Letter from Thomas Hart Benton to Andrew Jackson

Fort Montgomery,
Septr. 11th. 7 oclock P.M.


           Mr Boyles has this instant arrived from Pensacola having left there at dark last night. All the English forces with a part of the Indian force when on board of vessels yesterday in the bay of Pensacola, destined to Mobille Point. There had been no further arrivals of British troops. The artillery was not embarked last night but would be put on board to day, and the transports he expects would clear the bay this day.
         He heard it said that two English brigs had landed troops on the west of the Perdido.
         Comprehended from the English that they intended to use rockets against the woks at the point, and counted on setting them on fire.
         He thinks about 750 Indians embarked, who sat up a horrid yelling on going aboard; about 40 recruits of negroes, mulattoes, american deserters and refuse Spaniards. He saw there James Grant deserter from the 39th. who is now on board the British fleet.
         Two hundred & fifty Seminolees headed by McQueen and Kanard had arrived night before last and embarked yesterday, with about 500 Creeks making the 750 above mentioned
         Between two & three hundred left Pensacola between 11 and 3 oclock yesterday afternoon in great haste to make a stroke by surprize on this frontier and to carry off horses.
         The British and Spanish flag have been flying together over the ramparts of St Georges Redoubt for eight days.
         Boyles has certainly deserved well at your hands. He will be with you tomorrow night. He will inform you that in spite of all your vigilance there is a daily correspondence between Mobille & Pensacola.
         Only 17 horsemen have arrived here; but they say that 250 will come in less than a fortnight.
         Boyles says that he heard a Spanish officer say on yesterday that the works at the Point would be attacked in the rear; that an Engineer had examined it, and reported it vulnerable in that quarter. Also heard them say that Fort Charlotte was filled with old wooden buildings, & expected to fire it.
         Lieut. Pangle sets out at this moment 50 minutes after seven with orders to report to you at 10 oclock tomorrow morning. yr. obt. Servant.

                                                                                              Thomas H. Benton
                                                                                              Lt. Col. 39th. Inf.

          Boyles says he saw the trails of the Indians at Stedhams Cowpen, 20 miles from this place: That Dolieves overseer and two of his negroes were carried in by the 100 clubs and are now on board the English transports.
                       T. H. B.

Courtesy of the Andrew Jackson Papers

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