xt7n5t3fz53h https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7n5t3fz53h/data/mets.xml Clarke, James Freeman, 1810-1888. 1912  books b92-200-30751887 English George H. Ellis, : Boston : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Hull, William, 1753-1825. Michigan History To 1837 Detroit (Mich.) History Surrender to the British, 1812. William Hull and the surrender of Detroit  : a biographical sketch taken, with a few omissions, from the volume "Memorial and biographical sketches" / by James Freeman Clarke ; together with extracts from letters from the appendix in the volume "General Hull's  military and civil life." text William Hull and the surrender of Detroit  : a biographical sketch taken, with a few omissions, from the volume "Memorial and biographical sketches" / by James Freeman Clarke ; together with extracts from letters from the appendix in the volume "General Hull's  military and civil life." 1912 2002 true xt7n5t3fz53h section xt7n5t3fz53h 



WILLIAM HULL

        AND

THE SURRENDER OF DETROIT

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      WILLIAM HULL


                      AND


THE SURRENDER OF DETROIT



      A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH


TAKEN, \WITIH A FEW OMISSIONS, FROM THIN VOLUME 'MEMORIAL
         AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES"


                   BY

        JAMES FREEMAN CLARKE



TOGETHER WITH E.XcTRACTS FRONT LETTERS FROMU THE APPENDIX IN THE
     VOLUME 'GENERAL HULL'S MILITARY AND CIVIL LIFE"















                   BOSTON
             FRESS OF CEO. H. ELLIS CO.
                     1912

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                      FOREWORD



  I have in my possession two notes from John Fiske, the
historian, from which I take the following extracts:-

  Dear Mr. C ,-I am glad that you will write the article on
General Hull, and do something in behalf of a sorely abused man. I,
too, intend to do something in the same way when I come to him in
my history, and I shall be especially glad to read your article.
AUGUST 25, I586.

  To another correspondent
                                             JANUARY 19, I893.
  Pray accept my sincere thanks for the copy of "Life of General
Hull," which I shall prize most highly. I look forward to treating
of the War of i812, and it has long been one of my cherished pur-
poses to do full justice to the memory of General Hull.

  John Fiske did not live to write the history of the War
of i8I2, but in two of his short histories, intended for
schools and for young people, he makes a brief mention of
the surrender of Detroit. In his "History of the United
States for Schools" are these words:-

It has since been made clear that Hull, a man whose bravery and
integrity were unimpeachable, acted with sound military judgment
and deserved no blame.

 


4



  In the still shorter history, "How the United States
became a Nation," is the following passage:-

  Subsequent research has shown that the verdict was grossly
unjust, and the reputation of this brave but unfortunate man is
now redeemed.

  W. C. Bryant, in his "History of the United States,"
gives a fair and accurate account of the surrender (vol. iv.
pp. i87-190). In a footnote on page i90 he says:-

  Much of the obloquy which has been heaped upon him tHu1ll
is probably due to Lewis Cass, who hastened to Washington with
the first news, and gave it a coloring largely supplied iy his imagina-
tion. [General Hull was at this time a prisoner of war in Canada.]
Cass's letters before and after the surrender flatly contradict each
other as to the state of affairs at Detroit.

  The facts, briefly stated, are these: General Hull, who
had lived for some years at Detroit as governor of the
Territory of Michigan, had warned the government at
Washington of the absolute necessity of a fleet on Lake
Erie, telling them that Detroit, a very important post,
would inevitably fall into the hands of whichever party
held possession of the lake, and that, unless his advice were
followed, it would, in case of war, fall into the hands of the
enemy. The government promised that it would heed
this advice, and also that, if General Hull consented to
receive the command of the army at Detroit, a remote out-
post at that time, he should receive full support from the
government. Neither of these promises was kept.
  General Hull was very eager for the court-martial, hav-
ing the simplicity to expect that his innocence would be

 

