9.05.2014

Letter to Secretary of War James Monroe from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters 7 Military District Mobile
Septr. 5th. 1814

Sir

       The enclosed memorandum of the Adjutant General, will shew you the number of Forts in the 7 Military District, the immense space covered by those Forts, as well as the effective force now maning them, and the terms of the service of the Militia. If this line of defence could be shortened, it would give greater security and strength to our frontier. To effect this should be a primary object with the government--as it would not only facilitate & reduce the means necessary for that purpose. I had an Eye to that end in my late negocition with the creeks. There is now a Fort at Mobile Point, add to this a well constructed Battery on Dauphin Island and you completely secure the entrance to the Bay of Mobile. Place a Fort on the Escambia where the Florida line crosses it and you give complete security to the frontier, from Mobile to the Tensaw, or cut off. One other between that and the Bay of Appalachicola and one on that Bay, and you insure a lasting peace with the Indians, and keep the Spaniards within their Shell, As Spain has become our enemy covertly if not openly, and is secretly carrying on a war with Great Britain, by means of their Indians from Pensacola against the united States--Why will not the government order the British to be expelled from Pensacola seize and garrison it with their troops. This effected Mobile Point perfectly secured with the Fort before spoken of on the Appalachicola and you completely put stop to all invasions and complete safety to this section of the country--All other Garrisons from Deposit round to New orleans except Fort Jackson may them be dismantled and abandoned. A few Gun Boast would secure to us the communication by the Lakes to New Orleans--Or in case that should fail, supplies may be drawn from Fort Jackson down the Alabama (one of the finest navigable streams for Batteau in the world) with great facility. I beg you to take a serious view of Pensacola, its excellent harbour now in Possession of our deadly enemy, and you will immediately discover its importance in the hands of the enemy as a depot for her Naval and military Stores, affording perfect safety to her Shipping, and being almost the only good harbour from the capes  of Verginia, to that point whence an enemy might with facility anoy our southern territory--and consequently you will acknowledge the necessity of immediately throwing our troops into it before it is made impregnigable by fortification.
        A party of Indians from Pensacola came last night on the opposite side of the Bay from hence a distance of about nine miles made an attack on a House where there was one white man and three negroes one of the negroes effected his escape, the fate of the balance is unknown, but I hope to be enabled to make proper discoveries by means of a detachment I have sent under capt. Baker of the 44 Infty of two hundred men including some Choctaws--and to cout off their retreat to Pensacola. I have the honor to be very respectfully yr. mo obedt Servt

                                                                                            Andrew Jackson
                                                                                            Major Gen. comdg.

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