[Author's Note. The publication of this series of papers comprising the
correspondence of Col. Thomas A. Smith, commander of the detachment of United States
regulars that in vaded Spanish East Florida in March, 1812, began in the July, 1930,
issue of the QUARTERLY. This should be consulted for an explanation of the American
invasion, and also for the details concerning the discovery of these important
Florida records. -T. FREDERICK DAVIS.]
Col. Smith to F. Howard (copy).
Camp New Hope, St. John's, 22d October, 1812. Sir :
I have made so many verbal representations to yourself & Mr. Ruddle of the
irregularity of supplies to the Troops under my command, that I can no longer forbear
requiring of you to furnish agreeably to the contract all of the component parts of
the ration when the return is made, & if it is not in your power to do so, I wish
to be officially informed of the failure of the Contractor, that other measures may
be resorted to, to obtain regular supplies. I cannot forbear expressing my fear that
some nefarious practices have been used to distress and if possible compel me to
abandon this Province. The manner in which our supplies have been forwarded, by small
and leaky boats & intrusted to persons without character or the means of making
good losses and distruction, is a strong evidence that there is either treachery or a
want of arrangement in the Contractor's Department. I am therefore compelled in
justice to the Troops intrusted to my care and my own honor to make this last appeal
to you as Agent of the Contractor at this place. Be pleased to
accept assurances of my high personal respect and confidence, I am, sir, your obt.
servt., Col. Smith to Maj. Thomas Bourke, A.D.Q.M.G. (copy).
Camp New Hope, St. Johns, 25th October, 1812. Dear Sir:
Since my last letter the affairs of this Province have assumed an aspect altogether
different from any which it has heretofore had. My retrograde movement has drawn none
of those ill consequences after it which were so much to be expected. From the
unhealthiness of the Troops everything was to be appre hended from an attack & it
is but within these few days past that my sick list has decreased. Even now we parade
little more than half our force. It is generally reported that the Province is about
to be ceded to the United States ; of this I have no positive information. However, I
received an order directing Capt. Woodruff with his Company to join the regiment to
which he belongs stationed at Baton Rouge, M. T. 40 His route will be by Fort
Genl. Floyd arrived in our neighborhood a few days ago. He will set out on Monday for
the Lotchway Towns with a force of two hundred & twenty men. Newnan with a part
of his Volunteers are among the number. I have been compelled, notwithstanding the
small force I have, to detach fifty men upon this service. I found unless that
assistance was afforded the expedition would have fallen through. I would not have
taken the responsibility of this measure on myself, but having received an order
"not to act offen cively against St. Augustine" I conceived the Troops
40. M. T. is abbreviation for Mississippi Territory.
in no immediate danger. The necessity also of chastising the insolence of the Indians
& checking their depredations were strong inducements. Woodruff, Appling, Haig
& Stallings will be on the expedition. 41
The Spaniards have lately received another reinforcement of ninety blacks from the
Havana. The Dons had everything prepared on the 10th Ulto. for an attack on my Camp.
The Gates were thrown open, the Troops paraded & preparations made for the
sacrifice of a handful of half starved sickly men. But when his Donship reviewed his
sable Warriors he declared himself not for the fight & then sent out ninety
Negroes accompanied by Indians who attacked Williams.
The loss of Newnan in his different actions amounted to seven killed and fifteen
wounded, two of whom have since died.
For your tender of service be pleased to accept my thanks & believe me with
sincerity, Your friend,
Col. Smith to Gen. Flournoy (copy).
