SAVING DEATH BY GIVING LIFE
Here we are once more at the Passover Festival season, the year
2010. It is a time we think about death and life. Naturally the
main and first death we think about is the sacrifice our Savior
gave - His death - for our sins, so we could live forever more.
In the gospel of John Jesus did say, "No greater love can a man
have than to give his life for his friends." He went on to say
that He called us His friends. And he did indeed lay down His
life on that wooden stake in the degrading manner of crucifixion.
In many cases the crucified man lasted for 2 or 3 or 4 days
before they died. It was often a slow and shameful death. Because
the 15th day of the month, a Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened
Bread, was coming soon, they went to break the legs of Jesus and
the other two criminals being put to death with Him, but they
found Jesus already dead, as a Roman soldier had thrust a spear
into his side, and as it is written, He cried with a loud voice,
"If is finished, and gave up His spirit to God."
The death of Jesus, taking his blood and applying it to our
record of sins, can wash away those sins and errors, when we
accept Him as our personal Savior during the time of REPENTANCE.
DEATH CAN THEN GIVE LIFE!
DURING THIS PASSOVER UNLEAVENED BREAD FEAST I SUGGEST YOU READ
THE WHOLE BOOK OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN AND THEN JOHN'S LETTERS. YOU
WILL SEE ANEW WHAT TRUE LOVE IS AND WHAT DOING RIGHT IS.
SOMETIMES ITS POSSIBLE TO SEE LOVE IN A SOMEWHAT REVERSE LIGHT,
COMING FROM THE OPPOSITE SIDE SHALL WE SAY. FROM THE SIDE WHERE
**NOT** GIVING DEATH ACTUALLY GIVES LIFE; YES LET ME REPEAT, LIFE
CAN COME FROM NOT GIVING DEATH.
I take you in what I will present back to the war of 1812-13
between the Americans on the one hand and the
Canadians/Indians/British Red-coats on the other hand. The
General in charge of the Detroit Fort was a well honored army man
- General Hull. The Canadians were led by a man just as much
honored by the British - General Brock. Brock had pulled his big
cannon guns up to the Fort at Detroit and had fired off some. His
partner was a famous Indian chief called Tecumseh, who had 600 or
so warriors read to fight and invade the Fort. The ran out and
back and around through the trees, and made it look like there
was twice or three times more Indians than reality. Brock had
dressed up dozens of militia men in the red-coat uniform, and so
it looked like his army was made up of many more skilled regulars
than there was. So a certain phycological game was being acted
out by General Brock.
We live at a time when Evil is called good and GOOD is called
evil. This is not really knew, such twisted mind-sets have been
around for centuries. What follows is a good example of the mind
getting things up-side-down and in-side-out.
I'll now let Pierre Burton in his very detailed and well written
book "In Invasion of Canada - 1812-13" pick up the rest of the
story, as he explains it in his captivating writing style.
The American position seems impregnable, but Brock has a
secret weapon - psychology. Hull has already been led to believe
that three hundred militiamen are regulars. Now Tecumseh and his
Indians are ordered to march in single file across an open space,
out of range but in full view of the garrison. The spectacle has
some of the quality of a vaudeville turn. The Indians lope across
the meadow, vanish into the forest, circle back and repeat the
manoeuvre three times. Hull's officers, who cannot tell one
Indian from another, count fifteen hundred painted savages,
screeching and waving tomahawks. Hull is convinced he is
Brock is still scrutinizing his objective, all alone, some
fifty yards in front of his own troops, when an American officer
suddenly appears, waving a white flag and bearing a note from his
general. The American commander, it seems, is on the verge of
giving up without a fight.
INSIDE THE PALISADE, William Hull appears on the edge of
nervous collapse. Except for Colonel Findlay, he has no battalion
commanders to fall back on. Cass and McArthur have not yet
returned. Miller is too ill to stand up. Hull's son and aide,
Abraham, is not only drunk but has picked a fight with a senior
officer, in his father's presence, and challenged him to a duel.
