Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Why am I not surprised? About what? Why am I not surprised that with all the HYSTERICAL COMMISSIONS, museum "curators", "patriotic" organizations, "preservationists", "civic" organizations, "historians" and "social studies teachers" in this PITIFUL world, I AM THE ONLY SOUL WHO RECOGNIZES THAT 200 YEARS AGO TODAY, on Monday, DECEMBER 23, 1816, the first legislation to establish a state government for the people of PRESENT-DAY ALABAMA was read on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. (that should give you an idea of just how well your "ALABAMA BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION" is progressing)
December 23, 1816
Read twice and committed to the committee of the whole House, on the bill "to enable the people of the western part of the Mississippi Territory to form a Constitution and State Government and for the admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States.";view=1up;seq=28

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016, will mark the 200th anniversary of the destruction of THE NEGRO FORT on the Apalachicola River from a single U.S. Navy hot shot cannonball which landed inside the fort's powder magazine. One of the major reasons for the U.S. to order the destruction of this British-built fort was in order to protect the surveyors who were in the field surveying the public lands in present-day Georgia and Alabama which the Creek Indians lost under the terms of THE TREATY OF FORT JACKSON following the defeat of the Red Sticks at Horseshoe Bend.

Reprinted from THE NATIONAL REGISTER, Volume 7

Preceding the destruction of the Negro Fort, this letter was sent from General Gaines at Fort Montgomery (near the present-day Baldwin County community of Tensaw) to Colonel Clinch at Fort Gaines, Georgia. It authorized Colonel Clinch to establish what was known as Camp Crawford (later Fort Scott) on the Flint River in present-day Decatur County, Georgia. I have emphasized the portion which deals with protecting the surveyors.

No. 19. General Gaines to colonel Clinch.
 Head Quarters, Fort Montgomery, M T.(Mississippi Territory)
 23d May, 1816.
Sir, — Your letters up to the 9th instant, have been received. The British agent Hambly, and the Little Prince, and others, are acting a part, which I have been at a loss for some time past to understand. Are they not endeavoring to amuse and divert us from our main object? Their tricks, if they be so, have assumed a serious aspect, and may lead to their destruction; but we have little to apprehend from them. They must be watched with an eye of vigilance. The post near the junction of the rivers, to which I called your attention, in the last month, must be established speedily, even if we have to fight our way to it through the ranks of the whole nation.

THE SURVEYORS HAVE COMMENCED LAYING OFF THE LAND TO BE SOLD AND SETTLED; AND THEY MUST BE PROTECTED. The force of the whole nation cannot arrest your movement down the river on board the boats, if secured up the sides with two inch plank, and covered over with clapboards; nor could all the nation prevent your landing and constructing a stockade work, sufficient to secure you, unless they should previously know the spot at which you intended to land, and had actually assembled at that place previous to. or within four hours of, your landing; but your force is not sufficient to warrant your march to the different villages, as suggested, by land. The whole of your force, (except about forty men, or one company, for the defence of fort Gaines,) should be kept near your boats and supplies, until the new post shall be established. You may then strike at any hostile party near you, with all your disposable force; but, even then, you should not go more than one or two days, march from your fort.

If your supplies of provision and ammunition have reached you, let your detachment move as directed in my letter of the 28th of last month.You can venture to move with twenty five days rations, but you should order a supply to the agency, or fort Gaines, where a boat should be built, and held in readiness to send down, in case any accident should prevent or delay the arrival of a supply which I have ordered from New Orleans.

