Message to the Louisiana General Assembly

Camp at M'Carty's, 4 miles below New Orleans.
Dec 31, 1814.

          The Major-General commanding has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the joint resolution of both houses of the hon. the legislature of the state of Louisiana, now in session, dated the 30th inst. and communicated to him by a joint committee of both houses, to which the general gives the following answer.
          That just after the engagement between the British and American armies had commenced on the 28th inst. when the enemy was advancing, and it was every instant expected they would storm our lines; as the general was riding rapidly from right to left of his line--he was accosted by Mr. Duncan, one of his volunteer aids, who had just returned from New Orleans; observing him to be apparently agitated, the general stopped, supposing him the beater of some information of the enemy's movements, asked what was the matter. He replied that he was the bearer of a message from governor Claiborne, that the assembly were about to give up the country to the enemy. Being asked it he had any letter from the governor, he answered in the negative. He was then interrogated as to the person from whom he received the intelligence, he said it was from a militia colonel; the general enquired where this colonel was, that he ought to be apprehended, and if the information was not true, he ought to be shot, but that he the general, did not believe it. To this Mr. Duncan replied, that the colonel had returned to New Orleans, and had requested him, Mr. Duncan, to deliver the above message.
        The general was in the act of pushing forward along the line, when Mr. Duncan called after him and said, "the governor expects orders what to do." The general replied that he did not believe the intelligence; but to desire the governor to make strict enquiry into the subject; and if true, to blow them up. The general pursued his way, and Mr. Duncan returned to the city. After the action Mr. Duncan returned, and on the general's stating to him the impropriety of delivering such a message publicly in the presence of the troops, as well as the improbability of the fact, he excused himself by the great importance of the intelligence, and then, for the first time, the general heard the name of the Colonel Declouet, as Mr. Duncan's author.
       The above statement the general gives as a substantial one of the matter referred to in the resolutions of the senate and house of representatives; and to this he adds, that he gave no order to the governor to interfere with the legislature, except as above stated.

                                                                               Andrew Jackson,
                                                                               Maj. Gen. comdg.


Extract of a letter from Col. R. Butler, adjutant general

Extract of a letter from Col. R. Butler, adjutant general, dated Camp 6 miles below N. Orleans, Dec. 30, 1814.

“I am here surrounded with the din of war-artillery and small arms alternately playing. On the 23d at night we attacked the enemy; and as reported by deserters, we killed, wounded and took prisoners about 500. Our loss comparatively small.
Cols. Lauderdale and Henderson have both bit the dust, and are no more. The latter on the 28th inst. at which time the enemy advanced on us, with a view to storm our works; but they found us too strong to attempt it. We opened our artillery, and a deserter says we killed 140 men that day-among them Sir Beverly Evanson of the 85th. We cannot estimate their force as yet correctly-we are in fine spirits, and have no doubt of drubbing the rascals.”


Published in the Maryland Gazette-February 2, 1815.

Extract of a letter from the Postmaster at New-Orleans, to the Postmaster in Nashville, dated Dec. 30

Extract of a letter from the Postmaster at New-Orleans, to the Postmaster in Nashville, dated Dec. 30.

“You will have heard, I presume of the landing of the British here, and of an action which took place last Friday, in which it is thought they suffered much.  Since that time our army has entrenched itself very strongly and advantageously about 5 miles from town. Last Wednesday the enemy attacked our lines, but were repulsed with considerable loss; ours trifling. Previous to the attack, they succeeded in destroying a column belonging to us by means of their artillery, of which they have a few small pieces.
“In this state the affairs rest-the Kentucky troops being momently expected, which, added to our previous force, puts the country, I conceive entirely out of danger.


Published in the Maryland Gazette-February 2, 1815.


Ghent, Dec. 29


The day before yesterday the constituted authorities of this city paid a visit in a body to the English and American legations, to congratulate them on the cessation of the differences between the two nations, by the conclusion of an advantageous peace. The American ministers gave yesterday evening a diplomatic supper in their hotel; the greatest cordiality prevailed at it between them and the English ministers, who in a few days will give in their turn an entertainment to the American legation. The departure of the ministers of the two nations will take place shortly.
The London Courier of the 30th Dec. says, there are some who seem to expect that Mr. Madison will refuse to ratify the treaty signed by his commissioners. They remind us of the conduct of the former president Mr. Jefferson, who refused his ratification to a treaty signed on the 31st Dec. 1806, between Lord Holland and Lord Auckland and Messrs. Pinkney and Monroe.
A Liverpool paper says-“The fall which has taken place in the value of American produce during the present week, is less considerable than had been expected, on account of the small stock of the chief American staples which now remain in the market. The effects of the American pacification have been very promptly felt in this port.-A vessel is already announced to sail, for one of the ports in the United States.
The Chatham, 74, is ordered to be manned, and will, it is supposed, be sent to America. No preparations for an extended system of warfare have been relaxed.
The Tamer sailed from Plymouth on Sunday for America, and another vessel from Portsmouth yesterday. The last, we suppose, was the bearer of the treaty of peace.


Published in the Maryland Gazette-March 16, 1815.


