Letter from Andrew Jackson to James Monroe


     Again I must apprise you that the arms I have been so long expecting, have not arrived. All we hear of them is, that the man who has been entrusted with their transportation, has halted on the way for the purposes of private speculation. Depend upon it, this supinesness, this negligence, this criminality  let me call it, of which we witness so many instances in the agents of government, must finally lead, if it be not corrected, to the defeat of our armies & to the disgrace of those who superintend them. It is impossible that I should not feel the utmost solicitude, & even uneasiness, on the occassion. It is true, we have been enabled, for ten days by indefatigable exertion, to protect the city of Orleans, & to maintain our position before an enemy greatly exceeding us in number, in discipline, & in all the preparations for war; but this is an instance of good fortune not to have been expected, & which furnishes no safe foundation for future hope. Every reliance may be placed on the bravery of my men; but, without arms, it is impossible they can effect much.
     Genl. [John] Adair who acts as adjutant general for the detachment from Kentrucky arrived at my quarters last evening, having left the troops at La forche. Their arrival before this time has been prevented by adverse winds; but not more than one third of them are armed, & those very indifferently. I have none here to put into their hands, & can, therefore, make no very useful disposition of them.
     I have made this statement in the hope that government, knowing the value of this country, & being made acquainted with its situation will provide more effectual means for its defence.
     Permit me again to suggest to you the propriety of turning your attention in time to some proper officer to take command of the army here, when my want of health, which I find to be greatly impaired, shall oblige me to retire from it.
     The enemy still occupy their former position, & are engaged in strengthening it: Our time is spent in similar employment, & in exchanging long shot with them. Having hitherto failed in every attempt to drive us from our position I do not know what may be their future design---whether to redouble their efforts, or to apply them elsewhere. With the limited means in my power I am preparing for either event. I have the honor to be very respectfully Yr. Obt St

                                                                                                                       Andrew Jackson
Major Genl Comdg.

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