Previous Index Next


THE WAR OF 1812   183

report brought by a spy. He had a detailed account of the number of men along the St. Lawrence and of a large army assembling at Montreal. Wilkinson even at this early stage doubted the advisability of continuing the advance. However, it was decided to go on as they knew "of no other alternative." While the army halted at this point Brown's brigade was landed on the north shore to reinforce Macomb.

Mulcaster had left his larger boats at Fort Wellington and the British troops were loaded on bateaux, landed at Point Iroquois on November 9th, and on the 10th got in touch with the American rear-guard. Meanwhile General Boyd's brigade had reached the Canadian side and was supposed to be protecting the rear of the American advance along the north shore. The Long Sault Rapids were now in sight, and to pass that stretch of turbulent water it was deemed necessary first to clear the bank of enemies.

A British force was known to be stationed near the foot of the Long Sault, and General Brown was ordered to hasten east and dislodge it. Captain Dennis, of the 49th Regiment, was at Cornwall in command of 300 Dundas and Glengarry militia and thirty Indians. He managed to retard Brown's advance by destroying the bridges, and by carefully scattering his men through the thick woods along Hop Pole Creek, whence they maintained a tantalizing fire. Dennis compelled Brown to fight his way, inflicting loss on him while suffering none. Meanwhile there was ample time given to remove the military stores and any property of value in Cornwall.

At 10:30 a.m. on November 11th, Wilkinson received word from Brown that the river was clear. It was getting late in the season; winter was approaching. If Montreal were to be reached before the ice formed there must be no delay, and so Wilkinson issued orders that the rapids should be run at once. This accomplished they would be in Lake St. Francis in a few hours and clear of the British gun-boats and the pursuing troops. But at this moment

Previous Index Next