Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 234
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1812, Sept. 1.—Gen. Bloomfield, with 8,000 troops, prepared to

234


CLINTON .COUNTY.

In the summer of 1814, Sir Geo. Provost, Gov, of Canada, made extensive preparations for an
invasion of the country along Lake Champlain. Toward the last of Aug. a land force of 14,000
men assembled on the frontier and commenced their march, supported by a formidable fleet under
Commodore .Downie. Gen. Macomb, who commanded the Americans, had a force of less than
3,000; but, as the invading army drew nigh, he was continually re-inforced by volunteors and
militia.1 The American fleet, under the command of Commodore MacDonough, took position in
Cumberland Bay, awaiting the attack of the British. On. Sunday morning, Sept. 11, a simul¬
taneous attack was made by the British land and naval forces, and a bloody and desperate battle
ensued. At the end of 2 hours Commodore Downie’s flag struck, and. nearly the whole British
fleet fell into tho hands of the Americans.2 The cannonade was continued upon the shore until
night, when the British slowly and sullenly retreated and in a few days returned to Canada.3
These engagements were justly considered among the mqst brilliant that occurred during the war,


attach Canada.

“    Sept. 16.—Troops consisting of 3,000 regulars and 2,000

militia, under Gen. Dearborn, encampe,d with¬
in a half mile of the Canada line.

“ Sept. 20.—Guardhouse at La Cole surprised; but, as
plans of attack were frustrated, the troops
retired to Plattsburgh for winter quarters.

1813,    'Feb.—Two brigades marched to Sackets Harbor,

leaving the w. side of the lake entirely un¬
protected till Sept.

“    June 2.—Naval engagement near Ash Island, Canada,

between an American force, under Lieut.
Sidney Smith, and seve*ral British gunboats,
resulting in the loss of the American sloops
Growler and Eagle and 112 men. The ves¬
sels were subsequently re-captured.-
“    July 31.—A British force of 1,400 men, under Col. Murray,

made a descent upon Plattsburgh and de¬
stroyed a large amount of public and private
property.    '

“    Sept. 19.—A body of 3,00Q American troops, under Gen.

Hampton, concentrated at Cumberland Head
and started on an expedition against Canada.
“    Sept. 21.—After remaining one day in Canada, the Gen.

changed his plan, and, ostensibly on his way
to Montreal, he marched to Chateaugay, and
,    there remained idle 26 days.

“    Oct. .1.—A small party of American militia surprised a

picket guard at Odeltown, Canada.

“    Oct. 11.—Col. Isaac Clark, with 110 men, crossed the

lake from Champlain, attacked a party of
British at Missisco Bay, killed 9, wounded 14,
and took 101 prisoners.

“    Nov.—A    party of Vt. milftia crossed the lake and

placed themselves under General Hampton.
The Gov. of Vt. ordered them to return; but
they refused to obey.

“    Dec. 1.—A British naval force, consisting of 6 armed

galleys, under Capt. Pring, entered the lake
and burned an empty storehouse near Rouses
Point. In the report of Sir George Provost,
this building was converted into a large
magazine of stores at Plattsburgh.

181.4, Jan. 18.—A detachment of infantry from Plattsburgh
arrived upon the frontier, soon followed by
another body of troops, under Gen. Wilkinson.
u March 30.—Under the direction of Gen. Wilkinson, Maj.

Forsyth attacked a gristmill at La Cole, but
was repulsed with a loss of 104 in killed and
wounded. The British loss was 56.

“    May 9.—A British naval force, consisting of 5 sloops and

13 row-galleys, under Capt. Pring, were re¬
pulsed in an attack upon Otter Creek, in Vt.
On their retreat they entered Baquet River,
but were attacked by a body of militia, and
nearly all the men in the rear galley were
killed or wounded. -
u June 24.—Lieut. Col. Forsyth, with 70 riflemen, entered
Canada, and was attacked bya British force
of 200 men. He effected liis retreat with
little loss, but a few days after was killed in
another skirmish.

“ Aug, 29.—Gen. Izard, with the greater part of the Ameri¬
can force, left Champlain, leaving the im¬
mense amount of military stores at Platts¬
burgh in charge of Gen. Macomb, at the
,    head of 3,400 men, 1,400 of whom were sick.

