Joseph Yeager (ca. 1792-1859) after a design by William Edward West (1788-1857), The Battle of New Orleans and Death of Major General Packenham on the 8th of January 1815. Philadelphia: Published and Sold by J. Yeager, . Hand colored engraving. Approximately 15 x 19 1/2 inches. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process. Purchased with support of the Barksdale-Dabney-Henry Fund, 2012
Philadelphia engraver, Joseph Yeager (ca.1792-1859), designed and published this bird’s eye view of the Battle of New Orleans in November 1816. Shown from a British perspective, the central group includes the figure of General Sir John Lambert (1772-1847) weeping into a handkerchief next to the fallen Major General Sir Edward Michael Pakenham (1778-1815), with other officers surrounding them. The Americans are viewed through clouds of smoke, with their flag flying at both the right and left. General Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), who led the defense and became a national hero after this battle, has been singled out for the bottom title vignette.
From December 25, 1814 to January 26, 1815, British casualties totaled 386 men killed, 1,521 wounded and 552 missing for the whole campaign. On the American side, 55 men were killed, 185 wounded, and 93 missing after the siege. (According to William James, A full and correct account of the military occurrences of the late war between Great Britain and the United States of America, Rare Books E359.J29)
The artist signed: “West. Del.” has been attributed to William Edward West (1788-1857), who was born in Lexington, KY, and studied under Thomas Sully in Philadelphia. West worked there until about 1818 when he went to Natchez and then to Europe, to finish his painting education. Even when he returned to the United Stated, West continued to travel, working at various times in Baltimore, New York, and Nashville.
For more information, see Library of Congress. An Album of American Battle Art 1755-1918, p. 94 (Marquand Oversize NE505 .U58q); Stauffer, American Engravers on Copper and Steel, 3433 (Graphic Arts NE505 .S79 1994); John Carbonell, “Prints of the Battle of New Orleans,” in Prints of the American West (1983), p.2-12. (Marquand NE505 .P55)