« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
ing this campaign. A soldier perceived the general sitting beneath a tree, busily engaged in eating something, while the rear of the army was coming up. Half starved himself, and believing that the officers, and Jackson particularly, were well supplied, he came boldly up to him, stated his condition, and demanded a share of the general's feast. “I will willingly share with you what I have," said the general, offering him some of the acorns which he had found beneath the tree, and which he said was the best and only fare he had. The astonished soldier retired to report to his companions the fact that the general fed himself with acorns, and to urge them henceforth to bear the sufferings which he nobly shared without complaint. But though the privations which Jackson suffered failed to move him, he felt much concern for his army, and continually exerted himself to remove their sufferings.
But discontent and a desire to return home gradually spread through the camp, and revolt at length began to show itself openly. The officers and soldiers of the militia determined to leave the camp, and drew up early one morning to carry their design into execution ; but they found the volunteers prepared to prevent their
and force them to return to their old position in the camp. The firmness of their general was too much for them; they abandoned their purpose and retired to their quarters. The volunteers, however, were equally disaffected with the militia ; they had opposed the mutineers only to escape suspicion, and really wished them success. Supposing that the general could find no means to prevent their desertion in a body, they determined to march off on the next morning. Words fail to express their confusion and astonishment, when they found the very militia whom they had yesterday forcea into their quarters, prepared to execute a similar office for them to-day. They carried the play through, and returned in good order to their former position.
General Jackson at length agreed to march homeward, if the expected supplies were not received within two days. They
came not, and the army marched, leaving Fort Strother under the protection of a small band of patriots, whom Captain Gordon had induced to remain. Twelve miles from the fort, the army met a drove of one hundred and fifty beeves. After haying satisfied their appetites, the general ordered the troops to return; but they had commenced a homeward march, and were unwilling to encounter again the perils of war. Almost the whole brigade had put itself in an attitude for moving off, and the campaign would certainly have been broken off but for the firmness of the general. Mounting his horse, he threw himself in front of the column, armed with a musket. He was not able to use his left arm, but he rested the musket on the neck of his horse, and threatened to shoot the first man who should attempt to advance. The disaffected troops maintained a sullen silence, until two faithful companies had formed in the rear of the general and in front of them, prepared to imitate his example in firing. They then turned quietly round, and agreed to return to their posts. But no good results could be brought about by disaffected troops, and the general at length resolved to allow them to return home.
He himself remained with a few faithful soldiers until January 1314, when he was reinforced by a small detachment of raw militia, with which he determined to march to Emuckfaw, on the Tallapoosa river. At this place there was supposed to be congregated a large force of hostile Indians, ready to destroy the Georgia troops under General Floyd. At Talladega two hundred friendly Indians were added to his force, but they were dispirited at the apparent weakness of his army, and added little to its real strength. Intelligence from the commanding officer at Fort Armstrong, advising him that the enemy was preparing to attack that weak and almost defenceless position, determined him to proceed. His white force, which consisted of less than nine hundred new recruits, were badly disciplined, but full of ardour and confidence in their general. On the night of the 21st, a large Indian encampment
was discovered, in which the savages were whooping and dancing, apparently aware of his approach. The general put his army in readiness for an attack. At six o'clock in the following morning, the enemy commenced the battle by furiously assaulting the left wing. They were gallantly repulsed, but renewed the fight with great fury. They were unable, however, to withstand the bayonet, and returned to their camp.
