網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

CA, XI.1

A NATIONAL BANK PROPOSED.

227

uary, the chairman should, in three curt A resolution was, accordingly, introines, report its conclusive rejection, on duced by Mr. Grundy, on the 2d of the old allegation of the unconstitu- April, authorizing the appointment of tionality of such institutions. But Cal a committee to inquire into the expehoun was not to be put off in this way. diency of incorporating a Bank of the On the 4th of February, at his motion, United States. The federalists, and a “the committee of the whole House number of democratic members, among was discharged from further considera- whom were Mr. Eppes and Mr. Ingertion of the report of the committee of soll, opposed the resolution, and voted ways and means, on the petition for a in favor of a motion to postpone it innational bank; and both report and definitely. The democrats generally petition were referred to the commit- voted against the postponement, and a tee of ways and means, with instruc- committee was appointed, of which Mr. tions to inquire into the expediency of Grundy was chairman. But within a national bank in the District of Co-four days after their appointment they lumbia;" thus adroitly escaping the were discharged, on motion of Mr. question of constitutionality.

Grundy, from all further consideration Mr. Taylor, on the 19th of February, of the subject. The reason for this acreported a bill for the establishment of tion consisted in the near approach of the a national bank in the District of Co- end of the session, which was brought lumbia, with a capital of $30,000,000. to its close on the 18th of April. The principle of this bill was approved The year 1814 opened with no very by Mr. Cheves, Mr. Calhoun, and Mr. encouraging prospects. The resources Grundy; but opposed by Mr. Eppes of the country were almost exhausted; and Mr. Seybert. There were others the finances were in a very depressed too who did not favor it, for the rea- and deranged condition; internal dis

son that it contained no pro- sensions and party feuds were produc

vision for the establishment of ing their necessary results, so much so, branches in the states. A motion to that the breaking up of the Union was ingraft this feature upon the bill, made confidently predicted; yet the spirit by Mr. Fiske of New York, received of the advocates of the war failed not. but thirty-six votes, after which there Volunteers were ever ready for limited was no further action had upon it. But periods of service, in the western states the public credit was daily depreciat- especially; and though money was ing; treasury notes were seventeen per more scarce than ever, and even weapcent., and government stocks thirty ons were sometimes wanting, men to per cent. below par; and it is not sur-fight the battles of their country could prising that many of the democratic always be found. Great Britain, on members were disposed to waive their her side, was likewise greatly exhausted scruples, and agree to the establishment by the continental war; yet men and of a national bank, as expedient, if not money were at her command, and now constitutional.

that Napoleon's career was nearly at

1814.

1814.

its close, she was at liberty to direct were collected, and dispatched for in. her energies to the speedy settlement vading different parts of the coast of of the war with the United States. the United States.” We shall see, on With singular ignorance of the real subsequent pages, what became of these condition of things, and the unyielding troops in the final battle of the war. patriotism of the people, England ex On the northern frontier, during the pected to be able to strike a few de- months of January and February, the cisive blows, and reduce the United army remained in winter quarters, withStates to prompt, and even abject sub-out having undertaken any expedition mission.

against the enemy. General WilkinHence it was, that busily occupied son proposed various plans, no one of with the affairs of Europe, and prob- which met the approbation of General ably entertaining a kind of contemp- Armstrong, the secretary of war,

and tuous feeling towards our country, he was ordered to withdraw from his Great Britain allowed the war to lan- position at French Mills. Two thou. guish during the early part of the year; sand men were to march under General

but, as an English writer says, Brown to Sackett's Harbor; and the

“no sooner was Europe restored residue were to fall back on Plattsburg. to peace, by the dethronement of Bona- | The enemy took advantage of this parte, than the British government re movement of Wilkinson, and at the solved to prosecute the contest with close of February, made an incursion increased vigor, and to obtain in the as far as Malone, and pillaged private field a recognition of those maritime property and destroyed public stores rights, which had hitherto been so to a considerable extent. On the apstrenuously resisted in the cabinet. proach of an American force, the enemy Two distinct modes of prosecuting the precipitately retreated. war seemed to have been determined Towards the latter end of March, on by the British ministry: first, an