Letter to James Monroe from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters 7th. M. District
Camp below New-Orleans
29th. Decr. 1814


         The enemy succeeded on the 27th. in blowing up the Caroline (she being becalmed) by means of hot shot from a land battery which he had erected in the night. Emboldened by this event he marched his whole force, the next day, up the Levee, in the hope of driving us from our position, & with this view, opened upon us, at the distance of about half a mile, his bombs & rockets. He was repulsed, however, with considerable loss--not less it is believed than 120 in killed. Ours was inconsiderable--not exceeding half a dozen in killed  & a dozen wounded.
        Since then he has not ventured to repeat his attempt; tho, lying close together, there has been frequent skirmishing between our picquets.
       I lament that I have not the means of carrying on more offensive operations. The Kentucky troops have not arrived; & my effective  force, at this point, does not exceed 3000. Theirs must be at least double--both prisoners & deserters agreeing in the statement that 7000 landed from their boats.
      We are very deficient in arm[s. Th]ose which descended the river having come without their necessary accoutrements. There is also a great scarcity of flints. One other evil (& it is the greatest) I mention with pain: we are greatly deficient in experienced officers. My constitution having suffered considerably by exposure may at length fail; & to provide against such an event I could wish that some experienced officer were sent on to take command of the forces, when I shall be unable to do justice to it. Permit me to suggest the propriety & the necessity of Regular troops for the defence of this country.
                                                                                           Andrew Jackson
                                                                                           Major Genl comd.

Letter from Edward Livingston to Nicholas Girod

Head Quarters
29th. Decr: 1814
camp 14 miles below N O


           The General desires me to request that you would immediately on rect. of this, send a proper civil Officer or Officers, upon whom you can depend, to make search at the same time in every house and Store in the City, for muskets, Bayonets, Cartridge Boxes, Spades, shovels, pick axes, and hoes, which must be taken for the public service, and receipts given for the same, except such as are in the hands of persons serving in any of the militia or volunteer corps.
          Having been informed also that a number of young men capable of bearing arms have remained in the City under pretext of an enrollment in the Corps of volunteers or otherwise; The General desires that at the time the search is made for Arms, the officers require the names, and age, of every person under fifty, in such house in the City  who are now there not in service--And the name of every person under fifty years of age who is enrolled in the fire Companies or Veterans that a proper order may be taken with respect to them, unless they immediately repair to Camp and enroll themselves in some of the volunteer Corps there.
        The General desires me to add, Sir, that he has the highest confidence in your zeal and attention, & has no doubt that this important order will be executed with promptitude and secrecy and that a report every 12 hours will be made to him of your progress
        I have the honor &c.

                                                                                           E. Livingston aid de Camp

In the search should any artillery men, or Seamen be discovered they must be kept in view
                                                                                                        E L


Fort Stoddert, Dec. 27

Fort Stoddert, Dec. 27.      

Despatches from Pensacola, received on Monday night, state the enemy to be encamped on an island near the mouth of Pearl river-that they have landed from their fleet 400 horses, (as report says) and a number of troops-that they are on shore, and buy and pay for all their supplies, and recommend the people to be quiet, and that they and their property shall be respected.


Published in the Maryland Gazette-January 26, 1815.


Letter to Robert Hays from Andrew Jackson

Headquarters 7 M District 4 miles below Neworleans
Decbr. 26th. 1814

Dr. Colo.

            On the 23rd. instant, the British effected a landing withing nine miles of Neworleans in force at a point I had directed to be well guarded, the were on the bank of the Mississippi had come up a canal, which I had directed to be stopped, and guarded--by three different orders, before it was known to me or any person in Neworleans Coffee & Carroll had reached the vicinity of Neworleans two days before and were encamped 4 miles above, it was 12 M. when I recd the information. I put the Troops in motion, leaving Genl Carrol with his Brigade to guard the city and protect my left & rear, from any of the enemy that might effect a landing from Lake Borgne or chefmonteur--and at 5 ocl. P.M. with what regulars I had, Genl Coffees Brigade 800 strong and a few Volunteers of Louisiana in all 1750--marched to measure strength--and at 9 oclock attacked him, and drove him at all points--but the darkness of the night occasioned by the Fog occasioned some confusion in my ranks, and I withdrew my troops, from their advanced position and remained on the field of Battle untill 5 oclock the nex morning when I retired to the present position hearing they were landing more Troops at Chefmontieur, and that my Troops stationed there had fell back--we have lost some fine fellows, all friends are safe, our loss small compared to theirs, we Took sixty odd prisoners amonghst whom is major [Samuel] Mitchell, who was at washington--time will only permit me to add, that the enemy the next day was reinforced, and we are now in sight of each other--The Kentuckey Troops not arived, Genl Coffee and his corps has added fresh laurels to their Brow, my staff {family} behaved well, as did the officers and other corps--
        private--I fear the enemy obtained, their footholt through the treachery of the guard--they were of the militia of the country--
       Where is Mrs. Jackson--is she on her way--pray advise me--if at home tell her and my little son, may god bless them and your family--adieu--

                                                                                                                   Andrew Jackson

Letter to Andrew Jackson from David Bannister Morgan

Head Quarters Drafted Militia Fort St. Leon
26 December 1814


         I have succeded in removing all the Troops and a piece of Cannon to this post; and am now continueing to transport the rest of the pieces; I think it will be accomplished before the Enemy can advance on the post of the English Turn--
         Last night, within gun shot of the Enemy's Centinel--I succeded in cutting pretty effectually  the Levy--
        It was a most favourable spot, at this season of the river--This morning I reconnoitered the lowest piquet of the Enemy, and found him with a strong party busily occupied in stopping the Cut--
        I also made one to day near Mr. Morgan's--but the river having rapidly fallen--it will not be of much service The Enemy had to day, as if to avoid our further attempts--or to discover them pushed his piquets as low as Mr La Chapelles--our horse piquet approached so near as to fire on him--
       I have apprised major Overton--on your order, and shall as soon as possible--our Troops having slept Little and suffered a great fatigue and privations for some days--move from this post as you order opposite to the enemy--and shall wait on you as soon as I can for further orders Sir, I remain Your most obd. Servant      

