When Eldgridge Cager was growing up in Fazendeville in the 1950s, he and his friends would look for cannonballs, broken muskets and swords on the other side of the Mississippi River levee — just a few blocks from his house in the all-black community. They’d bring the rusty treasures to “Old Man” Linch, the Park Superintendent of the Chalmette Monument, a tall white obelisk towering over the cow pasture across from Fazendeville.
Celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans are on tap for next week.
New historical research is revealing how pivotal the victory was.
A big discovery has come from British records. A researcher recently went to London and found a set of secret orders given to General Edward Pakenham, the commander of the British invasion of the Gulf Coast.
The orders directed him to fight on and capture New Orleans regardless of any peace deal with the Americans.