JACKSON, ANDREW, President. Autograph letter signed ("Andrew Jackson") as Major General, to Colonel Andrew Hynes, Adjutant General of Tennessee, Mobile, 21 October 1814. 2 pages, 4to, 242 x 200 mm. (9½ x 7 7/8 in.), integral address leaf in Jackson's hand, small seal hole, evenly browned.
JACKSON PREPARES TO TAKE PENSACOLA AND MAKES PLANS FOR THE DEFENCE OF NEW ORLEANS
Just three weeks before he captured Pensacola, "Old Hickory" orders several regiments to march to New Orleans in anticipation of a British assault: "...The...Troops...from the Western Division of the State [may] be ordered direct to New Orleans, those from the Eastern Divisions, direct to Fort Claiborne...Col Carroll['s]...soldiers are the best material, but the militia are surely in a great measure cursed with officers...I hope Carroll may command the Division...Genl Coffee is near at hand...I have been too long stationary. I am preparing for opperations [sic] as soon as the means arrive. The Troops when organized had better be sent on by Regts and Batalions [sic]...despatch is the object, and to have the Troops at their proper stations in due time all important..."
Jackson arrived at Mobile in late August: "this splendid strategic move thwarted British intentions and forced an important alteration in their invasion plans..." (R. Remini, Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Empire, p. 236). Jackson forced the British commander to switch the target of his invasion to New Orleans, but considered his force insufficient to mount a successful operation against Pensacola, occupied by a British garrison. General John Coffee raised 2,000 cavalry and several hundred foot soldiers to supplement Jackson's army. Though President Madison had not given Jackson official consent to encroach on Spanish territory, Jackson was convinced the defense of the Gulf demanded that the British be driven from Pensacola and the nearby fort. On 25 October Jackson rendezvoused with Coffee and on 7 November, stormed the city. Governor Manrique surrendered Pensacola and its surrounding fortifications; the British destroyed the fort and retreated to their ships.