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BATTLE OF PENSACOLA

November 16, 2015

The Battle of Pensacola was one of the wars fought as result of American Revolution. The American forces fought against the United Kingdom (Britain), Spain, African American slaves, as well as Creek Native Americans, allied to the Briton. General Andrew Jackson, an American commander, led the war against the British forces that took control and oppressed Spaniards at Pensacola city which was part of Spanish Florida.  Commander Jackson defeated the British army who abandoned and surrendered the city. The paper will look at the causes and effects of the Battle of Pensacola.

Causes of the War

The Spanish forces attacked and successfully captured Mississippi and Louisiana which was under British control. A Spanish forces commander, General de Galvez in northern America was concerned about the Pensacola City occupied by the British. In 1781, the Spanish naval forces landed in Santa Rosa Islands with over 3,500 men and 40 ships. The forces attempted to occupy protectorate that resulted in the Battle of Pensacola.  The Spanish took the two months to occupy Pensacola ending British’s 18-year occupation.  Pensacola remained under the control of the Spanish for almost 40 years before they finally renounced her control in the year 1819.

The battle of Pensacola involved three different groups of people that included Spanish, British and the Americans.  Pensacola was the biggest Spanish capital in western Florida. The British after initial defeat in 1781 occupied and controlled Pensacola Bay.  The city was an essential foothold on the British control of Florida.  Jackson Andrew and the American troops wanted to liberate Spaniard who suffered under British Army.

The Pensacola City had just over one thousand people.  The settlement on the Pensacola Bay had the Fort San Miguel and Santa Island fort that protected and helped in the control of the upper gulf.  Commander Jackson used the Creek at the Horseshoe route in Alabama that led to the establishment of some to the suffering Red Stick Indians. The British were again interested in making their presence felt in Pensacola by 1814. The British under Major Nicholls Edward slowly occupied Pensacola without permission from Spanish governor Don Mateo Marquez.  The British had clear intentions to control the Gulf region and threatened to destroy the Spaniard if they assisted American troops. In September, Major Nicholls and the British attacked Mobile but were unsuccessful after which the Spanish government stopped cooperating with the occupying forces. The arrival of Americans and the deteriorating relationship with the Spaniards, the British fled the town only to consolidate at Santa Rosa and Fort San Carlos battery. Jackson with a 4000 men military escalated their attacks on November 7, 1814.

Jackson and the American troops intended to take Pensacola from British grasps. The Secretary of War at the time, James Monroe ordered the generals not to attack the city. The Washington feared to engage the Spaniards in a battle, but the orders were late. General Jackson had instructed the American fourth Battalion to invade Pensacola aggressively. However, Jackson attempted to sign a peace accord with the British but twice failed. More than 500 men moved to the western side of Pensacola, but the majority remained to invade Fort San Miguel from the eastern side.  The Spaniards Governor, Marique quickly was overwhelmed the 500 men thus immediately surrendering in the hope of saving the city from further destruction.  The American soldiers forced the British to abandon the city even with assistance from the Spaniards. Between November 7 and 8, the British army using their warship sailed from the bay.

Aftermaths and Effects of War

The Americans left Pensacola and left the Spaniards in control. Jackson was angry due to the quick defeat of the British and had already destroyed some parts of Spanish garrison. The general feared that the fleeing British would return and attack Mobile in Alabama. He ordered the securing of Mobile, but upon reaching the city, there was news that the British were attacking New Orleans. The two-day war resulted in seven deaths among American soldiers while eleven were seriously wounded.  The British and Spaniards suffered fifteen casualties.  Major Nicholls Edward is on record that none of the British troops died while there were 15 fatalities and several casualties among the Americans troops.

Conclusion

The Battle of Pensacola (1814) did not engage too many military operations but involved skirmishes instead of a full-fledged war.  However, the attacks were critical in the later battles of 1812 wars. Eventually, the Americans under General Jackson succeeded in to stem out British Activities and Intrigues in Florida. As a result, it squashed the hopes that the Spaniards and the British would ever cooperate in the region. The Spaniards enjoyed the freedom and had the guarantee that American army would never attack them[8]. After Pensacola, American troops rushed to New Orleans by the end of the year, and the war came to an end in January 1815. The battle of Pensacola though of no consequence militarily portrayed Jackson and American nation’s overwhelming war strategies.