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He feared
the same in crossing the Saranac to the assault of the works, and wanted
the navy to draw off the gunboats.

[422] Robertson's Narrative before the Court Martial.

[423] The correspondence between Prevost and Downie, Sept. 7-10, is in
the Canadian Archives, M. 389.6. pp. 176-183.

[424] This letter of Major Coore, published in a Canadian paper, Feb.
26, 1815, is to be found in the Canadian Archives MSS., M. 389.6. p.

[425] Court Martial Evidence.

[426] Evidence of Pring, and of Brydone, master of the "Confiance,"
before the Court Martial. Robertson in his narrative is equally positive
and explicit on this point.

[427] Robertson's Narrative.

[428] Robertson's Narrative.

[429] Macdonough's Report.

[430] Pronounced "wynd."

[431] Robertson's Narrative.

[432] A spring is a rope taken from the stern of a ship to the anchor,
by hauling on which the ship is turned in the direction desired.

[433] Brydone's Evidence.

[434] Evidence of Sailing Master Brydone.

[435] Macdonough's Report.

[436] For the battle of Lake Champlain much the most complete and
satisfactory evidence is the Record of the British Court Martial. There
having been no dispute on the American side, as between Perry and
Elliott at Lake Erie, there has not been the same output of conflicting
statements, tending to elucidate as well as to confuse. Commander Henley
of the "Eagle" was apparently dissatisfied with Macdonough's report, as
the Commodore (apparently) was with his action. This drew from him a
special report. Navy Department MSS. Niles' Register, vol. vii.
Supplement, p. 135, contains this letter with many verbal changes, which
do not materially affect its purport.

[437] Cochrane arrived at Bermuda March 6; but, despite his urgency and
evident annoyance, Warren, who was senior, and had had ample notice of
his supersession, took his own leisurely time about giving over the
command, which he did not do till April 1, sailing for England April 8.

[438] Bathurst to Ross, Sept. 6, 1814. War Office, Entry Book.

[439] Pigot's Report to Cochrane, June 8, 1814. Admiralty In-Letters

[440] Cochrane to the Admiralty, June 20, 1814. Admiralty In-Letters

[441] Admiralty to Cochrane, Aug. 10, 1814. The reference in the text
depends upon a long paper near the end of vol. 39, British War Office
Records, which appears to the writer to have been drawn up for the use
of the ministry in parliamentary debate. It gives step by step the
procedure of the Government in entering on the New Orleans undertaking.

[442] Bathurst to Ross, Sept. 6, 1814. British War Office Records.

[443] Naval Chronicle, vol. xxxiii. p. 429.

[444] American State Papers, Foreign Relations, vol. iii. p. 397.

[445] Ibid., p. 572.

[446] Niles' Register, vol. iii. p. 182.

[447] Ibid., vol. vii. pp. 133-135.

[448] Cochrane to the Admiralty, Oct. 3, 1814. Admiralty In-Letters.

[449] Ibid.

[450] Neither Cochrane nor Lockyer gives the number of the British
boats; but as there were three divisions, drawn from five ships of the
line and three or four frigates, besides smaller vessels, Jones' count
was probably accurate. He had ample time to observe.

[451] The gunboats of Jefferson's building had no names, and were
distinguished by number only.

[452] Jones' Report of this affair is found in Niles' Register, vol.
viii. p. 126; those of Cochrane and Lockyer in the Naval Chronicle, vol.
xxxiii. pp. 337-341.

[453] So styled in Cochrane's Report, which also speaks of it as Bayou
Catalan. The name does not appear on the map of Major Latour, chief of
engineers to Jackson, who in his report calls the whole bayou Bienvenu.

[454] Gleig, Narrative of the Campaign of Washington, Baltimore, and New
Orleans, pp. 282-288.

[455] Gleig, pp. 308-309.

[456] Gleig's Narrative, p. 321. Cochrane's Report, Naval Chronicle,
vol. xxxiii. p. 341. Report of Major C.R. Forrest, British Assistant
Quarter-master-General, War Office Records.

[457] Thornton's Report. James' Military Occurrences of the War of 1812,
vol. ii., p. 547.

[458] James' Military Occurrences, vol. ii. p. 547.

[459] Niles' Register, vols. vii. and viii., gives a large number of the
official reports, as well British as American, concerning the New
Orleans Expedition. So also does James in his "Military Occurrences" and
"Naval Occurrences" of the War of 1812. Regarded in outline, as is
attempted in the text, the operations are of a simple character,
presenting no difficulties.

[460] Captains' Letters. Navy Department MSS.

[461] Ibid., Sept. 26, 1814.

[462] Decatur to Navy Department, April 9, 1814. Captains' Letters.

