Manuscript/Mixed Material Image 1 of Journal of the march. Journal of trip down the Mississippi River, January 1813 to March 1813
“THE DEPARTURE FROM NASHVILLE”, A JOURNAL OF THE TRIP DOWN THE MISSISSIPPI.1
1 This “Journal” survives in the handwriting of a copyist. It was not kept by Jackson, but somebody closely associated with him, possibly by Robert Searcy, his aide. When asking for military employment, Benton told Jackson, Jan. 30, 1812, that he intended to write an account of the services he should render; but the “Journal” contains clear evidence that it was not written by Benton; e. g., the entry for Feb. 21, 1813, where it is said that “the General and his family” were invited to dine with Gen. F. L. Claiborne, “but owing to the badness of the weather, none attended but Colo. Benton and myself”. The writer says on Jan. 15, “I wrote the first dispatch to Governor Blount,” indicating that it was written by one of the aides, who were Searcy and Sitler. As Col. Sitler was adjutant-general and only served as aide because Captain Reid could not go, it is not likely that he would have been called on to write dispatches.
DEPARTURE FROM NASHVILLE.
On the tenth of Jany. 1813. the whole of the army of Tennessee volunteers destined for the defence of the lower country under the command of majr. Genl. Andrew Jackson Embarked.
The morning of their departure was solemn. The citizens of Nashville and the neighborhood displayed every manifestation of respect and sorrow. The concourse of Spectators were unusually great. all the distinguished characters of the country attended. When the Nashville Company of Volunteers, whom the Gen'l. had chosen as his Guards, arrived at his Head-quarters, the march commenced from town to the place of embarkation, attended by Gov. Blount and his secretary. The Judges of the Superior Courts; The Genl. was attended by his principal Officers attached to the army.
When arrived at the Strand, the embarkation did not take place immediately, but was delayed, by having to put part of the military stores on Board the Boats. The citizens remained on the Bank untill every thing was ready for departure. The signal was given by a few Taps of the Drum and a Cannon was fired, when the affecting scene of Separation took place.
So soon as the cables were loosened, minute Guns were fired as many as seventeen rounds accompanied by the united acclamations of the spectators and those who had just Enbarked. Four beautifull standard of Colours waved in the air, added to the grandeur of the scene. To each round of cannon shot was responded three cheers. The huzzas made the shores of the Cumberland resound, and the high Cliffs re-echo'd the melancholy of the parting scene!
Our Boats Landed in the evening by sun down in company of Colo. Hall Bradley and Martin. We had the Boat that carried the Guards lashed to the General's Commanded by Lieut. David S. Deaderick. In the evening we had a very appropriate and sensible discourse delivered by the Revd. Mr. Blackman Chaplin to the army, to a select company of Officers and Men. Mr. Blackman said it was sunday, and the time of departure, he thought it his duty to admonish those around him. He concluded by a very affecting prayer for the success of the Expedition, and for the Individual happiness of the General, Officers and men engaged in carrying it on.
Jany 11. On yesterday our Boats descended the River about ten miles from Nashville. We had an extreme hard frost last night, and many of us who were not accustomed to being exposed slept badly. The morning burst forth in all the radiance of a clear sun, shining on the white frosted trees, which bended over the Stream of the Cumberland. It was cold, but the Sun soon diffused his warmth.
We halted at majr Jonathan Robertson's to put on board some tents that belonged to the Cavalry, also to hasten the departure of Capts. McEwen and Hewlitt who had been delayed for the want of Boats, and Capt. Moore who had no chimney in his. The General, ever attentive to the Public service, used his personal influence to expedite the departure of these companies. He visited and ordered Capt McEwen to give his attention to finishing the Boats at Robertsons and follow with all possible dispatch after they were done; and directed Capt. Moore to put Brick enough in his Boat to finish the Chimnies. On leaving Capt. Moore, he gave us five or six fires by platoons, which were answered by our cheers and the beat of the Drum.
Tuesday Jany 12. 1813.
We started this morning about five miles above the mouth of Harpeth by 8 oClock in the morning. The Infantry which had embarked on thursday 7. Inst. from the cantonment near Nashville awaited the arrival of the General at the mouth of Harpeth. There was a great disappointment in not receiving the proper number of Boats for the transportation of the men and provissions. Newsome who had contracted for the delivery of the Boats, failed in his engagement.
Indeed it was said of him that his religious prejudices prevented him from starting with the Boats on sunday, altho' the public exigency required all possible dispatch. Harpeth was frozen over at its mouth. It was uncertain when the Boats could be got down. The Genl. dispatched one of his confidential officers Majr. Martin with about one hundred men to bring down the Boats if possible. If they could not be got down, Majr. Martin was directed to march the remaining troops who had no transports, over land to Clarksville, there to join those who had gone by water or receive the further orders of the General.
Colo. Anderson of the regular army arrived this day at the mouth of Harpeth; remained a few hours and proceeded on to Fort-Massac on the Ohio. There was an inspection of Guns by the Brigade Inspector. There was much difficulty in satisfying those who had Rifles to exchange them for muskets and Bayonets. The General has determined to take on an extra-quantity of muskets as it is presumed those men will get tired of their Rifles.
