Author's Note: The publication of this series of papers, comprising the
correspondence of Lieut. Col. Thomas A. Smith, commander of the detachment of United
States regulars that invaded Spanish East Florida in March, 1812, began in the July,
1930, issue of the QUARTERLY. This should be consulted for an explanation as to why
the American troops invaded the Spanish province, and also for the details concerning
the discovery of these important Florida records. - T. FREDERICK DAVIS.]
Gov. Kindelan to Lt. Col. Smith (original)
St. Augustine, East Florida Translation 11th of June, 1812
I have just arrived at this place and have taken command as Governor Proprietary,
Politic and Military, appointed by the Most Serene Regency of the Kingdom, and find
it very strange to see encamped in this vicinity regular troops of the United States,
altho my Nation is in friendship and good understanding with said States conformable
to the Treaties of Amity and Commerce existing between both Nations, when there has
preceded no declaration of war. I have determined to give you this notice, when you
find it con venient you will be pleased to come to this place, or else to commission
one of your confidential officers, for the purpose of having a conference with me,
assuring you on my word of honor as a Gentleman, that he will be seen and treated
with the greatest respect. May God preserve you many years.
[signed] Sebn. Kindelan
To the Commander of the American troops encamped in the vicinity of this place.
P.S. This will be delivered by the Sergeant Major of this place, Don Francisco
Lt. Col. Smith to Gov. Kindelan (copy).
U. S. Encampment 12th June, 1812.
To his Excellency Sebn. Kindelan, Governor,
Proprietary, Politic & Military etc., etc. Sir :
I had the honor to receive your Excellency's communication of yesterday by the
Sergeant-Major Dn. Francisco Rivera & in conformity with your request have
directed Capt. Joseph Woodruff, of the 3d United States regiment of Infantry, &
Lt. George Haig, of the United States Dragoons, to wait upon your Excellency,
assuring your Excellency that they possess my full confidence & that they are
entitled to entire faith and credit. I avail myself of this occasion to inform your
Excellency that the negotiating powers with your Excellency are now vested by the
United States govern ment in his Excellency David B. Mitchell, Governor &
Commander-in-chief of the State of Georgia & that as United States Commissioner
they are plenary; & further that his Excellency is now in St. Mary's in the
State of Georgia, where I will with great pleasure send by express any communication
your Excellency may wish to make. I take the liberty to add that the late Commandant
of St. Augustine would have heard again from his Excellency had not his troops fired
upon my command before the expiration of the time allotted for the return of Col.
Cuthbert. I reciprocate your good wishes,
And am with the highest Consideration, Most respectfully your Excellency's Obt.
Gov. Kindelan to Lt. Col. Smith (original)
St. Augustine, East Florida Translation 12th June, 1812 In consequence of your not
being authorized to confer with me respecting the disagreeable occurrences which the
Troops under your command have occasioned in this Province, as you state in your
letter of this day, I have nothing to say to the two officers you have sent to this
place: and to the effect I shall apply to His Excellency David B. Mitchell, Governor
of the State of Georgia & Commissioner of the United States, but at the same time
I request you to retire with the Troops under your command to the other side of the
River St. John's without giving any active or passive protection to the Revolters
of this said Province, which under the protection of the U. S. Arms are daring to
commit vexations of all descriptions upon her Loyal Inhabitants.
May God preserve you many years. [signed] Sebn. Kindelan T. A. Smith, Lt. Col. U. S.
Lt. Col. Smith to Gov. Kindelan (copy)
United States Encampment 13th June, 1812
To his Excellency Sebn. Kindelan, Governor Proprietary, Politic & Military, etc.,
In reply to your Excellency's communication of yesterday, I have to observe that
my instructions command me to maintain my present position. To prevent the effusion
of blood pending the negotiation with his Excellency, Governor Mitchell, I must
request that no parties may be sent from the Town [of St. Augustine], or I shall feel myself obliged to repel any force which may appear without the reach
of your cannon.
I am with the highest Consideration, Most respectfully your Excellency's Obt.
Gov. Kindelan to Lt. Col. Smith (original)
St. Augustine in East Florida Translation 13th June, 1812.
