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Gen. Harrison to the Secretary of War.
Lower Sandusky, May 13, 1813. [Extract.] SIR—Having ascertained that the enemy (Indians as well as British) had entirely abandoned the neighborhood of the Rapids, I left the command of camp Meigs with Gen. Ciay and came here last night. It is with the greatest satisfaction, I inform yon, sir, that I have every reason to believe, that the loss of the Kentucky troops in killed on the north side of the river does not exceed fifty. On the 10th and 11th inst. I caused the ground which was the scene of action, and its environs, to be carefully examined, and after the most diligent search 45 bodies only of our men, were discovered—among them was the leader of the detachment, Col. Dudley. No other officer of i.ote fell in the action. Gen. Proctor did not furnish me with a return of the prisoners in his possesion, although repeatedly promised. His retreat was as precipitate as it could properly be, leaving a number of cannon ball, a new elegant sling-carriage for cannon, and other valuable articles. The night before Ids departure two persons that were employed in the British gun-boats (Americans by birth) deserted to us. The information they gave me was very interesting; they say that the, Indians, of which there were from 160U to 2000, left the British the day before their departure in a high state of dissatisfaction, from the great loss which they had sustained in the several engagements of the 5th, and the failure of the British in accomplishing their promise of taking the post at the Rapids. From the account given by these men, ui} opinion is comfiimed of the great superiority of the enemy which were defeated by our troops in the two sallies made on the 5th inst. That led by Col. Miller did not exceed 350 men, and it is very certain that they defeated 200 British regulars, 150 militia, and 4 or 500 Indians. That American regulars (although they were raw recruits j and such men as compose the Pittsburg, Penn. and Petersburg, Va. volunteers, should behave well, is not to be wondered at—but that a company of militia should maintain its ground against four times its numbers, as did Capt. Sebres, of the Kentucky, is truly astonishing. These brave fellows were at length however entirely surrounded by Indians, and would have been entirely cut off, but for the gallantry of Lieut. Gwynne of the 19th regiment, who, with part of Capt, Elliott's company, charged the enemy and released the Kentuckians.
A copy of Gen. Clay's report to me of the manner of his executing my order for the attack on the enemies batteries, is likewise forwarded, by which it will be seen that my intention was perfectly understood, and the great facility with which it might have been executed is apparent to every individual who witnessed the scene. Indeed, the cannon might have been spiked, the carriages cut to pieces, the magazine destroyed, and the retreat effected to the boats without the loss of a man, as none were killed in taking the batteries, so complete was the surprize.
An extensive open plain intervenes between the river and the hill upon which the batteries of the enemy were placed; this plain was raked by four of our eighteen pounders, a twelve and a six. The enemy, even before their guns were spiked, could not have brought one to bear on it. So perfectly secured was their retreat, that 150 men -who came off, effected it without loss, and brought off some of the wounded, one of them upon the backs of their comrades. The Indians followed them to the woods, but dared not enter into the plain.
1 am unable to form a correct estimate of the enemy's force. The prisoners varied much in their accounts; those who made them least, stated the regulars at 550, and militia at 800; but the numbers of Indians were beyond comparison greater than have ever been brought into the field before; numbers arrived after the siege commenced, and they were indeed the efficient force of the enemy.
I have the honor to be, &c.
W. H. HARRISON,
British loss not known.
The folloiviny conversation took place between Maj. Chambers and Gen. Harrison, on a demand for the surrender of fort Meiys.
Maj. Chambers—Gen. Proctor has directed me to demand the surrender of this post, lie wishes to spare the effusion of blood. ~
Gen. Harrison—The demand, under present circumstances, is a most extraordinary one. As Gen. Proctor did not send me a summons to surrender on his first arrival, I had. supposed that he believed me determined to do my duty. iHis present message indicates an opinion of me that I am at a loss to account for.
Maj. Chambers—Gen. Proctor could never think of saying any thing to wound your feelings, sir.—The character of Gen. Harrison, as an officer, is well known. I en. Proctor's force is very respectable, and there is with him a larger body of Indians that have ever before been embodied.
Gen. Harrison—1 believe I have a very correct idea of "Gen. Proctor's force, it is not such as to create the least apprehension, for the result of the contest, whatever shape he may be pleased hereafter to give to it. Assure the Gen. however, that he will never have this post surrendered to him upon any terms. Should it fall into his hands, it will be in a manner calculated to do him more honor, and to give him larger claims upon the gratitude of his government than any capitulation could possibly do.
