The best books on the Battle of New Orleans

2 authors have picked their favorite books about the Battle of New Orleans and why they recommend each book.

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Book cover of The British at the Gates: The New Orleans Campaign in the War of 1812

The British at the Gates: The New Orleans Campaign in the War of 1812

By Robin Reilly,

Why this book?

This account by a British scholar draw upon British sources to present their side of the story. Reilly shows how the Gulf Coast campaign originated and evolved and does a fine job of delineating the British characters who played a central role in the battle.

From the list:

The best books to understand the Battle of New Orleans

Book cover of Historical Memoir of the War: In West Florida and Louisiana in 1814-15

Historical Memoir of the War: In West Florida and Louisiana in 1814-15

By Arsène Lacarrière Latour,

Why this book?

Originally published in 1816, this contemporary account of the battle by Jackson’s chief engineer is rich in detail and includes a valuable appendix of original documents. Although perhaps too favorable to Jackson, an account like this by someone who was there and in the know cannot be ignored.  In the new edition, Gene Smith has made some minor changes in Latour’s text and, more importantly, added some new documents. He also includes in a separate envelop the maps that accompanied the original edition

From the list:

The best books to understand the Battle of New Orleans

Book cover of Struggle for the Gulf Borderlands: The Creek War and the Battle of New Orleans, 1812-1815

Struggle for the Gulf Borderlands: The Creek War and the Battle of New Orleans, 1812-1815

By Frank Lawrence Owsley Jr.,

Why this book?

This traditional account of Jackson’s war against the Creeks and the British does a good job of tying together these two wars and showing how Jackson’s success in the first led seamlessly to his role in the second. A little dated but still rewarding.

From the list:

The best books to understand the Battle of New Orleans

Book cover of Tennesseans at War, 1812-1815: Andrew Jackson, the Creek War, and the Battle of New Orleans

Tennesseans at War, 1812-1815: Andrew Jackson, the Creek War, and the Battle of New Orleans

By Tom Kanon,

Why this book?

In this book longtime Tennessee archivist Tom Kanon presents the most detailed analysis of the Volunteer State’s role in the Creek War and the War of 1812. That role is disproportionately large, considering that it raised the majority of the troops involved in the former and supplied the pivotal American leadership which played significant roles in winning both in the form of Andrew Jackson. The book is not exclusively focused on Tennesseans despite the title, and does a commendable job of telling the story of the war and the Battle at New Orleans in their entirety.

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Book cover of Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times

Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times

By H.W. Brands,

Why this book?

My first novel, Redcoats’ Revenge, an alternative history of the war of 1812 was a break from the lockstep writing of non-fiction and a relief, in a way. But it became a whole new challenge. A primary character in the book was Andrew Jackson, a man without bounds. I read extensively to find his soul and there it was in Brand’s book.  From his backwoods beginnings to his firebrand speeches in the congress, Bill Brand captures the heart of that warrior. Jackson, a leader we must all emulate, stands out in every crowd as a trailblazer, a warrior, an…

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Book cover of The Life of Andrew Jackson

The Life of Andrew Jackson

By Robert V. Remini,

Why this book?

A good place to start for understanding the Battle of New Orleans is a biography of the central character. A life-long student of Jackson, Robert Remini in this work provides a distillation of his 3-volume study on Old Hickory. Readers will learn about Jackson’s contentious early life and rise on the Tennessee frontier, his remarkable success as a general in both the Creek War and the War of 1812, and his postwar career, culminating in his presidency.

From the list:

The best books to understand the Battle of New Orleans

Book cover of The Pirates Laffite: The Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf

The Pirates Laffite: The Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf

By William C. Davis,

Why this book?

The Laffite brothers, Pierre and especially Jean, loom large in the mythology of the Battle of New Orleans, although in truth the contribution of the Baratarian pirates to Jackson’s great victory was rather modest. In this work, Davis fleshes out the life and character of the two brothers, showing how the accepted view of their contribution to Jackson’s success in the campaign has been overstated.

From the list:

The best books to understand the Battle of New Orleans

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