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Sketches Illustrating the Early Settlement and History of Glengarry in Canada
Chapter 16

First Blood of the War of 1812—A British Indian Scalped by an American Officer.—Capture of Michilimacinack.— Brock Leaves York for the Scene of Action.—Letter of Colonel Macdonell, A.D.C., M P. for Glengarry, to Honourable Duncan Cameron.—Surrender of Fort Detroit by the Americans.—Articles of Capitulation.— List of Gold Medals Granted.—Armistice Between Prevost and Dearborn.—Battle of Queenston Heights.— Death of General Brock and Colonel Macdonell, A.D.C. — Their Funeral. — Movements on Queenston Heights.—The Prince Regent's Tribute.—Colonel Macdonell's Address to the. Electors of Glengarry, March 18th, 1812. — Letter Describing His Death. — Bishop Strachan's Verses.

Hostilities commenced on 12th July, 1812, when General Hull crossed the Detroit River to Sandwich (perhaps he thought the date auspicious), invading us with an army of two thousand five hundred men and a blood-curdling proclamation. It was answered by General Brock, and the two should be placed in parallel columns, so that the vulgarity and fanfaronade of the one and the resolute, dignified tone of the other might be fully understood and appreciated. The grandiloquence of the American General and the magnitude of what he was going to do was as remarkable as the dignified common sense of the other, and what he immediately proceeded to carry into execution.

Brock's admirable production is generally believed to have been prepared by Mr. Justice Powell, then Senior Puisne Judge of the Court of King's Bench, of which Court he became Chief Justice in the year 1816. He was at the time a Member of the Executive Council and with his numerous duties, General Brock would naturally avail himself of Judge Powell's great abilities in the preparation of a document of this nature. I may mention that Colonel Macdonell, the Member for Glengarry, and Brock's A.D C , was shortly to have been married to a daughter of Judge Powell's, had it not proved his lot "To change love's bridal wreath for laurels from the hand of death."

But General Brock did not confine himself to answering General Hull on paper. He directed Captain Roberts, then in command at St. Joseph, to take the American fort of Michilimacinack or Mackinaw, in the straits between Lakes Michigan and Huron, which in words which afterwards became historic, "was done accordingly" with a small force of forty five men of the Tenth Royal Veteran Battalion, two hundred militia and about a like number of Indians. From Sandwich, General Hull proceeded to Amherstburg, but here again both his proclamation and his prowess, if not his courage, failed him.

Colonel St. George was in command of that place with two hundred men of the First Battalion of the Forty-First Regiment, a few of the Newfoundland Fencibles, with some artillery men under Lieutenant Troughton, and the Commander of the Forces was able to announce in General Orders of the Sixth of August that "he had great pleasure in stating that the enemy under General Hull had been repelled in three attacks made on the 18th, 19th and 20th of last month upon part of the garrison of Amherstburg on the River Canard." First blood was drawn and the first scalp taken on the 15th July, James in his "History of the War," mentioning that an American officer, a Captain McCulIough, who was afterwards killed; stated in a letter to his wife which was found in his pocket after his death, that he had en that day shot an Indian, and had experienced the pleasure of tearing off his scalp with his teeth and yet General Hull affected to think the Indians savage and barbarous!

Tecumseth, who proved with his Indian warriors, such a valuable ally to the British arms, waylaid a detachment of the enemy about two hundred strong, which had been sent as a convoy to guard the mail, and cut them to pieces. An expedition, however, under Captain Muir, who was wounded in the engagement, which was sent to occupy Brownstown on the American side, through which a second convoy was expected to pass, failed, with a loss to us of one private killed, two officers, two sergeants, nineteen rank and file wounded and two taken prisoners, who were afterwards recaptured by our Indians, and to the Americans of eighteen killed and sixty-three wounded.

Their force on this occasion was largely in excess of ours, consisting of all but one company of Fourth Regiment United States Infantry, a detachment of the First Infantry, with some artillery and four hundred militia, while oppose to them were not more than four hundred and fifty men, of whom two hundred were Indians.

General Hull stated in his official report that "nothing was gained in it but honour," That satisfied him. He was easily satisfied, as the results showed.

General Brock, who up to this time had been detained at York, left that place for the scene of action on the 6th of August with some two hundred volunteers, arriving at Amhersburg on the 13th. His little band on the way, he stated in his note book, endured all the fatigues with greater cheerfulness and constancy than he had ever previously seen evinced, their conduct throughout exciting his admiration.

The following letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonell, General Brock's A.D.C., to the Honourable Duncan Cameron, of York, who was, I believe at the time and continued for many years subsequently a member of the Government of the Province, has been placed in my hands through the courtesy of Mr. Ĉmius Jarvis, of Toronto, and is of interest as giving an account of the journey to Detroit and as being the last letter written by Attorney-General Macdonell, who was then Member for Glengarry, and was so soon to die with Brock in the defence of the country.

