Letter from Andrew Jackson to William Charles Cole Claiborne

February 3, 1815

     at a time like the present, when the enemy again threatens an invasion of our territory, it is with pain and regret, I learn the neglect and dereliction from duty by several of the Louisiana Regts-- stationed at camp Villery for the protection of the Bayou Bienvenue, until the contemplated fortification can be compleated, you having assumed the command of the Louisiana Militia, through you sir I expected to be informed of this dereliction of duty and desertion from their posts, both of officers & men-- when Inspected yesterday, the Regts of Dusongs & Cavalier there were from fifteen to Twenty Colo. Dusong & one Lt. which were not peraded, altho notified by a general order-- Subordination must exist in an army or it becomes wors than a mob-- and it now appears, that coertion and punishment must be resorted to Enforce subbordination and prevent desertion, and neglect of duty-- you will therefore forthwith cause every officer & soldier to be reported, as deserters who are found absent at any time without proper authority from their posts, and who were absent on the first & second of this instant from Camp Villery of Colo. Dusongs & Cavalliers Regts-- that the Legal application may be applied to enforce obedience-- When such a spirit of unanimity has been exhibited accompanied with such display of ardent Patriotism, I cannot permit the Laurels of Lousiana to be tarnished by the Lurking Demon of discord, that attempts to insinuate itself into her ranks-- a Just punishment awaits all who for a moment forget themselves and permit the destructive operation of this hidra-- To crush this monster in the Bud, you are charged with the prompt and immediate execution of this order-- and the order of yesterday--

Andrew Jackson
Majr Genl comdg.

Courtesy of the Andrew Jackson Papers

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