PROCTOR ARRIVES AT MALDEN.
on hearing that a proposed attack on the Niagara frontier had not been made, and that troops from that quarter were moving westward, suddenly abandoned the enterprise, and with most of his army, on the night of the 7th of August, returned to Detroit, having effected nothing except the destruction of all confidence in himself, on the part of the Whole force under his control, officers and privates.
Meanwhile, upon the 29th of July, Colonel Proctor had reached Maiden, and perceiving instantly the power which the position of that post gave him over the supplies of the army of the United States, he commenced a series of operations, the object of which was to cut off the communications of Hull with Ohio, and thus not merely neutralize all active operations on his part, but starve him into surrender, or force him to detail his whole army, in order to keep open his way to the only point from which supplies could reach him. A proper force on Lake Erie, or the capture of Maiden, would have prevented this annoying and fatal mode of warfare, but tbe imbecility of the government, and that of the general, combined to favor the plans of Proctor.*
Having by his measures stopped the stores on their way to Detroit, at the river Raisin, he next defeated the insufficient band of two hundred men under Van Horn, sent by Hull to escort them; and so far withstood that of five hundred under Miller, as to cause Hull to recall the remnant of that victorious and gallant band, though it had completely routed the British and Indians. By these means, Proctor amused the Americans until General Brock reached Maiden, which he did upon the 13th of August, and prepared to attempt the conquest of Detroit itself.
And here again occurred a most singular want of skill on the part of the Americans. In order to prevent the forces in Upper Canada from being combined against Hull, General Dearborn had been ordered to make a diversion in his favor at Niagara and Kingston, but in place of doing this, he made an armistice with the British commanders, which enabled them to turn their attention entirely to the more distant West, and left Hull to shift for himself.
On the 14th of August, therefore, while a third party, under M'Arthur, was dispatched by Hull to open his communications with the river Raisin, though by a new and impracticable road,
*Sco Hull's Defense, 42 to 71. Hull's Proclamation in Brown's History of Illinois.