"Port Talbot, 10th August, 1812,

"My dear Sir,

"We left Dover on the 8th, between three and four o'clock p.m., and got to this place about six this morning, when the wind blew sc strong upon the shore that we found it would be quite impracticable to weather the point about thirty miles ahead and between which and this place there is no possibility of landing, so were forced to beach and have our boats into a fine creek where, from present appearances, it is possible they will remain till to-morrow morning, and how much longer I cannot say. It has rained almost continually since we encamped last night, and although the men have been completely drenched, they continue in excellent spirits and behave in the most orderly and obedient manner.

"Peter Robinson, with his riflemen, joined us about twelve o'clock to-day, and our fleet now consists of twelve sail of ail kinds, in one of which is a six pounder (dismounted), with ammunition, etc. The want of boats obliged the General to send a detachment consisting of about one hundred men of the Oxford and Norfolk Militia in a small vessel, which happened to be at Dover, which must have reached Amherstburg this morning.

"Upon our arrival at Dover it was said that a sufficient number of boats to embark the whole of the force assembled there had been got ready, but upon examination we found that hardly one was in a state for service, and it was not till about four o'clock next day, with every exertion, that we got ten boats under way. Many of them are in so bad a state that we are constantly delayed and detained by them, and will no doubt prevent our arriving as soon as we otherwise would. Hid there been boats enough we probably would have had with us about one hundred men more than we have. Our force at present, including the men sent in the vessel, will be upwards of three hundred and fifty, besides about twenty Indians, under Cadotte, who has fallen behind. These, with the sixty men from the Forty-First sent from Fort Erie will, I trust, be found a sufficient reinforcement to the garrison at Amherstburg to enable us to effect the desired object. Not having heard a word from Amherstburg since we left you, we must suppose things remain in the same state.

"I am sorry to say that poor Chambers was taken so ill just as we were about to embark, that Mr. Rolph thought it absolutely necessary to detain him. Robinson, however, says that Colonel Talbot and he were to leave Mr. R.'s yesterday morning, so that we look out for him every moment. Such a disappointment to him would certainly be most distressing—I mean being left behind. I hope he may arrive, not only on his account, but also for the good of the service, which I think would materially suffer from his absence. Everyone else is perfectly well.

"I do not know how this is to find its way to you, but as you desired me to write you from each place at which we should stop, which I think I promised to do, and having got myself dry. and having a little time to spare, I felt myself bound in conscience to devote it to the performance of my promise, and I wish with all my heart 1 could say anything which would give you any pleasure to hear. My next, however, may possibly contain something more interesting.

Chambers, I am glad to say, has arrived perfectly recovered, not only from his illness, but from his fear of being left behind, which I believe gave him more uneasiness than all his other complaints. Remember me to all of those who you think would wish to hear of me, and say to them what you please for me, and believe me to be

"Your sincere friend am faithful servant,

"J. Macdonell.

"Duncan Cameron. Esq."

But when General Brock with his small force had arrived at Amberstburg it was feared that General Hull had had enough glory in the affair at Brownstown. and that satisfied with his magnificent success be had recrossed the river, leaving behind him his proclamation, the sole monument of his fame. He was apparently much attached to his own country, though he was destined shortly to leave it tor a considerable time, and when he again returned his reception by his countrymen was the reverse of cordial, though they took great care of his person!

On the 15th August, General Brock despatched this letter to him:—

"Head Quarters, Sandwich, August 15th, 1812.

"Sir,—The force at my disposal authorizes me to require of you the immediate surrender of Fort Detroit—It is far from my inclination to join in a war of extermination, but you must be aware that the numerous body of Indians who have attached themselves to my troops, will be beyond my control the moment the contest commences. You will find me disposed to enter into such conditions as will satisfy the most scrupulous sense of honour. Lieutenant Colonel Macdonell and Major Glegg are fully authorized to conclude any arrangement that may tend to prevent the unnecessary effusion of blood.

"I have the honour to be,

"Sir, your most obedient Servant, "

(Signed) Isaac Brock, Major General.
"His Excellency,
"Brigadier-General Hull,
"Commanding at Fort Detroit."

On the same day General Hull replied that he was prepared to meet any force at his opponent's disposal, but changed i s mind the following day, as shown in General Brock's despatch to the Commander-in-Chief, enclosing the terms of the Capitulation of Fort Detroit, which were agreed upon without any of the unpleasantness which usually characterises the proceedings antecedent to such negotiations.

