Although Andrew Jackson’s most famous military service was during the War of 1812, it was the American Revolution which honed his intense dislike of the British. That war for independence took a horrendous toll upon the Jackson family.
Andrew was only nine years old when The Declaration of Independence was signed. As soon as he was thirteen he joined up with the Continentals as a courier. All three of the Jackson boys saw active duty military service. His older brother, Hugh Jackson, died after the Battle of Stono Ferry, South Carolina in 1779. In April of 1781, the remaining two Jackson brothers were taken as prisoners by the British. While in captivity a British officer ordered them to clean his boots, which both boys refused to do. The officer struck them with his sword and Andrew’s hand was cut to the bone and his face scarred for life.
The young boy never forgot this ill treatment at British hands. The future American General and President, Andrew Jackson, forever harbored a bitter resentment towards anything British.
During their two month imprisonment by the enemy, both brothers became infected with smallpox, from which Robert Jackson perished. Shortly thereafter, their mother, Betty Jackson, went to Charleston to nurse other American prisoners of war, where she was soon stricken with either ship fever or cholera and died. At age fourteen, Andrew Jackson found himself an orphan and an only child.
However heavy the burden of adversity was for the young unschooled Andrew, he triumphed, becoming an American legend as both a warrior and a president. Andrew Jackson is also historically known for being:
• The first president born in a log cabin.
• The first president nominated by a political party.
• The first president to ride on a railroad train.
• The first president victimized by an assassination attempt.
• The only president to have been a prisoner of war.
• The last president who was a veteran of the Revolutonary War.