Though the War of 1812 had ended two weeks earlier, news had not yet reached New Orleans and on JANUARY 8, 1815, five thousand British soldiers charged in a frontal assault against General Andrew Jackson's Tennessee and Kentucky sharpshooters. French pirate Jean Lafitte and his men aided the Americans. In just half-an-hour, over two thousand British were killed and only 8 Americans. On JANUARY 8, 1815, General Andrew Jackson wrote to Robert Hays regarding the victorious Battle of New Orleans: "It appears that the unerring hand of Providence shielded my men from the shower of balls, bombs, and rockets, when every ball and bomb from our guns carried with them a mission of death" Known as "Old Hickory," Andrew Jackson commented to Major Dravezac on his confidence before the Battle: "I was sure of success, for I knew that God would not give me previsions of disaster, but signs of victory. He said this ditch can never be passed. It cannot be done." Andrew Jackson wrote to Secretary of War James Monroe in 1815: "Heaven, to be sure, has interposed most wonderfully in our behalf, and I am filled with gratitude, when I look back to what we have escaped."