Order to Philemon Thomas from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters 7th. M.D. New Orleans
Decr. 22d. 1814


         I am informed that the orders given through Governor Claibourn for calling out the militia in mass in your district, have not been complied with. You will therefore Consider this as an Express order immediately to direct the whole militia of your District to be held in readiness to march at a moments warning; Sending your returns without Delay of the different regiments, and their situation, as fast as they can be procured, to me.
        The Example of the Citizens here (who have turned out to a man) must be followed by the inhabitants of the Country: endeavor to shew them that their only safety consists in a manly resistance & at the same time give them Clearly to understand that the severest punishment will be inflicted on those who neglect their Duty.
        You are to place videts on all assailable points on the lake, or waters leading to it I am &c

                                                                                                                    A Jackson M G C

Letter to Andrew Jackson from John McKee

Choctaw Agency
Decr. 22 1814


       In my last of the 6 Currt. by Col. Dyer I expressed a wish to have a personal interview with you should you come to Baton rouge The state of my health with the late heavy rains and high waters have prevented me from going to Natchez as soon as I intended for the Choctaw Annuity, but will go down as soon as it will be practicable to waggon out the goods
      I am mortified by frequent reports that the troops on their passage often use the most insulting acts and language to the indians and within their hearing tending to excite dissatisfaction among them. My letter of the 19th Ulto. will have given you some of the facts as they had then come to my knowledge. I wish a general disposition could be spread among our troops to treat the friendly indians with kindness and confidence, and as if they were making a common cause with us as their friends neighbors and protectors--such treatment would inspire them with a zeal for our service. The persons complained of are but few and in many instances I have no doubt have spoken and acted without reflection I have a pleasure in saying I have not heard a single complaint against Genl. Coffees Brigade.
     It ought to be early known to you that very little can be placed on this country for a supply of provisions or forrage for the returning army. The crops of corn were very light last season and will scarcely be sufficient for the ordinary consumption. I have the honor to be with sincere respect Your obedient servant

                                                                                                              John McKee


New Orleans, Dec. 21

New-Orleans, Dec. 21.
On Sunday, the 18th instant, General Jackson reviewed the militia of the city, the battloin commanded by major Plauche, and a part of the regiment of men of color. Being drawn up the following addresses were read to them by Mr. Lavingston one of his aids:-

Fellow Citizens and Soldiers!
The General Commanding in Chief would not do justice to the noble ardor that has animated you in the hour of danger, he would not do justice to his own feelings, if he suffered the example you have shewn to pass without public notice. Inhabitants of an opulent and commercial town, you have by a spontaneous effort shaken off the habits which are created by wealth, and shown that you are resolved to deserve the blessings of fortune by bravely defending them. Long strangers to the perils of war, you have embodied yourselves to face them with the cool countenances of veterans-and with motives of disunion that might operate on weak minds, you have forgotten the difference of language and the prejudices of national pride, and united with a cordiality that does honor to your understandings as well as to your patriotism. Natives of the United States! They are the oppressors of your infant political existence, with whom you are to contend-they are the men your fathers conquered whom you are to oppose. Descendants of Frenchmen! natives of France! they are the English, the hereditary, the eternal enemies of your ancient country, the invaders of that you have adopted, who are your foes. Spaniards! remember the conduct of your allies at St. Sebastians, and recently at Pensacola, and rejoice that you have an opportunity of avenging the brutal injuries inflicted by men who dishonor the human race.
Fellow Citizens of every description! Remember for what and against whom you contend. For all that can render life desirable, for country blessed with every gift of nature-for property, for life-for those dearer than either, our wives and children-and for liberty, dearest of liberty, without which country, life, property, are no longer worth possessing:-as even the embraces of wives and children become a reproach to the wretch who could deprive them by his cowardice of those invaluable blessings. You are to contend for all this against an enemy whose continued effort is to deprive you of the least of these blessings-who avows a war of vengeance and desolation, carried on and marked by cruelty, lust, and horrors unknown, to civilized nations.
Citizens of Louisiana! the General Commanding in Chief, rejoices to see the spirit that animates you, not only for your honour but for your safety, for whatever had been your conduct or wishes, his duty would have led, and will now lead him to confound the citizen unmindful of his rights with the enemy he ceases to oppose. Now leading men who know their rights, who are determined to defend them, he salutes you, brave Louisianians, as brethren in arms, and has a new motive to exert all his faculties which shall be strained to the utmost in your defence. Continue with the energy you have began, and he promises you not only safety, but victory over the insolent enemy who insulted you by an affected doubt of your attachment to the constitution of your country.


Published in the Maryland Gazette-January 26, 1815.


