Old Hickory Said...

We're a few days late on this, but only a few.  On 8 January 1815, American forces, largely militia, led by Andrew Jackson defeated elements of the most powerful military in the world.

It's a more interesting story than the famous song suggests:



That makes it sound like Jackson won in a walk, against an inept opponent.  In fact the British forces were disciplined and supplied with artillery and rockets, and the fighting lasted half a month.  It is only the remarkable disparity in casualties that make it seem, with hindsight, like an easy victory.

4 comments:

bthun said...

Great song. IIRC, the Battle of New Orleans, as performed at the time by Johnny Horton, was one of the first songs I remember singing aloud with the old man when we would head out to go fish or stalk the indigenous swamp rabbit*. Vicious beast that swamp rabbit.

"In fact the British forces were disciplined and supplied with artillery and rockets, and the fighting lasted half a month. It is only the remarkable disparity in casualties that make it seem, with hindsight, like an easy victory. "

Reflecting on this battle, I can't help but think of our history as a nation of pioneers and riflemen. And once again watch as our spendthrift politicos downsize our military. It's enough to cause me to think that we need to encourage and expand the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), if not look to put in place something along the lines of the militia system used in Switzerland.

Then again, sans a nation of riflemen, a robust Army/Navy-USMC/Air Force with one to two generations of technological advantage over potential adversaries, notable manufacturing capabilities, heavy or otherwise, maybe our vibrant service economy and diddling with gadgets fixation will produce a force of customer service professionals who will be able to thoroughly frustrate, if not empathize with while diffusing the undoubtedly justified outrage of any foe intent on subjugating the Republic.

Whoops, looks like I did not take my curmudgeonBgone pill today.

Apologies Grim. This outburst probably would have been more suited to put in your UK alliances post from a day or two ago.

I hope Janet's not listening.

*The same creature that almost claimed the life of POTUS #39

rcl said...

BT, better we stick to the Nation of Riflemen idea. The customer service professionals are being jobbed out to the Phillipines and India.

Plus you shouldn't mention the infamous swamp rabbit without a link...

#1 on the AJC's list of "Not-So-Proud Moments for Georgia"...
Pres. Carter repelling the killer rabbit.

douglas said...

Like they say, the really good ones make it look easy.

"I can't help but think of our history as a nation of pioneers and riflemen."

The Appleseed Project is trying to preserve that heritage.

Joseph W. said...

"Ned" Pakenham, the British commander, was one Wellington's better commanders from the Peninsular War - at Salamanca, when Pakenham rode off to execute Wellington's orders, the Good Old Duke commented - "Did you ever see a man who so perfectly understood what he had to do?"

According to the Wiki on Pakenham, Wellington placed the blame for Pakenham's loss at New Orleans on the Navy.