Point Petre, 7th Nov. 1812. Sir :
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of the 8th &
25th Ulto. I transmit herewith an extract of a letter received from his Excellency,
Govr. Mitchell, which with former instruc tions I conceive would warrant my acting
offensively against St. Augustine, but as it is evident from your communication of
the 8th, that Orders have been issued from the War Department that have not reached
me, I feel embarrassed & at a loss what course to
41. No further mention is made of this expedition; it was presumably postponed for
reasons indicated in the following letter of this series.
pursue. The expense of transport will be considerable, indeed waggons cannot be
procured in this quarter. I have hired four of those employed in transporting the
baggage of Colo. Chambers at five dollars per day until I hear from you. The funds at
my command are by no means competent to the objects to be effected. I wish authority
to draw for such sums as may be found absolutely necessary & to procure
sufficient transport. I enclose a return of the Regt. under Colo. Chambers (they are
well armed and equipped) four Companies of which have been sent to my Camp on the St.
Johns ; the others are training here & will follow as soon as I hear from the
Governor, unless other wise ordered. To occupy the position before St. Augustine will
have no good effect unless I am permitted to attack the Town, which must be destroyed
to produce any effect on the fortress. The Inhabitants with the Troops would crowd
the place so much that it could not hold out long.
The two Companies of Riflemen with me are one without subalterns, the other has but
one. I have repeatedly represented this thing to the War Department without its being
remedied. Capt. Woodruff has received orders to join his Regt. on the Mississippi.
This movement if carried into effect will deprive me of two active Officers &
about fifty men, which will make the regular force under my command small indeed. Lt.
Ryan, one of the Officers is a principal wit ness relyed on to support the charge
against Capt. Ridgeway. I am therefore induced to request, if it can be consistently
done, that the movement may be suspended.
My present encampment is thirty miles north of St. Augustine immediately on the bank
of the St. Johns & about ten miles above the Cowford. The only mode by which
dispatches can be sent with safety
to or from St. Mary's is by water; they are equally safe without being sent under
cover to the Intendant 42 and would reach me sooner,
The Contractor is not here. I expect to see him tomorrow & will get him to inform
you what supplies of Provender can be procured & at what notice. It is absolutely
necessary that there should be some Dragoons attached to my Command ; the expense
will be considerable, but I hope that will not be an obstacle to their being
employed. I have apprized the Governor of the contents of your letter of the 8th
Ulto, & your orders to Colo. Chambers. If he does not direct me to the contrary,
I will as soon as it can be done occupy my old Camp before St. Augustine until a
favourable moment of attacking the Town offers, when I will either take the Place,
destroy the Town, or be beaten out of the Province. The two Companies of Regular
Troops you mention would certainly be very serviceable, as I have not the most
implicit confidence in Militia. My little Detachment I know will do their duty. I am
conscious of your having done everything in your power to secure them & I hope
the day is not far distant when they will have an opportunity to convince you they
are grateful for your care.
I have the honor to be sir with high respect Your obt. servt.
Gov. Mitchell to Col. Smith (original).
Milledgeville, 7th Novr. 1812. Dear Sir:
I received your favour of the 20th October by the last Darien mail. I am much
gratified at the return of Col. Newnan's Detachment with so little loss-he
42. The position of Intendant was the same as Mayor.
is certainly indebted for it to the want of information on the part of the Indians of
his march. If they had been apprised of his intention to go against them, they would
have had a larger force collected, and in all probability such a one as would have
cut him off, notwithstanding their gallantry and firmness. I rejoice however at the
Our Legislature have been in session near a week, and I believe they will adopt some
decisive course in regard to the Seminole Indians, and in all probability the whole
Province. The intention of going against these Indians from any quarter ought to be
kept if possible a profound secret, until the expedition is prepared to be put into
immediate operation, for the mo ment they know it, they will carry off all their
women and children, destroy all the provisions they cannot secret, and take shelter
in the Spanish Garrisons or prowl about the woods like wolves, and occasionally shoot
down some of their enemies, when they will themselves be invisible.
I embrace the present occasion to inform you, that in consequence of my ill health,
the active duties in which at this season of the year I am engaged as chief
magistrate of the State, and with all the distance at which I am placed from the
scene of action in regard to the agency which I held under the General Government for
the affairs of East Florida, I have relinquish ed that agency, and consequently the
command attached thereto. Col. Monroe has intimated to me the intention of the
President to confide that agency in future to Major General Pinckney, of whose
appointment however I have not yet heard, altho I have no doubt it is, or will be
made. If you have not yet heard from him on the subject, it will probably be best for
you to act under the orders you have received heretofore from me, until you do hear
It has been a subject of considerable regret to me, that whilst I was at St.
