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THE WAR OF 1812   131

The British force at first engaged consisted of two companies of the 49th, who had been ably assisted by Cameron's, Howard's, and Chisholm's companies of the York militia in the early morning attacks. Sheaffe brought to their support 380 of the 41st Foot, Crook's and McEwan's flank companies of the 1st Lincoln, Nelles and W. Crook's companies of the 5th Lincoln, Major Merritt's yeomanry corps, and a party of Swayze's militia artillery. Colonel Clark of the militia came up from Chippawa with Captain Derinzy's and Captain Bullock's companies of the 41st, Captain R. Hamilton and Stone's flank companies of the 2nd Lincoln and volunteer sedentary militia. Norton and Brant did good service with their fifty Mohawks, as did a company of negroes under Captain R. Runchey. The whole force at the close of the day did not exceed 1,000 rank and file, while the British losses amounted to only 16 killed and 69 wounded.

This disastrous repulse checked American activity for a short time, but, on November 28th, General Smyth, who had mobilized a force of 4,500 men at Black Rock, sent two parties of about 400 each to attack the British position between Fort Erie and Chippawa. Small outposts were temporarily overpowered in a confused battle which lasted till night; with morning British reinforcements arrived, the battle was renewed and the invaders were repulsed with much loss. Smyth then sent over a flag of truce, proposing the surrender of Fort Erie. The offer was spurned by Lieut.-Col. Bisshopp, the British commanding officer in this district, and on December 1st, after a vain effort to get his men to cross to the Canadian shore, Smyth broke up his command and sent the regulars into winter-quarters and the militia to their homes.

The eastern frontiers of Canada from the Atlantic to Lake Champlain were saved from attack by the attitude of New England, which from the beginning strongly opposed the war, the ships in Boston half-masting their flags when war was declared. But General Dearborn


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