Navy Hall destroyed - November, 1812

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Navy Hall destroyed - November, 1812

Post by pud » Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:34 pm

Source: Documentary History of the Campaign upon the Niagara Frontier in 1812. Part IV. October, November and December. Lieut. Col. E Cruikshank. Tribune Office, Welland. [year: unknown]pp. 227-236.

"Lt.-Col. Myers to Major-General Sheaffe
FORT GEORGE, 22nd November, 1812

Sir,-I have the honor to report to you that in obedience to your orders I directed Captain Holcroft of the Royal Artillery to open a cannonade upon the enemy's Fort at half past seven o'clock yesterday morning, beginning with the gun stationed near the Lighthouse, following it up in the front and from Fort George. In a quarter of an hour the enemy returned a sharp but ill-directed fire.

During the day the enemy ceased firing at different periods, sometimes to assist in extinguishing fires which were visible issuing from many buildings in their Fort, from the effects of our shells and heated shot, and sometimes to obtain supplies of ammunition. From a well-directed shell which burst upon the enemy's north block house, the gun upon the building was dismounted and abandoned. A shot from the 24-pounder right of Fort George entered an embrasure of the enemies two-gun battery at Youngstown, upset the 18-pounder and rendered it unserviceable for about two hours. About 11 o'clock the old building at Navy Hall occupied as the mess room of the garrison, was set on fire by the enemy's battery at Youngstown and entirely consumed. An eight-inch shell bursting on the top of the stone house in the enemy's Fort silenced a 6-pounder on that building for more than an hour, when that gun was again manned. It was remarkable for having fired three rounds without shot.

A public building of the enemy under this Fort, near the river's edge, was set in a blaze by our hot shot, and from the well directed fire kept upon it all his efforts to extinguish it were frustrated. It was, together with an adjacent building, totally destroyed.

From the many excellent shells thrown in the general judicious direction of our fire much serious injury must have been done to the enemy's works and barracks, and Captain Holcroft reported to me that several of their killed and wounded were at one time observed to be removed from the picketing of the north curtin, through the gate of the west, and some from Youngstown to the Fort.

At 5:00 p.m. the enemy entirely ceased firing from his Fort, but continued it feebly from his battery at Youngstown. I then, when it was nearly dark, ordered our batteries and Fort to cease.

During the day one of our barracks in Fort George sustained some damage from the enemies shot, all of which against our Fort and town appeared to be heated. The town, too, has been in some parts injured. We have only to lament the loss of an old half-pay Officer, Captain Frey, and one private of the 49th Regiment.

The talent and zeal of Captain Holcroft of the Royal Artillery are too-well known to gain additional claims on the service from any praise of mine, but I cannot omit observing to you that they were upon this occasion most conspicuous.

I received during the day very great assistance from Lt. Col. Nichol, Quartermaster General of Militia, from Major of Brigade Evans, Captain Vigoreux, Royal Engineers, and Lt. Fowler, 41st Regiment, Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General.

In the absence of Captain Powell, who had been for some days sick, Captain Cameron of the militia artillery was stationed at the 24-pounder on the left and executed his duty with much judgment and activity. The spirits manifested by the troops of the line and Militia were highly gratifying, and strongly tends to prove that the expectations entertained of their gallant defence will not be disappointed whenever the enemy may dare to come in contact with them.

Statement of Sarah Willott

Sarah Willott says that part of the enemy's army is at Buffalo and part encamped between that place and Black Rock. It is reported that their number is about twelve thousand and that they intend making an attack shortly at Fort Erie and below it and taking over 40 pieces of cannon with them. That nineteen-hundred men are on their route from Pennsylvania to the Black Rock. That provisions are very scarce and very bad; that their army is suffering much from want of clothing and from yet being encamped, and that they're preparing their boats to come over.

Major-General Sheaffe to Sir George Prevost
FORT GEORGE, 23rd November, 1812.

