The veterans came before the battalion of Orleans Guards, who bore their 417 muskets as if in protection of those old men, who marched with a soldierly swing in vogue forty-five years before.
At their head appeared three men on whom the crowd looked with reverence.
The people knew by intuition that the three were Maunsel White
, the only surviving captain of that guard so famous in the past, and on either hand of Maunsel White Anthony Fernandez
and M. M. Barnett, Sr.
, two of the oldest fighters of 1814-15, still hale and hearty.
In front of the veterans could be noted their flag which Chalmette
saw—or rather what remained of it—a bare pole with stripes of tattered silk.
The white veterans were followed by their brethrenin-arms, the colored veterans of Chalmette
Jordan Noble, once drummer-boy at Chalmette
—in 1861 ‘old Jordan
’ for the city and State—is among them.
Upon these last the spectators gaze in that silence which, accorded to the worthy, is respect.
They raise their hats as the latter pass.
The parade of the troops on Washington
's birthday was a triumph in the appearance and in the number of the men. The Picayune
of the 23d placed the number at 8,000, observing in connection with the day: ‘May the custom, now revived, of paying honor to the birthday of Washington
, be one of everlasting observance.’