The visitor center at Chalmette Battlefield will host a traveling exhibit of Charles Young and the Buffalo Soldiers Friday, April 14, through Friday, April 28, in honor of National Park Week https://www.nps.gov/findapark/national-park-week.htm. The battlefield, site of the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, is one of six sites of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve and is located at 8606 West St. Bernard Highway in Chalmette. Admission to the site and to the exhibit is free; both are open daily 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. More information is available at 504-281-0510 or at www.nps.gov/jela.
After the Civil War, Congress passed legislation that created African American regiments, including the 10th Cavalry Regiment, the first troop known as Buffalo Soldiers, and the 9th Cavalry Regiment, organized in New Orleans. Both regiments served during the wars with western Indian nations and during the Spanish-American War. The Buffalo Soldiers established and guarded telegraph lines, roads, forts, and other infrastructure in the West. They also served as guardians of several national parks, mapped Arizona and New Mexico, and biked the rugged western terrain as part of an experiment in the practicality of bikes vs. horses http://www.historynet.com/the-buffalo-soldiers-who-rode-bikes.htm. Over 95 Buffalo Soldiers are buried at Chalmette National Cemetery adjacent to Chalmette Battlefield.
The exhibit chronicles the Buffalo Soldiers and the life of Colonel Charles Young, the first African American superintendent of a national park https://www.nps.gov/seki/learn/historyculture/young.htm, through images, letters, and other documents on display banners loaned by Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce, Ohio. https://www.nps.gov/chyo/learn/photosmultimedia/traveling-banner-exhibition.htm. Visitors may also view a first edition print of the famous 1899 lithograph, 24th and 25th Colored Infantry, July 2nd 1898, depicting the Battle of San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War. A park ranger will be on hand Sunday, April 16, through Tuesday, April 18, to answer questions and share Buffalo Soldier history.
Chalmette Battlefield and adjoining Chalmette National Cemetery are managed by the National Park Service as part of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Admission to the site and to most programs is free. The battlefield and adjoining national cemetery grounds are open as follows: visitor center and entrance gates open daily, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. On federal holidays other than Memorial Day and Veterans Day, the visitor center is closed and entrance gates are open 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Visitor center and entrance gates are closed on Mardi Gras.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 400+ national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.