Skip to main content

Full text of "The life of Andrew Jackson, major-general in the service of the United States: comprising a history of the war in the South, from the commencement of the Creek campaign, to the termination of the hostilities before New Orleans"

See other formats


*f y 
























Jesper Harding, Printer. 





TO the decision of the candid, who will duly appreciate the 
difficulties of an undertaking like the present, is this work sub- 
mitted. He who ventures on a detail of events, recent in the 
recollection of the world, hazards much, and can scarcely ex- 
pect to escape censure. The numerous actors in, and spec- 
tators of, the scenes portrayed, entertaining different opinions of 
the facts as they transpired, and ascribing them to entirely dif- 
ferent causes, becomes each a critic in his turn, accordingly as 
the narrative corresponds with, or is variant from his own opi- 

The historian who traces events, at a period remote from 
their occurrence, stands on more favourable ground, and has 
fewer difficulties to encounter: he then proceeds in his under- 
taking without being acted upon by prejudice, or influenced by 
partiality. His readers, too, are similarly situated. But he 
who draws them at a moment when recollection treasures them, 
is oftentimes placed under the influence of both may be divert- 
ed insensibly from the course pointed out by truth ; ascribe 
events to motives that never induced thefti ;- bestow censure 
where it is not due, and commendation where it is not merited. 

To avoid errors so common, and to present things truly as 
they occurred, has been the wish of the author, and he believes 
he has succeeded. He believes so, because he had no induce- 
ment to do otherwise, and because, having all the original 
papers in his possession, and the opportunity of constant and re- 
peated intercourse with the subject of this history, there was no 
avenue to error, unless from intention, and this he disclaims. 


He can therefore venture upon this assurance, that what is de- 
tailed may be taken as correct. 

As regards the execution of the work, he has not much to 
offer to the consideration of the reader. He is willing to trust 
it to the world, without preface or apology ; without supplica- 
ting its charity or indulgence in his favour : from no belief that 
ample room is not afforded for both to be exercised in his be- 
half, but from a conviction that they are seldom or never extended, 
and that none has a right to ask for them, unless under peculiar 
circumstances. Whether he be competent to the task, is the 
duty of every man to inquire, before he undertakes to become 
an author ; no sooner does he appear before the public in that 
character, than they have a right to infer, that he has entire 
confidence in his own qualifications, and therefore may, with 
propriety, judge him " according to his works." 

It was not a belief of this kind, that claimed an influence on 
the present occasion : peculiar circumstances, and not choice, 
were the inducement. It is more, therefore, with a view of cor- 
rectly stating the reasons why he is placed before the public as 
an author, than to supplicate any indulgence for the defects 
which the work may be found to contain, that any thing is ven- 
tured to be said. His greatest regret, if he have any on the sub- 
ject, is, that the events had not been portrayed by some masterly 
hand, that they might have been exhibited in a manner worthy 
of him who gave them their existence. 

It is some time since major Reid submitted proposals for pub- 
lishing to the world, " The Life of General Jackson." By those 
who knew him, it was a circumstance hailed with pleasure, be- 
cause they entertained a confidence that the narrative would 
be faithful, and that he was well qualified to bestow every em- 
bellishment necessary to render it interesting. His mind had 
been generously endowed by nature, and richly stored with polite 
and elegant literature. The means of education had been libe- 
rally spread before him, nor had they been neglected. But 


before he could effect his object, he died. This event, deeply 
deplored, produced the necessity either of abandoning what had 
been already begun, or of prevailing on some person to com- 
plete it. Through the entreaty of his relations and friends, the 
present author was led to the undertaking ; not from a convic- 
tion that he would be able to present it in a garb calculated to 
satisfy public expectation, but from a desire, that the infant 
children of one who had rendered important services to the 
country, might not be so far injured by his death, as to lose the 
benefit of what their father had commenced, and what might 
afford a fund for the purpose of their education. 

This consideration, sufficiently weighty in itself, was the more 
cheerfully subscribed to, from a belief, that, perhaps, the greater 
part of the work was already digested, and only needed to be 
transcribed, and properly prepared for the press ; for as yet 
the papers were in Virginia. Unforeseen difficulties, however, 
arose, when, on their arrival at Nashville, it was found that 
scarcely one third of it had been prepared ; while the residue 
remained to be sought for through an immense quantity of pa- 
pers, without any arrangement or order. Many as were the 
difficulties presented, and troublesome as the research promised 
to be, yet the arrangement being already announced, it was too 
late to retract.* 

The brilliant achievements which had marked the course of 
general Jackson, and given to himself and his country a distin- 
guished standing, had been already brought to public view ; but 
garbled facts, and contradictory statements, had been so exten- 
sively circulated, that none knew things truly as they should 
be; and all, with impatience, looked for the appearance of a 
work, which should dispel doubt, and bring forth facts, substan- 
tially as they were. 

* The four first chapters of this work were written by major Reid, who was 
an eye witness to the events recorded by him. For those the present author 
is not responsible j for the residue he is. 


He who shall read what is written with a determination to 
be displeased, because it is not so perfect as he himself could 
have made it, is desired to remember, that there is every ima- 
ginable difference between him who has been accustomed to 
such pursuits, and, from habit, is enabled to give a happy ar- 
rangement to thought, and correctness to expression, and one 
who carries with him no such aid. But those who desire a cor- 
rect view of those masterly exertions which constantly hurried 
their actor to the most brilliant and uninterrupted successes 
who can be pleased with benevolence and generosity, and 
strength, and nerve, and decision of character, concentered in 
the same breast with a career, which, at. every step, evinced 
an unshaken determination to move forward for the benefit and 
exaltation of his country, at all hazards, and at every risk, will 
find much to admire. They will see the man. of whom they 
have already heard much, fearlessly encountering danger, and 
erecting himself in opposition to every design that came in col- 
lision with the duty he owed to the station he occupied ; and 
who, in moments of extreme difficulty, did not shrink from re- 
sponsibility ; but, bringing to his aid the slender resources within 
his reach, protected and saved an all-important and valuable 
portion of his country, at a time when her warmest votaries re- 
garded the cause, in that quarter, as hopeless. 

Whether the work will be flatteringly received, or shall 
" drop still-born from the press," although of some concern to 
the author, is an event on which his peace and tranquillity of 
mind does not depend. A recollection, that the good opinion of 
the world is dependent on a thousand accidental circumstances 
is often " obtained without merit, and lost without crime," affords 
considerations that neither hope nor fear can disturb. But that 
it shall be so far charitably received and patronised, as to afford 
advantages to the children of a friend, is desired. Their father 
is no more ! but, as his representatives, they have claims of no 
common kind on the liberality of the public. A character un- 
stained by dishonour, and without reproach; a firmness un- 
shaken, and devotion to his country, are the inheritance he has 


left them. He was no inactive spectator of the trying scenes 
that are past. When danger threatened, he was foremost to 
meet it. Throughout the prosecution of the southern war, in the 
capacity of aid to the commanding general, he was active and 
valiant. Nor can any stronger evidence be furnished of his 
capacity, unquestioned merit, and distinguished services render- 
ed, than that during the whole period, he carried with him the 
entire confidence and friendship of his general. 

It was desirable to avoid in the narrative, all those circum- 
stances in which general Jackson was not directly concerned ; 
but as the design of the original author was to give a complete 
history of the southern war, that plan has been pursued, and 
some events briefly adverted to, in which the general had no 
immediate agency. 

The work, however, such as it is, is submitted to the public ; 
and nothing either of charity or favour, supplicated in its be- 
half. The matter is important, and the manner of presenting it, 
if defective, may at least prove serviceable to some future his- 





His birth, parentage, family, and education. Engages in the American 
re-volution, and is shortly after, 'with his brother, made a prisoner. 
Their treatment and sufferings. Commences the study of law. His 
removal to the western country. Anecdote. Becomes a member of the 
Tennessee convention, and afterwards a senator in the United States' 
congress. Retires, and is appointed a judge of the state courts. De- 
claration of war. Tenders the services of 2500 volunteers to the pre- 
sident. Ordered to the lower country. His descent and return, and 
discharge of the troops. 

ANDREW JACKSON was born on the 15th day of March, 
1767. His father, (Andrew) the youngest son of his 
family, emigrated to America from Ireland during the 
year 1765, bringing with him two sons, Hugh and Ro- 
bert, both very young. Landing at Charleston, in 
South Carolina, he shortly afterwards purchased a 
tract of land, in what was then called the Waxsaw 
settlement, about forty-five miles above Camden; at 
which place the subject of this history was born. Short- 
ly after his birth, his father died, leaving three sons to 


be provided for by their mother. She appears to have 
been an exemplary woman, and to have executed the 
arduous duties which had devolved on her, with great 
faithfulness and with much success. To the lessons 
she inculcated on the youthful minds of her sons, was, 
no doubt, owing, in a great measure, that fixed oppo- 
sition to British tyranny and oppression, which after- 
wards so much distinguished them. Often would she 
spend the winter's evenings, in recounting to them the 
sufferings of their grandfather, at the siege of Car- 
rickfergus, and the oppression exercised by the no- 
bility of Ireland, over the labouring poor ; impressing 
it upon them, as a first duty, to expend their lives, if 
it should become necessary, in defending and support- 
ing the natural rights of man. 

Inheriting but a small patrimony from their father, 
it was impossible that all the sons could receive an ex- 
pensive education. The two eldest were therefore 
only taught the rudiments of their mother tongue, at 
a common country school. But Andrew, being intend- 
ed by his mother for the ministry, was sent to a flou- 
rishing academy at the Waxsaw meeting house, super- 
intended by Mr. Humphries. Here he was placed on 
the study of the dead languages, and continued until 
the revolutionary war extending its ravages into that 
section of South Carolina, where he then was, render- 
ed it necessary that every one should betake himself 
to the American standard, seek protection with the 
enemy, or flee his country. It was not an alternative 
that admitted of tedious deliberation. The natural ar- 
dor of his temper, deriving encouragement from the 
recommendations of his mother, whose feelings were 


cited by those sentiments in favor of liberty, with 
which, by her conversation, his mind had been early 
endued, quickly determined him in the course to be 
pursued ; and at the tender age of fourteen, accompa- 
nied by his brother Robert, he hastened to the Ameri- 
can camp, and engaged actively, in the service of his 
country. His oldest brother, who had previously joined 
the army, had lost his life at the battle of Stono, from 
the excessive heat of the weather, and the fatigues of 
the day. 

Both Andrew and Robert, were, at this period, 
pretty well acquainted with the manual exercise, and 
had some idea of the different evolutions of the field, 
having been indulged by their mother in attending the 
drill and general musters of the neighbourhood. 

The Americans being unequal, as well from the in- 
feriority of their numbers, as their discipline, to en- 
gage the British army in battle, had retired before it, 
into the interior of North Carolina; but when they 
learned, that lord Cornwallis had crossed the Yadkin, 
they returned in small detachments to their native 
state. On their arrival, they found lord Rawdon in 
possession of Camden, and the whole country around 
in a state of desolation. The British commander being- 
advised of the return of the settlers of Waxsaw, ma- 
jor Coffin was immediately despatched thither, with a 
corps of light dragoons, a company of infantry, and a 
considerable number of tories, for their capture and 
destruction. Hearing of their approach, the settlers, 
without delay, appointed the Waxsaw meeting house 
as a place of rendezvous, that they might the better 


collect their scattered strength, and concert some sys- 
tem of operations. About forty of them had according- 
ly assembled at this point, when the enemy approach- 
ed, keeping the tories, who were dressed in the com- 
mon garb of the country, in front, whereby this little 
band of patriots was completely deceived, having taken 
them for captain Nisbet's company, in expectation of 
which they had been waiting. Eleven of them were 
taken prisoners ; the rest with difficulty fled, scatter- 
ing and betaking themselves to the woods for conceal- 
ment. Of those who thus escaped, though closely 
pursued, were Andrew Jackson and his brother, who, 
entering a secret bend in a creek, that was close at 
hand, obtained a momentary respite from danger, and 
avoided, for the night, the pursuit of the enemy. The 
next day, however, having gone to a neighbouring 
house, for the purpose of procuring something to eat, 
they were broken in upon, and made prisoners, by 
Coffin's dragoons, and a party of tories who accompa- 
nied them. Those young men, with a view to secu- 
rity, had placed their horses in the wood, on the mar- 
gin of a small creek, and posted, on the road which 
led by the house, a sentinel, that they might have in- 
formation of any approach, and in time to be able to 
elude it. But the tories, who were well acquainted 
with the country and the passes through the forest, 
had, unfortunately, passed the creek at the very point 
where the horses and baggage of our young soldiers 
were deposited, and taken possession of them. Having 
done this, they approached cautiously, the house, and 
were almost at the door before they were discovered. 
To escape was impossible, and both were made prison- 
ers. Being placed under guard, Andrew was ordered, 


in a very imperious tone, by a British officer, to clean 
his boots, which had become muddied in crossing the 
creek. This order he positively and peremptorily 
refused to obey; alleging that he looked for such 
treatment as a prisoner of war had a right to expect. 
Incensed at his refusal, the officer aimed a blow at his 
head with a drawn sword, which would, very probably, 
have terminated his existence, had he not parried its 
effects by throwing up his left hand, on which he re- 
ceived a severe wound, the mark of which he bears 
to this hour. His brother, at the same time, for a 
similar offence, received a deep cut on the head, which 
subsequently occasioned his death. They were both 
now taken to jail, where, separated and confined, 
they were treated with marked severity, until a few 
days after the battle before Camden, when, in conse- 
quence of a partial exchange, effected by the inter- 
cessions and exertions of their mother, and captain 
Walker, of the militia, they were both released from 
confinement. Captain Walker had, in a charge on the 
rear of the British army, succeeded in making thirteen 
prisoners, whom he gave in exchange for seven Ameri- 
cans, of which number were these two young men. 
Robert, during his confinement in prison, had suffered 
greatly ; the wound on his head, all this time, having 
never been dressed, was followed by an inflammation 
of the brain, which, in a few days after his liberation, 
brought him to the grave. To add to the afflictions 
of Andrew, his mother, worn down by grief, and her 
incessant exertions to provide clothing and other com- 
forts for the suffering prisoners, who had been taken 
from her neighbourhood, expired in a few weeks after 
her son, near the lines of the enemv^ in. the vicinity 


of Charleston. Andrew, the last and only surviving 
child, confined to a bed of sickness, occasioned by the 
sufferings he had been compelled to undergo, whilst 
a prisoner, and by getting wet, on his return from 
captivity, was thus left in the wide world, without a 
human being with whom he could claim a near re- 
lationship. The small pox, about the same time, having 
made its appearance upon him, had well nigh termi- 
nated his sorrows and his existence. 

Having at length recovered from his complicated 
afflictions, he entered upon the enjoyment of his estate, 
which, although small, would have been sufficient, 
under prudent management, to have completed his 
education, on the liberal scale which his mother had 
designed. Unfortunately, however, he, like too many 
young men, sacrificing future prospects to present 
gratification, expended it with rather too profuse a 
hand. Coming, at length, to foresee that he should 
be finally obliged to rely on his own exertions, for 
support and success in life, he again betook himself to 
his studies with increased industry. He re-commenced 
under Mr. M'Culloch, in that part of Carolina which 
was then called the New Acquisition, near Hill's iron 
works. Here he revised the languages, devoting a 
portion of his time to a desultory course of studies. 

His education being now completed, so far as his 
wasted patrimony, and the limited opportunities then 
afforded in that section of the country, would permit, 
at the age of eighteen, he turned his attention to ac- 
quiring a profession, and in preparing himself to enter 
on the busy scenes of life. The. pulpit, for which he 


had been designed by his mother, was now abandoned 
for the bar; and, in the winter of 1784, he repaired to 
Salisbury, in North Carolina, and commenced the 
study of law, under Spruce M'Cay, Esq. (afterwards 
one of the judges of that state,) and subsequently 
continued it under colonel John Stokes. Having re- 
mained at Salisbury until the winter of 1786, he ob- 
tained a license from the judges to practice law, and 
continued in the state until the spring of 1788. 


The observations he was enabled, during this time, 
to make, satisfied him that this state presented few 
inducements to a young attorney; and recollecting that 
he stood a solitary individual in life, without relations 
to aid him in the onset, when innumerable difficulties 
arise and retard success, he determined to seek a new 
country. But for this, he might have again returned 
to his native state ; the death, however, of every re- 
lation he had, had wiped away all those endearing re- 
collections and circumstances which warp the mind 
to the place of its nativity. The western parts of the 
state of Tennessee were, about this time, often spoken 
of, as presenting flattering prospects to adventurers. 
He immediately determined to accompany judge 
M'Nairy thither, who had been appointed, and was 
going out to hold the first supreme court that had 
ever sat in the state. Having reached the Holston, 
they ascertained it would be impossible to arrive at the 
time appointed for the session of the court; and there- 
fore determined to remain in that section of country 
until fall. They re-commenced their journey in Oc- 
tober, and passing through an extensive uninhabited 
country, reached Nashville in the same month. It had 


not been Jackson's intention, certainly, to make Ten- 
nessee the place of his future residence; his visit was 
merely experimental, and his stay remained to be de- 
termined by the advantages that might be disclosed ; 
but finding, soon after his arrival, that a considerable 
opening was offered for the success of a young attor- 
ney, he determined to remain. To one of refined 
feelings, the prospect before him was, certainly, not 
of an encouraging cast As in all newly settled coun- 
tries must be the case, society was loosely formed, and 
united by but few of those ties which have a tendency 
to enforce the performance of moral duty, and the right 
execution of justice. The young men of the place, 
adventurers from different sections of the country, had 
become indebted to the merchants ; there was but one 
lawyer in the country, and they had so contrived, 
as to retain him in their business ; the consequence 
was, that the merchants were entirely deprived of 
the means of enforcing against those gentlemen the 
execution of their contracts. In this state of things 
Jackson made his appearance at Nashville, and while 
the creditor class looked to it with great satisfaction, 
the debtors were sorely displeased. Applications were 
immediately made to him for his professional services, 
and on the morning after his arrival he issued seventy 
writs. To those prodigal gentlemen, it was an alarm- 
ing circumstance ; their former security was impaired; 
but that it might not wholly depart, they determined 
to force him, in some way or other, to leave the coun- 
try ; and to effect this, broils and quarrels with him 
were to be resorted to. This, however, was soon 
abandoned, satisfied, by the first controversy in which 
they had involved him, that his decision and firmness 


was such as to leave no hope of effecting any thing 
through this channel. Disregarding the opposition 
raised to him, he continued, with care and industry, 
to press forward in his professional course, and his at- 
tention soon brought him forward, and introduced him 
to a profitable practice. Shortly afterwards, he was 
appointed attorney general for the district, in which 
capacity he continued to act for several years. 

Indian depredations being then frequent on the 
Cumberland, every man, of necessity, became a soldier. 
Unassisted by the government, the settlers were forced 
to rely for security on their own bravery and exertions. 
Although young, no person was more distinguished 
than Andrew Jackson, in defending the country against 
these predatory incursions of the savages, who con- 
tinually harassed the frontiers, and not unfrequently 
approached the heart of the settlements, which were 
thin, but not widely extended. He aided alike in garri- 
soning the forts, and in pursuing and chastising the 

In the year 1796, having, by his patriotism, firmness, 
and talents, secured to himself a distinguished standing 
with all classes, he was chosen one of the members 
of the convention, for establishing a constitution for 
the state. His good conduct and zeal for the public 
interest, and the republican feelings and sentiments 
which were conspicuously disclosed in the formation 
and arrangement of this instrument, brought him more 
prominently to view; and, without proposing or so- 
liciting, he was, in the same year, elected a member 
of the house of representatives, in congress, for the 


state of Tennessee. The following year, his reputa- 
tion continuing to increase, and every bosom feeling a 
wish to raise him to still higher honours, he was chosen 
a senator of the United States congress, and took his 
seat on the 22d day of November, 1797. About the 
middle of April, business of an important and private 
nature, imposed on him the necessity of asking leave 
of absence, and returning home. Leave was granted, 
and before the next session he resigned his seat. He 
was but a little more than thirty years of age, and 
hence, scarcely eligible, by the constitution, at the 
time he was elected. The sedition law, about which 
*o much concern and feeling has been manifested 
through the country, was introduced into the senate, 
by Mr. Lloyd, of Maryland, in June, and passed that 
body On the 4th of July following ; hence the name of 
Jackson, owing to the leave of absence which had been 
granted him in April, does not appear on the journals. 
On the alien law, however, and the effort to repeal the 
stamp act, he was present, resting in the minority, and 
on the side of the Republican principles of the coun- 

The state of Tennessee, on its admission into the 
Union, comprising but one military division, and gene- 
ral Conway y who commanded it, as major-general, 

* The names of those senators who voted for a repeal of the alien 
and stamp acts, so obnoxious to the republicans of this country, at the 
session of 1798, were Anderson, Bloodworth, Brown, Foster, Green, 
Jackson, Langdon, Livermore, Martin, Mason, Tazewell. Against the 
repeal, Chapman, Clayton, Goodhue, Hillhouse, Howard, Latimer, 
Lawrence, Lloyd, North, Paine, Read, Rutherford, Sedgwick, Stock. 
ton, Tracy. 


dying about this time, Jackson, without being consult- 
ed on the subject, and without the least intimation of 
what was in agitation, was, as the constitution of the 
state directs, chosen by the field officers, to succeed 
him; which appointment he continued to hold until 
May, 1814, when he was constituted a major-general 
in the United States' service. 

Becoming tired of political life, for the intrigues of 
which he declared fiimself unqualified, and having for 
two years voted'in the minority in congress, he resign- 
ed, after the first session, his seat in the senate. To 
this measure lie was strongly induced, from a desire to 
make way for general Smith, who, he conjectured, 
would, in that capacity, be able to render more im- 
portant services to the government than himself. His 
country, unwilling that his talents should remain in- 
active and unemployed, again demanded his services. 
Immediately after his resignation, he was appointed 
one of the judges of the supreme court of the state. 
Sensibly alive to the difficult duties of this station, 
distrusting his legal acquirements, and impressed with 
the great injury he might produce to suitors, by erro- 
neous decisions, he advanced to the office with re- 
luctance, and in a short time resigned, leaving it open 
for those, who, he believed, were better qualified than 
himself, to discharge its intricate and important duties. 
Unambitious of those distinctions and honors which 
young men are usually proud to possess; finding too, 
that his circumstances and condition in life, were not 
such as to permit his time and attention to be devoted 
to public matters, he determined to yield them into 
others' hands, and to devote himself to agricultural 


pursuits ; and accordingly settled himself on an excel- 
lent farm, ten miles from Nashville, on the Cumber- 
land river ; where, for several years, he enjoyed all the 
comforts of domestic and social intercourse. Abstract- 
ed from the busy scenes of public life, pleased with 
retirement, surrounded by friends whom he loved, and 
who entertained for him the highest veneration and 
respect, and blessed with an amiable and affectionate 
consort, nothing seemed wanting to the completion of 
that happiness which he so anxiously desired whilst 
in office. 

But a period approached, when all these endear- 
ments were again to be abandoned, for the duties of 
more active life. Great Britain, by multiplied out- 
rages on our rights, as an independent and neutral 
nation, had provoked from our government a declara- 
tion of war against her. This measure, though founded 
in abundant cause, had been long forborne, and every 
attempt at conciliation made, without effect : when, at 
length, it was resorted to, as the only alternative that 
could preserve the honour and dignity of the nation, 
General Jackson, ever devoted to the interest of his 
country, from the moment of the declaration, knew 
no wish so strong as that of entering into her service, 
against a power, which, independent of public con- 
siderations, he had many private reasons for disliking. 
In her, he could trace sufferings and injuries received, 
and the efficient cause, why, in early life, he had been 
left forlorn and wretched, without a single relation in 
the world. His proud and inflexible mind, however, 
could not venture to solicit an appointment in the army, 
which was about to be raised. He accordingly remained 


wholly unknown, until, at the head of the militia, em- 
ployed against the Creek Indians, his constant vigi- 
lance, and the splendour of his victories, apprised the 
general government of those great military talents 
which he so eminently possessed, and conspicuously 
displayed, when opportunities for exerting them were 

The acts of congress, Of the 6th of February, and 
July, 1812, afforded the means of bringing into view 
a display of those powers, which, being unknown, un- 
der other circumstances, unfortunately, might have 
slumbered in inaction. Under the authority of these 
acts, authorizing the president to accept the services 
of fifty thousand volunteers, he addressed the citizens 
of his division, and twenty-five hundred flocked to his 
standard. A tender of them having been made, and the 
offer accepted, in November he received orders to 
place himself at their head and to descend the Mis- 
sissippi, for the defence of the lower country, which 
was then supposed to be in danger. Accordingly, on 
the 10th of December, those troops rendezvoused at 
Nashville, prepared to advance to the place of their 
destination ; and, although the weather was then exces- 
sively severe, and the ground covered with snow, no 
troops could have displayed greater firmness. The 
general was every where with them, inspiring them 
with the ardour that animated his own bosom. The 
cheerful spirit with which they submitted to hard- 
ships, and bore privations, on the very onset of their 
military career, as well as the order and subordination 
they so readily observed, were happy presages of 


what was to be expected, when they should be direct- 
ed to face an enemy. 

Having procured supplies, and made the necessary 
arrangements for an active campaign, they proceeded, 
the 7th of January, on their journey ; and, descending 
the Ohio and Mississippi, through cold and ice, arrived, 
and halted at Natchez. Here Jackson had been in- 
structed to remain, until he should receive further 
orders. Having chosen a healthy site for the encamp- 
ment of his troops, about two miles from Washington, 
he devoted his time, with the utmost industry, to train- 
ing and preparing them for active service. The clouds 
of war, however, in. that quarter, having blown over, 
an order was received from the secretary of war, 
dated the 5th of January, directing him, on the re- 
ceipt thereof, to dismiss those under his command, 
from service, and to take measures for delivering over 
every article of public property, in his possession, to 
brigadier general Wilkinson. When this order reach- 
ed his camp, there were one hundred and fifty on the 
sick report, fifty-six of whom were unable to raise 
their heads, and almost the whole of them destitute of 
the means of defraying the expenses of their return. 
The consequence of a strict compliance with the se- 
cretary's order, inevitably w r ould have been, that many 
of the sick must have perished, whilst most of the 
others, from their destitute condition would, of neces- 
sity, have been compelled to enlist in the regular 
army, under general Wilkinson. Such alternatives 
were neither congenial with their general's wished, 
nor such as they had expected, on adventuring with 
him in the service of their country ; he had carried 


them from home, and, the fate of war and disease apart, 
it was his duty, he believed, to bring them back. Whe- 
ther an expectation that, by this plan, many of them 
would be compelled into the regular ranks, had form- 
ed any part of the motive that occasioned the order 
for their discharge, at so great a distance from home, 
cannot be known; and it would be uncharitable to in- 
sinuate against the government so serious and foul an 
accusation, without the strongest evidence to support 
it. Be this as it may, general Jackson could not think 
of sacrificing or injuring an army that had shown such 
devotedness to their country ; and he determined to 
disregard the order, and march them again to their 
homes, where they had been embodied, rather than 
discharge them where they would be exposed to the 
greatest hardships and dangers. To this measure he 
was prompted, not only by the reasons already men- 
tioned, but by the consideration, that many of the 
troops under his command were young men, the chil- 
dren of his neighbours and acquaintances, who had 
delivered them into his hands, as to a guardian, who, 
with parental solicitude, would watch over and protect 
their welfare. To have abandoned them, therefore, at 
such a time, and under such circumstances, would 
have drawn on him the merited censure of the most 
deserving part of his fellow-citizens, and sensibly 
wounded his own generous feelings. Add to this, those 
young men who were confined by sickness, learning 
the nature of the order he had received, implored him, 
with tears in their eyes, not to abandon them in so 
great an extremity, reminding him, at the same time, 
of his assurances, that he would be to them as a father; 
and of the implicit confidence they had placed in his 


word. This was an appeal, which it would have been 
difficult for the feelings of Jackson to have resisted, 
had it been without the support of other weighty con- 
siderations ; but, influenced by them all, he had no 
hesitation in coming to a determination. 

Having made known his resolution to the field offi- 
cers of his division, it met, apparently, their approba- 
tion ; but, after retiring from his presence, they assem- 
bled late at night, in secret caucus, arid proceeded to 
recommend to him an abandonment of his purpose, 
and an immediate discharge of his troops. Great as 
was the astonishment, which this measure excited in 
the general, it produced a still higher sentiment of in- 
dignation. In reply, he urged the duplicity of their 
conduct, and reminded them, that although to those 
who possessed funds and health, such a course could 
produce no inconvenience, yet to the unfortunate sol- 
dier, who was alike destitute of both, no measure could 
be more calamitous. He concluded by telling them, 
that his resolution not having been hastily concluded 
on, nor bottomed on light considerations, was unalter- 
ably fixed ; and that immediate preparations must be 
made for carrying into execution the determination 
he had formed. 

He lost no time in making known to the secretary 
of war the resolution he had adopted; to disregard 
the order he had given, and to return his army to the 
place where he haxl received it. He painted in strong 
terms the evils which the course pursued by the go- 
vernment was calculated to produce, and expressed 
the astonishment he felt, that it should have originated 


with the famous author of the " Newburg Letters," the 
once redoubted advocate of soldiers' rights. 

General Wilkinson, to whom the public property 
was directed to be delivered, learning the determina- 
tion which had been taken by Jackson, to march his 
troops back, and to take with them so much of that 
property as should be necessary to their return, in a 
letter of solemn and mysterious import, admonished 
him of the consequences which were before him, and 
of the awful and dangerous responsibility he w r as taking 
on himself, by so bold a measure. General Jackson 
replied, that his conduct, and the consequences to 
which it might lead, had been deliberately weighed, 
and well considered, and that he was prepared to 
abide the result, whatever it might be. Wilkinson had 
previously given orders to his officers, to recruit from 
Jackson's army ; they were advised, however, on their 
first appearance, that those troops were already in the 
service of the United States, and that thus situated, 
they should not be enlisted ; and that he would arrest 
and confine the first officer who dared to enter his 
encampment with any such object in view. 

The quarter-master, having been ordered to furnish 
the necessary transportation, for the conveyance of 
the sick and the baggage to Tennessee, immediately 
set about the performance of the task; but, as the 
event proved, with not the least intention of executing 
it. Still, he continued to keep up the semblance of 
exertion ; and the better to deceive, the very day be- 
fore that which had been appointed for breaking up 
the encampment, and commencing the return march, 


eleven wagons arrived there by his order. The next 
morning, however, when every thing was about to be 
packed up, acting doubtless from orders, and intending 
to produce embarrassment, the quarter-master entered 
the encampment, and discharged the whole. He was 
grossly mistaken in the man he had to deal with, and 
had now played his tricks too far to be able to ac- 
complish the object which he had, no doubt, been in- 
structed to effect. Disregarding their dismissal, so 
evidently designed to prevent his marching back his 
men, general Jackson seized upon these wagons, yet 
within his lines, and compelled them to proceed to the 
transportation of his sick. It deserves to be recollected, 
that this quarter-master, so soon as he received direc- 
tions for furnishing transportation, had despatched an 
express to general Wilkinson : and there can be but 
little doubt, that the course of duplicity he afterwards 
pursued, was a concerted plan between him and that 
general, to defeat the design of Jackson ; compel him 
to abandon the course he had adopted ; and, in this 
way, draw to the regular army many of the soldiers, 
who, from necessity, would be driven to enlist. In 
this attempt, they were fortunately disappointed. Ad* 
hering to his original purpose, he successfully resisted 
every stratagem of Wilkinson, and marched the whole 
of his division to the section of country whence they 
had been drawn, and dismissed them from service, as 
he had been instructed. 

To present an example that might buoy up the 
sinking spirits of his troops, in the long and arduous 
march before them, he yielded up his horses to the 
sick, and trudging on foot, encountered all the hard- 


ships that were met by the soldiers* It was at a time 
of year when the roads were extremely bad> and the 
swamps, lying in their passage, deep and full; yet, 
under these circumstances, he placed before his troops 
an example of patience and hardship that lulled to 
silence all complaints, and won to him, still stronger 
than before, the esteem and respect of every one- On 
arriving at Nashville, he communicated to the presi- 
dent of the United States the course he had pursued, 
and the reasons that had induced it. If it had become 
necessary, he had sufficient grounds on which he could 
have justified his conduct. Had he suffered general 
Wilkinson to have accomplished what was clearly his 
intention, although it was an event which might, at the 
moment, have benefitted the service, by adding an in- 
creased strength to the army, yet the example would 
have been of so serious and exceptionable a charac- 
ter, that injury would have been the final and unavoid- 
able result. Whether the intention of thus forcing 
these men to enlist into the regular ranks, had its ex- 
istence under the direction of the government, or not, 
such would have been the universal belief; and all 
would have felt a deep abhorrence, at beholding the 
patriots of the country drawn off from their homes, 
under pretence of danger, whilst the concealed design 
was, by increasing their necessities, at a distance from 
their residence, to compel them to an act which they 
would have abstained from under different circum- 
stances. His conduct, terrible as it first appeared, was 
in the end approved, and the expenses incurred di- 
rected to be paid by the government 


Indian preparation for hostilities. Tecumseh arrives amongst the southern 
tribes ; his intrigues. Civil wars of the Creeks. Destruction of, and 
butchery at Fort Mimms. Expedition against the Indians.- Jack- 
son unites with the army, and enters the enemy's country. Scarcity oj 
supplies in his camp. Learns the savages are embodied. His address 
to his troops. Seeks to form a junction with the East Tennessee di- 
vision. Detaches general Coffee across the Coosa. Battle of Tallus- 

THE volunteers, who had descended the river, hav- 
ing been discharged, early in May, there was little ex- 
pectation that they w^ould again be called for. Ten- 
nessee \vas too remotely situated in the interior of the 
country, to expect their services would be required 
for her defence, and hitherto the British had discover- 
ed no serious intention of waging operations against 
any part of Louisiana. Thjeir repose, however, was 
not of long duration. The (keek Indians, inhabiting 
the country lying between the Chatahochee and Tom- 
bigbee, and extending from the Tennessee river to the 
Florida line, had lately manifested strong symptoms of 
hostility towards the United States, from which they 
had received yearly pensions, and every assistance 
which the most liberal policy could bestow. This 
disposition was greatly strengthened, through means 
used by the northern Indians, who were then making 
preparations for a war against the United States, and 
who wished to engage the southern tribes in the same 
enterprise. This they believed to be of great im- 
portance ; as, by assailing the whole line of our fron- 


tiers at the same time, they would be able, at once, to 
gratify their vengeance, and to enrich themselves with 

An artful impostor had, about this* time, sprung up 
amongst the Shawnees, who, by passing for a prophet, 
commissioned by the " great spirit)" to communicate 
his mandates and assurances to his red children, had 
acquired, among his own and the neighbouring tribes, 
a most astonishing influence. Clothed, as they believed 
him to be, with such high powers, they listened to his 
extravagant doctrines, and in them fully confided. In 
a little time, he succeeded in kindling a phrenzy and 
rage against the Anglo-Americans, which soon after 
burst forth in acts of destructive violence. His brother, 
Tecumseh, who became so famous during the war, and 
who was killed subsequently, at the battle of the 
Thames, was despatched to the southern tribes, to ex- 
cite in them the same temper. To the Creeks, as by 
far the most numerous and powerful, as well as the 
most liable, from their situation and habits, to be in- 
fluenced by his suggestions, he directed his principal 
attention. Having entered their nation, some time in 
the spring of 1812, he repaired to Tookaubatcha, 
where he had repeated conferences with the chiefs ; 
but not meeting with the encouragement he expected, 
he returned to the Alabama, which he had previously 
visited, and there commenced his operations. 

Finding here several leaders of great influence, who 
readily entered into his views, he was enabled to carry 
on his schemes with greater success. Deriving his 
powers from his brother, the Prophet, whose extra- 


ordinary commission and endowments were, previous 
to this, well understood by all the neighbouring tribes 
in the south, his authority was regarded with the 
highest veneration. He strongly interdicted all inter- 
course with the whites, and prevailed on the greater 
part of the Alabama Indians to throw aside the imple- 
ments and clothing which that intercourse had furnish- 
ed, and return again to their savage state, from which 
he represented them as highly culpable for having suf- 
fered themselves to be estranged. In a word, no means 
were left untried to excite them to the most deadly 
animosity and cruel war. To afford additional weight 
to his councils, this designing missionary gave assu- 
rances of aid and support from Great Britain ; whose 
power and riches he represented as almost without 
limits, and quite sufficient for the subjugation of the 
United States. So considerable an influence did his 
intrigues and discourses obtain over the minds of many, 
that it was with difficulty the most turbulent of them 
could be restrained from running immediately to arms, 
and committing depredations on the exposed frontiers. 
This hasty measure, however, he represented as calcu- 
lated to defeat the great plan of operations which he 
was labouring to concert ; and enjoined the utmost se- 
crecy and quietness, until the moment should arrive, 
when, all their preparations being ready, they might be 
able to strike a general and decisive blow ; in the mean 
time, they were to be industriously employed in col- 
lecting arms and ammunition, and other necessary im- 
plements of war. 

Having ordained a chief prophet, whose word was 
to be regarded as infallible, and whose directions were 


to be implicitly followed, and established a regular 
gradation of inferior dependents, to disseminate his 
doctrines through the different parts of the nation, 
Tecumseh set out to his own tribe, accompanied by 
several of the natives, 

From this time, a regular communication was kept up 
between the Creeks and the northern tribes, in relation 
to the great enterprise which they were concerting 
together; whilst the parties, carrying it on, committed 
frequent depredations on the frontier settlers. By one 
of these, in the summer of 1812, several families had 
been murdered in a shocking manner, near the mouth 
of the Ohio ; and shortly afterwards, another party, 
entering the limits of Tennessee, under circumstances 
of still greater barbarity, butchered two families of 
women and children. Similar outrages were com- 
mitted on the frontiers of Georgia, and were con- 
tinued, at intervals, on the inhabitants of Tennessee, 
along her southern boundary. 

These multiplied outrages at length attracted the 
attention of the general government, and application 
was made, through their agent, (colonel Hawkins,) to 
the principal chiefs of the nation, who, desirous of 
preserving their friendly relations with the United 
States, resolved to punish the murderers with death ; 
and immediately appointed a party of warriors to carry 
their determination into execution. No sooner was 
this done, than the spirit of the greater part of the 
nation, which, from policy, had been kept in a con- 
siderable degree, dormant, suddenly burst to a flame, 
and kindled into civil war. 


It was not difficult for the friends of those murderers, 
who had been put to death, to prevail on others, who 
secretly applauded the acts for which they suffered, 
to enter warmly into their resentments against those 
who had been concerned in bringing them to pun- 
ishment. An occasion, as they believed, was now pre- 
sented which fully authorized them to throw aside all 
those injunctions of secrecy, with regard to their hos- 
tile intentions, which had been imposed on them by 
Tecumseh and their prophets. This restraint, which, 
hitherto, they had regarded with much difficulty, they 
now resolved to lay aside, and to execute at once their 
insatiate and long-projected vengeance, not only on 
the white people, but on those of their own nation, 
who y by this last act of retaliatory justice, had unequi- 
vocally shown a disposition to preserve their friend- 
ship with the former. The cloak of concealment 
being now thrown aside, the war clubs* were immedi- 
ately seen in every section of the nation; but more 
particularly among the numerous hordes residing near 
the Alabama. Brandishing these in their hands, they 
rushed, in the first instance, on those of their own 
countrymen who had shown a disposition to preserve 
their relations with the United States, and obliged 
them to retire towards the white settlements, and 
place themselves in forts, to escape the first ebulli- 
tion of their rage. Encouraged by this success, and 

* Instruments used by the Indian tribes on commencing hostilities ; 
and which, when painted red, they consider a declaration of war. 
They are formed of a stick, about eighteen inches in length, with a 
strong piece of sharp iron affixed at the end, and resemble a hatchet. 
They use them principally in pursuit, and after they have been able 
to introduce confusion into the ranks of an enemy. 


their numbers, which hourly increased, and infatuated 
to the highest degree by the predictions of their pro- 
phets, who assured them that " the Great Spirit" was 
on their side, and would enable them to triumph over 
all their enemies, they began to make immediate pre- 
parations for extending their ravages to the white set- 
tlements. Fort Mimms, situated in the Tensaw set- 
tlement, in the Mississippi territory, was the first point 
destined to satiate their cruelty and vengeance. It 
contained, at that time, about one hundred and fifty 
men, under the command of major Beasley, besides a 
considerable number of women and children, who had 
betaken themselves to it for security. Having col- 
lected a supply of ammunition, from the Spaniards at 
Pensacola, and assembled their warriors, to the num- 
of six or seven hundred, the war party, commanded 
by Weatherford, a distinguished chief of the nation, 
on the 30th of August commenced their assault on the 
fort; and having succeeded in carrying it, put to death 
nearly three hundred persons, including women and 
children, with the most savage barbarity. The slaugh- 
ter was indiscriminate ; mercy was extended to none ; 
and the tomahawk, at the same stroke, often cleft the 
mother and the child. But seventeen of the whole 
number, in the fort, escaped, to bring intelligence of 
the dreadful catastrophe. This monstrous and unpro- 
voked outrage no sooner reached Tennessee, than the 
whole state was thrown into a ferment, and nothing 
was thought or spoken of but retaliatory vengeance. 
Considerable excitement had already been produced 
by brutalities of earlier date, and measures had been 
adopted by the governor, in conformity with instruc- 
tions from the secretary of war, for commencing a 


campaign against them; but the massacre at Fort 
Mimms, which threatened to be followed by the entire 
destruction of the Mobile and Tombigbee settlements, 
inspired a deep and universal sentiment of solicitude, 
and an earnest wish for speedy and effectual opera- 
tions. The anxiety felt on the occasion, was greatly 
increased from an apprehension that general Jackson 
would not be able to command. He was the only man, 
known in the state, who was believed qualified to dis- 
charge the arduous duties of the station, and who 
could carry with him the complete confidence of his 
soldiers. He was at this time seriously indisposed, and 
confined to his room, with a fractured arm ; but al- 
though this apprehension was seriously indulged, ar- 
rangements were in progress, and measures indus- 
triously taken, to prepare and press the expedition 

with every possible despatch, 

A numerous collection of respectable citizens, who 
convened at Nashville on the 18th of September, for 
the purpose of devising the most effectual ways and 
means of affording protection to their brethren in dis- 
tress, after conferring with the governor and general 
Jackson, who was still confined to his room, strongly 
advised the propriety of marching a sufficient army 
into the heart of the Creek nation; and accordingly 
recommended this measure, with great earnestness, to 
the legislature, which, in a few days afterwards, com- 
menced its session. That body, penetrated with the 
same sentiments which animated the whole country, 
immediately enacted a law, authorizing the executive 
to call into the field thirty-five hundred of the militia, 
to be marched against the Indians; and, to guard 


against all difficulties, in the event the general govern- 
ment should omit to adopt them into their service, 
three hundred thousand dollars were voted for their 

Additional reasons were at hand why active opera- 
tions should be commenced with the least possible 
delay. The settlers were fleeing to the interior, and 
every day brought intelligence, that the Creeks, col- 
lected in considerable force, were bending their course 
towards the frontiers of Tennessee. The governor 
now issued an order to General Jackson, who, notwith- 
standing the state of his health, had determined to as- 
sume the command, requiring him to call out, and 
rendezvous at Fayetteville, in the shortest possible 
time, two thousand of the militia and volunteers of his 
division, to repel any invasion that might be contem- 
plated. Colonel Coffee, in addition to five hundred 
cavalry, already raised, and under his command, was 
authorized and instructed to organize and receive into 
his regiment, any mounted riflemen that might make 
a tender of their services. 

Having received these orders, Jackson hastened to 
give them effect ; and with this object, and with a 
view to greater expedition, appealed to those volun- 
teers, who, with him, had heretofore descended the 
Mississippi to Natchez. He urged them to appear at 
the place designated for the rendezvous, on the 4th of 
October, equipped and armed for active service. He 
pointed out the imperious necessity which demanded 
their services, and urged them to be punctual ; for that 
their frontiers were threatened with invasion by a sa- 


rage foe. " Already are large bodies of the hostile 
Creeks inarching to your borders, with their scalping 
knives unsheathed, to butcher your women and chil- 
dren : time is not to be lost. We must hasten to the fron- 
tier, or we shall find it drenched in the blood of our citi- 
zens. The health of your general is restored he will 
command in person." In the mean time, until this force 
could be collected and organized, colonel Coffee, with 
the force then under his command, and such additional 
mounted riflemen as could be attached at a short no- 
tice, was directed to hasten forward to the neighbour- 
hood of Huntsville, and occupy some eligible position 
for the defence of the frontier, until the infantry should 
arrive; when it was contemplated, by the nearest 
possible route to press on to Fort St. Stephen, with 
a view to the protection and defence of Mississippi. 

Every exertion was now made to hasten the prepa- 
rations for a vigorous campaign. Orders were given 
to the quarter-master, to furnish the necessary muni- 
tions, with the proper transportation ; and to the con- 
tractors, to provide ample supplies of provisions. The 
day of their rendezvous being arrived, and the general 
not being sufficiently recovered to attend in person, 
he forwarded by his aid-de-camp, major Reid, an ad- 
dress, to be read to the troops, accompanied by an 
order for the establishment of the police of the camp. 
In this address, he pointed to the unprovoked injuries 
that had been so long inflicted by this horde of merci- 
less and cruel savages ; and intreated his soldiers to 
evince that zeal in the defence of their country, which 
the importance of the moment so much required. " We 
are about to furnish these savages a lesson of admo- 


nition ; we are about to teach them, that our long 
forbearance has not proceeded from an insensibility to 
wrongs, or an inability to redress them. They stand 
in need of such warning. In proportion as we have 
borne with their insults, and submitted to their out- 
rages, they have multiplied in number, and increased 
in atrocity. But the measure of their offences is at 
length filled. The blood of our women and children, 
recently spilled at Fort Minims, calls for our ven- 
geance; it must not call in vain. Our borders must 
no longer be disturbed by the war whoop of these 
savages, or the cries of their suffering victims. The 
torch that has been lighted up must be made to blaze 
in the heart of their own country. It is time they 
should be made to feel the weight of a power which, 
because it was merciful, they believed to be impotent. 
But how shall a war, so long forborne, and so loudly 
called for by retributive justice, be waged ? Shall we 
imitate the example of our enemies, in the disorder 
of their movements and the savageness of their dis- 
positions ? Is it worthy the character of American 
soldiers, who take up arms to redress the wrongs of an 
injured country, to assume no better model than that 
furnished them by barbarians ? No, fellow soldiers ; 
great as are the grievances that have called us from 
our homes, we must not permit disorderly passions ta 
tarnish the reputation we shall carry along with us ; 
we must and will be victorious ; but we must conquer 
as men who owe nothing to chance, and who, in the 
midst of victory, can still be mindful of what is due 
to humanity ! 

" We will commence the campaign by an inviolable 


attention to discipline and subordination. Without a 
strict observance of these, victory must ever be un- 
certain, and ought hardly to be exulted in even when 
gained. To what but the entire disregard of order 
and subordination, are we to ascribe the disasters which 
have attended our arms in the north, during the present 
war? How glorious will it be to remove the blots 
which have tarnished the fair character bequeathed us 
by the fathers of our revolution ! The bosom of your 
general is full of hope. He knows the ardour which 
animates you, and already exults in the triumph which 
your strict observance of discipline and good order 
will render certain." 

For the police of his camp, he announced the fol- 
lowing order. 

"The chain of sentinels will be marked, and the 
sentries posted, precisely at ten o'clock to-day. 

"No sutler will be suffered to sell spirituous liquors 
to any soldier, without permission, in writing, from a 
commissioned officer, under the penalties prescribed 
by the rules and articles of war. 

" No citizen will be permitted to pass the chain of 
sentinels, after retreat beat in the evening, until reveille 
in the morning. Drunkenness, the bane of all orderly 
encampments, is positively forbidden, both in officers 
and privates : officers, under the penalty of immediate 
arrest; and privates, of being placed under guard, 
there to remain until liberated by a court martial, 


" At reveille beat, all officers and soldiers are to ap- 
pear on parade, with their arms and accoutrements in 
proper order. 

" On parade, silence, the duty of a soldier, is posi- 
tively commanded. 

" No officer or soldier is to sleep out of camp, but 
by permission obtained." 

These rules, to those who had scarcely yet passed 
the line that separates the citizen from the soldier, and 
who had not yet laid aside the notions of self sove- 
reignty, had the appearance of too much rigour ; but 
the general well knew, that the expedition in which 
they were embarked involved much hazard ; and that, 
although such lively feelings were manifested now, 
yet when hardships pressed, these might cease. He 
considered it much safer, therefore, to lay before them, 
at once, the rules of conduct to which they must con- 
form; believing that it would be more difficult to drive 
licentiousness from his camp, than to prevent its en- 

Impatient to join his division, although his health 
was far from being restored, his arm only beginning to 
heal, the general, in a few days afterwards, set out for 
the encampment, and reached it on the 7th. Finding, 
on his arrival, that the requisition was not complete, 
either in the number of men, or the necessary equip- 
ments, measures were instantly taken to remedy the 
deficiency. Orders were directed to the several briga- 


diers in his division, to hasten immediately their re- 
spective quotas, fully equipped for active operations, 

Circumstances did not permit him to remain at this 
place long enough to have the delinquencies complain- 
ed of remedied, and the ranks of his army filled. Co- 
lonel Coffee had proceeded with his mounted volun- 
teers to cover Huntsville, and give security to the 
frontiers, where alarm greatly prevailed. On the night 
of the 8th, a letter was received from him, dated two 
days before, advising, that two Indians, belonging to 
the peace party, had just arrived at the Tennessee 
river, from Chinnaby's fort, on the Coosa, with infor- 
mation that the war party had despatched eight hun- 
dred or a thousand of their warriors to attack the 
frontiers of Georgia ; and, with the remainder of their 
forces, were marching against Huntsville, or Fort Hamp- 
ton. In consequence of this intelligence, exertions 
were made to hasten a movement. Late on the follow- 
ing night, another express arrived, confirming the 
former statement, and representing the enemy, in great 
force, to be rapidly approaching the Tennessee. Or- 
ders were now given for preparing the line of march, 
and by nine o'clock the next day the whole division 
was in motion. They had not proceeded many miles, 
when they were met with intelligence that colonel 
Gibson, who had been sent out by Coffee to recon- 
noitre the movements of the enemy, had been killed 
by their advance. A strong desire had been mani- 
fested to be led forward ; that desire was now strength- 
ened by the information just received; and it was with 
difficulty their emotions could be restrained. They 
accelerated their pace, and before eight o'clock at night, 
arrived at Huntsville, a distance of thirty-two miles. 


Learning here, that the information .was erroneous 
which had occasioned so hasty a movement, the gene- 
ral encamped his troops ; having intended to march 
them that night to the Tennessee river had it been 
confirmed. The next day the line of march was re- 
sumed. The influence of the late excitement was 
now visible in the lassitude which followed its removal* 
Proceeding slowly, they crossed the Tennessee, at 
Ditto's landing, and united in the evening with colonel 
Coffee's regiment, which had previously occupied a 
commanding bluff, on the south bank of the river. 
From this place, in a few days afterwards, Jackson de- 
tached colonel Coffee, with seven hundred men, to scour 
the Black Warrior, a stream running from the north- 
east, and emptying into the Tombigbee; on which 
were supposed to be settled several populous villages 
of the enemy. ^ He himself remained at this encamp- 
ment a week, using the utmost pains in training his 
troops for service, and labouring incessantly to procure 
the necesfeary supplies for a campaign, which he had 
determined to carry directly into the heart of the ene- 
my's country. Towards the latter object, his industry 
had been employed, and his attention invariably direct- 
ed, from the time the expedition was projected. 

With general Cocke, who commanded the division 
of East Tennessee militia, an arrangment had been 
made, the preceding month, in which he had engaged 
to furnish large quantities of bread stuff, at Ditto's 
landing. The facility of procuring it in that quarter, 
and the convenient transportation afforded by the river, 
left no doubt on the mind of Jackson but that the 
engagement would be punctually complied with. To 


provide, however, against the bare possibility of a 
failure, and to be guarded against all contingencies 
that might happen, he had addressed his applications 
to various other sources. He had, on the same subject, 
written in the most pressing manner to the Governor 
of Georgia, with whose forces it was proposed to act 
in concert ; to colonel Meigs, agent to the Cherokee 
nation of Indians ; and to general White, wiio com- 
manded the advance of the East Tennessee troops. 
Previously to his arrival at Huntsville, he had receiv- 
ed assurances from the two latter, that a considerable 
supply of flour, for the use of his army, had been pro- 
cured, and was then at Hiwassee, where boats were 
ready to transport it. From general Cocke himself, 
about the same time, a letter was received ; stating that 
a hundred and fifty barrels of flour were then on the 
way to his encampment; and expressing a belief, that 
he should be able to procure, and forward on imme- 
diately, a thousand Barrels more. With pressing im- 
portunity, he had addressed himself to the contractors, 
and they had given him assurances, that on his crossing 
the Tennessee, they would be prepared with twenty 
days' rations for his whole command ; but finding, on 
his arrival at Ditto's, that their preparations were not 
in such forwardness as he had been led to expect, he 
was compelled, for a time, to suspend any active and 
general operations. Calculating, however, with great 
confidence, on exertions, which, he had been promised, 
should be unremitting, and on the speedy arrival of 
those supplies, descending the river, which had been 
already unaccountably delayed, he hoped, in a few 
days, to be placed in a situation to act efficiently. 
Whilst he was encouraged by these expectations, and 


only waiting their fulfilment, that he might advance, 
Shelocta, the son of Chinnaby, a principal chief among 
the friendly Creeks, arrived at his camp, to solicit his 
speedy movement for the relief of his father's fort, 
which was then threatened by a considerable body 
of the war party, who had advanced to the neighbour- 
hood of the Ten Islands, on the Coosa. Influenced 
by his representations, and anxious to extend relief, 
Jackson, on the 18th, gave orders for taking up the 
line of march on the following day, and notified the 
contractors of this arrangement, that they might be 
prepared to issue, immediately, such supplies as they 
had on hand : but, to his great astonishment, he then, 
for the first time, wts apprised of their entire inability 
to supply him whilst on his march. Having drawn 
what they had in their power to furnish, amounting to 
only a few days' rations, they were deposed from office, 
and others appointed, on whose industry and perform- 
ance, he believed, he might more safely rely. The 
scarcity of his provisions, however, at a moment like 
the present, when there was every appearance that 
the enemy might be met, and a blow stricken to ad- 
vantage, was not sufficient to wave his determination, 
already taken. The route he would have to make, to 
gain the fort, lay, for a considerable distance, up the 
river : might not the boats, long expected from Hiwas- 
see, and which he felt strongly assured must be near 
at hand, be met with on the way ? He determined to 
proceed; and having passed his army and baggage 
wagons over several mountains of stupendous size, 
and such as were thought almost impassable by foot 
passengers, he arrived, on the 22d of October, at 
Thompson's creek, which empties into the Tennessee, 


twenty-four miles above Ditto's, At this place he 
proposed the establishment of a permanent depot, for 
the reception of supplies, to be sent either up or down 
the river. Disappointed in the hopes with which he 
had adventured on his march, he remained here several 
days, in expectation of the boats that were coming to 
his relief. Thus harassed at the first onset, by diffi- 
culties wholly unexpected, and which, from the nu^ 
merous and strong assurances received, he could by 
no means have calculated on ; fearing, too, that the 
same disregard of duty might induce a continuance, he 
lost no time in opening every avenue to expedient, 
that the chances of future failure might be diminished. 
To general Flournoy, who commanded at Mobile, he 
applied, urging him to procure bread stuff, and have 
it forwarded up the Alabama by the time he should 
arrive on that river. The agent of the Choctaws, colo- 
nel M'Kee, who was then on the Tombigbee, was ad- 
dressed in the same style of entreaty. Expresses were 
despatched to general White, who, with the advance 
of the East Tennessee division, had arrived at the 
Look Out mountain, in the Cherokee nation, urging 
him, by all means, to hasten on the supplies. The 
assistance of the governor of Tennessee, was also 
earnestly besought. To facilitate exertion, and to in- 
sure success, every thing within his reach was attempt- 
ed : several persons of wealth and patriotism, in Madi- 
son county, were solicited to afford the contractors all 
the aid in their power; and, to induce them more 
readily to extend it, their deep interest, immediately 
at stake, was pointed to, and their deplorable and 
dangerous situation, should necessity compel him to 


withdraw his army, and leave them exposed to the 
mercy of the savages. 

Whilst these measures were taking, two runners, 
from Turkey town, an Indian village, despatched by 
Path-killer, a chief of the Cherokees, arrived at the 
camp. They brought information, that the enemy, 
from nine of the hostile towns, were assembling in 
great force near the Ten Islands ; and solicited, that 
immediate assistance should be afforded the friendly 
Creeks and Cherokees, in their neighbourhood, who 
were exposed to such imminent danger. His want of 
provisions was not yet remedied ; but, distributing the 
partial supply that was on hand, he resolved to pro^ 
ceed, in expectation that the relief he had so earnestly 
looked for, would, in a little while, arrive, and be for* 
warded to him. To prepare his troops for an engage* 
ment, which he foresaw was soon to take place, he 
thus addressed them ; 

" You have, fellow soldiers, at length penetrated the 
country of your enemies, It is not to be believed, 
that they will abandon the soil that embosoms the 
bones of their forefathers, without furnishing you an 
opportunity of signalizing your valour. Wise men do 
not expect ; brave men will not desire it. It was not 
to travel unmolested, through a barren wilderness, that 
you quitted your families and homes, and submitted 
to so many privations : it was to avenge the cruelties 
committed upon our defenceless frontiers, by the in- 
human Creeks, instigated by their no less inhuman 
allies ; you shall not be disappointed. If the enemy 
flee before us, we will overtake and chastise him; we 


will teach him how dreadful, when once aroused, is 
the resentment of freemen. But it is not by boasting 
that punishment is to be inflicted, or victory obtained. 
The same resolution that prompted us to take up 
arms, must inspire us in battle. Men thus animated, 
and thus resolved, barbarians can never conquer; and 
it is an enemy, barbarous in the extreme, that we have 
now to face. Their reliance will be on the damage 
they can do you whilst you are asleep and unprepared 
for action : their hopes shall fail them in the hour of 
experiment. Soldiers, who know their duty, and are 
ambitious to perform it, are not to be taken by sur- 
prise. Our sentinels will never sleep, nor our soldiers 
be unprepared for action : yet, whilst it is enjoined 
upon the sentinels vigilantly to watch the approach of 
the foe, they are, at the same time, commanded not to 
fire at shadows. Imaginary danger must not deprive 
them of entire self-possession. Our soldiers will lie 
with their arms in their hands: and the moment an 
alarm is given, they will move to their respective posi- 
tions, without noise, and without confusion ; they will 
be thus enabled to hear the orders of their officers, 
and to obey them with promptitude, 

" Great reliance will be placed, by the enemy, on 
the consternation they may be able to spread through 
our ranks by the hideous yells with which they com- 
mence their battles ; but brave men will laugh at such 
efforts to alarm them. It is not by bellowings and 
screams that the wounds of death are inflicted. You 
will teach these noisy assailants how weak are their 
weapons of warfare, by opposing them with the bayo- 


net; what Indian ever withstood its charge? what 
army, of any nation, ever withstood it long ? 

" Yes, soldiers, the order for a charge will be the 
signal for victory. In that moment, your enemy will 
be seen fleeing in every direction before you. But 
in the moment of action, coolness and deliberation 
must be regarded ; your fires made with precision and 
aim ; and when ordered to charge with the bayonet, 
you must proceed to the assault with a quick and firm 
step ; without trepidation or alarm. Then shall you 
behold the completion of your hopes in the discom- 
fiture of your enemy. Your general, whose duty, as 
\vell as inclination, is to watch over your safety, will 
not, to gratify any wishes of his own, rush you un- 
necessarily into danger. He knows, however, that it 
is not in assailing an enemy that men are destroyed ; 
it is when retreating, and in confusion. Aware of this, 
he will be prompted as much by a regard for your 
lives as your honour. He laments that he has been 
compelled, even incidentally, to hint at a retreat when 
speaking to freemen, and to soldiers. Never, until you 
forget all that is due to yourselves and your country, 
will you have any practical understanding of that 
word. Shall an enemy, wholly unacquainted with mili- 
tary evolution, and who rely more for victory on 
their grim visages and hideous yells, than upon their 
bravery or their weapons shall such an enemy ever, 
drive before them the well-trained youths of our 
country, whose bosoms pant for glory, and a desire to 
avenge the wrongs they have received ? Your general 
will not live to behold such a spectacle ; rather would 
he rush into the thickest of the enemy, and submit 


himself to their scalping knives : but he has no fears 
of such a result. He knows the valour of the men he 
commands, and how certainly that valour, regulated 
as it will be, will lead to victory. With his soldiers he 
will face all dangers, and with them participate in the 
glory of conquest." 

Having thus prepared the minds of his men, and 
brought to their view the kind of foe with whom they 
were shortly to contend; and having also, by his ex- 
presses, instructed general White to form a junction 
with him, and to hasten on all the supplies in his 
power to command, with about six days' rations of 
meat, and less than two of meal, he again put his 
army in motion to meet the enemy. Although there 
was some hazard in advancing into a country where 
relief was not to be expected, with such limited pre- 
paration, yet, believing that his contractors, lately in- 
stalled, would exert themselves to the utmost to 
forward supplies, and that amidst the variety of 
arrangements made, all could not fail, and well aware 
that his delaying longer might be productive of many 
disadvantages, his determination was taken to set out 
immediately in quest of the enemy. He replied to the 
Path-killer, by his runners, that he should proceed 
directly for the Coosa, and solicited him to be diligent 
in making discoveries of the situation and collected 
forces of the savages, and to give him, as early as pos- 
sible, the result of his inquiries. 

" The hostile Creeks," he remarked to him, " will 
not attack you until they have had a brush with me ; 


and that, I think, will put them out of the notion of 
fighting for some time." 

He requested, if he had, or could any how procure, 
provisions for his army, that he would send them, or 
advise where they might be had : " You shall be well 
paid, and have my thanks into the bargain. I shall 
stand most in need of corn meal, but shall be thank- 
ful for any kind of provisions ; and indeed for what* 
ever will support life." 

The army had advanced but a short distance when 
unexpected embarrassments were again presented. In- 
formation was received, by which it was clearly ascer^ 
tained, that the present contractors, who had been so 
much and so certainly, relied on, could not, with all 
their exertions, procure the necessary supplies. Major 
Rose, in the quarter-master's department, who had 
been sent into Madison county, to aid them in their 
endeavours, having satisfied himself, as well from 
their own admissions, as from evidence derived from 
other sources, that their want of funds, and conse- 
quent want of credit, rendered them a very unsafe de- 
pendence, had returned, and disclosed the facts to the 
general. He stated, that there were there persons of 
fortune and industry, who might be confided in, and 
who would be willing to contract for the army jf it 
were necessary. Jackson lost no time in embracing 
this plan, and gave the contract to Mr, Pope, upon 
whose means and exertions, he hoped, every reliance 
might be safely reposed. To the other contractors he 
wrote, informing them of the change that had been 
made, and the reasons which had induced it 



" I am advised," said he, " that you have candidly 
acknowledged you have it not in your power to exe- 
cute the contract in which you have engaged. Do not 
think I mean to cast any reflection very far from it. 
I am exceedingly pleased with the exertions you have 
made, and feel myself under many obligations of grati- 
tude for them. The critical situation of affairs, when 
you entered into the contract, being considered, you 
have done all that individuals, in your circumstances, 
could have performed. But you must be well con- 
vinced, that any approbation which may be felt by the 
commander of an army, for past services, ought not to 
become, through kindness to you, the occasion of that 
Army's destruction. From the admissions you have 
been candid enough to make, the scarcity which al- 
ready begins to appear in camp, and the difficulties 
you are likely to encounter, in effecting your engage- 
ments, I am apprehensive I should be doing injustice 
to the army I command were I to rely for support on 
your exertions great as I know them to be. What- 
ever concerns myself, I may manage with any gene- 
rosity or indulgence I please ; but in acting for rny 
country, I have no such discretion. I have, therefore, 
felt myself compelled to give the contract in which 
you are concerned, to another, who is abundantly abl<? 
to execute it; on condition he indemnifies you for the 
trouble you have beep at." 

This arrangement being made, the army continued 
its march, and having arrived within a few miles of the 
Ten Islands, was met by old Chinnaby, a leading chief 
of the Creek nation, and sternly opposed to the war 
party. He brought with him, and surrendered up, two 


of the hostile Creeks, who had been lately made pri- 
soners by his party. At this place, it was represented, 
that they were within sixteen miles of the enemy, who 
were collected, to the number of a thousand, to oppose 
their passage. This information was little relied on, 
and afterwards proved untrue. Jackson continued his 
route, and in a few days reached the islands of the 
Coosa; having been detained a day on the way, for 
the purpose of obtaining small supplies of corn from 
the neighbouring Indians. This acquisition to the 
scanty stock on hand, whilst it afforded subsistence for 
the present, encouraged his hopes for the future, as a 
mean of temporary resort, should his other resources 

In a letter to governor Blount, from this place, speak- 
ing of the difficulties with which he was assailed, he 
observes : " Indeed, sir, we have been very wretch* 
edly supplied scarcely two rations in succession have 
been regularly drawn; yet we are not despondent. 
Whilst we can procure an ear of corn a-piece, or any 
thing that will answer as a substitute for it, we shall 
continue our exertions to accomplish the object for 
which we were sent The cheerfulness with which my 
men submit to privations, and are ready to encounter 
danger, does honour to them, and to the government 
whose rights they are defending. 

" Every mean within my power, for procuring the 
requisite supplies for my army, I have taken, and am 
continuing to take. East, west, north and south, have 
been applied to with the most pressing solicitation. , 
The governor of Georgia, in a letter received from l^im 


this evening, informs me that a sufficiency can be had 
in his state; but does not signify that he is about to 
take any measures to procure it. My former contractor 
has been superseded: no exertions were spared by 
him to fulfil his engagements ; yet the inconveniences 
under which he laboured where such as to render his 
best exertions unavailing. The contract has been of- 
fered to one who will be able to execute it : if he ac- 
cepts it, my apprehensions will be greatly diminished." 

On the 28th of October, colonel Dyer, who, on the 
march to the Ten Islands, had been detached from the 
main body, with two hundred cavalry, to attack Littafut 
chee town, on the head of Canoe creek, which empties 
into the Coosa from the west, returned, bringing with 
him twenty-nine prisoners, men, women, and children, 
having destroyed the village. 

The sanguine expectations indulged, on leaving 
Thompson's creek, that the advance of the East Ten- 
nessee militia would hasten to unite with him, was not 
yet realized. The express heretofore directed to gene- 
ral White, had not returned. Jackson, on the 31st, 
despatched another, again urging him to effect a speedy 
junction, and to bring with him all the bread stuff it 
should be in his power to procure ; feelingly suggest- 
ing to him, at the same time, the great inconvenience 
and hazard to which he had been already exposed, for 
the want of punctuality in himself and his command- 
ing general. Owing to that cause, and the late failures 
of his contractors, he represented his army as placed, 
M present, in a very precarious situation, and depen- 
dent, in a great measure, for support, .on the exertions 


which they might be pleased to make ; but assured 
him, at the same time, that, let circumstances transpire 
as they might, he would still, at every risk, endeavour 
to effect his purpose ; and, at all events, was resolved 
to hasten, with every practicable despatch, to the ac- 
complishment of the object for which he had set out. 
Believing the co-operation of the East Tennessee troops 
essential to this end, they were again instructed to join 
him without delay ; for he could not conceive it to be 
correct policy, that troops from the same state, pursu- 
ing the same object, should constitute separate and dis- 
tinct armies, and act without concert, and independent- 
ly of each other. He entertained no doubt but that his 
order would be promptly obeyed. 

The next evening, a detachment, which had been 
sent out the day before, returned to camp, bringing 
with them, besides some corn and beeves, several 
negroes and prisoners of the war party. 

Learning now that a considerable body of the 
enemy had posted themselves at Tallushatchee, on 
the south side of the Coosa, about thirteen miles dis- 
tant, general Coffee was detached with nine hundred 
men, (the mounted troops having been previously or- 
ganized into a brigade, and placed under his com- 
mand) to attack and disperse them. With this force 
he was enabled, through the direction of an Indian 
pilot, to ford the Coosa, at the Fish-dams, about four 
miles above the Islands ; and having encamped beyond 
it, very early the next morning proceeded to the exe- 
cution of his order. Having arrived within a mile and 
a hal he formed his attachment into two divisions* 


and directed them to march so as to encircle the 
town, by uniting their fronts beyond it. The enemy, 
hearing of his approach, began to prepare for action, 
which was announced by the beating of drums, min- 
gled with their savage yells and war whoops. An 
hour after sun-rise, the action was commenced by cap- 
tain Hammon's and lieutenant Patterson's companies 
of spies, who had gone within the circle of alignement, 
for the purpose of drawing the Indians from their 
buildings. No sooner had these companies exhibited 
their front in view of the town, and given a few scat- 
tering shot, than the enemy formed, and made a violent 
charge. Being compelled to give way, the advance 
guards were pursued until they reached the main 
body of the army, which immediately opened a gene- 
ral fire, and charged in their turn. The Indians re- 
treated, firing, until they got around and in their 
buildings, where an obstinate conflict ensued, and 
where those who maintained their ground persisted in 
fighting, as long as they could stand or sit, without 
manifesting fear, or soliciting quarter. Their loss was 
an hundred and eighty-six killed ; among whom were, 
unfortunately, and through accident, a few women and 
children. Eighty-four women and children were taken 
prisoners, towards whom the utmost humanity was 
shown. Of the Americans, five were killed, and forty- 
one wounded. Two were killed with arrows, which, 
on this occasion, formed a principal part of the arms 
of the Indians ; each one having a bow and quiver, 
which he used after the first fire of his gun, until an 
opportunity occurred for re-loading. 

Having buried his dead, and provided for his wound- 


ed, general Coffee, late on the evening of the same 
day, united with the main army, bringing with him 
about forty prisoners. Of the residue, a part were too 
badly wounded to be removed, and were therefore 
left, with a sufficient number to take care of them. 
Those which he brought in, received every comfort 
and assistance their situation demanded, and, for safe- 
ty, were immediately sent into the settlements. 

From the manner in which the enemy fought, the 
killing and wounding others than their warriors was 
not to be avoided. On their retreat to their village, 
after the commencement of the battle, they resorted 
to their block houses, and strong log dwellings, whence 
they kept up resistance, and resolutely maintained the 
fight. Thus mingled with their women and children, 
it was impossible they should not be exposed to the 
general danger ; and thus many were injured, notwith- 
standing every possible precaution was taken to pre- 
vent it. In fact many of the women united with their 
warriors, and contended in the battle with fearless 


General Jackson endeavours to unite with the East Tennessee troops. 

Establishment of Fort Strother. Learns the enemy are embodied. 

Marches to meet them. Battle of Talladega. Is compelled to return 
to his encampment for want of supplies. Anecdote. Discontents of 
his army. Militia and volunteers mutiny. Address to the officers. 
Is compelled to abandon Fort Strother. Hillabee clans sue for peace. 
Letter from the Rev. Mr. Blackburn Answer. The volunteers claim 
to be discharged. Mutiny. Address to them. General Cocke arrives 
with part of his division. General Coffee's brigade petitions for a 
discharge. General Jackson's answer. They abandon the service and 
go home. 

MEASURES were now taken to establish a permanent 
depot on the north bank of the river, at the Ten Is- 
lands, to be protected by strong picketting and block 
houses ; after which, it was the intention of Jackson 
to proceed along the Coosa to its junction with the 
Tallapoosa, near which it was expected the main force 
of the enemy was collected. Well knowing that it 
would detach much of the strength of his army, to oc- 
cupy, in his advance, the different points necessary to 
the safety of his rear, it was desirable to unite, as soon 
as possible, with the troops from the east of Ten- 
nessee : to effect this, he again, on the 4th, despatched 
an express to general White, who had previously, 
with his command, arrived at Turkey town* a Chero- 
kee village, about twenty five miles above, on the 
same river, urging him to unite with him as soon as 
possible, and again entreating him on the subject of 
provisions; to bring with him such as he had on 


hand, or could procure ; and, if possible, to form some 
certain arrangement that might insure a supply in 

Anxious to proceed, and to have his army actively 
and serviceably employed, which he believed would 
be practicable, as soon as a junction could be effected, 
he again, on the morning of the 7th, renewed his ap- 
plication to general White, who still remained at Tur- 
key town* 

As yet no certain intelligence was received of any 
collection of the enemy. The army was busily en-* 
gaged in fortifying and strengthening the site fixed on 
for a depot, to which the name of Fort Strother had 
been given. Late, however, on the evening of the 
7th, a runner arrived from Talladega, a fort of the 
friendly Indians, distant about thirty miles below, with 
information, that the enemy had that morning en- 
camped before it in great numbers, and would certain- 
ly destroy it, unless immediate assistance could be 
afforded. Jackson, confiding in the statement, deter- 
mined to lose no time in extending the relief which 
Was solicited. Understanding that general White, 
agreeably to his order^ was on his way to join him, he 
despatched a messenger to meet him, directing him to 
reach his encampment in the course of the ensuing 
night, and to protect it in his absence. He now gave 
orders for taking up the line of march, with twelve 
hundred infantry, and eight hundred cavalry and 
mounted gun men; leaving behind, the sick, the wound- 
ed, and all his baggage, with a force which was deertv 


ed sufficient for their protection, until the reinforce- 
ment from Turkey town should arrive. 

The friendly Indians, who had taken refuge in this 
besieged fort, had involved themselves in their present 
perilous situation, from a disposition to preserve their 
amicable relations with the United States. To suffer 
them to fall a sacrifice, from any tardiness of move- 
ment, would have been unpardonable ; and unless re- 
lief were immediately extended, it might arrive too 
late. Acting under these impressions, the general 
concluded to move instantly forward to their assistance. 
By twelve o'clock at night, every thing was in readi- 
ness; and, in an hour afterwards, the army commenced 
crossing the river, about a mile above the camp each 
of the mounted men carrying one of the infantry be- 
hind him. The river, at this place, was six hundred 
yards wide, and it being necessary to send back the 
horses for the remainder of the infantry, several hours 
were consumed before a passage of all the troops 
could be effected. Nevertheless, though greatly fa- 
tigued and deprived of sleep, they continued the march 
with animation, and by evening had arrived within six 
miles of the enemy* In this march, Jackson used the 
utmost precaution to prevent surprise ; marching his 
army, as was his constant custom, in three columns, 
so that, by a speedy manoeuvre, they might be thrown 
into such a situation as to be capable of resisting an 
attack from any quarter. Having judiciously encamped 
his men on an eligible piece of ground, he sent for- 
ward two of the friendly Indians, and a white man, 
who had, for many years, been detained a captive in 
the nation, and was now acting as interpreter, to recoil- 


noitre the position of the enemy. About eleven o'clock 
at night they returned with information that the sa- 
vages were posted within a quarter of a mile of the 
fort, and appeared to be in great force ; but that they 
had not been able to approach near enough to ascer- 
tain either their numbers or precise situation. Within 
an hour after this, a runner arrived from Turkey town, 
with a letter from general White, stating, that after 
having taken up the line of march, to unite at Fort 
Strother, he had received orders from general Cocke to 
change his course and proceed to the mouth of Chatau- 
ga creek. It was most distressing intelligence : the sick 
and wounded had been left with no other calculation for 
their safety and defence than that this detachment of 
the army, agreeably to his request, would, by advanc- 
ing upon Fort Strother, serve the double purpose of 
protecting his rear and enable him to advance still 
further into the enemies country. The information 
which was now received, proved that all those salutary 
anticipations were at an end, and that evils of the 
worst kind might be the consequence. Intelligence 
so disagreeable, and withal so unexpected, filled the 
mind of Jackson with apprehension of a serious and 
alarming character ; and dreading lest the enemy, by 
taking a different route, should attack his encampment 
in his absence, he determined to lose no time in bring- 
ing him to battle. Orders were accordingly given to 
the adjutant-general to prepare the line, and by four 
o'clock in the morning, the army was again in motion. 
The infantry proceeded in three columns ; the cavalry 
in the same order, in the rear, with flankers on each 
>ving. The advance, consisting of a company of ar- 
tillerists, with muskets, two companies of riflemen, and 


one of spies, marched about four hundred yards in 
front, under the command of colonel Carroll, in- 
spector-general, with orders, after commencing the 
action, to fall back on the centre, so as to draw the 
enemy after them. At seven o'clock, having arrived 
within a mile of the position they occupied, the 
columns were displayed in order of battle. Two hun- 
dred and fifty of the cavalry, under lieutenant-colonel 
Dyer, were placed in the rear of the centre, as a corps 
de reserve. The remainder of the mounted troops 
were directed to advance on the right and left, and, 
after encircling the enemy, by uniting the fronts of 
their columns, and keeping their rear rested on the 
infantry, to face and press towards the centre, so as to 
leave them no possibility of escape. The remaining 
part of the army was ordered to move up by heads of 
companies ; general Hall's brigade occupying the right, 
and general Roberts' the left. 

About eight o'clock, the advance having arrived 
within eighty yards of the enemy, who were concealed 
in a thick shrubbery, that covered the margin of a 
small rivulet, received a heavy fire, which they instant- 
ly returned with much spirit. Falling in with the 
enemy, agreeably to their instructions, they retired to- 
wards the centre, but not before they had dislodged 
them from their position. The Indians, now scream- 
ing and yelling hideously, rushed forward in the di- 
rection of general Roberts' brigade, a few companies 
of which, alarmed by their numbers and yells, gave 
way at the first fire. Jackson, to fill the chasm w r hich 
was thu created, directed the regiment commanded 
by colonel Bradley, to be moved up, which, from spmq 


unaccountable cause, had failed to advance in a line 
with the others, and now occupied a position in 
rear of the centre : Bradley, however, to whom this 
order was given by one of the staff, omitted to exe- 
cute it in time, alleging, he was determined to remain 
on the eminence which he then possessed, until he 
should be approached and attacked by the enemy. 
Owing to this failure in the volunteer regiment, it be- 
came necessary to dismount the reserve, which, with 
great firmness, met the approach of the enemy, who 
were rapidly moving in this direction. The retreating 
militia, somewhat mortified at seeing their places so 
promptly supplied, rallied, and, recovering their for- 
mer position in the line, aided in checking the advance 
of the savages. The action now became general along 
the line, and in fifteen minutes the Indians were seen 
fleeing in every direction. On the left, they were met 
and repulsed by the mounted riflemen ; but on the 
right, owing to the halt of Bradley's regiment, which 
was intended to occupy the extreme right, and to 
the circumstance of colonel Allcorn, who commanded 
one of the wings of the cavalry, having taken too large 
a circuit, a considerable space was left between the in- 
fantry and the cavalry, through which numbers escaped. 
The fight was maintained with great spirit and effect 
on both sides, as well before as after the retreat com* 
menced ; nor did the pursuit and slaughter terminate 
until the mountains were reached, at the distance of 
three miles. 

Jackson, in his report of this action, bestows high 
commendation on the officers and soldiers. "Too 
much praise," he observes, in the close of it, " cannot 


be bestowed on the advance, led by colonel Carroll, 
for the spirited manner in which they commenced and 
sustained the attack ; nor upon the reserve, command- 
ed by lieutenant-colonel Dyer, for the gallantry with 
which they met and repulsed the enemy. In a word, 
officers of every grade, as well as privates, realized the 
high expectations I had formed of them, and merit the 
gratitude of their country." 

In this battle, the force of the enemy was one thou- 
sand and eighty, of whom two hundred and ninety-nine 
were left dead on the ground ; and it is believed that 
many were killed in the flight, who were not found 
when the estimate was made. Probably few escaped 
unhurt. Their loss on this occasion, as stated since 
by themselves, was not less than six hundred : that of 
the Americans was fifteen killed, and eighty wounded, 
several of whom afterwards died. Jackson, after col- 
lecting his dead and wounded, advanced his army be- 
yond the fort, and encamped for the night. The 
Indians, who had been for several days shut up by 
the besiegers, thus fortunately liberated from the most 
dreadful apprehensions, and severest privations, having 
for some time been entirely without water, received 
the army with all the demonstrations of gratitude that 
savages could give. Their manifestations of joy for 
their deliverance, presented an interesting and affect- 
ing spectacle. Their fears had been already greatly 
excited, for it was the very day when they were to 
have been assaulted, and when every soul within the 
fort must have perished. All the provisions they could 
spare, from their scanty stock, they sold to the general, 


\vho, purchasing with his own money, distributed them 
.amongst the soldiers, who were almost destitute. 

