On September 4 1812, Major General Van Rensselaer, at Lewiston, advises his counterparts in Upper Canada that the armistice is to come to an end in four days at noon on September 8, 1812. He has done this after being assured that the reinforcements coming with Colonel Fenwick have arrived. Van Rensselaer issues the following General Order:
The Major General announces to the troops, that, agreeable to an order received from Major General Dearborn, the armistice entered into between him and the Governor General of Upper and Lower Canada will be terminated at twelve o'clock, at noon, on the eighth day of September instant. The troops under his command will, however, understand, explicitly, that they are not to act offensively without previous orders from him; but to be vigilant in their duty, and ready to execute any command they may receive when a proper occasion presents itself. The troops will strike their tents tomorrow morning at reveille: the tents, tent-poles, and baggage, will be packed up, ready to move, in one hour from that time. The Quarter Master will measure the space necessary for a double row of tents for each company, and furnish the necessary transportation.
A fatigue party, of a sergeant, corporal, and twelve men, will attend at the same time at head quarters.
Van Rensselaer also writes to Major General Brock at Fort George to advise that the armistice is coming to an end:
Head-Quarters, Lewiston, Sept. 4th, 1812.
Sir, By the articles which I had the honour to conclude with Major Gen. Sheaffe on the 21st ult., for the government of the troops of the United States under my command, and his Britanic Majesty's forces on this frontier, during the temporary armistice, it was, among other things, stipulated that "the party who shall first receive orders for the renewal of hostilities shall give four days' notice, computing twenty-four hours to each day, before any offensive operation shall take place."
Having now received orders to terminate the armistice, in conformity to the above recited stipulation, I have the honour to transmit you this notice, that the armistice will be terminated at twelve o'clock, at noon, on Tuesday, the eighth day of September, inst.
Brock is not in Fort George. He is in Kingston. Nevertheless, Brock also learns that the armistice is coming to an end. He has just received a letter from Prevost advising him that President Madison has ended the armistice. Brock writes to Prevost that he will "return without loss of time to Fort George".I have the honour, &o.
S. Van Rensselaer.
KINGSTON, September 4, 1812.Upon my arrival here an hour ago, Captain Fulton delivered me your excellency's dispatch, dated the 31st ultimo, enclosing a letter from General Dearborn, in which the president's disapproval of the armistice is announced. I am in consequence induced to return without loss of time to Fort George. Captain Fulton having expressed a wish to accompany me, I have the more readily consented, as he will be able to give you full information of our actual state. The enemy was very busy upon Fort Niagara, and appeared inclined to erect additional batteries. I may perhaps think it proper to stop their career.
I enclose several documents lately received from Colonel Proctor, at Detroit. That officer appears to have conducted himself with much judgment. I likewise transmit a memorial Which I have received from some merchants in the Niagara district, but of course I cannot judge of its merits.
I shall be obliged to your excellency to direct the remittance of the £5,000, for which I sent a requisition some time ago, on account of the civil expenditure of this province, either in government paper or specie, as you may deem most convenient. I doubt not the former meeting a ready currency.
The very flattering manner in which your excellency is pleased to view my services, and your kindness in having represented them to his majesty's ministers in such favorable light, are gratifying to my feelings, and call for my grateful acknowledgments.