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Full text of "Private and official correspondence of Gen. Benjamin F. Butler : during the period of the Civil War"

GIFT OF 
JANE K.SATHER 




PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL 

CORRESPONDENCE OF 

GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 



PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL 
CORRESPONDENCE OF 

GEN. RENJAMIN F. RUTLER 

DURING THE PERIOD 
OF THE CIVIL WAR 



IN FIVE VOLUMES 

VOLUME II 
June, 1862 February, 1863 



PRIVATELY ISSUED 
1917 



T; * 



COPYRIGHT, 1917 
BY JESSIE AMES MARSHALL 






THE -PLIMPTON PRESS 
NORWOOD-MASS . U S A 



PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL 

CORRESPONDENCE OF 

GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 



PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL 
CORRESPONDENCE OF 

GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 15th, 1862 

Mesdames SLOCUMB and URQUHART 

MESDAMES: I have the pleasure to inform you that my 
necessities which caused the request for permission to use 
your house during your absence this summer have been 
relieved. I have taken the house of General Twiggs, late of 
the United States Army, for quarters. 

Inclined never on slight causes to use the power entrusted 
to me to grieve even sentiments only entitled to respect from 
the courage and lady-like propriety of manner in which they 
are averred, it is gratifying to be enabled to yield to the appeal 
you made for favor and protection by the United States. 

Yours shall be the solitary exception to the General Rule 
adopted that they who ask protection must take upon 
themselves corresponding obligations or do an equal favor to 
the Government. 

I have an aged mother at home, who, like you, might request 
the inviolability of hearthstone and roof-tree from the pres 
ence of a stranger. For her sake you shall have the pass you 
ask, which is sent herewith. 

As I did myself the honor to say personally, you may leave 
the city with no fear that your house will be interfered with 
by any exercise of military right, but will be safe under the 
laws of the United States. 

Trusting that the inexorable logic of events will convict 
you of wrong toward your country when all else has failed. I 

Your Obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Comdg. 



VOL. II I 



2 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 24, 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

Mr. H. M. PALFREY 

SIR: You will please pay all bills that are necessary and 
proper for fitting up Gen. Twiggs house for Maj. Gen. Butler s 
occupancy, and when it is all finished present the vouchers at 
these Head Quarters and the account will be settled. 

By order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER, 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 

From H. W. Palfrey 

Palfrey & Go s Real Estate, Stock, Auction & Mortgage Loan Office, 

No. 43 Carondelet Street, NEW ORLEANS, June 28, 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

A. J. BUTLER, Esq. 

SIR: I have just received your note of this date. My instruc 
tions from General Butler are to collect some rent and notes 
due to General Twiggs, and to pay some bills of furniture for 
General Twiggs 5 House in Prystania Street, after said bills 
are approved and signed by him or by his orders. 

I have nothing to do with purchasing any furniture. I expect 
to collect $500 or $1000 for General Twiggs on Monday or 
Tuesday, but may be disappointed. I have already paid 
$212 out of my private funds for matting. 

Your obedient servant, H. W. PALFREY 

P.S. I send you copy of General Butler s orders. 
From General Butler 

Headquarters DepL of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 26, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 138 

H. W. PALFREY, the former agent of the estate and property 
of Gen. D. E. Twiggs, is hereby appointed custodian of said 
property, and will hold rent and take care of the same till 
further orders. He will pay the necessary bills of expenses of 
fitting up said Twiggs houses in Prystania Str., upon approval 
of the bills at these Headquarters, and appropriate thereto 
such sums or personal property as may be sufficient for that 

purpose By Order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. A. A. A. G. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 3 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 26, 1862 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 46 

ALL the property in New Orleans belonging to Gen. D. E. 
Twiggs, and of his minor son the income of which he has 
received under the charge of his agent, H. W. Palfrey, Esq., 
consisting of real estate, bonds, notes of hand, Treasury notes 
of the United States, slaves, household furniture, etc., is hereby 
sequestered, to be held to await the action of the United States 
Government. By command O f MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. and A. A. A. G. 

From a Union Man 

NEW ORLEANS, June 26*A, 1862 

Major General BUTLER 

SIR: Please accept the accompanying case of pistols in 
token of the gratitude I feel for your coming here, and the 
re-establishment of Federal rule in place of the tyranny prac 
tised by Jeff Davis and his followers. I was a Union prisoner 
at the time of the fleet coming up to the city, and since my 
liberation have received many acts of kindness at the hands 
of yourself and those of your command, and I take this method 
of testifying my appreciation therefor. 

Yours Respectfully, A UNION MAN 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 26, 1862 

Hon. SALMON P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury 

SIR: I send herewith the copper plates for printing Confed 
erate States Treasury notes. I hope by this capture I have 
dangered their exchequer. The plates are, however, pretty 
well worn. 

I also enclose a letter showing the determination of Mr. 
Memminger, C. S. Treasurer, in regard to the Specie of the 
New Orleans Banks. 

By an order I have rendered it impossible for them to do 
business out of the state. I have the honor to be 

Very Respt. Yours, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



4 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Exhibit referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Confederate States of America, Treasury Department, RICHMOND, June 5, 62 

[Not in chronological order]] 

Messrs. WOOD & BROTHERS, Agents of Banks of 
NEW ORLEANS 

SIRS: The coin of the Banks of New Orleans was seized by 
the Government to prevent it from falling into the hands of 
the public enemy. It has been deposited in a place of security 
under the charge of the Government, and it is not intended to 
interfere with the right of property in the Banks further than 
to insure its safe custody. 

They may proceed to conduct their business in the Confed 
erate States upon this deposit just as though it were in their 
own vaults. 

Very Respectfully, C. G. MEMMINGER, Sect, of Treas. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 26th, 1862 

To General Dix 

MY DEAR GENERAL : When I read your decision and patriotic 
order as Secretary of Treasury to "shoot on the spot" whom 
soever should attempt to haul down the American Flag, my 
heart bounded with joy. It was the first bold stroke of the 
Union under the past administration. 

It gives me therefore redoubled pleasure more directly to 
testify my admiration by sending you the identical flag of the 
Revenue Cutter "McClellan," which was the subject of that 
order, together with the Confederate flag which was hoisted 
by traitor hands in its place. 

David Ritchie, a young Scotch Sailor on board that boat, 
remaining true to his adopted country when so many of her 
sons proved recreant, went on board the "McClellan" when 
she was being burnt by the Confederates and brought off the 
Flags. 

His affidavit which accompanies this will give the detail of 
facts. I doubt not the Secretary of the Treasury will permit 
you to retain the flags, which could not be in better hands. 
Believe me, General, Most tmly Yows 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 5 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 27, 1862 

The President 

SIR: I have the honor to send you with this note three 
swords with their equipments, formerly belonging to David 
E. Twiggs, late Brevet-Major General in the army of the United 
States. 

They are each presentation swords. One given him by 
resolution of Congress which bears the following legend: 

"Presented by the President of the United States agreeable 
to a resolution of Congress to Brig. Gen l. DAVID E. TWIGGS, 
in testimony of the high sense entertained by Congress of his 
gallantry and good conduct in storming Monterey. 

"Resolution approved March 2nd, 1847." 

Another by the State of Georgia, and bears the following 
legend and inscription: 

"Constitution 

The State of Georgia to Major General DAVID E. TWIGGS, 
U.S.A., as a tribute to his gallantry in Mexico 1847. Palo 
Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, Cerro Gorde, Chapulte- 
pec, Molino del Rey, Mexico." 

The third by his native City, Augusta, Ga., and has the 
following legend : " Texas, 8th and 9th of May 1846, Monterey, 
Vera Cruz, Cerro Gorde. To Gen l. DAVID E. TWIGG from 
the citizens of Augusta, Georgia." 

General Twiggs left these swords with a young woman on 
the evening before he fled from New Orleans, and in his flight 
on the day of the approach of the fleet, he wrote in his carriage 
while en route this extraordinary paper. 

"I leave my swords to Miss Rowena Florence, and box of 

silver 

NEW ORLEANS, %5th, April, 1862 

DAVID E. TWIGGS" 

This paper was claimed as a deed of gift of these very 
valuable weapons by the young person named, but as she had 
neglected to inform her father of this singular donatio causa 
fugae, and as the girl s mother caused them to be given to a 
negro to be sent to Gen l. Twiggs house, and as they were 
found in possession of this negro, I venture to interfere with 
this testamentary disposition. 

A more lamentable instance of the degradation to which 
this rebellion has reduced its votaries can hardly be imagined. 



6 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Swords given to a General for courage and good conduct in 
the armies of the Union as tokens of admiration by his fellow- 
citizens and the gratitude of a State and Nation, voluntarily 
bequeathed for safe-keeping to a woman as a more proper 
custodian than himself, by that same General, when flying at 
the approach of the Armies of that country which he had re 
nounced and betrayed, at last find a depository with a negro, 
for the sake of enslaving whom even the double crime of 
treachery and rebellion had been consummated. 

Now that the weapon given by the United States is returned 
to the Executive, and the others placed at his disposal, might 
I take leave to suggest a possible disposition of them. 

Might not the first be presented to some Officer as a token 
of appreciation of loyalty and devotion to the country? 

The qualities of courage and good conduct on the battle 
field have never been found wanting in our armies, but loyalty 
and entire devotion to the country have failed in so many 
examples of which General Twiggs is a shining one, that some 
token of respect for those qualities bestowed in this manner, 
might not be inappropriate. 

The sword from the State of Georgia might be deposited 
in the Library of West Point, with an appropriate inscription, 
as a perpetual memento to the youths there, how worse than 
useless are all education and military training, even when 
allied to gallantry and courage, if heartfelt patriotism and 
undying fidelity to the Constitution and the Flag are wanting. 

That given by the City of Augusta might be deposited in 
the Patent Office as a warning against the folly and uselessness 
of such an invention as "Secession." 

Pardon the freedom of these suggestions and believe me 
most faithfully, Ymf ^^ ^^ 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Commanding 
From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 27th, 1862 

Hon. EDWIN M. ST ANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: Enclosed will be found several letters addressed to 
"General David E. Twiggs, late of the U. S. Army," by his 
son-in-law, Col. Myers, late of the army and now Quartermaster 
General, I believe, of the Confederate State Government. 

The letter of Nov. 12th, 1860, which encloses the order for 
General Twiggs to take command in Texas, shows that at 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 7 

that early day he was contemplating the treason he has since 
acted, and that he sought the very place so as to be in posi 
tion to do the utmost mischief. 

The.others of dates May 16th, 22nd, and 26th, disclose the 
reasons of his appointment as "Provisional General" by the 
rebel Government, and his declination of the position of Major 
General. 

All these were found in his house, which I have taken pos 
session of, and with its furniture have had put in order for 
quarters for myself and a portion of my staff. 

I have caused all the property here which General Twiggs 
owned or of which he received the income, to be sequestered, 
and the rents, after paying expenses, to be held to await the 
action of the Government of the United States. I have the 

honor to be, Tr 7 7 . 

Y our obedient servant, 

BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Major General Comdg. 
From J. Bailey Myers 

NEW YORK, June 28th, 1862 

Major General BUTLER 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Will you allow me to add my congratu 
lations to those of your many friends on your late successes. 
I have watched them with deep interest, and done all I could 
to cooperate by a little scribbling and newspaper censorship 
on my own hook. 

I believed in your star when it was a little under a cloud of 
detraction, and I enjoy immeasurably the display of its fuller 
light. If I can serve you in any way here, pray use me. I will 
with pleasure attend to any wish or commission. I have been 
a thousand times tempted to give up everything here and 
join you, and have used every exertion to get a leave of absence 
to do so, in vain. I was in Boston day before yesterday, and 
found Fay very busy in your matters. I envied him for having 
it in his power to serve you. He is a splendid fellow. In the 
cars, hotels, and in fact everywhere, the name of Butler was 
in all, and in the churches. My old Uncle, Captain Bailey, 
U.S.N., was greatly pleased with you. He is a staunch old 
fellow and loves a row. 

Be so kind as to present me kindly to the gentlemen of your 

military family. T7 .- , . , 

Very respectfully, and truly yours, 

J. BAILEY MYERS 



8 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Information received by General Butler Relative to Governor 

Moore 

NEW ORLEANS, June 28, 1862 

DEAR SIR: I have this morning seen a person who has 
just now returned from the town of Washington, the head of 
Navigation on the Bayou Cortableu which enters Atchafalaya. 

He informs me that the Secession Govr., Thos. O. Moore, 
was there when he left, and that he had issued a lengthy 
Bombastic Murderous Proclamation, regarding trading Con 
federate money, the only currency, and he orders all steam 
boats to be burned up at once, and authorizes every person to 
become partisan Rangers, and he also has the audacity to 
order the U. S. emblem to be torn in tatters wherever found. 
I am endeavoring to get a copy of his Document. 

Mr. Moore is on a thieving expedition there. He seized 
the steam boats "Anna Pervette," "Nina Simms," and loaded 
them both with cotton. He went there with a lot of more 
thieves from Red River on the Steam Boat "Elmira" -he 
came in at what is called the mouth of Old River, or Old Red 
River mouth is the more proper name for that entrance. He 
has also loaded the "Elmira" and sent her to Red River also. 

This Old River entrance into Red River is about 11 miles 
above the mouth of the entrance to the Red River from the 
Mississippi there is any quantity of water in it at all seasons 
of the year, to allow of Gun Boats to go there. You can send 
boats into Atchafalaya by the same route as the Texas steamers 
run to Berwicks Bay, or at this stage of water they could go 
in at the Mississippi entrance, Bayou Plaquemines. One gun 
boat stationed there would prevent any further carrying of 
either cotton or sugar from Washington. This gentleman 
informs me that it is very much against the desires of the 
Washington people to have their property taken such care of by 
Moore. The business men and property owners are all Union 
men but dare not speak. It is said that Moore has sent it to 
Jefferson, Texas, both by the three above mentioned steam 
boats, and by mule teams across the Opelons as Prairies. 

I omitted to mention that in the event of a Gun Boat being 
sent there and remaining until low water mark in the Miss. 
it might not be easy to take her out, although there is always 
abundance of water for her to lay in. You have two stern 
wheel boats, the "Bee" and "Barvutaria" that can go in there 

at all seasons of the year loaded. T/ ,/. 77 

Very respectfully 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 9 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 29th, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 146 

ALL cotton purchased by any officer, soldier, or person con 
nected with the U. S. forces at Baton Rouge will be first offered 
for the use of the Penitentiary at the price for which it was 
purchased, before it can be sent away for sale or exchange. 

By Order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER, 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, D.C., June %Qth, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL: My last communication to you entrusted for 
delivery to Cuthbert Bullett, Esq. then on the point of 
departing for New Orleans, bore date on the 23rd instant, and 
since that time I have received your despatches of the 17th, 
18th, and 19th, instant, with their various enclosures. 

The suggestion made in your despatch of the 10th instant, 
as to a "qualified amnesty," has been brought to the notice 
of the President, and his determination shall be announced 
to you with the least possible delay. 

The attention of the President has also been drawn to your 
General Order No. 41, requiring certain oaths from foreigners 
resident at New Orleans, as well as to your correspondence on 
that subject with the Acting British Consul, and two 
communications relative thereto have been received from the 
State Department, of which copies are herewith transmitted 
to you, by direction of the President, for your information 
and guidance. 

The Department has likewise received from the Secretary of 
State the enclosed copy of certain instructions issued by him 
to the Hon. Reverdy Johnson, to examine and report as to 
the facts touching the sugars claimed by certain British, 
French, and Grecian merchants, of which mention was made 
in your despatch of the 17th instant; and also a letter, of which 
a copy is enclosed, approving your course with reference to 
the Mexican Consulate, which it gives me great pleasure to 
transmit to you. 

The views expressed in your despatch of the 25th May, to 
which you again refer in that of the 18th instant, as to the 



10 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

policy to be preserved in regard to persons held under the 
laws of Louisiana to labor or service, but whom the fortune 
of war have placed within your command, have strongly 
impressed me. It has not yet, however, been deemed neces 
sary or wise to fetter your judgment by any specific instruc-, 
tions in this regard. 

Your last despatch upon this subject, and the accompany 
ing report of General Phelps, which were not received until 
the 28th inst. shall be laid before the President. Pending his 
consideration, and any action which he may see fit to take 
thereon, it is confidently hoped that, exercising your accus 
tomed skill and discretion, you will so deal with this question 
as to avoid any serious embarrassment to the Government, or 
any difficulty with General Phelps. Your cordial commenda 
tions of his skill, experience, and courage renders the Depart 
ment very unwilling to forego the aid of his services. 

The news of the brilliant achievement of Lieut. Col. Kim- 
ball of the 12th Maine Vols., and the brave men under his 
command at Manchac Pass, was very gratifying to the Depart 
ment, and it entirely approves your action in allowing the 
Regiment to retain the colors which they had so gallantly 
taken from the enemy. 

Information has reached the Department that General 
McClellan has met with a serious reverse in front of Rich 
mond. Though the details have not transpired, it is quite 
certain that the published accounts are very much exagger 
ated. The army has changed its base, with comparatively 
little loss, to a much stronger position (Turkey Point) on the 
James River, and will, it is confidently expected, very soon 
march on and into Richmond. I am, General, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

EDWIN M. STANTON, Sec. of War 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, 24<A June, 1862 Not in chronological order] 

The Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I notice that Major General Butler is represented to 
have required certain oaths from foreigners at New Orleans. 
Though his general right, pursuant to martial law, to make 
any exactions which he may deem necessary for the peace 
and safety of the District under his command, cannot be ques 
tioned, the expediency of requiring oaths from those who do 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 11 

not owe a permanent allegiance to the Government is so doubt 
ful that I am directed by the President to request you to order 
him to discontinue that practice for the future, and to cancel 
any such obligations which may thus have been compulsorily 
contracted. Foreigners owe temporary allegiance to the au 
thorities wherever they may reside. From this nothing but a 
treaty stipulation can absolve them. In general, however, it 
is best to observe that they will observe this allegiance. If, 
however, they disregard it, the particular acts by which this 
disregard may be shown, are liable to punishment by the civil, 
or if this should be silent or inadequate, by martial law. It 
is preferable for the maintenance of harmonious relations with 
foreign powers that misconduct on the part of their citizens 
or subjects within our jurisdiction should not be anticipated, 
but that its actual development should be awaited. When it 
shall have occurred, is notorious in particular instances, or 
shall be susceptible of due proof, their Governments can 
not reasonably complain if the guilty parties are punished in 
proportion to their offence. 

This department having been officially apprised by the 
British Legation here that Mr. Coppell had been duly appointed 
Acting British Consul at New Orleans, I will again thank you 
to direct General Butler to respect his official acts accordingly. 
It is to be regretted that the General should have deemed it 
advisable to issue a certain order in consequence of which that 
gentleman deemed it necessary formally to relinquish his Con 
sular functions. He has been requested through the British 
Legation here to resume them. I have the honor to be, Sir, 
Your Obedient Servant, WILLIAM SEWARD 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, <ilth June, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

To the Honorable E. M. ST ANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that I have just held 
an interview with Mr. Stuart, Her Britannic Majesty s 
Charge d Affairs, in the course of which he has assured me 
that the letters of Mr. Coppell, the British Acting Consul at 
New Orleans, to the legation here, and everything else con 
cerning him which has come to their knowledge, have uni 
formly shown entire fairness towards this Government. It 
is to be apprehended, therefore, that General Butler in his 
correspondence with Mr. Coppell, especially that which relates 
to certain sugars at New Orleans, must have assumed a con- 



12 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

trary hypothesis, and that in the severity of his remarks he 
has done that gentleman injustice. I will, consequently, 
thank you to communicate the fact and express to General 
Butler the President s desire that he will do what he can 
towards removing from Mr. Coppell s mind the impression of 
injury which he may have done to that gentleman. I have the 
honor to be, Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, D.C., 27th of June 1862 
Not in chronological order] 

The Honorable Reverdy JOHNSON, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA 

SIR: The President regards the renewal of commerce at 
New Orleans, and on the Mississippi and its tributaries, as a 
most effective means of bringing this unhappy civil strife to 
an end, and restoring the authority of the Federal Govern 
ment. Such a restoration of trade is also calculated to deprive 
foreign powers of all excuse for sympathy with the insurgents. 
Under these circumstances, he deeply regrets every case of 
collision that occurs, even unavoidably, between the military 
authorities at New Orleans and the Consuls, merchants, and 
others concerned in commerce. While he will in all cases 
maintain the national rights, he desired to protect and guard 
the national honor in intercourse with foreign nations. 

A correspondence between Major General Butler, and the 
Consuls of Great Britain, France, and Greece in regard to a 
certain quantity of sugars claimed by certain British, French 
and Grecian merchants has been brought to the notice of 
this Department through a report of Major General Butler, 
made to the Secretary of War. 

The President desires and authorizes you, in addition to 
the special duties already assigned to you, to examine into the 
merits of that transaction, and to report the facts thereupon 
to this department, to the end that justice may be done in 
the matter. 

The carrying this instruction into effect may detain you at 
New Orleans longer than was anticipated, but the importance 
of the business makes it advisable that it should be adjusted 
prior to your departure. I am sir, 

Your obedient servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 13 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 29^, 1862 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I am on my return from Baton Rouge, where I have 
been for the purpose of inspecting the Garrison and ascertain 
ing if possible what is the sentiment of the people toward the 
Government. 

The Garrison, consisting of two regiments 21st Indiana 
and the 6th Michigan Volunteers, with a section of Everett s 
Battery (6th Mass.), are in fine condition and health, and, I 
believe, strong enough to resist a threatened attack by Gen 
eral Van Dorn, who has been put in command of the Depart 
ment of the Mississippi in place of General Lovell, removed. 

I have been agreeably disappointed in the feeling at Baton 
Rouge. There is a tiredness of the war and longing for the 
restoration of the old state of things, under the Union, which 
is gratifying. I had a visit from a dozen or more gentlemen of 
Baton Rouge and vicinity, representing some five or six mil 
lions of property, and had conversation with them upon the 
new system of Partisan Rangers just now inaugurated, i.e. 
Guerilla Warfare. They deprecate it, and will do everything 
possible to discountenance it. 

They offered to take the oath of allegiance if I required, 
but assured me they thought they could do more good by 
abstaining from that oath for the present, because it would 
be impossible for them to have communication with these 
partisans if they took the oath, and it should be publicly 
known. 

Governor Moore has issued an address more remarkable 
than any document of the kind ever penned. I enclose a 
copy. 

At the same time, General Van Dorn has issued his General 
Order No. 1, which recommends that all inhabitants remove 
eight miles from the river. I brought before me some of the 
most violent of the rebels, and after calling their attention to 
the present state of things, I proposed to them the oath of 
allegiance, and, after consideration over night, two of them, 
Mr. Benjamin, brother of the rebel Secretary of War, and 
By am, the Mayor of the City, took the oath. 

I brought away with me and now have under arrest five 
of those who had used threats toward the men who had shown 
themselves favorable to the Union. 



14 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Upon full reflection and observation I find the condition of 
public sentiment to be this: 

The planters and men of property are now tired of the war, 
well-disposed toward the Union, only fearing lest their negroes 
should not be let alone, would be quite happy to have the 
Union restored in all things. 

The operative classes of white men of all trades are as a 
rule in favor of the Union. 

In fact, this rebellion was at first inaugurated for the pur 
pose of establishing a landed aristocracy as against the poor 
and middling whites, who had shown some disposition to 
assert their equality with the planter, and had begun to express 
themselves through organizations and on the basis of the 
Masonic Order into societies, of which the South is full, of 
which that ritual is the pattern. This disinclination of the 
people to the war has required the Conscription act, so that 
we now have the before unheard of fact of a people professedly 
fighting for their liberties against oppression, and obliged to 
do so by their leaders in a most rigid Conscription Act. 

Free Conscripts are certainly evidence of progress in terms. 

I have directed all the funds in the several banks belonging 
to the State of Louisiana to be sequestered and held for the 
disposition of the Government. They are all collected in 
Confederate Treasury notes, and so may not be very valuable. 

By some unfortunate oversight the Paymasters came down 
here with $285,000 too little money to pay the troops up to 
last of May. Some of them have not been paid for six months, 
and some not since they have been in service, nine months. 
Men were disheartened; the Mails brought intelligence of 
the destitution of their families. Two months more pay come 
due July 1st. 

In this emergency, specie seized and which by the direction 
of a Commission was to be sent to Washington, in amount 
$50,000, was taken by pledge of personal credit and the faith 
of the Government a hundred thousand dollars more, which 
will be paid out to the suffering soldiers. 

Major Locke, one of the Paymasters, has also been ordered 
to report to Washington to get funds to pay the allotment, 
and for the July payment which ought to be made at once, 
may I ask that his mission be speeded at once? Details are 
given in a note to the Secretary of the Treasury, a duplicate 
of which is enclosed. 

The question of how to feed the people of this City and 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 15 

the surrounding country becomes of the utmost magnitude, 
and to it I have given the best exertions. 

Owing to the impression at the North that the river was 
opened, no flour has been shipped from Northern Ports. It is 
now at a fabulous price. Moore s proclamation has frightened 
all the people from the Red River County from sending the 
flour here, and we are in danger of starving. 

Upon consultation with Col. Turner, Chief Commissary of 
Subsistence, it has been thought best to distribute gratuitously 
under proper safeguard the Flour and Beef we can spare, say 
2000 barrels of each. 

The leading Secessionists will be taxed to pay the expenses, 
which I set down at about $75,000. It is absolutely neces 
sary that a fast-sailing steamer, capable of containing 4000 
Bbls. of Flour, Beef, & Pork, be at once forwarded for the use 
of the City. Col. Turner has made the necessary requisition 
for the flour, 4000 Bbls. 

The trustees for the Charity Hospital have resigned, but 
have been continued in office, as will be seen by the enclosed 
correspondence. 

July 3rd, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

A boat from Vicksburg this morning brings news (but no 
official despatches) that there has been an attack upon the 
place, that a portion of the fleet have got by the Batteries 
and joined fleet of Commander Davis above, that General 
Williams has made a lodgment on the opposite Bank of the 
River and erected a Battery there, and with his rifle (d) 12 
pounders is throwing shells into the town and enemy s camp. 
This is the rebels last defense on the river, and must yield. 

We are threatened with a Guerilla War which is claimed will be 
interminable. I take leave to suggest that it can be terminated 
in a few days. A reward offered of a $1000 for each Guerilla 
head, and freedom to the Negro who should bring it in, would 
bring that uncivilized system of war fare to a sudden termina 
tion by an equally uncivilized remedy. "Fire set to fight fire." 

I am sorry to say that some of the stories about the unhu- 
mane acts of our enemies are true. Insults to the dead are 
too shocking to be tolerated. 

I hope all those who have whined over Order No. 28 will 
read the Order which I have felt it my duty to enforce in the 
cases of Mrs. Phillips, Keller, & Andrew, copies I enclose. 

I beg leave to call attention to my call for more troops, I 
have enough to hold all I have occupied, but if the ulterior 



16 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

movements in Texas and upon Mobile are to be carried out, 
more will be required. 

Col. Deming again returns home for reasons which he prays 
leave to explain to the Department, and is charged with some 
personal communication to which I pray attention. 

I am deeply gratified, as indeed are all the loyal citizens of 
New Orleans, to learn that Acting Brig. Gen. Shepley has 
been made Military Governor of Louisiana. His successful 
administration of the City affairs has rendered him very accept 
able. It will be necessary to give him a Commission as Brig 
adier General so that he may be able to command the troops 
detailed to him to guard the State. 

Very Respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

Copy of Governor Moore s Address 

OPELOUSAS, June 18, 1862 

ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF LOUISIANA 

THE occupation by the enemy of a portion of the territory 
of our State imposes upon us new and unaccustomed respon 
sibilities. It creates an anomalous condition of affairs, and 
establishes between the Citizens of New Orleans and all other 
of our towns in the actual occupation of the enemy, and those 
of the Country Parishes, relations very different from those 
which regulate their ordinary intercourse. It is not surprising 
that a people who are now experiencing the first invasion of 
their State should not at the outset have appreciated the duties 
and necessities of the new position in which they suddenly 
find themselves placed. 

New Orleans is the Commercial Depot of the State. To it 
the whole agricultural products of our soil are conveyed, and 
from it are brought in return a large measure of the supplies 
for our plantations and the merchandise which forms the 
object of every species of traffic. 

The channels of trade constantly flow between it and the 
Country freighted with the every-day transactions of all 
classes of our citizens, thus binding our urban and rural 
population together by the strong bands of mutual depend 
ence and reciprocal benefit. 

Trade with the Enemy forbidden 

A state of public war resulting in the armed occupancy of 
New Orleans by the enemy, changes these relations. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 17 

There cannot be a war for arms and a peace for trade 
between two people at the same time. 

The armed occupants of that city are our enemies. 

To each loyal Citizen of Louisiana and of the Confederacy, 
every citizen of the country hostile to us is an enemy. We 
cannot barter our products for theirs. We cannot exchange 
our corn, cattle, sugar, or cotton for their gold. We have even 
no right to pay money that was owing to the citizens of the 
now hostile States before the war. 

Absolutely non-intercourse, the entire suspension of com 
munication by visit or for trade, is the only safe rule for our 
guidance. It is a rule recognized as imperative by all writers 
on public law, and universally administered by the authorities 
of nations at war. Communications with Citizens of occupied 
Cities must cease. 

Nor is it prudent to hold communication with citizens of any 
portion of our territory, temporarily occupied by the enemy. 
However much we may deplore their misfortunes, we must not 
permit these to be made the instruments for our further damage. 

The only proper and permissible manner in which we can 
communicate with the enemy or those under his control who 
are within his lines, is under a flag of truce. Communication 
with New Orleans since its armed occupation has been almost 
unrestrained, save by the fears of those who desired, from 
motives either of gain or curiosity, to enter the lines of the 
enemy. 

This communication must cease and at once. It is well- 
known that the General Commanding the invading army 
opposes no obstacle to the ingress of any of our citizens into 
New Orleans, but invariably attaches to the passport for egress 
the statement: "This Pass is given upon the parole of honor 
of the holder, that he will in no way give information, coun 
tenance, aid, or support to the so-called Confederate States 
or Government." 

This cunningly-devised trap to catch the unsuspicious visit 
ors was expected to trammel him in the rendition of those 
services which his country demands. No parole is ever given 
when these passports are delivered none ever required. 
This condition is inserted in the passport without notification 
to the applicant that it is to be required, in the belief that the 
apparent tacit consent of the receiver to a condition thus 
sneakingly sought to be foisted upon him, would be held 
binding in morals and in conscience. 

VOL. II 2 



18 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

At first the passports were received unsuspectingly and with 
out knowledge of the characteristic trickery contained in this 
clause, but it is now well-known that none are given without it. 

Using the Enemy s passports 

Whoever now, therefore, voluntarily place himself in the 
power of the enemy by entering their lines, throws a shade 
upon his loyalty to his Government. The possession of a 
passport containing the clause above quoted, subjects the 
holder to grave suspicion. Its receipt is incipient neutrality, 
the desire to fulfill the condition assumed to be imposed is 
only disguised indifference to our success. The attempt to 
fulfill it is treachery to our cause. No* man can pretend to 
assimilate this ex parte declaration of a Federal Provost 
Marshal, to which no assent is made by parole or act, to the 
parole of honor well recognized in military usage, the observ 
ance of which must ever be regarded as a primary duty. 
Such paroles are given to, are received by prisoners on either 
side, that they will not resume their participation in hostili 
ties until exchanged, and by persons sent from out the lines 
that they will not reveal what their presence has enabled them 
to see or hear. 

Neither the citizens of New Orleans or those visitors who 
have gone there since the occupation of the enemy are regarded 
by him as prisoners of War. If prisoners, it is his manifested 
duty to feed them, and when permitted to depart from his 
lines he would require of them a parole to cease hostilities, 
until exchanged. 

The passport shall not be a shelter from duty. It has come 
to my knowledge that some persons have gone into New Orleans 
voluntarily, and without any apparent or avowed purpose to 
accomplish, save the gratification of an idle curiosity, and 
have since returned with these Passports. When required to 
perform Militia duty afterwards, or accosted by the enroll 
ment Officer of Conscript, they present the Passport in which 
a Federal Officer has assumed a promise that the holder will 
not countenance or aid this Government. If he does not 
countenance then he must necessarily recognize the pretension 
of those who seek to crush it. Nor can he separate one part 
of the pretended parole from the other. 

He cannot claim that he holds himself bound by the stipu 
lation not to give aid and support to this Government, and 
thus avoid military duty, without also confessing to an obli 
gation not to countenance it, which is treason unmasked. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 19 

The military officer will be charged with Orders on this 
subject, the rigorous execution of which will be required. The 
Confederacy and the State recognize but two classes its 
friends and its foes. In this mighty and awful struggle for 
our sacred rights, for the sanctity of our homes, for the enjoy 
ment of liberty, for the salvation of our country, all considera 
tions of blood and friendship must give way, all apprehensions 
for the safety of property must be disregarded. Obedience 
to the laws and acquiescence to the policy of the Government 
will be the cheerful homage that every true man will make. 
Those who are not true must be deprived of the power of 
harm. 

Spies, Salaried Informers & Tories 

Not the least evil of the consequences flowing from com 
munications by our citizens with the places occupied by the 
enemy is the facility it affords to spies who traverse the country 
through the negligence of officers or the unsuspicious security 
of the people. These spies communicate with the salaried 
informers who are to be found in some localities, ready to 
serve any master for gold. 

The world has never furnished an instance of a people 
renouncing their Government and establishing a new one with 
the unanimity which has characterized the people of the 
Confederate States. Not even the men of 76, those fore 
fathers whom we are accustomed to think of battling with 
undivided hearts for a severance from the crown and the inde 
pendence of their nation, approached nearer to perfect unanim 
ity than ourselves in struggle against a foe, more malignant 
and vindictive than the one confronted by them. In the revolt 
of the colonies, whole Districts were inhabited by Tories, who 
strove to throttle the infant liberties of their country and 
bind her by fetters to the throne. In our struggle they are 
rarely to be met, but, though very few in number, they exist, 
and with a hate of our Government not exceeded by the hate 
of their predecessors to the government of George Washington. 

They can be tolerated no longer; if they did not wish to 
live under the Confederate Government, they were warned by 
its President a year ago that they were at liberty to depart. 
They have made their option. They cannot live here and dis 
regard our laws. They can neither hold property nor enjoy 
liberty if they disown the Government which protects the one 
and insures the other. This would be true even in ordinary 
circumstances, but when the foe who aims at our subjugation 



20 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

is pressing our soil, short must be the shrift of those who stand 
ready to welcome him. 

All possible vigilance must therefore be exercised for the 
detection of these spies and salaried informers, and for their 
apprehension. All citizens should report to the nearest au 
thorities the names and the proof or grounds of suspicion. 

Nor must less rigor be enforced in the case of those per 
sons who have not obeyed the President s warning. Strangers 
must give a satisfactory account of themselves, the doubtful 
must be closely watched, the disloyal must be imprisoned, 
and when found guilty of treason must be held liable to the 
penalty due to that capital crime. 

Confederate Notes the currency of our Country 

Manifold are the inducements presented by the enemy to 
begin trading with him. As temptation to you to thus vio 
late your sacred duty as citizens of the Confederate States, 
he offers high prices for your products, which he promises to 
pay in gold and silver. With equal assiduity he is engaged in 
efforts to depreciate the currency of your country. He for 
gets that every Confederate Bond is a record and certificate 
of a sum that has been contributed by generous and confiding 
citizens to secure the independence of their country that 
every Confederate Note is the evidence that thus much of 
the wealth of the people has been loaned to the Government 
to help it in its struggle that all the resources of a Republic 
of ten millions of people, occupying a vast territory of unsur 
passed productiveness, are pledged for their redemption - 
that they constitute a currency that measures the value of 
all our property, and that custom and loyalty recognize them 
as a legal tender. They are received and paid as such by all 
patriots, in exchange for what he offers for sale. The refusal to 
take Confederate money does a direct injury to our sacred 
cause, fans the latent spark of treason, and gives indirect 
aid and comfort to the ruthless enemy who invades our soil, 
ravages our coasts, insults our mothers, wives, and daughters, 
and tyrannizes over our conquered cities. The refusal to 
take Confederate money, if general, would at once paralyze 
our Government and put the Confederacy in imminent peril. 
Such refusal affords a presumption of disloyalty, and the plea 
of ignorance is but a slight palliation of the grave offence. 

River Steam Boats for Transports 

The enemy needs river steamboats to transport his troops 
to their plundering expeditions along the Mississippi, and he 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 21 

seizes all that lie within his reach; he searches for them in 
Bayous seldom navigated, and by the aid of traitorous inform 
ers, he has succeeded in capturing those that were thought to 
be effectually hidden. 

This must be prevented at any cost. As no concealment can 
be depended on, the Boats must be destroyed whenever the 
near approach of the enemy shall leave no other means of 
preventing their capture. 

Supplies of Provisions for New Orleans 

The delicate question of permitting New Orleans to be 
supplied with provisions, while in the occupation of the enemy, 
was presented to me soon after my return from Camp Moore, 
whither I had gone for the purpose of concerting Richmond 
plans for the future which will soon be made manifest. 

Much was and is to be said for and against the policy. It 
is sufficient for my present purpose to say that I have given 
permits to two agents of the City to carry provisions to our 
citizens so long as the Federal General should faithfully observe 
his pledge not to appropriate any of the provisions to other 
uses than supplying the wants of our own people. I was not 
unaware of the danger that attended such a policy in affording 
advantages for the establishment of an intercourse which the 
previous part of this address will show I could not approve. 
But I did not suspect that such a concession, made in tender 
consideration of the pressing wants of the City, would be 
abused by any of its own citizens to the extent of committing 
an act, little short of affording direct aid to the enemy. The 
recent act of the Cashier of the Bank of America and his 
accomplices has convinced me that any departure from this 
rule that the necessities of the population of any locality must 
be held subservient to the paramount consideration of the 
public safety, is attended with peril, and that in my desire to 
relieve the people of New Orleans, I was subjecting the public 
interests to danger of injury. No boats will hereafter be per 
mitted to go down to New Orleans or Baton Rouge, while those 
places are occupied by the enemy, unless, after the arrival of 
the Commanding General, Confederate Officers should be de 
tailed for the purpose of going in charge of them in the manner 
usually practiced by belligerents. 

Continued resistance our paramount duty 

It is not proper for obvious reasons to state here in detail 
the measures I have taken and the plans devised for the 
defense of our homes. The loss of New Orleans and the open- 



22 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ing of the Mississippi, which will soon follow, have greatly 
increased our danger and deprived us of many resources for 
defense. With less means we have more to do than before. 
Every weapon we have and all that our skillful mechanics 
can make will be needed. Every able-bodied citizen will 
hold himself in readiness for immediate service. Brave, vigi 
lant, energetic officers are authorized to raise bands of Parti 
san Rangers. Let every possible assistance be rendered them 
in forming, arming, equipping, and mounting their companies, 
and in giving them support and information when in service. 
Let every citizen be an armed sentinel to give warning of any 
approach of the insolent foe. Let all our River banks swarm 
with armed patriots, to teach the hated invader that the rifle 
will be his only welcome on his errands of plunder and destruc 
tion. Wherever he dares to raise the hated emblem of tyranny, 
tear it down and rip it in tatters. 

Mumford the Martyr 

The noble heroism of the patriot Mumford has placed his 
name high on the list of our martyr sons. When the Federal 
navy reached New Orleans a squad of Marines was sent on 
shore who hoisted their flag on the Mint. The City was not 
occupied by the United States Troops, nor had they reached 
there. The place was not in their possession. 

William B. Mumford pulled down the detested symbol 
with his own hands, and for that was condemned to be hung 
by General Butler after his arrival. Brought in full view of the 
scaffold, his murderers hoped to appal his heroic soul by the 
exhibition of the implements of an ignominious death. With 
the evidence of their determination to consummate their 
brutal purpose before his eyes, they offered him life on condi 
tion that he would abjure his country and swear allegiance to 
her foe. He spurned the offer, scorning to stain his soul with 
such foul dishonor. He met his fate courageously, and has 
transmitted to his countrymen a fresh example of what men 
will do and dare when under the inspiration of fervid patriotism. 
I shall not forget the outrage of his murder, nor shall it pass 
unnoticed. 

Rules that will not be relaxed 

I am not introducing any new regulations for the conduct 
of our citizens, but am only placing before them those that 
every nation at War recognizes as necessary and proper to be 
enforced. It is needless therefore to say that they will not be 
relaxed. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 23 

On the contrary I am but awaiting the assistance and 
presence of the General appointed to the Department to 
inaugurate the most effectual method for their enforcement. 
It is well to repeat them. 

Trading with the enemy is prohibited under all circum- , 
stances. Traveling to and from New Orleans and other places, 
occupied by the enemy is forbidden all passengers will be / 
arrested. 

Citizens going to these places and returning with the 
enemy s usual passport will be arrested. Conscripts or Militia 
men having in possession such passport, seeking to shun duty 
under the pretext of a parole, shall be treated as public ene 
mies. No such papers will be held sufficient excuse for inaction 
by any Citizen. 

The utmost vigilance must be used by officers and citizens 
in the detection of Spies and salaried informers and their 
apprehension, promptly effected. Tories must suffer the fate 
that every betrayer of his country deserves. 

Confederate notes shall be received and used as the cur 
rency of the country. 

River Steamboats must in no case be permitted to be 
captured. Burn them when they cannot be saved. 

Provisions may be conveyed to New Orleans only in Charge 
of Confederate Officers, and under the precautionary regula 
tions governing communication between belligerents. 

Our struggle and its sure result 

The loss of New Orleans, bitter humiliation as it was, has 
not created despondency, nor shaken our abiding faith in our 
success. Not to the eye of the enthusiastic patriot alone, who 
might be expected to color events with his hopes, but to the 
more impassioned gaze of the statesman, that success was 
certain from the beginning. It is only the timid, the unreflect 
ing, and the property owner who thinks more of his possessions 
than his country, that will succumb to the depressing influence 
of disaster. The great heart of the people has swelled with 
more intense aspirations for the cause, the more it seemed to 
totter. Their confidence is well-founded. The possession by 
the enemy of our seaboard and main water courses ought to 
have been foreseen by us. His overwhelming naval force 
necessarily accomplished the same results attained by the 
British in their war of subjugation. The final result will be 
the same. Let us turn unheeding ears to the rumors of foreign 
intervention. To believe is to rely on them. 



24 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

We must rely on ourselves. Our recognition as a Nation is 
one of those certainties of the future which nothing but our 
own unfaithfulness can prevent. We must not look around 
for friends to help when the enemy is straight before us. Help 
yourselves, it is the great instrument of national as of indi 
vidual success. rr r^ TVT 

THOMAS O. MOORE 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS June 30th, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 151 

FIDEL KELLER has been found exhibiting a human Skeleton 
in his Book Store window in a public place in this City, labelled 
"Chickahominy," in large letters, meaning and intending that 
the bones should be taken by the populace to be the bones of 
an United States soldier slain in that battle, in order to bring 
the authority of the U. S. and our Armies into contempt, and 
for that purpose had stated to the passersby that the bones 
were those of a Yankee soldier, whereas in truth and fact 
they were the bones purchased some weeks before of the Mexi 
can Consul, to whom they were pledged by a medical Student. 

It is therefore ordered that for this desecration of the dead 
he be confined at Ship Island for two years at hard labor, and 
that he be allowed to communicate with no person on the 
island except Mrs. Philipps, who has been sent there for a 
like offence. Any written message may be sent by him through 
these Headquarters. 

Upon this order being read to him, the said Keller requested 
that so much of it as associated him with "that woman" 
might be recalled, which request was therefore reduced to 
writing by him as follows: 

NEW ORLEANS June SQth, 1862 

Mr. Keller desires that, that part of the Sentence which 
refers to the communication with Mrs. Philipps be stricken 
out, as he does not wish to have communication with the 
said Mrs. Philipps. 
Witness. D. WATERS, (signed) F. KELLER 

Said request seeming to the Commanding General reason 
able, so much of said order is revoked, and the remainder will 
be executed. By Qrder ^ MAJ QEN BuTLER 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A.A.A.G. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 25 

From General Butler 

Headquarters DepL of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 30th, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 152 

JOHN W. ANDREWS exhibited a Cross, the emblem of the suf 
fering of our blessed Savior, fashioned for a personal ornament, 
which he said was made from the bones of a Yankee soldier, 
and having shown this, too, without rebuke in the Louisiana 
Club which claims to be composed of Chivalric Gentlemen: 

It is therefore ordered that for this desecration of the dead 
he be confined at hard labor for two years on the fortifications 
of Ship Island, and he be allowed no verbal or written com 
munication to, or with any one, except through these 
Headquarters. By Q ^ Q/ MAJ QEN BUTLER 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 
From Count Mejan 

TRANSLATION. NEW ORLEANS, June 30th, 1862 

Major General BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf 

SIR: I am obliged to direct a letter to Gov. Moore in order 

to protest against the treatment which several of my fellow 

citizens, residing in the interior, have been submitted to. 
Would it cause any inconvenience to have this letter sent 

to the nearest point where it could be put into the post office. 

Accept, Sir, the considerations, etc. 

The French Consul, COUNT MEJAN 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 30, 1862 

To Count MEJAN, French Consul 

SIR : It will give me great pleasure to aid in forwarding your 
letter to Governor Moore in any way you may suggest. I have 

the honor to be, T7 1 , -,. 

Very truly, your obedient servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 
From General Butler 

Ed. Qts. DepL of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 30, 1862 

Count MEJAN, French Consul 

SIR: I beg leave to call your attention to the fact that I 
have not received your report of the large amounts of specie 



26 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

placed under your charge, just previous to the coming up of 
the Fleet of the United States. 

Presuming that a press of business has prevented. I am 

Most Respectfully Your Obt. Servt. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 30th, 1862 

Capt. MORRIS 

CAPTAIN: I am reliably informed that the enemy are bring 
ing down a large number of cattle to the mouth of Red River, 
and thence running them across the Mississippi, are supplying 
the Confederate Army. 

I would most respectfully urge upon you to send a gunboat 
to cruise between the mouths of Red River and Black River. 
This would entirely obviate the mischief. 

Respectfully, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qts.Dept. of the Gulf 

Hon. SALMON P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury 

SIR: I have the honor to enclose to you certain certificates 
of deposits in the Confederate States Treasury of the pro 
ceeds of several confiscations by the rebel District Court 
here. All records of the proceedings save these have been 
destroyed or carried away. 

Also please find a receiver s bond, which may be useful as 
showing the form of the proceedings of the rebels in that 
behalf. I remain Your Obt. Servt. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 30, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 156 

THE City of Jefferson is hereby authorized and empowered 
to issue, by its usual Municipal Officers, Notes in the simili 
tude of Bank notes to an amount not exceeding Twenty-five 
thousand Dollars, under a denomination not less than One or 
greater than Ten Dollars. For the redemption of which one 
per cent, of the City Taxes & Revenues shall be pledged and 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 27 

set apart. As soon as that sum shall have been realized, public 
notice shall be given that said notes will be redeemed in specie 
or its equivalent. 



R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 
From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, LA., June 1862 

IN the matter of the appeal of W. N. Mercer, President, and 
Auguste Montreuil, Cashier, of the Bank of Louisiana, defend 
ants, from the judgment of the Provost Court, upon the 
complaint of A. Durand, complainant. 

This is an application by the defendants, representing the 
Bank, made to the General Commanding, asking him to revise 
and set aside the judgment of the Provost Court, made in 
favor of the Plaintiff, Durand. 

It is based upon the legal theory that over all matters 
within garrison, camp, and perhaps geographical military 
department, wherein martial law has been declared, the power 
of the Commanding General is absolute, and that, looking to 
him as the representative of the martial power of the govern 
ment here, all applications for redress must be made when any 
wrong is supposed to have been done. 

This view being sound, so far as I can see, I have with the 
best thoughts possible under the circumstances re-examined 
the case and the reasons assigned for the appeal. 

Error is claimed on two grounds, first, that the Provost 
Court had no jurisdiction of the cause, and second, that the 
judgment was not in accordance with the law which should 
govern its decision. 

The argument assumes that law to be Genl. Order No. 30, 
and does not dispute the authority which made it, or the effect 
of that order, but contents itself with endeavouring to con 
strue the order. 

The objection to the jurisdiction of the Court is put upon 
two grounds first, that the Provost Court has not jurisdic 
tion of the subject matter, second, that the proper parties were 
not before it so as to enable it to act with regard to the rights 
of those, who were not summoned in the case. 

It is said that the question, being one of a right of property, 
cannot be entertained by a Court which only acts to punish 
the infraction of military orders and police regulations. 

A technical answer to this objection, which is in the nature 



28 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

of a plea to the jurisdiction, would be that it does not appear 
this plea was put in till after the hearing upon the merits. 

It is a familiar rule that a party shall not be allowed to go 
into Court, and have a hearing on his case, take the chances of 
a decision in his favor, and then, if adverse, repudiate the 
Court before which he has appeared, and to whose judgment 
he has submitted his cause. 

This rule has been held very strictly, both as to jurisdiction 
over the subject matter and the parties. 

But in a Court where no technical rules are allowed to work 
injustice, a technical answer is not sufficient. 

Of what then do the defendants complain? The Bank says 
the Court has made an order which takes away the property 
of the Bank, and gives it to another, and that the Court has 
no power so to act. But is that so? Is it not the Commanding 
General s order, which does that of which complaint is made? 
The Bank nowhere complains that the General has not the 
power to make such an order, if, in his judgment, it becomes a 
military necessity, and that some order on the subject matter 
was so is shown by the fact that the first question put to him 
on entering the city was, what currency would be pro 
vided for the people to save them from starvation and bread 
riots. 

It has passed into history that he permitted a vicious cur 
rency as a medium of circulation for the purpose of meeting 
this exigency. Again, it will be remembered that the Bank 
now claims that it is exempted from this order, because, by 
order of another Military Commander in September last 
(there was no civil law for it), it was obliged to suspend Specie 
Payment against its will, and substitute Confederate notes for 
its daily currency instead of its own bills. This order was 
submitted to if not with joy, at least not under protest, so 
far as I am informed. 

The order, as well as the law of the land then is, that the 
Bank shall pay its depositors in Gold or Silver coin, and 
United States Treasury Notes, or its own bills. A citizen com 
plains that this order of the Commanding General has not 
been obeyed, to his prejudice. 

For what, then, is a Provost Court, in Military phrase 
constituted? Confessedly, to inquire into, determine, and 
punish the infraction of military orders. 

To do this the court must act in rem as well as in personam. 
A familiar example would be, if the Commanding General 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 29 

orders all arms to be given up, and some citizen neglects or 
refuses to obey, would it not be within the jurisdiction of a 
Provost Court, although its judgment should act upon a right 
of property involving millions of dollars worth of muskets? 

If the act brought before the Court, therefore, is alleged to 
be an infraction of a military order, it is determinable in a 
military Court. 

Again, it is said, that the Court has not jurisdiction, because, 
the stockholders of the Bank were not summoned in and made 
parties, and that their rights and interests will be affected by 
this decision. This is all true. But did the learned Counsel 
for the Bank ever hear of a suit against a bank in any Court, 
where the stockholders were summoned in, unless it was 
sought to charge them, individually, which is not the case 
here. 

A corporation acts through its authorized agents, and is 
bound by their acts, and is to be charged upon notice to them. 
This objection of want of sufficient power in the President 
and Directors of the Bank of Louisiana to pay the depositor, 
M. Durand, in their own bills, which is only changing the form 
of indebtedness from a depositor to a billholder, under the 
order of the Provost Court, without the consent of their 
stockholders, would provoke a smile in a less serious discussion, 
when we remember that this same Board of Directors, with 
out asking leave of their stockholders, against law and right, 
put 3,000,000 of its bullion out of their hands and out of the 
State, whence they will probably never see it again. 

I am of opinion that these objections to the jurisdiction of 
the Court, are untenable. 

The other objection as to the merits of the decision can, it 
seems to me, be disposed of in a word. If the order is a proper 
one, it must be obeyed. Its propriety cannot be discussed by 
me. It is admitted that Durand is a depositor in the Bank of 
what the Bank chose to take as money treated as money 
credited to him as money nay forced upon the community 
as money. He has not been paid his deposit. 

The Bank should pay him in specie. The decision following 
the letter of the order, is that the Bank may give him their 
own bills instead of money. Of that decision the Bank has 
no cause to complain. Durand is now the creditor of the Bank 
as a depositor. The decision makes him their creditor as a 
billholder. In equity they have nothing to complain of, he 
may have, because he does not get his gold, to which by the 



30 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

laws of banking, laws of the State and the United States he is 
entitled. 

He does not seek to reverse the decision. Let it stand. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July Znd, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 166 

IN view of the great distress now existing in New Orleans, 
an attempt to relieve it will be made on the following plan: 

I. There shall be one Superintendent with entire control, 
under the direction of the General Commanding the Depart 
ment. He shall have the custody of all monies appropriated 
to the subsistence of the poor of the city, and shall be charged 
with the purchase of all provisions for the poor of New Orleans, 
and with the distribution of the same. 

A Return of Provisions received and issued, and the disburse 
ments on account of purchases of subsistence, and expenses 
incurred in distributing, with an account of all monies received, 
will be rendered monthly with vouchers to the Headquarters 
of the Department. 

II. There shall be an Asst. Superintendent for each dis 
trict of the City, appointed by the Superintendent, whose 
pay shall be three Dollars per day. It will be his duty to collect 
all informations of the poor and needy within his district, and 
to give orders to those who are in want upon the District depot 
for provisions. These orders shall be in Duplicate, one or 
which is retained and accompanies his return of donations, 
which he makes up daily to the Superintendent. He will 
also give orders for the sale of provisions under instruction 
from the Superintendent. 

Cases of destitution shall be certified to either by a Clergy 
man of the District, by a responsible person known to the 
Asst. Superintendent, by personal observation, or by other 
satisfactory evidence to prevent imposition. 

III. There shall be in each district of the City a Depot of 
Supplies for distribution and Sales. There shall be attached 
to each as it may be found necessary, a Salesman in charge of 
the Depot at $2.50 per day, one Asst. at $2.00 per day, and 
two Assts. at $1.50 pr day, each to be appointed by the Super 
intendent. The Salesman will receive orders from the Asst. 
Superintendent of his District, and see that they are promptly 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 31 

filled. He will render an Account daily to the Superintendent 
of all provisions expended, whether by donations or sales, 
accompanied by the orders of the Asst. Superintendent, which 
shall be his vouchers for the issues of the purchases distrib 
uted, as also an account of the monies received. He will 
make his requisitions for provisions upon the Superintendent. 
Stores properly located will be occupied for these purposes, 
taking those vacant and belonging to known enemies of the 
Country. By ^^ ^ MAJ GN BUTLER 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 
From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 2, 1862 

Col. BENJAMIN F. LARNED, Paymaster General, U.S.A. 

GENERAL: I have directed Major Locke to report to you, 
and he goes home by the "McClellan." 

By some strange and unaccountable want of knowledge of 
the needs of this department, there was not money enough 
sent down to pay the troops here up to March last by the 
sum of $285,000, as Major Locke reports to me. 

Many of them have not been paid since they were in ser 
vice. I have by pledge of personal credit got money enough, 
with having the allotment paid in New York, to pay the March 
Payment. 

I desire that Major Locke be immediately sent back with 
money sufficient for the June payment. 

I beg leave to refer you to my letter of this date to the 
Secretary of the Treasury for memoranda of the needed action. 
(A copy is enclosed.) I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 2, 1862 

Hon. SALMON P. CHASE, Secretary of Treasury 

SIR: Will be found enclosed herewith minutes of the doings 
of a Commission to enquire into the seizure of the Specie of 
Samuel Smith & Co. The finding is that the Case should be 
sent to the Department for investigation. I should have sent 
the specie ($50,000) to you, but this remarkable state of 
things exists. 



32 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Two Paymasters came down here with $285,000 too little 
money to pay the troops of this Department, some of whom 
have not been paid for six months, and they and their families 
are suffering for their just dues; which from the inefficiency of 
the Pay Department in not making proper requisition has 
not been furnished them. I shall therefore appropriate this 
$50,000 toward the payment of the troops left unpaid, one of 
which is a Western Regiment not paid since December, and 
one a Maine one, not paid since October. 

I shall borrow of one of the Banks here $50,000 more in 
gold. I cannot get Treasury notes upon my own credit and 
pledging the faith of the Government. 

This I have promised shall be returned in gold in sixty days, 
with interest at the rate of six per cent per annum, and trust 
that pledge will be made good, as I shall have to suffer the 
loss. 

I shall also obtain from Adams & Co. here $50,000 in Treas 
ury notes, or thereabouts, and by leaving the allotments 
unpaid here but to be paid in New York, I shall be able to 
have the payment completed. 

But this only pays the March payment, leaving two months 
still due. May I ask therefore that my draft in favor of 
Adams & Co. be honored, and a future draft not exceeding in 
all $50,000, be honored at sight, so that Adams & Co. can 
send forward the remittances to the soldiers wives, which 
have been used here to pay others, and that $50,000 in gold 
be sent me to repay that which I have borrowed. 

I could not let my soldiers go longer unpaid. It was injur 
ing the credit of the Government with our foes and breeding 
sickness and discontent among my men. 

Trusting that this action will meet approval in the emer- 
gency. lam Most truly Yours, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



From General Butler 

Ed. Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, LA. July 2d, 1862 

Mr. ASA S. BLAKE, Agt. Adams Express Company 

SIR: I hereby order you to furnish me with the Sum of 
twenty five thousand dollars ($25,000) at the earliest possible 
moment, for which Amount I propose to give you a Check 
on the Asst. Treasurer of the United States at New York. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 33 

This is in accordance with the terms proposed to you at our 
last interview, and I shall hold you for the above amount, as 

heretofore stated. D . - 77 v 

Respectfully Yours, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 
From General Butler 

Hd. Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 3, 1862 

W. B. DAISMORE, Esq., President, Adams Express Co. 

DEAR SIR: I have this day compelled Mr. Asa Blake, your 
Agent of this City, to furnish me with the Sum of twenty five 
thousand dollars ($25,000), for which amount have handed 
him a check drawn upon the Asst. Treasurer of the United 
States at New York. He has strongly resisted me in the 
matter, not wishing to deviate from his instructions and the 
rules of your Company. 

Knowing, however, that the matter as proposed and insisted 
upon by me will not conflict in any way with the interest, and 
as Necessity knows no laws, I have taken such steps in this 
affair as the occasion and the wants of my troops demand. 
Respectfully, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From A. S. Blake 

Office of the Adams Express Company, NEW ORLEANS LA. July 3, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL: I hereby protest against the Course proposed 
by you regarding the funds placed in my hands by the Officers 
and men of your Command for transmission to their wives & 
families. 

The plan suggested is not at all in accordance with my 
positive instructions, or our old and excellent method of 
making our Money Shipments. To wit: 

"Instructions: Agents will in each and every Case transmit 
the same funds as received, the same to be placed in the printed 
envelope of the Company, properly sealed, with the Com 
pany s Stamp." 

Sincerely hoping you may be enabled to obtain the amount 
required without obliging me to take any steps outside of 
our regular routine, I have the honor to remain, 

Yours Respectfully, 
A. S. BLAKE, Agent Adams Express Co. N. 0. 

VOL. II 3 



34 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
From Ponier & Co. 

NEW YORK, July 2, 1862 

To Major General BUTLER, Commanding United States Army, 
NEW ORLEANS 

SIR: By the ship "General Butler" from New Orleans, 
since arrived in Boston, we are consignees of 104 hogsheads 
sugar. The Bill of Lading was made out in the usual form, 
and the freight specified five dollars per hogshead. 

On arrival of the ship we placed the sugars in the hands of 
our brokers in Boston for sale. When they were landed the 
Quarter Master refused to deliver our sugars unless our agent 
paid ten dollars per Hogshead freight, of course, we had 
to submit, the sugars being in his possession, the vessel being 
under the Government Charter, and a perishable article, 
there was no choice left us but to submit to the wrong. His 
refusal was based on the ground that some one in New Orleans 
had collected a portion of the freight in advance, and had not 
given proper credit for it to the Government; therefore, having 
the power in his hands, he forced us an innocent third 
party to pay over to him what he thinks some one else 
has wronged the Government out of. 

The name of the party who is charged with collecting these 
monies in advance in New Orleans has been given to us, but 
it is so respectable that we refrain from repeating it, thinking 
that there is a mistake somewhere, and that as soon as expla 
nations are made the money will be refunded to us either in 
New Orleans or Boston if in New Orleans, Mr. John Geo. 
Haas, 78 Custom House Street, is authorized to receive and 
receipt for it. If it is to be repaid in Boston, will you be kind 
enough to order that proper papers be made out proving that 
there has been no wrong done to the Government in New 
Orleans. We have the honor to be, 

Your obedient servants, PONIER & Co. 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS July IGth, 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

Messrs. PONIER & Co., NEW YORK 

GENTLEMEN: Yours of the 2nd inst. is received, and in 
reply will refer you to Richard S. Fay Jr., Esq., of Boston. 

Explanations have been sent forward by this mail. If any 
wrong has been done you, no matter how "respectable" the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 35 

source, if within the scope of the Department it will be 
redressed. 

I believe, however, that all has arisen from a mistake of 
rights, and the matter will be adjusted. 

Respectfully Yours 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, LA., July 2, 1862 

Mr. J. G. CARNEY, Boston 

MY DEAR SIR: Many thanks for your kind note. You will 
have seen by my last note that I have endeavored to protect 
my drafts. I assure you that they would be paid at sight if 
here now. Therefore, do not let them be dishonored. Hildreth 
and Fay will aid in the matter. 

I am as jealous of the good opinion of my friends as I am 
careless of the slanders of my enemies, and your kind expres 
sion in regard to order No. 28, leads me to say a word to you 
on the subject. 

That it ever could have been so misconceived as it has been 
by some portion of the Northern Press is wonderful, and would 
lead one to exclaim with the Jew, "O Father Abraham, what 
these Christians are, whose own hard dealings teach them to 
suspect the very thoughts of others." 

What was the state of things to which the women order 
applied? We were two thousand five hundred men in a city 
seven miles long by two to four wide, of a hundred and fifty 
thousand inhabitants, all hostile, bitter, defiant, explosive, 
standing literally in a magazine, a spark only needed for de 
struction. The devil had entered into the hearts of the women 
of this town to stir up strife in every way possible. Every 
opprobrious epithet, every insulting question was made by 
these bejewelled, becrinolined, and laced creatures calling 
themselves ladies, toward my soldiers and officers, from the 
windows of houses and in the street. How long do you sup 
pose our flesh and blood could have stood this without re 
tort? That would lead to disturbance and riot from which 
we must clear the streets by artillery, and then a howl that 
we had murdered these fine women. I had arrested the men 
who hurrahed for Beauregard, could I arrest the women? 
No what was to be done? No order could be made 
save one that would execute itself. With anxious, careful 
thought I hit upon this, "Women who insult my soldiers are 



36 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

to be regarded and treated as common women plying their 
vocation." 

Pray how do you treat a common woman plying her voca 
tion in the streets? You pass her by unheeded. She cannot 
insult you. As a gentleman you can and will take no notice 
of her. If she speaks, her words are not opprobrious. It is 
only when she becomes a continuous and positive nuisance 
that you call a watchman and give her in charge to him. 

But some of the Northern Editors seem to think that 
whenever one meets such a woman one must stop her, talk 
with her, insult her, or hold dalliance with her. And so from 
their own conduct they construed my order. The Editor of 
the Boston Courier may so deal with common women, and 
out of the abundance of the heart his mouth may speak, but 
so do not I. 

Why, these she-adders of New Orleans themselves were at 
once shamed into propriety of conduct by the order, and from 
that day no woman has either insulted or annoyed my line 
soldiers or officers, and of a certainty no soldier has insulted 
any woman. When I passed through Baltimore on the 23rd 
of February last, members of my staff were insulted by the 
gestures of the ladies there. Not so in New Orleans. One of 
the worst possible of all these women showed disrespect to the 
remains of gallant young De Kay, and you will see her punish 
ment, a copy of the order for which I enclose is at once a 
vindication and a construction of my order. 

I can only say that I would issue it again under like cir 
cumstances. Again thanking you for your kind interest, I am 

Truly your friend 



From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 30th, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 150 

MRS. PHILIPPS, wife of Philipp Philipps, having been once 
imprisoned for her traitorous proclivities and acts at Wash 
ington, and released by the clemency of the Government, and 
having been found training her children to spit upon the 
Officers of the United States at New Orleans, for which act of 
one of those children both her husband and herself apologized 
and were again forgiven, is now found on the balcony of her 
house during the passage of the funeral procession of Lieut. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 37 

DeKay, laughing and mocking at his remains, and, upon 
being inquired of by the Com d g General, if this fact were so, 
contemptuously replies, "I was in good spirits that day." 

It is therefore ordered that she be not "regarded and treated 
as a common woman," of whom no officer or soldier is bound 
to take notice, but as an uncommon, bad, and dangerous 
woman, stirring up strife and inciting to riot. 

And that therefore she be confined at Ship Island in the 
State of Mississippi, within proper limits there, till further 
orders, and that she be allowed one female servant and no 
more, if she so choose. That one of the houses for Hospital 
purpose be assigned her as quarters, and a soldier s ration each 
day be served out to her with the means of cooking the same, 
and that no verbal or written communication be allowed with 
her except through this office, and that she be kept in close 
confinement until removed to Ship Island. 

By Order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A.A.A.G. 



From J. B. Kinsman 

CAMBRIDGE, July 2, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, NEW ORLEANS 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I arrived in New York on the eighteenth 
of June without anything of importance occurring on the pas 
sage. Before reaching the city a messenger came on board and 
handed me a letter, stating that, by direction from Washing 
ton, the State prisoners were to go directly to Fort Luforth 
and not to Warren, also that they must be permitted to com 
municate with no one. I went on shore and found telegrams 
to that effect at the Quarter Master s and the United States 
Marshal. I then took them to the Marshal s office, together 
with their baggage, and took his receipt for them as voucher. 
That occupied my day, and Mrs. Butler not being very well 
from her seasickness, I proceeded that night with her to 
Boston, and left her the next morning in the Lowell depot, 
spending that night in Cambridge. The next day I started 
for Washington and arrived there sick, and was obliged to 
take my bed for some time. When I delivered my despatches, 
from what I could learn from the Secretary of War s talk, 
and he talked very freely, he is highly pleased with everything 
you have done. As I left him he said you desired me appointed 
Captain, and asked me if I would call the next day, which I 



38 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

did, when he made an appointment certainly very satisfac 
tory, and ordered me to report to you for duty but to come 
to Washington, when I was ready to return. I told him I 
would, but for the present I was not fit for duty, and should 
go North, and when I could work would return. Secretary 
Chase seems greatly pleased with your policy, but wants to 
know how you get along with the negroes, and said it was a 
hard and troublesome question. I told him you had asked 
instructions with regard to it but had received none as yet. 
I met him in the evening at Mr. Seward s house, and he told 
me he had written you after our talk on the subject, though it 
was not his place to write, but gave you his views in an advi 
sory note. 

I sent in my card to Mr. Seward and was admitted and met 
very cordially, and he seemed to know all about me in the 
Consul matters, and said he was of the opinion that I could 
not search the Consul s person. I asked him what he would 
have done with a stout vault and the men with a key in front 
of it. He said the Consul had no more right with regard to 
property than anyone else, and that I might have torn down 
his house and blown his vault to pieces, but he thought I could 
not touch his person. He hoped we should make him out as 
good a case as possible to stand on. He looks upon all of the 
Consul questions as very delicate ones, and spoke of the Trent 
matter as one we had to back out from. My impression is 
that he is quite timid about the whole matter touching the 
Consuls, and I think he will instruct you with regard to them. 
He had seen in the paper that you require the Consuls to take 
an oath he says he does not think you can make them do 
that. I state these things to give you an idea of what I 
heard. Sometimes he seemed highly pleased with what you 
had done for the repression of the rebellion in the South. 
After I had talked with him a short time he said, "Mr. Kins 
man, I want you to dine with me today at seven o clock." 
Although I was quite unwell, I thought it would not do to 
decline, and accepted. Went back to Willard s and went to 
bed, and at seven went up and found it to be a Diplomatic 
dinner to the English and French Legation, together with the 
Colonists Secretaries, making twenty in all. When he took 
occasion to introduce me as your actor and the officer that 
picks the foreign Consul s pockets, and that they should have 
a care for me. As a modest man, you must know my suffering, 
though I got well over it before rising from the table. We sat 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 39 

down at seven and arose at ten, very glad to go back to Wil- 
lard s to bed again. The next day I went to Georgetown to 
see Blanche and Florence, and got them ready to start the 
next day (Thursday last) for home, where we all went on 
Friday night. I was not well on the way home, and since 
reaching your house I have been in bed until yesterday. Then 
I came down here to Cambridge, and as soon as I am good 
for anything I will return to you. I am Sir, 

Very truly, Your obt. servt., J. B. KINSMAN 

From the Secretary of the Treasury 

Treasury Department, July 2nd, 1862 

GEORGE S. DENISON, Esq., Special Agent and Acting Collector 
SIR: On the 2nd of June you were informed that Messrs. 
Martin and Woods had shipped liquors per Brig. "E. P. 
Stewart" to New Orleans, previous to the instructions to 
Collectors not to clear Ardent Spirits, which were declared 
contraband of War, and you were instructed to permit the 
landing of the said liquors, on the condition that they were not 
to be shipped elsewhere, nor used to give aid or comfort to 
the insurgents, and to inform the Collector at Philadelphia 
of the compliance of the consignees with this condition, in 
order that he might cancel the bond given to that effect by 
Messrs. Martin and Woods. 

They now write to this department, saying that they are 
advised by their super cargo, under date of June 18th, that the 
liquors are detained at the Custom House. You will release 
them and permit their delivery and consumption, under the 
direction of General Butler, unless there is some good reason 
known to you and not known to the Department, for their 
further detention, in which case you will report the facts of 
the case without delay. 

You will adopt the same course in regard to the liquors 
shipped on board the same vessel by Thomas C. Knight, who 
informs me that they are also detained at the Custom House, 
and report to the Collector at Philadelphia, as instructed in 
the case of Martin and Woods. I am, 

Very respectfully, 
S. P. CHASE, Sec. of the Treasury 



40 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 3rd, 1862 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

I SEND enclosed letters brought by the British Steamer 
"Rinaldo," but sent to me in a sealed Package, which will 
show how our enemies get their Arms. 

I have McLaurin in safe keeping. It will be necessary for 
the navy department to look after the "Pacific," which was 
at Nassau on the 28th of June. I fear her arms are getting in 
through Texas. I have hundreds of such letters implicating 
every foreigner almost in this city, with this kind of illegal 
traffic. I have the honor to be 

Most truly Your Obt. Servt. 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July llth, 1862 

Not in chronological order^ 

Hon. WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State 

SIR: I have the honor to enclose a Statement from Mr. 
Archibald McLaurin in relation to the facts contained in the 
letter addressed to him which I submitted to you by a previous 
mail. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully Your Obt. Servt., 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From Mrs. Butler 

LOWELL, July 3rd, 1862 

DEAR MAJOR STRONG: I received your very welcome note 
four or five days ago, but could not answer it immediately as I 
wished, for the reason that I have been ill, and my eyes were 
so much inflamed I did not like to use them. I have rallied 
for the fourth, and we are preparing a holiday for the children. 
Mr. Butler wrote me to have the punch bowl filled, and to be 
sure that all drank to the absent one. Tomorrow the General 
and Staff were to meet in Lowell, to celebrate the day and to 
talk over the campaign, which, alas! is not yet finished. 

It gives me great pleasure to hear that your health is so 
much improved. I dreaded the sea voyage for you, but felt 
that anything was preferable to that climate, yet if I had 
thought the "Ocean Queen" would have sailed so soon, I 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 41 

should have urged you to wait a week longer. I desired so 
much to accompany you that at least you might have what 
little care and attention I could bestow. 

Poor young Clark, thin as a shadow, came on with us. I 
really think we have saved his life by taking him away and 
bringing him home to his mother. 

I must congratulate Mrs. Strong that she has got you home 
again (though sadly wasted by the climate), yet without the 
loss of a limb. You remember at the Revere House, on the 
night we started, she almost thought she would be willing to 
compromise with the loss of an arm. I dare not think of the 
summer for Mr. Butler, but am hoping every hour some lucky 
chance will send him home. If the news we get today of 
McClellan s defeat should be true I shall despair on every side. 

The paragraph so kindly sent I enclosed in a letter to Mr. 
Butler. He cannot fail to fully appreciate the nice sense of 
honor that dictated the article, as well as the very handsome 
compliment paid him in conclusion. 

When you have enjoyed the quiet of your own family for a 
time, and breathed "the pure air" till you feel strong enough 
to bear the society of friends, you must take Mrs. Strong and 
the baby and visit me at Lowell. Suit your convenience as to 
the time, only send me a line when you feel able to come. 

Present my very kindest regards to Mrs. Strong and believe 

Very sincerely and truly yours, 

SARAH HILDRETH BUTLER 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, D.C. July 3rd, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL: I wrote you last under date of the 29th ultimo, 
and have now to say that your despatch of the 18th ultimo, 
with the accompanying report of General Phelps concerning 
certain fugitive negroes that have come to his pickets has 
been considered by the President. 

He is of opinion that, under the law of Congress, they cannot 
be sent back to their masters; that in common humanity 
they must not be permitted to suffer for want of food, shelter, 
or other necessaries of life: that, to this end, they should be 
provided for by the Quartermaster s and Commissary s Depart 
ments; and that those who are capable of labor should be set 
to work and paid reasonable wages. 



42 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

In directing this to be done, the President does not mean, 

at present, to settle any general rule in respect to slaves or 

slavery, but simply to provide for the particular case under 

the circumstances in which it is now presented. I am General, 

Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, 

EDWIN M. ST ANTON, Secretary of War 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 3rd, 1862 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: Col. Deming informs me that you would listen kindly 
to suggestions as to some appointments upon my Staff. It 
is sufficiently humiliating to have to ask that the Staff be 
appointed for some other Major General and then assigned 
to me. 

Longer and as successful service as any other Major Gen 
eral in this war would seem to entitle me to be spared that 
degradation, while my life is at the hazard of the bayonet, of 
the enemy, the poinard of the assassin, or the malaria of the 
fearful climate. But the just claims of gentlemen who by 
faithful service have fairly earned promotion and position 
compels me to yield this as well as everything else given up to 
the country. 

Lt. Col. Jonas H. French of Boston, you remember, was 
appointed Lieut. Col. of the 30th Mass. Regt., and then set 
aside by Governor Andrew. He is now Provost Marshal of 
New Orleans and Acting Inspector General. I wish at least 
his former rank could be given him. 

Jos. M. Bell of Boston (late law partner of Mr. Choate) 
has served the country as my military Secretary and Volun 
teer Aid de Camp since October last, without pay or emolu 
ment save the love of well-doing for his country. He is now 
Provost Judge of New Orleans, and is doing most acceptably 
the work of judges who had an aggregate of salaries more than 
$20,000 per year, and doing it better than it was done before. 
I wish that he might have the Commission of Lieut. Colonel. 

Robert S. Davis Esq. of Boston, who likewise has served as 
my Volunteer Aid without pay or emolument, and is now 
doing the arduous duty of Acting Asst. Adjt. General in the 
absence of Major Strong who is sick, I would ask to have 
made Captain and Aid de Camp. 

Captain George A. Kensel of Kentucky, who was Captain 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 43 

in the Quartermaster Department, promoted from the 5th 
Artillery and now Chief of Artillery of this Division, should 
at least be Lieut. Col., so that he may outrank all Commanders 
of Batteries over which he has charge. He is now doing the 
double duty of Ordnance Officer as well as Chief of Artillery. 

Capt. William O. Fiske of Mass., who has been serving since 
17th April 1861, and came out here in command of the finest 
company in the service, was set aside by Governor Andrew 
because he was Volunteer Aid to me. He had swam ashore 
at Hatteras through the surf to carry orders to the land forces 
when none else would attempt it. He has lost his company, 
is gallant, courageous, and deserving. He is now employed in 
the Quartermaster Department, where he is much needed, with 
an acting appointment. I wish that he might be made a 
Captain again, and assigned here to relieve Captain Bain- 
bridge, who finds his position here somewhat unpleasant, as 
his mother is a resident of the neighborhood and opposed to 
him; a deserving young man who would do good service 
were he placed in a proper position. 

Godfrey Weitzel of Ohio, 1st Lieut, of Engineers, one of 
the first scholars of West Point, afterwards instructor there; 
who commanded the first Company which came to Washing 
ton to watch over the life of the President at the inauguration; 
who fortified Fort Pickens so that it stood a bombardment 
without the loss of a man; one whom the Country owes as 
much for our success at New Orleans as any other because 
of his intimate knowledge of the Forts and the State : for him 
I beg to press that he may be appointed a Brigadier General. 

There will be great need of one in the Division, and there 
is no abler man for it in the Country. I pray that his case 
may be considered. He has earned this in the field. A major 
ity of his classmates are now Generals, Colonels, and Lieut. 
Colonels, and he is still a Lieutenant. This is unjust. If not 
possible to give him to me as Brigadier, at least let him be 
made Aid de Camp and Colonel. I have spoken of Lieut. 
Weitzel before in my dispatches. 

If in anything we have done we have deserved well of the 
country, I pray the Secretary to give us these appointments. 

All these Staff appointments will be necessary to be made to 
some Regular Major General and then assigned to me. I am, 

Most truly, Your friend, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



44 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From P. R. George to General Butler 

CONTOOCOOK, July 3rd, 1862 

MY DEAR GENERAL : I write you as a friend (a looker-on) , 
merely as you would see were you here. It is this, is the use 
of a friend. 

Your shipments are all well save that all the transactions 
connected with your authority should be officially expressed in 
some way. For instance, if freight is collected in port by any 
one bearing your sanction, or if goods be shipped to any port, 
your Quartermaster should take cognizance of the fact and 
communicate it to the Quartermaster, where it is going for 
his government. All this, by a moment s reflection, you will 
perceive the need of, particularly if it is going into unfriendly 
hands. 

If you could suggest that McKim be sent to you for opera 
tions in the field, and some man sent to Boston by Quarter 
master General, as Q. M. it would be better for you. No 
matter who the Q. M. sent, he would not be an Andrew man. 
Kinsman was well-received at Washington, by which all this 
shows how you stand there. 

He will write you all the particulars I don t know, have not 
seen him. I am still of opinion that Seward is the power 
behind the throne, and a good friend of yours. Have you 
made of him a confidante sufficiently? He may not be all 
you want, I think he is all you have. 

Fremont is "snuffed out." McClellan has been repulsed 
not routed. Gloom all over and a little fear is now the condi 
tion of public mind. You stand well generally, are well spoken 
of by the middle class, in the cars, in the barrooms, at the 
corners, etc., as "the right man in the right place." This 
embodies the gist of what is said and how they feel. I have 
not seen Strong since his return. We have had a line from 
him, he writes in good spirits and is getting better. His letter 
in the Tribune was good, full and friendly to you. You must 
have seen it. The army of the Potomac is the all-engrossing 
topic just now. General, ask for an expedition to Texas during 
the summer, and take Bell with you. He and you are both 
too good to lose. If I knew any points in particular you wanted 
knowledge concerning, I would try and obtain it. You must 
write if you want to know anything in particular. Your wife 
and children are well, your affairs all easy, as I understand 
from inquiry. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 45 

The future is still in great obscurity. No light can I dis 
cover. Three hundred thousand more men are called for. 
Gushing agrees now with me that Seward is the power behind 
the throne. Until the fight for Richmond all will be in statu 
quo. 

My dear General, remember me to all my acquaintances 
there that you are on terms to do so with, and believe me, 
ever your watchful, and unchanged in feeling and in friendship, 

P. R. GEORGE 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July tth, 1862 

Colonel EDWARD F. JONES 

MY DEAR COL.: I seize the occasion to write you what I 
desired to say, on paper, when you left about your promotion. 

No one deserves it more nor in my judgment would fill 
better the position of Brigadier General than yourself. 

You started up at the first sound of the trumpet and brought 
to the place of rendezvous the first armed Regiment that 
answered the Country s Call by the President s Proclamation. 

I need not speak of your passage through Baltimore with 
the Sixth Mass. that has passed into history. Since that 
day continually in the Service you have filled every post and 
performed every duty to the entire satisfaction of your 
Commander. 

I selected your Regiment to lead the laborious and perilous 
landing at Fort St. Philip, and to you the Garrison of Jackson 
surrendered. I hope the President will reward your gallant 
conduct by promotion. I have the honor to be 

Yours Respt., BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July Uh, 1862 

Mr. Mayor HOSFORD, LOWELL 

MY DEAR MR. MAYOR : I send by Capt. Haggerty a Map of 
New Orleans which I hope you will have placed in the City 
Library. 

On tin s day my heart yearns to be with you and my fellow 
citizens at home. I am almost sick as I write the word at 
the thought of loved ones and friends. God bless you all. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



46 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 4th, 1862 

MY DEAEEST SARAH : I am well, very well. Working harder 
and harder. I am in Genl. Twiggs house, very comfortable. 

Tell Fisher he has made a mistake. Flour is here quiet at 
$25 per barrel. 

I hope the punch bowl is full, and you are celebrating the day. 

I must not write more on this topic. My heart is too, too full. 
I send you some extracts from papers you may not have seen. 
Give my regards to Capt. George. Love to Blanche and the 
children, and believe me, your heartsick TT 

I send a few trinkets. The ruby ring l is for Nina. 
From George Coppell 

British Consulate, NEW ORLEANS, July 5th, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf 

SIR: Captain Hewett of Her Majesty s Ship "Rinaldo" 
had informed me that, in conversation with you on the sub 
ject of a letter which I had the honor to address to you on the 
14th of June, you stated that the letter contained an offensive 
expression. Whilst under this impression you caused a reply 
to be made to that letter which threw doubt upon my official 
position, and temporarily suspended communication between 
yourself and this Consulate. 

I now have the honor to inform you that I had no idea that 
such a construction as insulting could or would have been 
placed upon the letter in question, and as there was no such 
intention, on my part, I willingly withdraw any expressions 
in that letter which you may consider offensive. I have the 
honor to be, Sir, 



GEORGE COPPELL, H. B. M. Actg. Consul 
From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 7th, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

To GEORGE COPPELL, H. B. M. Acting Consul 

SIR: Your note received Saturday removes all difficulty of 
personal intercourse. The withdrawal of the offensive expres 
sion is sufficient, and accepted. 

1 See letter from Gen. Butler to Mrs. Butler, July 28, 1862. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 47 

Commander Hewitt, of H. B. M. Sloop of War "Rinaldo," 
now in this harbor, informs me that he is instructed by Lord 
Lyons to recognize you as Acting Consul of her Majesty the 
Queen of Great Britain, and that Commander Hewitt does 
recognize you in that official character. This seems sufficient 
for the reestablishment of official relations. 

I beg leave to correct a seeming misunderstanding that the 
expression of that note had anything to do with my doubts of 
your official character. You -will remember that those doubts 
had been expressed before that time, and no evidence of that 
character had been furnished, except the superscription upon 
two letters directed to yourself with the address, "Acting 
Consul;" that did not seem to me sufficient. 

To your inquiry whether all neutrals (British subjects) 
wishing to go to New York or abroad, furnished with proper 
passports from their Government, will be required to take 
the oath prescribed for aliens in General Orders, No. 41 & 42, 
it is answered, that a pass differs from a passport, as I had the 
honor to explain in my letter to the Consuls upon this subject, 
and that as a rule the oath would not be required. Such per 
sons will be allowed to pass on board Ships to go abroad or 
to New York, whom in my judgment it is not necessary to 
retain here from some act either done or contemplated to be 
done in favor of the Confederate States, for example buying 
arms, forwarding money, or intelligence. I have the honor 

Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, 
BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Major General Commdg. 

From D. G. Farragut 

Flagship HARTFORD, Above VICKSBURG, July 5, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR GENL. : Your people have accomplished a great work in 
cutting the ditch. I saw it yesterday, but I fear the water will 
fall faster than they can dig; still it is a great work and a small 
rise will accomplish the object. Our land force is too small to 
do anything with this place we passed the town on the 28th, 
and silenced the batteries as we came up with them, but they 
soon returned to them and fired on us after we had passed. We 
have met the squadron from above, they arrived here on the 1st., 
and we have been shelling the town or Forts ever since. There 
is no telling the force they have here; they tell so many stories 
about Beauregard s army being here some say 10 and some 



48 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

30,000 men there may be 10,000 men here, but not more. We 
hear nothing yet from Genl. Halleck, but expect to tomorrow. 
Flag Officer Davis vessels are formidable looking crafts. 
The reproduction taken in the illustrated papers is very good. 
I am only waiting to hear from the Dept. to act again upon 
them. I wish you could give Capt. Morris some assistance to 
get our supplies up to us, of ammunition and stores of all 
kinds. We gave them a fine brush on the 28th, but did not 
do much in the way of reducing them. 

Very respectfully and truly your Obt. Servt. 

D. G. FARRAGUT, Flag Officer 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 5th, 1862 

The Editors of the Picayune 

GENTLEMEN: There is in the City, and you have had in 
your Office, an Extra which sets right all the news from Rich 
mond down to July 2. 

Why desire to publish false intelligence as [are] "the reliable 
man" lies of June 30th. Publish anything but the Richmond 
dispatches, and you may publish them if you will publish 

this note. r, .- 77 

Respectfully 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 
By General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 5th, 1862 

In the matter of the Union Bank vs. the Mechanics Bank 

IN this case it seems to me that a remedy must reside some 
where. The ordinary Civil Courts to whose decision in cases 
between party and party the proclamation left civil right, have 
ceased to be efficient. Their Judges have refused to qualify 
themselves. Here are two quasi-public corporations, whose 
action in regard to the currency the Commanding General 
has undertaken to regulate. 

If he can regulate in one regard then he can in another, 
and this case seems to call for his interposition. There seems 
to be a misunderstanding of the powers of the Provost Court. 
The Judge of that Court has full power to try all questions, 
sitting to hear them as the Commanding General might, if 
time permitted. Let the cause be entertained. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 49 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS LA., July 6th, 1862 

Colonel I. W. McMiLLAN 

COLONEL: Whilst you were stationed at Algiers among the 
houses that were searched for concealed weapons was one 
occupied by S. H. Harvey, from which quite a number of small 
articles were taken, a list of which I enclose; they are claimed 
by Mr. Harvey as belonging to the brother-in-law, and were 
to be forwarded to France. 

Upon inquiry, I am informed that they were taken to 
Baton Rouge by Lt. Hartley of your Regt. You will inquire 
into the matter, and return the articles if possible; if not, 
inform me what disposition has been made of them. I am 
Very Respectfully Your Obt. Svt., 

By order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 

List referred to in Foregoing Letter 

The Residence of Mr. S. H. HARVEY, Parish of JEFFERSON, 

June 6th, 1862 

Viz. From the effects of Mr. M. A. Destrihan, a resident of 
Paris, France, left in charge of S. H. Harvey one case contain 
ing one revolver with implements, &c., one small do French 
with Scabbard, one small powder flask, one Morocco Scabbard 
& Belt for the revolver in the case taken from S. H. Harvey s 
office, one old Cavalry Sword left by S. H. H. s father-in-law 
who died in 1847, one small 4inst. Colt Revolver taken from 
his Table drawer, one small Pistol Rifle Barrel taken from his 
overseer s house, several Parlour Ornaments & a Chased Paper 
Folder from his desk. One of the Ornaments from his parlour 
was a shell presented to his wife by her only brother now dead, 
with the Lord s Prayer engraved thereon. 

From Captain Davis 

Head Qts. DepL of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS July 21s*, 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

Provost Marshal, ALGIERS, LA. 

SIR: Herewith I send you one Revolver, Implements, &c. 
in case, 1 Colt Revolver, 1 Pocket Pistol, 2 Parlor Ornaments, 
which articles together with others were taken from the Resi 
dence of S. H. Harvey, Jefferson Parish, by Lt. Hartley of the 

VOL. II 4 



50 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

21st Regt. Ind. Vols., at the time that Regt. was stationed at 
Algiers. 

The articles sent, are all that could be recovered, and you 
are hereby directed to return them to the owner. I am 
Very Respectfully Your Obt. Servt., 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 

From Captain R. S. Davis 

Hd. Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 6th, 1862 
Col. McMlLLAN 

SIR: Three or four letters have been received from you in 
which you ask for reinforcements, particularly cavalry. We 
have no more mounted men here than are absolutely neces 
sary for our service, so that the best we can offer you, is to send 
you horses and equipments, and let you mount some of your 
own Regiment, which shall be done as soon as possible. The 
Quartermaster of your post has told me today that you have 
already seized some 40 horses and given them to some of your 
men; this is right, and if you can seize any more, do so and 
we can furnish you with Saddles, &c. We will also send you 
another Regiment, the 14th Maine, in a day or two. We 
hear rumors that an attack might be made on you, but it is 
to come from Camp Moore. One thing is certain, the General 
has reliable information that they cannot arm but 3300 Men 
there, for they have no more weapons than that number. I 

Very Respectfully, Your Obt. Servant, 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 

From Lieutenant Wiegel 

Hd. Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 7th, 1862 

Capt. MORRIS U.S.N., Senior Officer & Comdg. of the U. S. 
Fleet at N. O. 

SIR: I am directed by the Comdg. Gen. to inform you that 
he has received positive information that the C. S. Steamer 
"Webb" and other Gunboats are in the Red River near the 
mouth, awaiting an opportunity to capture U. S. Army & 
Naval Transports. I have the honor to be 

Very Respectfully Your Obt. Servant, 

W. H. WIEGEL, 1st Li. & A. D. C. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 51 

From George W. Childs 

PHILADELHIA, July 7th, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: At the request of Dr. Brownlow I send you by 
this day s mail an autograph copy of his work, which he pre 
sents to you as a token of his high appreciation of you as a 
man and a soldier. 

He often says you are "just his style," and I know you are 
a man after his own heart. If you should ever be willing that 
your name should be used in connection with the Presidency, 
you would not have a more efficient supporter than the famous 
Parson Brownlow. 

I enclose you an announcement of Mr. Lossing s proposed 
"History of the Great Rebellion," and if you are sufficiently 
acquainted with Mr. Lossing s previous works to give an 
opinion of what may be expected from his pen and pencil on 
so important a subject, I shall be glad to hear from you. 
With high respect, j^ ^ GEQ w 



From General Maignan 

NEW ORLEANS, July 8th, 1862 

To Major General B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. Dept. of the Gulf 

GENERAL: In consequence of your general order No. 40, 
I issued some time ago, an order to all the Colonels under my 
command, requesting them to send me a statement of all the 
arms in the possession of their men. Upon receiving said 
statement, I had the honor to transmit it to you. Those 
arms were stored in the arsenal of the "French Legion" on 
Rampart street. I had thought, General, that they would 
have been left in our possession, because they are mostly 
private property, and because, since the war broke out, we 
have strictly complied with our duties as neutrals. 

But such is not the case; for, yesterday at 5 P.M. those 
arms were seized upon and taken away by an officer and 
squad of the troops under your command, and I understand 
that the reason is that the U. S. authorities deemed unsafe to 
leave said arms in the above arsenal, because there was no 
guard to watch over them either by day or by night. 

Now, General, this being the case, I can assure you that, 
if those arms are returned to us, I will take the proper steps 



5fc LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

to safeguard them, either by placing a guard at the arsenal 
or by distributing them among reliable men. 

Very respectfully 
Gen. MAIGNAN, Gen. French Brigade 



From Jacob Barker 

NEW ORLEANS, July 8th, 1862 

To Major Gent. BUTLER, NEW ORLEANS 

DEAR SIR: I directed the new book sent you because some 
of the entries in your old Pass Book were made by your clerk. 
It is usual for the entries made in Pass Books issued by Banks 
to be made exclusively by Bank Clerks. 

I return to you the old book that you may see that all the 
items correspond. If you examine your checks, you will per 
ceive that you have drawn $7,188.37 in gold, & $252.19 Treas. 
notes more than is credited, and that you have a credit in 
Bank Notes of $5,581.75, & $1,360.00 in silver more than you 
have drawn when your book was last balanced. 

The object of the memorandum on the first page of the 
new book sent you was not to elicit any implied contract 
or to impose any obligation a mere memorandum which I 
thought would be useful to your Clerk in balancing your own 
books. 

The gold has arrived for your bills on Boston, leaving us 
no profit by the operation. 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

JACOB BARKER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 9, 1862 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 1+8 

ALL dividends, interest, coupons, stock certificates, and 
accrued interest, due any or payable by any incorporated or 
joint stock company, to any citizen of the United States; and 
any notes, claims, and accounts of any such citizen, due from 
any such company or any private person or company within 
this Department, which have heretofore been retained under 
any supposed order, authority, act of sequestration, garnishee 
process, or in any way emanating under the supposed Confed 
erate States, or the State of Louisiana since the fraudulent 
ordinance of secession, are hereby ordered to be paid and 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 53 

delivered respectively to the lawful owners thereof, or their 
duly authorized agents. 

By command of MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. and A. A. A. G. 

From J. N. Victor 

Office of the Assistant Quartermaster, PITTBBURG, Penn. July 9th, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL: I wish to tender to you, & through you to the 
brave officers and soldiers under your command, the sincere 
thanks of myself & family for the protection and courtesy 
shown my sisters before and during the recent bombardment 
of Baton Rouge. Their loyalty subjected them not only to 
loss of property but to danger of their lives. They write me 
it is due to the land and naval forces under your command 
that they were protected. I can assure you, Sir, it is a matter 
of great pride to see with what implicit confidence loyal people 
of the South look to our forces for protection, & how secure 
they feel under that protection. Should occasion require it, 
& it lay in your power to do so, I pray you to take my sisters 
under your special protection. Knowing your laborious, trying 
duties, I must ask pardon for even troubling you with this 
short letter; under no other circumstances would I presume 
to trouble you. I am sir, with great respect, 

Yours etc., J. N. VICTOR 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 10th, 1862 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

I HAVE the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the des 
patches of the department of June 10th & 23rd, received on 
the 7th of July. Being the first that came, they were very 
grateful, and the approval of the department of my acts was 
most sustaining. I have forwarded the Commission and 
accompanying papers to Col. Shepley. 

Enclosed please find report of Gen. Williams of his opera 
tions in conjunction with the fleet up the river, and with the 
sketches which show what has been done. Everything is 
quiet here. We have rumors of attempts to be made upon 
Baton Rouge, and I have strengthened the force there by the 
addition of a regiment and Battery so that they have now 



54 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

their three Regiments, 4 pieces of Artillery, & a Company of 
Cavalry. 

This large force is sent there rather to relieve the anxieties 
of the Inhabitants than in any belief that it is necessary; be 
sides it will be a good point to move from when necessary 
toward their interior. 

One Castles, a planter whose property we destroyed, and 
whose habitation we rooted out because he was the leader of 
a band of Guerillas, and which by his command fired into an 
unarmed boat of Flag Officer Farragut, has come in and vol 
untarily given himself up, and asked only amnesty for his 
life. He is in confinement. 

I desire to renew my request for an experienced Brig. Gen., 
such as Lieut. Weitzel would be if he held that Commission. 

Most truly Your Obt. Servt. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. DepL of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July IQth, 1862 

General ARNOLD, Comdg. U. S. Forces, PENSACOLA 

GENERAL: I am now organizing a force of several thousand 
Louisiana Volunteers, and want very much an officer of the 
regular Service as mustering and disbursing Officer for this 
Department. You would confer a great favor by ordering an 
Officer here immediately, and making the Order subject to 
the Approval of the Secretary of War. I want a regular 
Officer, as none other can muster Officers in or out of Service. 

Very Respt. Yours, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qts. Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 23rd, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

Brig. Gen. ARNOLD, Comdg. U. S. Forces at PENSACOLA 

GENERAL: The "Creole" sails this morning. I am very 
sorry that you did not feel yourself at liberty to spare me a 
single Officer. I assure you, one is much needed here. I 
have no Officers of the Army here save two Gentlemen of 
my personal Staff, and who are each doing double duty and 
sometimes triple. It will be impossible to answer your requi- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 55 

sitions, as I suppose my Chiefs of the several Departments 
have written. I am General 

Your Obt. Servt., BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

NEW ORLEANS, Tvriggs House, July 10, 1862 

MY DEAR, DEAR WIFE: Whether this note will ever get to 
you as it goes by the "Rhode Island," is more than I can tell. 

We are now fairly installed in housekeeping. Caroline is 
housekeeper and seven or eight Blacks. The city is healthy 
to a degree never known before. I am quite as well as when 
you were here. 

I hope you got your trinkets by Col. Deming, who has 
gone home for good. He has behaved very well, however. 
Tell Fisher that Andrew is in [treaty] to sell one half of the 
"Saxon" for $20,000. Shepley, as you will have learned, 
has been appointed Military Governor. Haggerty has gone 
home. Wiegel is sick. 

I have received despatches 1 from the War department, 
approving of all I have done, on the 7th of July. 

I see no prospect of getting home, so you must get yourself 
as lively as possible, have parties, rides, picnics, and all pleas 
ures to console yourself for the loss. 

I can give you no news here, as the papers tell it all and 
more too. I send a few slips which will do for the "scrap 
book." 

Kiss the children for me, and Blanche tell her that her 
uncle has a new side-saddle for her. Goodbye. I am, 
Most affectionately, Your HUSBAND 

From J. Ad. Rozier 

NEW ORLEANS, July Wlh, 1862 

Maj. General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Gulf Department 

SIR: Messrs. S. H. Kennedy & Co. of New Orleans are 
indebted in the sum of about $9000 to Messrs. A. G. Farwell 
& Co., of Boston. They wish to pay these northern creditors, 
and request you, in writing, to pay over the money, in case 
you have come to the conclusion that they are entitled to 
have the amount reimbursed to them. 

Upon reflection, we think that you will be of the opinion 

1 Despatches from War Department, June 10 and June 23, 1862. 



56 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

that the Government cannot forfeit the amount no act of 
Congress we humbly suggest can authorize the seizure. We 
should like to have a full hearing of the matter, so as to present 
our views. In case you should deem it proper to refer the 
matter to the Hon. Reverdy Johnson, it would meet with our 
entire satisfaction we understand that similar difficulties or 
matters have been referred to him. But independent of this, 
we pray for an investigation of the claims of Messrs. S. H. 
Kennedy & Co. We direct your attention to the communi 
cation of Messrs. S. H. Kennedy and Co. 

Very Respectfully Yours, J. AD. ROZIER, 
of Counsel for Messrs. A. G. FARWELL AND Co. 

No. 5 Commercial Place 

From Honorable Reverdy Johnson 

Commissioners Office, Custom House, 

NEW ORLEANS, July 10, 1862 

To Major General BUTLER 

SIR: As Commissioner appointed by the President of the 
United States, to enquire into, and report to the Government, 
on certain proceedings which have heretofore been had between 
yourself and the foreign Consuls residing in this City, and 
particularly such as relate to the Consul of the Netherlands, 
I hereby have the honor to inform you that I am ready to 
enter at once on the duty, and will be glad to hear from you, 
orally or in writing, all the information you may be able to 
give me, and at your earliest convenience. With high regard, 

Your Obedient Servant, 
REVERDY JOHNSON, Comms. etc. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 26, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

RANDALL HUNT, Esq. 

I HAVE a check drawn payable to your clients, S. H. Kennedy 
& Co., for which I wish you would send me a receipt, with a 
certificate of the oath of allegiance. 

It is the fine refunded by the decision of Hon. Reverdy 

nson Respectfully yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 57 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 10, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 179 

JOHN H. LARUE, being by his own confession a Vagrant, a 
person without visible means of Support, and one who gets 
his living by playing cards, is committed to the Parish Prison, 
till further orders. 

Anne Larue, his wife, having been found in the public 
Streets wearing a Confederate flag upon her person in order 
to incite riot, which act has already resulted in breach of the 
peace and danger to the life of a Soldier of the U. S., is sent 
to Ship Island till further orders. She is to be kept separate 
and apart from the other women confined there. 

By Order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 30th, 1862 

Not in chronological order] 

Mrs. LARUE 

IN answer to your application: if you are in a condition of 
mind to return to New Orleans and so conduct yourself as 
not to incite riot or attention in the streets, or in any way 
demean yourself otherwise than properly, upon giving such 
pledge to the Commandant of the Post at Ship Island you may 
be discharged. Your Physician has permission to visit Ship 
Island if you prefer to remain there. I have ordered the 
discharge of Mr. Larue. BENJ R 



From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 11, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 181 

COL. J. W. SHAFFER, a Quartermaster, will cause to be 
sold at public auction all such seized confiscated property as 
may come into his hands, not wanted for use of the United 
States troops in this department. 

By order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 



58 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Moses Bates 

BATON ROUGE, LA., July 11, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: I am under the necessity of reporting that the 
Penitentiary cotton factory will be suspended from and after 
the present week for want of cotton. 

Cotton is being destroyed by the lawless bands of Guerillas, 
almost within the military lines, but no effort is made by the 
military authorities here to suppress or punish these increasing 
depredations, any farther than is deemed necessary to carry 
on the speculations, legitimate and illegitimate, by officers in 
the regiments. Respectfully yours, 

MOSES BATES, Financial Agent & Supt. 

From R. S. Davis 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 14th, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

Col. McMiLLAN, Commanding Forces at BATON ROUGE 

SIR: You will see to it that nothing of Cotton is shipped 
from Baton Rouge unless the same is at first offered to the 
use of the Penitentiary at the price for which it is bought. 

This is imperative alike upon Civilians and Officers, if any 
are engaged in buying, and for its due execution you will be 
held responsible. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. and A. A. A. Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 12th, 1862 

Messrs. J. N. LEA, CHAS. SUMONVILLE, J. AD. ROZIER, 
Committee of Administration of Charily Hospital 

MESSIEURS : Your note of to-day in behalf of the Charity Hos 
pital, showing the state of its funds, calls for immediate action. 

You will please find below an order on the Provost Marshal 
for Five thousand dollars, from the sums collected from 
licenses, to support the Hospital temporarily. 

You will of course apply this amount to the present needs of 
the institution, so that it may be in working order for the use of 
our fellow-citizens as may be stricken down by disease in this hot 
season. Believe me, Very Respectfully, Yours, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Comdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 59 
From General G. F. Shepley 

Head Quarters Military Commandant of NEW ORLEANS, City Hall, 12th day of July 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. Dept. of the Gulf 

GENERAL : Having been commissioned by the President of the 
United States as Military Governor of Louisiana, I have the 
honor respectfully to resign the Office of Military Commandant 
of New Orleans, which I hold under your appointment. This 
resignation to take effect on the appointment of my successor. 
I avail myself of this occasion to express to you my most 
sincere gratitude for the constant and uninterrupted confidence 
you have reposed in me, and your many and oft repeated 
acts of kindness and courtesy since I have had the honor to 
serve under your command. 

If in the discharge of the arduous and frequently difficult 
and intricate duties which you have been pleased to devolve 
upon me, I have in any degree contributed to the success of 
your brilliant achievements and your successful, firm, and 
humane administration of the Department of the Gulf, it 
will be one of the proudest, as the remembrance of your many 
kindnesses will be one of the most pleasant memories of my 
life. With great respect I have the honor to be 

Your Obedt. Servant, GEORGE F. SHEPLEY, 

Military Governor of Louisiana 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 13, 1862 

Brigadier General NEAL Dow, Commanding Forts Jackson and 

St. Phillip 

I AM informed that wines and liquors have been distributed 
between officers and the prisoners in the Forts. I depend on 
your well-known temperance principles to have a stop put to 
this most pernicious and criminal practice. I have the honor 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 13th, 1862 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: Will you have the kindness to send me a certified copy 
of the parole given by Daniel C. Lowber of New Orleans, who 



60 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

was released from Fort Warren, with instructions how to 
dispose of him. He now seems to think that he has been sent 
down here for the purpose of visiting his wife, and is quite 
indignant that I did not send him home to his family. I have 
the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, 
BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From the Assistant Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26/&, 1862 
[Not in chronological order J 

Maj. General B. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL: In compliance with the request contained in 
your letter of the 13th instant, the Secretary of War directs 
me to transmit herewith a certified copy of the Parole given 
by Daniel C. Lowber, when released from Fort Warren, in 
January last; and to say that he was sent to New Orleans 
in order that he might be under your surveillance. 

Very respectfully your obedient servant, 

C. P. WOLCOTT, Asst. Secretary of War 

Parole referred to in Foregoing Letter 

FORT WARREN, Boston Harbor, January IQth, 1862 
[Not in chronological order]] 

I, D. C. LOWBER, prisoner confined at Fort Warren, do sol 
emnly swear that I will leave the United States within the 
period of fifteen (15) days from this date, and go directly to 
the Kingdom of Great Britain; that I will remain in that 
Kingdom until the cessation of the present hostilities between 
the Government of the United States and the persons in insur 
rection against its authority; that I will not correspond with, 
or be engaged in any correspondence hostile or injurious to 
the Government of the United States, with persons residing 
in the insurrectionary States during the present hostilities, 
without permission from the Secretary of State, and further 
that I will do no act hostile or injurious to the Government 
of the United States. So help me God. 

D. C. LOWBER 

Sworn before me, January 10th, 1862, J. DIMICK, Col. 1st Arty, and Bat. Col., 
Comdg. Fort Warren. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 61 

From the Council of Ten 

N. ORLEANS, July 12th, 1862 

Genl. BUTLER 

SIR: You, or one of your Satellites, condemned a New 
Orleans citizen, a few days since, to six months imprisonment 
for having given a pair of shoes to a bare footed Confederate 
prisoner. 

Now, it seems to be a settled purpose with you not only to 
rob us in the name of the poor, but to incarcerate our people 
on the most frivolous pretext. In fact, committing acts of 
barbarism that would shame an African or a Hottentot Indian. 

I hereby notify you that the first individual of this city 
condemned hereafter by you or yours, for showing sympathy 
to the Confederate cause, I, in the name of our association 
will declare to you the Vendetta. 

As you, with your boasted Northern Civilization, are inaugu 
rating the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, we, ever true to 
our cause, will retaliate with the Corsican Vendetta. 

Do not flatter yourself this to be an empty threat. Once 
your sentence passed by this tribunal, your fate is sealed. My 
arm can reach you even in your fanatical native State. 

Your proclamation demanding the surrender of our arms, 
we treat with contempt. We have arms, yes thousands of 
them, but we defy you to find out where until we see fit to 
show them. And then, villanous coward, let your minions 
look to themselves, for we shall have ten lives for every act of 

PRESIDENT of the Council of Ten 
From E. H. Derby 

BOSTON, MASS., July Uth, 1862 

Maj. Genl. BUTLER 

MY DEAR SIR: I hasten to inclose a letter this morning 
received from a friend of Judge Andrews of New Orleans, who 
I presume is now at Ship Island. 

Judge Andrews is a native of Boston, the son of a prominent 
merchant late of this City. Two of his brothers, graduates of 
Cambridge, have been my partners. Another brother, our Con 
sul at Malta, was for many years a prominent, popular Demo 
crat, & is an intimate friend of Secretary Seward. I am acting 
as trustee of his mother, a lady between eighty and ninety years 
of age, and have known the Judge for the last 40 years. 



62 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

It is due to him to say that I have ever found him a frank, 
manly, and generous fellow, and have learned from others 
that in past years, when the yellow fever has prevailed at 
New Orleans, he has devoted himself to many Northern men 
regardless of personal exposure, and evinced a self sacrificing 
spirit. 

May I venture to ask you to review his case, to confront 
him with his accuser. I fear that he may suffer from the malig 
nity of some secret foe, for I cannot reconcile the offence with 
which he is charged with his past life. 

If his case cannot be reviewed, may I not ask for him some 
modification of the sentence. He has not been accustomed to 
labor, is of Northern constitution, and a Sentence for two 
years to Ship Island will, I fear, prove a sentence of death. 

If he is to be punished, might not his sentence be commuted 
to imprisonment at New Orleans or Fort Warren? While 
making this request, you will understand me to have no sym 
pathy with secession, and that with our community I heartily 
endorse your policy at New Orleans, but the past of Judge 
Andrews I feel warrants some revision of his case, or at least 
some mitigation of his sentence. I have the honor to be 

Very respectfully Yours, E. H. DERBY 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

NEW ORLEANS, July 2nd, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

To E. H. DERBY, Esq., BOSTON 

DEAR SIR: Judge John W. Andrews requests me to write 
you these few lines. He is sentenced to two years hard labor 
on Ship Island. The charge against him is that he exhibited 
in the Louisiana Club in this City a cross which came enclosed 
to him in a letter from Virginia, and which letter stated that 
the cross was made from "a bone of a Yankee!" 

I am myself a member of the Louisiana Club, and have 
made diligent enquiries whether any one had ever seen such a 
thing exhibited there, and there is not a single person con 
nected with the Club, including the servants, who has ever 
seen or heard of this cross. 

The Judge says he received the cross, and though the letter 
stated that the boys in Camp wished the writer to say that it 
was made of the bone of a Yankee, he considered it was made 
of Ivory, looked no different. The only way in which he might 
ever have shown it is, perhaps (according to his memory), that 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 63 

some one might have been in his Company as he received the 
letter at the Post Office, or he might have shown the letter 
and the cross at his office when they were received, but never 
did he hawk the cross about the streets, least of all show it 
with any spirit of exultation. That he is incapable of such 
fiendish, inhuman joy, you know from his personal character. 

The sentence is a very severe one. The Judge s health is 
quite feeble, and he is physically unable to endure such punish 
ment. At the same time, his friends cannot prevail upon 
Genl. Butler to alter his sentence at this time. Perhaps, after 
a while, he will be better disposed to reconsider his case. There 
have been some aggravated cases of this kind before the 
General lately, he has dealt with them all alike. 

If you could, prevail on the War Department or on Genl. 
Butler, if not to revoke the sentence at least moderate it in 
view of the Judge s health, as well as in view of his not being 
guilty in the light in which Genl. Butler received the accusa 
tion. He can certainly not live long on Ship Island; if nothing 
better can be done for him, he will be thankful to you if you 
will endeavor to have him transferred to Fort Warren. 

The Judge would have written to you himself, but he is 
now a prisoner, & his communications have to pass through 
General Butler s Department. 

Yours respectfully, H. BONZANO 

From W. T. Seacock 

NEW ORLEANS, July 19, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Major General BUTLER 

MY DEAR SIR: I have failed to get signature to the letter 
which I submitted to your inspection. All with whom I have 
conversed on the subject condemn the unfeeling and revolting 
remark of Mr. Andrews, but they are unwilling to admit, as 
that letter expressed, the necessity of punishment, because 
that remark, however offensive, was made some months before 
you came hither a fact of which I was myself ignorant 
when I wrote the letter, having supposed that it was of recent 
occurrence. 

I must, therefore, leave Mr. Andrews to your clemency, 
and I hope, General, that the integrity of his character, the 
feebleness of his health, and the amiability of your own heart, 
which recognizes punishment only as a preventive of crime, 
and which has suggested this punishment of Mr. Andrews 



64 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

from the pure motive alone of keeping peace between the 
Inhabitants and your Soldiers, will procure for him a release, 
believing that what has already been done is enough to deter 
others from a paramount offence. I have the honor to remain 
With great respect Your obedt. Servant, 

W. T. SEACOCK 

From Colonel Henry Rust, Jr. 

Head Quarters, SHIP ISLAND, Miss., July 14th, 1862 

Maj. Genl. B. F. BUTLER 

SIR: Upon being left in command at this place, I find in 
my custody thirteen male prisoners, all of them sentenced 
to hard labor, and there are orders that two of them shall 
not be allowed communication with any one upon the Island. 

Regretting my inability to carry out these orders so strictly 
as I could wish, I have felt it my duty to inform you of the 
insecure position of the prisoners, and the difficulty, if not 
impossibility of having your instructions fully complied with. 

The Fort, in its present state of incompleteness, has no 
accommodation for them whatever. They are at present con 
fined, as I found them, all in one small wooden building, 
away from the main guard. I have been compelled to con 
tinue to keep them there, as I have no other more suitable 
quarters, no men to build them, and not men enough to guard 
them were they separated. 

Of the two Companies left in my Command, only three 
Commis. Officers, three Sergeants, seven Corporals, & fifty- 
four privates are reported "present for duty," so that, leaving 
no margin for increase of sickness, by putting one-half my 
available men on guard each day, which with their other 
duties makes as much fatigue and exposure as in this climate 
and season they can bear, I can have nine posts in all! but 
two for outpost duty, two for these prisoners, no Camp guard 
or guard at Head Quarters, and barely sufficient left to guard 
the stores about the wharf and buildings, and the female 
prisoners in their separate quarters. 

I am aware, Sir, that I am violating the "general rule" 
in addressing this communication directly to yourself, but I 
trust that the greater distance of my immediate superior and 
the difficulty of communication may prove a sufficient excuse. 

Should it still be deemed desirable to keep these prisoners 
upon the Island, I would be glad if some means could be 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 65 

suggested to relieve me from my present embarrassment. I 
have the honor to be, General, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant 
HENRY RUST JR., Col. 13th Me. Reg. Comd g at Ship Island 

Answer: "Will send you as soon as possible two Companies 
of recruits to aid you in your duties." B. F. B. 

From Richard S. Fay, Jr. 

BROOKLINE, Friday Evening 

MY DEAR MRS. BUTLER: I have been so extremely busy 
with the business Gen. Butler has sent me from New Orleans 
that I have been entirely unable to come to see you, and as I 
do not see my way clear to do so for several days to come, I 
write to congratulate you on your safe return, and to offer 
my services if there is anything I can do for you or Genl. 
Butler. The business confided me by him has been a very 
complicated and difficult one, and very large in amount, but 
I believe I have got safely through the worst points of it. 
Genl. Butler wrote me something about a map, which I sup 
pose you have brought. If so, will you be good enough to 
send it down to the mill, to be forwarded to me. 

My brother returned some time since, full of gratitude for 
your kindness and that of Genl. Butler. I am thankful you are 
at home, in a healthy climate, and a quiet community again 
after your wanderings. I was in Washington last week on 
the General s business, and it would have gratified you very 
much, I am sure, to have heard Secretary Stanton s high 
appreciation of Genl. Butler s services and policy in New 
Orleans. I hope by Thursday next I shall have time to pay 
my respects in person. Until then, I remain, 

Faithfully yours, RICH. S. FAY, JR. 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, LA., July I5th, 1862 

Col. I. W. McMiLLAN, Comdg. forces at 

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA 

SIR: I send you Copies of information furnished us by one 
of our Scouts. 

Our information says, "that 15 miles above Baton Rouge 
on the Cross State Station, there is transportation going on 
for the Confederate Army at Vicksburg. Soldiers from the 
VOL. ii 5 



66 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

rebel army go to Vicksburg from there through Port Hudson. 
Soldiers from Camp Moore come down to the crevasse a mile 
and a half below Baton Rouge, cross the crevasse, and then 
go down the River in skiffs to New Orleans, landing at Carrol- 
ton, and then go back in the same way. Pickets from Baton 
Rouge could stop this." 

The General wishes to call your attention to these facts and 
have the soldiers stopped if possible. I have the honor to be 
Very Respectfully Your Obt. Servant, 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 

From George S. Denison 

Custom House, NEW ORLEANS, Collector s Office, July 15th, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

SIR: In a letter from the Treasury Department, dated 
June 27th, I am requested by the Secretary of the Treasury 
to express to you his thanks for the important aid which you 
have rendered me. I have the honor to be, 

Yr. Obdt. Servt., GEORGE S. DENISON, 

Special Agent and Acting Collector 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 15th, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Sec y. of War 

SIR: I have the honor to enclose herewith a requisition for 
one hundred thousand dollars to defray the recruiting expenses 
for the Five thousand Louisiana Volunteers, which I have 
been authorized by the Department to recruit. I have made 
application to Brigadier General Arnold for a regular Officer 
as disbursing Officer, and in the meantime, as the recruiting 
has already begun, would request that these funds be sent 
to me as soon as possible. 

The cost of provisions and medicines is so large in this 
place now that I have ordered my Chief Commissary and 
Medical Director to supply this force while recruiting. I will 
then repay these Departments from the above funds. This 
method will save the Government a large amount of money. 

Who pays the recruits the three months pay in advance on 
the day of Muster, the Paymaster or the Disbursing Agent? 
I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 67 

From General Ruggles 

Head Quarters 1st District Dept. East La. and Miss., TANGIPAHO, LA. 

July 15, 1862 

To Maj. Genl. BUTLER, Commanding U. S. Forces, 
NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

GENERAL: I have received petitions from Officers of the 
1st Regiment La. Partisan Rangers, touching the case of 
Henry Castle, a private of Co. H. of that regiment, and also 
an application respecting Thomas C. Pennington, a private 
of Capt. Wilson Tates Comp. of the same Regmt. and I deem 
it expedient to request your early consideration of the Subject. 

It appears that Private Castle was captured by a detach 
ment of Federal Troops in the vicinity of Baton Rouge, on 
or about the seventh of the present month, and Private Pen 
nington on or about the 28th day of June, that they were 
taken to New Orleans, and are now held either there or at 
one of the Forts in the vicinity, in close confinement, with 
the threat that they are to be tried and executed as members 
of a military organization not sanctioned by the laws of 
civilized warfare. It is to be observed that the first great law 
of nature, the right of self-defense, is inherent in communities 
as well as individuals. No law condemns the individual who 
slays the robber or assassin, and no just law can condemn a 
community for using all its power to resist the Invader and 
drive him from their soil. 

The exercise of this right, so universally recognized, becomes 
an imperative duty when the invader, as has been the case 
with the Federal Troops in this district, disregards those 
rules of warfare recognized and respected by all civilized na 
tions, and adopts that code which has heretofore been con 
fined to the rudest Savages. 

The proof of this is unfortunately too abundant in the 
vicinity of Baton Rouge. It is attested by helpless women 
and children flying from their burning homes; by desolation 
of plantations; by the plunder of private property, and the 
wanton destruction of growing crops. Such acts are crimes 
against Humanity, and justify ,all men in taking up arms 
against their perpetrators. 

The independence of nations has rarely been achieved by 
regular armies. Our own revolution; that revolution which 
successfully established the great principle for which the 
Confederate States are now contending "that all Govern- 



68 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ments derive their just powers from the consent of the gov 
erned," was mainly fought out by men who left the plow at 
the news of the Enemy s approach, and returned to it when 
he had been driven back. It may be conceded that in Europe, 
where the Governments mainly rely upon large standing 
Armies which are, as much as possible, disconnected with the 
people, and where the policy is to prevent the people from 
bearing arms under almost any circumstances, some very 
absurd refinements on this subject have been asserted, and 
to some extent tolerated. But such doctrines have never been 
recognized on this continent;- the United States especially 
have repudiated them. 

The various Revolutions which have agitated the Central 
and South American States have been conducted by the 
people frequently without organization, and without leaders 
other than those chosen upon the spur of the occasion to direct 
a single enterprise. And to recur to the Revolution of our 
Forefathers, the history of that immortal struggle abounds 
with instances where the hardy yeomen as at Lexington and 
Bunker Hill were like the clansmen of "Roderick Dhu," 
called by a concerted signal to some "Limerick Mead" and 
there selected their officers from the very field of battle. 

But whatever difference of opinion may exist on this point, 
it has never been claimed, even by the most stringent advo 
cates of legitimacy, that one Belligerent has any right to 
complain of the name or form which the other may choose to 
give to its Military organization. The right to adapt these 
to the peculiar service required has been universally con 
ceded. So far, indeed, has this practise been carried in naval 
warfare that privateersmen, "The Militia of the Seas," with 
charters as broad as the ocean s bounds, are recognized as 
legitimate among Belligerents. And now, indeed, the extraor 
dinary spectacle is presented to the contemplation of civi 
lized man in this boasted nineteenth century of the Christian 
world, of a nation claiming to be civilized, in violation of its 
constitutional obligations, inaugurating deliberately servile 
war by stimulating the half-civilized African to raise his 
hand against his master and benefactor, and thus make war 
upon the Anglo-Saxon race war on human nature. 

This with the Federal Government is legitimate warfare, 
but the defense of their firesides by Southern Citizens is treason 
and murder. In military organizations, the Polish Lancers, 
French Zouaves, and British Corps of Scouts and guides in 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 69 

the late East Indian War, are cases in point. The Confed 
erate States claim and have exercised this undoubted right. 
The formation of Companies, Battalions, and Regiments of 
Partisan Rangers, has been specially authorized by an act of 
Congress. The Officers of this Corps are commissioned, the 
men are regularly mustered into Service, receive pay, rations, 
and equipments from the Government, and are entitled to the 
same privileges and governed by the same regulations as all 
other troops in the Confederate Service. It is not perceived, 
therefore, what pretext can be offered by the Enemy for sub 
jecting the members of this Corps to a different treatment 
from that extended to other prisoners of war. Certainly no 
such distinction can be recognized or tolerated by us. The 
Government having called these men into service, is bound 
by every obligation of good faith to protect them to the 
extent of its power; and if found necessary for their protection 
as well as for that of numerous unarmed citizens who have 
been subjected to outrages unparalleled in civilized warfare, 
will not hesitate, I feel constrained to declare, to resort to 
retaliation even to the extent sanctioned by the Jewish Law, 
"An Eye for an Eye, a tooth for a tooth," and "life for life." 
I await an answer containing an explicit declaration of the 
intentions of the United States Government respecting these 

Very Respectfully Your Obedient Servant, 
DANIEL RUGGLES, Brig. General Commanding District 

From J. F. H. Claiborne 

July 9th, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Captain BUCK 

IN reply to your request for information, I will state that 
Steal s Guerilla band consists of about 160 men, of two com 
panies Commanded by Capt. Mclnnis and Capt. John Porter- 
vins. It has no more discipline than a mob, and is composed 
generally of very bad characters. The Officers have no 
control over the men, and no experience. The men are armed 
with double-barrelled guns, carrying buckshot and conical 
balls. The men ride and shoot well, and are accustomed to 
rough life. They say they were within 30 yds. of Lt. Dick- 
enson s Pickets, and could have shot them, but preferred 
making a charge, thinking they would capture the boat. They 
are even said to have their camp at a place called the Center, 
20 miles from Gainsville east, and are dispersed in small 



70 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

parties recruiting their horses, which are very poor. They 
threaten to arrest all prisoners going to the Fort or New 
Orleans. 

John Portervins (son of Wm. Portervins) has been sent to 
Johnstown to procure two pieces of cannon for Gainsville, and 
to induce Maj. Gen. Van Dorn, who has superseded Lovell, 
to send the 3rd Regt. here Capt. Wm. Portervins is the 
most violent and bitter man in his community; but for him 
and one or two more there would be no trouble here. 

Brig. Gen. Ruggles (a Connecticut man) has been assigned 
to the command of all that part of La. east of the Miss. River, 
and of the three seaboard counties of this State, Head Quarters 
somewhere on the Railroad. It is whispered that they expect 
to try and surprise the Fort by a night expedition. 

There is a report that Richmond has been taken. A man 
came from Mobile yesterday, who says he saw dispatches 
from Richmond that the U. S. forces were beaten. This man 
is an agent of the Telegraph Co. He came here to pay James 
O. Roah for taking up the Telegraph cable, and to remove 
the apparatus and batteries that belonged to Fort Pickens. 
It seems that "O. Roah" brought them here to the house his 
family occupies, and this man has been sent from Mobile for 
them, and they are to be set up by the Confederate authorities. 
Great value is attached to them. "O. Roah" must have com 
municated with the Telegraph agent at Mobile, through one 
of the steamers carrying flour, or by letter sent here and mailed 
by his son. I give this in strict confidence. If O. Roah is 
apprised of it, when he is discharged I shall lose my property 
by fire. , If you intend to detain him, it is hoped he will be 
removed from the Fort. Many of us would like to go there 
- also to trade with the city; but we are afraid of this man s 
tongue after he may be released. 

