On October 23 1812, Captain John Ellis Wool writes to Colonel Van Rensselaer. Wool was wounded at the Battle of Queenston. He would go on to serve in the American army until the American Civil War, where at the age of 77 he was the oldest general on either side.
Wool`s letter to Colonel Van Rensselaer is reproduced below.Capt. Wool to Colonel Van Rensselaer.
Buffalo Oct. 23, 1812.
Dear Sir - I have the honour to communicate to you the circumstances attending the storming of Queenstown battery on the 13th instant; with those which happened previously you are already well acquainted.
In pursuance of your order we proceeded round the point, and ascended the rocks, which brought us partly in rear of the battery. We took it without much resistance. I immediately formed the troops in the rear of the battery, and fronting the village, when I observed Gen. Brock with his troops formed, consisting of four companies of the 49th Regiment and a few Militia, marching for our left flank. I immediately detached a party of one hundred and fifty men, to take possession of the heights above Queenstown battery and to hold Gen. Brock in check, but in consequence of his superior force they retreated. I sent a reinforcement, nothwithstanding which, the enemy drove us to the edge of the bank, when with the greatest exertion we brought the troops to a stand and ordered the officers to bring their men to a charge as soon as the ammunition was expended, which was executed with some confusion, and in a few minutes, the enemy retreated. We pursued them to the edge of the heights, when Col. McDonell had his horse shot from under him, and himself mortally wounded. In the mean time Gen. Brock, in attempting to rally his forces, was killed, when the enemy dispersed in every direction. As soon as it was practicable, I formed the troops in a line on the heights fronting the village, and immediately detached flanking parties which consisted of Captain M'Chesney of the 6th Regiment, Lieut. Smith and Ensign Grosvenor with a small detachment of Riflemen which had that moment arrived; at the same time I ordered Lieut. Gansevoort and Lieut. Randolph with a detachment of artillery to drill out an eighteen pounder which had been previously spiked, and if possible to bring it to bear upon the village. The wounded and prisoners I ordered to be collected and sent to the guard house. About this time, which was between three and four o'clock in the afternoon, Lieut. Col. Christie arrived and took the command. He ordered me across the river to get my wounds dressed. I remained a short time. Our flanking parties had been driven in by the Indians, but Gen. Wadsworth and other officers arriving, we had a short skirmish with them and they retreated, and I crossed the river. The officers engaged in storming the Battery, were Capts. Wool and Ogilvie; Lieuts. Kearney, Hugonin, Carr and Sammons of the 13th; Lieuts. Gansevoort and Randolph of the Light Artillery, and Major Lush of the Militia. I recommend to your particular notice Lieuts. Randolph, Carr and Kearney, for their brave conduct exhibited during the whole of the action. I have the honour to be
Your most obt. humble servt.
John E. Wool,