Wilkinson determined to erect a batinvasion of the coast of the United tery at Rouse's Point, where had been States, and, second, after the protec- discovered a position from which the tion of Canada had been secured, the enemy's fleet, then laid up at St. John's, conquest of so much of the adjoining might be kept in check, and their conterritory as might, in the event of a templated movement on Lake Chamfuture war, effectually guard that prov- plain impeded or prevented. ince from all danger. The peace of The breaking up of the ice on Paris was scarcely ratified, before four- the lake at an earlier period of the sea. teen thousand of those troops, which son than usual, defeated his plan. A had gained so much renown under the body of the enemy, some two thousand Duke of Wellington, were embarked in number, on discovering his design, at Bordeaux for Canada; and about had been collected at La Colle Mill, the same time a strong naval force, three miles below Rouse's Point, for with an adequate number of troops, the purpose of opposing him. With a

1814.

CA. XI.]

MOVEMENTS ON THE LAKES.

229

view of dislodging this party, Wilkin The singular and repeated ill success son, at the head of between three and of the general in comunand on the four thousand men, crossed the Canada northern frontier, led to much comline on the 30th of March. After dis plaint and censure not lightly expresspersing several of the enemy's skirmish- ed. Wilkinson was suspended from ing parties, he reached La Colle Mill, a the command, and the troops were large, fortified stone house, situated in placed under the charge of General the centre of an open piece of ground, Izard. Subsequently, Wilkinson was and defended by a strong corps of Brit- brought before a court martial, and ish regulars, under the command of after a trial, was acquitted. Major Hancock.

Shortly after the affair at La Colle Wilkinson disposed his troops so as Mill, the greater part of the British nearly to encircle the mill, and brought force was collected at St. John's and up, a howitzer and one twelve-pounder Isle Aux Noix, for the purpose of seto batter the walls; but after firing a curing the entrance of their squadron considerable time, it was found little into Lake Champlain, on the breaking effect was produced. The enemy kept up of the ice. This movement was up a galling fire from the loop holes cut effected early in May. During the in the mill, during the whole time our autumn and winter preceding, Comtroops lay before the place, and di- modore M'Donough had labored with rected a great portion of it on the two great industry to provide a naval force pieces of artillery: the British fire was on Lake Champlain, equal to that of returned with great coolness and delib- the British. The flotilla was lying in erate aim. The enemy made two sal- the Otter River, at Vergennes; and it lies, and charged the left, commanded was the object of the British to destroy by General Smith, but were repulsed | it, before it should make its appearance with considerable loss. Towards even on the lake. Apprized of this, ing, a British regiment arrived, and M'Donough caused a battery to made a charge on part of a brigade be erected at the mouth of the river. commanded by General Bissel; but On the 12th of May, the British fleet they were so warmly received, that entered the lake, and were repulsed in they instantly fell back, leaving on

an attack

upon this battery by water. the field a number of their dead and They were also unsuccessful in attemptwounded.

ing to gain the rear of the battery by Finding it not possible, with the ar- land, being driven off by a detachment tillery he had, to penetrate the stone of Vermont militia.

Thus repulsed, walls of the mill, Wilkinson abandoned they abandoned their object, and movthe attempt in which he had engaged, ed down the lake. and having lost about a hundred and Active preparations were also under forty in killed and wounded, he retired way on Lake Ontario. At Kingston, in good order, the enemy

making no the British built a ship of larger size effort to molest him.

than ordinary, which led Chauncey to

1814.

the enemy.

1814.

do the same, so as to preserve, if pos- wounded. The loss of the Americans sible, a nearly equal force with that of was sixty-nine in killed, wounded, and