Sir,-I have this day received a packet from York containing a letter from Col. Vincent, apprising me of the return of Paymaster Brock from Sackett’s Harbor and of the intelligence brought from thence by him. It fully confirms that which had been previously received through several channels of the activity of the enemy in preparing the most formidable means for establishing a superiority on the lakes. If the weather at this advanced period should not countenance their design of employing them against us this season, and we should be fortunate enough to maintain our military positions in this Province during this winter, it will require exertions of the most energetic kind to enable us to contend with them in the spring for the ascendency on the lakes, to obtain which engages the particular attention of the American Government as being necessary to the attainment of what is evidently the main object of the war, the possession of the Upper Province, with an ulterior view to establishing a control over the numerous Indian nations.

I have the honor of transmitting to Your Excellency an address which I have received from the committee of the Executive Council of this Province respecting the comparative state of its marine. The subject is indeed interesting and has a special claim on the attention of the guardians of the public welfare. (Canadian Archives, C. 728, page 115.)

Return of the killed, wounded and missing of the following corps of the division of the army serving in Upper Canada under the command of Major-General Sheaffe in an affair with the enemy on the 21st and 28th November, 1812:
21st November.-Royal Artillery-1 rank and file wounded.
49th Foot-1 rank and file killed.
28th November.-Royal Artillery-1 rank and file killed; 1 Lt., 1 rank-and-file wounded.
49th Foot-12 rank and file killed; 1 Lt., 3 sergeants, 22 rank and file wounded; 3 drummers, 21 rank-and-file missing.
Militia Artillery-1 Sergeant wounded.
1st Regiment Norfolk Militia-1 Sergeant killed; 1 Captain, 8 rank and file wounded, 2 rank and file missing.
2nd Regiment Norfolk Militia-1 rank-and-file killed; 7 rank and file wounded; 4 rank-and-file missing.
Total loss-14 rank and file (line), 1 Sergeant, 1 rank and file (militia), killed; 2 lieutenants, 3 sergeants, 24 rank and file (line), 1 Captain, 1 Lt., 1 Sergeant, 15 rank and file (militia), wounded; 3 drummers, 21 rank-and-file (line), 11 rank and file (militia), missing.
General total-1 Sergeant, 16 rank and file killed; 1 Captain, 3 lieutenants, 4 sergeants, 39 rank-and-file wounded; 3 drummers, 32 rank and file missing.
Royal Artillery-Lt. King, severely, and taken prisoner.
49th Foot-Lt. Lamont, severely.
1st Norfolk Militia-Captain Bostwick, slightly; Lt. Ryerson, severely.

THOMAS EVANS, Major-of-Brigade.

District General Orders
FORT GEORGE, 24th November, 1812.

The flank companies of the 49th Regiment will march from Queenston for Fort George so as to arrive at the latter post before daylight tomorrow morning.

2nd. Captain Chambers will give orders for the return of Captain Durand's company to Queenston, and Captain Applegarth's company will return and occupy its former quarters.

3rd. The attention of the officers is called to the order of the 12th of July, 1812, whereby it is forbidden for any individual to fire across the river without orders.

By order, THOMAS EVANS, Brigade-Major.

Monthly Distribution Return of the Troops in Upper Canada, November 25, 1812.

...Fort George-Commanded by Captain Derenzy, 41st Regiment:
Staff, 10 officers 10
Royal Artillery, 1 officer, 17 rank and file fit for duty, 3 sick 21
Royal Engineers, 1 officer 1
41st Regiment, 10 officers, 20 sergeants, 16 drummers, 155 rank and file fit for duty, 10 sick 211
49th Regiment, for officers, seven sergeants, for drummers, 130 rank and file fit for duty, 17 sick 162
Royal Newfoundland Regiment, to officers, three sergeants, 49 rank-and-file fit for duty, 4 sick 58
Glengarry Light Infantry, 1 officer 1

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