"Referring first to the events, at York, following closely upon the commencement of hostilities, General Brock states:—

" * * * In the meantime the most strenuous measures were adopted to counteract the machinations of the evil disposed, and I soon experienced the gratification of receiving voluntary offers of service from that portion of the embodied militia the most easily collected. In the attainment of this important point gentlemen of the first character and influence showed an example highly creditable to them, and I cannot on this occasion avoid mentioning the essential assistance I derived from John Macdonell, Esquire. His Majesty's Attorney General, who, from the beginning of the war, has honoured me with his services as my Provincial Aide-de-Camp."

After narrating the events previous to- his arrival at Amherstburg, he proceeds:

"The force at my disposal being collected in the course of the 15th, in the neighbourhood of Sandwich, the embarcation took place a little after daylight on the following morning, and under the able arrangement of Lieutenant Dewar, of the Quartermaster-General's Department, the whole was in a short time landed without the slightest confusion at Springwill—a good position, three miles west of Detroit. The Indians, who had m the meantime effected their landing two miles below, moved forward and occupied the woods, about a mile and a half on our left.

I crossed the river, with an intention of waning n a strong position the effect of our force upon the enemy's camp, and in hopes of compelling him to meet us in the field; but receiving information upon landing that Colonel McArthur, an officer of high reputation, had left the garrison three days before with a detachment of five hundred men. and hearing soon afterwards that his cavalry had been seen that morning three miles in our rear, I decided on an immediate attack. Accordingly, the troops advanced to within one mile of the fort, and having ascertained that the enemy had taken little or no precaution towards the land side, I resolved on an attack, whilst the Indians penetrated his camp.

"Brigadier-General Hull, however, prevented this movement by proposing a cessation of the hostilities for the purpose of preparing terms of capitulation. Lieutenant-Colonel John Macdonell and Captain Glegg were accordingly deputed by me on this mission, and returned within an hour with the conditions, which I have the honour herewith to transmit. Certain conditions afterwards induced me to agree to the two supplementary articles.

"The force thus surrendered to His Majesty's arms cannot be estimated at less than two thousand five hundred men. In this estimate, Colonel McArthur's detachment is included, as he surrendered, agreeably to the terms of capitulation, in the course of the evening with the exception of two hundred men, whom he left escorting a valuable convoy at some little distance in his rear; but there can be no doubt the officer commanding will consider himself equally bound by the capitulation.

"The enemy's aggregate force was divided into two troops of Cavalry, one Company of Artillery Engineers, the Fourth United States Regiment, detachments of the First and Third United States Regiment of volunteers, three regiments of the Ohio Militia, one regiment of the Michigan Territory.

"Thirty pieces of brass and iron ordnance have already been secured."

In addition there was handed over four hundred rounds of twenty-four-pound shot fixed, one hundred thousand cartridges, forty barrels of powder and two thousand five hundred stand of arms.

The terms of capitulation were as follows:—

Camp at Detroit, August 16, 1812. —Capitulation for the surrender of Fort Detroit entered into between Major-General Brock, commanding His Britannic Majesty's forces on the one part, and Brigadier-General Hull, commanding the Northwestern army of the United States on the other part:—

Article I.—Fort Detroit, with all the troops, regular as well as militia, wilt be immediately surrendered to the British forces under the command of Major-General Brock, and will be considered as prisoners of war, with the exception of such of the Militia of Michigan Territory who have not joined the army.

Article II. —All public stores, arms and all public documents, including everything else of a public nature, will be given up.

Article III.—Private persons and property of every description will be respected.

Article IV.—His Excellency Brigadier-General Hull having expressed a desire that a detachment from the State of Ohio, on its way to join his army, as well as one sent from Fort Detroit under the command of Colonel McArthur, should be included in the capitula-ti< in, i': is accordingly agreed to. It is, however, to be understood that such part of the Ohio Militia as have not joined the army will be permitted to return to their homes, on condition that they will not serve during the war; their arms will be given up, if belonging to the public.

Article V.—The garrison will march out at the hour of twelve this day, and the British will take immediate possession of the fort.

An article supplementary to the articles of capitulation, concluded at Detroit, the j 6th of August, 1812

"It is agreed that the officers and soldiers of the Ohio Militia and Volunteers shall be permitted to proceed to their respective homes, on this condition, that they do not serve during the present war, unless they are exchanged.

W. Hull,
Brigadier-General Commanding United States Northwestern Army.
Isaac Brock,

An article in addition to the supplementary article of capitulation, concluded at Detroit, the 16th of August, 1812 :—

"It is further agreed that the officers and soldiers of the Michigan Militia and Volunteers, under the command of Major Whetherall, shall be placed on the same principles as the Ohio Militia and Volunteers are placed by the supplementary article of the 16th instant

"W. Hull,
"Brigadier-General commanding Northwestern Army United States.

