Visit Chalmette Battlefield and Learn About the Battle of New Orleans
The War of 1812 is underrated for sure, but no doubt it’s most famous battle was the Battle of New Orleans which occurred at Chalmette Battlefield in what is now Jean Lafitte National Historical Park in New Orleans. We featured Chalmette in our New Orleans episode in season two, and it’s a great way to acclimated to what some call “America’s second war for independence.”
The Battle of New Orleans
The commander of the US forces at New Orleans was future 7th President Andrew Jackson. He used a ragtag bunch of soldiers including Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi militia, 3 ships, along with 462 free black men, 52 Choctaw warriors, and a pirate (Jean Lafitte). It was like the Village People of military units.
Fun fact: The battle was fought after the peace Treaty of Ghent had been agreed upon. There was no 24 hour news cycle back then.
After hearing about a British encampment the night of December 23, 1814, President Jackson exclaimed,
“By the Eternal they [the Brits] shall not sleep on our soil.” – Andrew Jackson
11,000 British troops squared off against 4,732 US troops in a battle royale with cheese (fromage). The US won the battle, and it is widely seen as the greatest American land victory of the war. The victory saved the city of New Orleans, and the city embraced Jackson as their hero.
What’s to do at Chalmette Battlefield?
You can see the positions of the armies at Chalmette Battlefield and visit a nearby plantation home. There’s monuments to the battle, interactive exhibits, and movies in the museum, plus ranger discussions.
Visit the park website for more information and scheduled ranger talks.
Admission is free.