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

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  • Scott McDonald
    ... How right you are Ed! A good account of this feat is in the book The Darkest Day: 1814 by Charles G. Muller. The squadron was led by one legged Capt.
    Message 1 of 25 , Aug 31, 2000
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      >What is more interesting is the squadron that sailed up the Potomac and
      >captured Fort Warburton and the town of Alexandria without firing a shot.
      >
      >Ed Seufert, LCpl
      >1812 Royal Marines

      How right you are Ed! A good account of this feat is in the book "The
      Darkest Day: 1814" by Charles G. Muller. The squadron was led by one legged
      Capt. Gordon who's crews manhandled their ships up the Patuxent. On the
      passage back they were contested and at one point Gordon had a ship
      purposely list to one side to elevate the deck guns to fire at Militia unit
      sheltering on a wooded hill. Cool..

      Cheers
      Scott McD.
    • Fitzhugh MacCrae
      ... Um, Alexandria s on the Potomac, across from Washington Navy Yard. Couldn t have been that hard a sail if they were building 44 s at the yard. Fitz =====
      Message 2 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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        --- Scott McDonald <raintree@...> wrote:
        > >What is more interesting is the squadron that
        > sailed up the Potomac and
        > >captured Fort Warburton and the town of Alexandria
        > without firing a shot.
        > >
        > >Ed Seufert, LCpl
        > >1812 Royal Marines
        >
        > How right you are Ed! A good account of this feat is
        > in the book "The
        > Darkest Day: 1814" by Charles G. Muller. The
        > squadron was led by one legged
        > Capt. Gordon who's crews manhandled their ships up
        > the Patuxent. On the
        > passage back they were contested and at one point
        > Gordon had a ship
        > purposely list to one side to elevate the deck guns
        > to fire at Militia unit
        > sheltering on a wooded hill. Cool..
        >
        > Cheers
        > Scott McD.
        >

        Um, Alexandria's on the Potomac, across from
        Washington Navy Yard. Couldn't have been that hard a
        sail if they were building 44's at the yard.

        Fitz

        =====
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        "Fluff Bunnies - The OTHER White Meat"

        "Come back, Guy Faulkes - all's forgiven. We'll leave a light on in the Capitol basement for you. . . ."

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      • mmathews@VAX2.WINONA.MSUS.EDU
        ... Kind of a shame too. There were plenty of ships o the line building, and easily *could* have been ready for the war. In 1815 a lot of ships were finally
        Message 3 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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          >
          >Hear, hear. The toadie Americans could only put out privateers and
          >pirates.

          Kind of a shame too. There were plenty of ships 'o the line building, and
          easily *could* have been ready for the war. In 1815 a lot of ships were
          finally completed, all too late to have any effect. But didn't both sides
          have a massive SOL on Lake Ontario? Something in the nature of a 100
          gunner? Still, a squadron of American 74s (rated, really 92s) attempting
          to break a blockade would have been a spectacular fight. Just pity the
          poor b*****ds who had to man them on both sides.

          Michael

          Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
          Voice: (507) 285-7585 Cel: (507) 450-3535 Fax: (507) 280-5568
          ------------------------------
          "It find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
          - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
        • Fitzhugh MacCrae
          ... Prevost may not have been wrong. While the right flank brigade (Robinson s, I think) was slowly making headway against the militia in the woods, the
          Message 4 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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            --- mmathews@... wrote:

            >
            > Not sure about the evaluation of the Battle of Lake
            > Champlain. Given
            > Prevost's reaction to the threat of a battered
            > American squadron it's hard
            > to judge what would have happened. We do know that
            > he turned about, and
            > can fearfully speculate about what *might* have
            > happened had he persevered.
            > Certainly given his reception in England after the
            > hostilities the opinion
            > seemed to be that he should have pushed on.
            > Interesting "what if"
            > possibilities.

            Prevost may not have been wrong.
            While the right flank brigade (Robinson's, I think)
            was slowly making headway against the militia in the
            woods, the brigade that attempted to cross the bridge
            at Plattsburg was stopped in its tracks by artillery
            fire. Prevost could have re-oriented his attack so
            that the main thrust came along the right instead of
            across the bridge, but then Robinson and friends would
            have been exposed to the same fortified line and its
            artillery as had stopped the main thrust.
            Also keep in mind that most of the road going both
            north and south from Plattsburg runs along the edge of
            the lake. This means that, with Downie's squadron
            disposed of, even a battered American squadron can cut
            the route of supply by simply sitting offshore and
            shelling the road.
            Prevost's state of mind should also be taken into
            consideration - he was well aware of what happened to
            the last British Army that had used that route, and he
            didn't want to become the new model Gentleman Johnnie.

