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the swamp, debouched at the same spot, wood, with great difficulty, we approachbut found the line of defence in a very ed that part of the enemy's line we fordifferent condition from wbat it had been merly found unprotected. A tremendous on the 28th. The enemy having now fire of grape and musketry was opened found, that what they had considered (pre. on us, which killed and wounded a great vious to the demonstration) an impassable many men, and we found, with all our morass, was no hinderance to our troops, efforts, that on this part of the line it was had between the 28th of December and impossible to make any impression. Jones the 8th of January so fortified this the was wounded towards the enemy's exleft of their line as to make it perhaps treme left, when cheering on his men. the most formidable of their whole posi- We remained under tire a considerable tion. Colonel Jones fell, mortally wound- time, and made several vain attempts to eil, gallantly leading on his men, composed get over, when a staff officer came up and of detachments of the 4th or King's Own, ordered us to retire into the wood. From 21st reginent, and 95th rifles; but no the moment we came out of the wood, in effort of his troops could surmount the our advance, the whole of the American difficulties opposed to them of a high pa- line from right to left seemed one sheet of rapet, deep ditch, and skilful riflemen to fire, and it never ceased for an instant ; defend them. I here subjoin the copy of as far as I could see, the men appeared to a letter which I have received within be in crowds. I have always understood these few days from Lieutenant-Colonel that the American lines in front of New the honourable James Sinclair, at that Orleans were towards a mile in length. time an officer in the 21st regiment, and
" " Yours, with much regard, who accompanied Colonel Rennie with
(Signed) Jas. SINCLAIR, the light company of the 21st regiment
Major, H. P.'" during the demonstration on the 28th of December, and also was attached to the
This is decisive. Colonel Jones 400 men under Colonel Jones of the 4th
attacked, and found full of men, that on the 8th of January :
part of the line which, previous to
the demonstration of the 28th of DeEdinburgh, January 27, 1834. "• My Dear PRINGLE,
cember, was considered by Levas. “On the evening of the 27th of De
seur and the Americans as unassail. cember our ever to be lamented friend
able - but which after that — we Lieutenant-Colonel Renoie, in whose
must think-unfortunate demonstracompany I was, received orders to hold tion—had been made as strong as himself in readiness to proceed with his any other part of the mile-long line. own company, and endeavour to make Will Mr Stuart persist in affirmhis way through the wood and turn the ing, “ having thus completely estaenemy's left; accordingly, on the morning blished the general accuracy of my of the 28th we proceeded, and entered own statement, as to the relative the wood, and made our way with some numbers of the armies, and demons difficulty, owing to the thickness of the strated that Major Pringle's account wood and swampy ground. We kept is unworthy of the slightest attention, still moving forward cautiously until we it now rests with me to maintain that heard two shots, and saw two of our ad. there is no material error in any part vance fall, on which we dashed on, and
of my details of the battle itself?” fuund ourselves among some huts, wbich Mr Stuart will, we verily believe, were occapied by the enemy. We conti
maintain any thing he has once utternued to exchange for some time a pretty ed; for he seems to think that his hot fire. Colonel Rennie perceiving that
intellectual and moral character the firing of our guns on bis left bad
would be lost by the confession of a ceased (the signal for him to retire), single mistake. It would be in vain commenced his retreat slowly, bringing
to search the whole animal creation our wounded with us. We got back nearly the same way as we advanced,
for his parallel in sheer, downright, and returned with the main body to the upright, and undislodgeable obstiramp On the morning of the 8th of
nacy-set alongside of him, the “ani. January, I was ordered with the light
mal that chews the thistle” might company of the 21st to join a brigade of seem a very emblem of tractability of between 400 or 500 men- the whole un- temper—the most open to persuader command of Lieut.-Col. Jones. We sion of all creatures that pad the were ordered to proceed in the same man- hoof on the high-ways or byener aud to the same place we had got to ways of this argumentative world. before. After pushing through the In his account of that fatal attack,
after having mentioned the death of ing officer of the regiment ordered a bugle Sir Edward Pakenham, while leading to sound the advance, called to the men on his men—and the havoc made to follow him, which they did with among them by that dreadful torrent cheers. They advanced to the ditch ; of fire-he thus concludes,“ General some of the men were already in it ; the Gibbs and General Keane, who suc- present Lieutenant-General Sir John ceeded to the command, attempted to Keane, with that gallantry for which he rally the troops, who pressed forward is conspicuous, arrived, and, in the act of in a new column, but the precision leading on and cheering the men, was and exactness with which the Ame- badly wounded, and carried off the field; ricans fired, was overpowering and at the same instant, a staff officer came
up, and ordered the officer commanding murderous. The British reached the ditch. . General Keane of his corps, and retreat to a wood in the
the 21st regiment to collect the remnant was mortally wounded, and General
General Jackson in his despatch Gibbs dangerously. General Lam
says, " Yet the columns of the enemy bert, who succeeded to the com- continued to advance with a firmness mand, made a last attempt to force which reflects upon them the highest the line; but it was unsuccessful, credit. Twice the column which apand the English retreated to their proached my left was repulsed, and twice intrenchments, and reimbarked.” they formed again and renewed the asNow hear Major Pringle
sault.' (Assault of what? why, of the
ditch and parapet.) ' And now, sir, from “ I think I can easily disprove this my heart I thank Mr Stuart for giving assertion, and by American authority me an opportunity of paying a Lardy but too.
