4.21.2015

Letter from Andrew Jackson to Isaac Shelby

Natchez April 21st. 1815

Sir
    Previous to the departure of the Kentucky and Tennessee Troops from New Orleans, I issued a general order directing the commg. Officers of corps to keep their men together, and march them to their places of rendezvous to be there mustered and discharged. To enable them to accomplish this important object I directed the Qr. Mr. General to provide such transportation as the officers commanding corps should require, the Hospital surgeon was directed to furnish ample supplies of medicines and hospital stores, and the contractor, rations at all points necessary to facilitate their movement, special instructions were given to the comdg. Officers to pay the most strict regard tot he comfort of their sick, under the most positive injunction to leave an officer and surgeon at all points where it should become requisite to establish Hospitals on the march, with ample powers delegated to them to procure everything which might indue to their comfort and speedy restoration. And least the proper departments should fail to comply with my orders, I gave to the generals commanding authority to draw upon me in Nashville for any sums of  money requisite to enable them to comply with my order--
    Upon my arrival in this place to my great mortification I found about forty of the Ky. Troops left sick in the most wretched situation without either officer or surgeon to administer to their wants, and but for the humanity of Doctor Seipes & Cox and the citizens many of them must have perished for want of provisions-- This I informed is the situation of the sick at several places on the road, but I am in hopes by my exertions to alleviate their situation and restore them to their families--
    I trust sir that you will interpose your authority to bring to punishment the officers of your troops who have thus wantonly and barbarously abandoned their soldiers, and disobeyed my orders—Accept my assurances of personal Esteem, and believe me respectfully-- Yr. Obt. Servt.

Andrew Jackson
Majr. General
Comg 7 m: District

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