September 4, 1814
SECRETARY OF THE NAVY JONES TO COMMODORE JOHN RODGERS
Septr. 4, 1814
I have received your note of this morning and am really embarrassed between the desire of affording you an opportunity of effecting either the destruction or injury of the enemy and the dread of an attack upon Baltimore before you shall have reached that place.
There is good reason to believe that the enemy has been very considerably reinforced and we ought to believe that he will not remain long inactive and that his operations will be in the upper part of the Chesapeake.
Could we destroy or seriously injure the enemy in the Potomac, or destroy or compel him to disgorge his plunder a most important object would be gained, as well in depriving him of so large and seasonable a supply of provisions as is the lesson it would teach him, and the security it would give to the shores of our rivers.
You will therefore use your discretion for two or three days and in the interim should the state of things at Baltimore become more alarming you shall be instantly informed.
I have sent to the navy yard to hurry off the fire vessel.
Very respectfully your Obdt. Servant