A Travellerspoint blog

The Battle of New Orleans

Paddlewheel on the Mississippi

sunny 11 °C
View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda & 2004 Migrating by Mercedes on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

December 12 - second part - Riverboat Trip

I had thought that if the tour started at 9:30 (which it did not because we had to go and pay first, and our pickup wasn't the first one), that 2.5 hours would give us plenty of time to get to the Battlefield tour which was to be by paddlewheel boat starting at 2 p.m. But it was a 3 hour tour, and we did not get back to the hotel until almost 1. Boarding for the Battlefield Tour started at 1:30 and we still had to get down there. If I had had the ticket with me, we could have gotten off the city tour down at the waterfront, but I did not. I had to go back to the hotel and up to the room to get it. (Bob thought we'd been way over scheduled for the day, which we were, but it was necessary due to the coming cold snap.)

So we got off and got a couple of hamburgers at McDonalds (which is around the corner from the hotel) and then (since we just missed a streetcar) took a cab down to the waterfront.

There was no food or drink allowed on the boat, so I ate my hamburger quickly while sitting in the Plaza de Espana in the sun, and then we boarded the boat just a little after 1:30. They insisted on taking our pictures as we boarded and someone told us afterwards that was in case there was an accident so they could ID the bodies. Of course they also wanted an opportunity to sell us the pictures, but we did not buy them. I started taking photos as soon as I got on the boat. We left the dock at 2 p.m.
Plaza de Espana from the boat

Plaza de Espana from the boat


IMAX and Aquarium from Mississippi

IMAX and Aquarium from Mississippi


The paddlewheel boat was called the Creole Queen and the tour was $20 each. It is run by a diesel engine - the Natchez is run by a steam engine, but we didn't take that one.
Natchez Paddlewheeler

Natchez Paddlewheeler

Natchez at the dock

Natchez at the dock

large_525582772210481-From_the_Riv..ew_Orleans.jpgTugboat

Tugboat

2067689-St_Louis_Cathedral_New_Orleans.jpg St. Louis Cathedral

St. Louis Cathedral

Jackson Brewery from the water

Jackson Brewery from the water


Bridge

Bridge

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The captain told us about the things on the waterfront as we passed, and we could also have had lunch on board for another $7 each.
Deck of the Creole Queen

Deck of the Creole Queen

Clocktower on the other side of the levee

Clocktower on the other side of the levee

Riverside warehouse

Riverside warehouse

Tugs and Navy water tower

Tugs and Navy water tower

People on boat huddled together - skyline in back

People on boat huddled together - skyline in back

Lock area

Lock area


large_366682632128089-Mississippi_.._Chalmette.jpgTugs and smokestacks

Tugs and smokestacks


Holy Cross

Holy Cross


House along the levee

House along the levee


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Pier for Boat with Cormorants

Pier for Boat with Cormorants

We got to Chalmette which was the Battle of New Orleans site at about 2:30 - earlier than usual because we were going with the tide.
Walking along the levee from the boat

Walking along the levee from the boat

Malus-Beauregard House from the dock

Malus-Beauregard House from the dock


The Malus-Beauregard House (c.1833) was built eighteen years after the Battle of New Orleans, as a country residence. It was never associated with a plantation. It bears the name of the last private owner, Judge René Beauregard. I didn't go in because we didn't have time. There were plans to furnish the house and make more of it.
Bulletin Board at the Visitor's center

Bulletin Board at the Visitor's center


The following things are prohibited by the Park Service

  • Possession and/or use of metal detectors is strictly prohibited by Federal Law
  • The Batture is closed to all public use - no fishing / no swimming
  • Do not climb on the Cannons.
  • In order to respect the Park's Historic significance:

Ball Playing, Golfing, Kite Flying, Sunbathing, and other similar activities are prohibited. Washing or repairing vehicles or learning how to drive is not permitted on park property. Bicycle permitted on roadways only.

  • Damaging Plants And Animals Prohibited by Law

Monument from a distance

Monument from a distance


Monument

Monument


The cornerstone of this shaft honoring the American victory at New Orleans was laid in January 1840, within days after Andrew Jackson visited the field on the 25th anniversary of the battle. Not until 1855, however, did the State of Louisiana begin actual construction. The monument was completed in 1908, a year after it was ceded to the United States.
Looking up at a Live Oak

Looking up at a Live Oak


This tour is fairly cheap because the main talk is given by the park ranger and he gives it for free to anyone who happens to be there at 2:45. There's another one in the morning too. The talk was excellent. He explained that the battle was NOT unnecessary - that the Treaty of Ghent had been signed but would not go into effect until the Congress and Parliament had ratified it, so the orders to both Jackson and his opponent were to fight the battle. I supposed that if we had lost, parliament wouldn't have ratified it.

