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Civil War Soldiers - Butler
|Butler, Benjamin F., major-general, U.S. Army, was
born in Deerfield, N. H., Nov. 5, 1818, was graduated from Watertown
college, in 1838, was admitted to the bar in 1840, and soon gained a
reputation as an astute criminal lawyer. He was elected to the
Massachusetts house of representatives in 1853, and to the state
senate in 1859, and was a delegate to the Democratic national
convention which met at Charleston in 1860, withdrawing, however,
before the close of the convention, with the other delegates who later
met at Baltimore and nominated Breckinridge and Lane. As
brigadier-general of militia in Massachusetts he was assigned, in the
spring of 1861, to command of the district of Annapolis, and on May
13, 1861, occupied Baltimore with 900 men without opposition, and was
appointed major-general May 16. He captured Forts Hatteras and Clark
in North Carolina in August, then returned to Massachusetts to recruit
an expedition for the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi, and on May
1, Admiral Farragut's fleet having virtually captured the city, he
took possession of New Orleans. He at once put in effect a stringent
military government, armed the free negroes, compelled rich
secessionists to contribute to the support of the poor of the city,
and instituted strict sanitary regulations. For his course in hanging
William Mulford, who had pulled down the Stars and Stripes from the
mint, and for the issue of an obnoxious order intended to prevent
soldiers being insulted by women, he aroused much strong opposition
sentiment, not only in the South, but in the North and abroad, and
Jefferson Davis declared him an outlaw and put a price upon his head.
On May 1, 1862, Gen. Butler seized $800,000, which he claimed had been
entrusted to the Dutch consul to be used in purchasing supplies of
war, and by this act aroused the protest of every European country, so
that the government at Washington, after investigation, ordered the
return of the money. He was recalled Dec. 16, 1862, and near the close
of 1863 was placed in command of the department of Virginia and North
Carolina, afterwards known as the James. He was recalled to New York
city in Oct., 1864, because election riots were feared there, and in
December conducted an expedition against Fort Fisher, near Wilmington,
N. C., which failed, as had a previous attempt on his part to operate
in conjunction with Gen. Grant against Lee, and soon afterwards he was
removed from his command by order of Gen. Grant. Returning to
Massachusetts, he was elected by the Republicans, to Congress, where
he remained, with the exception of one term, until 1879, being most
active in the impeachment of President Johnson. He was an unsuccessful
candidate for governor in 1871, failed again as a candidate of the
Greenback party and one wing of the Democrats in 1878 and 1879, but in
1882 the Democrats having united upon him as their candidate, he was
elected. During his administration he made charges which were not
sustained against the administration of the Tewksbury almshouse. He
was re-nominated governor in 1883 but was defeated, and in 1884 was
the candidate of the Greenback and Anti-Monopolist parties for
president. He died in Washington, D. C., Jan. 11, 1893.
Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal
States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908
|BUTLER, M. C., South Carolina.
Captain, Hampton (South Carolina) Legion, June 12, 1861.
Major, Hampton Legion, July 21, 1861.
Colonel, Second South Carolina Cavalry, August 22, 1862.
Brigadier general, P. A. C. S., September 1, 1863.
Major general, P. A. C. S., September 19, 1864.
In May, 1864, commanding brigade composed of the Fourth, Fifth and
Sixth Regiments of South Carolina Cavalry; and Keitt's squadron was
afterward added. The First and Second South Carolina Regiments,
formerly of this brigade, were sent to South Carolina to recruit, and
were substituted by the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Regiments.
Division composed originally of the cavalry brigades of Rosser, Young,
Butler and Dearing.
Original brigade composed of First and Second South Carolina Cavalry,
Cobb's Legion of Cavalry, Jeff Davis Legion of Cavalry, Phillips'
Legion of Cavalry, and the First Regiment North Carolina Cavalry.
Major general, U. S. A., 1898.
Source: Military Records of General Officers of the Confederate
States of America, by Charles B. Hall, 1898