Poltroons and Patriots: A Popular Account of the War of 1812 - Vol. 2

Poltroons and Patriots: A Popular Account of the War of 1812 - Vol. 2

Poltroons and Patriots: A Popular Account of the War of 1812 - Vol. 2

Poltroons and Patriots: A Popular Account of the War of 1812 - Vol. 2

Excerpt

There had been another humiliating disaster on the Niagara border--Colonel Charles G. Boerstler, of the 14th U.S. Infantry Regiment, had surrendered in an affair at Beaver Dams, about seventeen miles from Fort George.

Boerstler had taken 540 men and two fieldpieces on the simple assignment of destroying an enemy storehouse. On June 24, 1813, when he was near St. David's, he was attacked by 260 Indians. He fought them off, but they caused him to abandon the purpose of his expedition. Boerstler called on Dearborn for reinforcements and began a retreat. Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon, with fifty men of the British 49th Infantry, boldly took a stand in front of the Americans and, seeing their confusion, demanded they surrender. Boerstler outnumbered the British regulars more than ten to one, but he was so distracted and fearful that more British were coming up that he complied.

News of this latest ignominy reached Washington on July 6 and caused a sensation in the lobby of the House of Representatives. Speaker Clay sent Representative Charles J. Ingersoll to call on Madison and demand Dearborn's dismissal. Madison was willing to follow the recommendation of Congress. He and Armstrong had been thinking along these lines for some time, and Armstrong had already, in early March, written Wilkinson about replacing Dearborn. Orders were issued immediately after the arrival of Clay's agent and on July 15, 1813, Dearborn left the Niagara border.

1.

When Jones Wilkinson finally reported for duty as commander of the Northern armies, Secretary of War Armstrong . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.