He received a sporadic education in the local "old-field" school. During the American Revolutionary War, Jackson, at age thirteen, joined a local regiment as a courier. Andrew and his brother Robert Jackson were captured by the British and held as prisoners of war; they nearly starved to death in captivity. When Andrew refused to clean the boots of a British officer, the irate redcoat slashed at him with a sword, giving him scars on his left hand and head, as well as an intense hatred for the British. While imprisoned, the brothers contracted smallpox. Robert died a few days after their mother secured their release. Jackson's entire immediate family died from war-related hardships which Jackson blamed on the British, and he was orphaned by age 14.
Jackson was the last U.S. President to have been a veteran of the American Revolution, and the second President to have been a prisoner of war (Washington was captured by the French in the French and Indian War).
In 1781, Jackson worked for a time in a saddle-maker's shop. Later he taught school and studied law in Salisbury, North Carolina. In 1787, he was admitted to the bar, and moved to Jonesboro, in what was then the Western District of North Carolina, and later became Tennessee.
Though his legal education was scanty, Jackson knew enough to practice law on the...