The Recognizing Our Roots program here at the Chalmette battlefield under the Jean Lafitte NP&P had their first live action practice demonstration for the upcoming celebration of the 202nd anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. As we all should remember, the Battle of New Orleans was the important and fairly one-sided final battle of the War of 1812. It was here that the ever famous Andrew Jackson rallied troops from all corners of diversity- Tennesseans, Kentuckians, Choctaw Indians, Islenos, Spanish, French, Free People of Color, and Jean Lafitte and his band of criminals- to oppose the British force that outnumbered them 3 to 1. Here, over 200 years later, volunteers form the Chalmette High JROTC program, Oklahoma Choctaw nation, local enthusiasts, snd park rangers donate their time to learn the history behind the land.
These young adults have come out to the park to learn about the Battle of New Orleans and how to portray personalities from so long ago. On the weekend of January 8th, reenactors will come together and show visitors the weaponry, clothing, cooking, and living of the people during that time. As a long term mentor for the program, I have watched many young people come through the program and blossom as time moves. The skills that are required for such an event to take place persuade confidence and creativity to shine from the volunteers. As the day moves on, the volunteers hone their interpreting skills and interact with the public. Yesterday marked the first practice of this celebration, and now they’re hooked! Can’t wait for the next living history outing!