News Items from October, 1813

October 1:  From Nashville — “We are informed by express from Col. Meigs, that 1000 Creeks are certainly embodied near the Hickory Ground, and that 1200 are designed to attack the frontiers of this state immediately.  The Cherokees are much alarmed, and wish the assistance of the whites, as the Creeks will pass through their country to get to Tennessee.”–New YorkSpectator, October 17, 1813

October 2:  From a newspaper of Plymouth, England —  “The American schooner Revenge was captured on her way to France.  One prisoner disclosed herself to be a woman.  “She wishes to be sent home to her native country, which is hoped will be granted her.  She has a comely face, sun burnt as well as her hands; and appeared when in men’s clothes, a decent, well looking young man.”–Missouri Gazette, October 2, 1813

October 3:  From Plattsburg — “Gen. Hampton is preparing to march his army from Chateaugay; but to what place, remains a profound mystery.  He is disencumbering his officers an soldiers of every thing but their arms, ammunition, one suit of clothes, one shirt, one blanket, provisions, and perhaps tents and culinary apparatus, and sending their unnecessary baggage back to Plattsburg.”–Baltimore Patriot, October 15, 1813

October 4:  From Cleveland — “we learn by captain Dobbins, of the schooner Ohio, who arrived yesterday from Detroit, our army marched FOR DETROIT on the 28th September, and took possession of that place on the same day.–The British had evacuated and burnt the fort and citadel, and all the publick buildings.  . . .  All the men had left Sandwich with the British army, leaving some women and children.”–Massachusetts Spy, October 20, 1813

October 5:  From William H. Harrison to the Secretary of War — “I have the honor to inform you, that by the blessing of Providence, the army under my command has obtained a complete victory over the combined Indian and British forces under the command of General Proctor.  . . .  Our loss is trifling.  The brave colonel R. M. Johnson is the only officer whom I have heard of that is wounded, he badly, but I hope not dangerously.”–Maryland Gazette, October 21, 1813

October 7:  From Kentucky’s General John Adair — “We have this day commenced our march on our return, but will be much retarded on our way to Malden, by the immense quantity of baggage and military stores taken from the enemy.  . . .  We are now 85 miles from Malden, on the back road to Fort George, and may with propriety say that Upper Canada is completely conquered.”–Aurora, November 16, 1813

October 8:  From Sacket’s Harbour – “Our fleet, under the command of Com. Chauncey, arrived at that place, having in company four British schrs. their prizes, with upwards of 300 prisoners, principally German troops with a Major or Colonel Grant and a number of other officers.”–New York Spectator, October 13, 1813

October 9:  Letter from Thomas Rowland, on the river Thames, Canada — “Tecumseh is certainly killed–I saw him with my own eyes.  . . .  He had received a wound in the arm, and had it bound up before he received the mortal wound.  He had such a countenance as I shall never forget.  He did not appear to me so large a man as he was represented–I do not suppose his height exceeded 5 feet 10 or 11 inches, but exceedingly well proportioned.”–Nashville Clarion, December 11, 1813

October 10:  From British Major J. Perreault, to the Citizens of Champlain — “I am happy that humanity should still have so much power over me so as to inform you that should any of the militia of Champlain, be found hovering this side the line, I will let loose upon your village and inhabitants the Canadian and Indian force under my command.  You are probably aware that it has been with the greatest difficulty I have till now withheld them.  But your cowardly attack at midnight, of a small picket of ours, has torn asunder the veil which hid you from them.  So beware!”–National Intelligencer, October 28, 1813

October 12:  Letter from Natchez — “Despatches just received by Gen. Toledo, announce that some important occurrence has taken place in the Mexican provinces beyond the Rio Grande, in consequence of which Arredondo left Texas with nearly all his force—that a rupture had taken place between Arredondo and Elisondo—that the inhabitants of Lerida have risen against the Royalists—and that Col. Perry, with about 200 Republicans, has re-occupied Nacogdoches.”–Missouri Gazette, November 27, 1813

October 12: From Colonel Isaac Clark — “It is with great pleasure I can inform you of a successful attack upon the enemy at Massesquoi bay on the morning of the 12th instant.  . . . Our whole force engaged was 102–the number of prisoners taken is 101, their killed 9 and wounded 14.”–Plattsburgh Republican, November 13, 1813

October 13:  From Sackett’s Harbor — “Yesterday a flag of truce arrived from Kingston, under a pretence of bringing letters and money to the officers brought to this place by Commodore Chauncey, but no doubt to ascertain the situation of things here.  .  . . Every gun on the Wolf’s starboard side was dismounted; she was completely cut up; I doubt if Sir James ever shows himself again even to run away.”–Pendleton (S. C.) Messenger, November 20, 1813

October 13:   From Middlebury –“A gentleman, who lately passed through this village from the army at Chataugue, informs us that Gen. Hampton had not left that place, as has been reported; and that gen. Wilkinson is on his way to that place, with the armies from Fort George and Sackett’s Harbor.  . . .  From this movement, we believe their design is to make a bold push directly for Montreal.  There can be no other object in thus leaving all other places defenceless, and concentrating their forces at one point.”–Connecticut Gazette, October 20, 1813

