Report of Brigadier General Daniel Bissell re. The Battle of Cook's Mills - War of 1812

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Report of Brigadier General Daniel Bissell re. The Battle of Cook's Mills - War of 1812
by Daniel Bissel
This report details American Brigadier General Daniel Bissell's account to Major General George Izard of the Battle of Cooks Mills, which occurred on October 19, 1814. This report was written three days later, and was published in the Niles' Register - November 19, 1814 (p. 172)


Camp – Frenchman’s creek, October 22, 1814

SIR – I have the honor to report, that in obedience to your orders of the 18th instant, I proceeded with about 900 men of my brigade, a company of riflemen under captain Irvine, and a small party of dragoons under lieutenant Anspaugh, by very bad roads and creeks, the bridges over which were broken down, to Cook’s mills, on Lyon’s Creek, a branch of the Chippewa, and encamped for the night: near that place the enemy had stationed a militia piquet of 20 men, commanded by a captain who made their escape on our approach, the captain excepted, who was taken. Their piquet of regularsfound at this place was driven in, and I threw across, at that place, (the only one at which it was practicable) the two elite companies under captain Dorman, 5th, and lieutenant Horrel, 16th infantry and the riflemen under captain Irvine; our advanced piquet on the Chippewa road, commanded by lieutenant Gassaway was attacked in the night by two companies of the Glengary light infantry, who were beaten off with the loss of one man only. On the morning of the 19th, we were attacked by the enemy in force; from the best information amounting to more than 1200 men composed of the 82d and 87th regiments of foot, detachments of the 100th, 104th, the Glengary light infantry, a few dragoons, and rocketteers, and one piece of artillery; the whole commanded by the marquis of Tweedale, colonel of the 100th.

The light corps under captain Dorman and Irvine’s riflemen, sustained the whole fire of the enemy for about fifteen minutes, with the greatest gallantry, until other troops were formed and brought to their support.

The 5th regiment under colonel Pinckney, aided by major Baker of the 45th, attached to that regiment, was ordered to skirt the woods and turn the enemy’s right flank, and if possible to cut off the piece of artillery.

Maj. Bernard with the 14th, was ordered at the same time to form in front , advance to support the light troops and charge the artillery; the 15th regiment under major Griudage, and 16th under colonel Pierce were ordered to act as circumstances might require.

The well directed fire of the elite corps, riflemen, and gallant charge of the 14th, soon compelled the enemy to give ground, and on discovering that his right flank was turned by the intrepid move of the 5th under colonel Pinckney, he retreated in the utmost confusion, leaving some killed, wounded and prisoners; we pursued to a ravine some distance from the scene where the action commenced; not knowing the ground, I did not think it proper to push them further but, soon after reconnoitred the country and discovered they had retreated to their strong hold at the mouth of the river about seven miles distance.

To the officers and men engaged great credit is due for their zeal and intrepidity, and to those who had not an opportunity to come into action, for the promptitude with which they obeyed our orders. All did their duty; but the handsome manner in which major Bernard brought his regiment into action, and the gallant conduct of the elite, under captain Dorman deserve particular notice. I am much indebted to that distinguished officer, colonel Snelling, (inspector general), for his able services, through the action, and much praise is due to my aid, captain Allison, (whose horse was shot under him) and brigade major lieutenant Prestman, for their intrepid and useful services in every situation. Lieutenant Anspaugh of the dragoons rendered me much service in communication my orders. It is justly due, and I must be permitted to add that every officer and private behaved with the skill and gallantry which will do honor to the American arms. We found in the mills at that place about 150 or 200 bushels of wheat, belonging to the enemy, which I ordered destroyed. The enemy having retreated to his batteries on the Chippewa; in obedience to your orders, I returned, leaving the causeways, bridges, &c entire. I annex for your information, a return of killed and wounded. I Have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant.

(Signed) D. BISSELL, brig gen.

Maj. Gen George Izard, command’g northern army.

Acute nervous attacks must be my apology for the delay and imperfections of this report. D. B.


Report of the killed and wounded of the 2d brigade under the command of brigadier general Bissell, in the affair of the 9th October, 1814.

5th Regiment – Killed, 5 privates; wounded – 1 captain, 1 subaltern, 2 serjeants, 1 corporal, 9 privates – total 19.
14th Regiment – Killed, 1 serjeant, 5 privates; wounded 1 subaltern, 2 corporals, 16 privates – total 25.
15th regiment – Wounded, 1 private – total 1.
16th Regiment – Wounded, 1 subaltern, 1 serjeant, 1 corporal, 6 privates, 1 prisoner – total 10.
Riflemen – Wounded, 1 subaltern, 2 corporals, 8 privates – total 1
Grand total – killed, wounded and missing 67.

Names of the officers wounded.

5th Regiment – Captain Bell, ensign Whitehead, severely.
14th Regiment – Lieutenant Breket, severely.
16th Regiment – Lieutenant Thomas, slightly.
Riflemen – Lieutenant Sparr, severely.

Reference[edit]

Niles' National Register, vol. 7 (published 1815), p. 172, <http://books.google.ca/books?id=LV4UAAAAYAAJ&printsec=titlepage#PPA172,M1>