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citizens who were not overwhelmed hope of doing so with success. For, with despondency; there was treach- intent upon increasing his forces to the ery to contend against. Disaffected numbers which he deemed necessary persons, foreigners, were in New Or- for making the stand he had determined leans, who discouraged the disposition on, General Jackson had admitted into (of itself faint enough) to resist the ap- his ranks the Baratarian pirates, of proach of the enemy; and, according to whom we have spoken above; and had the account furnished us by one of Jack- actually released and embodied the conson's biographers, communicated to the victs in the prison; from Lafitte, too, enemy every species of information he procured enough pistol flints to renwhich could aid the invaders, and be der the flintless muskets serviceable for injurious to our country. Add to this, a time; and every class of the comthat General Jackson was considerably munity received incessant and pressing worn down by disease; the city was intimations of what the indefatigable without fortifications; military stores commander expected of it, in aid of could not be obtained readily; the his important undertaking. troops had not yet arrived, and might It is not necessary here to dwell

upon be delayed still longer; and we have the many and valuable defences with something of a glimpse of the trials un which nature has surrounded New Or der which the defence of New Orleans leans against an attack from sea; its was to be conducted.

peculiar situation; the difficult navigaBefore he left Mobile, Jackson di- tion of its large river; the vast lagunes, rected Governor Claiborne to close, as with their intercommunicating creeks well as he could, the communications and channels; and the impassable between the Mississippi and the Lakes swamps which breed pestilence around Borgne and Ponchartrain. He issued it; each of these served as an obstacle à proclamation, summoning the free to the foe, and enabled Jackson to pro

people of color, “to embody vide against his approach. The banks

themselves and arm for the de- of the Mississippi were fortified, so as fence of the country, of which,” remarks to prevent the enemy's vessels from asIngersoll, “though inhabitants, they ending, and a battery was erected at were not, and never could be, citizens;" | the Rigolets, or pass leading from Lake and immediately on his arriving at New Borgne into Lake Ponchartrain, so as Orleans, he called, through the governor, to oppose

his
passage

in that direction. for large gangs

of slaves, the only work- A strong battery and a garrison were men to withstand the climate, that he placed at the mouth of the bayou St. might erect fortifications in the marshes. John, which forms the chief communiThese were furnished in greater num- cation from the city into Lake Poncharbers than he required; and gradually, train ; and a flotilla, consisting of five there was infused into the citizens of gunboats, a schooner, and a sloop, was New Orleans itself, at least, the resolu- stationed at the Bay of St. Louis, sixty

the
enemy,

if not the miles to the northeast of New Orleans,

;

1814.

tion to oppose

Ch. XII.]

JACKSON DECLARES MARTIAL LAW.

279

1814.

1814.

In the midst of the active prepara- of the state, and the governor put him. tions to meet the invaders, news reached self and his militia entirely at Jackson's the city, on the 9th of December, that disposal; fortifications rose here and the British squadron, consisting of thir- there; the general's eye seemed to be ty-five to forty sail, had appeared off on each part of the work, and all moved Ship Island, near the Bay of St. Louis. on rapidly towards completion; even Lieutenant Jones, the commander of the men of Tennessee and Kentucky,

the flotilla, in a day or two keen of sight, sure of aim, unequalled

found the enemy's force in- in combats where the rifle was the creasing to such a degree as to render weapon employed, were likely to arit incumbent on him to retire, and en- rive in season to take part in repelling deavor to oppose the entrance of the the invaders of the country. invaders into Lake Ponchartrain. On When the news of the destruction the 12th, the schooner Sea Horse, in of the gunboats first reached the city, the Bay of St. Louis, with public stores no little alarm was excited, and as the on board, finding it impossible to escape, way of access to New Orleans was now was set on fire and blown up. On the open to the enemy, there were not a morning of the 14th, the gunboats, few disposed to temporize, and while becalmed, were attacked, near even to propose to give up the the west end of the Malheureux Pass, vain attempt to resist the veterans of by more than forty barges of the en the peninsula, who were rapidly apemy, manned by over a thousand men; proaching in such large numbers. But and after a very sanguinary contest, Andrew Jackson was not the man to they were captured and destroyed. yield in a crisis of this kind. Finding There were now only two public vessels that the legislature were inert and inleft to dispute the passage of the Brit- effective, and believing it necessary ish

up the river; the Louisiana, sixteen, to the purpose he had in view in which had been bought, armed, and defending the city, he proclaimed, on manned at the last moment, by offers the 16th of December, the city and of special bounties, and the Carolina, environs of New Orleans under strict fourteen, commanded by Captain Pat- martial law. Its operation, we are told terson, who was the principal naval of- by Ingersoll, a great admirer of Jackficer at the port.

