Letter From Alexander M'Leay To R.G. Beasley

Transport Office
February 26, 1813

I have received, and laid before the Commissioners for the Transport Service, &c. your letter of the 17th of this month, with its enclosure, relative to the alleged ill treatment of certain seamen, claiming to be Americans, in the British service, in consequence of their having requested to be considered as prisoners of war; and the same having been referred to the right honorable of the Admiralty, I am directed by the Board to transmit to you the enclosed copy of a letter which they have received from their Lordship's Secretary, in answer thereto. 

I am, &c.
Alexander M'Leay

Courtesy of Library of Congress


Letter From John Barrow to the Transport Office

Admiralty Office
February 25, 1813

Having laid before my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, your letter of the 18th instant, enclosing a copy of a letter, together with the documents therein referred to, from Mr. Beasley, the American agent for prisoners of war in the country, on the subject of certain alleged citizens of the Majesty's service, I have it in command to signify their Lordships' directions to you to acquaint Mr. Beasley, that neither now, in war, nor before, during peace, is, or was, the British Government desirous of having American seamen in its service; and that their Lordships will now discharge, as prisoners of war, as they formerly did as neutrals, those persons who can adduce any sufficient proof of their being Americans.
You will further inform Mr. Beasley, that all the cases stated by him  accurate examination, and that such persons who may appear to be Americans, will be immediately sent to prison as many have been already.

I am, &c.
John Barrow

Courtesy of Library of Congress

Letter from John Barrow to the Transport Board

February 25, 1813

Admiralty Office

Having laid before my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, your letter of the 18th instant, enclosing a copy of a letter, together with the documents therein referred to, from Mr. Beasley, the American agent for prisoners of war in this country, on the subject of certain alleged citizens of the United States detained in his Majesty's service, I have it in command to signify their Lordships' directions to you to acquaint Mr. Beasley, that neither now, in war, nor before, during peace, is, or was, the British Government desirous of having American seamen in its service; and that their Lordships will now discharge, as prisoners of war, as they formerly did as neutrals, those persons who can adduce any sufficient proof of their being Americans.
You will further inform Mr. Beasley, that all the cases stated by him have received, or are under accurate examination, and that such persons who may appear to be Americans, will be immiediately sent to prison, as many have been already.

I am, &c.
John Barrow

Courtesy of Library of Congress


Letter from James Wilkinson to Andrew Jackson

New Orleans
Feby. 22d. 1813

   I had the satisfaction to receive yesterday by the Steam Boat, your letter of the 16th. inst. and congratulate you & the corps of your command on your safe arrival at Natchez.
   I have been left without information respecting your destination or Instructions, further than the communications from the war department to his Excellency Governor Blount, in the month of October last (which Col. Covington has been requested to submit to your examination) and the Governor's annunciation to myself of your intended departure from Nashville. But from the tenor of your letter, I perceive you are instructed "to proceed to this city & await the orders of Government."
   It necessarily follows, that however singular the circumstance, we are to act independently of each other, in the department, which had been formally and officially assigned to my command, by the executive of the United States, anterior to my departure from the city of Washington.
   Yet, Sir, the novelty of the case will not I trust, produce any injury to the public service, because I shall not pretend to exercise any authority, with which I am not explicitly invested, But shall cordially cooperate with you, in whatever may be deemed necessary to the cause of our common country; in full confidence that I shall experience from you, the same spirit of harmonious concert.
   It is highly important to the government of the United States, and, I do conceive, deeply interesting to [our] own characters, that we should be prepared to repel the attacks of the Enemy, at whatever point, and at every peril and hardship, to retrieve that character of our arms, which has been deeply tarnished by the events of the last campaign.
   While the maritime superiority of the enemy puts it in his power, to land at Pensacola or Mobile, or to make a descent on the coast, at various points, between the latter place and the River Tesche,  I think your position in the vicinity of Natchez preferable to any other, on the score of accommodation, Forage, Subsistance, Health & military merits, until the views of the Enemy may become manifest; because by keeping your corps on the alert, and carefully preserving your boats, by a Suitable guard, on the opposite Shore of the River, you will always be in readiness for a prompt movement, across the country to the Side of Mobile, or to descend the Mississippi to this quarter. These, Sir, and the impossibility in the present state of our magazines, to subsist either your men or horses below Natchez, are the chief motives which induced me to advise you to halt at that place.
   I shall receive with much pleasure the copy of your marching orders and the report of the strength & condition of the corps of your command, which you have promised me, because it may be necessary for my Government; and should you think proper, I will cheerfully exchange with you, copies  of all orders we may respectively receive from the general government.
   I forbear to trespass on you further at this time, because you must be much occupied in providing for the accommodation, comfort & Health of the patriot soldiers Intrusted to your care; and would to god! it were in my power to contribute effectually to either, in a country without means & without resources.
   I have the honor to be respectfully, Sir, Your obedt. Servt.
                                                                                           Ja: Wilkinson

Letter from Andrew Jackson to Rachel Jackson

Headquarters near Washington M.T.
February 22nd. 1813. 