Mary's acting for the United States, I was not permitted to act upon those
circumstances which in my judgment authorized the immedi ate commencement of
offensive operations against the Spaniards, as well as upon principles of sound
policy, as to satisfy the insulted honor of the nation. The Senate undertook to
decide against the measure which they either did not understand, or from some base
motive were determined to defeat. I am well assured that your opinion corresponded
with my own upon this point, and I cannot in justice to my feelings, close this
letter without assuring you of the sensibility with which I reflect upon your
numerous difficulties, dangers and privations, and of my admiration of the for
titude, courage, and perseverence with which you supported yourself under them all.
It will however be a subject of still greater mortification to me, if after all this,
you are not permitted to reduce the Province to obedience to the U. States. Whatever
may be the event, or your future destiny, be assured of The sincere regard &
esteem of your fellow citizen, [signed] D. B. Mitchell
Col. Smith to Gen. Pinckney (copy). Point Petre
14th Novr. 1812 Sir :
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favour of the 3d Inst. I transmit
herewith a return of the Detachment under my command. Four Companies of the Regt. of
Militia have been ordered to my Camp on the St. John's. The remaining six are
training here & would have followed in a week (but for the receipt of your
favour) with the view of commencing active
offensive operations against St. Augustine. The Infantry are destitute of Clothing of
every description & the Riflemen are deficient of Winter Clothing, say Coats,
Vests, and Pantaloons. There is a sufficient quantity of Common Tents for my
Detachment & one additional Company, but there is a want of Wall Tents.
We are almost entirely without Camp Kettles, Tin Pans, etc. I have one 18 & 24
Pounder mounted on traveling carriages. The 24 is without fixtures or implements
& only 62 round shot. The 18 has worn springs & rammer & 140 round shot.
The two field pieces attached to my command are without harness & a great
deficiency of Ammunition, there being only about 110 round shot & 48 rounds of
Canister. I would have applied to the Asst. D.Q.G. in Savannah for such stores as
might have been necessary, but as the arrangements will now rest with you I will by
the next mail transmit a return of Ordnance, Military Stores, etc., on hand from
which you can better judge of what may be wanting, as I am not apprised of what
employment we are to have. The Public Service suffers much for the want of a Quarter
Master & you will perceive that I have not an Artillerist to manage the Ordnance
or to attend to the duties of that Department. Indeed there is but one Subaltern to
the two Companies. of Riflemen with me. I have represented the deficiency to the
Department of War repeatedly without its being remedied. I have at present four
waggons employed on Public Account to transport the Stores and baggage of the
Detachment. I have thought it most prudent not to discharge them until I receive your
orders, as others cannot be procured in this quarter. The Militia are without Shoes
and their Clothing thin and only calculated for the Summer. I am apprehensive that
exposure will make the sick list considerable. The only means by which their
condition can be ameliorated is to have them regularly paid every two months. My
Detachment has pay due them from the last of February. They are so worn out with
fatigue and de bilitated with disease that one fourth of those reported for duty are
unable to undergo the hardships of a Campaign. Will it not be prudent to send the
sick and wounded to this place? The Clothing being sent to the Officers commanding
Companies I am unable to make a correct return of what is on hand or what is wanting
to complete until I return to Camp, which will be in a few days. In consequence of my
having so few men for duty I was compelled to order the little Detachments from
Picolata & Davis' Creek to my present encampment, which is immediately on the
south 43 bank of the St. John's, thirty miles from Augustine & within one
mile of the main road leading to it from the Cowford.