Jany 13. 1813. The General and Guards together with the first Regiment and part of the second left the mouth of Harpeth this morning and arrived at Clarksville the same day. Colo. Hall was one of our party from the mouth of Harpeth. Provissions are to be put on board the transports at this place to last them to New Orleans.
Jany. 14. 1813. The Troops remained at Clarksville and at the mouth of Red River all this day. They expected to be furnished with the necessary quantity of provissions to serve them to new orleans, but the Contractor had failed in having the flour ready. The General ordered that any flour should be pressed to meet the failure of the sub-contractor. detachments were sent up Red-River and found enough for the supply of the Troops. There was a writ of Habeas Corpus Served on Capt. Hamilton to release a Volunteer named Jolly. The trial was before judge Humphreys. He determined that the man should remain in the service of the united states.
Jany 15. 1813
Started this morning at the beat of the Reveille in company with our boats that were at Clarksville We past Palmyra at Eleven oClock in the morning from which place I wrote the first dispatch to Gov. W. Blount. The troops appeared to have a disposition for scattering—several of Capt. Jno. Moore's company were taken in at and below Palmyra. The Boats stopped at sun down for wood etc.
Started this morning about 12 miles below Palmyra. There was an accident happened to Lieut. Glendenin of Capt. Bledsoe's company owing to his letting a candle fall among some powder. About a pound of powder flashed on his face and hands, which burnt him extremely. The circumstance had like to have been still more unfortunate. There was a Bucket suspended with about seven pounds of powder covered with a Handkf. The Handkf caught fire and was blazing toward the mouth of the bucket, but was extinguished by the intrepedity of [ blank ].
The General was very ill last night with a severe pain in the neck and head. On the morning of this day met the Keel Boat of A Hynes and Co. It had been detained in the ohio by the Ice. The General pressed Two hundred and sixty point Blankets out of it for the use of the Tennessee Volunteers under his command. He gave A Hynes. Rects. for them and also wrote to Wm. B. Lewis A. D. Q. master to make payment to Tho. H. Fletcher for them at the Nashville selling prices. As soon as the Blankets were received, The General, attended by Majr. Carroll distributed them among the troops, to all who were in want.
On this day the Genl. dispatched Sergt. Horne, Charles Hickerson and Thomas Patton, to hasten on Captains Hamilton and Jno. Moore who had remained behind without our knowledge when we left Clarksville: sert. Horne was commanded to make them row constantly till they caught up. We made a small halt at Dover to put in wood and then proceeded on all night.
Jany 17. 1813 Sunday.
Early this morning, we were informed by those on watch, that a Boat was sinking. Majr. Carroll and A. Hynes who were in Bed, arose and went up the River about a half a mile and found it was quarter master Alexander's Boat. Majr. Alexander saved his provissions and Horses and part of his corn and put them on Board Colo. Bradley's Boat. The Revd. Mr. Blackman preached this morning on the roof the General and Guard's Boats; and afterwards attended other Boats for the same purpose. Sergt. Horne arrived this morning with Capts. Hamilton and Moore. While the Rev'd Mr. Blackman was performing divine service on Board, Capt. Williamson's Boat, the collection being great, the roof gave way, and about a dozen men fell through, to the great astonishment of the Prea[c]her and others.
Arrived at Eddyville a little before sun down. Sent some Letters to Nashville. The Gen'l met with the notorious, Matthew Lyon,2 and took him on board a few minutes, gave him as much whiskey as he could drink, and then sent him a shore. Colo. L. is as Voluble, and as great an egotist as ever: Capt. Alexander, who had been detained at Nashville by indisposition arrived. Proceeded on all night without interruption.
2 Matthew Lyon was a Member of Congress from 1797 to 1801, while Jackson was also in Congress. In 1801 he moved to Kentucky and represented a Kentucky district in Congress from 1803 to 1811. He was an extreme Republican and steadily professed great friendship for Jackson. Aug. 10, 1818, after the Seminole war, he wrote to Jackson as follows: “Dear General, I have taken up my pen to write to you on business, yet I cannot avoid expressing to you something of the pride I feel in haveing feebly anticipated the Glory with which you have coverd yourself, and the honour and service you have done your Country. You have not disappointed me much, as I ever believed that you only wanted opportunity and that you would always be ready to force luck. In every thing you have been successful and in every thing you have pleased and Gratified your old friend.”
Monday Jany 18th. 1813. The morning pleasant, being about 24 miles from the mouth of the River. rowed the principal part of this day in order to reach the mouth of the Cumberland by night. About ten miles above Lt. Colo. Bradley Lt. Deaderick and A Hynes left the Boats to go on to the mouth of the Cumberland. They were to have returned and reported the situation of the River, but trusting to the promise of some men who were in a Keel Boat a mile above to give information to the detachment, that the Ice was runing in the Ohio; Lt. Deaderick and A Hynes did not return; which was contrary to the expectations of the General. The Boats not being advised of the situation of the River, had very near to have entered the Ohio in the night among the Ice. The General however landed in the night.
