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proceeding. While the war department was conducted by Mr. Graham, previous to Mr. Calhoun's entering upon its duties, an order had issued, either through inadvertence, or for reasons which the president deemed sufficient, to a subordinate officer in General Jackson's department, without being communicated through him. This step produced, from the general, an order of the 22d of April, 1817, prohibiting all his subordinate officers from obeying any order emanating from the war department, unless coming through him, as the proper organ of communication. In justification of a proceeding so extraordinary, the general remarks," that superior officers having commands assigned them, are responsible to the government for the character and conduct of that command, and it might as well be justified in an officer, senior in command, to give orders to a guard on duty, without passing that order through the officer of that guard, as that the department of war should countermand the arrangement of commanding generals, without giving their orders through their proper channel. To acquiesce in such a course, would be a tame surrender of military rights and etiquet, and at once subyert the established principle of subordination and good order. Obedience to the lawful commands of superior officers, is constitutionally and morally required; but there is a chain of communication, bind. ing the military compact, which, if broken, opens the door to disobedience and disrespect, and gives loose to the turbulent spirits which are ever ready to excite mutiny." This order was issued to General Jackson's subordinate officers, and communicated, through the medium of the press, to the public.
Whether General Jackson, the war department wer in the right, in relation to this measure, depended on circumstances which have not been disclosed, as it never has been the subject of legislative or executive inquiry. But there was something novel, and something which had a tendency to produce that very insubordination, which the general so much deprecates, for the commanding officer of a district to prohibit those under his command, yielding obedience to the supreme military authority of the nation. It placed them in a situation peculiarly embarrassing; if, in compliance with the general's mandate, they refused obedience to the orders of the war department, they were liable to immediate removal by the president, or to be arrested, tried, and punished by a court martial ; if they complied, they were liable to the same process from General Jackson. The subject became a matter of much animadversion. Gen. Scott, the second in command in the northern division, on a public occasion at New York, pronounced it an act of mutiny. Some officious intermeddler procured a publication of General Scott's remarks in a paper of that city, and transmited them to Gen. Jackson. This produced a correspondence between the two generals, honorable to neither, in which a discussion of the propriety or legality of the order was lost in personal abuse. The public waited with considerable anxiety, the issue of a proceeding so extraordinary ; but nothing further transpired on the subject. As the event took place previous to Mr. Calhoun's assuming the duties of the war department, he did not think proper to notice it in any other manner, than by publishing an official notice, " that on ordinary occasions, or. ders from that department would issue only to the commanding generals of the divisions, and in cases where the service required a different course, the general in chief would be notified of the order with as little delay as possible."
Negro fort on the Apalachicola destroyed-Aury and and M'Gregor's en
terprisesGalveston and Amelia Island-Piratical establishments suppressed-East Florida-Mickasuky and Sawaney villages-Instructions to General Gaines-Destruction of Fowltown Massacre of Lieutenant Scott's party-Instructions to General Jackson-His proceedings-Tennessee volunteers raised and organized by him-Fort Gadsden builtMickasuky villages destroyed-St. Marks taken-Sawaneytown destroyed -Arbuthnot and Ambrister taken-Their character and conduct, trial and sentence-Pensacola and the Barancas taken-Governor of Florida, and civil officers appointed by General Jackson-Orders issued to take St. Augustine-Countermanded by the president-Proceedings in relation to Captain Wright-Correspondence between General Jackson and Governor Rabun-Remonstrance of Spanish government-Mr. Ad. ams' reply-Proceedings of congress relating to the Seminole war.
Hostile collections in the Floridas. When the British withdrew their military force from the Floridas, at the close of the late war, Edward Nicolls, formerly a colonel, and James Woodbine, a captain in the British service, who had been the principal agents in exciting the Indians and negroes of the south to hostilities, remained in the territory, and industriously employed themselves in forming combinations against the south-western frontier. To the Creek Indians, whose lands had been ceded to the United States by Jackson's treaty of August, 1814, Nicolls represented that they had been grossly injured and defrauded ; that a restoration of their lands was provided for by the treaty of Ghent, and that the British government would guaranty and enforce their claims. He assumed the character of a British agent, and pretended that he had special powers from the government to support their pretensions. In furtherance of these views, Nicolls and Woodbine esta. blished a fort on the Appalachicola river, which divides the provinces of East and West Florida, a station which, from its proximity to Georgia, Louisiana, and the Mississippi territory, was well adapted to collect runaway negroes, and disaffected Indians of the south, to a single point. From the difficulty of getting heavy artillery to bear upon it, the place was considered impregnable, and had become the general rendezvous of Nicolls and Woodbine's troops. In July, 1816, about four hundred negroes and Indians had collected at this spot, and fortified it with twelve pieces of artillery, and well stored it with provisions and munitions of war.