Letter from William Charles Cole Claiborne to Andrew Jackson

New Orleans
December 20th 1814


           I have the honor to enclose you a Return in part of the Militia of the state of Louisiana . You would sooner have received it, but for causes which I could not controul. The enclosure (A) is a Return of the regular Militia, at present within the city, and Evirons of New Orleans, their numbers have been diminished by several Detachments, heretofore ordered into the service of the United States, and by two or three companies recently raised, I learn, under your authority, and of which description are the Detachments under Mr. Ogden, & Mr. Jacques Villere.
           The enclosure (B) will shew you the strength of the several Rifle, Marine, & veteran corps, of Chevauxs Troops of Cavalry and of the fire Company. The Rifle Company is an Independant Corps; organized under a particular Law, which accords to it peculiar privileges, and among these, is the one of being immediately under the orders of the Governor of the state. The Marines have recently been raised and consist for the most part of transient Persons. They have been organized by me into Battalion, and fully officered; They were inspected on this morning, and are anxious to be put on duty. The veterans are men exempt by law from militia service, or incapable by age or bodily Infirmities of active Duty. Chevau's Cavalry is an Independent Company, entitled by law to peculiar privileges, one of which is to be more immediately under the orders of the Governor. The fire company is composed of Fathers of families, entitled by law to exemption from ordinary militia duty; but who at the Present crisis, have made a voluntary tender of service, within the city.
          The enclosure (C) will shew the strength of a volunteer Battalion of free men of colour, which I have recently organized and officered. They have been inspected, and are armed with good musket Cartridge Boxes & Bayonets Belts have not been furnished them, nor have I any at my disposition. This Battalion is Solicitous to be put in activity, & if you think proper, to make me the vehicle of conveying your wishes, it shall be ordered to any Point you shall designate.
           I have not accurate information as to the Present Condition of the Battalion of uniform militia, (Plauche's command) at Present under your immediate orders; It has late been much added to by Recruits from the Regular militia, and indeed the practise of leaving one company to join another, has of late become so common, that to prevent the total destruction of some corps, and much derangment, to others I have deemed it proper to forbid it, in General Militia orders.
          The Return of the Battalion of Chosen Men of Colour, ordered to the Chef Menteur, has been mislaid; another will Soon be furnished me, and a copy shall be forwarded to you, on Tomorrow if desired; But I take it for granted  that the strength of this corps, you are fully informed.
          As Regards the militia of the state generally, I cannot give you full information; But I have ordered the adjutant General to prepare a general abstract from the returns last received, & which shall be transmitted to you. I am Sir with the Greatest Respect your most obt Servt.

                                                                                               William C. C. Claiborne


General Orders to Jacques Philippe Villere from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters New Orleans
Decr. 19th 1814

     Major General Villere will without delay obstruct the passage from the Lakes Borgne Ponchartrain & Maurepas to the Mississippi, and station at every important point a guard or point of observation, & report regularly to Head Quarters every occurence of importance--The Major General is authorized to make such requisitions upon the Inhabitants within his District for negroes, Horses, Oxen, Carts &c. as he may deem necessary & to enroll & receive into the service of the United States, upon the same footing with the Militia now in service all the Indians within his District & upon their enrollment will deliver to them one Blanket & two shirts the value thereof to be deducted from their pay--to ensure the completion of the above order Major General Villere will make return for such arms ammunition and provisions as he may deem necessary

                                                                                                        (signed) Andrew Jackson
                                                                                                        Major Genl. Commanding


Later From New Orleans


[Received at 10 o’clock last night.]
Extract of a letter from T. Johnson, esq. Post-Master at New-Orleans, dated December 17th
“The enemy’s vessels, about sixty sail, are at Ship Island, in the Bay of St. Louis. They approach the city by Lake Ponchartrain.-Our naval force on that lake consisted of five gun-boats and our small schooner; they were attacked by 38 of the enemy’s barges, and were carried after a severe action of an hour and thirty minutes. The enemy’s loss was great-thirteen of their barges were sunk. They are now masters of the lake. To oppose their march to the city, we have but two small forces; one at the mouth of the bayou St. John. If they effect a landing, a battle must decide the fate of the city. All here have full confidence in General Jackson, and calculate on a favorable result.
Our present force is 4000 regulars and militia. To this we may add, by Sunday, 2000 Tennessee troops under Gen. Coffee. The other force from Kentucky and Tennessee will not arrive in time. The fleet is the same you had in the Chesapeake, and is under Admiral Cochrane. Gen. Jackson has established the most perfect order and police. He is confident he can defend the place. The accounts of the enemy’s force are various. Our fate will be decided before you hear from me again.


