4.16.2014

"Would I be punishable for disobedience of the orders of a militia Colonel?"

Messrs Editors,
'We have Colonels in our militia establishment.' Are these recognized in the general militia law? This is a question of importance to the Colonels themselves. 'Would I be punishable for disobedience of the orders of a militia Colonel?' is one of great moment to every private militiaman. Let us see if there is any authority in the law for commissioning these officers. If there is not, then I am not punishable, their commissions notwithstanding. The 3d section of law passed on the 8th of May, 1792, provides for officering the militia of the several states, as follows: 'To each division, 1 Major General, &c.; to each brigade, 1 Brigadier General, &c.' to each regiment, 1 Lieut. Colonel Commandant; and to each battalion, 1 Major, &c.' The law establishing a military force for the United States, provides for the appointment of 1 Colonel, 1 Lieutenant Colonel, and 2 Majors to each regiment or regular troops-not including militia.
The 1st section of the militia law of the district, makes it 'lawful for the President of the United States,' whenever circumstances 'shall in his opinion make it necessary, to lay off said militia into additional companies, battalions, regiments or legions, and brigades; and shall appoint and commission during pleasure the proper officers for the same.' Now, I ask, who are proper officers of a regiment? There can be no question as to a regiment of regular troops-not so with regard to militia. If the law of 1792, as well as the law of 1795, comprehends the militia of a district or territory-then the proper officers are a Lieutenant Colonel Commandant, and Majors-'one Major to each battalion.' But we have 1 Colonel to a regiment, and 1 Lieutenant Colonel to the first, and 1 Major to the second, battalion of that regiment. But if the law of '92 does not extend to us, then the proper officers are no where designated. They are not designated in the law of the district, and it is evident that the framers of this district law had reference to the law of '92, and did not contemplate the appointment of Colonels; for they have no where mentioned them, or provided for the punishment of their misconduct, so that our Colonels are completely a lawless set of officers-who may do what they think proper, and are not amenable to any tribunal. It is lamentable to reflect that Congress (who alone have the power) are about to leave us at the commencement of troublesome times, without making one effort to remove the sad dilemma in which we are placed. Thank God, we have this consolation, that the spirits of our fathers still hover over us, and will fire every breast, and nerve every arm, in defence of our wives-our children-our sacred home.
A Private Militiaman.
April 16, 1814.

4.15.2014

From Plattsburg

FROM PLATTSBURG,

April 15.
Lake Champlain is clear of ice, and the British flotilla is almost finished, but ours will not be ready for service until sometime in May. We therefore expect they will shortly take the command of the lake, and keep it until Com. M’Donnough is ready to drive them out of it. Urged by this state of things the army has been building breastworks and furnaces, and are now actually heating cannon ball and will keep them communally red hot merely for the purpose of giving the enemy a hot reception, in case he should come within range of our long 18s of which, besides 12s and 6s, we have six in front of this village. Tomorrow General Wilkinson starts for Fort George [Edward] at the south end of Lake George in Washington County, N.Y. to meet the Court of Enquiry into the cause of the failure of he last campaign.

Columbian.

 

Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-May 6, 1814.

 

South Carolina Militia

We have just learned, that the South Carolina militia, with about 500 United States troops commanded by Col. Milton, have marched from Fort Hawkins against the hostile Creeks. The impatience of the militia could not be restrained till the arrival of North Carolina troops, who have also passed the frontiers, and it is to be hoped will be able to join the advance of the army before a battle. Those who have seen this detachment, say it is one of the finest military corps in the southern country; in excellent order and well provided with every equipment for the field; that their zeal and patriotic ardor may be crowned with their merited reward, is the sincere payer of their country.-Augusta Chronicle, April 1.

 

Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-April 15, 1814.

"Lake Champlain is clear of ice"


Plattsburgh
April 15, 1814

 Lake Champlain is clear of ice and the British flotilla is almost finished but ours will not be ready for services until some time in May. We therefore expect they will shortly take command of the lake and keep it until commodore M'Donnough is ready to drive them out of it. Urged by this state of things, the army has been building breastworks and furnaces, and are actually heating cannon balls, and to keep them continually red hot merit for the purpose of giving the enemy hot reception, in case he should come within range of our long 18s, of which besides 12s and 6s, we have six in free range of this village. Tomorrow general Wilkinson starts for Fort George (Edward) at the south end of Lake George in Washington county, North to meet  the court of enquiry into the cause of the failure of the last campaign. It is a delightful place, where the court, parties, advocates, spectators and witnesses can indulge his respective inclinations in catching (trees?) from 1 to 30 pounds weight, or shooting ducks and geese or hunting deer or swimming in the silver lake.

From the Correspondent of the New York Columbian.

Update from Boston

Boston, 
April 15, 1814


Arrived, Spanish ship Fernando Septimo, capt. Montzuco, from the Havanna, via Bermuda (where she was sent in and cleared) and Amelia Island, 12 days from the latter place. Friday noon, seven leagues ENE from Cape Cod, was boarded from the Junon, the Tenedos in co.-Five American passengers were taken out and carried on board of the Junon, but in consequence of having passports for Bermuda, were sent back again.-One of them (Capt. Perkins, of Salem) while on board, was informed by the 1st lieutenant that the five Americans which they then had on board, and which they had taken out of the Spanish schooner Margarita a few days before, they should send to Halifax, & that they would not be allowed to return until regularly exchanged. He also stated that they were taken out in retaliation for the bounty of $100 offered by Mr. Madison for every British subject taken and brought into port. It was observed to the lieutenant, that their taking Americans out of neutral vessels was an unprecedented act. He replied that it was; but that the conduct of the American government had forced them to do it; and without regard to the flag of any nation, they should take out all Americans they found on board of any vessel whatever, and send them to Halifax to be exchanged, excepting those having British passports. There had been several arrivals at Amelia from England, but all long passages. The Swedish brig Embden, captain Wilcox, which was boarded from the U.S. frigate Constitution, on her passage from Bermuda, her papers taken out, and ordered to follow, but which parted in thick weather, while the frigate was in pursuit of another vessel, was taken going into Amelia by a number of U.S. Gun Boats, and sent into St. Mary's in consequence of not having any papers on board.
It is stated that the Yankee privateer, after leaving Newport, passed to windward of the British brig of war Nimrod, which was lying at Block Island-that the Nimrod immediately went in chace, and pursued her for 24 hours, but that she escaped in the night in consequence of a mistake made by the enemy, who fell in with a Spanish ship, hove to, and supposing her to be the privateer, (the chase having been very close, and the Nimrod had gained on her,) enabled the Yankee to escape.
The officers who went on board the ship stated, that the Nimrod had beel lying 5 days under Block Island, waiting for the Yankee. The Yankee had passed close by the Spaniard, just before he was boarded.

