General Sir Harry Smith won the lifelong respect and affection of the Duke of Wellington. Famously married to the Spanish beauty, Juana, after the siege of Badajoz in 1812, the Smith and the Iron Duke served together to the end of the Peninsula war. With the French defeated, Harry left with the British expedition to America in 1814, and witnessed the burning of the White House. The fiery Admiral Cochrane raged bitterly “I am sorry you left a house standing in Washington – depend on it, it is a mistaken mercy”. Later, Harry joined Wellington’s brother-in-law, Ned Pakenham, in the invasion of Louisiana. On 8 January 1815, they attacked General Jackson’s well prepared positions protecting New Orleans. A resounding defeat for the British, in which Pakenham was killed, it fell to Harry to conduct the surrender to General Jackson, and then to convey the dismal news to London. Approaching England, he heard the dramatic tidings of Napoleon’s escape, which led to Harry and Juana’s breath-taking experience at Waterloo.
The book covers the extraordinary lives of Harry and Juana, including their achievements and legacy in South Africa, and Harry’s model victory in India in 1846, which made him a hero to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
The outline of their extraordinary lives may be known to many, but the details in this carefully researched book will come as a revelation.
SURRENDER AT NEW ORLEANS General Sir Harry Smith in the Peninsula and America
General Sir Harry Smith and his Spanish wife Juana led amazing lives. A boon companion of the Iron Duke throughout the Peninsula War, Smith witnessed the burning of the White House by British troops in the War of 1814. It then fell to him to surrender to Andrew Jackson after the disastrous defeat at New Orleans. He got back to Britain just in time to take part in Waterloo. An extraordinary account of two extraordinary romantic lives.