The Second War With England.
Sept. 28, 1814, that the drafted men at that date, who were stationed at Marcus Hook, were destitute of tents and other camp equipments, while the volunteers had good quarters and were well supplied with all necessary camp furniture. The cantonment was located just back of Marcus Hook cross-roads, was called Camp Gaines (subsequently Fort Snyder), and was under the command of Maj.-Gen. Worrall. Col. William Duane, Adjt.-Gen. and Maj. Hunter, both of the United States army, had the care of the camp and superintended its discipline.
Dr. Smith states, respecting the drafted troops from Delaware County, that "the first company was convened at the 'Three Tuns,' now the Lamb Tavern, in Springfield, on the 14th of October, and marched to Chester that day. Its officers were Capt. William Morgan, 1st Lieut. Aaron Johnson, 2d Lieut. Charles Carr, and Ensign Samuel Hayes. This company remained at Chester two weeks waiting for camp equipage, before repairing to the encampment at Marcus Hook. During this time the men occupied meetinghouses and other public buildings."1
|1 History of Delaware County, p. 41. There is a slight error in the dates given by Dr. Smith, since the official records at Harrisburg show that the company was in camp at Marcus Hook on Oct. 10, 1814.|
From the manuscript Orderly Book of the Mifflin Guards of Delaware County, commanded by Capt. Samuel Anderson, we learn that on Sept. 15, 1814, that body of volunteer infantry was at Camp Bloomfield, Kennett Square, Chester Co. That on the 17th of the same month they broke camp, and the troops marched to Gregg's Tavern, three and a half miles from Wilmington, while the following day they were in cantonment at Camp Brandywine, and on the 29th they were at Camp Dupont. This cantonment was located in the neighborhood of Wilmington, Del., and was under the command of Brig.-Gen. Thomas Cadwalader. Governor Snyder, on October 5th, visited the camp and was received with a Federal salute, fired under direction of Maj. Provost, as soon as the head of the escort entered the main grounds, the troops presenting arms and "the drums giving the ruffles." Gen. Bloomfield was superseded in control of the Fourth Military District, Oct. 7, 1814, on which date Maj.-Gen. Gaines assumed the command and reviewed the troops at Marcus Hook on the 12th of the same month.
The discipline of the troops of course was very lax, and the desertions from camp numerous; therefore, October 19th, Gen. Gaines issued a general order, in which he stated that he had received the finding of a court-martial, to which he had refused his approval, because the sentence imposed on certain soldiers found guilty of desertion, in his opinion, "has no adequate proportion to the offence committed by them. Slight punishments for high military offences are worse than useless. The infamous crime of desertion particularly calls aloud for the highest punishment. Deserters must be shot."
A general order was issued on Oct. 14, 1814, dated at Marcus Hook, commanding that the Pennsylvania volunteers called into service under the order of Governor Snyder, Aug. 27, 1814, should be immediately organized under the act of Assembly of March 28, 1814. On Oct. 29, 1814, the Delaware County Fencibles, Capt. Serrill, was attached to the First Brigade Pennsylvania Volunteers till further orders.
On Nov. 15, 1814, Lieut.-Col. Raquet was ordered to march the next day with Capt. Leonard's company of artillery, and Capts. Mifflin's, Swift's, Brown's, Serrill's, and Murray's companies of infantry, and take a position to cover New Castle. The artillery was to consist of two six-pounders and two howitzers. On the same day, Gen. Gaines issued an order approving the finding of the court-martial which sat at Fort Clemson, November 1st, for the trial of David Jefferies, a private in Capt. Patterson's company, Thirty-second Regiment, United States Infantry, charged with desertion, who was found guilty, sentenced to be shot to death, and the execution ordered to take place the next day, November 16th, between twelve and four o'clock, at such place as Col. Irwin, or the officer in command at Camp Clemson, near New Castle, should appoint.
The dread of an immediate invasion or attack on the Middle Atlantic States having subsided, on Nov. 28, 1814, the artillery companies commanded by Capts. Rodney and Reed, of Delaware Volunteers, were ordered to take post at New Castle for the defense of that town, and Gen. Cadwalader was instructed to put the whole of the Advance Light Brigade in march for the city of Philadelphia, there to await further orders.
That this was done appears from an affidavit of Abel Green, of Edgmont, on file in the prothonotary's office, Media, who, under date of April 7. 1855, states that he was a private in the company of Capt. Benjamin Weatherby, which was drafted for the term of three months, and "was honorably discharged at Philadelphia on the 2d day of December, 1814." That the Mifflin Guards were ordered to Chester we know beyond dispute, because at the latter place, under date of Dec. 10, 1814, Capt. Samuel Anderson issued the following order:
"The company will assemble for drill in Chester on every Wednesday and Saturday at ten o'clock until further orders. The orderly or a sergeant acting as orderly will attend at my headquarters every morning at nine o'clock to receive and execute such orders as may be given. All knapsacks, haversacks, and canteens in possession of the members will be delivered at my quarters on the next company day. It is expected that the members will pay the same attention to the cleanliness of their arms as they did while in camp. As a reward for industry the four persons having the cleanest muskets on each day of parade will he excused from duty for one week. The company will bear in remembrance that they are still in the service of the government, consequently that they are subjected to the penalties and punishments prescribed by the articles of war for the neglect of duty, disobedience of orders, or any other violation of the rules and regulations laid down for the government of the armies of the United States. It is therefore expected that all orders from your commander will be respected and punctually obeyed. Defaulters must and will be punished.