Orphan. Frontiersman. President. The rise of Andrew Jackson to the highest office in America has become a legend of leadership, perseverance, and ambition. Central to Jackson's historic climb?long before the White House—was his military service. Scarred permanently as a child by the sword of a British soldier, Jackson grew into an unwavering leader, a general whose charisma and sheer force of personality called to mind those of George Washington a generation earlier.
As commander of the Tennessee militia in the War of 1812, Jackson became "Old Hickory," the indomitable spearhead in a series of bloody conflicts with Creek Indians on the southwest frontier. Slight of frame with silver hair that seemed to stand on command, Jackson once stood down a mutinous brigade as an army of one. Then came New Orleans. Author Paul Vickery chronicles Jackson's defining battle and the decisions a single, impassioned commander made to ensure a growing nation could, once and for all, be free of British might. The hero of New Orleans infused America, for the first time, with a sense of nationalism.
Jackson was decisive and unforgiving, a commander firmly in his element. In his own words, "One man with courage makes a majority." The lessons of one extraordinary general endure.