                                                                                                          David B. Morgan
                                                                                                          Brigr. Genl. Commanding
                                                                                                          Drafted Militia

Letter to Andrew Jackson from Daniel Todd Patterson

New Orleans
Decr. 26th. 1814


             Immidiately upon my arrival I visited the different vessels in Port, & can find none fit to mount a Mortar, that could be fitted for service in less than several days--but have selected a Brig laden with Cotton that will mount 2, 32 prs--which can be ready for service early to morrow, provided the men come in from Fort St. John. We shall work all night & in order to expedite the equipment I have determined to remain here till day light in the morning, when I shall proceed to my vessels, stopping at your Head Quarters on my way down--as the wind is at present the vessels will be compelled to remain in their present situation I trust we shall have a favorable change in the morning, when I hope to annoy the Enemy & anchor closer to your Camp; there are reports in Town that the Kentucky Troops are a few miles above Town, the truth I cannot ascertain; but trust it is so: I shall work all night to equip the Vessel with heavy Cannon; The nelson would require a greater number of men than we can obtain, and some days to bring into action. I have therefore preferred the Brig, which will I hope answer our purpose. I have the honor to be very Respectfully your obt. Sert.

                                                                                                         Danl. T. Patterson


Letter to David Holmes from Andrew Jackson

Camp below N. Orleans
25 Decr. 1814


         I am just advised by Mr. Brent, agent for the contractors, that boats descending the Mississippi with supplies for this army, have halted at Natchez, fearing to advance to N. Orleans--it is probable that others which are also descending the river under his order, may stop on the way, for the same reason. I must therefore entreat you to use the most effectual means in your power to oblige vessels of this description to hasten hither with all dispatch. This is a critical moment; in which a stopage of supplies may be attended with the most ruinous consequences. To provide effectually against such an evil I must also urge you to use your utmost exertions to induce, & even, if necessity require, to oblige all vessels, laden with provission-articles, whether under the order of the contractor or not, to descend to Orleans with all dispatch. Let the owners of them be assured that no injustice will be done to them, either in their persons or property.
       Early on the morning of the 23d. the enemy landed on the bank of the Mississippi about 2 1/2 leagues below N. Orleans--having passed from Lake Borgne by means of a bayou, which, notwithstanding my express order in writing had been left unobstructed. What is equally extraordinary, I was not advised of his approach until evening, altho I had taken every precaution to receive the earliest intelligence of such an event. The moment I received the information, I put a part of Genl. Coffee's brigade & the 7th. & 44th. regts Inftry in motion; & attacked him at night in his first position. The result was highly honorable to our arms. He was repulsed at every point on which I attacked him. Genl. Coffee distinguished himself by his usual gallantry. Both armies have remained, since the action, near the battle-ground, making arrangements for something more decissive. The exact force of the enemy is not known. The prisoners we have taken represent it to be six thousand; & a considerable additional force, I hear has just arrived. My force, on the night of the attack, could not have exceeded a third of theirs. In a few days we shall probably measure strength again, when I hope to be able to sustain the honor of our arms & to secure the safety of this country. I am most respectfully Sir Yr. Obt St

                                                                                                        Andrew Jackson
                                                                                                        Major Genl comdg

P.S. Again I must entreat you to send me all the force you can, & will all possible expedition

Letter to Andrew Jackson from Edward Livingston

25 Decr. 1814

Dr. Genl.

       Since I have heard of the movement of the Enemy towards the wood I have sent for some persons who know the Bayou Bienvenue very to examine whether they may not intend to go down the Bayou and gain our rear by means of the Canal of Peirnas or Dupre both of them leading to the Bayou Bienvenu & between us and the town Mr. Sauvinet a very intelligent man long concerned in the contraband trade tells me it is very possible, as the banks of the canal may be marched on within half pistol shot of the Bayou. Lafite also thinks it possible but not probable, with a very enterprising Enemy however these terms ought to be for our Government synonamous. Lafite thinks our line to afford a Complete protection ought to be extended thro the first wood, to the Cypress swamp & the Canal Extended that Distance as they may otherwise turn our left. It being plain that the movement to the wood must be intended for one of these two purposes I have thought proper to give you this Information. Lafite says the wood may easily be marched thro all the Distance to the Cypress swamp which is nearly impracticable and affords as good a point of support on the left as the river on the right--
       "Six oclock" a citizen has just called to let me know that a Mullatto man declared he had seen the English this afternoon in Mde. Piernas' Bayou. this is probably our Picket that he has seen I have Endeavored but without  Effect to find out the Mullatto; tho his tale is not probable yet I have thought it worth Communicating to you. I am very respectfully your Mo Obdt Servt

                                                                                                Edw Livingston

     It is said the Enemies whole force has disappeared from before Chef Menteur & sailed up the Bayou Bienvenu probably to unite with the main army & make a bold push on our lines.

