisis,” but he must obey his orders. As he left Fort George the band played a tune, and the artillery fired a salute.-He has arrived safely at Utica. The command devolves on Gen. Boyd.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-July 30, 1813.



Admiral Warren report on seized property

29 July 1813
(British) Admiral Warren reported on some of the things taken as Southern Maryland was looted and livestock, property and food were taken by the British:
(the troops were landed) “to protect the Party employed in procuring cattle and forage for the use of the Squadron…(they took) 120 head of cattle and 100 sheep” and sailed for upper Chesapeake Bay.

John Armstrong to William Henry Harrison

War Dept.

July 29th 1813.


Herewith inclosed you will receive a communication from the Executive of Kentucky transmitted through their delegation in Congress The subject has been before your and you will please to direct a settlement of all the just claims of the militia for retained rations and authorize the proper agent to draw on this Dept. for such expenditures. Where abstracts were furnished to the contractor for such retained rations, the amount due the troops is chargable to him, an account of which should be immediately transmidtted to this Department.

I have the honor to be very respectfully sir your obedient servant John Armstrong

Major General Harrison




Geneva, July 28

GENEVA, July 28.

We learn from a person who left Buffalo on Saturday, that Com Chauncey, with the fleet, had arrived at Niagara; that a number of sailors at Niagara; that a number of sailors destined for Erie had landed and were to proceed immediately for that place, to man the armed vessels there; that fears of an immediate attack on Buffaloe had subsided-the British troops which had been collected at Fort Erie having disappeared and the boats (about 15) gone up the Lake; and that some troops which had been sent to Buffalo to protect that place, were ordered to return to Fort George.


Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-August 13, 1813.


Canandaigua, July 27

Canandaigua, July 27.

We have received authentic information, which enables us to assure our readers that the Indians who lately assisted in defending Black Rock from the attack of the British, conducted themselves in such a way as to reflect great honor upon themselves and to put to shame the enemy’s boast of their superior humanity. The Indians brought in a number of prisoners without injuring a hair of their heads. Not a single instance of tomahawking or scalping occurred, although frequent opportunities, for both were afforded. A British officer, Capt. Sanders, was shot down by an Indian, who advanced towards him, and the Captain was in momentary expectation of being tomahawked. Instead of which the Indian commiserated his sufferings and passed on. The grateful Captain is determined to reward the tawny native by a suitable present. Christians! Men! Americans! Compare this conduct of the untotured savage with that of the civilized, humane, magnanimous British on board the Chesapeake, and at Hampton, and draw your conclusions.


Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-August 13, 1813. 

From the Enemy in our Waters


Extract of a letter from Capt. Forrest, commanding the Leonardtown troop of horse, dated

“Tall Pine, July 27, 1813.
“Our situation is extremely critical.-From two to three thousand of the enemy are in complete possession of the point of land below the ridge, which is two & a half miles from Point Look Out. They have been five or six miles higher up procuring stock, and have now in Mr. Armstrong’s corn field about two hundred head of cattle &c. Several of our most respectable inhabitants have been taken by the enemy; among those I have heard of, are B.Williams. R. Armstrong M. Jones, and J. Biscoe. Many negroes have also been taken, some of whom have escaped, and returned to their masters. Seven of the enemy’s regulars have deserted, and are now with us. The whole fleet is yet laying off Point Look Out. What will be their next movement I know not. They have landed six pieces of artillery, and it is ascertained that they have on board rockets in abundance.”

Baltimore, July 27.

The British fleet were seen yesterday about 11 o’clock, leaving the mouth of the Potomac-the impression was that they were destined UP the bay. An express arrived in this city this morning from the Governor giving the above information, and requiring the troops to be held in readiness. We shall be prepared to meet them, altho’ we can scarcely apprehend an attack on this city.

The Volunteers from Washington City, who marched on the first alarm down the river, having been duly discharged, returned to their families and friends.


Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-August 6, 1813.

Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain.