I enclose herewith an extract from the last letter received from Govr. Mitchell. He
had authorized me previous to the attack on our convoy to do the Spaniards all the
injury in my power, even to the taking of St. Augustine if I was fired on again. I
considered the Authority to act ample, but the time when I could do it with any
probability of success had passed, the Fortress and lines being much improved &
my command so reduced by sickness that I could scarcely furnish the necessary guards.
Commodore Campbell has ordered four Gunboats into the St. Johns ; two are near the
mouth to protect our Provision boats, the others abreast of my encampment to act as
circumstances may require.
I have the honor to be sir with high respect Your obt. servt.
43. More properly the east bank, as the St. John's River at this point flows in a
Col. Smith to Gen. Flournoy (copy).
Camp New Hope, St. Johns 3d Jany., 1813 Sir :
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favour of the 26th Ulto. In
consequence of the unhealthiness of the Detachment, I considered it pru dent to erect
temporary huts to protect them from the weather, which would have been completed in
six days if I could have procured a few waggons. Four deaths have occurred since you
left here, some of them very sudden. Neeley's Volunteers are so badly clad that
they cannot perform duty, and unless they can be furnished with Clothing I conceive
had as well be discharged as they are at present only an unnecessary expence. They
are awkward though brave & would never dishonor their Country if they were
furnished with the common comforts of life.
A party of the Patriots went to Diego Plains a few days since & from their
carelessness lost one of their party, supposed to have been killed or taken by a
party of Negroes from St. Augustine, as considerable sign was discovered. The man
lost had fallen in the rear a short distance in crossing a swamp. Every search was
made for him without success.
By information received from Augustine, Bowleggs was there & the report in Town
was that as soon as the nights were favourable they were to renew hostilities &
that neither age nor sex was to be spared. A number of slaves have lately deserted
their Masters & gone to Augustine from the St. Johns.
The application having been renewed for the arrest of Dr. Hall, I conceive it a duty
to Order it. You will perceive the necessity of sending a Surgeon to supply his place
as early as possible. I wish one of the Militia ordered to join me if his services
can be dispensed
with. You will receive herewith a monthly return of the Troops under my command.
I have the honor to be sir, with high respect Your obt. servt, Col. Smith to Gen.
Camp New Hope, St. John's. 31st Jany. 1813. Sir :
I enclose herewith an Inventory of the Contractor's Stores at this Post. We are
at present using Potatoes instead of bread & all in the neighborhood will not
last the Detachment more than four or five days. The relyance for beef is on three or
four worthless fellows who think it probable (if there should be no Indian sign
discovered) that they can find sufficient quantity to last us ten days.
Holder was shot in compliance with the sentence passed on him yesterday evening.
Day's grave was prepared & he brought out & ordered to kneel at the foot
of it, when his pardon was read. No circumstances attended the execution worth
communicating. The example, if I can judge from appearances, will have a good effect.
I find Capt. Farrar's Company have not been mustered since they were enlisted
& consequently not paid. There are no papers with the Company that will enable
the Officer at present commanding it to make out a Muster Roll. The men will
consequently be deprived of their pay until those papers are forwarded. There is a
man of the Regt. of Riflemen (Wm. Bonds) at Ft. Hawkins who I wish transferred to
Capt. Woodruff in the place of John Riley, a lad whose father is in the Regt. of
Riflemen. I wish to be informed whether the Inspection returns are to be forwarded to
the Adjt. Genl. or to Maj. Boote. I send duplicate
returns of the Detachment at this Post as I am not clear that it would be regular in
me to make a return to any person but yourself. The Ordnance return shall be
forwarded in a few days.
I find on a settlement of the debts contracted on Public account that I am deficient
of about 500 dollars which I wish sent on by the earliest opportunity after the
arrival of Mr. Russell. There is not more than four or five hundred bushels of corn
that can be purchased on the St. John's & it is even doubtful whether that
quantity can be procured.
I am sir with high respect Your obt. servt.
Col. Smith to Zephaniah Kingsley (copy).
Camp New Hope, St. Johns, 2d Feby. 1813. Dear Sir:
I leave this place tomorrow night for your house with two hundred & twenty men.
From three to three hundred & fifty more will meet me at Newnan's battle
ground on Saturday about 12 o'clock. I wish you to have your flat sent over
tomorrow evening to assist me in getting the horses, baggage, etc., over. Tell Mr.
Summerlin I calculate on him as a guide. I expect him to have everything prepared
without delay. Our provision boat has not arrived, but is hourly expected. I shall be
cursed by [being] hard prest for Provision, but nothing shall stop me. If you can
possibly furnish any pack horses have them ready. One dollar pr day shall be paid for
them. I shall want the necessary fixtures etc. as we have no leather here to make
them. Prepare as many as you can. The Indians will be beaten & you are secure.
Let me hear from you by the bearer.
I am respectfully sir Your Obt. Servt.
Col. Smith to Gen. Flournoy (copy).
Camp New Hope, St. Johns 24th Feby. 1813 Sir :
Your Orders directing an expedition against the Lochaway Tribes were received on the
2d Inst. I immediately set about preparing the necessary outfit, with a desire to
form a junction with Colo. Williams 44 commanding the Tennessee Volunteers at the
time & place appointed. Having not more than ten or twelve hours' notice for
preparation, added to the difficulty of procuring pack horses, I was not, with all
our dispatch, enabled to meet him till a day later than was expected.
Our Detachments united thirteen miles from Pain's Town. No one of our Guides was
acquainted with the route from this point to Bolegg's Town, which would have
given an opportunity to attack the Towns separately & at the same hour next
morning. 45 Consequent ly we were compelled to move together against Paine's
Town, which was entered at daylight, but the Indians from every appearance, had fled
some weeks before. I continued in possession of the Town. Colo. Williams with his
Detachment took the path to Bolegg's. They had not advanced far before two
Indians were seen & pursued by his advanced Guard ; one was killed and the other,
tho wounded, escaped in a hammock. Their march was continued two or three miles
further, when his advanced Guard again discovered Indians in Camp, charged on it,
killed one & took seven Prisoners.
Understanding from the Prisoners a Negro Town
44. Col. John Williams, commanding 240 mounted, uniformed and fully equipped East
Tennessee volunteers, who were recruited in a few weeks in consequence of a spirited
proposition from Col. Williams and Maj. Gen. John Cocke. They offered their services
to the President, but marched before the acceptance, requesting that it be sent after
them. (Niles Weekly Reg ister, Jan. 9, 1813, p. 300.)
45. Payne's town is shown on section charts as being 11/4 miles north of the
present town of Micanopy, Alachua, County.
lately settled was within two miles, Colo. Williams determined to visit it &
return that night to my Camp at Pain's Town. But apprised either by the wounded
Indian, or alarmed by the guns fired upon the Camp, they hurried away precipitately,
which prevented many from being taken Prisoners. We learned from the Prisoners that
the Indians were informed three moons ago, by a letter from the Creek Nation, that an
American force intended to invade their country, that many of them returned to the
Creeks for safety.
Our encampment was continued near Pain's Town until the 10th. In the meantime
both Detachments were engaged collecting provisions & food for horses from the
adjoining hammocks. On that day Colo. Williams set out for Bolegg's, about five
miles from Camp. 46 A spirited skirmish ensued between the Volunteers & a force
consisting of both Indians and Ne groes. A messenger was dispatched to notify me of
the event. I went out with a part of my force, intending to act with the Volunteers,
to penetrate the Swamp, & fall in the rear of the enemy, but met them returning
to Camp, having made the experiment I designed and finding the hammock in that
direction impenetrable. In this affair about fifteen Indians & Negroes were
killed with many wounded. On the part of the Volunteers, Lieut. John M. Smith was
lost & Maj. Stevens wounded. For further particulars I refer you to Colo.
The next day was employed in destroying the Negro Town shown us by the Prisoners.