 I enclose you an extract of a letter containing an arrangement for the supply, by water, and have to direct that you will provide a boat, and despatch it with an officer and fifty men to meet the vessels from New Orleans, as soon as you are advised of their being on the river One of your large boats will answer the purpose, provided you have no barge or keel boat. Should the boats meet with opposition, at what is called the Negro Fort, arrangements will immediately be made for its destruction, and for that purpose you will be supplied with two eighteen pounders and one howitzer, with fixt ammunition, and implements complete, to be sent in a vessel to accompany the provision. 1 have likewise ordered fifty thousand musket cartridges, some rifles, swords, etc. Should you be compelled to go against the Negro Fort, you will land at a convenient point above it, and force a communication with the commanding officer of the vessels below, and arrange with him your plan of attack. Upon this subject, you shall hear from me again, as soon as I am notified of the time at which the vessels will sail from New Orleans.
With great respect and esteem, Your obedient servant,
(Signed) EDMUND P. GAINES, ) Major general commanding.

Lieut, col. 1). L. Clinch, or officer commanding on the Chattahooche.

A true copy. — Rob. R. Ruffin, Aid-de-camp.

General Gaines to Commodore Patterson.
Fort Montgomery,
May 22d 1816.
Sir, — By a letter I have received from lieutenant colonel Clinch, commanding a battalion of the 4th regiment infantry, on the Chatahoochie, I learn that in the early part of the present month, a party of Indians surprized and took from the immediate vicinity of his camp, two privates sent out to guard a drove of beef cattle, purchased for the subsistence of the troops. The cattle, amounting to thirty head, were also taken; the Indians were pursued forty five miles, on a path leading to St. Marks, but being mounted and having traveled all night, escaped with their prisoners and booty.

This outrage, preceded by the murder of two of our citizens, Johnson and McCaskey, by Indians below the lines, and followed by certain indications of general hostility, such as the war dance, and drinking war physic, leaves no doubt that we shall be compelled to destroy the hostile towns.

The detached situation of the post, which I have ordered lieutenant colonel Clinch to establish near the Apalachicola, will expose us to great inconvenience and hazard, in obtaining supplies by land, particularly in the event of war, as the road will be bad, and the distance from the settlements of Georgia near one hundred and fifty miles.

Having advised with the commander in chief of the division upon this subject, I have determined upon an experiment by water, and for this purpose have to request your co-operation; should you feel authorized to detach a small gun vessel or two as a convoy to the boats charged with our supplies up the Apalachicola, I am persuaded that in doing so, you will contribute much to the benefit of the service, and accommodation of my immediate command in this quarter: the transports will be under the direction of the officer of the gun vessel, and the whole should be provided against an attack by small arms from shore. To guard against accidents, I will direct lieutenant colonel Clinch, to have in readiness, a boat sufficient to carry fifty men, to meet the vessels on the river and assist them up. Should you find it to be convenient to send .a convoy, I will thank you to inform me of the date of its departure, and the time which, in your judgment, it will take to arrive at the mouth of the river (Apalachicola.) Enclosed you will receive the best account I can give you, from the information I have received, of the Negro fort upon the Apalachacola. Should we meet with opposition from that fort, it shall be destroyed: and for this purpose the commanding officer above, will be ordered to prepare all his disposable force, to meet the boats at, or just below, the fort, and he will confer with the commanding officer of the gun vessels, upon the plan of attack.
 I am, with great consideration and esteem,
Your obedient servant,
(Signed) EDMUND P. GAINES, Major general by brevet.

 Com. Daniel T. Patterson, U. S. Navy,

Map of the Forbes Purchase which includes the location of the Negro Fort about twenty miles north of Apalachicola Bay.

J. Loomis to Commodore Patterson.
Bay St. Louis,
13th August, 1816,
U. S. Gun Vessel, No. 149
 Sir, — In conformity with your orders of the 24th June, I have the honor to report, that with this vessel and No. 154, sailing master James Bassett, I took under convoy the schooners General Pike and Semilante, laden with provisions and military stores, and proceeded for Apalachacola river; off the mouth of which we arrived on the 10th July. At this place I received despatches from lieutenant colonel Clinch, commanding the 4th regiment United States infantry, on the Chatahoochie river, borne by an Indian, requesting me to remain off the mouth of the river, until he aould arrive with a party of men to assist in get ting up the transports; desiring me also, to detain all vessels and boats that might attempt to descend the river.

