Head quarters Nashville
Nov. 15. 1814
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