GENERAL SMYTH, to the Soldiers of the Army of the Centre.
COMPANIONS IN ARMS!
The time is at hand when you will cross the stream of the Niagara, to conquer Canada, and to secure the peace of the American frontier. You will enter a country that is to be one of the United States. You will arrive among a people who are to become your fellow citizens. It is not against them that we come to make war. It is against the government which holds them as vassals.
You will make this war as little as possible distressful to the Canadian people. If they are peaceable, they are to be secure in their persons; and in their property, as far as our imperious necessities will allow. Private plundering is absolutely forbidden. Any soldier who quits his rank, to plunder on the field of battle, will be punished in the most exemplary manner.
But your just rights as soldiers will be maintained. Whatever is booty by the usages of war, you shall have. All horses belonging to artillery and Cavalry; all waggons and teams in public service, will be sold for the benefit of the captors. Public stores will be secured for the service of the United States. The government will, with justice, pay you the value.
The horses drawing the light artillery of the enemy, are wanted for the service of the United States. I will order 200 dollars for each to be paid to the party who may take them. I will also order 40 dollars to be paid for the arms and spoils of each savage warrior who shall be killed.
Soldiers! You are amply provided for war. You are superior in number to the enemy. Your personal strength and activity are greater. Your weapons are longer. The regular soldiers of the enemy are generally old men, whose best years have been spent in the sickly climate of the West Indies. They will not be able to stand before you, when you charge with the bayonet. You have seen Indians, such as those hired by the British, to murder women and children, and kill and scalp the wounded. You have seen their dances and grimaces, and heard their yells. Can you fear them? No. You hold them in the utmost contempt....