Andrew Jackson: General

Andrew Jackson first joined the Patriots in the Revolutionary war at the age of 13.

In between the conclusion of the Revolutionary War and the start of the War of 1812:

  • Jackson grew up

  • Apprenticed to be a lawyer

  • Gotten married

  • Moved to the new frontier of Tennessee

  • Served in the state constitutional convention as Tennessee got ready to become a state  (1796)

  • Appointed as colonel in the Tennessee militia (1801)

  • Served in the Tennessee state House of Representatives and Senate

With the outbreak of the War of 1812 Jackson was called to join the cause as a major General of the Tennessee militia and moved all throughout the south with several thousand Tennessee volunteers that included both Davy Crockett and Sam Houston.

During the fall and winter of 1813-1814 his mobile forces were moved throughout the south to fight small skirmishes against the Indian nations of the south and the British.

It was around this time that his army started falling apart but Jackson being a disciplinarian like none other knew how to shape them up. He believed that "no army can exist "where order & Subordination are wholly disregarded." Twice he pointed his gun at two men attempting to desert and put a man to death for refusing to obey a court marshal, which was the first ever execution since the Revolutionary War. Shaped up and ready to follow Jackson his men got ready to fight at Horseshoe Bend.

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend was the battle that finished the Creek nation and solidified the United States annexation of Florida. With over 800 warriors killed the Creek could never recover and gave into Jackson's demand of signing a treaty. The treaty though, was not what Washington DC had in mind. Jackson's treaty took over 22 million acres from the Creek nation, pushing them to the corners of their chiseled land. 

As the war went on James Madison was busy in Washington putting together a commission to negotiate peace with Great Britain. He chose John Quincy Adams, Albert Gallatin and James A Bayard; later adding Henry Clay and Jonathan Russell. These were some of the greatest minds in politics at the time sent to meet with a second-rate commission from Great Britain in the neutral country of Belgium. This allowed the Americans to hold out on issues and negotiate a treaty that would be on their terms. This was a strategy to help flex the independence muscle in front of the British to make them understand we were not a territory that would be pushed around. As a treaty was signed on Christmas Eve of 1814, news of the treaty would not reach Washington DC and particularity New Orleans, where Jackson and his army was, until mid-February.

Meanwhile, on January 8th Jackson and 4,700 men beat the 7,800 British soldiers in an incredible victory that would cost the British 2,000 soldiers and their General, General Sir Edward Pakenham. Jackson lost a mere 70 men.

This was the Battle of New Orleans. This battle solidified a number of things for both Jackson and America.

America thought that the battle resulted in the beating of Great Britain when the terms of the peace treaty and the American victory had already been agreed upon and signed. But people believe what they want to believe. And for Jackson, the Battle of New Orleans gained him national recognition and a spot light for any future ambitions.

The Battle of New Orleans provided him access to the larger stage of influence in Washington.

Andrew Jackson loved his military days, his accomplishments and memories. He would prefer to be called General Jackson for the remainder of his life following the War of 1812, even during his time as president. 

New Orleans is still filled with remnants of Jackson's influence with the main square of the French Quarter bearing his name and a large statue commemorating his victory in that city 200 years ago.

   A military officer's uniform jacket on display at Jackson's home in Nashville Tennessee, The Hermitage.

   A military officer's uniform jacket on display at Jackson's home in Nashville Tennessee, The Hermitage.