In 1815 Britain's crack troops, fresh from the victories against Napoleon, were stunningly defeated near New Orleans by a ragtag army of citizen-soldiers under the commander they dubbed 'Old Hickory', Andrew Jackson. It was this battle that defined the United States as a military power to be reckoned with and an independent democracy here to stay ...
In 1815 Britain's crack troops, fresh from the victories against Napoleon, were stunningly defeated near New Orleans by a ragtag army of citizen-soldiers under the commander they dubbed 'Old Hickory', Andrew Jackson. It was this battle that defined the United States as a military power to be reckoned with and an independent democracy here to stay. A happenstance coalition of militiamen, regulars, untrained frontiersmen, free blacks, pirates, Indians and townspeople - marching to 'Yankee Doodle' and 'La Marseillaise' - inhabit The Battle of New Orleans in a rich array of colourful scenes. Swashbuckling Jean Lafitte and his privateers. The proud, reckless British General Pakenham and his miserable men ferried across a Louisiana lake in a Gulf storm. The agile Choctaw and Tennessee 'dirty shirt' sharpshooters who made a sport of picking off redcoat sentries by night. And Jackson himself - tall, gaunt, shrewd, by turns gentle and furious, declaring 'I will smash them, so help me God!' Robert Remini's vivid evocation of this glorious, improbable victory is more than a masterful military history. It proves that only after the Battle of new Orleans could Americans say with confidence that they were Americans, not subjects of a foreign power. It was the triumph that catapulted a once-poor, uneducated orphan boy into the White House and forged a collection of ex-colonies and dissenters into a nation.
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I enjoyed this book even though I thought is was very positive towards the English! The efforts of MG Jackson and his men are mostly forgotten today and should be revisited to remember our past and act accordingly today. I look forward to reading more books from this "Jacksonian Export from the North".
Jan 7, 2010
great book, very factual, must for history teachers, excellent resource.
Apr 18, 2008
The Real Deal on the Battle of New Orleans
I was absolutely amazed how Mr. Remini has taken a nuts and bolts event and created a narrative of real people performing heroic acts and ordinary people who managed to survive to tell their stories. The author puts you in the middle of the action and still keeps you updated on the big picture. It's a great read and I know you will like it.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-07-12 As the alpha wolf of Jackson scholars and a master of historical narrative, Remini (whose three-volume biography, Andrew Jackson, won a National Book Award and was reissued last year) is the perfect writer to recount how Old Hickory, leading a motley crew of fighters, decisively repelled the British attack on New Orleans in January 1815. Remini's impeccable scholarship and lively pen produce what undoubtedly will become the standard account of the 1814-1815 military operations around New Orleans. In addition to some regular army units, Jackson used backwoodsmen from Tennessee and Kentucky, free blacks, Creoles and others from the local militia, Indian allies and pirates led by Jean Lafitte. Such a roster did not appear to stack up favorably against the British, who boasted thousands of veterans of the Napoleonic wars. But the British, despite their experience, committed many key blunders throughout the campaign, the most important of which was underestimating American resolve. Remini paints the background of the campaign, including battles with the pro-British Creek Indians, Jackson's invasion of Spanish Florida and the importance of the fabled Baratarian pirates led by Lafitte. As he brings the exciting story to life, Remini cogently argues that New Orleans was America's first important military victory, that it provided the impetus for the young nation to believe in itself and, just as importantly, convinced Europe that the United States was not a fleeting historical anomaly. Maps not seen by PW. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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