I have received the paper that by your order and with this date just delivered to me
by an officer of the Troops under your command, and in answer I have to say, that I
do not admit, and never will, that any laws shall be imposed on me that my Troops in
whatever place or situation, if insulted, will sustain their character; consequently
in any case I shall act with the energy that characterizes the Glorious Spanish
Nation, well convinced that the results will be to the charge of the first aggressors
; declaring to you that in future you abstain from sending any new communication to
this Place for it will be discharged without hearing. The existing differences would
not take that aspect which corresponds to two Nations happily in peace and the best
harmony, etc. Sebn. Kindelan [Rubric] Lt. Col. T. A. Smith Regt. U. S. Riflemen
Lt. Col. Smith to Gov. Mitchell (copy)
Camp before St. Augustine 17th June, 1812. Sir :
Herewith I have the honor to transmit you Governor Kindelan's reply to my
communication of the 13th Inst., a copy of which was forwarded by Colo.
Isaacs. From its tenor we may soon expect active operations. It was not intended that
Capt. Massias, who was the bearer of my letter, should have entered the Town. While
there, however, he heard a conversation relative to the situation of the St.
John's, what force we had in it & what time it would take to go round from
St. Augustine. These inquiries were made by the Naval Officer who brought the
Governor from the Havanna. Several vessels were reported off the bar on the 15th.
Boats have been seen plying between them & the Town, but whether with men or
provisions we cannot say.
From my communication of the 13th Inst., to Governor Kindelan, your Excellency will
perceive that I stand pledged to attack any party which may be sent from the Town.
Should they cross a Detachment at Solana's ferry I would be under the necessity
of dividing my force, small as it is, to prevent them from at tacking me in the rear.
I can expect no assistance from the Patriots, for since the affair with the negroes,
trifling as it was, I cannot prevail upon them to send out any parties. From their
long state of inactivity dissensions have arisen in their Camp which must tend
greatly to injure the Cause. Continued applications for leave of absence has reduced
their numbers considerably. Without the presence of the Chiefs of the Revolution
nothing can be expected from them. Indeed their present disposition almost indicates
the abandonment of the enterprise. Though I cannot calculate upon any effective
support from the Patriots in the event of an assault, yet their force (if at all
respectable) might give a good countenance to the affair & by occupying the
country curtail the supplies of the Spaniards.
I have the honor to be sir, With high respect, Your Obt. Servt.
Lt. Col. Smith to Gov. Mitchell (copy)
Camp before St. Augustine 20th June, 1812 Sir :
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Excellency's communication by
Colo. Isaacs. While the approval of my correspondence gives me pleasure, I regret
that the instructions contained in a subsequent part prevented me from sending out a
Detach ment to intercept a party of about one hundred reported to have crossed at
Solana's Ferry and taken the road to Picolata, either for the capture of that
place or again on an expedition after cattle. Your orders on that head were so
preemptory that I did not feel myself at liberty to use any discretion. However, it
may be fortunate, as by a Deserter today we learn that from the vessels off the bar a
hundred Black Troops have actually been landed, which are only a part of the force
brought from the Havanna, & that on the twenty-third or fourth we shall have an
From these circumstances it may be prudent to keep my small Detachment as compact as
possible, though from my reply to Governor Kindelan of the 13th Inst., I should have
considered myself in honor bound to pursue this party had it not been for that clause
in your letter which forbid my provoking an attack. It was further reported by the
Deserter that two schooners mounting each twelve Six-pounders & a Sixteen were
preparing for an attack upon our gunboats in the St. John's. What reliance is to
be placed in the statement of this man is uncertain. It may have the good effect
however, of rousing the Patriots from their lethargy. There is no doubt but correct
information has been received in St. Augustine of all our expected reinforce ments
& if they intend an attack it will be hastened by the knowledge of our near
The arrival of Maj. Long,. with whom I have engaged for the supply of any number of
Troops which may be ordered into this Province, has relieved me of a very great
weight. From his zeal & ability to furnish I apprehend no further difficulty on
the subject of provisions,
I have the honor to be, Sir, With high respect, Your Obt. Servt.
