A Call to Arms

Reliving the Battle of New Orleans

Chalmette takes center stage this week as Jan. 8, 2015 marks the Bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans. Re-enactors from the Louisiana Living History Foundation will be out in full force at multiple locations, taking spectators back in time to a series of events and battles that set the course of New Orleans.

As crowds descend on Chalmette – spectators have the opportunity to explore two battlefields with different offerings and renditions of what life was like in 1815 for both the American and British armies and civilians.

Located in Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Chalmette Battlefield will have re-enactors demonstrating day-to-day life with cannon and musket firings, and military drills, but no actual skirmishes and battle reenactments. That is being saved for the LLHF battlefield at 8207 Patricia Street Chalmette.

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LLHF – a foundation that brings awareness to the history of Louisiana by presenting live shows, recreations, documentary films and exhibitions – was forced to take the recreation of the actual battles off-site by a federal law which prohibits battle recreations and skirmishes taking place in national parks in which the central battlefield lies, as it is considered sacred ground.

Not wanting to forgo the opportunity to re-enact the Battle of New Orleans, LLHF looked elsewhere to commemorate the historical battles. Meraux Foundation leased their land to LLHF, a 62-acre site down river side of the British Camp of 1815, the site of part of the night battle of the 23rd of December.

Dressed in military garb of the American and British armies, LLHF will recreate the Battle of New Orleans, exactly how it was played out in 1815.

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At either location, from Thursday, Jan. 8 to Sunday, Jan. 11, spectators can immerse themselves in the period by viewing the series of battles or through participating in the extensive line-up of activities focused around period music, dance, campfires and lessons in essential skills that were necessary to survive in those days.

For those wanting an experience closer to the French Quarter, re-enactors will be at the Call to Arms at Jackson Square on Wednesday Jan. 7, where Andrew Jackson’s original speech will be given in English and French. 

Alternatively, symposiums, wreath laying ceremonies, memorial church services, second-line parade and fireworks will be taking place throughout this week and over the weekend.  Click here for a detailed schedule of all events. 

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