From W. Scott to Secretary of War

January 30, 1813

I think it my duty to lay before the Department, that, on the arrival at Quebec of the American prisoners of war, surrendered at Queenstown, they were mustered and examined by British officers appointed to that duty, and every native born of the United kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland sequestered and sent on board a ship of war then in that harbor. The vessel, in a few days thereafter, sailed for England, with those persons on board.
Between fifteen and twenty persons were thus taken from us, principally natives of Ireland, several of whom were known by their platoon officers to be naturalized citizens of the United States, and others to have been long residents within the same.  One in particular, whose name has escaped me, besides having complied with all the conditions of our naturalization laws, was represented by his officers to have left a wife and five children, all of them born within the State of New York.
I distinctly understood, as well from the officers who came on board the prison ship for the above purpose, as from others, with whom I remonstrated on this subject, that it was the determination of the British Government, as from other, with whom I remonstrated on this subject, that it was the determination of the British Government, as expressed through Sir George Prevost, to punish every man, whom it might subject to its power, found in arms against the British King contrary to his native allegiance.
I have the honor to be, &c.
W. Scott

Courtesy of Library of Congress


Extract of a letter from Albany, dated Jan. 29

Extract of a letter from Albany, dated Jan. 29.

“I have omitted closing my letter until the 29th, in order to give you the report of a committee that the legislature appointed for that purpose. It is the only regular report made of the sickness. The corporation has made no provision for reporting deaths or sickness.-Eighty-five persons are now sick of the epidemic, under the care of Drs. Low, Wendell, Beck, Yates, Bay, and Sterns, who are one-third of the Physicians; 225 persons are now sick with this disease; 732 have had the complaint; more than 60 have died; 22 interments have been made from the 1st to the 21st: 22 had been interred on the 4 succeeding days; 12 interments yesterday, 24th. This ends the report of the committee. How many have been interred 10-day we cannot tell.
“I presume the number to-day has been about the same as it was yesterday. The disease is malignant, but not infections, unless under particular circumstances. I have been particular, expecting the accounts would be much exaggerated before they reached you. The legislature, much alarmed, talk of adjourning; two of the members have died-three more quite sick. Some of them have gone away without leave. It is expected there are not as many new cases as there have been-some deaths are very sudden-others live from 2 to 3 days-some much longer and die with a relapse.”


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-February 5, 1813.


William Henry Harrison to Head Quarters N.W. Army

Portage River 15 Miles from the Miami

Rapids 26th. Jany 1813


I have the honor to enclose herewith a Duplicate of my letter of the 25th Inst. Together with the official report of Colo Lewis to Genl Winchester of the Action of the 18th. Inst.

That you may be enabled to judge of the propriety of the steps which war taken by me previously to the unfortunate event at the River Resin I proceed to give you an account of the situation of the Troops and the arrangement I had made for their advance -- the left wing of the army under the immediate orders of Genl. Winchester Consisted of the 6 Regts. Kenty. Troops a Battalion of Ohio Infy. & the Detachment of Regulars under Colo. Wells -- The importance of keeping a considerable force on this line after the advance of the army from its Vicinity to the Indian Tribes of the Wabash & Lake Michigan induced me to direct Genl.Winchester to take with him 3 Ky Regts & the Regular troops only -- With these amounting to about 1300 Men he marched from his Camp 5 Miles below the mouth of the Auglaize River on the 31st. Ult. on the Evg. Before he had dispatched an Express informing me of his intentions to march the next mong. -- This Express was sent through the woods to Genl Tuppers Camp 4 miles advanced of Urbanna Upon Hulls road -- A Violent Snow storm prevented it from reaching Genl. Tupper until the 9th. Inst. and it was not until the llth that it came to me at Upper Sandusky -- I immediately gave orders for several droves of hogs which had been stoped on their route to proceed towards the Rapids -- & I directed the artillery to be prepared to progress as soon as the genls arrival at the Rapids should be announced which I directed him to do by an Express to be sent immediately to U Sandusky -- Not hearing from the Genl for some days I began to conclude that his progress had been stoped by a Considerable thaw which took place about the 1st of the Month -- On the Evg. of the 16th Inst I received a letter from Genl Perkins enclosing one from Genl Winchester to him of the 15th informing of his arrival at the rapids on the 10th that it was his intention to advance against the Enemy & directing him (Genl Perkins) to send information I dispatched an express with the en- closed letter No 2 by the direct route to the Rapids & set out myself to Lower Sandusky & reached it on the Evg of the 17th. On the Morng of the 18th the Battalion which Gnl. Winchester applied for marched from lower Sandusky -- About 2 oClock on the Morng. of the 19th. A Letter from Genl Winchester was received of which the enclosed is an Extract No 3. I gave in immediate orders for the 2nd Rgt of Perkins Brigade which con- sists of 2 Rgts only to march immediately for the rapids & proceeded thither myself On my way I received the Gnls letter of the 18th informing me of the success of Colo. Lewis a Copy of which I had the honor to en- close you from the Rapids My arrival at the Latter place on the morng of the 20th. I found that Genl. Winchester had marched the proceeding day Having left Gejl. Payne with about 300 of the Kenty Troops It was not until late on the 21st Inst. that Major Cotgrove was enabled to extricate his baggage & the peice of artillery he had in Charge from the Horrid swamp which seperates the Miami & Sandusky Rivers -- He encamped that Evg near the Miami Bay & by marching early on the following morng he had he had advanced within 15 miles of the River Resin when he was informed of the total defeat of our troops there -- The 2nd Rgt of Perkins Bri- gade arrived on the 21st & I immediately ordered the remaining part of the Kenty Troops under Genl Payne to proceed with all possible expedition for the River Resin-- I was stilluneasy for the Troops at there but supposing that Genl Winchester had obtained the best information of the strength of the disposable force of the Enemy, and as I had sent him 300 Men more than he deemed sufficient for Maintaining his ground (Bee his letter of the 21st No 4) And as there were a thousand reasons which made it necess- ary to maintain it if practicable -- I did not think it proper to order a retreat altho the advance in the instance was Contrary to my wishes and opposed to a principle by which I have been ever governed in Indian Warfare ie never to make a Detachmt. but under the Most perfect[?] cir- cumstances -- Amongst the many reasons why the [illeg.] at the River Resin should be maintained -- the Protection of the French Inhabitants was not the least the greater part of these people had received our Troops with open arms -- Many of them had sallied out of their Hovers upon the arrival of Colo Lewis with their Arms in their hands & had even in the opinion of some of our officers won the pretence[?] of valour from our Troops. they attacked & killed the straggling Indians whenever they sent them their hovers were all opened to our fire & they offered to give up the whole of the provisions which yet remained to them upon Condition that they should not again be abandoned to the fury of the savages or subjected for what they had done to be [illeg.] in the prisons of Malden ---I had also been informed that the supplies to be procured there were considerable -- see [illeg.] letter and the assistance to be derived from the Carioles of the Indians [?] was an object of greater importance The former of these motives had made so much an impression upon the minds of the Genl & his troops that I am persuaded nothing but a reiter- ated order to retreat would have produced obedience upon the part of the latter -- These reasons together with the respect which it was necessary to [illeg.] to the opinion of an officer of high rank & Experience whose opportunity of procuring the most Correct information was much better than mine -- produced the determination to support rather than withdraw the detachment from the River Resin -- Indeed it appears that there was not time for either after my arrival at the Rapids When I left Upper Sandusky the artillery was ordered to be sent on immediately to the Rapids escorted by three Hundred men -- Detachments were also ordered for the Pack Horses Waggons & sleds which were constantly progressing thither -- An other Battalion could also have been drawn from Upper Sandusky so that the troops at the Rapids would have been almost dally encreased -- On this day they would have amounted to 2500 with two peices of artillery & four or 5 days more the Virga Brigade & a Pensylvania Rgt would have encreased them to 3800 a further supply of artillery By the 5th of Feby the whole force 4500 which I Contemplated assembling at the Rapids would have been there &provisions & munitions of war in abundance -- I should have been enabled to advance to the Rapids again this day or tomorrow but for a most unfortunate rain which has broken up the Roads so as to render them impassable for the Artillery altho it is fixed on sleds -- The whole train is stopped 25 Miles from this -- I have reason too believe that the Miami River has broken up.

I have the honor to enclose you a report made to me by Major McClanehan the Senior of the two officers who escaped from the action at the River Resin It requires no comment from me

I have the Honour to be with great Resp

81, 82


Letter from James Wilkinson to Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters New Orleans
January 25th. 1813.