It was with great regret, that Jackson now found he 
was without the means of availing himself fully of the 
advantages of his victory; but the condition of his 
posts in the rear, and the want of provisions, (having 
left his encampment at Fort Strother with little more 
than one day's rations,) compelled him to return; thus 
giving the enemy time to recover from the conster- 
nation of their first defeat, and to re-assemble their 

The cause which prevented general White from act- 
ing in obedience to his order, and arriving at the Ten 
Islands at a moment when it was so important, and 
when it was so confidently expected, was as yet un- 
known ; the only certainty upon the subject was, that 
for the present it wholly thwarted his views, and laid 
him under the necessity of returning. This mystery, 
hitherto inexplicable, was sometime after explained, 
by a view of the order of general Cocke, under which 
White, being a brigadier in his division, chose to act, 
rather than under Jackson's. General Cocke stated 
to him, he had understood Jackson had crossed the 
Coosa, and had an engagement with the Indians. " I 
have formed a council of officers here, and proposed 
these questions: shall we follow him, or cross the 
river, and proceed to the Creek settlements on the 
Tallapoosa? Both were decided unanimously, that 
he should not be followed, but that we should proceed 
in the way proposed." He remarked, that the de- 
cision had met his entire approbation ; and directed 


White forthwith to unite with him at his encampment, 
where he should wait, fortifying it strongly for a depot, 
until he should arrive. "If," said he, "we follow 
general Jackson and his army, we must suffer for sup- 
plies ; nor can we expect to gain a victory. Let us 
then take a direction in which we can share some of 
the dangers and glories of the field. You will employ 
pilots, and advise me which side of the river you will 
move up." In this, as in every other measure, it 
seemed to be the studied aim of Cocke, to thwart the 
views and arrest the successes of Jackson ; and perhaps 
jealousy, in no inconsiderable degree, was the moving 
spring to his conduct. Both were major-generals, 
from the state of Tennessee, sent on the same import- 
ant errand to check an insolent foe, who had practised 
the most cruel and unprovoked outrages. Which of 
them should share the "dangers and glories of the field," 
or obtain its laurels, was not so important to the country 
as by acting in concert and harmony, endeavour to ac- 
complish the grand object of terminating the war, and 
restoring tranquillity to the frontiers. National, and 
not individual advancement, was the object in carrying 
an army into the field : and the best and most effectual 
mean of securing this, every officer, acting on liberal 
principles, should have constantly held in view : the 
interest and repose of the country, not their individual 
advancement, was the end to be attained. 

Having buried his dead with all due honour, and 
provided litters for the wounded, he reluctantly com- 
menced his return march on the morning succeeding 
the battle. He confidently hoped, from the previous 
assurances of the contractors, that by the time of his 


return to Fort Strother, sufficient supplies would have 
arrived there ; but, to his inexpressible uneasiness, he 
found that not a particle had been forwarded since his 
departure, and that what had been left was already 
consumed. Even his private stores, brought on at his 
own expense, and upon which he and his staff had 
hitherto wholly subsisted, had been, in his absence, 
distributed amongst the sick by the hospital surgeon, 
who had been previously instructed to do so, in the 
event their wants should require it. A few dozen 
biscuit which remained on his return, were given to 
hungry applicants, without being tasted by himself or 
family, who were probably not less hungry than those 
who were thus relieved. A scanty supply of indiffer- 
ent beef taken from the enemy, or purchased of the 
Cherokees, was now the only support afforded. Thus 
left destitute, Jackson, with the utmost cheerfulness 
of temper, repaired to the bullock pen, and of the 
offal there thrown away, provided for himself and staff, 
what he was pleased to call, and seemed really to think, 
a very comfortable repast. Tripes, however, hastily 
provided in a camp, without bread or seasoning, can 
only be palatable to an appetite very high whetted ; 
yet this constituted for several days, the only diet at 
head- quarters, during which time the general seemed 
entirely satisfied with his fare. Neither this, nor the 
liberal donations by which he disfurnished himself, to 
relieve the suffering soldier, deserves to be ascribed to 
ostentation or design: the one flowed from benevo- 
lence, the other from necessity, and a desire to place 
before his men an example of patience and suffering, 
which he felt might be necessary, and hoped might be 
serviceable. Of these two imputations, no Jiumaij 


being, invested with rank and power, was ever more 
deservedly free. Charity in him is a warm and active 
propensity of the heart, urging him by an instantane- 
ous impulse, to relieve the wants of the distressed, 
without regarding, or even thinking of the conse- 
quences. Many of those to whom it was extended, 
had no conception of the source that supplied them, 
and believed the comforts they received were, indeed, 
drawn from stores provided for the hospital depart- 

On this campaign, a soldier one morning, with 
woe-begone countenance, approached the general, stat- 
ing that he was nearly starved, that he had nothing to 
eat, and could not imagine what he should do. He 
was the more encouraged to complain, from perceiving 
that the general, who had seated himself at the root of 
a tree, waiting the coming up of the rear of the army, 
was busily engaged in eating something. The poor 
fellow was impressed with the belief, from what he saw, 
that want only attached to the soldiers, and that the 
officers, particularly the general, were liberally and well 
supplied. He accordingly approached him with great 
confidence of being relieved ; Jackson told him, that 
it had always been a rule with him never to turn away 
a hungry man when it was in his power to relieve 
him. I will most cheerfully, said he, divide with you 
what I have, and putting his hand to his pocket, drew 
forth a few acorns, from which he had been feasting, 
adding it was the best and only fare he had. The 
soldier seemed much surprised, and forthwith circu- 
lated amongst his comrades, that their general was 
actually subsisting upon acorns, and that they ought. 


hence, no more to complain. From this circumstance 
was derived the story heretofore published to the 
world, that Jackson, about the period of his greatest 
suffering, and with a view to inspirit them, had invited 
his officers to dine with him, and presented for their 
repast, water and a tray of acorns. 

But while general Jackson remained wholly un- 
moved by his own privations, he was filled with soli- 
citude and concern for his army. His utmost exer- 
tions, unceasingly applied, were insufficient to remove 
the sufferings to which he saw them exposed ; and al- 
though they were by no means so great as was repre- 
sented, yet were they undoubtedly such as to be sensi- 
bly and severely felt. Discontents, and a desire to 
return home, arose, and presently spread through the 
camp; and these were still further embittered and 
augmented, by the arts of a few designing officers, 
who, believing that the campaign would now break up, 
hoped to make themselves popular on the return, by 
encouraging and taking part in the complaints of the 
soldiery. It is a singular fact, that those officers who 
pretended, on this occasion, to feel most sensibly for 
the wants of the army, and who contrived most effectu- 
ally to instigate it to revolt, had never themselves been 
without provisions ; and were, at that very moment, 
enjoying in abundance what would have relieved the 
distresses of many, had it been as generously and 
freely distributed as were their words of advice and 

During this period of scarcity and discontent, small 
quantities of supplies were occasionally forwarded by 


the contractors, but not a sufficiency for present want, 
and still less to remove the apprehensions that were 
entertained for the future. At length, revolt began to 
show itself openly. The officers and soldiers of the 
militia, collecting in their tents and talking over their 
grievances, determined to yield up their patriotism, 
and to abandon the camp. To this measure, there 
were good evidences for believing that several of tne 
officers of the old volunteer corps exerted themselves 
clandestinely, and with great industry, to instigate 
them ; looking upon themselves somewhat in the light 
of veterans, from the discipline they had acquired in 
the expedition to the lower country, they were unwil- 
ling to be seen foremost in setting an example of 
mutiny, and wished to make the defection of others a 
pretext for their own, 

Jackson, apprised of their determination to abandon 
him, resolved to oppose it, and at all hazard, to pre- 
vent a departure. In the morning, when they were to 
carry their intentions into execution, he drew up the 
volunteers in front of them, with positive commands 
to prevent their progress, and compel them to return 
to their former position in the camp. The militia 
seeing this, and fearing the consequences of persisting 
in their purpose, at once abandoned it, and returned 
to their quarters without further murmuring, extolling 
in the highest terms, the unalterable firmness of the 

The next day, however, presented a singular scene. 
The volunteers, who, the day before, had been the in- 
struments for compelling the militia to return to their 


duty, seeing the destruction of those hopes on which 
they had lately built, in turn began, themselves, to 
nrntiny. Their opposition to the departure of the 
militia was but a mere pretence to escape suspicion, 
for they silently wished them success. They now de- 
termined to move off in a body, believing, from the 
known disaffection in the camp, that the general could 
find no means to prevent it. What was their surprise, 
however, when, on attempting to effectuate their re- 
solves, they found the same men whom they had so 
lately opposed, occupying the very position which they 
had done the day previous, for a similar purpose, and 
manifesting a fixed determination to obey the orders 
of their general! All they ventured to do, was to take 
the example through, and like them, move back in 
peace and quietness to their quarters. This was a curi- 
ous change of circumstances, when we consider in how 
short a time it happened ; but the conduct of the militia, 
on this occasion, must be ascribed to the ingenuity and 
management of the general, and to the gratification 
they felt, in being able to defeat the views of those 
who had so lately thwarted their own. To this may 
be also added, the consciousness all must have enter- 
tained, that the privations of which they complained, 
were far less grievous than they had represented them; 
by no means sufficient to justify revolt, and not greater 
than patriots might be expected to bear without a 
murmur, when objects of such high consideration were 
before them. But anxious to return to their families 
and kindred, wearied of their difficulties and suffer- 
ings, and desirous to recount the brilliant exploits of 
their first battle, they seized with eagerness every 
pretext for exoneration, and listened with tpo much 


docility to the representations of those, who were in- 
fluenced by less honourable feelings. Having many 
domestic considerations to attend to the first ebulli- 
tion of resentment being cooled, and the first impulse 
of curiosity gratified, there were no motives to retain 
them in the field, but a remaining sense of honour, and 
a fear of disgrace and punishment, should they aban- 
don their post without a cause. But although these 
motives were sufficient for the present, those who 
were governed by them did not cease to wish, that a 
more plausible apology might offer for dispensing with 
their operation. The militia continued to show a much 
more obedient and patriotic disposition than the vo- 
lunteers; who, having adopted a course which they dis- 
covered must finally involve them in dishonour, if it 
should fail, were exceedingly anxious for its success, 
and that it might have the appearance of being found- 
ed on justice. On this subject, the pretensions of the 
cavalry were certainly much better established ; as 
they were entirely without forage, and without the 
prospect of speedily obtaining any. They petitioned 
therefore to be permitted to return into the settled 
parts of the country, pledging themselves, by their 
platoon and field officers, that if sufficient time were 
allowed to recruit the exhausted state of their horses, 
and to procure their winter clothing, they would re- 
turn to the performance of their duty whenever called 
on. The general, unable, from many causes, to prose- 
cute the campaign, and confiding in the assurance 
given, granted the prayer of their petition, and they 
immediately set out on their return. 

About this time general Jackson's prospect of being 


able to maintain the conquests he had made, began to 
be cheered by letters just received from the contrac- 
tors and principal wagon-master, stating, that sufficient 
supplies for the army were then on the road, and 
would shortly arrive : but discontents to an alarming 
degree still prevailed in his canip. To allay them, if 
possible, he hastened to lay before the division the in- 
formation and letters he had received, and, at the same 
time, invited the field and platoon officers to his quar- 
ters, to consult on the measures proper to be pursued. 
Having assembled them, and well knowing that the 
flame of discontent, which had so lately shown itself 
was only for the present smothered, and might yet 
burst forth in serious injury, he addressed them in an 
animated speech, in which he extolled their patriotism 
and achievements; lamented the privations to which 
they had been exposed, and endeavoured to reanimate 
them by the prospect of speedy relief, which he ex- 
pected with confidence on the following day. He 
spoke of the immense importance of the conquests 
they had already made, and of the dreadful conse- 
quences that must result, should they be now aban- 
doned. " What," continued he, " is the present situa- 
tion of our camp ? a number of our fellow soldiers are 
wounded, and unable to help themselves. Shall it be 
said that we are so lost to humanity as to leave them 
in this condition ? Can any one, under these circum- 
stances, and under these prospects, consent to an 
abandonment of the camp ; of all that we have acquired 
in the midst of so many difficulties, privations, and 
dangers ; of what it will cost us so much to regain ; 
of what we never can regain,: our brave wounded 
companions, who will be murdered by our unthinking, 


unfeeling inhumanity ? Surely there can be none such ! 
No, we will take with us, when we go, our wounded 
and sick. They must not shall not perish by our 
cold blooded indifference. But why should you de- 
spond ? I do not, and yet your wants are not greater 
than mine. To be sure we do not live sumptuously: 
but no one has died of hunger, or is likely to die ; and 
then how animating are our prospects ! Large supplies 
are at Deposit, and already are officers despatched to 
hasten them on. Wagons are on the way : a large 
riumber of beeves are in the neighbourhood ; and de- 
tachments are out to bring them in. All these re- 
sources surely cannot fail. I have no wish to starve 
you none to deceive you. Stay contentedly ; and if 
supplies do not arrive in two days, we will all march 
back together, and throw the blame of our failure 
where it should properly lie ; until then we certainly 
have the means of subsisting; and if we are compelled 
to bear privations, let us remember that they are borne 
for our country, and are not greater than many per- 
haps most armies have been compelled to endure. I 
have called you together to tell you my feelings and 
my wishes ; this evening think on them seriously ; and 
let me know yours in the morning." 

Having retired to their tents, and deliberated on the 
measures most proper to be adopted in this emer- 
gency, the officers of the volunteer brigade came to 
the conclusion, that " nothing short of marching the 
army immediately back to the settlements could pre- 
vent those difficulties and that disgrace which must 
attend a forcible desertion of the camp by his soldiers." 
The officers of the militia determined differently, and 


reported a willingness to maintain the post a few days 
longer, that it might be ascertained whether or not a 
sufficiency of provisions could really be had. " If it 
can, let us proceed with the campaign if not, let us 
be marched back to where it can be procured." The 
general, who greatly preferred the latter opinion, 
nevertheless, to allay excitement, was disposed to 
gratify those who appeared unwilling to submit to fur- 
ther hardships ; and with this view ordered general 
Hall to march his brigade to Fort Deposit, and after 
satisfying their wants, to return and act as an escort 
to the provisions. The second regiment, however, 
unwilling to be outdone by the militia, consented to 
remain ; and the first proceeded alone. On this oc- 
casion he could not forbear to remark, that men for 
whom he had ever cherished so warm an affection, and 
for whom he would at all times have made any sacri- 
fice, desiring to abandon him at a moment when their 
presence was so particularly necessary, filled him with 
emotions which the strongest language was too feeble 
to express. " I was prepared," he continued, " to en- 
dure every evil but disgrace ; and this, as I never can 
submit to myself, I can give no encouragement to in 

Two days had elapsed since the departure of the 
volunteers, and supplies had not arrived. The militia, 
with great earnestness, now demanded a performance 
of the pledge that had been given that they should 
be marched back to the settlements. Jackson, on giv- 
ing them an assurance that they should return, if relief 
did not reach them in two days, had indulged a con- 
fidence that it would certainly arrive by that time; 



and now, from the information he had received, felt 
more than ever certain that it could not be far distant, 
Having, however, pledged himself, he could use no 
arguments or entreaties to detain them any longer, 
and immediately took measures for complying with 
their wishes, and the promise he had made them. This 
was, to him, a moment of the deepest dejection. He 
foresaw how difficult it would be, ever to accomplish 
the object upon which his heart was so devoutly fixed, 
should he lose the men who were now with him ; or 
even to regain the conquests he had made, if his pre- 
sent posts should fall into the hands of the enemy. 
While thus poridering on the gloomy prospect, he lift- 
ed up his hands and e&cl aimed, with a look and man- 
ner which showed how much he felt " If only two 
men will remain with me, I will never abandon this 
post." Captain Gordon, of the spies, facetiously re- 
plied, " you have one, general, let us look if we can't 
find another*" and immediately, with a zeal suited to 
the occasioii, undertook, with some of the general 
staff, to raise volunteers; and in a little while succeed- 
ed in procuring one hundred and nine* who declared 
a determination to remain and protect the post. The 
general greatly rejoiced that he would not be compell- 
ed to an entire abandonment of his position, now set 
out towards Deposit, with the remainder of the army, 
who were given distinctly to understand, that on meet- 
ing supplies they were td return and prosecute the 
campaign. This was an event, whichj as it had been 
expected and foretold, soon took place : they had not 
proceeded more than ten or twelve miles, when they 
met a hundred and fifty beeves; but a sight which gave 
to Jackson so much satisfaction, was to them the most 


disagreeable and unwelcome. Their faces being now 
turned towards home, no spectacle could be more hate- 
ful than one which was to change their destination* 
They were halted, and having satisfied their hungry 
appetites, the troops, with the exception of such as 
were necessary to proceed with the sick and wounded, 
were ordered to return to the encampment he him- 
self intending to see the contractors, and establish 
more effectual arrangements for the future. So great 
was their aversion to returning, that they preferred a 
violation of their duty and their pledged honour. Low 
murmurings ran along the lines, and presently broke 
out into open mutiny. In spite of the order they had 
received, they began to revolt, and one company was 
already moving off, in a direction towards home. They 
had proceeded some distance, before information of 
their departure was had by Jackson. Irritated at their 
conduct, in attempting to violate the promise they had 
given, and knowing that the success of future opera- 
tions depended on the result, the general pursued, un- 
til he came near a part of his staff, and a few soldiers, 
who, with General Coffee, had halted about a quarter 
of a mile ahead. He ordered them to form immediate- 
ly across the road, and to fire on the mutineers if they 
attempted to proceed. Snatching up their arms, these 
faithful adherents presented a front which threw the 
deserters into affright, and caused them to retreat pre- 
cipitately to the main body. Here, it was hoped, the 
matter would end, and that no further opposition would 
be made to returning. This expectation was not real- 
ized ; a mutinous temper began presently to display 
itself throughout the whole brigade. Jackson having 
left his aid-de-camp, major Reid, engaged in making 


up some despatches, had gone out alone amongst his 
troops, who were at some distance ; on his arrival, he 
found a much more extensive mutiny than that which 
had just been quelled. Almost the whole brigade had put 
itself into an attitude for moving forcibly off. A crisis 
had arrived; and feeling its importance, he determined 
to take no middle ground, but to triumph or perish. E(e 
was still without the use of his left arm ; but, seizing 
a musket, and resting it on the neck of his horse, he 
threw himself in front of the column, and threat- 
ened to shoot the first man who should attempt to ad- 
vance. In this situation he was found by major Reid 
and general Coffee, who, fearing from the length of his 
absence, that some disturbance had arisen, hastened 
where he was, and placing themselves by his side, 
awaited the result in anxious expectation. For many 
minutes the column preserved a sullen, yet hesitating 
attitude, fearing to proceed in their purpose, and dis- 
liking to abandon it. In the mean time, those who 
remained faithful to their duty, amounting to about 
two companies, were collected and formed at a short 
distance in advance of the troops, and in rear of the 
general, with positive directions to imitate his exanir 
pie in firing, if they attempted to proceed, At length, 
finding no one bold enough to advance, and overtaken 
by those fears which in the hour of peril always beset 
persons engaged in what they know to be a bad cause, 
they abandoned their purpose, and turning quietly 
round, agreed to return to their posts. It is very cer- 
tain, that, but for the firmness of the general, at this 
critical moment, the campaign would have been bro- 
ken up, and most probably not qommenqe^l again. 


Shortly after the battle of Talladega, the Hillabee 
tribes, who had been the principal sufferers on that 
occasion, applied to general Jackson for peace ; declar- 
ing their willingness to receive it on such terms as he 
might be pleased to dictate. His decision had been 
already returned, stating to them that his government 
had taken up arms, to bring to a proper sense of duty, 
a people to whom she had ever shown the utmost 
kindness, and who, nevertheless, had committed against 
her citizens the most unprovoked depredations ; and 
that she would lay them down only when certain that 
this object was attained.* " Upon those," continued 
he, " who are disposed to become friendly, I neither 
wish nor intend to make war; but they must afford 
evidences of the sincerity of their professions ; the pri- 
soners and property they have taken from us, and the 
friendly Creeks, must be restored ; the instigators of 
the war, and the murderers of our citizens, must be 
surrendered ; the latter must and will be made to feel 

* This communication did not arrive in time : general White, 
who had been detached for that purpose, having, the morning on 
which it was written, attacked and destroyed their town, killed sixty, 
and made two hundred and fifty-six prisoners. The event was un- 
fortunate ; and in it may perhaps be found the reason why these 
savages, in their after battles, fought with the desperation they did, 
obstinately refusing to ask for quarter. They believed themselves 
attacked by Jackson's army ; they knew they had asked peace upon 
his own terms. When, therefore, under these circumstances, they 
saw themselves thus assailed, they no longer considered that any 
pacific disposition they might manifest would afford them protection 
from danger; and looked upon it as a war of extermination. In their 
battles, afterwards, there is no instance of their asking for quarter, or 
even manifesting a disposition to receire it 


the foree of our resentment. Long shall they remem- 
ber Fort Minims in bitterness and tears." 

Having stated to general Cocke, whose division was 
acting in this section of the nation, the propositions 
that had been made by the Hillabee clans, with the 
answer he had returned, and urged him to detach 
to Fort Strother six hundred of his men, to aid in the 
defence of that place, during his absence, and in the 
operations he intended to resume on his return, he 
proceeded to Deposit and Ditto's landing, where the 
most effectual means in his power were taken with the 
contractors, for obtaining regular supplies in future. 
They were required to furnish, immediately, thirty 
days' rations at Fort Sirother, forty at Talladega, and 
as many at the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa 5 
two hundred pack horses and forty wagons were put 
in requisition to facilitate their transportation. Un- 
derstanding, now, that the whole detachment from 
Tennessee, had, by the president, been received into 
the service of the United States, he persuaded him- 
self that the difficulties he had heretofore encounter- 
ed, would not recur, and that the want of supplies 
would not again be a cause of impeding his operations. 
He now looked forward with sanguine expectations, 
to the speedy accomplishment of the objects of the 

The volunteers, who were at Deposit, began to 
manifest the same unwillingness to return to their duty 
that the militia had done, and were about to break out 
into the same spirit of mutiny and revolt ; but were 


restrained by an animated address of the general, who* 
having assembled them together, painted, in the most 
glowing colours, all the consequences that were to be 
apprehended, if, from any defalcation of theirs, the 
campaign should be abandoned, or ineffectually prose- 
cuted. By this mean, he succeeded once more in re- 
storing quietness to his troops. 

He now set out on his return to Fort Strother, and 
was delighted to find, by the progress of the works, the 
industry that had been used in his absence. But the 
satisfaction he felt, and the hopes he began to cherish, 
were of short continuance. Although he had succeed- 
ed in stilling the tumult of the volunteers, and in pre- 
vailing on them to return to their posts, it was soon 
discovered he had not eradicated their deep-rooted 
aversion to a further prosecution of the war. Nothing 
is more difficult than to re-animate men who have once 
lost their spirits, or inspire with new ardour those in 
whom it has lately become extinct. Even where the 
evils, which produced the change, are removed, apolo- 
gies will be sought, and pretexts seized, for justifying 
and preserving the present tone of mind. The volun- 
teers who had so lately clamoured about bread, now^ 
when they were no longer hungry, began to clamour, 
with equal earnestness, about their term of service. 
Having lately made an effort to forsake the drudgery 
of the field, and failed, they were disposed to avail 
themselves of any pretexts, seemingly plausible, to 
obtain success. They insisted that the period, for 
which they had undertaken to act, would end on the 
10th of December, that being the termination of a 
year from the day they had first entered into service ; 


and although they had been a greater part of the time 
disengaged, and unemployed, that recess was never- 
theless to be taken into the computation. Jackson re- 
plied, that the law of congress, under which they had 
been tendered and accepted, requiring one year's ser- 
vice out of two, could contemplate nothing less than an 
actual service of three hundred and sixty-five days ; 
and, until that were performed, he could not, unless 
specially authorized, undertake to discharge them. 
But as this was a question not likely to be settled by 
argument, and as the consequences were easily to be 
foreseen, if they should persist in their demands, the 
general began to think of providing other means for a 
continuance of the campaign, that, even in the worst 
extreme, he might not be unprepared to act. Ordering 
general Roberts to return, and fill up the deficiencies in 
his brigade, he now despatched colonel Carroll and ma- 
jor Searcy, one of his aids-de-camp, into Tennessee, 
to raise volunteers, for six months, or during the cam- 
paign ; writing, at the same time, to many respectable 
characters, he exhorted them to contribute all their 
assistance to the accomplishment of this object To a 
letter, just received from the reverend Gideon Black- 
burn, assuring him that volunteers from Tennessee 
would eagerly hasten to his relief, if they knew their 
services were wanted, he replied, " Reverend Sir, 
Your letter has been just received : I thank you for it; 
I thank you most sincerely. It arrived at a moment 
when my spirits needed such a support. 

" I left Tennessee with an army, brave, I believe, 
as any general ever commanded. I have seen them in 
battle and ray opinion of their bravery is not changed. 


But their fortitude on this too I relied has been too 
severely tested. Perhaps I was wrong, in believing 
that nothing but death could conquer the spirits of 
brave men. I am sure I was ; for my men, I know, 
are brave ; yet privations have rendered them discon- 
tented : that is enough. The expedition must never- 
theless be prosecuted to a successful termination. 
New volunteers must be raised, to conclude what has 
been so auspiciously begun by the old ones. Gladly 
would I save these men from themselves, and insure 
them a harvest which they have sown ; but if they 
will abandon it to others, it must be so. 

" You are good enough to say, if I need your assist- 
ance, it will be cheerfully afforded : I do need it great- 
ly. The influence you possess over the minds of men 
is great and well-founded, and can never be better ap- 
plied than in summoning volunteers to the defence of 
their country, their liberty, and their religion. While 
we fight the savage, who makes war only because he 
delights in blood, and who has gotten his booty, when 
he has scalped his victim, we are, through him, con- 
tending against an enemy of more inveterate character, 
and deeper design who would demolish a fabric ce- 
mented by the blood of our fathers, and endeared to us 
by all the happiness we enjoy. So far as my exertions 
can contribute, the purposes, both of the savage and 
his instigator, shall be defeated ; and so far as yours 
can, I hope I know, they will be employed. I have 
said enough. I want men, and want them immediate- 

Anxious to prosecute the campaign as soon as pos-. 


sible, that by employing his troops actively, he might 
dispel from their minds those discontents so frequent- 
ly manifested, he wrote to general Cocke, desiring and 
urging him to unite with him, immediately, at the Ten 
Islands, with fifteen hundred men. He assured him 
that the mounted men, who had returned to the settle- 
ments for subsistence, and to recruit their horses, 
would arrive by the 12th of the month. He wished 
to commence his operations directly, " knowing they 
would be prepared for it, and well knowing they would 
require it." " I am astonished," he continued, " to 
hear that your supplies continue deficient. In the 
name of God, what are the contractors doing and about 
what are they engaged ? Every letter I receive from 
governor Blount, assures me I am to receive plentiful 
supplies from them, and seems to take for granted, 
notwithstanding all I have said to the contrary, that 
they have been hitherto regularly furnished. Con- 
sidering the generous loan the State has made for this 
purpose, and the facility of procuring bread stuffs in 
East Tennessee, and of transporting them by water to 
Fort Deposit, it is to me wholly unaccountable that 
not a pound has ever arrived at that place. This evil 
must continue no longer it must be remedied. I ex- 
pect, therefore, and through you must require, that 
in twenty days they furnish at Deposit every necessa- 
ry supplv."* 

* Independent of an advantageous contract made with the govern- 
ment, the state of Tennessee had extended to this contractor a liberal 
loan, that immediate supplies might be forwarded. Unfortunately, 
however, and it is a misfortune that will always continue so long as 
the present mode of supplying our armies is persisted in, the con- 
tract was disregarded} nor did complaints on the subject cease, even 


Whilst these measures were taking, the volunteers, 
through several of their officers, were pressing on the 
consideration of the general, the expiration of their 
term of service, and claiming to be discharged on the 
10th of the month. From the colonel who command- 
ed the second regiment, he received a letter, dated the 
4th, in which was attempted to be detailed their whole 
ground of complaint. He began by stating, that pain- 
ful as it was, he, nevertheless, felt himself bound to 
disclose an important and unpleasant truth ; that, on 
the 10th, the service would be deprived of the regi- 

to the close of the war. Great as was the evil, no adequate remedy 
was at hand : nor was it confined to any particular section ; but in all 
Directions, where our armies moved, were complaints heard, and 
their operations frustrated through the misconduct of contractors. 
An advancing army, already having within its reach decided advan- 
tages, is made to halt, and to retrograde, or starve. The remedy is 
to sue the contractor; and, after twelve or eighteen months of law, 
a jury decides how far he has or has not broken his covenant. In 
the mean time, the government has lost the most decided advan- 
tages advantages which, had they been secured, might have saved 
millions of treasure, and hundreds of lives. 

Contractors are a class of men never to be influenced by any thing 
of patriotic motive. An accurate attention to their interest, and a 
minute calculation of dollars and cents are the amount of their good 
feelings ; and whether an army shall suffer or press forward success- 
fully are unimportant considerations : with them profit and the ac- 
cumulation of wealth is the only concern ; and whether the army 
they have contracted to feed, fares sumptuously or starves whether 
the service be aided or injured, are but secondary considerations 
with those who seek after wealth, and who are first for themselves. 
If the government will have contractors, they should be appended to 
the army, and made subject to martial rule, and martial larv ; for, 
until then, they will be wholly inefficacious. They might be ruled 
through their fears certainly not through any feelings of patriotism 
'the attempt has been too often imsuccessfally gssayed* 


ment he commanded. He seemed to deplore, with 
great sensibility, the scene that would be exhibited on 
that day, should opposition be made to their departure ; 
and still more sensibly, the consequences that would 
result from a disorderly abandonment of the camp. He 
stated they had all considered themselves finally dis- 
charged on the 20th of April, and never knew to the 
contrary* until they saw his order of the 24th of Sep- 
tember, requiring them to rendezvous at Fayetteville, 
on the 4th of October ; for the first time, they then 
learned that they owed further services, their dis- 
charge to the contrary notwithstanding. " Thus situ- 
ated, there was considerable opposition to the order; 
on which the officers generally, as I am advised, and I 
know myself in particular, gave it as an unequivocal 
opinion, that their term of service would terminate on 
the 10th of December. 

" They therefore look to their general, who holds 
their confidence, for an honourable discharge on that 
day ; and that, in every respect, he will see that jus- 
tice be done them. They regret that their peculiar 
situations and circumstances require them to leave 
their general at a time when their services are impor- 
tant to the common cause. 

" It would be desirable," he continued, " that those 
men who have served with honour, should be honour- 
ably discharged, and that they should return to their 
families and friends without even the semblance of 
disgrace; with their general they leave it to place 
them in that situation. They have received him as an 
affectionate father, whilst they have honoured, revered. 


and obeyed him ; but, having devoted a considerable 
portion of their time to the service of their country, by 
which their domestic concerns are greatly deranged, 
they wish to return and attend to their own affairs." 

Although this communication announced the deter- 
mination of only a part of the volunteer brigade, he 
had already abundant evidence that the defection was 
but too general. The difficulties which the general 
had heretofore been compelled to encounter, from the 
discontents of his troops, might well induce him to re- 
gret that a spirit of insubordination should again threat- 
en to appear in his camp. That he might, if possible, 
prevent it, he hastened to lay before them the error 
and impropriety of their views, and the consequences 
involved, should they persist in their purpose. 

" I know not," he observed, " what scenes will be 
exhibited on the 10th instant, nor what consequences 
are to flow from them here or elsewhere ; but as I shall 
have the consciousness that they are not imputable to 
any misconduct of mine, I trust I shall have the firm- 
ness not to shrink from a discharge of my duty. 

" It will be well, however, for those who intend to 
become actors in those scenes, and who are about to 
hazard so much on the correctness of their opinions, 
to examine beforehand, with great caution and delibe- 
ration, the grounds on which their pretensions rest 
Are they founded on any false assurances of mine, or 
upon any deception that has been practised towards 
them ? Was not the act of congress, under which they 
are engaged, directed, by my general order, to be read 


and expounded to them before they enrolled them- 
selves ? That order will testify, and so will the recol- 
lection of every general officer of my division. It is 
not pretended, that those who now claim to be dis- 
charged, were not legally and fairly enrolled under the 
act of congress of the 6th of February, 1812. Have 
they performed the service required of them by that 
act, and which they then solemnly undertook to per- 
form ? That required one year's service out of two, 
to be computed from the day of rendezvous, unless 
they should be sooner discharged. Has one year's 
service been performed? This cannot be seriously 
pretended. Have they then been discharged ? It is 
said they have, and by me. To account for so extra- 
ordinary a belief! it may be necessary to take a review 
of past circumstances. 

" More than twelve months have elapsed since we 
were called upon to avenge the injured rights of our 
country. We obeyed the call ! In the midst of hard- 
ships, which none but those to whom liberty is dear 
could have borne without a murmur, we descended 
the Mississippi. It was believed our services were 
wanted in the prosecution of the just war in which 
our country was engaged, and we were prepared to 
render them. But, though we were disappointed in 
our expectations, we established for Tennessee a name 
which will long do her honour. At length, we receiv- 
ed a letter from the secretary of war directing our dis- 
mission. You well recollect the circumstances of 
wretchedness in which this order was calculated to 
place us. By it, we were deprived of every article of 
public property ; no provision was made for the pay- 


inent of our troops, or their subsistence on their return 
march ; whilst many of our sick, unable to help them- 
selves, must have perished. Against the opinion of 
many, I marched them back to their homes before I 
dismissed them. Your regiment, at its own request, 
was dismissed at Columbia. This was accompanied 
with a certificate to each man, expressing the acts un- 
der which he had been enrolled, and the length of the 
tour he had performed. This it is which is now at- 
tempted to be construed " a final discharge ;" but 
surely it cannot be forgotten by any officer or soldier, 
how sacredly they pledged themselves, before they 
were dismissed, or received that certificate, cheerfully 
to obey the voice of their country, if it should re-sum- 
mon them into service ; neither can it be forgotten, I 
dare hope, for what purpose that certificate was given ; 
it was to secure, if possible, to those brave men, who 
had shown such readiness to serve their country, cer- 
tain extra emoluments, specified in the seventh section 
of the act under which they had engaged, in the event 
they were not recalled into service for the residue of 
their term. 

* Is it true, then, that my solicitude for the interest 
of the volunteers, is to be made by them a pretext for 
disgracing a name which they have rendered illustri- 
ous ? Is a certificate, designed solely for their benefit, 
to become the rallying word for mutiny ? strange per- 
version of feeling and of reasoning ! Have I really any 
power to discharge men whose term of service has not 
expired ? If I were w^eak or wicked enough to at- 
tempt the exercise of such a power, does any one be- 
lieve, the soldier would be thereby exonerated from the 


obligation he has voluntarily taken upon himself to his 
government ? I should become a traitor to the impor- 
tant concern which has been entrusted to my manage- 
ment, while the soldier, who had been deceived by a 
false hope of liberation, would be still liable to redeem 
his pledge ; I should disgrace myself, without bene- 
fitting you. 

" I can only deplore the situation of those officers 
who have undertaken to persuade their men that their 
term of service will expire on the 10th. In giving their 
opinions to this effect, they have acted indiscreetly, and 
without sufficient authority. It would be the most 
pleasing act of my life, to restore them with honour to 
their families. Nothing would pain me more than that 
any other sentiments should be felt towards them, than 
those of gratitude and esteem. On all occasions, it has 
been my highest happiness to promote their interest, 
and even to gratify their wishes, where, with propriety, 
it could be done. When in the lower country, believ- 
ing that, in the order for their dismissal, they had been 
improperly treated, I even solicited the government to 
discharge them, finally, from the obligations into which 
they had entered. You know the answer of the secre- 
tary of war ; that neither he nor the president, as he 
believed, had the power to discharge them. How, 
tfyen, can it be required of me to do so ? 


" The moment it is signified to me by any competent 
authority, even by the governor of Tennessee, to whom 
I have written on the subject, or by general Pinckney, 
who is now appointed to the command, that the volun- 
teers may be exonerated from further service, that 


moment I will pronounce it, with the greatest satisfac- 
tion. I have only the power of pronouncing a dis- 
charge, not of giving it, in any case ; a distinction 
which I would wish should be borne in mind. Al- 
ready have I sent to raise volunteers, on my own re* 
sponsibility, to complete a campaign which has been 
so happily begun, and thus far, so fortunately prose- 
cuted. The moment they arrive, and I am assured, 
that, fired by our exploits, they will hasten in crowds, 
on the first intimation that we need their services, they 
will be substituted in the place of those who are dis- 
contented here ; the latter will then be permitted to re- 
turn to their homes, with all the honour which, under 
such circumstances, they can carry along with them, 
But I still cherish the hope, that their dissatisfaction 
and complaints have been greatly exaggerated. I can- 
not, must not believe, that the " Volunteers of Ten* 
nessee," a name ever dear to fame, will disgrace them- 
selves, and a country which they have honoured, by 
abandoning her standard, as mutineers and deserters ; 
but should I be disappointed, and compelled to resign 
this pleasing hope, one thing I will not resign- my 
duty. Mutiny and sedition, so long as I possess the 
power of quelling them, shall be put down ; and even 
when left destitute of this, I will still be found, in the 
last extremity, endeavouring to discharge the duty I 
owe my country and myself." 

To the platoon officers, who addressed him on the 
same subject, he replied with nearly the same spirited 
feeling ; but discontent was too deeply fastened, and 
by designing men had been too artfully fomented, to 
be removed by any thing like argument or entreaty. 



At length, on the evening of the 9th, general Hall has- 
tened to the tent of Jackson with information that his 
whole brigade was in a state of mutiny, and making 
preparations to move forcibly off. This was a measure 
which every consideration of policy, duty, and honour, 
required Jackson to oppose ; and to this purpose he 
instantly applied all the means he possessed. He im- 
mediately issued the following general order : 

" The commanding general being informed that an 
actual mutiny exists in his camp, all officers and sol- 
diers are commanded to put it down* 

" The officers and soldiers of the first brigade will, 
without delay, parade on the west side of the fort, and 
await further orders." The artillery company, with 
two small field pieces, being posted in the front and 
rear, and the militia, under the command of colonel 
Wynne, on the eminences, in advance, were ordered to 
prevent any forcible departure of the volunteers. 

The general rode along the line, which had been 
previously formed agreeably to his orders, and address- 
ed them, by companies, in a strain of impassioned elo- 
quence. He feelingly expatiated on their former good 
conduct, and the esteem and applause it had secured 
them; and pointed to the disgrace which they must 
heap upon themselves, their families, and country, by 
persisting, even if they could succeed, in their present 
mutiny. He told them however, they should not suc- 
ceed but by passing over his body ; that even in oppos- 
ing their mutinous spirit, he should perish honourably 
by perishing at his post, and in the discharge of his 


duty. " Reinforcements" he continued, " are prepar- 
ing to hasten to my assistance : it cannot be long before 
they will arrive. I am, too, in daily expectation of re- 
ceiving information whether you may be discharged 
or not until then, you must not, and shall not retire, 
I have done with entreaty, it has been used long 
enough. I will attempt it no more. You must now de- 
termine whether you will go or peaceably remain: if 
you still persist in your determination to move forcibly 
off, the point between us shall soon be decided." At 
first they hesitated ; he demanded an explicit and 
positive answer. They still hesitated, and he com- 
manded the artillerist to prepare the match ; he him- 
self remaining in front of the volunteers, and within 
the line of fire, which he intended soon to order. 
Alarmed at his apparent determination, and dreading 
the consequences involved in such a contest ; " Let us 
return," was presently lisped along the line, and soon 
after determined upon. The officers now came for- 
ward and pledged themselves for their men, who 
either nodded assent, or openly expressed a willingness 
to retire to their quarters, and remain without further 
tumult, until information were had, or the expected 
aid should arrive. Thus passed away a moment of the 
greatest peril, and pregnant with important conse* 

Calculating philosophers may maintain the opinion, 
that conduct like that pursued on this occasion, de- 
serves no other name than rashness : it certainly was 
determined, and proved in the end decisive. At such 
a moment, hesitation must have been succeeded by a 
defeat of purpose, and an entire abandonment by his 


troops, To have been forsaken in such a manner, and 
under such circumstances, no expectation could have 
been entertained of drawing to the service, in any 
short time, additional troops. The consequence must 
have been, that the enemy, not subdued, but only ex- 
asperated, might, unmolested, have assailed our unpro- 
tected frontiers, and drenched them in the blood of 
our defenceless citizens. These anticipations were 
alarming, and only to be prevented by some effort^ 
bold and daring, as the one attempted. It was hazard- 
ous, yet it succeeded. 

Although the immediate execution of their purpose 
was thus for the present prevented, it was presently 
ascertained not to be w r holly abandoned, and that no- 
thing could be expected from their future fidelity and 
services. Jackson, therefore, determined to rid him- 
self, as soon as possible, of men whose presence an- 
swered no other end than to keep alive discontents in 
his camp. He accordingly prepared an order to gene- 
ral Hall, to march his brigade to Nashville, and to dis- 
pose of them as he should be directed by the governor 
of Tennessee. Previous to promulgating this, he re- 
solved to make one further effort to retain them, and 
to make a last appeal to their honour and patriotism. 
For this purpose, having assembled them before the 
ort, on the 13th, he directed his aid-de-camp to read 
the following address : 

" On the 10th of December, 1812, you assembled 
at the call of your country. Your professions of pa- 
triotism, and ability to endure fatigue, were at once 
tested by the inclemency of the weather. Breaking 


your way through sheets of ice, you descended the 
Mississippi, and reached the point at which you were 
ordered to be halted and dismissed. All this you bore 
without murmuring. Finding that your services were 
not needed, the means for marching you back were 
procured; every difficulty was surmounted, and, as 
soon as the point from which you embarked was re- 
gained, the order for your dismissal was carried into 
effect The promptness with which you assembled, 
the regularity of your conduct, your attention to your 
duties, the determination manifested, on every occa- 
sion, to carry into effect the wishes and will of your 
government, placed you on elevated ground. You not 
only distinguished yourselves, but gave to your state a 
distinguished rank with her sisters ; and led your go- 
vernment to believe, that the honour of the nation 
would never be tarnished when entrusted to the holy 
keeping of the a Volunteers of Tennessee." 

" In the progress of a war, which the implacable and 
eternal enemy of our independence induced to be waged, 
we found that, without cause on our part, a portion of 
the Creek nation was added to the number of our foes. 
To put it down, the first glance of the administration 
fell on you ; and you were again summoned to the field 
of honour. In full possession of your former feelings, 
that summons was cheerfully obeyed. Before your 
enemy thought you in motion, you were at Tallushat- 
chee and Talladega. The thunder of your arms was 
a signal to them that the slaughter of your country- 
men was about to be avenged. You fought, you con- 
quered ! barely enough of the foe escaped to recount 
to their savage associates your deeds of valour. You 


returned to this place loaded with laurels and the ap- 
pjauses of your country. 

" Can it be, that these brave men are about to be- 
come the tarnishers of their own reputation ! the de- 
stroyers of a name which does them so much honour ? 
Yes, it is a truth too well disclosed, that cheerfulness 
has been exchanged for complaints : murmurings and 
discontents alone prevail. Men who a little while since 
were offering up prayers for permission to chastise 
the merciless savage who burned with impatience to 
teach them how much they had hitherto been indebt- 
ed to our forbearance, are now, when they could so 
easily attain their wishes, seeking to be discharged. 
The heart of your general has been pierced. The first 
object of his military affections, and the first glory of 
his life, were the volunteers of Tennessee ! The very 
name recalls to him a thousand endearing recollections. 
But these men these volunteers, have become mu- 
tineers. The feelings he would have indulged, your 
general has been compelled to suppress he has been 
compelled by a regard to that subordination, so neces- 
sary to the support of every army, and which he is 
bound to have observed, to check the disorder which 
would have destroyed you. He has interposed his 
authority for your safety to prevent you from dis* 
gracing yourselves and your country. Tranquillity has 
been restored in our camp contentment shall also be 
restored ; this can be done only by permitting those 
to retire whose dissatisfaction proceeds from causes 
that cannot be controlled. This permission will now 
be given. Your country will dispense with your ser- 
vices, if you have no longer a regard for tha.t fame 


Which you have so nobly earned for yourselves and 
jher. Yes, soldiers, you who were once so brave, and 
to whom honour was so dear, shall be permitted to 
return to your homes, if you still desire it. But in 
what language, when you arrive, will you address your 
families and friends? Will you tell them that you aban- 
doned your general and your late associates in arms 
within fifty miles of a savage enemy ; who equally de- 
lights in shedding the blood of the innocent female and 
her sleeping babe, as that of the warrior contending in 
battle ? Lamentable, disgraceful tale"! If your disposi- 
tions are really changed ; if you fear an enemy you so 
lately conquered; this day will prove it. I now put it 
to yourselves; determine upon the part you will act, 
influenced only by the suggestions of your own hearts, 
and your own understandings. All who prefer an in- 
glorious retirement, shall be ordered to Nashville, to 
be discharged, as the president or the governor may 
direct Those who choose to remain, and unite with 
their general in the further prosecution of the campaign, 
can do so, and will thereby furnish a proof that they 
have been greatly traduced; and that although dis* 
affection and cowardice has reached the hearts of 
some, it has not reached theirs. To such my assurance 
is given, that former irregularities will not be attribu- 
ted to them. They shall be immediately organized 
into a separate corps, under officers of their own 
choice ; and, in a little while, it is confidently believed 
an opportunity will be afforded of adding to the laurels 
you have already won." 

Warm and feeling as was the appeal, it failed of the 
desired effect. Captain Williamson alone agreed to 


remain. Finding that their determination to abandon 
the service could not be changed, and that every prin- 
ciple of patriotism was forgotten, the general commu- 
nicated his order to general Hall, and directed him to 
march his brigade to Nashville, and await such instruc- 
tions as he might receive from the president, or the 
governor of Tennessee. 

General Cocke, on the 12th, had arrived at Fort 
Strother with fifteen hundred men ; but it was found 
from his report, that no part of his troops had been 
brought into the field under the requisition of the pre- 
sident of the United States ; and that the term of ser- 
vice of the greater portion of them would expire in a 
few days ; and of the whole in a few weeks. In conse- 
quence of this, he was ordered into his district, to com- 
ply with that requisition, and to carry back with him 
and to discharge near their homes, those of his troops, 
the period of whose service was within a short time of 
being ended. The reason of this was explained in an 
address to the brigade, in which they were entreated, 
when they should have obtained the necessaries which 
a winters campaign should render necessary, to re- 
turn into the field, and aid in completing what had 
been so successfully begun. Colonel Lilliard's regi- 
ment, which consisted of about eight hundred, and 
whose term of service would not expire in less than 
four weeks, was retained to assist in defending the 
present post, and in keeping open the communication 
with Deposit, until the expected reinforcements should 
arrive from Tennessee. 

Meantime the cavalry and mounted riflemen, who, 


under an express stipulation to return and complete 
the campaign, had been permitted to retire into the 
settlements, to recruit their horses and procure winter 
clothing, had, at the time appointed, re-assembled in 
the neighbourhood of Huntsville. But, catching the 
infection of discontent from the infantry, on their re- 
turn march, they began now to clamour with equal 
earnestness for a discharge. The cavalry insisted that 
they were as well entitled to it as the infantry ; and 
the riflemen, that they could not be held in service 
after the 24th, that being three months from the time 
they had been mustered : and that as that day was so 
near at hand, it was wholly useless to advance any 

General Coffee, who was confined at Huntsville by 
severe indisposition, employed all the means which 
his debilitated strength would allow, to remove the 
dangerous impressions they had so readily imbibed, 
and to reclaim them to a sense of honour and of duty; 
but all his efforts proved unavailing. He immediately 
ordered his brigade to head-quarters : they had pro- 
ceeded as far as Ditto's ferry, when the greater part of 
them refusing to cross the river, returned in a tumul- 
tuous manner, committing on the route innumerable 
irregularities, which there was no force sufficient to re- 
strain. Not more than seven hundred of the brigade 
could be gotten over; who, having marched to Deposit, 
were directed to be halted, until further orders could 
be obtained from general Jackson. At this place they 
committed the wildest extravagancies ; profusely wast- 
ing the public grain, which, with much difficulty and 
labour, had been collected for the purpose of the cam] 


paign ; and indulging in every species of excess. 
Whilst thus rioting, they continued to clamour vocif- 
erously for their discharge. General Coffee finding 
his utmost efforts ineffectual, to restrain or to quiet 
them, wrote to Jackson, acquainting him with their 
conduct and demands, and enclosing a petition that 
had been addressed to him by the rifle regiment. In 
his letter he says, " I am of opinion, th sooner they 
can be gotten clear of the better ; they are consuming 
the forage that will be necessary for others, and I am 
satisfied they will do no more good. I have told them, 
their petition would be submitted to you, who would 
decide upon it in the shortest possible time." This 
was truly disagreeable news to the general. Already 
sufficiently harassed by the discontents and opposition 
of his troops, now that they had retired, he looked 
anxiously forward, in hopes that the tranquillity of his 
camp would be no more assailed. On the brigade of 
Coffee, he had placed great reliance, and, from the 
pledges it had given him, entertained no fears but that 
it would return and act with him, as soon as he should 
be ready to proceed. He replied to general Coffee, 
and taking a view of the grounds and causes of their 
complaints, endeavoured to reconcile their objections, 
and persuade them to a discharge of the duties which 
they had undertaken, and covenanted to perform. 

The signers of that address, observes the general, 
commence by saying, " that jealousy is prevailing in 
our camp, with respect to the understanding between 
themselves and the government, relative to the service 
required of them ; and, believing it to be its policy to 
act fairly, are of opinion that a full explanation of their 


case will have a good effect in promoting the cause in 
which they are engaged." 

" What can have given rise to this jealousy, I am 
at a loss to conjecture ; for surely no unfair practices 
were ever used by their government to get them into 
the service, nor to keep them in it longer than they 
had engaged to remain. How long that was, can be 
easily determined by the law under which they were 
accepted. This was open to all, and must be presum- 
ed to have been understood by all. But for a com- 
plete answer, I send you and refer you to the written 
pledges, of both the field and platoon officers, before 
they returned to recruit their horses, and obtain their 
winter clothing. As they seem completely to have 
forgotten, remind them of all they contain,' of their 
assurances given, that, if what they asked were grant- 
ed, they would return, at the shortest possible notice, 
prepared and willing to go through the winter ser- 
vice, or to the end of the campaign. Sensible of their 
necessities, and confiding fully in the promises they 
made, and signed with their own names, I permitted 
them, on the 22d ultimo, to return into the settlements, 
for the purpose of procuring fresh horses and addition- 
al clothing ; and required them, to which they readily 
agreed, to rendezvous in Madison on the 8th instant. 
They have returned, and now, when every calculation 
is made upon their services, agreeably to the pledges 
that have been given, they send, (instead of coming,) 
this address. Under these circumstances, what " ex- 
planation of their case" do they want ? What expla- 
nation do they expect their general to give them ? 
Barely to remind them of their written pledges, with- 


out attempting any exposition of the law, under which 
they have engaged, is surely a sufficient answer. An 
exposition of it will not be attempted by me ; not only 
because it is considered unnecessary, but because my 
opinion on it has been already frequently given. 

They remark further, that " they are returning like 
deserters, souring the minds of the people against the 
government and the officers, which will prevent others 
from entering into the service of their country, and 
paralyze the spirit of every citizen of Tennessee." 
That they are returning home, not only "like de- 
serters," but in the real genuine character of such, is 
indeed a lamentable truth. That they are also endea- 
vouring to sour the minds of the people against the 
government and the officers, and that this attempt v ill 
most probably be successful, and prevent many from 
entering the service, is, I am fearful, too true. But, in 
the name of God, to whom is this to be ascribed to 
the government, or to their general ? or rather is it 
not more justly chargeable to themselves, who, having 
entered the camp from patriotic motives, as they say 
having engaged with their government, and pledged 
themselves to their general, to prosecute the cam- 
paign and avenge the injured rights of their country, 
forget both the engagement and the pledge, and all 
their boasted patriotism, at a moment when their ser- 
vices are the most confidently expected, and the most 
eminently needed. 

" I cannot conceive how the idea has arisen, that 
they are attempted to be detained without their con- 
sent. To say nothing of the length of service really 


required by the law under which they were accepted, 
have not the field officers given their written consent 
to remain during the winter, or until the campaign be 
completed? Have they not also given a pledge for 
their men, and the officers commanding companies and 
platoons ; and have not those company and platoon 
officers, too, given a similar assurance for themselves 
and their men ? Let them look to these pledges, and 
blush at their conduct 

" They also remark, " If any tender of services, for 
a longer time than a tour of duty, (three months) has 
been made to the general government, we beg leave 
to say, it was without our consent or knowledge ; and 
we are convinced that, in all contracts that are bind- 
ing, both parties must fully understand and consent 
thereto. We wish to be permitted to return home, and 
to return under such circumstances as will entitle us 
to be praised, instead of blamed, by those who so gal- 
lantly led us to battle." 

tt To this I answer, that no tender for any specified 
term of service was ever made to the general govern- 
ment by me, or by any other within my knowledge. 
As regards their law remark, that men, to be bound 
by a contract, must understand and consent to it, it 
will be a sufficient answer, that those who volunteer 
their services, under a public law, are presumed to 
understand fully all its provisions ; or, at any rate, that 
those who sign an instrument drawn up by them- 
selves, cannot reasonably be supposed ignorant of its 
contents, or unwilling to abide by its terms. But they 
must be lukewarm patriots indeed, who, in the mo- 


ment of danger and necessity, can halt in the dis- 
charge of their duty to argue and quibble on the con- 
struction of laws and statutes. 

" As to their wish " to be praised instead of censur- 
ed," I am at a loss to conceive how such a sentiment 
should hold a place in the breasts of men who are about 
to abandon the cause of their country at such a moment 
as this, and under such engagements. Even if it be 
possible for such men to desire praise, from their pre- 
sent conduct they cannot expect it, nor believe them- 
selves entitled to receive it. Before they can have 
determined to enter upon such a course, they must 
undoubtedly have prepared their minds to meet all the 
contumely and contempt that an indignant country 
can heap upon such wind-blown patriots ; who, when 
at home, clamoured so vociferously about her injured 
rights, and having taken up arms to defend them, 
abandon them at a moment \vhen they are most in 
danger. A grosser aliment than praise must be the 
proper nutriment for such minds. If it were possible 
that any doubt could exist, under the law by which 
their services were engaged, has not the utmost cer- 
tainty been produced, by their own written undertak- 
ings, subsequently made? But on the question, whe- 
ther their country, at this time, needs their services in 
the field, there can be no doubt. And is patriotism to 
be measured by months, and weeks, and days ? Is it 
by such a computation, that the volunteer, embarked 
in his country's defence, hopes to entitle himself to the 
thanks of that country, when her rights are assailed, 
and his efforts can protect them ? Be it so ; let it be 
even granted, that these men's engagements have ex- 


pired under the law ; has their sacred pledge, in writ- 
ing, and has their love of country expired ? If these 
cannot bind them to a faithful performance of their 
duty, I know of nothing by which I can hope to hold 

Few men had ever imposed on them the necessity 
of contending with greater difficulties. The volun- 
teers, proud of the name, and conceiving themselves 
superior to the militia, had just fought their fii;st bat- 
tle ; and if suffering had not destroyed their early ex- 
citement, the same fervour with which they sat out 
might have still continued ; but the negligence, or in- 
terested views of contractors, had introduced such dis- 
contents, as that to repress them, boldness and energy 
were required. But to effect this, as events proved, was 
impracticable, inasmuch as the termination of one dif- 
ficulty seemed but the commencement of another. It 
is not wonderous then, that the patience of the gene- 
ral should have been exhausted ; or in the address pre- 
sented he should have indulged those feelings which 
the occasion and the circumstances were so well cal- 
culated to inspire. 

To have addressed them in a strain less pointed and 
independent, or to have endeavoured to sooth their 
discontents by entreaty, might at some other time, and 
under different circumstances, have been better re- 
sorted to for success ; but the ineffectual attempts that 
had been made with his infantry, who had forsaken 
the camp, in spite of every thing that persuasion, 
threats, or honour could suggest, left but a narrow 
basis on which to erect a hope of his being able to de- 


tain them. There was but a single course left ; to 
point them to the pledge they had given, and appeal 
directly to their honour, believing that if this were un- 
successful, there was " nothing by which he could 
hope to hold them." 

Jackson had just received a letter from the governor 
of Tennessee, in answer to his frequent and pressing 
inquiries, as to the disposition which should be made 
of the volunteers. It recommended what had already, 
from necessity, been done ; to dismiss not discharge 
them, because the latter was not in the power of either 
of them : nor was their dismission to be given, be- 
cause founded in right; but because, under existing cir- 
cumstances, their presence could not prove beneficial, 
but highly injurious. To induce them contentedly to 
remain, the governor had suggested but one argument, 
which had not already been unsuccessfully attempted; 
" that it was very doubtful if the government would 
pay them for the services they had already rendered, 
if abandoned without her authority." It is true, that 
avarice sometimes alters a determination, when other 
considerations have failed of success ; whether this ap- 
peal might not result beneficially with the cavalry, 
whose presence was greatly desired, was at least worthy 
the trial. It was important, however, to bring it be- 
fore them in some delicate way to awaken inquiry, and 
guard against offence. The letter was therefore en- 
closed for their inspection, accompanied with these re- 
marks : " I have just received a letter from governor 
Blount, which I hasten to transmit, that you may avail 
yourselves of whatever benefits and privileges it holds 
out You will perceive, that he does not consider he 


has any power to discharge you,- neither have I : 
but you have my permission to retire from the service, 
if you are still desirous of doing so, and are prepared 
to risk the consequences." 

These letters, so far from answering the desired end, 
had a directly contrary effect. The governor's was no 
sooner read, than they eagerly laid hold of it to sup- 
port the resolution they had already formed ; and 
without further ceremony or delay, abandoned the 
campaign, with their colonel at their head, who, so 
far from having endeavoured to reconcile them, is be- 
lieved, by secret artifices, to have fomented their dis- 

So general was the dissatisfaction of this brigade, 
and with such longing anxiety did they indulge the 
hope of a speedy return to their homes, that their im- 
patience did not permit them to wait the return of the 
messenger from head-quarters. Before an answer 
could reach general Coffee, they had broken up their 
encampment at Deposit, re-crossed the river, and pro- 
ceeded four miles beyond Huntsville. On receiving 
it, Coffee had the brigade drawn up in solid column, 
and the letters, together with the pledge they had giv- 
en, read to them ; after which the reverend Mr. Blackr 
burn endeavoured in an eloquent speech, in which he 
pointed out the ruinous consequences that were to be 
apprehended, if they persisted in their present purpose, 
to recall them to a sense of duty, and of honour ; but 
they had formed their resolution too steadfastly, and 
had gone too extravagant lengths, to be influenced by 
the letter, the pledge, or the speech. As to the pledge, 


a few said they had not authorized it to be made ; 
others, that as the general had not returned an imme- 
diate acceptance, they did not consider themselves 
bound by it ; but the greater part candidly acknow- 
ledged, that they stood committed, and were without 
any justification for their present conduct. Neverthe- 
less, except a few officers, and three or four privates, 
the whole persisted in the determination to abandon 
the service. Thus, in a tumultuous manner, they 
abandoned their post and their duty, and, committing 
innumerable extravagances, regardless alike of law 
and decency, continued their route to their respective 


Discontents of the militia. Governor Blount recommends an abandon* 
ment of the service. Jackson's reply to his letter. The governor 
takes measures for bringing out a sufficient force. Conduct of general 
Roberts. -~- His brigade retires from service. Lieutenant Kearley. 
General Jackson endeavours to detain the East Tennessee troops. 
His address to them. Arrival of additional forces. Arrest of officers* 
Expedition against the Indians. His motives. Battle of Emuck- 
faia. General Coffee proceeds to destroy the enemy's fortifications.*- 
Second battle of Emuckfaw. Troops commence their return marcft. 
J^mbus cade formed by the Indians. Battle of Enotichopco. 

THE events just portrayed, satisfactorily prove, that 
militia are not only the most expensive troops in war, 
but such as cannot be relied on beyond that period 
where excitement and buoyancy of spirit is preserved; 
and even then, none but the most determined officers 
can controul them. Despondency overtaking them, 
their efficiency is destroyed ; but, when mutinous, they 
are worse than useless. 

But whilst these unfortunate events were transpir- 
ing in the rear, matters were far from wearing an en- 
couraging aspect at head-quarters. The brigade of 
West Tennessee militia, at no time full, and at pre- 
sent consisting, in consequence of numerous deser- 
tions, of only about six hundred, imitating the evil 
examples lately set before it, began, as the day on 
which they imagined themselves entitled to a dis- 
charge was approaching, to turn their attention to- 
wards home. Believing that three months constituted 


the tour of duty contemplated in the act under which 
their services had been engaged, they insisted that it 
would terminate on the 4th of the ensuing month, 
This, however, was a construction that Jackson was 
by no means disposed to admit. It is true, the act had 
not defined the term of their engagement; but it had 
specified the object of calling them out, viz. to subdue 
the Indians ; and as that object had not yet been at- 
tained, it was believed, that at present, they were not 
entitled to a discharge^ In addition to this, these 
troops, although raised by the state authorities, had 
been, by the particular recommendation of the legis- 
lature, received into the service of the general govern- 
ment, under the act of congress authorizing the pre- 
sident to call out a hundred thousand militia, to serve 
for six months, unless by his own order they should 
be previously dismissed. So that, whether the act of 
congress, or the legislature of Tennessee, were taken 
as the governing rule in this case, it was believed 
there was no authority competent to extend to them 
a discharge, at the time it was threatened to be de- 
manded. The militia of East Tennessee, having been 
specially mustered into service for three months, 
would, of course, be entitled to claim their dismissal 
at the expiration of that period ; hence colonel Lil- 
liard's regiment, which constituted more than one half 
the present force at head-quarters, would be lost to 
the service on the 14th of the next month. 

With the failure of general Cocke, to bring into the 
field the number and description of troops which he 
had been ordered to raise under the requisition of the 
president, as well as with the temper and demands of 


those who were in service, Jackson kept the governor 
of Tennessee correctly advised; and omitted no op- 
portunity of entreating him, in the most pressing man- 
ner, to take the earliest measures for supplying by 
draft, or voluntary enlistment, the present deficiency, 
as well as that which, from every appearance, was 
soon to be expected To these solicitations, he had 
now received the governor's answer, who stated, that, 
having given an order to bring into the field fifteen 
hundred of the detached militia, as was required by 
the secretary of war, and a thousand volunteers, under 
the act of the legislature of Tennessee of the 24th 
September, he did not feel himself authorized to grant 
any new mandate, although satisfied that the first had 
not been complied with ; that he viewed the further 
prosecution of the campaign, attended as it was with 
so many embarrassments, as a fruitless endeavour ; and 
concluded by recommending, as advisable, to withdraw 
the troops into the settlements, and suspend all active 
operations until the general government should pro- 
vide more effectual means for conducting it to a fa- 
vourable result Jackson, far from having any intention 
to yield to this advice, determined to oppose it Still, 
however, he was greatly concerned at the view the 
chief magistrate of his state seemed to take of a ques- 
tion of such vital importance ; and immediately pro-* 
ceeded to unfold himself fully, and to suggest the 
course, which, he believed, on the present occasion, 
it behoved them both to pursue: pointing out the 
ruinous consequences that might be expected to result 
from the adoption of the measure he had undertaken 
to recommend; he continues: 


" Had your wish, that I should discharge a part of 
my force, and retire, with the residue, into the settle- 
ments, assumed the form of a positive order, it might 
have furnished me some apology for pursuing such a 
course; but by no means a full justification. As you 
would have no power to give such an order, I could 
not be inculpable in obeying, with my eyes open to 
the fatal consequences that would attend it. But a 
bare recommendation, founded, as I am satisfied it 
must be, on the artful suggestions of those fire-side 
patriots, who seek, in a failure of the expedition, an 
excuse for their own supineness ; and upon the misre- 
presentations of the discontented from the army, who 
wish it to be believed, that the difficulties which over- 
came their patriotism are wholly insurmountable, would 
afford me but a feeble shield against the reproaches of 
my country or my conscience. Believe me, my re- 
spected friend, the remarks I make proceed from the 
purest personal regard. If you would preserve your 
reputation, or that of the state over which you preside, 
you must take a straight-forward, determined course; 
regardless of the applause or censure of the populace, 
and of the forebodings of that dastardly and designing 
crew, who, at a time like this, may be expected to 
clamour continually in your ears. The very wretches 
who now beset you with evil counsel, will be the first, 
should the measures which they recommend eventuate 
in disaster, to call down imprecations on your head, 
and load you with reproaches. Your country is in 
danger : apply its resources to its defence ! Can any 
course be more plain ? Do you, my friend, at such a 
moment as the present, sit with your arms folded, and 
your heart at ease, waiting a solution of your doubts, 


and a definition of your powers ? Do you wait for spe- 
cial instructions from the secretary at war, which it is 
impossible for you to receive in time for the danger 
that threatens ? How did the venerable Shelby act, 
under similar circumstances ; or rather, under circum- 
stances by no means so critical ? Did he wait for or- 
ders to do what every man of sense knew what eve- 
ry patriot felt to be right ? He did not ; and yet how 
highly and justly did the government extol his manly 
and energetic conduct ! and how dear has his name be- 
come to every friend of his country ! 

" You say, that an order to bring the necessary 
quota of men into the field has been given, and that of 
course your power ceases ; and, although you are made 
sensible that the order has been wholly neglected, you 
can take no measure to remedy the omission. Widely 
different, indeed, is my opinion. I consider it your 
imperious duty, when the men, called for by your au- 
thority, founded upon that of the government, are 
known not to be in the field, to see that they be brought 
there ; and to take immediate measures with the officer, 
who, charged with the execution of your order, omits 
or neglects to do it. As the executive of the state, it 
is your duty to see that the full quota of troops be con- 
stantly kept in the field, for the time they have been 
required. You are responsible to the government; 
your officer to you. Of what avail is it, to give an 
order, if it be never executed, and may be disobeyed 
with impunity ? Is it by empty mandates that we can 
hope to conquer our enemies, and save our defenceless 
frontiers from butchery and devastation ? Believe me, 
my valued friend, there are times when it is highly 


criminal to shrink from responsibility, or scruple about 
the exercise of our powers. There are times when 
we must disregard punctilious etiquette, and think 
only of serving our country. What is really our pre- 
sent situation ? The enemy we have been sent to 
subdue, may be said, if we stop at this, to be only ex- 
asperated. The commander in chief, general Pinck- 
ney, who supposes me by this time, prepared for re- 
newed operations, has ordered me to advance and form 
a junction with the Georgia army ; and, upon the ex- 
pectation that I will do so, are all his arrangements 
formed for the prosecution of the campaign. Will it 
do to defeat his plans, and jeopardize the safety of the 
Georgia army ? The general government, too, believe, 
and have a right to believe, that we have now not less 
than five thousand men in the heart of the enemy's 
country ; and on this opinion are all their calculations 
bottomed ; and must they all be frustrated, and I be- 
come the instrument by which it is done ? God for- 

" You advise me to discharge or dismiss from ser- 
vice, until the will of the president can be known, 
such portion of the militia as have rendered three 
months' service. This advice astonishes me, even more 
than the former. I have no such discretionary power ; 
and if I had, it would be impolitic and ruinous to exer- 
cise it. I believed, the militia who were not specially 
received for a shorter period, were engaged for six 
months, unless the objects of the expedition should be 
sooner attained^ and in this opinion I was greatly 
strengthened by your letter of the 15th, in which you 
say, when answering my inquiry upon this subject, 


"the militia are detached for six months* service;" 
nor did I know, or suppose, you had a different 
opinion, until the arrival of your last letter. This 
opinion must, I suppose, agreeably to your request, be 
made known to general Roberts' brigade, and then 
the consequences are not difficult to be foreseen. 
Every man belonging to it will abandon me on the 
4th of next month ; nor shall I have the means of pre- 
venting it, but by the application of force, which, un- 
der such circumstances, I shall not be at liberty to 
use. I have laboured hard to reconcile these men to 
a continuance in service until they could be honour- 
ably discharged, and had hoped I had, in a great mea- 
sure, succeeded ; but your opinion, operating with 
their own prejudices, will give a sanction to their con- 
duct, and render useless any further attempts. They 
will go ; but I can neither discharge nor dismiss them. 
Shall I be told, that as they will go, it may as well be 
peaceably permitted ; can that be any good reason why 
I should do an unauthorized act ? Is it a good reason 
why I should violate the order of my superior officer, 
and evince a willingness to defeat the purposes of my 
government ? And wherein does the " sound policy" 
of the measures that have been recommended consist ? 
or in what way are they " likely to promote the public 
good ?" Is it sound policy to abandon a conquest thus 
far made, and deliver up to havoc, or add to the num- 
ber of our enemies, those friendly Creeks and Chero- 
kees, who, relying on our protection, have espoused 
our cause, and aided us with their arms ? Is it good 
policy to turn loose upon our defenceless frontiers 
five thousand exasperated savages, to reek their hands 
once more in the blood of our citizens ? What ! retro- 


grade under such circumstances! I will perish first 
No, I will do my duty : I will hold the posts I have 
established, until ordered to abandon them by the 
commanding general, or die in the struggle ; long 
since have I determined not to seek the preservation 
of life at the sacrifice of reputation. 

" But our frontiers, it seems, are to be defended, 
and by whom ? By the very force that is now recom- 
mended to be dismissed : for I am first told to retire 
into the settlements and protect the frontiers ; next, 
to discharge my troops ; and then, that no measures 
can be taken for raising others. No, my friend, if 
troops be given me, it is not by loitering on the fron- 
tiers that I will seek to give protection ; they are to 
be defended, if defended at all, in a very different man- 
ner ; by carrying the war into the heart of the ene- 
my's country, All other hopes of defence are more 
visionary than dreams. What then is to be done ? 
I'll tell you what. You have only to act with the ener- 
gy and decision the crisis demands, and all will be 
well. Send me a force engaged for six months, and 
I will answer for the result, but withhold it, and all 
is lost, the reputation of the state, and your's, and 
mine along with it." 

This letter had considerable effect with the gover- 
nor. On receiving it, he immediately determined on 
a course of greater efficienc} r , and ordered from the 
second division twenty-five hundred of the militia, for 
a tour of three months, to rendezvous at Fayetteville 
on the 28th of Januarj 7 . The command was given to 
brigadier-general Johnston, with orders to proceed 


without delay, by detachments, or otherwise, to Fort 
Strother. He instructed general Cocke to execute 
the order he had received from Jackson, for raising 
from his division his required quota of troops, and to 
bring them to the field as early as possible. 

These measures were taken by the governor in op- 
position to his first views of their impropriety with- 
out any special directions from the government. If any 
doubts, however, remained of the correctness of the 
course adopted, they were soon after dispelled by a 
letter from the secretary of war, stating that he was 
" authorized to supply, by militia drafts or volunteers, 
any deficiency that might arise, and without referring 
on that head to the department of war." 

General Roberts, who had been ordered back to 
supply the deficiencies in his brigade, returned on the 
27th with one hundred and ninety-one men, mustered 
for three months. Having halted them a few miles in 
rear of the camp, he proceeded thither himself, to learn 
of the commanding general, whether the troops he had 
brought on would be received for the term they had 
stipulated, inasmuch as they were unwilling to advance 
further until this point was settled. Jackson answer- 
ed, that although he greatly preferred they should be 
engaged for six months, or during the campaign, yet 
he had no wish to alter any engagement made with 
general Roberts, and would gladly receive them for 
the period they had been mustered ; at the expiration 
of which time he would discharge them. Notwith- 
standing this assurance, with which he was instructed 
to make them fully acquainted, for some unknown 


cause, they suddenly formed the determination to aban- 
don their engagements and return home, without gain- 
ing even a sight of the camp. To the misconduct of 
their general, was it justly to be attributed. By halt- 
ing them in the neighbourhood, until he could go to 
head-quarters and " make terms" for their acceptance, 
he had impressed them with the belief that their ob- 
ligations as yet extended only to himself; from which 
he promised to absolve them, if the terms he should 
be able to make, should be less favourable than they 
expected. And even after general Jackson had assent- 
ed to all that was or could be asked in their behalf, 
and that assent had been reduced to writing, Roberts, 
either from not understanding what was done, or from 
a desire to injure the service, hastened back to his 
men, informed them that he had been unable to effect 
an accomplishment of their object seriously lamented 
having induced them from their homes, and concluded 
by gravely remarking, that he freely exonerated them 
from all the obligations they were under to him. They, 
just as gravely concluded they would go no further ; 
and, turning about, commenced their return home. 
The affair, however, was soon presented very differ- 
ently to his mind. The careless indifference with 
which he had first treated it had subsided ; and his fears 
took the alarm on receiving from general Jackson, an 
order to parade immediately before the fort the men 
he had reported to have brought into the field. He 
came forward, now, to excuse what had happened, and 
to solicit permission to go in pursuit of the refugees, 
whom he thought he should be able to bring back. 
Overtaking them, at the distance of twenty miles, he 
endeavoured, in a very gentle manner, to sooth their 


discontents, and prevail on them to return ; but having 
been discharged, and absolved fully from the engage- 
ments they had at first entered into, they laughed at 
the folly of his errand. Unable to effect his object, 
he remained with them during the night ; and in the 
morning set out for camp, and his new recruits for 
home. On arriving at head-quarters, he ascribed his 
failure to the practice^4if certain officers, whom he 
named, and who, he said, had stirred up a spirit of mu- 
tiny and desertion among the men to such a degree, 
that all his efforts to retain them had proved unavail- 
ing. Jackson, who could not view this incident with 
the same carelessness and indifference that Roberts 
did, immediately issued an order, directing him to 
proceed, forthwith, in pursuit of the deserters, and 
have them apprehended and brought back. In the 
execution of this order, he was commanded to call to 
his aid any troops in the United States' service within 
the county of Madison, or in the state of Tennessee, 
and to exert all his power and authority, as a military 
officer, within his own brigade ; and in the event he 
should not be able to collect a sufficient force to march 
them safely to head-quarters, to confine them in jails, 
and make a report thereof, without delay. This order 
was accompanied with an assurance, that all who should 
return willingly to their duty, except those officers 
who had been reported as the instigators, would be 
pardoned. Many of the men and several of the offi- 
cers, who had been charged as encouraging the revolt, 
learning the nature of the proceedings which were 
about to be enforced against them, returned of their 
own accord to camp ; and concurred in ascribing their 
late misconduct entirely to their general. He was af- 


terwards arrested, and upon this and other charges 
exhibited against him, sentenced by a court-martial to 
be cashiered. 

The day had arrived, when that portion of the mili- 
tia, which had continued in service, claimed to be dis- 
charged ; and insisted, that whether this were given 
to them or not, they would abandon the campaign and 
return home. Jackson believed them not entitled to 
/ it, and hence, that he had no right to give it ; but since 
governor Blount had said differently, and his opinion, 
as was requested, had been promulgated, he felt it to 
be improper that he should attempt the exercise of 
authority to detain them. Nevertheless, believing it 
to be his duty to keep them, he issued a general or- 
der, commanding all persons in the service of the Uni- 
ted States, under his command, not to leave the en- 
campment without his written permission, under the 
penalties annexed, by the rules and articles of war, to 
the crime of desertion. This was accompanied by an 
address, in which they were exhorted, by all those 
motives which he supposed would be most likely to 
have any influence, to remain at their posts until they 
could be legally discharged. Neither the order nor 
the address availed any thing. On the morning of the 
4th of January, the officer of the day reported, that 
on visiting his guard, half after ten o'clock, he found 
neither the officer, (lieutenant Kearley,) nor any of the 
sentinels at their posts. Upon this information, gene- 
ral Jackson ordered the arrest of Kearley, who refused 
to surrender his sword, alleging it should protect him 
to Tennessee ; that he was a freeman, and not subject 
to the orders of general Jackson, or any body else. 


This being made known to the general, he issued, im- 
mediately, this order to the adjutant-general : " You 
will forthwith cause the guards to parade, with cap- 
tain Gordon's company of spies, and arrest lieutenant 
Kearley ; and, in case you shall be resisted in the exe- 
cution of this order, you are commanded to oppose 
force to force, and arrest him at all hazards. Spare 
the effusion of blood, if possible ; but mutiny must, and 
shall be put down." Colonel Sitler, with the guards 
and Gordon's company, immediately proceeded in 
search, and found him at the head of his company, on 
the lines, which were formed, and about to be march- 
ed off. He was ordered to halt, but refused. The 
adjutant-general, finding it necessary, directed the 
guards to stop him ; and again demanded his sword, 
which he again refused to deliver. The guards were 
commanded to fire on him if he did not immediately 
deliver it, and had already cocked their guns. At this 
order, the lieutenant cocked his, and his men followed 
the example. General Jackson, informed of what was 
passing, had hastened to the scene, and arriving at this 
moment, personally demanded of Kearley his sword, 
which he still obstinately refused to deliver. Incensed 
at his conduct, and viewing the example as too dan- 
gerous to be passed in silence, he snatched a pistol 
from his holster, and was already levelling it at the 
breast of Kearley, when the adjutant-general interpos- 
ing between them, urged him to surrender his sword. 
At this moment, a friend of the lieutenant, who was 
present, drew it from the scabbard, and presented it 
to colonel Sitler, who refused to receive it. It was 
then returned to Kearley, wiio now delivered it, and 
was placed under guard. During this crisis, both 


parties remained with their arms ready, and prepared 
for firing; and a scene of bloodshed was narrowly 

Kearley being confined, and placed under guard, be- 
came exceedingly penitent, and earnestly supplicated 
the/general for a pardon. He stated that the absence 
of the guards and sentinels from their post had been 
owing to the recommendation and advice of the bri- 
gade-major ; that his not delivering his sword, when 
it was first demanded, was attributable to the influence 
and arguments of others, who had persuaded him it 
was not his duty to do so ; that he had afterwards 
come to the determination to surrender himself, but 
was dissuaded by those who assured him it would be 
a sacrifice of character, and that they would share in 
his disobedience and protect him in the hour of dan- 
ger; why he still resisted, in the presence of the ge- 
neral, was, that being at the head of his company, and 
having undertaken to carry them home, he was re- 
strained, at the moment, by a false idea of honour. 
This application was aided by certificates of several of 
the most respectable officers then in camp, attesting 
his previously uniform good behaviour, and express- 
ing a belief that his late misconduct was wholly to be 
attributed to the interference of others. Influenced 
by these reasons, but particularly by an apprehension 
of the seductions which he believed had been practised 
upon him, by older and more experienced officers in 
his regiment, the general thought proper to order his 
liberation from arrest, and his sword to be restored to 
him. Never was a man more sensible of the favour 


he had received, or more devoted to his benefactor, 
than he afterwards became. 

While these proceedings were taking place, the 
rest of the brigade, with the exception of captain 
Willis's company, and twenty-nine of his men, con- 
tinued their march towards home, leaving behind, for 
the further prosecution of the campaign, and the de- 
fence of Fort Strother, a single regiment of militia, 
whose term of service was within a few weeks of ex- 
piring ; two small companies of spies, and one of ar- 
tillery. As this regiment had often professed a desire 
to be led against the enemy, and to contend in battle, 
before they quitted the service, Jackson flattered him- 
self with the hope, that they would, for this purpose, 
willingly remain in the field a few days beyond the 
period of their engagements. On the next day, there- 
fore, with a view to test their patriotism and to detain 
them if possible, he caused to be read to that regi- 
ment the following address. 

" Your general having reported that your term of 
service will expire on the 14th, I assume no claim on 
you beyond that period. But, although I cannot de- 
mand as a right, the continuance of your services, I do 
not despair of being able to obtain them through your 
patriotism. For what purpose was it that you quitted 
your homes, and penetrated the heart of the enemy's 
country ? Was it to avenge the blood of your fellow- 
citizens, inhumanly slain by that enemy; to give se- 
curity in future to our extended and unprotected 
frontier, and to signalize the valour by which you were 
animated? Will any of these objects be attained if you 


abandon the campaign at the time you contemplate ? 
Not one ! Yet an opportunity shall be afforded you, if 
you desire it. If you have been really actuated by the 
feelings, and governed by the motives, which, your 
commanding general supposes influenced you to take 
up arms, and enter the field in defence of your rights, 
none of you will resist the appeal he now makes, or 
hesitate to embrace with eagerness, the opportunity 
he is about to afford you. 

" The enemy, more than half conquered, yet deriv- 
ing encouragement and hope from the tardiness of our 
operations, and the distractions which have unhappily 
prevailed in our camp, are again assembling below us. 
Another lesson of admonition must be furnished them. 
They must again be made to feel the weight of that 
power which they have, without cause, provoked to 
war ; and to know, that although we have been slow 
to take up arms, we will never lay them from our 
hands until we have secured the objects that impelled 
us to the resort. In less than eight days I shall 
leave this encampment to meet and fight them. Will 
any of you accompany me ? Are there any amongst 
you, who, at a moment like this, will not think it an* 
outrage upon honour, for her feelings to be tested by 
a computation of time? What if the period for which 
you tendered your services to your country has ex- 
pired is'that a consideration with the valiant, the pa- 
triotic, and the brave, who have appeared to redress 
the injured rights of that country, and to acquire for 
themselves the name of glory ? Is it a consideration 
with them, when those objects are still uriattained, 
and an opportunity of acquiring them is so near at 


hand ? Did such men enter the field like hirelings 
to serve for pay ? Does all regard for their country, 
their families, and themselves, expire with the time for 
which their services were engageol? Will it be a suffi- 
cient gratification to their feelings, that they served out 
three months, without seeing the enemy, and then aban- 
doned the campaign, when the enemy was in the neigh- 
bourhood, and could be seen and conquered in ten days ? 
Any retrospect they can make, of the sacrifices they 
have encountered, and the privations they have endured, 
will afford but little satisfaction under such circumstan- 
ces ; the very mention of the Creek war, must cover 
them with the blushes of shame, and self-abasement. 
Having engaged for only three months, and that pe- 
riod having expired, you are not bound to serve any 
longer : but are you bound by nothing else ? Sure- 
ly, as honourable and high-minded men, you must, at 
such a moment as the present, feel other obligations 
than the law imposes. A fear of the punishment of 
the law, did not bring you into camp; that its de- 
mands are satisfied, will not take you from it. You 
had higher objects in view, some greater good to at- 
tain. This, your general believes, nor can he believe 
otherwise, without doing you great injustice. 

