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Jordan Noble
Creole Drummer Boy at the Battle of New Orleans



Jordan Noble

Jordan Noble was a free black drummer famous for beating the long roll at the Battle of New Orleans. Born in 1800 in Georgia, Noble came to New Orleans in 1811 and joined the United States army one year later.

He participated in several engagements of the Louisiana campaign.

At the Battle of New Orleans, he opened with reveille. He later served as a drummer in the Mexican War of 1846-1848 and rallied New Orleans free men of color to form militia companies on behalf of the Confederacy at the outbreak of the Civil War.




Drummer Boy, Seventh Regiment and Principal Musician, First Regiment, Louisiana Volunteers

Jordan B. Noble was born around 1800, in Georgia. Later he moved to Louisiana and, at the age of 13, was serving with the Seventh Regiment of General Andrew Jackson's force during the War of 1812. He beat drums at many famous battles and other events, and on January 8, 1815, played the drums at Reveille and before an important engagement. It has also been stated that he served in the Seminole War in Florida in 1836.

Noble served as a principal musician during the Mexican War (one of the few blacks known to have served in this war) with the First Regiment, Louisiana Volunteers, Colonel Walton commanding. His name appears in the military service record as follows:

"Noble, J.B. Company Field and Staff, First Louisiana Military Volunteers (Mexican, the Delaware on the evening before the battle of Trenton, December 25, 1779, a War). Principal Musician. Enrolled May 9, 1846 at New Orleans, Louisiana, for six months. On roll dated August 1846. Book Mark 970 B 1884, Mexican War."







The Louisiana Man of Color and His Contributions

at the Battle of new Orleans

Louisianians contributed to the American victory in many ways. Behind the front lines white and free black men forty-five years and older formed home guards to protect private property and maintain order in New Orleans and surrounding towns and posts. Slaves and citizens helped widen canals and build defenses along them.

Slaves also fortified military positions and fought in several battles of the Louisiana campaign. Women at home made clothing for the troops and flags and bandages for the militia regiments, while nuns and free women of color nursed the wounded at hospitals and convents.

The First and Second Battalions of Free Men of Color, comprising over six hundred men, played an important role in the Louisiana campaign, just as free black men had during the colonial period in the service of France and Spain. Louisiana was the first state in the Union to commission a military officer of African descent, and an act passed by the Louisiana legislature in 1812 was the first in the nation to authorize a black volunteer militia with its black line officers.

More on the Participants

Fighting with Jackson's forces in Louisiana was a group of Choctaws, longtime enemies of the pro-British Creek nation. They were under the command of Major Pierre Jugeant, a part-Choctaw scout who had grown up among Native Americans and spoke various dialects.

The legendary Baratarian pirates also lent assistance to Jackson and the Americans, primarily in the form of military supplies and artillery power.

The Baratarians had been approached by British officials to act as allies and waterway guides. Acting as leader of the "Frenchmen of Barataria," Jean Laffite went to American authorities while considering the British offer, ultimately securing from Jackson promises of amnesty for past offenses in return for siding with the United States and committing his men to battle.


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