Executive Department, Ala.
Tuskaloosa, March 30th 1837
With much pleasure, I tender you my sincere congratulations, on the
happy and (to you) honorable termination of the War with the Seminole
Indians. Whilst assaults were being made, elsewhere, Upon your well winning
Just laurels for yourself. The citizens of the southwest can never cease to
appreciate your services, and cherish your fame; nor can I believe you
have anything to fear, in regard to either, from your fellow citizens,
throughout the Union.
You have doubtless seen that we have had another Creek War. The
remanent of the tribe commenced their murders, and depreations, anew,
about the first of January; and they have repeated them at intervals up to
the present time. I was satisfied from the moment I received the first
intelligence, that nothing would restore safety and tranquility, to the
inhabitants, but the entire removal of all Indians from the Country; and,
therefore, at once urged that course upon the commanding officer at Fort
Mitchell, and some of the contractors Finding it necessary to the
accomplishment of my views, I called of the Secretary of War, ad interim,
for his sanction, and the aid of his authority, about the first of February;
and, in due time, obtained an order from him, for their immediate
removal to Mobile Point, where they are to be joined by the warriors,
now in Florida, and thence proceed to the country assigned for them West
of the Mississippi. I am informed all the Indians who were, or could be
gotten into Camp have either reached the Point, or are upon their way from
Montgomery. I hope it will not be deemed necessary for any of the Indian
Troops to return to the Creek Country, as I have no doubt, evil consequences
would be no inducement for such a step, except the settlement of their
matters of contract, which might be as well done through Agents.
From the best information I can obtain, few of the Indians, who
were really hostile, have been killed, or taken. Some of the still remain
in the swamps of the Cuba-Hatchee, and the Cowagiee; but the greater
portion have fled farther South, and are now in the Hammocks and morasses,
which border the Choctawhatchie and Pea River, near the Florida line. I have
received several communications from the quarter-one from the Colo.
commanding the militia of Dale County, borne by the late representative
from that county, in the Legislature, who is an intelligent & honest man,
which represents the number of warriors at about two hundred. This
estimate may be large - but each party, that has been attacked, so far
as I am informed, has been able to repel the Citizens, who assembled, and
marched against them I have ordered the commanding officer of the Dale
county Militia to raise a company of infantry, and station it at a suitable
point for repelling the incursions of the enemy; and I have ordered the
commanding officer of the troops who have been mustered into service
in the Creek county to detach a part of his force to aid in the defence of
this part of our southern frontier, if any can be spared from other duties.
From recent information, I entertain some doubt, whether sufficient aid can
be furnished from that quarter. It is understood that the troops have had
some recent skirmishes with parties of hostile Indians, remaining in the
nation, which did not eventuate in very decisive victories.
It is, also represented ( I believe truly) that a number of the Florida
Indians, still remain within the limits of that Territory, near the Choctaw
hatchie. It is supposed they have taken no part in the war; yet, it is
necessary to the permanent tranquility of the white population, and also
to their own welfare, that they should be removed.
Would it not be well, for you to send a detachment to that quarter,
sufficient to kill, or capture the fugitive hostile Creeks; and also to
remove the small party of Florida Indians? I trust by the time this reaches
you, the further services of the Alabama troops will not be necessary in
East Florida; and that they may soon be on their return march. If this
conjecture be well founded, they could be transported from Tampa, to
Pensacola, or Choctawhatchie bay, with great facility, and speedily be
in the infested district. I understand the Choctawhatchie is navigable
up to the Alabama line; and if so, would greatly expedite the transportation
of the Infantry, and stores of subsistence &c., However, I think Lt.Colo.
Cawlfield's Battalion would be competent to the proposed duty; and
after dispatching that, they could continue their march homeward through
Dale, Pike, Barbour, Russell, & Macon, sweeping the country of the outlying
and straggling Creeks, in those counties.
I am very desirous that your operations should result in definite peace,
and security, to the whole country, through which you have passed. I feel
assured, you are equally anxious for such a result, and shall therefore,
hope my suggestions will meet your favorable consideration.
Should you think it necessary to continue a force, during the summer,
at the post in Florida, I trust that duty will not be assigned to the
Alabama Volunteers-especially to Lt. Colo. Cawlfield, Battalion. They are
from one of the most mountainous,& healthy regions of the South-west; and,
If stationed there during the approaching season, would inevitably fall
victems to the diseases of the climate. These troops are (as I confidently
hope you have found them) brave, generous, and patriotic citizens; and
I should most earnestly depreciate their exposure to the hot sun, and
humid atmosphere of Florida, for the next four or five months. *
Please let me hear from you at your earliest convenience.
With the highest regard,
I am, Dr Sir;
Your friend & obt svt.
Major Gen. Thos S. Jesup,
Tampa Bay Florida.
* I hope you will return through Alabama, and that I shall have the pleasure
of seeing you.
Source: Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama. Governor C.C. Clay administrative records, SG6483 folder 8