Though his army had been victorious, General Jackson was but too well aware of the disparity between his force and that of the enemy. His troops were not well supplied with provisions, and the enemy, when reinforced from the towng below, would be able to prevent his return. Under these circumstances he determined to retreat to Fort Strother. On crossing a creek called Enotochopco, on his way to the Emuckfaw, he had observed that there was, near the ford, a dangerous defile, overgrown with thick shrubbery, and affording every convenience for concealment and safety from pursuit. As the enemy bung round his army on the march without attacking, General Jackson concluded that they intended to form an ambuscade in this defile, and he therefore sent his pioneers to look for another crossing-place below. One was found, and the. army was led towards it, formed in order of battle. Part of the army
had crossed the river before the Indians were aware of the change in the place of crossing. They made a furious attack on the rear, which commenced a shameful flight to the creek. The artillery company under Lieutenant Armstrong dragged their piece of ordnance from the creek to an eminence where they could use it to advantage. This attracted the attention of the foe, who entered into an obstinate contest for its possession. Carroll and Armstrong kept the enemy at bay until assistance arrived. Shot down at the side of his gun, Armstrong exhorted his men to continue the defence. “Some of you must fall,” said he, “ but don't lose the gun.” The cartridges were driven home with the butt end of a musket, and prepared for the match with the ramrod ; Captain Gordon
made an active charge on the left flank of the enemy with his company of spies, and General Jackson, led his men again into the battle, and restored the fate of the day. The savages filed, leaving behind everything likely to retard their speed.
When the troops had reached Fort Strother, their term of service, which numbered only sixty days, had almost expired, and General Jackson therefore honourably discharged them. The volunteers who had remained with him when their fellows returned home, were also marched into Tennessee, and there dismissed with testimonials of their honour, fidelity and patriotism. General Jackson was soon after joined by a fresh army of nearly three thousand men, with which he determined to advance into the enemy's country. Having learned that the main body of the Indians were in the neighbourhood of Emuckfaw, he marched thither, and found them in a bend of the Tallapoosa, called, from its shape, Tohopeka, or the Horse Shoe. A well-constructed breastwork had been erected across the neck which connected their retreat with the main land, and the savages considered themselves perfectly secure.
Coffee crossed the river and surrounded the bend, to prevent the retreat of the enemy Jackson then commenced a cannonade in front, and Coffee sent a detachment over to attack the enemy in the rear of the fortification. The works were then stormed, and a furious battle ensued within he enclosure. Over eight hundred of the enemy's bravest warriors perished in the place of their supposed greatest security, and the small remnant of their nation soon after sought for peace. The victorious Tennesseeans were now dismissed; but their commander had attracted the attention of the whole country by the firmness, intrepidity, and daring with which he faced the pains of starvation and the rifles of the enemy until the war was gloriously ended, and he was called into a wider sphere of action. He received the appointment of major-general in the army of
the United States, and was made a commissioner to negotiate a treaty of peace and alliance with the Creeks.
While performing this duty, he noticed the protection and encouragement which the hostile Indians had hitherto and still received from the governor of the Spanish fortress of Pensacola. He despatched Captain Gordon as a commissioner to that
governor with the causes of complaint, requiring him to state the course he intended to pursue, whether he would preserve the peace between the two nations, or cloak the realities of war beneath the appearance of friendship. The governor admitted that he had supplied the Indians with arms, and Captain Gordon reported that he had seen under the eye of the governor, from “One hundred and fifty to two hundred British officers and soldiers, and a park of artillery, with five hundred Indians in the British military dress, armed with new muskets and under the drill of British officers. Added to this, a British flag was seen flying from a Spanish fort.” Jackson determined to supply its place with the American Eagle.
Reinforced by two thousand Tennessee volunteers under Coffee, General Jackson determined to take the responsibility, and end the governor's violation of all principles of right and neutrality. He advanced upon the town, and sent a flag to the fort, but it was fired on from beneath the Spanish flag. The capture of the city by force was speedily effected. The British retreated, the hostile Creeks were driven out and pursued, and the Spanish forts were surrendered to him, to be held until Spain could maintain neutrality. The general then marched for New Orleans, where an attack was expected to be made by the British.
He arrived in that city on the 1st of December, and established there his head-quarters. The story of the invasion of Louisiana has been too often told to need recounting here. He summoned every means of defence, fortified every vulnerable point, prevented many of the evil effects which it had been anticipated would be produced by British gold upon a motley