Thursday, 29 January 2015

The Battle of New Orleans


Although the War of 1812 came to an end with the Treaty of Ghent signed on December 24, 1814, it took a while for that news to reach North America from Europe. Consequently, continued skirmishes and attacks between the British and Americans occurred until mid-February 1815, when word of the peace treaty finally arrived.

The most famous of these late-breaking hostilities was the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815. Heavily outnumbered American soldiers and militia under Major-General Andrew Jackson ("Old Hickory") defeated the British who attacked the Louisiana city both by land and sea. The victory boosted Jackson's profile and reputation, ultimately helping to propel him to the White House as president in 1829.

I mentioned before that the most famous song to come out of the War of 1812 is the American national anthem. The second most famous song is the 1959 hit "The Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton. Who doesn't remember that catchy banjo-and-martial-drumbeat music with its down-home lyrics?

            We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin.
            There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
            We fired once more and they began to runnin' on
            Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

            Yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
            And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go.
            They ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em
            Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

I can't embed it from YouTube for copyright reasons but click here for a fun little video of the song.

So this post concludes my series on the War of 1812 -- thanks for persevering with me over the past couple of years! And may I just say to our American neighbours -- I'm glad everything ended well and we're all friends now, but please don't invade Canada again, eh? Just come as tourists and spend your money here instead. The loonie is low right now so you'll get an extra good deal!


39 comments:

mxtodis123 said...

Yes, I remember that song. Loved it in my day. Enjoyed the video. I had family members who settled in New Orleans and were are part of that battle,
Mary

strangelynaked.com said...

Oh how I love a good history post. My favorite part is that nickname. I want to be called Old Hickory...unless he had that nickname because he had wooden teeth.

DEZMOND said...

You won't be safe from them if by any chance you discover new sources of oil at your territory... But then again, you're too cold to be invaded :)

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Debra,

It would be great to think that nobody would invade anyone else's country given the lessons of history, but, sadly, that never seems to be the case. When, if ever, is a 'just' war justified?

Your historical account is most interesting. We are sadly ill informed about many aspects of American history so it is good to fill in the gaps!

Yes, we do remember the tune.......and now it is going round and round and round in our heads!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

What a catchy tune! And a great history lesson. You know, I look at images/videos of these wars and all I ever think is "those poor horses".

lady M said...

Well thanks for the advice on the loonie - I do need to invade and soon. I have many dear Canadian friends who are long overdue for an invasion - uh I mean visit.

Jeanne said...

My first exposure to that song was at my sister's house. She & her hubby loved Johnny Horton - played his music all the time & even named their son after him. And to this day I still love all his songs!
So it was only natural that when we visit New Orleans, we always go the Battlefield. While a person can drive there, it is way more fun to take the riverboat. And Johnny Horton's song is played upon arriving at the dock.
I almost felt sorry for the British troops who had to endure Louisiana & its heat/humidity in their heavy uniforms. I'm sure they felt like they had been sent to fight in the Devil's homeland. LOL

Adam said...

Imagine the irony of the soldiers who died and were wounded in New Orleans. They suffered for no reason.

Mark said...

The Canadians went to war? But you're so nice! I'm glad we're all friends again now too. I remember the famous quote about not firing until you see the whites of their eyes. We should have worn glasses. On a more serious note though it's a bit of a real shame/tragedy because that battle was never supposed to happen. The treaty was signed way before then.

Ol'Buzzard said...

War seems to be the natural state of affairs with Peace the brief time to rearm before the next war.

Mankind's history is recorded from war to war to war.
the Ol'Buzzard

Francie M said...

Took in a lecture last week on British/Canadian prisoners held in american prisoner of War camps after 1813. To say the Americans treated us well would be an understatement. British officers were often billeted in homes, they could hunt fish, entertain, even the Canadian Militia were well treated. Mind you if they misbehaved or tried to escape they were thrown in prison. Not surprisingly very few did try. And it was the same on this side. The book is called 'Captured', just came out. It is a fascinating story about 'The gentleman's war'

Dexter Klemperer said...

