(Photo courtesy of The Hermitage)
NASHVILLE – The Hermitage will commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the War of 1812 on Jan. 8 with a full slate of activities commemorating President Andrew Jackson's role during the Battle of New Orleans.
At the time, Jackson served as a general in the U.S. Army, and this year marks the 197th anniversary of his victory at the Battle of New Orleans.
“It is my firm belief that another commander would not have succeeded in defeating the British,” said Dale Phillips, former superintendent of the Chalmette Battlefield National Historic Park. “Jackson was definitely the right man in the right place at the right time.”
The annual ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. with the Tennessee Army National Guard Color Guard at the tomb of Jackson.
The Hermitage will open at 9 a.m. to begin the celebratory event, which is free and open to the public.
Special additions to this year’s commemoration will include a new “Past-port” Hermitage Scavenger Hunt for children. Visiting multiple activity stations, this educational adventure will take youth audiences on a fun-filled tour of The Hermitage property.
Each child who completes the activity will take home a special prize from The Hermitage museum store. In addition, there will be period costumed interpreters on the grounds available to answer questions and a presentation from the Director of Education James Yasko summarizing the War of 1812.
At 3:30 p.m., Phillips will present a lecture entitled “The Battle of New Orleans, One of History’s Most Important Forgotten Battles.”
“My purpose will be to show how the American victory at New Orleans did play a critical role in both American and world history,” Phillips said. “I will discuss how, if the British had been victorious, our country might be very different than it is today. I will attempt to show that the concept of American independence that was created in Philadelphia in 1776 was not secured until the last shots had been fired on the sugar field of the Chalmette Plantation in 1815.”
The Hermitage is one of the largest and most visited presidential homes in the United States. In 1856, the state of Tennessee purchased the property from the Jackson family, entrusting it to the Ladies’ Hermitage Association in 1889 to operate as one of America’s first historic site museums. Today, The Hermitage is a 1,120-acre National Historic Landmark with more than 30 historic buildings, including restored slave cabins.
For more information about The Hermitage, visit thehermitage.com.