By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Some Account of the Public Life of the Late Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost, Bart. - Particularly of his Services in the Canadas, including a - reply to the strictures on his Military Character, Contained - in an Article in The Quareterly Review
Author: Brenton, E. B.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Some Account of the Public Life of the Late Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost, Bart. - Particularly of his Services in the Canadas, including a - reply to the strictures on his Military Character, Contained - in an Article in The Quareterly Review" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.










     "Either this is envy in you, folly, or mistaking; the
     very stream of his life, and the business he hath
     helmed, must upon a warranted need give him a better
     proclamation. Let him be but testimonied in his own
     bringings forth, and he shall appear a statesman and a
     soldier. Therefore you speak unskilfully; or if your
     knowledge be more, it is much darkened in your malice."

                                    MEASURE FOR MEASURE.






J. M'Creery, Printer,
Tooks Court, Chancery Lane.





_&c. &c._

The character and conduct of individuals in high and responsible
situations, will naturally and necessarily be the subject of free and open
discussion. The conduct of a soldier is more particularly exposed to this
scrutiny. His success or his failure is a matter of such powerful interest
to his country, that he generally receives even more than his full measure
of approbation or of blame. Notwithstanding all the difficulties of forming
a correct judgment on the merits of military operations, there is perhaps
no subject upon which public opinion expresses itself so quickly and so
decidedly. Disappointed in the sanguine hopes which they had entertained,
and mortified by the consciousness of defeat, the public too frequently
imagine cause for censure, and without a competent knowledge of the facts
necessary to enable them to form a sound and satisfactory judgment,
unhesitatingly condemn those who have perhaps passed in their service a
long life of anxiety and labour. But while, in the moment of irritation,
they are thus disposed to impugn the conduct of their military servants,
they are no less ready, on more deliberate inquiry, and a fuller
understanding of the facts, to grant them a candid and generous acquittal.
These observations are peculiarly applicable to the case of the late
Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost, who, after having devoted to his
country thirty-five of the best years of his life; after having
distinguished himself in many gallant actions; and after having preserved
to the crown of Great Britain some of its most valuable foreign
possessions, was called upon, at the close of his honourable career, to
answer charges which vitally affected his reputation, and which he was
prevented by death from fully and clearly refuting.

Painful as it was to the friends of Sir George Prevost to allow a single
stain to rest upon the memory of so brave and distinguished a soldier, more
especially when they possessed the means of removing every doubt as to his
conduct, they yet considered an appeal to the candour and justice of his
country as unnecessary. The violent prejudices which at one period existed
against the late Commander of the Forces in the Canadas were gradually
wearing away; his memory had been honored by a just tribute of his
Sovereign's regret and approbation; and the scenes in which he had been so
conspicuous an actor, had ceased to be a matter of general interest. Under
these circumstances, the relatives of Sir George Prevost would confidently
have entrusted his reputation to the unprejudiced judgment of posterity,
had they not seen, with equal regret and indignation, a late attempt to
revive the almost exploded calumnies and misrepresentations of which he had
been the victim. That the Quarterly Review[1] should have lent its pages to
an attack like this, will, upon the perusal of the present volume, excite
the surprise of every candid person; and it is chiefly for the purpose of
correcting the mis-statements into which the Reviewer has been led, that
the following pages are presented to the public.

Before entering more particularly upon the subject of Sir George Prevost's
conduct, so wantonly attacked in the article above alluded to, it may not
be thought improper briefly to advert to his father's services and to his
own early history. From his military career, previous to his appointment to
the chief command in British North America, it will clearly appear that he
was not without reason selected by his Majesty's Government for the
discharge of that important trust.

Major-General Augustin Prevost, the father of the late Sir George Prevost,
was by birth a citizen of Geneva: he entered the British service as a
Cornet in the Earl of Albemarle's regiment of Horse Guards, and was present
at the battle of Fontenoy, where he was wounded.

Having attained the rank of Major in the 60th regiment in 1759, he had the
honor of serving under General Wolfe, and received a severe wound in the
head, whilst gallantly forcing a landing, twenty miles above Quebec, under
the immediate command of General Carleton, afterwards Lord Dorchester. Upon
the reduction of Canada, Major Prevost was promoted to the rank of
Lieutenant-Colonel, and served with reputation at the capture of Martinique
and the Havannah. In 1775, he was appointed to the command in East Florida,
and, in 1778, he eminently distinguished himself by his defence of
Savannah, against the attack of a very superior force of French and
Americans, under the Comte d'Estaing and General Lincoln. The garrison
consisted of only 2,300 men, while the force of the besiegers amounted to
8,000, supported by a fleet of twenty-two sail of the line. Such, however,
was the determined energy of Major-General Prevost, and of the British
soldiers and sailors under his command, that the enemy were compelled to
abandon the enterprize, after thirty-three days' close siege.[2]

In 1780, Major-General Prevost, after having served twenty-two years in
North America and the West Indies, returned to England, to enjoy the
pleasing consciousness of having always discharged his duty with zeal and
effect. His health was much impaired by a long residence in climates
unfavorable to an European constitution, and, on the 6th May, 1786, he
died, at Greenhill Grove, near Barnet, in the sixty-third year of his age.

In 1765, Major-General Prevost married, at Lausanne, a daughter of M.
Grand, of that place;[3] and, on her husband's departure to America, Mrs.
Prevost accompanied him thither. George, their eldest son, was born while
General Prevost was stationed in the province of New Jersey, on the 19th
May, 1767. Being designed by his father for the military profession, he
was placed with that view at Lochée's academy, at Chelsea, and his
education was finished at Colmar, on the continent. He obtained his first
commission in the 60th regiment, and being removed upon promotion to the
28th foot, he joined that corps at Gibraltar in 1784. He obtained his
majority in 1790, and early in 1791, he took the command of the 3d
battalion of the 60th regiment at Antigua. In March, 1794, he was promoted
to a Lieutenant-Colonelcy in the 60th, and, in 1795, he proceeded to
Demerara, and from thence to St. Vincent's, at that time attacked by the
French. He was there actively employed in suppressing the Carib
insurrection, and in resisting the French invasion, and at the storming of
the Vigie he commanded a column. In October, 1795, he was ordered to
Dominica, to relieve Lieutenant-Colonel Madden in the command of the troops
in that island; but in January, 1796, he resumed the command of the 3d
battalion of the 60th regiment at St. Vincent's, where he was twice
severely wounded in successfully resisting the enemy's progress towards the
capital of the colony, after the defeat of Major-General Stewart at
Colonary. In consequence of his wounds, Lieutenant-Colonel Prevost obtained
leave to return to England. The sense which the inhabitants of St.
Vincent's entertained of his services was warmly expressed in an address
from the Council and House of Representatives in that island.[4]

On his arrival in England, Lieutenant-Colonel Provost was appointed
Inspecting Field Officer. In January, 1798, he obtained the rank of
Colonel, and proceeded in the same year to the West Indies as
Brigadier-General. In 1798, he was removed from the command of the troops
at Barbadoes to St. Lucie, as Commandant, where he was afterwards appointed
Lieutenant-Governor, in compliance with a request from the inhabitants.[5]

Brigadier-General Prevost continued to perform the duties of Governor of
St. Lucie until the peace of 1802, when that colony was restored to the
French. The address which he received from the inhabitants of the island on
his departure, fully evinces the popularity which he had acquired;[6] while
the letters addressed to him, and to Colonel Brownrigg, Secretary to H.R.H.
the Commander in Chief, by Sir Thomas Trigge, at that time Commander of the
Forces in the West Indies, satisfactorily prove that he merited the
confidence reposed in him by Government.[7]

In July, Brigadier-General Prevost arrived in England, when the government
of Dominica was immediately offered to him by Lord Hobart. Having accepted
the appointment, he embarked for that island in the following November, and
landed there on the 25th of December, 1802.

In the following year, he volunteered his services on the expedition
against St. Lucie and Tobago, and served as second in command under
Lieutenant-General Grenfield, who in his general order, after the capture
of Morne Fortunée, thus mentions his conduct upon that occasion:--

"To the cool and determined conduct of Brigadier-general Prevost and
Brigadier-General Brereton, who led the two columns of attack, may be
attributed the success of the action; but to Brigadier-General Prevost it
must be acknowledged, that to his counsel and arrangements the Commander of
the forces attributes the glory of the day."[8]

The important services of Brigadier-General Prevost upon this expedition,
received numerous tributes of approbation from distinguished military
characters;[9] and even the French Commander could not refrain from
expressing the esteem and admiration with which he regarded his generous
enemy.[10] Upon the successful termination of this affair,
Brigadier-General Prevost returned to his Government at Dominica, where
nothing worthy of notice occurred until the 22d February, 1805, when an
unexpected attack was made by a French squadron from Rochefort. The result
of that attack was highly creditable to the valour and military talents of
the Governor, who after having, with the few troops under his command,
disputed inch by inch the landing of the French force, amounting to 4,000
men, and covered by an overwhelming fire from the ships, succeeded in
effecting a retreat to the fort of Prince Rupert. The French Commander in
Chief, after vainly summoning him to surrender, reimbarked the whole of his
troops, and sailed to Guadaloupe.[11]

The terms in which H. R. H. the Commander in Chief was pleased to express
his sense of General Prevost's conduct upon this occasion, were highly
gratifying to his feelings.[12] In consequence of his gallant and
successful defence of the Colony, General Prevost received a communication
from the Speaker of the House of Assembly,[13] conveying to him the thanks
of that body, and informing him that a Thousand Guineas had been voted by
them for the purchase of a sword and a service of plate, to be presented to
him in testimony of their gratitude and approbation.[14] A similar
testimonial to the conduct of General Prevost upon this occasion was given
by the Patriotic Fund, who voted him a sword of the value of one hundred
pounds, and a piece of plate, of the value of two hundred pounds, "for the
distinguished gallantry and military talents which he had displayed."[15]
From the West India Planters and Merchants General Prevost likewise
received a piece of plate to the value of three hundred guineas.[16]

In July, 1805, General Prevost returned to England.[17] Soon after his
arrival he was created a Baronet, and was subsequently appointed
Lieutenant-Governor of Portsmouth.

In February, 1808, he was selected to command a brigade destined to
reinforce Nova Scotia, where he succeeded Sir John Wentworth as Governor,
and in December, 1808, he left Halifax, in order to assist in the reduction
of Martinique. The expedition sailed from Barbadoes on the 28th of January,
1809, and on the 30th, the troops were landed on the island of Martinique.
Sir George Prevost was second in command under General Sir George Beckwith,
and to him the management of all the active operations was confided. The
result of this expedition was, that the French troops were driven into Fort
Bourbon, where they held out until the 24th of February, when the surrender
of that fort completed the conquest of the island.[18]

Upon the conclusion of this short but brilliant campaign, Sir George
Prevost passed a few days at Dominica, where he was received with many
demonstrations of joy. Addresses were upon this occasion presented to him
by the House of Assembly of Dominica, and by the merchants and inhabitants
of St. Christophers.[19]

In the month of April the army returned to Halifax, and from this period
until his appointment to the chief civil and military command in British
North America, in 1811, upon the resignation of Sir James Craig, Sir George
Prevost remained in Nova Scotia, esteemed and beloved by all ranks of the
inhabitants. On his departure for his new government, he received the most
gratifying addresses from the inhabitants of Halifax,[20] and from the
clergy of Nova Scotia, &c. &c.[21]

Upon the arrival of Sir George Prevost at Quebec in 1811, he found much
dissatisfaction and discontent existing in the Lower Province. The
inhabitants were divided into two parties, termed the English and the
Canadian, and the feelings of hostility with which they viewed each other,
had unfortunately not been allayed by the policy which the late Governor in
Chief, Sir James Craig, had thought it necessary to adopt during his
administration. To such a degree had this party spirit been carried, and so
doubtful had he been of the disposition of the Canadians, that it had been
thought inexpedient to call out the militia, lest they should make an
improper use of the arms to be intrusted to them. Under these
circumstances, it was evidently the duty of Sir George Prevost to
conciliate, by every means in his power, the confidence and affection of
the Canadians, more particularly as in case of hostilities with America,
it would have been impossible to preserve Lower Canada without the cordial
support of its inhabitants. Sir George Prevost therefore did not hesitate
to adopt a system which the true interest of the Province seemed so
imperiously to require. He anxiously endeavoured to unite the two adverse
parties, and to soothe the irritation which not only threatened the
tranquillity of his government, but even the safety of the colony itself.
In the distribution of the patronage which he enjoyed, he resolved to be
guided solely by a consideration of the public good, and when offices
became vacant, he bestowed them, with a due regard to the merits of the
individuals, indifferently upon the English and the Canadians.

The beneficial effects of these measures became every day more apparent.
The Governor in Chief speedily acquired the confidence of all ranks of
people, who submitted with cheerfulness to the privations and sacrifices
which they were soon afterwards called upon to endure. In numerous
instances he received from the inhabitants, both collectively and
individually, the strongest proofs of their zeal; and he had the
satisfaction of seeing them united in their attachment to his government,
at a time when the preservation of the colony depended upon such feelings.

Having thus given a brief sketch of the situation in which the Governor in
Chief found the Province of Lower Canada upon his arrival, and of the views
and objects which he entertained respecting it, we shall proceed to point
out the conduct which he pursued, when, from the aspect of affairs, it
became evident that hostilities with America could not be long delayed. No
sooner had Sir George Prevost assumed the chief command of the Canadas,
than he became sensible of the necessity of placing those provinces in the
most efficient state of defence; and he therefore applied himself with the
utmost vigour and vigilance to call forth all their resources. It is
difficult to believe that the unwearied exertions of Sir George Prevost,
with a view to this important object, should have been altogether unknown
to the writer in the Quarterly Review. But supposing him to have been
ignorant of them, yet without access to the private and confidential
correspondence which took place between Sir George Prevost and his
Majesty's Government, or to the communications which passed between him and
the officers under his command, it was impossible that the Reviewer could
form a correct opinion upon the subject. And yet he has not hesitated
boldly to assert, that, "in the winters of 1811 and 1812, although the
designs upon the Canadas were openly avowed in the American Congress,
except the embodying of the militia of the Lower Province, Sir George
Prevost made _not the slightest preparation for defence_."[22] The
following statement will show the degree of credit to which this assertion
of the Reviewer is entitled.

In the month of September, 1811, Sir George Prevost arrived in Canada, and
in the same month, proceeding from Quebec to the district of Montreal, he
inspected the different forts and military positions in that neighbourhood,
and on the American frontier. Soon after his return to Quebec in the
November following, he communicated confidentially with the
Adjutant-General of the forces in England, upon the apprehended hostilities
with America. In December he proposed to Lord Liverpool, then Secretary of
State for the Colonies, the raising a corps of Fencibles, from the
Glengarry settlement in Upper Canada; and in his correspondence with
Admiral Sawyer, who commanded on the Halifax station, he requested that a
ship of war might be sent, on the opening of the navigation, to the St.
Lawrence. In the month of February, 1812, another communication was made to
the Secretary of State's Office, in which Sir George Prevost expressed a
hope, that the proceedings in Washington would justify him, in making
preparations to repel the threatened attack. Those preparations had been
commenced as early as November, 1811, by forwarding arms and ammunition to
the Upper Province. During the winter of 1811 and 1812, and the spring of
the latter year, frequent communications passed between the Commander of
the forces and Major-General Brock, who commanded in Upper Canada,
respecting the preparations which would be necessary in the event of a war.
It was proposed to reinforce Amherstburgh, and Fort George; and supplies of
provisions, cavalry-arms, accoutrements and money, were directed to be
conveyed to Upper Canada. Accoutrements and clothing for the militia in the
Canadas, were requested from the British Government. Another schooner was
directed to be built, to increase our marine on Lake Erie. Captain Gray,
Deputy Assistant-Quarter-Master-General, was despatched to the Upper
Province, in order to assist in forwarding these defensive preparations;
and Captain Dixon, of the Royal Engineers, was directed to proceed to
Amherstburgh, to inspect the works of that fort, which the Commander of the
forces had ordered to be put in a tenable state. The propriety of
strengthening and fortifying York was submitted to Government; and the
commanding engineer was directed to make the repairs, which his report on
the different forts and posts in Upper Canada, had stated to be necessary.
In addition to these measures, a reinforcement from the 41st regiment, and
five companies of the Newfoundland Fencibles, left Quebec in the month of
May for the Upper Province.

On the 31st March, Sir George Prevost addressed a private and confidential
letter to Major-General Brock, in which his sentiments respecting the
approaching war, and the policy to be adopted in meeting it, were clearly
detailed. One passage in this letter merits a more particular notice, since
it is highly important, not only as repelling the accusation of the
Reviewer respecting the want of preparation for the war, but also as
containing an answer to another charge, which will afterwards be noticed.
The paragraph in the letter is as follows: "You are nevertheless to
persevere in your preparations for defence, and in such arrangements as
may, upon a change in the state of affairs, enable you to employ any
disposeable part of your force _offensively_ against the common enemy."

Independently of all these various communications with the officer
commanding in Upper Canada, respecting the measures to be pursued in the
event of war, and of the supplies of men, arms, money, stores, and
provisions, which, with a view to that event, had been afforded to Upper
Canada; much correspondence had previously taken place, and many
difficulties had been removed with regard to the supply and transport of
the Indian presents to the Upper Province, upon the due furnishing of which
very materially depended the support which we might expect to receive from
the Indians, in case of a rupture with America.

From this statement, drawn from the original correspondence, and from
official documents, it is evident, that even in contemplation of
hostilities, an event by no means certain, and which the British Government
were so far from thinking probable, that they discouraged any measure of
extraordinary expense to meet it, the Commander of the forces did, as far
as rested with him, during the winter of 1811 and 1812, and for months
prior to the declaration of war, make every preparation for defence,
consistent with the means which he possessed. All the requisitions of
Major-General Brock which the Commander of the forces had the power to
grant, were promptly complied with; nor was the slightest intimation ever
given by that invaluable officer, that any measure, either suggested by
himself or which ought to have occurred to the Commander of the forces, for
the preservation of the Upper Province, in the event of its being attacked,
had been overlooked or neglected. The same vigilant foresight will be found
to mark the conduct of Sir George Prevost in the Lower Province. One of the
first measures of his government, in contemplation of war, was an
application to the legislature of Lower Canada, in February, 1812, for an
act to new model the militia laws, and which might enable him to call forth
a proportion of the population into active service. Averse as the Canadians
had hitherto been to grant any power of this description to former
Governors, and repugnant as many of the clauses which it was intended to
introduce into the bill, were to the habits and feelings of the people,
such was the deserved popularity acquired by Sir George Prevost, from the
conciliatory policy, which, as before stated, he had adopted towards the
Canadians, immediately upon his arrival amongst them, that he obtained from
the Legislature nearly all that he had required. Before the end of May,
1812, a sum exceeding 60,000_l._ was placed at his disposal for the militia
service; and he was authorized to embody 2,000 Bachelors, between the age
of eighteen and twenty-five years, for three months in the year; and in
case of invasion, or imminent danger of it, to retain them for a year. In
case of war, he was empowered to embody if necessary, the whole militia of
the Province. Under that law, a force of 2,000 men, from the finest and
most efficient class of the militia, was embodied on the 13th May, so to
remain for three months, unless the then state of affairs should render it
expedient to retain them longer. A corps of Canadian voltigeurs, under the
command of Major De Salaberry, of the 60th regiment, consisting of between
300 and 400 men, had likewise, been raised and disciplined; and 400
recruits for the Glengarry Fencibles, had, before the 1st June, been
assembled at Three Rivers, in Lower Canada. The advantages arising from
thus embodying the militia prior to the war, were incalculable, and it may
be confidently asserted, materially contributed to the preservation of the

The American Government, deceived by the erroneous information which they
had received respecting the disaffection of the Canadian population to
Great Britain, had calculated upon meeting with considerable support from
the people in their invasion of the Province. They had been told, and they
believed, that the militia would not serve, or, if embodied, would be worse
than useless. The embodying, arming, and training of 2,000 of the most
active portion of the population, for several weeks before the war was
declared, was a severe disappointment to the American Government; and was
one of the causes of that determined resistance, which they afterwards
experienced in every attempt to penetrate into that Province. This militia
force also enabled the Commander of the forces to detach a larger portion
of the regular troops, than he could otherwise have been justified in
parting with, to the Upper Province; while, at the same time, it afforded
him the means, on the breaking out of the war, of guarding the different
passes and roads into Lower Canada, with a description of men perfectly
well acquainted with the nature of the country, and with the mode of
warfare necessary for its defence. The line of frontier in the Lower
Province was thus most effectually guarded by Sir George Prevost's able
disposition of this new force, together with the assistance of the regular
troops; and every prudent precaution consistent with his means, and with
the instructions he was constantly receiving from England, to avoid all
unnecessary expense, was taken. The precautionary measures which were
pursued upon this occasion, by the Commander of the forces, met with the
full approbation of His Majesty's Government, expressed in a despatch from
Lord Bathurst, of the 6th November, 1812, in which his Lordship informed
Sir George Prevost, that "the preparations for defence which he had made
upon _the first intimation_ of eventual hostility with America, and which
he had since so vigorously continued, had met with the Prince Regent's
entire approbation."

After charging Sir George Prevost with negligence, in not preparing to meet
the threatened hostilities, the Reviewer proceeds to hazard an opinion,
that the occupation and fortifying of Coteau du Lac, and Isle aux Noix,
which he terms the keys of Lower Canada, was a measure which Sir George
Prevost ought to have adopted, in preference to all others; but which he
entirely overlooked and neglected.[23] The fact is, that the occupation of
Coteau du Lac, as is well known to every military man acquainted with the
Canadas, could only be useful as against the enemy advancing from Lake
Ontario, or the shores of the St. Lawrence, above Montreal. No such force
could be expected to descend the river from the lake, so long as we had the
command of it, as we undoubtedly had, not only at the commencement of the
war, but for several months afterwards; and as little was it to be
apprehended as collecting on the shores of the river. The information which
the Commander of the forces was constantly receiving of the intended
movements of the enemy, and of the real and immediate object of their
attack, was too correct to leave him in any doubt as to their attempting
the Lower Province in that direction, or to induce him to diminish the
small means he possessed, for the defence of more important points, by the
occupation of posts which at that period could afford him no additional
security. Coteau du Lac, was not therefore occupied as a post, either
before the war or for several months afterwards, but its real importance
was neither overlooked nor disregarded, as the Reviewer has stated. It was
examined and reported upon by different officers, sent to inspect the line
of frontier extending from Lower Canada to Lake Ontario, immediately after
the declaration of war, and particularly by Colonel Lethbridge, who was
afterwards in command there. In possession of Kingston, and commanding the
waters of the lake, and with the knowledge possessed by Sir George Prevost,
of the force and designs of the enemy, no military man in the Canadas,
would have thought it necessary, in the then state of affairs, that Coteau
du Lac should be occupied. When subsequent events clearly shewed the
intentions of the enemy to invade Lower Canada from Lake Ontario, and when
the means of Sir George Prevost were better adapted for defending the whole
line of that frontier, Coteau du Lac was _occupied and fortified_; and had
it not been for the defeat which part of General Dearborn's army met with
from Lieutenant-Colonel Morrison's division in descending the St. Lawrence,
that post would have presented a formidable obstacle to the advance of the

The importance of Isle aux Noix, as a post, has been considerably
lessened[24] since the defence of the Canadas by the French, in consequence
of the facility with which Lower Canada may now be entered by the various
routes which the intercourse between that Province and the United States
has created. Isle aux Noix had long ceased to be either the only, or
principal barrier between the two countries. The occupation of this post
was not therefore deemed necessary as a precautionary measure before the
war; nor was it until some time afterwards that Sir George Prevost was
enabled to put it in a state of defence. As soon, however, as the
reinforcements and supplies from England gave him the means of more
effectually guarding all the avenues to the Lower Province, Isle aux Noix
became the object of his consideration. In consequence of the condition in
which it was then placed, and of the force stationed there, two armed
schooners of the enemy fell into our possession, and laid the foundation of
the marine which was afterwards formed for carrying forward the operations
on Lake Champlain. There cannot be a stronger proof of the little
importance which the enemy themselves attached to this post in the early
part of the contest, than their never making the slightest attempt to
obtain possession of it.

Having thus stated what Sir George Prevost did _not_ do, by way of
preparation for the defence of the Canadas before the war, the Reviewer
proceeds to point out what _was_ done by him after the commencement of
hostilities. And here we find the same want of candour which distinguishes
the remarks to which we have already adverted.[25]

In order to form a correct opinion of Sir George Prevost's conduct at this
period, it will be necessary to advert to the system which he adopted on
the commencement of the war, and to the motives which induced him to pursue

The declaration of war by the United States of America, it is well known,
was finally carried in Congress, after long debate, and a most violent
opposition, by a comparatively small majority. The northern and eastern
states, whose interests, it was acknowledged, were most affected by the
British orders in council, the ostensible and avowed cause of the war, were
constantly and strenuously opposed to hostile measures. It was apparent to
every person at all conversant with what was passing in the United States
at this time, that a contest undertaken in opposition to the sentiments and
wishes of so considerable a portion of the Union, and for an object which
Great Britain might, without any sacrifice of national honor, so easily
concede, as she was, in fact, about to do, at that very period, must
necessarily be of short duration. This was the opinion entertained by the
most sensible and well informed men in the northern and eastern states, as
well as in the Canadas, and in that opinion Sir George Prevost concurred.
It will likewise be seen, that the sentiments of His Majesty's Government
on this head were in unison with those of the Commander of the forces.
Under these circumstances, and with these impressions, it became the
obvious policy of Sir George Prevost, upon the breaking out of the war, to
avoid whatever might tend to widen the breach between the two countries,
and to pursue a line of conduct, which, while it should effectually tend to
defeat the object of the American Government in their attack upon the
Canadas, should also serve still further to increase the dislike and
opposition of the northern and eastern states, to those measures of
aggression against the British Provinces, which they had constantly
predicted would be attended with discomfiture and disgrace. In his
adherence to this defensive system, Sir George Prevost was encouraged and
supported, as it will speedily be shewn, not only by the approbation of the
British Government, but likewise by the concurrence of those who were best
qualified by their knowledge and situation to form a correct judgment on
the propriety of the measures which he was pursuing. This policy was also
the more necessary, in consequence of the inadequacy of the means possessed
by the Commander of the forces to repel the threatened attack of the
Americans at the commencement of the contest. The whole of the regular
force at that time in the Canadas did not amount to 5,000 men; the law for
embodying the militia had only been recently passed; and the population,
which had been previously considered as not well affected, had neither been
armed nor accustomed to discipline for many years. The military chest was
exhausted, and there was little prospect, that for some months at least,
considering the exertions which Great Britain was then called upon to make
in Europe, any supplies either of men or money could be afforded for the
defence of her Dominions in North America. These difficulties neither
depressed nor discouraged the ardent and active spirit of Sir George
Prevost. Although he fully coincided in opinion with that able and
judicious officer Sir James Craig, that in the event of a war with America,
Quebec should be the object of primary consideration; yet the defence of
the whole line of frontier between the Canadas and the United States,
occupied his early and serious consideration. That frontier comprehended a
distance of more than 900 miles, every part of which he determined to
dispute inch by inch, and to defend by every means in his power.

It was in pursuance of the defensive line of policy which had been so
wisely determined upon, as well with reference to his own resources, and
the character of the enemy with whom he had to contend, as to the views and
instructions of the British Government, that the Commander of the forces
immediately after the commencement of the war, gave general instructions to
those in command under him, to abstain from any unnecessary and uncalled
for act of hostility upon the American territory. Notwithstanding these
general instructions, much was of course left to the discretion of those
who received them, in availing themselves of any fair opportunity of
retaliating upon the enemy the aggressive warfare they might attempt, by
attacking, wherever it might be done with any reasonable prospect of
success, the contiguous forts and possessions of the Americans.

The private letter of 31st March, 1812, to Major-General Brock, from which
an extract has already been made, evidently shews, that Sir George Prevost
never meant to restrain the officers in command under him from acting upon
the offensive, whenever circumstances were such as would justify their
departure from the defensive system. Of these circumstances they were the
best judges. That this was the light in which Sir George Prevost's
instructions were viewed by Major-General Brock, appears by the following
extract from a letter addressed by him to the Commander of the forces, on
the 3rd July, 1812, at which time he was fully aware of the defensive line
of policy which had been adopted:

"The account received, first through a mercantile channel, and soon after
repeated from various quarters, of war having been declared by the United
States against Great Britain, would have justified, in my opinion,
offensive operations. But the reflexion, that at Detroit and St. Joseph's,
the weak state of the garrisons would prevent the Commanders from
attempting any essential service connected in any degree with their future
security, and that my only means of annoyance on this communication, was
limited to the reduction of Fort Niagara, which could be battered at any
future period, I relinquished my original intentions, and attended only to
defensive measures."

That Captain Roberts, the commanding officer at Fort St. Joseph's, acted
from a sense of this discretion thus entrusted to him, there cannot be a
doubt, as in his official letter to the Adjutant-General, announcing the
capture of Michilimachinac, he does not allude in the slightest degree to
his having acted contrary to his orders. The approval of his conduct in
general orders is likewise a convincing proof that Sir George Prevost
considered that he had acted up to the spirit of his instructions whatever
they might have been, and that he had used a sound discretion respecting

It however clearly appears by the above letter, that Captain Roberts acted
altogether from the orders he received from Major-General Brock, who was
fully aware, as it has been already shewn, of the sentiments of Sir George
Prevost, and who did not hesitate to give Captain Roberts the discretionary
order, which led to the attack and capture of the fort.

It will be seen from the preceding pages, that the approaching hostilities
with America had been the subject of frequent communication between Sir
George Prevost and Major-General Brock, for several months _prior to the
commencement_ of the war; and that, in more than one letter to which
reference has been made, the precautions necessary to be taken, and the
system and line of defence to be adopted in the event of war, had been
clearly and distinctly pointed out. Possessed then, as Sir George Prevost
knew General Brock to be, of his sentiments on this subject, and aware that
he would receive from the North West company, from whom he had himself
derived the information, the earliest intelligence of the actual
declaration of war, an immediate further communication of his sentiments
was unnecessary. On the day, however, on which the intelligence of that
event reached Quebec, the 25th June, 1812, a letter was despatched to
Major-General Brock from the Adjutant-General, communicating the
information; and as soon as the important arrangements respecting the Lower
Province, and particularly those for the defence of Quebec had been
completed, Sir George Prevost proceeded to Montreal. Upon his receiving at
that place a despatch from Mr. Foster, our late minister at Washington,
with an official notification of the war, he immediately afterwards, (on
7th July,) and within a fortnight after the first intelligence of it had
reached him at Quebec, sent off his first despatch to Major-General Brock.
This was followed by another on the 10th of the same month by Colonel
Lethbridge, who was sent to take the command at Kingston; and in both these
letters every instruction and information which Sir George Prevost's
situation afforded, or enabled him to give, were sent to the Major-General.
That these despatches did not reach General Brock until the 29th of the
month was owing to circumstances over which Sir George Prevost had no
control. It must be observed, however, that General Brock received the
despatches several days before he set off to join the army opposed to
General Hull, although the Reviewer[26] gives his readers to understand
that it did not arrive until after General Hull's capture.

The above statement will afford a full and satisfactory answer to the
misrepresentations of the Quarterly Reviewer,[27] and to the unwarrantable
insinuation by which they are accompanied, if indeed any answer were
wanting to assertions in which the writer has directly contradicted
himself. The Reviewer states, "that Sir George Prevost sent no instructions
whatever to General Brock for some weeks after he received intimation of
the war:"--and further, "that he, General Brock, was only restrained from
the measure of attacking Fort Niagara, _by the perplexity of his situation,
in being left without orders_." It is singular that the writer should have
forgotten, that only five pages before, he had stated[28] that "_on the
receipt_ of the intelligence of the American declaration of war,
Major-General Brock, who commanded the troops in the Upper Province
_immediately_ despatched DISCRETIONARY orders to the British officer in
charge of Fort St. Joseph's, to act either _offensively_ or otherwise
against the enemy at Michilimachinac, as he should find advisable." If
General Brock was justified in giving these discretionary orders to act
offensively as circumstances might require, it follows that he must have
considered a similar line of conduct open to himself; and yet, in the face
of this statement, the Reviewer gravely endeavours to persuade his readers,
that General Brock was in perplexity with regard to the measures which he
should pursue.

The Reviewer's insinuation, that Sir G. Prevost sent no instructions to
General Brock for some weeks after he received intimation of the war, with
the intention of leaving that officer to act on his own responsibility,
cannot be passed over in silence. It has been already proved, by
incontrovertible facts, that the contemptible motives thus attributed to
the Commander of the forces, could not possibly have existed in his mind;
and the attempt to impute to him a conduct so dishonorable ought therefore
to be marked with the severest reprobation. No two persons could more
sincerely respect and esteem each other than these gallant and high-minded
individuals. Sir George Prevost had early evinced his opinion of General
Brock's merits and talents, in a private communication to him of the 22d
Jan. 1812, several months before the war; and the reply of General Brock to
that communication, was sufficient evidence of the sentiments he
entertained towards the Commander, under whom he expressed himself to be so
desirous of serving. Indeed, the utmost confidence and cordiality
prevailed between these officers, as is amply manifested in the
correspondence before referred to; and wherever a difference of opinion did
exist, General Brock never hesitated to yield to what he expressed and
considered the superior knowledge and experience of the Commander in Chief.

The conduct of Sir George Prevost in his communications with General Brock,
after receiving intelligence of the war, was not attended with any of those
consequences which the Reviewer has asserted. Upon this head General
Brock's correspondence with the Commander of the forces is conclusive.

The first letter from that officer, after the receipt of the intelligence
of the war, is dated the 3d July, at Fort George; the extract from which,
already given, is a convincing proof, that whatever might have been his
intention in moving from York to Fort George, he was not restrained from
the measure of attacking Fort Niagara by any deficiency of instructions
from the Commander of the Forces.

The next letter from General Brock is from Fort George, dated 12th July,
and states that the enemy were constructing batteries at the different
points of the frontier; that he was making exertions to counteract their
views; and that the arrival, that morning, of the Royal George and the
vessels under convoy, bringing various pieces of ordnance, would give him a
decided superiority. Not a single word is said in this despatch of any wish
or intention on the part of the Major-General to invade the American
territory. Major-General Brock's next letter of the 20th July states, that
the enemy had evidently diminished his force, and appeared to have no
intention of making an immediate attack. This letter also communicated the
intelligence of General Hull's invasion of the Province. It likewise
contained details of General Brock's means of defensive warfare, and
expressed some apprehension for the fate of the troops under his command,
should the communication be cut off between Kingston and Montreal; which
apprehension was entertained by him on the supposition, as he stated, that
"the _slender means possessed by Sir G. Prevost would not admit of
diminution, and consequently that he could not look for reinforcements_."
The same letter acknowledged the receipt of the Adjutant General's
communication from Quebec, of 25th June, of the declaration of war. In the
succeeding despatch from General Brock to Sir G. Prevost, dated 26th July,
from Fort George, that officer writes as follows: "I have not deemed it of
sufficient importance to commence active operations on this line by an
attack on Fort Niagara; it can be demolished, when found necessary, in
half an hour, and _there my means of annoyance would cease. To enable the
militia to acquire some degree of discipline, without interruption, is of
far greater consequence than such a conquest_."

The next letter from the Major-General, dated from York, the 28th July,
principally relates to the approaching meeting of the legislature, and
mentions his intention of detaching a force for the relief of Amherstburg.
A letter from the same place, written on the following day, communicates
the surrender of Michilimachinac, and particularly acknowledges the receipt
of Sir George Prevost's despatches of the 7th and 10th July, written _after
the declaration of war_, and before alluded to. General Brock also states
his intention of embarking immediately in the Prince Regent, (the vessel
which had been built and equipped since the month of March preceding), for
Fort George, from whence he should speedily return to York. On the 4th
August, a short letter was addressed by General Brock to Sir G. Prevost,
from York, principally upon the proceeding of the legislature, regarding
the militia laws, and on the following day he set off for Amherstburg, from
whence he did not return until after the glorious termination of Hull's
invasion. It was, therefore, from a consideration of the nature of his
resources, and of the necessity of maturing and husbanding them, and from
a conviction that Niagara would easily fall whenever he should be inclined
to attack it, and not from any doubt arising from want of instructions,
that General Brock abandoned the attempt.

It was in further pursuance of the line of policy adopted at the
commencement of the war, that Sir George Prevost, upon the receipt of
despatches from Mr. Foster, acquainting him with the proposed repeal of the
Orders in Council by the British Government, immediately opened a
communication with Major-General Dearborn, commanding the American forces
on the frontier of Lower Canada, for the purpose of concluding an
armistice, until the Congress should determine upon the proposals
transmitted to them by Mr. Foster. An armistice of about three weeks did
accordingly take place; and whatever might be the advantage arising from it
to the American commanders and their troops, from the time and opportunity
it afforded them of increasing their means of attacking the Canadas, it is
obvious that the cessation of hostilities was of far more importance to Sir
George Prevost, by enabling him to mature his preparations for defence. In
fact, at the very time the armistice was negotiating, a regiment had
arrived in the river from the West Indies; and after the conclusion, and
during the continuance of it, considerable reinforcements of men and
supplies were forwarded to Upper Canada, where they armed before the
resuming of hostilities, and materially contributed towards defeating the
attempts which the enemy afterwards made to invade that province.

Intelligence of the conclusion of the armistice was despatched to General
Brock on the 12th August, by Brigade-Major Sheckleton, and must have
reached him at Amherstburg before he left that place for Fort George, where
he arrived the 6th September; but, whatever may have been General Brock's
opinion of the policy of the measure, we do not find in his letter of the
7th September to Sir George Prevost, that the receipt of that intelligence
had at all interfered with any intention he had previously entertained of
"sweeping" (according to the Reviewer's assertion) "the Niagara line of the
American garrisons, which he knew were then unprepared for vigorous
resistance."[29] In fact, as that letter states, the armistice was to
terminate the _next day_; and so far was General Brock from being in a
situation to act offensively, that he states his expectation of an almost
immediate attack, and of his having sent to Amherstburg to Colonel Proctor,
as well as to Colonel Vincent at Kingston, for reinforcements, to enable
him to meet it; expressing at the same time his hope, that if he could
continue to maintain his position for six weeks longer, the campaign would
terminate in a manner little expected in the United States.

Upon the expiration of the armistice, Sir George Prevost resolved to
continue, for a time at least, and until his resources would better enable
him to pursue a contrary line of conduct, the same defensive system which
he had previously determined upon; and which he had been originally induced
to adopt, in consequence of the peculiar circumstances in which he was
placed at the commencement of hostilities, and of the war having been
undertaken, on the part of the United States, so much in opposition to the
opinions and wishes of a considerable portion of its population. In a
private letter from Sir George Prevost to General Brock, of the 2d August,
1812, upon the subject of the proposed armistice, he particularly refers to
the opinion of Mr. Foster, respecting the policy of the defensive system.
"Mr. Foster," he says, "submits the propriety of our abstaining from an
invasion of the United States' territory, _as only in such event could the
American government be empowered to order the militia out of the States_."
As a further ground for this line of conduct, and a confirmation of the
propriety of his own opinion in adopting it, he quotes in a subsequent
communication to General Brock, of 30th August, 1812, the opinion of his
Majesty's Government on the subject. "The King's Government having most
unequivocally expressed to me their desire to preserve peace with the
United States, that they might uninterruptedly pursue, with the whole
disposeable force of the country, the great interests committed to them in
Europe, I have endeavoured to be instrumental in the accomplishment of
those views; but I consider it most fortunate to have been enabled to do so
without interfering with your operations on the Detroit. I have sent you
_men, money, and stores of every kind_." It cannot be matter of surprise
that Sir George Prevost should persevere in his defensive system, even
after the termination of the armistice, and when from the manner in which
the Government of the United States had received the communication of the
repeal of the Orders in Council, it was evident that they meant to continue
the war for other objects; for it ought to be considered, that up to that
period, the only reinforcements of troops received by him were the 103d,
nearly a boy-regiment, and the first battalion of the Royals from the West
Indies, the latter incomplete, from the capture of part of their numbers,
on board of one of the transports, by an American frigate. In consequence,
however, of this addition to the force in the Lower Province, Sir George
Prevost was enabled immediately to strengthen the army in Upper Canada, by
detachments from the 49th regiment, Royal Newfoundland Fencibles, and Royal
Veterans; but it must be evident that the total accession of strength in
both Provinces was not sufficient to warrant a departure from a system,
which had been adopted after the fullest deliberation, and upon a just
calculation of the means necessary to meet the American warfare. The
grounds of Sir George Prevost's opinion on this head had been stated to
General Brock, in his letters to him of the 7th and 10th July, before
referred to; and as a further confirmation of the necessity of adhering to
it, in his communication to General Brock, of the 17th September, Sir
George Prevost acquaints him, that in his last despatches from Lord
Bathurst, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated 4th July, 1812, he
is told by him, "That his Majesty's Government trusts he will be enabled to
suspend, with perfect safety, all extraordinary preparations for defence,
which he may have been induced to make, in consequence of the precarious
state of the relations between Great Britain and the United States."--As
this opinion of the British Government was evidently founded upon their
belief, that the revocation of the Orders in Council would either prevent
war, if not declared, or lead to an immediate peace, had hostilities
commenced, it was plain that no further reinforcements could be expected to
be even ordered from England, until accounts should arrive there of the
reception which the intelligence of the revocation of the Orders in Council
had met with from the Government of the United States. As this could not
well be before the end of September, there was not the slightest prospect
of any addition being afforded to the force in the Canadas before the
ensuing year; and it was therefore certain, that the Commander of the
forces would until that period be completely left to his own resources for
the defence of those Provinces.