Tuesday Jany 19. 1813.
The weather changed last night from moderate, to be excessively cold. The detachment remained in their Boats at the landing this day. The General had the Troops paraded and reviewed them at twelve o'Clock. Majr. Robt. Nicholas and Doct. Humphreys dined with us. They were on their way to st. Louis via Fort massac. The Genl. ordered colo. Hall and A Hynes to examine the state of the River in the morning. They reported that it was impracticable for Boats to proceed down the ohio, without immense danger. The Ice was runing in great masses the other side of the Island opposite the mouth of Cumberland. Colo. Bradley also examined the River at the lower point of the Island. He also reported that the Boats could not proceed. Lt. Colo. Pillow arrived. The detachment which were sent after some deserters from the mouth of Harpeth also arrived with them. A. court martial is to convene tomorrow for their trial.
Wednesday Jany. 20. 1813.
Owing to the continuance of the Ice in the Ohio, the General has determined to make an encampment on the opposite side of the Cumberland so as to be convenient to wood, and for that purpose had the Boats rowed up the River to the place designated by the quarter master. Majr. Nicholas has determined to remain with us untill he can go on to st. Louis. The day was employed in the exercise of the troops.
A Court martial sat on three Prisoners who were deserters from Captain Nash's Company. Part of the sentence was to be marched along the line under Guard untill they passed in review of the whole of the soldiery. The Prisoners appeared to be very penitent and sensible of their Error.
Thursday Jany 21. 1813.
The Ice still continues in the ohio. The Brigade Inspector has been employed in the exercise of the Troops this day. The three prisoners of Capt. nash's Company were marched along the lines, as yesterday. They are still Penitent; and the General has determined to pardon them. The remainder of their punishment is remitted.
Friday Jany 22d. 1813.
The Ice still continues in the Ohio. The General and others attached to the army are impatient to be on their voyage down the River. The troops have been exercised to day. Mr. Blackman (chaplin) addressed them in a discourse while on the parade ground, tending to promote Obedience and Subordination in camp.
Saturday Jany 23. 1813. At the dawn of day the River was examined and there was but little Ice afloat on the surface of the water. Every preparation was going on immediately for departure and by 8 oClock in the morning all the Boats were under ways. McCarter, The Fifer deserted last night and was taken up by Doct. Wm. E. Butler and brought to the Boats same evening. Capt. Williamson lost a private of the name of John Rogers of Nashville. A. Genl. order was issued for him to be interred with the honours of a soldier. When Our Boats enterred the main part of the Ohio, the Ice was in much larger quantities than was expected. Arrived at Fort-Massac by night, but was prevented landing there by the Ice, and had to make over to the opposite shore against a head Wind. The wind continued during the Night.
Sunday Jany 24. 1813. pursuant to the order of the maj. Genl., the body of John Rogers was taken over to Fort-Massac and interred with the honors of a Soldier. The Scene and Ceremony was impressive and Solemn. “Logan Water”, which has been played in rendering the last sad Offices to many a brave and good man, was given to him. After the funereal service was performed, We breakfasted with Colo. W. P. Anderson, remained a short time at Fort Massac, and crossed the River to our Boat.
We intended proceeding on our voyage but was prevented by a storm. Lieut Anthony came on board to take his passage to the Chicasaw Bluffs. Capts. Philips and Armstrong came and stayed all night with us. It rained and our boat leaked very much.
Monday Jany 25. 1813. Early this morning the General ordered the Boats to put off We proceeded on down the River till about 12 oClock when put to on account of wind. attended at Colo. Hall's Boat at the trial of Amos McCarter. Could not get to our Boat till next day for the high wind. It rained, hailed and snowed all this day and night.
Tuesday Jany 26. 1813.
Started early this morning in Colo. Bradley's Boat and proceeded on all day without interruption. Landed on Cash Island and stayed all night. We had some amusement this day in trying The Chaplin, Maj. Carroll and Revd. Mr Schermerhorn. The amt. of their fines were some Chickens for the use of the Boat. Immediately after our arrival at Cash Island, the Troops killed nine or ten Deer. The snow is deep and the weather excessively cold. We Expect to enter the Mississippi Tomorrow.
Wednesday Jany 27.
We made an early start this morning from Cash-Island and were in sight of the Mississippi by day light. The morning was excessively cold. The Ice had accumulated greatly in the Ohio during last night. The Genl. dispatched A. Hynes to go to the mouth of the ohio, but was prevented by the large masses of Ice floating in the River. He returned to the Boats and on reaching the point we discovered the surface of the missippi covered with Ice. We landed with difficulty—some of the Boats could not affect a Landing on that side. We remained a few hours at the point, but perceiving the Ice to increase in the Ohio, and our situation not being elegible, we determined to row over to the opposite side of the River. Part of the Boats were embarrassed by large cakes of Ice in passing to the opposite shore. We gained an excellent harbour at the lower end of a sand bar.
Thursday. Jany 28.