" Your services are not asked for longer than twen- 
ty days ; and who will hesitate making such a sacri- 
fice, when the good of his country and his own fame 
are at stake ? Who, under the present aspect of affairs, 
will even reckon it a sacrifice ? When we set out to 
meet the enemy, this post must be retained and de- 
fended ; if any of you will remain, and render this ser- 
vice, it will be no less important than if you had march- 


ed to the battle ; nor will your general less thankfully 
acknowledge it. Tuesday next, the line of march will 
be taken up : and in a few days thereafter, the objects 
of the excursion will be effected. As patriotic men, 
then, I ask you for your services ; and, thus long, I 
have no doubt you will cheerfully render them. I am 
well aware, that you are all anxious to return to your 
families and homes, and that you are entitled to do so ; 
yet stay a little longer, go with me, and meet the 
enemy, and you can then return, not only with the 
consciousness of having performed your duty, but with 
the glorious exultation of having done even more than 
duty required." 

What was hoped for, from this address, did not re- 
sult. Difficulties were constantly pressing ; and whilst 
one moment gave birth to expectation, the next served 
but to destroy it. Jackson had been advised, and was 
buoyed by the hope, that adequate numbers would 
shortly come to his relief; and until this could be ac- 
complished, it was desirable to retain those who then 
were with him, to give to his posts increased protec- 
tion. Whilst measures were adopting in Tennessee, 
to effect this fully, about a thousand volunteers were 
moving out, to preserve an appearance of opposition, 
and keep secure what had been already gained. With 
this force, added to what he already had, if in his 
power to keep them, he believed he would be able to 
advance on the enemy, make a diversion in favour of 
the Georgia army, and obtain other important advan- 
tages. With this view, he had addressed this regi- 
ment, and brought before them such considerations 
as might be supposed calculated to excite a soldier's 


ardour. But, in answer to his address, the command- 
ing officer replied, that having called upon the several 
captains in his regiment, to make a statement of those 
in their respective companies who were willing to re- 
main beyond the period of their engagement, it ap- 
peared that with the exception of captain Hamilton 
and three of his men, none would consent to do so. 

As nothing but an unnecessary consumption of sup- 
plies was now to be expected from detaining the few 
days that yet remained of their term, troops so spiritless, 
orders were given, and proper arrangements made, for 
taking up the line of march to Fort Armstrong, on the 
10th ; whence they were directed to proceed to Knox- 
ville, and receive orders for their discharge. Particular 
instructions were given to have the strictest police 
observed, and the utmost order preserved on the 
march, that no depredations might be committed on 
the persons or property of the Indians, through whose 
country they were to pass; or on the citizens of Ten- 

Meantime, the volunteers, lately raised, had arrived 
at Huntsville, where they had been directed to remain 
until sufficient supplies could be had at head-quarters. 
Could they have proceeded directly on, they would 
have reached the general sufficiently early to have 
enabled him to proceed against the enemy before the 
period at which the remnant of his troops would have 
been entitled to a discharge. His exertions to have 
in readiness the arrangements necessary to the ac- 
complishment of this end, had been indefatigable. Ge- 
neral Cocke had been directed to give instructions to 


his quarter-master, to forward to Fort S troth er such 
provisions as should arrive at Fort Armstrong; to 
proceed thence to Ross', and make proper arrange- 
ments for the speedy transportation, from that place 
to Deposit, of all the bread stuff which the contractor 
had been required to collect at that depot ; and to have 
procured and sent from East Tennessee, a competent 
supply of that article, as well for the troops then in 
the field, as for those which had been ordered to be 
raised. The more certainly to effect this object, he 
had, on the 20th of December, despatched his own 
quarter-master and adjutant-general to Deposit and 
Huntsville, to push on what should be collected and 
on hand at those places ; and had, at the same time, 
despatched one of the sub-contractors from camp, with 
directions to examine the situation of the different 
depots ; and, if found insufficient to meet the requisi- 
tion he had made, to proceed immediately to the set- 
tlements in Tennessee, and procure the necessary 
supplies. To the contractors themselves, he had ad- 
dressed orders and exhortations almost without num- 
ber; and, indeed, from every source, and through 
every channel that the hope of relief could be discern- 
ed, had he directed his exertions to obtain it. 

Having thus strained every nerve, and unceasingly 
directed all his efforts towards the accomplishment of 
this object, he had, for a while, flattered himself with 
the hope that his multiplied endeavours would enable 
him to bring on his new troops in time for that com- 
bined movement with the East Tennessee militia 
which he so much desired. So important did he con- 
sider this measure, that he was willing to subject him- 


self to considerable hazard, rather than not effect it 
To colonel Carroll he wrote, on learning that he was 
on his way with the newly raised troops " I am happy 
to hear of your success in procuring volunteers. I shall 
receive, with open arms, those who, in this hour of 
need, so gallantly come forth to uphold the sinking 
reputation of their state. I am exceedingly anxious 
to re-commence operations, and indeed they have 
become more necessary than ever; yet I cannot move 
without supplies. As this will meet you near where 
the contractors are, you will be better able to ascertain 
than I can inform you, when that happy moment will 
arrive : and I pray you, use your best exertions to 
have it brought about with the least possible delay. 
Until supplies, and the means of transportation can 
be furnished, to justify another movement from this 
place, it will be better that you remain where your 
horses can be fed. I say this, upon the supposi- 
tion and hope, that it may shortly be effected ; but 
were it certain that the same causes of delay which 
have so long retarded our operations, were still to 
continue, I would, at every risk, and under every re- 
sponsibility, take up the march so soon as the troops 
now with you could arrive. For such a measure, I 
should seek my justification in the imperiousness of 
the circumstances by which I am surrounded; and 
rely for success upon heaven, and the enterprise of 
my followers. 

" Partial supplies have arrived, for my use, at Fort 
Armstrong, which will be ordered on to-morrow. This, 
with the scanty stock on hand, will at least keep us 
from starving a few weeks, until we can quarter upon 


the enemy, or gain assistance from the country below. 
General Claiborne, who is encamped eight}^fi ve miles 
above Fort Stoddart, writes me, that arrangements are 
made to send supplies up the Alabama, to the junction 
of the Coosa and Tallapoosa. Upon such resources 
will I depend, sooner than wait until my army wastes 
away, or through inaction becomes mutinous and unfit 
for service. 

The hopes, however, which had been cherished, of 
combined operations, with all the forces at that time 
under his controul, he was compelled, by the late 
events in his camp, to relinquish ; but although these 
were highly discouraging, they were far from inducing 
him to despond. He was strongly persuaded of the 
necessity of proceeding; and determined, that as soon 
as it were possible, he would prosecute the campaign 
with the feeble force he had at his command, deferring 
the period for more active operations, until the ex- 
pected reinforcements, collecting in Tennessee, could 
be brought into the field.* 

* The troops thus collecting were calculated but for a single ad- 
venture, and no more. Colonel Carroll had not been able to pro- 
cure volunteers for six months, or during the campaign, as was 
required by the order under which he acted. He had considered it 
under all the circumstances, so essential to have troops of some de- 
scription engaged, that, rather than encounter disappointment, he 
had accepted them for sixty days, and taken them as mounted men, 
instead of infantry, which were not to be procured. This latter cir- 
cumstance, requiring a large quantity of supplies, occasioned them to 
be kept back longer than would have been necessary, had they been 
troops of a different description. As there was no law, either of the 
state or general government, for a period so limited, and which 
seemed too short to promise any very beneficial effects, the general 


On the second of January, colonel Carroll and Mr. 
Blackburn, having proceeded from Huntsville, arrived 
at head-quarters, to receive instructions as to the 
manner in which the volunteers should be organized; 
and to learn the time when they would be required to 
be brought up. Having reported their strength to be 
eight hundred and fifty, they were directed to have 
them formed, as had been desired, into two regiments, 
under officers of their own choice ; and an order was 
put into their hands, requiring general Coffee, who was 
then at Huntsville, to march them to Fort Strother, 
by the 10th instant. That officer, whose feelings had 
been sufficiently harrowed by the late conduct and 
defection of his brigade, learning that those troops 
were unwilling for him to have command of them, had 
expressed a wish to general Jackson that it might not 
be assigned him ; in consequence of which, and their 
own request, the latter had determined, after their ar- 
rival at his camp, that there should be no intermedi- 
ate commander over them, between their colonels and 
himself. With this proposed arrangement, and the 
nature and extent of the order borne to general Coffee, 
those gentlemen had been instructed to make the 
troops acquainted ; and were particularly requested to 

was in doubt whether or not to receive them; but, believing he 
might make a partial excursion, and thereby produce a diversion 
favourable to the Georgia troops, who, relying on his co-operation, 
might be perhaps greatly endangered without h ; and considering 
that their rejection might tend to the injury of the campaign, he 
finally concluded to accept them. Previously to doing so, he stated 
his objections, and the difficulties he felt ; and endeavoured to pre- 
vail on them to enlarge their term of service : to this they would not 
agree ; when, rather than lose them entirely, he consented to re- 
eaive them. 


use their best endeavours to remove any erroneous 
impressions that might have been made upon their 
minds by those who had so lately abandoned their 
duty, and who had laboured to instil in others their 
own prejudices and passions. They were charged, 
too, with the communication of a flattering address 
from the general, who, warned by past transactions, 
considered it of the utmost importance to prevent any 
mutinous feeling, and to guard, by all the means in his 
pow r er, against the contamination of a corps upon 
which his only hopes at present rested. 

General Coffee, having received the instructions 
which general Jackson had sent him, immediately gave 
orders to colonels Perkins and Higgins, who had been 
chosen to the command of the two regiments, to march 
them directly for head-quarters ; explaining, in his or- 
der, the reasons that had induced him to issue it. To 
his entire astonishment, both these officers refused to 
obey it ; alleging, in a written statement they made, 
that general Coffee had no right to exercise command 
over them, and that they would disregard any he 
might attempt to claim. One of them not only refused 
obedience to the order, but even went so far as to re- 
fuse to return it, or permit the brigade-inspector to 
take a copy ; thereby placing it out of his power to 
make it known to the rest of the brigade. 

Unwilling as Coffee was, to create any additional 
perplexities to the commanding general, or occasion 
new disturbances, at so important a crisis, neverthe- 
less, influenced by a regard for his own reputation, 
which he believed to be wantonly and wickedly a$- 


sailed, by this contumacious refusal to obey an order 
which the occasion and his instructions required him 
to execute, he felt himself constrained to demand the 
arrest of those officers. 

This application, with charges and specifications of 
so serious a nature, against his officers highest in com- 
mand, placed Jackson in a very delicate situation. To 
commence the exercise of authority over troops wholly 
unacquainted with service, by the arrest of those in 
whom they had reposed such distinguished confidence, 
it was probable might be attended with consequences 
fatal to his views, and to the success of the contempla- 
ted expedition. On the other hand, he was fully sen- 
sible of the injury that had been done the feelings of 
an officer, acting under the authority of his instruc- 
tions, and how much, justice required them to be re- 
paired : nor was he less sensible of the feeble reliance 
that could be reposed on men who seemed to make a 
merit of disobedience and insubordination, especially 
if, from indulgence, they should be permitted to de- 
rive encouragement. But however his mind might 
oscillate between the evil consequences of either al- 
ternative, he knew that the course pointed out by duty 
was a plain one, should general Coffee persist in his 

Notwithstanding the strong injunctions and weighty 
considerations that had been urged, to produce an ex- 
peditious movement, it was not until the 13th that 
those officers with their regiments reached head-quar- 
ters. Finding, on their arrival, that they were likely 
to, be noticed, on charges which their better-informed 


friends advised would not only deprive them of com- 
mand, but involve them in disgrace, they immediately 
came forward, and made an honourable and satisfacto- 
ry concession, in which they pleaded ignorance of mi- 
litary duty, as an excuse for their misconduct. That 
the service, at a crisis so important, might not be in- 
jured by any private feuds, the charges were with- 

Every preparation was now made to hasten an ac- 
complishment of the objects in view. The whole ef- 
fective force consisted, at this time, by the reports, of 
little more than nine hundred men, and was, in reality, 
below that number. 

Being addressed by the general, on the occasion, 
on the 15th, the mounted troops commenced their 
march, and moved to Wehogee creek, three miles from 
the fort. Jackson, with his staff, and the artillery com- 
pany, joined them next morning, at that place, and 
continued the line of march to Talladega, where about 
two hundred friendly Indians, Cherokees and Creeks, 
badly armed, and much discouraged at the weakness 
of his force, were added to his numbers, without in- 
creasing much his strength. Seldom, perhaps, has 
there been an expedition undertaken, fraught with 
greater peril than this. Nine hundred new recruits, 
entirely unacquainted with the duties of the field, 
were to be marched into the heart of an enemy's coun- 
try, without a single hope of escape, but from victory, 
and that victory not to be expected, but from the 
wisest precaution, and most determined bravery. Al- 
though so obviously pregnant with danger, to marcji 


was the only alternative that could be prudently adopt- 
ed. No other could afford a diversion favourable to 
general Floyd, who was advancing with the army 
from Georgia, or give favourable results to the cam- 
paign, without which it must soon have been abandon- 
ed, for want of men to prosecute it Another reason 
rendered such a movement proper, and indispensable. 
The officer commanding at Fort Armstrong had re- 
ceived intelligence, on which was placed the utmost 
reliance, that the warriors from fourteen or fifteen 
towns on the Tallapoosa, were about to unite their 
forces, and attack that place ; which, for the want of a 
sufficient garrison, was in a weak and defenceless situ- 
ation. Of this, general Jackson had been advised. The 
present movement then, hazardous as it was, under all 
circumstances, was indispensable, and could alone pre- 
vent the execution of such a purpose, if it were in truth 
intended. On reaching Talladega, he received a letter 
from the commandant at Fort Armstrong, confirmatory 
of the first information that had been obtained, and which 
left it no longer a matter of doubt but an attack would 
be speedily waged against that depot. One also from 
general Pinckney, by express, arrived, advising him 
that Floyd, on the 10th instant, would move from 
Coweta, and in ten days thereafter, establish a position 
atTuckabatchee; and recommended, if his force would 
allow him to do no more, that he should advance 
against such of the enemy's towns as might be within 
convenient distance ; that, by having his troops em- 
ployed, he might keep disaffection from his ranks, and 
be, at the same time, serviceably engaged in harass- 
ing the enemy. If, therefore, he could have hesitated 
before, there was now no longer any room to do so. 


By an expeditious movement, he might save Fort 
Armstrong, and render an essential service to genera) 
Floyd, by detaching a part of the clans destined to 
proceed against him. The force which might act 
against either, was understood to be then collected in 
a bend of the Tallapoosa, near the mouth of a creek 
called Emuckfaw, and thither he determined, by the 
nearest route, to direct his course. 

As he progressed on the march, a want of the ne- 
cessary knowledge in his pilots, of subordination in 
his troops, and skill in the officers who commanded 
them, became more and more apparent ; but still their 
ardour to meet the enemy was not abated. Troops 
unacquainted with service are oftentimes more san- 
guine than veterans. The imagination too frequently 
portraying battles in the light of a frolic, keeps danger 
at a distance, until, suddenly springing into view, it 
becomes a monster too hideous to be withstood. 

On the evening of the 21st, sensible, from the trails 
he had fallen in upon, fresh, and converging to a point, 
that he must be in the neighbourhood of the enemy, 
Jackson encamped his little army in a hollow square, 
on an eligible site, upon the eminences of Emuckfaw, 
sent out his spies, posted his piquets, doubled his sen- 
tinels, and made the necessary arrangements to guard 
against attack. About midnight the spies came in and 
reported they had discovered a large encampment of 
Indians, at about three miles distance, who, from their 
whooping and dancing, their usual precursors to battle, 
were no doubt apprised of his arrival. Every thing- 
was ready for their reception, if they meditated an at- 


tack, or to pursue in the morning, if they did not At 
the dawn of day, the alarm guns of our sentinels, suc- 
ceeded by shrieks and savage yells, announced their 
presence. They commenced a furious assault on the 
left flank, commanded by colonel Higgins, which was 
met and opposed with great firmness. General Coffee, 
and colonels Carroll and Sitler, instantly repaired to 
the point of attack, and, by example and exhortation, 
encouraged the men to a performance of their duty. 
The action raged for half an hour ; the brunt of which 
being against the left wing, it had become consider- 
ably weakened. It being now sufficiently light to as- 
certain, correctly, the position of the enemy, and cap- 
tain Ferril's company having come up and reinforced 
the left wing, the whole charged, under general Coffee, 
and a rout immediately ensued. The friendly Indians 
joining in the pursuit, they were chased about two 
miles, with considerable loss. We had five killed, and 
twenty wounded. Until it became light enough to dis- 
cern objects, our troops derived considerable advant- 
age from their camp fires ; these having been placed 
at some distance without the line of the encampment, 
afforded a decided superiority in a night attack, by 
enabling those within to fire with great accuracy on 
an approaching enemy, whilst they themselves re- 
mained invisible in the dark. 

The pursuit being over, Jackson detached general 
Coffee, with the Indians, and four hundred men, to 
destroy the enemy's encampment, unless he should 
find it too strongly fortified ; in which event, he was 
to give information immediately, and wait the arrival 
of the artillery. Coffee, having reconnoitred this posi- 


tion, and found it too strong to be assailed with the 
force he commanded, returned to camp. The propriety 
of this determination was soon perceived. He had not 
returned more than half an hour, when a severe fire was 
made upon the piquets, posted on the right, accompa- 
nied with prodigious yelling. General Coffee, having 
obtained permission, proceeded to turn the left flank of 
the assailants. This detachment being taken from dif- 
ferent corps, he placed himself at their head, and 
moved briskly forward. Those in the rear, availing 
themselves of this circumstance, continued to drop off, 
one by one, without his knowledge, until the whole 
number left with him did not exceed fifty. It was 
fortunate that the force of the enemy he had first to 
attack was not greater. He found them occupying a 
ridge of open pine timber, covered with low under- 
wood, which afforded them many opportunities for con- 
cealment. To deprive them of this advantage, which 
they are very dexterous in taking, Coffee ordered his 
men to dismount and charge them. This order was 
promptly obeyed, and some loss sustained in its exe- 
cution ; the general himself was wounded through the 
body, and his aid, major Donelson, killed by a ball 
through the head ; three of his men also fell. The 
enemy, driven back by the charge, took refuge on the 
margin of a creek, covered with reeds, where they 
lay concealed, 

The savages having intended the attack on the right 
as a feint, now, with their main force, which had been 
concealed, made a violent onset on our left line, which 
they hoped to find weakened, and in disorder. Gene- 
ral Jackson, however, who had apprehended their 


design, was prepared to meet it : this line had been, 
ordered to remain firm in its position ; and when the 
first gun was heard in that quarter, he repaired thither 
in person, and strengthened it by additional forces. 
The first advance of the enemy, though sudden and 
violent, was sustained with firmness, and opposed with 
great gallantry. The battle was now maintained on 
the part of the assailants, by quick and irregular firing, 
from behind logs, trees, shrubbery, and whatever could 
afford concealment: behind these, prostrating them- 
selves after firing, and, reloading, they would rise and 
again discharge their guns. After sustaining their fire 
in this way for some time, a charge, to dislodge them 
from their position, was ordered : and the whole line 
under colonel Carroll, by a most brilliant and steady 
movement, broke upon, and threw them into confusion, 
and they fled precipitately away. The pursuit com- 
menced, and they were overtaken and destroyed in 
considerable numbers : their loss was great, but never 
certainly ascertained. 

In the mean time, general Coffee had been endea- 
vouring, as far as prudence would permit him to make 
the attempt, to drive the savages on the right from 
the fastnesses into which they had retired ; but finding 
that this could not be done, without much hazard, and 
considerable loss, he began to retire towards the place 
where he had first dismounted. This expedient, de- 
signed for stratagem, produced the desired effect 
The enemy, inspirited by the movement, presuming 
it a retreat, and to have been adopted in consequence 
of the severe firing they had heard on the left wing, 
now forsook their 'hiding places, and rapidly advanced 


upon him. That officer immediately availed himself 
of the opportunity thus afforded, of contending with 
them again on equal terms ; and a severe conflict com- 
menced, and continued about an hour, in which the 
loss on both sides was nearly equal. At this critical 
juncture, when several of the detachment had been 
killed, many wounded, and the whole greatly exhaust- 
ed with fatigue ; the dispersion of the enemy being 
effected on the left, a reinforcement was despatched 
by general Jackson, which, making its appearance on 
the enemy's left flank, put an end to the contest. Ge- 
neral Coffee, although severely wounded, still con- 
tinued the fight, and availing himself of the arrival of 
this additional strength, instantly ordered a charge ; 
when the enemy, foreseeing their doom, fled in con- 
sternation, and were pursued with dreadful slaughter. 
It is believed that at this place non^ escaped. Thus 
drew to a close a day of almost continual fighting.* 

Having brought in and buried the dead, and dressed 
the wounded, preparations were made to guard against 
an attack by night, should one be attempted, by or- 
dering a breast-work of timber around the encamp- 
ment ; a measure the more necessary, as the spirits of 

* The Indians had designed their plan of operations well, though 
the execution did not succeed. It was intended to hring on the at- 
tack at three different points, at the same time ; but a party of the 
Chealegrans, one of the tribes which compose the Creek confede- 
racy, who had been ordered to assail the right extremity of our 
front line, instead of doing so, thought it more prudent to proceed to 
their villages, happy to have passed, undiscovered, the point they 
had been ordered to attack. But for this, the contest might have 
terminated less advantageously, perhaps disasterously. 


our troops, most of whom had never before been in 
collision with an enemy, were observed visibly to flag, 
towards the evening. Indeed, during the night, it was 
with the utmost difficulty the sentinels could be main- 
tained at their posts, who, expecting every minute 
the appearance of the enemy, would, at the least 
noise, fire and run in. The enemy, however, whose 
spies were around our encampment all night, did not 
think proper to attack us in this position, and the 
morning broke without disturbance. The next day, 
general Jackson, having effected, as he believed, so 
far as he could, the main objects of the expedition, a 
diversion in favour of general Floyd, who was, at this 
juncture, supposed to be carrying on his operations 
lower down on the Tallapoosa, and the relief of Fort 
Armstrong, began to think of returning to the Ten 
Islands. Many reasons concurred to render such a 
measure proper, and indeed indispensable. He had 
not set out prepared to make any permanent establish- 
ment in advance of this present post; his provisions 
were growing extremely scarce, and the country itself 
afforded no means of subsistence, either for his men 
or their horses. His wounded, many of whom were 
exceedingly dangerous, required to be speedily taken 
care of; whilst the present temper of his soldiery pre- 
cluded all hope that he should be able to effect any 
thing of material consequence beyond what had been 
already effected. Besides, if the object were still fur- 
ther to cripple the enemy, this might be more certain- 
ly attained by commencing a return, which, having 
the appearance of retreat, would probably induce a 
pursuit, than by attacking them in their strong holds ; 
in which event, too, the diversion contemplated would 


be the more complete, by drawing them in a different 
direction. Determined by these considerations, Jack- 
son ordered litters to be formed for the transportation 
of the sick and wounded, and other necessary pre- 
parations to be made for a return march. Every thing 
being ready, it was commenced at ten o'clock the next 
morning, and continued without interruption until 
nearly night; when the army was encamped a quarter 
of a mile on the south side of Enotichopco creek, in 
the direction to the ford, at which it had been passed 
in proceeding out, 

As it was pretty evident that the enemy had been 
in pursuit during the day, a breast-work was thrown 
up, with the utmost expedition, and every arrange- 
ment made to repel their attempts, should they medi- 
tate an attack, during the course of the night, or on 
ithe succeeding morning. The night, however, was 
permitted to pass away without disturbance, and with- 
out any appearance of an enemy. From a knowledge 
that they had been hanging on his rear, during the 
march of the preceding day, and having suffered the 
night to wear through without attempting any assault 
upon his camp, the general was led to conjecture that 
an ambuscade had been prepared, and that an attack 
would be made on him whilst crossing the creek in 
his front ; which, being deep, and the banks rugged, 
and thickly covered with reeds, afforded many advan- 
tages for such a design. Near the crossing place, was 
a deep ravine, formed by the protection of two hills, 
overgrown with thick shrubbery and brown sedge, 
which afforded every convenience for concealment, 
whilst it entirely prevented pursuit. Along this route, 


the army, in going out, had passed; through it, as 
might have been expected, it would again return ; and 
at this defile, it was believed, an ambuscade would be 
formed, if any were intended. Acting under these im- 
pressions, and with a view to guard against them, 
Jackson determined to take a different route. He se- 
cretly despatched, early next morning, a few pioneers, 
to ascertain and designate another crossing place be- 
low. A suitable one was presently discovered, at 
about six hundred yards distance from the old one; 
and thither the general now led his army ; having, pre- 
viously to commencing the march, formed his columns, 
and the front and rear guards, that he might be in an 
attitude for defence. 

A beautiful slope of open woodland led down to the 
newly discovered ford, where, except immediately on 
the margin of the creek, which was covered with a 
few reeds, there was nothing to obstruct the view. 
The front guards, and part of the columns, had pass- 
ed ; the wounded were also over, and the artillery 
just entering the creek, when an alarm gun was heard 
in the rear. The Indians, unexpectedly finding the 
route was changed, quitted the defile where they had 
expected to commence the assault, and advanced upon 
a company, under the command of captain Russell, 
which marched in the rear. Though assailed by great- 
ly superior numbers, it returned the fire, and gradually 
retired, until it reached the rear guard, who, accord- 
ing to express instructions given, were, in the event 
of an attack, to face about, and act as the advance, 
whilst the right and left columns should be turned ori 
their pivots, so as completely to loop the enemy, and 


render his destruction sure. The right column of the 
rear guard was commanded by colonel Perkins, the 
left by lieutenant-colonel Stump, and the centre co- 
lumn by colonel Carroll. Jackson was just passing the 
stream when the firing and yelling commenced. Hav- 
ing instructed his aid-de-camp to form a line for the 
protection of the wounded, who were but a short dis- 
tance in advance, and afterwards to turn the left co- 
lumn, he himself proceeded to the right, for a similar 
purpose. What was his astonishment, when, resting 
in the hope of certain victory, he beheld the right and 
left columns of the rear guard, after a feeble resist- 
ance, precipitately give way, bringing with them con- 
fusion and dismay, and entirely obstructing the pas- 
sage, over which the principal strength of the army 
was to be re-crossed ! This shameful flight was well 
nigh being attended with the most fatal consequences; 
which were alone averted by the determined bravery 
of a few. Nearly the whole of the centre column had 
followed the example of the other two, and precipita- 
ted themselves into the creek ; not more than twenty 
remained to oppose the violence of the first assault. 
The artillery company, commanded by lieutenant 
Armstrong, and composed of young men of the first 
families, who had volunteered their services at the 
commencement of the campaign, formed with their 
muskets before the piece of ordnance they had, and 
hastily dragged it from the creek to an eminence, from 
which they could play to advantage. Here an obsti- 
nate conflict ensued; the enemy endeavouring to 
charge and take it, whilst this company formed with 
their muskets, and resolutely defended it. These 
young men, the few who remained with colonel Car- 


roll, and the gallant captain Quarles, who fell at their 
head, with Russell's spies, not exceeding in the whole 
one hundred, maintained with the utmost firmness, a 
contest, for many minutes, against a force five times 
greater than their own, and checked the advance of a 
foe already greatly inspirited from the consternation 
which his first shock had produced. Every man who 
there fought, manifested a determination to prefer 
death to flight. The brave lieutenant Armstrong fell 
at the side of his piece, by a wound in the groin, and 
exclaimed, as he lay, " Some of you must perish ; but 
don't lose the gun." By his side, fell, mortally wound- 
ed, his associate and friend, Bird Evans, and the gal- 
lant captain Hamilton ; who, having been abandoned 
by his men, at Fort Strother, with his two brothers 
and his aged father, had attached himself to the ar- 
tillery company, as a private, and, in that capacity, 
showed how deservedly he was to command by the 
fidelity with which he obeyed. Perilous as the hour 
was, this little heroic band evinced themselves cool 
and collected, as they were brave in battle. In the 
hurry and confusion of the moment the rammer and 
pricker of the cannon could not be disengaged from 
the carriage ; in this situation and at such a time, the 
invention of most young soldiers might have failed; 
but nothing fearing, Craven Jackson and Constantine 
Perkins drove home the cartridges with a musket, and 
with the ramrod prepared them for the match. In 
the mean time,, while the conflict was thus unequally 
sustained, general Jackson and his staff had been en- 
abled, by great exertions, to restore something like 
order, from confusion. The columns were again form- 
ed, and put in motion; and small detachments had been 


sent across the creek to support the little band that 
there maintained their ground. The enemy, perceiv- 
ing a strong force advancing, and being warmly as- 
sailed on their left flank, by captain Gordon, at the 
head of his company of spies, who had advanced from 
the front, and re-crossed the creek in turn, were 
stricken with alarm, and fled away, leaving behind 
their blankets, and whatever was likely to retard their 
flight. Detachments were ordered on the pursuit, who, 
in a chase of two miles, destroyed many, and wholly 
dispersed them. 

* In despite of the active exertions made by general 
Jackson, to restore order, they were, for some time, 
unavailing, and the confusion continued. In addition 
to the assistance received from his staff, who were 
every where encouraging, and seeking to arrest the 
disordered flight of the columns, he derived much 
from the aid of general Coffee. That officer, in con- 
sequence of the wound which he had very lately re- 
ceived at Emuckfaw, had, the day before, been carried 
in a litter. From the apprehensions indulged, that an 
attack would probably be made upon them that morn- 
ing, he had proceeded from the encampment on horse- 
back, and aided, during the action, with his usual calm 
and deliberate firmness. Indeed, all the officers of his 
brigade, who, having been abandoned by their men, 
had formed themselves into a corps, and followed the 
army without a command, rendered manifest, now, the 
value of experience. This was not a moment for rules 
of fancied etiquette. The very men who, a little time 
before, would have disdained advice, and spurned an 
order from any but their own commanders, did not 


scruple amidst the peril that surrounded them, to be 
regulated by those who seemed to be so much better 
qualified for extricating them from their present dan- 
ger. The hospital surgeon, Dr. Shelby, appeared in 
the fight, and rendered important military services. 
The adjutant-general, Sitler, than whom none display- 
ed greater firmness, hastened across the creek in the 
early part of the action, to the artillery company, for 
which he felt all the esprit de corps, having been once 
attached to it ; and there remained, supporting them 
in their duties, and participating in their dangers. 
Captain Gordon, too, contributed greatly to dispel the 
peril of the moment, by his active sally on the left 
flank of the savages. Of the general himself, it is 
scarcely necessary to remark, that but for him every 
thing must have gone to ruin. On him, all hopes were 
rested. In that moment of confusion, he was the 
rallying point, even for the spirits of the brave. Firm 
and energetic, and at the same time perfectly self- 
possessed, his example and his authority alike con- 
tributed to arrest the flying and give confidence to 
those who maintained their ground. Cowards forgot 
their panic, and fronted danger, when they heard his 
voice and beheld his manner ; and the brave would 
have formed round his body a rampart with their own. 
In the midst of showers of balls, of which he seemed 
unmindful, he was seen performing the duties of the 
subordinate officers, rallying the alarmed, halting them 
in their flight, forming his columns, and inspiriting 
them by his example. An army suddenly dismayed, 
and thrown into confusion, was thus happily rescued 
from a destruction which lately appeared inevitable. 
Our total loss, in the several engagements, on the 22d, 


and to-day, was only twenty killed, and seventy-five 
wounded, some of whom, however, afterwards died. 
That of the enemy cannot be accurately stated. The 
bodies of one hundred and eighty-nine of their warri- 
ors were found ; this, however, may be considered as 
greatly below the real number ; nor can their wound- 
ed be even conjectured. As had been generally the 
case, the greatest slaughter was in the pursuit. Scat- 
tered through the heights and hollows, many of the 
wounded escaped, and many of the killed were not 
ascertained. It is certain, however, as was afterwards 
disclosed by prisoners, that considerably more than 
two hundred of those who, on this occasion, went out 
to battle, never returned ; but those who did return, 
unwilling it should be known they were killed, and 
feeling it might dispirit the nation, endeavoured to 
have it believed, and so represented it, that they had 
proceeded on some distant expedition, and would be 
for some time absent. 

After this battle, in which had been anticipated cer- 
tain success, the enemy, tired of conflicts so disas- 
terous to them, no more thought of harassing our 
march. Having continued it, without interruption, over 
high, broken, and, for the most part, barren land, we 
encamped, on the night of the 26th, within three miles 
of Fort Strother. Thus terminated an expedition re- 
plete with peril, but attended with effects highly be- 
neficial. Fort Armstrong was relieved ; general Floyd 
enabled to gain a victory at Autossee, where, but for 
this movement, which had diverted much of the ene- 
my's strength, he would most probably have met de- 
feat; a considerable portion of the enemy's best forces 


had been destroyed ; and an end put to the hopes they 
had founded on our previous delays. Discontent had 
been kept from our ranks ; the troops had been bene- 
ficially employed ; and inactivity, the bane of every 
army, had been avoided. But perhaps the greatest 
good that resulted from the expedition was the effect 
produced on the minds of the people at home, from 
whom was to be collected a force sufficient to termi- 
nate the war. Experience has often proved the facility 
with which numbers are brought to a victorious stand- 
ard ; whilst the ranks of a defeated army are ever with 
difficulty filled. Any result, therefore, that was calcu- 
lated to bring an efficient force into the field, was 
highly important and beneficial. 


Ttie volunteers are discharged. Execution of a soldier, and the effect 
produced. New troops arrive. Want of supplies. Mutiny with the 
East Tennessee brigade. General Jackson marches against the In- 
dians. Battle of Tohopaka. Returns to Fort Williams. Expedition 
to Hoithlewalee ; its failure, and the causes. Forms a junction with 
the Georgia troops, and proceeds to the Hickory ground. Indians sue 
for peace. Weatherford surrenders himself. Arrival of general 
Pinckney at head-quarters. Tennessee troops are ordered to be march- 
ed home, and discharged from service. 

THE troops having reached, in safety, the post 
whence they had set out, and their term of service be- 
ing within a short time of expiring, the general de- 
termined to discharge them. The information from 
Tennessee, was, that there would soon be in the field 
a considerable force, and enlisted for a period suffi- 
cient to effect a termination of the Indian war. He 
was desirous of having every thing in readiness by the 
time of their arrival, that they might be carried with- 
out delay into active service. Detaining his late volun- 
teers, therefore, a short time, to complete boats for 
the transportation of his camp equipage and provisions 
down the Coosa, he directed them to be marched 
home, and there to be honourably dismissed. The fur- 
ther service of h'is artillery company was also dis- 
pensed with. His parting interview with them was 
interesting and affecting; they had rendered impor- 
tant services, and adhered to him, with great devoted- 
ness, in every vicissitude, and through every difficulty 
he had encountered, from the commencement of the 


campaign. Although, from the high sense entertained 
of their bravery and fidelity, he would gladly have re- 
tained them, yet he was too well convinced of the 
many sacrifices these young men had made, of the 
bravery they had displayed, and the patience with 
which they had submitted to those moments of scar- 
city that had raised up discontents and mutiny in his 
camp, not to feel a desire to gratify their wishes, and 
permit them, honourably, to retire from a service 
which they had already so materially benefitted. 

A letter from Jackson to governor Blount, hereto- 
fore noticed, added to his own sense of the importance 
of the crisis, had induced him to issue an order on the 
3d, directing twenty-five hundred of the militia of the 
second division, to be detached, organized, and equip- 
ped, in conformity to an act of congress of the 6th of 
April, 1812. These were to perform a tour of three 
months, to be computed from the time of rendezvous, 
which was appointed to be on the 28th instant. He 
had also required general Cocke to bring into the 
field, under the requisition of the secretary of war, 
the quota he had been instructed to raise at the open- 
ing of the campaign. This officer, who had hitherto 
created so many obstacles, still appeared to desire 
nothing more ardently than a failure of the campaign. 
Although many difficulties had been feigned in the 
execution of the order directed to him, he was enabled 
to muster into service, from his division, about two 
thousand men. These, however, as well as those 
called out from West Tennessee, were but indifferent- 
ly armed. 


The thirty-ninth regiment, under colonel Williams, 
had also received orders to proceed to Jackson's head- 
quarters, and act under his command in the prosecu- 
tion of the war. It arrived on the 5th or 6th of the 
month, about six hundred strong. Most of the men 
were badly armed; this evil however, was shortly af- 
terwards remedied. 

The quarter-masters and contractors were already 
actively engaged, and endeavouring to procure provi- 
sions and the necessary transportations for the army. 
The failures, in regard to former enterprises, are to be 
ascribed to these two departments ; to the constant en- 
deavour of the contractors to procure provisions at a 
reduced price, in order to enhance their profits, and 
to fears entertained, lest, if they should lay in any 
large supply it might spoil or waste on their hands. 
Evils of this kind, growing out of the very nature of 
the establishment, ought, long since, to have convinced 
the government of the propriety of resorting to some 
other and better mode for supplying its armies in 
times of war. The inconveniences in the quarter-mas- 
ters' department, were, indeed, less chargeable to the 
incumbents than to the causes which they could not 
control ; for, to the extreme ruggedness of the way 
over which wagons had to pass, was to be added the 
real difficulty of obtaining a sufficient number on the 
frontiers. That evils so severely felt, might, for the 
future, be avoided, every facility was afforded these 
two departments, that the requisition now made upon 
them might be promptly complied with. 

To give, however, sufficient time, and to prevent 


any unnecessary press, the troops advancing from 
East and West Tennessee, were directed to be halted 
in the rear of the depots, until ample stores, in ad- 
vance, to justify immediate operations, should be pro- 
vided, and the requisite transportations procured. 

About the middle of the month, in expectation from 
the numerous and strong assurances he had received, 
that all things were in a state of readiness, Jackson or- 
dered the troops to advance, and form a union at 
head-quarters, then at Fort Strother. Greatly to his 
surprise and mortification, he soon after learned that 
the contractor from East Tennessee had again failed 
to comply with his engagement, notwithstanding the 
ample means which he possessed, and the full time 
that had been allowed him for that purpose. The 
troops, however, agreeably to the order received, pro- 
ceeded on their march. Those from the second divi- 
sion, under brigadier-general Johnston, arrived on the 
14th ; which, added to the force under general Doher- 
ty, from East Tennessee, constituted about five thou- 
sand effectives. Composed, as this army was, of 
troops entirely raw, it was not to be expected that 
any thing short of the greatest firmness in its officers 
could restrain that course of conduct and disorder 
which had hitherto so unhappily prevailed. 

The execution of a private, (John Woods,) who had 
been sentenced by a court-martial, on a charge of mu- 
tiny, produced, at this time, great excitement, and the 
most salutary effects. That mutinous spirit, which had 
so frequently broken into the camp, and for awhile 
suspended all active operations, remained to be check 


ed. A fit occasion was now at hand to evince, that 
although militia when at their fire-sides at home, 
might boast an exemption from control, yet in the 
field, those high notions were to be abandoned, and 
subordination observed. Painful as it was to the feel- 
ings of the general, he viewed it as a sacrifice essen- 
tial to the preservation of good order, and left the sen- 
tence of the court to be inflicted. The execution was 
productive of the happiest effects; order was produced, 
and that opinion, which had so long prevailed, that a 
militia-man was privileged and for no offence liable to 
suffer death, was, from that moment, abandoned, and 
a stricter obedience than had been practiced, after- 
wards characterized the army. 

Nothing was wanting now to put the troops in mo- 
tion, and actively to prosecute the war, but the want 
of necessary supplies. Remonstrance, entreaty and 
threats, had long since been used and exhausted. 
Every mean had been resorted to to impress on the 
minds of the contractors the necessity of urging for- 
ward in faithful discharge of their duty ; but the same 
indifference and neglect were still persisted in. To 
ward off the effects of such great evils evils which 
he foresaw must again eventuate in discontent and re- 
volt, Jackson resolved to pursue a different course, 
and no longer depend on persons who had so fre- 
quently disappointed him, and whose only object was 
the acquirement of wealth. He accordingly despatch- 
ed messengers to the nearest settlements, with direc- 
tions to purchase provisions, at whatever price they 
could be procured. This course, to these incumbents 
on the nation, afforded an argument Infinitely stronger 


than any to which he had before resorted. Unexpect- 
edly assailed in a way they had not previously thought 
of, by being held and made liable for the amount of 
the purchases, which by their neglect was rendered 
necessary, they exerted themselves in discharge of a 
duty they had hitherto too shamefully neglected. 
Every expedient had been practised to urge them to 
a compliance of the obligations they were under to 
their government ; until the present, none had proved 
effectual. In one of his letters, about this time, the 
general remarks : " I have no doubt but a combination 
has been formed to defeat the objects of the cam- 
paign ; but the contractor ought to have recollected 
that he had disappointed and starved my army once ; 
and now, in return, it shall be amply provided for at 
his expense. At this point he was to have delivered 
the rations and whatever they may cost, at this 
place, he will be required to pay : any price that will 
ensure their delivery, I have directed to be given." 
The supplying an army by contractors, he had often 
objected to as highly exceptionable and dangerous. 
His monitor, on this subject, was his own experience. 
Disappointment, mutiny, and abandonment by his 
troops, when in the full career of success, and an un- 
necessarily protracted campaign, were among the evils 
already experienced, and which he desired, if possible, 
might be in future avoided. The difficulties the per- 
plexities he had met ; and the constant dissatisfaction 
which had rendered his troops inefficient, were wholly 
to be attributed to those, who, in disregard of the 
public good, had looked alone to their own imme- 
diate benefit. It was high time that the feelings and 
interest of such men should be disregarded, and a 


sense of duty enforced, by that sort of appeal which 
sordid minds best can understand an appeal to pro- 
fit and the purse. 

Under these and other circumstances, which seemed 
to involve the most serious consequences, the general 
had but little time for either repose or quietness. 
Every thing was moving in opposition to his wishes. 
The East Tennessee brigade, under the command of 
Doherty, having been instructed to halt, until adequate 
supplies should be received at head-quarters, had al- 
ready manifested many symptoms of revolt, and was 
with difficulty restrained from abandoning the field 
and returning immediately home. Added to their own 
discontents, and unwillingness to remain in service, 
much pains had been taken by a personage high in 
authority, to scatter dissention, and to persuade them 
that they had been improperly called out, and without 
sufficient authority ; that the draft was illegal, and 
that they were under no necessity to remain. Argu- 
ments like these, when urged by a man of standing 
and in office, were well calculated to answer the end 
desired; what the governing motive was that gave 
rise to a course of conduct so much at war with the 
public interest, and the duty of a soldier, is difficult to 
be imagined; none was ever avowed, and certainly 
none can be offered that will account for it satisfac- 
torily. On the morning that general Doherty was 
about to proceed to head-quarters, he was astonished 
to hear the drums beating up for volunteers, to aban- 
don his camp and return home. Notwithstanding all 
his efforts to prevent this injurious measure, one hun- 
dred and eighty deserted, .His surprise was still 


greater, on receiving information in which he confided, 
that instructions by major-general Cocke, had been 
given, that in the event any number of the troops 
should be marched back, he would take upon himself 
to discharge them from all responsibility on their re- 
turn to Knoxville. The general had previously ap- 
peared at the camp of Doherty, and, by different 
means, attempted to excite mutiny and disaffection 
among the troops. As a reason for being unwilling to 
assume the command and go with them to the field, 
he stated, that they would be placed in a situation 
which he disliked to think of, and one which his feel- 
ings would not enable him to witness : that they were 
about to be placed under the command of general Jack* 
son, who would impose on them the severest trials, 
and where they would have to encounter every 
imaginable privation and suffering. He represented, 
that at head-quarters there was not a sufficiency 
of provisions on hand to last five days ; nor was there 
a probability that there would happen any change of 
circumstances for the better; that should they once 
be placed in the power of Jackson, such was his nature 
and disposition that, with the regular force under his 
command, he would compel them to serve whatever 
length of time he pleased. Expressions like these, to 
men who had never before been in the field, and pro- 
ceeding from one who had already been employed iij 
a respectable command, were well calculated to pro*- 
duce serious and alarming impressions. Doherty, who 
was a brigadier in the first division, was at a loss to 
know how he should proceed with his ow T n major-ge- 
neral, who having thus obtruded himself into his camp, 
was endeavouring to excite mutiny and revolt ; he 


cordingly despatched an express to head-quarters to 
give information to general Jackson of what was pass- 
ing in his camp. The messenger arrived, and, in re- 
turn, received an order to Doherty, commanding him, 
peremptorily, to seize, and send under guard to Fort 
Strother, every officer^ without regard to his rank, 
who should be found, in any manner, attempting to in- 
cite his army to mutiny. General Cocke, apprehend- 
ing what was going on, or perhaps obtaining intelli- 
gence, had retired before the order arrived, and thus 
escaped the punishment due to so aggravated an of- 
fence, and which, from the known patriotism and de- 
cision of the commanding general, would doubtless 
have been extended. 

About this time, Colonel Dyer was despatched with 
six hundred men, with orders to proceed to the head 
of the Black Warrior, and ascertain if any force of the 
Indians was embodied in that quarter, and disperse 
them, that they might not, through this route, be en- 
abled to gain the rear of the army, and cut off the sup- 
plies. This detachment having proceeded eight days 
through the heights along the Cohawba, had fallen in 
with a trail the enemy had passed, stretching east- 
wardly* and followed it for some distance. Appre- 
hending that the army might be on the eve of departing 
from Fort Strother, and being unable to obtain anjr 
certain information of the savages, he desisted from 
the pursuit, and returned to camp. 

That there might be no troops in the field in a 
situation not to be serviceable, a"nd as supplies were an 
important consideration, orders were given the briga- 


diers to dismiss from the ranks every invalid, and all 
who were not well armed. 

General Jackson having at length, by constant and 
unremitted exertions, obtained such supplies as he be- 
lieved would be necessary to enable him to proceed, 
determined to set out and pursue his course still fur- 
ther into the enemy's country. A fear of the conse- 
quences to an army from inaction; a wish that time 
might not be loitered away uselessly ; and a conscious- 
ness that a sufficiency of provisions was on the way, 
and could be forwarded to him from the post main- 
tained in his rear, prompted him to do so. On the 
14th he commenced his march, and crossing the river, 
arrived on the 21st at the mouth of Cedar creek, 
which had been previously selected for the establish- 
ment of a fort* At this place it became necessary 
to delay a day or two, with a view to detail a suffi- 
cient force for the protection and safety of the post, 
and to await the coming of the provision boats which 
were descending the Coosa, and which, as yet, had 
not arrived. 

On the 22d of January, the day of the battle of 
Emuckfaw, general Coffee, as has been already stated, 
had been detached to destroy the Indian encampment 
on the Tallapoosa ; having reconnoitred their position, 
and believing them too strongly posted to be advan- 
tageously assailed by the force which he then com- 
manded, he had retired without making the attempt. 
The position they had chosen was at a bend of the 

* Fort Williams. 


Tallapoosa, called by the Indians Tohopeka, which 
interpreted into our language means Horse Shoe, not 
far from New Youcka, and near the Oakfusky villa- 
ges. Fortified as it was by nature, and the skill and 
exertions of the savages, no other conjecture was en- 
tertained, than at this place was intended a defence 
of the most desperate and determined kind. Learn- 
ing that the Indians were still embodied here, Jackson 
resolved, so soon as the necessary arrangements could 
be made to keep open a communication, and preserve 
in safety his rear, to make a descent on it, and destroy 
the confederacy ; thence, returning to Fort Williams 
for provisions, to urge forward to the Hickory ground, 
where he hoped he would be able finally to terminate 
the war. 

On the 24th, leaving a sufficient force under brigk- 
dier-general Johnston for the protection of the post, 
with eight days' provisions he left Fort Williams and 
set out for the Tallapoosa, by the way of Emuckfaw. 
The whole force now with him amounted to less than 
three thousand effective men ; being considerably re- 
duced by the necessity of leaving behind him detach- 
ments for garrisons at the different forts. At ten 
o'clock on the morning of the 27th, after a march of 
fifty-two miles, he reached the village Tohopeka. The 
enemy, having gained intelligence of his approach, 
had collected in considerable numbers, with a view to 
give him battle. The warriors from the adjacent 
towns, Oakfusky, Hillabee, Eufalee, and New Youcka, 
amounting to a thousand or twelve hundred, were here 
collected ready, and waiting his approach. They could 
have selected 110 place better calculated for defence ; 


for, independent of the advantages bestowed on it by 
nature, their own exertions had greatly contributed to 
its strength. Surrounded almost entirely by the river, 
it was accessible only by a narrow neck of land, of 
three hundred and fifty yards width, which they had 
taken much pains to secure and defend, by placing 
large timbers and trunks of trees horizontally on each 
other, leaving but a single place of entrance. From a 
double row of port holes formed in it, they were ena- 
bled to give complete direction to their fire, whilst they 
lay in perfect security behind. 

General Coffee, at the head of the mounted infan- 
try and friendly Indians, had been despatched early 
in the morning from camp, with orders to gain the 
southern bank of the river, encircle the bend, and 
make some feint, or manoeuvring, by which to divert 
the enemy from the point where the attack was in- 
tended principally to be waged. He was particularly 
instructed so to arrange and dispose the force under 
his command, that the savages might not escape by 
passing to the opposite side in their canoes, with 
which, it was represented, the whole shore was lined. 
Jackson, with the rest of the army, proceeded to take 
a position in front of the breast-work. Having planted 
his cannon on an eminence, about two hundred yards 
from the front of the enemy's line, with a view to 
break down his defence, a brisk fire commenced. The 
musketry and rifles, which occupied a nearer position, 
were used as the Indians occasionally showed them- 
selves from behind their works. The artillery was 
well served by major Bradford, and the fire kept up for 
some minutes without making any impression ; time. 


however, was gained for complete readiness. The 
signals having now announced that general Coffee had 
reached in safety his point of destination, on the op- 
posite side of the river, had formed his line, and was 
ready to act, the order was given to charge. " Never 
were troops more eager to be led on than were both 
regulars and militia. They had been waiting with im- 
patience for the order, and hailed it with acclamations. 
The spirit that animated them was a sure augury of 
the success that was to follow." Between them there 
was no difference ; both advanced with the intrepidity 
and firmness of veteran soldiers. The thirty-ninth 
regiment, led on by their commander, colonel Wil- 
liams, and the brave but ill-fated major Montgomery, 
and the militia under the command of colonel Bunch, 
moved forward amidst a destructive fire that continu- 
ally poured upon them, and were presently at the 
rampart. Here an obstinate and destructive conflict 
ensued, each contending for the port holes, on differ- 
ent sides. Many of the enemy's balls were welded 
between the muskets and bayonets of our soldiers. At 
this moment, major Montgomery leaping on the wall, 
called to his men to mount and follow him ; he had 
scarcely spoken, when, shot through the head, he fell 
lifeless to the ground. Our troops eagerly followed 
the example he had set and scaled their ramparts. 
Finding it no longer tenable, the savages abandoned 
their position, and retiring from their works conceal- 
ed themselves amidst the brush and timber that lay 
thickly scattered over the peninsula; whence they 
continued resistance, and kept up a galling and con- 
stant fire, until they were again charged, and forced 
back. Driven to despair, not knowing whither to flee, 


and resolving not to surrender, they saw no other al- 
ternative, than an effort to effect their escape, by pass- 
ing in their canoes to the opposite bank of the river ; 
from this they were, however, prevented, by perceiv- 
ing that a part of the army already lined the opposite 
shore. Under these circumstances, the remaining 
warriors, who yet survived the severity of the conflict, 
betaking themselves to flight, leaped down the banks, 
and concealed themselves along the cliffs and steeps, 
which were covered by the trees that had been felled 
from their margin. Many had betaken themselves to 
the west angle of their line of defence, where, under 
cover and protection of heaps of brush, a spirited fire 
was kept up upon those of our troops who had gained 
their line, and those who were advancing on the outer 
side. From these secreted places they would fire and 
disappear. General Jackson perceiving that further 
resistance must involve them in utter destruction ; and 
entertaining a desire that they should yield a contest 
which now evidently was^Bi hopeless one, ordered the 
Interpreter to advance with a flag, under cover of 
some trees which stood in front, until he should reach 
a position sufficiently near to be heard. He did so* 
and having arrived within forty yards of the spot 
where the Indians were concealed, in an audible voice, 
and in their own language, addressed them ; told them 
of the folly of further resistance, and that he was com- 
manded by general Jackson to say, that if disposed to 
surrender, they should be received and treated as 
prisoners. They waited patiently until he had finish- 
ed, and heard what he had to say ; a pause ensued ! 
and at the moment when he was expecting to receive 
an answer, and to learn that a surrender would be at 



once made, a fire was opened upon the flag, and the 
Interpreter severely wounded in the breast. Finding 
they would not yield, nor abandon the course of des- 
peration on which they had resolutely fixed their 
minds, orders were given to dislodge them. To ac- 
complish this the artillery was first turned against 
them ; but being from its size incapable of producing 
any effect, a charge was made, in which several valu* 
able lives were lost; it however succeeded, and the 
enemy were dislodged from their covert place on the 
right angle of their line of defence. Lighted torches 
were now thrown down the steeps, which, communi- 
cating with the brush and trees, and setting them on 
fire, drove them from their hiding places, and brought 
them to view. Still did they refuse to surrender, and 
still maintained the conflict. Thus the carnage con- 
tinued until night separated the combatants, when 
the few misguided savages who had avoided the 
havoc and slaughter of the day, were enabled, through 
the darkness of the night, ll make their escape. 

Whilst the attack was thus waged in front of the 
line, the friendly Indians in general Coffee's detach- 
ment, under the command of colonel Morgan, with 
captain Russell's company of spies, were effecting 
much ; and no doubt, to the course pursued by them, 
on the opposite side, was greatly owing the facility 
with which the breast-work was scaled, and its pos- 
session obtained. The village stood on the margin of 
the river, and on that part of the peninsula most re- 
mote from the fortification. At the line were all their 
warriors collected. Several of the Cherokees and 
Russell's spies having swain across, unobserved, and 


procured their canoes, a considerable number passed 
over, entered the town, and fired it. No sooner was 
this discovered, than their attention and opposition 
was necessarily divided, and drawn to the protection 
of a point which they had hitherto believed secure, 
and where they had not apprehended an attack. Thus 
assailed from an unexpected quarter a force in their 
rear, and another still stronger, advancing on their 
front, the invading army was afforded a much easier 
and less hazardous opportunity of succeeding in the 
assault and securing the victory. 

This battle gave a death blow to their hopes ; nor 
did they venture, afterwards, to make a stand. From 
their fastnesses in the woods they had tried their 
strength, agreeably to their accustomed mode of war- 
fare ; in ambuscade, had brought on the attack ; and, 
in all, failure and disaster had been met. None of the 
advantages incident on surprise, and for which the 
red men of our forests have been always so charac- 
terized, had they been able to obtain. The continual 
defeats they had received, were, doubtless, the reason 
of their having so strongly fortified this place, where 
they had determined to perish or to be victorious. 
That such a resolution had been taken, is conclusive, 
from the circumstance of their having permitted their 
women and children to remain : these they are always 
careful to remove far from danger, and their scenes of 
action. The assurance of success which they indulged, 
arising from the security their position and defence 
presented, had prevented their adhering to this pre- 
cautionary measure, which, hitherto, they had never- 
overlooked. In this action, the best and bravest of 


their warriors were destroyed ; and a greater loss was 
sustained than had been met with in any of their pre- 
vious contests. Few escaped the carnage. Of the 
killed, many by their friends were thrown into the 
river, whilst the battle raged ; many, in endeavouring 
to pass it, were sunk by the steady fire of Coffee's 
brigade; and five hundred and fifty-seven were left 
dead on the ground. Among the number of the slain, 
were three of their prophets. Decorated in a most 
fantastic manner the plumage of various birds about 
their heads and shoulders ; with savage grimaces, and 
horrid contortions of the body, they danced and howl- 
ed their cantations to the sun. Their dependents al- 
ready believed a communion with heaven sure, which, 
moved by entreaty, and their offered homage, would 
aid them in the conflict, and give a triumph to their 
arms. Fear had no influence ; and when they beheld 
our army approaching, and already scaling their line 
of defence, even then, far from being dispirited, hope 
survived, and victory was still anticipated. Monohoe, 
one of the most considerable of their inspired ones, and 
who had cheered and kept alive the broken spirit of 
the nation by his pretended divinations, fell,;, mortally 
wounded, by a cannon shot in the mouth, while earn- 
estly engaged in his incantations, and in urging and 
encouraging his troops resolutely to contend. 

Three hundred prisoners were taken, most of whom 
were women and children. That so few warriors- 
should have sought and obtained safety, by appealing 
to the clemency of the victors, to persons acquainted 
with the mode of Indian warfare will not appear a 
matter of surprise. It seldom happens that they ex- 


tend or solicit quarter: faithless themselves, they 
place no reliance on the faith of others ; and, when 
overcome in battle, seek no other protection than dex- 
terity and haste in retreat afford. Another cause for 
it may be found in a reason already given; the attack 
by a detachment of general Cocke's division, on the 
Hillabee clans, who were assailed and put to the 
sword, at a moment when, having asked peace at dis- 
cretion, they were expecting it to be given. This 
misfortune had alone been occasioned by a want of 
concert in the divisions of our army ; but it was past, 
and with it was gone, on the part of the savages, all 
confidence in our integrity and humanity ; and they 
looked and trusted for safety now to nothing but their 
own bravery. In this contest they maintained resist- 
ance, fighting and firing from their covert places, 
long after the hope either of success or escape was, 
or should have been at an end, and after the proposal 
had been submitted to spare the further useless waste 
of blood. A few, who had lain quiet, and concealed 
under the cliffs, survived the severity of the conflict, 
and effected their retreat under cover of the night. 

Our loss, although considerable, was small, when 
compared with that of the enemy ; the whole estimate, 
including the friendly and Cherokee Indians, was but 
fifty-five killed, and one hundred and forty-six wound- 
ed. Of the fSrmer was major Montgomery, a brave 
and enterprising young officer, of the thirty-ninth re- 
giment, and lieutenants Moulton and Somerville, who 
fell early in the action. 

The object of the present visit being answered, the 


general, in pursuance of the plan with which he had set 
out, concluded to return to Fort Williams. Having sunk 
his dead in the river, to prevent their being scalped by 
the savages, and made the necessary arrangements for 
carrying off his wounded, he commenced his return 
march for the fort, and in a few days reached it in 

His first object, on his arrival, was to excite, in the 
breasts of his soldiers, a sense of pride commensurate 
with the achievements they had performed, and the 
valour they had displayed. He was impelled to it 
from a consciousness that feeling, once subsided, could 
with difficulty be again aroused ; and from a desire to 
ward off that despondency from his ranks which had 
once proved so fatal to his hopes. With a view to 
these objects, the next day on parade, before the fort, 
he published to them this address : 

* Sinking them in the river, in preference to burying them, was 
adopted, from the consideration, that those of our troops who had 
previously fallen, had been raised, stripped, and scalped. Many of 
the Indians at Tohopeka were found in the clothes of those who had 
been killed and buried at Emuckfaw. It is true that this could ope- 
rate no injury to the dead ; yet was it important, that for the future 
this should be prevented. It was a fact well ascertained, that the 
Creek nation, generally, were ignorant of the extent and number of 
their defeats ; and so long as they could be induced to believe, by 
those who undertook to account for it in that way, that their missing 
warriors were still alive, and had gone on some distant enterprise ; 
or could obtain the scalps of the killed, which they always consider 
as Certain evidences of victory, the war would continue. It was 
thought, therefore, better to sink them in the river than to bury 
them, as the enemy would be thereby deprived of those badges of 
national and individual distinction, the effect of which would be to 
shorten the period of the war. 


" You have entitled yourselves to the gratitude of 
your country and your general. The expedition, from 
which you have just returned, has, by your good con- 
duct, been rendered prosperous, beyond any example 
in the history of our warfare : it has redeemed the 
character of your state, and of that description of 
troops of which the greater part of you are. 

" You have, within a few days, opened your way to 
the Tallapoosa, and destroyed a confederacy of the 
enemy, ferocious by nature, and who had grown in- 
solent from impunity. Relying on their numbers, the 
security of their situation, and the assurances of their 
prophets, they derided our approach, and already ex- 
ulted in anticipation of the victory they expected to 
obtain. But they were ignorant of the influence and 
effect of government on the human powers, nor knew 
what brave men, and civilized, could effect. By their 
yells, they hoped to frighten us, and with their wooden 
fortifications to oppose us. Stupid mortals ! their yells 
but designated their situation the more certainly; 
whilst their walls became a snare for their own de- 
struction. So will it ever be, when presumption and 
ignorance contend against bravery and prudence. 

" The fiends of the Tallapoosa will no longer mur- 
der our women and children, or disturb the quiet of 
our borders. Their midnight flambeaux will no more 
illumine their council-house, or shine upon the victim 
of their infernal orgies. In their places, a new gene- 
ration will arise, who will know their duty better. The 
weapons of warfare will be exchanged for the utensils 
of husbandry ; and the wilderness, which now withers 


in sterility, and mourns the desolation which over- 
spreads her, will blossom as the rose, and become the 
nursery of the arts. But before this happy day can 
arrive, other chastisements remain to be inflicted. It 
is indeed lamentable, that the path to peace should 
lead through blood, and over the bodies of the slain : 
but it is a dispensation of Providence, and perhaps a 
wise one to inflict partial evils, that ultimate good may 
be produced. 

" Our enemies are not sufficiently humbled, they 
do not sue for peace. A collection of them await our 
approach, and remain to be dispersed. Buried in 
ignorance, and seduced by the false pretences of their 
prophets, they have the weakness to believe they will 
still be able to make a decided stand against us. They 
must be undeceived, and made to atone their obstina- 
cy and their crimes, by still further suffering. Those 
hopes which have so long deluded them, must be 
driven from their last refuge. They must be made 
to know, that their prophets are impostors, and that 
our strength is mighty, and will prevail. Then, and 
not till then, may we expect to make with them a 
peace that shall be permanent. 

Understanding that the enemy was embodied, in 
considerable numbers, at Hoithlewalee, a town situa- 
ted not far from the Hickory ground, he w r as anxious 
to re-commence his operations as early as possible, 
that the advantages he had gained, and the impression 
he had made, might not be lost. The forces under his 
command, from sickness, the loss which had been sus- 
tained in the late battle, and numerous discharges 


given, had been too much reduced in strength, to per- 
mit him to act as efficiently as the importance of the 
crisis required. It was desirable, therefore, to effect 
a junction with the southern army as speedily as pos- 
sible, that, from an increase and concentration of his 
numbers, greater efficiency might be had. The North 
Carolina troops, under the command of general Gra- 
ham, an experienced officer of the revolutionary war, 
and those of Georgia, under colonel Milton, were as- 
certained to be somewhere south of the Tallapoosa, 
and could be at no great distance. To unite with 
them was an event greatly desired, as well with a 
view to push his operations more actively, as to be 
able to procure for the army those supplies which he 
feared the resources within his owji camp might not 
sufficiently afford ; for hitherto, he had received from 
general Pinckney strong assurances that all com- 
plaints on this subject would be at an end so soon as 
his and the southern division could unite. No time 
was to be lost in effecting a purpose so essential. 
General Jackson accordingly determined to leave his 
sick and wounded, and the fort, to the care and com- 
mand of brigadier Johnston, and to set out again for 
the Tallapoosa. On the 7th, with all his disposable 
force, he commenced his march, with the double view 
of effecting a union with the army below, and of at- 
tacking on his route the enemy's force which were 
collected at Hoithlewalee. His greatest difficulty was 
in conveying to colonel Milton intelligence of his in- 
tended operations. The friendly Indians, who, from 
their knowledge of the country, had been always se- 
lected as expresses, were with difficulty to be pre- 
vailed on now for any such undertaking. Believing 


their nation to be embodied in larger numbers than 
any which had been yet encountered, and that, con- 
fiding in their strength, they would be better enabled 
to go forth, searching and spying through the sur- 
rounding country, they at once concluded that any 
enterprise of this kind would be attended with too 
great peril and danger, and the difficulty of eluding 
observation too much increased, for them to adven- 
ture. This circumstance had as yet prevented the ar- 
rangement of such measures as were best calculated 
to bring the different divisions to act in general con- 
cert. The necessity, however, of such co-operation, was 
too important, at this moment, not to be effected, if it 
were possible. Should it be possible, at the point 
they now occupied, to bring the enemy to battle, and 
a decisive advantage be obtained over them, dispirited 
and broken, they might be induced to submit to any 
terms, and the conflict be ended ; but if suffered to 
escape, they might again collect, give battle at some 
fortunate and unexpected moment, and thereby pro- 
trfict the war a considerable time. To prevent this 
was desirable ; and in no other way could it so cer- 
tainly be effected, than that while the Tennessee 
troops under the command of Jackson advanced from 
the north, the Carolinians and Georgians might make 
such a disposition as would prevent any escape of the 
enemy, by their crossing the river, and passing off in 
the direction of Pensacola and the Escambia. 

Having at length succeeded in procuring confiden- 
tial messengers, previously to setting out on this ex- 
pedition, Jackson addressed colonel Milton, and ad- 
yised him of his intended movement To guard against 


any accident or failure that might happen, different 
expresses were despatched, by different routes. He 
informed him, that with eight days' provisions, and a 
force of about two thousand men, he should, on the 
7th, take up the line of march, and proceed directly 
for Hoithlewalee ; which he expected certainly to 
reach and attack on the llth. He urged the necessi- 
ty of a proper concert being established in their move- 
ment* ; and either that he should proceed against the 
same place, about the same time, or, by making some 
favourable diversion in the neighbourhood, contribute 
to the successful accomplishment of the objects of the 

The point of destination, owing to the torrents of 
rain which had fallen, and raised the streams to con- 
siderable heights, he was not able to reach until the 
13th. This delay, unavoidable, and not to be pre- 
vented, gave the Indians an opportunity of fleeing 
from the threatened danger. On arriving at an usu- 
ally inconsiderable stream which skirted the town, it 
was so swollen as to be rendered impassable. The 
savages, gaining intelligence of an approach that was 
thus unavoidably retarded, were enabled to effect an 
escape by passing the river in their canoes, and gain- 
ing the opposite shore. Had colonel Milton fortu- 
nately made a different disposition of the troops under 
his command, and by guarding the southern bank of 
the river, co-operated with the Tennessee division, 
their escape would have been prevented, and the 
whole force, collected, would either have been de- 
stroyed or made prisoners. Although Jackson, in his 
letter of the 5th, had given intelligence that he would 



reach the enemy on the llth ; and when prevented fey 
high waters and rotten roads, had again notified him 
that he would certainly arrive and commence the at- 
tack by the morning of the 13th, and urged him to 
guard the south bank of the Tallapoosa, still was the 
request disregarded, and the savages permitted ta 
escape. Learning they were abandoning their posi- 
tion, and seeking safety in flight, Jackson filed to the 
right, and overtaking the refcr of the fugitives, suc- 
ceeded in making twenty-five prisoners. At this time, 
nothing was heard of colonel Milton ; but on the same 
day, having marched about five miles from his en- 
campment at Fort Decatur, and approached within 
four of Hoithlewalee, he, the next morning, gave no- 
tice of an intention to attack the village that day ; at 
this moment the inhabitants and warriors had fled, and 
the town was occupied and partly destroyed by a de- 
tachment from Jackson's army that had succeeded in 
passing the creek. 

The Georgia army being so near at hand, was a 
source of some satisfaction, although the escape of the 
enemy had rendered their presence of less importance 
than it otherwise would have been. The stock of pro- 
visions, with which the march had been commenced 
from Fort Williams, was now nearly exhausted. As- 
surances, however, having been so repeatedly given, 
that abundant supplies would be had on uniting with 
the southern army, and that event being now so near 
at hand, all uneasiness upon the subject was at once 
dispelled. Colonel Milton was immediately applied 
to, the situation of the army disclosed, and such aid 
as he could extend, solicited. He returned an answer 


to the general's demand, observing, he had sent pro- 
visions for the friendly Indians, and would, the next 
day, lend some for the remainder of the troops ; but 
felt himself under no obligation to furnish any. Jack* 
son, fully satisfied of its being in his power to relieve 
him, and that this apparent unwillingness did not, and 
could not proceed from any scarcity in his camp, as- 
sumed a higher ground, and instead of asking assist- 
ance, now demanded it. He stated, that his men were 
destitute of supplies, and that he had been duly ap- 
prised of it; and concluded by ordering, not request* 
ing him to send five thousand rations immediately, for 
present relief; and for himself and the forces under 
his command to join him at Hoithlewalee by ten 
o'clock the next day. "This order," he remarked, 
" must be obeyed without hesitation." It was obey- 
ed. The next day, a junction having been effected, 
the necessary steps were taken to bring down the 
provisions deposited at Fort Decatur, and for the first 
time, since the commencement of the Creek war, in- 
conveniences for the want of supplies, and an appre- 
hension of suffering, were removed. 

Appearances seemed now to warrant the belief, that 
the war would not be of much longer continuance ; 
the principal chiefs of the Hickory ground tribes were 
coming in, making professions of friendship, and giv- 
ing assurances of their being no longer disposed to 
continue hostilities. The general had been met, on 
his late march, by a flag from these clans, giving in- 
formation of their disposition to be at peace. In re- 
turn they received this answer; that those of the war 
party who were desirous of putting an end to the con- 


test in which they were engaged, and of becoming 
friendly, should evince their intention of doing so by 
retiring in the rear of the army, and settling them- 
selves to the north of Fort Williams ; that no other 
proof than this, of their pacific dispositions, would be 
received. Fourteen chiefs of these tribes had arrived, 
to furnish still further evidence of their desire for 
peace. They assured the general that their old king, 
Fous-hatchee, was anxious to be permitted to visit him 
in person, and was then on his way, with his followers, 
to settle above Fort Williams, agreeably to the infor- 
mation he had received by the flag which had lately 
returned to him. 

Detachments were out scouring the country to the 
south, with orders to break up any collection of the 
enemy that might be heard of in convenient distance. 
The main body was prepared to advance to the junc- 
tion of the two rivers, where, until now, it had been 
expected the Indians would make a last and desperate 
stand.* Every thing was in readiness to proceed on 
the march, when it was announced to the general, that 
colonel Milton's brigade, which had lately united with 
him, was not in a situation to move. During the pre* 
vious night some of his wagon horses having strayed 
off, persons had been sent in pursuit, and were expect- 

* The Hickory ground, or that part of the Creek nation lying in 
the forks, near where the Coosa and Tallapoosa unite, was called 
by the Indians Holy Ground, from a tradition and belief prevailing 
among them, that it never had been pressed by the foot of a white 
man. Acting under the influence of their prophets, and a religious 
fanaticism, it was supposed they would make greater exertions to 
defend this than any other portion of their country. 


ed shortly to return with them ; when, it was reported, 
he would be ready to take up the line of march. To 
Jackson, this was a reason for delaying the operations 
of an army which as yet he had never learned, and 
by which he had never been influenced. He had, in- 
deed, been frequently made to halt, though from very 
different causes ; from murmurs, discontents and star- 
vation in his camp. He replied to the colonel's want 
of preparation, by telling him, that in the progress of 
his own difficulties he had discovered a very excellent 
mode of expediting wagons, even without horses ; and 
that if he would detail him twenty men from his bri- 
gade, for every wagon deficient in horses, he would 
guarantee their safe arrival at their place of destina- 
tion. Rather than subject his men to such drudgery, 
he preferred to dismount some of his dragoons, and 
thus avoided the necessity of halting the army until 
his lost teams should arrive. 

The army continued its march without gaining in- 
telligence of any embodied forces of the enemy ; and 
without the happening of any thing of importance, 
reached old Toulossee Fort, on the Coosa river, not 
far from the confluence, at which another was deter- 
mined to be erected, to be called Fort Jackson, after 
the commanding general. Here the rivers approach 
within one hundred poles of each other, and, again 
diverging, unite six miles below. At this place, the 
chiefs of the different tribes were daily arriving, and 
offering to submit on any terms. They all concurred 
in their statements, that those of the hostile party 
who were still opposed to asking for peace, had fled 
from the nation, and sought refuge along the coast of 


Florida, and in Pensacola. General Jackson renewed 
the declaration which he had previously made to them; 
that they could find safety in no other way, than by 
repairing to the section of the country already pointed 
out to them ; where they might be quiet and free of 
any sort of molestation. 

To put their friendly professions, which he distrust- 
ed, at once to the test, he directed them to bring 
Weatherford to his camp, confined, that he might be 
dealt with as he deserved. He was one of the first 
chiefs of the nation, and had been a principal actor in 
the butchery at Fort Minims. Justice well demanded 
retaliation against him. Learning from the chiefs, on 
their return, what had been required of them by 
Jackson, he was prevailed upon, as perhaps the safer 
course, to proceed to his camp and make a voluntary 
surrender of himself. Having reached it, without be- 
ing known, and obtained admission to the general's 
quarters, he fearlessly stood in his presence and told 
him he was Weatherford, the chief who had command- 
ed at Fort Minims, and, that desiring peace for him- 
self and for his people, had come to ask it. Somewhat 
surprised that one who so richly merited punishment 
should so sternly demand the protection which had 
been extended to others, Jackson replied to him, that 
he was astonished he should venture to appear in his 
presence ; that he was not ignorant of his having been 
at Fort Mimms, nor of his inhuman conduct there, for 
which he well deserved to die. " I had directed," con- 
tinued he, " that you should be brought to me con- 
fined ; and had you appeared in this way, I should 
have known how to have treated you." Weatherford 


replied, " I am in your power do with me as you 
please. I am a soldier. I have done the white peo- 
ple all the harm I could ; I have fought them, and 
fought them bravely : if I had an army, I would yet 
fight, and contend to the last : but I have none ; my 
people are all gone. I can now do no more than weep 
over the misfortunes of my nation." Pleased at the 
firm and high-toned manner of this child of the forest, 
Jackson informed him, that he did not solicit him to 
lay down his arms, or to become peaceable : " The 
terms on which your nation can be saved, and peace 
restored, has already been disclosed : in this way, and 
none other, can you obtain safety." If, however, he 
desired still to continue the war, and felt himself pre- 
pared to meet the consequences, although he was then 
completely in his power, no advantage should be 
taken of that circumstance ; that he was at perfect 
liberty to retire, and unite himself with the war party, 
if he pleased ; but when taken, he should know how 
to treat him, for then, his life should pay the forfeit of 
his crimes; if this were not desired, he might remain 
where he was, and should be protected. 

Nothing dismayed ! Weatherford answered, that he 
desired peace, that his nation might, in some measure, 
be relieved from their sufferings ; that, independent of 
other misfortunes, growing out of a state of war, their 
cattle and grain were all wasted and destroyed, and 
their women and children left destitute of provisions. 
" But," continued he, " I may be well addressed in 
such language now. There was a time when I had a 
choice, and could have answered you: I have none 
mow even hope has ended. Once I could animate my 



warriors to battle; but I cannot animate the dead. 
My warriors can no longer hear my voice : their bones 
are at Talladega, Tallushatchee, Emuckfaw, and To- 
hopeka. I have not surrendered myself thoughtlessly. 
Whilst there were chances of success, I never left my 
post, nor supplicated peace. But my people are gone, 
and I now ask it for my nation, and for myself. On the 
miseries and misfortunes brought upon my country, I 
look back with deepest sorrow, arid wish to avert still 
greater calamities. If I had been left to contend with 
the Georgia army, I would have raised my corn on 
one bank of the river, and fought them on the other ; 
but your people have destroyed my nation. You are 
a brave man : Lrely upon your generosity. You will 
exact no terms of a conquered people but such as 
they should accede to: whatever they may be, it 
would now be madness and folly to oppose. If they 
are opposed, you shall find me amongst the sternest 
enforcers of obedience. Those who would still hold 
out, can be influenced only by a mean spirit of revenge; 
and to this they must not, and shall not sacrifice the 
last remnant of their country. You have told our na- 
tion where we might go, and be safe. This is good 
talk, and they ought to listen to it. They shall listen 
to it." 

The earnestness and bold independence of his con- 
duct left no doubt of the sincerity of his professions, 
and full confidence was reposed in his declarations. 
The peace party became reconciled to him, and con- 
sented to bury all previous animosities. In a few days 
afterwards, having obtained permission, he set out from 
camp, accompanied by a small party, to search through 


the forest for his followers and friends, and persuade 
them to give up a contest, in which hope seemed to 
be at an end, that by timely submission, they might 
their nation from further disasters. 

The present was a favourable moment for prevent- 
ing all further opposition. The enemy, alarmed and 
panic struck, were dispersed, and fleeing in different 
directions. To keep alive their apprehensions, and 
prevent their recovering from the fears with which 
they were now agitated, was of the utmost importance. 
If time were given them to rally, and form further re- 
solutions, some plan of operation might be concerted ; 
and although it might not be productive of any serious 
or alarming consequences, yet it might have a tendency 
to lengthen out the war, and involve those deluded 
people in still greater wretchedness. Detachments, 
sufficiently strong, were accordingly ordered out, to 
range through the country, prevent their collecting at 
any point, and to scatter and destroy any who might 
be found concerting offensive operations. Wherever 
they directed their course, submission, and an anxious 
desire for peace, were manifested by the natives. 
Those who were still resolved upon a continuance of 
the war, and trusted for relief to the aid which by 
their British allies was promised, and which they had 
been for some time expecting, had retired out of the 
country towards the sea coast, not doubting but the 
assistance looked for would shortly arrive, enable them 
to re-commence hostilities with better hopes of suc- 
cess, and regain their country, which they now con- 
sidered as lost. Many of the chiefs and warriors, 
looking to the defeats they had continually met with 


in all their battles, viewing it as impracticable with 
any expectation of better fortune, to resist the nume- 
rous forces that were collecting, and threatening them 
at different points, and anxious to have spared to them 
yet a portion of their country, determined to discard 
all ideas of further resistance, and to throw themselves 
for safety on the mercy of their conquerors. To this 
end, the chief men, from the different tribes, were 
daily arriving, and asking for peace, on condition only., 
that their lives might be spared. 

General Jackson was not ignorant of the faithless- 
ness of these people, and how little confidence was to 
be reposed in the professions of an enemy, who, 
prompted by fear, could be controlled by its influence 
only whilst those fears were continued. He well 
knew they had been too severely chastised for their 
friendship or promises to be implicitly relied on, and 
too much injured not to feel a disposition to renew 
the conflict with the first flattering hope that dawn- 
ed. Too many difficulties had been encountered, and 
too many dangers past, in bringing those savages to a 
sense of duty, to leave them now with no better se- 
curity than mere professions. Some arrangement was 
necessary to be made that should prove lasting, and 
ensure certainty. None seemed better calculated for 
these ends, than what had been already announced ; 
that those disposed to throw away the war club, and 
renew their friendly relations with the United States, 
should retire in the rear of the advance of the army,, 
and occupy the country about the fort he had esta- 
blished, and to the east of the Coosa. The effect of 
such an arrangement he calculated would be this ; that 


by the line of posts already established, he would be 
able to cut them off from any communication with 
Florida ; while, by being placed in that part of the na- 
tion inhabited by the friendly Indians, whose fidelity 
was not doubted, the earliest intelligence would be 
had of their hostile intentions, should any be manifest- 
ed. The conditions proposed were most cheerfully 
accepted : and the different tribes forthwith sat out to 
occupy a portion of their country, which alone seemed 
to promise them protection and safety. Proctor, the 
chief of the Owewoha war towns, to whom this pro- 
mised security from danger had first been made, was 
reported to be still at home, and to have abandoned 
all intention of removing, in consequence of permis- 
sion extended by the United States' agent to the 
Creeks, for him and his warriors to remain where they 
then were residing. On receiving this information, the 
general despatched a messenger, with information to 
him, that whether he or the agent were to be obeyed, 
was for him to decide ; but that he should treat as ene- 
mies all who did not immediately retire to the section 
of country which he had pointed out. The chief of 
Owewoha found no difficulty in deciding the question, 
and without delay prepared to retire where he had 
been previously ordered. 

Lieutenant-colonel Gibson, who had been sent out 
with a detachment of seven hundred and fifty men, 
returned, and reported, that he had proceeded a con- 
siderable distance down the Alabama river, and had 
destroyed several towns of the war party, but could 
gain no intelligence of a force being any where col* 


By the establishment of Fort Jackson, a line of posts 
was now formed from Tennessee and from Georgia 
to the Alabama river. The conduct and subdued spirit 
of the Indians clearly manifesting that they were sin- 
cere in their desire for peace, nothing remained to be 
done but to arrange and organize the different garri- 
sons in such a manner, that should any hostile inten- 
tion be hereafter discovered, it might be suppressed 
before it could assume any very threatening aspect. 
What final steps should be taken, and what plans 
adopted, for permanent security, were to be deferred 
for the arrival of major-general Pinckney, who, being 
in the neighbourhood, would, it was expected, on the 
next day reach Fort Jackson. 