“ Aug. 30.—Gen. Brisbane, with the advance guard of the
• _ British army, took possession of Champlain.
“    Sept. 3.—Sir Geo. Provost, Gov. of Canada, at the head

of 14,000 men, advanced s. from Champlain,
.    arriving within 8 mi. of Plattsburgh on the

evening of the 5th.

**    Sept. 6.;—Skirmish at Culvers Hill, and the first attack

on Plattsburgh, in which the British lost 200
men and the Americans 45.

1814, Sept. 11.—Naval engagement in Cumberland Bay, result¬
ing in the complete victory of the Americans;
and an attack upon the American landworks,
which was repulsed. The British army re¬
treated during the following night.

“ Sept. 24.—Last division of the British army retired to
Canada.

1 Gov. Chittenden of Vt. issued a proclamation calling upon
the militia to rally and repel the invasion ; and large numbers
promptly responded to the call aud repaired to the camp. The
call upon Washington and Warren cos, was answered by 350
more men than had ever mustered at an inspection or review.

2 The comparative strength and loss of the two parties on the
lake were as follows:—    »    *

AMERICAN.

■a

Vessels.

K

ks

S

s

£

£

Flagship Saratoga, Com. Macdonough...

212

26

28

29

Brig Eagle, Capt. Ilenlyn.....................

150

20

13

20

Schooner Ticonderoga, Lieut. Cassin.,...t

110

17

6

6

Sloop Preble, Lieut. Chas. Budd............

30

7

2

Galleys Allen, Burrows, Borer, Nettle,

Viper, and Centipede (each 1 long

24 and 1 Columbian).......................

210

12

Galleys Ludlow, Wilmer, Alwin, and

Ballard (each 1 12 pound).................

140

4

Total.........................................

852

86

49

55

BRITISH.

Frigate Confiance, Capt. Downie........

300

39

41

83

Brig Linnet, Capt. Pring..................

120

16

10

14

Sloop Chup, Lieut. McGhee...............

45

11

6

10

Finch, “ Hicks..................

45

11

2

Galleys Sir Jas. Teo, Sir Geo. Provost,

Sir Sidney Beckwith, Broke, and

Murray (each. 2 guns)..................

225

10

Galleys Wellington, Tecumseh, Drum¬

mond, Simcoe, and 4 names un¬

known (each I gun)....................

360

8

Total......................................

1,095

95

57

109

The action lasted 2} hours. The British galleys lowered their
colors; but, not being pursued, they escaped, as did also a store-
ship which lay near the point of Cumberland Head during the
engagement. The loss upon the enemy’s galleys was not ascer¬
tained, but was large; and the total British loss was one-fifth
of their whole number. In their retreat the British left behind
them a vast quantity of provisions, tents, camp equipage, and
ammunition, together with their sick and wounded. The British
and Americali officers were buried separately near the center of
the village cemetery; and the sailors and marines of both fleets
side by side in one common grave, on Crab Island. Some time
after, the sister-in-law of Com. Geo. Downie placed a tablet over
his grave; and on the anniversary of the battle, in 1843, the
citizens of Plattsburgh and the Clinton Co. Military Association
erected plain marble monuments at the unmarked graves of
Lieut. G..W. Runk, Lieut. Peter Gamble, Lieut. John Stansbury,
Sailing Master Rogers Carter, Midshipman J. M. Baldwin, and
Pilot Jose’ph Barrow of the American navy; and Col. Willington,
Ensign J. Chapman, Lieut. R. Kingsbury, Boatswain Chas.
Jackson, Capt. Purchase, Capt. Alex. Anderson, (marines,) Acting
Capt.-Wm. Paul, and Midshipman V. M. Gunn, of the British
army and navy.

3 Sir Geo. Provost,in his official report, says, “This unlooked
for event deprived me of the co-operation of the fleet, without
which the further prosecution of the service was become imprac¬
ticable. I did not hesitate to arrest the course of the troops ad¬
vancing to the attack; because the most complete success would
have been unavailing, and the possession of the enemy’s works
offered no advantage to compensate for the loss we must have
sustained in acquiring possession of them.”



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