Jordan Noble is buried in a wall vault at St. Louis No. 2, Square 3. The Friends of New Orleans Cemeteries will place a commemorative plaque on the unmarked tomb February 10. 24 FEBRUARY 2001 PRESERVATION IN PRINT feebly than in the previous, white-haired, bent-back vet- erans of all colors who fought in concert upon the plains of Chalmette, fol- lowed Jordan down the main streets of New Orleans, marking time to the beat of his regimental drum." On January 8, 1854, Noble was invited to perform at the St. Charles Theater. In October of 1855, Noble and his band led the Continental Guards' moon- light drill. Later that evening. Noble recalled his service under Generals Jackson and Taylor, stating that it had been his fortune to serve under the immediate observation of these distinguished men, both of Jordan Noble, 1800-1890. (Photo courtesy Historic New Orleans Collection, MSS 216, folder 7.) ' San Francisco hair stylist Stephen Keyton VI 4 7 , Keyton \ hair & art gallery \ Stephen Keyton 2134 Magazine St. New Orleans LA 70130 P), 504.568.0061 \ 0 1 ; whom shook his hand and compli- mented him for his services. Over the years. Noble instituted a tradition of his own—that of a New Year's salute by him and his band to the chief officers of the city. the military and the press. Noble's well-attended public performances showed an appetite in New Orleans for formal military marching cadence. a music form which later influenced the birth of jazz. In April 1861 Noble and approx- imately 1,500 free colored soldiers offered their services under the Confederate flag for the defense of New Orleans. Upon Governor Moore's acceptance, Noble raised a company of free men of color known as the Plauché Guards (for Major Jean Baptiste Plauché who had command- ed the Orleans Battalion at the Battle of New Orleans)• The Guards' headquarters was at the corner of Baronne and Perdido streets. Federal troops occu- pied New Orleans April 29, 1862. Noble organ- ized a com- mand of sol- diers of African descent July 10, 1863 to serve the Union. In his autobiography, Noble wrote, "I also served in the United States Army as Captain of Company C in the Seventh Louisiana Volunteers, in 1863." The comapny was disbanded August 6, 1863 for lack of enough men. In 1867 after over fifty years and four American wars, Noble received a pen- sion of one hundred dollars, which the legislature granted to all veterans of 1814-15 who served under General Jackson. Noble's civic service equaled his military service. Newspaper articles reported his many volunteer and charitable activities as well as numerous honors for community and military leadership. In 1881, the same year Noble penned his autobiog- raphy, the City of New Orleans published a profile A life worth remembering, but few tangibles remaining Jordan B. Noble: The drummer of Chalmette by Freddi Williams Evans Jordan Noble's long drum roll at the Battle of New Orleans summoned Andrew Jackson's troops and heralded the future of African Americans in the city's musical legacy. Sadly, his homes in Central City appear to have been demolished and few photographs remain of the "Drummer Boy of Chalmette." T he continuous rumble from the drum of 14-year-old Jordan Noble, one of the hundreds of free black soldiers who served in the Battle of New Orleans, acted as a summons for the Americans during the "hell of fire." From reveille to taps, Noble continued to play above the din of battle. His patriotism led Noble to serve in four American wars including the Florida War in 1836, the Mexican War of 1846-48 (again as a drummer), and the Civil War. "I would respectfully beg leave to say that I was born in the state of Georgia October 14, 1800 and came to New Orleans in the year, 1812," wrote Noble in his handwritten biography. Enslaved at birth and later freed, Noble was of African and European parentage and spoke French. Noble wrote his autobiography in the form of a letter to Edward C. Wharton, the associate editor of the Picayune. October 19, 1881. He continued: "I was enlisted as Drummer in the Seventh Regiment, United States in 1813, Major Mims commanding, and served under him until December 23, 1814,.when Major Penn of the Forty-fourth regiment took command, and led us against the British in the battle of the 23rd of December, 1814. He commanded our regiment at Camp Jackson until the Bfitish retired from New Orleans on January 12, 1815. I was in all the battles from that of December 23rd until the British retired." In 1851, thirty-six 9ears after the Battle of New Orleans, the -free colored veterans" were invited to participate in the Annual January 8th Celebration for the first time. Ninety of them were pres- ent. After that year, -Old Jordan," as he was known, became a fixture in city parades. Historian Marcus Christian stat- ed that "year after year, stepping more A drum owned later in life by young Battle of New Orleans drummer and free black Jordan Noble is among the military artifacts on display in the Cabildo exhibit on Louisiana history. (Photo courtesy of Louisiana State Museum.)