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|Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New
the battle that made Andrew Jackson a national hero
Soon after his defeat of the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Jackson was commissioned a Major General in the regular army. The army expected a British attack on New Orleans, and Jackson was assigned to command U.S. forces along the southern coast.
Jackson arrived in New Orleans on December 1, 1814, and found the people almost defenseless. Among other actions, Jackson declared martial law and set about preparing to defend the city. He even accepted the help of Jean Laffite and his pirates. Reinforcements from Kentucky and Tennessee increased his forces to about 5,000 men.
After several minor attacks, the British army of more than 8,000 men began its attack at dawn on January 8, 1815. The British marched up in close columns against earthworks defended by Jackson's artillery and riflemen. The attack ended in a terrible defeat for the British, who suffered 300 men killed, 1,250 wounded, and 500 captured. The American losses totaled 14 men killed, 39 wounded, and 18 captured.
The victory made Jackson a national hero, but the battle itself had no effect on the War of 1812, because a peace treaty had been signed two weeks earlier. Communications were so slow at that time, however, that neither side heard about the treaty until after the battle was over.
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This page was last updated on April 12, 2017.