We have not a word of news from this quarter, since the date of our last paper. It is probable, that the English squadron which sailed up the Lake, had no other object in view, than merely to exercise their crews, and to seize on such era as they might possess themselves of, without danger. As to any attack on our troops, which are known to be so superior in number, there is not the remotest probability. But while they keep a superiority of vessels on the Lake, they will be constantly annoying the inhabitants who reside on those waters.
CANANDAIGUA, AUG. 3.-Com. Chauncey is now cruising on Lake Ontario, but we have not heard with what success. We may soon expect something from that quarter very interesting.-It is stated that the enemy were at Kingston, waiting only for a new 16 gun brig, which was nearly completed. Our force and that of the enemy is about equal, as to the number of guns.
BUFFALO, JULY 27, 1813.- Three of our armed schooners have arrived at Fort Niagara, which brought up between 2 and 300 sailors, who passed here on Friday last, to enter on board Com. Perry’s squadron at Erie.
We have seen a letter from Sackett’s Harbor of the date of the 29th ultimo, which states, that Commodore Chauncey’s squadron, on the 26th, had only proceeded up the Lake about fifty miles, the wind being light. He was not expected to arrived in the neighborhood of Fort George, before the 29th or 30th. The British squadron, under Sir James L. Yeo was at Kingston, and not expected to come out till the fleet had been augmented. Com. Chauncey has now the uncontrolled command of the Lake.

Events of the moment may soon be expected as all the disposable force of the United States is proceeding to the Northern and Western Frontiers.

[N.Y. Gazette.
ALBANY, AUG. 10-Com. Chauncey sailed from Niagara on the 28th ult. with Col. Scott, Maj. Chapin and 1000 men, on a secret enterprise. We learn from the passengers in the Sunday’s western stage, that the squadron had returned, after accomplishing the object of the expedition, viz. the capture and destruction of the enemy’s stores and public property at York. The report does not specify the quantity of provisions and stores found in the place, but states that the wounded and sick men of Boerstler’s corps were found there and brought off; that we made some prisoners, destroyed a brig upon the stocks, and burnt the barracks and other governmental buildings, which had been spared when the place before fell into our hands, from an idea, perhaps, that the foe would imitate the generous example. His indiscriminate destruction of every description of public property which has fallen in his way, (to say nothing of the pillage and wanton waste of private property) has shown the fallacy of our hopes, and demonstrated the necessity of retaliating upon him in his own mode of warfare.

We have states the above information as we received it; and although we believe it correct, do not vouch for its authenticity.



Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-August 16, 1813.

British squadron in the Potomac

British squadron in the Potomac.

Extract of a letter from Capt. Forrest, commanding the Leonardtown troop of horse, dated,

TALL PINE, JULY 27, 1813.

“Our situation is extremely critical.-From two to three thousand of the enemy are in complete possession of the point of land below the Ridge, which is two and a half miles from Point Look Out. They have been 5 or 6 miles higher up procuring stock, and have now in Mr. Armstrong’s corn field about 200 head of cattle, &c. Several of our most respectable inhabitants have been taken by the enemy; among those I have heard of are B. Williams, R. Armstrong, Jones, and J. Biscoe. Many negroes have also been taken, some of whom have escaped, and returned in their masters. Seven of the enemy’s regulars have deserted, and are now with us. The whole fleet is yet laying off Point Look Out. What will be their next movement I know not. They have landed & pieces of artillery, and it is ascertained that they have on board rockets in abundance.”


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-August 6, 1813.


Fort Meigs again besieged

Fort Meigs again besieged.

Copy of a letter transmitted to the Secretary of War.

Upper Sandusky, July 24, 1813.
Dear SIR- Mr. Oliver has this moment arrived from Fort Meigs, with a verbal message from Gen. Clay to Major Gen. Harrison (now at Sandusky with a considerable force) informing him that the British and Indians have again besieged that place. They were discovered on the opposite side of the river yesterday morning just after reveillee. The Indians had crossed over in the night.


Qu. M. Gen.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-August 6, 1813.


Sloops of War of the U.S. Navy

The new Sloops of War of the U.S. Navy, lately built at Erie, are noble vessels. They are of the rate of the Wasp and Hornet, each mounting 18 32 pound carronades and two long twelves. One is called the Lawrence, in honor of our lamented Hero-the other the Niagara.

[Nat. Intel.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-July 23, 1813.



