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Andrew Jackson was a posthumous child. His father, a Scottish immigrant also known as Andrew Jackson, died several months before the younger Jackson's birth in Waxhaw, South Carolina. He and his two older brothers fought in the American Revolutionary War, although he was scarcely 12 years old. They encountered a British force commanded by General Banastre, noted for his cruelty. One of Jackson's brothers was killed in the fighting and the other died from disease shortly thereafter. Jackson himself was captured and held as a prisoner of war. When a British soldier ordered him to polish his boots, Jackson indignantly refused. The soldier swung at him with his sword; but Jackson blocked the blow with his hand. He carried a scar on his left hand and across the top of his head from the blow for the rest of his life. Jackson's mother died also, leaving him orphaned. He lived with relatives to whom he was not particularly close, and left home as soon as he was able. He later moved to Tennessee. He was thus deprived of the comfort and support of close family for the rest of his life. His nearest relative when he entered the White House was his late wife's niece who addressed him as "Uncle Jackson." He never returned to Waxhaw and seldom spoke of it.
Two excellent sources on Jackson: American Lionby Jon Meacham, and Andrew Jackson, by H.W. Brands.
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