James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

January 8

Jackson at New Orleans

By Wallace Rice (1859–1939)

HEAR through the morning drums and trumpets sounding,

Rumbling of cannon, tramp of mighty armies;

Then the mist sunders, all the plain disclosing

Scarlet for England.

Batteries roll on, halt, and flashing lightnings

Search out our earthworks, silent and portentous.

Fierce on our right with crimson banners tossing

Their lines spring forward.

Lanyards in hand, Americans and seamen,

Gunners from warships, Lafitte’s privateersmen,

Roar out our thunders till the grape and shrapnel

Shriek through their columns.

Shattered in fragments, thus their right is riven;

But on our left a deadlier bolt is speeding:

Wellesley’s Peninsulars, never yet defeated,

Charge in their valor.

Closing their files, our cannon fire disdaining,

Dauntless they come with vict’ry on their standards;

Then slowly rise the rifles of our marksmen,

Tennessee hunters.

Cradles of flame and scythes of whistling bullets

Lay them in windrows, war’s infernal harvest.

High through the onslaught Tennessee is shouting,

Joying in battle.

Pakenham falls there, Keane and his Highlanders

Close from the centre, hopeless in their courage;

Backward they stagger, dying and disabled,

Gloriously routed.

Stilled are our rifles as our cheers grow louder:

War clouds sweep back in January breezes,

Showing the dreadful proof of the great triumph

God hath vouchsafed us.

That gallant war-host, England’s best and bravest,

Met by raw levies, scores against its hundreds,

Lies at our feet, a thing for woman’s weeping,

Red’ning the meadows.

Freed are our States from European tyrants:

Lift then your voices for the little army

Led by our battle-loving Andrew Jackson,

Blest of Jehovah.