Living Conditions of the American soldiers

November 29, 1814

Dealing with the illness and living conditions of his American soldiers, General Brown wrote to James Monroe, 

“Perhaps in no country is it so difficult to procure men as in ours, and yet I believe there never was a government that took less pains to preserve the soldiers when once obtained…. we are so humane, there is so much of the milk of human kindness in the Nation that the Soldier cannot be flogged and properly corrected for his offences, but he may perish with Cold or Hunger or expire in your Infamous Hospitals for the want of the necessary supplies and the proper attendance….”


Letter from William Carroll to Andrew Jackson

Headquarters Clarksville
Novr. 26. 1814


           I have the honor to inform you that I reached this place on yesterday and shall sail with the three regiments in a few hours with the hope that we shall have no further hault untill we reach Natchez--
           The troops are healthy and subordinate and I hope will soon be acquainted with their duty I am sir, respectfully Yr. Mo. Obt. Servt

                                                                                               Wm Carroll
                                                                                                Majr. Genl.


Letter to James Monroe from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters 7 M Dist Mobile
Novr. 21st. 1814


             Since my arrival at this place Colo Sparks of the 2nd Infty has shewn me an order from the Adjutant and Inspector Genls office dated Washington City Octo 1st. 1814 addressed to him, from which I extract the following "Lieut. Willis's resignation was not approved of by the war department. He has complety recovered, and will be placed on the recruiting service in the states with Subalterns appointed And if we can furnish him with a sufficiency of funds he will probably Join your Regt in the Spring with a full company, every thing will be done to fill your Regt with officers and men.
          "You will please to make immediate application to the District paymaster Mr. Pemberton in New Orleans for $20,000 for bounties and premiums $2000 will be sent you for contingencies with recruiting instructions. You are at liberty to send your officers into the States where you think they will be most successfull, I am &c."
           Having been intrusted with and held responsible for the safety of this district, I had made the necessary arrangements for this section of it previous to my departure for New Orleans as contemplated on the 22nd Inst. You will readily see under these circumstances I could not permit subordinate officers to derange my plan of defence by suffering them to take from me my most valuable officers for the recruiting service as authorised by the foregoing order when I am individually accountable for the protection of the District.
          I have been taught to believe from my infancy that all military orders to inferior officers should pass through the superior, to enable the superior to account for the officers under his command, and that any other mode would tend to derange the best plans of the superior without his knowledge or consent & place the most important points of defence under the superintendance of officers unqualified.
         But knowing the importance oif filling the ranks I have ordered Colo Sparks with all the supernumerary officers of the 2nd. Infty on the recruiting service, and subjoin a list of those I have selected to remain with the Regt. for the information of the war department.
         I have placed the second and third Regts with the defence of Forts Charlotte and Bowyer under the command of Colo Arbuckle, with orders to cooperate with the militia for the defence of this section of the country until Genl Winchester shall arrive.
         I trust sir in future that all orders will be promulgated through me to inferior officers of my district. If I am deemed incompetent to the selection of officers for special commands I am certainly inadequate to the defence of the district assigned me--and whenever my government shall entertain such an opinion of me, she will no longer find me disposed to continue my services. I have the honor to be very respectfully yr obedt. servt.

                                                                                                  Andrew Jackson M. G. C.

List of officers retained for command in the 2nd. Infty

Majrs Hughes                                                            Lieuts Villard
  "      Lawrence                                                                   Dogget
Capts Chamberlain                                                               Sturgis
          Bradley                                                                      Clark
          Brownlow                                                                  T R Sanders
          Ware                                                                 "       Brooks
                                                                                   "       Thomas
                                                                                   "       Smith
                                                                                   "       Gildart
                                                                                   "       Davis
                                                                                           R G. Sanders
                                                                                           C. Sanders


Letter to James Monroe from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters, 7th Military District. Mobile,
Novr. 20th. 1814.


