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BORN: 1815 in Bucks County, PA.
DIED: 1897 in St. Louis, MO.
CAMPAIGNS: Corinth, Chickasaw Bluffs, Arkansas Post, Vicksburg
Red River, Tupelo, and Mobile.
Andrew Jackson Smith was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on April 28, 1815. He grew up on a farm in Buckingham Township, in southeastern Pennsylvania, and was the son of a veteran of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Andrew Jackson Smith was named after his father's commander at the War of 1812's Battle of New Orleans, who later became President of the United States. Young Andrew attended the US Military Academy at West Point, and graduated in 1838. After serving almost exclusively in the West for over two decades, he became colonel of the 2d California Cavalry when he Civil War began. He was appointed brigadier general of volunteers after the Corinth Campaign, to rank from March 17, 1862. He was given divisional command, leading expeditions to Chickasaw Bluffs and Arkansas Post. Smith led a division in the Vicksburg Campaign, and took part in the Red River Campaign. Promoted to major general of volunteers on May 14, 1864, he defeated Confederate general Nathan B. Forrest at the Battle of Tupelo. Transferred to Missouri, then sent back to Tennessee, he fought in the Battle of Nashville. Smith's final engagement in the Civil War was the 1865 campaign against Mobile, Alabama. He remained in the army for four years, resigned in 1869 and moved to St. Louis, Missouri. After serving as postmaster of the city, city auditor and commander of a state militia brigade, Smith died at his home in St. Louis, on January 30, 1897.

Andrew Jackson: A Resource Guide

Alfred Whital Stern (1881-1960) of Chicago presented his outstanding collection of Lincolniana to the Library of Congress in 1953. Begun by Mr. Stern in the 1920s, the collection documents the life of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) both through writings by and about Lincoln as well as a large body of publications concerning the issues of the times including slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and related topics.

Search on the subject Andrew Jackson to find references to Jackson and his political legacy in Lincoln&rsquos day, including the broadside &ldquoDemocracy 1832. 1864.&rdquo

    , whose first volume includes an account by a British diplomat of Jackson&rsquos battle over the Second Bank of the United States. , whose second volume includes a brief biography of Jackson. , in which the first volume devotes a chapter to Jackson's administration and the second volume's chapter on Tennessee features several pages of information about Jackson.

This is a collection of more than two hundred social-dance manuals, as well as a significant number of antidance manuals, histories, treatises on etiquette, and items from other conceptual categories. Many of the manuals also provide historical information on theatrical dance. In addition to references to "Jackson's Hornpipe," generally believed to have been named in honor of the president, this collection includes The American dancing master, and ball-room prompter: containing about five hundred dances including all the latest and most fashionable . (1862), which gives instructions for a dance called "Jackson at New Orleans."

The collection consists of fifty-nine sound recordings of speeches by American leaders from 1918-1920. The speeches focus on issues and events surrounding the First World War and the subsequent presidential election of 1920. In a speech on the achievements of the Democratic Party, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Champ Clark invokes Jackson's legacy.

    , which contains an African-American folk narrative about Jackson. , which records oral tradition about Jackson.
    in Social life in the early republic, by Anne Hollingsworth Wharton that recounts the Peggy Eaton affair.
  • A chapter in The life and diary of John Floyd governor of Virginia, an apostle of secession and the father of the Oregon country in which Floyd severely criticizes Jackson and his administration in his diary.
  • The letters reproduced in The first forty years of Washington society, portrayed by the family letters of Mrs. Samuel Harrison Smith (Margaret Bayard) from the collection of her grandson J. Henley Smith ed. by Gaillard Hunt . , which paint a candid portrait of Jackson during his second Senate term and presidency.
  • The American State Papers contains the legislative and executive documents of Congress during the period 1789 to 1838.
  • The Annals of Congress provides the text of congressional debates from Jackson's service in the House of Representatives (1796-97) and the U.S. Senate (1797-98 and 1823-25).
  • The Register of Debates provides the text of congressional debates and presidential messages from Jackson's second term in the U.S. Senate (1823-25) and his presidency (1829-37), including his First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Annual Messages to Congress. This publication also contains Jackson's veto message regarding the Bank of the United States dated July 10, 1832.
  • The Congressional Globe provides the text of congressional debates and presidential messages from Jackson's second term as president (1833-37), including the Senate's censure of Jackson on March 28, 1834, for the removal of the government deposits from the Bank of the United States. On January 16, 1837, the Senate expunged the censure by a vote of 24 to 19.
  • The United States Statutes at Large contain the full text of all the laws enacted and treaties ratified during Jackson's presidency, including the Indian Removal Act, Tariff Act of 1832, Force Act, and Compromise Tariff of 1833.
  • The special presentation Indian Land Cessions in the United States, 1784 to 1894 provides maps and commentary that can be browsed by date, place, or Indian nation, enabling researchers to trace the outcome of Jackson's campaigns as military leader and president to acquire Indian lands for the United States.

Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier is a multi-format ethnographic field collection of traditional fiddle tunes performed by Henry Reed of Glen Lyn, Virginia. Recorded by folklorist Alan Jabbour in 1966-67, when Reed was over eighty years old, the tunes represent the music and evoke the history and spirit of Virginia's Appalachian frontier. It includes a "British Field March" that Reed believed had accompanied the British retreat after Jackson's victory at the Battle of New Orleans.

    , which reproduces Jackson&rsquos addresses to the free black soldiers under his command in the War of 1812. , which includes an 1844 letter from Jackson on the annexation of Texas.

This collection contains approximately 400 items relating to inaugurations from George Washington's first in 1789 to the present. It includes materials from both Andrew Jackson's first inauguration, in 1829, and his second inauguration, in 1833.

    , on Jackson's handling of the Second National Bank of the United States. , on his wish to be promoted to major general.
    , showing the "lines of battles and encampments" at the site of Jackson's great victory. , a map of the site of the battle on that date between Creek Indians and U.S. forces under Jackson. .

The collection documents the history, cultural aspects and geological formations of areas that eventually became National Parks. The collection consists of approximately 200 maps dating from the 17th century to the present, reflecting early mapping of the areas that would become four National Parks, as well as the parks themselves. It includes an 1884 Map of the former territorial limits of the Cherokee "Nation of" Indians Map showing the territory originally assigned Cherokee "Nation of" Indians, documenting the Cherokees' homelands before Jackson as president forced the Cherokee into exile.

This collection consists of over 15,000 pieces of sheet music registered for copyright during the years 1820 to 1860. These works include:

This collection portrays the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century through first-person accounts, biographies, promotional literature, local histories, ethnographic and antiquarian texts, colonial archival documents, and other works drawn from the Library of Congress's General Collections and Rare Books and Special Collections Division. The collection includes "Three score years and ten," life-long memories of Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and other parts of the West, by Charlotte Ouisconsin Van Cleve, which has a chapter of reminiscences about Rachel and Andrew Jackson from the author&rsquos childhood. Search on the exact phrases Andrew Jackson, General Jackson, President Jackson, and Old Hickory to find numerous other references to Jackson.

This collection consists of 908 boldly colored and graphically diverse original posters produced from 1936 to 1943 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. It includes a poster for the Federal Theatre Project world premiere of the play "Rachel's Man": A Dramatization of the Life of America's Most Colorful Soldier-Statesman, Andrew Jackson.

Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929 assembles a wide array of Library of Congress source materials from the 1920s that document the widespread prosperity of the Coolidge years, the nation's transition to a mass consumer economy, and the role of government in this transition. The collection includes nearly 150 selections from twelve collections of personal papers and two collections of institutional papers from the Manuscript Division 74 books, pamphlets, and legislative documents from the General Collections, along with selections from 34 consumer and trade journals 185 photographs from the Prints and Photographs Division and the Manuscript Division and 5 short films and 7 audio selections of Coolidge speeches from the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

The collection includes Coolidge Speech: Address . . . Accepting the Statue of President Andrew Jackson at Washington, D.C., April 15, 1928. From Hand Copies: Speeches of President Calvin Coolidge, Preserved by Everett Sanders. In the Everett Sanders Papers, in which Coolidge pays tribute to Jackson.

Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860 contains just over a hundred pamphlets and books (published between 1772 and 1889) concerning the difficult and troubling experiences of African and African-American slaves in the American colonies and the United States. The documents, most from the Law Library and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, comprise an assortment of trials and cases, reports, arguments, accounts, examinations of cases and decisions, proceedings, journals, a letter, and other works of historical importance. Search the collection using the phrases Andrew Jackson or General Jackson to find several references to him, including History of the Oberlin-Wellington rescue / compiled by Jacob R. Shipherd with an introduction by Henry E. Peck and Ralph Plumb, which includes a chapter that invokes Jackson's doctrine of constitutional interpretation.

    . , on the prospect of war with Spain. , apologizing for not having visited him. , thanking Jefferson's daughter for sending him a cane that had belonged to her deceased father.

Washington during the Civil War: The Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft, 1861-1865 presents three manuscript volumes, totaling 1,240 digital images, that document daily life in Washington, D. C., through the eyes of Horatio Nelson Taft (1806-1888), an examiner for the U. S. Patent Office. In his diary entry for January 8, 1863, Taft notes the anniversary of Jackson's victory at New Orleans and laments that "The Country has been calling for 'Jacksons' to Lead our armies but as yet none has appeared."

In honor of the Manuscript Division's centennial, its staff has selected for online display approximately ninety representative documents spanning from the fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Included are four items related to Andrew Jackson. To find them, use the Name and Subject Index and click on the heading Jackson, Andrew (1767-1845). The results include a Letter, Andrew Jackson to Martin Van Buren discussing the nullification crisis, 13 January 1833. (Martin Van Buren Papers).

My Civil War Obsession

Here’s a brief biography of a general who seems to have earned a good reputation wherever he went, the respect of famed leaders he worked for and achieved a solid record of success, yet escaped the glare of fame. Some of his service was in the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati region, when he replaced Lew Wallace as head of local forces as the “Siege of Cincinnati” concluded and Wallace was assigned elsewhere. Below is some brief research I had done on him in the recent past.

If ever a man was born with a military career as his destiny, Andrew Jackson Smith was it. Born in Pennsylvania in 1815 to a father who was a veteran of both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, Smith was also named for a war hero and future President, Andrew Jackson, the Hero of New Orleans.

A.J. Smith was appointed to West Point in 1834, and graduated 4 years later, 36th in a class of 45. He joined the First Dragoons as a Second Lieutenant and served in Oregon and throughout the West. During the Mexican War, he was stationed mainly in California.

When the Civil War broke out, he was colonel of the California Cavalry, but resigned this commission to go east, where he was assigned as colonel of cavalry under Henry Halleck in Missouri. In May of 1862, he was promoted to Brigadier General and he continued to serve under Halleck through the advance on Corinth which ended at the end of May.

In late summer of this year, General Smith was ordered to Covington, KY, where he replaced Lew Wallace in command of local forces. One of his communications from the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion was to General Wallace and mentioned a famed local group of militiamen:

Fort Mitchel, KY, September 17, 1862:
General Wallace:
Reports from the front state that the enemy are in full retreat. I ordered all the cavalry I have in front to follow up and ascertain the road and direction they were taking. Cannot I get rid of the Squirrel Hunters? They are under no control.
A.J. Smith,
Brigadier General

In the fall of this year, he served under Gordon Grange in the Army of Kentucky, before taking command of a division under William T. Sherman in December. He took part in the failed attack on Chickasaw Bluffs as the Union attempted to capture the key city of Vicksburg.

In early January, Smith was part of the successful attack on Arkansas Post in the Arkansas River. He then joined in the next Union attempt to capture Vicksburg, under Ulysses S. Grant.

This time the Union forces succeeded, and the Confederates in the city surrendered on July 4, 1863.

After this success, he also joined Sherman on the successful attack upon Jackson, the state capital of Mississippi.

In August of 1863, he was put in command at Columbus, Kentucky, where he stayed for several months before joining Sherman again in early 1864 for the campaign against Meridian, Mississippi, which ended in February with the destruction of much of that city.
After this assignment, he was ordered to the Army of the Tennessee as part of Nathan Bank’s Red River Campaign, which took place through most of March and April and even into early May. Smith’s men were at the front of the Union army and fought in every engagement of this campaign that resulted in failure for the Union forces.

In May, Smith received another promotion, this time to Major General of Volunteers.

During the summer of 1864, he and his men were stationed in La Grange Tennessee, before he led them on a expedition to Tupelo, Mississippi. It was here that General Smith and his men repulsed an attack by famed Confederate raider Nathan Bedford Forrest on July 14, inflicting perhaps as much as 40% casualties on the Rebels.

In the late summer, Smith was sent to Missouri to help repel the raid by Confederate General Sterling Price, but as fall arrived, he was quickly summoned to Nashville to assist in George Thomas’ defense against John Bell Hood’s Confederates. Smith was commended for his actions in this Union rout of their opponent and won brevet (temporary) promotion to Major General in the regular army.

In early 1865, his command had was designated the XVI Army Corps and took part in the campaign that captured the city of Mobile, Alabama.

The war ended soon after this, but Smith remained in the army, serving as Colonel of the 7th Cavalry. In 1869, President Grant offered him the position of postmaster of St. Louis, which Smith accepted after resigning his army commission. He served in many positions in this river city through the rest of his life.

In 1888, Congress passed an act reinstating Smith to the position of colonel of cavalry so he could retire at that rank, which he did later that same day.

Despite his many successes on military fields, and the trust he had earned from Generals like Grant and Sherman, A. J. Smith never received the same fame or glory as did many of his contemporaries. Part of this may have been due to how often he and his forces were moved around, which earned them nicknames like “the lost tribes of Israel” and “Smith’s Guerrillas.” Smith simply went where he was told and did his duty so well that superior officers constantly asked for his services.


The United States of America has been labeled as a young nation, given its actual beginning in the year 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed. In reality, the journey these United States have been going through begins before 1776.

Native Americans were the first inhabitants of this rich land. They are believed to have come over from the Eurasian continent by way of the area we know today as Alaska and Canada.

It is easy to follow the chronological timeline of the United States. Its history often begins with Leif Ericson, who is believed to have travelled to this land in the year 1000. Then by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the pilgrims in the 16th century, later followed by other European nations such as Spain, Portugal, and Britain.

As we fast-forward through the years, the role of this young nation is evident in every part of the world. There is not one part of the world that has not been touched by the influence of the United States of America.

Brief Overview

The story of the United States begins with the thirteen colonies which by the late 18th century had 2.5 million people. In its struggle towards independence, the Declaration of Independence led to the American Revolution in 1776. Between the Revolution against Britain and the American Civil War in 1861, the young nation went through a myriad of storms, politically and socially, in addition to the significant progress it went through. Slavery of Africans was already an issue early in those days, which perhaps contributed to the formation of the Confederate States of America, leading to the Civil War. As the war broke out, lines were drawn on the sands of these United States.

The Civil War was followed by the reconstruction era in which a change in the overall atmosphere brought in a change that comes with growth. Slavery ended, states that broke off from the union were readmitted, and the national government grew stronger. All 48 contiguous states had been admitted in 1912, Alaska and Hawaii were added later in the mid 20th century.

Between the 1890s through the 1920s, the progressives ushered in a different tone. People were getting tired with the corruption, waste, and the practice of old politics. The movement saw the advancement of women’s suffrage and the prohibition of alcohol added to the constitution.

When World War I broke out in 1914, the United States had maintained its neutrality under Woodrow Wilson. Wilson tried to keep the U.S. out of the war, but then in 1917 relented and declared war against Germany.

The Wall Street Crash of 1929 came after a decade of prosperous living, the years that followed marked a world wide Great Depression that lasted for ten years. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and other politicians presented the people a form of relief in what was called the New Deal. This brought in various types of programs that included relief, recovery, and reform. Unfortunately, all this did was realign the political landscape that produced the Democratic Party, big political machines in the major cities, so-called intellectuals, and the white south.

December 8, 1941, “A day that will live in infamy…” These words spoken by FDR marked the entry of the United States into its Second World War in less than 25 years. The Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor on that date led to the first use of the atomic bomb. This also marked the defeat of Nazi Germany under the Allied Forces.

The Cold War was born immediately after World War II. Even though there was a brief period of rest for the US during those years following World War II, by 1950, the United States found itself embroiled in the Korean War, 1959 saw the total involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War. Both wars have been described as “proxy wars” wherein a third party is used in a war.

The cold War ended in 1991, but a different kind of War ensued in the decades that followed, the War on Terror. The story of the United States is still being written, and the rest of the world continues to watch with great anticipation.

The First Explorer

Leif Ericson is regarded as the very first European to have landed in North America in AD 1000. He was the son of Erik Thorvaldsson who most people know as Erik the Red. Leif Ericson came to North America five hundred years before Christopher Columbus.

