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.
Major Genl comd.