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02.05.09 : Owsley, Frank Lawrence, Jr., Struggle for the Gulf Borderlands, The Creek War and the Battle of New Orleans, 1812-1815, published in 1981 by the U. of Alabama Press.

Struggle for the Gulf Borderlands, the Creek War and the Battle of New Orleans, 1812-1815, by Frank Lawrence Owsley, Jr., consists of 255 pages.

For decades to come this will be the standard reference work on this topic.  Superbly researched utilizing not only the usual American sources, but the previously untapped archives of Spain and Great Britain.  Owsley has integrated the Creek War into the larger framework of the War of 1812 causing the reader at some point to pronounce “Eureka” as you begin to acquire a whole new perspective on Andrew Jackson and the conflict with Great Britain.

This may easily be the best history on the Creek War of 1813-1814.  What could have been a completely altered history of the United States — if Andrew Jackson had not been in command, if he would have hesitated only weeks from the crucible campaign concluding at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, if the British would have landed the state-of-the-art muskets, artillery, military advisors/trainers, and cavalry accoutrements several weeks earlier than they did, if the Spanish had been more pro-active than they were for the Creeks, etc. — would have prevented us from our Manifest Destiny!  I never before have read all of this with such fervor, explanation, and detail.

Owsley makes the point that too many of our historians have belittled our accomplishments in these two interrelated wars and downplayed their significance.  Often we have been led to believe that the War of 1812 was a “draw.”  He makes the point that it was on balance a resounding victory.

Jackson’s being in the right place at the right time for the Battle of New Orleans would not have occurred but for his role in the Creek War and the overwhelming victory achieved.  We would not have had the experienced and trained troops in place under his command but for the Creek War.  And, inasmuch as the British did not recognize the validity of the Louisiana Purchase, if they had won the Battle of New Orleans then the Treaty of Ghent signed in December 1814 would not have applied to any claims that they would have asserted over New Orleans, Louisiana, and their planned buffer states under the Creek Indians and their allies.  The frontier would have been inflamed and we would have had strong buffer Indian states with which to contend and two mutually supportive European powers.  All of this was prevented by Andrew Jackson and his juggernaut victory at Horseshoe Bend.  The sheer quantum of international intrigue taking place at Pensacola and throughout the Gulf area is enlightening.

This book is highly recommended by this reviewer.  You will receive a whole new perspective on Andrew Jackson and his brave Tennessee and Georgia troops in the Creek War.

Availability of this Book.

Originally published in 1981, this book is also available as a 2000 paperback.  Suggest