Joshua Barney to Secretary Jones

April 15, 1814

Despite having been ordered to turn over most of his crew to Commodore Barney, Captain Spence had not done so. In this letter Barney tells Sec’y of the Navy Jones that he has finally received the men and describes the problem with them.

ACTING MASTER COMMANDANT JOSHUA BARNEY TO SECRETARY OF THE NAVY JONES

Baltimore April 15th 1814

Sir

I had the honour to receive yours of yesterday, and shall communicate the contents to Captain Spence in the morning. The Conduct of that officer in not transferring the men, put me under the necessity of telling him that I understood it was your intention it should be done, and if so, why not, when he saw that the enemy was at the mouth of the river, in consequence of which he told me they should be sent onboard, & which was done in a manner to require censure. Forty came on board the evening of the 13th. All drunk. & caused the greatest confusion. Yesterday twenty Eight more were sent in the same situation, so that I was under the necessity of putting the most of them in Irons, (all of which has a fatal tendency) Seventeen are, returned, as in the Hospital, making in the whole Eighty five. I know not what has become of the remainder, but I shall be better informed in the morning.

Yesterday Mr. Frazier arrived from St. Michaels; he came over in an Open Barge, with 30 men for the flotilla. He passed a 74 and two Schooners, a few miles below Sandy point, and above Annapolis. They had been for two days off St. Michaels, I suppose, to hear of our Barges but finding them safe, they proceeded up the Bay. They have taken a number of Craft & set fire to them in the night.

The weather has been bad all day & I have no news from below. I have no certain news of my look out boat but rumour says, she is in some creek below, yet I fear for her safety—

I hope to move down in a few days if the weather will permit, with Seven heavy Barges, four smaller, the Scorpion, Galley & one Gun boat—

If I had the Sea fencibles which are doing worse than nothing at the fort, I could man five more Barges.

I am with respect your Obt. Servt.

Joshua Barney

4.14.2014

Letter to Thomas Pinckney from Andrew Jackson

Camp Milton
14th. April 1814 at night

Sir,

         I reached the town of Fooshatchee, (situated about three miles below Hoithlewaule) on yesterday; & found it abandoned. I was prevented from marching directly to Hoithlewaule by learning, when I had arrived within 10 or 12 miles of it, that it also was abandoned. The enemy, apprised of our approach, had commenced a precipitate flight on the 11th. inst. the day on which I should have reached and attacked them, had I not been prevented by the excessiveness of the rains--
        I encamped at Foosehatchee last night, & to day advanced to this place about a mile above it--having previously burnt that town, and another called Coloome, a short distance below it. I did not think it necessary to march my main army to Hoithlewaule, but send out a Detachment to day which burnt it also. We have taken about ten prisoners at and near Fooshatchee, but I know not what reliance ought to be placed on the accounts they give of the present situation & intention of those who have fled. They represent them however (and in this statement they all agree) as having crossed the river and as hastening to Pensacola, either for fresh supplies of ammunition or in the hope of obtaining there that safety which no place in their own Country will afford.
        Anxious to avail myself by a speedy movement of the whole advantage of the victory of the 27th. Ulto. & relying upon the assurances you had given me, I left Fort Williams with only eight days rations, which are now exhausted. I accordingly sent an express to Colo. Milton to day requesting him to form a junction with me, as soon as practicable, & to forward supplies for the present relief of my army. As I advised him of my destitute condition, & of the necessary there was for immediate assistance I did not imagine that any hesitation would have been felt or any delay experienced. Nor could I have supposed him unprepared to furnish, me, as I had requested him the day after I commenced my march, to form a junction with me at Hoithlewaule on the 11th. inst, and had made him acquainted with the quantity of supplies I had with me, & of the reliance I placed, when those should be consumed, upon what I should be able to obtain from him. He however replyed to my express to day (verbally) that he would send a small supply to the friendly Indians who had accompanied me, & that tomorrow he would lend me some, for the remainder of my troops; but that he felt himself under no obligation to furnish any. This was about 12 o'clock to day; and he was then, not more than three miles above me, at Hoithlewaule; on the ruins of which he is now encamped. The bearer of this order has not returned, & I do not know how it will be complyed with; but as I feel myself justified in issuing it by your assurances & by his admission that he has supplies I shall see that it is not altogether neglected or trifled with. Affairs having taken this turn, it becomes more & more necessary that I should advance without delay to the junction of the rivers, where I hope to draw plentiful supplies from Fort Williams, by means of the present swell of the Coosa. I shall therefore take the most effectual & speedy means in my power to get such supplies as may be at Fort Decatur for my use, brought down, & shall not remit my exertions to bring the war to a speedy & successful termination, which I am happy to think I shall soon be able to effect. I wrote you on the 28th. Ulto from the battle ground near New Yauka, & afterwards from Fort Williams advising you of the success of my expedition to the Tallapoosa & of my future purposes; in answer to which I have not heard from you. The last letter I received from you was of date the 28th. Ulto.
          I shall be very happy to see you at the junction of the rivers as soon as the situation of your affairs will permit you. I have the honor to be with great respect Your Obt. Servt.

