Imágenes de páginas

stroyed much of his powder. Such was the situation of the ground he abandoned, and of that through which he retired, protected by canals, redoubts, entrenchments and swamps on his right, and the river on his left, that I could not, without encountering a risk which true policy did not seem to require, or to authorize, attempt to annoy him much on his retreat. We took only eight prisoners.

Whether it is the purpose of the enemy to abandon the expedition altogether, or renew his efforts at some other point, I do not pretend to determine with positiveness. In my own mind, however, there is but little doubt, that his last exertions have been made in this quarter, at any rate for the present season, and by the next I hope we shall be fully prepared for him. In this belief I am strengthened not only by the prodigious loss he has sustained at the position he has just quitted, but by the failure of his feet to pass fort St. Philip.

His loss on this ground, since the debarkation of his troops, as stated by the last prisoners and deserters, and as confirmed by 'many additional circumstances, must have exceeded four thousand ; and was greater in the action of the 8th than was estimated, from the most correct data then in his possession, by the inspector general, whose report has been forwarded to you. We suc. ceeded, on the 8th, in getting from the enemy about 1000 stand of arms of various descriptions.

Since the action of the 8th, the enemy have been allowed very little respite my artillery from both sides of the river being constantly employed, till the night, and indeed until the hour of their retreat, in annoying them. No doubt they thought it quite time to quit a position in which so little rest could be found.

I am advised by major Overton, who commands at fort St. Philip, in a letter of the 18th, that the enemy having bombarded his fort for 8 or 9 days from 13 inch mortars without effect, had, on the morning of that day, retired. I have little doubt that he would have been able to have sunk their vessels had they attempted to run by.

Giving the proper weight to all these considerations, I believe you will not think me too sanguine in the belief that Louisiana is now clear of its enemy. I hope, however, I need not assuré you, that wherever I command, such a belief shall never occasion any relaxation in the measures for resistance. I am but too sensible that the moment when the enemy is opposing us, is not the most proper to provide for them.

I have the honour to be, &c.

ANDREW JACKSON. The Secretary of War.

P. S. On the 18th our prisoners on shore were delivered us, an exchange having been previously agreed to. Those who are on board the fleet will be delivered at Petit Coquille-after which I shall still have in my hands an excess of several hundred.

2014-Mr. Shields, purser in the navy, has to-day taken 54 · prisoners; among them are four officers.

A. J. Report of the American loss in the several actions below New

Orleans. December 23d, -killed 24; wounded 115; missing 74.- Total 213. · December 28th,-killed 7 ; wounded 8; missing none.-Total 15. January 1st,-killed 11; wounded 23 ; missing none.- Total 34.

do. 8th, do. 13; do. 30; do. 19.--Total 62. RECAPITULATION—killed 55; wounded 176; missing 93—Grand total, 324.

NEW ORLEANS, January 27th, 1815. SIR,

The enemy having retreated, as I had the honour to inform you by my letter of the 20th instant, I have the pleasing duty only of reporting to you, that during the late most eventful struggle for the preservation of this important portion of the United States, I have received from all the officers whom I have the honour to command, every aid and support which could possibly be rendered; they have been exposed to extraordinary hardships, both by day and night, to all the changes of this unstable clime, in this inclement season of the year, performing the most arduous duties on shore, out of the line of their profession, independent of their ordinary duties ; and all has been borne and executed with a cheerfulness and alacrity that reflects upon them the highest credit; and that the unwearied exertions of the small naval force on this station, from the first appearance of the enemy, has contributed, in a great degree, to his expulsion, is freely acknowledged by the gallant general commanding the land forces, and will be, 'I trust, by all

who have witnessed their endeavours to effect the end, which has so happily and with so little loss, been accomplished. It affords me great pleasure to have in all cases co-operated with the army, to the entire satisfaction of their commander.

Captain Henley merits my acknowledgments for his unremitted attention to the execution of the various duties committed to him, particularly the superintendance of the erection of two batteries on the bayou St. John, and one opposite the city. His gallant conduct on the night of the 23d ultimo, as already detailed, (the fire from the Caroline proving, as I have since learned, truly destructive to the enemy, and producing disorder, and confusion in their troops, giving to our army a manifest advantage) and for the able assistance I received from him when serving at the ma rine battery erected by me on the right bank of the river, where he remained till the departure of the enemy.

To lieutenant Lewis Alexis, commanding the paval arsen al at this place, I am greatly indebted for his indefatigable exertions to furnish the various munitions, &c. which were constantly required for the navy, army, and militia, and which were furnished with a promptitude and correctness that reflect upon him and those under his immediate command, as named in the accompanying copy of a letter from him, the greatest credit-his services and merit entitle him to the notice of the department.

Great credit is also due to lieutenant Charles C. B. Thompson, for his great exertions in fitting his ship for service, with a crew obtained by coercion from the streets of the city, composed of all nations, (English excepted) two-thirds of whom could not speak or understand English, for the spirited fire supported by his ship on the 28th ultimo, and his continued endeavours to annoy the enemy when they approached within the range of his guns, his prompt execution of my orders, particularly in landing the guns from his ship, transporting them to my battery, and his attention in supplying the battery with ammunition from his ship, in whose magazine it was deposited. To the accompanying letter from him, I beg leave to refer for a detailed account of the merits of his officers, all of whom merit the encomiums passed on them.