   I have received a letter from his Excellency Governor Blount of Tennessee, under date of the 5th. inst. wherein he informs me that you were about to move from Nashville, with one thousand four hundred Infantry and Riflemen, and six hundred and seventy Dragoons and mounted Infantry, destined to this City: and the requisitions, which you have made, through Governor Claiborne,to the Assistant Deputy Quarter Master and the Contractor's Agent here, have been put into my hands. Without knowing what may be your orders, instructions or the extent of your command, I must regret, that you have not done me the honor to communicate with me; because, being placed in the command of this department by the national executive, I could have better forwarded your views than any other person, and you can find no man more zealously disposed to cherish the band of patriots, whom you lead, than myself. But, under the orders which direct my conduct, my personal honor, my public obligations and the national interests forbid that I should yield my command to any person, until regularly relieved by superior authority.
   I beg leave to refer you to my letter of the 22nd. Inst., and must repeat my desire, that you should halt in the vicinity of Natchez, until I may receive the communications required in that letter, and furnish you an answer.
   At present, Sir, the corps of your command could not find quarters, forage or provisions, but for a few days in this city.
   Your letter to the Assistant Deputy Quarter Master, at Natchez, notified him of the approach of four hundred Infantry, instead of fourteen hundred, which lead to the proposition, contained in my letter respecting the movement of that Corps.
   At the same time that the troops of your command should be held in readiness to traverse the country for prompt operations on the side of Mobile and Pensacola, it is important your boats should be carefully preserved for the descent of the river, should the enemy make his attack directly against this city; and, for this purpose, it is advisable they should be secured on the side of the river opposite to Natchez, in charge of a vigilant officer and a suitable detachment.
  With consideration and respect, I have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedt. Servt.
                                                                                              Jas. Wilkinson


William Henry Harrison to James Monroe

No 39 Hd. Qrs Portage River

24th Jany 1813


In a Conversation I had with Govr Meigs some time since he mentioned his desire to enter into the army as a Brigadier and I promised to Communicate his wishes to you -- His merits are I presume well known to the Genl Government. there never was a more ardent patriot -- His talents are very respectable & he has devoted a Considerable share to attention to Military pursuits

I have the Honor to be with great Respect etc


J Monroe Esqr

Acting Secy of War


William Henry Harrison to Head Quarters Portage River

15 Miles from Miami Rapids

24th Jany 1813


It is with the deepest regret that I have to inform you Sir that the Detachmt. under Genl. Winchester has been entirely distroyed by an Indian & British force on the morng. of the 22nd. Inst at the River Reasin. About 12 oclock of that day I was informed at the Rapids by a Messenger from the officer who was marching a detachmt. to reinforce Genl Winchester that the Genl had been attacked that Morng. and that the Frenchman who brought the intelligence had supposed that our troops were reterating [retreating] I had there with me a Regt. of Ohio Militia about 350 strong two Detachments had been[?] on the way to join Genl. Winchester but had taken different roads -- one of 200 Ohio Troops were marching on the edge of the lake & the other 300 strong were pursuing Hulls road Leaving directions for the Regt to come to follow me I proceeded on & overtook the Detachment of Keny Troops in about five miles additional information was now received the french citizens were flying in Consider- ably numbers in [illeg.] Upon the [illeg.] & about 3 oClock some of the fugitives began to arrive. All agreed that the defeat was total & com- plete that the troops were nearly all surrounded & cut off or taken by 7 oClock in that Genl Winchester was seen retiring below [illeg.] the River Resin [illeg.] with a few men & two or three officers all of whom entirely [illeg.] that they were pursued by Indians on horse back who were con- stantly thining their numbers by fireing upon them & that our men were unable to resist as almost all of them had thrown away their arms. I could not hesitate as to the propriety of hovering to their assistance as long as there was a possibility of being able to afford any, but I was much embarrassed in the choice of the roads which it was proper to take -- that upon the ice would afford the most easy & expedient march & that could Major Cotgrove with the battalion above mentioned had taken -- On the Contrary all the accounts agreed that Genl. Winchester have taken the land road -- In a short time however from the fugitives who began to drop in I learnt that Genl W and the 40 or 50 Men who were with him were all cut off a few excepted who had broken off to the margin of the lake & from those who were last seen the scene of action I learnt that all resistance upon the part of the troops that had remained there had ceased before 8 oClock -- the question then to be determined was whether to would be proper to advance to the scene of action or not -- the force with me when joined by Cotgroves Battalion would amount to nearly 900 men -- this Battalion had made a forced march of 12 Miles the morng. of the action & had arrived within about 15 miles of the River Resin when the major received such certain information of the total de- feat of the troops that he had thought proper to return & was then with- in a few Miles of us -- Genl Payne Genl. Perkins & the field officers were Consulted and it was unanimously determined that as they could be no doubt of the total defeat of Genl. Winchester there be or[?] no notice [motive?] that Could authorise an immediate advance but that of attacking the enemy who were reported to be greatly superior in numbers & were certainly well provided with artillery that after (a forced march of 12 miles the distance from our then position) from the River Resin the troops would be too much exhausted to [illeg. ] the enemy that Cotgroves Battalion from having already marched twenty five Miles that day would be unable to accompany us -- it was therefore determined to return to camp with the troops -- but large Detachments of the most active & vigorous men was sent along the different routes to assist & Bring in the fugitives -- I had dispatched Colo Wells early in the Evg. in a light [illeg.] to procure intelligence He progressed within twelve miles of the scene of action & returned about 9 oclock. A Council of war was then called Con- sisting of the Genl field officers and two questions submitted to them -- Whether it was probably that the enemy would attack us in our then situation & if they did could we resist them with effect At this Council Major McClanahan of the Kenty Volunteers who escaped from to action[?] assisted. He was of opinion that there were from 1600 to 2000 British & Indians opposed to our troops & that they had six peices of artillery principally howitzers. It was the unanimous opinion of the Council that under all circumstances it would be proper to retire a short distance on this road upon which the Artillery & reinforcements were approaching -- Nor should we be able to maintain our camp by getting in our rear the enemy would defeat our troops in detail and inspite of all the efforts we could make would take the all important Convoy of Artillery & stores Coming from Upper Sandusky -- The March to this place was accordingly made yesterday -- where I shall wait for the Artillery & a detachment under Genl Leftwitch I hope in four days again to be at the rapids

With respect to the disaster that has happened & the cause which has produced it is proper that I should say that the Movement which led to it was not only without my knowledge or Consent but entirely at Varience with the instructions that I had given to Genl. Winchester -- As soon as I was informed that it had been made every effort in my power was had to encrease their strength -- three Hundred men more than the Genl. had asked for were on their march to join him as his situation enabled him to obtain the most Correct information of the strength & position of the enemy I could not doubt his having obtained it -- In justice of Genl. Winchester however it is my duty to observe that I have understood through the Detachmt under Colo. Lewis was made at the earnest solicitations of his officers & perhaps Contrary to his judment.

However deeply to be lamented sir the destruction of the Detachmt. under Genl. Winchester may be as a national Calamity & as it regards the families of the valuable Individuals who have fallen it has by no means distroyed my hopes of success with Regard to the accomplishment of the principal objects of the Campain -- Unless the weather should be un- commonly unfavorable I shall return to the rapids in a few days with a force considerably superior to any that the enemy can collect with[?] in the Upper district of Canada -- I can discover no dispondence amongst the troops that are with me -- And I trust that something may yet be done to compensate us for the hardships & difficulties which we every moment encounter

The account given by Major McClanahan & Captn. Glows of the action of the 22nd. is that the enemy Commenced just after Revelle to throw shells amongst our Troops before the officers & men had risen from their beds -- they were however found -- but very inconveniently posted being entirely surrounded they were broken & in 20 Minutes -- the Genl indea- voured to rally them after they had passed the river but without effect -- 40 or 50 with the Ge 1. Broke through in that direction but from the depth of the snow those on foot were soon exhausted & were in a short distance over taken by the Indians -- The Genl. frequently attempted to form them to oppose the Indians, but his efforts were ineffectual -- I am unable to say what are the number[L] of the killed & prisoners -- some of the french men whom I have seen [say] that 500 were killed others 600 -- I am still however in hopes that the greater part are prisoners -- I have seen one man who asserts that he saw Genl. Winchester killed scalped his bowels taken out -- Such are the allies of a power which boosts its attainments in every act & science & such the [illeg.] associates of British officers who claim distinction for their nice feelings & delicate sense of Honour --

I have the honor to be with the greatest Respect sir yr Hu Svt But 2 officers & 25 or 30 privates reached my camp from the battle of the River Resin

77, 78, 79


Secretary of the Navy Jones letter to wife

January 23, 1813
Less than two weeks after being appointed the new Secretary of the Navy, William Jones wrote to his wife about his intention to carry out needed reforms, and warning her that she would undoubtedly hear much criticism of him in the months ahead.
Letter from Secretary of the Navy Jones to his wife, Eleanor Jones
23 Jany 1813
My dear Wife
I arrived safe here after an agreeable journey at 3 O’clock this afternoon and for the moment have put up at Davis Hotel until I can look about for agreeable permanent quarters. Genl Armstrong had written on to a friend and has taken the rooms offered to me by Mrs. Wilson – I have this evening heard of a place that I think will suit me better. I called for a moment on the President who indeed expressed great pleasure – I am to see him in the morning on business and take a family dinner with him. This evening, I called on Mr. Gallatin and had some interesting conversation relative to public measures connected with my department. I have not seen my friend Macon yet. Those of my friends whom I have casually met with greet me with pleasure and express great confidence, but commiserate me in the Herculean task I have to encounter.
Be it so, but I am sure it will give you pleasure to learn that though the report of its difficulties increase as I advance my hope and confidence is strengthened and the terrors appear to diminish with the serious contemplation I have given to the subject. Having accepted the trust with reluctance, but with the purest motives and most ardent zeal for the sacred cause of our country why should I despair? My pursuits and studies has been intimately connected with the objects of the department and I have not been an inattentive observer of political causes and effects. The truth is that the difficulties I have to encounter are artificial but they are not the less difficult on that account. They arise from the corruption of self interested men who have taken root in the establishment and like the voracious poplar nothing can thrive in their shade. But (as we did in our yard) we can cut it down replace the fair pavement and let in the cheering beams of the sun of truth and honesty. I shall take care however not to cut rashly and indiscriminately. If I cut off the noxious plants, I will cherish the useful trees.
But of what avail you will say is honest intention, and faithful services if assailed by the breath of calumny and faction. I answer, if I am incompetent and grossly negligent it will not be calumny – If I am faithful and reasonably competent the consciousness of virtue and fidelity I hope will sustain me. To expect to pass without lashing would be idle. I have only to request you not to mind it when it does occur. My love to all friends. Your ever affectionate Husband.
Wm Jones


Letter from James Wilkinson to Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters New Orleans
Jany. 22nd. 1813.