"Isaac Brock,

Return of the ordnance taken at the Fort and batteries at Detroit, August 16th, 1812 :—

Iron ordnance.—Nine twenty-four pounders, eight twelve-pounders, five nine-pounders. Brass ordnance—three six-pounders, two four-pounders, one three-pounder, one eight-inch howitzer, one three and a third inch ditto.

The surrender of Detroit electrified all Canadians. It was the first enterprise in which the militia had been engaged, and the courage and success of their volunteers animated and encouraged ali No more was there of doubting or wavering; disaffection sunk out of sight. Brock became the idol of Upper Canada ; and no man ever, by his dauntless example, both moral and physical, and by effecting much with small means, had more honestly won the homage of the people.

It was a sad and strange coincidence that on the day of his death and that of his chief of staff, Glengarry's representative, at Queenston Heights, the guns of the Tower at London proclaimed the victory at Detroit!

A medal was struck to commemorate the victory, and gold medals were awarded to the following :—

Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, killed in action 1812.
Lieutenant Colonel John Macdonell, A.D.C., killed in action in 1812.
Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Latouche Chambers, Forty-First Foot, died in 1828.
Colonel Mathew Charles Dixon, R.E.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mathew Elliot, Canadian Malitia.
Lieutenant-Colonel T. B. Glegg, Forty-Ninth Regiment.
Major Adam Muir, Forty-First Foot.
Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Nichol, Canadian Militia.
Major-General Sir P. Bligh St. George, C.B., K.C.H., died m 1836.
Major Joseph Tallon, Forty-First Foot.
Lieutenant Felix Troughton, R.A., died id 1815.

The names are taken from the army list of 1852, which gives the rank subsequently attained in the army by each officer.

Colonel Macdonell's was forwarded to his family after his death with the following letter to rny grandfather from the Duke of York, Commander-.n-Chief of the Forces :—

"Horse Guards, May 16, 1820.

"Sir,—The King having been graciously pleased to command that the officers present at the capture of Detroit should be permitted to bear a medal in commemoration of that victory, I have to transmit to you the medal which would have been conferred on the late Lieutenant-Colonel John Macdonell of the Canadian Militia, and which His Majesty has been pleased to direct should be deposited with his family as a token of respect which His Majesty entertains for the memory of that officer.

"I am, sir, yours,



"Duncan Macdonell, Esq."

On the other hand, as soon as a cartel was effected, and General Hull returned to the United States, he was placed under arrest and the Administration exhibited charges for capital offences against him.

He was eventually tried at Albany, N. Y., by a court-martial, of which General Dearborn was present, on January 3, 1814, charges of treason, cowardice and neglect of duty being preferred against him. He was practically acquitted of the first, but was found guilty of the second and third charges, and sentenced to death, but on account of his revolutionary services and advanced age (which was only fifty-nine years, however, at the time of the surrender), was earnestly recommended to the mercy of the President, who approved of the sentence of the Court, but remitted the execution of it.

The feeling in the United States appears to have been varied as to his conduct, though on the whole decidedly adverse, as might naturally be expected. After the publication of his defence, however, a public dinner was tendered him in Boston as an evidence of the appreciation of its people. That was, and is, no affair of ours. If they were satisfied, the people of Canada had every reason to be. The proclamation remains an imperishable monument of his good intentions.

As soon as possible, after concluding the necessary arrangements at Detroit, on the 22nd August, General Brock, with such of his men as could be spared, left for the Niagara frontier, intending to follow up in that direction the advantage gained at Detroit. The vigorous measures he proposed to adopt, however, were not only hampered but nullified by the armistice which Sir George Prevost, acting under orders from England, and General Dearborn, the American commander, had concluded. The British Order-in-Council, which the Americans urged as the cause of the war, which had been revoked by order of the 23rd June, seven days after the declaration of war by the United States, an action on the:1' part the British Government concluded would suffice to effect the recall of the declaration. In this they were mistaken, and the unfortunate armistice afforded the Americans the opportunity they desired of strengthening their several positions in the vicinity of Montreal, at Niagara, and further west. After it had served their purpose it was repudiated by the President. General Brock's correspondence with his brother shows the very natural impatience with which he was obliged to remain inactive. On September 18th he states that he believes he could sweep everything before him from Niagara to Buffalo. By the middle of October, however, the Americans had assembled on the Niagara frontier an army of six thousand three hundred men, of which force three thousand one hundred and seventy were at Lewiston, under the command of General Van-Ranssalaer. To oppose this force General Brock had part of the Forty-First and Forty-Ninth Regiments, a few companies of militia and about two hundred Indians, in all one thousand five hundred men—dispersed, however, at different points between Fort Erie and Fort George.

