Article from MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History



General Andrew Jackson: Old Hickory's Finest Hour


British gunners now turned their attention to the merchant ship Louisiana, a mile up the river. She had been equipped with twenty-four-pounders manned by a crew impressed from the hundreds of idle seamen on the New Orleans waterfront. Ignoring the whizzing hot shot, Louisiana's crew used their longboat and cables on shore to haul their ship up the river and out of range.


Satisfied, Pakenham ordered the army to launch an assault across the plain of Chalmette the following day. He knew another twenty-seven hundred men under Maj. Gen. John Lambert would soon arrive to reinforce him. But he was also driven by the knowledge that the fleet could not feed his men for long, and they could not survive on the meager pickings from the nearby plantations. He was confident that his artillery could shatter Jackson's mud earthwork, exposing the "dirty-shirts" (his troops' name for Jackson's Tennesseans) to British bayonets.


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