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Re: [War Of 1812] Port Dover, Lake Erie - After Action Report for June 23th, 2007

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  • JOHN GREIG
    What a superb account of actions in the colonies. Squire. Victor Suthren Commodore pro tem Naval Establishment Crown Forces North America June 23rd, 2007 Port
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 28, 2007
      What a superb account of actions in the colonies.
      Squire.



      Victor Suthren

      Commodore pro tem
      Naval Establishment
      Crown Forces North America

      June 23rd, 2007

      Port Dover, Lake Erie, Upper Canada.

      Sir,

      I beg your leave to acquaint you with the circumstances of the events
      of this past weekend whereupon the forces under your command did
      acquit themselves admirably in the face of the enemy.

      Commander Peter Rindlisbacher, Lake Erie Station, upon being apprised
      of a large enemy fleet departing Erie, Pennsylvania, for a potential
      invasion of Port Dover, Upper Canada, dispatched messengers to the
      other Great Lakes stations requesting reinforcements of artillery and
      ship's boats to come to the defence of Port Dover.

      You will be pleased to hear that all stations requested responded
      immediately and with great vigour, resulting in 3 pieces of field
      artillery and 3 ship's boats arriving at the harbour before the enemy
      could appear. In addition, Captain Ray Hobbs, commanding the 41st
      Regiment of Foot, provided a sizeable detachment of soldiers under the
      command of Sergeant Tom Fournier.

      Lieutenant David May, commanding, Provincial Marine, Lake Erie
      Station, arrived from Fort Malden, Amherstburg, Upper Canada with a
      3-pounder brass field gun and the ship's boat Rolette. Lieutenant
      Thomas Hurlbut, Lake Simcoe and Upper Lakes Station, sent Midshipman
      Michael McLeod in command of the ship's boat Auld Alliance. Captain
      Gill Bibby, HMS Hamilton Ship's Company, arrived with the ship's boat
      which unfortunately remained confined to the harbour for repairs.

      Lieutenant Ken Fisher, commanding, HMS Charwell Landing Party, arrived
      with a brass field gun and Acting Lieutenant Charles Fitton,
      commanding, HMS Ferret Landing Party, arrived with an iron field gun,
      leaving HMS Ferret ship's boat in the dockyard to complete its fitting
      out. HMS Charwell's Marine contingent under Sergeant Bill Kovaks and
      the Rocket Troop of Royal Horse Artillery under Sergeant Federico
      completed the defences.

      I hesitate to mention that there was an attempted desertion by the
      Drummer of the Royal Marines on Saturday afternoon. The man in
      question was apprehended in the village by his fellow Royal Marines
      and dragged screaming back to the Royal Navy camp. Upon being found
      guilty of desertion, he was sentenced to be hung immediately from the
      nearest yardarm. When it was brought to the attention of the officers
      present that there were no yardarms nearby that could support such a
      weight and that the camp would be without its drummer, the sentence
      was commuted to flogging. To the horror of the onlooking public, the
      deserter was bound to the wheel of a field gun and given 9 lashes of
      the cat-o'-nine- tails before he would proclaim his loyalty to King
      George.

      The officers commanding, having determined the validity of the rumours
      of the approaching enemy fleet, and noting that the village of Dover
      was a seething hot-bed of republicanism, decided upon a subterfuge to
      redirect the villagers' loyalties.

      The Auld Alliance and the Rolette left harbour on Saturday evening
      under pretext of searching out the enemy fleet. Meanwhile, two
      artillery field pieces were deployed on the beach to defend against
      the enemy fleet. Once out of sight, the British ship's boats' crews
      changed to American uniforms, ran up the Stars and Stripes and
      commenced an attack upon Port Dover much to the consternation of the
      local villagers.

      Upon hearing the alarm, the Provincial Marine commenced to drag their
      3-pounder brass field piece from the Royal Navy camp to the beach ably
      led by a Highland Piper, the (previously mentioned) Royal Marines
      drummer and contingent and the detachment of the 41st Regiment of
      Foot.

      After a half hour exchange of musketry and artillery fire, the "enemy"
      vessels disappeared into the darkness, leaving His Majesty's forces in
      command of the village. This display of force (although only blank
      charges were used so as to not harm our boats) has done much to
      improve the demeanour of the village and redirect their loyalties to
      the King. The rest of the night saw a great revelry amongst our
      troops and the villagers with large bonfires and much drinking of
      toasts to the King.

      On the evening of the Sunday following, the enemy fleet (numbering
      some 2-3 dozen ships of sail) did appear offshore but by Monday
      morning they were observed some 3 miles offshore "beating" back to
      Erie.

      The mills and village of Dover have been saved. Huzzah! Huzzah!
      Huzzah!

      I would be remiss if I did not also mention the great support
      provided by Col. Bob Blakely of the local militia and Captain Chris
      Wilkinson of the British Indian Department. They were a source of
      liaison with those loyal villagers that could be depended upon
      to provision our camp.

      I am commanded by the above mentioned officers to submit this report
      for your approval as a true account of the events so described.

      Sir, I have the honour to be your humble and obedient servant,

      Gord Deans, Ship's Clerk,
      HMS Charwell Landing Party, Royal Navy,
      Lake Erie Station, Great Lakes, Upper Canada.

      GOD SAVE THE KING.




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