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LETTER OF A BRITISH OFFICER
AFTER, BATTLE OF ORLEANS (The following letter, written by a British officer in 1815, was given by the daughters of the writer, :Miss Forbes, of Santa Cruz, Calif., to Dr. Jerome B. Thomas, of Pola Alto, who in turn gave it to Professor Ephraim D. Adams, of the Leland Stanford, Jr., University, by whom a copy was kindly given to the Historical Society of East and West Baton Rouge, with pernlission to publish it.) On Board H. M. S. "Alceste," Off Cat Island, 28th Jan,. 1815. James Cobb, Esq., Sec. East India Company, London, England. My dear Sir: The "Plantagenet-74" leaves us in the course of the day with Gen. Lam bert and Sir Alex Cochrane's dis patches for England and I feel par ticularly happy in the opportunity by her to be able to state to you certain circumstances regarding our expedi tion that you are not likely to become acquainted with through any public source of information. It is only since I've landed in the neighborhood of New Orleans that we were undeceived as to the reception the Army was likely to meet with from the settlers of Louisiana and the Floridas in the event of our attacking them. It was the received opinion founded certainly upon hints given to military officers high in rank by Sir Alex before we quitted Jamaica and upon our arrival 1 on the American Continent that the i vexatious taxes imposed upon them by 1 the American Government had so dis gusted the people at large as to leave t no doubt of our being received with open arms. A representation to this t effect must have gone home and can c be the only means of accounting for c the reason why the Ministry did not s send a force with us adequate to the v enterprise we were sent on. The is- r sue has proved that the Admiral's n information was fallacious and the re- o turns of our killed and wounded will b convince the World that the opposition n we have met with was owing to the tv unanimity of every class of men. In ti fact not a white man of even the b lowest description has joined us since , we landed, nor have our generals or c; the Admirals succeeded in obtaining tl information of the most trivial nature. S We quitted Plymouth with barely 2000 men under Major-General Keane. Off a the western point of Jamaica we were )y reinforced by the remains of General ss Ross's army from the Chesapeake, r. and two blackregiments. The entire 10 number of our force even by this addi m tion did not exceed 4,500 bayonets; d, of this only 1600 men could be put is on shore at once, owing to the want of boats in the fleet and the distance :hthe troops were to be conveyed from Cata Island to within eight miles of New Orleans, about a hundred miles. 5. We made our landing good with that number of men on the 23rd ultimo but with great difficulty, owing to the shallowness of the water and other 'mlpedinments. and took up a position n on the banks of the Mississippi with - out hearing of an enemy being (sic.) in our neighborhood. We found the plantations deserted and learned from y the slaves that their masters had n joined the militia corps. No sooner, however, had daylight quitted us than e we were suddenly surprised by a tre c mendous fire of grape and round shot I e from a 12-gun schooner that had c f dropped down unperceived by any per-i 3 son of the army from New Orleans s just opposite our position, but within s grape range. After suffering consid . erable loss, General Keane succeeded t in getting the troops placed under c r the embankment of the river so that f 3 shot could occasion us little further 1 injury. The vessel's fire was from 1 I thence returned by volleys of musket ry allong our lines. A quarter of an t hour could scarcely have elapsed i when we found ourselves assailed in 1I the rear or on the flanks by about t 7000 men under General Jackson, so e that it became necessary to subject v ourselves once more (sic.) to the fire o of the schooner so as to meet Jack- v son in the field. Notwithstanding their h vast superiority both in numbers and h mode of attack, from our entire ig- a norance of the enemy's movements a or even a knowledge that any force tl beyond the militia of the immediate A neighborhood existed, we resisted 0o them in the first instance and for- is tunately succeeded in dispersing them of but not without the loss of 300 men. p Jackson on this night gained suffi- di cient experience to suffer us to be si the assailants on all future occasions ce and allowed us to disembark our w whole force without further molesta- di tion. Sir Edward Pakenham, to be g( our Commander-in-chief, and General