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Some let themselves down by holding on to the bushes, and escaped. It was speedily agreed to surrender, and messengers with offers of submission were sent, but never returned. The Indiaus wero between the American and the British lines, and murdered or captured those who were sent on the humiliating errand.
Scott determined to carry a flag of truce himself. He fastened his white handkerehief upon his sword, and, accompanied by Captaius Totten and Gibson, went out to seek a parley with Sheaffe. They kept close along the edge of the river, under shelter of the bank, until they reached a road leading up to the village. There they were confronted by two powerful Indiaus, who attempted to seize Scott. In an iustant the blades of his attendants came from their scabbards, and the menace was met, first by rifle shots from the Indiaus, and then by their knives and hatchets. At that critical moment a British officer and some soldiers appeared, and Scott and his companious were conducted in safety to General Sheaffe. Terms of capitulation were soon agreed upon, and Scott and las little band of less than three hundred were surrendered with the honors of war.
During the series of engagements on that memorable day Scott was a couspicuous object to the enemy on account of his stature and his full uniform. The Indiaus, who lost many of their number, were greatly exasperated, and singled him out as a precious mark for their bullets. But he remained unhurt. His companious urged him to change his dress. He smiled, and said, "No, gentlemen, I will die in my robes."
Scott and his fellow-prisoners were taken to Newark (now Niagara), a village near Fort George, at the mouth of the Niagara River. He and other officers were placed under guard in a tavern. They had not been there long
when Scott was informed that some one wished to speak to "the tall American." He went into the passage, and found his visitors to be the two Indiaus who had met him with his flag. One of them was Captain Jacobs, the other Captain Brant, a powerful young man. They could speak but few English words. With these and sigus, they professed to bo anxious to know how many bullet marks he had received, as they had leveled their pieces at him several times. Jacobs seized him rudely by the arm, and turned him half round. The indignant soldier threw the savage from him, exclaiming, "Off, villain! I You fired like a squaw!" "We kill you now 1" i auswered the angry savages, at the same moment seizing their knives and tomahawks. The swords of American officers were standing at the rear of the passage. Scott sprang quickly backward to them, snatched a heavy sabre and was about to cleave the head of Jacobs, when a British officer entered, called for the guard, and at the same moment seized the arm of the chief. The two warriors were quickly humbled, and they marehed off muttering curses upon all white men, whether friends or foes.
The prisoners were taken to Quebec, and were soon afterward sent in a cartel to Boston. When they wore about to sail from Quebec, a party of British officers came on board the cartel, mustered the prisoners, and commenced separating from the rest those who, by their accent, were found to be Irishmen. These they intended to place on board a frigate lying near, and send them to England for trial and execution as traitors, the doctrine of the British Government being that a subject of the realm can never expatriate himself. His allegiance is perpetual, and therefore, when found in arms agaiust that government, he is a traitor.
Scott was below. Hearing a noise upon deck, he hastened up, and was soon informed of the position of the prisoners. He at once entered a vehement protest agaiust such proceedings, and commanded the soldiers to be absolutely silent, that their accent might not betray them. He was repeatedly ordered to go below, and as repeatedly refused. His command of silence was obeyed, and not another prisoner was separated from him. When the unfortunate ones were about to be conveyed to the frigate in irous, he gave them the solemn assurance that his Government would fully avenge the death of any or all of them (should they be executed), either by stern retaliation upon prisoners in its hands, or by refusing to give quarter in battle. He boldly defied the menacing officers, and comforted the manacled prisoners tenderly.
We will anticipate the order of the narrative a little, by giving the conclusion of this matter. Scott was exchanged in January, 1813, and on the 13th of that month he laid before the Secretary of War a full report of the proceedings at Quebee. A#his iustance the report was laid before Congress the same day, and on the 3d of Mareh following an act was passed, "vesting the President of the United States with the power of retaliation." Although hostages were held, the President never had occasion to exereiso his delegated power, for the British Government never presumed to act upon its doctrine of perpetual allegiance in the case of American prisoners.
Almost three years after the event at Quebec, Scott was greeted by loud huzzas while passing along the East River side of New York City. These came from a group of Irishmen who had just landed upon a pier. They were twenty-one of the twenty-three prisoners for whom he had
cared so tenderly. They had just returned after a long confinement in English prisous. They recognized their benefactor, and " nearly crushed him," says Mausfield, "by their warm-hearted embraces."