The Ice continues in great quantities in the mississippi. The weather remains in great severity of cold.
The General ordered the Troops to parade on a sand-bar above our Boats. The Brigade Inspector made them perform many manouvers, and caused them to be exercised about three hours. Many of our men were hunting to day. They killed several deer and Turkies. two of them were lost and had to camp out. all night. The River is rising with considerable rapidity.
Friday Jany 29. 1813.
The weather is yet very cold. The General and Troops are impatient of detention. But they cannot war against the Elements. The Ice runs in the River with unabated rapidity.
The General determines that our delay shall contribute to the improvement of discipline. This day was occupied as yesterday in the exercise of the Troops. It is a pleasing circumstance to observe their rapid progress in the science of Tactics. They are emerging from a state of ignorance, to the honourable qualifications of soldiers. The appearance of our army on the field, their order, discipline and marching entitle them to the praise of regular Troops. The River has risen more than four feet since yesterday. It's still rising. The appearance of Ice is much less than in the morning. Great hopes are entertained that we can go on our Voyage in the morning.
Saturday Jany. 30. 1813.
This morning was greeted with the Salutations of Joy. It was as we expected. The River rose about four feet more last night, and the Ice has generally disappeared. There are immense quantities of drift wood floating. We would have made an early start this morning, but the Drummer who had crossed the River the evening before had not returned. some apprehensions were entertained that he was lost in the Ice. We however were enabled to get off by half after seven oClock A. M.
The morning was as cold as the three preceding ones—we cannot account for the disappearance of the Ice. Perhaps it was owing to the great rise in the ohio which checked the current of the Mississippi and prevented the Ice from coming down from the Northern regions of this River. It is presumed the River has risen at least ten feet during our delay below the mouth of the Ohio. On entering the Mississippi, who can withhold his emotions while veiwing the beauties of this august River—this Father of waters! It is the grand Reservoir of the streamlets from a thousand hills! The Rivers from every Latitude of our country, pay their tribute to this mighty Water. The Productions of every climate are destined to float on its bosom! It is the grand high way to wealth for the people of Western Columbia.
He who has the glory of being an American, must feel gratefull to the Ruler of the Universe for placing his condition in a country where wealth and happiness can flow in a thousand channels. When we contemplate the almost unlimited extent of our Territory—The magnitude of our Rivers—The great Fertility of our soil and the mild Institutions of our Government, may we not let our prophetic imagination take a range, and contemplate our importance in the scale of Nations two centureis hence! Ought we not to believe that the God of Nature, intended our civil institutions to be formed on a large scale of Empire, to be in uniformity with his mighty works of Nature? The Rivers, the mountains and the Lakes of America surpass every other country in the world in their extent and greatness.
We had a good sail on this day and we Landed about forty miles below the mouth of the Ohio.
Sunday Jany 31. 1813
Early this morning we were summoned by the General to put off. There fell a considerable snow last night in addition to what was on the ground yesterday. There is still a great quantity of drift wood floating, and but little Ice to be seen this morning. The River rose about two feet last night. arrived in veiw of New Madrid by 4 OClock P. m; some of our company went on shore. passed on two miles below and stayed all night.
Monday February 1. 1813.
Set off early this morning. was hailed from Hamilton's Boat and was told that two men who had gone a hunting were missing. It snowed last night again, but cleared off before morning. The weather still continues with unusual severity. Our progress being now generally southward we expect soon to be out of the reach of Winter. The Troops are well inured to the cold, as there has been no intermission since their rendesvous at Nashville. The River rose about two feet again last night. Our progress has not been impeded by any difficulties to day, and the distance of our sail is estimated at about fifty miles We Landed about dark on an Island.
Tuesday Feby 2d. At about five oClock this morning we were afloat on the River. Our course was directly East, and the beams of light at the dawn of day shewed in the Horizon with golden splendor. We had a good Landing and was pleased to find that the River is still rising. The weather still continues cold.
The Terror and consternation produced by the late Earth quakes on the Mississippi has nearly subsided. Most of those who inhabited the margin of the River fled from their homes. some few of them have returned, but most of their habitations are deserted and sinking into decay. The condition of the people of the Mississippi below the mouth of the Ohio appears miserable and wretched. They are a small remove from the savage state of society; and like them they appear to depend on Fishing and hunting for subsistence. The cultivation of the soil is but little attended to.
It is fortunate Nature has given those men dispositions to be content with the situation they occupy; as it is proper there should be persons adapted to sustain the dangers of the Frontiers, and are willing to forego the pleasures of society. The minds of those men have never received any rays of Literary knowledge, They are not gratified by social converse. They are strangers to the interchange of the friendly offices of polished society, and the generous affections of Civilised Man.
Arrived at the Flour Island No. [ blank ] in the navigator, in sight of the first chicasaw Bluff a distance about fifty four miles this day and Landed for the night.
