10.26.2014

Letter to James Monroe from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters 7th Military District,
Pearce's Stockade, Tensaw,
Octr. 26{3}. 1814

Sir,

             I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 27th. ulto. with its enclosures.
             My several letters will have advised you of the hostile conduct of the Governor of Pensacola. By it I have been induced to determine to drive the British and Indian force from that place, possess myself of the Barancas, (which I expect to find occupied by the former) and all other points that may be calculated to prevent a British fleet from entering Pensacola Bay. This will put an end to the Indian war in the South, as it will cut off all foreign influence.
             For the above purpose, I arrived here last night to organized a competent force; being previously advised that the volunteers and militia from the western part of the State of Tennessee were near at hand. The scarcity of transportation for provisions &c. I fear will detain me a day or two after the arrival of the Infantry, whom I expect to join me here in {a few} two days. But the moment I can obtain transportation I will move; and in five days from the movement, with the smiles of Heaven, I will be able to reduce Pensacola.
            As I act without the orders of government, I deem it proper to state my reasons for it. I trust, sir, that the necessity of this act, to the safety of this section of the Union; the hostility of the Governor of Pensacola--resigning his forts to the British Commander; thus assuming the character of a British territory: his permitting them to remain there, to fit out one expeditions against the United States, return there and refit, now to be preparing another: added to his having acknowledged that he has armed the Indians, sent them into our territory, capturing our citizens and destroying their property, and this too under a British officer, will be a sufficient justification in the eyes of my government, for having undertaken this expedition. Should it not, I shall have one consolation; a consciousness of having done the only thing which can, under present circumstances, give security to this section and put down an Indian war; and the salvation of my country will be a sufficient reward for the loss of my commission.
            I enclose you the report of Major M'Intosh of the Cowetas, which will show you that this is the moment to strike the enemy in his stronghold. A successful attack will make all the Indians our friends, not from love but fear. I have about 700 choctaws with me, they have been out and have killed seven of the hostile Indians, which has animated them; and I have no doubt but through these I will make the whole nation faithful to us. The Chickasaws have not reached me; but the march of Genl. Coffee through their territory will make them turn out. I have directed to be bought for the Choctaws a blanket, flap and shirt; and I have authorised Col. Hawkins to purchase for the friendly Creeks who will take the field some clothing, which will be taken out of their pay. The Caddo chief, with the neighbouring tribes, twelve in number, had made a tender of his services to the United States. They are from 500 to 1000 strong, and well armed with rifles. I have accepted the tender,  and directed that they be organized, and placed under the superintendance of the officer commanding Fort Claiborne, Natchitoches. This measure will give security to that point for the present. I hope in a few weeks to place this quarter in perfect security both from external and internal enemies, and to be able to move to New Orleans with Genl. Coffee's mounted men.
         The Gun boats have not reached their station on the Lakes; and I have dreaded least a British force should cut off our supplies from New Orleans, before I could get a sufficient stock from Tennessee. But a letter from Commodore Patterson, just come to hand, assures me of a hearty cooperation, and I hope ere long he will be on the coast.
         Permit me to thank you for the funds sent on to Govr. Blount. Treasury Bills will answer every purpose; give me them, and I ask no other funds. The credit of the government is restored here; through the sums advanced by the Nashville and New Orleans Banks. The affair of Mobile Point of the 15th ulto. had, in this respect, a desirable effect.
        In a short time I shall be better able to judge what force will be necessary for the defence of this district: when all my surplus force shall be discharged. I have directed the troops ordered from West Tennessee, by the late requisition, direct to New Orleans; if necessary, I can change the route to any point. I hope I shall not want the requisition from Georgia.
        The Contractors on the route from Tennessee to Fort Jackson, as usual, have starved and detained my troops, with the exception of the 1st. Regt. West Tennessee militia under Col Lowrie, and a detachment of the 44th. Infy. under Capt. W.O Butler; those, having every inconvenience and difficulty, are now near me. I have the honor to be, Sir, Very respectfully, Your obt. servant,

                                                                                                  Andrew Jackson
                                                                                                  Major Genl. Comdg.

a scarcity of stationary on a frontier like this, is my apology for the appearance of this communication.
                                                                                                                                       A.J.

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