Very truly, J. F. H. CLAIBORNE 

From C. F. Adams 1 

Furnivd s Inn, LONDON, 15 July, 1862 

B. F. BUTLER, Esq., &c., &c. 

GENERAL: Altho you have been invested with high honors 
and power, it must not be supposed that you can act as the 
veriest despot without being judged by the tribunal of the 

1 The handwriting of this letter is a modification of English script, and is not that 
of Charles Francis Adams, United States Ambassador to England in 1862. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 71 

Civilized World. It is not the rowdy press of New York that 
will recognize your actions, neither can a suborned govern 
ment, or a Congress impelled as it is by madness, who will 
assoilize you in what you have done at New Orleans. They are 
looking at it in Greece, in Turkey, in Austria, in France, in 
Germany, and in England. The Consuls whom you have 
treated with so much contumely have rights above those you 
describe, and their despatches and journals will henceforth 
be brought forward as witnesses against you; in fact, neutrals 
have arrived in Europe to prove to their respective Govern 
ments that you stole their money from Mr. Smith s Bank 
and other places, private property in every sense of their case. 
Have foreign citizens no inalienable rights further than 
you choose to grant them? Europe must see to this. Your 
authority will be called in question seriously, and then will 
follow a system of reprisals, and I need not tell you that 
friends will be sure to point out your property in New England 
for adjudication. Take warning in time. Conciliation is 
your forte instead of the reverse. I have been put to confu 
sion and shame on your account, and subscribe myself. 

Your Sorrowing Country man, and quondam friend, 

C. F. ADAMS 

P.S. I enclose your daguerreotype taken from an English 
newspaper. I hope you will recognize yourself. C. F. A. 

English Newspaper Clipping 

IT would appear that the recent acts of the Federal military 
commandant at New Orleans have met with the very reverse 
of approbation from the Government at Washington; for it 
is understood that by this time the Federal General Butler 
has most probably arrived at New York, and that if he has 
not been ignominiously recalled, his removal can, at the most, 
be qualified by the ingenious term invented by continental 
journalists of a "release" from the functions he has so strangely, 
and, it would seem, so wantonly and brutally exercised. More 
over, according to our advices from the same quarter, the 
Cabinet of President Lincoln have despatched two well- 
accredited gentlemen to New Orleans to make sedulous in 
quiries into at least the entire civil administration, which has 
prevailed since the city was occupied by the Northern forces, 
if not into the remarkable military government of General 



72 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Butler. It is time. The rumours and reports of what has 
been going on in the Crescent City have done more harm and 
thrown more odium on the Federal cause in Europe than even 
the shameful stampede at Bull s Run, or the atrocious mission 
of the stone fleet to Charleston. Moreover, the misguided, 
ostrich-like policy of the Federal Government, in banishing 
honest and honourable European journalists from the head 
quarters of their army, has opened the door to the admission 
of malignant reports, while it has hindered the dissemination 
of authentic intelligence and impartial comments. Instead of 
being able to depend on the communications of gentlemen 
who have no interest save in speaking the truth, we are driven 
to the lucubrations of partisans, whose interest may lie in an 
exactly contrary direction, or to bald and meagre telegrams, 
on whose skeleton items of news all kinds of conjectures may 
be built. An intelligent and unbiased observer in New Orleans 
might have told us whether the attitude of its population 
could in any way justify General Butler in issuing the atrocious 
proclamation which has aroused the indignation of politicians 
of every clsss in Europe whether his troops were really in 
danger of being insulted or annoyed by coarse . . . levelled 
against ladies who had been guilty of no more violent overt 
act than that of turning their heads away when their captors 
passed, of refusing to dance with them, or rising from their 
seats in church when the deadly foes of their husbands and 
brothers entered. 

Then, again, there is the terrible story of the man Mumford, 
whose execution for the not very heinous sin of pulling down 
the United States flag from one of the public buildings, is 
given with characteristic minuteness, and a sensation gusto, 
in the Northern journals. An informant on the spot might 
have enlightened us as to whether the man was in arms against 
the Government, whether he was one of a band of conspira 
tors whose object it was to overturn the Federal occupation, 
or whether he was suspected of incendiarism. If General 
Butler, acting according to the licence of the martial law he 
proclaimed, caused its extreme penalty to be inflicted on a 
prisoner taken in flagrant delict of rebellion to his authority, 
his conduct, although certainly harsh and perhaps cruel, is 
not entirely devoid of warranty. The unhappy Mumford 
only suffered the same doom which Napoleon inflicted on 
Palm the bookseller, and in the application of which, during 
the Irish Rebellion of 98, the English General Beresford 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 73 

positively revelled. But if this unfortunate man was con 
signed to the gallows simply for a freak which might just as 
probably be committed by a drunken rowdy as by an inveter 
ate rebel, the proceedings of Butler appear to us closely to 
resemble murder of the most brutal and deliberate character. 
It is almost, in fact, tantamount to a refusal of quarter to the 
opponents of the North, and can scarcely fail, we should 
imagine, to lead to the bloodiest reprisals. Unfortunately 
the deeds of violence and oppression ascribed to the ruthless 
military commandant whose supersession is by this time, we 
believe, an accomplished fact, have followed each other with 
such rapidity, and have shown such a characteristic originality 
of savagery, that we can scarcely believe them to have been 
invented or even exaggerated. We learn by the latest tele 
grams that an alderman of the City of New Orleans and the 
Chairman of the Ladies Relief Committee have been con 
demned to hard labour, with a ball and chain affixed to their 
legs, in Fort Jackson. That a punishment reserved for felons 
of the worst description, and which modern humanity has 
removed from among the hardships undergone by convicts 
and galley-slaves, should be inflicted on American gentlemen 
by a fellow-countryman for no crime against the laws, but 
simply for political causes, seems well-nigh to surpass the 
bounds of possibility. In protesting against such infringe 
ments of the commonest dictates of humanity and courtesy, 
we may be twitted with the reminder of what we ourselves 
did during our civil wars; but we may proudly retort that, 
even two hundred years ago, when the world was far ruder and 
more barbarous than it now is, no instance is on record of a 
partisan of the Commonwealth being hanged for pulling down 
the King s arms, or of a Roundhead being sent to beat hemp 
in Bridewell for wounding the amour-propre of the Cavaliers. 

General Butler appears to have got on no better with the 
foreign residents in New Orleans than with those South 
erners, who, notwithstanding their Confederate sympathies, 
we suppose, he will condescend to recognize as native-born 
Americans. He has been continually wrangling with the 
European representatives. The acting British consul, Mr. 
Coppell, having sought for information respecting the oaths 
to be exacted from foreigners sojourning in New Orleans, 
General Butler is stated to have replied that no answer could 
be given until Mr. Coppell s credentials and "pretensions" 
are recognized by the British Government and the Federal 



74 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

executive, a decision which virtually leaves the British resi 
dents in New Orleans, for an indefinite period, without any 
protection whatever. The Washington Government will have 
reason, we should think to rue the day when the intemperate 
and seemingly half -crazy soldier, who has been carrying matters 
with such a high hand in New Orleans, was permitted to exer 
cise unbridled authority in their name. What has he not 
done? He has converted smouldering discontent into fren 
zied hatred; he has widened the gulf between North and South. 
He has the insensate ! made war against women ; he has 
brought upon the enlightened and civilized United States of 
America the stigma of being ruled by a Junta of merciless 
tyrants, whose delight is in wanton and cruel bloodshed. He 
has forced the soldiers of a Christian nation to do the work of 
Pagan scalpers and tomahawkers; and it will be fortunate 
indeed if ere his recall he has not involved his employers in a 
fresh dispute with England, and set the initiative of a broil 
with France. For the military as well as the civil govern 
ment of a city so peculiar as New Orleans, and possessing as 
it does so cosmopolitan a population, the services of a tem 
perate, forbearing, humane, and eminently discreet officer were 
essential. As it is, the supreme power, with its frightful lati 
tude for doing mischief, has been entrusted to a coarse and 
ruffianly desperado, who, to judge from his published procla 
mations, seems entirely destitute of the thoughts, the feelings, 
the language, and the manners, not only of a soldier, but of a 
gentleman. 

Extract of Letter from Mr. Seward to Mr. Adams 1 

MR. STEWART, in a very courteous manner, verbally ex 
pressed to me the opinion of Her Majesty s Government, that 
General Butler s order concerning the females in New Orleans, 
who gave offence to the Union soldiers, was an improper one, 
in respect to the expression employed in it. 

I answered him that we must ask his Government, in read 
ing that proclamation, to adopt a rule of construction which 
the British nation had elevated to the dignity of a principle, 
and made the motto of their national arms "Honi soit qui 
mal y pense." 



Seward s LIFE, 1861-1872, p. 139. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 75 

Vituperative 

COME to England, you dark, wicked Villain. Haynes, the 
Austrian vagrant, who was driven from London within 48 
hours after his arrival by the voice of public indignation, was a 
mild, generous fellow compared with this Butler. I send you a 
paragraph from the Times, the leading Journal of Europe, 
which has constantly circulated the character of one of the worst 
of living tyrants. Not a Journal in this Country or in France, 
or in fact, in Europe, but has made the name of "Butler" felt as 
one of the worst of Hell s Devils. If there is a place in Hell 
more hot, more adapted for torture, there will General ! ! But 
ler be found. Oh, what a horrid death-bed awaits you, you 
most inhuman of the human race ! Your name is already asso 
ciated with everything that is cruel, wicked, barbarous, and 
terrible. Land in any part of Europe, and you would be torn to 
pieces by the people, you wicked wretch. Come to England, 
and nothing could restrain the vengeance of the mob. The 
worst of Devils in human shape. Even the President could no 
longer sanction the awful outrages you have committed. 

Monster, Murderer, Plunderer, Confiscator, everything that 

is bad. How long will God permit such a wretch to tread this 

earth before he goes to the awful doom which awaits him 

- Hell with all its combined torments, there to slake his 

thirst with everlasting fire. 

From B. F. Coxe to General Butler 

Ascension Parish, LOUISIANA, NEW ORLEANS, July, 1862 

DEAR SIR : Permit me to represent that we are in great need 
of immediate protection from the invasion of lawless bands of 
men, who seize and carry off our Citizens under the Confederate 
conscription law, burn cotton, and take possession of the guns 
of the Citizens. Several persons have been captured as prison 
ers of State, and Mr. Doff Denst was killed in his own house 
after he had surrendered. Fifty men could afford us much assis 
tance and prevent the further destruction of cotton and other 
property. The officers of the Parish are still acting under the 
authority of the Southern Confederacy. I think by the arrest 
of a few persons who act as leaders, and by requiring all other 
persons to give an allegiance, we will be able to feel secure in 
our persons and property. ^ rerpedfiXy, B. F. COXE 

P.S. Please not to let my name be known as it might place 
me in imminent peril. 



76 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 15, 1862 

To SARAH 

THERE my good wife! What do you think of that? How 
do you like your Colonel ? l Is it not wonderful that such a 
thing could be made from a wood-cut in "Frank Leslie" last 
year. I send it so that you may see what can be done at New 
Orleans. 

Two letters in one day, isn t that rather too much. I did 
think of giving this plate to Blanche, but say I will find her 
something else. You have the "shadow," so you had better 
take the substance when you can get him. 

BENJ. F. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 15, 1862 

MY DEAR DEAR WIFE: Why do you fret yourself and make 
yourself unhappy as you do in your last two letters? Pray, 
don t you think I will scold you, not at all, if you weep I 
will weep with you if I cannot dry your tears. And you let 
yourself be vexed with so many things that would not alarm 
you if you knew all. A vivid imagination, love, while it is 
your highest gift, is a very dangerous one to your peace. Let 
me brush away a dew-drop or two. The bells were shipped on 
board a transport for the government, by the government, 
and the government is to do just what it pleases with them. 
Snow has nothing to do with them, can show no order or 
authority whatever. Snow is the most infernal liar and rascal 
that lives. He has cheated everybody, lied to everybody, and 
if he ever comes out here will be sent to the Parish Prison for 
swindling. He is in no way, shape, or form interested with 
Andrew in any transaction or ever has been. He has no orders 
from him can show none. 

As regards funds in the hands of Fay. Not a dollar can be 
drawn except by my order, even of that which belongs to Andrew. 
Every bill of lading has been endorsed to me for security. I 
am sorry that Fay did not choose to accept my draft at once. 
His letters to me say that he would have done so if he had 
been at home. I had no doubt that the matter would be all 



1 In New Orleans there was a very clever decorator of china, who did such good 
work in painting General Butler s portrait on a plate that General Butler commissioned 
him to paint portraits of his family and staff officers. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 77 

right. What you say about his claim that my stock is pledged 
annoys me, for I assure you it is not but for six thousand 
dollars which I will have paid, and I have sent him ten thou 
sand dollars in cash, and he has of my private funds some 
five thousand dollars. But be not troubled. Have not all 
affairs private as well as public gone well in fact? 

My dear, dear, good wife, you ask me not to scold you. If 
you knew how my heart is full of kindness and love, yearning 
to see you, you would not write me so. Anybody else fill your 
place that is impossible, another may do everything but 
that. That will never be done. There is in my heart a sanctum 
sanctorum, a holy of holies, a niche for you alone, sacred to 
you, never to be intrenched on by the profane! Would you 
could fully believe so and never doubt more. That sometimes, 
in fullness of perfect possession, in the satiety of daily life, I 
am careless and impetuous in expression, does not show this 
to be different. You know and feel (acknowledge it, poor 
heart, and cheer up, be happy) that all is right. I am your 
baby, but may not the petulant child cry when an awry pin 
pricks him? "Out of joint." If you would write me it were so 
I would give my commission for it! Tell me at least that it is 
possible it may be so hereafter. 

I will write Carney upon the matter of the consignment, 
and explain the matter to him. 

Be not alarmed about my health. This city today is as 
healthy as any in the Union, 25 deaths only last week 
look to Boston and there are twice as many, 54 falling off in 
one week. 

Caroline is with me as housekeeper, so you need feel no 
anxiety about her. My health is now precisely as it has been, 
if anything, rather better. The city is a little uneasy under 
the rumors of our defeat at Richmond, but I will take care of 
them. 

You see that I have become suddenly famous, or rather, 
Lord Palmerston thinks infamous, by the No. 28. It is right, 
it was right. It will be right, and be the most popular act of 
my life. You said it was right at the time, and therefore I 
knew it was right. It was done for no hope of popularity, but 
because it was right, and it is well. I am not sure your idea 
of "circumspection" in what one does comes to much. Do 
what is right by "instinct" that is best. All my well- 
considered acts pretty much have been failures. My instinct 
is better than my reason. 



78 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

This leads me to say that there is not one wrong thing 
about those shipments, not one that cannot be shown to be 
correct. Best for the Government, best for the shipper, and 
good for everybody, even the Abolitionists, because it gives 
them something to growl over. I will take care of you, myself, 
the children, all. Fear not, love, but be happy. I will 
scold if I hear of your dropping a tear till I return. Be gay 
yourself four days in the house, shame, shame, go out, go 
out. Breathe the fresh air. Have picnics, rides, frolics - 
get fat kiss me when you can get me, or at least get ready 
to do so. There, I have spent all the morning gossipping with 
you that was always the way. I thought my business would 
not be interrupted when you went home, but see, I have spent 
all the morning with you and I can run riot in the gossip too. 
You don t shake your head at all. Goodbye, dearest, back to 

dinner ! -o 

BENJ. 

From General Waller de Peyster 

TIVOLI, July 19th, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER, Commanding U. S. Forces at 
NEW ORLEANS 

GENERAL : Several years ago, a friend of mine planted a mis 
sion, organized a parish, and built an Episcopal Church at 
Natchitoches, Louisiana. His name was Thomas Scott Bacon, 
I assisted him to build the edifice and presented him with a bell. 
The bell bore an inscription of which I had a copy, but is mis 
laid, and a verse from the Gospel. The matter was attended to, 
and bill paid by an agent, and therefore I cannot give particu 
lars, but I think the bell was cast by Meneely and Son, of Troy. 

Another friend of mine saw by the papers and informed me 
that you had seized 800 bells at New Orleans, collected in 
Louisiana and adjacent districts, pursuant to a call of Jeffer 
son Davis to be cast into cannon. 

As the people of Louisiana do not appear to have sense 
enough to set a value upon such sacred things, and as I did 
not intend my money invested in a bell to go towards found 
ing cannon to be used in shooting down honest and loyal men, 
I would like to reclaim the bell for our own church at home, 
which needs one. 

As I suppose that the proceeds of the sales of the bells will 
be regarded as prize money, I would like to redeem the bell 
if possible at the same rate the others sell or have been sold for. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 79 

Any information you will permit one of your clerks to 
afford me on this subject will be thankfully received. Please 
direct your clerk to address a reply to 

Gen. DE PEYSTER, 
Tivoli P.O., Dutchess Co., S. N. Y. 

Brig. Gen. Phelps knows me well, and that I am a party 
worthy this attention. I am the more interested in this 
matter as a portion of the gifts to the church to which I sent 
the bell (the Communion Service silver I know) were memo 
rials of a dear little daughter, deceased, for whose sake I 
contributed that her name might live in connection with the 
church, little dreaming that its founder, Rev. Mr. Bacon, 
would be driven forth, partially if not wholly ruined, on ac 
count of his loyalty; that its consecrator, Leonidas Polk, 
would turn his crosier into a sword, and become a leader of 
rebels; and Louisiana, the property of the nation, a nest of 
traitors which you are so valiantly and thoroughly endeavor 
ing to purify. I have the honor to be 

Respy. your obedt. servant 

WALTER DE PEYSTER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 15, 1862 

Master PAUL BUTLER x 

MY SON: I send you a model of a piece of field artillery, 
complete with its caisson and equipment, also a model of a 
mortar for throwing bombs, of which you have heard so much. 
Also a gun on a Barbette carriage such as is used in fortifica 
tion. All these you saw at Fortress Monroe in actual use. I 
have thought you would like to have the models, and as you 
are a good little boy, of whom your father is very proud and 
whom your father loves very much, I have pleased myself 
very much by sending them, thinking how much they would 
please you. I hear that you are getting on well with your 
studies that you love justice and tell the truth; will not 
do a mean thing. All this makes me very glad. Nothing 
delights me so much as to hear of your well-doing. You are 
now quite a youth, and must be found doing as you will when 
a man. 

Tell Benny that I shall send him something soon that I 

1 Paul was 10 years old at this time. Benny was 7 years old. 



80 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

have not forgotten him, that he holds a close place in my 
heart, and that I long to see him so much. Did you both 
have a good time on the 4th? Good fireworks? Was any 
body hurt? Did you hang up the lanterns? All this good 
time and I not by. Ah me! But we will have good times my 
boy after I get home. I will hear your studies, and we 
will have some of those famous "tags." ^ 

From Reverdy Johnson 

Commissioners Office, Custom House, NEW ORLEANS, July 15, 62 

Maj. Gen l BUTLER 

SIR: In the statement of Amedie Conturie of the 10th 
May last, communicated to you, with his letter of the 16th of 
that month, he alleges that besides the 160 kegs containing the 
$800,000, there was taken from his custody, where they had 
been placed for safe keeping, the following articles: 

1st. One Tin Box to which we give the name of Bank Box, in this City, locked and 
containing Ten Bonds consolidated Debt of City of New Orleans for $1000 
each. 

2nd. Eight Bonds of the City of Mobile for $1000 each. The whole Eighteen Bonds 
being deposited on 12th of the preceding April by Mr. Edmund I. Forstall as 
Agent of Messrs. Hope & Co. 

3rd. Various papers, titles, and deeds, his Consular Commission, and the Presi 
dent s exequatur. 

4th. Six Tin boxes, marked with the Consul s name, containing private Deeds, 
Silver ware, etc. belonging to divers persons for whom he was agent, and 

5th. Two or more Tin boxes belonging to the Hope Insurance Comp., who occupied 
a part of the building. 

Will you do me the favor to let me know at your earliest 
convenience if these several articles were taken as alleged, 
and if so whether all or any part of them, and what part have 
been returned to Mr. Conturie and at what time. I have the 
honor to be with high regard, ^ ^ ^^ 

REVERDY JOHNSON, Commis. etc. 
From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 16th, 1862 

Hon. REVERDY JOHNSON 

SIR: In reply to your note stating the farther claims of 
the Belgian Consul for Articles taken from him, I reply, it is 
the first I have heard of such Claims. Several gentlemen 
called for their tin trinkets, and I ordered them to be given 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 81 

up. I will have an immediate investigation of this matter 
made, and everything that is private property will of course 
be, if it has not been, returned to him as the owner. 

I observe that the Consul does not make claim for a box of 
Dies for making Bank note plates and a set of plates for 
printing Confederate States Treasury notes taken from his shop 
in conjunction with the specie and other property. Why not? 

Very Respectfully, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 16th, 1862 

Hon. REVERDY JOHNSON 

SIR: In connection with the silver coin taken from the 
shop of the Consul of Belgium, I deem it my duty to submit 
for your investigation the fact of the deposit in the hands of 
the Consul of France, of about seven hundred and fifty thou 
sand dollars in silver coin, about the same time, under the 
following described state of facts: 

At daybreak on Sunday, April 21st, or near that time, this 
large bulk of coin was transferred from the Citizens Bank to 
the vaults of the French Consul. This, together with that 
sent into the Belgian Consul s Shop, was the entire silver 
coin of the Bank, so bulky that it could not be easily other 
wise secreted. 

Upon investigation, it appeared that the commercial house 
of Dupasseur & Co. of this City, claimed this specie as having 
purchased it by bills, valued on Paris at five francs the dollar 
for that amount of about that date, drawn in favor of the 
Citizen s Bank. The senior member of the firm stated to me 
that he bought this silver for speculation, that he expected to 
make Thirty thousand dollars by exporting it to Paris after 
the blockade was raised. That he did not take it to his own 
house, and did remove it to the French Consul s at this unusual 
time of a Sabbath morning, from fear of the mob if he moved 
it in business hours, and that he desired to place it under the 
French Flag for protection, because of the excited state of the 
City. 

I need not remind you, so well-trained in judicial investi 
gation, of the improbability of such a transaction, involving 
three quarters of a million, in such dangerous times, with 
such hope of profit and the entire uncertainty of ever being 

VOL. II 6 



82 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

able to ship the specie to meet the bills, with our cannon at 
that moment thundering at the Forts, and the City in fear 
daily of a bombardment. 

It will be useful to compare dates of both these transactions, 
because if the object of the Citizen s Bank was to really pay 
Hope & Co. their interest, why not have sent forward these 
bills of Durprasseur, instead of transporting the silver at par 
in Mexican Dollars, which command a premium, to the Bel 
gian Consul? The amounts are nearly equal, but by the two 
transactions the Bank got away every dollar of its silver. I 
should be glad to be present at the investigation of this case 
if public duties will permit. 

Very Respectfully, Your friend and Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 16th, 1862 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: After consultation with Mr. Johnson, by whose Official 
position and past services to the Country I thought I had the 
right to call for advice, and with the wish of Governor Shepley, 
I have thought it best that he should go to Washington to 
represent the needs of this State Government, as well as the 
condition of affairs in this department. 

I look upon the questions to be presented by Gov. Shepley, 
upon which he is fully advised of my opinions, to be the turning 
points of the War in the South West. Certain it is that some 
determination of these questions must be reached, or they will 
determine themselves in disaster and ruin to the State of Louisi 
ana. In the recruiting, I am succeeding very well indeed, and 
while these troops would be proper to lead elsewhere upon the 
Southern Coast, it would be a doubtful experiment to rely 
upon them solely here. 

I think the needs of the service are such that I have sent an 
Order to recall Genl. William from Vicksburg, in expectation 
of the immediate advance upon that place by Gen. Grant. 
I have the honor to be 

Your Obt. Servant, BENJ. F. BUTLER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 83 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 16, 1862 

Brig. Gen. WILLIAMS, VICKSBURG 

GENERAL: From all I can learn of operations at Vicksburg, 
your force is at present not so much needed there as it is 
elsewhere. 

The enemy are concentrating some forces in the neighbor 
hood of Baton Rouge, and it is necessary that something be 
done on the Red River line. Besides, you are in the geographi 
cal department of General Halleck. 

Therefore, if the state of affairs will permit without serious 
detriment to the public service, you will withdraw your force 
and return as soon as possible to Baton Rouge. I remain 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July Ylth, 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

Hon. REVERDY JOHNSON 

DEAR SIR: I would respectfully solicit your advice upon 
the questions presented by the Mechanics & Traders Bank. 

I enclose copy of my note to the Secretary of the Treasury, 
transmitting the funds in the hands of the Banks to the credit 
of the Confederate State Receivers. There will not be enough 
of these funds to pay all the claims upon them for confiscated 

Northern property. T7 .- 77 

Very Respectfully, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 
From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 16, 1862 

MY DEAR WIFE: Andrew has sent home a trunk and a box. 
I suppose them to contain a side saddle for Blanche and a pair 
of harnesses for me and you. They were presents to him. 

Your husband, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

P.S. If they do not come soon, have enquiry made for them 
of Adams Express Co. Also for two small boxes, one marked 
to Paul and one to yourself. B. 



84 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From George S. Denison 

Custom House, NEW ORLEANS, Collectors Office, July 17th, 1862 

General BUTLER 

SIR : I would suggest that a crew list and list of passengers, 
if any, be made a part of any permit to be granted by you to 
vessels going across the lake. This being done, my inspectors 
can prevent persons leaving the city improperly on such vessels. 
If this does not meet with your approval, please inform me. 

On notification from you that a permit is granted, an in 
spector, by my direction, will supervise the loading of the ves 
sel and lock up the hatches. At the mouth of the canal another 
inspector will examine the vessel, crew, and passenger list, and 
military permit, and if all these are correct, will unlock the 
hatches and the vessel will proceed out into the lake. If 
there are articles on board not allowed by your permit, the 
vessel will be sent back, and if there are improper persons on 
board, the inspector will report to the nearest military officer. 

Very respectfully, 
GEORGE S. DENISON, Actg. Collector 

From J. P. M. 1 

NEW ORLEANS July 18. 1862 

To the Honorable B. F. BUTLER, Commanding General 

DEAR AND RESPECTED GENERAL: See the following notice 
given in the newspapers: 

July 17 

"Correction of Slaves The Law of the State of Louisiana 
for the Correction of Slaves will be enforced as heretofore, 
and I give notice of the same from the proper authorities. 
J. C. ROWELL, Keeper of Police Jail" 

Does this order emanate from you? I should suppose not. 
If I understand the views and wishes of the President, the 
above does not conform to them. It was generally understood 
when you came here that all such barbarism would be stopped. 
By the law of Louisiana any master has only to go to the jail, 
or send his slave with some one, and paying the sum of twenty 
five cents, the said slave will receive twenty five or thirty 
lashes, at the desire of his master. 

Now, there are thousands of slave-owners that have turned 



Note : Colonel Shaffer, July 1862. Whence comes this. B. F. B. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 85 

perfectly incensed since you have come here, and think the 
slaves are the cause of all the trouble, and are willing to lavish 
their wrath upon the poor slaves. Since you have come here 
many a master has been keeping his slaves confined in chains 
and on bread and water to limited quantity. The result of 
this order will serve only to give those cruel people an oppor 
tunity to satiate their thirst of blood, and, at the same time, 
to exasperate the slaves, for they have been awaiting for 
changes in a better treatment at least for a long time, and 
most of them are determined to suffer death before they 
will live under the old system. 

Another thing to have in mind is that such proceedings do 
not help you or the United States at all; contrarily, they are 
not in harmony with the views of your friends here. As far 
as the rebel population is concerned, they hate you and the 
Government you represent, and cannot be conciliated by any 
means. They can be subjugated, but not conciliated. The 
majority of them are not so faithful to the Southern Confed 
eracy as they are to their own pockets. They have all been 
led to believe that under that Government New Orleans would 
be the greatest place for making money, and long as they will 
have the Confederate notes they now have, their allegiance 
will always be to Mammon, called Southern Confederacy. 

Unionists are just as scarce here as Christians among Jews. 
Most of those, to very few exceptions, that have manifested 
Union sentiments, have done so to save their property from 
confiscation. 

There are but two classes of people here faithful to the United 
States, they are the German and colored population. It is 
hoped that you will revoke this order, and that it may not 
be said that the Federal authorities have been more cruel than 
the Confederate authorities. Besides, this cruel and un- 
Christian mode of punishment is condemned by all the civi 
lized world. Just think how much greater your name will be 
by stopping such acts, how many good people that will call 
the blessings of God Almighty upon you. Do not reject the 
prayer of those who are asking this favor. 

The very one who now writes you this letter was humiliating 
himself by sacrifices before our God for three weeks previous 
to your arrival here for your safe coming to this city. 

While every shot would be heard here from Camp Chal- 
mette, and the rebels wished that a thousand Yankees would 
be killed, this writer was calling Divine protection upon 



86 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Farragut and his men. I remain, with the highest Union 
Your most devoted friend and servant, J. P. M. 

From Daniel Richardson 

LOWELL, July 18th, 1862 

M aj. Gen. BUTLER 

MY DEAR SIR: Congratulating you on the signal ability 
with which you are and from the beginning have been main 
taining your difficult position, and the respect which the great 
masses of all classes are zealously paying to you, and which 
all others are obliged to pay to you, I write at the request of 
the friends of Chas. C. Colton, corporal 8th Regt. Co. F., 
Capt. Perkins (brother of Colton of the High School and a 
connection of Varnums of Dracut), to say they hear he is in 
poor health. He was a law student in our office, a very clever 
young fellow, was admitted to our bar, and it was thought if 
some of your people could ascertain whether he was failing 
from want of constitution for actual service, and if so could 
be transferred to other position without detriment, it might 
save him and would confer great obligation to them. 

At Commencement at Cambridge Wednesday, and at Phi 
Beta Kappa Thursday, your name was everywhere mentioned 
approvingly (they had forgotten that trial when you talked 
to the Jury of hanging professors) and very often, too. And 
at Phi Beta Kappa dinner, the orator, Geo. W. Curtis of 
N. York, alluded to you very handsomely in this order, Butler 
- Banks Devens, and a Kentucky man who sat by my side 
remarked that your course was as fully and cordially approved 
of in Kentucky as it seemed to be here. 

I have often desired to write you, but, knowing your pres 
sure, have refrained, but can t help saying this much. At our 
house, my home, we are all from the outset approvers of the 
famous order which so disturbs our puritans and even the 
English Parliament. And such a treat as you have given by 
your explanatory letter! It was the best thing you ever did, 
and has completely silenced the few who were so horrified at 
the order. With the kindest wishes for your safety and fame, 
and expecting to see all our houses ornamented with trophies 
of Secession flags when you get home. I am 

Truly yours, DANIEL S. RICHARDSON 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 87 

From Carlos Pierce 

WASHINGTON, D.C. July 19th, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Department of the 
Gulf, U.S.A. NEW ORLEANS 

SIR: Five weeks have I been trying to obtain my pay from 
Government for the clothing furnished to your department, by 
your direct orders and those of your Quarter Master Capt. 
George, all of which we delivered as directed by him eight and 
ten months since, and received the customary Government 
Quarter Master s vouchers, which they issue as evidence of 
indebtedness when they have not money to pay their bills . We 
have now waited so long for our pay that the loss of interest 
to us is more than $6,000, which is of itself a hardship, but 
I have been here five weeks a daily attendant upon the Quarter 
Master General s Department to get my pay, or learn the 
reasons why I could not, and am informed that you purchased 
too nice goods, and that I must look to you for my pay. "Sue 
General Butler and his Quarter Master, we will not pay your 
bills until you discount about $25,000." 

I have explained away most of their objections to the pay 
ment of said vouchers, and, having done all I can, I returned 
home to Boston disheartened, and make this appeal to you, 
asking your influence (if you think proper to give it) with the 
President in my behalf. I do this the more confidently because 
your authority was brought in question by the Quarter Master 
General, and also because you know whether or not I served 
the Government faithfully and honestly in delivering to your 
Department the best quality of goods, and you also remember 
the assurances I received of payment of my account. The 
only remaining objections I received of my account are that 
you ordered from us the same shirts and drawers and blouses 
that the States of New York, Mass., and Maine, and Col. 
Grossman, U. S. Qr. Master at Philadelphia, had been having 
of us, and in ten times greater quantities, yet we gave them 
to you at the same prices, they have all paid us, and Govern 
ment has reimbursed them, therefore it would seem my mis 
fortune that I am a citizen creditor of the Government instead 
of a State or Quarter Master. Why it is, with such facts 
before them and precedents, they should deny your contracts 
for same articles and prices, is what I want you to help me 
ascertain, and also why some of your Quarter Master s Vouchers 
should be paid by his successor, Capt. McKim, to favorites 



88 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

without apparent objection, while he refuses others, and says 
unqualifiedly that he has paid none. Your soldiers have had 
our garments now more than six months, certainly long 
enough to test their quality, we faithfully fulfilled our con 
tracts, and ask your assistance in our behalf that the Govern 
ment may fulfill theirs, that we may not much longer suffer. 

What General Meigs asks is that the all-wool indigo blue 
mixed shirts and drawers should be discounted in price equal 
to Government goods of all cotton fabric, and that the cloth 
coats should be reduced in price to that of their flannel blouses. 
Any business man can see the absurdity and the injustice of 
such treatment. I have the honor to be, 

Your Obdt. Servant, 
CARLOS PIERCE, PIERCE BROS. Co., Boston 

P.S. You may rely upon my ability to prove what I have said. 
From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 19th, 1862 

Capt. STAFFORD, Acting Provost Marshal 

SIR: The course pursued by certain persons in ordering 
their slaves "to go to the Yankees" or to join the Federals, 
described in your note, and like acts, had been brought 
to my notice from different sources previous to your com 
munication, and certainly is a great wrong as well to the 
Government as to the Negroes. In order to correct this evil, 
therefore, let it be known that all such declarations by the 
owners to their slaves will by the authorities here be taken and 
deemed acts of voluntary emancipation, and slaves sent away 
by their masters with such declarations as you describe, or 
equivalent ones, will be regarded and treated as manumitted 
and emancipated. 

You will see to it that this necessary police regulation is 
carried into effect. Respectfully, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From R. S. Fay Jr. to General Butler 

BROOKLINE, July 19th, 1862 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have just returned from New York, 
where my errand was to inquire about the freights paid vessels 
bringing mdse. from New Orleans. I found there had been 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 89 

but one vessel discharged there under precisely the same cir 
cumstances as those whose cargoes are consigned to me. In 
that case, however, Capt. Stinson, Act. Q. M., delivered the 
cargo at the rate specified upon the Bills of Lading. I have 
made the strongest appeal to Genl. Meigs from McKim s 
decision to claim market rates of freight, regardless of B. of 
L., and if unsuccessful shall carry it up to the Sec y. of War, 
and if necessary to the President. 

I am very sorry that you will not have the profit upon the 
merchandise shipped before the first of June, as it has paid 
best of all. Your instructions to offer the business to the Govt. 
were, however, explicit, and had the War Dept. not taken it, 
Fox would have taken the merchandise, under your letter to 
him. Everything shipped since the opening of the port I have 
carried to your account or your brother s (and the profit 
will be very satisfactory). 

I called at your house on Monday, the 14th, and saw Mrs. 
Butler, apparently very well. She knew nothing of the map 
you wrote me about, nor have I heard of it anywhere else. 

I am shipping some hay and flour to Mr. A. Montgomery by 
the brig "Hannah Thornton," which sails from New York 
today. She is chiefly laden with Govt. stores, and I hope will 
receive every proper facility in the way of tonnage, etc. 

I have been so pressed by the large amount of this business 
that I have not yet been able to write you so fully as I wish to 
do. My first thought and effort has been to guard your per 
sonal reputation in official transactions intact and unspotted. 
In this I believe I have been entirely successful, and if in my 
care in this regard I have not made all the money for you I 
could have done, you will not think me the less, but more, 
Your sincere friend, HIGH. S. FAY, JR. 

From Residents of Vacherie 

NEW ORLEANS, July 19th, 1862 

To BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Major General U. S. Army, 

Department of the Gulf 

THE petition of the undersigned, citizens of the United 
States, respectfully represents that they are residents of the 
Vacherie Settlement, in the Parish of St. James, State of 
Louisiana, about six miles from the Mississippi River (on its 
right bank), and about four miles from the Lake des Alle- 
mands, in which settlement most of them follow the occupa- 



90 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

tion of gardeners and growers of vegetables. That they have 
ever been loyal to the United States government, have never in 
any manner or form aided or assisted the present rebellion, 
and have, since their arrival in this city, renewed their alle 
giance to their government by a solemn oath. 

That the wrongs and abuses they have suffered for their 
refusal to aid the rebellion, and to take up arms against their 
government, have been of so gross and cruel a nature, and of 
such frequent occurrence, that their recital in detail would 
prove tedious to read. They will content themselves by stat 
ing that during the present week all the loyal men, and even 
women of the neighborhood, have been compelled to leave 
their homes and crops and to hide themselves, or find their 
way to the Federal lines as best they could, in order to avoid 
being pressed into military service by bands of "Partisan 
Rangers," as they style themselves, of the Confederate States 
Government. That these bands occasionally rove along the 
roads of the Parish in numbers of from thirty to a hundred 
each, and forcibly take with them every person who will not 
aid or join them, regardless of age or condition. 

Should this state of things be permitted for any length of 
time, the homes and crops of your petitioners will be entirely 
destroyed, and your petitioners ruined in their worldly affairs. 

They therefore call upon you to come to their assistance, 
and give them that protection which is due to every loyal 
American citizen. They earnestly hope and pray that you 
may be able to send a force into that important section of the 
country to effect this object. Besides conferring a blessing 
upon that neighborhood, such action will secure advantages 
towards peace and quiet in this city. 

Very respectfully, T. J. SCHNEIDER, ALBERT BAHNE, DICK 
BAHNE, VINKLE LECHLEITER, KARL SEIDE, JOSEPH LECH- 
LEITER, A. BRANDT 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 19, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 206 

THE Steamer "Empire Parish" has liberty to trade up and 
down the coast within the limits of our lines, and to carry 
family supplies, each lot of said supplies to be only in such 
quantities as should be properly issued to one family or one 
plantation, and not to be issued for trading purposes, particu- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 91 

larly no lot of over ten bags of salt shall be issued to any one 
consignee. By Qrder ^ MAJ QEN BUTLER 



R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 
From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 19th, 1862 

Captain GIBSON, Gunboat "Potomac" off SHIP ISLAND 

SCHOONERS from Nassau, Key West, &c., are in the habit 
of coming to this City through the lakes, which cannot be 
permitted as we have no Quarantine Officer at that Post. I 
have been informed that they generally pass by you. If you 
would inform them that no vessels are allowed to come to the 
City unless they come through the Passes, and report them 
selves at the Quarantine Station on the River, you would 
save them a great deal of trouble. We have already been 
obliged to order back two. I am, Sir, 

Most Respectfully, Your Obt. Servant, 

By order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 

From James G. Carney 

Bank of Mutual Redemption, No. 91 State Street, BOSTON, MASS., July 19, 1862 

Hon. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA 

MY DEAR SIR: I have, to thank you for your favor of the 
2nd instant, which came duly to hand. The drafts have all 
been provided for. The government, I understand through 
Mr. Fay, paying me $60,600 for drafts and commissions. I 
cashed the drafts so as to pay off Messrs. Hildreth et al, and 
all interest paid by him on them, and 35 dollars on his money 
while used, and had something left for negotiating. It came 
at a fortunate time for making the negotiations; and so all 
trouble, after the first "hitch," was escaped. The time has 
been and may be again, probably will be, when the matter 
would be exceedingly troublesome, and difficult, if possible to 
manage. 

The main part of your letter you will see published in the 
Journal (Boston), if you see that paper, or in the New York 
Times, copied from the Journal, if you see that. It will go far 
to help on a healthy public Opinion, that you must deal with 
"different people differently/ "fight fire with fire;" and when 
you go to war, as you said a year ago last April (I think), you 



92 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

must "Go to war to hurt somebody." I hope now that Con 
gress has adjourned that that is to be the principle upon 
which the Government is to go to war until this atrocious and 
infernal rebellion is ended. 

Your friend, JAMES G. CARNEY 



From Richard S. Fay, Jr. 

BOSTON, July 2(M, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I wrote you June 14th owning receipt 
of yours and Col. Butler s favors of 1st inst., covering sundry 
drafts and invoices of shipments to me. I went immediately 
to Washington, where the transaction made a great deal of 
discussion, the essential difficulty being with the shipments 
made before the opening of the Port, June 1st, in view of the 
jealousy with which the blockade is regarded by foreign pow 
ers. The result, however, was that the Govt. assumed the 
transaction, making me its agent to sell the merchandise, pay 
the drafts, and hand them the profits. I enclose a copy of the 
letter of the Secretary of War containing Gen. Meigs report 
upon the case. Considering the beautiful opportunities 
afforded for making difficulty, I think this a very satisfactory 
settlement, and very complimentary to your judgment. 
Secretary Stanton spoke in the warmest terms of your admin 
istration. Indeed he could hardly have said more in your 
praise. Although I am very sorry the profit on these opera 
tions does not accrue to you, I think Gen. Meigs view a just 
one, and it will be far better to be able to silence the many 
remarks current here about the business from which your 
reputation would have suffered if uncontradicted. Returning 
from Washington only this morning, I find your favors of 10th 
and llth. I will attend to your wishes about the map. The 
cheque for $10,000 will be placed to your credit when paid. 
You will observe that no bond or accountability is required of 
me by Govt., a handsome compliment, and a hint that they 
do not want to make too large a record of the business as a 
precedent. 

Genl. McClellan has been largely reinforced. He was not 
defeated at Fair Oaks, but drove back a sortie in great force, 
losing 8 guns and 10,000 men in doing it. I came from Nor 
folk to Washington with a Norfolk lady. She told me that 
the capture of New Orleans was the only event of the war 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 93 

which had disturbed the smooth current of the Secession con 
fidence. It was a terrible blow to them. Fremont was virtu 
ally beaten at Woodstock, and Shields at Port Republic, and 
nothing but the invincible steadiness of my "Beacon St. 
dandy friends" of the 2nd Mass, saved Banks the loss of every 
man and wagon of his command at Winchester. I trust it is 
not wrong to say that I think Jackson the most brilliant 
officer the war has produced. Stern impartiality compels me 
to do it. He now has Siegel against him, and I rather think a 
genius better adapted to cope with him, with equal numbers, 
than any officer we have. 

During my absence, several of Col. Butler s drafts on me, 
and some of yours on Carney, were noted for non-acceptance. 
I have accepted them all to-day. I understand Mr. Carney 
has put Mr. Hildreth to some trouble to secure him. It was 
unnecessary, as I would have paid his draft "for your honor" 
(honor commercial). I shall go to see Mrs. Butler as soon as I 
can leave Boston. I suppose she has the map, as I have not 
seen it. I am heartily glad she is at home again. I write to 
Col. Butler with figures, etc. 

Very Sincerely Yours, RICH. S. FAY, JR. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 20, 1862 

MY DEAR WIFE: I got your kind note where you praised 
me. How sweet to be praised by one we love! It is late, and 
I do not mean to write you a word but to say good night. 
Yet a word before you go to sleep. How did you like your 
saddle, and Blanche s saddle, and my harness? 

I sent a little present for Blanche under the seal of this note. 
Cut it out and give it to her. The City the healthiest of 
healthy s. All well. Nice house, fine furniture, plenty of 
servants, and loneliness. Keep yourself very happy and get 
fat. I send all manner of slips enclosed with this. Blanche 
must not forget the scrap book. ^ 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 21st, 1862 

Captain MORRIS, Steamship "Pensacola" 

SIR: We have received some letters this morning from Col. 
McMillan at Baton Rouge, in which he states that he has 



94 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

received a report that the rebel steamer "Music," armed with 
4 or 6 six-pounder guns is lying a few miles down the Bayou 
at Plaquemine, waiting an opportunity of catching a transport 
and getting salt and other articles shipped from here. We 
would call your attention to the fact. I am, Sir, 

Most Respectfully, Your Obt. Servt. 

By order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 21, 1862 

Hon. RE VERB Y JOHNSON 

MY DEAR SIR: Permit me to iterate and reiterate again and 
again what you knew so well before, but which these deluded 
people seem determined never to believe, that no merchan 
dise, whether cotton or sugar, will in any event be seized or 
confiscated by the U. S. authorities here. 

I will assure safe conduct, open market, and prompt ship 
ment of all such property sent to New Orleans, and the owner, 
were he Slidell himself, should have the pay for his cotton if 
sent here under this assurance. I am, 

Most truly, yours, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General Commanding 

Official Records Series 3, Vol. II, Page 239. 

From Honorable Reverdy Johnson 

U. S. Commissioners Office, Custom House, N. 0. July 21s*, 1862 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I needed not your note of this morning 
to satisfy me on the subject to which it relates. The public 
mind should have been put right upon it by your proclamation 
of the 7th of May. In these times, however, opinion is so 
sensitive, and misrepresentations so frequent, on all matters 
touching the unfortunate condition of the country, that I am 
glad to have your note with the privilege to make it public. 

The restoration of commerce in and from this port is a 
result so important to the interest of this State, the United 
States, and the Governments of Europe, that it seems strange 
that an intelligent man should have doubted your wish as 
the representative of our Government, to do all that you 
could do to bring it about. 

If there be any really existing fear upon the point, your 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 95 

note (for which I thank you) cannot fail to remove it. The 
Confederate Government, as it calls itself, may burn and 
destroy the Cotton and Sugar of the people whom they claim 
to represent, and whose right they pretend to be anxious to 
protect. They may, too, for a time succeed in keeping alive 
the delusion of their followers, but an intelligent Southern 
public, and an intelligent European opinion, will soon, if it 
has not already, discover the shallowness of the pretense, and 
see, unless soon arrested by the fostering power of the Govern 
ment, the certain ruin to which it must lead. With great respect, 
Yours sincerely, REVERDY JOHNSON, Comms. 

From Honorable Reverdy Johnson 

U. S. Commissioners Office, NEW ORLEANS, July 21st, 1862 

To Maj. Genl. BUTLER 

SIR: The examination I have been making into the owner 
ship of Eight hundred thousand Dollars ($800,000) in coin, 
deposited by Mr. E. J. Forstall as Agent of Messrs. Hope & 
Co. with the Consul of the Netherlands, and taken possession 
of by your order, has resulted in satisfying me that the ten 
Bonds for One thousand Dollars each ($1000) of the City of 
New Orleans, and the eight of the City of Mobile for the like 
amount each, taken at the same time, are the property of 
Messrs. Hope & Co., and were in good faith deposited as 
alleged by their said agent, and that they should be returned 
to him. His authority of agent appears by an original power 
of Attorney, properly proved before me, and also by the fact 
that he has for years acted in that capacity. With high 

regard Your obedient Servt., 

REVERDY JOHNSON, Commis., etc. 

From Honorable Reverdy Johnson 

U. S. Commissioners Office, Custom House, NEW ORLEANS, July 26, 1862 

[Not in chronological order]] 

T. A. F. PUFFER, Lieut, and A. B.C. 

SIR: The box the Maj. General sent me a few days since 
contained, amongst other things, the 18 Bonds of the City of 
New Orleans and Mobile. It being locked, and the Consul 
of Netherlands having the key, I applied to him for it, saying 
that I desired to deliver the Bonds to Mr. Forstall, who claimed 
them as the agent of Messrs. Hope & Co. He declined send- 



96 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ing the key. I then had the Box opened, delivered the Bonds 
to that gentleman, taking his receipt (a copy is enclosed), and 
notified the Consul that I held the Box to be delivered to him, 
with the remainder of its contents. This he refused also by 
letter. My answer, a copy of which I send you for the infor 
mation of the General, will show him the condition in which 
the matter now stands. As this copy is the only one I have, 
the General will oblige me by returning it. I will have another 
made for him if he should desire one. 

Yours with regard, REVERDY JOHNSON, Commis. 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

RECEIVED, New Orleans, July 22nd, 1862, from the Hon. 
Reverdy Johnson, Comms., under an order from Major Gen l 
Butler, the following Bonds: 

10 Consolidated Debt City of New Orleans Bonds for $1000 each 
8 Mobile City Bonds for $1000 each 

the property of Messrs. Hope and Co. of Amsterdam, placed 
under the protection of the Consul ("des Paysbas") and 
seized by Order of the Commander of the Gulf Department. 
EDM. J. FORSTALL, Agent of HOPE AND Co. 



From Honorable Reverdy Johnson 

U. S. Commissioners Office, Custom House, N. O., July 22nd, 1862 

Maj. Genl. BUTLER 

SIR: The question of the propriety of the payment made 
to you under protest, on the 5th of June last, of $8948.50, 
Eight thousand Nine hundred and forty-eight 50/100 Dollars, 
by Messrs. S. H. Kennedy & Co. of this City, the estimated 
value of a third of Exchange at sixty days after sight, dated 
Havana, the 30th of the previous April, for $1789.14, One 
thousand Seven hundred and eighty-nine pounds and fourteen 
shillings, which you have submitted to this Commission, I 
have carefully considered. The facts attending the shipment 
of the cotton to Havana by Messrs. Kennedy & Co., on the 
proceeds of which the bill was drawn, as well as all the other 
facts connected with the transaction, are clear. The shipment 
was in violation of the blockade, and if seized in delicto would 
have been liable to forfeiture. The proceeds also, if received 
here on the return voyage, would have been equally liable 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 97 

to forfeiture. The vessel would also either on the outer or 
return voyage have been in like manner liable. But the 
blockade having been successfully run, and the cotton sold 
in Havana, and the first and second of Exchange drawn by the 
shippers consignees in Havana, and sent to London by ship 
pers orders to be passed to their credit in London, the first 
question is, whether the third of Exchange is to be esteemed 
the proceeds of the shipment and liable to seizure? I am of 
the opinion it cannot. The first and second of Exchange hav 
ing been paid by the drawers in London, and the proceeds 
passed to the credit of the shippers, the third is a mere nul 
lity, valueless in the hands of the shippers. It was not then 
the representatives of the cotton or its proceeds. The first 
was the property of the buyers in Havana, the second the prop 
erty of the shippers, because of the payment of the first or 
second, and the passing of its proceeds to their credit with 
their London Bankers. 

The offense of running the Blockade is not, under the mod 
ern law of nations, a personal offense. It affects only the ship 
and the cargo. If these are not [retained] physically, or their 
proceeds on a return voyage, the offense escapes punishment. 
It never attends the vessel or the cargo further than to the 
termination of the [return?] voyage, with the exception of the 
immediate return voyage. The rule is well settled by modern 
authority, English, Continental, and American, that the 
offense is purged unless the vessel or cargo is captured in 
dilecto. The harshness of the ancient doctrine as to breaches 
of blockade, or of contraband of War, has long since been 
ameliorated. This has been affected by the silent but sure and 
effective influence of a more enlightened civilization, and a 
better sense of the importance to the interest of the nations 
of the world of an unrestricted Commerce. The rights of war 
as originally understood have been made to yield to a convic 
tion of the greater value of this interest. War fortunately 
for the welfare of man is coming to be more and more 
occasional and temporary. Peace is the condition on which 
his happiness most depends. And all the ancient rules, appli 
cable to a state of war, for a long period barbarous and preg 
nant with evil, have been for years so modified as to take from 
war many of its former terrible consequences. 
Second. But there is another fatal objection to the payment 
exacted 0f Messrs. Kennedy & Co. When the third of Ex 
change was returned here, the blockade no longer existed. It 

VOL. II 7 



98 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

had been removed by Order of the President, and the Port 
declared to be open. Nothing is better settled than that the 
raising of a blockade, in the interval between the sailing in 
violation of it, and the capture of the offending Vessel and 
Cargo, exempts both from penalty. The object of enforcing the 
penalty is to guard against future violations of the Blockade, 
not of any that may thereafter be declared. The whole pur 
pose is to secure the particular blockade against violation, and 
no other. When, therefore, that blockade is raised, the reason 
for forfeiture ceases. In the language of Wheaton, "When 
the blockade is raised, a veil is thrown over everything that is 
done, and the vessel is no longer in delicto. The deliction may 
be completed at one period, but it is by subsequent events 
done away" (Wh,eaton s Law of Nations, 3rd edt. page 50). 
The same rule as well as the others I have stated will be found 
to be well-established by, amongst other authorities, the case 
of the "Sanders," 2nd Gallican, pg. 210, 1st Rents Commen 
taries (6th edition pg. 151), and Carrington and al. versus the 
Merchants Insurance Comp. 8th Peters Reports, pp. 495-519. 
My opinion is, therefore, that the sum received from Messrs. 
Kennedy & Co. should be returned to them. I have the honor 
to be, With high regard ^ Qm g ^ 

REVERDY JOHNSON, Commis. 
From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July Wnd, 1862 

Hon. REVERDY JOHNSON 

SIR: I have your decision in the matter of the money paid 
by J. H. Kennedy & Co., and while I shall pay back the money 
in obedience to it, if the partners of the House take the Oath of 
Allegiance, I must dissent from the conclusions to which you 
have come toto animo. 

The facts are briefly these. Kennedy & Corvere, mer 
chants doing business in New Orleans, the members of which 
were citizens of the United States. They shipped Cotton 
bought at Vicksburg and brought it to New Orleans from a 
Bayou on the Coast, where Steamers were accustomed to 
run the Blockade to Havana, on board Steamships that were 
engaged in carrying goods from the neighborhood of New 
Orleans to Havana in defiance of the laws and the President s 
Proclamation, and under the further agreement with the 
Confederate authority here that a given per cent of the value 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 99 

of their Cargoes should be returned in arms and Munitions of 
War for the use of the rebels here. 

Without such an agreement, no Cotton could be shipped 
from New Orleans, and this publicly known, and "the fact of 
Knowledge, that a permit for the vessel to ship cotton could 
only be got on such terms, was not denied at the hearing. 

The Cotton was sold in Havana, and the net proceeds were 
invested in a draft (first, second, and third of exchange) dated 
April 30, 1862, payable to the London Agent of the House of 
Kennedy & Co., and the first and second sent forward to 
London, and the third, with account sales and vouchers, 
forwarded to the firm here through an illicit mail on board the 
Steamer "Fox," likewise engaged in carrying unlawful mer 
chandise and an illicit mail between Havana and the Rebel 
States. 

The third of Exchange and papers are captured by the 
Army of the United States on tenth day of May on board the 
"Fox"- -flagrante delicto, surrounded by the Rebel Arms and 
Munitions, concealed in a Bayou leading out of Baratana Bay, 
attempting to land her contraband mails and scarcely less 
destructive arms and munitions to be sent through the by 
ways and swamps to the Enemy. 

During all this time, J. H. Kennedy & Co. have not accepted 
the amnesty proffered by the proclamation of the Command 
ing Genl. but preferred to remain within its terms Rebels and 
Enemies. 

Upon this state of facts, the Commanding General called 
upon Kennedy & Co. to pay the amount of net proceeds of 
the Cotton (the third of Exchange of the draft) which, with 
the documents relating to this unlawful transaction, he has 
captured as a proper forfeiture of the Government under the 
facts above stated, which was done upon the submission to 
you, whether the forfeiture was a proper one. You have decided 
that the money should be repaid, because the forfeiture was 
not proper. 

Pardon me if I respectfully examine the grounds of that 
decision. They are: 1st. That there was no capture of the 
property or its representative actually running the blockade. 
2nd. That there is no personal detection in Kennedy & Co. 
in the acts done by them, which can render them subject to 
forfeiture, and 3rd, that the blockade being raised by the proc 
lamation of the President before the Capture of the draft and 
paper, all delection on account of the transaction is purged. 



100 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Was not this third of Exchange the very representative of 
the transaction in connection with the Account Sales? If the 
first or second has been paid, then of course it becomes value 
less, but there was no evidence that either the first or second 
had been paid, nor could that have been done in 10 days from 
Havana to London, in which case the third is the sole "pro 
ceeds" of the illegal transaction. Is not the third of exchange 
usually sent by consignee to the principal, where the order is to 
transfer the fund to a distant House precisely for the purpose 
of representing the transaction? In the hands of the owners, 
S. H. Kennedy & Co., were not these several of exchange equal 
in value? If one holds the 1st & 2nd and third of Exchange, 
can it be said that one is more valuable than the other to the 
holder? Kennedy & Co. did hold all these by themselves or 
their Agents. All of equal value up to the capture. 

The hazards of the return voyage was guarded against by 
a shipment to England of one of the representatives of the 
Cotton, but the commercial transaction was still in fieri in the 
transmission of its account sales and vouchers, and represent 
ative of value to the company here. 

Even if I am right, however, it is unnecessary to elaborate 
the point further, because it seems to me that the decision 
turns upon a non-appreciation of the Law, what is the effect 
of the Blockade? As applied to this transaction, the citations 
and arguments, derived from elementary writers upon the 
law of Nations are of no value. This is not the case of a resi 
dent subject of a foreign State attempting to elude the vigi 
lance of a blockade by a foreign power of a port of a third 
nation. The rule that a successful running of the Blockade, 
or a subsequent raising of the blockade, purges the transaction 
so far as punishment for personal deliction is concerned, is 
too familiar to need citation, at least by a lawyer to a lawyer. 
It would be desirable to see some citations to show there was 
no personal deliction in the transaction under consideration. 

A traitorous commercial house, directly engaged in the 
treasonable work of aiding a Rebellion against the Govern 
ment by entering into a trade, the direct effect of which is to 
furnish the rebels with arms and amunitions. To do this, 
they intentionally violate the Revenue laws, postal laws, of 
their Country, as well as the laws prohibiting trade with for 
eign countries from this port, and are caught in the act and 
fined only the Amount of the proceeds of their illegal treason 
able transaction. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 101 

Their lives by every law were forfeit to the Country of 
their allegiance. The representative of that Country takes a 
comparatively small fine from them, and a Commission of 
that same Country refunds it, because of its impropriety. 

Grotius, Puffendorf, Vatel, and Wheaton will be searched, 
it is believed in vain, for precedent for such action. Why cite 
international law to govern a transaction between the rebel 
lious traitor and his own Government? Around the State of 
Louisiana the Government had placed the impassable barrier 
of law covering each and every subject, saying to him, from 
that State no Cotton should be shipped, and no Arms imported, 
and there no mails or letters should be delivered. To warn off 
foreigners, to prevent bad men of our own Citizens violating 
that law, the Governments had placed ships. Now, whatever 
may be the law relating to the intruding foreigner, can it be 
said for a moment that the fact that a traitor has successfully 
eluded the vigilance of the Government, that very success 
purges the crime which might never have been criminal but 
for this success? stare decisis. 

The fine will be restored, but the Guilty Party ought to be 
and will be punished. 

A course of treatment of rebels and traitors which should 
have such results would be not only "rose water" but diluted 
"rose water." The other reason given for the decision, that 
the Blockade had been raised, is a mistake in point of fact, 
both in the date and the place of capture. The capture was 
not made of a vessel running into the port of New Orleans, 
nor was the shipment made from the port of New Orleans, 
when the blockade was raised, but from one of those Lagoons 
where in former times Lafitte the pirate carried on a hardly 
more atrocious business. 

Something was said at the hearing that this money was 
intended by Kennedy & Co. for northern creditors. Sending 
it to England does not seem to be the best evidence of that 
intention. 

But, of course, no such consideration could enter into the 
decision. I have reviewed this decision at some length because 
it seems to me that it offers a premium for treasonable acts to 
traitors in the Confederate States. It says in substance, 
violate the laws of the United States as well as you can, send 
abroad all the produce of the Confederate States you can, to 
be converted into arms for the rebellion, you only take the 
risk of losing in transitu, and as the profits are four-fold, you 



102 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

can afford so to do, but it is solemnly decided that in all this 
there is no personal deliction for which you can or ought to 
be punished even by a fine, and if you are, the fine shall be 
returned. I have the honor to be Your Obi. Servt., 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 23rd, 1862 

Brig. Gen. J. W. PHELPS, Comdg. forces at 

CAMP PARAPET, CARROLTON 

GENERAL: Is it not best that a boy of thirteen who has not 
discretion enough, one would suppose, to know how to take 
care of himself, be allowed to go back to his Mistress. He can 
hardly be called a "fugitive from labor." This Widow is a 
loyal Woman, has taken the Oath of Allegiance, and in my 
judgment should have back her servant in the peculiar cir 
cumstances of the case. I am 

Very truly Your friend & Servt., 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From D. W. McMillan to General Butler 

* 

PRIVATE. BATON ROUGE, LA., 23 July 1862 

DEAR GENERAL: Yours by the hands of Mr. Bates has 
been received and attentively read. I will most cheerfully do 
all in my power to gain the end you desire. I have only 
attempted one Cotton speculation (at Red River), and that 
failed, being entirely surrounded by water. Since then I 
have had no share, lot, nor part in any Cotton transaction. I 
have not been able to do duty since I saw you, and I truly 
regret that such representations should be made to you by 
any one as to furnish you satisfactory grounds for threatening 
me. If any person save Moses Bates or a Jew has complained, 
I am not aware of it, and I most humbly beseech you not to 
hold me responsible for any charge based on their statements. 
If the charge comes from any other Quarter, I hope you will 
thoroughly investigate it, as I certainly desire at least as greatly 
to appear a gentleman as a soldier in your estimation. If I 
had a Boat at my command I could do much more in getting 
Cotton into market. There are a few points along the River, 
where the people have too much sense to destroy their Cotton, 
and would be glad to ship it off to market. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 103 

The prospect is getting better here, too, as many of the 
Citizens have sold for money instead of Confederate Bonds or 
Certificates. As soon as I can drive all the Rebel Bands of 
Guerillas beyond reach of the people, they will sell their 
Cotton. Many are now very desirous of being "forced" to 
sell, as they get better prices than ever before. If it was pos 
sible to get one or two more Companies of Cavalry here it 
would be of incalculable service. I could then follow the 
Guerilla Bands and break them up entirely. If I can only get 
hold of a few of the prominent ones it will die of itself and the 
hatred of the people. I understand your allusion to "patriotic 
duty," and appreciate it, and will do all in my power, but 
being confined to my room with one of those terrible scourges 
called carbuncles on back of my neck and head, I am very 
feeble mentally as well as physically. Having no well-organized 
Staff, I am necessarily compelled to do most of my labor per 
sonally. I am amazed greatly by applicants for permits to 
buy provisions of my Commissariat by all Classes, as many of 
the substantiate cannot be obtained elsewhere. 

