Saturday, April 26, 2014

We would love to invite Prince William and Prince Harry to visit the Gulf Coast region during 2015 so they can see for themselves where their ancestor, Captain the Honourable Sir Robert Cavendish Spencer, R.N., second son of the Second Earl Spencer, served during the War of 1812. Their Mother, the Princess of Wales, was a Spencer and the daughter of the Eighth Earl so both Prince William and Prince Harry are collateral descendants(great nephews) of Captain Spencer.
Captain the Honourable Sir Robert Cavendish Spencer, R.N.

 Captain Spencer commanded the HMS Carron during the 1st Battle of Ft. Bowyer, He commanded  the seamen landed during the 2nd Battle of Ft.Bowyer. He was the spy and scout who discovered the route from Lake Borgne to the Mississippi River for the British and he was in charge of taking the fugitive slaves from Dauphin Island and Apalachicola to the Bahamas, Nova Scotia and Trinidad.

In the chapel of the Spencer family in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin at Great Brington, Northampshire, England, there is a marble bust of Captain Spencer.

For a detailed description of Captain Spencer's activities during the British Expeditionary Force's Gulf Campaign, click on the following link.

Last year, the Malta Independent newspaper published this article about the refurbishing of Captain Spencer's grave in Malta.
 The much-neglected tomb of Robert Cavendish Spencer, which up to some weeks ago was a mound of stones in the middle of a car park in Valletta have now been restored and enclosed with a railing.
Robert Cavendish Spencer is the great great uncle of Princess Diana.
Robert Cavendish Spencer served as private Secretary to the Duke of Clarence (later King William IV) from 1827 to 1828 and was knighted for his services to the prince.
He had a distinguished career in the British Navy and was well liked by the men he commanded – it was these sailors who erected the monument in his memory.
He died while in quarantine in Malta on 4 November 1830, aged 39.
HMS Madagascar, under Spencer’s command, had just returned from Alexandria and, as was customary, was put in quarantine.
Spencer’s body was kept in quarantine for the full 40 days
His body was then brought by barge from the Lazaretto and buried in Valletta on 12 December 1830.
The procession entered Valletta through Porta Reale (City Gate) then passed down Strada Mezzodi, (South Street) to the lower Bastion of St Michael for interment where Reverend David Morton, the Chaplain of the ship conducted the service.
This part of the bastion was thereafter called Spencer Bastion – by Royal Decree.
A simple inscription on Spencer’s tomb read
Spencer’s Monument at the junction of Blata il-Bajda / Hamrun itself has a checkered history
Designed by Maltese Architect George Pullicino, the monument was first erected on Corradino Hill in 1831 -Corradino meaning (really) the Hill of Wise Counsel!
Spencer’s monument was moved 62 years later – in 1893 – to Blata il-Bajda on top of Spencer Hill.
The monument was damaged by lightning in 1975 but has been restored.
The restoration of the tomb in Valletta was insisted upon by the former Mepa board, especially Judge Giovanni Bonello when Bank of Valletta was granted permission to restore the House of Four Winds which is to become the chairman’s office.


March 27, 1814: After the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, over 800 Red Sticks fled to Northwest Florida. Taking refuge along the rivers and bays of the Florida Panhandle, they were prepared to face starvation rather than to return to their northern homeland in present-day Alabama and Georgia and to suffer the personal retribution that awaited them from their fellow tribesmen who had remained friendly to the Americans and had so recently suffered the consequences of the Red Stick’s violent, maniacal fanaticism.
Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane (image reproduced in issue 133, Summer 2014 issue of ALABAMA HERITAGE, courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute)
Thomas Lord Cochrane, eldest son of the ninth Earl of Dundonald, was born in 1775. In February 1814 he was a captain in the navy, a Knight of the Bath, and in command of H.M.S. Tonnant. He had earned a well-deserved reputa- tion as a most skilful and successful seaman. Unfortunately some malignant fairy cursed him at his birth, with an utter disregard for truth and with an unwholesome greed for gold. 

Throughout the whole of his life these two conspicuous 
faults were the cause of misfortunes which marred his 
successes misfortunes which would have been avoided by 
men of one-tenth of his capacity." ~ from the preface of THE GUILT OF LORD COCHRANE IN 1814:a criticism 

April 1, 1814: Admiral  Alexander Cochrane assumed command of the British fleet's North American station.

April 2, 1814:  Admiral Cochrane issued a proclamation promising "many Persons now resident in the United States" protection when reaching British lines or a Royal Navy ship and promised those Americans the choice of either enlisting in the British military service or assuming the role of "FREE SETTLERS into some of His Majesty's Colonies."  Although "slaves" were not mentioned specifically, many fugitive slaves took this proclamation as a promise of freedom and during the next year attempted to make contact with the British military.

April 11, 1814: Napoleon surrendered.

May 4, 1814: Napoleon arrived at Elba.

May 11, 1814: British Captain Hugh Pigot anchored his ship, the HMS Orpheus  , near the mouth of the Apalachicola River. He was accompanied by Lieutenant David Hope of the HMS Shelburne, formerly the U.S. letter of marque schooner Racer, which had been captured in the Battle of the Rappahannock River on April 13, 1813. Pigot left limited supplies and landed about 300 of Royal Marines under the leadership of Captain George Woodbine. These troops, led by Sargent Samuel Smith and Corporal James Denny, were to begin the military drilling of the Indians and runaway slaves on the Apalachicola.  The establishment of this advance base of operations was the opening of the New Orleans Campaign by the British Expeditionary Force.

May 25, 1814: Woodbine began construction of the fort at Prospect Bluff that would soon be called The Negro Fort and later Fort Gadsden after Jackson’s conquest of Spanish Florida during the First Seminole War of 1818. Woodbine also sent an Indian warrior to Pensacola to tell the recently defeated refugee Red Sticks that British supplies and reinforcements had finally arrived at the mouth of the Apalachicola and the British naval blockade of American ports on the Gulf Mexico had begun.

May 28, 1814: Woodbine convinced the Seminole chiefs to pledge their allegiance to the British cause.

May 28, 1814: Secretary of War Armstrong appointed Andrew Jackson to Major General in the U.S. Regular Army with command over the 7th Military District which included Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi Territory (the future states of Alabama and Mississippi).

A portion of the map of the Mouth of Mobile Bay commissioned by General James Wilkinson when his forces captured Mobile for the U.S. in April of 1813. 

June, 1814: U.S. General Flournoy ordered Colonel John Bowyer to abandon Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point.

June 8, 1814: An American who had seen a British Naval ship recently arrive at Pensacola Bay embarked Pensacola and sailed toward Bay St. Louis.

June 17, 1814: This American arrived in Bay St. Louis  and told General Flournoy that a tender schooner for the HMS Orpheus had arrived in Pensacola and British sailors had reported that they had landed 5000 stand of arms and ammunition in that proportion at the mouth of the Apalachicola.  Flournoy also learned that John Innerarity in Pensacola had received a letter from his clerk on the Apalachicola that the British had arrived and had begun to build a magazine to receive arms less than a mile from their John Forbes & Co. store at Prospect Bluff on the east bank of the Apalachicola.

June 20, 1814: Andrew Jackson accepted his appointment as Major General with command over the Seventh Military District of Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi Territory (the future states of Alabama and Mississippi).

June 21, 1814: U.S. Creek Indian agent Benjamin Hawkins at Ft. Hawkins in Georgia wrote Secretary of War Armstrong that Indians had told him that the HMS Orpheus had disembarked 50 British Marines at the Apalachicola and left saying they would return in 25 days. Four 100 pound kegs of cartridges as well as arms were given to the Indians.

June 23, 1814: Admiral Cochrane transmitted to the Admiralty a letter from the refugee Red Stick Indian chiefs on the Apalachicola who had come aboard the HMS Orpheus.

June 25, 1814: Secretary of War Armstrong wrote General Jackson a letter informing him that all fighting was over on the southern front, that rumors about the Spanish or British inciting the Indians were incredible and that "the report of a British naval force on our southern coast...was of nearly the same character." Armstrong instructed Jackson to dismiss all his troops except a thousand men, and rest from any offensive actions.
 General Jackson ignored orders from Secretary of War Armstrong telling him to disband his army and to go back home.

June 27, 1814: General Jackson wrote Secretary of War Armstrong about the necessity of taking Pensacola away from the British who would soon sail into Pensacola Bay, occupy the Spanish forts and control the town.

July 1814: U.S. Navy Commodore Patterson of New Orleans sailed to Dauphin Island to assist a stranded cargo ship. The Royal Navy was already beginning their naval blockade of the mouth of the Mississippi and was using Dauphin Island as a camp on their supply line.

July 3, 1814: Indian agent Hawkins discounted reports of huge British arms shipments to Apalachicola.

 Major Edward Nicolls

July 4, 1814: British Major Edward Nicolls and a detachment of 112 Royal Marines were transferred from the HMS Tonnant to the HMS Hermes. The troops and military supplies for the Indians of Florida embarked for Apalachicola via Havana from New Providence Island, Bahamas aboard the HMS Hermes and the HMS Carron.

July 12, 1814: General Jackson wrote a letter to Gov. Manrique in Pensacola protesting his harboring and support of the Red Sticks and demanded that McQueen and Francis be surrendered to the Americans.

July 13, 1814:  British Captain Woodbine at Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola sent a messenger to Coweta and Cussetuh near present-day Columbus, GA with an invitation to all the Indians between the Conecuh to the Apalachee Rivers to come to Apalachicola for arms and supplies. This trek was a deadly risk for many of the Indians because they faced starvation due to the famine produced by the end of the Creek War.

July 14, 1814: Captain John Gordon, one of Jackson's chief spies, left Fort Jackson with a letter from Jackson to Governor Manrique in Pensacola.

July 18, 1814: General Jackson wrote General Coffee that the British were arming the Indians at Apalachicola and disembarking black troops from Jamaica.

July 20, 1814: Captain John Gordon arrived in Pensacola and delivered Jackson's letter to Governor Manrique. Manrique later called Gordon back to tell him that the Spaniards would rather die than to comply with Jackson's request that he turn over Francis and McQueen and end Spanish support for the British arming and provisioning the Red Sticks.

July 20, 1814: A committee of Mobile citizens appealed to General Jackson to restore Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point.

                                MAJOR GENERAL ANDREW JACKSON
                                               Commanding the 6th and 7th
                                                                   Military District
                                                            HICKORY GROUND
(ed. note:  The following quotation was on the outside of the envelope when it was delivered to the War Department in Washington. It is Jackson's endorsement in his handwriting.)
"The memorial of the citizens of the Town of Mobile, to be answered with assurances of every protection, that the means within my power will afford, that the abandonment of Mobile Point was by the order of the secratary of war. The remonstrance, has been forwarded to the secratary of war with the appropriate remarks. The remonstrance to be forwarded to the secratary of war as above."

At a meeting of the Inhabitants of the Town of Mobile convened at the dwelling house of Josiah Blakeley Esquire on Wednesday the 20th July 1814, for the purpose of taking into consideration the perilous situation of affairs in  this section of the Territory.
                                       Josiah Blakeley Esq. was called to the Chair,
                                       and  M. McKinsey was appointed Secretary
                                       On motion of Joseph P. Kennedy, seconded,

                 That a committee of Five be forthwith appointed to draft a memorial to his Excellency Major General And. Jackson explanatory of the defenseless and awful situation of this quarter of the Territory- the ill-advised abandonment and evacuation of Mobile Point, and the withdrawal of the Gunboats from the Bay of Mobile- praying his Excellency's relief thereupon
                                                              which motion was unanimously agreed to 
Whereupon the President appointed Colonel Hinson Powell and Messieurs Kennedy, Robertson and McKinsey, as a Committee to draft said memorial and dispatch the same tomorrow morning by Lieut. Conway

                                            A true Copy of the Original 
                                            Mobile 20th July 1814
                                                                                    M. McKinsey

July 25, 1814: British Captain Woodbine at Apalachicola finds out the Spaniards in Pensacola are afraid of American retaliations so he abandoned his plans to attack Fort Hawkins in southern Georgia. He embarked with stores on board the HMS Sophie and sailed for Pensacola.

July 28, 1814: Woodbine’s ships land at Pensacola.

July 29, 1814: Admiral Cochrane issues a proclamation to the Indian chiefs of the Gulf Coast where he wrote, “Your Father King George will not suffer his Indian children to be made slaves by his rebellious subjects.”

August 1814: General Andrew Jackson ordered the restoration of Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point.

August 4, 1814: British Colonel Nicolls landed in Havana aboard the HMS Hermes and a pro-American cotton broker overheard him bragging about British plans to capture New Orleans by first invading at Mobile Bay and marching overland to Baton Rouge. This American would later send this information along to James Innerarity of John Forbes and Co. in Mobile, to Secretary of State James Monroe and to Governor Claiborne in New Orleans by way of Jean LaFitte. This letter gave LaFitte advanced notice that the British would soon be in Louisiana and would attempt to recruit him to support their invasion. 

August 5, 1814: Jackson wrote Governor Blount of Tennessee and requested he send Tennessee troops south to capture Pensacola. In Havana, Colonel Nicolls aboard the HMS Hermes embarks for Pensacola with three regiments of Black Colonial Marines who were expected to be able to fight well in the hot Southern climate and were believed to be able to induce slaves in the Deep South to join them in the British cause. The departure of the HMS Hermes was covered by the Havana newspapers which General Jackson received in Mobile.

August 9, 1814: General Jackson dictated the terms of the Treaty of Fort Jackson with the Creek Indians which gave the U.S. over 23,000,000 acres which in the present-day make up a fifth of Georgia and three-fifths of Alabama.

August 10, 1814:
The British government officially authorizes a secret expedition against Louisiana. Admiral Cochrane is ordered to capture the mouths of the Mississippi River and the port of New Orleans. Expedition forces are to rendezvous at Negril Bay, Jamaica, no later than November 20.

August 12, 1814: British Colonel Nicolls arrived on the Apalachicola with the HMS Hermes under Captain William Henry Percy and the HMS Caron under Captain Spencer. Nicolls finds Woodbine gone but British Marines were drilling the Indians and Negroes.

