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establishment was the most pitiful of all farther down than to eight o'clock in the proceedings.”. Here is the charge the morning of the 25th. It is there-and it is a serious one—“that the fore good for nothing ; every house in soldiery disregarded the orders of Washington might have BEEN PLUNtheir officers and could not be re- DERED (!!) between eight o'clock on strained from plunder — and that the morning of the 25th, and the much private property was destroy- night of the 25th, when General Ross ed.” What says Major Pringle? coinmenced retiring.” Indeed! Every
“ Subsequent to the defeat of the Ame- house in Washington might have been ricans at Bladensburg, General Ross ad- plundered under the eye of General vanced towards Washington with 1000 Ross himself, by a soldiery whom men, and about eight o'clock in the even
it was found impossible to restrain ! ing arrived at an open piece of ground
“ This," says Major Pringle calmly, two miles from the Federal city. Soon
“ Mr Stuart will hardly venture to after our arrival I was informed by the affirm. From what I know of the adjutant of the regiment that General character of General Ross, I am conRoss wished to see me immediately. On vinced, if any soldier had been found coming to the General, I was informed plundering, or in any way molestby him that he had ordered the grenadier ing an unoffending citizen, in twelve company of the 21st regiment to parade hours he would have been shot, and for a particular service, and that I was to the whole army must have known command them, and about 30 men more, it." making in all 100 rank and file. The
But Mr Stuart will not even allow General stated to me that he was about that Washington was not plundered to advance into Washington, accompanied by the soldiery between the evening by this body of men only, who were to act as his advanced guard in approaching 25th, wbiló Major Pringle, with his
of the 24th, and the morning of the the city. That, on my arrival, I was to
hundred men, were employed in take up a position with my men, to place sentries at the different entrances into the preserving it, and its inhabitants, city, to send patrols round every half from all outrage. He waxes witty hour, to prevent any soldier or seaman be
Major Pringle would longing to the expedition from entering the have us to believe that he was omni. city, and on no account whatever to per present in a city above four miles mit my men to go into any house. These loug, and of very considerable orders were most punctually attended to.
breadth.” The city at that time conI went round with every patrol myself, tained about 400 bouses-General I paraded my men every hour, to see that Ross thought 100 men would be sufnone were absent, and for twelve hours ficient for the purpose-Major Prinheld possession of the capital of the Uni- gle, who commanded them, affirms ted States, with that handful of British they were so—and Mr Stuart may soldiers, and preserved its peace.” be allowed to enjoy his sarcasm.
In corroboration of the facts which “ At eight o'clock in the morning of came under his own observation, the 25th, I was ordered to return to the Major Pringle, in bis first letter, bivouac of the army, two miles distant quotes one or two remarks from from Washington; and previous to our American publications. The Colum: inarching off, the men under my com- bian Sentinel says, “ the British offi. inand had not only the satisfaction to cers pay invioluble respect to private receive the thanks of the ever to be la
property, and no peaceable citizen inented General Ross, for the manner is molested.” A writer from Baltithey had preserved the peace of the city, more, under date August 27, 1814, but my friend the barber, and a great many other inhabitants of Washington, the inbabitants of Washington well;".
“ The enemy, I learn, treated
says, thanked the General and the soldiers, for and Mr Gales, the mouth piece of the protection they had afforded them from
the Government, and the bitter enethe marauding attacks of their own country
of the British, says,
“ when we
remarked that private property bad, This statement is altogether un- in general, been respected by the satisfactory to Mr Stuart, and he enemy, we spoke what we believed ; spurns it aside with his foot in a greater respect was certainly paid to style rather bold for a civilian. “Ma- private property than has usually jor Pringle's testimony comes no been exhibited by the enemy in hin
marauding parties ; no houses were assigned therefor, that we know of.” half as much plundered by the ene- Perhaps General Ross did not think my as by the knavish rogues about the himself called on to assign to Mr town, who profited by the general Gales any pretence for setting on fire distress.” And the George Town all he chose to set on fire; and here paper, 8th September, says, “the becomes manifest the confusion of list of plunder and destruction, co- Mr Stuart's ideas, and the stupid pied from a vile and libellous print way in which he confounds one of that city,(Washington,) into seve. charge with another, vitiating his ral federal papers, is a gross and whole argument. The charge against abominable fabrication, known to be the British Army, which Major Prinsuch by every inhabitant; most of gle proves to be false, is, that the the plunder was committed by rab- soldiers could not be restrained from ble of the place, fostered among the plunder.” But Gales is manifestly citizens, and subsequent to the depar- charging General Ross with giving ture of the British troops; it is but orders to destroy, or set on fire, cerjustice to say, that the British army tain property,
