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George was the bulwark. The necessary arrangements having been completed, at one o'clock in the morning, May 27th, the whole army embarked on lake Ontario, three miles east from Fort Niagara. It was arranged in six divisions of boats; the first contained the advanced guard under Col. Scott, who was specially selected for this command. This was followed by Col. Porter with the field train, the brigades of Boyd, Winder, and Chandler, and a reserve under Col. Macomb.
. Com. Chauncey was present with his squadron, and favoured the descent by the fire of his small schooners; and Capt. Perry, who was then serving under Corn. Chauncey, volunteered to conduct the divisions, which was an operation of some nicety, in consequence of the winds and a strong current, together with the early-roused fire of the enemy. In the discharge of this duty, he was present at every point where he could be useful, under showers of musketry, and rendered very essential services to the advance guard, which he accompanied nearly to its point of attack. Gen. Scott has since spoken in high terms of his skill and conduct on that occasion. This was, indeed, comparatively, but a small affair, and its little lustre has been completely lost in the broad blaze of glory which has since surrounded the name of the Nelson of Lake Erie; yet there is to us something extremely gratifying in being able to trace the progress of a favourite hero, and to see those talents first exerted on a smaller scale which were so soon to shine forth, the pride and the bulwark of his native land.
At nine in the morning, Col. Scott effected his landing, in good order, under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, about a mile and a quarter from the village of Newark, and the same distance west of the mouth of the Niagara. He formed his line on the beach of the lake, covered by a bank of twelve or fifteen feet in height, which served as a parapet against the enemy's fire. This bank was to be scaled against the bayonets of the enemy, who had now drawn up his force fifteen hundred strong, immediately on its brow. They were soon driven from their ground by a brisk and vigorous charge, but rallied, and took a second position behind a ravine, at a little distance. An action, of some VOL. IV. New Series.
twenty minutes, ensued; it was short and desperate, and ended in the total rout of the enemy at every point. During the last five minutes, Boyd had landed in the rear of the advance guard, and a part of his brigade participated in the action. Col. Scott pursted the rout as far as the village, where he was joined by the sixth regiment, under Col. Miller; from thence the enemy was closely pressed at a distance of five miles up the river, until Scott was recalled from the pursuit by order of Gen. Lewis. As our troops approached towards Fort George, it was perceived that the garı ison were in the act of abandoning the work. Two companies were instantly detached from the head of the pursuing column, to prevent this movement, and some prisoners were made. They were at the distance of about eighty paces from the fort, when one of its magazines blew up with a tremendous explosion. The front gate was instantly forced by our men; Scott was the first to enter, and took with his own hands the British flag yet waving over the works. At the same time Captains Hindsman and Stockton snatched away the matches which had been applied by the retreating garrison to three other magazines.
In these several affairs, the total loss of the American army, in killed and wounded, amounted to 120, of which 89 were of Col. Scott's command ; 107 of the enemy were killed at the point of ascent from the bank, and the whole number of prisoners was 264.
Col. Scott was not present at the affair of the 6th of June, at Stony-creek, in which Brigadier Generals Chandler and Winder were taken prisoners. The army remained inactive at Fort George for the remainder of the campaign, under Generals Dearborn, Lewis, Boyd, and Wilkinson, who successively commanded. Nevertheless, Col. Scott was frequently engaged in skirmishes and other small affairs, in all of which he displayed his usual galluntry, though none of them afforded any particular opportupity of distinction. During the summer of this year, he volunfeered his services, in an expedition under Commodore Chauncey, against Burlington Heights, where a large deposite of provisions and stores had been made. The enemy having received considerable reinforcements, the expedition failed, as to the principal object; but upon his return, Chauncey landed the marines and sol
diers, under the command of Col. Scott, at York, where the new barracks and public storehouses were burnt, and some pieces of cannon, eleven armed boats, a quantity of ammunition, and a large magazine of flour, were taken.
On being promoted to a regiment, Col. Scott resigned the office of adjutant general, in the month of July, 1813.
It had been determined, as all our readers well remember, to collect a large force at Sackett's Harbour, with a view to an enterprise against Kingston or Montreal, towards the close of the campaign. The force under Gen. Wilkinson accordingly embarked at Fort George on the 2d of October, and proceeded down the Jake. Col. Scott was left in command of a garrison of some seven or eight hundred men, regulars and militia, for the defence of Fort George. The British army, in the mean while, remained inactive in the position which it had held for some time, at the distance of four miles from the fort, until October 9th, when Gen. De Rottenburg suddenly broke up his encampment, and retreated to Burlington Heights, a distance of 53 miles, abandoning the whole Niagara frontier. During the seven days in which he was kept in suspense by the threatening aspect of De Rottenburg, Col. Scott made the greatest exertions to strengthen his 'defences, which were very incomplete at the time he was left in command. The enemy, however, did not think it prudent to attack him.
