Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hull's Ill-Judged Actions

The War of 1812 was written by Secretary of War John Armstrong and published in 1836.  Here's Armstrong's critique of General Hull's actions in the Detroit area:

Nothing can be more ill-judged and ruinous, than to send out small parties on services which necessarily expose them to the attacks of large ones; and hence the maxim, that "the strength of a detachment should be proportioned, 1st, to the importance of the object to be obtained in sending it; and 2d, to the disposable means possessed by the enemy of embarrassing or defeating the attainment of that object."

In none of the detachments made by General Hull, were these conditions fulfilled; and in that of Major Van Horne, both were directly and grossly violated. What object could have been more important to the American army situated as it then was than the re-establishment of its communications with the State of Ohio; from which alone were to be expected reinforcements of men and supplies of provision?  And again, what fact was better ascertained than the facility with which the whole British force concentrated at Malden, and amounting to seven hundred combatants, could be brought to act upon any American detachment marching by the route of Maguago and Brownstown? Yet was Van Horne sent to fulfil that object and by this route with only two hundred militia riflemen.

No comments: