Hermitage service honors War of 1812 battle
Posted: Friday, January 20, 2012 9:19 am
The 197th anniversary to commemorate the Battle of New Orleans was held on Jan. 8 with a wreath service at the Hermitage.
The ceremony began at 2 p.m., with participants walking from the Hermitage to the tomb through paths of Rachel’s garden.
A prelude of music was given by Avery Bright.
The Tennessee Army National Guard Color Guard posted the colors.
The welcome was given by a regent of the Ladies’ Hermitage Association, Emily J. Reynolds. She spoke about the Hermitage beginning and how the ladies had saved the house and conducted repairs over the years.
The singing of the National Anthem was led by Katie Rogers. The invocation was given by Rev. Jim Moran from the Hermitage Presbyterian Church.
The speaker, Dale Phillips, superintendent of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, told about that cold, foggy morning at what has become known as the Chalmette Battlefield just below New Orleans, where the American victory was the final and pivotal battle of the War of 1812. It ended the controversial three-year war with Britain. General Jackson defeated a British invasion on American soil, even though his ragtag army was greatly outnumbered, forever marking Andrew Jackson as an American military hero and eventually opening the door to Jackson becoming President of the United States in 1828.
The Battle of New Orleans changed the course of American history, giving the young country a sense of civic pride and military power, and sent a country lawyer and Tennessee farmer to the White House.
Tennessee State President United States Daughters of 1812 spoke about the Daughters’ work and remarked that we have been coming to the Hermitage tomb since 1915. She asked president and CEO of the Hermitage to come forward. She presented letters from state president, Mrs. Rutledge Smith of Nashville, 1949-43, who secured a portrait of Rachel Jackson to be hung in the White House. She found out that all the President’s wifes’ portraits were displayed except Jackson’s. This was a feat Mrs. Smith was most proud of during her term. Reynolds also presented a $1,300 check from the Society to help refurbish an oil painting the Hermitage had just found dating back to the War of 1812. The audience was shown a copy of the painting.
Next was the Ceremonial Placement of Wreaths. A magnolia wreath was placed on Jackson’s grave by Emily Reynolds and Phillips. On Rachel Jackson’s grave Charlotte Reynolds and Aline Roberts placed a magnolia wreath.
“Taps” was played and the service ended.
21 daughters present had their picture made on the steps of the Hermitage Tomb. Next, the 1812 Daughters met in the business building for a brief meeting with Reynolds. Upcoming events were discussed. Roberts told that the TN Society U. S. D of 1812 will place a 1812 Historical Marker on Sept. 3 at Natchez Trace Parkway with more upcoming details later. This will be a full weekend of activities on 1812 events starting on Sept. 1.