         I reached this place last evening, and have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your two letters if the 19th and 21st. ulto. That of the 19th respecting the preservation of arms has been promptly attended to: and a general order issued upon the subject, which will, I hope, perfectly secure the desireable objects which the government has in view.
         My communication of the 14th inst. will have advised you of my visit to, and return from Pensacola. By those of a previous date, you have been informed of the hostility of the Governor of West Florida towards the U. States,  and the aid which he gave to our declared enemy. In addition to this, I have only to call your attention to the facility afforded to the British, by a position at Pensacola, for driving off the cattle of our citizens; and to the disaffected amongst us, of holding correspondence with them, and furnishing them with supplies. About eight days before I marched, four hundred head of cattle were driven from the Alabama to the enemy, by whom I have not been able to discover; part of them was regained by me, driven back, and delivered to the contractor, with orders to him to account to the individuals who owned them.
         I flatter myself that I have left such an impression on the mind of the Governor of Pensacola, that he will respect the American character, and hereafter prevent his neutrality from being infringed. Should he suffer the British again to occupy his Town, and the Indians to return, this district cannot be protected, unless they are (as you have expressed in your letter of the 7th. Septr.) promptly expelled.
         I need not again mention to you the geographical situation of that place, the goodness of the harbour, and the ease with which our enemy can thence attack any point on the coast, either in the 6th. or 7th. Military Districts; and keep up their constant intrigue with the Indians. These have all been embraced in my former communications.
          Let me state, that it is with nations as with individuals: let them sternly know, that our rights will be respected, that the least infringement will be punished, and they will respect your rights and live in good neighborhood. We have nothing to expect from the friendship of Spain; her weakness, and the exposed situation of her American possessions, will alone secure her good offices.
         From the conduct of the Choctaws in the late expedition, I have every reason to hope, that their attachment to our cause, is ensured. The inconvenience attending the Indian forces, is, that you cannot keep them in the field; as soon as they perform an excursion, and take a scalp, they must go home and dance. The greater part of those in service will now go home. The Chickasaws are on their way to join me. Col. Hawkins writes to me, that he has taken the field at the head of the friendly Creeks, to chastise the Seminoles, who have shewn a spirit of hostility against us. The Cherokees inform me they will be with me shortly.
         I leave this for New Orleans on the 22nd. inst. and if my health permits, shall reach there in twelve days. I travel by land to have a view of the points at which the enemy might effect a landing.
        It is with regret I do this, before the arrival of Genl. Winchester, as Genl. Taylor, of East Tennessee, will be up in a few days, and being the eldest officer, will assume the command. He has delayed the militia on their march, constantly complaining, and rumor states, is very subject to intoxication. I have, by a special order, confined his command to the militia; leaving Lieut. Col. Arbuckle, of 3rd. Infy. (who, having no recruiting officers, left Washington to visit me,) in command of Fort Charlotte, Fort Bowyer, and the 3rd Regt. U.S. Infantry, with instructions to cooperate with the militia for the general defence of this quarter, until the arrival of Genl. Winchester. I hope Lieut. Col. Arbuckle will be permitted to remain in command here, as he is the only officer of that rank, of the U.S. army, in this quarter, since the order to Col. Sparks to superintend the recruiting service for his Regiment. If he is not permitted to remain, when the militia and regulars act together, the Colonels of militia will of course command. This will be unsafe. One of his majors can superintend the Recruiting district, as soon as Col. Milton returns the officers and men destined for that service. He has deigned to advise me that they are on their return march, and that he has resigned.
        I have ordered Genl. Coffee with two thousand of his Brigade, to march and cover New Orleans, until the militia from West Tennessee, and those from Kentucky reach that point. I have ordered the Dragoons from the Mississippi Territory to a half way point between this and New Orleans to be foraged (there being no longer any supplies in this quarter.) This squadron can be ordered to either point at which their services are most wanted. I have directed about 1000 volunteer horse, part of Genl. Coffee's Brigade, with what Indian force can be raised, to scour the Escambia, Yellow Water,  &c. &c. under command of Major Blue of the 39th. Infantry; with orders of the necessary supplies if forage and provisions can be obtained, to pursue the fugitive Creeks into the Seminole towns, and destroy them and their crops. Thus I leave this section of my district, and its security much depends on the arrival of General Winchester to take the command.
            The recruits of the 24th and 39th. ordered to this point have not arrived; nor have I had any account of them since their march. They ought to have been up as soon as Capt. W. O. Butler, of the 44th. who joined me on the 1st. inst. He marched with the spirit of an officer who panted with ardour to meet the enemy.
             Before I close this communication, permit me to suggest a plan, which will, on a fair experiment, do away, or lessen the expences incurred under the existing mode of calling militia forces into the field, whenever there happens to be a deficiency in the regular force in any particular quarter. Let the government determine on the number of troops necessary to be employed: for example, say 150,000 men. This number should be apportioned to the different states, agreeably to the representation thereof, and called into service for and during the war. The respective quotas will, in my opinion, be soon raised, by the premiums offered by those subjects to militia duty, rather than to be harassed by repeated drafts. Let the bounty at present offered by government, be also given. It will insure an immediate force in the field; who (being placed under the officers now in commission, and the most experienced men selected for office,) will present an effective army in every quarter, sufficient to drive all enemies from your shores, and to reduce Canada.
         At once to put an end to the Indian warfare in the North West, offer a large bounty in land, in that territory, to an army who will wed themselves to engage in that contest and make themselves masters of the soil, furnish them arms and rations only, and you will have immediate possession of the country, and, notwithstanding the pretensions of Great Britain, to the contrary, peace with the Indians. I have the honor to be, With respect and consideration, Your most obedt. servant,