On the 15th, I discovered a boat pulling out of the river, and being anxious to ascertain whether we should be permitted peaceably to pass the fort above us, I despatched a boat with an officer to gain the necessary information; on nearing her, she fired a volley of musketry into my boat, and immediately pulled in for the river, 1 immediately opened a fire on them from the gun vessels, but with no effect.

On the 17th, at 5 A. M. I manned and armed a boat with a swivel and musketry and four men, and gave her in charge of midshipman Luffbolough, for the purpose of procuring fresh water, having run short of that article. At 11 A. M. sailing master Bassett, who had been on a similar expedition, came along side with the body of John Burgess, 0. S. who had been sent in the boat With midshipman Luffborough; his body was found near the mouth of the river, shot through the heart. At 4 P. M. discovered a man at the mouth of the river on a sand bar; sent a boat and brought him on board; he proved to be John Lopaz, O. S. the only survivor of the boat's crew sent with midshipman Luffborough He reports, that on entering the river, they discovered a negro on the beach near a plantation; that Mr. Luffborough ordered the boat to be pulled directly for him; that on touching the shore he spoke to the negro, and directly received a volley of musketry from two divisions of negroes and Indians, who lay concealed in the bushes on the margin of the river; Mr. Luffborough, Robert Maitland, and John Burgess, were killed on the spot; Lopaz made his escape by swimming, and states that he saw the other seaman, Edward Daniels, made prisoner. Lopaz supposed there must have been forty negroes and Indians concerned in the capture of the boat.

On the 20th July, I received by a canoe with five Indians, despatches from colonel Clinch, advising that he had arrived with a party of troops and Indians at a position about a mile above the negro fort requesting that I would ascend the river and join him with the gun vessels He further informed me, that he had taken a negro bearing the scalp of one of my unfortunate crew, to one of the unfriendly Indian chiefs. On the 22d, there was a heavy cannonading in the direction of the fort. On the 23d, I  received a verbal message from colonel Clinch; by a white man and two Indians, who stated that colonel Clinch wished me to ascend the river to a certain bluff, and await there until I saw him. Considering that by so doing, in a narrow and crooked river, from both sides of which my decks could be commanded, and exposed to the fire of musketry, without enabling me to act in my own defence; and also, that something like treachery might be on foot, from the nature of the message; I declined acting, retained the white man and one of the Indians as hostages, and despatched the other, with my reason for so doing, to colonel Clinch, that his views and communications to me in future must be made in writing, and by an officer of the army.

 Lieutenant Wilson and thirteen men joined me on the 24th to assist in getting up with the transports; he likewise informed me that colonel Clinch had sent the canoe the day before.

On the 25th I arrived with the Convoy at Duelling Bluff, about four miles below the fort, where I was met by colonel Clinch: he informed me that in attempting to pass within gun shot of the fortifications, he had been fired upon by the negroes, and that he had also been fired upon for the last four or five days, whenever any of his troops appeared in view; we immeditely reconnoitred the fort, and determined on a site to erect a small battery of two eighteen pounders to assist the gun vessels to force the navigation of the river, as it was evident from their hostility we should be obliged to do.

On the 26th the colonel began to clear away the bushwood for the erection of the battery; he however stated to me that he was not acquainted with artillery, but that he thought the distance was too great to do execution. On this subject we unfortunately differed totally in opinion, as we were within point blank range; he however ordered his men to desist from further operations; I then told him that the gun vessels would attempt the passage of the fort in the morning, without his aid. At 4 A M on the morning of the 27th, we began warping the gun vessels to a proper position, at 5 getting within gun shot, the fort opened upon us, which we returned, and after ascertaining our real distance with cold shot, we commenced with hot, (having cleared away our coppers for that purpose,) the first one of which entering their magazine, blew up and completely destroyed the fort. The negroes fought under the English Jack, accompanied with the red or bloody flag.

