New historical research is shedding light on the pivotal importance of the victory by Major Gen. Andrew Jackson and his ragtag army of frontiersmen, Creoles, slaves and American Indians at the Battle of New Orleans 200 years ago. Often the Battle of New Orleans -- the main battle took place Jan. 8, 1815 -- is viewed as having been a great military victory but historically inconsequential, because a peace treaty between Britain and the United States was signed had already been signed.
"What I was taught in school, like most of us, was that the Battle of New Orleans was irrelevant," said C.J. Longanecker, a former National Park Service ranger who worked for years at the Chalmette Battlefield, a national park dedicated to the battle. In reality, historians now say, the peace treaty...
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