5



fully established. But the verdict was a foregone con-
clusion.
   Mladison was at this time looking for re-election, and it
 was all-important to him to find a scapegoat for the in-
 efficiency of his administration. Dearborn, the man who
 of all others had a personal interest in the condemnation
 of Hull, was made president of the court-martial. Those
 witnesses who, under the influence of Cass, testified against
 Hull were all rewarded with promotion in the army,
 though many of them had never seen a battle. Those who
 testified in his favor received no promotion.
   (Gneral Hull's own papers, containing his correspondence
with the government, which would have helped to exon-
erate him, had been burned with the vessel in which they
were sent from Detroit to Buffalo. After the trial he re-
peatedly asked for copies of these letters, but was refused.
It was twelve years before he at last obtained them from
John C. Calhoun. He then wrote a series of letters in the
Boston Statesmian, which entirely changed the feeling toward
him. Letters and testimonials came to him from every
part of the country, and a dinner was given to him in
I3oston, and another in his native town, Derby, Conn.
  Unfortunately, during the twelve years that General
Hull was unable to obtain copies of the papers from Wash-
ington, the garbled accounts of the surrender had gone into
print, and few persons care to look up facts or to change
a preconcelveel opinion.
  Any one who desires a little fuller information on this
subject will find it in the volume, " General Hull's Military
and Civil Life," which may be procured from the Public
Library in Boston and at the Boston Athenaeum. In the

 

                          6

appendix are interesting letters received by General Hull
at the time he wrote his papers in the Boston Statesman.
Those who had been his companions-in-arms during the
Revolution all testified to his gallant conduct during that
war.


  The biographical sketch of General Hull is taken, with
a few omissions for brevity, from the volume, "Memorial
and Biographical Sketches," by James Freeman Clarke;
the extracts from letters at the end, from the appendix in
the volume, " General Hull's Military and Cvil Life."
                                               L. F. C.


 








WILLIAM HULL



  Among the beautiful situations which abound in the
vicinity of Boston, that in Newton, lately occupied as the
residence of Governor Claflin, is very attractive. The
house stands on an elevation above an extensive lawn,
through which winds a large brook, and where groups of
graceful elms throw their shadows along the soft grass in
the summer afternoons. In my childhood this was the
home of my grandfather, William Hull, and one to which
all of the grandchildren loved to go. He had been an
officer in the American army during the whole Revolution,
and had known Washington, Lafayette, and other leaders;
had been for some years governor of Michigan Territory,
and could tell numerous anecdotes of his early days, to
entertain the children who collected around his hospitable
hearth. He would narrate to us stories of the sufferings
and exploits of the Revolutionary troops; of the terrors of
the French Revolution which he saw in Paris in 1798; and
wild Indians among whom he lived in Michigan. A kind
and genial old man, disposed to be a friend to every one,
his house was a rendezvous for many sorts of people, who
made themselves at home in its parlors or its kitchen.
After a youth of adventure and a manhood which had
brought many distinctions and honors, his age had been

 

IS



clouded by unmerited disgrace. Put in a position of com-
mand where success was impossible, deserted by his gov-
ernment and betrayed by his colleagues, he had been made
the scapegoat of a blundering administration and of other
commanders who knew how to throw on him the blame of
their own mistakes. But his sweet temper remained un-
imbittered by this ill-treatment. He was always cheerful.
He was never heard to complain, and was sure that his
character would be finally vindicated. And thus he spent
his last peaceful years in the pursuits of agriculture, on the
farm which his wife had inherited from her ancestors and
which supplied the modest expenses of his household.
  William Hull was born in Derby, Connecticut, in I753.
His eldest brother, the father of Isaac Hull, who com-
manded the frigate "Constitution" in its battle with the
"Guerrire," became, like William, an officer in the Revo-
lutionary army.
  William Hull, the fourth son, graduated at Yale College
with honors; afterward entered Law School at Litchfield,
Connecticut, and was admitted to the bar in I775.
  When the news of the battle of Lexington reached Derby,
a company of soldiers was raised there, and William Hull
was chosen their captain, very unexpectedly to himself.
But, full of the enthusiasm of the hour, he at once accepted
the appointment, and, joining Colonel Webb's regiment, of
which his company made a part, marched to Cambridge
to join the army of Washington. His father dying at this
time, he resigned his share of the inheritance, saying, "I
want only my sword and my uniform." From that time
till the end of the American war he continued in the army,
being present in many of the most important operations

