New Mardi Gras krewe resurrects seahorse

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - This is the first week of carnival season and while you may be enjoying some king cake, carnival krewes are busy getting their parade plans in place.

This year, a new parade will roll in Bay St. Louis, and it's a tribute to the 200th anniversary of a battle in the Bay. WLOX NEWS has details and a little history lesson.

Imagine it's December 12, 1814, and the sound of canon fire shatters the peace over the normally calm waters of St. Louis Bay.

The battle that took place in these waters changed the course of history. The Battle of St. Louis Bay is credited for helping the United States win the war of 1812. The British were on a quest to take over New Orleans and the mighty Mississippi River .

"The object was to get thousands of troops over to New Orleans in order to capture New Orleans, but they were delayed in getting there by the small naval battle essentially right here on the beach in the Bay," said Russell Guerin.

"It delayed the British from getting to New Orleans and when they got to New Orleans, as most of us know, they were conquered by Andrew Jackson and his forces."

The U.S. forces fought the British marine fleet from aboard historic wooden schooner ships. The USS Seahorse was one of them.

Now 200 years later that name will be reborn as a part of modern coast history, the Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse.

"That is in honor of this particular ship and what they did in that battle which was a gigantic effort by the United States in this particular time," said Don Rafferty, Co-organizer Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse.

The krewe is just getting organized. Its inaugural parade is set to roll Monday March 3, on the evening of Lundi Gras.

The parade will snake through the streets of old town Bay St. Louis.

No grand floats this year, this parade will feature cars and golf carts.

"It is to begin at the corner of Second and Ulman Avenue. That's significant because that's where the Ulman Avenue Pier was where the USS Seahorse was stationed in garrison, and we plan on starting their in honor of the USS Seahorse," said Rafferty.

Later this year, the krewe is planning a re-enactment of the Battle of St. Louis Bay to mark its 200th anniversary, complete with period customs and wooden schooner boats.

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