My Love
   On my approach near Natchez, on the night of the 15th Instant I wrote you, It was then uncertain whether I should disembark my troops at Natchez or proceed on to New-orleans--on the morning of the 16th. I took a small craft & went down to Natchez, where I recd. advices that determined me to disembark my troops and form an encampment near Natchez--on the morning of the 17th. I marched my troops to cantonment washington, where I formed a Junction with Colo. Coffee's Regiment, who had reached that place on the preceding evening, annd found them all in good health and spirits--I am forming an encampment on a beautiful plain, that affords a prospect of health a supply of wood and water about four miles from Natchez--how long I may remain at this point I cannot tell--This will entirely depend upon the appearence of an enemy--and the probable point of attack--any letters you may write me direct them to Natchez--should I leave the neighborhood, before the reach me the will be forwarded after me-- all my Detachment, are now with me, and health with a few exceptions pervades the whole--I am happy to have such orderly men--they are easily commanded improve in discipline--and if we should meet an enemy I have no doubt will support the honor of the state to which they belong--we have no news here of an enemy--But, my heart bleeds, for the disaster that has lately befel Genl Winchester in the north west--If true; what an ocean of blood, from the chocest veins of the western sons has been spilt--It appears that fate has destined our best heroes to perish in those deserts, or can these misfortunes arise, from want of Judgt. incaution, or is it from a fixed destiny of heaven--
   I regret exceedingly the fate of Genl Winchester--had he fallen bravely as he did fall, with victory on his side I should have rejoced-- But fall even bravely in defeat always in an ungratefull world leaves stains and stings behind--Such brave and good men as him deserved a better fate--I am anxiously to hear from you & my sweet little Andrew, Capt Butlers letter advised me you were both well--May heaven grant a continuation of that blessing on you both untill I return.
   I would be glad to hear how my overseer conducts--whether he has come up to his contract & whether he has complied with his promise in his attention to you--Colo. Purdy and Mrs Purdy desires their compliments to you they will set out to Nashville in a few days--please say to Colo. Ward and Mr. [Francis] Sanders, that I will write them as soon as I can obtain sufficient information of the marketts-- to Justify me--corn now selling at five bits pr. bushel good sifted meal, for from 75 cents to a dollars--but no contract can be made for a large quantity--But it is my oppinion that meal will be in May an excellent  price--and also corn.
   Make my compliments to Colo Hays & family Capt Butler and Rachel, to Patsey and tell her William  is in good health--and to all friends--tell Peggy howde for me--and kiss Andrew, and believe me to be your affectionate husband--
                                                                                             Andrew Jackson


Letter to William Berkeley Lewis from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters near Washington M.T.
February 21st. 1813

Dear Sir,
   I approached the vicinity of Natchez late on the evening of the 15th. instant, and by express from major Carrol who I had sent a head to meet the cavalry, and forward me any communications from the Post office Natchez, I recd. two letters from Genl Wilkinson of the 6th and 22nd. January which induced me to put to shore about two miles above the town--These communications were of the most friendly kind, advising me of the scarcity of forrage below, and the propriety of landing at Natchez for health of my troops and the most advantageous position from which to make a movement to any point that an enemy might shew a front--These reasons cogent in themselves, and perfectly meeting my views, with a belief that the would Justify, a deviation from the orders of the Governor which directed me to proceed to Neworleans-- I determined to drop down to Natchez and disembark my troops; for this purpose on the morning of the 16th. I dropped down to the Natchez and tied to the shore where I recd. another letter from Genl Wilkinson of the 25 ulto. reiterating his reasons in stronger terms and advising and requesting me to disembark my troops and encamp them at or in the neighborhood of this place--which I accordingly did on the morning of the 17th. and marched them to the cantonment washington where I met the Cavalry, who had arrived the evening of the 16th. in good health--finding the cantonment washington in a state of decay,  the houses rotting down, and a collection of as much filth that with one weeks sun would create a plaige I have laid out an encampment on a beautiful plain about a mile west of washington and 4 miles from Natchez,  to which place this day I should have removed my troops, was it not for the torrent of rain that has & is now falling--This place affords a plentifull supply of wood & good water and promises health to my troops--I experienced seven days detention by the running of the ice in the ohio & cumberland one day by the loss of Capt. [John] Wallaces boat which went down in three to her roof, but by the exertions of the officers, all the men were saved, and all the Baggage, a few musquetts, bayonets & Boxes were lost--we lost on our passage two men out of the second regiment, none out of the first--The Detachment are as healthy as we could expect, in fine spirits and under good subordination--and has improved more on their discipline for the time and opportunity than any troops ever did before--
   I recd. your letter of the 8th. instant on the 16th. and beg of you to accept my thanks for your attention to the arms returned, you will retain the soldier left in the hospital, for the purpose of keeping the arms clean advise me of his name and to what company he belongs, by the earliest opportunity--
   I am not astonished that I should have enemies in my absence-- and feel grateful for your friendship on this occasion--you can with Justice and propriety, give the report the direct contradiction-- every officer of my detachment, who ever heard me speak a word upon the subject does know, that I always declared, that I marched with the true spirit of a soldier that I come to fight the battles of my country, and not to contend for rank but to harmonise-- that if any dispute should arise between me and the Genl --the Publick service should not be interrupted thereby, if I had the power to controle it,  but that the genl and myself would settle any dispute if any should arise without injury to the publick service or disturbance to the public--
  I regret the death of Major Lewis--I fear his business is verry much unsettled--and that his family may be injured thereby--I shall be happy to hear from you often--direct to me at Natchez--and accept assurances of my warmest friendship and Esteem
Andrew Jackson

PS. you will see that paper prepared for a muster return has been converted into this letter in haste I am too busy in the act of preparing to move to coopy

Courtesy of the Andrew Jackson Papers 


Letter from Andrew Jackson to James Wilkinson

Cantonment near Washington
Feby 20. 1813.

   I had the honour to acknowledge your orders of the 6th. and 22d Jany. on the16. instant. Yours of the 25 January reached me the same evening
   Before the receipt of yours of the 25, and agreable to your request and advice contained in that of the 6th. and 22d. Jany,  I dropped my Boats to the landing, and ordered a disembarkation of the Troops on the morning of the 17th. instant.
   From a conversation with Capt. Hughes and Colo Covington (from whom I have received every mark of attention and Politeness) I intended to have fixed my Encampment at the Cantonment built by the 2d. Regiment; but a view of the place and the necessity of keeping my Troops together for the purpose of discipline, determined me to pitch my Tents on the West of Washington on the land owned by Mr. [Joseph] Perkins.
   This scite promises health and affords a supply of wood and the best water of the country, added to this an open field for the exercise & discipline of the Troops. So soon as they are encamped on this ground, I will have them mustered & inspected.
   The Enclosed from No.1 to 5 will give you the information required in yours of the 25 January and No. 6 will shew the strength and condition of the detachment under my command
   I have taken the precaution pointed out by you in yours of the 25 Jany. by leaving a sufficient Guard with the Boats under the command of a discreet subaltern Officer in the Bason at Natchez, finding impossible to have landed on the right Bank of the River from where they lay. Added to this the difficulty of crossing the Troops over to them on a sudden call to embark and descend the River determined me to keep them tied to the left Bank.
   Your Views in requesting the detachment under my command to halt here perfectly meet my own,  and will warrant me in the departure from the Order of his Excellency Gov. Blount, which directed me "to descend to New orleans and there await the orders of the President of the united states."
   It was understood in Nashville at the time I received orders to march, that you were at Fort Stoddart. The notification and requisition therefore was made on the Contractor & quarter master through Gov. Claiborne as the surest and best channel to reach them.
   The Detachment under my command shall be kept in compleat readiness to move to any point at which an Enemy may appear at the shortest notice and to Co-operate with you in all measures efficiently to defend the lower Country. To this End, my eyes are turned to the south East.
   I have the honor to be Yr. obt. sevt.
                                                                           Andrew Jackson

