Thursday, December 14th, 2017 marked the 203rd anniversary of the Battle of Lake Borgne, the first military engagement in the British campaign for New Orleans culminating in the Battle of New Orleans, January 8th, 1815. A British amphibious force consisting of shallow-draft vessels with canons defeated the American naval force after very fierce, bloody, hand-to-hand combat. Despite the American loss, the engagement alerted American military forces that the British had arrived in Louisiana waters and that the British land invasion was imminent. Louisianans organized a successful defense of New Orleans which secured American ownership of the Mississippi Valley.
Former St. Bernard Historical Society president Anthony A. “Tony” Fernandez organizes the annual anniversary observance of the Battle of New Orleans. Pete Robin placed his beautiful yacht, the September Song at the disposal of the Society in 2017. “The Americans displayed unmatched courage in this important engagement,” said Tony Fernandez. Lt. Commander Bonnie M. Ellington, Bellechasse Naval Station, cast a wreath in Lake Borgne representing the United States Navy. “The courage displayed by the United States Navy was unsurpassed and contributed to ultimate victory in the Battle of New Orleans, a campaign which assured America’s westward expansion to the Pacific Ocean,” said Lt. Commander Ellington. William “Bill” Allerton, second president national of the Society of the War of 1812 cast a wreath in memory of William Canby, a United States Naval officer who lost his life in the Battle of Lake Borgne. Members of the Society of the War of 1812 must trace their ancestry to military veterans who served in the War of 1812. Parish President McInnis thanked the Historical Society, the Tourist Commission and all those who supported the commemorative event.
The St. Bernard Parish Tourist Commission and Tourist Department support the anniversary annually. “It is so very important to remember our history and the sacrifices of American armed forces throughout our history,” said Katie Tommaseo, St. Bernard Parish Office of Tourism director.
Parish officials joined the Historical Society December 16th in observing the Battle of Lake Borgne anniversary. Those present included Parish President McInnis, Assessor Jaylin Bergeron Turner, St. Bernard Parish Tourist Commission president Gary Huettmann and commission member and Historical Society President Lena Torres Nunez and tourist commission member Alvin Jones and Parish Historian William de Marigny Hyland. Photos by Lenor Duplessis. To view more photos visit www.facebook.com/StBGov.