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182 MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

 

boats set out on what was to prove to be a futile and disastrous journey.

In pursuit of Wilkinson's large flotilla came Mulcaster with a skilfully managed fleet, attacking their rear and keeping the American army in a state of nervous tension. Along the north shore of the St. Lawrence a strong force of regulars and militia kept pace with the advancing enemy. At every narrow stretch among the Thousand Islands a sharp musketry fire was kept up on the passing American boats. Colonel Morrison was in command of the British troops and with him was Colonel Harvey, courageous and experienced. To harass the Americans more troops were needed, and at Prescott the British were joined by the greater ,,part of the garrison of Fort Wellington. The two companies of the 49th Regiment, some fencibles and voltigeurs, a few Indians, and a 6-pounder gun with its crew brought the force to a little over 800.

The Americans dreaded the guns of Fort Wellington at Prescott, and before they reached Ogdensburg disembarked their troops, and, with only enough men to man-age the boats, sent their fleet past the British fort in the night. The troops were hurriedly marched along shore and taken on board at the Red Mill, four miles below Ogdensburg, and the advance was then continued by water.

The musketry fire from the north bank of the St. Lawrence was most annoying, and to clear this part of the river a body of 1,200 men under Colonel Macomb and Lieut.-Col. Forsyth was landed on the Canadian side of the river at the head of the Gallops Rapids.

Already Wilkinson was beginning to have doubts as to the easy conquest of Canada by way of Montreal. His followers were even more doubtful. They were a strong force, but they were practically without leaders. General Wilkinson and his second in command, Major-General Morgan Lewis, were both ill and utterly unfit to handle the expedition. Before descending the Gallops a council of war was called, at which was given a very discouraging


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