1.08.2015

Letter from Louis Valentin Foelckel to Andrew Jackson

Camp 3 miles below New Orleans on
west side of the river
Jan. 8th. 1815
Sir

     It is an unpleasant task which has devolved upon me to communicate to you the following detail of occurrences at Camp Morgan on the opposite side of the river this morning
     About 5 o'clock A.M. we recd. information, from our troopers employed in observing the motion of the enemy, that an English force was landing at the distance of a mile & a half below our Battery. Col.      of the Kentucky militia was immediately detached to that point for the purpose of disputing their landing, with orders, if the enemy proved too strong, to retire up the Levee without confusion or disorder and to keep up a constant fire until they should regain our own works. In the mean time by order of Genl. Morgan the following disposition was made of the troops that remained at the Breast works---Col. Declouet's Regt. of drafted militia am'g. to 256 men was placed on the extreme right Col. [Jean Baptiste] Deshon's consisting of 130 men on the extreme left & Col. [Zenon] Cavallier's mustering 254 in the centre---After the detachment of Kentucky miliita had regained our works they were stationed on Col DeClouet's right (mustering about 400) in consequence of a manoevre of the enemy intimating an intention to turn that part of our line. In the space of a few mintues after the return of the Kentuckians, the enemy presented another column advancing upon our left---Without delay we commenced a fire from the three pieces of artillery which I had erected a few hours before the British troops had effected their landing---When the last mentioned column had marched up within 60 yds. of the left of our line where our artillery [was] they fell back & inclined to the right---The troops composing that part of our began immediately to recede & it was not within the power of the officers to rally the men who after firing not two rounds retired without charging their pieces in the greatest possible disorder & with the utmost precipitation, leaving the left no other alternative (the enemy having with little or no opposition scaled our breast work on our right) but that of spiking our guns & retiring likewise---
     The force of the enemy did not exceed four hundred men---
     In corroboration of my statement respecting the dismay with which the right were inspired I have on to add that their flight was so opposite to order & regularity that but four hundred remains of one thousand & upwards to be accounted for & our loss in killed and wound could not have exceeded fifty
     I take the liberty Genl. of suggesting to you what has most probably presented itself already---the necessity of ousting the enemy from Camp Morgan for if suffered to remain in their possession cannot fail to annoy Camp Jackson---With much respect I have the honour to be your Obt. Hmble. Servt.

L. V. Foelckel
acting Brig Major

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