Lieutenant Otho Norris, acting lieutenant Crawley, Messrs. E. Watkins, and J. Pelott, midshipmen, and William Livingston, master's mate, who were stationed at the heavy cannon in general Jackson's lines, and named in the letter which accompanies this, have, by their gallant conduct, reflected upon the navy great credit, and warranted my highest approbation.

Acting lieutenant Thomas S. Cunningham, commanding gun vessel No. 65, stationed at fort Saint Philip, solicited and obtained the command of two 32 pounders, which are mounted in the most exposed situation at that fort, being outside the walls, which he manned with his crew and rendered great service to the officer commanding at that post, during the heavy bombardment by the enemy from the 8th to the 17th instant,

Mr. Thomas Shields, purser of the station, and doctor Robert Morrell, attached to the marine corps, (who volunteered his services in any way they could be useful) and who were sent by me with a flag of truce to the enemy on the 15th ultimo, supported with becoming dignity their stations, and commanded from the enemy that respect which

due to them and their mission, during their detention by the enemy, prolonged beyond what I could have possibly expected, and have merited, in a special manner, my approbation of those officers, and Mr. Richard Dealey, sailing master, whose gallant conduct during their subsequent successful expedition, (a detailed account of which you will herewith receive) reflects upon them the greatest credit, and merits the par, ticular notice of the department.

Doctor Lewis Heerman, hospital surgeon, who, with my sanction, volunteerçd his services to aid the hospital surgeon of the


army in the various duties devolving upon him, from the number of our own sick, and the wounded of the enemy, is thereby, and from his uniform attention to his professional duties, entitled to my acknowledgments, as are all the officers of the medical department. For the particulars of his services, I refer you to the letter to him which you will herewith receive.

Mr. John K. Smith, navy agent, has, by his unremitted attention to his department, the promptitude with which he has furnished articles for both the navy and the army, and procuring me the funds that were necessary during this period of alarm and confusion, enabled me to carry on my operations in conjunction with the army against the enemy, and contributed to that success with which the arms of the United States have been crowned, and will receive my warmest thanks. His services rendered in camp will be seen by the enclosed copy of a letter from the commanding general, of the 19th instant.

To major Carmick, commanding the marine corps on this station, I am indebted for the promptness with which my requisitions on him have been complied with, and the strong desire he has always manifested to further, as far as was in his power, my views.

Mr. R. D. Shepherd, who very handsomely volunteered his services to me, and acted as my aid-de-camp, and rendered me very essential assistance by the uniform promptitude with which he bore and executed my various orders, merits my warmest acknowledgments.

Mr. J. B. Nevitt, of Natchez, formerly a lieutenant in the navy, who left his home and proffered to me his services, has rendered me important assistance from his practical knowledge, and which I acknowledge with much pleasure.

My petty officers, seamen and marines, performed their duties to my entire satisfaction.

I beg leave, sir, to solicit a confirmation of their present rank, for the different officers named herein and in the accompanying letters, acting by appointment, as also for acting lieutenants Speeden and M.Keever, and to recommend them all as meriting, in a special manner, the notice of the department.

I have the honour to be, &c.

DANIEL T. PATTERSON. Hon. Secretary of the Navy.

Extract of a letter from general Jackson to the Secretary of War. “HEAD QUARTERS 7th MILITARY DISTRICT,

“New Orleans, February 17th, 1815. “I have the honour to enclose you major Overton's report of the attack of Fort St. Philip, and of the manner in which it was defended.

« The conduct of that officer and of those who acted under him, merits, I think, great praise. They nailed their own colors to the standard, and placed those of the enemy underneath them, determined never to surrender the fort."

FORT St. PHILIP, January 19th, 1815. SIR,

On the 1st of the present month, I received the information that the enemy intended passing this fort, to co-operate with their land forces, in the subjugation of Louisiana, and the destruction of New Orleans. To effect this with more facility, they were first with their heavy bomb vessels to bombard this place into com. pliance. On the grounds of this information, I turned my attention to the security of my command. I erected small magazines in different parts of the garrison, that if one blew up I could resort to another; built covers for my men to secure them from the explosion of the shells, and removed the combustible matter with out the works. Early in the day of the 8th instant, I was advised of their approach, and on the 9th, at a quarter past 10 A, M. hove in sight two bomb vessels, one sloop, one brig and one schooner; they anchored two and one quarter miles below. At half past 11 and at half past 12, they advanced two barges apparently for the purpose of sounding within one and a half miles of the fort; at this moment, I ordered my water battery, under the command of lieutenant Cunningham, of the navy, to open upon them: its well directed shot caused a precipitate retreat. At half past 5 o'clock P. M. the enemy's bomb vessels opened their fire from four sea mortars, two of 13 inches, two of 10, and to my great mortification I found they were without the effective range of my shot, as many subsequent experiments proved; they continued their fire with little intermission, during the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th. I occasionally opened my batteries on them with great vivacity, particularly when they showed a disposition to change their position.

On the 17th, in the evening, our heavy mortar was said to be in readiness. I ordered that excellent officer, captain Wolstoncraft, of the artillerists, who previously had charge of it, to open a fire, which was done with great effect, as the enemy from that motion became disordered, and at day light, on the 18th, com. menced their retreat, after having thrown upwards of a thousand heavy shells, besides shells from howitzers, round shot and grape, which he discharged from boats under cover of the night.

Our loss in this affair has been uncommonly small, owing entirely to the great pains that were taken by the different officers to keep their men under cover; as the enemy left scarcely ten feet of this garrison untouched.

The officers and soldiers through this whole affair, although nine days and nights under arms in the different batteries, the

« AnteriorContinuar »