The Hermaphrodite Brig UNION, Jas. Beard, master, left Detroit on the 23rd Ult. and grounded near the head of Gros Island, about 8 miles below Detroit, her own boat being too small, she obtained one from the U.S. Garrison at Gros Island for the purpose of getting her off; which was effected on the morning of the 24th. The wind being ahead she beat down the river nearly abreast of the garrison, to which two men were sent to return the boat -- being in sight of Amherstberg, a boat was seen to leave the latter place at the same time ours left the Brig, and to proceed in the same direction until our boat came near the garrison, she then put about for the UNION, having on board an officer in a Midshipman's uniform and six men, who immediately came on deck. The officer enquired for the master of the Brig, and told him he had come to search his vesseI for deserters. Mr. Beard observed his men were all on deck, except those sent on shore in the boat. The officer then ordered his men into the hold and fore-castle to search. Mr. Beard remonstrated against such unwarrantable proceedings, and forbit it. The officer then replied, that he was ordered to search her peaceably if he could, if not to use force, saying,"your Government allows it, and why should not you?"
At this time there were two pieces of artillery drawn up on the Canada shore, apparently well manned, and not more than one hundred yards from the UNION. Mr. Beard told the British officer that if he would search the Brig, he must take charge of her; which he did by taking the helm and ordering his men to take in sail and bring her to anchor, which was done. The Brig was then searched, and the officer told Capt. Beard he might resume the command of her.
On Capt. Beard asking him by what authority he acted, he replied, that his name was Henry Brooks, that he acted under a verbal order from his commanding officer.
A suitable notice of the above transection will be forwarded to the head of the proper department at Washington.
Buffalo Gazette & Niagara Intelligencer
Tuesday, August 6, 1816