« AnteriorContinuar »
bals; the houses were torn to pieces, the well which afforded water for the inhabitants was filled up, and, what was still worse, the church and the ashes of the dead shared an equally bad or worse fate. Will you believe me when I tell you that the sunken graves were converted into barbacue holes ? The remaining glass of the church windows broken, the communion table used as a dinner table, and then broken to pieces. Bad as the above may appear, it dwindles into insignificance, when compared with what follows: the vault was entered and the remains of the dead disturbed. Yes, my friend, the winding sheet was torn from the body of a lady of the first respectability, and the whole contents of the vault entirely deranged! The above facts were witnessed by hundreds as well as myself, and I am happy to say, that but one sentiment pervaded our army."
I immediately showed it to general Philip Stuart, lately commanding the American troops at that place, who read and 'declared it strictly true; that Cockburn was at the head of it; that they also destroyed the organs ; that judge Key's lady, who had been last put into the vault, was the person alluded to ; that her winding sheet was torn in pieces, and her person wantonly exposed; and that his men were exasperated to desperation by this conduct. You will publish this.
ROBERT WRIGHT. October 19th, 1814.
AFFAIR AT LYON'S CREEK.
HEAD QUARTERS OF THE NORTHERN ARMY,
Camp near Fort Erie, October 230, 1814. The indisposition of brigadier general Bissell has prevented, till this morning, his report of the handsome affair which took place on the 19th, between a detachment of his brigade and a superior force of the
enemy. The object of the expedition, entrusted to the brigadier, was the seizure of some provisions, intended for the British troops. He marched from Black Creek, on the morning of the 18th, with parts of the 5th, 14th, 15th and 16th infantry, a small party of dragoons, and a company of riflemen, the whole 900 men. After driving before them a picket, of which they made the commanding officer prisoner, they encamped for the night, throwing beyond Lyon's Creek two light infantry companies, under captain Dorman, 5th, and lieutenant Horrell, 16th infantry, and the riflemen under captain Irvine; a picket on the Chippewa roal, commanded by major Gassaway was attacked by two companies of Gler.
gary light infantry, which were beaten back with losg. On the morning of the 19th, the detachment was attacked by a select corps of the enemy, not less than 1200 strong. The light infantry under captain Dorman, and Irvine's riflemen, sustained the whole fire of the enemy, for fifteen minutes, during which time the 5th and 14th were formed the 5th was ordered to turn the enemy's right flank, while the 14th charged them in front. This was executed in the most gallant manner, by colonel Pinkney of the 5th, and major Barnard of the 14th, who greatly distinguished himself by the officer like style, in which he conducted his battalion. The enemy were compelled to a precipitaté retreat. and hid themselves, once more, behind their fortifications.
General Bissell particularly mentions the skill and intrepidity of colonel Snelling, inspector general, colonel Pinkney, commanding the 5th regiment, major Barnard, 14th infantry, major Barker, 45th infantry, acting with the 5th, captain Dorman, captain Alli. son, whose horse was shot under him, and brigade major, lieutenant Prestman, of the 5th. Lieutenant Anspåugh, of dragoons, was conspicuous by his alertness in communicating the brigadier general's orders, during the action. It is with the highest satisfaction the commanding general tenders, to the brave officers and troops of the 2d brigade of the right division, his thanks for their good conduct on this occasion. The firmness of the 15th and 16th regiments, commanded by colonel Pearce, and who were posted as a reserve, proved, that had the resistance of the enemy afforded them an opportunity of going into action, they would have emulated the valor of the 5th and 14th. A number of prisoners were taken, among whom a picket of dragoons with their horses ; a large quantity of grain also fell into our hands. The brigadier, after
completing the orders he received, and burying the few of our brave soldiers who fell in the action, and the dead of the enemy, which were left on the ground by the latter, returned to Black Creek. To the cool and intrepid conduct of brigadier general Bissell, the general offers the praise he has so justly entitled himself to. By order of major general szard,
C. K. GARDNER, Adj. Gen. N. army.
HEAD QUARTERS, SEVENTH MILITARY DISTRICT,
TENSAW, November 14th, 1814. SIR,
On last evening I returned from Pensacola to this place. I reached that post on the evening of the 6th. On my approach I sent major Pierre with a flag to communicate the object of my visit to the governor of Pensacola. He approached fort St. George, with his flag displayed, and was fired on by the cannon from the fort; he returned and made report thereof to me. I immediately
went with the adjutant general and the major with a small escort, and viewed the fort, and found it defended by both British and Spanish troops. I immediately determined to storm the town; retired and encamped my troops for the night, and made the necessary arrangements to carry my determination into effect the next day.
On the morning of the 7th I marched with the effective regulars of the 3d, 39th, and 44th infantry, part of general Coffee's brigade, the Mississippi dragoons, and part of the West Tennessee regiment, commanded by lieutenent colonel Hammonds (colonel Lowry having desired and gone home,) and part of the Choctaws led by major
Blue, of the 39th, and major Kennedy of Mississippi territory. Being encamped on the west of the town, I calculated they would expect the assault from that quarter, and be prepared to rake me from the fort, and the British armed vessels, seven in number, that lay in the bay. To cherish this idea I sent out part of the mounted men to show themselves on the west whilst I passed in rear of the fort undiscovered to the east of the town. When I appeared within a mile, I was in full view. My pride was never more heightened than in viewing the uniform firmness of my troops, and with what undaunted courage they advanced, with a strong fort ready to assail them on the right, seven British armed vessels on the left, strong block-houses and batteries of cannon in their front; but they still advanced with unshaken firmness, entered the town, when a battery of two cannon was opened upon the centre column, composed of regulars, with ball and grape, and a shower of musketry from the houses and gardens. The battery was inmediately stormed by captain Lavall and company, and carried, and the musketry was soon silenced by the steady and well-directed fire of the regulars.
