Sharpe's Gator

Richard Sharpe and the

New Orleans Campaign

December 1814


January 1815

A Novel by

Alan Kempner

Based in Part Upon

Characters Created by

Bernard Cornwell

Dedicated to

Sharpe’s true father,

Bernard Cornwell,

Without whom

We all would have a

Lot less to write about.


I owe a great debt of gratitude to the many people who helped me in the writing of Sharpe’s Gator. First, of course is Bernard Cornwell, who established the characters and how they act and react, so that all I had to do was plug them into the historical setting. That made writing this novel one of the easiest things I have ever done.

Many thanks are due to JJ, Helen in Houston, Sarah not in France, Cathy, Bonnie, Beth, Laura the Lurker, Patti, Mira, Caroline, and all the other ladies of the Sharpe Smut List for the encouragement they gave me in this project. I’m sorry for the agony of waiting you have had to endure, I hope you find the end product worth it.

Robert Remini is the foremost Jackson scholar in the world. His excellent little book The Battle of New Orleans was invaluable, as was the first volume of his magisterial Jackson biography, Andrew Jackson and the Growth of American Empire, particularly as a source for the Creek War.

Most of Fredrickson’s story in Chapter 4 comes from The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814, by Anthony S. Pitch. It is real "you are there" history.

Also very helpful was Robin Reiley’s British at the Gates for the British perspective, and New Orleans 1815 by Tim Pickles, which had excellent topographical maps. Another excellent source was The American War, 1812-1814, in the Osprey-Men-At-Arms Series, by Philip Katcher. It has some fine color plates of period uniforms by Bryan Fosten.

Allen W. Eckert’s wonderful biographical novel A Sorrow in our Hearts: The Life of Tecumseh was a matchless source on the life and campaigns of the great Shawnee leader.

Great thanks are due to Roger Fuller of the 95th Rifles 3rd Battalion North American reenactment group, who saved me from the unpardonable error of putting the 95th in Maryland for the Chesapeake campaign of 1814.

The Internet was an inexhaustible resource. Through it, I found the War of 1812 Website, with articles by Donald Graves on songs of the War of 1812 and by Robert Henderson on clothing and equipment of the period. I also found articles on farming in the early 19th Century by Leo Landis and David Vanderstel.

The Sharpe website has some really good articles on period medicine, uniforms, and how a flintlock firing system works.

I had several e-mail correspondences with various escape artists, including Arthur & Helen Coghlan, Michael Griffin, Ryan Madden, Ace Starry, and Dean Allen, as we discussed how to self-dislocate and re-attach a shoulder joint.

Keith Denys of Tactical Options, Inc. in Wisconsin gave me some helpful input in setting up a sniper vs. sniper duel.

The Voodoo Museum of New Orleans has a great website where I got a lot of material to describe Marie Laveau’s swamp house. Adrian Nicholas McGrath wrote a great short biography on the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans.

Much thanks to all these people, and anyone else I forgot to mention. Any mistakes I made in the course of this novel are my fault, not theirs.

This novel is a not-for-profit work of fan fiction based on the characters created by Bernard Cornwell in his Sharpe series of novels. No infringement of Mr Cornwell's rights is intended.

  1. Prologue
  2. Chapter 1
  3. Chapter 2
  4. Chapter 3
  5. Chapter 4
  6. Chapter 5
  7. Chapter 6
  8. Chapter 7
  9. Chapter 8
  10. Chapter 9
  11. Chapter 10
  12. Chapter 11
  13. Chapter 12
  14. Chapter 13
  15. Chapter 14
  16. Chapter 15
  17. Chapter 16
  18. Epilogue

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Copyright © 2001 Alan Kempner and his licensors. All rights reserved.
Last update 15/7/01