Saturday, August 13, 1814: Vincent Gray, a native of Massachusetts who made his living as a cotton merchant in Havana, wrote a letter of U.S. Secretary of State James Monroe describing the Royal Navy's secret campaign to capture New Orleans. Gray received this information from the conversations British Colonel Nicolls had with citizens in Havana. Gray wrote three letters: one to Secretary of State Monroe, one to Governor Claiborne in New Orleans delivered by way of Captain Jean Lafitte and one to James Innerarity, the head of John Forbes and Company in Mobile and head of the Mobile town council.

August 16, 1814: Indian agent Hawkins warned the U.S. Secretary of War that the British at Apalachicola “are training the Indians and some negroes for purposes hostile to us.”

August 17, 1814: A company of 53 Choctaws led by Pushmataha and Mushulamotubbee are mustered into the U.S. Army at St. Stephens. They will accompany Major Uriah Blue and the 39th Infantry in their mission to destroy the Red Sticks in Northwest Florida after Jackson's capture of Pensacola in November. 

August 20, 1814: General Jackson’s boat heading down river arrived at Mt. Vernon north of Mobile. Jackson visited with Major Uriah Blue who commanded part of the 39th regiment. The rest of this regiment was across the river delta building Fort Montgomery on Holmes Hill near the former Fort Mims.

August 21, 1814: John Innerarity of Pensacola writes his brother James in Mobile that the Royal Navy's invasion force had landed in Bermuda. This was some of the information included in the letters that James Innerarity showed General Jackson on August 27. 

August 22, 1814: Jackson arrived in Mobile on the same day American Commodore Joshua Barney scuttled his fleet of gunboats in the Patuxent River in Maryland while being pursued by the British coming from the Chesapeake. In Mobile, Jackson met Major William L. Lawrence before the Major embarked for Mobile Point with 160 men to restore the defense of Fort Bowyer. 

August 22, 1814: The 65 ton schooner, Speedwell (probably about 63 feet long), was captured by the British on the Patuxent River in Prince George County, Maryland at the same time that U.S. Commodore Joshua Barney scuttled his U.S. Navy gunboats in the same river. In February of 1815, the Speedwell was at Dauphin Island serving as a tender for Admiral Malcolm's HMS ROYAL OAK. It also held a Royal Navy sailor as a prisoner because he refused to participate in the New Orleans Campaign. On February 17, 1815, this sailor who claimed to be an American, Archibald W. Hamilton, was released at Dauphin Island from the Speedwell by the British.

August 23, 1814: Colonel Edward Nicolls and his Colonial Marines disembark from the HMS Hermes (22 guns, commanded by Captain William Percy) and the HMS Sophie (18 guns, commanded by Captain Nicholas Lockyer) in Pensacola and take over the town and Fuerte San Miguel. The Colonial Marines began organizing and drilling the Red Sticks who had flocked to Pensacola after the defeat at Horseshoe Bend and the signing of the Treaty of Fort Jackson .

August 23, 1814: The USS Carolina, a 14 gun schooner, arrived in New Orleans. The ship had been requested by Commodore Patterson for his plan to attack and destroy LaFitte's Barataria Bay headquarters which the Carolina accomplished in September. The ship stayed in the New Orleans area and was the key to the American victory in the Night Battle of December 23 which slowed the British disembarkation and set the stage for the main battle on January 8.

August 24, 1814: The Battle of Bladensburg was an embarrassing American defeat and the burning of Washington, D.C. by the British followed.
 In Pensacola, John Innerarity writes his brother James in Mobile that the British Navy had landed in Pensacola with plans to capture Mobile as a forward base for their conquest of New Orleans. This was one of the letters that James Innerarity showed General Jackson on August 27.

August 24–26 , 1814 FROM
After routing American defenses at the Battle of Bladensburg, British troops occupy Washington, D.C. and destroy the public buildings, including the Capitol, the Treasury Building, and the White House.

August 27, 1814: At 5 P.M. on this Saturday afternoon, James Innerarity, first President of the Mobile Town Council, handed General Andrew Jackson two letters, one written by Innerarity's brother, John, in Pensacola and another one written by cotton merchant, Vincent Gray, in Havana. Both letters described in detail the Royal Navy's plan to capture New Orleans and the fact that the Royal Navy's ships had anchored in Pensacola and that British troops were occupied forts around the town.
"...but for this intelligence so fortunately and singularly given, New Orleans, would most probably have fallen without a battle, and without a renowned hero to grace its history." ~ from the journal of R.K. Call who had kept this information a secret for over 40 years because it would have been harmful to the Innerarity brothers' business interests in Great Britain.

August 29, 1814: British Colonel Nicolls issued a proclamation in Pensacola seeking recruits. Nicolls counted on slaves joining his Jamaican black regiments, along with an Indian uprising and help from Louisiana Creoles. 

August 31, 1814: Nicolls wrote a letter to LaFitte which Lockyer delivered to Barataria Bay. In this letter, Nicolls invited LaFitte to join him in defeating the U.S. , "the only Enemy Great Britain has in the World." Captain Nicholas Lockyer embarked for Barataria aboard the HMS Sophie. His mission was to recruit Jean Lafitte and his Baratarians to join the British cause.

September 1, 1814: Red Stick leaders McQueen, Francis, Cappachamico and Hopoy Micco wrote Admiral Cochrane that they intended to “live or die free of which we have given hard proof by choosing to abandon our Country rather than live in it like slaves.”
The HMS Sophie captained by Nicolas Lockyer embarked from Pensacola on a mission to sail to Lafitte's headquarters at Grande Terre in Barataria Bay to enlist Lafitte and his men into the British effort to capture New Orleans.
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop in the New Orleans French Quarter

September 3, 1814: Captain Percy of the HMS Hermes delayed the attack on Ft. Bowyer on Mobile Point so that Captain Lockyer of the HMS Sophie could sail from Pensacola to Barataria Bay to contact Lafitte and attempt to enlist the Baratarians for the British cause. This proved that New Orleans was the ultimate target of the British Expeditionary Force.  

September 3–4, 1814: FROM
Royal Navy captain Nicholas Lockyer meets with Jean Lafitte and his men at Grande Terre, seeking to enlist the Baratarians and their vessels against the Americans.   Lafitte stalls for time, and alerts authorities in New Orleans of the British overture and his own willingness to serve the United States. Lockyer reported seeing 9 armed schooners with 6 to 16 guns each at LaFitte's port. An superb article about Lockyer's visit to Lafitte is on this link.

September 4, 1814: Lafitte put the British off for two weeks and wrote Louisiana Governor Claiborne a letter offering his allegiance to the American cause in exchange for a pardon for his many crimes.

September 6, 1814: Lafitte's letter to Governor Claiborne was delivered to Louisiana legislator Jean Blanque in New Orleans and included all the papers the British had left with Lafitte. That night Lafitte's brother, Pierre, escaped from the jail in the Cabildo.

September 7, 1814: Blanque delivered Lafitte's letter to Governor Claiborne. Claiborne called a meeting to consider calling off the U.S. Navy's raid on Lafitte's headquarters in Barataria Bay but did nothing because he had no authority to overrule an order from the Secretary of the Navy.

September 8, 1814: Governor Claiborne in New Orleans forwarded Lafitte's letter and the British papers to General Andrew Jackson in Mobile.

September 10, 1814: Colonel Nicolls and his Royal Marines embarked from Pensacola aboard the HMS Childers for an attack on Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point.

September 11, 1814:The HMS Sophie captained by Nicholas Lockyer returned to Pensacola from their mission to Barataria to meet Lafitte..A few days' previous, she had chased a Baratarian privateer and seized its prize, a Spanish ship, which was manned by some men from the Sophie to go to Pensacola. On the way, the Spanish ship grounded at Dauphin Island and the Americans at Ft. Bowyer captured the ship and crew. Gen. Jackson proceeded to hold the Spanish crew members hostage for an earlier raid on Mobile.

 U.S. Captain MacDonough won a great naval victory over the British on Lake Champlain. 

September 12, 1814: The HMS Childers disembarked the Nicolls and his Royal Marines 9 miles east of Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point. They were armed with a 5.5 inch howitzer and were joined by refugee Red Sticks and fugitive slaves who had been recruited into the Colonial Marines.  

September 13, 1814: Commodore Daniel Patterson on board the USS Carolina embarked from New Orleans for LaFitte's Barataria Bay headquarters along with 6 gunboats and a tender.

September 13, 1814: General Andrew Jackson sailed toward Fort Bowyer on Mobile Bay but is stopped by Americans in a boat bound for Mobile near the mouth of Mobile Bay and informed that the British amphibious attack on Fort Bowyer had begun. Jackson's boat turns around and sails back to Dog River. These Americans prevented Jackson from sailing directly into the British naval fleet off Fort Bowyer.


September 11–13, 1814: FROM
The Battle of Lake Champlain effectively ends the war on the Canadian frontier, as the British force under General George Prevost is beaten back. The bombardment of Fort McHenry, near Baltimore is likewise ineffective, and the British eventually retire from the Chesapeake. Maj. General Robert Ross, originally ordered to lead the planned assault on New Orleans, is killed outside Baltimore by American snipers.

September 14, 1814: Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner while being detained on the HMS Tonnant during the Battle of Baltimore. The HMS Tonnant had disembarked Nicolls’ Royal Marines to the HMS Hermes in July and would be the ship commanding the British Expeditionary force when it arrived at Dauphin Island after being defeated by Jackson at New Orleans in January.

(This image is incorrect. The H.M.S. Anaconda should be named the H.M.S. Childers.)

September 15, 1814: British Colonel Nicolls, Royal Marines and newly recruited fugitive slaves and refugee Red Sticks failed to win their attack on Fort Bowyer at Mobile Point. The HMS Hermes ran aground, caught fire and exploded. This defeat was fatal to British prestige. It alienated the Spanish, scattered their Indian recruits and increased American confidence in General Jackson.

This early watercolor depicts Fort Bowyer under British attack. The fort was a simple sand and log redoubt at the mouth of Mobile Bay.
Photo courtesy Mrs. Carter Smith Collection, The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library / USA Archives

September 16, 1814: Commodore Patterson and Col. George Ross arrived at Grande Terre and proceeded to raid and burn Lafitte's warehouses and most of the ships on Barataria Bay west of New Orleans. Patterson's U.S.S Carolina was not part of the raid as she was unable to enter the bay due to the low water of the bar. Eighty Baratarians were arrested and sent to New Orleans, along with six privateer ships. Commodore Patterson also brought 20 naval guns back to New Orleans.
United States naval forces commanded by Master Commandant Daniel Patterson attack the Baratarian pirates at Grande Terre, Louisiana, capturing 80 men and 26 vessels.

Also on September 16, a group of New Orleans citizens met at Tremoulet's Coffee House and appointed a committee of defense to cooperate with the general government. Edward Livingston was appointed president of that committee.

September 17, 1814: The Royal Marines and Indians, returning to Pensacola during their retreat from Mobile Point, raided the Forbes and Co. stores and mills at Bon Secour. 
On the same day, Admiral Cochrane on the Chesapeake, received a secret July 29th letter from Lord Melville authorizing an attack on New Orleans. Cochrane on board the HMS Tonnant sailed the same day for Halifax, Nova Scotia, leaving Rear-Admiral Malcolm to continue leading the blockade and the attacks against Americans on the Chesapeake. (page 119 of HOW BRITAIN WON THE WAR OF 1812) 

September 20, 1814: Following the sounding of reveille, approximately 180 of the nearly 500 men at Fort Jackson(located near present-day Wetumpka) deserted and marched for Tennessee, "yelling and firing their guns".General Jackson had the six ringleaders of this rebellion executed by firing squad in Mobile on February 21, 1815.

September 21, 1814: General Jackson issued a proclamation from Mobile to all free men of color in Louisiana. "As sons of freedom you are now called upon to defend our most inestimable blessing... To every noble-hearted freeman of colour volunteering to serve during the present contest with Great Britain, and no longer, there will be paid the same bounty in money and lands, now received by the white soldiers of the United States."

September 23, 1814: Chief William McIntosh and about 200 Lower Creek warriors left Coweta, located just south of present-day Phenix City, AL on the Chattahoochee River. They were on a three week mission to destroy the British fortifications at Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola and to capture the fugitive slaves working for the British. The mission was unsuccessful and they never made it to Prospect Bluff.
October 5, 1814: General Coffee along with 2000 horsemen from West Tennessee begin the march south and after meeting over 800 militia on the trail, Coffee's force would rendezvous with other American troops, including 780 Choctaws, at Pierce's Stockade on the Alabama River in preparation for the invasion of Spanish West Florida.

October 10, 1814: Jackson writes Secretary Monroe that "My undivided attention and all my disposeable force have been employed to place Fort Bowyer in, a complete state of defence. I have sent to new Orleans for heavier guns, and hope to have them well mounted, in a few days, on the battery of the fort. Major Lawrence has succeeded in raising from the wreck of the Hermes, 11 32 lb. carronades, and one 12 lb. Carronade. He expects to be able to recover the rest of her guns. This Fort, when completed, together with the ship now on the stocks at Tchefoneti (which I would recommend to be finished), well manned, and armed with long 24 and 32 pounders, would effectually protect the Bay, and of course the Town of Mobile. These points being thus safe, the troops now kept here to cover them, might be disposed of for other purposes. I beg leave to refer to my former letters as to the necessity of having possession of Pensacola, and confidently hope to receive instructions relative thereto."

October 14, 1814: The British naval blockading fleet left the Chesapeake for the grand rendezvous of the entire British Expeditionary Force at Negril Bay, Jamaica,in November.This British fleet, commanded by Vice-Admiral Malcolm, consisted of the HMS Royal Oak, HMS Asia, HMS Ramillies, HMS Aetna and various troop transports and bomb vessels.  (page 322 of THE NAVAL HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN)
Edward Pakenham receives orders to command the expedition against New Orleans that is assembling in Jamaica; he and his officers depart for Negril Bay a week later, aboard the frigate HMS Statira.

