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nil; by which boats might be brought up to the river, and troops ferried across, to carry the battery on its right bank. This, however, proved a work of such extraordinary labor, that it was not till the evening of the 6th, that the cut was declared passable. The boats were immediately brought up, and secreted near the river, and dispositions for an assault were made at five o'clock on the morning of the 8th of January.
General Jackson, meanwhile, had completed his works on the left bank of the river. His front was a breastwork of nearly a mile long, extending from the river into the swamp, till it became impassable, and for the last two hundred yards taking a turn to the left. The whole was defended by upwards of three thousand infantry and artillerists. The ditch contained five feet water; and the ground in front, having been flooded by water introduced from the river and by frequent rains, was slippery and muddy. Eight distinct batteries were judiciously disposed, mounting in all twelve guns of different calibres. On the opposite side of the river, there was a strong battery of fifteen guns, and the entrenchments which had been erected were occupied by General Morgan, with some Louisiana militia, and a strong detachment of Kentucky troops.
The British general, on the night of the 7th, dispatched Colonel Thornton, at the head of a large force, to cross the river and carry the American works there. Having effected this, he was to give a signal of his success, and then General Gibbs and General Keane were to advance upon Jackson's entrench
ments in front. Owing to delays and hindrances, the day had broken before Thornton reached the opposite shore but bravely pushing forward, he sue ceeded in his object, and the troops there having fled, this important position fell into the hands of the enemy.
But Pakenham did not wait for Thornton's signal. Fearing every moment's delay, he gave the word to advance to the assault. Silently, but swiftly, through the wintry morning,—the day just beginning to dawn,—the first column advanced against the works. But they were soon perceived by our wakeful countrymen, and a heavy fire was opened upon them, which mowed them down by hundreds. For, incredible almost as the statement appears which is made by an English writer, it was found, whilst they were in the heat of the charge, that both fascines and scaling ladders had been forgotten; and on the very crest of the glacis the attacking column was forced to halt, without the means of crossing the ditch or mounting the parapet; incapable, too, of defending themselves against the storm of shot which was poured on them from those unimpregnable ramparts. A few, indeed, mounting on one another's shoulders, succeeded in entering the works; but it was only to be overpowered by numbers. One small battery, in front of the lines, was carried at the point of the bayonet. But when the captors, with desperate courage, endeavored to force their way across a single plank into the body of the works, they were repulsed with frightful slaughter, and the battery was recaptured. "It was