Leif was initially going for Greenland but wound up landing in what is now North America. He was following the trail blazed by his father Erik the Red to bring Christianity to the people they encounter during their voyages.

Colonial Years – Old World meets the New World 15th-16th Century

The existence of the New World, the Americas remained a mystery to most of Europe until the 15th century. Many European countries were in search for a northwest passage to reach East Asia instead of the long silk route or Silk Road.

Christopher Columbus, originally from Italy, in 1485 attempted to raise the funds required for his expedition to King John II of Portugal. He was rejected. It was not until he had a face to face with the monarchs of Spain, and through the help of Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand II did Columbus receive the funds to prepare for the voyage.

In 1492, Columbus went on the 1st of four voyages to the new world, all of them supported by the Spanish crown. He departed commanding three galleons, the Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria. He had reached what is now the United States during his second voyage arriving in Puerto Rico in 1493. John Cabot, a fellow Italian, received his financing for his voyages from the British monarchy in 1497 explored portions of the east Coast of North America.

French, Spanish and Dutch Colonization

These were followed by expeditions by other European countries hoping to colonize other parts of the New World. Spain sent expeditions beginning in the Appalachian Mountains all the way west to the Grand Canyon. Hernando De Soto and Francisco Vazquez de Coronado explored the rest of the land in 1540. Coronado recruited native Mexican Americans to help in the exploration of the new world reaching the Arizona-Mexican border. St. Augustine in Florida had the first permanent settlement on the continent. Other Spanish settlements spread throughout the new frontier, these included places like present day Albuquerque, Los Angeles, San Antonio, San Diego, Santa Fe, San Francisco, and even Tucson in Arizona.

Entering the 17th century, the Dutch claimed the territory that was found along the Hudson River Valley. France colonized much of North America between 1534 through 1763. Most of the French settlers made Quebec their home early on. Their main means of commerce was fur trading with Indian tribes who in turn became their allies against the British. France’s territories were divided into five colonies, Acadia (part of present day Quebec), Canada, Hudson Bay, Louisiana, and Newfoundland.

Colonization by Britain

A little known fact about colonial America is that half of European immigrants, who came, arrived as what was called “indentured servants.” What this means is that a person is contracted to work over a period of time determined by the employer, often in an unskilled capacity. The “servant” in turn receives food, lodging, clothing, and if necessary, transportation during their period of service. No wages are paid to them. These often are men and women under 21 years of age.

In the year 1607, Jamestown, Virginia is where the English first established a colony, mainly a colony composed of businessmen and their families. Perhaps the most famous story ever told about the colonization of America is that of the pilgrims and the mayflower. The pilgrims were composed of dissenters and separatists from England, all one hundred and two passengers reached Plymouth harbor in 1620. Their original destination of the mayflower, the ship they were riding on, was the Hudson River at that time was part of the Virginia colony.

Landmark events during British Colonization

Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1628 – English settlement established on the North American east coast in what is today Boston and Salem. The colony was financed by the Massachusetts Bay Company.

King Philip’s War, 1675-1676 – Conflict using weapons between Native American Indians and the English colonists and their allies. The opposing side was led by Metacomet, to whom the English gave the name King Philip.

Yamasee War, 1715-1717 – Attempt by Native American tribes to destroy the English settlers in South Carolina. The tribes included Apalachee, Apalachicola, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and the Yamasee, just to name a few.

The Great Awakening, 1730s through 1740s – A religious revival that spanned across the Atlantic ocean that touched British America and protestant Europe. Preacher Jonathan Edwards gave the message to listeners their need for salvation through Jesus Christ. The Great Awakening allowed the people to personalize their faith, not through ceremony and rituals.

French and Indian War, 1754-1763 – also known as the Seven Years War. This was a conflict in North America between France and Great Britain.

Boston Massacre, March 1770 – An event caused by the death of five colonial civilians by the firing of the muskets by British soldiers. It has also been referred to as the Boston Riot, and believed to have been a precursor to the American Revolutionary War.

Boston Tea Party, 1773 – Action taken against the East India Company and the British government by colonists in Massachusetts. Three ships in the Boston harbor were boarded by colonists to dump the tea the ships were transporting into the harbor.

American Revolution 1775–1783 & Declaration of Independence

The year 1775 saw the rebellion of the thirteen colonies against British rule. The United States was able to overcome the British forces through the help of France and Spain. The continental congress made the Declaration of Independence signed on July 4, 1776. This became the rallying cry for the newly formed United States against the British government. The declaration and signing took place in Philadelphia. The ideals of this new nation were based on liberal enlightenment ideas and republican doctrine. Both ideals are dependent on one another. The liberal enlightenment is described by what the 3rd President of the United States and a principal drafter of the declaration, Thomas Jefferson, as “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Republicanism reflects these values written on the declaration stressing liberty and inalienable rights at the very core of this belief. This belief basically states that the people are sovereign, requiring civic duty, opposed elitism, and apprehensive towards corruption. They did not recognize the rule of kings based on heritage.

People have tried to identify who actually formed the words written in the declaration of independence Thomas Jefferson explained in 1825 that the declaration did not contain anything original attributed to one man. Everything written on the document, include sentiments by those who supported the American Revolt. There were fifty-six signers on the Declaration of Independence.

Post Revolutionary War

The American Revolutionary War ended in 1783. Immediately thereafter, a time of prosperity took place. The new national government addressed matters such as the western territories which eventually became US territories and became states beginning in 1791.

George Washington became the first president of the United States in 1789 under a new constitution. He ran for president as an independent. 1791 was the year that the United States Bill of Rights came into effect. There had been many accomplishments that took place under the leadership of George Washington. Under Washington, the establishment of a stable national government became a priority this included the creation of the Bank of the United States which eventually helped the financial system. The inception of a tax system was introduced the system also addressed tariffs for imports and other debts owed by the states.

It was also during Washington’s time as president that a new political party was established, the Federalist Party, also known as the first American political party. Federalists supported a fiscally sound and nationalistic type of government.

In 1794, the Jay Treaty was reached in which the United States, represented by George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, restored civil relations with the British. Jefferson supporters did not agree with this move which led to voters giving their allegiance for one party or the other, creating the First Party System. Even though the treaty was signed, the birth of heated politics became prevalent.

Significant events and milestones after the American Revolution

Fugitive Slave Act, 1793 – Meant to protect property, in which slaves were considered. Any man who captures or harms or even kills a slave will have to repay damages done to the slave.

Whiskey Rebellion, 1794 – Protest against federal taxes by settlers in several Pennsylvania counties located in the Allegheny Mountains

Alien and Sedition Acts, 1798 – Bills passed in 1798 by Federalists in an undeclared war with France.

Quasi-War, 1798 – 1800 – Undeclared war between France and the United States fought in the high seas. Also known as Franco-American War and The Pirates War.

Louisiana Purchase, 1803 – The United States acquired Louisiana from France, who had a claim on the territory. The US paid $11,250,000 in addition to cancelling $3,750,000 in debt by France.

Chesapeake-Leopard Affair, 1807 – When a British warship, the HMS Leopard attacked an American vessel, the Chesapeake in which three men died and eighteen people injured.

War of 1812, Conflict between the British Empire which included parts of present day Canada, and the USA.

Hartford Convention, December 1814 – January 1815 – Event marking the opposition of New England states against the War of 1812. The states had threatened to secede from the United States.

Battle of New Orleans, 1815 – Culmination of the War of 1812. Major General Andrew Jackson led American forces to defeat the British army who invaded trying to gain hold of New Orleans. Numerous Native Americans lost their lives during this battle they had allied themselves with the British.

Missouri Compromise, 1820 – This agreement was made to regulate slavery in western territories. Involved in the agreement were anti-slavery and pro-slavery camps.

Monroe Doctrine, 1823 – Introduced by President James Monroe, this is a policy issued by the United States warning other European countries from making further attempts to try and colonize or interfere with American states. Such attempts would be seen as an act of aggression. It is said that the words implied the Western Hemisphere.

Indian Removal Act, 1830 – Act signed by President Andrew Jackson leading to the moving of thousands of American Indians to the western states.

Texas Statehood, 1845 – The Republic of Texas becomes the 28th state of the United States of America this led to Mexican-American in 1846.

Mexican-American War, 1846 – 1848 – A result of the annexation of Texas to the United States in 1845. Consequence of the war was Mexico giving up Alta California and New Mexico for $18 million dollars. Alta California was made up of what are today, California, western Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and southwestern Wyoming.