To husband those resources became, under these circumstances, his imperious
duty. The posture of affairs in Lower Canada, as he had stated to General
Brock, in his letter of the 17th September, particularly on the frontier of
Montreal, required every soldier in that Province, and no further
reinforcements could be sent by him to the other. Not aware of any
advantage which could arise from offensive operations against America, to
compensate for the loss they might occasion, and for the consequent
insecurity to the Provinces which he was defending, Sir George Prevost
continued to urge upon General Brock, and after his death, upon his
successor, General Sheaffe, the necessity of adhering to a defensive
system; nor does it appear from any part of the correspondence between
these officers and Sir George Prevost, that they had any particular object
in view, which that policy restrained them from pursuing. Previous to the
armistice, and to the capture of Hull's army at Detroit, General Brock had
in his letters of 3d and 26th July, 1812, before referred to, given his
reasons, which were evidently independent of the consideration of any
instructions from Sir George Prevost, why he did not meditate offensive
operations against the American frontier; and subsequent to the capture of
Detroit, and after his arrival at Fort George in September, it has been
clearly shewn, that his situation and means precluded him from such
measures, except at a great risk, and for the accomplishment of inadequate

The correctness of this statement appears from a letter addressed by
General Brock, to Sir George Prevost, on the 13th September, 1812, from
Fort George; in which he says, "that although he had learnt from deserters,
(but which information he had reason afterwards to think, as he
acknowledged, was not altogether correct), that great dissatisfaction
prevailed amongst the American troops on the Niagara frontier, and that
therefore much might be effected against such a body at that moment; that
keeping in mind his excellency's instructions, and _aware of the policy of
permitting such a force to dwindle away by it's own inefficient means, he
did not_ CONTEMPLATE _any_ IMMEDIATE ATTACK." Two strong inferences
naturally arise from this letter--the one, that General Brock must have
considered the instructions received from Sir George Prevost, as to
defensive measures not _positive_, as the Reviewer has thought fit to state
them to have been, but _discretionary_; the other, that General Brock
himself, was convinced of the policy of abstaining from offensive
operations against an enemy circumstanced as the Americans then were. That
this policy was a wise one, was manifest from the result. Had any attack
been made on Fort Niagara, or had that general sweeping of the American
garrisons on the frontier, (which the critic seems to think so easy an
achievement) been attempted, there cannot be a doubt but that this invasion
of the American territory, before the enemy had made an attack upon our own
frontier, would have united the whole population, not only of the states
bordering upon that line, but of every other part of the union, in the
prosecution of the war. The militia already assembled upon that frontier,
and who were known to be dissatisfied, and anxious to return to their
homes, would in the event of an attack upon their territory, not only have
cheerfully remained to repel the aggression, but would have been further
obliged to pass the frontier, for the invasion of Canada; which, without
such an attack on our part, they could not have been compelled to do. Aware
of this circumstance, it was the policy of the American Government, to hold
out lures to our officers, commanding on the frontiers, to induce them to
commence an offensive warfare. Sir George Prevost, however, saw through
their design, and fortunately disappointed it. The consequence was, that
finding their militia could no longer be kept together, and that the season
was fast approaching, when all offensive operations must cease, the
American commanders urged the troops on that line, to that ill-concerted
expedition, which ended in the battle of Queenstown, and which, though
attended with the irreparable loss to the British forces of their gallant
Commander, terminated in the disgrace and defeat of the American army; and
was thus the means of preserving, at least for that campaign, the Province
of Upper Canada. Brilliant as had been the success of our arms at the
battle of Queenstown, and complete as had been the overthrow of the enemy,
they still remained in sufficient force on the opposite territory, to make
an immediate attack upon their frontier, notwithstanding the dismay with
which the critic seems to think the Americans were filled,[30] something
more than hazardous. Out of the small force of less than 900 regular troops
which we had on the field that day, nearly 100 of them were killed or
wounded, and many were necessarily engaged in guarding the prisoners, whose
numbers amounted to more than our own regular force. The enemy had received
reinforcements in their line during the day of the action, and others were
constantly arriving. Under these circumstances is it to be wondered at,
that Major-General Sheaffe should not have listened to the suggestions of
any of his officers, if such were made, and the fact is more than doubtful,
to cross over immediately after the action, when according to the
Reviewer's sagacious opinion, "Fort Niagara might have been taken, and the
whole of the Niagara line cleared of the American troops!"

Such an attempt might indeed have averted the insinuation levelled by the
critic against General Sheaffe and Sir George Prevost as _lovers of
armistices_, but would have evinced great want of military judgment and
prudence in General Sheaffe, and have hazarded all the advantages gained by
the gallant and able conduct of his lamented predecessor, and strengthened
and confirmed at Queenstown by himself. General Sheaffe was, therefore,
wisely contented with having foiled a second attempt of a superior force to
invade the Province; and, anxious to secure its future preservation, he
willingly acceded to a proposal for an armistice, which he knew, under the
circumstances of his situation, would be of incalculably more benefit to
himself than to the enemy. It must be evident to every one at all
conversant with military subjects, that to those who are carrying on a
defensive warfare, which their inferiority of force and means of every
description has obliged them to adopt, a suspension of hostilities must be
infinitely more beneficial than to the opposite party. General Sheaffe was
fully aware of the importance of this measure to the safety of the
province, which on the death of General Brock was entrusted to him, since
he was in daily expectation of receiving supplies of clothing, and other
articles which were indispensable for the militia, who had become much
dissatisfied from the want of those articles. Reinforcements of troops were
also on their way to him; and, in fact, these supplies and reinforcements
did arrive during the continuance of the armistice, and materially
contributed to foil the further efforts of the enemy to invade the
Province. It may also be added, that the armistice was further expedient in
the first instance, when its duration was limited to three days, for the
purpose of affording time for carrying into effect the proposed exchange
of prisoners, the removal of those that were wounded, and the passing over
to the enemy's side the militia paroles. Some portion of time was also
necessary for performing, without any hostile interruption, the last
tribute of respect to the memory of the gallant Commander who had then
lately fallen. The subsequent prolongation of the armistice to an
indefinite period, although it was in the power of either party to
terminate the same by thirty hours notice, perfectly coincided with
Major-General Sheaffe's system of defensive warfare, and permitted him to
leave Fort George for a short time, and proceed to York, where his presence
was indispensable for the purpose of being sworn in, and assuming the civil

It has been thought necessary to say thus much in vindication of this
measure, from a sense of justice to a gallant and meritorious officer,
although it was adopted without any reference to, and without the consent
or approbation of Sir George Prevost. The Reviewer has indeed thought fit
to characterize the armistice[31] as one for which no reason, civil or
military, was ever assigned; whereas it was notorious to the army employed
on the Niagara line that General Sheaffe was influenced in this step by
the motives and circumstances already stated, all of which were immediately
communicated by him to Sir George Prevost. If any thing further were
necessary to be adduced in vindication of the policy of the defensive
system, of which these armistices formed a part, and which the Reviewer has
thought fit so groundlessly to denominate short-sighted and ill-judged,
although attended with results so favourable to the safety of both
Provinces, it will be found in the complete approbation expressed by his
Majesty's Government. In Lord Bathurst's despatch to Sir George Prevost, of
the 4th July, 1812, written before the intelligence of the declaration of
war, by America, had reached England, his Lordship says, "The instructions
given by you to Major-General Brock and Sir John Sherbrooke, cautioning
them against any premature measures of hostility, or any deviation from a
line of conduct strictly defensive, meets with the full approbation of his
Royal Highness the Prince Regent."

In a subsequent despatch of the 10th Aug., Lord Bathurst approves of the
general principles upon which Sir George Prevost intended to conduct the
operations of the war, by making the defence of Quebec paramount to every
other consideration, in the event of invasion. In a later despatch of the
date of the 1st October, 1812, his Lordship says, "I have it in command
from his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, to convey to you his most
unqualified approbation of the measures which you have adopted for
defending the Provinces under your charge, and of those to which you have
had recourse for deferring, if not altogether preventing, any resort to
actual hostility." On the subject of the armistice, he adds, "The desire
which you have unceasingly manifested to avoid hostilities, with the
subjects of the United States, is not more in conformity with your own
feelings, than with the wishes and intentions of his Majesty's Government,
and therefore your correspondence with General Dearborn cannot fail to
receive their cordial concurrence."

In a further despatch from Lord Bathurst, dated the 10th October, 1812,
acknowledging the receipt of the letter from Sir George Prevost, which
announced the surrender of General Hull, with his army, to General Brock,
and communicating his Royal Highness the Prince Regent's approbation of the
conduct of General Brock, his officers and troops, on that occasion, his
Lordship adds--"I am further commanded by his Royal Highness to say, that
in giving every credit to Major-General Brock, and the army under his
command, he is fully sensible how much your exertions and arrangements have
contributed to the fortunate conclusion of the campaign in Upper Canada."
In Lord Bathurst's despatch of the 16th November following, he says, "The
measures which you have taken for obstructing the navigation of the
Richelieu, by the erection of works on the Isle Aux Noix, appear well
calculated to impede the advance of the enemy in that quarter."

Testimonials like these, so highly honorable to the zeal and ability
displayed by Sir George Prevost, are sufficient of themselves to afford a
complete answer to the Reviewer's assertions. That writer's remark, with
regard to "the practical illustration of the tendency"[32] of Sir George
Prevost's defensive system, is directly in opposition to the facts, both as
respects the conduct of Colonel Procter, in consequence of his orders, and
the effect produced by that conduct upon the minds of the Indians. In proof
of this assertion, it is only necessary to advert to the two expeditions,
of Captain Muir to Fort Wayne, in September, 1812, and of Lieutenant Dewar
to the Fort of the Rapids of the Miami, in October following. The former of
these expeditions tended, for some time at least, to retard the
preparations which the enemy were making for their second advance to the
Detroit frontier, which terminated in the defeat and capture of General
Winchester and his army, while both expeditions afforded to the Indians a
strong proof of our desire to co-operate with them, as far as was
consistent with the security of our own Provinces, and of the Michigan
territory. Neither of these expeditions would have been undertaken, had not
Colonel Procter's orders been _discretionary_ instead of _positive_. It is
certainly true, that Sir George Prevost did wish to discourage the
employment of the regular troops under Colonel Procter, in offensive
operations jointly with the Indians; because such a course of proceeding
was neither consistent with the instructions he had received from his
Majesty's Government, nor compatible with the military resources of his
command. At the same time he merely recommended to Colonel Procter a
cautious line of conduct, chiefly directed to the preservation of the
district committed to his charge; and it is evident that Colonel Procter's
use of the discretion thus entrusted to him, had the effect of retaining
the willing services of the Indians during the whole period of our
remaining in possession of the Michigan territory, and up to the time of
the unfortunate retreat and consequent capture of Colonel Procter's
detachment at the Moravian village.

Having thus briefly adverted to the principal occurrences of the first
campaign in Upper Canada, it becomes necessary to say a few words with
regard to those of the Lower Province, during the same period; and which,
being under the _immediate direction of Sir George Prevost_, the Reviewer
has thought proper to characterize as _utterly insignificant_.[33] Almost
immediately after intelligence of the war had arrived at Quebec, Sir George
Prevost repaired to Montreal, for the purpose of providing for the defence
of that frontier; and having established a cordon of troops in the
situations most exposed to attack, between the St. Lawrence and the
Richelieu rivers, consisting of all the flank companies of the 49th and
100th regiments, together with three battalions of embodied militia, and
one of Canadian voltigeurs, which last four corps had been raised and
disciplined previous to the war, he returned to Quebec, in order to meet
the Provincial Parliament. The legislature had been summoned, principally,
for the purpose of obtaining from them an act authorizing the circulation
of army bills, a measure to which from his deserved popularity with that
body, they did not hesitate to accede, and without which, from the want of
specie, it would scarcely have been possible to carry on the public
service. To many of the arrangements and measures of Sir George Prevost,
for reinforcing and strengthening Upper Canada, as well as for guarding
the approaches to the Lower Province, reference has already been made. The
whole summer had been unceasingly employed in these important objects, and
the greatest exertions had been made to transport and convey to Kingston,
by the tedious route of the St. Lawrence, against the current, and along a
frontier much exposed to the enemy, the various supplies which the
exigencies of the Upper Province demanded; all of which, by the judicious
and able arrangements made by him for that purpose, arrived safe and
without loss, or with very inconsiderable molestation.

In the month of August Sir George Prevost again repaired to Montreal, in
order that he might be ready to take the field, should the movements of
General Dearborn, who commanded the enemy's forces on that frontier,
indicate any intention of attacking our line of defence, which had been
entrusted to the charge of Major-General de Rottenburg. General Dearborn
having, on the 16th November, advanced from Plattsburg to Champlain town,
close upon our frontier line, thereby threatening the front of
Major-General de Rottenburg's position, Sir George Prevost, upon the
receipt of this intelligence, crossed the St. Lawrence with a considerable
proportion of the force then at Montreal, in order to strengthen the point
thus threatened, and established his head-quarters at Chambly, where he
remained for several weeks. Whether this movement on the part of General
Dearborn was made in the expectation of finding that no effectual
resistance would be offered by the Canadian population to his further
advance into the Province, or with the view of preventing the sending of
reinforcements from the Lower to the Upper Province, he was equally
disappointed in both these objects. The able measures adopted by Sir George
Prevost in the disposition of the regular troops, as well as of the
militia, who displayed the most ardent spirit of loyalty, and the most
resolute determination to repel every attempt of the enemy to invade the
Colony, induced the American Commander in Chief to abandon any further
intention of advancing. After pushing forward a few reconnoitring parties
which were invariably forced to retreat without effecting their object, he
was ultimately compelled, by the advanced season of the year, to close the
campaign, and to put the army into winter quarters.

The result of the first campaign was highly honorable to the military
talents of the Commander of the forces. The enemy, notwithstanding their
superior resources, were foiled in every attempt which they made to invade
the Provinces, with the loss in one instance of the whole of their army,
together with the Commander; while, in the other, their troops suffered a
total defeat, attended with the capture of a General Officer, and upwards
of 700 men.

But while thus engaged in his military duties, Sir George Prevost was not
unmindful of the importance of our naval superiority upon the Lakes, though
in this as in every other part of his conduct, he has fallen under the
indiscriminate censure of the Quarterly Reviewer,[34] who has accused him
of neglecting to preserve the naval ascendancy which we enjoyed on Lakes
Erie and Ontario, at the commencement of the contest.

As early as the month of December, 1811, as appears from a letter addressed
by Sir George Prevost to General Brock, he had directed his attention
towards our marine on Lake Erie, and had given directions for the building
of a schooner at Amherstburg. Our force on the Lake, at that period,
consisted of the ship Queen Charlotte, and Hunter schooner, both of which
were armed and actually employed. The Americans possessed at the same
period a brig, the Detroit, and a sloop, the former a very fine vessel, and
in readiness for any service, although then laid up at Presque Isle. During
the whole of the campaign of 1812, our vessels navigated the Lake without
any attempt on the part of the enemy to interrupt them, and materially
contributed to the success of our arms in that quarter, by the countenance
and protection afforded by them to the garrison at Amherstburg, and by the
transportation from Fort Erie of such stores, provisions, and supplies as
were indispensable for the security of the former post. In direct variance
with the Reviewer's assertion,[35] that "_not one effort_ was made by Sir
George Prevost to increase our marine at that period;" it is a remarkable
fact that the schooner, Lady Prevost, which he had ordered to be built in
_December_, 1811, was launched and fitted out, and was actually employed on
the Lake within a month after the declaration of war, and essentially
assisted in the transport of the arms, provisions, &c. before mentioned,
during nearly the whole of the first campaign. Of the force which the enemy
then possessed on this Lake, consisting of the Detroit and a schooner, the
former fell into our possession upon the surrender of General Hull with his
army; and, although she was recaptured in the October following, under
circumstances which, considering the superiority of the enemy, reflected no
discredit upon the officer commanding her, and the men under him, she made
no accession to their strength, as she was burnt the day afterwards by our
troops, and the Caledonia, a private vessel, captured with her, was
rendered a mere wreck by the fire from our fort and batteries. On Lake
Erie, therefore, during the whole of the campaign of 1812, our naval
ascendancy was decisive; to strengthen and preserve which, the efforts of
Sir George Prevost materially contributed. On Lake Ontario, our
superiority, as well at the commencement of hostilities, as long prior and
subsequent to that period, was still more apparent and efficient. In March,
1812, our force on that Lake consisted of the Royal George ship of 24 guns,
the brig Moira of 16 guns, and two schooners; whilst that of the enemy was
composed of a single brig laid up at Sackett's Harbour. But the importance
of maintaining this great superiority over the enemy was not lost sight of
by Sir George Prevost. As early as January, 1812, Captain Gray, an able
officer of the Quarter-Master-General's department, under which the marine
was placed, was despatched to York for the purpose, amongst other services,
of consulting with Major-General Brock, upon the best means of preserving
the ascendancy which we possessed upon Lake Ontario. In consequence of
Captain Gray's suggestion, the building of a very fine schooner, called the
Prince Regent, was commenced at York in the following March, which was
launched, equipped, and employed upon the Lake in conveying supplies of
great importance on the 3d July, immediately after notice of the
declaration of war had been received in Upper Canada. This fact furnishes a
full contradiction to the assertion of the Reviewer,[36] that "after
slumbering away the summer and autumn without one effort to increase our
marine in amount or efficiency, Sir George Prevost suddenly awoke, in the
depth of winter, to a sense of the condition to which his supineness had
reduced the British cause, and the building of two frigates commenced with
convulsive activity." That Sir George Prevost, with so decided a naval
ascendancy on both lakes at the commencement of the war, should not have
thought himself justified in any extraordinary exertions to increase that
ascendancy, is not to be wondered, at when it is considered, that for every
purpose of the defensive system which he had adopted, the British force
upon the Lakes was amply sufficient, and that Government would not have
approved, in the then state of affairs, of the expense which such a measure
must unavoidably have occasioned. Aware, however, as Sir George Prevost was
of the important advantages which the dominion of the Lakes afforded for
the preservation of the Canadas, he had, both long before, and immediately
after the commencement of the war, called the attention of His Majesty's
Government to that subject. He had also in his communication with General
Brock, and particularly by the Deputy Assistant Quarter-Master-General,
invited his consideration of the same matter. It certainly affords a strong
proof of the conviction of that gallant and able officer, that our force on
those waters needed no extraordinary exertion at that time to increase it
beyond what had been already made; that, excepting in his letter before
referred to, of 2d December, 1811, he never once mentioned the subject of
our marine in his various different communications with Sir George Prevost,
respecting the means of defending the Upper Province, until in his despatch
of the 11th October, 1812, he acquainted the Commander of the forces with
the recapture of the brig Detroit by the enemy. Previous, however, to this
period, and as soon as Sir George Prevost had reason to suppose from the
refusal of the American Government to accede to the Armistice, or to
consider the revocation of the Orders in Council a sufficient ground for
pacification, that the war would be continued, and that renewed efforts
would be made for the invasion of the Canadas, he had strongly represented
to His Majesty's Government the absolute necessity of experienced officers
and able seamen being sent to him, to enable him to preserve the ascendancy
which our marine then enjoyed. In a letter addressed to General Brock, on
the 19th October, 1812, he authorized that officer to take whatever
measures he might deem necessary for the accomplishment of the same object,
without further reference to himself. It was not ascertained, until towards
the end of October, that any extraordinary exertions were making by the
enemy to equip and fit out a squadron at Sackett's Harbour. The arrival of
Commodore Chauncey, with a number of shipwrights and seamen, making their
intentions evident, Captain Gray, of the Quarter-Master-General's
department, was sent to Kingston, to direct the laying down of the keels of
two frigates, the one at that place, and the other at York; and in the
month of December, more than 120 shipwrights, together with 30 seamen,
engaged at Quebec, arrived in the Upper Province, and the building of the
two frigates immediately commenced. In the same month, directions were
given for the building of a ship, of the dimensions and tonnage of the
Queen Charlotte, together with several gun-boats at Amherstburg, on Lake
Erie. During the whole of the summer after the declaration of war, the
superiority of our fleet on Lake Ontario, had enabled us uninterruptedly to
transport from Kingston to York and Fort George, all the supplies of
stores, provisions, and reinforcements of men, necessary for the defence of
Upper Canada; nor was it until the month of November, when those services
had been completed, and our vessels were on the point of being laid up for
the winter, that with all the great advantages which they derived from the
immediate vicinity of their resources, particularly of officers and men,
seconded by the strenuous exertions which they made, the Americans were
able to do more than to fit out the Oneida, a vessel perfectly ready for
any service at the commencement of the war, and six small schooners,
carrying one or two heavy guns each. With this force they ventured out for
the first time on the Lake in the beginning of November, under the command
of Commodore Chauncey; and availing themselves of the absence of the Moira
brig, and our three schooners, at the head of the Lake, to make on the 11th
an ineffectual attack upon the Royal George, under the batteries of
Kingston, they retired to Sackett's Harbour, without attempting to
interrupt our vessels on their return to Kingston; nor did they again shew
themselves upon the Lake until the following year. Up to the month of
November, therefore, which may be called the conclusion of the first
campaign, as far as respected our means of defending the Province, our
ascendancy on Lake Ontario had been preserved. To this object, the measures
adopted by Sir George Prevost, by the building of the Prince Regent, and
the supply of officers and men furnished to our marine after the
commencement of the war, essentially contributed. The superior advantages
enjoyed by the enemy, in being able to obtain shipwrights and seamen to an
unlimited amount, together with the proximity of all their means for the
building and equipment of vessels, had enabled them to launch a frigate at
Sackett's Harbour, before the end of the year 1812, and to fit out a
squadron, which at the commencement of 1813, gave them a temporary
ascendancy on Lake Ontario, before officers and seamen could be sent to
Canada from England. This ascendancy on their part was, however, of short
duration, for we shall find in pursuing this subject, that the measures
planned by Sir George Prevost during the summer of 1812, and carried into
effect during the autumn and winter, were such as in their consequence
secured to us a full equality, and occasionally the superiority on that
Lake, during the two remaining campaigns. Of the nature and extent of the
exertions thus made by Sir George Prevost to increase our marine on Lake
Ontario, the Reviewer has himself furnished the most abundant proof.
"Such," he says, "were the zeal and exertions of Sir James Yeo and his
followers on their arrival at Kingston, that before the end of May they
were prepared to take the Lake with the British fleet,[37] now composed of
two ships of 24 and 22 guns, a brig of 14, and two schooners of 12 and 10

Sir James Yeo did not arrive at Quebec with his seamen, until the 5th May,
and it was not until after the 16th that he reached Kingston; to which
place Sir George Prevost had accompanied him from Montreal. The state of
forwardness in which he then found the fleet was such, that he was enabled
to complete its equipment, and actually to set sail on the 27th of the same
month, within little more than a week after his arrival at Kingston. The
previous exertion requisite to accomplish the building of the Wolfe, a ship
carrying 24 guns, the altering and refitting the brig Moira, and the making
of the various repairs and alterations in the other vessels, while at the
same time a ship of a large class had been built at York, and was nearly
ready to be launched in April, and a ship and several gun-boats were in a
state of great forwardness at Amherstburg, may be easily conjectured;
particularly, when it is considered that the stores and supplies of almost
every description, necessary for the armament and equipment of these
vessels, had been transported to the Upper Province from Quebec and
Montreal, the greater part of them during the winter, and through roads
before deemed impassable for many of the heavy articles required. These
difficulties were, however, soon surmounted by the energetic measures of
Sir George Prevost; and he had the satisfaction to find on his arrival at
Kingston, that the important object of having a fleet ready to take the
Lake as early as it was probable that officers and seamen could be sent
from England to command and man it, had been accomplished. Upon Sir James
Yeo's arrival, as already mentioned, not more than ten days were requisite
to put the squadron into a complete state of equipment, and from the period
of its appearance on the Lake, the enemy ceased to enjoy the temporary
ascendancy which their superior resources of men and supplies had enabled
them, during the preceding month, to acquire. The Reviewer has confidently
asserted, that these exertions to increase our marine ought to have been
earlier made; and that had they been so made, our ascendancy on the Lake
would have been retained, and York, together with the ship which was there
building, might have been saved. The answer to this has already been partly
given. Any extraordinary exertions to increase a marine so decidedly
superior to that of the enemy, before the probable continuation of the war
was clearly ascertained, and before any steps were taken by the Americans
to rival us in that respect, would not have been justified, by the
circumstances in which Sir George Prevost was then placed. It was not until
the beginning of September, that the termination of the armistice
manifested the intention of the American Government to continue the war;
nor were any effectual steps taken by them for a material increase of their
naval forces at Sackett's Harbour, until the month of October following,
when Commodore Chauncey and his seamen arrived at that place. It is
evident, therefore, that except in the construction of new vessels, and the
forwarding of the supplies necessary for their equipment, nothing further
could have been done at that period, to enable us to keep pace with the
exertions of the enemy; and that without officers and men, who could not be
expected before the spring, any number or description of vessels must have
been useless.

Sir George Prevost, soon after the declaration of war, had called the
attention of Government, as well as that of the Admiral on the Halifax
station, to this subject. He had, therefore, every reason to expect that
either from England or from Halifax, he should early in the year receive
officers and seamen sufficient to fit out and man a fleet equal at least,
if not superior, to any that the enemy might at that time be able to
prepare. In this expectation Sir George Prevost was not disappointed; and
although the Admiral on the Halifax station had only been able to afford to
his strong solicitations on this head, Lieutenants Barclay and Fennis, to
act as captains, and four petty officers for lieutenants, who arrived over
land from New Brunswick at the end of April, this small supply of able and
spirited officers being immediately despatched to Kingston, materially
contributed, by their active services, to put the Fleet into the forward
condition in which it was found by Sir James Yeo on his arrival.

Notwithstanding the active measures which were thus taken by Sir George
Prevost to maintain our ascendancy upon the Lakes, the Quarterly Reviewer
has thought proper to observe, that it is perfectly inconceivable how any
man, in Sir George Prevost's situation, could have been so infatuated, as
to disregard the importance of maintaining his superiority. The gross
injustice of this charge will be best proved by citing the words of Sir
George Prevost himself, in a letter of the 3rd February, 1813, addressed to
General Sheaffe. "The extreme anxiety I experienced respecting the naval
force to be employed on Lake Ontario, in the spring of this year, has
rendered the proceedings in the dock-yards at Kingston and York, subjects
highly interesting to me. You may therefore suppose I shall expect to find
the exertions at both these places to have fully corresponded with the
magnitude of the object and the difficulties surmounted in forwarding from
hence the numerous supplies required for that service."

Much has been said by the Reviewer upon the incompetency of the person
commanding, and of the other officers belonging to our Provincial marine on
Lake Ontario.[38] Whatever might have been the want of energy and
enterprise on the part of Earle, in the instance to which the critic has
alluded, and the circumstances of which he has greatly exaggerated, Sir
George Prevost did not think it incumbent upon him, on that account, to
deprive himself of the services of that officer, who was acknowledged to be
a tried and skilful navigator of the Lake, at a period when those services
were particularly required for the transport of the various supplies
destined for the upper parts of the Province. He was, therefore, retained
in the command, not only as being highly useful for the purposes for which
he was wanted, but because no person could then be found adequate to supply
his place. That the captain of the Tartarus sloop of war, then at Quebec,
needed but a hint from Sir George Prevost[39] to proceed with his crew to
Lake Ontario, and supersede Earle and his feeble followers, may well be
doubted, when we consider the state of the squadron to which he belonged,
and the services required from it at the commencement of the war. Whether
such a plan was beyond Sir George's _capacity_,[40] may be left for the
reader to determine. Had he, however, adopted it, he would certainly have
evinced a great want of consistency and judgment. He was, at that period,
in the act of negociating with General Dearborn for the armistice, which
afterwards took place, with the reasonable expectation that the revocation
of the Orders in Council would lead to a return of peace between Great
Britain and America. Our force at that time on Lake Ontario was so
decidedly superior, not only to what the enemy possessed on those waters,
but to any which they could hope for several months to fit out, that an
addition, either to its amount or efficiency, seemed to be uncalled for and
unnecessary. Offensive operations of any description, on our part, were not
in contemplation; and to every purpose of defensive warfare our means on
the Lake were amply competent. To have deprived the Admiral, on the Halifax
station, of the services of the Tartarus, when every ship was required by
him for the protection of our trade from the numerous cruizers of the
enemy, without any adequate object in view, would have been altogether
unjustifiable on the part of Sir George Prevost. Whether, if the captain
and seamen of the Tartarus had been sent to Lake Ontario, the enemy's
flotilla, preparing at Sackett's Harbour,[41] could have been destroyed;
or whether, if ship-carpenters had, at the commencement of the war, been
sent to Kingston, we could have built as rapidly as the enemy, cannot be
proved, as neither course was attempted: nor is it material to the present
discussion that it should be proved; the only question being, whether Sir
George Prevost, in the then state of affairs, ought to have adopted either
measure. From the preceding statement, it appears that he would not have
been warranted in so doing. The observation of the Reviewer,[42] that the
common-place attempt to hire, at Quebec, sailors for the Lake at one-half
the wages which merchants were giving at the same moment, was the only
exertion used to strengthen our flotilla, would not merit notice, if it
were not for the purpose of exposing the writer's disingenuousness and want
of candour. He must have known, when he made the assertion, that the
merchants at Quebec hire their sailors for what is called the run-home (to
England), and that for this purpose double and triple the amount of the
common wages is frequently given; one-half, therefore, of that amount for a
permanency, and on the Lake establishment, which held out many advantages
to the men, was, as it proved, a sufficient inducement for them to enter
into that service, and as many of the description required as could be
found at Quebec, were procured by active and intelligent officers sent for
that purpose. To these were added some valuable and experienced seamen from
two transports then in the river St. Lawrence; and this supply of seamen,
together with an additional number of shipwrights and other workmen, was
during the winter forwarded to Kingston and York.

The situation of York for the building of one of the frigates laid down in
December, as before stated, has been censured by the Reviewer,[43] as
holding out to the enemy an invitation to destroy it, from the defenceless
state of that fort. Long before the first certain intelligence had been
received by Sir George Prevost, of the building of a new ship at Sackett's
Harbour, or of the fitting out of their flotilla there, Captain Gray, as
already mentioned, one of the most intelligent officers of the
Quarter-Master-General's department, had been sent to the Upper Province,
to ascertain the fittest situation for the construction of new vessels,
whenever such a measure should become necessary. It was in consequence of
the communication which that officer had with Major-General Brock, who had
the highest confidence in his abilities, that it was decided that one ship
should be built at York and the other at Kingston. Both places were alike
exposed to attack from their unfortified state. York was certainly the
weakest, although General Brock had recommended that place as the fittest
and most secure, if strengthened, for a naval dock-yard on Lake Ontario. In
determining to build at both places, it was thought most prudent not to run
the hazard of losing both vessels from the possibility of a successful
attempt of the enemy to destroy them, should they both be constructed at
either of those places. The most effectual measures, on the part of Sir
George Prevost and of those acting under him in the Upper Province, were
taken to strengthen and fortify both York and Kingston, and it was expected
that the enemy would be repelled in any attack upon either. It was not
doubted, but that if York should be attacked and taken, the ship which was
building there, might be, as she in fact was, destroyed, and thus be
prevented from increasing the strength of the enemy, whilst Kingston might
in the mean time be made too strong to occasion any fear for the safety of
the fleet in that port. The result shewed the wisdom of this determination,
and the capture of York, which considering the overwhelming force of the
enemy, was not to be prevented, evidently preserved Kingston.

The only advantage which the Americans derived in this attack, as respected
our marine, was the destruction of the new ship, and the capture of an
inconsiderable quantity of stores designed for her, together with the
Gloucester schooner, then lying a mere hulk, under repairs for a transport.
It may in this place be proper briefly to notice another assertion of the
Reviewer, respecting our marine--that the enemy commanded the waters of
Lake Champlain[44] with a flotilla, before the British Commander in Chief
had directed the construction of a single gun-boat to oppose them. That
this should have been the fact, will not appear at all remarkable, when it
is known that the waters of that Lake belong exclusively to the Americans,
who enjoyed the most abundant means and resources for fitting out a fleet,
from the number of vessels constantly navigating it for the purposes of
trade. It was only necessary to arm and equip some of the vessels of that
description, and their command of the water would be undisputed. At the
commencement of the war, and for some time afterwards, we neither did nor
could possess any force capable of meeting them; but that this subject was
not viewed with indifference by Sir George Prevost, notwithstanding the
variety of other and more important concerns which commanded his attention,
may be inferred from the fact, that in June, 1813, in less than twelve
months after the commencement of the war, our force of gun-boats on the
Richelieu river, communicating with Lake Champlain, was such, that in
conjunction with our troops at Isle aux Noix, they were sufficient for the
capture of two fine schooners of the enemy, each carrying 11 guns, and 45
men. To have attempted to create any other force, except gun-boats, for the
purpose of defending the Richelieu, would, when no offensive operations
were contemplated, have been an useless waste of those means which were
required and employed for the increase of our marine on the other Lakes.

These observations upon Sir George Prevost's conduct with respect to our
marine on the Lakes, may be concluded by a reference to the opinion of the
public bodies in Upper Canada, with regard to the exertions of the
Commander of the forces, in preserving our naval ascendancy on those

These documents afford a strong proof of the sentiments almost universally
entertained on this head, by persons most capable, from their knowledge of,
and interest in the subject, of appreciating the merits of Sir George
Prevost's exertions.

In the address of the House of Assembly of Upper Canada,[45] in answer to
the President's speech at the opening of the Provincial Parliament, 27th
February, 1813, they say, "We learn, with the highest satisfaction, that
the most vigorous measures have been adopted under the direction of the
Commander of the forces, and are now in operation, to strengthen the
Provincial Marine, and preserve the superiority of the Lakes so essential
to the prosperity of this Province." The same expressions occur in the
address of the Legislative Council, and in March following, on Sir George
Prevost's arrival in Upper Canada, the House of Assembly and town of York
addressed him in similar terms.

The campaign of 1813 opened, on the part of the Americans, with the attack
and capture of York. The squadron under Commander Chauncey employed on this
expedition, after landing part of the force at the Niagara frontier,
returned to Sackett's Harbour, from whence it again sailed towards the end
of May, with another strong force collected from that place and its
neighbourhood, for the purpose of uniting with the troops on the Niagara
frontier, in an attack upon Fort George. In this attack, which took place
on the 27th May, the overwhelming numbers of the enemy prevailed, and the
small but gallant band of about 1,500 men, under Brigadier-General
Vincent, which had, for more than two hours, opposed nearly 5,000 of the
Americans, after evacuating Fort George, spiking the guns, and destroying
the ammunition, retreated towards the head of the Lake, General Vincent
having first called in all the detachments from the different Posts on that

The enemy, pursuing his advantages, pushed forwards a force of between
3,000 and 4,000 infantry and cavalry, with nine pieces of artillery, to
attack the position which General Vincent occupied at Burlington. Previous,
however, to their reaching that point, a well-concerted, daring, and
spirited attack was made upon their camp in the night, by a party of
General Vincent's force, and under his command, which proved completely
successful as a surprise, and Generals Winder and Chandler, the two senior
officers, together with 100 prisoners, and four field-pieces being taken,
the enemy, after destroying their stores and provisions, &c. precipitately
retreated, until they joined the main body of their army. While these
operations were proceeding, the most active measures were taking at
Kingston to fit out and equip a fleet which might be able to dispute with
the enemy the temporary ascendancy which they had gained on the Lake; but
whatever efforts might be made to construct vessels and prepare them for
service, it must be obvious that no advantage could be derived from any
number or description of vessels without officers and seamen. The only
reinforcement which up to this period, the end of April, Sir George Prevost
had been able to obtain from the Admiral commanding on the Halifax station,
consisted of the three lieutenants, and four petty officers, whose arrival
at Kingston has been already mentioned, and whose active services had very
much accelerated the equipment of our squadron before Sir James Yeo took
the command of it. Previous to the arrival of Sir George Prevost at that
place in May, his extreme anxiety respecting the naval force preparing on
both Lakes, had induced him, during the depth of winter, to proceed in the
month of February, from the Lower Province to Kingston, York, and Fort
George, where his presence must have essentially contributed to impart
increased activity to the preparations then making for the opening of the
next campaign. The zeal and energy thus displayed by him in his
indefatigable endeavours to promote the public service, although justly
appreciated by the inhabitants of both provinces, could not protect him
from the unfounded accusations of the Reviewer,[46] who informs his readers
that Sir George Prevost had excited the expectations of the Canadian
public, "that he had designed an attack upon Sackett's Harbour, where the
shipping was known to be very indifferently protected, by marching over the
ice, which was stronger at that time than had been known for many
years."--And that "the anxious inhabitants of the Provinces who had
witnessed his previous inactivity, with gloomy foreboding, were again
doomed to be disappointed." What the opinion of the inhabitants of the
Provinces was, with regard to Sir George Prevost's "_previous inactivity_,"
has clearly been shewn from the different addresses presented to him at the
period alluded to.

That Sackett's Harbour could at that time, or at any other period of the
winter, have been attacked with the smallest prospect of success, may be
confidently denied. So far from the shipping, which by the Reviewer's[47]
own showing, was a formidable squadron, commanded by an experienced
officer, and manned by more than 500 able seamen, being, as he has
asserted, indifferently protected, the enemy had constructed batteries for
their defence, and it was known that a very considerable force had been
assembled at that post, and in its neighbourhood, in order to be ready for
embarkation as soon as the season would permit the fleet to take the Lake.
To have attempted with the small force which then garrisoned Kingston, and
which was scarcely sufficient for its defence, an expedition against an
enemy's position, capable of a determined resistance, when it is considered
that the troops would have been obliged to march several miles over the ice
before they could reach the American territory, from whence they would
still have been 15 miles distant from the object of their attack, and
exposed during the whole of their approach to the concealed fire of the
enemy's troops in the woods, would have been, under the circumstances in
which Sir George Prevost was placed, with regard to his resources for
defending Kingston, the Key, as it has been termed, to the Lower Province,
little short of madness. Nothing but a determination to attach blame to the
conduct of Sir George Prevost could have induced the Reviewer to hazard so
groundless and unmilitary a stricture. That Sir George was alive to the
importance of attacking this place, and of destroying the means there
possessed by the enemy for increasing their marine, and for carrying on
from thence their offensive operations, will appear evident from the
measure which will be immediately adverted to, and which has drawn upon the
Commander of the forces the acrimonious censure of the Reviewer.

In December, 1812, Sir George Prevost, aware of the importance of
strengthening himself against the threatened attempts upon the Canadas, in
the interval which would elapse before any reinforcements could by
possibility arrive from Europe, had directed Lieutenant-General Sir John
Sherbrooke, and Major-General Smyth, to make arrangements for forwarding to
him, during the winter, by land, the 104th regiment, then in New Brunswick.
This arduous march, which had not before been attempted, and which was
thought extremely hazardous, if not altogether impracticable, was effected
in the month of March without the loss of a single man, and by the end of
April six companies of that regiment arrived at Kingston. This accession to
the strength of that garrison enabled Sir George Prevost, who, as already
stated, reached Kingston with Sir James Yeo about the middle of May, to
avail himself of the opportunity afforded by the sailing of the American
fleet for the head of the Lake, to attempt a diversion in favour of the
points threatened by the enemy on the Niagara frontier. The expedition
against Sackett's Harbour was accordingly resolved upon, the moment the
absence of the enemy's squadron was ascertained. The circumstances which
attended this expedition, have been misrepresented in the most
extraordinary manner by the Quarterly Reviewer,[48] who, instead of
ascribing the failure of the enterprise to its real and natural causes, as
given in the official report of Colonel Baynes,[49] and which will now be
more particularly detailed, has not scrupled to attribute that failure to
the indecision and misconduct of the Commander of the forces. As the whole
force, which could be mustered for this service, hardly exceeded 700 men,
consisting of the greater part of the garrison of Kingston, it must be
obvious that means so inadequate could justify an attempt to carry
Sackett's Harbour only by surprise. This, in fact, was the sole object in
view; and the troops being embarked, together with two field-pieces, on
board of our squadron, sailed in the evening of the 27th May, under the
immediate command of Colonel, now Major-General Baynes. Sanguine hopes were
entertained of teaching the enemy's post in the course of the night, when
the surprise would have been complete, and our success infallible; but
owing to light and baffling winds, it was not until between 10 and 11
o'clock on the following morning, the 28th, that our fleet was able to
approach within 12 or 15 miles of Sackett's Harbour. Previously to this,
and as soon as our squadron had been discovered from the port, alarm-guns
had been fired, and boats were seen filled with armed men, continually
passing down the shores of the Lake, from Oswego towards Sackett's Harbour,
to assist in its defence. In the mean time, the troops on board the fleet
were held in readiness for landing in the boats, as soon as the vessels
should have approached sufficiently near to the shore for that purpose, as
well as for insuring their co-operation in the attack. At this period,
unfortunately, the wind, which had been rather fair, though light,
altogether failed, and shortly afterwards the breeze came almost
immediately from the point which the fleet was endeavouring to approach. To
have attempted a landing in boats, at the distance of fifteen miles from
the object of attack, would have been a most tedious and hazardous
undertaking, exposed, as the men must have been, to the fire of musketry
and field-pieces from the shore, and to the direct _enfilade_ of all the
heavy cannon in the enemy's forts and batteries. The day was too far
advanced to leave any hope of completing the service before dark; and
without the efficient co-operation of the fleet, which, from the state of
the wind, could not be obtained, the most gallant exertions of the troops,
as was afterwards proved, would have been ineffectual. From these
circumstances, it was the unanimous opinion of the principal officers of
the expedition under Colonel Baynes, who, together with Sir James Yeo, had
been consulted by him as to the expediency of persevering in the
enterprise, that the attempt should be abandoned, and orders were
accordingly given for the return of the squadron to Kingston. The incident
of the surrender of the cavalry officer and his party, which is stated by
the Reviewer with his usual incorrectness, did certainly lead to the
determination, which was subsequently taken, of persisting in the
expedition; but it was the information obtained from those persons, with
regard to the force of the enemy, and their means of defence, which
principally influenced that determination. It appearing probable, from the
state of the wind, which towards evening again became favourable for
approaching Sackett's Harbour, that the men might be brought under cover of
the night to the point of attack, in which they would be supported by the
active co-operation of the fleet, it was resolved to make the attack at
day-break the following morning. In order to favour the belief that we had
abandoned the attempt, the ships' heads were kept towards Kingston until
the evening commenced, when the squadron stood in for the shore. The troops
were in the boats at ten o'clock, and confident hopes were indulged that,
on the approach to the landing at day-break, they would be assisted by the
artillery, and receive the effectual support and co-operation of the fleet,
which was judged most essential to the success of the undertaking. The
landing took place as was intended, nearly at day-break; and, considering
the local impediments, was effected in a style highly creditable to the
military skill of Colonel Baynes. Notwithstanding the want of our
artillery, which being on board of a schooner, towed by the boats of the
squadron, was still at a considerable distance, and the state of the wind,
which prevented the squadron from approaching the shore, our troops, after
landing and taking possession of one of their field-pieces and a tumbril,
had, by a spirited advance, driven the enemy before them, at the point of
the bayonet, through the woods, which were most obstinately maintained by
them, and had forced them to retire towards their works and loop-holed
barracks. But these works were found to be of such strength, as to render
it next to impossible for our small force, unprovided with heavy cannon, to
make any impression upon them. The men had been now engaged for several
hours, and had sustained a considerable loss. It was at this period that
Sir George Prevost, who had landed shortly after the troops, and who had
followed their course and progress, came up with the main body engaged with
the enemy; and it was then that he received from the officer commanding the
expedition, the report of the manner in which the enemy had been driven
towards their works and loop-holed barracks, and of the difficulty, if not
impossibility, of forcing them without the aid of our artillery and the
co-operation of our fleet. The former, with all the exertions made in
towing the schooner, had not been landed; and the latter, from the state of
the wind, could not approach sufficiently near for their guns to bear upon
the enemy's batteries.

