I wondered what 'Rue de la Course' means. I have been to all the coffee shops in New Orleans and wanted to know what the phrase meant translated. I know it was a bank originally. Does this have anything to do with its name?
You must be referring to the branch of the coffee shop on the corner of South Carrollton Avenue and Oak Street. This building used to be the Carrollton Branch of the Canal Bank & Trust Company. Over the Oak Street door are the numbers MCMXXVII because the building was erected in 1927. The bank was originally organized as the New Orleans Canal and Banking Company and was responsible for the construction of the New Basin Canal dug between 1932 and 1938.
However, there is also a Rue de la Course coffee shop at 1500 Magazine St. This branch of the five shops with this name is located at the corner of Race Street, which was also known as Rue de la Course, meaning 'street of the racetrack.' It was on property bought in 1807 by Pierre Robin Delogny who began developing the 'Faubourg de la Cours' or the Racetrack Suburb. The street was supposed to lead to a racecourse that was to stand between a coliseum -- on Rue du Collisee -- and the river. Neither the coliseum nor the racetrack ever materialized.
While reading about Louisiana's contribution to the Civil War, I have come across many accolades bestowed upon the Washington Artillery unit of New Orleans. Civil War historians have stated that this unit was the 'best equipped,' 'comprised of aristocrats,' and was the oldest militia unit in Louisiana. More important, however, is the general consensus that this unit served with distinction from the battle of First Bull Run to Gettysburg and beyond. What can you tell me about these cannoneers?
This splendid group of fighting men was organized on Sept. 7, 1838. When it was first formed, it was known as the Washington Artillery Company, Fourth Regiment, Louisiana Militia. It is, as you say, the oldest militia unit in the state of Louisiana and the oldest Field Artillery Battalion outside the original 13 colonies.
In its early days, the men volunteered for duty and served under Gen. Zachary Taylor in the Mexican War, both as artillery and infantry. At that time, it was renamed the First Company, Native American Artillery. But in 1848, when the company returned to New Orleans, it was reorganized as the Washington Artillery Company.
In 1861, the company was ordered to Baton Rouge to help capture the federal arsenal. The unit expanded to a battalion -- five companies were raised -- and went on to serve in both the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee, the only unit in the Confederacy to do so.
The companies were composed of educated, wealthy, propertied men, and the battalion, fully equipped with private funds, owed nothing to the State of Louisiana. When the men mustered in Lafayette Square on May 26, 1861, Companies 1,2,3 and 4 left for service in Virginia with a 12-piece band, a French cook named Edouard, and other cooks and servants.
The men were involved in more than 60 major battles from 1861 to 1865 including the battles of First Manassas, Fredericksburg, Shiloh and Gettysburg. The unit ended its service in April 1865.
The Washington Artillery reorganized in 1866 as a benevolent association and began to provide care for its veteran soldiers and their widows and orphans. For 14 years the Washington Artillery Benevolent Association raised funds to erect a monument in Metairie Cemetery to honor its members who died in the Civil War.
Even before the end of Reconstruction, the Washington Artillery reorganized in 1875 as an independent unit and purchased its own uniforms and artillery pieces using membership dues. And in 1898, volunteers saw action in Cuba during the war with Spain. It has since fought in every major conflict involving the United States, and today is the 141st Field Artillery Battalion National Guard based at Jackson Barracks in New Orleans.