« without assigning preserved moderation and discipline, any pretence' " for so doing; that with respect to private property, unex- General Ross did so, we have here ampled in the annals of war." only Gales' assertion, and it is good
It must be most painful to Mr for little; but that the soldiers could Stuart's friends-it is so to us—to not be restrained from plunder, Mr hear him treating all this testimony Stuart shews not a tittle of proof, with contempt; and asserting, that while Major Pringle clears them “ he is guiltless of the slightest error from such a charge, to the satisfacin point of fact!” He accuses Ma- tion, we venture to affirm, of all im. jor Pringle “of a degree of unfair- partial persons on either side of the ness, probably without example in Atlantic. How could a gentleman such a controversy as the present," like Mr Stuart, have the face to pubin having stopped short at the word lish such a calumny on the British “ distress,” in his quotation from the Army, with such testimony lying beNational Intelligencer—Mr Gales fore him to their “moderation and having said, " that several private discipline, with respect to private buildings were wantonly destroyed, property, unparalleled in the annals and some of those persons who re- of war,”-and that, too, from an mained in the city were scandalously enemy galled, and irritated, and demaltreated.” “But what evidence is feated, -merely because one manthere," asks the Major, that the Gales—chose, on his own assertion, “knavish rogues,” mentioned by to attribute to them certain violations Mr Gales, were not the perpetra- of moderation and discipline, withtors of such scandalous proceed- out one particle of proof? Had not ings?” None. But the very passage the conduct of our soldiers been from Gales, which Mr Stuart accuses such as did them infinite honour, Mr Major Pringle of unprecedented Stuart would not have been left so unfairness for not having quoted, much at a loss to find accusations does, strange to say, present the against them, as to be obliged to pick strongest proof of the perfect truth out a few words of blame from a of the Major's statements. Here it multitude of words of praise-but is-as given by Mr Stuart with a would have had reams of rage and most ludicrous air of triumph. indignation to refer to-for the Ame“ Among the private buildings de- ricans do not mince matters with us stroyed were the dwelling house and no wonder they were incensed occupied by Mr Robert Sewall, (for. by the capture of Washington. merly rented by Mr Gallatin,) from Mr Stuart says, “that the proceedbehind which a gun was fired at Ge- ings of the British Army form the neral Ross, which killed the horse he subject of Major Pringle's first letter, rode !" Will Mr Stuart say that that and that if the gallant Major had alhouse should not have been de lowed my book to speak for itself, stroyed ?
instead of giving his readers partial This same Mr Gales says, other extracts from my narrative, it would houses, “ and some rope-walks, were have been hardly requisite for me destroyed, without any pretence being to say a single word in vindication
of the accuracy of this part of it. But of the French army; Paris was soon the quotations are so obviously ex- after occupied by the Allied armies, yet in tracted with a view to serve a pur- no case was any unmilitary building depose, that I must call upon you to stroyed, far less any valuable state papers
or books. peruse the whole of the following
Even Louis the Fourteenth passage in the twenty-first chapter acted very differently. of the third edition of my work.”
“ During his war with England, inMajor Pringle does not seek to pre
stead of returning thanks to his officers, vent Mr Stuart's book from "speak
as the British did to those who commanding for itself,” and it is doing so at
ed at Washington, for destroying a build.
ing not devoted to military purposes, he this hour to the public; but it is not
sent them to jail. The Frenchmen bad a little unreasonable to blame him
landed on the Eddystone rocks, on which for not having loaded his letter with
the lighthouse was then erecting, and five heavy paragraphs from that
carried the workmen to France, together work, when his objections applied
with their tools. While the captives lay but to a few sentences, containing a in prison, the transaction came to the severe, and, as he thinks, false charge knowledge of the French monarch, who against the British Army, on its ex- immediately ordered the prisoners to be pedition to Washington.
released, and the captors, who were exquotations," says he, “ undoubt
pecting a reward for the achievement, to edly were extracted with a view to be confined in their stead, declaring, that, serve a purpose; the purpose was though he was at war with England, he to contradict certain assertions made was not at war with mankind. He by Mr Stuart, derogatory to the cha- therefore directed the men to be sent racter of that part of the British back to their work with presents. Army with which I acted in Ameri- “ The library, and a great part of the ca.” But as Mr Stuart is proud of state papers of the nation, were destroyed the passage, here it is entire. with the public buildings. I heard many
anecdotes of this much to be regritled in“ By far the greatest part of the pre- cursion. The commanders had directed sent library belonged to President Jeffer.
private properly to be respected, but it was son, and was sold by him to Congress, impossible to restrain the soldiery. Much after the destruction of the library and of private property was destroyed. Mr Elthe public buildings at Washington by liot was with the army.
