Page images

promptness and ability with which they performed their several duties. The officers of the different corps behaved handsomely, and are entitled to distinction. Courage animated every countenance, and each vied with the other in rendering service.

I have taken the liberty of communicating to you directly, in consequence of the distant station of the general commanding the district, and also for the purpose of forwarding to you the enclosed original document which was found in the house of Weatherford. It shows particularly the conduct of the Spaniards towards the American government. The third regiment has returned to this place, and volunteers are on the march to mount Vernon, near fort Stoddert, for the purpose of being paid off and discharged, their terms of service having generally expired.

I have the honour to be, &c.

Brig. Gen. of Volunteers. Honourable John Armstrong.


January 27th, 1814. SIR,

I have the honour to acquaint your excellency, that this morning at twenty minutes past five o'clock, a very large body of hostile Indians, made a desperate attack on the army under my command. They stole upon the sentinels, fired upon them, and with great impetuosity rushed upon our lines; in twenty minutes the action became general, and our front, right and left flanks were closely pressed; but the brave and gallant conduct of the field and line unlicers, and the firmness of the men, repelled them at every point.

The steady firmness and incessant fire of captain Thomas's artillery, and captain Adams's riflemen, preserved our front line: both of these companies suffered greatly. The enemy rushe: within fifty yards of the artillery, and captain Broad nas, who commanded one of the picket guards, maintained his post with great bravery until the enemy gained his rear, and then cut his way through them to the army. On this occasion Timpoochie Barnuel, à half-breed, at the head of the Uchies, distinguished himself and contributed to the retreat of the picket guard; the other friendly Indians took refuge within our lines and remained inactive, with the exception of a few who joined our ranks. So soon as it became light enough to distinguish objects, I ordered majors Watson's and Freeman's battalions to wheel up at right angles with majors Booth's and Cleveland's battalions, (who formed right wing,) to prepare for the charge. Captain Duke Hamilton's cavalry (who had reached me but the day before,) was ordered to form in the rear of the right wing to act as circumstances

should dictate: the order for the charge was promptly obeyed, and the enemy fled in every direction before the bayonet. The signal was given for the charge of the cavalry who pursued, and sabred fifteen of the enemy who left thirty-seven dead on the field : from the effusion of blood and the number of head-dresses and war-dubs found in various directions, their loss must have been considerable, independent of the wounded. I directed the friendly Indians, with Meriwether's and Ford's rifle companies, accompanied by captain Hamilton's troop, to pursue them through Calibee Swamp, where they were trailed by their blood, but succeeded in overtaking but one of their wounded.

Colonel Newman received three balls in the commencement of the action, which deprived me of the services of that gallant and useful officer. The assistant adjutant general Narden, was indefatigable in the discharge of his duty, and rendered important services : his horse was wounded under him. The whole of the staff was prompt, and discharged their duty with courage and fidelity; their vigilance, the intrepidity of the officers, and the firmness of the men, meet my approbation, and deserve the praise of their country. I have to regret the death of many of my brave tellows, who have found honourable graves in the voluntary support of their country. My aid-de-camp, in executing my orders, had his horse killed under him. General Lee and major Pace, who acted as additional aids, rendered me essential service with honour to themselves and usefulness to the cause in which they are embarked. Four wagon and several other horses were killed, and two of the artillery horses wounded. While I deplore the loss sustained on this occasion, I have the consolation to know that the men which I have the honour to command have done their duty. I herewith transmit you a list of the killed and wound.

I have the honour to be, &c.

JOHN FLOYD, Brigadier General. Major general Pinckney.

January 28th, 1814. SIR,

The patriotism that brought you into the field at your advanced

age, which prompted you on with me to face the enemy in the late excursion to the Talapoosie river, the example of order, and your admonition to strict subordination throughout the lines, and, lastly, the bravery you displayed in the battle of Enotochopco, by re-crossing the creek, entering the pursuit, exposing your person, and thereby saving the life of lieutenant Moss, and killing the Indian, entitle you to the thanks of your general and the approbation of your country. Not having it in my power to move forward until the troops from East and West Tennessee arrive, (I mean the 1500 ordered for six months' service, under the requisition of the Secretary of War, and the late order of general

Pinckney, with colonel Williams's regiment, and such other auxiliary troops, as may be permitted by the orders of the governor of the state) I have to request that you will forth with repair to East Tennessee, and use your best exertions in hurrying those troops to this point at the earliest possible day. The character of the state, by the retrograde of the troops, and the failure of having in the field such troops as were required by the Secretary of War, had like to have been tarnished. The public service has been much retarded thereby and much injured, and the public expense much enhanced. It is alone from the exertions of men of influence, that those evils can be cured, the public service promoted, and the objects of the campaign brought to a speedy and successful issue, whereby the high standing of the patriotism of the state of Tennessee may be regained, which had like to have been buried by the conduct of miscreants whose sole object is popular views and self aggrandizement. You have been with me-you have been a faithful observer of the passing scenes, and do know that these would be patriots, these town meet, ing boasters, these men who will not act themselves, but find fault with every thing, have been destroying the true interests of their country, the cause we are engaged in, and every thing valuable to freemen to insure the cause of our country, when it came in contact with their own individual views, and their own private aggrandizement. The eyes of the faithful and experienced patriot, one whose country's good it has in common with his fellow-citizens, has seen and felt these growing evils. You are one amongst this number, in whose exertions I have confidence, and in whose patriotism I rely, and who has experience, and sees things as they really exist, and will, with the true patriotism of an American, aid the present campaign to a speedy and successful issue. ! therefore repeat, that I wish you to repair to East Tennessee and use your utmost in sending on the troops and sufficient supplies of provisions with them, with which that country abundantly abounds, and which have from some unknown and strange cause been withholden from me. Your experience and patriotism are a sure pledge to me that your best exertions will be used to promote the present campaign. Receive, sir, my best wishes, and believe me to be respectfully,

Your most obedient servant,

ANDREW JACKSON, Maj. Gen. Comdg. Colonel William Cocke.