            Fitz


            =====
            Founder, Pagan Liberation Antique Twinkies Collectors Front and Marching Chorale

            "Fluff Bunnies - The OTHER White Meat"

            "Come back, Guy Faulkes - all's forgiven. We'll leave a light on in the Capitol basement for you. . . ."

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          • Rob Taylor
            ... This means that, with Downie s squadron disposed of, even a battered American squadron can cut the route of supply by simply sitting offshore and shelling
            Message 5 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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              --- Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@...> wrote:
              This means that, with Downie's squadron
              disposed of, even a battered American squadron can cut
              the route of supply by simply sitting offshore and
              shelling the road.

              This is why Prevost did choose to withdraw. But let's
              be honest, had he pushed on he would have taken
              Plattsburgh. He could not have gone much further
              because of the supply lines, but Plattsburgh would
              have been taken. And that's all that Wellington's
              veterans wanted. As far as the artillery having
              stopped the troops in their tracks, by sheer numbers
              alone they could have recovered and pushed on if this
              did indeed happen (I have not read that account yet)

              Rob Taylor


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            • Fitzhugh MacCrae
              ... ...and every victory is followed by a retreat... (Wellington, 1814, discussing the war in America) As far as the artillery having ... The British advance
              Message 6 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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                --- Rob Taylor <niagara_falls_98@...> wrote:
                >
                > --- Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@...> wrote:
                > This means that, with Downie's squadron
                > disposed of, even a battered American squadron can
                > cut
                > the route of supply by simply sitting offshore and
                > shelling the road.
                >
                > This is why Prevost did choose to withdraw. But
                > let's
                > be honest, had he pushed on he would have taken
                > Plattsburgh. He could not have gone much further
                > because of the supply lines, but Plattsburgh would
                > have been taken. And that's all that Wellington's
                > veterans wanted.


                "...and every victory is followed by a retreat..."

                (Wellington, 1814, discussing the war in America)


                As far as the artillery having
                > stopped the troops in their tracks, by sheer numbers
                > alone they could have recovered and pushed on if
                > this
                > did indeed happen (I have not read that account yet)

                The British advance was funneled by a bridge on the
                east and a ridge and forest on the west. Without the
                support of Downie's squadron to provide defellade fire
                support, it would have been a slaughter. The bridge
                was 16 feet wide, and there were over 20 heavy guns
                sighted in on it.
                Much has been made of the carnage from Jackson's guns
                firing on formed troops stuck on a limited width
                frontage.... now picture the result of trying to get
                even the same number of troops across that bridhe in
                column, with an even greater4 nummber of guns zeroed
                in on it. Macomb was an artillery officer originally,
                and a good one - I cannot help but wonder if he
                deliberately left the bridge up to credate a funneled
                killing zone. certainly, the brigade that tried to
                take the bridge only made one attempt before informing
                Prevost that it was not practical without Downies
                support.

                Fitz

                =====
                Founder, Pagan Liberation Antique Twinkies Collectors Front and Marching Chorale

                "Fluff Bunnies - The OTHER White Meat"

                "Come back, Guy Faulkes - all's forgiven. We'll leave a light on in the Capitol basement for you. . . ."

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              • Fitzhugh MacCrae
                ... Any particular reason why american privateers were pirates and British and Canadian privateers were not?? Halifax produced some very successful privateers
                Message 7 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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                  --- mmathews@... wrote:
                  > >
                  > >Hear, hear. The toadie Americans could only put
                  > out privateers and
                  > >pirates.


                  Any particular reason why american privateers were
                  pirates and British and Canadian privateers were not??
                  Halifax produced some very successful privateers in
                  both the AWI and 1812, you know.
                  It would be very sad if the only account of Canadian
                  privateers was the lyrics to "Barrett's Privateers" -
                  does some very brave men no service.
                  >
                  > Kind of a shame too. There were plenty of ships 'o
                  > the line building, and
                  > easily *could* have been ready for the war. In 1815
                  > a lot of ships were
                  > finally completed, all too late to have any effect.
                  > But didn't both sides
                  > have a massive SOL on Lake Ontario? Something in
                  > the nature of a 100
                  > gunner?