As soon as the Boats at Vicksburg get down, I hope Boats 
will be more plenty, and one can be had at this place, which 
will facilitate purchases and shipments greatly. With Great 
Regard, I am ^ Fo ^ D w McMjLLAN 



From G. M. Shipper 

NEW ORLEANS, July 23d, 1862 

Maj. Genl. BUTLER 

I WAS released from prison by order of General Williams for 
raising the Union Standard of the old red, white and blue 
from my house, No. 205 Lafayette Street, on the morning of 
the day the Federal fleet crossed into New Orleans. 

Myself and wife were under your protection at the Custom 
House, two days and nights. I now desire a situation whereby 
I can gain an honest livelihood. I also desire your influence. 
I respectfully refer to Capt. J. W. Scott, of 31st Mass. Regi 
ment, Capt. A. Comstock, 13th Connecticut, Capt. F. M. H. 
Kendrick, 55 St. Charles Street, L. F. Glenn, Esq., Clerk in 
Maj. J. M. Bell s Provost Court. I have other recommenda 
tions good and true, from loyal citizens. Were Capt. Josiah 
Snow in the City, I know full well I could be admitted and 
gain an audience. As it is now, your Orderly regards my 
presence only as an intruder. 



104 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I enclose a note from my wife. General, if you can do noth 
ing for me, will you in God s name give me a free pass to leave 
the accursed South for my own, my dear Bay State? 

Ever true, G. M. SHIPPER 

July 23rd, 1862 

G. M. SHIPPER, Esq. wished me to send the above for your 

Very respectfully Your Obdt. Servt. 

A. COMSTOCK, Capt. 13th Regt. 

From Mrs. G. M. Shipper 

NEW ORLEANS, July 23d, 1862 

Major Geril. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: Allow me to intrude a few moments upon your 
time. 

The bearer of this is my husband, who is in great need of 
employment. We have seen better days. A few years ago 
my husband was proprietor of a paper in the State of N. Y. 
Now he is in the City of New Orleans without a "TICKET" in 
his pocket, and out of employment, while the "Rebels" here 
are given good "fat" situations. I am hungry, but too proud 
to let it be known. We went to bed without supper, and my 
dear husband is before you without breakfast. Dear General, 
I wish a favor at your hands. Do not refuse me, I am proud 
and a refusal will crush me. I have some furniture, and I am 
willing to give you a mortgage on it if you will be kind enough 
to let me have twenty-five or thirty Dollars worth of rations 
from the Commissaries stores. Mr. Shipper will pay promptly 
as soon as he gets employment. 

Yours Truly, MRS. G. M. SHIPPER 

From Honorable Reverdy Johnson 

U. S. Commissioners Office, NEW ORLEANS, July 23rd!, 1862 

To Maj. Genl. BUTLER 

SIR: In the case of the seizure of the goods in the store of 
Maull and Hancock in this City, which you have referred to 
this Commission, I am of the opinion that they should be 
restored. 

Neither of the grounds, though at first view plausible, can 
be maintained. 1st. The fact that the parties, one or both, 
had been engaged in running the blockade, constitutes no 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 105 

personal legal offense. The penalty for such conduct is but 
the forfeiture of the vessel and cargo. But this can only be 
enforced when the property is caught in delicto, and that can 
only happen on the outward or immediate return voyage, 
and when at the time of seizure the blockade is in force. 
Neither of these facts existed in this instance, and, besides that, 
the goods seized are not the returns of any outward shipment. 
For authorities on this point, I refer you to those cited in the 
opinion I had the honor to give you yesterday in the case of 
Messrs. Kennedy and Co. 2nd. The fact, if true, that Hancock, 
one of the owners, was engaged in the rebellion or sympathized 
in it, is no cause of forfeiture of his property by military au 
thority. But the fact is denied, and the truth of the denial is 
established to my satisfaction. 3rd. But if both the preceding 
views were erroneous, the goods should be returned. It appears 
that the House of Thaddeus Norris & Co. of Philadelphia, who 
never violated the Blockade or were privy to its violation by 
Maull and Hancock, and who are loyal citizens, are largely in 
terested in the goods. This appears by an affidavit of Thaddeus 
Norris, the head of the House, made in Philadelphia on the 
27th ultimo, and by an account annexed to the same now before 
me. By these it appears that while Hancock is a creditor for 
$1722.20 Seventeen hundred and twenty-two 20/100 Dollars, 
and Maull for $5028.24 Five thousand twenty-eight 24/100 
Dollars, Norris is one for $17,116.73 Seventeen thousand one 
hundred and sixteen 73/100 Dollars. To condemn the stock as 
the property of the two former would be to inflict upon Norris 
a total loss of his interest in the concern, a result evidently 
unjust. I have the honor to be with high regards 

Your Obedient Servant, REVERDY JOHNSON, Commis. 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July Wth, 1862 

Hon. SALMON P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury 

SIR: I am informed by Dr. Bonzano, the acting Superin 
tendent of the U. S. Mint here, that it would be practicable 
to coin small coins below the half Dollar at once at the Mint 
if we had the dies from Philadelphia. That this could be done 
without any increased expense to the Government. All the 
small coin had been shipped off by the Confederates, and we 
are suffering the worst possible swindling by a ticket and shin- 
plaster system for the want of them. 



106 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Will you, therefore, authorize Dr. Bonzano to coin so much 
silver as may be furnished him into the coins below the half 
dollar, and order dies for that purpose to be at once sent from 
Philadelphia. 

Mr. John Brooks, who used to fill the Office of Coiner for 
many years, a loyal Citizen of Massachusetts birth, can be 
had to fill that Office if the Secretary so chooses. I have the 
honor etc. 

From Moses Bates 

BATON ROUGE, LA., July 24th, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: By direction of Maj. Gen. B. F. Butler, commanding 
Department of the Gulf, I am employing the convicts of this 
state, sentenced to imprisonment, in the manufacture of 
cotton goods. Prior to the occupation of the city by Union 
troops, the machinery of this institution was employed in the 
manufacture of cloth for tents and clothing for the Confederate 
army. I would suggest therefore to the Quartermaster Depart 
ment whether the same facilities may not now be employed 
for the supply of our troops, the institution being sustained as 
the property of the United States government. 

Respectfully Yours, 
MOSES BATES, Agent Louisiana Penitentiary 

From Superintendent Moses Bates 

Louisiana State Penitentiary, BATON ROUGE, LA., July Z&th, 1862 

Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: Since the wheels of the Factory are stopped for 
want of cotton, while transactions in that staple are daily 
transpiring between officers of your command and Specula 
tors, I respectfully ask for further instructions as to how I 
shall proceed. Could I be furnished with a military escort 
and sufficient transportation, including transportation by 
Steamer, I could furnish a considerable amount of cotton 
at once, but without such aid my efforts are worse than futile. 

There is a Jew here whose dishonest transactions are repre 
hensible, who claims to operate under some authority from 
Dep. Provost Marshal Stafford. I trust such authority may 
be revoked. His name is Zeighler. 

Respectfully Yours, MOSES BATES 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 107 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 24tfz, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to enclose a note from Brig. Gen. 
Arnold asking to have the district under his Command trans 
ferred to the Department of the Gulf from the Dept. of the 
South. 

I trust not to be thought desirous of adding to my depart 
ment either in extent of labor or responsibility in asking that 
this change be made. We can have much more direct com 
munication with Pensacola here than is possible with Port 
Royal. As there must be a Depot of supplies here, Pensacola 
can be supplied better, more cheaply and expeditiously from 
this point. I am most Respectfully 

Your Obt. Servant, B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

PENSACOLA, FLA., July ZQth, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have long entertained the opinion 
that the Order placing the Troops at Fort Pickens & vicinity 
within the Dept. of the South (Hd. Qts. Hilton Head, S.C.) as 
misjudged, on account of the great difficulty of communicating 
with the Hd. Qts. of the Dept. I am now after some experi 
ence more fully convinced of the fact. 

I would be pleased if the troops under my Command were 
transferred from the Dept. of the South to the Dept. of the 

Very Respectfully Your Obt. Servt., 
L. G. ARNOLD, Brig. Gen. U.S.A. Comdg. 

From the Secretary of the Treasury 

Treasury Department, July 24th, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith, for your in 
formation, copies of several letters addressed to the Acting 
Collector at New Orleans, instructing him to deliver certain 
goods detained by him at the Custom House, subject to your 
directions. I am 

Very Respectfully, Your Obdt. Servant, 

S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury 



108 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Instructions referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Treasury Department, July 24^, 1862 

GEORGE S. DENISON, Esq., Special Agent and Acting Collector 

SIR: Messrs. S. and J. Schiffer, of New York, represent that 
on the 23rd of May they shipped to New Orleans, by the 
Bark "Parmelia Flood," 37 cases matches, 10 bbls. Whiskey, 
10 qt. Casks Brandy, 10 bbls. Absinthe, and that these goods 
are now held by you under instructions from this department. 
As the above shipment was made previous to the instruc 
tions to Collectors with regard to clearances of Articles regarded 
as contraband of war, you will deliver the goods to the Agent 
of Messrs. Schiffer at New Orleans, subject to the direction of 
General Butler, and require of him a suitable bond that none 
of the Articles shall be used to give aid or comfort to the insur 
gents, provided there are no other circumstances known to 
you, and not known to this department, which render it advis 
able for you to retain the goods in your possession, in which 
case you will report them to this Department without delay. 

Very Respectfully, 
S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury 

Instructions referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Treasury Department, July 2M, 1862 

GEORGE S. DENISON, Sp. Agt. & Acting Coll. 

SIR: Messrs. G. H. Rogers and Co., of Boston, represent 
that on the 22nd day of May they shipped on board the Brig 
"Neveus," for New Orleans, among other articles, 10 Hds. 
Lucifer Matches, 20 or 30 Coils Cordage, 6 Bbls. Rum, 49 
baskets Champagne, 23 Cases Gin, 48 Cases Brandy, and 2 
Cases French Vermouth, which articles are detained by you 
at the Custom House. 

Messrs. G. H. Rogers and Co., of Boston, also represent 
that on the 27th of May they shipped on board the Bark 
"Smyrniote," a quantity of Liquors and Wines consigned to 
their agent Samuel Knowles, which are also detained by you. 

As the above shipments were made previous to the instruc 
tions to the Collector relative to the clearance of articles re 
garded as contraband of war, you will deliver them to the 
several agents of the parties, subject to the direction of General 
Butler, and require of them suitable bond that none of the 
articles shall be used to give aid or comfort to the insurgents, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 109 

provided there are no circumstances in either case known to 
you, and not known to this Department, which render it 
advisable for you to detain the goods, in which case you will 
report them, without delay. I am, 

Respectfully, S. P. CHASE, Sec. of the Treasury 

From the Secretary of the Treasury 

Treasury Department, July 21, 1862 [Not in chronological order J 

BENJ. T. VAN NOSTRAND, Esq., NEW YORK 

SIR: I am in receipt of your letter of 19th instant, request 
ing the release of fifteen cases of matches shipped by Messrs. 
Denison and Wyckoff of New York to New Orleans and at 
the latter port seized as contraband of war. 

The shipment from New York having been made on the 
22nd of May, and the Proclamation making matches contra 
band of war not having been issued till after that time, I feel 
justified in directing a release of the merchandise. 

The Collector at New Orleans has accordingly been directed 
to release the same on payment of all costs and charges, but 
to hold them subject to the order of General Butler. I am 

Very Respectfully, S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 25, 1862 

MY DEAR WIFE: A mail in and no letter from you. I write 
not because I have anything to write about, but because if 
you feel the same loneliness that I do when a mail comes and 
you do not get a letter, I wish you should not feel so badly. 
Health very good, weather very warm, work very hard. 
Trouble plenty, and so we go. 

The Government have sustained Phelps about the Negroes, 
and we shall have a negro insurrection here I fancy. If some 
thing is not done soon, God help us all. The negroes are getting 
saucy and troublesome, and who blames them? This people 
are doomed to destruction, I fully believe. Vicksburg not 
taken yet, and will not be soon, I fancy. I have ordered 
Williams home. I trust you will be able to get happily through 
the summer without me, as I see no hope of getting home this 
summer. I have sent Shepley home to endeavor to regulate 
this matter of the negroes. 

Remember me to Blanche and the children with every love. 



110 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Tell Harriet that I wish she were out here, for it is very pleas 
ant now, and I suppose she is fat and strong. 

Ask Fisher why he does not write. Tell Clemence if he will 
come out here I will make him chief of Police, or that there is 
the finest opening for an auction business ever seen. Hurry 
up Fisher about the oats. I will give two hundred dollars 
apiece for 100 cavalry horses of good quality landed here. 
Here I am at business again. What shall I say to you, dearest, 
that I love you, pshaw! you know that. That I think of you 
very, very much, and only don t wish you here because you 
are not strong. That you are the best of good, dear, kind, 
thoughtful and affectionate wives, that I ought not to have 
had at all because you are too kind and good to me. Any or 
all these I may say, and yet I might not say exactly what I 
mean. If I were in the vestibule now of our house, and you 
had come to let me in, and everybody didn t see me, I could 
tell you what I mean and not say a word. 

As ever yours, BENJ. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 15th, 1862 

Mr. JOHN SANBORN 

DEAR SIR: Please find enclosed the papers of Mr. Willard s 
Claim for indemnity for the Higgins Hotel as a Hospital. 

The Hotel was taken under my order as is easily shown, but 
there is one fact that precludes my making any Certificate in 
his favor. It is this. A Board of Survey, consisting of Gen. 
Denegree, Dr. Taylor, and one other not now recollected, was 
convened at "Old Point," and they were empowered at the 
request of the owners of the Hotel to assess the damages for 
its use. That Board reported $800 per month, and I refused 
to approve the proceedings because I thought the price too 
large, and referred the matter to Gen. Wool, who agreed with 
me. I cannot therefore agree to certify $2000 per month, or 
like sum, even to oblige as warm or personal friend as your 
self. The papers of that Board of Survey can be procured if 
they are of any use at Lowell, by calling on my Partner, Mr. 
Webster. I think they are in a green Chest in the Office. 
With many thanks for your kind expressions of personal 
regard, I am ^ y^^ BENJ R BuTLER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 111 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July mh, 1862 

Maj. Gen. HALLECK, 6omdg. Dept. of the West 

GENERAL: I avail myself of the voyage of the "Tennessee" 
to communicate with you upon the subject of Genl. Williams 
Brigade at Vicksburg. 

Gen. Williams was sent up at a time when we should have 
had only local troops to meet at Vicksburg. It was not prop 
erly within my Dept., but the exigencies of the public service, 
as it seemed to me, justified the movement. It is now quite 
different, as I am informed that a division at least of your 
Army is moving upon Vicksburg. 

I have great need of Genl. Williams Command to aid me 
in clearing out the Guerillas from this state, who are doing 
infinite mischief. I have, therefore, ordered his recall, as his 
force, since the reinforcement by Van Dorn and Breckinridge 
of the Enemy, is too small for operations alone, and a junction 
of Genls. Grant & Curtis must give ample force for the reduc 
tion of the place. The dispersal of the Guerilla Bands is easy 
of accomplishment, but it requires many men to hold the 
various points, which, if not held, only brings destruction 
upon our friends here. 

If in any thing I can aid your operations, command me. I 
have sent a duplicate of this under cover to Gen. Grant for 
information, as well as to Gen. Williams. I have the honor 

to be Your Obt. Servt., 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 26*A, 1862 

Col. D. W. MCMILLAN, Comdg. forces at BATON ROUGE 

COLONEL: I am much pleased with the successful expedi 
tion of Col. Clark. Convey him and his Command my thanks. 
I have disposed of the prisoners save Burton whom I retain 
according to request. 

I much desire that you should capture horses enough to 
enable me to mount another Cavalry Company. In the matter 
of Cotton you will see that the Penitentiary which is being 
carried on at the Expense of the Government is supplied. I 
assure Col. McMillan that the thought of threatening him never 
entered my mind. Nor have I heard aught of complaints 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

against him in the behalf he suggests. I simply conveyed un 
officially the instructions I received in the same manner from 
Washington. I will endeavor as soon as possible to send him a 
Boat. In the meantime can he not use the Ferry boat. I am 
Very Respectfully Your Obt. Servt., 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July ZQth, 1862 

To the Honorable Secretary of War 

I ENCLOSE the papers relating to the resignation of Captain 
Merrill, of Co. K, 15 Regt., Maine Vols. The resignation is 
so extraordinary that I ask for information in regard to my 
duties. He has incapacitated me from performing my duty, as 
well as himself, for I know not what to do. 

He has now been nearly nine months in Service, and upon 
the approach of the Yellow Fever season here finds out that 
he is incapacitated. To accept his resignation would be 
unjust to others, and to withhold it unjust to the Service. 

If there is power, it seems to me his name should be stricken 
from the rolls. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully Your Obt. Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

CAMP PARAPET, LA. 3d July 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Col. McCuusKEY, Comdg. 15th Maine Vols. 

SIR: I beg leave respectfully to tender my resignation as 
Capt. in this Regiment, for the reason that "I feel myself 
incapable to perform the duties of that position." 

I request that this tender of Resignation may be forwarded 
to Head Quarters of the Army through the proper Authority, 
in case it should not be approved by the Comdg. General of 
Division. I am, Colonel, 

Your Obt. Servt., C. R. MERRILL, 

Capt. Co. K, 15th Regt., Maine Vols. 

WILL Capt. Merrill favor the Commanding General with a 
specification of the particulars wherein he finds himself inca 
pable to perform the duties of his position? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 113 

St. James Hospital, NEW ORLEANS, July 26th, 1862 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

SIR: I beg leave to return to you my application for the 
acceptance of my resignation with, in obedience to your com 
mand, a specification of the particulars wherein I find myself 
incapable of performing the duties of my position. 

I entered the service with the best intentions, but I was de 
tached from my regiment recruiting until its arrival at Camp 
Parapet. I had had no experience in military affairs, and upon 
rejoining my company and attempting to command it I found 
myself deficient in the theoretical and practical information 
necessary for one occupying such a position, and with an inapti 
tude to acquire such information as is necessary to make a useful 
Officer. 

Besides, I think I have not that peculiar military ability to 
command men, without which no one can be of much use in my 

Very Respectfully Your Obt. Servt., 
C. R. MERRILL, Capt. Co. K, 15th Regt. Maine Vols. 

From Superintendent Moses Bates 

Office of La. State Penitentiary, BATON ROUGE, July 27, 1862 

General B. F. BUTLER 

MY DEAR SIR: I have just perfected arrangements by which 
I have hoped to stock the Penitentiary with cotton, and once 
more set the machinery in motion, when a turn in the military 
wheel brings Gen. Williams again in command, and I am 
again left without hope as regards again getting to work. 
May I not now ask that a steamer and guard of soldiers be 
placed at my disposal for a single week, with the privilege of 
taking cotton known to belong to disloyal men. 

With such facilities I think I can stock the factory, but not 
without, and I have no hope of obtaining any service through 
Gen. Williams. Respectfully yours, 

MOSES BATES, Supt. La. Penitentiary 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 28th, 1862 

Honorable SALMON P. CHASE, Secretary of Treasury 

SIR: I send you enclosed a Copy from the Records of 
Mortgages in this City. It speaks more for a Sequestration 
Act than any Argument. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your Obt. Svt. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Com. 

VOL. II 8 



114 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

BY act under private signature dated at Paris, June 4th, 
1862, duly legalized by M. Le Comte Mejan, Consul of France, 
at the City of New Orleans, on the 14th of July, 1862, John 
Slidell mortgaged in favor of Frederic Adolphe Mascuard (no 
residence) 123 pieces of property in this City, embracing im 
proved and unimproved property, Squares of Grounds, &c. 
The mortgage is granted to secure the payment of 250,000 
francs, payable in one year. 

This Mortgage is inscribed on the books of the Mortgage 
Office without signature to the inscription, dated 14 July, 1862. 

Another Mortgage by John Slidell, through his attorney, 
in favor of Citizens Bank for $100,000, was inscribed on the 
2d day of May last. 

From Major George C. Strong to General Butler 

Watervliet Arsenal, WEST TROY, N.Y., July 28, 1862 

DEAR GENERAL: I pen you a single line to say that I should, 
if circumstances shall warrant it, be very glad to receive 
instructions from you (by return mail) to proceed to Wash 
ington just before going South, and ask for any despatches 
that the Government may see fit to transmit by my hand to 
you. I am due in New Orleans Sept. 4th. Mrs. Butler has 
invited me to visit her before I return, and I shall do so, and 
also take a run up to see Captain George. 

Kinsman writes me that he is about to proceed South. 
Am sorry his health is not better. I much regret to learn 
that you are not so well as heretofore, but I hope it is only a 
temporary indisposition. It would be a poor sequel to your 
career in the South to be brought home in your coffin. 

It is pleasant to me (tho you don t care so much about these 
things) to see that everybody here appreciates your labors. We 
have just learned that you are to be given up to the Confeder 
ate Government in accordance with the demands of the Secesh 
press. I suppose they ll "bind you for their maidens," as Job 
did with Leviathan. How is Reverdy Johnson? 

I m growing quite stout. Would have gone West, however, 
had I been sure of getting down the river. 

Very respectfully & truly yours, 

GEO. C. STRONG 

My address will always be "Care Sullivan Randolph & 
Budd, 30 to 36 Park Place, New York." 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 115 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 28, 1862 

DEAR SARAH: Send me Blanche s, Paul s, and Bennie s 
photographs the best you can get, by next mail. 

Yours, BENJ. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Prybania St., July 28, 1862 

DEAR SARAH: Twenty two days and no letter from you. 
Twenty and no mail from the North, although we hear by 
the Rebel papers all the substantial news with variations. 
But they are no substitutes for news from home. Pray write 
every day you can, and I shall get them when the mails do 
come. How did you like the china plate with the picture? 
What do you say to a set with heads of the staff? Now, love, 
at any rate send me a copy of your Daguerreotype, and let me 
have your own head done. I have got nothing ready to send 
you by this boat, but will see what I can do next time. 

How did Blanche like her saddle, and how do you like 
yours? Are not my harnesses elegant? All these were a 
present from Mr. Magee, whom Jackson helped out of trouble. 
By the by, when you are dressed, I suppose I can repeat to 
you the lines from the "Rape of the Lock," 

"Upon her breast a sparkling cross she wore, 
That Jews might kiss and infidels adore." 

Did Nina get her ring? Did Blanche get hers? Why does 
not Blanche write, she has nothing else to do? I won t love 
her a bit if she don t write. Has Paul blown himself up with 
the cannon yet? Are you going to the seashore? Are you gay 
and happy? You must be now, for if I don t find a gay, fat 
wife when I get home, I will go right away again, see if I 
don t. 

Ah! but when shall I ever get home? Nothing but doubts 
rest upon the future. The war seems to me less near its close 
than it did when I came here. 

I am changing my opinions. There is nothing of the people 
worth saving. I am inclined to give it all up to the blacks. 
Such lying, meanness, wrong, and wickedness, that I am 
inclined to think that the story of Sodom & Gomorrah a myth, 
else why not rain fire and brimstone upon this city? I am 



116 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 




LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 117 

afraid the Lord will do so in the shape of the negroes. But a 
truce to all this. Let me only think of home and you as some 
haven of rest which I shall some time attain and think of me, 
not war, dearest. BENJ 

From John J. Cisco 

United States Treasury, NEW YORK, July 28, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL: I herewith transmit a letter addressed to your 
self by the eminent Banking House of Messrs. James G. 
Kingdeus Co. of this city, and another addressed by them to 
J. D. Denegre, Esq., President of the Citizens Bank of 
Louisiana at New Orleans, both relating to some provision 
to be made for the interest now past due in New York on the 
Consolidated debt of the City of New Orleans. 

It may be superfluous for me to testify to the very great 
respectability and high character of the writers of these letters. 
Their demand appears to be of an unexceptional character, 
and I trust that you will do everything in your power to facili 
tate so proper an object. I remain General, 

Yours very respectfully, JOHN J. Cisco 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

NEW YORK, July 9&th, 1862 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER, NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

DEAR SIR: At the suggestion of John J. Cisco, Esq., who 
has kindly offered to forward this, we beg leave to enclose to 
you our letter of this date addressed to J. D. Denegre, Esq. 
President of the Citizen s Bank of Louisiana, calling upon him 
to provide funds in the City of New York, as required by law, 
for the payment of the interest due on the consolidated debt 
of the city of New Orleans; and we shall feel obliged if you 
can aid us in procuring a proper settlement of this just claim. 

The provision should extend to the amount of all the out 
standing past due coupons of the consolidated debt of the 
city of New Orleans. Our present demand however is for 
payment of 

$3750 due July 1861 on 125 coupons with interest to 
date of payment here 

$4650 due Jan. 1862 on 155 coupons with interest to 
date of payment here 

$4650 due July 1862 on 155 coupons with interest to 
date of payment here 



118 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Thanking you in advance for such good offices as you may 
be able to render us in this matter. We remain, 

Yours respectfully, JAMES G. KINGDEUS 

Answer to yours: Mr. Denegre has made the necessary arrange 
ments to put the money in New York for the bonds. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 28, 1862 

Brig. Gen. Jo. TAYLOR, Commissary General 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I send you by the hands of our mutual 
friend Hon. Reverdy Johnson, the sword presented by the 
people of the loyal State of Kentucky, in appreciation of his 
gallant services in the armies of the Union, to your brother 
Genl. Zachary Taylor, late President of the United States. 

With his deep love of the Union in whose battle this sword 
was victoriously won, who can doubt on which side his patri 
otic hand would have been raised if Providence had spared his 
life, so full of honors, to this hour? 

To the keeping of no one so proper as yourself, who has so 
loyally shown the same devoted love to the country, can the 
custody of this weapon be conveyed. I have captured it 
from disloyal hands, and thus to be able to give it to your care 
is a most agreeable event, as it enables me, in a small degree, 
to testify the high appreciation I have of the prompt manner 
in which every call which the necessities of my Command has 
made upon the Government under your charge has been met 
and answered. I remain, General, 

Your obedient servant and friend, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Hd. Quarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 28, 1862 

Brig. Gen. MEIGS 

GENERAL: Enclosed please find copies of letter (sent me for 
information) of the unjust claim of Capt. Crampton, and 
affidavit showing the actual transaction. You will see by the 
affidavit, instead of a wrong being done him by loading him 
home, that a great favor was shown him. He was in no way 
in the Government Service, and would have had to find his 
own Ballast in order to get home. At the date of his employ 
ment a number of ships were offering at the same rate, I am 
informed. If the sugar had been on private account not a 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 119 

word would have been said, but he would have been thankful 
for the freight. He thinks he can get something from the 
Government. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



From James G. Carney 

Bank of Mutual Redemption, No. 91 State Street, BOSTON, MASS., 

July 28*A, 1862 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

MY DEAR SIR: I have to thank you for your kind favor 15th 
instant. The business matter we may consider, I suppose, as 
settled. I suppose, also, that we may consider our Public 
Servants as, practically, our Private Masters; and "high" 
privates at that. You express some "wonder" as to whether 
the matter would have been adopted if the transaction had 
been a losing one. I think the "wonder" would have come in, 
in that case, had they done it. The subalterns and sub officials 
in the army of office-holders are much greater and powerful 
men in their own estimation, and really so as means of annoy 
ance, than the President of these United States, one is com 
pelled occasionally, and " semi-occasionally " to believe, e.g. 
it is for the interest of the Country that U. S. Treasury notes 
should circulate, "free as air"; to judge from the course pur 
sued by the Asst. Treas. here, and his sub-ordinate, you would 
suppose quite the reverse, and that it was for its interest that 
such notes should be an annoyance and hindrance to the 
channels of Circulation. So we go! (as you say about Secessia 
femina) apropos to which or whom some body has lately said 
that he is thankful that the "Gentleman" styled by Burns 
(I think) as "The Muckle horned d is not a woman! I 
suppose, again, of that kind. I note your query as to whether 
Palmerston would blow you from the muzzle of a gun; and 
it reminds me of an extract taken from the London Metro 
politan Police Act, and I must say that one would quite readily 
believe that, if you had seen that Act, and ever copied from 
anybody, you had copied your "Woman Order" almost ver 
batim from it. The resemblance, if you never saw it, is abso 
lutely wonderful. I hope you will be allowed to carry out 
your plans fully, cautiously, perseveringly, and thoroughly. 
So far, as a whole, I think the whole North is disposed to side 
with you to a greater extent than it has or does with any 



120 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

General so long in the field. And I trust that if the Politicians, 
(for whom you know my ancient regard and respect) have suc 
ceeded in sending out one of "their own" as adviser with you, 
that he will turn out to be man enough to apprehend and com 
prehend the position, and be an aid instead of a clog and a hin 
drance in holding it man-fashion. If not, I can but hope that 
his Commission does not make him your Military Superior. 

We are spunky and hopeful yet, here at the North. Have 
not quite done our paying though, intend to finish up that, 
and other odds and ends, and see what the "muss" is, and take 
hold and settle that. Your doctrine of going to war to hurt 
somebody is getting to be the prevailing creed, and by the 1st 
September will count the largest denomination. Knowing 
that you will be among the "most zealous," and wishing 
you abundant success. I am as ever 

Your friend, J. G. CARNEY 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 28, 1862 

Hon. REVERB Y JOHNSON 

MY DEAR SIR: I spoke to you Saturday of a proposition 
made to me by an English Gentleman engaged in the cotton 
trade in Mobile. 

His proposition is that the Rebels will permit cotton to 
come out of Mobile in exchange for salt and such merchandise 
as they need there, not contraband of war, provided the 
pledge shall be given that the cotton shall be shipped to Eng 
land. Of course we do not care where the cotton goes, even 
if it goes to that portion of the world known as Great Britain 
where they inhumanly blow Rebels from guns, and such cities 
that are so unfortunate as to fall into their hands, as witness 
Pekin and Delhi. 

Please give me your opinion, as this is rather a civil than 
military question. I have the honor to be, 

Your obt. servt. 

From Reverdy Johnson 

City Hotel, July 28th, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I would consent to the shipment men 
tioned in your note of this evening. I am sure in doing so 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 121 

that you will carry out the policy of the Government and 
subserve the interest of the country. I will write you more 
fully in the morning. Tmly y(m ^ REVEBDY JoHNSON 



From Reverdy Johnson 

U. S. Commissioners Office, NEW ORLEANS, July 29*A, 1862 

General BUTLER 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have yours of yesterday. The pro 
posal of the English gentleman, I think you should not hesi 
tate to accept. The shipment of Cotton, whether to Europe 
or to the loyal States, from the rebellious States, from such 
of their ports as are in the possession of our forces, is, I know, 
much desired by our Government. It was one of the principal 
advantages they expected to be the immediate result of the 
capture of this City. So anxious are they to attain the object 
that I am satisfied they would readily sanction such an arrange 
ment as your note mentions. 

The question is as you state "rather a civil than a military 
one," but in either case my opinion is that you answer it 
affirmatively. With great regard, 

Your obedient servant, REVERDY JOHNSON, Commis. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 29th, 1862 

To the Commanding Officer of the Forces at MOBILE 

GENERAL: I have been informed by Mr. I. Maury, a British 
subject, that he has cotton within your lines which he is 
desirous of getting out and bringing here, if the same can be 
done. That you are willing it should come as the property of 
a neutral, if the cotton will not be seized by the United States 
forces and it can be sent to England. 

For this purpose he is desirous of shipping to your port 
salt as an equivalent for the shipment of Cotton. I have 
pledged, therefore, to him that I will permit to be returned to 
Mobile a sack of salt for every bale of Cotton that he shall 
bring here. The Commercial values of the two articles to be 
regulated by the parties owning them that the Cotton may 
be shipped from this point to England, and that no seizure or 
Confiscation shall be made of the Cotton or salt or any part 
thereof, and the vessel containing the same shall have safe 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

conduct to return. Other goods, not contraband of War, may 
be sent to equalize the Commercial values. 

Respectfully, BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. Gen. Comdg. 

From Richard S. Fay, Jr. 

BOSTON, MASS., July 29^, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR GENERAL: Annexed please find memo, of your private 
accounts, and enclosed as good an acct. current as I can make 
up in the dark. I have endeavored to explain in an appendix 
the difficulties under which I labor. The whole business has 
been agreeable and profitable to me, except for the trouble 
about freight. I enclose a letter to Col. Butler (fearing he 
may have left N. O.), which please read, which will explain 
how the freight question now stands. 

I am shipping a few articles of provisions, but sparingly, as 
I am discouraged by the rush of speculators, and by the exor 
bitant freights. Recruiting goes on slowly, and we require a 
draft at once. General Halleck is established at Washington, 
and the newspapers are blowing his trumpet, while, even in 
Boston, General McClellan has scarcely a friend. A secession 
ist sympathizer was ducked in the Frog pond yesterday. Blue- 
ness is very prevalent, and no end is predicted to the war. 
Sincerely yours, RICHARD S. FAY, JR. 

Private Account 
Major General B. F. Butler, in account with R. S. Fay, Jr. 

1862. Dr. Cr. 

Feb. 20th, By Bk. notes 2081 Chq. on Wamesit Bk. 1650. 3,731 

Treasury Notes. 100 100 

Mar. 27th, " rect. from Capt. P. R. George, 241. 

chq. on Bk. of Mut. Redemption. 2,000. 

Mar. 12th, " int. from Middlesex Co. on loan. 53.48 

16th To yr. dft. Mch. 31st. 3,825.95 

21st. By int. from Middlesex Co. on loan 24.94 

" Dividends " " 6% on 127^ sh. 765. 

Mar. 21st, Dividends Middlesex Co. 101 sh. by Mass. Hos. L. 

Ins. Co. 606.00 

May 22nd, To yr. dft. April 1. 448.86 

June 10, To New Orleans Coupons collect. 360.00 

25th, By Dividends Middlesex Co. 

5% on 115 shares. 575. 

5% on 25 shares (It. Act) 67.50 642.50 

Do on 101 shares by M. H. L. Ins. Co. " 505.00 

July 26, To bal. to credit cash loan to Middlesex Co. 4,036.11 

8,668.92 8,668.92 
By balance loaned Middlesex Company, subject to your orders, 4,036.11 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 123 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, LA., July 29, 1862 

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD 

DEAR SIR: This will be handed you by Mr. Roselius, of 
New Orleans. I need not say to you, who so well remember 
the events that inaugurated this rebellion, that Mr. Roselius 
was a member of the Louisiana convention that passed the 
Secession Ordinance, and one of the five that voted against it. 
True to the last, he has remained a firm friend to the Union, 
even to this day. 

Representing a large class of opinion here, better acquainted 
than any other man with the feelings, intentions, and wishes 
of the people of this State, by his unblemished private life and 
high professional talent and acquirements, holding the respect 
of those whose violence would have otherwise rendered his life 
unsafe because of his steady adherence to the Union, it has 
seemed to me best that he should be in Washington to repre 
sent the true state of the negro question here. I have, there 
fore, ventured to send him at the expense of the United States, 
he giving his own time, that his knowledge of the state of things 
might be before the government. Please render him all the 
assistance you may be able, to enable him to give his views to 
the President. 

I am convinced that in no other way could I do so much 
good to the country as introducing Mr. Roselius to your 
confidence. Believe me, 

Most truly yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July SQth, 1862 

The President 

SIR: I take leave to present you Mr. Roselius, a gentleman 
of the Bar, late Attorney General of the State of Louisiana, a 
member of the Convention who did not vote for the Secession 
Ordinance. With some others only he was found faithful 
when all were faithless. Among the earliest to welcome the 
Union Army to New Orleans, he has assisted me with his ad 
vice and counsel. Of the one subject which is to be dealt with 
here & now he is better informed than any man in the State. 

The questions involved as set forth in my correspondence 
upon the action of Gen. Phelps are of the most vital and criti- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

cal importance. The determination of them cannot be delayed, 
and it seemed to me of sufficient importance that the Presi 
dent should have the benefit of the experience of one who has a 
most intimate knowledge of the wishes, opinions, feelings, and 
thoughts of the people of the State of Louisiana, upon the 
Question of Slavery as interwoven with the integrity of the 
Union. I am most truly, Your Obedient Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

July 30th, 6 A.M. 

DEAREST SARAH: The "Connecticut" has delayed sailing 
till this hour. I am just sending my despatches on board, and 
so I send "two days later" from New Orleans. The Fleet have 
made a failure of it at Vicksburg, and have come down the 
river, and are going to Pensacola to recruit and repair. Gen. 
Williams has come down from Vicksburg unable to make an 
attack where there were 12000 men against him, and he had 
only 3000 effective ones, the rest being sick. He wrote to 
Gens. Grant & Halleck for troops to aid him, and could get 
not one. The river will not be open till fall indeed no opera 
tions will be had till then except as all troops are withdrawn 
from the South West. It is possible I may be besieged. 

Tell Fisher to write me. By the by, if Fisher will charter a 
schooner and send down here at once as many thousand hoop 
poles as he chooses, both hogshead & barrel, he will make a 
good thing of it. Sugar cannot be shipped for want of hoop 
poles. They are 12 cents apiece. But this must be done at 
once. 

Pshaw! I only meant to say good morning I am well 
How do you do? Kiss the children Whip Blanche for not 
writing me Write every day yourself Love to Harriet 
tell her I have a big kiss in reserve to pay for the "elastics." 

Yours BENJ. 

From James S. Whitney 

BOSTON, July 30th, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I do not know that I have even in 
formed you that your retention of the Steamer "Saxon," after 
notice to discharge her from General Meigs, was approved by 
General Meigs and the Department. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 125 

I should have done so. The fact is, that your certificate 
that you required the services of the "Saxon" was forwarded 
to General Meigs with my bill and General Meigs ordered 
the bill paid and McKim informed me that no further delay 
would be had in payments, as your keeping the "Saxon" was 
there approved. Should you wish to re-charter the "Saxon," 
your Quartermaster may do so, and this may and shall be my 
power of Attorney to Capt. Daniel Pepper to sign a charter 
in the precise terms and in same conditions of former charter. 
This letter you will understand to be supplemental to one of 
like date I have this day sent you by mail. With the highest 

res P ect Your obt. sent., 

JAMES S. WHITNEY 

From General Phelps 

CAMP PARAPET, LA., July 3Wh, 1862 

Capt. R. S. DAVIS, A. A. A. General 

SIR: I enclose herewith requisitions for arms, accoutre 
ments, clothing, camp and garrison equipage, etc., for three 
Regiments of Africans which I propose to raise for the defence 
of this point. 

The location is swampy and unhealthy, and our men are 
dying at the rate of two or three a day. The Southern loyalists 
are willing, as I understand, to furnish their share of the tax 
for the support of the war, but they should also furnish their 
quota of men, which they have not thus far done. An oppor 
tunity now offers of supplying the deficiency, and it is not safe 
to neglect opportunities in war. I think that with the proper 
facilities I could raise the three Regiments proposed in a 
short time. Without holding out any inducements, or offering 
any reward, I have now upward of three hundred Africans 
organized into five Companies, who are all willing and ready 
to be put to the test. They are willing to submit to anything 
rather than slavery. 

Society in the South seems to be on the point of dissolution, 
and the best way of preventing the African from becoming 
instruments in a general state of anarchy is to enlist him in 
the cause of the Republic. 

If we reject his services, any petty military Chieftain, by 
offering him freedom can have them for the purpose of rob 
bery and plunder. It is for the interest of the South as well 
as for the North that the African should be permitted to offer 



126 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

his block for the Temple of Freedom. Sentiments unworthy 
of the man who acts on the present day, worthy only of another 
Cain, would prevent such an offer from being accepted. 

I would recommend that the Cadets, graduates of the 
present year, should be sent to South Carolina, and this point 
kept to organize and discipline our African levies, and that 
the more promising non-commissioned Officers and privates of 
the Army be appointed as Company Officers to command 
them. Prompt and energetic efforts in this direction would 
probably accomplish more toward a speedy termination of 
the War, and an early restoration of peace and amity, than 
any other course which could be adopted. I have the honor to 
remain, Sir, 

Your obedient servant, J. W. PHELPS, Brig. Gen l. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 3lst, 1862 

Brig. Gen. J. W. PHELPS 

GENERAL: The Commanding General wishes you to employ 
the Contraband in and around your camps in cutting all the 
trees, etc., between your lines and the Lake, and in forming 
abatis according to the plan agreed upon between you and 
Lieut. Weitzel when he visited you some time since. What 
wood is not used by you is much needed in this City. For the 
purpose, I have ordered the Quartermaster to furnish you with 
axes and tents for the Contrabands to be quartered in. I am 
Very respectfully Your obedient servant, 

By order of MAJOR GENERAL BUTLER 

From General Phelps 

CAMP PARAPET, LA, July 31st, 1862 

Capt. R. S. DAVIS, A. A. A. General 

SIR: The communications from your office of this date, 
signed "By order of Major General Butler," directing me to 
employ the "Contrabands" in and about my camp in cutting 
down all the trees between my line and the Lake, etc., has 
just been received. 

In reply I must state that while I am willing to prepare 
African Regiments for the defence of the Government against 
its assailants, I am not willing to become the mere slave 
driver which you propose, having no qualifications that way. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 127 

I am therefore under the necessity of tendering the resigna 
tion of my Commission as an Officer in the Army of the United 
States, and respectfully request a leave of absence until it is 
accepted in accordance with Paragraph "29," page 12, of the 
Gen l regulations. 

While I am writing at half past 8 o clock P.M., a colored man 
was brought in by one of the Pickets who has just been wounded 
in the side by a charge of shot, which he says was fired at him 
by one of a party of three slave-hunters, or guerillas, a mile 
or more from our line of sentinels. As it is some distance from 
our line from Camp to Lake, the party of woodchoppers 
which you have directed probably need a considerable force 
to guard them against similar attack. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Your obt. Servant, 

J. W. PHELPS, Brig. General 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 31, 1862 

Count MEJAN, Consul of France, NEW ORLEANS 

SIR: I have arrested Charles Heidsick, who smuggled him 
self across my lines in the disguise of a Bar Keeper in the 
"Natchez," a Boat with Flag of truce. 

Heidsick has now come back as a supposed bearer of des 
patches through my lines once more. He desires that you 
should be informed of his arrest. 

Respectfully Yours, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From the French Consul to General Butler 

TRANSLATION. NEW ORLEANS, July 3lst, 1862 

GENERAL : Mr. Heidsick is a French citizen, very well-known 
here and in Mobile. He has come, it is true, on the "Natchez" 
as "Barkeeper," to the entire knowledge of the persons who 
were authorized to ply that Steamer between Mobile and 
New Orleans, and has never hid himself. 

Having been informed that letters addressed to this Consu 
late were detained in Jackson, I have caused the Consular 
Agent of France in Mobile to be informed of, and to cause 
them to be had and forwarded to me, only those that should 
have an official character. 

The Vice-Consul, believing the package to contain impor 
tant papers for this consulate, has thought fit to forward them 



128 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

to me, as also the letters coining from the same source and 
addressed to the Spanish Consul, by a special messenger, and 
he chose for that mission Mr. Heidsick, a french citizen. I 
do not believe a single reproach can be made to Mr. Heidsick, 
who, I am assured has never hid himself. I have, General, 
thought proper, to recite these facts, which, I think, exonerate 
Mr. Chas. Heidsick entirely, and I hope you will be willing to 
take them into consideration. 

I am personally acquainted with Mr. Heidsick, and I know 
that he is absolutely neutral in the actual conflict. Please 
accept, General, the assurances of my highest regards. 
The French Consul, COUNT ME JAN 

From Charles Heidsick to the French Consul 

NEW ORLEANS, July 31st, 1862 

Mr. Consul 

GENERAL BUTLER has had me arrested for coming here as 
"barkeeper" on board Steamer "Natchez," and sent me to 
Fort Jackson. 

I have the honor to ask you to see what you have to do for 
me in this matter, having come and left this city under flag 
of truce. I am y Qur huMe Servt) CHARLES HEIDSICK 

From the French Consul 

TRANSLATION. NEW ORLEANS, August 1st, 1862 
CNot in chronological order] 

Major General BUTLER, Commanding Army of the Gulf 

GENERAL: I took the liberty to write to you in favor of Mr. 
Chas. Heidsick, who has been arrested by your order, and who 
I am assured is to be sent today to Fort Jackson. 

I informed myself yesterday, and anew this morning, concern 
ing this French citizen, and the facts I thought proper to submit 
to you yesterday are fully confirmed. I well knew that Mr. 
Heidsick came to this City on the Natchez, that he was regis 
tered under his own name, which list I have no doubt was sub 
mitted to you, and this fact at least strongly proves that he never 
concealed his name and that he feared no investigation. 

Mr. Heidsick came to see me when he reached New Orleans, 
but he never brought me either letters or newspapers. And 
never took from me anything but verbal instructions, and, in 
this manner, at his request for the French Vice-Consul at 
Mobile. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 129 

This appears likewise to be much in his favor. They tell 
me that one of the principal charges against him is that he 
sold on his last trip several baskets of Champagne Wine. 
From information that I have received, and which I have 
every reason to think correct, this wine had been sold by his 
Agent, and was part of a lot which has been here nearly three 
years. 

The coming here of Mr. Heidsick yesterday as bearer of 
despatches sent me by the Vice-Consul at Mobile, would 
necessarily prove that this Frenchman believed that in no 
way he could be reproached, for if it is true that he could 
rely upon the respect that is everywhere shown to bearers of 
despatches, he would have nevertheless hesitated to come to 
town if he had any fears for his safety. 

Finally, the contents of the packages which Mr. Heidsick 
brought, cannot be invoked against him, for he must have, 
been as ignorant of them as I was. 

I hope, General, before inflicting upon Mr Heidsick who 
has, from the testimony of all his friends, always preserved 
the strictest neutrality both in words and deeds a punish 
ment which is almost equal, at this season, to an unacclimated 
man, to death itself, that you will be good enough to examine 
anew an affair whch presents so many phases that speak 
favorably towards Mr. Charles Heidsick. 

I would add that since Mr. Charles Heidsick came to the 
U. S. he has been exclusively occupied in the arrangement of 
his own business, which required his presence in Mobile, as 
the center of a country where the greatest number of his 
creditors reside. 

Mr. Heidsick belongs to a very highly respectable family in 
France, and is much esteemed by all who know him. Accept, 
General, the assurance of my consideration. 

The Consul of France, COUNT MEJAN 

Mr. Heidsick has with him neither clothing, change of linen, 
nor money. 

Statement of Moses Greenwood 

NEW ORLEANS, August 1, 1862 [Not in chronological order]] 

THIS day personally appeared before the undersigned, a 
Magistrate legally appointed, Moses Greenwood of this City, 
who, being duly sworn, states that in May last he was made 
the Agent of this City under order No. 19 of Major General 

VOL. II 9 



130 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Butler to transport Flour from Mobile, Ala., to this City under 
a Flag of Truce, that he at once entered on that duty and 
chartered Boats for that purpose. He said order No. 19 did 
not permit passengers to be transported. He employed a 
Capt. who engaged and shipped his Officers and Crew; in the 
month of June (as deponent believes) there was entered as Bar 
Keeper on the Boat the name of Charles Heidsick, to depon 
ent personally unknown. He saw him and knew his name was 
Heidsick, but did not know him as Mr. Charles Heidsick, the 
French Wine Merchant, till far advanced on the voyage, when 
Mr. Heidsick stated that he had little or nothing to do in the 
way of business, and came in that capacity as pastime, and 
to see some friends if permitted to come to the City. Mr. 
Heidsick continued in that Capacity, and did come into the 
City. At no time has the deponent known of his saying or 
doing anything to advance an injury to either Contending 
party, that in closing the Mission on which deponent had 
been appointed, the French Consul at Mobile applied to him 
for permission to send a messenger with Despatches for the 
Consul in this City in Company to which no objection was 
made. And Mr. Heidsick was made such Messenger, and 
arrived with him on the morning of 31st July, both reporting 
to Capt. Thorton at Lake Ponchartrain. 

MOSES GREENWOOD 

Sworn to and Subscribed before me this 
5th day of August, 1862 

I. A. GRAHAM, Notary Public 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 31, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 235 

The Picayune Newspaper, having published an Editorial 
article in today s issue directly in violation of the proclama 
tion of the Com d g General of May 1st, reflecting upon the 
Officers and tending to influence the public mind against the 
Government of the United States, the publication of said 
paper is discontinued until the publishers and editors shall 
severally exhibit their loyalty by taking the oath of allegiance, 
and the office with its properties, presses, books, and papers 
are sequestered until further action of the Government of the 
United States. By Qrder ^ MAJ GEN BUTLER 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 131 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 31, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 232 

THE Steamer "Iberville" has liberty to trade up and down 
the Coast within the limits of our lines, and to carry family 
supplies, each lot of [same] to be only in such quantities as 
should be properly issued to one family or one plantation, and 
not to be issued for trading purposes. Particularly no lot of 
over ten bags of Salt shall be issued to any one consignee. 

By Order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 

From Salmon P. Chase to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, July 31, 1862 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have the pleasure of thanking you 
for your very friendly letter, and of acknowledging your note 
requesting the appointment of young Mr. Nelson in the revenue 
cutter service. 

It would have given me pleasure to designate Mr. Nelson 
for examination, but he did not appear to be prepared for it 
without some further study. I contented myself, therefore, 
with expressions of good will, reserving the decision as to 
designation to a future time when he may again present him 
self. Meanwhile I doubt not he will be very useful to you. 
I have not seen Col. Shepley since he has been in Washing 
ton, which I regret, for I should have been very glad to confer 
with him fully as to matters in New Orleans. It is too late 
to seek him now, even if propriety did not require that he 
should first call on me. I say too late, because it is only within 
five minutes that I have learned that if I would get this letter 
to New York in time for the steamer it must be written forth 
with. Hence this long sheet and hurried writing. 

Nor have I seen the instructions, if any have been prepared, 
which Gen. Shepley is to take back with him to New Orleans; 
nor has it so happened that I have talked with either the 
President or Mr. Stanton on the subject of their instruction. 
All I know of the President s views is contained in the two 
letters enclosed herewith, one for Mr Bullett and the other 
for Mr. Johnson, which I have heard read, and which the 
President left with me today to be sent to those gentlemen. 
All I know positively, I mean; for I have heard intima- 



132 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

tions from the President that it may possibly become nec 
essary, in order to keep the river open below Memphis, 
to convert the heavy black population of its banks into 
defenders. 

You will see from what I have written that in what I have 
to say on the important topic, touched in your letter by way 
of reply to mine I shall express only my own opinions, 
opinions, however, to which I am just as sure that the masses 
will and politicians must come, as I am sure that both politi 
cians and masses have come to opinions expressed by me 
when they found few concurrents. 

I begin with the proposition that we must either abandon 
the attempt to retain the Gulf States in the Union or we must 
give freedom to every slave within their limits. We cannot 
maintain the contest with the disadvantages of unacclimated 
troops and distant supplies against an enemy enabled to bring 
one-half the population under arms with the other half held 
to labor, with no cost except that of bare subsistence for the 
armed moiety. Still less can we maintain this contest if all we 
do must necessarily enrage and alienate the military half, 
while we do nothing to conciliate but very much to disaffect 
the laboring half. 

I have not time to argue this out or even to qualify as might 
be necessary to avoid captious objection as to the feasibility 
of my statement. Of its substantial accuracy I am certain. 

As to the border states, even including Arkansas, a different 
rule may be adopted. In these states the President s plan of 
compensated emancipation may be adequate to the solution 
of the slavery question; though I confess my apprehensions 
that the slave-holders of these states will delay the acceptance 
of the proposition until it will become impossible to induce 
the Congress to vote the compensation. Should compensated 
emancipation fail in these states, emancipation will not be the 
less a necessity, and prompt emancipation as a military 
measure in the Gulf States will facilitate it by affording a 
convenient and easy outlet for the freed men. 

It will not escape your acute observation that military 
emancipation in the Gulf States will settle or largely contrib 
ute to settle the negro question in the free states. I am not 
myself afraid of the negroes. If they behave themselves and 
work industriously and honestly I have not the slightest objec 
tion to their contributing their industry to the prosperity of 
the state of which I am a citizen, or to their being protected in 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 133 

their rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness by the 
same laws which protect me. But I know that many honest 
men really think that they are not to be permitted to reside 
permanently in the Northern States, and I believe myself 
that if left free to choose most of them will prefer warmer 
climes to ours. Let, therefore, the South be opened to negro 
emigration by emancipation along the Gulf, and it is easy to 
see that the blacks of the North will slide southward, and leave 
behind them no question to quarrel about as far as they are 
concerned. 

This rough statement presents my general view sufficiently. 

Now for its practical application to Louisiana. Of course, 
if some prudential considerations did not forbid, I should at 
once, if I were in your place, respectfully notify the slave 
holders of Louisiana that henceforth they must be content 
to pay their laborers wages. This measure would settle it in 
the minds of the working population of the State that the 
Union General is their friend; would be apt to secure him a 
good deal of devotion among them; and when he wanted 
faithful friends or scouts he could find them. It is quite 
true that such an order could not be enforced by military powers 
beyond military lines; but it would enforce itself by degrees a 
good way beyond them, and would make the extension of 
the military lines quite easy comparatively. 

It may be said the order would be annulled. I think not. 
It is plain enough now that the annulling of Hunter s order 
was a mistake. It will not be repeated. 

Do the acts of Congress leave, indeed, much room for 
choice, if these acts are to be faithfully obeyed? The act of 
last year declared the slaves of all persons, if employed in aid 
of the rebellion, free. The acts of this last session declare free 
the slaves of persons who themselves engage in rebellion or 
aid and abet it; prohibit the return of fugitives by military 
commanders; and authorize the employment of slaves in the 
service of the Union either as laborers, or in arms, or both, at 
the direction of the President. How these acts can be enacted 
and slavery maintained, especially where slaves are numerous, 
I am at a loss to conceive. 

I think the President feels this difficulty. Hence, he inti 
mates in his letter to Mr. Johnson, while declining to interfere 
with General Phelps, that it will be well for the Louisianians 
to make haste back into the Union or worse evils than Gen. 
Phelps may befall them. Hence the other day, when some con- 



134 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN P. BUTLER 

versation occurred about Gen. Hunter, he was very far from 
expressing the same dissatisfaction with his course that he 
would have done four or five weeks ago. 

The truth is, my dear General, that there has been a great 
change in the public mind within the last few weeks. The 
people are resolved not to give up the struggle for territorial 
integrity. They mean to keep every inch of American soil in 
the United States. Whatever stands in the way of this deter 
mination has got to get out of the way. If state organizations 
- they must fall; if negro slavery it must be abolished. 

Now, it seems to me that it is just as well to make the short 
est possible work of this as the longest possible. Negro slavery 
should first fall where it has done most mischief, and where 
its extinction will do most good in weakening rebellion, and 
incidentally otherwise in the extreme South. 

And who better to begin the work than my friend Gen. 
Butler? Yet I am told that your policemen are now engaged 
all the time in returning fugitives to masters, provided only 
they take the oath. Let me beg of you, as one who greatly 
esteems you and greatly desires your increasing honor and 
affection among your countrymen, let me beg you to put a 
stop to this: simply see that the acts of Congress are carried 
out in good faith. It would hardly be too much to ask you to 
call, like Jackson, colored soldiers to the defence of the Union; 
but you must judge of this. Of one thing be assured you 
can hardly go too far to satisfy the exigency of public senti 
ment now. 

You must determine in the exercise of your own good judg 
ment what prudence will permit; but as far as prudence 
allows you may certainly well go. 

I have had a great deal of practical experience. I have 
observed opinions long and closely. I think myself tolerably 
cool and practical. At any rate, I have not made any failures 
thus far. And I give you in this letter hastily, indeed, and 
roughly, but with substantial accuracy, I think, my deliberate 
judgments. 

Whatever you may think of them, believe me, dear general, 
with the sincerest esteem and admiration. 

Your friend, S. P. CHASE 

My daughter Katie tells me to offer to you assurances of 
her kindest regards, and to say that she wishes you were here 
to keep the secession women quiet. Her displeasure is particu- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 135 

larly excited this morning by the report of her chambermaid, 
who tells her that last night some "ladies of the second class," 
as Gassy calls them, going by and looking over at our poor 
fellows standing or sitting about in front of the hospital for 
convalescents established in the church just opposite to us, 
said one to another, "the nasty Yankees," "they ve got what s 
good for them," "I m glad of it," etc., etc. I send you a slip 
from a newspaper which described atrocities which ought to 
make us blush. For Heaven s sake don t let us show ourselves 
by faithless treachery, to those who serve us so loyally and 
faithfully, to be worse than even our English slanderers make 
us out to be! 

Please see that the letters of the President to Messrs. Johnson 
and Bullett are delivered immediately. 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

PRIVATE. Executive Mansion, WASHINGTON, July 26lh, 1862 

[Not in chronological order]] 

Hon. REVERDY JOHNSON 

MY DEAR SIR: Yours of the 16th by the hand of Governor 
Shepley is received. 

It seems the Union feeling in Louisiana is being crushed out 
by the course of General Phelps. Please pardon me for believ 
ing that it is a false pretence. The people of Louisiana all 
intelligent people everywhere know full well that I never 
had a wish to touch the foundations of their society, or any 
right of theirs. With perfect knowledge of this, they forced 
me to send armies among them, and it is their own fault, not 
mine, that they are annoyed by the presence of General Phelps. 
They also know the remedy know how to be cured of Gen 
eral Phelps. Remove the necessity of his presence. And 
might it not be well for them to consider whether they have 
not already had time enough to do this? If they can conceive 
of anything worse than General Phelps within my power, 
would they not better be looking out for it? They very well 
know the way to avert all this is simply to take their place in 
the Union upon the old terms. If they will not do this, should 
they not receive harder blows rather than lighter ones? You 
are ready to say I apply to friends what is due to enemies. I 
distrust the wisdom if not the sincerity of friends who would 
hold my hands while my enemies stab me. This appeal of 
professed friends has paralyzed me more in the struggle than 
any other one thing. You remember telling me, the day after 



136 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the Baltimore mob in April, 1861, that it would crush all 
Union feeling in Maryland for me to attempt bringing troops 
over Maryland soil to Washington. I brought the troops 
notwithstanding, and yet there was Union feeling enough left 
to elect a legislature the next autumn which in turn elected a 
very excellent Union U. S. Senator. 

I am a patient man always willing to forgive on the Chris 
tian terms of repentance, and also to give ample time for re 
pentance. Still I must save the Government if possible. 
What I cannot do of course I will not do; but it may as well 
be understood, once for all, that I shall not surrender this 
game leaving any available card unplayed. 

Yours Truly , A. LINCOLN 



Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

PRIVATE. WASHINGTON, D.C., July 28^, 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

CUTHBERT BULLETT, Esq., NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

SIR: The copy of a letter addressed to yourself by Mr. 
Thomas J. Durant has been shown to me. The writer appears 
to be an able, a dispassionate, and an entirely sincere man. 
The first part of the letter is devoted to an effort to show that 
the secession ordinance of Louisiana was adopted against the 
will of a majority of the people. This is probably true; and in 
that fact may be found some instructions. Why did they 
allow the ordinance to go into effect? Why did they not assert 
themselves? Why stand passive and allow themselves to be 
trodden down by a minority? Why did they not hold popular 
meetings, and have a convention of their own, to express and 
enforce the true sentiment of the State? If pre-organization 
was against them, then why not do this now that the United 
States Army is present to protect them? The paralysis the 
dead palsy of the Government in this whole struggle is 
that this class of men will do nothing for the government, 
nothing for themselves, except demanding that the govern 
ment shall not strike its open enemies, lest they be struck by 
accident. 

Mr. Durant complains that in various ways the relation of 
Master and Slave is disturbed by the presence of our Army; 
and he considers it particularly vexatious that this, in part, 
is done under cover of an act of Congress, while constitutional 
guaranties are suspended on the plea of Military necessity. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 137 

The truth is, that what is done, and omitted, about slaves, 
is done and omitted on the same military necessity. It is a 
Military necessity to have men and money; and we can get 
neither, in sufficient numbers, or amounts, if we keep from, or 
drive from our lines Slaves coming to them. Mr. Durant 
cannot be ignorant of the pressure in this direction, nor of my 
efforts to hold it within bounds, till he and such as he shall 
have time to help themselves. 

I am not posted to speak understandingly on all the police 
regulations of which Mr. Durant complains. If experience 
shows any one of them to be wrong, let them be set right. I 
think I can perceive, in that freedom of trade which Mr. 
Durant urges, that he would relieve both friends and enemies 
from the pressure of blockade. By this he would serve the 
enemy more effectively than the enemy is able to serve him 
self. I do not say or believe that to serve the enemy is the 
purpose of Mr. Durant, or that he is conscious of any purpose 
other than National and patriotic ones. Still, if there were a 
class of men who, having no choice of sides in the contest, were 
anxious only to have quiet and comfort for themselves while 
it rages, and to fall in with the victorious side at the end of it, 
without loss to themselves, their advice as to the mode of 
conducting the contest would be precisely such as his is. He 
speaks of no duty apparently thinks of none resting 
upon Union men. He even thinks it injurious to the Union 
cause that they should be restrained in trade and passage 
without taking sides. They are to touch neither a sail or a 
pump, but to be merely passengers dead heads at that - 
to be carried snug and dry, throughout the storm, and safely 
landed right side up. Nay more; even a mutineer is to go 
untouched lest these sacred passengers receive an additional 
wound. 

Of course the rebellion will never be suppressed in Louisiana 
if the professed Union men there will neither help to do it, 
nor permit the government to do it without their help. 

Now, I think the true remedy is very different from what is 
suggested by Mr. Durant. It does not lie in rounding the 
rough angles of the War, but in removing the necessity for 
the war. 

The people of Louisiana who wish protection to person and 
property have but to reach forth their hands and take it. Let 
them, in good faith, reinaugurate the national authority, and 
set up a State Government conforming thereto under the 



138 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Constitution. They know how to do it, and can have the pro 
tection of the Army while doing it. 

The Army will be withdrawn so soon as such State Govern 
ment can dispense with its presence; and the people of the 
State can then, upon the old Constitutional terms, govern 
themselves to their own liking. This is very simple and easy. 

