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The Historic New Orleans Collection [1958.98.6]

Battle of New Orleans

In the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815, General Andrew Jackson's Americans confronted British forces under General Sir Edward Packingham. A determined army of three thousand Americans, including over six hundred free blacks, defeated six thousand veteran British troops on a battlefield a few miles downriver from New Orleans. When General Jackson arrived in the city, he enlisted a battalion of free black veterans of the Haitian Revolution led by Joseph Savary, a former French republican officer. Jackson personally assigned Savary the rank of second major, making him the first African American in the United States to achieve that military office. Jean Lafitte and his Baratarians - a force that included black Haitians - also fought at the Battle of New Orleans. The War of 1812 was the last conflict in which U.S. soldiers would fight in interracial units until the Korean War (1950-53).

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