This effected we
46. According to 1st Howard, p. 25, brought to my attention by Fred Cubberly of
Gainesville, Governor Coppinger granted Domingo Acosta "1000 acres of land at
Bowlegs' old plantation and situate northwesterly and contiguous to the same
Bowlegs' prairie, westward of Payne's town." A survey of this Acosta
grant in the office of Arthur T. Williams, Jacksonville, records the location of
Bowlegs' old plantation as one-half mile south of old Wacahoota in Levy County,
eight miles W-SW of the present town of Micanopy, being in S1/2 of Sec 9, T 12 S, R
marched on the 12th to Bolegg's, expecting the Indians would upon the same ground
dispute our passage between two hammocks to the Town. They however, made no
formidable stand, fired many distant shots without effect & retreated to the
interior of the Swamp.
In this last skirmish four of the enemy were killed & some wounded.
We encamped several days at Bolegg's Town & penetrated the hammock on the
side opposite that where our men were opposed. These hammocks or swamps are extensive
tracts of fertile land covered with thick shrubbery affording a safe retreat to the
Indians, & therefore require much caution to penetrate them safely. This
circumstance produced more delay than would otherwise have occurred. We burnt three
hundred & eighty six houses ; consumed & destroyed from fifteen hundred to
two thousand bushels of corn ; three hundred horses & about four hundred cattle
were collected, many of which were lost in attempting to drive them in. Two thousand
deer skins were found in Bolegg's magazine ; part were used by the troops, the
others destroyed. Five of the Prisoners escaped through the negligence of the guard ;
the other five are at this Camp & will be sent by the first opportunity to Camp
The weather was extremely bad during the whole of this incursion. The men were much
fatigued by their constant employment in scouring hammocks ; the horses were too
languid & feeble for further service. Our guides were ignorant of the route to
the big hammock town, which, with the reduction of the horses, would have prevented
an attack upon the settlement. I agreed with Capt. Ashley & Maj. Dill, who were
of important service to us & inasmuch as the Volunteers declined it believing
their horses too weak, that if they would collect & drive in the cattle, they
should have them on condition it were approved by you. Every
Officer & Soldier of both Detachments evinced promptitude & alacrity in his
duties & I feel much pleasure in stating that this campaign may teach them more
forbearance hereafter in aggressions upon our citizens.
I have the honor to be sir With high respect, Your obt. servt.
Col. Smith to Gen. Flournoy (copy).
Camp New Hope, St. Johns, 24th Feby. 1813. Sir :
You will receive herewith my communication relative to the Lotchaway expedition. The
facts are con sonant in most particulars to those which will be reported by Colo.
Williams. Your Orders were executed to the full extent, that, under existing
circumstances, was practicable. I must request it will conclude my tour of service in
the Southern Country ; & earnestly solicit permission to visit without delay my
friends in Tennessee. I have been near twelve months in this Province, a period in
which if no Peril were encountered, excessive perplexity & vexation were
The purposes of (Government, as for the eight months past, are yet indefinite in
relation to East Florida. To the North its views are notorious. Active operations are
there certainly & speedily to be prosecuted. To go to Tennessee, recruit a
Regiment & co-operate with my Countrymen is a privilege I confidently ask, &
hope you will without hesitation grant. I have obtained Capt. Woodruff's consent
that Robert Eddington of his Company be transferred to the Rifle Regt. in lieu of two
recruits furnished him. John D. King of the Rifle Regt. is infirm & unfit for
labourous service. He will be useful in the Hospital Department, & in the event
of my going to Tennessee, should be attached to some Company at this Place.
Capt. Cummings is anxious to take charge of a little Indian boy now a prisoner at
this Encampment; his father was killed in the Lochaway skirmishes. Capt. Cummings
pledges himself that the boy shall be sent at any expence to whatever point
subsequent orders or regulations may require.
I want One thousand dollars to meet the contingent expenses of the Detachment in this
Province as soon as possible. A part of the sum has been advanced out of my private
funds, & the Creditors are very pressing for the payment of their remaining
I have the honor to be sir, with high respect Your obt. servt.