October 14:  From Camp on Tennessee river, from Capt. Robert Allen of the Smith county volunteers — “an express arrived that the Creeks were within 30 miles of Col. Coffee’s regiment, (then where we are now) and orders given at midnight to march by forced marches so as to arrive that night.  We arrived that evening, the foot troops the next morning, many of them walking all night, without stopping to get their breakfast since the morning before.”–Carthage Gazette, October 30, 1813

October 17:  From General Cass, on dismissing the Petersburgh, Virginia, Volunteers –“On granting a discharge to this patriotic and gallant corps, the general feels at a loss for words adequately to convey his sense of their merits.  Almost exclusively composed of individuals, who had been nursed in the lap of ease, they have for twelve months borne the hardships and privations of a military life, in the midst of an inhospitable wilderness, with a cheerfulness and alacrity which has never been surpassed; their conduct in the field has been excelled by no other corps.”–Aurora, November 19, 1813

October 20:  From Sackett’s Harbour — “The Lady of the Lake arrived at Sackett’s Harbour last night.  By her information is received that Com. Chauncey is blockading Kingston–that yesterday morning the British fleet came out of Kingston harbour to fight him; but after receiving a few shot, they ran into the harbour again, notwithstanding they had the advantage of the wind, &c.”–Maryland Gazette, November 11, 1813

October 21:  From the Herkimer American — “On Sunday, the British prisoners, recently taken by Chauncey on the Lake, passed thro’  this village, under militia guard, to the eastward.  They are principally Germans . .  It would seem that a mutual liking took place between them and the German inhabitants in our vicinity, as we are informed that several of them deserted near this place, and were furnished with a change of dress by their American brethren, in order to elude detection.”–Commercial Advertiser, October 28, 1813

October 23:  From Boston — “An American Antiquarian Society has been established at Boston for collecting and preserving the antiquities of the western world, and held their first anniversary on Saturday last, the 23d ultimo, being the 320th anniversary of the discovery of American by Columbus.”–American Watchman, November 6, 1813

October 25:  Editorial on the Battle of the Thames — “Gen. Harrison was enabled to arrest the flight of the enemy, and compel him to make a stand . . . .  The position taken by the Anglo-Indian army for this purpose, was well adapted to the object they had in view.  But the admirable mode of the attack determined upon by our general, completely frustrated the expectations of the enemy, and was attended with the most decisive success.  The efficiency of that new arm, mounted riflemen, in attacking an enemy thus strongly and advantageously posted, has been tested on the present occasion, and must raise the reputation of that class of troops to the highest elevation.”–National Advocate, October 25, 1813

October 25:  From the South — “Gen. Jackson had experienced much difficulty in progressing.  The want of depots of provisions, ammunition, and arms, was seriously felt.  The pioneers were obliged to open the road before the army could advance, and consequently the movements were not as rapid as the extraordinary marches made the last spring through the Choctaw & Chickasaw nations by General Jackson, with the Tennessee volunteers.”–Nashville Clarion,November 2, 1813

October 27:  From Plattsburg — “Hampton’s army is at Spear’s, on the east side of Chateaugay river, about 20 miles from his former position.  It has rained ever since they have been there; but as soon as the weather becomes settled & clear, it is supposed by many that he will march on Cagnawaga and other villages opposite Montreal Island, and wait there until Wilkinson comes down with boats, when they will probably cross over to Montreal.”–National Intelligencer,November 6, 1813

October 29:  From Plattsburgh — “on Friday night last, an express arrived in Plattsburg, bringing letters containing the information, that an engagement had taken place between the advanced corps of gen. Hampton’s army and the enemy . . . that the enemy attacked our troops in ambuscade, and after firing three or four volleys were repulsed at the point of the bayonet, by the main body of our army.  General Hampton maintained his position in the field of battle; that he is now retrograding for the Four Corners, and abandoning the expedition against Montreal.  The cause of it is ascribed to gen. Wilkinson not having formed a junction with him, agreeably to the contemplated plan of invasion.”–Pendleton (S. C.) Messenger, November 27, 1813

October 31:  From Albany — “The army under gen. Wilkinson, reinforced by the detachments under the command of colonels Randolph and Coles, began their movement from Genadier Island, down the St. Lawrence, on the 31st of October.”–Carlisle Gazette, November 19, 1813

About the Author

Mary Bowden is a researcher working at the Texas Collections Deposit Library at the University of Texas. A little-known but invaluable treasure of U.S. history and the history of American journalism is archived in the collection of bound United States’ Newspapers at the University of Texas at Austin. The collection began more than a century ago and has been stored in recent years in the Texas Collections Deposit Library on the campus of the University of Texas. The sizeable archive is currently in the early stages of being digitized before being moved to a more climate-controlled environment at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus of the University, on the north side of Austin.

Mary Bowden