The Battle Of New Orleans In 1814, the British burn the White House and the US Capitol building in Washington. At 32 yrs. old, Elijah Davidson, his brother James and his brother in law, Peter Butler join Captain Gorin’s Company, with the Kentucky Mounted Volunteer Militia’s 10th Regiment, Commanded by Col. Philip Barbour and fight in the Battle of New Orleans on the morning of January 8, 1815. The British suffered an estimated 300 killed and 1,200 wounded while the Americans counted only 13 killed and 52 wounded or missing.
In an ironic twist of history, peace between America and Britain had been achieved two weeks earlier with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent. However, news of the event had not reached the shores of America. Despite its lack of impact on the outcome of the war, the battle was an important milestone in America's development. The victory gave the American people pride in their new nation and confidence in its future.
"They're comin' on their all fours!" An unknown eyewitness, fighting from the top of the breastworks defending New Orleans, describes the battle. "The Colonel from Bardstown, was the first one who gave us orders to fire from our part of the line; and then, I reckon, there was a pretty considerable noise... Directly after the firing began, Capt. Patterson, I think he was from Knox County, Kentucky, but an Irishman born, came running along. He jumped upon the brestwork (sic) and stooping a moment to look through the darkness as well as he could, he shouted with a broad North of Ireland brogue, 'shoot low, boys! shoot low! rake them - rake them! They're comin' on their all fours!' “It was so dark that little could be seen, until just about the time the battle ceased. The morning had dawned to be sure, but the smoke was so thick that every thing seemed to be covered up in it. Our men did not seem to apprehend any danger, but would load and fire as fast as they could, talking, swearing, and joking all the time. All ranks and sections were soon broken up. After the first shot, everyone loaded and banged away on his own hook. Henry Spillman did not load and fire quite so often as some of the rest, but every time he did fire he would go up to the brestwork, look over until he could see something to shoot at, and then take deliberate aim and crack away. At one time I noticed, a little on our right, a curious kind of a chap named Ambrose Odd, one of Captain Higdon's company, and known among the men by the nickname of 'Sukey,' standing coolly on the top of the brestworks and peering into the darkness for something to shoot at. The balls were whistling around him and over our heads, as thick as hail, and Col. Slaughter coming along, ordered him to come down. The Colonel told him there was policy in war, and that he was exposing himself too much. Sukey turned around, holding up the flap of his old broad brimmed hat with one hand, to see who was speaking to him, and replied: 'Oh! never mind Colonel - here's Sukey - I don't want to waste my powder, and I'd like to know how I can shoot until I see something?' Pretty soon after, Sukey got his eye on a red coat, and, no doubt, made a hole through it, for he took deliberate aim, fired and then coolly came down to load again When the smoke had cleared away and we could obtain a fair view of the field, it looked, at the first glance, like a sea of blood. It was not blood itself which gave it this appearance but the red coats in which the British soldiers were dressed. Straight out before our position, for about the width of space which we supposed had been occupied by the British column, the field was entirely covered with prostrate bodies. In some places they were laying in piles of several, one on the top of the other."
Carter Tarrant, Elijah’s mentor and friend dies in New Orleans serving as the regiment’s Chaplin. There is speculation he was killed because of his unrelenting position on abolition. The name Carter Tarrant will be passed onto the next 3 generations of Davidson sons.