42487Re: 1812 Aftermath of Sacket's Harbor
- Aug 4, 2010Ray, nothing to forgive. This moving excerpt shows that even as we respect
the men on both sides who fought so long ago for what they believed in, so
equally can we mourn that death and suffering was ever dealt out between men
who should have been friends, allies and brothers from the beginning---as,
thank God, we are now, and will remain....
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ray Hobbs" <ray.hobbs@...>
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2010 6:52 PM
Subject: 1812 Aftermath of Sacket's Harbor
Forgive the length of this post. The one-list does not accept
We are thankful for the safe return home of our men and women after the
GT at Sacket's Harbor. But, I came across this excerpt from the diary
of the Rev. William Case, a Methodist circuit rider and leader, who was
housed in Sacket's at the time of the battle. Many will find it moving,
and it carries a certain amount of pathos.
It is reminiscent of Dunlop's remarks after the battle of Lundy's Lane
a year or so later.
Read with interest
Chase reflects on the nature of the conflict, but declares his concern
"...for the immortal interests of the thousands who engaged in the
contest; and here, I know not if I felt any partiality for Americans
more than Englishmen [sic!]: all of one creation - alike the subjects
of redeeming blood, all accountable to the King of kings, and deserving
the same condemnation. With these reflections we immediately called the
household and fell upon our knees in prayer, and the Lord poured on us
the spirit of supplication. We wept aloud and prayed most fervently to
the Ruler nations and Saviour of men that he would pardon our national
crimes, save men from death, protect the Harbor from conquest, and have
mercy on the souls of those constantly falling in battle. You may
suppose that the constant sounds of the instruments of death gave
weight to our concerns, and ardency to our petitions, with all the
grace that could inspire.
We mounted our horses and set out for the scene of action, that, if
possible, we might afford some assistance as ministers, and administer
consolation to the wounded and dying. When we reached the Harbor the
British had retreated to their shipping, leaving part of he dead and
wounded on the field of battle. These, with our own men, were brought
in from the field' the dead were stretched side by side in rows, and
the wounded on beds and straw in as comfortable a condition as could be
expected. We were conducted by a friend in several hospitals, where I
saw the distress of about eighty wounded. I cannot describe my feelings
to hear the groans of the wounded and dying, some pierced through the
body, others through the head, some bruised by the falling of timbers,
others with broken bones, and one whose face was shot away, (save his
under-jaw) by a grape-shot. He was yet breathing strong. This was a
shocking view. Some were in such pain they could not be conversed with;
others being fatigued and broken of their rest were asleep, but we
conversed with many who manifested seriousness, whom we pointed to the
suffering, bleeding Saviour, and exhorted them to look to him for
mercy. Here i saw how useful a faithful and feeling chaplain might be.
The best opportunity would present itself in alleviating of men in some
degree, by procuring such things as the distressed most needed, and by
comforting them in their affliction; and here he might be heard though
at other times his counsel might be slighted.
In conversation with the British wounded I found a serious young man
who had been a hearer of the Methodists in Ireland, Quebec, and Upper
Canada. His name was Hornbrook, and he belonged to the 100th Regiment;
also a brother, Charles Pratt, one of our militia, badly wounded. both
were glad to see and talk with their preachers.
Having been without bread for a long time, many of the militia were
very hungry. Some wanted coffee, some milk, and some bread. We gave
them the biscuits we carried down, but could procure no milk for them.
I really desired to stay with them; my heart thirsted to do them good.
One young man who was wounded told me his brother was killed in the
battle. His parents, I believe, live east of the Connecticut River. We
were then conducted to the remains of Col. Mills, of the Albany
volunteers. He, and the British general, Gray, were laid out together,
both brave "by mutual wounds expired", but now sleep peacably together.
Among the wounded I heard no swearing. In this battle several of our
brethren (i.e. Methodists) suffered. Brother Greaves, an ensign in the
militia, living near the Harbor, and several others, were taken
prisoners. He has written from Montreal to his family. Brother Fay of
Ellisburgh, was wounded in the first part of the action, and in
attempting to make his way home, fell in with a body of Indians who had
landed further up, who shot him several times, scalped and mangled him
in a horrible manner. His body was found some time after and was buried
by his father near the place. It seems the Indians were somehow
interrupted, and in their hasty flight left the scalp and the knife
which were found near the body. Brother F's money was found near him on
a root; his scalp is in the possession of his widow.
Case then writes of visiting both the British and American wounded in
hospital at the Harbor, and bringing them bread, milk and coffee. Out
of seventy five wounded he saw, within a short time, twenty one had
died. He continues:...
The body of Col. Mills was removed to Watertown, where his funeral was
attended by a numerous assembly of soldiers and citizens, where a
sermon was preached on Prov. xxii.1, when several traits in the
character of the amiable Colonel were proposed for imitation. The
assembly were moved and wept.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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