The night Buffalo burned

The following account of Samuel Cochran's war service comes from "History of the Original Town of Concord" by Erasmus Briggs, published in 1883. Samuel Cochran was one of the first two settlers of the town in western New York, arriving there in the fall of 1808.

There were but few additions to the settlement until 1810, when quite a number of families joined them. The next year, and year following, additions were so numerous through the town that when troops were called for in the war of 1812, quite a company [came] from the limits of the present Town of Concord. Cochran was appointed Ensign by Colonel Stevens and had charge of the company from this town, and were placed at the battery on foot at Black Rock the night Buffalo was burned, and came near being taken prisoners in the morning. When Buffalo was burning a company of Red Coats were sent down the river to silence the battery, which had been doing bad work with their small boats, which had been continually crossing the river during the night. And this company of Red Coats were near the battery when Colonel Chapin was seen coming at full speed from another direction and in time warned them to make their escape, when they all fled, some running but a few rods jumped down the bank by the river side and were save from their shots, whilst others ran for the woods some forty or fifty rods on a double quick, the balls whizzing by them, Cochran was among this number and as he dodged behind a big hemlock tree a ball struck the tree throwing the bark so sharply in his face that he thought certainly the bullet hit him. Cochran, in after years, often spoke of this as the most terrible event of all his life, for, on the last fire, the cannon ran over his foot crushing off the nails from his toes and he came near fainting and falling at every step the pain was so terrible. Only one of the company got hit by the enemy's bullets and that but a flesh wound in his arm. When the British had spiked the guns they returned to the city for plunder. At the close of the war, Cochran received a commission from the Government as aide-de-camp to Brigadier-general and afterward to Major-general.
(NOTE: Most of the typing eccentricities are from the book but a few may come from a recent transcription by another descendant of Samuel Cochran.)

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