Executive Summary: The British thought (correctly) that if they captured New Orleans, they could seal off the Mississippi River, thereby destroying interior commerce. The Americans meanwhile remained almost oblivious to this threat. They sent Major General Andrew Jackson to quell the Indian disturbances. Although the PTB reassured Jackson that the British posed no threat to the south, Jackson gathered together troops and ammunition to defend New Orleans. He gathered men from the the states that stood to lose most from an invasion of the lower Mississippi. From Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, Jackson by late November garnered 10,000 militia. But he had a problem getting arms and ammunition for all of them. He also formed an alliance with the Baratarian privateers led by the redoubtable Jean Laffite. Laffite had his headquarters at Grand Terre Island at the entrance of Barataria Bay. From there he and his followers had managed a lucrative trade in smuggling. Having spurned a British offer promising reward for his intimate knowledge of the bayou country and for the services of his men and equipment, Laffite approached a dubious Jackson and succeeded in cementing a working relationship that would end further government action against the Baratarians and legally absolve them for past wrongs. "Mr. Lafitte [sic] solicited for himself and for all the Baratarians," wrote Lacarriere Latour, "the honour of serving under our banners, that they might have an opportunity of proving that if they had infringed the revenue laws, yet none was more ready than they to defend the country and combat its enemies. " The Baratarians brought to Jackson's forces knowledgeable, trained, and seasoned fighters, many of whom were skilled artillerists. Some formed units of their own under designated Baratarian leaders; others joined existing companies for service at Petite Coquilles, Fort St. Philip, and Fort St. John. They also furnished valuable munitions and war materiel.
picture in Visitor's Center

picture in Visitor's Center


The British landed their forces with great difficulty and instead of immediately marching down the road to the city, Keane decided to let his chilled command rest, thereby, according to most opinion, missing an opportunity to boldly strike New Orleans a devastating blow. The troops assumed a leisurely bivouac some 300 yards behind a four-foot high levee on the river approximately halfway between the plantation buildings of Villeré and those of LaCoste. At dusk, December 23, the opposing forces consisted as follows:
Americans
Regular Light Artillery 62
Seventh U.S. Infantry 460
Forty-fourth U. S. Infantry 335
Detachment U. S. Marines 66
Major Jean Baptiste Plauche's Battalion Louisiana Militia 289
Major Louis Daquin's Battalion of Free colored 212
Captain Pierre Jugeat's Company of Choctaws 52
Brigadier General John Coffee's Mounted Rifles 625
Captain Thomas Hinds's Mississippi Dragoons 118
Captain Thomas Beale's New Orleans Rifles 68

Total 2287

British
Fourth Regiment of Foot 916
Eighty-fifth Regiment of Light Infantry 797
Ninety-fifth Regiment (Rifle Corps) 717
Detachment Sappers and Miners 100
Detachment Rocket Brigade 80

Total 2610

As directed by Jackson Carolina and two subordinate gunboats opened the unusual nighttime engagement. The schooner carried ninety men, many of them Baratarians, and fourteen guns. Carolina reached a position opposite the British camp when at 7:30 p. m. Patterson opened his artillery, roaring forth one broadside of grape after another into the bivouacked command. The British responded with confusion. Jackson then followed up the maritime attack on land. Jackson's surprise attack dulled the British reflexes and inclined their leaders toward caution giving the Americans the necessary time to assume and consolidate a strong defensive position. Jackson had hoped to bloody the enemy and drive him into precipitate retreat, but in this he did not succeed. The assault nonetheless deluded General Keane and his subordinates into thinking that American troops and resources were far greater than they were.
Sign about the canal

Sign about the canal


"This depression is the trace of an early mill race that divided the Chalmette and Macarty plantations. By the time of the Battle of New Orleans, it was no longer in use and its banks had fallen in. Jackson's men build their mud rampart behind the canal. Partly filled with water, it added to the strength of the American Line. This is the only man-made feature dating back to the battle of January 8, 1815."

Jackson withdrew to Rodriguez Canal he positioned his army behind it in the following manner: the artillery occupied the road, supported by the contingent of marines; to their left were arranged, in respective order, the Seventh U. S. Infantry, Plauche's Battalion of New Orleans volunteers, Lacoste's command, Daquin's Battalion of Free Men of Color, the Forty-Fourth U.S. Infantry, and Carroll's division of Tennesseans.
Folks enjoying the battlefield

Folks enjoying the battlefield


Battlefield and rifles

Battlefield and rifles


To Carroll's left and running into the swamp along the canal were Coffee's men, 600 of whom were directed to reconnoiter the British right flank on horseback and attempt to bring back the horses lost the night before.
Historic bridge

Historic bridge


The British again attempted to take over the American position at Rodriguez Canal on January 8th
Smokestack across the fields

Smokestack across the fields


The British are Coming? No that's the wrong war. But this picture was taken looking in the direction of the British lines. The flat, marshy battleground in Chalmette hampered British efforts to march in European formation. Batteries 2 and 3

Batteries 2 and 3


On January 8, 1815, the guns positioned here fired at British counter batteries located almost 1/2 mile from here. During the battle, these guns caused heavy casualties as the British advanced along the levee road. The troops attacking to the right of this position numbered about 1200 men commanded by Colonel Robert Rennie of the 93rd Regiment. To the left were 355 men of Major Jean Baptiest Plauche's Battalion of Uniformed Companies and 282 members of Major Lacoste's Battalion of Free Men of Color. Located between here and Battery I were 440 men of the 7th Infantry

A song was written about this by Jimmy Driftwood
Preamble: December of 1814, British forces led by Sir. Edward Pakenham landed at the bottom of the Mississippi River. American General Andrew Jackson set up a defense in the nearby town Chalmette. January 8th 1815. British troops attacked loosing 2,036 out of more than 10,000 men. The Americans led by Jackson lost 71.

