Andrew Jackson - Military Career - War of 1812

War of 1812

Jackson was appointed commander of the Tennessee militia in 1801, with the rank of colonel. He was later elected major general of the Tennessee militia in 1802.

During the War of 1812, the Shawnee chief Tecumseh encouraged the "Red Stick" Creek Indians of northern Alabama and Georgia to attack white settlements. He had unified tribes in the Northwest to rise up against the Americans, trying to repel European American settlers from those lands north of the Ohio. Four hundred settlers were killed in the Fort Mims massacre. In the resulting Creek War, Jackson commanded the American forces, which included Tennessee militia, U.S. regulars, and Cherokee, Choctaw, and Lower Creek warriors.

Jackson defeated the Red Sticks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. US forces and their allies killed 800 Red Stick warriors in this battle, but Jackson spared the chief Red Eagle, a mixed-race man also known as William Weatherford. Sam Houston and David Crockett served under Jackson in this campaign. After the victory, Jackson imposed the Treaty of Fort Jackson upon both the Upper Creek enemies and the Lower Creek allies, wresting twenty million acres (81,000 kmĀ²) in present-day Georgia and Alabama from all the Creek for European-American settlement. Jackson was appointed Major General after this action.

Jackson's service in the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom was conspicuous for bravery and success. When British forces threatened New Orleans, Jackson took command of the defenses, including militia from several western states and territories. He was a strict officer but was popular with his troops. They said he was "tough as old hickory" wood on the battlefield, and he acquired the nickname of "Old Hickory". In the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815, Jackson's 5,000 soldiers won a decisive victory over 7,500 British. At the end of the battle, the British had 2,037 casualties: 291 dead (including three senior generals), 1,262 wounded, and 484 captured or missing. The Americans had 71 casualties: 13 dead, 39 wounded, and 19 missing.

Jackson became a national hero for his actions in this battle and the war. He received the Thanks of Congress and a gold medal by resolution of February 27, 1815. Alexis de Tocqueville later commented in Democracy in America that Jackson "...was raised to the Presidency, and has been maintained there, solely by the recollection of a victory which he gained, twenty years ago, under the walls of New Orleans."

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