The governor met colonels Williamson and Smith, who led the dismounted volunteers, with a flag, begged for mercy, and surrendered the town and fort unconditionally. Mercy was granted and protection given to the citizens and their property, and still Spanish treachery kept us out of possession of the fort until nearly 12 o'clock at night.
Never was more cool determined bravery displayed by any troops; and the Choctaws advanced to the charge with equal bravery.
On the morning of the 8th, I prepared to march and storm the Barancas, but before I could move, tremendous explosions told me that the Barancas, with all its appendages, was blown up. I despatched a detachment of two hundred men to explore it, whe returned in the night with the information that it was blown up, all the combustible parts burnt, the cannon spiked and dismounted, except two. This being the case, I determined to withdraw my troops, but before I did, I had the pleasure to see the British depart. ' Colonel Nicholls abandoned the fort on the night of the
6th, and betook himself to his shipping, with his friend captaju Woodbine, and their red friends.
The steady firmness of my troops has drawn a just respect from our enemies. It has convinced the Red Sticks that they have no strong hold or protection, only in the friendship of the United States. The good order and conduct of my troops, whilst in Pensacola, has convinced the Spaniards of our friendship and our prowess, and has drawn from the citizens an expression, that our Choctaws are more civilized than the British.
In great haste, I am, &c.
ANDREW JACKSON. To the Gov, of Tennessee.
CAMP, BELOW NEW ORLEANS, December 27th, 1814. SIR,
The loss of our gun-boats near the pass of the Rigolets, haying given the enemy command of lake Borgne, he was enabled to choose his point of attack. It became, therefore, an object of importance to obstruct the numerous bayous and canals leading from that lake to the highland on the Mississippi. This important service was committed, in the first instance, to a detachment of the 7th regiment, afterwards to colonel De Laronde, of the Louisiana militia, and lastly, to make all sure, to major general Villere, commanding the district between the river and the lakes, and who, being a native of the country, was presumed to be best acquainted with all those passes. Unfortunately, however, a picket which the general had established at the mouth of the bayou Bienvenu, and which, notwithstanding my orders, had been left unobstructed, was completely surprised, and the enemy penetrated through a canal leading to his farm, about two leagues below the city, and succeeded in cutting off a company of militia stationed there. This intelligence was communicated to me about 12 o'clock of the 23d. My force at this time consisted of parts of the 7th and 44th regiments, not exceeding six hundred together, the city militia, a part of general Coffee's brigade of mounted gun men, and the detached inilitia from the western division of Tennessee, under the command of major general Carroll. These two last corps were stationed four miles above the city. Apprehending a double attack by the way of Chief-Menteur, I left general Carroll's force and the militia of the city posted on the Gentilly road; and at 5 o'clock P. M. marched to meet the enemy, whom I was resolved to attack in his first position, with major Hind's dragoons, general Coffee's brigade,"parts of the 7th and 44th regiments, the uniformed companies of militia, under the command of major Planche, 200 men of colour, chiefly froin St. Domingo, raised by colonel Savary and acting under the command of major Dagwing, and a detachment of artillery under the direction of colonel M‘Rea, with two six pounders, under the command of lieutenant Spots;
not exceeding in all 1500. I arrived near the enemy's encamp ment about 7, and immediately made my dispositions for the attack. His forces amounting, at that time, on land to about 3000, extended half a mile on that river, and in the rear nearly to the wood. General Coffee was ordered to turn their right, while with the residue of the force I attacked his strongest position on the left near the river. Commodore Patterson having dropped down the river in the schooner Caroline, was directed to open a fire upon their camp, which he exeeuted at about half past
This being a signal of attack, general Coffee's men, with their usual impetuosity, rushed on the enemy's right and entered their camp, while our right advanced with equal ardour. There can be but little doubt, that we should have succeeded on that occasion with our inferior force, in destroying or capturing the enemy, had not a thick fog which arose about 8 o'clock, occasioned some confusion among the different corps. Fearing the consequence, under this circumstance, of the further prosecution of a night attack with troops, then acting together for the first time, I contented myself with lying on the field that night; and at four in the morning, assumed a stronger position, about two miles nearer the city. At this position I remained encamped, waiting the arrival of the Kentucky militia, and other reinforcements. As the safety of the city will depend on the fate of this army, it must hot be incautiously exposed.
In this affair the whole corps under my command, deserve the greatest credit. The best compliment I can pay to general Coffee and his brigade, is to say, they have behaved as they have always done while under my command. The 7th, led by major Pierre, and 44th, commanded by colonel Ross, distinguished themselves. The battalion of city militia, commanded by major Planche, realized my anticipations, and behaved like veterans. Savary's volunteers manifested great bravery: and the company of city riflemen having penetrated into the midst of the enemy's camp, were surrounded, and fought their way out with the greatest heroism, bringing with them a number of prisoners. The two field pieces were well served by the officers commanding them.
All my officers in the line did their duty, and I have every reason to be satisfied with the whole of my field and staff. Colonels Butler and Platt and major Chotard, by their intrepidity, saved the artillery. Colonel Haynes was every where that duty or danger called. I was deprived of the services of one of my aids, captain Butler, whom I was obliged to station, to his great regret, in town. Captain Reid, my other aid, and Messrs. Livingston, Duplis and Davizac, who had volunteered their services, faced danger wherever it was to be met, and carried my orders with the utmost promptitude.
We made one major, two subalterns and sixty-three privates prisoners; and the enemy's loss in killed and wounded must have been at least My own loss, I have not as yet been able