P.S. Before my march from Nashville advices were received that Gorvernment had on the Road a quantity of fixed Ammunition for the use of this detachment
  But I am sorry to say that it had not arrived, nor was there any information when it probably would be at that place. The Rumor of danger below, made our immediate departure necessary. We are entirely without ammunition and would be happy to be advised where a supply can be had.
  Permit me further to add, that about half of our Cavalry are entirely without Swords, and that there is no possible chance of a supply in this Territory


Military Expenses

Military Expenses.

A writer in the New-York Morning Star, has made a very accurate calculation of the expenses of the present army of the U.S. and subjoined thereto the augmented sums, necessary for the pay and support of the grand army of 55,000 men, contemplated to be raised. The conculsion, as drawn from the reports of the Secretary at War, and the recent laws of Congress, make the gross sum of forty-one millions, six hundred and ninety-eight thousand, five hundred and ninety dollars, per annum; or should the war last for five and a half years, which he considers as highly probable, to the enormous sum of TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-NINE MILLIONS, THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY-TWO THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY-SEVEN DOLLARS.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-February 19, 1813.


The Indian Tribes

   The following extract of a letter from a military character to a member of Congress, from one of the Western states, embracing a plan of operations against the hostile Indians, has been handed to us, with a request to publish it for general information:
   The government, I mean Congress, ought by a law to declare that none of the Indian Tribes who have heretofore received benefits and formed treaties with the U. States, and who have joined the British in the present war, should be ever permitted to reside in any part of the territorial boundary of the U. States on this side of the Ouisconsin.
   I would suggest the means by which corps could be embodied, and new establishments made, to secure the frontiers.
   Let the law declare, that on the territory which was formerly the hunting grounds of the several tribes, to be named, there shall be surveyed, at three or four contiguous points, tracts to the amount of of 200,000 acres; which shall be made to constitute the basis of frontier settlements; and that every volunteer who shall engage in the war against those perfidious tribes, and remain in service 12 months, or until the campaign is completed, shall be entitled to 500 acres of the said land, and with the pre-emption right to any number not exceeding 2000 at one dollar an acre, in any lands contiguous to the surveyed tract.
   This is briefly the idea of the plan. Your western country would furnish adventurers, and the Indians would be punished more severely than in any other manner. Not one of the perfidious tribes should ever be suffered to come on the grounds on this side of the Ousconsin again. The lands and pre-emption would provide outposts for the Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, and the positions to be chosen would be the expedition itself; every one of the western states would have an interest in promoting it, as removing the savages farther off, and that pious sensibility which can feel so much for the blacks and the Canadians, and feel nothing for our own country and countrymen, could not here have any plea in favor of the Indians, whose perfidy has been unprovoked, and a cruel return for a benevolence, which I fear has been, as is too often the case, misapplied; for as among civilized nations the right of conquest is recognized - so here it is sanctified by the very perfidy of those tribes; and our boundary being already recognized by the treaty of 1783, the British would have no right to make stipulations for their allies, for that would be a recognition of the crime which they effect to deny.

Published in the Raleigh Register - February 19, 1813

A Serious Affair

   A serious affair took place on the 6th inst., in Norfolk, between some Spanish and American sailors. The former about twenty in number, having been roughly handled by our sailors in a fracas the preceding evening, came ashore expressly, it is said, to be revenged; for which purpose they provided themselves with knives, and soon provoked their adversaries to an affray, who, not suspecting treachery, attacked only with the weapons which nature had given them. In a few minutes six of the American sailors were stabbed, one of whom died on the spot, and another it is thought cannot survive. This was done before the guard could repair to the scene. They however arrived in time to secure the greater part of the murderers, whom they rescued from the enraged populace and committed to prison.

Published in the Raleigh Register - February 19, 1813


Letter to President Madison re: embargo

February 17, 1813
Letter to President James Madison re: Non Importation Act
New York
February 17, 1813
Honored Sir,
I understand that there is a bill with the Committee of Foreign Relations and that it is expected that they will report in favor of taking off the Non Importation Act. This is …what the Federals wanted and I hope they may be disappointed for it that should be the case the country is done and the War will continue or we must give up. A rigid embargo ought to be laid and everything but death to break it …for the Feds and Clintonians will kill you and the government too if possible. Let all the officers be appointed…be firm and fear nothing. Let all and every contempt and disobedience of any kind be treated with severity if a change shan’t take place, that it may not be said that the rulers were pusillanimous or feared to do right for fear of being displaced, if is said Hull will never be called to trial, that all our bread stuff may be exported for fear the farmers will be opposed to war measures. If nothing might go or nothing come into our county, the War would soon be at an end. We want nothing from abroad. Remember our old war, we made our own clothing and I want no better. Be strong, of good courage and the God of all Power (I do believe) will enable us to gain and to maintain our rights, neither appoint too young, nor too old men to affairs. Forgive my freedom sir, but I feel my country course at heart. I court none for that no way to get friends in the end. Be honest, be firm and I find I need not fear. This from your well wishing Brother and friend for ever and ever Amen
A. Calvin
Starving will bring a bar to duty. An embargo on non importations for certain will stop the fate of these goods and prevent them getting ours.

