Tennessee Society United States Daughters of 1812 were among the more than 3,000 people gathered at the Hermitage, home of General Andrew Jackson, Jan. 8 for the 198th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of New Orleans.
This battle took place Jan. 8, 1815, on a cold, foggy morning at Chalmette Battlefield just below New Orleans. This victory was the final and pivotal battle of the War of 1812, which ended the controversial three-year war with Britain. Defeating this British invasion with a ragtag army, which was greatly outnumbered, forever marked Andrew Jackson as an American military hero and opened the door to Jackson becoming president of the United States in 1828.
Festivities at the Hermitage included the ceremonial wreath-laying at the tomb of President Andrew Jackson, speakers, film, book signing, living history presentations and a scavenger hunt for the kids. Ceremonial wreath-laying was led by Charlotte Miller, state president of the U.S. Daughters of 1812, with laying of wreaths at the graves of both Andrew Jackson and Rachel Jackson.
The keynote speaker during the wreath-laying ceremony was Jon Meacham, a Tennessee Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Meachum’s remarks included his belief that Jackson “was the pivotal political figure between Jefferson and Lincoln” and that Jackson was “the most important and least-known figure from the middle of our history.” Meachum received the Pulitzer Prize for his biography American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.
A book signing was held afterwards in the museum gift store. Dr. Tom Kanon from the Tennessee State Library and Archives spoke on Jackson and the Natchez Expedition of 1813 later in the day. Dr. Kanon is the foremost authority on the War of 1812 in Tennessee.
The Upper Cumberland Chapter, U.S.D. 1812 was represented by Crossville members Barbara Comshaw and Charlotte Reynolds.