    Understanding casually that you are approaching Natchez with a body of Dragoons, Infantry and mounted Gun Men, destined to this city, it becomes my duty to request you to halt in that vicinity; to report to me your instructions and your force, and, in concert with Colonel [Leonard] Covington, the officer in command at Washington, to provide the most comfortable accommodation, for the citizen soldiers of your command, which the country can afford and the regulations of the government may permit.
    The only advice I have received from the War Department, or elsewhere, respecting the auxiliary force under your command, excepting your letter of the 5th. instant to the Assistant Deputy Quarter Master, bears date the 21st. and 23rd. October, and is now transmitted to Colonel Covington to be submitted to you.
   There are several reasons which will prevent my calling you lower down the river than Baton Rouge, if the enemy should not invade the country. Vizt. the impracticability of providing for your horses, for any length of time; the monstrous expense of such provision, if to be had; the health of the troops and the stipulation of the government not to keep them in this low country during the warm season: To these may be added the policy of holding your corps on the alert at a suitable point, for giving succor to the feeble and exposed settlements on the Mobile, should the enemy make their first landing there, or at Pensacola, which is very probable.
    Although I had received no certain advice of the levy of your corps, I sometime since took the precaution, to warn the Contractor to be prepared with a competent supply of provisions, and the Brigade Inspector, Captain Hughes, and the District Paymaster, Lieut. [Simeon] Knight, were ordered to Natchez, the first to muster and inspect, and the last to pay the Volunteers and militia which the Government had required from the state of Tennessee. You will find those officers at their posts, ready to give every aid and  facility to your subordinates, in the formation of their Returns, Musters, and Abstracts; and if it is in my power to add to the comfort and accommodation of the band of patriots under your orders, it is only necessary to point out the mode to me.
   I expect you may find quarters for a great many of your corps, in the late cantonment built by the Second Regiment near Washington, and at that place: Any defect must be supplied by billeting your men, or by encamping or huting. Should you, however, be pressed for quarters, and have only 4 or 500 Infantry, you may order them at on at once to Baton Rouge; and to make room for them, the troops there will be ordered to lower down. I shall be anxious to hear from you, and, in the mean time, have the honor to be, respectfully, Sir, Your obedt Servant
                                                                          Jas. Wilkinson


   An act has passed the Legislature of Georgia for changing the name of the county of Randolph to that of Jasper; the preamble to the law, states that in the conduct of John Randolph, after whom the county is named, they observe such a desertion of correct principles, and such an attachment to the enemies of the U States, as to render his name odious to the people of Georgia, and of the U.S.

Published in the Raleigh Register & North Carolina Gazette - January 22, 1813

Administrative Changes

   William Jones, Esq., of Pennsylvania, late a member of Congress, and an experienced seaman, ship-builder and merchant, is appointed, Secretary of the Navy of the United States, and John Armstrong, Esq. now a Brigadier-General in the Army, and lately our Minister in France, is appointed, Secretary of War of the U. States.

Published in the Raleigh Register & North Carolina Gazette - January 22, 1813

"Supposing the war to end now..."

From the Democratic Press
   Supposing the war to end now, and, notwithstanding all the disastrous nothings by land, such is the astonishing maritime ascendancy the arms of the United States have obtained over those of Great Britain, that the latter would be very cautious hereafter how she exposes her naval talisman to be thus broken to atoms again. That talisman bear's a charmed power. There is a moral influence as well as a physical force, by which it holds its authority. And as the London editors observe in animadverring on the demolition of the Guerriere, incipient success may impart a character that may endure forever. There can be no doubt but that henceforth the British seamen, whether from disaffection or apprehension, will engage the Americans on the vantage ground, the American confident of victory, the Englishmen fearful of defeat, the moral influence of which feeling is equal to a fleet on the American side. That British government will not partake of these pre sentiments is to be expected: and that they will be anxious to dissipate them by some achievement on their part is probable enough. But it is too late, and the stave no longer goes to the music that
  Their home is on the deep.

Published in the Raleigh Register & North Carolina Gazette - January 22, 1813


William Henry Harrison to James Monroe

(No. 35.) Hd. Quarters N.W. Army

Miami Rapids 20th Jany. 1813


Genl. Winchester arrived here on the 10th. Inst. with part of the army amounting to about thirteen Hundred men -- having received infor- mation from the River Raisen that a body of British troops & Indians were at that place & that they were upon the point of distroying the pro- visions of the Citizens he dispatched on the 17th. a Detachment under the Command of Colo Lewis to attack them -- Upon my way to this place last Evg. I received the letter from the Genl. of which the enclosed is a copy informing me of the Complete success of the enterprise in the defeat of the enemy & taking the stores they had Collected -- the Detach- ment under Colo. Lewis remained at the River Resin & Genl Winchester very properly marched yesterday with 250 men to reinforce him & take the Command -- the force at present there amounts to about 1000 effective men & I am at this moment dispatching a fine Battalion of Ohio Infantry from the Connecticut reserve with a small company of artillery & a field peice -- It is absolutely necessary to maintain the position at the River Raisin & I am assembling the Troops as fast as possible for the purpose -- I am happy in having it in my power to inform you that our affairs in every respect are in a flourishing aspect -- I fear nothing but that the enemy may overpower Genl Winchester before I can send him a sufficient reinforcement -- I have however the highest Confidence in the General & the troops [illeg.] upon it that they will not easily be driven from their position -- I directed a part of the Heavy Artillery to set out from U Sandusky on yesterday on sleds.

The express who came in from Colo Lewis Reports that about 10 of our men were killed & 2 Captives & about 20 Non Commissioned officers & privates wounded --

I have the Honor to be with great Respect sir yr Hu Sevt


Jas Monroe Esqr

Acting Secy of War


William Henry Harrison to James Monroe

(No. 36) Hd. Qtrs NW. Army

Miami Rapids 20th Jany 1813


The appointments of Colo. Morrison & Captn. Piatt as Deputy Quarter Master Genl to this army with Coequal authority is calculated to produce the most unfortunate result to the public interests as well from the Confusion which it must produce in the accounts of that Department as from the eternal clashing with regard to there duties in the field -- I wish you sir to be so obliging as to decide between them -- there are some peculiar circumstances which render it impossible for me to have any thing to do in the decision --

General Courts Martial have been Constantly ordered & acted upon by Genl Winchester-- Upon what authority I know not -- I have never heard that a Genl. Court Martial could be ordered by any but the Commanding G.nl of an Army -- nor do I believe it to be lawful -- the President may authorize a Colo. in a seperate Department to order Courts Martial but in the same being in Department that authority can be vested in one person only with out power destructive to subordinate -- I must request you to decide upon this subject also --

I have the Honor to be with great respect Hon. J. A. Monroe Esqr acting Sey of War


Chesapeake Blockaded

Chesapeake Blockaded.

Capt. Burr arrived last night in 48 hours from the Chesapeake, was boarded by a British squadron there, and ordered off. The squadron there, and ordered off. The squadron consists of the San Domingo, Maidston, Acasta and others, and they keep the bay in a state of rigorous blockade.

From Albany, Feb. 4-“Governor Tompkins has just received the following extract of a letter from Major Noon, commanding at Buffaloe, of the defeat of Gen. Winchester of the North-Western Army. It is reported, that Gen. Winchester is among the slain.”
“BUFFALO, FEB. 3-It is with extreme pain I inform you, that on Saturday last a flag came across from the English side, with Capt. Fitzgerald, of the 49th reg. informing the commanding officer on our side, that General Winchester, and about 1000 men, were killed and taken prisoners, at the Miama Rapids; that it was a dear bought victory for the British. He adds, that 600 of our men were killed, and 400 taken prisoners. An express has been sent to General Dearborn, with this distressing intelligence, by Col. Porter, commanding at this post.”

The above battle is said to have been fought on the 20th Jan. We have received particular intelligence of a battle fought on the 18th between a detachment under Col. Lewis and a party of British and Indians, in which the former lost 30 killed and wounded, and the latter retreated with precipitation. Immediately after the battle, 1000 men, dispatched by Gen. Winchester, came up in aid of Col. Lewis. The retreat might have been a russe de guerre, and a more serious battle might have followed.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-February 12, 1813.


