Lossing's Field Book of the War of 1812, Chapter XLIII - Defense of New Orleans - Peace.






Jackson’s Work not yet done. – He casts up a Line of Defenses. – The Levee cut. – Effect of cutting the Levee. – A gloomy Day. – Arrival of General Pakenham. – Destruction of the Carolina. – Seat of War in Louisiana and Florida. – Jackson prepared to receive the British. – They advance to an Attack. – A severe Battle. – The British vanquished and repulsed. – They hold a Council of War. – The American Lines of Defense. – Redoubts secretly constructed by the British. – A heavy Fire from them. – Jackson driven from his Head-quarters. – Topography of the Battle-field. – Reply of the Americans to the British attack. – The British again vanquished and repulsed. – New Arrangements for Attack. – The British re-enforced. – The British Plan of Attack. – The American Line of Intrenchments. – Disposition of Forces on it. – Character of the American Troops. – Interior Lines of Defense. – The Tombs of Plauché and You. – Position of the Army on the 7th of January. – A Message from Patterson. – Jackson calls his Staff to Action. – Thornton crosses the River to attack Morgan. – Advance of the British Line. – Opening of Battle. – Battle of New Orleans. – Its Results. – The Burial of the Dead. – Disposition of the Bodies of the slain British Officers. – Attack on Fort St. Philip. – Capture of Fort Bowyer. – Jackson’s Army enters New Orleans. – Honors accorded to Jackson and his Troops. – Rumors of Peace disregarded. – Martial Law and military Discipline continued. – Jackson’s Obedience to Civil Law. – Scene in the old Court-house. – Biographical Sketch of Jackson. – Journey from Baltimore to Lexington, in Kentucky. – "Ashland." – Clay’s Monument. – Jackson’s Tomb. – Frankfort and its Cemetery. – Graves of Daniel Boone and his Wife. – Louisville and Nashville. – A Visit to the Hermitage. – Dr. Felix Robertson. – Historical Places in New Orleans. – One of Jackson’s Life-guardsmen. – A Visit to the Battle-ground. – Fort Sumter taken by Insurgents. – Uprising of the People. – Negotiations for Peace proposed. – Peace Commissioners. – Negotiations opened at Ghent. – Adams, Bayard, Clay, and Gallatin. – Delay in the Negotiations. – Sympathies of the People of Ghent with the Americans. – The Treaty concluded. – Signatures and Seals to the Treaty of Peace. – Ratification of the Treaty of Peace. – Arrival of the News at New York and Washington. – Rejoicings because of Peace. – How the News was spread over the Country. – Rejoicings in Great Britain. – Medals and Pictures in Commemoration of Peace. – Ratification of the Treaty by the United States Senate. – Allegorical Picture of the Treaty of Peace and Triumph of America. – Effects of the Treaty. – Position of the Republic at the Close of the War. – Readjustment of National Affairs. – Reduction of the Army. – The Navy. – Privateers. – Captives released. – Dartmoor Prisoners. – Sad Event at the Dartmoor Prisons. – Prosperity of the Republic. – Its Relations to the Nations.


"America’s glory, which dazzled the world

When the toils of our sires had achieved independence,
Was brightened when Jackson her banners unfurled
To protect the dear boon for their grateful descendants –
When the conquerors of Spain
Crossed the boisterous main,
Boldly threat’ning to rivet our fetters again;
But a happy new year for Columbia begun
When our Jackson secured what our Washington won."

"White-winged Peace, the dove from heaven’s portal,
Brought with its olive-branch a song immortal,
That filled all hearts with melody supernal,
While yet was heard the battle din infernal."


Promptness and vigor marked the whole conduct of General Jackson at the critical moment we are considering. By his advance to meet the invaders he had saved New Orleans from capture, and Louisiana and the Mississippi Valley from conquest. The whole country blessed him for the act. But his full task was not accomplished, and he knew it. A host of veteran soldiers, fresh from the battle-fields of Continental Europe, were before him, and they were not likely to relinquish the footing they had gained on American soil without a desperate struggle, so he prepared for it.


Leaving the regulars and some dragoons at De la Ronde’s to watch the enemy, he fell back with the remainder of his army to Rodriguez’s Canal, and set his soldiers to work casting up intrenchments along its line from the river to the cypress swamp. All day they plied the implements of labor with the greatest vigor. At sunset a breast-work three feet in height appeared along the entire line of Jackson’s army; and the soldiers spent that Christmas eve in much hilarity, for the events of the previous evening had given them the confidence of veterans. In the mean time, Latour, the chief engineer, had cut the levee in front of Chalmette’s plantation, so as to flood the plain between the two armies, and two 6-pounders were placed in battery at the levee to command the road. The river was so low that the overflow was of little account. Behind these intrenchments, of which each worker was proud, Jackson’s little army spent the Christmas day of 1814 in preparations for a determined defense of New Orleans and their common country. 2 On the same day General Morgan received orders to evacuate the post at English Turn, place his cannon and a hundred men in Fort St. Leon, and take position with the remainder on Flood’s plantation, opposite Jackson’s camp, on the right bank of the Mississippi. The cutting of the levee at Chalmette’s and Jumonville’s helped the enemy more than it did the Americans, for it caused the almost dry canals and bayous to be filled with sufficient water to allow the British to bring up their heavy artillery. Had the Mississippi been full, the invaders would have been placed on an island.

That Christmas day dawned gloomily for the invaders. The events of the 23d [December, 1814.] had greatly depressed their spirits, and the soldiers had lost confidence in Keane, their commander. The sky was clouded, the ground was wet, and the atmosphere was chilly, and shadowing disappointment was seen in every face. The gloom was suddenly dispelled by an event which gave great joy to the whole army. It was the arrival at camp on that gloomy morning of Lieutenant General Sir Edward Pakenham, the "Hero of Salamanca," then only thirty-eight years of age, who came to assume the chief command of the invading army. He was a true soldier and an honorable man; and the charge (which might be justly brought against some of the subordinate commanders in that army) that he offered his soldiers, as a reward for their services, in the event of their capturing New Orleans, "the beauty and booty" of the city, is doubtless wholly untrue, for his character was the very opposite of the infamous Cockburn’s. There is proof on record that some of the officers made calculations of personal profit from the spoils that New Orleans would afford. Pakenham came fresh from Europe, with the prestige of eminent success as a commander, and his advent at Villeré’s mansion 3 was hailed with delight by officers and soldiers. He, too, was delighted when he perused the list of the regiments which he was to command, for those troops, excepting the Ninety-third and the colored regiments, had fought all through the war on the Spanish Peninsula.

While Jackson was intrenching, the British were not idle. They were employed, day and night, in preparing a heavy battery that should command the Carolina. It was completed on the morning of the 27th, and at seven o’clock a heavy fire was opened from it upon the little schooner from several twelve and eighteen pounders, and a howitzer. They hurled hot shot, which fired the Carolina, when her crew abandoned her, and she blew up with a tremendous explosion. The schooner Louisiana, commanded by Lieutenant Thompson, had come down to aid her, and was in great peril. She was the only armed vessel in the river remaining to the Americans. By great exertions she was towed beyond the sphere of danger, and was saved to play a gallant part in events the following day. She was on the opposite side of the river, anchored nearly abreast of the American camp.

The destruction of the Carolina gave fresh confidence to the invaders, and Pakenham issued orders for his whole army, then eight thousand strong, to move forward and carry the American intrenchments by storm. He had arranged that army into two columns. One was commanded by General Keane, and the other by General Gibbs, a good and experienced soldier, who came with Pakenham as his second in command. Toward evening the entire force moved forward, driving in the American pickets and outposts, and at twilight they halted on the plantations of Bienvenu and Chalmette, within a few hundred yards of the American lines. There a part sought repose, while others commenced the construction of batteries near the river. Sleep was denied them, for all night long Hinds’s troopers and other active Americans annoyed their flanks and rear with quick, sharp attacks, which the British denounced as "barbarian warfare."

Jackson, in the mean time, had been preparing to receive them. He was aware of the arrival of Pakenham, and expected vigorous warfare from him. His head-quarters were at the spacious chateau of M. Macarté, a wealthy Creole, and from its wide gallery and a dormer window, seen in the accompanying picture, aided by a telescope, he had a full view of the whole field of operations. From that chateau, which is yet standing, he sent forth his orders.


They were numerous and prompt; for that night of the 27th of December, when a flushed foe in his immediate front was ready to pounce with tiger-like fierceness upon him at dawn, was an exceedingly busy one for the commander-in-chief. He had caused Chalmette’s buildings to be blown up when the enemy advanced, that the sweep of his artillery might not be obstructed, and he had called to the line some Louisiana militia from the rear. He also planted heavy guns; and by the time that the couchant foe was ready for his murderous leap, Jackson had four thousand men and twenty pieces of artillery to receive him, while the Louisiana was in position to use her cannon with signal effect in co-operation with the great guns on land.

The 28th dawned brightly, and as soon as the light fog of early morning had passed away a battle began. The enemy approached in two columns. Gibbs led the right, which kept near the great swamp, throwing out a skirmish line to meet those of the left column, commanded by Keane, who kept close to the river, with artillery in his front. There was also a party of skirmishers and light infantry detailed from Gibbs’s command, under Colonel Robert Rennie, a very active officer, who was ordered to turn the American left flank and gain the rear of their camp. Pakenham and his staff rode nearly in the centre of the line. At this moment Jackson saw, with great satisfaction, a band of rough-looking armed men coming down the road from the direction of the city. They were Baratarians, under You and Beluche, who had run all the way from Fort St. John. They were immediately placed in charge of one of the 24-pounders, and performed excellent service. They were followed by the escaped crew of the Carolina, under Lieutenants Norris and Crawley, who were placed in the line as managers of a howitzer on the right.

The British under Keane advanced in solid column, in the face of a galling fire of musketry, when they were suddenly checked by the opening of some of Jackson’s heavy guns and the batteries of the Louisiana, which swept their line obliquely with terrible effect. More than eight hundred shots were hurled from her guns with deadly power. One of them killed and wounded fifteen men. At the same time the British rocketeers were busy, but their missiles did very little damage, and the Americans soon became too familiar with their harmless noise to be much affected by them.

For a short time Keane’s men endured the terrible storm that was thinning their ranks, when the maintenance of their position became mere fool-hardiness, and they were ordered to seek shelter in the little canals. Away they ran, pell-mell, to these places of refuge, and in mud and water almost waist-deep they "leaned forward," as one of their companions wrote, "concealing themselves in the rushes which grew on the banks of the canal." It was a humiliating position for "Wellington’s veterans" in the face of a few rough backwoodsmen, as they regarded Jackson’s troops. Their batteries were half destroyed, and were abandoned, and the shattered column, thoroughly repulsed, fell back to a shelter behind the ruins of Chalmette’s buildings and the perfect ones of Bienvenu.

