Battle of New Orleans exhibit ending
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With the 201st anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans approaching, so is the end of an exhibit that includes the dark blue uniform coat that Andrew Jackson wore during the battle.
The exhibit at the Cabildo is called “From ‘Dirty Shirts’ to Buccaneers: The Battle of New Orleans in American Culture. It’s running until Jan. 10, 2016.
After that, the coat and an 1817 portrait of Jackson wearing it will return to Washington. The coat is on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the portrait was loaned by the National Portrait Gallery, according to a news release from the Louisiana State Museum.
Jackson’s coat has been in Washington since his death in 1845. The New Orleans loan is the first time it’s been outside Washington since the early 1880s.
The battle in Chalmette, from Jan. 8-18, 1815, kept the British from taking New Orleans. A treaty ending the War of 1812 had been signed in Europe but was not ratified by the United States until February.
Jan. 8 was “an official national holiday ranking just behind the Fourth of July in displays of fireworks and patriotic fervor” for most of the 19th century, according to the news release.
The exhibit includes two other rare military coats from the Louisiana State Museum, and several artifacts from the battle, including a 3-ton cannon, a sword engraved “Gen. Villere 1814”; a British officer’s sword; a saber and scabbard; a rifle and bayonet; and a bugle used by the British.
The exhibit looks at the battle’s impact on history and popular culture, and how the American forces’ cultural diversity helped expand definitions of what it meant to be American then and now.