Courtesy of the Andrew Jackson Papers


Scene on the New Orleans battlefield

December 24, 1814

Scene of the battlefield after Battle of New Orleans as recounted by British soldier:

(In the evening) “ …While others were thus reposing, I stole away with two or three men for the purpose of performing the last sad act of affection which it was possible for me to perform to my friend Grey. As we had completely changed our ground, it was not possible for me at once to discover the spot where he lay; indeed I traversed a large portion of the field before I hit upon it. 

While thus wandering over the arena of last night’s contest, the most shocking and most disgusting spectacles everywhere met my eyes. I have frequently behind a greater number of dead bodies within as narrow a compass, though these, to speak the truth, were numerous enough, but wounds more disfiguring or more horrible I certainly never witnessed. A man shot through the head or heart lies as if he were in a deep slumber; insomuch that when you gaze upon  him you experience little else than pity. But of these, many had met their deaths from bayonet wounds, sabre cuts, or heavy blows from the butt ends of muskets; and the consequence was, that not only were the wounds themselves exceedingly frightful, but the very countenances of the dead exhibited the most savage and ghastly expressions. 

Friends and foes lay together in small groups of four or six, nor was it difficult to tell almost the very hand by which some of them had fallen. Nay, such had been the deadly closeness of the strife, that in one or two places and English and American soldier might be seen with the bayonet of each fastened in the other’s body.”


Extract of a letter to the Post Master General

Extract of a letter to the Post Master General dated,

New-Orleans, Dec. 23, mid night,
Intelligence has just been received of the British having landed (force variously stated, the extent not more, probably, than 6,000) about 8 miles below town, whither general Jackson hurried off with troops to meet them. An engagement took place last evening between the advance guard, in which the enemy was repulsed-fifty of their men, & two major, have been brought in prisoners. A more general action is expected to-day. The general has since taken an advantageous position about three miles in rear, where he is entrenching himself. The enemy effected their landing upon major general Villary’s plantation by way of the bayou back of it, issuing into lake Borgne. Some of the prisoners state they belonged to the 98th regt. and were from Portsmouth. They report their force variously, from seven to fifteen thousand men. This is doubtless exaggeration, probably its amount not more than six thousand.
The last report from the army is, that the British had disappeared from the battle ground, and were making, as was conjectured, for Terre aux Boeuf, in which event they would probably lose their boats.


Published in the Maryland Gazette-January 26, 1815.


Copy of a letter to a member of the house of representatives, dated New-Orleans, December 23, 1 o'clock, at night

Copy of a letter to a member of the house of representatives, dated New-Orleans, December 23, 1 o’clock, at night.

Before I had time to fold up the letter I wrote to you to-day, the alarm gun was sounded, and I forth with repaired to the tented field. The enemy, without being discovered, made the river at general Villiary’s plantation to-day about twelve o’clock. They have not, it is supposed, all yet debarked. The entry was made up at bayou, into which a canal from Villary’s plantation empties. Gen. Jackson with general Coffee’s men, the 7th regiment, a part of the 44th, some of the town militia and some other troops, arrived about 7 o’clock, supported by the schr. Caroline.
We commenced the engagement about half past seven, which continued pretty hot until about a quarter after nine, when the firing ceased on the part of the British first. I cannot tell the number of killed or wounded on either side yet. Towards the close of engagement, our company of riflemen was broken by a charge from the enemy and has suffered a good deal. Captain Bealle commanded the right and myself the left of the company. I had then with me only fifteen men, three of whom were wounded; and I had also eleven prisoners, a part of the army that was at Washington. In this situation I thought it best to order my men to march towards the swamp, and accordingly marched about half way to town, back of the plantations. I have safely delivered the prisoners, and am now at home very much fatigued. I shall set out again before day with my men to the field before day with my men to the field of battle. Our army is well formed, and will not be surprised-tomorrow morning the battle will be renewed-the two armies nearly keep their ground-I believe we have the advantage so far, but I can give you nothing particular. Our army has been reinforced to night by a thousand of general Carroll’s men, and I expect hard fighting to-morrow. The prisoners that our company have made, state their numbers to be about twelve thousand men, and about three thousand debarked, with whom we fought-that they are commanded by General Keene-that there are two regiments of blacks 1,000 men each.


Published in the Maryland Gazette-January 26, 1815.

Letter to Waters Allen from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters 7th. M. D. New Orleans
23d. Decr. 1814


         Your letter of the 4h. Instant has been recd. with the inclosure--You will in future be pleased to keep to yourself your Opinions upon the policy of us makeing payments to particular Corps--It is enough for you to receive my order for the payment of the troops with the necessary muster rolls without enquiring, whether the troops are white, Black, or red.
         You are not to know whether I have rec'd. authority from the War department to employ any particular description of men, and will immediately upon rect. of this, make the payment to the Choctaws upon the muster rolls of Maj'r. Blue, deducting from the amount noted on the rolls for clothing recd. {the the amount from thereon after this deduct will be made}. I have already stated the necessity of making these prompt payments, let it not therefore agin be necessary to reiterate this order.
        Majr. Henry mistook my order relative to the payment of his dragoons. I did not expect you to make the payment, knowing that you had not the funds;
         This application should have been made to Majr. Pemberton--I am respectfully Yr. Obt. Servt.