Col. Smith to Maj. Lawrence Manning (copy).
Sir : Point Petre, 26th Mar. 1813.
The last mail brought me a furlough. You will assume the command that has been
confided to me, on the 4th of April. I transmit herewith the last communication from
Genl. Flournoy & an extract of a letter from Genl. Pinckney for your government.
I requested Genl. Flournoy to let Capt. Cummings have the little Indian Boy, who is a
prisoner at this place.
Not having received an answer from him, I wish you to authorize Captain Cummings to
carry him to Augusta taking his written assurance that he shall be sent back without
public expence when it is required.. I wish the Indians' goods sent to the poor
wretches at this place by the return of the Boat. I have ordered Mr. Lequeux to your
post after he has taken an account of the public property of every description over
which he as Q. M. will have any control & made the necessary arrangements for its
safe keeping. It will be well if you think his services can be spared to permit him
go to Charleston & settle his accounts. The return of Ordnance, Military Stores,
etc., required to be made to me, will now be forwarded to Colo. Decius Wadsworth,
Commissary Genl. of Ordnance, Washington.
As soon as the Militia are discharged it will be well to visit the different Posts of
command & give such directions as you conceive their safety & the Public
service require. I conceive the directions of the Maj. Genl. cannot be strictly
complied [with] without keeping out parties of observation to go as far as you
conceive your safety makes necessary. It is reported here that a fleet of Gun boats
is daily expected at the mouth of the St. Johns. I do not credit the report, but if
it should be well founded there is no doubt but they meditate an attack on New Hope.
The principal part of the Militia are entitled to their discharge on the first of
April. I conceive the Public service cannot be benefited by detaining Captns.
Cummings & Saunders longer than the rest. By permitting them to leave New Hope on
the last of the present month, they will be able to reach Camp Pinckney in time to be
paid & march with the balance of the Regt. Capt. Massias will forward to you some
Genl. Orders I have sent for promulgation at his post.
I have the honor to be With high respect, Your obt. servt.
Col. Smith to Maj. Manning (copy). Point Petre
27th March, 1813 Dear Major :
I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your favour of the 22d Inst. Your
plan for securing your Detachment is a good one & I hope you may have the work
completed before the Dons pay you a visit.
You tell me not to laugh at your work. I am no Engineer, but I assure you as far as I
am capable of judg ing a better one could not be adopted. 47
I received a letter today from Gen. Floyd. One half of his Brigade are ordered to be
in readiness for service at a moment's notice. The impression among the knowing
ones appears to be that the British will lay Savannah under contribution or in ashes.
Some information has been received to warrant this opinion. The Chesapeak is
Blockaded by a strong naval force, say five or six line of Battle Ships and ten
frigates, and several others off our coast. I am more disposed to believe that So.
Carolina or Georgia will be their principal object, as they know as well as ourselves
where we are weakest. My God what a scene there will be if they should get a footing
in this quarter & put Arms in the hands of our slaves. I hope & trust the
Army will be soon organized, for in its present state we can expect nothing but
disaster. I expect much from Genl. Davy's experience. Our men will do their duty
if properly directed. If I should at any time have it in my power to render you a
service I beg you to command me. I expect to join the Northern Army soon, when I will
with pleasure communicate to you every information that will interest you.
Tender my respects to the Officers of your command & accept yourself assurances
of my high Respect & Esteem. Adieu,
47. Though age-old oaks grow from the embankment, the earthwork erected at New Hone
by Major Manning in March, 1813, to protect the camp from an attack by the Spaniards;
still remains as a reminder of a little detachment of ragged, half-starved American
soldiers, who 118 years ago "carried on" in a foreign land amidst the most
distressing conditions incident to the profession of arms. Here, too, is a site well
worthy of a historical marker. (See the accompanying chart of Camp New Hope and
environs, which shows the detail of the work erected by Major Manning.)
(This account of American troops in Spanish East Florida will be concluded in the
next issue of the QUARTERLY.)
Click here for Part Five.