Battle at Queenston: Connecticut Courant, November 3, 1812, page 1
Battle at Queenston.
Extract of a letter from a Young Gentleman at Canandaigua to his father in this city, dated October 17th.
"Supposing your anxiety to know some of the particulars of the battle and defeat of our troops at Queenston to be great, I take advantage of the present opportunity to communicate what I saw and collected at the time.
"Called by some business with the officer on the lines, I arrived at Lewiston, (the place from which our troops embarked) at the moment the attack began. Our men to the number of five hundred, headed by Solomon Van Rensselaer, in thirteen boats, crossed to the Canada side. They were fired upon by the British and Indians, who were undoubtedly aware of our intention. As soon as they arrived within gun shot, the cry was "pull away boys!" and in a few moments our boats struck the shore. Here the battle began on our side, and a dreadful conflict ensued. We beat them back up the very high mount (at the foot of which our men landed ) at the point of the bayonet. Nothing could exceed the valor and bravery of our officers and men. The brave leader, Col. Van Rensselaer, was wounded early in the action (though not dangerously) in three places. Having possession of the height, and planted our flag on the redoubt built on the hill an extacy of joy seemed to pervade our ranks: all hands were anxious to cross the river, and did as fast as the small number of boats would allow. About eight hundred had crossed as a reinforcement, when the British who had rallied returned to the charge.
"The commencement of a second battle and the sight of a considerable number of dead and mangled bodies, which were brought to our shore in the return boats, caused a depression of mind on this side, which could not be effaced. Though our troops were again completely victorious, (under Gen. Wadsworth, who had taken the command) one could be got to cross, and many were constantly deserting. Gen. W. came upon the brow of the hill, and urged our men (we could talk across the river) to turn out and support what had been so gloriously won. But the sight of another reinforcement of red coats, who marched directly within our view, decided their fears. The panic became universal, and the loss of our brave fellows clearly foreseen.
The third and last battle was one of the most desperate and severe that ever occurred. Our men, though outflanked and almost surrounded, fought in the most resolute manner for about an hour and a half. they were driven to the edge of the hill which was nearest the water, and were compelled (as we suppose) to surrender at discretion.
"Our loss, as near as I can judge, must have been about 1200 men in killed, wounded, and taken prisoners. Among the number was G. H. Boughton, who, as an ensign in an independant company, was called into service. All the militia was to be paroled and sent home. I could not learn that any officers of distinction on our side were killed, though many were wounded; among whom were Lt. Col. Christie, of New York; Major Spencer of this county, and aid to Gen. Wadsworth, Colonel Bloom &c. &c. General W. had a ball pass through his coat. From the peculiar situation of the ground, those on this side had a fair view of the principal part of the whole transaction, without being in material danger.