                                                                                               Andrew Jackson

P.S. 15th. 30 minutes after 5: o'clock AM Captain Gordon of the Spies whom I sent with the order to Colo. Milton has returned; bringing two thousand rations, & a note from the Colo., stating that they were sent, not because I had ordered them but because my men were destitute. His unwillingness to obey my orders (tho in the neighbourhood) until a junction is actually formed, & his apparent wish to postpone that event as long as possible, are a little singular & will be noted.                                                                                            A.J.

Letter to the Editors of the National Intelligencer

Philadelphia
April 14, 1814.

TO THE EDITORS OF THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCER

Gentlemen- I have observed you correspondent's remarks, under the signature of 'Z,' together with your short not thereon at foot. Thro' the medium of your papers, permit a constant reader to state the case relating to importations from Great Britain, as it appears to him, with its attendant difficulties.
In your answer to Z, you say you 'desire an unlicensed neutral trade.'
Every friend to this country must desire to see the ocean freed from the insupportable vexations of its oppresors; but certainly every prudent man must take care that his property is not put at risk, in too dangerous a measure.
Does the law just passed by Congress remove the illegality of an American citizen's trading with the enemies of the United States? But was it illegal so to trade previous to the passage of the late law? i.e. was it expressly prohibited by any statute of the U.S.? or was it only illegal by virtue of the public law of nations?
May the property (British goods) on its arrival in a port in the U.S. on board a neutral vessel claimed (legally so) by a citizen of the U.S. without his incurrinf the risk of an illegal trading with the enemy, supposing it to be admitted that it is illegal so to trade? Then how shall it come in unless under a pretended sale to a neutral?
On the question of British licenses, surely no law of the U.S. can extend to prohibit the use of them by neutrals-if bound to a port in the United States; if so, on what grounds? Yet grounds appears to me to exist for such prohibition.
To come to practice: Suppose a neutral vessel with English goods on board, from an English port, bound to a port in the United States; this vessel is met with at sea by an English cruizer; and not having a British license, is she not liable to be detained and sent in for adjudication by the courts at Halifax or Bermuda? Surely British cruizers will claim the right to take enemy property wherever found afloat. And what result than condemnation-the supposition being that the vessel has no license? It would not be possible to shew it to be British property- nor could it be proved to be neutral, bona fide such, under any pretended sale to a neutral merchant; because such pretended sale to a neutral, in order to cover the property, would not stand the ordeal of those courts.
Thus, then, without a British license, it must be condemned. But it will be said, insure it. Insurance could probably not be effected in the United States on such property under 75 percent. unless protected by a British license; and no insurance whatever, effected on it in England, could be valid, unless under the protections of a British license. The insurance would be illegal, because no citizen or subject can make such insurance against the acts of his own government.
These are briefly the heads of the case, and unless the business can be carried on legally by the citizens of the United States, a very large portion of the merchants must be deterred from entering into it, and so the law remain a dea letter, or operative only in favor of a set of smuggling gentry whom no oaths, no sense of rectitude will bind.
Property shipped as above, if met with at sea by United States' citizens, is also liable to be sent in by them for adjudication; and if the neutral must still be prohibited from the use of British licenses, condemnation will ensue. Thus, therefore, whether with or without British license, is the property put most completely at hazard, so much so as to deter prudent men from embarking, at least until competent explanations are given, and such as it is known will govern the conduct of our own cruizers.
Surely it could not have been intended by Congress that all such property should come in as neutral, appearing to be owned by neutral merchants. All practical upright men must see the forcible objections to so covert, spurious, fraudulent and 'hugger mugger" a commerce, beneath the notice of just and liberal minds, and tending to establish perjury and falshood in all custom-house transactions.
By giving these remarks at large in your paper, the subject may be brought before the public; and such explanations may be elicited, as to satisfy conscientious and prudent men on all its difficulties.
  'Stat nominis Umbra.'

Important State Paper!

(relating to the issue of the impressments and imprisonment of Americans; it was then the common law in England that everyone born a British subject remained one until his death; there was no recognized right to change this by becoming a naturalized citizen of another country; When prisoners were taken by the British at Fort George, twenty three  men were alleged to be British citizens and were taken to England to be tried for treason; the arguments discussed in the state paper below were part of the thinking that led to the “retaliation” policy of the American government in the handling of British prisoners):

Important State Paper

The following message was transmitted to the Senate by the President of the United States.

The Secretary of State to whom was referred several resolutions of the Senate of the second of February and 9th of March last, has the honor to submit to the President the following

REPORT

Although these resolutions are of different dates and refer to subjects in some respects distinct in their nature, yet as they are connected in others of considerable importance, which bear essentially on the conduct of the parties in the present war, it is thought proper to (__?) them in the same report.

The first of these resolutions calls for the names of the individuals who were selected from the American prisoners of war and sent to G. Britain for trial – their places of residence in the United States – the times when and the courts by which they were admitted to become citizens – the regiments to which they belong – when and where they were taken – with copies of any official correspondence respecting the treatment of prisoners of war, and of any orders for retaliation on either side.

