February 13, 1864: Incident at Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras Parade on Canal St.

An incident at a Mardi Gras ball, and a man charged with tearing down the United States flag. There were apparently quite a few Unionists around.


[NEW ORLEANS] DAILY PICAYUNE, February 13, 1864, p. 4, c. 1

Two young men and Miss Rosa G. were tried for tearing down a United States flag from a chandelier, at the Firemen’s Mardi Gras ball room at Algiers. The number of witnesses was legion, and on the flag question there seems to have been a good deal of excitement and some diversity of opinion. At first the flag-staff got loosened so that the flag in question drooped down below the others that were hung around the chandelier. Whether it was purposely loosened or not, does not appear, but the fact was noticed and an excited individual re-arranged it and vowed vengeance on any one who should subsequently disturb it. In the whirling of the dance a female hand, supposed to be attached to the body of Rosa G.—though that fact was not proven—caught the corner of the flag and it drooped down as before. The excited individual again adjusted the flag. Being thus down several persons touched the flag and one finally pulled it down altogether. His name was Harrington, and the consequences to him were anything but pleasant. He was knocked down quicker than lightning and the excited witness described in glowing terms how he punched him with his boot. Finally he got away, jumped over the gallery, slid down an awning post and escaped, for in the gleam of pistols and bowie knives which succeeded the fall of the flag, his chances of a long life were by no means flattering.

After exhausting all the witnesses on hand the Judge discharged Miss Rosa and the young gentleman who had promenaded with her at the ball, leaving Harrington to bear the entire weight of all developments in the case which may be hereafter made. 

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