                  Yeo had a 112 gun ship building (among others), the
                  Americans had a 120 building (among others). While
                  Roosevelt states that the New Orleans was a 74,
                  Chappelle gives the dimensions and guns carried, and
                  clearly shows that it was much bigger. A photo of the
                  hulk of the New Orleans up on blocks in thye early
                  1880's exists - if you like, I can send you a jpg of
                  it back-channel.

                  Fitz

                  =====
                  Founder, Pagan Liberation Antique Twinkies Collectors Front and Marching Chorale

                  "Fluff Bunnies - The OTHER White Meat"

                  "Come back, Guy Faulkes - all's forgiven. We'll leave a light on in the Capitol basement for you. . . ."

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                • JGIL1812@aol.com
                  In a message dated 9/1/00 10:20:22 AM Pacific Daylight Time, alaidh@yahoo.com writes:
                  Message 8 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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                    In a message dated 9/1/00 10:20:22 AM Pacific Daylight Time, alaidh@...
                    writes:

                    << certainly, the brigade that tried to
                    take the bridge only made one attempt before informing
                    Prevost that it was not practical without Downies
                    support. >>

                    Fritz... actually Powers and Robinson were both discussed with Prevost's
                    decision not to attempt the crossing. Both officers had served in the
                    Peninsular with Wellington and thought it quite practical.

                    Prevost was by nature an administrator NOT a field officer. His caution held
                    the Canada's together when resources were short in supply but it also
                    hindered Britain's ability to prosecute the war as they became more plentiful.

                    Downie's defeat, while a disappointment should NOT have been a show stopper.
                    Prevost should have pressed the attack. Taken or destroyed the supplies and
                    then retreated in good order back to the comfort of Montreal. It was a missed
                    opportunity. Nothing more. Nothing less.

                    JG/RE
                  • Scott McDonald
                    ... [snip] ... Sorry, I meant Potamac not Patuxent above. Anyway Gordon had to warp his boats upstream. At one point he covered 50 miles in 5 days. The
                    Message 9 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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                      >--- Scott McDonald <raintree@...> wrote:

                      [snip]
                      >> Capt. Gordon who's crews manhandled their ships up
                      >> the Patuxent. On the
                      >> passage back they were contested and at one point
                      >> Gordon had a ship
                      >> purposely list to one side to elevate the deck guns
                      >> to fire at Militia unit
                      >> sheltering on a wooded hill. Cool..
                      >>
                      >> Cheers
                      >> Scott McD.
                      >>
                      >
                      >Um, Alexandria's on the Potomac, across from
                      >Washington Navy Yard. Couldn't have been that hard a
                      >sail if they were building 44's at the yard.
                      >
                      >Fitz


                      Sorry, I meant Potamac not Patuxent above. Anyway Gordon had to 'warp' his
                      boats upstream. At one point he covered 50 miles in 5 days. The Potomac had
                      extensive shoals and oysterbanks. The American frigate President,44 guns,
                      had once come downstream from Washington in 42 days but her guns were taken
                      out in order to float her over the shoals.
                      Gordons squadron:
                      Sea Horse 38 guns
                      Euryalus 36 guns
                      Aetna, Devastation and Meteor bomb ships
                      Erebus rocket ship
                      Anna Maria dispatch boat

                      Cheers
                      Scott McD.
                    • Ed Seufert
                      ... Actually Alexandria lies about 5 miles below the Navy Yard. And I don t believe they ever built 44 s there just 28 s and 36 s. One was on the stocks when
                      Message 10 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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                        --- In WarOf1812@egroups.com, Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@y...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > Um, Alexandria's on the Potomac, across from
                        > Washington Navy Yard. Couldn't have been that hard a
                        > sail if they were building 44's at the yard.
                        >
                        > Fitz
                        >
                        Actually Alexandria lies about 5 miles below the Navy
                        Yard. And I don't believe they ever built 44's there
                        just 28's and 36's. One was on the stocks when the
                        Navy Yard was set on fire.

                        The Americans had removed all navigational signs from
                        the Potomac and Gordon's squadron had to feel its way
                        up to Alaxandria with several ships grounding on the
                        numerous shoals. Grudgingly, the Americans admired
                        this feat of British seamanship.

                        Fort Warburton was blown up by its defenders after a
                        short bombardment but had provided the only American
                        defense.

