The Battle of New Orleans

by Robert Vincent Remini

Hardcover, 1999




New York, N.Y. : Viking, 1999.


"In 1815, Britain's crack troops, fresh from victories against Napoleon, were stunningly defeated near New Orleans by a ragtag army of citizen soldiers under the fledgling commander they dubbed "Old Hickory." It was this battle that first defined the United States as a military power to be reckoned with and an independent democracy here to stay."--BOOK JACKET."The Battle of New Orleans sets its scenes with an almost unbelievably colorful cast of characters, starting with the happenstance coalition of militiamen, regulars, untrained frontiersmen, free blacks, Indians, and townspeople. Swashbuckling privateer Jean Laffite talks his way out of possible imprisonment to lead the Barataria pirates into arms for the United States.The proud, reckless British general Pakenham - certain that it will be only a matter of days before America is reduced once more to colonial status - finds himself forced to ferry his miserable troops across a Louisiana lake in a Gulf storm, and then discovers to his gentlemanly dismay that agile Choctaw and Tennessee "dirty shirt" sharpshooters make a sport of picking off his sentries by night. The city's Creoles, somewhat suspicious of the enterprise and only recently American citizens, after all, draw the line at blacking out their street lamps.And finally, there is Jackson himself - tall, gaunt, shrewd, by turns gentle and furious, declaring, "I will smash them, so help me god!""--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member AsYouKnow_Bob
In 1814 we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
And we caught the bloody British in the town of New Orleans.

We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin.
There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and they began to runnin' on
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

We looked down the river and we see'd the British come.
And there must have been a hundred of'em beatin' on the drum.
They stepped so high and they made the bugles ring.
We stood by our cotton bales and didn't say a thing.


Old Hickory said we could take 'em by surprise
If we didn't fire our muskets 'til we looked 'em in the eye
We held our fire 'til we see'd their faces well.
Then we opened up with squirrel guns and really gave 'em ... well


Yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go.
They ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.**

We fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down.
So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
We filled his head with cannon balls, and powdered his behind
And when we touched the powder off, the gator lost his mind.


Yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go.
They ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

Johnny Horton
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LibraryThing member Chrisdier
This book details essentially all the events surrounding the Battle of New Orleans. It starts off with discussing Jackson’s victories against the Native Americans in Spanish Florida. Remini then articulately details the beginning of the Battle of New Orleans, from the earlier skirmishes to the battle at Lake Borgne, which the Americans lost. He also details the night attack the Americans launched against the British prior to actual battle. And, of course, with striking detail Remini discusses the actual battle in great detail. He even shows a plethora of maps for those unfamiliar with it.

I disagree with Remini’s claim that this was America’s first actual victory because he discounts the many victories prior. He claims this was a different type of victory because they surrendered in the other battles, but this one was different. I think he is misusing the word victory to support his position.

This book is significant for students considering its importance and relevance to where we live. We, in St. Bernard Parish, live less than ten minutes away from one of the most important battles in American history, and the last major battle on American soil, and the last battle against the English. If I were teaching high school, I would have my students read the entire text or I would read excerpts from it to them.
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