Lt. Col. Smith to Capt. John Tate (copy)
Camp before St. Augustine 25th June, 1812. Sir :
Your favor by Rendon has this moment reached me. The party that left St. Augustine
have not yet returned & I think never will without getting a severe drubbing, as
160 men are in pursuit of them. Three Gun Boats & one of our Revenue Cutters
arrived at the Cowford yesterday at 12 o'clock with 175 men. (13)
Colo. Newnan is on his march with two troops of Dragoons & 250 Infantry; two
Companies are on their march from Augusta, & by private letters we learn that 6
large Barges with from 40 to 50 men each are ordered [by] the inland passage from N.
Carolina. From present appearances I expect to be authorized to reduce the Town by
force in a short time. Some 24 mortars, etc, etc, are either in the Gun Boats or at
St. Mary's for me. I will send, a physician to administer to the sick at Picolata
as soon as he returns, he being with the party pursuing the Dons.
The officers join me in tendering our best wishes to Mrs. Tate & yourself.
I am sir respectfully Your Obt. Servt
Gov. Mitchell to Lt. Col Smith (original)
St. Mary's, 1st July, 1812. Sir :
Since writing you on the 24th of last month, I have received by express from General
Pinckney (14) the important information that war was declared against Great Britain on
the 18th [June]. I am in great hopes that this change in our political situation will
produce something decisive in regard to East Florida. I confess my patience is nearly
exhausted by the dilatory manner in which we have been proceeding for some time past.
I hope the Savannah Volunteers have reached you in safety. They are generally
fine-spirited young men.
I have reason to expect a Detachment of not less than 180 men from the Oconee in a
very few days. The moment they arrive they will be forwarded to you immediately. The
recruits from Savannah which I mentioned to you I would order to Amelia, are there
now, & with the Marines from the Gun Boats make Capt. Ridgeway's (15) command
at least ninety men.
Col. Isaacs has been so much indisposed since his arrival that he has been and still
is unable to return to you. You will therefore receive this by a Mr. Gibson,
belonging to the Patriots.
I am Sir With much regard & esteem, Your very Obt. Servt., [signed] D. B.
Lt. Col. Smith to Gov. Mitchell (copy)
Camp before St. Augustine, 6th July, 1812. Sir : I have the honor to acknowledge the
receipt of your Excellency's communication of the 1st Inst. As the Nation has
taken an honourable stand & appealed to Arms for the vindication of its rights, I
hope the Government will not long remain inactive as it respects East Florida. To
meet with promptness the views of the Administration (if they are such as I think
they will be) & strike a decisive blow it would be necessary, independent of the
other reinforcements, that I should have Capt. Williams and the Marines under his
command. You are acquainted with the difference between Regulars and Militia.
A few Gun Boats in the mouth of the Harbor [of St. Augustine] with the reinforcements
expected will ensure the fall of the Town. The Boats can enter the Harbor & get
into the North River without sustaining any damage from the Fort. The resistance from
their armed vessels is not to be apprehended.
I have ordered Capt. Massias (16) to the command of Amelia ; his health required a
removal, but I could not spare him without another supplying his place.
I have the honor to be, Sir, With high respect, Your Obt. Servt..,
Lt. Col. Smith to Gov. Mitchell (copy)
Camp before St. Augustine, 10th July, 1812. Sir :
The Patriots have determined to encourage the Volunteers in their service to enter
that of the United
States. If your Excellency will authorize me to accept of their services, they may be
made useful, as none but the most active, hardy, and those disposed to submit to
discipline will offer. They are badly armed & we have no cartridge boxes to
I have been informed that one hundred & thirty stand of Arms & Accoutrements
have been taken by Capt. Ridgeway on Amelia Island. Should the information be correct
& your Excellency determines to ac cept the Volunteers it will be well to have
them forwarded when Capt. Ridgeway comes on. I suggested in my communication of the
6th Inst., the propriety of ordering Capt. Williams' detachment to join me if you
think they can be spared from Amelia & the Government should have authorized the
reduction of the place. (17) I have determined to attempt to effect it by storm the
first favourable night without waiting for a larger force. My plan is to attack the
lines & citidel at the same time, the former in two & the latter in three
places. I am preparing ladders, etc, etc.
