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tachments from the sixth, fifteenth, and sixteenth regiments, and colonel M'Clure's corps of volunteers, was commanded by brigadier-general Boyd; the second, consisting of detachments from the fifth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and twentieth regiments, was commanded by brigadier-general Winder; the third, acting as a reserve, was commanded by brigadier-general Chandler. All these troops were to be embarked in boats. Colonel Macomb's corps of third artillery, to which the mariners were attached, having arrived in the fleet, was not included in the first arrangement, but directed to remain on board, to act as the commander-in chief-who, although sick, was likewise to be there—might deem necessary. The immediate command of the troops was assigned to major-general Lewis.
Every exertion was made to insure a punctual obedience of the orders of the commander-in-chief; but difficulties, inseparable from embarkations of this kind, delayed the departure of the troops until about sun-rise. At that time, the divisions of boats were seen moving, in prescribed order, on the smooth surface of the Ontario. The feet weighed anchor and accompanied them. A dense fog rested on the face of the waters, and veiled their movements.
The points of attack had previously been determined. A brief topographical explanation will indicate and render them understood. The course of the Niagara, strait for about one mile from its mouth, describes the segment of a circle, its convex side formed by the American shore. Fort George stands on the Canadian side, about thirteen hundred yards from the lake; the village of Newark interjacent. A cleared level plain lies between Newark and the lake. Skirting this plain and the rear of the village, is a thick wood, which, commencing on the lake, spreads, with the exception of a few farms, over the adjacent country. The lake-shore of this plain, and particularly of the wood, is steep, high, and rather difficult of ascent, declivous a few yards from the brink, and forming a natural breast-work. The woody part of this shore was selected as the principal point of attack. Auxiliary to this main attack, and by way of diversion, a company of light artillery, and a squadron of dragoons, under colonel Burn, were directed to march up the right bank of the strait, and threaten a passage to intercept the route leading to Queenstown. Our batteries were likewise opened, early in the morning, upon all the enemy's works.
About nine o'clock A. M., when our fleet and boats had arrived within about two miles of the Canadian shore, a brisker breeze sprung up, dispersed the fog, and unveiled them to the enemy. The ascending vapours, gilt by the bright sun, floating above,—the lofty fleet and bannered boats, moving below, together formed a scene at once imposing and beautiful. The proud or anxious feelings of the combatants, subsided for a moment, at the sight, into emotions far removed from the mood of war.
The enemy lay concealed within the woods, and sheltered behind the natural breast-work from the fire of our smaller vessels, which had already taken commanding anchorage near the shore. The advance, under colonel Scott, led the van, the other brigades following in numerical order. As soon as the advance came within reach of his shot, the eneiny, with a kind of magical celerity, arose from his concealment, and poured upon our troops a severe, but ill-directed fire. Undismayed by this reception, our boats, disdaining to return a shot, only accelerated their course. They soon struck the beach, and leaping upon it, formed with rapidity, and rushed up the bank. The unbroken and far superior enemy soon obliged them to recoil. Two or three times, it is believed, this gallant little band ascended, with undiscouraged, but ineffectual valour, during the eight or ten minutes which intervened between the commencement of the attack and the arrival of the first brigade. This brigade now joining the advance, the whole resolutely mounted the bank, and formed on its crest. A destructive fire was interchanged for about ten minutes, with equal obstinacy on both sides, when the different regiments being ordered to advance, the enemy gave way, and retreated upon the rear of the village. Just as the shout of victory proclaimed our triumph, the second brigade reached the shore. General Chandler's reserve and colonel Macomb's command followed in quick succession. The whole line now marched by the left into the contiguous plain, and forming there, waited the arrival of majorgeneral Lewis. In this position, the enemy, probably to stay our
progress, and mask his intended retreat, opened upon us a fire of sharpnel-shells from the village; but was soon silenced by our light artillcry, under colonel Porter. Major-general Lewis now assumed the command, and directed a pursuit of the enemy. Just as the head of our columin debuuched from the village, the rear of the enemy's column was seen evacuating the fort. The pursuit was urged, but his main body was already out of sight. As the flag of the fort was still flying, captain Hindman was detached to take possession of it. A few officers preceded him. As they approached, a magazine exploded. The remembrance of York made them pause; but, entering immediately after, they cut down the flag.staff, and the flag sunk among the ruins. Rejoining the column, they continued the pursuit towards Queenstown. Colonel Buro now crossed with his dragoons, and joined the arny. An order from the commander-in-chief arrested their march, when within a few miles of Queenstown, and directed hem to return and encamp at Newark. The day was now far spent, and the army exhausted; it retrograded to Fort George, and there reposed that night.
