Resource for Historians, Educators, Students and Visitors since 1997
War of 1812 Broadside- Reproduced from
The Centenary of The Battle of Plattsburgh (1914)
Courtesy: The Floyd Harwood Collection
BATTLE OF PLATTSBURGH
VICTORY ON LAKE CHAMPLAIN
"In which 14,000 British myrmidons were defeated and put to flight by 5,000 Yankees and Green-Mountain Boys, on the memorable Eleventh of Sep, 1814."
Tune... "Battle of the Keggs"
Note: the music file is in Windows Media Format (.wma) and slightly over 1 MB in size. Users with slower connections may have to wait for a portion of the song to download before they hear anything.
Go ahead... sing along!
Sir GEORGE PREVOST with all his host
March'd forth from Montreal, Sir,
Both he and they as blithe and gay
As going to a ball, sir.
The troops he chose were all of those
That conquer'd Marshal Soult, Sir,
Who at Garonne (the fact is known)
Scarce brought them to a halt, Sir,
With troops like these, he thought with ease
To crush the Yankee faction:
His only thought was how he ought
To bring them into action.
Your very names, Sir GEORGE exclaims,
without a gun or bay'net,
Will pierce like darts thro' Yankee hearts,
And all their spirits stagnate.
Oh! How I dread, left they have fled
And left their puny Fort, Sir,
For sure MACOMB won't stay at home,
To afford us any sport, Sir.
Goodbye, he said to those who stray'd,
Keep close as mice, or rats snug,
We just run out upon a scout,
To burn the town of PLATTSBURGH.
Then up Champlain with Might & Main
He march'd with dread array, Sir,
With Fife and Drum, to scare MACOMB,
And drive him quite away, Sir,
And side by side, their nations pride,
Along the current beat, Sir,
Sworn not to sup' till they eat up
Macdonough and his fleet, Sir,
Still onward came these men of fame,
Resolved to give "no quarter"
But to their cost found out at last
That they had caught a Tartar.
At distance shot, awhile they fought
By water and by land, Sir
His Knightship ran, from man to man,
And gave his dread command, Sir,
"Britons, strike home, this dog, Macomb,
So well the fellow knows us-
Will just as soon jump o'er the moon
As venture to oppose us:
With quick dispatch, light evr'y match,
Man ev'ry gun and swivel,
Cross in a crack, the Saranac,
And drive 'em to the devil!"
The Vermont ranks that lin'd the banks,
Then poised the unerring rifle,
And to oppose their haughty foes,
They found a perfect trifle.
Meanwhile, the Fort kept up such sport,
They thought the devil was in it;
Their mighty train play'd off in vain-
'Twas silenced in a minute.
Sir GEORGE amazed, so wildly gaz'd,
Such frantic gambols acted,
Of all his men, not one in ten,
But thought him quite distracted.
He curs'd and swore, his hair he tore,
Then jumped upon his poney,
And gallop'd off towards the bluff,
To look for Captain Downey.
But when he spied M'Donough ride,
In all the pomp of glory,
He hasten'd back to Saranac,
To tell the dismal story:
"My gallant crews, Oh shocking news
Are all or Kill'd or taken!
Except a few that just withdrew
In time to save their bacon,
Old England's pride must now subside
Oh! how the news will shock her,
To have her fleet, not only beat,
But sent to Davey's locker!
From this sad day, let no one say,
Brittannia rules the ocean,
We've dearly bought the humbling tho't
That this is all a notion.
With one to ten I'd fight against men,
but these are Satan's legions,
with malice fraught come piping hot
From Pluto's darkest regions!
Helas, mon Dieu! What shall I do,
I smell the burning sulphur,
Set Britain's Isle all rank and file-
Such men would soon 'engulph her.
That's full as bad, oh, I'll run mad,
Those western hounds are summon'd;
Gains, Scott & Brown are coming down;
To serve me just like Drummond.
Thick too as bees the Vermonter's,
Are swarming on the lake, Sir;
And Izard's men come back again,
Lie hid in every brake, Sir!
Good Brisbane, beat a quick retreat,
Before their forces join, Sir,
For sure as fate, they've laid a bait,
To catch us like Burgoyne, Sir,
All round about, keep good looks out,
We'll surely be surrounded,
Since I could crawl, my gallant soul,
Was never so astounded."
The rout began, Sir GEORGE led on,
His men ran helter skelter,
Each try'd their best t' outrun the rest,
To gain a place of shelter;
To hide their fear, they gave a cheer,
And thought it mighty cunning-
He'll fight say they, another day,
Who'll save himself by running !
There is a copy of this Broadside on display in the restored Colchester Reef Lighthouse, at the Shelburne Museum.
WHEN YOU VISIT VERMONT, A STOP AT THE MUSEUM IS A MUST!
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*'The Battle of Plattsburgh: Music from the War of 1812'
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