Primary Documents of the Battle of New Orleans 1815

Pakenham’s Orders

John R. Grodzinski
Below are four Letters from Earl Bathurst, to Major-General Sir Edward Pakenham, dated 24 October 1814, which provided direction for the expedition against New Orleans.

London 24th Octr 1814

  1. Genl. The Hon

Sir T. Pakenham


The Prince Regent having been pleased to confer upon you the Command of all the Troops operating with His Majesty’s Fleets upon the Coasts of the United States of America, I have received His Royal Highness’ Commands to desire that you would proceed forthwith to join Sir Alexander Cochrane, and to assume the command of the Forces which are ordered to assemble at a fixed point of Rendezvous.

The troops which have been employed in the Chesapeake under the late Major General Ross are the 41st, 44th and 85th Regiments with two Companies of Artillery. A strong Body of Marines has been incorporated with that Division.

The 93rd Regiment, part of the 95 Rifle Corps, a company of Artillery and a Corps of Sappers and Miners together with a Squadron of the dismounted Light Dragoons under the orders of Major General Keane sailed from England last month, and will probably unite with the former Corps in the latter end of November. The Command of the whole will dissolve upon Major General Keane, who will be reinforced at the same time by the 5th West India Regiment and 200 Black Pioneers.

It is probable that this force will have proceeded from the approximated Rendezvous before your arrival there, in order to carry into execution the Plans contemplated by Sir Alexander Cochrane.

You will be followed immediately by the 7th and 43rd Regiments with another squadron of dismounted Dragoons, which are embarked at Plymouth under Major General Lambert, and by the – Regiment from Cork. The 2nd West India Regiment has also been ordered to join you from Barbadoes.

I enclose herewith for your information copies of all Instructions which have been addressed to Major General Ross, Keane and Lambert. Those to General Ross explain so fully the views and Intentions of His Majesty’s Government that I consider it unnecessary to do more than request your attention to the points upon which these instructions bear, and your adherence to the Principles which are there laid down.

I am persuaded that you will preserve the best understanding between the Military and Naval Forces of His Majesty employed upon this service; and I beg to assure you that you possess the full confidence of His Majesty’s Government, and that you may rely upon any constant support and upon the readiest attention being paid to your ideas and suggestions.

I have etc



About the author

John R. Grodzinski

John R. Grodzinski

Major John R. Grodzinski, CD, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of History/Département d'Histoire
The Royal Military College of Canada/
Collège militaire royal du Canada
PO Box 17000 Stn Forces
Kingston, Ontario
Canada K7K 7B4

Author of Defender of Canada: Sir George Prevost and the War of 1812, University of Oklahoma Press, 2013.