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The bloody Battle of New Orleans, the deadliest battle of the War of 1812, actually occurred after the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in late 1814, which put an end to hostilities between the Americans and British. Word of the war's end, however, failed to reach New Orleans in time to prevent the battle.


On January 8, 1815, British General Edward Pakenham and over 10,000 British soldiers and Native warriors attacked Andrew Jackson and his well fortified army of over 5,000 men at Chalmette, about five miles downriver from New Orleans. The object was to separate Louisiana from the rest of the United States. American soldiers, aided by pirates under the command of Jean Lafitte, cut down wave after wave of British soldiers from behind impenetrable defenses. Pakenham was killed in the battle and the British suffered over 2,000 total casualties. The American victory served as the last armed conflict of the War of 1812.


Although the battle had no impact on the war, it did elevate Andrew Jackson to a national hero and eventually propelled him to the White House.