Visions of The Battlefield Oak. St Bernard Parish, Louisiana
Amidst a flat quiet field in St. Bernard Parish just 15 minutes east of New Orleans, Louisiana lies a solitary oak tree. Here is the site of the January 8, 1815, Battle of New Orleans: Chalmette Battlefield. Many people believe that this last great battle of the War of 1812 between the United States and Britain was unnecessary, since the treaty ending the war was signed in late 1814, but the war was not over. The resounding American victory at the Battle of New Orleans soon became a symbol of a new idea: American democracy triumphing over the old European ideas of aristocracy and entitlement. General Andrew Jackson's hastily assembled army had won the day against a battle-hardened and numerically superior British force. Americans took great pride in the victory and for decades celebrated January 8 as a national holiday, just like the Fourth of July.
Every week at sunrise and sunset I have been driving out to this site and documenting the tree as it sits solitary amidst a changing landscape of colors and fog. For me this relationship symbolizes the ebb and flow of time and progress as the seasons move over the ancient tree. Mankind's unending creative spirit, the tree, and times relentless progression, the seasons.