Gibbs in the mean time was actively engaged on the British right. The gallant Rennie dashed into the edge of the swamp to flank the American left, and, driving in the pickets, approached within a hundred yards of the line behind which lay Carroll and his Tennesseeans. The movement was observed by Carroll, who sent Colonel Henderson, with two hundred Tennesseeans, to gain Rennie’s rear and cut him off from the main body. Advancing too far, Henderson encountered a large British force, and he and five of his men were killed, and several were wounded. The remainder retraced their steps. Rennie was then pressing Carroll’s left very severely, when Gibbs, observing the fierceness of the fight on the part of Keane’s column, ordered the dashing colonel to fall back on the main line. Rennie reluctantly obeyed, and was compelled to be an idle spectator of Keane’s disaster. At length Pakenham ordered a general retrograde movement, and he retired to his head-quarters at Villeré’s deeply mortified by the failure of his plans, of whose success he had not allowed himself to doubt. In this repulse the Louisiana, which was stationed near the right bank of the Mississippi, played the most efficient part, and lost but one man killed. The loss of the Americans was nine killed and eight wounded. The British loss was about one hundred and fifty.

Pakenham called a council of war, when it was resolved to bring forward heavy siege-guns from the navy before making another serious attempt to carry Jackson’s lines. The British established their hospital on Jumonville’s plantation, next below Villeré’s, and prepared for heavy work. The experience of the 28th had given Pakenham a test of the spirit of his opposers, and he was convinced that the task before him was not only difficult, but dangerous, and that the very salvation of his army depended upon cautious movements, courage, and perseverance.

Jackson was busy at the same time strengthening his position at Rodriguez’s Canal, over which not a single British soldier had passed except as a prisoner. He placed two 12-pounders on his extreme left, near the swamp, in charge of General Garrigue Flauzac, a veteran French soldier who had volunteered; and also a six and an eighteen pounder under Colonel Perry. His line of intrenchments was extended into the swamp, so as to prevent a flank movement. He ordered a line of similar structure to be established on the opposite side of the Mississippi; and Commander Patterson, pleased with the effects of the guns of the Louisiana from the same side, established a battery behind the levee on Jourdan’s plantation, which he armed with heavy guns from the schooner, and manned with sailors enlisted or pressed into the service in New Orleans.


It commanded the front of Jackson’s lines, and soon compelled the British to abandon Chalmette’s plantation and fall back to the line between Bienvenu’s and De la Ronde’s. A brick-kiln on the bank opposite New Orleans was converted into a square battery, which was armed with two heavy guns that commanded the city and the river road, and placed in charge of Captain Henley, of the Carolina. At Jackson’s head-quarters, at Macarté’s, was a company of young men from the best families in the city, under Captain Ogden, who constituted his body-guard, and were subservient to his immediate orders alone. These were posted in Macarté’s garden. There was incessant activity every where among all his troops, for his own spirit was infused into them. The Tennessee riflemen, in particular, delighted in going on "hunts," as they called them – that is to say, expeditions alone, to pick off sentinels and annoy the enemy. This was carried to such an extent on Jackson’s extreme left that the British dared not post sentinels very near the swamp. They contented themselves with throwing up a strong redoubt in that direction, which Captain You and Lieutenant Crawley continually battered with heavy shot from their cannon. The enemy persevered, and at the close of the month had several great guns mounted on the redoubt.

On the 31st the guns of the new redoubt opened vigorously on Jackson’s left; and that night the whole British army moved rapidly forward, took position within a few hundred yards of the American lines, and in the gloom commenced vigorous work with pickaxe and spade. They had brought up heavy siege-guns from the lake, and all night long that army labored in the construction of redoubts for them, under the superintendence of Colonel Sir John Burgoyne, with the intention of making an immediate effort to break the American line. Before dawn they had completed three solid demi-lunettes, or half-moon batteries, right, centre, and left, six hundred yards from the American lines, at nearly equal distances apart. They were constructed of earth, hogsheads of sugar, and every thing that might produce resistance; and upon them were placed thirty pieces of heavy ordnance, manned by picked gunners of the fleet, who had served under Nelson, Collingwood, and St. Vincent.

These works were hidden by a heavy fog on the morning of the 1st of January, which hung thickly over the belligerent armies until after eight o’clock. When it was lifted by a gentle breeze the British opened a brisk fire, not doubting that in a few minutes the contemptible intrenchments of the Americans would be scattered to the winds, and that the army, placed in battle order for the purpose, would find it an easy matter to rush forward and take them. Every moment their cannonade and bombardment became heavier, and the rocketeers sent an incessant shower of their fiery missiles into the American lines. Jackson’s head-quarters at Macarté’s was a special target. In the course of ten minutes more than a hundred balls, shells, and rockets struck the building, and compelled the commander-in-chief and his staff to evacuate it. The marks of that furious assault may be seen in all parts of the house to this day [1867.].

Jackson, in the mean time, had opened his heavy guns on the assailants. The cannonade was led off by the gallant and imperturbable Humphrey on the left, followed by the fierce You and his Baratarians – Crawley, Norris, Spotts, and the veteran Garrigue. The American artillery thundered along their whole line, to the amazement of the British, who wondered how they got their guns and gunners. Pakenham soon saw that he had underrated the strength and skill of his adversary; and Cochrane, whose gallant tars were at the guns, did every thing in his power to encourage them. The conflict became terrible. Batteries on the Levee fought with Patterson on the opposite side; and in them were kept in readiness red-hot shot for the destruction of the Louisiana, if she should come within range of the guns. Pakenham also sent a detachment of infantry to attempt the turning of the American left, in the swamp; but they were driven back in terror by Coffee’s Tennesseeans; so only the battle of the batteries went on.

Toward noon the fire of the British visibly slackened, while that of the Americans was unceasing. The demi-lunes of the foe were crushed and broken. The sugar hogsheads had been converted into splinters, and their contents, mingling with the moist earth, soon lost their volume. The guns not dismounted were careened, and were worked with great difficulty; and by the time their voices ceased altogether the batteries on the Levee were nearly demolished. The invaders abandoned their works at meridian, and fled in inglorious haste, helter-skelter, to the ditches, in search of safety; and, under cover of the ensuing night, they crawled sullenly back to their camp, dragging with them over the spongy ground a part of their heavy cannon, and leaving five of them a spoil for the Americans. Their disappointment and chagrin were intense, and it was equally shared by officers and men. Their New-Year’s Day was a far gloomier one than that of Christmas. They had been without food or sleep for nearly sixty hours. They all cast themselves down on the damp ground, too wearied for thought, and their troubles were soon ended for the time by deep slumber. Pakenham was in his old quarters at Villeré’s, which he had left in the morning with the confident expectation of sleeping in New Orleans that night as a conqueror. In the American camp there was great joy that night. It was intensified in the morning by the arrival of Brigadier General John Adair with intelligence of the near approach of more than two thousand drafted militia from Kentucky, under Major General John Thomas. They arrived in the city on the 4th of January, and seven hundred of them were sent to the front under Adair. 6

Pakenham was disheartened, but he by no means despaired of success. He conceived the bold and hazardous plan of carrying Jackson’s lines on both sides of the river by storm. Those on the right bank had been strengthened, but were feebly manned, and were under the chief command of General Morgan. Pakenham resolved to send over fifteen hundred infantry, with some artillery, and, under the cover of night, attack Morgan, carry the works, occupy them, and, from batteries there, enfilade Jackson’s line, while the main army should be engaged in storming it. The transportation of these men to the other side of the river was confided to Admiral Cochrane, who, in opposition to the opinions and wishes of the army officers, set the wearied soldiers and sailors to work widening, and deepening, and prolonging to the Mississippi, Villeré’s Canal, for the purpose of bringing over boats from the Bayou Bienvenu, instead of dragging them on rollers as they had heavier cannon. The labor was completed on the 7th, when the army was in fine spirits because of the arrival, the day before, of a considerable body of re-enforcements under Major General John Lambert, a young officer of Wellington’s army, who had sailed from England toward the close of October. Pakenham’s own regiment (Seventh Fusileers) was among them; and the army that confronted Jackson now consisted of ten thousand of the finest soldiers in the world. These were divided into three brigades, and placed under the respective commands of Generals Lambert, Gibbs, and Keane.

Pakenham’s plan of operations for the new attack was simple. Colonel Thornton was to cross the Mississippi on the night of the 7th with the Eighty-fifth and one West India regiment, marines and sailors, and a corps of rocketeers, and fall upon the Americans before the dawn. The sound of his guns was to be the signal for General Gibbs, with the Forty-fourth, Twenty-first, and Fourth regiments, to storm the American left; while General Keane, with the Ninety-third, Ninety-fifth, and two light companies of the Seventh and Forty-third, with some West India troops, should threaten the American right sufficient to draw their fire, and then rush upon them with the bayonet. Meanwhile the two British batteries near the Levee, which the Americans destroyed on the 1st, were to be rebuilt, well mounted, and employed in assailing the American right during Keane’s operations. Keane’s advance corps were furnished with fascines to fill the ditches, and scaling ladders to mount the embankments. Such was the substance of Pakenham’s General Order issued on the 7th of January, 1815.


Jackson penetrated Pakenham’s design on the 6th, and prepared to meet and frustrate it. His line of defense, extending, as we have observed, from the Mississippi to an impassable cypress swamp, a mile and a half in length, along the line of the half choked Rodriguez’s Canal, was very irregular. In some places it was thin, in others thick; in some places the banks were high, in others very low. They had been cast up, not by the soldiery alone, nor by the slaves, but by the hands of civilians from the city, including merchants and their clerks, lawyers and physicians and their students, and many young men who never before had turned a spadeful of earth. Along this line artillery was judiciously placed. On the edge of the river a redoubt was thrown up and mounted with cannon, so as to enfilade the ditch in front of the American lines. Besides this there were eight batteries, placed at proper distances from each other, composed of thirteen guns carrying from six to thirty-two pound balls, a howitzer, and a carronade. Across the river was Patterson’s marine battery for auxiliary service in the defense of this line, mounting nine guns; and the Louisiana was prepared to perform a part, if possible, in the drama about to open.

Jackson’s infantry were disposed as follows: Lieutenant Ross, with a company of Pierre’s Seventh Regiment, guarded the redoubt on the extreme right, in which tents were pitched. Between Humphrey’s battery and the river, on the right, Beale’s New Orleans riflemen were stationed. From their left the Seventh Regiment extended so as to cover another battery, and connected with a part of Plauché’s 8 battalion and the colored corps under Colonel Lacoste, which filled the interval between Batteries Nos. 3 and 4 (see map on page 1040), the guns of the latter being covered by D’Aquin’s free men of color. Next to D’Aquin was the Forty-fourth Regiment, which extended to the rear of Battery No. 5. The remainder of the line (full two thirds of its entire length) was covered by the commands of Carroll 9 and Coffee. 10 The former had been re-enforced that day (7th) by a thousand Kentuckians under General Adair, and with him, on the right of Battery No. 7, were fifty marines under Lieutenant Bellevue. Coffee, with five hundred men, held the extreme left of the line, on the edge of the swamp, where his men were compelled to stand in the water, and to sleep on floating logs which they lashed to the trees. Captain Ogden, with cavalry (Jackson’s body-guard), was at head-quarters, yet at Macarté’s chateau; and on De Lerey’s plantation, in the rear of it, Hinds was stationed with one hundred and fifty mounted men. Near Pierna’s Canal a regiment of Louisiana militia, under Colonel Young, were encamped as reserves.

