Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/152

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battalions, and the French corsairs faced the British army, day and night, and bore the brunt of the successive attacks of the enemy. The militiamen from upriver were in the big battle of January 8th; so that the principal share of the glory must be given to the brave men, who were constantly occupied since December in fighting for their country. Louisianians should not forget that Major H. de St. Geme is justly entitled to the distinction of having saved this country from the enemy. His services and his feats of arms were invaluable, and it was the Major who directed the work of making a fortified camp which proved our salvation.


"The Orleans Volunteers received most valuable aid on December 29, when the crews of the corsair vessels, and their officers offered their services to commandants Plauche and de St. Geme. General Jackson was greatly pleased at that unexpected re-enforcement, because he was not only short of men, but needed artillery.

"He engaged the Frenchmen as artillerists, and they immediately erected formidable batteries along the line of defense, and those valorous men served their guns with such coolness, activity, and promptitude that they silenced and dismantled all the English pieces, of whatever caliber, and cannon and cannoneers were seen to fly high into the air. It is but just to pay a tribute to the bravery of those intrepid sailors, who aided, so effectively, in saving our country from the enemy. The American nation owes them a debt of eternal gratitude.

"Two strong detachments of the corsairs were sent, the one to Fort Plaquemines and the other to Fort Coquilles, and they victoriously defended the forts against the British fleet, and compelled the enemy's ships to retire.

"The leaders of those intrepid French sailors, who by their valor were like the famous filibusters of the time of Louis XIV, were: Captains J. Beluche and Dominique You, and Jean Lafitte, who commanded the detachments of artillery in the fortified camp; Captains J. Lajau, La Maison and Colson, at Fort St. Philip, and J. L. Songy, P. Liquet and Pierre Lafitte, at Fort Coquilles."