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 1848 – Treaty for peace as dictated by the United States after the surrender of Mexico.

Civil War 1849-1865

The 19th century was supposed to be a time of reconciliation for the young United States of America. They were supposed to iron out their differences in their approaches towards government, economics, societal matters, and slavery. Soon after the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, the confederate states of America had been formed. These were composed of eleven southern states. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas had seceded before President Lincoln took the oath of office in 1861. Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia followed soon and declared their secession from the union after confederate soldiers attacked South Carolina’s Fort Sumter in April of 1861.

After the attack on the fort, Lincoln ordered union soldiers from the different states to protect the capital, recapture the forts, and “preserve the Union.” The war was fought in two seats of war, or theater, the eastern and the western. Virginia and West Virginia led by General Robert E. Lee, representing the Confederates, fought against the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania battled in the eastern theater wherein the Union experienced defeat early during the campaign.

Battles of the Civil War

First Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861 – The confederates called this the First Battle of Manassas it was the first land battle of major proportions in the Civil War. The battle took place on July 1861 near the city of Manassas in Prince William County, Virginia.

Peninsular Campaign, March-July 1862 – The Unions first large scale offensive in the Eastern theater which was commanded by George B. McClellan. The operation involved 121,500 men, 15,000 horses, 1,150 wagons, 44 artillery batteries and tons of supplies and equipment.

Second Battle of Bull Run, August 1862 – There were 62,000 Union soldiers when the battle started, 10,000 were killed and wounded. The Confederate had 50,000 out of whom 1,300 were killed and 7,000 wounded.

Battle of Antietam, September 1862 – This battle was fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland and the Antietam Creek. It is considered the bloodiest one day battle of the Civil War there were 23,000 casualties from both sides.

Battle of Perryville, October 1862 – This battle took place in Chaplin Hills which is west of Perryville, Kentucky. It has also been called as the Battle of Chaplin Hills.

Battle of Fredericksburg, December 11-15, 1862 – Fought in Fredericksburg, Virginia between the forces of General Robert E. Lee’s North Virginia Confederate Army and Major General Ambrose E. Burnside’s Union Army of the Potomac. There were 12,653 casualties with 1,284 killed on the Union side the Confederate army had lost 5,377, 608 killed.

Battle of Chancellorsville, April-May 1863 – A major battle in the Civil War that took place in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Despite a Confederate victory, it was dampened by the loss of Lt. General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, General Lee’s right hand man.

Siege of Vicksburg, May-July 1863 – Army of the Tennessee led by Ulysses S. Grant drives Lt. General John Pemberton and his confederate forces back to their defensive lines in Vicksburg, Virginia.

Battle of Gettysburg, July 1863 – Fought in and around the town of Gettysburg, Virginia, this battle had claimed the most number of casualties during the Civil War. An approximate total of
165,620 Americans fought at this battle over a three day period. There were a total of 7,863 that were killed.

Battle of the Wilderness, May 1864 – The battle pitted Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. This was literally a battle of wits, one general trying to outsmart the other. Estimates say casualty estimates reach 30,000 from both sides.

Battle of Spotsylvania, May 1864 – Part of the Overland Campaign, the battle represented another example of the fierceness of the Civil War. Total casualties numbered at 32,000. Again, General Lee had the upper-hand during the skirmishes.

Appomattox Campaign, March-April 1865 – Described as an array of battles in Virginia that were fought between the end of March 1865 and early April 1865. It is seen as the campaign that led to the eventual surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia and thus leading to the end of the civil war.

The Civil War not only cost money, but more than anything, it cost lives. This was the deadliest war in the history of the United States. Eight percent of white males between the ages of 13 and 43 was said to have died in the war in addition, eighteen percent in the south and about six percent in the North of males died.


In the years that followed the Civil War, a period of reconstruction took place. Among the changes that took place was the expansion of civil rights for black Americans through the passing of the “Reconstruction Amendments.” Significant among the amendments passed were the 13th (outlawed slavery), 14th (gave citizenship for all people either born or naturalized on U.S. territory), and 15th (gave men the right to vote no matter what their race is) amendments.

In response to the new amendments in reconstruction, a group of people opposed to the advancement of black civil rights formed a group to show their opposition, the KKK, better known as the Ku Klux Klan. The reconstruction era allowed the south to be governed by the military and corruption.

Gilded Age of Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain called the years that ended the 19th century and post civil war years as the “Gilded Age.” This was a time when the population grew and economics boomed in the United States. In 1890, production and earnings by Americans exceeded those of their counterparts in other countries. This was also a time wherein immigrants from Europe were allowed in to make up the workforce needed, thus creating a diversity that has been a trademark of the American culture. Twenty-two million people migrated to the United States between 1880 through 1914.

The years that followed saw the introduction of the labor movement. The rise in prominence of industrial leaders such as John D. Rockefeller in the oil industry and Andrew Carnegie in the steel industry became evident.

Economics was not the only area the United States was being transformed. This period is also recognized as the “progressive era.” A time wherein social reform and activism dominated the political landscape. This was a time wherein prohibition became the governments scourge, a time where women’s suffrage became the most discussed topic in the halls of government. Anti-trust laws, regulation of various industries, and the addition four new amendments to the constitution were topics discussed at the local barber shop.

The women’s movement had its beginnings as early as 1848, but did not get enough steam until after the civil war. Among its earliest leaders included Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Stanton, and Lucretia Mott. The declaration of sentiments was instrumental in pushing the “first-wave of feminism” in the limelight. Most western states had given women full voting rights toward the end of the 19th century in addition to other legal matters which included property and custody of children. By 1912, the movement had grown which brought it once again into the national spotlight leading to the drafting of the 19th amendment which was ratified in august 1920 the amendment prohibits “any citizen of the united states to be denied the right to vote based on sex.”


With its domestic scene growing economically and socially, expansion was next on the agenda for America late in the 19th century and into the early 20th century. The Spanish-American war was the main event when it came to symbolizing American imperialism. The Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico had been acquired by the United States during the Treaty of Paris. There were those in the halls of congress that opposed America’s step towards imperialism. America staved off attempts of Filipino nationalists in 1902 in a war that began in 1898, this was known as the Philippine-American War. Eventually, the Americans lost interest in these pacific islands in 1908, their attention was diverted to places closer to home, the Caribbean, specifically the Panama Canal.

World War I

America maintained a position of neutrality while World War I raged in Europe. The entry of the United States of America into 1st World War did not take place until 1917 when a disagreement emerged with Germany regarding the use of submarines. The entry of the United States into this war led to the creation of the selected services act in which nearly three million men had been drafted. This enabled the United States to send ten thousand soldiers daily to the battlefront in France.

Towards the end of the First World War, the United States gained stature militarily and economically. They were recognized as a world power. The United States did not acquiesce to signing the Treaty of Versailles, and in doing so earned the reputation of being isolationists. The revolution in Russia sent shockwaves throughout America, the fear of communism became real to people of the United States and what it would do to their way of life.

The 1920s was perhaps the most decadent period in the history of the United States, rivaled only later by the 1960s. This was a period whose ripple effects can still be felt to this day. A period wherein prohibition was the topic of conversation the reformation of the KKK in which up to four million members were counted by the year 1924 the Immigration Act of 1924 was passed, this act limited the number of people who would be admitted as immigrants and the birth of the Jazz age gave the youth of that decade something to talk about.

Despite a “roaring” start to the 1920s, the United States was not able to sustain the roar. By October of 1929, the stock market crashed. A worldwide depression ensued leading to what is known as the Great Depression. Between 1929 and 1933, nearly 25 percent unemployment was experienced in the United States. Nearly every industry, especially in manufacturing, had reached a point where in their output had been reduced to one-third.

As in previous challenges, the Americans would not let something like the Great Depression keep them down. Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigned in 1932 that he had “new deal” for America. What this period represented was the introduction of entitlement programs that gave way to new ways to spend taxpayers’ money and give certain social programs a voice in the halls of congress. The Social Security Act, the Economy Act Works Progress Administration, and the Emergency Banking Act, had all been part of President Roosevelt’s “new deal.”

World War II

While the United States and the rest of the world were dealing with their economic woes, Europe was being besieged by the rumblings from Nazi Germany and Fascists from Italy, and that of imperial Japan flexing their muscles in East Asia. The French and the British continued to exercise appeasement to avoid war throughout Europe. The United States passed legislation that was meant to prevent America from getting involved with conflicts outside their shores this piece of legislation is known as the Neutrality Acts.