October 25, 1814: General Jackson left Mobile for Pierce's Stockade located on the Alabama River about a mile from the ruins of Ft. Mims. Here he would prepare for the capture of Pensacola and rendezvous with General Coffee and over 2500 militiamen coming from Tennessee and points east.

October 26, 1814:  Troop transports escorted by the HMS Vengeur, commanded by Captain Robert Tristram Ricketts embark from Plymouth, England. The HMS Vengeur would serve as the command ship for the Royal Navy during the 2nd Battle of Fort Bowyer.

October 29, 1814: The HMS Statira embarked from England. Its destination was Negril Bay, Jamaica where it planned to join the British Expeditionary Force heading out from there to conquer New Orleans. Aboard were Gen. Pakenham, Gen. Gibbs, Col. Dixon (chief of artillery) and Col. Burgoyne (chief engineer).

November 3, 1814: General Jackson's army left Pierce's Stockade on the Alabama River and began their line of march toward the invasion of Florida and the capture of Pensacola.

November 5, 1814: The HMS Royal Oak, HMS Asia, HMS Ramillies and HMS Aetna arrive in Negril Bay, Jamaica, to prepare for the grand rendezvous of the entire British Expeditionary Force before the attack on New Orleans.
Monday, November 7, 1814: At dawn General Jackson’s army launched a surprise attack by storm from the east side of British-held Pensacola. The British had already evacuated the town and had retreated to their warships in the bay and to Fort Barrancas on the west side of the bay. The Spanish governor quickly surrendered Pensacola, the capital of Spanish West Florida . The Royal Navy sailed away and deployed to Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola River where they made their headquarters.                                
November 6–7, 1814: FROM
Seeking to deny the British a fortified harbor, Andrew Jackson's forces enter and temporarily occupy Pensacola after a short, fierce skirmish against Spanish troops; the British depart after blowing up Fort Barrancas.  

Tuesday, November 8, 1814: Jackson delayed attacking Fort Barrancas on Monday. This delay allowed the Royal Navy to retreat to Ft. Barrancas, embark the troops from there and then sail away. Before sailing toward the Apalachicola Bay, the British blew up both Ft. Barrancas and the fort on Santa Rosa Island, leaving the entire Pensacola harbor defenseless.

Wednesday, November 9, 1814: Since Pensacola was defenseless, Jackson was forced to evacuate and retreat back toward Mobile.

November 13, 1814: General Jackson returned to Mobile from his capture of Pensacola.

Tuesday, November 22, 1814: General Jackson left Mobile on horseback, accompanied by only three or four other soldiers including his Adjutant General, Robert Butler, his aide-de-camp, Major John Reid and Major Howell Tatum, his chief topographical engineer. They traveled slowly for ten days to make a reconnaissance of the coast between Mobile and New Orleans. On this same day, Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Forester Inglis Cochrane, RN, arrived at Negril Bay in Jamaica aboard his flagship, HMS Tonnant, and began assembling the British Expeditionary Force that would attempt to capture New Orleans. 
Details of General Jackson's ride from Mobile to New Orleans may be found in Major Howell Tatum's Journal

November 19–22, 1814:  FROM
Still not knowing where the British force will strike, Jackson leaves some troops to protect Mobile, and proceeds to New Orleans, traveling overland to personally scout possible British landing sites.

November 24, 1814: The British Expeditionary Force rendezvoused at Negril Bay, Jamaica.
November 24–29, 1814:FROM
Major General John Keane, commanding British ground troops in Pakenham's absence, lands in Jamaica for the rendezvous with forces already gathered there. Pressed for time, Admiral Cochrane orders the British fleet sail north for Louisiana prior to Pakenham's arrival, still two weeks away.

Location of General Jackson's headquarters on Royal Street
image courtesy of Lossing's Pictorial History of the War of 1812

Thursday, December 1, 1814: General Jackson and his staff arrived in New Orleans after having crossed Lake Ponchartrain from Covington on Collins' packet to the mouth of Bayou St. John and then up the bayou to Bayou Bridge two miles north of the New Orleans where they landed.

December 4, 1814: General Jackson descended the Mississippi River on an inspection tour of Fort St. Philip.

December 5, 1814: British Admiral Cochrane and Major General  Keane issued a proclamation to the Indians of the Northern Gulf Coast. This call to battle promised the restoration of all Indian land acquired by the Americans from the Indians.

    The Great KING GEORGE, our beloved Father, has long wished to assuage the sorrows of his warlike Indian Children, and to assist them in regaining their Rights and Possessions from their base and perfidious oppressors.
    The trouble our Father has had in conquering his Enemies beyond the great waters, he has brought to a glorious conclusion; and Peace is again restored amongst all the Nations of Europe.
    The desire therefore which he has long felt of assisting you, and the assurance which he has given you of his powerful protection, he has now chosen us his Chiefs by Sea and Land to carry into effectual execution.
    Know then, O Chiefs and Warriors, that in obedience to the Great Spirit which directs the soul of our mighty Father, we come with a power which it were vain for all the People of the United States to attempt to oppose.- Behold the great waters covered with our Ships, from which will go forth an Army of Warriors as numerous as the whole Indian Nations; inured to the toils and hardships of war- accustomed to triumph over all opposition- the constant favorites of Victory.
    The same principle of justice which led our Father to wage a war of twenty years in favor of the oppressed Nations of Europe, animates him now in support of his Indian Children. And by the efforts of his Warriors, he hopes to obtain for them the restoration of those lands of which the People of the Bad Spirit have basely robbed them.
    We promised you by our Talk of last June, that great Fleets and Armies were coming to attack our foes; and you will have heard of our having triumphantly taken their Capital City of Washington, as well as many other places- beaten their Armies in battle- and spread terror over the heart of their country.
    Come forth, then, ye brave Chiefs and Warriors, as one family, and join the British Standard,- the signal of union between the powerful and the oppressed,- the symbol of Justice led on by Victory.
    If you want covering to protect yourselves, your wives, and your children, against the winter's cold,- come to us and we will clothe you. If you want arms and ammunition to defend yourselves against your oppressors,- come to us and we will provide you. Call around you the whole of our Indian brethren,- and we will shew them the same tokens of our brotherly love.
    And what think you we ask in return for this bounty of our great Father, which we his chosen Warriors have so much pleasure in offering to you? Nothing more than that you should assist us manfully in regaining your lost lands,- the lands of your forefathers,- from the common enemy, the wicked People of the United States; and that you should hand down those lands to your children hereafter, as we hope we shall now be able to deliver them up to you, their lawful owners. And you may rest assured, that whenever we have forced our Enemies to ask for a Peace, our good Father will on no account forget the welfare of his much-loved Indian Children.
       Again then, brave Chiefs and Warriors of the Indian Nations, at the mandate of the Great Spirit we call upon you to come forth arrayed in battle, to fight the great fight of Justice, and recover your long-lost freedom. Animate your hearts in this sacred cause,- unite with us as the sons of one common Father,- and a great and glorious victory will shortly crown our exertions.

                                                                 Given under our Hands and Seals, on board his Britannic
                                                                     Majesty's Ship Tonnant, off Appalachicola, the 5th of

                                                                          (Signed) ALEXANDER COCHRANE,
                                                                                              Vice-Admiral, and Commander in Chief
                                                                                               of the Fleet on the North American
                                                                                               and Jamaica Stations.

                                                                           (Signed) John Keane,
                                                                                               Major-General, Commanding the Forces

December 5, 1814: Six Tennessee militiamen were court martialed for exciting mutiny of the troops at Fort Jackson on September 20. This mutiny occurred because of confusion over the time of enlistment. Men who enlisted on June 20 believed their tour of duty ended after three months on September 20. Unfortunately, they were incorrect.

December 8, 1814: Major Uriah Blue along with 1000 mounted riflemen and 53 Choctaws under Pushmataha left Mobile and Fort Montgomery for the river bottoms of Northwest Florida on a search and destroy mission against the refugee Red Sticks who had fled toward the gulf coast after the defeat at Horseshoe Bend.

On December 8,  Admiral Cochrane on the command ship TONNANT dropped anchor in the channel off the Chandeleur Islands after visiting Pensacola and Apalachicola.

December 9, 1814: (from Judge Alexander Walker's book "Jackson and New Orleans)
"The pilots, who have accompanied the fleets from the 
West Indies, have announced that the land is not far 
off and all parties are on deck, eagerly straining their eyes for a view of the desired shore. There, in the distance, they soon discover a
long, shining white line, 
which sparkles in the sun like an island of fire.
Presently it becomes more distinct and substantial 
and the man at the look-out proclaims 'land ahead'. 
The leading ships approach as near 
as is prudent and their crews, especially the land 
troops, experience no little disappointment at the 
bleak and forbidding aspect of Dauphin Island, 
with its long, sandy 
beach, its dreary, stunted pines, and the entire 
absence of any vestige of settlement or cultivation. 
Turning to the west, the fleet avoids the island and 
proceeds towards a favorable anchorage in the 
direction of the Chandeleur islands, the wind in the 
meantime having chopped around and blowing 
too strong from the shore to justify 
an attempt to enter the lake at night. 
"As the Tonnant and Seahorse pass near to Dauphin 
Island, the attention of the Vice-Admiral 
is called to two small vessels, 
lying between the island and the 
shore. They are neat little craft, sloop-rigged, and 
evidently armed. They appear to be watching the 
movements of the British ships and when the latter 
take a western course, they weigh anchor and 
follow in the same direction. 
At night-fall the signal 
'to anchor' is made from the Tonnant and the order 
is quickly obeyed by all the vessels in the squadron." 
"The suspicious little sloops, as if in apprehension 
of a night attack of boats, then press all sail and 
proceed in the direction of Biloxi Bay. They prove to be the United States gunboats No. 23, Lieutenant 
McKeever, (afterwards Commodore McKeever) , No. 163, 
Sailing Master Ulrick, which had been detached from 
the squadron of Lieutenant Thomas Ap Catesby Jones 
(later the Commodore Jones 
who ran up the first American flag at Monterey, 
California, in 1847), who had been sent by Commodore 
Patterson with six gunboats, one tender, and a 
despatch boat, to watch and report the approach 
of the British. In case their 
fleet succeeded in entering 
the lake, he was to be prepared to cut 
off their barges and prevent the landing of the 
troops. If hard pressed by a superior force, his 
orders were to fall back upon a mud fort, the Petites Coquilles, near the mouth of the Rigolets and shelter his vessels under its guns. 

"The two boats which had attracted the notice of the 
British Vice-Admiral, joined the others of the 
squadron that night near Biloxi. The next day, 
the 10th of December, at dawn, 
or as soon as the fog cleared off, 
Jones was amazed to observe the deep water 
between Ship and Cat Islands where the current flows, 
crowded with ships and vessels of every calibre and 
description. The Tonnant having anchored off the 
Chandeleurs, the Seahorse was now the foremost ship. 
Jones immediately made for Pass Christian with
his little fleet, where he anchored,and quietly 
awaited the approach of the British vessels.
December 9, 1814: General Jackson returned to New Orleans after performing an inspection tour of the fortifications of the lower Mississippi. Jackson neglected to inspect the right bank of the Mississippi River.

December 11, 1814: General Jackson inspected the defenses along the Gentilly Plain and ordered the erection of a battery at the junction of Bayou Sauvage with the Chef Menteur Pass between the lakes. He also ordered that an express connection be set up between the Balize and New Orleans.

On this day, the headmost ships of the Royal Navy's Expeditionary Fleet came in sight at the HMS Tonnant's anchorage.

December 12, 1814: By noon on this day, the entire British fleet was anchored off of the Chandaleurs.

December 13, 1814: The troop frigates and transports moved up to an anchorage north of the Chandaleurs which was located in the Mississippi Sound between Cat Island and the mainland. The USS Sea Horse battled  British troop transports in water between Bay St. Louis and Lake Borgne.

December 13, 1814: The HMS Vengeur and its convoy sail into Negril Bay, Jamaica to meet the HMS Statira carrying the commanding officer for the upcoming Battle of New Orleans, Major General Sir Edward Pakenham.
image courtesy of Lossing's Pictorial History of the War of 1812

December 14, 1814: Battle of Lake Borgne
The boats of the following British ships took part in the action on Lake Borgne:

December 15, 1814: Lieutenant Peddie and  Captain Spencer put on fishermen's clothing and reconnoiter the shore around the Rigolets. They rent a boat at the Fishermen's Village near the mouth of Bayou Bienvenue and are able to travel all the way to the east bank of the Mississippi below New Orleans.(Journal of British Quartermaster Forrest). Latour gives this reconnaissance as occurring on December 20. Latour also lists the names of Spanish and Portuguese fisherman from the Fisherman's Village who betrayed the United States by helping the British in various ways.

These appear to be some of the only people in West Florida or Louisiana to help the British. This is a quote from British Quartermaster Forrester, "A second (difficulty) was the impossibility of gaining intelligence- the inhabitants had abandoned their houses, and not a single deserter came over to us- the information of the prisoners taken was vague and contradictory, that of the Negroes trifling and unsatisfactory."

December 16, 1814: General Andrew Jackson declared martial law in the City of New Orleans.

image courtesy of Lossing's Pictorial History of the War of 1812

December 16, 1814: FROM
Jackson declares martial law in New Orleans, while two British officers dressed as local fishermen secretly reconnoiter a route to the city via Bayou Bienvenue to the Villeré and Delaronde Plantations. British troops begin mustering at Isle aux Poix (Pea Island) near the mouth of the Pearl River.

December 17, 1814: The construction began on two batteries on Bayou St. John.
image courtesy of Lossing's Pictorial History of the War of 1812

December 18, 1814: General Jackson performed a general review of the troops at the Plaque de Armes (present-day Jackson Square), declared martial law and suspended writ of habeas corpus.

December 19, 1814: The British Expeditionary Force bivouacked on Pea Island in Lake Borgne.

December 20, 1814: 
Two bodies of Tennessee militia under Generals Coffee and Carroll reach New Orleans, along with Thomas Hinds' Mississippi Dragoons.

