On December 2 1812 Josiah Robinson writes to Colonel Van Rensselaer. He does not have kind words for General Smyth's fiasco of a "pretended attack upon Canada".
Buffalo Dec. 2nd 1812.
Sir - The result of the battle of Queenston was painful to all; but language is insufficient to paint the proceedings of Brig. Gen. Smyth's pretended attack upon Canada: his contemptible proclamations wounded the heart of every officer, who was a prisoner at Queenston; yet it was hoped that a great soul would do great things — what is the result. My God! Hulled! no. But as far superior in turpitude, baseness and cowardice, as Satan is to Michael the Arch-Angel in wickedness.
That pompous proclamation brought volunteers from every quarter; and on the 27th November ult. his forces were more than eight thousand men: and his boats would carry three thousand eight hundred men, besides eleven pieces of Artillery, with as many ammunition wagons and forty-eight horses: On the night of the same day, three hundred Sailors and regulars crossed the river, spiked all the British cannon, took thirty one prisoners, and returned. The morning following Col. Wynder, with his regiment, crossed the river, and were repulsed by about three hundred British; by 12 o'clock all the boats were filled and passed up to the Bock, and nothing to obstruct their landing in Canada; but a six pounder which did them no injury, neither could bear on them longer, by means of our batteries. At the same time three sailors crossed the river, set two houses on fire, plundered a store, burned it, shot fowls, ducks, and pigs without opposition from the enemy, who in attempting to approach were driven back by the well directed fire from our batteries; Notwithstanding the ardor of the troops to pass the river, they were ordered ashore (to disembark and dine!) and a Flag was sent to Canada!!
Yesterday at three o'clock A. M. the troops were again ordered to embark, the American Flag was raised, with everything ready for a descent, when — Lo! the Coward appeared --and— the remainder cannot be described, but, by the fallen countenances of the officers and the fury of the privates.
I, Sir, have been anxious, since your departure from this, to hear of your safe arrival in the bosom of your family; and that you have by this recovered of your wounds. Be assured Sir, that I feel much for your welfare. Lois Le Canteubx Esqr. presents his best respects to you. I am Dear Sir, Your most obedient humble Servant,Josiah Robinson.
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