                                                                                               Andrew Jackson
                                                                                               Major Genl Comdg.


British Prime Minister's view on ending the war

November18, 1814

British Prime Minister letter to Lord Castlereagh on ending the war:

“I think we have determined, if all other points can be satisfactorily settled, not to continue the war for the purpose of obtaining, or securing any acquisition of territory. We have been led to this determination by the consideration of the unsatisfactory state of the negotiations at Vienna, and by that of the alarming situation of the interior of France.”


Letter to Mateo Gonzalez Manrique from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters, 7th. military District, Tensaw,
Novr. 16, 1814.


       on the arrival of my army at this place, a box was discovered in one of the waggons; which, upon examination, was found to contain furniture belonging to the Church. Strict enquiry has been made how it came into the waggon; that just punishment might be inflicted on the individual, who had committed this sacrilege. It appears that it was placed there as a box of arms: by whom, the waggoner does not know.
       I have directed the Quarter Master to take it, carefully, to Mobile; from which place, it shall be  returned, with its contents, by the earliest opportunity, to the holy church. I will thank your Excellency to advise me where this box was deposited at Pensacola.
      I had directed the colours taken from the flag staff at Pensacola to be restored before I left that place. This I find was neglected. I return them by the bearer, Mr. Steward. With high consideration and respect, I am your Excellency's most obedt. and very humble servant,

                                                                                Andrew Jackson
                                                                                Major Genl Comdg
                                                                                United States army


Letter from William Carroll to Andrew Jackson

Head quarters Nashville
Nov. 15. 1814

Dear  Sir,

           Your Letters of the 28. & 31st. Ultimo from Pierce's Mills, I had the honour to receive by Friday's mail. It is most generally improper and unmilitary to disobey orders. There are however some instances when it may be thought justifiable, and I hope when you are made acquainted with my situation, that you will not only justify the step I have taken, but think it correct. I have acted under the conscious belief that you will do so. On the 21st. October last I received orders from Governor Blount through his Adjutant General Colo. Hynes, to transport the three thousand Troops from West Tennessee down the River to New Orleans
          In obedience thereto, I have used every exertion to procure the means of transportation and supplies of all kinds. I have succeeded. The Troops are nearly all here--The Boats for the transportation are now ready--The supplies are at different points between Nashville & Eddyville and if we go by water the first & second Regiments will leave this place on the 20th. instant
           I have therefore after mature deliberation & Consulting Colo. Hynes & Major Reid come to the conclusion to descend the Mississippi River.
            The Cumberland River is in good order and the Ohio is high and I am well satisfied that we shall reach Natchez at least ten days sooner, than if we went by land. Part of our meat Rations are killed and transportation on that account will be much increased. The number of waggons necessary could not be procured in less time than two weeks, nor would the contractor be ready in a shorter time--added to this the late rains would greatly impede the march of the Troops by Land. I send Mr. Eakins direct to your Head quarters under the impression that he will reach you before the mail, that you may order me if necessary to disembark at Natchez and that the means of transportation may be furnished
           Provissions I will have along. I had hoped to have sent you by Mr. Eakin the strength and condition of the West Tennessee militia--the number of arms &c. The deficiency of arms, I will have supplied in some way--It will not be so great as I expected perhaps four or five hundred stands.
           I have recd. a Letter from Col Jas Baxter giving the pleasing information, that the East Tennessee troops will be ready to move soon after the day of rendezvous--that the waggons for transportation will be prepared
            I have written to Genl. Coulter to proceed to Fort Claiborne will all possible dispatch and there are well as from other points report himself to you. I have only to repeat, sir, that I have acted with the best views. If I have done wrong, I am answerable to you and my Country, and I shall rely on the Justice of both for my acquital. I have the honour to be respectfully yr friend