December 22, 1814: At 9 o'clock in the morning the advance British force led by Lieutenant Peddie embarked on barges from their camp on Pea Island and by midnight entered the mouth of Bayou Bienvenue. A British unit composed of 30 men continued up Bayou Bienvenue, surprising and capturing the American pickets stationed there. When interrogated, these Americans exaggerated the strength of Jackson's army in New Orleans.
 2000 soldiers and sailors of the British Expeditionary Force began rowing their transport boats into the narrow & shallow mouth of Bayou Bienvenue on Lake Borgne. Throughout the night and into the early morning, these advance troops ,quietly and without lighting any fires, rowed their boats one at a time up the bayou toward New Orleans. When the sun rose on Friday, December 23, the headmost boats disembarked their troops near the entrance of the Villere Canal, completely unobserved by any American pickets.

Flag made by the women of Shelbyville, Tennessee that was carried by their militia during the Night Battle of December 23
image courtesy of Lossing's Pictorial History of the War of 1812

image courtesy of Lossing's Pictorial History of the War of 1812

December 23, 1814: The British advanced toward New Orleans along Bayou Bienvenue and made their headquarters at the Villere Plantation located near the head of the bayou at the Mississippi River south of the city. The son of the owner of the plantation was arrested by the British but he escaped to warn Jackson who immediately organized a night attack against the British camp. Shells fired in the British camp from the USS Carolina anchored in the Mississippi were a key to the American victory which slowed the British disembarkation and set the stage for the main battle on January 8.
December 23, 1814: FROM Landing and Night Battle
A British advance force ascends Bayou Catalan (Bienvenue) and Villeré's Canal to the Mississippi River, capturing 30 Louisiana militia posted in Villeré's house as well as Major Gabriel Villeré, who subsequently escapes. Jackson attacks after nightfall, stopping the British advance; the Americans fall back and begin construction of a defensive line behind the Rodriguez Canal.
image courtesy of Lossing's Pictorial History of the War of 1812

The Chalmette Plantation in front of Rodriguez's canal
image courtesy of Lossing's Pictorial History of the War of 1812

December 24, 1814: U.S. Regulars and dragoons were left at De la Ronde's and the remainder of the army built a 3 foot high breast-work along the entire length of Rodriguez's Canal.

The HMS Statira arrived at the anchorage of the British fleet in the Mississippi Sound bringing Major-General Sir Edward Pakenham along with Major-General Gibbs, Lieutenant-Colonel Burgoyne (Commanding Royal Engineer), Mr. Robb (Inspector of Hospitals) and Colonel Sir Alexander Dickson (Commanding Royal Artillery). 

 The Treaty of Ghent ending the War of 1812 was signed.

December 25, 1814: General Pakenham arrived at the Villere Plantation headquarters and took over command of the British troops.  Jackson fell back, concentrated his forces and ordered the levee cut at the Chalmette Plantation and the field in front of the Rodriguez canal flooded.

December 25, 1814: American Major Uriah Blue and his 1000 mounted riflemen run out of supplies before reaching Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola and begin their retreat back to civilization.

December 26, 1814: In the morning, the British discover where the Americans cut the levee to flood the fields on the east bank of the Mississippi. The British commander Pakenham had the officer commanding the pickets who should have discovered the Americans arrested and ordered the cut to be filled. Another alarm occurred when a drove of  30 to 40 horses stolen by Colonel Nicolls' Indians arrived from Terre Boeuf and the party of Indians were fired upon by the British pickets because Nicolls had not informed the command that he had sent his men from Apalachicola out to steal horses.

December 27, 1814: A British hot shot hit the USS Carolina and the crew had to abandon ship before it exploded and sank.

December 28, 1814 Reconnaissance in Force
Pakenham advances his army in a reconnaissance in force, coming under fire from American artillery and the USS Louisiana; despite some progress, Pakenham withdraws to wait for heavy guns to be brought up from the fleet.
In response to a rumor that local lawmakers were to vote on a surrender of the city to the British invaders, General Jackson dispatched an officer to investigate. The Louisiana Legislature's meeting place was subsequently locked and its members were prevented from meeting.
December 29, 1814: The British continue to build their batteries for their heavy cannon. British use heavy ox carts used for hauling sugar barrels to move and mount their cannon.

December 30, 1814: The H.M.S. Brazon under command of Captain Sterling embarked from Portsmouth with a copy of a newspaper announcing a declaration of peace from the Treaty of Ghent.

The British establish a laboratory at the head of the canal coming up from Bayou Bienvenue and begin making cloth artillery gunpowder cartridge bags for their cannon. Cloth for the bags was procured by a detachment of British tailors who took wall hangings, bed curtains and sheeting from the surrounding houses.

Sunday, January 1, 1815: FROM
Artillery Duel
British batteries open fire on Americans, who return fire; the British gunners run out of ammunition after 3 hours, but the Americans keep firing, forcing Pakenham to order the guns from his forward batteries to be withdrawn out of range.

Monday, January 2, 1815: Anthony St. John Baker sailed for America with the American copy of the Treaty of Ghent and with another copy that had been ratified by the British Government in London.

image courtesy of Lossing's Pictorial History of the War of 1812

Monday, January 2, 1815: The British at Chalmette learn that the HMS Vengeur and its convoy have arrived at the British outer anchorage in the Mississippi Sound. General Pakenham had earlier delayed further attacks on the American line until the troops from this convoy could arrive at their headquarters at Villere's. British begin work to deepen Villere's Canal so that boats can be floated nearer the river bank and moved over the levee and into the river so they can be used to transport British troops across the river for an attack upon the American batteries on the West Bank.

Tuesday, January 3, 1815: Naval carpenters set up shop in a barn on La Coste's plantation to repair cannon carriages. Another crew began preparing charcoal for the blacksmith's shop. General Lambert arrived at British headquarters and an American from the 44th Regiment deserted to the British.

Wednesday, January 4, 1815: Troops from the HMS Vengeur and its convoy continue to arrive at British headquarters at Villere's. A boat from the HMS Statira that was transporting troops capsized and drowned 22 British soldiers. American began firing hot shot so the British dispersed their ammunition in the burned over cane fields and cover it with newly arrived tents. A third British reconnaissance of the cypress swamp adjoining the plantation fields on the East Bank found there was no hope of penetrating it.

January 4–5, 1815: FROM
Jackson is reinforced by over 2,300 Kentucky militiamen, though many lack arms and adequate clothing; meanwhile, Pakenham is reinforced by the arrival of troops from Lambert's brigade as he formulates his plan for a grand assault on the American line.

Thursday, January 5, 1815: Work continued on deepening Villere's Canal so boats could be used to transport British troops across the river to attack American artillery positions on the West Bank. American hot shots burned the Bienvenue Plantation slave quarters and large cane fire occurred on Lake Borgne.

Friday, January 6, 1815: The British capture a Frenchman who says that the Kentucky reinforcements had arrived in New Orleans on 60 large boats that had come down the Mississippi.

Saturday, January 7, 1815: The British bring 42 boats up Villere's Canal to their headquarters. These boats would be used to transport troops across the Mississippi for an attack on the West Bank. Another dam was constructed in an attempt to further raise the water level in the canal.

Sunday, January 8, 1815: The British troops who were supposed to cross the Mississippi were delayed by the difficulty in moving the boats from the canal and into the river. This delay prevented the West Bank attack from being an advance diversion plus Lieutenant Colonel Mullens' troops forgot to bring the fascines and ladders necessary to climb over the American line. The late attack was also hampered by the premature firing of rockets. The British forward artillery was forced to retreat because they could not fire due to their own retreating troops. Major-General Pakenham died at the De la Ronde Plantation house. After sundown, the British returned to the battlefield to spike their guns and to destroy ammunition.
"In the grey dawn of January 8, 1814, on the field of Chalmette, with a small army of poorly equipped regulars, of raw militia of the new State of Louisiana, and the mixed citizens of the most cosmopolitan city in the New World, an astounding victory was achieved over a magnificent army of gallant men who had covered their forces with renown in the Peninsular War and who were yet to attain greater glory on the field of Waterloo.
      The Battle of New Orleans was the seal of the Louisiana Purchase. The Louisiana Purchase, the greatest peace-time acquisition of territory in the record of man, made of these United States the most fortunate and most powerful of nations. In the sacrifices of that battle the blood of all the people of English speech became an offering for an everlasting covenant of peace between people of common origins, life and civilization."
(from Edward Alexander Parsons' article on Lafitte  ) 

 "There were some awful wounds from cannon shot, and I dug an immense hole, and threw nearly two hundred bodies into it. To the credit of the Americans not an article of clothing had been taken from our dead except the shoes. Every body was straightened, and the great toes tied together with a piece of string. A more appalling spectacle cannot well be conceived than this common grave, the bodies hurled in as fast as we could bring them. The Colonel, Butler, was very sulky if I tried to get near the works. This scene was not more than about eighty yards away from them, and, had our fellows rushed on, they would not have lost one half; and victory would have been ours. I may safely say there was not a vital part of man in which I did not observe a mortal wound, in many bodies there were three or four such; some were without heads; there were others, poor fellows, whom I recognized. In this part of America there were many Spaniards and Frenchmen. Several soldiers and officers gathered round me, and I addressed them in their own language. Colonel Butler became furious, but I would not desist for the moment, and said, 'The next time we meet, Colonel, I hope to receive you to bury your dead." "Well, I calculate you have been on that duty to-day,' he said. God only knows I had, with a heavy heart.It was apparently light enough before him, but the effort was a violent one." Sir Harry Smith

British Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Mullens' regiment forgot to pick up the fascines and ladders and he was tried by court martial for this negligence. (following quote from Sir John Fortescue in HISTORY OF THE BRITISH ARMY, VOL. V, CHAPTER XX, PP. 176-7) "A scapegoat had to be found for the mishap and Lieutenant-Colonel Mullens was tried by court martial and cashiered for disobedience to orders....The man who should have been tried by court martial and shot was Sir Alexander Cochrane. The callous manner in which he deliberately placed  the troops in a most dangerous situation, and then worked his faithful blue-jackets to death to keep them there- all with the principal object of filling his own pockets- cannot be too strongly condemned."

January 8, 1815: FROM Battle of New Orleans
The main British attack on the east bank is repulsed with heavy British casualties and the deaths of Generals Pakenham and Gibbs; Pakenham's successor, Major General John Lambert, decides that he cannot exploit a successful British attack on the West Bank and orders his forces to withdraw.

January 9, 1815: Major Uriah Blue and his American force return to Ft. Montgomery on the Tensas from their search and destroy mission against the Red Sticks and fugitive slaves in Northwest Florida.

January 9–16, 1815: FROM
Six British vessels, including bombships, fire on Fort St. Philip but cannot subdue or pass it. Reinforcements from the 40th Foot arrive along with the expected artillery siege train, too late to make a difference.

Monday, January 9, 1815: Fascines and 16 newly constructed bridges were used by the British to cross the land between the head of Villere's Canal and the mouth of Bayou Bienvenue. An embarkation depot was established at the Fisherman's Village. General Gibbs died at 10:30 A.M. A truce was declared until noon in order to bury the dead. The British began to move their wounded toward their outer anchorage in the Mississippi Sound. The Americans reestablished the batteries which the British overran on the West Bank but were forced to abandon.

Thursday, January 12, 1815: A prisoner exchange was negotiated. 

Friday, January 13, 1815: By this time all the wounded had been sent away by boats down the canal and the troops continued to march to the Fisherman's Village embarkation depot. The British broke up their remaining artillery cartridges and rebarreled the powder.

Saturday, January 14, 1815: Admiral Cochrane left the battlefield and the British continued to withdraw their artillery batteries.

Sunday, January 15, 1815: British continued to move more cannon and ammunition down the the Fisherman's Village embarkation depot. Americans continued to send a heavy artillery fire into the British headquarters around the Villere Plantation.

Monday, January 16, 1815: The British secretly planned to finish their retreat from the battlefield on Wednesday. At the De la Ronde Plantation, the British reassembled cannon carriages that had already been broken down for the purpose of marching the American prisoners by these "active batteries" during the prisoner exchange. The British also kept camp fires going in all of their vacant camps as American artillery opened a brisk fire after sundown.

Wednesday, January 18, 1815:The British used the truce for the prisoner exchange as an opportunity to complete their total retreat from the Chalmette battlefield. The last British pickets left the landing place on Villere's Canal before daylight on January 19.

The British bombardment of Fort St. Philip on the Mississippi River ended after ten days of shelling.

January 19–29, 1815: FROM
Reembarkation and departure of the British army; Hinds's dragoons skirmish with the British rearguard at mouth of Bayou Bienvenue on January 25, the last land fighting below New Orleans.

January 21, 1815: FROM
General Jackson drew up and addressed the troops manning the rampart at Chalmette prior to returning upriver to New Orleans.

January 22, 1815: General Jackson signed the order for the executions of the six Tennessee militiamen who were found guilty of exciting mutiny at Fort Jackson on September 20, 1814.

January 23, 1815 : FROM
Religious and civil ceremonies in New Orleans commemorate the victory including a Te Deum at St. Louis Cathedral.

January 27, 1815: The Choctaw company led by Pushmataha and Mushulamotubbee are mustered out of the U.S. Army at Fort Stoddert. 

February 2, 1815: FROM
Still angry over Jackson's attempt to close the Louisiana Legislature in late December, lawmakers draft a resolution of thanks naming all of the commanding officers of the regular and militia troops that had defended New Orleans, but with no mention of General Jackson.
February 3, 1815: The H.M.S. Brazen, carrying newspapers announcing the peace of the Treaty of Ghent, arrives at Port Royal, Jamaica.
February 4, 1815: FROM
News of the victory in New Orleans reaches Washington, D.C.

Saturday, February 4, 1815: The weather improved and the larger British men-of-war and the larger troop transports received orders to sail to the lower(southern) anchorage off the Chandeleur Islands and the shallow draft vessels which included smaller men-of-war and troop transports were ordered to sail to the upper(northern) anchorage near Ship Island. This was done in anticipation of the ships of the lower anchorage taking the outer passage in the Gulf to the mouth of Mobile Bay and the ships of the upper anchorage taking the inner passage through the Mississippi Sound. Admiral Malcolm took command of the ships of the upper anchorage.