Gibbs, second in command, had an pE opportunity of joining before anything sil further was attempted, and on the fol- le lowing morning the schooner was set to fire by red-shot from two guns we th had landed. A reinforcement of the af 7th and 43rd regiments joined us jd about the same time from England. fr The general expectation was that the gil period was at hand when we were t, to be relieved from our unpleasant cz situation and get into the town. We a drove in the enemy's pickets with this tl impression and expected to annihilate pl Jackson's force in an instant, but to e our great mortification we found after ea pushing on about three miles that his N army has entrenched itself in a strong ol position with its right on the river It and its left resting on a swampy wood ti re. 'which we afterwards discovered to be i '00 impenetrable, with redoubts in front i )ff mounting fifteen pieces of cannon. A I re 'twenty-gun ship had moved down and t al was anchored in such a situation as to r re, fire down our line in case of (our) r re attempting assault. Not one of these i li- obstacles had been foreseen and our n s; troops rushed on headlong till brought ' ut up by the ditch in front of the Amer- y nt ican line. They were of a nature not h ce to be surmounted and we were con- h m strained to fall back without reach b of from shot from their lines and ship, s s. with loss. Sir Edward then deter- C at mined upon cannonading the enemy n io so as to oblige him to quit his strong tl eo ground or by making breaches, force ir er his way through them, to effect which ti In thirty pieces of ordnance of all des- tt h- criptions were got ashore and placed .) in batteries on New Year's Eve. New C le Year's Day afforded us a sight of fire m works, pop guns, mortars and rockets d such as has been seldom witnessed r, even in Lord Wellington's great fic n tions in the Peninsula. However, this - attempt was uncessful and we sus- m t tained a further loss of nearly a hun- ce d dred men. The last resource was now S' r- to storm the lines and the day was at is fixed for the 8th instant. It was so in n arranged that a party should cross I- the river in boats. We were enabled S. d to get into it by a canal we had been er r employed the previous day in cutting of t from our previous landing place, ch r which was to take their enfilading n batteries on the opposite side in re- sa verse to prevent our suffering from at n them as we advanced to the storm. in d The party succeeded with a trifling w; n loss in taking all the cannon mounted se t there, eighteen in number. The prin- pr o cipal attack upon the lines failed, not- us t withstanding the success upon the e opposite side, and the public papers in - will sufficiently explain to you the ig r loss the army has met with in the I loss of Generals Pakenham and Gibbs joy - and the number of regimental officers flo s and about 2000 men. In fact, it had re the effect to depress the spirits of the sa Army so far that General Lambert, col I our present General-in-chief, immed- to lately after the action determined up i on a re-embarkation and began to inf put our wounded on board the same rol day and successively shipped off our col stores, men and guns, with the ex- tio ception of our heavy ship guns we on were obliged to destroy, until this roc day, when the last of the troops were sid got off. To mention individual suffering is perhaps ridiculous, but until this day, since the 15th of last month, when I left the ship, I have not had the com fort of a change of linen of any other than a blanket and great coat could afford me either in boats night and day exposed alternately to rain and frost or hutted on shore on swampy ground, so that you can easily figure Ito yourself the change to the captain's cabin of a fine frigate, sitting before a large fire that I am enjoying on this present writing. Not only our prospects of prize money have vanish ed but promotion also, which I fully expected would have followed success. No plans for the future operations of the army have yet been suggested. It is generally supposed we shall at I tack Mobile, but I differ from others in this particular. I do not conceive 1i it to be of sufficient importance, but rather conclude we shall sail away for t New Providence or Bermuda and re- u main in either of those islands until f reinforcements can reach us from r England and general officers to com- d mand with fresh instructions, on which point I shall not fail to write g you when they are determined on. I a have omitted to inform you the enemy n had unknown to the Admiral five gun boats of a superior class on the lakes which were discovered by accident by I Captain Gordon of the "Seahorse" most fortunately for the army, as r they would have destroyed the troops in the boats as they were conveying through the lakes; these were cap tured by the boats of the Squadron. With kind regards to my Aunt and Cousins, (Signed) C. J. FORBES. 