                        By the time Gordon got to Alexandria, Washington was in
                        flames. The town fathers took one look upriver and threw
                        in the towel. As part of the capitulation terms, Gordon
                        reprovisioned his squadron and added, I think, 14 ships
                        full of captured goods and sailed back down the river.

                        This time the Americans had built batteries along the
                        shoreline. Through several running battles and again
                        the groundings, Gordon got the entire squadron out.
                        Lucky for him, he had the bomb vessels with him and he
                        used them to blast his way through.

                        Incidentally, it is supposed that Gordon is the model
                        of Forrester's Hornblower. Their careers followed the
                        same path and the above scenario matches Hornblowers
                        adventures in the Baltic. Notes on Gordon were found
                        among Forrester's papers.

                        Ed Seufert
                        Royal Marines
                      • mmathews@VAX2.WINONA.MSUS.EDU
                        ... I *think* this is where the Columbia was burned IIRC, and she was rated a 44. Could easily be wrong. Michael Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
                        Message 11 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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                          >--- In WarOf1812@egroups.com, Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@y...> wrote:
                          >>
                          >>
                          >> Um, Alexandria's on the Potomac, across from
                          >> Washington Navy Yard. Couldn't have been that hard a
                          >> sail if they were building 44's at the yard.
                          >>
                          >> Fitz
                          >>
                          >Actually Alexandria lies about 5 miles below the Navy
                          >Yard. And I don't believe they ever built 44's there
                          >just 28's and 36's. One was on the stocks when the
                          >Navy Yard was set on fire.
                          >

                          I *think* this is where the Columbia was burned IIRC, and she was rated a
                          44. Could easily be wrong.

                          Michael

                          Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
                          Voice: (507) 285-7585 Cel: (507) 450-3535 Fax: (507) 280-5568
                          ------------------------------
                          "It find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
                          - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
                        • Fitzhugh MacCrae
                          ... You are correct - the Columbia was a 44. Also present and burned at the time was the New York 36, Boston 32, at least one of the old 28 s, and the Argus
                          Message 12 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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                            --- mmathews@... wrote:
                            > >--- In WarOf1812@egroups.com, Fitzhugh MacCrae
                            > <alaidh@y...> wrote:
                            > >>
                            > >>
                            > >> Um, Alexandria's on the Potomac, across from
                            > >> Washington Navy Yard. Couldn't have been that
                            > hard a
                            > >> sail if they were building 44's at the yard.
                            > >>
                            > >> Fitz
                            > >>
                            > >Actually Alexandria lies about 5 miles below the
                            > Navy
                            > >Yard. And I don't believe they ever built 44's
                            > there
                            > >just 28's and 36's. One was on the stocks when the
                            > >Navy Yard was set on fire.
                            > >
                            >
                            > I *think* this is where the Columbia was burned
                            > IIRC, and she was rated a
                            > 44. Could easily be wrong.
                            >

                            You are correct - the Columbia was a 44. Also present
                            and burned at the time was the New York 36, Boston 32,
                            at least one of the old 28's, and the Argus II, 18.

                            Fitz


                            =====
                            Founder, Pagan Liberation Antique Twinkies Collectors Front and Marching Chorale

                            "Fluff Bunnies - The OTHER White Meat"

                            "Come back, Guy Faulkes - all's forgiven. We'll leave a light on in the Capitol basement for you. . . ."

                            __________________________________________________
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                          • mmathews@VAX2.WINONA.MSUS.EDU
                            ... The old 28 would be the Adams. Michael Michael Mathews -- Winona State University Voice: (507) 285-7585 Cel: (507) 450-3535 Fax: (507) 280-5568 ... It
                            Message 13 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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                              >You are correct - the Columbia was a 44. Also present
                              >and burned at the time was the New York 36, Boston 32,
                              >at least one of the old 28's, and the Argus II, 18.

                              The old 28 would be the Adams.

                              Michael

                              Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
                              Voice: (507) 285-7585 Cel: (507) 450-3535 Fax: (507) 280-5568
                              ------------------------------
                              "It find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
                              - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
                            • Rob Taylor
                              ... . Without the support of Downie s squadron to provide defellade fire support, it would have been a slaughter. Fitz these men had been under more intense
                              Message 14 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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                                --- Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@...> wrote:
                                . Without the support of Downie's squadron to provide
                                defellade fire support, it would have been a
                                slaughter.