At the beginning of May, 1813, Scott joined the army at Fort Niagara, at the month of the Niagara River, nearly opposite Fort George. General Dearborn was in chief command, and Scott was his Adjutant-General, holding the reserved right of commanding his own regiment on extraordinary occasious. Being at the head of the staff, upon him devolved the duty of arranging the details of the several departments. This he performed with singular ability and dispatch.
The campaign had just opened. Toronto (then York), the capital of Upper Canada, had just been taken by the Americaus, but with the great loss of General Pike. General Dearborn resolved to follow up this victory by an attempt to capture Fort George. He was in command of almost five thousand men, and had the co-operation of a fleet under Commodore Chauncey.
On the morning of the 27th of May the expedition embarked three miles east of Fort Niagara, and proceeded in six divisious of boats. Colonel Scott was in the first, and led. the advanced guard, for which service he had specially volunteered. He landed at nine o'clock, half a mile from Newark (now Niagara), and about the same distance from the present Fort Mississaga, at the mouth of the river. The bank was several feet in height, and covered with an opposing foree at least eight hundred strong. Scott formed his troops on the beach, under cover of the guus of the fleet, and at their head pushed forward to scale the bank. Three times they were repulsed. Dearborn, with a glass on Chaunccy's flag-ship, saw Scott full backward from the bank, and exclaimed, "My God, he is killed!" But he immediately recovered his feet, and then, Supported by Colonel Moses Porter's artillery and a part of General Boyd's brigade, he rushed forward, knocked up the bayonets of the British, gained the summit of the bank, and after a desperate struggle of twenty minutes, completely routed the foe. He followed them in hot pursuit, and was joined at Newark by the sixth regiment under Colonel Miller.
While pursuing the fugitives through and beyond Newark, Scott was informed that the garrison of disabled Fort George was about to blow it up. He wheeled immediately, and, with two companies, he hastened in that direction to save the property. A small magazine exploded as he drew near, and he was knocked from his horse and severely hurt by a flying piece of timber. Ho soon recovered, foreed the gate, and, with his own hands, pulled down the British flag and hoisted the stripes and stars, at the same
tiuic ordering the seizure of the lighted matches intended for filing the train leading to the magazine. Colonel Porter had pushed forward to perform the same service, when, fmding Scott already there, he said: "Confound your long legs, Scott! you have got in before me."
When the fort was secured—a work of only a few minutes—Scott dashed on after the still flying British, and halted only, after a pursuit of five miles, when he was recalled by General Boyd in person. He had already disregarded orders to return, sent by General Lewis of the New York militia, saying: "Your General does not know that I have the enemy within my power: let me alone, and I will capture his whole foree in seventy minutes." No doubt he would have done so. The main body of the fugitives were in full sight, and his own troops were in good spirits.
About six weeks after the capture of Fort George Colonel Scott was promoted to the commandof a double regiment, comlxxsed of twenty companies, when he resigned the office of Adjutant - General. Meanwhile he had been performing monotonous camp duty, varied only by foraging and the attendant skirmishing. At length an expedition against Burlington Heights, at the west end of Lake Ontario, was plauned. It was supposed that the British had a large quantity of provisions and stores there. Scott volunteered to command the land troops. They were conveyed in Chauncey's fleet. But no provisions nor stores were found at Burlington Heights; so the expedition crossed the lake and made a descent upon Toronto, which the Americans had abandoned as soon as captured in the spring.
Scott led the invading troops and marines on shore. The barracks and public stores were burned; a large amount of provisions were taken; and a quantity of ammunition, several pieces of caunon, and eleven armed boats were among the spoils. The building of the fort, now a partial ruin, had just been commenced by the British.
In the autumn General Wilkinson, Scott's old commander and personal enemy, led an expedition down the St. Lawrence for the purpose of capturing Kingston and Montreal. Scott was anxious to accompany the expedition; but he was left to perform important duty. He was made commander of the post at Fort George, the key of the peninsula, with eight hundred regulars and a part of Colonel Swift's militia, with instructions to strengthen it. In this he was aided by Captain Totten. For some time he was in daily expectation of an attack; but at length.
toward the middle of October, the British in that vicinity followed Wilkinson, though upon the opposite side of the lake, to secure Kingston.
