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THE WAR OF 1812   173

6-pounders, and after a few discharges the Indians were compelled to retreat after losing thirteen killed, the Americans having nine'killed or wounded.

When about two miles from Moravian Town, on the north bank of the Thames, a few miles east of the present city of Chatham, a naturally strong position tempted Procter to make a stand. His men were in bad shape; they had been fleeing in disorder, many were worn out with marching, many were sick, and all were disheartened. On this morning, October 5th, Procter still seemed unable to make up his mind. He ordered his troops to advance against the foe, but scarcely was the movement begun before they were commanded to halt. The old soldiers of the 41st were mutinous. They had no confidence in Procter, and no hope of victory—indeed they knew that they could make but a short fight. Their main supply of ammunition had been captured by the pursuing enemy, and all they had was in their pouches. For two hours before the fight they sat inactive in sulky silence by the roadside 'or in the wood that skirted it. No attempt was made to throw up intrenchments or make barricades, though there was ample time for such work. Dejected, hungry, hopeless, the men of the 41st thus awaited the Americans.

Five of the British guns were back at Moravian Town, having been taken there to guard a ford of the river. There was but one 6-pounder with the British, and that was posted in the road skirting the Thames. It stood there during the fight, grim and threatening, but there was no ammunition and it remained silent until captured by Johnson's men. Near it were stationed some twenty dragoons. Fewer than 400 British soldiers—367 was the number reported—were to take part in the battle. Half of these were strung across the road, in line with the gun; the remainder, concealed in the forest 200 yards in the rear, formed a second line of defence. Behind them Procter and his staff took up their position, apparently prepared for hurried flight, The right flank was pro-


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