Wednesday Feby 3d. 1813. Started this morning a little before day light. The morning was pleasant, past the 2d Chicasaw Bluffs by 10 oClock and soon arrived in sight of Island No. 35. Mr schermerhorn and A Hynes were in the canoe. A Hynes stopped in Capt. Alexander's Boat, who went on the left side of the Island no. 35. The Genl. was behind. We saw him attempt to take the same passage, but could not affect it.
A scene occurred in passing this Island that aroused every feeling of sensibility. The channel was to all appearance clear of snags, but unfortunately there was one which did not make much show, stove Capt. Wallace's Boat. The Boats were generally near each other. Capt Wallace's Boat began to sink immediately after striking the sawyer. The men were in the utmost consternation. A cry for assistance was heard from every mouth. many persons put off with canoes to give relief. The men on the wreck were waiting with out-stretched arms, begging to be taken into the Canoe's. Each one who went with a canoe, was afraid when they approached the wreck, that the impatience of those in danger, would press into the canoes and sink them. Those in the canoes had to warn the men on the wreck to beware of this circumstance, before they approached them. They told the men that only so many should get into each canoe. By this time the Boat had entirely sunk under water, and the men were nearly knee deep on the roof of the Boat, and the Spectators and the men expected every moment when the dark rolling waves of the mississippi would cover them Forever!
When we beheld the Boat in the swiftest current, a great distance from shore, and the Boat sinking with such rapidity, the Scene was most awfull and distressing. Every one who witnessed the fate that portended those men, mingled their sympathies with the apparent sufferers. Those men were our country men—they were citizens of the same state; they were the Patriots that stepped forth voluntarily at the call of their country to defend her rights; and to have viewed them perish near their colleagues in arms, without the privilege of contending with an Enemy, would have been too distressing. But Providence held the destiny of those men by a hair, and made Capt. Martin the Instrument of their salvation. His Boat was not the nearest by several to the distressing scene; But he was propelled as it were by instinct. His men rowed with Herculean strength. He reached the wreck just after part of the men were taken by the canoes from the Boat so that she was lightened enough to rise above the water. This kept the men composed, and capt Martin commenced saving the property on board. After taking part of the Property, he determined to row the wreck to shore, which he accomplished by more than common exertions. Capt. Martin has not only the credit of saving the men, but greater part of their property, and also the greater part of their arms belonging to the united states.
It is to be regretted that there should be a man among the volunteers of the disposition of Capt. Newland. His Boat was nearest to the sinking Boat, but instead of his holding out a saving hand, he rowed from the suffering men. I presume that Capt. Newland was afraid to risk an additional number of men, If so, his fears were erroneous. His Boat would have held twice the number of men without danger. Colo. Hall, Dr. Hogg and Mr. Schermerhorn gave the Genl. information of the accident, and assisted him in landing. The Genl. landed some distance below Capt. Martin and the wreck. Colo. Bradley started with many of the Boats and went thro' the pass of the “Devil's race ground”, and landed about 3 miles below.
Thursday Feby 4. 1813. The General and some of the Boats hove in sight. They all attempted to Land where Colo. Hall and Bradley were, but two of the Boats could not affect a Landing, one of which was the General's. Soon after Capt. Martin arrived with most of Wallace's men, and the Baggage etc. that was saved. Immediately after we proceeded down the River. How gratefull ought these men to be to that Providence who governs the Universe for their deliverance from such impending danger! Capt Moore took Fifteen of Wallace's men in his Boat.
This morning was clear and pleasant. We begin now to perceive a sensible change in the climate. There is but little snow and Ice to be seen, perhaps after to day there will be none. The men are now infinitely more carefull than they were yesterday. They all apprehend that the same fatality might befall them, that befell Capt. Wallace. We passed this day the most considerable bend known in the mississippi. It is called the “Devil's Elbow” We landed above Fort Pickering opposite Island no. [ blank ] and stayed all night.
Friday Feby. 5. 1813.
We started this morning before day light. about seven oClock we past Fort Pickering with our colours waving and received a salute by the fire of a Cannon. The morning is clear and pleasant. There was some wind to day, but not enough to make us lay by. On yesterday the Gen'l received a dispatch from colo. Benton who was a few miles above New Madrid on 1. Feby. all his Regiment were generally well. He is endeavoring to join us as soon as possible. His delay has been occasioned for the want of Boats and impeded some by Ice. We landed this day by an hour by sun and stayed all night. The Revd. Mr. Mills is ill with the Fever.
Saturday Feby 6. 1813.
Started a little before day light this morning—past council Island and the Grand cut-Off; The wind impedes our progress. We passed the St. Francis River, and Landed three miles below the Big Pararie and stayed all night. There are some small settlements on the margin of the River at the mouth of st. Francis and extending several miles below. Near where [we] landed was a man who had emigrated from Pennsylvana. He stated he had lost five children since living on this River and the ohio. He raised one acre of corn last year, and his prospects are not much enlarged for this year. His condition is no better than the savages his neighbors. How various are the conditions of men? Imagination traces them from the meanest hovel on the mississippi, to the splendid palaces of cities.
Sunday Feby 7. 1813.