A dozen Michigan volunteers on picket duty at the rear of the
fort have allowed themselves to be captured by Tecumseh's
Indians. Elijah Brush, in charge of the Michigan militia,
believes that if attack comes his men will flee. The fort itself
is so jammed with soldiers, civilians, and cattle, all seeking
refuge from the bombardment, that it is difficult to manoeuvre.
The cannonade has unnerved Hull. He saw blood enough in his
Revolutionary days, but now he is transfixed by a spectacle so
horrifying that it reduces him to jelly. Lieutenant Porter Hanks,
relieved for the moment of appearing at his court of inquiry, has
come into the fort to visit an old friend and is standing in the
doorway of the officers' mess with several others when a
sixteen-pound cannonball comes bouncing over the parapet and
skipping across the open space. It strikes Hanks in the midriff,
cutting him in two, then tears both legs off Cass's surgeon's
mate, Dr.James Reynolds, instantly killing him and mangling a
second man with the appropriately grisly name of Blood.
A second cannonball dispatches two more soldiers. Blood and
brains spatter the walls and the gowns of some women who have
sought refuge nearby. One drops senseless to the ground; others
begin to scream. Hull cannot be sure from a distance who is dead,
but a frightful thought crosses his mind: can it be his own buxom
daughter, Betsey? It is more than possible. She and her child
have taken refuge in the fort with most of the civilians, all of
whom Hull knows as well as his own family.
Something very odd is happening to Hull: he is becoming
catatonic; his brain, overloaded by too much information, refuses
to function. It has happened before to better commanders when
events crowded in too quickly, to Washington at the Battle of
Brandywine, for one, and it will happen again - to Napoleon at
Waterloo, to Stonewall Jackson at White Oak Swamp, to Douglas
MacArthur at Manila.
Hull's brigade major, Jesup, finds his commander
half-seated, half-crouched on an old tent that is lying on the
ground, his back to the ramparts under the curtain of the fort
that faces the enemy. Save for the movement of his jaws he seems
comatose. He is chewing tobacco at a furious rate, filling his
mouth with it, absently adding quid after quid, sometimes
removing a piece, rolling it between his fingers and then
replacing it, so that his hands run with spittle while the brown
juice dribbles from the corners of his mouth, staining his
neckcloth, his beard, his cravat, his vest. He chews as if the
fate of the army depended upon the movement of his jaws, rubbing
the lower half of his face from time to time until it, too, is
stained dark brown. Jesup, who has reconnoitred the British
position, asks for permission to move up some artillery and
attack their flank with dragoons. Hull nods, but he is clearly
not in control. All he can say, as much to himself as to Jesup,
is that a cannonball has killed four men.
It is the future as much as the present that renders him
numb. A procession of ghastly possibilities crowds his mind; his
troops deserting pell-mell to the enemy; the women and children
starving through a long siege; cannon fire dismembering more
innocent bystanders; and finally - the ultimate horror - the
Indians released by Brock and Tecumseh, bent on revenge for
Tippecanoe and all that came before it, ravaging, raping,
burning, killing. He sees his daughter scalped, his grandchild
mutilated, his friends and neighbours butchered. He believes
himself outnumbered and outmanoeuvred, his plea for
reinforcements unheeded. Sooner or later, he is convinced, defeat
is inevitable. If he postpones it, the blood of innocent people
will be on his hands. If he accepts it now, before the battle is
joined, he can save hundreds of lives. He can, of course, fight
on to the last man and go into the history books as a hero. But
can he live with himself, however briefly, if he takes the hero's
There is another thought, too, a guilty thought, lurking
like a vagrant in the darker recesses of that agitated mind. The
memory of the notorious proclamation has returned to haunt him.
He himself has threatened no quarter to any of the enemy who
fight beside the Indians. Can he or his charges, then, expect
mercy in a prolonged struggle? Might the enemy not use his own
words to justify their allies' revenge?
The shells continue to scream above his head and explode.
