« PreviousContinue »
THE SPEAKER's Rooms
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 14, 1918.
Dear MR. HEISKELL:
It is a strange fact that two of the greatest English-speaking soldiers that ever lived, Oliver Cromwell and Andrew Jackson, never sent a squadron into the field until they were past middle life. I think that General Jackson's two victories, one at the Horseshoe Bend and the other at New Orleans, are two of the most remarkable achievements in military annals. His victory at New Orleans saved us, in my judgment, another war with Great Britain, and perhaps changed the history of the world. I know quite well that it changed the history of the United States, as it made Jackson President of the United States for eight years and Van Buren Vice-President for four years.
Colonel William Peters Hepburne, of Iowa, was a Lieutenant Colonel at that time. He was always more or less interested in military affairs, and once made an estimate calculating out of the number of shots fired the number of men hit. In ten or twelve of the most famous battles in the world, the number of British hit by Jackson's men, like Abou Ben Adhem, led all the rest; not only led all the rest, but left them out of sight.
His echoing axe the settler swung
Amid the sea-like solitude,
The Titans of the wood;
With its supporting bough,
On the wolf's haunt below.
Rude was the garb, and strong the frame
Of him who plied his ceaseless toil:
Contributed their spoil;
Where men their crowds collect;
This forest tamer decked.
The paths which wound mid gorgeous trees,
The streams whose bright lips kissed their flowers, The winds that swelled their harmonies
Through those sun-hiding bowers,
Dark cave and swampy lair-
-Alford B. Street.