Late in that day, the barge of Gerald Grantham returned from Detroit. Ushered into the presence of the General, the young sailor communicated the delivery of his charge into the hands of the American Chief, who had returned his personal acknowledgments for the courtesy. His answer to the summons, however, was that having a force fully adequate to the purpose, he was prepared to defend the fort to the last extremity, and waiving his own original plan of attack, would await the British General on the defensive, when to the God of Battles should be left the decision of the contest. To a question on the subject, the young officer added that he had seen nothing of the American flag of truce, either in going or returning.
That night orders were issued to the heads of the different departments, immediately to prepare materiel for a short siege; and, an assault at the termination of the third day. By both troops and Indians, this intelligence was received with pleasure; for all, sanguine as they were under such a leader, looked confidently to the speedy conquest of a post which was one of the highest importance on that frontier.
Conformably with the orders of the British General, the siege of the American fortress was commenced on the day following that of the mutual exchange of flags. The elevated ground above the village of Sandwich, immediately opposite to the enemy’s fort, was chosen for the erection of three batteries, from which a well sustained and well directed fire was kept up for several successive days, yet without effecting any practicable breach in their defences. One of these batteries, manned principally by sailors, was under the direction of Gerald Grantham, whose look out duty had been in a great degree rendered unnecessary, by the advance of the English flotilla up the river, and who had consequently been appointed to this more active service.
During the whole of Saturday, the 15th of August, the British guns had continued to play upon the fort, vomiting shot and shell as from an exhaustless and angry volcano— and several of the latter falling short, the town which was of wood had been more than once set on fire. As, however, it was by no means the intention of the General to do injury to the inhabitants, no obstacle was opposed to the attempts of the enemy to get it under, and the flames were as often and as speedily extinguished. An advanced hour of night at length put an end to the firing, and the artillery men and seamen, extended on their great coats and pea jackets, in their several embrasures, snatched from fatigue that repose which their unceasing exertions of the many previous hours had rendered at once a luxury and a want.
The battery commanded by Gerald Grantham, was the central and most prominent of the three, and it had been remarked by all—and especially by the troops stationed in the rear in support of the guns—that his firing during the day, had been the most efficient, many of his shot going point blank into the hostile fortress, and (as could be distinctly seen with the telescope) occasioning evident confusion.