Washington Artillery Park in New Orleans

Washington Artillery Park New Orleans French Quarter

Washington Artillery Park sits between the Mississippi River and the famed Jackson Square in New Orleans. The cannon and small plaza honor a New Orleans militia group organized in 1821 after the governor of Louisiana authorized the state Legislature to purchase four 4-pounder cannon with carriages.

The Washington Artillery once was part of the older Battalion of New Orleans Volunteers, and once established was housed in the rear of the historic Cabildo. The group was given the honor of firing a cannon salute when the Marquis de Lafayette, who had fought during the American Revolution with General and former President George Washington, visited New Orleans in 1825.

The Washington Artillery was mustered into the service of the Confederate States of America in 1861. Union forces burned the unit’s Girod Street Arsenal after seizing the city in 1862, and after the Civil War ended the facade of that arsenal building was moved to a park across the street from Jackson Square. The park was named Washington Artillery Park to honor the city’s artillery unit.

The artillery unit was reformed in 1870 by order of ex-Confederate General James Longstreet, then general of the Louisiana State Militia. It went on to serve in World War II as the 141st Field Artillery.