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Tonnant, in the Patuxent, Sept. 2. Sir, I have the honour to acquaint you, for the information of my Lords Commissioners of the Adiniralty, of the proceedings of his Majesty's Combined Sea and Land Forces since my arrival with the fleet within the Capes of Virginia; and I beg leave to offer my congratulations to their Lordships upon the successful termination of an Expedition, in which the whole of the Enemy's flotilla, under Commodore Barney, has been captured or destroyed; his army, though greatly superior in number, and strongly posted, with cannon, defeated at Bladensburg the City of Washington taken, the capitol, with all the public buildings, military arsenals, dock-yard, and the rest of their naval establishments, together with a vast quantity of naval and military stores, a frigate of the largest class ready to launch, and a sloop of war afloat, either blown up or reduced to ashes.-Such a series of successes in the centre of an Enemy's country, surrounded by a numerous popuJation, could not be acquired without loss; and we have to lament the fall of some valuable officers and men; but, considering the difficulties the forces had to coutend with, the extreme heat of the climate, and their coming into action at the end of a long march, our casualties are astonishingly few. My letter of the 11th of August, will have acquainted their Lordships of my waiting in the Chesapeake for the arrival of Rear-adm. Malcolm, with the expedition from Bermuda.
The Rear-Admiral joined me on the 17th, and as I had gained information from Rear-adm. Cockburn, whom I found in the Potowmack, that Commodore Barney, with the Baltimore flotilla, had taken shelter at the head of the Patuxent, this afforded a pretext for ascending that river to attack him near its source, above Pig Point, while the ultimate destination of the combined force was Washington, should it be found that the attempt might be made with any prospect of success. To give their Lordships a more correct idea of the place of attack, I send a sketch of the country upon which the movements of the army and navy are pourtrayed; by it their Lordships will observe, that the best approach to Washington is by Port Tobacco upon the Potowmac, and Benedict upon the Patuxent, from both of which are direct and good roads to that city, and their distances nearly alike; the roads from Benedict divide about five miles inland; the one by Piscataway and Bladensburg, the other following the course of the river, although at some distance from it, owing to the creeks that run up the country; this last passes through the towns of Nottingham and Marlborough to Bladensburg, at which-town the river
called the Eastern Branch, that bounds Washington to the Eastward, is fordable, and the distance is about five miles. There are two bridges over this river at the city; but it was not to be expected that the Enemy would leave them accessible to an invading army. Previously to my entering the Patuxent, I detached Capt. Gordon, of his Majesty's ship Seahorse, with that ship, and the ships and bombs named in the margin *, up the Potowmack, to bombard Fort Washington (which is situated on the left bank of that river, about ten or twelve miles below the city), with a view of destroying that fort, and opening a free communication above, as well as to cover the retreat of the army, should its return by the Bladensburg road be found too hazardous, from the accession of strength the Enemy might obtain from Baltimore; it was also reasonable to expect, that the militia from the country to the Northward and Westward would flock in, so soon as it should be known that their capital was threatened. Capt. Sir Peter Parker, in the Menelaus, with some small vessels, was sent up the Chesapeake, above Baltimore, to divert the attention of the Enemy in that quarter; and I proceeded with the remainder of the naval force and the troops up this river, and landed the army upon the 19th and 20th at Benedict.
So soon as the necessary provisions and stores could be assembled and arranged, Major-gen. Ross, with his army, moved towards Nottingham, while our flotilla, consisting of the armed launches, pinnaces, barges, and other boats of the fleet, under the command of Rearadmiral Cockburn, passed up the river, being instructed to keep upon the right flank of the army, for the double purpose of supplying it with provisions, and, if necessary, to pass it over to the left bank of the river, into Calvert County, which secured a safe retreat to the ships, should it be judged necessary.-The army reached Nottingham upon the 21st, and on the following day arrived at Marlborough : the flotilla continued advancing towards the station of Commodore Barney, about three miles above Pig Point, who, although much superior in force to that sent against him, did not wait an attack, but, at the appearance of our boats, set fire to his flotilla, and the whole of his vessels, excepting one, were blown up. For the particulars of this well-executed service, I must refer their Lordships to Rear-adm. Cockburn's report, No. 1, who, on the same evening, conveyed to me an account of his success, and intimation from Major-gen. Ross, of his intention to proceed to the city of Washington, considering,
* Euryalus, Devastation, Etna, Meteor, Manly, and Erebus.