The Commander of the forces then, for the first time, interfered, so as to
give any orders respecting the expedition. Though there was scarcely a hope
of success, yet he determined not to abandon the enterprise whilst a
possibility of attaining his object remained. He accordingly directed
Colonel Baynes to concentrate his scattered force, and to advance upon the
enemy, who were posted in considerable numbers in front of and behind their
loop-holed barracks. Not more than from 300 to 400 men could be assembled
for this last attack. It was, however, made by this small band with
intrepid gallantry. The enemy, though superior in numbers, were driven from
their position, and forced to take shelter in the town; but in the further
attempt to approach the works, our troops were met by such a galling and
destructive fire of grape and musketry, both in front and flank, that they
were compelled to abandon a contest to which their numbers were so unequal.
The force of the enemy, at this period, consisted, by their own
acknowledgment, exclusive of their killed and wounded, of upwards of 1,100
men, including 142 artillerymen. They were strongly posted in Fort
Tompkins, armed with heavy guns, and in their block-houses and loop-holed
barracks, the very situation which renders the youngest American recruit (a
marksman from his youth), more than a match for the most experienced
veteran. Our force was reduced to nearly one-third of its effective
strength from the casualties of the field, and from the absence of those
who had withdrawn to the rear with the wounded and prisoners. We possessed
not a single field-piece, the artillery not having yet been landed. Colonel
Young had retired from exhaustion, in consequence of previous illness. All
the other field-officers, one excepted, were wounded, together with most of
the captains and subalterns. Captain Mulcaster commanding the gun-boat,
made every exertion in his power; but there was no hope of assistance from
the fleet, in consequence of the state of the wind. Under such
circumstances, that so small a band, exhausted by previous exertion, should
have attacked and carried Fort Tompkins, the block-houses, and the
remaining loop-holed barracks of the enemy, so numerously defended as they
were, might probably be expected by such experienced warriors as the
Quarterly Reviewer, and those upon whose authority he relies; but it was
apparent to every officer and man who was present, that success was
impossible. Such being the conviction of the Commander of the forces, who
had witnessed with feelings of poignant regret the last gallant though
unavailing exertions of his troops, he reluctantly ordered their
re-embarkation, which was effected in the most perfect order, and without
the slightest precipitation, the enemy not attempting to offer the least
molestation. This expedition, though certainly attended with a considerable
loss on our part, was not unproductive of advantage to us, or of damage and
serious inconvenience to our adversaries. Their apprehensions of the result
of the last attack, ignorant as they were of the trifling force by which it
was made, induced them to set fire to their new ship and naval arsenal; and
although, afterwards, when their fear subsided, from a more perfect
knowledge of the state of our force, they succeeded in extinguishing the
fire on board the ship, before it had got to any height, yet, by their own
acknowledgment, they lost their arsenal, with a large quantity of valuable
stores; while one field-piece, and upwards of 200 prisoners were brought
away, together with some camp-equipage, and another field-piece was
rendered useless. Their loss, also, in killed and wounded was, by their own
admission, upwards of 150 men. From this detail of facts, to the truth of
which there are abundant living witnesses to vouch, it must be obvious
that the main object of the expedition failed principally from the
smallness of our numbers, compared with the superior force of the enemy;
from the want of our artillery, which could not be landed in time; and
particularly from the little assistance which, from the state of the wind,
the squadron could afford in taking off the fire of the forts. So far from
nearly _two days_ being lost, as the Reviewer has stated,[50] it is
notorious to every person who was employed in that expedition, that the
fleet sailed on the evening of the 27th May from Kingston, and did not
arrive at Sackett's Harbour until the morning of the 28th, when the
intended attack was prevented solely by the impossibility of approaching
the shore from the state of the wind, and that it did in fact take place on
the following morning, the 29th, within 24 hours after the fleet had
appeared off the place. It is a fact equally well known to every person
engaged in this enterprise, that Sir George Prevost did not take the
personal command of it, in the sense in which the Reviewer[51] would have
it understood. That he accompanied the expedition was never denied, or
attempted to be concealed. His zealous and anxious feelings prompted him to
that measure, to prevent any delay in the contemplated service, should a
reference to him become necessary. It is freely admitted, that when
present he could not divest himself of his authority, or responsibility as
Commander of the forces. But independently of its being contrary to all
military usage, for the Governor in Chief and Commander of the forces in
British North America, to assume the immediate command[52] of so
inconsiderable a force, no instance of his interference took place until
the period of the last attack, which certainly produced the greatest damage
that the enemy sustained. The order to retreat was neither precipitate,[53]
nor one which the gallant officers "believed with difficulty."[54] They
were all convinced, not excepting the naval commander, Sir James Yeo, that
it was impossible longer to contend with any prospect of success, and with
our diminished means, against the superior numbers and resources of the
enemy. It may indeed be confidently asserted, in direct opposition to the
Reviewer's statement, that although "the troops withdrew to their boats in
disappointment," at their not having been able to accomplish their object,
they felt no disgrace in retiring from a contest which they had so long and
so bravely supported; nor did either officers or men experience any
indignation or shame at a retreat which, after the most gallant, though
unavailing exertions, they knew to be indispensable for their own
preservation. It may here be observed, that the situation of our troops at
the time of the retreat was most critical. At that very period, a
reinforcement of 600 men, under Colonel Tuttle, reached Sackett's Harbour.
With the overwhelming superiority which this accession to their force gave
the enemy, it is obvious that with very moderate pretensions to either
skill or enterprise, they might have opposed most formidable obstacles to
our re-embarkation. A further perseverance in the attack on our part, or
the least delay in the retreat, would probably have ended in the capture or
destruction of the whole of our troops. Fortunately, the coolness and
deliberation with which that measure was executed, served to deceive the
enemy with regard to our numbers and losses; and the re-embarkation being
effected without opposition, the troops returned the same day to Kingston
with the field-piece, camp-equipage, and prisoners which they had taken.

On the following morning the American squadron, which had been recalled
from the head of the Lake to the assistance of Sackett's Harbour, appeared
off Kingston, and it was a most fortunate circumstance that they did not
fall in with our fleet, encumbered as it was with troops and wounded men.
One material advantage immediately accrued from this expedition, by the
recal of the enemy's fleet to Sackett's Harbour. Sir George Prevost lost
not a moment in availing himself of the opportunity of their being in port,
to embark the 49th regiment on board the squadron, and to despatch it to
the head of the Lake to reinforce Brigadier-General Vincent, who was then
hard pressed by the enemy, and to whose small force that regiment proved an
important accession of strength at a very critical period. Sir James Yeo
accordingly sailed with, and safely landed them, and from that time our
full equality at least, if not our ascendancy, was established on Lake

In reviewing the events that took place during the campaign of 1813, it
will be necessary to notice the operations on the Detroit frontier, and on
Lake Erie, more especially as the Commander of the forces has been accused
of neglecting the representations of Colonel Procter, who commanded in
that quarter.

The battle of Frenchtown, in which the Americans were totally defeated, and
their General captured, was highly creditable to the talents of Colonel
Procter, who certainly, until the retreat from Amherstburgh, was entitled
to the reputation of a zealous and active officer.

It is said by the Quarterly Reviewer, that at this period Colonel Procter
was positively restrained by Sir George Prevost from any offensive
operations. The nature of the instructions given by the Commander of the
forces to that officer has been already shewn; and will further appear by a
reference to the letters[55] of Sir George Prevost to Colonel, now become
Brigadier-General Procter, in answer to the despatches received from him,
announcing the different operations which had taken place in the Michigan
territory. These operations, though not always attended with success on the
part of General Procter, and though they occasioned a considerable
diminution of his small force from his repeated losses, were yet favourably
viewed by Sir George Prevost, who, as it appears from the correspondence
already referred to, was always disposed to give him full credit for his
exertions, and to put the most favourable construction upon his failures.
That Sir George Prevost was fully aware of the importance of General
Procter's position, and of the necessity of strengthening it by every means
in his power, will now be shewn by the testimony of General Procter

The letters of that officer fully prove, in contradiction to the assertion
of the Reviewer, who has attributed to the Commander of the forces, the
neglect (if any took place) in forwarding to him the reinforcements which
he had so strongly solicited, that no such neglect is imputable to Sir
George Prevost.

As early as the month of March, 1813, a confidential letter was addressed
by Sir George Prevost to General Procter, upon the subject of the
reinforcements he had solicited, and Captain M'Douall, one of the Commander
of the forces' Aids-de-camp, was sent for the purpose of ascertaining
General Procter's wants, and the best mode of relieving them. In the
correspondence between the Commander of the forces and General Vincent, the
situation of General Procter was constantly alluded to, and the former
officer was desired to pay his particular attention to the subject. On the
20th June, Sir George Prevost acquainted General Procter that General de
Rottenburg, who had been appointed to the command of the forces serving in
Upper Canada, had received his directions to push on the remainder of the
41st regiment, from the head of Lake Ontario to Amherstburgh. And in his
subsequent letters to General Procter, of the 11th and 12th July, after
stating that his wants of money, clothing, &c. had been supplied as far as
lay in the power of the Commander of the forces, and that those articles
were then on their passage to him, he informed him that the whole of the
41st regiment were either on their way, or would be with him before that
letter could arrive. This assurance was given by Sir George Prevost, in the
full confidence that the orders which he had sent to the officer commanding
in Upper Canada, for the immediate forwarding of the remainder of that
regiment to Amherstburgh, had been complied with. That they were not
complied with as early as Sir George Prevost intended they should be, was
owing to circumstances over which the Commander of the forces had no
control. The force under Major-General de Rottenburg, from which the 41st
regiment was to be detached, was then before an enemy greatly superior in
numbers and resources, and he was very unwilling to weaken it by sending
off the remainder of that regiment, until other reinforcements which were
on their way to him should arrive. It appears, however, by his letter to
Sir George Prevost, of 9th July, 1813, that he had, on the 6th of that
month, sent forward 120 men of that regiment to Long Point, in order that
thence they might be transported by means of the fleet to Amherstburgh, and
that it was his intention to send the remainder of the regiment to General
Procter, as soon as the Royals, then daily expected, should arrive. In a
subsequent letter from Sir George Prevost to Major-General de Rottenburg,
dated 23d July, 1813, in which his high opinion of General Procter's merits
and conduct is pointedly expressed, he says, "I trust the reinforcements
and supplies, which, in consequence of my orders to you, must be near him,"

From these letters it is evident that it was Sir George Prevost's intention
that General Procter should be reinforced to the extent he had required,
and that the commanding officers in Upper Canada, who from the peculiar
circumstances in which they were placed at the time, thought themselves
justified, as they really were, in so doing, were the persons who delayed
the forwarding of such reinforcements.

That to this cause the delay was attributed by General Procter himself, is
unequivocally proved by his correspondence respecting it with the Commander
of the forces. The letter to Sir George Prevost, of the 4th July, 1813, to
which the Reviewer has referred,[56] commences in a way little to be
expected, from the extract which that writer has given from it. He says, "I
have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th ult.
and _am fully sensible_ that this district has received a due share of your
Excellency's attention. I beg to add, that _if I had received from the
Line_ the reinforcements _which you had directed should be sent_, I should
by this time," &c.

It must not be forgotten that this letter was before the Reviewer, and that
he must therefore have designedly suppressed that portion of it, which
completely exonerates Sir George Prevost from any charge of neglect.

In General Procter's next letter to the Commander of the forces, of the
11th July, he says, "I beg leave to add, that we are fully confident of
every _aid from your Excellency_, and of the fortunate result of the
contest, _if we are allowed the benefit of your consideration of us_; but I
am unfortunately so situated, that your best intentions towards me are of
no avail. If the means were afforded me, and which were no more than what
your Excellency has repeatedly directed, &c."--In his next letter to the
Commander of the forces, of the 13th July, he says, "The reinforcements
which have been reluctantly afforded me, _notwithstanding your Excellency's
intentions_, have been so sparingly and tardily sent me, as in a
considerable degree to defeat the purpose of their being sent. I have no
hopes of any aid from the _centre division_, where our situation is little
understood, or has ever been a secondary consideration."--These extracts
clearly shew that General Procter ascribed the delay in forwarding to him
the remainder of the 41st regiment, not to the Commander of the forces, but
to General de Rottenburg, who then commanded the centre division in Upper

Notwithstanding the Reviewer must have known this to have been the fact,
from the very correspondence he was quoting, he has had the hardihood to
say, "that although Sir George Prevost fully acknowledged, in his letter of
the 12th July, his immediate ability to grant the reinforcement General
Procter had asked for, in his letter of the 4th of that month, it will
scarcely be credited, that even after this, he should have suffered _above
five weeks_ to elapse before he _despatched_ the small amount of regular
troops, &c."[57]

Now it appears from General de Rottenburg's letter, before referred to,
that 120 men of the 41st, _had been despatched_ to Amherstburgh on the 6th
July; and by a return made to the Military Secretary's Office, by Captain
Chambers, Deputy-Quarter-Master-General with General Procter's army, dated
Amherstburgh, 13th August, 1813, it further appears, that up to the _10th
August_, more than 300 rank and file of the 41st, and 41 rank and file of
the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, with nearly 50 officers and
non-commissioned officers, _had arrived at that post_, which was further
strengthened, within ten days afterwards, by a detachment of 50 provincial
dragoons. The cavalry and men of the Newfoundland Regiment were
particularly requested, by General Procter, in his correspondence with the
Commander of the forces, to be sent to him.

It may here be observed, that General Procter appears to have attached by
far too much importance to his own command, and not to have made proper
allowances for the critical situation of the centre division, from which
his reinforcements were expected. Upon the safety of that division his own
altogether depended; for had they been defeated, or obliged to retire from
the Upper Province, he would have been cut off from all supplies and
assistance, and his capture would have been inevitable. Whereas, as
afterwards happened, a disaster to the force under General Procter, and the
capture of Amherstburgh, would not necessarily involve in it the safety of
the centre division. These reasons, without doubt, weighed with General de
Rottenburg, in retaining the remainder of the 41st regiment, until they
could be despatched to General Procter, without injury to the more
important service for which they were required on the Niagara frontier.

Having thus proved that, as far as depended upon Sir George Prevost,
General Procter's requisitions, of every description, had been complied
with, we now proceed to shew that he did not neglect our marine on Lake

The Quarterly Reviewer, indeed, has not hesitated to say, "that in the
whole course of that vacillation and error, which unhappily distinguished
the administration of Sir George Prevost,[58] his imbecility of judgment
and action was most flagrant and palpable, in the circumstances which led
to the destruction of our marine on Lake Erie." These censures, unfounded
as they are, may perhaps be thought to require a more particular and
detailed reply.

To the exertions made by Sir George Prevost, both before the war and after
its commencement, to preserve our naval ascendancy on Lake Erie, we have
already had occasion to refer. From these statements it will appear, that,
independently of the new schooner, Lady Prevost, launched, armed, equipped,
and upon the Lake, before the month of August, 1812, the Detroit, a ship to
carry 18 guns, which the Reviewer would have his readers believe was only
_laid down after Captain Barclay's arrival at Amherstburgh in June_,[59]
had been commenced building before the month of _March_ preceding, together
with several gun-boats. The latter were launched in April. The ship was, in
fact, in a state of considerable forwardness, when Captain Barclay assumed
the command on the Lake. Upon the declaration of war, we had only one ship
and a schooner on Lake Erie; and, within little more than a year
afterwards, our fleet there consisted of two ships, a brig, a schooner, and
two small vessels. In order properly to appreciate the efforts made for the
construction and armament of this squadron, it must be borne in mind that
the whole of the supplies necessary for that purpose, with the exception
perhaps of the timber alone, were to be transported from the Lower to the
Upper Province, by the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario, and from thence to
Lake Erie, where the superiority of our marine enabled us to convey them to
Amherstburgh. As the efficiency of this squadron necessarily depended upon
the number and discipline of the crews with which it was manned, the
subject of a supply of able seamen, for that service, early engaged the
attention of Sir George Prevost. Upon Sir James Yeo's arrival at Kingston,
and the appointment by him of Captain Barclay, to take the naval command
on Lake Erie, the Commander of the forces urgently requested Sir James to
supply that officer with a greater number of seamen than he was disposed,
from his own wants, to allow him. As the obtaining the naval ascendancy, on
Lake Ontario, was a primary consideration, and as the seamen whom Sir James
Yeo brought with him were not sufficient adequately to man his own ships,
Captain Barclay was obliged to proceed with a very scanty supply of men.
The Commander of the forces was in hopes that there might be other
opportunities of increasing Captain Barclay's force, and that, in the mean
time, the reinforcements which he intended, and immediately afterwards
directed, should be sent to General Procter, would enable him to spare a
sufficient number of soldiers for the use of the squadron on Lake Erie,
until Captain Barclay's wants could be more efficiently supplied. The first
letter from Captain Barclay, upon the subject of these wants, was addressed
to Brigadier-General Vincent, who then commanded on the Niagara frontier,
and was dated 17th June, 1813. The principal object of that letter was to
obtain a reinforcement of troops for General Procter, in order to enable
him to co-operate with Captain Barclay, in an attack upon the enemy's naval
establishment at Presqu' isle, and in that letter he expressly states that
he was making an application for seamen to Sir James Yeo. This
communication was forwarded to the Commander of the forces by General
Vincent, with an intimation that he should immediately push forward the
remainder of the 41st regiment, (a company of the regiment having been sent
by him the preceding month) in order to assist in the proposed attack upon
the enemy's fleet. Before the above letter either was or could be received
by Sir George Prevost, he had appointed Major-General de Rottenburg to the
command of the forces in Upper Canada, and had given him particular
directions for supplying General Procter's wants, and for immediately
despatching to him the remainder of the 41st regiment. The Reviewer has
asserted,[60] that "Captain Barclay stated the wants of his squadron in
men, stores, and guns, with the same truth and earnestness as General
Procter had repeatedly expressed; but the _only reply_ of Sir George
Prevost, to his statements, was a cold and general promise, in a letter to
General Procter, that some petty officers and seamen, for Lake Erie, should
be sent forward on the first opportunity."

Captain Barclay's wants were particularly detailed by him to the Commander
of the forces, in the only letter he addressed to him on the subject, dated
Long Point, 16th July, 1813. The receipt of this letter was acknowledged
by Sir George Prevost, on the 21st of the same month, he having the day
before sent an extract from it, with a strong letter of representation upon
the subject, to Lord Bathurst. In this letter to Captain Barclay, Sir
George Prevost states, that he is fully aware of all that officer's
difficulties, and that he should endeavour to relieve his wants, as far as
was in his power, explaining to him the reasons which prevented him from so
doing to the extent required. He repeats, also, what he had before said to
General Procter, that Captain Barclay must endeavour to obtain his naval
stores from the enemy, but that being satisfied that such a measure could
not be effected without an addition to his present strength, he had
strongly pressed upon Sir James Yeo the necessity of immediately sending
forward to him a supply of petty officers and seamen, and that he (Sir J.
Yeo), had assured the Commander of the forces that he would do so without
delay: that he had also given positive directions for the remainder of the
41st regiment to be sent to General Procter, and hoped that the arrival of
these reinforcements would afford the timely means of attempting something
against the enemy's flotilla, before it should be in a state to venture out
upon the Lake.--With this assurance from Sir James Yeo, that seamen and
officers should be supplied to Captain Barclay, and in the hope that his
repeated orders for the reinforcement of General Procter, with the
remainder of the 41st regiment, had been complied with, Sir George Prevost
might with justice point out to Captain Barclay the necessity of supplying
his further wants from the enemy's resources,[61] more especially as
General Procter had repeatedly declared that a supply of troops alone would
be sufficient to enable him to succeed in an attack upon Presqu'isle.

Subsequent to Captain Barclay's letter to the Commander of the forces, of
the 16th July, all further representations respecting the supply of seamen
for Lake Erie, were made by General Procter, in his letters to Sir George
Prevost. The several answers to these representations the Reviewer has not
thought proper to notice, contenting himself with giving a partial and
immaterial extract from Sir George Prevost's letter to General Procter, of
the 22nd August, evidently for the purpose of introducing what he is
pleased to term a _taunt_, but which was in fact neither designed as such
by Sir George, nor so considered by the gallant Captain Barclay. After
stating that General Procter had, in his letter of the 18th August, 1813,
announced to the Commander of the forces, that the Detroit was launched,
and that, if he had seamen, a few hours would place that district in
security, the Reviewer adds, "but instead of replying to this application,
with _an immediate reinforcement of seamen_, the Commander-in-chief
answered it as usual, on the 22nd of August, with mere promises."

Without dwelling upon the Reviewer's error in supposing that Sir George
Prevost, who had no control whatever over the seamen belonging to the
squadron on Lake Ontario, who were exclusively under the orders of Sir
James Yeo, could by any possibility immediately have sent forward to
Captain Barclay the reinforcement of seamen required, we shall shew that
Sir George Prevost's answer to the application was not one of _mere
promises_, but that the reinforcement required, and which had been
previously provided by him, was then actually on its way to its
destination. Within two days after the date of the letter of the Commander
of the forces to Captain Barclay before referred to, he acquainted General
Procter that Sir James Yeo had assured him, that as many petty officers and
seamen as could be spared, should be forwarded to Captain Barclay without
delay, but that he, Sir George Prevost, much feared they would, as to
numbers, fall short of his expectations. That he was, however, endeavouring
to obtain a further supply from Quebec, which he meant should be
exclusively appropriated for the service of Lake Erie. This letter, which
was an answer to that of General Procter, of the date of 13th July,[62]
referred to by the Reviewer, has been altogether suppressed by him, as well
as the material fact that almost immediately after the letter of 13th July
was written, General Procter relinquished the intended expedition against
Presqu'isle, although 120 men of the 41st had been sent forward to Long
Point, to be there taken on board by Captain Barclay for that purpose, and
employed the whole of his disposable force in an unsuccessful expedition to
Forts Meigs and Sandusky, by which proceeding that force was considerably
diminished. In his answer of the 22d to General Procter's letter of the
18th August, before referred to, an extract from which is given in the
note, Sir George Prevost expressed his opinion of that expedition, and
stated the measures he was taking to remedy the inconveniences which might
arise from it.[63] After mentioning the reinforcements which he intended
to send forward to General Procter, he informed him, that, of the three
troop-ships which had arrived at Quebec with De Meuron's regiment, two had
conveyed to Halifax 500 American prisoners of war, and the third, the
Dover, had been laid up _in consequence of his having directed
three-fourths of the officers and seamen to be landed and sent forward for
the naval service on the Lakes_; and that he had the satisfaction to inform
General Procter, that the first Lieutenant of that ship, with 50 or 60
seamen, were then at Kingston, from whence they were to be forwarded,
without delay, to Amherstburgh. This circumstance Sir George Prevost
requested might be made known to Captain Barclay. This portion of the
letter, which so clearly shews the exertions Sir George Prevost had made,
and was then making, to send a supply of seamen to Lake Erie, the Reviewer,
with the whole letter before him, has thought proper to omit, and in lieu
of it, to insert as the only reply given by Sir George Prevost to General
Procter's request for further assistance, a passage in the letter[64] which
was evidently meant as a compliment to the bravery of General Procter's
troops, and an encouragement to him to persevere under the difficulties of
his situation, assured, as he must have been, that every endeavour was
making to relieve him. On the 26th August, four days after the date of the
last letter, the Military Secretary informed General Procter that Colonel
Talbot had been sent to the head of the Lake to await the arrival of the
seamen mentioned in his letter of the 25th, and to forward them to
Amherstburgh with all possible despatch. He was further informed, that 12
24lb. carronades for the new ship, the Detroit, were expected in the fleet
at Burlington Bay, and General Procter was desired to request Captain
Barclay, on his arrival at Long Point, to send off an express to the
officer commanding at Burlington Heights, to say when he would be ready to
receive them on board. In this letter, the Military Secretary, Captain
Freer says, "His Excellency trusts, that upon the arrival of the seamen,
Captain Barclay will be able to make his appearance on the Lake to meet the

From all that has been stated upon this subject, it must satisfactorily
appear, that every exertion in the power of Sir George Prevost was made by
him to supply the wants of Captain Barclay and the squadron, both with
seamen and stores, and that at the very period when the action was fought,
more men were on their way to him.

The truth of the Reviewer's assertion, that the conduct of Sir George
Prevost contributed to the destruction of our marine on Lake Erie, will be
best ascertained by a reference to Captain Barclay himself; and the
following letter from that officer to the present Sir George Prevost, will
clearly shew how unwarrantably the character of the Commander of the forces
in the Canadas has been attacked on this occasion.

                      "_Edinburgh, 14th January, 1823._


     "I have had the honor to receive a letter from Miss
     Prevost, acquainting me that the family of the late
     Lieut.-General Sir George Prevost are preparing a
     pamphlet, in vindication of his memory and conduct, so
     ungenerously and cruelly aspersed in the Quarterly
     Review for October, 1822, and appealing to me for the
     truth or falsehood of that portion of the article,
     which attributes the defeat and capture of His
     Majesty's squadron on Lake Erie, then under my command,
     to the imbecility of his conduct, and general
     inattention to our necessities.

     "I most deeply lament that an article so ungenerous and
     severe, should have been written, when the object of
     its hostility has been so long in his grave, which must
     not only lacerate most deeply the feelings of his
     family, but which also tends to open again a
     controversy which I had hoped was at rest.

     "Agitated, however, as the question again is, by this
     anonymous publication; appealed to as I am for its
     truth or falsehood, I declare that as far as relates
     to Lake Erie, nothing can be more false and groundless.
     So contrary indeed is the fact, that I can say, the
     only communication which was made by me direct to the
     Commander of the forces, and which I was only induced
     to make by the extreme urgency of the case, was
     answered by his ordering a reinforcement of seamen from
     Quebec, and which I am confident would have been
     larger, _had it been possible to have waited_ for them.

     "It is also but justice in me to declare, that I ever
     considered his peremptory order[65] to risk a battle,
     (which, however, did not arrive till after the battle
     was over,) arose from his firm conviction of the
     paramount necessity of a strenuous exertion on the part
     of the navy for the preservation of the post, and from
     a generous desire on his part, to share with me the
     responsibility of a measure so hazardous, should the
     issue prove unsuccessful.

            I have the honor to be,

                Your most obedient servant,
                             R. H. BARCLAY.

     "_Sir George Prevost, Bart.
     Oriel College, Oxford._"

The subjoined extract of a letter from Sir James Yeo to Sir George Prevost,
will also shew that the Naval Commander on the Lakes entertained a very
different opinion on this subject from the Reviewer.

                             "_Kingston, 23d March, 1814._

     "Dear Sir,

     "I have had the honor of your Excellency's letter of
     the 14th inst.

     "It is impossible any person can be more truly sensible
     of your Excellency's unremitting attention and
     assiduity to every thing connected with the naval
     department in this country than myself, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

                        I have the honour to remain,
                            With the highest respect,
                                    Dear Sir,
                                Your Excellency's
                                  Most obedient servant,
                                       JAMES LUCAS YEO."

With regard to the naval action on Lake Erie, we shall only observe, that
it certainly was not lost from the want of skill or courage on the part of
the officers and men of our squadron. The decided superiority of the enemy
in their weight of metal and seamen, gave them an advantage which the
bravest efforts of our squadron, directed and encouraged by the
distinguished gallantry and conduct of their Commander, were insufficient
to resist. The causes of the disastrous result of that action are best
told, in the words of the sentence of the Court-martial upon Captain
Barclay and his officers, which will be found in the Appendix.[66] The
situation of General Procter was such, after this disaster, as to render it
indispensable for him to take the most prompt and energetic measures for
withdrawing his troops from posts which were no longer tenable, and to join
the main body of the army on the Niagara frontier, to whose force he knew
his men would prove a seasonable and powerful accession. Upon this
disastrous retreat it is unnecessary to dwell. It must, however, be
remarked, that from the sentence of the Court-martial upon General Procter,
and the subsequent remarks upon that sentence by order of His Royal
Highness the Prince Regent, it certainly appears that General Procter did
not avail himself, with sufficient energy and activity of the period which
elapsed between the loss of our fleet and the action at the Moravian
village, to effect the important object of retiring with his troops to a
place of safety.

However meritorious had been the conduct of General Procter, and of the
troops serving under him previous to his retreat from Amherstburgh, it was
not possible for Sir George Prevost to avoid noticing in the public orders,
which announced to the army the capture of the greater part of those troops
at the Moravian town, what appeared to him the disgraceful circumstances
with which the affair had been attended. Although General Procter might
feel hurt by the reflections thus passed upon his conduct, yet the
Commander of the forces, in consideration of his former services, was
unwilling to make that conduct the subject of public investigation, until
His Majesty's Government, to whom General Procter's explanation had been
submitted, should determine upon the course to be pursued. It was in
obedience to their orders that General Procter was at length put upon his

That the charges against General Procter could only rest upon the events of
the retreat which he was accused of misconducting, and that "a long period
of arduous services and neglected representations"[68] could form _no part
of such charges_, must be obvious to the lowest capacity. General Procter
had, of course, the opportunity of availing himself of those services
before the Court-martial, and that he did so the nature of the sentence
would lead us to suppose. But it surely cannot be inferred from the opinion
of the Court, that Sir George Prevost had any other motive in preferring
the charges, than the good of the service, and obedience to the commands of
his superiors. Whether, under these circumstances, and with the knowledge
of Sir George Prevost's military life, which the Reviewer must have
possessed, he is justified in making the gross insinuation with which he
concludes his strictures on this subject, will be left to the candid reader
to determine.

The greater part of the troops under General Procter having been captured,
General Vincent was compelled immediately to retreat to Burlington Heights,
a measure which the information received by that officer of the extent of
General Procter's loss, and the probable immediate advance of the enemy,
seemed to render indispensable.

The first intelligence received of General Procter's defeat was through a
Staff-Adjutant, who had escaped from the field of battle, and who, by
exaggerated accounts of this disaster, and of the consequences to be
expected from it, spread terror and dismay through the country as he
passed rapidly along to Kingston, where he arrived on the 12th October. In
the mean time, General Vincent, whom these reports had reached, and who had
also on the 8th received from General Procter intelligence of the action,
had begun his retreat from the four-mile creek, and had halted at the
twelve-mile creek, when a communication from Colonel Young, at Burlington,
induced him immediately to fall back upon that place as a post where he
might with less difficulty maintain himself if attacked, and where he might
wait for instructions from General de Rottenburg, the officer commanding in
Upper Canada.

General de Rottenburg, who was on his way from York to Kingston, when the
intelligence of General Procter's defeat overtook him on the road,
immediately sent to General Vincent, directing him, in his despatch of the
10th October, if he did not consider himself sufficiently strong to hold
out against the superior force of the enemy, to destroy the stores, &c. and
to fall back on Kingston. These directions, it is to be observed, were
given under the impression created by the Staff-Adjutant's account, which,
in a very short time was discovered to be greatly exaggerated; and it
appears from General Vincent's letter to General de Rottenburg, previous to
the receipt of the despatch last mentioned, as well as from the one in
answer to it, that he had no immediate intention of retreating from the
position he then occupied, although he thought circumstances might
afterwards render such a measure necessary. In the mean time the same
exaggerated accounts of the action at the Moravian village, which had been
carried to Kingston, having been received at Montreal by the Commander of
the forces, together with General de Rottenburg's despatches, communicating
the orders he had sent to General Vincent in consequence of that
intelligence, Sir George Prevost in his letter to General de Rottenburg of
the 18th October, approved of those orders, and directed them to be carried
into execution.

On the 18th October, the very day on which this last despatch was dated,
General de Rottenburg informed Sir George Prevost, by letter, that the
Staff-Adjutant's account, by which he had been induced to give the
directions to General Vincent to retreat to York, preparatory to falling
back on Kingston, was false and scandalous. As soon as it was thus
ascertained at head-quarters at Montreal, what the real nature of General
Procter's disaster was, the Commander of the forces having also reason to
believe, from the information transmitted to him by General de Rottenburg,
that the enemy had designs upon York from Sackett's Harbour, instructions,
dated the 29th October, were sent to that officer, directing him to
prevent General Vincent's further retreat, and to order him to occupy both
Burlington and York with the force under his command. The orders, which
were accordingly sent from General de Rottenburg to General Vincent to that
effect on the 1st November, were received by him on the 4th, and he in
consequence remained in the position he then occupied at Burlington
Heights, which undoubtedly led afterwards to the recovery of the Niagara

From the above correspondence it incontrovertibly appears, that the orders
transmitted from the Commander of the forces, through General de Rottenburg
to Major-General Vincent, were the real and only cause of that officer's
_not retreating_ to York, and of his continuing to hold his position at
Burlington; which, as appears by his own letter of the 27th October, before
referred to, he was preparing to leave on the 1st November.

Sir George Prevost's orders to General Vincent, to fall back upon Kingston,
had not reached him on the 23rd October; previous to which, his orders to
retreat had been discretionary. On the 27th he was preparing to obey them,
and on the 4th of November he received orders to remain where he was.

There cannot, therefore, be a doubt of the gross incorrectness of all the
Reviewer's statements,[69] of the repeated peremptory orders to retreat;
of the advice which the firmness of General Procter and others had induced
them to give General Vincent to disobey those orders, and of his being
persuaded upon their responsibility to adopt it.

It was, in fact, the prompt and decided measures of Sir George Prevost, as
soon as the truth, with regard to General Procter's defeat, was made known
to him, that alone prevented General Vincent from continuing his retreat,
and that led to those offensive operations which followed shortly
afterwards on the Niagara frontier, and which, notwithstanding the attempt
made by the Reviewer to give the sole credit of them to General Vincent and
Colonel Murray, originated in the instructions which the former officer had
received from General de Rottenburg, then commanding in Upper Canada. Even
the attack upon Fort Niagara had previously been pressed upon the
consideration of Major-Generals de Rottenburg and Sheaffe, by the Commander
of the forces, as desirable, whenever circumstances might render such a
measure practicable.

In summing up the events of the campaign of 1813, the Reviewer
observes,[70] "that on the British side, the occurrences of the year, on
the part of the _subordinate commanders_ and troops, presented a brilliant
series of achievements, the greater number of which were rendered nugatory
or imperfect in result, from the absence of all energy, talent, and
enterprise, in their Commander-in-Chief."

In support of this opinion, which is sufficiently singular, considering
what the Reviewer has himself stated to have been the result of the
campaign, he adds, that the successes obtained by General Vincent and
Colonel Harvey, by General Procter, Colonel Murray, and Lieutenant-Colonel
Morrison, were ALL obtained either against the positive commands of Sir
George Prevost, or without any instructions from him; and that in the only
measure which could be ascribed to him, he endeavoured to wrest the merit
from Lieut.-Colonel De Salaberry, because he happened to arrive when the
enemy were beaten.

The following observations will afford a full answer to this unfounded and
disgraceful attack upon the character and reputation of Sir George Prevost.
The brilliant affair at Stoney Creek, under Major-General Vincent and
Colonel Harvey, and the equally successful operation on the Michigan
frontier, when General Procter defeated the forces of Winchester and Clay,
arose out of the circumstances of the moment, of which those officers
immediately, with great judgment and gallantry, availed themselves. There
could, therefore, be no time for communication with the Commander of the
forces, and consequently the operations in question could not have taken
place in direct opposition to commands which were never received. With
regard to the general instructions under which the subordinate Commanders
acted, it has already been shewn that General Procter had discretionary
orders from Sir George Prevost to act on the defensive or otherwise, as
circumstances might require; so likewise had General Vincent; and the
marked approbation expressed, both in general orders, and in the despatches
to the Secretary of State announcing these events, is a further strong
proof that the conduct of those officers was in perfect accordance with the
orders and instructions which they had received from the Commander of the
forces. Colonel Murray's expedition against Plattsburg was, as appears by
the despatch to Lord Bathurst, of the 1st August, 1813, planned altogether
by Sir George Prevost, who had previously endeavoured to place our marine
on the Richelieu, which had been increased by the capture of the two
schooners from the enemy, on a respectable footing; first, by the
appointment of Captain Pring to the naval command there, and subsequently
by obtaining the services of Captain Everard, and the officers and seamen
of the Wasp sloop of war, then lately arrived at Quebec from Halifax, to
man these vessels and the gun-boats. Colonel Murray was the officer
particularly selected by Sir George Prevost to command on this expedition,
from the opinion he entertained of his zeal and energy. The event amply
justified his expectations, and this enterprise, undertaken by the orders
and under the instructions of the Commander of the forces, was in every
respect successful.

The daring exploit which was subsequently achieved by Colonel Murray, in
the capture of Fort Niagara, so far from being in opposition to Sir George
Prevost's orders, or in the absence of any instructions respecting it, was
the consequence of the verbal instructions given by Sir George Prevost to
Lieutenant-General Drummond, previous to his assuming the command in Upper
Canada, and confirmed in his letter to him of the 3rd December, 1813.
Lieutenant-Colonel Morrison had been detached from Kingston with the 49th,
the 2nd battalion of the 89th, and the Voltigeurs, as a corps of
observation, to follow the motions of General Wilkinson's army, then
threatening Montreal from Sackett's Harbour, in consequence of the _express
orders and directions of Sir George Prevost_; a fact established by his
despatch to Lord Bathurst of the 15th November, 1813.

The foresight of the Commander of the forces in providing this force to
watch the enemy, and his judgment in the selection of Lieut.-Colonel
Morrison to command it, led beyond all doubt, to the defeat which General
Boyd received at Chrystler's farm, and ultimately, by the interruptions
thus occasioned to General Wilkinson's plans, to the safety of Lower
Canada. That the measures adopted by Sir George Prevost might in some
degree have contributed to the success which attended Lieut.-Colonel De
Salaberry's defence of his position at Chateaugay, the Reviewer seems most
unwillingly to admit, while at the same time he imputes to him the base and
unworthy attempt of endeavouring to assume to himself the merit which on
that occasion was alone due to Colonel De Salaberry.

In Sir George Prevost's despatch to Lord Bathurst on this subject, of the
date of 30th October, 1813, he expresses himself fortunate at having
arrived at the scene of action shortly after it commenced, as it enabled
him personally to witness the conduct of the officers and men engaged in
it, and to form a proper judgment of their merits, which he then severally
details in his letter. The unqualified praise which he bestows upon the
officer immediately commanding, (Lieut.-Colonel De Salaberry) is of itself
a sufficient refutation of this libel on the part of the Reviewer.[71]

The checks thus received by the forces under Generals Wilkinson and
Hampton, from Lieut.-Colonel Morrison, and Lieut.-Colonel De Salaberry,
were, without doubt, no inconsiderable causes of their repulse in the
attempt upon Lower Canada; but it was also the duty of the Reviewer to have
noticed the prompt and judicious measures adopted by Sir George Prevost, as
soon as he had ascertained that General Wilkinson was descending the St.
Lawrence to attack Montreal, for the defence of that place, by calling out
the whole militia of the district, and by collecting all his disposable
force at La Chine, where he commanded in person. The formidable defences
which he had prepared both at Coteau du Lac, and at the Cedars, together
with the imposing force of militia which had been assembled at a very short
notice, must have convinced General Wilkinson that he could not hope to
make any impression upon a people who shewed so much zeal and alacrity in
defending themselves, and who were commanded by one who possessed their
entire confidence and affection. Under these circumstances, and from the
opposition already experienced to his attempt, the American Commander
resolved to abandon it as impracticable, more particularly as he found
himself without support from General Hampton, who had retired towards Lake

In detailing the events of the campaign of 1814, the Reviewer has again not
scrupled, in his account of Captain Pring's expedition to Vergennes, to
distort the truth, for the purpose of attaching the blame of this failure
to Sir George Prevost. So far from the Commander of the forces refusing to
Captain Pring the assistance of the troops stationed at Isle aux Noix, as
the Reviewer asserts,[72] a strong detachment of the marines then in
garrison at that post, was embarked on board of his squadron, and the
despatch to Lord Bathurst from Sir George Prevost, of the 18th of May,
1814,[73] proves that this expedition was planned and directed by the
Commander of the forces, and probably failed from the circumstance alone of
Captain Pring being prevented by baffling winds for four days from reaching
his destination, before the enemy had time to mature their preparations for

A similar degree of incorrectness prevails in the Reviewer's statements
with regard to the force retained by Sir George Prevost in Lower Canada.
That Lower Canada, in the middle of April, 1814,[74] had nothing to dread,
may be confidently denied. On the 22d and 30th March, two attempts had been
made by General Wilkinson to penetrate into that Province by the Montreal
frontier, and in the latter instance, in considerable force. Though he was
repulsed in both cases, and in the latter with severe loss, he still
continued to keep a considerable body of men on the frontier line, from
which he did not withdraw until towards the middle of May.[75] Sackett's
Harbour, instead of being weakly garrisoned, had been strengthened by two
regiments from General Wilkinson's army, besides other reinforcements; and
our fleet on Lake Ontario was so far from being at that period ready for
sea, that it was not until the 14th of April, that the two ships, which
were to constitute its principal strength, had been launched, nor was our
squadron in a situation to take the Lake until the beginning of May. The
only reinforcements which, up to this period in 1814, and even until the
beginning of June, had arrived in Lower Canada, were the 2d battalion of
the 8th regiment, which the foresight of the Commander of the forces had
induced him to draw in the depth of winter by land from New Brunswick,
whence they arrived in the month of March, together with 200 picked seamen
from Admiral Griffiths for the fleet on Lake Ontario, without a single
accident. This regiment is enumerated by the Reviewer amongst his nine
regular regiments of infantry, with three squadrons of dragoons, six
strong battalions of militia, and a numerous _division_ of artillery, the
_whole_ of which he has untruly asserted, were crowded together in
inactivity at Chambly, behind a strong frontier, without an enemy to oppose
them;[76] adding, that although reinforcements were daily arriving or
expected, not a man was sent to strengthen the inadequate force on the
Niagara frontier, until the middle of July, when only two of the Peninsular
regiments were reluctantly yielded for that service. Of the nine regular
regiments of infantry, of which the Reviewer speaks, one was De Meuron's
foreign corps, another the Canadian Fencibles, a third a battalion of
Marines, a fourth the Canadian Voltigeurs, militia-men, subject to militia
law, and whose force at the utmost was 450 men. Of the real regular
regiments, viz. the 8th, 13th, 16th, 49th, and 70th, the 16th did not
arrive until June, together with two companies of artillery. This regiment
was almost immediately stationed at Montreal, where it remained the whole
of July, and in August was despatched to Upper Canada. The 70th garrisoned
Quebec, with a portion of artillery, and a small corps, composed of the
recruits of the other regiments in the Province. The 13th was in advance at
St. John, and La Cole Mill, and the battalion of marines garrisoned Isle
aux Noix. Of the six battalions of embodied militia, one was at La
Prairie, and another, if not two of the others, at different parts of the
frontier; the Voltigeurs were also in advance, and part of the Canadian
fencibles were at Coteau du Lac. From this statement, made out from
documents, the authenticity of which cannot be doubted, it will appear that
the troops under Sir George Prevost in the Lower Province, which were
barely adequate to its defence, in lieu of being all assembled at Chambly,
were stationed in different parts of the Province, where their services
were most required, and that they did not at any time, collectively form
the camp of instruction of which the Reviewer speaks. Previous even to the
1st of May, when the Reviewer has stated that Sir James Yeo was ready with
his fleet for any operation, no part of this force could, consistently with
the safety of Lower Canada, have been despatched for the reinforcement of
General Drummond. Still less could a sufficient portion of it have been
spared, to have enabled that officer, with any prospect of success, to
attempt an attack on Sackett's Harbour. General Drummond was, in fact,
aware that, from the period of the first attack on that place, in May,
1813, the enemy had been indefatigable in fortifying it, and that it was at
all times guarded by a large body of regular troops and militia, together
with a number of able and experienced seamen. Nothing, therefore, short of
the full co-operation of a superior fleet, and a large body of troops,
could have afforded him a well-grounded expectation of succeeding. General
Drummond well knew that, up to May, 1814, and for some time afterwards, no
force of this description could be spared from the Lower Province. However
desirable he might have thought it, to destroy the naval depôt at Sackett's
Harbour, he knew that no adequate means were within his power, or that of
the Commander of the forces; and until, by fresh reinforcements from
England, those means should be acquired, he was obliged to content himself
with operations compatible with his resources. We accordingly find that, as
soon as the fleet was in readiness to take the Lake, General Drummond, in
consequence of the previous communication which had taken place between Sir
George Prevost and himself, undertook the expedition against Oswego, which
terminated in the capture of that place, together with a quantity of
stores, provisions, and ordnance, most of which being designed for the
squadron at Sackett's Harbour, must have materially delayed its equipment.
Of this enterprise the Reviewer has thought proper to say nothing, because
he knew that it might in a great degree be attributed to the measures of
Sir George Prevost. For a similar reason he has altogether omitted to
notice the extraordinary and energetic measures which had been adopted by
the Commander of the forces, for relieving Michilimachinac, and affording
to that garrison an important reinforcement of troops, seamen, and
provisions, under the command of an able and experienced officer, who
afterwards gave ample proofs of his courage and talents in his successful
defence of that post against a powerful attack of the enemy. The
reinforcement of that distant position, whilst the enemy were in possession
of the whole of the Michigan territory, and by a route never before
attempted, reflected the greatest credit upon the Commander of the forces
who directed, and upon Lieutenant Colonel M'Douall, who executed, this
arduous enterprise, which was highly important in its consequences as
respected our Indian allies, and the safety of the Upper Province.
Independently of this reinforcement to the troops in Upper Canada, we shall
find that Sir George Prevost continued mindful of Lieutenant-General
Drummond's situation, and desirous of assisting him, as soon as the means
of doing so were placed within his power. It has been already shewn, that
out of the force which the Commander of the forces possessed for the
defence of Lower Canada, and of which the Reviewer has given so incorrect a
statement, the 2nd battalion of the 8th arrived from New Brunswick in
March, and the 16th with two companies of artillery in June. It was not
until the month of July that the next reinforcements, consisting of the
90th regiment, from the West Indies, and the 6th and 82nd from the army
under the Duke of Wellington, reached Montreal. These three regiments were
immediately sent forward to the Niagara frontier. The despatch to the
Secretary of State, announcing the arrival of these troops, sufficiently
and satisfactorily explained the reasons which had hitherto prevented Sir
George Prevost from strengthening General Drummond's force in the Upper
Province. In the beginning of June, and previously to the arrival of these
reinforcements, Sir James Yeo had retired into port after blockading
Sackett's Harbour; and from that period, until October, the enemy had the
ascendancy on Lake Ontario. Our operations in Upper Canada were, therefore,
necessarily confined to the defensive; and although the superior numbers of
the enemy gave them at times an advantage over us, and occasioned a
considerable loss of valuable lives, the efforts made by the Commander of
the forces, to supply these losses, enabled General Drummond successfully
to maintain the contest, and to prevent the Americans from gaining any
permanent footing in the Province. Upon the arrival of the Nova Scotia
Fencibles, a battalion of the Royals, and the 97th regiment towards the end
of July, the latter regiment was immediately sent to Kingston, and Sir
George Prevost continued to make every exertion to reinforce the army on
the Niagara frontier.

