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Otsego Herald

June 13, 2013

British fortress taken

From the Otsego Herald

for Saturday, June 12, 1813

Compiled, with comments

by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL

Capture of Fort George

This post was evacuated on Thursday last by the enemy ... On Thursday morning ... 4,000 men under the immediate command of Gen. [Morgan] Lewis, embarked aboard the fleet ...; during the early part of the morning, there was a thick fog, which prevented the landing until 8 or 9 o’clock when the vessels formed a curved line off the point, beyond the light-house, and in the rear of Newark [today “Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario].

A van guard, consisting of 800 picked men, (among whom were [Capt. Benjamin] Forsyth’s riflemen, and a number of Baltimore and Albany volunteers) under the command of Col. [Winfield] Scott, now put for the shore in about 20 boats, and effected their landing in good order; part of them ascended the bank, and were attacked by the enemy, who had drawn his whole force to this point; they gave back and formed on the beach.

A spirited fire was now exchanged for about 15 minutes, which had but little effect on our troops ... sheltered by the bank, but the van again ascended the bank amid a shower of musketry, and compelled the enemy to give the ground. Col. Scott was ably seconded by a powerful and well directed fire from the shipping.

A body of rising [more than] 2,000 men made a landing; and the enemy prudently took up their line of retreat in the rear of Fort George; the flying artillery ... played upon the enemy in his retreat with considerable effect....

[The enemy] had made their escape, except a dozen, who had been left to blow up the magazines. Two small magazines were blown up; a short time after, their principal magazine shared the same fate ... Part of the army entered Fort George; the British flag was taken down, and the American flag substituted in its place, amidst the acclamations of thousands ...

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