from the information he had received, that it might be assailed, if done with alacrity; and in consequence had determined to march that evening upon Bladensburg. The remaining boats of the fleet were immediately employed in conveying up the river supplies of provisious for the forces upon their return to Nottingham, agreeably to an arrangement made by the Rearadmiral, who proceeded on in company with the army. The report No. 2, of Rear-Admiral Cockburn's, will inform their Lordships of the brilliant successes of the forces after their departure from Marlborough, where they returned upon the 26th, and having reached Benedict upon the 29th, the expedition was embarked in good order.-On combined services, such as we have been engaged in, it gives me the greatest pleasure to find myself united with so able and experienced an officer as Major-gen. Ross, in whom are blended those qualities so essential to promote success, where co-operation between the two services becomes necessary; and I have much satisfaction in noticing the unanimity that prevailed between the army and navy; as I have also in stating to their Lordships that Major-gen. Ross has expressed his full approbation of the conduct of the officers, seamen, and marines acting with the army.-I have before had occasion to speak of the unremitting zeal and exertion of Rear-adm. Cockburn, during the time he commanded in the Chesapeake under my orders: the interest and ability which he bas manifested throughout this late arduous service justly entitle him to my best thanks, and to the acknowledgments of my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. Rear-admiral Malcolm, upon every occasion, and particularly in his arrangement for the speedy re-embarkation of the troops, rendered me essential assistance; and to him, as well as to Rearadm. Codrington, captain of the fleet, I am indebted for the alacrity and order with which the laborious duties in the conveying of supplies to the army were conducted. For the conduct of the captains and officers of the squadron employed with the flotilla and with the army, I must beg leave to refer their Lordships to the reports of Rear-adm. Cockburn, and to call their favourable consideration to those whom the RearAdmiral has had occasion to particularly notice. While employed immediately under my eye, I had every reason to be perfectly satisfied with their zealous emulation, as well as that of every seaman and marine, to promote the service in which they were engaged. Capt. Wainwright, of his Majesty's ship Tonnant, will have the honour to deliver this dispatch to you, and as he was actually em
ployed both with the flotilla and with the army, in the whole of their proceedings, I beg leave to refer their Lordships to him for any farther particulars. - I have not yet received any return from the ships employed in the Potowmack, the winds baving been unfavourable to their coming. down; but by the information I gain from the country people, they have completely succeeded in the capture and destruction of Fort Washington, which has been blown up. I have the honour to be, &c. ALEX. COCHRANE,
Vice-Admiral and Commander in Chief.
Resolution Tender, off Mount Calvert,
Sir, I have the honour to inform you, that after parting from you at Benedict on the evening of the 20th inst. I proceeded up the Patuxent with the boats and tenders, the marines of the ships being embarked in them, under the command of Capt. Robyns (the senior officer of that corps in the fleet), and the marine artillery under Capt. Harrison, in their two tenders; the Severn and Hebrus frigates, and the Manly sloop, being directed to follow us up the river, as far as might prove practicable. The boats and tenders L placed in three divisions: the first under the immediate command of Capts. Sullivan (the senior commander employed ou the occasion) and Badcock; the second, under Capts. Money and Somerville; the third, under Capt. Ramsay;- the whole under the superintendance and immediate management of Capt. Wainwright, of the Tonnant, Lieut. James Scott (1st of the Albion) attending as my aide-de-camp.I endeavoured to keep with the boats and tenders as nearly as possible abreast of the army under Major-gen. Ross, that I might communicate with him as occasion offered, according to the plan previously arranged: aud about mid-day yesterday I accordingly anchored at the ferry-house opposite Lower Marlborough, where I met the General, and where the army halted for some hours, after which he marched for Nottingham, and I proceeded on for the same place with the boats. On our approaching that town a few shots were exchanged between the leading boats and some of the Enciny's cavalry; but the appearance of our army advancing caused them to retire with precipitation. Capts. Nourse and Paliner, of the Severn and Hebrus, joined me this day with their boats, having found it impracticable to get their ships higher than. Benedict. The Major General remained with the army at Nottingham, and the boats and tenders continued anchored off it during the night; and soon after day-light this morning, the whole moved again forward;
but the wind blowing during the morning down the river, and the channel being excessively narrow, and the advance of our tenders consequently slow, I judged it advisable to push on with the boats only, leaving the tenders to follow as they could.