Before we proceed to the consideration of the much misrepresented affair of
Plattsburg, the orders under which Sir George Prevost acted, and the plan
of operations proposed upon the arrival of the reinforcements from the Duke
of Wellington's army, it will be necessary to expose the perverted
statement with which the Quarterly Reviewer has introduced his account of
this expedition. "In _June_ and _July_," he says, "a numerous fleet arrived
in the St. Lawrence from Bourdeaux, with the flower of the Duke of
Wellington's army."[77] Now connecting this paragraph with the one that
follows soon afterwards--"that the Peninsular troops were suffered to
ascend no higher than the ill-fated camp of Chambly, where they were
detained _during the whole month of August_"[78]--it is evident that the
Reviewer meant his readers to believe that the brigades, under Generals
Robinson, Brisbane, Power, and Kempt, had arrived in Canada in June and
July, so as to enable Sir George Prevost to assemble them for any service
at Chambly by the beginning of August, and yet that he kept them the whole
of that month unemployed. It appears, however, from Sir George Prevost's
despatches to Lord Bathurst, dated 28th June, 1814, that the only part of
the Duke of Wellington's army, which arrived in June, were the 6th and 82nd
regiments. The transports having those regiments on board passed Quebec for
Montreal, about the 26th of that month, but did not reach the latter place
until the first or second week in July, from whence they were immediately
pushed forward to reinforce Lieutenant-General Drummond on the Niagara
frontier. The brigade under Major-General Power, which was accompanied by
Major-General Brisbane, did not arrive at Quebec until late in July; indeed
so late, that Sir George Prevost, in his despatch to Lord Bathurst
announcing their arrival, states, that they would scarcely be able to
arrive at Montreal, with every exertion, before the _20th of August_. The
two last brigades, under Generals Kempt and Robinson, arrived still later;
and Sir George Prevost's despatch of the 5th August, 1814, announcing their
approach to Quebec, stated that it would be impossible, with every
exertion, to collect the whole force, viz. all the brigades in the
neighbourhood of Montreal, _before the end of that month_. In fact, it was
not until towards the end of August, that two of the brigades above
mentioned were assembled at Chambly, and in the neighbourhood; the other
brigade, under Major-General Kempt, being stationed partly at Montreal,
and partly in advance towards Kingston, in order to be in readiness for the
service for which it was designed, whenever our ascendancy on Lake Ontario
should be required.

In his next observations, the Reviewer has confounded both dates and facts,
in order to make it appear that Sir George Prevost knew not how to dispose
of the succours which had reached him; with which, in the Reviewer's
opinion,[79] he ought instantly to have made a rapid movement towards Lake
Ontario, for the purpose of attacking Sackett's Harbour; an attempt which,
it is stated, should have been made whilst Sir James Yeo was blockading
that place, instead of wasting some of the most valuable months of the
summer in the camp at Chambly:[80] and further, that the march of General
Izzard to Sackett's Harbour, with 3,000 or 4,000 regular troops, was a
proof that the American Government felt (although our Commander did not),
that all objects on the frontier were insignificant, in comparison with the
protection of the numerous squadron which was blockaded in their ports on
Lake Ontario.

Unfortunately for the Reviewer's consistency, he had previously stated,
that in consequence of Commodore Chauncey having prepared two new frigates
for sea, Sir James Yeo discontinued his blockade of Sackett's Harbour, and
retired to Kingston, to await the equipment of the St. Lawrence, and that
during the months of _August_ and _September_, Chauncey _held the Lake_.

General Izzard was despatched to Sackett's Harbour about the _end of
August_, or _1st of September_, and consequently the American Government,
from the Reviewer's own shewing, could not at that time have any
apprehensions for their _numerous squadron_, blockaded _in their Port on
Lake Ontario_. So far indeed from the American squadron being at this time
in danger, Kingston, and Sir James Yeo's numerous squadron, were actually
at the period of General Izzard's march to Sackett's Harbour, most
rigorously blockaded by Chauncey, and so continued for nearly six weeks
afterwards. Sackett's Harbour was in fact only blockaded by Sir James Yeo,
from the beginning of May to the beginning of June, at which latter period
he relinquished the blockade, and did not make his appearance on the Lake
until the middle of October following.

It has been already shewn what Sir George Prevost's force really consisted
of, in the Lower Province, during the period of this blockade, and until
the month of July, when the first reinforcements from France reached him.
These reinforcements were immediately sent to the Upper Province. It is
consequently most evident that he did not then possess the means of
attacking Sackett's Harbour, and that after the blockade had ceased,
tenfold the means he possessed would not have sufficed for the service,
without the co-operation of the fleet.[81]

It is in the highest degree improbable, that any man in Sir George
Prevost's army, or in the Provinces, possessing a knowledge of these facts,
which were within the reach of all, should have thought it possible that on
the arrival of the troops from Bourdeaux, Sackett's Harbour was or could be
the point of attack, so long as our squadron was not able to take the Lake.

It will, it is apprehended, tend very materially to elucidate the
subsequent operations of the war, to state the views which probably
influenced His Majesty's Government in sending so large a force from the
Duke of Wellington's army to Canada, and the manner in which it was
directed to be employed. The circumstances under which the war had been
commenced on the part of the Americans, and the refusal of their Government
to consider the revocation of the Orders in Council, the ostensible ground
of war as a cause for pacification, had justly offended both the
Government and people of Great Britain. The efforts, however, which they
were called upon to make in Europe, had, until the termination of the
contest by the abdication of Buonaparte, prevented the British Government
from furnishing any other reinforcements for the army in the Canadas, than
such as were barely sufficient, aided by the bravery of the troops, and the
talents, zeal, and energy of their Commander, for the defence of the
country from the repeated attacks of the enemy. As soon, however, as the
peace with France placed a larger force at their disposal, His Majesty's
Government resolved to avail themselves of a portion of it, in order to
retaliate upon America her unjust aggressions, and to carry the war into
such parts of her territory as might prove most assailable. In consequence
of this determination, the expeditions to the Chesapeake and the Mississipi
were planned; and with the same views three brigades were ordered from
Bourdeaux to Canada. The objects contemplated in sending this reinforcement
to Canada, will be best understood by a reference to Lord Bathurst's
despatch to Sir George Prevost, of the 3d June, 1814, in which it is said,
"The object of your operations will be, First, To give immediate
protection, secondly, to obtain, if possible, ultimate security, to His
Majesty's possessions in America. The entire destruction of Sackett's
Harbour, and the naval establishment on Lake Erie and Lake Champlain, come
under the first description."--"Should there be any advanced position on
that part of our frontier which extends towards _Lake Champlain_, the
occupation of which would materially tend to the security of the Province,
you will, if you deem it expedient, expel the enemy from it, and occupy it
by detachments of the troops under your command, _always, however, taking
care not to expose his Majesty's troops to being cut off by too extended a
line of advance_"--"At the same time, it is by no means the intention of
His Majesty's Government to encourage such forward movements into the
interior of the American territory, _as might commit the safety of the
force placed under your command_." It must be evident to every person in
the least acquainted with the territories of America bordering upon the
Canadas, that none of the objects of offensive warfare contemplated in the
foregoing despatch could be undertaken without the aid and co-operation of
a fleet able to contend with that of the enemy. That His Majesty's
Government might be aware of the impossibility of complying with the views
and wishes above described, until the naval ascendancy should be secured on
Lakes Ontario and Champlain, Sir George Prevost, in his despatch to Lord
Bathurst, of the 12th July, before referred to, expresses his opinion on
this head, stating that he did not expect from the reports he had received
from Sir James Yeo, and the officer commanding our naval forces on the
Richelieu, that their fleets would be in readiness before the middle of

Upon the arrival of the troops from France, and upon their being assembled
as before stated in the neighbourhood of Montreal towards the end of
August, it was ascertained that the new ship at Kingston would not be
launched until towards the middle of September, and consequently, that Sir
James Yeo would not be ready to take the Lake, at the earliest, until the
beginning of October. All, therefore, that could be done with regard to the
projected expedition against Sackett's Harbour, was to make such a
disposition of the troops designed for the service, that they might be in
readiness for it, whenever it might be deemed advisable to make the
attempt. Major-General Sir James Kempt, who was to have the command, was
accordingly dispatched to Kingston, and two brigades were quartered partly
at Montreal and partly in advance, wherever he judged they might be best
placed, with a view to the ultimate service for which they were designed.
The employment of the remainder of the force from France next became the
subject of Sir George Prevost's consideration. The enemy had at that time
a strong squadron on Lake Champlain, and their naval depôt at Vergennes
furnished them with the means of continually adding to it. They had also
since the first attack fortified Plattsburg, a position which, provided we
had the ascendancy on the Lake, it might be expedient for us to occupy for
the security of the Lower Province. Should, therefore, our squadron,
equipping in the Richelieu, be ready to co-operate with the army before the
season was too far advanced for offensive operations, it was clear that one
of the objects contemplated by Government might be undertaken with every
prospect of success. The enemy's fleet, if they waited the attack upon them
in Plattsburg bay, or elsewhere, might be destroyed, or the depôt at
Vergennes might fall into our hands by the occupation of Plattsburg, and
the further advance of the army aided by the fleet. That the enemy were not
assailable in any other quarter, (Sackett's Harbour being out of the
question from what has been before stated,) it can scarcely be necessary to
mention, nor has it ever been pretended that they were.

The State of Vermont on the east shore of the Lake might, indeed, have been
entered from St. Amand, and our townships on that frontier, without the
assistance of our squadron. But independently of there not being any
object of sufficient consequence in that quarter to make an attack upon it
advisable, it was deemed highly imprudent to molest that State by a mere
predatory expedition, whilst two-thirds of the supplies of fresh meat for
the army in Canada were furnished by American contractors, and whilst
droves of cattle, as well as large sums of money in specie were constantly
passing by that route from the United States into Canada; a fact which is
not generally known, and which strongly marks the wisdom of that policy
which Sir George Prevost pursued during the American warfare. As the
destruction of the enemy's naval depôt on Lake Champlain was then the only
operation contemplated by His Majesty's Government, which could be
undertaken with any prospect of success, Sir George Prevost with a view to
that object, had, immediately after the receipt of the despatch of the 3rd
June, above referred to, used every possible exertion to accelerate the
building of the new ship at Isle aux Noix, and the efficient arming and
equipment of the squadron there, for the service in which it was proposed
to be employed. Some time previous to this period it appears from Sir
George Prevost's correspondence with Sir James Yeo, that he had repeatedly
called the particular attention of that officer to the manning of the
squadron for Lake Champlain.[82] In addition to this, his correspondence
with Captain Fisher, and Vice Admiral Otway, tends to establish the fact of
his unwearied and successful exertions to accomplish that object.

The Confiance was launched on the 26th of August, and Sir George Prevost
having reason to believe that the efforts which were making for her
equipment would enable Captain Fisher to take the Lake in the course of a
few days, proceeded, on the 30th, to inspect the first brigade of troops
quartered at Chambly; and on the 31st. established his head-quarters at
Odell Town, close upon the enemy's frontier. Having here received
information that General Izzard had suddenly quitted his position at
Champlain Town, and had marched with a body of troops in the direction of
Niagara, evidently for the purpose of joining General Brown, who had
established a footing on the Niagara frontier, and was pressing upon
Lieutenant General Drummond, Sir George Prevost determined to lose no time
in entering the enemy's territory, (even though our fleet was not ready to
co-operate,) in the hope by this movement of checking General Izzard's
progress, and of thus making a diversion in favour of General Drummond. Our
troops accordingly crossed the frontier line, and on the 3d of September
took possession of Champlain Town, which the enemy had abandoned on their
approach. Our forces advanced the following day to Chazy and Simpson's Inn,
about eight miles from Plattsburg, where they halted on the 5th. Previously
to this advance Captain Fisher, who had superintended the building of the
Confiance, and whose local knowledge would have rendered his services
peculiarly useful in the joint operations contemplated, had been suddenly
and unexpectedly superseded by Sir James Yeo in the command of our naval
force on the Richelieu, and Captain Downie had been appointed to succeed
him. This officer did not arrive at Montreal from Lake Ontario until the
3rd September, and on the following day repaired to Isle aux Noix to
superintend the equipment of the new ship. On the 5th of September, the day
on which the troops halted at Simpson's Inn, an interview took place
between Sir George Prevost and Captain Downie, when the latter assured the
Commander of the forces, that his flotilla would be ready to co-operate
with the army in less than forty-eight hours; that he had correctly
ascertained the state and condition of the enemy's fleet; and that in
consequence he entertained no apprehensions of the result of an action.
Sir George Prevost then explained to Captain Downie the reason of his
having pressed forward before the latter was ready. On the following day,
the 6th September, the army advanced to Plattsburg, and took possession of
that part of it situate on the northern side of the Saranac, the enemy's
troops having retreated thence to the south side, and to their fortified
position on the crest of the hills.

No sooner had this position been taken, than Sir George Prevost, conceiving
that the enemy, on the first approach of our troops, might not be fully
prepared to receive them, proposed that the works should be immediately
attacked;[83] but it being represented to him that one of the brigades was
extremely harassed, having been brought forward from Chazy with great
celerity, and that after allowing the men a reasonable time to rest, the
afternoon would be too far advanced to attempt an operation for which it
was desirable to have day-light, as the movement was to be made through so
thick and intricate a country, Sir George was induced to acquiesce in this
reasoning; and being likewise satisfied, from the assurance given him, by
Captain Downie, that the fleet would be ready to co-operate in a day or two
at farthest, he finally resolved to defer the attack until the junction of
the squadron. The enemy's fleet had retired from the mouth of the Chazy
(where it was placed, when our troops entered the American territory), to
Plattsburg Bay, and there, on the arrival of our army, it was found
anchored; their gun-boats, which had been employed to interrupt the march
of our army on the Lake road, being placed so as to manifest a
determination to support their troops and position on the south side of the
Saranac. On the morning of the 7th, it was discovered that the enemy's
flotilla had changed their position since the preceding evening, and had
moved further into the bay, out of the range of cannon from the shore,
evidently with the object of avoiding the fire from the works, in case they
should be attacked and carried.

As soon as Sir George Prevost had, by a thorough reconnoitring of the
enemy's position, on shore and in the bay, satisfied his own mind that
their fleet was moored too far from the shore to receive any support from
their own batteries, or any injury from ours, he communicated the enemy's
force and situation to Captain Downie, by a letter[84] dated the 7th
September, seven o'clock a. m., and stated, that if Captain Downie felt the
vessels under his command equal to the contest, the present moment afforded
advantages that might not again occur, requesting, at the same time, his
decision on the subject. This letter was delivered by Major Fulton,
Aid-de-Camp to Sir George Prevost, who was ordered particularly to explain
to Captain Downie the position of the enemy's squadron, and that they were,
in his opinion, anchored out of range of shot from the shore. Major
Fulton's statement[85] on this subject, shews most clearly the views which
Captain Downie then entertained, and the confidence which he felt in the
result of the contest, for which he declared he would be ready in 24 hours.
Captain Downie's letter, in reply to Sir George Prevost's communication,
although more guarded in expression, contained in substance what he had
said to Major Fulton, and confirmed the expectation of his being able to
meet the enemy in a day or two. On the 8th of September Sir George Prevost
again despatched a letter to Captain Downie, stating that he had sent his
Aid-de-Camp, Major Coore, to give him correct information with regard to
the enemy's naval force in the bay, and that he, Sir George Prevost, only
waited the arrival of Captain Downie to proceed against General Macomb's
position. In this letter he particularly points out the co-operation which
he expected from Captain Downie. That officer's answer, dated on the same
day, states, "that his ship was _not ready, and that until she should be,
it was his duty not to hazard her before the enemy_;" and this
determination of Captain Downie's appears to have been still more strongly
expressed by him in his conversation with Major Coore. Hitherto, therefore
it may be assumed as an incontrovertible fact, that nothing had been either
said or written by Sir George Prevost to Captain Downie which might lead
the latter to expect any assistance in his approaching contest with the
American fleet, from the forces on shore, or that any simultaneous attack
was to be made upon the enemy's works, with a view to afford such aid or
support. Being thus perfectly aware of the number, force, and position of
the enemy's fleet, and finding himself ready for a conflict, of the
successful issue of which we may be assured that he had not a doubt,
Captain Downie, on the 9th of September, wrote to Sir George Prevost,
informing him that it was his intention to weigh and proceed with his
squadron, so as to approach Plattsburg Bay at day-break on the 10th, and to
commence an immediate attack on the enemy's squadron, if it should be found
anchored in a position to afford any chance of success. Immediately upon
the receipt of this letter, Sir George Prevost gave orders for the troops
to be held in readiness to assault the enemy's works at the same time that
the naval action should commence. On the 10th, the fleet not making its
appearance, Sir George Prevost addressed a letter to Captain Downie,
acknowledging the receipt of his communication of the 9th, and acquainting
him that, in consequence of it, the troops had been held in readiness since
six o'clock in the morning, to storm the enemy's works at nearly the same
moment as the naval action should commence in the bay; that he ascribed the
disappointment he had experienced to the unfortunate change of wind, and
should rejoice to learn from him that his expectations had been frustrated
by no other cause. At day-break, on the 11th, Sir George Prevost proceeded
to the quarters of Lieutenant-General de Rottenburg, (who was second in
command,) in company with the Adjutant-General, and acquainted him that, as
the wind was then fair, the fleet, unless prevented by accident, might
soon be expected, and therefore directed him immediately to circulate the
orders for the troops to hold themselves in readiness, as directed on the
preceding day. This was immediately done by Captain Burke,
Assistant-Adjutant-General, who personally delivered these orders to
Major-Generals Brisbane, Robinson, and Power, viz. to cook, and hold
themselves in readiness as on the preceding day. These orders were so
delivered by Captain Burke _before the fleet had made its appearance, and
before the scaling of their guns was heard_. It seems by the time on shore
to have been about eight o'clock when the fleet was first discovered, and
about nine when it rounded Cumberland head, and stood into the Bay. Orders
having been given by the Commander of the forces that the batteries should
open upon the enemy's works, the moment the naval action should commence,
they were accordingly opened, and actually commenced the fire a full
quarter of an hour before the Confiance had fired a shot at the enemy's
vessels. The fire from our shore-battery was so well served, that the
enemy's Lake battery, the only one which could possibly annoy our squadron,
or afford protection to that of the enemy (but from which not a shot was
fired in the direction of the Lake) was very soon silenced, and the men
driven from it to seek shelter in the higher redoubt. Almost immediately
upon the commencement of the naval action, orders were despatched for the
troops to take their allotted positions for the assault of the enemy's
works. In consequence of these orders, the two brigades under
Major-Generals Robinson and Power, proceeded in the rear of their Bivouacs,
to approach the ford of the Saranac, which it was intended they should
cross and proceed through the wood, in order to conceal their movements
from the enemy, whose position it was then contemplated to attack in
reverse, the ground being broken and uneven, and the works much too strong
to be attempted in front. Whilst these movements were making by our troops,
which from their nature, must have been equally concealed from the fleet on
the Lake, and from the enemy, Major-General Brisbane's brigade had formed,
and was ready to force the bridge of the Saranac, on the right of the
enemy's position, as soon as the troops under Generals Robinson and Power
should have passed the ford, and made their appearance before the enemy's
works. These movements must necessarily have required time for their
completion, but no person in the army for an instant doubted that the
duration of the naval action would enable the troops to accomplish the
design of penetrating, by the ford, and through the road, to the foot of
the works which were the object of attack. Unfortunately, during this
period, and whilst the two fleets were still engaged, a wrong direction,
by the mistake of the guides, was taken through the wood which led to the
ford of the Saranac. As soon as the error was discovered, the troops were
counter-marched, but before they could recover the right direction, full
three-quarters of an hour, and perhaps an hour was lost--an invaluable
portion of time, which, had not the mistake occurred, must have brought the
troops to the very foot of the enemy's position. On approaching the ford,
it was found to be guarded by a strong force of the enemy on the other
side. At this period cheers were distinctly heard, which General Robinson
supposed to proceed, either from our squadron that had been successful, or
from General Brisbane's brigade advancing to the assault. Major Cochrane
was therefore despatched to head-quarters to ascertain the fact, and to
learn whether there were any further orders. Upon his arrival there, the
fleet having at that time surrendered, Sir George Prevost most reluctantly
gave the order for the recal of the troops from the attack of the forts,
and it is well known to those who were in his confidence, with what
poignant regret he thus sacrificed his private feelings to what he
considered his paramount public duty. Upon Major Cochrane's return with
these orders, he found that the troops had only been enabled to force the
ford of the Saranac, and were then in the act of advancing through the
wood to the enemy's position. Under these circumstances, General Robinson
felt himself bound to obey the orders, and the forces retired from the

Having thus given a full and correct statement of the circumstances which
attended the enterprise against Plattsburg, it is necessary to notice the
animadversions which have been made upon the military character of Sir
George Prevost, in consequence of the unfortunate result of that
expedition. In no instance has the conduct of Sir George Prevost been
attacked with more virulence and injustice, than by the writer in the
Quarterly Review, whose representations are, as the reader must already
have perceived, in the highest degree incorrect.

The charges which have been brought forward by the Reviewer and by others
are, that Sir George Prevost improperly urged Captain Downie into action
before his ship was adequately prepared; that he disregarded the signal for
the supposed co-operation between the army and the fleet, as solemnly
agreed upon by himself and Captain Downie, and neglected to assault the
fort when our fleet was engaged with the enemy; and lastly, that he did
not, after the defeat of our squadron, persist in his attack upon the fort,
by which it is pretended, that our fleet might still have been saved.

With regard to the accusation, that Captain Downie was prematurely
hurried, against his better judgment, into an unequal contest with the
enemy, the correspondence between that officer and Sir George Prevost
already referred to, fully negatives any such supposition. The co-operation
of the fleet being deemed essentially necessary to the success of the
land-forces, Sir George Prevost was naturally anxious that Captain Downie
should be prepared as early as possible to meet the enemy. It has been
seen, that upon the 7th of September, Captain Downie informed the Commander
of the forces, that it would take a day or two at least, before the
Confiance would be in an efficient state, and that the engagement did not
take place till the 11th, four days after the above communication. So far
was Sir George Prevost from attempting by "taunt and inuendo"[86]
improperly to hurry the fleet into action, that in his letter to Captain
Downie, of the 9th of September, he says, "I need not dwell with you on the
evils resulting to both services from delay, _as I am well convinced you
have done every thing in your power to accelerate the armament and
equipment of your squadron_, and I am also satisfied that nothing will
prevent its coming off Plattsburg the moment it is ready." On the same day
Captain Downie announced his intention of commencing an attack on the
enemy's squadron the ensuing morning. Up to this time, therefore, it
appears that however anxious Sir George Prevost was to make an immediate
attack upon Plattsburg, for which purpose the assistance of the fleet was
requisite, he never urged Captain Downie to engage the enemy while
unprepared, but on the contrary, expressed his confidence that the moment
_the fleet was ready_, it would appear before Plattsburg.

An expression in Sir George Prevost's letter, of the 10th, has indeed been
construed by the Quarterly Reviewer into a "taunt," which is supposed to
have driven Captain Downie to an engagement against his cooler judgment. In
that letter the Commander of the forces, after informing Captain Downie
that in consequence of his communication of the 9th, the troops had been
held in readiness since six in the morning to storm the enemy's works: thus
continues, "I ascribe the disappointment I have experienced to the
unfortunate change of wind, and shall rejoice to learn that my expectations
have been frustrated by no other cause." It must be obvious that many other
causes, independent of the wind, might have prevented Captain Downie from
sailing as he had intended to do on the 9th, although the state of the wind
was in fact the real cause of the delay. In consequence of the despatch
used in equipping his ship, articles might have been overlooked or
omitted, which at the last moment only might have been discovered to be
indispensably necessary; accidents might have happened to different parts
of the squadron in their progress, and even the reinforcements of soldiers
from the 39th, although they had been immediately ordered upon his
requisition, might not, from various circumstances, have been supplied in
time. All, or any of these causes might, as they naturally did, suggest
themselves to the mind of the Commander of the forces, and his anxiety to
be correctly informed upon the subject, as naturally induced him to express
himself to Captain Downie in the terms above stated. It is in the highest
degree improbable, that Captain Downie could for a moment construe those
expressions in an unfavourable sense. But whatever might have been his
impression, it is evident, that a letter written on the 10th, could not
have influenced the determination which he took on the 9th, of engaging the
enemy the following morning.

Nor will the assertion, that Sir George Prevost disregarded the supposed
signal of co-operation, and neglected to attack the fort according to his
promise, be more difficult to disprove. No such signal was in fact ever
arranged, nor was any such promise ever given. The destruction of the
enemy's fleet being the primary object of the expedition, and until that
was effected, the ulterior operations not being practicable, Sir George
Prevost resolved not to assault the fort until he was satisfied that our
squadron was actually proceeding to attack the enemy. Of the result of the
action when the fleets were once engaged, neither the Commander of the
forces, nor any one in our army allowed themselves to entertain a single
doubt. That Sir George Prevost intended to assault the enemy's works
simultaneously, or nearly so, with the commencement of the naval action,
and that Captain Downie was aware of that determination, appears from the
correspondence between those officers. But that Captain Downie should have
gathered from these communications any thing like a promise or agreement on
the part of the Commander of the forces to support, assist, or co-operate
with him during the naval engagement, is quite impossible. Sir George
Prevost had satisfied himself by personal observation, and by the most
accurate intelligence, that the American fleet was anchored out of range of
the batteries, and he must therefore have known that it was out of his
power to offer any support to Captain Downie. To have held forth to that
officer any hope or promise of assistance was consequently out of the
question. It was of the first importance, with a view to the success of Sir
George Prevost's operations, that the fleet should be engaged at the same
time, or before the fort was assaulted, but of no consequence whatever to
Captain Downie, that the fort should be attacked simultaneously with the
naval force. Sir George Prevost, therefore, in his communications with the
naval Commander, and particularly in his letter of the 10th, mentioned his
intention of making nearly a simultaneous attack, _as part of his own plan
of operations_, with which it was necessary that Captain Downie should be
acquainted. It is highly probable, that Captain Downie inferred from this
communication, that the attack on the fort which Sir George Prevost had
been in readiness to make on the morning of the 10th, would be made at the
time when the fleets should engage, but there is not the _slightest_ ground
for believing that this expectation led him to place any reliance upon the
land attack, as a co-operation in support of the naval force, or that it
induced him to hasten into action, at a time when he felt unequal to it, or
unprepared for the contest. Had he considered the expressions used by Sir
George Prevost, in his letter of the 10th, as importing an agreement to
assist him by a simultaneous attack on shore, he would certainly have
answered that communication, and have availed himself of the services of
Captain Watson, who was left with him for that purpose, to express to the
Commander of the forces his reliance on the promised aid, and his assurance
that it was the state of the wind alone, which had prevented him from
appearing with the fleet on the morning of the 10th, as he had intended. At
the time when this letter was written by the Commander of the forces, he
was ignorant of the causes which had delayed the fleet, and he was
ignorant, likewise, of Captain Downie's further intentions, with regard to
the time when he would be prepared to attack the enemy's squadron. Had
Captain Downie, therefore, relied, in the slightest degree, on the
co-operation of the land forces, he would have informed Sir George Prevost
of the exact time when he contemplated an engagement, that the troops on
shore might be prepared to second his efforts. No reply, however, was
despatched by him to the Commander of the forces, who thus remained in
uncertainty with regard to the actual state and condition of the squadron,
and the intentions of its commander. Captain Watson, whose directions were
to proceed immediately to head-quarters, with intelligence of the sailing
of the squadron, should not Captain Downie have previously despatched him,
did not arrive until after the fleet had made its appearance. It has,
indeed, been asserted, by the Quarterly Reviewer, that the scaling of the
guns of our squadron was to be the signal for the advance of the columns of
attack. This misstatement appears to have arisen out of the evidence which
was given before the Court-Martial on Captain Pring; for in no other place
is any allusion to such a fact to be discovered. The error of that
statement, which, without doubt, was unintentional, is manifest. The signal
in question is said to have been concerted with Major Coore on the 10th,
when, in fact, no interview or communication whatever took place between
him and Captain Downie on that day; and that no such signal was mentioned
to the former on the 8th, the day on which he _did_ see Captain Downie, is
a fact to which the Major (now Colonel Coore) is ready to bear witness. In
all probability Captain Watson, who was with Captain Downie on the 10th,
was the person who was mistaken for Major Coore, and to him Captain Downie
might have communicated his intention of scaling his guns, previous to
rounding Cumberland Head, in order to announce to the Commander of the
forces the approach of the squadron. Whatever may have been the nature of
Captain Downie's communication by Captain Watson, it is certain that it
never reached Sir George Prevost.

It has thus been shewn, that there was not even an understanding between
Sir George Prevost and Captain Downie, that the attack by land and sea
should take place simultaneously, for the purpose of affording protection
or support to our squadron, much less that there existed any "solemn
agreement" to that effect. It must also be evident, from the previous
statement, that the attack on shore did actually take place at the
commencement of the naval action, and that the sudden and unexpected
termination of the latter engagement alone prevented the prosecution of the
military operations. Orders, as we have already shewn, had been given by
Sir George Prevost, on the 9th, for the troops to hold themselves in
readiness for the attack of the enemy's works on the morning of the 10th,
and those orders were accompanied, as every military man knows, and as the
Reviewer[87] himself must have known, is usual, by an order _to cook_, when
the time will admit.[88] It has also been shewn, that early on the morning
of the 11th, and before the fleet was in sight, or the scaling of their
guns was heard, similar orders were circulated for the troops to hold
themselves in readiness for the attack, and so well prepared were the
forces on shore to make the attack, that almost at the same moment when the
Confiance began to engage the enemy, the troops were in motion for the
assault. Our batteries, as mentioned above, opened on the enemy's works
some time before the commencement of the naval action on the part of the
Confiance. Until confidently assured that the fleets would engage (and many
circumstances might have intervened to prevent it even after the appearance
of our squadron) Sir George Prevost felt that it would be highly imprudent
in him to commence the attack; but the moment he learned that Captain
Downie was actually in contact with the enemy, the troops were immediately
ordered to take their position for the assault.

Although our naval official accounts of the transaction state the
engagement to have lasted for two hours and a half, that is from eight
o'clock in the morning until half-past ten, when the Confiance struck, the
American naval account, which is corroborated by the testimony of all who
witnessed the action from the shore, represents the engagement to have
terminated in about an hour and a half. The American account also
corresponds with the statements of our officers on shore, that our fleet
did not round Cumberland Head until between eight and nine o'clock, before
which time all the statements of persons on shore agree in admitting that
the action did not begin on the part of our fleet. With regard to the
period when the engagement terminated, all the accounts appear to coincide.
It has already been shewn, that notwithstanding the unfortunate mistake of
the attacking columns taking a wrong route, they had at that very period
forced the ford of the Saranac, and were then in the vicinity of the
enemy's works, and prepared to make an instant assault, and that the
unexpected result of the naval action was the sole cause which induced Sir
George Prevost to countermand that assault. It now remains to explain more
fully the reasons of the Commander of the forces for giving those orders,
which will afford an answer to the last charge brought against him.

It has been often and confidently asserted, that both the enemy's squadron
and our own were within reach, of the guns of the works. It is not,
therefore, surprising that an unfavourable impression should have been made
upon the minds of many persons with regard to the policy of not persevering
in an attack, which might, under such circumstances, have led to the
recovery of our own fleet, or the destruction of that of the enemy. The
fact of the relative situation of the two squadrons and of the enemy's
works, has, like most of the other facts connected with this expedition,
been grossly misrepresented. Had an opportunity been offered by a public
investigation of the transaction, it could and would have been
satisfactorily proved, that neither of the fleets was within the range of
the enemy's guns from any part of their works, and that their own squadron
was anchored more than a mile and a half from the shore.

The grounds of the Reviewer's statement upon this subject it is impossible
to ascertain; but, in opposition to what he affirms[89] on the testimony of
Captain Pring, and "_numerous_ other _eye-witnesses_" it can be proved by
testimony from on board the Confiance, as well as by officers without
number on shore, that she was taken possession of within half an hour after
she struck; and it can also be proved, in opposition to the decided opinion
of the number of officers, who are stated to have visited Plattsburg after
the peace, that the anchorage of the American squadron was not within range
of the forts.

The evidence of the greater part of the General Officers accompanying the
expedition to Plattsburg, who viewed the naval action; of the commanding
officer, and others of the Artillery; of naval men on board of our fleet,
and of various other persons on shore, could and would have been produced
upon the trial of the question, had it taken place, in proof of the fact as
here stated. But independently of all opinion upon the subject, is it
probable or credible that the American naval Commander would have placed
his squadron in such a situation, that by possibility they could be
annoyed or injured from works which he saw it was the evident intention of
Sir George Prevost to attack, and which he must have felt convinced would
in such a case have fallen? That he was aware of the danger to which his
squadron was exposed by its vicinity to the forts, appears from the
circumstance before adverted to, of his having moved further into the Bay
from the station which he occupied on the 6th, the day of the arrival of
our troops before Plattsburg. The position which the American Commander
thus took, was one in which, according to his judgment, he could not have
been annoyed by the fall of the works on shore, an event for which he was
prepared. This opinion was expressed in the presence of a British officer
who had been made prisoner during the naval action. The same opinion was
entertained by Captain Henley, of the American brig, Eagle, who had himself
reconnoitred the position in which the fleet was anchored, and which upon
his report was selected by the American Commander, because it was evidently
out of the range of the guns from the shore. If any thing more were wanting
in confirmation of this fact, it will be amply supplied by the opinions of
the two officers most capable of forming a correct judgment on the subject.
The following letters of Commodore Macdonough and General Macomb, the
American Naval and Military Commanders, will, it is apprehended, set the
question at rest in the mind of every unprejudiced person.

                            "_Portsmouth, New Hampshire,
                              July 3, 1815._

     "Dear Sir,

     Your letter of the 26th ult. came to hand yesterday;
     the letter you addressed to me at Washington has not
     been received, or it assuredly should have been
     attended to.

     In reply to yours of the 26th ult. it is my opinion
     that our squadron was anchored one mile and a half from
     the batteries at Plattsburg, during the contest between
     it and the British squadron on the 11th September,

              I am, with much respect,

                 Your obedient servant,
                (Signed)   J. MACDONOUGH."

     "_Cadwr. Colden, Esq._"

       *       *       *       *       *

                    "_City of New York, June 15, 1815._


     I should have replied earlier to your letter of the
     26th ultimo, had it not been mislaid amidst a mass of
     communications on the subject of the army.

     With respect to the distance of the American squadron
     from the batteries at Plattsburg, I will state that it
     is my decided opinion that the squadron was moored
     beyond the effectual range of the batteries, and this I
     know from a fruitless attempt made to elevate our guns
     so as to bear on the British squadron during the action
     of the 11th of September last. No guns, however, were
     fired, all being convinced that the vessels were beyond
     their reach. This opinion was strengthened by
     observations on the actual range of the guns of the
     Confiance--her heaviest metal falling several hundred
     yards short of the shore when closely engaged with our

     With a hope that this reply will be satisfactory, I
     subscribe myself,


                     Your most obedient servant,

                     (Signed)   ALEX. MACOMB."

     "_Cadwr. R. Colden, Esq._"

       *       *       *       *       *

                          "_New York, August 1, 1815._


     In reply to your letter of the 30th ult. asking the
     distance of the American squadron from the batteries of
     Plattsburg, on the 11th day of September, 1814, while
     engaged with the British squadron, I will state that it
     is my decided opinion that the American squadron was
     upwards of three thousand yards distant from the
     batteries, being confirmed in that belief from
     observations made on the actual range of the heaviest
     guns of the British ship, Confiance, when fired towards
     the batteries, the balls falling short upwards of five
     hundred yards.

     With respectful consideration,

                        I am, Sir,

                    Your obedient servant,
                    (Signed) ALEX. MACOMB."

     "_To Cadwr. R. Colden, Esq._"

If therefore our squadron could not have been recovered, or that of the
enemy annoyed or injured by the capture of their works on shore, it may be
asked, what advantages could have resulted from persevering in the attack?
It has been already shewn that the primary object of this expedition was
the destruction of the enemy's flotilla on the Lake. Had that object been
accomplished, Plattsburg might have been occupied by our troops, and from
thence, with the assistance of our squadron, they might have been
transported to other parts of the Lake for the further annoyance of the
enemy. The loss of our squadron, however, immediately rendered all these
important operations impracticable. Without the assistance of a fleet,
nothing beyond the occupation of Plattsburg could have been accomplished.
That Plattsburg would have fallen, neither the Commander of the forces,
nor a man under him, could have entertained a doubt. The enemy were indeed
strongly entrenched, and under works, which afforded complete shelter to
several thousand expert marksmen, from whose fire our troops must have
suffered most severely; but granting, that after a considerable loss, we
had carried the enemy's works, what adequate advantages should we have
gained? To retain Plattsburg was not possible without the assistance of a
fleet, which would have been necessary to the provisioning of our army; a
retreat, therefore, after destroying all we could not carry away, would
have been indispensable. Such was, however, the state of the season and of
the weather, that 24 hours delay in retiring with our troops to Canada,
would not only have made such a measure dangerous, from the advance of the
enemy in every direction, but would have rendered the conveyance of our
ordnance and stores exceedingly difficult, if not impossible. The militia
of the state of New York and Vermont were turning out, and rapidly
increasing in numbers; and although in the open field our troops would
justly have despised them, they would have proved most formidable in the
woods, and hanging upon the flank and rear of a retreating army. Sir George
Prevost knew that he had only to give the word, and that his gallant troops
would accomplish all his wishes,[90] but he knew at the same time how
useless the acquisition would be, and how costly the sacrifice at which it
was probable it would be made. He was also bound to bear in mind the
instructions of His Majesty's Government, with regard to the committal of
the force under him, so necessary for the preservation of the Provinces
entrusted to his care.

He therefore wisely determined to retreat, whilst retreat was practicable,
and whilst it could be effected with the least possible loss. The order was
accordingly given for that purpose, and such was the energy and promptitude
of the execution, that the retreat was conducted without the smallest
molestation from the enemy, who, in fact, were not aware of it until it was
nearly completed. Notwithstanding the almost impassable state of the roads,
from the rains which were falling, not a gun was left behind; and, although
the subject has been much exaggerated, yet in fact only a very small
quantity of provisions and stores, together with _fifteen_ wounded men in
hospital, was left to the enemy. Of deserters, the utmost amount was under
300 men, which was the consequence, not as has been falsely asserted, of
the _retreat_,[91] but of the _advance_, many of them having deserted upon
our entry, and as we afterwards penetrated into the American territory; a
consequence which almost invariably attended every attack upon their
frontier, and was most strongly manifested in Colonel Scott's expedition,
in December, 1813, against part of General Wilkinson's army, when, out of a
force of not more than 500 men, he lost upwards of 90 by desertion.

The exaggerated account of this retreat having induced his Majesty's
government to call upon Sir George Prevost for a more particular detail of
the losses attending it, it appears, by Sir George Prevost's reply to Lord
Bathurst's despatch on the subject, together with the documents
accompanying it, that the whole loss in killed, wounded, prisoners, and
deserters, from the time of the army entering the American territory, until
it was withdrawn, did not amount to 500 men. This affords a complete answer
to one of the Reviewer's concluding mis-statements, that when Sir George
Prevost wrote the despatch from Montreal, though dated at Plattsburg,[92]
"he knew that the desertion of 800 men had attended his shameful defeat."

The unfortunate loss of our fleet, and the consequent withdrawing of our
troops from the American territory, afforded an opportunity to the party
opposed to Sir George Prevost's civil administration in Canada, of which
they immediately and eagerly availed themselves, of circulating the most
unfounded statements, and the most exaggerated accounts, with respect to
both those transactions. These were industriously transmitted to England by
a private ship belonging to one of Sir George Prevost's most violent
opponents, and upon their arrival, and in the absence of any official
accounts of the transactions to which they referred, they created a general
belief that the disastrous result of the naval action had been occasioned
by a want of co-operation from the shore; that the retreat had been
conducted in a precipitate and disgraceful manner; that a severe loss of
men, guns, stores, and provisions, had been the consequence of it; and that
the whole army was indignant at the conduct of their commander. The arrival
of Sir George Prevost's despatches, together with the explanations
afforded, as well by them as by the person to whom they had been given in
charge, could not fail to undeceive His Majesty's Government on this
subject, and to convince them of the grossness of the misrepresentations
which had gone forth. Had not some expressions in Sir James Yeo's letter,
accompanying the account of the naval action, been construed into charges
against Sir George Prevost, which, in justice to him, as well as to the
public, it was deemed proper to call upon him to answer, there cannot be a
doubt but that the further management of the war in the Canadas would still
have been entrusted to the Commander who had hitherto so successfully
conducted it. Even if the subsequent conduct of Sir James Yeo did not
afford ample proof of the fact, there is not wanting other evidence to shew
that the letter in question was written by him under the irritation of the
moment, and in consequence of Captain Pring's communication to him of the
result of the naval action, but without any intention of making a charge
against Sir George Prevost, and without the most distant idea that it could
be so construed. Sir James Yeo must have possessed too honourable a mind to
become a guest in Sir George Prevost's family, and to partake of his
attention and hospitality, had he for a moment supposed that his public
letter, on the subject of the naval action at Plattsburg, could have been
construed into a formal accusation. Had he really meant it as such, he
would most undoubtedly, in a manly and open manner, have communicated the
proceeding he had adopted to the party accused; and, under such
circumstances, would, no less certainly, have refused the kindness and
attention of the person of whom he had publicly expressed so unfavourable
an opinion. That this must have been the case may further be inferred, from
the circumstance that, although Sir George Prevost was recalled to answer
the charges, amounting to three in number, supposed to be contained in Sir
James Yeo's letter, it was not until more than four months after both these
officers arrived in England, that the precise charges upon which he was to
take his trial, were officially communicated to him, and which charges
differed materially from those in Sir James Yeo's letter. Whether, under
these circumstances, Sir James Yeo would have supported the charges, had
the investigation taken place, cannot now be determined; but a confident
appeal may be made to the intelligent reader, whether, upon the facts
disclosed in these pages being made known, such an attempt must not have
utterly failed.

