Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial Celebration
Thursday, January 8, 2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the final battle that won the War of 1812 – the Battle of New Orleans. To celebrate this monumental milestone, a host of local, national and state organizations are throwing a big commemoration at the site where it all occurred, the Chalmette Battlefield. Let’s take a look at the history of that fateful battle and the details of the events honoring it.
Battle of New Orleans History
Leading up to the great battle, the Royal Navy, commanded by Admiral Alexander Cochran and the British Army, commanded by General Edward Pakenham, were anchored at Lake Borgne where they were planning their next move to New Orleans. To get there, they would have to travel through the Rodriguez Canal. Little did they know, that is where Major General Andrew Jackson from the U.S. Army, along with 4,000 soldiers, volunteers, pirates – including Jean Lafitte – were waiting for them. Though the American militia was outnumbered by the British, they were able to defeat them after the series of events on January 8, when the British forgot ladders to cross the canal and General Andrew Jackson’s troops were able to launch an attack that would kill and injure many of the opposing commanders.
This great American victory forced the British to acknowledge the U.S.’s claims to the territory, which lead to the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent, ultimately ending the war. The Battle of new Orleans also marked Louisiana’s political incorporation into the Union.
Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial Events
To celebrate this important historical turning point, there will be reenactments, living history exhibits, tours and more presented by the National Park Service, the Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial Celebration Commission, and yours truly – the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen!
The Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve, part of the National Park Service, will be holding events from Wednesday, January 7 – Sunday, January 10 at the Chalmette Battlefield. Those will include a “Call to Arms” by General Andrew Jackson and Edward Livingston, a commemoration ceremony, self-guided tours, cannon and musket firings, field trip programs and a victory celebration.
The Paddlewheeler Creole Queen will offer special bicentennial celebration cruises from Thursday, January 8 to Saturday, January 10 with two cruises to the Chalmette battlefield each day. For those that want to spend the day at the battlefield for the full bicentennial celebration experience, they can depart on the morning cruise at 8:00 a.m. and return on the afternoon cruise departing from the battlefield at 4:15 p.m., or depart at 11:00 a.m. for the shorter option. These special cruises are ideal for school field trips, church groups, or leisure passengers!