On approaching Pig Point (where the Enemy's flotilla was said to be), I landed the marines under Capt. Robyns, on the left bank of the river, and directed him to march round and attack, on the land side, the town situated on the point, to draw from us the attention of such troops as might be there for its defence, and the defence of the flotilla: I then proceeded on with the boats, and as we opened the reach above Pig Point, I plainly discovered Commodore Barney's broad pendant in the headmost vessel, a large sloop, and the remainder of the flotilla extending in a long line astern of her. Our boats now advanced towards them as rapidly as possible; but, on nearing them, we observed the sloop bearing the broad pendant to be on fire, and she very soon afterwards blew up. I now saw clearly that they were all abandoned, and on fire, with trains to their magazines; and out of the 17 vessels which composed this formidable and so much vaunted flotilla, 16 were in quick succession blown to atoms, and the 17th (in which the fire had not taken) we captured. The Commodore's sloop was a large armed vessel; the others were gun-boats, all having a long gun in the bow and a carronade in the stern; the calibre of the guns and number of the crew of each differed in proportion to the size of the boat, varying from 32-pounders and 60 men, to 18-pounders and 40 men. I found here, lying above the flotilla, under its protection, 13 merchant schooners, some of which not being worth bringing away, I caused to be burnt; such as were in good condition I directed to be moved to Pig Point. Whilst employed in taking these vessels, a few shot were fired at us by some of the men of the flotilla from the bushes on the shore near us; but Lieut. Scott, whom I had landed for that purpose, soon got hold of them, and made them prisoners. Some horsemen likewise showed themselves on the neighbouring heights, but a rocket or two dispersed them and Capt. Robyns, who had got possession of Pig Point without resistance, now spreading his men through the country, the Enemy retreated to a distance, and left us in quiet possession of the town, the neighbourhood, and our prizes. A large quantity of tobacco having been found in the town at Pig Point, I have left Capt. Robyns, with the marines, and Capt. Nourse, with two divisions of the boats, to hold the place, and ship the tobacco into the prizes; and I have moved back with the third division to this point, to en
able me to confer on our future operations, with the Major-General, who has been good enough to send his aide-de-camp to inform me of his safe arrival, with the army under his command, at Upper Marlborough. In congratulating you, Sir, which I do most sincerely, on the complete destruction of this flotilla of the Enemy, which has lately occupied so much of our attention, I must beg to be permitted to assure you, that the cheerful and indefatigable exertions on this occasion, of Capts. Wainwright, Nourse, and Palmer, and of Capt. Sullivan, the other Commanders, officers and men, in the boats you have placed under my orders, most justly entitle them to my warmest acknowledgments and my earnest recommendation to your favourable notice. I have, &c.
G. COCKBURN, Rear-adm.
Manly, off Nottingham, Patuxent, Aug. 27.