The other resolutions request information of the conduct of Great Britain towards her native subjects, taken in arms against her, and of the general practice of the nations of Europe relative to naturalization, and the employment in war each of the subjects of the other – of the cases with their circumstances, in which any civilized nation has punished its native subjects taken in arms against it, for which punishment retaliation was inflicted by the nation in whose service they were taken. And lastly-

Under what circumstances and on what grounds Great Britain has refused to discharge native citizens of the united States impressed into her service – and what has been her conduct towards American seamen on board her ships of war, at and since the commencement of the present war with the United States.
The paper marked A contains the names of the American prisoners who were sent to England for trial by the British commander in Canada – of the corps to which they belong – of the times when, and of the places where they were taken. Of their places of residence in the united states – of the times and the courts in which they were admitted to become citizens, there is no evidence in this department, nor is there any to show whether they were naturalized or native citizens of the United states. This paper contains also a copy of the orders of both governments for retaliation and of the correspondence between the respective commissaries concerning the treatment of prisoners.

The paper marked B, states various grounds on which the British government has refused to deliver up American seamen, impressed into the British service, on the applications of the agents of the U.S. regularly authorized to demand them, with the correspondence relating to the same…..Among the causes assigned for their detention, the following are the most deserving of notice:

1.       That they had no documents or that their documents were irregular.
2.       That they were released from prison in Gottenburg
3.       That they were exchanged as British subjects
4.       Were said to be imposters
5.       To have married in England
6.       Did not answer the description given of them in their protections
7.       Had attempted to desert
8.       Were sent into the service for smuggling
9.       Were not to be found on board of the ship stated
10.   Had voluntarily entered into the British service
11.   Were natives of foreign countries, Prussia, Sweden, Italy etc.

It is probably that some of the seamen whose discharges were demanded may not have been native citizens of the United States, but very presumable that the greater part were. Indeed the pretext assigned for their detention seems to admit it. Had they been native subjects of England, being there, their origin might have been traced. But that is the ground in a few instances only. In urging that some had no protections, or that their protections were irregular- that others had been exchanged as British prisoners – were imposters – had attempted to desert – did not answer the descriptions given them – were natives of Prussia, Sweden etc. it is fairly to be inferred that the public authority in England, to whom this duty is assigned, sought rather to evade the application, than to justify the refusal. The pretext that some were natives of Prussia, Sweden etc. deserves particular attention. On this circumstance the Secretary will remark only, that in extending impressments in American vessels, to persons who could not be mistaken for British subjects, and refusing to surrender them on application to the voluntary service from which they were taken, it is evident that the recovery of British seamen, has not been the sole object of the practice.

By the report of the American commissary of prisoners in England, it appears that a considerable number of our seamen had been transferred from British ships of war, to prisons, that their exchange for British seamen taken in battle was demanded, in the first instance, but that that claim seems to have been since waved. It might have been expected that the British government on being satisfied that these men or that any of them were American citizens, would have liberated and sent them home at its charge. They are however, still held prisoners, in confinement…………………………………………………….

The contrast which these documents present, in the pretensions and conduct of Great Britain with the pretensions and conduct of the United States, cannot fail to make a deep impression in favor of the latter. The British government impresses into its Navy native citizens of the U. States, and compels them to serve in it, and in many instances even to fight against their country, while it arrests as traitors and menaces with death, persons suspected to be native British subjects, for having fought under our standard against British forces, although they had voluntarily entered our army after having emigrated to the U. States and incorporated themselves into the American society. The United States on the other hand have forced no person into their service nor have they sought nor are they disposed to punish any who, after living freely emigrated to any part of the British dominions and settled there, may have entered voluntarily into the British army………………………………..

The information required relates to the following points:

1.       The conduct of G. Britain and the other nations of Europe, as to naturalization, and the employment in war, each of the subjects of the other.
2.       As to the punishment of their native subjects taken in arms against them, in the service of other powers.
3.       Examples of retaliation by the latter in such cases.

These inquiries necessarily involve an extensive research into the history and jurisprudence of the nations of Europe. For so important a task, the other duties of the Secretary of State have altogether disqualified him, since the call was made. The approaching close of the session does not leave him time form more than the following observations:

                That all the nations of Europe naturalize foreigners;
                That they all employ in their service the subjects of each other, and frequently against their native countries, even when not regularly naturalized;
                That they allow their own subject to emigrate to foreign countries;

                That although examples may be found of the punishment of the native subjects taken in arms against them, the examples are few, and have either been marked by peculiar circumstances, taking them out of the controverted principle, or have proceeded from the passions or policy of the occasion……………… It is confidently believed that no instance can be found in which the alleged purposes of the enemy against the twenty three prisoners in question, under all the circumstances which belong to their cases, even though many of them may not have been regularly naturalized are countenanced by the proceedings of any European nation.

That if no instances occur of retaliation in the few cases requiring it, or in any of them, by the governments employing such persons, it has been as is presumed, because the punishment which had been inflicted by the native country might be accounted for on some principle other than its denial of the right of emigration and naturalization. Had the government employing the persons so punished by their native country, retaliated in such cases, it might have incurred the reproach either of countenancing acknowledged crimes, or of following the example of the party in acts of cruelty, exciting horror, rather than of fulfilling its pledge to innocent persons in support of rights fairly obtained and sanctioned by the general opinion and practice of all the nations of Europe, ancient and modern,

All which is respectfully submitted (Signed) JAS. Monroe.
Department of State, April 14, 1814

Published in the Maryland Gazette and Political Intelligencer - May 5, 1814

Secretary Jones to Joshua Barney: Repel Boats

April 14, 1814

Secretary of the Navy Jones to Commodore Joshua Barney:

“…I am all anxiety to see you under way in order to keep those fellows in check below.-
Your present force I trust is sufficient to repel all the boats the enemy can muster and I hope to hold his ships uneasy under certain circumstances. –
If he enters the Potomac you must hang on his rear….”

4.13.2014

Indian War

INDIAN WAR.

Extract of a letter from an officer in the army to a gentleman in this city, dated
Hickory Ground, April 13. 1814.
“The Indian war in this quarter is at length brought to a close. Propositions of peace, upon unconditional terms, have been received this afternoon. The Indians have been driven to the greatest distress; upon our approach they fled in all quarters-parties have since come in, and thrown themselves on our mercy.”

