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180 MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

 

firing, Daly's men had taken a kneeling position, and, for the most part, the bullets of the enemy whistled over their heads. None were killed, but Daly and several others were wounded. In the thick forest on the left bank of the river, a company of voltigeurs under Captain Juchereau Duchesnay lay in ambush. At the opportune moment they opened fire from a totally unexpected quarter, and caused a panic in the enemy's ranks. At the same moment Purdy's men heard the numerous bugle calls pealing out the advance. They heard, too, with dismay the wild war-whoops of the Indians. A panic seized them and they also fled.

Some of Purdy's men swam the Chateauguay, and reaching Hampton's headquarters gave the general such an exaggerated account of the enemy's numbers that Hampton was convinced that a powerful British force had been brought against him, and immediately ordered a general retreat. Another humiliating defeat was thus experienced by the United States; a force of nearly 6,000 men with generals of high repute, well trained infantry, cavalry, and artillery, ignominiously fled before a force of 900 men who were without either cavalry or guns, and were for the most part French Canadians who had had no experience in warfare.

In this fight the British loss was small. Five of the rank and file were killed and two captains, one sergeant, and thirteen rank and file wounded. The United States' loss is not easy to estimate. If we are to believe their historians it did not exceed fifty; but the British found, on the right bank of the river where Purdy had been en-gaged, more than ninety bodies and new made graves. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded was undoubtedly over 100. Along the line of retreat knapsacks, muskets, and provisions were found in large quantities. For two days de Salaberry's men boldly followed the fleeing army. On September 28th, Captain Lamothe with his Indians fell on Hampton's rear-guard, causing a loss of one killed, and seven wounded. No attempt had been made to rally


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