I had the honour of informing you in a letter of the 31st ult. forwarded by Mr. M'Candless (express) of an excursion I contemplated making still further in the enemy's country with the new raised

Folunteers from Tennessee. I had ordered those troops to fornia junction with me on the 10th instant, but they did not arrive until the 14th. Their number, including officers, was about 800; and on the 15th, I marched them across the river to graze their horses. On the next day I followed with the remainder of my force, consisting of the artillery company with one six-pounder, one company of infantry of 48 men, two companies of spies, commanded by captains Gordon and Russell, of about 30 men each, and a company of volunteer officers, headed by general Coffee, who had been abandoned by his men, and who still remained in the field awaiting the order of the government; making my force, exclusive of Indians, 930.

The motives which induced me to penetrate still further into the enemy's country, with this force, were many and urgent. The term of service of the new raised volunteers was short, and a considerable part of it was expired; they were expensive to the government, and were full of ardor to meet the enemy. The ill effects of keeping soldiers of this description long stationary and idle, I had been made to feel but too sensibly already : other causes concurred to make such a movement not only justifiable but absolutely necessary. I had received a letter from captain M Alpin, of the 5th instant, who commanded at Fort Armstrong, in the absence of colonel Snodgrass, informing me that 14 or 15 towns of the enemy, situated on the waters of the Talapoosie, were about uniting their forces, and attacking that place, which had been left in a very feeble state of defence. You had in your letter of the 24th ult. informed me that general Floyd was about to make a movement to the Talapoosie, near its junction with the Coosee; and in the same letter had recommended temporary excursions against such of the enemy's towns or settlements as might be within striking distance, as well to prevent my men from becoming discontented as to harass the enemy. Your ideas corresponded exactly with my own, and I was happy in the opportunity of keeping my men engaged distressing the enemy, and at the same tiine making a diversion to facilitate the operations of general Floyd.

Determined by these and other considerations, I took up the line of march on the 17th instant, and on the night of the 18th encamped at Talledega Fort, where I was joined by between two and three hundred friendly Indians; sixty-five of which were Cherokees, the balance Creeks. Here I received your letter of the 9th instant, stating that general Floyd was expected to make a movement from Cowetau the next day, and that in ten days thereafter he would establish a firm position at Tuckabachee ; and also a letter from colonel Snodgrass, who had returned to Fort Armstrong, informing me that an attack was intended to be soon made on that fort, by 900 of the enemy. It I could have hesitated before, I could now hesitate no longer. I resolved to lose no time in meeting this force, which was anderstood to have been collect

ed from New Yorcau, Oakfuskee, and Ufauley towns, and were concentrated in a bend of the Talapoosie, near the mouth of a creek called Emuckfau, and on an island below New Yorcau.

On the morning of the 20th, your letter of the 10th instant, forwarded by M.Candless, reached me at the Hillibee Creek, and that night I encamped at Enotochopco, a small Hillibee village about twelve miles from Emucfau. Here I began to perceive very plainly how little knowledige my spies had of the country, of the situation of the enemy, or of the distance I was from them. The insubordination of the new troops, and the want of skill in most of their officers, also became more and more apparent. But their ardor to meet the enemy was not diminished ; and I had a sure reliance upon the guards, and the company of old volunteer officers, and upon the spies, in all about 125. My wishes and my duty remained united, and I was determined to effect, if possible, the objects for which the excursion had been principally undertaken.

On the morning of the 21st, I marched from Enotochapco as direct as I could for the bend of the Talapoosie, and about two o'clock P. M. my spies having discovered two of the enemy, endeavoured to overtake them, but failed. In the evening I fell in upon a large trail, which led to a new road, much beaten and lately travelled. Knowing that I must have arrived within the neighbourhood of a strong force, and it being late in the day, I determined to encamp, and reconnoitre the country in the night. I chose the best site the country would admit, encamped in a hollow square, sent out my spies and pickets, doubled my sentinels, and made the necessary arrangements before dark, for a night attack. About ten o'clock at night, one of the pickets fired at three of the enemy, and killed one, but he was not found until the next day. At 11 o'clock the spies whom I had sent out returned with information, that there was a large encampment of Indians at the distance of about three miles, who from their whooping and dancing seemed to be apprised of our approach. One of these spies, an Indian in whom I had great contidence, assured me that they were carrying off their women and children, and that the warriors would either make their escape or attack me before day. Being prepared at all points, nothing remained to be done but to await their approach, if they meditated an attack, or to be in readiness, if they did not, to pursue and attack them at day-light. While we were in this state of readiness, the enemy, about six o'clock in the morning, commenced a vigorous attack on my left flank, which was vigorously met: the action continued to rage on my left flank, and on the left of my rear for about half an hour. The brave general Coffee, with colonel Sitler, the adjutant general, and colonel Carroll, the inspector general, the moment the firing commenced, mounted their horses and repaired to the line, encouraging and animating the men to the performance of their duty. So soon as it became light enough to pursue, the left wing

« PreviousContinue »