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stroy it! The Major—as a military punity, and losses have been susman—can see nothing wrong in the tained which ought never to have destruction of a bridge of such an un- occurred.'” conscionable length—but Mr Stuart Major Pringle does not deign to affirms, “it would puzzle him to shew allude to this worse than ungenerin what way the wanton destruction ous—this base argument against bis of one of the greatest bridges in the brothers in arms. Sir John Moore's world, which was not in the way of retreat indeed disastrousthe British army in the slightest de- through mountain-roads—and no gree, was justified by the Americans roads-in the winter-snows, with themselves having rendered impass. Soult pressing upon him with an able two bridges, by which they army more numerous far--and hatethought the approach of the British ful ever has it been to a British might be facilitated.” We hope the army to shew their backs to their Major will not think of puzzling him- foes—to Frenchmen. But when they sel by any such attempt. He has offered battle at Lugos, they shewed done quite enough in the way of what they were-and so did they at puzzling Mr Stuart. Perhaps the Corunna. British were carried away by the The retreat from Burgos, too, was force of example-and were unable such as to subject the army to the to look on the Americans “render- anger of Wellington. The Great ing two bridges impassable”—which Lord then reproved the heroic host they assuredly were entitled to do that had conquered at Salamanca ; without trying their hand at a third and they felt the reproof of him -and a very tempting one too- under whom in every field they had “the greatest bridge in the world.” been invincible and victorious; but It is consolatory to know that all the who is he that now recalls-—and for three bridges are now as flourishing what purpose

those “ memorable as ever-and at this moment admi. words?" One “ who the division ring themselves in their watery mir- of a battle knows no more than a

spinster"-and to fasten ignominy One word more to Mr Stuart-and on an army that their bitterest enewe have done. “I admitted,” says mies owned were as humane as they he, “in the narrative, that the com- were brave-whose discipline, inmanders had directed private pro- deed, nothing had happened to relax perty to be respected, but stated that or disturb—and whose moderation the soldiery could not be restrain- in victory was declared by the very ed.At the bottom of the 19th people they had overcome, and in page of his “Refutation of the the heart of a captured city, to be Aspersions,” &c., does he think it ne- unexampled in the annals of war. cessary to say this to the gallant Ma- fare!” jor, who, long before, had proved Mr Stuart having thus "proved by that-such charge against the soldiery details, given on unquestionable auwas false? But what new argument thority, that he is guiltless of the does he bring forward in page twen- slightest error in point of fact," and ty? “This has happened on many convicted Major Pringle of all kinds occasions, such as the retreat of Sir of ignorance and inaccuracy, gives John Moore, and of the army under his unfortunate antagonist the coupthe Duke of Wellington in Spain, in de-grace with a fatal clause from a Nov. 1812, when he wrote a letter speech of the American President. to the commanding officers of bat- "However deeply to be regretted on talions in the army under his com- our part is the transient success" mand, containing these memorable ex- (alluding to the enterprise of the pressions— It must be obvious, bow- British against Washington, and the ever, to every officer, that from the neighbouring town of Alexandria) moment the troops commenced their “which interrupted for a moment retreat from the neighbourhood of only the ordinary public business at Burgos on the one hand, and from the seat of Government, no comMadrid on the other, the officers lost pensation can accrue for the loss of all command over their men. Irre- character with the world by this gularities and outrages of all de- violation of private property, and this scriptions were committed with im- destruction of public edifices, protected as monuments of the arts by ample consideration, and the most the laws of civilized warfare." As minute, scrupulous, and pains-taking he inflicts this merciless and mur- examination of documents." Mr derous blow, Mr Stuart exclaims, Stuart is here very panegyrical and “ Here is an authority of far more eulogistic on Stuari's Three Years value than the quotations from Ame- in America; but he must not be rican newspapers, to which Major surprised though that “work” be Pringle has resorted—the speech of not thus buttered by less patriotic the President, delivered within a reviewers. month, in the very city where the