With regard to the naval action on Lake Champlain, we are unwilling to say
more than may be necessary for the vindication of the character and conduct
of Sir George Prevost. The real causes of the disastrous result of that
affair, were such, as particularly belong to naval actions, and which, when
they do occur, must materially influence the issue of the conflict. It is
not a little remarkable, that the naval Court-martial on Captain Pring and
his officers, should have overlooked or disregarded these causes; and it is
greatly to be regretted, that they should have thought themselves justified
in ascribing the disaster to the conduct of Sir George Prevost, and in
passing so severe a censure upon an officer of another service, of whose
orders and instructions they must necessarily have been ignorant, and who
was neither present to defend himself, nor amenable to their jurisdiction.
It is clear that it was Captain Downie's intention, on going into action,
to lay his own ship, in the size and strength of which he seemed to place
great confidence, along side of the American Commodore; but the unfortunate
failure of the wind, before he could accomplish this object, obliged him to
anchor at a distance of more than half a mile from his opponent; the same
circumstance also induced Captain Pring, in the Linnet, to take his
situation still farther from the enemy. But even this disadvantage would
probably not have been attended with the consequences which afterwards
ensued, had Captain Downie's invaluable life been spared, and had all under
him done their duty. The Finch, in going into action, grounded out of the
line of fire, and was shortly afterwards taken possession of by the enemy.
The gun-boats, when the action commenced, were considerably distant from
the enemy's line, and slowly pulling up in apparent confusion. The Chub,
very shortly after the action, having her cables shot away, drifted into
the enemy's line, and was obliged to surrender. The Confiance, it would
thus appear, being left nearly alone to bear the brunt of the whole action;
the greater part of the enemy's fire being directed against her; the two
schooners gone, and the gun-boats, with the exception of two or three,
taking no part in the contest, it is not to be wondered at, that against
such fearful odds, the men could not be kept to their guns, and that,
notwithstanding the exertions and bravery of the officers, she was
compelled to surrender. The real causes of the disaster must, therefore, be
sought for in the unfavourable circumstances under which the action
commenced; in the squadron's not taking the station which Captain Downie
had designed they should; in the early loss of that officer; the grounding
of the Finch; the surrender of the Chub, and the desertion of the
gun-boats--circumstances more than sufficient to account for the capture of
our squadron, without having recourse to a reason which the gallant Downie
would have scorned to assign, and which we have already shewn to be without
the slightest foundation--namely, the want of a co-operation from the army.
Had even the gun-boats done their duty, the result of the action might,
and probably would, have been widely different, as the men on board of the
Confiance assigned it as one reason for their refusing to stand to their
guns, that the gun-boats keeping at a distance, the whole fire of the enemy
was directed against the Confiance. The Commander of these gun-boats, it is
to be observed, was so sensible of his own misconduct, that he shortly
after the action, made his escape from Kingston, and was not afterwards
heard of. The removal of Captain Fisher from the command of the Lake
Champlain squadron, precisely at the period when it was about to be
employed in the service before mentioned, was particularly unfortunate; and
it was no less so that his zealous offer to Captain Downie, to serve under
him in command of the gun-boats, could not be accepted by that officer.

In the month of March, 1815, Sir George Prevost received the despatch
communicating to him the Prince Regent's pleasure, that he should return to
England to answer the charges preferred against him by Sir James Yeo, and a
commission was, at the same time, transmitted to Lieutenant-General
Drummond, revoking the appointment of Sir George Prevost as
Governor-in-Chief and Commander of the forces in the Canadas, and
authorizing General Drummond to assume, provisionally, the chief civil and
military command of those Provinces. By this measure, Sir George Prevost
was compelled either to remain for six weeks, until the navigation of the
St. Lawrence should be open--a private individual in the country over which
he had so lately presided as its chief magistrate, and exposed to the
observations of all who had been hostile to his measures,--or to encounter
at a most inclement season the fatigue and dangers of a journey, to be
performed, frequently on foot, through the wilderness to New Brunswick. His
high and honourable feelings did not permit him to hesitate for a moment as
to the course which it was his duty to pursue, and he immediately quitted
his government. It was no inconsiderable consolation to him, under
circumstances like these, to know that he carried with him on his departure
the regret and the good wishes of the inhabitants of Canada, which were
manifested, not only by the different addresses and letters[93] which were
presented to him upon this occasion, but in a still more striking manner,
by the terms of a vote of the House of Representatives, who proposed to
present to their late Governor-General a service of plate of the value of
5,000_l._ This munificent act, though honoured with the approbation of the
Prince Regent, was not carried into effect, in consequence of a refusal to
accede to it on the part of the legislative council.[94]

On the arrival of Sir George Prevost in England, in the month of May, 1815,
it was evident that his constitution had suffered a fatal injury. His
health had yielded to the excessive fatigues of his journey to New
Brunswick, and his illness was aggravated by the delays which he
experienced in urging forward the investigation which he so earnestly
desired. Notwithstanding all his efforts, the Court-martial was not
directed to assemble before the month of January, 1816--a delay which
proved fatal to his hopes. He died on the 5th January, 1816, in the 49th
year of his age.[95]

That Sir George Prevost was a zealous, active, and faithful servant to his
king and country, the preceding pages are amply sufficient to prove. The
defence of Dominica, and the preservation of the Canadas against greatly
superior forces, attested his merits as officer, and excited the admiration
of some of the first soldiers of the age. His system, upon both occasions,
was necessarily a defensive one; and he has, therefore, lost much of that
eclat which attaches to more active operations. But had his field of action
been different, he would, doubtless, have displayed the same gallant and
enterprising spirit which distinguished him on former occasions, and
particularly when he led the assault on Morne Fortunée, in the island of
St. Lucie. Of his total disregard of personal considerations, and of his
readiness to sacrifice his own fame for the promotion of the great
interests committed to him in America, there cannot be a stronger proof
than that afforded by his conduct at Plattsburg. He must have been well
aware that the capture of the works, especially after the loss of the
fleet, would be considered by the public in general as a brilliant exploit,
which could not fail to add to his military reputation; and he must also
have foreseen the popular outcry which the resolution he adopted would
occasion. But those personal feelings gave way to considerations of far
greater weight in the mind of a wise, humane, and honourable soldier. Sir
George Prevost had justly calculated the consequences of his probable
success--a great loss of valuable lives, the immediate abandonment of his
conquest, and an unavoidable and difficult retreat. Although these
considerations were far from obvious, and not of a nature to be justly
appreciated by the public at large, he chose, without hesitation, that line
of conduct which his judgment and heart approved, and, notwithstanding his
conviction that this determination would necessarily expose him to much
unmerited odium, he resolutely adopted it. His subsequent recal, and
premature decease, were undoubtedly the consequences of this measure; but
his country will not fail, finally, to do justice to the purity of his
motives, and, on an impartial review of his conduct, to rank him amongst
its ablest and most faithful defenders.[96]

As a civil governor, Sir George Prevost had the gratification of knowing
that he was invariably esteemed and respected by the people over whom he
was placed. His zeal and devotion to his duties, both in his civil and
military character, were eminently conspicuous. No personal considerations,
no fatigue, no dangers, ever interfered with what he esteemed the good of
the service. Over the public interests he watched with the most sedulous
attention. In private life, he was remarkable for the purity of his moral
character, for the generosity of his heart, and for his pleasing and
conciliatory manners.

In consequence of the lamented death of Sir George Prevost, at the very
period when he was on the point of substantiating, before a competent
tribunal, his innocence of the charges preferred against him, the care of
his honour and reputation devolved upon his widow; nor did she neglect this
sacred trust. Soon after Sir George Prevost's decease, his brother, Colonel
William Augustus Prevost, addressed a letter to His Royal Highness the
Commander-in-Chief, in which, after stating the distressing situation in
which Sir George Prevost's family were placed, he requested that an
investigation of his brother's conduct might be ordered before a court of
inquiry. A reference to the Judge-Advocate was made upon the subject, who
was of opinion that such an inquiry could not properly be instituted.
Immediately after this determination, Lady Prevost represented, by letter,
to the Commander-in-Chief, the painful circumstances in which she was
placed. She intreated his Royal Highness to extend his protection to
herself and her family, and to procure from His Royal Highness the Prince
Regent a gracious consideration of their claims, to such marks of
distinction as might be due to the memory of the deceased. The receipt of
this letter was acknowledged by the Commander-in-Chief, who assured Lady
Prevost, that he would gladly do any thing calculated to alleviate her
distress, but that he declined interfering with the Prince Regent on the
subject, to whom he was of opinion it could only be regularly submitted by
His Majesty's ministers.

A memorial was accordingly drawn up by Lady Prevost, which was submitted to
the Prince Regent through the regular channel. His Royal Highness, having
taken the same into consideration, was graciously pleased publicly to
express the high sense entertained by him of the services of Sir George
Prevost; conferring, at the same time, as a mark of his approbation,
additional armorial bearings to the arms of his family.

The following grant of heraldic distinctions appeared in the London Gazette
of 11th September, 1816.

_"Whitehall, September 3rd._--His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, taking
into his royal consideration the distinguished conduct and services of the
late Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost, Baronet, during a long period
of constant active employment in situations of great trust, both military
and civil, in the course of which his gallantry, zeal, and able conduct
were particularly displayed at the conquest of the island of St. Lucie, in
1803, and of Martinique, in 1809; as also, in successfully opposing, with a
small garrison, the attack made in 1805 by a numerous French force upon the
island of Dominica, then under his government; and while Governor-General
and Commander-in-Chief of the British provinces in North America, in the
defence of Canada against the repeated invasions perseveringly attempted by
the American forces during the late war; and His Royal Highness being
desirous of evincing, in an especial manner, the sense which his Royal
Highness entertains of these services, by conferring upon his family a
lasting memorial of His Majesty's royal favour, hath been pleased, in the
name and on the behalf of His Majesty, to ordain that the supporters
following may be borne and used by Dame Catherine Anne Prevost, widow of
the late Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost, during her widowhood; viz.
"On either side a grenadier of the 16th (or Bedfordshire) regiment of foot,
each supporting a banner; that on the dexter side inscribed "West Indies,"
and that on the sinister, "Canada;" and the said supporters, together with
the motto _servatum cineri_, may also be borne by Sir George Prevost,
Baronet, son and heir of the said late Lieutenant-General, and by his
successors in the said dignity of a baronet, provided the same be first
duly exemplified according to the laws of arms, and recorded in the
Herald's office. And His Royal Highness hath also been pleased to command,
that the said concession and especial mark of Royal favour be registered in
His Majesty's College of Arms."

Whilst the impartiality of His Majesty's Government towards the servants of
the public is strongly evidenced by the recal of Sir George Prevost from
his command in the Canadas, under the circumstances before stated, their
sense of justice is no less strongly manifested by the above grant of
posthumous honours to his family, whose feelings of satisfaction were
greatly heightened by the gratifying manner in which His Royal Highness the
Commander-in-Chief was pleased to express himself upon this occasion, in
the following letter.

                   "_Horse Guards, 17th September, 1816._


     "I have to acknowledge the receipt of your Ladyship's
     letter of the 12th inst., and to assure you that I am
     highly gratified to find that His Majesty's Government
     has adopted a measure grateful to your feelings and
     honorable to the memory of your late distinguished

              I am, Madam,

                  Your most obedient servant,

                      (Signed)    FREDERICK."

     _Lady Prevost._

Lady Prevost having thus satisfactorily accomplished the great wish of her
heart, the vindication of her husband's injured fame, was almost
immediately afterwards attacked by an alarming disorder, evidently
occasioned by her severe afflictions, under which, after suffering for
several years, she finally sunk in 1821.[97] The family of Sir George
Prevost, deprived by an untimely death of one parent, and called upon to
witness the calamitous state of the other, were neither able nor willing,
under such circumstances, to enter into any further discussion upon the
merits of their father's conduct, in reply to the anonymous attacks made
upon it. They knew that in the opinion of every unprejudiced person, his
military character had been fully redeemed from the obloquy cast upon it,
by the high and honorable approbation bestowed upon it by his Sovereign,
and they had hoped that this strong attestation to Sir George Prevost's
worth would have sheltered his name from further attack or reproach. The
article in the Quarterly Review having disappointed them in this reasonable
expectation, it has become imperative upon them to prepare the present
statement. Whatever were the objects and motives of the Reviewer, it is
certainly not too much to say, that he has deliberately advanced charges
which he knew to be unfounded. The just feelings of indignation which every
page of the article in question is calculated to excite, were restrained by
the persuasion alone, that it was only requisite that the real facts of the
case should be made known, to rescue the memory of an honorable and gallant
officer from the aspersions thus wantonly cast upon it. In the Reviewer's
assertions, with regard to the preparations for the war; the care of our
Provincial Marine; the orders given to the subordinate Commanders; the
attack upon Sackett's Harbour; the reinforcing of General Procter's
division; the neglect of Captain Barclay's demands; the successes of
General Vincent, Lieutenant-Colonel Harvey, and others; the disposal of the
troops which arrived from Bourdeaux, and the expedition against Plattsburg;
in _all_ of these instances, the Reviewer has been convicted, by the most
unimpeachable evidence, of shameful inaccuracy, and in many of them of
gross ignorance and of wilful misrepresentation. In ascribing to the
Commander of the forces in the Canadas "vacillation, indecision, and error"
at the commencement of the war, it has been shewn that the Reviewer was
totally ignorant of, or misconceived the grounds and motives of his policy
and conduct, which in the very instances selected by the critic for
censure, received the pointed approbation of His Majesty's Government. To
"the want of talent, energy, and enterprise," of which the Reviewer has not
scrupled to accuse Sir George Prevost in the prosecution of the war, have
been opposed the various measures in which his vigilance and foresight were
conspicuous, in planning and directing those successful operations, the
merit of which the Reviewer would give to the subordinate Commanders alone.
To the charge of neglecting to preserve our marine ascendancy on Lake
Ontario and Lake Erie, which the Reviewer has styled "the most fatal and
palpable error" of Sir George Prevost, and the one in which his imbecility
of judgment and action was most flagrant, a reply has been given not only
by facts, in direct contradiction to his assertions, but by the letters of
the Naval Commanders on both Lakes; the one from Sir James Yeo, who
commanded in chief, in strong approbation of the general attention of the
Commander of the forces to the Marine service, and the other from Captain
Barclay, directly asserting the falsehood of the Reviewer's statement. The
true causes of the failures at Sackett's Harbour and at Plattsburg, which
have been so unjustly attributed to Sir George Prevost's misconduct, have
been distinctly pointed out, and the wisdom and energy of his proceedings,
upon both those expeditions, clearly established. To the Reviewer's
laboured attempts throughout the whole article, to prove that Sir George
Prevost was not the real defender of the Canadas, an answer has been given,
by shewing, that for three campaigns those provinces were preserved, whilst
he held the chief command in them, from the persevering attempts of a
powerful and superior enemy, and that to his unwearied efforts, the
inhabitants repeatedly expressed their firm conviction that they were
mainly indebted for their safety.

The expression of concern and indignation with which the appearance of this
Review was instantly met amongst all who were in any degree qualified to
form a judgment upon the subject, was highly consolatory to the wounded
feelings of Sir George Prevost's family. They have in particular, the
greatest satisfaction in presenting to the public the two following
letters, addressed to the present Sir George Prevost, by Sir Herbert
Taylor, and by Earl Bathurst.

                        "_Horse Guards, Nov. 15th, 1822._


     "I am directed by the Commander-in-Chief to acknowledge
     the receipt of your letter of the 9th instant,
     containing a statement,[98] "which the family of the
     late Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost have felt
     themselves called upon to make public, in reply to a
     wanton and malignant attack which has been recently
     made in an article of the Quarterly Review upon his
     military character and reputation."

     "His Royal Highness orders me to assure you, that it
     has not been without great concern and indignation that
     he has noticed the ungenerous and cowardly attack to
     which you advert: ungenerous, because, even if it had
     been borne out by facts, it was calculated to wound
     most deeply the feelings of respectable and amiable
     individuals who had not provoked it; cowardly, as being
     directed by an anonymous libeller against the memory of
     an officer whose premature death had alone deprived him
     of the benefit of an investigation into accusations
     which he was prepared to meet, with the confident
     expectation that he could successfully refute them. His
     Royal Highness' sentiments upon the character, conduct,
     and services of the late Sir George Prevost, have, upon
     a former occasion, been conveyed to his family. Those
     of His Majesty's Government, in approval of his
     distinguished services, his gallantry, zeal, and able
     conduct, are recorded in a public act of His Majesty's,
     dated 4th September, 1816, which you have inserted in
     your statement. To that record His Royal Highness
     conceives that you may with confidence appeal for a
     refutation of the calumnies recently published; and
     having adverted to that document, so honorable to the
     memory of the late Sir George Prevost, His Royal
     Highness considers that he needs only to add, that
     nothing has since the date of it come to his knowledge,
     which can shake the opinion he then entertained in
     perfect unison with the sentiments therein expressed.

                     I have the honor to be,
                     Your obedient humble servant,

                       (Signed)    HT. TAYLOR."

     "_Sir George Prevost, Bart.
     Oriel College, Oxford._"

       *       *       *       *       *

                      "_Cirencester, Nov. 13, 1822._


     "I have had the honour of receiving your letter,
     inclosing a statement which you inform me that the
     family of the late Lieutenant-General Sir George
     Prevost consider themselves compelled to make public,
     in reply to some attack which has recently been made
     upon his memory.

     "In returning the statement, I can only say that I read
     with the utmost regret the cruel attack which has been
     so unwarrantably made in the Quarterly Review upon your
     Father's memory, and can well understand the anxiety
     which his family must feel to refute it as soon as

              I have the honor to be,
             Your obedient humble servant,
                (Signed)     BATHURST.

     "_Sir George Prevost, Bart.
     Oriel College, Oxford_."

The family of the late Sir George Prevost, justly proud of the sentiments
thus expressed by such high authorities upon his character and conduct,
consider any further attempt to vindicate his fame as altogether
unnecessary. In sanctioning the present publication, they have been
actuated solely by the pure motive of rescuing the reputation of their
father from unmerited reproach. Called upon by every feeling of filial
affection to expose the injustice of the cruel aspersions which have been
cast upon his memory, they trust that their endeavours will not be
fruitless, and that the impartial readers of these pages will be convinced
that the merits of Sir George Prevost were not confined to the private
virtues which endeared him to his family and friends, but that in public
life, as a Civil Governor and a Military Commander, he deserved the esteem
and approbation of his country.


[1] Vide the Quarterly Review for October, 1822, p. 405.

[2] Vide Beatson's "Naval and Military Memoirs," vol. iv, p. 518, Appendix,
No. I.

[3] Mr. Gibbon to Mr. Holroyd.--"Let me tell you a piece of Lausanne news.
Nanette Grand is married to Lieutenant-Colonel Prevost. Grand wrote to me;
and by the next post I congratulated both father and daughter. There is
exactness for you.--_Beriton, Oct. 31st, 1765._" Vide Gibbon's
Miscellaneous Works, vol. i. p. 439.

[4] See Appendix, No. II.

[5] Vide Letter from the Duke of Portland, Appen. No. III.

[6] Vide Appendix, No. IV.

[7] Vide Appendix, No. V.

[8] Vide accounts of the capture of St. Lucie and Tobago, from the Annual
Register, Appendix, No. VI.

[9] Vide extracts from letters, Appendix, No. VII.

[10] Vide Appendix, No. VIII.

[11] Vide account of this expedition from the Annual Register, Appendix,
No. IX. Also the public despatches and letters, No. X.

[12] Vide letter from H. R. H. the Duke of York to the Earl of Camden,
Appendix, No. XI.

[13] Vide Appendix, No. XII.

[14] Vide the resolutions, Appendix, No. XIII.

[15] Vide the resolutions, and the letter of the chairman general Prevost,
Appendix, No. XIV.

[16] Vide the resolutions, Appendix, No. XV.

[17] Vide extract from the Dominica Journal, Appendix No. XVI.

[18] Vide the public despatches, and letters from Lord Castlereagh,
Appendix, No. XVII.

[19] Vide the addresses and answer, Appendix, No. XVIII.

[20] Vide Appendix, No. XIX.

[21] Vide Appendix, No. XX.

[22] Vide Review, page 413.

[23] Vide Quarterly Review, p. 413.

[24] Review, p. 413.

[25] Review, p. 413.

[26] Review, p. 414.

[27] Ibid. p. 413.

[28] Ibid. p. 409.

[29] Review, p. 410.

[30] Review, p. 411.

[31] Review, p. 411.

[32] Review, p. 414.

[33] Review, p. 411.

[34] Review, p. 414.

[35] Review, p. 415.

[36] Review, p. 413.

[37] Review, p. 418.

[38] Review, p. 414.

[39] Ibid. p. 415.

[40] Review, p. 415.

[41] Review, p. 415.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Review, pp. 415, 416.

[44] Review, p. 412.

[45] Vide the Addresses in the Appendix, No. XXI.

[46] Review, p. 417.

[47] Review, p. 411.

[48] Review, pp. 418, 419, 420.

[49] Vide the Report in the Appendix, No. XXII.

[50] Review, p. 419.

[51] Review, p. 418.

[52] Review, p. 420.

[53] There cannot be a stronger contradiction to the Reviewer's assertion,
that the order to retreat was precipitate, than the fact which was known to
every officer engaged in the expedition, that after the last assault, and
before any order was given for the retreat or re-embarkation of the troops,
a flag of truce was sent into the town, with a summons for the surrender of
the place, and that some time necessarily elapsed before a refusal was
received to that demand. It was not until after the return of the officer
with that refusal, and when all hope of the co-operation of the fleet had
been relinquished, the artillery still not having been landed, that the
order was given for the re-embarkation of the troops.

[54] Review, p. 419.

[55] Vide Appendix, No. XXIII.

[56] Review, p. 425.

[57] Vide Review, p. 426.

[58] Review, p. 427.

[59] Review, p. 425.

[60] Review, p. 427.

[61] Review, p. 427.

[62] Review, p. 427.

[63] "I have had the honor to receive your letters of the 9th and 18th
inst. The first I received at York on my way to the centre division, and I
cannot refrain from expressing my regret at your having allowed the clamour
of the Indian warriors to induce you to commit a part of your force in an
unequal and hopeless combat.

"You cannot be ignorant of the limited nature of the force at my disposal
for the defence of our extensive frontier, and ought, therefore, not to
count too largely upon my disposition to strengthen the right division."

[64] Review, p. 428.

[65] The order here alluded to by Capt. Barclay, is contained in a letter
from the Adjutant-General, Col. Baynes, to General Procter, dated the 18th
Sept. 1813, nine days after the naval action had taken place, and before
the account of it had reached Sir George Prevost. This letter was written
in contemplation of the necessity of General Procter retiring from
Amherstburgh, in consequence of the difficulties of his situation, in which
case it was thought advisable that an action should be risked.

[66] Vide Appendix, No. XXIV.

[67] Vide the Proceedings of the Court-martial, Appendix, No. XXV.

[68] Review, p. 432.

[69] Review, pp. 433, 434.

[70] Ibid, pp. 438, 439.

[71] Vide General Orders, Appendix, No. XXVI.

[72] Review, p. 440.

[73] Vide Extracts in the Appendix, No. XXVII.

[74] Review, p. 441.

[75] Review, pp. 440, 441.

[76] Review, p. 441.

[77] Review, p. 442.

[78] Ibid. p. 443.

[79] Review, p. 443.

[80] Ibid.

[81] As a confirmation of this statement, the reader is referred to an
extract from a Letter addressed by Major-General Kempt to Sir George
Prevost upon the subject of the intended attack on Sackett's Harbour, of
which General Kempt was to have taken the personal command. Appendix, No.

[82] The extract from a letter addressed by Sir James Yeo, to Sir George
Prevost, given in the Appendix, No. XXIX. will shew his opinion of the
manner in which the Lake Champlain Squadron was manned.

[83] The following is the Reviewer's mode of stating this:--"Had the
Commander-in-Chief suffered these works to be assaulted _as was eagerly
proposed to him_ on the same evening, there is no question but they must
have fallen with scarcely an effort before a single brigade."--p. 445.

[84] Vide the whole of this Correspondence in the Appendix, No. XXX.

[85] This statement and those of the General and other officers,
subsequently referred to, all of which are under the hand, and many of them
attested by the oaths of the parties, contain the facts relative to the
expedition against Plattsburg, to which those officers would have been
ready to depose before a Court-Martial.

[86] Review, p. 446.

[87] Review, p. 446.

[88] In the celebrated action between our fleet, commanded by Lord Howe,
and that of the French, on the 1st of June, 1794, whilst they were in sight
of each other, and preparing for action, the order was given for our men to
go to breakfast. See Brenton's Naval History, vol. i. p. 272-307.

[89] Review, p. 448.

[90] Notwithstanding the opinion entertained by Sir George Prevost and the
army regarding the probable fall of Plattsburg, it must be recollected that
failure was possible, and that nearly at this very period we had been
disappointed in our attempts both upon Baltimore and New Orleans. The
opinion of the Americans themselves upon this subject, will be found well
expressed in an extract from a Burlington paper (State of Vermont) of that
period, given in the Appendix, No. XXXI.

[91] Review, p. 447.

[92] Review, p. 448.

[93] Vide Appendix, No. XXXII.

[94] A further confirmation of the favourable sentiments entertained in
Canada, on the subject of Sir George Prevost's conduct and services, during
the war, will be found in the extracts given in the Appendix, No. XXXIII.
from Christie's Memoirs of the Administration of the Government of Lower
Canada, and Bouchette's Topographical Account of that Province.

[95] Sir G. Prevost's family, at the time of his decease, consisted of his
widow and three children, viz. the present Sir George Prevost and two
daughters. He likewise left two brothers, Major-General Wm. Prevost, late
Lieutenant-Colonel of the 67th regiment, and James Prevost, Esq.
Post-Captain in the Royal Navy. A monument to the memory of her husband was
erected by Lady Prevost in Winchester Cathedral, with the inscription which
will be found in the Appendix, No. XXXIV.

[96] The motives by which Sir George Prevost was actuated, upon this
occasion, are forcibly expressed in his private despatch to Lord Bathurst,
given in the Appendix, No. XXXV.

[97] Lady Prevost was the eldest daughter of Major-General Phipps, of the
Royal Engineers.

[98] A few copies of the statements above referred to, which first appeared
in the Courier of 13th Nov. 1822, were printed and distributed, under the
title of "A brief Reply to the Calumnies of the last Quarterly Review,
against the military character and reputation of the late
Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost, Bart."


Since the foregoing sheets were sent to press, some observations have
appeared in the British Critic, for May, 1823, upon the Civil
Administration of Sir George Prevost, in Canada, which may perhaps be
thought to require a brief notice. The writer of the remarks in question,
after premising that the military conduct of the late Commander of the
forces in the Canadas has been _sufficiently exposed_ in another Journal,
(the Quarterly Review) proceeds to assert, "that his domestic management of
the Colony was no less censurable. That finding that the Canadian party
gave him most trouble, his object was to obtain a temporary popularity for
his own administration, and a peaceable residence for himself, by every
possible species and degree of weak concession, which he dignified with the
name of conciliation. That the Catholic Bishop being at the head of the
party, was honoured with a seat in the Legislative Council, received a
pension of 1,500_l_. per annum, which he still enjoys, and was either
overtly or tacitly confirmed in all the usurpations of power and of
Government property, (about 40,000_l._ per annum,) upon which he had
ventured, whilst discouragement and _insult_ (a term of which the Critic
informs his readers he does not repent) were heaped upon the Protestant
Bishop and his Clergy, and upon the Loyal Members of both houses, and that
the just remonstrances of his Lordship in defence of the rights of his
Church, and which it was his first duty to protect, were represented at
home as the dictates of party spirit and political feeling."

Although the generality of most of these remarks might seem to preclude the
necessity of any reply to them, yet, as the writer, in descending to
particular statements, displays a gross want of information, it becomes
necessary to expose his misrepresentations, in order that his censures may
be rightly appreciated.

The policy of Sir George Prevost towards the Canadians, was, as the
foregoing pages will shew, adopted immediately upon his assuming his
government, and could not therefore be the consequence of any trouble given
him by the Canadian party, from whom, on the contrary, he invariably
received the most cordial support. His object in that policy was to
strengthen the hands of Government, and to avail himself, as he afterwards
did, of the whole resources of the country, in case it should be attacked.
But that any concession whatever was made by Sir George Prevost to effect
that object is altogether untrue.

The Catholic Bishop, though his character and influence well entitled him
to that distinction, was _not_ honoured with a seat in the Legislative
Council during the government of Sir George Prevost, nor did he receive
during that period a pension of 1,500_l._ per annum. In 1775, the British
Government granted to the then Catholic Bishop a pension of 200_l._ per
annum. In the year 1778, a further sum of 150_l._ per annum, was given to
the same Bishop for the hire of the Episcopal Palace at Quebec, for public
offices. These two sums were continued to the subsequent Bishops, and
constituted the only income received by them from Government, until the
arrival of Sir George Prevost in Canada. During his administration, His
Majesty's Government was pleased to _increase_ that salary to the sum of
1,000_l._ per annum, in favour of M. de Plessis, the present Catholic
Bishop, "as a testimony," to use the words of Lord Bathurst, in his
despatch upon the subject, "of the sense which His Royal Highness the
Prince Regent entertained of the loyalty, and good conduct of M. de
Plessis, and of the other Catholic clergy of the Province."

The charge that Sir George Prevost either tacitly or overtly confirmed the
Catholic bishop in all the usurpations of power and of government
property, upon which he had ventured, is so obscurely worded, that it is
difficult to give it a distinct answer. The privileges and possessions of
the Catholic clergy were assured to them at the period when Canada became a
British province, and the present Catholic bishop is not in possession of
any property, nor does he exercise any power which his predecessors have
not enjoyed since that period with the knowledge and concurrence of all
former governors of the Province, and of His Majesty's Government. The
"accustomed dues and rights" of the Catholic clergy of Canada, are formally
secured to them by the act of 14 Geo. 3. c. 83, §. 5.

To the assertion, positive in proportion to its want of proof, that the
Protestant Bishop and his clergy, and the loyal members of both Houses,
were treated with insult, it will be merely necessary to answer, that Sir
George Prevost was incapable of treating any person, much less those of a
sacred character and profession, with indignity or insult--and a confident
appeal is made to the Protestant clergy of Canada, and to the loyal members
of both Houses, against an insinuation as base as it is groundless.

To the critic's charge of general mismanagement in the affairs of the
Colony, a reply, if any were wanting, will, it is trusted, be found, in the
foregoing pages; in the approbation of His Majesty's Government of the very
policy which this writer so acrimoniously condemns, and in the highly
flattering testimonials to the merits of Sir George Prevost's civil
administration, which he received not only from the Canadians, but from the
most respectable of the English inhabitants.

It is evident that the writer of the article in the British Critic has
blindly adopted the prejudices and feelings of the Quarterly Reviewer
towards Sir George Prevost, and as he appears to dwell with particular
complacency upon the exposure which he imagines to have been made of that
officer's military character, he is justly entitled to share in the
disgrace which must attend his coadjutor's failure, and in the odium which
will always attach to the anonymous traducer of departed merit.


No. I.

_Extract from Beatson's Naval and Military Memoirs of Great Britain, vol._
iv. _p._ 518-529.

Upon the first alarm of the enemy being on the coast, General Prevost
exerted himself to the utmost, to increase and strengthen the
fortifications of the town of Savannah; and was most ably seconded in his
operations, by Captain James Moncrieffe of the engineers, and Captain Henry
of the navy. Orders were sent to the Hon. Lieutenant-Colonel Maitland, who
was posted with a considerable detachment of troops at Beaufort, and to
Captain Christian, of his Majesty's ship Vigilant, to repair as soon as
possible to Savannah, with the troops, ships, and galleys, then at Port
Royal island. Unfortunately, the express with these orders was intercepted
by some of the rebel patrols; and, previous to the arrival of a second
messenger, the enemy had time to seize on the principal communications
between the two places. This rendered the junction of that detachment with
the garrison, upon which alone any hope of defending Savannah could be
reasonably founded, a matter extremely precarious, difficult, and
dangerous. Happily, however, the abilities of Colonel Maitland, and the
zeal of the troops under his command, powerfully aided by the professional
skill of Lieutenant Goldesborough, of the navy, who was thoroughly
acquainted with the various creeks, inlets, and cuts, with which the
interior navigation of this country abounds, overcame every obstacle in
their way. The battery at Tybee was destroyed; the leading marks for the
bar were cut down; and the little naval force there was held in readiness
to run up the river Savannah, as soon as the French fleet were seen making
for the mouth of it.

On the 9th, the whole of the French fleet anchored off the bar: and on the
10th, four frigates weighed and came to Tybee anchorage. M. d'Estaing had
got from Charlestown, a large supply of small craft, into which he put his
troops; and they proceeded into Ossabaw inlet, and made good the
debarkation of their forces at Bowley, 13 miles from Savannah, under cover
of four galleys. The French frigates prepared, at the same time, to advance
up the river.

Captain Henry and the naval department were employed, from the 10th to the
13th, in conveying to Savannah part of the guns and ammunition of the Rose
and Fowey, in vessels which General Prevost had sent down for that purpose.
On the 13th, both frigates being much lightened, sailed over the Mud-flat
to Five Fathom Hole, from which the remainder of their guns and ammunition
were conveyed up to the town, which is only three miles distant. The Comet
galley, Keppel brig, and some armed vessels, were so placed as to cover the
passage of Colonel Maitland, with the forces under his command, from Port
Royal, through Wallscut. On the 14th and 15th, the seamen completed the
important business of landing the cannon and ammunition from the ships and
small vessels: and they were appointed to the different batteries, under
the command of Captains Henry, Brown, and Fisher, of the navy. Some masters
of transports, and the master of a privateer, with their men,[99] made
voluntary offers of their service; as did Mr. Manley; merchant of Jamaica.
Their offers were accepted; and they had their posts assigned them. The
marines were incorporated with the grenadiers of the 60th regiment.

On the 16th, the Compte d'Estaing sent a haughty letter to General Prevost,
summoning him to surrender the place to his Most Christian Majesty:
informing him, at the same time, that among the troops which he had the
honour to command, was the detachment which had stormed the Hospital Hill
at the Grenades. He begged leave to recal this to his memory; and assured
him, that he gave him this notice from motives of humanity, in order to
spare the shedding of human blood. General Prevost, on receiving this
message, called a meeting of the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and
Field-Officers in the garrison, who authorised him to say, that he declined
surrendering on a general summons, without specific terms; but that, if
such were proposed as he could with honour accept, he would then give his
answer. This drew a reply from M. d'Estaing, in which he affirmed, that it
was customary, not for besiegers, but for those who were besieged, to
propose terms of capitulation; stated, that he had no objections to allow
the General every indulgence consistent with his duty; and informed him
that, as it was his intention next day to form a junction with the army of
the United States of America, if his answer was not immediately ready, he
must in future treat with General Lincoln and him. General Prevost, in
return, demanded a cessation of hostilities for 24 hours; as a time
absolutely necessary for deliberation, and for the discussion of various
interests. Towards the evening of the 16th, the Compte d'Estaing returned
an answer, in which he consented to this demand. The two armies joined on
the 17th, and formed separate but contiguous encampments.

It was during this parley, that the detachment under Lieutenant-Colonel
Maitland, consisting of upwards of 1,000 men, arrived from Beaufort. The
enemy well knew, how important it would be to their interests to prevent
this junction; and for that purpose, had attempted an enterprise, which
proved unsuccessful, by their pilots refusing to undertake to place the
French frigates in the necessary stations, for enabling them to cut off
Colonel Maitland's communication with Savannah. Of this circumstance the
Colonel availed himself: and after undergoing immense fatigues, joined
General Prevost in the evening of the 16th, with 500 men; and the remainder
of his detachment arrived about noon the next day. As he found the enemy in
possession of the ship-channel, the Colonel had been obliged to come round
Dawfaskie, and land on the marshes; and after dragging his boats (empty)
through a cut, got into the Savannah river above the French frigates, and
from that came down to the town. A Council of War was held, in which it was
determined to defend the place to the last extremity: and notice of this
resolution was sent to the besieging Generals. To this M. d'Estaing
returned an answer. Hostilities immediately recommenced: and the British
tars could not refrain from giving three huzzas from their batteries. Both
sides now exerted themselves with the utmost assiduity. When the town was
first summoned, there were not above eight or ten guns mounted; but so
indefatigable were the exertions of Captain Moncrieffe, the senior engineer
in the place, in putting it in a proper state of defence, that, by adding
the guns landed from the ships to those which were in store, he had, in the
course of a few days, nearly 90 pieces of cannon ready to oppose to the
enemy, as soon as their batteries should open. He had likewise erected many
redoubts, batteries, and other works, to retard their progress. In all
these operations, the soldiers and sailors, with the utmost cheerfulness,
worked day and night in the face of hostile troops flushed with conquest:
the enemy were greatly astonished at the activity of the garrison.

From the accounts given to M. d'Estaing, of the situation of things at
Savannah, he considered his success against it as certain. He had made
repeated declarations to the Americans, that, as the season of the year was
so far advanced, he could not remain more than ten or fifteen days on
shore, lest his fleet should be injured on such a dangerous coast. The
reinforcement which the garrison had received, reduced the besiegers to
the alternative of either storming or besieging the town of Savannah. The
latter plan was adopted, and they took their measures accordingly.

As it was apprehended, that the enemy's ships might come too near the town,
and annoy the rear of the British lines, Captain Moncrieffe had some
fire-rafts prepared, and in readiness to act against them, if they should
make the attempt. It was also judged expedient, in order effectually to
prevent it, to sink a number of vessels to stop up the passage. As his
Majesty's ship the Rose was in so very bad a condition, that, by the report
of shipwrights lately employed to survey her, she could not swim above two
months; as her guns, ammunition, and stores, had been landed; and as her
weight would keep her across the channel, when lighter vessels might shift,
owing to the rapidity of the current, and to the hardness of its sandy
bottom, in which they could have little hold, Captain Henry selected her as
a vessel proper to be sunk. The Savannah armed ship, and four transports,
were also scuttled and sunk, and by these the channel was blocked up. Above
the town several smaller vessels were sunk, and a boom was laid across the
river, to prevent the enemy from sending down fire-rafts among the
shipping, or landing troops in the British rear. Previous to the vessels
being sunk, the Fowey, Keppel brig, Comet galley, and Germain provincial
armed ship, were got up to the town: and the latter having guns, was placed
off Yamairaw, to flank the lines. While the enemy's batteries were getting
ready to play against the town, three French frigates advanced up the river
to Mud-flat. One of them, having twelve-pounders, and two rebel galleys,
carrying each two eighteen-pounders in their prows, anchored in Five Fathom
Hole; from which one of the frigates sailed into the back river, with a
design to cannonade the rear of the British lines. She fired a great number
of shot; which, being at their utmost range, did no execution. The galleys
advancing nearer, did some damage to the houses; but a few shot now and
then from the river battery, made them keep a respectable distance.

Two sallies, one of them on the 24th; commanded by Major Graham, of the
16th regiment; and another on the 27th, commanded by Major M'Arthur, of the
71st regiment; were admirably well conducted, did the enemy considerable
mischief, and killed and wounded a great many of their best troops, while
the loss on our side was very inconsiderable; In the first sally, Major
Graham artfully drew the enemy into a snare, by which the French and the
rebels fired on each other, and had near 50 men killed before the mistake
was discovered.

The batteries played on every place where the enemy were perceived to be at
work; and more than once obliged them to discontinue their labour. It was
the 3rd of October, before they opened any of their batteries: and then,
about midnight they began to bombard from nine mortars of eight and ten
inches, and continued the bombardment about two hours. At day-light, their
fire commenced again from the nine mortars, and also from 37 pieces of
cannon from the land side, and 16 from their shipping: and in this they
persisted with little variation during several days. The execution done by
this heavy fire, was much less than could have been imagined. It consisted
in killing a few helpless women and children, and some few negroes and
horses in the town, and on the common. On the 6th, the enemy threw some
carcasses into the town, which burnt one wooden house: and about 11
o'clock, the General sent a letter, by a flag of truce, to M. d'Estaing,
requesting permission to send the women and children out of the place, on
board of ships and down the river, under the protection of a French ship of
war, until the siege should be ended. After three hours, and a deal of
intermediate cannon shot and shells, an insulting answer was returned by
Messrs. Lincoln and d'Estaing, in which they refused to comply with this
reasonable and humane demand.

The garrison, undismayed by this brutal conduct on the part of their
opponents, kept up a smart fire against them; and during the night were
extremely busy in adding to their works, and in repairing such of them as
had sustained damage. Thus things went on until the morning of the 9th;
when, a little before day-break, after a heavy, and as usual, incessant
cannonade and bombardment, the enemy attacked General Prevost's lines.

The attack being upon the left of his centre, in front of the French; and
very soon after, upon his left and right. It was yet dark, and the darkness
was increased by a very thick fog, which made it impossible to determine
with precision, where the real attack was to be made, or how many assaults
were intended. No reinforcements therefore were sent; but every thing was
kept in readiness for that purpose, and the troops waited with the greatest
coolness in their different posts, for the approach of the enemy. Those in
the lines were prepared to charge them, wherever they should attempt to
penetrate: and the General had the greatest hopes, that the fire of the
field artillery, which was placed to support the advanced redoubts, would
enable him, while the enemy were entangled among these, to throw them into
some confusion; and, perhaps, with a good prospect of success, to order his
corps de reserve to sally forth and charge them. The ground toward both his
flanks, owing to its natural defects, which the utmost efforts of Captain
Moncrieffe had been unable effectually to remove, was but too favourable
for an enemy. On the right was a swampy hollow, by which they could
approach under cover to within fifty yards of his principal works, and in
some places still nearer; and there, he supposed, that the rebels would
make their assault. On the left, the approach was neither so well covered,
nor of so great an extent as that on the right; but as it was sufficiently
large to admit troops to act, as the ground was firm and clear, and as it
was near their encampment, he expected that the French regulars would make
their attack there: but in this he was mistaken. A real attack did take
place there: but the principal attack, composed of the flower of the French
and rebel armies, and led by the Compte d'Estaing in person, assisted by
all the principal officers of both, was made upon his right. Under cover of
the hollow, they advanced in three columns; but, owing to the darkness,
took a wider circuit than they needed or intended to have done, and went
deeper into the bog. These circumstances prevented them from beginning the
attack so soon as they had concerted; and besides occasioning a loss of
critical time, produced considerable disorder in their ranks. The attack,
however, was very spirited, and for some time obstinately maintained;
particularly at a redoubt on the Ebenezer road, which was a scene of hot
action, great loss, and consummate bravery. Two stand of colours were
actually planted, and several of the assailants killed upon the parapet;
but they met so determined a resistance, that they could not, with all
their efforts, force an entrance. It was now, that the skill and design of
the defences raised by Captain Moncrieffe, were fully displayed; for, while
the conflict was still dubious and bloody, the field-pieces, from three
batteries which were manned by the sailors, took them in every direction,
and made such havock in their ranks, that they were thrown into confusion,
and compelled to make a pause. At this critical moment, Major Glacier, of
the 60th regiment, with the grenadiers of that corps and the marines,
advanced rapidly from the lines; in the most impetuous manner, charged the
enemy with their fixed bayonets; and plunging among them, into the ditches
and works, drove them, in an instant, from the ditches of the redoubt, and
from a battery a little to the right of it. Following up the blow, they
forced them to fly, in great confusion, over the abatis, and into the
swamp. On this occasion, Captain Wickham, of the 2d battalion of the 60th
grenadiers, greatly distinguished himself. When the grenadiers advanced,
three companies of the second battalion of the 71st regiment were ordered
to sustain them: and although they were posted at no considerable
distance, and marched forward with the usual ardour of that corps, such was
the rapidity with which the grenadiers had made their attack, and so
precipitate was the enemy's retreat, that they could not come in for a
share of the victory. One of the enemy's columns a little more to their
left, in every attempt which it made to come out of the hollow, was
repulsed by the brisk and well directed fire of a redoubt, where the
militia were posted, aided by Hamilton's small corps of North Carolinians,
who were on the right, and moved there with a field-piece to bear obliquely
against it, while one of the seamen's batteries took it directly in flank.
It was now day-light: but the fog was not sufficiently cleared off, to
enable General Prevost to judge with any degree of certainty of the
strength, disposition, or further intentions of the enemy on the right. On
the left, and in the centre, the fog, with the addition of the smoke, was
still impenetrably close: and a smart firing being still kept up there, the
General thought it would be improper to draw from it a number of troops
sufficient to make a respectable sortie. By these means, an opportunity was
lost of taking complete advantage of the confusion of the enemy, by
charging them in their retreat; but they did not get off without being
severely cannonaded by the batteries and field-pieces, as long as they were
in sight, or judged to be within reach. They were every where repulsed: and
those on the left were only heard, being concealed from view by the
thickness of the fog.

