was in a perilous position.
He received orders to carry the war into Florida if necessary, with directions, however, that if the Indians took refuge under any Spanish fort, not to attack it, but report to the War Department.
For his own protection he called out a body of Georgia militia; and when news of the disaster on the Apalachicola reached the government, General Jackson, who commanded in the Southern Department, was ordered (January, 1818) to take the field in person.
With 1,000 Tennessee mounted volunteers, Jackson hastened to the aid of Gaines, and reached Fort Scott March 9, after a march of 400 miles. These, with a body of Georgia militia and 1,000 regulars at Fort Scott, made a force sufficient to invade Florida if necessary.
Jackson was joined by friendly Creeks, under their chief—McIntosh—who held the commission of a brigadier-general in the United States army.
So short were supplies in that region that Jackson had to depend upon provision-boats ascending the Apala