Jackson’s whole force on the New Orleans side of the river on the 7th was about five thousand in number, and of these only two thousand two hundred were at his line. Only eight hundred of the latter were regulars, and most of them were new recruits commanded by young officers. His army was formed in two divisions, the right commanded by Colonel Ross, acting as brigadier, and the left by Generals Carroll and Coffee, the former as major general and the latter as brigadier general. A mile and a half in the rear of his main line another intrenchment had been thrown up, behind which the weaker members of his army were stationed with pickaxes and spades. This line was prepared for a rallying-point in the event of disaster following the impending conflict. Jackson also established a third line at the lower edge of the city. General Morgan, on the opposite side of the river, prepared to defend his lines with only eight hundred men, all militia, and indifferently armed. On his left were two 6-pounders, in charge of Adjutant Nixon, of the Louisiana militia, and a 12-pounder under Lieutenant Philibert, of the navy. Patterson’s battery, in Morgan’s rear, could render him no service, for its guns were turned so as to command the plain of Chalmette, in front of Jackson’s line.

Such was the strength and position of the two armies on the night of the memorable 7th of January, 1815, preparatory to the great conflict on the following day.

It was not until the afternoon of the 7th that Jackson could determine with any certainty whether the enemy would first attack his own or Morgan’s line. Then, from the gallery of head-quarters, with his telescope, he could see such preparations by the foe as convinced him that his own line would first feel the shock of battle; and when the darkness of night fell he could distinctly hear the sounds of labor in reconstructing the British batteries which the Americans had destroyed. His pickets and sentinels were strengthened, and sleepless vigilance marked a large portion of the troops behind his intrenchments that night. The Chief lay down to rest on a sofa, after a day of great fatigue, surrounded by his aids, and was slumbering sweetly when, at a little past midnight, he was awakened by an aid of Commander Patterson (Mr. R. D. Shepherd), who had been sent to inform the general that there seemed to be positive indications in the British camp that Morgan was to be first attacked, and that he needed more troops to maintain his position. "Hurry back," said Jackson, "and tell General Morgan that he is mistaken. The main attack will be on this side. He must maintain his position at all hazards." Then, looking at his watch, he spoke aloud to his aids, "Gentlemen, we have slept long enough. Arise! for the enemy will be upon us in a few minutes. I must go and see General Coffee." One of his first orders was for General Adair 11 to send over five hundred Kentuckians to re-enforce Morgan.

Let us observe the movements in the British camp on that memorable night.

According to the plan already mentioned, Colonel Thornton proceeded to cross the Mississippi for the purpose of attacking Morgan. He marched to the levee, at the end of the newly-cut canal in extension of Villeré’s, and there waited with the greatest impatience the arrival of the boats that were to carry him and his troops over. The banks of the ditch had caved in in some places, and the falling of the water in the river had made that of the canal so shallow that the sailors were compelled to drag the boats through thick mud in many places. It was three o’clock in the morning before even a sufficient number of vessels to convey one half of the detachment had arrived. Farther delay would be fatal to the enterprise; so, with Pakenham’s sanction, Thornton dismissed half of his force, embarked the remainder, and crossed the river in a flotilla commanded by Captain Roberts, of the Royal Navy. Ignorant of the fact that the Mississippi was flowing with a quiet, powerful current, at the rate of five miles an hour, and making no provisions for this obstacle to a quick and direct passage, they were landed, after great fatigue, at least a mile and a half below their intended point of debarkation. Before they had all left the boats the day dawned, and the roar of cannon was heard on the plain of Chalmette.

Pakenham and his officers had passed an almost sleepless night, and at the time when Jackson aroused his slumbering staff the divisions of Gibbs and Keane were called up, formed into line, and advanced to within four hundred and fifty yards of the American intrenchments. Lambert’s division was left behind as a reserve. There stood the British soldiers in the darkness and the chilly morning air, enveloped in a thick fog, and anxiously listening for the booming of Thornton’s guns in his attack on Morgan. He was yet battling with the current of the Mississippi. Tediously the minutes and the hours passed, and yet that signal-gun remained silent.

Day dawned and the mist began to disperse, and as the dull red line of the British host was dimly seen in the early morning light through the veil of moisture, Lieutenant Spotts, of Battery No. 7, opened one of his heavy guns upon it. It was the signal for battle. As the fog rolled away the British line was seen stretching two thirds across the plain of Chalmette. From its extreme left and right rockets shot high in air, and, like a dissolving view, that red line almost disappeared as it was broken into columns by companies.

Gibbs now advanced obliquely toward the wooded swamp, with the Forty-fourth in front, followed by the Twenty-first and Fourth, terribly pelted by the storm that came from Batteries Nos. 6, 7, and 8, and vainly sought shelter behind a bulging projection of the swamp into the plain. These batteries poured round and grape shot incessantly into Gibbs’s line, making lanes through it, and producing some confusion. This was heightened by the fact that the Forty-fourth, with whom had been intrusted fascines and scaling-ladders, had advanced without them. To wait for these to be brought up was impossible in the focus of that cannonade. So Gibbs ordered them forward, the Twenty-first and Fourth in solid and compact column, covered in front by blazing rockets and cheered by their own loud huzzas. Whole platoons were prostrated, when their places were instantly filled by others, and the column pressed on, without pause or recoil, toward the batteries on the left, and the long and weaker line covered by the Tennesseeans and Kentuckians.

By this time all the American batteries, including Patterson’s on the right bank of the river, were in full play. Yet steadily on marched Wellington’s veterans, stepping firmly over the dead bodies of their slain comrades until they had reached a point within two hundred yards of the American line, behind which, concealed from the view of the invaders, lay the Tennesseeans and Kentuckians four ranks deep. Suddenly the clear voice of General Carroll rang out, Fire! His Tennesseeans arose from cover, and, each man taking sure aim, delivered a most destructive volley on the foe, their bullets cutting down scores of the gallant British soldiery. The storm ceased not for a moment; for when the Tennesseeans had fired they fell back, and the Kentuckians took their places, and so the four ranks, one after another, participated in the conflict. At the same time round, grape, and chain shot went crashing through the ranks of the British, making awful gaps, and appalling the stoutest hearts. The line began to waver, and would have broken but for the cool courage and untiring energy of the officers, and the inspiriting cry, "Here comes the Forty-fourth with the fascines and ladders!"

A detachment of the Forty-fourth had indeed come with scaling implements, and Pakenham at their head, who encouraged them by stirring words and bold deeds for a few minutes, when his bridle-arm was made powerless by a bullet, and his horse was shot under him. He at once mounted the black Creole pony of his favorite aid, the now (1867) venerable Sir Duncan M‘Dougall, of London. 12 Other officers fell, until there were not enough to command, and the column began to break up into detachments, a greater part of them falling back to the shelter of the projecting swamp. There they were rallied, and, throwing away their knapsacks, they rushed forward to scale and carry the works in front of Carroll and his sharp-shooters. At the same time, Keane, contrary to instructions, but with zealous concern for the cause, wheeled his column into line and led a portion of it to the assistance of the right wing. They were terribly scourged by the enfilading fire of the American batteries as they strode across the plain. Among them was the Ninety-third Regiment, composed of nine hundred sinewy Highlanders, who had won victories on many a field in Continental Europe, and were now unmoved by the storm that poured in such fury upon them. Their presence and example encouraged the broken column of the right, which, with these Highlanders, rushed into the very heart of the tempest from Carroll’s rifles, having Gibbs on their right and Pakenham on their left. In a few minutes the right arm of the latter was disabled by a bullet, and as he was riding to the rear on the led pony, shouting huzzas to the troops, there came a terrible crashing of round and grape shot through the ranks, that scattered dead men all around him. One of the balls passed through the general’s thigh, killed his horse, and brought both to the ground. Pakenham was caught in the arms of his faithful aid, Captain M‘Dougall, who had performed a similar service for General Ross when he fell, mortally wounded, near Baltimore a few months before. 13 The commander was conveyed to the rear in a dying condition, and placed under a venerable live-oak tree, which disappeared only a few years ago. There he soon expired in the arms of M‘Dougall.

General Gibbs was also mortally wounded, and died the next day; and Keane was so severely shot through the neck that he was compelled to leave the field. The command was then assumed by Major Wilkinson, the officer of highest grade left in the saddle. Under his leadership the broken battalions endeavored to scale the breastworks. They were repulsed, and Wilkinson fell on the parapet mortally wounded. His discomfited men fell back, and all of the assailants withdrew in wild confusion. Of the gallant nine hundred Highlanders, with twenty-five officers, of the Ninety-third Regiment who went into the fight, only one hundred and thirty men and nine officers could be mustered at its close. The Twenty-first Regiment lost five hundred men, and every company came out of the terrible conflict a mere skeleton in numbers.

While this sanguinary work was in progress on the British right, a more successful movement, for a time, was made by them on their left. Keane’s whole division moved when he led the Highlanders to the right. Nearly a thousand men, under the active Colonel Rennie, composed of the Ninety-fifth Rifles, companies of the Seventh, Ninety-third, and Forty-third Infantry, and some West India troops, had pushed rapidly forward near the river in two columns, one on the road, and the other nearer the water, under shelter of the levee, and, driving in the American pickets, succeeded in taking possession of the unfinished redoubt on Jackson’s extreme right. They drove out the Americans, but they did not hold it long. The invaders on the road were terribly smitten by Humphrey’s batteries and the Seventh Regiment, and were kept in check. At the same time Rennie led the column along the water’s edge, where they were greatly annoyed by Patterson’s battery, and, with several other officers, scaled the parapet of the American redoubt. The New Orleans Rifles, under Beale, now poured upon these officers and the inmates of the redoubt such a terrible fire that nearly every man was killed or mortally wounded. Rennie had just exclaimed "Hurrah, boys, the day is ours!" when he fell to rise no more.


The author of this volume is indebted to the late General Palfrey of New Orleans, who was a participant in the battle, for the privilege of copying Major Latour’s interesting drawing above given. The following explanations, by means of the reference figures, were made in the drawing by Major Latour: American Army – 1. General Jackson and his staff; 2. Major Plauche; 3. Captain Humphrey; 4. Beale’s riflemen and a company of the Seventh Regiment; 5. Redoubt on the bank of the river; 6. Captains Dominique You and Beluche, of Major La Coste’s battalion; 7. Lieutenants Crawley and Rose; 8. Colonel Perry; 9. General Garrigue; 10. Lieutenant Spotts; 11, 12. Divisions of Generals Carroll and Adair, and, farther to the left, General Coffee’s; 13. Cavalry and dragoons; 14, 15. Line of intrenchments; 16. Macarte’s, Jackson’s headquarters; 17. Rodriguez’s house. British Army – A, B. The British Army in two columns; C. The right column making the principal attack, under the command of Pakenham; E, F. Left column, commanded by Colonel Rennie; I. Battery; M. Ruins of Chalmette’s buildings.

This attacking column also fell back in great disorder under cover of the levee, and, like those on the British right, sought shelter in the plantation ditches from the terrible storm that came from Jackson’s lines. General Lambert, with his reserves, had come forward on hearing of the disasters to Pakenham, Gibbs, and Keane; but he was in time only to cover the retreat of the battered and flying columns, and not to retrieve the fortunes of the day. The fire of the musketry had ceased by half after eight in the morning, but the artillery kept up their fire until about two o’clock in the afternoon. It is worthy of note that, from the flight of the first signal rocket of the British to the close of the contest, the New Orleans Band (stationed near the centre of the line, and not far from the spot where the monument now stands, and where the American standard was kept flying during the struggle), played incessantly, cheering the troops with national and military airs. The British, on the contrary, had no other musical instrument than a bugle, and as their columns advanced no drum was heard in their lines, nor even the stirring tones of the trumpet. From their first landing at the Fisherman’s Village, the experience of that army had been almost unbroken dreariness. 14


Let us now turn our attention to the movements on the right bank of the Mississippi.

