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170   HISTORY OF CANADA.

they proceeded to burn a number of the public buildings. Deeming York useless as a strategic point, the American fleet sailed again for Sackett's Harbor.*

Stoney Creek.—Toward the end of May the American fleet again ascended the lake, this time with intent to capture Fort George. Under cover of the guns of the fleet the land forces secured a foothold to the west of the fort. The British general, Vincent, despairing of holding out against a combined assault by sea and land, blew up the works (May 27th, 1813) and retreated ; first to Queenston Heights, and then, having gathered all his forces from the Niagara frontier, to Burlington Heights, near the western end of Lake Ontario. He was pursued by a large body under Generals Chandler and Winder, who, on the night of the 5th of June, pitched camp on the east bank of Stoney Creek, a few miles from Vincent's position. Here Adjutant-General Harvey—afterwards Sir John Harvey—made a niOt attack upon them. In the confused melee which followed, both of the American generals were captured. Chandler, it is said, was trying in the dark ko uuameuvre a British regiment ! Next morning the American army retreated. In a short time, General Vincent reoccupied all the other frontier pests, and the enemy was confined to the immediate neighborhood of Fort George.

Beaver Dams.—There was considerable skirmishing between the opposing forces. At Beaver Danis, some miles to the west of Queenston, a small British detachment was stationed under the command of Lieut. FitzGibbon. By interrupting communication and cutting off supplies, this little band made itself so obnoxious to the Americans that, toward the end of June, a force of five hundred men with two guns was detailed to effect its capture. Learning of the intended movement, Laura Secord, wife of a militia-man wounded at Queenston Heights, made her way through the American pickets, and toiled on foot all the way from Queens-ton, a circuitous journey of some twenty miles, to give warning of the enemy's approach. FitzGibbon at once set out to reconnoitre. He found the Americans drawn up in an open field, subjected to an annoying fire from a band of Indians, who, under Captain Kerr

* During the summer York was visited by the enemy a second time (July 31st), and again abandoned after some stores had been captured.


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