Let us

now attend to Mr Studestruction of private property took art's account of the attack on the lines place.” The blow rebounds off the before New Orleans. Major Pringle breast of the gallant Major, and hits bas pointed out what he thinks some his would be executioner in the face considerable errors in that account, Many are the gross mistatements and but Mr Stuart, in his Refutation, misrepresentations to be found in

proceeds to shew that all bis the speeches of American Presidents, statements are substantially true.” as all the world knows; but it so The points disputed are, first-the happens, that here there is not a relative force of the British and of single syllable touching the point in the Americans ; second, the length debate. Nobody denies ihat at of the American lines; third-wheWashington some property was de- ther or not the British reached the stroyed by order of the British com- ditch. manders, which an American Presi- Mr Stuart says in his “ Three dent or a Scottish Writer to the Years,”—" The British were underSignet might, without saying any stood to have had between 10,000 thing much amiss, call private; but and 12,000 men in this engagement, Mr Stuart elsewhere says, “ It is and the Americans between 3000 and material that Major Pringle should 4000.” Major Pringle says that "the recollect that I did not in my nar- reverse is much nearer the truth ;” rative describe the violation of pri- and having an official return of every vate property at Washington as con- regiment of the British army emtrary to the usages of war.” We ployed on that expedition, he gives know not what his friend the Ame- the list of British Infantry employed rican President would say to that; in the attack on the lines of New Or. but we do know that in his speech leans on the morning of the 8th Januhe was stigmatizing the British Go- ary, 1815:-4th foot, 479; 7th do. vernment, and the commanders of 750; 21st do. 800; 43d do. 820; the British army who acted under 44th do. 427 ; 85th do. 298; 93d do. the orders of the British Government 775; 95th do. 276—making in all —not the soldiery ; and that if the 4893 rank and file British- to which soldiery had acted like marauders, add 200 seamen and 400 marinesand could " not be restrained” from total, 5493. The first perusal of plunder, he would have accused such very distinct testimony by a ihem of their shameful crimes—and field-officer who was present upon not left that duty to be performed the occasion “startled me," quoth by Mr Stuart. That the President Mr Stuart, “and led me to think says not one word in vituperation I must have relied on defective inforof the conduct of the soldiery, in a mation.Yet he somewhat inconspeech “ delivered within a month, sistently says, in almost the next senin the very city where the destruc- tence, that the whole information tion of private property took place,” communicated by him “is by no is indeed proof positive and irre- means conveyed in positive terms." fragable that their conduct was with. But from whom had he his informaout reproach. We see no reason- tion on which he relied, while he 80 far as we have yet gone-wby by no means conveyed it in positive Major Pringle-as Mr Stuart haugh- terms ? From American, French, and tily says—"sbould feel that his time Dutch authorities. The Americans might have been better employed generally stated the British at 12,000 than in attempting to weaken the — Marbois, one of the French Miniauthority of a book, no part of the sters of State," and one of the fairest details in which was written without and most liberal writers of the age," at 14,000,(most liberalindeed,)—the From the beginning to the end of this Duke of Saxe Weimar at from eight tedious enumeration, he shews that to ten thousand in the fieldand he either does not know, or pretends Levasseur at 12,000 — who were not to know, that Major Pringle had “perceived,” he says, by General given an official return of the Bri. Jackson, at break of day, advancing tish infantry employed in the attack on him in three columns. From all on the Lines at New Orleans." He these contradictory assertions-and accuses the Major of “a gross omisthey are all of them mere assertions sion” in not mentioningtwo squadrons -Mr Stuart had formed a sort of of the Fourteenth Light Dragoons ! medium estimate, which he set down,

« Of what use would dragoons"not in positive terms, at from ten to asks the good-natured Major—"bave twelve thousand; so that no wonder been in an attack on lines situated the Major's official return " startled in very wet ground, with a parapet him," and " for the first time led him of great height, and a deep ditch into to think he must have relied on de- the bargain?” At all events, drafective information.” The truth is, goons are not infantry. And why did that he had relied on what was no not the Major mention the artillery ? information at all-but a number of Because " of what use would they guesses--some of which-especially have been in an action where the that by Monsieur Marbois, « one of troops were to march as fast as conthe fairest and most liberal writers sisted with good order, to the attack of the age,” (14,000!), are so outra- of lines where they were to come geously extravagant as to lose the immediately in close contact with name of falsehood.

