News of the US: Week Four of June 1813

June 22:  Battle at Craney Island, Virginia — “At 9 o’clock, A. M. about 60 barges, and two schooners full of men, made an attempt to land at Craney Island, in number generally believed to be from 1500 to 2000.  . . .  The battery lately erected on the island was manned principally by seamen, under the command of captain Tarbell of the U. S. Navy.  . . .  The Winchester riflemen [men of Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia] waded some distance after the enemy, but could not effect their wishes.  Every man was anxious to signalize himself, but the enemy disappointed them by keeping at long shot.”–Nashville Clarion, July 30, 1813

June 22:  From Camp Meigs — “Information has reached us, by two men who escaped from Detroit, that Col. Proctor intends to besiege this place again, and that we may expect him with 1500 regulars and 4000 Indians the first fair wind.  The result cannot be doubted, as we have repaired the fortifications considerably.  Col. Johnson’s regiment of mounted men arrived last night.”–National Intelligencer, July 10, 1813

June 22:  From Fort Hawkins — “in the Creek Nation the war party had risen upon the peace party.  They have killed Capt. Isaacs (a chief) and some of his party.  Isaacs took part with M’Intosh in putting to death the murderers of the whites near the mouth of the Ohio.”–New York Spectator, July 10, 1813

June 23:  From Craney Island — “The officers of the Constellation fired their eighteen pounder more like Riflemen than Artillerists.   I never saw such shooting and seriously believe they saved the island.”–National Intelligencer, July 1, 1813

June 23:  From Camp Meigs —  “The friendly visit that we have expected for a few days past from our friends in Canada, has been prolonged for some reason.  We expect to see them every hour.  We have been making preparations to receive them warmly, ever since we received the information of their intention of coming.”–Gettysburg Adams Centinel, July 14, 1813

June 23:   From New York — “We now assert, without the fear of contradiction, that Gen. Moreau has actually embarked on board the Hannibal for St. Petersburg.  The most momentous events may be expected to follow the progress of this great, this beloved General.”–New YorkGazette, June 23, 1813

June 24: From St. Francisville, Louisiana — “A gentleman arrived in this village on Tuesday last, direct fro Natchitoches, who informs that general marquis de Toledo and suite had reached the latter place a few days since, from St. Fernando, (in Texas) having been ordered by governor Bernardo to leave the Republic of Mexico, without delay.”–Baltimore Patriot, July 28, 1813

June 24:  From Chillicothe — “Desertions from the army have become so frequent that dreadful examples must be made to check it; and on Saturday, William Fish of the light dragoons, was shot at Franklinton.  Three others were pardoned.”–Massachusetts Spy,  July 21, 1813

June 24: From Norfolk — “A number of deserters, taken in the woods came in on Tuesday night.  I have seen about 50, most of whom are Frenchmen.  . . .  The enemy is said to have 4000 troops on board, and intended as the deserters say, to have taken Norfolk the day of the attack on Craney Island, had it not been for the serious loss of officers in landing.”-Aurora, July 1, 1813

June 25:  From Hampton, Virginia —   “The British have succeeded in getting possession of Hampton, in the vicinity of Norfolk.  They attacked the place by land and water on the 25th of June.  It was spiritedly, if not successfully defended.  The enemy are stated to have lost 200 men; our loss only 20.  The Virginians were collecting their force at York, to which place our troops retreated from Hampton.”–Missouri Gazette, July 24, 1813

June 25:  From St. Fernando (formerly San Antonio) — “I have the pleasure of announcing to you a glorious victory, gained by the Republicans over an army of Royalists  commanded by Lesondo 1700 strong.  Tho’ having the advantage of the ground, they were compelled, after a severe battle to fly, leaving their camp ammunition, and supplies of every kind.”–Cincinnati Western Spy, August 21, 1815

June 25:  From Kingston, letter from Col. Boerstler to his father — “It becomes my unfortunate lot to inform you, that yesterday I was taken prisoner with a detachment under my command amounting to 500 men . . . .”  Added note by Col. Winfield Scott:  “Dear Sir–I pray you to believe that your son is not condemned for being unfortunate.”–Democratic Press, July 27, 1813

June 26:  From New London — “Yesterday the schr. Eagle, Riker, of N. York, was captured off Mill-Stone Point; the captain and crew having got on shore near the light house.  She was brought to anchor about three fourths of a mile from the Ramilies, and soon after blew up with a terrible explosion.  . . .  The master of the schooner, Riker, says, she was fitted out as a fire ship, having on board a secret machine for blowing her up.”–Boston Weekly Messenger, July 2, 1813