Letter from Andrew Jackson to Cantrell and Read

January 14th. 1813

   We have been much pestered here for the want of the supplies expected to complete the ration for sixty days, we found but sixty barrels of flower, hearing of about seventy more I have directed Colo. Benton  to secure for the Second Regiment when it arrives, we found the pork, part barrelled & half salted, and part Just cutting up--this has detained us to have pork drawn and resalted--not more salt than will secure as much of the pork as will supply the Boats that are here--We could find no person here who would acknowledge themselves the contractors agent, not being able to purchase any flower I have taken a barrel of flower which I would have paid for if I could have found any person to have paid it to, you will have to charge it to my acpt--I am Just Slipping Cable leaving Colo. Benton to bring up the rear--adieu

                                                                                                      Andrew Jackson
                                                                                                      Major Genl.


Letter from Andrew Jackson to William Berkeley Lewis

January 13th. 1813
on Board my Boat

Dr. Sir
   I reached here this evening after seven oclock, being detained at the mouth of the Harpeth one day delivering out the arms, at which place I was obliged to leave five companies for the want of the Boats that Nusom had engaged to deliver, they are fast ashore about 20 miles up the river says the information recd. I have sent up a detachment under the command of Major [William] Martin after them--and in case he cannot get them down I have left four Boats to bring their baggage to Clarksville-- with Nusome boats, is part of the supplies intended for the detachment under my command whether the deficiency can be supplied here I cannot say, I have sent Colo. Hall to make the enquiry; and he has not returned-- as soon as I get the supplies ordered by the contractor at this place; and for which the officers has due bills and given receipts I shall proceed on, leaving orders for the four companies behind in Boats--to immediately to follow, and those without to press them where ever they can be had, and follow after-- The receipts for the arms returned given by Mr [Joseph] Wood, shall be forwarded to you as soon as Colo. [Edward] Bradley comes up he was left behind this morning to see the arms safely deposited on Board Mr. Woods Boat--amonghst the arms are eleven riffles, given up by part of Capt. [Travis Coleman] Nashs Company, inspected and pronounced unfit for service--I have to ask the favour of you, to see these arms depositted safe, oiled, and placed in such a place that they will not be injured by the rust--these men are poor, and altho the guns are not fit for service still they think them valluable--I have said they should be taken care of--I wish you as soon as you are informed that the boats cannot be had, agreed for by Nusome, that you have him send on his agreement--he had plenty of water to have brought them down--the failure is insufferable and ought to be punished--I have caught cold, and has such a pain in my shoulder and neck, I cannot wield my pen without great pain--I must close this with presenting you my best wishes
                                                                                Andrew Jackson
                                                                                Major Genl

PS. I oppen this letter at 2 oclock pm, 14th. to say to you we have had the necessity for the want of supplies to detain thus long, and furnish the troops here with such supplies as we could get from the contractors agent and from the citizens--I do not wish you, to fill up the abstracts untill you are advised that the second regiment is supplied--I proceed with twelve companies in one hour adieu--


William Henry Harrison to James Monroe


Head Qrs. N.W. Army

Franklinton 9th Jany. 1813


I have authorised Lieut Gwynne Pay Master of the l9th Regt U.S. Infy. to draw on you for Five thousand five hundred and thirty Six Dollars & fifty Six Cents -- for the following purposes viz -- pay & subsistence of a Detachment U.S. Volunteers, who have just returned from Mississiniway and are much in want of Clothing, which this payment will enable them to procure.

Pay & Subsistence of a Detachment of 19 Regt. U.S. Infy & ballance of bounty on the same &c.

Honb. James Monroe

Actg. Secy. of War

Letter from Thomas Hart Benton to Andrew Jackson

Robertsons landing, six miles below Nashville
January 9th, 1813

    Twenty minutes after ten in the morning of the 8th instant I received the orders of your Excellency  to superintend the embarkation of the first and the march of the second regiment Tennessee volunteers, destined for the defence of New-Orleans and the Lower Mississippi. I repaired immediately to the camp, and found on my arrival there the tents already struck, the boats nearly loaded, and all the necessary preparations going forward with the most cheerful activity. Major Carrol, who had preceded me with the orders of your excellency, had conducted everything with the ability and diligence for which he is distinguished.
    Capt. [Brice] Martin, on account of his knowledge of the river, was directed to take charge of the boats until he should arrive at Robertsons landing. I committed to him the order of your excellency to impress for the public service the private boats which he might find upon the river.
   At half after twelve the signal was given for slipping the cables. In an instant the boats were wheeled into the current. It is impossible to describe to you the enthusiasm with which the men committed themselves to the stream. I looked in vain for a single countenance which was not animated with joy.
    At one o'clock the second regiment took up the line of march. The swamp which lay in the rear of the camp compelled us to make a circuit of nine miles to reach Robertson's landing. I marched on foot at the head of this regiment. In two hours thirty minutes we reached the point of destination. Never did men go forward with greater alacrity; it was necessary continually to repress their ardor, and direct them to march slower.
  The boats, which had made a circuit of fourteen miles by water, arrived at the same instant; and the two regiments encamped together for the night. Capt. Martin found a very excellent new boat on the river which he brought off; but he was not so fortunate as to see the owner, so that no certificate for its value has been delivered. Another boat was procured at Robertsons landing, built for the public service, and complete, except the chimneys.
   Friday the 9th instant, the regiments again moved for the mouth of the Harpeth, 30 miles below Nashville; upwards of two hundred of the second continuing their march overland, at the mouth of the Harpeth th[ey] will find five boats; when the transportation for the whole will be complete.
   The very excellent officers Captain [William] Reynolds & [George W.] Gibbs, marched on foot at the head of their companies. Health and respect.
                                                      Thomas H. Benton
                                                       Col. 2d Regt. Ten. Volunteers.


American Squadron

American Squadron.

On the 31st ult. Arrived in this harbor the U. States frigates President, of 44 guns, Commodore Rodgers, and Congress, of 36, Capt. Smith, from a cruise of 84 days. They have been as far E. as lon. 22, and S. as lat. 17, N. From lon 22, they ran down the trade winds to lon. 50, and passed within 120 miles of Bermuda to the northward. From the 30th November, they have been cruising between Bermuda the Capes of Virginia and Boston, with the wind most of the time from the westward; kept the sea until their provisions (though some time on short allowance) were nearly exhausted; and then came into port to repair and for supplies.
On the 11th Oct. the squadron gave chase to the British frigate Nymphe, of 36 guns, which escaped in the night; and on the 1st Nov. in lat. 33, 22, lon. 28, 34, fell in with the Galatea British frigate, of 36 guns, having two vessels under convoy; which dispersed-the frigate and one of the convoy escaped; the other, the Argo, a southsea whaleman, was captured by the Congress, and has arrived. The squadron had previously captured the British packet Swallow, with 163,000 dollars in specie on board.
On the 22nd October, lying to in a gale the President sprung her mainmast badly, just above the gun-dock partners; and on the 21st December, in the Gulph Stream, while also lying to in a hard gale, shipped a heavy sea, which swept away the starboard gangway, started the boats, killed two men, and wounded seven others.
On the 16th of December the squadron received information from the Teazer privateer of the capture of the Macedonian and Frolic. The crews are in good health; and she has about 50 prisoners on board.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-January 8, 1813.

The President's Message

The President’s message says, that war “was not declared until every hope of averting it was extinguished, by the transfer of the British scepter into new hands, clinging to former councils.”- In plain English, the war had been delayed, in hopes that the Prince Regent, when he should have come to be clothed with royal authority, would mark out and pursue a new track of administration; but finding him administering the government according to former principles and usages, the war could be delayed no longer.
It is well known, and will be known to posterity, that the leading demagogues in this country had entertained high expectations of great and radical changes to be made in the British government by the Prince Regent; and the nature and tenor of these expected changes, the reader will find in the following paragraph, appearing originally in the Lexington Reporter, and copied as a precious morsel into the Aurora of the 7th of May last.
“As we have repeated,” (says the Reporter) “the British government are drawn on by the most infernal necessity, generated by their most infernal wickedness, cruelty, and corruption, and even cannot but proceed, except the Prince Regent takes an opportunity of his release, but by a revolution of his own establishing at one moment a despotic power, by playing off the great middling ranks, the ancient nobility against the new upstarts, the cursed commercial aristocracy, the cause of all her woes, and the miseries of the world, by annihilating the national debt, and the taxes which bear heavy upon the poor, together with the church establishment-and then adopt a constitution congenial to freemen after a perfect revolution. This, the regent could do, and he would be supported by nine parts of the people. But he has not virtue or resolution sufficient for the task.”
The short of the matter is, there have been in England, ever since the down of the French revolution, a large number of men who hungered and thirsted for the same reign of righteousness in their own country. With some of the leaders of those French patriots, the Prince of Wales had associated on a footing of great intimacy; and for that reason, the aforesaid French patriots, and also their “brethren of the same principles” in America, had indulged a consoling hope that his arrival to supreme executive power, would bring along with it the happy era aforesaid; that he, being become Prince Regent, and his trammels taken off, would by a revolution of his own, establish at one moment a despotic power; and then to be sure, exactly as they ordered things in France, that he would adopt a constitution congenial to freemen, after a perfect revolution.
So long ago as last spring, the writer in the Reporter, as it would seem, had very little hopes of the Prince Regent; for he thought he had not virtue and resolution enough for the task. And no wonder that by June, when war was declared, he, the Prince Regent, was considered on all hands as an obstinate hopeless reprobate “clinging to former councils.”

