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American History Stories, Volume III by  Mara L. Pratt


 

 

THE END OF THE WAR

There were other battles upon the land and other battles upon the water in this War of 1812; but as battles are all the same old story of murder and bloodshed over and over again, no matter how just or how unjust the cause, I think you will by this time be glad enough to come out of this cloud of fire and smoke, and breathe once more under the clear quiet skies of peace.

[98] The war ended finally with the battle of New Orleans. The commander of the American forces in this battle was General Andrew Jackson; the same Andrew Jackson who, in the Revolutionary times, had been knocked down for refusing to clean the boots of an English officer who had taken him prisoner. What he had seen and what he had suffered in those old days had filled him with a life-long hatred of the English; and so there were few generals in the American army better fitted to fight the English than this fiery Andrew Jackson.

On reaching New Orleans, he went to work with a will. He formed regiments of black men—a thing unheard of in [99] those days; and when at last the enemy approached, he and his men, both black and white, worked like ants, piling up cotton bales, sugar barrels—anything they could lay their hands on; until they had about them a wall which Wellington himself might well have dreaded to climb.

The battle which followed ended successfully for the Americans, and with it closed the war. There was great joy throughout the country. Messengers were sent, as at the close of the Revolution, with all the speed their horses could make, from State to State; and everywhere the bells were rung, bonfires were built, bands played and processions marched, anything and everything was done in celebration of another victory over the English, and of another time of peace.


[Illustration]

THE ATTACK ON NEW ORLEANS.


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