                                                                                                            Wm Carroll
                                                                                                            Majr. Genl

Letter to Rachel Jackson from Andrew Jackson

Head quarters 7th M, District Tensaw
Novbr. 15th. 1814

My Love

          On my return march from Pensacola, I had the pleasure of receiving your affectionate letters of the 25th & 30th. of October--I also recd. answer from Captain R. Rapier, advising me that he could give you a passage in his new Boat to Neworleans (to which place I will set out in a few days), as soon as she was finished, which would be early in Decbr. It is my wishes that you Join me at that point, as Early as possible--I shall endeavor in a day or two to send on some of my young friends to accompany you to New orleans.
         I flatter myself, that we have given the British such an alarm at Pensacola, that they will dread an approach on this quarter--They were in the fort when we reached it and fired on our flag as it approached as the Spanish officers state by the order of Colo. Nicholls who on the night of the 6th. abandoned the Fort with his marines and left his friends the Spaniards to Shift for themselves--on the 7th. we stormed the Town of Pensacola, enterg it on the East side, where we had Fort St George, on our right, and seven British armed vessels on our left, with strong Block houses defended with artilery, and batteries in the streets in our front, the unshaken firmness of our columns, marched forward without halting, bearing down all before them, and soon silenced, the Batteries & musquetry--The regular forces entering the main street had the strong Batteries of the enemy to storm, in doing which Capt Laval who commanded the leading company got severely if not mortally wounded  by a grape shot thro the thigh--and young Mr. Florougnoy acting under my order as 3rd. Lt. to Capt Wm O Butlers company his leg broke above the ankle--is doing well & will soon recover--there never was more universal cool deliberate bravery displayed, by any set of troops than by those I had the honor to command and stormed Pensacola with on the 7th. instant--on the 8th. I was preparing to march to storm Barancas, when I heard several explosions in that direction, detached 200 men with one of my aids, who returned in the night with the information that the Forts was Blown up all combustible matter consumed, the cannon spiked and dismounted except two, and the Village adjoining Burnt--This was done by the British with the consent of the Spaniards--finding this to be the case I determined to withdraw my Troops, having effected the object of the campaign--by driving the British from the shores & harbour, convincing the Indians that there was no safety in British protection, and the only assylum the had or could obtain was in the friendship of the U state--Our conduct has obtained from our enemy tribute of Just respect It is said that Colo Nicholls, exclaimed from the shipping that he never beheld such oder and determined bravery and the universal good conduct of our troops whilst in Pensacola, has inspired the Spaniards with the highes confidence in the americans, and the citizens exclaimed that the choctaws were more civilized than the British--before I set out from here I was taken verry ill, the Doctor gave me a dose of Jallap & calamel, which salavated me, and there was Eight days on the march that I never broke bread--my health is restored but I am still verry weak--my little friend Jackey Donelson son of Saml is verry low, I hope he may recover--I have had him in my tent for several days, this day I will send him with sufficient attendance to a comfortable place--with a Phician to attend him, Doctor Harney has been verry attentive to him--every attention will be paid him
           I shall send some of my friends on in a few days to attend you to Neworleans, in the mean ti you will be making the necessary prepara recollect that Beacon, flower and Vegetables much to our good lving, and oeconomy--The farm I hope will produce in abundance--Transportation can be obtained I hope will down with you--I am happy to hear you age is done, horses I will obtain, if you sho be able to get a pair before you leave home happy you will have the agreable company of the ladies you have named--and to whom present my compliments wishing you a pleasant and speedy trip to new leans, I wish you to send & get my cloathing from Mr Joel Childress Murphysborough and bring them down with you--and also a my Buff waist coats and overalls--I have Just recd a letter from Mr Childress advising me the cloathing is to hand--I shall write you by the gentleman I send on for you--god bless you adieu--your affectionate Husband