Published in the Maryland Gazette-January 12, 1815.


Letter from John Coffee to Andrew Jackson

Camp at mouth of Sandy Creek,
four Oclock A.M. 17th. Decr. 1814

Dear Genl,

         Your orders through your Adjt. Genl. by express per Captain Gordon, was handed me, about eight Oclock last evening, one of my Regiments was absent 4 miles foraging (never as yet being able to procure that article here) my orders were sent immediately, and by exertion shall move my command this morning at sun rise, no time will be lost be me untill I reach New Orleans. I think we will reach you in four days, say by the evening of the 20th. Instant.
        My arms are in bad condition, and now I have no time to examine into their state, but I know we have from 2 to 4 hundred that are not good--if I could be furnished with muskets, and Cartridge Boxes to that amount I should be glad, it would be well to have the Boxes filled with cartridges before my arrival, all my powder has been destroyed by the rains on the march to this place, furnish us with the best rifle powder that can be had.
       My command are in fine spirits, and if we can reach you before Lord Hill arrives, we will give him a warm reception--
        Any supplies of arms and amunition that I am to receive from you, would be well to be forwarded to some point above Orleans, and recd. before we enter the town--
        I have dispatched an express to Genl. Carroll, have not heard of him since Col Hynes passed me--have also sent for Major Hyds Dragoons--every thing here is in motion.
        have two large Barges here, and my quarter master will some how or other, fill them with corn, say 2000, bushels and meet me at orleans--I have the honor to be with great respect your obt. Servt.
                                                                                             Jno. Coffee
                                                                                             Brigr. Genl.


Letter to James Winchester from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters 7h. M. District New Orleans,
Decr: 16h. 1814

Dear General,

            I have the pleasure to acknowledge the rect. of your several letters of date the 8h. & 9h. Instant late last night, and have detained the bearer to day, to receive information form our Gun Boats, Said to be captured by the British On the 14h. instant, after a conflict of one hour and a half. It is reported by those who were in view, that they were attacked by thirty six Barges, that the conflict was dreadful, and that one half of the barges were sunk, before the Gun-Boats struck their Colours; but from contradictions in the relation I have a hope that some of them are still safe. If it should be true that they are all taken the communication from this to Mobile is entirely Closed, and you must immediately turn your attention for the supply of your army to the provision I have made by a requisition on Pope and Brahan of which I advised you in my last, and which will prevent your army from want--The transportation from Fort Jackson will be easy, and should the supply ordered not be sufficient, you will without delay make a requisition on Pope & Brahan, agents of Wood and Taylor for such number of rations as you may judge, will be sufficient for the supply of your Army--in short Sir, through that channel alone, can your Section of the country be supplied, or your troops fed, for the ballance of the War.
         I inclose you a letter from Capt. Brahan that will advise you of the exertions they are makeing to fill the requisition. The lakes in complete possession of the enemy will give me a large coast to watch & defend, and the difficulty of finding out their point of attack perplexing: but I trust with the smiles of heaven to be able to meet and defeat him at every point he may put his foot on land--in a few days I shall have the defence of the Mississippi complete. And I trust if Admiral Cochrane enters it he never will get out of it, unless as a prissoner--They may attempt to attack you at Mobile with the Gun Boats and Barges. Passing through pass Heron, and up the Bay, keep a good look out, and suffer them not to surprise you. They may endeavor to Cut of the Supplies from Mobile to Fort Bowyer; have a good supply of provision thrown into the Fort. I have carefully perused the Governor of Pensacola's letter, and have determined, to permit a small supply of provision to be sent for Pensacola.
       I will send it round to sea. I can not say whether the British will capture it, if they do; it must bring down on them the vengeance of the Spanish Government--and the small quantity cannot benefit them much. I fear you cannot under existing circumstances spare any from the wants of your Army, for the inhabitants of Pensacola; And if the British interrupt the supply I shall permit to be sent, They will I fear suffer. I have great need of regular troops here, and have called out the militia of Louissianna in mass. The Tennessee & Ky Troops have not yet reached me. I hope they will in a few days. I have ordered Genl. Coffee down by forced marches, & hope he will join me tomorrow.
        Forward on a report of the Strength of your army. Advise me where the East Tennessee and Georgia troops Are; The result of Majr. Blues expedition--And Guard well the communication between fort Jackson and your Army--Or your supplies may be cut off, which is your support and existance. Wishing you success & laurels I am very respectfully yr. Mo. Obt. Servt.