Six men are now dead, several more wounded, the fort in a
turmoil. Hull determines to ask for a cease-fire and a parley
with Brock, scrawls a note, hands it to his son, asks him to have
Major Snelling take it across the river. (Incredibly, it does not
occur to him that Brock may be with his troops outside the
palisade.) At the same time he orders a white tablecloth hung out
of a window where Dixon, the British artillery commander on the
Canadian shore, can see it. He will not fight to the last man; in
the future metropolis of Detroit there will be no Hull Boulevard,
no Avenue of the Martyrs.
Abraham Hull ties a handkerchief to a pike and gives it to
Snelling, who declares he'll be damned if he'll disgrace his
country by taking it out of the fort. Young Hull takes it himself
and crosses the river, only to discover that Brock is on the
American side. When he returns, Snelling is persuaded to seek out
the British general.
Outside the fort, Jesup, seeking to take command of the
dragoons to meet Brock's expected attack, finds the whole line
breaking up, the men marching back toward the fort by platoons.
Baffled, he asks what on earth is going on. An officer riding by
tells him: "Look to the fort!" Jesup for the first time sees the
He rides back, accosts Hull, demands to know if surrender is
being considered. Hull's reply is unintelligible. Jesup urges
Hull to hold out at least until McArthur and Cass return. But all
Hull can exclaim is, "My God, what shall I do with these women
Hull has ordered the Ohio volunteers to retreat into the
fort. Their commander, Colonel Findlay, now rides up in a rage
and asks, "What the hell am I ordered here for?" Hull replies, in
a trembling voice, that several men have been killed and that he
believes he can obtain better terms from Brock if he capitulates
now than if he waits for a storm or a siege.
"Terms!" shouts Findlay. "Damnation! We can beat them on the
plain. I did not come here to capitulate; I came here to fight!"
He seeks out the ailing Miller.
"The General talks of surrender," says Findlay. "Let us put
him under arrest."
But Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, a regular officer, is no
mutineer: "Colonel Findlay, I am a soldier; I shall obey my
superior officer." By now the shelling has ceased. Hidden in the
ravine, Brock's men are enjoying breakfast provided by William
Forsyth, one of 120 British males who refused to change their
allegiance when Detroit became an American community in 1796.
Forsyth's house lies in the ravine, and its owner, who has been
plundered by Hull, is glad to open his doors to Brock's officers
and the contents of pantry and cellar to his troops, who manage
in this brief period to consume twenty-four gallons of brandy,
fifteen gallons of madeira and nine of port.
In the midst of this unexpected revel, some of the men spot
Brock's two aides, Glegg and Macdonell, moving toward the fort
with a flag of truce. A buzz of excitement: is it all to be over
so quickly? Some - especially the younger officers - hope against
hope that Hull will not give in. They thirst for glory and for
promotion, which can only be gained in the smoke of battle and (a
thought swiftly banished) the death or incapacity of their
superiors. In this they resemble Tecumseh's young men, who have
flocked to his side also seeking glory and hoping, some of them,
to gain precedence over the older chiefs who try to dissuade them
from rashness. But most of Brock's followers breathe a little
more freely. Charles Askin, a seasoned son of the frontier,
wishes for a cease-fire for the sake of the women and children
who, he believes, will be massacred by the Indians once the
Hull wants a truce, has asked for three days. Brock gives
him three hours: after that he will attack.
After this no-nonsense ultimatum it becomes clear that Hull
is prepared for a full surrender. He will give up everything -
the fort, its contents, all the ordnance, all supplies, all the
troops, even those commanded by the absent Cass and McArthur and
by Captain Henry Brush at the River Raisin. Everything. When Hull
tries tentatively to make some provision for those Canadian
deserters who have come over to his side, Macdonell replies with
a curt "Totally inadmissible." Hull makes no further
remonstrance. The surrender details he leaves to Elijah Brush and
Miller, actually to Brush alone, since Miller, trembling with
ague, is now prostrate on the ground. But sick or not, he is in
no mood to sign any surrender document and does so only
Two more signatures are required - those of Hull and Brock.