                                Fitz these men had been under more intense fire than
                                this in Europe, thyey would over came the artillery
                                and pushed on.

                                --- Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@...> wrote:
                                "...and every victory is followed by a retreat..."

                                Not all, but in some cases it would be best if they
                                withdrew, as is the case here. Had they moved forward.

                                --- Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@...> wrote:

                                now picture the result of trying to get even the same
                                number of troops across that bridhe in column, with an
                                even greater4 nummber of guns zeroed in on it. Macomb
                                was an artillery officer originally,


                                Are you saying because these guns were aimed at the
                                bridge, and Macomb was an artillery officer, that was
                                reason to pack up and go home. I think not. They
                                should have presed on by what ever way was best for
                                them. They would have taken Plattsburgh no doubt. Then
                                they would have had to retreat.






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                              • Col Sjt Jones
                                ... The British first-rate St. Lawrence was in commission on Lake Ontario in Oct. 1814. Wolfe and Canada were in frame. Doug Jones
                                Message 15 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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                                  --- In WarOf1812@egroups.com, Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@y...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > --- mmathews@V... wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > >Hear, hear. The toadie Americans could only put
                                  > > out privateers and
                                  > > >pirates.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Any particular reason why american privateers were
                                  > pirates and British and Canadian privateers were not??
                                  > Halifax produced some very successful privateers in
                                  > both the AWI and 1812, you know.
                                  > It would be very sad if the only account of Canadian
                                  > privateers was the lyrics to "Barrett's Privateers" -
                                  > does some very brave men no service.
                                  > >
                                  > > Kind of a shame too. There were plenty of ships 'o
                                  > > the line building, and
                                  > > easily *could* have been ready for the war. In 1815
                                  > > a lot of ships were
                                  > > finally completed, all too late to have any effect.
                                  > > But didn't both sides
                                  > > have a massive SOL on Lake Ontario? Something in
                                  > > the nature of a 100
                                  > > gunner?
                                  >
                                  > Yeo had a 112 gun ship building (among others), the
                                  > Americans had a 120 building (among others). While
                                  > Roosevelt states that the New Orleans was a 74,
                                  > Chappelle gives the dimensions and guns carried, and
                                  > clearly shows that it was much bigger. A photo of the
                                  > hulk of the New Orleans up on blocks in thye early
                                  > 1880's exists - if you like, I can send you a jpg of
                                  > it back-channel.
                                  >
                                  > Fitz
                                  >

                                  The British first-rate St. Lawrence was in commission on Lake Ontario
                                  in Oct. 1814. Wolfe and Canada were in frame.

                                  Doug Jones
                                  >
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                                • Fitzhugh MacCrae
                                  ... The Saranac Bridge used to be the longest uncovered bridge in New York, 212 feet long by 18 feet wide. assuming they packed it shouolder to shoulder, each
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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                                    --- Rob Taylor <niagara_falls_98@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > --- Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@...> wrote:
                                    > . Without the support of Downie's squadron to
                                    > provide
                                    > defellade fire support, it would have been a
                                    > slaughter.
                                    >
                                    > Fitz these men had been under more intense fire than
                                    > this in Europe, thyey would over came the artillery
                                    > and pushed on.

