44 - Isaac Haston - Battle of New Orleans Hero & Much More

Part 1 - His Tennessee Years

Isaac Haston and his friends fought in the hottest part of the Battle of New Orleans.

Look at the battle map above.  Where do you think the battle was the “hottest”?  It’s quite obvious if you look at it carefully and think about it.  That’s where Isaac Haston and some of his buddies from White County, TN fought bravely and effectively!  But more about that later in this article.

Isaac Haston was definitely Daniel’s most adventuresome son.  And that’s saying a lot because all six of Daniel’s (known) sons were adventuresome in their own ways.  Think about it:  Isaac was born in East TN, moved to Middle TN with his father and other family members, then back to East TN after he married, then he led his family to Missouri, then (about 20 years later) crossed the central plains and high and treacherous western mountains in an oxen-drawn wagon with most of his family to a Pacific coastal county in California.  His life is such a “big story” it will take three articles to do any significant degree of justice to tell it.

October 17, 1794 – Jessie Prichard, great-granddaughter of Daniel Haston’s son Isaac, stated that Isaac was born on October 17, 1794.  That is at least about right and may be right, but census records and other sources contradict with a variety of birth year possibilities.

About May, 1814 – Isaac Haston married Agnes Simpson, probably in the spring of 1814.  We don’t know who her parents were, where they married, or exactly when they married.  Unfortunately, there is no known existing family Bible record for their family, but a brief biographical record of S.P. Hastings, grandson of Isaac states:

Our subject’s paternal grandfather, Isaac Hastings, was born in Tennessee in 1795 and fought in the War of 1812, enlisting about six months after his marriage, at which time he was eighteen years old and his wife but fourteen.  They became the parents of fourteen children.  The grandmother, whose maiden name was Agnes Simpson, was born in Tennessee in 1799.

Isaac Haston in the War of 1812 Battle of New Orleans

Source: HistoryNet.com

November 13, 1814 – According to the History of Sonoma County, California, Isaac “fought in the War of 1812.”[i]  That fact is clearly verified by documents from the United States National Archives and Records Administration,[ii] but it doesn’t begin to tell the fuller story.  Family records and official accounts of the Battle of New Orleans inform us that Isaac and his fellow soldiers fought bravely and his brigade was a major reason Old Hickory’s army won that historic battle.  

[i] Honoria Tuomey, History of Sonoma County, California, Volume II.  (San Francisco, CA: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1986), 831.

[ii] “Haiston, Isaac, 3rd Regiment Roulston’s West Tennessee Militia, War of 1812” (Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration).

In August 1814, when it became apparent that the British were planning to attack and capture New Orleans, Secretary of State James Monroe informed Andrew Jackson: “On the militia of Tennessee your principal reliance must be.” A call went out to Tennesseans to join the cause to protect the city that controlled the gateway between the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. Isaac and many other of his White County buddies became Tennessee “volunteers,” a moniker that the state of Tennessee has proudly carried ever since that time.  


Isaac served in the 3rd Regiment West Tennessee Militia Infantry under Colonel James Raulston in General William Carroll’s division. This regiment existed from November 1814 to May 1815 and included men mostly from Jackson, Sumner, Wilson, Overton, Smith, and White counties—all Middle Tennessee counties. Raulston himself was from the southern end of the Sequatchie Valley on the border between Tennessee and Alabama. Daniel Newman, a citizen of White County, Tennessee, was the captain under whom Isaac served.  

“On November 20 [1814] two thousand West [Middle] Tennesseans under the command of William Carroll embarked for New Orleans via the Tennessee, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers.” They left Nashville on 45 flatboats and arrived at their destination on December 21, a month later.  

Of the 6,000 American fighters at New Orleans, 3,500 were Tennessee militiamen. For two and a half weeks, the British and Americans maneuvered and skirmished, culminating in the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815. “Jackson had placed Carroll’s Tennesseans and a small number of Kentuckians at the point in the line where the British attack was heaviest.” They were positioned between Battery #6 and the cypress swamp. See the battlefield map above.  

Raulston’s regiment, a part of General William Carroll’s division of 1,414 militiamen, suffered casualties during the December 28, 1814 skirmish and had two of the “handful” of (eight) fatalities in the famous January 8, 1815 battle that thrust Andrew Jackson into national prominence. According to one source, “Colonel Raulston and his Regiment bore the brunt of the British advance in the Battle of New Orleans and out of his Regiment over one hundred men were casualties.”  

According to family history recorded by Isaac’s great-granddaughter (Jessie Pritchard), Isaac saw British General Pakenham killed, used chain guns in the war, and fought some after peace was declared.  

In his 1871 pension application for his War of 1812 service, Isaac stated that he “fought by General Jackson.”  Given the location of his unit in the battle line, it is likely that he did in fact fight near General Jackson.[i]

[i] “Isaac Hastain,” War of 1812 Pension Files, Pension Number 23677 (Fold3 by Ancestry).