We left Colonel Thornton and his men just debarked, after battling with the current of the Mississippi for some time. Morgan had sent forward his advance of less than three hundred men (one third of whom were Arnaud’s Louisiana militia) under Major Tessier, and the remainder, fatigued and poorly-armed Kentuckians under Colonel Davis, chosen from those sent over on the 7th by General Adair, were directed to take position on Mahew’s Canal, about a mile in advance of Morgan’s line, near which it was supposed the British would land. The line which this small force was expected to hold extended from the river to the swamp, a distance of a mile, and required at least a thousand men and several pieces of artillery to give it respectable strength. Davis’s troops were placed on the left, resting on the levee, and Tessier’s were on their right, extending to the swamp. Both watched vigilantly for signs of the coming of the invaders. Their vigilance was vain, for Thornton landed a mile below them under cover of three gun-boats under the command of Captain Roberts.

Pushing rapidly up the road, Thornton encountered Morgan’s advance, when he divided his superior force, sending a part to attack Tessier, while with the remainder, and aided by Roberts’s carronades, he assailed Davis. Both commands were soon put to flight, and fell back in confusion on Morgan’s line. Tessier’s men could not gain the road, and many of them took refuge in the swamps, where they suffered much for several hours.

When Thornton gained the open fields in front of Morgan’s line he extended his force, and with the sailors in column on the road, and the marines placed as a reserve, he advanced upon the American works under cover of a flight of rockets, and with the aid of Captain Roberts’s carronades. As the sailors rushed forward they were met by volleys of grape-shot from Philibert which made them recoil. Seeing this, Thornton dashed forward with the Eighty-fifth, and, handling the men with great skill and celerity, soon put the Kentuckians to flight, who ran in wild confusion, and could not be rallied. Following up this advantage, Thornton soon drove the Louisianians from the intrenchments, and gained possession of Morgan’s line after that general had spiked his cannon and cast them into the river. He next made for Patterson’s battery, three hundred yards in the rear. Its guns, which had been playing effectually on the British in front of Jackson’s lines, were now trailed on the nearer foe on the river road. But Patterson, threatened by a flank movement, was compelled to give way; so he spiked his guns, and fled on board the Louisiana, while his sailors assisted in getting her into the stream, out of the reach of the enemy.

A large number of the troops were rallied and formed on the bank of the Boisgervais Canal, and prepared to make a stand there. But the British did not advance beyond Patterson’s battery. There Thornton was informed of the terrible disasters on the opposite side of the river, and soon afterward received orders from General Lambert to rejoin the main army. Jackson, in the mean time having heard of Morgan’s disaster, sent over General Humbert (a gallant Frenchman who was acting as a volunteer) with four hundred men to re-enforce him. Their services were not needed. Thornton had withdrawn, and at twilight re-embarked his troops. That night the Americans repossessed their works, and before morning Patterson had restored his battery in a better position, and announced the fact to Jackson at dawn by discharges of heavy cannon at the British outposts at Bienvenu’s. 16

After the conflict had ceased, Jackson, accompanied by his staff, passed slowly along his whole line, addressing words of congratulation and praise to the officers and men every where. Then the band struck up "Hail, Columbia," and cheer after cheer for the hero went up from every part of the line. These were echoed from the lips of excited citizens who had been watching the battle at a distance with the greatest anxiety. Then the soldiers, after partaking of some refreshments, turned to the performance of the sad duty of caring for the wounded and the bodies of the dead, which thickly strewed the plain of Chalmette for a quarter of a mile back from the front of Jackson’s lines. These were the maimed and slain of the British army. No less than twenty-six hundred were lost to the enemy in that terrible battle, of whom seven hundred were killed, fourteen hundred were wounded, and five hundred were made prisoners. The Americans lost only eight killed and thirteen wounded! The history of human warfare presents no parallel to this disparity in loss. The Americans were thoroughly protected by their breastworks, while the British fought in front of them on an open level plain.

After the battle General Lambert sent a flag of truce asking for an armistice in order to bury his dead. Jackson granted it on the condition that it should not be extended to operations on the right bank of the river. The result of this exception was, as we have observed, the immediate withdrawal of Thornton from Morgan’s line. On the following morning detachments from both armies were drawn up three hundred yards in front of the American lines, when the dead bodies between that point and the intrenchments were carried and delivered to the British by the Kentuckians and Tennesseeans on the very scaling-ladders left by the enemy when driven back. The British then carried their dead to a designated spot on Bienvenu’s plantation which had been marked out as the cemetery of "the Army of Louisiana." There they were buried, and to this day that consecrated "God’s Acre" has never been disturbed. It is distinguished in the landscape by a grove of small cypress-trees, and is a spot regarded with superstitious awe by the negroes in that neighborhood. The wounded, who were made prisoners, were carefully conveyed to New Orleans, where they were placed in the barracks, and tenderly cared for by the citizens.


The bodies of the dead British officers were carried to Villeré’s, the head-quarters, in whose garden some of them were buried by torchlight that night with solemn ceremonies. Those of Pakenham, Gibbs, Rennie, and one or two other officers, were disemboweled, placed in casks of rum, and sent to their friends in England. Their viscera were buried beneath a stately pecan-tree, which, with another quite as stately, seen in the annexed sketch, was yet standing in vigorous health on the lawn a few yards from Villeré’s house when the writer sketched the two in April, 1861. It is said to be a notable fact that this tree, fruitful before its branches were made to overshadow the remains of the invaders, has been barren ever since. The tree nearest the figure of the man is the historic one.

While the armies were burying their dead on the field of strife, a portion of the British were seeking to secure the free navigation of the Mississippi below New Orleans for themselves by capturing Fort St. Philip, at a bend of the stream seventy or eighty miles below the city in a direct line, and which was considered by both parties as the key of Louisiana. It contained at that time a garrison of three hundred and sixty-six men, under Major Overton, 17 of the Rifle corps, and the crew of a gunboat which had been warped into the bayou at its side. On the morning of the 9th, at about the time when disposition was being made of the British dead in front of Jackson’s lines, a little squadron of five hostile vessels appeared near the fort. They consisted of a sloop of war, a gun-brig, and a schooner (Herald, Sophia, and Tender), and two bomb vessels. They anchored out of range of the heavy guns of the fort, the bomb vessels with their broadsides toward St. Philip. At three o’clock in the afternoon they opened fire, and, finding they had the range of the fort, continued the bombardment, with little interruption, until daybreak of the 18th, casting more than a thousand shells, with the expenditure of twenty thousand pounds of powder, besides many round and grape shot. For nine days the Americans were in their battery (five days without shelter), exposed to cold rain part of the time. The proceeds of this expenditure secured by the British consisted of two Americans killed and seven wounded. The assailants withdrew on the 18th without gaining either the fort, spoils, or glory. 18

On the 18th of January, in accordance with an arrangement made the previous day, a general exchange of prisoners took place; and on the 19th the British, under Lambert, were wholly withdrawn from the Mississippi, having stolen noiselessly away under cover of darkness the previous night. They reached Lake Borgne at dawn on the 19th, but they were yet sixty miles from their fleet, exposed to quite keen wintry air, and considerably annoyed by mounted men under Colonel De la Ronde, who hung upon their rear. There they remained until the 27th, when they embarked, and two days afterward reached the fleet in the deep water between Cat and Ship Islands. The vigilant Jackson, in the mean time, had made such disposition of his forces as to guard every approach to the city, for he thought the foiled enemy, enraged by disappointment, might attempt to strike a sudden blow at some other quarter.

When the British departed from the vicinity of New Orleans they proceeded to invest Fort Bowyer [February 9, 1815.], yet in command of Major Lawrence. 19 They besieged it for nearly two days, when the gallant Lawrence was compelled to surrender [February 12.] to a superior force. Mobile was then at the mercy of the foe; but their farther conquests were arrested by news of peace, brought directly to General Lambert by a ship sent from England for the purpose.

On the 21st of January, Jackson, with the main body of his army, entered New Orleans. They were met in the suburbs by almost the entire population of all ages and sexes, who greeted the victors as their saviors; and they entered the town in triumphal procession, with far more honest pride than ever swelled the bosoms of victorious conquerors or emperors of other centuries of time. 20


The news of the gallant defense of New Orleans produced a thrill of intense joy throughout the land. State Legislatures and other public bodies thanked the hero who commanded the victorious little army. A small medal was struck and extensively circulated among the people. Congress voted him the thanks of the nation, and ordered a commemorative gold medal to be given him.

Although no one supposed the British would return, Jackson, like a true soldier, did not relax his vigilance and discipline. Martial law was rigorously maintained after rumors of peace reached New Orleans through seemingly reliable sources. He did not feel bound to be governed by rumors. He retained all the troops; kept up the regular discipline of the camp; made drafts and bills of exchange on his government as usual for funds to prosecute hostilities (a fac-simile of one of which is given in the annexed engraving), and in every way acted as if war was in full career. Finally a messenger arrived from Washington [March 6, 1815.] with an official announcement of peace. Jackson was then involved in a contention with the civil authorities. This culminated in great public excitement. 22 It soon ended, and on the 30th of March the "Hero of New Orleans," as Jackson was ever afterward called, departed from that city for his humble home in Tennessee, a log house in the forest.

I visited the theatre of war around New Orleans, with a young kinswoman as a traveling companion, in the month of April, 1861. We left New York on the 28th of March for Baltimore, from which city we passed over the Baltimore and Ohio Railway to Parkersburg, in Virginia, on the Ohio River, stopping over night at Harper’s Ferry, where, three weeks later, the torch of civil war, then just lighted, made sad devastation. We crossed the Ohio River at Parkersburg, and journeyed by railway to Cincinnati. There we again crossed that stream to Covington, and traveled southward through a beautiful region of Kentucky to Lexington, where we tarried a day and a night.


We rode out to Ashland, the residence of Henry Clay, a short distance from the town, for the purpose of seeing the dwelling-place of that eminent man for many years before his death, and tendering our respects to his venerable widow, then residing there. We were met by disappointment. The venerated mansion had been demolished by a son of the statesman (James B. Clay), and upon its site stood a pretentious brick dwelling – so pretentious that persons living long distances from it went to see it. Mrs. Clay was too feeble to receive strangers, 23 and after a brief interview with the proprietor of the estate we turned with sadness from the shadows of the grand old trees under which the former master delighted to loiter in his retirement from public life. It is to be regretted that his son did not comply with the desires of the people of Kentucky that the mansion at Ashland should belong to that state, and be preserved as a perpetual memorial of her honored son.


We returned to Lexington, and rode out to the public cemetery wherein lie the remains of Henry Clay and his family, and where, on the verge of a plain, stands a beautiful monument (a sketch of which is given on the next page) erected to the memory of the statesman. His body was laid by the side of the remains of his mother, in the western part of the cemetery; and not far from them were the grave and modest little monument of General Thomas Bodley (see preceding page), who was the deputy quartermaster general to the Kentucky Volunteers under General Harrison in 1813, with the rank of major.


From Lexington we journeyed by railway through the rich "blue-grass region" to Frankfort, the capital of the state. It is on the Kentucky River, and is the centre of a theatre of romantic events in the early history of Kentucky, in which Daniel Boone and his companions were so conspicuous. There we were favored with the company and kind offices of General Leslie Combs, whose gallant services in the War of 1812 are recorded in this volume.


With him we visited the Frankfort Cemetery, on the high right bank of the Kentucky River, a short distance from the city, where, side by side, under the shadows of magnificent sycamore-trees that stood there when the pioneers were fighting the Indians, were the graves of Daniel Boone and his wife, with nothing to mark their place of sepulchre but little mounds covered with green grass and wild flowers of the woods. 26 Not far from these humble graves we found the fine monument erected to the memory of Colonel Richard M. Johnson, delineated on page 496; and in its vicinity stands a lofty and elegant white marble shaft, upon a rich pedestal, and with more elaborated surmountings, that was erected by the State of Kentucky in commemoration of its deceased soldiers who had served in any war. 27


We spent much of the day in that "city of the dead," and on the following morning went by railway to Louisville, at the "Falls of the Ohio," so often spoken of by the early voyagers on that stream. Thence we traveled by the same means to Nashville, on the Cumberland River, where we spent the Sabbath, and on Monday rode out to the "Hermitage," the home of Andrew Jackson, 28 about twelve miles from the city. It was a spacious brick mansion, built in 1835, after the earlier one was burned. There we were hospitably entertained by Mrs. Jackson, wife of the adopted son of the President, who permitted me to copy from the original the portrait of General Coffee seen on page 759. There we saw two of the general’s old house-servants – Aaron and Hannah – the former nearly eighty, and the latter almost seventy years of age. Hannah went with us to the tomb of the patriot in the garden, where I made the sketch seen on page 1055. She gave us many interesting incidents of the latter days of her old master, and pointed to two thrifty willows near the tomb which she saw him plant with his own hand a few evenings after his wife was buried there.



On our return to Nashville toward evening, I passed an hour with the late venerable Dr. Felix Robertson, a portrait of whom is given on the next page, whose resemblance to Jackson was very remarkable. He was the son of General James Robertson (see page 747), and was the first white child born on the site of Nashville, his mother then being in the little log fort there. On the following morning we departed by railroad for New Orleans, going by way of Decatur, in Northern Alabama, then westward to Grand Junction, and then southward to the "Crescent City." We arrived in New Orleans at noon on the 11th of April, took rooms at the St. Charles, and remained there nearly a week, visiting places of historic interest in and around the city, and gathering materials, by the use of pen and pencil, for the narrative of the events of the war there, given in this and the preceding chapter.


For much information, and for facilities for acquiring more, I am greatly indebted to the kindness of Judge Walker, author of Jackson and New Orleans; the late General H. W. Palfrey, who was a participant in the battle; and especially to Alfred Henner, Esq. (a leading lawyer in New Orleans), who was one of Jackson’s mounted life-guard, and was engaged in active and perilous duty on the memorable 8th of January, 1815. 29 It was chiefly under the direction of Mr. Henner that we found the various localities of interest in the city and its suburbs.

On the morning after our arrival [April 12, 1861.] we rode down to the battle-ground in a pleasant barouche. General Palfrey had made arrangements to accompany us, but on that morning news had arrived of the attack of insurgents on Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, and he was too busy with public matters to go with us. That outbreak of the Great Rebellion absorbed all minds. Our driver had been over the battle-ground often, and was a competent guide, so we rode down alone along the Levee, the water in the brimful Mississippi being quite four feet higher than our roadway, with only twenty-five feet thickness of earth between us and the flood. It was a clear and very warm day. The gardens were full of blooming roses, and the orange hedges around them were bright with the golden fruit.


We were kindly entertained by Madame Macarté, at Jackson’s head-quarters, 30 and we found a cordial welcome at the Villeré mansion by the family of the grandson of Governor Villeré, where we were regaled with orange sherbet and the delicious elfe, or Japan plum, trees of which, full of the fruit, formed a grove near the house. 31 After making drawings of that mansion, the pecan-trees, 32 and the dwellings of Lacoste 33 and De la Ronde, 34 we returned to Macarté’s, and while seated on the base of the monument there, 35 at a little past two o’clock, sketching the plain of Chalmette, 36 we heard some discharges of cannon at the city. "Fort Sumter is doubtless gone," I said to my companion. So it was. The news had reached the city at that hour, and these cannon were expressing the joy of the secessionists of New Orleans. On our return we found the city alive with excitement; and during our stay there, a few days longer, and on our journey northward to the Ohio River, we saw the uprising of the insurgents in the slave-labor states at the beginning of the Civil War. After crossing the Ohio River and journeying eastward through Ohio State, over the Alleghany Mountains, and through Pennsylvania and New Jersey to New York [May 1, 1861.], we saw the more marvelous uprising of the loyal people, with a determination to suppress the rebellion. The whole country, whether on the mountain tops or in the valleys, seemed iridescent, for the national flag, with its "red, white, and blue," was every where seen. 37

We have observed that, very soon after the battle of the 8th of January, 1815, near New Orleans, rumors reached that city that peace had been concluded between the United States and Great Britain, and that an official notification of such action was speedily given to General Jackson. It was a consummation ardently desired by the Americans. They had taken up arms most reluctantly, after the gravest provocations, and only in defense of the independence of the nation. From the beginning of the war they were anxious for a reconciliation with Great Britain on honorable terms; and we have observed (page 470) with what eagerness the President, at an early period of the war, acted upon a proposition for the mediation of the Emperor of Russia to that end, by appointing James A. Bayard and Albert Gallatin commissioners to act with John Quincy Adams, 38 then American embassador at St. Petersburg, in negotiating a treaty of peace.


The British government refused to treat under the mediation of Russia, but offered to open negotiations in London, or in Gottenburg, in Sweden. The President accepted the proposition, and chose the latter place for the meeting. The ancient city of Ghent, in Southern Netherlands (now in Belgium), was afterward substituted. 39 There the American commissioners assembled in the summer of 1814.


These consisted of John Quincy Adams, James A. Bayard, 40 Henry Clay, 41 Jonathan Russell, and Albert Gallatin. 42 There they were joined [August 6, 1814.] by the British commissioners, Lord Gambier, Henry Goulburn, and William Adams; and Christopher Hughes, Jr., one of the most attractive of men in social life, and a diplomat without a rival, who was then our chargé d’affaires at Stockholm, was appointed secretary to the American commissioners.


Negotiations were speedily opened, when a wide difference in the views of the commissioners of the respective nations threatened the most formidable obstructions to agreement. At times it seemed as if the effort to negotiate a treaty would be fruitless. The discussions continued several months. The leading citizens of Ghent (whose sympathies were with the Americans) 43 took great interest in the matter, and mingled their rejoicings. with the commissioners when their work was ended. 44 That result was reached on the 24th of December, 1814, when a treaty was signed by the respective commissioners. 45 It was immediately transmitted to London by the hands of Mr. Baker, secretary to Lord Gambier, and Mr. Carroll, one of the secretaries of the American commissioners.

There it was ratified on the 28th of the same month by the Prince Regent, and then sent to America by the same messengers. They sailed in the British sloop of war Favorite on the 2d of January, 1815. She arrived at New York on the evening of Saturday, the 11th of February. Mr. Hughes left Ghent with a copy of the treaty at the same time the other messengers did, proceeded to the Texel, and there embarked for the Chesapeake in the schooner Transit.

She arrived at Annapolis two days after the Favorite reached New York, and Mr. Hughes 46 was at Washington City with his copy of the treaty before the ratified copy arrived there.

News of the arrival of the Favorite soon spread over the city. The glad tidings of peace which she brought were wholly unexpected, and produced the most intense satisfaction. No one inquired what were the terms of the treaty; it was enough to know that peace had been secured. The streets were soon filled with people, and a placard issued from one of the newspaper offices 47 and thrown out of the window, was eagerly caught up and read by the multitude, who made the night air vocal with huzzas. Cannon thundered, bells rang, and bonfires and illuminations lighted up the city until after midnight. Expresses were sent in various directions with the glad news. 48 The newspapers were filled on Monday morning [February 13, 1815.] with shipping advertisements and commercial announcements of every kind. Government stocks advanced, 49 and coin and merchandise rapidly declined. 50 There was joy all over the land, and especially along the whole maritime frontier. Banquets and illuminations marked the public satisfaction in towns and cities. 51 There were also great rejoicings in the Canadas because of the deliverance of the provinces from the terrors of invasion by which they had been disturbed for almost three years; and the British government, appreciating the loyalty of the inhabitants of those provinces, as manifested in their gallant defense of their territory during the war, caused a medal to be struck in testimony of its gratitude. 52


There was rejoicing also in Great Britain because of peace, especially among the manufacturing and mercantile classes, for it promised returning prosperity; and a medal was struck in commemoration of the great event, which bore upon one side the words, "TREATY OF PEACE AND AMITY BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, SIGNED AT GHENT DECEMBER 24, 1814," and upon the other a feminine figure standing on the segment of a globe, bearing the cornucopia of plenty, and holding in one hand the olive-branch of peace. Partly encircling the figure were the words, "ON THE EARTH PEACE, GOOD-WILL TO MEN."


Another medal commemorative of the treaty was struck, on one side of which was a feminine figure standing upon a shell in the midst of the ocean, with the olive-branch in one hand and rays of light emanating from the other. Partly inclosing the figure were the words, "PEACE SPREADS HER INFLUENCE O’ER THE ATLANTIC SHORE." On the other side was a dove surrounded with light, and descending toward a wreath of palm leaves inclosing the words "CONCORD BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA." A fine allegorical picture was painted and engraved in this country commemorative of the war and the treaty of peace, a copy of which is given on the next page. 53

The treaty of peace was ratified by the unanimous vote of the Senate of the United States on the 17th of February, 1815, and it was promulgated the next day by proclamation of President Madison. It did not, as the text of the treaty given in the Appendix shows, secure to the Americans that immunity from Search and Impressment for which they went to war, and for this reason it was pointed to exultingly by the Opposition as a proof of the wisdom of their prophecies, the patriotism of their course, and the truth of their declarations that the war was a failure – "waged to no end." 54 It by no means secured all that the Administration hoped for; yet, in addition to the boon of peace, it gave to the Americans advantages to be derived from a final settlement of boundaries and the exclusive right to the navigation of the Mississippi River, while it took from them the important privilege, which the mariners of New England had always enjoyed, of catching and curing fish on the shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 55 It also secured, in the interest of our common humanity, the co-operation of the two nations in efforts to suppress the inhuman and un-Christian traffic in slaves.

But far more important to this country and the world than the security of incidental advantages was the establishment, by the war, of the positive and permanent independence of the United States, and with it a guarantee to the posterities, of the perpetuation and growth of free institutions. Great Britain had been taught, by the lessons of the war, that the young republic, the offspring of her oppressions, 56 growing more lusty every hour, would no longer tolerate an insult, or suffer its sovereignty to be questioned without resenting the offense; and she was compelled to sign a bond, as it were, to keep the peace, in the form of an acknowledgment that she had, in that republic, a formidable rival for the supremacy of the seas, which she was bound to respect. Her aristocracy, as a rule, and the public writers in their interest, remained, as before, the bitter enemies of the Republic. They condemned the treaty because it yielded too much to what they were pleased to call the "insolent Yankees," 57 and omitted no opportunity to disparage and libel the American people and the American Republic. It was, perhaps, a natural exhibition of the weakness and selfishness of human nature. That Republic, with its free institutions and equality in acknowledged citizenship, was and is a perpetual menace against the existence of privileged classes, and a silent but potential champion of the rights of man enunciated in its prime political creed, that "all men are created equal." Hence it is that the privileged classes of the Old World are its natural enemies, and are willing to disparage its institutions and people in the estimation of the toiling millions who are struggling for the light and air of a better human existence.

