186 MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA
son sent his entire force down the rapids to join the troops already collected at Barnhart's Island, near Corn-wall.
While Wilkinson's army nursed their wounds a messenger arrived from Hampton. He brought the story of the battle of Chateauguay and of Hampton's complete failure and retreat. Wilkinson now gave up all idea of advancing on Montreal. He took his army, greatly lessened in numbers and weakened by wounds and exposure, to French Mills, where he constructed a fort—Covington,—six or seven miles up the Salmon river, and here, on United States territory, he went into winter-quarters.
The autumn of 1812 had ended with the capture of Detroit and the defeat of the Americans along the Niagara frontier. The autumn of 1813 likewise ended gloriously for the British. They had, it is true, suffered serious re-verses, but through Chateauguay and Chrystler's Farm all danger of the invasion of Canada along the St. Lawrence was at an end.
During the interval which elapsed between the close of the campaign of 1813 and the opening of the campaign of 1814, Napoleon was driven out of Russia, and the British armies under Wellington were instrumental in expelling the French from Spain and Portugal. Britain now manifested a disposition to assume a firm offensive in America, and made ready to send reinforcements across the Atlantic. But the war party in the United States persevered in their war measures, and entered on the third campaign encouraged by the knowledge that their generals and troops had become efficient through experience.
Once more the capture of Montreal was to be attempted by way of the Lake Champlain route. For this purpose, 5,000 men were to be mobilized at Plattsburg, New York, and placed under the command of General Wilkinson. Another force, under General Brown, was to be made ready for operations along the Niagara frontier, and a third in Michigan for operations in the western area.
On February 9th, word reached military headquarters