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William Cocke to Thomas Jefferson, 28 January 1814

From William Cocke

Fort Strother Jany 28th 1814

In my last I promisd to advise you of the Occurences that might take place in the Southern expedition against the hostile Creeks on the 22nd Instant we had two engagements near the E Muckfaw & another on the 24th at the hilabies or Enochepoo The brave Genl Jackson has Added new laurels to his former victories; we have fought we have bled we have Conquereed Genl Coffee has covered him Self with Glory his fame is made Rich with his Blood he is wounded Severely but not dangerously. Colo Carrol the intripid the brave Carrol by his great Example gave Courage to all who were near him, none Could excell that valuable1 officer he is worthy of his Countrys first love & highest gratitude,

The enemy have been Confounded and defeated; in all their attacks but not with out the loss of Some of the best Blood that ever annimated human nature, Our loss in feild is 22 and double that number wounded among the Slain we have to lament Magr Donnelson Aid to Genl Coffee & the Brave Capt Hill, The enemy Cannot have lost less than one hundred & eighty or perhaps two hundred killed they have not been able to Carry off2 a Single Scalp—The Cherokees have distinguished them Selves & Some of the friendly Creeks have done well, Colo Richard Brown, Capt John thompson fought Bravely & the Son of the old path Killer Known by the name of the Bear Meat with ten of his Companions fought by My Side—in the last engagement & it is nothing more than Justice due them for Me to Say that they Rendered essensial, among them that were near me I have to lament the death of Mr Thomas Smith Son of Capt Samuel Smith of Maury County a youth not more than Eighteen years of age he fought Bravely and3 died gloriously Capt William Hamilton of East Tennessee who joind the artillery Company is no more he fought like a heroe and expireed for his Country Capt Leml Childress assistant Quarter Master was wounded early in the action he Seemd to be in Spireed with fresh ardor from the Blood that trickled down his Cheeks, Joshua Harskel deserves the highest applause for his gallant Conduct on this trying occation Much praise is Said to be due to Magr Boid Capt Carr & Lieut Long Capt Geo. W Mar and my Nephew Mr James Cocke was wounded on the evening of the 22nd Capt Marr distinguished him Self and so did the brave men under his Command he set them an example worthy of him Self and they Retaliated tenfold for the blood that they lost the artillery Company Sustaind the heaviest Shock they had to Contend with the Strong force of the enemy Bird Evans of that Company was killed, & the Brave Lieut Armstrong wounded in the hip but not dangerously Also Jacob McGaffock Hyram Bradford & John Sigler of the Same Company Mr Syon perry Joseph & peter loony fought like heroes Magr thomas T Maury did him s[elf] great honour and was Slightly wounded Magr Joseph Pekins is truly brave and fought well, in4 this Short Scetch and from the limited view I had of the action I feel my self incompetent to do Justice to many Brave and valuable men & officers but Merit has its best Reward in the pleasure that is felt in Concious rectitude I am you well know your old and Sure friend

Wm Cocke

(I5 know the following6 note from my Genl will be Grattifying to you I their fore Send you a coppy)

RC (DLC); edge chipped; endorsed by TJ as received 16 Feb. 1814 and so recorded in SJL; with enclosure subjoined. Enclosure: Andrew Jackson to Cocke, Fort Strother, 28 Jan. 1814, commending him for his recent military service, which included “Entering the percuit exposing your person and their by Saving the life of Lieut Moss” as well as personally killing an Indian; expressing dismay at Tennessee’s failure to supply his army with the troops and provisions it needs, particularly 1,500 men requisitioned for six months’ service by the secretary of war and Major General Thomas Pinckney; alleging that those who have not supported his efforts lack patriotism; and asking that Cocke return to East Tennessee to see to it that Jackson receives the men and matériel necessary to bring his campaign to a speedy and successful conclusion (Tr in DLC: TJ Papers, 200:35647, entirely in Cocke’s hand, undated; Dft in DLC: Jackson Papers, undated, but mistakenly endorsed in another hand as a letter of 29 Jan. 1814; printed, dated 28 Jan. 1814, in Washington Daily National Intelligencer, 12 May 1814; summarized in Sam B. Smith, Harold D. Moser, Daniel Feller, and others, eds., The Papers of Andrew Jackson [1980– ], 3:408).

Cocke’s most recent letter to TJ, dated 15 May 1813, nowhere promises to keep him apprised of events in the southern expedition against the Creek Indians. He is either mistaken or referring to a letter that never reached TJ. Jackson’s January 1814 raid against the Red Stick Creek Indians resulted in indecisive engagements at Emuckfaw Creek and Enitachopco (enochepoo) Creek in what later became Tallapoosa County, Alabama (Heidler and Heidler, War of 1812 description begins David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, eds., Encyclopedia of the War of 1812, 1997 description ends , 135).

1Manuscript: “waluable.”

2Manuscript: “of.”

3Manuscript: “and &.”

4Manuscript: “in in.”

5Omitted opening parenthesis editorially supplied.

6Manuscript: “followin.”

Index Entries

  • Armstrong, Robert; militia service of search
  • Bear Meat (Cherokee Indian); militia service of search
  • Boyd (Boid), Mr.; militia service of search
  • Bradford, Hiram; militia service of search
  • Brown, Richard; militia service of search
  • Carr, Mr. (militia man) search
  • Carroll, William; militia service of search
  • Cherokee Indians; and War of1812 search
  • Childress, Lemuel; militia service of search
  • Cocke, James; militia service of search
  • Cocke, William; letters from search
  • Cocke, William; on campaign against Creek Indians search
  • Coffee, John; militia service of search
  • Creek Indians; and War of1812 search
  • Donaldson, Alexander; militia service of search
  • Evans, Bird; militia service of search
  • Hamilton, William (of Tennessee); militia service of search
  • Haskell, Joshua; militia service of search
  • Hill, John; militia service of search
  • Indians; and War of1812 search
  • Indians; Cherokee search
  • Indians; Creek search
  • Jackson, Andrew; commends W. Cocke’s military service search
  • Jackson, Andrew; War of1812service of search
  • Long, Mr.; militia service of search
  • Loony (Looney), Joseph; militia service of search
  • Loony (Looney), Peter; militia service of search
  • Marr, George Washington Lent; militia service of search
  • Maury, Thomas T.; militia service of search
  • McGavock, Jacob; militia service of search
  • Moss, Mr.; militia service of search
  • Pathkiller (Cherokee Indian) search
  • Perkins, Joseph; militia service of search
  • Perry, Sion (Syon); militia service of search
  • Pinckney, Thomas; War of1812service of search
  • Sigler, John; militia service of search
  • Smith, Samuel (of Tennessee) search
  • Smith, Thomas (of Tennessee); militia service of search
  • Tennessee; and War of1812 search
  • Thompson, John; militia service of search
  • War of1812; and Indians search