Battle of Liberty Place
On September 14, 1874,
what became known as the Battle of Liberty Place was fought between militant conservative Democrats known as the White League and Federalist forces led by the Municipal Police. As historian Justin Nystrom has written, the event effectively brought an end of Reconstruction policies in Louisiana.
After the contested gubernatorial election of 1872, in which Democratic-Conservative John McEnery was defeated by the Republican ticket headed by US Senator William Pitt Kellogg, the White League planned on a military operation to replace Kellogg with McEnery.
The main battle led to a 3-day period in which the White League controlled New Orleans.
An angry President Grant ordered the US Army to force the League to surrender. Not wishing conflict with the federal government, three days after the League’s victory, it handed control of the city to federal troops, who in turn gave control back to Kellogg.
The event also helped to return white Southern Democrats to power in the city. In 1891, a monument was erected on Canal Street to honor the White League. In 2017, the City of New Orleans removed the monument placed it in storage.