[Con. Mirror.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-January 8, 1813.

Letter from Andrew Jackson to Rachel Jackson

January 8th. 1813

My love,
    I have this evening since dark received, your affectionate letter by Dunwodie, I was down at the Boat receiving the arms Just arrived, and did not get up untill dark, when I found the old man waiting for me, he has carefully handed me your miniature--I shall wear it near my bosom, but this was useless, for without your miniature, my recollection, never fails me of your likeness The sensibility of our beloved son, has charmed me, I have no doubt, from the sweetness of his disposition, from his good sense as evidenced, for his age, that he will take care of us both in our declining years--from our fondness towards him, his return of affection to us, I have every hope if he should be spared to manhood, that he will with a carefull education realise all our wishes--Kiss him for his papa, and give him the nutts and ginger cake sent him by Dunwodie
    I thank you for your prayers-- I thank you for your determined resolution, to bear our separation with fortitude, we part but for a few days, for a few fleeting weeks, when the protecting hand of providence if it is his will, will restore us to each others arms, In storms, in battles, amidst the raging billows recollect, his protecting hand can save, in the peaceful shade, in cabins, in palaces, his avenging hand can destroy-- Then let us not repine, his will be done, our country calls, its rights are invaded, the innocent babe, and helpless mother, masacred by the ruthless savages, excited to these horrid deeds, by the infernal engines of British policy, and British depravity recollect then, that the god of Battle cries aloud for vengeance, we are the means in the hands to punish the impious Britains, for their sacraligious Deeds, we trust in the righteousness of our cause, and the god of Battle and of Justice will protect us, hence then dispel any gloomy ideas that our separation may occasion, bear it with Christian cheerfulness--and resignation, I shall write you often, and shall be always happy to hear from you
    If I can get the arms on board tomorrow, I shall sail, Early on Sunday morning-My fatigue has been great, but when I get afloat, they will be measurably over, compared to what the have been My expense has been great, surpassing any thing I had any idea of--I have sent my horses & Stephen on to Judge Overtons, I am fear full I cannot send you any money enclosed I send you a ten dollar note for Colo. William Donelson, when this is paid I do not ow a relation I have a cent Every individual that I owed one cent to except Josiah Nichol, and Mr. [Joseph Thorp] Eliston has called on me for the amount, these two have treated me with liberality--James Jackson has treated me with the liberality of a true friend, John H Smith has also acted like himself--
    I enclose you a paper which I wish you to keep, I thought it proper to enclose it, least accident might happen for the safety of yourself and our darling son, keep it safe--I enclose you a letter recd. from Mr. [William] Trigg--you will see that on next Tuesday my waggon must go on to Mr Looneys for a waggon load of Pork, you will send the overseer with the waggon, and he can by enquiry find the road, he lives as near as to galatine-- I shall send my papers up by some safe hand--I would send them by Dunwodie but I have to keep them for settlement with sundry persons--say to Mr. [John] Fields I have sent him all the money I could raise and that I shall not leave, Nashville with more than thirty dollars
   It now one Oclock in the morning the candle nearly out, and I must go to bed, May the angelic hosts that rewards & protects virtue and innocence, and preserves the good, be with you untill I return--is the sincere supplications of your affectionate Husband
                                                                                   Andrew Jackson

Courtesy of the Andrew Jackson Papers


From a Washington (Geo.) Paper

   Arrived at this place on Saturday last, a company of mounted volunteers from East Tennessee, of about two hundred and forty men, under the command of Col. John Williams, a gentleman of much distinction and a citizen of Knoxville. The men were robust, active, and in excellent health and spirits - provided fully with every necessary for battle, and as many of the conveniences for a march as could be conveyed on horseback. -- Previous to their arrival, Col. Williams sent forward an express to his Excellency Gov. Mitchell, informing him of his readiness to march with his command, to any point or post where they might render service to the state of Georgia, or to the U. States.
   A tender of their services was made to the President of the U.S. previous to their march, but they were to meet his answer upon the "tented field," and not await it upon the "doway couch." This is acting more than professing. It was but a few weeks from the proposition of Col. Williams until the company had assembled, and marched into the heart of our state. During their march through the mountains, the weather was very severe, (on the 12th the thermometer was as low as 9 deg.) but not a single complaint was expressed, even by the most feeble and effeminate. We learn with sincere pleasure that the inhabitants of the country through which they have passed, extended to them that hospitality, which the patriotic defenders of our country's injured rights so justly merit. In but few instances have they had to make pecuniary compensation for any articles of food or convenience, of which they were in need.
   It is highly gratifying to our feelings to witness such an evidence of pure and extraordinary patriotism, as we have received in the visit of this gallant band. Among the company we recognize citizens eminently respectable for their private, professional and legislative merit; persons of fortune and family, who have resigned every domestic enjoyment to render service to their country and afford relief to a sister state.
   Georgians! Does not such an evidence of patriotic zeal inspire you with the spirit of your visiting brethren? Can you behold with coolness and apathy this brave band coming from afar, to protect your soil, your property, your lives, and your liberties? We pray that the spirit of our worthy revolutionary heroes may have descended to their children, and blazen forth in Georgia too. We cannot but believe, however, that when an authorized object is presented, for an evidence of the valor and patriotism of the citizens of Georgia, they will give satisfactory proofs that they have imbibed the principles and are entitled to the privileges of freemen and of soldiers.
   The company remained encamped near town, until yesterday. During their stay, they received every attention, and such supplies as it was in the power of our citizens to furnish, at only a few hours previous notice of their visit.

Published in the Raleigh Register & North Carolina Gazette - January 8, 1813

"They were at the post assigned ready for battle"

   The company of volunteers from Bladen county, commanded by Capt. Nicholson, broke up their encampment at Deep Water Point and reached this town last Wednesday on their way to Elizabethtown, where they will be discharged from further service. The conduct of this Company and their Officers deserve applause. The Soldiers have been orderly, cleanly and attentive. Their health has been uniformly good; and it will be extremely gratifying to their friends and relations at home to receive them on their return, without one being lost by death or debilitated by sickness. To the volunteers, the reflection will be cheering, that through they have not come in hostile contact with the enemy, they were at the post assigned ready for battle, and again ready, should their country really require their aid, to shed their blood in defence of her rights. The companies of drafted militia from New-Hanover, Brunswick & Columbus Counties, have been discharged. Captain Jesse Copeland, with 50 men, has arrived at Smithville. He is to command the garrison at Fort Johnston. Wilmington Gazette.

Published in the Raleigh Register & North Carolina Gazette - January 8, 1813.

Our Gallant Seamen

   It is not true, as certain federal prints assert, that the Republicans have ever denounced the officers of our Navy. - They have always acknowledged their merits without referring to their political character; and our opposition to a navy in time of peace, which then served no purpose but to drain the Treasury, is in no wise incompatible with our approbation and disposition to reward its active services in war. Those in fact are the greatest enemies of our worthy seamen who do their best to injure them in the estimation of the public, by stunning its ear with a perpetual din of senseless clamor in their favour. Certainly nothing could be more injurious than this proceeding to their interests; nor any thing, if we do not mistake their character, more opposite to their feelings and wishes. Do you imagine, reader, that they are anxious, intrepidly as they scour the seas and dare the enemy to the fight, and bravely as they combat when they meet him; do you suppose that they are very anxious to be identified with those who, instead of uniting with their Government in directing the energies of the nation against the common foe, are engaged in a continued effort to undermine its administration and to thwart the execution of the measures it adopts? No, no; our brave seamen cannot feel gratification at the fulsome flatteries levelled at them by the federal prints; they must shrink with abhorrence from the caresses of those subservient instruments of party whose breath is contagion and whose embrace is death. -- It is a subject of regret to their real friends - to those who honor them for their professional skill, and respect them for their personal merit, that they should be exposed to the endless persecution of these factious prints. All parties are made up pretty much of the same materials, and the virtue or vice of any multitude is in proportion to the numbers which compose it. When therefore we find a man persisting in attributing any particular quality, say skill and courage, to the political school in which its possessor happens to have been educated, it is impossible, without exercising uncommon clarity, not to set him down as an idiot or a fiend. Nat. Int.

Published in the Raleigh Register & North Carolina Gazette - January 8, 1813.


Letter from William Henry Harrison to James Monroe

No 31 Head Quarters N.W Army

Franklinton 6th Jany 1813.


