7154Re: [WarOf1812] Re: War of 1812 Naval Battles
- Sep 1, 2000--- Rob Taylor <niagara_falls_98@...> wrote:
>At Plattsburg there was one gun (I think a 6pdr)
> --- Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@...> wrote:
> A few more victories like that, and we could have
> moved the new US capital to Montreal!!
> You have not accounted for the possibility that the
> Americans might break and run, seeing over 10,000
> trained veteran redcoats marhing at them might have
> unnerved them. Seeing how the British soldiers
> themselves did not think it would be a hard position
> to take, or that the American force in front of them
> was as tough as the French soldiers they had already
> faced in Europe. At Bladensburgh there was a bridge
> covered by an artillery piece. Did a lot of damage
> too. There were only 5,000 recoats there, and Barney
> and his men were the only ones that stuck around to
> see how it all turned out. Considering what happened
> there I suspect you would not be moving your capital
> to Montreal anytime soon. I respect your opinion, I
> just don't agree with it.
> Rob Taylor
manned by militia who didn't even know the proper
drill. When captured it was muzzle in the dirt, trail
in the air - the gunners had forgotten to put the
powder bag in before ramming in the ball. Upon
discovering their mistake, they tried to get the ball
out by tipping the gun forward, where it got stuck.
I've often imagined that some of the British
casualties were from men who died laughing at this
grade B comedy.
At Plattsburg, Macomb wisely chose to send the two
brigades of militia off into the woods, while manning
the fortified line with regulars. He had an
extraordinary artillery advantage, the British had to
advance through bottlenecks just to get to the killing
zones, and then hike 350 yards uphill against a
defensive line most of which they couldn't even see
and thus know was there until they hit the military
crest. Of such situations are great military disasters
As far as the regulars running, I very much doubt it.
Macomb's people were just as well drilled as Brown's
(Plattsburg was where the other camp of instruction
had been established, run by Izard, who was a graduate
of a French military school) and if neccesary would
have died in place just like Scott's brigade at
Lundy's Lane. The fact that these were Wellington's
veterens was something that seems to have impressed
nobody but the Maryland militia. A British offi9cer
who had served in both Spain and the Niagara later
said that fighting against American regulars was more
fierce, much more bloody, and infinately worse than
anything experienced in Spain.
If Prevost attempted the attack anyway, it would not
only have broken his army, the results would have
broken England's heart.
The one point in the whole mess that I find
hysterically funny is that one the British side of the
river, there was a road that headed west. A good road,
much better than the one he had just come down. It
went through the Aderondacks, and came out at
Sackett's Harbor on the undefended landward side.
If anyone - Prevost, Powers, Robinson, whoever - had
thought to ask where the road went, they could have
won the war in a month. At that moment, Sackett's
Harbor was protected by a single brigade of regulars,
some militia, a volunteer light infantry regiment, a
dragoon depot squadron, several hundred replacements
and recruits waiting to be sorted out and sent to
other regiments, and the naval personnel. They
landward defenses had been started, but would not be
completed until December, 1814. Izard's division had
already left for the Niagara. The door was wide open,
nobody was expecting an attack, and the route from
Sackett's Harbor suth was completely undefended. There
would have been nothing between Prevost and New York
City than some brittle NY militia.
And nobody thought to ask, "By the way, my good man,
where does that road go?"
Nope - under the circumstances, they would have taken
a beating if they had tried to force the river. Not
because there was anything lacking in the men, but
because their commanders were either too ignorant
(Prevost) or too arrogant (Robinson, Powers, et al) to
bother to examine all their options.
Drummond, Ross, Packenham, Gibbs and Lambert would
have never made that mistake, though Keane might have,
and after Chippawa Riall really didn't want to mix it
with American regulars again, and so would have not
been a position to make the mistakes that were made at
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