Thus closed the affair of the 27th of May. All that the bravery of troops or the activity of subordinate officers could perform, was achieved. There were many instances of individual bravery, which a more fortunate campaign might have emblazoned and kept in remembrance. If the enemy escaped capture, the fault was probably in the plan, not in the execution of it. The enemy were about three thousand strong; we mustered about five thousand. Considering this lisparity in our favour, it was not, perhaps, unreasonable to expect the capture of the garrison, as well as the post. Surrenders are not always consequent 01 victories; and perhaps the best concerted measures might have been unavailing in this case; but errors which experience has detected, may be pointed out, without claiming the merit of discernment, or incurring the imputation of illiberality. In the first place, landing at that part of the shore which was covered with wood, appears to have been a grand mistake. The enemy had thereby the benefit of concealment, and the protection of a natural breast-work. Had the open plain been selected, the enemy must either have declined meeting us at the landing, or have exposed himself to the united fire of our vessels and fort, both of which swept the plain. The order of landing may have been cqually exceptionable. Instead of following, and rendering it possible to be beaten in detail, the engagement would doubtless have been much shortened, and the success far more complete, had the whole line been thrown on shore simultaneously. The enemy could not then, without hazard, have concentrated his force, as he did, at one point; and while one portion of the line engaged him, the remainder might have acted on his flanks or rear. As it was,—when the advance and first brigade had beaten the enemy, he was able to make an almost unmolested retreat, as the two other brigades had not yet reached the scene of action. Or, instead of assailing him in one point only, had one brigade, or even colonel Macomb's command, been joined to colonel Burn's dragoons, and under the cover of the light artillery-which easily commanded the other side of the river-been directed to cross above, and make a lodgment on the Queenstown road, and intercepted his retreat that way,—the enemy would have been greatly embarrassed, and, if he escaped, obliged to retreat by the almost impracticable lake-roads. Being allowed, as he was, to take the Queenstown road, he had a feasible route, and fell back upon the garrison of Fort Erie, which, having evacuatec! that post, was on its march to join him.
The operations, subsequently to this day, were little calcu. lated to retrieve past errors. An almost entire day was suffered to elapse before the pursuit was resumed. After two or three days marching on the Queenstown route, major-general Lewis was recalled, and brigadier-general Chandler, with one brigade, despatched by the lake-road. Brigadier-general Winder was ordered to follow with another brigade. The third or fourth day, colonel Miller, with a detachment, followed the latter. This hazardous separation of the troops was perhaps justified by necessity or sufficient reasons; but they certainly incurred the risk of being beaten in detail by an enemy, which, although discomfited, and inferior to the united detachments, was superior to any one of them alone. The singular and disastrous affair of Stoney Creek closed the pursuit, and finished the triumphs of this part of the American army for that campaign.
SOME ACCOUNT OF THE AMERICAN ARMY.
Thx reduced peace establishment of the army in 1776, after the Indian wars under major-general Wayne, was as follows:
GENERAL STAFF. One brigadier-general, olie adjutant and inspector, one quartermaster-general, one pay-master-general, one judge advocate, two brigade-inspectors, two assistant pay-masters, ten garrison surgeons' mates.
REGIMENTS AND CORPS. Cavalry-Two troops of dragoons under two captains, four lieutenants and two cornets.
Corps of artillerists and engineers-One lieutenant-colonet commandant, four majors, sixteen captains, thirty-two lieutenants, one surgcon and four mates.
Infantry-Four regiments, each under one lieutenant commandant, two majors, eiglit captains, eight lieutenants and eight ensighs.
The whole military force under this organization was some. thing less than 6000.
Augmentation of the Army in 1798 and 1799. By an act passed 27th April, 1798, an additional regiment of artillerists and engineers is ordered to be raised by voluntary enlistments, for five years. Eighty-eight thousand dollars appropriated therefor.
By an act passed May 28th, 1798, the President of the United States is authorized, at any time within three years after the passing of this act, if in his opinion the public interest shall require it, to accept of any company or companies of voluntcers, either of artillery, cavalry, or infantry, who may offer themselves for the service, armed, clothed, and equipped at their own expense, who shall be liable to do duty at any time the President shall judge proper, within two years after he shall 'accept their services. While in service, they shall be under the same regulations, and entitled to the same pay and emoluments of every kind, excepi bounty and clothing, as the other troops.