This changed when Germany invaded Poland in 1939 this was the beginning of World War II. President Roosevelt called the U.S. the arsenal of democracy, promising financial and supplies, in the form of munitions, in support of the Allies in Europe. No troop support was promised. In an attempt to keep the United States from exercising their power in the pacific, in December 8, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. This pushed the United States into the fracas, motivated by revenge.

Primarily, the Allies were composed of Britain, China, the Soviet Union, the United States, and other countries like Australia, Belgium, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand and more. These fought the forces of Germany, Italy, and Japan which had been known as the Axis powers.

During the war, the economy of the United States improved. The War Production Board of FDR helped take the economy out of the doldrums of the Great Depression. Full time employment suddenly became a reality and not just wishful thinking. A majority of the labor force in America had a role to play during the wartime efforts, including black people and women.

With the eventual victory of the allies over the axis of powers, another kind of war brewed behind the scenes amongst the nations. The United States’ position after the war made them a superpower and by a bipartisan vote decided to join the United Nations. The significance of this action is that this is the first time the United States has broken from their long held tradition of acting unilateral, or being isolationists.

The underlying reason for the move may have been an attempt to prevent the dreaded expansion of communism throughout Europe by the Soviets. The united states in 1949 formed the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) which was meant to safeguard countries from unwarranted attacks (from the Soviet Union specifically) from other countries. An attack on one member of NATO would be considered an attack on all members. Members of NATO included the United Kingdom, the USA, Italy, France, Iceland, Canada, Portugal, and other signatories of the North Atlantic Treaty. Other countries later joined the organization. In response to NATO, the Soviet Union put together the Warsaw pact which was a compilation of other communist states in Eastern Europe. Thus the Cold War had its beginnings.

The Cold War

The years following the World War II gave birth to events we often hear from the history books and the history channel. Cold war battles were fought through proxy wars which includes the Korean War in 1950 and the Vietnam War in 1955. In a battle for supremacy in the area of technology and innovation, the United States officially joined the Space Race in 1957 after it saw the progress the soviets had made.

The United States influenced the rest of the world in all aspects of everyday life not just economically, but also technology, politically, militarily, socially, and culturally. The 1960 elections saw the rise of John Fitzgerald Kennedy into the political arena. Considered a charismatic politician, President Kennedy found himself faced with international conflicts at perhaps what could be called the height of the cold war. Robert F Kennedy, brother of JFK, as part of the cabinet, was named attorney general.

During his brief three years in office as the US President, John F Kennedy faced: the growing role of the US in the Vietnam war the US drive to winning the Space Race the Bay of Pigs invasion Cuban missile crisis the civil rights movement, highlighted by the jailing of Martin Luther King Jr. President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 during a visit to Dallas, Texas.

Liberalism and Social Activism

As Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office after the assassination of President Kennedy. Johnson introduced and passed through congress what was then known as the Great Society programs. The programs included the end of segregation, civil rights, Medicare, federal aid for education, the extension of welfare benefits, just to name a few. This period has historically been seen as the rise of liberalism in America.

The civil rights movement continued to gain traction, but at a cost. Those from the south opposed this new threat to their way of life. It has been said that institutional racism swept across in many parts of America. Leaders in the movement were led by the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. The women’s movement also found an audience, not just in the shores of America, but throughout the world. The continuing push for women’s rights coincided with the civil rights movement. Names that stand out in the women’s rights movement included Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem.

While judicial activism by the warren court, social programs doling out money, the United States was fighting two wars internationally the Cold War and the Vietnam War. Social boundaries, feminism, environmental issues, civil rights all became a political force of its own. Many of what was previously accepted as the norm, was being dismissed by the prevailing social and political wind. The Counterculture Movement of the early 1950s into the mid 1970s paved the way events such as the hippie movement, sex, drugs, Woodstock, the Oil Embargo in 1973 by OPEC, and of course, Watergate.

The 70s

In 1969, Richard Millhouse Nixon was elected as the president of the United States. He was later replaced by his vice-president Gerald Ford in 1974 after resigning from the office of the president due to his involvement in the Watergate scandal. 1976 saw the election of Jimmy Carter, whose campaign appeal was that he had been a peanut farmer. Carter helped in bringing together Israel and Egypt to the table in what is known as the Camp David Accords. Towards the end of his term in office, carter was faced with another crisis in the middle east, hostages, American hostages were taken by Iranians in Tehran. This event left the rest of the world at a standstill,waiting to see what the Americans would do. The Iran hostage crisis became history, and the reason for Jimmy Carter’s one term presidency.

Ronald Wilson Reagan became the 40th president during a landslide victory in 1980. President Reagan served two terms in which he implemented was has been known as Reaganomics through the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 in which income taxes were lowered from a high of seventy percent taking it down over seven years to 28%. Reagan once again reinforced the might of the American military by supporting a build-up in every department of the armed forces. He also introduced a missile defense system , the Strategic Defense Initiative. Ronald Reagan ensured the military strength of the USA would not be trifled with, he helped improve the economic condition of the nation over the years he was in office, and he stood toe-to-toe against the Soviet Union. The actions he took late in his presidency led to the end of the cold War.

World Superpower 1991 – present

The end of the Cold War had been punctuated by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 leading to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. Ronald Reagan paved the way in a speech he gave in 1987 in which he challenged Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Leader at the time, “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

When Ronald Reagan left office after two terms, George Herbert Walker Bush was elected president after serving as Vice-President to Reagan.

The world saw the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, which left the United States as only remaining superpower in the world. It made them the sole monitor in the affairs of the rest of the world. 1990 also marked the involvement of the United States in what was known as the Persian Gulf War.

This was a war in which the United Nations authorized a coalition from 34 nations to wage war against then Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. The United States led the coalition forces to battle against the Iraqi forces in its invasion and attempt to annex Kuwait, an Arab state. Many have referred to this US led military response as “Operation Desert Storm,” others called it “the Mother of All Battles.”

During the 1992 elections, William “Bill” Jefferson Clinton won the presidential elections beating George H.W. Bush. The Clinton years had its ups downs economically and politically. This period also saw the arrival of the digital revolution wherein the “dotcom” era created by the introduction of the internet, provided economic opportunities in the U.S.

Political turmoil fell on the Clinton administration when Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for lying about a sexual relationship he had with an intern, he was charged of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The 21st century was ushered in by a tightly contested election in November 2000, when George Walker Bush (son of George H.W.) beat out Democratic candidate Al Gore by the slimmest of margins. The results went through numerous legal hurdles before the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in. The recount showed Bush ahead when the U.S. Supreme Court determined to halt the recount.

In his first year in office, months after he took the oath of office, George W. Bush and the people of the United States saw a new war fall on their shores. The morning of September 11, 2001, the American people were rudely awakened by two hijacked airliners being flown into the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The planes were piloted by al-Qaeda terrorists. Two other planes were seized by members of the same terrorist group one was flown into the Pentagon in the Arlington, Virginia countryside, the fourth plane was crashed in the fields of rural Pennsylvania, in the city of Shanksville. The fourth plane was believed to have been headed for the white house or the capitol building in Washington D.C.

More than 3,000 people died that morning of September 11, 2001. President George W. Bush declared a “War on Terror.” The United States and its NATO allies proceeded to invade the country of Afghanistan, who at that time was believed to be ruled by the Taliban who provided refuge for al-Qaeda members and its leader, Osama Bin Laden. The United States launched another invasion in the middle-east this one was known as “the invasion of Iraq,” against a familiar foe in Saddam Hussein. It was believed that Hussein possessed “weapons of mass destruction.

During the early days of the war in Iraq, the United States were met with resistance from not only from those loyal to Hussein, but also from combatants from anti-American factions from the middle-east. Some Americans were against the war in Iraq. This produced a different kind of opposition to the war, although at closer look, will remind you of that seen during the Vietnam War era. Although Bush was re-elected in 2004, he became unpopular because of the invasion of Iraq.

By the year 2007, the United States and many parts of Europe began to experience a recession that had not been seen since the early 1930s. Every aspect of the American economy has been affected, even to this day. Different industries were affected, the housing market, the automotive industry, to mention a few there was also the crisis of rising unemployment, the rise of oil prices, and all this has led to a devastating financial crisis the Americans had seen since the Great Depression.

This financial crisis ushered the 2008 elections in which Barack Hussein Obama was voted as the 44th President of the United States (POTUS). Once he took office, Obama provided a $787 billion economic stimulus package in hopes of helping give the economy a boost. This included bail out assistance to General Motors and Chrysler, a move meant to alleviate the crisis from completely engulfing the automotive industry.

