“Andrew Jackson, The Battle of New Orleans” Andrew Jackson was born in rural South Carolina March 15, 1767, the son of impoverished Irish immigrants. He received no formal education as young child and became a messenger boy in the American Revolution at the age of 13. At the Age of 35, he was elected to the Tennessee Militia as a Major General. (LOC) The Battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815 and was the final major battle of the War of 1812. In this decisive battle of the American Revolution, the American forces were led by Andrew Jackson.
After this victory, Jackson emerged as a hero for his actions. Andrew Jackson was an aggressive leader, he knew his intentions, and that offended some, but he also knew how to get his ideas popularized and accepted. He also realized what would happen if the British would have won and taken New Orleans. Andrew Jackson demonstrated the will to win and possessed strategic and tactical skills, leadership and knowledge. In preparing for the Battle of New Orleans, Andrew Jackson had a variety of people and units under his command. He made it known to them the reason for going to defend and save New Orleans from the British.
He made them understand that if the British were to take New Orleans. ” ‘Good citizens,’ he declared, ‘you must all rally around me in this emergency, cease all differences and divisions, and unite with me in patriotic resolve to save this city from dishonor and disaster which a presumptuous enemy threatens to inflict upon it”‘ ( Remind, 43). Jackson knew that it would not be in the best interest of the Americans to allow the British to come in, therefore he gained the support of villains, free blacks, slave, Indians, militia’s, and other units from other states to help in combat and defeat the British.
There was no one greater to motivate the people than Andrew Jackson. He not only gained support of everyone but, he also gained their confidence. Jackson gave the people of New Orleans his pledge that he was going to win over the British at their invasion or he was going to die trying. This was followed by the Grand Parade to review the militia and other forces which brought about much excitement. He knew that this would help his effort to win over the people of New Orleans because; they were able to relate to a parade, as it almost gave a sense of carnival.
Although good for the people, Jackson did face opposition from the legislature, telling him to retreat. He did not do as the legislature wanted and gained even more support and confidence of the people. “The uniformed companies, the militia, the volunteers, and the marines, all clad in their best attire and ‘decorated with bouquets” provided by wives, sisters, and mothers. Formed under the walls of the ancient Spanish cathedral and ‘gave memorable brilliancy to the scene.
The color, the pageantry, the music, and the excitement were everything Jackson could have wanted to inspire the watching crowd with their confidence that their city would be saved by these brave men ( Remind, 59)”. Andrew Jackson’s effectiveness as a leader was second to none. He was able to give commands and have them followed precisely with no delay. There was no other commander who could command their troops such as Andrew Jackson. Considering the different and unprofessional troops that he commanded, he made them all feel like they were at the top list as the battle approached.
He waited patiently when he had to and attacked when needed. The performance of his American troops was pretty good considering that they had never fought as a complete unit before and many were inexperienced. Andrew Jackson was so effective that he convinced a man to be a spy. He placed detachments strategically to combat the British assault and if that line were breached, then there was another to greet the British unexpectedly. He always wanted better from his men because who could not imagine being beat by the British. Jackson always was very much visible to his men.
He was constantly reviewing his men and lifting their moral by showing them a sense of pride and letting them know their purpose for what they are doing. There was more a stake than just fighting the British and that this was a smaller part of a bigger picture. This continued through out the war until it was over. The American casualties were minimal compared to those of the British. Andrew Jackson’s men were taught discipline with their ammunition since they didn’t have much and were totally outnumbered by the British. This proved to be effective and sustained them during the war.
The British failed because they underestimated Jackson and was unable to overcome the artillery fire the received from the American ships. More importantly, the British depleted their ammunition, which fell right in Andrew Jackson’s plan. This proved costly in defeating the British. Jackson had a keen eye and mind, he always had a very good idea of the enemy was going to do and he was able to get his ideas across to his men so, they would be able to make it further in the war. Andrew Jackson leadership was personified during the Battle of New Orleans.
He had hate for the British growing from young boy and he could not see the rule of the British to continue. He vowed that he would give his life for the City of New Orleans if he were not able to stop the British. He commanded his troops and men very well. He gained the support of many, though with some opposition, but not enough to discourage him from the situation at hand. Jackson showed great perseverance and created great camaraderie. This was very effective and resulted in a victory for him and for the Americans. It was after this victory by the
Americans, the British finally recognized the United States of America as free and independent. This thrust Andrew Jackson into the spotlight of America and he became a national hero. . Jackson became a national hero overnight, for he had given Americans confidence in their ability to defend their new freedom.