Savannah Rep.

 

Published in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette-May 13, 1814.

"I herewith enclose a Plan..."

(Admiral Cockburn was still updating Admiral Warren because Cockburn had not yet received the official notice that Admiral Cochrane had replaced Admiral Warren. Until the official notice was received, Admirals Cockburn and Cochrane wrote to each other in private, rather than official letters.)

REAR ADMIRAL GEORGE COCKBURN, R.N., TO ADMIRAL SIR JOHN B. WARREN, R.N.
Albion in Tangier Bay

Chesapeake—13th April 1814.

Sir,

I have the Honor to inform you that in consequence of the Communications I received by the Superb, I came up to this Neighbourhood on the 4th Instant and having examined the channel to Tangier Bay and found it to be quite safe and practicable I caused the Albion to be moved to this Anchorage on the 6th., placing her in a perfectly secure Berth in 13 Fathoms Water about a Mile to the Eastward of the South end of Tangier Island, on which I have much satisfaction in stating to you, excellent Water has been readily found in every part here we have dug for it, and is consequently to be obtained in any quantity; and this being the only Island (as I am informed) which produces such good Water as well as the only one hereabouts to which our large Ships can be placed conveniently close, and at which our Boats can Land with perfect facility at all Times and in all ather, added to its situation offering in my opinion very great advantages over any other Island in the Chesapeak for favoring the Views and Operations contemplated;
I have (in furtherance of the suggestions sent to me) taken possession of it, and commenced on it under Lieutenant Fenwick's superintendency the work of which I herewith enclose a Plan, which we conceive will be deemed sufficiently strong when the advantage of its Position, the distance of the Island from the Main, and the probable constant vicinity of some of our Ships is considered.—
We have likewise just completed an advanced Redoubt, and are building Guard Houses etc. the forwarding of which Works will be materially assisted by our having luckily Captured a Schooner in the Potowmack the other day, loaded with Lumber and Shingles, which I immediately purchased in your Name from the Captors for the Account of Government, as I shall continue to do anything more which may be taken likely to prove beneficial to the new establishment instead of allowing it to be sent for Sale to Bermuda, which I trust will prove to be in conformity with your wishes and Intentions in this Respect.
From the Albion's present Position Smiths' Point Light House bears W.N.W. about 5 or 6 Leagues and the Main Land of the Eastern Shore is about the same distance from us, we therefore perfectly command the View of both sides the Chesapeak and the Entrance of the Potowmack, one of our Ships being also
constantly in the Main Channel West of Tangier Island, which places her about half way between us and the Light House it becomes almost impracticable for anything whatever to slip by us, a Sloop from Norfolk attempted the other day in a fresh Southerly Wind to get past between Watts Island and the Eastern Shore, but the Boats cut her off at the upper part of that Channel and brought her out; indeed it appears to me that in addition to the other Views for which we have occupied this Situation there is no other within the Capes which we could take up with our present force, more likely to create essential Annoyance to the Enemy and to facilitate our endeavors to enforce the Blockade and to stop his usual Communications by Water.
Tangier Island however I am sorry to have to add does not produce more than is necessary for the immediate support of the few poor Inhabitants who live on it, although there is pasture on it and the adjacent Islands attached to it, sufficient to support several Hundred Head of Cattle if brought here;
Watts Island which is on our Eastern side (about four Miles from us) of which I have also taken possession, furnishes plenty of Wood (though but bad Water) and is rather more fertile than this, but it is right I should add that as I before expected, none of the Islands can possibly afford a supply of Provisions of any Importance, or at all to be counted on as facilitating in any way the feeding of a
large body of Men; fish is however (I am told) as well as quantities of Oysters constantly to be got amongst them, and I am assured by the Inhabitants of this Island that it is very healthy, which assertion their appearance justifies or I should otherwise have been inclined to doubt it, as it is chiefly Swampy low Land intersected with numerous Creeks and Marshes, but these being all Salt Water and kept in constant Motion by the Tides it seems prevents their producing any pernicious effects—
For any more minute particulars which you may wish to have concerning the Place I beg to refer you to Captain Thompson of the Rattler who is charged with this Dispatch, and who has visited the different parts of this Island and has been in his Ship to the upper part of this deep Water Inlet, near to the next cluster of Islands which are called Smith's, and of which perhaps you may also think it right to take possession after you commence operations, but at present it is too much out of the way for me to make other use of than sending occasionally to it for small Supplies of Stock.
The Small Draft I sent by Armide of this Bay and the Tangier and Watts Islands, is sufficiently correct to give you a tolerably good Idea of it, tho' the Shape and size of this Island is very incorrectly drawn in it.—
As a guide to Strangers arriving I have placed Buoys on both sides the Channel and a Schooner in five Fathoms on the Southmost Points of each of the Shoals, which Schooners bear from each other NETHE and SWETHW.—
The Narcissus arrived here on 11th from off the Delaware Captain Pym having ordered her in, on account of her being without Fuel or Candles, the former I have directed Captain Lumley to get immediately from Watts Island and I have given him a small temporary supply of the latter from this Ship, intending to keep him with me a little while in the hope of an arrival from Bermuda enabling me to assist him more effectually; in which should I be disappointed I propose sending him to you with my next Communications.
The Dragon and St. Lawrence I have sent up the Chesapeake to see what force the Enemy has and what he seems to be about in the Neighbourhood of Annapolis and Kent Island, and to cause him any Check or annoyance which Captain Barrie may find to be in his power.
I sent the Jaseur soon after my arrival here to Land some Black men who volunteered for a small bribe to go to the Main for the purpose of spreading amongst their Brethren the intelligence of our having established ourselves here, and our readiness to receive protect and assist them and put Arms in their
Hands, the Jaseur remained some days after landing them hovering about the Mouths of the Rivers and close to the Shore to cover and favor the escape of any that might choose to come off to her, but none having made their appearance she has just returned to me, and as I think it possible that her want of Success in this point may have proceeded from her appearance so close to the Shore having occasioned an additional degree of Vigilance on the part of the Americans near the Coast; I shall employ her on other Service for a day or two; I however confess that I much doubt your procuring the Number of Black Recruits you seem to expect, 'till you actually establish yourself in some force on the Main Land—
I have now altogether about fifty of them and as soon as our Works are a little further advanced, I shall begin to form and drill them, they pretend to be very bold and very ready to join us in any expedition against their old Masters.
I must now again Sir beg to draw your Attention to the small quantity of Provisions and Necessaries remaining in the Ships here; I cannot at this Moment send you an Abstract of the Weekly Accounts owing to the Ships being so dispersed but I enclose a return of the Provisions remaining in this Ship and you will observe by the last Abstract (sent the other day by the Armide) that the other Ships
are but little better off, and when you consider that we have these Black People to feed in addition to our own Complements, you will perceive the Inconvenience which will be likely to arise if a supply does not arrive within a fortnight;
I have however put the whole to 2/3rds (food) Allowance and you may depend on my doing the best within my power to prevent any very serious Mischief arising to our operations here from, with which View I shall begin before it is too late to send Ship after Ship to Bermuda always reducing the one I send to the least possible quantity necessary for carrying her safe in.
I have the Honor to be Sir
Your very faithful and Most Obedt. Humble Servt.—
G Cockburn Rear Admiral