J.C. Bartlett to Lewis Cass

Upper Sandusky 
22nd July 1813 10 OClock

Br Sir

Mr. Oliver this moment arrived from Fort Meigs with a verbal message from Genl. Clay to Maj Gen Harrison informing him that the British and Indians have again beseiged that place They were discovered on the oposite side of the river yesterday morning (21st) [illeg.] after Revillee, the Indians had crossed over in the night and succeeded in Killing and taking off sum[?] of the pickets guard. The force landed from the Sun boats &c in view of the Fort was estimate at 1500 British Troops besides those that had taken their position in the night, Early last night the enemy took possession of the point on this side of the river 200 yards below the Fort where they were erecting batteries -- our Batteries opened yesterday morning and we had several guns this evg. Ten or twelve Gun boats of them rigged were in view then Mr. Oliver left the Fort - I left Genl Harrison this morning at Lower Sandusky: -- he has 500 regulars & 100 Militia with him & Col Paul is within 22 miles of head Quarters with 500 regulars and there is 100 of the 24th Regt Infy at Fort Ball --
I am Sir with great respect your Mo. obt Servat --
J. C. Bartlett
Brigadier Genl Lewis Cass

P S Should Gov Meigs be at Marietta be pleased to write to him - I have sent him a copy of this addressed to Chillicothe

Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society


Washington, DC resident's confidence safety from British attack

20 July 1813
Letter from Margaret Smith to her sister assuring her that Washington DC is safe from British attack:
“It is generally believed impossible for the English to reach the city, not so much from our force (at Fort Washington), though that is very large, as from the natural impediments; the river being very difficult to navigate….There is so little apprehension of danger in the city that not a single removal of person or goods has taken place…..Every precaution has been taken….We go on regularly with our every day occupations……..As far as our enemy at home (referring to slaves) I have no doubt they will if possible join the British….(but) the few scattered slaves about our neighborhood, could not muster enough force to venture an attack.”
Extract of a letter from Brig. Gen. Boyd

To the Sec’y of War, dated

Fort George, July 20.
“I have the honor to report, that on the 17th inst. the enemy attacked our pickets in a body of about 200 British besides Indians. Detachments were sent out to support them, but with instructions to act defensively.-After a contest of one hour, occasionally severe, the enemy was dispersed. Our loss was trifling-only 3 or 4 being killed, and a few wounded; the loss of the enemy has not been ascertained but being exposed to some well directed fires of our light artillery, under the command of Lieu. Smith, it is probable their loss must have been comparatively great. Col. Scott, who had the direction of our troops which were engaged, speaks highly of the ardor and steadiness of both officers and men. Being fought in detachments, many young officers had an opportunity of evincing their activity and bravery. To use the language of Col. Schott, ‘this affair though small served to test the merits of the officers and men engaged’. More ardor has seldom been displayed.-Capt. Vandeurson fought his detachment with good effect; and Captain Madison, with his picket guard, was fully engaged. They could not lose their ardor under Major Cummins. Capt. Birdsall’s rifleman were nearest to the enemy in pursuit. Major Armstrong, who was officer of the day, was active in concentrating and arranging the troops and pickets, Capt. Townson, of the artillery, was wounded in the hand while voluntarily bearing Col. Scott’s orders; and an officer of the rifle corps was slightly wounded.’


Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-August 6, 1813.

The War-Extract of a letter from Maj. Gen. Lewis to the Secretary of War


Extract of a letter from Maj. Gen. Lewis to the Secretary of War, dated

Sackett’s Harbor, July 20.
“Our fleet has gone out of the inner Harbor, and appearances are in favor it its going to sea in forty eight hours at farthest.
“A little expedition of volunteers from the country, to which by the advice of Com. Chauncey I lent forty soldiers, sailed from hence three days since on board of 2 small row boats, with a six pounder each, to the head of the St. Lawrence, where they captured a fine fun-boat mounting a 24 pounder, 14 batteaux loaded, 4 officers and 61 men. Two of our schooners have gone out to convoy them in. The prisoners have been landed, and are coming on under charge of a detachment of dragoons.”


Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-August 6,1813.

Washington City, Tuesday, July 20

Washington City, Tuesday, July 20.

By a gentlemen who came up last night from the Camp, we learn that the enemy’s vessels are proceeding gradually, but slowly up the Potomac, carefully sounding their way, in two divisions; the first, consisting of six vessels under the command of Admiral Cockburn; the other, several miles lower down, consisting of five sail, under Admiral Warren. Our friends below are in high spirits, and able and willing to bestow on the enemy a salutary discipline, if he come within their reach.

A full company of some of the most respectable gentlemen in Charles county, exempt by their advanced age from service, yesterday mustered at Piscataway, under command of WILLIAM D. BEAL, Esq. late a Col. in the U. States army, and showed their willingness to meet the enemy.

Two or three Companies of Maryland militia are encamped about two miles in advance of our volunteers, under Lt. Col. THOMPSON.

The “Washington Volunteers,” an elegant company recently raised in the City of Richmond, and who arrived in this City on Sunday last, under command of Capt. BOOKER, on their way to the frontier, we understand are detached to our camp for the present.


