Major Gabriel Villeré “performed his duty from the moment he was left in command”

The court martial returns a verdict of “not guilty”

This is an excerpt from what is arguably the most important historical document that has recently come to light: the court proceedings showing that Major René Gabriel Villeré was not guilty of “knowingly harboring and protecting the enemy” or “neglect of duty.” For over two centuries, the Villeré family has faced the calumny leveled at Jacques Villeré’s eldest son, namely that Gabriel had somehow aided and abetted British troops as they prepared to attack New Orleans in late December 1814. Finally, thanks to the work of Anthony A. Fernandez, Jr., we can definitively lay to rest this false accusation, with this documentation which shows that the court acquitted Maj. Villeré of all charges against him. The “not guilty” verdict of the second charge reads as follows: “After a full examination of the evidence both for and against the accused on the second charge and the three specifications attached thereto the Court finds the accused not guilty of said charge nor of any of its specifications and does accordingly acquit him of all and each of them… [Major Villeré] appears to have performed his duty from the moment he was left in command.”