On this date 200 years ago the city of New Orleans was alive like it had never been in years. Word had reached the city that the British were about to make landfall. A full scale British invasion was about to take place. General Andrew Jackson was busy making the city's defenses ready and it was a race against time. He was taking every able-bodied male that would take up arms against the British and fight in defense of the city. This meant he would take any of the French, Spanish, Creoles, free Blacks, and pirates that made up the city's disparate population. In the previous days he had sent word for his armies to rush to the city. On December 20th General John Coffee had arrived with 2,000 troops after a forced march from Baton Rouge. On December 21st Major General William Carroll and 3,000 Tennessee and Kentucky militia arrived. Carroll brought his three regiments to New Orleans from Nashville on river barges via the Cumberland, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. On the way he prepared his men for battle by having them drill and perform calisthenics aboard the troop barges. Meanwhile, in a lake just east of New Orleans about 8,000 British soldiers were about to disembark from the troop transports and attempt to take New Orleans.
Michael E. Palmer is a writer and photographer based in Alabama.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org