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Otsego Herald

September 5, 2013

Water atrocities

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, September 4, 1813

Compiled, with comments

by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL

Barbarities of the Enemy

House of Representatives Committee REPORT:

That they have collected and arranged all the testimony on this subject which could at this time be procured. This testimony is submitted to the consideration of the House, arranged under the following heads:

First. Bad treatment of American prisoners;

Second. Detention of American prisoners as British subjects, on the plea of nativity in the dominions of Britain, or of naturalization;

Third. Detention of mariners as prisoners of war, who were in England when the war was declared;

Fourth. Compulsory service of impressed American seamen on board British ships of war;

Fifth. Violations of flags of truce;

Sixth. Ransom of American prisoners from Indians in the British service;

Seventh. Pillage and destruction of private property on the Chesapeake bay, and in the neighboring country;

Eighth. Massacre and burning of American prisoners surrendered to officers of Great Britain, by Indians in the British service. Abandonment of the remains of Americans killed in battle or murdered after the surrender to the British. The pillage and shooting of American citizens, and the burning of their houses after surrender to the British under the guarantee of protection;

Ninth. Outrages at Hampton, in Virginia.

COMMENT: The Report goes on to provide a few details under each heading. Though there are nine headings, these allegations (some of which were undoubtedly true) can be grouped into three major subjects: (1) the treatment of American sailors; (2) the raids following from the British blockade of the American coastline, especially around Chesapeake Bay; and (3) the behavior, and British failure to control the behavior, of Native Americans fighting on the British side.

American Warships on Lake Ontario

Commodore Isaac Chauncey to the Secretary of the Navy ... 16th August, 1813.

SIR — I arrived here this day with this ship, the Madison, Oneida, Governor Tompkins, Conquest, Ontario, Pert and Lady of the Lake. The Fair American and Asp I left at Niagara. Since I had the honor of addressing you last, I have been much distressed and mortified; distressed at the loss of a part of the force entrusted to my command, and mortified at not being able to bring the enemy to action.

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