“They’re comin’ on their all fours!”


An unknown eyewitness, fighting from the top of the breastworks defending New Orleans, describes the battle:

“Col. Smiley, from Bardstown (1), was the first one who gave us orders to fire from our part of the line; and then, I reckon, there was a pretty considerable noise.  There were also brass pieces on our right, the noisiest kind of varmints, that began blaring away as hard as they could, while the heavy iron cannon, toward the river, and some thousands of small arms, joined in the chorus and made the ground shake under our feet. Directly after the firing began, Capt. Patterson (2), I think he was from Knox County, Kentucky, but an Irishman born, came running along. He jumped upon the brestwork (sic) and stooping a moment to look through the darkness as well as he could, he shouted with a broad North of Ireland brogue, ‘shoot low, boys! shoot low! rake them – rake them! They’re comin’ on their all fours!’ “


(1) Major James Smiley, of Bardstown, Ky.
(2) Captain Robert Patterson, Kentucky Detached Militia, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel William Mitchusson. Appointed 20 November 1814, discharged 20 May 1815.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s