Tuesday, December 30, 2014

THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS: A MEANINGFUL VICTORY explores how the British misjudged their opponent and miscalculated the complexities of the battle ground. It also describes why the multi-cultural population of New Orleans and Louisiana proved the naysayers wrong about their loyalties to a young nation. WYES-TV/Channel 12 will air the hour-long documentary commemorating the 200 year old battle on Wednesday, January 7 at 8:00 p.m. 

The War of 1812 was not over, the treaty not ratified and the British not likely to retreat if victory had been theirs, which some argue could have been the case if the British had continued their successful assault on American defenses on the West Bank of the Mississippi River, across from the main battlefield in Chalmette on the East Bank.

Instead, the American triumph over the British built a sense of national pride and confidence the young nation had not yet experienced. It propelled America to its 19th century destiny as a burgeoning global presence.

Life in the city and areas south along the Mississippi River and Lake Borgne is also described. Historians interviewed are: Jason Weise, Associate Director, Williams Research Center and John Magill, Curator/Historian, both with the Historic New Orleans Collection;  Ron Chapman, Nunez Community College professor of history and author, Battle of New Orleans: But For a Piece of Wood; Ron Drez, historian, lecturer and author, The War of 1812, Conflict and Deception; William de Marigny Hyland, St. Bernard Parish historian; Joyce Miller, Museum Historian and Polly Rolman-Smith, Curator, Science and Technology, The Louisiana State Museum; Alvin Jackson, The Historic Treme Collection; Shelene Romillat, PhD, Battle of New Orleans researcher; G. Howard Hunter, President, The Louisiana Historical Society; Eberhard ‘Lo’ Faber, PhD, Visiting Professor, Loyola University New Orleans;  Emelie Leumas, PhD, Archivist, Archdiocese of New Orleans and Tim Pickles, owner, Historical Military Productions/Historical Consultant.

Interviews were conducted on-site at locations in existence during the time of the Battle of New Orleans including The Pitot House on Bayou St. John, Mary Plantation in Plaquemines Parish, Madame John’s Legacy and the Old Ursulines Convent, both in the New Orleans French Quarter and the Sun Oak Museum and Guest House in the Faubourg Marigny.  The Historic New Orleans Collection Williams Research Center, built in 1915, also provides an interview setting. Additional on-site taping was done at The Meraux Foundation’s ‘Docville’ in St. Bernard Parish, just a few miles down river from the January 8th British assault. 

But the featured location in the documentary is the Chalmette Battlefield in St. Bernard Parish, the actual site of the Battle of New Orleans, now part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve with the National Park Service.

The program is made possible by The Meraux Foundation and The Historic New Orleans Collection. 

THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS: A MEANINGFUL VICTORY repeats Thursday, January 8 at 7:00 p.m.; Friday, January 9 at 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, January 10 at 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, January 11 at 9:00 p.m.; Sunday, January 18 at noon; and Monday January 19 at 9:00 p.m.