Battle of New Orleans

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In June of 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain for several reasons, the primary of which was the impressment of U.S. Sailors on the high seas for use in the British Navy. Once declared, the United States, under President John Madison, took the initiative and conducted a series of attacks into Canada resulting in the burning of government buildings. The British eventually repelled the attacks and took to the offensive striking at America and setting Washington D.C. ablaze in the summer of 1814. By the time the battle of New Orleans takes place in January of 1815, the Treaty of Ghent had already been signed signaling the official end to the war, however, the speed of trans-Atlantic communication proved too slow to prevent this last battle in the War of 1812. The battle of New Orleans has Major General Andrew Jackson lead U.S. Army regulars, New Orleans citizens, and militiamen from various surrounding states to repel the attacks of British General Edward Pakenham and the infantry troops he commanded (War of 1812, 2012). A series of poor decisions by the British coupled with terrain obstacles, technology and the ability to seize the initiative contributed to their defeat on 8 January 1815. This paper will examine the battle preparations and maneuvers that led to the British defeat and highlight some of the key factors in deciding the outcome of the battle. After the burning of the White House and the Capitol building in Washington D.C., American forces successfully fought off a major offensive by British forces in Baltimore at Hampstead Hill and Fort McHenry (Hugh, 2012). The British then set their sights on America's access point to the west: New Orleans and the Mississippi River. The British forces planne... ... middle of paper ... ...e to allow for victory despite a disadvantaged fighting posture. However, hope is not a solid strategy for victory and the lessons of the past should be learned, understood, and implemented into current doctrine. Works Cited Andrew Jackson Defends New Orleans in War of 1812. (2012). The History Channel website. Retrieved 11:57, March 24, 2012, from http://www.history.com/videos/andrew-jackson-hero-of-new-orleans. Hugh, H. (2012). Big night in baltimore. Military History, 28 (6). King, D. C. (2002). New orleans: One of the most brilliant victories. Retrieved March 24, 2012 from the EBSCO Database. War of 1812. In (2011). Columbia electronic encyclopedia (6th ed.). Columbia University Press. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.libproxy.troy.edu/ehost/detail?vid=4&hid=19&sid=55c26b42-7cb0-45da-8e2e-c574f1fe28ae@sessionmgr10&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ==
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