The Americans decided upon an attack, and before daylight on the morning of October 13th, a large division of their army, numbering some one thousand four hundred men, under Brigadier-General Wadsworth effected a landing at the Village of Queenston, immediately oppose Lewiston, not however without strenuous opposition from such of the British forces as could be collected in the vicinity. Some of them were driven back, their boats being disabled or sunk, but the greater number succeeded in gaining the summit of the mountain, after which no resistence could be offered to those crossing from Lewiston.

A gentleman who will be well remembered by many of the older people of Glengarry, who resided for very many years in Cornwall and was Judge of the United Counties, the late Judge Jarvis, was not only an eye-witness of, but an active participant, in the events of that day. He had been one of those who had attempted to prevent the landing of the Americans. His account of what followed will be read with interest. Il's given in Auchinleck's History of the War," page 104 :—

"On retiring to the north end of the village, on the Niagara road, our little band was met by General Brock, attended by his Aide-de-Camp, Major Glegg and Colonel Macdonell. He was loudly cheered as he cried, 'Follow me, boysI' and led us a pretty smart trot towards the mountain: checking his horse to a walk, he said, 'take breath, boys; we shall want it in a few minutes.' Another cheer was the response both from regulars and militia. At that time, the top of the mountain and a great portion of its side was thickly covered with trees, and was now occupied by American riflemen. On arriving at the foot of the mountain, where the road emerges to St David, General Brock dismounted, and, waving his sword, climbed over a high stone wall, followed by the troops. Placing himself at the head of the light company of the Forty Ninth, he led the way up the mountain at double quick time, in the very teeth of a sharp fire from the enemy's riflemen—and, ere long, he was singled out by one of them, who, coming forward, took delibrate aim and tired. ' Several of the men noticed the action and fired, but too late, and our gallant General fell on his left side, within a few feet of where I stood. Running up to him, I required, 'Are you much hurt, sir?' He placed his hand on his breast, but made no reply, and slowly sunk down. The "Forty-Ninth now raised a shout 'Revenge the General,' and regulars and militia, led by Colonel Macdonell, pressed forward, anxious to avenge the fall of their beloved leader, and literally drove a superior force up the mountain side, to e considerable distance beyond the summit. The flank companies on the York militia, under Captains Cameron and Howard and Lieutenants Robinson, McLean and Stanton, besides many others whose names I forgot, eminently distinguished themselves on this occasion."

General Brock's biographer and relative, Mr. F. B. Tupper, after describing the fall of the gallant officer, continues :—

"His Provincial Aide-de-Camp, Colonel Macdonell, of the militia, and Attorney-General of Upper Canada, a fine premising young man, was mortally wounded soon after his chief, and died the next day at the early age of twenty-five years. Although one bullet had passed through his body, and he was wounded in four places, yet he survived twenty hours, and during a period of excruciating agony his thoughts and words were constantly occupied with lamentations for his deceased commander and friend. He fell while gallantly charging with the hereditary courage of his race up the hill with one hundred and ninety men, chiefly of the York Volunteers, by which charge the enemy was compelled to spike the eighteen-pounder in the battery there, and his memory will be cherished as long as courage and devotion are reverenced in the Province."

Had the Americans by this time received reinforcements, the fate of the battle might have been different, but all the authorities, American as well as Canadian, agree that those who still remained on the opposite side of the river exhibited the utmost poltrooney. General Van Rmssalaer crossed with a view of urging them on, but they absolutely refused to cross. Reinforcements, however, had arrived for the British under General Sheaffe, who, on the death of General Brock, assumed command, until the force amounted to between 800 and 1000 men. The invaders were surrounded, and although they fought most gallantly, their cause was hopeless, and Colonel Macdonell's horse was shot under him at this time—just before he himself fell.

The last rush being made every American was swept from the hill Van Ranssalaer, finding it impossible to urge a single man to cross the river, sent boats to enable those who had previously crossed to retreat to their own side, but a fire being maintained upon the ferry from the battery on the bank, at the lower end of Queenston, these boats were completely dispersed. Brigadier Wadsworth was, therefore, compelled, after a vigorous conflict had been maintained for some time upon both sides, to surrender himself, with all his surviving officers, and. nine hundred men, about 5 o'clock in the afternoon.

