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160   MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

had with him a 3-pounder howitzer, and this gun was skilfully handled by Bombardier Kitson and some militia artillery. The Indians, too, fought well from cover, and until dusk the Americans could not cross the river. So hot was the fire that Lewis was forced for a time to leave the open ground and take to the shelter of the forest. But his superior numbers prevailed, and at nightfall Reynolds decided to retreat. In this skirmish the British lost one white man and three Indians killed; the Americans, twelve killed and fifty-five wounded.

Lewis had Frenchtown; but he was far from feeling comfortable. Reynolds was retreating towards Amherst-burg, but it was not likely that Procter would accept the situation and Lewis was in no position to resist a well-organized attack. He was without guns, and he had on his hands a large number of severely wounded men. Had he been able, he would have retreated to the Miami Rapids, but before this could be done conveyances would have to be sent forward to carry his wounded. He therefore despatched a messenger to Winchester asking for reinforcements. The victory he had won had been greatly exaggerated, and, cheered by the news, the camp-weary men under Winchester wanted to fight. They pleaded to be sent forward to meet Procter should he attack Frenchtown. Winchester yielded and went to Lewis' assistance. When he arrived in Frenchtown he had, including Lewis' men, about 1,000 United States troops eager for fight, but, fortunately for the British, badly led and knowing but little of the game of war. The houses in the village were filled with wounded, and Winchester took up his headquarters in a house on the south bank of the river. Lewis' corps was within the picketed enclosure which protected the village on two sides, and Colonel Wells, who came up on the evening of the 20th, was forced, on account of the limited space behind the palisades to station his regiment in the open to the right of the picket fence. Colonel Allen's regiment was in a similar position.


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