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7158Re: [WarOf1812] Re: War of 1812 Naval Battles

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  • Rob Taylor
    Sep 2, 2000
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      Like I said before Fitz, I respect your opinion,But I
      do not agree with it. Also I believe that the British
      officers who had served overseas were well aware of
      what they faced on the other side of the river at
      Plattsburgh. What saved Plattsburgh pure and simple is
      Prevost's decision to retreat back into Canada. Mind
      you, had he let the force attack they still would have
      had to retreat, but only after winning the victory on
      land. Nope - under the circumstances, to assume that
      the American force at Plattsburgh would have
      thoroughly beaten the British force is quite frankly,
      assuming alot.

      I enjoyed your post,
      Rob Taylor

      --- Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- Rob Taylor <niagara_falls_98@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > --- 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
      > > well
      > > 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
      > At Plattsburg there was one gun (I think a 6pdr)
      > 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
      > made.
      > 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
      > Plattsburg.
      >
      > Fitz
      >
      > =====
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      >
      > "Come back, Guy Faulkes - all's forgiven. We'll
      > leave a light on in the Capitol basement for you. .
      > . ."
      >
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