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US ARMY UPSET THE BRITISH AT NEW ORLEANS 198 YEARS AGO TODAY

January 8, 2013


US ARMY UPSET THE BRITISH AT NEW ORLEANS 198 YEARS AGO TODAY 


New Orleans, Louisiana  (JFK+50) 198 years ago today, on January 8, 1815, an outnumbered American army led by Major General Andrew Jackson of Tennessee repelled the attack of British redcoats 5 miles South of New Orleans at Chalmette Plantation.

 

Battle of New Orleans, Painting by Edward Percy Moran, 1910


                    

When the sun came up that morning, the United States treasury was near bankruptcy, the national capital had come under attack a few months before, with the President’s House & Capitol Building being set afire, & the young nation’s army was now under attack in New Orleans.


In a battle that lasted less than an hour, however, American fortunes took a quick turn for the better.


The British army under General Edward Pakenham, who was killed in the battle, surrendered after having lost almost 300 dead.


More than 1200 of the King’s soldiers were wounded while the Americans counted but 13 of their own dead, 39 wounded & 19 missing.


Ironically, the battle proved unnecessary as a peace treaty had been signed in Ghent, Belgium 2 weeks earlier ending the War of 1812 but news of the peace settlement had not yet reached America.


An American soldier described the end of the Battle of New Orleans this way:


“When the smoke…cleared…we (had) a fair view of the field, it looked, at 1st glance, like a sea of blood.


It was not blood…but the red coats in which the British soldiers were dressed.


Before (us) the field was entirely covered with prostrate bodies.”


SOURCE


www.eyewitnesstohistory.com



“The Battle of New Orleans”


In 1814 we took a little trip

Along with Col. Jackson

down the mighty Mississip

We took a little bacon 

and we took a little beans,

And we fought the bloody British

in the town of New Orleans.


We looked down the river

and we seen the British come

There must have been a hundred

of them beatin’ on the drums

They stepped so high and

they made their bugles ring

We stood beside our cotton bales

and didn’t say a thing.


Ole Hickory said we could take

’em by surprise

If we didn’t fire our muskets

’til we looked them in the eyes

We held our fire ’til

we seen their faces well

Then we opened up our

squirrel guns and

really gave ’em…well….


Lyrics by Jimmy Driftwood

Vocals by Johnny Horton

 

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