 
9



and engagements, such as Dorchester Heights, White
Plains, Trenton, Princeton, Ticonderoga, the surrender of
Burgoyne, Fort Stanwix, Monmouth, Stony Point, and
Morrisania. Ile was inspector under Baron Steuben.
lieutenant-colonel in 1779, and commanded the escort of
Washington when he bade farewell to the army.
  His commander, Colonel Brooks (afterward governor
of Massachusetts), wrote a letter in i8i4., in which he says:
"In September, 1776, at White Plains, General Hull (then
captain) acted under my immediate orders, and was de-
tached from the line to oppose a body of Light Infantry
and Ytagers advancing on the left flank of the American
army. His orders were executed with promptitude, gal-
lantry, and effect. Though more than double his number,
the enemy was compelled to retreat, and the left of the
American line enabled to pass the Bronx."
  He was then hardly more than a boy, twenty-three years
ol0(, fresh from college and the study of law.... This was
the first time that he had stood with his regiment to see
a British army marching to attack them, and his MSS.
glow for a moment with the admiration he felt as a young
soldier for the splendid military equipments and discipline
of the enemy. He speaks of " the magnificent appearance
of the British troops, of the glitter of their polished arms
under the bright autumnal sun, of their rich uniforms and
equipage. So the boy captain stood with his poorly dressed
provincials to receive the volley of grape and chain shot
from the advancing foe, looking down on them from Chat-
terton's Hill, till he was called to lead the body which was
to oppose the force trying to turn the American left. All
he says of this is, " It was promptly done, with much order

 

IO



and regularity; and, after a sharp conflict, the object was
completely attained"; merely adding that "his regiment
had the honor of receiving the personal thanks of Wash-
ington after the engagement."
  The next little touch of reality which breaks out from
his memoir is concerning the fatigues of the soldiers at Tren-
ton and Princeton. He was one of those commanders who
made the sufferings of his soldiers his own. On leaving
the Highlands of New York to join General Washington
in Pennsylvania, he says he found that his company, then
reduced to fifty men, had only one poor blanket to two
men; many had no shoes or stockings; those which were
in the company were nearly worn out; their clothes were
wretched; they had not been paid, yet they were patient,
patriotic, and willing to serve on without compensation.
During their march they slept on the cold ground, though
it was December, and that without covering. It was a
bitterly cold Christmas night when Washington crossed
the Delaware to Trenton. There was a driving storm
of snow and sleet, and the ice was running in the river.
The storm continued all night, and, when the troops were
halted, they were so fatigued that they fell asleep as they
stood in their ranks, and could with difficulty be awakened.
In the action which followed, Captain Hull acted as lieu-
tenant-colonel. As soon as the battle had been fought and
won, the army marched back with their prisoners and the
artillery and military stores they had taken. Nearly all
that night was spent in recrossing the Delaware. After
gaining the other side, our young captain marched his
troops to a farmer's house to get them some refreshment
and rest. "After my men had been accommodated,"

 

