The 1815 Battle of New Orleans

A Physical Geographic Analysis
  • Richard W. Dixon

The closing battle of the War of 1812 occurred on the floodplain of the Mississippi River 7 mi south of New Orleans. Strategically, control of New Orleans determined control of the Mississippi River and, by extension, most of the western territory. Tactically there were six approaches to the city. All had some geographic disadvantage, mostly relating to the disparity between the draft of the vessels available to the British and the water depths in the various lakes, channels, and bayous. The eventual choice of approach via Lake Borgne and Bayou Bienvenue placed the invading army in logistical peril as all supplies had to be ferried over long distances in small, open boats. The battleground itself was beset with a number of obstacles of a physical geographic nature such as a shallow depth to water table, inadequate cover, poor soils, and unseasonable weather.


Tree Ring Chronology Inadequate Cover Eventual Choice Cold Front Passage Cold Rain 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard W. Dixon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA

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