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THE WAR OF 1812   137

deep snow at the river bank was reached. Here the guns stuck fast and delayed the advance. The cannon at this point and a heavy musketry fire thinned the ranks of the British, but by a skilful movement the shore was reached. The enemy became alarmed; their right flank was quickly turned, and when the guns were brought to land a couple of effective discharges demoralized them. Macdonell gave the command to fix bayonets. It was eagerly obeyed; and, scarcely waiting for the word, the British troops rushed on the wavering enemy. The sight of the cold steel and the confident shouts of Macdonell's men were too much for the raiders of Gananoque and Elizabethtown. They turned their backs and fled from the village, some to the forest, some to the houses near by, while others crossed the Oswegatchie and sought shelter in the fort. An annoying musketry fire was kept up from the houses, and on these Macdonell turned his guns and drove out the enemy. But the battery was not yet taken.

The march through the deep snow and the sharp fighting had almost exhausted Macdonell's men. There was not much immediate danger, and their leader granted them a resting spell, while he sent a messenger to Forsyth, demanding an unconditional surrender. The United States commander had had a measure of success. He had repulsed the troops under Jenkins, and no doubt felt confident that he could hold out against Macdonell. He did not even deign to reply. Hostilities were at once renewed and the British guns played on the fort. Meanwhile the battery on the eastern bank of the Oswegatchie was captured and the guns turned on the fort. The end of the battle was now not far distant. Macdonell was convinced that all that was needed to rout the foe was a vigorous charge and ordered Captain Eustace, with a party of the 8th Regiment and a company of Glengarry Fencibles, to rush Forsyth's last stronghold. To this final charge there was but a feeble resistance. The British troops entered by one door only to find that the defenders had fled by


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