There are a couple of things that you might consider. While brick really isn't a product that it great at holding up weight, could it be that the bricks are hiding something that is supporting the weight of your house?
Is the brick real brick or is it a brick-looking surfacing product? This would sure make a difference on how hard you would work and what you would do to remove it.
When you are absolutely sure that you know the answers, and if there is a support issue, checked to see if a permit is required, THEN you MAY want to start with the sledge. finding out that you have done a lot more damage that you expected is not a good way to start out. Finding out that you did more work than you had to is almost as bad.