Invasion Of Connecticut

Norwich, CT
April 13, 1814

The enemy opened his spring campaign on Friday morning about 1 o'clock, by entering Conneticut River and landing at Saybrook point, in number about 200, in six boats. Alarm guns were immediately fired, and the bells rang. Meantime, the few guns at the small battery on the point were spiked, and the enemy re-embarked and pushed up to l'ettipague, a parish in the town of Saybrook, about eight miles from the mouth of the river, and four above the ferry. Here they again landed very early in the morning, and informed the inhabitants that they should not molest them if they remained peaceable but that the should destroy shipping up there, which was accordingly done [unable to decipher] to the number of TWENTY SAIL, some of them fine ships, one of which had on board [unable to decipher] bushels of salt-Two vessels on the stock [unable to decipher] set fire to, but were extinguished by the [unable to decipher] when it was found that the fire was likely to communicate to the adjacent buildings. Several hogsheads of rim were stove by order of the commanding officer, who alledged as a reason therefor, that his men would make too free with it if suffered to remain. While the vessels were burning, the sailors amused themselves by playing at ball, pitching quoits, &c. in as much apparent security as they could have shown in any but an enemy's country.
In the mean time the country was alarmed and an express sent off to New London. By 12 o'clock there had collected on the east bank of the river, near the Ferry, upwards of 100 men and five pieces of artillery. Two pieces from Killingworth had also arrived on the west side, and men were continually coming in-so that there seemed no chance of the enemy's escape without suffering a severe chastisement for his temerity- or perhaps the loss of his whole armament. In the afternoon, Capt. Jones, of the Macedonian, and Capt Biddle, of the Hornet, with a detachment of seamen and marines from the squadron arrived at the ferry. Thus strengthened, victory seemed certain. Night came and the enemy had not descended the river. Our people kept the best look out a dark night would allow-but so their utter astonishment, about 9 o'clock, three loud cheers from the enemy announced their escape. The freshet in the river was strong, and they had drifted by in silence. Not an oar touched the water until they were out of reach.
No pen can describe the mortification of our soldiers and sailors on a dissapointment so cruel, and so totally unlooked for-indeed, it would hardly seem credible that 200 men could penetrate 8 miles into any part of the State of Conneticut, remain in more than effect their escape without the loss of a man! But such is the fact.
We do not know the breadth of Conneticut river at Saybrook Ferry-but should suppose it to be about a mile.
The loss sustained by this incursion of the enemy is supposed to be not far from 150,000 dollars-it does not exclusively fall, however, on the town of Saybrook. A considerable part of the property, we are told, was owned at N. York. Two whalesmen, belonging to Sag-Harbor, were among the vessels destroyed.
We understand that the British officers and men behaved with great civility to the inhabitants of Pettipague. Not the slightest insult was offered to any one.
The foregoing account we have been at some pains to collect-and have no doubt of its correctness in all essential particulars.

Admiral Cockburn to Admiral Warren re Status in Chesapeake Bay

April 13, 1814

Admiral Cockburn was still updating Admiral Warren because Cockburn had not yet received the official notice that Admiral Cochrane had replaced Admiral Warren. Until the official notice was received, Admirals Cockburn and Cochrane wrote to each other in private, rather than official letters.

REAR ADMIRAL GEORGE COCKBURN, R.N., TO ADMIRAL SIR JOHN B. WARREN, R.N.
Albion in Tangier Bay

Chesapeake—13th April 1814.

Sir,

I have the Honor to inform you that in consequence of the Communications I received by the Superb, I came up to this Neighbourhood on the 4th Instant and having examined the channel to Tangier Bay and found it to be quite safe and practicable I caused the Albion to be moved to this Anchorage on the 6th., placing her in a perfectly secure Berth in 13 Fathoms Water about a Mile to the Eastward of the South end of Tangier Island, on which I have much satisfaction in stating to you, excellent Water has been readily found in every part where we have dug for it, and is consequently to be obtained in any quantity; and this being the only Island (as I am informed) which produces such good Water as well as the only one hereabouts to which our large Ships can be placed conveniently close, and at which our Boats can Land with perfect facility at all Times and in all Weather, added to its situation offering in my opinion very great advantages over any other Island in the Chesapeak for favoring the Views and Operations contemplated;

I have (in furtherance of the suggestions sent to me) taken possession of it, and commenced on it under Lieutenant Fenwick's superintendency the work of which I herewith enclose a Plan, which we conceive will be deemed sufficiently strong when the advantage of its Position, the distance of the Island from the Main, and the probable constant vicinity of some of our Ships is considered.—

We have likewise just completed an advanced Redoubt, and are building Guard Houses etc. the forwarding of which Works will be materially assisted by our having luckily Captured a Schooner in the Potowmack the other day, loaded with Lumber and Shingles, which I immediately purchased in your Name from the Captors for the Account of Government, as I shall continue to do anything more which may be taken likely to prove beneficial to the new establishment instead of allowing it to be sent for Sale to Bermuda, which I trust will prove to be in conformity with your wishes and Intentions in this Respect.

