Letters detailing carnage of the War of 1812 going up for auction

TORONTO – Draft letters detailing the carnage of the War of 1812 are going up for auction next month.

Three drafts of letters written in 1814 by Alexander Dobbs, a commander of a squadron of British ships, recount the Battle of Lundy’s Lane (one of the bloodiest battles ever fought in Canada), the explosion of H.M.S. Magnet, and the Siege of Fort Erie.

In his missive about the Siege of Fort Erie, he writes: “Our losses have been very severe: 10 seamen and 11 marines killed, 15 seamen and 18 marines wounded and missing. I fear a number of the latter were blown up. Lieut. Stevenson, Mr. Harris Master and myself were wounded. Mr. Hinde, Masters Mate, had his thigh broke and was left in the ditch where I fear he must have perished. If there is any inaccuracy in this I trust you will excuse it, as my head aches so intolerably I can scarce hold it up.”

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The letters have pre-sale estimates of $2,000 to $3,000.

Another letter written to Dobbs from a superior is estimated at $1,000 to $1,500. A document from 1812 marking an ensign’s military appointment is estimated at $3,000 to $4,000.

And a land survey document that was entitled “Road of Communication From York to Nottawasaga Bay” dated 1795 is expected to go for between $2,000 to $3,000.

Waddingtons will offer the war artifacts during an auction in Toronto on Dec. 12.