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THE WAR OF 1812   193

struck by the British in the War of 1812. The Americans planned the recapture of Mackinaw. With this in view a combined naval and military expedition of five vessels and over 1,000 men was despatched there in July, 1814. On July 20th, this force burned the fort and barrack at St. Joseph's Island, which had been abandoned by the garrison. On August 4th, the troops were landed at Mackinaw and at once attempted to carry the fort by storm, but were driven back with a loss of seventy men. As the capture of Mackinaw by assault seemed impossible, it was decided to blockade it, and the schooners Scorpion and Tigress, which had figured in Commodore Perry's victory on Lake Erie, were given this task. On September 3rd, when these vessels were some five leagues apart, the Tigress was boarded and captured by a party of seamen and sailors under command of Lieutenant Worsley of the Royal Navy and Lieutenant Bulger of the Newfoundland Regiment. On September 6th, the Tigress, under United States colours, was used to effect the capture of her sister ship. And so the blockade of Mackinaw was effectively raised.

Under instructions from England, Sir George Prevost, on September 1st, 1814, crossed from Lower Canada into United States territory at the head of 11,000 picked troops, many of them veterans of the Peninsular War. The object of the expedition was the capture of Plattsburg, garrisoned by some 4,000 United States troops. On September 6th, Prevost reached the river Saranac, near Plattsburg, and halted to erect batteries to oppose enemy guns covering the crossing of the river.

Sir George Prevost and Captain Downie, the naval officer commanding the British flotilla on Lake Champlain, were to co-operate in the attack upon Plattsburg. Downie, should the wind permit, was to come up the lake from his station at Isle-aux-Noix, enter Plattsburg Bay, and open fire upon the United States squadron anchored there, and assist in the attack upon the shore defences. Downie had under his command sixteen


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