Yesterday was a great day at The Hermitage. Erin Adams deserves special praise for pulling off a huge event, but all of the Hermitage staff did a great job in handling the logistics of the crowds and the cold temperatures.

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Gene Smith kicked off the day with his talk on the free black and slave contributions to the New Orleans campaign.

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Bill Brands gave the keynote talk at the traditional wreath-laying ceremony. (The ceremony took place at the tomb, but everything else, thankfully, was inside.)

 

 

After lunch, the U.S. Post Office unveiled a new stamp commemorating the Battle of New Orleans. We were also honored to have Judge Andrew Jackson VI present.

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The afternoon sessions included a panel of historians (Dan Feller, Don Hickey, Tom Kanon, and Gene Smith) who read contemporary accounts and reactions to the battle.

 

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Don Hickey concluded the day with his talk on the myths about the battle, which are many. (One that he didn’t include, but that I will, is Jackson’s alleged hatred of the British as his motivation at New Orleans. More on that at a later date.)

 

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In between sessions, we had the chance to talk to Andrew and Rachel Jackson (Dave McArdle and Melinda Gaines), as Dan Feller is doing here.

 

 

“The Hunters of Kentucky” was a popular song attached to Jackson during the 1820s (h/t Bil Kerrigan). It seems appropriate to end today’s commemoration with it.

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