If they will not do this, if they prefer to hazard all for the 
sake of destroying the government, it is for them to consider 
whether it is probable I will surrender the government to 
save them from losing all. If they decline what I suggest, you 
scarcely need to ask what I will do. What would you do in 
my position? Would you drop the war where it is? or would 
you prosecute it in future with elder stalk squirts, charged 
with rose water? Would you deal lighter blows than heavier 
ones? Would you give up the contest, leaving any available 
means unapplied? 

I am in no boastful mood. I shall not do more than I can, 
and shall do all I can to save the government, which is my 
sworn duty as well as my personal inclination. 

I shall do nothing in malice. What I deal with is too vast 

for malicious dealing. ^ , A T 

Yours truly, A. LINCOLN 

From General Hurly 

NEW ORLEANS, August 1st, 1862 

Major General BUTLER, Esq. 

SIR : The undersigned is a special officer, he has been amongst 
some of the secessionists and got information that there was 
private organization in the outskirts of the city, he said he 
would like to join them on purpose to find out where the 
Lodge was kept, and was told there was 827 men in the Lodge, 
and that they would admit an Irish or Dutchman if he was a 
secessionist; they say they expect to hang Major General 
Butler and Judge Bell before a month passes by. I am afraid 
to go round among them without weapons to defend myself, 
so I hope you will be kind enough to let me have the use of a 
Colt s revolver, and I will endeavor to find out their Lodge or 
die in the attempt. 

There is several men belonging to the Union Association 
that I suspect of giving information to the enemy. I am a 
member of the association myself. 

Your Most Obedient, JEREMIAH HURLY 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 139 

From Moses Bates 

Louisiana State Penitentiary, BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, Aug. 1, 1862 

General B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. Dept. of the Gulf 

SIR : Having, by the aid of a military escort, procured some 
one hundred and seventy-five bales of cotton, I have set the 
machinery of the Penitentiary in motion, and the prisoners 
are now at work. Because of the discovery of other cotton 
which may be obtained, I have applied to Brig. Gen. Williams 
for a permanent detail and transportation, which, having been 
refused, I then applied for a special escort and transportation 
to procure cotton and beef for the penitentiary, but this also 
is declined. And the Lieut, in charge of my escort is informed 
by Gen. Williams A. A. G., Mr. Elliot, that "Gen. Williams 
has no confidence in Mr. Bates, and will grant him no more 

privileges than he can avoid." & ,- 77 v 

Respectfully Yours, 

MOSES BATES, Supt. La. State Penitentiary 
From Governor Andrew Johnson 

State of Tennessee, Executive Department, NASHVILLE, Aug. 1st, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Commanding at NEW ORLEANS 

DEAR SIR: Fully aware of the many and laborious duties 
which your position imposes upon you, I do not desire to 
increase them, but the criminal appropriation, by rebels, of all 
the resources of the Treasury of Tennessee compels me to 
make every effort in my power to furnish means for carrying 
on the civil and military powers of the state. My high regard 
for your patriotism and ability has induced me to refer to you 
for collection a list of Notes and Drafts, assets of the Bank of 
Tennessee, and, of course, the property of the state. 

By application to Mr. Geo. A. French, cashier of the Union 
Bank of New Orleans, you can in all probability obtain the 
Notes and Drafts mentioned in this list. 

I shall by the same mail write to Mr. French to furnish you 
with all the assets of the Bank. If you can by any means 
collect these assets, you will confer a favor which will be grate 
fully received by the patriotic and loyal people of the state. I 
shall be happy to hear from you as soon as you have had an 
opportunity to take the subject into consideration. 

I hope that success may continue to crown your patriotism, 
zeal, and ability in the great cause of our common country and 



140 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

constitutional liberty. With sentiments of the highest regard 
Your obedient Servant, ANDREW JOHNSON 

From Joseph S. Fowler 

State of Tennessee, Comptroller s Office, NASHVILLE, Augst. 1st, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. at NEW ORLEANS 

DEAR SIR: You will find in my letter the list of assets of 
the Bank of Tennessee referred to by Governor Johnson. 

If the cashier of the Union Bank should give you a note 
drawn by R. H. Elam to the order of John Williams and Co., 
for the sum of $2169.32, dated 26th Dec. 1861, payable in six 
months from date, I would be pleased to have it forwarded to 

me in Nashville. v .- 77 

Yours very respectfully, 

Jos. S. FOWLER, Comptroller 
From General Butler 

Head Quarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August (2nd), 1862 

Flag Officer FARRAGUT, Comdg. Western Gulf Squadron 

DEAR SIR: I enclose you Capt. Porter s Letter to me for 
your information. I will send him a Steam Tug of whose ser 
vices he can avail himself. 

I would strongly urge that one of the light draft Double- 
Enders be sent to him, say the "Westfield," "Clifton," or 
"Miami," to clear out Red River. 

As to the suggestion as to fortifying Baton Rouge on the 
river side, it is simply impossible for want of Guns. If the 
fleet cannot hold the river against the enemies rams or other 
boats, the quicker we abandon Louisiana the better. I have 
the honor to be, ^ respectfully, Your Obt. Svt., 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Com. 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

30th July, 1862. U. S. Gun Boat ESSEX, Off BATON ROUGE 

chronological order] 



Gen. BUTLER, Head Qts. U. S. Forces, Comdg. 
NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

GENERAL: I have the honor respectfully to lay before you 
the following facts. 

After running the blockade at Vicksburg, my Orders were 
to proceed to Baton Rouge, raking in supplies, and then to 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 141 

ascend the Mississippi, constantly cruising between this point 
and Vicksburg. 

The Gun Boats "Katahdin" and "Kenio," also the Ram 
"Sumpter," were left with me here as a protecting force 
the two former Boats have their machinery so deranged that 
they are absolutely useless for active service until thoroughly 
overhauled and repaired. The "Sumpter" has but four men, 
and the Capt. of her is the only Officer free from sickness. 

There are two Rebel Gun Boats upon the Red River which 
should be seen to, but with my present Force it would be im 
practicable to attack them with success without some other 
light-draught Gun Boats, the low stage of water in the Red 
River would prevent the "Essex" going up. 

The enemy are also fortifying at "Ellis" Cliffs, some below 
Natchez, and unless speedily seen to will eventually cause 
much trouble. 

A powerful Steam Tug to tow the "Essex" up the Missis 
sippi, and also to convey sufficient Coal supply, I respectfully 
solicit may be sent me as early as practicable. In the immediate 
neighborhood of this city large bodies of rebel troops are con 
centrating, and I would respectfully suggest the immediate 
fortification of the place, both of the land and river side. The 
Ram "Arkansas" is still above water, and could without 
doubt, if the "Essex" were absent, retake the city. 

Very Respectfully, Your Obt. Servt. 
W. D. PORTER, Comdg. Division of Western Flotilla, 

below VICKSBURG 

From General Butler 

Head Qtrs. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August Uh, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

Captain PORTER, Comdg. Flotilla, BATON ROUGE 

CAPTAIN: By the recent Act of Congress your Flotilla is 
placed under the charge of Navy Department. It is impossible 
for me therefore to answer your requisitions as such, but will 
do everything in my power to advance your desire to aid the 
public service. 

I have therefore directed my Quartermaster to assist your 
Paymaster in procuring such a Boat as you may need, and will 
make the same terms we should do if it were our own contract. 
Flag Officer Farragut tells me he will forward the necessary 
supplies. I will endeavor to give you the money upon a draft, 
as explained to your Paymaster. In any other thing I can do 



142 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

to aid you, please command me. I beg to call your attention 
to the absolute necessity of having the " Sumpter " or yourself at 
the mouth of the Red River, would suggest the mouth of the 
Black River, as the place to be. Baton Rouge will not be at 
tacked at the present, in my judgment. I will see to it that your 
Mails are forwarded to that Post Office. I have the honor 

Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, LA., Aug. Id, 1862 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I beg leave to enclose to you copies of orders and cor 
respondence with General Phelps upon the subject of arming 
and employing the negroes. 

Gen. Phelps, without orders and without my knowledge, 
has organized five companies of Negroes, and the first official 
information I had of his doings in that behalf was a requisition 
for arms and equipments there. 

It became more necessary, in my judgment, to employ them 
differently, and I thought by that means I would find employ 
ment for all, not raising the question offensively between Gen. 
Phelps and myself until it was settled at Washington. There 
fore I sent the order to employ the negroes without sending an 
answer to his requisition. But his letter of resignation has 
left me no choice but insist that my order should be obeyed. I 
submit the whole matter to the department. I need not dis 
cuss it. Gen. Shepley, who has been with you, can do it much 
better than I can. Mr. Roselius, whom I have sent you by the 
"Connecticut," can tell you much more fully than it were 
possible to do in a despatch what has been the effect of the 
course of Gen. Phelps. 

An insurrection broke out amongst the negroes a few miles 
up the river, which caused the women of that neighborhood 
to apply to an armed boat belonging to us, passing down, for 
aid, and the incipient revolt was stopped by informing the 
negroes that we should repel an attack by them upon the 
women and children. 

All is for the determination of the department, to which I 
shall give the fullest obedience. I have the honor to be 

Your obedient servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Com d g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 143 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 2, 1862 

Brig. Gen. J. W. PHELPS, Commanding 

GENERAL: By the act of Congress, as I understand it, the 
President of the United States alone has the authority to 
employ Africans in arms as part of the Military forces of the 
United States. Every law up to this time, raising volunteer 
or Militia forces, has been opposed to their employment. The 
President has not as yet indicated his purpose to employ the 
Africans in arms. 

The arms, clothing, and camp equipage which I have here 
for Louisiana Volunteers, is, by the letter of the Secretary of 
War, expressly limited to white soldiers, so that I have no 
authority to divert them however much I may desire so to do. 

I do not think you are empowered to organize into Com 
panies Negroes, and drill them as a Military organization, as 
I am not surprised but unexpectedly informed you have done. 
I cannot sanction this course of action as at present advised, 
specially when we have need of the services of the Blacks (who 
are being sheltered upon the outskirts of your Camp), as you 
will see by the orders for their employment sent you by the 
Assistant Acting Adj t Gen l. 

I will send your application to the President, but in the 
meantime you must desist from the formation of any Negro 
Military Organization. I am, 

Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 2nd, 1862 

Brig. Gen. PHELPS, Comdg. U. S. Forces at CAMP PARAPET 

GENERAL: I am somewhat surprised to receive your resigna 
tion for the reasons stated. 

When you were put in command at Camp Parapet, I sent 
Lieut. Weitzel, my Chief Engineer, to make a reconnoissance 
of the lines of Carrolton, and I understand it was agreed 
between you and the Engineer that a removal of the wood 
between Lake Ponchartrain and the right of your intrench- 
ment was a necessary military precaution. The work could 
not be done at the time because of the stage of water and the 
want of men. But now both water and men concur. You have 



144 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

500 Africans organized into Companies, you write me. This 
work they are fitted to do. It must either be done by them or 
my soldiers, now drilled and disciplined. 

You have said the location is unhealthy to the soldier. It 
is not to the negro. Is it not best that these unemployed 
Africans should do this matter at the present time? because 
there are reports of demonstrations to be made on your lines 
by the rebels, and in my judgment it is a matter of necessary 
precaution thus to clear the right of your line, so that you can 
receive the proper aid from the Gunboats on the Lake, besides 
preventing the enemy from having cover. To do this, the 
Negroes ought to be employed, and in so employing them I 
see no evidence of "slave-driving" or employing you as a 
slave driver. 

The soldiers of the Army of the Potomac did this very 
thing last summer in front of Arlington Heights. Are Negroes 
any better than they? 

Because of an order to do this necessary thing, to protect 
your front threatened by the enemy, you tender your resigna 
tion and ask immediate leave of absence. I assure you I did 
not expect this either from your courage, your patriotism, or 
your good sense. To resign in the face of an enemy has not been 
the highest plaudit to a soldier, specially when the reason 
assigned is that he is ordered to do that which a recent act of 
Congress has specially authorized a Commander to do, i.e. 
employ the Africans to do the necessary work about a Camp or 
upon fortifications. 

General, your resignation will not be accepted by me; leave 
of absence will not be granted, and you will see to it that any 
orders, thus necessary for the defence of the City, are faith 
fully and diligently executed, upon the responsibility that a 
soldier in the field owes to his superior. 

I will see that all proper requisitions for the food, shelter, and 
clothing for these negroes at work are at once filled by the 
proper departments. 

You will also send out a proper guard to protect the laborers 
against the Guerilla force, if any there may be in the neigh 
borhood. I am, 



BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 145 

From General Phelps 

CAMP PARAPET, LA., August 2, 62 

Maj. Genl. B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. Depart, of the Gulf 

SIR: Two communications from you of this date have this 
moment been received. One of them relates to the raising of 
Volunteer or Militia forces, stating that "I must desist from 
the formation of any negro military organization," and the 
other declaring in a spirit contrary to all usages of military 
service, and all the rights and liberties of a citizen of a free 
Government, that my resignation will not be accepted by you, 
that a leave of absence until its acceptance by the President 
will not be granted me, and that I must see to it that your 
orders which I could not obey without becoming a slave myself 
are "faithfully and diligently executed." 

It can be of but little consequence to me as to what kind of 
slavery I am to be subjected, whether to African slavery or to 
that which you thus so offensively propose to me, giving me 
an order wholly opposed to my convictions of right as well as 
of the higher scale of public necessities in the case, and insist 
ing with my complying with it faithfully and diligently, allow 
ing me no room to escape with my convictions or my principles 
at any sacrifice that I may make. I cannot submit to either 
kind of slavery, and cannot, therefore, for a double reason, 
comply with your order of the 31st of July, in complying with 
which I should submit to both kinds, both to African 
slavery and to that (to) which you resort in its defence. Desir 
ing to the last of serving the public interest involved, I appeal 
to your sense of justice to reconsider your decision, and make 
the most of the cause out of the sacrifice which I offer, by grant 
ing the quiet, proper, and customary action upon my resig 
nation. By refusing my request you would subject me to 
great inconvenience, without, as far as I can see, any advan 
tage to yourself or the service. 

With the view of securing myself a tardy justice in the 
case, being remote from the Capitol, where the transmission 
of the mails is remarkably irregular and uncertain, and in 
order to give you every assurance that my resignation is 
tendered in strict compliance with paragraph 29 of the reg 
ulations, to be unconditional and immediate, I herewith 
enclose a Copy for the Adjutant General of the Army which I 
desire may be forwarded to him, to be laid before the Presi 
dent for as early action in the case as his Excellency may be 

VOL. II 10 



146 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

pleased to accord. And as my position, sufficiently unpleasant 
already, promises to become much more so still by the course 
of action I am sorry to find you deem it proper to pursue, I 
urgently request his Excellency, by a speedy acceptance of 
my commission, to liberate me from that sense of suffocation, 
from that darkling sense of bondage and enthralment, which, 
it appears to me, like the snake around the muscles and sinews 
of Laokoon, is entangling and deadening the energies of the 
Government and the Country, when a decisive act might cut 
the evils and liberate us from their baneful and fascinating 
influence forever. 

In conclusion of this communication, and I should also 
hope of my services in this Department, I deem it my duty to 
state, lest it otherwise might not come to your notice, that 
several parties of the free colored men of New Orleans have 
recently come to consult me on the propriety of raising one or 
two regiments of Volunteers from their class of the population 
for the defence of the Government and good order, and that I 
have recommended them to propose the measure to you, hav 
ing no power to act upon it myself. I am 

Very respectfully, Your Obt. Svt., 

J. W. PHELPS, Brig. Gen. 

Monday, August th, 1862 

P.S. The negroes increase rapidly. There are doubtless now 
six-hundred able-bodied men in Camp. These, added to those 
who are suffering uselessly in the prisons and jails of New 
Orleans and vicinity, and feeding from the general stock of 
provisions, would make a good regiment of one thousand men, 
who might contribute as much to the preservation of law and 
good order as a regiment of Caucasians, and probably much 
more. Now a mere burden, they might become a beneficient 
element of Government power. J. W. P. 

From General Phelps 

CAMP PARAPET, LA., August 2, 1862 

General LORENZO THOMAS, Adj. Gen L, 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

SIR: Finding it impossible to serve in this department 
without doing violence to my convictions of right and public 
necessity, I respectfully tender you the resignation of my com 
mission as an Officer of the Army of the United States, and 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 147 

request as early an acknowledgment of its acceptance as con 
veniently possible. I have the honor to be, Sir, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

J. W. PHELPS, Brig. General 

From General Shepley 

PRIVATE & UNOFFICIAL. PORTLAND, MAINE, August 2, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL: Immediately upon my arrival I proceeded to 
Washington, and there had an interview with the President 
and Secretaries of State and War. I stated to them fully the 
condition and wants of Louisiana. 

They were impressed with the necessity of sending more 
troops, and promised to send the fifteen thousand I asked for 
when they could get them to send. But they said more troops 
were called for now in every Department, and it would be 
impossible to send them at present. 

In relation to the negro question, they frankly stated the 
difficulties which surrounded them, and gave me discretion 
to act as I thought best, which will be to continue the policy 
pursued by you up to this time. I will explain this more fully 
to you when I return. 

I infer from what was said upon the subject of Brigadier 
Generals, that they will send out any two you may designate 
that are available. 

I suggested the appointment of Weitzel, and Stanton received 
it very favorably, and I think if you make a formal request 
for his appointment he will receive it. 

The Secretary of War suggested that I had better return 
home and wait a few days, and he would send despatches and 
a messenger to me when his despatches were ready. I reached 
home Tuesday night (29th), and now (August 2nd), not hav 
ing heard from the Secretary, I shall leave Monday morning 
for Washington direct, and after remaining there one day 
leave as soon as possible for New Orleans. 

You can have no conception how strong and universal, 
with the people, is the feeling of approbation and appreciation 
of your course in New Orleans. They all contrast what has 
been done in New Orleans, with the insufficient force and 
scanty means of transportation, with the failures in Virginia 
of such a vast Army, so magnificently supplied with all the 
appliances of modern warfare. The contrast is so striking in 



148 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

your favor that the remark is almost universal that "if Butler 
had been in command he would have got into Richmond before 
this time some how." 

Mortar fleet Porter has been attacking you in Washington. 
I found he had been doing this before he arrived, and I pre 
sume, as he has been in Washington since, he has repeated his 
attacks. He has been charging you with employing tug boats 
and steamers for private speculations, and neglecting to supply 
him with means to tow his vessels. I told the Secretary it was 
false, that Porter was a humbug, and explained to him Porter s 
cowardice about the "Louisiana," and told him how invariably 
you had rendered to Porter and the Army every possible 
facility. 

When I return to Washington I will find out what new lies 
Porter has told on his arrival there, and will endeavor to set 
history right with the President and Secretary of War. I 
believe Porter and his motives are pretty well appreciated 
now. 

I suggested Gushing as Brigadier General, but found it 
hopeless to attempt anything in that quarter. 

Hoping soon to see you in New Orleans, and that your 
health is fully restored, I am 

Very respectfully, and truly yours, 
G. F. SHEPLEY, Brig. Gen l. U. S. Vols. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. Id, 1862 

MY DEAREST WIFE: Four days later from New Orleans. All 
well so far as health is concerned. The city never healthier 
not a single case of yellow fever. 

Phelps has gone crazy. He is organizing the negroes into 
regiments, and wants me to arm them. There has been a 
slight insurrection up the Coast, as it is called, meaning twenty 
miles up the river. I told him he must set the negroes to work 
and not drill them, and he thereupon has resigned. I have 
sent the whole matter to the President. Reverdy Johnson has 
gone home, I trust with a flea in his ear. What do you think 
of the letter about order No. 28? I did not mean Carney 
should publish it, but he has done so. Perhaps it is well 
enough. What do you think of the picture? Is not the posi 
tion an easy one? Be sure and send me those I wrote for. 
Farragut has come down the river and given up Vicksburg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 149 

So we go, perhaps, over to Mobile. I have so large a force I 
can go anywhere, of course. 

A truce with this business, but don t let Fisher forget to 
send the oats and the hoop poles by steamer. We send home 
the "Saxon." She will start the 5th with a freight list worth 
10,000 dollars will take a month to go home. She will go 
to New York, so let Fisher look out. She will be home about 
the 20th. 

By the by, I want you to look in my "scrap book" and 
find the speech I made at the John Brown meeting in Lowell 
some time in the winter of 1859. Let Blanche transcribe it, 
and put it into the next mail for me. If she will do it I will 
send her something handsome. Don t fail in this. Now, 
dearest, how do you get on? Summer more than f gone, and 
we not together. Are you gay? You must be. Laugh and 
grow fat. Don t think too much. Don t fret yourself at all. 
Play with the children. Kiss all for me again and again, and 
then reserve a kiss for yourself. Keep it warm and happy till 
I get back. 

They have an absurd story here that Banks is to be sent 
down to take my place. I wish to heaven he would come! 
Write me every day, never mind, the mails will bring them 
sometime, although the "Creole" has got aground on the 
Florida reefs and we have not heard a word by mail since 
July 6th. Don t bother yourself about furnishing the house. 
Perhaps I shall aid you from here. 

Truly as ever your own BENJ. with the coziest nook in his heart 
always yours. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 3rd, 1862 

Flag Officer D. G. FARRAGUT, Commanding Western Gulf 

Blockading Squadron 

SIR: I have just been informed by reliable persons that 
since yesterday morning a great number of field guns have 
been placed between here and Baton Rouge by the rebels, 
the avowed object being to sink my transports in the absence 
of your cruisers. This information, taken in connection with 
despatches received from Gen l. Williams, informing me that 
he expects an attack by a large force, leads me to believe that 
my information is truthful. I consider it therefore my impera 
tive duty to ask you to cause one at least of your Gunboats to 
cruise between here and Baton Rouge at once, so that I can 



150 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

keep my communication open with my forces at that point, 
at least during the time danger is anticipated. I am, Sir 
Very Respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Augst. 3rd, 1862 

Brig. Gen. WILLIAMS, Commanding at BATON ROUGE 

GENERAL: I received your note by the hand of John Mann, 
who was in my confidential service. While his information 
may be relied upon as correct, yet all the inferences may not 
be which he draws. 

The truth is this, as I gather it from various sources. On 
the 25th of July I sent an expedition of 500 men on an expedi 
tion around the Lake at Mandeville and Madison ville. The 
movement was delayed 48 hours, and in that time word was 
sent to the enemy that it was to go out. Thereupon Breckin- 
ridge was telegraphed down to Camp Moore with four Regi 
ments to proceed to Madisonville, but it so happened that Col. 
McMillan on the same day sent out to the Amite River a 
reconnoitering party of two companies, and they made an 
attack on a Guerilla Camp there. 

News of this came to Camp Moore, and they concluded 
that the expedition to Madisonville was but a feint while the 
real attack was to be Camp Moore, immediately counter 
marched to get back to repel the expected assault upon the 
Camp. 

This is the cause of the Assembly of the troops at Camp 
Moore. While I would not have you relax your vigilance, I 
think you need fear no assault at present. When it does come, 
I know you will be ready. I should much like to see you, if 
possible to be absent from your command. There are many 
things upon which I wish to consult. 

The matter of the charges against several Officers will be 
submitted to a Court Martial. I am 

Very Truly Yours, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

P.S. I have communicated with the Flag Officer concerning 
the Boat at Red River. B. F. B. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 151 

From Colonel Deming to General Butler 

HARTFORD, August 4th, 1862 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I reached the North in the height of 
the panic caused by McClellan s disaster and the President s 
order for three hundred thousand additional volunteers. The 
time was somewhat unfavorable, as you can readily see, for 
my application for reinforcements, and the only reply which I 
could extract from the Secretary of War was, "Gen. Butler 
must recruit in New Orleans." 

The other matters contained in your brief, he informed me, 
had been answered by orders and instructions sent to you by 
Reverdy Johnson, and by the Confiscation Act which had 
just passed. 

The plates I delivered to Mr. Secretary Chase and the 
swords to the President. The flags I sent by Adams Express to 
General Dix. I delivered the draft for $25,000 to the Vice 
President of Adams Express Company, and took his receipt 
therefor; Mr. Chase said that though the drafts were irregular, 
inasmuch as money could not be drawn from the Treasury 
except by authority of law, he would endeavor to contrive 
some way to protect them. 

Mr. Stanton would not at the present time entertain my 
proposition to resign, and would only condescend to grant me 
a furlough of thirty days from July 30th, at the expiration of 
which I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you in New Orleans. 

I have been afflicted with an attack of dysentery since my 
arrival here, but hope that quiet and good nursing will soon 
restore me to my usual health. I am 

Truly your friend and servant, 
HENRY C. DEMING, Col. 12th Reg. C. V. 

From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. Head Quarters, August 4th, 1862 

Gen. Dow 

Do not let any person or vessel from an infected port, 
specially from Havana come up. 

This order is imperative. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 



152 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 4, 1862 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 55 

IT appears that the need of relief to the destitute poor of 
the city requires more extended measures and greater outlay 
than have yet been made. 

It becomes a question in justice upon whom should this 
burden fall. Clearly upon those who have brought this great 
calamity upon their fellow-citizens. 

It should not be borne by taxation of the whole municipality, 
because the middling and working-men have never been heard 
at the ballot-box, unawed by threats and unmenaced by 
"Thugs" and paid assassins of conspirators against peace and 
good order. Besides, more than the vote that was claimed for 
secession have taken the oath of allegiance to the United 
States. 

The United States Government does its share when it pro 
tects, defends, and preserves the people in the enjoyment of 
law, order, and calm quiet. Those who have brought upon the 
city this stagnation of business, this desolation of the hearth 
stone, this starvation of the poor and helpless, should, as far 
as they may be able, relieve these distresses. 

There are two classes whom it would seem peculiarly fit 
should at first contribute to this end. First, those individuals 
and corporations who have aided the rebellion with their 
means; and second, those who have endeavored to destroy 
the commercial prosperity of the city, upon which the welfare 
of its inhabitants depend. 

It is brought to the knowledge of the Commanding General 
that a subscription of twelve hundred and fifty thousand 
dollars was made by the corporate bodies, business firms, and 
persons whose names are set forth in schedule "A" annexed 
to this order, and that sum placed in the hands of an illegal 
body known as the "Committee of Public Safety," for the 
treasonable purpose of defending the city against the Govern 
ment of the United States, under whose humane rule the city 
of New Orleans had enjoyed such unexampled prosperity that 
her warehouses were filled with trade of all nations who came 
to share her freedom, to take part in the benefits of her com 
mercial superiority, and thus she was made the representative 
mart of the world. 

The stupidity and wastefulness with which this immense 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 153 

sum was spent was only equalled by the folly which led to its 
being raised at all. The subscribers to this fund, by this very 
act, betray their treasonable designs and their ability to pay 
at least a much smaller tax for the relief of their destitute and 
starving neighbors. 

Schedule "B" is a list of Cotton Brokers, who, claiming to 
control that great interest in New Orleans, to which she is so 
much indebted for her wealth, published in the newspapers, in 
October, 1861, a manifesto deliberately advising the planters not 
to bring their produce to the city, a measure which brought 
ruin at the same time upon the producer and the city. 

This act sufficiently testifies the malignity of these traitors, 
as well to the Government as their neighbors, and it is to be 
regretted that their ability to relieve their fellow-citizens is 
not equal to their facilities for injuring them. 

In taxing both these classes to relieve the suffering poor of 
New Orleans, yea, even though the needy be the starving wives 
and children of those in arms at Richmond and elsewhere 
against the United States, it will be impossible to make a mis 
take save in having the assessment too easy and the burden 
too light. 

It is therefore Ordered - 

1st. That the sums in schedules annexed, marked "A" and 
"B," set against the names of the several persons, business 
firms, and corporations herein described, be and hereby are 
assessed upon each respectively. 

2d. That said sums be paid to Lieut. David C. G. Field, 
Financial Clerk, at his office in the Customhouse, on or before 
Monday, the llth inst., or that the property of the delinquent 
be forthwith seized and sold at public auction, to pay the 
amount, with all necessary charges and expenses, or the 
party imprisoned till paid. 

3d. The money raised by this assessment to be a fund for 
the purpose of providing employment and food for the deserv 
ing poor people of New Orleans. 

By command of MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. and A. A. A. G. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 5th, 1862 

MY DEAR, DEAR WIFE: I am only going to write you a word 
to let you know what you fear may not be so that I am in 



154 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

good health, and trust you are enjoying the same blessing. 
And also to let you know what you know already how much 
I miss you and love you. 

Love to all Kiss the children. Write me every day, 
grow fat and saucy and tell me how I can get home to you 
out of this. We have not heard a word till today. The mail 
is just in the first mail since the 6th of July. Thirty days 
without a mail ! I am longing for it to be opened, as I shall get 
a letter from you, one at least, I hope more. I shall have 
trouble with Phelps. He is mad as a March Hare on the 
"nigger question." He is arming them against all law, and 
refuses to have them work. My respect for him will lead me to 
treat him very tenderly but firmly, and I hope involve myself 
no more than is absolutely necessary for my duty. That I 
will do in any event. All else is well here. The Rebels threaten 
Baton Rouge, but I do not believe in an attack. Let them come 

on, I want a fight. All else is well. v , , , T> 

Y our husband, BENJ. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 5th, 1862 

To Brig. Gen. PHELPS 

GENERAL: Your communication of today has been received. 
I had forwarded your resignation on the day it was received to 
the President of the U. S., so that there will be no occasion of 
forwarding a duplicate. General, not at liberty to accept your 
resignation, I cannot, consistently with my duty and the orders 
from the War Department, grant you a leave of absence until 
it is accepted by the President of the U. S., for want of Officers 
to supply your place. I see nothing unusual, nor do I intend 
anything so, in the refusal to accept the resignation of an 
officer when his place cannot be at the present moment supplied. 

I pray you to understand that there was nothing intended 
to be offensive to you in either the matter or manner of my 
communication in directing you to cease military Organiza 
tions of the negroes. I do only carry out the law of Congress as 
I understand it, and in doing which I have no choice. I can 
see neither African nor other slavery in the Commander of a 
Post clearing from the front of his line, by means of able- 
bodied men under his control, the trees and underbrush which 
would afford cover and shelter to his enemies in case of attack, 
especially when the very measure is a precautionary one advised 
by yourself, and while in deference to your age and experience 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 155 

as a soldier, and the appreciation I have of your many good 
qualities of heart, I have withdrawn and do withdraw any 
thing you may find offensive in my communication, still I 
must request a categorical answer to this question: Will 
you or will you not employ a proper portion of the negroes in 
cutting down the trees which afford cover to the enemy in 
front and right of your line? 

I pray you to observe that if there is anything of wrong in 
this order, that wrong is mine, for you have sufficiently pro 
tested against it. You are not responsible for it more than the 
hand that executes it it can offend neither your political 
nor moral sense. With sentiments of the utmost kindness and 
respect, I am, your obedient Servant) BENJ> R BUTLER 



From General Butler to General Phelps 

PRIVATE AND UNOFFICIAL. NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 5, 1862 

DEAR GENL. : I send you enclosed herewith the President s 
order, which came in this morning s mail, before you make 
your final answer to my official communication. 

You will see that I cannot do otherwise than I have done, 
and I beseech you do not put yourself in an attitude apparently 
hostile to me, when the only feelings I hold toward you are 
those of kindness and good will. 

I have in this frank manner written to assure you that I 
only wish to carry out the orders of the Government, and not 
to embarrass you. 

I would like to meet you in personal conversation to see if 
I might not aid you in avoiding this difficulty. Believe me, 

Your friend, BENJ. F. 

From General Phelps 

CAMP PARAPET, August [GZ/iJ, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comd g. Dept. of the Gulf at 
NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
communication of yesterday, proposing a question for a cate 
gorical answer, which came to hand at a quarter before one 
o clock P.M. to-day. 

To propose a question either specific or abstract of obedience 
to orders, after I had tendered my resignation immediate and 
unconditional, seems to me hardly compatible with the "senti- 



156 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ments of kindness" that you express. If I am to be detained 
here against my wishes because at present my place cannot be 
supplied, then at least I ought not to be troubled with unneces 
sary issues between my sense of obedience to orders and my 
convictions and principles. I am willing to fill a place tempo 
rarily and perform the routinary duties of my profession until 
the acceptance of my resignation; but as I am left wholly des 
titute of the proper power and authority to meet the urgent 
and practical questions that come every day for solution, it 
would seem to me idle to comply with merely one measure 
among many, especially when we have work enough already 
for our negroes to do, and when the Order proposed, if extended 
to other obstructions as well as trees, would occasion a great 
amount of unnecessary labor and destruction. 

My dear Sir, it is not a question of obedience to Orders 
between us. I fully appreciate the difficulties of your position, 
and the varied abilities, patriotism, and untiring diligence 
which you have shown in meeting them; and it is with great 
reluctance and regret that I have to trouble you with anything 
my own; but at a crisis in our national affairs so important 
as this, I should not be doing my duty either to the Country 
or to the Government, I should mislead them both, were I 
to remain quietly at my post with the semblance but without 
the power of fulfilling the duties incumbent upon it. I should 
endanger and complicate public interests in this way rather 
than serve them. 

The distance of this Station from the Capitol of the country, 
the irregularity and studied uncertainty of the mails; the 
ungenial character of Latin laws and education and slave 
labor to democratic institutions; the speculating character of 
the people habituated to conspiratorial associations, idle com 
binations, and fraudulent collusions, all these and many 
other elements of disorder and opposition to legitimate author 
ity, Lilliputian as they are when viewed by themselves, seem 
threatening to entangle the feeble, hesitating, and undecided 
action of the Government, and render its great and beneficent 
power of no avail. As it is, we seem to be in a foreign coun 
try rather than in the United States, not so much from the 
character of the people as from the want of action of the 
Government upon it. 

You ask me whether I will obey a certain Order or not. 
With perfect respect and deference for yourself and your posi 
tion, I beg to be permitted in return to submit the following 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 157 

propositions to his Excellency the President of the United 
States, as those under which I could alone consent to serve. 

1st. The people purchased a large region of country called 
Louisiana, which at the time of purchase embraced a very 
considerable portion of the South West, and they have a right 
to this Territory for the purposes designed by their constitu 
tion, viz: to secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and 
their posterity. 

2nd. The people are temporarily withheld from a full, per 
fect, and peaceable possession of this territory by a few ambi 
tious leaders and their deluded partisans. 

3rd. Every State of the Union is bound to furnish her share 
of taxes and her quota of men for the suppression of domestic 
insurrection, and the quota of men of the Slave States should 
be based upon the total number of whites and three-fifths of 
all other persons in those States. 

4th. Society here is on the verge of dissolution, and it is the 
true policy of the Government to seize upon the chief elements 
of disorder and anarchy, and employ them in favor of law and 
order. The African, ignorant and benighted, yet newly- 
awakened to liberty, threatens to be a fearful element of ruin 
and disaster, and the best way to prevent it is to arm and 
organize him on the side of the Government. 

5th. The Slave States have already gone through the chief 
suffering incident to a state of revolution; and to return them 
to their former condition would be as impolitic as it would be 
cruel and impossible. 

6th. The system of labor in the South is ripe for and 
demands a change, and a transition from forced to paid labor 
is of easy and necessary accomplishment. 

7th. Military art and science, the most potent and perhaps 
the only rudimentary element of civilizing power which has 
not yet been brought to the African during his bondage in 
America, is essential for extending the Colony of Liberia and 
opening up to civilization the cane and cotton lands of Africa. 

Enclosing herewith a report of Major Peck which discloses 
the condition of things on the borders of Lake Ponchartrain, 
I have the honor to remain, with sentiments of high esteem, 
Very respectfully, Your Obt. Servt. 

J. W. PHELPS, Brig. Genl. 



158 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
By General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 6th, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. %44 

THE City Surveyor and Street Commissioner are authorized 
to employ not less than One thousand men (including those 
now employed) to work on the Streets, wharves, and canals; 
in the selection of these laborers married men will have the 
preference. These men to be paid out of the employment and 
relief fund, raised by General Order No. 55. 

While this force was paid by taxation of the property of 
the City, the Commanding Genl. felt authorized to employ it 
only in most economical manner, but it now being employed 
at the expense of their rebellious neighbors, the Commanding 
General proposes that they shall be paid the same sum that 
was paid them by the same party for work on the fortifica 
tions, to wit: One Dollar and a half for each day s labor. The 
rations heretofore a gift to the laborers by the United States, 
will now be discontinued. 

This Order is to take effect from and after the first Monday 
in August 1862. By ^ Q/ MAJ QEN BUTLER 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 
From General Butler 

Head Qts. Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 6th, 1862 

Li. WEITZEL, U. S. Engineers) Chief Engineer Dept. of the Gulf 
THE General wishes me to say to you that, upon careful 
examination of facts and rumors, he is convinced that the main 
attack has been made on Baton Rouge, and that it is not a 
feint to cover any assault on this place. The enemy have 12 
Regiments & two Batteries, in all about 6 or 7000 men. With 
the force you have he thinks you can hold Baton Rouge; at 
all events, he wishes you to make the utmost efforts to do so, 
and if you repulse the rebels to follow them and use them up as 
much as possible. If you are obliged to evacuate the town, 
though, he wishes to leave much to the discretion of yourself 
and the Commanding Officer, his own impression is that the 
place should be burned. Please keep us informed by every 
opportunity of all that occurs with you. I am 

Most respt., Your Obdt. Servt., 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. General 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 159 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 7th, 1862 

Col. HALBERT E. PAINE, 4th Regt. Wis. Vols. 9 at 
BATON ROUGE 

COLONEL: I have the report of Col. Cahill of the affair at 
Baton Rouge. From it I am inclined to change the opinion 
which I had when you left me with Lt. Weitzel. Do not evacu 
ate Baton Rouge, at least at present. 

Let Lt. Weitzel examine and determine the best positions 
for holding the town. Take advantage of the Village and 
buildings for that purpose aided by temporary earthworks 
and abatis, if necessary in conjunction. The political impor 
tance of the place has decided me under the change of appear 
ing facts. Breckinridge has 12 regiments, 14 pieces of Cannon, 
effective strength about 5000 men, and that is the entire force 
he has anywhere under his Command. Let Lieut. Weitzel 
report to these Head Quarters as soon as he has done what he 
can. 

Send back most of the transport and all the wounded and 
prisoners. Let each Officer Comdg. a Regt. make a detailed 
report of the facts of the day. Let Lt. Col. Cahill make a full 
report as Commander of the Action of all the facts, events, 
captures, with the full list of killed, wounded, and missing. I 
desire this as the proper means of making my own report to 
the Government. I have the honor to be, Sir, 

Very Respectfully, Your Obdt. Servt., 

By order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. Genl. 

From Colonel Thomas W. Cahill 

Headquarters Second Brigade, BATON ROUGE, August 6th 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

Captain R. S. DAVIS, A. A. A. Gen. 

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that an attack was 
made early yesterday morning by a Confederate force of about 
10 Regiments, under Command of Maj. Gen l. J. C. Breckin 
ridge, and that, after a fight of four hours duration and of 
great severity, the enemy Was repulsed. 

I regret to state that Brig. Gen l. Williams was killed on 
the field by a rifle ball through the chest. 

During the battle, our forces were obliged to retire about a 
quarter of a mile from our original position, and the enemy 



160 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

were thus able to occupy temporarily the Camps of the 21st 
Indiana, 7th Vermont, and 14th Maine Regiments, and to 
destroy much of the baggage and Camp Equipage. They 
were, however, driven out, but, our numbers being much 
exhausted by fatigue and heat, it was deemed inexpedient to 
pursue. 

I am unable as yet to give a report of our casualties which, 
I am sorry to say, are considerable. The enemy has retired 
several miles, and from all I can learn are still retiring. I am 
expecting it possible they may receive reinforcements, and 
am disposing my troops in the strongest positions. Our force 
engaged numbered less than 2500, the enemy had about 5000 
with twelve or fourteen field pieces and some Cavalry. 

The Ram "Arkansas" approached with intentions of engag 
ing our gunboats, but grounded above the point at a distance 
of about 6 miles, and to-day was engaged by the iron-clad 
"Essex" and destroyed. 

Enclosed is a copy of a communication received by Flag 
of Truce from Maj. Gen. Breckinridge, and my reply thereto. 
You will see by the latter that Brig. Gen. Clark and his Aid 
de Camp have delivered themselves up as prisoners of War. 
I have also fully 70 wounded prisoners that were left on the 
field, also about 30 captured. I would like instructions as to 
the disposition you wish made of them. Some express a wish 
to be paroled. 

Very Respectfully Your obedient Servant, 

THOS. W. CAHILL, Col. Comd g. Post 

From General Breckinridge 

Headquarters Confederate forces in the field. Near BATON ROUGE, 

August 6th, 1862 
[Not in chronological orderj 

To the Commanding officer U. S. forces, at BATON ROUGE, LA. 
I HAVE sent Major De Baur with a flag of truce, with the 
request that he will be allowed to attend to the burial of our 
dead who may have been left within your lines. Major Haines 
accompanying desires to communicate with Brig. Gen. Chas. 
Clark, that he may supply him with money and clothing, and 
such articles as may contribute to his comfort. 

Respectfully, Sir, Your obedient Servant, 
JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 161 

From Colonel T. W. Cahill 

Headquarters U. S. forces, BATON ROUGE, August 6th, 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

Maj. Gen. J. C. BRECKINRIDGE, Commanding Confederate 

Forces 

GENERAL: In reply to your communication of this morning 
under a flag of truce, I have the honor to say that we are now 
engaged in the burial of your dead within our lines, and that 
we shall soon finish the now nearly accomplished work. 

Gen l. Clark and his Aid de Camp, Lieut. Yager, have sur 
rendered themselves as prisoners of war, and are being cared 
for by our Surgeons. A friend of Gen l. Clark from this City 
will attend to his pecuniary wants. 

Respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

THOS. W. CAHILL, Col. Commanding 



From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. Head Quars. Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 7th, 1862 

Gen. Dow, FORT ST. PHILIP 

GLORIOUS victory at Baton Rouge. Breckinridge attacks 
with 6000 men, is repulsed with great loss, three Brig. Genl. 
killed and wounded and prisoners. Gen. Williams killed. The 

Ram "Arkansas" destroyed. T> T^ -D 

B. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 7, 1862 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 56 

THE Commanding General announces to the Army of the 
Gulf the sad event of the death of Brig. Gen. Thomas Williams, 
commanding Second Brigade, in Camp, at Baton Rouge. 

The victorious achievement the repulse of the division of 
Major General Breckinridge by the troops led on by Gen. 
Williams, and the destruction of the mail-clad "Arkansas" 
by Capt. Porter of the Navy is made sorrowful by the fall 
of our brave, gallant, and successful fellow-soldier. 

Gen. Williams graduated at West Point in 1837; at once 
joined the 4th Artillery in Florida, where he served with 
distinction; was thrice breveted for gallant and meritorious 
services in Mexico, as a member of Gen. Scott s staff. His life 
was that of a soldier devoted to his country s service. His 

VOL. II II 



162 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

country mourns in sympathy with his wife and children, now 
that country s care and precious charge. 

We, his companions in arms, who had learned to love him, 
weep the true friend, the gallant gentleman, the brave soldier, 
the accomplished officer, the pure patriot and victorious hero, 
and the devoted Christian. All, and more, went out when 
Williams died. By a singular felicity, the manner of his death 
illustrated each of these generous qualities. 

The chivalric American gentleman, he gave up the vantage 
of the cover of the houses of the city forming his lines in 
the open field lest the women and children of his enemies 
should be hurt in the fight! 

A good general, he made his dispositions and prepared 
for battle at the break of day, when he met his foe! 

A brave soldier, he received the death-shot leading his 
men. 

A patriot hero, he was fighting the battle of his country, and 
died as went up the cheer of victory! 

A Christian, he sleeps in the hope of a blessed Redeemer! 

His virtues we cannot exceed his example we may emu 
late, and, mourning his death, we pray, "may our last end 
be like his." 

The customary tribute of mourning will be worn by the 
officers in the Department. 

By command of MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. and A. A. A. G. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 7th, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 246 

A COMMISSION of Relief to take charge of the distributions 
of the provisions of the Poor, to consist of five members, one 
from each District, and a President. 

The Committee will have the entire management of the 
business of gratuitous distribution of food. 

They will make requisitions upon the Chief Commissary 
for provisions, and establish the Stores of distribution as 
necessary in each District as economy and efficiency may 
need. 

They will receive and decide upon all applications for relief, 
making careful inquiry in all cases into the character and cir 
cumstances of the applicants, so managing as to encourage 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 163 

loyalty to the Union, but to relieve the deserving women and 
children, although not loyal. 

They will make requisitions upon the financial Clerk for 
the sums needed to pay expenses and labor of distribution. 

They will keep separate accounts of food distributed. 1st. 
Families of Federal Recruits. 2nd. Widows and friendless 
destitute. 3d. Families of Confederate Soldiers. 

They will carefully keep in a systematic manner all the 
Books and Records necessary to show in a clear and concise 
manner all their transactions, ready and subject at all times to 
the. inspection of the Government Officers, who may be ap 
pointed or detailed to examine or supervise them. 

They will report to the Commanding General weekly the 
number of families supplied and the quantity of provisions 
distributed. 

They will suspend and abolish the so-called Free Market 
so soon as they are ready to make distributions. 

Messrs. B. F. FLANDERS, Presd., T. B. THORPE, E. HEATH, 
E. WHITEMORE, J. B. HUBBARD, are appointed as such 
Commissioners. 



R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A.A.G. 
From George Coppell, Acting Consul 

PRIVATE. British Consulate, NEW ORLEANS, August 8th, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf 

GENERAL: I much regret that, through unavoidable & 
unforeseen circumstances, the Flag of this Consulate was not 
lowered whilst the Funeral of the late Brig. Genl. Williams 
was passing. I may observe in explanation that I had but 
just arrived at my office, did not know that the Funeral was 
to take place today let alone pass the Consulate, and that 
my porter was absent. I am sorry that the matter should 
have been noticed by you, for when the orderly came to the 
office I had sent for a person to lower the Flag. I beg to remain, 

Your faithful Servant, 
GEORGE COPPELL, Act g Consul 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Aug. 8th, 1862 

DEAREST: I have been alone today, no one in the house but 
myself and servants. Tonight I feel tenderly toward you, 



164 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

inexpressibly kind and pitiful. What happiness it would be 
to see you coming up the avenue, even greater, that there 
would be none to greet you but me. We should not say much, 
happy enough to sit down together, and look on one of the 
loveliest views in nature, satisfied that this is home; and 
when you are a little more weary of the turmoil of life, and 
the tempests of feeling have ceased to afflict me, the home, 
where we shall find peace and content, a deeper, fuller happi 
ness than we have yet known, for you will yet believe, time 
will bring faith, that the love (though it is kindled on earth) 
that has absorbed the highest and noblest emotions of our 
nature is yet a spark from heaven, that will glow with finer 
glory when it has passed the ordeal of earth, and will help 
to lift us to heaven from whence it came. Do you wish to 
have me with you again? I will come whenever you wish me. 
It will not be so fearful as before. I will take a favorable tune 
and escape the storms. Fisher has bought a steamer and will 
have her freighted by Monday. This letter will go by her. He 
is trying, too, for a sailing vessel, to purchase it. And has 
spoken to Thurston about the horses, but is confident they 
cannot be got there for the price you mention. The steamer 
is an English vessel that I think he found at New Bedford. I 
think he is running a great risk, but these are times when 
men will venture all, the chances are great either to win largely 
or to lose utterly. Whitney is engaged with him in the pur 
chase. Farragut we hear has gone down to New Orleans. 
Why may not the "Arkansas," when repaired, follow and 
drive him out of the river and take you all prisoners? 

Gen l. Shepley has not been to see me. I hear from his 
daughter Nelly he is already on his way back. Emancipation, 
and arming the negroes is held in check for a little, the border 
states will not submit to it, soon as there is a plausible hope 
of success it will be brought forward again. The only man in 
the Administration who approves is Seward. If you look at 
Port Royal you will see that Hunter is kept in place, and carries 
out all that his Proclamation put forth. The President s veto 
was not decisive. Phelps policy prevails instead of yours. 
The abolitionists will have this a war to free the slaves at 
once if possible, nothing else is thought of. The Administra 
tion will assent to it just as fast and as far as the country will 
sustain it. It has taken a step or two in advance, and been 
obliged to draw back. But events may give the opportunity. 
They will be seized on fast as they arise. How strange it is 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 165 

to be alone in the house. I thought I should be better pleased 
with it for a little while. Haggerty is nearly at New Orleans 
by this time. I thought, when I gave him the letter, I could 
never while away the time till he reached there, but it is nearly 
over, you will comply with my request soon as you have my 
letter, and that trouble will be done away with. I shall be 
happier when I think he has reached there. Paul has writ 
ten a few lines in pencil, but gave up, thinking it too un 
worthy to send. I shall enclose it. With a little help it might 
have been quite neat. He is very proud of your letter to him, 
and requests it may be put with the one from Capt. George, 
about the fox. He desires me to tell you that he won the 
prizes for the best lessons. Benny was almost in doubt about 
going away, for fear he might lose the sight of his present 
when it first comes. What became of the pearls, that were 
captured with the plate? I think ladies can never hear of 
such pretty baubles without a desire to behold them, and it 
is apt to increase with indulgence. I wonder if you really 
miss me, or if you only say so because I shall be sorry if you 
do not. Ah me ! there is such a wide difference between man s 
thought and woman s. If it is as healthy as you say, why 
might I not return at any time? Blanche goes back to school 
in little more than a week after her return. She seems rather 
languid, and is not quite so straight as she was. I dread 
another year of confinement for her. If she were through with 
this year I would take her with me wherever I went. You see 
I am at the end of my sheet. Only room for ~ 

Tonight I drove to Mrs. Read s. The clouds rolled up for 
a thunderstorm. The swallows in thousands fluttered over 
the willows. Do you remember we walked there years ago, 
and thought it the prettiest spot in the world? Kiss me kindly 
for the remembrance. Adieu! 

From Major George C. Strong to General Butler 

NEW YORK, Aug. 8, 1862 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Don t stop to read this if you are 
busy, for its almost entirely on two penny subjects. 

Have been waiting and waiting, up the river here, for Ryan 
to come on with my Ordnance papers, but I hear nothing 
from him. 

Health is very good. Am on my way Eastward now. Shall 



166 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

return here toward the end of the month, and sail for New 
Orleans. Met Shepley at the "Astor" this morning, for the 
first time since he came North. He says he might have got me 
some promotion if he had asked for it, viz : a Colonelcy or 
some "Regular Major General s" Staff, with orders to report 
to you. Pope and several other Volunteer Major Generals 
have had it done. I thought of asking Mr. Stanton myself 
(with what influence I could bring to bear here) to do it, but 
have concluded that it would be more seemly, were it done at 
all, that it be done by you. 

"Because he was ambitious I slew him." I hope / may 
not be thus slewed, tho tis true we have a custom of "wetting" 
a new Commission. At present I am ranked by Turner, 
Shaffer, and Kinsman, and of course it would be pleasant for 
me (modest as the remark may seem) to have a commission 
antedating theirs. So much plain speaking on that subject. 
One more of the same sort, for there s a young gentleman of 
this city, Frederick Martin, that perhaps will go out with me, 
for whom I would like to ask you to retain a First Lieutenancy 
in one of your new Louisiana Regiments. 

Dr. Kellogg will go out to New Orleans next week. I hope 
he will prove, what I predict, a valuable man. He received 
your order to report, and will go at the earliest possible moment, 
and much regrets that he couldn t have settled up his affairs 
earlier than next week. Sent yesterday (it was not published 
this morning and perhaps will not be) to the Herald a com 
munication in answer to that infamous charge of corruption 
made by Whipple against you (before the Contract Investigat 
ing Committee) in the contract for hats. 

It is an unmitigated lie to all intents and purposes, and no 
doubt Whipple knows it; for the remarks that were made 
in jest in your Office that day never could have been taken in 
earnest by him. He got angry with Captain George at Lowell, 
and determined to make a good advertisement by implicat 
ing the whole establishment. 

Glad to see so much venison ("Dear") in your correspond 
ence with Reverdy Johnson! I expected a row. 

General Shepley will tell you all the news in this hot climate. 
Very respectfully & truly yours, 

GEORGE C. STRONG 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 167 

From F. Bauer 

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 9th, 1862 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER, Comdg. U.S.A. of the Gulf 

SIR: By General Order No. 55, 1 "schedule A.," I am to 
pay $181.25 from an investment of $725 in the Bonds of 
the City of New York, which money is the money of orphan 
children, which I have invested as much as I can make out 
in accordance of the laws of the State of La., "for minor chil 
dren," such funds to be invested in the Bonds of the City or 
State. I have therefore, by investing that money in the City 
Bonds, not done any more than minding my own business and 
doing my duty according to my humble knowledge. 

I had, at the time, no idea that I should hereafter be looked 
upon as an offender against laws or order, but solely that I 
was minding my business and doing my duty in providing 
the interest of these orphan children, whom I have fed and 
clothed and sent to school for 8 or 9 years under my humble 
station and occupation as a Truant Master, adding from 
year to year the interest to the capital, by which acts it was 
brought up to the present amount. 

General! If it pleases you, let me pray you for a release of 
that fine, as I am not a man of much means, and the paying 
of such an amount now would likely bring me to the turning 
of these children on the public, and allow me, if it pleases 
you "General!" if it pleases you, a personal appearance before 
you when I intend of fully satisfying you of all required, 
most respectfully soliciting forgivingness should I have in the 
aforegoing committed any offences, and permit me Sir, to sign 

Your most humble servant, 

F. BAUER 
GENERAL! 

NOT having been permitted entrance to your office for 
three days, I beg to send this pr. Post Office, having this 
evening paid the aforegoing fine, but, should I find favor in 
the Commanding General for a personal interview, I may be 
found at 22 Magguire Street. 

Answer: Having invested your wards money in an unusual and 
improper security, you are personally accountable to them for 
the amount as you are per this assessment. T> T-> T> 



1 General Order, No. 55 August 4th 1862. 



168 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Augst. 9th, 1862 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

OWING to the withdrawal of the fleet from before Vicks- 
burg, it may become necessary to return Williams Brigade 
at Baton Rouge. 

The services before Vicksburg had weakened very much 
that force by sickness, the overflow of the river, and the number 
of dead animals in the swamps, made a fearful malaria, but 
which, while it caused illness in almost the entire command, 
did not produce a large mortality. The healthy air and water 
at Baton Rouge rapidly recruited the troops. 

The cessation of operations at Vicksburg allowed the enemy 
to concentrate a very large part of his available force at 
Camp Moore, about 60 miles from Baton Rouge. From thence 
he marched to attack the Post, and on the morning of the 
5th instant appeared before our lines. 

His force consisted of 2 Louisiana Regts., 2 Miss. Regts., 
2 Tennessee Regts., an Alabama, a Texas and a Georgia Regt., 
14 pieces of Artillery, and a large force of Guerilla Cavalry. 
These were under Command of Major General Breckinridge, 
Brig. Gens. Ruggles, Robert G. Helme, Allen, and Clark. 
They were supported by the Ram "Arkansas," which inspired 
them with the greatest hope and the utmost confidence in 
their attack. To oppose this formidable force, Brig. General 
Williams had the 14th Maine, 7th Vermont, 9 companies of 
the 9th Conn., the 21st Indiana, 4th Wisconsin, and 6th 
Michigan Regts., Nim s, Everett s, Manning s Mass. Batteries, 
and Magee s Company of Mass. Cavalry, nearly one half of 
whom were on the sick list. 

Leaving two Regiments in the village for a Reserve, with 
high chivalry Gen l Williams formed his lines at daybreak 
nearly a mile beyond the town, in an admirably chosen position. 

The enemy made the attack in two divisions on the right 
and left, and massing his forces endeavored to force our 
inferior numbers back, by extending his lines to flank us. 
His first attack was partially successful by the failure of our 
Regiment to do its duty. The enemy was repulsed, however, 
thrice over returned to the charge; upon the final repulse, 
after 6 hours of continuous fighting, retired from the field, and 
sent a flag of truce for leave to bury their dead (A copy of the 
Correspondence is annexed). 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 169 

The Boat which brought down the despatches to me from 
Col. Cahill, upon whom the Command developed after the 
death of General Williams, collided with the Gunboat "Oneida " 
and sunk, so that I am not able by this mail to give the details, 
as I hope to do by the next despatch. Our loss was very heavy, 
say 90 killed and 250 wounded. We mourn the loss of General 
Williams, Col. Roberts, 7th Vermont, killed, Lt. Col. Keith, 
21st Indiana, severely wounded, a large number of lower of 
ficers killed and wounded, whose names I am unable to give 
for the reason above stated, and upon such matter a mistake 
should not be made. 

The casualties of the enemy were very much larger. They 
have lost Brig. Gen. Clark wounded, probably mortally, and 
a prisoner with his aid; Brig. Gen l. Allen killed, Brig. Gen l. 
Helme disabled by a fall from his horse; Brig. Gen l Ruggles 
is reported dead, and a very large number of field and line 
officers killed and wounded. We have buried already more 
then 300 of their dead, and they have left their wounded in 
every cabin on their line of retreat. Their killed and wounded 
more than equal one-half of our men actually engaged against 
them. The enemy s forces were at least 6000 effective men, 
while we had not over 2000 in the action. The necessities of 
the ground caused General Williams to form his line of battle 
in rear of the Camps of the 14th Maine and 21st Indiana Regts.J 
so that the enemy for the hour were permitted to occupy these 
Camps and destroyed much Camp Equipage. 

Upon the first report of the engagement reaching me, I 
sent up Lieut. Weitzel of my Staff to report the condition of 
affairs, and to see what further dispositions were necessary to 
meet a renewed attack if any need be feared. Although sup 
ported by the rebel Steamers "Webb" and "Music," the 
"Arkansas" did not choose to come down and attack our 
Gunboats, the "Essex," "Sumter," and "Kenio," and so did 
not cooperate with the land forces. 

Flag Officer Farragut went immediately up the river to 
attack the "Arkansas." But upon the 6th the "Essex" 
steamed up to the rebel fleet. The "Webb" and "Music" 
fled, and the "Arkansas," after firing a few shots, was on fire 
and blew up. 

Please find appended the reports of Lieut. Weitzel, as well 
as the General Orders issued from this Department upon the 
sad event of General Williams death and the victory at Baton 
Rouge. 



170 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I trust the actions of my brave men will receive your appro 
bation. I have the honor to be T ^ , ,. 

Your obedient servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen l. Comd g. 
From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 9th, 1862 

Col. H. E. PAINE, 4th Wis. Regt. Vols., BATON ROUGE, LA. 

SIR: In throwing up earthworks, digging trenches, or in 
any labor that is to be performed, you will employ all the 
contrabands that you can seize, and if necessary you will 
impress into the service any white secessionists. I send today 
an Order to Lt. Weitzel to report in person to these Head 
Quarters. I am Sir, 

Most Respectfully, Your Obt. Svt., 
By order of MAJOR GEN. BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. Genl. 

From J. O Brien 

BATON ROUGE LA., Augst, 9th, 1862 

Maj. Genl. B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of Gulf 

HONORED SIR: Having read that Alexander, Napoleon, 
Washington, and others have at times condescended to receive 
and hear the opinions of and suggestions of private soldiers on 
important subjects, and hoping this will not give offense or 
intrude too much on your valuable time, I venture to write 
my thoughts, which you can take for what they are worth. 
The intent of the late attack on this place has changed in 
appearance very much, and from looking like a desire of the 
Commanders to make a dashing charge in and out again, for 
the mere purpose of amazing you, harrassing the Garrison, 
and troubling the fleet, it now shows itself to be a regular 
movement of a Division of the Army undoubtedly planned at 
and ordered from Headquarters at Richmond Va. for some 
important purpose, the intent of which is only known to the 
Chiefs. 

To enable us to judge of their intentions, we must place 
ourselves in their position, and consider what we would do, 
and what good policy and all the precedents in this war justify 
us in supposing they intend to do. They have never yet risked 
an encounter without having a position to fall back upon, and 
routes clear of the Enemy by which to reach it. The Chiefs 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 171 

of the Rebel army and leaders in the Secession movement 
know that whatever mercy may be shown to subaltern officers 
or soldiers, they may expect none, so that, before risking a 
great Battle between the two grand Armies in and near Rich 
mond, where it is possible they might be defeated and pursued, 
it would be of the greatest importance for them to have a por 
tion of the Mississippi clear of the Fleet, that they might cross 
the Army, collected from different points in their march over 
into the Red River and Texas country, where they could hold 
out and trouble the Government for a long time, or at least 
until they could obtain their terms of surrender, or it may be 
that they expect men and supplies by way of Mexico and 
Texas, for the crossing of which it would be equally important. 
But no matter for what purpose, it is evident they intend to 
take this place and fortify it, so as to keep the Gulf Fleet be 
low here and the upper Fleet above Vicksburg, by doing which 
they will have Red river and the South West open to them. 

Now, Sir, this place can be taken and command of the 
river obtained in spite of the fleet and the small Garrison here, 
if the Commander is determined and has the skill and forces 
to do it with. 

If you will look at the map of this place you will see that 
the principal part of the City is surrounded by a broad and 
deep hollow on the river side, in which the enemy would be 
almost secure from the fire of the fleet if the Garrison was 
driven out, and which would be a good natural base line for a 
system of approaches to the River. You cannot spare men 
enough to fight the forces they can bring here, but you have 
plenty of old 24 and 32 Ib. Guns and carriages in and about 
New Orleans, which are good enough for defence purposes, 
which, if properly placed around the City on the edge of that 
hollow or gully with breastworks and rifle pits in front, and 
the land for about a half mile around cleared of houses, timber, 
and old fences, the place could be held with the aid of a few 
Boats against any Army the enemy can at present spare to 
send here. This would not cost much labor or expense, the 
unnecessary negroes around here under a fort man assisted by 
the troops, could do the labor in a few days, for Genl. Gladden 
of the Rebel Army with half of his Brigade entrenched a part 
of the Camp near Corinth one and three (If) quarters miles 
long with breastworks five feet high, and rifle pits five feet 
deep, in less than a week. You have plenty of heavy Artillery 
men here, who learned their business in the Rebel Service. 



172 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

There is not a moment to spare, the Enemy is in force all 
around us, and evidently mean business. 

Hoping that this may gain your attention, I remain 

Your obedient Servant, 
Private J. O BRIEN, Camp "B" 14th Me. Vols. 

