Title page for ETD etd-08262005-133712

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Thomas, Gregory Morris
Author's Email Address gregory.thomas@leavenworth.army.mil
URN etd-08262005-133712
Title The Battle of New Orleans
Degree Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (M.A.L.A.)
Department Liberal Arts (Interdepartmental Program)
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Stanley Hilton Committee Chair
Bill Clark Committee Member
Karl Roider Committee Member
  • Battle of New Orleans
  • War of 1812
Date of Defense 2005-05-13
Availability unrestricted
America was not prepared for the War of 1812. The army and navy were so small they could not oppose Britain directly. American strategy in the first year called for the seizure of Canada. Multiple expeditions were complete failures resulting in military defeats and political embarrassment for President Madison. During the second year of the war there were more defeats for American forces, but some victories. These successes came mainly against Indians allied with the British along the frontier.

The third and final year of the war started ominously. With Napoleons first abdication the wars in Europe seemed over, allowing England to shift forces to North America. The war reached a low point for the Americans when the British entered Washington, burned the Capitol, the White House, and other public buildings. This force was turned back at Baltimore, but then sailed south to linkup with the largest British strike force of the war, with the mission of seizing New Orleans.

Major General Andrew Jackson’s task was to save New Orleans from the British. From September through December of 1814 Jackson sparred with the British, and their Spanish allies, in a series of engagements that ranged along the Gulf Coast from Pensacola to islands just east of the city. These engagements narrowed British options and allowed Jackson to prepare for the defense of New Orleans. His leadership was exemplary, as he recruited and mobilized disparate forces, used terrain to great advantage, and effectively directed a series of four engagements with the enemy that culminated in the epic fight along the Rodriguez Canal and decisive victory.

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