His house was the British, under Sir George Cockburn sacked. The destruction of Mr Gales' and General Ross, in the year 1814. printing establishment was the most pitiful This expedition, to the merit or demerit of all the proceedings. His father had of which Sir George Cockburn is fully emigrated from Britain above twenty entitled, as the official despatch from
years previously, and Mr Gales himself General Ross expressly states that Sir conducted a newspaper at Washington, George 'suggested it, was, and is at deyoted to the American cause. For this this moment, viewed by all parties in reason, as it was supposed, an order was the United States with disgust, and issued for destroying bis property by fire ; united all the American people, espe- but a lady, who lived in the neighbourcially the New Englanders, who had pre- hood, entreated that it might be recalled, viously been averse to the war, in decided because it was but too probable that her hostility to the British. If the dock. property, which adjoined, would fall a yard and public stores at Washiogton bad prey to the flames. Sir George Cockbeen alone destroyed, the transaction burn, who had issued the order, was so would have been justifiable, but the de- far moved by her entreaties, as to limit struction of the Capitol, including the the destruction to the printing-presses, Senate House and the House of Repre- and to the establishment within the walls. sentatives,—of the Treasury and the War It is asserted in the American history of Office, and of the President's palace, and the war, that Sir George himself overthe great bridge across the Potomac, near- looked this part of the work. ly two miles broad, all of which it was “ Although the Americans bad sufferadmitted in the official despatch were set ed much from Sir George Cockburn's fire to and consumed, was an act unwor- piratical expeditions on the Chesapeake, thy a great nation, and contrary to the and his destruction of French Town, as received usages of war.
well as from the establishment of a ren“ Almost all the great capitals of Eu- dezvous for runaway negroes, on rope had, within the dozen years previous island of the Chesapeake, who had been to the capture of the seat ot legislature of armed by him and again put on shore, the United States, been in the possession they were not at the time aware, that it
was to Sir George Cockburn they were Admiral Cochrane to Mr Munroeindebted for the visit of the British to of which Mr Stuart chooses to give Washington; and it was upon the brave but a part. “Sir-Having been called and amiable General Ross, who after- on by the Governor-General of the wards fell in the attack upon Baltimore, Canadas to aid bim in carrying into that they intended to retaliate for the de. effect measures of retaliation against vastation at Washington. To send a fleet the inhabitants of the United States, and an army to any part of the British for the wanton destruction committed isles was impossible ; but it was resolved by their army in Upper Canada, it to send a fast-sailing armed vessel to the has become imperiously my duty, coast of Ireland, to destroy Cross Trevor, conformably with the nature of the the beautiful property belonging to Ge
Governor-General's application, to neral Ross. A party were to land in the night at the entrance of Carlingford Bay;
issue to the naval force, under my one division of which was to burn the command, an order to lay waste such house upon the mountain ; and the other
towns and districts upon the coast as the village below, before the troops at
may be found assailable. I had hoped Newry could have got intelligence, or
that this contest would have termihave come near them. The peace, which nated without my being obliged to immediately followed, put an end to this resort to severities which are condesign, which was, however, seriously trary to the usages of civilized war. entertained. The Gazette despatches, fare; and as it has been with exafterwards published, established the fact, treme reluctance and concern that I that Sir George Cockburn suggested the have found myself compelled to attack on Washington.”
adopt this system of devastation, I Of what injustice to Mr Stuart has shall be equally gratified if the conMajor Pringle been guilty, in not duct of the Executive of the United having printed in his first letter all States will authorize my staying this rigmarole? The Major nowhere such proceedings, by making reparalays claim - as Mr Stuart seems tion to the suffering inhabitants of here to do—to the character of a Upper Canada; thereby manifesting, Jurist, profoundly versed in interna- that if the destructive measures pursutional law. He gives no opinion ed by that army were ever sanctioned, about the destruction “ of the Capi- they will no longer be permitted by tol, including the Senate-House, and the Government.” But the Ameri. the House of Representatives,-of cans can do nothing wrong in warthe Treasury, and of the War-Office, the British nothing right. and of the President's Palace." These
As to the burning of the Capitol, Mr might have been-or might not have Stuart himself quotes a passage from been—"acts unworthy of a great na
Admiral Cockburn's letter, which tion, and contrary to the received might have made him pause before usages of war.” He leaves Mr Stuart, declaring it to be an act contrary to with Puffendorf, and Grotius, and the usages of war. Sir James Mackintosh
opened upon us a heavy fire of mus
ketry from the Capitol and two other “ To prove with Vattel
houses these were therefore immeExceedingly well, Sach deeds were quite atrocious.”
