Thursday, January 8, 2015

BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS ~ January 8, 1815

The Battle of New Orleans was a prolonged battle which took place around New Orleans, Louisiana from December 23, 1814 to January 8, 1815, and was the final major battle of the War of 1812. American forces, commanded by General Andrew Jackson, defeated an invading British Army intent on seizing New Orleans and the vast territory America had acquired with the Louisiana Purchase. The Treaty of Ghent had been signed on 24 December 1814, but news of the peace would not reach the combatants until February. The battle is often regarded as the greatest American land victory of the war.

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When giving tours of the San Francisco Custom House, I frequently allude to the Battle of New Orleans as an example of how slow transportation and communication was in the early 19th Century. Gold was discovered in January 1848, but we don't say the 48'ers. Of course, the people who discovered gold tried to keep quiet about it, because they were afraid they'd be overrun (and they were). But more importantly, it took almost a full year for momentum to build to attract fortune seekers from around the world.

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