The Battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815, and was the final major battle of the War of 1812. American forces under General Andrew Jackson decisively defeated an invading British army intent on seizing New Orleans and America's western lands. The Treaty of Ghent had been signed on December 24, 1814, but news of the peace would not reach New Orleans until February.
By December 12, 1814, a large British fleet, under the command of Sir Alexander Cochrane, with more than 10,000 soldiers and sailors aboard had anchored off the eastern Louisiana coast at Lake Borgne. Guarding access to the lake was an American flotilla, commanded by Thomas ap Catesby Jones, consisting of five gunboats. On December 14, British sailors in rowing boats, each boat armed with a small cannon, captured the vastly outnumbered gunboats in a brief but violent battle. Now free to navigate Lake Borgne, thousands of British soldiers, under the command of General John Keane, were rowed to a garrison on Pea Island, about 30 miles east of New Orleans.
On the morning of December 23, Keane led a vanguard of 1,500 British soldiers from the island to the east bank of the Mississippi River, less than ten miles south of New Orleans. Keane could have attacked the city by advancing for a few hours up the river road, which was undefended all the way to New Orleans, but he made the fateful decision to wait for the arrival of reinforcements. Early that afternoon, when news of the British position reached Jackson at New Orleans he reportedly said, "Gentlemen, the British are below, we must fight them tonight." Jackson quickly sent about 2,000 of his troops from New Orleans to a position immediately north of the British to block them from making any further advances toward the city. Jackson, because he needed time to get his artillery into position, decided to immediately attack the British.
On the night of December 23, Jackson personally led a three-pronged attack on the British camp which lasted until early morning. After capturing some equipment and supplies, the Americans withdrew to New Orleans suffering a reported 24 killed, 115 wounded and 74 missing or captured, while the British claimed their losses as 46 killed, 167 wounded, and 64 missing or captured. (read more . . . )
Patricia Davies Clarkson (born December 29, 1959) is an Academy Award-nominated American actress. Clarkson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the daughter of Jackie Clarkson (a prominent local New Orleans politician and councilwoman) and Arthur Clarkson, a school administrator who worked at the Department of Medicine of Louisiana State University.
Clarkson starred in a series of high-profile films in her early career, including The Dead Pool, Rocket Gibraltar and Everybody's All-American. She starred in the short-run television series Davis Rules, and in the miniseries Alex Haley's Queen. Other television appearances have included the role of "Aunt Sarah" in Six Feet Under, for which she won two Emmy Awards.
In 1999, she appeared in The Green Mile, and in 2002 in Far from Heaven. In 2003, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Pieces of April, in which she plays an acerbic mother dying of cancer. Clarkson garnered critical acclaim for her work in The Station Agent (2003). Some film enthusiasts note her talent as a character actor. (read more . . . )