Wednesday, July 21.

We received yesterday an authentic intelligence either from our encampments below, or of the movements of the enemy in our river, except that his fleet was reinforced on Sunday last by the arrival of seventy four and a rezee of 33 guns. This information is derived from Benjamin Griffin, a Pilot of St. Mary’s county, who gives from his own observation, the following statement of the enemy’s force which had entered and ascended the Potomac. On the 12th inst.-4 ships of 74 guns, one of 65, with troops, 3 frigates with troops, 2 brigs, and 5 smaller vessels. On the 18th-one 74, and a razee of 38 guns, as mentioned above. One of the 74’s and a frigate had taken possession of Sch. George’s island, and burnt one or two small vessels. The two ships which last entered the river had run up out of sight, 15 miles above point Look Out; but how far they had advanced, or what were the positions of the several squadrons we have not learnt. To day we expect to receive more precise information.

A party of the enemy who landed at Mr. Coles, St. George’s creek, St. Mary’s county, intimated to him their intention to visit the metropolis, and said if they could overcome the fort they would.


Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-July 30, 1813.

Extract From a Despatch


From Brigadier General Boyd, to the Secretary of War, dated
Fort George, July 20, 1813.
“I have the honor to report, that on the 17th instant the enemy attacked our picquets, in a body of about 200 British, besides Indians. Detachments were sent out to support them, but with instructions to act defensively. After a contest of one hour, occasionally severe, the enemy was dispersed. Our loss was trifling-only 3 or 4 being killed, and a few wounded.”
A Kingston (Upper Canada) article of July 13, states, that on the 4th July, a small party of their troops crossed in boats from Chippawa to Fort Schlesser, and after surprising the garrison, took away, without the loss of a single man, 1 brass six pounder, 57 stand of arms, 2 1-2 kegs musket ball cartridges, six bulwards of musket proof curtains for boats, 1 gun boat, 2 batteaux, 20 bbls. salt, 17 kegs Tobacco, 8 bbls. pork, 81 bbls. Whiskey and a number of spades, oars, axes, &c.-That on the 8th, a party of the king’s regiment, with a body of Indians, went in search of a considerable quaintly of medicines and surgical instruments, which had been cured near Fort George when their troops retired from that place; that after a skirmish, in which they acknowledge three Indians only as being wounded, the party succeeded in carrying off all the medicines and surgical instruments; that on the 10th at night, the barracks at Gravelly Point were burnt by a small detachment of the British, and 100 bbls. pork, flour and other articles carried away from thence, together with a very fine Durham boat; 500 oars which were collected to send to Sacket’s harbor, were destroyed.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-August 6, 1813.


Secret Proceedings

Secret Proceedings.

WASHINGTON, JULY 20, 1813.-A message was received from the president of the United States by Mr. Graham, which was read, and is as follows:

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States.

There being sufficient ground to infer that it is the purpose of the enemy to combine with the blockade of our ports, special licenses to neutral vessels or to British vessels in neutral disguises, whereby they may draw from our country the precise kind and quantity of exports essential to their wants, whilst its general commerce remains obstructed, keeping in view also the insidious discrimination between different ports of the U. States; and as such a system, if not counteracted, will have the effect of diminishing very materially the purpose of the war on the enemy, and encouraging a perseverance in it, at the same time that it will leave the general commerce of the United States under all the pressure the enemy can impose, thus subjecting the whole to British regulation, in subserviency to British monopoly. I recommend to the consideration of congress, the expediency of an immediate and effectual prohibition of exports, limited to a convenient day in their next session, and removable in the mean time, in the event of a cessation of the blockade of our ports.



Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-August 6, 1813.



To the same

To the same.