Sunday, February 5, 1815: The battering transports received orders to  move to the lower anchorage. All of the men and material aboard ships on the inner passage intended for the attack on Ft. Bowyer were identified and were ordered to disembark on Dauphin Island before being transported to Mobile Point.

Monday, February 6, 1815: The ships of both anchorages weighed anchor and sailed east toward Dauphin Island. All of the troops on board the ships on the outer passage except the ones to be used in the attack on Ft. Bowyer were ordered to land and occupy the eastern point of Dauphin Island the next morning.
Lawrence, the American commander at Ft. Bowyer, sent a messenger from Mobile Point to General Winchester in Mobile with the news of the British arrival and requested reinforcements.
Tuesday, February 7, 1815: The 85th Regiment landed on Dauphin Island and found it so suitable that the 1st and 3rdBrigades were ordered to land and camp on the island. At daylight the ships of the lower anchorage off Petit Bois Island sailed to a new anchorage in the Gulf about three miles south of the shore of Dauphin Island. The ships designated to land troops on Mobile Point set sail at 1 P.M. and sailed for two hours and dropped anchor 4 miles south of the Gulf beach of Mobile Point. It was determined that it was too late in the day to begin landing troops.
38 of the Royal Navy's ships-of-the-line sealed off all of the sea approaches to Mobile Point,
U.S. General Winchester in Mobile received Lawrence's request from Ft. Bowyer on Mobile Point for reinforcements.

Wednesday, February 8, 1815: At 9 A.M. the 2nd Brigade of about 1300 to 1400 men began landing on the Gulf beach with no opposition. This landing occurred about two and a half to three miles east of Ft. Bowyer. The landing craft were only able to land 600 men at a time and no field artillery were landed in this first operation. Captain Robert Spencer and Colonel Alexander Dixson walked east down the beach toward the fort and found a landing place for the artillery and stores located about a mile closer to the fort. This landing place was determined when an opening in the outer sand bar was discovered which had about 4 feet of water. As the men of the 21st Regiment marched toward the fort along the beach, two of their men were killed and another injured by small arms fire coming from the fort. After determining the ideal location for artillery emplacements on the highest dunes, troops under the command of Colonel Burgoyne began digging a ditch parallel to the fort during the night of the 8th. The Americans were able to see the dark bodies of the British soldiers on the white dunes at night and fired four cannons at them at once. This killed and wounded 8 or 10 men.

Thursday, February 9, 1815: The working parties continued to dig trenches to the locations of the proposed batteries which were to be built on the highest sand dunes. Two British boats located in the water between Dauphin Island and the fort were fired upon by the Americans in the fort and one boat was shot through the sails. The Americans maintained a brisk cannon and musket fire at anyone who moved on the land side of the fort. British countered with musket fire forcing the Americans to pile sandbags around their rifle ports and embrasures.

Friday, February 10, 1815: Enough ordnance for two days firing was landed on shore by the British. The rest of the army had completed its landing on Dauphin Island. Members of the 85th Regiment were brought over to Mobile Point from Dauphin Island to relieve the 44th which had begun the siege on February 8. Captain Spencer was now in command of all 200 Seamen who had been landed on Mobile Point. In the afternoon the British captured a Mr. Drury at Little Bay John 12 miles east of Mobile Point and he informed them that the Americans had mined the ditch in front of Ft. Bowyer.

Saturday, February 11, 1815: At 9 A.M., with the artillery batteries completed and the trenches dug within 40 yards of the ditch of the fort, Major Harry Smith was sent under a flag of truce to Ft. Bowyer to offer the Americans the opportunity to let their women and children to come out of the fort before it was to be destroyed by British cannon fire which was to commence at 10 A.M. After considering the British proposal for two hours, the American commander, Colonel Lawrence, agreed to surrender but pleaded to be allowed not to deliver the fort until the next day, using as an excuse that some of his men had gotten drunk. A British detachment was allowed to occupy the gate of Ft. Bowyer and the Americans remained inside. This was a delaying ploy by the Americans who hoped that they would soon be supported by a force of 1000 American troops under the command of Major Uriah Blue who were enroute to Ft. Bowyer from Mobile.

Sunday, February 12, 1815: Major Blue and his American troops did not arrive at Mobile Point and the Americans laid down their arms, marched out and surrendered Ft. Bowyer to the British at noon. 370 Americans marched out of the fort including 20 women and 16 children.

Monday, February 13, 1815: The HMS Brazen arrived that morning at the lower British anchorage with news that peace had been signed at Ghent between Great Britain and America on December 24, 1814.

Map of the Second Battle of Fort Bowyer from LaTour

February 12, 1815: The Americans formally marched out of Fort Bowyer and stacked their arms. The British flag was raised over Mobile Point.
[from the Autobiography of Sir Harry Smith]
AFTER the Army was somewhat refreshed, an attempt on Mobile was resolved on, for which purpose the fleet went down to the mouth of Mobile Bay. Here there was a wooden fort of some strength, Fort Bowyer, which some time previously had sunk one of two small craft of our men-of-war which were attempting to silence it. It was necessary that this fort should be reduced in order to open the passage of the bay. It was erected on a narrow neck of land easily invested, and required only a part of the army to besiege it. It was regularly approached, and when our breaching batteries were prepared to burn or blow it to the devil, I was sent to summon it to surrender. The Americans have no particular respect for flags of truce, and all my Rifle education was required to protect myself from being rifled and to procure a reception of my flag. After some little time I was received, and, upon my particular request, admitted into the fort, to the presence of Major Lawrence, who commanded, with five Companies, I think, of the 2nd Regiment. I kept a sharp look-out on the defences, etc., which would not have resisted our fire an hour. The Major was as civil as a vulgar fellow can be. I gave him my version of his position and cheered him on the ability he had displayed. He said, "Well, now, I calculate you are not far out in your reckoning. What do you advise me to do? You, I suppose, are one of Wellington's men, and understand the rules in these cases." "This," I said, "belongs to the rule that the weakest goes to the wall, and if you do not surrender at discretion in one hour, we, being the stronger, will blow up the fort and burn your wooden walls about your ears. All I can say is, you have done your duty to your country, and no soldier can do more, or resist the overpowering force of circumstances." "Well, if you were in my situation, you would surrender, would you?" "Yes, to be sure." "Well, go and tell your General I will surrender to-morrow at this hour, provided I am allowed to march out with my arms and ground them outside the fort." "No," I said, "I will take no such message back. My General, in humanity, offers you terms such as he can alone accept, and the blood of your soldiers be on your own head." He said, "Well, now, don't be hasty." I could see the Major had some hidden object in view. I said, therefore, "Now, I tell you what message I will carry to my General. You open the gates, and one of our Companies will take possession of it immediately, and a body of troops shall move up close to its support; then you may remain inside the fort until to-morrow at this hour and ground your arms on the glacis." I took out pen and ink, wrote down my proposition, and said; "There, now, sign directly and I go." He was very obstinate, and I rose to go, when he said, "Well, now, you are hard upon me in distress." "The devil I am," I said. "We might have blown you into the water, as you did our craft, without a summons. Good-bye." "Well, then, give me the pen. If I must, so be it;" and he signed. His terms were accepted, and the 4th Light Company took possession of the gate, with orders to rush in in case of alarm. A supporting column of four hundred men were bivouacked close at hand with the same orders, while every precaution was taken, so that, if any descent were made from Mobile, we should be prepared, for, by the Major's manner and look under his eyebrows, I could see there was no little cunning in his composition. We afterwards learned that a force was embarked at Mobile, and was to have made a descent that very night, but the wind prevented them. We were, however, perfectly prepared, and Fort Bowyer was ours.

A portion of a watercolor of Fort Bowyer found in the Pulteney Malcolm papers at the University of Michigan. It was reprinted in Gene Allen Smith's article, DEFEAT AT FORT BOWYER, in the Summer 2014 issue of ALABAMA HERITAGE

February 13, 1815: British Admiral Cochrane at Dauphin Island wrote General Jackson of the reception of news that peace had been declared.
Captain Sterling of the HMS Brazen arrived at the anchorage of the British fleet off of Dauphin Island with news that a treaty of peace had been signed by the two countries on December 24th in Ghent.
[from the Autobiography of Sir Harry Smith]
In a few days after the capture of this fort the Brazen sloop-of-war arrived with dispatches [14 Feb.] The preliminaries of peace were signed, and only awaited the ratification of the President, and until this was or was not effected, hostilities were to cease. We were all happy enough, for we Peninsular soldiers saw that neither fame nor any military distinction could be acquired in this species of milito-nautico-guerilla-plundering-warfare. I got a letter from my dear wife, who was in health and composure, with my family all in love with her, and praying of course for my safe return, which she anticipated would not be delayed, as peace was certain. I for my part was very ready to return, and I thanked Almighty God from my heart that such fair prospects were again before me, after such another series of wonderful escapes.
Pending the ratification, it was resolved to disembark the whole army on a large island at the entrance of Mobile Bay, called Isle Dauphine.62 This was done. At first we had great difficulty in getting anything like fresh provisions; but, as the sea abounded with fish, each regiment rigged out a net, and obtained a plentiful supply. Then our biscuit ran short. We had abundance of flour, but this began to act on the men and produce dysentery. The want of ovens alone prevented our making bread. This subject engrossed my attention for a whole day, but on awakening one morning a sort of vision dictated to me, "There are plenty of oyster-shells, and there is sand. Burn the former and make mortar, and construct ovens." So I sent on board to Admiral Malcolm to send me a lot of hoops of barrels by way of a framework for my arch. There was plenty of wood, the shells were burning, the mortar soon made, my arch constructed, and by three o'clock there was a slow fire in a very good oven on the ground. The baker was summoned, and the paste was made, ready to bake at daylight. The Admiral, dear Malcolm, and our Generals were invited to breakfast, but I did not tell even Sir John Lambert why I had asked a breakfast-party. He only laughed and said, "I wish I could give them a good one!" Oh, the anxiety with which I and my baker watched the progress of our exertions! We heard the men-of-war's bells strike eight o'clock. My breakfast-party was assembled. I had an unusual quantity of salt beef and biscuit on the table, the party was ready to fall to, when in I marched at the head of a column of loaves and rolls, all piping hot and as light as bread should be. The astonishment of the Admiral was beyond all belief, and he uttered a volley of monosyllables at the idea of a soldier inventing anything. Oh, how we laughed and ate new bread, which we hadn't seen for some time! At first the Admiral thought I must have induced his steward to bake me the bread as a joke, when I turned to Sir John and said, "Now, sir, by this time to-morrow every Company shall have three ovens, and every man his pound and a half of bread." I had sent for the Quartermasters of Corps; some started difficulties, but I soon removed them. One said, "Where are we to get all the hoops?" This was, I admit, a puzzle. I proposed to make the arch for the mortar of wood, when a very quick fellow, Hogan, Quartermaster of the Fusiliers, said, "I have it: make a bank of sand, plaster over it; make your oven; when complete, scratch the sand out." In a camp everything gets wind, and Harry Smith's ovens were soon in operation all over the island. There were plenty of workmen, and the morrow produced the bread.
The officers erected a theatre, and we had great fun in various demi-savage ways. Bell, the Quartermaster-General, dear noble fellow, arrived, and a Major Cooper, and, of some importance to me, my stray portmanteau. I was half asleep one morning, rather later than usual, having been writing the greater part of the night, when I heard old West say, "Sir, sir." "What's the matter?" "Thank the Lord, you're alive." "What do you mean, you old ass?" "Why, a navigator has been going round and round your tent all night; here's a regular road about the tent." He meant an alligator, of which there were a great many on the island. The young ones our soldiers used to eat. I tasted a bit once; the meat was white, and the flavour like coarsely-fed pork.
In this very tent I was writing some very important documents for my General; the sandflies had now begun to be very troublesome, and that day they were positively painful. I ever hated tobacco, but a thought struck me, a good volume of smoke would keep the little devils off me. I called my orderly, a soldier of the 43rd, and told old West, who chawed a pound a day at least, to give him plenty of tobacco, and he was to make what smoke he could, for of two evils this was by far the least. The old Peninsular soldiers off parade were all perfectly at home with their officers, and he puffed away for a long time while I was writing, he being under my table. After a time he put his head out with a knowing look, and said, "If you please, sir, this is drier work than in front of Salamanca, where water was not to be had, and what's more, no grog neither." I desired West to bring him both rum and water. "Now, your honour, if you can write as long as I can smoke, you'll write the history of the world, and I will kill all the midges."
The ratification at length arrived [5 March], and the army was prepared to embark. Sir John Lambert, Baynes his Aide-de-camp, and I were to go home in the Brazen sloop-of-war, with a Captain Stirling, now Sir James, who was ultimately the founder of the Swan River Settlement. A more perfect gentleman or active sailor never existed: we have been faithful friends ever since. As many wounded as the Brazen could carry were embarked, and we weighed with one of our noble men-of-war.
As soon as the word was given, we sailed to the Havannah for fresh provisions.

A watercolor of Fort Bowyer found in the Pulteney Malcolm papers at the University of Michigan. It was reprinted in Gene Allen Smith's article, DEFEAT AT FORT BOWYER, in the Summer 2014 issue of ALABAMA HERITAGE

February 15, 1815: The Treaty of Ghent arrives in Washington, D.C.

February 16, 1815:
The United States and Great Britain exchange ratifications of the Ghent Treaty in Washington, thus officially ending the War of 1812.

February 17, 1815: After receiving confirmation that peace had been declared, the British released their American prisoners held in the ships anchored off Dauphin Island. British used this truce as an opportunity to ship supplies from Dauphin Island to their Indian and Negro allies on the Apalachicola.

A man who claimed to be an American serving in the Royal Navy, Archibald W. Hamilton, came to be released from his confinement at Dauphin Island on February 17. He had been held a prisoner on the schooner SPEEDWELL, a boat from Prince George County Maryland that was captured Aug. 22, 1814 in the Patuxent River at the same time Commodore Barney scuttled his U.S. Navy convoy to avoid capture. Hamilton claimed to be an American who volunteered to be a sailor in the Royal Navy in 1809 because he wanted to learn the maritime trade. He served until he found out they were trying to capture New Orleans and so he was imprisoned on the Speedwell which had been converted by Admiral Malcolm into a tender for the HMS Royal Oak. The reason we have so much documentation is that the Hamilton filed a claim for compensation FROM THE U.S. CONGRESS plus George Biscoe, the original owner of the Speedwell used a Hamilton deposition for his own compensatory claim to the Congress. Of course, the Congress turned Hamilton down.