                                    The Saranac Bridge used to be the longest uncovered
                                    bridge in New York, 212 feet long by 18 feet wide.
                                    assuming they packed it shouolder to shoulder, each
                                    rank is only 6 men wide. The bridge is being raked by
                                    heavy cannonfire (figure one round per 90 seconds for
                                    a 24 pdr, use that as an average as the heavy guns
                                    included both 32's and 18's as well as 24's) My map
                                    (photocopy of the one at West Point) shows 19 heavy
                                    guns that can bear within an arc of 30 degrees,
                                    centered on the bridge. All 19 guns are within 500
                                    yards of the south end of the bridge. This works out
                                    as one heavy shot hitting a tightly packed column of
                                    men from the one angle that will cause the most
                                    casualties about every 5 seconds.
                                    The math is simple - the bridge is a deathtrap. Since
                                    it was made of wood and all military stores had
                                    already moved south of the river, one cannot but
                                    assume that the bridge was left up for a good
                                    reason.Powers isn't going to get across with any
                                    substantial forces there.
                                    Lets go over to Robinson's brigade.
                                    Once Robinson pushes aside the 4000 or so militia in
                                    the woods (do-able) he comes out on the flats on the
                                    south side of the river.
                                    So far, so good.
                                    Now he has to assault uphill across about 350 yards of
                                    open terrain to reach what appears to be the main
                                    American line - 6 redoubts and small forts on the
                                    ridge crest, each one within comfortable range of the
                                    next.
                                    Back a little on the reverse slope (I make it an
                                    average of 30 yards) are the earthworks, connecting
                                    each strong point. The six strongpoints have a total
                                    of 31 heavy guns, including three 18 pdr columbiad
                                    shell guns. The earthworks connecting them contain 17
                                    field guns, probably mostly 6's, with a scattering of
                                    12's. The defense line is held by mostly regulars.
                                    Assume that most of the heavy guns are distracted by
                                    Powers doing a sacrifice play at the bridge, and thus
                                    19 guns do not fire at Robinson's brigade at all
                                    during their approach.
                                    That means 13 heavy guns are able to shoot at Robinson
                                    from anywhere from about 1000 yards out to 30 yards,
                                    with the fire from the fieldguns masked due to the
                                    military crest being in the way.
                                    Keep in mind that the earthworks that connected the
                                    strongpoints are not visible from the British line of
                                    sight, because they are back on the reverse slope.
                                    Assume powers's sacrifice is not for naught, and two
                                    thirds of Robinson's brigade actually makes it up to
                                    the crest....
                                    Where they discover that they are standing 30 yards in
                                    front of earthworks manned by a brigade of regulars,
                                    with lots of field guns loaded with cannister.
                                    The smart ones will put themselves on the north side
                                    of that crest as fast as they can.
                                    Unfortunately, they are in a prime position to take
                                    heavy flanking fire from the nearest strongpoints
                                    there.
                                    Assumingt that Prevost was smart enough to support
                                    Robinson (and this takes a great stretch of
                                    imagination), they might eventually bull their way
                                    throughh the line somewhere. Of course, they have to
                                    take each and every redoubt, or anyone who bulled
                                    through is caught in a crossfire....
                                    Assume that they do, at the usual butcher's bill for
                                    that kind of fighting (assume Prevost is a genius and
                                    the follow-on brigade is bring scaling ladders so that
                                    they can storm the redoubts - and if you get that far,
                                    write me back channel with the name of your pusher,
                                    'cause he has some really good s__t).
                                    Assume all of the above - the British break the line,
                                    take all of the redoubts, burn the supplies, and march
                                    home claiming a victory.

                                    A few more victories like that, and we could have
                                    moved the new US capital to Montreal!!
                                    When Robinson and Powers said that the direct attack
                                    approach was practical, they were playing the same
                                    time-honoured game of all sub-commanders ever since
                                    Ugghh the Neanderthal took some of his buddies and
                                    tried to run those upstart Cro-Magnon out of the
                                    neighborhood.
                                    "We coulda done it if the Boss hadn't
                                    yaddayaddayadda".
                                    This is called CYA, and it is an ancient military
                                    tradition. Even Elting said that Robinson was talking
                                    for posterity, not reality.



                                    "...and every victory is followed by a retreat..."

                                    Fitz


                                    =====
                                    Founder, Pagan Liberation Antique Twinkies Collectors Front and Marching Chorale

                                    "Fluff Bunnies - The OTHER White Meat"

                                    "Come back, Guy Faulkes - all's forgiven. We'll leave a light on in the Capitol basement for you. . . ."

                                    __________________________________________________
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                                  • Rob Taylor
                                    ... 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
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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                                      --- 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

