COMMENT: According to Wikipedia, “During the Battle of Queenston Heights he [Smyth] refused to support his commander, General Stephen Van Rensselaer, a militia commander with no experience. After Van Rensselaer’s disgrace, Smyth was given command and proved himself equally inept. His plan to invade Canada started with the Battle of Frenchman’s Creek but was then abandoned because of problems due to poor organization. After arguing with Brigadier General Peter B. Porter, he challenged him to a duel, but both men went unscathed. The historian John R. Elting wrote of the duel, stating ‘Unfortunately, both missed.’ In the wake of his failure, Smyth’s name was removed from the U.S. Army rolls.”
America’s military activities on land in 1812 were almost uniformly disastrous, beginning with the surrender of Fort Detroit (without a shot being fired) by William Hull. American generals at this period tended to be either superannuated Revolutionary officers, long past their prime, or political appointees without serious military experience. A few naval victories were all that balanced this sorry show. In subsequent years (1813-15) American military skill improved, ending with Gen. Andrew Jackson’s victory at New Orleans in 1815, after peace had been signed but before the peace treaty had come into effect.
Burning of Moscow
To make room for the last bulletins of Bonaparte, from Russia, we have omitted several local matters as well as foreign articles of some moment. The burning of Moscow, one of the largest cities of the Russian empire, as detailed in the 20th bulletin, is one of the most awful events in the history of nations. — Albany Register.
Paris, Oct. 5. Twentieth Bulletin of the Grand Army. Moscow, Sept. 17....
Moscow is the entrepot of Asia and of Europe. Its warehouses were immense; every house was provided for eight months with necessaries of every description. It was only the evening before and the day of our entrance, that the danger became known. We found in the house of the miserable Rostopchin some papers, and a letter half written; he fled without finishing it.