Kurz & Allison Battle of New Orleans
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00249.01
Author/Creator: Kurz & Allison
Place Written: Chicago, Illinois
Pagination: 1 lithograph : col. ; 53.7 x 69.5 cm.
Summary of Content: Published by Kurz & Allison at 76 & 78 Wabash Avenue in Chicago. Depicts General Andrew Jackson, on a white horse, leading his troops in the defense of New Orleans on 8 January 1815, the last major battle of the War of 1812. The American troops are a ragtag group of soldiers, some in uniform, others in frontier garb, and still others in civilian clothes. They crouch behind bales of cotton as neat rows of British troops, under Major General Edward Pakenham, charge to their death. A sword-wielding officer is struck by a round leading the British charge (this is probably not Pakenham, who was killed on horseback, 500 yards from the American lines). Smoke fills the air and large British ships-of-the-line float in the background. Paper discoloaration from matting is visible around the image and what appears to be glue residue is on the margin. Some very slight damage on the edges.
Historical Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900
Keywords/Subjects: Battle;, War of 1812;, Military History;, Art, Music, Theater, and Film;, Death;, Global History and US Foreign Policy;, Global History and US Foreign Policy;, President
Background: On the eighth of January, Pakenham ordered three large, direct assaults on the American positions; all of his attacks were cut down by American fire. Pakenham himself was fatally wounded in the third attack when he was hit by grapeshot on horseback while 500 yards from the earthworks. The British suffered defeat in part because ladders needed to scale the earthworks defended by the Americans were never brought forward to the soldiers. As a result, with most of their senior officers dead or wounded, the British infantry could do nothing but stand out in the open and be shot apart with a combination of muskets and grapeshot by the Americans stationed behind unreachable defenses. General John Lambert, who assumed command upon Pakenham’s death, ordered the British withdrawal, despite the fact that Pakenham, before dying, ordered Lambert to continue the battle. The British had suffered a loss of some 700 dead and 2,000 wounded or taken prisoner; while the Americans only had 13 dead, with 58 wounded. The only British success was across the Mississippi, where a 700-man detachment attacked and overwhelmed the American line on the west bank of the river. But when they saw the defeat and withdrawal of their main army on the east back, they decided to withdraw also, taking some American prisoners and a few cannons with them.Order Image