Tennesseans at War, 1812-1815
Andrew Jackson, the Creek War, and the Battle of New Orleans
Publication Year: 2014
Although frequently discussed as separate military conflicts, the War of 1812 against Great Britain and the Creek War against Native Americans in the territory that would become Alabama were part of the same forceful projection of growing American power. Success in both wars won for America security against attack from abroad and vast tracks of new land in “ the Old Southwest.” In Tennesseans at War, 1812– 1815, Tom Kanon explains the role Tennesseans played in these changes and how they remade the south.
Because it was a landlocked frontier state, Tennessee’ s economy and security depended heavily upon the river systems that traversed the region; some, like the Tennessee River, flowed south out of the state and into Native American lands. Tennesseans of the period perceived that gaining mastery of these waterways formed an urgent part of their economic survival and stability.
The culmination of fifteen years’ research, Kanon’ s work draws on state archives, primary sources, and eyewitness accounts, bringing the information in these materials together for first time. Not only does he narrate the military campaigns at the heart of the young nation’ s expansion, but he also deftly recalls the economic and social pressures and opportunities that encouraged large numbers of Tennesseans to leave home and fight. He expertly weaves these themes into a cohesive narrative that culminates in the vivid military victories of the War of 1812, the Creek War, and the legendary Battle of New Orleans— the victory that catapulted Tennessee’ s citizen-soldier Andrew Jackson to the presidency.
Expounding on the social roles and conditions of women, slaves, minorities, and Native Americans in Tennessee, Kanon also brings into focus the key idea of the “ home front” in the minds of Tennesseans doing battle in Alabama and beyond. Kanon shows how the goal of creating, strengthening, and maintaining an ordered society permeated the choices and actions of the American elites on the frontiers of the young nation.
Much more than a history of Tennesseans or the battles they fought in Alabama, Tennesseans at War, 1812– 1815, is the gripping story of a pivotal turning point in the history of the young American republic.
Published by: The University of Alabama Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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In May 1846, over thirty years after the conclusion of the War of 1812, veteran Thomas Bradley, now elderly and ill, had an opportunity to once more exhibit patriotic ardor when the United States declared war on the Republic of Mexico. Shortly after the declaration, volunteers began assembling throughout the various counties of Tennessee. In Wilson County, the volunteer spirit...
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“America is the fortunate Country, and the State of Tennessee is the fortunate spot in America,” wrote David Campbell in 1809 from Knoxville. “No part of the Earth exceeds us in Soil, climate, and fine Streams of Water. . . . I rejoice I have settled here, where my family can enjoy plenty, and ease.” Campbell, formerly a judge on the Tennessee Superior Court of Law and...
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The Nashville Clarion publicized the news of the declaration of the “second war for independence,” appropriately, on the Fourth of July. An express rider thundered into the state capital the evening before, with President Madison’s proclamation in hand. The significance of the news arriving on the eve of the Fourth of July was not lost on the Clarion’s editor. “It was this day 36...
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On Sunday, September 12, 1813, an express rider arrived in Nashville to hand Governor Willie Blount a shocking report “of the dreadful slaughter of several hundred of our fellow citizens by the Creek Indians.” The dispatch referred to the massacre that had taken place on August 30 at the fortified stockade known as Fort Mims, located in a remote region of the Mississippi...
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With the initial phase of the Creek War completed, Major General Thomas Pinckney began pressing Jackson to link the East and West Tennessee armies in order for them to march to the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers—a site known as the Hickory Ground—and establish a garrison there. Consequently, Jackson instructed John Cocke on December 6, 1813,...
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James Rhea, a merchant in Blountsville, Tennessee, had a disturbing dream in late June 1814, so troubling that he jotted down this entry in his diary on June 27: “Last night I, James Rhea, dreamed I saw in the Northern Region many Streaks as Red as Blood—broad—pointing downward—this dream may be a sign of war.” His concern mirrored the news coming from Europe...
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Private James McCutchen, of Dyer’s First Regiment of West Tennessee volunteer mounted gunmen, scribbled this entry in his diary on December 23, 1814, at New Orleans: “we marched 10 miles down to the Battle ground where we had an engagement with the British and lay on the ground all night.” In his usual brusque style, McCutchen summed up the critical initial engagement...
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On January 24, 1815, the citizens of New Orleans flocked to the Place d’Armes (soon to be renamed Jackson Square) to pay homage to their newly declared champion, Major General Andrew Jackson. The Abbe Guillaume Dubourg, apostolic administrator of the Louisiana diocese, headed preparations for the celebration, which centered on a religious service of public thanksgiving. It...
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Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2014