“Lieutenant Colonel, Second U.S. Artillery.”
This report was forwarded by the Secretary of War to both houses of Congress, and the immediate result was that Congress, on March 3, 1813, passed an act of retaliation. In May, 1813, at the battle of Fort George, a number of prisoners were captured. Colonel Scott, being then chief of staff, selected twenty-three to be confined and held as hostages. He was careful, however, to entirely exclude Irishmen from the number. Eventually the twenty-three men sent to England were released, and Scott took great interest in securing their arrearages of pay and patents for their land bounties.
The doctrine of perpetual allegiance had always been maintained by the British Government, and examples were numerous of the arrest or detention of prisoners claimed as British subjects. After this act of Colonel Scott no other prisoners were set apart by the British to be tried for treason.
These transactions gave rise to discussion of the question throughout the country and in both houses of Congress. President Madison, and Mr. Monroe as Secretary of State, took strong ground against the British claim. While subsequent treaties were silent on the question, the right is no longer asserted by Great Britain, and has been recognized by treaty. Colonel Scott then returned to Washington.
Scott ordered to Philadelphia—Appointed adjutant general with the rank of colonel—Becomes chief of staff to General Dearborn—Death of General Pike—Leads the advance on Fort Niagara—Anecdote of Scott and a British colonel—Commands the expedition to Burlington Heights—March for Sackett’s Harbor—Meets a force at Cornwall—Retreat of Wilkinson—Scott appointed brigadier general—Attack on and surrender of Fort Erie—Battle of Chippewa—Lundy’s Lane and wounding of Scott—Retreat of the army to Black Rock—Fort Erie—Visits Europe.
From Washington Colonel Scott was ordered to Philadelphia to take command of another battalion of his regiment. In March, 1813, he was appointed adjutant general with the rank of colonel, and about the same time promoted to the colonelcy of his regiment. Notwithstanding his command of the regiment, he continued to perform staff duties. At this time General Dearborn was in command of the American forces at Fort Niagara, consisting of about five thousand men. In May, Colonel Scott, with his regiment, joined General Dearborn, and Scott became chief of staff. He first organized the service among all the staff departments, several of which were entirely new, and others disused in the United States since the Revolutionary War. On the British side of the Niagara was Fort George, situated on a peninsula and occupied by British troops. Just previous to Colonel Scott’s arrival at Niagara an expedition was landed from the squadron of Commodore