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THE WAR OF 1812   189

number were stationed in the district between Montreal and Lake Champlain.

On July 3rd, General Brown with an army of between 4,000 and 5,000 men crossed over from Buffalo and Black Rock to Fort Erie and immediately invested the fort, which was held by 137 men of the 8th Regiment, under Major Buck. The fort was untenable and Buck surrendered, the garrison becoming prisoners of war.

Brown immediately advanced towards Chippawa, where General Riall had come up with 2,000 regulars and militia from Niagara, determined to make a stand on the south side of Chippawa Creek. On the 5th, the forces clashed in a desperate fight. Riall, finding he could not hold the ground in face of vastly superior numbers, retired in good order across the bridge which spanned the creek at this point, and, on July 8th, retreated towards Fort George. The losses on either side were from 400 to 500 killed and wounded. General Brown, flushed with his success, advanced to Newark and invested Fort George and Fort Mississauga, but did not once attempt to pass within range of the guns of the forts.

General Riall, in order to reach the open and operate on the flank and rear of the enemy, executed a brilliant strategic movement. With a select body of troops he marched in the waters of the river and lake around the left wing of the United States Army, a distance of two miles and a half, until he got past the enemy's outposts, and then took the lake road towards Burlington, which he reached without being discovered. He now collected all the force available at Burlington, and, joining them with his own, proceeded to harass the flank and rear of the enemy, as they lay idle for nearly two weeks before Fort George. On July 23rd, General Brown, fearing that Riall might cut his lines of communication, broke up his camp before Fort George and retired precipitately to the Falls.

News of the situation in the lower Niagara was at once sent to General Drummond, then at York, and he crossed the lake, but did not reach Riall before the latter had been


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