To date, the United States is in debt for $14.3 trillion dollars. The debt owed by the United States includes nearly 5 trillion to China and other countries. The young nation continues to face challenges, part of its growing pains.

The unemployment rate sits at or above 12 percent going into the year 2011. In November 2010, voters made known their displeasure on how the current administration and the Democratic Party had been handling the crisis. Another group, the Tea Party movement, rose to prominence in 2009 they are popular conservative arm that most Americans are representative of. They are not a new party, but a collection of like minded elected officials who are more interested in the reality than the political inclinations Capitol Hill is known for.

They used the power of the vote to express their displeasure by electing members of the other party, Republicans and a few independents, to represent them. In the month of May 2011, a threat of a government shutdown loomed due to the lack of a budget for the year. This would have meant that all sectors of the national government, with the exception of the military, would not be able to meet their payroll. Leadership from the House of Representatives and the Senate met with Obama to try and come up with an equitable solution that all sides could agree to. Fortunately, the shutdown was averted. Just because it was averted, does not mean the nation is out of the woods with continuing financial crisis.

The federal budget needs to be addressed, the issue of healthcare reform remains an ugly specter hanging in the midst of those politicians in Washington D.C, and there are many domestic matters the United States needed to face. In addition, the crisis in Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria and Israel, remain at the forefront of US foreign policy. The one high note for the United States is the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin laden in May 2011 under the orders of President Obama.

Like I said at the beginning, the story of the United States is still being written, only history students in the future will make a final determination. Whether the United States of America “returns to it first love,” sit back, relax, and we shall soon see.

General Jackson's arrival in New Orleans in 1814 was preceded by weeks of urgent correspondence from Governor William C. C. Claiborne questioning the loyalty of Louisianans to the United States. After having read a proclamation to the "Natives of Louisiana" from a British officer and seeing firsthand the panic and disorder preceding the British landing, Jackson declared martial law on December 16, 1814, suspending the free movement of citizens and placing everyone under his military authority. It was an unprecedented move for an American general, one that would have lasting ramifications for Jackson and the country at large.

Soon after the decisive defeat of the British army at Chalmette and the subsequent departure of its surviving troops, locals implored Jackson to heed reports of a peace treaty and lift the military curfews and restrictions that had become a hardship. Jackson would not do so while the British army remained in the Gulf region and without official word from Washington. When a newspaper editorial criticized the general's heavy-handedness with the local French population, Jackson had the writer, a state senator, arrested for inciting mutiny. A federal judge who attempted to intervene was also arrested and subsequently banished from Jackson's military jurisdiction. Official news of the war's end reached Jackson’s headquarters in mid-March, and he immediately lifted martial law. Within days he received a summons from the judge he had arrested, Dominick A. Hall of the District Court of Louisiana. Hall ultimately fined the general $1,000 for contempt of court. Jackson quietly paid the hefty fine before his departure, but he also obtained statements from fellow officers in support of his use of martial law during the crisis.

In the elections of 1824 and 1828, Jackson’s political opponents lambasted his trampling of the Constitution, but Jackson never apologized for his decision, stating that he would "under similar circumstances not refrain from a course equally bold." After Jackson's retirement from the presidency, his friends mounted a campaign to have the 1815 fine refunded to the general, with interest. A heated national debate in the early 1840s led to resolutions supporting Jackson in various state legislatures. Early in 1844, President John Tyler signed the joint congressional resolution refunding the fine with interest. Even so, because of its constitutional implications, the episode remains controversial to this day. As the historian James Parton observed, "the maintaining of martial law in New Orleans two months too long, we may condemn, and, I think, should condemn yet most of the citizens of the United States will concur in the wish, that when next a [foreign] army lands upon American soil, there may be a Jackson to meet them at the landing-place."

Notice from Seventh Military District Headquarters "to the Citizens of New Orleans"
December 15, 1814 letterpress clipping
by Thomas L. Butler, signer
The Historic New Orleans Collection, MSS 208, 49-12-L

General Jackson published an address to calm public panic following reports of a British victory against American gunboats on Lake Borgne. On the following day, December 16, 1814, he declared martial law in the city, suspending the free speech and movement of its citizens and making everyone subject to his military authority.

Note from Andrew Jackson to Daniel T. Patterson concerning martial law in New Orleans
April 2, 1815 manuscript letter
The William C. Cook War of 1812 in the South Collection at The Historic New Orleans Collection, MSS 557, 2001-68-L.36

Around the time of his departure from New Orleans, General Jackson requested a statement in support of his use of martial law from the ranking US naval officer in New Orleans, Captain Daniel Todd Patterson (1786–1839).

Military Despotism! Arbitrary Arrest of a Judge!!
between 1842 and 1845 letterpress broadside
The Historic New Orleans Collection, 86-2234-RL

This broadside from an unknown publisher offers a scathing account of the March 1815 arrest of Louis Louaillier, a member of the Louisiana legislature who had written a newspaper editorial critical of General Jackson's policy of banning French volunteers from New Orleans after they had helped to defend the city, and the subsequent arrest of US District Court Judge Dominick A. Hall, who had sought Louaillier's release. Louaillier's name is misspelled "Louallier" throughout.

Explanation of the Picture of Andrew Jackson, before Judge Hall at New Orleans, 1815, Sustaining the Laws of His Country, as He Had Defended Her Liberties in the Field
by Richard Keith Hall, C. J. Hedenberg, and Christian Schussele, authors
New York: Martin B. Brown, [1860?]
The Historic New Orleans Collection, 93-357-RL

C. J. Hedenberg, a well-to-do Philadelphia shoe merchant and Jackson supporter, commissioned artist Christian Schussele (1824–1879) to depict Old Hickory's trial before Judge Dominick Hall in 1815. Many of Jackson's military and civilian allies appear in Schussele's rendering and are identified in this pamphlet published soon after the painting's completion in 1859. The original painting is now in the collection of the Gilcrease Museum.

The Appeal of L. Louaillier, Sen., against the Charge of High Treason: and Explaining the Transactions at New-Orleans
by Louis Louaillier, author
New Orleans, 1827
The Historic New Orleans Collection, 76-839-RL

Years after his arrest by Andrew Jackson and as the former general campaigned for the presidency, Louis Louaillier presented a written defense of his own conduct in 1815 and an attack on Jackson's character.

Report of the Committee of the Senate in Relation to the Fine Imposed on Gen. Jackson: Together with the Documents Accompanying the Same
New Orleans, 1843
The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2014.0089

Official government reports concerning the circumstances of General Jackson's trial and fine in 1815 were printed in Washington and elsewhere in the early 1840s to inform the spirited public debate over the question of a possible refund.

Gen. Jackson’s Fine: an Examination into the Question of Martial Law . . . Suggested by Reflections on the Injustice of the Fine Imposed on General Jackson by Judge Hall in 1815
by Charles J. Ingersoll, author
Washington, DC: printed by Blair and Rives, 1843
The William C. Cook War of 1812 in the South Collection at The Historic New Orleans Collection, MSS 557, 2006.0421.54

Charles Jared Ingersoll (1782–1862), an attorney and Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, published a history of the War of 1812 in four volumes (1845–52). Several of Ingersoll's speeches on the conflict and its origins had appeared in pamphlets and newspapers during the war.

Joint resolution of the Louisiana Senate and House of Representatives regarding Andrew Jackson’s fine
1843–44 manuscript document
The Historic New Orleans Collection, MSS 594, 2005.0226.1

Louisiana's bilingual legislative resolution "to procure the passage of a [federal] law to restore to General Andrew Jackson One Thousand Dollars . . ." was signed on behalf of Charles Derbigny, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Felix Garcia, president of the Senate, and Alexandre Mouton, governor of Louisiana.

Act by the Twenty-Eighth Congress of the United States refunding Andrew Jackson’s fine, signed by President John Tyler
1843–44 printed and manuscript document
The Historic New Orleans Collection, MSS 594, 2005.0226.2

The national resolution to restore Jackson's fine was taken up in December 1843 and approved the following February. The final document was signed on behalf of the Speaker of the House and the president of the Senate and signed by President Tyler.

Military and Veterans Research and Resources at The National Archives

Military records can be valuable resources in personal and genealogical research. We are the official repository for records of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard and other government agencies. These records include:

Note that most military records, including veteran's military service records, are not online. There are casualty reports, photos and other selected military records available in our collection of Online Documents for Veterans.

