After taking Pensacola (in Spanish territory) from the British in November 1814, General Andrew Jackson rushed back to Mobile and reinforced its garrison before moving on to New Orleans. There, the advance ships of the British fleet were blocked in an engagement on Lake Borgne, before landing 1,800 troops on the east bank of the Mississippi on 23 December. Jackson, always decisive, decided to attack. His night raid was repulsed, but bought the defenders critical time to prepare. By the time of the main British attack on 8 January, the Americans were well dug in, and able to rain withering fire on the enemy. After suffering heavy casualties in two assaults, the British withdrew. A final attempt to reach New Orleans via the Mississippi was abandoned on 18 January, when Fort St Phillip withstood repeated bombardment. Although neither side was aware, peace had already been agreed when the battle commenced.
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