Started this morning before day light. The morning was clear and pleasant. The stars glittered in the Firmament. The morning star, the Harbinger of day, shone with delightfull splendor. Indeed the General appears anxious that we should contemplate its beauties every morning. Passed some Indians to day on the right Bank of the River. Lt. David s. Deaderick is sick. Landed on Island No. 66 and stayed all night.
Monday Feby 8, 1813.
Started this morning at half after five oClock—past white River at half after twelve, and arrived at the Arkansas River at half after four oClock P m. We had a remarkable pleasant days sail of fifty five miles in twelve hours. Past some Indians to Day encamped on both Banks of the River. They were visited by some of our men in order to get some Venison, but they had none. They perfectly displayed the precariousness which attends the savage state of society. Having hardly any thing in their Camps, but a species of Artichoke or Potatoe, which they gave a specimen to one of our men.
The Arkansa or Ozark is a beautifull River. The water has the same appearance as that of the mississippi. It is muddy; and the margin is covered of the same kind of Timber. There is a small farm just below the mouth of this River, which was entirely evacuated. It was said to be the residence of some counterfeiters.
Tuesday Feby 9. 1813.
Started this morning before day ligth. The morning is pleasant and has a white frost. Last night about 8 O'Clock the General received a dispatch from Colo Benton of the 2d Regt. informing him that they were 336 miles below the mouth of the Ohio and were progressing with as much expedition as possible. Majr. West was the bearer, who recd. a Letter from the Gen'l., stayed all night, came on to the great cypress bend and there awaited at the Camp of some men who were making rafts for the arrival of Colo. Benton.
There are many persons engaged in the cutting of cypress Logs, squaring them and rafting them to New orleans, many Rafts are made up of round Logs and sawed into plank near and at Neworleans. Those who are engaged in it are perfect exiles of society. Nature has fitted them to be associated with the Indians who border on the River in this region of country. They raise nothing from the Earth for subsistence, and have to depend on the uncertainty of Chance for a living. Those who have lived here any time, have all the wildness of Look, and Countenances displaying the same Ferocity as their savage neighbors. There are no Individuals who have claims to the Land. It all belongs to the Government. We landed at Island no. 82 fifty miles below the Arkansas and staid all night.
Wednesday Feby. 10. 1813.
We started this morning before day light as usual. The morning is pleasant. We had the pleasure of seeing a large Pelican killed by maj. Lauderdale. The wings measured from the tip of Each end about Eight feet. The Pouch was very large supposed to hold two Gallons which was fastened to his lower probosis or bill, and the Latter was about Fourteen Inches long. arrived at Island no. [ blank ] and staid all night about ten OClock at night we heard the firing of the 2d. Regiment. We also had two or three cannon shot from a Boat from Cincinnati Commanded by a Colo. in the Regular Army—we could not learn his name, nor see his boat, as he was some distance in the River. Colo Bradley gave notice to the 2d Regt. where we lay.
Thursday Feby 11. 1813.
We started this morning before 5 O'Clock and expected to be joined by the 2d. Regt. but the men had been on fatigue untill late that night, and Colo. Benton did not join us. The Gen'l was anxious to see colo Benton and did not know but he was ahead or put off when the signal was given this morning. He has determined to wait for him this evening.
Passed a keel Boat bound for Nashville containing nineteen Ton of Groceries belonging to John Young. Also another keel Boat carrying some Families and negroes up the Arkansas to make a settlement. Landed early in the evening, and awaited the arrival of Colo. Benton. We staid all night below a beautifull small Island called crows nest Island in the Navigator, by some Stack Island.
Friday Feby 12. Started by break of day this morning. Colo. Benton staid with us last night. The morning is cloudy We had to put to twice to day on account of high wind. We landed below No. 100 Island and staid all night—The wind was blowing very hard. Majr. William Carroll started at ten oClock at night for Natchez in skift in order to inspect the Cavalry against the General would arrive there. The night was stormy.
Saturday Feby 13. 1813.
The morning is Windy, and the General has permitted the soldiers to wash their Clothes before their arrival at Natchez. This day has been entirely set apart for that purpose. The Revd. Mr Blackman sets out this morning in the Perioque to go to Warrenton, thence by land to Natchez.
Sunday Feby 14. 1813. The General rose at half past two O'Clock and gave orders for starting; and by three O'Clock we were on our way. We passed Zazon River this morning, at which place we met with Capt. Smith of the Cavalry and mr Humphry, his son-in-law. The Capt. gave us information about the Cavalry, and their passage thro' the Indian Country. We passed Warrenton and called on Dr. Allen the Postmaster and obtained a newspaper. Passed the settlement of Palmyra, and Landed at Island No. 109. Colo Benton is behind.
Monday Feby. 15. 1812 [sic] We arose this Night at half after Eleven and started by twelve oClock. We passed Island 110 and the grand Gulph in the night, it was cloudy, and rained a little before day. About nine oClock in the morning, the weather cleared off and was very pleasant. The Genl. and myself dined at Colo. Benton's Boat. we were met by mr. allen who was sent on by majr Carroll with Letters to the General, who informed, that there was good Landing three miles above natchez. We Landed there a little after sun down and stayed all night.