From the Albion's present Position Smiths' Point Light House bears W.N.W. about 5 or 6 Leagues and the Main Land of the Eastern Shore is about the same distance from us, we therefore perfectly command the View of both sides the Chesapeak and the Entrance of the Potowmack, one of our Ships being also constantly in the Main Channel West of Tangier Island, which places her about half way between us and the Light House it becomes almost impracticable for anything whatever to slip by us, a Sloop from Norfolk attempted the other day in a fresh Southerly Wind to get past between Watts Island and the Eastern Shore, but the Boats cut her off at the upper part of that Channel and brought her out; indeed it appears to me that in addition to the other Views for which we have occupied this Situation there is no other within the Capes which we could take up with our present force, more likely to create essential Annoyance to the Enemy and to facilitate our endeavors to enforce the Blockade and to stop his usual Communications by Water.
Tangier Island however I am sorry to have to add does not produce more than is necessary for the immediate support of the few poor Inhabitants who live on it, although there is pasture on it and the adjacent Islands attached to it, sufficient to support several Hundred Head of Cattle if brought here;

Watts Island which is on our Eastern side (about four Miles from us) of which I have also taken possession, furnishes plenty of Wood (though but bad Water) and is rather more fertile than this, but it is right I should add that as I before expected, none of the Islands can possibly afford a supply of Provisions of any Importance, or at all to be counted on as facilitating in any way the feeding of a large body of Men; fish is however (I am told) as well as quantities of Oysters constantly to be got amongst them, and I am assured by the Inhabitants of this Island that it is very healthy, which assertion their appearance justifies or I should otherwise have been inclined to doubt it, as it is chiefly Swampy low Land intersected with numerous Creeks and Marshes, but these being all Salt Water and kept in constant Motion by the Tides it seems prevents their producing any pernicious effects—

For any more minute particulars which you may wish to have concerning the Place I beg to refer you to Captain Thompson of the Rattler who is charged with this Dispatch, and who has visited the different parts of this Island and has been in his Ship to the upper part of this deep Water Inlet, near to the next cluster of Islands which are called Smith's, and of which perhaps you may also think it right to take possession after you commence operations, but at present it is too much out of the way for me to make other use of than sending occasionally to it for small Supplies of Stock.

The Small Draft I sent by Armide of this Bay and the Tangier and Watts Islands, is sufficiently correct to give you a tolerably good Idea of it, tho' the Shape and size of this Island is very incorrectly drawn in it.—
As a guide to Strangers arriving I have placed Buoys on both sides the Channel and a Schooner in five Fathoms on the Southmost Points of each of the Shoals, which Schooners bear from each other NETHE and SWETHW.—

The Narcissus arrived here on 11th from off the Delaware Captain Pym having ordered her in, on account of her being without Fuel or Candles, the former I have directed Captain Lumley to get immediately from Watts Island and I have given him a small temporary supply of the latter from this Ship, intending to keep him with me a little while in the hope of an arrival from Bermuda enabling me to assist him more effectually; in which should I be disappointed I propose sending him to you with my next Communications.

The Dragon and St. Lawrence I have sent up the Chesapeake to see what force the Enemy has and what he seems to be about in the Neighbourhood of Annapolis and Kent Island, and to cause him any Check or annoyance which Captain Barrie may find to be in his power.

I sent the Jaseur soon after my arrival here to Land some Black men who volunteered for a small bribe to go to the Main for the purpose of spreading amongst their Brethren the intelligence of our having established ourselves here, and our readiness to receive protect and assist them and put Arms in their Hands, the Jaseur remained some days after landing them hovering about the Mouths of the Rivers and close to the Shore to cover and favor the escape of any that might choose to come off to her, but none having made their appearance she has just returned to me, and as I think it possible that her want of Success in this point may have proceeded from her appearance so close to the Shore having occasioned an additional degree of Vigilance on the part of the Americans near the Coast; I shall employ her on other Service for a day or two; I however confess that I much doubt your procuring the Number of Black Recruits you seem to expect, 'till you actually establish yourself in some force on the Main Land—I have now altogether about fifty of them and as soon as our Works are a little further advanced, I shall begin to form and drill them, they pretend to be very bold and very ready to join us in any expedition against their old Masters.

I must now again Sir beg to draw your Attention to the small quantity of Provisions and Necessaries remaining in the Ships here; I cannot at this Moment send you an Abstract of the Weekly Accounts owing to the Ships being so dispersed but I enclose a return of the Provisions remaining in this Ship and you will observe by the last Abstract (sent the other day by the Armide) that the other Ships are but little better off, and when you consider that we have these Black People to feed in addition to our own Complements, you will perceive the Inconvenience which will be likely to arise if a supply does not arrive within a fortnight; I have however put the whole to 2/3rds (food) Allowance and you may depend on my doing the best within my power to prevent any very serious Mischief arising to our operations here from, with which View I shall begin before it is too late to send Ship after Ship to Bermuda always reducing the one I send to the least possible quantity necessary for carrying her safe in.