Research on Veterans in Military Records

There is no simple explanation for how to begin research on veterans. Your path will depend on whether your research is personal, genealogical or historical in nature and on aspects of the veteran's service such as: which branch of service, which conflict, what dates, whether Regular Army or a volunteer unit, whether they were an officer or enlisted personnel, and whether there was a pension application.

Research in Military Service Records
Military service records are the primary source of information on individual veterans. These include Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs) for recent veterans, and compiled service records and pension files for older veterans.

Research in General Military Records

Other military records such as after-action reports, ship deck logs, and unit reports, rosters and histories may also be of interest, but it is generally very difficult to locate information on individual veterans in these records.

Full Texts Available

The Jackson Papers project is now publishing the full texts of Jackson’s letters and other papers in a chronological series of volumes entitled The Papers of Andrew Jackson. When finished, it will provide a complete documentary record of Jackson’s entire life and career. Ten volumes covering Jackson’s life through 1832 have so far been produced. An additional volume, The Legal Papers of Andrew Jackson, covers his career as a lawyer and judge. All of these are available for purchase from the publisher, University of Tennessee Press, or on loan from libraries. In addition, the volumes are now online in searchable format in two places. The University of Virginia Press’s Rotunda digital imprint has incorporated the Jackson series into its American History Collection. Here one can cross-search between the Jackson Papers and the many other editions in the collection, including the papers of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Woodrow Wilson, and other leading statesmen. One can also click directly from the Jackson documents in the volumes to images of original manuscripts in the Library of Congress Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, and James K. Polk collections. The Rotunda database is accessible by paid subscription or free for short-term.

All ten volumes to date of the Jackson Papers series are now also available, free of charge and with unlimited access, in the form of individually searchable and downloadable PDFs on Newfound Press, the digital imprint of the University of Tennessee Press and the University Libraries.

The eleventh volume of The Papers of Andrew Jackson, covering the year 1833, appeared in 2019. It will appear in electronic form through Rotunda and the Newfound Press eighteen months after print publication. For later years that the project has not yet reached, there is an older seven-volume collection, Correspondence of Andrew Jackson, edited by John Spencer Bassett and published from 1926 to 1935. This edition runs to the end of Jackson’s life but contains a much narrower selection of documents.

At Tupelo, General Andrew Smith Soundly Smashed Mississippi's Confederates

In the Battle of Tupelo, Mississippi, The Union won a critical victory over the Rebels, ensuring the safety of William T. Sherman’s supply lines.

“For God’s sake, if Mr. Forrest will let me alone, I will let him alone. You have done all you could, and more than expected of you, and now all you can do is save yourselves.” Thus ended the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads. Union forces under the command of General Samuel Sturgis retreated after being soundly defeated by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, adding to the legend of Forrest and frustrating Union plans in Mississippi.

The defeat of Sturgis on June 10-13, 1864 by an inferior force of Confederates was another in a long line of Union attempts to remove Forrest as a threat in the western theater. After Sturgis’s retreat, General William T. Sherman, the theater commander, began to devise a plan to remove the problem. “I have two officers at Memphis that will fight all the time … [A.J.] Smith and [Joseph] Mower … I will order them to make up a force and go out and follow Forrest to the death if it costs 10,000 lives and breaks the treasury. There will never be peace in Tennessee until Forrest is dead.” With these orders Sherman launched a third raid into Mississippi in June and July 1864 to remove a potential threat to his supply line and to defeat his most able and persistent adversary.

Sherman at the time was marching on Atlanta in response to orders issued by the Union’s new supreme commander, Ulysses S. Grant. Grant’s strategy involved moving Union armies in a concerted effort to destroy the rebellion in one final campaign. Sherman’s armies had as their objective Atlanta, one of the most important industrial, communication, and transportation hubs in the South.

Mower was Promised the Rank of General… if He Killed Forrest

The two generals tapped by Sherman were more than capable. Andrew Jackson Smith, commander of the right wing of the XVI Corps, was a West Point graduate (class of 1838) who had served in the Regular Army with the 1st Dragoons and had service in the West, reaching the rank of major before commanding the 2nd California Cavalry at the start of the war. He resigned to become cavalry chief for General Henry Halleck, participated in several western campaigns, and became a major general.

General Joseph Mower, commander 1st Division, XVI Corps, was one of Sherman’s favorite generals. Calling him “one of the boldest young soldiers we have,” Sherman promised Mower a major general’s commission if he was successful in killing Forrest. Sherman even went so far as to convince President Lincoln to keep his promise to Mower should something happen to him. Mower entered army service as a private in the Mexican War and returned to the army seven years later as a second lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Infantry. He rose in rank as the war progressed.

With the defeat at Brice’s Crossroads, General C.C. Washburn, the department commander, acted on Sherman’s orders and told Smith to prepare his command for an advance into Confederate territory. A.J. Smith’s command was a diverse one. It was comprised of his own command, the right wing of the XVI Corps, which was composed of the 1st Division under Mower and the 3rd Division under Colonel David Moore. To this would be added the 1st Division of the XVI Corps Cavalry under General Benjamin H. Grierson and Colonel Edward Bouton’s Brigade of U.S. colored troops. Smith would also have about 20 pieces of artillery. In all, approximately 14,000 Union troops would be involved in the operation. Smith organized his command first at Memphis and then at La Grange, Tenn. By July 1 he was ready to begin.

Opposing Smith’s 14,000 men would be Confederate Lt. Gen. Stephen Dill Lee’s troops of the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. Lee (no relation to Robert E. Lee) was the youngest man to reach the rank of lieutenant general on either side during the war. He was born in South Carolina and was graduated from West Point with the class of 1854. An artillerist by training, he served in the East until Sharpsburg, transferring to the western theater in time to participate in the siege at Vicksburg where he was captured and eventually exchanged. After his parole, Lee was promoted to major general and given department command.

Serving under Lee in the department was one of the most capable and feared commanders produced by either side during the war: Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest was not a military man by training, but rather a self-made man who succeeded at almost everything he did. He had little formal schooling, but managed to make a small fortune before the war, in part from slave-trading. When the war started he enlisted as a private in the 7th Tennessee Cavalry. He eventually used his personal fortune to raise and lead a cavalry battalion of his own. He fought in most of the western campaigns and achieved great success as a cavalry commander, conducting raids that would frustrate the Union time and again. By July 1864 he was a major general and fast becoming a legend.

The South Debated About Where Best to Use Forrest

After the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads Forrest’s troops were dispersed, making for easier resupply. They especially needed new horses. So many men were dismounted and without fresh horses that they were combined into a temporary infantry brigade that would fight on foot until horses could be found.

While Forrest’s troops were resting, a fight was developing over how best to use Forrest and his talents. Concerned with Sherman’s invasion of Georgia, General Joseph Johnston wished to use Forrest to command an “adequate force to destroy the railroad communications of the Federal Army” instead of “waiting for and repelling raids.” Johnston was obviously concerned with his own theater of operations, as was Governor Joseph Brown of Georgia, who wrote Jefferson Davis asking: “Could not Forrest do more now for our cause in Sherman’s rear than anywhere else?” Military logic dictated that if Sherman’s long supply lines could be cut he could be defeated, and one of the greatest threats to the existence of the Confederacy would be removed.

Jefferson Davis had other ideas, and responded that “Forrest’s command is now operating on one of Sherman’s lines of communication and is necessary for other purposes in his present field.” Brown was not satisfied and continued to push Davis to use Forrest to save his state from the Union invasion. Davis angrily responded, telling Brown that he could not dictate the movement of Confederate troops. Forrest would stay in Mississippi.

While the debate over Forrest raged and his troops recovered from their exertions, Forrest was still active. Ever vigilant, the Confederate cavalry officer continually sent out reconnaissance patrols to discern his enemy’s intent. Forrest pushed his scouts as far north as he dared, telling them “not only to learn all they can but to see for themselves.” In late June a spy informed Forrest that a large Union force, starting in Memphis, was going to move against Mississippi. The source was so reliable that on June 25 Forrest cabled Lee and explained that he thought the Mobile & Ohio Railroad was the target and to be prepared for an attack. On June 27 he ordered General Philip Roddey, one of his division commanders, to clear his command of all nonessential equipment and personnel and to have his troops ready to move at a moment’s notice. Forrest continued to reunite his command throughout the end of June and the beginning of July. He ordered General James Chalmers’ division from Columbus and reinforced a post at Ripley, Miss. to 600 men. On July 7 this force had a skirmish with a strong Union column and was forced to fall back. The Union advance had begun.