                                                                                     A Jackson
                                                                                     M Genl. comdg

Letter to Roberts Hays from Andrew Jackson

Head quarters 7th. M. District Neworleans
Decbr. 23rd 1814


       Before this reaches you, you will have heard, of the Capture of our gun Boats on the lakes since which the British has made no movement of importance--The Fort at Petit Coquil, they have not as yet attacked--that is the only Barier between them and the entire peaceable possession of the Lakes--The are said to be in great force--The citizens of this place, since my arival, has displayed a great share of ardor, and unimity--Genl Coffee & General Carroll has both arived their Troops in good health for the climate & in high spirits, and I have a hope should they British effect a landing at any point, I will be able to check them--They Kentuckians has not reached me, neither, have I heard from them
       I have not recd a letter or paper from Tennessee since the last of Octobr. I am anxious to know whether Mrs. Jackson has sailed from Nashville under an expectation that she has, has been the reason why I have not wrote her--If she is still at home say to her the reason I have not wrote her--and say to her and my little son god bless them--I am more than anxious to see them--I send you for your perusal the orders and adresses to the citizens of this place--I hope under every circumstance, and let what will happen, you will hear that I have done my duty--all well--
      with my best respects to your lady and family, and good wishes for yourself I am respectfully, yours Sincerely

                                                                                                              Andrew Jackson

P.S. pray write me--

Letter to William Charles Cole Claiborne from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters 7th. M. Dist. New Orleans
Decr. 23d. 1814 3/4 after 3. P.M.

           Genl. Claiborne will take command of the ancients of the City, of New Orleans with the disposable force of militia with the exception of Majr. Plochas and Colo. Fortier's  Battalion of Colour. Will post the dispensible force on the Gentilly road, and keep out vigilent and confidential videts patroles, and reconnoitering parties, so that the enemy cannot penetrate that quarter and surprise him & On the appearance of an enemy will advise the Commanding General without delay. His excellency is charged with the above command, It is expected will bury his men nobly or prevent the enemy from entering the city. The rest is left to his judgment and discretion.

                                                                                        Andrew Jackson
                                                                                        Majr. Genl. Comdg--


Order to Philemon Thomas from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters 7th. M.D. New Orleans
Decr. 22d. 1814


         I am informed that the orders given through Governor Claibourn for calling out the militia in mass in your district, have not been complied with. You will therefore Consider this as an Express order immediately to direct the whole militia of your District to be held in readiness to march at a moments warning; Sending your returns without Delay of the different regiments, and their situation, as fast as they can be procured, to me.
        The Example of the Citizens here (who have turned out to a man) must be followed by the inhabitants of the Country: endeavor to shew them that their only safety consists in a manly resistance & at the same time give them Clearly to understand that the severest punishment will be inflicted on those who neglect their Duty.
        You are to place videts on all assailable points on the lake, or waters leading to it I am &c

                                                                                                                    A Jackson M G C

Letter to Andrew Jackson from John McKee

Choctaw Agency
Decr. 22 1814


       In my last of the 6 Currt. by Col. Dyer I expressed a wish to have a personal interview with you should you come to Baton rouge The state of my health with the late heavy rains and high waters have prevented me from going to Natchez as soon as I intended for the Choctaw Annuity, but will go down as soon as it will be practicable to waggon out the goods
      I am mortified by frequent reports that the troops on their passage often use the most insulting acts and language to the indians and within their hearing tending to excite dissatisfaction among them. My letter of the 19th Ulto. will have given you some of the facts as they had then come to my knowledge. I wish a general disposition could be spread among our troops to treat the friendly indians with kindness and confidence, and as if they were making a common cause with us as their friends neighbors and protectors--such treatment would inspire them with a zeal for our service. The persons complained of are but few and in many instances I have no doubt have spoken and acted without reflection I have a pleasure in saying I have not heard a single complaint against Genl. Coffees Brigade.
     It ought to be early known to you that very little can be placed on this country for a supply of provisions or forrage for the returning army. The crops of corn were very light last season and will scarcely be sufficient for the ordinary consumption. I have the honor to be with sincere respect Your obedient servant

                                                                                                              John McKee


New Orleans, Dec. 21

New-Orleans, Dec. 21.
On Sunday, the 18th instant, General Jackson reviewed the militia of the city, the battloin commanded by major Plauche, and a part of the regiment of men of color. Being drawn up the following addresses were read to them by Mr. Lavingston one of his aids:-

Fellow Citizens and Soldiers!
The General Commanding in Chief would not do justice to the noble ardor that has animated you in the hour of danger, he would not do justice to his own feelings, if he suffered the example you have shewn to pass without public notice. Inhabitants of an opulent and commercial town, you have by a spontaneous effort shaken off the habits which are created by wealth, and shown that you are resolved to deserve the blessings of fortune by bravely defending them. Long strangers to the perils of war, you have embodied yourselves to face them with the cool countenances of veterans-and with motives of disunion that might operate on weak minds, you have forgotten the difference of language and the prejudices of national pride, and united with a cordiality that does honor to your understandings as well as to your patriotism. Natives of the United States! They are the oppressors of your infant political existence, with whom you are to contend-they are the men your fathers conquered whom you are to oppose. Descendants of Frenchmen! natives of France! they are the English, the hereditary, the eternal enemies of your ancient country, the invaders of that you have adopted, who are your foes. Spaniards! remember the conduct of your allies at St. Sebastians, and recently at Pensacola, and rejoice that you have an opportunity of avenging the brutal injuries inflicted by men who dishonor the human race.
Fellow Citizens of every description! Remember for what and against whom you contend. For all that can render life desirable, for country blessed with every gift of nature-for property, for life-for those dearer than either, our wives and children-and for liberty, dearest of liberty, without which country, life, property, are no longer worth possessing:-as even the embraces of wives and children become a reproach to the wretch who could deprive them by his cowardice of those invaluable blessings. You are to contend for all this against an enemy whose continued effort is to deprive you of the least of these blessings-who avows a war of vengeance and desolation, carried on and marked by cruelty, lust, and horrors unknown, to civilized nations.
Citizens of Louisiana! the General Commanding in Chief, rejoices to see the spirit that animates you, not only for your honour but for your safety, for whatever had been your conduct or wishes, his duty would have led, and will now lead him to confound the citizen unmindful of his rights with the enemy he ceases to oppose. Now leading men who know their rights, who are determined to defend them, he salutes you, brave Louisianians, as brethren in arms, and has a new motive to exert all his faculties which shall be strained to the utmost in your defence. Continue with the energy you have began, and he promises you not only safety, but victory over the insolent enemy who insulted you by an affected doubt of your attachment to the constitution of your country.