0---~-----.. ST. JOSEPH'S CHURCH ENLARGED. The original plans for the enlarge ment and renovation of St. Joseph's church called for an expenditure of $75,000.00. Such expenditure will be augmented on account of the follow ing reasons: The temporary church building on S. V. A. campus had to be strength ened and made safe for the occupancy of the increasing congregation and church goers. Old Church Building to be made safe at an additional expense of about $12,000.00. This Church Build-i ing, according to the corner stone, vas erected in 1853; the masonryi seemed to have been originally very poor in workmanship and material used in the mortar. Installation of a heating and cool ing system, not provided in the or iginal plans. The rotten condition of the floor joists demanding much filling, the loor to be substituted by a fireproof re-inforced concrete floor with neces sary gulleys for the electrical wire ;onduits and plumbing, etc., built in to the floor. The side walls of the Church Build ing had begun to separate due to the rotten condition of the tall wooden .olumns at the bottom; such condi :ion had caused the columns to hang n the roof rather than support the -oof, causing the roof to sag, and the side walls to get out of plumb, and leave an average of about nine inches. The supporting walls for the Sanc tuary Steps and Communion Rail used for the old foundation were found to be rotten and called for re-inforced concrete footings at an ad ditional depth of three feet. The precarious condition of the or gan loft for which cast iron columns and a new set of beams and joists are necessary. The rotten condition of the wall and woodwork in the towner entailing a large expenditure. The condition of the slates on the roof ,which the original plans pro vided for patching, is impossible to use again. A new roof is necessary. The above reasons and others, not now in mind, are the incentive for a meeting of the Organizing Commit tee, the Executive Board and Twen ty Bodies of Catholic Ccntlemen known as Team Workers-to be held at. the Knights of Columbu. Council Chamber next Friday, May 5th, at seventy-thirty (7:30) p. m. There will he about two hundred earnest gentlemen, who will report for in structions. No solicitations will be made until the Campaign starts, MIn day, May 8th. i'. Tuesday, Play 16th MOONLIGHT Excursion-Dance Auspices Daughters of the Confederacy Lvs. Baton Rouge 8:00 P. `I. Only Appearance This Sd son. Save and Have Time was never more opportune to start a Savings Account than at present. In order to cncourage thrift among the young as well as the older folks, this OLD AND WELL ESTABLISIIEI) BANK Pays 4' on such accounlts. Yours is invited. THE BANK OF BATON ROUGE "BUILT BY PUBLIC CONFIDENCE" 4% -- On Savings 4% COAL! PHONE 30 COAL! KENTUCKY, the Standard High Quality; $9.00 per net ton, delivered .................................. SCOTT SPECIAL, Highest Quality; . 00 per net ton, delivered ................................ "$ 1 * RED ASH, More Heat, Less Ash; $11.00 per net ton, delivered We handle only the highest quality coals-the best in the city. Everybody is talking about the quality of our coal - Ask our customers. 'BATON ROUGE COAL & TOWING COMPANY The Oldest and Most Reliable Concern in the City. Foot of Convention Street. J. C. Werner, General Manager Confidence Our chief asset is not measured in dollars and cents it is Public Confidence, alld our alill is to deserve it. We offer "everything in banking" and we challenge the closest investigation. Our record is above reproach ac d our alfiliationll wit I the Ullited States (\overnlll('i l atl ;tss es'(' Saifet' to all. who open accounts with us. Join our banking' family and eliminate every possi ble risk. LOUISIANA NATIONAL BANK UNDER U. S. GOVERNMENT SUPERVISION BATON ROUGE, La. ONE DAY SALE Useful and Beautiful Kitchen Sets ()ne Assortmient Conusisting of: Compound Potato Masher, One Hand Egg Beater, Long Handle Fork, Per forated Cake Turner, Zig-Zag Batter Spoon, Measuring Spoon, with rack to hold ........... ......... ...... $ One Assortment with above mentioned articles, to gether with Strainer Spoon, Pot, Pan, and Vegetable Brush, Combination Can Opener ...................... Only-Monday, May 8-Only Standard Furniture Company, Inc. 1247 North Boulevard "Your Satisfaction is Our Success"