Every descendant of Isaac Haston owes it to himself or herself to read a detailed account of the Battle of New Orleans, with the above battle map in mind.  It will make you proud to call Isaac Haston your ancestor. 

Isaac's Inheritance from His Father, Daniel Haston

David, Joseph, and Isaac, three of Daniel Haston’s sons, were living in White County at the time of Daniel’s death.  It seems reasonable to assume that Daniel would have granted 50 acres of his 150 acres tract to each of these local sons.  As far as we know, he died intestate.  There is no known record of Daniel’s legal transfer of his land to these sons.  But subsequent land records seem to support the assumption that Daniel did divide the 150 acres among the three sons, as illustrated in this image. 

Move to Hiwassee District in East Tennessee

1824 – Isaac’s name does not appear on the 1824 White County, TN tax list.  Apparently, he had moved to the newly-opened Hiwassee District in East TN, with Monroe County being his first living location.

Beginning January 3, 1824 and continuing through that year, an advertisement titled “Valuable Land For Sale.  Notice is hereby given ….” ran in the Sparta Review newspaper in Sparta, Tennessee.  This “valuable land” was in the Hiwassee District of East Tennessee.  The land had been acquired in the “Hiwassee Purchase” from the Cherokee Indians in 1819.  

1830 – Apparently, sometime in 1829 Isaac moved his family from Monroe County to McMinn County.  Both side-by-side counties, McMinn on the west and Monroe on the east, were part of the Hiwassee District.  If Isaac’s family lived in the western part of Monroe County, they may not have moved far to be in McMinn County in and after 1830.

The household of “Isac [sic] Hastings” appeared on the 1830 McMinn County, Tennessee Federal Census.[i]  He was “of thirty and under forty” years of age and his wife was “of twenty and under thirty.” 

[i] 1830; Census Place: McMinn, Tennessee; Series: M19; Roll: 178; Page: 183; Family History Library Film: 0024536

Settling a Debt in White County, Tennessee

May 14, 1836 – Apparently, Isaac Haston owed John Kirkland (“all of the County of White and State of Tennessee”) a sum of $40.92, while still in White County, Tennessee.  In order to secure the debt, Isaac “bargained and sold” one gray horse, one sow, and four pigs, as well as a field of corn that he was tending, or would be tending, on land rented from William Denney.”  According to the agreement, if he paid the debt before December 25, 1836, the stated obligations would be voided.  The indenture was witnessed by William B. Cummings and Edward Moore on May 14, 1836.  Isaac signed with “his mark.”[i]  This transaction indicates that Isaac was probably still in White County in the summer of 1836.  It also indicates that he was struggling financially, which may have contributed to his move to Missouri.

[i] White County, Tennessee Deed Book “I,” 445, 448. (TSLA microfilm # 63)

Isaac was to “tend said ground in good farming order and when completed the said Kirklin is to have all of said corn except the rent it is the ground that said Isaac Haston rented from Wm Denny, Sr.”  Or Isaac could pay Kirklin the $40.92 he owed.  So Isaac was obligated to remain in White County, Tennessee until the corn crop was harvested, if he could not pay the debt with cash. If he did not default on the debt or did not make the payment in cash, he must have remained in Tennessee until late summer or early fall of 1836 before leaving for Missouri.

Children of Isaac and Agnes Simpson Haston

The exact number of children born to Isaac and Agnes is not known for sure.  One of Isaac’s grandsons said there were 14, and another sources suggests they may have had as many as 16 children, but the following 12 seem to be fairly certain.  Perhaps these are the 12 who survived infancy.  For information on these children, I am totally dependent on largely undocumented family records.  Although I have tried to be careful about the selection of this information, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of much of it.  

         1.         William Carroll Hastin

         7.         Fletcher Dilay Hastings (De La Fa)

         2.         Mary Hastin

         8.         Sidney Hastin

         3.         John Wesley Haisten

         9.         Ashbury Roten Hastin

         4.         Samuel Douthard Hastin

       10.       Jesse Axley Hasting*

         5.         Isabella Ann (Juley Ann) Hastin

       11.       Robert D. Hastin*

         6.         Emily J. Hastin

       12.       Hartwell Greene Hasting*

*Jesse Axley, Robert D., and Hartwell Greene were the only three children born in Missouri, not in Tennessee.  


On death records (tombstones, death certificates, or obituaries), the surnames of Isaac’s children were spelled at least four different ways: Haisten, Hastin, Hasting, Hastings.  In Missouri, the name was often spelled Hasten, the fifth common spelling of the name in Isaac’s family. 

You Really Ought to Watch this Video  to Understand Isaac Haston’s Heroic Role in Our Country’s Early History

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