I I



savs he, "I went into a room where a number of officers
were sitting around a table, with a large dish of hasty
pudding in its centre. I sat down, procured a spoon. and
began to eat. While eating I fell from mn chair to the
floor, overcome with sleep; and in the morning, when I
awoke, the spoon was fast clinched in my hand." Happy
days of youth, when no hardship nor fatigue can prevent
blessed sleep from coming to seal up the eye and give rest
to the brain!
  The waking of the boy soldier from this sleep on the
floor was followed two days after by an agreeable incident.
Washington, whose eye w,-as everywhere, had probably
noticed Hull's good behavior in this action.
  The day before the march to Princeton one of General
Washington's aides came to Captsain Hull's tent, and said,
"Captain, the Commander-in-chief wishes to see you."
  The young soldier went, we may suppose. with some
trepidation., to the general's quarters. Washington looked
at him, and said, "Captain Hull, you are an officer, I be-
lieve, in the Connecticut line"
  Hull bowed, and General Washington went on: "I wish
to promote you, and I have the power to do so. But for
that purpose I must transfer you to the Massachusetts
line, since there is no vacancy in yours. If you are willing,
I will appoint you major in the Eighth Massachusetts."
  Hull thanked his general warmly for this mark of favor,
and said, "All I wish, general, is to serve my country
where I can do it best, and I accept the promotion grate-
fuliy."
  He was then appointed to command a detachment to
watch the approach of Cornwallis, and to detain him as

 

1 2



long as possible while Washington was fortifying himself
beyond the little creek, behind which he concealed his
rapid night march to Princeton. After serving in these
two battles, he was sent to Massachusetts to recruit his
regiment. Having recruited three hundred men, he was
then ordered to join General St. Clair's army at Ticon-
deroga. When General St. Clair ev-acuated that post, an
outcry of reproach went up against him from all quarters,
though this event probably caused the final surrender
of Burgoyne. Major Hull, satisfied of the injustice of these
censures on his commander, wrote a letter to a friend in
Connecticut during the retreat,-the stump of a tree serv-
ing him for a table,--defending the course of St. Clair.
AMajor Hull was then sent with his regiment under General
Arnold to relieve Fort Stanwix on the Mohawk River.
After this work had been accomplished, Arnold and his
troops rejoined the army of Gates at Saratoga, and Major
Hull commanded detachments in the battles which com-
pelled the surrender of Burgoyne. In one of these battles,
when he drove the enemy from their post with the bayonet,
his detachment lost one hundred and fifty men out of three
hundred. He commanded the rear-guard in Schuyler's
retreat from Fort Edward, and was constantly engaged
with the advanced troops of Burgoyne. He commanded
a volunteer corps on the i9th of September. His detach-
ment, by charging the enemy with the bayonet at a critical
moment, aided in the repulse of Burgoyne on that day. In
the battle of the 7th of October Major Hull commanded
the advanced guard. At the final surrender of Burgoyne,
he says: " I was present when they marched into our
camp, and no words can express the deep interest felt by

 

13



every American heart. Nor could we help feeling sym-
pathy for those who had so bravely opposed us."
  The Massachusetts regiment, of which young Hull was
major, had now earned the right to some short period of
rest. It had marched from Boston to Ticonderoga, had
retreated through the wilderness to Saratoga, had thence
marched to Fort Stanwix on the Mohawk and back, andl
had been engaged in all the battles with Burgoyne. But
it was now ordered to Pennsylvania to join the army of
Washington, and was in the winter quarters during the
cruel winter passed at Valley Forge. Major Hull and
Lieutenant-colonel Brooks had a hut together. It con-
tained but one room, with shelves on one side for books.
and on the other for a row of Derby cheeses sent to Hull
by his mother. Here they passed the dreary days of the
winter. The men wanted provisions, blankets, and shoes.
The officers were scarcely better off than the men. Dis-
content, approaching to mutiny, was the natural result.
Terrible diseases broke out in the camp. Long years after
these trials had passed by, my grandfather Hull could
scarcely allude to them without emotion.
  The army was fading away by disease and desertion and
by the expiration of the term of enlistment. A little vigor
on, the part of indolent Sir William Howe would have driven
this shadow of an army back into the mounL1tains of Penn-
sylvania. Fortunately for Washington, General Howe wais.
incapable of any such enterprise. He preferred feasts and
games in Philadelphia.
  One attempt, however, he made. He tried to surround
a detachment of twentv-five hundred men under Lafayette.
but failed in this from the superior alertness andt vigor of

 