                                      Rob Taylor
                                      >
                                      > --- Rob Taylor <niagara_falls_98@...> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > --- Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@...> wrote:
                                      > > . Without the support of Downie's squadron to
                                      > > provide
                                      > > defellade fire support, it would have been a
                                      > > slaughter.
                                      > >
                                      > > Fitz these men had been under more intense fire
                                      > than
                                      > > this in Europe, thyey would over came the
                                      > artillery
                                      > > and pushed on.
                                      >
                                      > The Saranac Bridge used to be the longest uncovered
                                      > bridge in New York, 212 feet long by 18 feet wide.
                                      > assuming they packed it shouolder to shoulder, each
                                      > rank is only 6 men wide. The bridge is being raked
                                      > by
                                      > heavy cannonfire (figure one round per 90 seconds
                                      > for
                                      > a 24 pdr, use that as an average as the heavy guns
                                      > included both 32's and 18's as well as 24's) My map
                                      > (photocopy of the one at West Point) shows 19 heavy
                                      > guns that can bear within an arc of 30 degrees,
                                      > centered on the bridge. All 19 guns are within 500
                                      > yards of the south end of the bridge. This works out
                                      > as one heavy shot hitting a tightly packed column
                                      > of
                                      > men from the one angle that will cause the most
                                      > casualties about every 5 seconds.
                                      > The math is simple - the bridge is a deathtrap.
                                      > Since
                                      > it was made of wood and all military stores had
                                      > already moved south of the river, one cannot but
                                      > assume that the bridge was left up for a good
                                      > reason.Powers isn't going to get across with any
                                      > substantial forces there.
                                      > Lets go over to Robinson's brigade.
                                      > Once Robinson pushes aside the 4000 or so militia in
                                      > the woods (do-able) he comes out on the flats on the
                                      > south side of the river.
                                      > So far, so good.
                                      > Now he has to assault uphill across about 350 yards
                                      > of
                                      > open terrain to reach what appears to be the main
                                      > American line - 6 redoubts and small forts on the
                                      > ridge crest, each one within comfortable range of
                                      > the
                                      > next.
                                      > Back a little on the reverse slope (I make it an
                                      > average of 30 yards) are the earthworks, connecting
                                      > each strong point. The six strongpoints have a total
                                      > of 31 heavy guns, including three 18 pdr columbiad
                                      > shell guns. The earthworks connecting them contain
                                      > 17
                                      > field guns, probably mostly 6's, with a scattering
                                      > of
                                      > 12's. The defense line is held by mostly regulars.
                                      > Assume that most of the heavy guns are distracted by
                                      >
                                      > Powers doing a sacrifice play at the bridge, and
                                      > thus
                                      > 19 guns do not fire at Robinson's brigade at all
                                      > during their approach.
                                      > That means 13 heavy guns are able to shoot at
                                      > Robinson
                                      > from anywhere from about 1000 yards out to 30 yards,
                                      > with the fire from the fieldguns masked due to the
                                      > military crest being in the way.
                                      > Keep in mind that the earthworks that connected the
                                      > strongpoints are not visible from the British line
                                      > of
                                      > sight, because they are back on the reverse slope.
                                      > Assume powers's sacrifice is not for naught, and two
                                      > thirds of Robinson's brigade actually makes it up to
                                      > the crest....
                                      > Where they discover that they are standing 30 yards
                                      > in
                                      > front of earthworks manned by a brigade of regulars,
                                      > with lots of field guns loaded with cannister.
                                      > The smart ones will put themselves on the north side
                                      > of that crest as fast as they can.
                                      > Unfortunately, they are in a prime position to take
                                      > heavy flanking fire from the nearest strongpoints
                                      > there.
                                      > Assumingt that Prevost was smart enough to support
                                      > Robinson (and this takes a great stretch of
                                      > imagination), they might eventually bull their way
                                      > throughh the line somewhere. Of course, they have to
                                      > take each and every redoubt, or anyone who bulled
                                      > through is caught in a crossfire....
                                      > Assume that they do, at the usual butcher's bill for
                                      > that kind of fighting (assume Prevost is a genius
                                      > and
                                      > the follow-on brigade is bring scaling ladders so
                                      > that
                                      > they can storm the redoubts - and if you get that
                                      > far,
                                      > write me back channel with the name of your pusher,
                                      > 'cause he has some really good s__t).
                                      > Assume all of the above - the British break the
                                      > line,
                                      > take all of the redoubts, burn the supplies, and
                                      > march
                                      > home claiming a victory.
                                      >
                                      > A few more victories like that, and we could have
                                      > moved the new US capital to Montreal!!
                                      > When Robinson and Powers said that the direct attack
                                      > approach was practical, they were playing the same
                                      > time-honoured game of all sub-commanders ever since
                                      > Ugghh the Neanderthal took some of his buddies and
                                      > tried to run those upstart Cro-Magnon out of the
                                      > neighborhood.
                                      > "We coulda done it if the Boss hadn't
                                      > yaddayaddayadda".
                                      > This is called CYA, and it is an ancient military
                                      > tradition. Even Elting said that Robinson was
                                      > talking
                                      > for posterity, not reality.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > "...and every victory is followed by a retreat..."
                                      >
                                      > Fitz
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > =====
                                      > Founder, Pagan Liberation Antique Twinkies
                                      > Collectors Front and Marching Chorale
                                      >
                                      > "Fluff Bunnies - The OTHER White Meat"
                                      >
                                      > "Come back, Guy Faulkes - all's forgiven. We'll
                                      > leave a light on in the Capitol basement for you. .
                                      > . ."
                                      >
                                      > __________________________________________________
                                      > Do You Yahoo!?
                                      > Yahoo! Mail - Free email you can access from
                                      > anywhere!
                                      > http://mail.yahoo.com/
                                      >


