The Volunteer State, as every Tennessee schoolchild is taught, is a motto rooted in the overwhelming turnout the Tennesseans for the battle of 1812. Americans might remember the the war was dealt with against great Britain and that the Star Spangled Banner was written around it, but otherwise the battle is mostly a forgotten affair. Tom Kanon wants civilization to remember the war of 1812. His new book, Tennesseans at War, 1812 – 1815: Andrew Jackson, the Creek War, and also the battle of brand-new Orleans, is crucial contribution to the history of a war that, like countless others, is much more complicated than can be conveyed in a couple of middle-school factoids or in a hit track performed by Johnny Horton.

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In his latest academic work, Kanon—an archivist for the Tennessee State Library and also Archives and also an writer of two previous books around the war of 1812—presents an exploration of the Southwestern theater of the war. (Tennessee and the Mississippi are were, in ~ the time, the American Southwest.) To good effect, the details the miscellaneous causes, facets, and aftermath of a hit that have to be an ext remembered, if no for the sacrifices the the combatants then certainly for the impacts it created on succeeding generations and the nation itself. He likewise illuminates the often conflicted characters of that is participants and also the ironies innate in a war battled for national independence that result in greater subjugation that Native and also African Americans.

The Creek War and the battle of 1812, despite technically separate conflicts, to be so intimately intertwined regarding be practically inseparable. The causes and also dates overlapped and the participants viewed the victories or loss in one together impacting the other. To Tennesseans—including Andrew Jackson, john Coffee, and also many other guys whose names now grace cities and counties across the state—the Creek war was necessary since they thought British agents to be fomenting Indian assaults to deprive the United says of its ideal to grow. Most of the causes of the battle of 1812 to be of only theoretical worry to a Tennessee farmer, yet not being for sure to it rotates his land and transport his goods to industry at mobile or new Orleans would certainly be a virtual fatality sentence.

once a faction of Creeks well-known as the Red Sticks began to strike settlers, Tennesseans jumped in ~ the chance to do fight in what they concerned as a 2nd war of independence. The Red pole were beat during a brief but uncomfortable project in which, ironically, the whites to be aided by countless of their Creek, Choctaw, and also Cherokee neighbors. Through the Red Stick hazard eliminated, Tennesseans conveniently left military service for hearth and also home. However the war against Britain was no over, and also volunteers to be soon called again to travel “down the mighty Mississip’” to repulse a feared invasion of Louisiana.

The second southwestern campaign was there is no doubt part-and-parcel that the battle of 1812. Led through Andrew Jackson in what is rightfully pertained to as a army masterpiece, a polyglot military of volunteer from Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Kentucky—as well together U.S. Military regulars, Choctaws, totally free blacks, and even some pirates—countered the brother in a two-week collection of engagements. It to be a full victory, commemorated in prose, poetry, and also song together the battle of brand-new Orleans. Americans, Kanon writes, “promptly bestowed the title of ‘hero’ on Andrew Jackson and also his Tennessee army.”

Because of the pair triumphs end the Creeks and also British, Americans when again feeling united throughout social and geographic boundaries. This era of good feeling and prosperity additionally brought the need for an ext land and a boom for the noodle economy, two determinants that led Tennesseans and others on the frontier to force their former Indian allies off genealogical lands and also to increase slavery.

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Through the anti-Indian, pro-slavery Andrew Jackson in ~ the head that the rising autonomous Party, the frontier was quickly “civilized.” together Kanon concludes, “The battle of 1812 provided Tennessee with lot to be proud of and also much to account for—a dual legacy that molded the history of the state and also still keeps shaping that is character.”


A Michigan native, chris Scott is one unrepentant Yankee that arrived in Nashville twenty-five years earlier and has gradually adapted to southern ways. The is a geologist by profession and an chronicler by avocation.