Letter From R.G. Beasley To Alexander M'Leay

February 17, 1813

"In your reply of the 9th instant, communicating the result of inquiries made by order of the lords commissioners of the admiralty, relative to the alleged ill treatment of certain seamen claiming to the Americans, in the British service, in consequence of their having requested to be considered as prisoners of war, as represented in my letter to Lord Castlereagh of the 12th October, I have to observe, that, although the statement of those persons, and that contained in your letter, differ greatly as to the degree of this ill treatment, it does appear that some severity was exercised towards them on that occasion, and without any proper investigation of their claim of American citizenship, which, if established, should have exempted them not only from punishment, but from service. As it may be inferred, however, from your letter, that if proof be produced to support their claim, their request will yet be complied with, I have to inform you, that evidence to that effect was long since transmitted to the lords of the admiralty in behalf of several of these persons." [Here follows the names of persons, and a recitation of the proof of citizenship, &c] Mr. Beasley proceeds, "I cannot avoid expressing my disappointment and regret that no notice has been taken of the request made to Lord Castlereagh in my letter of the 12th of October, for the general release of the American seamen detained in the British service."

Courtesy of Library of Congress


Orders from John Armstrong to Andrew Jackson

War Department
February 16th. 1813.

   Herewith inclosed you will receive a Duplicate of and Order addressed to you at New Orleans. Should this reach you before you descend the Mississippi, you will have delivered over to the Commanding Officer at Fort Massac, all munitions and property belonging to the United States, which have been put into the possession of your Detachment.
   Very Respectfully I am Sir yr most obt. Humble Servant.
                                                                     John Armstrong

Letter from Andrew Jackson to James Wilkinson

Head quarters Natchez
Feby 16 1813

   I Reached the vicinity of this city on last evening and this morning I received your several communications of the 6. & 22d. January. I have been much impeded in my progress by the running of the Ice in the Ohio and Mississippi.
   The second Regiment that was detained for the want of Boats, reached me on the evening of the 13. inst. The Cavalry will reach Cantonment Washington this evening. My Detachment when united, amounts to about two thousand and seventy, fourteen hundred of whom are Infantry. The amount of the Sick, (not having recd. a report from the 2d Regiment since its arrival) I cannot at present state.
   So soon as the Cavalry reaches me,  I will communicate to you the strength & Condition of my detachment, and will inclose you a copy of my marching orders. The Substance of which is to proceed to New orleans and there await the orders of the Government.  But from the communications I have just received from you, will disembark my Infantry and await the orders of the Government here. In the meantime I will be happy to communicate with you on the public safety and defence of the lower country, and will move my Troops to any point best calculated for this object. My wish is to keep them employed in active service, as  Indolence creates disquiet.
  I have marched with the true spirit of a soldier to serve my country at any and every point where service can be rendered.
   I will be happy to receive your  Communications frequently.
   With consideration I am yr. obt.
                                                                    Andrew Jackson

John Johnston to Return Meigs

Feby 16. 1813

I have the honor to acknowledge the Receipt of your Excellencys letter of the 6th. Instant. Finding that some uneasiness did prevail in the minds of the people on the Subject of the arrival of the Delaware Indians in this neighborhood, I lately addressed the public thro' the medium of the news papers stating the reasons why those Indians were brought in your Excellency will no doubt see that publication I will just now observe that in all my doings with the Indians I am acting under the Express orders of Genl. Harrison the removal of the Delawares in here, was by his positive written orders. you and the Honourable the members of the Assembly will allow that General Harrison must be a better judge of the proper course to pursue than any of us can be. certain noisy unprincipled men in this quarter some of whom are fattening on the public distress, have endeavored to impose on persons at a distance a beleif that a portion of the Indians brought in here are Miamies this is not correct. there is only one Miami among the whole and that one was shot thro& the hand by the Putawatimies at Chicago when accompanying Wells. I can assure your Excellency that a very disagreeable task is imposed on me, and nothing but a Sense of duty alone would induce me to remain in a situation so unplea- sant. there is no satisfying the people in these times, one or two artful demagogues can soon set a whole neighborhood in an uproar. As one acquaint- ed with Indian affairs must know that while the Delawares remain here with their women & children, they cannot make war upon us, they must first re- move them out of our reach. they have not an ounce of powder or Lead unless they receive it from us. if an attempt was made to disarm them or to remove them into the interiour, they would fly to the enemy. any thing like coercive measures would produce this effect.
I have not been able to perceive that the Indians have been more insolent than usual I Know that the report of the distruction of the left wing of our army has produced no such effect the imprudence of the whites has been such as to let the Indians know their views, they are con- sequently uneasy and if our people will persevere in their foolishness, the consequence will be that these Indians must from necessity disclaim our protection and join the enemy. your Excellency I believe Knows that I have as great inducements as any individual can have to preserve the peace of this frontier, I have my property here and all my relatives. I have [illeg.] confidence in Indians father than circumstances would uphold it, but from a long apprenticeship of 13 years working with & managing them I must be allowed to have some judgment in such matters. I could keep them at peace if the people w ould not embarrass me. let it be remembered if these Indians are added to the list of our enemies I am not chargeable with it. I thank your Excellency for your friendly letter and take the present opportunity to say that it will afford me pleasure at all times to give you any information in my power. I have the honor to remain &c
Jno. Johnston