Since I had the honor to write to you yesterday I have had a con- versations with the Deputy Quarter Master General Colonel Morrison He is decidedly of opinion that the means of transportation now in his poss- ession will enable him to supply the army with provision & to take on the Artillery & stores necessary for the operations against Malden unless the winter should be uncommonly open But At this Moment the appearances in relation to the weather are extremely unfavorable. Our preparations are however so well advanced that we shall be able to take advantage of a change which the season authorises as to expect and with 3 weeks of severe frosts to make a Deposit of provisions at the Rapids of Miami sufficient to authorise the advance of the army from that point. If our expectations on this subject are disappointed longer perseverance in attempting to reach the principal object of our wishes (the reduction of Malden) during the winter will as you observe conserve [?] our provisions in resources in vain efforts And however reluctant I may be to abandon hopes which have been formed as well upon the confidence I have in the troops I Command as the state of our actual preparations I will submit to the hard necessity and direct my thoughts towards an economical dis- position of the troops for the Winter and an arrangement of supplies cal- culated for early & vigorous operations of this army for the Winter with- out having accomplished the principal object for which it was embodied is an event which has been looked for by most of the well informed men who knew the Character of the country & recollected that the army of Genl Wayne after a whole summer preparation was unable to advance more than 70 miles from the Ohio & [illeg.] that the prudent Caution of Genl Washington had directed it to be placed in winter quarters at the very season that our arrangements were commenced. You do me Justice in beliving that my exertions have been unremitted and I am as yet sencislbe of the Commission of our error only that has injuriously effected our interests & that is the retaining of too large a force at Defiance -- the disadvantage attend- ing it were however seen at the period of my Committing the management of that wing to Genl Winchester possessing a superior rank in the line of the army to that which was tendered to me I considered him rather in the light of an associate in Commd. than an inferior I therefore re- commended to him instead of ordering it to send back two Rgts within the bound of our[?] contract -- Had this measure been pursued there would have been at Fort Winchester (Defiance) 100,000 Rations More than there is at present -- The General who possesses the most estimable qualities of the head & heart was deceived as I was with regard to the period when the army could advance & he did not thinly that the reduction of isues would be so important as it is now ascertained they would have been

As the greater part of the expenses of the Campaign have been al- ready incurred I beg leave to assure you sir that trifling difficulties will not oppose the progress of the army to Malden -- but at the same time I also promise you that no measure shall be ordered[?] when the pro- spects of success are not as clear as they can be in any military oper- ations. I know not what measures can be adopted to make a [illeg. ] in our favor or to prevent the enemy from sending reinforcements to Malden from Erie & Fort George -- After what has happened at Niagara & it has been published to the world that the Militia in that quarter would not cross the line the British will certainly view as a feint & not [illeg.] any movements of the Regular troops then of whose numbers they must be well informed. With such a force as I can select from this Army however provided I can find the means of transporting there the provisions & the artilery I should not fear to encounter the force which they now have in the Upper District when reinforced by that which they dare spare from below --

That I may be better understood & that you may be enabled to correct the errors of my opinions & [illeg.] I will now state as briefly as possible what appears to me to be the advantages & disadvantages which will attend an attack upon Malden in the three modes by which only it can be approahced --
The first is that which is now in Contemplation of advancing in the midst of winter & crossing the straight upon the ice -- The objections on that in an enterprise of this kind in a climate so rigorous the troops would suffer greatly -- that [illeg.] to subordination it might be imposs- ible to make them bear such hardships -- that in some winters the ice is not sufficiently strong to bear an army & artillery & that some times when it is so a warm days may [?] suddenly open the straight & thereby prevent our passage after we shall have arrived under [illeg.] which [illeg.] our or that having passed the communication with the rear may be cut off it thus making it necessary to [illeg.] the Army & every thing which it may require in a siege at the same time a circumstance which it may not be in our power to effect -- that the operations of a seige in Winter are very difficult & that in case of any disaster the retreat of the army might be inpracticable even the uncertainty of the Continuance of the ice as above stated -- The advantages of this plan of attack are -- that the road being frozen are passable for artillery & baggage notwithstanding the swampy nature of the Country -- that qith the lighter sleds the men might draw thei own baggage upon the ice-- that the principal object of the Campaign could be accomplished sooner & consequently with less expense than waiting until spring & that whatevermight be the case with the regular & militia force of the enemy we should certainly have fewer Indians to contend with The 2nd plan is that of marching to Detroit at any time when the pre- parations can be made -- building a sufficiency of boats & passing the Army over in that Manner -- there are no peculiar advantages attending this mode of proceding and the disadvantages are numberous -- the would require a much longer time to effect it & Consequently much more provisions & a much greater number of men-- As each Convoy must have an escort capable of Contending at best with the whole of the Indian force of the enemy --

The third plan is that of erecting a naval force capable of Command- ing the lake & with it to transport as soon as the navigation opens the army artillery & baggage to some point on the North shore below Malden & from thence to Commence operations against Malden & Detroit -- I have no means of estimating correctly the cost of a naval [illeg.] capable of effecting this object but from my knowledge of the expense of transporting supplies through a swampy Wilderness I do believe that the expense of which will be incurred in six Wekks in the Spring in an attempt to trans- port the provisions for the Army along the road leading from the rapids to Detroit would build & equip the Vessels for the purpose In point of time there couldnot be three weeks difference in the accomplishment of the objects in regard to Malden & Detroit between this place & that of the land routs in the spring round the edge[?] of the lake -- And if the taking of Malden & Detroit were about[?] the object the former would I perceive be perferable in every point of view -- there is however an other Consideration which will make it necessary to obtain the naval sup- eriority upon the upper lake & the retaking of Macinac & the driving the British from their other establishments in Lake Michigan & the entrance of Lake Superior -- It is from these sources that the means of annoyance to our frontiers will be furnished to the Indians & that expeditions the most to be dreaded of any others that they can undertake will be set on foot - The Southwardly direction of Lake Michigan running [illeg.] into our Country approaches Fort W yne the settlements upon the Wabash & those of the Illinois River -- Unless we can find the means of driving the enemy from Lake Michigan early in the spring an immence Indian force aided by British Cannon & artillerists will be assembled at the southwardly bend of that Lake & its operations will be directed against Fort Wayne or Vincennes the Illinois -- as it will be impossible to tell where the storm will fall or will require an Army at each of these points to pro- tect them[?] Malden & Detroit may fall -- but those posts are not material to Macinac & St. Josephs the supplies for which & for the support of the Indians in that Quarter are drawn from Montral by means of the Grand River[?] -- All the Indian north of the Wabash can be supplied with the means of continuing the war at Chicago much easier than from Malden. Montreal will be taken perhaps by our main army but this [illeg. probably be over until the opening of the Navigation in the Spring, the first of which is always made us of to forward the supplies for the Indians by the lower route to the Lakes Michigan & Superior & should not have the means of distroying their power in those lake even if we shall succeed in taking Malden & Detroit & Montreal they will possess & will make use of the means of annoying us from thence to our extent [illeg.] will give us great trouble -- The facilities of attacking fort Wayne by an Indian force Collected at Chicago aided by British Artillery from Macinac was seen by the Indians of that quarter & it would have been attempted last fall if there had been time enough -- that the force still exists & that it will be revived in the ensuing spring & extended to embrace an attack upon our settlements upon the Wabash & Illinois & upon Fort Madison also by the route Fox River & Ouisconaga I have not the least doubt -- All that the British will wish will be a few peices of Artillery & [illeg.] twenty or thirty of their troops to each of the divisions of Indian force -- as I before observed the taking of Malden & Montreal will have no effect upon their operations for the succeeding summer -- the remedy lies in having the Command of the lakes & providing as soon as Malden falls to retake Macinac & retake Chicago --
You may rely upon it sir that the intentions of the British have al- ways been such as are here stated --
A very short time will enable me to determine upon the propriety of an Advance upon Malden during the present winter in the Mean time may I hope for your instructions. Possessed as you will be of all the reasons which will govern my conduct in the choice of Measures which I have contemplated you will be enabled to correct any error they may contain. Operations against the hostile Indians during the Winter is a sub- ject which has never ceased to occupy my attention. And the Expedition under Lt. Colo. Campbell was intended to destroy the only hostile estab- lishments which I conceived to be within the reach of an effectual stroke at this season. His being unable to distroy the principal Town from a greater accumulation of Indian force in the Neighbourhood of it than we had reason to expect determined me immediately to organize an other detachment for the purpose It was with the intention of obtaining the assistance of Govr. Meiggs in procuring some Volunteer Corps of Mounted Men that I visited Chillicothe -- With the promptitude which has ever distinguished him in complying with my requests he agreed to organ- ize as secretly as possible 500 Men to be joined to the Dragoons which served under Lt Colo Campbell & to commence their March in 4 or 5 weeks by which time I expected that the Dragoons & their horses would be suffi- ciently recruited But Upon receiving a Statement of their situation I was convinced that the Kentucky Dragoons would not be able to render any effectual service until their term of service would expire -- I have therefor directed the five troops Composing Simrals Regiment to be dis- charged -- Major Ball with his S uadron Consisting of Captn Hopkins Troop of U States Dragoons Captn Markles & Garrards 12 Months Volunteers & a small detachment of Michigan Volunteers for the same period & a Detachmt. from Pensylvania Six Months Dragoons amounting to about ten are ordered into a favorable situation to recruit -- & altho a great number of the men are very severely frost bitten & the horses very much reduced the Major gives me hopes of having them ready for active service in the Course of 4 or 5 Weeks -- the expedition Contemplated from Kentucky may however superceede the necessity of that which I was preparing -- But I am still of the opinion given yesterday that no attempt upon the enemy beyond Mississiniway would be attended with any advantage if it did not end in the distruction of the Detachment employed to execute it -- I re- peat that the Indians are not at this season to be feared in their Towns $ that they invariably take their familys with them upon their hunting ex[p]editions & that their provisions are always buried in small parcels each family hiding its own -- Colo. Campbell distroyed their villages & did not get a few of Corn a pece for his horses --