Published in the Maryland Gazette-January 26, 1815.


Letter from William Charles Cole Claiborne to Andrew Jackson

New Orleans
December 20th 1814


           I have the honor to enclose you a Return in part of the Militia of the state of Louisiana . You would sooner have received it, but for causes which I could not controul. The enclosure (A) is a Return of the regular Militia, at present within the city, and Evirons of New Orleans, their numbers have been diminished by several Detachments, heretofore ordered into the service of the United States, and by two or three companies recently raised, I learn, under your authority, and of which description are the Detachments under Mr. Ogden, & Mr. Jacques Villere.
           The enclosure (B) will shew you the strength of the several Rifle, Marine, & veteran corps, of Chevauxs Troops of Cavalry and of the fire Company. The Rifle Company is an Independant Corps; organized under a particular Law, which accords to it peculiar privileges, and among these, is the one of being immediately under the orders of the Governor of the state. The Marines have recently been raised and consist for the most part of transient Persons. They have been organized by me into Battalion, and fully officered; They were inspected on this morning, and are anxious to be put on duty. The veterans are men exempt by law from militia service, or incapable by age or bodily Infirmities of active Duty. Chevau's Cavalry is an Independent Company, entitled by law to peculiar privileges, one of which is to be more immediately under the orders of the Governor. The fire company is composed of Fathers of families, entitled by law to exemption from ordinary militia duty; but who at the Present crisis, have made a voluntary tender of service, within the city.
          The enclosure (C) will shew the strength of a volunteer Battalion of free men of colour, which I have recently organized and officered. They have been inspected, and are armed with good musket Cartridge Boxes & Bayonets Belts have not been furnished them, nor have I any at my disposition. This Battalion is Solicitous to be put in activity, & if you think proper, to make me the vehicle of conveying your wishes, it shall be ordered to any Point you shall designate.
           I have not accurate information as to the Present Condition of the Battalion of uniform militia, (Plauche's command) at Present under your immediate orders; It has late been much added to by Recruits from the Regular militia, and indeed the practise of leaving one company to join another, has of late become so common, that to prevent the total destruction of some corps, and much derangment, to others I have deemed it proper to forbid it, in General Militia orders.
          The Return of the Battalion of Chosen Men of Colour, ordered to the Chef Menteur, has been mislaid; another will Soon be furnished me, and a copy shall be forwarded to you, on Tomorrow if desired; But I take it for granted  that the strength of this corps, you are fully informed.
          As Regards the militia of the state generally, I cannot give you full information; But I have ordered the adjutant General to prepare a general abstract from the returns last received, & which shall be transmitted to you. I am Sir with the Greatest Respect your most obt Servt.

                                                                                               William C. C. Claiborne


General Orders to Jacques Philippe Villere from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters New Orleans
Decr. 19th 1814

     Major General Villere will without delay obstruct the passage from the Lakes Borgne Ponchartrain & Maurepas to the Mississippi, and station at every important point a guard or point of observation, & report regularly to Head Quarters every occurence of importance--The Major General is authorized to make such requisitions upon the Inhabitants within his District for negroes, Horses, Oxen, Carts &c. as he may deem necessary & to enroll & receive into the service of the United States, upon the same footing with the Militia now in service all the Indians within his District & upon their enrollment will deliver to them one Blanket & two shirts the value thereof to be deducted from their pay--to ensure the completion of the above order Major General Villere will make return for such arms ammunition and provisions as he may deem necessary

                                                                                                        (signed) Andrew Jackson
                                                                                                        Major Genl. Commanding


Later From New Orleans


[Received at 10 o’clock last night.]
Extract of a letter from T. Johnson, esq. Post-Master at New-Orleans, dated December 17th
“The enemy’s vessels, about sixty sail, are at Ship Island, in the Bay of St. Louis. They approach the city by Lake Ponchartrain.-Our naval force on that lake consisted of five gun-boats and our small schooner; they were attacked by 38 of the enemy’s barges, and were carried after a severe action of an hour and thirty minutes. The enemy’s loss was great-thirteen of their barges were sunk. They are now masters of the lake. To oppose their march to the city, we have but two small forces; one at the mouth of the bayou St. John. If they effect a landing, a battle must decide the fate of the city. All here have full confidence in General Jackson, and calculate on a favorable result.
Our present force is 4000 regulars and militia. To this we may add, by Sunday, 2000 Tennessee troops under Gen. Coffee. The other force from Kentucky and Tennessee will not arrive in time. The fleet is the same you had in the Chesapeake, and is under Admiral Cochrane. Gen. Jackson has established the most perfect order and police. He is confident he can defend the place. The accounts of the enemy’s force are various. Our fate will be decided before you hear from me again.


