AMERICAN MINUTE People forget how much independence was (and is) precarious Bill Federer recounts the circumstances surrounding the end of the War of 1812

War of 1812

War of 1812

Five hundred men, women and children were massacred at Fort Mims, Alabama, just north of Mobile on August 30, 1813, by the Red Stick Creek Indians. Alabama's historical phrase reads: "Fort Mims – The most brutal massacre in United States history took place in the Brook War between 1813 and 1813. The Indians took the fort with heavy losses, then killed almost all of the 550 or so of the 550 people in the fort. Creeks had been armed by the British at Pensacola during this phase of the War of 1812. "

The Indians had been incited to riot and to be attacked by a foreign power. Rumors have circulated that the British would pay in cash for American scalps.

The murder of the inhabitants of Fort Mims demanded an answer. Colonel Andrew Jackson was sent to fight the Red Stick Indians. He defeated them at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on March 27, 1814. Sam Houston, future Texas leader, was beaten as one of Jackson's lieutenants. He received an arrow in his thigh while continuing to fight. The defeated Creeks surrendered nearly half of Alabama to the US government.

Promoted General, Andrew Jackson was sent 150 miles further west to defend New Orleans from the British. Although the War of 1812 officially ended two weeks earlier with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814, the news had not yet arrived in New Orleans.

On January 8, 1815, during the last battle of the War of 1812, nearly 10,000 British soldiers warriors advanced under the guise of thick and thick fog. They planned to launch a surprise attack on General Andrew Jackson's Tennessee and Kentucky snipers. Jackson was also helped by French pirate Jean Lafitte and his men. The Battle of New Orleans was featured in the 1958 film "The Buccaneer", starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner.

As the British approached Jackson's line, fog rose by providence. Suddenly, the British were exposed to the open air. The Americans opened fire. Immediately, the British commanders were shot down and the British forces fell into confusion. Within 30 minutes, 2,042 Britons were killed or wounded. Only 13 Americans were killed.

Regarded as America's greatest wartime victory, General Andrew Jackson wrote to Robert Hays on January 26, 1815, about the Battle of New Orleans: "It seems like the surefire hand Providence protected my men from the rain with bullets, bombs, and rockets, when every bullet and bomb of our weapons carried with them a death mission. "

General Jackson told his aide de camp, Major Davezac, his confidence before the battle: "I was sure of success because I knew God would not give me disaster forecasts, but signs of victory. . He said that this gap can never be passed. This can not be done. "

Andrew Jackson wrote to the Secretary of War, James Monroe, on February 17, 1815: "Heaven has interposed marvelously in our favor, and I am filled with gratitude when I look at what we have escaped."

The Treaty of Ghent was finally ratified by the US Senate on February 16, 1815. After the start of the Battle of New Orleans, the remaining British forces planned to capture Mobile, Alabama, but the news came that on February 26, 1815 Napoleon would have escaped. For nearly a year, Napoleon had been banned on the Mediterranean island of Elba, located less than 15 kilometers from Italy.

Napoleon's escape from the island of Elba was the background of the adventure novel "The Count of Monte Cristo", written by the French writer Alexandre Dumas in 1844. Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce and Dagmara Dominczyk played the lead role in the 2002 film.

Once back in Europe, Napoleon quickly gathered his vast French army of 300,000 soldiers. This unexpected European crisis necessitated the urgent recall of British troops from America to join the 68,000 men of the Duke of Wellington. They were accompanied by 50,000 soldiers of the Prussian commander Gebhard von Blücher.

For the next hundred days, events in Europe reverberated in the massive battle of Waterloo, where the king was defeated on June 18, 1815, during the defeat of Napoleon. Napoleon was again banished, this time on the isolated island of St. Helena, in the South Atlantic. thousand miles from the nearest land. Napoleon died there in 1821 at the age of 51.

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Recognizing that the Americans were able to maintain their independence in this time of global crisis, President James Madison proclaimed March 4, 1815: "It may be recommended that the people of the United States celebrate this day with religious solemnity as a Thanksgiving Day. and thanksgiving to God Almighty for His great goodness manifested in rendering them the blessing of peace. No people should feel more obligated to celebrate the goodness of the Great Shooter of Events and Fate of Nations than the people of the United States. His kind providence led them to one of the best parts of the house reserved for the great family of the human race. He protected and cherished them under all the difficulties and trials to which they had been exposed at their beginnings. Under his protection, their habits, feelings and goals prepared them for a timely transition to a state of independence and self-government. In the arduous struggle by which he was attacked, they distinguished themselves by multiplied tokens of his benign interposition. … "

Madison continued, "In the intervening period that followed, he strengthened them and endowed them with resources that allowed them to assert their national rights and strengthen their national character in another difficult conflict that now ends. so fortunately by peace. and reconciliation with those who have been our enemies. And to the same divine author of every good and every perfect gift, we are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, both religious and civil, which we enjoy so richly in this privileged country. … "

Madison concluded, "It is for such blessings, and especially for the restoration of the blessing of peace, that I now recommend that the second Thursday of April be considered a day when people of all faiths in their solemn assemblies, unite their hearts and voices in a voluntary offering to their heavenly benefactor of their thanksgiving homage and songs of praise. Given in Washington on March 4, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and fifteen, and the independence of the United States, the thirty-ninth. James Madison. "

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