Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Orders for an American Picket Guard--December 1813

In the winter of 1813 the Americans at Detroit were sending patrols deep into Upper Canada. Partly this was an effort to forestall any British attempts to launch a surprise attack through the Canadian wilderness; partly it was to secure the neutrality of the Canadian civilians, many of whom had been called up to serve as militia the previous year; partly the patrols were gathering foodstuffs to feed the poorly supplied garrison at Detroit, and to deny them to the enemy. This was probably the longest continuous period of occupation of Canadian soil by any American force, and it was not uncontested.

Ensign Davis will repair with one non Commissioned officer and five men to the most Eligible position on the River Thames between the Roman Chapple and M. Jacobs to secur the intention an object that he is placed therefore 1st to secure the passage of the Road to prevent any person who is not well known to pass his Line either up or Down the River without a written pass from Genl. Cass or some Commissioned officer. He will cause to be stopped all suspicious persons and send them to my quarters on the River Thames for trial or Examination 2nd to administer an oath to the inhabitants of the Country A Copy whereof will be furnished him. Those who may refuse to comply will be secured and reported to me 3rd to secure the peace of the Country by preventing with all vigilance any person or persons that may attempt to violate the peace of the Country and have them apprehended and reported for trial--
December 12th 1813--
J.H. Larwill Lt
2 Regt artillery

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