When the treaty of peace was ratified, the government of the United States took measures immediately for the adjustment of national affairs in accordance with the new order of things. An appropriation was made for rebuilding the public edifices. 58 Plans were considered for the maintenance of the public credit and the extinguishment of the national debt, then amounting, in round numbers, to $120,000,000. The army was placed on a peace footing, and was reduced to 10,000 men, by which reduction about 1800 officers were compelled to leave the service. The navy was left where it stood, with an additional appropriation, for its gradual increase, of $200,000 annually for three years. The national vessels and privateers were drawn from the ocean as speedily as possible, 59 and prisoners in the hands of both parties were released as quickly as proper arrangements could be made for their enlargement.

In connection with the release of captives, a circumstance occurred at a dépôt for prisoners in England which caused great exasperation on the part of the American people. That dépôt was situated on Dartmoor, a desolate region in Devonshire, where it was constructed in 1809 for the confinement of French prisoners of war. It comprised thirty acres, inclosed within double walls, with seven distinct prison-houses, with inclosures. At the time of the ratification of the treaty of peace, there were about six thousand American prisoners there, including twenty-five hundred impressed American seamen, who had refused to fight in the British Navy against their countrymen, and were there when the war broke out in 1812. Some had been there ten or eleven years. The place was in charge of Captain T. G. Shortland, with a military guard. That officer was charged with much unfeeling conduct toward the prisoners, accounts of which reached America, from time to time, and produced great irritation in the public mind.


There was much delay in the release of the Dartmoor prisoners. It was nearly three months after the treaty of peace had been signed before they were permitted to know the fact. From that time [March 20, 1815.] they were in daily expectation of release. Delay caused uneasiness and impatience, and there was evidently a disposition to attempt an escape. Symptoms of insubordination appeared on the 4th of April, when the prisoners demanded bread instead of hard biscuit, and refused to receive the latter. On the evening of the 6th [April.], so reluctantly did the prisoners obey orders to retire to their quarters, that, when some of them, with the appearance of mutinous intentions, not only refused to retire, but passed beyond the prescribed limits of their confinement, they were fired upon, by orders of Captain Shortland, for the purpose of intimidating all. This firing was followed up by the soldiers without the shadow of an excuse, according to an impartial report made by a commission appointed to investigate the matter. 61 Five prisoners were killed and thirty-three were wounded. The act of the soldiers was regarded by the Americans as a wanton massacre; and when the British authorities pronounced the act "justifiable homicide," the hottest indignation was excited. But Time, the great healer, has interposed its balm, and the event appears in history as one of the inevitable cruelties of ever-cruel war.

At the close of the SECOND WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE, the events of which are recorded in this volume, our Republic had achieved, as we have observed, the most important of all its triumphs, and was still wealthy with the fruits of a wonderful progress in the space of twenty-five years since its nativity. 62 It then started afresh upon a grand career of prosperity, with marvelous resources developed and undeveloped – known and unknown. The rulers and privileged classes in other lands persisted in calling it an experiment, and were ever prophesying the failure of the republican principle in government, of which it was a notable example. Recent events have silenced all cavil, and dispelled all doubts on that point.

Fifty years after the close of its last struggle for independence, our Republic emerged [1865.] from the fiery furnace of a Civil War unparalleled in proportions and operations hitherto, purified and strengthened by the ordeal. The most skeptical observer of that trial and its results can no longer consider our Government an experiment. It is a demonstration. Its history is an affirmative answer to the question whether republican institutions have elements of vitality and power sufficient for the demands of every exigency of national life. Henceforth it will stand before the nations a trusted oracle for the guidance and encouragement of all aspirants in other lands for the privileges of free thought and action.



1 This is from a sketch made by the author in April, 1861.

2 The common impression that Jackson’s breastworks were constructed chiefly of cotton bales is an erroneous one. A few were used at the end next the river, but they were not useful, and were rejected.

3 See page 1029.

4 This is from a sketch made by the author in April, 1861.

5 This is from a sketch made by the author in April, 1861 {original text has "1860".}, from the foot of the shaft of the unfinished monument, near Jackson’s head-quarters and line of intrenchments. This shows the principal field on which the battles in December and January, 1815, were fought. The plain is a dead level. In the distance is seen the line of the swamp which flanked both armies.

6 The forlorn condition of these troops, as a body, was such that Jackson was at a loss to determine whether their presence should be considered fortunate or unfortunate for the cause. They had come with the erroneous belief that an ample supply of arms and clothing would be furnished them at New Orleans, and a large number of them were sadly deficient in these. Of the seven hundred sent to the front, only five hundred had weapons of any kind. The commiseration of the citizens was excited, and by an appropriation by the Legislature and the liberal gifts of the citizens the sum of sixteen thousand dollars was speedily raised, with which goods were purchased and placed in the willing hands of the women of New Orleans. within a week these were converted by them into blankets, garments, and bedding. The men constituted excellent raw material for soldiers, and they were very soon prepared for efficient service.

7 This is a view of the choked canal at the wood that skirts the levee, sketched by the author in April, 1861. There is a lane, near the end of which stands the unfinished monument to be erected in commemoration of the battles here fought and the victory won by the Americans. The partly-finished shaft is seen on the left. It is made entirely of marble from Westchester County, New York, and is to be one hundred and fifty feet in height. It is erected by the State of Louisiana.

8 Jean B. Plauché was a native of New Orleans, and was born there when it was a Spanish colony. He was a French Creole, and through life bore the character of one of the most esteemed citizens of New Orleans. After the war he resumed his vocation as merchant. He generally declined public offices, yet he was induced to take that of Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana.


He died in January, 1860, and in an elegant temple-shaped tomb in St. Louis Cemetery in New Orleans his remains rest. The annexed picture of the tomb is from a sketch made by the author in April, 1861. It is built of white marble, with black inscription tablets in front. On one of these is the following: "Général J. B. PLAUCHÉ, né à la Nouvelle Orléans le 28 janvier, 1785, décédé le 2 janvier, 1860. En 1814-’15 major commandant le bataillon d’Orléans. En 1850 lieutenant gouverneur de l’etat de Louisiane. Homme vertueux, bon père et bon citoyen, il a bien mérité de sa patrie et legue à sa famille un nom honorable."


In the same cemetery, and not far from the tomb of the Plauché family, was that of Dominique You, mentioned in these pages as a noble defender of New Orleans. On his tomb, made of brick and stuccoed, the writer found the following inscription written on a clouded marble slab: "DOMINIQUE YOU. Intrépide guerrier sur la terre et sur l’onde, il sut dans cent combats signaler sa valeur; et ce nouveau Bayard, sans reproche et sans peur, aurait pu, sans trembler, voir s’écrouler le monde."

9 William Carroll was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1778. In 1813 he became inspector general of the Tennessee Militia and volunteers under Jackson. He was commissioned a colonel, and served with distinction in the war with the Creek Indians. He left the service at the close of the war. He was Governor of Tennessee from 1821 to 1827, and from 1830 to 1835. He died on the 22d of March, 1844.

10 John Coffee was a native of Nottaway County, Virginia, and entered the military service under Jackson in 1812. He was active with him in the Creek War, and in the attack on Pensacola in the autumn of 1814. He was distinguished in the battles near New Orleans. In March, 1817, he was appointed surveyor of public lands. He died near Florence, in Alabama, on the 7th of July, 1844.

11 John Adair was born in South Carolina in 1757, and entered the military service under General St. Clair. He served under Wilkinson in the Northwest, and was lieutenant colonel in Scott’s division in 1793. He was for two years United States Senator from Kentucky, where he had made his home. He was volunteer aid to Governor Shelby in the battle of the Thames, and in 1814 was brigadier general of Kentucky militia. He left the service at the close of the war. He was Governor of Kentucky from 1820 to 1824, and representative in Congress from 1831 to 1833. He died at Harrodsburg, Kentucky, on the 19th of May, 1840.

12 See page 952.

13 See page 951.

14 Latour says it was reported that there were divisions in the councils of the British officers concerning the point of attack, and that Admiral Cochrane, with a feeling of contempt for the American militia, declared he would undertake to storm Jackson’s lines with two thousand sailors, armed only with swords and pistols. This confidence in the invincibility of the British on this occasion contributed largely to their disaster.

15 This monument, between the site of Jackson’s lines and his head-quarters (Macarté’s), was unfinished when the writer visited the spot in April, 1861. Work upon it had then ceased. The stones had been laid to the height of about seventy feet. See note 1, page 1042.

16 The loss of the British on this occasion, in killed and wounded, was a little more than one hundred. The Americans lost one man killed and five wounded. On that side of the Mississippi the British acquired their sole trophy during their efforts to capture New Orleans. It was a small flag, and now [1867] hangs conspicuously among other war trophies in Whitehall, London, with the inscription, "Taken at the battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815."

17 Walter H. Overton, of Tennessee, entered the army in 1808, and was commissioned a major in February, 1814. For his gallantry in defending Fort St. Philip he was breveted lieutenant colonel. He resigned in 1815. He was a member of Congress from Louisiana from 1829 to 1831.

18 The chief sources from which the materials for the account of the battles near New Orleans were drawn were the official reports of the officers engaged in them; Latour’s Memoir of the War in West Florida and Louisiana; Judge Walker’s Jackson and New Orleans; the several histories of the war of 1812; and numerous statements to the author, oral and written, by actors in the scenes.

19 See page 1021.

20 Two days afterward [January 22.] New Orleans was the theatre of a most imposing spectacle. At the request of Jackson, the Abbé Du Bourg, Apostolic Prefect for Louisiana, appointed that a day for the public offering of thanks to Almighty God for his interposition in behalf of the American people and nationality. The dawn was greeted by the booming of cannon. It was a bright and beautiful winter morning on the verge of the tropics. The religious ceremonies were to be held in the old Spanish Cathedral, which was decorated with evergreens for the occasion.


In the centre of the public square, in front of the Cathedral, where the equestrian statue of Jackson now stands, was erected a temporary triumphal arch, supported by six Corinthian columns, and festooned with flowers and evergreens. Beneath the arch stood two beautiful little girls, each upon a pedestal, and holding in her hand a civic crown of laurel. Near them stood two damsels, one personifying Liberty and the other Justice. From the arch to the church, arranged in two rows, stood beautiful girls, all dressed in white, and each covered with a blue gauze veil and bearing a silver star on her brow. These personified the several States and Territories of the Union. Each carried a flag with the name of the state which she represented, upon it. Each also carried a small basket trimmed with blue ribbon and filled with flowers; and behind each was a lance stuck in the ground bearing a shield on which was inscribed the name and legend of the state or territory which she represented. These were linked by evergreen festoons that extended from the arch to the door of the Cathedral. At the appointed time, General Jackson, accompanied by the officers of his staff, passed through the gate of the Grand {original text has "Crand".} Square fronting the river, amid the roar of artillery, and was conducted between lines of Plauché’s New Orleans battalion of Creoles (which extended from the gate to the church) to the raised floor of the arch. As he stepped upon it the two little girls leaned gently forward and placed the laurel crown upon his head. At the same moment a charming Creole girl (Miss Kerr), as the representative of Louisiana, stepped forward, and with modesty supreme in voice and manner addressed a few congratulatory words to the chief, eloquent with expressions of the most profound gratitude. To these words Jackson made a brief reply, and then passed on toward the church, his pathway strewn with flowers by the sweet representatives of the states.