On the 20th general Pinckney arrived, and assumed, 
in person, the command of the army. The course pur- 
sued by Jackson, towards satisfying the Indians, that 
to be peaceable was all that was required of them, 
meeting his approbation, and understanding that the 
chiefs and warriors of the nation were retiring, with 
their families, whither they had been directed to go, 
he was satisfied hostilities must now cease. Indepen- 
dent of their professions, heretofore given, much of the 
property plundered at Fort Minims, and along the 
frontiers, having been brought in and delivered, no 
doubt was entertained but that all further national op- 
position would be withdrawn. There being no neces- 
sity, therefore, for maintaining an army longer in the 
field, orders were issued, on the 21st, for the troops 
from Tennessee to be marched home and discharged; 
taking care, on the route, to leave a sufficient force for 


the garrisoning and protection of the posts already 

To troops who had been engaged in such hasty and 
fatiguing marches, who had been so much and so often 
exposed to hardships and dangers, and who had now, 
by their zealous exertions in the cause of their coun- 
try, brought the war to a successful termination, and 
severely chastised the savages for their unprovoked 
outrages upon their defenceless frontiers, it was a plea- 
sure to retire to their homes from the scenes of wretch- 
edness they had witnessed, and from a contest, where 
every thing being performed, nothing remained to be 
done. It was a cheering reflection to these brave men, 
that, their trials being over, they were retiring to their 
families and homes, and carrying with them that sweet- 
est and happiest of all consolations to a war-worn sol- 
dier's mind, that, in the trying and difficult situations 
in which they had been placed, they had acted with 
honour to themselves, and with usefulness and fidelity 
to their country. 

Whilst these arrangements were progressing, the 
friendly Creeks were engaged in pursuing and destroy- 
ing their fugitive countrymen with the most unrelent- 
ing rigour. To have been at the destruction of Fort 
Mimms, was a ground of accusation against a warrior, 
which at once placed him without the pale of mercy. 
They viewed, or affected to view, this unwarranted and 
unprovoked offence with sentiments of deeper invete- 
racy than did even our own troops. Meeting a small 
party who were on their way to camp, to submit them- 
selves on the terms that had been previously offered, 


and understanding they had accompanied Weatherford 
in his attack on this fort, they arrested their progress, 
and immediately put them to death. To permit a 
course of conduct like this, was well calculated to keep 
alive the timid apprehensions of the Indians, and in- 
duce them to consider the proffered terms of peace 
which Jackson had presented, as a stratagem to lure 
them into danger, and effect their destruction : sensible 
of this, prompt and immediate steps were taken by the 
commanding general to prevent its again recurring. 

That people of the same nation should be found 
marshalled in opposition to each other, is not a matter 
of surprise, on the principles and practice of modern 
warfare, which affects to prove it right to seize on any 
circumstance that may operate prejudicially to an ene- 
my ; but the patriot, whose bosom swells with a love 
of country, must ever view it with abhorrence : and 
although, from necessity or policy, he may be compel- 
led to avail himself of the advantages afforded by such 
a circumstance, he can never be induced either to ap- 
prove or justify it. Although the war had been com- 
menced in opposition to the views and wishes of the 
friendly party, yet it was their duty to have united. 
Their entering the ranks of an invading army, and 
fighting for the extermination of their people, and the 
destruction of their nation, was a circumstance which 
presented them in the character of traitors to their 
country, and justly meriting the severest punishment. 

In two hours after receiving general Pinckney's or- 
der, the western troops commenced their return march, 
and reached Fort Williams on the evening of the 


,24th. Immediate measures were adopted for carry- 
ing into effect what had been ordered ; to send out de- 
tachments to assail and disperse any collections of the 
war party that might be found on the route, and within 
striking distance. 

The East Tennessee troops having a longer period 
to serve, were, on that account, selected to garrison the 
different posts. General Doherty was accordingly di- 
rected to detail from his brigade seven hundred and 
twenty-five men, for the defence of those points, with 
a view to an open communication being preserved with 
Fort Jackson, and to secure more effectually, a peace, 
which, being supposed for the present to be founded 
in the fears and distresses of the war party, was per- 
haps not so securely and firmly established as that any 
precautionary measure should be omitted. 

General Jackson being now about to separate from 
his army, did not omit to disclose to them the high 
sense he entertained of their conduct, and how well 
they had deserved of their country. " Within a few 
days," said he, " you have annihilated the power of a 
nation that for twenty years has been the disturber 
of your peace. Your vengeance has been satisfied. 
Wherever these infuriated allies of our arch enemy as- 
sembled for battle, you pursued and dispersed them. 
The rapidity of your movements, and the brilliancy of 
your achievements, have corresponded with the valour 
by which you have been animated. The bravery you 
have displayed in the field of battle, and the uniform 
good conduct you have manifested in your encamp- 
ment, a#d on your line of march, will long be cherished 



in the memory of your general, and will not be for- 
gotten by the country which you have so materially 

The constant and rapid movements of these troops 
for the time they had been in service, had greatly ex- 
posed them ; and although many hardships had been 
encountered, yet their duty had been performed with- 
out murmuring. A retrospect of the last month will 
show, that more could scarcely have been done. Fort 
Williams was reached just four weeks from the time 
they had left it, on the expedition to Tohopeka, where 
they had met and conquered the enemy ; whence, re-r 
turning, not with a view to obtain rest, but to recruit 
the exhausted state of their provisions, in one week was 
this same army on its way to Hoithlewalee, where, sup- 
ported and encouraged by their prophets, was col- 
lected the strength of the nation ; and where, but for 
the absence of the Georgia army, they must have 
been captured or destroyed, the war ended, and all 
apprehension of future resistance quieted. To this 
point did they urge forward, over mountains, and 
through torrents of continual rain, that rendered the 
route almost impassable ; and reached and destroyed, 
on the 14th, a town which the inspired men of the nation 
had declared was consecrated, and on which no white 
man was ever to be permitted to tread with impuni^ 
ty. On the 17th, they are found at the confluence of 
the Coosa and Tallapoosa, treading still this conse- 
crated soil, and driving the panic-struck savages be- 
fore them ; and again, on the 24th, are at Fort Wil- 
liams, retiring to their homes, from the labours they 
had encountered, and from the conquests they ha<| 


gained. In such celerity of movement, is to be found 
the cause which secured to Jackson and his army the 
uniform successes they obtained. So rapid were his 
marches, that not unfrequently was he in the neigh- 
bourhood of the enemy before they had received any 
intelligence of his approach ; in addition to this, was 
attached to him the quality, that few generals ever 
possessed in a higher degree, of inspiring firmness in 
his ranks, and making even the timid brave. An en- 
tire confidence of success, a full assurance of victory, 
and a fearlessness and disregard of danger, were the 
feelings displayed by himself in all difficult situations, 
and those feelings he possessed the happy faculty of 
inspiring into others, and of diffusing through his army. 

Whether any of the hostile party were yet on the 
Cohawba, or had fled for safety to the British and Spa- 
niards at Pensacola, was uncertain. To ascertain this 
fact, to disperse them, and destroy their villages, gene- 
ral Johnston was despatched, at the head of five hun- 
dred men, with orders to proceed along this river to 
its head branches, effect the object so far as it was 
practicable, and re-unite with the main army at Depo- 
sit. Jackson reported to general Pinckney, that his 
orders had been complied with; that four hundred 
troops had been detailed for the protection of Fort 
Williams, and that he would leave at the other points 
a force correspondent to their exposed situations. 
" The remainder of my troops," he continues, " I shall 
march to Tennessee, where I shall discharge them : 
after which, I shall no longer consider myself account- 
able for the manner in which the posts may be defend- 
ed, or the line of communication kept open; happy 


that the time for which I offered my services to my 
government, and the duties which they assigned me to 
perform, will have terminated together." 

The army proceeded on its march, and crossing 
Tennessee river, in safety reached Camp Blount, near 
Fayetteville, where they were discharged from further 
service. Johnston, who had previously fallen in, had 
destroyed some of the enemy's towns ; but had learn- 
ed nothing of a force being any where embodied along 
the route he had taken. 

On parting from his troops, the general again brought 
before them the recollection he retained of their faith- 
ful and gallant conduct, and the patience with which 
they had borne the privations and hardships of war* 
On his return, wherever he passed, the plaudits of the 
people were liberally bestowed. The ardent and ex- 
traordinary zeal he had manifested in the service of 
his country, the difficulties he had surmounted, with 
the favourable termination, which, by his exertions, 
had been given to a contest that had kept alive the 
anxieties and fears of the frontier settlers, excited a 
general feeling of gratitude and admiration ; all were 
ready to evince the high sense they entertained of the 
success with which every effort had been crowned, 
and with one accord united in manifesting their confi- 
dence and respect for him, who, by his zealous exer- 
tions, able management, and fidelity to the cause in 
which he had embarked, had so greatly contributed to 
the safety, the happiness, and quiet of the country* 


Jackson is appointed a major-general in the service of the United States, 
Is directed to oj>en a negotiation with the Indians. Speech of the 
Big Warrior i a chief of the nation. Concludes a treaty with tht 
Creek Indians. His views against Pensacola and Florida. General 
Armstrong's letter. The Spanish governor is called on for an explana- 
tion, of his conduct. 'His answer, and general Jackson's reply.* 
The adjutant-general is despatched to Tennessee to raise volunteers. 
Jackson sets out for Mobile. Orders the Tennessee troops to advance 
to his assistance. 

A WAR, from which greater and more serious inju- 
ries had been apprehended, was thus advantageously 
terminated. Although many valuable lives were lost 
in the contest, yet was the number far less than might 
have been expected, in contending with an enemy 
whose wrath was without bounds, and whose cruelty 
was insatiate. To the rapidity with which an army had 
been collected and pressed into the heart of their coun- 
try, was owing th$ circumstance that the frontiers were 
not stained with the blood of the settlers. Though 
humanity may weep over the misfortunes of this mis- 
guided people, and regret that they were sunk in such 
irretrievable woes, yet there is a consolation for the 
country left ; that if it be a crime, it is in no wise charge- 
able on the American government. Towards them had 
been exercised every possible forbearance. For more 
than twenty years had the western people been the 
victims of their unrelenting cruelties ; and many a pa* 
rent lives at this day, whose recollection treasures a 
child that bled beneath their murderous hands. Cold 


Water, on the Tennessee, was long a den for these 
savages, whence they made inroads, and, by their inhu- 
man butcheries, kept the frontier inhabitants in per- 
petual alarm. An expedition from Tennessee, acting 
without the consent of the government, but with a view 
to the security their own situation so imperiously de- 
manded, as early as the year 1787, made a descent on 
this settlement and destroyed it. This active and re- 
solute measure had insured to the inhabitants a tran- 
quillity to which they had long been strangers. Those 
who escaped, retired to the Black Warrior, carrying 
with them an additional spirit of revenge, which occa- 
sionally, when a favourable opportunity occurred, dis- 
played itself in the murder of our citizens, until the 
winter of 1813, when their towns were again assailed 
and destroyed. 

The war in which the United States were engaged 
with Great Britain, afforded, as they believed, a safe 
opportunity again to satiate their angry passions. In 
addition to former animosities retained, British emis- 
saries had been among them, engaged to excite and 
encourage them to opposition. Arms and ammu- 
nition from Pensacola, having been liberally furnished, 
and a belief strongly inspired, that the Americans could 
be driven off, and the lands possessed by them re-gain- 
ed by the Indians, they at once resolved upon the 
Bourse they would pursue. The dreadful and cruel as- 
sault made on the settlement of Tensaw, was the first 
intelligence afforded of the lengths to which they had 
determined to proceed. The insecurity of the fron- 
tiers, requiring that efficient measures should be taken 
to defend them, it was high time for the government 


to abandon the course of moderation and forbearance 
they had hitherto practised towards those tribes. The 
legislature of Tennessee, at the period of this brutal 
and murderous assault, being in session, with a promp- 
titude highly honourable, called out the forces of the 
state, without giving to the general government, and 
waiting the result, information of the threatened dan- 
ger. To protect an extensive country, by erecting 
garrisons, and relying on them for defence, did not ap- 
pear to Jackson a course at all likely to assure its ob- 
ject. Placed in command, and called on to act, he de- 
termined with the troops he could collect on so sudden 
an emergency, to carry the war to their very doors ; 
and, by giving them employment at home, to divert 
them from their plans, and force them at once into 
measures of defence. Urging the contractors, there- 
fore, to be diligent in the discharge of their duties, and 
to forward supplies with all possible haste, he took his 
position at Fort Strother, directly in the enemy's coun- 
try. The battle of Talladega, which shortly after- 
wards followed, gave a severe check to those sanguine 
hopes they had indulged, induced them to believe they 
were contending with a different kind of people from 
what they had expected, and should have convinced 
them, too, that the promised safety, offered by their 
prophets, through their spells and incantations, was 
mere mockery and nonsense; yet so deluded were 
they, and so confidently confiding in the supernatural 
powers of their inspired men, that they were ready 
to attribute a want of success to circumstances over 
which their prophets could, in future, claim controul : 
at length however, when it was discovered that the 
prophets themselves did not escape that fatality which 


attended their warriors in battle, they began to think, 
either that they had never been commissioned, or that 
the Great Spirit, for some unknown cause, had be- 
come offended, and withdrawn his confidence. 

The death of Monohoe, at the battle of Tohopeka, 
is strongly illustrative of the infatuations under which 
these deluded and ignorant people laboured. They 
did not at all doubt, but, as their prophets had told 
them, that having been spoiled of their hunting 
grounds, they were again to re-occupy them through 
the aid of a new people, who from beyond the great 
waters were coming to assist in their recovery. A con- 
fidence in what those soothsayers disclosed, would 
also, they believed, produce the effect of protecting 
and guarding them from wounds and injury when en- 
gaged in battle. All those idle and marvellous stories 
were confided in ; but when, at this battle, one of their 
principal prophets fell, and by a cannon shot received 
in the mouth, they adopted the opinion, that the cha- 
racter of the wound was a judgment on his false pre- 
tensions, and forthwith were departed from those 
visions of faith which previously they had entertained. 

Had Jackson been enabled, after his first battle with 
the enemy, to have prosecuted the campaign, it might 
have had a much earlier conclusion ; but although he 
had, at the onset, obtained advantages from which 
much benefit might have arisen, yet, from the want of 
proper exertions on the part of the contractors, he was 
halted, and compelled to retrace his steps back to his 
first position. From the delays unavoidably met with 
here, flowed those grievances which gave a check to 


further operations. The winter, against which his 
troops were ill provided, was fast approaching ; hard- 
ships, and hunger, which were alrfeady pressing, with 
a long fatiguing campaign in prospect, presented a 
thousand imaginary difficulties, and excited discon- 
tents, which presently broke out into open mutiny ; and 
although the intention of the volunteers, to desert 
the service, and retire home, had been prevented 
by the stern and resolute conduct of their general, 
yet were they thereby unfitted for the duties of the 
fiield, because entire confidence was no longer to be 
reposed. To venture with such troops, who, whilst the 
tomahawk and scalping knife were uplifted, to wreak 
vengeance on their devoted frontiers, were coolly con- 
struing the effect and meaning of laws, was too unsafe 
a reliance for a commander whose first object was 
to impress on the minds of the savages the determina- 
tion and strength of the government he represented. 
It was adventuring too largely ; for, should defeat re- 
sult, the difficulty of drawing a new army to the field, 
would be increased; whilst that self-confidence in 
troops, so necessary to complete success, would es- 
sentially be lost It was believed to be the safer 
course, to permit his discontented volunteers to de- 
part, arid await the arrival of another force. These cir- 
cumstances had a tendency to encourage the Indians, 
and protract the war. Had the volunteers proceeded 
with the animation and bravery which characterized 
them in the battle they had just fought, they would 
have gradually acquired a confidence which would 
have rendered them an overmatch for Indian valour 
and cunning ; whilst by one further successful effort, 
they might have dispirited the enemy, and ended the 



campaign. But the arrival of a different description 
of troops, and the confusion into which they were 
thrown at the battle of Enotichopco, had encouraged 
the savages, and induced them to think the contest by 
no means a hazardous one. The despondency which 
had resulted from their previous defeats, was from 
that moment forgotten ; and, again inspirited, they 
looked to the accomplishment of their object with 
hopes of certainty even greater than before. Perhaps, 
however, it was fortunate for ourselves that events 
transpired in the way they did. Had peace been re- 
stored in consequence of any early fears excited, it 
might have lasted only until a favourable opportunity 
occurred of again breaking it; but the war having 
continued, until the hopes, the strength, and spirit of 
the nation were exhausted, nothing serious is now to 
be apprehended from any hostile disposition that may 
hereafter be manifested. Other advantages will also 
result. The uniform and uninterrupted successes ob- 
tained over them, in all our battles, may impress the 
minds, not only of these, but of the Indians generally 
within our limits, with a higher reverence for the 
character of our nation than they have hitherto been 
disposed to entertain; give protection to our citizens, 
and ensure that security to the government which the 
mildness it has practised, and the tribute it has con- 
stantly given them for their peace, has, heretofore, 
never been able to effect ; they will tend to destroy 
the influence held over them by other nations, and 
bring them to a conviction, that the United States is 
the only power whose hostility they should fear, or 
whose friendship they should prize. 


It was now eight months since general Jackson had 
left home, to arrest the progress of the Indian war ; 
during most of which time he had been in a situation 
of bodily infirmity that would have directed a prudent 
man to his bed, instead of advancing to the field. 
During this period, he had never seen his family, or 
been absent from the army, except to visit the posts 
in his rear, and arrange with his contractors some cer- 
tain plan to guard against a future failure of supplies. 
His health was still delicate, and rendered retirement 
essential to its restoration ; but his uniformly success- 
ful and good conduct, and the essential advantages he 
had produced, had brought him too conspicuously be- 
fore the public for any other sentiment to be indulged 
than that he should be placed, with an important com- 
mand, in the service of the United States* 

The resignation of general Hampton enabled the 
government, in a short time, to afford him an evidence 
of the respect it entertained for his services and cha- 
racter. A notice of IMS appointment as brigadier and 
brevet major-general, was forwarded on the 22d of 
May, from the war department General Harrison 
having, about this time, for some cause, become dis- 
satisfied with the conduct of the government towards 
him, refused to be longer considered one of her mili- 
tary actors ; to supply which vacancy, a commission 
of major-general was forwarded to Jackson, which 
reached him the day after the notification of his first 
appointment, and before he had been enabled to re- 
turn an answer whether or not it would be accepted. 
The important services which he had rendered, added 
to the rank which, under the authority of hi? state, 


he had held, might well induce a doubt whether the 
appointment first conferred was at all complimentary, 
or one which, in justice to his own character, he could 
have accepted. Whatever of objection there might or 
could have arisen, on this subject, was removed by 
the subsequent appointment of major-general, made 
on the resignation of Harrison, and which was ac- 

The contest with the Indians being ended, the first 
and principal object of the government was, to enter 
into some definitive arrangement which should de- 
prive of success any effort that might hereafter be 
made, by other powers, to enlist those savages in their 
wars. None was so well calculated to answer this end, 
as that of restricting their limits, so as to cut off their 
communication with British and Spanish agents in 
East and West Florida. 

No treaty of friendship or of boundary had yet been 
entered into by the government with the Indians : 
they remained a conquered people, and within the li- 
mits, and subject to the regulations and restrictions 
which had been prescribed in March, by general Jack- 
son, when he retired from their country. He was now, 
by the government, called upon to act in a new and 
different character, and to negotiate the terms upon 
which an amicable understanding should be restored 
between the United States and these conquered In- 
dians. But for the government to proceed on the prin- 
ciples of equal and reciprocal treaty stipulations, was, 
in reference to the expensive war imposed on them, 
and the unprovoked manner in which it had been 


begun, not to be expected. Those Indians had broken 
without cause the treaty they had made, outraged hu- 
manity, and murdered our imoflfending-citizens. Un- 
der such circumstances, by the peace now to be con- 
cluded, to negotiate with, and as heretofore recognize 
them as an independent and sovereign people, com- 
ported not with propriety, nor was demanded by any of 
the ties of moral duty. General Jackson, therefore, was 
directed to treat with them as a conquered people, and 
to prescribe, not negotiate, the terms and conditions 
of a peace. Colonel Hawkins, who for a considerable 
time past, had been the agent to this nation, was also 
associated in the mission. With the western people 
the appointment was not acceptable, and much solici- 
tude was felt from an apprehension of his influence 
and weight of character amongst the Indians ; and a 
fear that his partialities and sympathies might incline 
him too much to their interest. Colonel Hawkins may 
have been deceived, and may have founded his opin- 
ions upon data presumed to be correct ; but when it 
occurred to them that previously to the commence- 
ment of hostilities, his repeated declarations had been, 
that the Indians would maintain a rigid adherence to 
their treaties, and remain at peace, they were far from 
being satisfied that he should be connected in the ne- 
gotiation contemplated to be entered into. 

On the 10th of July, the general, with a small reti- 
nue, reached the Alabama ; and on the 10th of August, 
after some difficulty, succeeded in procuring the exe- 
cution of a treaty, in which the Indians pledged them- 
selves no more to listen to foreign emissaries, to hold 
no communication with British or Spanish garrisons ; 


guaranteed to the United States the right of erecting 
military posts in their country, and a free navigation of 
all their waters. They stipulated also, that they would 
suffer no agent or trader to pass among them, or hold 
any kind of commerce or intercourse with their nation, 
unless specially deriving his authority from the presi- 
dent of the United States. 

The stipulations and exactions of this treaty were 
in conformity with, instructions issued from the de- 
partment of war, and differs in expression from what 
has been usually contained in instruments of a similar 
kind. It breathes the language of demand, not of con- 
tract and agreement ; and hence has general Jackson 
been censured for the manner after which the negoti- 
ation was concluded. The course however, which was 
pursued, is readily justified by the terms and expres- 
sions of the order under which he acted, and which 
prevented the exercise of discretion. General Arm- 
strong, who at that time was in the cabinet, and spoke 
the sentiments of the president, in a letter addressed 
to Jackson on the 24th of March, uses the following 
remarks. " It has occurred to me, that the proposed 
treaty with the Creeks, should take a form altogether 
military, and be in the nature of a capitulation; in 
which case, the wiiole authority of making and con- 
cluding the terms, will be in you exclusively as com- 
manding general." Accompanying which were in- 
structions formally drawn up, and which were to con- 
stitute the basis on which the negotiation was to rest* 

* In the instructions which issued from the department of war, 
as the basis on which this treaty was to be concluded, it is enjoined 
by the secretary to exact, 


To settle the boundary, defining the extent of terri- 
tory to be secured to the Creeks, and that which they 
would be required to surrender, was attended with 
difficulty, from the intrigues of the Cherokee nation, 
who sought to obtain such an acknowledgment of their 
lines as would give them a considerable portion of 
country never attached to their claim. The Creeks 
had heretofore permitted this tribe to extend its set- 
tlements as low down the Coosa as the mouth of Wills' 
creek. It was insisted now in private council, that 
as they were about to surrender their country lying 
on the Tennessee river, they should, previously to 
signing the treaty, acknowledge the extension of the 
Cherokee bpundary, which would secure their claim 
against that of the United States. The only reply ob- 

1st. An indemnification for expenses incurred by the United States 
in prosecuting the war, by such cession of land as may be deemed an 
equivalent for said expenses. 

2d. A stipulation on their part that they will cease all intercourse 
with any Spanish port, garrison or town ; and that they will not admit 
amongst them any agent or trader who does not derive his authority 
or license from the United States. 

3d. An acknowledgment of the right of the United States to open 
roads through their territory ; and also to establish such military posts 
and trading houses as may be deemed necessary and proper ; and 

4th. A surrender of the prophets and other instigators of the war, 
to be held subject to the order of the president. 

You are authorized, in conjunction with colonel Hawkins, to. open 
and conclude a treaty of peace with the hostile Creeks, as soon, as 
they shall express a desire to put an end to the war. 



tained from the Creeks was in truly Indian spirit, that 
they could not lie, by admitting what did not in reality 

The United States might, without violence to those 
feelings benevolence excites, have demanded entirely 
their country, and either have treated the Indians as 
vassals, and subjected them to legislative control, or 
admitted them into their national compact, with such 
rights of citizenship, as, from their peculiar habits of 
life, they were calculated safely to enjoy ; but the hu- 
mane and generous policy which had been sedulously 
maintained in all transactions with the savages within 
their limits, induced the government to require, in the 
cession, only such portion of their country as might 
prove a tendency to bar every avenue to foreign in* 
trigue, and give additional strength to those sections of 
the union, which, from their limited extent of territory 
and consequent limited population, were unable to af- 
ford sufficient supplies for the subsistence of an army, 
or give a partial check to the inroads of an invading 
enemy. The lines defined by the treaty were so ar- 
ranged as fully to meet these objects. Sufficient ter- 
ritory was acquired on the south to give security to 
the Mobile settlements, and to the western borders of 
Georgia, which had often felt the stroke of Indian ven- 
geance and cruelty ; while at the same time was effect- 
ed the important purpose of separating them from the 
Seminole tribes and our unfriendly neighbours in Flo- 
| rida. To the frontiers of Tennessee an assurance of 
safety was given by the settlements which would be 
afforded on the lands stretching along the Tennessee 
river; whilst the extent of the cession, west of the 


Coosa, would effectually cut off all communication with 
the Chickasaws and Choctaws, and prevent, in future, 
the passage of those emissaries from the north-western 
tribes, who, during the present war, had so industrious- 
ly fomented the discontents of the Creeks, and excited 
them to hostility. It is a happy consideration, that 
whilst these advantages w r ere obtained, no material in- 
jury was done to those vanquished people. Their 
country, extensive as it was, presented none of those 
Inducements to the hunter, which could, as heretofore, 
be relied on with certainty ; while, for all the purposes 
of agriculture, the part reserved to them was more 
than sufficient for fifty times the population which 
their nation contained. It may appear plausible in theo- 
ry, but practice will always disprove the idea, that the 
civilization of Indians can be effected, whilst, scattered 
through an immense wilderness, they are left to pur- 
sue their vagrant wandering habits of life. Inured to 
peculiar manners, from the earliest period of their 
lives, it certainly would not answer to innovate at once 
upon their ancient customs ; but, were their extensive 
wilds gradually reduced, so, in proportion, would the 
benefits resulting from hunting, and wandering through 
the forest, subside, until prompted at last by necessi- 
ty, they w r ould resort to industry and agriculture, as? 
the only certain and lasting means of support, and thus 
imperceptibly be forced into a different and more ad- 
vantageous course of life. 

Unwilling to resort to any other mode of living 
than that to which they had been always accustomed; 
and satisfied that the means of subsistence would be 
lost in the surrender of their country, they remained 



obstinately opposed to every arrangement. Before 
being finally acted upon, the treaty had been fully 
debated in council, and the voice of the nation pro* 
nounced against it. Jackson had already submitted 
the views of his government, and npw met them in 
council, to learn their determination. He was answer- 
ed by the Big Warrior, a friendly chief, and one of the 
first orators of the nation, who declared the reluctance 
that was felt, in yielding to the demand, from a con? 
viction of the consequences involved, and the dis- 
tresses it must inevitably bring upon them. The firm 
and dignified eloquence of this untutored orator, 
evinced a nerve and force of expression, that might 
not have passed unnoticed, had it been exhibited be- 
fore a more highly polished assembly : the conclusion 
of his speech is given, for the satisfaction of such as 
can mark the bold display of savage genius, and ad- 
mire it when discovered. Having unfolded the causes 
that produced the war, told of their sufferings, and 
admitted that they had been preserved alone by the 
army which had hastened to their assistance, he 
urged, that although in justice, it might be required 
of them to defray, by a transfer of a portion of their 
country, the expenses incurred, yet was the demand 
premature, because the war was not ended, nor the 
war party conquered ; they had only fled away, and 
might yet return. He portrayed the habits of the In- 
dians, and how seriously they would be affected by the 
surrender required of them, and thus concluded : 

v The president, our father, advises us to honesty 
and fairness, and promises that justice shall be done : 
I hope and trust it will be ! I made this war, which 


has proved so fatal to my country, that the treaty en- 
tered into a long time ago, with father Washington, 
might not be broken. To his friendly arm I hold fast- 
I will never break that bright chain of friendship we 
made together, and which bound us to stand to the 
United States. He was a father to the Muscoga peo- 
ple ; and not only to them, but to all the people be- 
neath the sun. His talk I now hold in my hand. 
There sits the agent he sent among us. Never has he 
broken the treaty. He has lived with us a long time. 
He has seen our children born, who now have children. 
By his direction, cloth was wove, and clothes were 
made, and spread through our country; but the Red 
Sticks came, and destroyed all, we have none now. 
Hard is our situation, and you ought to consider it. 
I state what all the nation knows : nothing will I keep 

" There stands the Little Warrior. While we were 
seeking to give satisfaction for the murders that had 
been committed, he proved a mischief-maker ; he went 
to the British on the lakes ; he came back, and brought 
a package to the frontiers, which increased the mur- 
ders here. This conduct has already made the war 
party to suffer greatly : but, although almost destroy- 
ed, they will not yet open their eyes, but are still led 
away by the British at Pensacola. Not so with us : 
we were rational, and had our senses we yet are so. 
In the war of the revolution, our father beyond the 
waters encouraged us to join him, and we did so. We 
had no sense then. The promises he made were never 
kept We were young and foolish, and fought with 
him. The British can no more persuade us to do 


wrong : they have deceived us once, and can deceive 
us no more. You are two great people. If you go t 
war, we will have no concern in it ; for we are not 
able to fight. We wish to be at peace with every 
nation. If they offer me arms, I will say to them, You 
put me in danger, to war against a people born in our 
own land They shall never force us into danger. 
You shall never see that our chiefs are boys in coun- 
cil, who will be forced to do any thing. I talk thus, 
knowing that father Washington advised us never to 
interfere in wars. He told us that those in peace were 
the happiest people. He told us, that if an enemy at- 
tacked him, he had warriors enough, and did not wish 
his red children to help him. If the British advise us 
to any thing, I will tell you not hide it from you. If 
they say we must fight, I will tell them, No !" 

The war party being not entirely subdued, was but 
a pretext to avoid the demands which were made ; 
presuming that if the council could break up, without 
any thing being definitely done, they might, in part, 
or perhaps altogether, avoid what was now required 
of them to do ; but the inflexibility of the person with 
whom they were treating, evinced to them, that how- 
ever just and well founded might be their objections, 
the policy under which he acted was too clearly de- 
fined, for any abandonment of his demands to be at 
all calculated upon. Shelocta, one of their chiefs, who 
had united with our troops at the commencement of 
the war ; who had marched and fought with them in 
all their battles ; and had attached to himself strongly 
the confidence of the commanding general, now ad- 
dressed him. He told him of the regard he had ever 


felt for his white brothers, and with what zeal he had 
exerted himself to preserve peace, and keep in friend- 
ship with them ; when his efforts had failed, he had 
taken up arms against his own country, and fought 
against his own people ; that he was not opposed to 
yielding the lands lying on the Alabama, which would 
answer the purpose of cutting off any intercourse with 
the Spaniards ; but the country west of the Coosa he 
wished to be preserved to the nation.* To effect this, 
he appealed to the feelings of Jackson ; told him of 
the dangers they had passed together; and of his 
faithfulness to him in the trying scenes through which 
they had gone. 

There were, indeed, none whose voice ought sooner 
to have been heard than Shelocta's. None had ren- 
dered greater services, and none had been more faith- 
ful. He had claims, growing out of his fidelity, that 
few others had : but his wishes were so much at vari- 
ance with what Jackson considered the interest of his 
country required, that he was answered without hesi- 
tation. " You know," said he, " that the portion of 
country which you desire to retain, is that through 
which the intruders and mischief-makers from the 
lakes reached you, and urged your nation to those 
acts of violence that have involved your people in 
wretchedness, and your country in ruin. Through it 
leads the path Tecumseh trod, when he came to visit 
you : that path must be stopped. Until this be done, 
your nation cannot expect happiness, nor mine secu- 
rity. I have already told you the reasons for de- 

* This country west of the Coosa now forms the respectable state 
of Alabama, admitted into the Union in the year 1819. 


manding it : they are such as ought not cannot be 
departed from. This evening must determine whe- 
ther or not you are disposed to become friendly. By 
rejecting the treaty you will show that you are the 
enemies of the United States enemies even to your- 
selves." He admitted it to be true, that the war was 
not ended, yet that this was an additional reason why 
the cession should be made ; that then a line would 
be drawn, by which his soldiers would be enabled to 
distinguish and know their friends. "When our ar- 
mies," continued he, " came here, the hostile party 
had even stripped you of your country : we retook it, 
and now offer to restore it ; theirs we propose to re- 
tain. Those who are disposed to give effect to the 
treaty, will sign it. They will be within our territory ; 
will be protected and fed ; and no enemy of theirs, or 
ours, shall molest them. Those who are opposed to 
it shall have permission to retire to Pensacola. Here 
is the paper: take it, and show the president who are 
his friends. Consult, and this evening let me know 
who will assent to it, and who will not. I do not wish, 
nor will I attempt to force any of you act as you 
think proper." 

They proceeded to deliberate and re-examine the 
course they should pursue, which terminated in their 
assent to the treaty, and the extension of those advan- 
tages that had been insisted on.* 

* It was agreed that the line should begin where the Cherokee 
southern boundary crossed the Coosa, to run down that river to Woe- 
tum-.ka, or the Big Falls, and thence eastwardly to Georgia. East 
and north of this line, containing upwards of one hundred and fifty 
thousand square miles, remained to the Indians. West and south was 


In the progress of this business another difficulty 
arose : the council insisted that there should be insert- 
ed in the treaty a reservation of certain tracts of land ; 

secured to the United States. There are few nations in the world, 
that would have acted with such justice and lenity towards a van- 
quished people. The country had been conquered and won, at con- 
siderable expense and loss. Few governments, under such circum- 
stances, would have done less than to have taken what best suited their 
convenience, without attempting to bargain at all upon the subject; 
more especially when the territory in question occupied a space of 
more than two hundred miles, through which the western people, 
seeking a market on the ocean, were, on their return home, under 
the necessity of passing ; and where, for the want of accommodation, 
numerous exposures and hardships were encountered. Scarcely, 
however, had the treaty been entered into, when every tribe in the 
neighbourhood, the Choctaws, Chickasaws and Cherokees, asserted 
their claims, each, to a part of the cession. The latter set up a title to 
the whole extent lying along the Tennessee river, and in the end suc- 
ceeded in having it recognized by the government. The other two 
tribes, gathering confidence from their success, came forward, and 
were no less fortunate. The United States, to remove every ground 
of complaint, opened a negotiation with these Indians, and purchased 
their interest at the price that was demanded. When it is considered 
that these claims were set up by inconsiderable clans, which might 
at a word, have been hushed to silence, it affords the highest eulogy 
on the justice and magnanimity of our government, that, instead of 
attemping any exercise of its power, for the furtherance of its views, 
their complaints were heard, and peaceably quieted, by paying them 
the equivalent they required. 

The liberality of the act is more apparent, when it is taken into 
consideration, that the claim of the Creek Indians was unquestion- 
ably the best. The coming of the other tribes to this section of coun- 
try is capable of being traced by Indian traditional history. " Some 
came from the west, beyond the great river Mississippi ; others from 
the north;" but the same record knows nothing of the Creeks. So 
far back as it extends, they are traced as the most numerous and war- 
like of the southern tribes; and are spoken of "as coming out of the 


one for colonel Hawkins, in consideration of his fideli- 
ty to them as an agent ; and another to Jackson, be- 
cause of the gratitude felt towards him for his exer- 
tions in their favour against the hostile Creeks. To 
this the general objected. It was personal as it re- 
garded himself, and he was unwilling to appear in any 
point of view, where suspicion could attach, that he 
had availed himself of his official situation to obtain 
personal benefits ; fully aware, that however the facts 
might be, selfish considerations would be imputed as 
an inducement to what was done. He refused, there- 
fore, to have it inserted ; and for the further reason, 
that the instructions under which he was acting, re-* 
quired it to be a capitulation, not a treaty. The next 
morning, however, when they met in council to sjgn the 
instrument, the chiefs delivered to the general a paper, 
expressing a wish, and disclosing their reasons, that a 

ground." Possession, with Indians, is the only evidence of title. 
Their country and individual possessions, always defined by natural 
objects, belongs to the next, when once the first occupant has aban- 
doned it. The tradition of their origin, reaching to a period long 
anterior to the time when other tribes settled on their borders, 
proves them to have been the first proprietors of the soil : the coun- 
try was never abandoned by them : being the most warlike and pow- 
erful, it could never have been wrested from them by conquest : the 
conclusion follows, that they were evidently the rightful owners, and 
that other tribes, as they allege, acquired a residence only through 
their permission and indulgence. If, however, power, the legitimate 
rule and national law in modern times, had been made the appeal be- 
tween a government strong as the United States, and such inconsider- 
able Indian hordes, there can be no question as to the manner the 
difference might have been settled : yet the administration, rather 
than leave themselves open even to suspicion, preferred and obtained 
the title of these people at an expense of at least three hundred and 
fifty thousand dollars. ~Let other nations, if they can, produce an 
act, which, for justice and liberality, can be compared with this. 


reservation to himself colonel Hawkins, and May- 
field, who being made a prisoner in his youth, had al- 
ways resided in the nation, might be assented to ; antj 
requested it to be forwarded on and made known to the 
government. Jackson consented to do so, and to recom- 
mend its adoption ; but that the reservation they had 
thought proper to request, if assented to, he would 
accept of on no other terms than that their father the 
president should dispose of it, and apply the proceeds 
to those of the nation on whom distress and poverty 
had been brought by the war. Mr. Madison subse- 
quently brought this matter to the consideration of the 
Senate of the United States, and in recommending its 
adoption, highly complimented the delicacy with which 
the proposition had been met by general Jackson : it 
was, however, never acted on and assented to by the 

Every attention had been given, during the 
tiation, to impress on the minds of the savages -the 
necessity of remaining at peace and in friendship with 
the United States ; for, although all apprehensions of 
their acting in concert as a nation had subsided, yet it 
was important to leave their minds favourably impress- 
ed, lest the wandering fugitives, scattered in consider- 
able numbers towards the Escambia and Pensacola, 
might, by continuing hostile, associate with them others 
of their countrymen, attach themselves to the British, 
should they appear in the south, aid them by their 
numbers, and pilot them through the country. 

This retreat of the savages in East Florida, had been 
always looked upon as a place whence the United 


States might apprehend serious difficulties to arise, 
There was no doubt but that the British, through this 
channel, with the aid of the governor, had protected 
the Indians, and supplied them with arms and ammu* 
nition ; nor was it less certain, but that through the 
art and address practised on them, they had been ex- 
cited to the outrages which had been heretofore con> 
mitted. It was an idea entertained by Jackson, at the 
commencement of the Creek war, that the proper and 
best mode of procedure would be to push his army 
through the nation ; gain this den, where vegetated so 
many evils ; arid, by holding it, effectually cut off their 
intercourse, and means of encouraging the war : but 
the unexpected difficulties which we have before no- 
ticed, had repressed the execution of his well-digested 
plans, and left him to pursue his course as circumstan- 
ces, and the obstacles met with, would permit. The 
assistance which, during the war, had been continually 
afforded these people from Pensaeola^ induced him 
once more to turn his attention there ; and he now 
strongly urged on government the propriety of attack- 
ing and breaking down this strong hold, whence so many 
evils had flowed, and whence greater ones were yet 
to be expected. His busy mind, actively engaged, 
while employed in settling all differences at Fort Jack- 
son, had sought through every channel that could afford 
it, information as to the designs of the British against 
the southern parts of the Union. The idea had been 
prevalent, and generally indulged, that, so soon as the 
severity of approaching winter should put a stop 
to active operations on the Canada frontier, with all 
their disposable force, they would turn their attention 
against the southern states, and attempt to gain 


some decisive advantage. New Orleans, with one con- 
sent, was fixed upon as the point that most probably 
would be assailed. The circumstance of there being 
so many persons there who have never been supposed 
to entertain any well-founded regard for the country in 
which they lived, together with a large black population, 
which it was feared might be excited to insurrection 
and massacre, through the persuasions of an enemy 
who seemed to disregard all the laws of humanity, 
were reasons which strongly led to this conclusion. 

General Jackson having understood, that that com* 
fort and aid which heretofore had been so liberally ex- 
tended, was still afforded by the Spanish governor to 
the hostile Indians, who had fled from the ravages of 
the Creek war, cherished the belief that his conduct 
was such as deservedly to exclude him from that pro- 
tection to which, under other circumstances, he would 
be entitled, from the professed neutrality of Spain. At 
all events, if the improper acts of the Spanish agents 
would not authorize the American government openly 
to redress herself for the unprovoked injuries she had 
received, they were such, he believed, as would justify 
any course which had for its object to arrest their con- 
tinuance and give safety to the country. In this point 
of view he had already considered it, when on his way 
to the treaty at Fort Jackson, he received certain in- 
formation, that about three hundred English troops had 
landed; were fortifying themselves at the mouth of the 
Apalachicola ; and were endeavouring to excite the In- 
dians to war. No time was lost in giving the government 
notice of what was passing, and of the course, by him, 
deemed most advisable to be pursued The advauta- 


ges to be secured from the possession of PenSacola he 
had frequently urged. Whether it was that the govern- 
ment beheld things in a point of view different from 
himself, or that being at peace with Spain, was dis- 
posed to encounter partial inconveniences, rather than 
add her to the number of our enemies, no order to that 
effect was yet given. In detailing to the secretary of 
war the information that had been communicated to 
him, he remarks : "If the hostile Creeks have taken 
refuge in Florida, and are there fed, clothed, and pro- 
tected ; if the British have landed a large force, muni- 
tions of war, and are fortifying and stirring up the 
savages ; will you only say to me, raise a few hundred 
militia, which can be quickly done, and with such re- 
gular force as can be conveniently collected, make a 
descent upon Pensacola, and reduce it ? If so, I pro- 
mise you the war in the south shall have a speedy 
termination, and English influence be forever destroy- 
ed with the savages in this quarter." 

Notwithstanding this and other information commu- 
nicated to the government, yet, to his repeated and 
pressing applications, he was unable to obtain any an- 
swer : nothing was returned that could be construed 
into- either a permission of, or command to abstain 
from the execution of his project. At length, on the 
17th of January, 1815, after the British army had been 
repulsed at New Orleans, and the descent on Florida 
almost forgotten, through the post office department, 
dated at Washington City, the 18th of July, 1814, he 
received the following letter from general Armstrong, 
then secretary at war : 


* The case you put is a very strong one : and if all 
the circumstances stated by you unite, the conclusion 
is irresistible. It becomes our duty to carry our arms 
where we find our enemies. It is believed, and I am 
so directed by the president to say, that there is a dis- 
position on the part of the Spanish government, not 
to break with the United States, nor to encourage any 
conduct on the part of her subordinate agents having 
a tendency to such rupture. We must, therefore, in 
this case, be careful to ascertain facts, and even to 
distinguish what, on the part of the Spanish authori- 
ties, may be the effect of menace and compulsion, or 
of their choice and policy : the result of this inquiry 
must govern. If they admit, feed, arm, and co-operate 
with the British and hostile Indians, we must strike on 
the broad principle of self-preservation : under other 
and different circumstances, we must forbear." 

That the state of things, here suggested by the 
secretary, did actually exist; that the British were 
favourably received, and every assistance necessary to 
a continuance of hostilities extended to the Indians, 
the government had been already apprised, by the 
frequent communications made to them on the subject. 
The facts were too well ascertained for any reason* 
able doubt to attach. To determine then upon a pro- 
per eourse, no postulata were necessary, or should 
have been required by the government. Had this 
letter reached him in time, it would at once have $e* 
termined general Jackson in the course to be purstied, 
and on the execution of his design ; how it was so 
long delayed, we know not, nor shall we pretend to 
conjecture ; for on such a subject, conjecture alone 


could be indulged. We would, however, recommend 
in all cases, where a measure is to be proceeded in^ 
either from necessity, or a well-founded apprehension 
of jts propriety, that the government should adopt it 
without fear or trembling, and from no regard to the 
consequences involved; nor leave to be determined 
by the success or failure of the design, whether an 
officer acting upon his own responsibility, and for the 
good of his country, shall become the subject of com- 
mendation or reproof. 

" If," remarked the general, speaking of this trans* 
action, "this letter, or any hint that such a course 
would have been even winked at by the government, 
had been received, it would have been in my power to 
have captured the British shipping in the bay. I 
would have marched at once against Barrancas, and 
carried it, and thus prevented any escape ; but, act- 
ing on my own responsibility against a neutral 
power, it became essential for me to proceed with 
more caution than my judgment or wishes approved, 
and consequently important advantages were lost, 
which might have been secured." The delay of the 
letter is inexplicable and strange. Did general Arm- 
strong detain it ? He could not, because his efficiency 
of character and decision stand in opposition to the 
idea ; and, besides, after the burning of Washington, in 
August 1814, he ceased to have any agency in the 
affairs of the government. It is a circumstance which, 
during this time, could not have remained under the 
control of accident : it must have been the effect of 
management somewhere, and of a design intended for 
some important purpose ; if any mishaps occurred, and 


a question arose where responsibility should rest, the 
absence of authority would readily affix it on Jackson. 
If our cause had proven disastrous at New Orleans, 
it would have been an easy and plausible matter to 
have ascribed it to the time lost in waging operations 
against a neutral and friendly power, without tlie sanc- 
tion of the government. 

On arriving at Fort Jackson, his first attention had 
been directed to a subject which he believed to be of 
greater importance than making Indian treaties to 
establish a plan by which to be constantly advised, 
during his stay, of those schemes that were in agita- 
tion in the south : believing that every passing event 
might be readily obtained through the Indians, who 
could go among the British without in the least ex- 
citing suspicion, he had required colonel Hawkins to 
procure some who were confidential, and might be 
certainly relied on, to proceed to the Apalachicola, 
and towards the coast, and to return as early as they 
could obtain correct information of the strength, views, 
and situation of the enemy. In about fifteen days they 
came back, confirming the statement previously re- 
ceived, that a considerable English force had arrived, 
and was then in the bay of St. Rose; that muskets and 
ammunition had been given to the Indians, and run- ' 
ners despatched to the different tribes to invite them 
to the coast. 

Satisfied that such permissions, by a neutral power, 
were too grievous to be borne, he immediately ad- 
dressed a letter to the governor of Pensacola, appris- 
ing him of the information received; and enquiring 


why and wherefore it happened that every protection 
and assistance was furnished the enemies of the 
United States, within his territory ; requested him to 
state whether or not the facts were as they had been 
represented; and demanded to have surrendered to 
him such of the chiefs of the hostile Indians as were 
with him. " I rely," continued he, " on the existing 
friendship of Spain, her treaties and that neutrality 
ivhich she should observe, as authority for the de- 
mand I make." The governor's answer, which shortly 
afterwards was received, evinced nothing of a con- 
ciliatory temper, and left no hope of procuring any 
other redress than that which might be obtained 
through some different channel. It was a subject, how- 
ever, which required to be managed with considerable 
caution. Spain and the United States were in amity 
and at peace; to reduce any portion of her territory, 
and take possession of it, in exclusion of her authority, 
might be construed such an aggression, as to induce 
her into the war. On the other hand, for her, with 
open arms, to receive our enemies, and permit them 
to make every preparation within her ports, for in- 
vading and attacking our country, were outrages too 
monstrous to be borne, and, in the opinion of Jackson, 
required to be remedied, let the consequences in pro- 
spective be what they might. Although these things 
had been earnestly pressed upon the consideration of 
the war department, no answer to his repeated solici- 
tations on the subject had been received. On his pwn 
responsibility, to advance to the execution of a mea- 
sure, which involved so much, when his government 
was, and had for some time been, in possession of all 
the circumstances, was risking too much. Yet, were 


it delayed longer, every day might give to Pensacola 
additional strength, and increase the danger attendant 
on its reduction. Undetermined, under considerations 
like these, he resolved upon another expedient to 
despatch a messenger, to lay open to the governor the 
ground of his complaint obtain from him a declara- 
tion of his intention, as regarded the course he meant 
to adopt, and pursue and ascertain whether he de- 
signed to make subsisting treaties between the two 
nations the basis of his conduct, or to pursue a strange 
and concealed course, which, under the garb of pre- 
tended friendship, cloaked all the realities of war. The 
propriety of delivering up the hostile Indians, who 
were with him, to atone for the violation of existing 
treaties, and the rights of humanity, and the murders 
they had committed, was again pressed and solicited. 

A reply was not concluded on by the governor for 
some time, owing to a very considerable doubt that 
harassed his mind, whether it would not be more pro- 
per to return it without an answer, "in imitation of 
the conduct of general Flournoy, who, acting in con- 
formity to the orders of Mr. Madison, heretofore had 
omitted to answer a despatch of his." But having con* 
sidered the matter quite maturely and deliberately, he 
at length came to the conclusion, to wave the exam- 
ple set him by the president, and in replying to, act in 
obedience to those " high and generous feelings pecu- 
liar to the Spanish character." 

In answer to the demand made upon him, that the 
hostile Indians should be delivered up, he denied that 
they were with him, " at that time," or that he could, 

2 E 


on the ground of hospitality, refuse them assistance^ 
at a moment when their distresses were so great ; nor 
could he surrender them, as he believed, without act- 
ing in open violation of the laws of nations, laws, to 
which his sovereign had ever strictly adhered, and of 
which he had already afforded the United States abun- 
dant evidence, in omitting to demand of them " the 
traitors, insurgents, incendiaries, and assassins of his 
chiefs^ namely, Guiterres, Toledo, and many others, 
whom the American government protected and main- 
tained in committing hostilities, in fomenting the revo- 
lution, and in lighting up the flames of discord in the 
internal provinces of the kingdom of Mexico." 

To the inquiry, why the English had been suffered 
to land in his province arms and ammunition, with a 
view to encouraging the Indians in their acts of hos- 
tility* he proceeded with his same " national charac- 
teristic," and demanded to be informed if the United 
States were ignorant, that at the conquest of Florida, 
there was a treaty between Great Britain and the 
Creek Indians, and whether they did not know, that it 
still*existed between Spain and those tribes ? " But," 
continued he, " turn your eyes to the island of Barra- 
taria, and you will there perceive, that within the very 
territory of the United States, pirates are sheltered 
and protected, with the manifest design of committing 
hostilities by sea, upon the merchant vessels of Spain ; 
and with such scandalous notoriety, that the cargoes 
of our vessels, taken by them, have been publicly sold 
in Louisiana." 

It is difficult to discover how, or by what system of 


logic it was, that governor Manrequez was enabled to 
trace any kind of analogy between the United States 
affording to a few of the patriots of South America 
an asylum from the oppressions and persecutions that 
were threatened to be imposed on them by Spanish ty- 
ranny, and his permitting within the limits of Florida, 
comfort, aid, and assistance to be given the savages, that 
they might the better be enabled to indulge in cruelty 
towards us. Nor can it be perceived how it was, that 
the piracies of Lafite and his party at Barrataria, and 
the successful smuggling which brought their plunder- 
ed wealth into port, in open defiance of our laws, could 
operate as a sufficient pretext for giving protection 
and indulgence to an enemy entering the territory of 
Spain, and continuing there, with the avowed inten- 
tion of waging war against a power with which she 
not only professed to be in friendship, but was bound 
by treaty to be so, and at the very time too, when she 
claimed to be neutral. Nor can we see the force of 
the argument, because England had a treaty with the>; 
Creek Indians, which afterwards devolved on Spain-, 
that the agents of his Catholic majesty were in conse- 
quence, justified in protecting the savages in their 
murders, or assisting covertly, as they did, in the war 
against us : how the conclusions were arrived at, the 
governor can decide at some moment, when reliev*- 
ed from those high and honourable feelings, " pecu- 
liar to the Spanish character," reason may re-assert 
her empiry over him, and point the manner he was en* 
abled to produce his strange results. 

The governor, however, had evidenced rather too 
high a state of feeling, and taken his ground without 


suffering his reflections to go to their full extent. He 
had placed arms in the hands of the savages, " for the 
purposes of self-defence ;" many of them were hasten- 
ing to him, more were yet expected. The British 
had already landed a partial force, and a greater one 
was shortly looked for. Against this certain and ex- 
pected strength, added to what his own resources 
could supply, he believed an American general would 
not venture to advance. These considerations had led 
him to assume a proud and lofty tone, to arraign the 
conduct of the United States, in extinguishing the In- 
dian title on the Alabama, to accuse them of disre- 
garding and violating their treaties, and to point out 
the danger to which the restoration of peace in Europe 
might shortly expose them. As yet he was ignorant 
of the energy of the man already near his borders, and 
who, to march against and break down his fancied se- 
curity, did not desire to be ordered, but only to be ap- 
prised by his country that it might be done. Jackson, 
in no wise pleased with the boldness of his remarks, 
proceeded again to address him, and exhibited fully 
the grounds of accusation and complaint in behalf of 
his country, and in a style at least as courtly as his own. 

" Where I clothed," he remarks, " with diplomatic 
powers, for the purpose of discussing the topics em- 
braced in the wide range of injuries of which you com- 
plain, and which have long since been adjusted, I could 
easily demonstrate that the United States have been 
always faithful to their treaties, steadfast in their friend- 
ships, nor have ever claimed any thing that was not 
warranted by justice. They have endured many in- 
sults from the governors and other officers of Spain ? 


which, if sanctioned by their sovereign, would have 
amounted to acts of hostility, without any previous 
declaration on the subject. They have excited the 
savages to war, and afforded them the means of waging 
it : the property of our citizens has been captured at 
sea, and if compensation has not been refused, it has 
at least been withheld. But as no such powers have 
been delegated to me, I shall not assume them, but 
leave them to the representatives of our respective 

" I have the honour of being entrusted with the com- 
mand of this district. Charged with its protection, 
and the safety of its citizens, I feel my ability to dis- 
charge the task, and trust your excellency will always 
find me ready and willing to go forward, in the perform- 
ance of that duty, whenever circumstances shall ren- 
der it necessary. I agree with you, perfectly, that 
candour and polite language should, at all times, cha- 
racterize the communications between the officers of 
friendly sovereignties ; and I assert, without the fear 
of contradiction, that my former letters were couched 
in terms the most respectful and unexceptionable. I 
only requested, and did not demand, as you have as- 
serted, that the ringleaders of the Creek confederacy 
might be delivered to me, who had taken refuge in your 
town, and who had violated all laws, moral, civil, and 
divine. This I had a right to do, from the treaty 
whjch I sent you, and which I now again enclose, with 
a request that you will change your translation ; be- 
lieving, as I do, that your former one was wrong, and 
has deceived you. What kind of an answer you re- 
turned, a reference to your letter will explain. The 


whole of it breathed nothing but hostility, grounded 
upon assumed facts, and false charges, and entirely 
evading the inquiries that had been made. 

" I can but express my astonishment at your pro- 
test against the cession on the Alabama, lying within 
the acknowledged limits and jurisdiction of the United 
States, and which has been ratified in due form, by the 
principal chiefs and warriors of the nation. But my 
astonishment subsides, when, on comparison, I find it 
upon a par with the rest of your letter and conduct ; 
taken together, they afford a sufficient justification for 
any course on my part or consequences that may en- 
sue to yourself. My government will protect every 
inch of her territory, her citizens and their property, 
from insult and depredation, regardless of the politi- 
cal revolutions of Europe ; and although she has been 
at all times sedulous to preserve a good understanding 
with all the world, yet she has sacred rights, that can- 
not be trampled upon with impunity. Spain had bet- 
ter look to her own intestine commotions, before she 
walks forth in that majesty of strength and power, 
which you threaten to draw down upon the United 

" Your excellency has been candid enough to admit 
your having supplied the Indians with arms. In ad- 
dition Jto this, I have learned that a British flag has 
been seen flying on one of your forts. All this is done 
whilst you are pretending to be neutral. You cannot 
be surprised, then, but on the contrary will provide a 
fort in your town for my soldiers and Indians, should 
I take it in my head to pay you a visit. 


" In future, I beg you to withhold your insulting 
charges against my government for one more inclined 
to listen to slander than I am ; nor consider me any 
more as a diplomatic character, unless so proclaimed 
to you from the mouths of my cannon." 

Captain Gordon, who had been despatched to Pen- 
sacola, had been enabled, during the time he remained 
there, to obtain much more full and satisfactory infor- 
mation than it had pleased the governor to communi- 
cate. Appearances completely developed the schemes 
which were in agitation, and convinced him that active 
operations were intended shortly to be commenced 
somewhere in the lower country. On his return, he 
reported to the general that he had seen from one hun- , 
dred and fifty to two hundred officers and soldiers, a ^ 
park of artillery, and about five hundred Indians, under 
the drill of British officers, armed with new muskets, 
and dressed in the English uniform. 

Jackson directly brought to the view of the govern- 
ment the information he had received, and again urged 
his favourite scheme, the reduction of Pensacola. 
"How long," he observed, "will the United States 
pocket the reproach and open insults of Spain ? It is 
alone by a manly and dignified course, that we can 
secure respect from other nations, and peace to our 
own. Temporizing policy is not only a disgrace, but 
a curse to any nation. It is a fact that a British cap- 
tain of marines is and has for some time past been en- 
gaged in drilling and organizing the fugitive Creeks, 
under the eye of the governor ; endeavouring, by his 
influence and presents, to draw to his standard as well 


the peaceable as the hostile Indians. If permission 
had been given me to march against this place twenty 
days ago, I would, ere this, have planted there the 
American Eagle; now, we must trust alone to our 
valour, and to the justice of our cause. But my pre- 
sent resources are so limited a sickly climate as well 
35 an enemy to contend with, and without the means 
of transportation to change the position of my army, 
that, resting on the bravery of my little phalanx, I can 
only hope for success." 

Many difficulties -were presented; and, although 
anxious to carry into execution a purpose which 
seemed so strongly warranted by necessity, he saw 
that he was wholly without the power of moving, even 
should he be directed to do so. Acting in a remote 
corner of the union, which was detached and thinly in- 
habited, the credit of his government was inadequate 
to procure those things necessary and essential to his 
operations ; while the poverty of his quarter-master's 
department presented but a dreary prospect for re- 
liance. But to have all things in a state of readiness 
for action, when the time should arrive to authorize it, 
he was directing his attention in the way most likely 
to effect it. The warriors of the different tribes of 
Indians were ordered to be marshalled, and taken into 
the pay of the government. He addressed himself to 
the governors of Tennessee, Louisiana, and the Mis- 
sissippi territory, and pressed them to be vigilant in 
the "discharge of their duties. Information, he said, 
had reached him, which rendered it necessary that all 
the forces allotted for the defence of the seventh mili- 
tary district, should be held in a state of perfect rea- 


diriess, to march at any notice, and to any point they 
might be required. " Dark and heavy clouds hover 
around us. The energy and patriotism of the citizens 
of your states must dispel them. Our rights, our liber- 
ties, and free constitution, are threatened. This noble 
patrimony of our fathers must be defended with th 
best blood of our country : to do this, you must hasten 
to carry into effect the requisition of the secretary of 
war, and call forth your troops, without delay." 

On the day after completing his business at Fort 
Jackson, he had departed for Mobile, to place the 
country in a proper state of defence. The third regi- 
ment, a part of the forty-fourth and thirty-ninth, con- 
stituted entirely the regular forces he could at this 
time command. Many reasons concurred to render it 
necessary that a sufficient force should be brought into 
the field as early as possible. His appeals to the peo- 
ple of Tennessee had been generally crowned with 
success ; and he had no doubt but that he might yet 
obtain from them such assistance as would enable him, 
should any unexpected emergency arise, to act at least 
defensively, until the states already applied to should 
have their quotas ready for the field. On the citizens 
of Louisiana and Mississippi he believed he might se- 
curely rely, and that their ardour would readily excite 
them to contend with an enemy at their very doors. 
Well knowing the delay incident to bringing militia 
requisitions expeditiously forth, and fearing that some 
circumstance might arise to jeopardize the safety of 
the country, before the constituted authorities could 
act, he had already despatched his adjutant-general, 
colonel Butler, to Tennessee, with orders to raise vo- 



lunteers, and have them in readiness to advance to his 
relief, whenever it should be required. 

Every day's intelligence tended to confirm the Be- 
lief that a descent would be made, most probably on 
New Orleans. Anonymous letters, secretly forwarded 
from Pensacola, and which found their way into the 
American camp, suggested this as the point of assault; 
and many of the settlers were apprised by their friends, 
of the fears entertained for their safety, and entreated 
to retire from the gathering storm, which, it was feared, 
WQuld soon burst and entirely involve the lower coun-? 
try in wo and ruin. Where certainly to expect attack, 
was as yet unknown. The part of the country bor- 
dering on Mobile might be assailed ; yet, taking in- 
to consideration that no very immediate or decided 
advantages could be obtained there, it was an event 
not much to be apprehended. The necessity, howev-? 
r, of being prepared at all points, so far as the means 
of defence could be procured, was at once obvious ; 
for, as the general, in one of his letters remarked, 
" there was no telling where or when the spoiler might 


There were now too many reasons to expect an 
early visit, and too many causes to apprehend danger, 
not to desire that an efficient force might be within 
convenient distance. Colonel Butler was accordingly 
written to, and ordered to hasten forward with the 
volunteers he could procure, and to join him with-* 
out delay. The order reached him at Nashville, on 
the 9th of September, and he forthwith engaged ac-, 
tively in its execution. He directly applied to genet 


ral Coffee, to advance with the mounted troops he could 
collect. A general order was at the same time issued, 
bringing to view the dangers that threatened, and so- 
liciting those who were disposed to aid in protecting 
their country from invasion, to unite with him at Fay- 
etteville, by the 28th instant. The appeal was not in- 
effectual : although the scene of operation was at least 
four hundred miles from the point of rendezvous, the 
call was promptly obeyed ; and two thousand able-bo- 
died men, well supplied with rifles andmtiskets, appear- 
ed at the appointed time and place, to march with the 
brave general Coffee, who had so often led his troops 
to victory and honour. Colonel Butler, with his usual 
activity and industry, hastened to meet and press for- 
ward the militia under the command of colonel Lowe- 
ry, which had been heretofore required for garrison- 
ing the posts in the Indian country ; whilst captains 
Baker and Butler, with the regular forces lately enlist- 
ed, advanced from Nashville to Mobile, where they 
arrived in fourteen days. By proper exertions every 
thing was presently in complete readiness ; and the 
troops collected for the campaign, in high spirits, set 
out for the point to which danger, duty, and their coun- 
try called them. 


Colonel Nicholls arrives at Pensacola and issues a proclamation to the 
southern inhabitants. Attack on Fort Bowyer^ and loss of the Her- 
mes. Jackson determines to reduce Pensacola. Demands of the gov- 
ernor an explanation of his conduct ; his answer. Enters and takes 
possession of Pensacola. -Conduct and perfidy of the governor. De- 
struction by the British of Barrancas Fort. Our troops return to Mo- 
bile. Expedition against the Indians. General Winchester arrives, 
and Jackson proceeds to take command of New Orleans. 

WHETHER a force were thus concentrating to act de- 
fensively against an invading enemy, or were intended 
to attack and reduce the rallying point of the Indians 
and British in the Spanish territory, whence they had 
it in their power to make sudden inroads on any part of 
our coast, as yet all was conjecture. It was a trait in 
Jackson's character, to lock closely in his bosom all 
his determinations : it was only to a few, on whom he 
reposed with unlimited confidence, that the least inti- 
mation was at any time given of his intentions. The 
idea could scarcely be entertained, that at this time 
any hostility was meditated against Pensacola. The 
frequent applications he had made to the war depart- 
ment, to be indulged in the execution of this purpose, 
without having obtained any directions or permission 
to do so, had placed a veto on the project, unless he 
should venture to assume and risk it on his own respon- 

It was impossible he should remain long in doubt r 
as to the course best calculated to assure defence, or 


to the ulterior objects of the enemy. Colonel Nicholls, 
with a small squadron of his Britannic majesty's ships, 
had arrived the latter part of August, and taken up 
his head-quarters with governor Manrequez. He was 
an Irishman, sent in advance by his royal master to 
sow dissentions among our people, and to draw around 
his standard the malcontents and traitors of the coun- 
try. His proclamation, issued to the western and 
southern inhabitants, full of well-turned periods, false 
statements, and high sounding promises, it was hoped 
would lead them to a belief, that the government un- 
der which they lived was forging for them chains ; 
that, not to redress any injuries of its own, but through 
the mere dictum of the French emperor, it had de- 
clared war against a power, the freest, the happiest, 
the most moral and religious on earth. He stated, 
that he was at the head of a force amply sufficient to 
reinstate them in those liberties and enjoyments of 
which they had been bereaved, by the designs of " a 
contemptible few." That such as were disposed to 
imbrue their hands in the blood of their countrymen, 
might not quietly rest, doubting of the assurances 
proffered them, he concluded by tendering, as security 
for all he had said and promised, " the sacred honour 
of a British officer."* Perhaps he could have vouch- 
safed nothing that the American people would not 
have sooner relied on : it was a pledge in which past 
experience told them they could not in safety confide. 
To them it was a matter of surprise, that a country 

* See note A, at the end of the volume, where will be found this 
most extraordinary production of a British officer who acted, no 
wider instructions received from his government 


from which they had learned all they had ever known 
or felt of oppression, should come to make them freer 
than they were ; or that, groaning themselves under a 
load of taxes, from which there was scarcely a hope 
of being ever relieved, they should come, with such 
apparent compassion, and great benevolence, to take 
away the burdens of those whom they despised, and 
on whom, for forty years, they had heaped nothing 
but contumely and reproach. Where it was this agent 
of Britain learned, that the citizens of the United 
States complained of burdens, heavily and unjustly 
imposed, we know not ; satisfied, however, are we, that 
it was a murmur never breathed by the people at large. 
They had encountered privations, and borne the " brunt 
of war ;" yet felt no solicitude that it should cease, 
until the assailed honour and independence of their 
country should be secured on a basis firmer than be- 

He had waited about two weeks, that his proclama- 
tion might take effectual hold, and prepare the inhabi- 
tants to open their bosoms to receive him, when this 
delivering hero, aided by his Indian and Spanish allies, 
set out, to ascertain the effect it had wrought. His 
first visit was to Fort Bowyer, situated on the extreme 
end of a narrow neck of land, about eighteen miles 
below the head of Mobile bay, and which commanded 
the entrance. With the loss of one of his ships, and 
an eye, he had the mortification to learn, that he had 
been addressing an incorrigible race, who could be 
neither duped, flattered, nor forced into submission. 

Fort Bowver had been heretofore abandoned ; and, 


until the arrival of general Jackson in this section of 
the country, was indeed ill calculated for serious re- 
sistance. On perceiving its importance, he immedi- 
ately caused it to be placed in the best possible state 
of defence. So effectual was its situation in a military 
point of view, as commanding the passes of those riv- 
ers which discharged themselves into the bay, and 
which opened directly to the Indian country, that it 
was with him a matter of surprise it had not been more 
regarded by the United States, and even better attend- 
ed to by our enemies* 

Major Lawrence had the honour to command this 
spot, the gallant defence of which has given it cele- 
brity, and raised him to an elevated stand in the esti- 
mation of his country. That at Pensacola, plans of 
operation were digesting, which had for their object an 
invasion of our coast somewhere, was a fact to which 
Lawrence was not a stranger. A disposition to have 
his little fortress in such a state of readiness, as would 
place it in his power, should that be their object, to 
make a successful and brave defence, had prompted 
him to the most vigorous exertions. His whole strength 
was but one hundred and thirty men. By this Spar- 
tan band was evinced a confidence in each other, and 
an unshaken resolution, which left their brave comman- 
der no room to apprehend dishonour to his flag, even 
should defeat result. 

The 12th of September determined all doubt of the 
object which the British had in view. The sentinels 
brought intelligence that a considerable force, consist- 
ing of Indians, marines, and Spaniards, had landed ; 


and the same day two brigs and sloops hove in sight 
of the fort, and anchored not far distant. 

The next day a demonstration was made by those 
who had been landed, to bring on the attack ; but a 
fire from the fort forced them from their position, and 
compelled them to retire about two miles ; whence, at- 
tempting to throw up fortifications, they were again 
made to retreat. 


For a few days nothing definitive took place. Early 
on the morning of the 15th, the signals passing from 
the ships to the shore, led Lawrence to believe an as- 
sault was intended, and would shortly be made. At 
half after four o'clock in the evening, every thing be- 
ing arranged, the Hermes, in the van, commanded by 
sir W. H. Percy, and the other vessels close in the 
rear, anchored within musket shot fire of the fort. 
From her near position, supported by the Caron, and 
brigs Sophia and Anaconda, mounting in all ninety 
guns, she opened a broadside. Colonel Nich oils and 
captain Woodbine at the head of their detachment, 
commenced a simultaneous attack by land, with a 
twelve pound howitzer, at point blank distance ; but, 
from their sand bank fortifications they were so quick- 
ly driven as to be unable to produce the slightest in- 

The action raged with considerable violence. From 
the fort and ships was pouring a continual fire. The 
Hermes having at length received a shot through her 
cable, was driven from her anchorage and floated with 
the stream. In this situation she was thrown into a 


position, where, for twenty minutes, she received a se* 
verely raking fire, which did her considerable damage. 
In her disabled condition it was no longer possible to 
controul her, whence, drifting with the current, she 
ran upon a sand bank about seven hundred yards dis- 
tant, where, until late at night, she remained exposed 
to the guns of the fort. Her commander, finding it 
impracticable to be relieved, set her on fire, and aban- 
doned her. She continued burning until eleven o'clock, 
when she blew up. The Caron, next in advance to 
the Hermes, was considerably injured, and with diffi* 
culty went out to sea. 

It is worthy of remark, to show the difference in 
battle, between the two combatants, to mark the con* 
duct of British and American officers, under circum- 
stances precisely similar. Whilst the battle raged, 
the flag of the van ship was carried away, and at this 
moment she had ceased to fire. What had caused its 
disappearance, none could tell : no other opinion was, 
or could with propriety be entertained, than that it 
had been hauled down, with a view to yield the con- 
test, and surrender. Influenced by this belief, Law- 
rence, with a generosity characteristic of our officers, 
immediately desisted from further firing. The appear- 
ance of a new flag, and a broadside from the ship next 
the Hermes, was the first intelligence received that 
such was not the fact; and the contest again raged 
with renewed violence. It was but a few minutes, 
however, before the flag staff of the fort was also car- 
ried away : but so far from pursuing the same gene- 
rous course that had just been witnessed, the zeal of 
the enemy was increased, and the assault more fu- 


riously urged. At this moment, Nicholls and Woodbine, 
at the head of their embattled train, perceiving what 
had happened, that our " starrspangled banner" had 
sunk, at once presuming all danger to have subsided, 
made a most courageous sally from their strong hold ; 
and, pushing towards their vanquished foes, were al- 
ready calculating on a rich harvest of blood and plun- 
der : but a well-directed fire checked their progress, 
dissipated their expectations, and drove them back, 
with a rapidity even surpassing the celerity of their 

Taking into consideration, the inequality of force; 
employed on opposite sides of this contest, it will ap- 
pear a matter of surprise, that the attack should have 
terminated in the way it did ; that it was not attend- 
ed with success to our enemy. This circumstance 
would be a sufficient evidence of the bravery and cor- 
rect conduct of its gallant defenders, where there a 
total absence of all other facts ; but their belief, that 
the best way to avoid disaster was to be in a state of 
readiness to meet it, and a constant assiduity, which 
urged them forward, day and night, that they might 
be in a situation calculated for successful defence, are 
facts remembered, and entitle them to the highest com- 
mendation. From the bay, the attack was waged with 
)a force of six hundred men, and ninety guns, of larger 
caliber than any opposed to them ; whilst upwards of 
four hundred Indians and other troops were on the 
) shore, in rear of the fort Lawrence's strength was 
Scarcely a tenth of the enemy's. His fort, hastily pre- 
ared for defence, with not more than twenty guns, 
ill calculated for stubborn resistance; most of 


these were of small caliber, whilst many, from being 
badly mounted, were capable of rendering no essential 
service in the action : yet, with this great inequality, 
he well maintained the honour of his flag, and com- 
pelled the enemy, resting in full confidence of success, 
to retire, with the loss of their best ship, and two hun- 
dred and thirty men killed and wounded; whilst the 
loss sustained by the Americans did not exceed ten. 

Very different were the feelings of the leaders 
of this expedition, from what had been entertained 
on setting out from Pensacola, where every thing 
had been prepared for giving success to their plans, 
and where scarcely a doubt was entertained of the. 
result Numerous benefits were expected to arise 
from a victory, not in expectancy, but already looked 
to as certain as an event that could not fail. From 
it, greater facility would be given to their operations ; 
while Mobile, it was expected, would fall, of course. 
This being effected, independent of the strong hold 
already possessed in Florida, an additional advantage 
would be acquired, calculated to prevent all inter- 
course with New Orleans, from this section of the 
country, enable them more easily to procure supplies, 
and, having obtained their expected reinforcements, 
piloted and aided by the Indians, to proceed across to 
the Mississippi, and cut off all communication with the 
western states. To render the blow effectual, was im- 
portant ; that, by impressing at once the inhabitants 
with an idea of their strength, and prowess, the pro- 
clamations already disseminated might claim a stronger 
influence on doubting minds. The force employed, 
and its disposition, was calculated to attain these 


wished for results. While the attack should be fu- 
riously waged by the ships from the bay, and the forces 
on the shore* the yells of three or four hundred sa- 
yages in the rear^ it was calculated would strike the 
defenders of this fort with such panic, as to make 
them, at the first onset, throw down their arms, and 
clamour for mercy, This belief was so sanguinely 
indulged, that obstinate resistance had never been 
thought of. Different was the reality instead of tri- 
umph, they had met defeat The only badges of vic- 
tory they could present their friends, with whom, but 
a few days before, with flattering promises they had 
parted, were shattered hulks, that could scarcely keep 
above the water, and decks covered with the dead 
and wounded. 

The three vessels that retired from the contest 
were considerably injured, and with difficulty pro- 
ceeded to sea, leaving Nicholls and Woodbine, with 
their friends and allies, on the shore, to make good 
their retreat, as danger and discretion should permit. 

On the morning of the 14th, Jackson, fearing, from 
every thing he had learned, that an attack would be 
made, had set out in a boat from Mobile, to visit Fort 
Bowyer, examine its situation, and have such arrange- 
ments made as would add to its strength, and obtain 
that security which its re-establishment had been de- 
signed to effect He had proceeded down the bay, 
and arrived within a few miles of the place, when he 
met an express from Lawrence, bringing intelligence 
of the enemy's arrival, and requesting that assistance 
might be immediately sent to his relief. The general 


hastened back, and reaching Mobile late at night, 
spatched a brig, with eighty men, under the command 
of captain Laval. Not being able to reach his point of 
destination, until the next day, and finding every 
place of entrance blocked up by the besiegers, he ran 
his brig to the land, determined to remain there until 
night, when, under cover of its darkness, he hoped to 
succeed in throwing into the fort himself and the re- 
inforcement under his command. The battle, how- 
ever, having in the mean time commenced, presented 
new difficulties, and restrained the execution of his 
purpose, unless he should venture to encounter greater 
hazard than prudence seemed to sanction. The Her- 
mes, on being driven from her anchorage, had, at the 
time of her explosion, floated and grounded in a direo 
tion, which, from the position she occupied, placed 
her immediately in rear of the Fort. This circum- 
stance well accounted for the mistake with which he 
was impressed, and led captain Laval to suppose that 
tyis brave countrymen had all perished. Believing 
they would now attempt to carry his vessel, he set 
sail for Mobile, and reported to the commanding ge- 
neral the destruction and loss that had happened. 
Jackson declared it was impossible; that he had heard 
the explosion, and was convinced it was on the water, 
and not on the shore. Perhaps his great anxiety, 
more than any reality, had constituted this refined and 
essential difference in sound. If, however, the disas- 
ter communicated were as it was reported, his own 
situation being thereby rendered precarious, some- 
thing was necessary to be done to repair the loss, and 
regain a place, for many reasons too important to be 
yielded, His principal fears were, lest the strength 


of the enemy should be greatly increased, before his 
expected reinforcements could arrive, who would be 
thereby enabled to extend his inroads, and paralyze 
the zeal of the country. It was not a time for much 
deliberation as to the course most advisable to be pur- 
sued. He determined at all hazard to retake the fort ; 
and to that end a general order was issued for the 
departure of the troops. Every thing was nearly in 
readiness, when a despatch arrived from Lawrence, 
proclaiming the pleasing intelligence, that all was 
safe, and that the enemy, beaten and vanquished, had 

The conduct displayed by the officers and soldiers 
of this garrison, is worthy to be remembered. With 
troops wholly undisciplined, and against an enemy ten 
times more numerous than themselves, so coolly and 
fearlessly contending, is a circumstance so flattering 
that we cannot wish our country better, than that the 
future defenders of her honour, and violated rights, 
may be as sensibly alive to their duty r and act with a 
like determined bravery. 

The British had now retired to Pensacola, to dis- 
pose of their wounded, refit their vessels, and be ready, 
as soon as circumstances would permit, to make, per- 
haps, another descent, on some less guarded point. So 
long as this, their only place of refuge and retreat on 
the southern coast, was left in their possession, it was 
impossible to calculate on the consequences that might 
arise. The commanding general entertained a suspi- 
cion that this was merely a feint, and that the object 
of their wishes and designs, so soon as a sufficient force 


should arrive, would be New Orleans. At this place, 
he believed his presence most material, to ascertain 
and guard the important passes to the city, and to con- 
cert some system and plan of general defence. His 
feelings, however, would not permit him to depart, and 
leave the settlements on the Mobile open to an attack, 
from forces immediately in the neighbourhood, which 
might reduce them, and thereby gain a position 
whence they might obtain supplies, and be placed 
nearer the ultimate point, against which, most proba- 
bly, their views were intended to be directed. His 
regret was indeed great, that time after time, without 
the least success, he had urged and entreated his go- 
vernment for permission to take possession of a place 
where so many dangers threatened, and where every 
assistance and encouragement was afforded the Bri- 
tish ; and that regret was increased, now, when he saw 
the very evils engendering and springing into exist- 
ence, to which he had so often endeavoured to draw 
their attention, and which were jeopardizing the safe* 
ty of the whole lower country. To him the defence 
of this district had been entrusted : it was incumbent 
on him to render a just account of his stewardship, 
and zealously to support his well-earned reputation. 
Unless Pensacola were reduced, it was vain to think 
of defending the country: it would be involved in 
ruin, himself in disgrace. Anxiously concerned for 
the general good, he could discern no channel through 
which safety was to be effected, than by hazarding, on 
his own responsibility, the reduction of this place, a 
rendezvous for the enemy. 

Jackson and his government had ever viewed this 


subject iii very different lights : they were not willing 
to risk any act which might involve the possibility of 
a contest with Spain, for the sake of removing what 
they considered an unimportant grievance : he thought 
it of more serious import, and did not believe it could 
afford even a pretext for rupture between the two na- 
tions. If Spain, through her agents, gave assistance 
and aid to our enemy, or permitted and encouraged a 
power with whom she was at peace to be thus harass- 
ed and annoyed, she deserved to be placed herself, on 
the list of enemies, and treated accordingly. If, how- 
ever, Great Britain, taking advantage of the defence- 
less state of her province, claimed to have free egress, 
in exclusion of her authority, she could have no well- 
founded cause of complaint against the injured power, 
which should claim to hold it, until such time as, by 
bringing a sufficient force, she might be in a situation 
to support her neutrality, and enforce obedience to 
her laws. Upon either ground, he believed it might 
be sufficiently justified. There was one, however, on 
which it could be placed, where he well knew nothing 
could result, beyond his own injury ; and on this issue 
he was willing to trust it. If any complaint should be 
made, his government, having never extended to him 
any authority, might, with propriety, disavow the act ; 
and, by exposing him to censure and punishment, 
would offer an atonement for the outrage, and Spain, 
in justice, could demand no more. The attack on Mor 
bile point was a confirmation of his previous conjec- 
tures, as to the views of the enemy ; and, from that 
moment he determined to advance against and rer 
duce Pensacola, throw a sufficient force in the Bar- 
rapcas, hold them until the principles of right 


neutrality were better respected, and rest the measure 
on his own responsibility. Believing this the only 
course calculated to assure ultimate security, he de- 
cided with firmness, and resolved to execute his in- 
tentions so soon as general Coffee should arrive, with 
the volunteers, from Tennessee. 

