Letter from John Reid to Goodwin Brown Cotten

Head Quarters 7. M District
New Orleans. 21 Feb: 1815

    It is expected that you will give immediate publicity to the enclosed by printing it in handbills as you have printed that which this is meant to counteract; & also by inserting it in your next paper.

John Reid
Aid-de Camp

Head Quarters 7 M District
New Orleans 21 Feb: 1815

    The commanding general having seen a publication which issued from your press today, stating that  a “Flag had just arrived from Admiral Cochrane to Genl. Jackson officially announcing the conclusion of peace between the United States & Great Britain, & virtually requesting a suspension of arms requires that you will hasten to remove any improper impression which so unauthorized & incorrect a statement may have made.  
    No request, either direct or virtual has been made to him by the commander of either of the land or naval forces of G Britain for a suspension of arms.
    The letter of Bathurst to the Lord Mayor, which furnishes the only official information that has been communicated will not allow the supposition that a suspension of hostilities is meant or expected, until the treaty signed by the respective commissioners shall have received the ratification of the Prince Regent & of the President of the United States
    A copy of that letter had been some days before brought by Mr. Livingston from the English Fleet & published in this city.
    The commanding general again calls upon his fellow citizens & soldiers to recollect that it is yet uncertain whether the articles which have been signed at Ghent for the reestablishment of peace will be approved by those whose approbation is necessary to give efficacy to them. Until that approbation is given & properly announced he would be wanting to the important interests which have been confided to his protection if he permitted any relaxation in the army under his command
    How disgraceful as well as disastrous would it be, if by surrendering ourselves credulously & weakly to newspaper publications-- often proceeding from ignorance but more frequently from dishonest design-- we permitted an enemy whom we have so lately & so gloriously beaten to regain the advantages he has lost, & triumph over us in turn!!
    The general order issued on the 19th Inst expresses the feelings, the views & the hopes which the commanding general still entertains
    Henceforward it is expected that no publication of the nature of that here in alluded to & censured will appear in any paper of this city unless the editor shall have previously ascertained its correctness, & gained permission for its insertions from the proper source By command

John Reid
Aid-de Camp

Courtesy of the Andrew Jackson Papers

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