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Posted: 7/31/2001 2:26:27 PM EDT
The War of 1812 thread got me thinking about the Battle of New Orleans. The Brits got shot to pieces in this battle, but how? The Americans to some degree credited the American riflemen, but the British prefer to credit our cannon. Anyone know this history well enough to post a solid opinion?
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 11:19:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2001 11:17:58 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Originally Posted By DonS: The War of 1812 thread got me thinking about the Battle of New Orleans. The Brits got shot to pieces in this battle, but how? The Americans to some degree credited the American riflemen, but the British prefer to credit our cannon. Anyone know this history well enough to post a solid opinion?
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It was probably the cannon, we had a overabundance of them, including many large naval and coast defense cannon. All loaded with cannister- in fact for some types that was all we had for them! Due to the combination of being on the offensive and the narrow field the British chose to revert to their old 3 deep formation, instead of the more modern double rank they had finally adopted in the Penninsula. So they made themselves better than usual targets for the big guns. If you go buy the appropriate Osprey volume and look at the US order of battle there weren't enough rifle units on the field. They made their presence felt, but they would not have been enough by themsleves. Their biggest contribution was in keeping the British rifle battalions at bay. A few months earlier outside Toulon, France the 3 battalions of the 95th plus the 5/60th had played a decisive role in a very similar situation- silencing a series of barricaded French artillery batteries by shooting down their gunners. The 3/95th was unable to duplicate this feat at New Orleans and was rather roughly handled throghout that campaign. What was decisive, was Jacksons ability to get the Volunteers and State Millita to stay and fight, and not have a repeat of the "Bladensburg Races" that occured outside Washington, where they took off after a few salvos from the RFA.
Link Posted: 8/5/2001 2:36:49 PM EDT
Fighting behind a rampart of mud and fortifications of cotton bales helped keep US casualties to a minimum, less than 10 killed. Firing cannons from raised ramparts into a front of only about 1/2 a mile had to be the major factor in the British casualties of 2000 killed & wounded & several hundred captured. Unlike the movies, that many people believe, the Brits didn't attack in the fog. They meant to but got off late & their flank attack forgot to bring any scaling equipment. However I think the alligator's shooting cannonballs at the Brit's must have un-nerved them also.
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