army. The Kentucky militia was evenrnworse, arriving in rags and disappointedrnto find that there were no blankets in therncity for them. The Redcoats called themrn”dirty shirts.” Yet, as Remini explains,rn”most of these men could bring down arnsquirrel from the highest tree with a singlernrifle shot. Their many years living inrnthe Tennessee wilderness had madernthem expert marksmen . . . ” The ladiesrnof New Orleans, meanwhile, armedrnthemselves with daggers in case the menrnlost and the British rapists entered therncity. When Andrew Jackson was a child,rnhis mother had admonished him not torncry; crying, she told him, was for girls.rnWhen he asked what boys were for, shernreplied, “fighting.” But at New Orleans,rnthe women, too, were prepared to fight;rnnot a single lady fled the city. Instead,rnthey busied themselves with sewing,rnmaking new field blankets, shoes, shirts,rnand pants for the men.rnIf “diversity” really were highly valuedrnin our schools (rather than being a codernword for “hate America first”), then thernBattle of New Orleans would be knownrnby every student in the nation. The menrnwho fought on January 8, 1815, were arnmagnificent combination of professionalrnsoldiers, militia, irregulars, free blacks,rnCreoles, Cajuns, Spanish, French, Portuguese,rnGermans, Italians, Indians, Anglos,rnlawyers, privateers, farmers, andrnshopkeepers. When objections werernraised to arming the free blacks of Louisiana,rnJackson replied: “place confidencernin them, and . . . engage them by everyrndear and honorable tie to the interest ofrnthe country who extends to them equalrnrights and privileges with white men.”rnThere were many heroes at New Orleans,rnnot Jackson alone. When thernBritish army captured the plantation belongingrnto Gabriel Villere, he made arnsudden break, fleeing with British soldiersrnclose behind yelling, “Catch him orrnkill him.” Concealed in an oak tree, hernwas forced to kill a favorite dog whichrnhad followed him in order to prevent itrnfrom revealing his hiding place. Villererneventually reached a neighboring plantation,rnhastily rowed upriver, and conveyedrnthe news that the British army had arrived.rnAfter the British landing, Jacksonrnspent four nights without sleep, as hernrode about the American fortifications —rnordering improvements in the defenses,rnreceiving reports about British movements,rnand inspiring his men. He neverrneven dismounted to eat.rnAs the British maneuvered outside therncity, nightly raids by the “dirty shirts”rnkilled British sentries, took their equipment,rnand kept the whole army off balance.rnDuring an engagement by the CypressrnSwamp on December 28 (11 daysrnbefore the main battle), the Tennesseansrnwaded though the muck and leapt firomrnlog to log like cats, driving off the Britishrnbeefeaters. The “Hunters of Kentucky”rnsong would later boast that “every manrnwas half a horse, and half an alligator.” Inrnone encounter on the day of the mainrnbattle, a dirty shirt took aim at a woundedrnBritish officer who was walking back tornhis camp. “Halt Mr. Red Coat,” yelledrnthe American. “One more step and I’llrndrill a hole through your leather.” Thernofficer complied, sighing, “What a disgracernfor a British officer to have to surrenderrnto a chimney-sweep.”rnAlthough the British greatly outnumberedrnthe Americans, January 8, 1815,rnturned into one of the worst days inrnBritish military history. Over 2,000rnBritish soldiers were killed, captured, orrnwounded. Only seven Americans werernkilled and six wounded, although theirrntotal casualties from skirmishes on otherrndays reached 333.rnAs news of the battle spread throughoutrnthe United States, the American inferiorityrncomplex with regard to the Britishrnbegan to lessen. The Americans hadrnsmashed the best that Britain couldrnthrow at them. Newspapers quotedrnShakespeare’s Henry VI: “Advance ourrnwaving colors to the wall, / Rescued is Orleansrnfrom the English wolves.” Jackson’srnupset victory was as important forrnAmerica’s future as Joan of Arc’s was forrnFrance.rnRemini’s compact book focuses almostrnexclusively on the battle and thernpreceding weeks. He summarizes in arnfew pages, but does not detail, the battle’srnlarger significance in American life. Irnwish he had done more in this respect;rneven so. The Battle of New Orleans is arnmajor step toward reviving the memoryrnof January 8, 1815—one of the most gloriousrndays in American history—whenrnAmericans of both sexes and many races,rncreeds, and colors united to fight for freedomrnand defeated the most powerfulrnstanding army of the greatest empire inrnthe world.rnDavid B. Kopel, an adjunct professor ofrnlaw at the New York University Schoolrnof Law, is the research director for thernIndependence Institute.rnA Survivalistrnin Madisonrnby Jane GreerrnThe Society of Friendsrnby Kelly CherryrnColumbia: University of Missouri Press;rn192pp.,$17.95rnImagine, if you will, a residential streetrnin Madison, Wisconsin, where everyrnneighbor is a member of the universityrnfaculty. Is this a metaphor for Hell?rnA trip to the Twilight Zone? A sequelrnto Richard Russo’s tenure-track satire,rnStraight Man, or Jane Smiley’s Moo?rnNone of the above. The Society ofrnFriends is a collection of related storiesrnabout decent, earnest, overeducated residentsrnof the heartland. Their lives braidrnand separate in ordinary ways, and a lessrnscrupulous writer would have gone forrnthe cheap laugh and made fun of therncharacters’ sad humanity. Instead, KellyrnCherry offers a smorgasbord of Midwesternrnkindness, clumsiness, and salvation.rn”That’s what we need a God for,” herrnmain character, Nina Bryant, says: “torngrant forgiveness where the rest of usrncan’t quite manage it.”rnThe neighbors of Joss Court, theirrnchildren, parents, lovers, and ex-spouses,rndead and alive, are our neighbors. Theyrndeclare bankruptcy, deal with a grownrnchild’s homosexuality, grieve for real andrnimagined losses. They hold block parties,rnattend readings by visiting writers,rnrake their yards, and occasionally engagernin government-subsidized “performancernart,” portraying “The Gaza Strip Tease,”rn”The Martin Luther Kingston Trio,”rn”Cybersuck, or Vampires with Laptops,”rnand “The Three Faces of Evil: Hussein,rnGorbachev, Bush.” They bolt their doorsrnat night against an undefined, suspectedrnlurking danger.rnBoth the author and her character NinarnBryant are “Famous Writers” and Englishrnprofessors at the University of Wisconsin-rnMadison. This is unfortunate: ItrnM () V I N (;rnciul chant;!.’ nl .uklrnCHRONICIJ.S Sul)scii|)(i(»ii Dcpl.rnJULY 2000/29rnrnrn