Who Was the Commander at Bunker Hill?

37 the Massachusetts volunteers, and served in his staff through the campaign as topographical engineer. The general was soon ordered to the Niagara frontier, to save Gen. Brown from Drummond’s superior force, which we found posted on the north bank of the Chippewa River, and with very formidable fortifications along the southern shore likewise. Gen. Izard, finding that the enemy’s position was unassailable in front, was desirous of discovering whether the British fleet, with the large frigate they had been building, which was to give them the mastery over Commodore Chauncey, was out on Lake Ontario, so as to prevent him from getting on the enemy’s flank or rear. To gain this information, he ordered me, and not in writing, to go with a small detachment of infantry across the Niagara River in a boat, and proceed to the vicinity of Lake Ontario, to obtain the requisite information. That region was abandoned to the enemy, and deserted by all the Americans, excepting a few men who frequented it occasionally, to look after their property, though their fine crops were rotting on the ground. We embarked on the Canada side of the Niagara ; and, as we neared the opposite shore, we were challenged by a body of musketeers demanding who we were. Neither party had any uniform, or other badge of nationality; and as they, being on terra firma, had us at a great disadvantage, my tactic was to gain time, while we were fast approaching the shore. But as I was only a soldier “ by the book,” and very little of that, I was confounded with my situation. Having often pondered on Maj. Andre’s egregious indiscretion, in disclosing to his captors who he was, in place of claiming to be an American, which would have insured his safety, I was disposed to avoid his mistake, and pass our party off for English. But no simile goes on all-fours. In our case, had I guessed wrong as to their character, they would have responded with their guns. To gain time, I cried out, “ Friends ! ” but that trick did not take; their muskets were levelled at us, and they swore they would fire, if we did not answer them directly. We were prepared for them, and I was compelled to show our colors. 1 cried out, “ Americans ! ” when they hailed us, “ Brothers ! ” to our great delight. We soon gained the information we were in pursuit of, and had the melancholy though magnificent view, with our glass, of the British fleet in the offing, on Lake Ontario. We reported these unpleasant tidings to Gen. Izard; and his whole plan of campaign was frustrated, and the war virtually over. The