Friday, January 14, 2022

Republican Army Veterans at New Orleans

  The Republican Army of the North, the filibuster army of the Gutiérrez-Magee Expedition, was defeated in August, 1813 at the Battle of Medina, with terrible loss. Most of the survivors escaped to Louisiana, where both Anglo and Mexican/Tejano veterans were soon swept up in another war - the War of 1812.

   For the American citizens, militia service was mandatory, as they were subject to a draft. Large numbers of them were brought into the forces converging on New Orleans for the defense of that city in what would be the war's climactic battle. Josiah Stoddard Johnston, the “Col. Johnson” who had been Adairs deputy in the organization of the Gutiérrez-Magee Filibuster, was appointed commander of the 17th, 18th, and 19th Consolidated Regiment, consisting of militia from Avoyelles, Rapides, Natchitoches, Catahoula, and Ouachita Parishes. 

   Fittingly, the unit became a veritable who’s who of Texas veterans, with a dozen verifiable and several more probable fighters, including Ross, William Murray, Warren D.C. Hall and others. John Durst, the illegitimate son of Samuel Davenport joined as well. When one includes other regiments at New Orleans, the bulk of the known Republican Army survivors (and likely many of the unknown ones too) fought in the pivotal battle. Serving alongside the Anglo veterans from Texas were many of their Hispanic colleagues, including both Toledo – who had not yet taken his pardon – and Gutiérrez, as well as other Mexican exiles.

The full list of rebels in the militia forces includes Ross, Murray, the two Halls, William Brown, James Busseuil (spelled Bushel in the records), John Cannon, Joshua Childs, Alexander Gerneuil, William Utrage, William Custard, Robert Daughty, and possibly John Gladden King (listed only as John King) and John Gormley (who may have been one of the two unknown Gormleys mentioned in the expedition accounts). The regiment also included many others who were siblings or likely of Texas veterans. 

 Also joining the American army at New Orleans, but in other regiments were Samuel Barber, the former enlisted deserter who had suffered so much in army life before the expedition, Anthony Dubois, Isaac Foster, Elisha Roberts, William Richmond Anderson, Benjamin Bradley, and possibly Peter Foster and William Walker. The latter is not to be confused with the later filibusterer of the same name. 

Source:  U.S. National Parks Service, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Battle of New Orleans, War of 1812 American Muster and Troop Roster List, (accessed May 14, 2020). 

All of the names appear in War of 1812 Muster rolls, but Foster and Walker have no other substantiating records. The Gormley in the expedition records is not identified with a first name, but there is a John Gormley who fought at New Orleans.


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