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From left, Charlotte Reynolds, state president USD 1812, presents a check to, from left, Howard Kittell, president and CEO of The Hermitage as Emily Reynolds, regent of Ladies' Hermitage Association, Debby P. Koch, vice regent of Ladies' Hermitage Association, and Aline Roberts, second vice president of National USD 1812, look on.

The 197th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of New Orleans was recently held at The Hermitage, home of General Andrew Jackson. Speaker for the event was Dale Phillips, former superintendent of Chalmette Battlefield National Historic Site in New Orleans.

The battle, taking place on a cold, foggy morning, occurred at Chalmette Battlefield just below New Orleans ending a three-year war with Britain. Phillips spoke on the importance of the Battle of New Orleans despite the fact that the Treaty of Ghent had already been signed.

He stated, “The concept of American independence was not secure until the last shots were fired at the Battle of New Orleans.”

Many historians believe that the Battle of New Orleans changed the course of American history, giving the young country a sense of civic pride and military power and sent a country lawyer and Tennessee farmer to the White House.

State President of United States Daughters of 1812 Charlotte Reynolds of Crossville presented a check to Howard Kittell, president and CEO of The Hermitage, on behalf of the Tennessee society. This check will be used in procuring a woodblock print of “The Battle of New Orleans.” This rare find is believed to have been made shortly after the battle.

Also presented to The Hermitage were copies of letters from the 1940s when Mrs. Rutledge Smith was Tennessee president, USD 1812. Smith’s project during her tenure as state president was to obtain an official portrait of Rachel Jackson for the White House. The letters give the history of this project as Smith and the Tennessee Society USD 1812 worked with then Governor Prentice Cooper and the Tennessee Legislature to obtain the portrait by renowned artist Howard Chandler Christy.

Following the presentations, Phillips and Emily Reynolds, regent of the Ladies’ Hermitage Association laid a wreath at the gravesite of Jackson. A wreath was then laid at the gravesite of Rachel Jackson, by Reynolds and Aline Roberts, second vice president, National USD 1812.

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