Today is the eighth, a nearly-forgotten holiday commemorating the 1815 victory of U.S. forces, under Andrew Jackson’s command, over the British in New Orleans. That victory catapulted Jackson to fame as a national hero and paved his way to the White House. Today also marks the date President Jackson died 175 years ago. He is remembered as a fierce patriot, but he was also a faithful Christian.
In a letter to Ellen M. Hanson, he wrote, “I was brought up a rigid Presbyterian, to which I have always adhered.” Jackson publicly professed his faith in 1838 in a little Presbyterian church near The Hermitage, his home in Nashville, TN.
Before he became the 7th President of the United States in 1828, stubborn, combative and faithful Jackson earned prestige for his military prowess in the 1815 Battle of New Orleans. British forces outnumbered the Americans by more than 2,000. They possessed superior weapons and training and had more experience. Against all odds, Jackson’s troops defeated the British in about half an hour. Jackson believed his impossible victory to be a miracle: “It appears that the unerring hand of Providence shielded my men from the powers of balls, bombs, and rockets, when every ball and bomb from our guns carried with them a mission of death.”