CAPTURE OF FORT GEORGE.
Gen. Dearborn to the Secretary of War.
H. Q. Fort Georye (17. C.) May 27, 1813. [Extract.] SIR—The light troops under the command of Col. Scott and Major Forsyth, landed this morning at 9 o'clock. Major Gen. Lewis's division, with Col. Porter's command of light artillery, supported by them. Gen. Boyd's brigade landed immediately after the light troops, and Gens. Winder and Chandler in quick succession. The landing was warmly and obstinately disputed by the British forces; but the coolness and intrepidity of our troops soon compelled them to give way in every direction. Gen. Chandler, with the reserve, composed of his brigade and Col. Macomb's artillery covered the whole. Commodore Chauncey had made the most judicious arrangements fw -silencing" the enemy's batteries, near the point of landing. The army is under the gr«atest obligations to that able naval commander for his co-operation in all its important movements, and especially in its operations this day. Our batteries succeeded in rendering Fort George untenable, .and when the enemy had been beaten from his positions, and found it necessary to re-enter it, after firing a few guns and setting fire to the magazines, which soon exploded, he moved off rapidly by different routes. Our light troops pursued them several miles. The troops having been under arms from one o'clock, in the morning, were too much exhausted for any further pursuit. We are now in possession of Fort George and its immediate dependencies—tomorrow we proceed further on. The behaviour of our troops, both offieers and men, entitles them to the highest praise; and the difference in our loss with that of the enemy, when we consider the advantages his positions afforded Rim, is astonishing.—Col. Meyers of the 49th, was wounded and taken prisoner. Of ours, only one commissioned4 officer was killed—Lieut. Hobart of the light artillery. I have the honor to be, &.c.
Gen. Dearborn to the Secretary of War.
H. Q. Fort George, May, 29, 1813. [Extract.] Lieut. Col. Preston took possession of fort .Erie and its dependencies last evening; the post had been abandoned and the magazine blown up.
I have ordered Gen. Lewis to return without delay to this place, and if the winds favor us, we may yet cut off the enemy's retreat.
I was last evening honored with your dispatch of the 14th inst. I have taken measures in relation to the 23 prisoners, who are to be put in close confinement I have the honor to be, ifcc.
. Killed 39—wounded 111—total 150.
Killed 108—wounded 103—Prisoners 622— total 893.
Com. Chauncey to the Secretary oftfte Navy. U. S. S. ftiadison, off Niagara, May, 28, 1813. SIR—Agreeable to arrangements which I have already had the honor of detailing to you, I left Sacket's Harbor oa the 22d inst. with about 3oO of Col. M'Comb's regiment ou board—the winds being light from the westward, I did not arrive in the vicinity of Niagara before the 2oth; the other parts of the squadron had arrived several days before, and landed their troops. The Fair American and Pert I had ordered to Sacket's Harbor, for the purpose of watching the enemy's movements at Kingston. I immediately had an interview with Gen. Dearborn, for the purpose of making arrangements to attack the enemy as soon as possible, and it was agreed between him and myself to make the attack the moment that the weather was such as to allow the vessels and boats to approach the shore with safety. On the 26th, I reconnoitred the position for landing the troops, and at night sounded the shore, and placed buoys to sound out the stations for the small vessels. It was agreed between the General and myself to make the attack the next morning (as the weather had moderated, and had every appearance ot being favorable.) I took on board of the Madison, Oneida, and Lady of the Lake, all the heavy artillery, and as many troops as could be stowed. The remainder were to embark in boats and follow the fleet. At 8 yesterday morning the signal was made for the fleet to weigh, and the troops were all embarked on board of the boats before fouT, and soon after Gens. Dearborn and Lewis came on hoard of the ship with their suites. It being however nearly calm, the schooners were obliged to sweep into their positions. Mr. Trant in the Julia, and Mr. Mix in the Growler, I directed to take a position in the mouth pt tj e river, and silence a battery near the light house, which from its position commanded the shore where the troops were to land. Mr. Stevens in the Ontario, was directed to take a position to the north of the light house, so near the shore as to enfilade the batterv and cross the fire of the Julia and Growler. Lieut, brown in the Governor Tompkins, I directed to take a position near Two Mde creek, where the enemv had a battery with a heavy gun. L'eut. Pettigrew in the Conquest, was directed to anchor to the southeast of the same battery, so near in as to open on it