pays tribute to 1812 militia
among beauty at Standing Stone State Park
Unemployment rate lowers in Overton
pays tribute to 1812 militia
photo courtesy of the McLeod family
While placing flags at graves in Chalmette National Cemetery
in New Orleans, Mac McLeod pauses at the grave of an unknown Tennessee
volunteer who fought in War of 1812 Battle of New Orleans.
By MAC McLEOD
In the process of becoming the most powerful nation on earth, Americans
have been asked to make the ultimate sacrifice on battlefields around
the globe. From the opening shots of the Revolutionary War in Lexington,
MA, to the streets of Baghdad, Iraq, this nation's men and women
have answered the call to preserve freedom and eliminate oppression.
On Memorial Day, this nation pauses to give thanks
and honor those who paid the supreme sacrifice. That's what Memorial
Day is all about. Not sales, picnics, car races, trips to the beach
and mountains, and a day off from work. It's a day of somber remembrance
of what we have and how it was paid for.
Memorial Day has always been special for me. As a
Boy Scout, I placed flags at our local courthouse on Memorial Day
and learned at a young age just what the day was all about. As a
Vietnam veteran, I consider myself lucky to live in such a great
land and having survived a war. I truly am grateful for those whom
And this year it meant even a little more. I have
a good friend in New Orleans who called last week inviting me to
help place flags on the 16,500 graves at Chalmette National Cemetery.
My friend knows my love of American history and he knew the cemetery
was on the ground where one of our country's most important battles
Not many people think of the War of 1812. It was one
of those wars that got misplaced between the Revolution and the
Civil War, yet it was the War of 1812 that brought respectability
to a young nation.
When the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, the British
never considered they had lost. They simply believed they just grew
tired of fighting and would resume it at a later date. In the meantime,
Napoleon had marched his French armies all across Europe, and England
had to shift its attention to defeating him more than fighting another
war in America.
To finance his war in Europe, Napoleon sold his possessions
in the New World to the upstart United States. For less than 2 cents
an acre, President Thomas Jefferson purchased the entire Louisiana
Territory, which included the city of New Orleans.
England, on the other hand, started capturing American
sailors to aid in its war effort. To put a stop to the imprisonment
of sailors, President James Madison asked for and received from
Congress, a declaration of war.
The country was ill prepared to take on the British
Empire a second time, but now the dye had been cast. The British
invaded America, captured the Capitol and burned it, and was well
on the way to almost retaking this young nation.
By taking New Orleans, England could control the mouth
of the Mississippi River and interior of the country. The upcoming
battle could well spell the future of the United States.
To the rescue came Tennessee's own Andrew Jackson
and an army of some 5,000, mostly militia and volunteers, many from
Kentucky and Tennessee. Facing Jackson on the other side of the
battlefield was Major General Sir Edward M. Pakenham and10,000 seasoned
British troops, many who had just defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.
Six miles south of New Orleans on January 8, 1815,
the battle was engaged. In actuality though, a peace treaty had
been signed in France ending hostilities between the two nations
back in December, but in a time when news travelled only as fast
as a horse, or in this case, a ship, word did not reach the battlefield
before the fight.
On that morning, Pakenham opened the battle by sending
5,400 of his smartly dressed and well-trained troops across the
open plantation field for Jackson's rag tag collection of armed
men well dug in behind earthen entrenchments. When the British were
close enough, the Americans opened fire. The first volley ripped
huge holes in the British lines. In an attempt to cross Jackson's
lines, Pakenham then sent another portion of his army parallel to
the American defenses, and they too were ripped to shreds by deadly
In less than 30 minutes, more than 2,000 British soldiers
lay dead, wounded, or missing. On the American side of the line,
6 were dead and 7 were wounded. It was perhaps the most one-sided
victory in the annals of warfare.
The British retreated from the field and never again
attempted to retake the former colonies. And the rest of the world
took note that the United States was a country that would no longer
be intimidated. The battle perhaps marked the second rung on the
ladder to world leadership. The Battle of New Orleans has to rank
near the top of important events in this country's history.
Chalmette National Cemetery, located on the battlefield
where the British would have camped, was created during the Civil
War. Graves at the cemetery contain remains of soldiers from all
of this country's wars, including 4 from the War of 1812. Three
of those graves contain remains of soldiers from that conflict,
but none fought in the battle.
One, and only one, contains the remains of a soldier
from the battle, and he is an unknown. What is known of him though
is he was from Tennessee and he died on his way home from the battle
and was taken back and buried there.
Memorial Day is a special day for this country. It's
a time to pause and rededicate ourselves to the principles for which
all these brave people believed in so deeply that they were willing
to give their most valuable possession - their lives - to preserve.
Memorial Day should be every day for every American.
among beauty at Standing Stone State Park
Among the beauty and nature that can be taken in
by visitors at Standing Stone State Park are these multi-colored
butterflies that were photographed over the weekend.
rate lowers in Overton
Overton County's unemployment rate lowered 1.3% in
April, falling from 6.6 to 5.3%.
Overton County had 510 unemployed of a workforce of
Tennessee's seasonally adjusted April unemployment
rate was 5.8%, the same as the March revised rate. County non-seasonally
adjusted unemployment rates for April show 86 counties decreased,
6 increased, and 3 remained the same.
Overton County is included in the Cookeville Micropolitan
Statistical Area along with Jackson County and Putnam County. The
Cookeville MSA had a decrease from 6.2% to 5.3 in the unemployment
rate in February. The MSA had 2,600 unemployed of a workforce of
Jackson County's unemployment rate lowered 1.3% from
10.4 to 9.1%. Jackson had 490 unemployed of a workforce of 5,390.
Putnam County's unemployment rate lowered from 5.4%
to 4.7. Putnam had 1,600 unemployed of a workforce of 33,680.
Clay County's unemployment rate lowered 1.9 % from
11.8 to 9.9%. Clay had 350 unemployed of a workforce of 3,470.
Pickett County's unemployment rate fell 3% from 9.9
to 6.9%. Pickett had 130 unemployed of a workforce of 1,920.
Fentress County's unemployment rate fell 1.2% from
8.2 to 7.0%. Fentress had 510 unemployed of a workforce of 7,220.
For complete labor force estimates go to www.tennessee.gov/labor-wfd/labor_figures/april2005county.pdf.
top of page
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570