Lieutenant-Colonel de Porbeck, of Weissenbeck's Hessian regiment, was
field-officer of the right wing: and being in the redoubt when the attack
began, had an opportunity, which he well improved, of signalizing himself
in a most gallant manner. It would not be doing justice to the different
corps who defended the redoubt, if we neglected to mention them. They were
part of the South Carolina Royalists; and the light dragoons dismounted,
and commanded (by special order) by Captain Tawae, a good and gallant
officer, who nobly fell with his sword in the body of the third man he had
killed with his own hand. The loss on the part of the British in this
battle, consisted of one captain, and fifteen rank and file killed; one
captain, three subalterns, and thirty-five rank and file wounded. The loss
sustained by the enemy, as acknowledged by the French, was about a thousand
or twelve hundred men killed and wounded; of these, they lost forty-four
officers and seven hundred men: and the deserters, of whom there were a
great many, all declared, that the loss on the part of the rebels was not
less than four hundred men. Among the wounded was M. d'Estaing, (in two
places) M. de Fontange, Major-General; and several others of distinction.
Count Polaski, (who has been mentioned in the course of these Memoirs), a
Colonel of cavalry in the rebel service, in making a desperate push at the
British lines, was mortally wounded.

About ten o'clock, the enemy requested a truce, and leave to bury their
dead, and carry off their wounded men. This was granted for those who lay
at a distance from the lines, or out of sight of them: but those within or
near the abatis were interred by the British. Their numbers were on the
right, two hundred and three; on the left, twenty-eight. One hundred and
sixteen prisoners, most of them mortally wounded, were delivered to the
enemy. To this loss, considerable of itself, must be added, the numbers
buried by them, the numbers who perished in the swamp, and many who were
carried off by them when they retreated.

From this time to the 18th, nothing very material happened. Several flags
of truce were sent during that period by the enemy, and a great deal of
civility passed mutually between the French and British. Many apologies
were made for their refusal to allow the women and children to be sent out
of town: and the blame of this base conduct was laid, by a French Colonel,
Compte O'Duin, entirely on the scoundrel Lincoln, and the Americans.[100]
The offer was then made with great earnestness, that the ladies and
children should be received by the Chevalier du Romain, on board of the
Chimere; but the answer given to it was blunt and soldierly, that what had
once been refused, and that in terms of insult, was not in any
circumstances deemed worth acceptance. All the French officers seemed quite
ashamed of this affair. As it was with them only, that the British had any
intercourse after the repulse on the 9th, the sentiments of the Americans
could not be so well known. But, as the letter was signed by d'Estaing, as
well as by Lincoln, their imputing this harsh, cruel, and unprecedented
refusal, entirely to the brutality of the American General, may serve to
shew their consciousness, that it was altogether indefensible; but is by no
means sufficient to exculpate the French Commander, from his share of the
blame and disgrace, inseparable from it. An author,[101] who is extremely
partial to the American cause, endeavours to defend this measure from
motives of policy: "The combined army (says he) was so confident of
success, that it was suspected, that the request of sending away the women
and children, proceeded from a desire of secreting the plunder lately taken
from the South Carolinians, and artfully covered under the specious veil of
humanity. That the Commanders were suspicious, considering the stratagem
Prevost had practised after being summoned, is not strange. It was also
presumed, that a refusal would expedite a surrender." There does not seem
to have been much cordiality between the French and Americans in this
enterprise. M. d'Estaing would have been well pleased to have done the
business without them, by summoning the place to surrender to his Most
Christian Majesty. This, the latter took much amiss, as they considered
themselves as principals, and the French only as auxiliaries: and for this
piece of presumption, some concessions were made. When the time assigned by
M. d'Estaing for this expedition had elapsed, and still more was required
by the engineers, if it was expected that the garrison should be compelled
to surrender by regular approaches, he became extremely impatient to bring
matters to a quick decision, and urged giving the assault to the place.
This measure, says Mr. Gordon, was forced on M. d'Estaing by his naval
officers, who had remonstrated against his continuing to risk so valuable a
fleet in its present unrepaired condition, on such a dangerous coast in the
hurricane season; and at so great a distance from the shore, that it might
be surprised. These remonstrances were enforced, by the probability of
their being attacked by the British fleet completely repaired, with their
full complement of men, soldiers, and artillery on board, when the ships of
his Most Christian Majesty were weakened, by the absence of a considerable
part of their crews, artillery, and officers, employed at the siege of
Savannah. These reasons had great weight with M. d'Estaing: and he
prevailed on General Lincoln to storm the place without farther loss of
time. The Americans seemed to think, that by a little more patience and
perseverance, the town must have submitted; as in a few days, the lines of
the besiegers would have been carried quite close to the works of the
besieged. Their allies, however, judged themselves to be in so critical a
situation, that they acquiesced in M. d'Estaing's proposal; for, if the
French had retired to their ships, the siege must have been raised, so that
there remained only one alternative for them to adopt. The repulse which
they had received, was not followed by mutual accusations of want of
courage or conduct in either party; but the French, in all their
conversations, spoke of the Americans with the greatest contempt.

It was not perceived until the 18th, that the enemy had raised the siege;
but, the fog clearing up in the morning of that day, it was found that they
had moved off. For some days previous to this, they had been busy in
drawing off their cannon and mortars, and in embarking their sick and
wounded, of whom they had a great number. General Prevost immediately
detached parties in pursuit of them; but they had got to such distance
before it was discovered they had retreated, that they could not overtake
them: the enemy in their march having broken down all the bridges. The
French embarked in Augustine creek, and the rebels crossed the river
Savannah, at Zubley's ferry, and got into South Carolina. The enemy's fleet
quitted the coast on the 26th October, and their frigates and galleys on
the 2d of November, as soon as an exchange of prisoners had taken place.
The balance of prisoners was in the enemy's favour: for while they were off
this coast, on the 11th of September, his Majesty's ship, Ariel, of 24
guns, was taken by the French frigate, the Amazon, of 36 guns; and besides
taking the Experiment, they took also the Myrtle, navy victualler; and
Champion, storeship. The last of these was a prize of considerable
importance to them, for their fleet was very badly manned, their crews
sickly, their ships in bad condition, short of anchors and cables, and no
running rigging to reeve, but this ship afforded them a supply. She had
been sent from New York, with naval stores for the ships and vessels, under
the command of Captain Henry.

No. II.

_Address from the Council and House of Representatives of St. Vincents to
Lieut.-Col. Prevost, p. 7._


The Committee of His Majesty's Council, and of the Representatives of the
Inhabitants of St. Vincents, deeply impressed with the many and eminent
services you have rendered this colony, beg leave to offer their most
grateful thanks to you, not only on their own account, but on that of the
community at large. It might be irksome to you to minutely particularize
these services: the Committee, however, cannot forbear mentioning your
voluntary and unsolicited return to the defence of the Colony, and to
participate in a most laborious and perilous war, against an inglorious
enemy. Such zeal, Sir, strongly characterizes the soldier. The happy
consequences to the public cause, although unfortunate to yourself, of your
late gallant attack on the enemy's advanced post, demand the warmest
acknowledgments, and the universal wish that you may speedily recover from
your wounds, and that our gracious Sovereign may discern, and properly
reward such distinguished merit.

"_10th March, 1796._"

No. III.

_Letter from the Duke of Portland to Brigadier-General Prevost, p. 7._

                            "_Whitehall, 29th April, 1801._


"The satisfactory manner in which you have conducted the Administration of
Public Affairs in St. Lucie, and the representations made to the King in
your behalf by the Members of the Court of Appeal, have induced His Majesty
to appoint you Lieutenant-Governor of that Island. I transmit to you
inclosed His Majesty's Commission; and I have only to add, that I am
persuaded that your conduct in the administration of your Government will
continue to justify the very flattering and favorable intentions of the
Court of Appeal, to contribute to the support of the respectability of your
civil station.

                 "I am, Sir,

                 "Your most obedient humble servant,

                  (Signed)       "PORTLAND."

No. IV.

_Address to Brigadier-General Prevost from the Inhabitants of St. Lucie, p.

     Les Habitans de l'Isle de St. Lucie, à Son Excellence
     Monsieur le Brigadier-Général George Prevost,
     Lieut.-Gouverneur de cette Isle, &c.

Monsieur le Gouverneur,

Lorsque le paix, objet de tous ties voeux, fait rentrer l'Isle de Sainte
Lucie sous la domination Française, c'est un hommage bien légitime que de
vous rendre au nom de tous les Colons un témoignage public de l'amour, du
respect, et de la reconnoissance que votre gouvernement doux et paternel,
et votre sage administration, ont fait naître dans tous les coeurs. Les
avantages sans nombre dont vous avez fait jouir la Colonie, depuis que vous
en avez pris le Commandement, l'attachent hautement. En effet, M. le
Gouverneur, l'amour constant que vous avez manifesté pour le bien public;
les soins infinies que tous avez pris pour rendre et faire rendre la
justice dans un tems où toutes les loix étaient en oubli; le zèle
infatigable avec lequel vous tous êtes occupé des discussions des intêrets
des Colons; votre gouvernement paternel, qui, en vous conciliant tous les
esprits, à detruit les divisions qui pouvaient exciter, a fait regner
l'union et la concorde parmi les habitans, et a fait renaître la confiance,
et la prospérité. Enfin, votre gouvernement tutelair, qui a fait chérir
l'authorité de sa Majesté dans la votre, sont autant de bienfaits dont vous
avez fait jouir les habitans de la Colonie, et dont ils conserveront
éternellement le souvenir.

Mais il en était un plus grand que le zèle et l'amour du bien public, qui
vous animaient, reservoit à la Colonie; c'est votre sollicitude paternelle
qui a emploié et obtenue, pour nous, de sa Majesté, qu'elle nous rendit nos
loix, non tribunaux, nos magistrats, c'est-à-dire, le témoignage le plus
convainçant qu'elle préferait au droit de nous traiter comme un peuple
conquis, la douceur de nous adopter pour ses enfans, et de nous rendre les
objets de sa tendresse. Nous en sommes tellement convaincus, M. le
Gouverneur, que nos infortunes ont été adoucis, et que nous en avons
ressentis les plus grands effets. Le bonheur, la tranquillité et la
prospérité dont les habitans de la Colonie out jouis jusqu'à present, ils
les tiennent de la bonté du Roi, et de votre administration paternelle, M.
le Gouverneur; et si notre reconnoissance ne trouve pas d'expressions assez
forte pour vous peindre aussi vivement que nous le sentons, notre
admiration pour vos talens, notre vénération pour vos vertus, et notre
amour profonde pour votre personne,--daignez permettre que la Colonie vous
présente, comme un foible témoignage, une épée, sur la lame de laquelle
seront gravé ces mots:--_La Colonie de St. Lucie reconnoissante._

Jouissez, M. le Gouverneur, du bien que vous avez fait à la Colonie; et les
voeux des Colons pour votre gloire et votre bonheur vous suivront à votre

No. V.

_Letters from Sir Thomas Trigge, Commander of the Forces in the West
Indies, p. 7._


"I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 14th
inst., and feel very great regret, that your state of health is such as to
render your returning to England necessary, by that means depriving His
Majesty and myself of your services in this country. You may rely I shall
not fail to express my sentiments on this subject when I write home, as in
rendering this tribute of justice to your character, I shall discharge the
most pleasing and gratifying part of my duty. I beg you will be pleased to
signify to the council, that in consequence of your absence, I have
appointed Brigadier-General G. H. Vansittart, to succeed to the civil and
military command of the Island of St. Lucie, per interim, in order that he
may be recognised accordingly, and take upon him the functions and
authorities of that situation.

"I have now, Sir, to take my leave, and to offer my best wishes for your
welfare and happiness; entertaining the firmest hope and assurance, that
you will meet on your arrival in England those marks of approbation, which
in every instance you have so highly and eminently merited.

"With sentiments of the purest esteem and regard, I have the honor to be,

         "Your most obedient and faithful humble servant,


             THOS. TRIGGE,

_Sir Thomas Trigge to Colonel Brownrigg._

       *       *       *       *       *


"The return of Brigadier-General Prevost to England, calls on me to express
to His Royal Highness, the Commander-in-Chief, the opinion with which his
conduct has impressed me, both in his civil and military capacities during
his command in the island of St. Lucie, as, did I fail to point out those
officers who are deserving of His Royal Highness's countenance and support,
I should be as wanting in justice to the individual, as deficient in point
of duty to the Commander-in-Chief.

"I cannot but view with infinite regret Brigadier-General Prevost's
departure from this country, as he has invariably conducted his command in
the most satisfactory manner. The zeal and unremitting exertion which he
has on every occasion shewn, and the exact attention which he has paid to
the several duties of his situation, point him out as a distinguished and
excellent officer, and whom it is my duty to recommend in the strongest
terms to His Majesty, and to the Commander-in-Chief.

              "I have the honor to be, Sir, &c. &c.


                      "THOS. TRIGGE,

No. VI.

_Account of the Capture of St. Lucie and Tobago, from the Annual Register
for 1803, p. 8._

"On the 22nd June, the island of St. Lucie was taken by General Grinfield
and Commodore Head. The French Commander, General Naguês, refused to
capitulate, and the expectation of approaching rains rendered it necessary
to get possession of the Morne Fortunée with as little delay as possible.
It was therefore determined to attack it by storm; the defence was gallant;
yet, by the determined bravery of the British soldiers and seamen, the
works were carried in about half an hour, not without some loss, chiefly,
among the officers. This conquest was of considerable importance as a naval
station. The island as a colony is valuable, but the climate is unhealthy.

"The British commanders lost no time in pursuing their victorious career;
and on the 25th, they sailed for Tobago, which they reached on the 30th. It
was defended by General Berthier, an officer of note in the French service;
but being apprised of the number of the British, and of the gallantry they
had displayed at St. Lucie, he did not think it prudent to risk an
engagement. A capitulation was agreed to on the same day, upon the most
liberal terms, the garrison marching out with the honours of war, and to be
sent back to their native country."--_Annual Register_ for 1803, p. 283.

No. VII.

_Extract of a Letter from Major-Gen. Grinfield relative to the expedition
against St. Lucie and Tobago, p. 8._

"It is with real satisfaction I send you the enclosed extract from Colonel
Clinton's letter to me."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Extract of a Letter from Colonel Clinton to Lieutenant-General Grinfield,

                             "_Horse Guards, 3rd Sept. 1803._

"This despatch, addressed to the Commander-in-Chief, bears testimony, in
the handsomest terms, to the meritorious services of Brigadier-General
Prevost; and to the zealous promptitude with which he left his government
of Dominica, to fulfil your wishes. In reply, I am directed to acquaint
you, that His Royal Highness is perfectly sensible of the zeal, which
induced Brigadier-General Prevost to volunteer his service on the late
occasion, under your command; a circumstance which redounds much to his
credit; and which, on a proper opportunity, His Royal Highness will not
fail to mention to His Majesty."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Extract of a Letter from Lord Hobart to Brigadier-General Prevost._

"I cannot omit to congratulate you upon the complete success of the
expeditions against St. Lucie and Tobago, in which you were so actively and
honourably engaged; and I have the satisfaction of acquainting you, that
His Majesty has been graciously pleased to notice, with particular
approbation, your conduct upon those services."


_Letter to Brigadier-General Prevost from General Naguês, p. 9._

"Depuis la prise du Morne Fortuné, je ne cease d'éprouver de la part du
Général en Chef des égards que j'aie dû attribuer à un caractère de loyauté
qui se remarque des que l'on se trouve en rapport avec le Général

"Mais je n'ignore pas, Général, qu'animé des mêmes principes, je dois à vos
dispositions particulières une partie des precédés généreux dont je me suis
vu comblé. Avant de vous témoigner toute ma reconnoissance, laissez moi, je
vous prie, m'arrêter sur un fait qui vous est personnel, je veux parler de
l'humaine prévoyance que vous avez eue de placer, à votre arrivée au Morne,
une Sauve Garde à l'hôpital militaire pour la sureté de nos malades. Citer
un pareil trait c'est assez dire pour le Guerrier qu'il honore et
distingue. Je viens maintenant, Général, aux sentimens que vous m'avez
inspiré, et je vous prie de croire que je n'y mets point de reserve.
Veuillez donc bien m'agréer l'hommage, et recevoir mes très humbles

                     (Signéd)      "NAGUÊS."[102]

                      le 6 Messidor, an 11._"

No. IX.

_Account of the Attack upon Dominica by a French Squadron, p. 9._

"It may easily be supposed that much alarm prevailed at home, when it was
known that two such formidable fleets[103] of the enemy were actually at
sea, and which were aggravated by reports of strong detachments of the
Brest fleet having also escaped, with a view to some grand combined
exertion of the enemy. Where the blow was to fall, occupied the public
mind. Malta, Brazil, the British West Indies--a general junction of the
whole of the combined force of the enemy, in order to cover a descent upon
Ireland. In short, every possible point of annoyance or attack was warmly
agitated in the public mind. At length intelligence was received on the 6th
May, from the British Commander-in-Chief of the forces in the windward and
leeward islands, that Dominica had been attacked on the 22nd February
preceding, by a French armament of one three-decker, and four other line of
battle ships, three frigates, two brigs of war, and a schooner, with about
4,000 landmen on board. Brigadier-General Prevost, the Governor of the
island, immediately made the best dispositions for its defence, and
opposed, with the small force under his command, the landing of the French
inch by inch. At length the whole of the enemy's force, consisting of 4,000
men, under the cover of the tremendous fire of the Majestueux, of 120 guns,
four 74's, and the frigates, having landed, and having made such a
disposition as threatened to cut off the retreat of the Governor, and his
few remaining troops from the town and fort of Prince Ruperts, and thereby
reduce the whole island; General Prevost, with the utmost promptitude and
presence of mind, directed the regular force, under Captain O'Connell, to
make a forced march across the island, and join him at Prince Ruperts; to
which place he himself repaired attended only by his staff, and arrived in
24 hours: the troops also arriving there with their wounded, after four
days continued march, through the most difficult country existing. The
Governor immediately took the necessary precautions to place the fort in
the best state, and his appearance was so formidable, that the French
Commander-in-Chief, after having in vain summoned him to surrender, thought
proper, after levying a contribution upon the inhabitants of Roseau, which
town had been set on fire, in the moment of attack, and had suffered
severely by the conflagration, on the 27th, to reimbark his whole force;
and after hovering a day or two in the bay, and about the port of Prince
Ruperts, made easy sail towards Guadaloupe. Throughout the whole of this
transaction, the highest praise is due to the Governor, and the British
troops under his command. At one period 200 of the latter were opposed to
more than 2,000 of the enemy, and under the command of the gallant Major
Nunn, who unfortunately received a mortal wound in the action, and
subsequently under Captain O'Connell, succeeded in withstanding them for
more than two hours, and then effected their retreat, after having made
much slaughter of the invaders. Nor should the militia of the island be
without their due share of praise, for their exemplary bravery and
steadiness. Upon the whole it may be stated, with perfect propriety, in the
words of General Myers, that in this affair, had not the town of Roseau
been accidentally destroyed by fire, we should have little to regret, and
much in which to exult."--_Annual Register_ for 1805, p. 220.

No. X.

_Public Despatches and Letters relative to the Attack of the French upon
Dominica, in 1805, p. 9._

_From Lieut.-Gen. Sir William Myers to Earl Camden._

                                   "_Barbadoes, March 9th._


"I have the honour to enclose to your Lordship, a copy of a despatch from
Brigadier-General Prevost, dated Dominica, 1st March. The details contained
therein, are so highly reputable to the Brigadier-General, and the small
portion of troops employed against so numerous an enemy, that I have great
satisfaction in recommending that their gallant exertions may be laid
before his Majesty: the zeal and talents manifested by the
Brigadier-General, upon this occasion, it is my duty to present to his
royal consideration, and, at the same time, I beg to be permitted to
express the high sense I entertain of the distinguished bravery of His
Majesty's troops, and the militia of the colony, employed upon that
service. The vigorous resistance which the enemy have experienced, and the
loss which they have sustained in this attack, must evince to them, that
however inferior our numbers were on this occasion, British troops are not
to be hostilely approached with impunity; and had not the town of Roseau
been accidentally destroyed by fire, we should have little to regret, and
much to exult in. Your Lordship will perceive by the returns, that our loss
in men, compared to that of the enemy, is but trifling; but I have
sincerely to lament that of Major Nunn, of the 1st West India regiment,
whose wound is reported to be of a dangerous kind; he is an excellent man,
and a meritorious officer.

                        "I am, &c.

                        (Signed)      "W. MYERS."

       *       *       *       *       *

                                _"Head-quarters, Prince Ruperts,
                                  Dominica, March 1st._


"About an hour before the dawn of day, on the 22nd ult. an alarm was fired
at Scotshead, and soon after a cluster of ships was discovered off Roseau.
As our light increased, I made out five large ships, three frigates, two
brigs, and small craft, under British colours, a ship of three decks,
carrying a flag at the mizen. The frigates ranged too close to Fort Young;
I ordered them to be fired on, and soon after 19 large barges, full of
troops, appeared coming from under the lee of the other ships, attended and
protected by an armed schooner full of men, and seven other boats, carrying
carronades. The English flag was lowered, and that of France hoisted. A
landing was immediately attempted on my left flank, between the town of
Roseau and the post of Cachecrow. The light infantry of the 1st West India
regiment, were the first on the march to support Captain Serrant's company
of militia, which, throughout the day, behaved with great gallantry. It was
immediately supported by the grenadiers of the 46th regiment. The first
boats were beat off, but the schooner and one of the brigs coming close in
shore, to cover the landing, compelled our troops to occupy a better
position, a defile leading to the town. At this moment I brought up the
grenadiers of the St. George's regiment of militia, and soon after the
remainder of the 46th, and gave over to Major Nunn these brave troops, with
orders not to yield the enemy one inch of ground. Two field-pieces were
brought into action for their support, under the command of Serjeant Creed,
of the 46th regiment, manned by additional gunners and sailors. These guns,
and a 24-pounder from Melville's battery, shook the French advancing
column, by the execution they did. I sent two companies of the St. George's
militia, under the command of Lieut.-Col. Constable, and a company of the
46th, to prevent the enemy from getting into the rear of the position
occupied by Major Nunn. On my return, we found the Majestueux, of 120 guns,
lying opposite to Fort Young, pouring into the town and batteries her
broadsides, followed by the other 74's and frigates, doing the same. Some
artillery, several captains of merchantmen, with their sailors, and the
artillery-militia, manned five 24-pounders, and three 18's at the fort, and
five 24's at Melville's battery, and returned an uninterrupted fire. From
the first post red-hot shot were thrown. At about ten o'clock, a. m. Major
Nunn, most unfortunately for His Majesty's service, whilst faithfully
executing the orders I had given, was wounded, I fear mortally. This did
not discourage the brave fellows. Captain O'Connell, of the 1st West India
regiment, received the command and a wound almost at the same time;
however, the last circumstance could not induce him to give up the honour
of the first, and he continued in the field, animating his men, and
resisting the repeated charges of the enemy, until about one o'clock, when
he obliged the French to retire from their advanced position with great

"It is impossible for me to do justice to the merit of that officer. You
will, I doubt not, favourably report his conduct to His Majesty, and, at
the same time, that of Captain James, who commanded the 46th, and Captain
Archibald Campbell, who commanded the grenadiers of the 46th. Foiled and
beat off on the left, the right flank was attempted, and a considerable
force was landed near Morne Daniel. The regulars not exceeding 200,
employed on the left in opposing the advance of their columns, consisting
of 2,000 men, could afford me no reinforcement; I had only the right wing
of the St. George's regiment of militia to oppose them, of about 100 men.
They attacked with spirit, but, unfortunately, the frigates stood in so
close to the shore, to protect their disembarkation, that after receiving a
destructive fire, they fled back and occupied the heights of Woodbridge
Estate. Then it was that a column of the enemy marched up Morne Daniel, and
stormed the redoubt, defended by a small detachment, which, after an
obstinate resistance, they carried. On my left Captain O'Connell was
gaining ground, notwithstanding a fresh supply of troops, and several
field-pieces, which had been brought on shore by the enemy. I now observed
a large column climbing the mountain to get in his rear. The town, which
had been for some time in flames, was only protected by a light howitzer,
and a six-pounder to the right, supported by part of the light company of
St. George's regiment. The enemy's large ships in Woodbridge-bay out of the
reach of my guns, my right flank gained, and my retreat to Prince Ruperts
almost cut off, I determined on one attempt to keep the sovereignty of the
island, which the excellent troops I had, warranted. I ordered the militia
to remain at their posts, except such as were inclined to encounter more
hardships and severe service; and Captain O'Connell, with the 46th under
the command of Captain James, and the light company of the 1st West India
regiment, were directed to make a forced march to Prince Ruperts. I then
allowed the President to enter into terms for the town of Roseau; and
demanded from the French general, that private property should be
respected, and that no wanton or disgraceful pillage should be
allowed. This done, only attended by Brigade-Major Prevost, and
Deputy-Quarter-Master-General Hopley, of the militia forces, I crossed the
island, and in 24 hours, with the aid of the inhabitants, and the exertions
of the Caribs, I got to this garrison on the 23rd. After four days
continued march, through the most difficult country, I might almost say,
existing, Captain O'Connell joined me at Prince Ruperts, wounded himself,
and bringing in his wounded, with a few of the royal artillery, and the
precious remains of the 46th regiment, and the 1st West India light
company. I had no sooner got into the fort, than I ordered cattle to be
drove in, and took measures for getting a store of water from the river in
the bay. I found my signals to Lieutenant-Colonel Broughton, from Roseau,
made soon after the enemy had landed, had been received; and that in
consequence, he had made the most judicious arrangements his garrison
would allow of, for the defence of this important post. On the 25th, I
received the letter of summons I have now the honour to transmit, from
General of Division La Grange, and without delay, sent the reply you will
find accompanying it. On the 27th the enemy's cruizers hovered about the
head; however, the Centaur's tender (Vigilante) came in, and was saved by
our guns. I landed Mr. Henderson, her commander, and his crew, to assist in
the defence we were prepared to make. As far as can be collected, the enemy
had about 4,000 men on board, and the whole of their force was compelled to
disembark before they gained an inch of ground. I trust this despatch by
Capt O'Connell, to whom I beg to refer you; his services entitle him to
consideration. I am much indebted to the zeal and discernment of
Foot-Adjutant Geraly, who was very accessary to the execution of my orders.
I cannot pass unnoticed the very soldier-like conduct of Lieut. Wallis, of
the 46th regiment, to whom I had entrusted the post of Cachearn or
Scotshead; perceiving our retreat, he spiked his guns, destroyed his
ammunition, and immediately commenced his march to join me at Prince
Ruperts, with his detachment; nor that of Lieutenant Shaw of the same
regiment, who acted as an officer of artillery, and behaved with uncommon
coolness and judgment, whilst on the battery, and great presence of mind in
securing the retreat of the additional gunners belonging to the 46th

"On the 27th, after levying a contribution on Roseau, the enemy reimbarked,
and hovered that day and the next about this port. This morning the French
fleet is seen off the south end of Guadaloupe, under easy sail. Our loss
you will perceive by the returns I have the honor to transmit, was
inconsiderable, when compared with that acknowledged by the enemy, which
included several officers of rank, and about 300 others.

                                      "GEO. PREVOST."

"P.S. As I find I cannot spare Captain O'Connell from the duty of this
garrison, I must refer you to the Master of a Montreal vessel, who has
engaged to deliver this despatch."

       *       *       *       *       *

                                  "_Au Quartier-Général au Roseau,
                                    le 5th Ventose, An 13._

"Le Général de Division Lagrange, Grand Officier de la Légion de l'Honneur,
&c. &c.

"Monsieur le Général,

"Avant de commencer les operations militaires contre le fort où tous
paraissez tous être rétiré, je viens remplir une préalable autorisé et
pratiqué, entre les nations civilisées.

"Vous connoissez aussi bien, M. le Général, votre position, et peut-être
même, l'inutilité d'une nouvelle éffusion de sang; vous avez dû gémir en
voyant le malheureux sort de la ville de Roseau; mon premier soin en y
entrant a été de donner des ordres pour arrêter l'incendie: mais par
malheur le mal était dejà trop grand. Le besoin en subsistence produit
toujours des effete cruels, et le résultat peut en être calculé plus
positivement que celui de toute autre chose. Ne fût-ce que cette
consideration, elle est plus que suffisante sous la circonstance où vous
vous trouvez pour accepter les conditions honorables que je suis disposé à
vous accorder, et soustraire ainsi par un arrangement les habitans
intéressants de cette colonie à des nouveaux malheurs presque toujours
inséparable des événemens de la guerre. Veuillez, M. le Général, me faire
connoître bientôt votre réponse; en attendant, recevez l'assurance de la
haute consideration que j'ai pour vous.

                     "J'ai l'honneur de vous saluer,

                      (Signed)      "LAGRANGE."

       *       *       *       *       *

                                 "_Head-Quarters, Prince Ruperts,
                                   Feb. 25th, 1805._


"I have had the honour to receive your letter. My duty to my King and
country is so superior to every other consideration, that I have only to
thank you for the observations you have been pleased to make on the often
inevitable consequences of war. Give me leave, individually, to express the
greatest gratitude for your humanity and kind treatment of my wife and
children; at the same time to request a continuance thereof, not only to
her and them, but towards every other object you may meet with.

                               "I have the honor to be, &c. &c.

                                 (Signed)       "G. PREVOST."

       *       *       *       *       *

Copy of a Letter from Lord Camden.

                              _Downing Street, 18th May, 1805._


"Your letter to me of the 1st of March, containing your reports to
Lieut.-General Sir William Myers, of the attack made by a French squadron
with a considerable body of troops on the Island of Dominica, of the
gallantry with which they were opposed, and of their retreat from that
Island on the 27th February has been laid before the King. I have it in
command from His Majesty to express his entire satisfaction in the
judicious and brave exertions which you displayed in this emergency; and
you will signify to the officers and men of the Regular and Militia forces
under your command, His Majesty's entire approbation of their spirited and
meritorious services.

                           "I have honor to be, &c. &c.

                            (Signed)    "CAMDEN."

No. XI.

_Letter from His Royal Highness the Duke of York to the Earl of Camden, p_.

                              "_Horse Guards, Nov. 26th, 1805_.


"I have to acknowledge your lordship's letter of yesterday, recommending
Major-General Prevost to my peculiar protection, from the military spirit
and knowledge which he displayed in the late affair with the enemy at
Dominica, and I request your lordship will be persuaded of the high sense I
entertain of the services and exertions of Major-General Prevost, and that
I shall be happy in availing myself of any opportunity to recommend him for
a mark of His Majesty's favor.

                         "I remain, my dear Lord,

                           "Yours sincerely,


"_To the Earl of Camden, K. G.
&c. &c. &c._"

No. XII.

_Letter from the Speaker of the House of Assembly of Dominica to General
Prevost, p. 10._

                                    "_Dominica, 17th May, 1805_.


"I have the honor of transmitting to your Excellency, by desire of the
House of Assembly, a copy of their Resolutions of the 2d instant,
expressive of their thanks of your late gallant defence of the colony
against a French force so very superior, and appropriating the sum of 1,000
guineas for the purchase of a Sword, and a service of Plate to be presented
to you in testimony of their gratitude and approbation.

It affords me a peculiar gratification to be the organ of the House on the
present occasion, because I am thus furnished with an opportunity of
expressing the high esteem I entertain for your Excellency's character, not
only as a brave, judicious, and experienced officer, in which capacity your
merit has long stood conspicuous, but as a man of strict probity, and as a
Governor whose public measures have uniformly been directed by views of
general utility. When I say that it is with the deepest regret I
contemplate the departure of your Excellency from this colony, I speak the
language of every respectable member of the community--but you go to reap
in the approbation of your Sovereign, and the applauses of your country,
the well-earned reward of your unremitting vigilance and indefatigable
exertions, and I am persuaded that you carry with you from hence the
earnest wishes of all good men for the happiness and prosperity of yourself
and your family.

                               "I have the honor to be,

                                   "With the highest respect, &c. &c.

                                     (Signed)      "J. LUCAS,


       *       *       *       *       *

_The Governor's Reply._

                               "_Prince Ruperts, 3d June._


"You have conveyed to me, in terms most flattering, the thanks of the House
of Assembly for my endeavours to save this colony from the misery of a
foreign and oppressive yoke. As the organ of that body you have expressed
its partial sentiments with a friendly zeal, that has made on my mind an
impression not to be effaced.

Allow me, Sir, through you, to offer to the House of Assembly my unfeigned
thanks for the token I have received of its partial consideration of my
services. That unanimity which has been our strength, uninterrupted, may
render Dominica, even in the present perilous moment,[104] almost
invulnerable. Whilst danger exists, I will never abandon my post; nor shall
I ever cease to entertain a grateful recollection of the sentiments the
occasion has called forth.

So much of the resolutions of the House as we not personal to myself, I
have caused to be given out in General Orders, to the Regular and Militia

                               "I have the honor to be, &c.

                               (Signed)      "G. PREVOST."


     _His Honor the President and Council, and the Speaker
     and Gentlemen of the Assembly, to His Excellency the
     Governor in Chief, p. 10._

The Board and House having come to the following Resolution of voting the
sum of 1,000_l._ sterling, for the purpose of purchasing a Sword and
Service of Plate to be presented to his Excellency Governor Prevost, in the
name of the Colony, as a token of its gratitude for the gallant defence
thereof by his Excellency on the memorable 22d February last,

Also a sum not exceeding 300_l._ sterling, for defraying the expense of a
Monument to the memory of the late Major Nunn who gallantly fell on the
same memorable occasion,

Also the sum of 100 guineas for the purchase of a Sword to be presented to
Major O'Connell, And 300_l._ sterling to be presented to Captain James,
commanding the 46th regiment, to be laid out in the purchase of a Service
of Plate for the use of the officers' Mess of that regiment--request your
Excellency's' assent thereto, and that you will issue your warrants to the
Treasurer accordingly.

                               T. METCALF, President.
                               J. LUCAS, Speaker.

_Council Chamber, 12th May, 1805.
House of Assembly, 15th May, 1805._

No. XIV.

_Resolutions of the Patriotic Club, and Letter of the Chairman to General
Prevost, p. 10._

                               _Patriotic Fund, Lloyd's, May 14, 1805._

At a Special General Meeting of the Committee held this day,

JOSEPH MARRYAT, Esq. in the Chair, Read, from the London Gazette of the
7th of May, a letter from Lieut.-General Sir William Myers, Bart.
commanding His Majesty's troops in the Windward and Leeward Islands, to
Earl Camden, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, inclosing
a letter from Brigadier-General Prevost, Governor of Dominica, relating to
the vigorous and gallant resistance made by the troops and militia under
his command, against the very superior force with which the French landed
at Roseau, on the 22d of February last; his retreat to the fort at Prince
Ruperts; and the resolution he expressed, in answer to the summons of
General Lagrange, of defending it to the last extremity; in consequence of
which the enemy abandoned the enterprise, and evacuated the Island.


That a Sword of the value of 100_l._, and a Piece of Plate, of the value of
200_l._, with appropriate inscriptions, be presented to Brigadier-General
Prevost, for the distinguished gallantry and military talents he displayed
on that occasion, by which the sovereignty of the Island was preserved to
His Majesty's arms.

That a Sword of Fifty Pounds value, and a Piece of Plate, of the value of
100_l._, with appropriate inscriptions, or that sum in money, at his
option, be presented to Major Nunn, wounded while faithfully executing the
orders of General Prevost, "Not to yield to the enemy one inch of ground."

That a Sword of 50_l._ value, and a Piece of Plate, of the value of
100_l._, with appropriate inscriptions, or that sum in money, at his
option, be presented to Captain O'Connell, whose wound did not induce him
to forego the honour of the command to which he succeeded on Major Nunn
being disabled; and in which he resisted the repeated charges of the enemy,
notwithstanding their great superiority in numbers, till he obliged them to
retire with great slaughter.

That the sum of 100_l._ be presented to Captain Colin Campbell, wounded.

That the sum of 40_l._ each be given to the men whose wounds have been
attended with disability or loss of limb.

That the sum of 20_l._ each be given to the other men severely wounded.

And the sum of 10_l._ each, to the men slightly wounded, including the
Militia of the Island.

That Brigadier-General Prevost be requested to advise the Committee of the
mode in which the Resolutions respecting himself, Major Nunn, and Captain
O'Connell, can be most acceptably carried into effect--to distribute the
sums voted to the men wounded, and draw for the amount--furnishing the
Committee with the names of the parties, and the sums respectively paid
them--and to forward to the Committee the best information he can procure
respecting the families of the men killed, including the Militia of the
Island, that relief may be afforded to such widows, orphans, and aged
parents, as depended upon them for support.

                               JOSEPH MARRYAT, Chairman.

       *       *       *       *       *


                               _London, May 15, 1805._


"I have the honor to inclose you the resolutions of the Committee of the
Patriotic Fund, on their taking into consideration the official account of
the gallant and successful defence, made by you, and the brave men under
your command, against the very superior force with which the enemy invested
Dominica, on the 22d February last. That the sovereignty of the Island was
preserved to the British Crown, must be in a great degree ascribed, under
Divine Providence, to the talents with which you conducted the military
operations; to the confidence which those who served under you had in those
talents; and the animation with which they were inspired by your example.

"The primary object of this Fund being the relief of the wounded, and the
families of those killed in the service of their country, the Committee, on
every occasion, restrict their votes of honorary marks of distinction for
gallant conduct, to the commanding officers. This, they trust, will
satisfactorily explain to those brave officers, to whose merit you bear
such honorable testimony, the reason of their not being noticed in these

"The Committee, cannot but remark the very distinguished manner in which
the inhabitants of Dominica have displayed those gallant exertions against
the enemy, to which they so readily came forward to animate others, by
contributing to this fund. The Committee trust, that in attending to the
other objects of the inclosed resolutions, you will be particularly careful
to recommend to their consideration, the distressed relatives which any of
the Militia of the Colony may have left unprovided for. Your bills, at
three days sight, on Sir Francis Baring, Bart., Chairman of the Patriotic
Fund, at Lloyds, for the amount of the sums voted to the wounded men, will
be immediately honored. As those who are disabled, will be invalided and
sent home, the Committee submit it to your discretion, whether the
gratuities to them had not better be paid them on their arrival here, under
your certificate of their claims.

"You will be pleased to accompany your draft, with a letter, giving the
names of the parties wounded, and the sums respectively paid to each; which
the Committee leave to your judgment, according to the nature and extent of
the injuries they have received, instead of waiting for further information
to act upon themselves.

                               "I have the honor to be, Sir,

                                   "Your most obedient humble servant,

                                     "JOSEPH MARRYAT,

"_Brigadier-General Prevost._"

No. XV.

     _At a General Meeting of West India Planters and
     Merchants, held at the London Tavern, Bishopsgate
     Street, May 22, 1805, p. 10._

Resolved unanimously,

That the thanks of this Meeting be given to his Excellency
Brigadier-General Prevost, Governor of the Island of Dominica, for the
distinguished gallantry and high military talents he displayed on the 22d
of February, 1805, in the defence and effectual protection of that Colony
against a numerous, powerful, and unexpected force from France.

And that this resolution be communicated to General Prevost, in a letter
from the Right Honorable Lord Penrhyn, the Chairman of this Meeting.

       *       *       *       *       *

Resolved unanimously,

That this Meeting, impressed with the highest sense of the important
service rendered to all the West India Colonies, by the able resistance
made by General Prevost to the landing of the enemy on the 22d of February,
1805, do request that he will accept from the general body of West India
Planters and Merchants, a Piece of Plate, of the value of 300 guineas, with
an inscription expressive of the sense of this resolution.

       *       *       *       *       *

Resolved unanimously,

That the thanks of this Meeting be given to the Field-Officers, Captains,
and other Commissioned Officers of the Royal Artillery, the 46th regiment,
the 1st West India regiment, and also to the officers of the Colonial
Militia, for the gallant conduct they respectively exemplified, and the
zealous co-operation they afforded on the same occasion, and that his
Excellency the Governor be requested to communicate the same.

       *       *       *       *       *

Resolved unanimously,

That his Excellency General Prevost be requested, in a letter from the
Chairman, to signify to the Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates of his
Majesty's Regular and Militia forces at Dominica, the high sense this
Meeting entertains of their services in resisting the French force on the
22d of February, 1805.

No. XVI.

_Extract from the Dominica Journal, of Saturday, July 6th, 1805, p. 10._

                               _Roseau, July 6th, 1805._

Yesterday afternoon, embarked from Roseau, in the Garrison-boat, (under a
salute from Fort Young and Scot's Head) for Prince Ruperts, to join his
amiable family, who left town the day preceding, his Excellency
Major-General George Prevost, our worthy and highly respected Governor, a
gentleman who retires from his government with the pleasing gratification
of the consciousness of having faithfully discharged his duty to his
Sovereign, at the same time that he has, as conscientiously, studied the
interests of the people, over whom he has for nearly three years most
uprightly and honorably presided.

We presume not to arrogate to ourselves talents capable of becoming the
panegyrists of a Prevost--we shall confine ourselves to observing that his
remembrance will be ever held dear in the breast of every worthy inhabitant
of this Colony; and by declaring that it is our sincere prayer that his
merit may meet its due reward from our most Gracious Sovereign, and that
himself and family may pass their future days in the enjoyment of every
earthly felicity.


_Dispatches from Sir George Beckwith, and Letter from Lord Castlereagh, p.

_Downing-street, March 27._

     The following despatches have this day been received
     from Lieut.-General Beckwith, Commander of His
     Majesty's Forces in the Leeward Islands, addressed to
     Lord Viscount Castlereagh.

                               "_Martinique, Feb. 1._

"My Lord,

"In my last, No. 42, I had the honour to report to your Lordship the
sailing of the army from Carlisle Bay upon the 28th ult. I have now the
satisfaction to acquaint your Lordship that we landed in two divisions upon
the 30th; the first division, under the orders of Lieutenant-General Sir G.
Prevost, consisting of between 6 and 7,000 men, at Bay Robert, on the
windward coast, in the course of the afternoon, without opposition; and,
notwithstanding the difficulties of the country, we occupied a position on
the banks of the Grand Lezard River before day-break of the 31st, with a
corps of nearly 4,000 men, after a night march of seven miles through a
difficult country. These services were greatly facilitated by the judicious
and manly conduct of Captain Beaver, of His Majesty's ship Acasta, who led
into the Bay in a bold and officer-like manner, preceded by His Majesty's
brig Forester, Captain Richards. The exertions and success of this measure
were completely effective, two transports only striking in the narrow
passage at the entrance of the Bay. Hitherto we have experienced no
resistance from the militia of the country; and they manifest a disposition
every where to return to their homes, in conformity to a joint proclamation
by the Admiral and myself, which is obtaining a very extensive circulation.
The second division of the army, consisting of upwards of 3,000 men, under
the command of Major-General Maitland, landed near St. Luce and Point
Solomon on the morning of the 30th; but, as our communication with that
corps is not yet established, I cannot enter into any details.
Lieutenant-General Sir G. Prevost, with the advance in my front, will take
possession of the heights of Bruno in the course of this day; and I am led
to expect will there, for the first time, feel the pulse of the regular
troops of the enemy. The port of Trinite, which lies beyond the line of our
operations, will, by order of Captain Beaver, of the navy, be taken
possession of this day, by a detachment of seamen and marines from the
squadron to windward, under the command of Captain Dick, of the Penelope.
The Admiral, with the body of the fleet and store-ships, is in the vicinity
of Pigeon Island, at the entrance of Fort Royal Bay. Our operations to
windward have been vigorous and effectual in point of time; and the
privations of the troops have been considerable, and borne in a manner
worthy of the character of British soldiers. From what has passed, I am of
opinion the inhabitants of the country manifest a friendly disposition; and
after the heights of Surirey shall be carried, which I expect will be
strongly contested, the campaign will be reduced to the operations of a
siege, and the defence of the fortress.--The services rendered by the
captains and officers of the navy to windward have been great and
essential, and the exertions of Captain Withers of the navy, principal
agent for transports, peculiarly meritorious.