Letter from Andrew Jackson to Rachel Jackson

On Board my Boat 2 miles above Natchez
February 15th. 1813. 8 oclock at night--

    I reached Shore at this Point this moment with my detachment, all in good health, after experiencing  all the inclemency of the coldest weather ever felt in the same Latitude, and sundry delays from the floating of the ice in the ohio and Mississippi--experiencing no other accident but the wreck of one Boat which sunk to her roof in three minutes after she recd. the Shock from the sawyer--I had the pleasure of seeing Capt. [George] Smith at the mouth of the yazoo, the Cavalry all well and will meet me tomorrow at Natchez, or cantonment washington--I sent on Major Carrol two days since to the Natchez for letters and to meet the Cavalry-- I have Just recd. a note from him covering a number of letters from my friends in Nashville and its vicinity amonghst them was one from my friend Robert Butler, in which he states that you with our dear little son is in good health This letter was truly gratifying to me--as it was the first information I have recd from you since the recpt of your letter of the 10th of Decbr It is probable from Major Carrols letter that we shall be disembarked at the Natchez-- this I shall know early on tomorrow-- I only prepare this letter for you to night, to send by tomorrows mail knowing that you are anxious to hear from me, and that I will not have time to write you after I reach Natchez tomorrow--I wrote you on my passage down cumberland, whether you have recd. them I cannot say--having several letters to write to night, and a general to order--I have only to add a renewal of my prayers to the Sovereign of the universe for his superintending care and protection of you and our dear little Andrew--
    Say to Patsey that Doctor [William Edward] Butler is well, and getting quite fat-- give my compliments to Colo Hays Mrs. Hays and the family and all enquiring friends, and accept for yourself and affectionate adieu--and kiss andrew for me--your affectionate Husband
                                                                                     Andrew Jackson


Notes from Washington City

Washington City,
Feb. 13, 1813

   The bill for the exclusion of foreign seamen from the armed vessels and merchant service of the U. States, has passed to a third reading in the House of Representatives by an unexpected and unprecedented majority of 72 votes; and has since finally passed 89 to 33. Many gentlemen on the federal side of the House voted for the bill, and some against it. We have never seen any question on which they have been more divided. Its fate in the Senate cannot be anticipated with any confidence.
   Several letters have been received in this city from Buffalo and its vicinity, which concur in stating that Gen. Winchester is not killed, as reported from Ohio, but is among the prisoners taken by the British. We are yet at a loss to which of these reports to attach the greatest credit. We hope the British account is true.
   Letters have reached the city from Gen. Harrison to Gov. Meigs, giving a much more cheering account of the late disaster, than any before received. They state, that our worthy fellows fought like heroes; that quite as many, if not more, of the enemy were slain as of our own forces, and that but for the greatly superior numbers of the Indians and British, and the distance of the stock of ammunition, the result would have been different. 600 are said to have been taken prisoners, and some escaped, so that not more than 300 are killed.
   We learn, by a gentleman from Richmond, that information has been received by the Executive of this State, that the British have landed on Smith's Island (at the mouth of Cape Charles) have erected a fortification, and established a telegraphic communication with the squadron in the Bay.. - Pet. Int.

Published in the Raleigh Register - February 19, 1813


John Campbell to Return Meigs

Hamilton County 
Feby 11th. 1813

Dear Sir
I have just read the journal of an American Officer (captured at Queenstown on the 18th. Octr.) kept on his passage from fort George to Boston, stating that while at Quebec between 15 & 20 Irishmen (naturalized citizens and having several of them families in the United States) were seperated from the prisoners, and put on board a ship of war, to be sent to Botany Bay, or executed for having borne Arms against a power, which by its multiplied opporessions, had driven them from their native homes to seek shelter in a foreign land. I have no doubt of the foregoing state- ment being correct, the British have adopted this system of cruelty in order to deprive the United States of the aid of a numerous class of citizens -
It was no lot to be born in Ireland, I have been 16 years in the U States, married here and have a numerous family, am on the next class for duty, (and it appears our land forces are in the habit of being taken prisoners) and to march in the ranks with native citizens who if overpowered might find safety in surrendering, appears to me to be highly imprudent, what would be safety to them -- would be certain destruction to me; I have talked with several well informed persons on the subject -- whose oppinion coincides with mine, and I have no doubt but the same sentiment pervades the breast of every Irishman in the state. I would march cheerfully enroled with native citizens against the Indians - our cases would be equal, but to march against the British in the same manner- there would be no equality whatever, let us be enrolled in a distinct Corps Armed, and provided, placed under the direction of Genl. Harrison -- and I have no doubt but we will deserve well of our adopted Country, we would expect no mercy -- and we would take no prisoners. If enrol'd in a distinct corps - I would prefer marching against the British (the Indians have done me no essential injury) I have recd much injury from the British personally, and they have been in the habit of [illeg.] and insulting my progenitors these 12 hundred years, therefore Vengeance calls aloud -- and the voice is irresistable Dr. Sir pardon the liberty I have taken in suggesting the foregoing; the urgency of the case is evident - Therefore I pray your excellency to devise some plan how (I presume) six or eight hundred men may be of service to their Country -- and at the same time take ample Vengeance on their Enemies -
I am with great respect your Hble Sert
John Campbell - Ensign
Ist. Batn. 2d. Regt. lst. D. 0 Militia

His Excellency
Gov Meigs Esqr
P.S. Since the prince regent has declared this shall be a war of extermination -- the sooner we commence business the better. I would glory to march in the ranks of a Spartan Band whose best alternative would be to die with their face to the enemy

Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society

The affidavit of Labbadie

Head Quarters of the Miami Rapids
Feby 11th 1813

The affidavit of Medaroe Labbadie late resident near the River Raisin in the Michigan territory -- He being sword saith he was in his own house when he heard the guns at the commencement of the action at the River Raisin on the 22d Jany. 1813 between the American forces under Genl. Winchester and the British Canadians & Indian forces said to be commanded by Colo St. George -- after some little time he learned that the Indians were killing the Inhabitants as well as the Americans, upon which he went towards the scene of action in order to save his family -- as he went on he was with one other inhabitant taken prisoner by two Wyandotte Indians, & carried to the Indian lines from which he saw great part of the action -- The right wing of the Americans had given way before he got a sight of the action.
It terminated after the sun was some hours high not far from 11 o'clock A.M. by the surrendering of the American forces that then remained on the ground - He saw the flag hoisted by the british and sent to the American forces & saw it pass three times to the Americans before the surrender He could not understand English but understood that Genl. Winchester was taken prisoner before he got to the lines of his own men, That he was compelled to carry the flag to his own forces after he was taken. That he understood the reason of the flag passing so often was that the Americans refused to surrender upon any other terms than that the Wounded should be taken Care of -- The dead buried and the Inhabitants protected in their property -- That the British first refused to agree to these terms, but finally did agree to them
He also understood that the loss of the British & Indian forces in that action was about 400 Killed. He also understood that the loss of the Americans in that action was about one hundred & Eighty Killed - He knew that on the day of the action all the prisoners who were able to March were Marched of[f] toward Malden the Wounded about 60 or 80 in number left in two houses without any of their friends or a physician -- to take care of them, and without any British officers or Men -- about 10 Indians remained behind upon the ground -- The ballance of the Indians went off with the British - and he was told by some of the Canadian Militia that the British had promised the Indians a frolick that night at Stony Creek about six Miles from the river Raisin
He was liberated after the line of march was formed for Walden -- The next Morning, he was in the houses where the wounded were -- That Morning about fifty Indians returned They brought whiskey with them -- They drank some & gave some to the other indians there and between nine & ten o'Clock A.M. Commenced killing the Wounded then set fire to the Houses the Wounded were in & consumed them
He was at his fathers on this side of the Detroit river about seven days after the action & saw across the river the prisoners Marched off for Niagara from Malden
He saith that he saw taken by his house by Capt. Elliott & nine Wyandotts Indians two men that he understood had been sent by Genl. Harri- son, with a flag to the British One of the Men Mr Tessier he Knew - The other lie did not Know, but understood it was a Doct. -- He had not an opportunity of conversing with them, but understood from an Inhabitant to whom Mr Tessier communicated it that they stopped for the night & left the flag hoisted on the cariole[?], That the flag was taken away unknown to them and then the Indians find another. That Tessier told them they were Frenchmen and surrendered upon which the Indians ceased firing & took them. They then mentioned that they were sent with a flag. The Indians said they were lyars & took them off --
Mr Tessier was set at liberty at the river Raisin and reamined two days expecting the Doct to return at the end of which time Tessier was sent for by the British & taken to Malden -- He understood that the Doct was to be sent off immediately to Niagara. The Doct. was wounded in the ancle -- He understood that the British charged that Doct. & Tessier with being spies --
And further he saith not -- 
Medence X Labbadie
  C. Gratiot
[illeg. Sworn to before me this llth day of Feby 1813 Camp Foot of the Miami Rapids
C. S. Todd Div. J. Adv.

George Tod to Return Meigs

Miami Rapids 
Feby. 11th. 1813 --

Dr. Sir -
If you are at Chillicothe, be good enough to attend to the following requests. -- Since I left you I have come to this place, I have been ord- ered by Genl. Harrison to remain here. He informs me, that he had issued an order to Colo. Miller, directing him to find me here; which order I had not received. Since my arrival, the day before yesterday, in the evening, a detachment of about six hundred men was ordered to descend this river with the view of attacking a number of Indians say 250 or 300. I had the command of the Petersburgh Volunteers and Capt. [illeg.] Company, consisting of 150 men or there abouts; and a detachment from the differing Corps of Militia, of about 500 -- al under the command of General Perkins. The detachment marched about dark, accompanied by a peice of field Artillery (6 pounder) under the command of Lieut Larwill. After having ascended the river 18 miles; we were over taken by a Detach. of about 500 men from Tupper's & Perkins Brigade. I think the aggregate corps was a good one - but no Indians could we find, excepting friendly ones. -- We were then (in the night) ordered, for the river Raisin. Having progressed six Miles further, in the course of that distance five real horses were plunged into the lake, & immediately after our cannon waggon, This was about 1/2 Miles from our 18 mile post. -- Harrison still went on so far as to make out the 18 and Six miles -- in all about 24 or 26 miles. From the extreme fatigue of a great many men [the] Commander in Chief, thought proper [illeg.] his march till morning. At the time of encampment, it was nearly day dawning. -- Early the next morning the Spyes, who had been the day before sent forward, towards the river Raisin, returnd, bringing with them a french prisoner -- from the best information that could or was given by them. Ge nl. Harrison thought proper to return; having been well satisfied that he wd. find no Indians of any considerable numbers, at the river Raisin -- I presume, that Genl. Harrison, will inform you all about it. The Second Detachment, who was accompanied by Genl. Harrison -- his staff & several other gentlemen. It was, in my opinion, much of an army, & would have given, had it an opportunity, a hard fight, for any number of Indians, short of an equal to our own --
About Sun rise, the cannon arrived, Leut Larwell having wrought all night to raise it -- We have all safe in - Perhaps you will ask me how I felt. I can tell you when the Command of the two companies was given me by Genl. Harrison, I thought it a compliment -- [torn] I wish -ou to attend to my concerns [torn] (First) Get Mr. Lamb to find [send] [illeg.] to me, even if he has to engage for me, to give him ten Dollars pr. month -- $8 I think enough, but if that will not do, he may engage for me ten: --
I must write you again particularly, on this last subject, -- Be good enough to give my best respects Mrs. Lamb -- tell her I think often of her. Tell Pally, I wish her a happy marriage &c. all the children I wish well -- Say to James -- I often thank of him, Mr. Lamb I wish him well & will thank him if he will see Baker. -- My Regards to Wm. & tell him to take good care of the George[?]
yr friend
George Tod