Don't mean to be a know-it-all, but the "whites of their eyes" quote came from the Battle of Bunker Hill in the War of Independence, not Andrew Jackson.
Funny, I listen to an oldies AM radio station and heard that Johnny Horton song just recently. Seemed strange. I think if you replaced "British" with "terrorists", most people in these here parts would consider it a current pop hit.

Leeanna said...

I've said before and I'll say it once more. I love your historical posts.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

D'oh! Thanks, Dexter! That'll teach me to do historical research based on a pop song, LOL!

heartinhand said...

Yes, the Americans should come and spent their money here! Buy our gas and drive all over! Lol

Dr. Theda said...

Yes , getting news for Europe to the States in those days did take a while... Large sailing ships are not the fastest of things....
A Great Weekend to You and Yours..

Debi said...

Thank you for my reason to smile today! Your a Hoot!

I'm watching " The Book of Negros" on CBC and everyone is happier in Canada Thankyou very Much!
Love the bango & song! but I change the words! lolo

Dixie@dcrelief said...

I don't like war. It's a high price, no matter how you look at it, or who wins. Some days I feel like I'm still being taxed for the war of 1812... 30% of your income is a big chunk of change for the 'price of freedom.' Often that 200 years feels like 2000. Shopping for groceries is a darn joke - on us.

I tire of the world's leaders using us to fix their problems. I tire of our leaders trading souls in the bargain... cause they don't respond without being promised some "thing".

I do love the way you write, and tell the saga. You're most kind.(smile)

Sunnybrook Farm said...

Of course when the trailer park boys put that railroad under the border, it was kind of an invasion.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Wow. How interesting that the war went on for months after the peace treaty. I guess that's to be expected though, in the days pre-CNN. Thanks for such an informative, interesting post!!

Guillaume said...

I need to learn more about this period of history.

Rosemary said...

Is the loony your Canadian dollar, I haven't heard that term before, I wonder if it named after your loon diving birds?

JACKIESUE said...

I loved that song..so great to sing along with..I think you Canaderians have kicked out ass enough..bad enough you do it in wars but winter Olympics in hockey and curling is really bad..

Magic Love Crow said...

I love these history posts that you do Deb! Our dollar is really low now! Hugs ;o)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hi Rosemary -- The one dollar Canadian coin does indeed have a loon (diving bird) on it and that's why we call the coin a "loonie." Our two dollar coin has a polar bear on it but we call it a "toonie" since it is two loonies!

bill lisleman said...

I should trade some dollars for fistfuls of loonies.
I remember that song from my teenage years. good post

Missy George said...

Ah yes. I remember it well..Thanks for the History lesson...Nice post!!

Michael D'Agostino said...

I must admit, I haven't heard that song :P

Miss Val's Creations said...

I'm glad all that strife is over with too!

Fundy Blue said...

I remember the Johnny Horton song so well. I had just become a radio hugger when it was on the hit list. Thanks for the memories! Loved the Australian funnies! Have a happy weekend, Debra!

Rue said...

I can't even talk about the value of our dollar right now. *sigh*

Living close to the border used to mean a great day of cross-border shopping, but not anymore. I miss my Tillamook cheese!

I too, need to learn more about this bit of our history - thanks for the info!


Kay G. said...

Hey Debra!
Did you know that the BBC banned that song because is had "Bloody British" in the lyrics!
I was going to do a post about the song but I can't seem to get my mind going these days.
Glad to see the back of January but February is even worse, at least it's shorter.

Dr. Theda said...

Hope that it is a good weekend for you and yours....

Kay G. said...

Hey Debra!
I forgot to have a link to you when I did my last post (it took me hours to finish that draft, I told you my brain isn't right these days!) but I have a link to you now. Hope that's okay with you!

Robin Larkspur said...

That video took me back in time. Great post.

Anne Johnson said...

If the Americans hadn't won, you would be stuck with us.

Riot Kitty said...

I always think how much it would have sucked to be fighting or dead because word hadn't reached yet that the fighting was over. (Yes, I am a ray of fucking sunshine!)

Sybil N said...

There's a wonderful sign in front of the Old Burying Ground in Halifax with the heading: "Why aren't we Americans?". Most of the cruise ship visitors walk by the sign and stop to read it as it gently tells them about the War of 1812 ...

GREAT MILITARY BATTLES said...

Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

Your article is very well done, a good read.