At the Cathedral entrance the honored hero was met by the Abbé Du Bourg in his pontifical robes, and supported by a college of priests in their sacerdotal garments. The abbé addressed the general with eloquent and patriotic discourse, after which the chief was conducted to a conspicuous seat near the great altar, when the Te Deum Laudamus was chanted by the choir and people. When the imposing pageant was over, the general retired to his quarters to resume the stern duties of a soldier; and that night the city of New Orleans blazed with a general illumination.

21 On one side of the medal is a profile of the bust of Jackson, and on the other a figure of Victory seated, supporting a tablet before her with her left hand, in which is also a laurel wreath. She is making a record of the triumph on the 8th of January. She has written the word "Orleans," when she is interrupted by another figure, personating Peace, who holds an olive-branch in her right hand. With her left she points to the tablet, as if directing Victory to record the peace which had already been agreed upon by the belligerents. Victory is in the act of listening. The inscriptions on the medal are simple – "MAJOR GENERAL ANDREW JACKSON. BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS, JANUARY 8, 1815. RESOLUTION OF CONGRESS, FEBRUARY 27, 1815."

22 The story of Jackson’s difficulties with the civil authorities maybe told in a few words. In the Legislature of Louisiana was a powerful faction personally opposed to Jackson – so powerful that, when the officers and troops were thanked by that body on the 2d of February, the name of their chief leader was omitted. This conduct highly incensed the people. Their indignation was intensified by a seditious publication, put forth by one of the members of the Legislature, which was calculated to produce disaffection in the army. This was a public matter, and Jackson felt bound to notice it. He ordered the arrest of the author, and his trial by martial law.

Judge Dominic A. Hall, of the Supreme Court of the United States, issued a writ of habeas corpus in favor of the offender. Jackson considered this a violation of martial law, and ordered the arrest of the judge and his expulsion beyond the limits of the city. The judge, in turn, when the military law was revoked on the 13th of March, in consequence of the official proclamation of peace, required Jackson to appear before him and show cause why he should not be punished for contempt of court.


He cheerfully obeyed the summons, and entered the crowded court-room in the old Spanish-built court-house, 269 Royal Street, in citizen’s dress. He had almost reached the bar before he was recognized, when he was greeted with huzzas by a thousand voices. The Judge was alarmed, and hesitated. Jackson stepped upon a bench, procured silence, and then, turning to the trembling judge, said, "There is no danger here – there shall be none. The same hand that protected this city from outrage against the invaders of the country will shield and protect this court, or perish in the effort. Proceed with your sentence." With quivering lips the Judge pronounced him guilty of contempt of court, and fined him a thousand dollars. The act was greeted by a storm of hisses. Jackson immediately drew a check for the amount, handed it to the marshal, and then made his way for the court-house door. The excitement of the people was intense. They lifted Jackson upon their shoulders, bore him to the street, and then the immense crowd sent up a shout that blanched the cheeks of Judge Hall, and gave evidence of the unbounded popularity of the heroic soldier who was so prompt In his obedience to the mandates of the civil law. He was placed in a carriage, from which the people released the horses and dragged it themselves to Maspero’s house, where he addressed the populace, urging them to show their appreciation of the blessings of liberty and free government by a willing submission to the authorities of their country. In the mean time a thousand dollars had been collected by voluntary subscriptions and placed to his credit in a bank. Jackson politely refused to accept it, and begged his friends to distribute it among the relatives of those who had fallen in the late battles. Nearly thirty years afterward Congress refunded [1843.] the sum, with interest, amounting in all to two thousand seven hundred dollars.

Andrew Jackson was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, on the 15th of March, 1767. He was designed by his mother for the Christian ministry, but his studies were interrupted by the old War for Independence, whose tumults were loud in the region where the boy resided, his home then being in the northern part of South Carolina. He went into the service a mere lad, and was made a prisoner in 1781. His mother, his only surviving parent, died at that time, and he was left alone. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1786. He settled in Tennessee, and at Nashville, which he made his home in 1790, he was married to an excellent woman. In 1795 he assisted in forming a State Constitution for Tennessee. He was the first-elected Congressman from that state, and represented it in the Senate of the United States in 1797. He was soon appointed Judge of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, and for many years he was chief military commander in that section. His services in the War of 1812 are recorded in this volume. He remained in the service some time after the war. In 1821 he was appointed Governor of the Territory of Florida, and in 1824 he was an unsuccessful candidate for president of the Republic. He was elected to that office in 1828, and served two consecutive terms. In 1837 he retired from public life forever, and passed the remainder of his days at the "Hermitage" (see page 1016), where he died on the 8th of June, 1845.


Beneath the roof of a little temple-like structure in the garden of the "Hermitage" rested the remains of General Jackson, by the side of those of his wife, when the author visited the place in the spring of 1861.

23 Mrs. Lucretia Hart Clay was the daughter of Colonel Hart, of Lexington, and sister of Captain Hart, who was killed at Frenchtown (see page 359), on the Raisin River. Mrs. Clay had eleven children, of whom only three now (1867) survive. She died at the residence of her son, John M., near Lexington, on the evening of the 6th of April, 1864, at the age of eighty-three years.

24 The slab bears these few words: "General THOMAS BODLEY. Born 4th July, 1772. Died 11th June, 1833,"

25 This monument is of white marble. It is composed of an Egyptian cenotaph, upon which stands a Corinthian capital bearing a statue of the statesman.

26 These graves were near the steep bank of the river, which the Indians in Boone’s time called Kain-tuck-ee. The bank was here about one hundred and fifty feet in height. Near the graves and covering a slope were stumps, stones, shrubbery, and vines, purposely left with rude aspect as appropriate to the resting-place of the remains of the pioneer. The tall shaft seen beyond the trees in the picture is that of the Soldiers’ Monument given on the next page.

27 This monument stands upon a mound. Upon the bands which are seen embracing the square shaft are the names of battles, and beneath each are the names of soldiers who fell in those battles. The shaft is a single piece of marble. Upon a tablet on the south front of the pedestal is a group in relief, composed of two feminine figures, one on each side of an altar. One, with an open book in her hand, represents History; the other, with a short Roman sword and olive wreath, represents Victory. The other hands of the two figures are employed in holding a wreath over the altar. At each corner of the top of the pedestal is an eagle. The shaft is surmounted with a figure of Fame, with arms extended, and holding a wreath in each hand.

28 See page 1017.

29 Captain Ogden was the commander of the Life-guard. The officers alone were uniformed. Mr. Henner was one of only three survivors of that guard at the time of my visit, the other two being Ex-Governor Henry Johnson and James Hopkins. He became a resident of New Orleans in 1809, when the city contained about 14,000 inhabitants. He was there in 1801, having been sent by his father on a flat-boat with the first bales of cotton ever taken to that city. He placed them in the Jesuits’ warehouse, on the site of the St. Charles Hotel, above Canal Street. It was in the fields outside of the palisades, which then occupied the line of the present broad Canal Street.

30 See page 1037.

31 See page 1029. This fruit grows in clusters like cherries, on trees about the size of cherry-trees, and averages the size given in the engraving at the head of the opposite page. Some are larger. When ripe it is of a yellow color, and is filled with a bountiful supply of delicious acid juice.

32 See page 1050.

33 See page 1031.

34 See page 1034.

35 See page 1048.

36 See page 1039.

37 See Lossing’s Pictorial Field-book of the Civil War, Chapter XIV., volume i.

38 John Quincy Adams was born at the homestead of his family at Quincy, Massachusetts, on the 11th of July, 1767. When only eleven years of age he accompanied his father to Europe, and was much in the society of diplomatists and other distinguished men. He received much of his education abroad, and when only fourteen years of age he was the private secretary of Mr. Dana, United States minister at St. Petersburg. He was graduated at Harvard University in July, 1787, and studied law and entered upon its practice in Boston. He took an active part in politics. In 1794 Washington appointed him resident minister in the Netherlands. He afterward held the same office in Portugal and Prussia. He returned to Boston in 1801, and was elected to a seat in the Massachusetts Senate. He was sent to the National Senate in 1803. In 1809 he was sent as minister to the Russian court, where he was a great favorite with the Emperor Alexander. He was at the head of the American commissioners in the negotiation of the treaty of peace at Ghent in 1814, and in 1815 he was appointed minister to the British court. He was appointed Secretary of State in 1817, in which office he remained until he took the chair of President of the United States in 1825. In 1831 he was elected a member of the National House of Representatives, which position he held by re-election until his death, which occurred in the Speaker’s Room at the Capitol on the 22d of February, 1848, in the eighty-first year of his age.

His last words were, "This is the end of earth." His remains were buried on the family estate at Quincy. In the accompanying picture are representations of the birthplace, the later residence, and the tomb of John Quincy Adams.

39 Ghent is the capital of the province of East Flanders, in Belgium; is situated at the confluence of the Scheldt and Lys, and is one of the most interesting localities in the ancient Netherlands.

40 James A. Bayard was born in Philadelphia on the 26th of July, 1767. He was graduated at Princeton in 1784, became a lawyer of eminence, and took a seat in Congress in 1797, to which he had been elected by the Federalists. He held that position until 1804, when he was elected to the National Senate, in which he became a leader. He was opposed to the War of 1812, but cheerfully acquiesced in the action of the majority. After assisting in the negotiation of the treaty of peace he went to Paris, where he became seriously ill. When he arrived in England, on his way home, he was met with the commission of minister to Russia. He declined the honor, hastened home, and five days after his arrival (August 6, 1815) he died.

41 Henry Clay (see page 211) was born near Hanover Court-house, in Virginia, on the 12th of April, 1777. He was educated in inferior district schools. He began the study of the law at the age of nineteen years, and at the age of twenty he was admitted to its practice. He went over the mountains into Kentucky, and settled at Lexington in 1799. With a display of remarkable talents, he entered upon the practice of his profession, and as a politician, with vigor. At that early period he worked for measures for the emancipation of the slaves, and through life was an advocate of the abolition of slavery in some form. He was chosen a member of the Kentucky Legislature in 1803, and was sent to the National Senate in 1806. He entered the House of Representatives as a member in 1811, and almost immediately afterward was elected its speaker. He remained in Congress, as a member of one branch or the other of that body (with the exception of four years, when he was John Quincy Adams’s Secretary of State, and a brief retirement thereafter), until his death, which occurred at Washington City on the 29th of June, 1852.

42 Albert Gallatin was born on the 29th of January, 1761, in the city of Geneva, Switzerland. He was graduated at the University of Geneva in 1779, came to America in 1780, and entered the military service in Maine. After the Revolution he was a tutor in Harvard College for a while, and finally settled in Western Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Convention to revise the Constitution of that state in 1789, and was elected to the State Legislature. He was chosen a member of the National Senate in 1793, but, being ineligible, he was elected a member of the other house, and became the Republican leader of it. Jefferson appointed him Secretary of the Treasury in 1801, which office he held until 1813, when he was sent to St. Petersburg as a commissioner to treat for peace.