son,“ was instantly excellent. All the Admirable use was made of this ad- brave and patriotic thronged to Jackvance of the enemy, and his dearly son's banner. The whole of Louisiana bought victory, in destroying the gun- became at once one vast camp, animated hoats. Every measure of defence was by one superior spirit, controlled by his pushed on with redoubled speed and iron will. The genius and firmness of energy; thrilling addresses called the one man constrained the prejudices and brave to arms, and for a season made concentrated the energies of the entire all who read them courageous; a levy chaotic community. From heterogenewas ordered of the whole civic soldiery | ous, inert, discordant, and even traitore

1814.

ous materials, a mass of invincible force and four thousand Tennessee and Kenwas combined, which crushed a formi- tucky troops, arrived very opportunely, dable invasion.”

at New Orleans. Detachments of these This declaration of martial law, it troops were immediately posted in difmay well be believed, was, with Gen- ferent directions to guard the defences eral Jackson, no empty formality. Dis- of the city. On the same day, the first putes with the legislature rose even division of the British troops, under higher; honorable members could not General Keane, effected a landing in the be made to understand, that, at this midst of a huge wilderness of reeds beparticular juncture, the enemy coming side one arm of the Mississippi, and at every day nearer to the city, “ parlia- once advanced towards the city. mentary eloquence” was not the thing One party of this division sucneeded; but precisely that which Jack- ceeded in capturing the whole of the son could supply—adequate military most advanced American piquet, at the skill and daring. Much pressed to in mouth of the bayou Bienvenu, and thus form the Senate what his plans were— they were enabled to move forward he averred, that he would cut the hair without the least impediment. About off his head, if he thought it had di- noontime, having left the swamp for vined his intentions; and added, rather the cultivated region, they surprised grimly, “ you may expect a warm ses- another outpost, but one young man sion, if I am driven from my lines into managed to escape,

and was the first to the city!" Domiciliary visitations, in announce at New Orleans the arrival search of arms, and of any thing else of the enemy, now only some six or that could be used for the defence of seven miles distant. the city; the enrolment of all men ca British writers have mooted the

quespable of bearing arms; the prohibiting tion, whether they might not have sucof any one from going abroad after ceeded in capturing the city, which was nine o'clock at night, except by special then almost in sight, had they attacked permission; these measures, and others it immediately. The prestige of their even more insupportable, did undoubt- victories in the peninsula might have edly look very much like “despotic se- compensated for their want of numbers, verity;" but martial law, it is to be re and the subsequent course of events, membered, includes

any
and

every step, both in England and America, been which

appears to him who proclaims it, considerably different. Instead, howrequisite for securing the object he has ever, of venturing upon such an attempt,

and General Jackson had made General Keane halted his men within up his mind to assume the responsibility, pistol-shot of the river, without the least believing that, in the result, he would pretence of concealment; and they piled be held excusable for the steps he had their arms, and a regular bivouac was taken in so great an emergency.

formed. Reconnoitring parties sent out On the 23d of December, Generals in different directions brought back no Cofire and Carroll, with between three | tidings of an enemy in sight; and the

in view;

Cs. XIII.]

ATTACK ON THE BRITISH.

281

foragers collected from every house they they were roused by

they were roused by a fearful yell, and could enter with safety, no end of good a simultaneous discharge of musketry cheer, which was partaken of by both on almost every landward side of them. officers and men with the greatest sat- | General Coffee, with his troops, was on isfaction and even jollity.