The Union movement started two days earlier, on July 5. Leaving La Grange, Tenn., Smith divided his command and moved out on two parallel roads. The infantry, artillery, and wagons were on one and the cavalry on another, each heading for Forrest’s outpost at Ripley. Smith’s orders for the march showed that he was concerned about the condition of his troops and feared that his numbers would be depleted through straggling. His advance into Mississippi could best be described as cautious. The march orders were exceptionally strict no one was to fall out if it could be prevented. All canteens were filled to limit the number of men looking for water. Frequent halts to rest, along with numerous roll calls (three a day), were designed to keep men with their commands. The march was hard because of the high heat of summer. Smith also took extra precautions to protect his flanks and rear from surprise by the crafty Forrest.

Torching Most of the Town, Including the Courthouse, Two Churches, and Several Homes

The march went well. Skirmishes at Ripley on the 7th pushed the Confederates back and Smith continued south. Two days later the force crossed the Tallahatchie River and on the 10th arrived outside Pontotoc. The next day a Confederate brigade under General Robert McCulloch was posted in the town with orders to delay the Union advance as long as possible, the point being to allow Forrest and Lee to bring up reserves and prepare for an attack. But Smith deployed a mixed force of infantry and cavalry and pushed the Rebels out of town. Bearing in mind that he should punish the land that kept Forrest replenished, he burned most of the town, including the courthouse, two churches, and several homes.

Battle of New Orleans: Introduction

Almost 200 years ago, on January 8, 1815, Major General Andrew Jackson and his outnumbered American defenders overwhelmed veteran British troops at the Battle of New Orleans. The battle took place five miles downriver from New Orleans in Chalmette, Louisiana, where the British hoped to take control of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Major General Sir Edward Pakenham, the brother-in-law of the Duke of Wellington, commanded more than 10,000 British troops and launched an offensive early in the morning of January 8th. Jackson's forces included soldiers and sailors, as well as state militia from Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi. African Americans, Cherokee Indians and Jean Lafitte’s Baratarian pirates also served under Jackson. The Americans defended with deadly artillery and rifles, resulting in British casualties of more than 2,500 (about 700 dead) in contrast to 71 American casualties (about 13 dead).

Andrew Jackson praised his combined troops:

Natives of different states, acting together, for the first time in this camp differing in habits and language, instead of viewing in these circumstances, the germ of distrust and division, you have made them the source of an honourable emulation, and from the seeds of discord itself, have reaped the fruits of an honourable union . . .

January 8 was the final in a series of four land engagements between General Jackson’s forces and British forces, led by Major General Edward Pakenham. Andrew Jackson defended the city against these seasoned troops who had fought the French under the Duke of Wellington.

General Jackson described the battle as fierce and deadly:

Early on the morning of the 8th, the enemy having been actively employed the two preceding days, in making preparations for a storm, advanced in two strong columns on my right and left. They were received however with a firmness which it seems they little expected, and which defeated all their hopes. My men, undisturbed by their approach, which indeed they long anxiously wished for, opened upon them a fire, so deliberate and certain, as rendered their scaling ladders and fascines, as well as their more direct implements of warfare, perfectly useless. For upwards of an hour it was continued with a briskness of which there have been but few instances, perhaps, in any country. In justice to the enemy, it must be said, they withstood it as long as could be expected, from the most determined bravery. At length, however, when all prospect of success became hopeless, they fled in confusion from the field, leaving it covered with their dead and wounded. Their loss was immense.

The decisive battle took place early in the morning of January 8, 1815. Ironically, the battle occurred after the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814, but well before the treaty was ratified by the United States. Article 11 stated that the treaty “shall be binding on both parties” only after both sides ratified the treaty and “the ratifications mutually exchanged.” Furthermore, the official news of the peace treaty did not reach New Orleans until March 1815.

Among the British officers killed in the Battle were Major General Pakenham and General Samuel Gibbs. The Battle of New Orleans was a resounding victory for the Americans because the British had intended to capture New Orleans and control the mouth of the Mississippi River.

The National Park Service is entrusted with the care of the Chalmette Battlefield, which is part of Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve. This mobile tour has been created by the University of New Orleans and the Louisiana State Museum, and it focuses on locations in the French Quarter relating to the battle, either through legend or fact.

Dishonoring General Jackson

USA – -( In Samuel Eliot Morison’s “The Oxford History of the American People,” there is a single sentence about Harriet Tubman.

“An illiterate field hand, (Tubman) not only escaped herself but returned repeatedly and guided more than 300 slaves to freedom.”

Morison, however, devotes most of five chapters to the greatest soldier-statesman in American history, save Washington, that pivotal figure between the Founding Fathers and the Civil War — Andrew Jackson.

Slashed by a British officer in the Revolution, and a POW at 14, the orphaned Jackson went west, rose to head up the Tennessee militia, crushed an Indian uprising at Horseshoe Bend, Alabama, in the War of 1812, then was ordered to New Orleans to defend the threatened city.

In one of the greatest victories in American history, memorialized in song, Jackson routed a British army and aborted a British scheme to seize New Orleans, close the Mississippi, and split the Union.

In 1818, ordered to clean out renegade Indians rampaging in Georgia, Jackson stormed into Florida, seized and hanged two British agitators, put the Spanish governor on a boat to Cuba, and claimed Florida for the USA.

Secretary of State John Quincy Adams closed the deal. Florida was ours, and Jacksonville is among its great cities.

Though he ran first in popular and electoral votes in 1824, Jackson was denied the presidency by the “corrupt bargain” of Adams and Henry Clay, who got secretary of state.

Jackson came back to win the presidency in 1828, recognized the Texas republic of his old subaltern Sam Houston, who had torn it from Mexico, and saw his vice president elected after his two terms.

He ended his life at his beloved Hermitage, pushing for the annexation of Texas and nomination of “dark horse” James K. Polk, who would seize the Southwest and California from Mexico and almost double the size of the Union.

Was Jackson responsible for the Cherokees’ “Trail of Tears”?

Yes. And Harry Truman did Hiroshima, and Winston Churchill did Dresden.

Great men are rarely good men, and Jackson was a Scots-Irish duelist, Indian fighter and slave owner. But then, Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe were slave owners before him.

To remove his portrait from the front of the $20 bill, and replace it with Tubman’s, is affirmative action that approaches the absurd.

Whatever one’s admiration for Tubman and her cause, she is not the figure in history Jackson was.

Indeed, if the fight against slavery is the greatest cause in our history, why not honor John Brown, hanged for his raid on Harper’s Ferry to start a revolution to free the slaves, after he butchered slave owners in “Bleeding Kansas”? John Brown was the real deal.

But replacing Jackson with Tubman is not the only change coming.

The back of the $5 bill will soon feature Martin Luther King, Eleanor Roosevelt, and opera singer Marian Anderson, who performed at the Lincoln Memorial after being kept out of segregated Constitution Hall in 1939.

That act of race discrimination came during the second term of FDR, Eleanor’s husband and the liberal icon who named Klansman Hugo Black to the Supreme Court and put 110,000 Japanese into concentration camps.

And, lest we forget, while Abraham Lincoln remains on the front of the $5 bill, the war he launched cost 620,000 dead, and his beliefs in white supremacy and racial separatism were closer to those of David Duke than Dr. King.

Alexander Hamilton, the architect of the American economy, will stay on the $10 bill, due in part to the intervention of hip-hop artists from the popular musical, “Hamilton,” in New York.

But Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Sojourner Truth, who fought for women’s suffrage, will be put on the back of the $10. While Anthony and Stanton appear in Morison’s history, Sojourner Truth does not.

Added up, while dishonoring Andrew Jackson, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is putting on the U.S. currency six women — three white, three African-American — and King.

No Catholics, no conservatives, no Hispanics, no white males were apparently even considered.

This is affirmative action raised to fanaticism, a celebration of President Obama’s views and values, and a recasting of our currency to make Obama’s constituents happy at the expense of America’s greatest heroes and historic truth. Leftist role models for American kids now take precedence over the history of our Republic in those we honor.

While King already has a holiday and monument in D.C., were the achievements of any of these six women remotely comparable to what the six men honored on our currency — Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Jackson, President Grant and Ben Franklin — achieved?

Whatever may be said for Eleanor Roosevelt, compared to her husband, she is an inconsequential figure in American history.

In the dystopian novel, �,” Winston Smith labors in the Ministry of Truth, dropping down the “memory hole” stories that must be rewritten to re-indoctrinate the party and proles in the new history, as determined by Big Brother. Jack Lew would have fit right in there.


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