Charles Lundgren: U.S.S. Louisiana
Artist: Charles Lundgren
During the War of 1812, the U.S.S. Louisiana almost single-handedly saved her home port, New Orleans. Built as a merchant sloop for service on the Mississippi River, the Navy purchased the U.S.S. Louisiana in September, 1812, and immediately attached her to the New Orleans station. She remained unarmed for the first two years of the war. Then, in August 1814, she received her guns and fittings in anticipation of her role as Commodore Daniel T. Patterson's flagship. The heaviest and most powerfully armed ship in Patterson's flotilla, U.S.S. Louisiana served as a floating battery, stationed on the right bank of the Mississippi to cover any possible British attack by land or sea. By 23 December 1814, the British Army landed only nine miles below New Orleans, and Commodore Patterson ordered the U.S.S. Louisiana and U.S.S. Carolina to attack downriver in much needed support of General Jackson's troops. After disabling the U.S.S. Carolina, the British moved forward on the 28th, but U.S.S. Louisiana's heavy battery forced them back, firing nearly eight hundred rounds. Fighting alone, she dropped farther downriver on the 30th, and continued inflicting damage on the British Army. By sunset on 8 January 1815, the British retreated, thoroughly defeated and New Orleans saved. That evening, a grateful General Jackson paid tribute to the efforts of the U.S.S. Louisiana.
This painting originally appeared on the Fleetwood® Commemorative Cover for the U.S.S. Louisiana.
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