On Jan. 8, 1815, Chalmette, just a few minutes away from New Orleans proper, was the site of one of the most important American military events — the Battle of New Orleans, the final battle of the disastrous War of 1812 (sure, the war was technically over at that point; it ended two weeks prior with the Treaty of Ghent. But word was slow to travel in those days.). This year marks the bicentennial commemoration of the battle, and The Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial Commission has organized several events to celebrate this important anniversary. (Before you check out these events, be sure to read up on the Battle of New Orleans: learn about six myths surrounding the battle and read about Ed Pakenham, commander of the British Army at New Orleans)
Events Commemorating the Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel hosts the opening event, General Pakenham’s Final Supper, a five-course dinner accompanied by living history actors, including General Pakenham himself. Guests are welcome to dress in period attire, as well.
The day’s events begin with a memorial service for Jordon Noble, an African American enlisted soldier and drummer of the 7th U.S. Infantry. After the Battle of New Orleans, Noble stayed in New Orleans became a legend in his Treme neighborhood. Later that day, Jackson Square is the site of a reenactment of “A Call to Arms,” the historic address by General Andrew Jackson’s aide-de-camp, Edward Livingston, to rally the troops in defense of New Orleans.
From Jan. 9-11, the Chalmette Battlefield hosts battle reenactments (click here for times and other information). The United States Daughters of 1812 hosts another wreath laying ceremony at the De La Ronde ruins, what remains of the plantation home that was used as British headquarters during the battle. Also that day, Nunez Community College in Chalmette hosts a symposium on the Battle of New Orleans, and there is a Rosary procession to the De La Ronde Oak Grove led by Archibishop Gregory Aymond that’s followed by a mass at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church.
The Old U.S. Mint hosts a Battle of New Orleans symposium featuring keynote speaker Alan Taylor, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 10. On Jan. 11, the exhibition “From ‘Dirty Shirts’ to Buccaneers: The Battle of New Orleans in American Culture” opens at the Cabildo. There is another BONO symposium hosted by the Historic New Orleans Collection, “Forgotten Conflicts: Indians, Andrew Jackson, and the War of 1812 in the South,” at Hotel Monteleone on Jan. 23-24.