“DEAR SIR-The greatest consternation prevails in consequence of the destruction of James Cornell’s house by seven or eight Indians, and the probably murder of his family-and if the conduct of the Spaniards should be equally infamous with that of the British, our dangers will be great. The Little Warrior who was put to death, had a letter, it is said, form the British General in Canada to the Governor in Pensacola to furnish the Indians with arms and ammunition. A great number have gone down (Muniac thinks 300) to Pensacola for that purpose and will probably return this week, should they be supplied. They are to attack both our settlements-those on the Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia. If their plan be really as extensive as it is stated to be, they can only harass the outside settlers, and might be repelled if vigorous and judicious efforts were made. Mr. Pierce and Mr. Tate are going down to day to ascertain whether they have been supplied or not. All the half breeds as well as Muniac (who had a very narrow escape,) have come down to the cut off. The Tensaw people are partly down here and partly preparing for defence at home. The Big Warrior it is supposed has been taken.
“M’Intosh, Alexander Connell and Col. Hawkins, have all, it is said, fled to Georgia. I made one communication to Col. Bowyers yesterday and am making another to day.  Indeed I did hope that the statement I made to him a fortnight ago would have induced him to send the Volunteers up to the Alabama-possibly false alarm heretofore may have rendered him sceptical.
I shall write this evening to General Claiborne hoping to hasten his approach. The 70 men that are come are invalids. I shall send a large mail up for Chickasaws on Friday. We fear that Rigdon may have been murdered. He took the mail through Creek Nation.

I am, dear sir,

Fort Stoddert, July 19, 1813.


Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-August 27, 1813.


Buffaloe, July 18

Buffaloe, July 18.

The Editor of this Gazette with pleasure announces to the public, that he has just received a communication from Fort Niagara, stating that Major Cyrenius Chapin and his company have safely arrived at that post. It appears that a British guard under the command of a lieut. were taking Chapin’s corps to Kingston in boats; that the Major conceived a plan of escaping by rising upon the guard and making them prisoners, which was most gallantly executed probably in the afternoon of yesterday. The major arrived at Niagara this morning, after rowing desperately all night and fortunately escaping some of the enemy’s boats which gave him chase.

We have no further particulars. The Major and his company may be shortly expected home; then we hope to obtain a satisfactory account of the action at Beaver Dam and much other interesting matter, which shall be speedily laid before the public.


Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-August 6, 1813.




Our London accounts, which by several recent arrivals in this country from Europe, are brought down to the 17th July, furnish very little matter on the subject of American affairs. A late Courier observes:-“Great hopes are entertained in America of a successful issue to this Mediation. We know Ministers have flatly refused to negotiate through any umpire. If America really wishes to be at Peace with Great-Britain, we stand ready to meet her face to face, and treat on the most honorable terms;-though we have already experienced so much pettifogging chicanery on the part of some of her negotiators, that we think the people of England cannot build any strong expectation of the speedy realization of a solid peace.”


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-September 17, 1813.

Southern Indian War

Southern Indian War.

[The following articles contain some interesting details of the states of affairs on our Southern Frontier]

Extract of a letter, dated Monticello, Geo. July 17.

Gen. M’Intosh, (a chief) left this place last Thursday evening for the Cherokee nation for 800 or 1000 warriors, which number he INHERITED in consequence of his late marriage in that nation. On the same day he dispatched runners to all the friendly towns to ascertain the exact number of warriors he can raise; he is to meet his runners this night at an appointed place on the Alcove. Gov. Mitchell visits Jones county today, and will reach our country tomorrow, for the purpose of raising men for a campaign in the nation. Rumors from the nation, which obtain belief, state, that a few days past there was an engagement between the friendly and the hostile Indians, and the 15 or 20 men were killed in the skirmish. It is asserted that 8 or 10 days since the hostile Indians dispatched 25 horses to Pensacola for arms and ammunition furnished them there by the British. They contemplate an attack on our frontiers as soon as they get those supplies. The ensuing will probably be an active week, as volunteers will be collecting to form a detachment to send into the nation. It is thought the governor will not send less than 6 or 8000 men, of whom Major Gen. David Adams is expected to have command.

Georgia pap.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-August 20, 1813.



New York, July 16

New York, July 16.

It is with pleasure we learn, that the line of Torpedoes, intended if necessary, to be stretched across our Narrows, are completed, and can, at 12 hours notice be placed in assignation to blow up the most, if not all the vessels passing by Forts Richmond & Hudson. This line of Torpedoes together with the Forts on each side of the Narrows, which will shortly mount upwards of 100 heavy cannon, will render, in our opinion, this City perfectly safe, in case the enemy should attempt to enter our harbor.

July 19.
We have seen a letter from New London, of the 16th inst. which states that the militia are again called out for the defence of New-London.


Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-July 30, 1813.


From Fort Meigs

From Fort Meigs.

A letter from General Clay to Governor Harrison, and by him enclosed to Governor Meigs of Ohio, dated June 20 handed to the Editor of the Zanesville Messenger, for publication, states, that information had been fathered from two persons, direct from Detroit, of an intended attack of the enemy. A council of war had been held at the repeated solicitation of the Indians, and the combined forces were to start either on the 20th or 21st, with the view of attacking the Fort. The Indian force was expected to be about 4000 strong. The British regulars from Erie and Malden, about 1000, had been sent for.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-July 16, 1813.