Published in the Maryland Gazette-January 12, 1815.


Letter from John Coffee to Andrew Jackson

Camp at mouth of Sandy Creek,
four Oclock A.M. 17th. Decr. 1814

Dear Genl,

         Your orders through your Adjt. Genl. by express per Captain Gordon, was handed me, about eight Oclock last evening, one of my Regiments was absent 4 miles foraging (never as yet being able to procure that article here) my orders were sent immediately, and by exertion shall move my command this morning at sun rise, no time will be lost be me untill I reach New Orleans. I think we will reach you in four days, say by the evening of the 20th. Instant.
        My arms are in bad condition, and now I have no time to examine into their state, but I know we have from 2 to 4 hundred that are not good--if I could be furnished with muskets, and Cartridge Boxes to that amount I should be glad, it would be well to have the Boxes filled with cartridges before my arrival, all my powder has been destroyed by the rains on the march to this place, furnish us with the best rifle powder that can be had.
       My command are in fine spirits, and if we can reach you before Lord Hill arrives, we will give him a warm reception--
        Any supplies of arms and amunition that I am to receive from you, would be well to be forwarded to some point above Orleans, and recd. before we enter the town--
        I have dispatched an express to Genl. Carroll, have not heard of him since Col Hynes passed me--have also sent for Major Hyds Dragoons--every thing here is in motion.
        have two large Barges here, and my quarter master will some how or other, fill them with corn, say 2000, bushels and meet me at orleans--I have the honor to be with great respect your obt. Servt.
                                                                                             Jno. Coffee
                                                                                             Brigr. Genl.


Letter to James Winchester from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters 7h. M. District New Orleans,
Decr: 16h. 1814

Dear General,

            I have the pleasure to acknowledge the rect. of your several letters of date the 8h. & 9h. Instant late last night, and have detained the bearer to day, to receive information form our Gun Boats, Said to be captured by the British On the 14h. instant, after a conflict of one hour and a half. It is reported by those who were in view, that they were attacked by thirty six Barges, that the conflict was dreadful, and that one half of the barges were sunk, before the Gun-Boats struck their Colours; but from contradictions in the relation I have a hope that some of them are still safe. If it should be true that they are all taken the communication from this to Mobile is entirely Closed, and you must immediately turn your attention for the supply of your army to the provision I have made by a requisition on Pope and Brahan of which I advised you in my last, and which will prevent your army from want--The transportation from Fort Jackson will be easy, and should the supply ordered not be sufficient, you will without delay make a requisition on Pope & Brahan, agents of Wood and Taylor for such number of rations as you may judge, will be sufficient for the supply of your Army--in short Sir, through that channel alone, can your Section of the country be supplied, or your troops fed, for the ballance of the War.
         I inclose you a letter from Capt. Brahan that will advise you of the exertions they are makeing to fill the requisition. The lakes in complete possession of the enemy will give me a large coast to watch & defend, and the difficulty of finding out their point of attack perplexing: but I trust with the smiles of heaven to be able to meet and defeat him at every point he may put his foot on land--in a few days I shall have the defence of the Mississippi complete. And I trust if Admiral Cochrane enters it he never will get out of it, unless as a prissoner--They may attempt to attack you at Mobile with the Gun Boats and Barges. Passing through pass Heron, and up the Bay, keep a good look out, and suffer them not to surprise you. They may endeavor to Cut of the Supplies from Mobile to Fort Bowyer; have a good supply of provision thrown into the Fort. I have carefully perused the Governor of Pensacola's letter, and have determined, to permit a small supply of provision to be sent for Pensacola.
       I will send it round to sea. I can not say whether the British will capture it, if they do; it must bring down on them the vengeance of the Spanish Government--and the small quantity cannot benefit them much. I fear you cannot under existing circumstances spare any from the wants of your Army, for the inhabitants of Pensacola; And if the British interrupt the supply I shall permit to be sent, They will I fear suffer. I have great need of regular troops here, and have called out the militia of Louissianna in mass. The Tennessee & Ky Troops have not yet reached me. I hope they will in a few days. I have ordered Genl. Coffee down by forced marches, & hope he will join me tomorrow.
        Forward on a report of the Strength of your army. Advise me where the East Tennessee and Georgia troops Are; The result of Majr. Blues expedition--And Guard well the communication between fort Jackson and your Army--Or your supplies may be cut off, which is your support and existance. Wishing you success & laurels I am very respectfully yr. Mo. Obt. Servt.

Letter to John Coffee from Andrew Jackson

Head quarters 7th. M. District Neworleans 
Decbr. 16th. 1814

Dr. Genl

            your letter of the 13th. instant is Just to hand I regret exceedingly the sufferings of you and your Brave followers, and send to you one thousand dollars pr express to bring you here--
            My letters have reached you, I hope the Tennessee and Kentuckey Troops, are heard of and will be here shortly--I need not say to you, to reach me by forced marches, it is enough to say, that [Lord Co]chrane is on our coast with about [eighty sa]il great & small, and report says has t[ake]n all our gun Boats in the lakes--I have still a hope it is not true--notwithstanding a naval officer reports that he saw the engagement & saw the gun Boats strike--
           I am astonished that the T. & Kentuckey Troops are not up--If heard from, please to dispatch an express, to them to proceed night and day untill the arive--and notify the commander of the Detachment of the regular Troops to proceed without delay to this place--In great haste I am yours sincerely

                                                                                             Andrew Jackson
                                                                                             Major Genl comdg.