I have always calculated upon being able to keep 3 Regiments of the Kentucky troops in service as long as they shall be wanted -- these troops I am convinced would not leave me as long as there was any prospect of active service But if the operations of Army are suspended for the Winter -- they will insist upon being discharged at the termination of the period for which they were engaged -- the ten Ohio troops will also expire in Feby those from Virga & Pensylvania & Virginia in March --- It is probable that some 12 Months Volunteers may be procured[?] from them -- I have offered to give such as may engage as 12 Months Volenteers credit for the time they have served in the militia.
In making an estimate of the number of Men which may be requisite for the ensuing spring my Calculations would be governed in great degree by the determination of the Government upon the subject of obtaining the Command of the Upper Lakes -- that object effected It would in my opinion not require fewer than 5000 Men for the garrison of the posts upon this frontier & for the reduction of Malden & Detroit -- A few troops for Defiance [defense?] purpose only would answer at Vincennes & in the Ill- inois Territory In the event however of our being unable to distroy the British power on Lake Michigan early in the spring It will be necess- ary to cover those places as well as Fort Wayne each with an army of some thousands.

Provisions have been purchased & are now in progress towards the Rapids & Sandusky for 10,000 Men for one year if the advance of the Troops should be stoped for the Winter these supplies will be placed upon the St. Marys Auglaize Blanchards fork & Sandusky Rivers & boats provided to take them over upon the first rise of the waters in the Spring -- an arrangement that will save a great expense of transportation. I am not informed of the position in which the Queen Charlotte & other Canada Vessels is laid up -- if the attempt upon Malden should be abandoned for the Winter I will spare no pains to ascertain their situation and endeavour to effect their distruction.

I have requested Govr. Shelby to direct the discharge of all the Troops that served under Genl. Hopkins one Battalion excepted to be placed under the Command of Colo. Russell.
Captn Gratiot of the Engineers who has charge of peices of Artillery & the carriages for all them which have been previously forwarded as well as q quantity of stores Ammunition has met with great difficulties from the badness of the roads --He will I hope reach Sandusky in a few days By a letter received from him some time since I learn that the Carriages of all the 12 pounders are entirely unfit for service being so rotten that they are eternally breaking down.

In my letter of yesterday I mentioned the nakedness of the Regular Troops under Colo. Wells A part of the clothing has arrived here -- the ballance of it is I fear arrested by the ice on the Ohio -- There has Certainly been great negligence upon the part of some person in relation to this clothing -- the troops marched from Kenty. in Augt. to releive Genl. Hull & the Clothing for them left Philadelphia late in Novr. I beg leave also to mention to you that by the unpardonable Negligence of the Officer who examined & received them from the Manufacturer the axes which have been sent on to this army are so worthless that not above one in a Dozen will stand the Cutting of a stick six inches in diameter without bucking the recruiting rendezvous in this state are entirely without clothing
Upon the authority which I had received from the Secy of War I ordered the recruits raised in Tennessee for Colo. Andersons Regt to March for this Army -- the Colo. was upon the point of obeying the order when an other arrangement from the War office superceded it -- I have been since informed that he was ordered to New Port -- As the engagement of Volunteers for 12 Months to the extent that will be necessary to supply the place of the Militia that will be discharged is very uncertain I would beg leave to recommend that Colo. Anderson if he has not already received an order to that effect be directed to New Port there to receive his orders -- I hope that clothing will be sent on for them -- Nothing can be more distressing than to see soldiers naked at this season & nothing can certainly be more fruitful to the Public Service -- It will give you some idea of the difficulty of transporting the supplies for the Army in this Country when you are informed that the Qr Master is obliged to purchase corn below Chillicothe to make a Deposit of forage at U Sandusky a distance of 120 Miles --

I should be gratified if the President should think proper to confer a Brevet of Colonel on Lt Colo Campbell & of Lt Colo on Major Ball -- they are both highly deserving officers -- The promotion of the latter would be highly beneficial to the service as his rank at present does not authorise my giving him the Command of Detachments for whih there are few in the Army as well qualified -- Besides the U States Dragoons he has the Command of the Kentucky[?] Volunteers whose affection & Confidence he has acquired to a degree rarely equaled by his bravery firmness Humanity & indefatigable attention to his duty --

I shall do my self the Honor of writing to you again upon my arrival at Sandusky

I Have the Honor to be with great Respect Sir yr Huml Svt

Honble/ Js. Monroe Esq./ Acting Secy of War

Letter from James Wilkinson to Andrew Jackson

Head quarters, N. orleans
Jany. 6th. 1813

   This Letter will be delivered to you by Capt. D[aniel] Hughes of the first Regt. of Infantry, Brigade Inspector, who is Instructed to muster & Inspect the Corps under your Command, and to afford to your Captains every aid & service they may require, in the formation of their Rolls & Returns.
    As soon after the arrival of your Corps at Natchez as may comport with the accommodation of the men, I will thank you to transmit me a General Return of your force, agreeably to the form which will be furnished by Capt. Hughes.
   With consideration & respect I am sir your obedt. servt
                                                                      Jas. Wilkinson


Letter from Andrew Jackson to William Charles Cole Claiborne

January 5, 1813


       It is a long time since I have done myself the pleasure to write you, the distress of our country, and the war we are invovled in by the injustice of England, will cause us to meet once more. I am ordered with the volunteers of Tennessee to the defense of the lower country, New Orleans, my first point of destination, there to await the orders of the government. I have been detained for the want of arms and munitions of war for some time. These are expected to reach me in two days. The want of funds in the hands of the paymaster has occasioned considerable delay in the payment of the troops owing to the scarcity of the circulating medium, the bills on government could not be sold to procure sufficient funds for the payment of the detachment, and nothing could have afforded relief in this respect but the great exertions of the bank in Nashville. The directors exerted every nerve and deserved the thanks of the government.
        The payment of the troops will be completed in a few days and I shall strike my tents in all probability the present week. I march with fourteen hundred infantry and six hundred and seventy cavalry and mounted infantry, the choice citizens of our country. I hope the government will permit us to traverse the Southern coast and aid in planting the American eagles on the ramparts of Mobile, Pensacola and Fort St. Augustine. This alone will give us security in that quarter and peace on our frontiers. British influence in East Florida must be destroyed, or we have the whole Southern tribe of Indians to fight and insurrections to quell in all the Southern States. Enclosed I take the liberty to send you a letter to the contractor at New Orleans, and the assistant Deputy Quartermaster, which I beg you to address to them, presuming that you are acquainted with them. I am sorry to trouble you, but being unadvised, who the gentlemen are that fill these offices at New Orleans, and it being necessary that they should be notified of the movement of the detached under my command, that they may have the necessary supplies in readiness, I have taken the liberty to enclose them to you, that the notifications may certainly reach them.
         With a tender of my best wishes, believe me to be with sentiments of respect and esteem, your most obedient servant,
                  ANDREW JACKSON

Courtesy of the Andrew Jackson Papers


William Henry Harrison to Mr. Morrow

No 30 Head Quarters N.W. Army

4th Jany. 1813


Upon my return from Chillicothe to Upper Sandusky yr. Favour of the 26th Ult. (No. 5) overtook me at this place -- My letters & papers being all at Sandusky I have it not in my power to recur to them. But from my recollection of its Contents I regret that a ltter which I addressed to the Sey of War from Delware about the 12th. Ultimo had not been received before yours of the 26th. was written -- IN that letter I stated the causes which had retarded our progree towards Detroit my then prospects & what might under various occurences be expected from this army.

When I was directed to take the Command in the latter end of Spetr. I thought it possible by great exertions to effect the objects of the Campaign before the setting in of winter -- I distinctly stated however to the Sevretary of War that there was always a period of rainy weather in this Country in the Moneths [?] of November & December in which the roads within the settlements were almost impassable & the swamps which extend northwardly from About the fortieth degree of latitude entirelt so and that this circimstance would render it impossible to advance with the Army before that period with out exposing it to inevitable destruct -ion unless the severe frosts should remove the impediments to transportation But in order to take advantage of every Circumstance in our favor boats & perohues were prepared in considerable numbers upon the Auglaize & St Marys Rivers in the hope that when the land transportation Could not be used we might by the means of these Rivers take on very large supplies to the Rapids of Miamis. An effort was made also to porcure flour from Presquile by coasting the lake with small boats -- These measures were calculated on as Collatteral aids only -- The most [illeg.] one of providing a large number of pack horses & oc teams was resorted to -- And the Dy Quarter Master Genl Colo Morrison was instructed accordingly -- Considering the Miami Rapids as the first point of Destination provisions were ordered to be accumulated along a Concave base extending from St Marys (Called on the Map Girtys town) -- on the last to the Mouth of the Huron (& afterwords lower Sandusky) on the right.