                                 "GEO. BECKWITH,
                                 Com. Forces."

       *       *       *       *       *

                           "_Martinique, Heights of Surirey, Feb. 3._

"My Lord,

"In my letter of the 1st inst. I had the honour to report, for His
Majesty's information, the progress then made in our operations against the
enemy. My expectation that Lieutenant-General Sir G. Prevost would meet
them upon Morne Bruno, and that the heights of Surirey would be warmly
contested, was realized in the course of the same day; and both were
carried under the direction of the Lieutenant-General, with that decision
and judgment which belong to this respectable officer, and much to the
honour of Brigadier-General Hoghton, the officers and men of the Fusileer
brigade and light battalion, engaged on that service. On the 2nd, it
appeared to me to be desirable to extend to the right of our position;
which was effected in a spirited manner by the King's infantry. An exertion
was then made to carry the advanced redoubt; but, having soon reason to
believe that it would have been acquired with a loss beyond the value of
the acquisition, the troops were withdrawn; and the enemy abandoned it
during the night, with another redoubt contiguous to it, with evident marks
of disorder: both will be occupied and included in our position this night.
Pigeon Island surrendered at discretion yesterday, which enables the
shipping to enter Fort Royal Bay; all the batteries on the Case Naviere
side have been destroyed and abandoned, a frigate and some other
merchant-vessels burned, the lower fort abandoned, and all their troops
withdrawn from Fort Royal to the principal fortress. I consider the
investiture to be nearly completed, and we must now look for the operations
of a siege. Time does not admit of details; but your Lordship will perceive
that these operations have been effected in eight days from our quitting
Barbadoes, notwithstanding heavy rains and most unfavourable weather, in
which the troops have borne every species of privation in a manner worthy
their character as British soldiers.

                               "GEO. BECKWITH,
                               Com. Forces."

       *       *       *       *       *

                                   "_Camp, Heights of Surirey,
                                     Martinique, Feb. 10._

"My Lord,

"Having, in my communications of the 1st and 5th instant, submitted to your
Lordship's consideration general reports of the operations of the army I
have the honour to command, I now beg leave to inclose the special reports
of the General Officers commanding divisions, and of Brigadier-General
Hoghton, whose brigade was in action upon the 1st; with separate returns of
our loss upon the 1st and 2nd, which, I am inclined to believe, will
terminate our operations in the field.--The lower fort, formerly Fort
Edward, was taken possession of before day-break in the morning of the 8th,
by Major Henderson, commanding the Royal York Rangers, with that regiment,
without resistance, and we now occupy that work. St. Pierre surrendered to
Lieutenant-Colonel Barnes, of the 46th, the day before yesterday; and I
have not yet received the details. In the course of all these services,
where the co-operation of the navy was practicable, the greatest exertions
have been made by the Rear-admiral; and the important advantages rendered
on shore by that excellent officer, Commodore Cockburn, in the reduction of
Pigeon Island, and the landing cannon, mortars, and ammunition at Point
Negroe, and conveying them to the several batteries on that side, have been
of the highest importance to the King's service.

                               "GEO. BECKWITH,
                                   Com. Forces."

       *       *       *       *       *

                           "_Martinique, Heights of Surirey, Feb. 2._


"In conformity with your orders, I disembarked on the 30th ult. with the
Fuzileer brigade of the 1st division of the army, at Malgre Tout, in the
Bay Robert, at four o'clock, p. m. and proceeded from thence to De
Manceau's estate, where I arrived late, in consequence of the difficulties
of the country, and the unfavourable state of the roads for the movement of
cannon. Before the dawn of the next day, I reached Papin's, and proceeded
from thence with the advance, composed of the Royal Fusileer regiment, and
the grenadier company of the 1st West India regiment. The enemy retiring
before me, I reached the heights of De Bork's estate towards evening, where
I was joined at day-light on the 1st inst. by Brigadier-General Hoghton,
with the 23rd regiment and the light infantry battalion, under the command
of Major Campbell, of the Royal West India Rangers. I lost no time after
this junction, and pushed forwards the Hon. Lieutenant-Colonel Pakenham,
with the Royal Fusileers, to possess himself of Morne Bruno; this movement
I supported by the light infantry battalion, under Brigadier-General
Hoghton, who was ordered, after uniting the two corps, to proceed to force
the heights of Desfourneaux, whilst I held the Royal Welsh Fusileers in
reserve, to strengthen such points of attack as might require it. On my
coming on the heights of Surirey, I had innumerable proofs of the valour
and judgment of the Hon. Lieutenant-Colonel Pakenham, of the excellence of
the Fusileer brigade, and of the spirited and judicious exertions of
Lieutenant-Colonel Ellis, and Majors Pearson and Ostley, of the 23rd or
Royal Welsh Fusileers; also of the bravery of Major Campbell and the light
infantry battalion; all of which have enabled me to retain this valuable
position without artillery, within 300 yards of the enemy's intrenched
camp, covered with guns. The officers belonging to my staff distinguished
themselves by their zeal and activity during the heat of the action. I have
to lament the loss of Captain Taylor, Acting Deputy-Quarter-Master-General,
who was severely wounded whilst rendering effectual services to his
country.--I cannot omit acknowledging, that to Lieutenant Hobbs, of the
Royal Engineers, I am indebted for the rapidity of our movements, and
ultimate success, from his acquaintance with this country, which enabled
him to guide and direct our movements.

                               "GEO. PREVOST,

       *       *       *       *       *


                           "_Downing-street, May 25th, 1809._

"Dear Sir,

"I beg to congratulate you on the successful termination of the operations
in Martinique, in which you bore so distinguished a part. I hope that this
will find you safely returned to Nova Scotia, without having suffered in
your health from your West India campaign.

                               "I remain, dear Sir,

                           "Your faithful and obedient servant,


"_Lieut.-Gen. Sir G. Prevost,
&c. &c. &c._"


     _Addresses presented to Sir George Prevost, on his
     Arrival at the Islands of Dominica and St. Christopher,
     p. 11._

_To His Excellency Lieut.-Gen. Sir George Prevost, Bart. &c. &c. &c._

"May it please your Excellency,

"We, His Majesty's loyal subjects, the Members of the House of Assembly of
the Island of Dominica, avail ourselves of the occasion of your
Excellency's visit to your late government, to repeat to you the assurances
of the high esteem which we have ever entertained for the character of your
Excellency, and to express our most grateful sense of the unabated zeal
which your Excellency has evinced, on every occasion, to promote the
welfare and prosperity of this colony, as well as to add glory to the arms
of your country.

"With every anniversary of the 22nd February, will the services rendered by
your Excellency recur to our memory, not only from the gallantry displayed
by your Excellency upon that occasion, when opposed to so superior a force,
but for your subsequent exertions in favour of the unfortunate sufferers by
the fire, to which may be chiefly attributed the relief afforded them by
the mother country.

"We beg leave to congratulate your Excellency upon the brilliant result of
the operations against the enemy's most important colonial possession, and
by which, an opportunity has been afforded you, of acquiring fresh laurels,
in addition to those which already grace your Excellency.

"We most heartily and sincerely wish your Excellency a prosperous and
pleasant passage to your government, and we anticipate that reward which
awaits you (ever most pleasing to a soldier)--the approbation of your

                                 "JNO. HY. HOBSON,

"_House of Assembly,
15th March, 1809._"

       *       *       *       *       *

_Reply of Sir George Prevost._

"Mr. Speaker, and

"Gentlemen of the House of Assembly,

"I feel flattered by your expressions of personal consideration, and highly
gratified that my exertions in favour of the sufferers on the memorable 22d
of February, 1805, were attended by some success.

"I thank you for your congratulations on the favourable termination of a
short, but brilliant campaign.

                               "GEORGE PREVOST."

"_Government-House, 15th
March, 1809._"

       *       *       *       *       *

_To His Excellency Lieut.-Gen. Sir George Prevost, Bart. &c. &c. &c._

"May it please your Excellency,

"We the merchants and inhabitants of this His Majesty's Island of Saint
Christopher, beg leave to approach your Excellency with the warmest
congratulations on your arrival in this colony; and to assure your
Excellency that could any circumstance enhance the satisfaction we receive
upon this occasion, it must proceed from the happy contemplation of the
recent success which has crowned the exertions to which you have so
pre-eminently contributed in the reduction of the Island of Martinique to
His Majesty's arms: a conquest which has at once given additional splendour
to the British name, and added another signal example of your merit,
perseverance, and intrepidity.

"Although pre-eminent as your Excellency is viewed, by every class of your
heroic brothers in arms, we cannot, however, but assure your Excellency,
that the high and general estimation which every inhabitant of the sister
colony (hitherto entrusted to your command), feels toward you, (and which
colony you so gallantly defended against a superior force), contributes
most powerfully to endear you to every individual of this island, in the
united character of a brave soldier and a good citizen.

"We trust your Excellency's stay amongst us will be protracted for a time
equal to the wishes of this community, who anxiously express the most
ardent desire of offering to your Excellency every testimony of the high
consideration they entertain of you, and the brave soldiers under your

"A great and good King, who can appreciate merit and bestow reward, will
add stability to our expressions, and pronounce to the world, by his
commendations, that we have not presumed to announce your merits, but from
the truest heralds of your fame--men who have shared your dangers and
received your smiles--the British soldiery."

                               "_Basseterre, March 21st, 1809._"

       *       *       *       *       *

_Reply of Sir George Prevost._

_To the Merchants and Inhabitants of the Island of St. Christopher._


"Highly flattered as I feel by the address of the merchants and inhabitants
of His Majesty's Island of St. Christopher; the gratification I derive from
this testimony of their consideration, increases my very sincere regret
that the interest of the public service deprives me of the opportunity of
indulging my private feelings in making a longer stay than my duty will in
the present instance permit;--I shall ever most eagerly and joyfully avail
myself of every occasion of testifying to this island, my sincerest and
best wishes for its welfare and prosperity.

                               (Signed)      "GEORGE PREVOST."

                               "_Basseterre, March 21st, 1809._"

No. XIX.

_Address from the Inhabitants of Halifax, p. 12._

_To His Excellency Sir George Prevost, Bart. &c. &c. &c._


"Your Excellency intending shortly to leave this Province, the inhabitants
of Halifax cannot omit expressing to you their unfeigned regret on the
occasion, and, at the same time, testifying their gratitude for the many
real benefits which the province has derived from your short administration
of the government.

"We have often been induced to come forward to manifest our esteem for many
valuable and respectable characters, who have filled high stations in this
country, for it has been our good fortune to have had many men of tried
worth at the head of the civil, naval, and military departments here; but
believe us, Sir, we use not the language of flattery, when we say, that we
have never felt more sincere regret, than for your departure from us.

"Equity has been the ruling principle of your administration, and the most
unremitting attention to public business its invariable practice: your
indefatigable zeal carried you into the most remote parts of the province,
and you became early acquainted with our situation and our wants. The
confidence with which you inspired the legislative body, induced them to
provide ample supplies for the different branches of the public service.
The wisdom with which they have been appropriated, equals the liberality
with which they were granted, and must produce extensive and permanent
benefits to the country at large.

"Your ears have been open to the petitioners of every class, and your ready
attention to their wants and their claims, has left no cause for complaint.
With the sentiments of affectionate and respectful regard which you have
excited in our breasts--while we deplore our loss, we cannot but derive
consolation from the justly merited honours that cause your removal.

"We consider your appointment to the supreme command of British North
America, as an earnest of the blessing which His Majesty's subjects, on the
western side of the Atlantic, are to enjoy under the government of the
august personage, the anniversary of whose birth we this day assemble to
commemorate. At this critical period, when the prejudices and misguided
councils of a neighbouring nation render it not improbable that we may be
called upon to defend the invaluable privileges of Englishmen, it must be a
source of satisfaction to every loyal subject, that His Royal Highness, in
the name of our venerable sovereign, has entrusted the defence of these
colonies to an officer, who has so frequently proved himself worthy of
commanding British colonies. May he ever, Sir, be thus influenced in his
nominations to offices of great trust and high responsibility, by the merit
of those on whom they are to be conferred. We thank you for your
condescension in permitting your portrait to be taken and left with us. It
will be a perpetual memorial of a personage, whose public conduct and
private virtues have been so beneficial and endearing to His Majesty's
subjects in this province.

"You go, Sir, to a more exalted station; but you cannot go where you will
be more beloved or respected. In taking our leave of you, permit us to
assure you of our warmest wishes, that every blessing may be yours, and
every happiness attend your amiable and exemplary lady, and each individual
of your excellent family.

                               "_Halifax, 12th August, 1811._"

No. XX.

     _Addresses from the Clergy of Nova Scotia, &c. &c. to
     Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost, Bart. &c. &c.
     &c. p. 12._


"Although the clergy of the established church of Nova Scotia most
cordially join in the general tribute of respect, which is now offered to
your Excellency; and very largely share in the sincere regret, so
universally excited by your intended departure from this province; the
important benefits which you have rendered to the sacred objects of our
profession, by your Excellency's exertions in their behalf, impel us to a
more particular expression of our gratitude, and our grief.

"Your Excellency has a claim upon the best acknowledgments we can offer,
for every mark of respect to our office, and every condescending attention
to ourselves, that we could receive at your hands; accompanied by
continual endeavours to promote the cause of literature and religion in
this colony.

"Through your Excellency's attentive kindness, and your representations to
the throne, the most benevolent assistance has been extended to our
churches, and in every part of the province they are now receiving
improvement and enlargement. While our dutiful and affectionate gratitude
is directed towards the royal source of these great benefits, we cannot be
wanting in warm and grateful respect, for the channel through which they
have been obtained.

"Nor are we under less obligation, for the uniform and exemplary attention
of your Excellency, and your family, to the public and private duties of
religion. You will permit us, Sir, though duly sensible of your other
numerous and distinguished merits, to consider this among the brightest
ornaments of your character. It supplies us with most gratifying evidence,
to an important truth, that the ablest and best servants to their King and
country, must be sought among those who are most faithful to their God.

"Feeling as we do the extensive and peculiar benefits of your Excellency's
residence among us, it is impossible that we should not have the deepest
regret for your departure. But it will be our duty to seek for alleviation
for our sorrow, in grateful recollection of the benefits we have already
received, and in humble hope that the influence of your example will
remain, when we can no longer enjoy the advantages of your presence. We
have unfeigned satisfaction also, in the increased honours, and more
extensive command, to which you are called, by the discerning favour of
your Prince; and we shall have much comfort in reflecting, that although
your Excellency will be advanced from the particular charge of this
province, we shall still have the happiness of being under your general

"Permit us to assure you, Sir, that our sincerely affectionate respect and
esteem will ever follow you; and that our fervent prayers are now offered,
and will be long continued, for every blessing to yourself and family; for
every honour you can now enjoy; and for unfading glory when all the honours
of the world shall have passed away."

                               "_Halifax, Aug. 15th, 1811._"

       *       *       *       *       *

_His Excellency's Reply._

"I received with sentiments of peculiar satisfaction, the address of the
Right Reverend the Bishop and the clergy of Nova Scotia.

"My fervency in that important cause they especially promote, renders their
favourable consideration of my government, an act at once gratifying for
the past, and encouraging for the future, under whatever situation my
sovereign's commands may place me. I am well aware, that if our revered and
pious King could investigate the course of my administration in this
province, there is no part of it which would ensure me his royal favour,
equal to the testimony with which I am honoured in this address.

                               "GEORGE PREVOST."

"_Government House,
15th August._"

       *       *       *       *       *

                               _Halifax, August 19._

The following addresses were presented to his Excellency Sir George
Prevost, Bart. last week.

_The Address of the Council to his Excellency Sir George Prevost, Bart.
Lieut.-Governor of Nova-Scotia, &c. &c. &c._


"His Majesty's Council cannot take leave of your Excellency at this Board,
without an expression of those sentiments which they cordially feel upon
the painful eve of your departure.

"The general regret of the province upon this occasion, pervading every
class, and flowing from the purest of sources, must afford you, Sir, the
most satisfactory evidence, that you have lived here in the hearts of His
Majesty's subjects;--and that you have well merited the affection they
manifest: to us who have had the honour of a closer communication with your
Excellency, and have, thus, become intimately acquainted with your talents
and your virtues, you have been more perfectly known;--by us, you will of
course be doubly regretted.

"We early discovered your vigilance, and energetic zeal for the good of the
province,--your acute discernment of its best interests,--your perseverance
in the pursuit of every object that could lead to its welfare,--and your
unwearied attention to its minutest concerns;--we soon discovered that
excellent understanding, which has so well fitted you to govern, and that
integrity and independence, which have rendered your government so beloved,
and so respectable.

"It is, however, to these talents and virtues, that we are to impute our
present loss;--the discerning mind of our excellent Prince has called you
to a higher appointment, and our fellow subjects of a sister colony will
have the satisfaction of receiving that boon, with which we are now
parting;--we have a consolation, however, in reflecting, that we are still
to remain within the influence of your valued abilities, and that we may
feel the effects of their spirited exertions, in a contiguous, and more
extensive quarter of the British empire;--wherever your duties, civil or
military, may call you, to the cabinet as a statesman, or to the field as a
soldier, we are confident you will deserve well of your country, and
justify, to the fullest extent, the very high opinion upon which your
preferment has been founded.

"As your council,--with whom you have ever advised, upon terms of the most
unreserved candour and harmony,--as your friends,--with whom you have ever
associated, upon terms of the most affectionate condescension; we, Sir,
with feelings of the purest regret,--and with the sincerest wishes for the
welfare of yourself and your family,--earnestly bid you farewell."

       *       *       *       *       *



"The expressions of general esteem and approbation, with which I have been
honoured, concurring with the sentiments of His Majesty's Council, is a
circumstance peculiarly gratifying to me. You, gentlemen, are intimately
acquainted with the principles upon which my conduct has been founded,
others can only judge from the effects produced by the measures pursued
during my administration.

"If my endeavours in the public service have been successful, I may ascribe
much of that success to the able assistance I have received from you.

"Your advice, ever springing from a perfect knowledge of the true interests
of the province, a due regard to the just rights of the people, and a
zealous attachment to His Majesty's person and government, has enabled me
to accomplish objects of much promise to the future prosperity of this

"Having expressed the obligations I feel on public ground, I am not the
less sensible of those of a personal nature.

"I shall ever reflect with satisfaction on the happy state of our
intercourse during the period of my administration.--It is, therefore, with
feelings of the sincerest regard, I repeat your farewell.

                               "GEORGE PREVOST."

"_Government House,
16th Aug. 1811._"

       *       *       *       *       *

     _To his Excellency Sir George Prevost, Bart.
     Lieut.-Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and over His
     Majesty's Province of Nova Scotia, &c. &c. &c._

"We the undersigned representatives for the county and townships within the
county of Hants, as well for ourselves as our constituents: the clergy and
magistrates in the same county, beg leave to address your Excellency upon
your departure from this government.

"We have recently heard with mingled joy and concern, that His Majesty has
raised you to the distinguished, but well-merited favour of being appointed
Governor-General of the British Provinces in North America, and that your
Excellency will immediately proceed to your government. Upon this occasion
we cannot forbear expressing our grateful sense of your wise and mild

"The ardour manifested by your Excellency, in promoting the true interests
of this province, has made a deep impression upon the minds of the people
of this happy and highly-favoured colony.

"Under your government, Sir, though a short one, the agriculture, commerce,
and fisheries of the province have rapidly increased; religion has been
cherished, schools established, extensive roads of communication with the
capital opened and improved, the militia organized and disciplined, and
under the most salutary regulations rendered efficient.

"The inhabitants of the county of Hants, deeply impressed with a sense of
the benefits they have received, will ever retain a grateful recollection
of them, and while they lament the departure of your Excellency from this
government, are made happy by the consideration that your Excellency has
experienced an additional mark of the Royal favour.

"We earnestly pray that your Excellency, Lady Prevost and family, may have
a pleasant voyage, and arrive in safety at the seat of your government, and
be attended throughout life with the choicest blessings of Providence.

                           [Signed by the Representatives, Magistrates,
                           Clergy, and other principal Inhabitants.]

"_Windsor, 13th August, 1811._"

       *       *       *       *       *



"With feelings of satisfaction and gratitude, I return you my best thanks
for the warm assurance of your regard, so kindly manifested in your address
upon my departure.

"Your high approbation of my measures I shall ever retain as an additional
pledge of the general esteem of this province, which it has been my
ambition to acquire; and, believe me, that among those of His Majesty's
subjects, who have favoured me with their good opinion and good wishes, I
feel much pleasure in receiving the affectionate address of the flourishing
county of Hants.

                               "GEORGE PREVOST.

"_Government House,
16th Aug. 1811._"

       *       *       *       *       *

     _To His Excellency Lieut.-General Sir George Prevost,
     Bart. Lieut.-Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and
     over His Majesty's Province of Nova Scotia, and its
     Dependencies, &c. &c. &c._

"May it please your Excellency,

"The magistrates and militia officers of King's County, humbly intreat,
that they may be allowed to offer their assurance of high respect and
unfeigned esteem to your Excellency, on your departure from Nova Scotia.
Your Excellency's unwearied attention to the welfare and best interest of
this province, have engaged admiration, and given you a strong claim to our
gratitude; while the wisdom, mildness, and firmness of your administration
have commanded general confidence; and such are your military talents,
that, though storms have been hovering around us, and threatened to burst
over our heads, with dependence on Divine protection, we have felt secure,
while our armed force was under your direction.

"The virtues of your character have endeared you to the inhabitants of
Nova Scotia, and we cannot but feel regret at your departure: but a higher
and more important station requires your talents and abilities; and we beg
leave to congratulate you on the flattering testimony you have received of
royal favour and approbation.

"Permit us to say, that we shall ever feel a lively interest in every thing
that regards your Excellency, and that the name of Sir George Prevost will
ever be dear and honoured among us.

"To Lady Prevost we beg leave to tender our best respects, and sincere
wishes, for her future happiness.

"May a pleasant passage await you, and may you continue to receive, from
our gracious Sovereign, those rewards which your services so justly entitle
you to.

                           [Signed by the Magistrates, Clergy,
                           Militia Officers, and other principal

"_August 15th, 1811._"

       *       *       *       *       *



"Feeling a sincere regard for every class of people within this happy
colony, I need not say that your kind address cannot but add to my

"I have made it my study to become acquainted with every part of the
Province, with its views, its resources, and its advantages; but of your
county I have had the satisfaction to obtain a more particular knowledge.

"The high state of its cultivation, and the agricultural benefits attending
it, should make you proud of the land on which you live.

"Permit me, in return for your cordial address, to express my sincere
wishes that your prosperity may continue, and that you may long live a free
and happy people, under the best of governments.

                               "GEORGE PREVOST."

"_Government House,
16th Aug. 1811._"

No. XXI.[105]

_Address from the House of Assembly of Upper Canada to Sir George Prevost,
March 1813, p. 75._

"May it please your Excellency,

"We, his Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of Upper
Canada in Provincial Parliament assembled, beg leave to congratulate your
Excellency on your arrival in this Province, and to express the unfeigned
satisfaction it affords us in as much as it is an additional proof of the
high interest your Excellency takes in the general welfare of this colony.

"We should be wanting to the sovereign, under whose paternal care we have
so long lived, to our country and to ourselves, were we to neglect to offer
to your Excellency at this time, the sentiments of gratitude with which we
feel inspired for the marks of your attention manifested in providing
clothing for a considerable portion of the loyal and brave militia of this
Province, as well as for the active and vigorous exertions which have been
made, and are now making for strengthening our marine force upon the Lakes,
which will enable us to secure and preserve that superiority upon that
favourite element to which Great Britain is indebted for her prosperity and
glory; and on which our safety so materially depends.

"Emerging from a state of infancy, the inhabitants of this province have
been enabled, by the aid afforded them by your Excellency in his Majesty's
regular forces, to defeat the designs of the enemy; although his numbers
have been in every instance so superior.

"To suppose your Excellency will not continue to extend every assistance to
us in this emergency, would be the height of incredulity, after the
testimony we have already witnessed of your vigilance and affectionate
solicitude for our preservation. It would be superfluous, therefore, to
suggest how much we stand in need of the fostering hand of our mother
country--to be directed by the wisdom of your Excellency, in order that we
may maintain the laws and constitution so dear to us, and which it is our
sincere hope we may transmit unimpaired to our posterity.

"We hesitate not to say, that the energy your Excellency may exercise
towards the attainment of this great end, will be zealously seconded by the
people of this Province, and that their efforts under the influence of an
omnipotent power, and the devotion of your Excellency's military skill,
will be eventually successful.

                               "ALLAN M'LEAN,

       *       *       *       *       *

_Address from the Inhabitants of York to Sir George Prevost._

"May it please your Excellency,

"We the Magistrates and other inhabitants of the town of York, are happy in
having an opportunity of paying that respect, which we owe to your
Excellency, and of offering our most sincere thanks and acknowledgments for
the attention you have been pleased to shew to this province.

"The pride and pleasure which we feel from the behaviour of our gallant
militia, is greatly heightened when we consider that their conduct is
honoured with your approbation, and that you are pleased to testify your
sense of their services in ordering clothing for a considerable proportion
of their number; an act of benevolence and humanity which will make a deep
and lasting impression on their minds; and stimulate them to preserve that
high character which they have already acquired.

"But we should, indeed, be much wanting to your Excellency, as well as to
ourselves, if we did not on this occasion, with gratitude acknowledge the
obligation which this province lies under to the valour and discipline of
his Majesty's regular forces, whose courage and conduct, on the most trying
emergencies, have done honour to the name and to the character of a British

"We are particularly gratified, and offer our most sincere thanks and
acknowledgments for the vigorous exertions which have been made, and are
still carrying on towards the strengthening our provincial marine, by order
of your Excellency, fully convinced that to maintain a superiority upon the
Lakes is an object of the first importance to this Province.

"Thankful for that success which has hitherto crowned his Majesty's arms
under your command, we earnestly beg for its continuance, entertaining the
pleasing hope, that by our own conduct, and the exertions of our brave
defenders, we, in this Colony, by the blessing of God, may long remain
under the protection of our parent State, a free, brave, and loyal people.

                               "THOMAS SCOTT,

       *       *       *       *       *

_Address from the Inhabitants of Kingston to Sir George Prevost._

"May it please your Excellency,

"We, his Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Magistrates,
Officers of the Militia, and other inhabitants of the town of Kingston, and
other parts of the Midland District, beg leave respectfully to express the
high sense we entertain of your Excellency's watchful care for the safety
of this Province, which has led you at this inclement season to undertake a
toilsome journey of many hundred miles for the purpose of visiting and
inspecting its extensive frontiers. Your presence, Sir, cannot but diffuse
fresh energy in all classes of his Majesty's subjects, and encourage them
to continue their zealous co-operation in the common cause; and we trust
that under the judicious arrangement which has been made by your
Excellency's orders, Divine Providence will continue to crown our exertions
in defence of the Province against his Majesty's enemies with the same
success by which they have been hitherto happily distinguished.

"_Kingston, March 7, 1813._"

       *       *       *       *       *

_Address from the Inhabitants of the Eastern District of Upper Canada to
Sir George Prevost._

     "To his Excellency Sir George Prevost, Knight and
     Baronet, Captain General, &c. &c. &c. The loyal address
     of the Inhabitants of the Eastern District.

"We, his Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, inhabitants of the Eastern
District of Upper Canada, beg leave to present to your Excellency our
unfeigned, and heartfelt congratulations on your safe return from your long
and fatiguing journey to the upper parts of this Province, which your
ardent zeal for the service of your king and country, and paternal
solicitude for the security of this portion of his Majesty's dominions only
could induce you to undertake.

"We thank heaven for having preserved your Excellency's person from all the
dangers to which you have been exposed, not only from the enemy in the long
line of frontiers through which you had to pass, but from the contagious
diseases, which rage through many parts of these Provinces, and other
dangers incidental to a journey of upwards of a thousand miles in a country
like this, still destitute of inns, and proper accommodations for
travellers, and at the most inclement season of the year.

"So illustrious an example of despising danger and sacrificing personal
ease and comfort, exhibited by the representative of our beloved sovereign,
both chears and animates us to bear with resignation our individual
privations in the glorious cause in which we have to struggle. We now
experience the truth which we have so often heard with wonder from others,
that your Excellency's prudence carries with it an irresistible attraction
and confidence among all classes of people, wherever you go. We should
consider it criminal to complain of the hardships to which the present
state of warfare has subjected us, in common with all our fellow-subjects
in this Province; perfectly convinced, as we are, of your Excellency's
earnest wish and readiness to alleviate our sufferings as much as lies in
your power.

"The auspicious event which, in the late brilliant success of His Majesty's
arms at Ogdensburg, so closely followed the arrival of your Excellency in
Upper Canada, flatters us with the hope that this will be but one of the
happy consequences of your visit. We cannot express to your Excellency in
terms sufficiently strong, our satisfaction in thus having an opportunity
of teaching the enemy that their repeated insults, and wanton attacks upon
our shores, are not to be borne with impunity.

"To your Excellency's active and fertile mind we look up with much
confidence for the vigorous and energetic measures, to prosecute a war,
into which the insidious policy of a faithless and inveterate enemy has
involved our country and ourselves, and in which are feared every thing
which can render life desirable at stake.

"We are determined to stand or fall by the parent country, and to defend
the crown and dignity of our revered sovereign, our families and our
properties, with the last drop of our blood. We know that justice is on our
side, and we trust that the God of battles will continue to favour our
cause as he has hitherto done. Indeed we do not allow ourselves to
entertain the smallest doubt of a glorious termination of the contest
under your Excellency's government and Heaven's protection.

"_Glengary, March 8, 1813._"


_Official Report of Col. Baynes, p. 81._

     Extract of a Letter from Lieut.-General Sir George
     Prevost to Earl Bathurst, dated Head-Quarters,
     Kingston, June 1, 1813.

"Although as your Lordship will perceive by the report of Colonel Baynes,
which I have the honour herewith to transmit, the expedition has not been
attended with the complete success which was expected from it, I have great
satisfaction in informing your Lordship that the courage and patience of
the small band of troops employed on this occasion, under circumstances of
peculiar hardship and privation, have been exceeded only by their intrepid
conduct in the field, forcing a passage at the point of the bayonet through
a thickly wooded country, affording constant shelter and strong positions
to the enemy; but not a single spot of cleared ground favourable to the
operations of disciplined soldiers."

       *       *       *       *       *

                               "_Kingston, May 30, 1813._


"I have the honour to report to your Excellency, that in conformity to an
arranged plan of operations with Commodore Sir James Yeo, the fleet of
boats assembled astern of his ship, at 10 o'clock in the night of the 28th
inst., with the troops placed under my command, and led by a gun-boat under
the direction of Captain Mulcaster, Royal Navy, proceeded towards Sackett's
Harbour in the order prescribed to the troops, in case the detachment was
obliged to march in column, viz. the Grenadier Company, 100th, with one
section of the Royal Scots, two Companies of the 8th, or King's, four of
the 104th, two of the Canadian Voltigeurs. Two six-pounders, with their
gunners, and a Company of Glengary Light Infantry, were embarked on board a
light schooner, which was proposed to be towed under the direction of
Officers of the Navy, so as to insure the guns being landed in time to
support the advance of the troops. Although the night was dark with rain,
the boats assembled in the vicinity of Sackett's Harbour, by one o'clock,
in compact and regular order; and in this position it was intended to
remain until the day broke, in the hope of effecting a landing before the
enemy could be prepared to line the woods with troops which surround the
coast; but unfortunately, a strong current drifted the boats considerably,
while the darkness of the night and ignorance of the coast, prevented them
from recovering the proper station until the day dawned, when the whole
pulled for the point of debarkation. It was my intention to have landed in
the cove formed by Horse Island, but on approaching it, we discovered that
the enemy were fully prepared by a very heavy fire of musketry, from the
surrounding woods which were filled with Infantry, supported with a
field-piece. I directed the boats to pull round to the other side of the
Island, where a landing was effected in good order and with little loss,
although executed in the face of a corps formed with a field-piece in the
wood, and under the enfilade of a heavy gun of the enemy's principal
battery. The advance was led by the Grenadiers of the 100th regiment, with
undaunted gallantry which no obstacle could arrest; a narrow causeway, in
many places under water, not more than four feet wide, and about four
hundred paces in length, which connected the Island with the mainland, was
occupied by the enemy in great force with a six-pounder. It was forced and
carried in the most spirited manner, and the gun taken before a second
discharge could be made from it: a tumbril, with a few rounds of
ammunition was found; but, unfortunately, the artillerymen were still
behind, the schooner not having been able to get up in time: and the troops
were exposed to so heavy and galling a fire, from a numerous but almost
invisible foe, as to render it impossible to halt for the artillery to come
up. At this spot two paths led in opposite directions round the hill. I
directed Colonel Young, of the King's regiment, with half of the detachment
to penetrate by the left, and Major Drummond, of the 104th, to force the
path by the right, which proved to be more open and was less occupied by
the enemy. On the left the wood was very thick, and was most obstinately
maintained by the enemy. The gun-boat which had covered our landing,
afforded material aid by firing into the woods; but the American soldier,
secure behind a tree, was only to be dislodged by the bayonet. The spirited
advance of a section produced the flight of hundreds; from this observation
all firing was directed to cease, and the detachment being formed in as
regular order as the nature of the ground would admit, pushed forward
through the wood upon the enemy, who although greatly superior in numbers,
and supported by field-pieces, and a heavy fire from their fort, fled with
precipitation to their block-house and fort, abandoning one of their guns.
The division under Colonel Young was joined in the charge by that under
Major Drummond, which was executed with such spirit and promptness, that
many of the enemy fell in their inclosed barracks, which were set on fire
by our troops. At this point the further energies of the troops became
unavailing. Their block-house and stockaded battery could not be carried by
assault, nor reduced by field-pieces, had we been provided with them--the
fire of the gun-boats proved inefficient to attain that end--light and
adverse winds continued, and our large vessels were still far off. The
enemy turned the heavy ordnance of the battery to the interior defence of
his post. He had set fire to the store-house in the vicinity of the fort.
Seeing no object within our reach to attain that could compensate for the
loss we were momentarily sustaining, from the heavy fire of the enemy's
cannon, I directed the troops to take up the position on the crest of the
hill we had charged from. From this position we were ordered to reimbark,
which was performed at our leisure, and in perfect order, the enemy not
presuming to show a single soldier without the limit of his fortress. Your
Excellency having been a witness of the zeal and ardent courage of every
soldier in the field, it is unnecessary in me to assure your Excellency
that but one sentiment animated every breast--that of discharging to the
utmost of their power their duty to their King and country; but one
sentiment of regret and mortification prevailed, in being obliged to quit a
beaten enemy, whom a small band of British soldiers had driven before them
for three hours, through a country abounding in strong positions of
defence, but not offering a single spot of cleared ground favourable for
the operation of disciplined troops, without having fully accomplished the
duty we were ordered to perform. The two divisions of the detachment were
ably commanded by Colonel Young, of the King's, and Major Drummond of the
104th. The detachment of the King's and Major Evans nobly sustained the
high and established character of that distinguished corps; and Captain
Burke availed himself of the ample field afforded him in leading the
advance to display the intrepidity of British Grenadiers. The detachment of
the 104th, under Major Moodie, Captain M'Pherson's company of Glengary
Light Infantry, and two companies of Canadian Voltigeurs, under Major
Herriot, all of them levies of the British Provinces of North America,
evinced most striking proofs of their loyalty, steadiness, and courage. The
detachment of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment behaved with great gallantry.
Your Excellency will lament the loss of that active and intelligent
officer, Captain Gray, acting Deputy-Quarter-Master-General, who fell close
to the enemy's work while reconnoitring it, in the hope to discover some
opening to favour an assault. Commodore Sir James Yeo conducted the fleet
of boats in the attack, and accompanying the advance of the troops directed
the co-operation of the gun-boats. I feel most grateful for your
Excellency's kind consideration in allowing your Aids-de-Camp, Majors Coore
and Fulton, to accompany me in the field; and to these officers for the
able assistance they afforded me.

                               "I have the honour to be, &c. &c.

                                   (Signed)      "EDWARD BAYNES.

                               "Colonel Glengary Light Infantry

"_To His Excellency Lieut.-General
Sir George Prevost, Bart., &c._"

       *       *       *       *       *

_Return of killed, wounded, and missing, in an attack on Sackett's Harbour,
on the 29th of May._

Total.--1 General Staff, 3 Serjeants, 44 Rank and File killed. 3 Majors, 3
Captains, 5 Lieutenants, 1 Ensign, 7 Serjeants, 2 Drummers, 172 Rank and
File, 2 Gunners wounded. 2 Captains, 1 Ensign, 13 Rank and File wounded and


_Extracts of Letters from Sir George Prevost to Brigadier-General Procter,
p. 92._


                               "_Castle of St. Lewis, Quebec,
                               9th February, 1813_.


"I have received your despatch of the 26th ult. addressed to Major-General
Sheaffe, reporting the glorious result of an attack, you had very
judiciously deemed it expedient to make on the 22d, on a division of
General Harrison's army advancing from the river Raisin, upon Sandwich,
commanded by Brigadier-General Winchester.

"In congratulating you upon so honourable an event, and in expressing my
entire approbation of the zeal and spirit which you have evinced on the
arduous command committed to you, I cannot fail to notice the intrepidity
manifested by Colonel St. George, and the other officers and men, regulars
and militia, serving under your immediate command.

"Your singular judgment and decisive conduct in the affair of French Town,
shall be pourtrayed for the gracious consideration of His Royal Highness
the Prince Regent, and I will not fail in repeating your warm
recommendation of Lieutenant M'Lean, who is acting as your Brigade-Major.

"I earnestly recommend upon all occasions a strict adherence to the control
and restraint of our allies the Indians, that we may be enabled to repel
the charges which have not unfrequently, though always falsely, been
brought against our Government for resorting to the employment of them.

                               "I have the honour to be, &c.

                                   (Signed)      "GEORGE PREVOST."

"_To Brigadier-General Procter, Detroit._"

       *       *       *       *       *

"_Kingston, 14th June, 1813._


"I have had the honour of your different letters, of the 14th of May, by
Lieut.-Colonel Boucherville, containing the report of your successful
resistance to the attack of the enemy, on the 5th of that month, and must
heartily congratulate you upon the skill and bravery so invariably
displayed by yourself and the troops under your command, and which have led
to so fortunate a result; I have also to acknowledge the receipt of your
letter, of the 10th inst. and beg leave to assure you that I have not been
unmindful of your situation and wants. Brigadier-General Vincent has
received directions, and I have reason to think he has already adopted
measures for supplying them as far as lies in his power. And whenever the
Indian goods, which are now on their way from Quebec, shall have reached
this post, they shall be forwarded to you without delay. As you have not
acknowledged the receipt of my instructions, transmitted to you by desire,
by Major-General Sheaffe, to avail yourself of any favourable opportunity
of retaliating upon the enemy for the attack upon York, by endeavouring to
annoy their settlements upon Lake Erie, I fear his letter has not reached
you. The arrival of Captain Barclay, who, I trust, with a small
reinforcement of seamen, is with you long before this, will, I hope, enable
you to place your Marine on such a footing as to check any attempts of the
enemy, to gain a superiority on Lake Erie. I am very solicitous to receive
from you a correct statement of the whole of your Marine establishment, and
what is wanted to render it complete.

                               "I have, &c.

                                   (Signed)      "GEORGE PREVOST."

"_To Brigadier-General Procter, Detroit._"


_Sentence of the Court-martial on Captain Barclay, p. 112._

That the capture of His Majesty's late squadron was caused by the very
defective means Captain Barclay possessed to equip them on Lake Erie; the
want of a sufficient number of able seamen, whom he had repeatedly and
earnestly requested of Sir James Yeo to be sent to him; the very great
superiority of the enemy to the British squadron; and the unfortunate early
fall of the superior officers in the action. That it appeared that the
greatest exertions had been made by Captain Barclay, in equipping and
getting into order the vessels under his command; that he was fully
justified, under the existing circumstances, in bringing the enemy to
action; that the judgment and gallantry of Captain Barclay in taking his
squadron into action, and during the contest, were highly conspicuous, and
entitled him to the highest praise; and that the whole of the other
officers and men of His Majesty's late squadron conducted themselves in the
most gallant manner; and did adjudge the said Captain Robert Heriot
Barclay, his surviving officers and men, to be most fully and honourably
acquitted.--Rear-Admiral Foote, President.

No. XXV.[106]

_Court-martial on General Procter, p. 113._

                               _Horse Guards, 9th September, 1815._

At a General Court-martial, held at _Montreal_, in Upper Canada, on the
21st December, 1814, and continued by adjournments to the 28th January,
1815, _Major-General Henry Procter_, Lieutenant-Colonel of the 41st
Regiment, was arraigned upon the undermentioned charges, viz.

_1st, "That the said_ Major-General Procter, _being entrusted with the
Command of the Right Division of the Army serving in the Canadas, and the
retreat of the said Division from the Western Parts of Upper Canada having
become unavoidable from the loss of the Fleet on Lake Erie, on the 10th
September, 1813, did not, immediately after the loss of the Fleet was known
by him, make the Military arrangements best calculated for promptly
effecting such retreat, and unnecessarily delayed to commence the same
until the Evening of the 27th of the said Month, on which Day the Enemy had
landed in considerable force within a short distance of Sandwich, the
Head-Quarters of the said Division, such Conduct on the part of the said_
Major-General Procter, _endangering the safety of the Troops under his
Command, by exposing them to be attacked by a force far superior to them,
being contrary to his Duty as an Officer, prejudicial to good Order and
Military Discipline, and contrary to the Articles of War_."

_2d. "That the said_ Major-General Procter, _after commencing the retreat
of the said Division on the said 27th September, although he had reason to
believe that the Enemy would immediately follow it with very superior
numbers, and endeavour to harass and impede its March, did not use due
expedition, or take the proper measures for conducting the said Retreat,
having encumbered the said Division with large quantities of useless
Baggage, having unnecessarily halted the Troops for several whole Days, and
having omitted to destroy the Bridges over which the Enemy would be obliged
to pass, thereby affording them the opportunity to come up with the said
Division, such conduct betraying great professional incapacity on the part
of the said_ Major-General Procter, _being contrary to his Duty as an
Officer, prejudicial to good Order and Military Discipline, and contrary to
the Articles of War_."

_3d. "That the said_ Major-General Procter _did not take the necessary
measures for affording security to the Boats, Waggons, and Carts, laden
with the Ammunition, Stores, and Provisions, required for the Troops on
their retreat, and allowed the said Boats, Waggons, and Carts, on the 4th
and 5th October, 1813, to remain in the rear of the said Division, whereby
the whole, or the greater part of the said Ammunition, Stores, and
Provisions, either fell into the Enemy's hands, or were destroyed to
prevent their capture, and the Troops were without Provisions for a whole
day previous to their being attacked on the said 5th of October; such
conduct on the part of the said_ Major-General Procter _being contrary to
his duty as an Officer, prejudicial to good Order and Military Discipline,
and contrary to the Articles of War_."

