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BOOK - The British at the Gates, The New Orleans Campaign in the War of 1812
By Robin Reilly.
The story of the British campaign that began with the burning of Washington and ended in defeat at the Battle of New Orleans. The battle that made Andrew Jackson famous.
In 1814, the final year of the War of 1812, Britain, with forces made available by the defeat of Napoleon, mounted a massive seaborne assault against the United States. In August of that year the British force burned military installations and public buildings in Washington, forcing President Madison and his cabinet to leave the city.
By the end of 1814 the British had sailed southward to launch a risky attack on New Orleans, which was defeated by American forces under the inspired and resolute leadership of Andrew Jackson.
The British at the Gates is a fascinating blend of diplomatic, political, social and, above all, military history. It sets the battle within the complete context of the War of 1812, which has sometimes been called the Second War of Independence, describing the issues that led the United States to declare war on Britain. It describes in full the events of the 1814 campaign, including the destruction of Washington and culminating in the Battle of New Orleans. And, unusual among books on the War of 1812, it has a detailed account of the peace negotiations that were going on simultaneously in Europe.
Here are the glitter and decadence of New Orleans on the eve of battle, the heroics and crafty dealings of the pirate Lafitte brothers, and the military triumphs and fiascos that preceded the conflict at New Orleans. Reilly's account of the battle itself is detailed, masterful and even-handed, and explodes many myths that have surrounded the event, and he explains why the battle was significant although it occurred after peace had been negotiated at the Treaty of Ghent but before that news had reached the armies.
420 pages, 6 x 9 inches Paperback About 45 illustrations and maps, Endnotes and bibliography, index, ISBN 1-896941-25-7
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