10.17.2014

Letter to John Williams from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters 7th M. District Mobile
Octbr 17th 1814

Sir

          By express from Genl. Taylor, I have recd a copy of a correspondance between him and yourself, relative to the arms required of you. For what purpose this communication is forwarded I cannot say; no charges or specifications have accompanied it. It may be intended by the genl as a foundation {for the application} of your arrest.
          I regret that you did not furnish him all the arms that could be spared from the deposit in your hands. The moment he was ordered into the service of the United States, he had a right to command any officer of a lower grade. And the want of arms and the urgency of the occasion, would no doubt justify the order; there being no possibility of arming his men, after leaving Knoxville, untill they passed through the country of an enemy. The slow progress making in recruiting in Tennessee from late reports is an evidence that at most one half of these arms would have been fully adequate for the recruits of your regiment, untill a supply could have been ordered on, and reached you. Arms are scarce here and should it be true that our gunboats are blockaded the communication with new orleans can easily be cut off. these men may remain without arms in the field during their term of service, and this at a time too, when it is expected the service of every soldier that can be obtained will be wanted to defend this section of the union
      I have deemed it necessary to make this communication to you, as well to prepare you for an event which must happen, if insisted on by Genl. Taylor, as to guard you against the repetition of an act which might prove so injurious to the safety of the country. This is not at time to investigate nice military questions of rank. It is the duty of all officers even to recede a little from their own rights where a public benefit would ensue. I have the honor to be Yr. most obednt. Servt.

                                                                                                        Andrew Jackson
                                                                                                        Major Genl Commanding

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