I have the honor to be sir With high respect Your Obt. Servt.
Lt. Col. Smith to U. S. Adjutant & Inspector (copy)
Sir : Point Petre, 30th July, 1812.
Your favors of 19 & 26 June & 11 July have been received. Two of the Officers
(Lieut. Patterson & Laval) reported absent with leave are somewhere in North
& South Carolina, but at what particular places I am unable to ascertain, I have
ordered the men belonging to the Companies composing this Detachment at Fort Hawkins
to join me, those in South Carolina being ordered to their present stations by the
Officer commanding the district. I have considered that an order from me would be irregular
& perhaps not respected.
An English half-pay Lieut. has been sent by the Civil Authority to the officer in
command in this neighborhood. I have until I receive some instructions in the case
allowed him the privilege of remaining at his plantation & attending to his
business as heretofore, taking his word of honor not to leave the State until
authorized to do so.
The Indians have commenced hostilities in my rear. On Saturday, 26, they killed a
white man & five negroes & made thirty-two prisoners on the north side of the
St. John's. On the following morning they killed two men in four miles of my
camp. The Governor of Georgia having ordered upwards of two hundred Volunteers to
join me & authorized me to chastise the Indians, I am making arrangements for
that purpose & expect by the end of August to have destroyed all their towns in
I have the honor to be, sir, With high respect, Your obt Servt.
Lt. Col. Smith to Maj. Gen. Pinckney (copy)
Point Petre, 30 July, 1812. Sir :
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 24th ult. My orders
from his Excellency, Govr. Mitchell, are positive to maintain my present position
unless compelled to retire by a superior force. The Indians have commenced
hostilities in my rear.
They have within the last week killed 8 or 9 persons & carried off 70 or 80
slaves. My orders warrant my attacking them in their Towns or elsewhere, for which
events I am preparing. The moment that Arms are received I will dispatch Maj. Newnan (18) with 250 Volunteers with orders to destroy
all their settlements within 100 miles of the St. John's. The safety of our
frontier I conceive requires this course. They have, I am informed, several hundred
fugative slaves from the Carolinas & Georgia at present in their Towns &
unless they are checked soon they will be so strengthened by desertions from Georgia
& Florida that it will be found troublesome to reduce them.
I have the honor to be sir, With high respect, Your Obt. servt.,
Lt. Col. Smith to Lieut. Stallings (19) (copy).
Camp before St. Augustine, 9th August, 1812. Sir :
As the Indians continue to commit depredations in your neighborhood you will use
every possible exertion to complete your block house. (20) Should the inhabitants wish
to build cabins near you they must be placed as per the enclosed rough sketch, with
port holes, & at the distance of from 50 to 80 yards. The old shed must be
removed within 40 yards, the ends open that you can fire through it at an enemy. When
you have completed the work you will have the side of the swamp next to you well
examined & the creek opened. The inhabitants must assist in performing this duty.
Should the Indians throw themselves in the swamp to cut off the communications by
water I wish to know every place that a party can approach to drive them out. From the improper conduct of the
Ox drivers I expect they will be unable to perform many more trips. They left here at
10 o'clock & Hubbard informed me they were within five miles of the Block
House when he met them.
I am respectfully sir, Your obt. servt.,
Lt. Col. Smith to Lieut. Stallings (copy)
Camp before St. Augustine, 10th August, 1812. Sir :
The Patriots having abandoned this camp, I wish you to get their Mule team to be
employed in the Contractor's service unless I have other use for it. Obtain it
mildly if possible, but if necessary you must use force. Be cautious that the Mules
are not stolen. They must be furnished with as much corn as they can eat.
The few Patriots here must be furnished with provisions by the Contractor on account
of beef furnished him until they leave this place. Try & employ Smith to take
charge of the team. On reflection it will be well to remove the shed within thirty
paces of the block house that the men in the cabins can fire on a party attempting to
approach it in the rear. Our provisions can be kept in it, which will afford
sufficient room for your Detachment to sleep in the lower story of the block house.
