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Jackson called a conference of engineers to find out how best to seal off NewOrleans from invasion As New Orleans was largely surrounded by swampsone method was to fell huge trees to clog the smaller waterways leading to thecity This was done but not thoroughly enough so the British did comeJackson also accepted the services of Jean Lafitte a famous local pirate and600 free blacks of New Orleans and brooked no criticism of the use of theIn the climactic battle Jackson used some 3000 men with carefully dugfortifications to hold off approximately twice as many British troops whomade a massed assault taking over 2000 casualties while the Americanssustained 13 killed 39 wounded and 19 missing The British dead includedthe top commanders and the troops fled in a rout As it happened a treaty was signed in the Netherlands before the battle inthis age of slow communication But most Americans heard about NewOrleans first The US had declared war lost much fought for the most partincompetently and had to sign a treaty ratifying the old status quo The battlewas thus an enormous boost to US morale and was the main personal factorthat put Jackson in the White House 14 years later It also was a show of strength by a formerly weak-looking nation increasingthe United States negotiating powers with Spain Mexico and Britain in the
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