The loss to the British was sixteen killed and sixty-nine wounded, while that of the American side, in addition to the fine hundred made prisoners with one gun and two stand of colours taken, was ninety killed and about one hundred wounded Some of the Americans, terrified by the Indians, flung themselves over the cliff, endeavoring to cling to the bushes which grew upon them, but losing their hold, were dashed on the rocks beneath, while others who reached the river perished in their attempts to swim across it. It will scarcely be credited that contemporary American writers attempted not only to deny that they were completely routed on this occasion, but so far to pervert the truth as to claim it as a victory for their arms, one of them, a General Wilkins, alleging that under all the circumstances—and on the scale of operations the impartial soldier and competent judge will name this brilliant affair the chef d'oeuvre of the war." Well might Mr. Auchinleck suggest that if this was considered by them to be the chef d'eeuvre of the War, he would like to know in what light the capitulation of Detroit is to be regarded.

Their only advantage was in the death of General Brock, though to quote the words of Mr. Symons, Canada "had also to deplore the loss of the eminent services and talents of Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonell, Provincial Aide-de-Camp and Attorney-General of the Province, whose gallantry and merit rendered him worthy of his chief."

On the 16th October, the bodies of Major-General Brock and Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonell were interred at Fort George. As a tribute to the magnanimity of the enemy it is recorded that during the funeral procession from Queenston to Fort George, a distance of about seven miles, minute guns were fired at every American post on that side of the line, and all appearance ot hostilities suspended "as a mark, of respect due to a brave enemy." The funeral cortege; while all ostentatious display was avoided, was necessarily most imposing. It was as follows;—

Fort Major Campbell.

Sixty men of the Forty-First Regiment, commanded by a subaltern. Sixty of the militia, commanded by a captain. Two six-pounders, firing minute guns. Remaining Corps and detachments of the Garrison, with about two hundred Indians in reversed order, forming a street through which the procession passed extending from the Government House to the garrison Band of the Forty-First Regiment. Drums covered with black cloth and muflled. Late General's horse, fully caparisoned, led by four grooms. Servants of the General. The General's body servant. Surgeon Muirhead, Doctor Kerr, Doctor Moore, Staff-Surgeon Thom, Reverend Mr. Addison. the body of Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonell, A. D. C., with pall-bearers as follows : Captain A. Cameron, Lieutenant Jarvis, Lieutenant J R. Robinson, Lieutenant Ridout, J. Edwards, Esq., Captain Crooks, Supporter, Supporter. Mr. Dickson. Captain Cameron, Chief Mourner—Mr. Macdonell, the body of major-general Brock. Supporter. Supporter. Jas. Coffi , Esq., I) A. C. g. Captain Williams, Forty-Ninth. Pall-bearers- Captain Vigoreaux, R. E. Major Merritt, I,. H, M Captain Derenzy, Forty-First, Lieutenant Colonel Clarke, L. M. Captain Dennis, Forty-Ninth, Lieutenant-Colonel Butler, Captain Holcroft, R A., Colonel Claus. Supporter. Supporter. Brigade Major Evans. Captain Glegg, A. D. C. Chief Mourners— Major-General Sheaffe, Lieutenant-Colonel Myers, D.Q.M.G. Ensign Coffin, A. D. C , Lieutenant Fowler, A. D. Q. M. G. The civil staff. Friends of the deceased. Inhabitants.

"I enclose a plan of the procession," wrote Captain Glegg, the surviving Aide-De-Camp, "but no pen can describe the real scenes of that mournful day. A more solemn and effecting spectacle was perhaps never witnessed. As every arrangement connected with that affecting ceremony fell to my lot, a second attack being hourly expected, and the minds of all being fully occupied with the duties of their respective stations, I anxiously endeavoured to perfurm this last tribute of affection in a manner corresponding with the elevated Virtues of my deceased patron. Conceiving that an interment in every respect military would he the most appropriate to the character of our dear friend, I made choice of a cavalier bastion in Fort George, which his aspiring genius had lately suggested, and which had just been finished under his daily superintendence."

On the 1,3th October, 1824, the remains of General Brock and Colonel Macdonell were removed from Fort George and deposited i n the resting-place prepared for them in the first monument which was erected on Queenston Heights by the Legislature of Upper Canada.

On the 17th October, 1840, that monument was destroyed by an American miscreant named Lett. In 1853, the Militiamen and the Indian warriors of the Province, by voluntary subscription, raised the present noble structure (which exceeds in height that of any other monumental column, ancient or modem, known, with the exception of that designed by Sir Christopher Wren in London, to commemorate the great fire of 1666, which is twelve feet higher), the ceremony of laying the foundation stone and for the third time interring the bodies of Brock and Macdonell taking place on the 13th of October of that year. The Administrator of the Government being invited to lay the corner-stone, but being unavoidably prevented, caused the following General Order to be promulgated:

"Adjutant-General's Office, Quebec, 1st October, 1853.

"militia general order.

"The Lieutenant General, Administrator of the Government, being unavoidably prevented from attending the ceremony of depositing the remains of the lamented Major-General Sir Isaac Brock and his Aide-de-Camp, Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonell, and laying the corner-stone of the monument about to be raised on Queenston Heights, has been pleased to appoint as his representative on that deeply interesting occasion Colonel Donald Macdonell, Deputy Adjutant General of Militia for Canada West.

