Jackson watched from the top floor of his improvised headquarters at the Macarty plantation house. From there, looking south, he had a complete view of the plain that spread out before him. Two hundred yards in front of the McCarty house, Line Jackson stretched a mile from left to right. Jackson had spent the previous four days directing his men as they shoveled dirt to create the fortified position from a muddy, watery ditch known as the Rodriguez Canal. The canal separated the Chalmette Plantation from the Macarty Plantation and Jackson found in it the perfect spot to defend the city of New Orleans from a full scale British invasion. From the left, Line Jackson began at a cypress swamp and stretched all the way to the Mississippi River to the right. All along this line Black and White men from Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and Choctaws from the Mississippi Territory stood behind the earthworks and cannons with rifles in hand, ready to accept the British challenge. Gulf of Mexico pirates manned the cannons. In order to take the Crescent City the British would have to penetrate Line Jackson and split the American forces. If they could do that, they had an open road to New Orleans. However, troops from the most dominate army on the planet soon learned what Jackson’s mish-mash army could do with long rifles and cannons. “Scarce a ball passed over, or fell short of it’s mark, but all striking full into the midst of our ranks, occasioned terrible havoc,” wrote Lieutenant George Robert Gleig of the British 85th Regiment, a regiment that had taken part in the attack on the American capitol.
As the Americans fired round after round into the advancing British, His Majesty The King’s Army ducked and dived into any hole they could find. There they lay among the dead and waited for night to fall. That day the British lost 152 men killed, wounded and taken prisoner. One by one, the British survivors rose and sneaked back to their camp as darkness fell on the Chalmette battlefield on December 28, 1814.