This was a regularly constructed fortification, built under the immediate eye and direction of colonel Nicholls of the British army ; there were mounted on the walls, and in a complete state of equipment for service, four long 24 pounders, cannon; four long 6 ditto; one 4 pounder field piece, and a 5 and one half inch brass howitz, with three hundred negroes, men, women, and children, and about 20 Indian warriors of the renegade Choctaws; of these 270 were killed, and the greater part of the rest mortally wounded; but three
escaped unhurt; among the prisoners were the two chiefs of the negroes and Indians On examining the prisoners they stated that Edward Daniels, O S who was made prisoner in the boat on the 17th July, was tarred and burnt alive. In consequence of this savage act, both the chiefs were executed on the spot by the friendly Indians.

From the best information we could ascertain there were,

2,500 stand of musketry, with accoutrements complete.
500 carbines
500 steel scabbard swords
4 cases containing 200 pair pistols.
300 qr. casks rifle powder.
762 barrels of cannon powder, besides a large quantity of military stores and clothing, that I was not able to collect any account of, owing to an engagement made by colonel Clinch with the Indians, in which he promised them all the property captured, except the cannon and shot.

The property captured on the 27th July, according to the best information we could obtain, and at the lowest calculation, could not have been less than $200,000 in value, the remnant of the property, that the Indians did not take, was transported to fort Crawford, and to this place, an inventory of which I have the honor to transmit for your further information.

 On sounding the river, I found it impassable for vessels drawing more than four and a half feet water, consequently, colonel Clinch took the provision from the General Pike into flats, and lightened the Semilante, so as to enable her to ascend the river as high as fort Crawford. On the 3rd August, after setting fire to the remaining parts of the fort and village, I left the river and arrived at this anchorage on the 12th current.

 I cannot close this letter without expressing to you. my entire approbation of the conduct of sailing master James Bassett, commanding gun vessel No. 154, for his cool, deliberate, and masterly conduct, and the support I received from him in all cases of difficulty and danger. In fact, Sir, every man and officer did his duty.
Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, (
Signed) J. LOOMIS,

Commodore Daniel T. Patterson, commanding U. S. Naval Forces, New Orleans station.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Forget the spirit of '76. In Alabama, we're looking forward to looking back to the Spirit of 1812. An interview with Dothan-born author, instructor and…
History books don’t tell you a lot about the War of 1812, but Robert O. Register can. The Dothan-born author, instructor and indefatigable blogger has dug deep into the narrative of that oft-ignored American conflict in his general research into the history of the Southeastern U.S., and, with the 200th anniversary of the war at hand, Roberto is ready for a bicentennial celebration. “No generation has ever had THE ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity we BABY BOOMERS now have to be able to say we experienced two NATIONAL BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS in a single lifetime,” he exults on Zero, Northwest Florida, one of his 16 different blogs.
For most of us, the War of 1812 evokes fleeting images of redcoats torching Washington and Dolley Madison saving the cupcakes. What we know about the Battle of New Orleans, we may have learned from Johnny Horton’s old country song of the same name. However, Register and other scholars want you to know that America’s first major war of choice was a complex undertaking, not to be considered lightly, one that echoes across two centuries to the present day. We caught up with Mr. Register preparing for his first-ever trek to Valley Forge, and asked for some bicentennial particulars:
What’s your take on what the War of 1812 was about in the first place?
You could argue that the U.S. could have avoided declaring war on Great Britain in June of 1812 and that the war was unnecessary because it ended in 1815 with no clear winner, but in many ways it was unavoidable. The U.S. declared war on Great Britain because, even after losing the American Revolution, the Brits absolutely refused to treat us as a sovereign, independent nation and it was hurting us in the pocketbook. Great Britain did not see our fledgling republic as permanent or destined to have dominion from sea to shining sea. The impressment of hundreds of American sailors into the Royal Navy and the confiscation of American shipping destined for Europe showed they had no intention of treating us as independent. Encouraging the Indians to kill our settlers in order to stop American expansion or threatening to turn the Deep South into another Haiti via slave insurrection didn’t help relations any either.

