Sir Edward Pakenham (19 March 1778 –) was a British soldier notable for his role in the War of 1812, specifically the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Pakenham was almost killed in the battle, but he and his army were able to take the city of New Orleans from the United States.
Unfortunately, the battle had happened after the Treaty of Ghent in 1814, and thus Pakenham was ordered to abandon the city to the Americans. Pakenham, however, refused to relinquish the city. He is known to have said, "A thousand men died to take New Orleans. Their sacrifice shalt not be in vain." The Americans distrusted the British, and they believed that Pakenham was following orders. Therefore, because of Pakenham's actions, President James Madison redeclared war on the British Empire.
Through the next two years of war, Pakenham stayed in New Orleans defending it from American attacks. Finally, in 1817, a British army under Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley arrived at New Orleans, in what historians called the Meeting of the Armies, ending the war.
Pakenham stayed in the Occupied Region, as the former United States was now called, for several years. During this time, he commanded an army against Seminole Indians in Spanish Florida. This was called the First Seminole War, fought from 1817 to 1818. He was effectively a military governer of Florida after the war. Florida was officially traded to the British in 1819, and Pakenham was replaced with an official governer of Florida in 1822. Pakenham continued to serve in the army as part of the garrison of the Occupied Region.
Interestingy, Pakenham was brother-in-law to British Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, as he married Pakenham's sister. Wellesley was a highly successful soldier, participating in such wars as the Napoleonic wars, the War of 1812, and the Rebellion of New Spain.