The Battle of New Orleans sung by Johnny Horton
In 1814 we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
And we caught the bloody British near the town of New Orleans

We looked down a river
And we see'd the British come
And there must have been a hundred of'em
Beatin' on the drums
They stepped so high
And they made their bugles ring
We stood beside our cotton bales
And didn't say a thing

Old Hickory said we could take 'em by surprise
If we didn't fire our muskets
'Till we looked 'em in the eye
We held our fire
'Till we see'd their faces well
Then we opened up our squirrel guns
And really gave 'em - well we

Refrain: Fired our guns and the British kept a-comin'
There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago
We fired once more and they begin to runnin'
On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

We fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down
So we grabbed an alligator and we fired another round
We filled his head with cannon balls, and powdered his behind
And when we touched the powder off the gator lost his mind

Refrain: Yeah, they ran through the briars
And they ran through the brambles
And they ran through the bushes
Where the rabbit couldn't go
They ran so fast
That the hounds couldn't catch 'em
On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

Malus-Beauregard House built after the battle

Malus-Beauregard House built after the battle


The boat blew the whistle that we had to be back aboard at 3:15 (he actually started whistling at 3:14) to leave at 3:20 because we'd be battling the current. So we only had about 45 minutes to visit. This is not a lot of time to explore all this site has to offer.
Freighter moored in the river

Freighter moored in the river


We saw a tug and barge going through the bascule bridge (like the Gilmerton RR bridge) to the locks,
Bridges and locks

Bridges and locks

Natchez underway

Natchez underway


Mississippi in the Area of Chalmette

Mississippi in the Area of Chalmette


Natchez ahead of us on the Mississippi

Natchez ahead of us on the Mississippi

Trade Center

Trade Center

large_2229451-New_Orleans_from_the_River_Chalmette.jpgCruise Ship Dock and bridge

Cruise Ship Dock and bridge


large_x100_3742.JPG
and the captain told us about the Chinese grain ship that ran into the Riverwalk shopping mall.
Riverwalk

Riverwalk

Area past Riverwalk

Area past Riverwalk


J. J. Audubon heads for the zoo

J. J. Audubon heads for the zoo


Tying up at the dock

Tying up at the dock

Lines to the boat

Lines to the boat

Boat Store

Boat Store


Paddlewheel of the Creole Queen

Paddlewheel of the Creole Queen


Plaza de Espana at dusk after we got back

Plaza de Espana at dusk after we got back


large_865361652210463-Plaza_de_Esp..ew_Orleans.jpgPlaza de Espana marker

Plaza de Espana marker


We got back a little before 4:30. Bob wanted to go see the free concert at the cathedral at 8 (they had them each night except Wednesday), and we had some time to kill. We went up to the top of the World Trade Center,
Christmas train garden in the World Trade Center

Christmas train garden in the World Trade Center


thinking we could have dinner, but they only had a bar up there and no restaurant.
Folks having a drink

Folks having a drink


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Bob standing beside the tracks

Bob standing beside the tracks

Tracks continue under a building

Tracks continue under a building


So we took the riverfront streetcar down to Jackson Square, and looked around for a place to have dinner. We went into the Cafe Matabla (or something like that - no receipt because we paid cash).
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The Muffuletta and the Roast Beef Po'Boy are the signature sandwiches in New Orleans.

This sandwich originated in 1906 at the Central Grocery. When you get one at the Central Grocery, you get in line and they make the muffuletta to take out and eat elsewhere. Mother's is also a place where muffuletta are sold. At Mother's is served Cafeteria Style and there are no reservations, so sometimes there is a line waiting to get in.

A mufaletta is on a round loaf of crusty Italian bread, split and filled with layers of sliced Provolone cheese, Genoa salami and Cappicola ham, topped with Olive Salad
The Olive Oil Salad (which includes Giardiniera - Italian pickled vegetables) is
3/4 C black brine cured olives, such as kalamatas
1/2 C green olives
1/4 C roasted red pepper sliced
1/4 C red onion sliced
3/4 C finely chopped celery, with leaves
1/3 C chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 Tsp Oregano
3 cloves garlic
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 - 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp tabasco sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Muffuletta on the Menu

Muffuletta on the Menu


I am not a fan of salami, so I got the vegetarian muffuletta at Cafe Maspero. A whole sandwich is enough to feed two people.
large_x100_3761.JPG
At that time I discovered I don't like green olives, or capers and they topped theirs with Swiss cheese, which is my least favorite cheese.
Vegetarian Muffulatta

Vegetarian Muffulatta


After that we were too tired to wait around for the concert, so we took the streetcar back to the hotel.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 10:59 Archived in USA

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