I have the Honor to be Sir
Your very faithful and Most Obedt. Humble Servt.—
G Cockburn Rear Admiral

4.12.2014

News from Wilmington

Wilmington, (N.C.) 
April 12, 1814

 Arrived on the 10th instant, the Swedish schooner Eliza, having on board S. Pendleton, a prizemaster from the private armed schooner Snap Dragon-the Swede was first captured by the British frigate Cleopatra on a voyage from St. Domingo to Boston, and subsequently re-captured by the Snap Dragoon. The Snap Dragoon had fallen with and engaged an English letter marque ship of 18 guns and 70 men the ship struck to her-while thrown on board of the ship some men to stop possession of her, by accident the foremast and bowspirit were carried away from the ship taking advantage of her haring off, which now became necessary effected her escape.

4.10.2014

"We immediately commenced a brisk fire upon them"


Copy of a letter from Captain Baker, of the Sloop Swallow, of Baltimore, to his wife, dated
St. Jerome's Creek, 
April 10, 1814

"We have arrived at this place after passage of 20 hours from Baltimore. On the 6th instant, at daylight, we were off this place, but the wind being off shore, could not fetch in. At the same time, observed a schooner steering up the bay; also a remarkably long barge with three lug sails coming out of the Potomac. We concluded they were from Washington, bound to Baltimore. There were two or three other vessels in sight down the bay. We hove about and stood in for the creek; the schooner then tacked, stood for the barge, and soon after hauled down her head sails, apparently with a view to anchor, distant about 3 miles. We ran our vessels into the mouth of the creek, and although she grounded in consequence of the tide being so very low at the time, thought ourselves pretty secure should the vessels then in sight prove to be enemies, as we soon were convinced they were. In 30 minutes after we grounded, a boat was discovered coming from the schooner in pursuit of us, distant about one and a half miles. We immediately landed the  most valuable articles. We found on further examination of the boat, that she rowed ten oars, carried a four pounder in her bows, and manned with 16 men. There being but three us on board, with two muskets only, I thought it most prudent to leave the vessel: and I do assure you it was with great reluctance we abandoned the Swallow to a set of infernal robbers.
We landed, and two gentlemen, whome I shall ever respect as brave men, by the names of Langley and Hopkins joined us in the combat. On their nearer approach, we hailed, and asked them where they were bound?- They replied by pointing to the sloop. We immediately commenced a brisk fire upon them, which was so well kept up and directed that notwithstanding they succeeded in getting alongside, four only of them dared to ascend the deck. [Capt. B. killed one of them.] One of the gentlemen who joined us, killed another in the stern if their boat, which, I suppose, was an officer. They hoisted the sloop's sails, and swung her bow out. This exposed to our fire those who had been skulking under her lee in the barge; and in a few minutes we compelled them to leave their prize, after rowing three miles with the loss of two men! We immediately boarded her again, and got her safe into the creek. We received no injury on our side; there being so few of us it required good marksman to do execution.
'The same boats, I am informed, captured a sch'r from Alexandria, said the be capt Holmes's. They are making great destruction among the bay craft. A few of our barges would be great service in this creek."

4.09.2014

Letter to Andrew Jackson from John. E. Beck

Nashville
April 9th 1814

Sir,

      On the 6th. Inst I recd. from the post office, your letter of the 23rd. of March and the depositions which Major Alexander Smith, was charged with the delivery of.
      The extraordinary conduct of Genl Cocke, which merits the indignation of all good men, has been attentively considered by me so far as I am informed of it by the depositions--Altho it is criminal to an extent somewhat beyond cases, which commonly occur under the act of 1812, I am not inclined to believe that it constitutes a case of Treason--but that it is one which demands and will receive, all the punishment which can in inflicted under that act. Shou'd he however be arrested, with a view to the act of 1812, he may still be prosecuted for Treason if, before an Indictment is prepared, he is believed, by the production of other evidence & on a more deliberate view of his case, to be guilty of that crime.
       I presume (from report) that Genl Cocke at the time alluded to, had not been mustered into service: and was not therefore subject to the rules and articles of War. If I am incorrect in this impression he cannot be prosecuted under the 17th Section of the act of 1812, which operates alone on persons not subject to the rules and articles of war.
      I have as yet been unable to ascertain whether Camp Ross, is within this State, and if so, whether is it within this District or that of East Tennessee. By the Constitution of the United States the trial must be in the State within which the offense was committed: If Camp Ross, altho on Indian land, is in Georgia, or the Mississippi Territory he Shou'd be tried there--If it be within this State, which I think is the case, he must be tried in the Judicial District, which comprehends Camp Ross. And I presume, it may easily be ascertained in Camp, to which it belongs--The District of East Tennessee consists of what in 1807, were the Districts of Hamilton & Washington--That of West Tennessee comprises what at the same time, were the Districts of Winchester &c.
       I herewith inclose you a letter this day addressed to me by Judge McNairy, by which it is seen, that it is deemed improper to issue a warrant, without other testimony than depositions taken in the way mentioned. I must therefore request that you immediately dispatch, to Knoxville such Gentlemen as can prove the conduct  of Genl. Cocke, at Camp Ross and also state within what Judicial District that place is, in order that he may be arrested and held for trial in the proper Court before the return of Judge McNairy to Nashville. Shou'd the witness depart for Knoxvillle too late to arrive there, before the period of Judge McNairy's leaving it, I wou'd advise that a letter be addressed to the Attorney for East Tennessee, who will no doubt, apply to some Judge for a warrant & attend before the examining Court after the arrest of Genl Cocke--Should you, send the Witnesses to this place after the return of Judge McNairy, you may rely upon my most prompt attention to whatever may be necessary, in the management of the prosecution. I am Sir very Respectfully your most Obt St

                                                                                      John E. Beck
                                                                                      United States Attorney
                                                                                      for West Tennessee