The Natchez Trace was an important road that connected Nashville with Natchez on the Mississippi River. It was over this pathway that many people from western areas of settled regions worked their way to new homes in the South. The Trace was a connection of old Indian trails that were used and improved upon by Spanish, French, English and American travelers. In 1800, Congress designated the route as a post road and it proved important to the military for rapid troop movement. Andrew Jackson marched his forces to the Battle of New Orleans (1815) over the Natchez Trace. The advent of the steamboat in the 1830s sharply reduced the route's importance.