February 19, 1815: British Major-General John Lambert wrote Jackson that he had informed Edward Livingston,then with the British fleet at Dauphin Island, that the British were ready to exchange the Fort Bowyer prisoners and the Battle of Lake Borgne prisoners who had just been returned to Dauphin Island from Havana where they had been held since their U.S. Navy ships had been captured on December 14.

February 21, 1815: Six of the Tennessee militiamen are shot to death by firing squad three miles southwest of  the town of Mobile near the bay shore. They were ordered to be executed by a court martial that found them guilty of inciting a general mutiny of all of General Jackson's troops.

February 24, 1815: Jackson wrote a letter to the editor of the LOUISIANA GAZETTE intended for publication. This letter informed the public that Admiral Cochrane's communication to him did not mean "a suspension of arms."

February 27, 1815: British Major-General John Lambert wrote Jackson a letter from his headquarters on Dauphin Island telling Jackson that he would cordially receive any slave masters claiming their slaves and that he would be "very happy if they can be persuaded all to return, but to compel them is what I cannot do...."

March 5, 1815: News of U.S. ratification of THE TREATY OF GHENT arrived on Dauphin Island.

March 5, 1815: FROM
Upon receiving official word of the ratification and the war's end, the British Army on Dauphin Island breaks camp and prepares to depart the Gulf Coast.
March 6, 1815: FROM
Unofficial news of the treaty ratification reaches New Orleans, but the official dispatch is delayed. Nevertheless, Jackson forwards the news to British forces on Dauphin Island. Over the next several days, he issues discharges to a large portion of Louisiana's militia.
March 9, 1815: FROM
Reports of the defeat in New Orleans and the news of Napoleon's escape and return to power in France reach England at the same time.
March 11, 1815: FROM
Jackson banishes federal judge Dominick Augustin Hall from New Orleans. Judge Hall had been arrested a week earlier for defying Jackson’s crackdown on civil dissent.
March 13, 1815
The official dispatch concerning the ratification of the peace treaty arrives in New Orleans. Jackson lifts martial law, pardons military offenses and frees detainees.
March 15, 1815: Americans returned British prisoners of war to the Royal Navy at their headquarters on Dauphin Island. This was also about the first time that religious services were provided for British troops since they had been deployed to North America.

March 20, 1814: The American prisoners in Dartmoor Prison in Devon, England, are informed of the peace established by the Treaty of Ghent.

March 24, 1815: FROM
Andrew Jackson is summoned by Judge Hall to face contempt charges for having illegally detained citizens and for defying the court’s constitutional authority. Jackson is subsequently found guilty of contempt, and is fined one thousand dollars; he quietly paid the fine, which was eventually refunded in full and with interest by an act of Congress in February, 1844.

March 27, 1815: The HMS Carron anchored off St. Vincent Island near Apalachicola Bay and stayed in the area for the next month. Captain Richard Cavendish Spencer (ancestral uncle of Princess Di) is reappointed commander of the HMS Cydnus.

March 31, 1815: British troops begin to get on board ships anchored off Dauphin Island in anticipation of a voyage to Havanna to pick up supplies for a trans-Atlantic voyage.

April 4, 1815:  British embark from Dauphin Island. Many departing British ships sail either to St. Marys/Fernandina or to New Providence Island, Bahamas. From those ports, troops made their way home, generally by way of the Bermuda. The retreat of the British Expeditionary Force from Dauphin Island resulted in hundreds of fugitive slaves from the area around the Northern Gulf of Mexico being disembarked as freed "Refugee Negroes" on Nova Scotia and Trinidad.

April 5, 1815: The HMS Herald embarked a marine drummer, three Marine Lieutenants, and a company of the 5th West India Regiment, who were bolstering the garrison at Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola, whom had previously been at New Orleans. They were disembarked at Fort Augusta in Jamaica on 10 May.
Dartmoor Prison in Devon, England

Andrew Jackson departs New Orleans for Nashville.
April 6, 1815: American prisoners at Dartmoor Prison in Devon,England demonstrated against their continued captivity and 7 prisoner were killed and 60 were wounded when the guards fired on them.

April 7, 1815: Admiral Pulteney Malcolm aboard the HMS ROYAL OAK left Pensacola. His captured tender, SPEEDWELL, is part of the convoy. 

April 15, 1815:  64 men were embarked aboard the HMS Seahorse from Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola for passage to Britain, and were disembarked at Portsmouth on 31 May.

April 15, 1815: The HMS Cydnus embarked 64 Royal Marines from Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola and weighed anchor for England.

April 21, 1815:  Two marine Lieutenants, a marine Sergeant, and a marine Private were 'Sent by Order of Col Nicolls for passage to England' aboard the HMS Borer. That same day, in addition, the Borer 'Received a party of black people for a passage to Bermuda', similarly by order of Colonel Nicolls. When the Borer reached Bermuda, the refugees were transferred to HMS Goree, for transit to Halifax. When the Borer reached Bermuda, the refugees were transferred to HMS Goree, for transit to Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

April 21, 1815:

April 22, 1815: The remainder of Royal Marines at Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola embarked upon the HMS Cydnus and the HMS Carron.

June 29, 1815: Colonel Nicolls embarked from Prospect Bluff for England aboard the HMS Forward.

200 years ago this next February,
THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN began in the water at the mouth of Mobile Bay off Dauphin Island when the H.M.S. Brazen
 brought a dispatch from London alerting British Admiral Pulteney Malcolm that peace had been declared between the U.S. and Great Britain and the WAR OF 1812 was over.
Our Nation's SECOND WAR OF INDEPENDENCE had come to an end in the water off Dauphin Island on board the HMS TONNANT, the same Royal Navy ship on which Francis Scott Key had written THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER five months earlier in Baltimore Harbor on the morning of Wednesday, September 14, 1814.

This same water off Dauphin Island was also the place where General Andrew Jackson experienced salt water for the first time in his life five months earlier on Tuesday, September 13, 1814 and was nearly captured by the Royal Navy at the beginning of the 1st Battle of Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point.

image courtesy of Lossing's Pictorial History of the War of 1812


Admiral Pulteney Malcolm~ Last Commander of British Forces on Dauphin Island in 1815

From Parton's LIFE OF ANDREW JACKSON, pages 304 and 305
...the opening fortunes of the 
British were suddenly closed by an event which 
occurred on the 13th, just two days after 
the surrender of Fort Bowyer. 
On that day Mr. R. D. Shepherd(ed. note:aide 
to Commodore Patterson) was standing on the 
deck of the TONNANT conversing with Admiral Malcolm
, a gentleman of the most amiable and genial
 manners, when a gig approached, 
with an officer, who coming aboard the
 TONNANT presented to 
the admiral a package. On opening and reading 
the contents, Admiral Malcolm took off his 
cap and gave a loud hurrah. 
Then turning to Mr. Shepherd, he seized his hand 
and grasping it warmly, exclaimed,
" 'Good news! 
Good news! We are friends. The BRAZEN has just 
arrived outside with the news 
of peace. I am delighted !'" 
adding, in an under tone, " ' I have hated this war from the beginning.' "

image courtesy of Lossing's Pictorial History of the War of 1812

Of all we know about the circumstances surrounding the Battle of New Orleans, we know one thing for certain: the Royal Navy was driven by a powerful and personal hunger for prize money and because of the American embargo and the British naval blockade of the mouth of the Mississippi, New Orleans was filled with at least 4 MILLION POUNDS STERLING OF PRIZE MONEY in the form of ships and commodities such as cotton, sugar, tobacco, hemp, lead, lumber, flour, leather, etc.  

"A large quantity of cotton at that time had accumulated in New Orleans, presenting a peculiarly inviting object to the speculator in Liverpool. The expedition was secretly fitted out in Liverpool. A merchantile house in that city was let into the secret of it. No doubt was entertained of the success of the British army; the capture of New Orleans, the acquisition of Louisiana, and the possession of its 'booty and beauty' were considered fixed facts. This merchantile house wrote to a firm of like character in Havana, giving an account of the expedition, assuring them of its success, and inviting them to participate in a great speculation, and one likely to place all concerned in the possession of great wealth." , THE TALLAHASSEE FLORIDIAN in an article about Robert K. Call's January 8,1855 speech upon the 40th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. In this speech, Call revealed for the first time the way in which General Andrew Jackson learned of the British plans to capture New Orleans. 

Here's a link to a Latour map in the Historic New Orleans Collection that the Lossing's map of Louisiana and Florida was based upon.


  Mobile's James Innerarity~ Elected the first President of the Mobile Town Council after the advent of the American Flag and the man who provided General Jackson with the letters that outlined the British plan to conquer New Orleans.

Pensacola's John Innerarity ~ the younger brother of James who sent letters to Mobile warning General Jackson of the arrival of the British Expeditionary Force in Bermuda and the man who sent McVoy on a "Paul Revere Ride" from Pensacola to warn the Americans at Fort Bowyer on Mobile Point of the immediate attack by the British  in September of 1814.

"...this will be one of the most frightful events which ever occurred in America- a powerful savage [ed. note: Red Sticks] and Negro Army, joined by the slaves of the Country, who if not met and drove into the Sea without delay will Carry fire and sword thro' that devoted Country." Havana merchant Vincent Gray in his letter to Secretary of State James Monroe warning of British Colonel Nicolls plans to build an advance base on the Gulf to militarize Indians and runaway slaves with support from Colonial Marines from the British West Indies. Gray wrote a similar letter to Mobile's James Innerarity but it has not been found.

"Is it not somewhat striking, that a Scotchman's son (James Innerarity) and an Irishman's son (Andrew Jackson) should have been singled out by Providence as instruments for accomplishing such mighty results as flowed from the Battle of New Orleans?" ~ William S. Coker, "How General Andrew Jackson Learned Of the British Plans Before The Battle of New Orleans." Gulf Coast Historical Review, Fall 1987

"...but for this intelligence so fortunately and singularly given, New Orleans, would most probably have fallen without a battle, and without a renowned hero to grace its history." ~ Journal of Robert Keith Call, an officer in Jackson's army during the Creek War of 1813-1814 and during the Pensacola, Mobile and New Orleans campaigns of 1814 and 1815.

From The John Forbes Company: Heir to the Florida Indian Trade: 1801-1819 
by David White(PhD. dissertation, U of A, '73).... 

(a description of the Inneraritys by British Lt. Colonel Edward Nicolls from the letter "Nicolls(Prospect Bluff) to British Admiral Cochrane, 8-12-1814" in the Cochrane Papers..... 

" I lost no time is sending out spies and soon learnt that the enemy had plenty of intelligence, the Mayor of Mobile [James Innerarity] has a brother in this town, his name is Innerarity. I have found him a great scoundrel, inveigling our men to desert and keeping them at work in the American territory at a place called bon secour where he had an inland communication with New Orleans 
, by which he sets at defiance your orders of blockade and imports tobacco and cotton, in spite of our cruisers. I have a letter that was intercepted from his brother the Mayor of Mobile, desiring that their people at bon secour to stop sending provisions to Pensacola, as General Jackson has ordered an embargo on provisions for the purpose of starving us out. The fellow at first pretended great pleasure at seeing us, and offered me everything, but when I put him to the test,I found him a great traitor." 

[David White continues on page 155....] Nicholls was quite correct in his estimate of the Innerarities. John Innerarity kept his brother informed of the movements of the British and transmitted copies of Doyle's [storekeeper at Prospect Bluff, location of Nicholls's Negro Fort on the Apalachicola] to Mobile where his brother promptly passed the information to American officers. 

image courtesy of Lossing's Pictorial History of the War of 1812

A portion of General Wilkinson's 1813 map of the Mouth of Mobile Bay that includes Perdido Bay with the present-day peninsula named INNERARITY POINT.

Another portion of General Wilkinson's 1813 map showing the location of the burned Spanish fort on the west bank of the mouth of the Perdido River near present-day Lilian, Alabama.

Ever wonder how all of Dauphin Island became part of the AMERICAN PUBLIC DOMAIN?

GENERAL JAMES WILKINSON CLAIMED HE HAD BEEN DEEDED ALL OF DAUPHIN ISLAND BY JOHN FORBES AND COMPANY ON MARCH 29, 1806 DURING THE SPANISH REGIME AND HE CLAIMED AMERICAN TITLE AFTER HE RAISED THE AMERICAN FLAG OVER MOBILE ON APRIL 15, 1813. Forbes bought the island to give to Wilkinson because Wilkinson had helped Forbes get some of the money owed his company by the Choctaws. (Both John and James Innerarity were employees of JOHN FORBES AND COMPANY. James ran the company's business in Mobile and John ran the headquarters in Pensacola.)

SEE "No. 14" on PAGE 499 of AMERICAN STATE PAPERS, PUBLIC LANDS, VOLUME 5 where representatives of his estate were denied title by the American land commissioners in 1828 because the commissioners questioned the legality under Spanish law of the owner prior to Forbes gaining his title from Galvez who claimed ownership of Dauphin Island by right of conquest.

From AMERICAN STATE PAPERS, Public Lands, Volume 5, pages 498 and 499:

Abstract of claims to land in that part of the former land district of Jackson Court-house which lies within the State of Alabama, presented to the commissioners, appointed under the act of Congress of March 3, 1827 "An act supplementary to the several acts providing for the adjustment of land claims in the State of Alabama" founded on orders of survey, requetes, permissions to settle, or other evidences of claim, derived from the French or Spanish authorities, and, in the opinion of the commissioners, not entitled to confirmation

By whom claimed: Legal representatives of Jas. Wilkinson
Original claimant: Joseph Moreau
Nature of claim: Transfer before the commandant
Date: March 20, 1806
By whom claimed: Bernardo de Galves
Quantity: unknown
Where situated: Dauphin Island, mouth of Mobile Bay
Survey: unknown
Inhabitants and cultivation: from- occupied some time in the year 1813
                                                  to- unknown

The U.S. commissioners reasoning for denying title to Dauphin Island to the General James Wilkinson estate:
"#14. The transfer, before the commandant, from the devisee of the original claimant to Forbes and Company, merely states that it was obtained as a donation from Galves, the conqueror of it, and does not recite the date or any of the circumstances attending it. The commissioners are not advised of any power in Galves, merely as conqueror, to grant the soil. If such power existed, the purchase by Forbes and Company on March 29, 1806, solely for the use and benefit of General Wilkinson, as alleged by their conveyance to him, who was not a Spanish subject, is believed to have been in violation of the Spanish laws relating to lands."

