Built in 1789, Detroit.
Burnt in 1814.
- 1814 Lieut. Worsley.
HM Schooner CONFIANCE.
Nottawaysaga (sic), Lake Huron.
October 6th., 1814.
My Dear Father:
I have this moment received yours of the 20th. March which you sent out by Edmond.
I can assure you that I write by every opportunity but the distances are so great and the letters often miscarry so that must be the reason you have not received any. No doubt you will be astonished to hear that I have got command on Lake Huron which is about seven hundred miles farther inland than Lake Ontario. On my arrival on the lake I got a schooner called the Nancy mounting 3 guns and 24 men.
I had not possession of her more than ten days when I received information that an American Squadron was on the Lake.
I took my schooner up this River and built a Block House and put my guns into it to defend her as I expected an attack, which was the case, as I was getting my last gun into it.
The enemies force consisted of a 20 gun-brig and three schooners mounting each a long 24 pounder with 450 soldiers. I however contended with them for my vessel from nine a.m. till four p.m. with my three guns 24 seamen and 10 Indians. Finding my little crew were falling all round me, I immediately formed a resolution to blow both up, which I did, made my escape with the rest of my little crew through the woods to the great astonishment of the enemy.
We walked that night with our wounded and dying 36 miles before we came to any house. We lost everything we had except what we stood upright in. On my arrival at this house which had stores on etc. for the Island Michillmachinac (sic) which Island I had to supply with stores and provisions, I waited two days and then made my mind up to go on to it in open boats the distance of 380 miles.
This I did and arrived safe in six days within 40 miles of it when to my great astonishment and regret I saw two of the enemies Schooners at anchor in a narrow passage that I had to pass called the Detour. Only having two boats and 18 seamen with few arms and knowing the enemies schooners each had a long 24 pr.
and forty men I put my men into an Indian canoe and passed them in the night with the intention of applying to theOfficer at Michillmachinac for a few soldiers, that I might cut them out. (this was the American blockade of the Island after their unsuccessful attack on the Island fortress)
He complied with my wishes, I returned and finding only one, at night I boarded and took her with the loss of two killed and seven wounded. She proved to be the American Schooner TYGRESS mounting a long 24 pr.
and 40 men. They had 4 killed and 3 thrown overboard and drowned and five wounded.
She informed me the other schooner would be back next day therefore I remained at anchor and sent my prisoners away and prepared to attack her. The following morning she hove in sight I directly cut my cable and ran down to her, boarded her and took her after a sharp resistance. She proved to be the American Schooner Scorpion mounting a long 24 and a long 12 pr. We had two wounded, the enemy had 2 killed and 4 wounded. Thus you see after a series of hardships I have got two schooners both finer vessels than the Nancy and have providentially escaped unhurt.
I shall once more be able to make a trip to this Island with provisions before I shall lay my vessel up for the winter it being out of my power to navigate this Lake after the 1st. of November it being covered with ice and so very cold that you can scarce show your nose out.
In case you should be at a loss to know the importance of keeping this Island, it is the key for the North west Fur Trade and a head post of the Indian warriors who are a fierce race of men.
I must now conclude having letters on service to write and the time short.
You will see my dispatches in the paper.