Algernon Sidney Badger

Algernon Sidney Badger (October 28, 1839 – May 9, 1905) was a colonel[1][2] in the Union Army and an administrator in local and federal government positions. A native of Boston, Massachusetts, he had served in action in Louisiana and decided to live there after the American Civil War ended.

Algernon Sidney Badger
General Badger.jpg
Born(1839-10-28)October 28, 1839
Boston, Massachusetts
DiedMay 9, 1905(1905-05-09) (aged 65)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Allegiance United States
Branch United States Army
Union Army
Commands held1st Louisiana Cavalry
Battles/warsBattle of Mobile Bay

Badger was appointed to numerous Republican government posts in New Orleans, including superintendent of the Metropolitan Police Force, U.S. postmaster, and a deputy in the United States Customs Service. He filled local and federal positions during and after Reconstruction.

Early yearsEdit

Named for Algernon Sidney, an English politician admired for his republican principles, considered a "Whig patriot and martyr," and highly influential among America's Founding Fathers (U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both admired him),[3] Badger was born to John Baton Badger and the former Sarah Payne Sprague. He was educated at Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts.

Badger volunteered for service in the Civil War with the Sixth Massachusetts Infantry, later the 26th Infantry and was dispatched to New Orleans as an infantry lieutenant. In 1863, he enlisted in the First Louisiana Union Cavalry, and was given command of Company D. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel and then colonel for "faithful and meritorious service" in the 1864 Battle of Mobile Bay in Mobile, Alabama. Earlier that year, he was wounded in battle at False River in southern Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana, as part of the major Red River campaign.[4]

Political officesEdit

After the war, Badger settled in New Orleans, where he was appointed as a clerk in Fourth District Recorders Court. About 1868, he joined the Metropolitan Police and was promoted in 1869 to superintendent. On September 14, 1874, Badger was seriously wounded in the Battle of Liberty Place, an insurrection by 5,000 members of the paramilitary White League, who fought against the police and took over state buildings in an attempt to seat John McEnery, the Democratic candidate for governor in the disputed 1872 election. The White League outnumbered and outgunned the Metropolitans, holding the buildings for three days, and retreating before the arrival of federal forces. Nearly sixty people were killed in the fighting. No charges were filed against any insurgents.[5]

Badger left the police force in 1875 to serve as state tax collector in New Orleans. In 1878, during the administration of Republican President Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio, Badger was named postmaster at New Orleans. After a year, he took another patronage position, as special deputy in the New Orleans Customs House, at which he worked until 1885. That year, the Democratic administration of President Grover Cleveland of New York replaced him with their own appointee. In 1880 he served as part of the Louisiana delegation to that year's Republican National Convention held in Chicago.

In 1889, with the return of a Republican administration under President Benjamin Harrison of Indiana, Badger was appointed as special deputy of the US Customs Service. In 1890 he was appointed as the US Appraiser of merchandise in the Customs Service at New Orleans; his post ended in 1893 with a change in administrations. Badger returned to the appraiser position about 1900, under the Republican William McKinley administration, and held that final position until his death in 1905 at the age of sixty-five.[4]

Family and civic lifeEdit

On April 30, 1872, Badger married Elizabeth Florence Parmele, daughter of Frederick F. and Jane Parmele. The couple had four children, Sidney (born c. 1873), Frederick Parmele (born c. 1874), John Algernon (born 1876), and Harry Sprague (born 1877). Elizabeth died in 1880.[4]

On September 9, 1882, Badger married Blanche B. Blineau, the daughter of John Blineau and the former Amelia Dechamps, who were both of French descent. They had two children together: George Chester Badger (born 1883) and Marion (born 1885; later Mrs. C. E. Benton Wells).[4]

Badger on more than one occasion led the New Orleans Mardi Gras procession of the Krewe of Rex in his capacity as police superintendent. In one appearance, some in the crowd lampooned him as a "sleuthing bloodhound with a large protruding nose."[6]

Like many men of his time, Badger joined the many fraternal organizations: he was a member and officer of the Grand Army of the Republic veterans organization. He was a grand commander of Knights Templar and a member of the Masonic lodge. He was Episcopalian. Badger died in New Orleans and is interred there at Metairie Cemetery.[4][7]


  1. ^ "General Algernon S. Badger Is Dead" (PDF). The New York Times, May 9, 1905. 10 May 1905. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  2. ^ The New York Times refers to Badger as a "general" in his obituary, but other sources document his rank as colonel.
  3. ^ Scott, Jonathan (January 2008) [2004]. "Sidney, Algernon (1623–1683)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/25519.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) The first edition of this text is available at Wikisource: "Sidney, Algernon" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Badger, Algernon Sidney". Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography. Archived from the original on 13 October 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  5. ^ Adolph Reed, Jr., "The battle of Liberty Monument - New Orleans, Louisiana white supremacist statue", The Progressive, June 1993, accessed 18 May 2010
  6. ^ Justin A. Nystrom (2010). New Orleans after the Civil War: Race, Politics, and a New Birth of Freedom. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 135–136. ISBN 978-0-8018-9434-3.
  7. ^ "A. S. Badger", A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography

Further readingEdit

(noted in Dictionary of Louisiana Biography)

  • National Cyclopedia of American Biography (1900)
  • Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Louisiana (1892)
  • Records of volunteer Union soldiers in Louisiana; New Orleans city directories, 1867–1905
  • U.S. Census for Louisiana, 1880, 1900
  • New Orleans Times-Democrat, May 17, 1890, obituary, May 9, 1905, May 10, 1905
  • New Orleans Daily Picayune, obituary, May 10, 1905
  • New Orleans Item, May 9, 1905