See that no fire is taken in lest a spark might get to the powder. Have one box of
the rifles opened & kept in good order & loaded, as well as all the spare
muskets you have. You will keep a bright lookout as the Dons have an inclination to
destroy that establishment. You are positively com manded to defend the place to the
I am respectfully sir, Your obt. servt.,
Lt. Col. Smith to Capt. Fort (21) (copy)
Camp before St. Augustine; 11th August; 1812. Sir :
I have this moment received information of your arrival with 125 men in the
neighborhool of Mr. Kingsley's, (22) I wish you on the receipt of this to proceed
to Picolata, where I wish all the Volunteers from Georgia to rendezvous unless
circumstances should make it necessary for them to join me. On your arrival at that
place I wish you to send a party to arrest Wanton, who lives within a mile or two,
& have him closely confined. I wish you then to dispatch a party of thirty or
forty active men with proper guides to Bona Vista with the view of taking the boat
used for conveying the hostile Indians and negroes across the St. John's.
The Dons are preparing to attack me & they calculate on being aided by 2 or 300
Indians & negroes from the west of the St. John's. If you find that any
parties have crossed the river I wish you to take post at the block house on
Davis's creek and send a strong escort say 20 or 30 men -with the provision
wagons & I will relieve them by regulars. You will apprise me of any discoveries
your party of observation may make up the river that I may govern myself accordingly.
Mr. Tait will furnish you a messenger. I begin. to think that we shall have the
gratification of attacking the Dons in their stronghold.
If you should not have brought powder sufficient with you a supply can be had by
application to Mr. Stallings, who commands at the block house.
I am respectfully Your obt. servt.,
Lt. Col. Smith to Gov. Mitchell (copy)
Camp before St. Augustine, 21st August, 1812. Dear Sir:
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 5th August by Mr.
Gray. The information which be has detailed may prove useful, but I flatter myself
the Volunteers will render abortive the schemes of the Spaniards. The Indians will
scarcely venture between the two bodies more especially as their retreat can be
effectually cut off by the party not attacked. I apprehend but little injury from
them in my present position if my communication with the block house at Julianton
(Davis's) creek can be kept open. Capt. Fort with the first division of
Volunteers arrived at Mr. Kingsley`s some days ago. I have ordered him to Picolata
whence he will commence his operations against the Indians. Colo. Newnan with his
Detachment is reported to have arrived in the St. John's.
We had the misfortune on the 12th Inst. to lose a man in the most shocking manner.
Lieut. Stallings commanding at the block house had dispatched him as an express to
me. He had not proceeded more than three miles before he was taken by a party of
negroes & Indians (as we believe from the best information) & most cruelly
murdered. From the appearance of the body, which was left lying in the road, he had
been flogged, his nose, one ear, & ______________ cut off. (23) He had three shot
wounds in his body & his scalp was taken. This man was a regular soldier &
the bearer of a letter from Capt. Fort, which no doubt fell into the hands of this
party as the body was found naked. The atrocity of the act has roused the feelings of
the soldiers to such a degree that I cannot be answerable for their conduct should any of the enemy fall into their possession; The blacks assisted
by the Indians have become very daring & from the want of a proper knowledge of
the country the parties which I have sent out have always been unsuccessful. We
cannot obtain sufficient guides or those which we have will not do their duty. It
appears that this party, which we think did not exceed ten in number were laying in
wait for our wagons. It was fortunate that the difficulty of getting up the Oxen
prevented them setting out at the time appointed, otherwise they certainly would have
fallen an easy prey, as the escort was but small. This daring boldness of the enemy
has obliged me to send a strong guard with the wagons, as it is all important to have
a regular supply of provisions.
The Patriots have evacuated their encampment immediately in my rear & retired to
the St. Johns. Their only fears now seem to be about the Indians. In providing means
for their present security they appear to have lost sight of the first grand object,
the conquest of the Province, & from the rapid decrease of their numbers, having
dwindled away to nothing, it is doubtful whether the "Patriotic Army" will
ever revive again.
My Detachment has been very sickly, nearly one third on the report at a time, to
remedy which I have erected temporary palmetto huts which will protect them against
sun & rains.