'4



the young French general. Hull was with the body sent
to meet and assist Lafayette on this occasion.
  After the battle of Monmouth, in which Major Hull
served under Lord Stirling, taking part in the successful
resistance to the attack of the right wing of the British, he
was ordered to march his regiment to Poughkeepsie, and
then to Kingsbridge, in front of the enemy's lines near
New York. Hull had the command of the corps of obser-
vation at this place, which faced the whole British army,
and was eighteen miles in advance of any other body of
American troops. Great circumspection and constant
watchfulness was necessary. He moved His troops from
spot to spot, about White Plains above and below Dobbs
Ferry, patrolling to the right and left, and watching every
movement of the British army. This was the region
ravaged by the Cowboys and Skinners, and is the scene of
Cooper's novel, "The Spy." IMajor Hull commanded here
during three winters, trying to repress the cruelty of these
lawless marauders, so far as his small force would allow.
IHe was then about twenty-five years old and in excellent
health. "In a command so responsible," says he, "I
adopted a system to which I steadfastly adhered; nor did
storms, cold, or the darkness of the night ever interfere
with its performance. Early in the evening, without tak-
ing off my clothes, with my arms by my side, I lay down
before the fire wrapped in my blanket, and gave directions
to the sentinel to awaken me at one in the morning. My
adjutant, or some other officer, was with me, and one or
two of the faithful guides from among the loyal inhabitants
of the region. The troops were ordered to be paraded at
the same hour, and to remain on parade until my return.

 

' 5



After the whole were assembled, one-half were allowed to
go to rest, and the other half were formed into strong
guards, which patrolled in front and on the flanks of the
detachment until sunrise. This force was in addition to
the small parties which were constantly patrolling with the
bghi(15. After making this arrangement, I rode with my
.adjutant and one or two guides across to the North River,
and then back, on the line of my patrols, toward the East
River, and then rode thus in different directions until sun-
rise. I commonly rode about twenty miles at night, and
as many during the day. I was directed to preserve peace
and good order among the inhabitants, and cautioned not
to allow supplies to be carried to the enemy. The enemy
made many attempts to surprise and destroy my detach-
ment, but by the precautions taLken his plans were invari-
ably defeated. I selected a number of families on whose
fidelity I could rely, and formed a line of them, extending
from Kingsbridge to my most advanced guards. I re-
questcd them to come to me at night, and gave them my
instructions. The man who lived nearest to Kingsbridge,
whenever he noticed any extraordinary movement among
the enemy, was to take a mug or pitcher in his hand, and
in a careless manner go to his next neighbor on this line
for some cider, beer, or milk, give him notice, and return
home. His neighbor was to (1o the same, and so on, until
the information reached my station. Thus the enemy
could make no movement without my being informed of
it. I rewarded these good people for their services, which
they could not perform without much personal risk. Not
one was faithless to his trust, though surrounded by hard-
ship and danger. The State of New York required them

 



to take the oath of fidelity, and, if they refused, their
property might be confiscated. Those who did not take
the oath were plundered by the Skinners, and those who
did by the Cowboys."
  About the end of May, 1779, Sir Henry Clinton moved
up the Hudson from New York, the American army re-
treating before him. The British troops took possession of
the two strong positions of Stony Point and Verplanck's
Point, and put garrisons in them. Major Hull was ordered
to West Point, where his detachment erected a fort over-
looking and commanding the other works at that place.
  Stony Point and Verplanck's Point were the keys of the
Highlands, and formed the eastern and western termini of
King's Ferry, an important line of communication. They
were just at the head of the Tappan Sea. General Wash-
ington, whose headquarters were just above West Point,
determined to attack Stony Point and retake it. He in-
trusted the enterprise to General Wayne. On this occa-
sion Major Hull comman(ded a column, and received the
commendation of his commander for his conduct. Hull
had two narrow escapes, one ball passing through the
crown of his hat and another striking his boot.
  For his conduct on this occasion Major Hull received
promotion, and was made a lieutenant-colonel. He was
also much gratified by an invitation from General Wash-
ington to enter his family as one of his aides. But he was
obliecl to decline this, as General Steuben, who was intro-
ducing a new system of discipline into the army, was very
desirous to have Hull as one of his assistants, as inspector,
in which position he remained for some time. He was
afterward ordered to West Chester to his old position before