Tuesday Feby 16. 1813. Immediately after day light this morning, the General went down in a skift to natchez; Before and at his approach to the shore, there were many discharges from a small Field piece announcing his arrival. He went up into town, attended by majrs Carroll and Hynes and breakfasted at Tho M. Winn's. He recd. some communications from Genl. Wilkinson by Capt. Hughs relative to the operations in the lower country.
He wrote a dispatch and forwarded it immediately by the Steam Boat to Genl. Wilkinson, advising him of his arrival at Natchez, and of the number of men composing his army. He also informed Gen'l Wilkinson that he would be happy to communi[c]ate with him about the defence of the lower country and his readiness to march to any named point that his services might be required. The General returned then on board the Transports, which were lying above town about two miles and issued an order for proceeding down to Natchez, containing some strict admonitions to the Troops to observe Order on their March; and at Cantonment. Also to be silent and polite to the citizens of the Country and to observe the same conduct among Themselves.
On our landing at Natchez the strand was crouded with spectators welcoming the largest army that ever appeared in view of Natchez, being about thirty Boats in number. On approaching the shore our Boat ran against a family Boat, done some injury to a skift and alarmed the persons on board. The Company of Guards escorted the Genl up into Natchez to Winn's, where he drank some wine with his friends and returned again to the Boats under the same escort and staid all night.
Wednesday Feby 17. 1813 Early this morning an order was issued for disembarking the Troops and for their march to the Cantonment Washington. The Troops were formed in line on the hill, and marched with the Baggage Waggons in the rear of each Regiment. When passing thro' the city of Natchez we excited very general attention of the inhabitants, by whom we were treated with distinguished politeness; and also by all the Officers both Civil and military whom we met with.
The morning was cloudy and the road bad by the rain that fell last night. We arrived at the Cantonment by four O'Clock—just before our arrival, the Cavalry under the command of Colo. John Coffee met us near Washington and escorted the Infantry on to the Camp. Afterwards the General reviewed them. Supped with Colo. Purdy.
Thursday Feby. 18. 1813.
But little of our Baggage was brought out from the Boats yesterday. We had no provissions and were in a measure dependant on our friends for eating. Capt. Hughs has been very polite and friendly to us, as well as Colo. Covington of the dragoons. They have taken much pains to make our situation comfortable as possible. The General is not pleased with our encampment. He has visited some places in the neighborhood to day to get ground for another. Some of our men have been taken sick since our arrival.
Friday Feby 19. 1813.
The same anxiety prevails about an encampment as yesterday: but the General has determined to take ground of Doct. Tho. A. Claiborne and has directed an encampment to be laid off there. We recd. an invitation to dine at Mr. Secretary Dangerfield's, and went there accordingly to dinner.
Saturday Feby 20. 1813 Early this morning we were informed by the Ex-Governor Williams,3 that Doct Claiborne was not a Bona fida owner of the Land where he lived, and warned the General that there would be some difficulty perhaps by making the encampment. The General then determined not to go there, and sent directly to mr. Perkins's and obtained leave to encamp on his Land. Preparations are making to go to the new Encampment Tomorrow.
3 Robert Williams had been governor of Mississippi Territory 1805–1809.
Sunday Feby 21. 1813. This morning was set apart for our removal to the new Encampment, but the great quantity of rain that fell last night and is now falling has determined the General to defer our march till tomorrow. The General and his family, together with some other principal officers of the detachment, received an invitation to dine at Genl. F. L. Claiborne's; But owing to the badness of the weather, none attended but Colo. Benton and myself, who went in part to comply with the wishes of our General to make an apology for his non-attendance. The Dinner was splendid, and every profusion of Virginia hospitality was exhibited. There were several respectable Officers and citizens of the Territory there, among whom was colo. Cowles Mead.4
4 Secretary of the territory 1806–1807.
Monday Feby 22d. 1813. On this morning much activity was prevailing in camp, preparatory to our march to the new Cantonment. The roads are yet bad, but the Genl determines to move. Mr. Washington Jackson signifyed that the managers would be glad to have the attendance of the principal Officers of . . . . [ torn from Journal. ] . . . .
Tuesday Feby 23d. The General arose early this morning and attended the Brigade qr. master Henderson on business relating to the supply of Forage for the Cavalry. He visited the transports (Boats) before breakfast, and found a large quantity of Corn at the landing. He returned immediately after breakfast to Camp. A Hynes returned to the old Cantonment and had all the Baggage belonging to the General and his family removed to our new quarters.
Wednesday Feby 24. 1813.
The weather is cold for the climate, but it is healthfull The General was visited to day by Genl John Adair5 and colo. Geo R. C. Floyd and several other Officers and citizens . . . . [ torn from Journal. ] . . . . provissions furnished by the Contractor. The Infantry has drawn no rations in this country yet. The Gen'l Ordered the Surgeons of each Regiment to inspect the Provissions whose report was unfavorable to the Contractor. He appealed; and the Genl Ordered Colo. Bradley in Conjunction with a citizen to inspect it. Their report was that the provission was good.