It was now rumoured, and generally accredited, that 
a very considerable force would shortly sail from En- 
gland, destined to act against some part of the United 
States ; where, none knew, or could tell ; rumour, and 
public opinion, fixed its destination for New Orleans. 
The importance of this place was well known to our 
enemy ; it was the key to the entire commerce of the 
western country. Had a descent been made on it a 
few months before, it might have been taken with all 
imaginable ease ; but the British had confidently in- 
dulged the belief, that they could possess it at any 
time, without much difficulty. England and France 
having ended their long-pending controversy, it was 
presumed that the French people of Louisiana, sensi- 
bly alive to the great benefits the English had con- 
ferred upon their native country, benefits that pros- 
trated her liberty, and which have sunk her, perhaps, 
in eternal slavery, would, on their first appearance, 
hail their deliverers, and at once become their vas- 
sals. Independent of this, they imagined the black 
population would afford them the means of exciting 
insurrection and massacre, and deluging the country 
in blood. Whether a resort to this kind of warfare, 
which involves the deepest wretchedness, and equally 
exposes to ruin the innocent as the guilty, the fe- 
male as the soldier, should be sanctioned by a nation 


professing a high sense of moral feeling ; or whether 
a nation that adopts such a system, merits countenance 
from the civilized world, are questions on which we 
should not fear the decision even of an Englishman, 
could he but divest himself of that animosity and ha- 
tred, which, from infancy, he learns to entertain for 
the Americans. To this, and many other acts equally 
in violation of the rules that should govern honour- 
able warfare, may be traced the cause of those deep- 
rooted inveteracies in the breasts of our citizens, to- 
wards those of England, which time, and a different 
course of conduct, can alone remove. Why such hos- 
tility has been practised towards us, it is difficult to 
determine; unless the crime of the revolution, if it 
were one, to rise in opposition to the oppression and 
despotism under which we then groaned, has disposed 
them to visit the sins of the father upon the child, 
with a determination they shall never be forgiven or 
forgotten. Certain it is, that the United States have 
received a greater number of insults and injuries from 
this power, than from all the nations of the earth to- 
gether; the hoary locks of a father, torn on by the 
merciless Indian, the innocent, helpless female, bleed- 
ing by savage torture, and the unoffending babe, 
dragged from the beating bosom of its mother, and 
butchered in her sight, are cruelties that can be traced 
to British influence : yet these people and ourselves 
are descended from the same fathers speak the same 
language are governed by the same laws and are 
similar in manners and customs. But to inquire into 
the causes of national feeling, belongs not to the his- 
torian ; it is his duty only to detail facts. The w?r is 
over ; peace is restored ; and the two nations, and their 


citizens, by a mutual respect, and forbearance towards 
each other, should endeavour to promote that friend- 
ship and intercourse, which it is evidently the interest 
of both to preserve, and which, we hope, may be last- 

The expected reinforcements were now announced. 
General Coffee, with his brigade, had arrived and halt- 
ed at the cut off, not far from Fort St. Stephens, on the 
Mobile river. In addition to the force with which he 
commenced his march, he had been strengthened by 
the arrival of others, who had followed and overtaken 
him at this place ; so that his whole number was now 
about twenty-eight hundred. To make the necessary 
arrangements for an immediate march, general Jack- 
son, on the 26th day of October, repaired to Coffee's 
camp. A dependence on himself to further the ob- 
jects of the government and the cause of the country, 
had been his constant lot from the commencement of 
his military career ; and a similar resort or failure to 
the enterprise, was now to be assayed. Money was 
wanted the quarter-masters were destitute of funds, 
and the government credit was insufficient to procure 
the necessary means to change the position of an ar- 
my: thus situated, with his own limited funds, and 
loans effected on his credit and responsibility, he suc- 
ceeded in carrying his plans into effect, and in hasten- 
ing his army to the place of its destination. 

The difficulty of subsisting cavalry on the route, 
rendered it necessary that part of the brigade should 
proceed on foot. Although they had volunteered in 
the service as mounted men, and expected that no 


ferent disposition would be made of them, yet they 
cheerfully acquiesced in the order : and one thousand 
abandoning their horses to subsist as they could on 
the reeds that grew along the river bottoms, prepared to 
commence the march. Being supplied with rations for 
the trip, on the 2d day of November the line of march 
was taken up, and Pensacola was reached on the 6th. 
The British and Spaniards had obtained intelligence 
of their approach and intended attack; and every 
thing was in readiness to dispute their passage to the 
town. The forts were garrisoned, and prepared for 
resistance ; batteries formed in the principal streets ; 
and the British vessels moored within the bay, and so 
disposed as to command the main entrances which led 
into Pensacola. 

The American army, consisting of the greater part 
of Coffee's brigade, the regulars, and a few Indians, in 
all about three thousand men, had arrived within a mile 
and a half of this rallying point for our enemies, and 
formed their encampment. Before any final step was 
taken, the general concluded to make a further appli- 
cation to the governor, and to learn of him what course 
at the present moment he would make it necessary 
for him to pursue. To take possession of Pensacola, 
and dislodge the British, was indispensable : to do it 
Under such circumstances, however, as should impress 
the minds of the Spaniards with a conviction, that the 
invasion of their territory was a measure resorted to 
from necessity, not choice, and from no disposition to 
infringe or violate their neutral rights, was believed to 
be essential. It was rendered the more so, on the 
part of Jackson, because a measure of his own and not 


sanctioned or directed by his government. Previous- 
ly, therefore, to having recourse to any act of open 
war, he determined once more to try the effect of ne- 
gotiation, that he might ascertain certainly and cor- 
rectly how far the governor felt disposed to preserve 
a good understanding between the two governments, j 

Major Piere, of the forty-fourth regiment, was ac- 
cordingly despatched with a flag, to disclose the ob- 
jects intended to be attained by the visit, and to re- 
quire that the different forts, Barrancas, St. Rose, and 
St. Michael, should be immediately surrendered, to 
be garrisoned and held by the United States, until 
Spain, by furnishing a sufficient force, might be able to 
protect the province and preserve unimpaired her neu- 
tral character. He was charged by the general with 
a candid and explicit statement of his views, and in- 
structed to require of the governor a decisive and po- 
sitive declaration of the course he intended to pursue. 

This mission experienced no very favourable result 
Major Piere, on approaching St. Michael's, was fired 
on and compelled to return. Whether this were done 
by the Spaniards themselves, or by their allies and 
friends who were sojourning with them, was not a ma- 
terial inquiry. The Spanish flag was displayed on the 
fort, and under it the outrage was committed : though 
it was a fact well ascertained, that until the day before 
the British flag had been also associated : this, on the 
arrival of Jackson, had been removed, and the colours 
of Spain left, which were designed to afford protec- 
tion to our enemies, and a pretext for every injury. 
This conduct, so unexpected and unprovoked, and 


withal so directly in opposition to the principles and 
practice of civilized warfare, might have well determin- 
ed the general to abstain from further forbearance, and 
to proceed immediately in the accomplishment of his 
views : but a consciousness, that although the reduc- 
tion of this place was required by circumstances of the 
highest necessity, yet fearing it might be blazoned 
around to his prejudice, and particularly that it might 
become a cause of national difficulty, he was prompt- 
ed to act with every possible deliberation and caution. 
A sense of humanity, too, towards these people, who, 
he was satisfied, were acting not from any choice or 
discretion of their own, but by the authority of the 
British, induced a wish that the objects of his visit 
might be effected without any material injury to them. 
Determining, therefore, to understand the governor 
fully, previously to proceeding to extremities, he again 
despatched a letter to him, not by any of his officers, 
for after such perfidy he was unwilling, and felt it un- 
safe to risk them, but by a Spanish corporal, who had 
been taken on the route the day before. By him, it 
was required to be known, why the former application 
which had been made, instead of being met with a be- 
coming spirit of conciliation, had been insulted. In 
answer, he received from the governor a confirmation 
of the opinion he had previously entertained, that what 
had been done was not properly chargeable on him. 
but the English ; that he had no agency in the trans- 
action of which he complained, and assured him of his 
perfect willingness to receive any overtures he might 
be pleased to make. This was joyful tidings ; and no 
time was to be lost in meeting the offer. If negotia- 
tion should place in his hands the different fortresses, 


before information of it could be had by the British 
shipping lying in the bay, the outward channel would 
be effectually stopped, and the means of their escape 
entirely cut off. Major Piere was accordingly sent off, 
at a late hour of the night, to detail to the governor the 
reasons which had rendered the present descent pro- 
per ; and to insist on the conditions already noticed, as 
alone calculated to assure safety to the United States, 
and give protection to the provinces of Florida. He 
was particularly instructed to impress on his consi- 
deration the most friendly sentiments, and to assure 
him that a re-surrender would be made so soon as 
Spain, by the arrival of a sufficient force, could protect 
her territory from the inroads of a power at war with 
the United States ; and which, through an opening thus 
afforded to a violation of the neutrality of Spain, was 
enabled, and had already done her considerable injury. 
In his communication to the governor, he remarks, " I 
come not as the enemy of Spain ; not to make war, 
but to ask for peace ; to demand security for my coun- 
try, and that respect to which she is entitled and must 
receive. My force is sufficient, and my determi- 
nation taken, to prevent a future repetition of the 
injuries she has received. I demand, therefore, the 
possession of the Barrancas, and other fortifications, 
with all your munitions of war. If delivered peace- 
ably, the whole will be receipted for and become the 
subject of future arrangement by our respective go- 
vernments ; while the property, laws, and religion of 
your citizens shall be respected. But if taken by an 
appeal to arms, let the blood of your subjects be upon 
your own head. I will not hold myself responsible 
for the conduct of my enraged soldiers. One hour is 


given you for deliberation, when your determination 

must be had." 


The council was called, and the propositions made, 
considered, when the conclusion was taken that they 
could not be acceded to. As soon as the answer w^as 
received, showing that nothing peaceably could be ef- 
fected, Jackson resolved to urge his army forward; 
and, immediately commencing his march, proceeded 
to the accomplishment of his object, -determined to 
effect it, in despite of danger, and of consequences. 

Early on the morning of the 7th, the army was in 
motion. To foster the idea, that he would march and 
reach the town along the road, on which he was en- 
camped, a detachment of five hundred men was sent 
forward, with orders to show themselves in this direc- 
tion, that they might amuse and deceive the enemy ; 
while, urging rapidly on, with the strength of his army, 
Tie was gaining Pensacola at a different and unexpect- 
ed point. This stratagem succeeded : the British, 
looking for his appearance where the detachment was 
seen, had formed their vessels across the bay, and 
were waiting his approach, with their guns properly 
bearing : nor had they an intimation to the contrary, 
until our troops were descried upon the beach, on the 
east side, where they were at too great a distance to 
be annoyed from the flotilla; and whence, pushing for- 
ward, they were presently in the streets, and under 
cover of the houses. 

One company, from the third regiment of infantry, 
with two field pieces, formed the advance, led by cap- 


tain Laval, who fell, severely wounded, while, at the 
head of his command, he was charging a Spanish bat- 
tery, formed in the street The left column, com- 
posed of the regular troops, the third, thirty-ninth, and 
forty-fourth regiments, headed by majors Woodruff 
and Piere, formed the left, next the bay. The dis- 
mounted volunteers proceeded down the street, next 
the regulars: Coffee's brigade next, on their right: 
the Mississippi dragoons, commanded by colonel 
Hinds, and the Choctavv Indians by major Blue, of the 
thirty-ninth, advanced on the extreme right of all. 
Captain Laval's party, although deprived of their 
leader, moved forward, and, at the point of the bayo- 
net, took possession of the battery in their front. So 
quickly was this effected, that the Spaniards had it in 
their power to make but three fires, before they were 
forced to abandon it. From behind the houses and gar- 
den fences, were constant vollies of musketry discharg- 
ed, until the regulars arriving, met the Spaniards, and 
drove them from their positions. The governor, panic 
struck, trembling for the safety of his city, and remem- 
bering the declaration of the general, that, if driven 
to extremes, he should not attempt to restrain, or hold 
himself responsible for his enraged soldiers, hastened, 
bearing a flag in his hand, to find the commander, and 
seek to stay the carnage. He was met by colonels 
Williamson and Smith, at the head of the dismounted 
troops, when, with faltering speech, he entreated that 
mercy might be extended, and promised to consent to 
whatever terms might be demanded of him. 

General Jackson had stopped for a moment at the 
place where Laval had fallen, and was at this time in 



the rear. Receiving information that an offer had 
been made by the governor, to comply with every 
demand heretofore made on him, he hastened to the 
intendant house, and obtained a confirmation of what 
had previously been communicated to him, that the 
town, arsenals, and munitions of war, and in fact what- 
ever was required, should immediately and without 
delay be surrendered. 

The British vessels remained in the bay ; with the 
aid of their boats, by which a nearer and more conir 
manding situation was obtained, they continued to fire 
upon our troops, as, passing along the principal streets 
and avenues, they could get them in the range of their 
guns. Lieutenant Call, perceiving some of their boats 
attempting to occupy a more advantageous position, 
advanced to the beach with a single piece of artillery, 
where, suddenly unmasking himself from a hill, ex- 
posed, and uncovered, he commenced a brisk and 
well-aimed fire, which drove them back to a respect- 
ful distance. 

No time was lost by general Jackson in procuring 
what was considered by him, of vital importance the 
surrender of the forts. Although greater benefits 
would have been derived, had the success of negotia- 
tion placed them privately in his hands, without its 
being previously known to his enemies, yet even now 
their possession was not to be neglected. Their oc- 
cupancy was necessary still to his own security to 
check any design that might be in agitation. What 
was the force opposed to him ; at what moment rein- 
forcements might appear off Pensacola, and thereby 


give an entire change to things, as they at present 
existed, were matters of which no certain idea could 
be formed. To possess the Barrancas, which lay four- 
teen miles to the west, was a consideration of the first 
importance; still, until the town and its fortresses 
were secured, it was improper to withdraw the army 
to so great a distance. 

Notwithstanding the assurances given by the go- 
vernor, that all differences would be accommodated, 
and every thing insisted on agreed to, Fort St Michael 
was still withheld. Captain Dinkins was ordered to 
take post on Mount St. Bernard, form his batteries, 
and reduce it. He was in a situation to act, when the 
commandant, colonel Sotto, ordered his flag taken 
down, and the fort to be surrendered. 

It is curious to observe the treachery of the Spa- 
niards, and the unpardonable method they took to in- 
dulge their rancour and spleen. Previously to strik- 
ing his colours, the commandant at St. Michael had 
asked permission to discharge his guns ; to this there 
could be no objection, and the indulgence was readily 
extended ; but, faithless and cowardly, he levelled and 
fired his pieces, charged with grape, at a party of 
dragoons and Choctaw Indians, who were at a small 
distance, which killed three horses and wounded two 
men. Such unpardonable conduct, independent of 
other wrongs and injuries already noticed, might have 
justified any treatment; the destruction of the gar- 
rison would not have been an unmerited chastisement. 
The general was on his way to Mount St. Bernard, 
where his artillery was planted, when he received in- 


telligence of what had been done. He determined no 
longer to confide in persons so faithless, and whose only 
object seemed to deceive, but at once to make the sword 
the arbiter between them. His cannon were already 
turned towards the fort, the resolution taken to batter 
it down, and carry it by storm, when it was announced 
by the officer he had left in command at Pensacola, 
that the capitulation had been agreed on, and a sur- 
render would be made in half an hour. Sensible of 
the delicate situation in which he was placed, and 
desirous to spare the effusion of blood, he forbore to 
obey that impulse their unwarrantable conduct had so 
justly excited, and forthwith despatched captain Din- 
kins to insist on an immediate delivery ; at the same 
time giving him directions to carry it by storm if the 
demand was not instantly complied with. 

Difficulties promised thus peaceably to terminate. 
The day was far spent, and the general greatly indis- 
posed ; until the next morning therefore, no step could 
be taken to obtain possession of the Barrancas. On 
the credit of the governor's promises, made first on 
their entrance into the town, the principal part of the 
army had been ordered a short distance out. Under- 
standing, at St. Bernard, that what had been required 
would be done, and that no further delay would be 
met, the general had set out to the encampment, leav- 
ing major Piere behind, with a sufficient force to pre- 
serve every thing in safety and quietness. He was 
-astonished, early in the morning, to learn that the offi- 
cer despatched to St. Michael, the preceding evening, 
Jhad, on his arrival, been threatened to be fired on by 
-colonel Sotto : possession, however, was yielded, on 


being made to understand, that if the fort were not 
delivered instantly, and without further parley, it 
would be carried forcibly, and the garrison put to the 
sword. A capitulation was now agreed on : Pensacola, 
and the different fortresses, were to be retained, until 
Spain could better maintain her authority ; while the 
rights and privileges of her citizens were to be re- 
garded and respected. 

Every thing was in readiness, on the following day, 
to march and take possession of Barrancas fort. The 
faithless conduct of yesterday had determined Jackson 
on the execution of his plans ; nor longer to confide in 
Spaniards' promises ; but on reaching the place to 
carry it by force, if it were not immediately surrender- 
ed. Major Piere was ordered to give the command 
of the city to colonel Hayne, and report himself at 
camp, to accompany him on the march ; previously, 
however, to retiring, to require of the governor to exe- 
cute an authority to the commandant of the fort, to 
deliver it; and, in the event he would not comply im- 
mediately, to arrest him, and every public officer, and 
hold them as prisoners. The order for its deliyery 
had been signed, and the line of march ready to be 
taken up, to advance and receive it,- peaceably, if 
the order would effect it forcibly, if not when a 
tremendous explosion in that direction, followed by 
two others, in quick succession, excited the apprehen- 
sion that all was destroyed. To ascertain, certainly, 
whence the noise had proceeded, major Gales, a volun- 
teer aid, was despatched, with two hundred men, to 
reconnoitre and obtain intelligence. He presently 
returned, and confirmed what had been previously 


apprehended, that the fort was blown up, and that 
the British shipping had retired from the bay. 

Although the repairing this place might be produc- 
tive of numerous advantages, as keeping the enemy, 
during the expected descent on the lower country, 
from having in their possession a point where they 
might prepare their expeditions, and where, in de- 
spite of every vigilance that could be used, they might 
obtain ample supplies ; yet, inasmuch as the act was 
unauthorized by his government, Jackson felt himself 
restrained from incurring any expense for the re- 
establishment of what had been thus treacherously de- 
stroyed. Though disappointed in the object he had 
principally in view, he nevertheless believed that some 
of the benefits intended and expected would result. 
This strong hold, which had so long given protection 
to the southern hostile savages, and where they had 
been excited to acts of war and cruelty, was assailed, 
and the Indians taught that even here, safety was not 
to be found. The valour and good conduct of his 
troops had impressed on the minds of the Spaniards 
a respect for the character of his country, which, hith- 
erto, they had not entertained ; and the British, by be- 
ing dislodged, were prevented from maturing and set- 
tling those plans which were to give efficacy to their 
future operations against the southern section of the 
Union : but, as the means of maintaining and defending 
it were destroyed, it was unnecessary to think of garri- 
soning and attempting to hold it. It was accordingly 
concluded to re-deliver all that had been surrendered, 
and retire to Fort Montgomery. Jackson w r as the 
more disposed to adopt this course from a belief that 


the British, who had sailed out of the bay, would pro- 
bably make their way to Fort Bowyer, and, with a 
knowledge of the principal strength of the army being 
away, seek to aim a blow somewhere on the Mobile. 
An express was immediately hastened to colonel 
Sparks, who had been left in command at this place, 
announcing what had transpired, suggesting appre- 
hensions for his safety, and notifying him, in the event 
of an attack, to endeavour to parry the danger until 
the regular troops, who would be urged forward with 
every industry, should arrive to support him. 

Two days after entering the town, he abandoned it 
Previously to retiring, he wrote to governor Manre- 
quez ; and, after stating to him the causes which had in- 
duced him, justifiably, as he believed, to enter his ter- 
ritory, he thus concluded : " As the Barrancas and the 
adjacent fortresses have been surrendered to and 
blown up by the British, contrary to the good faith I 
had reposed in your promises, it is out of my power 
to protect and guard your neutrality, as otherwise I 
should have done. The enemy has retreated; the 
hostile Creeks have fled for safety to the forest; and I 
now retire from your town, leaving you to re-occupy 
your forts, and protect the rights of your citizens." 

Much is due not only to the calmness and intrepidi- 
ty of conduct displayed by the troops in their advance 
on the town, against the batteries that were formed in 
the streets, the fort, and the fleet lying in the bay, but 
much more for their orderly, open, and generous con- 
duct towards a people who had wholly outraged every 
principle of correct conduct; and who, even at the 


moment when the sword was made the appeal, and the 
blow they merited only stayed by humanity, were still 
pursuing a course of faithlessness and treachery, and 
clearly evincing a disposition to aid and assist our ene- 
mies : yet, under such circumstances, which certainly 
would have warranted a less lenient course towards 
them, not a single irregularity was committed, or the 
rights of individuals at all molested. So exemplary 
was the deportment of our officers, and the conduct of 
our soldiers, as to extort high compliments from the 
Spaniards, and to induce the declaration that our In- 
dians had behaved with more decency and propriety 
than their friends, with whom they had just parted. 
When we remember, what is undeniably the fact, that 
the British had be^n always well received by the inha- 
bitants of Florida, who had rendered them every as- 
sistance and protection in their power; and who, from 
their disposition to aid them, had even brought diffi- 
culties upon themselves, ingratitude and injustice may 
be well charged upon them, when it is recollected that 
these friends, who had been so well regarded, on re- 
treating from Pensacola, carried off three or four hun- 
dred slaves, not their own, in despite of the remon- 
strances and repeated demands of the owners to have 
them restored. 

Our loss in this expedition was quite inconsider- 
able. The left column alone met resistance, and had 
fifteen or twenty wounded none killed. It appears, 
indeed, strange, that three heavy pieces of artillery, 
charged with grape and canister, and three times fired 
against a column advancing through a narrow street, 
should not have effected greater injury. Of the num.- 


ber wounded, was lieutenant Flournoy, a promising 
young man, who, having gone out as a volunteer, was, 
on account of his merit, promoted to a lieutenancy in 
the forty-fourth United States' regiment. By a cannon 
shot he lost his leg. Captain Laval being too danger- 
ously injured to be removed, was confided by the ge- 
neral to the clemency of the governor of Pensacola, 
who humanely gave him that attention his situation 

The Indian warriors, who had taken refuge in Pen- 
sacola, finding themselves abandoned by the British, 
fled across the country, and sought safety on the Ap- 
palachicola : many were afforded shelter on board the 
shipping, from which they were shortly afterwards 
landed, to prosecute the war after their own manner, 
and in their own way. Jackson determined they 
should have no rest, or respite from danger, so long 
as a warlike attitude was preserved. Recent events 
had shown them, that neither the valour of their al- 
lies, nor their own exertions, could afford them pro- 
tection. He believed it an auspicious moment to pur- 
sue them in their retreat ; increase still further their 
fears and apprehensions; and effectually cut up that 
misplaced confidence, which had already well nigh 
proved their ruin. Understanding that those who 
had been carried off from Pensacola had been landed 
on the Appalachicola, and a depot of all necessary 
supplies there established, major Blue, of the thirty- 
ninth regiment, was sent off, on the 16th, at the head 
of a thousand mounted men, with orders tofollow and 
attack them, and destroy any of their villages he might 
find on his route. General JVMntosh, of the Georgia 


militia, then in the Creek country, was apprized of the 
destination, and directed to co-operate, that the savages 
might be assailed and dispersed, before they should 
have it in their power to attempt hostilities against the 
frontiers. Having effected this object, they were or- 
dered to repair to Mobile, to aid in its defence. 

Shortly after the American army had retired, the 
Spaniards commenced rebuilding Forts Barrancas and 
St. Rose, which they had lost through the improper 
interference of their friends. Anxious to regain that 
confidence they had justly forfeited, the British offer- 
ed their services to assist in the re-establishment. 
This offer was refused, and an answer returned by 
the governor, that when assistance was in fact need- 
ed, he would make application to his friend general 

There was nothing now so much desired by the 
general, as to be able to depart for New Orleans, where 
he apprehended the greatest danger, and where he 
believed his presence was most material. He had al- 
ready effected a partial security for Mobile, and the 
inhabitants on its borders ; and such as he believed 
might be preserved, by proper vigilance and activity 
in those who were left in command. He determined 
to set out on the 22d for the Mississippi ; and, by his 
exertions, seek to place the country in such a situation 
for defence as the means within his reach would per- 
mit. His health was still delicate, which almost wholly 
unfitted him for the duties he had to encounter : but 
his constant expectation of a large force appearing 
soon on the coast, impelled him to action. Added to 


the fatigues incident to his station, he as yet had no 
brigadier-general in his district to relieve him of many 
of those duties which he had neither time nor bodily 
strength to meet. General Winchester had been or- 
dered to join him. He had not yet arrived, but was 
daily looked for. In expectation of his speedy ap- 
proach, Jackson was making every necessary arrange- 
ment for investing him with the command of Mobile, 
and for his own departure. Colonel Hayne, the in- 
spector-general, was despatched to the mouth of the 
Mississippi to examine whether in that direction there 
were any eligibl^site, where, by erecting batteries, the 
river might be commanded, and an ascent prevented, 
if through this route attempted. General Coffee and 
colonel Hinds, with the dragoons from the territory, 
were ordered to march with their commands, and take 
a position as convenient to New Orleans as they could 
obtain a sufficiency of forage to recruit their horses ; 
having regard to some central point, whence they 
might, without loss of time, proceed wherever danger 
should be most imminent Every thing being arranged, 
and intelligence received that general Winchester had 
reached the Alabama river, Jackson, on the 22d da} r of 
November, left Mobile for the city of New Orleans, 
where he arrived on the 1st of December; and where 
his head-quarters were, for the present, established. 


Jackson's correspondence with the governor of Louisiana. Hi* address 
to the citizens. -^-Militia from Tennessee and Kentucky advance ; and 
general plans adopted for defence. -Plan for filling delinquencies in 
the army. British shipping arrive on the coast. Loss of the Sea 
fforse. Battle on the lake, and loss of the gun boats. Jackson re- 
views the militia. His address to them. Detention of his flag. 
Anecdote. Expresses sent to generals Coffee and Carroll. Declara- 
tion of martial law at JVetw Orleans. The British effect a landing, 
and Jackson prepares to meet them. 

GENERAL JACKSON was now on a new theatre, and 
soon to be brought in collision with an enemy dif- 
ferent from any he had yet encountered : the time 
had arrived to call forth all the energies he possessed. 
His military career, from its commencement, had been 
obstructed by innumerable difficulties, but far greater 
were now rising to his view. His body worn down 
by sickneSs and exhaustion, with a mind constantly 
alive to the apprehension, that, with the means given 
him, it would not be in his power to satisfy his own 
wishes, and the expectations of his country, \vere 
circumstances well calculated to depress him. He was 
as yet without sufficient strength or preparation, to 
attempt successful opposition against the numerous 
and well-trained troops which were expected shortly 
at some unprepared point, to enter and lay waste the 
lower country. What was to be hop^d from the cle- 
mency and generous conduct of such a foe, their march 
to the city of Washington already announced ; while 


the imagination portrayed in lively colours the repeti- 
tion, here, of scenes of desolation even surpassing 
what had there been witnessed. 

Louisiana, he well knew, was ill supplied with arms, 
and contained a mixed population, of different tongues, 
who, perhaps, felt not a sufficient attachment for the 
soil or government, to be induced to defend them to the 
last extremity. No troops, arms, or ammunition had 
yet descended from the states of Kentucky and Ten- 
nessee. His only reliance for defence, if suddenly as- 
sailed, was on the few regulars he had, the volunteers 
of general Coffee, and such troops as the state itself 
could furnish. What might be the final result of things, 
under prospects gloomy as the present, should an 
enemy shortly appear, was not a matter difficult to 
conjecture. His principal fears at present were, that 
Mobile might fall, the left bank of the Mississippi be 
gained, all communication with the western states cut 
off, and New Orleans be thus unavoidably reduced. 
Although continually agitated by such forebodings, he 
breathed his fears to none. Closely locking all ap- 
prehensions in his own breast, he appeared constantly 
serene, and as constantly endeavoured to impress a 
general belief, that the country could and would be 
successfully defended. The manifestation of such 
tranquillity, and his avowed certainty of success, under 
circumstances so unpropitious, excited strong hopes, - 
dispelled every thing like fear, and impressed all with 
additional confidence. 

With the remnant of force he had at command, and 
the additional strength to be afforded him from Ken- 


tucky and Tennessee, uncertain in its arrival, undisci- 
plined, and unarmed, to oppose an enemy who might 
be already on the coast, and of whose exceeding va- 
lour great and wondrous stories had been already told, 
might have sunk into inaction any mind not gifted 
with uncommon and extraordinary energy, and made it 
to retire from a contest, where seemingly insurmount- 
able difficulties but rendered delusive every hope of 
resistance : yet, firm and resolute, an increase of diffi- 
culties but occasioned an increase of exertion, and he 
entered on his forlorn undertaking with no other de- 
termination than to leave nothing unassayed that 
might enable him to ride out the threatening storm in 

While engaged in his operations on the Mobile, and 
even while at Fort Jackson, he had kept up a corre- 
spondence with the governor of Louisiana, persuading 
and urging him to the adoption of such measures as 
might be calculated to give security to the state. From 
the information derived through this source, he felt 
assured that little reliance was to be placed on the 
great body of the citizens ; and that to gain any deci- 
sive advantages from their services, it would be ne- 
cessary to abandon every thing like temporizing po- 
licy, and pursue a course at once steady and unwaver- 
ing. Many of the inhabitants, indulging a belief that 
Florida would shortly be restored to Spain ; and a still 
greater number tremblingly alive to the opinion that 
the country could not be successfully defended, had 
led most well designing men astray ; while English- 
men, Spaniards, and innumerable other foreigners, 
feeling no attachment to the government under which 


they lived, were, at any time, ready to surrender it to 
any power that might venture to invade it. The re- 
quisition made, had been badly filled ; many had ab- 
solutely refused, even after being drafted, to enter the 
ranks. At so eventful a crisis as that which was fast 
approaching, it was painful to discover so great a want 
of union and disregard of duty, in those very persons 
upon whom he would be compelled to rely, on any sud- 
den emergency. This reluctance to entering the field, 
there was a propriety in putting down, that the good 
might not be led astray from privileges usurped by 
the designing ; and to convince the disaffected that 
those who shared the care and protection of the go- 
vernment, were, and should be, under obligations to 
defend it, when required. 

Governor Claiborne had been addressed on this 
subject; and, while the necessity of discouraging every 
improper temper of mind among his citizens was in- 
sisted on, he was exhorted to use his exertions in 
guarding every pass from the city, that the enemy, 
hovering in the gulf, might not obtain supplies from 
the shore. " I regret," said he, " to hear of the dis- 
contents of your people : they must not exist. Who- 
ever is not for us, is against us. Those who are drafted 
must be compelled to the ranks, or punished : it is no 
time to balance : the country must be defended ; and 
he who refuses to aid, when called on, must be treated 
with seventy. To repel the danger with which we 
are assailed, requires all our energies, and all our ex- 
ertions. With union on our side, we shall be able to 
drive our invaders back to the ocean. Summon all 
your energy, and guard every avenue with confiden- 


tial patroles, for spies and traitors are swarming around. 
Numbers will be flocking to your city, to gain infor- 
mation, and corrupt your citizens. Every aid in your 
power must be given to prevent vessels sailing with 
provisions. By us, the enemy must not be fed. Let 
none pass ; for on this will depend our safety, until we 
can get a competent force in the field, to oppose at- 
tack, or to become the assailants. We have more to 
dread from intestine, than open and avowed enemies : 
but, vigilance on our side, and all will be safe. Re- 
member, our watch word is victory or death. Our 
country must and shall be defended. We will enjoy 
our liberty, or perish in the last ditch." 

He forwarded, at the same time, an address to the 
people of Louisiana, and endeavoured to excite them 
to a defence of their rights and liberties, and to raise 
in their minds an abhorrence of an enemy, who, by 
proclamation, and dishonourable stratagem, had sought 
to promote disunion, and to draw the disaffected to 
their standard. He pointed out the course the present 
Crisis required them to adopt, and entreated them not 
to be lured from their fidelity to a country, of all 
others, the freest and happiest, by uniting with a 
foe, who sought a furtherance of his views, by the 
most disreputable pretences by courting the friend- 
ship and aid of even traitors, pirates, and robbers. 

" Your government, Louisianians, is engaged in a 
just and honourable contest, for the security of your 
individual, and her national rights. The only country 
on earth, where man enjoys freedom, where its bless- 
ings are alike extended to the poor and rich, calls on 


you to protect her from the grasping usurpation of 
Britain : she will not call in vain. I know that eve- 
ry man, whose bosom beats high at the proud title 
of freeman, will promptly obey her voice, and rally 
round the eagles of his country, resolved to rescue 
her from impending danger, or nobly to die in her de- 
fence. He who refuses to defend his rights, when call- 
ed on by his government, deserves to be a slave 
deserves to be punished, as an enemy to his country a 
friend to her foes." 

The minds of the people of Louisiana were thus 
gradually turned to consider of the contest, in which 
it was certainly expected they were shortly to be en- 
gaged, that they might be ready and prepared to meet 
it, when the period should arrive to render it neces- 
sary. Preparations for collecting, in sufficient strength, 
to repel an invasion, when it should be attempted, had 
been carried actively forward. The fiat of the secre- 
tary of war had been issued to the governors of the 
adjoining states ; and Jackson had long since anxiously 
pressed them to hasten the execution of the order, and 
push their forces to the place of danger, without de- 
lay. The ardour felt by the governor of Tennessee, 
rendered any incentive unnecessary. He was well 
aware of the importance of activity and exertion, and 
had used all the authority of his office, to call the re- 
quisition forth, and have it in readiness, speedily as 

Governor Shelby, of Kentucky, had been no less 
vigilant in discharge of the duty required of him. The 
necessity of despatch, in military matters, and the ad- 



vantages resulting from it, in his youth and more ad- 
vanced age, he had studied and learned in the field of 
battle. The troops from his state were immediately 
organized ; placed under the command of major- 
general Thomas, and directed to proceed down the 
Ohio, to resist the inroads of the enemy.* It may be 
esteemed a circumstance of great good fortune, that 
Shelby, at a time so perilous as that in wilich the 
tJnited States were placed, during the period of his 
services, should have been the chief magistrate of 
Kentucky; a state possessing ample resources, and 
which might have slumbered in inaction, but for the 
energy of him who filled her executive chair. He did 
not remain contented with a discharge merely of those 
duties which were imposed on him by his office ; but, 
feeling the ardour of his youth revived, excited his 
citizens by manly appeals, and inspirited them by his 
own example. The government had never called 
Upon the patriotism of this state that it had not been 
met with a becoming zeal by the governor, and as 
cheerfully and promptly acquiesced in by his people. 
The bravery and promptitude with which they crowd- 
ed to the American standard, at the first onset of dan- 
ger, where they firmly supported the honour of the 
nation, enduring cold, and hunger, and every privation, 
merit to be remembered, and entitle her citizens to 
the gratitude of the country. 

* When this requisition was ready to proceed, the state of the 
quarter-master's department was discovered to be wholly inadequate 
to those outfits and supplies necessary to its departure. Thus situated, 
individuals of the state came orward, pledged their funds, and en- 
abled it to advance. 


William Carroll, who, on the promotion of Jackson 
in the army of the United States, had been appointed 
a major-general of Tennessee militia, was to command 
the requisition intended to be marched from the state* 
He had issued his orders to his division, and, on the 
19th of November, the day appointed for their rendez- 
vous, 'twenty-five hundred of the yeomanry of the 
state appeared at Nashville ; and, in eight days, em- 
barked on board their boats, and directed their way to 
New Orleans, the place of their destination. To the 
industry of general Carroll, in hastening those arrange- 
ments, which enabled his division so promptly to de- 
part, every respect is due ; for, to his fortunate arrival, 
as will be seen hereafter, is greatly to be attributed 
the reason that success did not result to the enemy, 
in his first assault, or that Louisiana escaped the im- 
pending danger. 

The militia, now organized, from these two states, 
were highly respectable for their numbers, and were 
commanded by officers who carried with them entire 
confidence. In braver} r , they were not surpassed by 
any troops ; yet were they without experience or dis- 
cipline, and indifferently armed. Many had procured 
muskets and bayonets; though the greater part of 
them had arms capable of rendering little or no ser- 
vice ; while some had none at all. To remedy their 
want of discipline was attended with some difficulty, 
on account of the slender means afforded for instruc- 
tion, while, in boats, they were descending the river, 
Carroll's anxiety, however, for the respectable ap- 
pearance of his troops, and a still stronger desire 
entertained, that they might be in a situation for im- 


mediate action, if necessity, on his arrival, should re- 
quire it, led him to seize even on the limited oppor- 
tunities for improvement that were within his reach. 
Whenever, from adverse winds, or any other cause 
preventing his progress, he was compelled to stop, his 
men were immediately brought to receive every infor- 
mation that could, under such circumstances, be com- 
municated ; and often, while floating with the stream, 
the decks of his boats formed a field for their rna- 
nceuvres. Although in this way, partial progress was 
made, and some advantages gained, yet were they in- 
considerable ; for still were they but militia-men, and 
as yet unqualified to meet the veteran troops with 
which they were going to contend. 

Although general Jackson had obtained his success- 
es heretofore with troops of this description, yet he 
was far from entertaining a belief that they could be 
relied on for manoeuvring in an open field, against 
troops who were skilled, and inured to war. None 
knew better the point of exertion to which militia 
could be strained; that while successful and resting 
with confidence in themselves, none could effect more ; 
but when once dispirited, they became a useless 
weight Taught by a recollection of the difficulties 
he had heretofore encountered, and a knowledge that 
forces of this description were ever capricious and re- 
fractory, he had brought to the notice of the secretary 
of war, a new and different course from what had been 
before pursued, as more efficient, less expensive, and 
better calculated for the purposes of defence. In a let- 
ter to him, of the 20th of November, 1814, he observes, 
" Permit me to suggest a plan, which, on a fair expe- 


riment, will do away or lessen the expenses, under the 
existing mode of calling militia forces into the field. 
Whenever there happens to be a deficiency in the re- 
gular force, in any particular quarter, let the govern- 
ment determine on the necessary number : this should 
be apportioned among the different states, agreeably 
to their respective representations, and called into ser- 
vice for, and during the war. The quota wanted will, 
in my opinion, be soon raised from premiums offered 
by those who are subject to militia duty, rather than 
be harassed by repeated drafts. In the mean time, 
let the present bounty, given by the government, be 
also continued. If this be done, I will insure that an 
effective force shall soon appear in every quarter, am- 
ply sufficient for the reduction of Canada, and to drive 
all our enemies from our shores." . 

Such was the course of things, and such the plans 
which were in progress for the security and safety of 
the country, when the general reached New Orleans. 
The period was too momentous to afford a respite 
from business ; and he immediately adopted such 
measures as could be earliest effected, and which were 
best calculated for resistance and defence. 

The legislature of Louisiana had for some weeks 
been in session ; and, through the governor's commu- 
nication, informed of the situation, condition and 
strength of the country, and of the necessity of calling 
all its resources into active operation ; but, balancing 
in their decisions, and uncertain of the best course to 
be pursued to assure protection, they, as yet, had re- 
solved upon nothing promising certainty and safety, or 


calculated to infuse tranquillity and confidence in the 
public mind. The arrival of Jackson, however, pro- 
duced a new aspect in affairs. His activity and zeal 
in preparation, and his reputation as a brave man and 
skilful commander, had turned all eyes towards him, 
and inspired even the desponding with a confidence 
they had not before felt. *H 

The volunteer corps of the city were reviewed, and 
a visit, in person, made to the different forts, to ascer- 
tain their situation and capacity for defence, and the 
reliance that might be had on them, to repel the ene- 
my's advance. Through the lakes large vessels could 
not pass : should an approach be attempted through 
this route, in their barges, it might be met and opposed 
by the gun boats which already guarded this passage ; 
but if, unequal to the contest, they should be captured, 
it would, at any rate, give timely information of a de- 
scent, which might be resisted at their landing, and be- 
fore any opportunity could be had of executing fully 
their designs. Up the Mississippi, however, was looked 
upon as the most probable pass through which might 
be made an attempt to reach the city ; and here were 
in progress suitable preparations for defence. 

We have already noticed that colonel Hayne had 
been despatched from Mobile with directions to view 
the Mississippi near its mouth, and report if any ad- 
vantageous position could be found for the erection of 
batteries ; and whether the re-establishment of the old 
fort at the Balize would command the river, in a way 
to prevent its being ascended. That it could not be 
relied on for this purpose, the opinions of military men 


had already declared. General Jackson was always 
disposed to respect the decisions of those, who, from 
their character and standing, were entitled to confi- 
dence ; yet, in matters of great importance, it formed 
no part of his ceeed to attach his faith to the statements 
of any, where the object being within his reach, it was 
in his power to look to the fact and satisfy himself. 
Trusting implicitly in colonel Hayne as a military man, 
who, from proper observation, could infer correct con- 
clusions, he had despatched him thither to examine 
how far it was practicable to obstruct and secure this 
channel. His report was confirmatory of the previous 
information received, that it was incapable, from its 
situation, of effecting any such object. 

Fort St. Philip was now resorted to as the lowest 
point on the river where the erection of a fortification 
could be at all serviceable. The general had returned 
to New Orleans on the 9th, from a visit to this place, 
which he had ordered to be repaired and strengthened. 
The commanding officer was directed to remove every 
combustible material without the fort; to have two 
additional platforms immediately raised ; and the em- 
brasures so enlarged that the ordnance might have 
the greatest possible sweep upon their circles, and be 
brought to bear on any object within their range that 
might approach either up or down the river. At a small 
distance below, the Mississippi, changing its course, 
left a neck of land in the bend covered with timber, 
and which obstructed the view. From this point 
down to where old Fort Bourbon stood, on the west 
side, the growth along the bank was ordered to be cut 
away, that the shot from St. Philip, ranging across this 


point of land, might reach an approaching vessel before 
she should be unmasked from behind it. On the site 
of Bourbon was to be thrown up a strong work, de- 
fended by five twenty-four pounders, which, with the 
fort above, would be calculated to expose an enemy to 
a cross fire, for half a mile. A mile above St. Philip 
was to be established a work, which, in conjunction 
with the others, would effectually command the river 
for two miles. At Terre au Boeuf, and at the English 
turn, twelve miles below the city, were also to be taken 
measures for defence ; where it was expected by Jack- 
son, with his flying artillery and fire ships, he would 
be able certainly to arrest the enemy's advance. This 
system of defence, properly established, he believed 
would ensure security from any attack in this direction. 
Fort St. Philip, with the auxiliary batteries above and 
below it, would so concentrate their fires, that an ene- 
my could never pass without suffering greatly, and 
perhaps being so shattered that they would fall an 
easy prey to those defences which w r ere still higher up 
the river. The essential difficulty was to have them 
commenced and speedily finished. On returning, he 
hastened to apprize the governor of his views, and of 
his arrangements, and entreated him to aid in their 
furtherance. It was proposed to submit it to the con- 
sideration of the legislature, and to prevail, if possible, 
with the planters, to furnish their slaves, by whom, 
alone, such work could, in so insalubrious a climate, be 
safely executed. " If what is proposed be performed," 
said he, "I will stand pledged that the invaders of your 
state shall never, through this route, reach your city." 
He desired to be informed, early, of the success of the 
application, and to know how far the legislature would 


be disposed to extend their fostering care to the ob- 
jects suggested; that, in the event of failure, he might 
have recourse to such resources as were within his 
reach. " But," added he, " not a moment is to be lost. 
With energy and expedition, all is safe : delay, and 
all is lost." 

The plans of operation and defence were projecting 
on an extensive scale. The only objects of fear were 
the disaffected who infested the city ; and to these, af- 
ter the most incessant exertions and laborious efforts, 
he had well nigh fallen a victim. 

Aware of approaching danger, the views of the ge- 
neral had been met with becoming zeal, and the ne- 
cessary measures taken, to have the selected points 
for defence completed in the shortest possible time ; 
which might present, on the Mississippi, barriers, that 
it was not feared the enemy would be able to pass. 

On lakes Borgne and Pontchartrain, an equally 
strong confidence was had, that all would be safe from 
invasion. Commodore Patterson, who commanded the 
naval forces, had executed every order with prompt- 
ness and activity. Agreeably to instructions received 
from the commanding general, to extend to all the 
passes on the lakes every protection in his power, he 
had already sent out the gun boats, under lieutenant 
Jones. From their vigilance and capability to defend, 
great advantages were calculated to arise ; added to 
which, the Rigolets, the communication between the 
two lakes, was defended by Petit Coquille fort, a strong 
work, under the command of captain Newman, which, 

2 M 


when acting in conjunction with the gun boats, it was 
supposed would be competent to repel any assault that 
might there be waged. The prospects of defence had 
been improved by detachments sent with orders to fell 
timber across every small bayou and creek, that lead 
out of the lakes, and through which a passage for boats 
and barges could be afforded ; and to increase the ob- 
struction, by sinking large frames in their beds, and 
filling them with earth. Guards and videttes were al- 
so posted in different directions to give the earliest 
information of every thing that passed. In despite, 
however, of these precautionary measures, treachery 
opened a way, and pointed the entrance of the enemy 
to a narrow pass, through which they effected a land- 
ing, and reached previously to being discovered, the 
banks of the Mississippi. 

Such were the measures adopted for the protection 
of Louisiana against an attack, which, although hither- 
to resting on conjecture, was supported by too many 
strong circumstances to admit of doubt. Information 
of a considerable force having left England, filled with 
high hopes and expectations the attack on Fort Bow- 
yer, and the inflammatory proclamations already pub- 
lished, with anonymous letters received from persons 
in the West Indies and Pensacola, known and to be re- 
lied on, all tended strongly to unfold the views of the 
enemy, and to dissipate every thing of doubt as to their 
designs.* But the time was at hand when conjecture 
was giving place to certainty ; when the intentions of 
the invaders were fully developing themselves ; and 

* See note B. 


the fact fairly presented, that Louisiana must fall and 
her principal city be sacked, unless the brave men as- 
sociated to defend her, should stand firmly in her de- 
fence, resolved to justify the high expectations which 
had been formed of their valour. Certain information 
was at hand, of an English fleet being now off Cat and 
Ship island, and within a short distance of the Amri- 
can lines, where their strength and numbers were daily 

Lieutenant Jones, in command of the gun boats on 
Lake Borgne, was directed to reconnoitre, and ascer- 
tain their disposition and force ; and, in the event they 
should attempt, through this route, to effect a dis- 
embarkation, to retire to the Rigolets, and there, with 
his flotilla, make an obstinate resistance, and contend 
to the last. He remained off Ship island, until the 
12th of December, when, understanding the enemy's 
forces were much increased, he thought it advisable to 
change his anchorage, and retire to a position near 
Malheureux island. The course was rendered the 
more necessary, because affording a safer position, and 
in the event of being attacked, a better opportunity of 
making good his retreat to the Rigolets, where alone 
he was instructed to attempt opposition. Whoever 
looks upon a map of the country, will at once discover 
the importance of this place if driven into action with 
a greatly 'superior force. This, and Chef Menteur, 
which unite at the entrance to the lake, and form a 
narrow channel, constitutes the only -pass itito Pont* 
chartrain. By reaching it, the gun boats would be en- 
abled to present as formidable an opposition as could 
be waged by all the force that could be brought against 


them, and put at defiance any effort that could be mad*-, 
to gain the city through this route. 

On the 13th, Jones discovered the enemy moving 
off in his barges r and directing his way towards Pass 
Christian. He was not long in doubt, as to the object 
probably had in view ; for, although at first it was sup- 
posed to be " a disembarkation, intended to be landed 
there, yet, on their passing it, and pursuing their course 
still further westwardly, he at once concluded an attack 
on the gun boats was designed." His orders left him 
no discretion as to the place he should meet and fight 
them. Indeed, his flotilla, although quite inconsider- 
able in numbers, was of too much consequence to the 
nation, at this juncture, to be inadvertently risked, or 
in fact risked at all, unless under circumstances giving 
a decided superiority. In no other way was this to be 
obtained, than by reaching the point to which he had 
been ordered : this he endeavoured to effect, as soon 
as he became satisfied of what was intended by their 
present movement. Weighing, therefore, his anchors, 
with the design of reaching the position referred to in 
bis orders, he soon discovered it ^vholly imprac- 
ticable. A strong wind having blown rjor some days 
to the east, from the lake to the gulf, had so reduced 
the depth of water, that the best and deepest channels 
were insufficient to float his little squadron. The oars 
were resorted to, but without rendering the least as- 
sistance : it was immoveable. Recourse was now 
had to throwing every thing overboard that could be 
spared, to lighten and bring them off; all, however, 
w r as ineffectual, nothing could afford relief. At this 
moment of extreme peril and danger, the tide coming, 


suddenly in, relieved from present embarrassment, 
and lifting them from the shoal, they bore away from 
the attack meditated; directed their course for the 
Rigolets, and came to anchor at one o'clock the next 
morning on the west passage of Malheureux isle; 
where, at day, they discovered the pursuit had been 

At the bay of St. Louis was a small depot of public 
stores, which had, that morning, been directed, by 
lieutenant Jones, to be brought off. Mr. Johnston, on 
board the Sea Horse, had proceeded in the execution 
of this order. The enemy, on the retreat of Jones, 
despatched three of their barges to capture him ; but 
unable to effect it, they were driven back. An addi- 
tional force now proceeded against him ; when a smart 
action commenced, and the assailants were again com- 
pelled to retire with some loss. Johnston, satisfied 
that it was out of his power successfully to defend 
himself, and considering it hopeless to attempt unit- 
ing, in face of so large a force, with the gun boats off 
Malheureux Island, blew up his vessel, burnt the 
stores, and effected his retreat by land, in conformity 
with the instructions he had received. A prodigious 
explosion, and flames bursting on the view, assured 
Jones of the probable step that had been taken, and of 
the execution of the order. 

Early on the morning of the 14th, the enemy's 
barges, lying about nine miles to the east, suddenly 
weighed their anchors ; and, getting under way, pro- 
ceeded westwardly to the pass, where our gun boats 
still lay. The same difficulty experienced yesterday 


was now encountered. Perceiving the approach of the 
enemy's flotilla, an attempt was made to retreat ; but 
in vain. The wind was entirely lulled, and a perfect 
calm prevailed ; while a strong current setting to the 
gulf, rendered every effort to retire unavailing. No 
alternative was at hand ; but a single course was left ; 
to meet and fight them. At once the resolution was 
adopted, to avail themselves of the best position they 
could obtain, wait their approach, and defend them- 
selves, whilst there was a hope of success. The line 
was formed, with springs on the cables, and all were 
waiting, composedly, the arrival of a foe, who imagin- 
ed himself advancing to an easy conquest. The con- 
test, in so open and unfavourable a situation, and 
against so superior a force, promised, indeed, to be a 
very unequal one : yet the firmness and bravery which 
had always characterized our fearless tars in battle, 
were, on this occasion, not to be tarnished. An un- 
fortunate .state of things, which they could not con- 
trol, had brought them into battle at a moment, and 
under circumstances, their discretion did not approve ; 
but, being inevitable, every mind was determined on 
a desperate stand ; and still, though beaten, to pre- 
serve unsullied their reputation, their flag from dis- 

Forty-three boats, mounting as many cannon, with 
twelve hundred chosen men, well armed, constituted 
the strength of the assailants. Advancing in extended 
line, they were presently in reach : and, at half after 
eleven o'clock, commencing a fire the action soon be- 
came general. Owing to a strong current, setting out 
to the east, two of the boats, numbers 156 and 163, 


were unable to keep their anchorage, and floated about 
a hundred yards in advance of the line. This cir- 
cumstance was unfortunate ; for although it was by no 
means to be calculated, that victory could be attendant 
on a conflict, where strength and numbers were so 
disproportionate, yet, could the line have been pre- 
served, the chances for defence would have been in- 
creased the opportunity more favourable for inflict- 
ing injury, and crippling the foe, while the period of 
the contest would have been protracted. Every moment 
this could have been prolonged would have proved 
essentially advantageous ; for soon as the wind should 
spring up, which yet continued lulled, the boats would 
be rendered more manageable, and an opportunity af- 
forded of retiring from the battle whenever the result 
promised to become disastrous. 

The enemy relying on their numbers, and determin- 
ing to board, advanced in three divisions. Our gun 
boats formed in a line, were under command of lieu- 
tenant Jones, who, on board No. 156, occupied the 
centre. No. 162 and 163 rested on his left, under the 
direction of lieutenant Spedden and sailing-master 
Ulrich ; on his right was No. 5 and 23, commanded by 
sailing master Ferris and lieutenant M*Iver. The 
centre division of the enemy, led by the senior officer 
of the expedition, captain Lockyer, bore down on 
No. 158, the centre of our line, and twice attempting 
to board, was twice repulsed with an immense destruc- 
tion of both officers and crew, and loss of two of their 
boats which were sunk : one a seventy four's launch, 
crowded with men, went down immediately along-side 
of the gun-boat. Jones being too severely wounded 


longer to maintain the deck, retired, leaving the com- 
mand with George Parker, who no less valiantly de- 
fended his flag, until badly wounded, he was also 
compelled to leave his post ; and soon after the boat 
was carried. No. 163, though ably defended, was also 
taken; and the guns of both turned on No. 162 and 
5 which also surrendered ; and last of all No. 23, com- 
manded by lieutenant M'lver. Thus in detail was our 
little squadron, after a conflict of nearly an hour, lost ; 
a conflict in which every thing was done that gal- 
lantry could do, and nothing unperformed that duty 
required ; but it was a disaster which, under all the 
circumstances, could not be avoided. The calm which 
prevailed, and the unwieldly condition of the boats 
which prevented any management by the oars, took 
away all opportunity of their aiding and sustaining 
each other ; while the enemy's barges, with great fa- 
cility, were able to avail themselves of the advantages 
of position : besides this, from our centre gun-boat, 
much aid was obtained ; having carried her, the flag 
was kept flying, and under it her guns were used 
against the other boats, a circumstance which was not 
discovered for some time, nor until after repeated dis- 
charges of her camion had been made, and material 
injury produced. 

The commandant was ably supported by the officers 
associated with him. Lieutenant Spedden and MXlver 
were wounded ; the former in both arms, and in one 
so severely, as to be compelled to have it amputated : 
yet this valiant officer to the last continued his orders ; 
nor did the latter quit for a moment his post. Mid- 
shipmen Cauley and Reynolds, young men of spirit 


and promise, fell victims to the wounds received in 
this contest. But it is unnecessary to take up the 
time of the reader in commendation of this Spartan 
band : their bravery and good conduct will be long 
remembered and admired, and excite emotions much 
stronger than language can paint. The great dis- 
parity of force between the combatants, added to the 
advantages the enemy derived from the peculiar con- 
struction of their boats, which gave them an oppor- 
tunity to take any position that circumstances and 
safety directed, while the others lay wholly unmanage- 
able, presents a curious and strange result ; that, while 
the American loss was but ten killed, and thirty-five 
wounded, that of their assailants was not less than 
three hundred. The British have never presented 
any report upon this subject : but, from every infor- 
mation, and from all the attendant circumstances of 
the battle, it was even believed to have exceeded this 
number ; of which a large proportion was officers.^ 

The British returned to their shipping, at Cat Island, 
with their prisoners, carrying with them a convincing 
argument, to do away the belief with which they had 
arrived, that, in this section of country, the inhabitants 
were waiting, with open arms, to receive them ; and 
that the forces embodied for its defence w T ould retire 
at the first appearance of danger. It was the same ar- 
ts oats. Men. Grins. 
* The British had 43 1200 43 

The Americans 5 182 23 

Difference 38 1018 20 

So that the disparity in force of boats, men, and guns, was as eight 
tevea and nearly two to one. 



gument which a few weeks before had been made to 
colonel Nicholls, at Fort Bowyer, and which had pro- 
duced on his mind such conviction, as to render him 
altogether unwilling that the matter should be further 
discussed in his presence. 

This disaster was announced to general Jackson, 
while on a visit to the lakes, whither he had gone to 
examine the situation of the different works, there 
erected and in progress. He heard it with much con- 
cern; for on it important consequences depended. The 
means of watching the enemy, and ascertaining his 
projects, were now cut off, and the necessity imposed 
of resorting for defence and safety, in this direction, 
to entirely different remedies. 

Aided by ours, and the great number of their own 
boats, his fears for the safety of Mobile were much 
increased. The apprehensions which he had con- 
stantly entertained for this place were of the most, 
lively kind. Although he had every confidence in the 
gallant officer who commanded at Fort Bowyer, yet he 
well knew how inefficient were the exertions of a 
brave man, when assailed by superior strength and 
numbers. The importance of this place and its secu- 
rity, was to him a matter of the greatest concern. It 
seems to have been an object that never sufficiently 
fastened itself on the consideration of the enemy, or 
indeed our own government. His own apprehensions 
of an invasion here, as affecting much more seri- 
ously the interest of the lower country, was ta him 
a cause of constant uneasiness. He felt confident, that 
while this point remained safe, so might the country 


adjacent ; but if it fell, conquered by a greatly supe- 
rior force, the Indians would again be excited, the 
settlements on the Mobile and Alabama rivers be- 
come tributary, and New Orleans be involved in the 
general ruin. Deeply impressed with the importance 
of properly defending this place, he had heretofore 
brought to the view of the secretary of war, the pro- 
priety and necessity of adopting such a course as 
should place it entirely out of the reach of danger. To 
effect this, he proposed that a large frigate, mounting 
forty-four guns, which, for some cause, to him un- 
known, had been left on the stocks, at Tchifonte, in 
an unfinished state, should be completed, and ap- 
plied to this purpose. " Let her," he remarked, " be 
placed in the Navy Cove, which will protect the rear 
of the fort ; and my life upon it, ten thousand troops, 
and all the British fleet, cannot take the place, nor 
enter the bay. This will be their point of attack ; if 
carried, they will penetrate the Indian nation, there 
make a stand, and incite the savages to war, and the 
slaves to insurrection and massacre ; penetrate, if 
they can, to the left bank of the Mississippi, and ar- 
rest all communication. If they succeed in this, the 
lower country falls of course." No notice, however, 
was ever taken of his admonition, and nothing done to 
effect the object proposed. His entire defence and 
safety rested on the means which he himself could 
reach. An express w r as immediately despatched to 
general Winchester, apprizing him of what had hap- 
pened ; that all communication being cut off, he must 
look to the procuring supplies for his army from Ten- 
nessee River, through the posts established in the 
Creek country. " The enemy," he continues, " will 


attempt, through Pass Huron, to reach you : watch, 
nor suffer yourself to be surprised ; haste, and throw 
sufficient supplies into Fort Bowyer; and guard vigi- 
lantly the communication from Fort Jackson, lest it 
be destroyed. Mobile point must be supported and 
defended, at every hazard. The enemy has given us 
a large coast to guard ; but I trust, with the smiles of 
heaven, to be able to meet and defeat him at every 
point he may venture his foot upon the land." 

Increased vigilance and enlarged exertions were now 
required to guard the different routes through which 
they might seek to make good their progress, and 
reach the object of their visit. Major Lacoste, com- 
manding the battalion of coloured troops, was ordered, 
with two pieces of cannon and a sufficient force, to take 
post on and defend the Chef Menteur road, that led 
from the head of lake Borgne to New Orleans. In 
fact, wherever an inlet or creek, of the smallest size, 
putting in, justified the belief, that through it an en- 
trance might be effected, suitable arrangements were 
made to obstruct the passage, and prevent approach. 
Through the Rigolets was presumed the most proba- 
ble route the enemy would adventure, that, by gaining 
lake Pontchartrain, a landing might be made above or 
below the city, or at bayou St. John, directly opposite ; 
and, by a division of their forces, and assaulting differ- 
ent points, make such a diversion, as, with raw troops, 
could not be resisted under any circumstances of ad- 

This place had been confided to captain Newman, 
of the artillery. It was an important point, as well for 


the purposes already named, as being a position whence 
any movement on the lakes could be discovered. On 
the 22d, it was reinforced by several heavy pieces of 
cannon, and an additional supply of men. He was ad- 
vised by the general of the consequence attached to it, 
and that it was not to be inconsiderately yielded ; but 
that, in the event of his being compelled to abandon it, 
every thing being properly secured, he was to make 
good his retreat to Chef Menteur, where he would be 
covered by an additional force : " But," added he, 
" you are not to retreat until your judgment is well 
convinced that it is absolutely necessary to the very 
salvation of your command." 

On the 16th the militia were reviewed by Jackson. 
He had perceived, on his arrival at New Orleans, such 
a state of despondency manifested by the people, that 
to remove it had called forth all his exertions. His 
active and incessant endeavours to have defended every 
accessible point, and a confidence, constantly evinced, 
that his resources were commensurate with all the pur- 
poses of successful resistance, had completely under- 
mined those fears, at first so generally indulged. Lest, 
from the loss which had lately happened on the lakes, 
a similar state of doubt and despondency might be 
again produced, was the principal cause of appearing 
before them to-day, on review ; to convince them, by 
his deportment, that the safety of the city was not to 
be despaired of. He directed an address, previously 
prepared for the purpose, to be read to them. It was 
drawn in language breathing the warmth of his own 
feelings, and well calculated to communicate, and in- 
spire the same glow to others. He told them they 


were contending for all that could render life desira- 
ble ; " For your property and lives ; for that which 
is dearer than all, your wives and children ; for liber- 
ty, without which, country, life, and property are not 
worth possessing. Even the embraces of wives and 
children are a reproach to the wretch who would de- 
prive them, by his cowardice, of those inestimable 
blessings. You are to contend with an enemy who 
seeks to deprive you of the least of these who avows 
a war of vengeance and desolation, carried on and 
marked by cruelties, lusts, and horrors, unknown to 
civilized nations. 

" Natives of the United States ! the enemy you are 
to contend with are the oppressors of your infant po- 
litical existence they are the men your fathers fought 
and conquered, whom you are now to oppose. De- 
scendants of Frenchmen ! natives of France ! they are 
English, the hereditary, the eternal enemies of your 
ancient country, the invaders of that you have adopt- 
ed, who are your foes. Spaniards ! remember the con- 
duct of your allies at St. Sebastian, and recently at 
Pensacola, and rejoice that you have an opportunity of 
avenging the brutal injuries inflicted by men who dis- 
honour the human race. Louisianians ! your general 
rejoices to witness the spirit that animates you, riot 
only for your honour, but your safety ; for whatever 
had been your conduct or wishes, his duty would have 
led, and yet will lead him to confound the citizen, un- 
mindful of his rights, with the enemy he ceases to op- 
pose. Commanding men who know their rights, and 
are determined to defend them, he salutes you as bre- 
thren in arms ; and has now a new motive to exert all 


his faculties, which shall be strained to the utmost in 
your defence. Continue with the energy you have 
begun, and he promises you not only safety, but vic- 
tory over an insolent foe, who has insulted you by an 
affected doubt of your attachment to the constitution 
of your country. Your enemy is near ; his sails al- 
ready cover the lakes : but the brave are united ; and 
if he find us contending among ourselves, it will be for 
the prize of valour, and fame, its noblest reward." 

Resistance on the lakes being at an end, no doubt 
was entertained but that the moment for action would 
be as early as the enemy could make his preparations 
to proceed. At what point, at what time, and with a 
force how greatly superior to his own, were matters 
wholly resting in uncertainty, and could not be known 
until they should actually transpire. The means for 
opposing him, therefore, were to be seized on without 
delay, or resistance would be useless. 

That the hour of attack was not far distant, was con- 
firmed by a circumstance which reflects no consider- 
able honour on the officer in command of the fleet. 
The day subsequent to the contest on the lakes, Mr. 
Shields, purser in the navy, had been despatched with 
a flag, to Cat island, accompanied by Dr. Murrell, for 
the purpose of alleviating the situation of our wound- 
ed, and to effect a negotiation, by which they should 
be liberated on parole. We are not aware that such 
an application militated against the usages and customs 
of war : if not, the flag of truce should have been re- 
spected ; nor ought its bearer to have been detained 
as a prisoner. Admiral Cochrane's pretended fear that 


it was a wile, designed to ascertain his strength and 
situation, are far from presenting any sufficient excuse 
for so wanton an outrage on propriety and the rules of 
war. If this were apprehended, could not the messen- 
gers have been met at a distance from the fleet, and 
ordered back without a near approach ? Had this been 
done, no information could have been gained, and the 
object designed to be secured by the detention would 
have been answered, without infringing that amicable 
intercourse between contending armies, which, when 
violated or disregarded, opens a door to brutal and 
Savage warfare. Finding they did not return, the 
cause of it was at once correctly divined. 

The British admiral was very solicitous, and resort- 
ed to various means to obtain from these gentlemen 
information of the strength and condition and dispo- 
sition of our army ; but so cautious a reserve was main- 
tained, that from them nothing could be elicited. 
Shields was perceived to be quite deaf, and calculating 
on some advantage to be derived from this circum- 
stance, he and the Doctor were placed at night in the 
^reen room, where any conversation which occurred 
between them could readily be heard. Suspecting, 
perhaps, something of the kind, after having retired, 
and every thing was seemingly still, they began to 
speak of their situation the circumstance of their be- 
ing detained, arid of the prudent caution with which 
they had guarded themselves against communicating 
any information to the British admiral. But, continu- 
ed Shields, how greatly these gentlemen will be dis- 
appointed in their expectations, for Jackson with the 
twenty thousand troops he now has, and the reinforce- 


inents from Kentucky, which must speedily reach him, 
will be able to destroy any force that can be landed 
from these ships. Every word was heard, and treasur- 
ed, and not supposing there was any design, or that 
he presumed himself overheard, they were beguiled by 
it, and at once concluded our force to be as great as it 
was represented ; and hence no doubt arose, the rea- 
son of that prudent care and caution with which the 
enemy afterwards proceeded ; for, as was remarked by 
a British officer, the actual strength of general Jack- 
son's army, though repeatedly sought after, could nev- 
er be procured ; it was a desideratum not to be ob- 

Early on the 15th, the morning after the battle on 
the lake, expresses were sent off up the coast, in 
quest of general Coffee, to endeavour to procure in- 
formation of the Kentucky and Tennessee divisions, 
which it was hoped were not far distant, and to urge 
their speedy approach. In his communication to Cof- 
fee, the general observes, "You must not sleep, until 
you reach me, or arrive within striking distance. 
Your accustomed activity is looked for. Innumeral^e 
defiles present themselves, where your services and ri- 
flemen will be all important. An opportunity is at 
liand, to reap for yourself and brigade the approbation 
of your country." 

In obedience to the order he had received at Mo- 
bile, to occupy some central position, where his horses 
could be subsisted, and whence he might act as cir- 
cumstances should require, Coffee had proceeded as 
far as Sandy creek, a small distance above Baton 

2 o 


Rouge, where he had halted. His brigade, on its 
march, had been greatly exposed, and many and va- 
rious hardships encountered. The cold season had set 
in ; and, for twenty days it had rained incessantly. 
The waters were raised to uncommon heights, and 
every creek and bayou was to be bridged or swam. 
Added to this, their march was through an unculti- 
vated country, but thinly settled, where little subsist- 
ence was to be had, and that procured with much diffi- 
culty. He had been at this place eight or ten days, 
when, late on the evening of the 17th, the express de- 
spatched from head-quarters reached him. He lost no 
time in executing the order ; and, directing one of his 
regiments, which, for the greater convenience of for- 
aging, had encamped about six miles off, to unite with 
him, he was ready in the morning, and proceeded on 
his march the instant it arrived. In consequence of 
innumerable exposures, there were, at this time, three 
hundred on the sick list. These being left, he com- 
menced his advance with twelve hundred and fifty 
men. The weather yet continued extremely cold and 
rainy, which prevented their proceeding with the ce- 
lerity the exigency of the moment so much required. 
Coffee, perceiving that the movement of his whole 
force in a body, would perhaps occasion delays, ruin- 
ous to the main object in view, ordered all who were 
well mounted, and able to proceed, to advance with 
him ; while the rest of his brigade, under suitable offi- 
cers, were left to follow as fast as the weak and ex- 
hausted condition of their horses would permit. His 
force, by this arrangement, was reduced to eight hun- 
dred men, with whom he moved with the utmost in- 
dustry. Having marched seventy miles the last day, 


he encamped on the night of the 19th, within fifteen 
miles of New Orleans, making in two days a distance 
of one hundred and twenty miles. Continuing his ad- 
vance, early next morning, he halted within four miles 
of the city, to examine the state and condition of his 
arms, and to learn, in the event the enemy had landed, 
the relative position of the two armies. 

These brave men, without murmuring, had now 
traversed an extent of country nothing short of eight 
hundred miles, and under trials sufficiently severe to 
have appalled the most resolute and determined. They 
had enrolled themselves, not as volunteers sometimes 
do, to frolic, and by peaceable campaigns to gain a 
name in arms they had done it knowing that an ene- 
my, if not already at hand, was certainly expected, 
with whom they would have to contend, and contend 
severely. Great reliance was had on them by the 
commanding general ; and their good conduct, in the 
different situations in which they had acted with him, 
was a proof how much they deserved it. On inspect- 
ing their arms, which consisted principally of rifles, 
two hundred were discovered to be so materially in- 
jured by the weather, as to be unfit for service. 

The advance of colonel Hinds, from Woodville, 
with the Mississippi dragoons, was no less prompt and 
expeditious ; an active and brave officer, he was, on 
this, as on all other occasions, at his post, ready to 
act as circumstances should require. Having re- 
ceived his orders, he hastened forward, and effected 
in four days, a march of two hundred and thirty miles. 


On the 1 6th, colonel Hynes, aid-de-camp to general 
Carroll, reached head-quarters, with information from 
the general, that he would be present as early as 
possible ; but that the state of the weather, and high 
and contrary winds, greatly retarded his progress. To 
remedy this, a steam boat was immediately put in re- 
quisition, and ordered to proceed up the river to aid 
him in reaching his destination, without loss of time. 
He was advised of the necessity of hastening rapidly 
forward ; that the lakes were in possession of the ene- 
my, and their arrival daily looked for : " But," con- 
tinued Jackson, " I am resolved, feeble as my force is, 
to assail him, on his first landing, and perish sooner 
than he shall reach the city." 

Independent of the large force which was descend- 
ing with general Carroll, his approach was looked to 
with additional pledfsure, from the circumstance of his 
having with him a boat laden with arms, destined for 
the defence of the country, and which he had over- 
taken on his passage down the Mississippi. His fall- 
ing in with them was fortunate ; for, had their arrival 
depended on those to whom they had been incautious- 
ly confided, they might have come too late, and after 
all danger had subsided ; as was indeed the case with 
others, forwarded from Pittsburg, which, through the 
unpardonable conduct of those who had been entrust- 
ed with their management and transportation, did not 
reach New Orleans until after all difficulties had ter- 
minated. Great inconvenience was sustained, during 
the siege, for want of arms to place in the hands of 
the militia. Great as it was, it w^ould have been in- 


creased, even to an alarming extent, but for the acci- 
dental circumstance of this boat having fallen into the 
hands of the Tennessee division, which impelled it on, 
and thereby produced incalculable advantage.* 

* On the first intimation that the British intended a descent on this 
section of the United States, general Jackson suggested to the secre- 
tary of war the scarcity of both arms and ordnance, and the neces- 
sity of having the deficiency remedied as soon as possible. Mr. 
Monroe, then secretary of war, had given the earliest attention to 
the subject, and ordered an ample supply to be embarked from 
Pittsburg, sufficiently early to have reached head-quarters previous- 
ly to the enemy's landing. Their transportation down the western 
waters had been confided to those who felt not sufficient concern 
for their speedy arrival to use the necessary diligence. Whether 
the government had given any such orders, or it were a piece of pen- 
ny-wise economy suggested by the quarter-master, we do not know- 
The fact, however, is, that a steam vessel, sailing with much expe- 
dition, proposed to carry and deliver them at New Orleans in eigh- 
teen days, which would have been in time for all the purposes after- 
wards needed. But the officer who had the management of this bu- 
siness, because it was in his power to save an inconsiderable sum in 
freight, preferred delivering them to the captain of a large flat bot- 
tomed boat, which moved slowly, and which, withal, it was under- 
stood, would occasionally stop on the way to traffic and trade off the 
different articles with which she was laden. On all occasions, we 
would commend the doctrine of economy, when founded on correct 
principles : but that minister or agent of the government, who, to 
save a partial expense, hazards the loss of thousands; or who t 
through parsimonious views of any kind whatever, risks the loss of a 
whole country, evidences so weak and narrow-sighted a policy, a* 
can on no ground be justified. This single circumstance, if argument 
were necessary to establish it, is sufficient to show the correctness of 
the position. The general, in a letter to the secretary of war, after 
the battle of the 8th, remarks, that if he had had a sufficiency of 
arms, he would have captured or destroyed the whole British army ; 
and this he might have had, if the agents of the government had exe- 
cuted the duties confided to them on a scale enlarged and liberal a* 
the crisis demanded. 


This division, as we have before remarked, had left 
Nashville on the 19th of last month. Their exertions y 
without which they could not have arrived in time to 
afford that assistance and protection which the peril 
of the moment so much required, entitle them and 
their commander to every gratitude. But above all 
is our gratitude due to that benign Providence, who, 
having aided in the establishment of our glorious in- 
dependence, again manifested his goodness and power 
in guarding the rights of a country rendered sacred 
by the blood of the virtuous, heretofore shed in its 
defence. It rarely, if ever happens, that the Cumber- 
land river admits a passage for boats so early in the 
season ; but torrents of rain descending swelled the 
stream, and wafted our troops safely to the Mississippi, 
where all obstructions were at an end. An appre- 
hension entertained lest the blow might be stricken, 
and the injury done, before they could reach their 
destined point, had inspired our troops with an alacrity 
and exertion which brought them to the place of 
danger and usefulness, in a shorter period of time 
than even traders had usually employed, when hur- 
rying with their produce to market 

While these preparations were progressing, to con- 
centrate the forces within his reach, the general was 
turning his attention to ward off any blow that might 
be aimed before his expected reinforcements should 
arrive. Every point, capable of being successfully as- 
sailed, was receiving such additional strength and 
security as could be given. Patroles and videttes were 
ranged through the country, that the earliest intelli- 
gence might be had of any intended movement The 


militia of the state were called out en masse ; and, 
through the interference of the legislature, an em- 
bargo on vessels at the port of New Orleans was de- 
clared, to afford an opportunity of procuring additional 
recruits for the navy. General Villery, because an 
inhabitant of the country, and best understanding the 
several points on the lakes susceptible of, and re- 
quiring defence, was ordered, with the Louisiana 
militia, to search out, and give protection to the dif- 
ferent passes, where a landing might" be effected. 

To hinder the enemy from obtaining supplies on 
the shore, a detachment was sent to Pearl river, to 
prevent any parties from landing until the stock could 
be driven from the neighbourhood. The precaution, 
for some time used, of restricting the departure of 
any vessel with provisions, under the operation of the 
embargo imposed by the legislature, had greatly dis- 
appointed the expectations of the British, and even 
introduced distress into Pensacola, whence the Spa- 
niards had been in the habit of procuring their sup- 
plies. The governor had solicited the opening a com- 
munication, for the relief of the suffering inhabitants 
of his province. Jackson was aware that this appeal 
to his humanity might be a stratagem, having for its 
object to aid the enemy. Although the governor, 
hitherto, had given no flattering evidence, either of 
his friendship, his candour, or sincerity, still the state- 
ment offered by him might be correct ; and if so, the 
neutrality of his country established a well-founded 
claim to the benevolence of the Americans. Balancing 
between a desire that these people should not be se- 
riously injured, and a fear that the application was in- 


tended for a very different purpose than was avowed, 
he determined to err on the side of mercy, and, as far 
as possible, to relieve their wants. This he directed 
general Winchester, at Mobile, to effect, provided his 
stock of provisions would permit it. It was particu- 
larly enjoined on him that the quantity of provisions 
sent should be small, and be conveyed by water : " For 
if," said he, " the Spaniards are really in distress, and 
the supply sent shall be taken by the British, it will 
excite their just indignation towards them, and erase 
all friendship, while they will be afforded an additional 
proof of ours: the supply too being inconsiderable, 
even if captured, will prove of no great benefit to our 

Jackson's arrangements were well conceived, and 
rapidly progressing ; but they were still insufficient ; 
and his own forebodings assured him, that, to obtain 
security, something stronger than had been yet re- 
sorted to, required to be adopted. That there was 
an enemy in the midst of his camp, more to be feared 
than those who were menacing from abroad, was in- 
deed highly, nay more than probable ; while an appre- 
hension indulged, that there were many foreigners, 
who, feeling no attachment for the country, and having 
nothing to defend, would not scruple to avail them- 
selves of every opportunity to give intelligence of the 
strength, situation, and arrangement of his camp, excit- 
ed his fears, and induced a wish to apply the earliest 
possible corrective. A stranger himself, his own con- 
jectures might not have led to the conclusion ; but 
information received, before and soon after .his arrival, 
through different channels, and particularly from the 


governor of the state, had awakened a belief, that the 
country was filled with disaffected persons, and who, 
if not closely guarded, might occasion the worst of 
consequences. Although he had been in possession 
of data, sufficiently strong to confirm him in the 
opinion, that the facts and circumstances disclosed 
were of a character truly as had been represented, 
until now, no urgent necessity had arisen, rendering 
a resort to rigid measures essential to the general 
safety. Abundant evidence of prevailing disaffection 
had been already obtained, through governor Clai- 
borne. In a letter to general Jackson, after his return 
from Pensacola, he observed, " Enemies to the coun- 
try may blame your prompt and energetic measures ; 
but in the person of every patriot, you will find a sup- 
porter. I am well aware of the lax police of this city, 
and indeed of the whole state, with respect to stran- 
gers. I think, with you, that our country is filled 
" with traitors and spies." On this subject, I have 
written pressingly to the city authorities and parish 
judges. Some regulations, I hope, will be adopted by . 
the first, and greater vigilance be exercised, in future, . 
by the latter." 

Never, perhaps, all the circumstances considered, 
did any general advance to the defence and protection 
of a people situated in his own country, where greater 
room was had to distrust the success of the event, and 
believe all efforts hopeless. That there should be 
found, at all times, and in all places, an inconsiderable 
few who would not withhold their assent to a change 
in the form of any government, under which they 
might live, is not a circumstance to excite surprise. 



Some might be induced to it, if for no other reason, to 
alter a condition in life, which if not improved, could 
not be rendered worse : and in our country particular- 
ly, where foreigners are freely and readily admitted to 
all our rights and privileges, many of whom have been 
allured, not by attachment, but from motives of cupid- 
ity, shall we ever have cause, perhaps, to regret a 
want of union and energy at those periods when they 
may be mostly needed. But, that disaffection should 
ever be found in our national councils, is a source of 
increased regret, and causes it to assume a character 
of deeper danger. When, therefore, general Jackson 
was informed by the governor, that the legislature, in- 
stead of discharging with alacrity, diligence, and good 
faith, the duties which had been confided to them by 
their constituents, had, under the garb of privilege, 
endeavoured to mar the execution of measures the 
most salutary, he might well conclude the country in 
danger, and suspect a want of fidelity in her citizens. 
Upon the yeomanry alone must every country depend 
for its liberty : they are its sinews and its strength. 
Let them continue virtuous, and they will cheerfully, 
nay, fearlessly, maintain themselves against aggression; 
but if they become corrupted, or through the intrigue 
or mjsconduct of their rulers loose confidence in their 
government, forthwith their importance and value will 
be impaired. While the people of Rome felt themselves 
freemen, and proud of the name of citizens, Rome was 
invincible; and to descend to times more modern, the 
strength of France was an overmatch for combined 
Europe, only while Frenchmen had confidence in; and 
regard for their government, and felt that they w^ere a, 
part of it * 


Although we would gladly draw a veil over the con- 
duct of the legislative body of Louisiana, and forgive 
the error, yet it is difficult, nor is it necessary to forget 
that on a former occasion, at a moment of threatened 
and expected danger, they exerted themselves against 
the establishment of any system of defence. General 
Flournoy at that time commanded. Apprehending 
invasion, he applied to the governor for whatever aid 
the state could afford. Constitutional resources were 
attempted and an effort made to draw out the mili- 
tia ; they resisted the requisition : and that resistance 
so far from being discountenanced by the legislature 
then in session, was promoted and encouraged by their 
assuming to themselves the right of declaring the de- 
mand to be illegal, unnecessary, and oppressive. When 
popular resentment is once awakened, and opposition 
to measures, however proper, once begun, the slightest 
encouragement impels it forward ; but when the au- 
thorities of a state become abettors, and by their con- 
duct and expressions give it sanction, the delusion is 
increased, and forthwith it swells beyond the bounds 
where reason can control. Thus supported, the mili- 
tia, as might have been expected, stood their ground, 
and resolutely resisted the call to defend their coun- 
try. The example thus established had already in- 
duced the conviction that they were privileged per- 
sons, and had reserved to them, on all occasions, when 
called for, the right of determining if the call were re- 
gular, why and wherefore made, where they would 
prefer to act, and be governed accordingly. When, 
therefore, the first requisition made by Jackson was 
attempted to be filled, a number made a tender of their 
services as volunteers ; but OH this condition, that they 


were not to be marched from the state. The reply 
made, showed they were to act with a general who 
knew nothing of temporizing policy, and who would 
go the entire length that safety and necessity required, 
and his powers permitted. They were assured his ob- 
ject was to defend the country, and that he should do 
it at every hazard ; that soldiers who entered the ranks 
with him to fight the battles of their country, must for- 
get the habits of social life, and be willing and prepar- 
ed to go wherever duty and danger called ; such were 
the kind of troops he wanted, and none others would 
he have. 


