9780670885510 / 0670885517

The Battle of New Orleans: Andrew Jackson and America's First Military Victory


Publisher:Viking Adult



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About the book:

The first cannon-fire filled narrative of a defining moment in American history--from "the foremost Jacksonian scholar of our time" (The New York Times)

Only Robert Remini--whose "majestic biography" (The New Yorker) of Andrew Jackson won the National Book Award--could have brought to life this famous, pivotal, but almost forgotten battle. In 1815, Britain's crack troops, fresh from victories against Napoleon, were stunningly defeated near New Orleans by a rag-tag army of citizen soldiers under the fledgling commander they dubbed "Old Hickory." 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"--pepper The Battle of New Orleans with a rich array of characters and 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. Partying Creoles who drew the line at blacking out their street lamps. 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!" His improbable victory, uniting a rainbow of dissident groups, finally proved the United States' sovereignty to the world. It was a battle that catapulted a once-poor, uneducated, orphan boy into the White House and forged a collection of ex-colonies into a true nation.

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