His communications from Europe on public affairs at that time were mostly written in cipher, composed of numbers, of which (copied from one of them in the State Department at Washington) a fac-simile is here given from a letter dated at London, June 13, 1814. Each number represents a word or sentence, perfectly intelligible to a person with a key. Mr. Gallatin assisted in negotiating the treaty at Ghent. He remained in Europe, and from 1816 until 1823 he was our resident minister at the French court, and was employed in other diplomatic services. He declined offices of high honor at home, and remained abroad until 1828, when he returned to the United States, and fixed his residence in the city of New York, where he engaged in the business of banking. He took an active part in literary pursuits, and at the time of his death, which occurred at Astoria, Long Island, on the 12th of August, 1849, he was President of the New York Historical Society.

43 On the 27th of October, 1814, the Academy of Sciences and Fine Arts at Ghent invited the American commissioners to attend their exercises, when they were all elected honorary members of the Academy. A sumptuous dinner was given, at which the Intendant, or chief magistrate of Ghent, offered the following sentiment:

"Our distinguished guests and fellow-members, the American ministers – may they succeed in making an honorable peace to secure the liberty and independence of their country." The band then played "Hail, Columbia." The British commissioners were not present.

44 After the treaty was concluded the American commissioners gave a dinner to the British commissioners, at which Count H. Von Steinhuyse, the Intendant of the Department, was a guest. Sentiments of mutual friendship were offered. A few days afterward the Intendant gave an entertainment to the commissioners of both nations.

45 On the next two pages is a fac-simile of the last paragraph of the treaty, with the signatures of the respective commissioners, and representations of the seals set opposite their names. These were carefully copied by the writer from the original in the Department of State at Washington City. The impressions of all the seals on the red wax were imperfect, as the engravings represent them.

46 Mr. Hughes is represented as a man of very attractive personal appearance, exceedingly active in body and mind, and more widely known personally during his long residence in Europe than almost any other man. A writer, in speaking of him said, "He is the best known man in the world, from New York to Kamtschatka," and was remarkable for "saying more wise things, strange things, droll things, than ever tongue uttered or mind conceived." His personal popularity made him a most skillful diplomat. He obtained a knowledge of the most profound state secrets, John Quincy Adams said, "by no improper acts, and at no cost of secret service money, but by the art of making friends by his social qualities wherever he goes." – Adams’s speech in Congress, September 4, 1841. Mr. Hughes was a native of Baltimore, and was a brother-in-law of Colonel Armistead, the gallant defender of Fort M‘Henry. He died in Baltimore on the 18th of September, 1849.

47 It was issued from the office of the Mercantile Advertiser, on a slip of paper five by six inches in size, and was posted and scattered all over the city. The following is a copy of one of these placards, in the possession of John B. Moreau, Esq., of New York City:


"New York, Saturday Evening, 9 o’clock, February 11, 1815.


"The great and joyful news of PEACE between the United States and Great Britain reached this city this evening by the British sloop of war Favorite, the Hon. J. U. Mowatt, Esq., commander, in forty-two days from Plymouth.

"Henry Carroll, Esq., Secretary of the American Legation at Ghent, is the welcome bearer of the treaty, which was signed at Ghent on the 24th December by the respective commissioners, and ratified by the British government on the 28th December. Mr. Baker, late Secretary to the British Legation at Washington, has also arrived in the sloop of war with a copy of the treaty ratified by the British government."


48 Mr. Goodhue, an eminent merchant, sent an express at his own expense ($225) to Boston in thirty-six hours, which scattered the glad tidings along the way. Jacob Barker (see page 936) sent an express in like manner to Governor Tompkins at Albany in twenty-four hours. Mr. Carroll, on his way to Washington with a copy of the treaty, gave the first news of peace to Philadelphia. Hughes had already gladdened Baltimore with the tidings.

49 Six per cents rose from 76 to 86, and treasury notes from 92 to 98.

50 Coin, which was twenty-two per cent. premium, fell to two per cent. in the course of forty-eight hours. Within the same time sugar fell from $26 per cwt. to $12.50; tea from $2.25 per lb. to $1; tin from $80 a box to $25. These are mentioned, among scores of articles, as specimens of the sudden effect of the news on commercial values.

51 Philadelphia was the first to illuminate. It took place on Wednesday evening, the 15th of February. Robert Wharton, the mayor, in his proclamation concerning it, suggested that, as the religious principles of the Quakers would not permit them to illuminate, the police should see to it that they should be protected "in their peaceful rights." The mayor directed all the lights to be extinguished at ten o’clock. On that occasion brilliant lights were exhibited from the top of a shot-tower one hundred and sixty feet in height. The illumination in New York took place on the 22d of February. On the evening of the 16th of March a "superb ball," as the newspapers of the day said, was given at Washington Hall, the dancing-room of which was sixty by eighty feet in size. The "number of ladies and gentlemen was six hundred." The room was so arranged as to present the appearance of a beautiful pavilion, or temple, with eighteen pillars, on each of which was the name of a state. It was called the Temple of Concord. On one side of the room, under a canopy composed of flags, was the Bower of Peace, surrounded with orange and lemon trees covered with fruit. The Evening Post of the 21st of March said of the scene in the hall, "It was a picture of female beauty, fashion, and elegance not to be surpassed in any city in the Union." Among the most active women at this entertainment were those who composed the managers of the Association for the Relief of the Soldiers in the Field, formed in 1814. These consisted of Mrs. General Lewis, Mrs. William Few, Mrs. David Gelston, Mrs. Philip Livingston, Mrs. Colonel Laight, Mrs. Thomas Morris, Mrs. Marinus Willet, Mrs. William Ross, Mrs. Nathan Sanford, Mrs. Daniel Smith, Mrs. L. Bradish, Miss M. Bleecker, Miss H. Lewis, and Miss H. E. G. Bradish.

52 The device on one side of the medal is emblematic of the United States and Canada. On one side of a river and lake (St. Lawrence and the Lakes) is the eagle, representing the sovereignty of the republic, threatening to fly over into Canada, whose emblem is the beaver. There the British lion couchant is seen, emblematic of the protecting sovereignty of Great Britain. The device on the other side explains itself. The medal was made by Thomas Wyon, Jr., a young engraver, then only twenty-three years of age. He died in 1817, at the age of twenty-five years, when he was at the head of his profession. Copies of the three medals here mentioned are in the rare numismatic collection of Chas. I. Bushnell, Esq., of New York, to whose courtesy I am indebted for the privilege of having two of them engraved for this work.

53 This picture, entitled The Peace of Ghent, 1814, and Triumph of America, was drawn by William Plauton and engraved by Chataignier. It was published by P. Price, Jr., Philadelphia. The design is thus described: "Minerva represents the wisdom of the United States, Mercury their commerce, Hercules their force. Minerva dictates their conditions of peace, which Mercury presents to Britannia, and Hercules forces her to accept them. On the shield of Minerva are the names of those who signed the treaty; on the obelisk, those of the braves. On the other side America passes in triumph through the arch on her way to the Temple of Peace. She is attended by Victory, and followed by a numerous train. Several trophies are seen, and in the background are the ruins of the Capitol." Below the picture, in a circle composed of links, on each of which is the name of a state, is the following inscription: "Under the presidency of Madison. Monroe, Secretary of State."

54 The Opposition newspapers contained some well-pointed epigrams, keen satires, and genuine wit, aimed at the friends of the war, and in illustration of the shortcomings of the treaty; and there was also an abundance of coarse abuse poured out, through the same channels, upon the Administration. The usually dignified Evening Post had some severe criticisms, and justified the following stanza in its New Year’s Address, printed a few weeks before:

"Your commerce is wantonly lost,

Your treasures are wasted and gone;
You’ve fought to no end, but with millions of cost,
And for rivers of blood you’ve nothing to boast
But credit and nation undone."

55 The treaty provided for the appointment of commissioners, and such were the final results of their labors.

56 Half a century before (1765), when Charles Townshend, in an eloquent speech in the British House of Commons, spoke of the "ungrateful Americans" as "children planted by our care," Colonel Barré, in an indignant reply, exclaimed, "They planted by your care! No! your oppression planted them in America; they fled from your tyranny to a then uncultivated and inhospitable wilderness, exposed to all the hardships to which human nature is liable."

57 The London Public Advertiser, at that period, furnished many illustrations of the feeling against the treaty. The following will suffice:



"Wanted. – The spirit which animated the conduct of Elizabeth, Oliver, and William.

"Lost. – All idea of national dignity and honor.

"Found. – That every insignificant state may insult THAT which used to call herself MISTRESS OF THE SEAS."


58 The value of the public buildings destroyed was estimated as follows: The Capitol, original cost, alterations, etc., $787,163.28; President’s house, including all costs, $334,334; public offices, Treasury, State, War, and Navy, $9,613.82; making a total of $1,215,111. The walls of the Capitol and of the President’s house (see pages 933 and 934) remained strong, and only needed repairs. It was estimated that $460,000 would restore them to their condition before the fire. No estimate was made of the value of the public library that was burned. The estimated cost of rebuilding the navy yard was $62,370. The value of property destroyed at that establishment was estimated at $609,174.04, of which $417,745. 51 was movable property. See page 934.

59 The whole number of British vessels of every class captured by Americans during the war was estimated at 1750. An official British return stated that, during the same time, British ships had captured and destroyed 1683 American vessels of every class, manned by upward of 18,000 seamen. See page 1007.

60 This is a careful copy of an engraving attached to a Journal of a Young Man of Massachusetts, late a Surgeon on board an American Privateer, who was a prisoner there at the time of the massacre, and an eye-witness of much of what he recorded. The following is a description of the picture: A. Surgeon’s House; B. Captain Shortland’s Quarters; C. hospital; D. Barracks; E. Cachot, or Black-hole; F, F, F. Guard-houses; G, G. Store-houses. The Arabic numerals refer to the numbers of the prisons as they were alluded to in narratives and official documents. The outward of the two encircling walls of stone (of which the prisons were built) was a mile in circumference. The inner wall was used as a military walk for the sentinels. Within this wall were iron palisades, ten feet in height. The guard was composed of a little more than two thousand well-disciplined militia, and two companies of Royal Artillery. The picture not only gives a bird’s-eye view of the post, but the position of the guards at the time they fired, and of the killed where they fell.

61 The American commissioners to negotiate the treaty of peace, then in London, appointed the late Charles King, president of Columbia College (then a young man, who was on a visit to England), a commissioner on the part of the Americans, and the British authorities appointed Francis Seymour Larpent to act with him.

62 John Bristed, in his admirable work on The Resources of the United States, published in 1818, gives the following summary of the real and personal capital, and the income of the people of the Republic, at about the time of the close of the war:

Real Property. – Public lands, 500,000,000 acres, at $2 an acre, $1,000,000,000; cultivated lands, 300,000,000 acres, at $10 an acre, $3,000,000,000; dwelling-houses of all kinds, $1,000,000,000. Total of real property, $5,000,000,000.

Personal Property. – Capital to the holders of government stocks, who were American citizens, $100,000,000; banking stocks, $100,000,000; slaves, 1,500,000, at $150 each, $225,000,000; shipping of all kinds, $225,000,000; money, farming stock and utensils, manufactures, household furniture and plate, carriages, and every other species of personal property not above enumerated, $1,550,000,000. Total of personal property, $2,200,000,000. Grand total of American capital, in real and personal property, $7,200,000,000.



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