From John Armstrong to David R. Williams

War Department
February 10th, 1813

In reply to the letter you did me the honor to write to me, on the 5th instant, by direction of the committee on Military Affairs, I respectfully submit the following opinions:
1st. That an increased number of general officers is essential to the public service.  The number of regiments provided for by law, is, two of light dragoons, three of heavy artillery, one of light artillery, one of riflemen, and forty-five of infantry, making, together, fifty-two regiments.
The simplest organization is ever the best.  Hence it is, that, as a regiment consists of two battalions, so a brigade should consist of two regiments, and a division of two brigades.
This sphere of command will be found, in practice, sufficiently large.  The management of two thousand men in the field, will be ample duty for a brigadier, and the direction of double that number will give full occupation to a major general.  To enlarge the sphere of command in either grade would not be a mean of best promoting the public good.
Taking these ideas as the basis of the rule, and taking for granted, also, that our ranks are filled, the present establishment would require twenty-five brigadiers and twelve major generals.  But the latter admission requires qualification, and, under existing circumstances, it may be sufficient that the higher staff should consist of eight major generals, and sixteen brigadiers.
The general argument, on this head, might be fortified by our own practice during the war of the Revolution, and by that of European nations at all times.  Believing, however, that his view of the subject has been already taken by the adjutant general, in a late communication to you, I forbear to do more than suggest it.
2d. The recruiting service would be much promoted, were the bounty in land commutable into money, at the option of the soldier, and at the end of his service.  This modification would be addressed to both descriptions of men-those who would prefer money, and such as would prefer land.
I need hardly remark, that bounties, at the close of service, have many advantages over those given before service begins. The former tie men down to their duty; the latter furnish, if not the motive, at least the means of debauch and desertion.
Another, and a public reason, for the preference, may be found in the greater convenience with which money may be paid at the end, than at the commencement of a war.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, your most obedient humble servant,
John Armstrong

Courtesy of Library of Congress


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 consists of the San Domingo, Maidstone, Acasta and others, and they keep the bay in a state of rigorous blockade.


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


Letter from William Berkeley Lewis to Andrew Jackson

Feby 8th. 1813

My dear Sir
   Your letters written from different points on the Cumberland have been recd. and the requests contained therein, shall, as soon as practicable, be complied with; the arms have but just arrived, some in good order, and others very rusty. I have not yet made an estimate of such things as were brought back by Woods, owing to my not having been in town when they were deposited at the ware house--I have been waiting until S. Cantrell shall finish a ware house that is nearly compleated, into which I mean to deposit all the public property, at which time I will make out a correct invoice of the whole. I am not able to give you any information about the horsemens tents; further than, the three waggons which I met on the Sunday evening that you took you departure, just at the river whilst you were yet in sight. I was very much astonished that they should have been sent to the place of your embarkation, when I knew you had ordered them to Robertson's landing: they said that they had been ordered there by the quarter master! Rest assured, my dear Genl., all things shall be attended to.
    Govr. Blount left here the tuesday after you did, for Knoxville, where he had since married Mrs. Mary White. he has not yet returned. Genl. Armstrong is appointed Secretary of War. [William] Jones of Philadelphia, Secretary of Navy. Maj. William T Lewis died on thursday morning last about 4 O'clock. I am told he has left you with Mrs. [Mary Hipkins] Lewis, Mr. [Thomas] Crutcher and Mr. [Alfred] Balch Executors of his will. One of the Volunteers left in the hospital, by the name of Gist, died since your departure. If there is no impropriety, I wish to keep another of the volunteers left in the hospital, now nearly recovered, for the purpose of putting the arms in good order, and to keep them so: please signify your approbation or disapprobation of such a measure. The mail is just closing--please write frequently. Receive the best wishes of your best unfeigned friend
                                                                                                  W.B. Lewis

P.S. I had like to forgotten in the hurry of writing to inform you that a report has been softly whispered here since you left W[est] T[ennessee] that may if generally accredited may have a tendency to injure you; I keep a close lookout, and if it becomes necessary, I shall contradict it in that manner which it deserves, with the insertion of piece in the papers with my name affixed. It has been stated to me that you declared previously to your leaving this Country that the same County should not contain both you and Genl. Wilkinson. Knowing a statement of that kind to be so contrary to what you always assured me was your intentions, I shall feel myself perfectly authorised to contradict it in the most positive manner.
    I hold you reputation as dear to me as my own, and you may rest assured that injustice shall not be done to my absent friend. I will write you more fully on this subject when I have more leasure,  in the mean ti[me] accept the best wishes for your health a[nd] success--yours &c.
                                                                                                   W B Lewis


Important Extract


Of a letter from Myron Holly, Esq. of Canandaigua, to a respectable Gentleman, of Albany, dated February 7, 1813.
“You have probably heard bad news from Harrison’s army. Various reports, some favorable and some unfavorable to him, have been in circulation here for several days, but last night by the Western Mail, Mr. Howell received a letter from Augustus Porter, dated at Buffalo, the 3d inst. which confirms the worst account we had heart. Mr. Porter states his opinion, after weighing the intelligence which had reached Buffalo, from different quarters and on different authorities, to be, that Gen. Winchester, with a division of Harrison’s army, had gone in advance of the main body, as far as the river Raisin, whence he drove before him a body of British and Indians. But these latter being reinforced, at Brownstown, a distance of 18 miles from the river Raisin, by more troops and Indians from Maiden, returned upon Winchester, and attacked him furiously at the river Raisin, where, after an obstinate conflict, in which many fell on both sides, Winchester with the remains of his division, surrendered to the enemy. The numbers engaged on either side are not known; but the British, on the Niagara frontier, appear to have put off to Malden, by forced marches, their whole effective farce (save perhaps 200 men) for the purpose of having there a sufficient force to resist General Harrison, who, as he was at the Rapids of the Miami, must soon have heard of Winchesters’ disaster, and who it was expected would endeavour to relieve it, by advancing upon the enemy with the main boody of his army. Porter expects soon to hear of a bloody battle, of which he considers the issue to be very doubtful. Our troops on the Niagara frontier, are so few in number and so circumstanced, that probable no efforts will be made to create a diversion in favor of General Harrison. The public property, going to the frontier, is stopped at the Eleven Mile Creek; and the military stores at Black Rock are ordered back to the same place, where the troops remain for its protection, the inhabitants being left, as he says, to shift for themselves in case the British mediate an attack upon them, between the Eleven Mile Creek and the river.


Published in the Boston Weekly Messenger-February 19, 1813.

