Louisiana Institute of Higher Education
General Andrew Jackson and his band of patriots struggled valiantly to defend the city of New Orleans in a series of battles. It began with the night battle of December 23rd and continued into the early morning hours of January 8th. On that date, he achieved a splendid victory on a sugarcane field in Chalmette. However, when he cast his eyes across the river to the Westbank, the mood changed. Exaltation turned to fear and anger as he witnessed the collapse of his defenses there. Despite all his efforts to defeat the British attempts to take New Orleans, it appeared “all was lost” on the Westbank as Colonel William Thornton advanced toward Algiers Point and easy access to the city from that direction. Events that unfolded on the Westbank would determine the victor of the Battle of New Orleans as well as the future course of American history.
Ron Chapman serves as Professor of History at Nunez Community College in Chalmette, Louisiana. The college is located near the actual site of the Battle of New Orleans. Professor Chapman recently received the Preservation Award for 2011-2012 from the Louisiana Colonials, the Nunez Community College Excellence in Teaching Award for 2004 and the Meraux Endowed Professorship (2009). He has also received numerous community service and academic honors over the years including nine awards from the Louisiana Press Association for “Best Regular Column” for the St. Bernard Voice, the local community’s official journal for which he was written for over twenty-eight years.
He has composed articles in Louisiana Life Magazine : “Fazendeville”, the story of a lost African/ American community (2004) and “How Louisiana Became a State” (2012) as well as a publication in New Orleans Magazine : “A Queen Falls” the story of the fall of New Orleans in the Civil War (2012). He has also written for numerous other publications and organizations. In addition, he regularly delivers lectures to a variety of associations including the Nix Library’s Bicentennial Lecture Series and the Nunez Community College History Lecture Series, The Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of the War of 1812, The Roundtable Club, and the Louisiana Colonials. In addition to his regular classes, Mr. Chapman has made presentations before Regional and National Conventions of the Community College Humanities Association and the Southwest Historical Society.
Professor Chapman possesses a special love for the rich history of Louisiana. Undoubtedly, Louisiana’s story is one of the most unique state histories in the Union. As he tells his students at the opening of his Louisiana History class… “This is not Kansas, Dorothy!” His story of the Battle of New Orleans reflects this unique flavor of local history.