The British general now rides into the fort accompanied by a fife
and drum corps playing "The British Grenadiers" and by his
advance guard, which includes John Beverley Robinson, the future
chief justice of Upper Canada, Samuel Peters Jarvis, whose family
will give its name to one of Toronto's best-known streets, and
two members of the Askin family, Charles and his fifteen-year-old
nephew, John Richardson. Askin, for one, has never felt so proud
as at this moment.
The advance guard, however, has advanced a little too
quickly. The articles of surrender stipulate that the Americans
must leave the fort before the British enter. A confused melee
follows. The American soldiers are in a turmoil, some crying
openly, a few of the officers breaking their swords and some of
the soldiers their muskets rather than surrender them. Others cry
"Treason!" and "Treachery!" and heap curses and imprecations on
their general's head. One of the Ohio volunteers tries to stab
Macdonell before the advance guard moves back across the
Within the fort, Abraham Hull wakens in his quarters from a
sound sleep, doubtless brought on by his earlier inebriation, to
discover enemy soldiers entering the fort. He breaks through a
window and, hatless, rushes up to a British officer to demand his
business there with his "redcoat rascals." The officer raises his
sword and is about to run him through when an American runs up to
explain that the General's son is temporarily deranged.
Finally the tangle is straightened out. The Americans stack
their arms and move out of the fort. The 4th Regiment of
regulars, its members in despair and in tears, gives up its
colours, sewn by a group of Boston ladies and carried through the
Battle of Tippecanoe. Charles Askin, watching them shamble past,
wonders at the legend of their invincibility. To him they look
like the poorest set of soldiers he has seen in a long time,
their situation and their ragged clothing making them appear as
Now the British and Canadians officially enter the fort, the
regulars in the lead, followed first by the uniformed militia,
then by those not in uniform and, bringing up the rear,
Tecumseh's followers led by the chiefs and the officers of the
British Indian Department, themselves dressed and painted as
Down comes the Stars and Stripes. A bluejacket from one of
the gunboats has tied a Union Jack around his body in preparation
for this moment. It is hoisted high to the cheers of the troops.
John Richardson, whose musket is taller than himself, is one of
those chosen to mount the first guard at the flagstaff. He struts
up and down his post, peacock proud, casting his eyes down at the
vanquished Americans on the esplanade below the fort. Almost at
this moment, in Kentucky, Henry Clay is predicting the fall of
Fort Amherstburg and the speedy conquest of Upper Canada.
As the flag goes up, the Indians pour through the town,
cheering, yelling, firing off their guns and seizing American
horses. There is looting but no savagery; Tecumseh keeps his
promise to Brock that his people will not molest the prisoners.
As the two ride together through the fort, the general seems
larger than life in his black cocked hat - his crimson uniform
and gilt epaulettes contrasting sharply with the fringed buckskin
of his lither Shawnee ally. It is a moment for legend: a story
will soon spring up that Brock has torn off his military sash and
presented it to Tecumseh. If so, Tecumseh is not seen to wear it.
Perhaps, as some say, he has turned it over to Roundhead, who as
senior member of the senior tribe of Wyandot is held by the
Shawnee to be more deserving. Perhaps Tecumseh feels the gaudy
silk is too much out of character for the plain deerskin garb
that, in a kind of reverse vanity, he has made his trademark.
Perhaps. The incident becomes part of the myth of Tecumseh, the
myth of Brock.
Brock has one more symbolic act to perform. He goes directly
to the guardroom to release John Dean, the British regular who
struggled to hold the bridge during the first engagement at the
River aux Canards. He releases him personally, shakes his hand,
and in the presence of his men, his voice breaking a little with
emotion, tells Dean he is an honour to his military calling.
These and other formalities observed, he turns the command
of the captured territory over to Lieutenant-Colonel Procter and
prepares to leave for York, where he will be hailed as the
saviour of the province. In just nineteen days he has met the
legislature, arranged the public affairs of Upper Canada,
travelled three hundred miles to invade the invader, captured an
entire army and a territory as large as the one he governs. Now
he must hurry back to the capital and return the bulk of his
troops as swiftly as possible to the sensitive Niagara frontier,
under threat of imminent attack.