their enemy." Mr Stuart gives a droll Mr Stuart, on recovering from the reason why the royal artillery and alarm produced by so novel an ap- engineers should have been included pearance as that of an official return, among the “infantry employed in the betook himself to the London Gao attack on the lines at New Orleans on zette of the 10th of March, 1814, the morning of the 8th of January, where be found Sir John Lambert's that they were employed the night despatch, containing an account of before and the night after ! The the battle. But before bringing it to sappers and miners too, Mr Stuart murder the Major, he thinks it ne- says, should not have been omitted cessary to inform or remind him that —but were they employed in the at“nothing is better known to a mi- tack? The 5th West Indian regi. litary man, than that the rank and file ment too—the Niggers-ought to of a regiment, or of an army, com- have been included, "in point of prehend merely the men armed with numbers the strongest that landed the bayonet, and that the whole of on the shores of Louisiana." But the officers, non-commissioned offi. they were with Thornton on the other cers, the staff of the army, military side of the Mississippi, and so was the as well as medical, the drum-majors, 85th regiment, consisting of 298 rank drummers, fifers, &c., are not compre- and file, which Major Pringle had hended under that description. This erroneously included in his account is a serious objection to Major Prin- of the “ British Infantry employed gle's detailed and conclusive informa- in the attack”—80 that his account tion, &c.” It seems to us rather a ludie stands right after all Mr Stuart’s recrous thana serious objection-and so condite studies of that rare docuthinks the gallant Major, who bas no- ment, Sir John Lambert's Despatch thing to say to it, except that it is all _except that one of the finest regi. very true, "and thatit certainly would ments in the service—the Eightybe new to him to include medical Fifth-must be deducted from it. men with their lancets, or music That regiment and other British uncians with their clarionets, in the der the gallant Thornton, stormed list of fighting men.” Mr Stuart then the American batteries on the right has recourse to Sir John Lambert's bank of the river—but not till after Despatch, and, in the most prosing the failure of the attack on the lines. style possible, ineffectually attempts Major Pringle gives a list of the to prove from it that Major Pringle killed, wounded, and missing, of all has made many unfair omissions the regiments-and the 5th West in his statement of the British force. Indian regiment, " the strongest, according to Mr Stuart, that landed on night with “ 5000 men.” So said Sir the shores of Louisiana," appears to John Keane in his Despatch-a man have been in a situation of compara- not given to exaggeration—" from tive security on the right bank of the the best information I can obtain, the river-for while the 21st, to which enemy's force amounted to 5000 Major Pringle belonged, lost in the

men. But Mr Stuart says that Sir attack 3 officers, 2 sergeants, and 65 John Keane was mistaken—"it was rank and file killed—4 officers, 6 afterwards well known, that at the sergeants, 1 drummer, and 144 rank period in question, General Jackson and file wounded-and 9 officers, 8 had no such force as Sir John Keane, sergeants, 2 drummers, 217 rank and from the information he had got, file missing, (taken prisoners within presumed him to possess.” Marbois the enemy's lines)—the Blacks bad- and the Duke of Saxe Weimar agree one sergeant wounded. Our own firm with the Americans that he had but belief is, that the whole effective force two thousand men-that is to say, of the British army under Pakenham the Americans told them so, and they did not exceed, if it reached, 8000 believed it. men--and of these that not more, if Major Pringle is of opinion that the 80 many as 4000, moved on in three number of the Americans in the lines columns to the attack of the lines, must have been far beyond 3000 or although Levasseur assures us that 4000 ; and “has always understood General Jackson perceived 12,000 from officers present in the action, advancing against him!

and who had gone through the PenAnd what may have been the nun- insular War, that from the extent of bers of the Americans? Mr Stuart the lines, and the tremendous fire had taken an average-he says- kept up, the Americans must have between the two European authori- had within them between 8000 and ties of Marbois and Levasseur-sta- 10,000 men." ting them at between three and The Major suggested that the four thousand. Marbois, we have amount of the American force might seen, spoke of the defeat of “four- be pretty fairly estimated by supposteen thousand by four;” and it is ing the men to stand four deep, (Mr neither unfair nor illiberal towards Stuart says, in many places, they “ one of the fairest and most liberal stood sir,) and each file at one yard writers of the age” to think it not distance from the other (good elbow very unlikely that he may have un- room, as every soldier will allow), derrated the number of the Ameri- then as the lines were “a mile in cans as much as he has exaggerated length,” this mode of computation that of the British. Levasseur tells would give upwards of 7000. That us that General Jackson, with 3200 the Americans had many more is, men “perceived the English army, however, his firm belief; as Gene12,000 strong, advancing in three co- ral Jackson was much too skilful an lumns; "and Mr Stuart took an ave- officer to throw up lines a mile long, rage between these trust-worthy unless he had masses of men to fill authorities. He has now, however, them-and “such a torrent of fire seen the American official account, as poured on the British troops that which to him is gospel, and it gives, day along the whole extent of the including marines, "“ 4698, a great line was perhaps never witnessed, part of whom, however, were without not even at St Sebastian.” arms.” Major Pringle frankly says,

