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The vigor which he infused into his offensive movements, was altogether unlooked for by the British generals on the Niagara. The operations of the American army had in general been vacillating and dilatory; and the effect of General Brown's movements was, for this reason, the more decisive. The firmness with which the British forces were encountered on the open field of battle, was also wholly unexpected. It had been vauntingly said that the “ British bayonet was irresistible;" but on the Niagara, man was opposed to man, and the tide of victory was more than once turned against the British forces by the very weapon to which they appealed as the test of their invincibility.
At the close of the war, General Brown was retained in the command of the northern division of the army, and after the reduction of the peace establishment in 1821, he became commander-in-chief. From that time he resided in the city of Washington until the 24th February, 1828, when he fell a victim to an attack brought on by a disease which he contracted at Fort Erie, and from the effects of which he was never exempt until it terminated his life.
In person, General Brown was tall, erect, and commanding ; his countenance was animated and full of intelligence; and it was not difficult to trace in its strong and decided expression, that energy of character, which he has so deeply impressed on the actions of his life.
The impression made upon the public mind by Geneļal Brown's decease, while yet in the full vigor of manhood, was deep and universal ; an impression corresponding with his high character, and unsullied fame. The estimation in which he was held by those with whom he was most immediately connected by official relations, will be best illustrated by the following general order, issued by the direction of the president of the United States on the occasion of his decease.
“The secretary of war, by direction of the president of the United States, announces to the army the painful intelligence of the decease (the 24th of February) of Major-General Brown.
“To say that he was one of the men who have rendered most important services to his country, would fall far short of the tribute due to his character. Uniting with the most unaffected simplicity, the highest degree of personal valor, and of intellectual energy, he
stands preëminent before the world, and for after ages, in that band of heroic spirits, who, upon the ocean and the land, formed and sustained, during the second war with Great Britain, the martial reputation of their country. To this high and honorable purpose, General Brown may be truly said to have sacrificed his life ; for the disease which abridged his days, and has terminated his career at a period scarcely beyond the meridian of manhood, undoubtedly originated in the hardships of his campaigns on the Canada frontier, and in that glorious wound, which, though desperate, could not remove him from the field of battle, till it was won.
“Quick to perceive, sagacious to anticipate, prompt to decide, and daring in execution, he was born with the qualities which constitute a great commander. His military coup d'æuil, his intuitive penetration, his knowledge of men, and his capacity to control them, were known to all his companions in arms, and commanded their respect, while the gentleness of his disposition, the courtesy of his deportment, his scrupulous regard to their rights, his constant attention to their wants, and his affectionate attachment to their persons, universally won their hearts, and bound them to him as a father.
“Calm and collected in the presence of the enemy, he was, withal, tender of human life; in the hour of battle, more sparing of the blood of the soldier than his own. In the hour of victory, the vanquished enemy found in him a humane and compassionate friend; not one drop of blood, shed in wantonness or cruelty, sullies the purity of his fame. Defeat he was never called to endure; but in the crisis of difficulty and danger, he displayed untiring patience and fortitude, not to be overcome.
“Such was the great and accomplished captain whose loss the army has now, in common with their fellow citizens of all classes, to deplore. While indulging the kindly impulses of nature, and yielding the tribute of a tear upon his grave, let it not be permitted to close upon his bright example, as it must upon his mortal remains. Let him be more nobly sepulchred in the hearts of his fellow soldiers, and his imperishable monument be found in their endeavors to emulate his virtues.
6. The officers of the army will wear the badge of mourning for six months on the left arm, and hilt of the sword. Guns will be fired at each military post, at intervals of thirty minutes from the rising to the setting of the sun, on the day succeeding the arrival of this order, during which, the national flag will be suspended at half mast.”
J. A. D.
Elenard Le aconfignaw the year !884 Ly. 'ames Hernag in the clerics ise of the Distix
Cift the State of 'ework.
The life of De Witt CLINTON is contained in the political history of his state and nation. Like all public men, he had violent enemies and attached friends; and though the voice of censure has been hushed in the burst of lamentation that followed his hearse, it must be supposed that there are some, who are unwilling to grant all that is asked by partiality for his private character and public conduct. The consciousness of this diversity renders the performance of the present sketch a delicate task. We shall endeavor so to execute it, as to render it an acceptable offering, not to party, but to truth.
Mr. CLINTON's family was of English origin. His paternal ancestor became an officer on the royal side during the civil wars, and, at their termination, left his native soil as an exile. Having spent some years on the continent, he finally settled in Ireland.
One of his descendants, the grandfather of De Witt CLINTON, emigrated to this country in 1729. He arrived at Cape Cod, and remained in its vicinity until 1731 ; when, with his wife and children, he removed to that part of Ulster county, in the state of New York, which is now called Orange county.
Two of the children of this gentleman rose to eminence during the war of the revolution. George Clinton had the honor of being selected by his fellow citizens as the first governor of the state of New York. Popular, energetic, and practical, he proved eminently qualified for his arduous station, nor were his services forgotten in after times. He was repeatedly reëlected to that office, and finally died vice president of the United States.
The other son was James Clinton. He early acquired a fondness for military life, and served in the memorable French war of 1756. At the breaking out of the revolution, he received a colonel's commission in the continental service, and left it at the conclusion of the war, as a major-general.
DE WITT CLINTON was the third son of General James Clinton and Mary De Witt. He was born on the 2d of March, 1769, at the