On this triumphant journey across the lake he makes a remark
to a captain of the York Volunteers, Peter Robinson, that is both
self-revealing and prophetic.
"If this war lasts, I am afraid I shall do some foolish thing,"
says General Brock, "for I know myself, there is no want of
courage in my nature - I hope I shall not get into a scrape."
ONCE THE SURRENDER is accomplished, Hull emerges from his
catatonic state like a man coming out of an anesthetic. Scarcely
able to speak or act that morning, he is now both lucid and
serene. "I have done what my conscience directed," he declares.
"I have saved Detroit and the Territory from the horrors of an
Indian massacre." He knows that his country will censure him
(though he cannot yet comprehend the magnitude of that censure),
knows that he has "sacrificed a reputation dearer to me than
life," but he is by no means downcast. A prisoner of the British,
he no longer carries on his shoulders the crushing burden of
command. As his former friend Lieutenant Colonel Baby remarks to
him in his captivity - echoing Hull's own brittle comment of the
previous month - "Well, General, circumstances are changed now
Of his surrender, Hull says, "My heart approves the act."
His colleagues are of a different mind. McArthur and Cass,
trotting to the relief of Detroit, their exhausted and famished
troops riding two to a horse after a forced march of twenty-four
miles, have heard the cannonade cease at to A.M. and are
convinced that Hull has repulsed the British. The astonishing
sight of the Union Jack flying over the fort changes their minds,
and they move back several miles. Their men have had nothing to
eat for forty-eight hours except green pumpkins and unripe corn
garnered in the fields. Now they spy an ox by the roadside,
slaughter and roast it. In the midst of this feast they are
accosted by two British officers bearing a flag of truce who
inform them that by the terms of their commander's surrender they
are all prisoners.
"Traitor!" cries Cass. "He has disgraced his country," and
seizing his sword from its sheath proceeds to break it in two.
It does not, apparently, occur to either of these commanders, so
eager now to have at the enemy, that they might make their way
back to Urbana without much fear of pursuit. Tired and
dispirited, they meekly lay down their weapons and are marched
Captain Henry Brush, at the River Raisin, is an officer of
different mettle. When Matthew Elliott's son William, a militia
captain, arrives to inform him of the surrender, Brush denounces
the document of capitulation as a forgery, calls Elliott an
imposter and spy, places him under arrest, and with all of his
men except the sick decamps to the Rapids of the Maumee and
thence through the Black Swamp to Urbana, where his followers
disperse in small groups to their homes in Chillicothe. Tecumseh
gives chase with three hundred mounted Indians, but Brush's men
are too far in the lead to be captured. It makes little
difference: the war still has rules of a sort, and under the
terms of the surrender document, the United States officially
recognizes Brush's men as prisoners. They cannot fight again
until they are exchanged for an equal number of captured British.
Hull, who is worth thirty privates in a prisoner exchange,
is shipped off to Quebec with his officers and the regular troops
of Miller's 4th Infantry. Some of these men, hungry and
emaciated, do not survive the journey. One regular, the
enterprising Robert Lucas, has no intention of making it. The
instant the British flag replaces the Stars and Stripes over the
fort, he slips out of his uniform, hides his sword in his
brother's trunk, and disguised as a civilian volunteer boards the
vessel that is taking the Ohio militia on parole to Cleveland.
Twenty years from now the Democratic party of Ohio will nominate
him for governor over his only rival-Colonel James Findlay, his
Tecumseh knows many of the American prisoners by sight and
greets them in Detroit without apparent rancour. This is his
supreme moment. One of the militia engineers, Lieutenant George
Ryerson (older brother of the great educator, Egerton) sees the
buckskin-clad Shawnee chief shortly after the surrender, sitting
with his brother, the Prophet, smoking his pipe "with his face
perfectly calm, but with the greatest satisfaction beaming in his
Now, in the aftermath of the bloodless victory, a number of
tales are added to the legend of Tecumseh.