diately stormed by my people, taken
possession of, and set on fire; after Yet Mr Stuart is rash in holding which the town submitted without that even with respect to them there farther resistance.” It would hardly cannot be two opinions. There were have been according to the usages -are—and will be two; and there of war to have acted otherwise-for may have been circumstances that a heavy fire of musketry is no justified such deviation-if it were a joke. The Admiral then mentions deviation-from the received usages concisely the “general destruction of war. All that Mr Stuart says of the President's palace, the Treaabout Louis XIV. and the Eddy- sury, the War-Office, ordnance stores stone lighthouse is sad stuff--and in the Arsenal, two hundred pieces quite irrelative to the subject his of artillery, two rope-walks of a very prosing about Paris. The Major extensive nature full of tar-rope, and reminds the lawyer that there is all public property, or stores of any such a thing as retaliation-and kind that could be converted to the gives the whole of a letter from use of the Government." The enemy
“ The enemy
himself having set fire to the Navy- of this the most eloquent of all our yard, a frigate, a sloop, and the fort Scottish patriots. Yet Mr Stuart which protected the sea-approach to rather forgets himself a little in his Washington. General Ross's people invectives against Admiral Cockmust have had quite enough to do; burn. He tells us that a lady, fearing and they no doubt did it well; but her property, which adjoined the neither here nor anywhere else, printing office, might be involved in now or at any other time, was it the fire, if it were burnt, beseeched found impossible to restrain them the Admiral to recall his order—and from plundering the houses of the that he did so, and contented himself citizens of Washington. Nothing can
with the destruction of the printingbe imagined more absurd than the presses. Oh! the barbarian! interrogations Mr Stuart here puts Mr Stuart will not hear of retato the Major. “ Who destroyed liation by the British—but says not a the Treasury, and the War-Office, single syllable in reprobation of the and the President's palace ? Was design seriously entertained, as he it not part of the British army that avers, by his noble Americans, to was employed in this work of de- send a fast-sailing vessel to the coast vastation ? Does Major Pringle deny of Ireland, to destroy Cross Trevor, that Sir George Cockburn himself the "beautiful property of General superintended and gave directions for Ross,” then inhabited by his wifethe destruction of Mr Gales' printing so soon, alas ! to be a widow. Of establishment ? Was this proceeding that General Ross, who spared consistent with the respect which was Gales' printing-office at a word from directed to be paid to private pro- a lady whose house might be enperty ?"
dangered by the fire ! « Indeed!” What, in the name of goodness, has says Major Pringle, with a feeling all this to do with the matter in that does him honour-" Magnanihand ? The Major lets Mr Stuart mous resolution of this brave and take his swing. It was—most un- generous nation! A set of men questionably-the British army that were to cross the Atlantic with all did all this; but will Mr Stuart on the malice prepense of premeditated ly look for a moment at the words in marauders and incendiaries, for the italics. So far from their substantia- purpose of attacking the property ting the charge against the soldiers of an unoffending and defenceless that “they could not be restrained,” woman, whose husband, by the time here they are acting under the direc- this design could have been put in tion of their own General. Now that execution, had fallen, in the hour of General had issued orders to respect victory, and with his last breath private property, and Major Pringle had recommended ' a young and unhas proved that it was respected in a provided family to the protection of manner "unexampled in the annals his King and country. I do trust of war." But the General thought that it is unnecessary for me to tell Mr Gales' printing establishment de- Mr Stuart, that I do not quote this served to be excepted from the ge- passage as receiving from bim counneral security; and so do weand tenance or support in any way. I so do hundreds of thousands of men am quite sure that he is as incapaas intelligent and patriotic as Mr ble as any man alive of viewing it Stuart, for the said Gales was a pes- in any other light than that of untilent fellow and we like as much qualified detestation ; but let us hear as Mr Stuart dislikes the following no more of these sticklers for the spirited sentences in a letter from a 'usages of civilized warfare." true British tar. “The half printed Mr Stuart talks very big about the paper you find enclosed, I took my- destruction of the two-mile-long self from the press of the famous bridge across the Potomac-which, Republican printer, Mr Joe Gales. nevertheless, he says, “ lies in a nutHe will launch no more thunders at shell." It seems it was upon that us, for we broke his establishment part of the river above the city, but up, and scatter'd his types and sheets the operations of the British were to the winds. Gales' occupation's confined to the city, and that part of gone." But not without being immor- the river below it—argal, it was talized in the indignant lamentations contrary to the usages of war to de