                                      __________________________________________________
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                                    • Fitzhugh MacCrae
                                      ... 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
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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                                        --- 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

                                        =====
                                        Founder, Pagan Liberation Antique Twinkies Collectors Front and Marching Chorale

                                        "Fluff Bunnies - The OTHER White Meat"

                                        "Come back, Guy Faulkes - all's forgiven. We'll leave a light on in the Capitol basement for you. . . ."

                                        __________________________________________________
                                        Do You Yahoo!?
                                        Yahoo! Mail - Free email you can access from anywhere!
                                        http://mail.yahoo.com/
                                      • easeufe@aol.com
                                        In a message dated 9/1/00 2:43:49 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... My apologies. You were right Mike. The Columbia was a 44 and was being built when she was
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Sep 1, 2000
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                                          In a message dated 9/1/00 2:43:49 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                                          mmathews@... writes:

                                          > I *think* this is where the Columbia was burned IIRC, and she was rated a
                                          > 44. Could easily be wrong.
                                          >
                                          My apologies. You were right Mike. The Columbia was a 44 and was
                                          being built when she was burned. She was waiting her copper and upper
                                          works to be finished.

                                          Ed Seufert, LCpl
                                          1812 Royal Marines
                                        • Rob Taylor
                                          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
                                          Message 20 of 25 , 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
                                            >
                                            > =====
                                            > Founder, Pagan Liberation Antique Twinkies
                                            > Collectors Front and Marching Chorale
                                            >
                                            > "Fluff Bunnies - The OTHER White Meat"
                                            >
                                            > "Come back, Guy Faulkes - all's forgiven. We'll
                                            > leave a light on in the Capitol basement for you. .
                                            > . ."
                                            >
                                            > __________________________________________________
                                            > Do You Yahoo!?
                                            > Yahoo! Mail - Free email you can access from
                                            > anywhere!
                                            > http://mail.yahoo.com/
                                            >


                                            __________________________________________________
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                                            Yahoo! Mail - Free email you can access from anywhere!
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                                          • Dave Hill
                                            ... Hear, hear. The toadie Americans could only put out privateers and pirates. Having recently returned from holidays and spent almost a week catching up on
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Sep 6, 2000
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                                              --- In WarOf1812@egroups.com, mmathews@V... wrote:

                                              Hear, hear. The toadie Americans could only put out privateers and
                                              pirates.


                                              Having recently returned from holidays and spent almost a week
                                              catching up on the various discussions (over 500 messages), I would
                                              like to comment on one discussion.

                                              It seems to be generally accepted that the U.S. Navy had little
                                              difficulty gaining recruits. It would appear that the Navy had
                                              difficulty competing with the Army which was offering bounties that
                                              eventually reached $124.00 and 320 acres of land. It appears that
                                              even experienced sailors joined the Army for the bounty. The Navy had
                                              even more difficulty recruiting for the lake squadrons and the
                                              gunboat flotillas. The Navy didn't start paying bounties until
                                              1814.

                                              The major competition for men was from privateers. The cruises were
                                              much shorter (two or three months as compared to a one year
                                              enlistment in the Navy) and the pay was potentially much higher. Two
                                              examples are, the Yankee out of Bristol RI which captured eight ships
                                              worth $300,000.00, and the Rossie out of Baltimore (Capt. Joshua
                                              Barney)which captured eighteen vessels worth close to $1,500,000,00.
                                              On the negative side is the fact that the RN captured about 150
                                              privateers in the first eight months of the war. The U.S. Navy
                                              captured about 50 merchant ships during the war, while in the first
                                              six months privateers captured about 450 ships.
                                              Privateers didn't fight other privateers or warships if it could
                                              be avoided. They were in the business for profit not glory.

                                              Dave.
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