There is, for instance, the story of Father Gabriel Richard,
the priest of Ste Anne's parish, who refuses to take the oath of
allegiance to the British Crown because, he says, he has already
sworn an oath to support the American Constitution. Procter, whom
Brock has left in charge, imprisons the priest at Sandwich. When
Tecumseh insists upon his release, Procter snubs him. Tecumseh
swiftly assembles his followers, warns Procter that he will
return to the Wabash if the priest is not freed. The Colonel
gives in. It is the first but not the last time that he will
clash with the Shawnee.
There are other tales: Tecumseh is speaking to his followers
at the River Raisin when he feels a tug at his jacket, looks
down, sees a small white girl. When he continues to speak, she
tugs again: "Come to our house, there are bad Indians there." He
stops at once, follows her, seizes his tomahawk, drops the leader
with one blow and, as the others move to attack, shouts out:
"Dogs! I am Tecumseh!" The Indians retreat. Tecumseh, entering
the house, finds British officers present. "You are worse than
dogs to break faith with your prisoners!" he cries, and the
British apologize for not having restrained the Indians. They
offer to place a guard on the house, but that is not necessary,
the child's mother tells them. So long as Tecumseh is near she
Another incident occurs about the same time. Tecumseh's
followers are ravenous. The game has fled; the settlers are short
of supplies. Near the River Raisin, Tecumseh approaches a boy
working with two oxen.
"My friend," says Tecumseh, "I must have these oxen. My
young men are very hungry. They have nothing to eat."
The youth remonstrates. His father is ill. The oxen are
their only farm animals. Without them they will die.
"We are the conquerors," Tecumseh says, "and everything we
want is ours. I must have the oxen, but I will not be so mean as
to rob you of them. I will pay you one hundred dollars for them,
and that is more than they are worth."
He has his interpreter write out an order on Matthew Elliott
for that sum, then takes the beasts, which his men roast and eat.
But Elliott will not pay: Hull, after all, has stolen quantities
of Canadian cattle, not to mention a herd of fine Merino sheep.
When Tecumseh hears this he drops everything, takes the boy to
Elliott, insists on payment. The Shawnee's anger rises when
Elliott remains stubborn:
"You can do what you please, but before Tecumseh and his warriors
came to fight the battles of the great King they had enough to
eat, for which they only had to thank the Master of Life and
their good rifles. Their hunting grounds supply them with enough
food, and to them they can return."
"Well," Elliott responds, "if I must pay, I will."
"Give me hard money," says Tecumseh, "not rag money."
Elliott counts out one hundred dollars in coin. Tecumseh gives it
to the boy, then turns to Elliott.
"Give me one dollar more," he says. Elliott grudgingly hands
him an extra coin.
"Here," says Tecumseh to the boy, "take that. It will pay
you for the time you have lost getting your money."
There are many such tales growing out of the victory at
Detroit. The Americans believe Tecumseh to be a brigadier-general
in the British Army. He is not, but he dines with the officers at
the victory dinner in Amherstburg, ignoring the wine in which the
toasts are drunk yet displaying excellent table manners while his
less temperate followers whoop it up in the streets of Detroit.
When news of Prevost's armistice reaches him, he is enraged.
The action confirms his suspicions that the British are not
interested in prosecuting the war to its fullest. If they will
not fight, then the Indians will. Already the tribes are
investing the American wilderness blockhouses - Fort Harrison,
Fort Wayne, Fort Madison. Tecumseh leaves them to it and heads
south on a new journey, attempting once again to rally new tribes
to his banner.
For the British, if not for the Indians, the results of Detroit's
surrender are staggering. Upper Canada, badly supplied and even
worse armed, now has an additional cache of 2,500 captured
muskets, thirty-nine pieces of heavy ordnance, forty barrels of
gunpowder, a sixteen-gun brig, Adams (immediately renamed
Detroit), a great many smaller craft, and Henry Brush's baggage
train of one hundred pack animals and three hundred cattle,
provisions and stores. The prize money to be distributed among
the troops is reckoned at $200,000, an enormous sum considering
that a private's net pay amounts to about four shillings, or one
dollar, a week.
