New Orleans Jany 22nd. 1815
Your letter of this date has been received. I have forwarded Instructions to General McCausland "to transmit direct to you, a return of the whole strength of his present command, stating particularly the number of Riflemen, of Artillerists, Infantry and Indians," and to communicate also to you, "the position which the Light pieces now occupy; the advantages and disadvantages of the same, and to represent also in detail, the reasons which induced him to think a removal of two of these pieces to the fortified camp desireable."
As regards the reinforcement of 250 men, of which you speak, it has not been ordered by me and the following explanation, will I presume, be satisfactory. At the very moment of receiving your Instructions to reinforce the Post at Chef Menteur, I sent Colonel Shaumburn (my aid) to carry the same into execution, & of which I informed you by Letter; But Shaumburg (to whose care the Letter was committed) was specially instructed to say to you, that General Vilere's command from which the reinforcements could alone be taken, were for the most part without arms. On Shaumburg's Return, he represented, "that in a conversation with you upon the subject, you had said to him, "that having found out the Villere's command were unarmed, and that they had four of five hundred Negroes to take care of, you had ordered the Dragoons & some mounted men to Chef Menteur." Hence Shaumburg concluded, and so stated to me, that no further reinforcement was then expected from me. But you desire, that a reinforcemtn of 250 men be now forwarded. I have in fact no Troops to call upon. General Morgan who commands on the opposite shore does not consider himself subject to my orders; Generals Vilere & [Stephen A.] Hopkin's command are immediately at your dispostion, the different Detachemtns of militia coming from the Interior, have in obedience to your orders been instructed by Major General [Philemon] Thomas to report themselves immediately to you, and the several uniform and volunteer Battalions remain under your command. Under these circumstances, I must ask you to pint out the corps from which the reinforcement to Chef Menteur is to be taken. I am Sir, respectfully your hble srvt
William C. C. Claiborne