Various attempts were missing; among the first, a promising made to destroy these vessels, but with officer, Lieutenant Blaney. On the out success, and both the British and morning of the 7th, the enemy evacAmericans were kept constantly on the uated the place. alert. Oswego, which was a dépôt for Not long after, Major Appling and naval stores, was defended by a fort Captain Woolsey were appointed to mounting only five guns, and was gar- convey the naval stores from Oswego risoned by about three hundred men to Sackett's Harbor. On the 28th of under Colonel Mitchell. The British May, when off Sandy Creek, sixteen commander determined to attack it, miles southwest of Sackett's hoping to seize upon the valuable Harbor, perceiving themselves stores, rigging, guns, etc., which Chaun- covered by the British boats, they encey was collecting there for his new tered the creek. Here they landed, ship, the Superior. On the 5th of and formed an ambuscade. The BritMay, the British commenced a bom- ish followed, were completely surprised, bardment of Oswego, wbile fifteen and surrendered after an action of hundred men,* under General Drum- twenty minutes. Not one of Major mond, attempted to effect a landing. Appling's party was wounded, and the Failing in this, the next day they re- barges soon after arrived at Sackett's newed the attempt with better suc Harbor in safety. cess. Colonel Mitchell now abandoned Chauncey having completed the Suthe fort, and joining his corps to the ma- perior, which was capable of mounting rines and seamen, engaged the enemy's sixty-four guns, was again master of the front and flanks, and did great execu- lake. He accordingly sailed out, and tion. Finding further resistance use- several times presented himself before less, he fell back, formed his troops, Kingston ; but Sir James Yeo, the and took

up his march to the Falls of British commander, did not deem it Oswego, thirteen miles distant, destroy- prudent to hazard an engagement uning the bridges in his rear. Hither til his new ship of a hundred and the naval stores had already been re twelve guns should be completed. moved, and for all the trouble and loss In the west, the enemy had been which they had sustained, the British able to hold possession of Fort Mackiobtained nothing more than the can naw, which was looked upon as an imnon of the fort, a few barrels of pro- portant post for their purposes. Ser. visions and some whiskey. These were eral efforts were made to recover purchased with a loss of two hundred Mackinaw, but none of them were and thirty-five men, in killed and crowned with success. At the close

of February, Captain Holmes was dis* British authorities state, that the number was only patched from Detroit, by Colonel Butabout three hundred.

ler, with about a hundred and eighty

C#. XI.)

THE BATTLE OF CHIPPEWA.

231

men, against a party of the British who ish retreated, with a loss of sixty-five had stationed themselves on the river killed and wounded. Captain Holmes Thames, some two days march distant. whose loss was only six in killed and On the 3d of March, when about fif-wounded, was promoted to the rank of teen miles distant, he received intelli- major for this spirited affair. gence that three hundred of the enemy General Brown, who had not, during were advancing to attack him. Find the spring, been able to undertake any ing himself not in a situation to give expedition against Canada, was, neverbattle, from the fatigue which his men theless, not idle. Aided by Scott and had already encountered and his igno

igno- Ripley, he had diligently occupied himrance of the number of the enemy's self in drilling and disciplining his party, Captain Holmes fell back a few troops for the work which was before miles, and chose a position, in which he them. The first step was to regain was confident of being able to maintain possession of Fort Erie, and in June, himself, until he could obtain the neces Brown marched his army, now about sary information. For this purpose, he three thousand five hundred men, to dispatched a small body of rangers, Buffalo. On the 3d of July, Fort Erie which soon returned, pursued by the was invested, and the garrison, amountenemy, but without being able to learn ing to one hundred and seventy men, his force. The British, perceiving the surrendered without firing a shot. Imstrength of Captain Holmes's position, mediate possession was taken, and the resorted to stratagem for the purpose prisoners were sent into the interior of of drawing him from it. They feigned New York. an attack, and then retreated, taking General Brown promptly determined care not to show more than sixty or to advance and attack General Riall, seventy men. Captain Holmes pur- who was entrenched at Chippewa, not sued, but with caution; and after pro- far from Erie, but above the Falls; and ceeding about five miles, discovered having made arrangements for the detheir main body drawn up to receive fence of the fort and protecting the him. Immediately returning to his rear of the army, he ordered General former position, he disposed his troops Scott, on the morning of the 4th of

in the most judicious manner, July, to advance with his brigade and

and firmly waited for the en- Towson's artillery. These were folemy; having in front a deep ravine, lowed in the course of the day, by and the approaches on the other sides General Ripley, and the field and park being somewhat difficult and also pro- artillery under Hindman, together with tected by logs hastily thrown together. General Porter's volunteers. The BritThe attack was commenced at the same ish commander at Chippewa, General moment on every point, with savage Riall, might with no great difficulty, yells and the sound of bugles; and was have checked the advance of the Amergallantly sustained by the Americans. | icans by removing the bridge over the After an hour's hard fighting, the Brit- | Chippewa River, but he omitted this

1814.

« 上一頁繼續 »