At the close of a review of the white and colored troops in New Orleans, on Sunday, December 18, 1814, General Jackson's address to the troops was read by Edward Livingston, one of his aids, and the following is the portion addressed:—
But the course of events has pretty effectually changed public opinion on the subject. From Major-General Hunter's department,2 and  from other quarters, the official reports of the services of negro regiments in the field are highly satisfactory. The superiority of African troops has been completely demonstrated in several important respects. 1. They have nothing to fear from those Southern diseases which prove so fatal to Northern men. 2. They can endure greater hardships and exposures, in camp, on the march, and on the field of action. 3. They are more readily reduced to camp-discipline, and, from lifelong habits of unquestioning obedience, are by no means likely to be guilty of insubordination; while desertion—especially in slave-districts —will be almost unknown. Finally, they fight not only for freedom and all the blessings it brings, but to escape the ignominious and dreadful death they must endure if they once more fall into the hands of their revengeful task-masters. But other considerations of the gravest magnitude, must enter into the general estimate. Whenever or however this war may end, nobody supposes it will leave us without a military and naval force strong enough to protect ourselves against insurrection at home, and aggression or insult from abroad. Our standing army might ultimately be made up chiefly of emancipated negroes; and so may our navy; and they would in time make such a military and maritime force as never has been seen. Since the days of slavery are numbered in the rebel States, where the institution falls with the fall of the rebellion, and in the border States, where the people, under an enlightened policy, are abolishing it themselves, it may require a vast armed force to enable the Government to carry out such mighty changes as will necessarily attend the reconstruction of Southern society. For this stupendous work the negroes will be the reliable instruments of the Government in vindicating the strength, the honor, and the glory of the republic. Another heavy force will be required in rebuilding the overthrown structures, and repairing the waste places of war's desolations.  It is not improbable, too, that another vast army may be needed to build the Pacific Railroad, ship-canals, and other great works of protection and defence.3 And he would be both a short-sighted and sanguine optimist who should leave out of the horoscope of the next few years, the contingencies, if not the probabilities, of a collision with Great Britain. That struggle is as inevitable as this rebellion was. All the issues have been gathering, and the result must come, unless through a premature flash of the millennium, all our difficulties should be settled by Arbitration, which Heaven grant, although it seems like praying for the ‘happy thousand years.’ No mortal power can protract it forever. We must be prepared for it, so that it can at no time take us by surprise. This is now the feeling among all parties and sections throughout the country. This feeling will not change. Nations never forgive wrongs or insults. Ours must and will be avenged. The African race emancipated will hereafter constitute the great body-guard of the Union.