                                                                                        Andrew Jackson


Letter to Willie Blount from Andrew Jackson

Head quarters 7th. M District Tensaw
Novbr 14th. 1814


            On last evening I returned from Pensacola to this place--I reached that point on the evening of the 6th. on my approach sent Major Peire with a flag to communicate they object of my vissit to the Governor, of Pensacola--he approached Fort St George with his flag displayed, and was fired on by the cannon from the fort--he returned and made report thereof to me--I immediately went with the adjutant General & the Major with a small escort, and viewed the Fort, and found it defended by both british and spanish troops--I immediately determined to storm the Town retired and encamped my troops for the night and made the necessary arrangements to carry my determination into effect the next day--on the morning of the 7th. I marched with the effective regulars of the 3rd. 39. & 44 Infantry, part of Genl Coffees Brigade, the Mississippi dragoons, and part of the west Tennessee regt. commanded by Lt Colo Hammonds (Colo Lowry having deserted and gone me) and part of the choctaws lead by Major Blue of the 39th. and Major Kennedy of the M. Territory--being encamped on the west of the Town I calculated they would expect the assault from that quarter, and be prepared to rake me from the Fort, and the British armed vessels seven in no. that lay in the bay--To cherish this Idea I sent out part of the mounted men to shew themselves on the west whilst I passed in rear of the Fort undiscovered to the East of the Town, when I approached within a mile I was in full view, my pride was never more heightened, than viewing the uniform firmness of my Troops, and with what undaunted courage the advanced, with a strong fort ready to assail them on the right seven British armed vessels on the left, strong Blockhouses, and batteries of cannon in their Front, but the still advanced with unshaken firmness, entered the Town, when a battery of two cannon was opened upon the centre column composed of the regulars with ball & grape and with a shower of musquetry from the houses and gardens, the battery was immediately stormed by Capt Lavall & company & carried, and the musquetry was soon silenced by the steady & well directed fire of the regulars--The Governor met Colo. Williamson and Smith who led the dismounted volunteers with a flag, beged for mercy, and surrendered the Town & Fort unconditionally, mercy was granted and protection givn to the citizens & their property--and still Spanih Treachery kept us out of Possession of the t untill nearly twelve oclock at night--never was more cool determined bravery displayed by any set of troop and the choctaws, advanced to the charge with equal bravery, on the morning of the eight I prepared to march and storm the Barancas, but before I could move, the tremendous explosions, told me that the Barancas with all its appendages was blown up, I dispatched a detachment of two hundred men to explore it, who returned in the night with the information that it was blown up, all the combustible parts burnt--the cannon spiked & dismounted except two--This being the case I determined to withdraw my troops, but before I did I had the pleasure to see the British depart--
        Colo. Nicholls, abandoned the Fort on the night of the 6th. and betook himself to his shipping with his friend Capt Woodbine and their red friends The steady firmness of my Troops has drew a Just respect from our enemies--It has convinced the redsticks, that they have no strong hold or protection only in the friendship of the united states--The good order and conduct of my troops whilst in Pensacola, has convinced the spaniards of our friendship, and our prowess, and has drew from the citizens an expression, that our choctaws are more civilized than the British--In great Haste I am sir respectfully, yr mo. ob. serv.

                                                                                                                   Andrew Jackson
                                                                                                                   Major Genl Comdg.