Iu consequence of an unfortunate just tribute to the memory of one of my mistake, the fascines and ladders had earliest and most esteemed friends—to never reached the head of our column. one of the bravest soldiers that ever drew Major-General Gibbs, leading on the a sword-I mean the late Brevet Lieuattack at the head of the 21st regiment, tenant-Colonel Rennie of the 21st Scots tinding that the fascines were not forth- fusileers, nephew of the late Sir David coming, ordered the two leading compa- Baird. This officer had been wounded nies of the 21st regiment to move forward severely in the knee at the attack on in double quick time under Major Washington, still more severely on landWhitaker, the senior Major of the regi- ing at the attack on Baltimore. Neither ment, for the purpose of making a lodge of these wounds were as yet healed, but ment in the ditch. Almost immediately nothing could prevent Rennie from peron giving this order, General Gibbs was forming his duty. Sir Edward Pakenmortally wounded ; and at the same in- ham had given Colonel Rennie a separate stant, the enemy commencing a destruc- command, for the purpose of acting on tive fire, our column was absolutely the American right Hauk, and, as I am mowed dowu. The smoke was so great unwilling to make the public trust to the that we could not see our two companies partial testimony of a friend, I shall wbich had been sent in advance : but forego the privilege, and recount the gal. those brave men under their gallant lautry of Colonel Renuie in the words of leader pressed on, got into the ditch, made his enemy; and I shall quote them from steps with their bayonets in the parapet, General Jackson's biographer, (Mr and succeeded in getting into the American Eatou :)— Colonel Rennie, of the fulines, where, from want of support, they sileers, was ordered to storm a redoubt were made prisoners. There are many on the American right. Rennie execuof the officers still alive who can vouch ted his orders with great bravery, and for this fact. Major Whitaker was urging forward, arrived at the ditch ; and killed in climbing up the parapet. At reaching the works and passing the ditch, the first burst of the fire from the Ame- Rennie, sword in band, leaped on the rican lines, Colonel, now Sir William wall, and calling to his troops, bade them Paterson, of the 21st, was badly wound- follow him. He had scarcely spoken, ed; Major Alexander James Ross was also when he fell by the fatal aim of one of severely wounded, from the effects of our riflemen. Pressed by the impetuowhich he never recovered, and died in sity of superior numbers, who were Edinburgh some years after.
mounting the walls, and entering at the “ The command of the 21st regiment embrasures, our troops had retired to the devolved on the junior field-officer. From line in rear of the redoubt. To advance, the effects of the tremendous fire, the or maintain the point gained, was equally advancing column was for a moment impracticable for the enemy. The situathrown into confusion. The command- tion of these brave fellows may be easily conceived. They were nearly all killed success took place during the first or taken prisoners.'"
part of the attack, when Sir E. PaAnd how does Mr Stuart get over kenham headed the troops in person, this simple-manly—and heroic nar. or during the short period which rative?' Is it “unworthy of the afterwards occurred before General slightest attention ?”. Will he still Gibbs was killed, and Sir John “maintain that there is no material Keane was wounded.” We cannot error in any part of my details of but admire the spirit in which this the battle itself?" Yes—he will. admission is made-that the British He will stand to his position-even did reach the ditch. Why was it like unto an image of the animal accompanied with an ungracious aforesaid cut in stone, and placed and foolish but ? “ But it matupon a pedestal. For in his Refuta- tered not at all to the result.” Alas! it tion of Major Pringle's previous did not! We all know too well it did Aspersions, he opens his mouth and not; and not another “man alive,” says," it is obvious to every one who (to use an expression of his own,) but reads my narrative with attention, that Mr Stuart, would, on such an occait is only by a forced construction, that sion, have uttered such senseless it can be held to maintain that the Bri- words. They shew such extreme tish, at no part of the action, reached irritation as a creature not very the ditch !"