P.S. Please excuse the style. I have written the same as I 
would speak to a comrade, and for God s sake don t expose 
this, or I will be the jest of the Regiment if you do not ap 
prove it. 

[Endorsed: Thanks for suggestions good and timely. Keep 
this in remembrance. B. F. B.] 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 9, 1862 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 57 
Soldiers of the Army of the Gulf 

YOUR successes have heretofore been substantially bloodless. 
Taking and holding the most important strategic and commer 
cial positions with the aid of the gallant Navy, by the wisdom 
of your combinations and the moral power of your arms, it 
has been left for the last few days to baptize you in blood. 

The Spanish conqueror of Mexico won imperishable renown 
by landing in that country and burning his transport ships, to 
cut off all hope of retreat. You, more wise and economical 
but with equal providence against retreat, sent yours home. 

Organized to operate on the sea-coast, you advanced your 
outposts to Baton Rouge, the capital of the State of Louisi 
ana, more than two hundred and fifty miles into the interior. 

Attacked there by a division of our rebel enemies, under 
command of a Major General recreant to loyal Kentucky, 
whom some of us would have honored before his apostacy, of 
doubly superior numbers, you have repulsed in the open field 
his myrmidons, who took advantage of your sickness from the 
malaria of the marshes of Vicksburg, to make a cowardly 
attack. 

The Brigade at Baton Rouge has routed the enemy. 

He has lost three Brigadier Generals, killed, wounded, and 
prisoners; many Colonels and field officers. He has more 
than a thousand killed and wounded. 

You have captured three pieces of artillery, six caissons, 
two stand of colors, and a large number of prisoners. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 173 

You have buried his dead on the field of battle, and are 
caring for his wounded. You have convinced him that you 
are never so sick as not to fight your enemy if he desires the 
contest. 

You have shown him that if he cannot take an outpost 
after weeks of preparation, what would be his fate with the 
main body? If your General should say he was proud of you, 
it would only be to praise himself; but he will say, he is proud 
to be one of you. 

In this battle, the Northeast and the Northwest mingled 
their blood on the field as they had long ago joined their 
hearts in the support of the Union. 

Michigan stood by Maine, Massachusetts supported Indiana, 
Wisconsin aided Vermont, while Connecticut, represented by 
the sons of the ever-green shamrock, fought as our fathers did 
at the Boyne Water. 

While we all mourn the loss of many brave comrades, we, 
who were absent, envy them the privilege of dying upon the 
battle-field for our country, under the starry folds of her vic 
torious flag. 

The colors and guidons of the several corps engaged in the 
contest will have inscribed on them "Baton Rouge." 

To complete the victory, the iron-clad steamer "Arkansas," 
the last naval hope of the rebellion, hardly awaited the gallant 
attack of the "Essex," but followed the example of her sisters, 
the "Merrimac," the "Manassas," the "Mississippi," and the 
"Louisiana," by her own destruction. 

By command of MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. 

From Governor Frederick Holbrook 

State of Vermont, Executive Department, BRATTLEBORO, Aug. 10, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

MY DEAR SIR: You are doubtless rejoiced, like every patriot 
in the Country, at the two recent calls of the President for 
additional troops. You may not know the secret springs of 
these late movements. They come from the people, the loyal 
masses, rather than from Washington. It would surprise and 
please you, could you be back here at this time, and observe 
the serious earnestness of the people. They are everywhere, 
even in the most secluded and unfrequented rural districts, 
ready for any necessary sacrifice, and will never be content 



174 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

till they know there are at least a million men under arms, 
and that the Government is using so much of the vast resources 
of the Country as may be necessary to succeed in this war. 
They see clearly that everything they prize is at stake in this 
struggle, and that utter ruin and destruction must ultimately 
follow a failure to crush this rebellion. 

I hope that out of the 600,000 fresh troops now being organ 
ized for the war, the Department will be largely strengthened, 
that you may be able to sweep around you at will. You 
ought to number at least 50,000 good troops; and if it were 
twice that so much the better. 

Permit me to express my gratification at your great success, 
so far, and your admirable management at New Orleans. I 
suppose you and your forces have been much exposed, but I 
hope you will soon be so strongly reinforced as to be able to 
move at pleasure in any direction, and produce new and 
marked results. 

I beg you to feel fully assured that I shall be happy to aid 
you in all possible ways. Perhaps no man has been more 
earnest and persistent than myself in urging our National 
authorities to make the last two calls for fresh troops. They 
are both in accordance with letters addressed by me to the 
President and Secretary of War only that I wished the last 
300,000 men could have been called out for a longer period 
than nine months. 

I hope the "Green Mountain Boys" you have with you 
uphold the honor and credit of Vermont. The climate, I 
presume, must be very trying to them, and I see by the papers 
that the 7th Regiment, near Vicksburg, have suffered a good 
deal by sickness. But I doubt not you will take all the pre 
cautions that circumstances will permit to get them safely 
through the heated season. If more surgeons are needed, 
please inform me immediately, and I will send them forthwith 
to both the Vt. Regiments. 

My son, Major Holbrook, of the 7th Regt., I hear is getting 
on well, which of course is gratifying to me. He is a dear boy 
to me, General, and I believe he is a good soldier, more accom 
plished in the military profession than the generality of Volun 
teers. At any rate, he has had good advantages of instruction 
heretofore. Please bear him in mind for my sake, as well as 
his own, and if you can give him opportunities to grow, and 
to show what is in him, I have no doubt he will gratify you as 
well as myself, in the performance of duty in responsible posi- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 175 

tions. He always had good judgment, considerably in advance 
of his years. 

With my best wishes for your continued success in your 
responsible position, and for your health and happiness I am, 
with high regard, ^ ffimd and QU Senm ^ 

FREDERICK HOLBROOK 
From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

Sunday evening, LOWELL, Aug. 10th, 1862 

DEAREST: I have been to Dracut and given letters to Mr. 
Read to be carried in the morning to the Capt. of the vessel 
Fisher has lately bought. She sails tomorrow for New Orleans. 
Yet you see I begin writing again this evening. I am still 
alone in the house. The night is so extremely beautiful I 
cannot forbear telling you of it. I have opened the window of 
our room that looks on the greenhouse. Such a flood of light 
and beauty you never gazed on. The moon is full the wind 
cool and fragrant, waving the long, pendent willows that float 
like a woman s hair on the sighing breeze. The long, dark 
shadows sweep over the lawn and roads. It is not calm and 
still. The deep sighs and whispering among the trees make it 
a night of strange, mysterious beauty. The air is alive with 
spirits, agitated with sudden news, they float tremulously in 
and out among the trees like phantoms as they are. I feel, in 
gazing, as though I belonged to them, and could easily pass the 
space and put my hands up on your shoulders and look you 
in the face. I wonder if you would start back from me, or 
naturally fold me in your arms. I shall find out by my dreams 
tonight. Ah, dearest, I wish, and you would be glad to be 
here tonight. 

I began this on Sunday as you see. On Monday morning 
two letters from you, one saying you had no letters from me for 
twenty-two days, and the other desiring the children s pictures 
by the first mail. The children are all away, but after some 
hesitation I concluded to take all the originals taken some 
years ago, including my own, box them up, and send them on 
board the steamer Fisher is fitting out. Webster took them to 
Boston this morning. The vessel was expected to go yester 
day, and I had given letters to Read on Sunday that were 
to go by her. She could not be ready until today (Tuesday), 
and tonight Webster brought back the box, for the vessel in 
starting burst her escape pipes, and she will not be able to 



176 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

leave before Thursday. I shall put this letter into the mail, 
and have no idea when you will get it, or the others; one in 
the box with the pictures and another in charge of the Captain. 
If I lose the pictures it will be a great pity. How sad it is that 
you do not get my letters. Yours come regularly, and you 
know what ship you send them by. Ours are put in the mail, 
and we do not know when they will reach you. If they get on 
board the "Rhode Island" or "Connecticut" they are three 
weeks or more on the way. Oh, dear, this is a poor way of 
communication ! But we must be patient. I will write of tener 
still, and trust you may get them more frequently. We are 
having another battle now, Banks has the worst of it again. 
Capt. Abbott was reported killed, now wounded and missing. 
The family of course, in great trouble. What is to become of 
us with these defeats? The country here is in a terrible state 
of gloom. The people are disheartened. We are a little 
relieved to hear the "Arkansas" is destroyed, and that the 
fleet have gathered about New Orleans. How slowly these 
days go by ! You do not write in your letters as if you expected 
me to return to you. Well, time will bring us together some 
where if one can but be content to let things take their course. 
When you have read my letters I wish you would send them 
back with yours, then I shall know you have received them, 
that they are not lost or in somebody s possession who ought 
not to have them. The children return tomorrow, unless they 
find it very pleasant. I am writing this hurriedly, as I want it 
to go out in the morning. The others are delayed, and I 
want to get something started. Do you spend your time at 
the Custom House, or at the house you live in? I wonder if 
you would be glad to have me there again. You write that 
you love and miss me very much. I shall believe this, because 
it would hurt me so to think differently, and because you 
really do, you really do, beyond the strength of words. 

Ever affectionately, SARAH 

If you get my picture, and the artist thinks it best to paint 
the figure, let the dress be plain, not stripped, and make it as 
much prettier as he can. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

August 10th [1862] 

MY DEAR SARAH: I am afraid you have been troubled by 
many reports, but be assured we are all right here. We have 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 177 

had a terrible struggle at Baton Rouge and a glorious victory. 
I think that assures our safety, because the fools were really 
thinking of an attack on New Orleans. Let them come on. 
My health is as usual when you were here good one day, bad 
the next. We have had no case of the fever here yet. Our 
troops here are healthy, but they suffered terribly at Vicksburg. 
I will not write more details you will see all in the papers. 

I wish I were with you now, if I could return, as I must not 
be away if there is to be trouble, even to be with you. 

Kiss the children. Love me as well as you can. Be of good 
heart. Get strong and well. T > 

From William T. Eustis 

BOSTON, August Ilth, 1862 

General B. F. BUTLER 

MY DEAR SIR: I should feel that it was an unauthorized 
liberty to intrude on your time and attention with a matter of 
an exclusively private character, as I am well aware that matters 
of public duty must occupy all your energies and in reference 
to the latter, therefore I feel justified in calling your attention 
to a matter combining public with private interest. 

I observe by the papers, and have learned from other 
sources, that Moses Greenwood has occupied a rather con 
spicuous position since you had control of New Orleans, and 
has seemed to enjoy your confidence as a good Union man. I 
hope most sincerely that he is in heart what he professes to 
be, but "consistency is a jewel," and I am not disposed to 
have him enjoy the confidence of Union men without consist 
ent action. 

Early in the Spring of 1861, S. S. Kimball of Dardanelle, 
Ark., sent cotton worth a large sum to Moses Greenwood, 
with directions to sell and remit to Boston some $11,000 
(say eleven thousand dollars) to pay amount due here from 
him, Kimball, advising parties here to whom he was indebted 
that he has done so; not hearing from Greenwood, parties 
here wrote to him making inquiries. He replied that Kimball 
had sent him Cotton for this purpose, that he had shipped it 
to England in a British vessel to keep it away from old Abe s 
pirates, and had ordered the proceeds returned in gold, if the 
difficulties were over when it came, he should remit as directed 
by K., otherwise he should do as he saw fit with the proceeds. 
This is substantially the tenor of his communication, I may 
not quote his exact words. 

VOL. II 12 



178 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Immediately after your brilliant occupation of New Orleans, 
Greenwood was written to, calling his attention to the matter, 
requesting an adjustment of the affair. No reply can be 
had and no explanation is given. The inference is, that he is 
resolved to hold on to the funds belonging to Union men here, 
who are making sacrifices by giving themselves and their money 
to put down this infamous rebellion, and by so doing he is 
aiding to the extent of his ability in sustaining this stupendous 
wickedness. 

My desire is that he should be called to account, if my 
statement is true that he should be compelled to disgorge 
the amount with interest. I understood the original value of 
the cotton was about $50,000, but $11,000 was all that was to 
be remitted here. 

I have known Moses Greenwood for more than thirty years, 
and until this transaction always considered him a man of 
honor and integrity, and actuated by sincere religious principle. 
I cannot but hope that he may be ready to do justly without 
constraint, and be able to explain his conduct satisfactorily. 
Very respectfully, Your Obdt. Servant, 

WM. T. EUSTIS 
Answer 

DEAR SIR: If you will put your claim in definite shape, 
Greenwood shall pay it. He is a secessionist still, and I have 
only dealt with him as such, and shall be delighted to deal 
with him again. B R 



From Commodore Porter 

On U. S. Gun Boat ESSEX, Off BAYOU SARA, LA., August llth, 1862 

General B. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL: I find in the New Orleans Picayune of the 9th 
inst. a Copy of your Genl. Orders No. 57 and in it the following 
clause. 

"To complete the victory, the iron clad Steamer Arkansas/ 
the last naval hope of the rebellion, hardly awaited the gallant 
attack of the Essex, but followed the example of her sisters, 
the Merrimac the Manassas, the Mississippi, and the 
Louisiana, by her own destruction." 

The facts Sir, are as follows: On the 6th inst. A.M. I steamed 
up the river to attack the "Arkansas," and on our turning the 
point of the Bend, four miles above Baton Rouge, she immedi 
ately opened fire on this Ship, at about the distance of one 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 179 

mile. I stood on until I considered myself near enough for 
my shot to penetrate her iron-clad sides, when I replied to her 
fire. We continued the action for nearly half an hour, when a 
shell from this ship penetrated her side and set her on fire. 
Your statement in your General Order No. 57 is therefore 
incorrect. 

I wrote you previously to the attack on Baton Rouge, 
suggesting reinforcements, and in your reply you state, "In 
my (your) judgment Baton Rouge will not be attacked." 
You also state to Flag Officer Farragut "that no dependence 
could be placed on the * Essex. The letter is in my possession. 

I have therefore to request that you will at once correct the 
above clause in your order No. 57, or I shall certainly believe 
you have intentionally and maliciously attempted to vilify 
my character. 

I beg to state another fact. It was entirely owing to the 
presence of the "Essex" and "Sumpter," both under my com 
mand, that your army at Baton Rouge was saved from defeat, 
for I now have convincing information that Genl. Breckin- 
ridge had a force in connection with the Ram "Arkansas" to 
accomplish this object. 

It is well-known to all who know anything of the attack on 
Baton Rouge that the left wing of our force gave way that 
the Rebels advanced, and at one time had part possession of 
the Penitentiary, at the head of the town, until the fire from 
the "Essex," over our own men, drove them from that build 
ing and forced them beyond their original lines. 

Very respectfully Your obedt. Servant 

W. D. PORTER, Comd g Division of Flotilla on Western Water 

P.S. The "Essex" was the only vessel present at the action, 
and on the "Arkansas" starboard side I counted fourteen shot 
holes through her new plating, put on at Vicksburg. You, 
Sir, were one hundred and fifty miles off, and could know 
nothing of it. I was within 300 yds. of her, and was on deck 
and traced every shot to her. It is not reasonable to suppose 
that so brave an Officer as her Commander, H. K. Stephens, 
formerly of the U. S. Navy, would burn his vessel merely on 
the "Essex" heaving in sight, when he knew his vessel was 
of superior force in plating, speed, Guns, and Crew, and when 
he had on a former occasion encountered her; when he also 
knew that to set fire to his vessel would be to forfeit his life 
to the so-called Government of the Confederate States, and I 



180 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

have the fact in my possession that he had coaled up a mile 
above the position of attack, and that it was his intention to 
attack the Gun Boats at Baton Rouge that evening at 6 
o clock. W. D. P. 



From Captain E. H. Perkins 

U. S. Steamer CAYUGA, off MOBILE, September 17th, 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

Major General BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: I read a letter this morning from Captain Ran 
som of the "Kineo" to Captain Fairfax of this vessel. 

Captain Ransom writes that he learned through you, that 
Captain W. D. Porter of the "Essex" said that during the 
fight between the "Essex" and the Ram "Arkansas" "we 
ran away." 

Not wishing you to retain a wrong impression of Captain 
Fairfax, I have taken the liberty to address you a few lines. 

In the first place, there was no fight between the "Essex" 
and the "Ram," only a few shots exchanged at the distance of 
a mile and a half apart, when the "Ram" was set on fire by 
her officers, and burnt up. During the exchange of these 
shots, we were in supporting distance of the "Essex," and 
ready to engage at the first opportunity, and remained so 
until ordered down the river by Captain Porter. 

The character of these two men is too well-known in the 
Navy for Captain Fairfax to be injured by anything that 
Captain Porter says of him, and the report you have heard I 
hope you will not believe, as it is false. Believe me to be, 

Yours sincerely, E. H. PERKINS 

From Captain D. M. W. Fairfax 

U. S. Steam Gun Boat CAYUGA, Sept. 18. 1862. Off MOBILE 

[[Not in chronological order] 

Major General BUTLER, Comdg. Gulf Dept. 

DEAR SIR: Captain Ransom has recently informed me of 
Commo. Porter s extraordinary conduct in assailing me in 
my absence, and that among entire strangers. He asserts 
that "I did run away" and leave the "Essex" to fight the 
Ram "Arkansas" alone. 

Captain Ransom has done me no more than justice in pro 
nouncing this report of Wm. D. Porter s "an infamous false 
hood." It can be shown that the "Essex" did not engage the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 181 

Ram "Arkansas" at all unless laying beyond the range of 
either vessels guns, and occasionally firing a shot, can be so 
designated ! 

The "Arkansas" was destroyed by her own crew, and 
abandoned before our little fleet then on duty at Baton Rouge, 
- it was the presence of the "Essex," more than a match for 
"Arkansas," and our Gun Boats, and the crippled condition 
of "Ram" that induced Capt. Stevens to destroy her. Com 
mander Porter failed to bring his vessel into action as he 
assured me he would, at the same time asserting that he 
"knew the * Arkansas, and that the Essex could readily 
whip her." Lt. Perkins had my orders what to do in the event 
of an attack to keep within supporting distance of "Essex." 
My plan was to pass up stream and engage Ram at her vul 
nerable point her stern while "Essex," fighting upstream, 
kept her in position favorable to my plan. 

It is scarcely worth your time to read a statement of the 
whole matter, as I have sent one to Capt Ransom and 
requested him to give you all the particulars. You know Lt. 
Perkins he has the reputation of being brave and truthful, 
in my opinion they are necessary to each other. Do you think 
it likely that I would run from a fight with such a man at my 
side? General Butler, I hold such relations to this rebellion 
that I would die a thousand times rather than give my Southern 
acquaintances an opportunity to say that the only coward of 
a brave people deserted his State and hearth-side to fight on 
the stronger side. But I will not longer detain you, you 
will greatly oblige me by showing this to those of your officers 
who were present when Commodore Porter forgot himself, 
and assailed one of his profession behind his back at the 
same time seeming to be friendly when last we met. Had 
Porter not assailed me I should never have spoken of the 
Ram leaving it to his own conscience entirely whether he 
destroyed her or her own officers and crew. As it is, I 
shall have all possible light thrown upon the whole matter. 
If you will give Ransom anything to show officially what 
Porter asserted about me, you will confer a great favor. 

Yours very respectfully, D. M. W. FAIRFAX 



182 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Flag Officer Farragut 

F. S. HARTFORD, NEW ORLEANS, August llth, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comd g Dept. of the Gulf 

DEAR GENERAL: I have just returned from an official visit 
to the Spanish Commander of the Steamer of War. He in 
formed me that his Ship was out of provisions, and that his 
Store vessel with all his Despatches from the Government 
were below, but that he could not get them. That he could 
say nothing to the authorities for fear of being refused, - 
but that in all his intercourse with nations he had never before 
been deprived of despatches, but that they were usually passed 
through vinegar and a . . . , and asked me with great timidity 
as to whether he could not get them by some course or other, 
and I told him I would mention it to you, and that you would 
say what was to be done in the premises. 

Very respectfully, Your Obdt. Servt., 

D. G. FARRAGUT, Flag Officer 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August llth, 1862 

To the Captain of the Spanish War Steamer 
"Blasco de Gary" 

I HAVE learned through Rear Admiral Farragut that owing 
to the arrival and necessary Quarantine of your supply ships 
from Havana you are embarrassed in the matter of provisions. 

Anything in the Commissariat of the United States in the 
Department is at your service, precisely as we supply our own 
Navy. In regard to your mail on board the "Cardenas," I 
will take measures to have the same properly fumigated and 
passed to you with as little delay as possible. 

Any other courtesy or assistance in the power of this Depart 
ment, which can be shown or given to a vessel of War of the 
Spanish Nation, always so friendly to the United States, is 
fully offered. I have the honor to be with sentiment of high 

esteem > Your obedient Servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 183 

From Flag Officer Farragut 

F. S. HARTFORD, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. llth, 1862 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER, Comd g Dept. of the Gulf 

DEAR GENERAL: I learned to-day that the Rebels are 
clearing out Grant s Pass to get out the Gunboats into the 
Mississippi Sound, where they will annoy us very much, and 
if you don t have some heavy Guns in the Forts they will come 
through in Lake Ponchartrain and fire on the City. 

I think this was originally part of the Program to make a 
general attack on Baton Rouge and the City by the various 
Rams. so look to the Forts. The great difficulty with me 
will be vessels of draft to pursue them in the shallow water, 
but if I once catch them out of Mobile Bay it will trouble them 

Very truly and respectfully, 

D. G. FARRAGUT, Flag Officer 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. llth, 1862 

Rear Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT, Commanding Western Gulf 
Blockading Squadron 

SIR: As you are about to leave the Mississippi River for a 
new scene of action, and I trust victorious operations, before 
you go I beg leave to inquire of you whether during the time 
that the Navy have been cooperating with the army in the 
Expedition to the Southern Coast, you have found myself 
and officers willing and prompt to aid the naval operations 
of the fleet to the extent of our means and ability. If we, or 
any of us, have been found wanting in this regard, you will 
do me the favor to state frankly wherein we have been deficient. 

Be not surprised at the question to which I pray for a full 
and specific answer, but allow me to say it arises from nothing 
on your part in our intercourse with yourself or the Officers in 
the Squadron, but the inquiry has now become necessary for the 
purpose of meeting or yielding to an accusation. Believe me, 

Most truly. Your obliged friend 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. 



184 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

PRIVATE. Head Quarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. llth, 1862 

Rear Admiral FARRAGUT 

MY DEAR SIR: I believe you might well be surprised at my 
official letter of today. I need not assure you that it was not 
caused by any act or thought of yours. It became necessary, 
however, to meet the representations of Capt. Porter of the 
Mortar Fleet, as to the Operations of the Army. I assure you 
that never have I failed publicly and privately to acknowledge 
and add my testimony to the concurrent thought of all my 
Officers in their appreciation of the gallant acts of the Navy. 
My despatches everywhere show this, and I only call your 
attention to the fact in justification of what I certainly deem 
an unkind thought toward myself. I am not aware that the 
Navy preserved my Army at Baton Rouge, if so I will acknowl 
edge it with pride & pleasure. I assure you, my dear Admiral, 
that I feel only the most glorious exultation at the exploits of 
your branch of the service. You need no one to speak of or 
herald your acts. They speak for themselves. 

The Navy need have no jealousy of the Army, specially in 
this department, and I will acquit you of any intentional or 
unintentional neglect of the Army of this Department, even 
in the official despatches of the Navy relating to the Capture 
of New Orleans as described by Capt. Porter in these words. 
"I sent General Butler in the Miami round in the rear of the 
Forts." For this I do not feel at all aggrieved by you or your 
Officers. On the contrary, I beg to repeat that towards 
yourself personally and the Officers of the Squadron I have 
none but the most Cordial Feelings. Believe me truly, 

Your friend & Servant, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From F. B. Thorpe 

Surveyor s Office, City of NEW ORLEANS, August llth, 1862 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER, Commandant Dept. Gulf 

SIR: The pressure for work, or rather for bread, is so great 
that I am at a loss to know what to do. I am satisfied that I 
can obtain willing labor at $1 per day. At this rate I can put on 
two hundred and fifty more men, and not increase the demand 
on the fund from which the pay for this labor is taken. You 
will be so kind as to take the matter in consideration, and give 
me answer if you deem it necessary. 

Most Respectfully, F. B. THORPE, City Surveyor 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 185 

From Quarter Master Meigs 

Quarter Master General s Office, WASHINGTON CITY, Aug. 12, 1862 

Maj. Genl. B. F. BUTLER, Comd g NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

GENERAL: The following information, received from Col. 
D. D. Tompkins, Asst. Qr. Mst. Genl., U.S.A., New York, is 
respectfully transmitted for your consideration. The Officer 
states "that in all cases where shipments of private property 
have been made on vessels chartered to the United States 
bound to this port (New York) for a consideration to be paid 
by its owner, the Government has been greatly the loser, as 
the time employed by the vessel in finding a berth and dis 
charging her Cargo cost the Government a great deal more 
than the freight amounts to." I am, 

Respectfully Your Obdt. Servt. 9 

M. C. MEIGS, Quarter Master Genl. 

Endorsement by Colonel Shaffer 

Office Chief Quarter Master, Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 21, 62 

[Not in chronological order] 

GENERAL 

I HAVE the honor to report that I received from Qr. Mst. 
Genl. a copy of this letter, and replied to it that hereafter I 
would send no freight north on Government Transports. But 
at the same time I must be allowed to insist that Col. D. D. 
Tompkins argument (that it costs more to discharge vessels 
than freight amounts to) was, to say the least, a poor recom 
mendation in favor of Col. Tompkins capacity to discharge 
that kind of business. 

Your obedt. Servt., J. W. SHAFFER, Col. Qr. Mst. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 12, 1862 

MY DEAR DEAR WIFE: So you see what a constant corre 
spondent I am. I will not say an interesting one, but I have a 
writing desk in my room, and when I get up and have no 
thought to trouble me, then I love the writing to you. It is 
the next thing to seeing you. 

I am a little bit out of health I confess to so much lest if 
I should write I am well all the time you would say that I 
am not giving you the exact state of my health. Caroline 
has heard of her mother s death, and thinks she must go home. 



186 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Poor girl I must lose my housekeeper. She has done very 
well, but is not afflicted with neatness. I shall have to get 
another. What say you to a young, dashing, black-eyed 
brunette, with a strong tongue and sharp nose, that will make 
us all stand around? Do you know of one you can recommend? 

Our casualties in that battle are very large. I spent yes 
terday and Sunday inspecting the hospitals. We have some 
90 killed and two hundred and fifty wounded. One regiment 
lost every field officer. We are now seeing the strong realities 
of war. It is wonderful to see how the poor fellows bore up - 
only anxious to get well to try it again. 

Do you think that Breckinridge will try it again? I trust 
not, for the sake of those who must fall, but he is welcome so 
far as carrying our lines are concerned. We have danger here 
of an negro insurrection. I hardly know whether to wish it 
or fear it most. I shall arm the "free Blacks," I think, for I 
must have more troops, and I see no way of getting them save 
by arming the black brigade that the rebels had. I send you 
Rear Admiral Farragut s picture. When shall I get yours 
and the children s? I send a large gun and some swords as 
trophies, also a bell for the table one of the bells given for 
cannon. A box of wine is coming, the gift of my friend Mr. 
Durant, very old and scarce, the vine is dead. 

The summer is wearing away. In a month, if I can get 
force enough, I shall be at Mobile, doing the rest of my work. 
God bless and keep you, dearest wife and best friend. 

BENJ. 

From Rear Admiral Farragut 

Flag Ship HARTFORD, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 13th, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR GENERAL: I thank you kindly for your salute, and 
hope that I may be able to return it at some no distant day 
with interest. I feel proud of the "title," because we have 
struggled long and hard for it in the Navy. I feel proud of it 
because my country seems to think I have won it; and I 
feel proud of it because the thousands of my brave companions 
in arms, who shared in the perils of the day, were not forgot 
ten in the resolution of Congress which accompanied 
my Commission. 

These things are gratifying, and I only trust that I may 
continue to enjoy them, and that by our combined movements 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 187 

upon Mobile we may be able to add to our Country s obliga 
tions to its army and navy. For be assured that no one will 
be more happy than myself to share with the Army the honors 
of taking that or any other place. Wishing you continued 
health and happiness, I remain, ^ ^ y^^ 

D. G. FARRAGUT, Rear Admiral C g. West Gulf B g Squad. 
From Colonel D. W . McMillan 

UNOFFICIAL. BATON ROUGE, LA., August 13th, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR GENERAL: We are again in the midst of excitement. 
I saw a very intelligent man just from the enemies lines, who 
says that Jeff Thompson is on the way to join Breckinridge, 
with 500 men and several siege guns. He thinks they must be 
here in 36 to 48 hours at the furthest. Also that Van Dorn, 
Ruggles and others, at the head of 15,000 to 20,000 men, are 
moving on New Orleans, all having left Vicksburg but a mere 
garrison. Also, that Moore is on the opposite Bank with 
several hundred troops, with some small field pieces, to annoy 
the gun post in case of attack. The same information is given 
by a variety of sources, and I do not hesitate to express my 
belief of it. This place has been nearly completely sacked by 
the soldiery. Scarcely a single house has escaped, all the citi 
zens having fled. We are getting quite strong "breastworks," 
but Demoralization weakens more than dirt strengthens us, 
and it seems officers are indifferent or powerless to stop it. 
Even officers tents are filled with furniture from deserted 
houses. I am no alarmist, but I am terribly exercised by our 
present condition. 

Disobedience of orders is the order of the day, and negro 
men and women cast a dark shade over our whole camp. 
The "Essex" is up at Bayou Sara getting sugar. I am dear 

Very respectfully your obt. servt., 

D. W. MCMILLAN, Col. Vols. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. ISth, 1862 

Capt. W. D. PORTER, Commanding Mortar fleet 

SIR: There is one fact that I desire to set right in letter of 

July 15th, which has just come to hand. 

The assault on Fort St. Philip, as soon as the vessels had 



188 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

passed it so that the Quarantine Station could be occupied, 
was determined upon months before the landing was made, 
i.e. on the 23rd of February. Lieut. Weitzel, of the Engineers, 
who finished the Fort, was with me for that purpose; scaling 
ladders were prepared boats procured and the scheme 
fully matured, and the ground found practicable from actual 
experiment. 

Please, Captain, do not judge of our profession, yours will 
furnish you with sufficient scope. 

I have directed measures to be taken to guard against the 
very assault we intend to make upon Fort St. Philip. 

Respectfully, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. Uth, 1862 

Count MEJAN, French Consul 

Sm: Your official note to Lieut. Weitzel, assistant Military 
Commandant, has been forwarded to me. 

I see no just cause of complaint against the order requiring 
the arms of private Citizens to be delivered up. It is the usual 
course pursued in cities similarly situated to this, even without 
any exterior force in the neighborhood. 

You will observe that it will not do to trust to mere pro 
fessions of Neutrality. I trust most of your countrymen are 
in a good faith neutral, but it is unfortunately true that some 
of the men are not. This causes the good, of necessity, to 
suffer for the acts of the bad. 

I take leave to call your attention to the fact that the 
United States forces gave every immunity to Mons. Bonne- 
gass, who claimed to be French Consul at Baton Rouge, allowed 
him to keep his arms, and relied upon his neutrality, but his 
son was taken prisoner on the battlefield in arms against us. 

You will also do me the favor to remember that very few 
of the French subjects here have taken the oath of neutrality, 
which was offered to but not required of them by my Order 
No. 41, although all the officers of the French legion had with 
your knowledge and assent taken the oath to support the 
constitution of the Confederate States. Thus you see I have 
no guarantee for the good faith of bad men. 

I do not understand how it is that arms are altered in their 
effectiveness by being "personal property," nor do I see how 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 189 

arms which will serve for personal defense ("qui ne puivent 
servir que pour leur defense personelle") cannot be as effec 
tively used for offensive warfare. 

Of the disquiet which you say there are signs manifesting 
themselves among the black population, of a desire to break 
their bonds which bind them to their masters ("certaine dis 
positions a rompee les liens qui les attachment a leurs maitres "), 
I have been a not inattentive observer, without wonder, because 
it would seem natural, when their masters had set them the 
example of rebellion against constituted authorities, that the 
negroes, being an imitative race, should do likewise. 

But surely the representative of the Emperor, who does 
not tolerate slavery in France, does not desire his countrymen 
to be armed for the purpose of preventing the negroes from 
breaking their bonds. 

Let me assure you that the protection of the United States 
against violence, either by negroes or white men, whether 
citizens or foreign, will continue to be as perfect as it has been 
since our advent here, and by far more manifesting itself at 
all moments and everywhere ("tous les instants et partout") 
than any improvised citizen organization can do. 

Whenever the inhabitants of this City will, by a public and 
united act, show both their loyalty and neutrality, I shall be 
glad of their aid to keep the peace, and indeed to restore the 
city to them. Till that time, however, I must require the arms 
of all the inhabitants, white and black, to be under my control. 

I have the honor to be v , , . . 

Your obedient servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g 
From Kendall Holbrook 

Office of the Picayune, NEW ORLEANS, August \bth, 1862 

Major General BUTLER, Comd g Dept. of the Gulf 

GENERAL: The order of Lieut. Weitzel, for the surrender of 
all the arms in possession of the inhabitants of this city, is 
producing a great deal of uneasiness in the community. 

Dr. Mercer has, as we learn, explained to you with some 
fullness the nature of these fevers, in the excited state of a 
large portion of the people in the city; and we are gratified to 
hear that you expressed a willingness to alleviate this appre 
hension and obviate this danger as far as consistent with your 
object of securing your forces from any attempt at violence 
from within. We feel assured that the great body of our citi- 



190 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

zens share in these sentiments with you, and would cheer 
fully comply with any conditions which would leave them the 
means of self -protection, and at the same time satisfy your 
wishes. It is the opinion of gentlemen with whom we have 
had consultation on this subject, that regulations which you 
might prescribe for these joint objects would be hailed with 
satisfaction, and scrupulously observed by the great mass of 
the community. 

Without undertaking to indicate this mode for effecting 
this, they ask you to take the subject into your consideration. 
The shortness of the time allowed for this execution of this 
order induces us further to suggest that a suspension of the 
execution for a few days, to give opportunity for a fuller con 
ference, if needed, will meet with your approbation. 
Very respectfully Your Obdt. Servant, 

KENDALL HOLBROOK 



From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

H d Q rs Dept of the Gulf, N. O., Aug. Uth, 1862 

MY POOR DEAR WIFE: Was ever a good, kind, loving wife 
so afflicted with her own sad fancies? And your letter fell 
upon me like a stone. Why, I have had nothing but the warm 
est, most cordial thoughts of you since you left, and the first 
letter sought for has been yours a sad feeling whenever the 
mail did not give one, and a joyous beating of the heart when 
the little, rose-coloured package made its appearance. To 
you alone have I ever been a constant correspondent, and 
because you were sad and because I delighted to write to you. 
But how sad, how terrible was your last letter. What have I 
done to deserve it! What strange thoughts, what 
(letter torn) 

business portion of your letter. I will not speak of Andrew, 
or what he may or may not do. I know your wishes upon this 
subject, and will be guided by them so far as I may. Of other 
business matters I will take very good care of myself, but 
these are trivial to me. 

You will remember that in no letter of mine has a thought 
entered that did not breathe the purest affection and love 
not a rose-leaf would have been crushed by the words I have 
written. All were joyous towards you. Kind, playful, breath 
ing home and homelike thoughts. I knew your depressed 
spirits. I strove to cheer them. I felt your sadness. I en- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 191 

deavored to minister unto it. No vessel has left this port to 
my knowledge without some letter or token of remembrance 
of home and you. Why recount all this? To show you how 
one feels when he receives the forked lightning out of a clear 
sky (letter torn) 

From I. F. Taylor to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14th, 1862 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge your 
favor of the 28th ultimo, and also the sword presented to my 
late brother, General Zachary Taylor, by the Legislature of 
Kentucky, which was handed to me by our esteemed friend, 
the Hon. Reverdy Johnson. 

Believe me I most highly appreciate the compliment you 
pay me by placing in my charge so valuable and interesting a 
token of the recognition of my late brother s services by my 
native state. 

With many thanks for your kind expression of regard and 
esteem, I remain, my dear General, 

Your most obliged and obedient servant. 

I. F. TAYLOR, Corny. Genl. Subsistence 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 14, 1862 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: Since the attack on Baton Rouge, of which I sent 
you the general description in my last, I have directed that 
place to be slightly intrenched and put in condition of defence. 
My judgment has been to hold the point, not for any special 
military but for political importance. If pressed here, however, 
I must evacuate it, but shall destroy it before I leave it. 

We are now threatened by the whole western division of 
the southern army under Generals Van Dorn, Breckinridge, 
and Jeff Thompson, together with whatever troops can be 
gotten from Texas or on the western bank of the river. The 
withdrawal of the troops at Vicksburg, and the apparent 
inactivity or withdrawal of troops from Corinth, has allowed 
the concentration of all their troops upon me. Vicksburg is 
essentially bare of troops. We are considerably weakened by 
disease and discharges of those whom months service have 
shown unfit for such. I have largely caused the regiments to 
be filled up by enlistments here, and I doubt not in all I have 



192 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

enlisted a thousand men in the old regiments, and I have now 
1200 being organized as the first regiments of Louisiana Volun 
teer National Guards, and two companies of cavalry. I think 
I shall get two regiments beside, but that is work of time. 

I need reinforcements very much; without them I cannot 
co-operate with the navy against Mobile. 

Indeed we are threatened with an attack on the City of 
New Orleans. I am not specially disturbed at that. If it 
becomes at all imminent, I shall call on Africa to intervene, 
and I do not think I shall call in vain. I have determined to 
use the services of the free colored men who were organized 
by the rebels into the "Colored Brigade," of which we have 
heard so much. They are free, they have been used by our 
enemies, whose mouths are shut, and they will be loyal. 

I would like an experienced Brigadier General in place of 
the lamented Williams, and would again press the appoint 
ment of Lt. Weitzel of the Engineers. 

If I am to have any troops I would prefer New England 
Soldiers, not that they are any better than others, but that I 
know them better. I would not ask more than 5000 of the 
Massachusetts and Connecticut Quota. 

I have need of more cavalry in order to hunt out the gueril 
las, a regiment with what I have would do immense service. 

May I ask prompt action in regard to the reinforcements. 
More than four months since my ordnance officer made requi 
sition for some ammunition, 54-100 Calibre, and it has not 
yet come. Our 54 rifles are useless. The invoices have come 
but no cartridges. 

I have the honor to be, [BENJ R BUTLEB] 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. Wth, 1862 

Senor Don CALLEJON, Spanish Consul 

SIR: I have this moment received the letter with which 
you have honored me. 

I am not aware that I have imposed any different quaran 
tine upon Spanish Vessels, sailing from Havana, from any 
other nations. My orders are imperative the Quarantine 
officers not to allow any vessel from an infected port to pass 
without strictest quarantine. Those orders have been obeyed. 
In one instance, when a vessel did not touch the shore at 
Havana, I believe they were relaxed. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 193 

I beg to assure you, and the Government of her most Catholic 
Majesty, that personally and officially I entertain, as I have 
always entertained, feelings of the utmost cordiality toward 
that Government, and any vessel coming from Spain or any 
portion of her Majesty s dominions, not infected with "Epi 
demic Yellow Fever," which is the bill of health of the "Pinta," 
will be allowed to pass as the most favored nation. It is only 
a desire to save the inhabitants of New Orleans, as well Spanish 
as others, from that deadly scourge, the Epidemic, that makes 
me rigid in quarantine. 

I cannot, therefore, put any weight of tobacco against the 
lives of those in my charge. With assurances of the utmost 

respect, I remain v ,,. 

i our obedient servant 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 16th, 1862 

Colonel H. E. PAINE 

COLONEL: Upon the most mature consideration, in view of 
of the evident preparations to attack the City of New Orleans, 
which requires a concentration of our forces, I am constrained 
to come to the conclusion that it is necessary to evacuate 
Baton Rouge. 

We have demonstrated our ability to hold the place, but it 
is now a question of utility. You will therefore begin the 
movement quietly and rapidly, get everything off except your 
men, and then see to it that the town is destroyed. 

After mature deliberation, I deem this a military necessity 
of the highest order, much more than the burning of Hampton 
by Magruder. That town was burned by its own friends in 
August, to prevent its shelter to our troops. The shelter of 
Baton Rouge to them is a necessity in the long winter cam 
paign, to say nothing of the advantage as a summer residence. 

In regard to the poor prisoners, they will be between two 
fires. Use in regard to them your best judgment. 

I do not know that I can aid you further by any observa 
tions. I am, Most Respectfully your obedient servant, 

By order of MAJOR GENERAL BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. and A. A. A. Gen. 

P.S. With regard to the prisoners in the penitentiary, what 
ever disposition you make of them, do not bring them down here. 

R. S. DAVIS 

VOL. II 13 



194 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August IQth. 1862 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: This will be handed you by Joseph M. Bell, Esq., 
late law partner and son-in-law of our friend the lamented 
Rufus Choate. Mr. Bell has been serving with me since 
November last as Volunteer Aid de Camp and Military 
Secretary, more recently as Provost Judge of the City of New 
Orleans, wherein he has won golden opinions from all right- 
minded persons. 

Major Bell goes North for a movement of recruitment, as 
he has good cause to do, and I am pleased to be able through 
him to communicate so directly with the War Department. 

I have but little doubt that I shall be attacked here within 
the next 20 days or thereabouts. As I predicted some months 
ago, in my despatch to the War Department, I am in danger 
from the debris of Beauregard s army at Shiloh. Some 19 or 
20 Regiments and several Batteries from it are gathering upon 
us. I have ordered the evacuation and destruction of Baton 
Rouge, which will be effected unless an attack is made upon 
it by Van Dorn before we shall get away. In that case we 
shall fight. The pendency of a contest there is imminent. It 
seems to be the tactics of the enemy to attempt to drive us 
out of New Orleans at all hazards. They agree the town will 
be destroyed in so doing, but they reason that there is so 
large a foreign interest here, that the destruction of the town 
will embroil us with foreign powers. 

Whether that be so or not, I do not propose to be driven 
out, or if I am driven out, there will be no New Orleans. 
This is clearly a necessity. If we had five Regiments, or 5000 
men more in our old Regiments, there would be no attack. 

Major Bell, however, understands the whole subject of our 
difficulties here thoroughly, and will give you the fullest 
information upon those you may desire. 

Ten thousand men could be advantageously employed here, 
however, and any expedition to Texas could start from here. I 
am anxious to lead one. I have the honor to be 

Your obedient servant, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 195 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 16, 1862 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 60 

ORDERED, That after Tuesday, 19th inst., there be paid for 
information leading to the discovery of weapons not held 
under a written permit from the United States authorities, 
but retained and concealed by the keepers thereof, the sums 
following : 

For each serviceable Gun, Musket or Rifle $10 

Revolver 7 

" " Pistol 5 

" " Sabre or Officer s Sword 5 

Dirk, Dagger, Bowie-knife or Sword-Cane 3 

Said arms to be confiscated, and the keeper so concealing 
them to be punished by imprisonment. 

This crime being an overt act of rebellion against the au 
thority of the United States, whether by a citizen or an alien, 
works a forfeiture of the property of the offender, and, there 
fore, every slave giving information that shall discover the 
concealed arms of his or her master, shall be held to be 
emancipated. 

II. As the United States authorities have disarmed the 
inhabitants of the Parish of Orleans, and as some fearful 
citizens seem to think it necessary that they should have 
arms to protect themselves from violence, it is ordered, 

That, hereafter, the offenses of robbery by violence or 
aggravated assault that ought to be repelled by the use of 
deadly weapons, burglaries, rapes, and murders, whether com 
mitted by blacks or white, will be, on conviction, punished 

^ ( By command of MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. and A. A. A. G. 



From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August IQth, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 268 

COL. JOHN W. TURNER, Chief Commissary of this Depart 
ment, will sell at public auction all Sugar taken from rebel 
owners within the Department, and not wanted for consump 
tion by the troops. ^ , / /-. -o 

By order of GEN. BUTLER 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 



196 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Aug. 16th, 1862 

DEAREST: Your letters of July 30th and Aug. 2nd came 
on Thursday, Aug. 13th. I write the date, that you may know 
how long it takes for them to reach here. I wish you would 
mention when you get my letters, and the dates. I could not 
tell how many I have written, if they should fall into other 
hands I should never know you had not received them. Cer 
tainly they would read strangely to others. I wish you would 
return them when read, that I may be sure they reach you. 
Your pictures came enclosed. You ask me if I do not think 
the position easy? I do, and like the picture very much. I 
sat for one the day previous. In the contrast of these two 
faces, the difference of expression is the history of life that is 
never written. I have sent you by the steamer Fisher sends 
out pictures (taken in better times) of myself, Blanche, Paul, 
and Benny. Paint from these, I can get none better of the 
children, and for me, I am too weary. I shall sink below the 
centre, before rest and peace will find and fold me. This is 
one of the times when hope comes not, and the eye-lids are 
heavy with unshed tears. It would be better if I should not 
write now but feeling badly we are apt to grope about for 
sympathy, even if sure we cannot find it. "Every one can 
master a grief but he that hath it." "And if he cannot master, 
let him hide it" saith the world, and wisely is that said too. 
I must lie down and rest. When I begin again it will be in a 
pleasanter vein. 

Ah me! resting does not refresh me, I must write on as I 
have begun, or not write at all. If we were together, you might 
aid me a little by some kindly words, if it were not too much 
trouble to speak them. How well I understand what Father 
felt, when he said, "I have such a weight of weariness, the 
bed cannot bear me up ; I shall sink through it and then sink 
lower yet." How far away this looks to you with health, hope, 
and ambition, all your own, satisfied, as your picture shows 
you, yet eager to win more yet. Long may you wear that 
look, and you will, too; hope with you is triumphant, if it 
were darkened or killed, you could easier die than bear the 
difference. The children have returned from the Beach, with 
burned faces, noisy and happy. Week after next Blanche goes 
back again. Goodnight, it is late, they are all asleep but me. 
And you I wonder if you are sleeping too! I should like 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 197 

to look in, but I feel too timid to take the liberty. Too poor 
for aught, but "God be merciful to me a sinner!" 

Today we have been to Capt. Abbott s funeral. I wound a 
wreath of geranium leaves, and a bouquet of flowers. He was 
buried in Lowell by request of the Authorities of the Town and 
at the city s expense. The military s four companies followed 
in procession the funeral was very large. Being Sunday, 
Merrimack and Central streets were full of people. The 
"Saxon" came in last Friday. Whitney went to New York. 
The vessel with the pictures has not yet left Boston. I hear 
she will leave tomorrow or Tuesday. This letter I shall send 
by New York. How poor and unsatisfactory it will read to 
you. Still the same despondency, you say! Even so; it is 
killing or driving me to madness, much depended on you. If 
I could have had the summer, with only the anxiety that I 
expect to endure, fears for your health, parting with children, 
I think I could bear it, and while so constantly assured of your 
health, even have grown stronger, and gained some cheerful 
ness. After I left, the change you made shook me with dis 
quiet. It was some time before I heard of it, then an age 
before a letter can reach you, and even then, I feel no assurances 
you will heed me; the pressure is too heavy for me! You say 
my views of life are Utopian. To you they seem so. Perhaps 
they would to others, yet they are true and honorable, I shall 
never be able to change them. If I could force my thoughts to 
rest here, and shut out all but care of the children, there would 
be hope in it. Alas, I cannot do it! You will reproach me for 
feeling and writing so, and I reproach myself; but I am too 
unhappy to be angry with. If you can say anything to com 
fort me it is better to do that. rr . . . 7 c 

Very affectionately, SARAH 

Your mother wants Jackson to send her his picture. I shall 
feel better in a few days and can write differently. But not 

more earnestly. v ~ .. . ^ r 

Your affectionate WIFE 



From Honorable Edward Everett to General Butler 

BOSTON, August 16, 1862 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I understand that an application has 
been or will shortly be made to you on behalf of Mrs. J. Oliver 
Miltemberger, of Chicago, daughter of Mrs. Robb of New 
Orleans, deceased. Mrs. M. wishes to obtain possession of 



198 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

certain bonds of the New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern 
R. R. Co., belonging to her, the proceeds of her share of her 
late mother s estate, and now held in trust by the Judge of 
the Second District Court of New Orleans, to the amount of 
about $32,000. 

The requisite papers to substantiate this claim, as well as 
the similar claims of the other children of Mrs. Robb, have, 
I understand, been forwarded to New Orleans. 

The object of this letter is earnestly to solicit your powerful 
and friendly aid, if it should be needed, in obtaining possession 
of these bonds. Mrs. Miltemberger and her husband are 
among my most valued friends. Mr. M. is of Pittsburgh, but 
settled in business at Chicago, a loyal and patriotic citizen; 
and I shall esteem any service you may render to these, my 
friends, as doubly rendered to myself. 

I cannot close this letter without cordially thanking you for 
your kindness to my nephews, the Messrs. Durivage, espe 
cially the deceased. The family and friends of that excellent 
young man feel themselves under very great obligations to 
you for your unvarying goodness to him. I remain, my dear 
General, with very great respect, 

Faithfully yours, EDWARD EVERETT 



From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 17, 1862 

MY DEAR SARAH: Maj. Bell will take this home to you. 
He will inform you as to my health and prospects. I doubt 
not we shall be attacked here, and he goes home for reinforce 
ments. We shall give a good account of ourselves in all events. 
You shall not be ashamed of me. 

Do not fret yourself with vain imaginings. They will do 
you or me no good. Above all, do not think of coming out 
here at present. Maj. Bell is to return immediately, but I 
have given special directions that he shall not take you back 
with him. A month later, and we shall either be victorious 
and I shall be coming home, or there will be no occasion for 
you to come here. 

Forget what I have written harshly in my last letter to you. 
Remember me kindly always, and believe me your loving 
husband. BENJ _ 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 199 

P.S. I send by Maj. Bell a pistol case of which you will find 
the key inside this. Caroline, who goes in the same vessel, 
has a little token for you. It is of New Orleans manufacture. 

B. 

P.S. 2nd. Preserve the case of pistols very carefully. They 
were a present to me. B. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. I8th, 1862 

Brig. Gen. ARNOLD, Comdg. at PENSACOLA, FLA. 

GENERAL: Major General Butler has to-day received an 
order from the War Department at Washington, transferring 
your command from the Department of the South to this 
Department. 

He congratulates himself upon having such an able Officer 
and such a fine body of troops added to his command, and 
would like to have you make as early a report as possible of 
the forces at your disposal. I enclose a copy of the order. 
By order of MAJOR GENERAL BUTLER 

By the Secretary of War 

War Department, Adjutant General s Office, WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 98 

WEST Florida is detached from the Department of the South 
and annexed to the Department of the Gulf. Brigadier Gen 
eral L. G. Arnold will report to Major General Butler 

By order of the SECRETARY OF WAR 
E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Adj. General 

From General Dow 

Headquarters, Fort Street, PHILADELPHIA, August 18th, 1862 

Major General BUTLER 

GENERAL: From some Contrabands I learned that a Mr. 
Lasart, near point La Hache, was actively engaged in raising 
a Company of Guerillas. On Saturday night, at 10 o clock, 
I send a party consisting of forty men, under Lieut. Brainard, 
in the Steamer "Labarge," to meet him and his Lieut., of 
whom I also had information. My orders were to seize all 
arms of every sort, and if full proof were found upon the spot 



200 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

against Lasart, the Lieut, was at liberty to take any of his 
property, useful as necessary to the troops. Lasart is a trader. 

Several shot guns were found there, a Confederate Flag, a 
full uniform and side-arms, and Lasart confessed that he was 
engaged in raising a Company, having already seventeen men 
enrolled. 

The party arrested several persons who were paroled, "but 
the Capt. and his Lieut, are now in Fort Jackson. 

Two mules, a cart, and harness were brought away, also 
two Milch Cows with their calves, some cases of wine for the 
hospital, some stout shoes, a fishing net and lines. Nothing 
was taken from the house. The mules, cows, and fishing-gear 
were needed here. 

The seizures of the Capt. and Lieut, will effectually check 
all recruiting in that quarter. 

Lemonade is much needed by our soldiers, as a preventive 
and corrective of bilious difficulties, but their sugar ration is 
not sufficient. There are many large sugar planters near here 
who are disloyal, with large stock of sugar on hand. I have not 
done anything about appropriating any for use at the Forts, 
lest it might not comport with your views, I would like 
instructions. 

Respectfully, NEAL Dow, Brig. Gen. Commanding 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August ISth, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 278 

THE resignation of Joshua L. Sawyer, Capt. Comp. G. 
13th Reg. Maine Vols., is hereby accepted, to take effect from 
this date, and he is hereby dishonorably discharged from the 

Service> By Order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. <fc A. A. A. G. 

The written resignation of the within-named Capt. Sawyer 
has been indorsed by the Major General Comdg. as follows, 
viz.: 

Any Officer who makes business affairs a reason for quitting 
the Service at this Juncture has dishonored himself and should 
be dishonorably discharged, as is done in the case of Capt. 

w y er * BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Com d g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 201 
From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Aug. 18th, 1862, 

DEAREST: The news came this morning that the rebels 
have attacked Baton Rouge and been repulsed, that Gen. 
Williams had his head blown off by a cannon ball. Who is to 
take his place? Ah me, who have you left but Phelps, and he 
so unmanageable. New Orleans, if you can keep the fleet, 
is invincible; why do they go to Pensacola? I sent you a 
letter this morning, would I could recall it, written from 
depression I could not overcome. If it adds to your perplexi 
ties I shall never forgive myself. Why did I not stay with 
you? It would have been better for both of us. If we live to 
meet again we will remain together. May there not be some 
mistake about Gen. Williams? I believe he has a wife and 
children, what heart-aches all over the country ! His death I 
must weep for, a truly noble gentleman, always kind and 
courteous. What will you do without him? An experienced 
officer is wanted at Baton Rouge if you still hold it, and you 
have so few. Is it not wrong you should be left there with so 
small a force. But yet you can hold it, New Orleans I mean, 
against the whole south if they have not ironclad vessels to 
destroy the fleet. And hold it you will, you are more able 
when pressed with danger and with few resources. Use every 
precaution, and treat Phelps kindly as possible. Oh, how 
much I wish I was with you! Dearest, I can go anywhere 
with you, I am not afraid of danger, but I cannot sit down 
apart and think; it unfits me for anything. I hope you will 
not get this morning s letter until you receive this. I would 
not add a feather s weight by telling you I am troubled. The 
death of Gen. Williams has nerved me like steel. W r ould I 
were a man. I am stronger in the hour of danger, for then I 
forget myself and woman s cares, and feel all the high enthusi 
asm that leads to deeds of fame, and for this reason it is better 
I should be with you. I could never pull you back from what 
I thought it your duty to do, but should urge you forward, and 
help, with all the wit I have! I shall look for any news now. 
If you are firm as you will be, careful and far-seeing, the rebels 
cannot reach you. Kiss me, dearest, and believe, me your 

Affectionate WIFE 

P.S. Weitzel is wise and experienced, you will have every 
defence complete to the last degree. Fisher s vessel leaves 
today, but I send this by New York. 



202 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Fisher sends out a sailing vessel besides the steamer. The 
"Saxon" came in on the 15th. Your letter of Aug. 5th came 
this morning. Would it were possible for you to come home, 
but you cannot leave in the hour of danger. The rebels will 
soon make the attempt, if they make it at all, and then it 
will be quiet again. The fall will come, and you will return or 
I shall go to you, though, believe me, I do not flatter myself 
that the last will be the same to you as coming home. But it 
will be better than nothing, do not you think so? Say yes, 
and look for me soon. I thought to have written one page, 
and I have run all over the paper. Once more, kiss me and 

believe me ^ c 

Ever yours, SARAH 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Aug. 18th, 1862 

DEAREST: We have further news this afternoon of the battle 
at Baton Rouge. The vessel has arrived with the body of 
Gen. Williams. The papers are out in large letters, stating 
the particulars. It was really a gallant fight, and bravely 
Gen. Williams led them on to battle. Three horses shot 
under him, before he lost his own brave life. Oh! the pity 
that he was killed! The loss of such a man is woeful. There 
are so few that are so capable, and we are pressed at every 
point. I am greatly relieved that the "Arkansas" is de 
stroyed; there is no chance of the rebels taking New Orleans 
without iron-clad vessels, yet do not omit your vigilance for a 
moment. If they wrest it from you, you and the country lose 
everything. Do you think I could have borne the climate 
through the summer? I do not know, I was so thin it 
seemed there would be nothing left of me. I sent you a let 
ter this morning, another this afternoon, and yet this evening 
I am writing again. I have been so unhappy the last week, 
painfully so, but I will not write again when I feel so badly. 
These ships that have come in will bring me more letters to 
morrow. It is the only pleasure I get. You are kind enough 
to write often. I would gladly repay you in kind, but fear 
I may not always be able to do it. Haggerty must be with 
you nearly a week. The "Ocean Queen" was spoken with 
by one of these vessels that came today at the mouth of the 
Mississippi, so that she arrived directly after these left. Good 
night, dearest, I shall not finish this till I get one from you 
tomorrow. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 203 

Dearest, your letter came this morning as I expected. I 
am so glad not to be disappointed. Your Order No. 54 is 
capital. The only thing to lament is the great loss of Gen. 
Williams and those who fell with him. Do not feel too secure 
that they will not make another attack. I hope things will 
not come to extremities between you and Gen. Phelps; I 
thoroughly like and respect him. The Government I trust 
will decide it. It is evident your health is not reliable from 
what you write not as good as I had hoped. I wish it were 
possible you could come home if only for a short time, but I 
dare not ask it. We have entered upon this sea of troubles 
and must meet its perils. Thank Heaven, the summer is 
almost over, and thus far you have escaped the fever. It is 
thought to be too late for it now, but enforce the quarantine 
until the first frost. That has been your safety thus far. I 
have not yet heard if Kinsman went out with Capt. Haggerty 
but believe he did. On Thursday I shall go to Boston and try 
once more for a picture. I think, after all, my picture had 
better be painted with the figure, the dress can be plain not 
striped. The vessel did not start till yesterday. The pictures 
and letters have been on board a week. Do not leave my 
letters where others can read them enclose and send them 
back with your own. Fisher has been telegraphed by Whitney 
to go on to New York and take his papers with him this morn 
ing. But he has no papers. I suppose they will manage some 
way. Wanting to see you so much, I am 

Your affectionate WIFE 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 19th, 1862 

Col. H. E. PAINE, Commanding at BATON ROUGE 

COLONEL: Upon your representations, through Mr. Bates, 
of the state of the public charitable and penal institutions at 
Baton Rouge, wherein the orphan, the insane, and the helpless 
are confined and housed, so that the innocent and helpless 
must be so greatly the sufferers, I am inclined to countermand 
my order for burning the town. 

You will leave it as whole as you can, unless you are obliged 
to burn it as a matter of defensive action. I have not changed 
my opinion of the great military advantage it will be to the 
enemy to have it, but I am impelled by a sense of just humanity 
to overlook this advantage. Its importance is not such to 



204 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

justify that destruction upon the unoffending. With New 
Orleans it would be different, which must be held at all hazards 
or destroyed. It is the key to the River, and the Arsenal and 
Banking House of the rebellion. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. General Commanding 

P.S. You will not delay the movement on account of the 
Statue of Washington; leave it in safety if you do not bring 
it away. 

From James T. Whitney to Mrs. Butler 

St. Nicholas Hotel, Aug. 19, 1862 

MADAM: The steamer "Saxon" I have advertised to sail 
for New Orleans Friday next. The vessel will be most happy 
to take free of charge anything you may wish to forward 
to the noble General, your husband. The "Saxon" will take 
on mail and will make speedy return to this Port. With the 
highest respect, ^ QU gm ^ JAMES T WmTNEY 



From General Butler to the Captain of the "Cardenas" 

Head Qrs. Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 19, 1862 

SIR: In making you the proposition in my former note, I 
by no means intended to enter into a correspondence which 
would add to my official labors. You have "grasped" the 
opportunity to bring to my notice several matters, wherein 
you complain of my action toward the Spanish residents and 
merchants. I cannot take time to reply to these at length, 
but the respect due to your official character demands that I 
should at least set you right in regard to some of them. In 
respect to the Spanish merchant who is consul here, I was 
informed that he refused to give a bill of health to the American 
vessel, the "Roanoke," when this city was wholly free from 
epidemic, and said that he did this because I refused to allow 
the "Cardenas" to come up. I sent for him, and told him 
that if he did not give precisely the same bill of health to the 
"Roanoke" as he would have done and was required to do by 
the laws, irrespective of "Cardenas," I would send him to 
the Captain General at Cuba. 

To this he replied that he should be glad to go but that 
the Captain General would send me no more vessels. To that 
I replied that he would give my compliments to Captain 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 205 

General, and say that he could do me no so great a favor as 
to send me no more vessels of any sort (Spanish or others) 
from. Cuba until the sickly season was over. And I submit to 
yourself, Captain, as a man of honor, if in either case I was 
wrong, acting upon the information I had received. 

Upon the seizure of the house of Puig Brothers, the Spanish 
Consul addressed me a note in substance saying that he desired 
to know the cause of the seizure. To that I answered in sub 
stance that if he would bring Mr. Puig with him to me, I 
would be glad to explain the cause of the seizure of his house. 
To that the Consul replied that such was not his custom. 

After the arrest and punishment of a criminal official by me, 
a clerk of Puig made a reclamation of such character that I 
have put it under investigation, and I hope to show its falsity 
and be able to punish the claimant. While this matter is being 
investigated I have not answered the communication enclosing 
it. I am not aware of any other letter of the Spanish Consul 
that seemed to require an answer that has not been replied 
to. If there is, it is to be attributed to the press of official 
correspondence and business which has caused it to be 
overlooked. 

As regards the correspondence of the Consul, I can assure 
you that no letter of his, coming through the regular channels 
of communication, has been examined, although I reserve to 
myself the right so to do as the commander of a Military post. 
I found a large bundle of letters on board a vessel running the 
blockade directed to the Spanish Consul; these were opened. 
Again I found a large bundle of letters of the same direction 
on the person of one whom I have arrested, a spy, being a 
member of a large mercantile house who had smuggled himself 
between here and the enemy s lines at Mobile in the disguise of 
a bar keeper. Finding letters directed to the Spanish Consul 
in the hands of this spy, I caused them to be examined, as I 
did letters thus surreptitiously conveyed here directed to the 
French Consul. 

