Louisiana Institute of Higher Education
The Battle of New Orleans: A Holistic Approach to Cochrane's Littoral Campaign in the Gulf of Mexico (September 1814 through February 1815)
The U.S. history memory of "the Battle of New Orleans" has traditionally focused on the January 8, 1815 action on the plain of Chalmette. Although certainly a climactic engagement, it is but one action among many, and there is much more to the story. For nearly two centuries, this narrative has drawn attention away from the broader subject of Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane's campaign in the Gulf of Mexico - a campaign that ranged across 300 miles of littoral from Apalachicola Bay to Barataria Bay, and included combat operations stretching from August 1814 to the end of hostilities in February 1815. A more holistic view that encompasses the entirety of Cochrane's Gulf of Mexico campaign provides not only a more nuanced understanding of the military actions involved, but also opens up a narrative that indicates the importance of other stakeholders who have traditionally not been at the center of the story. Here, slaves and natives share equal importance with soldiers and sailors. The War and Society discipline offers the most useful approach to understanding the full military, economic, social and political ramifications of Cochrane's campaign and is therefore the evaluative framework that should be applied to this topic.
Martin K. A. Morgan is an author/historian who specializes in American and military history. He holds a BA in history from the University of Alabama (1991), an MA in history from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (1996), and is currently a history doctoral candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He is the author of Down To Earth: The 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Normandy (Schiffer, 2004) and The Americans on D--‐Day: A Photographic History of the Normandy Invasion (Zenith Press, 2014), and he contributes frequently to World War II Quarterly and The American Rifleman. He has also contributed to other publications such as Aviation History, World War II, World War II History, Armchair General, the Garand Collector’s Association Journal, 39/45 (France) and After the Battle (England).
In addition to publishing, for 10 years now Martin has also appeared regularly on television programs relating to historical subjects on Discovery, National Geographic, History, H2, The Weather Channel, Syfy, the Outdoor Channel, and The Military Channel. These programs range in subject from D‐Day to Pearl Harbor to how whiskey, Christmas, and chocolate changed history. With a background as a park ranger and a museum professional, his experience in public history paved the way for the publishing and broadcasting work he does today. Since 2002, he has been leading battlefield tours around the world, especially in Europe.