June 26:  From Erie — “Capt. Perry with five sail of armed vessels has arrived safe in our harbor.  At Canadaway the British brig Queen Charlotte sent a boat on shore with a flag, to leave some property which had been plundered below.  When they landed, an officer and one man went to a house with the flag; nine men who were left at the boat deserted; they were taken up at Pomfret, and brought here on Thursday last.”–National Advocate, July 10, 1813

June 26:  From Richmond — “Today we have been in great alarm, in consequence of an express from Hampton, informing the governor of the capture and conflagration of that town, and that 500 of our men (all which were stationed there) were killed or taken  prisoners.”–Massachusetts Spy, July 11, 1813

June 27:  From Washington — “We learn, by letters from Washington, that the President continues severely and dangerously sick.  This is the sixteenth day of his disease; and at the date of our latest advices, his fever had not yet formed a crisis.”–New York Spectator, June 30, 1813

June 27:  From Richmond — “From several respectable gentlemen who arrived here late last night, we learn, that all our people made good their retreat from Hampton to the Halfway House, between Hampton and Yorktown; only 30 of our men missing, and no officers.”–National Advocate, July 2, 1813

June 27:  From Rio Janeiro — “I have just heard that three British men of war are going in a few days round Cape Horn in search of the Essex, and likewise to take possession of Columbia River, where our countrymen have a small settlement  . . . .”–National Advocate, September 13, 1813

June 28: From Fort Meigs –“Gen. Harrison arrived at fort Meigs on the 28th ult.–found the place in perfect safety, and not threatened by the British or their allies.  He despatched col. Johnson’s regiment of mounted men to the river Raisin to reconnoitre and collect information–Col. Johnson discovered no enemy–brought with him some Canadians, who informed him that the British had not received such an accession to their Indian forces, as had been reported; but that 100 Indians had left the river  Raisin for Lower Sandusky to scout, pillage and massacre.”–Pittsburgh Mercury, July 15, 1813

June 28:  From Natchez, a description of the effect of the rise of the river — “The water has broken over the levies and inundated the country on the west side, to the high ground more than forty miles.  The beautiful and highly cultivated country contiguous to Red River is now an ocean.  The crops are destroyed, and there is great destruction by drowning of horses, cattle, sheep, hogs and deer.”–Massachusetts Spy, August 11, 1813

June 28: From New Orleans — “In consequence of the British having declared this port in a state of blockade, and the immense quantity of flour which has arrived within two weeks, say 8000 barrels, the price has become nominally nothing.  Not a boat load has been sold since the 11th June . . . “–Cincinnati Western Spy, August 14, 1813

June 29:  From Canandaigua — “By a gentleman who arrived here yesterday from Buffalo, we are informed that on Friday last, about 5 miles from Queenstown, a battle was fought between a detachment from General Boyd’s army, at Fort George, under the command of Col. Boerstler, and a British and Indian force.  The engagement continued about an hour and an half, and terminated in the overthrow and capture of the American troops, consisting of about 900 regulars, with a mounted volunteer corps under Capt Cyrenus Chapin, of about 70 men.”–Boston Gazette, July 8, 1813

June 29:  From Albany — “Our information from Fort George is down to yesterday se’ennight (June 21) and from Sacket’s as late as Friday June 25.  We have nothing from either place of much interest.  Gen Dearborn was so much indisposed as to render his removal hazardous.”–Portsmouth New Hampshire Gazette, July 6, 1813

June 29:  From Washington — “The Massachusetts remonstrance against the war, has been presented to the senate, by Mr. Gore, and to the house by Mr. Pickering.  . . .  Great opposition was made to that part of the remonstrance which regards the admission of Louisiana.”–Massachusetts Spy, July 7, 1813

June 30:  From Upper Sandusky — “Indians . .  appeared within a small distance of Fort Stephenson (Lower Sandusky) and killed and scalped a whole family, by the name of Gear, consisting of a man, a woman a boy and a girl.  They also killed a private of Capt. M’Clelland’s troop and a mulatto man servant to Lieutenant Hickman of Kentucky and a man by the name of Stewart:  they were all scalped but the servant, who was shot and sank in the river, into which he had plunged and was swimming to make his escape.”–Georgetown (Ky.) Telegraph, July 22, 1813

June 30:  From Cleveland — “This morning a boat arrived from Detroit, with eleven men on board, they left that place on Saturday last, and give the following information:  The British force at Malden and Detroit is not more than 400 regulars and fifteen hundred Indians.  Pork and Beef scarce, the Indians have to subsist on fish.”–Carlisle Gazette, July 23, 1813

June 30 — From New York — “We understand, that the schooner Eagle which blew up off New-London on Friday last, was prepared in this city, for the purpose of destroying one of the enemy’s ships of war, by subscription.  We do not know the names of the gentlemen who were concerned in this project.”–Aurora, July 2, 1813
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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