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Edward Pakenham
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Military Personnel
    (March 19, 1778-January 8, 1815)
    Born in County Westmeath, Ireland
    Fought in the Napoleonic Wars and War of 1812
    Promoted to major general (June, 1812)
    Named commander of British forces in North America (September, 1814)
    Killed in the Battle of New Orleans
    Named a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (1813)
    Brother-in-law of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington
    His family bought him a commission as a lieutenant in the army when he was 16.
    Ironically, he had been opposed to the war with the US.
    He led the British Army in one of its worst defeats, as they lost 700 killed, 1400 wounded and 500 taken prisoner against American losses of seven dead and six wounded.
    The battle was unnecessary, as the US and Britain had signed the Treaty of Ghent ending the War of 1812 on December 24, 1814 (although news of the treaty would not reach America until February of 1815).
    He was well-liked by his men and fellow officers.
    He was wounded in battles in St. Lucia (1803) and Martinique (1806).
    During the Peninsular Campaign in Spain, Wellington remarked to his officers, 'Did you ever see a man who understood his orders more clearly than Pakenham?'
    Much of the reason the Battle of New Orleans was so one-sided was that the commander of the 44th Regiment, Lt. Col. Thomas Mullins, had inexplicably failed to equip the troops with the ladders needed to scale the American defenses.
    He was rallying the troops near the front line when he was struck three times by grapeshot from American artillery and was fatally wounded.

Credit: C. Fishel


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