The Battle of Tippecanoe and the Battle of New Orleans: The History of the Battles that Led William Henry Harrison and Andrew Jackson to the Presidenc (Paperback)
*Includes pictures *Includes accounts of the battles written by participants *Includes bibliographies for further reading *Includes a table of contents The Battle of Tippecanoe, fought on November 7, 1811 near present-day Lafayette, Indiana, involved forces of fewer than 2,000 Native American warriors and white soldiers, and only about 300 men were killed or wounded on both sides. Given those numbers, it's apparent that the battle was far from being a Saratoga or a Gettysburg in terms of its scale or significance as an historical turning point, yet it was one of the most important battles in shaping American history during the early 19th century. The battle also involved an epic confrontation between two important American figures: William Henry Harrison, who would become the 9th president of the United States by running on his success in the battle, and the Shawnee war chief Tecumseh, arguably the most famous Native American leader in American history. The initial Native American attack struck the southern point of Harrison's defensive perimeter around 4:30 a.m. on November 7, 1811, and almost immediately the warriors rushed in among the American defenders manning that sector. Soldiers defending the southern side of the perimeter suffered the highest casualties, with the Yellow Jackets suffering a 30% casualty rate, but in fighting lasting about two hours Harrison's force of roughly 1,000, suffered only 62 dead and about 120 wounded. As the sun rose, the warriors began running low on ammunition, and the light revealed their small numbers, leading them to break off the attack and retreat towards Prophetstown. The battle was hardly a decisive victory, but at the end of the fighting the Americans still held their perimeter, allowing them to claim victory. While Tippecanoe was clearly not a total victory, and Native American resistance would continue through the War of 1812, the battle is widely considered the end of Tecumseh's War and did help bring about the decline of Native American ascendance in the region. There are countless examples of battles that take place in wars after a peace treaty is signed. The last battle of the Civil War was a skirmish in Texas that Confederate forces won, nearly a month after Lee's surrender at Appomattox. But it's certainly rare for the most famous battle of a war to take place after the peace treaty is signed. Luckily for Andrew Jackson, the War of 1812 was that unique exception. Less than a year after his victory in the Battle of Horseshoe Creek, Jackson led his forces into a more important battle at the Battle of New Orleans. The British hoped to grab as much of the land on the western frontier as they could, especially New Orleans, which had a prominent position on the Mississippi River for trading. With more than 8,000 soldiers aboard a British fleet sailing in from Jamaica in early January 1815, the attack on New Orleans promised to be a significant one, while Jackson's men defended New Orleans with about half that number. This went on despite the fact that the two sides had signed the Treaty of Ghent on Christmas Eve 1814, which was supposed to end the war. However, the slow nature of bringing news from England to America ensured that the battle would take place anyway. Though it was an enormous victory for Jackson and the Americans - the most important of the entire war - it proved to be a completely unnecessary one. The Treaty of Ghent had officially ended the war by keeping the status quo ante bellum. Regardless, the nation much appreciated Jackson's skills and the Battle of New Orleans was forever christened as one of the greatest in American history. Jackson was honored with a "Thanks from Congress," which was then the nation's highest military honor. Jackson would subsequently become one of the 19th century's most influential presidents. This book analyzes both battles and their legacies.