 

17



New York, where he commanded a detachment of four
hundred troops. In this position he offered to make an
attack on the British post of Morrisania, which was garri-
soned by a partisan corps who were constantly plundering
in the neutral ground and in the State of Connecticut.
General Washington gave his permission rather reluctantly
in a letter printed by Sparks, and dated January 7, I78I.
Washington doubted of the success of the enterprise on
account of the long distance the Americans would have to
march to attack fresh troops, and because they would
leave fortified British posts in their rear. He added that
"success depends absolutely upon the secrecy and rapidity
of the movement." Hull was accustomed to this watch-
fulness and caution from his long command in this exposed
vicinity. He marched past the enemy's posts unperceived.
with six hundred troops, and succeeded in dispersing the
enemy, taking prisoners and cattle and the horses of the
British cavalry. They then burned the barracks and
stores, and he returned without rest and amid frequent
attacks on the rear fromn an ever-increasing foe, and at
last brought off his prisoners and his troops in safety. He
received the thanks of Washington and Congress for this
service. Having served six years without having asked for
leave of absence, he now obtained permission to spend the
rest of the winter in Boston, where he was married to the
only child of Judge Fuller at her father's house in Newton.
  At the close of the war, William Hull, then thirty years
old, having had all this experience behind him, full of
energy, health, and talent, began to practise law iin New-
ton. He must have been successful, for during the next
twenty years he built a large house at Newton Corner and

 

I8



travelled extensively in America and Europe. He went
to France during the French Revolution, and, I believe,
took a cargo of some sort to England.
  Meantime he was very happy when at home in Newton,
where he had a large family growing up around him. Of
his eight children seven were daughters, all lively and agree-
able, and drawing many visitors to the hospitable house.
It must have been a very pleasant place to visit; at least
so I was told by Governor Levi Lincoln, who, when ninety
years old, still remembered the gayeties of the place, where
he and others had visited seventy years before. All the
seven daughters were married, one going to live in New
York, two to Georgia, one to Michigan, one to Maine, and
two making their homes in Boston.
  During these years he Iwas a leading man in the State,
and was frequently elected to the Massachusetts Legis-
lature. In Shays's insurrection he commanded a column
of Lincoln's force, which surprised and dispersed the insur-
gents. He was made major-general of the militia in 1796.
In I793 he was commissioner to Canada to treat with the
Indians.
  In i805 William Hull received from Thomas Jefferson
the appointment of Governor of Michigan Territory and
also that of Indian agent. All the white inhabitants of
the Territory amounted to less than five thousand; but
the Indian tribes were numerous, warlike, and needed to
be treated with much wisdom. The object of Governor
Hull was to civilize them, and to turn them, if possible,
into citizens.
  Detroit, where the governor lived during his seven years'
administration of the Territory, was then more difficult to

 

19



reach from New York than it is now to go to China. It
was necessary to traverse Lake Ontario and Lake Erie
on small sailing vessels, which sailed only occasionally from
Buffalo and from the other ports. He was asked, as war
with England and with the Indians seemed imminent, to
accept a commission of brigadier-general in the United
States army, and lead a body of troops to Detroit to pro-
tect the inhabitants. He refused the commission, and
Colonel Kingsbury was appointed in his place; but, this
officer falling ill, Hull at last consented to take the com-
niand. He collected his troops in Ohio, and cut a military
road through the wilderness, and on reaching Detroit found
that war had already been declared against Great Britain.
Lverything had been mismanaged at Washington. So
dilatorv was the Secretary of War in sending him notice
that the British at Maiden heard first that war had been
declared, and captured a vessel in which General Hull
had sent his stores to Detroit. General Dearborn, who was
to have co-operated with him by invading Canada from
the cast, instead of doing this mnade an armistice -with Gen-
eral Brock, the British commander, which enabled him to
concentrate all his troops against Detroit. Although
General Hull had, during several years, urged again and
again on the government the importance of building a
fleet on Lake Erie, nothing had been done, and the lake
was in the possession of the British fleet. Provisions soon
became scarce; the woods were filled with hostile Indians;
his supplies were stopped, his communications cut off.
Under these conditions his post became not tenable, and
he surrendered,-for the same reasons which had compelled
Burgoyne to surrender at Saratoga and Cornwallis at

