2.27.2015

Letter to Andrew Jackson from Benjamin Hawkins

Camp near the confluence of Flint and Chattohoche
27 Feby. 1815

   I received from the governor of Georgia on the 19 ult a promise to send 500 mounted men to cooperate with me against the Seminolies, and other hostiles below. Since which, I have not heard form him, altho' I have written him weekly. On the 24th I determined to wait only three days to hear from him, if I did not, I should take such measures relying on my own means, as would best secure the frontiers from Indian hostility, during the pressure of the Enemy on the Southern Atlantic Seacoast. There is just below the confluence on the East side of apalatchacola a British post entrenched and picketed, with one Howitzar and one Cohorn; they had 200 troops white and Black and 400 Indians mostly seminolies and Okete'yoconne Fowltown and Che'au'hau from our Limits. I determined to surround and cut off their supplies, which were ascertained to be not more than for a few days. Part of their Blacks were from Pensacola.
    As soon as we began to descend the river from F. Mitchell, runners on the lookout, went after the Indians going towards F. negro to join Woodbine and brought them and him to their heard quarters below, which completely secured Georgia fro the time. The Indians fled before our approach into the Floridas, and we got 50 muskets and 650 flints from their houses, and have heared of more; Those chastised by you were very humble, and the others appeared under serious alarm for their safety, This country, destitute of food, in three days march not a horse hog or cow to be seen. More than 1000 of the distressed have surrendered and beged for bread. I supplied what I could, and ordered them to their towns
    On the 25th. I received express, an account of the arrival of peace on the 14th.  at the seat of Government. I immediately sent two runners with the Information to the British commandant below, they met a Lieut. Of the navy and army with a flag of truce, bring information of the same import from their admiral near Mobile, with the 9th art only which includes the Indians in the treaty. The oficers remained one night with me, in the morning I paraded the Regmt. In one line the oficers reviewed it with me, and we fired a feu de joie.
    I have ordered the Regmt. to prepare to return by detachments, in various directions, to communicate the information to all they may meet with; and I shall discharge them as soon as I hear of the ratification of the treaty.  I have for more than a month been uneasy about your situation to such a degree often as to deprive me of sleep. I saw a pressure of force and a torrent of difficulties assailing your district, on the Wings of the wind; and the aid you expected to make head against it, very slow in its movements from some quarters. Being charged by you with the protection of this frontier I knew it was my duty to act in conformity, but I have repeatedly been on the point of selecting 500 of my men and going on to your assistance, Majr. McIntosh and many of our best men would of course composed it; I was satisfied they would have been of Vital importance in their deadly attacks on the flanks of the Enemy. In this state of mind I received an account of your unparalleled victory of the 8th ult. And a few days after E'cun'chat Emaut'lau of the Hickory ground a distinguished “Red stick” came and communicated his eye view of the action to me, and has I find done justice to it; he began his narrative with “the British officers say they have beaten Jackson, and will soon take him prisoner. I saw at the fights, he beat them in every one. The British had more men than Jackson on the 8th. They said they would fight him before his men arrived, and take the town. They attacked him and after four hours fighting got back leaving the field of battle to the american breast works covered with killed and wounded, they lost three great Generals among them the head one I saw dead.” No occurrence every afforded me more real joy.
    From our success by sea and land, and the character of our negotiators, I am satisfied the treaty of peace is hnorable for us, and the after scene by you at New Orleans winds up the whole gloriously for our National character throughout Europe. You have my dear friend immortalized yourself and army. You have proved that the first and best disciplined troops in Europe flushed with and accustomed to Victory there are but secondary in America.
    Mr. [Christian] Limbaugh informed me a letter of mine and one from Genl. Pinckney to you in decr. Was burnt by accident, a runners cloths taken fire in the night, and probably an other from me had been destroyed between F. Jackson and Claiborn, the wrapord had been discovered.
    Accept for yourself and brothers in arms my congratulations on the parts you have accomplished for the destiny of our country , my sincere wishes for your health and happiness, and believe me sincerely and Truly your friend And ob ser

Benjamin Hawkins

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