Fort Roger Jones Middle Florida: Death of Soldier

Date Written

June 4, 1839

William Davenport was 52 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Henry Hopkins Sibley, was 23 when it was received.

William Davenport died 18 years, 9 months, 21 days after writing this.
It was written 184 years, 3 months, 29 days ago.
It was a Tuesday.

Fort Roger Jones (M. F.)
June 4th 1839


I hasten to reply to your letter of the 25th of February last, received yesterday. I know very little in relation to the accounts of the late Lieut. McClure of the 1st July asst commissary of subsistence, but I believe I may say he was as honest as any man he left behind him. If the deficit in his accounts accrued at Fort Snelling, I can say nothing lessening your responsibility as his [?] [?] [?] if it occurred in Florida. I do not think you more responsible for him than you are for any other officer doing the duty of asst commissary in Florida.

After leaving Fort Snelling I released him from staff duty with the intention ordering him to scouting in this country. Gen’l. Taylor instructed me not to put him to company duty because he would have to put him in charge of supplies at some small posts he would have to establish in the interior. I informed him (Taylor) that he would not answer and gave him my reasons for that opinion. He replied he could not help it such was the necessity of affairs, he was compelled to employ such as he could [?]. Shortly afterwards McClure was left at Fort Frazier and placed back in charge of supplies which was very large at that place. He was not long there before he took sick and he never recovered. Much of the time which at Fort Frazier his business was in the hands of irresponsible agents but I believe the public property was not wasted, that the charge against the late Lieut. McClure arose from no egregiousness in his accounts and not from any loss the public ever sustained.

I am sir with great respect.
Yr. Obt. Servt.
Wm. Davenport

I thank you for your kind recollection of Mrs. Davenport. She is now in Phila. We have been separated the most of the time since we left Fort Snelling. I always look back to Fort Snelling with pleasure. If that post is as I left it, there is none I could prefer to serve at. Peace was declared in Florida on the 18th late by the commander and chief, and should peace follow, none will be more gratified than myself. No one can have every idea of the disagreeables of the Florida War, who has not seen with his own eyes and heard with his own ears. Remember me to every friend I may have about you, particularly Sergt. Short.

Wm. Davenport

N.B. Dr. S. I have sent to Weise, who is at Tampa Bay, for all of poor Mac’s accounts, and you may rest assured I will do anything in my power, not only on account of the respected deceased, but on yours also—as the Col. has written I will not write until I am able to give you some information—in the mean while let us know what is going on up there.

Ever yours,

Scans of Letter