Influenced by these and other weighty considera- 
tions, which were daily disclosed; sensible of the dan- 
ger that surrounded him ; and from a conviction which 
he felt was founded not upon light considerations, that 
the country without a most decisive course could not 
be saved, he brought to the view of the legislature 
the propriety and necessity of suspending the writ of 
habeas corpus. To attempt himself so new and bold 
a course, he was satisfied would draw to him the re- 
proofs and censures of the orthodox politicians of the 
day, and involve him in many and various reproaches^ 
The legislature had already interrupted the commerce 
by declaring and enforcing an embargo ; and the ex- 
ercise of this subsequent authority, equally necessary 
with the first, could involve, he supposed, no higher 
exercise of power than the enactment of an embargo 
law. He was solicitous, therefore, to relieve himself 
of the responsibility, by prevailing on the legislature 
to do that which necessity and the security of the 
country.^eeinei imperiously to require. They pro- 


ceeded slowly to the investigation, and were deli- 
berating, with great caution, upon their right, author- 
ity, and constitutional power to adopt such a mea- 
sure, when the general, sensible that procrastination 
was dangerous, and might defeat the objects intended 
to be answered, assumed all responsibility, and super- 
seded their deliberations by declaring the city and 
environs of New Orleans under martial law. 

All persons entering the city were required, imme- 
diately, to report themselves to the adjutant-general ; 
and on failing to do so, were to be arrested and de- 
tained for examination. None were to depart from it, 
or be suffered to pass beyond the chain of sentinels, 
but by permission from the commanding general, or 
one of the staff : nor was any vessel or craft to be per- 
mitted to sail on the river, or the lakes, but by the same 
authority, or a passport signed by the commander of 
the naval forces. 

The lamps were to be extinguished at nine o'clock 
at night ; after which time, all persons found in the 
streets, or from their respective homes, without per- 
mission in writing, signed as above, were to be arrest- 
ed as spies, and detained for examination. 

At a crisis so important, and from a persuasion that 
the country, in its menaced situation, could not be 
preserved by the exercise of any ordinary powers, he 
believed it best to adopt a course that should be effi- 
cient, even if it partially endangered the rights and 
privileges of the citizen. He proclaimed martial law, 
believing necessity and policy requited it : y Under 


a solemn conviction that the country, committed to 
his care, could by such a measure alone be saved from 
utter ruin; and from a religious belief, that he was 
performing the most important and sacred duty. By 
it, he intended to supersede such civil powers, as, in 
their operation, interfered with those he was obliged 
to exercise. He thought that, at such a moment, con- 
stitutional forms should be suspended, for the preser- 
vation of constitutional rights ; and that there could be 
no question, whether it were better to depart, for a 
moment, from the enjoyment of our dearest privileges, 
or to have them wrested from us forever." 

This rigid course, however, was by no means well 
received. Whether it had for its object good or evil ; 
whether springing from necessity, or from a spirit of 
oppression in its author, with many, was not a mate- 
rial question : it was sufficient for them to consider it 
an infraction of the law, to excite their warmest op- 
position ; whilst the long approved doctrine of neces- 
sitas rei afforded no substantial argument to induce a 
conviction of its propriety. Whether the civil should 
yield to military law, or which should have control, 
with those whose anxious wishes were the safety of 
the state, was not a matter of deep or serious concern; 
but to busy politicians, and lukewarm breasts, it open- 
ed a field for investigation : and many a fire-side pa- 
triot had arguments at command, to prove it an usur- 
pation of power, an outrage upon government, and a 
violation of the constitution. During the invasion, 
and while affairs of major importance impended, no 
occasion was presented of testing its correctness ; but 
soon as the enefny had retired, and before it was as- 


certained, whether, at some more fortunate and less 
guarded point, they might not return, to renew those 
efforts which had so lately failed, Dominick A. Hall, 
judge of the United States court for this district, de- 
termined to wage a war of authority, and to have 
decided, if, in any event, the civil power could be 
deprived of supremacy. Jackson presumed his time 
of too much importance, at so momentous a period, to 
be wasted in the discussion of civil matters. He gave 
to it, therefore, the only attention which he believed 
its officiousness merited, and instead of obeying the 
command, arrested and ordered the judge to leave the 
city. Peace being presently restored, and danger over, 
the judge renewed the contest ; and causing the gene- 
ral to appear before him, on a process of contempt, 
for detaining and refusing to obey a writ of habeas 
corpus, which had been directed to him, amerced him 
in a fine of a thousand dollars. How far he was ac- 
tuated by correct motives, in exclusion to those feel- 
ings which sometimes estrange the judgment, his own 
conscience can determine ; and how far his proceed- 
ings were fair and liberal, will appear hereafter, when, 
in proper order, we shall be brought to examine this 
prosecution. For the present, we are confident, that 
if ever there was a case that could justify or excuse a 
departure from the law, its features were not stronger 
than those which influenced general Jackson, on the 
present occasion, in suspending the rights of the citi- 
zens. If judge Hall were impelled to the course he 
took, in defence of the violated dignity of the con- 
stitution, and to protect the rights of a government, 
whose judicial powers he represented, whether right 
or wrong, he deserves not censure ; although it might 


be well replied, that an infinitely fairer and more glo- 
rious opportunity of showing his devotedness to his 
country had just passed, when he might truly have 
aided in defence of her honour, nor left even room for 
his motives to have been unfairly appreciated. 

This strong and efficient measure had not been 
resorted to from the mere anticipation of danger; 
already sufficient causes existed; and intrigue and 
stratagem were busily winding their way into our 
camp : they were either to be put down, or every hope 
of opposition and successful resistance abandoned. 
England, never at a loss for varnished statements, to 
give plausibility to her views, not only held forth the 
idea that she had come to restore the inhabitants to 
higher privileges than they enjoyed, but, to render the 
delusion still more complete, through her emissaries, 
propagated the belief, that, as the friend of Spain, she 
had come to restore West Florida to its rightful 
owner, and the citizens to their lawful sovereign. Com- 
posed, as our army at this time was, of heterogeneous 
materials, Frenchmen, Spaniards, and natives, it re- 
quired constant efforts to keep alive excitement, and 
to ward off despondency. Learning the rumours that 
had been propagated, and fearing lest they might have 
an injurious tendency, Jackson immediately circulated 
an address to his troops, in which he sought to coun- 
teract the effect, and preserve their ardour and devo- 
tion to their country. 

" Believe not," he observed, " that the threatened 
invasion is with a view to restore the country to Spain. 
It is founded in design, and a supposition that you 


would be willing to return to your ancient govern- 
ment. Listen not to such incredible tales : your go- 
vernment is at peace with Spain. It is your vital 
enemy, the common enemy of mankind, the highway 
robber of the world, that has sent his hirelings among 
you, to put you from your guard, that you may fall an 
easier prey. Then look to your liberty, your pro- 
perty, the chastity of your wives and daughters. Take 
a retrospect of the conduct of the British army at 
Hampton, and at other places where it has entered 
our country and every bosom, which glows with pa*- 
triotism and virtue, will be inspired with indignation, 
and pant for the arrival of the hour when we shall 
meet and revenge those outrages against the laws of 
civilization and humanity." 

With the exception of the Kentucky troops, which 
were yet absent, all the forces expected had arrived. 
General Carroll had reached Coffee's encampment, 
four miles above the city, on the 21st, and had imme- 
diately reported to the commanding general. The 
officers were busily engaged in drilling, manoeuvring, 
and organizing the troops, and in having every thing 
ready for action, the moment it should become neces- 
sary. No doubt was entertained, but the British 
would be able to effect a landing at some point : the 
principal thing to be guarded against was not to pre- 
vent it; for, since the loss of the gun-boats, any at- 
tempt of this kind could only be regarded as hopeless : 
but, by preserving a constant vigilance, and thereby 
having the earliest intelligence of their approach, they 
might be met at the very threshold, and opposed. 
Small guard boats were constantly plying on the lakes, 


to watch, and give information of every movement 
Some of these had come in, late on the evening of the 
22d, and reported that all was quiet, and that no un- 
favourable appearance portended in that direction. 
With such vigilance, constantly exercised, it is truly 
astonishing that the enemy should have effected an in- 
vasion, and succeeded in disembarking so large a 
force, without the slightest intimation being had, until 
they were accidentally discovered emerging from the 
swamp and woods, about seven miles below the city : 
why it so happened, traitors may conjecture, although 
the truth is yet unknown. The general impression v is, 
that it was through information given by a small party 
of Spanish fishermen, that so secret a disembarkation 
was effected. Several of them had settled at the 
mouth of this bayou, and supported themselves by 
fish which they caught, and vended in the market at 
New Orleans. Obstructions, as we have already 
stated, had been ordered to be made on every inlet, 
and the Louisiana militia been despatched for that pur- 
pose. This place had not received the attention its 
importance merited: nor was it until the 22d, that 
general Villery, charged with the execution of this 
order, had placed here a small detachment of men* 
Towards day, the enemy, silently proceeding up the 
bayou, landed, and succeeded in capturing the whole 
of this party, but two, who fleeing to the swamp, en- 
deavoured to reach the city ; but, owing to the thick 
undergrowth and briars, which rendered it almost im- 
pervious, they did not arrive until after the enemy 
had reached the banks of the Mississippi, and been 


Bayou Bienvenu, through which the British effected 
a landing, is an arm of considerable width, stretching 
towards the Mississippi from lake Borgne, and about 
fifteen miles south-east of New Orleans. It had been 
reported to general Jackson on the 23d, that, on the 
day before, several strange sail had been descried off 
Terre au Boeuf. To ascertain correctly the truth of 
the statement, majors Tatum and Latour, topographi- 
cal engineers, had been sent off, with orders to pro- 
ceed in that direction, and learn if any thing were at- 
tempting there. It was towards noon of the 23d, when 
they started. Approaching general Villery's planta- 
tion, and perceiving at a distance, soldiers, and persons 
fleeing hastily away, they at once supposed the enemy 
had arrived. What, however, was but surmise, was 
presently, and on nearer observation, rendered cer- 
tain ; and it was now no longer a doubt, but that the 
British had landed, in considerable force, and had ac- 
tually gained, unobserved, the house of general Villery, 
on the bank of the Mississippi, where they had sur- 
prised and made prisoners, a company of militia, there 

Major Tatum, hastening back, announced his dis- 
covery. Preparations to act were immediately made 
by general Jackson. Believing that to act speedily, 
was of the highest importance, the signal guns were 
fired, and expresses sent forward, to concentrate his 
forces ; resolving that night to meet the invaders and 
try his own and their firmness. 


General Jackson concentrates his forces, and marches tofght the enemy. 
Alarms of the city. Anecdote. Mode of attack, and battle of the 23c? 
of December. British reinforcements arrive during the action. Ar- 
rival of general CarroWs division. Our army retires from the field. 
Effects of this battle. Jackson establishes a line of defence. General 
Morgan is ordered on the right bank of the Mississippi. Destruction 
and loss of the Caroline schooner. Battle of the 28th December. 
Conduct of the legislature of Louisiana; their deliberations suspended. 
Scarcity of arms in the American camp. Col. Hinds. 

THE hour to test the bravery of his troops had now 
arrived. The approach of the enemy, flushed with the 
hope of easy victory, was announced to Jackson a little 
after one o'clock in the afternoon. There were too 
many reasons, assuring him of the necessity of acting 
speedily, to hesitate a moment on the course proper to 
be pursued. Could he assail them, and obtain even a 
partial advantage, it might be beneficial it might ar- 
rest disaffection buoy up the despondent determine 
the wavering, and bring within his reach resources for 
to-morrow, which might wholly fail, should fear once 
take possession of the public mind. It was a moment, 
too, of all others, most propitious to success. He well 
knew the greater part of his troops were inured to 
marching and fatigue, while those opposed to him had 
just been landed from a long voyage, and were as yet 
without activity, and unfitted for bodily exertion. 
Moreover, a part only might have arrived from the 
shipping, while the remainder would be certainly dis- 
embarked as early as possible. These circumstances 


seemed to augment, in his behalf, the chances of vic- 
tory, if now sought ; but if deferred, they might, in a 
little time, disappear. He resolved, at all events, to 
march, and that night give them battle. Generals Cof- 
fee and Carroll were ordered to proceed immediately 
from their encampment, and join him, with all haste. 
Although four miles above, they arrived in the city in 
less than two hours after the order had been issued, 
These forces, with the seventh and forty-fourth regi- 
ments, the Louisiana troops, and colonel Hinds' dra- 
goons, from Mississippi, constituted the strength of his 
army, which could be carried into action against an 
enemy whose numbers, at this time, could only be con- 
jectured. It was thought advisable that general Car- 
roll and his division should be disposed in the rear, for 
the reason that there was no correct information of the 
force landed through Villery's canal, and because Jack- 
son feared that this probably might be merely a feint 
intended to divert his attention, while a much stronger 
and more numerous division, having already gained 
some point higher on the lake, might, by advancing in 
his absence, gain his rear, and succeed in their designs. 
Uncertain of their movements, it was essential he 
should be prepared for the worst, and, by different dis- 
positions of his troops, be ready to resist, in whatever 
quarter he might be assailed. Carroll, therefore, at the 
head of his division, and governor Claiborne, with the 
state militia, were directed to take post on the Gentilly 
road, which leads from Chef Menteur to New Orleans, 
and to defend it to the last extremity. 

Alarm pervaded the city. The marching and counr- 
termarching of the troops the proximity of the ene- 


my with the approaching contest, and uncertainty of 
the issue, had excited a general fear. Already might 
the British be on their way, and at hand, before the 
necessary arrangements could be made to oppose them. 
To prevent this, colonel Hayne, with two companies of 
riflemen, and the Mississippi dragoons, was sent for- 
ward to reconnoitre their camp, learn their position 
and their numbers ; and, in the event they should be 
found advancing, to harass and oppose them at every 
step, until the main body should arrive. 

Every thing being ready, general Jackson com- 
menced his march, to meet and fight the veteran 
troops of England. An inconsiderable circumstance, 
at this moment, evinced what unlimited confidence 
was reposed in his skill and bravery. As his troops 
were marching through the city, his ears were assailed 
with the screams and cries of innumerable females, 
who had collected on the way, and seemed to appre- 
hend the worst of consequenjces. Feeling for their 
distresses, and anxious to quiet them, he directed Mr. 
Livingston, one of his aids-de-camp, to address them 
in the French language. " Say to them," said he, "not 
to be alarmed : the enemy shall never reach the city." 
It operated like an electric shock. To know that he 
himself was not apprehensive of a fatal result, inspired 
them with altered feelings; sorrow was ended, and 
their grief converted into hope and confidence. 

The general arrived in view of the enemy a little 
before dark. Having previously ascertained from co- 
lonel Hayne, who had been sent in advance, their po- 
sition, and that their strength was about two thousand 


men,* he immediately concerted the mode of attack, 
and hastened to execute it. Commodore Patterson, 
who commanded the naval forces on this station, with 
captain Henly, on board the Caroline, had been direct- 
ed to drop down, anchor in front of their line, and open 
upon them from the guns of the schooner ; this being 
the appointed signal, when given, the attack was to be 
waged simultaneously on all sides. The fires from their 
camp disclosed their position, and showed their en- 
campment, formed with the left resting on the river, 
and extending at right angles into the open field. 
General Coffee, with his brigade, colonel Hinds' dra- 
goons, and captain Beal's company of riflemen, was 
ordered to oblique to the left, and, by a circuitous 
route, avoid their piquets, and endeavour to turn their 
right wing ; having succeeded in this, to form his line, 
and press the enemy towards the river, where they 
would be exposed more completely to the fire of the 
Caroline. The rest of the troops, consisting of the 
regulars, Ploache's city volunteers, Daquin's coloured 
troops, the artillery under lieutenant Spotts, support- 
ed by a company of marines commanded by colonel 
M'Kee, advanced on the road along the bank of the 
Mississippi, and were commanded by Jackson in per- 

General Coffee with silence and caution had ad- 
vanced beyond their piquets, next the swamp, and 
nearly reached the point to which he was ordered, 

* This opinion, as it afterwards appeared, was incorrect. The 
number of the enemy, at the commencement of the action, was three 
thousand, and was shortly afterwards increased by additional forces : 
our strength did not exceed two thousand. 


when a broadside from the Caroline announced the 
battle begun. Patterson had proceeded slowly, giving 
time, as he believed, for the execution of those ar- 
rangements contemplated on the shore. So sanguine 
had the British been in the belief that they would be 
kindly received, and little opposition attempted, that 
the Caroline floated by the sentinels, and anchored be- 
fore their camp, without any kind of molestation. On 
passing the front piquet, she was hailed in a low tone 
of voice, but not returning an answer, no further ques- 
tion was made. This, added to some other attendant 
circumstances, confirmed the opinion that they be- 
lieved her a vessel laden with provisions, which had 
been sent out from New Orleans, and was intended 
for them. Having reached what, from their fires, ap- 
peared to be the centre of their encampment, her an- 
chors were cast, and her character and business dis- 
closed from her guns. So unexpected an attack pro- 
duced a momentary confusion; but, recovering, she 
was answered by a discharge of musketry, and flight 
of congreve rockets, which passed without injury, 
while the grape and canister from her guns, were 
pouring destructively on them. To take away the 
certainty of aim afforded by the light from their fires, 
these were immediately extinguished, and they retired 
two or three hundred yards into the open field, if not 
out of the reach of the cannon, at least to a distance, 
where, by the darkness of the night, they would be 

Coffee had dismounted his men, and turned his 
horses loose, at a large ditch, next the swamp, in the 
rear of Larond's plantation, and gained, as he believed* 


the centre of the enemy's line, when the signal from 
the Caroline reached him. He directly wheeled his 
columns in, and extending his line parallel with the 
river, moved towards their camp. He had advanced 
scarcely more than a hundred yards, when he receiv- 
ed a heavy fire, from a line formed in his front ; this, 
to him, was an unexpected circumstance, as he sup- 
posed the enemy lying principally at a distance, and 
that the only opposition he should meet, until he ap- 
proached towards the levee,* would be from their ad- 
vanced pickets. The circumstance of his coming in 
contact with them so soon, was owing to the severe 
attack of the schooner, which had compelled the ene- 
my to abandon their camp, and form without the reach 
of her guns. The moon shone, but reflected her light 
too feebly to discover objects at a distance. The only 
mean, therefore, of producing certain effect, with the 
kind of force engaged, which consisted chiefly of rifle- 
men, was not to venture at random, but to discharge 
their pieces only when there should be a certainty of 
felling the object. This order being given, the line 
pressed on, and having gained a position near enough 
to distinguish, a general fire was given ; it was well 
directed, and too severe and destructive to be with- 
stood ; the enemy gave way, and retreated, rallied, 
formed, were charged, and again retreated. Our 

* Banks thrown up on the margin of the river to confine the stream 
to its bed ; and which are extended along the Mississippi on both 
sides, from the termination of the highlands, near Baton Rouge. Fre- 
quently the river in its vernal floods rises above the elevation of the 
plains, and then the security of the country depends on the strength 
of those levees ; they not unfrequently break, and incalculable injury 
is the consequence. 



gallant yeomanry, led by their brave commander, 
urged fearlessly on, and drove their invaders from 
every position they attempted to maintain. Their 
general was under no necessity to encourage and 
allure them to deeds of valour : his own example was 
sufficient to excite them. Always in the midst, he 
displayed a coolness and disregard of danger, calling 
to his troops, that they had often said they could 
fight now was the time to prove it. 

The enemy, driven back by the resolute firmness 
and ardour of the assailants, had now reached a grove 
of orange trees, with a ditch running past it, protected 
by a fence on the margin. Here they were halted and 
formed for battle. It was a favourable position, pro- 
mising security, and was occupied with a confidence 
they could not be forced to yield it. Coffee's daunt- 
less yeomanry, strengthened in their hopes of success, 
moved on, nor discovered the advantages against them, 
until a fire from the entire British line showed their 
position and defence. A sudden check was given ; 
but it was only momentary, for gathering fresh ar- 
dour, they charged across the ditch, gave a deadly and 
destructive fire, and forced them to retire. The re- 
treat continued, until gaining a similar position, the 
enemy made another stand, and were again driven 
from it with considerable loss. 

Thus the battle raged on the left wing, until the 
British reached the bank of the river ; here a deter- 
mined stand was made, and further encroachments re- 
sisted : for half an hour the conflict was extremely vio- 
lent on both sides. The American troops could not 


be driven from their purpose, nor the British made to 
yield their ground; but at length, having suffered 
greatly, the latter were under the necessity of taking 
refuge behind the levee, which afforded a breast-work, 
and protected them from the fatal fire of our riflemen. 
Coffee, unacquainted with their position, for the dark- 
ness had greatly increased, already contemplated again 
to charge them ; but one of his officers, who had dis- 
covered the advantage their situation gave them, as- 
sured him it was too hazardous ; that they could be 
driven no further, and would, from the point they 
occupied, resist with the bayonet, and repel, with con* 
siderable loss, any attempt that might be made to dis- 
lodge them. The place of their retirement was cov- 
ered in front by a strong bank, which had been ex- 
tended into the field, to keep out the river, in conse* 
quence of the first being encroached upon, and un- 
dermined in several places : the former, however, was 
still entire, in many parts, which, interposing between 
them and the Mississippi, afforded security from the 
broadsides of the schooner, which lay off at some dis- 
tance. A further apprehension, lest, by moving still 
nearer to the river, he might greatly expose himself 
to the fire of the Caroline, which was yet spiritedly 
maintaining the conflict, induced Coffee to retire until 
he could hear from the commanding general, ajad re- 
ceive his further orders. 

During this time, the right wing, under Jackson, 
had been no less prompt and active. A detachment 
of artillery, under lieutenant Spotts, supported by 
sixty marines, and constituting the advance, had moved 
down the road, next the levee. 0n their left was the 


seventh regiment of infantry, led by major Piere. The 
forty-fourth, commanded by major Baker, was formed 
on the extreme left; while Plauche's and Daquin's 
battalions of city guards, were directed to be posted 
in the centre, between the seventh and forty-fourth. 
The general had ordered colonel Ross, who, during 
the night, acted in the capacity of brigadier-general, 
for he was without a brigadier, on hearing the signal 
from the Caroline, to move off by heads of companies, 
and, on reaching the enemy's line, to deploy, and 
unite the left wing of his command with the right of 
general Coffee's. This order was omitted to be exe- 
cuted; and the consequence was an early introduc- 
tion of confusion in the ranks, whereby was prevented 
the important design of uniting the two divisions. 

Instead of moving in columns from the first position, 
the troops, with the exception of the seventh regiment, 
next the person of the genera), which advanced agree- 
ably to the instructions that had been given, were 
formed and marched in extended line. Having suffi- 
cient ground to form on at first, no inconvenience was 
at the moment sustained ; but this advantage presently 
failing, the centre became compressed, and was forced 
in the rear. The river, from where they were formed, 
gradually inclined to the left, and diminished the space 
originally possessed : farther in stood Larond's house, 
surrounded by a grove of clustered orange trees : this 
pressing the left, and the river the right wing to the 
centre, formed a curve, which presently threw the 
principal part of Plauche's and Daquin's battalions 
without the line. This inconvenience might have been 
remedied, but for the briskness of the advance, and for 


the darkness of the night A heavy fire from behind 
a fence, immediately before them, had brought the 
enemy to view. Acting in obedience to their orders-, 
not to waste their ammunition at random, our troops 
had pressed forward against the opposition in their 
front, and thereby threw those battalions in the rear. 

A fog rising from the river, and which, added to the 
smoke from the guns, was covering the plain, gradu- 
ally diminished the little light shed by the moon, and 
greatly increased the darkness of the night : no clue 
was left to ascertain how 0r where the enemy were 
situated. There was no alternative but to move on, in 
the direction of their fire, which subjected the assail- 
ants to material disadvantages. The British, driven 
from their first position, had retired back, and occu- 
pied another, behind a deep ditch, that ran out of the 
Mississippi towards the swamp, on the margin of which 
was a wood railed fence. Here, strengthened by in- 
creased numbers, they again opposed the advance of 
our troops. Having waited until they had approached 
sufficiently near to be discovered, from their fastnesses 
they discharged a fire upon the advancing army. In- 
stantly our battery was formed, and poured destruc- 
tively upon them ; while the infantry, pressing forward, 
aided in the conflict, which at this point was for some 
time spiritedly maintained. At this moment, a brisk 
sally was made upon our advance, when the marines, 
unequal to the assault, were already giving way. The 
adjutant-general, and colonels Piatt and Chotard, with 
a part of the seventh, hastening to their support, drove 
the enemy, and saved the artillery from capture. Gene- 
ral Jackson, perceiving the decided advantages which. 



were derived from the position they occupied, ordered 
their line to be charged. It was obeyed with cheer- 
fulness, and executed with promptness. Pressing on, 
our troops gained the ditch, and, pouring across it a 
well aimed fire, compelled them to retreat, and to aban- 
don their entrenchment. The plain, on which they 
were contending, was cut to pieces, by races from the 
river, to convey the water to the swamp. The enemy 
were, therefore, very soon enabled to occupy another 
position, equally favourable with the one whence they 
had been just driven, where they formed for battle, 
and, for some time, gallantly maintained themselves ; 
but which, at length, and after stubborn resistance, 
they were forced to yield. 

The enemy, discovering the firm and obstinate ad- 
vance made by the right wing of the American army, 
and presuming perhaps that its principal strength was 
posted on the road, formed the intention of attacking 
violently the left. Obliquing, for this purpose, an at- 
tempt was made to turn it. At this moment, Daquin's 
and the battalion of city guards, being marched up, 
and formed on the left of the forty-fourth regiment, 
met and repulsed them. 

The particular moment of the contest prevented 
many of those benefits which might have been de- 
rived from the artillery. The darkness of the night 
was such, that the blaze of the enemy's musketry was 
the only light afforded by which to determine their 
position, or be capable of taking our own to advan- 
tage; yet, notwithstanding, it greatly annoyed them, 
whenever it could be brought to bear. Directed by 


lieutenant Spotts, a vigilant and skilful officer, with 
men to aid him who looked to nothing but a zealous 
discharge of their duty, the most essential and im- 
portant services were rendered. 

The enemy had been thrice assailed and beaten, 
and for nearly a mile compelled to yield their ground. 
They had now retired, and, if found, were to be sought 
for amidst the darkness of the night. The general de- 
termined to halt, and ascertain Coffee's position and 
success, previously to waging the battle further ; for as 
yet no communication had passed between them. He 
entertained no doubt, from the brisk firing in that 
direction, but that he had been warmly engaged ; but 
this had now nearly subsided ; the Caroline, too, had 
almost ceased her operations ; it being only occasion- 
ally, that the noise of her guns disclosed the little op- 
portunity she possessed of acting efficiently. 

The express despatched to general Jackson, from 
the left wing, having reached him, he determined to 
prosecute the successes he had gained, no further. 
The darkness of the night the confusion into which 
his own division had been thrown, and a similar dis- 
aster produced on the part of Coffee, all pointed to 
the necessity of retiring from the field, and abandon- 
ing the contest. The bravery and firmness already 
displayed by his troops, had induced with him a belief 
that by pressing forward he might capture the whole 
British army : at any rate, he considered it but a game 
of venture and hazard, which, if unsuccessful, could 
not occasion his own defeat. If incompetent to its 
execution, and superior numbers, or superior discip- 


line, should compel him to recede from the effort, he 
well knew the enemy would not have temerity enough 
to attempt pursuit. The extreme darkness their en- 
tire ignorance of the situation of the country, and an 
apprehension lest their forces might be greatly out- 
numbered, afforded sufficient reasons on which to 
ground a belief, that although beaten from his pur- 
pose, he would yet have it in his power to retire in 
safety: but on the arrival of the express from general 
Coffee, learning the strong position to which the 
enemy had retired, and that a part of the left wing 
had been detached, and were in all probability cap- 
tured, he determined to retire from the contest, nor 
attempt a further prosecution of his successes. Gene- 
ral Coffee was accordingly directed to withdraw, and 
take a position at Larond's plantation, where the line 
had been first formed : and thither the troops on the 
right were also ordered to be marched. 

The last charge made by the left wing, had separa- 
ted, from the main body, colonels Dyer and Gibson, 
with two hundred men, and captain Beal's company 
of riflemen. What might be their fate ; whether they 
were captured, or had effected their retreat, was, at 
this time, altogether uncertain ; be that as it might, 
Coffee's command was thereby considerably weakened. 

Colonel Dyer, who commanded the extreme left, on 
clearing the grove, after the enemy had retired, was 
marching in a direction where he expected to find 
general Coffee ; he very soon discovered a force in 
front, and halting his men, hastened towards it ; ar- 
riving within a short distance, he was hailed, ordered 


to stop, and report to whom he belonged : Dyer, and 
Gibson, his lieutenant-colonel, who had accompanied 
him, advanced, and stated they were of Coffee's bri- 
gade ; by this time they had arrived within a short dis- 
tance of the line, and perceiving that the name of the 
brigade they had stated was not understood, their ap- 
prehensions were awakened, lest it might be a detach- 
ment of the enemy; in this opinion they were imme- 
diately confirmed, and wheeling to return, were fired 
on and pursued. Gibson had scarcely started when 
he fell ; before he could recover, a soldier, quicker 
than the rest, had reached him, and pinned him to the 
ground with his bayonet ; fortunately the stab had but 
slightly wounded him, and he was only held by his 
clothes : thus pinioned, and perceiving others to be 
briskly advancing, but a moment was left for de- 
liberation ; making a violent exertion, and springing 
to his feet, he threw his assailant to the ground, and 
made good his retreat. Colonel Dyer had retreated 
about fifty yards, when his horse dropped dead ; en- 
tangled in the fall, and slightly wounded in the thigfy 
there was little prospect of relief, for the enemy were 
briskly advancing : his men being near at hand, he or- 
dered them to advance and fire, which checked their 
approach, and enabled him to escape. Being now at 
the head of his command, perceiving an enemy in a 
direction he had not expected, and uncertain how or 
where he might find general Coffee, he determined to 
seek him to the right, and moving on with his little 
band, forced his way through the enemy's lines, with 
the loss of sixty-three of his men, who were killed 
and taken. Captain Beal, with equal bravery, charged 
through the enemy, carrying off some prisoners, and 
losing several of his own company. 



This reinforcement of the British had arrived from 
Bayou Bienvenu, after night. The boats that landed 
the first detachment, had proceeded back to the ship- 
ping, and having returned, were on their way up the 
bayou, when they heard the guns of the Caroline ; 
moving hastily on to the assistance of those who had 
debarked before them, they reached the shore, and 
knowing nothing of the situation of the two armies, 
during the engagement advanced in the rear of gene- 
ral Coffee's brigade. Coming in contact with colonel 
Dyer and captain Beal, they filed off to the left, and 
reached the British lines. 

This detached part of Coffee's brigade, unable to 
unite with, or find him, retired to the place where they 
had first formed, and joined colonel Hinds' dragoons, 
which had remained on the ground where the troops 
had first dismounted, that they might cover their re- 
treat, in the event it became necessary. 

Jackson had gone into this battle confident of suc- 
cess ; and his arrangements were such as would have 
ensured it, even to a much greater extent, but for the 
intervention of circumstances that were not, and could 
not be foreseen. The Caroline had given her signals, 
and commenced the battle, a little too early, before 
Coffee had reached and taken his position, and before 
every thing was fully in readiness, to attain the objects 
designed : but it was chiefly owing to the confusion in- 
troduced at first into the ranks, which checked the ra- 
pidity of his advance gave the enemy time for pre- 
paration, and prevented his division from uniting with 
the right wing of General Coffee's brigade. 


Colonel Hinds, with one hundred and eighty dra- 
goons, was not brought into action during the night. 
Interspersed as the plain was, with innumerable ditch- 
es, diverging in different directions, it was impossible 
that cavalry could act to any kind of advantage : they 
were now formed in advance, to watch, until morning, 
the movements of the enemy. 

From the experiment just made, Jackson believed 
it would be in his power, on renewing the attack, to 
capture the British army : he concluded, therefore, to 
order down to his assistance general Carroll with his 
division, and to assail them again at the dawn of day. 
Directing governor Claiborne to remain at his post, 
with the Louisiana militia, for the defence of an im- 
portant pass to the city, the Gentilly road, he despatch- 
ed an express to Carroll, stating to him, that, in the 
event there had been no appearance of a force during 
the night, in the direction of Chef Menteur, to hasten 
and join him with the troops under his command : this 
order was executed by one o'clock in the morning. 
Previously, however, to his arrival, a different deter- 
mination was made. From prisoners who had been 
brought in, and through deserters, it was ascertained 
that the strength of the enemy, during the battle, was 
four thousand, and, with the reinforcements which had 
reached them, after its commencement, and during the 
action, their force could not be less than six : at any 
rate> it would greatly exceed his own, even after the 
Tennessee division should be added. Although very 
decided advantages had been obtained, yet they had 
been procured under circumstances that might be 
wholly lost in a contest waged in open day, between 
forces so disproportionate, and by undisciplined troops, 


against veteran soldiers. Jackson well knew it was 
incumbent upon him to act a part entirely defensive : 
should the attempt to gain and destroy the city suc- 
ceed, numerous difficulties would present themselves, 
which might be avoided, so long as he could hold the 
enemy in check, and halt him in his designs. Prompt- 
ed by these considerations that it was important to 
pursue a course calculated to assure safety; and be- 
lieving it attainable in no way so effectually, as in oc- 
cupying some point, and by the strength he might give 
it, compensate for the inferiority of his numbers, and 
their want of discipline, he determined to forbear all 
further offensive efforts until he could more certainly 
discover the views of the enemy, and until the Ken- 
tucky troops, which had not yet arrived, should reach 
him. Pursuing this idea, at four o'clock in the morn- 
ing, having ordered colonel Hinds to occupy the ground 
he was then abandoning, and to observe the enemy 
closely, he fell back, and formed his line behind a deep 
ditch that stretched to the swamp at right angles from 
the river. There were two circumstances strongly re- 
commending the importance of this place : the swamp, 
which, from the high lands at Baton Rouge, skirts the 
river at irregular distances, and in many places is al- 
most impervious, had here approached within four 
hundred yards of the Mississippi, and hence, from the 
narrowness of the pass, was more easily to be defend- 
ed ; added to which, there was a deep canal, whence 
the dirt being thrown on the upper side, already form- 
ed a tolerable work of defence. Behind this, his troops 
were formed, and proper measures adopted for increas- 
ing its strength, with a determination never to abandon 
it ; but there to resist to the last, and valiantly to defend 


those rights which were sought to be outraged and de- 

Promptitude in decision, and activity in execution, 
constituted the leading traits of Jackson's character. 
No sooner had he resolved on the course which he 
thought necessary to be pursued, than with every pos- 
sible despatch he hastened to its completion. Before 
him was an army proud of its name, and distinguished 
for its deeds of valour. Opposed to which was his own 
unbending spirit, and an inferior, undisciplined and 
unarmed force. He conceived, therefore, that his was 
a defensive policy ; that by prudence and caution he 
would be able to preserve, what offensive operation 
might have a tendency to endanger. Hence, with ac- 
tivity and industry, based on a hope of ultimate suc- 
cess, he commenced his plan of defence, determining 
to fortify himself effectually, as the peril and pressure 
of the moment would permit. When to expect attack 
he could not tell ; preparation and readiness to meet 
it, was for him to determine on, all else was for the 
enemy. Promptly, therefore, he proceeded with his 
system of defence ; and with such thoughtfulness and 
anxiety that until the night of the 27th, when his 
line was completed, he never slept, or for a moment 
closed his eyes. Resting his hope of safety here, lie 
was every where, through the night, present, encour- 
aging his troops, and hastening a completion of the 
work. The concern and excitement produced by the 
mighty object before him, were such as overcame the 
demand of nature, and for five days and four nights, 
he was without sleep and constantly employed. His 
line of defence being completed on the night of the 


27th, he, for the first time since the arrival of the ene- 
my, retired to rest and repose. 

The soldier who has stood the shock of battle, and 
knows what slight circumstances oftentimes produce 
decided advantages, will be able, properly to appre- 
ciate the events of this night. Although the dreadful 
carnage of the 8th of January, hereafter to be told, 
was in fact the finishing blow, that struck down the 
towering hopes of those invaders, and put an end to 
the contest, yet in the battle of the 23d, is there to be 
found abundant cause why success resulted to our 
arms, and safety was given to the country. The Bri- 
tish had reached the Mississippi without the fire of a 
gun, and encamped upon its banks as composedly as 
if they had been seated on their own soil, and at a 
distance from all danger. These were circumstances 
which awakened a belief that they expected little 
opposition, were certain of success, and that the 
troops with whom they were to contend would scarce- 
ly venture to resist them : resting thus confidently 
in the expectation of success, they would the next 
day have moved forward, and succeeded in the ac- 
complishment of their designs. Jackson, convinced 
that an early impression was essential to ultimate suc- 
cess, had resolved to assail them at the moment of 
their landing, and "attack them in their first position:" 
we have, therefore, seen him, with a force inferior by 
one half, to that of the enemy, at an unexpected mo- 
ment, break into their camp, and with his undisciplin- 
ed yeomanry, drive before him the pride of England, 
and the conquerors of Europe. It was an event that 
could not fail to destroy all previous theories, and es- 


tablish a conclusion, which our enemy had not before 
formed, that they were contending against valour infe- 
rior to none they had seen ; before which their own 
bravery had not stood, nor their skill availed them : it 
had the effect of satisfying them, that the quantity and 
kind of troops it was in our power here to wield, 
must be different from any thing that had been repre- 
sented to them ; for much as they had heard of the 
courage of the man with whom they were contend- 
ing, they could not suppose, that a general having a 
country to defend, and a reputation to preserve, would 
venture to attack, on their own chosen ground, a great- 
ly superior army, and one, which, by the numerous 
victories it had achieved, had already acquired a fame 
in arms; they were convinced that his force must 
greatly surpass what they had expected, and be com- 
posed of materials different from what they had ima- 

*.**>^"- ' i/y' .t * '**'>' 

The American troops, which were actually engaged, 
did not amount to two thousand men : they consisted 
of part of 

Coffee's brigade and captain Beal's company, 648 
The 7th and 44th regiments, 763 

Company of marines and artillery, * - 82 

Plauche's and Daquin's battalions, *,*>' 488 
And the Mississippi dragoons under colonel ) 

Hinds, not in the action, i 


* This statement may be relied on ; it was furnished to the author 
by colonel Robert Butler, adjutant-general of the southern division, 
who assured him it was correct. 


which, for more than an hour, maintained a severe con- 
flict with a force of four or five thousand, and retired 
in safety from the ground, with the loss of but twenty- 
four killed, one hundred and fifteen wounded, and 
seventy-four made prisoners ; while the killed, wound- 
ed t and prisoners, of the enemy, were not less than four 

Our officers and soldiers executed every order with 
promptitude, and nobly sustained their country's cha- 
racter. Lieutenant-colonel Lauderdale, of Coffee's 
brigade, an officer of great promise, and on whom 
every reliance was placed, fell at his post, and at his 
duty : he had entered the service, and descended the 
river with the volunteers under General Jackson, in 
the winter of 1812 passed through all the hardships 
and difficulties of the Creek war, and had ever mani- 
fested a readiness to act when his country needed his 
services. Young, brave, and skilful, he had already 
afforded evidences of a capacity, which might, in fu- 
ture, have become useful ; his exemplary conduct, both 
in civil and military life, had acquired for him a re- 
spect, that rendered his fall a subject of general regret 
Lieutenant M'Lelland, a valuable young officer of the 
7th, was also among the number of the slain. 

Coffee's brigade, during the action, imitating the 
example of their commander, bravely contended, and 
ably supported the character they had previously es- 
tablished. The unequal contest in which they were 
engaged, never occurred to them ; nor, for a moment, 
checked the rapidity of their advance. Had the Bri- 
tish known they were merely riflemen, and without 


bayonets, a firm stand would have arrested their pro- 
gress, and destruction or capture would have been the 
inevitable consequence ; but, this circumstance being 
unknown, every charge they made was crowned with 
success, producing discomfiture, and routing and driv- 
ing superior numbers before them. Officers, from the 
highest to inferior grades, discharged what had been 
expected of them. Ensign Leach, of the 7th regiment, 
being wounded through the body, still remained at his 
post, and in the performance of his duty. Colonel Reu- 
ben Kemper, enterprising and self-collected, amidst 
the confusion introduced on the left wing, found him- 
self at the head of a handful of men, detached from the 
main body, and in the midst of a party of the enemy : 
never did any man better exemplify the truth of the 
position, that discretion is sometimes the better part 
of valour : to attempt resistance was idle, and could 
only eventuate in destruction : with a mind unclouded 
by the peril that surrounded him, he sought and pro- 
cured his safety through stratagem. Calling to a group 
of soldiers who were near, in a positive tone, he de- 
manded of them where their regiment was : lost them- 
selves, they were unable to answer : but supposing him 
one of their own officers, they assented to his orders, 
and followed him to his own line, where they were made 

The 7th regiment, commanded by major Piere, and 
the 44th, under major Baker, aided by major Butler, 
gallantly maintained the conflict forced the enemy 
from every secure position he attempted to occupy, 
and drove him a mile from the first point of attack. 
Confiding in themselves, and their general, who was 


constantly with them, exposed to danger and in the 
midst of the fight, inspiring by his ardour, and encou- 
raging by his example, they advanced to the conflict, 
nor evinced a disposition to leave it until the prudence 
of their commander directed them to retire. 

From the violence of the assault already made, the 
fears of the British had been greatly excited; to keep 
their apprehensions alive was considered important, 
with a view partially to destroy the overweening con- 
fidence with which they had arrived on our shores, 
and to compel them to act, for a time, upon the de- 
fensive. To effect this, general Coffee, with his bri- 
gade, was ordered down on the morning of the 24th, 
to unite with colonel Hinds, and make a show in the 
rear of Lacoste's plantation. The enemy, not yet re- 
covered of the panic produced by the assault of the 
preceding evening, already believed it was in contem- 
plation to urge another attack, and immediately form- 
ed themselves to repel it ; but Coffee having succeeded 
in recovering some of his horses, which were wander^ 
ing along the margin of the swamp, and in regaining 
part of the clothing which his troops had lost the night 
before, returned to the line, leaving them to conjee* 
ture the objects of his movement 

* - ;,.' . i.- -i, . Vi "'".* . 

The scanty supply of clothes and blankets that re- 
mained to the soldiers, from their long and exposed 
marches, had been left where they dismounted to 
meet the enemy. Their numbers were too limited ? 
and the strength of their opponents too well ascertain- 
ed, for any part of their force to remain and take care 
df what was left behind : it was so essential to hasten 


on, reach their destination, and be ready to act when 
the signal from the Caroline should announce their 
co-operation necessary, that no time was afforded them 
to secure their horses ; they were turned loose, and 
their recovery trusted entirely to chance. Although 
many were regained, many were lost; while most of 
the men remained but with a single suit, to encounter^ 
in the open field, and in swamps covered with water, 
the hardships of camp, and the severity of winter. It 
is a circumstance which entitles them to much credit, 
that under privations so severely oppressive, com- 
plaints or murmurs were never heard. This state of 
things fortunately was not of long continuance. The 
story of their sufferings and misfortunes was no sooner 
known, than the legislature appropriated a sum of 
money for their relief, which was greatly increased 
by subscriptions in the city and neighbourhood. Ma- 
terials being purchased, the ladies, with that Christian 
charity and warmth of heart characteristic of their 
sex, at once exerted themselves in removing their dis- 
tresses : all their industry was called into action, and 
in a little time, the suffering soldier was relieved. Such 
generous conduct, in extending assistance at a moment 
when it was so much needed, while it conferred on 
those females the highest honour, could not fail to 
nerve the arm of the brave with new zeal for the de- 
fence of their benefactresses. This distinguished mark 
of their patriotism and benevolence, is still remember- 
ed; and often as these valiant men are heard to re- 
count the dangers they have passed, and with peculiar ' 
pride to dwell on the mingled honours and hardships 
of the campaign, they breathe a sentiment of gratitude 
to those who conferred upon them such distinguished 


marks of their kindness, and who, by timely inter- 
ference, alleviated their misfortunes and their suffer- 

To present a check, and keep up a show of resist- 
ance, detachments of light troops were occasionally 
kept in front of the line, assailing and harassing the 
enemy's advanced posts whenever an opportunity was 
offered of acting to advantage. Every moment that 
could be gained, and every delay that could be ex- 
tended to the enemy's attempts, to reach the city, was 
of the utmost importance. The works were rapidly 
progressing, and hourly increasing in strength. The 
militia of the state were every day arriving, and every 
day the prospect of successful opposition was bright- 

The enemy still remained at his first encampment. 
To be in readiness to repel an assault when attempted, 
the most active exertions were made on the 24th and 
25th. The canal, covering the front of our line, was 
deepened and widened, and a strong mud wall formed 
of the earth that had been originally thrown out. To 
prevent any approach until his system of defence 
should be in a state of greater forwardness, Jackson 
ordered the levee to be cut, about a hundred yards 
below the point he had occupied. The river being 
very high, a broad stream of water passed rapidly 
through the plain, of the depth of thirty or forty 
inches, which prevented any approach of troops on 
foot. Embrasures were formed, and two pieces of 
artillery, under the command of lieutenant Spotty 


early on the morning of the 24th, were placed in a 
position to rake the road leading up the levee. 

He was under constant apprehensions, lest, in spite 
of his exertions below, the city might, through some 
other route, be reached and destroyed ; and those fears 
were increased to-day, by a report that a strong force 
had arrived debarked at the head of lake Borgne, 
and compelled an abandonment of the defence at Chef 
Menteur. This, however, proved to be unfounded: 
the enemy had not appeared in that direction, nor had 
the officer, to whom was entrusted the command of 
this fort, so much relied on, forgotten his duty, or for- 
saken his post. Acting upon the statement that ma- 
jor Lacoste had retired from the fort, and fallen back 
on bayou St. John, and incensed that orders, which, 
from their importance, should have been faithfully 
executed, had been thus lightly regarded, he hasten- 
ed to inform him what he had understood, and to for- 
bid his leaving his position. " The battery I have 
placed under your command, must be defended at all 
hazards. In you, and the valour of your troops, I re- 
pose every confidence; let me not be deceived. 
With us, every thing goes on well : the enemy has not 
yet advanced. Our troops have covered themselves 
with glory : it is a noble example, and worthy to be 
followed by all. Maintain your post, nor ever think 
of retreating." To give additional strength to a place 
deemed so important inspire confidence, and ensure 
safety, colonel Dyer, and two hundred men, were or- 
dered here to assist in its defence, and act as videttes, 
in advance of the occupied points. 


General Morgan, who, at the English turn, com- 
manded the fort on the east bank of the river, was in- 
structed to proceed as near the enemy's camp as 
prudence and safety would permit, and, by destroying 
the levee, to let in the waters of the Mississippi be^ 
tween them. The execution of this order, and a 
similar one, previously made, below the line of defence, 
had entirely insulated the enemy, and prevented his 
march against either place. On the 26th, however, 
the commanding general fearing for the situation of 
Morgan, who, from the British occupying the inter- 
mediate ground, was entirely detached from his camp, 
directed him to abandon his encampment, carry off 
such of the cannon as might be wanted, and throw the 
remainder into the river, where they could be again 
recovered when the waters receded ; to retire to the 
other side of the river, and assume a position on the 
right bank, nearly opposite to his line, and have it 
fortified. This movement was imposed by the relative 
disposition of the two armies. Necessity, not choice, 
made it essential that St. Leon should be abandoned. 

From every intelligence, obtained through deserters 
and prisoners, it was evident that the British fleet 
would make an effort to ascend the river, and co- 
operate with the troops already landed. Lest this, 
or a diversion in a different quarter, might be attempt* 
ed, exertions were made to be able to resist at all 
points, and to interpose such defences on the Missis- 
sippi as might assure protection. The forts on the 
river, well supported with brave men, and heavy 
pieces of artillery, might, perhaps, have the effect to 
deter their shipping from venturing in that direction. 


and dispose them to seek some safer route, if any 
could be discovered. Pass Barrataria was best cal- 
culated for this purpose, and here, in all probability, 
it was expected the effort might be made. The dif- 
ficulty of ascending the Mississippi, from the rapidity 
of the current, its winding course, and the ample pro- 
tection already given at forts St. Philip and Bourbon, 
were circumstances to which, it was not to be inferred, 
the British were strangers : nor was it to be expected, 
that, with a knowledge of them, they would venture 
here the success of an enterprise on which so much 
depended. It was a more rational conjecture that 
they would seek a passage through Barrataria pro- 
ceed up on the right bank of the river, and gain a 
position whence, co-operating with the forces on the 
east side, they might drive our troops from the line 
they had formed, and, at less hazard, succeed in the 
accomplishment of their designs. Major Reynolds was 
accordingly ordered thither, with instructions to place 
the bayous, emptying through this pass, in the best 
possible state of defence to occupy and strengthen 
the island to mount sufficient ordnance, and draw a 
chain, within cannon-shot, across, the more effectually 
to guard the route, and protect it from approach. 
Lafite, who had been heretofore promised pardon for 
the outrages he had committed against the laws of 
the United States, and who had already shown a lively 
zeal in behalf of his adopted country, was also dis- 
patched with Reynolds. He was selected, because, 
from the proofs already given, no doubt was enter- 
tained of his fidelity, and because his knowledge of 
the topography and precise situation of this sqction of 
the state, was remarkably correct : it was the point 


where he had constantly rendezvoused, during the 
time of cruising against the merchant vessels of Spain, 
under a commission obtained at Carthagena, and 
where he had become perfectly acquainted with every 
inlet and entrance to the gulf through which a pas- 
sage could be effected. 

With these arrangements treason apart all anx- 
iously alive to the interest of the country, and dispos- 
ed to protect it, there was little room to apprehend 
or fear disaster. To use the general's own expres- 
sion, on another occasion, " the surest defence, and 
one which seldom failed of success, was a rampart of 
high-minded and brave men." That there were some 
of this description with him^ on whom he could safe- 
ly rely, in moments of extreme peril, he well knew ; 
but that there were many strangers to him and dan- 
ger, and who had never been called to act in those 
situations where death, stalking in hideous round, ap- 
pals and unnerves even the most resolute, was equally 
certain ; whether they would contend with manly firm- 
ness support the cause in which they had embarked, 
and realize his anxious wishes on the subject, could 
be only known in the moment of conflict and trial ; 
when, if disappointed in his expectations, the means 
of retrieving the evil would be fled, and every thing 
lost in the result. 

As yet the enemy were uninformed of the position 
of Jackson. What was his situation what was in- 
tended whether offensive or defensive operations 
would be pursued, were circumstances on which they 
possessed no correct knowledge, nor could it be ob- 


tained ; still their exertions were unremitting to have 
all things prepared, and in readiness to urge their de- 
signs whenever the moment for action should arrive* 
They had been constantly engaged, since their land- 
ing, in procuring from their shipping every thing ne- 
cessary to ulterior operation. A complete command 
on the lakes, and possession of a point on the margin, 
presented an uninterrupted ingress and egress, and af- 
forded the opportunity of conveying whatever was 
wanted, in perfect safety to their camp. The height 
of the Mississippi, and the discharge of water through 
the openings made in the levee, had given an increas- 
ed depth to the canal, from which they had first de- 
barked enabled them to advance their boats much 
further, in the direction of their encampment, and, 
with greater convenience, to forward their artillery, 
bombs and munitions. Thus engaged, during the 
first three days after their arrival, early on the morn- 
ing of the 27th, a battery was discovered on the bank 
of the river, which had been erected during the pre- 
ceding night, and on which were mounted several 
pieces of heavy ordnance ; from this position a fire was 
opened on the Caroline schooner, lying under the op- 
posite shore. 

After the battle of the 23d, in which this vessel had 
iso effectually aided, she had passed to the opposite 
side of the river, where she had since lain. Her ser- 
vices were too highly appreciated not to be again de- 
sired, in the event the enemy should endeavour to ad- 
vance. Her present situation was considered truly an 
unsafe one, but it had been essayed in vain to advance 
her higher up the stream. No favourable breeze had 



yet arisen to aid her in stemming the current ; and 
towing, and other remedies, had been already resorted 
to, but without success. Her safety might have been 
ensured by floating her down the river and placing 
her under cover of the guns of the fort, though it was 
preferred as a matter of policy, to risk her where she 
was, still, hourly, calculating that a favourable wind 
might relieve her, rather than by dropping her with 
the current, lose those benefits which, against an ad- 
vance of the enemy, it might be in her power so com- 
pletely to extend. Commodore Patterson had left her 
on the 26th, by the orders of the commanding gene- 
ral, when captain Henly made a further, but ineffec- 
tual, effort to force her up the current, near to the line, 
for the double purpose of its defence and for her own 

These attempts to remove her being discovered, 
at daylight, on the morning of the 27th, a battery, 
mounting five guns, opened upon her, discharging 
bombs and red hot shot ; it was spiritedly answered, 
but without affecting the battery ; there being but a 
long twelve pounder that could reach. The second 
fire had lodged a hot shot in the hold, directly under 
her cables, whence it could not be removed, and where 
it immediately communicated fire to the schooner. 
The shot from the battery were constantly taking 
effect, firing her in different places, and otherwise 
producing material injury; while the blaze already 
kindled under her cables, was rapidly extending its 
ravages. A well grounded apprehension of her com- 
mander, that she could be no longer defended the 
flames bursting forth in different parts, and fast in- 


creasing, induced a fear lest the magazine should be 
soon reached, and every thing destroyed. One of his 
crew being killed, and six wounded, and not a glim- 
mering of hope entertained that she could be pre- 
served, orders were given to abandon her. The crew 
in safety reached the shore, and in a short time after- 
wards she blew up. 

' i ' * 

Although thus unexpectedly deprived of so material 
a dependence, for successful defence, an opportunity 
was soon presented of using her brave crew to ad- 
vantage. Gathering confidence from what had been 
just effected, the enemy left their encampment, and 
moved in the direction of our line. Their numbers 
had been increased, and major-general Sir Edward 
Packenham now commanded in person. Early on the 
28th, his columns commenced their advance to storm 
our works. At the distance of half a mile, their heavy 
artillery opened, and quantities of bombs, balls and 
congreve rockets, were discharged. It was a scene 
of terror and alarm, which they had probably calcu- 
lated would excite a panic in the minds of the raw 
troops of our army, and compel them to surrender at 
discretion, or abandon their strong hold. But our 
soldiers had afforded abundant proof, that, whether 
disciplined or not, they well knew how to defend the 
honour and interests of their country ; and had suf- 
ficient valour not to be alarmed at the reality still 
less the semblance of danger. Far from exciting their 
apprehensions, and driving them from their ground, 
their firmness still remained unchanged; still was 
manifested a determination not to tarnish a reputation 
they had hardly earned ; and which had become too 


dear, from the difficulties and dangers they had passed 
to acquire it, for it now tamely to be surrendered. 
Their congreve rockets, though a kind of instrument 
of destruction to which our troops unskilled in the 
science of desolating warfare, had been hitherto stran- 
gers, excited no other feeling than that which novelty 
inspires. At the moment, therefore, that the British, 
in different columns, were moving up, in all the pomp 
and parade of battle, preceded by these insignia of 
terror, more than danger, and were expecting to be- 
hold their " Yankee foes" tremblingly retire and flee 
before them, our batteries opened, and halted their 

In addition to the two pieces of cannon mounted on 
our works, on the 24th, three others, of heavy caliber, 
obtained from the navy department, had been formed 
along the line ; these opening on the enemy, checked 
their progress, and disclosed to them the hazard of 
the project they were on. Lieutenants Crawley and 
Norris volunteered, and with the crew of the Caro- 
line rendered important services, and maintained, at 
the guns they commanded, that firmness and decision 
for which, on previous occasions, ttyey had been so 
liighly distinguished. They had been selected by the 
general, because of their superior knowledge in gun- 
nery ; and, on this occasion, gave a further evidence 
of their skill and judgment, and of a disposition to act 
in any situation w^here they could be serviceable. The 
line, which, from the labours bestowed on it, was dai- 
ly strengthening, was not yet in a situation effectually 
to resist ; this deficiency, however, was well remedied 
by the brave men who were formed in its rear. 


From the river the greatest injury was effected. 
Lieutenant Thompson, who commanded the Louisi- 
ana sloop, which lay nearly opposite the line of de- 
fence, no sooner discovered the columns approaching, 
than warping her around, he brought her starboard 
guns to bear, and produced such an effect as forced 
them to retreat : but, from their heavy artillery, the 
enemy maintained the conflict with great spirit, con- 
stantly discharging their bombs and rockets, for seven 
hours, when, unable to make a breach, or silence the 
fire from the sloop, they abandoned a contest where / 
few advantages seemed to be presented. The crew 
of this vessel was composed of new recruits, and of 
discordant materials, of soldiers, citizens and seamen; 
yet, by the activity of their commander, were they so 
well perfected in their duty, that they already man- 
aged their guns with the greatest precision and cer- 
tainty of effect ; and, by three o'clock in the evening, 
with the aid of the land batteries, had completely 
silenced and driven back the enemy. Emboldened 
by the effect produced the day before on the Care- 
line, the furnaces of the enemy were put in operation, 
and numbers of hot shot thrown from a heavy piece 
which was placed behind and protected by the levee. 
An attempt was now made to carry it off, when that 
protection, heretofore had, being taking away, those 
in the direction of it were fairly exposed to our fire t 
and suffered greatly. In their endeavours to remove 
it, " I saw," says commodore Patterson, " distinctly, 
with the aid of a glass, several balls strike in the midst 
of the men who were employed in dragging it away." 
In this engagement, commenced and waged for seven 
hours, we received little or no injury. The Louisiana 


sloop, against which the most violent exertions were 
made, had but a single man wounded, by the frag- 
ments of a shell, which bursted over her deck. Our 
entire loss did not exceed nine killed, and eight or ten 
wounded. The enemy, being more exposed, acting 
in the open field, and in range of our guns, suffered, 
from information afterwards procured, considerable 
injury ; at least one hundred and twenty were killed 
and wounded. 

Among the killed, on our side, was colonel James 
Henderson, of the Tennessee militia. An advance 
party of the British had, during the action, taken post 
behind a fence that ran obliquely to, and not very re- 
mote from, our line. Henderson, with a detachment 
of two hundred men, was sent out by general Carroll 
to drive them from a position whence they were 
effecting some injury, and greatly annoying our troops. 
Had he advanced in the manner directed, he would 
have been less exposed, and enabled more effectually 
to have secured the object intended ; but, misunder- 
standing the order, he proceeded in a different route, 
and fell a victim to his error. Instead of marching in 
the direction of the wood, and turning the enemy, 
which might have cut off their retreat, he proceeded 
in front, towards the river, leaving them in rear of the 
fence, and himself and his detachment open and ex- 
posed. His mistake being perceived from the line, 
he was called by the adjutant-general, and directed to 
return; but the noise of the waters, through which 
they were wading, prevented any communication. 
Having reached a knoll of dry ground, he formed, and 
attempted the execution of his order ; but soon fell, 


by a wound in the head. Deprived of their command- 
er, and perceiving their situation hazardous and un- 
tenable, the detachment retreated to the line, with the 
loss of their colonel and five men. \X 

While this advance was made, a column of the ene- 
my was threatening an attack on our extreme left ; to 
frustrate the attempt, Coffee was ordered with his 
riflemen to hasten through the woods, and check their 
approach. The enemy, although greatly superior to 
him in numbers, no sooner discovered his movement 
than they retired, and abandoned the attack they had 
previously meditated. 

A supposed disaffection in New Orleans, and an 
enemy in front, were circumstances well calculated to 
excite unpleasant forebodings. General Jackson be- 
lieved it necessary and essential to his security, while 
contending with avowed foes, not to be wholly inat- 
tentive to dangers lurking at home ; but, by guarding 
vigilantly, to be able to suppress any treasonable pur- 
pose the moment it should be developed, and before 
it should have time to mature. Previously, therefore,* 
to departing from the city, on the evening of the 23d, 
he had ordered major Butler, his aid, to remain with 
the guards, and be vigilant that nothing transpired in 
his absence calculated to operate injuriously. His 
fears that there were many of the inhabitants who 
felt no attachment to the government, and would not 
scruple to surrender, whenever, prompted by their in- 
terest, it should become necessary, has been already 
noticed. . In this belief, subsequent circumstances 
evinced there was no mistake, and showed that to his 


assiduity and energy is to be ascribed the cause the 
country was protected and saved. It is a fact, which 
was disclosed, on making an exchange of prisoners, 
that, in despite of all the efforts made to prevent it, 
the enemy were daily and constantly apprized of every 
thing that transpired in our camp. Every arrange- 
ment, and every change of position, was immediately 
communicated. " Nothing," remarked a British officer, 
at the close of the invasion, " was kept a secret from 
us, except your numbers: this, although diligently 
sought after, could never be procured." 

Between the 23d, and the attack on the 28th,. to 
carry our line, major Butler, who still remained at his 
post in the city, was applied to by Fulwar Skipwith, 
at that time speaker of the senate, .to ascertain the 
commanding general's views, provided he should be 
driven from his line of encampment, and compelled to 
retreat through the city ; would he, in that event, de- 
stroy it? It was, indeed, a curious inquiry from one 
who, having spent his life in serving his country in 
different capacities, might better have understood the 
dut} r of a subordinate officer ; and that even if, from his 
situation, major .Butler had so far* acquired the confi- 
dence of his general as to have become acquainted 
with his views and designs, he was not at liberty to 
divulge them, without destroying confidence and acting 
criminally. On asking the cause of the inquiry, Mr. 
Skipwitii replied, it was rumoured, and so understood, 
that if driven from his position, and made to retreat 
upon the city, general Jackson had it in contemplation 
to lay it in ruins ; the legislature, he said, desired in- 
formation on this subject, that if such were his inten- 


tions, they might, by offering terms of capitulation to 
the enemy, avert so serious a calamity. That a senti- 
ment having for its object a surrender of the city, should 
be entertained by this body, was scarcely credible ; yet 
a few days Brought the certainty of it more fully to 
view, and showed that they were already devising plans 
to ensure the safety of themselves and property, even 
at any sacrifice. While the general was hastening along 
the line, from ordering Coffee, as we have just observed, 
against a column of the British on the extreme left, he 
was hailed by Mr. Duncan, one of his volunteer aids, 
and informed, that already it was agitated, secretly, by 
the members of the legislature, to offer terms of capit- 
ulation to the enemy, and proffer a surrender ; and that 
governor Claiborne awaited his orders on the subject. 
Poised as was the result, the safety or fall of the city 
resting in uncertainty, although it was plainly to be 
perceived, that, with a strong army before them, no 
such resolution could be carried into effect, yet it might 
be productive of evil, and, in the end, bring about the 
most fatal consequences. Even the disclosure of such 
a wish on the part of the legislature, might create par- 
ties excite opposition in the army, and inspire the 
enemy with renewed confidence. The Tennessee 
forces, and Mississippi volunteers, it was not feared 
would be affected by the measure ; but it might detach 
the Louisiana militia, and even extend itself to the 
ranks of the regular troops. Jackson was greatly in- 
censed, that those whose safety he had so much at heart, 
should be seeking, under the authority of office, to mar 
his best exertions. He was, however, too warmly 
pressed, at the moment, for the battle was raging, to 
give it the attention its importance merited ; but, avail- 



ing himself of the first respite from the violence of the 
attack waged against him, he apprized governor Clai- 
borne of what he had heard ; ordered him closely to 
watch the conduct of the legislature, and the moment 
the project of offering a capitulation to the enemy 
should be fully disclosed, to place a guard at the door 
and confine them to their chamber. The governor in 
his zeal to execute the command, and from a fear of 
the consequences involved in such conduct, construed 
as imperative, an order which was merely contingent ; 
and, placing an armed force at the door of the capitol, 
prevented the members from convening, and their 
schemes from maturing. 

The purport of this order was essentially miscon- 
ceived by the governor ; or, perhaps, with a view to 
avoid subsequent inconveniences and complaints, was 
designedly mistaken. Jackson's object was not to re- 
strain the legislature in the discharge of their official 
duties ; for although he thought, that such a moment, 
when the sound of the cannon was constantly pealing 
in their ears, was inauspicious to wholesome legisla- 
tion, and that it would have better comported with 
the state of the times for them to abandon their civil 
duties and appear in the field, yet was it a matter in- 
delicate to be proposed ; and it was hence preferred, 
that they should adopt whatever course might be sug- 
gested by their own notions of propriety. This senti- 
ment would have been still adhered to ; but when 
through the communication of Mr. Duncan, they were 
represented as entertaining opinions and schemes ad- 
verse to the general interest and safety of the coun- 
try, the necessity of a new and different course of 


conduct was at once obvious. But he did not order 
governor Claiborne to interfere with, or prevent them 
from proceeding with their duties ; on the contrary, 
he was instructed, so soon as any thing hostile to the 
general cause should be ascertained, to place a guard 
at the door, and keep the members to their post and 
to their duty. My object in this, remarked the gene- 
ral, was, that then they would be able to proceed with 
their business without producing the slightest injury : 
whatever schemes they might entertain would have 
remained with themselves, without the power of cir- 
culating them to the prejudice of any other interest 
than their own. I had intended to have had them well 
treated and kindly dealt by ; and thus abstracted from 
every thing passing without doors, a better oppor- 
tunity would have been afforded them to enact good 
and wholesome laws; but governor Claiborne mistook 
my order, and instead of shutting them in doors, con- 
trary to my wishes and expectation, turned them out. 

Before this he had been called on by a special com- 
mittee of the legislature to know what his course 
would be should necessity compel him from his posi- 
tion ? If, replied the general, I thought the hair of my 
head could divine what I should do, forthwith I would 
cut it off: go back with this answer; say to your ho- 
nourable body, that if disaster does overtake me, and 
the fate of war drives me from my line to the city, 
they may expect to have a very warm session. And 
what did you design to do, I enquired, provided you 
had been forced to retreat. I should, he replied, have 
retreated to the city, fired it, aiid fought the enemy 


amidst the surrounding flames. There were with me 
men of wealth, owners of considerable property, who, 
in such an event, would have been amongst the fore- 
most to have applied the torch to their own buildings ; 
and what they had left undone, I should have com- 
pleted. Nothing for the comfortable maintenance of 
the enemy would have been left in the rear. I would 
have destroyed New Orleans occupied a position 
above on the river cut off all supplies, and in this 
way compelled them to depart from the country. 

We shall not pretend to ascribe this conduct of 
the legislature to disaffection, or to treasonable mo- 
tives. The impulse that produced it was, no doubt, 
interest a principle of the human mind which strongly 
sways, and often destroys its best conclusions. The 
disparity of the two armies, in numbers, preparation, 
and discipline, had excited apprehension, and destroy- 
ed hope. If Jackson were driven back, and little else 
was looked for, rumour fixed his determination of de- 
voting the city to destruction : but even if such were 
not his intention, the wrath and vengeance of the 
enemy might be fairly calculated to be in proportion 
to the opposition they should receive. Although these 
considerations may somewhat palliate, they do not 
justify. The government was represented in the per- 
son of the commanding general, on whom rested all 
responsibility, and whose voice on the subject of re- 
sistance or capitulation, should alone have been heard. 
In the field were persons who were enduring hard- 
ships, arid straining every nerve, for the general safety. 
A few of the members of their own body, too, were 


there, who did not despond.* Might not patriotism, 
then, have admonished these men, honoured as they 
were with the confidence of the people, rather to have 
pursued a course, having for its object to keep alive 
excitement, than to have endeavoured to introduce 
fear, and paralyze exertion. Such conduct, if produc- 
tive of nothing worse, was well calculated to excite 
alarm. If the militia, who had been hastily drawn to 
the camp, and who were yet trembling for the safety 
of their families, had been told, that a few private 
men, of standing in society, had expressed their opin- 
ions, and declared resistance useless, it would, without 
doubt, have occasioned serious apprehensions ; but, in 
a much greater degree would they be calculated to 
arise, when told that the members of the legislature, 
chosen to preside over the safety and destinies of the 
state, after due deliberation, had pronounced all at- 
tempts at successful opposition, vain and ineffectual. 

Here was an additional reason why expedients 
should be devised, and every precaution adopted, to 
prevent any communication, by which the slightest in- 
telligence should be had of our situation, already, in- 
deed, sufficiently deplorable. Additional guards were 
posted along the swamp, on both sides of the Missis- 
sippi, to arrest all intercourse ; while on the river, the 
common highway, watch boats were constantly plying 
during the night, in different directions, so that a log 

* Only four members of the legislature appeared in the field, to 
defend their country. We regret not knowing the name of one of 
these persons: those we have ascertained are, general Garrigue 
Flojack, major Eziel, and Mr. Bufort, who, abandoning their civil 
duties*for the field, afforded examples worthy of imitation. 


could scarcely float down the stream unperceived. 
Two flat-bottomed boats, on a dark night, were turned 
adrift above, to ascertain if vigilance were preserved, 
and whether there would be any possibility of escaping 
the guards and passing in safety to the British lines. 
The light boats discovered them on their passage, and 
on the alarm being given, they were opened upon by 
the Louisiana sloop, and the batteries on the shore, 
and in a few minutes were sunk. In spite, however, 
of every precaution, treason still discovered avenues 
through which to project and execute her nefarious 
plans, and through them w r as constantly afforded in- 
formation to the enemy ; carried to them, no doubt, by 
adventurous friends, who sought and effected their 
nightly passage through the deepest parts of the 
swamp, where it was impossible for sentinels to be 

Great inconvenience was sustained for the want of 
arms, and much anxiety felt, lest the enemy, through 
their faithful adherents, might, on this subject also, 
obtain information ; to prevent it, as far as possible, 
general Jackson endeavoured to conceal the strength 
and situation of his army, by suffering his reports to 
be seen by none but himself and the adjutant-general. 
Many of the troops in the field were supplied with 
common guns, which were of little service. The Ken- 
tucky troops, daily expected, were also understood to 
be badly provided with arms. Uncertain but that the 
city might yet contain many articles that would be 
serviceable, orders were issued to the mayor of New 

r 'vi.'.^ 

* See note G. * 


Orleans, directing him diligently to inquire through 
every store and house, and take possession of all 
the muskets, bayonets, spades, and axes he could 
find. Understanding too, there were many young 
men, who, from different pretexts, had not appeared 
in the field, he was instructed to obtain a register of 
every man in the city, under the age of fifty, that 
measures might be concerted for drawing forth those 
who had hitherto appeared backward in engaging in 
the pending contest. 

Frequent light skirmishes, by advanced parties, 
without material effect on either side, were the only 
incidents that took place for several days. Colonel 
Hinds, at the head of the Mississippi dragoons, on the 
30th, was ordered to dislodge a party of the enemy, 
who, under cover of a ditch that ran across the plain, 
were annoying our fatigue parties. In his advance, he 
was unexpectedly thrown into an ambuscade, and be- 
came exposed to the fire of a line, which had hitherto 
lain concealed and unobserved. His collected con- 
duct, and gallant deportment, gained him and his corps 
the approbation of the commanding general, and ex- 
tricated him from the danger in which he was placed. 
The enemy, forced from their position, retired, and 
he returned to the line, with the loss of five of his 


Attack of the 1st of January. General Jackson's line of defence. Ken- 
tucky troops arrive at head-quarters. British army reinforced ; their 
preparations for attack. Battle of the 8th of January , and repulse of 
the enemy. American redoubt carried, and retaken. Colonel Thorn- 
ton proceeds against general Morgans line, and takes possession of it. 
Letter of captain Wilkinson. British watch 'word. Generous conduct 
of the American soldiers. Morgan's line regained. General Lambert 
requests a suspension of hostilities. Armistice concluded. Execution 
of an American soldier by the British. 

THE British were encamped two miles below the 
American army, on a perfect plain, and in full view. 
Although foiled in their attempt to carry our works by 
the force of their batteries, on the 28th, they yet resolv- 
ed upon another attack, and one which they believed 
would be more successful. Presuming their failure 
to have arisen from not having sufficiently strong bat- 
teries, and heavy ordnance, a more enlarged arrange- 
ment was resorted to, with a confidence of silencing 
opposition, and effecting such breaches in our entrench- 
ment as would enable their columns to pass, without 
being exposed to any considerable hazard. The inte- 
rim between the 28th of December and 1st of January 
was accordingly spent in preparing to execute their 
designs. Their boats had been despatched to the ship- 
ping, and an additional supply of heavy cannon landed 
through Bayou Bienvenu, whence they had first de- 

During the night of the 31st, they were busily en- 


gaged. An impenetrable fog, next morning, which was 
not dispelled until nine o'clock, by concealing their 
purpose, aided them in the plans they were projecting, 
and gave time for the completion of their works. This 
having disappeared, several heavy batteries^ at the dis- 
tance of six hundred yards, mounting eighteen and 
twenty-four pound carronades, were presented to view* 
No sooner was it sufficiently clear to distinguish ob- 
jects at a distance, than these were opened, and a tre- 
mendous burst of artillery commenced, accompanied 
with congreve rockets, that filled the air in all direc- 
tions. Our troops, protected by a defence, which, 
from their constant labours and exertions, they believ- 
ed to be impregnable, unmoved and undisturbed, main- 
tained their ground, and, by their skilful management, 
in the end, succeeded in dismounting and silencing the 
guns of the enemy. The British, through the friendly 
interference of some disaffected citizens, having been 
apprized of the situation of the general's quarters, that 
he dwelt in a house at a small distance in the rear of 
his line of defence, against it directed their first and 
principal efforts, with a view to destroy the commander. 
So great was the number of balls thrown, that, in a little 
while, its porticos were beaten down, and the building 
made a complete wreck. In this dishonourable design, 
they were, however, disappointed ; for, with Jackson it 
was a constant practice, on the first appearance of dan- 
ger, not to wait in his quarters, watching events, but 
instantly to proceed to the line, and be ready to form 
his arrangements as circumstances might require. 
Constantly in expectation of a charge, he was never 
absent from the post of danger; and thither he had 
this morning repaired, at the first sound of the cannon. 



to aid in defence, and inspire his troops with firmness. 
Our guns, along the line, now opened, to repel the 
assault, and a constant roar of cannon, on both sides, 
continued until nearly noon ; when, by the superior 
skill of our engineers, the two batteries formed on the 
right, next the woods^ were nearly beaten down, and 
many of the guns dismounted, broken, and rendered 
useless. That next the river still continued its fire, 
until three o'clock ; when, perceiving all attempts to 
force a breach ineffectual, the enemy gave up the con- 
test^ and retired. Every act of theirs discovers a strange 
delusion* and unfolds on what wild and fanciful grounds, 
all their expectations were founded. That the Ameri- 
can troops were well posted, and strongly defended by 
pieces of heavy ordnance mounted along their line, 
was a fact well known ; yet a belief was confidently in- 
dulged, that the undisciplined collection which consti- 
tuted the strength of our army, would be able to derive 
little benefit from such a circumstance ; and that artil- 
lery could produce but slight advantages in the hands 
of persons who were strangers to the manner of using 
it. That many who, from necessity, were called to 
the direction of the guns, were at first entirely unac- 
quainted with their management, is indeed true ; yet 
the accuracy and precision with which they threw their 
shot, afforded a convincing argument, either that they 
possessed the capacity of becoming, in a short time, 
well acquainted with the art of gunnery, or that it was 
a science, the acquiring of which was not attended 
with incalculable difficulties. 

That they would be able to effect an opening, and 
march through the strong defence in their front, was. 


an idea so fondly cherished by our assailants, that an 
apprehension of failure had scarcely ever occurred. 
So sanguine were they in this belief, that, early in the 
morning, their soldiers were arranged along the ditches, 
in rear of their batteries, prepared and ready to advance 
to the charge, the moment a breach could be made. 
Here, by their situation, protected from danger, they 
remained, waiting the result that should call them to 
act. But their efforts not having produced the slightest 
impression, nor their rockets the effect of driving our 
militia away, they abandoned the contest, and retired to 
their camp, leaving their batteries materially injured 
nay, well nigh destroyed. 

Perceiving their attempts must fail, and that such 
an effect could not be produced, as would warrant 
their advance, another expedient was resorted to> but 
with no better success. It occurred to the British 
commander, an attack might be made to advantage 
next the woods, and a force was accordingly ordered 
to penetrate in this direction, and turn the left of our 
line, which was supposed not to extend further than 
to the margin of the swamp. In this way, it was* ex- 
pected a diversion could be made, while the reserve 
columns, being in readiness, and waiting, were to press 
forward the moment this object could be effected. 
Here, too, disappointment resulted. Coffee's brigade, 
being already extended into the swamp, as far as it 
was possible for an advancing party to penetrate, 
brought unexpected dangers into view, and occasioned 
an abandonment of the project. That to turn the ex- 
treme left of the line was practicable, and might be 
attempted, was the subject of early consideration ; and 


necessary precaution had been taken to prevent it, 
Although cutting the levee had raised the waters in 
the swamp, and increased the difficulties of keeping 
troops there, yet a fear lest this pass might be sought 
by the enemy, and the rear of the line thereby gained, 
Jiad determined the general to extend his defence even 
here. This had been entrusted to general Coffee ; and 
surely a more arduous duty can scarcely be imagined. 
To form a breast-work, in such a place, was attended 
with many difficulties, and considerable exposure. A 
slight defence, however, had been thrown up, and the 
underwood, for thirty or forty yards in front, cut down, 
that the riflemen, stationed for its protection, might 
have a complete view of any force, which, through this 
route, might attempt a passage. When it is recollected, 
that this position was to be maintained night and day, 
uncertain of the moment of attack, and that the only 
opportunity afforded our troops for rest, was on logs 
and brush, thrown together, by which they were raised 
above the surrounding water, it may be truly said, that 
seldom has it fallen to the lot of any to encounter 
greater hardships : but, accustomed to privation, and 
alive to those feelings which a love of country inspires, 
they obeyed without complaining, and cheerfully kept 
their position until all danger had subsided. S.ensible 
of the importance of the point they defended, and that 
it was necessary to be maintained, be the sacrifice 
what it might, they looked to nothing but a zealous 
and faithful discharge of the trust confided to them. 

Our loss, in this affair, was eleven killed, and twen- 
ty 4hree wounded : that of the enemy was never cor- 
rectly known. The only certain information is con* 


tained in a communication of the 28th instant from 
general Lambert to earl Bathurst, in which the casu- 
alties and losses, from the 1st to the 5th, are stated at 
seventy-eight Many allowances, however, are to be 
made for this report. It was written at a time, when* 
from the numerous disasters encountered, it was not 
to be presumed the general's mind was in a situation 
patiently to remember, or minutely to detail the facts. 
From the great precision of our fire, and the injury 
visibly sustained by their batteries, their loss was, no 
doubt, considerable. The enemy's heavy shot having 
penetrated our entrenchment, in many places, it was 
discovered not to be as strong as had at first been ima- 
gined. Fatigue parties were again employed, and its 
strength daily increased : an additional number of bales 
of cotton were taken to be applied to strengthening 
and defending the embrasures along the line. A 
Frenchman, whose property had been thus, without 
his consent, seized, fearful of the injury it might sus- 
tain, proceeded in person to general Jackson, to re- 
claim it, and to demand its delivery. The general 
having heard his complaint, and ascertained from him 
that he was unemployed in any military service, di- 
rected a musket to be brought to him, and placing it 
in his hand, ordered him on the line, remarking at the 
same time, that as he seemed to be a man possessed 
of property, he knew of none who had a better right 
to fight, and to defend it. 

The British had again retired to their encampment. 
It was well understood by Jackson, that they were in 
daily expectation of considerable reinforcements ; 
though he rested with confidence in the belief, that a 


few more days would also bring to his assistance the 
troops from Kentucky. Each party, therefore, was 
busily and constantly engaged in preparation, the one 
to wage a vigorous attack, the other bravely to defend, 
and resolutely to oppose it. 

The position of the American army was in the rear 
of an entrenchment formed of earth, and which ex- 
tended in a straight line from the river to a consider- 
able distance in the swamp. In front was a deep ditch, 
which had been formerly used as a mill-race. The Mis- 
sissippi had receded and left this dry, next the river, 
though in many places the water still remained. Along 
the line, and at unequal distances, to the centre of ge- 
neral Carroll's command, were guns mounted, of dif- 
ferent caliber, from six to thirty-two pounders. Near 
the river, and in advance of the entrenchment, was 
erected a redoubt, with embrasures, commanding the 
road along the levee, and calculated to rake the ditch 
in front. 

We have heretofore stated, that general Morgan 
was ordered, on the 24th of December, to cross to the 
west bank of the Mississippi. From an apprehension 
entertained that an attempt might be made through 
Barrataria, and the city reached from the right bank 
of the river, the general had extended his defence 
there likewise : in fact, unacquainted with the enemy's 
views, not knowing the number of their troops, nor, 
but that they might have sufficient strength to wage 
an attack in various directions, and anxiously solicit- 
ous to be prepared at all points, he had carefully di- 
vided out his forces, that he might guard, and be able 


to protect, in whatever direction an assault should be; 
waged. His greatest fears, and hence his strongest 
defence, next to the one occupied by himself, was on 
the Chef Menteur road, where governor Claiborne, at 
the head of the Louisiana militia, was posted. The 
position on the right was formed on the same plan 
with the line on the left, lower down than that on 
the left, and extending to the swamp at right angles 
to the river. Here general Morgan commanded. 