Since his Daddy claimed to have owned all of Dauphin Island since 1806, it makes sense that Captain James B. Wilkinson (husband of Federal judge Toulmin's daughter) would die there. 

Capt. James B. Wilkinson, son of Maj. Gen. James Wilkinson and Toulmin’s son-in-law, died on Dauphin Island on 7 Sept. 1813 (Thomas Robson Hay, “Some Reflections on the Career of General James Wilkinson,” Mississippi Valley Historical Review 21 [1934–35]: 475–76 n. 5; Carter, Territorial Papers, Mississippi, 6:438).




James Innerarity was entrusted with weapons and supplies for the Indians and to keep up the good work of stirring up the blacks.(ed. note: COMPLETELY UNTRUE AND AN ABSOLUTELY INSANE STATEMENT ABOUT James Innerarity who was elected THE FIRST AMERICAN PRESIDENT OF THE MOBILE TOWN COUNCIL IN MARCH 1814! HE PROVIDED JACKSON WITH THE MOST VALUABLE INTELLIGENCE ABOUT THE BRITISH INVASION FOR THE NEW ORLEANS CAMPAIGN. HIS COMPANY, JOHN FORBES AND  CO.,who this idiot calls "THE FIRM", LOST ITS ASS IN THE WAR OF 1812 including it's slaves) Innerarity withheld those supplies put into his care, whereupon the Seminoles and Red Sticks showed their economic sophistication by annulling the cessions of land just made to The Firm and scalping those of its employees who strayed into the backcountry.(ed. note: THIS WRITER KNOWS OF NO WAR SUPPLIES BEING PROVIDED BY JOHN FORBES AND CO. TO WARRING INDIANS AND BLACKS AND ALSO KNOWS OF NO MURDERS OF JOHN FORBES and CO. EMPLOYEES DURING THE WAR OF 1812. THE CREEK NATIONAL COUNCIL cleared most of their debts with an 1804 land grant called  THE FORBES PURCHASE. The Red Sticks and the Seminoles had no tribal council and NO AUTHORITY TO ANNUL A DAMN THING. In 1835 THE U.S. SUPREME COURT ruled that the entire 1.25 million acre FORBES PURCHASE east of the Apalachicola was perfectly legal and this comes down to us to this day as A LEGAL BASIS FOR CONTRACT LAW IN THIS COUNTY AND THIS LAND GRANT WAS NEGOTIATED IN PRESENT-DAY HOUSTON COUNTY, ALABAMA, IN 1804 BY NONE OTHER THAN MOBILE'S JAMES INNERARITY!)
Still under misapprehensions about the loyalty of the former Tories, the British commander at Pensacola informed its Spanish governor of his plans to attack Fort Bowyer, Mobile and then New Orleans. The governor confided in his confessor, Father James Coleman. Coleman promptly passed the word to another visitor to his confessional – Innerarity.(ed. note: The deluded author is now talking about James Innerarity's brother, Pensacola's John Innerarity) Innerarity dispatched an agent named McVoy posthaste to Fort Bowyer, to acquaint the Americans with what the British had in mind. Forewarned, the garrison made a massacre of the British assault.(ed. note: NOT ONLY WAS THE FIRST BATTLE OF FORT BOWYER NOT A MASSACRE OF THE BRITISH BUT THE BRITISH MISREAD AMERICAN STRENGTH IN MOBILE BAY AND ABANDONED IT AS A POINT OF INVASION FOR THE CONQUEST OF NEW ORLEANS.)  Finally the British understood. After retreating to The Firm’s plantation next to the fort,(ed. note: John Forbes and Co. had a store, lumber mill and brick kiln at Bon Secour, many miles from Fort Bowyer) they freed nine hundred slaves (ed. note: TEN SLAVES! and did a total of $5,890 damage) and put to the torch all its buildings. Some of those slaves subsequently joined the coalition against the Americans, as did many released from The Firm’s plantations in East Florida. An indignant Inneraritiy wrote John Forbes: “Time was when the name of Englishman was honorable, now it is synonymous with nay it is a term to designate a man capable of every thing that is low, vile, base, villainous, atrocious.”(ed. note: THIS IS FROM A LETTER JAMES INNERARITY IN MOBILE WROTE HIS BROTHER JOHN WHO WAS IN PENSACOLA ON NOVEMBER 18, 1814, JUST A FEW DAYS AFTER JACKSON'S CAPTURE OF PENSACOLA FROM THE BRITISH)
Comfortably within the fortifications of Mobile,  Jackson laughed at the British flotilla beyond the barrier islands and commenced moving at his own pace against Pensacola, the possession of Spain, a neutral state.(ed. note: JACKSON AND HIS MEN ANTICIPATED AN IMMEDIATE INVASION OF MOBILE BY THE BRITISH. MOBILE HAD NO FORTIFICATIONS! FORT CHARLOTTE WAS A JOKE WHEN GALVEZ TOOK IT IN 1780! NEUTRAL SPAIN'S PENSACOLA HAD BEEN INVADED BY THE FOE OF THE UNITED STATES!)

June 17, 1814: An American who had embarked from Pensacola on June 8 sailed into Bay St. Louis  and told General Flournoy that a tender schooner for the HMS ORPHEUS had arrived in Pensacola and British sailors had reported that they had landed 5000 stand of arms and ammunition in that proportion at the mouth of the Apalachicola.  Flournoy also learned that John Innerarity in Pensacola had received a letter from his clerk on the Apalachicola that the British had arrived and had begun to build a magazine to receive arms less than a mile from their John Forbes & Co. store at Prospect Bluff on the east bank of the Apalachicola.

image courtesy of Lossing's Pictorial History of the War of 1812


Meanwhile, hostilities had actually commenced in that quarter. When Jackson reached Mobile, late in August, he was satisfied that an attempt would be made to seize that post as soon as the great expedition of which he had rumors should be prepared to move. Mobile was then only a little village of wooden houses, with not a thousand inhabitants, with no defenses against artillery, and scarcely sufficient to withstand an attack from the rifles of Indians. At the entrance to Mobile Bay, thirty miles from the village, was Fort Bowyer (now Fort Morgan), occupying the extremity of a narrow sand cape on the eastern side of that entrance, and commanding the entire channel between it and Dauphin Island. It was a small work, semicircular in form toward the channel, and of redan shape on the land side. It was weak, being without bomb-proofs, and mounting only twenty guns, and all but two of these were 12-pounders and less. And yet this was the chief defense of Mobile; for, the enemy once inside of the bay, there would be no hope for holding the post with the troops then at hand. So, when Jackson perceived, early in September, that a speedy movement against Mobile from Pensacola was probable, he threw into Fort Bowyer one hundred and thirty of the Second regular infantry, under Major William Lawrence, one of the most gallant officers in the service. At the same time, he sent orders for Colonel Butler to call out the enrolled Tennessee Volunteers, and have them led immediately to Mobile. 

Major Lawrence made vigorous preparations to resist the enemy by strengthening the fort as much as possible, and providing against attacks upon it from cannon that might be planted upon sand-hills near, which commanded it. These preparations were not completed when, on the morning of the 12th of September, Lieutenant Colonel Nichols appeared on the peninsula, in rear of the fort, with one hundred and thirty marines and six hundred Indians, the latter led by Captain Woodbine, who had been attempting to drill them at Pensacola. Toward evening four British vessels of war hove in sight, and anchored within six miles of Mobile Point. These were the Hermes, 22; Sophia, 18; Caron, 20; and Anaconda, 18, the whole under Captain Percy, the commander of the squadron of nine vessels in Pensacola Bay, already mentioned, of which these were a part. In the presence of these formidable forces, the little garrison slept upon their arms that night. 

On the following morning Nichols reconnoitred the fort from behind the sand-hills in its rear, and, dragging a howitzer to a sheltered position within seven hundred yards of the work, threw some shells and a solid shot upon it without much effect. Responses from Major Lawrence were equally harmless; but when, later in the day, Percy’s men attempted to cast up intrenchments, Lawrence’s guns quickly dispersed them. Meanwhile several light boats, engaged in sounding the channel nearest the fort, were dispersed in the same way. 

The succeeding day [September 14.] was similarly employed; but early on the morning of the 15th it was evident to the garrison that an assault was about to be made from land and water. The forenoon wore away, while a stiff breeze was blowing, and when it slackened to a slight one from the southeast, toward noon, the ships stood out to sea, They tacked at two o’clock, and bearing down upon the fort in order of "line ahead," the Hermes (Percy’s flag-ship) leading, took position for attack. The Hermes and Sophia lay nearly abreast the northwest face of the fort, while the Caron and Anaconda [ed. note: This mistake in Lossing goes all the way back to Latour who first identified the Anaconda as a participating ship. The HMS Anaconda was nowhere near Fort Bowyer. According to its ship log, it was anchored on that day in Campeche Bay of the Yucatan] were more distant. Lawrence then called a council of officers, when it was determined to resist to the last, and not to surrender, if finally compelled to, unless upon the conditions that officers and privates should retain their arms and private property, be protected from the savages, and be treated as prisoners of war. This being their resolution, the words "Don’t give up the fort" were adopted as the signal for the day. 21 

The Hermes drew nearer the fort, and when within range of its guns the two 24-pounders were opened upon her without much effect. She made a faint reply, and anchored within musket range of the work, while the other three vessels formed in battle line under a heavy fire. It was now half past four in the afternoon. The four vessels simultaneously opened fire, and the engagement became general and fierce, for broadside after broadside was fired upon the fort by the ships, while the circular battery was working fearfully upon the assailants. Meanwhile Captain Woodbine opened fire from a howitzer and a 12-pounder from behind a sand dune seven hundred yards from the opposite side of the fort. The battle raged until half past five, when the flag of the Hermes was shot away, and Lawrence ceased firing to ascertain whether she had surrendered. This humane act was followed by a broadside from the Caron, and the fight was renewed with redoubled vigor. Very soon the cable of the Hermes was severed by a shot, and she floated away with the current, her head toward the fort, and her decks swept of men and every thing else by a raking fire. Then the flag-staff of the fort was shot away and the ensign fell, when the ships, contrary to the humane example of the garrison, redoubled their fire. At the same time, Woodbine, supposing the garrison had surrendered, approached with his Indians, when they were driven back in great terror by a storm of grape-shot. Both sailors and marines found the garrison in full vigor, and only a few minutes after the flag fell it was seen floating over the fort at the end of a sponge-staff to which Major Lawrence had nailed it. The attacking vessels, battered and in peril, soon withdrew, excepting the helpless Hermes, which grounded upon a sandbank, when Percy fired and abandoned her. At almost midnight the magazine of the Hermes exploded. So ended, in a repulse of the British, the attack on Fort Bowyer, upon which ninety-two pieces of artillery had been brought to bear, and over thirteen hundred men had been arrayed against a garrison of one hundred and thirty. The latter lost only eight men, one half of whom were killed. The assailants lost two hundred and thirty-two men, of whom the unusual proportion of one hundred and sixty-two were killed. 
The result of the strife at Mobile Point was very mortifying to the British. It was wholly unexpected. Percy had declared that he should allow the garrison only twenty minutes to capitulate. That garrison – that handful of men – had beaten off his ships and his co-operating land force with ease. The repulse was fatal to the prestige of the British name among the Indians, and a large portion of them deserted their allies and sought safety from the wrath of Jackson, whom they feared, by concealment in the interior of their broad country. The result was most gratifying to the Americans, and gave an impetus to volunteering for the defense of New Orleans. Jackson wrote a commendatory letter to Major Lawrence, and that officer received one also from Edward Livingston, chairman of the Defense Committee of New Orleans, assuring him of the joy and gratitude felt by the inhabitants of that city when they heard of his gallant defense of Fort Bowyer. At the same time it was resolved to present to Major Lawrence an elegant sword in the name of the citizens of New Orleans.

HMS Hermes (22 guns) Captain William Percy
At Mobile Bay~17 killed 5 mortally wounded with a total of 25 wounded

HMS Carron (20 guns) Captain Robert Cavendish Spencer
At Mobile Bay~ 1 mortally wounded with a total of 5 wounded
HMS Carron had originally transported 61 Marines to the Gulf coast in July 1814. (HMS Carron and  HMS Hermes were carrying Nicolls, 3 other officers, a surgeon, 11 non-commissioned officers, and 97 enlisted men'. This is sourced in ADM 1/506 folio 478 and  WO 1/142 folio 487.) The muster shows that 21 Royal Marine infantry were carried on board. The muster also states 'Indian Warriors victualled - 58 in number'.

