1814 - British and Americans on lake Champlain


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1814 British and Americans on Lake Champlain 339

Lawrence, and march overland, that General Izard, on the 1st of September, broke up his encampment at Plattsburg, and marched there with between 3000 and 4000 regulars. If any thing could raise British courage beyond its accustomed height, it was, surely, the emulation which existed between the troops that had recently arrived from the Peninsula, and those that had been originally allotted for the defence of the Canadas ; the one, highly jealous of the reputation they had already gained, the other, equally so, of their local experience, and of the dressing they had several times given to superior numbers of the very same enemy, against whom the two united bodies were now about to act. Under these circumstances, will any one, except an American, say, that 11,000 of such troops would not have beaten, upon any ground where evolutions could be practised, 17,000 of the best troops which the United States could have brought into the field ? A British army, then, of 11,000 men, with a most excellent train of artillery, commanded in chief by Sir George Prevost, and, under him, by officers of the first distinction in the service, left their camp at Chambly, " with a view, " says the American official account, " of conquering the country, as far as Crown point and Ticonderoga " on Lake Champlain.

In the early part of August the British naval force on Lake Champlain consisted of the brig sloop Linnet, of 16 long, 12-pounders and 80 men and boys, commanded by Captain Daniel Pring, cutter Chubb, of 10 carronades, 18-pounders, and one long 6-pounder, and 40 men and boys, Lieutenant James M'Ghie, cutter Finch, of six 18-pounder carronades, one medium or columbiad 18-pounder, and one 6-pounder, Lieutenant William Finch, and 10 gun-boats, mounting between them two long 24, and five long 18 pounders, and six 32-pounder carronades, and manned with 294 men and boys, of whom 30 were British seamen : the remainder, as was the case with the greater proportion of the crews of the three larger vessels, consisted of privates of the 39th regiment and Canadian militia, very few of which latter could speak a word of English. This would make a total of 48 guns and 444 men and boys ; the greater part, as already stated, regular soldiers and Canadian militia.

The American force consisted of the ship Saratoga, mounting on a flush deck eight long 24-pounders, 12 carronades, 32-pounders, and six carronades, 42-pounders, total 26 guns, with a complement of 250 as her regular crew, besides a detachment of the 15th United States' infantry acting as marines, making a total of at least 300 men, commanded by Commodore Thomas Macdonough ; brig Eagle, Captain Robert Henley, of eight long 18-pounders and 12 carronades, 32-pounders, total 20 guns, and 142 men as her regular crew, and at least 160, including her acting marines ; schooner Ticonderoga, Lieutenant commandant Stephen Cassin, of eight long 12, and four long 18 pounders and five 32-pounder

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