Letter to John Coffee from Andrew Jackson

Head quarters 7th. M. District Neworleans 
Decbr. 16th. 1814

Dr. Genl

            your letter of the 13th. instant is Just to hand I regret exceedingly the sufferings of you and your Brave followers, and send to you one thousand dollars pr express to bring you here--
            My letters have reached you, I hope the Tennessee and Kentuckey Troops, are heard of and will be here shortly--I need not say to you, to reach me by forced marches, it is enough to say, that [Lord Co]chrane is on our coast with about [eighty sa]il great & small, and report says has t[ake]n all our gun Boats in the lakes--I have still a hope it is not true--notwithstanding a naval officer reports that he saw the engagement & saw the gun Boats strike--
           I am astonished that the T. & Kentuckey Troops are not up--If heard from, please to dispatch an express, to them to proceed night and day untill the arive--and notify the commander of the Detachment of the regular Troops to proceed without delay to this place--In great haste I am yours sincerely

                                                                                             Andrew Jackson
                                                                                             Major Genl comdg.

General Orders to New Orleans Citizens

Head Quarters 7th. M District
Adjutant Generals office N. Orleans
16th. December 1814

General Orders.

        Major General Andrew Jackson commanding the 7th. U. States Military District declares the city and environs of New Orleans under strict martial law--and orders that in future the following rules be rigidly enforced. Viz--Every individual entering the city will report at the Adjutant General's office, and on failure to be arrested and held for examination--No person shall be permitted to leave the city without a permission in writing signed by the General or one of his Staff--No vessel, boat or other craft will be permitted to leave New Orleans or Bayou St. John without a passport in writing from the General (or one of his staff) or the commander of the naval forces of the United states on this station--The street lamps shall be extinguished at the hour of nine at night, after which period, persons of every description found in the streets, or not at their respective homes without permission in writing as aforesaid and not having the countersign shall be apprehended as spies and held for examination--The Dragoons and Hussars will be held in readiness to furnish patrols for the city and vicinity--The city guard will be furnished from the U.S. Inftry. an militia as will be specially required and posted under the direction of the proper officers--Brig General Morgan of the Louisiana Militia has been ordered into the service and will assume the command of said troops as under the requisition of the Sectry of War--Colo G T Ross and Lt Colo MacRea although on the recruiting service will consider themselves on duty in the line--The resignation of Thomas Gales Esqr is accepted to take effect this day and Augustus Davezac Esqr is hereby appointed Judge Advocate of the 7th. M. District vice Gales resigned subject to the approval of the proper authority--Mr Davezac will immediately receive from Mr. Gales all the documents relative to the court martial at present constituted, and will enter on his duties immediately--Colo G T Ross office of the day for to day and Lt Colo McRea for tomorrow--By  Command

Robert Butler
Adj General

Courtesy of the Andrew Jackson Papers Project


Message to New Orleans Citizens and Soldiers

HEAD-QUARTERS, 7th M. District, New Orleans,
December 15, 1814.

To the Citizens of New-Orleans,

          The Major- General commanding has with astonishment and regret learned that great consternation and alarm pervade your city.
          It is true the enemy is on our coast and threatens an invasion of our territory, but it is equally true, with union, energy, and the approbation of heaven, we will beat him at every point his temerity may induce him to set foot upon our soil The General with still greater astonishment, has heard that British emissaries have been permitted to propagate sediious reports amongst you, that the hreatened invasion is with a view of restoring the country to Spain from a supposition that some of you would be willing to return to your ancient government--believe not such incredible tales--your government is at peace with Spain--it is the vital enemy of your country, the common enemy of mankind, the highway robber of the world, that threatens you, and has sent his hirelings amongst you with this false report to put you off your guard, that you may fall an easy prey to him. Then look to your liberties, your property, the chastity of your wives and daughters. Take a retrospect of the conduct of the British army at Hampton and other places where it has entered our country--and every bosom which glows with patriotism and virtue, will be inspired with indignation and pant for the arrival of the hour when we shall meet and revenge these outrages against the laws of civilization and humanity.
         The general calls upon the inhabitants of the city, to trace this unfounded report to its source and bring the propagator to condign punishment. The rules and articles of war annex the punishment of death to any person holing secret correspondenc with the enemy creating false alarm or supplying him with provision, and the general announces his unalterable determination rigidly to execute the martial law in all cases which may come within his province.
          The safety of the district intrusted to the protection of the general must and will be maintained with the best blood of the country. and he is confident all good citizens will be found at their posts with their arms in their hands, determined to dispute every inch of ground with the enemy; that unanimity will pervade the country generally. But should the general be disappointed in this expectation he will separate our enemies from our friends. Those who are not for us are against us, and will be dealt with accordingly. By command,

                                                                                            Thomas L. Butler
                                                                                             Aid de Camp