Mr Stuart says,

“ that Major " that he cannot prove, by any well. Pringle may rest assured that his authenticated account, the precise fanciful calculation, when weighed amount of the American force within against the statements in the official the lines of New Orleans. Mr Ducros despatches of three British commandand other American prisoners had ers, will meet with no credit in this spoken of there being 13,000 or country.” The calculation seems to 14,000 men within the city ; but us any thing but fanciful-not to be that might have been “with a view to compared for a moment, as a flight intimidate, by exaggerating the force of imagination, with Mr Stuart's prowe had to encounter.” On the 22d posal to include two squadrons of the December, General Jackson bad 14th Light Dragoons among attacked

the British army during the Infantry,” employed in the attack of

“ the

were a

lines "situated in very wet ground, and patriotic. But the Major is not with a parapet of great height, and a to be put down by this champion. deep ditch into the bargain.” But He knows much more than Levaswhat does he mean by saying that the seur about “ the depths of this “ fanciful calculation” is against the swampy wood.” It was part of the statements in the official despatches American Lines. And the despatch of three British commanders ? Sir of Quarter. Master General Forrest, John Lambert, Quarter Master Ge- which Mr Stuart calls in “ to conneral Forrest, and Sir Alexander firm in a great measure Levasseur's Cochrane, speak of the lines as being explanation,” confirms Major Prinabout “one thousand yards”.—so they gle's; for he states, that " the wood thought-speaking immediately af. on the left was, in general, distant ter the battle — and from no actual from the river about one thousand admeasurement. But Major Pringle five hundred yards.” Now, suppospeaks on what Mr Stuart surely sing the wood two hundred-and-fifty ought to admit to be the best of all pos- yards broad, you have lines in sible authority, and which could not length one mile, and “all full of have been known to the three British men.” And here we must quote commanders," a very beautiful plan from Major Pringle's own letter, for of the operations, and of the Ameri- it gives us some important and intecan lines before New Orleans, exe- resting information, altogether new cuted by Major Lacarriere Latour, to the public. principal engineer of the Military District, U. S. army,” which lines, to

Now, sir, I shall proceed to shew use the Major's own words,

that the swamp or wooded marsh tomile in length, and filled with men.” To

wards the left of the American lines, this Mr Stuart sensibly and courte

and in front of them, was not impassously replies, “Latour's calculation

able. Lieut.-Col. Rennie, of the 21st of the length of his line may perhaps regiment, having himself reconnoitred be explained by a statement of Le

the wood, made a report to General vasseur, though if his explanation be

Gibbs, offering to conduct a body of correct, it will not redound to the

troops through it. General Gibbs no

sooner heard Colonel Rennie's report candour of Major Pringle, who ha

than he accompanied him to the Comving accompanied the army, could mander of the forces, Sir E. Pakenbam. not fail to know the real state of the

The consequence was, tbat, on the 28th case.”

An insinuation of want of of December, a demonstration of the candour made on a perhaps and an whole army was ordered, and Colovel if! But what says Levasseur ? Rennie, in command of his own light

“ The position chosen by the Ame- company of the 21st regiment, was orrican General to wait for reinforce- dered to penetrate into the wood, as far ments, and to arrest the advance of as he could, and gain the enemy's lelt. so formidable an enemy, appeared to

He executed his orders in the most adme to be judicious. He threw up mirable manner, succeeded in getting the intrenchments about five miles be- whole of his men through, and debouched low the city, along an old canal, the

from the wood upon the American left. left of which was lost in the depths According to the orders he had received, of a marshy wood, while the right he kept up a brisk fire until he was derested on the river. The total length sired to retire. Sir Edward Paken. of this line was about eight hundred ham, not thinking bimself authorized to toises, but as three hundred toises

attack such strong lines with his very of the left were unassailable, the

small force, withdrew his troops, deter

mined to wait the arrival of the 7th and enemy was confined in his attack to

43d regiments, which reached us on the a part of about five hundred toises, and obliged to advance in full view, Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, of the 4th

6th of January. On the 8th of January, over a perfectly level plain.” Mr Stuart, then, prefers the ac

regiment, was put in command of a body

of troops, I believe about 400, to make count of Levasseur to that of the en

his way through the wood and gain the gineer himself, who constructed the

enemy's left flank, in fact, to pursue the lines! because cuts off 300, or route, as nearly as possible, which Colorather 375 toises-750 yards.

nel Rennie bad done on the 28th. This is not a fanciful calcula- lonel Jones succeeded, as Colonel Rennie tion”-it is merely philosophical bad done, in conducting his force through


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