|Battle of New Orleans|
|Conflict||War of 1812|
|Date||January 8, 1815|
|Result||Decisive U.S. victory|
In December of 1814 British forces under Major General Sir Edward Pakenham landed along the lower Mississippi River. At first they met with only minor skirmishes of resistance. The Americans, led by General Andrew Jackson, set up defensive positions at Chalmette, Louisiana, some 5 miles below the city of New Orleans. The first British troops reached the American position on January 1, and in an exchage of artillery fire the Americans held their ground. Packenham decided to wait for his entire force of over 10,000 men to assemble before launching an attack. On the 8th he ordered 3 large assaults on the American positions, all of which were cut down by American fire, Packenham himself being mortally wounded in the 3rd attack. The British withdrew having suffered a loss of 2,036 men, while the Americans lost but 71.
Unknown to both parties the war was already officially over, the peace treaty having been signed in Ghent December 24, 1814. The Battle, nonetheless, had historic consequences. In the hypothetical realm, it has been speculated that had the British been in control of the key port of New Orleans they would have attempted to use this to get additional concessions from the United States. In the realm of certainty, the victory was celebrated with great enthusiasm in the United States, and gave Andrew Jackson the reputation of a hero which propelled him to the Presidency.
The popular song Battle of New Orleans was written in 1958 by a high school teacher named Jimmy Driftwood as a means to teach history to his students, to old fiddle tune called The 8th of January, the date of the battle. It took off on the pop charts in 1959
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