HMS Sophie (18 guns) Captain Nicholas Lockyer
At Mobile Bay~ 5 killed, 4 mortally wounded with a total of 17 wounded
Below is a transcription of the Sophie's log, reference ADM 52/4355
Thursday 15 September 1814
AM at 4 Fresh breezes & cloudy
4.50 weighted frun de sail arsv log in chase of a stranger NW
7 ha orded Chace proved to be on Sperrrish SW now N Orleans bar and to Pensacola in battent 8 Ship made all sail ti go on
10.30 Carron made signal to weigh keuning docum to bar bg Mobile Sq in Co
11.30 Shortened Sail & made two off Bar Noon Mod & Fine W Mobile Fort North Dist 4 miles Hermes, Carron, Childers 4 Schl in Co PM Mad & bble Winds Weighed & made sail
2.30 Working to Entrance bar Made & shortened sails arship to keep occushahon Hermes lead the van - Sophie follow, Carron & Childers accompanying
3.20 The Fort of Mobile assumed a firing
3.30 Hermes anchored
3.40 Sophie anch'd is a thring up our Kanou bacosr
3.45 rep FS daron TS commence firing star'd guns upon the Fort as did Hermes point N 1/2 E 1/2 Male
4 Swang to starboard commenced W Larb'd lewing Several gerisis Starb'd Side disabled amd Sigh 203 Hermes much exposed to a raking fire Capt went on B Hermes, Several guns disabled larb'd side
5.30 Sigh prepane taltey 66 - 6 objd Enemy's Colours shot away which shw schoiched
6.20 cut from bower and slipped straw - lift off fining. Hermes aground. Boats employed eg in transporting men
6.40 Hermes afire found. All stage Back shrounds M Rigging 2 Fore Missing Bnerried. Mawline M Boom and Top Lifts and all sonnad ropes shot again - great many shot hurled side - Sophie in a perfect M with hall 1 missing 7 came Tio in 4 fin Pugh og vap Damages 8 wecghel sum fin this most 9-366 camme two in 5 pins

HMS Childers (18 guns) Captain Umfreville

Arsene Latour's book, published in the the US after the war, had asserted that HMS Anaconda was the fourth vessel, and this inaccuracy still persists to this day.

The muster shows that 29 Royal Marine infantry were carried on board, as were 12 Marine gunners.
The fourth Royal Navy ship to participate in the 1st Battle of Fort Bowyer

Thursday 15 September 1814
HM Sloop Childers
At anchor off Mobile Bay
Raining at Noon
Light winds & fine
2.15 weighed and made sail in the following order: Hermez[sic] Sophie Carron Childers
2.30 Hermez Gint
3 Fort on Mobile Point commenced firing at Hermes which she returned at 3.30-3.45 Sophie opened her fire wind light and variable made all sail
4.20 Carron aphirsid her broad side
4.45 came to luistal that from the Fort with the Brot Bower with ossiings rraced to half a cable comissicar and and lrifit info kroney fire on the fort
fire from the fort going dark 5.45 Hermes gone
6 man and action the boats ready to bord and Hermes drifting out. 
6.10 Hermez Gint
To rescue the crew Hermes aground to the south of the fort
6.45 guasend facing out the cables and made sail fathom off auch with the small Bow 5 fins Fort North 2 miles
7.30 Boats returned all 4 the min being removed from the Hermes recd to evacuated men and 38 of the Creek. Obsd the Hermes in flames. Supplied the following provisions to Marines and Indians on sh for order bread 826lbs rum gallons beef 2 barrels twenty seven lbs eight lbs each pork two barl fifty 
At 11 Hermes blew up


Private James Rose of the Woolwich Division deserted on 18 September 1814 from Pensacola, just after the first attack on Fort Bowyer. Private Charles Butcher, a labourer from Switzerland, was the sole fatality from Nicolls's detachment at the attack on Fort Bowyer on 18 September 1814. Ship-borne casualties were: 
HMS Hermes 17 killed in action, 5 died of wounds, 19 wounded 
HMS Sophie 6 killed in action, 4 died of wounds, 12 wounded 
HMS Carron nil killed in action, 1 died of wounds, 4 wounded 
All of these 69 casualties from the battle are named in Admiral Cochrane's letter to the Admiralty dated 7 December 1814 which is in the correspondence file, UK National Archives reference ADM/1/505.

The Ships of the Royal Navy that Participated in the Second Battle of Fort Bowyer in February 1815:

HMS VENGEUR  was a 74-gun third rate Vengeur-class
 ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 19 June 1810 at Harwich.o

At least 37 other Royal Navy ships participated in the action along with the landing of 1300 soldiers before the surrender of Fort Bowyer. For a transcription of Cooke and Gleig's experiences on Dauphin Island during February and March of 1815, please click on




HMS  NORFOLK (no Internet records of this troop transport ship)

HMS SEAHORSE This ship embarked 64 Royal Marines from Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola and weighed anchor for England on April 15, 1815.




The object of the Royal Navy's Expedition to Capture New Orleans is clearly explained in Fortescue's HISTORY OF THE BRITISH ARMY, vol. x, pp. 150-151:-

"It is easy to see that the choice of New Orleans as an objective was due to naval advice, and that this advice was due chiefly to the desire for prize-money. The city was the great depot for the exportation of cotton and sugar; and it was estimated that the crops of these two commodities alone, stored up within it, were worth in England some three-and-a-half millions sterling, which tobacco, hemp, lead and shipping would increase to fully four millions. The seizure of so rich a hoard, if it could be easily and cheaply effected, might conceivably be the most telling blow that England could strike at the United States, a country upon which it is notoriously difficult to inflict vital injury.  But this was not the reason why naval officers recommended it. Prize-money had for nearly two centuries been the motive for all amphibious operations recommended by the Navy; and this of New Orleans was no exception. If any naval officers had shown stronger lust of prize than others, they were the Scots; and all three of the Admirals engaged in this expedition- excellent men in their own profession- were by singular coincidence Scotsmen, Cochrane, Cockburn and Malcolm. Cochrane at the outset estimated that three thousand British soldiers would suffice to drive the Americans entirely out of Louisiana, as they would be joined by all the Indians, disaffected French and Spaniards; a piece of folly so childish that it ought to have warned the British Ministers against listening to any of his projects. Listen they did, however, though in their instructions to the commanders they stated the objects of the expedition to be, first, the seizure of the mouth of the Mississippi, so as to deprive the American back-settlements of communication with the sea, and next, the occupation of some valuable possessions which would be useful to hold in pledge against the negotiations for peace." 

During the War of 1812, the American fort at Mobile Point on the eastern side of the mouth of Mobile Bay was called Fort Bowyer. It was named after the U.S. Army officer who built it, Lieutenant Colonel John Bowyer. For some unknown reason, when Fort Bowyer was rebuilt after that war, the renovated structure was renamed Fort Morgan after Revolutionary War hero General Daniel Morgan. James Parton, the author of LIFE OF ANDREW JACKSON (1861) wrote "the fortification will be known to posterity as Fort Bowyer, though the name has since been most unpatriotically and immorally changed to Fort Morgan."

In support of this sentiment, I offer you the following transcription of a letter Lieutenant Colonel Bowyer sent the Secretary of War after he was discharged from the military service in 1815. This letter summarizes Bowyer's military career in which he participated in all the major events that occurred in the Gulf South between his arrival in 1797 until his departure in 1814. Of the many reasons to remember Colonel Bowyer, all citizens of Alabama should know that as head of surveyor Andrew Ellicott's military escort, Bowyer was among the men who raised the first American flag on present-day Alabama soil in the spring of 1799. 

[ed. note: This endorsement by the Secretary of War is found on the outside of Colonel Bowyer's letter.]
"Washington City, 19 June, 1814, Col. John Bowyer, giving a brief narrative of his military services during the term of 23 years and requesting the attention of the Secretary to his peculiar situation."
                                                                                      Washington June 19th, 1815
    I am sorry to be obliged to intrude my personal concerns, on your attention, but I hope the occasion may excuse me.
         Having given the prime of my life, to the military service of our country, and abandoned every other pursuit of fortune; By the late reduction of the Army, find myself deprived of my hard earned substinance and thrown upon the world to struggle for the means of life at a time when the vigour of youth has relapsed and age with its infirmities begins to stare me in the face.

          Thus circumstanced I have no prospects of relief but from that community which has profited by the days, and nights, and years of toils, perils and watchings which I have devoted to them, without any other consideration than a bare maintenance and as the organ of their will and disposer of their bounties- I hope I do not take an improper direction in submitting to your consideration the following brief summary of my services, on which my claims for some official provision are founded.

           I was appointed a Lieutenant in the army of the U States by General Washington on the 5th March 1792, and joined the Army, under Major General Wayne at Cincinnati on the 20th May following, marched in October with the Army and went into cantonement at Greenville, where I wintered, being imployed in Scouting and conveying provisions from the Ohio, through a wilderness of sixty six miles- In the campaign 1794 I served in Capt. Howell Lewis' company of light Infantry and was in the advance of the army on the 20th August, when a General action was faught and a decisive victory gained over the Indians; and the company to which I belonged received the thanks of the commander in Chief- The campaign being finished, serveral out posts were established, and I wintered with the main body of the troops at Greenville- A peace was made with the Indians the ensuing Summer, and in the fall General Wayne returned to Philadelphia, leaving the command of the Army with Major General Wilkinson- I remained at the position until the Spring 1796 exposed during the whole time, winter, and summer, so the most arduous duties, conveying and boating provisions and military stores up the Big Miami, across the Portage to the St. Mary's and down that river, to the Miami of the lakes, the the neighborhood of the British port on the Miami.
                                                                                                                       General Wilkinson                 having settled the time for the delivery of the post with the British commandant at Detroit I marched with the advance and relieved the British Garrison at that place in July 1796
In the Spring 1797 I was ordered with a detachment to take post at Natchez, where I continued encamped near the Spanish Fort, until the 7th of October- When General Wilkinson who arrived the 5th descended with the Troops, and took post at Loftises heights, since Fort Adams, near the line of demarcation-From this encampment I was ordered by General Wilkinson  to take command of the detachment which accompanied the Commissioners of limits, marched on the 22nd of October and joined Mr. Elicote on the 24th at the Head of Thompson's creek- On this service I continued until the first of May 1800 during which period I marched for the Mississippi to the mouth of the St. Marys;-the national boundary being established; I remained at Point Peter without orders until the 22nd of October, when I was remanded by Colonel Gaither to the Mississippi; I again crossed the Wilderness, and arrived at Fort Adams in Company with Colonel Gaither on the 3rd February 1801- I remained here until the 6th July 1802 when I was, again ordered with my Company as an escort to the Commissioner, General Wilkinson, for Exploring and running a partition line between the Choctaw Indians, and the settlements on the Tombigby- This laborious work was compleated in the Beginning of October the same year- Then I was ordered into Cantonement at Fort St. Stephens, I remained their until December the same year-When I was ordered by General Wilkinson with my Company to repair to New Orleans, which had been ceded by the French Republick to the U States, And I arrived at that place in January 1804- Where I went into quarters,- On the 6th of Sept 1804 I was ordered to take post in the Appalucias as Civil and Milatary Commandant of that District and the Attacaupus- I continued on this station until the 16th July 1806 when I received an order from Colonel Cushing to March with my Company to oppose the Spaniards near Natchitoches, And reached that post the 28th July  
Here I was ordered to a position in advance- Genl. Wilkinson arrived and took command of the Troops about the 22nd Sept and Imediately ordered me to advance with my Company to the Arroyo Hundo and take position on the East bank- A Few days after I was ordered with a Detachment of Regulars and Mounted Volunteers to advance to the Adus(ed. note:?) 21 Miles and make a depot for Provisions and stores; on the 24th of October   General Wilkinson arrived at Adus with the Troops, halted one day, and on the 26th advanced toward the Sabine the left bank of which we reached about the 1st of November and found the Spaniards Encamped on the oposite side- the difficulties between the two Generals being settled the Troops marched back to Nathcitoches, ad the 5th of Nov  And about the 22nd Embarked for New Orleans, and arrived there about the 12th of December, where I went into quarters and past the winter, on the 20th of May 1807 I Imbarked with the 2nd Regt. to which I belonged, Commanded by Colonel Cushing, ascended the River to Fort Adams, and Erected a cantonement for the troops, about five miles in rear of it. At this place I continued on duty until June 1810, when the Regt moved up the River to the vicinity of Washington, Mississippi Territory, under the orders of Brig. Genl. Hampton- where we again formed a cantonement under my particular orders, as Maj. commanding the Corps- About the 4th of December, I received orders from Col. Covington,  then commanding the District to march to Baton Rouge, which was at that time in possession of the Insurgents of West Florida, where I arrived about the 6th and took possession of this place where I remained until the 5th of March 1811. When I was ordered to Fort Stoddert by Genl. Hampton to take command of the 2nd Regt. Colonel Cushens and Lieut. Colonel Sparks, Both being in arrest, which I did not reach until the 22nd of May, being detained as a member of a General Court Martial- on the 17th Nov,- I left Fort Stoddert by order to attend as a witness, at Colonel Cushens court martial at Baton Rouge- And returned the following month to my Command- In the month of March 1812, I was again ordered to attend that Courts and after the trial was finished in May, returned again to Fort Stoddert- On the 6th of August I was ordered by Genl. Wilkinson to repair to New Orleans, where I arrived about the 12th, and having received particular Instructions, for my Conduct in relation to the Spaniards, as well as the Enemy, I embarked at the bayou St. Johns the 6th of Sept with a light train of Artillery and Munitions of War, of which we had been destitute at Fort Stoddert- But owing to adverce windis, and the vessels of the Enemy, I did not get back to  my station, until 26th of October- On the 6th of April 1813, I was directed to take a position on the East of Mobile Bay with my Reg., and a body of Volunteers, Mounted and on foot, under Instructions from Genl. Wilkinson to Cut off all communications between Mobile and Pensacola-after the reduction of Fort  Charlotte, he marched the 2nd of May. About which time I received my promotion with orders from the War Department To repair to Platsburgh, In consequence of which I settled my affairs in the south, and took up my march on the 24th of August last- After arriving at this place an adjustment made with Col. William Russel, I was remanded to the South to take command of the 7th Reg. Infantry but was prevented by the peace and consequent reduction of the Army I have thus far given you a Simple narrative of my military life for more that twenty three years- during which period I never had a furlough for one day, nor has my conduct or Character been tarnished by any act of Impropriety, for the truth of which I can refer all with whome I have served- Whether Superior or Inferior in rank, I can safely assert that the2nd Regt. which I had the Honor to Command, for four years, wer in point of Dicipline, Poleice, Arms, Manouevre and all the requisites of Veteran Soldiers Second to no Corps in the Service of the U States. The subsiquent conduct of those troops at Mobile Point tend to Justify my Assertion- My case is before you and for the rest I appeal to your breast and the Justice of my Country
                                                                 I am Sir very Respectfully your
most Obd. and Hbl. Servt.
                                                                   Jn Bowyer Lt Col 5th Infty.

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