A the Experience of a few Days was sufficient to Convince me that the supplies of provision could not be procured for an Autumnal advance & even if this difficulty was removed an other of equal magnitude existed fromt the want of Artillery. There remained then no alternative but to prepaer for a winter Campaign.

From this base the rapids Could be approached by the three routes or lines of operation two of which were pretty effectuallu secured by the posts which were established & the [illeg.] upon the third St. Marys McArthur Block house (44 miles advanced of Urbanna) & Uppoer Sandusky were selected as principal deposits. The troops excepting those with Genl Winchester were Kept within the bounds of the local Contractors that they might not consume the provisions procured by the U States Commissary & which were intended to form the grand Deposits at the Miami Rapids -- It was not until late in October that much effectcould be given to these arrangements -- & for the six following weeks little or nothing could be done from the uncommon unfavorable state of the Weather affording just rain enough to render the roads almost impassable for Waggons & yet not sufficiency to raise the Waters to a Navigable state --- great exertions were however made to prepare for the Change which might reasonably be expected and the last twenty days of December were entirely favorable to our views & so well employed by Colo. Morrison as to afford the most flattering prospects of being able to take on to the rapids early in this Month a Sufficiency of provisions & stores to authorise an advance upon Malden from the 25th. Inst. to the 10 of Feby -- Our hopes were again a little checked by a general thaw succeeded by a very deep snow which the ground was in that soft state -- It is however now Cold again & we calculate upon being able to use with effect the sleds a Considerable number of which I had caused to be prepared

The instructions which I received from the Secy Mr Eustis with regard to the Conduct of the War in this Department Amounted to a Complete Charte Blanche -- The principal objects of the Campaign were pointed out & I was left.at liberty to proceed to their full execution during the present Winter or to make arrangements for their accomplishment in the spring by occupying such posts as might facilitate the extended operation -- The wishes of the Government to recover the ground that had been lost & to conquer upon Canada were however expressed in such strong terms & the funds which were placed at my disposal were declared to be so ample if not unlimitted that I did not consider myself Authorised to adopt the alternative of delay from any other Motive but that of the safety of the army. My letters have Contained frequent alusions to the Monstrous expense which would attend the operation of an army at this season of the year penetrating to the enemy through an immence forest of one Hundred fifty Miles the Silence of the secy on the subject left me no room to doubt the Correctness of the opinion which I had at first formed ie that the object in view was considered so important that expence was to be disregarded. I thought it but however to come to a full understanding on the subject & with this view my letter of the 12th. Ult (as I think) from Delaware was written --

My plan of operations has been & now is to occupy the Miami Rapids & to Deposit there as much provision as possible -- To move from thence with a Choosen Detachment of the Army & with as much provision artillery & Ammunition as the Means of transportation will allow -- Make a Demonstration towards Detroit & by a sudden passage of the straight upon the ice an actual investure of Malden -- In the letter from Delaware above aluded to I explained my objections to the occupancy of Detroit until Malden should fall -- The latter in the Hands of the enemy with a Disposible force of half the size of that with which we should advance to the former would place us completely in a Cul de sac. With regard to the Amount of force which such an expedition would require -- I have made my Calculations not upon that which the enemy might have at Malden at the time the enterprize should commence but upon what they would be able to assemble in their time enough to visit us. I know the facility with whi- ch troops may be brought at this season by what is called the back route along the river Thames from the Vicinity of Niagara to Detroit & Malden. Had Genl Smyths attempts been successful my plans could have been executed with a Much smaller force than I should deem it prudent to employ under present Circumstances -- I have indeed no doubt that we shall encounter at Malden the very troops which Contended with Genl. Van Ransalaer on the Heights of Queenstown-- It is the same thing with regard to the Indians -- The British have wisely dismissed the greater part of them to save their provisions but a whistle will be almost suff- icient to collect them again -- There is an other consideration which must have considerable influence in determining the number of men necess- ary to make an attempt upon Malden it is this that the numbers of Indians & Canadians which will be opposed to us will be in an inverse ratio to the force which we employ -- To distroy a small army the timid the wavering & the cautious will all turn but if our force is such as to create a belief that its operation will be successful both those des- criptions of people will stand along ready to capture the side that may prove Victorious But the quantum of force necessary for the enterprize against Malden may be greatly lessened by our having the Means of trans- portation at the rapids to take on [illeg.] Artillery & stores & a suff- iciency of provisions to last until the object is affected -- but if the suplies are to be taken on at several Trips large Escorts (amounting of themselves to small armies) will be necessary more time will be required & consequently a much larger quantity of provisions wanted -- Such is the nature of Indian Warfare that it is impossible to tell when the storms will fall -- it [is] a rule therefore with me when operating against them never to make a Detachment meither[?] to the front or rear which is not able to Contend with their whole force. From this statement you will perceive sir how difficult it would be for me at present to ascertain with any degree of Correctness the number of Men with which I should ad- vance from the Rapids It was my intention to have assembed there from 4500 to 5000 men & to be governed by circumstances in forming the Detachment with which I should advance. It is still my plan & it was always my intention to dismiss at that period all that I deemed superfluous -- The Nature of our fortifications upon the frontiers required a much larger force for their protection than would be requisite it they were capable to [blotted out] artillery -- A few hundred Indians assisted by half a dozen British Matrosses & a six pounder would take any of them -- Notwithstanding the large nominal amount of the Army under my Command their suffering from the want of Clothing & the rigour of the season renders the effective number to less than two thirds of the aggregate -- You will read with as much pain as I write it that a fine body of regular troops belonging to the 19th & 17th & l9th Rgts under Colo Wells has been nearly distroyed for the want of Clothing -- the whole of the effective men upon [illeg.] frontier does not exceed 6300 Infantry Upon the whole sir my reaching Malden during the winter depends upon a Circumstance which I cannot Controle Viz the freezing of the straight in such a manner as to enable me tdcross over the Troops & Artillery -- I have explained to you my objections to making any attempt upon Detroit until Malden should be taken, should however my view of the subject be incorrect I will cheerfully undertake whatever you may direct -- And must require you to determine whether it would be proper to ad- vance to Detroit if the openness of the Winter & other Causes should in my opinion render an attempt upon Malden improper? Genl Winchester is I hope now or will in a day or two be at the rapids provisions in large quantities are progressing thither. I calculate upon being there myself by the 20th. Inst. with the troops which are intended for the March upon Malden. In the event of the [illeg.] of Circumstances which may induce a suspension of operations beyond the Rapids Measures will be taken to make & to secure at that place a deposit of provisions equal to the support of the Troops in any enterprize that may be undertaken in the spring -- Should our offensive operations be suspended until that time it is my decided opinion that the most effectual and [illeg.] plan will be to obtain the Command of the lake this being over [very?] effective; every difficulty will be removed -- An Army of 4000 Men landed on the North side of the lake below Malden will soon reduce that place & its [illeg.] of with the line of the fleet [illeg.] the latter to Cooperate with the Army for Niagara.

The enterprize against the Queen Charlotte has been long meditated & shall not evade my attention.
My anxiety to get of this letter [in] time enough to reach Chilli- cothe for the Mail of tomorrow has obliged me to write it with a pre- cipitancy which may have prevented me from giving you all the explanations required I will however rephrase it Tomorrow & will have the honor of writing to you again previously to my setting out for Sandusky -- The object of my visit to Chillicothe was to consult with Govr. Meiggs upon the means of raising a mounted force for an other expedition to Mississiniway -- this subject shall also be noticed.

I am sorry not to be able to agree with my friend Colo. Johnson upon the propriety of the Counter-plot Mounted expedition -- An Expedition of the kind directed against a particular town will probably succeed The Indian Towns cannot be surprized in succession -- as they give the alarm from one to the other with much more rapidity than our Troops can move -- In the Months of February & March & April the Towns are all abandoned -- the Men are Hunting & women & Children particularly to the North of the Wabash) are scattered about making sugar -- The Corn is at that season universally put in small parcells in the earth & Could not be found -- there is no considerable Tawa Village in that direction & those that are there Composed of bark huts which the Indians do not care for & which during the Winter are entirely empty.

The Detachment Might pass through the whole extent of Country to be scoured without seeing an Indian but at the first town they strike & it is more than probable that they would find it empty -- But the expedition is impracticable to the extent proposed-- the Horses if not the men would perish -- The Horses, which are not to be found are not like those of the early settlers & such as the Indians & Traders now have -- they have been accustomed to Corn & must have it -- Colo Campbell went but 70 Miles from the frontiers & the greater part of his horses Could scarcely be brought in -- Such An Expedition in the Summer & fall would be highly ad- vantageous -- because the Indians are then at their towns & their Corn can then be distroyed.

An attack upon a particular Town in the winter when the inhabitants are in it (as we know they are at Mississiniway) & which is so near as to enable the Detachmt. to reach it & return without killing their horses is not only practicable but if there is snow upon the ground is perhaps the most favorable time -- & small parties might be employed to great advant- age searching for & attacking their Hunting Camps --

I have the Honor to be with the greatest Respect sir yr. Hl Svt


Ms. Morrow Es.

Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society