12.16.2014

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.