The Search for the Lost Riverfront: Historical and Archeological Investigations at the Chalmette Battlefield, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Edited by: Ted Birkedal, National Park Service
With Contributions by: John Coverdale, Gary B. DeMarcay, Jerome Greene, Kenneth Holmquist, Larry Murphy, Michael Stanislawski, John R. Stein, Larry Trahan, and Jill-Karen Yakubik
This three-part report presents the results of historical and archeological investigations undertaken in 1984 by the National Park Service on behalf of the Corps of Engineers at the Chalmette Unit of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. These investigations, prompted by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, were conducted to assess the potential impacts of a levee setback project on significant cultural resources located along the Chalmette Unit's riverfront. Archeological investigations in 1983 had suggested that the National Park Service's long-standing reconstruction of the Battle of New Orleans' geography was in serious error. The southern third of the main battlefield, which had been once thought to have been lost to the Mississippi River's erosive forces, had apparently survived nearly intact to the landward of the river bank. The Corps of Engineers' purpose was to confirm these initial findings and obtain a better fix on the locations of significant battle features as well as civilian historical properties that might lie in the path of construction. With this new information in hand, the Corps understood it would be in a better position to avoid adverse impacts to significant cultural resources; and this indeed proved to be the case. Part I of the report covers the history of the Battle New Orleans with emphasis on the practical side of military operations. Part II examines the history of civilian land use along the riverfront over the last two centuries. Finally, Part III of the report presents the results of the archeological investigations and their integration with the findings from the historical research. In this last section, all the various lines of evidence are brought together and given scrutiny in order to produce a revised historical geography and archeological overview of the Chalmette Unit's river frontage.
Submitted To the Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District in Fulfillment of Cooperative Agreement No. LMNPD-84-17, "Archival Investigations at Chalmette Battlefield," 1983.
Last Updated: 28-Dec-2009