In consequence of these hostile appearances, Colonel Chinch, with a detachment of United States troops, and five hundred friendly Indians under the command of M·Intosh, moved down from the head waters of the Apalachicola, and invested the fort on the land side. Nicolls and Woodbine, after exacting an oath from their followers that they would not suffer an American to approach the place alive, gave it up to them and went off.
Massacre of a watering party. Two schooners laden with military stores and provisions for Colonel Chinch's forces from New Orleans, convoyed by two gunboats, having obtained permission of the commandant at Pensacola, entered the river on the 10th of July. On nearing the fort, a watering party of seven men was attacked by an ambuscade of negroes from the shore ; five were killed on the spot, one escaped, and one was taken prisoner, who was carried into the fort, and there covered with tar, and inhumanly burned. The gunboats had only one twelve pounder each, and the whole force did not exceed fifty men. On communicating with the troops above, they were advised not to approach the fort; notwithstanding this advice, they determined to attack it, and began to warp up, occasionally throwing a shot to ascertain the distance, the negroes at the same time firing their long guns, but without skill or effect. Having warped sufficiently near, the Americans commenced firing hot shot, when one of the first entered their principal magazine, and blew up the fort ; two hundred and seventy were killed, most of the remainder badly wounded; only three of the whole number escaped unhurt. Three thousand stands of arms, five hundred carbines, eight hundred pair of pistols, five hundred swords; five hundred kegs of powder stored outside of the fort, and a large quantity of clothing were taken. These munitions of war were designed to supply the hostile assemblages in the Floridas with the means of depredating on the American frontier. Two of the principal chiefs of the fort were made prisoners, whom, Colonel Chinch, on hearing the barbarous manner in which they had murdered the American prisoners, gave up to the M'Intosh Indians, who executed upon them terrible act of retributive justice.
Aury's establishment at Galveston. The unsettled state of the Spanish South American provinces afforded favorable opportunities for the turbulent and adventurous to engage in desperate enterprises. _Of this description was Louis Aury, a West Indian, of French extraction, who in July, 1816, having collected several vessels at Aux Cayes, and manned them with a mixture of brigands, mulattoes, and refugees from the piratical station at Barrataria, recently broken up, proceeded to form an establishment at Snake Island, in the bay of St. Barnard, in the gulf of Mexico. This was a small uninhabited sand bank, of a few miles in circumference, on the coast of Texas, 130 miles westward of the mouth of the Mississippi, and within what was claimed to be the Louisiana purchase. Aury having planted himself on this spot, immediately opened a communication with Herrara, another adventurer, who at New Orleans had assumed the character of agent from a Mexican congress.
Herrara, with what followers and friends he could obtain, proceeded to join Aury; and they, with their associates, to the amount of three hundred desperadoes, of every description and color, immediately became patriots, contending for the liberties of man. Their first proceeding was to organize a republic, of which Aury was the civil and military governor: their next to institute a court of admiralty to pass judicial sentences upon the prizes which might be taken and brought in by their squadron. Another Frenchman, a bankrupt auctioneer, from New Orleans, was appointed secretary of state. An administrator of the public revenue, a collector of customs, and other officers deemed necessary to give their establishment the semblance of a legal government, were also appointed. The republic thus constituted, assumed the name of Galveston, and commenced their operations by capturing Spanish slave ships in the gulf of Mexico, condemning them in Aury's admiralty courts, and smuggling them into the United States. Slave speculators, in considerable numbers, resorted there, purchased their cargoes, and transported them through the marshes and swamps on the coast, to the planters of Louisiana. Other goods, also, found on board their prizes, were packed in small parcels and introduced into the United States through the same channel. This assemblage, differing from a gang of pirates only in their boldness in assuming the forms of a regular government, were not scrupulous in regard to the national character of the vessels which they plundered, but laid their hands on all where they could find specie, valuable merchandise, or slaves on board. Many of