I wish Colo. Newnan the moment transport can be procured to commence his march
against the Indian Towns. I think 2 or 250 men will be sufficient to lay them in
ashes. It will be well however to take steps to prevent the Creeks within our limits
taking any part in the war. Mr. Gray informed me he saw six barges with 30 or 40 men
mounting each a Nine-pounder on their way to St. Marys ; two or three of them would be very
serviceable in the. St. John's.
I have the honor to be sir, With high respect, Your obt. servt.
Lt. Col. Smith to Thomas Bourke (24) (Copy)
Camp before St. Augustine, Dear Sir: 21st August, 1812.
After the long delay which was experienced on the passage between Savannah & St.
Mary's, I understand the Arms etc have arrived. Though considerable inconvenience
was felt, yet I hope the tardiness of the Captain's movements will not be
productive of any serious consequences.
We are still hanging on in the old-style before St. Augustine, the Indians in our
rear committing depredations almost every day, & if they have an inclina tion can
make us retire whenever they please, as our Contractor never furnishes provisions for
more than four or five days in advance. In truth I am truly tired of the Damned
Province and would not remain (if it rested with me) one month longer in my present
situation for a fee simple to the whole of it. The Patriots have deserted their camp
near me & the few that remain of that body are somewhere on the St. Johns. (25)
I have not the smallest expectation that they will ever embody again. I will endeavor
to send a party against the Indian Towns, but I am not certain that I shall be able
to effect it, as the Volunteers are the only Troops that can be spared for that
service & the term for which they engaged to serve is nearly half out. I have
ordered Lt. James Barton to Point Petre to receive and receipt for any public stores that may be ordered for the use of the Detachment under
The Officers with me of your acquaintance tender you their best wishes.
Believe me with sincerity, Your friend & Obt. servt.,
P.S. Since writing the within I have seen Colo. Newnan, who commands the Volunteers.
He informed me that by some mistake the camp kettles had not been put on board of
Chevalier. His. men are stout, active fellows & will fight well, but they have no
shoes, canteens, or camp equippage of any kind. I have ordered them to Picolata to
prepare for their march against the Indians, but I am fearful their term of service
will have expired before they can procure the necessary equipments. Of the small
Detachment of regular Troops under my command between fifty & sixty are sick.
Only two have yet died.
Lt. Col. Smith to Col. Newnan (copy)
Camp before St. Augustine, 26th August, 1812. Dear Sir:
A letter without signature which from the substance I take to be yours is before me.
The only thing that can be done with those unprincipled men who attempted to desert
at a crisis like the present is to have them drummed out of the Army with a Rope
around their neck. This must be done by sentence of C. M. The Officer must be tried
by a Genl. Court Martial & I am not authorized to order one. If you cannot effect
the objects that brought you in the Province in consequence of desertion it will have
to be given over entire ly. What a disgraceful story it will be, to go abroad.
My Detachment is already so weak, if I had taken the advice of many I would have
fallen back ; but I know a few men determined to do their duty can effect a great deal. I have not the smallest doubt but two parties of seventy-five each with
guides well acquainted with the country could surprise & destroy two or three of
their Towns & effect a junction in opposition to all that can be done by the
Towns in this Province. They can then march to the nearest part of the St. John's
where their boats can be in readiness for them. You will however in everything that
relates to the expedition exercise your own judgment.
I send you the law authorizing the acceptance of Volunteers which I wish you by no
means to neglect sending back.
Cone with forty men will accompany you to the nation. (26)
I am respectfully sir Your obt. servt.
Lt. Col. Smith to Col. Newnan (copy)
Camp before St. Augustine, Dear Sir: 30th August, 1812.
There being at this time between eighty and ninety of my Detachment on the sick
report, I expect in a short time to be compelled to retire to some healthy position
on the St. John's until I am sufficiently reinforced to maintain such position
near St. Augustine as may be deemed judicious, & if necessary, to act offensively
against the Town. I regret very much that it is not in my power to afford you any
reinforcement, as I can scarcely furnish the necessary camp guards & an escort to
the provision wagons. Capt Cone with near forty select men [Patriots] will join you
if you will notify him of the time you expect to commence your movement. My health
continues bad. If I am able to march I will pay you a visit in a few days. The
Contractor has been furnished with money to procure such transport as the country
will afford for your baggage.