Sir, I have the honour to inform you that, agreeably to the intentions I notified to you in my letter of the 22d inst. I proceeded by land on the morning of the 23d to Upper Marlborough, to meet and confer with Major-gen. Ross as to our further operations against the Enemy; and we were not long in agreeing on the propriety of making an immediate attempt on the city of Washington.-In conformity there fore with the wishes of the General, I instantly sent orders for our marine and naval forces at Pig Point, to be forthwith moved over to Mount Calvert, and for the marines, marine artillery, and a propor- ' tion of the seamen, to be there landed, and with the utmost possible expedition to join the army, which I also most readily agreed to accompany.-The Major-general then made his dispositions, and arrang ed that Capt. Robyns, with the marines of the ships, should retain possession of Upper Marlborough, and that the marine artillery and seamen should follow the army to the ground it was to occupy for the night. The army then moved on, and bivouacqued before dark, about five miles nearer Washington. In the night Capt. Palmer of the Hebrus, and Capt. Money of the Trave, joined us with the seamen and with the marine artillery, under Capt. Harrison; Capt. Wainwright of the Tonnant, had accompanied me the day before, as had also Lieut. James Scott (acting 1st Lieutenant of the Albion.. At day-light on the morning of the 24th, the Majorgeneral again put the army in motion, directing his march upon Bladensburg; on reaching which place, with the advanc. ed brigade, the Enemy was discovered drawn up in force on a rising ground be yond the town; and by the fire he soon opened on us, as we entered the place, gave us to understand he was well pro
tected with artillery. Gen. Ross, however, did not hesitate in immediately advancing to attack him, although our troops were almost exhausted with the fatigue of the march they had just made, and but a small proportion of our little army had yet got up this dashing measure was, however, I am happy to add, crowned with the success it merited; for, in spite of the galling fire of the Enemy, our troops advanced steadily on both his flanks, and in his front; and as soon as they arrived on even ground with him, he fed in every direction, leaving behind him 10 pieces of cannon, and a consider able number of killed and wounded; amongst the latter Commodore Barney, and several other officers; some other prisoners were also taken, though not many, owing to the swiftness with which the Enemy went off, and the fatigues our army had previously undergone. It would, Sir, *be deemed presumption in me to attempt to give you particular details respecting the nature of this battle; I shall, therefore, only remark generally, that the Enemy, 8,000 strong, on ground he had chosen as best adapted for him to defend, where he had had time to erect his batteries, and concert all his measures, was dislodged as soon as reached, and a victory gained over him by a division of the British army not amcunting to more than 1,500 men, headed by our gallant General, whose brilliant achievement of this day it is beyond my power to do justice to, and indeed no possible comment could enhance.
-The seamen, with the guns, were, to their great mortification, with the rear division during this short but decisive action; those, however, attached to the rocket-brigade were in the battle, and I remarked with much pleasure the precision with whichthe rockets were thrown by them, under the direction of First Lieut. Lawrence, of the marine artillery; Mr. Jeremiah M'Daniel, master's mate of the Tonnant, a very fine young man, who was attached to this party, being severely wounded, I beg permission to recommend him to your favourable consideration. The company of marines I have on so many Occasions had cause to mention to you, commanded by First-Lieut. Stephens, was also in the action, as were the Colonial marines, under the temporary command of Capt. Reed, of the 6th West India regiment (these companies being attached to the light brigade); and they respectively behaved with their accustomed zeal and bravery. None other of the naval department were fortunate enough to arrive up in time to take their share in this battle, excepting Capt. Palmer, of the Hebrus, with his aide-de-camp, Mr. Arthur Wakefield, midshipman of that ship, and GENT. MAG. October, 1814,
Lieut. James Scott, first of the Albion, who acted as my aide-de-camp, and remained, with me during the whole time.-The contest being completely ended, and the Enemy having retired from the field, the General gave the army about two hours rest, when he again moved forward on Washington; it was however dark before we reached the city, and on the General myself, and some officers, advancing a short way past the first houses of the town, without being accompanied by the troops, the Enemy opened upon us a heavy fire of musketry, from the Capitol and two other houses; these were therefore almost immediately stormed by our people, taken possession of, and set on fire, after which the town submitted without further resistance. The Enemy himself, on our entering the town, set fire to the navy-yard (filled with naval stores), a frigate of the largest class, almost ready for launching, and a sloop of war laying off it, as he also did to the fort which protected the sea approach to Washington.-On taking possession of the city, we also set fire to the President's Palace, the Treasury, and the War-Office; and in the morning Capt. Wainwright went with a party to see that the destruction in the Navy-yard was complete, when he destroyed whatever stores and buildings had escaped the flames of the preceding night; a large quantity of ammunition and ordnauce stores were likewise destroyed by us in the arsenal, as were about 200 pieces of artillery of different calibres, as well as a vast quantity of small arms. Two rope-walks of a ve extensive nature, full of tar-rope, &c. si tuate at a considerable distance from the yard, were likewise set fire to and consumed. In short, Sir, I do not believe a vestige of public property, or a store of any kind, which could be converted to the use of the Government, escaped destruction; the bridges across the Eastern Branch and the Potowmack were likewise destroyed. This general devastation being completely during the day of the 25th, we marched again, at nine that night, on our return, by Bladensburg, to Upper Marlborough. We arrived yesterday evening at the latter, without molestation of any sort, indeed without a single musket having been fired; and this morning we moved on to this place, where I have found his Majesty's sloop Manly, the tenders, and the boats, and I have hoisted my flag, pro tempore, in the former. The troops will probably march to-morrow,or the next day at farthest, to Benedict, for re-embarkation, and this flotilla will of course join you at the same time. In closing, Sir, my statement to you, of the arduous and highly important operations of this last week, I have a most pleasing duty to per
form, in assuring you of the good conduct of the officers and men who have been serving under me. I have been particularly indebted, whilst on this service, to Capt. Wainwright, of the Tonnant, for the assistance he has invariably afforded me; and to Captains Palmer and Money, for their exertions during the march to and from Washington. To Capt. Nourse, who has commanded the flotilla during my absence, my acknowledgments are also most justly due; as well as to Capts. Sullivan, Badcock, Somerville, Ramsay, and Bruce, who have acted in it under him. Lieut. J. Scott, now first lieutenant of the Albion, has, on this occasion, rendered me essential services, and as I have had reason so often of late to mention to you the gallant and meritorious conduct of this officer, I trust you will permit me to seize this opportunity of recommending him particularly to your favourable notice and consideration. Capt. Robyns (the senior officer of marines with the fleet), who has had, during these operations, the marines of the ships united under his orders, has executed ably and zealously the several services with which he has been entrusted, and is entitled to my best acknowledgments accordingly; as is also Capt. Harrison of the marine artillery, who, with the officers and men attached to him, accompanied the army to and from Washington. - Mr. Dobie, surgeon of the Melpomene, volunteered his professional services on this occasion, and rendered much assistance to the wounded on the field of batile, as well as to many of the men taken ill on the line of march.One colonial marine killed, one master's mate, two serjeants, and three colonial marines wounded, are the casualties sustained by the naval department; a general list of the killed and wounded of the whole army will of course accompany the report of the Major-General. I have &c.
G. COCKBURN, Rear-adm.
Sir Alexander Cochrane, K. B. &c.
P. S. Two long six-pounder guns, intended for a battery at Nottingham, were taken off and put on board the Brune, and one taken at Upper Marlborough, was destroyed.
the Chesapeake, above Baltimore, to make a diversion in that quarter. It appears that after having frequently dislodged small bodies of the Enemy, by landing parties of seamen and marines, her Captain at length was drawn into an attack upon a force which proved to be greatly his superior in numbers, and accompanied by artillery. In a successful attack upon this superior force, and while routing the Enemy, he received a wound that in a few minutes terminated his existence; and I have to lament the loss not only of this gallant and enterprizing officer, but of many brave men who were killed and wounded on the same occasion, of which a return is enclosed. I have the honour to be, &c. A. COCHRANE, Vice-adm. Menelaus, off Pool's Island, Chesapeake, Sept. 1. Sir,-With grief the deepest, it becomes my duty to communicate the death of Sir P. Parker, bart. late commander of his Majesty's ship Menelaus, and the occur rences attending an attack on the Enemy's troops on the night of the 30th ult. encamped at Bellair. The previous and accompanying letters of Sir P. Parker will, I presume, fully point out the respect the Enemy on all occasions evince at the approach of our arms, retreating at every attack, though possessing a superiority of numbers of five to one; an intelligent black man gave us information of 200 militia being encamped behind a wood, distant half a mile from the beach, and described their situation, so as to give us the strongest hopes of cutting off and securing the largest part as our prisoners, destroying the camp, field-pieces, &c. and possessing also certain information that one man out of every five had been levied as a requisition on the Eastern shore, for the purpose of being sent over for the protection of Baltimore, and who are now only prevented crossing the bay by the activity and vigilance of the tender and ships' boats. One hundred and four bayonets, with twenty pikes, were landed at 11 o'clock at night, under the immediate direction of Capt. Sir P. Parker, bart. the first division headed by myself, and the second division by Lieut. Pearce. On arriving at the ground, we discovered the Enemy had shifted his position, as we were then informed, to the distance of a mile farther; having taken the look-out picquet immediately on our landing, we were in assurance our motions had not been discovered, and with the deepest silence followed on for the camp. After a march of between four and five miles in the country, we found the Enemy posted on a plain, surrounded by woods, with the camp in their rear: they were drawn up in line, and perfectly ready to receive us; a single moment was not to be lost