[The Fall of Fort Bowyer to the British, following the Battle of New Orleans, 1815.] Contemporary Manuscript Copy of Autograph Despatch from Major John Lambert to Earl Bathurst, describing the action.

Sir John Lambert (1772-1847), British Army general in the Napoleonic Wars [Henry Bathurst (1762-1834), 3rd Earl Bathurst; Battle of New Orleans and Fall of Fort Bowyer, 1815]
Publication details: 
'Head Quarters Isle Dauphine | February 14th. 1815.' [On paper with Golding & Snelgrove watermark dated 1811.]
SKU: 21235

3pp, foolscap 8vo. On laid paper with watermark: 'GOLDING | & | SNELGROVE | 1811'. Aged and worn, with closed tears along folds, but with text complete and clear. The document includes two passages written in red ink which has faded but is still legible. The background to the present letter is given in Lambert's entry in the Oxford DNB: 'On 4 June 1813 Lambert was promoted major-general, and was appointed to a brigade of the 6th division. […] Having been sent to America, he joined the army under Sir Edward Pakenham below New Orleans on 6 January 1815, with the 7th and 43rd foot regiments. In the unsuccessful attack on the American trenches, made two days afterwards, he commanded the reserve. When Pakenham was killed, and General Gibbs mortally wounded, the chief command devolved on Lambert. He decided not to renew the attack, withdrew the troops which had been sent across the Mississippi, and, after retreating on 18 January, re-embarked his force on the 27th. It went to the Bay of Mobile, where Fort Bowyer was taken on 12 February, and next day news arrived that peace had been signed.' The letter appears in its entirety in William James's 'A Full and Correct Account of the Military Occurrences of the Late War between Great Britain and the United States of America' (London: 1818). It begins: 'My Lord, | Muy dispatch dated January 29th., will have informed your Lordship of the re-embarkation of this force, which was completed on the 30th.: the weather came on so bad on that night, and continued so until the 5th. February, so that no communication could be held with the Ships at the inner anchorage, a distance of about seventeen miles | It being agreed between Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane and myself that operations should be carried towards Mobile, it was decided that a force should be sent against Fort Bowyer, situated on the eastern point of the entrance of the bay and from every information that could be obtained, it was considered a brigade would be sufficient for this object, with a respectable force of artillery.' Lambert proceeds to give a description of how, following 'an incessant fire for two days', Fort Bowyer was 'given up to a British guard, and British colours hoisted; the terms being signed by Major Smith, military Secretary and Captain Ricketts, R.N. and finally approved of by the Vice Admiral and myself'. He gives full credit to those involved.