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138 MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

 

another, and were hurrying to join thier comrades in the depths of the sheltering forests.

Macdonell now proceeded to destroy the hive of these troublesome wasps, burning two barracks, two armed schooners, and two gunboats. As his force marched back to Fort Wellington, they had with them twelve American guns, 1,400 stand of arms with accoutrements, two stands of colours, 300 tents, much ammunition and camp equipage, and a large supply of food. Ogdensburg was thus made untenable, and before it could be again used as a base, it would have to be rebuilt and re-equipped. In this affair the British had 8 killed and 52 wounded; the Americans, 5 killed and 12 wounded, and Macdonell brought back to Fort Wellington 74 prisoners.

The capture of Ogdensburg was far-reaching in its effect. A few weeks later, when General Pike arrived at the place he could find no shelter for his troops and marched them to Sackett's Harbour, where they were to become a part of Dearborn's main army. If Ogdensburg had been available, it might have been used as a base of attack against Kingston, and British communications by the St. Lawrence could have been completely cut off. Mulcaster's fleet, that harried Wilkinson as he led his army down the St. Lawrence, would undoubtedly have had its passage blocked, and the army under Colonel Morrison might never have reached Chrystler's Farm.

When navigation first opened in the spring of 1813, the United States fleet, consisting of six fine schooners and a ship ably manned and equipped with seventy-two guns, held undisputed command of Lake Ontario. Under these circumstances the United States Secretary of War, Armstrong, decided to resume hostilities by an attack on Kingston, and instructed General Dearborn, with a strong fleet under Chauncey, and an army of 5,000 men under Brigadier-General Pike, to proceed against that British stronghold; but Dearborn and Chauncey were timid about attacking so well-defended a position.


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