Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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COFFEE, John, soldier, born in Prince Edward county, Virginia, 2 June, 1772; died near Florence, Alabama, in July, 1834. He removed to Davidson county, Tennessee, in 1798, and engaged in mercantile pursuits till 1807, when he began to survey public lands. In October, 1809, he married Mary Donelson, a sister of Andrew Jackson's wife. At the beginning of the war of 1812 he raised a cavalry regiment, and after the massacre at Fort Minns he organized two others, became brigadier-general of militia, and fought and won the battle of Tallushatchie. He participated also in the battles of Talladega, Emuckfaro, Alabama, where he was severely wounded, Enotochopco, and the Horseshoe. He was subsequently at the battles of Pensacola and New Orleans, reaching the latter in time for the fight by a forced march from Baton Rouge in two days, and commanding Jackson's left wing. He was frequently commissioned to treat with the Indians, became surveyor-general of the Southwest territory in 1817, removed to Huntsville, Alabama, and later to Florida. He was known as "brave Jack Coffee."
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