As a result of the victory at Detroit, every private soldier
receives prize money of more than four pounds - at least twenty
weeks' net pay. The amount increases according to rank and unit.
Sergeants of the 41 st Foot receive about eight pounds, captains,
such as Adam Muir, forty pounds. General Brock is due two hundred
and sixteen pounds. One luckless private bearing the Biblical
name of Shadrach Byfield is left off the list by mistake and does
not receive his share until May of 1843.
More significant is the fact that Brock has rolled back the
American frontier to the Ohio River, the line that the Indians
themselves hold to be the border between white territories and
their own lands. Most of Michigan Territory is, for practical
purposes, in British hands. A council of tribal leaders called by
the U.S. government at Piqua, Ohio, for the express purpose of
maintaining native neutrality collapses with the news of Hull's
surrender. Many Indians, such as the Mohawk of the Grand Valley,
who have been reluctant to fight on either side, are now firmly
and enthusiastically committed to the British. The same can be
said for all the population of Upper Canada, once so lukewarm and
defeatist, now fired to enthusiasm by Brock's stunning victory.
In Montreal and Quebec, the spectacle of Hull's tattered and
ravaged followers provokes a wave of patriotic ardour.
The General, who has to this point treated the militia with
great delicacy, reveals an iron fist. Now he has the power and
the prestige to enforce the oath of allegiance among the citizen
soldiers and to prosecute anybody, militiaman or civilian, for
sedition, treason, or desertion.
In Canada Brock is the man of the hour, but in America the
very word "Hull" is used as a derogatory epithet. In their shame
and despair, Americans of all political stripes - civilians,
soldiers, politicians - lash out blindly at the General, who is
almost universally considered to be a traitor and a coward. On
his drooping shoulders will be laid all the guilt for his
country's singular lack of foresight and for its military
naivety. Forgotten now are Hull's own words of advice about the
need for controlling the Lakes before attempting to invade
Canada. Ignored is Major-General Dearborn's dereliction in
refusing to supply Hull with the reinforcements for which he
pleaded or launching the diversionary attacks at Niagara and
Kingston, which were key elements in American strategy.
Hull is to be made the scapegoat for Dearborn's paralysis
and Washington's bumbling. When he is at last exchanged (and
Prevost is anxious to release him because he believes Hull's
return will cause dissension in America), he faces a court
martial that is a travesty of a trial. Here he comes up against
his old adversaries, McArthur, Cass, Findlay, Miller. But his
lawyer is not permitted to cross-examine these officers or to
examine other witnesses; the old general, unschooled in law, must
perform that task himself.
Though his papers were burned on their way from Detroit to
Buffalo after the surrender, he is not allowed to examine copies
at Washington. The court is packed against him: Henry Dearborn is
the presiding judge. He is unlikely to be sympathetic, for if the
court acquits Hull of the twin charges of cowardice and treason,
Dearborn himself and his superiors in Washington must be held
culpable for the scandal at Detroit.
The charge of treason is withdrawn on the grounds that it is
beyond the court's jurisdiction. Three months later, when the
weary process is at last completed and Hull is found guilty of
cowardice, the court adds a rider saying that it does not believe
him to be guilty of treason. There is more to this than simple
justice, for the charge is based entirely on the loss of the
Cuyahoga and all Hull's baggage before he knew war was declared.
That misfortune cannot be laid at the general's door but at that
of Dr. Eustis, the Secretary of War, who was scandalously remiss
in informing his outposts of the outbreak of hostilities.
Hull, officially branded as a coward, is sentenced to be
shot. The President, taking into account the General's
Revolutionary gallantry and perhaps also pricked by a guilty
conscience, pardons him. Hull spends the rest of his life
attempting to vindicate his actions.
