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188   MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

Isle-aux-Noix, and from the mouth of the Lacolle, a mile or so away, worried the enemy by their fire.

The investment of the Lacolle position was completed on March 31st. From the beginning of the siege, Hancock, although outnumbered fifteen to one, offered a stout resistance, even having his men make several sorties to attempt to capture the American guns. All through the day of the 30th the strong walls of the mill were pounded by gun-fire, and all day the little British force answered with muskets from loopholes and windows. Wilkinson on the 28th had written to Dearborn saying that "we shall visit Lacolle and take possession of that place." He had expected an immediate surrender at his approach. The opposition he was meeting paralyzed his faculties, and towards evening he drew off his force and hastened back to Plattsburg, having lost 13 killed, 128 wounded, and 13 missing. The British loss was 11 killed, 43 wounded, and 4 missing, about one-sixth of the total force under Hancock in this heroic defence of his position.

On May 5th, Sir James Yeo's squadron, with over 1,000 troops, attacked Oswego, routed the garrison and destroyed or captured the batteries and stores. A gun-boat, the Growler, which had, besides her own armament, a cargo of seven long guns, was among the spoils.

Napoleon, on whose success the war party in the United States had counted when they committed their nation to the war, had now been deposed, and Britain, with a veteran army, was left free to devote serious attention to the war in America. In due course, Sir George Prevost received word that strong reinforcements were being despatched from England, and he was instructed to assume the offensive with a view of obtaining "immediate security for His Majesty's possessions in America." Some 16,000 men, veterans of the Peninsula campaign, landed at Quebec in July and August. A few regiments were sent to the Niagara frontier, some to Kingston, but the larger


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