James Madison Papers
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Thomas Pinckney to John Armstrong, 18 April 1814 (Abstract)

Thomas Pinckney to John Armstrong, 18 April 1814 (Abstract)

§ Thomas Pinckney to John Armstrong. “Head Quarters Sixth & Seventh Districts—Fort Decatur Talipoosa,” 18 April 1814. “I have the honor of forwarding to you Copies of the continuance of my correspondence with the Commanding Officers [illegible] in the Creek War.1 I have overtaken at this Post one battalion of the North Carolina Militia, wherewith I shall march to join the remainder of the Army now united under the Command of General Jackson in the Fork, as soon as the road is practicable which I hope will be effected tomorrow.

“All the accounts we receive concur in the intelligence that the hostile party are dispersed, some flying towards Pensacola others toward the settlements of the Seminoles & a few toward the Black Warrior, a branch of the Tombigby. Their dispersed situation will give us more trouble than if they had remained embodied or had submitted. When any effect can be produced by pursuing them, parties will be detached for this purpose, and until a pacification, or their total emigration, a chain of Posts will be left Connecting the Alabama with Georgia & Tennessee whereby they will be kept in subjection & Troops readily furnished to reinforce Mobile and New Orleans and to effect any objects Government may contemplate further South.”

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, P-461:7). 2 pp. Docketed as received in the War Department in May 1814, and marked in an unidentified hand: “Has been to the Presiden⟨t⟩.”

1The enclosed copies included 1) Tennessee militia Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson to Pinckney, 5 Apr. 1814 (2 pp.), stating that Jackson planned to march to the Creek town of Hoithlewaule and attack it on 19 Apr., that he was taking only eight days’ rations because his horses were so starved they could not carry supplies, and that he would expect Pinckney to send additional provisions if necessary; 2) Pinckney to Jackson, 7 Apr. 1814 (2 pp.), congratulating Jackson on his recent victory in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, stating that U.S. troops under Col. Homer Milton were at Tuckabatchee on the Tallapoosa River and would soon “attack the main body of the Enemy,” noting that Jackson could join them and get supplies there, summarizing the terms specified by John Armstrong under which the United States would grant peace to the hostile Creek Indians (for the terms, see Armstrong to JM, 16 Mar. 1814, and n. 1), and stating that Pinckney himself and U.S. agent to the Creeks Benjamin Hawkins had been selected to “make the Treaty”; 3) Pinckney to Milton, 7 Apr. 1814 (2 pp.), expressing the hope that Milton would soon capture Hoithlewaule but advising him to wait for reinforcements if necessary; 4) Milton to Pinckney, 9 Apr. 1814 (2 pp.), stating that the hostile Creeks had abandoned Hoithlewaule, moved down the Tallapoosa, and might try to avoid a battle, that he planned to march to the “Fork” of the Tallapoosa and Coosa Rivers and to transport his supplies by water, that troops from North Carolina had joined him, and that his Indian allies were “active, brave and enterprizing”; 5) Jackson to Pinckney, 14 Apr. 1814 (4 pp.), reporting that the Creeks had left Hoithlewaule before Jackson reached it, that his men had burned the town, that Milton was not fully cooperating with his requests for supplies, and that he planned to march to “the junction of the rivers,” where he could get provisions from Fort Williams via the Coosa River; 6) Pinckney to Jackson, 14 Apr. 1814 (2 pp.), expressing his hope that Jackson and Milton had joined forces, and his preference for the “unconditional submission” that Jackson had accepted from the Creeks over the government’s terms, admitting that transportation of supplies was more difficult than he had anticipated due to bad road conditions, stating that the roads were being repaired, and suggesting that Jackson detach troops to “convey a few days rations”; 7) Pinckney to Jackson, 17 Apr. 1814 (2 pp.), informing Jackson that ten or twelve days’ worth of provisions could be sent from Fort Decatur if Jackson could supply boats to transport them, that he would have to retreat to that fort if he could get no other supplies, that Pinckney planned to join him to address these difficulties, and that Jackson should order Milton to send tools needed to repair roads, build boats, and finish army posts; and 8) Pinckney to Jackson, 18 Apr. 1814 (2 pp.), acknowledging receipt of Jackson’s 14 Apr. letter, apologizing for the confusion regarding supplies, directing Jackson not to advance to the Coosa, unless he was certain of receiving provisions and his whole army was needed for military objects there, assuring him that plentiful supplies could be sent to Tuckabatchee “in a day or two” when the roads were repaired, and reiterating Pinckney’s intention to meet with him to plan the rest of the campaign.

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