Jean Lafitte Park’s Chalmette Battlefield was the second (and last) stop on our super busy day through New Orleans. When we visited The Historic New Orleans Collection in the French Quarter (where they were celebrating Andrew Jackson’s 200 year old victory), they suggested seeing the diminutive size of the battlefield where it all happened. Two thousand “Redcoats” fell after only two hours of fighting against the celebrated General. The slain Americans only numbered 20! They told us how this very battle created a feeling of unity between neighbor colonies. How this battle really created “Americans.” Sadly, I suppose I wasn’t paying attention during the War of 1812 lessons as a school girl. I hope stops like these leave better impressions on my fellas.
First off, the field is amazingly small compared to the many battlefields I’ve seen. (I had a Civil War buff father, I’ve been to Antietam, Chickamauga, and the list goes on.) Secondly, it’s crammed between oil refineries which gives it a crazy feel. Thirdly, behind the reconstructed plantation home (owned by a free slave…. who had slaves…) is a busy waterway full of barges, huge ships, and ferries. All kept our attention for the hour and a half before closing.
The huge tree in the first photo must have been growing when the war was going on. I just couldn’t believe the size of this Live Oak. I get a real kick out of the sphagnum moss as well. Anyhow, this stop was short, but fun and informative.