|Battle of Cook's Mills - The final engagement - 1814
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|Author:||pud [ Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:30 am ]|
|Post subject:||Battle of Cook's Mills - The final engagement - 1814|
Cook's Mills (Upper Canada) - October 20, 1814
Source: Merry Hearts Make Light Days. The War of 1812 Journal of Lt. John LeCouter, 104th Foot. Donald E. Graves. Carlton University Press, Ottawa, Canada, 1993. pp.208-210.
In the morning found the Glengarries were there. They gave us a hearty breakfast and saved us from finishing. About 7, we all moved on and joined the 82nd [Regiment] then advanced, a dashing little division under our gallant Marquis Tweeddale, and Col. Myers. Reached Cook's Mills about 8 when the Glens [Glengarries] became suddenly engaged in our front. The Ground was a fine large clearing about the Chippawa Creek on our left, a gentle slope to the front and Bank of the Creek. About a mile in front were woods and to the extreme left we could perceive the American Army moving over a pontoon or temporary bridge which they had thrown over the river.
About four hundred of them had engaged our advance, the 82nd and 100th [Regiments] were formed into line. We were thrown in extended order on the left and in support of Carter with a Fieldpiece and four Rockets. The Americans getting stronger and their fire overpowering the Glens, we were ordered to advance, extended, to turn the American right. Our men dashed into the ravine in good style and engaged the Yankees in our front, and soon gave way, for a short distance.
But they, in turn, being supported by about four hundred fresh troops, we had to give way in turn and retreated in good order a little way, when the 82nd [Regiment] Light bobs came to our aid, when both companies cheered and checked the enemy again. The rocket Brigade was then brought up very opportunely and a volley plunging into a Column not yet deployed through it into confusion, as well they might. This checked their further advance. Our Gun was very ill-placed behind a little wood and only barked without biting. We halted for a short while, drawn up securely behind a rail fence, a capital protection, when soon after the Marquis ordered us to retire by alternate wings.
The line formed, and we flankers extended on the Flanks, covering the line, Rockets and Gun. The Americans came out of the woods. Officers and men did not fire and I verily believe cheered us while admiring the beautiful Military movement we were executing in slow time. It was altogether the prettiest little affair any of us had ever seen. The Uncle Sams were about eighteen hundred men, yet after the check, they would not advance to attack our seven hundred in position. The Americans retired on finding their project at surprise had failed, as our rear was strong. They had watched us moving alternately to the rear for a Mile, when we filed off and marched to Cummings, 6 miles, wet, weary and hungry.
The misery was of short duration for we were given a splendid breakfast by Cumming, rested the men there and learned Casualties. Ours: 3 killed, 1 Sergeant and 3 wounded. The others: 17 killed and 28 wounded. Captain MacMillan [of the Glengarry Light Infantry] was wounded with our lads, while in the bushes. He had a hand-to-hand fight with a Yankee, the Sword against the Musket, & cut down the man.
We continued our retrograde march to Olsen's, and crossed the Creek and were quartered for the night about a quarter of a mile on -- no bedding, not a thing to eat. Sent an imploring message to the 89th [Regiment] for relief but found that they were quite as miserably off as ourselves. Gave it up in despair when our Noble Marquis, hearing of our distress, saved us from starvation by sending us a fine shoulder of mutton and a loaf of bread which were divided by my little sharp sabre, they're not being one Knife, much less a fork, among us."
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