Isaac L. Baker to Stephen F. Austin, 01-05-1815

Summary: Battles.

Camp 4 miles below New Orleans

Jany 5th 1815

My dear fellow,

Has fate formed me jealous and suspicious or have my failures in Life rendered me less sanguine and more doubtful of what is to be the issue of my fortunes. Perhaps the clouded destinies that hang over my fate and my country's fortunes may have rendered me Morose and severe and jealous of my friend— What is the cause I cannot divine, yet not withstanding your Magnamimity induced you to transfer all your right and title to Paradise to me— yet in that letter while you darkly hint at hopes that infuse new life into you studiously avoiding the object's name and yet I have some how or other conceived a most insiduous idea that your taste passions and character are so similar to my own and the beautiful soothing interesting and angelic Emily so much the favorite theme of your pen Yes Austin I have been suspicious enough to fear that you are again my rival and that the Phoenix flame which has resuscitated with chastened vigour in my bosom still burns in yours and for the same object

But to be plain with you I have long known and regarded E—y in a peculiar manner— When my old flame was at its zenith she was my confident and has for years been my most intimate friend. What think you is the product of such intimacy—I cannot say I love her—yet I know not a perfection I must not ascribe to her— Am I sick?— worn down by toil and Marching? Do the chances of war threaten my dissolution? Then I think of Emily—then I look to her as one of the objects fate has given to attach me most strongly to life and fame— I am vain enough to say—(I boast because I prize it above all my worldly store)—-she in a small degree reciprocates my feelings— We have often acknowledged our feelings—How far my old attachment prevented me from rising from the claims of a friend to a lover I cannot tell but surely I could not have gazed so long on an object of her worth without thirsting for possession were it not Austin that since I know E—a first as if the passion was baleful my other better feelings have All been swallowed in that vortex and my sensibilities for others measurably suspended— That I have some slight traces of affection left for her I will not cannot deny—but as it would require the unravelling of more circumstances than I ever expect explained to bring about a reconciliation I think no more about it only to obliterate it forever.—

Of the landing of the English in this country our battle with them etc you have no doubt heard for the last 12 days our armies have been laying within sight of each other. They have twice attempted to cannonade us from our works and force them but in the end retired with loss—

I led the 44th Regt in this Action and [mutilated] had command of it. It has suffered severely and acquitted itself well. How long this state of things will remain I cannot tell— We are well fortified but not strong enough to give them a field fight— They have about 8,000 Regulars

If I live through the scene I will visit Kentucky immediately afterward;—I wish much to see you and would be glad to meet you there— I will be generous and if E—y prefers you to me my influence with her shall be yours—i. e. if she is your object. Write me the explanation you promise—

Excuse this scrip manner and matter I am sick—toil worn full of Business

Adieu my dear fellow and if John Bull will give me his quietus beleive I die as I live

Your friend Isaac L. Baker

[Addressed:] Stephen Fuller Austin, esquire Mine au Burton Upper Louisiana