"His Excellency has much pleasure in nominating for this duty the brother of the gallant officer who fell nobly by the side of the Major-General in the performance of his duty as Provincial Aide-de-Camp.

"Lieutenant-Colonel DeSalaberry, Deputy Adjutant-General Canada East, and Lieutenant-Colonel Irvine, Provincial Aide-de-Camp to the Governor-General, will be pleased to accompany Colonel Macdonell on this occasion.

The silver trowel with which the corner-stone was laid on that occasion, having on one side the crest and aims of Sir Isaac Brock, and on the other those of Colonel Macdonell, with an inscription stating the circumstances of the presentation, was presented to Colonel Donald Macdonell, and is now in the possession of his family.

Shortly after the Attorney-General's death, the following letter was addressed to his father:—

"York, March 20, 1813.

"Sir,—I am directed by His Honour the President to transmit to you the extract of a letter received by His Excellency Sir George Prevost from Earl Bathurst, and written by the command of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, as it will no doubt afford some satisfaction to all the members of the family to which the late Attorney-General was so great an ornament, to learn that his merit has been recognized even by the Royal Personage who wields the sceptre of the British Empire : on which His Honour commands m? to declare his personal gratification.

I have, &c.,

"Nath. Cot fin, Lieutenant-Colonel; 1

" P.A.D.C.

"Alexander Macdonell, Esq."

The following was enclosed :—

Extract of a letter from the Right Honourable Earl Bathurst, one of His Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, to His Excellency Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost, Bart., dated Downing street, 8th December, 1812:—

"His Royal Highness has also been pleased to express his regret at the loss which the Province must experience by the death the Attorney-General, Mr. Macdonell, whose zealous co-operation with Sir Isaac Brock, will reflect lasting honour on his memory."

Mr. E. B. Tupper states that Colonel Macdonell, at the time of his death, was 25 years of age. This, however, is a mistake. Family records in my possession snow that he was born at Greenfield, Glengariy, Scotland, on the 19th April, 1785, which would make him a little over twenty-seven, and, therefore, a child of seven years of age when his family came to Canada in 1792. He was, together with his brothers, educated by the late Bishop Strachan at the Cornwall School. He was admitted a student at law on the 6th April, 1803, and was called to the Bar of Upper Canada in Easter term 1808. He was appointed Attorney-General of Upper Canada on the 28th November, 1811

The following is his address to the electors of Glengarry when returned for that County shortly before his death. It was dated York, March 18, 1812:—

To the free and independant electors of the County of Glengarry :—

"Gentlemen,—As the me is not far distant when you will be called upon to exercise one of the most valuable and sacred privileges secured to you by our happy Constitution—the choice of a person to represent you in the House of Assembly of the Province— I beg to offer myself as a candidate for that truly honourable situation.

"Connected with many of you by the ties of blood, and possessing one common interest with you all, I trust that it is unnecessary for me to assure you that in aspiring to so distinguished a situation I am not actuated by any personal considerations district from your prosperity and that of the Province in general.

"If you should feel yourselves justified in honouring me with so flattering a mark of your confidence, it shall be my most anxious endeavour by my conduct to convince you that it has not been misplaced, and of the sincerity with which I subscribe myself, " Gentlemen,

"Your Friend and

"Faithful Servant,

"John Macdonell."

We have seen that he gave the best proof of his sincerity, and amply justified the confidence which the people of Glengarry placed i 1 him. He was succeeded temporarily in his office of Attorney General by Mr. Robinson (afterwards Chief Justice Sir John Beverley Robinson, Bart.), who was a student in his office at the rime. He di d unmarried, but as previously intimated, was shortly to have been married to a daughter of Chief-Justice Powell, who survived until a quite recent period. A member of that estimable lady's family has placed at my disposal the following letter addressed to her by her brother at the tune of Colonel Macdonell's death. I give such portions of it as can properly be made public —

