Canada Papers

Quebec, Sept. 3. The army from this province has entered the United States by the Champlain frontier. On the 1st inst. the advance was at Chazy.

Quebec, Sept. 8. From the north-western frontier of Upper Canada, Messrs M’Gillivray and M’Leod, who arrived here on Thursday last, have brought dispatches from Lieutenant Colonel M’Donal, at Michillimackinac, written since the repulse of the American forces sent there to recapture it. The following are the particulars of that expedition :–

“On the forenoon of the 5th of August, the Americans landed 900 men, or thereabouts, at the back of the island (Dowsman’s farm). There is a considerable space of ground cleared, and a gentle slope, which enabled their vessels, at anchor close to the beach, to keep clear, by a constant fire of grape, &c. and which by the situation of the ground, passed directly over the men’s heads, as they formed and advanced towards the woods.

“Lieutenant-Colonel M’Doual[?] formed his small garrison (150 at most) at the extremity of the woods, and the Indians were stationed on each flank, to keep the enemy from outflanking the troops. By a false account of the enemy’s intention to land on another part of the island, a certain number of Indians were sent to watch their motions ; but more Indians absenting themselves, exposed one flank of Lieutenant-Colonnel M’Doual’s party entirely ; and an apprehension was entertained that the enemy would outflank and cut off the garrison from the forts ; it was therefore deemed expedient to fall back between the two forts, and there await the advance of the enemy.

“A party of between 40 and 50 Indians, placed on the left flank, and ignorant of the movements in the centre and right flank, fired on the Americans, and threw them into confusion, which the Indians soon perceived, and encouraging each other by whoops and yells, totally broke the little order still observed by the enemy, who took instant flight, and were all out of reach before Lieutenant-Colonel M’Doual was apprised of their retreat.

“Thus was a body of at least from six to nine hundred men defeated and put to instant flight by 40 or 50 Indians, with a loss of 17 men and a Major (Holmes) killed and found on the spot!–The Indians lost but one man.”

Previous to and combined with this, the measures taken by the enemy were these:

“On the [?] of July, a detachment of the expedition sent against Michillimackinac by the enemy, proceeded to St Mary’s, where they met with no resistance, there being neither troops nor Indians, and every person occupied about their usual concerns ; such as bay making, fishing &c. Major Holmes commanded the party, who gave up to indiscriminate plunder, and destroyed the whole of the property belonging to the North West Company ; burning their houses, stores, and vessels, killing their cattle, and taking off their engagees prisoners ; tearing down the fences, destroying the gardens, fields, &c. Many wanton acts of cruelty might be detailed. Let two suffice for the present.

“Mr Johnstone’s property was plundered, even his furniture ; the very clothing of his wife and children was seized upon by these ruthless plunderers, and carried away. Major Holmes sent to the south side of the strait for Mr Johnstone’s son George, and, after threatening and reviling him with the most oppobrious language, flourished his sword over his head, and said he had a great mind to cut his head off, now he was his slave, When they were in the act of burning the houses and stores, Mr G. Johnstone was ordered to stand in a certain spot, under pain of being shot ; but had he remained, sufforation[?] must have been his fate, being so near the buildings in flames : he therefore risked being shot, and came off, and thereby effected a timely escape.

“Another instance of more than savage cruelty was exercised on a poor horse, which they made us of all day in carting their plunder, and in the evening, whilst still tackled to the cart, tied him to the end of the dwelling-house then in flames, and amused themselves in looking at the poor animal making vain efforts to get loose ; but there he was burnt, and his bones seen there by the writer of this.”

Citation: Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh, United Kingdom), 15 October 1814, available at the Scissors and Paste Database,