From New-London

From New-London.

By an express who passed through Hartford, on his way to the Governor, and who left New-London on Saturday last at 5 o’clock, P.M. it is understood, that the number of the enemy’s vessels off that harbour is increased; and that it now consists of two ships of the line, two frigates, and one brig, besides a number of transports with troops on board. From this accession of force, and some movements of the squadron, an attack was supposed not to be far distant. A Spanish vessel arrived there on Friday, which was at first ordered off by the blockading squadron, but in consequence of having sprung her mast, and being short of provisions, was permitted to enter the harbour: The captain informs, that he was advised by the boarding officer from the squadron, not to tarry long, as it was their intention to make an attack as soon as an expected reinforcement arrived. These circumstances had excited considerable alarm at New-London, and exertions for the defence of the town, as well as frigates in the river, had been redoubled.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-July 16, 1813.

British Barbarity

British Barbarity.

Although we have never believed all the dreadful stories which have been propagated of the cruelties and barbarities of the British at Hampton, yet we supposed there might be some enormities committed which had given rise to these reports. But from the following article, which is copied from a Virginia democratic paper, it appears that the accounts are mere fabrications, without the least foundation in truth.

[N Y.E.P.
Gen. Dearborn.

From the following little, sly paragraph which we copy from the court gazette, it appears that General Dearborn is about to be discharged from the arduous ties of commander-in-chief of the army of the centre. He is to retire to Albany and there wait further orders! This is a decent way of dismissing a great man, and the General will of course have no objection to it. Query will he draw his pay and rations after he as retired to Albany! [N.Y. Even. Post

From the National Intelligencer, June 8.

We learn the Maj. Gen. Dearborn is about to withdraw from Fort George to Albany, probably until his health shall be re-established, there to await further orders.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-July 16, 1813.




Mr. Bradley (of Vermont) after a number of prefatory remarks, offered for consideration the following resolution:

“Resolved, That a committee be appointed to enquire into the causes which have led to the causes which have led to the multiplied failures of the arms of the United States on our Western and North-Western frontier, and that the committee be authorized to send for persons and papers.”

After a short debate, the resolution was ordered to lie on the table.

The bill from the Senate providing for the further defence of the ports and harbors of the U.States, (authorizing the purchase and use of hulks, &c.) was twice read and reformed to the military committee.

The amendment of the Senate to the bill to reward the officers and crew of the sloop of war Hornet, (going to include captain Elliot, &c. on the Lakes) went through a committee of the whole, and was subsequently agreed to by the House.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-July 16, 1813.


Choctaw Nation, July 15

“Choctaw Nation, July 15.

“Friends and Brother-On the 15th June I thought proper to call my friends and warriors together to judge of the improper proceedings of the Muscogees, and on that day, wrote my statements and sent four of my captains into their nation, but I am sorry to inform you, my warriors who returned four days since, could not deliver my letter owing to the disturbances among them villains, the Muscogees My Captain which I can rely on informs me, that part of sixteen towns have rebelled and killed eight of the Chiefs who were friendly to the United States. They also inform me the Big Warrior and Captain Issacs are secreted together and protected by a few friends. Col. Hawkins, and Alexander Cornels, have left the nation, by the request of the Big Warrior, to solicit the assistance of the white people in quelling those that have rebelled. They are making every arrangement to attack the frontier of Bigby.-They have also received letters from Canada, demanding of the English Store, in Pensacola, arms and ammunition and my Captains inform me the party with their pack horses, must be in Pensacola about this time. I am also sorry to inform you that about 80 of the Yanally own warriors have joined Tauloley who the Muscogees have made a chief of, and are at present at the Black Warrior’s holding their dances & making all preparations to attack the frontiers. In two days I call my warriors, belonging to my district, to make them acquainted and obtain their opinions respecting the business.

“I assure you and the rest of my white brethren that you have my friendship, and should there be any depredations committed against the white people in my district, I certainly shall seek satisfaction.

his X mark

“I do certify that the within and above statement are agreeable to the report made by the Indians now from the Creek nation.
(Signed)  JOHN PICHLYN.”
“The statement of the Indians says 2000 are in arms against the U.States.
George S. Gaines, Esq.
U. States Factor, St. Stephens.



Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-August 27, 1813.