_4th. "That the said_ Major-General Procter _having assured the Indian
Chiefs in Council at Amherstburgh, as an inducement to them and their
Warriors to accompany the said Division on its retreat, that on their
arrival at Chatham, they should find the Forks of the Thames fortified, did
nevertheless neglect fortify the same; that he also neglected to occupy
the Heights above the Moravian Village, although he had previously removed
his Ordnance, with the exception of one six-pounder, to that position,
where, by throwing up works he might have awaited the attack of the Enemy
and engaged them to great advantage; and that after the intelligence had
reached him of the approach of the Enemy on the Morning of the said 5th of
October, he halted the said Division, notwithstanding it was within two
miles of the said Village, and formed it in a situation highly unfavourable
for receiving the Attack which afterwards took place, such conduct
manifesting great professional incapacity on the part of the said_
Major-General Procter, _being contrary to his Duty as an Officer,
prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline, and contrary to the
Articles of War_."

_5th. "That the said_ Major-General Procter _did not on the said 5th day of
October, either prior to, or subsequent to, the Attack by the Enemy on the
said Division on that day make the Military dispositions best adapted to
meet or to resist the said Attack, and that during the Action, and after
the Troops had given way, he did not make any effectual attempt in his own
person, or otherwise, to rally or encourage them, or to co-operate with and
support the Indians who were engaged with the enemy on the right, the said_
Major-General Procter _having quitted the Field soon after the Action
commenced, such Conduct on the part of_ Major-General Procter _betraying
great professional incapacity, tending to the defeat and dishonour of His
Majesty's Arms, to the sacrifice of the Division of the Army committed to
his charge, being in violation of his Duty, and unbecoming and disgraceful
to his Character as an Officer, prejudicial to good Order and Military
Discipline, and contrary to the Articles of War_."

Upon which Charges the Court came to the following decision:--

"The Court having duly weighed and considered the evidence adduced, as well
in support of the Charges, as in support of the Defence, is of Opinion."

"That the Prisoner, _Major-General Henry Procter_, Lieutenant-Colonel of
the 41st Regiment, is _not Guilty_ of any part of the _First_ Charge; and
the Court doth therefore _wholly acquit_ him, the said _Major-General
Procter_, of the same."

"On the _Second_ Charge, the Court is of opinion, that the said
_Major-General Procter_ is _Guilty_ of the following part thereof, _that he
did not take the proper measures for conducting the Retreat_; but the Court
is of Opinion, that the said _Major-General Procter_ is _Not Guilty_ of any
other part of the said Charge, and doth therefore _acquit_ him of the

"On the _Third_ Charge the Court is of opinion, that the said
_Major-General Procter_ is _Guilty_ of that part thereof in which it is
charged, _that the said Major General Procter did not take the necessary
measures for affording security to the Boats, Waggons, and Carts, laden
with the Ammunition, Stores, and Provisions, required for the Troops on
their retreat_; but the Court is of opinion, that the said _Major-General
Procter_ is _Not Guilty_ of any part of the remainder of the said Charge,
and doth therefore _acquit_ him of the remainder thereof."

"On the _Fourth_ Charge the Court is of opinion, that the said
_Major-General Procter_ is _Guilty_ of that part thereof, in which it is
charged _that he neglected to occupy the heights above the Moravian
Village, although he had previously removed his Ordnance, with the
exception of one Six Pounder, to that position, where, by throwing up Works
he might have awaited the attack of the Enemy, and engaged them to great
advantage;--and that after the intelligence had reached him of the approach
of the Enemy on the Morning of the said 5th October, he halted the said
Division, notwithstanding it was within two miles of the said Village, and
formed it in a situation highly unfavourable for receiving the attack,
which afterwards took place_;--but the Court is of opinion, that the said
_Major-General Procter_ is _Not Guilty_ of any part of the remainder of the
said charge, and doth therefore _acquit_ him of the remainder thereof."

"On the _Fifth_ Charge the Court is of opinion, that the said
_Major-General Procter_ is _Guilty_ of that part thereof, in which it is
charged _that he did not on the said 5th day of October, either prior to or
subsequent to, the attack by the Enemy on the said Division on that day,
make the Military dispositions best adapted to meet or to resist the said
attack_; but the Court is of opinion, that that part thereof, in which it
is charged _that during the Action, and after the Troops had given way, he
did not make any effectual attempt in his own person or otherwise, to rally
or encourage them, or to co-operate with and support the Indians who were
engaged with the Enemy on the right_, has not been proved, and the Court
doth therefore _acquit_ him, the said _Major-General Procter_ of the
same;--and the Court is of opinion, that the said _Major-General Procter_
is _Not Guilty_ of any part of the remainder of the said Charge, and doth
therefore _fully_ and _honourably acquit_ him of the same."

"Upon the whole, the Court is of opinion, that the prisoner, _Major-General
Procter_, has in many instances during the retreat, and in the disposition
of the Force under his Command, been erroneous in judgment, and in some,
deficient in those energetic and active exertions, which the extraordinary
difficulties of his situation so particularly required."

"The Court doth therefore adjudge him, the said _Major-General Procter, to
be publicly reprimanded, and to be suspended from Rank and Pay, for the
period of Six Calendar Months_."

"But as to any defect or reproach, with regard to the personal conduct of
_Major-General Procter_, during the action on the 5th of October, the Court
_most fully_ and _honourably acquits_ the said _Major-General Procter_."

His Royal Highness the Prince Regent has been pleased, in the name and on
the behalf of His Majesty, to confirm the Finding of the Court, on the 1st,
3d, 4th, and 5th Charges.

With respect to the _Second Charge_ it appeared to His Royal Highness to be
a matter of surprise that the Court should find the prisoner _Guilty_ of
the offence alleged against him, while they at the same time _Acquit_ him
of all the facts upon which that Charge is founded;--and yet, that in the
summing up of their Finding upon the whole of the Charges, they should
ascribe the offences of which the prisoner has been found Guilty, to Error
in Judgment, and pass a Sentence totally inapplicable to their own finding
of Guilt, which can alone be ascribed to the Court having been induced, by
a reference to the general good character and conduct of _Major-General
Procter_, to forget, through a humane, but mistaken lenity, what was due
from them to the Service.

Under all the circumstances of the case, however, and particularly those
which render it impossible to have recourse to the otherwise expedient
measure of re-assembling the Court, for the revival of their proceedings,
the Prince Regent has been pleased to acquiesce in, and confirm so much of
the Sentence as adjudges the prisoner to be _publicly reprimanded_, and in
carrying the same into execution, His Royal Highness has directed the
General Officer commanding in Canada, to convey to _Major-General Procter_,
His Royal Highness's high disapprobation of his conduct, together with the
expression of His Royal Highness's regret, that any officer of the length
of service, and of the exalted rank which he has attained, should be so
extremely wanting in professional knowledge, and so deficient in those
active and energetic qualities, which must be required of every officer,
but especially of one in the responsible situation in which the
_Major-General_ was placed.

His Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief directs that the foregoing
Charges preferred against _Major-General Procter_, together with the
Finding and Sentence of the Court, and the Prince Regent's pleasure
thereon, shall be entered in the General Order Book, and read at the Head
of every Regiment in His Majesty's Service.

                       By Command of His Royal Highness,

                           The Commander-in-chief,

                               HARRY CALVERT,



_p. 122._

                               _Adjutant-General's Office,
                               Head Quarters, Quebec, 26th March, 1814._

General Orders,

His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief and Commander of the Forces feels the
highest gratification in obeying the Commands of His Royal Highness the
Prince Regent, transmitted in a letter from the Right Hon. the Earl
Bathurst, one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, of which the
following is a Copy, and which His Excellency directs to be published in
General Orders, and read at the Head of all Corps in this Command:

"His Royal Highness has observed with the greatest satisfaction the skill
and gallantry so conspicuously displayed by the officers and men who
composed the detachment of troops opposed to General Hampton's army. By the
resistance which they successfully made to an enemy so vastly
disproportionate, the confidence of the enemy has been lowered, their plans
disconcerted, and the safety of that part of the Canadian frontier ensured.
It gives His Royal Highness peculiar pleasure to find, that His Majesty's
Canadian subjects have at length had the opportunity (which His Royal
Highness has been long anxious should be afforded them) of refuting, by
their own brilliant exertions in defence of their country, that calumnious
charge of disaffection and disloyalty with which the enemy prefaced his
first invasion of the Province.

"To Lieut.-Colonel De Salaberry, in particular, and to all the officers and
men under his command in general, you will not fail to express His Royal
Highness's Most Gracious Approbation of their meritorious and distinguished
services. His Royal Highness has commanded me to forward to you by the
first safe opportunity, the Colours which you have solicited for the
embodied Battalions of the Militia, feeling that they have evinced an
ability and disposition to secure them from insult, which gives them the
best title to such a mark of distinction.

                               "By His Excellency's Command,
                                   EDWARD BAYNES,
                               Adjutant-General, N. A."


_Extract from Sir George Prevost's Despatch to Earl Bathurst, dated 18th
May, 1814, p. 135._

"The principal objects in the attack upon Oswego, being to cripple the
resources of the enemy, in fitting out their squadron, and particularly
their new ship at Sackett's Harbour, their guns and stores of every
description being drawn from the former post, and thus to delay, if not
altogether to prevent, the sailing of the fleet, I determined to pursue the
same policy on Lake Champlain, and therefore directed Captain Pring to
proceed with his squadron, on board of which I had placed a strong
detachment of the 1st battalion of the marines, towards Vergennes, for the
purpose, if practicable, of destroying the new vessels lately launched
there, and of intercepting and capturing the stores and supplies for their
armament and equipment. Captain Pring accordingly sailed on the 9th, and
with the force mentioned in the margin, having been prevented by contrary
winds from reaching his destination until the 14th instant, he found, on
arriving off Otter Creek, the enemy so fully prepared to receive him, their
vessels so strongly defended by batteries, and a considerable body of
troops, that after a cannonading with some effect from his gun-boats, he
judged it most advisable to abandon his intended plan of attacking them,
and return to Isle aux Noix.

"The appearance of our squadron on the Lake has been productive of great
confusion and alarm at Burlington, and other places, along its shores, and
the whole of the population appeared to be turned out for their defence."


     _Extract of a Letter from Major-General Sir James Kempt
     to Sir George Prevost, respecting the intended Attack
     upon Sackett's Harbour, dated_

                               "_Kingston, 18th Sept. 1814._


"With all due deference to your Excellency's superior judgment, it appears
to me, that an operation of this magnitude, and _probable duration_, should
not be undertaken without the most ample means, and at the very best season
of the year; that not less than 8,000 infantry, with a strong efficient
corps of artillery and engineers, should be employed on this service; that
Watertown and Brownville should be occupied in force by strong corps of
observation, capable of covering the operations; that there should be an
intermediate rendezvous for the assembly of the troops and stores, between
this and the place of debarkation; and, that above all, we should have the
_decided superiority_ on the Lake, before the service is undertaken.

                           "I have the honour to be, with great respect,

                             "Your Excellency's most obedient

                               "And most humble servant,

                               "JAMES KEMPT.


_Extract of a Letter from Sir J. L. Yeo to Sir George Prevost, dated 29th
Aug. 1814, p. 141._

"I have this day received a correct statement of all the officers and men
belonging to the establishment on Lake Champlain.

"I enclose your Excellency a scale of the complement of each vessel,
agreeable to the Admiralty order, by which you will perceive that, after
each complement is complete, there will remain 97 seamen over and above.
Your Excellency must be aware, that when this squadron proceeds up the
Lake, I shall be under the necessity of taking the seamen out of the
gun-boats; neither will the number of seamen we have in this country,
afford a sufficient number of men to man the gun-boats on Lake Champlain,
independent of the ships."

No. XXX.

_Correspondence between Sir George Prevost and Capt. Downie, p. 145._

                               "_Head-Quarters, Plattsburg,
                               Wednesday, 7 a. m. 7th Sept. 1814._


"The enemy's force in the Bay consists of a ship, inferior to the
Confiance, a brig, a large schooner, a sloop, and seven or eight gun-boats.
When the gun-boats are manned, the remaining craft appear to have but few
men left on board. If you feel that the vessels under your command are
equal to a contest with those I have described, you will find the present
moment offers many advantages which may not again occur.

"As my ulterior movements depend on your decision, you will have the
goodness to favour me with it, with all possible promptitude.

"In the event of your coming forward immediately, you will furnish
conveyance for the two 8-inch mortars, ordered from Isle aux Noix, with
their stores, provided you can do so, without delaying the sailing of your

                           "I have the honour to be, &c.

                               (Signed)      "G. PREVOST."

"_To Captain Downie, &c._"

       *       *       *       *       *

                               "_H. M. S. Confiance, off La Cole,
                               7th Sept. 4 p. m. 1814._


"I have the honour of your Excellency's letter of this morning.

"I am aware of the comparative force of the two squadrons, and am thus far
on my way to find the enemy, conceiving that the moment I can put this ship
into a state for action, I shall be able to meet them.

"The Confiance at this moment is in such a state, as to require at least a
day[107] or two to make her efficient before the enemy; but with all the
exertion I can use, it will probably be that time at least, before it will
be possible to get her up to Chazy, where I shall be happy to receive any
further communication from your Excellency.

                           "I have the honour to be, Sir,

                             "Your most obedient servant,

                               "GEO. DOWNIE."

"_His Excellency Lieut.-Gen.
Sir G. Prevost, Bart. &c. &c._"

       *       *       *       *       *

                               "_Head-Quarters, Plattsburg,
                               Thursday Morning, 8th Sept. 1814._


"I have just received your reply to my communication of yesterday.

"As it is of the highest importance the ship, vessels, and gun-boats, under
your command, should commence a co-operation with the division of the army,
now occupying Plattsburg, I have sent my Aid-de-Camp, Major Coore, with
this letter, in order that you may obtain from him correct information of
the disposition made by the enemy of his naval force in this bay.

"I only wait for your arrival to proceed against General Macomb's last
position, on the south bank of the Saranac. Your share in the operation, in
the first instance, will be to destroy or capture the enemy's squadron, if
it should wait for a contest, and afterwards co-operate with this division
of the army; but if it should run away, or get out of your reach, we must
meet here to consult on ulterior movements.

                           "I have the honour to be, &c.

                               (Signed)      "G. PREVOST."

       *       *       *       *       *

                               "_H. M. S. Confiance, off Point au Fer,
                               8th Sept. 1814._


"I have the honour of your Excellency's letter of this day; and have to
state, that I am advancing with the squadron to Chazy as fast as the wind
and weather will allow.

"In the letter I did myself the honour to address to you yesterday, I
stated to your Excellency, that this ship was not ready--she is not ready
now; and until she is ready, it is my duty not to hazard the squadron
before an enemy, who will even then be considerably superior in force.

"I purpose remaining at Chazy until I find myself enabled to move, which I
trust will be very shortly, it depending on my guns being ready.

                       "I have the honour to be, Sir,

                           "Your most obedient servant,

                               "GEO. DOWNIE."

"_His Excellency Sir Geo. Prevost,
Bart. &c. &c. &c._"

       *       *       *       *       *

                               "_Head-Quarters, Plattsburg,
                               Friday, 9th Sept. 1814._


"In consequence of your communication of yesterday's date, I have postponed
moving on the enemy's position, on the south bank of the Saranac, until
your squadron is in a sufficient state of preparation to co-operate with
this division of the army.

"I need not dwell, with you, on the evils resulting to both services from
delay, as I am well convinced you have done every thing that was in your
power to accelerate the armament and equipment of your squadron, and I am
also satisfied nothing will prevent its coming off Plattsburg the moment it
is ready.

"I am happy to inform you, that I find from deserters, who have come over
from the enemy, that the American fleet is inefficiently manned, and that a
few days ago, after the arrival of the new brig, they sent on shore for the
prisoners of all descriptions, in charge of the Prevost, to make up a crew
for that vessel.

                               "I have the honor to be, &c.

                                   (Signed)      "G. PREVOST."

"P.S. Captain Watson, of the Provincial Cavalry, is desired to remain at
Little Chazy until you are preparing to get under weigh, when he is
instantly to return to this place with the intelligence."

       *       *       *       *       *

                               "_H.M.S. Confiance, off Chazy,
                               9th Sept. 1814_.


"I have the honour to communicate to your Excellency, that it is my
intention to weigh and proceed with the squadron, from this anchorage,
about midnight, in the expectation of rounding into the bay of Plattsburg
about dawn of day, and commencing an immediate attack on the enemy's
squadron, if they shall be found anchored in a position that will afford
any chance of success.

"I rely on any assistance it may be in your power to give.

"In manning the flotilla and ships, we are many short. I have made
application to the officer commanding at Chazy, for a company of the 39th
regiment to make up.

                         "I have the honour to be, Sir,

                           "Your most obedient servant,

                               "GEO. DOWNIE."

"_His Excellency Sir Geo. Prevost,
Bart. &c. &c. &c._"

"P. S. I have just this moment received your letter of this day, to which
the preceding is, I think, a sufficient answer.

                               "G. D."

       *       *       *       *       *

                               "_Head-Quarters, Plattsburg,
                               Saturday Morning, 10th Sept. 1814._


"I received, at twelve last night, your letter, acquainting me with your
determination to get under weigh, about that time, in the expectation of
rounding Cumberland Head at dawn of day; in consequence, the troops have
been held in readiness, since six o'clock this morning, to storm the
enemy's works at nearly the same moment as the naval action should commence
in the bay. I ascribe the disappointment I have experienced to the
unfortunate change of wind, and I shall rejoice to learn from you, that my
expectations have been frustrated by no other cause.

                         "I have the honour to be, &c.

                             (Signed)      "G. PREVOST."

"_To Capt. Downie, &c. &c. &c._"


_Extract from Vermont Paper, dated Burlington, Sept. 1814, p. 168._

"The articles in your paper of last week, republished from the Montreal
papers, are interesting, as they evince the spirit of our Canada
neighbours, and the high hopes they had entertained from their late

"That the result is not such as they could have wished we believe, but that
its failure should be ascribed entirely to the misconduct of Gov. Prevost
is wholly unaccountable. It is not our business or desire to shield Gov.
Prevost from the censure of his subjects, but after the decision of the
contest between the hostile fleets, we can perceive no object of national
importance which could have justified the further operations of the army.

"It is possible that an army of 12,000 men might have carried the works at
Plattsburg, but the positive assertions on this subject betray great
ignorance of our resources, and the spirit of our people. Grant, that after
much hard fighting, and the loss of many valuable lives, they had succeeded
in taking the forts, do they suppose they could have retained them against
all the forces we can bring against them? If they do, we can only say, that
they are grossly mistaken.

"Do they suppose that an army of 12,000 men can march through a country,
every county of which contains more than that number of souls; or do they
suppose their progress would not be obstructed?

"A large proportion of our citizens are opposed to the present war, and
from principles the most noble and virtuous. They will not, under existing
circumstances, consent to aid in offensive operations against their
neighbours. But let no one suppose their love of peace will destroy their
love of country, and that they can make war upon us without danger. We will
not willingly molest them, but they must not disturb us. He is unworthy any
country who would not protect his own from invasion; and we are happy to
know that this country is inhabited by men who need no additional
inducement to protect their rights and privileges at every hazard.


"_Messrs. Hinckley and Fish._"


     _An Extract from the Address of the House of Assembly,
     at the opening of the Session, 30th Jan. 1815, to His
     Excellency Sir George Prevost, p. 176._

"The operations contemplated on the shores of Lake Champlain, we are led to
believe, by our confidence in your Excellency's judgment, were planned in
consequence of wise combinations, and our proximity to the scene of action
has enabled us to acquire a perfect conviction, that they were frustrated
by causes beyond your Excellency's control. We are equally convinced that
the failure of our naval means rendered necessary at the very onset, an
immediate abandonment of the enterprize.

"The protecting hand of His Majesty's government has been agreeably felt in
the reinforcements received by your Excellency, for the diminution of the
pressure of the war on the inhabitants of this province. The testimony
which your Excellency is pleased to bear to the zeal and alacrity with
which their services have been rendered, cannot but be more flattering to
their feelings and demands through their representatives, their warmest
acknowledgments. It is under your Excellency's wise and just administration
that their character and conduct have been justly appreciated; and whatever
merit their services may be entitled to, a large portion of it is
unquestionably due to your Excellency, whose well founded confidence in
them, has enabled them, by those services, to testify their faithful,
loyal, and patriotic adherence to His Majesty: of which, under your
Excellency's administration, they hope many opportunities, during a long
time to come, will be afforded them to give additional proofs."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Extract from an Address from the House of Assembly of Lower Canada, to Sir
Geo. Prevost, 20th March, 1815._

"We take this opportunity of repeating the expression of our sentiments of
gratitude to your Excellency, for having, by your prudence, by the wisdom
of your measures, and by your ability, preserved to the empire these
important provinces, and for the paternal solicitude with which your
Excellency has watched over the welfare of His Majesty's subjects, and to
pray your Excellency to rest assured, that those benefits will ever remain
deeply engraven on the hearts of the Canadians."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Extract from the Resolutions of the House of Assembly of Lower Canada,
21st March, 1815._

"According to order, the resolutions of the Committee of the whole House,
to consider whether it would be expedient to give to his Excellency the
Governor-in-Chief, some mark of gratitude for his distinguished services in
this province, were reported to the House, agreed to, and ordered to be

"The said resolutions are as follows:


"That this House entertains the highest veneration and respect, for the
character of his Excellency Sir George Prevost, Governor-in-Chief, whose
administration, under circumstances of peculiar novelty and difficulty,
stands highly distinguished for energy, wisdom, and ability.

       *       *       *       *       *


"That this House, representing the people of this province, anxiously
desirous of expressing their gratitude to his Excellency, for having, under
Providence, rescued us from the danger of subjugation to our late foe,
have, and do hereby, give and grant a service of plate not exceeding five
thousand pounds, sterling, to his Excellency, as a testimonial of the high
sense this House entertains of his Excellency's distinguished talents,
wisdom, and abilities.

       *       *       *       *       *


"That for the better carrying into execution the object this House has in
view, for the purchase of the service of plate for his Excellency, the
Speaker of this House be authorized to give directions to such persons, in
England, as may be best able to execute the same, and that when so
completed, the said service be presented to his Excellency the
Governor-in-Chief, in the name and on the behalf of the Commons of His
Majesty's province of Lower Canada.

       *       *       *       *       *


"That an humble address be presented to his Excellency the
Governor-in-Chief, to communicate the above resolutions, humbly praying
that his Excellency will be graciously pleased to advance a sum not
exceeding five thousand pounds sterling, to the order of the Speaker of
this House, for the object stated in the above resolutions; and that this
House doth engage, and hereby pledges itself to make good the said advance
the next ensuing session of this provincial parliament."

       *       *       *       *       *

     _Extract from the Speech of the Speaker of the House of
     Assembly, on presenting the Money Bills to the
     Governor-in-Chief, 23rd March, 1815._

"Superior to prejudices which had but too generally prevailed, your
Excellency has derived from the devotion of that brave and loyal, yet
unjustly calumniated people, resources sufficient for disconcerting the
plans of conquest, devised by a foe at once numerous and elate with
confidence. Reinforcements were subsequently received; and the blood of the
sons of Canada has flowed mingled with that of the brave soldiers sent to
its defence. Multiplied proofs of the efficacious and powerful protection
of the mother country, and of the inviolable loyalty of the people of this
province, strengthen their claim to the preservation and free exercise of
all the benefits which are secured to them by their existing constitution
and laws."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Addresses to Sir Geo. Prevost, from the Inhabitants of Quebec and
Montreal, 31st March._

     _To His Excellency Sir George Prevost, Bart.
     Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief, in and over the
     Provinces of Lower Canada, &c. &c. &c._

"May it please your Excellency,

"We the inhabitants of the city of Quebec, most respectfully approach your
Excellency, at the moment of your departure for England, to express the
sentiments which we entertain, of a most profound regard for your
Excellency's person and character, and a lively gratitude for the benefits,
which, in common with our fellow subjects throughout the province, we have
derived from your Excellency's administration.

"At the period of your Excellency's arrival in this country, on the eve of
a war with America, you found the majority of its inhabitants irritated by
the unfortunate effects of misunderstandings of a long duration. Your
Excellency, consulting only the general welfare by a strict adherence to
justice and a well-timed confidence, soon allayed every discontent, and
rallied the whole population for the common defence. Under the happy
influence of harmony thus restored, the militia was assembled and trained,
and an exhausted treasury replenished. The additional means which you
thereby derived from the colony committed to your particular care, enabled
your Excellency to extend the handful of British troops at your disposal,
to the most distant parts of the Upper Province, where the long meditated
attacks of the enemy were met at the onset, and his forces repeatedly
overthrown with disgrace--the happy precursor of the fate which awaited all
his attempts on this province.

"If the smallness of the regular army with which your Excellency was left
to withstand the whole efforts of the United States for two years, and the
insufficiency of the naval force on the Lakes, have exposed His Majesty's
arms to some reverses, it is nevertheless, true, that under the auspices of
your Excellency, the British arms have acquired new laurels, amidst
circumstances of extraordinary difficulty, unprecedented in European
warfare; the name of the people of this country has been rendered
illustrious, and a vast extent of territory protected from the ravages of
war and preserved to the empire.

"Your Excellency's name and services will ever be held in veneration and
grateful remembrance by the inhabitants of Quebec. The whole province has
assured you of its gratitude; and the imperishable evidences of your
Excellency's merits, though they could not appease, will easily overcome
your enemies.

"May your Excellency's voyage be prosperous, and its results correspond
with your wishes. The citizens of Quebec will hail the day of your
Excellency's return to your government, rewarded with the full approbation
of a gracious Prince, as one of the happiest in the annals of Canada.

                               [Signed by 1420 persons.]

"_Quebec, 31st March, 1815._"

To which his Excellency was pleased to return the following Answer:

_To the Inhabitants of the City of Quebec._


"I thank you for those sentiments of kindness which now, as at all times, I
have had the gratification to receive from the inhabitants of the city of
Quebec. It is at the moment of separation that such expressions appeal most
forcibly to the heart.

"If under the authority which His Majesty has deemed proper to place in my
hands, you have been prosperous and happy, the objects of all my exertions,
and my most earnest solicitude has been attained.

"The time I have spent in your society has taught me at once to appreciate
its worth, and to regret the loss of it; and, be assured, the testimony of
regard you have now given me, will be treasured up among recollections the
most grateful to my feelings."

       *       *       *       *       *

On Monday last, at twelve o'clock, the Address of the Citizens of Montreal
was presented to his Excellency Sir George Prevost, by their Deputies, J.
M. Mondelêt and John M'Donald, Esquires, which Address is as follows:

     _To his Excellency Sir George Prevost, Bart.
     Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief, in and over the
     Province of Lower Canada, Upper Canada, Nova Scotia,
     New Brunswick and their Dependencies, Vice-Admiral of
     the same, Lieutenant-General and Commander of all His
     Majesty's Forces in the said Provinces, and in the
     Islands of Newfoundland, Prince Edward, Cape Breton,
     and Bermuda, &c. &c. &c._

       *       *       *       *       *

"May it please your Excellency,

"We His Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, inhabitants of the city of
Montreal and the neighbouring Parishes, have learnt with extreme regret
that your Excellency is unexpectedly about to leave this province.

"We hasten, before your Excellency separates yourself from us, to convey to
your Excellency the expression of our sorrow for your departure, of our
gratitude for the benefits conferred on us, in common with our fellow
subjects, by your Excellency's administration, and our ardent wish that
your Excellency's absence from this province may be of short duration.

"These sentiments are naturally produced in our minds by the recollection
of the public and private virtues which have been displayed by your
Excellency in your exalted station, and by the advantages we have
experienced from your Excellency's wisdom and justice in peace, and your
protecting care in war.

"In your Excellency's civil administration, we have seen conspicuously
evinced an anxious desire to dispense equal justice to His Majesty's
subjects, to obliterate unjust and impolitic distinctions between the
inhabitants of this province, of different origin, and to unite them as
members of one community with the same rights and interests, for the
promotion of their common welfare. Influenced by this wise and just policy,
your Excellency has been enabled to form a correct estimate of the
character and disposition of the population of Canada: and, by reposing in
the loyalty and bravery of His Majesty's Canadian subjects that confidence
which they fully merited, your Excellency has afforded practical evidence
of their devoted attachment to His Majesty's government, and their capacity
to yield it effectual support.

"While exposed to the pressure of the late unjust and unprovoked war waged
by the United States of America against His Majesty, we experienced the
security derived from your Excellency's indefatigable exertions for the
defence of this Province, and have reason to ascribe its preservation, as
well as that of the Upper Province, to the judicious distribution and
arrangement of the Public Force made by your Excellency, by which the
attempts of the enemy were frustrated, and the honourable character, with
the rights and advantages of British subjects has been secured to the
Inhabitants of the Canadas.

"Having the greatest confidence in the skill and judgment of your
Excellency, and being fully convinced of the ability and prudence with
which your Excellency has discharged the military as well as civil duties
of your high office, we anticipate, from the investigation for which your
Excellency is preparing, a result honourable to your Excellency's
character, by which your well-earned reputation will be confirmed, the
voice of calumny and detraction silenced, and your Excellency's merits
conclusively established. We persuade ourselves also that the important
services rendered in this country by your Excellency to His Majesty's
Government will be duly appreciated by His Royal Highness the Prince
Regent, of whose discernment and justice we have had so many proofs, and
will procure for your Excellency deserved approbation, and the high rewards
reserved for distinguished merit.

"We shall not cease to take the warmest interest in the fortunes of your
Excellency; and in expressing our ardent wishes for your prosperity and
that of your family, we join in the general sentiment of the country, whose
affection and unalterable attachment your Excellency will carry with you,
and whose greatest felicity would be experienced in the speedy return of
your Excellency to resume the reins of Government."

                               (Signed by 1510 persons.)

       *       *       *       *       *

His Excellency was pleased to make the following answer:

_To the Inhabitants of the City of Montreal, and the neighbouring


"The alacrity with which you have hastened to prevent the distance of your
residence from being an obstacle to the expression of your kind wishes on
my sudden and unexpected departure, gives to them all the additional value
of eager sincerity.

"Your good will is to me a most acceptable offering: and as I am now
content if your good opinion of my services during my Administration is
proportioned to my desire to promote your welfare, so shall I ever be
ambitious that your estimate of my exertions may be found as correct as the
favourable judgment which I early formed of His Majesty's subjects in
Canada, which experience has now fully justified."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Letter from M. de Salaberry to Sir George Prevost._

A son Excellence Sir George Prevost, &c. &c.

Qu'il plaise à votre Excellence,

Me permettre d'écrire, puisque je ne peux sortir. J'en suis empêché par une
maladie opîniâtre et apparemment dangereuse, puisqu'encore hier j'ai tombé
sans connaissance sur le plancher. Je suis bien peiné d'être privé par les
accidens d'aller vous rendre mes respects, avant que vous vous laissiez.

Sir George, vous portez pour vous justifier--Quoi! une justification de
vous! Qui pouvait s'y attendre? Mais s'il en faut une, la voici d'un mot:
LE CANADA EST ENCORE A L'ANGLETERRE. Cela repond à tout. Le résultat est
tout, il est frappant, il est grand. Voilà _un fait_, celui-là: on ne peut
le nier. Devant lui doivent disparaitre les vaines paroles, les accusations
sophistiques; sous lui doivent succomber les efforts de la malveillance,
l'envie, les passions haineuses; mais le mérite et la vertu sont sujets à
la persécution. Vous en triompherez glorieusement: j'ôse vous le prédire
avec assûrance, et je la souhaite du profond de mon coeur, comme je
souhaite aussi tous les bonheurs pour vous, Sir George, et pour ce qui vous
est chér. Avec ces vrais sentimens, et ceux du plus grand respect, j'ai
l'honneur de me souscrire,

                         Mon Général,
                           De votre Excellence,
                             Le trés-humble, très-obéissant
                           Et très devoué serviteur,
                               L. de SALABERRY, Col. M. Quebec.

_A Beauport, 28 Mars, 1815._

P. S. Oui, les Canadas sont encore à l'Angleterre, mais n'y serraient plus
sans un effort perséverant de prudence, d'activité, de patience courageuse,
et d'habilité consommée, dans un commandement et un genre de guerre aussi
difficiles, dont la conduite éxige un art tant particulier. Voilà ce
qu'avoueront tous ceux qui ont de vraies connaissances de la nature de ces
pays de situations si extraordinaires, à des prodigieuses distances, à
travers des forêts immenses.

Ce ne sont pas des guerres _d'Europe_, où sous un beau ciel et dans des
riches plaines cultivées, toutes les parties d'armées se touchent, où sont
toujours à-portée, de se donner la main, dans des localités rapprochées et
dont les communications sont si faciles. Daignez, mon Général, traiter mes
reflexions avec indulgence, puis qu'elles viennent d'un vieux et loyal
soldat, qui a commencé à faire la guerre il y a précisement quarante ans
cette année.


     _Extract from Christie's Memoirs of the Administration
     of the Colonial Government of Lower Canada, by Sir
     James Henry Craig, and Sir George Prevost._

"The administration of the Civil Government of Lower Canada under Sir
George Prevost, was mild, equitable, and unquestionably popular among the
entire mass of the Canadian population, in whose loyalty from the
commencement, he placed the most implicit confidence. To their fidelity,
and to the prudent and conciliating policy of this Governor, Great Britain
is indebted for the preservation of the Canadas, unavoidably left destitute
of money and troops at the outset of hostilities with America, by reason of
the urgent demands of the war in Spain. The Provincial Legislature, by
giving a currency to Army Bills and guaranteeing their redemption,
effectually removed all apprehensions of a deficiency in the financial
resources of the Colonial Government. The organization of a respectable
force of embodied Militia, and the power delegated to the Governor, of
turning out the whole of the effective male population of the Province, in
cases of emergency, enabled him to withstand the efforts of the United
States, during two successive campaigns, with scarcely any other resources
than those derived from the Colony. They who had been partial to the
preceding Administration, and who probably may have been instrumental in
the arbitrary measures with which it is reproached, were, as might be
expected, adverse to the policy of the present Governor, and spared no
pains to represent in England the affairs of the Colony in the falsest
colours. The disappointments experienced at Sackett's Harbour and
Plattsburg, gave occasion to his enemies to discredit his military
character: but whatever may have been his capacity as a general, (which we
leave to the judgment of military men) it must be admitted, that as a civil
governor, at the head of a people irritated by arbitrary measures under the
preceding Administration, he judiciously explored his way through a period
of unprecedented embarrassments and danger, without a recurrence to Martial
Law, or the least exertion of arbitrary power. His manners are represented
by those who were familiarly acquainted with him as unassuming and social.
His public speeches or addresses partook of even classical elegance. His
smooth and easy temper placed him beyond the ordinary passions of men in
power, and though aware of the intrigues of unprincipled and implacable
enemies labouring at his destruction, and loaded with the obloquy of the
press, he is known to have harboured no resentment against the former, and
to have reasoned with that coolness and unconcern with respect to the
latter, which can only spring from a virtuous and ingenuous mind."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Extract from Bouchette's Topographical Account of Lower Canada, p. 121._

"At a time when the military resources of the Province were so greatly
curtailed by the most arduous continental warfare that ever Great Britain
was engaged in, it is a matter of surprise that so much could have been
effected with such slender means. An enemy, emboldened by possessing an
ample force, and inspired by the prospect of obtaining a fertile country,
long the object of inordinate desire, could only be successfully opposed by
a union of the greatest energy with the most active measures; that such was
presented to him is incontrovertible, and the credit of having brought them
into action by unceasing perseverance, will attach to the judicious
dispositions of the Governor-General, Sir George Prevost, and for his
strenuous efforts in turning the enthusiasm of the people into a bulwark
stronger, and more impenetrable than entrenchments or fortresses against an

       *       *       *       *       *

     _The following Extract from James's Naval Memoirs, p.
     411, shewing the opinion of the American Naval
     Commander, as to the result of the action on Lake
     Champlain, was intended to form a note to page 175._

"Commodore Macdonough, taking Lieutenant Robertson, when presenting his
sword, for the British Commanding Officer, spoke to him as follows:--'You
owe it, Sir, to the shameful conduct of your gun-boats and cutters, that
you are performing this office to me; for, had they done their duty, you
must have perceived, from the situation of the Saratoga, that I could hold
out no longer: and indeed, nothing induced me to keep up her colours, but
seeing, from the united fire of all the rest of my squadron on the
Confiance, and her unsupported situation, that she must ultimately
surrender.'--Here is an acknowledgment, candid and honourable in the


_Inscription on the Monument erected to the Memory of Sir George Prevost in
Winchester Cathedral, p. 177._

                     Sacred to the Memory
      Of Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost, Baronet,
                 of Belmont, in this County,
    Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the British
                   Forces in North America;
    In which command, by his wise and energetic measures,
               And with a very inferior force,
        He preserved the Canadas to the British Crown,
       From the repeated invasions of a powerful Enemy.
               His Constitution at length sunk
         Under incessant bodily and mental exertions,
           In discharging the duties of that arduous station,
                     And having returned to England,
       He died shortly afterwards in London, on the 5th Jan. 1816,
                         Aged forty-eight years;
                  Thirty-four of which had been devoted
                     To the service of his Country.
             He was interred near the remains of his Father,
                     Major-General Augustin Prevost,
                    At East Barnet, in Middlesex.
                  His Royal Highness the Prince Regent,
        To evince in an especial manner the sense he entertained
               Of his distinguished conduct and services,
           During a long period of constant active employment,
         In situations of great trust, both military and civil,
                         Was pleased to ordain,
          As a lasting memorial of His Majesty's Royal favour,
                    That the names of the Countries,
    Where his courage and abilities had been most signally displayed,
                       The West Indies and Canada,
          Should be inscribed on the banners of the supporters,
         Granted to be borne by his Family and his descendants.
                   In Testimony of his private worth,
                 His piety, integrity, and benevolence,
                 And all those tender, domestic virtues
                           Which endeared him
        To his Family, his Children, his Friends and Dependants,
     As well as to prove her unfeigned love, gratitude and respect,
                         Catharine Ann Prevost,
                          His afflicted Widow,
                   caused this Monument to be erected,
                           Anno Domini, 1818.


_Private Despatch from Sir George Prevost to Earl Bathurst, p. 179._


                               "_Montreal, 21st Sept. 1814._

"My Lord,

"In my despatch from Plattsburg, of the 11th inst. I reported to your
Lordship the unfortunate event which induced me to withdraw the troops with
which I had advanced into the enemy's territory. My reasons for that
measure I can more fully explain to your Lordship in a private
communication than it might be proper to do in a public letter.

"Your Lordship must have been aware from my previous despatches, that no
offensive operations could be carried on, within the enemy's territory, for
the destruction of his Naval Establishments, without naval support. Having
ascertained that our flotilla was in every respect equal to the enemy's,
and having received from Captain Downie the assurance, not only of his
readiness, but of his ability to co-operate with the army, I did not
hesitate in advancing to Plattsburg, and confidently relying upon the
successful exertions of the squadron, I made my arrangements for the
assault of the enemy's works the moment it should appear.

"The disastrous and unlooked for result of the naval contest, by depriving
me of the only means by which I could avail myself of any advantage I might
gain, rendered a perseverance in the attack of the enemy's position highly
imprudent, as well as hazardous. From the state of the roads, each day's
delay at Plattsburg rendered my retreat more difficult. The enemy's Militia
was raising _en masse_ around me, desertion increasing, and our supply of
provisions scanty.

"Excluded from the use of water communication, and that by roads passing
through woods and over swamps, becoming, from the state of the weather, as
well as from the obstructions made by the enemy, nearly impassable--under
these circumstances, I had to determine whether I should consider my own
fame, by gratifying the order of the troops in persevering in the attack,
or consult the more substantial interests of my country, by withdrawing the
army which was yet uncrippled, for the security of these provinces; in
adopting the latter measure, I feel that I have accorded with the views of
His Majesty's Government, and that a contrary conduct would have been
attended with immediate and imminent danger to this Province.

"The most ample success on shore, after the loss of the fleet, could not
have justified the sacrifice I must have made to obtain it. Had I failed,
and such an event was possible, after the American army had been cheared by
the sight of a naval victory, the destruction of a great part of our troops
must have been the consequence, and with the remainder I should have had to
make a precipitate and embarrassed retreat, one very different from that
which I have made.

"These are considerations which, without doubt, will have their due weight
with your Lordship, and induce you, I trust, to view the measures I have
adopted as those best calculated to promote, as well the honour of His
Majesty's arms, as the safety of this part of his dominions.

"I herewith transmit a comparative state of the force of the two squadrons,
in order that your Lordship may be satisfied with my reasons for not
discouraging a Naval Engagement, in which, if all had done their duty, I
should have had a very different report to make.

                               "I have the honour to be," &c.

                                 "_The Right Hon. Earl Bathurst_."


[99] Captain Watson of the Tweed; Tate of the Nancy; and Higgins of the

[100] Compte O'Duin's own expression.

[101] Gordon, Author of the History of the American Revolution, vol. iii.
p. 328, &c.

[102] "On the 9th January, 1808, died General Naguês, first Aid-de-Camp,
&c. &c. His loss was strongly felt. This General had conciliated the esteem
of the public by his inclination to do good, his attention to his duty, and
his strict probity. Before he entered into the service of Holland, he had
been Governor of St. Lucie, which he had defended as a brave soldier, and
where he acquired the affection of the Planters."--_Historical Documents
and Reflections on the Government of Holland, by Louis Bonaparte_, vol. ii.
p. 214.

[103] From Toulon and Rochefort.

[104] A French Squadron was in the West Indies.

[105] These addresses are extracted from a work, entitled, "the Canadian
Inspector," published at Montreal, in 1815, for the express purpose of
noticing and confuting the assertions made by the author of the letters
under the signature of Veritas, respecting the measures of Sir George
Prevost, in the prosecution of the war. Upon the authority of these letters
the Quarterly Reviewer has mainly relied, and has had the boldness to
declare, that "_no reply was ever attempted to be made to the statements
contained in them, or doubt ever expressed in the Provinces of their
correctness_."--Review, p. 408.

[106] Since this work went to press, a positive contradiction to the
Reviewer's assertion, _that Sir George Prevost attempted to affix a stigma
upon the personal character of General Procter, which he was afterwards
obliged to abandon, with a declaration of regret that it was ever made_,
has been received from the Judge-Advocate who officiated at the above
trial, and who is now resident in Canada. From this information it appears,
that so far from the fifth charge being abandoned, the Judge-Advocate in
his reply, although he adverted to the partial failure of the proof in
support of that charge, still asserted that there came out in evidence
strong grounds for making it. In answer to the Reviewer's
misrepresentations as to the delay in assembling the Court-martial, it
appears from the same information that such delay was unavoidable. General
Procter's letter, in explanation of the retreat of the right division, was
not received until late in November, 1813. It was, of course, transmitted
to England, that His Majesty's Government might judge of the necessity of
an investigation. When General Procter applied for this investigation, he
was told that this was the case; and also, what he must have known, that at
all events, no such investigation could then take place, as the principal
witnesses, both for and against him, were then prisoners in the state of
Kentucky. The first orders of the Government for the assembling of the
Court-martial were not received in Canada until the 28th of May, 1814. They
were immediately notified to General Procter. The officers of the 41st were
still prisoners, though they were shortly to be exchanged, but the
exigencies of the war gave such employment to all the officers of proper
rank to form such a Court-martial, as well as to many material witnesses,
that it was impossible, without sacrificing the interests of the service to
comply with General Procter's applications for the assembling of the Court.

[107] The action was fought on the 11th.

J. M'Creery, Printer,
Tooks Court, Chancery Lane.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Some Account of the Public Life of the Late Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost, Bart. - Particularly of his Services in the Canadas, including a - reply to the strictures on his Military Character, Contained - in an Article in The Quareterly Review" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.