unlike a bee, only yellower, and no This out-herods Herod - out- maker of honey, shews when running balaams Balaam-out-brays the “a- up and down a pane of glass in a nimal that chews the thistle"-ab- window, deprived, not without some solutely out-james-stuarts James suspicion in his own mind that it is Stuart. “ The_second_paragraph, so, of his sting. detailing Sir Edward Pakenham's But it is unlucky for Mr Stuart, that attack, contains no such expression" while he thinks himself always in the -quoth he; “it is in the third, which right, it is visible to every body else relates to the continuation of the that he is always in the wrong-espeattack by Generals Gibbs and Keane, cially in every thing regarding mili. that the assertion is contained that tary affairs. « The information on the British did not reach the ditch !" which he could depend from anNay, he goes so far as to declare now other quarter,” is entirely erroneous; that "his impression on reading the and at this hour, while he“ prates account in Sir John Lambert's dese of its whereabouts,” he is as ignorant patch certainly was, that during the as before, after all, of the time when first part of the attack, alluded to in the the British really did reach and get second paragraph of my narrative, the into the ditch-and out of it into the BRITISH REACHED THE DITCH, and for American lines ! Major Pringleshews a short period had a footing in the this in two sentences. “Any one acenemy's line.” And why was that his quainted with the details of the acimpression ? Because Sir John Lam- tion before New Orleans, is aware bert says, “1 had the mortification to that our most gallant Commanderobserve the whole falling back upon in-chief lost his life at an early period me in the greatest confusion !” And of the action, and before it was alwhy, since it “ certainly was his most possible that the men could impression," did he not also give us have reached the ditch; and it was its expression ? But after all these when he was in front of the men, cheermiserable subterfuges, he adds, that ing them on, that he lost his valuable he now knows, “ from Major Prin- life.” This shews how absurd Mr gle's letter, as well as from informa. Stuart's “ impression” was that the tion on which he can depend from ano- men had then entered the ditch, and ther quarter, that part of the British got even into the lines-an impresarmy did reach the ditch during the sion which, however, his good or attack made by Generals Gibbs and evil genius told him not to express. Sir John Keane, and that part of the In Latour's map the spot is marked 21st regiment, which got within the where Pakenham fell; and it is at lines, shewed all the gallantry and least 150 yards from the ditch, and resolution for which Major Pringle he fell at the head of the column. gives them credit; but it mattered not Major Pringle adds—" Subsequent at all to the result, whether this partial to his death, owing to the example of General Gibbs, the column which rane rash, or Charley Napier rash, he headed, and where he fell, were in boarding frigate from sloop, or brought up to the ditch, and the two line of battle-ship from frigate ? leading companies of the 21st regi. Three British columns rushed to ment, under Major Whitaker, got into storm the American lines--a torrent the ditch, and were taken prisoners of fire struck them down—but two inside the lines. The individual who whole companies of the fearless now addresses you, with the remain Twenty-First, and many other men, der of the 21st regiment, was close effected the purpose for which the to the ditch-some of his men were whole heroic host had moved for. in it, when General Sir John Keane wards—and that “they were a few came up encouraging the men, but rash men” is the highest compliment almost instantly fell, severely
wound- Mr Stuart has paid them, on the aued. At this moment a staff officer ar- thority of General Jackson! He rived, and ordered the officer com- vauntingly bids the public compare manding the 21st regiment to retire bis style of writing about the attack with his men. I have thus shewn with Major Pringle's, “and bearing that the author of Three Years in in mind that the one is the simple triNorth America has been misinformed bute of a civilian on visiting a disas. even with respect to the period of the trous battle-field, while the other is action at which the tish did reach the eloquence of an old campaigner the ditch."