General Orders to New Orleans Citizens

Head Quarters 7th. M District
Adjutant Generals office N. Orleans
16th. December 1814

General Orders.

        Major General Andrew Jackson commanding the 7th. U. States Military District declares the city and environs of New Orleans under strict martial law--and orders that in future the following rules be rigidly enforced. Viz--Every individual entering the city will report at the Adjutant General's office, and on failure to be arrested and held for examination--No person shall be permitted to leave the city without a permission in writing signed by the General or one of his Staff--No vessel, boat or other craft will be permitted to leave New Orleans or Bayou St. John without a passport in writing from the General (or one of his staff) or the commander of the naval forces of the United states on this station--The street lamps shall be extinguished at the hour of nine at night, after which period, persons of every description found in the streets, or not at their respective homes without permission in writing as aforesaid and not having the countersign shall be apprehended as spies and held for examination--The Dragoons and Hussars will be held in readiness to furnish patrols for the city and vicinity--The city guard will be furnished from the U.S. Inftry. an militia as will be specially required and posted under the direction of the proper officers--Brig General Morgan of the Louisiana Militia has been ordered into the service and will assume the command of said troops as under the requisition of the Sectry of War--Colo G T Ross and Lt Colo MacRea although on the recruiting service will consider themselves on duty in the line--The resignation of Thomas Gales Esqr is accepted to take effect this day and Augustus Davezac Esqr is hereby appointed Judge Advocate of the 7th. M. District vice Gales resigned subject to the approval of the proper authority--Mr Davezac will immediately receive from Mr. Gales all the documents relative to the court martial at present constituted, and will enter on his duties immediately--Colo G T Ross office of the day for to day and Lt Colo McRea for tomorrow--By  Command

Robert Butler
Adj General

Courtesy of the Andrew Jackson Papers Project


Message to New Orleans Citizens and Soldiers

HEAD-QUARTERS, 7th M. District, New Orleans,
December 15, 1814.

To the Citizens of New-Orleans,

          The Major- General commanding has with astonishment and regret learned that great consternation and alarm pervade your city.
          It is true the enemy is on our coast and threatens an invasion of our territory, but it is equally true, with union, energy, and the approbation of heaven, we will beat him at every point his temerity may induce him to set foot upon our soil The General with still greater astonishment, has heard that British emissaries have been permitted to propagate sediious reports amongst you, that the hreatened invasion is with a view of restoring the country to Spain from a supposition that some of you would be willing to return to your ancient government--believe not such incredible tales--your government is at peace with Spain--it is the vital enemy of your country, the common enemy of mankind, the highway robber of the world, that threatens you, and has sent his hirelings amongst you with this false report to put you off your guard, that you may fall an easy prey to him. Then look to your liberties, your property, the chastity of your wives and daughters. Take a retrospect of the conduct of the British army at Hampton and other places where it has entered our country--and every bosom which glows with patriotism and virtue, will be inspired with indignation and pant for the arrival of the hour when we shall meet and revenge these outrages against the laws of civilization and humanity.
         The general calls upon the inhabitants of the city, to trace this unfounded report to its source and bring the propagator to condign punishment. The rules and articles of war annex the punishment of death to any person holing secret correspondenc with the enemy creating false alarm or supplying him with provision, and the general announces his unalterable determination rigidly to execute the martial law in all cases which may come within his province.
          The safety of the district intrusted to the protection of the general must and will be maintained with the best blood of the country. and he is confident all good citizens will be found at their posts with their arms in their hands, determined to dispute every inch of ground with the enemy; that unanimity will pervade the country generally. But should the general be disappointed in this expectation he will separate our enemies from our friends. Those who are not for us are against us, and will be dealt with accordingly. By command,

                                                                                            Thomas L. Butler
                                                                                             Aid de Camp


Letter to Andrew Jackson from William Carroll

Head Quarters on board the transports Natchez
14th. December 1814


           We arrived here last night at 10 Oclock after a prosperous Voyage of 18 days from Nashville.
           I had expected to receive orders from you at this place pointing out our destination. But being disappointed I have despatched Colonel Hines to your Head Quarters in order to learn your pleasure in that subject. The Troops having been much fatigued by incessant duty require some relaxation and an opportunity of Washing their Cloathes Besides we have some sick, who will require every possible care and attention and in conformity with that design I shall establish a hospital and leave them here. A Keel Boat is in company with us or a little distance in our rear freighted with about 1400 stand of arms and amunition for the use of the Army; and a great number of my men, being badly armed, and many others not armed at all, I wish to ascertain if you will not permit me to furnish them from this boat. After remaining here one day or two at farthiest I shall fall down to Baton-rouge where I understand Genl. Coffee is stationed with his Brigade of mounted men, and where I will await the return of Colo Hines and your orders. I have the honor to be with Sentiments of esteem yr. Mo. Obt. Servt.

                                                                                                            Wm. Carroll
                                                                                                            Majr. Genl.
                                                                                                            Tennessee Troops