their rear; while General Jackson in About half-past seven in the evening, person was assailing them in front and the first interruption to this scene of on their left. Coffee's men impetuously careless hilarity occurred; for the mo- rushed to the attack, and were seconded mentary appearance of a few horsemen with equal ardor by the troops under had occasioned them no concern. The Jackson. The enemy were taken by watch-fires had just been replenished, surprise, and although they soon exand preparations were almost completed tinguished their fires and formed, yet for passing the night, as comfortably as order was not restored before a large circumstances would allow, when a large number had been killed or wounded. vessel was observed just anchoring near A thick fog, which arose shortly afterthe opposite bank of the river, and furl- ward, and a misunderstanding of ining her sails very leisurely. At first, structions by one of the principal offithe British thought it was one of their cers, producing some confusion in the own ships, which had made its way so American ranks, General Jackson called far

up the stream; but no answer was off his troops, and lay on the field that returned to their anxious hail. Several night. At four the next morning, he musket-shots were discharged at her, fell back to a position about two miles but without producing any reply. At nearer the city, where the swamp and length, having made fast all her sails, the Mississippi approached nearest to and brought her broadside round to each other, and where, therefore, his bear on the foe, the word rang out on line of defence would be the shortest the still night, “Give them this for the and most tenable. General Keane rehonor of America!" and a deadly shower ported above three hundred killed, of grape was discharged amongst them; wounded, or missing, in this night at-sad premonition of the blood-stained | tack; the loss on the American side was field and mortal conflict which were be- about two hundred. fore them.

During the course of this conflict, and Whilst the British, who had discov- early in the following day, reinforceered that they had no means of return- ments arrived from the ships. There ing the fire of the American vessel, were was, however, little fighting on the sheltering themselves in the best way 24th of December, although the Louisithey could from its heavy discharges ana had joined her consort, the Caro

of grape and round shot, on a lina, and menaced the invaders with a

sudden, through the densely more destructive cannonade. Before black night, a new terror burst upon the end of the day, the whole British them. After no more warning than a force had reached the field of battle; scattered fire, at the extreme outposts, 1 yet, impressed with salutary fear of the

1814.

VOL. III.36

1814.

Americans, the only care of General | were unsparingly used. The line exKeane was to withdraw his men far- tended from the Mississippi to a low ther from the river bank, that they swamp, about a mile off, and the ditch might be less exposed to the chance of was filled with water nearly to the top. such casualties as those of the preceding In the river, the Louisiana protected night. Next day, the real commanders the right flank; and a work, mounting of the expedition, Sir Edward Paken- twenty guns, on the opposite bank, ham and General Gibbs, arrived. And added yet more to the strength of the having made themselves acquainted position. The levée, or embankment with the position of affairs, they suffer- of the river, also was by Jackson's died the men to enjoy their“ merry rection cut through, both above and Christmas” as well as they could, un below the position of the British, thus der an incessant fire from the ships; embarrassing their movements both in and as soon as night fell, threw up a front and in the rear. battery opposite the Carolina, mount On the 28th of December, General ing nine field-pieces, two howitzers, and Pakenham advanced up the levée with

one mortar. At dawn, on the the intention of driving the Americans

27th, the battery was opened from their entrenchments; and coinupon the Carolina with red-hot shot, menced the attack, at the distance of and she was soon set on fire and de- half a mile, with rockets, bombs, and stroyed. The Louisiana was next at cannon. After some seven hours' fighttacked, but after sustaining a severe ing, the British, having been very fire, succeeded in escaping up the river; warmly received, were glad to retire. so that the way was now clear for an The attempt was renewed on the first advance upon New Orleans; and the day of the new year, but although, with needful stores, artillery, ammunition, great secrecy, regular breaching batteetc., were brought up from the ships, ries had been erected and mounted with that the grand attack might be made heavy cannon, with accompanying prewithout delay.

parations such as might have sufficed General Jackson, in the mean time, for a siege; and although, when first we may be sure, had not been idle. In opened, the fire of the thirty pieces of these and the immediately following artillery threw the Americans into some days and nights, sleepless himself, and confusion, no better success attended allowing none around him to sleep, un- this than the previous attack. The til an available position for defence had | American loss was less than fifty: it was been secured, he had constructed a supposed that the enemy suffered inuch lengthened rampart about four miles more severely. below New Orleans, of the most formi Failing in these attacks, it was next dable description for his purpose. Be- suggested by Admiral Cochside the earth, which was thrown up rane, that all hands should be out of the deep ditch in front, bales or set to deepen the canal which connected bags of cotton, brought from the city, | the Mississippi with the bayou Bienve

1815,

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