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THE WAR OF 1812   185

The American leader then turned his attention to the front and right. General Covington's brigade with four guns was sent against the troops posted near the St. Lawrence. The British did not wait for Covington's attack, but advanced to meet him, and, when within half musket-shot, formed into line. Covington's attack was met by a counter-attack that checked his advance. One of the American 6-pounders was a temptation to the men of the 49th. With a shout they tried to rush it, but at this moment the American cavalry swept down upon them. There was a critical instant; it looked as if the ranks of the 49th would be broken and a fatal attack made on their rear. The 89th on the extreme right saw the danger and dashed to the rescue. Captain Barnes, with three companies of this regiment and a 6-pounder gun, not only saved the 49th but captured the enemy's cannon. It was now 4:30 p.m. and the fight had been raging furiously for two hours. At this stage General Covington fell mortally wounded. His men, as news of his fall spread among them, lost heart, were seized with a panic, and retreated. Along their entire front the Americans ceased firing, and the troops fled in haste before the cheering British.

The victors started in pursuit, but a reinforcement of 600 fresh American troops under Lieut.-Col. Upham arriving on the scene, the pursuit was checked. The British therefore halted, content with occupying the ground from which they 'had driven their foes.

In the battle, the British loss was 22 killed, 146 wounded, and 12 missing, nearly a fourth of their entire force. On account of the thoroughly unreliable reports of Wilkinson the American loss is difficult to estimate. It was stated at 102 killed and 37 wounded, while 100 prisoners or more fell into British hands. After the battle the American artillery and dragoons hastened down the river bank to join Brown and Macomb near Cornwall. The infantry hurriedly embarked in their waiting boats, and at night-fall fled across the St. Lawrence. In the morning Wilkin-


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