January 9, 1815: Report to Monroe

Battle of New Orleans 2


The day after the battle of New Orleans, Jackson wrote his report to James Monroe, Secretary of War.:

Sir: 9th Jan: 1815

During the days of the 6th. & 7th. the enemy had been actively employed in making preparations for an attack on my lines. With infinite labour they had succeeded on the night of the 7th in getting their boats across from the lake to the river, by widening & deepening the Canal on which they had effected their disembarkation. It had not been in my power to impede these operations by a general attack: Added to other reasons, the nature of the troops under my command, mostly militia, rendered it too hazardous to attempt extensive offensive movements in an open Country, against a numerous & well disciplined army.- Altho my forces, as to number, had been increased by the arrival of the Kentucky division – my strength had received very little addition; a small portion only of that detachment being provided with arms: Compelled thus to wait the attack of the enemy I took every measure to repell it when it would be made, & to defeat the object he had in view. Genl. Morgan with the Orleans Contingent the Louisiana Militia, & a strong detachment of the Kentucky troops occupy an entrenched Camp, on the opposite side of the river, protected by strong batteries on the bank erected & superintended by Commodore Patterson.

In my encampment every thing was ready for action, when early on the morning of the 8th the enemy, after throwing a heavy shower of bombs & congreve rockets, advanced their columns on my right & left, to storm my entrenchments. I cannot speak sufficiently in praise of the firmness & deliberation with which my whole line received their approach:-more could not have been expected from veterans, inured to war. For an hour the fire of the small arms was as incessant & severe as can be imagined. The artillery too, directed by officers who displayed equal skill & courage did great execution. Yet the columns of the enemy continued to advance with a firmness which reflects upon them the greatest credit. Twice the column which approached me on my left was repulsed by the troops of genl. Carrole – those of genl. Coffee, & a division of the Kentucky Militia, & twice they formed again & renewed the assault. (more…)

Published in: on January 9, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on January 9, 1815: Report to Monroe  
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James Monroe, Soldier of the Revolution

James Monroe was just 18 years old when he dropped out of college, never to return, to fight in the American Revolution.  He was commissioned a lieutenant in the Third Virginia.  His regiment fought at the battle of Harlem Heights in the New York campaign.  On December 25, 1776, Monroe crossed the Delaware with his regiment and fought at Trenton, leading a charge which took two cannons. 

 He was one of only two Americans wounded that day, being shot in the left shoulder.  The musket ball severed the axillary artery, and Monroe would surely have bled to death but for a quick thinking doctor who plugged the wound with his index finger and applied pressure to the artery to staunch the wound.  Surgeons attempted to remove the ball but couldn’t find it, and Monroe carried the ball in his body to his grave.  It took Monroe 11 weeks to recover from the wound which he was fortunate to survive.  The painting at the top of the post is by John Trumbull of the battle of Trenton, and shows Monroe laying wounded in the background.  In the famous painting of Washington crossing the Delaware, Monroe is depicted holding the American flag. (more…)

Published in: on December 13, 2010 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on James Monroe, Soldier of the Revolution  
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