If the Representative of Her Most Catholic Majesty will 
have his letters come to him through the hands of spies and 
smugglers when our mails are all freely open to him, I shall 
be obliged to examine them. 

In regard to the Quarantine imposed upon the "Cardenas" 
and other Spanish vessels, my orders are imperative and dis 
tinct to my health officers to subject all vessels coming from 
infected ports to such a quarantine as shall insure safety from 



206 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

disease. You yourself will bear witness with what success 
this quarantine has been carried out as regards the health of 
the city. 

Whether one day or one hundred is necessary for this pur 
pose, it will be done. It will be done if it is necessary to take 
the vessel to pieces to do it, so long as the United States has 
the physical power (pouvoir material) to enforce it. I have 
submitted to the judgment of my very competent surgeon 
at the Quarantine the question of the length of time and the 
acts proper to be taken to insure safety. I have by no order 
interfered with his discretion. If he thinks ten days sufficient 
in a given case, be it so, if forty in another, be it so, if one hun 
dred in another, it shall be so. 

I should think, however, that the Surgeon would make a 
difference in length of quarantine between a vessel which only 
touched at Havana and one that loaded and shipped her 
crew there. This may account for the different length of 
quarantine. Some of the vessels you name came earlier in 
the season. But with this I have nothing to do except to en 
force rigorously such quarantine as my health officers think 
proper. 

In regard to the petty officer and men of your ship, I had 
not been informed save by your letter. 

If you had done me the honor to notify me of their arresta- 
tion, I would instantly have seen to it that they should have 
had every advantage upon their trial. Convince me now that 
injustice has been done and they shall be pardoned. You will 
remember that I cannot personally superintend every admin 
istrative and judicial act. If you have listened to the unrea 
sonable complaints of bad men so as not to feel at liberty 
to approach me with the freedom and promptness which has 
characterised the intercourse of the Commanders of the 
French ship "Milan" and the British ship, "Rinaldo," 
whenever their country men needed redress, I am sure you 
will acquit me of all blame so far as official and personal 
courtesy toward yourself is concerned. 

I have to apologise for the delay in this reply. My trans- 
later was absent, and I do not read your language with suffi 
cient accuracy to allow myself to reply to the language of 
accusation without a translation. With sentiments of respect, 
I have the honor to be, Ymr obedient ^^ 

[BENJ. F. BUTLER] 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 207 
From J. A. G. Fisher 

By Telegraph from Quarantine, August Wth, 1862 

To General BUTLER 

IN closely questioning the Capt. of the Bark "Raamen" 
in quarantine from Key West, I am satisfied that yellow fever 
exists at Fort Taylor in an epidemic form of a malignant type, 
death occurring in number of instances the first 24 hours. I 
would recommend a very strict quarantine on all vessels from 
KPV \\Tpct 

J. A. G. FISHER, Quarantine Surgeon 

From C. Roselius 

WASHINGTON, August 20th, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: I arrived here on the llth instant, and immedi 
ately waited upon the President, Mr. Seward, Mr. Blair, and 
Mr. Stan ton, by all of whom I was well received; in the differ 
ent interviews I have had with the President and the Secre 
taries of State and War it was determined by them to recall 
Gen. Phelps at once, and when the resignation of that officer 
was communicated by you, it was at once accepted, as no 
doubt you have been already informed. As I shall be home 
almost as soon as this letter reaches you, I prefer communi 
cating to you verbally the particulars of my mission. It 
appears from the papers that you have had stirring times since 
my departure, and I congratulate you in your success. I am, 
dear General, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

C. ROSELIUS 

From Henry Copeland 

NEW ORLEANS, August 20th, 1862 

To Major General BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf 

DEAR SIR: It is a duty that I owe to my country to present 
the following facts which I know to be true concerning parties 
in the Gas Works, who are to-day plotting treason against the 
U. S. Government, although claiming British protection 
have aided and abetted the Rebels in acts as follows, viz: 

1st. These parties assisted in raising a Company designated 
and known as the "Scotch Rifles," and sent them into the 
Confederate Service. 

2nd. They furnished several steamships with Coke to run 
the Blockade and prey on United States commerce. 



208 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

3rd. They had an experimental Fire Raft made for the pur 
pose of testing it on the water, it having satisfied them they 
had from fifty to one hundred Barrels filled with Coal Tar to 
use on the Fire Rafts on the Mississippi against the United 
States fleet on its arrival before the city. 

4th. Taking away of the Specie from the "Merchant s 
Bank," hauled away with their Coke Carts to the N. O. & 
I. R. R. 

5th. Taking from the Gas Works a gang of White laborers 
to the R. R. Shop to remove Machinery and rob it of its 
contents. 

6th. Making a large amount of "Bowie Knives" in the 
Blacksmith Shop attached to the Gas Works, for use in the 
Confederacy, and by many other acts too numerous to 
mention. 

The names of the parties in the acts enumerated above are 
as follows, viz: P. N. Wood, formerly President of the Gas 
Co., Wm. McCullough, Manager, Robert Silcott, Master 
Bricklayer, McLoughlin, Gas Co s. Office, 125 Common St., 
Joseph McCullough, Master Carpenter. 

I will hold myself in readiness on behalf of the United States 
to prove these facts before you any. time I am called upon. 

Yours respectfully, HENRY COPELAND 

No. 109 Howard St. NEW ORLEANS 



NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 2(M, 1862 

M aj. Gent. BUTLER 

SIR: Another fact which I wish to bring to your notice is 
the equipment of a company known as the "Mercier Guards," 
Capt. Walker, by Dr. Mercier, who gave one hundred dollars 
to the first colored Company raised in New Orleans for the 
Confederate Service. 

From the Quarter Master General 

Quarter Master General s Office, WASHINGTON CITY, Aug. 21st, 1862 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Department of the 
Gulf 

GENERAL: The enclosed is a copy of a letter received from 
Moses Bates relative to the employment of the convicts and 
machinery in Louisiana State Penitentiary, in the manufac 
ture of supplies for United States troops. 

The Quartermaster General directs me to state that it will, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 209 

in his opinion, be well to employ the machinery and convicts 
in the manufacture of tents and tent cloth, which is very 
much needed. The chief Quartermaster of the Department 
of the Gulf under the approval of the Major General command 
ing, can arrange the details. 

Very Respectfully Your Obdt. Servant, 
By Order of the Q. M. G., ALEX. I. PEVIE, Q. M. G. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 2,1st, 1862 

Captain BONFANTI 

I HAVE the honor to answer your same official communi 
cation, in regard to the exchange of commodities for cotton, by 
enclosing a Copy of a letter patent to the officer Comdg. Confd. 
forces at Mobile. I stand by its terms. My Government 
seeks to do nothing by indirection, and its pledged faith has 
never been violated. 

Respectfully, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 22, 1862 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 63 

WHEREAS, on the 23d day of April, in the year eighteen 
hundred and sixty-one, at a public meeting of the free colored 
population of the city of New Orleans, a military organization, 
known as the "Native Guards" (colored), had its existence, 
which military organization was duly and legally enrolled as 
a part of the militia of the State, its officers being commis 
sioned by Thomas O. Moore, Governor and Commander-in- 
chief of the militia of the State of Louisiana, in the form 
following, that is to say: 

"The State of Louisiana. (Seal of the State). 

"By Thomas Overton Moore, Governor of the State of 
Louisiana, and Commander-in-Chief of the Militia thereof: 

"In the name and by the authority of the State of 
Louisiana : 

"Know ye, that - , having been duly and legally 

elected Captain of the * Native Guards (colored), 1st Division 
of the Militia of Louisiana, to serve for the term of the war, 

"I do hereby appoint and commission him Captain as afore- 

VOL. II 14 



210 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

said, to take rank as such from the 2d day of May, eighteen 
hundred and sixty-one. 

"He is, therefore, carefully and diligently to discharge the 
duties of his office by doing and performing all manner of 
things thereto belonging. And I do strictly charge and re 
quire all officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates under 
his command to be obedient to his orders as Captain; and he 
is to observe and follow such orders and directions, from time 
to time, as he shall receive from me, or the future Governor of 
the State of Louisiana, or other superior officers, according to 
the Rules and Articles of War, and in conformity to law. 

"In testimony whereof, I have caused these letters to be 
made patent, and the seal of the State to be hereunto annexed. 

"Give under my hand, at the city of Baton Rouge, on the 
second day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight 
hundred and sixty-one. ..^ Q 



"By the Governor: P. D. HARDY, Secretary of State 
(L. S.) 

(Endorsed) 

"I, Maurice Grivot, Adjutant and Inspector General of the 
state of Louisiana, do hereby certify that - - , 
named in the within commission, did, on the second day of 
May, in the year 1861, deposit in my office his written accept 
ance of the office to which he is commissioned, and his oath 
of office taken according to law. 

"M. GRIVOT, Adjt. and Insp. Gen. La." 

And whereas, such military organization elicited praise and 
respect, and was complimented in General Orders for its patri 
otism and loyalty, and was ordered to continue during the war, 
in the words following: 

Headquarters Louisiana Militia, Adjutant General s Office, March 24, 1862 

ORDER No. 426 

"I. The Governor and Commander-in-chief, relying implic 
itly upon the loyalty of the free colored population of the City 
and State, for the protection of their homes, their property, and 
for Southern rights, from the pollution of a ruthless invader, 
and believing that the military organization which existed 
prior to the 15th February, 1862, and elicited praise and respect 
for the patriotic motives which prompted it, should exist for 
and during war, calls upon them to maintain their organiza- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 211 

tion, and to hold themselves prepared for such orders as may 
be transmitted to them. 

"II. The Colonel Commanding will report without delay 
to Major General Lewis, commanding State Militia. 

"By order o/ THOS. O. MOORE, Governor 

"M. GRIVOT, Adjutant General" 

And whereas, said military organization, by the same order 
was directed to report to Major General Lewis for service, but 
did not leave the city of New Orleans when he did: 

Now, THEREFORE, the Commanding General, believing that 
a large portion of this militia force of the State of Louisiana 
are willing to take service in the Volunteer forces of the United 
States, and be enrolled and organized to "defend their home 
from ruthless invaders;" to protect their wives and children 
and kindred from wrong and outrage; to shield their property 
from being seized by bad men; and to defend the Flag of their 
native country, as their fathers did under Jackson at Chal- 
mette, against Packenham and his myrmidons, carrying the 
black flag of "beauty and booty." 

Appreciating their motives, relying upon their "well-known 
loyalty and patriotism," and with "praise and respect" for 
these brave men, it is ordered that all the members of the 
"Native Guards" aforesaid, and all other free colored citizens 
recognized by the first and late Governor and Authorities of 
the State of Louisiana as a portion of the Militia of the State, 
who shall enlist in the Volunteer Service of the United States, 
shall be duly organized by the appointment of proper officers, 
and accepted, paid, equipped, armed, and rationed as are 
other Volunteer Troops of the United States, subject to the 
approval of the President of the United States. All such 
persons are required at once to report themselves at the Touro 
Charity Building, Front Levee Street, New Orleans, where 
proper officers will muster them into the service of the United 

States 

By command of MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER 

R. S. DAVIS, Capt. and A. A. A. G. 

From Richard S. Fay Jr. to General Butler 

BOSTON, August 23rd, 1862 

DEAR GENERAL: A fortnight since a draft was presented 
purporting to be drawn by you for $1200, at sight. It was 
endorsed by you, but the signature as drawn was not yours. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

It was presented three times by different parties, and refused 
each time, as none of them could guarantee its genuineness. 
I ought to have notified you at the time but neglected to do 
so. It was not advised by you, and Mr. Carney s letters 
agreed with me that the signature on the face was not yours. 
I have been ill for nearly a month, so as to be barely able to 
come to my office for three or four hours every other day. 
I have therefore not been to Lowell, and have not seen Mrs. 
Butler again. 

Inflation rages under the dogstar and the new levy of men. 
Fleece wool is worth 65 cents (N.B. we have 700,000 Ibs. at 
53 cents, and foreign wool for any goods cost 35 cents against 
18 cents a year ago). That and other property are in propor 
tion. I ordered, about July 1st, the Times Weekly Courier 
sent you regularly; I hope it has gone. 

Under the influence of your brother s encouraging letters, I 
am shipping more and more goods to him, although so much 
has been sent out that I hardly see where the returns are to 
come from. 

August ZSth, 

Mr. Dexter left here to-day, and will probably go in same 
vessel as this letter. We have plenty of rumors, but nothing 
reliable, of abundant fighting on the Rappahannock. At any 
rate, our armies are united, if stock keeps up. 

I have fairly broken down, and am going into the country 
tomorrow for a fortnight to recruit. I wish it were to be 
recruited. The rumors lately current about transferring you 
to some other command have all died out. I never believed 
them, for I could not think so ill of Mr. Stanton as to suppose 
his very warm expressions of confidence and approval meant 

mg Sincerely yours, RICHARD S. FAY, JR. 

From General H. W. Halleck 

Head Quarters of the Army, WASHINGTON, August 23rd, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

GENERAL: You will cause an immediate investigation to be 
made of the charges against Charles Heidsick, Esq., and report 
to these Headquarters the causes of his arrest and detention. 

If in your opinion the exigences of the public service require 
his detention, you will have him confined in as healthy a 
place as may be practicable. But if there be not good cause 
for his detention, you will immediately discharge him. It is 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 213 

expected that you will report on this case with the least pos 
sible delay. Very Respect j u u y) Yo ur Obdt. Servant, 

H. W. HALLECK, Gen. in Chief 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 23, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 294 

THE Merchants Bank and Crescent City Bank, having by 
their own showing not such Cash assets as would under the 
laws of Louisiana entitle them to continue to be banks of issue 
and deposit, are hereby ordered to go into liquidation, and 
to suspend all business save the collecting of their own assets. 

The several Boards of direction are respectively made a 
board of trustees to wind up the affairs of the bank. They will 
issue no bills, pay no deposits, contract no new obligations, nor 
cancel any obligation without a full equivalent, in behalf of 
the bank, and pay no debts without further orders. 

They will respectively make report, under oath of a majority 
oi the board, weekly of the exact condition of the bank, and the 
change from each report. 

The directors will send to these Headquarters a written 
acceptance of the trust. 

In order that the public may be assured in their confidence 
in the final redemption of the liabilities of the Bank, it is furthur 
ordered that the slightest breach of good faith in the officers 
of the Bank, or in winding up the affairs of the Bank, will be 
summarily and exemplarily punished. 

The United States and all Billholders will be preferred 
Creditors, and entitled to be first paid from the assets. 

The bills of the Merchants and Crescent City banks are 
no longer to be regarded as Currency. 

By Order, of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. & A. A. A. G. 

From Sister Clara to General Butler 

August 9,5th, 1862 

SIR: I have commissioned Mr. Gill to purchase some pro 
visions for the female orphan asylum of Donaldsonville, as 
they are badly off on account of the troubles which have lately 
occurred in that unfortunate little town. To my great pain 
and astonishment the asylum, under the care of the sisters of 



214 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Charity, was bombarded, and I only attribute our safety to 
the miraculous intervention of Divine Providence. This 
bombardment has caused us to lose much, for although I 
remained with my sisters and orphans during the bombard 
ment and the fire which was set, yet I had to leave the place 
for some time, as the asylum and Church were threatened with 
entire destruction, should the guerillas fire again on the U. S. 
transports. The guerillas having continued to fire, I had to 
seek an asylum at the Sacred Heart Convent until we are 
either burned or out of danger. Our house is a poor institu 
tion without income, as we are there for the poor, destitute 
children of the village and the orphans. I feel much grieved 
to think that when our sisters have been nursing the Federal 
Soldiers since the beginning of the war, and one hundred more 
who cheerfully started at the first call to nurse your sick and 
wounded at Fortress Monroe and other points, your command 
ing officers should come and bombard my family and innocent 
orphans, especially when our house was out of the operation 
of Donaldsonville, though near. Do you think it just, General, 
that our sisters or any one of our society should be thus treated, 
when a part of the same society are rendering your soldiers all 
imaginable care of soul and body? Is it a just and grateful 
return for the services we render your sick at the risk of our 
lives? 

I trust you are too much of a gentleman and too generous 
to approve such a conduct, and I rely on your kindness for 
my orphans, who are without Provisions, and who lost much 
in the moving I had to undergo. It is in your power to indem 
nify them, and to give them provisions, and by sending some 
to them you will in some manner efface the stain attached to 
such an inhuman and atrocious deed as the one perpetrated 
against us. I am sure President Lincoln never intended the 
Sisters of Charity to be molested in this manner, and surely 
you do not approve either of such cowardly and base feats. 
In the name of God I entreat you to take into consideration all 
our sufferings through your soldiers and officers, and extend 
to the poor orphans a helping hand. By so doing you will be 
entitled to our lasting gratitude, and to our prayers for your 

welfare - Respectfully yours, 

S. M. CLARA, Superior and Sister of Charity 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 215 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 2nd, 1862 

Not in chronological orderj 

SANTA MARIA CLARA, Superior and Sister of Charity 

MADAME: I had no information until the reception of your 
note that so sad a result to the sisters of your command had 
happened from the bombardment of Donaldsonville. 

I am very, very sorry that Rear Admiral Farragut was 
unaware that he was injuring your establishment by his shells. 
Any injury must have been entirely accidental. The destruction 
of that town became a necessity. The inhabitants harbored a 
gang of cowardly Guerillas, who committed every atrocity, 
amongst others that of firing upon an unarmed boat crowded 
with women and children going up the coast, returning to their 
homes, many of them having been at school at New Orleans. 

It is impossible to allow such acts, and I am only sorry 
that the righteous punishment meted out to them in this 
instance, as indeed in all others, fell quite as heavily upon the 
innocent and unoffending as upon the guilty. 

No one can appreciate more fully than myself the holy, 
self-sacrificing labors of the sisters of Charity. To them our 
soldiers are daily indebted for the kindest offices. Sisters of 
all mankind, they know no nation, no kindred, neither war nor 
peace. Their all-pervading Charity is like the boundless love 
of "Him who died for all," whose servants they are, and 
whose pure teachings their love illustrates. 

I repeat my grief that any harm should have befallen your 
society of sisters, and I cheerfully repair it as I may in the 
manner you suggest, by filling the order you have sent to the 
City for provisions and medicines. 

Your sisters in the city will also further testify to you that 
my officers and soldiers have never failed to do for them all in 
our power to aid them in their usefulness, and to lighten the 
burden of their labors. With sentiments of the highest respect, 
Believe me, Your friend, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Ruggles 

Headquarters, C. S. Troops, 1st District, Dept. No. 2, Aug. 25, 1862 

To Comdg. Officer Federal Troops, NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

SIR: Mrs. Charles Clarke, wife of Brig. General Charles 
Clarke, C.S.A., now a wounded prisoner in your hands, desires 



216 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

to be allowed to remain with her husband during his convales 
cence; for this purpose she accompanies a "Flag of Truce" to 
your lines, trusting to your kindly consideration. Having 
every reason to believe you will afford her all necessary facili 
ties to accomplish her wishes, I have the honor to remain 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servt. 
DANIEL RUGGLES, Brig. General, C. S. Army 

From Lieutenant Colonel Shields 

Headquarters, BATON ROUGE, August Z6tk, 1862 
[Not in chronological order]] 

To Mrs. CHARLES CLARKE, near BATON ROUGE, LA. 

MADAM: I have the honor to enclose herewith communica 
tions received from the General Comdg. this Dept., one order 
ing an escort to conduct you to the enemies lines, New Orleans 
and the other a letter to the Federal Commander, requesting 
safe conduct to the bedside of your wounded husband. 

Hoping, Madam, you may succeed in relieving the suffering 
of the gallant General, in restoring him to health, I am with 
great respect, 

Your most obedient servant, THOMAS SHIELDS, 
Lt. Col. La. Vols., Comdg. BATON ROUGE 

From Thomas S. Burbank to General Butler 

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 20th, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

DEAR SIR: I regret to have to trouble you with my cor 
respondence, but out of feelings for my Brother I am compelled 
to do it. He is now near St. Martinsville, confined in a hog pen 
without a blanket, and almost without clothes, and covered 
with vermin. He has been sick for two weeks without any at 
tention whatever, and he is now failing quite fast and cannot 
without some relief last longer. I cannot go to him, and under 
the circumstances I do not see how I can afford him any relief. 

And now, my dear Sir, I would beg that you confine Capt. 
Deslonde until my brother is either released or paroled. He 
is an important character, as he is brother-in-law of Slidell 
and Beauregard, and has influence with the Rebel authorities. 
He can send a messenger by your consent and have my brother 
paroled, if nothing more, at any time. 

Capt. Deslonde is now about the city and enjoying all the 
comforts of life, while my brother is suffering for something to 
sustain life, and has not even a blanket to cover him from the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 217 

night air. I do beg and pray that you would shut this man 
up at once, as it will have the desired effect. I thank you, 
General, for the kindness you have shown me, and hope that 
it may not be long before I can raise the glorious old Flag 
again over my home, and live in peace as of old. 

I am happy to know that you are now dealing with these 
people as they deserve, for severity is the only thing that will 
ever bring them to their senses. I remain 

Yours with much respect, THOMAS S. BURBANK 

Corner of Maggin and Gravin Streets, NEW ORLEANS 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Augst, Z5th, 1862 

To the Officer Commanding Forces at OPELOUSAS 

SIR: I have sent Mr. A. Deslonde to you, a well-known 
gentleman of this state, who has been captured and held by 
me under his parole, and as one of the hostages for the safety 
of Wm. Burbank and other peaceable Citizens of the United 
States who have been taken by your forces. He has been 
selected as a messenger because he has peculiar and personal 
interest in the question presented by him, and goes under his 
solemn parole to return in any event. 

Mr. Deslonde bears a copy of a letter from the Brother of 
Mr. Burbank to me, disclosing a course of treatment toward a 
citizen of the State of Louisiana that I can hardly conceive to 
be true. 

One purpose I have in sending this note is to ask you to 
certify to me officially what is the treatment accorded to Mr. 
Burbank, so that I may relieve the mind of the brother from 
what I shall believe, until officially informed to the contrary, 
must be an exaggeration, and I have also desired the official 
information so that I might be in condition to act under- 
standingly upon this and like cases. 

Mr. Deslonde is farther desired to confer with you whether 
it is not possible that some arrangement be entered into by 
which the citizens who are quietly at home may be unmolested. 

Of course, this is a matter as regards numbers that may be 
attested of much more importance to the forces which you 
command than it can be to me. Yet it should seem to be 
desirable that some convention upon this subject might be 
had, which would relieve the war of its pressure upon the 
non-combatants on both sides. 



218 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Mr. Deslonde is informally possessed of my views upon this 
topic, and he may be able to so far convey to me the views of 
the authorities upon your behalf as to make a basis of more 
formal action. I have the honor to be, 

Your Obdt. Servt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Aug. 25th, 1862, Monday Morn 

DEAREST: Your letter of the 12th of Aug. came this morning. 
I see you have not received my letters, or this matter of house 
keepers would not be presented either for blondes or brunettes. 
But let that pass. Gilman can look that the negroes do not 
destroy, there should be no other servants in your house. I 
speak now for your own honor, what might be supposed to 
affect me is of little moment. None can make me less than I 
hold myself, as expecting consideration, if I deserve more it 
will be estimated hereafter. Major Strong and family left 
this morning after a short visit. I was very glad to see them. 
He sails next Saturday for New Orleans, and would be pleased 
to have me go with him but does not like to urge it. On Friday 
I send Blanche back to school. So that I have but little time 
to be ready. And I do not know if you wish me to come. 
You write of returning home, but nothing of my going out, 
and I do not know if you think it advisable for me to be there. 
I cannot but think you would be well pleased to see me, but 
yet it might be better to wait until you have said so. That 
may be in the next letter. Major Strong looks very well, and 
is in excellent spirits, but I fear he is going a little too soon; 
he was so prostrated by the climate before. Mrs. Strong 
expects to go to New Orleans this Fall if you find his health 
failing, send him back if you have occasion to send despatches, 
and I will go back with them if you would like me to be there. 
Major Strong has received no promotion. He would like it, 
of course, as there are two or three now on your staff who 
rank him. He has shown himself able and courageous, and 
he likes you thoroughly. These reasons are good enough for 
me, if it were in my power to aid him. The "Saxon" came in 
on the fifteenth. Fisher was here but a little while last evening 
to see Major Strong. I saw him only a few minutes alone. He 
told me what Whitney said his Captain reported, but said 
there was nothing I need write to you. He said that he told 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 219 

Whitney that he had better write if he was not satisfied, just 
as he would in any other business transaction. Whitney on 
reflection decided to let it be for the present. Perhaps I ought 
to say nothing, but it has been usual for me to write you 
everything I hear that relates to you. J n appeared as he 
usually does, blustering and overbearing, and as though he 
had made a poor thing of it to Capt. Pepper, when it was 
understood that he had received seventeen thousand or more. 
I cannot write this critically because I had not time to under 
stand it, and the payment for the vessel is less than that paid 
by the government. You received Captain Pepper kindly and 
courteously, he said, and on his statement, ordered J n to 
make up his account. How far it is satisfactory to Whitney you 
can imagine. Government offered him four hundred and fifty 
a day to run her to Hilton Head as soon as she arrived. But he 
has taken freight at eight dollars a barrel, and sent her back to 
New Orleans. Whitney has great esteem for you, and sent me 
a very handsome note, offering to take anything out in the 
"Saxon" free of expense for me, and praising you highly. The 
one who had his vessel, I think, he would not care to deal with. 
I am writing you a miserable letter, but so many things have 
crowded along I have no time to think. After the Major left I 
started Paul and your mother by the cars at twelve to go to old 
Dr. Richardson s, to stay a week. I wish to send this at four for 
the night train. I have not written for three or four days, and 
you asked me to write oftener, but I want to see you so much, so 
very much, and why could I not start in this vessel? That 
thought will keep my head throbbing all the week. Would you 

be glad to see me? ,, . , 7 , /*. , . / a 

Most truly and affectionately, SARAH 

P.S. Write me precisely about your health or I shall start 
without any word from you. 

From Baron Fr. Gerolt 

Prussian Legation, WASHINGTON, Aug. 26, 1862 

Hon. WILLIAM F. SEWARD 

SIR: I have the honor of informing you that by the enclosed 
general order No. 55, Aug. 4th, of the Commanding General at 
New Orleans, Major General Butler, a contribution has been 
enforced upon several commercial houses and persons at New 
Orleans as a penalty for having invested in a loan effected by 
that city on the 3d. of March last. 



220 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Among the persons assessed for the said contributions are 
the partners and heirs of the deceased William Vogel, late 
Consul of Prussia, at New Orleans, and the firm of Reichard & 
Co., in liquidation, in whose name the subscription to the 
forementioned city loan was made, invested the questioned 
money in their capacity as agents for account of the foresaid 
heirs and partners of Vogel & Co. 

I beg to enclose a true statement of the case in a letter of 
the 7th hist., addressed to General Butler by the Acting 
Consul of Prussia, J. Kruttschnidt, who is liquidator of the 
firm of Reichard & Co., and in another letter from the Testa 
mentary Executor of the late William Vogel, Mr. F. Grima, 
to General Butler on the same subject. 

In presenting to you these documents, with a copy of the 
peremptory answer given by Gen. Butler on the 12th inst., I 
respectfully express the hope that the explanations contained 
in these letters will relieve you from any doubt in regard to 
the injustice done to the parties concerned, in the proceeding 
of General Butler, and that orders will be given for the redress 
of their grievances. 

I have the honor to be Sir, with great respect 

Your obdt. Servt., BARON FR. GEROLT 

From the Acting Consul of Prussia 

NEW ORLEANS 7th August 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Department of the 
Gulf, NEW ORLEANS 

GENERAL: By your general order No. 55 I perceive that, 
amongst others, the firm of Reichard and Co. is assessed in 
the sum of $2500 as a contribution to relieve the poor of the 
city, and as an offset for having contributed $10,000 to the 
city loan, effected under the city ordnance No. 5949, approved 
3rd March last. 

I, the undersigned, as liquidator of Reichard and Co., 
would respectfully represent that the subscription, although 
made in the name of Reichard and Co., in liquidation, was 
made in their capacity as agents chiefly, for account of third 
parties for whom they had money in hand waiting for 
investments. 

The amount $5000 was thus taken for account of Mr. 
Vogel, and subsequently I took for the same and in his name 
direct $20,000 more of the loan in question, and out of the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 221 

amount originally subscribed by the Citizen s Bank (in schedule 
A, Widow Vogel is mentioned, which is an error). 

The letter, which I addressed under date of 10th March, 
a.c. to Mrs. Vogel, residing in Paris, shows sufficiently well 
the reasons which prompted me in subscribing to the question, 
moreover, as far as Mr. or Mrs. Vogel is concerned, my actions 
were subordinated to the advice of Mr. C. Roselius, who is 
the legal advisor of Mrs. Vogel. I wrote to Mrs. Vogel as 
follows, which is a translation copy, 

"NEW ORLEANS 10th March 1862 

The difficulty which exists today in investing money with 
security is exceedingly great, it is impossible to find mortgage 
paper even @ 6% or 5%. By authorization of Mr. Roselius, 
I agreed to take $5000 of the new city loan, the details of 
which will be forthcoming in my next. This sum will reduce 
by about one-half the funds which I now hold for account of 
Mr. Vogel, and if hereafter I can lay my hands on anything 
like good securities, you may rest assured that I shall not let 
the opportunity slip by." 

Uth March 1862 

P.S. "Dubois and Mish have paid, day before yesterday, by 
anticipation their notes of together $28,000, due 18th instant, 
and in view of the difficulty, not to say the impossibility, to 
invest money at present, I thought I could do no better than 
to take $20,000 more of the new city loan, of which mention is 
made above, for account of Mr. Vogel, making in all $25,000 
invested for that account." 

Mr. Vogel has been an absentee for several years, and has 
been recently declared dead at the beginning of June last by 
the second District Court, his succession has been opened, 
Mr. F. Grima has been named testamentary Executor, and I 
have delivered to him all the assets pertaining to Mr. Vogel s 
Estate. 

Mr. Grima, who is also addressing you in this matter, 
acknowledges that the succession of Mr. Vogel is interested in 
said loan to the extent of $25,000, and I would therefore respect 
fully request you to have the assessment entered against 
Reichard and Co. diminished accordingly. 

In the remaining balance, Mr. F. W. Schmidt, of Hamburg, 
Germany, is interested to the extent of $2500, and as a 
foreign resident, I may perhaps ask in his favor a total exemp 
tion from the effects of the assessment. 



222 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I submit this explanation to you with a full belief that your 
sense of justice will prompt you to grant relief in the premises, 
and remain, General, with much respect, 

Your very obdt. servant, V. KRUTTSCHNIDT 

Endorsed: Kruttschnidt was a brother-in-law of Benjamin, 
and business partner with Reichard, late Prussian Consul, but 
now a rebel Colonel. Kruttschnidt is his successor. 

General Butler s Reply to Foregoing Letter 

Head Quarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 12, 1862 

([Not in chronological order] 

J. KRUTTSCHNIDT, Esq., NEW ORLEANS 

SIR: I am directed by the Commanding Genl. to inform you 
that you must pay the amount. If there are others also inter 
ested, will issue orders to have them pay. I have the honor 

Very Respectfully, Your Obedt. Servant, 

WM. H. WIEGEL, 1st. Lieut. & A. D. C. 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, D.C., August 29^, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

SIR: The enclosed copy of a communication from the 
Department of State is herewith transmitted to you by direc 
tion of the Secretary of War, for your information and in 
order that Mr. Kruttschnidt may be duly recognized by the 
military authorities of New Orleans as Acting Consul of the 
Republic of Bremen at that city. With much respect, 

Your obedient Servant, 
P. H. WATSON, Asst. Secretary of War 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, 28^, August, 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: Information has been communicated to this Depart 
ment by Mr. Rosing, Charge d Affaires of Bremen, of the 
appointment of Mr. J. Kruttschnidt as Acting Consul of that 
Republic, at New Orleans, vice Mr. Rudolf I. Keus. Mr. 
Kruttschnidt, who is a German by birth and not a citizen of 
the United States, is also the Acting Consul of Prussia at New 
Orleans. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I will thank you to acquaint the military authorities of that 
City with appointment of Mr. Kruttschnidt, in order that his 
official acts as Consul of Bremen may be duly recognized. I 
have the honor to be, Sir, 

Your obedient servant, F. W. SEWARD, Acting Secretary 

From General Halleck 

Head Quarters of the Army, WASHINGTON, Aug. 26^, 1862 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. etc. NEW ORLEANS 

GENERAL: Reinforcements will be sent to you as early as 
possible, the new levies are only just beginning to come in 
and are still unorganized. 

I cannot think that there can be a very large force under 
Van Dorn, as the main army that retreated from Corinth is 
now operating against Buell and Morgan in Tenn. and Ken 
tucky. They estimate Bragg s forces at over eighty thousand, 
and it is known that very considerable detachments of Beau- 
regard s army are now in Arkansas and Miss. 

It is deemed of the greatest possible importance to hold 
New Orleans, and reinforcements will be sent as early as 

Very Respectfully, Your obdt. Servant, 

H. W. HALLECK, Gen. in Chief 

From George B. Loring to General Butler 

SALEM, August 26^, 1862 

MY DEAR BUTLER: I take advantage of the return of Lieut. 
Allen to New Orleans, to remind you that I still live, and 
watch each step of your progress with the deepest interest. 
It is not extraordinary that I should desire now and then to 
be near you, when I see the complications which surround you; 
but I am able to subdue every anxiety when I remember the 
patience, and skill, and prudence, which characterized your 
career while you were arranging your Expedition here. How 
ever much others may have distinguished themselves as gen 
erals in this war, no man has carried into the contest any 
ability as a lawyer, and statesman, and diplomatist, to com 
pare with what you have displayed. I say this not by way of 
flattery, but for the sake of that encouragement which one 
friend owes to another, and in order to remind you that in 
proportion to the magnitude of your active powers, and of 
your sphere of operations, should be your possession of all 



224 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

your highest and best faculties. My sermon is ended, and I 
doubt not you are very glad of it. 

The complications of the war, as seen from this point, are 
amazing. While naval plans have been proposed, and naval 
enterprizes undertaken by naval Generals; while the minds of 
our political leaders have been anxiously endeavoring to dis 
cover the most profitable use to be made of the negro ques 
tion, until a sort of popular impatience of confusion has been 
created at the North, the South have pursued their course with 
the concentration of the early Christians who were of one mind 
and one heart. We have been compelled to listen to lunatics 
when we should have been guided by generals and statesmen. 
The President has given respectful audience to every mad 
agitator, whose presumption has been increased by the patience 
of the administration. Instead of pursuing the plain and 
simple course laid down by you more than a year ago, on the 
subject of slavery and the treatment of the negroes, a course 
which, if adopted manfully, would have silenced all agitation 
long ago, and would have disarmed hundreds in the South, 
and strengthened the border states, and given encouragement 
to the Union men of the North, every foolish and exasperating 
expedient has been adopted for the sake of preserving that 
cursed Chicago platform and the Party which made it. The 
consequences are just what you might expect. 

The opposition to all this is rapidly increasing among the 
laboring men of the North. They desire an honorable peace 
based on victories for the Union. And when the tide is fully 
turned that will be the issue. I think anxiety for the Country 
has at last outstripped anxiety for the negro; and men are 
looking for and fighting for the blessings which we have en 
joyed under the Constitution. Whenever I speak in public 
now it is for this end, and I always find an enthusiastic 
audience. 

But we must have a victory soon or we are gone, lost. Unless 
Richmond is occupied before winter by the federal Army Mr. 
Lincoln cannot complete his term of office. If the question of 
division does come, God only knows how it will end. 

For myself, I farm much, deliver an oration now and then, 
and wait with patience. Ignoble business, I know, in this 
crisis. But it is all I can do. And don t discourage me by 
saying that the day of the civilian is over. I hope you military 
gentlemen will not entirely usurp all our duties. 

I am having an odd difficulty about the charter of the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 225 

"Parliament." Frazer, who agreed to pay me 5 per cent on 
the charter as compensation for my services, and who, after 
the charter was taken, endeavored to reduce the rate of my 
commission, now objects to paying anything, on the ground 
that my influence had nothing to do with securing the charter. 
I propose to fight him on this, and beat him too. Did you not 
understand that George chartered the "Parliament" at my 
solicitation? 

God bless you and bring you honorably and gloriously 
through your task. Remember me to Shepley, if you think 

Truly your friend, GEO. B. LORING 
P.S. Lieut. Allen is a most worthy gentleman. 

From Richard S. Fay, Jr. 

BOSTON, August 26<A, 1862 

Major General BUTLER, Comdg. Dept. 

DEAR GENERAL: This will be handed you by my friend, 
Mr. T. C. A. Dexter, who goes out in charge of some mer 
chandise purchased on J/a with me, and with a view to estab 
lish connection for future business. I have made Mr. Dexter 
my agent for any business with which I am connected in 
New Orleans as fully as it is in my power to do so, by power 
of atty. 

I should like also to transfer to him, for the time being, the 
kind protection and assistance with which you would favor 
me, were I out there. I have explained to Mr. Dexter very 
fully the position of the business in which you are interested, 
and have shown him my correspondence with the War Depart 
ment and the Quarter Master. He is fully authorized to under 
take any new business for me, and to use my credit in doing 
so. I remain as ever, 

Sincerely Yours, RICHARD S. FAY, JR. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Aug. 26th, 62 

DEAREST: I wrote you a letter yesterday, but forgot some 
things I wished to say. The vessel Fisher sends out has been 
delayed for almost a fortnight. After bursting her escape 
pipes in Boston, and stopping a week to repair, she was obliged 
to put into New Bedford from some other damage. I believe 
she is now off. She has all our pictures cased up in the same 

VOL. II 15 



226 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

box you sent the plate in with your picture painted on it. If 
they are lost they can never be replaced. I sent the originals 
taken years ago of myself and the children. Also the speech 
copied by Blanche that you sent for. I am very sorry they 
were not sent by the "Saxon," but we did not know she would 
be here when they were sent aboard. I trust they will reach 
you in safety, but fear it will be a long time before you get 
them. I do not know the name of the vessel. You write 
of going to Mobile in a month (that would be a fortnight from 
now) if you can get force enough. Major Strong thinks the 
Government will send you reinforcements. But it is not likely 
at so early a period. Nor are you expected to make a move by 
any person at the north. Indeed there is great fear you will 
not be able to sustain yourself in New Orleans. Do not think 
of making a premature start and risk losing what you have 
gained, that would be fatal; wait till you are fairly reinforced, 
and the weather cooler. If New Orleans should be taken from 
us we might as well go into Canada. George - - has applied 
to Judge for information of your life, and he has referred 
him to Fisher. What is there to say that has not already been 
written? I could write a life that would interest the reader, 
but the public can have but a bald outline, and that is rarely 
correct. The public life of one man will answer well enough 
for another. The surface of life, if it glitters, is enough for 
the public. Do you think of anything to suggest that has not 
been said? I could write you a brilliant history not altogether 
perfect, that is beyond nature, nor do we expect or wish to 
find it in any character; it would show but a dead level. It 
is the opposing elements in a man s nature, strongly developed, 
but the good triumphing, that excites admiration. These I 
could picture better than most historians. The gentleman who 
now offers to sketch your life is an elegant writer, I wish he 
knew you intimately. 

Aug. Ilih 

Oh, Dearest, your letter of Aug. 14th is here. Have I 
hurt you so badly, or is the last page written to rouse me, 
and show the folly I have been guilty of in writing to you as 
I did? If I have shown to you that my thoughts went beyond 
the bounds of sense or reason, forgive me! Do not say you do 
not wish me to come to you! Or that I need write no more, 
but to say I am well. I know you do not feel so now, and that 
you would be glad to have me there, as I should be to be with 
you. Say so, dearest, in your next letter, and let me join you 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 227 

again. If that good time ever comes for us to meet, we will 
return together, or stay away together. I will not come 
back alone. I am ready "to tread the weary path" with you, 
wherever it leads, and can find no pleasure in any other. If 
you are to move, I shall find no trouble in moving with you. 
Bear with my infirmities of feeling as well as you can, I shall 
improve, believe me. The sad complaining that annoys will 
wear away. I shall yet walk with " cheerfulness," that " nymph 
of healthiest hue" and "hope" will sing again her "delighted 
measure!" Even "sport" shall "leap up, and seize his beechen 
spear." So, do not say I must not come, but tell me when to 
start. You did not feel when you began the letter so bitterly 
as when you closed. Do not think me entirely wrong in what 
I wrote. If no meaning were given but the one I ought to 
have shown, that is, how it looked to others, you would not 
have cause to be angry with me. For in that I wrote truly. 
You would be subject to comments. But be subject, now, 
to tenderness, dearest, forget your anger, kiss me, and tell me 

to come, and make happy v -, , -, \\r 

Your devoted WIFE 

From James T. Whitney to General Butler 

NEW YORK, August 26, 1862 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Did I not know that with all the mighty 
cares of your position, your heart has not grown cold toward 
your friends, I should not venture to again address you upon 
business matters of my own. As it is I think I shall be 
pardoned. 

The Steamer "Saxon" I have ordered back to New Orleans 
with freight on account of Shippers here. She was offered 
$450, per day by the U. S. Quarter Master here, to go to Hilton 
Head, which I refused, as she pays much more by taking 
freight there, her freight and passage money, both paying as 
much as 30 days, Government Charter. 

I wish to bespeak for the "Saxon" your kind indulgence 
when in New Orleans. She will return immediately to New 
York, and wishes to bring back passengers and freight. I 
have sent Mr. Richardson out as Supercargo of "Saxon," who 
will call upon you. Mr. F. A. Hildreth wrote you yesterday in 
relation to the "Saxon" and "Relief." A few moments before 
the cars left, he received a telegram that the "Relief" has 
stopped at New Bedford, would be detained four days for 
repairs of her machinery, so that the "Saxon" will be in New 



228 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Orleans before the "Relief." Mr. Hildreth therefore requested 
me to write you that he desires the "Saxon" to take the mails 
and whatever else you may desire to forward. I hope to for 
ward with Major Giddings a box to your Quarters. 

Mr. Hildreth left for New Bedford last night, not having 
time to write you after receiving telegram in relation to 
"Relief." 

And now, General, let me say, your position in your Phelps 
Correspondence is right, and the Country sustains it, and will 
sustain and ultimately applaud you. You are the only Gen 
eral in the field whose correspondence will live in History. 
Pointing to an impregnable necessity in your Phelps letters, 
you cannot be shaken, and the conservative General is the 
one that ultimately receives the gratitude of succeeding gen 
erations, and the plaudits of the present. 

May God keep you still in the path that will (if anything 
can) lead to a settlement of this unholy war! With the highest 

Your obedient servant, JAMES S. WHITNEY 
From George S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase 

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 26, 1862 x 

DEAR SIR: The troops at Baton Rouge have evacuated the 
place without destroying it, and are now joined to Gen. Phelps 
command at Carrol ton. His effective force is now about six 
thousand men and many guns, and is sufficient for the defence 
of the place. The fortifications are strong, and Gen. Phelps 
has the entire confidence of his men. An attack on the City 
was feared, and therefore the troops were brought down from 
Baton Rouge. The secessionists confidently expect the city 
to be taken soon, and had they succeeded at Baton Rouge, 
an attack on the City would have followed immediately. I 
do not believe it will now be made, but if attempted will 
certainly be unsuccessful. They expected aid in the City, but 
Gen. Butler has disarmed all citizens. About 25,000 arms of 
various kinds have been given up. 

The first Louisiana Reg t. is full and ready for service, 
and nearly enough men enlisted to form a second Reg t. 
The men are generally foreigners many Germans and 
will do good service. 

A free Colored Regt., formerly in Rebel service, is being 



1 American Historical Association Report 1902, Vol. II, p. 310. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 229 

organized. Probably this Regiment will be increased to a 
Brigade. I urged this matter upon Gen. Butler, but he had 
already decided upon it favorably. The free negroes of Louisi 
ana, are certainly superior, as a class, to the Creoles (descend 
ants of French and Spanish settlers). They are intelligent, 
energetic, and industrious, as is evident from the fact (as 
stated to me) that they own one-seventh of the real estate in 
this city. This is their own work, for they commenced with 
nothing, of course. 

These men will be good soldiers. Gen. Phelps has at his 
camp 1,500 men escaped slaves. Enough to make a full 
regiment are drilled (without arms) and go through all the 
movements well. I do not know whether Gen. Butler intends 
them to have arms. They are good-looking men, and I believe 
will be good soldiers. 

The health of the troops is good, except those lately at 
Vicksburg, among whom, however, deaths have been few. The 
City is quite healthy, and there is no longer much danger 
from Yellow Fever. This is owing to Gen. Butler s severe 
quarantine regulations. A few more days of health will render 
us perfectly secure. 

The Union sentiment is developing itself satisfactorily. The 
laboring classes are our friends. When the great Southern 
armies are broken up, they will no longer be afraid, and all 
will be well. 

Provisions are high, and there is much suffering in the 
City. It is much to be regretted that the River was not 
opened, so that provisions might be cheap. The condition of 
the people now is scarcely better than under rebel rule as 
to food, I mean. For other reasons, the opening of the River 
is of the utmost consequence. 

Much complaint is made by Union men, and justly, that 
those who have been secessionists are frequently given em 
ployment by the authorities to the exclusion of Union men. 
Concerning the Custom House, there have been no such 
complaints, I believe, for I have been particularly careful in 
selecting officers, but I regret to say that other departments 
have not exercised the same care. 

Col. Butler is a brother of Gen l. Butler and came out with 
the army, and immediately commenced doing business. He 
is not in government employ. He is here for the sole purpose 
of making money, and it is stated by secessionists and by 
some Union men that he has made half a million dollars, or 



230 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

more. I regret his being here at all, for it is not proper that 
the brother of the commanding General should devote himself 
to such an object. It leads to the belief that the General 
himself is interested with him, and such is the belief of our 
enemies and of some of our friends. The effect is bad. Gen 
eral Butler seems entirely devoted to the interests of the 
Government. I have observed closely his brother s course. 
I do not believe the General is interested in his speculations. 
I have delayed mentioning this matter until now, hoping to 
be better informed. Hon. Reverdy Johnson can give you as 
much information as I can. I believe Gen. Butler is disinter 
ested, and that he is a most able officer, though in a difficult 
position. Should I learn anything further, you will be 

informed. ff ^ ^ N 

(GEORGE S. DENISON) 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 9,7th, 1862 

Brig. Gen. ARNOLD, Comd g Dist. of West Florida 

GENERAL: I send with the "Ocean Queen," Capt. Kensel, 
Chief of Artillery, to confer with you upon matters of moment. 
Capt. Kensel is fully possessed of my views. 

It would give me the sincerest pleasure to have you here in 
person to aid me in defence of a threatened attack on the City. 
I am so ignorant of the condition of your district that I can 
give no order. I wish you would send me at least one regiment 
and as many of your regulars as can be spared, by the "Ocean 
Queen." Come yourself, if possible, if only for a few days, for 
the purpose of consultation. 

If you have a good map of your district please send or 
bring it, as I have none. Perhaps, in any event, an exchange 
of troops might be beneficial. But this is matter of arrange 
ment upon consultation. 

It is needful that I should have early dispatch with the 
"Ocean Queen," with whatever reinforcements you can spare. 
I sent a quantity of political prisoners from Forts Jackson 
and St. Philip so as to put the forts in fighting trim. You will 
have them confined in Fort Pickens or outside on the Island, 
as you prefer. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient servant 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 231 

From Thomas S. Burbank 

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 27th, 1862 

M aj. Gen. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: A messenger came through yesterday from 
Lafourche with the unwelcome intelligence that my brother 
was very sick and not like to recover. This, Sir, is all from the 
inhuman treatment he receives. They are murdering him 
slowly to get rid of him, so that it will not be said that they 
hung or shot him for fun, that you might retaliate on those 
that you hold here. My brother is confined in a filthy place 
without bed or blanket, and not even a change of clothes. He 
is not even allowed to go outside of his prison, and is treated 
to all the vile epithets that can be heaped upon him. My 
brother, E. W. Burbank, who was taken at about the same 
time, and afterwards paroled, has after importuning a long 
time been allowed to go and see him, and is now on the way 
there, and will do all that he is allowed to for his comfort. I 
do now beg of you to retaliate on those you hold, as it will 
certainly procure his release if alive. As long as they are 
permitted to go at large and enjoy all the comforts of City life, 
my brother must remain in captivity and be tortured to death 
by those vile creatures that broke up this glorious Union. 

There is a few men on the Coast above the City, if it was 
convenient, would be well to arrest. One is Capt. Joseph La 
Bourgeois, who fed and entertained the Rebels the night that 
they arrested my brother. He had about one month ago a 
full set of Cavalry equipments that were stolen from the arsenal 
at Baton Rouge, but I presume are now in the use of the 
Guerillas. Also, James Godbury and Doct Haidel, who joined 
the Company in the arrest, and pointed out the place where 
my brother slept. If these important characters were sent to 
Fort Jackson it would have a good effect. 

I am instructed to ask you to send a gunboat to Berwick s 
Bay, if it is possible, in order to cut off the supplies of the 
Rebels near the City. There is now only four Companies 
this side of Lafourche, but they are expecting reinforcements 
amounting to three thousand Militia and eight hundred Cav 
alry. They have now but a very little ammunition and but 
one or two small pieces of Artillery, and if a gunboat could only 
be got into Berwick s Bay they could not obtain supplies of 
any kind. 

There is now eight hundred Guerillas at Bonnet Carre, 



232 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

thirty six miles above the City, and it is also reported that 
they are building bridges across the streams from Manchac 
to the Mississippi, and have got them nearly completed. 

Gov. Moore has arrested Gen. Robert Martin, of Confed 
erate notoriety, for forbidding any further depredations by 
the Guerillas on the IT. S. transports on the River. The lesson 
that was taught them at Donaldsonville had a good effect, 
and I can assure you, Sir, that severity is the only thing that 
will bring this people to their senses. 

There is a great amount of sugar on the coast belonging 
to the Confederate Gov. Would it not be well to confiscate 
it before it is all sent to market? It was subscribed to the 
produce loan of the Confederate Gov. about one year ago. 

I presume you know that the Confederates are pressing all 
into the ranks at the point of the bayonet, and that within 
a short distance of New Orleans, but they can only arm them 
with shot guns. I remain 

Yours most respectfully, THO. S. BURBANK 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Aug. 27, 62 

DEAREST: You see I cannot heed the request to write no 
more, but must even go on as if I had not heard it. And that 
is what you wish me to do. Blanche left home for Georgetown 
this afternoon. I went with her to the cars. Fisher goes on 
with them, but thinks he may be obliged to bring them back. 
All news of the army has been suppressed for the last week. 
Today we hear that Pope is broken up and the rebels occupy 
Manassas once more. Their next move must be for Wash 
ington, and if our army can do nothing but retreat why may 
they not take it? Fisher will go from Washington to Fortress 
Monroe. The steamer he has bought and freighted has sprung 
a leak, and the Captain has telegraphed for him to come on 
and see what can be done. The Captain put in at Fortress 
Monroe. My box of pictures, letters from me and Blanche 
to you, a copy of the speech you wrote for, a letter from me to 
Mr. Chubbuck, all these were on board. I despair of your 
ever getting them. I told Fisher to get the box and put it on 
board another vessel. It is now three weeks on Monday since 
the letters were sent aboard. The house is more lonely to 
night than ever, we miss Blanche so much. I sent the picture 
of the Crucifixion to the Directress. Caroline came this morn- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 233 

ing, and brought a box of lovely flowers, for the hair. They 
will look sweetly on Blanche for her first ball. I never saw 
anything more exquisite. They were sent to me, let me thank 
you a thousand times, kiss me, and say your annoyance and 
bitterness is over, and that you look for my coming as the one 
pleasant thing to expect. Not so pleasant as to return home, 
but the next best thing to it. Major Bell will be here tomorrow, 
or on Monday. From him I shall learn more of what you are 
doing and when you expect me to go. I will write no more 
tonight. I hope you are well and happy, and feel kindly to 
me. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, Aug. 27, 1862 

MY DEAREST SARAH: Your note of August 10th, finished on 
the 12th, reached me on the 26th. It was a dear, kind, loving 
letter such a one as gives me new life to receive. I read it 
over twice. Do write me such letters or none. I cannot live 
if you write others like those you have written. They are 
causeless, useless, hurtful. The boat has not yet come with 
the Daguerreotypes. 

Your letters were not lost. They sometimes come two or 
three at a time. Having written me to burn them, which I 
have done save the last, I cannot very well send them back. 
I have been very well except two days when I was a little 
under the weather. 

I am preparing for the defense of New Orleans, and I shall 
hold it too. Baton Rouge has been evacuated by us without 
haste, without loss, without trouble of any sort. I could have 
held it till doomsday so far as the enemy were concerned, and 
am holding it now with a couple of gunboats, but the whole 
rebel army of the Southwest are concentrating to move upon 
me, and I am not in condition to cut my force in halves. 

I have brought off the State library and the Statue of 
Washington by order, beside pretty much all the plunder of 
the town without order. I have put a stop to that, however. 
We are fast coming, however, to the point where devastation 
is a necessity. We have kept out the yellow fever so far, and 
shall hardly have it to any extent. I believe not at all. They 
have it fearfully at Key West. 

As you will see, the Government have added Pensacola 
and General Arnold to my command. I will send for him. 
They have sent me Genl. Sherman, of Port Royal fame, as 



234 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Brigadier. You will see my action in regard to Phelps, and 
also my raising the free colored regiment. Write me what you 
think of it. I am succeeding admirably with my Louisiana 
Volunteers. 

Andrew is shipping Fisher some thousand hogsheads of 
sugar. It will be of prime quality and will pay, he thinks. I 
do not understand Mr. Fay quite, but I think that it is well 
enough to have the change made. It would hardly do to 
make it earlier. 

Love to the children and Blanche. Tell her that she must 
write me every week. I can t write her so often as I wish. If 
she does not write, I won t call her little Buntie any more, but 
Great Blanche. A thousand kisses for you. Was the wreath 
pretty? It is of New Orleans make. T> 

From the Adjutant General 

War Department Adjutant General s Office, WASHINGTON, July 23rd, 1862 

[Not in chronological order]] 

Maj. General B. F. BUTLER, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding 

Dept. of the Gulf, N. O., LA. 

SIR: It would appear from documents submitted by the 
Governor of Massachusetts that Lieutenant James B. Prince, 
Jr., of the 30th Regiment of Mass. Volunteers, appointed by 
His Excellency and duly commissioned, has not or had not 
up to a late date, been allowed by you to go on duty with his 
regiment. The Secretary of War thinks there is possibly some 
mistake in the matter, but he desires you to inform him of the 
state of the case; and, at any rate, to recognize the com 
mission of Lieutenant Prince, and permit him, without opposi 
tion, to enter immediately upon his duties, if it has not already 
been done. I am, Sir, 

Very Respectfully, Your Obdt. Servant, 

L. THOMAS, Adjutant General 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 28/A, 1862 

General L. THOMAS, Adjutant General 

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
yours of the 23rd ult. relating to Lt. J. B. Prince. 

This Gentleman came to this department with a commission 
from the governor of Massachusetts, having been examined by 
a board of officers under act of Congress while I was in com- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 235 

mand of the Department of New England, and rejected be 
cause found deficient, I thought it my duty before placing 
him in command to have him again examined. 

With pleasure I learned that he had applied himself dili 
gently to the study of his profession, and passed a very satis 
factory examination, and he was at once ordered to duty, and 
I learn behaved very well in the battle of Baton Rouge. 

I do not think I need a direct order from the War Depart 
ment to do my duty. I shall respect Gov. Andrew s com 
missions when they are respectable, not otherwise. 

He has sent down here commissions to annoy me to almost 
every person whose application for official position I had 
rejected while recruiting my troops. I have given them their 
positions when they were qualified, and shall continue to do 
what I think ought to be done until I am retired from the 
command of the Department. I have the honor to be, 

Your obdt. Servt. 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler to the Mayor of New York 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 28, 1862 

MR. MAYOR: Upon the withdrawal of the troops from 
Baton Rouge, to leave the town under the care of the Gun 
boats, it seemed probable, in case it was stripped to prevent 
the erection of works there by the enemy, that the State 
House with its contents would be destroyed. The bricks and 
mortar could easily be replaced, but not so the works of art 
which once lost are gone forever. I therefore ordered Powers 
Statue of Washington in marble to be removed for safety, 
and I believe it has been done without injury. 

There is in New Orleans no suitable public building wherein 
the Statue be placed. Besides, in the present temper of mind 
of the governing class in Louisiana, I do not see what need 
they have of a Statue of Washington. They are striving to 
undo his work, to overthrow the Government which was set 
up more by his agency than all else human. If, indeed, the 
sight of his calm, noble features would recall them to a sense 
of duty, loyalty, and submission to that government of which 
he was the first President, then it would be well to retain the 
marble here. But alas! Madness rules the hour. The good 
people are already loyal, and the bad will require sterner and 
less sentimental arguments for conviction of their folly. 



236 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I have taken leave, therefore, to send the Statue to the 
city of New York, asking the city through the chief executive 
officer to hold it in trust for the people of the State of Louisiana 
until such time as they shall return to their senses. When 
loyalty to the Union and Constitution is restored as the ruling 
sentiment of Louisiana, and the Government of Washington 
is recognized by the elected authorities of the State there, let 
the Statue be sent back to a State fitted to receive it and 
appreciate it. 

The City of New York will accept this trust. With senti 
ments of respect and esteem, I am, 

Most truly yours, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comdg. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

H d Q rs. Dep t of the Gulf, BOSTON, Aug. 28, 1862 

MY DEAREST WIFE: The boat is delayed sailing a day, so 
that I can give you one day later from New Orleans. I was 
out to review Brigade at Carrollton yesterday where we are 
getting ready, so you will conclude I am quite well. 

I have sent to Pensacola and hope to get a regiment from 
thence. Fisher s vessel has not yet arrived here. The delay 
is not fortunate. Andrew is shipping much larger amounts of 
sugar to Fisher than I supposed. He will tell you about it. 

You ask if I spend my time at the Custom House or at the 
house? Shall I give you a day s work? Get up at six, write 
an hour or more in my room . . . then breakfast, then calls 
for an hour, then go to the office and business till 4 o clock, 
then dinner at 5, then opening mail and answering letters and 
calls till eight, then tea; sometimes a walk of half an hour in 
the evening, then a chat or writing till twelve, and then to 
bed. And sometimes not to sleep. There you have a day, as 
like another as two peas, save a review, inspection of a hospital, 
or something of that sort or telegrams of trouble or any 
little diversification. 

You see I am writing in my room, having just finished my 
despatches to the Government, and Williams is waiting to 
dress. There now, isn t it real good of me to think of you 
and write you now. Don t you think it deserves a kiss? 

BENJ. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 237 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, August 28th, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 326 

IT is made to appear to the Commanding General that 
Marcelin Licard, an old soldier of the war of 1815, under 
Jackson, did not give his arms under the General Order No. 
60, and has been sentenced by the Provost Court to imprison 
ment for 30 days therefor. 

Knowing the love an old soldier has for his arms, and believ 
ing that something is to be pardoned to that fond feeling, the 
sentence is remitted. 



Q/ MAJ QEN 
W. H. WIEGEL, 1st Lieut. & A. A. A. G. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. %9th, 1862 

Brig. General L. THOMAS, Adjutant General 

GENERAL: I herewith enclose a Roster of the Officers for 
Commission of the 1st Regt. La. Vols. Also a form of Provi 
sional Commission which I have issued to them. 

They being now on the lines at Carrollton in presence of the 
enemy, I thought it necessary for their protection that the 
Officers should have some authorization in case of being taken 
prisoner. 

Perhaps it is a very considerable labor to issue new Com 
missions. A simple order of the War Department confirming 
the Provisional Commission issued would be sufficient. 

This Regiment is one of the finest in its material in the ser 
vice, both as regards Officers and men. 

The Recruiting Fund not having arrived yet, from the 
necessity of the case I have borrowed ($50,488.00), fifty 
thousand four hundred and eighty-eight Dollars from my 
City Relief Fund, to pay the Advance Pay and Bounty, which 
I shall ask the disbursing and Recruiting Officer to repay 
when he arrives. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Comdg. 



238 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Richard S. Fay 

BOSTON, August 29, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, NEW ORLEANS 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Your favor of August 17th is received. 
My son left yesterday for a fortnight s absence, being ordered 
off by his physician, and being completely used up. 

I have looked over the accounts to see if I could answer 
your question about the $10,000. It stands rightfully to your 
credit, as well as the shipment of Sugar on Government account, 
no account having been made with the Government, and no 
money will be paid over to it until your return and authoriza 
tion. As I understand the matter, Richard insisted on the 
sale of the Sugar and the control of the business, acting as 
your agent, and in order to protect your interest. Rely upon 
it, my dear friend, that everything shall be done properly and 
in order, and that your wife and family whom may you live 
long to be their honor and support, will be cared for. God 
grant you a good deliverance, for none of them now in the 
field deserves it more than yourself. I have forwarded your 
letter to Richard, but as he will not receive it in season to 
answer it by the "Roanoke," I have written this. 

Very truly yours, RICHARD S. FAY 

From Commodore Henry W. Morris 

U. S. Sloop PENSACOLA, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 29, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. Dept. of the Gulf 

GENERAL: The U. S. Steamer "Tennessee" from Pensacola 
found it absolutely necessary to come up to the city last night. 
She had broken her delivery valve, which is below the water s 
edge, and the water flowed into her in a very large stream 
through it. She was only able to keep herself free by means of 
her steam pumps, when her engines were working; therefore 
whilst at anchor she was in very great danger of sinking, as her 
hand pumps were not sufficient to keep her free. 

In accordance with the permission sent me last night by 
you "that if it were an urgent necessity to prevent her 
from sinking, she could remain," I directed her to haul along 
side the "Fearnot" store ship, and discharge as much of her 
cargo as necessary to lighten her, to prevent her leaking any 
more, and she is now employed doing so. 