How did it come off as a referendum on US military preparedness almost 40 years after Lexington and Concord?
At the opening of the war, the U.S. Navy had six warships. The Royal Navy had about 400.
Neither the U.S. Army nor the state militias were prepared to go to war with Great Britain in 1812. Look at what happened here, in what is now Alabama, in the summer of 1813 at Burnt Corn Creek and Ft. Mims. The Battle of Bladensburg, which occurred just before the burning of Washington, D.C., has been called “the greatest disgrace ever dealt to American arms” and “the most humiliating episode in American history.”
The U.S. had only been making muskets for about 15 years when we declared war, so there weren’t a whole lot of guns to go around. There are many cases of the militia being called and not many folks showing up or showing up unarmed, but the “Spirit of ’76” was constantly being invoked as newspaper editors of the day asked their readers if this next generation after The Founding Fathers had “the right stuff.” We were lucky that during the first two years of the war the Brits were tied up in Europe fighting Napoleon. That all changed after Napoleon got exiled to Elba in May of 1814.

Are we still experiencing repercussions from the War of 1812, or was it a self-contained historical event?
Yes, we are still experiencing repercussions from the War of 1812 in the present day.
Probably the most important thing to come out of the War of 1812 was the creation of our national consciousness. We still sing the “Star Spangled Banner,” and “Old Ironsides”, the ship that first showed the world that the Royal Navy was not invincible, still floats in Boston Harbor and is the world’s oldest commissioned ship. I visited the Smithsonian last Veteran’s Day and from what I could see, “Old Glory” was definitely the most visited exhibit in any of the museums.
Unfortunately, Andrew Jackson, who first came to prominence during the War of 1812, is still used to this day by radicals on the left and the right to push their propaganda. Neo-Nazis post items on the Web like “Hitler was no worse than Andrew Jackson.” The defeat of the Red Sticks, and the subsequent removal of all the tribes west of the Mississippi, has been called “a model for Hitler’s ‘final solution’.”
On a more positive note, the war brought on a two-century era of peace and cooperation between the United States, Great Britain and Canada and today Tecumseh [a Shawnee Indian chief who threw in with the British] is considered a Founding Father of Canada by many Canadians.

What got your attention about the War of 1812 in the first place?
Twenty years ago I decided to write a driving tour of the Gulf South. After my initial research, I realized I didn’t know enough to write such a guide, so I began to study the formative years of the Gulf Coast in earnest. I have been familiarizing myself with our local people, places and events related to the War of 1812 for two decades now. One of my current goals is to use what I have learned to create a kind of glossary of the Deep South’s role in the War of 1812, which can be used to create driving tours/maps, calendars/almanacs or be used to enhance Wikipedia articles about the subject.

Why should the rest of us care?
Well, the War of 1812 on the Gulf Coast is a terrific story that really could stand more clarification. The bicentennial celebration can show communities the need to preserve their cultural resources and the importance of passing an accurate picture of our area’s story down to coming generations. The Bicentennial of the War of 1812 is a once in a lifetime opportunity to focus attention upon a story that will attract visitors to our area. Visiting historic sites and museums is one the most popular vacation activities in America. Visitors spend money and the more we make our area more interesting and entertaining, the more visitors we will attract. Heritage tourism can attract visitors from our own state as well as the entire nation.
In addition, we should encourage television production companies to film travel programs and historic reenactments at historic sites in our area. I’d be a lot more interested in watching those kinds of shows than the current epidemic of “Red Neck TV” reality shows that now fill our cable channels.

