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Battle at Bridgewater, near Niagara Falls: Plattsburgh Republican, August 13, 1812, page 1–2

From the Buffalo Gazette Extra, July 28

Battle of Bridgewater, near Niagara Falls.

On the 25th inst. the army under the command of Major-General Brown, encamped above Chippawa, near the battle ground of the 5th. At 3 P. M. information was received that the enemy had thrown a body of troops across the Niagara, at the 5 mile meadows; but our commanding General was not diverted by this movement; the 1st brigade, under brig. gen. Scott, moved past Chippawa, and halted at Bridgewater, a mile below Chippawa, in plain view of Niagara falls: Gen. S. learnt that the enemy, under gen. Riall, was approaching him: Battle was immediately given the enemy, near Mrs. Wilson's, at half past 4 P. M. their cannon were planted about 200 rods from this position, on an eminence. The enemy's numerical force was much superior to gen. Scott's; his line was far extended and he showed a disposition to flank; in order to counteract these views of Gen. Riall, he was fought in detachments—he was charged in column; General Scott being at the head of his troops in almost every charge. Captain Towson, with his company of artillery, attached to Scott's brigade, kept up his fire with great vigor and effect. The action was continued, & the ground maintained by Gen. Scott, for more than an hour, before the reserve under Gen. Ripley, and the Volunteers under Gen. Porter, were successfully bro't into action.

The ground was obstinately contested until past 9 o'clock, in the evening, when Gen. Brown, perceiving that the enemy's artillery was most destructive, decided to storm the battery. Col. Miller, the hero of Magagua, was ordered on this enterprize; he approached the enemy's cannon with a quick step, and delivered his fire within a few paces of the enemy's line; who after receiving two or 3 rounds, and a vigorous charge, retired to the bottom of the hill, and abandoned his cannon.----Only one piece was brought off the field for want of horses. The enemy now gave way and retreated; they were followed some distance. Our army was now employed in securing the prisoners, and bringing off the wounded.

The cessation, however, was short, lieutenant gen. Drummond is supposed to have arrived at this interval with a reinforcement. The enemy renewed the action, while our troops were busily employed in clearing the ground of the wounded; but the gallant Americans formed with alacrity, and after a close engagement of 20 minutes the enemy were repulsed. The army now effected a removal of nearly, if not all, of the wounded, and retired from the battle ground, it being nearly 12 o'clock at night; they returned to their encampment in good order.—On the morning of the 26th, our forces under generals Ripley and Porter, reconnoitered the enemy near the battle ground, returned, and burnt the Bridgewater mills, and all the enemy's barracks and the bridge at Chippawa, and passed up the river to Fort Erie, where they made a stand.

The enemy's force engaged must have been nearly 5000—ours short of that number. Maj. gen. Riall, was wounded, and taken in the rear of his army, by captain Ketchum, together with one of his aids, the other being killed.——————It would be impossible to put the action of the 25th on paper. Considering the numbers engaged, the history of modern wars will scarcely produce a parallel. The admiration of this nation will follow those who fought, those who bled, and those who fell—to their graves; their names will justly be added to the brilliant catalogue of worthies, the heroes of the revolution; and the battle of Bridgewater, will be remembered with the same sensations as those of Bunker Hill and Saratoga.

Major General Brown was severely wounded in the thigh. (Besides a contusion on his body.) in the hottest of the action, but continued to command until the enemy retreated. Brig. gen. Scott, was also wounded by a grape in the shoulder, besides a severe bruise occasioned by a shell or cannon shot, having lost two horses killed. Colonel Brady, 22d Infantry, Majors Jessup, 25th, Leavenworth, 9th, M'Neil, 11th, brigade Major Smith, Lts. Campbell, Smouek, act. Lieut. Worth, aid to gen. Scott, Lt. Gamp, 11th, together with many others whose names we have not learnt, were wounded, some badly.

The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded, was rising 800, exclusive of 200 regulars and 20 officers, prisoners. Our loss in killed, wounded and missing, is from 6 to 700. Maj. M'Farland, 23d, Caption. Richie, act. Captains Kinney and Goodrich, Lt. Bigelow, inf. and several other officers, killed; Caption. Spencer, aid to Maj. Gen. Brown, supposed to be mortally wounded; Maj. Stanton, of N.Y.V. Adj. Pew. Pa. V. killed; Major Camp of the Staff, lost two horses on the filed, but escaped a wound. The 9th, 11th, & 24th suffered severely.

The enemy's troops who made a dash at Lewiston, drove away the guard under Col. Swift, took a small quantity of baggage, and the effects of several sutlers, of the volunteers, and recrossed the river.

[Public Domain mark] Copyright/Licence: This work was published in 1922 or earlier. It has therefore entered the public domain in the United States.