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