The First Battle of New Orleans Poem

September 16, 2014 in American History, general history, History, Louisiana History

jacksonportrait

Andrew Jackson After the Battle of New Orleans, 1815, from a miniature

The following is believed to be the first poem written about the Battle of New Orleans, published in the New Orleans Gazette in either late February or early March 1815, and reprinted widely in newspapers throughout the United States in April and May, 1815. The author, sadly, is unknown, but from the content of the poem, was likely an American soldier who served with Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans.

THE RETREAT OF THE ENGLISH

 

-A YANKEE SONG-

 

The English mustered mighty strong’,

And bro’t their choicest troops along,

And thoght it but a little song,

To take our town of Orleans.

 

From Plymouth and the Chesapeake,

From Portsmouth, too, and Cork, so sleek,

All came to take a Christmas freak

In our gay town of Orleans.

 

See Cochrane, who is stiled Sir Knight,

With Gordon too, that naval wight,

And Packenham, all full of fight,

To have a dash at Orleans.

 

With Gibbs and Keane and Lambert too,

And others, who kept out of view,

Making, in all, a pretty crew,

To take our town of Orleans.

 

To Ile au Chat their fleets first steer’d,

Where near a hundred sail appear’d;

And, from their numbers, many fear’d

Th’ impending fate of Orleans.

 

They entered Bayou Bienvenue,

Where there were traitors not a few,

To help them on and bring them thro’

To this our town of Orleans.

 

They to the Levee quickly come,

And made, a tho’ they were at home_

Indeed, they were but eight miles from

The very town of Orleans.

 

The news at last to Jackson came;

His mighty soul was in a flame;

He swore an oath, I dare not name,

He’d save the town of Orleans.

 

The town was in a mighty rout’;

He ordered all the forces out

His troops so steady and so stout,

To fight and bleed for Orleans.

 

Away went Jackson at their head,

And many a gallant man he led;

All swore they’d fight till they were dead,

To save the town of Orleans.

 

The English camp he’s soon among;

And found them near five thousand strong,

From swamp to river stretch’d along

Against the town of Orleans.

 

And now began a bloody fight;

The English heroes tried their might,

But many think, the coming night,

Did save these foes of Orleans.

 

Then Jackson, not to risk the town,

Reined for a while his spirit down,

And trenches dug, and raised a mound,

To save the town of Orleans.

 

The English grown twelve thousand strong,

The Twenty eighth again came on,

And tho’t our lines would soon belong

To them, as well as Orleans.

 

Repuls’d:-on New-Years next they came,

But on that day were serv’d the same,

And met a loss, they do not name

From those who fought for Orleans.

 

But ‘twas the Eighth they tried their might,

And brought their army all in sight,

And swore our men would at the sight,

All fly toward New-Orleans.

 

That morning’s sun did rise in blood:

For all our men right valiant stood,

As every honest Yankee should,

Against the foes of Orleans.

 

The muskets and the cannons roar,

Our men most dreadful volley pour;

A rolling fire, unknown before,

Upon the foes of Orleans.

 

Sir Edward led the eager crew,

And pointing to the town in view,

Gave them the sack and pillage too,

If they would get to Orleans.

 

But see! his threatening spirit’s fled;

And Gibbs too lies among the dead,

With many more who boasting said,

They’d dine that day at Orleans.

 

Such carnage ne’e was known before;;

More than three thousand stain our shore,

And some assert a thousand more

Of the proud foes of Orleans.

 

Soldiers! you’ve had no vulgar game!

Wellington’s troops here yield their fame;

Invincibles was once their name,

But this they’ve lost near Orleans.

 

A bloodless victory, on our side,

May well increase our general’s pride;

For see_the field is only dyed

With English blood near Orleans.

 

The proud, but disappointed foe

Is now well taught our worth to know,

And all they ask, is but to go

Far__far away from Orleans.

 

See how these heroes scour the plain!

Their boats can scarce their haste restrain,

So anxious now their fleet to gain,

And get away from Orleans.

 

Aboard, and sick of Yankee sport,

They’re dressing up a long report,

To suit their gracious sovereign’s court,

Of their great feats near Orleans.

 

Here’s to the EIGHTH! a brilliant day!

‘Tis pride to have been in that affray,

Which drove these Englishmen away,

From this our town of Orleans.

 

Here’s to the gallant GENERAL! who

Has saved our town and country too!

A braver man the world ne’er knew

Than he who fought for Orleans.

 

Brave Sons of Tennessee! a toast!

Of you your country well may boast,

She cannot find a braver host

‘Mong those who fought for Orleans.

4 responses to The First Battle of New Orleans Poem

  1. It is a grand poem, but no mention of the Baratarians and Laffite?

  2. No, no mention of Laffite or the Baratarians. Other poems that year similarly concentrate on Jackson and the Americans. I believe this poem was written by a member of Jackson’s staff, just from the wording.

  3. A fairly good poem; though it might have been written by a member of Jackson’s staff everyone knew that the Baratarians had provided cannon, gunpower and shot without which the battle may not have been secured.

  4. Hi, the reason I think a member of Jackson’s staff wrote the poem is due to the information contained about the ships having gathered at Ile au Chat (Cat Island), and that they came up through Bayou Bienvenue (to Villere canal). This information was not public knowledge at the time.

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