Declaration of Blockade against Great Britain by privateer Thomas Boyle

November 13, 1814

A proclamation of blockade of United Kingdom by Thomas Boyle, commander of the (privateer) Chasseur who caused this proclamation to be posted in Lloyd’s Coffee house  in London:

"By Thomas Boyle, Esq., Commander of the privateer armed brig Chasseur, &c., &c.,-Proclamation: 

Whereas it has become customary with the Admirals of Great Britain, commanding small forces on the coast of the United States, particularly Sir John Borlaise Warren and Sir Alexander Cochrane, to declare all the coast of the United States in a state of strict and rigorous blockade, without possessing the power to justify such a declaration, or stationing an adequate force to maintain said blockade. 

I do therefore, by virtue of the power and authority in me vested (possessing sufficient force) declare all the ports, harbors, bays, creeks, rivers, inlets, outlets, islands and seacoast of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in a state of strict and rigorous blockade. 

And I do further declare, that I consider the force under my command adequate to maintain strictly, rigorously, and effectually, the said blockade. And I do hereby require the respective officers, whether captains, commanders, or commanding officers, under my command, employed or to be employed on the coasts of England, Ireland, and Scotland, to pay strict attention to the execution of this my proclamation. 

And I do hereby caution and forbid the ships and vessels of all and every nation, in amity and peace with the United States, from entering or attempting to enter, or from coming or attempting to come out of any of the said ports, bays, creeks, rivers, inlets, outlets, islands, or seacoasts, under any pretence whatsoever. And that no person may plead ignorance of this my proclamation, I have ordered the same to be made public in England. 

Given under my hand, on board the Chasseur, day and date as above. Thomas Boyle.
(By command of the commanding officer)
 J. J. Stanbury, Secretary."


Letter from Thomas Bibb to Andrew Jackson

Washington City
November 10. 1814

 Dear General

       I am at this place loitering about and perfectly unemployed, having come on, with our mutual & worthy friend Colo Pope; while thus situated, from the high respect which I entertain for your person & character, I feel a desire to give you some account of passing events here--believing they will not be unacceptable to you.
       I have only been here since Saturday and cannot be as well acquainted with the views of Government as a longer time might have afforded me--however, the Colo has this morning with my brother & self had an interview with the President, Messrs Monroe, & Dallas, and in relation to our freind believe no difficulty of much magnitude will arise in his Settlement with the war department, or, in procuring advances, for the purpose of Complying with your late requisition on him, for deposits at Forts Strother, Williams,  & Jackson--The Executive and Heads of departments are feelingly alive, to the events of the operations of the enemy in the district under your command, and I believe, feel gratifyed at the disclosure of our impressions, of your being able to defend Mobile and orleans from any probable force the enemy make an attack with--
       The Intelligent members of both houses of Congress appear to be determined to place a large force at the Command of the Executive, and place the Fiscal concerns (which are much deranged) of the nation on a solid Basis--of their success in the latter I entertain no doubts, but I have some on the other--the plan which I think most likely to succeed is now before the Senate which in the estimation of members appears most effictient, most likely, speedily, to get in the field, & most, freed, from Constitutional objections, to wit to call out militias for two years, to serve only in their own & adjoin'g state--with inducements to enlist into the regular service, by holding up to their Interest a bounty of 320 acres of land and a large money bounty--with other details giving exemptions from militia service when Individuals will furnish a recruit for the war &c--
      On the subject of the disgracefull destruction of this place, a Comee. on that subject waits only answers to some letters, to report, which will be Interesting to the nation, by enabling it to set their hostility & resentment where it properly belongs--a sufficientcy of evidence is already in their possession, to stamp disgrace on Winders military capacitys--
        An Intelligent & influencial member of the Comee. on the subject of thanks tender'd to military officers, informs me, in relation to yourself, that you stand with national men as high as those to whom thanks were rendered, but the same unanimity could not be obtained towards yourself, the Eastern members alleging it was mere savages you had Conquered &c. &c and this unanimity constituted its value--with high Consideration and respect and Obediently ys,
                                                                                    Thomas Bibb