To be prepared against every possible contingency 
that might arise, Jackson had established another line- 
of defence, about two miles in the rear of the one at 
present occupied, which was intended as a rallying 
point, in the event he should be driven from his first 
position. With the aid of his cavalry, to give a mo- 
mentary check to the advance of the enemy, he ex- 
pected to be enabled, with inconsiderable injury, to 
reach it ; where he would again have advantages on 
his side be in a situation to dispute a further pas- 
sage ta^the city, and arrest their progress. To in- 
spirit hifJSown soldiers, and to exhibit to the enemy as 
great a show as possible of strength and intended re- 
sistance, his unarmed troops, which constituted no 
very inconsiderable number, were here stationed. All 
intercourse between the lines, but by confidential offi- 
cers, was prohibited, and every precaution and vigi- 
lance employed, not only to keep this want of prepa- 
ration concealed from the enemy, but even from being 
known on his own lines. 

Occasional firing at a distance, which produced no- 


thing of consequence, was all that marked the interim 
from the 1st to the 8th. 

On the 4th of this month, the long-expected rein- 
J^N, forcement from Kentucky, amounting to twenty-two 
vhundred and fifty, under the command of major-gene- 
ral Thomas, arrived at head-quarters ; but so ill pro- 
vided with arms, as to be incapable of rendering any 
considerable service. The alacrity with which the 
citizens of this state had proceeded to the frontiers, 
and aided in the north-western campaigns, added to 
the disasters which ill-timed policy or misfortune had 
produced, had created such a drain, that arms were 
not to be procured. They had advanced, however, to 
their point of destination, with an expectation of be- 
ing supplied on their arrival. About five hundred of 
them had muskets ; the rest were provided with guns, 
from which little or no advantage could be expected. 
The mayor of New Orleans, at the request of general 
Jackson, had already examined and drawn from the 
city every weapon that could be found ; while the ar- 
rival of the Louisiana militia, in an equally unprepared 
situation, rendered it impossible for the evil to be ef- 
fectually remedied. A boat, laden with arms, was 
somewhere on the river, intended for the use and de- 
fence of the lower country ; but where it was, or when 
it might arrive, rested alone on hope and conjecture^ 
Expresses had been despatched up the river, for three 
hundred miles, to seek and hasten it on ; still there 
were no tidings of an approach. That so many brave 
men, at a moment of such anxious peril, should be 
compelled to stand with folded arms, unable, from 
their situation, to render the least possible service to 


their country, was an event greatly to be deplored, 
and did not fail to excite the feelings and sensibility 
of the commanding general. His mind, active, and 
prepared for any thing but despondency, sought relief 
in vain; there was none. No alternative was pre- 
sented, but to place them at his entrenchment in the 
rear, conceal their actual condition, and by the show 
they might make, add to his appearance and numbers, 
without at all increasing his strength. 

Information was now received that major-general 
Lambert had joined the British commander-in-chief, 
with a considerable reinforcement. It had been here- 
tofore announced in the American camp, that additional 
forces were expected, and something decisive might be 
looked for, so soon as they should arrive. This cir- 
cumstance, in connexion with others, 110 less favouring 
the idea, had led to the conclusion that a few days 
more would, in all probability, bring on the struggle 
which would decide the fate of the city. It was more 
than ever necessary to keep concealed the situation of 
his army ; and, above all, to preserve as secret as pos- 
sible, its unarmed condition. To restrict all communi- 
cation, even with his own lines, was now, as danger 
increased, rendered more important. None were per- 
mitted to leave the line, and none from without to pass 
into his camp, but such as were to be implicitly confi- 
ded in. The line of sentinels was strengthened in 
front, that none might pass to the enemy, should 
desertion be attempted : yet, notwithstanding this pre- 
caution and care, his plans and situation were disclosed. 
On the night of the 6th, a soldier from the line, by 
some means, succeeded in eluding the vigilance of our 

2 z 


sentinels. Early next morning, his departure was 
discovered : it was at once correctly conjectured he 
had gone over to the enemy, and would, no doubt, 
afford them all the information in his power to com- 
municate. This opinion, as subsequent circumstances 
disclosed, was well-founded ; and dearly did he atone 
his crime. He unfolded to the British the situation of 
the American line; the late reinforcements we had re- 
ceived, and the unarmed condition of many of the 
troops ; and, pointing to the centre of general Carroll's 
division, as a place occupied by militia alone, recom- 
mended it as the point where an attack might be most 
prudently and safely made. 

Other intelligence received was confirmatory of the 
belief of an impending attack. From some prisoners, 
taken on the lake, it was ascertained the enemy were 
busily engaged in deepening Villery's canal, with a 
view of passing their boats and ordnance to the Mis- 
sissippi. During the 7th, a constant bustle was per- 
ceived in the British camp. Along the borders of the 
canal, their soldiers were continually in motion, march- 
ing and manoeuvring, for no other purpose than to con- 
ceal those who were busily engaged at work in the 
rear. To ascertain the cause of this uncommon stir, 
and learn their designs, as far as was practicable, 
commodore Patterson had proceeded down the river, 
on the opposite side, and, having gained a favourable 
position, in front of their encampment, discovered them 
to be actually engaged in deepening the passage to the 
river. It was no difficult matter to divine their pur- 
pose. No other conjecture could be entertained, than 
that an assault was intended to be made on the line 


of defence commanded by general Morgan ; which, if 
gained, would expose our troops on the left bank to 
the fire of the redoubt erected on the right ; and in 
this way compel them to an abandonment of their 
position. To counteract this scheme was important ; 
and measures were immediately taken to prevent the 
execution of a plan, which, if successful, would be 
attended with incalculable dangers. An increased 
strength was given to this line. The second regiment 
of Louisiana militia, and four hundred Kentucky troops, 
were directed to be crossed over, to reinforce and 
protect it. Owing to some delay and difficulty in 
arming them, the latter, amounting, instead of four 
hundred, to but one hundred and eighty, did not ar- 
rive until the morning of the 8th. A little before day, 
they were despatched to aid an advanced party, who, 
under the command of major Arnaut, had been sent to 
watch the movements of the enemy, and oppose their 
landing. The hopes indulged from their opposition 
were not realized ; and the enemy, unmolested, reach- 
ed the shore. 

Morgan's position, besides being strengthened by 
several brass twelves, was defended by a strong 
battery, mounting twenty-four pounders, directed 
by commodore Patterson, which afforded additional 
strength and security. The line itself was not strong ; 
yet, if properly maintained by the troops selected to 
defend it, was believed fully adequate to the purposes 
of successful resistance. Late at night, Patterson as- 
certained that the enemy had succeeded in passing 
their boats through the canal, and immediately com- 
municated his information to the general. The com- 


modore had already formed the idea of dropping the 
Louisiana schooner down, to attack and sink them. 
This thought, though well conceived, was abandoned, 
from the danger involved, and from an apprehension 
lest the batteries erected on the river, with which she 
would come in collision, might, by the aid of hot shot, 
succeed in blowing her up. It was preferred patiently 
to await their arrival, believing it would be practica- 
ble, with the bravery of more than fifteen hundred 
men, and the slender advantages possessed from their 
line of defence, to maintain their position, and repel the 

On the left bank, where the general in person com- 
manded, every thing was in readiness to meet the as- 
sault when it should be made. The redoubt on the 
levee was defended by a company of the seventh re- 
giment, under the command of Lieutenant Ross. The 
regular troops occupied that part of the entrenchment 
next the river. General Carroll's division was in the 
centre, supported by the Kentucky troops, under ge- 
neral John Adair ; while the extreme left, extending 
for a considerable distance into the swamp, was pro- 
tected by the brigade of general Coffee. How soon 
the attack should be waged, was uncertain ; at what 
moment, rested with the enemy, with us, to be in 
readiness for resistance. There were many circum- 
stances, however, favouring the belief, that the hour of 
contest was not far distant, and indeed fast approach- 
ing; the bustle of to-day, the efforts to carry their 
boats into the river, the fascines and scaling-ladders 
that were preparing, were circumstances pointing to 
attack, and indicating the hour to be near at hand. 


General Jackson, unmoved by appearances, anxiously 
desired a contest, which he believed would give a tri- 
umph to his arms, and terminate the hardships of his 
suffering soldiers. Unremitting in exertion, and con- 
stantly vigilant, his precaution kept pace with the zeal 
and preparation of the enemy. He seldom slept : he 
was always at his post, performing the duties of both 
general and soldier. His sentinels were doubled, and 
extended as far as possible in the direction of the 
British camp ; while a considerable portion of the 
troops were constantly at the line, with arms in their 
hands, ready to act, when the first alarm should be 

For eight days had the two armies lain upon the 
same field, and in view of each other, without any 
thing decisive being on either side effected. Twice, 
since their landing, had the British columns essayed to 
effect by storm the execution of their plans, and twice 
had failed been compelled to relinquish the attempt, 
and retire from the contest. It was not to be expected 
that things could long remain in this dubious state. 
Soldiers, the pride of England, the boasted conquerors 
of Europe, were there ; distinguished generals were 
their leaders, who earnestly desired to announce to 
their country, and the world, their signal achievements. 
The high expectations which had been indulged of the 
success of this expedition, were to be realized, at every 
peril, or disgrace would follow the failure. 

The 8th of January at length arrived. The day 
dawned ; and the signals, intended to produce concert 
in the enemy's movements, were descried. On the 


left, near the swamp, a sky-rocket was perceived rising 
in the air ; and presently another ascended from the 
right, next the river. They were intended to announce 
that all was prepared and ready, to proceed and carry 
by storm a defence which had twice foiled their utmost 
efforts. Instantly the charge was made, and with such 
rapidity, that our soldiers, at the out posts, with diffi- 
culty fled in. 

The British batteries, which had been demolished 
on the 1st of the month, had been re-established during 
the preceding night, and heavy pieces of cannon 
mounted, to aid in their intended operations. These 
now opened, and showers of bombs and balls were 
poured upon our line ; while the air was lighted with 
their congreve rockets. The two divisions, commanded 
by Sir Edward Packenham in person, and supported 
by generals Keane and Gibbs, pressed forward ; the 
right against the centre of general Carroll's command, 
the left against our redoubt on the levee. A thlck^og, 
that obscured the'morning, enabled them to approach 
within a short distance of our entrenchment, before 
they were discovered. They were now perceived ad- 
vancing, with firm, quick, and steady pace, in column, 
with a front of sixty or seventy deep. Our troops, 
who had for some time been in readiness, and waiting 
their appearance, gave three cheers, and instantly the 
whole line was lighted with the blaze of their fire. A 
burst of artillery and small arms, pouring with de- 
structive aim upon them, mowed down their front, and 
arrested their advance. In our musketry there was 
not a moment's intermission ; as one party discharged 
their pieces, another succeeded; alternately loading 


and appearing, no pause could be perceived, it was 
one continued volley. The columns already perceived 
their dangerous and exposed situation. Battery No. 7, 
on the left, was ably served by lieutenant Spotts, and 
galled them with an incessant and destructive fire. 
Batteries No. 6 and 8 were no less actively employed, 
and no less successful in felling them to the ground. 
Notwithstanding the severity of our fire, which few 
troops could for a moment have withstood, some of 
those brave men pressed on, and succeeded in gaining 
the ditch, in front of our works, where they remained 
during the action, and were afterwards made prisoners. 
The horror before them was too great to be withstood ; 
and already were the British troops seen wavering in 
their determination, and receding from the conflict. 
At this moment, Sir Edward Packenham, hastening to 
the front, endeavoured to encourage and inspire them 
with renewed zeal. His example was of short continu- 
ance : he soon fell, mortally wounded, in the arms of 
his aid-de-camp, not far from our line. Generals Gibbs 
and Keane also fell, and were borne from the field, 
dangerously wounded. At this moment, general Lam- 
bert, who was advancing at a small distance in the 
rear, with the reserve, met the columns precipitately 
retreating, and in great confusion. His efforts to stop 
them were unavailing, they continued retreating, un- 
til they reached a ditch, at the distance of four hun- 
dred yards, where a momentary safety being found, 
they were rallied, and halted. 

The field before them, over which they had ad- 
vanced, was strewed with the dead and dying. Dan- 
ger hovered still around ; yet, urged and encouraged 


by their officers, who feared their own disgrace in- 
volved in the failure, they again moved to the charge. 
They were already near enough to deploy, and were 
endeavouring to do so ; but the same constant and un- 
remitted resistance that caused their first retreat, con- 
tinued yet unabated. Our batteries had never ceased 
their fire ; their constant discharges of grape and can- 
ister, and the fatal aim of our musketry, mowed down 
the front of the columns as fast as they could be 
formed. Satisfied nothing could be done, and that 
certain destruction awaited all further attempts, they 
forsook the contest and the field in disorder, leaving 
it almost entirely covered with the dead and wounded. 
It was in vain their officers endeavoured to animate 
them to further resistance, and equally vain to attempt 
coercion. The panic produced from the dreadful re- 
pulse they had experienced ; the plain, on which they 
had acted, being covered with innumerable bodies of 
their countrymen; while, with their most zealous ex- 
ertions, they had been unable to obtain the slight- 
est advantage, were circumstances well calculated to 
make even the most submissive soldier oppose the 
authority that would have controled him. 

The light companies of fusileers ; the forty-third and 
ninety-third regiments, and one hundred men from the 
West India regiment, led on by colonel Rennie, were 
ordered to proceed under cover of some chimneys, 
standing in the field, until having cleared them, to 
oblique to the river, and advance, protected by the 
levee, against our redoubt on the right. This work, 
having been but lately commenced, was in an unfinish- 
ed state. It was not until the 4th, that general Jack- 


son, much against his own opinion, had yielded to the 
suggestions of others, and permitted its projection ; 
and, considering the plan on which it had been sketch- 
ed, had not yet received that strength necessary to its 
safe defence. The detachment ordered against this 
place, formed the left of general Keane's command. 
Rennie executed his orders with great bravery ; and, 
urging forward, arrived at the ditch. His advance was 
greatly annoyed by commodore Patterson's battery on 
the left bank, and the cannon mounted on the redoubt; 
but reaching our works, and passing the ditch, Ren- 
nie, sword in hand, leaped on the wall, and calling to 
his troops, bade them follow ; he had scarcely spoken, 
when he fell by the fatal aim of our riflemen. Press- 
ed by the impetuosity of superior numbers, who were 
mounting the wall, and entering at the embrasures, 
our troops had retired to the line, in rear of the re- 
doubt. A momentary pause ensued, but only to be 
interrupted with increased horrors. Captain BeaL, 
with the city riflemen, cool and self-possessed, per- 
ceiving the enemy in his front, opened upon them, and 
at every discharge brought the object to the ground. 
To advance, or maintain- the point gained, was equally 
impracticable for the enemy : to retreat or surrender 
was the only alternative; for they already perceived 
the division on the right thrown into confusion, and 
hastily leaving the field. 

General Jackson being informed of the success of 
the enemy on the right, and of their being in posses- 
sion of the redoubt, pressed forward a reinforcement 
to regain it. Previously to its arrival they had aban- 
doned the attempt, and were retiring. They were se- 

,3 A 


verely galled by such of our guns as could be brought 
to bear. The levee afforded them considerable pro- 
tection ; yet by commodore Patterson's redoubt, on 
the right bank, they suffered greatly. Enfiladed by 
this, on their advance, they had been greatly annoyed, 
and now, in their retreat, were no less severely assail- 
ed. Numbers found a grave in the ditch, before our 
line ; and of those who gained the redoubt, not one, it 
is believed, escaped ; they were shot down as fast 
as they entered. The route, along which they had 
advanced and retired, was strewed with bodies. Af- 
frighted at the carnage, they moved from the scene 
hastily and in confusion. Our batteries were still con- 
tinuing the slaughter, and cutting them down at every 
step : safety seemed only to be attainable when they 
should have retired without the range of our shot ; 
which, to troops galled as severely as they were, was 
too remote a relief. Pressed by this consideration, 
they fled to the ditch, whither the right division had 
retreated, and there remained until night permitted 
them to retire. 

Here was a period, the most auspicious that had 
appeared during the war, to have gained a complete 
triumph to our arms. What important events, in a 
nation's history, are often the result of slight occur- 
rences ! and how often are they prevented by causes 
no less inconsiderable ! This truth is apparent in the 
fate* of this grand expedition, which had been fitted 
out to humble our national pride ; and which would 
have been captured or destroyed but for the ill-timed 
policy of the government, or its agents, who, as has 
been shown, prevented the arrival of the arms destined 


for this place, because an inconsiderable sum was 
thereby saved to the nation. A considerable portion 
of our troops were inactive and useless for the want 
of arms to place in their hands. If this had not been 
the case had they been in a situation to have acted 
efficiently, the whole British army must have submit- 
ted. But, situated as Jackson then was, pursuit would 
have been rashness ; though, with the additional force 
which a sufficiency of arms would have placed at his 
command, much might have been effected against an 
enemy whose ranks were thinned by the unparalleled 
slaughter of the day ; and who, panic-struck, and flee- 
ing from the danger before them, were incompetent 
to resistance, and already believed themselves con- 
quered : but prudence, under existing circumstances, 
strongly opposed the idea of pursuit, and suggested to 
the commanding general, that although he had thus 
signally achieved even more than he had expected, yet 
with the kind of troops it had been effected, inferior 
in number and discipline, to attempt, even under pre- 
sent advantages, a contest on the plain, was hazarding 
too greatly. 

Colonel Hinds was very solicitous, and in person 
applied to the commanding general for leave to pursue, 
at the head of his dragoons, the fleeing and broken 
columns of the enemy : Jackson, however, would not 
permit it. " My reason for refusing," he remarked, 
" was, that it might become necessary to sustain him, 
and thus a contest in the open field be brought on: 
the lives of my men were of value to their country, 
and much too dear to their families to be hazarded 
where necessity did not require it ; but above all, from 


the numerous dead and wounded stretched out on the 
field before me, I felt a confidence that the safety of 
the city was most probably attained, and hence, that 
nothing calculated to reverse the good fortune we had 
met should be attempted." 

His reasoning on this subject was certainly correct, 
and such as feeling and policy sanctioned. If an at- 
tack had been urged, and the effort crowned with suc- 
cess, enough having been done, the splendour of the 
late transaction would be but partially increased, and 
little additional lustre reflected on the American cha- 
racter : if, however, unsuccessful, the object of the ex- 
pedition was then secured to the enemy ; and all that 
had, for so many days, and under such weighty pri- 
vations, been contended for, would, at the instant, have 
been sacrificed and lost. In addition to this, his sol- 
diers were most of them owners of the soil, who had 
families anxiously concerned for their safety, and 
whose happiness depended upon their return: such 
men would have proven a loss to the community, too 
great to warrant their being risked for the mere gra- 
tification of pride; in opposition, too, to those whose 
trade was war; and w^ho, wholly abstracted from 
every thing like principle, contended in battle with- 
out knowing why, or for what they fought. The lives 
of his soldiers were too valuable to their families and 
the community, to be risked upon a venture not war- 
ranted by necessity, nor required by the interest and 
honour of the country. He preferred, therefore, to 
adopt what seemed the safer course ; to continue his 
position, which assured protection to the city, and the 


inhabitants, rather than by endeavouring to obtain 
more, to endanger the loss of every thing. 

The efforts of the enemy to carry our line of de- 
fence on the left, were seconded by an attack on the 
right bank, with eight hundred chosen troops, under 
the command of colonel Thornton. Owing to the diffi- 
culty of passing the boats from the canal to the river, 
and the strong current of the Mississippi, the troops 
destined for this service were not crossed, nor the op- 
posite shore reached for some hours after the expectr 
ed moment of attack. By the time he had effected a 
landing, the day had dawned, and the flashes of the 
guns announced the battle begun. Supported by three 
gun-boats, he hastened forward, with his command, in 
the direction of Morgan's entrenchment. 

Some time during the night of the 7th, two hun- 
dred Louisiana militia had been sent off; to watch the 
movements of the enemy, and oppose him in his land- 
ing: this detachment, under the command of major 
Arnaud, had advanced a mile down the river and halt- 
ed ; either supposing the general incorrect, in appre- 
hending an attack, or that his men, if refreshed, would 
be more competent to exertion, he directed them to 
lie down and sleep : one man only was ordered to be 
upon the watch, lest the enemy should approach them 
undiscovered. Just at day, he called upon his sleep- 
ing companions, and bade them rise and be ready, for 
he had heard a considerable bustle, a little below. No 
sooner risen, than confirmed in the truth of what had 
been stated, they moved off in the direction they had 
come, without even attempting an execution of their 


orders. The Kentucky troops, having reached Mor- 
gan at five o'clock in the morning, were immediately 
sent to co-operate with the Louisianians. Major Da- 
vis, who commanded, had proceeded about three quar- 
ters of a mile, and met those troops hastily retreating 
up the road ; he ascertained from them that the ene- 
my had made the shore; had debarked, and were 
moving rapidly up the levee. He informed them for 
what purpose he had been despatched, to oppose an 
approach as long as practicable, and with their assist- 
ance, he would endeavour to execute his orders. 

The two detachments, now acting together, formed 
behind a saw-mill-race, skirted with a quantity of 
plank and scantling, which afforded a tolerable shel- 
ter. Davis, with his two hundred Kentuckians, formed 
on the road next the river, supported by the Loui- 
siana militia on the right. The enemy appearing, 
their approach was resisted, and a warm and spirited 
opposition for some time maintained: a momentary 
check was given. The British again advanced, and 
again received a heavy fire. At this moment, gene- 
ral Morgan's aid-de-camp, who was present, perceiv- 
ing the steady advance of the enemy, and fearing for 
the safety of the troops, ordered a retreat. Confusion 
was the consequence order could not be maintained, 
and the whole fled, in haste, to Morgan's line. Arriv- 
ing in safety, though much exhausted, they were im- 
mediately directed to form, and extend themselves to 
the swamp ; that the right of the entrenchment might 
not be turned. 

Colonel Thornton having reached an orange grove, 


about seven hundred yards distant, halted ; and exa- 
mining Morgan's line, found it to " consist of a formi- 
dable redoubt on the river," with its weakest and most 
vulnerable point towards the swamp. He directly 
advanced to the attack, in two divisions, against the 
extreme right and centre of the line ; and, having de- 
ployed, charged the entrenchment, defended by about 
fifteen hundred men. A severe discharge, from the 
field pieces mounted along our works, caused the 
right division to oblique, which, uniting with the left, 
pressed forward to the point occupied by the Ken- 
tucky troops. Perceiving themselves thus exposed, 
and having not yet recovered from the emotions pro- 
duced by their first retreat, they began to give way, 
and very soon entirely abandoned their position. The 
Louisiana militia gave a few fires and followed the 
example. Through the exertions of the officers, a 
momentary halt was effected ; but a burst of congreve 
rockets falling thickly and setting fire to the sugar- 
cane, and other combustibles around, again excited 
their fears, and they moved hastily away ; nor could 
they be rallied, until at the distance of two miles, hav- 
ing reached a saw-mill-race, they were formed, and 
placed in an attitude of defence. 

Commodore Patterson, perceiving the right flank 
about to be turned, had ceased his destructive fire 
against the retreating columns on the opposite shore, 
and turned his guns to infilade the enemy next the 
swamp; but, at the moment when he expected to 
witness a firm resistance, and was in a situation to 
eo-operate, he beheld those without whose aid all his 
efforts were unavailing, suddenly thrown into con- 


fusion, and forsaking their posts. Discovering he could 
no longer maintain his ground, he spiked his guns, 
destroyed his ammunition, and retired from a post 
where he had rendered the most important services. 

In the panic that produced this disorderly retreat, at 
a moment when manly resistance was expected, are to 
be found circumstances of justification, which might 
have occasioned similar conduct even in disciplined 
troops. The weakest part of the line, and which was 
protected but by a slight ditch, was assailed by the 
greatest strength of the enemy: this was defended by 
one hundred and eighty Kentuckians, who were stretch- 
ed out to an extent of three hundred yards, and unsup- 
ported by any pieces of artillery. Thus openly ex- 
posed to the attack of a greatly superior force, and 
weakened by the extent of ground they covered, it is 
not to be wondered at, or deserving of reproach, that 
they should have considered resistance ineffectual, and 
forsaken a post, which they had strong reasons for be- 
lieving* they could not maintain. General Morgan re- 
ported to general Jackson the misfortune and defeat 
he had met, and attributed it to the flight of those 
troops, who had also drawn along with them the rest 
of his forces. It is true, they were the first to flee ; 
and equally true, that their example may have had the 
effect of producing general alarm; but in point of ad- 
vantageous situation, the troops materially differed : 
the one, as we have shown, were exposed, and enfee- 
bled by the manner of their arrangement ; the other, 
the considerably superior numbers, covered no greater 
extent of ground, were defended by an excellent 
breast-work, and several pieces of cannon : with this 


difference, the loss of confidence of the former was 
not without sufficient cause. Of these facts, commo- 
dore Patterson was not apprized general Morgan 
was: both, however, attributed the disaster to the 
flight of the Kentucky militia. Upon their informa- 
tion, general Jackson founded his report to the secre- 
tary of war, by which those troops were exposed to 
censures they did not merit. Had all the circum- 
stances, as they existed, been disclosed, reproach 
would have been prevented. At the mill-race, no 
troops could have behaved better: they were well 
posted, and bravely resisted the advance of the enemy, 
nor, until an order to that effect was given, had enter- 
tained a thought of retreating. 

The heart-felt joy at the glorious victory achieved 
on one side of the river, was clouded by the disaster 
witnessed on the other. A position was gained which 
secured to the enemy advantages the most important ; 
and whence our whole line, on the left bank, could be 
severely annoyed. But for the precaution of commo- 
dore Patterson, in spiking his guns, and destroying the 
ammunition, it would have been in the power of colo- 
nel Thornton to have completely enfiladed our line of 
defence, and rendered it untenable. Fearful lest the 
guns might be unspiked, and brought to operate against 
him, general Jackson hastened to throw detachments 
across, with orders to regain the position at every 
hazard. To the troops on the right bank, he forwarded 
an address, with a view to excite them to deeds of 
valour, and inspirit them to exertions that should wipe 
off the reproach they had drawn upon themselves.* 

*See note D. 

3 B 


Previously, however, to their being in readiness to act* 
he succeeded by stratagem in re-obtaining his lost po- 
sition, and thus spared the effusion of blood which 
would have been necessary to its accomplishment. 

The loss of the British, in the main attack, on the 
left bank, has been, at different times, variously stated* 
The killed, wounded, and prisoners, ascertained, on 
the next day after the battle, by colonel Hayne, the 
inspector-general, places it at twenty-six hundred. 
General Lambert's report to lord Bathurst makes it 
but tw r o thousand and seventy. From prisoners, how- 
ever, and information and circumstances derived 
through other sources, it must have been even greater 
than is stated by either. Among them was the com- 
mander-in-chief, and major-general Gibbs, who died of 
his wounds the next day, besides many of their most 
valuable and distinguished officers ; while the loss of 
the Americans, in killed and wounded, was but thir- 

It appears to have been made a question by the 
British officers, if it would not be more advisable to 
carry general Morgan's line, and refrain from any at* 

* Our effective force, at the line, on the left bank, was three 
thousand seven hundred ; that of the enemy at least nine thousand. 
The force landed in Louisiana has been variously reported : the best 
information places it at about fourteen thousand. A part of this acted 
with colonel Thornton ; the climate had rendered many unfit for the 
duties of the field ; while a considerable number had been killed and 
wounded in the different contests since their arrival. Their strength, 
therefore, may be fairly estimated, on the 8th, at the number we 
have stated j at any rate, not less. 


tempt on this side the river. It was believed, that if 
successful in this attack, they would be able to force 
general Jackson from his entrenchment, and pass with 
the main body of the army, in safety, to the city. A 
letter found in the possession of captain Wilkinson, a 
British officer, who fell in the battle, to a friend at home, 
in the war department, speaking on this subject, shows 
that a difference of opinion prevailed, and confesses 
his own as being decidedly in favour of a vigorous at- 
tack on both sides. It bears date late on the night of 
the 7th, nor does it appear, although he was a captain 
and brigade-major, that he, at that time, knew whether 
an assault was seriously intended against Jackson's 
line, or was designed as a feint, to aid the operations of 
colonel Thornton. With the true spirit of a British 
officer, however, he indulged in entire confidence a 
hope of success, entertained no fears for the result, 
nor doubted but that the Americans would at once re- 
tire before their superior skill and bravery. A general 
order, which must have been communicated after he 
had written, disclosing the manner of attack, on the 
left, where he acted, was also found with the letter. 
In that the fusileers and light troops were instructed, 
after reaching our line, to act as a pursuing squadron, 
and keep up alarm, while the army on the right should 
press closely in the rear and support them. It breathes 
an assurance of success, and shows with what anxiety 
they looked to the approaching morning, as likely to 
bring with it a successful termination of their labours, 
and a triumph over a foe, whose advantages, more 
than bravery, they supposed, had so long baffled their 
utmost efforts. 


That it was considered, however, an undertaking oi 
greater magnitude and hazard than they were dispos- 
ed openly to admit, is obvious, from one circumstance. 
The officer who leads his troops on a forlorn attempt, 
not unfrequently places before them allurements 
stronger than either authority or duty. On the pre- 
sent occasion, this resort was not omitted ; and induce- 
ments were held out, than which nothing more invit- 
ing could be offered to an infuriated soldiery.* Let it 
be remembered of that gallant but misguided general, 
who has been so much deplored by the British nation, 
that, to the cupidity of his soldiers, he promised the 
wealth of the city, as a recompense for their gallantry 
and desperation ; while, with brutal licentiousness, 
they were to revel in lawless indulgence, and triumph, 
uncontrolled, over female innocence. Scenes like 
these, our nation, dishonoured and insulted, had al- 
ready witnessed ; she had witnessed them at Hamp- 
ton and Havre-de- Grace : but it was reserved for her 
yet to learn that an officer of the character and stand- 
ing of Sir Edward Packenham, polished, generous, and 
brave, should, to induce his soldiers to acts of daring 
valour, permit them, as a reward, to insult, injure, and 
debase those whom all mankind, even savages, reve- 
rence and respect. The history of Europe, since civi- 
lized warfare began, is challenged to afford an instance 
of such gross depravity, such wanton outrage on the 
morals and dignity of society. English writers may 
deny the correctness of the charge ; it certainly inte- 
rests them to do so : but its authenticity is too well 

* " Booty and Beauty," was the watch-word of Sir Edward Packen- 
ham's army, in the battle of the 8th. 


established to admit of doubt, while its criminality is 
increased, from being the act of a people who hold 
themselves up to surrounding nations as examples of 
every thing that is correct and proper. The facts and 
circumstances which were presented at the time of 
this transaction left no doubt on the minds of our offi- 
cers, but that " Beauty and Booty" was the watch- 
word of the day. The information was obtained from 
prisoners, and confirmed by .the books of two of their 
orderly-sergeants taken in battle, which contained re- 
cord proof of the fact. 

The events of this day afford abundant evidence of 
the liberality of the American soldiers, and show a 
striking difference in the troops of the two nations. 
While one were allured to acts of bravery and duty, 
by the promised pillage and plunder of the inhabitants, 
and the commission of crimes abhorrent in the sight 
of earth and heaven, the other fought but for his 
country, and, having repelled her assailants, instantly 
forgot all enmity, viewed his fallen foe as a brother, 
and hastened to assist him, even at the hazard of his 
own life. The gallantry of the British soldiers, and 
no people could have displayed greater, had brought 
many of them even to our ramparts, where, shot down 
by our troops, they were lying badly wounded. When 
the firing had ceased, and the columns had retired, 
our troops, with generous benevolence, advanced over 
their lines, to assist and bring in the wounded, which 
lay under and near the walls ; when, strange to tell, 
the enemy, from the ditch they occupied, opened a 
fire upon them, and, though at a considerable distance, 
succeeded in wounding several. It was enough for 


our generous soldiers, that they were doing an act 
which the benevolence of their hearts approved, and, 
with charitable perseverance, they continued to ad- 
minister to the wants of these suffering men, and to 
carry them within their lines, although, in their efforts, 
they were continually exposed to danger. Let the 
apologist for crime say, wherefore were acts thus un- 
pardonable committed against men, who were admi- 
nistering to the wants and relieving the sufferings of 
the dying countrymen of those who thus repaid the 
most laudable humanity with wanton and useless 

A communication, shortly after, from major-general 
Lambert, on whom, in consequence of the fall of ge- 
nerals Packenham, Gibbs, and Keane, the command 
had devolved, acknowledges to have witnessed the 
kindness of our troops to his wounded. He solicited 
of general Jackson permission to send an unarmed 
party to bury the dead, lying before his lines, and to 
bring off such of the wounded as were dangerous. 
Though, in all probability, it was unknown to general 
Lambert what had been the conduct of his troops on 
this occasion, and unquestionably not authorized by 
him, yet Jackson, in answer to his despatch, did not 
omit to bring it to his view, and to express his utter 
abhorrence of the act. The request to bury the dead 
was granted. General Jackson, though, refused to per- 
mit a near approach to his line, but consented that the 
wounded who were at a greater distance than three 
hundred yards from the entrenchment should be re- 
lieved, and the dead buried: those nearer were, by 
his own men, to be delivered over, to be interred by 


their countrymen. This precaution was taken, that 
the enemy might not have an opportunity to inspect, 
or know any thing of his situation. 


General Lambert, desirous of administering to the 

relief of the wounded, and that he might be relieved 
from his apprehensions of attack, proposed, about 
noon, that hostilities should cease until the same hour 
the next day. General Jackson, cherishing the hope 
of being able to secure an important advantage, by his 
apparent willingness to accede to the proposal, drew 
up an armistice, and forwarded it to general Lambert, 
with directions for it to be immediately returned, if 
approved. It contained a stipulation to this effect 
that hostilities, on the left bank of the river, should be 
discontinued from its ratification, but on the right 
bank they should not cease ; and, in the interim, that 
under no circumstances were reinforcements to be 
sent across, by either party. This \vas a bold stroke 
at stratagem ; and, although it succeeded, even to the 
extent desired, was yet attended with considerable 
hazard. Reinforcements had been ordered over to 
retake the position lost by Morgan in the morning, 
and the general presumed they had arrived at their 
point of destination, but, at this time, they had not 
passed the river, nor could it be expected to be re- 
taken with the same troops who had yielded it the day 
before, when possessed of advantages which gave 1 
them a decided superiority : this the commanding ge- 
neral-well knew; yet, to spare the sacrifice of his 
men, which, in regaining it, he foresaw must be con- 
siderable, he was disposed to venture upon a course, 
which, he felt assured, could not fail to succeed. It 


was impossible his object could be discovered; while 
he confidently believed the British commander would 
infer, from the prompt and ready manner in which his 
proposal had been met, that such additional troops 
were already thrown over, as would be fully adequate 
to the purposes of attack, and greatly to endanger, if 
not wholly to cut off, colonel Thornton's retreat. Ge- 
neral Lambert's construction was such as had been 
anticipated. Although the armistice contained a re- 
quest that it should be immediately signed and return- 
ed, it was neglected to be acted upon until the next 
day; and Thornton and his command were, in the 
interim, under cover of the night, re-crossed, and the 
ground they occupied left to be peaceably possessed 
by the original holders. The opportunity thus afford- 
ed of regaining a position on which, in a great degree, 
depended the safety of those on the opposite shore, 
was accepted with an avidity its importance merited, 
and immediate measures taken to increase its strength, 
and prepare it against any future attack that might be 
made. This delay of the British commander was 
evidently designed, that, pending the negotiation, and 
before it was concluded, an opportunity might be 
had, either of throwing over reinforcements, or re- 
moving colonel Thornton and his troops from a situa- 
tion so extremely perilous. Early next morning, general 
Lambert returned his acceptance of what had been 
proposed, with an apology for having failed to reply 
sooner : he excused the omission, by pleading a press 
of business, which had occasioned the communication 
to be overlooked and neglected. Jackson was at no 
loss to attribute the delay to the correct motive : the 
apology, however, was as perfectly satisfactory to him 


as anything that could have been offered; beyond the 
object intended to be effected, he felt unconcerned, 
and, having secured this, rested perfectly satisfied. It 
cannot, however, appear otherwise than extraordinary, 
that this neglect should have been ascribed by the 
British general to accident, or a press of business, 
when it must have been, no doubt, of greater import- 
ance, at that moment, than any thing which he could 
possibly have had before him. 

The armistice was this morning, (9th of January) 
concluded, and agreed to continue until two o'clock in 
the evening. The dead and wounded were now re- 
moved from the field, which for three hundred yards in 
front of our line of defence, they almost literally co- 
vered. For the reason already suggested, our soldiers, 
within the line of demarkation between the two camps, 
delivered over to the British, who were not permitted 
to cross it, the dead for burial, and the wounded on 
parole, for which it was stipulated, an equal number 
of American prisoners should be restored. 

It has seldom happened that officers were more de- 
ceived in their expectations than they were in the re- 
sult of this battle, or atoned more severely their error: 
their reasoning had never led them to conclude that 
militia would maintain their ground when warmly as- 
sailed : no other belief was entertained, than alarmed 
at the appearance and orderly firm approach of vete- 
ran troops, they would at once forsake the contest, 
and in flight seek for safety. At what part of our line 
they were stationed, was ascertained by information 
derived through a deserter, on the 6th ; and influenced 



by a belief of their want of nerve, and deficiency in 
bravery, at this point the main assault was urged. 
They were indeed militia ; but the enemy could have 
assailed no part of our entrenchment where they 
would have met a warmer reception, or where they 
would have found greater strength : it was indeed the 
best defended part of the line. The Kentucky and 
Tennessee troops, under generals Carroll, Thomas 
and Adair, were here, who had already, on former oc- 
casions, won a reputation that was too dear to be sa- 
crificed. These divisions, alternately charging their 
pieces, and mounting the platform, poured forth a con- 
stant fire, that was impossible to be withstood, repel- 
led the advancing columns, and drove them from the 
field, with prodigious slaughter. 

There is one fact told, to which general credit 
seems to be attached, and which clearly shows the 
opinion had by the British of our militia, and the little 
fear which was entertained of any determined opposi- 
tion from them. When repulsed from our line, the 
British officers were fully persuaded that the informa- 
tion given them by the deserter, on the night of the 6th, 
was false, and that instead of pointing out the ground 
defended by the militia, he had referred them to the 
place occupied by our best troops. Enraged at what 
they believed an intentional deception, they called 
their informant before them, to account for the mis- 
chief he had done. It was in vain he urged his inno- 
cence, and, with the most solemn protestations, declar- 
ed he had stated the fact truly as it was. They could 
not be convinced, it was impossible that they had 
contended against any but the best disciplined troops; 


* ' \ 

and, without further ceremony, the poor fellow, sus- 
pended in view of the camp, expiated, on a tree, not 
his crime, for what he had stated was true, but their 
error, in underrating an enemy who had already af- 
forded abundant evidences of valour. In all their fu- 
ture trials with our countrymen, may they be no less 
deceived, and discover in our yeomanry a determina- 
tion to sustain with firmness, a government which 
knows nothing of oppression ; but which, on an en- 
larged and liberal scale, aims to secure the indepen- 
dence and happiness of man. If the people of the 
United States, free almost as the air they breathe, 
shall at any time omit to maintain their privileges and 
their government, then indeed will it be idle longer 
to speak of the rights of men, or of their capacity to 
govern themselves: the dream of liberty must fade 
away and perish forever, no more? to be remembered 
or thought of. 


Bombardment of Fort St. Philip. British army retire to their shipping. 
General Jackson, with his troops, returns to New Orleans. Day of 
thanksgiving. Reduction of Fort Bowyer. Legislature of Louisiana 
recommence their session. Discontents fomented among the American 
troops. Arrest of Louaillier, of Judge Hall. Peace announced. 
General Jackson is prosecuted for contempt of court his appearance 
in court. Speech at the Cojfee-House. His own opinion of martial 
law. Troops are discharged, and the general returns to Nashville. 
His person and character. Conclusion. 

THE conflict had ended, and each army occupied its 
former position. In appearance the enemy were visi- 
bly altered : menace was sunk into dejection, and 
offensive measures yielded for those which promised 
safety. Their bold attitude so long preserved, was 
now lain aside ; and they were perceived to be erect- 
ing partial defences, to guard against expected attack. 
It had been already announced, upon good authority, 
that a considerable force had succeeded in passing the 
Balize made prisoners of a detachment there, and 
was proceeding up the Mississippi, to co-operate with 
the land forces. It was intended to aid in the battle 
of the 8th, but failing to arrive, the attack had been 
made without it. Whether the enemy, chagrined and 
mortified at the failure of an effort, into which the idea 
of disappointment had never entered, might not again 
renew the attack, on the arrival of this force, was a 
probable event, and every preparation was in progress 
to be again in readiness to repel it 


Of this formidable advance, no certain intelligence 
was received until the night of the 1 1th, when a heavy 
cannonading, supposed to be on Fort St. Philip, was 
distinctly heard. Jackson entertained no fears for the 
result. The advantages in defence, which his precau- 
tion and vigilance had early extended to this passage 
to the city, added to an entire confidence in the skill 
and bravery of the officer to whom it had been con- 
fided, led him to .believe there was nothing to be ap- 
prehended; and that every thing which duty and 
bravery could effect, would be done. The enemy's 
squadron, consisting of two bomb vessels, a brig, sloop, 
and schooner, were discovered by the videttes, from 
Fort Bourbon, on the morning of the 9th, directing 
their course up the river; signals were made, in- 
formation communicated, and every thing was in readi- 
ness to receive them. About ten o'clock, having ap- 
proached within striking distance, an assault was com- 
menced on the fort, and an immense quantity of bombs 
and balls were discharged against it. A severe and 
well-directed fire from our water battery soon com- 
pelled them to abandon the attack, and retire about 
two miles. At this distance, the enemy was possess- 
ed of decided advantages, having it in their power 
to reach the fort, with the shot from their large mor- 
tis, while they were entirely without th& range of- 
ouis. The assault continued, without much intermis- 
sion, from the 9th until the night of the 17th. They 
had hitherto lain beyond the effective range of our 
shot, ani although from their large mortars the fort 
had been^onstantly reached, and pierced in innume- 
rable piace$, still, such an effect had not been pro- 
duced, as to justify a belief, that they could now. more 


than at the moment of their arrival, venture to pass. 
A heavy mortar having been prepared, and turned 
against them on the 17th, the security they had hith- 
erto enjoyed was taken away : their vessels could now 
be reached, and considerable effect was discovered to 
be produced. This circumstance, and an ineffectual 
bombardment, which though continued for eight days, 
had secured no decided advantage, induced them to 
suspend all further efforts ; and, on the morning of the 
18th, they retired^ 

Major Overton, who commanded at this place, his 
officers, and soldiers, distinguished themselves by 
their activity and vigilance. To arrest the enemy's 
passage up the river, and prevent them from uniting 
with the forces below the city, was of great import- 
ance ; and to succeed in this was as much as could be 
expected. So long, therefore, as they kept at a distance, 
nor attempted a final accomplishment of their object, 
no other concern was felt than to watch their ma- 
noeuvres, and adopt such a course as should afford 
safety to the troops in the garrison ; for this purpose, 
pieces of timber and scantling were used, which formed 
a cover, and gave protection from their bombs. The 
store of ammunition was also divided, and buried in 
different places in the earth, that in the event of acci- 
dent the whole might not be lost. During the period 
of the bombardment, which lasted with little intermis- 
sion for nine days, sleep was almost a strange-' in the 
fort The night was the time when most of *H it was 
feared lest the enemy, aided by the darkness, and as- 
sisted by some fortunate breeze, would ha-e it in their 
power to ascend the river, in despite of ^very opposi- 


tion : the constant activity which was necessary, 
prevented all opportunities for repose. On a tempes- 
tuous night, the wind setting fair to aid them, an attempt 
was made to pass : to divert the attention of the fort, 
and favour the chances for ascent, their boats were 
sent forward to commence an attack. In this, however, 
they were disappointed, and compelled to abandon the 
undertaking. At length, after many fruitless efforts, 
and an immense waste of labour and ammunition, they 
retired without effecting their purpose, or producing, 
to us, a greater injury than the loss of nine of the 
garrison, who were killed and wounded. 

The failure of this squadron to ascend the river, 
perhaps, determined general Lambert in the course 
which he immediately adopted. His situation before 
our line was truly an unpleasant one. Our batteries,, 
after the 8th, were continually throwing balls and bombs 
into his camp; and wherever a party of troops appeared 
in the field, they were greatly annoyed. Thus harass- 
ed, perceiving that all assistance through this chan- 
nel had failed, and constantly in apprehension lest an 
attack should be made upon him, he resolved on avail- 
ing himself of the first favourable opportunity to depart, 
arid forsake a contest where every effort had met dis- 
appointment, and where an immense number of his 
troops had found their graves. The more certainly to 
effect a retreat in safety, detachments had been sent 
out to remove every obstruction that could retard their 
progress through the swamp; while, to give greater 
facility to his departure, strong redoubts were erected 
on the way, and bridges thrown across every creek and 
bayou that obstructed the passage. Every thing being 


thus prepared, on the night of the 18th, general Lam- 
bert silently decamped, and, proceeding towards the 
lake, embarked for his shipping, leaving, and recom- 
mending to the clemency and hospitality of the Ameri- 
can general, eighty of his soldiers, who were too severe- 
ly wounded to be removed. With such silence and 
caution was this decampment managed, that riot the 
slightest intelligence was communicated, even to our 
sentinels occupying the out posts. Early on the next 
morning, the enemy's camp was perceived to be eva- 
cuated; but what had become of them, and whither they 
had gone, could only be conjectured : no information 
on the subject was possessed. To ascertain the cause 
of this new and sudden appearance of things, detach- 
ments were in readiness to proceed and reconnoitre 
their camp, when surgeon Wadsdale, of the staff, ar- 
rived at our line, with a letter to general Jackson, from 
the British commander, announcing his determination 
to suspend, " for the present, all further operations 
against New Orleans," and requesting his humanity 
towards the wounded he had left, and whom necessity 
had compelled him to abandon. 

Detachments were now sent out to ascertain the 
cause of this unexpected state of things ; with orders 
to harass their rear, if a retreat were really intended. 
But the precaution taken by the enemy, arid the 
ground over which they were retreating, prevented 
pursuit in sufficient numbers to secure any valuable 
result The system of operations which Jackson had 
prescribed for himself, he believed was such as policy 
sanctioned, nor to be abandoned but for advantages 
evidently certain, and which admitted not of question. 


To pursue on a route protected and defended by 
canals, redoubts, and entrenchments, would, at least, 
have been adventuring upon an uncertain issue, where 
success was extremely problematical, and where in- 
jury and loss might have resulted. 

Thus, at last, in total disappointment, terminated an 
invasion from which much had been expected. Twen- 
ty-six days ago, flushed with the hope of certain 
victory, had this army erected its standard on the banks 
of the Mississippi. At that moment, they would have 
treated with contempt an assertion, that in ten days 
they would not enter the city of New Orleans. How 
changed the portrait, from the expected reality ! But 
a few days since, and they were confident of a triumph, 
and a successful termination of their labours : now, 
vanquished, beaten, and cut to pieces, at midnight, un- 
der the cover of its darkness, they are found silently 
abandoning their camp, breaking to pieces their ar- 
tillery, fleeing from an enemy, who, but a little while 
before, they had held in utter contempt, and submit- 
ting their wounded to his clemency. A demonstration 
is given, which a Briton, short of absolute proof, would 
have been among the last to have admitted, that four- 
teen thousand troops, who, oftentimes, against the 
sternest opposition, had signalized themselves in bat- 
tle, arid marched to victory, could, under any circum- 
stances, be beaten, and one-third of them destroyed, by 
an inferior number of men, who scarcely knew how to 
form in column, or deploy into line : yet they knew that 
which was of infinitely more service in nerving with 
strength the soldier's arm, and dispelling every thing 
like fear, that they were contending for their rights, 



against a power which was causelessly seeking their 
destruction, for privilege against usurpation, for 
liberty, in opposition to oppression : that they were 
fighting for a country they loved, and for enjoyments, 
which, once lost, could never be regained. Prompted 
by these considerations, they had entered the field, 
and under their influence had acted. For their toils 
and privations, they were amply remunerated : they 
had met their own and country's expectations had 
saved a city from destruction its inhabitants from 
cruelty and dishonour, and were carrying with them 
that consolation which the recollection of a faithful 
discharge of duty never fails to inspire. 

There was no certainty that the contest was finally 
ended. The enemy had indeed retired, and, " for the 
present, relinquished all further operations against 
New Orleans :" but of w r hat continuance their forbear- 
ance would be, whether they might not avail them- 
selves of the first flattering opportunity, to renew the 
struggle, and wipe off the stain of a defeat so wholly 
unexpected, could not be doubted. The hopes and 
expectations indulged, in England, of the success of 
this expedition, had inspirited the whole army ; and 
failure had never been anticipated. They had now 
retired ; yet, from their convenient situation, and hav- 
ing command of the surrounding waters, it was in 
their power, at a short notice, to re-appear, at the 
same, or some more favourable point cause a repeti- 
tion of l the hardships already encountered, and, per- 
haps, ^succeed in the accomplishment of their views. 
These considerations led general Jackson to conclude, 
that, although, for the present, there was an abandon- 


ment of the enterprise, still it behoved him not to 
relax in his system of defence ; but be in constant 
readiness to maintain the advantages he had gained ; 
and not to risk a loss of the country by a careless in- 
difference, growing out of the belief that danger had 
subsided. To prevent such a result, vigilance and 
caution were essentially necessary. 

The enemy being again at their shipping, with an 
entire control of the lakes and gulf, it could not be 
known at what point they might venture on a second 
attack. General Jackson determined now to withdraw 
his troops from the position they had so long occupied, 
and place them about the city, whence, to repel any 
further attempt that might be made, they could be 
advanced wherever it should become necessary. The 
seventh regiment of infantry remained to protect the 
point he was leaving; while, further in advance, on 
Villery's canal, where a landing had been first effect- 
ed, were posted a detachment of Kentucky and Loui- 
siana militia. To secure this point more effectually, 
orders were given, on the 22d, to throw up a strong- 
fortification, at the junction of Manzant and Bayou 
Bienvenu; which order was again attempted to be 
executed on the 25th. On both occasions, failure was 
the result, from the circumstance of the enemy having, 
on their retreat, left a strong guard at this place, which, 
from its situation, defied approach by a force compe- 
tent to its reduction. Their occupying this position 
was looked to as a circumstance which afforded strong 
evidence that further hostilities were not wholly aban- 
doned. To counteract, however, any advantages which 
plight thence be derived, different points, along the 


swamp, and in the direction of Terre au Boeuf, were 
occupied, and strong works erected, to prevent their 
again reaching in this direction the banks of the Mis- 

These arrangements being made, calculated, if not 
to prevent, at least to give intelligence of an approach 
in time to be resisted, on the 20th of January, general 
Jackson, with his remaining forces, commenced his 
march to New Orleans. The general glow excited, 
at beholding his entrance into the city, at the head of 
a long suffering and victorious army, was manifested 
by all those feelings which patriotism and sympathy 
inspire. The windows and streets were Crowded, to 
view the man, who, by vigilance, decision, and en- 
ergy, had preserved the country from the fate to which 
it had been devoted. It was a scene well calculated 
to excite the tenderest emotions. But a few weeks 
since, and every bosom throbbed for deliverance and 
safety. Fathers, sons, and husbands, urged by the ne- 
cessity of the times, were toiling in defence of their 
wives and children. A ferocious soldiery, numerous, 
and skilled in the art of war, and to whom every in 
dulgence had been promised, were straining exertion 
to effect their object. Every cannon that echoed from 
the line was, perhaps, the signal of approach, and the 
commencement of indescribable horrors. But those 
feelings had subsided : the painful anticipations which 
had lasted so long, were gone. The tender female, 
relieved from the anguish of danger and suspense, no 
longer trembled for her safety and her honour : a new 
order of things had arisen : joy sparkled in every coun- 
tenance ; while scarcely a widow or an orphan was 


seen, to cloud the general transport The command- 
ing general, under whose banners every thing had 
been achieved, deliberate, cool, and sparing of the 
lives of the brave defenders of their country, had dis- 
pelled the storm which had so long threatened to in- 
volve the ruin of thousands ; and was now restoring, 
safe and unhurt, those who had with him maintained 
the contest. His approach was hailed with acclama- 
tions : it was not the kind of applause, which, result- 
ing from fear, is oftentimes extended by the subject, 
to some conqueror or tyrant returning in triumph, but 
that which was extended by citizens to a citizen, 
springing from affection, and founded in the honest 
sincerity of the heart. All greeted his return, and 
hailed him as their deliverer. 

But, amidst the warm expression of their thanks, and 
the honours and congratulations heaped upon him, he 
was not unmindful, that to an energy superior to his 
own, and a wisdom which controls the destiny of na- 
tions, he was indebted for the glorious triumph of our 
arms. Respited from the arduous duties of the field, 
his first concern was to draw the minds of all in thank- 
fulness and adoration to that sovereign mercy, without 
whose aid, and inspiring counsel, vain would be all 
earthly efforts. The 23d having been appointed a day 
of prayer and thanksgiving for the happy deliverance 
effected by our arms, Jackson repaired to the cathe- 
dral. The church and altar were splendidly decorated, 
and more than could obtain admission had crowded to 
witness the ceremony. A grateful recollection of his 
exertions to save the country, was cherished by all ; 
nor did the solemnity of the occasion, even here, re- 


strain a manifestation of their regard, or induce them 
to withhold the honour he had so nobly earned. Chil- 
dren, robed in white, and representing the different 
states, were employed in strewing the way with flow- 
ers ; while, as he passed, a flattering ode produced for 
the occasion saluted his ears. 

Hail to the chief! who hied at war's alarms, 
To save our threaten'd land from hostile arms ; 
Preserv'd, protected by his gallant care, 
Be his the grateful tribute of each fair : 
With joyful triumph swell the choral lay 
Strew, strew with flow'rs the hero's welcome way. 
Jackson, all hail ! our country's pride and boast, 
Whose mind's a council, and his arm a host; 
Welcome, blest chief ! accept our grateful lays, 
Unbidden homage, and spontaneous praise ; 
Remembrance, long, shall keep alive thy fame, 
And future infants learn to lisp thy name. 

When the general reached the church, Dubourg, the 
reverend administrator of the diocese, met him at the 
door. Addressing him in a strain of pious eloquence, 
he intreated him to remember, that his splendid 
achievements, which were echoed from every tongue, 
were to be ascribed to Him to whom all praise was due. 
" Let the votary of blind chance," continued he, " de- 
ride our credulous simplicity. Let the cold-hearted 
atheist look for an explanation of important events, to 
the mere concatenation of human causes ; to us, the 
whole world is loud in proclaiming a Supreme Ruler, 
who, as he holds the destiny of man in his hands, holds 
also the thread of all contingent occurrences; from 
his lofty throne, he moves every scene below, infuses 
his wisdom into the rulers of nations, and executes his 


uncontrollable judgments on the sons of men, accord- 
ing to the dictates of his own unerring justice." He 
concluded his impressive address, by presenting the 
general with a wreath of laurel, woven for the occasion, 
and which he desired him to accept as " a prize of 

General Jackson accepted the pledge, presented as 
a mark of distinguished favour by the reverend pre- 
late, and returned him a reply no less impressive than 
the address he had received. He was now conducted 
in, and seated near the altar, when the organ, and church 
ceremonies were commenced, and inspired every mind 
with a solemn reverence for the occasion.* These 
being ended, he retired to his quarters, to renew a 
system of defence, which should ensure entire safety, 
and ward off any future danger that might arise. The 
right bank of the Mississippi was now strengthened by 
additional reinforcements, and a strong position taken 
on La Fourche, to prevent any passage in that direo- 
tion. Suitable arrangements for security having been 
already made below the city, generals Coffee and Car- 
roll were instructed to resume their former encamp- 
ment, four miles above, where they had been stationed 
previously to the landing of the enemy. The rest of 
the troops were arranged at different points, where 
necessity seemed most to require it, and where they 
might be convenient, and concentrated for action, on 
the first appearance of danger. 

Previously to general Lambert's departure, articles 

* See note E. 


of agreement had been entered into by the command- 
ers of the two armies, for an exchange of prisoners ; 
in pursuance of which, sixty-three Americans, taken 
on the night of the 23d, from the left wing of general 
Coffee's brigade, had been delivered up : the remain- 
der, principally those w r ho had been taken at the cap- 
ture of our gun boats, were shortly afterwards surren- 
dered by admiral Cochrane, and an equal number of 
British prisoners, in our possession, sent off to be de- 
livered at the Balize. 

The enemy had now withdrawn from the shore the 
troops which had been landed, and occupied their 
former position at Cat and Ship Island. Mortified at 
their unexpected disaster, they were projecting a 
plan, by which it was expected a partial advantage 
might, perhaps, be secured, and the stigma of defeat 
be somewhat obliterated. 

Fort Bowyer had been once assailed, with a con- 
siderable force, by land and water, and failure had re- 
sulted. This post, the key to Mobile, and considered 
of infinite consequence, had been retained under the 
command of him, who, heretofore, had defended it so 
valiantly. The British commander, turning from those 
scenes of disappointment and wretchedness so lately 
witnessed, and anxious to retrieve his fortunes, be- 
fore, with his shattered and diminished forces, he 
should retire, perceived no place against which he 
might proceed with better founded hopes of success. 
Its importance, in a military point of view, has been 
already shown : but, dispirited and reduced as the ene- 
my now were, even should they possess it, they would 


be without the power to derive those important ad- 
vantages which were heretofore so greatly appre- 
hended and dreaded. 

On the 6th of February, the British shipping ap- 
peared off Dauphin Island, fronting the point on which 
stood the fort, garrisoned with three hundred and six- 
ty men. Having made the necessary arrangements, 
on the 8th an attack was commenced, both from the 
land and water. The fleet was formed in two divi- 
sions; and approached within one and two miles, 
bearing south and south-west from it. But the princi- 
pal attack, and that which compelled a surrender, was 
from the shore, where colonel Nicholls and Woodbine 
had carried on their operations in September. Five 
thousand troops, aided by pieces of heavy ordnance, 
and secured from the fire of our guns by large em- 
bankments, urged the assault. Under cover of the two 
succeeding nights, redoubts had been thrown up, and 
trenches cut through the sand, which enabled them to 
approach gradually, and without being exposed to the 
fire of our guns. Twice, on the 8th, were detach- 
ments sent out, to effect by storm the accomplish- 
ment of their purpose ; but the fire from the fort com- 
pelled an abandonment of their course, and drove them 
to the necessity of approaching by trenches, protected 
by strong redoubts. To demolish these from the fort 
was impracticable, from their strength ; and to attempt 
to prevent their erection, by any sortie, with so weak 
a force, would have been rash and imprudent. Thus 
situated, and every thing being ready to attack and car- 
ry the fort, if opposition were still intended, about ten 
o'clock on the llth the enemy hoisted a flag : major 

3 E " 


Lawrence raised another. Hostilities ceased, and ge- 
neral Lambert required a surrender. The officers 
being convoked, with one consent agreed that further 
resistance would be ineffectual, and could only lead to 
the unnecessary loss of many valuable lives. A ca- 
pitulation was agreed on, and the fort forthwith yielded 
to the enemy. 

General Winchester, who commanded at Mobile, 
having received intelligence of what was passing at 
the point, ordered a detachment of a thousand men, 
under major Blue, to proceed down the bay, and aid 
in its defence. This auxiliary force was too late : hav- 
ing surprised and captured one of the enemy's out 
piquets, consisting of seventeen men, and ascertained 
that a surrender had already taken place, they return- 
ed. Had this detachment reached its destination, our 
loss would have been more severe. The enemy's 
forces were too numerous, and their means of attack 
too effectual, for any different result to have taken 
place, even had the detachment arrived in time. 

It had early been the wish of general Jackson, for 
the large frigate, lying at Tchifonte, to be completed, 
and placed in defence of Fort Bowyer. We have be- 
fore remarked the confidence entertained by him, that, 
with the aid of this vessel, no force brought against 
the place would be competent to its reduction. Near 
it is the only channel a vessel of any size can pass. 
This frigate, occupying the passage, would have pre- 
sented as strong a battery as could be brought against 
her, and, with the aid of the fort, defied any assault from 
the water; and, while her position would have enabled 


her to have thrown her bombs and shot across the nar- 
row neck of land, in the rear of the point, and arrested 
the advance of any number of troops, which, in this 
direction, might have attempted an approach. Yet every 
necessary precaution, to defend this important pass, 
had been altogether overlooked or disregarded, and 
more money disbursed by the government in erecting 
shelters, to protect the frigate from the weather, than 
would have been sufficient for her completion. 

The legislature of Louisiana had re-commenced their 
session. The necessity which had induced a suspen- 
sion of their deliberations, having been removed, by 
the departure of the enemy, they were no longer 
restricted in the exercise of their constitutional pri- 
vileges. Some of the members, during the past strug* 
gle, had forsaken their official duties, and repaired to 
the field, where more important services were to be 
rendered, and where they had manifested a zeal and 
devotion to the country worthy of imitation. A much 
greater part, however, had pursued a very opposite 
course, and stood aloof from the impending danger. 
The disposition they had shown, on the 28th of De- 
cember, to propose a capitulation with the enemy, has 
been adverted to : how far it was calculated to es- 
trange the public sentiment from that conviction, 
which the commanding general, throughout, had en- 
deavoured to rivet and impress, "that the country could 
and would be successfully defended," can be easily 
imagined. But with them he had sinned beyond for- 
giveness. The course he had adopted his arresting 
their proceedings, and suspending their deliberations, 
by placing an armed force at the door of the capitol. 


were viewed as intolerable infringements upon legis- 
lative prerogative denounced as an abuse of power, 
and hence the first opportunity was seized on to ex- 
hibit their resentment against the man who had stood 
forth in opposition to, and defeated their designs. 
Whether it were better to indulge them in a heedless 
course, which led to no other object than individual 
advancement, or, by interposing a remedy, arrest the 
foul purpose intended, preserve the nation from dis- 
honour, and avert the dangerous consequences involv- 
ed, was not a matter requiring much deliberation ; nor 
was it a circumstance to justify the legislature in 
treating as they did, with marked disrespect, him who 
Avas the efficient cause of all that had been achieved. 

No sooner had the members resumed the exercise 
of their legislative duties, than their first concern was 
to pass in review, the incidents of the last month. To 
those who had acted vigilantly in the defence of the 
state, and who, by their toils and exertions, had con- 
tributed to its safety, they officially tendered their 
thanks. In pursuance of their resolutions, the govern- 
or addressed the principal officers : but of Jackson, 
nothing was said. We are not disposed to censure or 
even call in question the conduct of this body, though 
the circumstances present no very favourable appear- 
ance. When danger threatened, they were disposed 
to make terms with the enemy, and obtain safety by 
a surrender of the city : from this they were prevent- 
ed by a decision of character that compelled legisla- 
tive to yield to military authority. Greatly incensed 
at being thus unexpectedly restrained in the execution 
of their designs, no sooner did they resume the du- 


ties of their station, than they became lavish in the 
praise of those who adopted and pursued a course 
directly contrary to their own ; while in that commen- 
dation and approval, they intentionally neglected the 
very man to whom their section of country was in- 
debted for its salvation. But to Jackson, this was an 
immaterial circumstance : he had a mind incapable of 
being inflated by applause, or depressed by unmerited 
censure. He knew, full well, that his countrymen 
would duly appreciate his conduct, trace his actions 
and errors to proper motives, and extend " honour to 
whom honour was due." Humamtm est errare, was a 
maxim from which he claimed no exemption ; but a 
conviction rested on his mind, that necessity had 
prompted him to the course he had taken, that if he 
had erred, it was for the general good : if legislative 
prerogative had been invaded, it was to save the actors 
from themselves : if constitutional forms and provi- 
sions had been violated, the country had been thereby 
protected from outrage, dishonour, and ruin. These 
afforded consolatory reflections, which the neglect or 
censures of none could disturb, or take away. Mind- 
ful of what he owed to his country, and what was ex- 
pected at his hands, he continued a course calculated 
to preserve the advantages he had secured, regardless 
of the cabal, the murmuring and intrigue of party. 

Appearances in the American camp were about this 
time assuming an unfavourable aspect : present danger 
and alarm being removed, confusion was arising, and 
disaffection spreading through the ranks. Pretexts 
were sought after to escape the drudgery of the field. 
Many naturalized citizens, who had been brought into 


the service, and made to aid in the general defence, 
were seeking exemption from further control, and 
claiming to be subjects of the king of France. Some 
were indeed foreigners : but most of them had, by 
naturalization, become citizens of the United States. 
Notwithstanding this, as French subjects, they were 
seeking, and actually procuring, exonerations through 
Monsieur Toussard, the consul resident at New Or- 
leans. No applicant ever went away unsupplied, and 
hundreds, for the price of a consular certificate, ob- 
tained protections which were to relieve them from 
the drudgery of the field, and the ties due to their 
adopted country. A flag was displayed from the con- 
sul's residence, and rumour circulated, that under it 
every Frenchman would find protection. Five dollars, 
the price of the certificate, was all that was required of 
any applicant to assure, through the consul, the protec- 
tion of the French government. Harassed by such evils, 
that were every day increasing, and having strong and 
satisfactory reasons to believe that the enemy, then 
within a few hours sail of the shore, were constantly 
advised of his situation, Jackson determined to adopt 
such measures as would at once put down the mach- 
inations of the guilty and designing. Toussard, thus 
manifesting, what could be considered in no other 
light, a warmth of attachment to the English, and a 
desire to aid them, for the services perhaps which 
they had given in the restoration of his monarch, was 
ordered to leave the city retire to the interior of the 
country, nor venture to return, until peace was re- 
stored. His countrymen, also, who were disposed to 
claim his protection, and abandon the service, were 
ordered to follow him, and, at their peril, not to ap- 


pear again about New Orleans. The general did this 
with a view to his own security, and from a conviction 
that those who could thus shamefully seek to avoid a 
contest, threatened against a country which they had 
adopted, and whose privileges and benefits they had 
enjoyed, would not scruple, if an occasion offered, to 
inflict any injury in their power: he believed his 
camp, or its vicinity, by no means a proper place 
where such characters should be permitted to loiter. 

Particular care and caution had been early taken 
that embarrassments on the score of citizenship might 
not arise. Danger threatening, it was no difficult mak 
ter to perceive, that on the ground of being subjects of 
a foreign power, and owing no allegiance to the Uni- 
ted States, many would assert a neutrality and exemp- 
tion from the fatigues and dangers of the field. If 
entitled to this character, then was it fair they should 
receive whatever of immunity could attach to their 
claim ; yet if in prosperous times they had asserted 
their right to be citizens, participated in our privi- 
leges, and drawn to themselves all the benefits apper- 
taining to that relation, then was there every justice 
in demanding of them the military services which 
were exacted of others : but as the language spoken 
was not vernacular, any inquiry on this subject, cal- 
culated to result in certainty, was attended with diffi- 
culty. Fortunately, however, a warmly contested 
election, the preceding summer, had taken place at 
New Orleans, and a register of the votes on the oc- 
casion had been preserved. To this document then, 
the general resorted, and with this unanswerable ar- 
gument, that those who had voted, and thereby par- 


ticipated in the highest privileges of the country, 
should not now be permitted to deny, or throw off', a 
citizenship thus established. By this mean, he ren- 
dered in a great degree, inoperative, the French con- 
sul's certificates, and compelled to the field, spite of 
their consular protection, every man whose name 
could be traced on the election roster. 

Our own citizens, too, were giving rise to difficul- 
ties, and increasing the danger of the moment. Mr. 
Livingston had arrived on the 10th, from the British 
fleet, whither he had gone to effect a general cartel : 
through him, admiral Cochrane had announced the ar- 
rival of a vessel from Jamaica, with news, that a treaty 
of peace had been agreed on and signed by the two 
countries. This information was immediately caught 
at by the news-mongers, and either from intention, or 
want of correct intelligence, it suddenly appeared in 
the Louisiana gazette, in an entirely different shape : 
it stated the arrival of a flag at head-quarters, which 
announced the conclusion of a peace, and requested a 
suspension of hostilities. It was evident, the effect of 
such a declaration would be, to introduce lassitude, or 
perhaps disaffection among the troops, and induce a 
belief that their accustomed vigilance was no longer 
necessary. Sensible of this, general Jackson sent for 
the editor, and instructed him to alter what he had 
stated, and exhibit the facts, which he now communi- 
cated to him, truly as they were. He adopted this 
course, from fear of the consequences to be produced 
to himself. One thing he well knew,, that the enemy 
had retired, under circumstances of mortification and 
humbled feeling, at their complete discomfiture ; nor 


was it an improbable conjecture, that they might yet 
seek an accomplishment of their views, through any 
channel a hope of success could be discerned. Might 
not this annunciation of peace, and request for the 
suspension of hostilities, introduced through the 
public journals, be a devise of the enemy to induce 
a relaxation in his system of operation and defence; 
to divert his officers and ? soldiers from that atten- 
tion and activity so essential to security, to excite 
discontents and murmurings, and a desire to be dis- 
charged from the further drudgery of a camp ? All 
these dangers he saw lurking beneath it, if false; and 
whether true or false, it was foreign to his duty to be 
influenced by any thing, until it should be officially 
communicated by his government. Fearful of the 
effect it might produce, he lost no time in addressing 
his army : " how disgraceful," he remarked, " as well 
as disastrous, would it be, if, by surrendering ourselves 
credulously to newspaper publications, often proceed- 
ing from ignorance, but more frequently from dishonest 
design, we should permit an enemy, whom we have so 
lately and so gloriously beaten, to regain the advan- 
tages he has lost, and triumph over us in turn." A 
general order, at the same time, announced that no 
publication relating to, or affecting the army, was to be 
published in any newspaper, without first obtaining 
permission. It has been objected, that this prohibi- 
tion, going to restrict the exercise of a constitutional 
right, was an outrage op the feelings and liberty of the 
country : but if the press be of so sacred and intacti- 
ble a character, that it may adopt and pursue a course, 
calculated to scatter dissentions, and excite mutiny in 
the ranks of an army, when in the very face of an 



enemy, without the power of control, it is a circum- 
stance much to be regretted. Reflecting minds will 
determine, if an interposition of power were not ne- 
cessary, to restrain so dangerous a freedom, and to 
avert injury from a country, whose protection the 
press, when it seeks to injure, ceases to deserve. 

Notwithstanding this prohibition, shortly afterwards 
an anonymous publication appeared in the Louisiana 
Courier, calculated by its inflammatory character to ex- 
cite mutiny among the troops, and afford the enemy 
intelligence of the situation and disposition of the 
army. It was now high time, the general believed, to 
act with decision, and prove by the rigid exercise of 
authority, that such conduct militated against the 
police and safety of his camp, and required not to be 
passed with impunity. The enemy had heretofore 
effected a landing, secretly, and without opposition 1 ; 
and although beaten, might again return. If spies 
were to be nestled in his camp, and permitted to go 
forth to the world with the gleanings of their industry, 
it was folly to believe the enemy would not profit by 
the information. Martial law still prevailed in New 
Orleans, and he resolved to put it in execution against 
those who manifested such an evident disregard of the 
public good. The editor was immediately sent for to 
the general's quarters ; he stated the author of the 
piece to be Louaillier, a member of the legisla- 
ture, and he was thereupon discharged. 

Louaillier was arrested, and detained for trial. This 
circumstance afforded civilians a fair opportunity of 
testing if it were in the power of a commanding 


general to raise the military above the civil authority, 
and render it superior by any declaration of his. Ap- 
plication was made to judge Hall for a writ of habeas 
corpus, which was immediately issued. The general, 
to render the example as efficacious as possible, and 
from information that the judge had been much more 
officious than his duty required, and believing in fact, 
that it was a measure of combination and concert to 
test his power, determined to arrest him also, and 
thereby at once to settle the question of authority. On 
a matter involving such important consequences, he 
believed it best to have it determined in a way calcu- 
lated to silence opposition, and show that he was re- 
solved to put down every effort to thwart the mea- 
sures he had adopted for defence, or which was intend- 
ed to destroy the police which he had established for 
the tranquillity of his camp, and for the safety of the 

Instead of surrendering Mr. Louaillier, and acting in 
obedience to the writ, which had issued for his relief, 
he seized the person of the judge, and, on the 1 1th of 
the month, sent him from the city, with these instruc- 
tions " I have thought proper to send you b^ond the 
limits of my encampment, to prevent a repetition of 
the improper conduct with which you have been 
charged. You will remain without the line of my sen- 
tinels until the ratification of peace is regularly an- 
nounced, or until the British shall have left the south- 
ern coast" He did this, believing he was right in 
the declaration of martial law, and that the good sense 
of judge Hall, should, at so momentous a period, have 
taught him a different course. He did it, because dis- 


posed to give complete effect to his measures to 
silence opposition, and satisfy the refractory and de- 
signing, that judicial interference should not mar the 
execution of his plans, or afford a screen, behind which 
treason might stalk unmolested. He did it, to make 
the example effectual, and to obtain, through fear, that 
security which could not be had through love of coun- 

The mind coolly calculating, in the closet, the prin- 
ciples of right and wrong, cannot fairly appreciate the 
merits of this question. Proper inferences can be only 
drawn, by bearing in recollection all those circum- 
stances which existed at the moment. That a zeal 
suited to the occasion, was not felt by all, the events 
already adverted to abundantly prove. The course 
pursued by the legislature had evidenced a feeling 
and conduct which had forfeited reliance ; while the 
enemy being, as we have heretofore shown, constantly 
advised of every thing transacted in the American 
camp, plainly evinced, that safety and success were to 
be attained in no other way than by pursuing a course 
at once firm and determined. 


The militia had already grown tired of the field, and 
sighed to be discharged from their toils. To impress 
on their minds a conviction, that, peace being restored, 
they were unnecessarily detained in service, when it 
rested on rumour* alone, or to attempt, by any course 
of conduct, to render them more disaffected, carried 
with it such a degree of criminality and guilt, as could 
not be permitted, without endangering the safety of 
the country. This spirit of discontent had become ex- 


tensively diffused. The different posts, which had been 
established, could with difficulty be maintained. The 
Kentucky troops, and two hundred of the Louisiana 
militia, stationed in defence of Villery's canal, had 
abandoned their post. Chef Menteur, too, a point no 
less important, had been forsaken by one hundred and 
fifty of the Louisianians, in despite of the remon- 
strances and exertions of their officers to detain them. 
Governor Claiborne had been heard to declare, in 
words of mysterious import, that serious difficulties 
would be shortly witnessed in New Orleans. For the 
commanding general, at a time like this, when disaf- 
fection was spreading like contagion through his camp, 
patiently to have stood and witnessed mutiny fomented 
and encouraged by persons who, from their standing 
in society, were calculated to possess a dangerous in- 
fluence, would have been a crime he never could have 
sufficiently atoned, had injury resulted. He thought 
it time enough to relax in his operations, and ground 
his arms, when the conclusion of peace should be an- 
nounced through the proper authorities. Until then, 
believing that imperious duty required it, he resolved 
to maintain his advantages, and check opposition, at 
every hazard. To have obeyed the writ would have 
been idle. He had declared the existence of military 
authority, and thereby intended to supersede all judi- 
cial power. If he had obeyed the mandate, it would 
have been an acknowledgment of civil supremacy, 
and a virtual abandonment of the course he had adopt- 
ed. It was not an improbable event, that the petitioner 
would be discharged, on a hearing, because guilty of 
no offence cognizable by the civil courts. He had not 
levied war against the country, nor directly aided the 


enemy ; but had done that which was paralyzing exer- 
tion, scattering 'dissention, introducing mutiny, and 
thinning the ranks of the army. Either, then, judicial 
interference should have been disregarded, or the ar- 
rest was wholly unnecessary. But whether the course 
pursued were right or wrong, the effect was import- 
ant and salutary, for good order was restored, and dis- 
organizers forthwith were hushed to silence. 

On the 13th of the month, two days after the de- 
parture of judge Hall from the city, an express reach- 
ed head-quarters, with despatches from the war de- 
partment, at Washington City, announcing the con- 
clusion of a peace between Great Britain and the 
United States, and directing a cessation of hostilities. 
A similar communication from his government was 
received by general Lambert, shortly afterwards, and 
on the 19th, military operations, by the two armies, 
entirely ceased. The aspect of affairs was now chang- 
ing : the militia were discharged from service ; bustle 
was subsiding ; and joy and tranquillity every where 
appearing. A proclamation, by the direction of the 
president of the United States, was issued, extending 
pardon and forgiveness for past offences. 

Judge Hall, being restored to the exercise of those 
functions, of which he had been lately bereaved, by 
military arrest, proceeded, without loss of time, to an 
examination of what had passed, and to become the 
arbiter of his own wrongs and injuries. Accordingly, on 
the 21st, he granted a rule of court for general Jack- 
son to appear, and show cause why an attachment for 
contempt should not be awarded, on the ground that 


he had refused to obey a writ issued to him, detained 
an original paper belonging to the court, and imprison- 
ed the judge.* 

In this case, there was certainly too much latitude 
for an improper indulgence of feeling, for the judge, 
the complaining party, to have claimed any kind of 
interference : it would have been more advisable to 
have appealed to a jury of his country, and thus 
brought before a dispassionate tribunal, the question 
of the illegality of his arrest and detention. But, by be- 
coming the prosecutor and arbiter of his own griev- 
ances, he placed himself in a situation, were reason 
could have but little agency, calculated to do injustice, 
and attach to his decision suspicion and censure. It 
would have been more satisfactory to Jackson, to have 
met the inquiry before a less partial tribunal ; yet, al- 
though he was well convinced of its being an extra- 
judicial proceeding, he did not hesitate to appear, and 
submit the grounds which he believed ought fully to 
acquit him of all alleged guilt. The trial by jury was 
secured, generally, in criminal prosecutions, and in all 
others, except where the law, from conceived necessi- 
ty, had directed a more summary course. But the 
authority of courts had already settled, that statutes 
which infringe the privilege of jury trial, were never 
to receive a liberal construction, and could be made to 
operate only in cases which came strictly within their 

* The writ had been detained, and a certified copy given, on ac- 
count of its having been altered by judge Hall, in a material part. 
The general's reasons for the detention will be found in his answer, 
at the end of the volume. 



letter: inasmuch, therefore, as the indignity complained 
of, and the right to punish for contempt, was not clearly 
within the provisions of any existing law, but merely 
a right incidental to judicial power, it was believed the 
court possessed no jurisdiction of the case, that it 
deserved to be classed with general injuries, and in- 
quired into by a jury. Claiming to himself this and 
other exceptions to the jurisdiction, he met the inves- 
tigation. He was the more disposed to do so, because 
the busy politicians of the city had condemned his 
acts, without seeking for the reasons which had in- 
duced them. An opportunity was now presented of 
developing them fully, and of bringing to the view of 
his country, the weighty considerations that had in- 
fluenced his mind, and to which, in a great measure, 
were to be ascribed the protection and safety the 
country had experienced. 

On the 24th, his appearance being entered, he stood 
represented at the bar by John Reid, his aid-de-camp, 
and Messrs. Livingston and Duncan. Major Reid ad- 
dressing himself to the court, remarked, that he appear- 
ed with the general's answer, supported by an affidavit, 
which w r ent to show, that the rule should be discharg- 
ed, and no further proceeding had against him. A cu- 
rious course of judicial proceeding was now witnessed. 
Cause, why the rule should not be made absolute, was 
to be shown, and yet the judge would determine 
whether the reasons were exceptionable or not, pre- 
viously to their being heard or seen. The counsel 
urged in vain, the propriety of his hearing first, before 
he decided, if the answer were consonant with pro- 
priety. This was over-ruled. He would first deter- 


mine what it should be. If within any of the rules laid 
down, it should be heard, not else. 

" If," remarked the judge, " the party object to the 
jurisdiction, he shall be heard. 

" If it be a denial of facts; or that the facts charged 
do not amount to a contempt, he shall be heard. 

" If it be an apology to the court ; or an intention to 
show, that by the constitution and laws of the United 
States, or in virtue of his military commission, he had 
a right to act as charged, the court will hear him." 

Hear what it does contain, and you can then decide 
if it come under any of the general rules laid down, 
was replied and argued at length by his counsel, as 
the correct and proper course. 

After a debate of considerable length, Major Reid 
was permitted to proceed and to read the answer. He 
had gotten through the exceptions reserved as to the 
jurisdiction, and was proceeding with the respondent's 
reasons, showing the necessity, and hence the conse- 
quent propriety of declaring martial law, when he was 
again interrupted by the judge, because coming with- 
in none of the rules which he had laid down. The 
ears of the court were closed against every thing of 
argument or reason, and without hearing the defence, 
the rule against him wa rendered Absolute, and the 
attachment sued out. 