"My Dear Sister,—How sincerely do I regret, with all, the loss of our young friend—poor fellow. He was dreadfully wounded and said that he suffered great pain. I think he was wounded in three different places—in the head, through the body and in one of his wrists, besides being trampled by his horse. Mr. F. and myself wished very much to have seen him while he was living, but were told that he was too low to be disturbed. Perhaps we escaped a dreadful sight. The discharge of blood from the wound in his body was said to have been wonderful. Your brother saw him and said that ll had gone through two beds to the floor. He kissed your brother and gave him his hand and pressed it, but it was very faintly. While your brother was there his uncle, Mr. Macdonell, was with him, which must have been a great comfort to him. Poor Mr. Macdonell seems very much disturbed. He died on Wednesday at twelve o'clock, and the moment before he died he desired his servant to lift him up. He was perfectly sensible to the last, poor fellow. I wish you could ail have shared with us the gratification, though a melancholy one, of taking a last look at him. He looked quite natural. I cut a curl of his hair, which I shall preserve—poor fellow! I sincerely regret him. I always felt a friendship for him, because I knew his superior worth. He has left few of his age that possess that purity of mind that he did. The General I regret as a good man and a loss to his country, but John Macdonell I feel for as one of the family. Mrs. P., I suppose, has given you a description of the funeral. Poor Captain Glegg was very much overcome. Even Dereny wept, and I believe there was not a man preseni that did not shed a tear. The Yankees themselves, if we may judge by their conduct, felt regrets. They fired a salute from the Fort opposite us and another at Queenston. General Van Ransselaer sent a message to General Sheaffe to say that if it be agreeable he would do it as a proof of respect he felt for so good a man and so excellent an officer as General Brock. It was very extraordinary if it was meant well. We are in constant fear of another attack from them. They are to give three hours' notice, but there is no confidence to be placed ill their word. [The balance of the letter is of a private nature.] " Adieu, my dear sister, and believe me

"Ever yours,

"J. Powell.

ii Miss M. B. Powell, York."

Mr. John Beverley Robinson, late Lieutenant-Governor of the Province, sent me recently the following verses, written by Archdeacon (afterwards Bishop) Strachan, which he discovered when looking through some of the Bishop's papers. They have, I believe, never before appeared, and are well worth publishing.

Verses on looking at the bastion of Fort George at Niagara (iSI-§), where Sir Isaac Brock and his gallant Aide-de-Camp, Colonel Macdonell, were temporarily laid before being removed to the monument at Queenston Heights.

Why calls this bastion forth the patriot's sigh?
And starts the tear from beauty's swelling eye?
Within its breach intrepid Brock is laid
A tomb according with the mighty dead.
Whose soul devoted to its country's cause
In deeds of valour sought her just applause.
Enrolled with Abercrombie, Wolfe and Moore,
No lapse of time his merits shall obscure.
Fresh shall they keep in each Canadian heart,
And all their pure and living fires impart.
A youthful friend rests by the heroe's side,
Their mutual love Death sought not to divide
The muse that gives her Brock to deathless fame
Shall in the wreath entwine Macdonell's name.

On plates within the column of the present monument at Queenston Heights are the following inscriptions:

In a vault underneath are deposited the mortal remains of the lamented


Who fell in action near these Heights on 13th October, 181'2, and was entombed on the 13th October at the Bastion of Fort George, Niagara; removed from thence and reinterred under a monument to the eastward of this site on the 13th October, 1824, and in consequence of that monument having received irreparable injury by a lawless act on the 17th of April, 1840, it was found requisite to take down the former structure and erect this monument—the foundation stone being laid and the remains again re-interred with due solemnty on 13th October, 1853.

In a vault beneath are deposited the mortal remains of

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL JOHN MACDONELL, P.A.D.C. K.B. ,Aide-de-Camp to the lamented Major-General Sir Isaac Brock and who fell mortally wounded in the battle of Queenston, on the, 13th October, 1812, and died the following day.

His remains were removed and re-interred with due solemnity on 13th October, 1853.

There were but few newspapers in Upper Canada in 1812. The "York Gazette" of October 17th, 1812, in announcing the victory, made mention of the member for Glengarry as follows: "Nor let us forget to lament the untimely fate of the young, the affectionate and the brave Lieutenant-Colonel John Macdonell, who received a mortal wound about the same time as his beloved General. Attached to him from affection, his constant follower in every danger, this amiable youth is now buried with him in the same grave."

In the Toronto "Week" of 23rd October, 1891, a tattered fragment is produced, copied from the Niagara "Tee" of October 24th, 1812, and demonstrating the difficulty of obtaining local contemporaneous accounts of these affairs. It would seem to have given a full description of the engagement and of the time and circumstances of the death of General Brock and Colonel Macdonell. After describing the fight around Vrooman's Battery it states :—

It was in the engagement last named that we have to regret the loss of Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonell, A. D C. to General Brock. He was shot whilst on horseback encouraging the men. The Province of Upper Canada, by the death of Colonel McDonell, has been deprived of one of its most enterprising young men; the discerning eye of the Major-General had singled him out, and was forming his mind to have become a prominent figure among us. Fortune had already begun to lavish her favours, and her blushing honours stood thick upon him : he has appeared and passed away frum us like a brilliant meteor in the firmament. His remains were interred beside his beloved friend and patron, General Brock "


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