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THE WAR OF 1812   147

ment. The entire army of the foe was at the top of the slope.

The command was given to deploy to the left. The movement was quickly performed and the force came into line of battle. There was now no doubt as to the position of the enemy. From the plateau above them troops could be heard assembling, and the men of the 8th and 49th began hurriedly loading their muskets and fixing their flints. Suddenly above them a burst of flame like a lightning flash illuminated the night, and under a storm of lead many a gallant fellow fell dead or wounded. The cannon roared forth and balls ploughed through their extended line. To many of the British the day seemed lost and there was grave danger of a panic. By the light of the captured watch-fires they were an easy target, while they could direct their own fire solely by the flashing volleys from the hilltop.

At this juncture Major Plenderleath, assisted by Sergeant-Major Alexander Fraser with some twenty or thirty brave fellows, saved the situation. With fixed bayonets they charged up the height for the guns. As they charged they ran crouching, and twice the cannon boomed above them and threatening balls shrieked immediately over their heads. The gunners were loading for a third time when Plenderleath's men burst upon them. Believing that they were attacked by a strong force the Americans turned and fled; one bolder than the rest stood his ground but was bayoneted while attempting to discharge his field-piece. As the gunners took flight the supporting companies fired one wild volley and fled.

When the alarm was given, General Chandler mounted his horse and took command in person, sending General Winder to bring the infantry on the left to the brow of the hill. As his gunners took to flight Chandler arrived at the guns. A bullet struck his horse and he was thrown and stunned by his fall. When he regained consciousness he found the British in possession of the battery. Hoping


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