It is an irony of war that had he refused to surrender, had
he gone down to defeat, his fort and town shattered by cannon
fire, his friends and neighbours ravaged by the misfortunes of
battle, his soldiers dead to the last man, the civilians burned
out, bombed out, and inevitably scalped, the tired old general
would have swept into the history books as a gallant martyr, his
name enshrined on bridges, schools, main streets, and public
buildings. (There is also the possibility that he might have
beaten Brock, though somehow one doubts it.)
But for the rest of their lives the very soldiers who,
because of him, can go back whole to the comfort of their
homesteads, and the civilians who are now able to pick up the
strings of their existence, only briefly tangled, will loathe and
curse the name of William Hull who, on his deathbed at the age of
seventy-two, will continue to insist that he took the only
proper, decent, and courageous course on that bright August
Sunday in 1812.
Yes what an irony that if Hull had declared "a battle fight" to
the end, even in defeat he would have gone down in American
history as a "war hero." And yes probably streets or a road would
have been name after him. The soon facts of many of his men being
killed, many women and children killed or injured or mutilated
... well that would have soon been forgotten, or given a foot-
note in small writing in some historic book.
But because he chose to save every woman and child in the Fort
from who knows what horrible fate (being a man of war he'd no
doubt seen what could happen to innocent women and children). So
with them first in mind, and secondly his soldier men, many of
them drunk, many in no condition to put up much of a fight
anyway. With cannon balls ripping through the walls made of wood, not
built to stand 16 pound cannon balls, and 6 men already dead, before
anything to call a battle had not even begun.
YES, General Hull did the brave and right thing, just for the
sake of the women and children, he did the right thing. To save
their lives, so they could go on living and being a productive
part of a new society, just for that one reason alone General
Hull did the kind and loving thing - he gave a full surrender! He
saved the shedding of much blood and death, even to his soldiers
and to the soldiers in Brock's army.
To the "war lords" of his land, and probably many American
soldiers not involved in this episode, what could have been a blood-bath
battle, Hull was looked upon as a coward, and a traitor, and was
going to be SHOT, but for a pardon by the President.
The world has a Satanic mind-set at times, and has for centuries;
what is good is called evil, and what is even is called good. We
see that today with the acceptance of Homosexuals and Lesbians
looked upon as "Well it's their free choice, we should accept it,
even "gay marriages" and also allow them to have children to
raise. Call killing unborn children a normal thing, allow it to
be the "free choice" of the woman. Allow fist fights in Hockey but
call it "assault" outside the hockey arena. Then call someone like
General Hull counting the loss of innocent women and children,
hence deciding to surrender, a coward worthy to face the firing
squad. But wars can make men loose sight of kindness and humble
grace, many just become fighting and killing machines, with no
thoughts about innocent women and children in their midst. I'm
convinced demons must take over some of the minds of the
military, and it is "to hell with those in our midst" who are the
weak and defenceless.
Thankfully General Hull did not allow his mind to NOT stop thinking
about the innocent and the weakest in his care. He decided to
allow them to live, to go back to their homes, to give the chance
for the children to grow up and hopefully contribute good in
their local society.
It was a good thing General Hull did.
General Hull you are dead, awaiting your resurrection, but you'll
find out when you arise, that from this date of March 30 in the
year 2010, on the Worldwide Internet, your situation in that time
of your life, is now broadcast around the world via this Website
on the Worldwide Internet, with the potential to be read by millions
(maybe in time billions) of adults and children.
As a true servant of the Holy Righteous Eternal God I'm telling
everyone that what you did, how you acted, was pleasing to the
No matter if many called you a coward and traitor to your country;
the Almighty Perfect One says you DID good....you DID GOOD, and
though some call it evil, in God's sight it was GOOD!!
DURING THIS FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD IN 2010, WE AS GOD'S PEOPLE
NEED TO MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND WHAT GOD CALLS EVIL AND WHAT HE
CALLS GOOD, FOR THE WORLD HAS IT BACKWARDS MANY TIMES, AND WHAT
IT THINKS IS GOOD, GOD SAYS IT IS EVIL, AND WHAT THE WORLD OFTEN
CALLS GOOD, GOD CALLS EVIL AND AN ABOMINATION!