Alabama wasn’t even a state yet, but it figures prominently in the narrative, doesn’t it?
A lot happened in Alabama before it became a state but things really started cooking after all of the area within our present state boundaries came into the United States and that didn’t happen until April 15, 1813 when Old Glory was finally raised over Fortenza Carlotta at the Port of Mobile and the Spanish flag was retired forever. Mobile’s population was down to about 300 in 1813. Seven years later it was up to 2800 and by 1840 almost 13,000 people lived in Mobile and it was one of the largest ports in the country. Mobile has a wonderful colonial heritage but nothing much really happened until the Americans showed up in 1813 and we hope to commemorate the Bicentennial of the Advent of the American Flag Over the Port of Mobile on Monday, April 15, 2013.
On July 27,1813, the Red Sticks [a faction of the Creek Indian tribe] were attacked by Mississippi Territory Militia near Burnt Corn Creek and on August 30, 1813, the Red Sticks retaliated by wiping out most the defenders, women and children of Ft. Mims in present day Baldwin County. Beginning in November 1813, the U.S. Army, supported by the Tennessee State Militia, the Georgia State Militia and the Mississippi Territory Militia fought many major battles in present day Alabama culminating in the defeat of the Red Sticks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on March 17, 1814.
On August 9, 1814, the Treaty of Ft. Jackson, located where the Tallapoosa River and the Coosa River meet to form the Alabama, was signed and the Creek Nation extinguished its title to over 23 million acres of land in present day Alabama and Georgia.
On September 15, 1814, Americans at Ft. Bowyer on Mobile Point, the present day site of Ft. Morgan, repelled an attack by British forces based in Pensacola.
In August of 1814, Andrew Jackson moved his headquarters to Mobile where he gathered men, material and intelligence in preparation for the Battle of New Orleans, which occurred on January 8, 1815.
After the Battle of New Orleans, Ft. Bowyer was overrun by British forces on February 11,1815. This battle was the last land battle of the War of 1812.
The only permanent exchange of territory that occurred as a consequence of The War of 1812 was the U.S. acquisition of Mobile County south of Ellicott’s Line [a surveyor’s mark of the boundary between the U.S. and Spanish West Florida].
We have a unique opportunity during the next three years to celebrate the 200th anniversary of many major events that shaped our region and our nation’s history.

So what do you think? Andrew Jackson: racist or genius?
Sure, there’s a lot of racism and genius in Andrew Jackson’s story. I’m very sensitive to those who would make Andrew Jackson a scapegoat for the way all aboriginal people have been treated in North America for the past 400 years.
Andrew Jackson. By Thomas Sully
It’s true that Jackson killed Indians in war and many tragically died during the removal to Oklahoma but I don’t see how trading land in Alabama for land in Oklahoma and moving there translates into genocide or how Jackson’s decisions can be compared to the horrors of genocide in the modern day. The Cherokee’s Trail of Tears occurred two years after Jackson was out of office and I believe the Indian tribes would have been moved away from white settlements and pushed west of the Mississippi whether there had been a President Andrew Jackson or not. In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson proposed their migration west of the Mississippi River if the plans for their assimilation into American society did not work and a secret clause in an 1802 agreement between the State of Georgia and the U.S. included a clause for the peaceful removal of all Indians from the State of Georgia. Removal to Oklahoma was the destiny of the Southeastern Indians whether there was an Andrew Jackson or not.

How is the bicentennial to be observed hereabout?
This national celebration of what has been called “The Second American Revolution” kicks off next month with NOLA Navy Week in New Orleans.
Middle Tennessee State University has placed an outstanding Tennessee War of 1812 Driving Tour on the web.
In the summer of 2013, a major event is planned for Ft. Mims in southwest Alabama. The Alabama Department of Archives and History has included all the dates of the major battles of the Creek War and Andrew Jackson’s move to Mobile in preparation for the Battle of New Orleans in their press materials to promote “Becoming Alabama,” from 2012-2015, a commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War and the 50th Anniversary of major events of The Civil Rights Movement.
As I said before, it is our wish that some sort of an appropriate celebration be conducted in Mobile in April of 2013 to commemorate The Advent of The American Flag in Mobile. Hopefully, some of your readers will become involved and help promote in some way the next three years of celebrations connected to the Bicentennial of The War of 1812.