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"Favorite Battle? New Orleans!" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian31 Oct 2020 7:15 p.m. PST

You were asked – TMP link

Favorite War of 1812 Battle?

And in the final round of voting:

34% said "Battle of New Orleans"
13% said "Battle of Lundy's Lane"
12% said "Battle of Chippewa"

BillyNM01 Nov 2020 1:20 a.m. PST

In what way favourite – can't be easy to get opponents to play that one.

Artilleryman01 Nov 2020 2:29 a.m. PST

I wonder what a purely British/Canadian vote would have produced? Bladensburg? Queenston Heights?

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2020 4:30 a.m. PST

Queenston Heights of course.

epturner01 Nov 2020 4:36 a.m. PST

My vote is for Queenston Heights. I've run it before.

New Orleans? Really? Not much of a battle.

Lundy's Lane and Crysler's Farm are more interesting.


WillBGoode01 Nov 2020 4:54 a.m. PST

I would guess most individuals who voted for this know of it only through the song. Most possibly know little about the period. There are so many fascinating and interesting battles.

jefritrout01 Nov 2020 6:57 a.m. PST

I voted for Chippewa because I thought that Lundy's Lane was going to win. I did not consider New Orleans as a possibility for most popular. Bladensburg has more possibilities than a frontal attack against defended works.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2020 7:51 a.m. PST

Agree with jefritrout. Greene or Morgan would have won at Bladensburg, but New Orleans has all the charm of Bunker Hill. It really needs to be a solo game if it has to be fought at all.

Brechtel19801 Nov 2020 8:16 a.m. PST

Morgan would have won at Bladensburg?

With few reliable troops, those being Barney's flottilamen and Marines, and no river at their backs from stopping the militia from running, there is no common sense nor historical analogy to believe it would happen.

Brechtel19801 Nov 2020 8:20 a.m. PST

Regarding New Orleans, what would be an interesting action to wargame would be Jackson's night attack on Thornton's British encampment on 23 December.

It was a lively action, with Jackson surprising Thornton and giving somewhat worse than he incurred before withdrawing.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2020 9:29 a.m. PST

Could be you're right, Brechtel. I'd have said the American artillery and the difficult British approach counted for something. But that's what we have wargame tables for.

Rudysnelson01 Nov 2020 10:24 a.m. PST

The battle at Chalmette plantation was only one part of the New Orleans Campaign. That battles result were lop sided but only the final action due to the peace and had no influence on the British halting. The war was already over.
The campaign was a series of small actions including British victories. After Chalmette the British had retreated back to Mobile to get ready for another assault.
Surprise attack by Americans in rowboats raiding the area. British assault and capture of Mobile. Other little known actions as well.

brass101 Nov 2020 11:50 a.m. PST

The war was already over.

The Treaty of Ghent was signed by both sides on 24 December 1814 and ratified by Parliament on 30 December 1814 but it wasn't ratified by the US Congress until 16 February 1815. That was when the War of 1812 ended, 38 days after the Battle of New Orleans.

Among other things, the treaty specified that the signatories would retain whatever territories were in their possession when the treaty was ratified, not when it was signed, which would have put the mouth of the Mississippi and a large chunk of the Gulf Coast in British hands if Pakenham captured New Orleans. A large portion of the British commanders involved in this campaign were not informed that peace talks were under way when the campaign began.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2020 4:59 p.m. PST

I understand there was also some language about not recognizing territorial changes made by Napoleon. Considering who we bought the Louisiana Territory from, it's probably just as well we were in possession as the treaty was implemented.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2020 1:22 p.m. PST

I guess I am in a minority regarding the feasibility of wargaming New Orleans. The more I read the more I am persuaded that it was winnable for the British. Food for another thread.

First off, there were three battles. The first on the 23rd would certainly be interesting with many opportunities as Kevin has alluded to;
1. Thornton persuades MGen Keane to push on to the outskirts of the city before Jackson has time to plan the the night attack and before some of the militia and volunteers have arrived/concentrated, the unlikely use of the ad hoc American vessels plus no mud walls and Baratarian heavy artillery;
2. a meeting engagement dawn of the next morning, and
3. a night battle.
I am sure there can be more options.

As to the two main battles they are similar.
1. If you have the luxury of gaming two battles, allow the possibility British forces to attack on both Chalmette and Chantilly (Jackson was sure the British would via Chantilly) plain access to New Orleans.
2. Game LCol Thornton's advance group on the opposite shore and the possibility of taking the USN guns and turning them on the American flank before the main action begins (Thorton's force was at this point when the withdrawal was ordered),
3. Begin the main attack just before dawn in reduced visibility so that American artillery is not as effective.

I think these options and others would make the game most interesting.

Brechtel19803 Nov 2020 2:52 a.m. PST

The best reference for the campaign, the battles, and the political situation before and after the treaty is Robin Reilly's The British at the Gates.

It is an excellent volume and highly recommended.

Camcleod03 Nov 2020 7:47 a.m. PST

Crysler's Farm – my favorite underwater battlefield.

RAOldham181203 Nov 2020 12:53 p.m. PST

I was a bit surprised by the New Orleans pick. Most likely the best well known battle gave it the number one spot.
Gaming it is interesting. I have run it many times. During development I figured the US forces would be run by the judges and the players would command the British. But, during playtest there were many players who wanted to play the US forces so in the end I have always run it with both sides. I broke it down to 2 US and 4 British when possible. It was always popular and well received. My favorite is Chryslers Farm which is another game scenario I have run many times.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2020 3:47 p.m. PST

I think, like others, that New Orleans probably won because its the only battle people remember!

Au pas de Charge11 Nov 2020 11:22 a.m. PST

I always Loved the Battle of New Orleans the best because Charlton Heston beat the British hardened Spanish Peninsular Veterans to a pulp which means the Americans and French serving at the battle were the best of the best of the best :)

The War of 1812 suffers from the AWI and the Napoleonic Wars sapping all of its vitality. Frankly, you could do just about all the scenarios from the war as either a Peninsular or AWI version.

Maybe with the Covid lockdowns and attendant rise of solo gaming, this small, manageable wargaming period will have a spurt of popularity?

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2020 12:32 p.m. PST

I played in a spectacular New Orleans game at Enfilade in 2018. I commanded a British column and reached the top of the barricade before having to retreat. I imagine the game was fairly boring for the Americans.

epturner13 Nov 2020 2:26 p.m. PST

+1 to Camcleod


Radetzky March Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2021 3:52 p.m. PST

I voted for New Orleans, I have all the troops in 15mm scale at 1:20.
The problem for the Brits is that the Yanks have ANDY JACKSON and the Brits do not.
My God he must have struck terror in their hearts!

Brechtel19805 Feb 2021 3:57 a.m. PST

Andrew Jackson was not the best of the new crop of generals that came to the front because of competence and the ability to fight to the finish. Jacob Brown, Winfield Scott, and the others from the Canadian frontier battles were as skilled as Jackson if not more so.

And the fighting at Chippawa, Lundy's Lane, and Fort Erie was much more difficult than New Orleans. Lundy's Lane was undoubtedly the most savage and hard-fought battle of the war.

Another gem to take a look at was the successful delaying action fought by Maryland General Stricker and his volunteer militia brigade at North Point. He inflicted more casualties than he incurred and he withdrew to Baltimore in order. It was definitely not another Bladensburg.

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