 

20



Yorktown. But these two British generals had put them-
selves voluntarily into a position where they were sur-
rounded and cut off from their supplies. General Hull
went, in obedience to orders, to Detroit, depending on the
support which had been promised him by his government,
and which was never given. Burgoyne and Cornwallis
returned to England, and, instead of being condemned for
their surrender, were rewarded with other and higher
positions. General Hull was punished by the government
which had deserted and betrayed him, by being made the
scapegoat for their own mistakes and their own incapacity.
A victim was necessary to appease the disappointed hopes
of the nation, which had been taught to believe that Canada
was to fall an easy prey to our arms. The anger of the
people must be diverted from the government which had
plunged into a war without preparation. At this jwunct-
ure they found a serviceable tool in Colonel Cass. He
went directly to Washington after the surrender of Detroit,
while General Hull was prisoner of war in Canada, and wrote
a letter September io, 18I2, in which he threw all the blame
of the disaster on his general. In this letter he informed
the government "that, if Malden had been immediately at-
tacked, it would have fallen an easy victory." But Colonel
Cass himself had voted in a council of war, with a majority
of officers, against such an attack. In this letter he states
that there was no difficulty in procuring provisions for
the army. But a month before this was written, and four
days before the surrender, this same Colonel Cass wrote
to the Governor of Ohio that the communication with
Ohio must be kept open, as the very existence of the army
depended upon it, and that the supplies must come from

 

2 1



that State. And on August 3 he wrote to his brother-in-
law that "both men and provisions were wanted for the
very existence of the troops." Yet Cass's letter and testi-
mony was what diverted the anger of the people from the
government upon General Hull. It was published as an
official account of the surrender in all the newspapers of
the Union. Its author, Colonel Cass, was immediately
rewarded for this service (for he had performed no other
which could explain such advancement) by being pro-
moted from his position of colonel in the Ohio militia to
that of brigadier-general in the army of the United States.
He also was appointed Governor of Michigan in place of
his old commander.
  At the time when General Hull surrendered Detroit,
the condition of affairs was as follows: His provisions were
nearly exhausted. Communication by the lake was im-
possible, that being in the hands of the British, and remain-
ing so until Perry's victory. His communications through
the woo(ls by land were entirely cut off, and two efforts
to reopen them, made by strong detachments, failed. The
Territory itself could furnish no supplies, as it depended on
Ohio and Indiana for its own. By the fall of the Ameri-
can forts on the upper lakes all the hostile Indians were
set free to attack Detroit. Brock had more troops, nu-
merous Indian allies, ample supplies behind him, and the
lake in his possession. Hull might have fought a battle.
but, if he had won it, his position would have remained
nearly the same. A victory would not have opened the
woods or given him the lake; but a defeat would havc
caused the massacre by the Indians of the white inhabi-
              The British had made allies of these Indians.

 


22



tants of the Territory. General Harrison, well acquainted
with the country, foresaw and foretold the coming dis-
aster. That it was inevitable that Detroit must belong to
whichever nation held command of the lake appears from
the fact that General Harrison, after the surrender, ad-
vanced to within a short distance of Detroit and was obliged
to remain there a whole year, unable to move upon that
place until Perry's victory gave the lake to the Americans,
when the British commander evacuated at once both
Detroit and Malden, without waiting for the American
forces to appear.
  When the court-martial was su