Col. Scott had instructions which provided for the contingency that now occurred. He was accordingly relieved in the command of Fort George by Brig. Gen. M'Clure of the NewYork militia, and marched his garrison towards Sackett's Harbour, to join the expedition under Gen. Wilkinson, which was then preparing to descend the St. Lawrence. After a forced · march of nineteen days, through rain and mud, during the whole of which time the sun was not visible for twelve hours, he learned, to his great mortification, upon his arrival in the neighbourhood of Sackett's Harbour, that the expedition had already taken its departure. He therefore left bis column, and, by a forced effort of two days and one night, came up with the army, and joined it just above Ogdensburg and Prescott. He was immediately assigned to the command of a handsome battalion in the corps d'élite under Colonel Macomb. In the subsequent descent of the St.
Lawrence, he commanded the van of the army, and was therefore not present at the action of the 11th of November, which took place fifteen miles in the rear. How this campaign terminated, is yet fresh in the recollection of all. From whatever cause it proceeded, individual bravery and enterprise had been uniformly rendered abortive by a long series of delays and blunders. The patriot, who, regardless of party considerations, looked solely to the national honour and welfare, still continued to turn away his eyes from the northern frontier, “heart sick of his country's shame.” Even the most zealous partisans of the measures of the administration did not dare to do bare justice to the numerous examples of prowess and conduct which had been displayed in our armies irr the course of the campaign of 1813. It was scarce. ly suspected by the public, that this period of disaster had served as a touchstone on which the true temper of our army had beer thoroughly tried, so that it had now become easy to select the purer metal from the dross; that in this bard school of adversity many brave and high-spirited young men had been formed into accomplished officers; and, on the other hand, many an empty fop, young and old, who had been seduced into the service by the glitter of epaulets and lace, and military buttons, had been severely taught his own incompetency.
The rude northern gales of the frontier had swept away the painted insects which rise and spread their glittering wings in the summer sun, but had served only to rouse and invigorate those eagle spirits who, during the calm, cower undisturbed in solitude and silence, but as the tempest rises burst forth from their obscurity, and stem the storm, and sport themselves in the gale.
Col. Scott spent a great part of the following winter at Albany. Early in March, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general, and joined Maj. Gen. Brown there, on his route to the Niagara frontier, early in April. Soon after, Gen. Brown was recalled to Sackett's Harbour, and the command, in consequence, devolved on Brig. Gen. Scott, who immediately assembled the army, and established a camp of instruction at Buffalo. In this camp were taught those tactics which gave to our army an accuracy and celerity of movement which had never been displayed on this continent, either by British or American troops. The French lac
tique of the battalion and the line was adopted. Without regard to rank, all the officers were rigorously drilled by the commanding general in person; these then instructed the rank and file ; companies were then formed and subjected to the same process; next battalions, which were also instructed by Gen. Scott in person, and finally the troops were carried through the evolutions of the brigade and the line with the same strict attention to science and inethod. For two months and a half these exercises were continued from seven to nine hours a day. The effect was astonishing. Four full battalions were brought to advance in brigade line, 1,000 paces in quick time, in accurate alignment. The same line was made to change front perpendicular, on a central point, in three minutes and a half. During
During this period of discipline and instruction, the army was perfectly organized, and, by the unwearied exertions and example of the commanding general, the strictest routine and discipline were established throughout the whole.
In June, Maj. Gen. Brown returned to Buffalo with reinforcements, and on the 3d of July the campaign opened. The Niagara was passed, and Fort Erie taken on the same day : the fort was taken possession of by a battalion of the first of Scott's brigade, under Major Jessup. Thence the army moved towards Chippewa, the first brigade being ten hours in advance. Our little army took a position a mile and a half above Chippewa, having a small stream immediately in front, beyond which lay an exten. sive plain; their right rested on the Niagara, the left upon a wood. From this wood the British Indians and militia annoyed the piquets, until Brig. Gen. Porter, with his command of militia, volunteers, and friendly Indians, drove these irregulars out of the wood, and back upon the Chippewa, where he met the whole British column, in order of battle, advancing to the attack. Gen. Porter's light troops soon gave way, and fled in every direction, in spite of the personal gallantry of their general, and his great exertions to stop their flight. The cloud of dust which arose, and the heavy firing, apprized Gen. Brown of the approach of the main body of the enemy. It was now five o'clock in the afternoon. At this moment Scott was advancing with his brigade to drill on the very ground on which the action was fought. On the march, he met Gen. Brown, who said to him, “the enemy is advancing-you will have a fight.”