[463] A razee is a ship cut down, and reduced from her original rate.
The "Majestic" had been a seventy-four, and probably was the same vessel
which under that name and rate took part in the battle of the Nile. The
expedient of razeeing had been adopted by the British Government, in
order rapidly to prepare vessels superior to the American forty-fours,
yet less costly in crews than ships of the line. These razees were rated
as carrying fifty-six guns.

[464] Deposition of Commodore Decatur at Bermuda. Naval Chronicle, vol.
xxxiii. p. 371.

[465] Decatur's Report. Niles' Register, vol. viii. p. 8. In his
deposition Decatur says "the 'Tenedos' did not fire at the time of such

[466] The loss of the "President" was twenty-four killed, fifty-five
wounded. (Decatur's Report.) That of the "Endymion," eleven killed and
fourteen wounded. (Naval Chronicle, vol. xxxiii. p. 262.)

[467] Naval Chronicle, vol. xxxiii. p. 370.

[468] Captain Hayes' Report. Niles' Register, vol. viii. p. 175. Naval
Chronicle, vol. xxxiii. p. 261.

[469] Niles' Register, vol. viii. p. 147.

[470] The armament of the "Cyane" is that reported by Lieut. Hoffman,
U.S. Navy, who brought her to the United States. Niles' Register, vol.
viii. p. 134.

[471] The "Cyane" reached a United States port, but the "Levant" was
recaptured by a British squadron. Both names remained in the United
States Navy till the Civil War. A "Levant," built in succession to the
one captured, was lost at sea in 1860--never heard from.

[472] The account given in the text depends upon Stewart's "minutes of
the action" (Niles' Register, vol. viii. p. 219), compared with the
"Constitution's" log (Navy Department MSS.), of which the minutes are a



The Government of the United States had been honestly loath to declare
war in 1812, and had signalized its reluctance by immediate advances
looking to a restoration of peace. These were made through Jonathan
Russell, the _chargé d'affaires_ in London when hostilities began. To
use the expression of Monroe, then Secretary of State, "At the moment
of the declaration of war, the President, regretting the necessity
which produced it, looked to its termination, and provided for
it."[473] The two concessions required as indispensable, in the
overture thus referred to, dated June 26, 1812, were the revocation of
the Orders in Council, and the abandonment of the practice of
impressing from American merchant ships. Should these preliminary
conditions be obtained, Russell was authorized to stipulate an
armistice, during which the two countries should enter upon
negotiations, to be conducted either at Washington or in London, for
the settlement of all points of difference.

Russell made this communication to Castlereagh August 24, 1812. Before
this date Admiral Warren had sailed from England for the American
command, carrying with him the propositions of the British Government
for a suspension of hostilities, consequent upon the repeal of the
Orders in Council.[474] In view of Warren's mission, and of the fact
that Russell had no powers to negotiate, but merely to conclude an
arrangement upon terms which he could not alter, and which his
Government had laid down in ignorance of the revocation of the Orders,
Castlereagh declined to discuss with him the American requirements. "I
cannot, however," he wrote, "refrain on one single point from
expressing my surprise, namely, that as a condition preliminary even
to a suspension of hostilities, the Government of the United States
should have thought fit to demand that the British Government should
desist from its ancient and accustomed practice of impressing British
seamen from the merchant ships of a foreign state, simply on the
assurance that a law shall hereafter be passed to prohibit the
employment of British seamen in the public or commercial service of
that state."[475] "The Government could not consent to suspend the
exercise of a right upon which the naval strength of the empire mainly
depends," until fully convinced that the object would be assured by
other means. To a subsequent modification of the American
propositions, in form, though not in tenor, the British minister
replied in the same spirit, throwing the weight of his objections upon
the question of impressment, which indeed remained alone of the two
causes of rupture.[476]

Commendable as was its desire for peace, the American Government had
made the mistake of being unwilling to insure it by due and timely
preparation for war. In these advances, therefore, its adversary
naturally saw not magnanimity, but apprehension. Russell, in reporting
his final interview, wrote, "Lord Castlereagh once observed somewhat
loftily, that if the American Government was so anxious _to get rid of
the war_,[477] it would have an opportunity of doing so on learning
the revocation of the Orders in Council." The American representative
rejoined with proper spirit; but the remark betrayed the impression
produced by this speedy offer, joined to the notorious military
unreadiness of the United States. Such things do not make for peace.
The British ministry, like a large part of the American people, saw in
the declaration of war a mere variation upon the intermittent policy
of commercial restrictions of the past five years; an attempt to
frighten by bluster. In such spirit Monroe, in this very letter of
June 26 to Russell, had dwelt upon the many advantages to be derived
from peace with the United States; adding, "not to mention the
injuries which cannot fail to result from a prosecution of the war."
In transcribing his instructions, Russell discreetly omitted the
latter phrase; but the omission, like the words themselves, betrays
consciousness that the Administration was faithful to the tradition of
its party, dealing in threats rather than in deeds.

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