This movement gave much joy to Scott; for, according to discretion given him in his instructions, he was thereby allowed to place the fort under the command of M'Clure, at Niagara, and join Wilkinson's expedition. He accordingly pressed forward with his troops, through almost incessant rains, over almost impassable roads, until he met Armstrong, the Secretary of War, on his way from Utiea to Sackett's Harbor. By his permission Scott left his men with his second in command, and hastened forward to join the army on the St. Lawrence. This he accomplished, a little above Ogdensburg, on the Oth of November, after a most fatiguing journey through rain and mud. He embarked on the flotilla, and had the honor of receiving, in the leading and largest boat, the first fire from the British at Fort Wellington, opposite Ogdensburg.
On the day after joining the expedition Colonel Scott was appointed to the command of the battalion of Colonel Macomb, one of the finest in the army, and now made the advanced guard of the expedition. On the 10th of November he had a short but severe encounter with the British near Fort Matilda, on the north side of the St. Lawrence. He captured the fort, took an officer and some men prisoners, and on the following day, while Brown and others were fighting at Chrysler's, he was fifteen miles below, at a narrow pass near Cornwall, engaged, with seven hundred men, in a conflict with Colonel Denuis and an equal number of British troops. He effected the passage while enduring a severe fire, landed and routed the British, pursued them a long while, and captured many prisoners.
There being very few British troops between Cornwall and Montreal, and but a small garrison at the latter place, Scott felt sure of an easy
j conquest of that city within forty-eight hours. While flushed with success and impatient to advance he was astonished and mortificd by an order from Wilkinson to halt. Hampton had refused to join Wilkinson; and because of the jealousy and mutual ill-feeling of those old officers, whose inefficiency was lamented by all, the expedition was abandoned, and the army went into winter-quarters at French Mills, now Fort Covington, at the head of navigation on the Salmon River. Had Brown or Scott been in chief command at that time, the Canadas would have been in possession of the Americans by the Christmas holidays. The passions and blunders of the chief commanders on the northern frontier compelled many brave nud high-spirited young men to experience a hard school of adversity, out of which, however, they came as accomplished officers with the plaudits of their countrymen; and "many an empty fop, young and old," said the first biographer of Scott, in the Analectic Magazine, "who had been seduced into the service by the glitter of epaulets, and lace, and military buttons, had been severely taught his own incompetency."
Colonel Scott spent a part of the winter of 1813-14 at Albany, and, in consultation with Governor Tompkins, was busily engaged in preparing materials for the next campaign. He was promoted to Brigadier-General in Mareh; and early in April he joined Major-General Brown while on his mareh from French Mills to the Niagara frontier.
Almost immediately after their arrival at Buffalo, General Brown was called to Sackett's Harbor. He left the forees under the command of General Scott, with instructions to assemble an army at Buffalo as rapidly as possible, and to establish there a camp of instruction. For more than three months Scott was engaged there, preparing the army for the summer campaign. He
introduced the modem French tacties. He thoroughly drilled the officers, and they in turn as thoroughly drilled the men, while whole battalious were frequently drilled by Scott himself. These iustructious were of incalculable benefit in the service that soon followed. The army was perfectly organized, and made capable of performing every evolution with the precision of veteraus. Not a single movement was omitted, nor was less attention paid to etiquette. A single iustance will illustrate this point. Scott observed a captain pass a sentinel without acknowledging the salute of the latter. He rebuked the impoliteness by informing the captain that if he did not repass the sentinel, and "reform the fault" within twenty minutes, he would be tried before a court-martial.
General Brown returned to Buffalo at the close of June with reinforeements, and on the third of July the campaign was opened. On the morning of that day Scott led the van of a cousiderable foree that crossed the Niagara River to attack Fort Erie. The garrison soon surrendered, and the fort was taken possession of by a battalion under Major Jesup, of Scott's brigade.
On the following morning, the Anniversary of American Independence, Scott moved down the Canada side of the Niagara toward Chippewa, where lay a strong British foree under General Riall. He was followed by the remainder of the army, several hours in the rear. For sixteen hours he was compelled to have a running light with the enemy under Lieutenant