This process was made returnable the 31st: and 



on that day the general appeared. Public feeling was 
excited, and the crowd, on the tiptoe of expectation, 
were anxiously waiting to know what punishment the 
judge would think due to acts which all agreed had 
mainly contributed to the success of our cause. Jack- 
son, previously apprized of the popular fervor towards 
him, and solicitous that nothing on his part should be 
done calculated to give it impulse, practised more than 
usual caution : and now when it had become neces- 
sary to appear in public, to ward himself from crimes 
imputed, he threw off his military costume, and as-* 
suming the garb of a citizen, the better to disguise him- 
self, entered alone the hall, where the court was 
sitting. Undiscovered amidst the concourse which 
was present, he had nearly reached the bar, when, 
being perceived, the room instantly rung with the 
shouts of a thousand voices. Raising himself on a 
bench and moving his hand, to procure silence, a 
pause ensued. He then addressed himself to the crowd ; 
told them of the duty due to the public authorities ; 
for that any impropriety of theirs would be imputed 
to him, and urged, if they had any regard for him, that 
they would, on the present occasion, forbear those 
feelings and expressions of opinion. Silence being re- 
stored, the judge rose from his seat, and remarking, 
that it was impossible, nor safe, to transact business 
at such a moment, and under such threatening circum- 
stances, directed the marshal to adjourn the court. The 
general immediately interfered, and requested that it 
might not be done. " There is no danger here ; there 
shall be none the same arm that protected from out- 
rage this city, against the invaders of the country, will 
shield and protect this court, or perish in the effort." 


This declaration had the effect to tranquillize the feel- 
ings and apprehensions of the judge ; and the business 
of the court was proceeded with. It was now de* 
manded of him to answer nineteen interrogatories, 
drawn up with much labour, and in studied form, 
which were to determine as to his guilt or innocence, 
He informed the court he should not be interrogated j 
that, on a former occasion, he had presented the rea- 
sons which had influenced his conduct, without their 
producing an effect, or being even listened to. " You 
would not hear my defence, although you were ad- 
vised it contained nothing improper, and ample rea- 
sons why no attachment should be awarded. Under 
these circumstances, I appear before you, to receive 
the sentence of the court, having nothing further in 
my defence to offer* 

" Your honour will not understand me as intending 
any disrespect to the court; but as no opportunity has 
been afforded me of explaining the reasons and mo- 
tives by which I was influenced, so is it expected^ 
that censure or reproof will constitute no part of that 
sentence which you may imagine it your duty to pro- 
nounce." . 

The judge proceeded to a final discharge of what 
he conceived was due to the offended majesty of the 
laws, and fined the general a thousand dollars. 

The hall in which this business was transacted was 
greatly crowded, and excitement every where pre- 
vailed. No sooner was the judgment of the court pro- 
bounced, than again were sent forth shouts of the 


pie. He was now seized and forcibly hurried from 
the hall to the streets, amidst reiterated cries of huzza 
for Jackson, from the immense concourse that sur- 
rounded him. They presently met a carriage in which 
a lady was riding, when, politely taking her from it, 
the general was made, spite of entreaty, to occupy her 
place : the horses being removed, the carriage was 
drawn on, and halted at the coffee-house, into which 
he was carried, and thither the crowd folloAved, huz- 
zaing for Jackson, and menacing violently the judge. 
Having prevailed on them to hear him, he addressed 
them with great feeling and earnestness; implored 
them to run into no excesses ; that if they had the 
least gratitude for his services, or regard for him per- 
sonally j they could evince it in no way so satisfactori- 
ly, as by assenting, as he most freely did, to the deci- 
sion which had just been pronounced against him. 
" That the civil was the paramount and supreme au- 
thority of the land. He had never pretended to any 
thing else, nor advocated a different doctrine. He had 
departed from its rules, because that they were too 
feeble for the state of the times. By a resort to mar- 
tial law, he had succeeded in defending and protecting 
a country, which,without it, must have been lost; yet 
under its provisions he had oppressed no one, nor ex- 
tended them to any other purpose than defence and 
safety; objects which its declaration was intended 
alone to effect." " I feel," continued he* " sensible for 
those marks of personal regard which you have evinc- 
ed towards me ; and with pleasure remember those 
high efforts of valour and patriotism which so essen- 
tially contributed to the defence of the country. If 
recent events have shown you what fearless valour 


can effect, it is a no less important truth to learn, that 
submission to the civil authority is the first duty of a 
citizen. In the arduous necessity imposed on me, of 
defending this important and interesting city, imperi- 
ous circumstances compelled me, either to jeopardize 
those important interests which were confided to me, 
or to take upon myself the responsibility of those mea- 
sures which have been termed high handed, but 
which, I thought, absolutely essential for defence. Thus 
situated, I did not hesitate I could not. I risked all 
consequences ; and you have seen me meet the penal- 
ty of my aggression, and bow with submission to the 
sentence of the law. Had the penalty imposed reach- 
ed the utmost extent of my ability to meet it, I should 
not have murmured or complained ; nor now, when it 
is ended, would I forbear a similar course were the 
same necessity and circumstances again to recur. If 
the offence with which I am now charged had not 
been committed, the laws by which I have been punish- 
ed would not now exist: Sincerely do I rejoice 
in their maintenance and safety, although the first 
vindication of their violated supremacy has been 
evinced in the punishment of myself. The order 
and decorum manifested by you, amidst various 
circumstances of strong excitement, merits my warm- 
est acknowledgments. I pray you, permit that mode- 
ration to continue. If you have any regard for me, 
you will not do otherwise than yield respect to the 
justice of the country, and to the character of its min- 
isters ; that feeling and disposition will, I trust, always 
characterize you ; and evince on your part, as firm a 
disposition to maintain inviolate and unimpaired the 
laws of the country, as you have recently shown to 


defend yourself against invasion and threatened out- 
rage." Mr. Davasac, who had acted in the capacity of 
volunteer aid, being requested by the general, rose, 
and in the French language, repeated the substance of 
the remarks previously delivered by Jackson. He 
urged zealously the maintenance of peace and good 
order, and thus produced tranquillity to excited feel- 

Being at length relieved from this warm display of 
gratitude and regard manifested towards him for the 
exertions he had made in their defence, Jackson retired 
to his quarters, and giving a check to his aid-de-camp, 
sent him to discharge the fine imposed, and to termi- 
nate his contest with the civil authority. He was 
greatly consoled at learning, through various respect- 
able channels, that all was tranquil, and that against 
the judge nothing of indignity or unkindness was lon- 
ger meditated. 

So riveted was the impression, that the course pur- 
sued by the commanding general was correct, and the 
conduct of judge Hall more the result of spleen than 
any thing else, that the citizens of New Orleans deter- 
mined to ward off the effect of his intended injury, by 
discharging, themselves, the fine imposed. It was 
only necessary to be thought of, and it was done. So 
numerous were the persons, entertaining the same 
feelings on the subject, that in a short time the entire 
sum was raised by voluntary contribution. The gene- 
ral understanding what was in agitation, to spare his 
own and their feelings, had despatched "his aid-de- 
camp to seek the marshal, and thereby avoided the 


necessity of refusing a favour, intended to be offered, 
and which he could not have accepted. Without, how- 
ever, any knowledge of his wishes, or consulting at all 
his feelings on the subject, they proceeded in the ar- 
rangement, and, by subscription, the entire amount 
was in a short time raised, and deposited to his use in 
bank, and notice thereof given. But it was not ac- 
cepted ; though refused in a manner the most delicate. 
In reply, he declared the obligations felt for this re- 
newed evidence of regard; and, although he could not 
accept of it, yet as it was the result of the most gene- 
rous feeling, he solicited that the amount might be 
applied to the assistance and relief of those whose re- 
latives, during the siege, had fallen in battle. The 
proposition made was acceded to, and the amount 
subscribed, and which had been designed expressly 
for his relief, was disposed of for the benefit of the 
widow and the fatherless. 

Those who are disposed to be informed further 
upon this subject, and to know, if in declaring martial 
law he acted correctly, or whether, short of the stern 
and determined course adopted, he could have effect- 
ed the important ends he accomplished, and preserved 
from dishonour, wretchedness and ruin, the country 
and its inhabitants, can refer to the able and eloquent 
answer, submitted to the court, and which was refused 
to be heard. Jt will be found replete with reasons 
calculated to satisfy the mind that the course he took 
was required by every principle of propriety and ne- 

* See note F. 


To suspend the writ of habeas corpus, belongs to 
congress, by the constitution. It restricts any interfe- 
rence, except in cases of invasion or insurrection. To 
say that it is a privilege which must be continued to 
the citizen until discharged by a law, embracing the 
circumstances of every case that may arise, is to sup- 
pose a something that never can happen. An invasion 
might be made, a thousand miles from the seat of gov- 
ernment, or in the recess of congress, when no author- 
ity, competent to its suspension, did exist. The Ro- 
man maxim, inter arma silent leges, had its origin in 
the necessities of the republic, and must occasionally 
apply to the condition and circumstances of every 
country. In all governments there are moments of 
danger and distress, when, no matter how cautiously 
protected be the rights of the citizens, those rights 
must be disregarded, not for the purpose of being de- 
stroyed, but that they may be more permanently se- 
cured. Certainly none but an officer, acting upon an 
enemy's line, privy to all his intrigues, stratagems, and 
wiles, can so correctly judge of the emergency, re- 
quiring the exercise of such power. He assumes a 
weighty responsibility ; but, with an intelligent world, 
hazards no more, than to be abie to show, that threat- 
ening danger, and unavoidable necessity, required him 
to act. Cases have occurred where the constitution 
has been violated without reproach. A previous appro- 
priation by Congress is required, or monies are forbid- 
den to be drawn from the Treasury ; and yet this rule 
has been disregarded when circumstances made it ne- 
cessary ; and sometimes too, violated when the neces- 
sities of the country did not demand it. Few generals 
have, in all situations, respected private property; 


when the country afforded provisions, and their armies 
were in want, they have wrested them from the own- 
er. Here, it may be said, compensation and atone- 
ment can be offered, but none for the violation of 
personal liberty : this, however, is a distinction without 
a difference, because both rights are equally sacred, 
and the infringement of one is no less a constitutional 
violation than the other. We would have but little 
cause to applaud the prudence, energy, or good sense 
of a commanding general, who should suffer distress 
and want in his camp, mutiny in his army, and ruin to 
his country, when he possessed the means of preventing 
them, yet omitted their exercise, because the constitu- 
tion forbade him to act. Highly as we may appreciate 
the man, who, when clothed with authority, avoids 
infringing this sacred shield of our liberty, yet, to hesi- 
tate, when surrounded by peril and danger, would de- 
servedly attach to him the censures of the patriotic 
and the good. Whenever individual rights shall be 
trampled on, and personal liberty disregarded and 
violated, merited reproach will pursue him whose only 
justification may be, that he possessed the power : but, 
when founded on necessity, demanded by the exi- 
gency of the moment, and obviously resorted to for 
the protection and safety of the country, it will be ex- 
cused, approved, nay, even commended : nor will the 
act be punished, unless some victim to it should 
chance to sit in judgment 

Much as has been said of this declaration of mar- 
tial law, and greatly as it has been complained of, yet 
is it difficult to conceive what other course for safety 
could, with equal effect, have been resorted to. None 

3 n 


will pretend, that it was not an infraction of con* 
stitutional right ; though none can seriously entertain 
a belief, under all the circumstances, that imperious 
necessity did not demand the introduction of some 
similar, if not presisely such a measure. Although so 
much has been said and written of this imputed ag- 
gression on the rights of the citizen ; and, although 
it has so often been denounced as a high handed act 
of tyranny, yet when the measure itself, and all its 
incidents, are fully examined, nothing of oppression or 
injustice can be traced. Jackson alone was the suf- 
ferer : he suffered by the fine imposed on him, and by 
torrents of abuse, which ever since have been lavish- 
ly poured upon him. A member of the legislature, 
who had not merely attempted, but in fact succeeded 
in exciting mutiny and insubordination in the army, 
when in the very face of an enemy, and the arrest of 
the judge, who, by a too officious interference, seemed to 
stand forth a participant in the offence, constitutes the 
whole of what took place under the declaration of 
martial law. Judge Hall was not imprisoned : it was 
simply an arrest. During the siege, he had absented 
himself from the city, and gone to Baton Rouge. He 
had afforded neither by example or advice, any assist- 
ance to our cause, while the enemy was present ; but 
had retired on the first appearance of danger, nor re- 
turned until it had disappeared. Whether they would 
reappear, and where, could not be told ; and hence, 
whatever necessity may have induced the declaration, 
that same necessity imperiously demanded its contin- 
uance. On his arrest, he was merely sent to a distance, 
and placed at liberty under an order containing no 


other restriction, than that he should not approach the 
city nearer than twelve miles. 

Louaillier was detained under guard, and brought 
before a court-martial, of which general Gaines was 
president, charged under the second section of the 
rules and articles of war, as one " owing allegiance to 
the United States of America, and found lurking as a 
spy about the encampment :" for the reason, however, 
that the inflammatory and mutinous publication which 
had occasioned his arrest, could not be shown to have 
been conveyed to the enemy, he was acquitted the quo 
animo being from this circumstance in the proof not 
sufficiently apparent. That none might be uninform- 
ed of the law, the following official notice had been 
circulated through the public journals. 

Head Quarters, 7th Military District. 
SECT. 2. And be it further enacted, that in time of 
war, all persons not citizens of, or owing allegiance to the 
United States of America, who shall be found lurking 
as spies in or about the fortifications or encampments 
of the armies of the United States, or any of them, 
shall suffer death, according to the law and usage of 
nations, by sentence of a general court-martial. 

The city of New Orleans and its environs being 
under martial law, and the several encampments and 
fortifications within its limits, it is necessary to give 
publicity to the above section, for the information of 
all concerned. 
By command. 

ROBERT BUTLER, Adjutant- Generak 


Conversing with general Jackson, once, concerning 
the declaration of martial law, he expressed himself 
after the following manner. " I very well knew the 
extent of my powers, and that it was far short of that 
which necessity and my situation required. I deter- 
mined, therefore, to venture boldly forth, and pursue 
a course correspondent to the difficulties that pressed 
upon me. I had an anxious solicitude to wipe off the 
stigma cast upon my country by the destruction of the 
capital. If New Orleans were taken, I well knew 
that new difficulties would arise, and every effort be 
made to retain it ; and that if regained, blood and trea- 
sure would be the sacrifice. My determination, there- 
fore, was formed, not to halt at trifles, but to lose the 
city only at the boldest sacrifice ; and to omit nothing 
that could assure success. I was well aware that calcu- 
lating politicians, ignorant of the difficulties that sur- 
rounded me, would condemn my course ; but this was 
not material. What became of me, was of no conse- 
quence. If disaster did come, I expected not to sur- 
vive it ; but if a successful defence could be made, 1 
felt assured that my country, in the objects attained, 
would lose sight of, and forget the means that had 
been employed." 

The war being now ended, it was indispensable to 
hasten the necessary arrangements to relieve from the 
toils of the field those brave men who had so long 
been struggling in their country's defence. The ne- 
cessary measures to effect this were adopted. The 
Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi troops had 
taken their departure. General Gaiiies being invested 
with the command, in a few days general Jackson left 


New Orleans for Nashville. The good wishes and 
friendship of the people followed him : there were 
a few, however, who rejoiced at his departure ; but 
they were those, who, in moments of peril, had stood 
aloof from danger, or sought to increase it; and who, 
in the reproaches to be cast upon him, expected to 
palliate their own misdeeds. They had no unpleas- 
ant sensations at being relieved from the presence of 
one who, they believed, was fully acquainted with the 
abandoned course they had pursued: but the great 
body of the citizens, mindful of his vigilance, and 
of the weighty privations he had encountered for 
their safety and protection, fondly cherished a recol- 
lection of what he had done, and felt every gratitude 
towards him. Previously to breaking up his encamp- 
ment, he addressed his army, and declared the high 
sense he entertained of those valiant men, who, with 
him, had toiled in the field, and who, by perseverance 
and fidelity, had obtained safety for their country, and 
distinguished honour for themselves.* 

On his return, the respect of all was manifested* m 
his behalf: all evinced a partiality for the man whose, 
signal achievements had raised his country to a high 
and dignified standing, and whose unremitting exertion* 
had closed the war with a lustre that enlightened even 
the blots of its commencement. He carried with him 
a consciousness of having discharged his duty; and 
although, from necessity, he had been compelled to 
the exercise of a rigid severity, which he would gladly 
have avoided, yet now, when feeling was lulled, 

* See note G. 


danger past, he beheld nothing to excite regret, or 
convince him he was wrong. If, however, he could 
before have doubted, this general manifestation of 
public regard was sufficient to quiet his apprehensions. 
The citizens of the United States were yet too virtu- 
ous, merely because of his battle achievments, to be- 
stow such unqualified approbation, could they have be- 
lieved that, when invested with power, he had wanton- 
ly trampled on the rights of individuals, and outraged 
the sacred principles of the constitution : and yet this 
approval of his conduct was evinced not only by the 
citizens of the country where he passed, but by con- 
gress, and the legislatures of different states all bore 
testimony to the propriety of his measures, by the 
commendations they bestowed. 

The annunciation of the triumphant defence of New 
Orleans, was, in every section of the country, hailed 
with acclamation ; illuminations and fetes followed it 
into all our cities and principal towns ; and in all was 
it agreed, that none other than the decided course 
adopted by Jackson, could have attained so auspicious 
a result. The legislatures of many of the states voted 
to him their approbation and thanks for what he had 
done. The congress of the United States did the 
same, and directed a gold medal to be presented to 
him, commemorative of the event. Addresses from 
numerous societies and meetings of the people were 
forwarded, expressive of their great regard, and pro- 
claiming him the deliverer and second saviour of his 

A tedious journey of eight hundred miles brought 


him to Nashville, where he was gratified with a fur- 
ther evidence of a people's regard. An immense con- 
course was collected, to greet his return, and welcome 
his arrival. They had long known him as among the 
number of their best and most respectable citizens ; 
but curiosity had a new incentive : until now, they 
had not beheld him as one, who, to protect his coun- 
try, knew no difficulty too great to be encountered 
who, by his firmness and unconquerable perseverance, 
amidst surrounding dangers, had shielded and saved 
her from foreign and intestine foes. An address, pre- 
viously prepared, and delivered at the court-room, in 
behalf of the citizens, welcomed his return. Relieved 
from this further display of public confidence, the more 
grateful, because from those who were his acquain- 
tances, neighbours, and friends, he retired home, to 
repair a broken constitution, and to enjoy that repose, 
to which, for eighteen months, he had been a stranger. 

In the person of general Jackson is perceived no- 
thing of the robust or elegant. He is six feet and an 
inch high, remarkably straight and spare, and weighs 
not more than a hundred and forty-five pounds. His 
conformation appears to disqualify him for hardship; 
yet, accustomed to it from early life, few are capable 
of enduring fatigue to the same extent, or with less 
injury. His dark blue eyes, with brows arched and 
slightly projecting, possess a marked expression ; but 
when, from any cause, excited, they sparkle with pe- 
culiar lustre and penetration. In his manners he is 
pleasing in his address commanding ; while his coun- 
tenance, marked with firmness and decision, beams 
with a strength and intelligence that strikes at first 


sight. In his deportment, there is nothing repulsive. 
Easy, affable, and familiar, he is open and accessible 
to all. Influenced by the belief, that merit should con- 
stitute the only difference in men, his attention is 
equally bestowed on honest poverty as on titled con- 
sequence. No man, however inconsiderable his stand- 
ing, ever approached him on business, that he did not 
patiently listen to his story, and afford him all the in- 
formation in his power. His moral character is with- 
out reproach, and by those who know him most 
intimately, he is most esteemed. Benevolence, in him, 
is a prominent virtue. He was never known to pass 
distress without seeking to assist and to relieve it. 

It is imputed to him, that he derives from his birth 
a temper irritable and hasty, which has had the effect 
to create enemies, and involve him in disputes. In a 
world like this, exemption from every fault is not to 
be expected; to a higher destiny is perfection reserv- 
ed! For purposes w r iser than man can conjecture, 
has it been ordained, that vice and virtue shall exist 
together in the human breast, tending like the happy 
blending of light and shade in a picture, to reflect each 
other in brighter contrast. Some of those foibles and 
imperfections therefore, which heaven usually mingles 
in the composition of man, are to be looked for, and 
must be found with every one. In Jackson, however,* 
those defects of character exist to an extent limited 
as with most men ; and the world is in error in pre- 
suming him under a too high control of feeling and 
passion. A fixed devotion to those principles which 
honour sanctions, peculiarly attaches to him, and ren- 
ders him scrupulously attentive to his promises and 


engagements of every description. Preserving sys- 
tem in his monied transactions, his fiscal arrangements 
are made to correspond with his resources, and hence 
his every engagement in relation to such subjects, is 
met with marked punctuality, not for the reason that 
he is a man of extraordinary wealth, but rather, be- 
cause he has method, and with a view to his re- 
sources, regulates properly his balance of trade. 

No man has been more misconceived in character. 
Many on becoming acquainted with him have been heard 
to admit the previous opinions which they had enter- 
tained, and how great had been their mistake. Rough 
in appearance positive and overbearing in his manner, 
are what all upon a first introduction expect to find ; 
and yet none are possessed of milder manner*, or of 
more conciliating address. The public situations in 
which he has been placed, and the circumstances 
which surrounded him, are doubtless the cause that 
those opinions have become so prevalent ; but they 
are opinions which an acquaintance with him tends 
speedily to remove. The difficulties and embarrass- 
ments under which he laboured at New Orleans, were 
such as might well have perplexed, and thrown the 
mind aside from every thing of mildness. Arms and 
ammunition were wanted ; the country was in an un- 
prepared and defenceless situation : whatever could be 
done was to be decided on promptly, and executed 
speedily. Mutiny, through designing men was intro- 
duced, and disaffection stalked about. Night or day there 
was no respite from duties of the most important and re- 
sponsible kind ; and yet, under all these circumstances, 
embarrassing as they were, the evidence of temper 



and impropriety charged by his enemies, to use 
their own language, is, that he turned the legislature 
out of doors, and arrested and detained one of its 
members, with the judge who interposed for his re- 

If it be true, that his principles and sentiments on 
some subjects, be at variance with those practiced 
upon, and deemed correct by others, it is the effect 
of education, and of early impressions upon his mind, 
by which a particular bent has been given to it. Speak- 
ing one day of his mother, he observed, " one of the 
last injunctions given me by her, was never to insti- 
tute a suit for assault and battery, or for defamation ; 
never to wound the feelings of others, nor suffer my 
own to be outraged; these were her words of admo- 
nition to me ; I remember them well, and have never 
failed to respect them; my settled course through 
life has been, to bear them in mind, and never to insult 
or wantonly to assail the feelings of any one ; and yet 
many conceive me to be a most ferocious animal, insen- 
sible to moral duty, and regardless of the laws both of 
God and man." 

Controlled by a rule so golden, as always to respect 
the feelings of others, mankind would doubtless sel- 
dom err; and seldom would disputes and differences 
in society arise. It is a misfortune, however, incident 
to the very nature of man, occasionally to be under 
the influence of excitement ; and then error of conclu- 

* See the circumstances of this transaction and refutation of the 
charges at page 321. 


sion may be the consequence. Wise is the man, pe- 
culiarly blest, and greatly to be envied, who, in every 
situation, before 'he acts, can deliberately think, and 
correctly -decide. It was this received impression re- 
specting general Jackson, which, on his entering the 
army, induced many to fear he would prove too rash 
for a safe commander; that occasions might arise, 
when he would suffer his judgment to be estranged, 
through an improper exercise of feeling. Events 
early proved the fallacy of the conjecture, and showed 
that there were none who reasoned more dispassion- 
ately on the fitness and propriety of measures, none 
more cautious were caution was necessary, or mpre 
adventurous, when daring efforts were required. Few 
generals had ever to seek for order, amidst a higher 
state of confusion, or obtained success through more 
pressing difficulties. The effects he produced, under 
circumstances gloomy and inauspicious now through 
his eloquence and persuasion, and again by his firm- 
ness, portrays a character for decision, and a mind in- 
timate and familiar with human nature. That the 
hireling soldier, the mere echo of his superiors^ 
prodigal of life, because his sovereign orders it, should 
entertain respect for his commander, is too commonly 
the case to excite surprise : of such materials, general 
Jackson's army was not composed ; they were free- 
men, citizens ; yet, with the exception of those who 
abandoned him in his first advance against the Indians, 
there was scarcely one that served with him, officer, 
or soldier, that was not particularly and warmly attach- 
to him ; ready to serve him under any circumstances. 
The best evidence of private worth, and private cha- 
racter, is to be derived from those who know us most 


intimately, from our acquaintances and neigh bours^ 
who see and know us, stripped of that concealment 
which hangs on character when surveyed at a dis- 
tance. Tested by this rule, general Jackson stands 
well, for by those who know him most intimately he 
is most esteemed. 

Light and trifling pleasantries often mark character 
as distinctly as things of consequence. General Jack- 
son one day during the siege of New Orleans, was 
approached by an officer of the militia, who stated his 
desire to leave the service, and return home ; for that 
he was made game of, and called by the company 
Pewter Foot. He manifested great concern, and an 
anxious desire to be relieved from his unpleasant situ- 
ation. The general, with much apparent sympathy 
for him, replied, that he had ascertained there was a 
practice in the camp of giving nick-names; and had 
understood too, that very many had dared to call him 
Old Hickory : how, said he, if you prefer mine, I am 
willing to exchange; if not, remain contented, and 
perform your duty faithfully, and soon as we can get 
clear of those troublesome British, our wrongs shall 
be enquired into by a court-martial, and the authors 
punished ; for then, and not till then, shall we have 
an end of those insults. The effect was happy, and 
induced the complaining officer to retire, perfectly 
satisfied to learn, that his grievance would be united 
with the general's, and both ere long be effectually re- 

General Jackson possesses ambition, but it rests on 
virtue; an ambition, which, regulated by a high sense 


of honourable feeling, leads him to desire " that ap- 
plause which follows good actions not that which is 
run after." No man is more ready to hear and to re- 
spect the opinions of others, and none where much is 
at stake, and at conflict with his own, less disposed to 
be under their influence. He has never been known 
to call a council of war, whose decisions, when made, 
were to shield him from responsibility or censure, 
His council of war, if doubting himself, was a few 
officers, in whom he fully confided, whose advice was 
regarded, if their reasons were conclusive ; but these 
not being satisfactory, he at once adopted and pursued 
the course suggested by his own mind. 

Much as we may delight to range through the field 
of battle, in quest of acts, to fix a hero's character, yet 
inconsiderable circumstances oftentimes mark it more 
distinctly : it is then that the mind, retiring from 
every thing like motive, gives a loose to impulse, arid 
acts from feeling alone. The general, who meets and 
repels his country's foes, is not unfrequently impelled 
by ambition, and the recollection that a nation's gra*-- 
titude will succeed his efforts : but when, amidst the 
general carnage, he is seen acting as a Christian, and 
sympathizing in others' woes, his character is marked 
by virtue, and more truly ennobled. At the battle of 
Tohopeka, an infant was found, pressed to the bosom 
of its lifeless mother. This circumstance being made 
known to general Jackson, he became interested for 
the child, directed it to be brought to him, and sought 
to prevail on some of the Indian women to take care 
of and rear it. They signified their unwillingness to 
do so, stating that, inasmuch as all its relations had 


fallen in battle, they thought it best, and would prefer, 
it should be killed. The general, after this disclosure, 
determined he would not entrust it with them, but be~ 
came himself the protector and guardian of the child. 
Bestowing on the infant the name of Lincoier, he 
adopted it into his family, and has ever since manifest- 
ed the liveliest zeal towards it, prompted by benev- 
olence, and because, perhaps, its fate bore a strong 
resemblance to his own, who, in early life, and from 
the ravages of war, was left in the world, forlorn and 
wretched, without friends to assist, or near relations 
to direct him on his course. 

Of the two great parties, which have distracted our 
country, general Jackson is attached to the republican. 
In his first political career, he rallied on the side of 
the people. During Mr. Adams' administration, when 
the party was few and inconsiderable, he appeared on 
the side of the rights of man, espousing and advocat- 
ing the principles of tolerance and free will ; until dis- 
gusted with the mode of administering the govern- 
ment, he retired from the legislative councils of the 
nation. He is not, however, one of those blind infatu- 
ated partizans, who holds the opinions of others in 
derision, and determines on the good or bad qualities 
of a man, according as he belongs to this or the other 
political sect; but, influenced by higher and nobler 
sentiments, acts on the liberal principle, that 

" Honour and shame from no condition rise, 
Act well your part, there all the honour lies 
Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow."* 


Could such sentiments be generally diffused, of 
what importance would they not prove to our country! 
We are aware of the opinion entertained by many 
wise politicians, that parties, by acting as spies on, and 
correctors of, each other's conduct, more effectually 
ensure a nation's safety. Such an idea may answer in 
a country where individuals' rights are merged in the 
exaltation of a few, and where the contest is for the 
loaves and fishes, and not in relation to honest difference 
in opinion : but in ours, whose government is derived 
from the people, and where law is the paramount rule, 
so long as we shall continue virtuous anil intelligent, 
and duly appreciate our rights, no such auxiliary can 
be essential, either for happiness or tranquillity. Al- 
ready have we witnessed innumerable evils to spring 
from the acerbity and intemperance of party : but for 
the hopes and expectations of a designing power, 
which through our dissentions and domestic broils, be- 
lieved she would be able seriously to affect us, we 
might have remained at peace, and preserved the lives 
of many a valuable citizen. That there should be a 
contrariety of opinion among us, is certainly nothing 
remarkable : it is only in governments absolutely des- 
potic, that oppressed and trembling subjects imbibe 
the sentiments of the sovereign and his ministers, and 
appear to think with them, for the reason that they 
dare not assert their own opinions. Our constitution, 
on this subject, bars every check, arid leaves our con- 
duct, words, and actions, free ; yet, were our prudence 
consulted and regarded, it would long since have 
told us, that party rancour was carried much too far. 
both for our own and the honour of our country. We 
are far, however, from assenting to what is often urged. 


that it is a circumstance whence foreign powers will 
be ever able to derive an advantage, by which mate- 
rially to endanger our rights. Although we may, and 
do differ, as to the best mode of administering the gov- 
ernment, a circumstance which happens to all countries 
in proportion as liberty is enjoyed ; and although, as has 
been the case, party spirit may be carried beyond the 
bounds where reason or prudence should give sanc- 
tion, yet against the invaders of our rights, our union 
will prove strong, and all parties be the same. Should 
the period ever arrive, when our nation shall be vitally 
assailed, it will be perceived that all advantages calcu- 
lated to arise from our jarrings are delusive; that 
then there will be but one party, all rallied in defence 
of a country believed by them to be the freest and 
happiest in the world, resolved to swim or sink together* 
It is very true, that the history of the late war presents 
some melancholy facts, at variance with this opinion ; 
but such has been the odium and just indignation of 
the country towards its actors, that any future recur- 
rence of such acts should not be anticipated. Involved 
in war, every citizen of the country is bound in some 
form or other, to yield assistance, and steadily to main- 
tain it ; and that man, or combination of men, who, in 
such a time of peril, shall stand opposed to the consti- 
tuted authorities, in any other manner than the con- 
stitution authorizes, should be considered, if not the 
enemy, at least, not the friend of the country. 

The proclamations disseminated by Great Britain 
during the war, to the people of the United States, 
were an insult to our understandings, and a reflection 
on her *>wn. The divisions she saw prevailing among 


us, were, no doubt, the inducement. If ever there was 
a time, when she could have even partially effected the 
disorganization she so industriously endeavoured to 
foment, and reached us through our differences, it was 
before she had, by an unusual, unpractised system of 
warfare, destroyed all confidence, and excited our just 
indignation against her ; and before she had so effectu- 
ally aided to subvert the liberty of France, and plunge 
her in a state of absolute vassalage, when, throughout, 
the professed and openly avowed object was to rescue 
from oppression, and make her " free indeed. w When 
such an example, with all its wretched and fatal con- 
sequences, is held up to view, well should a warning 
voice teach nations to spurn every external interfere 
ence, however plausibly it may be offered* 

The principles of our government are at opposition 
with war those of her citizens no less so. If, amidst 
the general confusion of the world, we have been 
forced into a struggle, let it be remembered, it was 
for the preservation of our rights, and to resist ag- 
gressions which had become too numerous and griev- 
ous to be longer borne. With nations, as with indi- 
viduals, a submission to insult serves but to authorize 
a repetition; and forbearance under injuries is fre- 
quently construed into an inability to redress them, 
We boast not of any thing acquired by our contest. 
Conquest and power were not the inducements to its 
commencement : what was sought has been attained. 
We have evinced a determination not to submit to re- 
peated wrongs, and secured from other nations that 
respect which our peaceful habits had forfeited. We 
have brought more closely into view our own strength, 



and our own resources ; and shown our enemies, that, 
however we may be solicitous for peace, and opposed 
to war, there is a point where even patience ceases 
to be a virtue, and where it may become exhausted. 
But, above all, our contest has had the effect of draw- 
ing closer the cords of our union, quieting party op- 
position, and allaying discontents. In future, there- 
fore, when we shall be told we have gained nothing 
by the war, laying aside all minor considerations, we 
will point to our union, which it has more strongly 
and indissolubly cemented, as a matter of greater im- 
portance than any thing that has happened, since the 
all-glorious hour when our Independence was de- 

u Patriots have toiled, and in their country's cause, 
Bled nobly ; and their deeds as they deserve 
Receive proud recompense. We give in charge, 
Their names, to the sweet lyre. The historic muse, 
Proud of her treasure, marches with it down 
To latest times ; and sculpture in her turn 
Gives bond, in stone, and ever during brass, 
To guard them, and immortalize her trust." 




Proclamation of colonel Nicholls to the southern and western inhabitants. 

NATIVES of Louisiana ! on you the first call is made, to assist in 
liberating from a faithless, imbecile government, your paternal soil : 
Spaniards, Frenchmen, Italians, and British, whether settled, or resid- 
ing for a time in Louisiana, on you, also, I call, to aid me in this just 
cause : the American usurpation in this country must be abolished, and 
the lawful owners of the soil put in possession. I am at the head of 
a large body of Indians, well armed, disciplined, and commanded by 
British officers a good train of artillery, with every requisite, se- 
conded by the powerful aid of a numerous British and Spanish squad- 
ron of ships and vessels of war. Be not alarmed, inhabitants of the 
country, at our approach ; the same good faith and disinterestedness, 
which has distinguished the conduct of Britons in Europe, accompa- 
nies them here ; you will have no fear of litigious taxes imposed on 
you for the purpose of carrying on an unnatural and unjust war ; your 
property, your laws, the peace and tranquillity of your country, will 
be guaranteed to you by men who will suffer no infringement of 
theirs; rest assured that these brave red men only burn with an ar- 
dent desire of satisfaction for the wrongs they have suffered from the 
Americans ; to join you in liberating these southern provinces from 
their yoke, and drive them into those limits formerly prescribed by 
my sovereign. The Indians have pledged themselves, in the most 
solemn manner, not to injure, in the slightest degree, the persons or 
properties of any but enemies. A flag over any door, whether Span- 
ish, French, or British, will be a certain protection ; nor dare any In- 
dian put his foot on the threshold thereof, under penalty of death from 
his own countrymen ; not even an enemy will an Indian put to death, 
except resisting in arms; and as for injuring helpless women and chil- 
. tlren, the red men, by their good conduct, and treatment to them, 


will (if it be possible,) make the Americans blush for their more 
inhuman conduct, lately on the Escambia, and within a neutral ter 

Inhabitants of Kentucky, you have too long borne with grievous 
impositions the whole brunt of the war has fallen on your brave 
sons; be imposed on no longer, but either range yourselves under the 
Standard of your forefathers, or observe a strict neutrality. If you 
comply with either of these offers, whatever provisions you send 
down, will be paid for in dollars, and the safety of the persons bring- 
ing it, as well as the free navigation of the Mississippi, guaranteed to 

Men of Kentucky, let me call to your view, (and I trust to youi* 
abhorrence) the conduct of those factions which hurried you int6 
this civil, unjust, and unnatural war, at a time when Great Britain was 
straining every nerve, in defence of her own, and the liberties of the 
world when the bravest of her sons were fighting and bleeding in 
so sacred a cause when she was spending millions of her treasure 
in endeavouring to pull down one of the most formidable and danger- 
ous tyrants that ever disgraced the form of man when groaning Eu- 
rope was almost in her last gasp- when Britons alone showed an un- 
daunted front basely did those assassins endeavour to stab her from 
the rear ; she has turned on them, renovated from the bloody, but 
successful struggle Europe is happy and free, and she now hastens^ 
justly, to avenge the unprovoked insult. Show them that you are 
not collectively unjust: leave that contemptible few to shift for them- 
selves : let those slaves of the tyrant send an embassy to Elba, and 
implore his aid ; but let every honest, upright American spurn them 
with united contempt. After the experience of twenty-one years, can 
you longer support those brawlers for liberty, who call it freedom, 
when themselves are free ? Be no longer their dupes accept of my 
offers every thing 1 have promised in this paper, I guarantee to you, 
on the sacred honour of a British officer. 

Given under my hand, at my head-quarters, 
Pensacola, this 29th day of August, 1814, 


NOTES* 445 


Letter to commodore Daniel T. Patterson. 

PENSACOLA, 4th December, 1814. 

SIR 1 feel it a duty to apprize you of a very large force of the 
enemy off this port, and it is generally understood New Orleans is 
the object of attack. It amounts, at present, to about eighty vessels, 
and more than double that number are momentarily looked for, to 
form a junction ; when an immediate commencement of their opera- 
tions will take place. I am not able to learn, how, when, or where 
the attack will be made ; but I understand that they have vessels of 
all descriptions, and a large body of troops. Admiral Cochrane com- 
mands ; and his ship, the Tonnant, lies, at this moment, just outside 
the bar. They certainly appear to have swept the West Indies of 
troops, and probably no means will be left untried to obtain their ob- 
ject, The admiral arrived only yesterday noon. 

I am yours^ &c. 

Letter from Charles K. Blanchard to general Jac&sdn, 

NEW ORLEANS, March 20, 1814, 

StR I have the honour, agreeably to your request, to state to your 
excellency, in writing, the substance of a conversation that occurred 
between quarter-master Peddie, of the British army, and myself, on 
the 1 1th instant, on board his Britannic Majesty's ship Herald, Quar- 
ter-master Peddie observed, that the commanding officers of the Bri- 
tish forces were daily in the receipt of every information from the 
city of New Orleans, which they might require, in aid of their ope- 
rations, for the completion of the objects of the expedition ; that they 
were perfectly acquainted with the situation of every part of our 

446 NOTES. 

forces, the manner in which the same was situated, the number of our 
fortifications, their strength, position, &c. As to the battery on the 
left bank of the Mississippi, he described its situation, its distance from 
the main post, and promptly offered me a plan of the works. He 
furthermore stated, that the above information was received from 
seven or eight persons, in the city of New Orleans, from whom he 
could, at any hour, procure every information necessary to promote 
his majesty's interest. 

Address of major-general Jackson, on the 8th of January, to the troops on 
the right bank of the river. 

While, by the blessing of heaven, one of the most brilliant victo- 
ries was obtained by the troops under my immediate command, no 
words can express the mortification I felt, at witnessing the scene ex- 
hibited on the opposite bank. I will spare your feelings and my own, 
nor enter into detail on the subject. To all who reflect, it must be a 
source of eternal regret, that a few moments' exertion of that courage 
you certainly possess, was alone wanting to have rendered your success 
more complete than that of your fellow-citizens in this camp. To 
what cause was the abandonment of your lines owing? To fear ? No ! 
You are the countrymen, the friends, the brothers of those who have 
secured to themselves, by their courage, the gratitude of their coun- 
try ; who have been prodigal of their blood in its defence, and who 
are strangers to any other fear than disgrace to disaffection to our 
glorious cause. No, my countrymen, your general does justice to 
the pure sentiments by which you are inspired. How then could 
brave men, firm in the cause in which they were enrolled, neglect 
their first duty, and abandon the post committed to their care ? The 
want of discipline, the want of order, a total disregard to obedience, 
and a spirit of insubordination, not less destructive than cowardice it- 
self, are the causes which led to this disaster, and they must be eradi- 
cated, or I must cease to command. I desire to be distinctly un- 
derstood, that every breach of orders, all want of discipline, every 
inattention of duty, will be seriously and promptly punished ; that the 
attentive officers, and good soldiers, may not be mentioned in the dte- 

NOTES. 447 

grace and danger which the negligence of a few may produce. Sol- 
diers ! you want only the will, in order to emulate the glory of your 
fellow-citizens on this bank of the river you have the same motives 
for action ; the same interest, the same country to protect ; and you 
have an additional interest, from past events, to wipe off reproach, and 
show that you will not be inferior, in the day of trial, to any of your 

But remember ! without obedience, without order, without disci- 
pline, all your efforts are vain. The brave man, inattentive to his 
duty, is worth little more to his country than the coward who deserts 
her in the hour of danger. Private opinions, as to the competency 
of officers, must not be indulged, and still less expressed ; it is impos- 
sible that the measures of those who command should satisfy all who 
are bound to obey ; and one of the most dangerous faults in a soldier, 
is a disposition to criticise and blame the orders and characters of his 
superiors. Soldiers ! I know that many of you have done your duty ; 
and I trust, in future, I shall have no reason to make any exception. 
Officers ! I have the fullest confidence that you will enforce obe- 
dience to your commands ; but, above all, that by subordination in 
your different grades, you will set an example to your men ; and that, 
hereafter, the army of the right will yield to none in the essential 
qualities which characterize good soldiers; that they will earn their 
share of those honours and rewards which their country will prepare 
for its deliverers. 


Major-General commanding. 


Address delivered to major-general Andrew Jackson, by the reverend \V* 
Dubourg) administrator apostolic of the diocese of Louisiana. 

GENERAL, While the state of Louisiana, in the joyful transports of 
her gratitude, hails you as her deliverer, and the asserter of her 
menaced liberties while grateful America, so lately wrapped up jii 


V \. 

anxious suspense, on the fate of this important city, is re-echoing from 

shore to shore your splendid achievements, and preparing to inscribe 
your name on her immortal rolls, among those of her Washing-tons 
while history, poetry, and the monumental arts, will vie in consigning 
to the admiration of the latest posterity, a triumph perhaps unparal- 
leled in their records while thus raised, by universal acclamation, 
to the very pinnacle of fame, how easy had it been for you, general, 
to forget the Prime Mover of your wonderful successes, and to as- 
sume to yourself a praise, which must essentially return to that ex-* 
alted source whence every merit is derived. But, better acquainted 
with the nature of true glory, and justly placing the summit of your 
ambition, in approving yourself the worthy instrument of Heaven^s 
merciful designs, the first impulse of your religious heart was to ac- 
knowledge the signal interposition of Providence your first step, a, 
solemn display of your humble sense of His favours* 

Still agitated at the remembrance of those dreadful agonies, from 
which we have been so miraculously rescued, it is our pride to ac- 
knowledge, that the Almighty has truly had the principal hand in our 
deliverance, and to follow you, general, in attributing to his infinite 
goodness, the homage of our unfeigned gratitude. Let the infatuated 
votary of a blind chance deride our credulous simplicity ; let the cold- 
hearted Atheist look for the explanation of important events to the 
mere concatenation of human causes : to us, the whole universe is 
loud in proclaiming a Supreme Ruler, who, as he holds the hearts of 
men in his hands, holds also the thread of all contingent occurrences. 
" Whatever be His intermediate agents," says an illustrious prelate, 
" still on the secret orders of His all-ruling providence, depend the 
rise and prosperity, as well as the decline and downfal of empires. 
From His lofty throne, he moves every scene below, now curbing, 
now letting loose, the passions of men ; now infusing His own wisdom 
into the leaders of nations ; now confounding their boasted prudence, 
and spreading upon their councils a spirit of intoxication ; and thus 
executing His uncontrollable judgments on the sons of men, according 
to the dictates of His own unerring justice." 

To Him, therefore, our most fervent thanks are due, for our late 
unexpected rescue. It is Him we intend to praise, when considering 
you, general, as the man of his right hand, whom he has taken pains 
to fit out for the important commission of our defence. We extol 

VOTES, 449 

that fecundity of genius, by which, under the most discouraging dis- 
tress, you created unforeseen resources, raised, as it were, from the 
ground, hosts of intrepid warriors, and provided every vulnerable 
point with ample means of defence. To Him we trace that instinc- 
tive superiority of your mind, which at once rallied around you uni* 
versal confidence; impressed one irresistible movement to all the 
jarring elements of which this political machine is composed ; aroused 
their slumbering spirits, and diffused through every rank, the noble 
ardour which glowed in your own bosom. To Htm, in fine, we ad- 
dress our acknowledgments for that consummate prudence which 
defeated all the combinations of a sagacious enemy, entangled him in 
the very snares which he had spread for us, and succeeded in effect- 
ing his utter destruction, without exposing the lives of our citizens. 
Immortal thanks be to His Supreme Majesty, for sending us such an 
instrument of His bountiful designs !l A gift of that value is the best 
token of the continuance of His protection the most solid encourage- 
ment to sue for new favours. The first which it emboldens us humbly 
to supplicate, as nearest our throbbing hearts, is, that you may long 
enjoy the honour of your grateful country ; of which you will permit 
us to present you a pledge, in this wreath of laurel, the prize of vic- 
tory, the symbol of immortality. The next is a speedy and honourable 
termination of the bloody contest in which we are engaged. No one 
Jias so efficaciously laboured as you, general, for the acceleration of 
that blissful period ; may we soon reap that sweetest fruit of your 
splendid and uninterrupted victories. 

General Jackson's Reply. 

REVEREND SIR, I receive, with gratitude and pleasure, the sym- 
bolical crown which piety has prepared. I receive it in the name 
of the brave' men who have so effectually seconded my exertions ; 
they well deserve the laurels which their country will bestow. 

For myself, to have been instrumental in the deliverance of such a 
country, is the greatest blessing that heaven could confer. That it 
has been effected with so little loss that so few tears should cloud 
the smiles of our triumph, and not a cypress leaf be interwoven in 


450 NOTES. 

the wreath which you present, is a source of the most exquisite 

I thank you, reverend sir, most sincerely, for the prayers which 
you offer up for my happiness. May those your patriotism dictates, 
for our beloved country, be first heard : and may mine, for your in- 
dividual prosperity, as well as that of the congregation committed to 
your care, be favourably received the prosperity, wealth, and hap- 
piness of this city, will then be commensurate with the courage and 
other qualities of its inhabitants. 

Answer submitted by major-general Jackson, on a rule to show cause why 
an attachment for contempt should not issue against him. 

This respondent has received a paper, purporting to be the copy 
of a rule of the district court of the United States for Louisiana, in a 
suit entitled " The United States vs. A. Jackson ; commanding him to 
show cause why an attachment should not issue against him y for divert 
alleged contempts of the said court." Before he makes any answer 
whatever to the said charges, he deems it necessary to protest, and 
he does hereby protest against, and reserve to himself all manner of 
benefit of exception to, the illegal, unconstitutional, and informal na- 
ture of the proceedings instituted against him ; it appearing, by the 
said proceeding 

I. That witnesses have been summoned by process of subpoena, hi 
a suit or prosecution of the United States against him, when in fact, 
in truth there was not then any such suit or prosecution legally pend- 
ing in said court 

II. That the said rule was obtained at the instance of the attorney 
of the United States, for the district of Louisiana, who had no right 
officially to ask for or obtain it; the duties of the attorney being, by 
law, restricted to the prosecution of " all delinquents for crimes and 
offences, cognizable under the authority of the United States, and all 
civil actions in which they shall be concerned." As this proceeding 

NOTES. 45 1 

is not pretended to be a civil action, to bring it within the purview of 
the duties of the attorney, it must be a prosecution for a crime or of- 
fence, cognizable under the authority of the United States. But the 
facts stated in the rule do not constitute any " crime or offence, cog- 
nizable under this authority." The courts of the United States have 
no common law jurisdiction of crimes or offences ; if, therefore, the 
facts stated in the rule are not made such by statute, they are not 
cognizable by the courts : but the statutes have been searched, and 
no such provision can be found ; therefore, the facts charged are not 
offences which are either cognizable by this court, or liable to be 
prosecuted by the attorney for the United States. 

III. That if this be a prosecution for a crime or offence under the 
authority of the United States, the mode of proceeding is both un- 
constitutional and illegal: the 7th and 8th amendment to the constitu- 
tion contain many provisions directly contrary to the mode of pro- 
ceeding by attachment, for contempt ; particularly the 7th amendment, 
that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without 
due process of law ; and of the 8th, that, in all criminal prosecutions, 
the accused shall enjoy the right of a speedy trial, by an impartial 
jury ; and in the 32d section of the law for punishing certain crimes 
against the United States, is contained a conclusive implication, if not 
an express provision, that no offence can be prosecuted, except by 
information or indictment ; neither of which have been filed, in this 
instance. The respondent, therefore, concludes those heads of ex- 
ceptions, by the dilemma, that, if the proceeding be a prosecution for 
a crime or offence, cognizable by the authority of the United States, it 
is both unconstitutional and illegal in its present form ; and if it be not 
such a prosecution, then has the attorney of the United States no right 
to institute it ; his ministry by law extending only to them. 

IV. That this court has no right to issue an attachment for any con- 
tempt whatever; or to punish the same, in any other cases than those 
prescribed by the 17th section of the judiciary act, which confines 
such authority to the punishment, by fine and imprisonment, for con- 
tempt in any cause or hearing before the same whereas, by the rule, 
nor the affidavits, does it appear, that the alleged contempts were 
offered in any cause or hearing before the said District Court; on the 
contrary, all the acts complained of as contempts, are stated to have 
been done in relation to an ex-parte application made to the judge o 

452 NOTES. 

the said court, at his chambers, at a time when his court was in vaca- 
tion, and not in a cause or hearing before the court. 

V. That no attachment ought to issue, for neglecting or refusing a 
"return to a habeas corpus, issued and returnable out of court: the 

statutes on that subject, both in England and in the United States, 
wherever they have been re-enacted, contain express penalties for 
this offence ; doubtless for the reason that such neglect or refusal, in 
relation to an act done, not in a cause or hearing pending in court, but 
in an ex-parte proceeding at a judge's chambers, could not be punish- 
ed, by attachment, as a contempt. 

VI. That no act in relation to the writ of habeas corpus, or the al- 
lowance of the same, in the case mentioned in the said rule, can be 
considered as a contempt ; because the judge of this honourable court, 
by the 14th section of the judiciary act of the United States, is ex- 
pressly inhibited from issuing any writ of habeas corpus, except in 
cases of prisoners u in custody, under, or by colour of the authority 
of the United States, or committed for trial before some court of the 
same ; or who are necessary to be brought into court to testify ; nei- 
ther of which circumstances appear either in the writ, the allowance 
of the same, or the affidavit on which it was founded. This court, 
then, having no jurisdiction of the case, according to a decision of the 
Supreme Court of the United States, this respondent had a right to 
consider the service as a trespass. 

VII. That, by the said writ, no place was designated at which the 
same should be returned. 

VIH. That the writ was served on the respondent, long after the 
return thereof, by reason whereof he could not have complied with 
the tenor, had he been so disposed. 

IX. The said writ of habeas corpus was issued in an irregular man- 
ner, and the respondent was in no wise compelled by law to obey it; 
inasmuch as the name of the judge, allowing the same, was not signed 
on the writ with his proper hand writing : nor were the words, " ac- 
cording to the form of the statute," marked thereon both which are 
positively required, by the statutes regulating the issuing of such pro- 
cess ; and without which they need not be obeyed. Should it be ob- 

NOTE.&, 453 

Jiccted, that the English statutes are not binding here, it is answered 
that the United States are without a statutory provision on the sub- 
ject ; and that the introduction of the writ of habeas corpus generally, 
must introduce it, as it stood at the time of making the constitution. 

X. That if the allowance on the back of the affidavit, contrary to 
the express words of the statute, be deemed sufficient, yet the re- 
spondent was not bound to pay any attention to the writ of habeas 
corpus, because the same was not issued in conformity with the al- 
lowance given on the fifth day of March ; this was for a writ returnable 
on the next day, and afterwards altered, so as to bear date on the 
sixth of the same month, returnable on the succeeding morning, which 
would have been the 7th ; whereas the writ actually issued, bore date 
the 6th, and was returnable the same day thus varying materially 
from the allowance. This circumstance is an excellent illustration of 
the wisdom of the statutory provision, which requires that the writ it- 
self be signed by the judge. 

Under all which protestations and exceptions ; without submitting 
to the jurisdiction of the said court, or acknowledging the regularity 
of the proceedings, but expressly denying the same This respon- 
dent, in order to give a fair and true exposition of his conduct, on 
every occasion in which it may be drawn into question 


That previously to, and soon after, his arrival in this section of the 
seventh military district, he received several letters and communica- 
tions, putting him on his guard against a portion of the inhabitants of 
the state, the legislature, and foreign emissaries in the city. The 
population of the country was represented as divided by political 
parties and national prejudices ; a great portion of them attached to 
foreign powers and disaffected to the government of their own country, 
and some, as totally unworthy of confidence. The militia was de- 
scribed as resisting the authority of their commander-in-chief, and en- 
couraged in their disobedience by the legislature of the state. That 
legislature characterized as politically rotten, and the whole state in 
such a situation as to make it necessary to look for defence princi- 
pally from the regular troops, and the militia from other states. 
Among those representations, the most important, from the 

454 NOTES. 

station of the writer, were those of the governor. On the 8th oi 
August, 1814, he says 

" On a late occasion I had the mortification to acknowledge my 
inability to meet a requisition from general Flournoy ; the corps of 
this city having, for the most part, resisted my orders, being encour- 
aged in their disobedience by the legislature of the state, then in ses- 
sion ; one branch of which, the senate, having declared the requisi- 
tion illegal and oppressive, and the house of representatives having 
rejected a proposition to approve the measure. How far I shall be 
supported in my late orders, remains yet to be proved. I have rea- 
son to calculate upon the patriotism of the interior and western 
counties. I know also that there are many faithful citizens in New 
Orleans ; but there are others, in whose attachment to the United 
States / ought not to confide. Upon the whole, sir, I cannot disguise the 
fact, that if Louisiana should be attacked, we must principally depend 
for security upon the prompt movements of the regular force undef 
your command, and the militia of the western states and territories. 
At this moment, we are in a very unprepared and defenceless condi- 
tion : several important points of defence remain unoccupied, and in 
case of a sudden attack, this capital would, I fear, fall any easy sa- 

On the 12th of the same month, the respondent was told 

tc On the native Americans, and a vast majority of the Creoles of 
the country, I place much confidence, nor do I doubt the fidelity of 
many Europeans, who have long resided in the country ; but there 
are others, much devoted to the interest of Spain, and whose partiali- 
ty to the English is not less observable than their dislike to the 
American government." 

In a letter of the 24th, the same ideas are repeated 

ce Be assured, sir, that no exertions shall be wanting, on my part ; 
but I cannot disguise from you, that 1 have a very difficult people to 
manage : to this moment, no opposition to the requisition has manifest- 
ed itself, but 1 am not seconded with that ardent zeal, which, in my opi- 
nion, the crisis demands. We look with great anxiety to your move- 
ments, and place our greatest reliance for safety, on the energy and 

NOTES. 455 

patriotism of the western states. ID Louisiana, there are many faithful 
citizens ; these last persuade themselves, that Spain will soon re- 
possess herself of Louisiana, and they seem to believe, that a com- 
bined Spanish and English force will soon appear on our coast. 
If Louisiana is invaded, I shall put myself at the head of such of my 
militia as will follow me to the field, and, on receiving, shall obey your 
orders. I need not assure you of my entire confidence in you, as a 
commander, and of the pleasure I shall experience in supporting all 
your measures for the common defence ; but, sir, a cause of inde- 
scribable cfiagrin to me is, that 1 am not at the head of a willing and 
united people : native Americans, native Louisianians, Frenchmen, 
and Spaniards, with some Englishmen, compose the mass of the popu- 
lation among them, there exists much jealousy, and as great differ- 
ences in political sentiments as in their language and habits. But, 
nevertheless, sir, if we are supported by a respectable body of regu- 
lar troops, or of western militia, 1 trust I shall be able to bring to 
your aid, a valiant and faithful corps of Louisiana militia : but if we 
are left to rely principally on our own resources, I fear existing jeal- 
ousies will lead to a distrust so general, that we shall be able to 
make but a feeble resistance." 

On the 8th of September, the spirit of disaffection is said to be 
greater than was supposed the country is said to be filled with 
spies and traitors : " Inclosed you have copies of my late general 
orders. They may, and I trust will be obeyed ; but to this moment 
my fellow-citizens have not manifested all that union and zeal the 
crisis demands, and their own safety requires. There is in this city 
a much greater spirit of disaffection than I had anticipated ; and among 
the faithful Louisianians, there is a despondency which palsies all my 
preparations ; they see no strong regular force, around which they 
could rally with confidence, and they seem to think themselves not 
within the reach of seasonable assistance from the western states. 1 
am assured, sir, you will make the most judicious disposition of the 
forces under your command ; but excuse me for suggesting, that the 
presence of the seventh regiment, at or near JNew Orleans, will 
have the most salutary effect. The garrison here at present is 
alarmingly weak, and is a cause of much regret : from the great 
mixture of persons, and characters, in this city, we have as much to 
apprehend from within as from without. In arresting the intercourse 
between New Orleans and Pensacola, you have done right. Pensa- 

456 NOTES. 

cola, is, in fact, an enemy's post, and had our commercial intercourse 
with it continued, the supplies furnished to the enemy would have 
so much exhausted our own stock of provisions, as to have occasioned 
the most serious inconvenience to ourselves. I was on the point of 
taking on myself the prohibition of the trade with Pensacola : I had 
prepared a proclamation to that effect, and would have issued it the 
very day I heard of your interposition. Enemies to the country may 
blame you for your prompt and energetic measures ; but, in the per- 
son of every patriot, you will find a supporter. I am very confident 
of the very lax police of this city, and indeed throughout the state, 
with respect to the visits of strangers. I think, with you, that our 
country is filled with spies and traitors : I have written pressingly on 
the subject to the city authorities and parish judges. I hope some 
efficient regulations will speedily be adopted by the first, and more 
vigilance exerted for the future by the latter." 

On the 19th of September, speaking of the drafts of militia, he 


" The only difficulty I have hitherto experienced in meeting the 
requisition, has been in this city, and exclusively from some European 
Frenchmen, who, after giving their adhesion to Louis XVIII, have, 
through the medium of the French consul, claimed exemption from 
the drafts, as French subjects. The question of exemption, however, 
is now under discussion, before a special court of inquiry, and I am 
not without hopes, that these ungrateful men may yet be brought 
to a discharge of their duties." 

On the necessity qf securing the country against the machinations 
of foreigners, he, on the 4th of November, informed the respon- 

" You have been informed of the contents of an intercepted letter, 
written by colonel Coliel, a Spanish officer, to captain Morales, of 
Pensacola. This letter was submitted for the opinion of the attorney- 
general of the state, as to measures to be pursued against the writer. 
The attorney-general was of opinion, that the courts could take no 
cognizance of the same: but that the governor might order the 
^writer to leave the state, and in case of refusal, to send him off by 
force. I accordingly, sir, ordered colonel Coliel to take his departure, 

NOTES, 457 

in forty-eight hours, for Pensaeola, and gave him the necessary pass- 
ports. I hope this measure may meet your approbation. It is a just 
retaliation for the conduct lately observed by the governor of Pensa- 
eola, and may induce the Spaniards residing among us, to be less 
communicative upon those subjects which relate to our military 

With the impressions this correspondence was calculated to pro- 
duce, the respondent arrived in this city, where, in different conver- 
sations, the same ideas were enforced, and he was advised, hot only 
by the governor of the state, but very many influential persons, to 
proclaim MARTIAL LAW, as the only means of producing union, over- 
coming disaffection, detecting treason, and calling forth the energies 
of the country. This measure was discussed and recommended to 
the respondent, as he well recollects, in the presence of the judge 
of this honourable court, who not only made no objection, but seem- 
ed, by his gestures and silence, to approve of its being adopted. 
These Opinions, respectable in themselves, derived greater weight 
from that which the governor expressed, of the legislature then in 
session. He represented their fidelity as very doubtful ; ascribed de- 
sign to their prolonged session ; and appeared extremely desirous that 
they should adjourn. 

The respondent had also been informed, that in the house of re- 
presentatives, the idea, that a very considerable part of the state be- 
longed to the Spanish government, and ought not to be represented, 
had been openly advocated, and favourably heard. The co-operation 
of the Spaniards with the English, was, at that time, a prevalent 
idea. This information, therefore, appeared highly important. He 
determined to examine, with the utmost care, all the facts that had 
been communicated to him ; and not to act upon the advice he had 
received, until the clearest demonstration should have determined its 
propriety. He was then almost an entire stranger, in the place he 
was sent to defend, and unacquainted with the language of a majori- 
ty of its inhabitants. While these circumstances were unfavourable 
to his obtaining information, on the one hand, they precluded, on the 
other, a suspicion that his measures were dictated by personal friend- 
ship, private animosity, or party views. Uninfluenced by such mo- 
tives, he began his observations. He sought for information, and to 
obtain it ? communicated with men of every description. He believed 




that even then he discovered those high qualities, which have since 
distinguished those brave defenders of their country : that the va- 
riety of language, the difference of habit, and even the national pre- 
judices, which seemed to divide the inhabitants, might be made, if 
properly directed, the source of the most honourable emulation. 
Delicate attentions were necessary to foster this disposition ; and the 
highest energy, to restrain the effects, that such an assemblage was 
calculated to produce ; he determined to avail himself of both, and 
with this view, called to his aid, the impulse of national feeling, the 
higher motives of patriotic sentiment, and the noble enthusiasm of 
valour. They operated in a manner which history will record ; all 
who could be influenced by those feelings, rallied without delay, 
round the standard of their country. Their efforts, however, would 
have been unavailing, if the disaffected had been permitted to coun- 
teract them by their treason, the timid to paralyze them by their 
example, and both to stand aloof in the hour of danger, and enjoy 
the fruit of victory, without participating in the danger of defeat. 

A disciplined and powerful army was on our coast, commanded by 
officers of tried valour and consummate skill ; their fleet had already 
destroyed the feeble defence, on which, alone, we could rely to pre- 
vent their landing on our shores. Their point of attack was uncer- 
tain a hundred inlets were to be guarded, by a force not suflicient 
in number for one ; we had no lines of defence ; treason lurked 
among us, and only waited the moment of expected defeat to show 
itself openly. Our men were few, and of those few, not all were 
armed ; our prospect of aid and supply was distant and uncertain ; our 
titter ruin, if we failed, at hand, and inevitable ; every thing depend- 
ed on the prompt and energetic use of the means we possessed on 
calling the whole force of the community into action ; it was a con- 
test for the very existence of the state, and every nerve was to be 
strained in its defence. The physical force of every individual, his 
moral faculties, his property, and the energy of his example, were 
to be called into action, and instant action. No delay no hesitation, 
no inquiry about rights, or all was lost ; and every thing dear to 
man, his property, life, the honour of his family, his country, its con- 
stitution and laws, were swept away by the avowed principles, the 
open practice of the enemy with whom we had to contend. Fortifi- 
cations were to be erected, supplies procured, arms sought for, re- 
quisitions made, the emissaries of the enemy watched, lurking trea- 

NOTES. 459 

son overawed, insubordination punished, and the contagion of cow- 
ardly example to be stopped. 

In this crisis, and under a firm persuasion that none of those ob- 
jects could be effected by the exercise of the ordinary powers con- 
fided to him under a solemn conviction that the country committed 
to his care could he saved by that measure only from utter rum 
under a religious belief, that he was performing the most important 
and sacred duty, the respondent proclaimed martial law. He intend- 
ed, by that measure, to supersede such civil powers as, in their ope- 
ration, interfered with those he was obliged to exercise. He thought, 
in such a moment, constitutional forms must be suspended, for the 
permanent preservation of constitutional rights, and that there could 
be no question, whether it were best to depart for a moment, from 
the enjoyment of our dearest privileges, or have them wrested from 
s forever. He knew, that if the civil magistrates were permitted 
to exercise their usual functions, none of the measures necessary to 
avert the awful fate that threatened us, could be expected. Personal 
liberty cannot exist at a time when every man is required to become 
a soldier. Private property cannot be secured when its use is indis- 
pensable to the public safety. Unlimited liberty of speech is incom- 
patible with the discipline of a camp ; and that of the press more 
dangerous still, when made the vehicle of conveying intelligence to 
the enemy, or exciting mutiny among the troops. To have suffered 
the uncontrolled enjoyment of any of those rights, during the time 
of the late invasion, would have been to abandon the defence of the 
country : the civil magistrate is the guardian of those rights ; and the 
proclamation of martial law was therefore intended to supersede the 
exercise of his authority, so far as it interfered with the necessary 
restriction of those rights ; but no further, 

The respondent states these principles explicitly, because they 
are the basis of his defence, and because a mistaken notion has been 
circulated, that the declaration of martial law only subjected the 
militia in service to its operation. This would, indeed, have been a 
very useless ceremony, as such persons were already subject to it, 
without the addition of any other act. Besides, if the proclamation 
of, martial law were a measure of necessity, a measure, without the 
exercise of which the country must unquestionably have been con* 
, then does it form a complete justification for the act. If it do 

460 NOTES. 

not, in what manner will the proceeding by attachment for contempt 
be justified ? It is undoubtedly and strictly a criminal prosecution ; and 
the constitution declares, that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused 
shall have the benefit of a trial by jury ; yet a prosecution is even 
now going on in this court, where no such benefit is allowed. Why ? 
From the alleged necessity of the case, because courts could not, it 
is Said, subsist without a power to punish promptly by their own act, 
and without the intervention of a jury. Necessity then, may, in some 
cases, justify a departure from the constitution : and if, in the doubt- 
ful case of avoiding confusion in a court, shall it be denied in the se- 
rious one of preserving a country from conquest and ruin? The re- 
spondent begs leave to explain, that in using this argument, he does 
not mean to admit the existence of necessity in the case of attach- 
ment; but to show that the principle of a justification from necessity 
is admitted, even in the weaker case. If the legislature of the Unit- 
ed States have given to courts the power to punish contempts, it is 
no answer to this defence, for two reasons first, because the words 
of the law do not necessarily exclude the intervention of a jury; and 
secondly, if they do, the law itself is contrary to the words of the 
constitution, and can only be supported on the plea of necessity ; to 
which head it is referred by the English writers on the subject. 

The only responsibility which has been incurred in the present 
case, is that which arises from necessity. This, the respondent 
agrees, must not be doubtful ; it must be apparent, from the circum- 
stances of the case, or it forms no justification. He submits all hi? 
acts, therefore, to be tested by this rule. 

To the forcible reasons which he has detailed, as impelling him 
to this measure, he ought to add, that he has since, by the confession 
of the enemy himself, received a confirmation of the opinions, which 
he had then good reason to believe ; that there were men among us 
so depraved, as to give daily and exact information of our movements, 
and our forces ; that the number of those persons was considerable, 
and their activity unceasing. The names of those wretches will 
probably be discovered ; and the respondent persuades himself, that 
this tribunal will employ itself, with greater satisfaction, in inflicting 
the punishment due to their crimes, than it now does in investigating 
the measures that were taken to counteract them. 

NOTES. 461 

Jf example can justify, or the practice of others serve as a proof 
of necessity, the respondent has ample materials for his defence; not 
from analogous construction, but from the conduct of all the differ- 
ent departments of the state government, in the very case now under 

The legislature of the state, having no constitutional power to 

regulate or restrain commerce, on the day of December last, 

passed an act laying an embargo the executive sanctioned it, and, 
from a conviction of its necessity, it was acquiesced in. The same 
legislature shut up the courts of justice for four months, to all civil 
suitors the same executive sanctioned that law, and the judiciary 
not only acquiesced, but solemnly approved it. 

The governor, as appears by one of the letters quoted, undertook 
to inflict the punishment of exile upon an inhabitant, without any form 
of law, merely because he thought that an individual's presence 
might be dangerous to the public safety. 

The judge of this very court, duly impressed with the emergency 
of the moment, and the necessity of employing every means of de- 
fence, consented to the discharge of men committed and indicted for 
capital crimes, without bail, and without recognizance : and probably 
under an impression that the exercise of his functions would be use- 
less, absented himself from the place where his court was to be hold- 
en, and postponed its session, during a regular term. 

Thus the conduct of the legislative, executive, and judiciary 
branches of the government of this state, have borne the fullest tes- 
timony of the existence of the necessity, on which the respondent 

The unqualified approbation of the legislature of the United States, 
and such of the individual states as were in session, ought also to be 
admitted, as no slight means of defence ; inasmuch as all these re- 
spectable bodies were fully apprized of his proclamation of martial 
law, and some of them seem to refer to it, by thanking him for the 
energy of his measures. 

The respondent, therefore, believes he has established the oeces- 



sity of proclaiming- martial law. He has shown the effects of that 
declaration ; and it only remains to prove, in answer to the rule, that 
the power assumed from necessity, was not abused in its exercise, 
nor improperly protracted in its duration. 

All the acts mentioned in the rule, took place after the enemy 
had retired from the position they had at first assumed after they had 
met with a signal defeat, and after an unofficial account had been re- 
ceived of the signature of a treaty of peace. Each of these circum- 
stances might be, to one who did not see the whole ground, a suffi- 
cient reason for supposing that further acts of energy and vigour 
were unnecessary. On the mind of the respondent, they had a dif- 
ferent effect. The enemy had retired from their position, it is true ; 
but they were still on the coast, and within a few hours' sail of the 
city. They had been defeated, and with loss; but that loss was to 
be repaired by expected reinforcements. Their numbers still much 
more than quadrupled all the regular forces which the respondent 
could command ; and the term of service of his most efficient militia 
force was about to expire. Defeat, to a powerful and active enemy, 
was more likely to operate as an incentive to renewed and increased 
exertion, than to inspire them with despondency, or to paralyze their 
efforts. A treaty, it is true, had been probably signed ; yet it might 
not be ratified. Its contents had not transpired, and no reasonable con- 
jecture could be formed, that it would be acceptable. The influence 
which the account of its signature had on the army, was deleterious 
in the extreme, and showed a necessity for increased energy, instead 
of a relaxation of discipline. Men, who had shown themselves zeal- 
ous in the preceding part of the campaign, now became lukewarm 
in the service. Those whom no danger could appal, and no labour 
discourage, complained of the hardships of the camp. When the 
enemy were no longer immediately before them, they thought them- 
selves oppressed, by being detained in service. Wicked and weak 
men, who, from their situation in life, ought to have furnished a bet- 
ter example, secretly encouraged this spirit of insubordination. They 
affected to pity the hardships of those who were kept in the field > 
they fomented discontent by insinuating that the merits of those to 
whom they addressed themselves, had not been sufficiently noticed 
or applauded ; and to so high a degree had the disorder at length 
risen, that at one period, only fifteen men and one officer, out of a 
whole regiment, stationed to guard the very avenue through which 

NOTES. 463 

tho cne my hnd penetrated into the country, were found at their post. 
At another point equally important, a whole corps, on which the 
greatest reliance had been placed, operated upon by the acts of a 
foreign agent, suddenly deserted their post. 

If, trusting to an uncertain peace, the respondent had revoked his 
proclamation, or ceased to act under it, the fatal security by which 
ive were lulled, might have destroyed all discipline, have dissolved 
all his force, and left him without any means of defending the country 
against an enemy, instructed, by the traitors within our own bosom, 
of the time and place at which he might safely make his attack. In 
such an event, his life might have been offered up ; yet it would have 
been but a feeble expiation, for the disgrace and misery, into which, 
by his criminal negligence, he had permitted the country to be 

He thought peace a probable, but by no means a certain event. If 
it had really taken place, a few days must bring the official advice of 
it ; and he believed it better to submit, during those few days, to the 
salutary restraints imposed, than to put every thing dear to ourselves 
and country at risk upon an uncertain contingency. Admit the chances 
to have been a hundred or a thousand to one in favour of the ratifi- 
cation, and against any renewed attempts of the enemy ; what should 
\ve say or think of the prudence of the man, who would stake his 
life, his fortune, his country, and his honour, even with such odds in 
his favour, against a few days' anticipated enjoyment of the blessings 
of peace ? The respondent could not bring himself to play so deep a 
hazard ; uninfluenced by the clamours of the ignorant and the desi^nin^ 
he continued the exercise of that law which necessity had compelled 
him to proclaim ; and he still thinks himself justified, by the situation 
of affairs, for the course which he adopted and pursued. Has he 
exercised this power wantonly or improperly ? If so, he is liable ; 
not, as he believes, to this honourable court for contempt, but to his 
.government for an abuse of power, and to those individuals whom he 
has injured, in damages proportioned to that injury. 

About the period last described, the consul of France, who ap- 
pears, by governor Claiborne's letter, to have embarrassed the first 
drafts, by his claims in favour of pretended subjects of his king, re- 
newed his interference ; his certificates were given to men in the 

464 .NOTES. 

ranks of the army ; to some who Ind never applied, and to others 
who wished to use them as the means of obtaining- an inglorious e'x- 
emption from danger and fatigue. The immunit}' derived from these 
certificates not only thinned the ranks, by the withdrawal of those to 
whom they were given, but produced the desertion of others, who 
thought themselves equally entitled to the privilege ; and to this 
cause must be traced the abandonment of the important post of Chef 
Menteur, and the temporal'}' refusal of a relief ordered to occupy it. 

Under these circumstances, to remove the force of an example 
which had already occasioned such dangerous consequences, and to 
punish those who were so unwilling to defend what they were so 
ready to enjoy, the respondent issued a general order, directing those 
French subjects, who had availed themselves of the consul's certifi- 
cates, to remove out of the lines of defence, and far enough to avoid 
any temptation of intercourse with our enemy, whom they were so 
scrupulous of opposing. This measure was resorted to, as the mild- 
est mode of proceeding against a dangerous and increasing evil; and 
the respondent had the less scruple of his power, in this instance, as 
it was not quite so strong as that which governor Claiborne had ex- 
ercised, before the invasion, by the advice of his attorney-general, 
in the case of colonel Coliel. 

It created, however, some sensation ; discontents were again fo- 
mented, from the source that had first produced them. Aliens and 
strangers became the most violent advocates of constitutional right?, 
and native Americans were taught the value of their privileges, by 
those who formally disavowed any title to their enjoyment. The 
order was particularly opposed, in an anonymous publication. In 
this, the author deliberately and wickedly misrepresented the order, 
as subjecting to removal all Frenchmen whatever, even those who 
had gloriously fought in defence of the country ; and, after many 
dangerous and unwarrantable declarations, he closes, by calling upon 
all Frenchmen to flock to the standard of their consul thus advising 
and producing an act of mutiny arid insubordination, and publishing 
the evidence of our weakness and discord to the enemy, who were 
still in our vicinity, anxious, no doubt, before the cessation of hostili- 
ties, to wipe away the late stain upon their arms. To have silently 
looked on such an offence, without making any attempt to punish it, 
would have been a formal surrender of all dicipline, all order, all 

NOTES. 465 

personal dignity and public safety^ This could not be done ; and the 
respondent immediately ordered the arrest of the offender. A writ 
of habeas corpus was directed to issue for his enlargement. The very 
case which had been foreseen, the very contingency on which mar- 
tial law was intended to operate, had now occurred. The civil magis- 
trate seemed to think it his duty to enforce the enjoyment of civil 
rights, although the consequences which have been described, would 
probably have resulted. An unbending sense of what he seemed to 
think his station required, induced him to order the liberation of the 
prisoner. This, under the respondent's sense of duty, produced a 
conflict which it was his wish to avoid. 

No other course remained, than to enforce the principles which he 
had laid down as his guide, and to suspend the exercise of this judicial 
power, wherever it interfered with the necessary means of defence. 
The only way effectually to do this, was to place the judge in a situa- 
tion in which his interference could not counteract the measures of 
defence, or give countenance to the mutinous disposition that had 
shown itself in so alarming a degree. Merely to have disregarded 
the writ, would but have increased the evil, and to have obeyed it, 
was wholly repugnant to the respondent's ideas of the public safety, 
and to his own sense of duty. The judge was therefore confined, 
and removed beyond the lines of defence. 

As to the paper mentioned in the rule, which the respondent is 
charged with taking and detaining, he answers, that when the writ 
was produced by the clerk of this honourable court, the date of its 
issuance appeared to have been altered from the 5th to the 6th. He 
was questioned respecting the apparent alteration, and acknowledged 
it had been done by judge Hall, and not in the presence of the party 
who made the affidavit. This material alteration, in a paper that 
concerned him, gave the respondent as he thought, a right to detain 
it for further investigation, which he accordingly did ; but gave a 
certified copy, and an acknowledgment that the original was in his 

The respondent avows, that he considered this alteration in the 
date of the, affidavit, as it was then explained to him by the clerk, to 
be such evidence of a personal, not judicial interference, and activity, 
in behalf of a man charged with the most serious ofience,:as justified 


466 NOTES. 

the idea then formed, that the judge approved his conduct, and sup- 
ported his attempts to excite disaffection among the troops. 

This was the conduct of the respondent, and these the motives 
which prompted it. They have been fairly and openly exposed to 
this tribunal, and to the world, and would not have been accompanied 
by any exception or waver of jurisdiction, if it had been deemed ex- 
pedient to give him that species of trial, to which he thinks himself 
entitled, by the constitution of his country. The powers which the 
exigency of the times forced him to assume, have been exercised 
exclusively for the public good; and, by the blessing of God, they 
have been attended with unparalleled success. They have saved 
the country ; and whatever may be the opinion of that country, or 
the decrees of its courts, in relation to the means he has us*d, he 
can never regret that he employed them. 



Address to the troops at Aew Orleans, after the annunciation of peace. 

The major-general is at length enabled to perform the pleasing 
task of restoring to Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, and the territory 
of the Mississippi, the brave troops who have acted such a distinguish- 
ed part in the war which has just terminated. In restoring these 
brave men to their homes, much exertion is expected of, and great 
responsibility imposed on, the commanding officers of the different 
corps. It is required of major-generals Carroll and Thomas, and 
brigadier-general Coffee, to march their commands, without unne- 
cessary delajr, to their respective states. The troops from the Mis- 
sissippi territory and state of Louisiana, both militia and volunteers, 
will be immediately mustered out of service, paid, and discharged. 

The major-general has the satisfaction of announcing the approba- 
tion of the president of the United States to the conduct of the troops 
under his command, expressed, in flattering terms, through the ho- 
nourable the secretary at 



In parting with those brave men, whose destinies have been so 
long united with his own, and in whose labours and glories it is his 
happiness and his boast to have participated, the commanding general 
can neither suppress his feelings, nor give utterance to them as he 
ought. In what terms can he bestow suitable praise on merit so ex- 
traordinary, so unparalleled ? Let him, in one burst of joy, gratitude, 
and exultation, exclaim " These are the saviours of their country 
these the patriot soldiers, who triumphed over the invincibles of 
Wellington, and conquered the conquerors of Europe I" With what 
patience did you submit to privations with what fortitude did you 
endure fatigue what valour did you display in the day of battle ! 
You have secured to America a proud name among the nations of the 
earth a glory which will never perish. 

Possessing those dispositions, which equally adorn the citizen and 
the soldier, the expectations of your country will be met in peace, as 
her wishes have been gratified in war. Go, then, my brave com- 
panions, to your homes ; to those tender connexions, and blissful 
scenes, which render life so dear full of honour, and crowned with 
laurels which will never fade. When participating in the bosoms of 
your families, the enjoyment of peaceful life, with what happiness 
will you not look back to the toils you have borne to the dangers you 
have encountered ? How will all your past exposures be converted 
into sources of inexpressible delight? Who, that never experienced 
your sufferings, will be able to appreciate your joys ? The man who 
slumbered ingloriously at home, during your painful marches, your 
nights of watchfulness, and your days of toil, will envy you the hap- 
piness which these recollections will afford still more will he envy 
the gratitude of that country, which you have so eminently contri- 
buted to save. 

Continue, fellow soldiers, on your passage to your several destina- 
tions, to preserve that subordination, that dignified and manly deport- 
ment, which have so ennobled your character. 

While the commanding general is thus giving indulgence to his 
feelings, towards those brave companions, who accompanied him 
through difficulties and danger, he cannot permit the names of Blount, 
and Shelby, and Holmes, to pass unnoticed. With what generous 
ardour and patriotism have these distinguished governors contributed 

468 NOTES* 

all their exertions, to provide the means of victory ! The recoilec 
tion of their exertions, and of the success which has resulted, will he 
to them a reward more grateful than any which the pomp of title, or 
the splendour of wealth, can bestow. 

What happiness it is to the commanding general, that, while dan- 
ger was before him, he was, on no occasion, compelled to use to- 
wards his companions in arms, either severity or rebuke. If, after 
the enemy had retired, improper passions began their empire in a 
few unworthy bosoms, and rendered a resort to energetic measures 
necessary for their suppression, he has not confounded the innocent 
with the guilty the seduced with the seducers. Towards you, fellow- 
soldiers, the most cheering recollections exist ; blended, alas ! with re- 
gret, that disease and war should have ravished from us so many 
worthy companions. But the memory of the cause in which they 
perished, and of the virtues which animated them while living, must 
occupy the place where sorrow would claim to dwell. 

Farewell, fellow-soldiers. The expression of your general's thanks 
is feeble ; but the gratitude of a country of freemen is yours yours 
the applause of an admiring world. 


Major-General commanding 




This book is due on the last date stamped below, or 

on the date to which renewed. 
Renewed books are subject to immediate recall. 

IV- v. 

*V * v 

20]ua l 60^E ^ 





LD 21A-50m-8,'57 

General Library 

University of California