As a history teacher it is always exciting to visit places I talk about in my class. I got that opportunity recently on vacation when Karen and I visited the Chalmette Battlefield near New Orleans. The Chalmette Battlefield is a National Historical Site and a part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. It is a site made famous during the War of 1812 when it served as the last battle of that war when the British met General Andrew Jackson and local volunteers, including the pirate Jean Lafitte. The Americans defeated soundly the foes they faced that day. Ironically the battle should have never taken place since the Treaty of Ghent which ended the War of 1812, had been signed weeks earlier, but word had not yet reached the armies in the field.The visitor center at the Chalemette Battlefield will give you a chance to learn all about the War of 1812 and more specifically the Battle of New Orleans. There is a small exhibit area with some a variety of artifacts including weapons and uniforms including books, period music and other reproduction items from that era. The highlight of the area to us was the short video with an interactive light display that was pretty informative and well done.Outside of the visitor center is the Malus-Beauregard House which was not there at the time of the battle but actually built in 1830. It is an interesting piece of architecture and worth a quick stop before starting the short independent auto tour that goes around the site of the battle. On the auto tour there are several stops that explain troop movements and descriptions of what happened at the Battle of New Orleans.At the end of the auto tour is the Chalmette National Cemetery which is the final resting place of 15,000 American soldiers, veterans from the Spanish-American War, both World Wars among others. Four soldiers that fought in the War of 1812 are also buried there.If you are in New Orleans we highly recommend stopping by the Chalmette Battlefield and see an important piece of American history. It was the start of Andrew Jackson’s rise to fame and the last time America had to prove itself to Britain. Karen and I really enjoyed our visit to this historical site I enjoyed getting to walk in the footsteps of those that took part in the battle while Karen really enjoyed walking the around the 1st floor of the Malus-Beauregard House.Chalmette Battlefield
Located at 8606 West St. Bernard Highway, Chalmette
Hours of Operation: Open Daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. closed December 25 and Mardi Gras
Cost as of this Posting: Free
For more information on the Chalmette Battlefield go to their website at http://www.nps.gov/jela/chalmette-battlefield.htm
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