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ANDREW JACKSON, a major-general in the army of the United States, was born near Camden, South Carolina, March 15, 1767. He was sent to a flourishing academy at the Waxaw settlement, where he remained, occupied with the dead languages, until the revolutionary war brought the enemy into his neighbourhood, whose approach left no alternative but the choice of the British or American banners. The intrepid and ardent boy, encouraged by his patriotic mother, hastened, at the age of fourteen, in company with one of his brothers, and joined the American standard, and shared the glory of the well-fought action at Stono. Not long after, the Americans engaged the British army, and were routed, and our hero was taken among the prisoners. At the close of the war, he returned to his classical studies, and at the age of eighteen he repaired to Salisbury, North Carolina, to a lawyer's office, in which he prepared himself for the bar.
In the winter of 1786, he obtained a license to practise, from thence he removed to Nashville, Tennessee, and there fixed his residence. Success attended his industry and talents, and, ere long, he was appointed attorney-general for the district.
In 1796, he was elected a member of the convention, to frame a constitution for the state. In this body he
acquired additional distinction, which placed him in the same year in Congress, in the house of representatives, and the following year in the senate of the United States. He acted invariably with the republican party,
and was esteemed for the soundness of his understanding and the moderation of his demeanor.
While a senator, he was chosen by the field officers of the Tennessee militia, without consultation with him, major-general of their division, and so remained until 1814, when he took the same rank in the service of the United States.
In 1799, on his resignation as a senator, he was appointed one of the judges of the Supreme Court of Tennessee. He accepted this appointment with reluctance, and withdrew from the bench soon after, with the determination to spend the rest of his life in tranquillity and seclusion, on a beautiful farm belonging to him, on the Cumberland river, about ten miles from Nashville.
His quiet felicity, however, was soon broken up, by the occurrence of the war with Great Britain. It roused his martial spirit, and drew around his standard 2500 men, which he tendered, without delay, to his government. In November, he descended the Mississippi, for the defence of the lower country, which was then thought to be in danger. As soon as tranquillity was restored, he returned to Nashville, and communicated to government the result of his expedition.
In 1813, on the news arriving of the massacre at fort Mimms, by a party of the British and a strong body of the Creek Indians, under the celebrated Teo cumseh, the Legislature called into service 3500 of the militia, to march into the heart of the Creek nation, and revenge the massacre.
General Jackson, although at that time labouring under severe indisposition, reached the encampment on the 7th October, 1813, and took command of the expedition. The first battle which he fought in person on this occasion, was at the fort of Talladega, a fort of the friendly Cherokee Indians, which had for some days been besieged by near 2000 Creeks. In this affair, he routed the Indians, with a loss of only fifteen killed and eighty wounded; while that of the Indians was upwards of six hundred. The want of provisions obliged him to march back to fort Strother. On their arrival there, no stores were found by the famished troops, owing to the delinquency of the contractors. The sufferings of the army by this time had become incredible; the militia resolved to a man to abandon the service. On the morning when they intended to carry their intention into effect, General Jackson drew up the volunteer companies in front of them, and gave his mandate not to advance. The firmness displayed on this occasion was so striking, that the militia returned to their quarters, and were the next day, in their turn, employed to put in check a part of the volunteer corps who had mutinied. General Jackson was obliged, however, to withdraw the troops from fort Strother, towards fort Deposit, upon the condition that if they met supplies, which were expected, they would return and prosecute the campaign. They had not proceeded more than ten miles, before they met 150 beeves; but their faces being once turned homeward, they resisted his order to march back to the encampment. The scene which ensued is characteristic of his firmness and decision. A whole brigade had put itself in the attitude for moving off forcibly : Jackson, though disabled in his left arm, seizing a musket, and resting it with his right hand on the neck of his horse, he threw himself in front of the column, and threatened to shoot the first man who should attempt to advance. Major Reid and General Coffee placed themselves by his side. For several minutes the column preserved a menacing attitude, yet hesitated to proceed: at length it quietly turned round, and agreed to submit. This was a critical period : but for the daring intrepidity of Jackson, the campaign would have been broken up, and the object of their expedition.
A third considerable mutiny, which happened not long after, was suppressed by personal efforts of the same kind.
Once more, in the middle of January, 1814, he was on his march, bending his course to a part of the Tallapoosa river, near the mouth of a creek, called Emuckfaw. On the 21st, at night, he discovered he was in the neighbourhood of the enemy. At the dawn of the next morning, he was fiercely attacked by them. The whole of the day was spent in severe fighting, when the enemy drew off for the night. The next day, the enemy returned to the conflict with renewed ardour, and was finally routed. The loss of the enemy was immense.
General Jackson then moved forward, and encamped within three miles of fort Strother. Having accomplished the several objects of this perilous expedition, in February he discharged the volunteers and his artillery company, receiving in their stead fresh militia, drafted for the occasion. On the 16th March, he altered his plan, and determined to penetrate further into the enemy's country: he accordingly set out from fort Strother, and came up with the enemy at the village of Tohopeka, where the enemy had taken much pains to secure themselves by a fortification. On the 27th, General Jackson attacked the enemy, and for a time the contest was obstinate and bloody. At length the Americans proved victorious, after one of the most bloody battles which we have recorded on the annals of Indian warfare. The loss of the enemy was upwards of seven hundred killed, besides several hundred prisoners, women and children, who were treated with tenderness and humanity. Having thus struck a decisive blow, the hostile tribes sued for peace, which was granted to them, on certain conditions: those who rejected them sought refuge along the coast, and in Pensacola.
All resistance being at an end, General Jackson issued orders for the troops to be marched home and discharged.
The complete and final discomfiture of so formidable a foe as this confederacy of the Creek tribes, drew the attention of the general government to the Tennessee commander, and in consideration of his services, he was promoted as a brigadier and brevet major-general in the regular army, May, 1814, General Jackson, with Colonel Hawkins, by order of government, was deputed to negotiate with the vanquished Indians, for the purpose chiefly of restricting their limits, so as to cut off their communication with the British and Spanish agents. They reached their place of destination on the 10th July, and by the 10th August, completely effected the object of their mission. During this transaction, his mind was struck with the importance of depriving the fugitive and refractory Indians of the aid and incitement which were administered to them in East Florida. For this purpose, he urged to the president the propriety of the measure, having already, from information which he had received, anticipated the attack on New Orleans. He accordingly, of his. own accord, addressed the governor of Pensacola, and summoned him to deliver up the chiefs of the hostile Indians, who were harboured in their fortress. The governor peremptorily refused. General Jackson again addressed his government on the necessity of planting the American eagle on the Spanish walls. He addressed the governors of Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi, to be vigilant and energetic, “ for dark and heavy clouds hovered over the seventh military district."
He sent his adjutant-general, Colonel Butler, to Tennessee to raise volunteers, and himself repaired to Mobile, to put that region in a plan of defence. This position had until this time been wholly neglected. General Jackson, at once perceiving its great importance, lost no time in strengthening it. About a fortnight after his arrival, a squadron of