December 24, 1814. On that day, representatives of the U.S. government, meeting in Belgium, signed the Treaty of Ghent, which ended hostilities between the U.S. and Great Britain in the War of 1812. However, given the lack of swift communications in those days, it would be several weeks before news of the treaty reached U.S. shores.
In the meantime, unaware that England and her former colonies were once again at peace, Major General Andrew Jackson led his troops against the British army just outside of New Orleans in January 1815. Jackson and his men defeated the British, and the Battle of New Orleans made the military man a national hero. Later, as President of the United States, the general would figure prominently in another battle: the one over the second Bank of the United States.