One of our youngest ancestral veterans was Jacob Foreman. Born March 18, 1793 in Mercer County, Kentucky. He was the third son of David and Elizabeth (Eli) Foreman the immigrant ancestors. This Jacob Foreman is my 3rd great grandfather, not to be confused with his son, Jacob Foreman my 2nd great grandfather who is the subject of my Civil War Blog.
On November 10, 1814, Jacob Foreman, then 21 years old along with his older brother David Foreman, joined George McAfee’s Company of the Kentucky Detached Militia under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Gabriel Slaughter.
Jenny Tenlen – The McAfee’s: Kentucky Pioneers (jtenlen.drizzlehosting.com/mcafee/warof1812.html) – “The company marched south to Louisiana to fight in the Battle of New Orleans. Along with the call for men, came a promise from the U.S. Quarter master of arms, munitions, and transportation down river, but these supplies were slow to materialize. Believing that the promised supplies would catch up, the Kentuckians departed with half rations, few blankets and tents, and no pay, on board boats that were mostly unfit to carry men across the river let alone fifteen hundred miles downstream.”
“The supplies never came, and on January 4, 1815, the Kentucky troops arrived at New Orleans almost destitute of clothing, blankets, and munitions of war. The winter weather of 1814/15 was unusually severe with daily downpours of rain. They entered into camp without tents, blankets, or straw for bedding, on open, miry ground as the temperatures hovered near freezing.”
“The Louisiana legislature and the citizens of New Orleans quickly answered the call and furnished what supplies that could be spared. Nonetheless, just over half the Kentuckians could be adequately armed, and as a result those without arms remained in a reserve position during the battle.”
“About eleven hundred Kentucky boys secured arms and Slaughter’s regiment took it’s place among them on the firing line to await the British advance. It should not be forgotten that these men from Kentucky who bore the brunt of the assault, were not professional soldiers. They were family men, farmers, and tradesmen whose pride in country had called them away from a plow to travel fifteen hundred miles from home and hearth to confront an enemy army covered in glory from European battlefields of the Napoleonic Wars.”
“After the battle the troops remained at New Orleans until March 18, 1815. On this date the militias of Kentucky and Tennessee were released to return home. It was a long hard journey along the Natchez Trail, and the sufferings of disease and hardships claimed more men than the battle itself. They arrived back in Central Kentucky about May 1, 1815.”
Also from Luther Davenport in an e-mail message to me on June 11, 2012:
I have an account written by a captured British officer. The portion of the line that he faced was manned by the militia forces of Kentucky.
As the troops advanced on the American line, I with several of my peers of equal or lesser rank, stood upon a small rise on the field watching the men move forward. Observing the American defenses we saw a tall slender man standing alone atop the parapet. He was dressed in buckskin attire, with a wide brimmed hat that hid his face. Still beyond the range of our most forward ranks, he stood there fully exposed without fear, accessing the field. Finally, he pushed his hat off of his head and raised his weapon to the firing position, and pointed in our general direction. This action initiated a laugh from our group as the distance was so great the result could only be a fruitless waste of powder. A plum of smoke exhaled from the rifle barrel. Seconds passed and our laughter continued until a thud was heard over the chuckles. Looking around at my companions, it was noticed that a young Lt. to my immediate left was shot through the chest, and slowly crumpled to the ground. All eyes turned back to the hunter, only to see him obscured by another plume of smoke, and just as soon another of our number fell. We looked for cover, but the ground was devoid of any, and in the few seconds it took to realize this fact another of my peers was down. Our only action was to mingle with the advancing forces, and in all my years as a soldier, I had never welcome the danger of battle, as the smoke and dust hid me from the view of that frontier hunter.
This is not word for word, but written for you as I remember the story.
The ironic twist to this battle of New Orleans is the Treaty of Ghent, ending the war, was signed two weeks before this battle. The battle of New Orleans lasted about 25 minutes.
Shortly after Jacob Foreman returned home in 1815 his mother the widow Elizabeth Foreman inherited land in Highland County Ohio from her brother George Horine. Elizabeth and seven sons with their families left Mercer County, Kentucky for Highland County, Ohio. Her daughters and their families stayed in Kentucky.
Remember the Johnnie Horton song – The Battle of New Orleans?
“In 1814 we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans . . .
Are you familiar with the description “Kentucky long rifle sharp shooter?” This was Jacob Foreman.