Extract of a letter from Montreal Sept. 25
“Our Friend Mr – arrived in town from New York a few days ago. On his way he passed three days at Plattsburgh, the head-quarters of the American army, which, from ocular observation, he states to consist of 8 or 10,000 men, under the command of General Bloomfield, Mooar, and Petit. This force is composed of 3 or 4000 regulars, about the same number of militia, and some volunteers from the southward. The militia is almost all from the state of New York, for the Yankees still refuse to march. with this force no doubt is entertained here but they will make an attack ; and if they mean to make it this season, they must be prompt in their movements, for the weather is getting cold, and they are not well clothed or appointed. Mr –, indeed, states half of them to be without shoes or stockings, which will never do for a winter campaign in this country. To repel the threatened attack, we are making every preparation in our power, and the Canadians seem well disposed to second the Government. Sir George Prevost has established a cordon, the left of which is at Chambly, and extending to Chateaguny ; the main encampment is half way between St John’s and La Prairie. Colonel Murray is at St John’s with a battalion ; and the Isle-auNoix is strongly fortified, with a boom and a chain secured across the river. This line of defence is composed of four regiments of the line, and 2000 drafted militia, with a corps of about 400 Canadian voltigeurs, raised last spring. The Royals, a very strong battalion, lately arrived from the West Indies, are now marching to join the camp. The citizens, both here and at Quebec, mount guard, and do garrison : indeed there are in this island (Montreal) five battalions of militia, say 3 to 4000 men, pretty well disciplined, and who on an alarm could march to this cordon in half a day.– A new regiment of embodied militia has lately been formed by drafts from the different regiments of inrolled militia in this island, and old Major Murray is appointed Lieutenant-Colonel. The gentlemen of the North-west Company army are forming a corps of their voyageurs, who will be most useful troops to act in advance with the Indians. The number originally proposed was 200, but the men have come forward so handsomely, that they are to consist of 500. Mr M’Gillivray is Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of this corps, Mr Shaw, Major, and the other partners of the Company are Captains and subalterns ; so that the men being commanded by those whom they have accustomed to obey, may be considered as already disciplined, at least in point of subordination.
“Sir George confines his operations to mere defence. La Motte, with about 70 Indians, advanced through the woods, about ten days ago, within hearing of this redoubtable army, and set up a war whoop, which so completely terrified them that though they could see no enemy, they lay on their arms for two two successive nights, in no expectation of an attack–to prevent which, they cut down their best bridge, and destroyed all the roads by which I suppose they mean to invade us. Mr –, who was several days at their headquarters, and who was offered the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the army, has, it is said, proposed to Sir George to destroy their camp with 500 men ; and Sir George is said to have replied, that his plan was fixed, not to make any attack nor to send a man across the line.
“This forebearance, which the Yankees impute to fear or weakness, tends only to increase their insolent swaggering, and their enmity is to inveterate to be allayed by any thing but hard knocks.”
Citation: Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh, United Kingdom), 09 November 1812, available at the Scissors and Paste Database, http://www.scissorsandpaste.net/107.