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September 17, 1814 - Fort Erie
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Author:  pud [ Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:30 pm ]
Post subject:  September 17, 1814 - Fort Erie

*Taken from: A HISTORY OF THE WAR BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DURING THE YEARS 1812, 1813 & 1814, G. Auchinleck. Arms and Armour Press in association with Pendragon House, 1972. pp. 338 and 339.

**Despatch from Major-General De Wattville, to Lieutenant-General Drummond. Camp before Fort Erie, Sept. 19, 1814.

" Sir, I have the honor to report to you, that the enemy attacked, on the 17th in the afternoon at three o'clock, our position before Fort Erie, the second Brigade, under Col. Fischer, composed of the 8th De Watteville's regiments, being on duty.

Under cover of a heavy fire of his artillery from Fort Erie, and much favoured by the nature of the ground, and also by the state of the weather, the rain falling in torrents at the moment of his approach, the enemy succeeded in turning the right of our line of piquets, without being perceived, and with a very considerable force, attacked both the piquets and support, in the flank and rear: at the same time, another of the enemy's columns attacked, in front, the piquets between number 2 and number 3 batteries, and, having succeeded in penetrating by number 4 piquet, part of his force turned to his left and thereby surrounded our right, and got almost immediate possession of number 3 battery. The enemy then directed his attacks, with a very superior force, towards number 2 battery; but the obstinate resistance made by the piquets, under every possible disadvantage, delayed considerably his getting possession of number 2 battery; in which, however, he at last succeeded.

As soon as the alarm was given, the 1st Brigade, being next for support, composed of the Royal Scots, the 82nd and 89th Regiments, under Lieutenant Colonel Gordon, received orders to march forward; and also the light Demi Brigade under Lieutenant Col. Pearson: the 6th Regiment remaining in reserve, under Lieutenant Colonel Campbell. From the Concession Road, the Royal Scots, with the 89th as support, moved by the new Road, and met the enemy near the block house, on the right of number 3 battery; whom they engaged, and, by their steady and Intrepid conduct checked his further progress. The 82nd Regiment, and three companies of the 6th Regiment, were detached to the left, in order to support numbers 1 and 2 batteries. The enemy having, at that time, possession of number 2 battery, and still pushing forward, seven companies of the 82nd, under Major Proctor, and the three companies of the 6th, under Major Taylor, received directions to oppose the enemy's forces, and immediately charged them with the most Intrepid bravery, driving them back across our entrenchments; and also from number 2 battery, thereby preventing their destroying it, or damaging its guns in a considerable degree. Lieutenant Colonel Pearson, with the Glengarry Light Infantry, under Lieutenant Col. Battersby, pushed forward by the Centre Road, and attacked, and carried, with great gallantry, the new entrenchments, then in full possession of the enemy.

The enemy, being thus repulsed at every point, was forced to retire with precipitation to their works, leaving several prisoners, and a number of their wounded in our hands. By five o'clock the entrenchments were again occupied, and the line of piquets established, as it had been previous to the enemy's attack.

I have the honor to enclose a return of casualties, and the report of the officer commanding the Royal Artillery, respecting the damage done to ordnance and the batteries, during the time they were in the enemy's possession.
I have the honor to be, &c.
L. DEWATTEVILLE, major-gen.
Lieut-General Drummond, &c.

Return of killed and wounded, 115 killed and 494 missing and wounded.

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