5 Of Kentucky. U. S. senator 1805–1806.
Friday Feby. 26. 1813
The Same complaint continues among the Cavalry about the spoiled provissions, altho' good provissions were issued to the Infantry. The General is offended with the sub agent of the contractor. He speaks to him about it and charges him not to issue such again. The sub agent promises not to do so.
Saturday Feby 27. 1813. The General and his family had received invitations to dine with Colo Covington6 of the Regt. of Dragoons of the regular army on this day. Owing to the indisposition of the General, he could not attend, but majrs. Carroll and Hynes went with Colo. Jno Coffee of the Cavalry. Received much hospitality from the colo. and enjoyed an elegant repast—also passed the glass in much convivial hilarity after the cloth was removed. Gov. Holmes and secretary Dangerfield7 were of the party, together with some other officers of the army.
6 Col. Leonard Covington, U. S. A., wounded at Chrystler's Field, Nov. 1, 1813.
7 David Holmes, governor 1800–1820; Henry Dangerfield, secretary of the territory 1810–1815.
This morning the General had an interview with mr. Brandt, the agent of the contractors in this country who being advised of the complaints of spoiled provissions, gave assurances that there should be no cause for the future and apologised for the issues made by mr. Cowan, which were made of old Pork without his knowledge.
Sunday Feby 28. 1813. The Rev mr Blackman preached to the Cavalry to day. Majrs. Carroll and Hynes visited our horses; and the old Cantonment—visited our sick in the hospital. Mr. Easten is Stewart. This Evening the General received a dispatch from General J. Wilkinson reiterating the sentiments contained in his former communications, and expressing a disposition to act with him in harmonious Concert in all measures intended for the public good.
Monday March 1. 1813.
The General and some other officers in pursuance of an invitation recd, from Washington Jackson, went to dine with him at Natchez. A: Hynes was engaged in preparing an answer to General Wilkinson's Letter, and a dispatch for the secretary at war. An order was issued for a Review on Tomorrow, the troops are charged to appear on parade clean, shaved and powdered . A note is recd. from Capt H.8 the Depy asst. Inspector Genl. proposing a plan of Review. But the General determines to differ from it intirely; and considers it rather an Officiousness, reflecting on our incapacity for a plan.
8 Andrew Hunter Holmes, U. S. A.
Tuesday March 2d. 1813.
Considerable Industry is going on this morning in cleaning and brushing up for the Review. The major of Brigade has the whole of the Troops out about half after ten—and against twelve they are ready for the reception of the General, who accordingly goes out to the Field accompanied by his aid, Colo. Covington, Capt. Holmes, and many respectable private citizens of the Territory.
The General passes along the lines commencing on the right of the Cavalry continuing on to the right of the first and second Regiments of Infantry untill he reaches their extreme left. He is congratulated by Colo. Covington for their good performance. The Gen'l afterwards takes a stand on the most Elevated ground when the Cavalry pass in Review before him. Also the two Regiments of Infantry.
Wednesday March 3d. 1813. This day was set apart for the Inspection of our Troops by Capt. Holmes asst. Depy. Ins. Genl. The inspection of the 2d, Regiment was finished and part of the first. (A: Hynes returned from Natchez; at which place he staid all night. The Officers are Drilled in the morning before the door of General's Tent.
Thursday March 4. 1813.
The Inspection of the Troops Engages most of the attention of the persons in Camp. The first Regiment was finished to day and Tomorrow is set apart for the Cavalry. There is some unpleasant notes from the Asst. Depy qr. m. Genl. concerning forage for the Cavalry; to which the Genl has replied with great severity.
Friday March 5. 1813.
The Inspection of the Cavalry was finished to day by Capt. Holmes. They were mustered and inspected in the open field in the presence of Gen'l. Adair and Colo. G R C. Floyd who dined with us on this day. Genl. Adair conversed on the Expedition of some americans who had . . . . [ last page of Journal, torn out. ]
About this Item
- Journal of the march. Journal of trip down the Mississippi River, January 1813 to March 1813
- Contributor Names
- Jackson, Andrew (Author)
- Created / Published
- January 10, 1813
- Subject Headings
- - Journal of the march. Journal of trip down the Mississippi River, January 1813 to March 1813
- - Manuscripts
- - United States
- 47 pages
- Call Number/Physical Location
- Series: Series 3, Letters and Orders, 1813-1822
- MSS 27532, Vol. 120
- Source Collection
- Andrew Jackson papers, 1775-1874
- Manuscript Division
- Digital Id
- Online Format
- online text
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Jackson, Andrew. Journal of the march. Journal of trip down the Mississippi River, Januaryto March. 1813. Manuscript/Mixed Material. https://www.loc.gov/item/maj.03120/.
APA citation style:
Jackson, A. (1813) Journal of the march. Journal of trip down the Mississippi River, Januaryto March. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/maj.03120/.
MLA citation style:
Jackson, Andrew. Journal of the march. Journal of trip down the Mississippi River, Januaryto March. 1813. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/maj.03120/>.
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