who had figured on the scene, -say Mr Stuart, in arguing that he did which of the two is the more appronot say that the British “never priate and becoming.” The old reached the ditch” at any time of the campaigner for ever-we cry; gold action-and in declaring that he thrice-tried in the furnace-sunnow knows they did reach it-ob- bright; brass broken into bits, and serves that he could not have intend that it may no more pass current, ed to say “they never reached it,” nailed to the counter. because in that part of General Jack- Mr Stuart is angry with Major son's account of the action, which Pringle for not having said a word he has quoted, the General speaks of in condemnation of Sir Edward Pa
a few rash men who forced themselves kenbam, and for having been silent into the unfinished redoubt on the respecting some matters connected river.” These few rash men were with the attack. “ He can scarcely mary brave men led on by Rennie; be ignorant that the signal discombut though it may pass in General fiture of the British army, on the oc. Jackson to call them a few rash men, casion alluded to, has been mainly such words cannot be tolerated from ascribed to Sir Edward Pakenham's the lips of a British subject. Mr persisting in the attack, after he knew Stuart, from sheer obstinacy, here ihat the scaling ladders and fascines falls into an additional contradiction. necessary for the assault were wantHe has told us that his impression ing at the moment when they were certainly was that the British had got required. He cannot be ignorant into the ditch and were within the that part of the 44th regiment, to lines, before Pakenham was killed whom was assigned the duty of bo-a most absurd impression; and ing ready with scaling ladders and now he tells us that he could not but fascines, were not found at the apknow that the British got into the pointed place. He cannot be ignoditch, for that General Jackson said rant of the great dissatisfaction that that they got into an unfinished re- prevailed in the army after the endoubt on the American right-per- gagement; nor that a field officer haps half a mile from where Paken. was brought to trial on account of ham fell! And yet after all this, he, that mismanagement whicb, it is said, certainly with all these impressions most of all contributed to the deplo. and all that knowledge, had not only rable result. These occurrences, to never said that the British reached which I merely allude, are quite well the ditch—but said “ the British known, and ought to lead Major never reached the ditch.” Now, five Pringle not to be quite so indiscrimihundred prisoners were taken-all nate in the praise he lavishes on the within the lines-and who so dull as British army, nor so absurd as to deny dare to call them rash? Was Coch- to those who have not served for years in the army the possibility of knowing shewn in speaking “of Sir Edward the true character of a British soldier." Pakenham's persisting in the attack, If Mr Stuart knew the true character after he knew that the scaling ladders of a British soldier, he would know and fascines necessary for the assault that Major Pringle would rather were wanting at the moment when they thrust his right hand into the fire were required." The attack had not than needlessly utter one word of begun; the fascines and scaling ladblame of the character or conduct of ders were not “wanting at the mohis noble commander-who had died ment when they were required," for before his eyes on the field of battle. they were known not to be within a Far better acquainted with all to mile and a half of the army, when it which Mr Stuart “ merely alludes," advanced to the storm. Sir Edward is Major Pringle than Mr Stuart; but might be right or wrong in orderremembering that fatal morn, his ge- ing the attack without them; but nerous spirit felt“ peace to the soul Mr Stuart does not state the case of the hero." Let such men as Mr correctly; and experience proved, Stuart, in an angry argument about that even with the fascines and the their own insignificant selves, and ladders, the event would probably their paltry mistatements, speak as have been the same-before that exthey choose of that “ signal discom terminating torrent of fire. fiture of the British army,” and of its “ Having now," quoth the very being“ mainly ascribed to Sir Ed. self-complacent author of the “ Reward Pakenham's persisting,” &c.; futation of the Aspersions on Stuart's and let military men, when they write Three Years in America,” “disposed the history of the war, deliver their of the specific charges advanced opinion—it will be done in a right against me in Major Pringle's letters, spirit-on the conduct of the high- relative to the affairs at Washington souled leader in that disastrous con- and New Orleans, it remains for me flict. If he erred-yet will they do him to refute those which apply generaljustice. But Major Pringle knew too ly to the tone and character of my well, and felt too deeply what is due to work on America. And here I canthe British army, and to the memory not refrain from expressing the of one of its most distinguished Ge- extreme astonishment, and the indig, nerals, to pass any judgment on the nant feelings with which I have read dead, in such a quarrel. Nor could part of his last communication, it but have given him pain“merely to which at once requires the most allude” to the misconduct—of what explicit contradiction.” What is ever kind it may have been-of the this part ? The following few field-officer who was brought to trial. words: “ I am sorry to say THERE That field-officer's courage was not IS NO PAGE allotted to praise of the doubted—it had been proved, and British seaman or British soldier in even honoured; but a miserable miss the work-CENSURE ALONE FINDS AMtake he did make_“and rueful has PLE ROOM.” Sometimes a man does the expiation been.” The broken- well to be angry, but not so Mr hearted man has long been in his Stuart. No “man alive ” will symgrave; and a brother officer has not pathize with his "indignant feeldisturbed his ashes. Yet here Mr ings” and “extreme astonishment.” Stuart shews that he is ignorant of the charge is true; and bis answer what he unfeelingly, because unne- to it-to borrow again his own cessarily, writes about that unfortu- words, impotently applied to Major nate officer. "Was not found at the Pringle—we give, “to hold it forth appointed place” shews this; for the as an example to what a laughable 44th were a mile and a half in ad. length the esprit de corps will carry vance of the redoubt where lay the a man.” Mr Stuart tells us to turn ladders and fascines; and that offi- to page so and so, and we will find cer's mistake consisted in not having it thus written-" It is admitted on brought them with him from the all hands, that British bravery was redoubt to the spot where he at the never put to a severer test, nor ever head of his regiment was ready, like more conspicuous, (than at the rest, to advance with his men to New Orleans.) The generals, offithe attack, at the ascent of the signal cers, and men, marched steadily to rocket. Like, but worse ignorance, is the mouths of their guns.” That is VOL. XXXV. NO, CCXIX.