"When will our Commanders acquit themselves in a way required by their duty & the national expectation?"

Febry 7th 1813

Dear Sir.
The disastrous news from the Army under Winchester recd. by last mail has filled me with the most unutterable grief & surprise. Gracious God! when will our Commanders acquit themselves in a way required by their duty & the national expectation? Nothing [illeg.] place the exceeds of those who suffer [illeg.] a negligence, incompatible with success in any emergency productive of ruin in the recent one -- It seems to me that life would be odious to me had I been the commander of the detachment & had escaped from the general carnage Genl Winchester is saved from these reflections by having fallen also & because it is the dictate of humanity & liberality de mortus not rise [illeg. complete line.] error & blot it out forever -- In an army great or small there must be but one head alike entitled to the obedience of all, & responsible for all their misfortunes against which prudent foresight could have guarded. I very much fear my brother Washington was in the action & if so he too is withered in his bloom & his call as a clod of the valley - I have not received a line from Genl. Harrison & the papers recd by last mail contain the first intimation that he had taken up his line of march. even now I would make the effort to overtake him did I believe he wished me with him, but I doubt it first because of the conduct of Campbell & now because of his silence - If he wrote how could his letters miscarry? the Post Master at Marietta promised to forward any directed to his office & none I dare presume ever reached it - I can form no conjecture of my destination, many very many press me to run for Congress & are holding meetings for that purpose. whether I am to yield up my reluctance & offer: go into the army, or stay at home & follow my plans of manufacturning &c I know not -- Who is to be your Senator in Congress, & where will you be next season? write me every thing
Affectionately yours
J G Jackson

To Return Meigs

Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society


Letter from John Armstrong to Andrew Jackson

War Department
February 6th. 1813

  The causes for embodying & marching to New Orleans the Corps under your command having ceased to exist, you will on receipt of this Letter, consider it as dismissed from pubic service, & take measures to have delivered over to Major General Wilkinson, all articles of public property which may have been put into its possession.
   You will accept for yourself & the Corps the thanks of the President of the United States.
   Very Respectfully I am Sir your most obt. Humble Servant.
                                                                             John Armstrong.


Department of State
Feb. 6, 1813.

   Alien enemies arriving within the limits of the United States from Foreign Countries, are immediately on their arrival, to report themselves to the Marshal of the United States, or to his deputy, for the district within which they may be landed.
   No Alien Enemy can hereafter proceed from a port or place within another district of the same, by land or water, without a Special Passport from the Marshal, or from the Collector of the Customs, as the case may be.
   Alien Enemies permitted to travel from one district of the United States to another district thereof, are forthwith on their arrival to report themselves to the Marshal, to whom they are to exhibit their passports. The Marshals and the Collectors of the Customs of the several Districts of the United States, are particularly charged with the execution of the provisions of this notification.

Published in the Raleigh Register - February 19, 1813.


The Chesapeake Blockaded

Feb. 3.

   This port is now effectually blockaded by the enemy's squadron under Admiral Warren. Not a vessel can pass from Hampton Roads, either up or down the bay, without being intercepted, and not a vessel bound from sea can escape capture. Several vessels attempting to go out have been chased back or captured; among those that have returned were, sloops Caty, Maria, Storer, and Hope, Williams, both bound to N. York. Various conjectures are afloat as to the intention of Adm. Warren in (illeg.) into the bay. Some are of opinion that his object is to obtain supplies - others that he meditates an attack upon this town, but the most prevalent opinion (and of which there is no doubt; is that he is aiming to entrap the French squadron (said to be on its way to our country) which will probably make for the Chesapeake. This seems the more certain from this circumstance: The ship Emily, capt. Scott (with a Sidmouth license) from Baltimore bound to Lisbon, was stopped by the squadron and ordered back; this was done no doubt to prevent the French ships from obtaining information of the blockade. It would be difficult to assign any other reason for so extraordinary a measure. 

Published in the Raleigh Register - February 19, 1813

Petition from Miami County (OH) to Return Meigs

Miami County 
February 3d. 1813

State of Ohio
To his Excellency R. J. Meigs Governor of the said State &c
The petition of the undersigned humbly Sheweth: -- That whereas there are a considerable number of Indians of the Delaware tribes called in by : order of General Harrison, and are now in our County, that it is but thinly settled on the frontier, distant from a market where provisions can be furnished them; and the people of the neighbourhood, feel themselves in a dangerous situation in consequence of their being exposed to invasion and depridation from them, they lying contigious to the enemy, have every oppertunity of conveying information to them of our situation, moving off and joining them and doing much mischief, from their knowledge of our Country &c &c --
This brief petition [illeg.] would humbly beg your Excellency to tale into consideration and releive us from a state of uneasiness and alarm, by having them removed into the interior of our State, where from its population they will be awed into submission to the authorities having charge over them and supported at a much less expence to the Government -- And we shall as in duty bound &c &c &c

Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society


A. Edwards to Return Meigs

February 2d 1813.

Govr. Meigs
Since the news reached this of the distruction of the Left wing of the N. W. Army under Winchester, the inhabitance are much alarmed, many families even in this Town are almost on the wing for Kentucky; if the posts at Green Ville are to be abandoned, this place will be a part of the frontier in ten days after, the collection of Indians on our frontier, also, heightens the alarm; I verily believe that if the Indians are not removed from Picqua, the people will raise in a mass and drive then off - I am sorry the second Expedition to Massassinway is given up for the pre- sent, I am confident from very recent information that, Tecumsey is now at Massasinway with upwards of one thousand warriors, he has not been sent there by Proctor, to be an idle spectator of passing events, the frontier and rear of our army I presume, is marked out for him to act on --
Lt. Groves who bears this, and a memorial from the citizens of the Town, can relate to you information received from Colo. Wells, who is immediately from Genl. Harrisons camp &c --
I have just heard the officers of the three Regts. of Militia have been exchanged, but know nothing as respects my situation -
With great respect Your Obt. Hum: Sert.
A. Edwards.

Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society