I will thank you to tender my best wishes to the officers of your command &
accept for yourself assurance of my high respect.
I am sir, Your obt. servt.
Col. Newnan to Lt. Col. Smith (original)
Dear Sir: New Switzerland (27) 31st August, 1812
Yours of the 26th & 30th I have just received, & am sorry to find that you
have so many sick men in your detachment. Within a few days past several of the men
under my command have been taken sick and the number now amounts to thirty-seven. I
have been very unwell myself for several days past, with the fever, but at present I
feel like getting better. The Contractor and his miserable agents have so managed
their business that there is no dependence to be put in them for a regular supply of
rations, even for three days, and had it not been for our own endeavors, we would
have been left without anything to eat - in fact, ever since. we left the block house
the Contractor has been useless to us. I would have been at Picolata before this, but
understood that all the cattle was driven from the neighborhood by Captain Cone's
men and have only stopped at this place on account of its furnishing beef. I returned
this day from Kingsley's and Hollingsworth's, where I had been to make
inquiries respecting horses, guides, and cattle. Kingsley has promised to procure me
a few horses ; guides I expect I will have to press, & Tait (who is now at
Kingsley's) has promisel to drive his cattle back to Picolata. What a hopeful set
of villains we are benefitting. If I thought the scoundrels I command would not
desert, & would extend their term of service I would prefer joining your detachment, but
almost all of them will go home the moment their time expires, which will be in about
four weeks. I am apprehensive that the Spaniards will attack you in a few days,
unless you remove, and I think from the sickly state of your detachment it is highly
advisable. I would be glad to have a personal interview with you, when perhaps
measures may be adopted to rouse the spirit of this detachment and a number may be
induced to join you for three or four months. My present conviction however, is that
any officer who trusts his honor and reputation to the three months militia alone,
will be in danger of losing both. (28) Under all these discouraging circumstances I am
still determined to march to the nation, unless otherwise ordered, and am of the
opinion that with one hundred brave men the whole of the Indians may be driven. One
half of Cone's men are sick, and I do not expect more than ten of them to go with
me. With pack horses it appears I am not to be supplied, & I hear of no cavalry
coming to join me from St. Mary's, but I shall proceed in a very few days.
I am, dear sir, Very respectfully, Yrs. most obt. [signed] Daniel Newnan
The term for which the Republican Blues from Savannah tendered their services to the
Governor having expired on the 16th Inst & they having made a voluntary offer of
further services until a reinforcement should arrive, the commanding of ficer cannot
in justice to his feelings forbear. tendering to the officers and men his thanks for
the patience and fortitude with which they have submitted to the hardships and
privations incident to the profession of Arms.
(This series will be continued in the following issue of the QUARTERLY.) Click here
for Part Three .
13. Under the command of Col. Alfred Cuthbert.
14. Maj. Gen. Thomas Pinckney, commanding the Southeast Department.
15. Capt. Fielder Ridgeway, commanding at Amelia Island.
16. Capt. A. A. Massias.
17. St. Augustine.
18. Col. Daniel Newnan, Adjutant-General of Georgia.
19. Lieut. Elias Stallings.
20. The block house was situated near the old St. Augustine road where it crossed
Davis's Creek in the vicinity of the present village of Bayard. Up to this time
the main supply depot was about six miles up Six Mile Creek, but now the Davis Creek
post became the supply depot for the troops before St. Augustine.
21. Capt. Tomlinson Fort of the Milledgville, Ga., Volunteers
22. Zephaniah Kingsley's plantation "Laurel Grove" situated on the west
side of the St. Johns River, where Orange Park, Clay County, is now.
23. Unquestionably the work of the negroes.
24. United States Agent at Savannah.
25. Probably encamped on a commanding bluff on the north side of the St. Johns River
at the Cowford, now the foot of Washington and Liberty Streets in Jacksonville.
26. The Indian nation.
27. On the east side of the St. Johns, now known as Switzerland.
28. This evidently refers to the paid Militia as Col. Smith just ten days previously
had highly complimented the Volunteers as follows: