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September 13, 2012

Navel battle

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, Sept. 12, 1812

Compiled, with comments


Weather: Utica 1812 Almanack: Now cloudy and may rain. Then clear and pleasant.

Frontier news

August 22. Yesterday evening we were politely favored by the late governor of the state of Ohio, Mr. Huntington, with the following articles of capitulation, entered into by General Hull with General Brock, for the surrender of the fortress of Detroit — as also the particulars detailed below. The whole is most distressing and humiliating.

 (Here follows the capitulation)

(The following assertions and remarks are subjoined to the capitulation, in the Bedford (Penn.) Gazette, from which we copy it — having no time to determine how true or false they are.)

Previous to the retreat of the army out of Canada, Col. Miller, of the regulars, entreated Gen. Hull to suffer himself and regiment to attack Malden — that his life should be the forfeiture in case of defeat. This request General Hull refused.

About 560 Canadians had claimed the protection of Hull, immediately on issuing his proclamation, and numbers had joined his army. It was a heart rending sight to see these poor fellows flocking down to the river, and begging Hull to remain and protect them, or take them with him — when they could not get into the boats, numbers of them jumped into the river and swam over — some few were drowned in the attempt.

Gen. Hull suffered the British to erect a breastwork on the shore opposite Detroit, without molestation — from which they killed three or four officers and some of our men -- notwithstanding which, and there were upwards of 60 fine pieces of cannon mounted in the fortress, not a single shot would Hull suffer the garrison to return.

The British landed and marched up to Detroit twelve men deep — and though there were a number of cannon pointed towards them, and loaded with grape shot, Hull would not suffer a single gun to be discharged at them.

Col. Miller again remonstrated with Hull, and was so pressing with his demand for permission to sally out and drive off the enemy, or at least for permission to defend the fort, that Hull threatened to have him arrested if he did not desist.

The British force consisted of 300 regulars, 400 militia, and 360 Indians, making a total of 1060 — that of the American army to about 1800 men.

Notwithstanding private property was to be protected, the town of Detroit was completely plundered after it surrendered.

Mr. Huntington states that nothing is to be seen on the frontiers, but poor families flying in every direction, leaving their little all to the fury of a savage enemy. — Bedford Gazette, extra.

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