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British Memorial New Orleans?

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British Memorial New Orleans?

Postby Josh&Historyland » July 23rd, 2013, 12:07 pm

Does anyone know if there is a British Memorial at New Orleans?

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Re: British Memorial New Orleans?

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » July 23rd, 2013, 7:42 pm

There's a Napoleon Avenue in New Orleans!

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Re: British Memorial New Orleans?

Postby Josh&Historyland » July 23rd, 2013, 7:57 pm

FBC-Elvas, Portugal wrote:There's a Napoleon Avenue in New Orleans!

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That makes sense. I've never heard of a British memorial on the battlefield so I was just curious. I don't think there's one at Yorktown, and there's no Mexican one at the Alamo, but there are allot of Confederate monuments on the civil war battlefields, so I wanted to ask. I guess the Americans aren't to fond of memorialising invaders, then again who is?

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Re: British Memorial New Orleans?

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » July 24th, 2013, 9:12 am

Even on the Civil War battlefields, the monuments were erected by a state or individuals. Until that most uncivil war, as my father called it, America referred to itself as the United States are not is. It was very difficult for President Madison to persuade the militias of states that didn't border Washington to help defend the nation's capital in 1814. There would have been no federal support for or interest beyond New Orleans in a monument there of any sort.

The legal system of New Orleans - and Louisiana - is based on the Napoleonic code. All other states adhere to the English code.

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Re: British Memorial New Orleans?

Postby Josh&Historyland » July 24th, 2013, 11:16 am

FBC-Elvas, Portugal wrote:Even on the Civil War battlefields, the monuments were erected by a state or individuals. Until that most uncivil war, as my father called it, America referred to itself as the United States are not is. It was very difficult for President Madison to persuade the militias of states that didn't border Washington to help defend the nation's capital in 1814. There would have been no federal support for or interest beyond New Orleans in a monument there of any sort.

The legal system of New Orleans - and Louisiana - is based on the Napoleonic code. All other states adhere to the English code.

Sarah


Yes very true. Is suppose Britian would have to be interested in putting one there, which is perfectly logical, the Americans did win after all.

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Re: British Memorial New Orleans?

Postby jf42 » July 24th, 2013, 2:37 pm

I saw no memorial to British dead at Yorktown, nor I suspect are there any at other battlefield sites from the AWI period. Very few of the battle sites are preserved to the same degree as at Yorktown (which, like Waterloo, has especial symbolism as the last major action of the war); of those that haven't been built on already, some are presently under threat from development.

The area where the battle of Monmouth Courthouse (New Jersey) was fought in July 1778 remains open farmland. The grave of Lieutenant Colonel Monkton, 45th Regt, who fell mortally wounded at the head of the 2nd Grenadier Battalion at the climax of the battle, lies in Old Tennent Churchyard near the American field hospital where he was taken. The memorial stone, provided by a man apparently of Loyalist sympathies, reads: "Lt. Col. Henry Monckton who on the plains of Monmouth 28 June 1778 sealed with his life his duty and devotion to his king and country. This memorial erected by Samuel Fryer whose father a subject of Great Britain sleeps in an unknown grave."

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Another relic of the Philadelphia campaign is this monument to an unknown soldier of the 52nd who died at Germantown. now part of Philadelphia, on October 4th 1777. He was probably from the Light coy attached to 2nd Light infantry battalion, which bore the first brunt of the American attack led by Pennsylvanians seeking revenge for Major General 'No Flint' Grey's night attack near Paoli Tavern a fortnight before. After his remains were discovered in 1985, identified by his regimental buttons, he was re-interred with honours in the British military plot in Philadaelphia where a CWGC Cross of Sacrifice was erected in 1929. An American Veterans guard provided a firing party.

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At the Paoli battle site itself, a rare sanctuary of bucolic quiet bought by a charitable trust, a memorial erected in 1877 on the centenary of the action marks the burial site of the 53 recorded American dead. It reads:

"Sacred to the memory of the patriots who on this spot fell a sacrifice to British barbarity during the struggle for American Independence on the night of the 20th September 1777.
The atrocious massacre which this stone commemorates was perpetrated by British troops under the immediate command of Major General Grey.
Copied from the memorial stone formerly standing here which was erected by the Republican Artillerists and other citizens of Chester County September 20, 1817:
Here repose the remains of fifty three American soldiers who were victims of cold blooded cruelty in the well known massacre at Paoli while under the command of Genl. Anthony Wayne an officer whose military conduct, bravery and humanity are equally conspicuous throughout the Revolutionary War."

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Although the British won most of the general actions of the war, since their efforts to bring the colonists to heel failed, the memory of the British war dead suffers from the maxim that history is written by the victors and that, until the era of the citizen soldier, no country wished to commemorate defeat: no battle honours were ever claimed for the American War of Independence.

The same presumably applies for those British dead of 1812-14 who were interred on American soil. Vae victis

As we have discussed before, in this period, and indeed long afterwards, the bodies of common soldiers and most officers of the losing side were buried anonymously and it seems the tradition of commemorative stones being erected subsequently dates from the Napoleonic period.

In September 2007 there was a ceremony of commemoration at a small suburban churchyard outside Philadelphia to mark what are believed to be the graves of the three British soldiers killed at Paoli Tavern: Captain William Wolfe of the 40th Foot's Light Company, an unknown sergeant, and Private Daniel Robertson of the 49th Foot's Light Company. Three unknown Americans, perhap prisoners of war who died of their wounds, are believed to be buried there also). The ceremony was attended by American re-enactors representing Colonial and British soldiers and a representative from the Royal Berkshire Regt Association (descendants of the 49th and 66th, now 1st Bn, The Rifles). The burial service from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer was read, a pibroch played and soil from the Regimental Museum garden was scattered over the grave sites.

This seems to me to have been a fitting way for the two nations to commemorate the casualties of their brief but bloody episodes of disagreement. Perhaps something like that might be arranged at sites like New Orleans but I think, as with the Paoli graves, the invitation would probably have to come from the American side. And, unfortunately perhaps, it might need some bodies. I believe the Chalmette National Cemetery currently holds American burials from the Civil War period onwards.
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Re: British Memorial New Orleans?

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » July 24th, 2013, 2:58 pm

Thank you for this detailed information and the photos.

Another reason why there are few pre-CW war memorials in America is that most Americans today are descended from post-CW immigrants who left Europe in particular to put war behind them.

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Re: British Memorial New Orleans?

Postby Josh&Historyland » July 24th, 2013, 3:17 pm

War written by the victors, so too monuments are usually erected by them. A case in point is the Paoli one, which is full of American anti British propaganda. I had a feeling there wasn't many British memorials. Thanks.

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