5 - 9 p.m. March 7, 2014


This Friday night at NOMA, in conjunction with the exhibition Photography and the American Civil War, author Michael Marshall will give a lecture on his book Gallant Creoles: A History of the Donaldsonville Cannoniers.

Afterwards, stick around for a discussion on sugar king Isaac Delgado with NOMA’s Director Emeritus E. John Bullard. This lecture is part of a series of programs surrounding the publication of Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas

  • 5-8 p.m.: Art of the Spot: free art activities
  • 5:30-8:30 p.m.: Music by The Ramblin’ Letters
  • 6 p.m.: Lecture by Michael Marshall, author of Gallant Creoles, A History of the Donaldsonville Canonniers
  • 6 p.m.: Cooking demo in Café NOMA: Sugar & Spice with Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group Pastry Chef, Brett Gauthier
  • 7:30 p.m.: Lecture by NOMA Director Emeritus E. John Bullard on Isaac Delgado, “Unfathomable City: Sugar Heaven and Sugar Hell”

About The Ramblin’ Letters

Michael Millet (guitar and vocals) has been playing & writing music for over 20 years, releasing two solo CDs, Rooted and Hard Times on the Bayou, along the way. Before forming the Ramblin’ Letters with John Norwood in 2008, he payed his dues playing farmers markets and coffeehouses in and around the New Orleans area. He was a regular fixture in the early years of the Hi Ho Lounge’s Monday night bluegrass circle, and in 2009 he was invited to play the Abita Springs Opry. He has recorded with Gina Forsyth, Pat Flory, and Dave Jordan. He is also a physical therapist.

John Norwood (mandolin and vocals) has been into bluegrass since 2001, playing dobro as a founding member of the San Francisco based band Homespun Rowdy. He has recorded with Homespun Rowdy, the By & By String Band & appeared on Hard Times on the Bayou. He is also a robotics expert.

John Depriest (banjo and vocals) studied music at Belmont University in Nashville. A talented songwriter, John was a member of the Nashville based bluegrass/roots band Angus White and is a founding member of the New Orleans grass funk band Bacon. Originally from Mississippi, he has also graced the stage of the MSBA. In addition to tearing up the five-string banjo, John speaks Chinese and German and is attending Tulane University in pursuit of a PhD in neuro-linguistics.

Harry Hardin (fiddle and vocals) has been playing fiddle since the ripe old age of 5. A classically trained violinist, Harry has played & recorded with many New Orleans artists, such as Theresa Anderson, Alexandra Scott and Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, and is a member of the Tanglers bluegrass band. He is also a music professor at Country Day High School in Old Metairie.

Will Jordan (upright bass and vocals) studied music focusing on the electric bass at UNC-Wilmington before coming to New Orleans to join John Depriest to form Bacon. Will has toured Europe with Freddy King and also plays bass with Los Pobocitos. In his free time he can be found rockin the barbecue pit at the Joint in Bywater.

About Gallant Creoles: A History of the Donaldsonville Canonniers

Composed of Creole and Cajun citizen-soldiers, the Donaldsonville Canonniers were originally organized as a militia company in 1837 and were one of the most active and highly regarded Louisiana units during the American Civil War. Known as the Donaldsonville Artillery during the conflict, the Canonniers were a conspicuous part of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, participating in a number of skirmishes, artillery duels, and battles, including: Yorktown, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Seven Days, Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, North Anna, Second Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and Appomattox Station. The Canonniers reorganized in July 1875 and were eventually accepted into Federal service during the Spanish-American War, before disbanding for good in November 1898. Michael Marshall is a retired New Orleans Police Department detective and sergeant. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana University. He is also a former World History and Publications high school teacher and U.S. Marine. His interest in the Civil War began at a very young age during the conflict’s centennial commemorations and family visits to battlefield parks. The proud father of two sons, he currently resides in Hammond, Louisiana, with his wife.

About Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas

Like the bestselling Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, this book is a brilliant reinvention of the traditional atlas, one that provides a vivid, complex look at the multi-faceted nature of New Orleans, a city replete with contradictions. More than twenty essays assemble a chorus of vibrant voices, including geographers, scholars of sugar and bananas, the city’s remarkable musicians, prison activists, environmentalists, Arab and Native voices, and local experts, as well as the coauthors’ compelling contributions. Featuring 22 full-color two-page-spread maps, Unfathomable City plumbs the depths of this major tourist destination, pivotal scene of American history and culture and, most recently, site of monumental disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.

The innovative maps’ precision and specificity shift our notions of the Mississippi, the Caribbean, Mardi Gras, jazz, soils and trees, generational roots, and many other subjects, and expand our ideas of how any city is imagined and experienced. Together with the inspired texts, they show New Orleans as both an imperiled city—by erosion, crime, corruption, and sea level rise—and an ageless city that lives in music as a form of cultural resistance. Compact, lively, and completely original, Unfathomable City takes readers on a tour that will forever change the way they think about place.

This event is related to the exhibition Photography and the American Civil War.