I had written thus far when your orderly brought me your 
despatch in relation to the "Tennessee s" coming up. I im- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 239 

mediately sent to Capt. Johnson to make a written report of 
the causes which induced him to break his quarantine. That 
report I now send you a copy of. You will perceive by it that, 
in his opinion, the vessel would have sunk at her anchors in a 
few hours had she remained at the quarantine station. I sent 
an Officer to you last night to explain these facts to you, 
which he did correctly. 

If the "Tennessee" is compelled to return to the quarantine 
station, she will be compelled to run upon the bank and lie 
there. If you require her to do so, I will send her down. I am, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 
HENRY W. MORRIS, Commodore and Senior Offr. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Augst. 29^, 1862 

Commodore MORRIS 

SIR: The Steamer "Tennessee" ran past the Quarantine 
Station without permission. She was reported to me by an 
Officer, purporting to come from you, as having done so be 
cause she was in a sinking condition. I am now informed that 
it is not the fact. I assented to her action upon the ground 
only that it was a matter of necessity. 

The "Tennessee" must therefore at once leave her Anchor 
age and proceed below the Quarantine Station. I am grieved 
and alarmed at this instance of insubordination in the Navy. 
I am now engaged in a very delicate & troublesome Corre 
spondence with the Spanish Authorities upon the alleged com 
plaint that I treat their vessels different from ours. 

This action of the "Tennessee" gives color to the complaint 
and may involve us in a National Difficulty. I shall require 
the amplest apology from the Officer Comdg. the "Tennessee." 
as well as from the Officer who made the false report to me 
that she was in a sinking condition, or I shall feel it my duty 
to report them to the Department, and take such other 
measures as shall prevent all communication between the fleet 
and shore while an unquarantined Vessel is suffered to have 
communication with the fleet. 

I have successfully thus far kept the Epidemic from the City, 
and I shall be sorry to report to the Govt. that I have not the 
aid of the Navy in the vital necessary precaution for the Health 

of the City and my troops. T7 .- /7 

Very Respectfully, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



240 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Commodore Henry W. Morris 

U. S. Sloop PENSACOLA, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 30, 1862 

Major General BENJ. F. BUTLER, Commdg. Dept. of the Gulf 

GENERAL: I sent you yesterday, by your Orderly, a letter in 
relation to the "Tennessee s " breaking her quarantine, together 
with a copy of Capt. Johnson s report to me, giving his reasons 
for so doing. 

Will you please inform me, by the bearer, what decision you 
have come to, as to whether she is to be permitted to dis 
charge her cargo into the "Fearnot," for the purpose of 
making her repairs; or whether she is to go down to the 
quarantine station, to lay on the bank there to prevent 
her from sinking. I am, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 
HENRY W. MORRIS, Comdr. and Senior Officer 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 30th, 1862 

Commodore MORRIS, Commdg. Naval Forces at NEW ORLEANS 

DEAR SIR: Upon the assurance of the Captain that the 
"Tennessee" is in a sinking condition, and must be beached 
if she is to go, I must make a virtue of necessity and allow her 
to remain here to discharge the Cargo. It is a matter I, a 
landsman, cannot understand. The "Tennessee" still lays in 
the stream, has lain there for thirty-six hours, and yet does 
not sink. It shows well for the quality of the water at New 
Orleans. I am now so far relieved that I can officially assure 
the Spanish authorities that the "Tennessee" was only allowed 
to come up to save her from sinking. I am, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From Moses Bates 

Office of the La. State Penitentiary, BATON ROUGE, August IQth, 1862 

[Not in chronological 



Maj. General B. F. BUTLER, Commdg. Dept. of the Gulf 

MY DEAR SIR: There are in this institution several children, 
born in the prison of female convicts, between the ages of one 
and ten years. By the laws of the State of Louisiana these 
children are State property, and the custom has been to sell 
them into slavery at the age of ten years, and appropriate the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 241 

proceeds to purposes of State expenditure. In view of the 
evacuation of the city, and possibly the abandonment of this 
institution, it has become a serious matter. What shall be 
done with these children? Knowing your sentiments too well 
to believe you will order these prisoners, who have never yet 
gone beyond the confines of the Penitentiary, sent into slavery, 
and not caring to take a responsibility which you would so 
willingly assume, I ask to be directed with regard to these 
children of incarcerated parents. 

Very Respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

MOSES BATES, Supt. La. State Penitentiary 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 30th, 1862 

MOSES BATES, Esq., Superintendent State Penitentiary 

SIR: I certainly cannot sanction any law of the State of 

Louisiana which enslaves any children of female convicts born 

in the State Prison. 

Their place of birth is certainly not their fault. You are 

therefore to take such care of them as would be done with 

other destitute children. 

If these children were born of female convict slaves, pos 
sibly the master might have some claim, but I do not see how 

the State should have any. I am, 

Very Respectfully Your obedient servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, M. G. C. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 1st, 1862 

MY DEAR WIFE: This will be handed you by Mr. Bonfanti, 
who is about visiting your city en route to Europe. 

If he is not fortunate enough to have Mr. Fay with him 
when he calls, will you get Mr. Webster or Hildreth to show 
him the city, and especially the mills which he much desires 
to see. 

Mr. Bonfanti has been of some service to me; you will find 
him a pleasant gentleman, and he has been kind enough to 
desire to be presented to you. 

Truly your HUSBAND 



VOL. II 16 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From J. George Brown 

PARISH PRISON, September 1st, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comd g Dept. Gulf 

GENERAL: Do you know that measures are being taken to 
involve your brother, Col. Butler, to say nothing of yourself, 
with the cabinet at Washington, on the most serious charges 
backed with no light force? Rumor says you are about to 
leave you have treated my letters to you with contempt, 
thinking I am influenced by selfish motives, had I have been, 
you would never have received this. Enough, I shall not 
trouble again, but remember the Mouse and the Lion, and 
that to the last I wished to serve you. 

Do not show this to any of your officers, why should I 
have a powerful enemy by writing you this. Send for me. 
With respect, I have the honor to be, 

Ever your well-wisher, J. GEORGE BROWN 

It is important I should see you before the Northern mail 
leaves. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 1st, 1862 

Major General HENRY W. HALLECK, Commander-in-Chief 
Armies of the United States 

GENERAL: Nothing of interest has occurred to the troops 
of this Department since the last despatch. 

Our disposition being made for defence, the forts which the 
enemy expected to surprise strengthened, I am inclined to the 
opinion that he has for the present abandoned his plan of attack. 
My informers also confirm this view by their intelligence. 

Since the plan of attack was abandoned, Breckinridge has 
gone with a portion of his Division to Mobile, and is said to 
be en route for Virginia. 

The condition of the people here is a very alarming one. 
They literally come down to starvation. Not only in the city 
but in the country. Planters, who in peaceful times would 
have spent the summer at Saratoga, are now on their planta 
tions, essentially without food. 

Hundreds weekly by stealth are coming across the Lake to 
the City, reporting starvation on the Lake shore. I am dis 
tributing in various ways about $50,000 per month in food, 
and more is needed. This is to the whites. My commissary 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 243 

is issuing rations to the amount of nearly double the amount 
required by the troops. This is to the blacks. 

They are now coming in by hundreds, nay thousands almost 
daily. Many of the plantations are deserted along the "coast," 
which in this country s phrase means the River, from the 
City to Natchez. Crops of sugar-cane are left standing to 
waste. Guerillas interfere with all white labor, which would 
be peaceable, and impress it into the Rebel army. 

The act of Congress which allows no proper punishment to 
these marauders renders it impossible to restrain them. It is 
useless to tell me to try them, send the Record to Washington, 
and then to shoot them if the Record is approved. Events 
travel altogether too rapidly for that. In the meantime, they 
hang every Union man they catch, and by their proclamation 
(see Governor Moore s on file in the War Department) they 
threaten to hang every man who has my pass. All this, while 
they are prating in their papers and by the message of Davis 
about carrying on a civilized warfare. 

We have with us a great many Negro women and children, 
barefoot and half naked. May I ask in what way, in view of 
the coming winter, these are to be clothed? I can house them. 
There are houses of rebel Officers enough to cover them. I 
learn by the Secession Newspapers that I am to be relieved of 
this Command. If that be so, might I ask that my successor 
be sent as early as possible, as my own health is not the strong 
est, and it would seem but fair that he should take some part 
of the yellow fever season. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 1st, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I send enclosed General Order No. 62 of this depart 
ment, wherein honorable mention is made of several non 
commissioned Officers of this Division for gallant conduct at 
Baton Rouge. I would suggest that the medals for meritorious 
services, provided by the act of Congress for soldiers in such 
case, be forwarded to these brave men. 

Since I wrote the Commanding General, I am more and more 
satisfied that the immediate attack upon this City is put off. 
My information confirms that from every source. 



244 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

The delay is in part owing to the fact that the enemy is 
building and altering two Gunboats in the Yazoo River, 
with which he hopes to embarrass the fleet. A movement 
from above might destroy those boats, which are only guarded 
by small militia force. We cannot reach them from below, 
as we must pass Vicksburg to do it. 

I take leave to send, for the use of your Office and that of 
the Commdg. Genl., photographs of our position at Carroll- 
ton, and the surrounding Country, reduced from a survey that 
I have thought it necessary to make. The health of the City 
continues admirable, and the troops are fast recovering from 
their sickness and fatigue of the Campaign at Vicksburg. 

I have succeeded wonderfully in my enlistments of Volun 
teers here. A full regiment, three companies of Cavalry - 
Six hundred to form a new regiment, and more than 1200 
men enlisted in the old regiments to fill up the ranks. I shall 
also have within ten days a Regiment 1000 strong of Native 
Guards (Colored), the darkest of whom will be about the 
complexion of the late Mr. Webster. 

I shall have the honor to have increased my Division by at 
least three thousand men. One-fifth of the whole after a 
Nine Months Campaign in the unhealthy South. I have the 

honor to be, TZ /^T 7 . 

Your Oodt. servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 
From Colonel S. Thomas 

Head Quarters 8th Regt. Vt. Vols., ALGIERS, LA., Sept. 3rd, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

MY DEAR GENERAL: The report of a want of protection for 
the Negroes is correct, and I have been trying to-day to secure 
suitable shelter for them, but they have come in upon me so 
fast I have found it very difficult. Be assured I will spare no 
pains to care for them, for they are reliable friends. I am 

Truly Your obdt. Servant, 
S. THOMAS, Col. 8th Regt. Vt. Vols. 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 2nd, 1862 
y-Y 7 ,^ [Not in chronological order"] 

General PHELPS 

GENERAL: I am informed that some of the negro women 
and children who have sought protection within your lines, are 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 245 

not sufficiently provided with shelter from the inclemency of 
the weather. 

You will direct your Division Quartermaster to take pos 
session of such houses in your neighborhood as belonged to 
well-known and ascertained rebels, as will be sufficient to 
cover those you have and provide for those coming in. I am, 

Respectfully Yours, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

A. F. PUFFER, Capt. & A. D. C. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 1st, 1862 

Brig. Genl. THOMAS, Adjutant General 

GENERAL : A press of much more important business engage 
ments have prevented my reporting upon the letter of Captain 
Porter. 

With the Commodore, now Admiral, Farragut, there has 
been ever the utmost reciprocity of aid and the warmest 
sympathy. 

I was very anxious that the expedition should get off to 
Vicksburg as early as possible, and I did everything I could 
do to speed it. Captain Porter in his letter to me expressly 
so states. The steamer "Empire Parish," which was a boat 
belonging to a private party here, that had come to the City 
relying upon the safeguard, was as much within his control 
as mine. Nay, at the very time Capt. Porter complains, as 
will be seen by the affidavits herewith submitted, the "Empire 
Parish" was seized by him and wholly under his control. It 
will be seen also that at the very time Captain Porter com 
plains to the Department of the delays of the Steamer "Fox," 
she was under the order of Commodore Morris, his senior 
officer, and in his employ. I enclose the original order which I 
desire preserved. It is true that the Master of that steamer 
got drunk and behaved badly at the Passes. That truth Com 
modore Porter states, but he omits to state that the Master 
was punished by instant Discharge. 

Why suppress the fact which was known to Capt. Porter? 
If there is a Naval Officer on the station that will not bear the 
fullest testimony to the exertions of myself and command, to 
aid the Navy everywhere and at all times with the exception 
of Captain Porter, they certainly will do very differently 
from what they have personally stated to me. 



246 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

My Chief Quartermaster, Col. Shaffer, knows the facts 
relating to this transaction, and I desire the fullest inquiry 
should be made of him. I have the honor to be 

Your obedient Servant 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From Commodore David Porter 

U. S. Steamer OCTORARA, off VICKSBURG, July 5th, 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commdg. U. S. Army 

SIR: I was very much surprised to hear through Lt. 
Commdg Breese that my letter to you of the 12th of June 
had been severely commented on by you, also that you had 
accused me of making misstatements. I wrote to you at that 
time for the purpose of informing you that your orders had 
been disregarded. As far as related to supplying the mortar 
vessels with towage, I made no statements whatever other 
than what I received from Capt. Brady himself, who informed 
me "that the Capt. of the Fox got drunk, brought up two 
merchant vessels by private arrangements with the Captains, 
and had neglected entirely the business on which he was 
sent." As regards Mr. Eddy, I said he was either not sincere 
in his efforts to carry out your orders, or else he was not 
invested with the proper authority to make his subordinates 
obey him. I see no reason to change the opinion I then ex 
pressed. I am much surprised that a gentleman holding your 
high position should have thought it necessary to have affi 
davits taken to prove that I had made misstatements, or that 
he had been zealous in the performance of an important 
public duty. As regards the latter, I will add my testimony, 
and unhesitatingly say that you were prompt in acceding to 
all my requests, and desirous to promote the interests of the 
expedition and from the anxiety you displayed to get it off I 
was induced to appeal to you again, when I found your orders 
were not obeyed, presuming you would be obliged to me. I 
never supposed it was a high offense to inform a general that 
the public duty was neglected, nor did I expect my expressions 
to be misconstrued into misstatements. 

Misstatement is a word I am unused to, and an expression 
that I will permit no one to apply to me. I have made the 
above explanation to give you an opportunity of recalling the 
very offensive language used toward me. Your own sense of 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 247 

propriety will tell you that no gentleman would rest quiet 
under such an imputation. I have the honor to remain, 
Very respectfully, Your obdt. servant, 

DAVID D. PORTER, Commdg. Flotilla 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, Adjutant General s Office, WASHINGTON, Oct. 2nd, 1862 

[[Not in chronological order]] 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, U. S. Volunteers, Comdg. Dept. 

of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

SIR: Your report of September 1st, upon the letter of 
Commander D. D. Porter, has been submitted to the Secre 
tary of War, and is satisfactory. I have the honor to be, Sir, 
Very respectfully, your obdt. Servant, 

L. THOMAS, Adjutant General 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

Monday morning, Sept. 1st Q18623 

YESTERDAY there came a telegram from Pope that he was 
victorious, had driven the rebels, taken a thousand prisoners, 
lost on our side eight thousand men killed; that the rebels 
after retreating had made a stand, and the battle would be 
renewed as soon as reinforcements came up on our side. Later 
in the day came word that Stonewall Jackson was taken, this 
is not confirmed. Last evening rumours were afloat that 
Pope was cut up and forces scattered. I have sent down this 
morning for the news, and trust we shall hear the last report 

is false. Tim and George Pearsons were both here last 

night. Tim will send you a speech of Ward Beecher s 

wherein you are commented on and praised, he says. Harriet 
has returned with the news. The rebels have the advantage. 
Pope is driven back to Centreville. He is reinforced, and 
will make a stand there. Fisher on his return from Fortress 
Monroe will be likely to bring the children back. Fifty sur 
geons have gone to Washington from Boston. During Sun 
day the churches were dismissed, and the ladies in great 
numbers spent the day in scraping lint, rolling bandages, and 
packing luxuries to be forwarded to the sick and wounded. 
Tomorrow may bring us better accounts. I expected a letter 
from you today. You have not written the two last mails. 
Am I to conclude you have adopted what you proposed to 
me, to send only a bulletin of health? In your case, the news- 



248 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

papers would make the announcement. In those sent to Mr. 
Webster there is no mention of your health, so I trust you are 
well, and every day the danger is growing less. When you 
receive this letter I wish you to answer it, and tell me truly 
whether I am to go or not; write just as you desire it. With 
earnest love and tenderest regard, 

Your affectionate WIFE 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

September 1st, 1862 

MY DEAREST SARAH: The "Secesh" newspapers say that I 
am to be relieved from my command. Be it so. I shall be 
very glad to get home to you and the children. No better 
thing can happen to me personally, but God help Genl. Dix 
if he is to manage this people for the next six months and 
especially without previous experience. 

Get Home! is it possible there is any such good hope for me. 
I trust so. I do not feel aggrieved at this order it is all for 
the best for me personally, and I am in condition to be relieved, 
having borne all the burden and heat of summer. It is right, 
of course, that another should come here when it is healthy. 
Now, then, to count the days until I see you and home. I 
send you by bearer a little package which will speak of repose. 
When I come I shall bring you the nicest washer, mender, 
ironer, and chamber girl you ever saw, that takes the best 
possible care of my clothes, has no possible fault but a 
devil of a temper, and is much attached to your humble ser 
vant. She is not quite as black as the ace of spades, but about 
the color of "maple molasses." I say attached, for she quarrels 
with all the servants for stealing my cigars, and insists upon 
my wearing a fresh pair of white pantaloons every day. If 
that isn t proof of attachment, as she has to wash them, I 
should like to know what is. She has no master; he has run 
away, so I shall be interfering with nobody s rights. I have 
had no letter yet since the tenth of August we are expecting 
a mail every day. 

Now, dearest, get fat, saucy, and lively, and we will throw 
away all care and have such a good time. I mean to do noth 
ing but stay at home all through the Indian summer, and 
ride out on horseback with you. Don t you want to ride? 
Kiss Paul and Bennie for me tell them I am coming home 
and that we will play "tag." Say to them that I am not so 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 249 

fat as I was last fall, so I can run better and have better sport. 
Goodbye, dearest, for a while. ^ HusBAND 



From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. Id, 1862 

Senor JUAN CALLEJON, Spanish Consul 

SIR: I enclose to you for information a copy of a report of 
the Quarantine Physician. I have directed the two Spanish 
vessels to be allowed to come up at once in accordance with the 
recommendation of the Health Officer. 

The "Cardenas" will be up as soon as her Cargo is loaded. 

You will see the wretched state of health of the Italian Bark, 
showing the necessity of the strictest Quarantine. With senti 
ments of regard and esteem, I am 

Your Obdt. Servant, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From Joseph Elliott 

NEW ORLEANS, September 2, 1862 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: From some Military authority I was told that 
you was going to leave New Orleans, for some other quarter; 
I am really sorry to learn that news. If you would confer 
a favor to me, I will ask you to let me send you my fine car 
riage and driver every day until you leave us; I shall be 
proud if you satisfy my wishes, for all your kindness to me in 
several occasions. Please send word to me by Gilbert. I 

Very respectfully Yours, JOSEPH ELLIOTT 

Endorsed: Thank Mr. Elliott for his consideration. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 2d, 1862 

The Quartermaster General 

SIR: I am desired to give Messrs. Stan ton & Palmer Cer 
tificates of the use of their boats, the "St. Charles" & the 
"Anglo American." The one was taken possession of on the 
first of May by the Army, and the second on the 12th of May, 
and been used till the 28th of July. 

I give this Certificate because there is nowhere any Quarter 
master whose knowledge covers the whole time as mine does. 



250 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

There are large repairs done on the "Anglo American" 
before she was fit for use. The "St. Charles" was at least 
one-quarter owned by admitted rebels. 

Having agreed that Messrs. Stan ton & Palmer should have 
their boats, having been recovered from the rebels one of 
them captured in rebel military employ, I think the Govt. 
has done its full duty to these Gentlemen, specially as the 
Agent of their firm was kept in existence here all through rebel 
rule here, and the firm actually subscribed $500 to the Two 
Million defence Loan of the City of New Orleans. In other 
words, I believe the Government has done its duty to them 
quite as well as they have to the Government, and if the matter 
was within my discretion I should not allow the Claim for 
use of the Boats. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your Obdt. Servt., 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From R. S. Fay, Jr. 

BOSTON, MASS., September Ind, 1862 

Major General BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: Your favor of the 20th instant has come to 
hand. I note your draft on me for $25,000 in gold, and as it is 
rising I have telegraphed to New York for the purchase of it, 
by the advice of my father. Shall write you fully when the 
purchase is complete and the draft paid. Yesterday, gold 
was quoted in New York at say 117 to 117J. 

Very truly yours, R. S. FAY, JR. 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, September Id, 1862 

To Major General BUTLER, Commanding, &c., 

NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

GENERAL: I enclose herewith for your information copies 
of several communications addressed by the Department of 
State to the diplomatic representatives of Great Britain, 
France, and the Netherlands in this city, growing out of the 
conflict between the military authorities and the consuls of 
those Countries at New Orleans. Yours Truly 

EDWIN M. STANTON, Sec. of War 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 251 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Department of Stale, WASHINGTON, 20th Aug., 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

The Honorable WILLIAM STUART 

SIR: In the matter of the seizure in New Orleans of certain 
sugars, made by the order of Major General Butler, and 
claimed by certain Greek, English, and other foreign mer 
chants, I have the honor to state that the same, under the 
authority of the President, was investigated by the Honorable 
Reverdy Johnson, during his recent mission to New Orleans, 
and that he has reported to this Department that the sugars 
should be returned. This report having been approved by 
the President, directions will be given to the Major General, 
or the commanding officer of the United States at New Orleans, 
to release the sugars to the claimants. A copy of so much of 
Mr. Johnson s report as relates to the transaction is herewith 
enclosed for your information. 

I have the honor to be, with high consideration, sir, 

Your obedient servant, 

WILLIAM H. SEWARD 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, 20th August, 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

The Viscount TREILHARD 

SIR: You have already been informed that the complaint 
made by your Legation to this Department, concerning a 
request or requirement made by Major General Butler, com 
manding at New Orleans, upon Count Mejan, the French 
Consul there, that he would retain ($716,196) seven hundred 
and sixteen thousand, one hundred and ninety-six dollars 
which he said was deposited with him by Messrs. Dupasseur 
& Co., was by me referred to the examination of the Honorable 
Reverdy Johnson, who had been appointed by the President 
as a Commissioner for this Department. 

I have now the honor to inform you that Mr. Johnson has 
performed the duty confided to him, and has submitted his 
report thereupon. I think it proper to furnish you with so 
much of Mr. Johnson s general report as relates to that trans 
action, and I have further to state that it has been approved 
by the President. 

In accordance with the conclusions of the report, I have the 
honor to advise you that instructions will at once be given to 
Major General Butler, or the actual military authority at 



252 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

New Orleans, to relinquish all claim on behalf of the United 
States upon the fund in question, so that Count Mejan will 
be at liberty to pay it to whomsoever may be entitled to 
receive the same. 

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to you, Sir, the 
assurances of my high consideration. 

WILLIAM H. SEWAKD 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, 20th August, 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

Mr. ROEST VAN LlMBURG, &C. 9 &C. 9 &C. 

SIR: The Honorable Reverdy Johnson, who, as you have 
heretofore been informed, was appointed by this Depart 
ment as Commissioner to proceed to New Orleans and investi 
gate, among other affairs, transactions which occurred there 
affecting the Consul of the Netherlands and certain subjects of 
the King of the Netherlands, under the direction of Major 
General Butler, has performed that duty, has submitted his 
reports concerning the same, and they have been approved by 
the President. 

I have thought it not improper to furnish you, for the infor 
mation of your Government, a complete copy of so much of 
those reports as relates to the transaction herein above 
mentioned. 

As a result of the approval of Mr. Johnson s proceeding 
in the premises, I have now the honor to inform you that the 
eight hundred thousand dollars in coin which was taken by 
Colonel Shepley, under direction of Major General Butler, 
from the possession of Amedie Conturie, the Consul of the 
Netherlands at New Orleans, and which was claimed to have 
been deposited with him to the use of Messrs. Hope and Com 
pany of Amsterdam, and which is more particularly described 
in the correspondence which has heretofore taken place between 
yourself and this Department, will be restored by the Major 
General, or other United States officer commanding at New 
Orleans, to either Mr. Conturie, the Consul of the Netherlands, 
or to Mr. Forstall, as the agent of Messrs. Hope and Company, 
or to the Citizen s Bank of Louisiana, whichsoever of them you 
may designate. I refer the designation to yourself, because 
your Government has intervened in regard to the transaction, 
whereby its consent to the designation has become necessary, 
and it will of course be conclusive. 

Secondly, I proceed to speak of the articles of property 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 253 

other than coin, described specifically by part Number Two, 
in a statement of the said Consul, Mr. Conturie, dated May 
13th, 1862, and which was submitted to this Department by 
you, as follows: 

"One tin box, to which we give the name of a Bank box in 
this city locked, containing 1st. Ten bonds of the consolidated 
debt of the city of New Orleans for (1000) One thousand dollars 
each, making the nominal value of Ten thousand dollars. 
2nd. Eight bonds of the city of Mobile of the value of (1000) 
One thousand dollars each, the nominal value of which is 
(8000) Eight thousand dollars, claimed by Mr. Conturie to 
have been deposited with him on the 12th day of April last 
by Edmund J. Forstall, Esq., in the capacity of Agent, and 
as the property of Messrs. Hope and Company. 3rd. Divers 
papers, being titles and deeds, the Consular Commission of 
Mr. Conturie and his Executor; 

"No. 3. Six other tin boxes, marked with the name of 
Amedie Conturie, containing private deeds, silverware, &c., 
which boxes are claimed to be the property of divers persons 
for whom he was acting as agent. 

"No. 4- Two or more tin boxes, the property of the Hope 
Insurance Company of the City of New Orleans, which occu 
pied a portion of the premises in which the Consulate is 
located." 

The extracts from Mr. Johnson s report will show you that 
under his direction all this property would have been delivered 
to Mr. Conturie if he had not declined to accept it, for reasons 
specified by him in a letter to Mr. Johnson. Upon his thus 
declining, the eighteen bonds were delivered by Major General 
Butler, under Mr. Johnson s direction, to Mr. Forstall as, 
agent for Messrs. Hope and Company; a copy of his receipt 
for the same is herewith transmitted to you, and the original 
will be handed to you or given to whomsoever you may indi 
cate. The other articles named in said statement No. Two, 
will be delivered by Major General Butler, or other officer 
commanding at New Orleans, to Mr. Conturie, unless you 
shall designate some other person to receive them. 

In your note of the 28th of July last, you informed me that 
your government shared the satisfaction which you had 
experienced when, on a previous occasion, I announced to 
you that the President and Government of the United States 
viewed the conduct of the military authorities of New Orleans, 
in regard to the transactions in which Mr. Conturie, the Con- 



254 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

sul of the Netherlands, was concerned, as a violation of the 
Law of Nations, and that they disapproved of it and disap 
proved the sanction which had been given to it by Major 
Genl. Butler. You added, however, that your Government 
flattered itself that the United States would go farther, and 
that in the view of the government of the Netherlands the 
gravity and publicity of the outrage (as you are pleased to 
call these transactions) demand that the Government of the 
United States give public evidence of its regret, for example 
by manifesting by some public act its dissatisfaction with 
Major General Butler. 

You further add that the Government of the Netherlands, 
considering, until proof is received to the contrary, that Mr. 
Conturie, its Consul, has acted in good faith, expects that the 
Government of the United States will not refuse to do like 
wise, and that it will please, consequently, to invite the Consul, 
who on the avowal of the American Government itself has been 
very ill-used, to resume his Consular functions. 

I cannot avoid thinking that these requests are made by 
your Government under a mistaken idea that the United 
States for some reason desire in some way to cover or conceal 
from the World the proceedings which they have taken in 
regard to these questions. If this be true, your Government 
has fallen into a serious error. The whole of the proceedings 
have been direct, frank, and unreserved. The United States, 
as you are aware, did not only express their regret for the 
transaction and their dissatisfaction with General Butler in 
the premises in the language you have quoted, but they also 
sent an Agent to ascertain the extent of the injuries which 
were complained of, to the end that they might promptly be 
redressed and that restitution might be made. 

That redress has now been made, and that restitution ordered 
immediately upon the facts on which it depended having been 
established. Moreover, you were advised in my former com 
munication that, simultaneously with the appointment of 
Mr. Johnson as Commissioner, Major General Butler was 
relieved of his functions as Military Governor of New Orleans, 
and Brigadier General Shepley was appointed military Gov 
ernor of that city. The Military authorities were at the same 
time directed to invite Mr. Conturie to resume his Consular 
functions. These proceedings fully appear in the official cor 
respondence which has taken place between yourself and this 
department. This correspondence is not a private but a public 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 255 

one, which your government is at entire liberty to promul 
gate without reserve whenever it shall please to do so; and, 
whether your government shall think proper to so promulgate 
it or not, it will, according to our national habit, be communi 
cated without any reservation to Congress on their assembling 
here on the first Monday of December next. Nor is it at all a 
matter of reserve on the part of this Government that the dis 
satisfaction with Major General Butler s precipitancy and 
harshness in the transactions concerned were among the causes 
for transferring the administration of public affairs at New 
Orleans to General Shepley. It is very true, Sir, as you remark, 
that Mr. Conturie has been very ill-used, and upon that ground 
General Shepley will be directed to invite him to resume his 
consular functions at New Orleans, if indeed he has not done so 
already under previous instructions. But I must nevertheless 
accompany this invitation with the declaration that, in the 
judgment of this Government, Mr. Conturie has acted through 
out the transactions which have been reviewed, and even 
throughout the investigation of them which has taken place, 
in a manner that was very indiscreet, and calculated, though 
I presume not intended, to embarrass the relations between 
your country and our own, and that unless his conduct hence 
forth shall exhibit more of consideration for the authority of 
the United States, it must not be expected that the President 
will be content with his remaining in the Consulate at New 
Orleans. 

I trust, Sir, that your government will be satisfied that the 
United States have resolved the questions which have been 
discussed in a spirit not only of good faith, but also of friend 
ship and good will towards their ancient and esteemed friend, 
the Netherlands. 

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to you, Sir, the 
assurance of my very high consideration. 

WILLIAM H. SEWARD 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, 25th Aug., 1862 
[Not in chronological orderj 

The Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to acquaint you that this Depart 
ment has been informed by the Minister of the Netherlands, 
accredited to this Government, that since the 10th day of 
May last Mr. Amedie Conturie has not exercised the func 
tions of Consul of the Netherlands at New Orleans, and that 



256 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the Count de Mejan, the Consul of France at the same port, 
is charged ad interim with these functions. The Count de 
Mejan has consequently been recognised as the temporary 
Consul of the Netherlands for that port. I am sir 

Your obedient Servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD 



From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

Wednesday evening, LOWELL, Sept. 3d, 62 

DEAREST: Major and Mrs. Bell came today. He brought 
me your note and the pistol case. They come up on Friday 
next to spend the day. I was very glad to get your note, and 
so thankful your annoyance, perhaps I should say your anger, 
is passed in part. But you are grave, and do not wish me to 
join you. From anything that I know, I see no likelihood or 
very little of your returning home this winter. If you are to 
remain, I should be very sorry to pass the winter here. After 
the month of October is past, I should have more fear of en 
countering storms on the coast. I had decided to start the 
fairest time in the month. I do not think you will be recalled; 
if someone else is sent to New Orleans, you may still be kept 
somewhere about the Gulf. If you are to change from point 
to point, fighting your way, remember I do not trouble you in 
times of danger; indeed, I hope not to do so at any time, but 
rather to encourage and sustain so far as my slight ability 
will permit. Think then, again, if the chances are that you 
remain, as I think they must be, if you still consider it better 
to stay there for the next six months without me. If you have 
a reluctance lest I should embarrass your movements, or any 
reason why you do not wish me to go, I must cease to urge it. 
That I would rather go is very clear. In truth, I know not 
very well how I can stay. Major Strong is on the way to join 
you, give him my regards and the other gentlemen whom I 
knew best. Say to Mr. Chubbuck that he has a letter from 
me, three weeks on the road, and I hear it is now no further 
advanced than Fortress Monroe. Fisher has not yet returned 
from Washington. The news is of the most doleful kind. The 
rebels are within twelve miles of Washington, and Jackson is 
reported to be advancing on Baltimore by Leesburg with 
forty thousand men. McClellan commands the defences about 
Washington. The hospitals, hotels, the college at Georgetown, 
and even the White House, if I am not mistaken, all are filled 
with the wounded and dying. The newspapers pour forth ex- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 257 

clamations, and urge the new regiments to hurry forward. The 
women are packing delicacies and scraping lint. Cincinnati 
is threatened. The Gov. has proclaimed martial law, stopped 
business, and ordered the citizens to prepare for defence. The 
excitement has never been greater or the danger more alarm 
ing. I think Fisher will not return without the children. The 
coming week will have a fearful story for one side or the 
other; in fact for both. The rebels are attacking at all points, 
and you expect them at New Orleans. But if you have the 
Fleet there I cannot think they will venture it. Yet, they seem 
desperate, so it is well to expect them. Believe me, I am 
proud enough of you already, and do not want a danger to 
enhance that feeling. My "affections do not that way tend," 
nor will I disturb you hereafter with vain imaginings, but 
write to you all I can gather that I think will interest. I am 
glad you think your last letter a little too severe. Nothing can 
exceed the kindliness, the tenderness, I feel toward you, the 
sympathy and pity, obliged to stay in that hot town while the 
summer lasts. I have but one regret, that I did not stay with 
you, yet I believe I should have died if I had tried it. And you 
could not spare me very well, trouble as I am. The children 
are very well, and talk much of what you are doing. I shall 
be all ready when you send for me. 

Most affectionately, Your WIFE 

I wish you would destroy all my letters or send them back, 
lest they should be read, or even published if they fell into the 
wrong hands. The news today is no better. Heaven, keep, 
save and bless you! SARAH 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. Uh t 1862 

To the Treasurer of the City of NEW ORLEANS 

SIR: Enclosed herewith please find Three thousand and 
one hundred and eighty-two 50/100 Dollars, ($3182.50), being 
the amount recovered by my order from Mr. Pelie, late City 
Surveyor, which was taken from the Treasury unjustifiably 
under the following circumstances. 

Messrs. Pelie, father and son, have held the office of City 
Surveyors for forty years or thereabouts. Of course, in the 
execution of that Office, it was their duty without other 
reward than their salaries to have put upon the City books all 

VOL. II I/ 



258 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the real property of the City which had come to their knowl 
edge, and this they did do, but Pelie, the younger, being 
about to resign his Office on the 1st of June last, because he 
would not take the oath of allegiance, claimed of the City 
five per cent Commission for property to which he had ascer 
tained the title of the City and put upon his books. This 
claim covered the time from 1846 to the present. 

The finance committee of the Government, themselves about 
to retire for the same reason, being the same men who had 
wrongfully invested almost one-third of a million of the Charity 
fund of the City entrusted to them, approved that bill by 
means whereof these Three thousand Dollars were taken out 
of the City without the knowledge of the acting Mayor. 

This seemed to be part of the last desperate plunge of the 
hands of unprincipled men in the City Treasury, and this 
amount, as soon as it came to my knowledge, I caused to be 
disgorged and now return it to you. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. 5, 62 

DEAREST: Major Bell came today and took dinner with 
us. Mrs. Bell was sick, she will come up with him next week 
to pass the day. Of course, I had time to ask a great many 
questions, and from what he tells me I see no reason why you 
should not come home. When Gen. Shepley is fairly estab 
lished nothing could give me so much pleasure, and I know 
well enough how you would rejoice to come. But for a man 
holding a position like yours a change requires consideration. 
What can the Government do with you? It would be easier 
for them to send you reinforcements to attack in the Gulf, 
than find a place for you here, unless there is an opening ready 
for you. They cannot allow a man like you to rest quietly at 
home. You have shown such efficiency there would be clamour 
if you were not employed in these disastrous times. You 
might leave for a time, and try your own powers of persuasion 
for reinforcements at Washington, but I cannot see how you 
can be withdrawn from the Gulf until you can be transferred to 
another place. If Gen. Shepley takes the full authority of a 
Military Gov., it is clear there is nothing left for you to do in 
that one town. If he has the ability and energy to hold it 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 259 

with the force you have there, then it is equally clear that you 
want a force to do service elsewhere. But I think you will 
have to come north to get it. And then, if you go back I will 
return with you. Fisher and George have gone to Baltimore 
to put their freight on a sailing vessel, the steamer is to be 
returned to New York and put on the stocks for repairs. I 
advise them to sell the freight and start new. I shall know 
when they return. I have told Fisher to bring back the pic 
tures. If ever I get them they will not be sent again, but I 
will forward copies as soon as I can get them taken, by mail. 
Blanche and Florence have returned. Our army is driven 
clear back to their old entrenchments. Two days ago there 
was a report that Jackson with forty thousand men was in 
Baltimore, etc. Fisher did not dare to leave them. I shall 
send them back as soon as there is a feeling of confidence. 
Mr. Maginnis called, I carried him over to Dracut to see Mrs. 
Parker at Milton s request, and showed him all necessary 
attentions. He told me a Mr. Baldwin, to whom you entrusted 
a letter to me, desired him to say to me that the letter was 
blown overboard with some letters of credit of his own, by care 
lessly pulling them out of his pocket while he was on deck. 
I hope the letter contained nothing of importance. I think it 
safer always to send by mail unless an intimate friend is 
coming to the same town you wish to send it. Now I must 
tell you something funny. You sent me the key to the pistol 
case, and asked me to be careful of it as you valued it highly 
as a present. I took one glance and felt no further curiosity 
until today, nearly a week from the time it came. I must say 
on examination they are the finest possible. I do not wonder 
you desired me to take care of them. They are the prettiest 
gems of pistols, if ever I fight a duel it shall be with these, 
and you shall figure as second. What do you think, dearest, 
the summer is over with us, almost with you, how I have 
wished it away; one month more and the danger of climate is 
over. I am less oppressed with anxiety and restlessness, and 
am really getting flesh, and spirits to move with life and pleas 
ure. Would you like to see me gay, saucy, and a little boister 
ous when you return? If you are thin, the voyage home will 
bring you up, and after a week at home the whole expedition 
with all its attendant dangers will seem like a romance read 
of another s life. You will be welcomed by all, but by none so 
dearly as I shall welcome you. 

Ever most affectionately, SARAH 



260 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Gen. George F. Shepley 

State of Louisiana, Executive Department, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 5th, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Department of the 
Gulf 

GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit herewith copy of 
letter from the Hon. W. H. Seward, Secretary of State, in 
relation to the case of Mr. McLaurin, a British subject, whose 
release is requested as a favor by Earl Russell, as you will see 
by the papers which accompanied the letter of the Secretary 
of State, and which are herewith submitted for your 
examination. 

If McLaurin is not already released, I have the honor to 
request that you will discharge him, if, in your opinion, con 
sistent with the public interest. With great respect, I have the 

honor to be, v , -,- . 

Your obedient servant, 

G. F. SHEPLEY, Military Governor of Louisiana 

(After perusal, please return the documents other than the 
letter of the Secy, of State.) 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, 18th August 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

To General GEORGE F. SHEPLEY, Military Governor of 

NEW ORLEANS 

SIR : I enclose a copy of an instruction from Earl Russell to 
the British Charge d Affairs here, and of the papers by which 
it was accompanied, asking for the release of a Mr. McLaurin, 
a countryman of his, who, it appears, has been imprisoned on 
a charge of being concerned in the importation of rifles at 
New Orleans for the use of the insurgents. As the release is 
asked for as a favor, on account of the age of the prisoner, and 
of his having a dependent family, it would be advisable to 
grant it under the circumstances, unless there should be objec 
tions of which we are not aware. The case is accordingly com 
mended to your favorable consideration by 

Your obedient Servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 261 

Foreign Office, August 2nd, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

The Honorable WILLIAM STUART, &c., &c. 9 &c. 

SIR: I enclose a letter from Mr. Scholefield, the Member of 
Parliament for Birmingham, forwarding a Declaration sworn 
to by Mr. Goodman, the Chairman of the Birmingham Small 
Arms Trade, relating to Mr. McLaurin, a native of Scotland, 
established in business at New Orleans, who is reported to 
have been placed under arrest on suspicion of being implicated 
in the purchase and importation of Rifles for the Confederate 
Army. 

I have to instruct you to take an early opportunity of plac 
ing these papers unofficially in Mr. Seward s hands, and sug 
gesting to him that as I am informed Mr. McLaurin is advanced 
in years, and has a family entirely depending upon him, and 
entire credence may be given to any statement supported by 
Mr. Scholefield, it would be an act of kindness on Mr. Seward s 
part if he were to use his good offices in procuring Mr. 
McLaurin s immediate release. I am with great truth, Sir, 
Your most obedient humble Servant, RUSSELL 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 6th, 1862 

Hon. Geo. F. SHEPLEY, Military Governor of Louisiana 

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge yours of the 5th, 
with enclosure of Hon. W. H. Seward and Earl Russell in 
regard to Archibald McLaurin. 

Mr. McLaurin was arrested upon information that arms 
were consigned to him, and that he was engaged in selling them 
to the Confederates, being a breach of our laws and the 
Proclamation of Her Majesty the Queen. 

After his arrest, Mr. McLaurin made a full apparently frank 
statement under oath of the facts in relation to the arms and 
his connection therewith, which statement exculpates him 
and inculpates the President of the Birmingham Arms Co. 
This affair I have already had the honor to forward to the 
State Department. Mr. McLaurin was therefore discharged 
upon his parole to appear as a witness when wanted. I 
have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully your obedient servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Com. 



262 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
From Richard S. Fay, Jr., to General Butler 

NIAGARA FALLS, Sept. 6, 1862 

MY DEAR GENERAL: My father has forwarded to me yours 
of 17th with his answer, which I confirm as precisely correct. 
Your misapprehension arises from my having opened two 
accounts with you on my books, one for the money and divi 
dends you left with me, and the other for our business transac 
tions since your departure. So far from crediting the Govt. 
the Naval Paymasters draft $10,000.00, I have credited the 
Govt. nothing. Everything shipped by you, or its proceeds, 
stands to your individual credit, and is subject to your draft 
or order, with the exception of the profits upon your first four 
shipments. These amounts I cannot pay to any one until it 
is decided between you and the Dept. to whom it belongs. I 
am joint agent of yourself and the Govt., and I mean to do 
my duty equally to both. It is only since Col. Butler has sent 
me corrected invoices of these shipments that I have known 
what these profits were. From your present letter I presume 
that 12% exchange for prem. on gold is to be added to the cost 
of the goods, and I shall so add it. Please remark that this 
is the first time that I have had the materials for making up 
this account correctly furnished to me. 

On my return to Boston, I shall have the pleasure of send 
ing you account sales of these cargoes, having already sent 
Col. Butler sales of all subsequent ones. I shall also enclose 
you a copy of your letter accompanying the first invoices, 
containing distinct instructions to offer this mdse. to the Govt., 
and enclosing a letter to the Sec y. of War offering them your 
self. In my opinion the letter is capable of but one construc 
tion, that upon which I acted. You say in the letter I have 
just received, "I wish to know that I am not wronged in the 
account." If you alluded to my account, or to my acts for 
your account, I shall feel obliged if you will name some one 
versed in business to whom I may turn over your affairs, 
after satisfying him that my stewardship has been honest if 
not able. I do not think, however, you have any such mean 
ing, but are annoyed through the misapprehension I have 
already alluded to. I am very sorry to learn that you are in 
trouble at New Orleans through the neglect of the Dept. No 
one has deserved its cordial support so well, and if through 
their fault you lose the splendid position you have gained, they 
will deserve and obtain the unbounded execration of every 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 263 

decent man at the North. The administration has forfeited 
all confidence, it is unsuccessful in everything, in choice of 
men and planning of measures, it has proved utterly weak, 
vacillating, and cowardly. I believe as fully as I believe any 
thing that there are impending such disasters as will compel a 
change not only of our rulers but of our form of Government, 
and that we shall be purified by fire to a better order of things, 

If matters in New Orleans take the course you apprehend. 
I suppose any shipments there will be nearly a total loss. It 
will take pretty nearly all I am worth, but I should care little 
for that compared to the injury to the cause that the loss of 
the city would prove. 

The story of the recent fighting before Richmond is as usual, 
defeat and disaster to our forces. If the enemy does not take 
Baltimore, it will be because he does not want it. I am here 
for my health, which is very much impaired by my hard sum 
mer s work. I return to Boston in about a week 

Very truly yours, RICH. S. FAY, JR. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. Qth, 1862 

Rev. J. T. CHAMPLIN, President of Waterville College 

MY DEAR SIR: Your note informing me of the very kind 
and complimentary action of the board of Trustees of Water 
ville College has reached me here. 

Deeply affected by the remembrance of my Alma Mater, 
cheering me in the path of duty, for the performance of which 
her solid teachings were an appropriate fitting, I shall cherish 
her smiles as the highest reward I can receive for any effort. 

Please carry to the Trustees individually my regards and 
thanks for the degree conferred upon me. I am 

Most truly your friend, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From Sidney S. Norton 

Custom House, NEW YORK, 4th Division, Collector s Office, Sept. 6, 1862 

Hon. WILLIAM BARNEY, Collector of Customs, N.Y. 

SIR: Since the first day of June last, the date of the Presi 
dent s Proclamation declaring the ports of New Orleans, 
Port Royal, and Beauport open to the Commerce of the World, 
one hundred and sixty-two vessels, many of them large Steam 
ers, have been cleared at this port with Cargoes for the port 



264 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

of New Orleans alone. On opening these ports, it was deemed 
prudent by the Treasury Department to declare certain goods 
contraband of War, a list of which has been furnished this 
office, and by which we have been governed. 

This list, it will be perceived, left a wide margin for ship 
ments, and our merchants have availed themselves very 
largely of the privilege of shipping such goods as are not in 
cluded in this Schedule, on which, in some instances, fortunes 
have been made by a single venture. 

Steamers have been chartered, at the round sum of one 
thousand dollars per day, for a voyage out and back, usually 
occupying at least three weeks, and the charterers have in 
some instances paid the entire amount of the charter by the 
sale of the single article of flour on arrival out. Immense 
quantities of almost every variety of goods, among which may 
be mentioned the item of ninety thousand barrels of flour, 
have been sent from this port: more than sufficient, it would 
seem, to supply the wants of the city, and it is believed that 
a large portion of the goods thus hurried into New Orleans 
will find its way into the hands of those who favor the interest 
of the rebels. 

The high prices ruling in rebeldom on certain articles offer 
great inducements to men of "easy loyalty" to supply the 
wants and necessities of the rebels, and when trade is so brisk 
and so varied as it necessarily must be, at the present time, it 
cannot reasonably be expected that the rules be confined to 
loyal persons. 

Take, for example, the article of Sulphate of Quinine, which 
is not included in the list of articles declared contraband by 
the Secretary of the Treasury, and we can see at once the 
extraordinary inducements offered to smuggle it into the rebel 
army. It is estimated that at least twenty-five thousand 
ounces of this, to them indispensable medicine, have been 
shipped at this port alone for New Orleans since the first day 
of June; an amount which no one for a moment believes is 
required or needed for the use of our army, or the loyal people 
at that port. While the prices here have varied from two to 
two and a half dollars per ounce, the rebels have paid as high 
as sixty dollars per ounce for it. Other articles of a similar 
character, such as morphine, chloroform, surgical instruments, 
and many other articles sadly needed in the rebel army, it is 
believed, have found their way into rebel hands by reason of 
the enormous prices ruling there, and if so, the opening of 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 265 

these ports may be considered of doubtful benefit and may 
perhaps be the means of prolonging the War. 

Respectfully submitted, SIDNEY S. NORTON 

From Major General R. Taylor 

Head Quarters Dist. Westn. La., THIBODEAUXVILLE, Sept. 8, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding U. S. Forces at 
NEW ORLEANS 

GENERAL: I send the Hon. R. C. Wickliffe, a distinguished 
citizen and a former Governor of the state of Louisiana, as 
the bearer of this communication to you. 

My object in making it is, in the first place, to inform you 
that by appointment of my Government I am in command of 
all that portion of Louisiana which lies west of the Mississippi 
river, and farther to state that the troops with which I have 
hitherto conducted and shall continue to conduct military 
operations in this District, are men only as have been regularly 
enrolled in the service of the Confederate States, together 
with the State forces which have been turned over to me by 
the Governor of Louisiana under the laws of the State and of 
the Confederate States. 

My main object, however, is to address you as the Senior 
officer of the United States Government in charge of its forces 
waging war in this portion of the Confederate States, with 
respect to some recent occurrence in this state by troops under 
your command. 

Marauding expeditions, started either from the city of New 
Orleans or from some point on the Opelomay Rail Road, have 
fallen upon the line of coast on both banks of the Mississippi 
River for a space of at least thirty miles above the city. Their 
track has been marked with devastation and ruin. The dwell 
ings of its peaceable and unoffending inhabitants have been 
entered and pillaged by a ruthless soldiery. Every movable ob 
ject upon their plantation and in their homes has been either car 
ried off or destroyed nor has there been any distinction of 
person or of sex. The rich and the poor made to suffer alike, 
women and children have been exposed to indecent search, and 
articles of apparel or of ornament taken from their person. 

I do not derive the knowledge of this condition of things 
from the sufferers alone letters written and diaries kept by 
officers and men, some of the very parties engaged in these 
lawless and inhuman acts, whom the fortune of war has placed 



266 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

in my hands, discloses a scene the horrors of which no language 
can exaggerate. 

I hesitate to believe that these excesses can have been sanc 
tioned by the authorities of the United States, who are respon 
sible for the proper conduct of their troops in the localities 
they occupy; or that the well-known perpetrators of them will 
be permitted to go unpunished. I need not say that this is 
not civilized warfare, and that the sanction or tolerance of it 
by your Government will lead to the most summary reprisals 
by my own. 

I have in my possession one hundred and thirty-six of your 
officers and men, the survivors of one of these predatory 
bands. Many of them when taken were found with objects of 
more or less value which they had plundered from our help 
less citizens. I have determined to suspend the operation of 
the General cartel with respect to these men, until I can com 
municate with and receive instructions from my Government. 
But in order to protect for the future the non-combatants 
residing within my district from the repetition of their acts of 
lawless violence, I shall be compelled to work the most strin 
gent measures I have it in my power to adopt. 

I have accordingly to notify you that upon a repetition of 
them, I shall select by lot from among the prisoners in my 
hands ten officers and men for immediate execution; leaving 
the responsibility for inaugurating this sytem of warfare to 
act upon your Government, to which for its toleration of this 
conduct of its troops it will properly belong. I am, General, 

Your obt. servt., R. TAYLOR, 
Maj. Gen. Comdg. Dist. Western, La. 



By General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. IQth, 1862 

[Not in chronological order^ 

General RICHARD TAYLOR, Commanding 

GENERAL: I received your letter by the Hon. R. C. Wick- 
liffe, in whom I at once recognized a gentleman of the highest 
respectability, but I take leave to suggest that a flag of truce, 
bearing communications from one military officer to another, 
is usually in charge of an officer of the Command of the party 
sending it. 

I am pleased to be informed as to the Command of the 
Confederate forces on the Western side of the Mississippi. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 267 

No information has reached these Headquarters, save by 
your note, of the occurrences of which you write. The troops 
at the Bayou des Allemands were an advance post guarding 
a Railroad bridge, and not an expedition at all, nor were they 
allowed to go on any expedition up the coast or elsewhere, so 
that upon this topic I am constrained to believe you were 
misinformed. 

I need not say that acts such as you describe are neither 
ordered nor tolerated by the Government or by myself. I 
enclose a copy of my General Orders and also the Orders of 
the War Department upon this subject. 

That unlicensed acts are committed by troops on march 
ing service is the well-known fact of all civilized warfare. 

If any deeds such as you describe have been committed, 
and you will send me the written evidence which you may have, 
together with the parties, my acts heretofore should convince 
you that they will be properly punished. Therefore, if you 
have the guilty parties you will do well to allow them to be 
exchanged, as it will be impossible for me to ascertain their 
guilt if you retain them. 

I could have wished that this answer to your communica 
tion could have ended here, and that you could have contented 
yourself not to threaten. 

It is true you have 136 men duly enlisted in the 8th Ver 
mont Regiment, including their officers. But how captured? 
In part by ambush of a supply train. This savors rather of 
Indian than of civilized warfare. "But the worst remains 
behind." I am informed that the Guerilla force which made 
the capture of the Post at Bayou des Allemands raised a flag 
of truce, that it was answered by another flag from my men, 
the bearers of which were seized and detained. That a second 
flag was sent out to request the return of the first, that this 
also was seized, and the bearers of both were placed at the 
head of the advancing column so that my men could fire only 
upon their friends. Is this civilized or savage warfare? It 
reads precisely like the history of similar strategy by Tous- 
saint FOuverture toward the French forces in San Domingo, 
and would seem therefore to be not even original. 

I say most unhesitatingly, General, that I do not suspect 
even that this act was in any way known to or sanctioned by 
yourself, educated in the United States and the son of one 
who led the United States Army to victory, and died the 
recipient of his whole country s highest honors. 



268 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

The mischief arises from the employment of a Guerilla 
force of undisciplined and lawless men, brought from a neigh 
boring state into a community where they have neither inter 
est nor restraint. Now, I am aware that your authorities 
have called this force "Partisan Rangers," but that neither 
alters their conditions, their habits, their disposition, or acts. 
Lawless violence has been and will ever be the distinguishing 
character of such force. Organized originally in Spain and 
Mexico, from a part which these men came, it is known what 
they will do, nay what they must do. Now, although I have 
some thirty of the very men who so abused a flag of truce, I 
shall make no threats of reprisal. 

I take leave to call your attention to the fact that I sub 
mitted through Mr. Deslonde a proposition to you that some 
arrangement may be made by which non-combatants might 
have some protection from the severities and hardships of 
war. You are reported to me by Thos. O. Moore, who assumed 
to be the Commander of the forces at Opelousas, and took 
upon himself to answer my communication to that officer, 
through some supposed Adjutant General, to have declined 
any arrangement for the protection of non-combatants, 
because they would need none if the war was conducted on 
our side as the Confederate Government has always conducted 
it, according to the rules of civilized warfare. 

I am at a loss to distinguish between the conduct of the 
State and the Confederate Governments. 

If the proclamation of the late Governor Moore, which 
promises short shrift to those who may even buy provisions 
to keep them from starving in New Orleans, which threatens 
each person leaving my lines with my pass with imprison 
ment; if, in its intent, its meaning, and scope that Proclama 
tion is according to any rules or usage of either civilized or 
uncivilized warfare, I have failed to have been informed of 
them. 

That burning cotton of peaceable planters, rolling their 
sugar into the river, and destroying their sugar houses, as 
has been done all along the river by "Partisan Rangers," 
and that too to their very friends and sympathizers for the 
crime of only desiring to sell their crop and getting something 
to buy provisions for themselves and their negroes, is not civil 
ized, I certainly need not remind a late soldier of the United 
States Army. 

Firing upon an unarmed boat filled with women and female 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 269 

school children, and almost with those only, is neither civilized 
nor brave. 

As an example of the unacquaintance [with] the rules of 
civilized warfare of a portion of the forces under your com 
mand, please take the firing of thirty men, protected by a 
village, with double-barrel shot-guns, upon a United States 
Steam Sloop of War passing quietly down the river. 

I shall only fatigue you by enumeration. I have within 
my lines and my power five times one hundred and thirty 
officers and men of the Confederate Service as prisoners of 
war, from a Brigadier General to the inconsiderate lad of six 
teen. I shall treat these with every courtesy due their posi 
tion. No hair on the head of one of my captured soldiers 
ought to be touched upon any pretext of reprisal or retalia 
tion. I trust you will reconsider your determination to do so 
in any event. 

That I punish the guilty marauders with promptness, the 
women and children of New Orleans who sleep in calm undis 
turbed quiet under our flag will tell you. That I deal gener 
ously with my enemies, a thousand and nineteen families of 
Confederate soldiers, now being fed from my rations will 
testify. That I will take care of, protect, and avenge the wrongs 
and lives of my fellow-soldiers, confided to my care, you, as 
a soldier, can judge. I have the honor to be, 

Your obdt. Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major Gen. Comd g 

P.S. Since writing this note, I have received a letter from 
Commander Porter. If true it only adds another example of 
the infelicity of employing such Partisan forces. If false, it 
shows the danger of reprisals and retaliation upon any report 

whatever - Respectfully, B. F. B. 

From Commodore W. D. Porter 

On board U. S. Gunboat Essex, off NEW ORLEANS 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL: I understand you have this day captured some 
Guerillas. 

On the 15th August my fourth Master, Mr. Spencer Kellogg, 
with four of my seamen from the "Essex," were made prison 
ers by some Guerillas at Port Hudson, when engaged in cutting 
adrift some flatboats used by the Rebels for conveyance of 



270 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

supplies from West Bank to the East Bank of the Mississippi; 
the next day they were hanged. So I understand from a 
citizen of Bayou Sara, in whom I have much confidence. 

I would ask you under the circumstances that retribution 
be carried out, and would respectfully suggest that for each 
seaman of mine hanged, one Guerilla be shot and for my 

Very respectfully, Your obdt. Servant, 
W. D. PORTER, Commodore U. S. Navy. 

From George S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase 

NEW ORLEANS, September 9th, 1862 x 

DEAR SIR: The newspapers which I send, will give you most 
of the local news. 

One Regiment of the Free Colored Brigade is full, and about 
500 more are already enlisted. Surgeons and officers speak 
highly of the physical qualities of the men. Most of them are 
a very light color, and, I believe, will make good soldiers. I 
admire the characteristic shrewdness with which Gen. Butler 
has managed this affair. By accepting a regiment which had 
already been in Confederate Service, he left no room for com 
plaint (by the Rebels) that the Government were arming the 
negroes. But, in enlisting, nobody inquires whether the recruit 
is (or has been) a slave. As a consequence, the boldest and 
finest fugitives have enlisted, while the whole organization is 
known as the "Free Colored Brigade." Without doubt it 
will be a success. 

It is understood here that Gen. Phelps resignation has 
been accepted. The controversy between Generals Butler and 
Phelps is much regretted by the best Union men. Gen. 
Phelps is beloved by his soldiers, and no man has suspected 
his integrity and disinterestedness. This is not strictly true 
of Gen. Butler, for while all admire his great ability, many of his 
soldiers think him selfish and cold-hearted, and many soldiers 
and citizens Union and Secessionists think he is inter 
ested in the speculations of his brother (Col. Butler) and others. 

Sometimes circumstances look very suspicious, but if I 
happen to hear his explanation of the same circumstances, 
suspicion almost entirely disappears. I have never been able 
to discover any good proof that Gen. Butler has improperly 
done, or permitted, anything for his own pecuniary ad van - 

1 American Historical Association Report 1902, Vol. II, p. 312. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 271 

tage. He is such a smart man, that it would, in any case, be 
difficult to discover what he wished to conceal. 

But it is the general impression here that money will accom 
plish anything with the authorities. It seems probable that 
this impression would not exist without some foundation. It 
is much to be regretted, but Gen. B. s abilities, shrewdness, 
and just severity toward secessionists and proper appre 
ciation of the whole rebellion, cause him to be respected and 
admired even by his enemies. I believe Gen. Butler s opposi 
tion to the enlistment of negroes by Gen. Phelps was not a 
matter of principle. Gen. Phelps had the start of him, while 
Gen. B. wanted the credit of doing the thing himself, and in 
his own way. And he is doing it, shrewdly and completely, 
as he does everything. 

Notwithstanding the impression above mentioned, it would 
be difficult to find a man capable of filling Gen. Butler s 
place, and who would give the same satisfaction to Union 
men. 

The City is very healthy, and the coming of Yellow Fever 
is no longer feared. 

The Iron Clad Gunboat "Essex" is here from up the River. 

(GEORGE S. DENISON) 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 9th, 1862 

MY DEAR WIFE: I enclose your two last letters according 
to request, and farther give you an account of my health in 
full as you request. I cannot write at length as my right hand 
is quite stiff from the effects of a large boil on the back of it. 
I have one or two more on various parts of the arm which 
are quite troublesome. Otherwise my constitutional health 
is good. We are all troubled here with what is known as 
"prickly heat," i.e., eruptions on various parts of the body, 
like the rash. This I have had to some extent on the arms 
and legs. It seems to be nothing more or less than this. The 
skin kept in a high state of perspiration, and thus moist, 
becomes at last inflamed, and thus endeavors to restore itself, 
but the eruptions being over so large a surface cannot allow 
the skin to clear itself of all the secretions, and therefore they 
are discharged through larger eruptions known as boils. I 
learn that all this people are afflicted with boils, and some of 
them to a fearful extent. My surgeon, Dr. McCormick, tells 



272 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

me that when he formerly practised here he knew one lady 
that had three thousand, and another five thousand boils, 
but the last died of them. All this disappears when the 
weather becomes cooler. We have all had it, especially the 
fleshy ones Andrew and French, although I hardly reckon 
myself amongst that number. 

The city still continues healthy. My command is saved 
wonderfully in health. Many of the officers have been fright 
ened home by fear of yellow fever, which, although they have 
managed to get it in the fleet over at Pensacola, and I have 
pt] down at the Quarantine here, yet we have kept out of the 
city. 

You did me great wrong in your letter, and I replied to it 
as I felt pity, anger, sorrow, indignation, all were, as they 
rose, penned down. Why do you take such foolish notions? 
I can take care of my own honor among women or men. 

We are in receipt here of very terrible news from the Poto 
mac, nothing less than the rout of McClellan s entire army. If 
true, I shall have trouble enough here, but fear not. We shall 
hold New Orleans. Indeed I think they had better move the 
Capital here as the safest place. Do not doubt that I would 
be glad to see you and have you here. It is not time now to 
come. No need to expose yourself either to fever on land or 
the hurricane at sea. I will write you when I think you can 
come. Another difficulty is if you come we shall have every 
soldier in the division asking to bring his wife; they are begin 
ning to do it now. The "Relief" (Fisher s Boat) has not yet 
made her appearance. I know not what her cargo is, no invoice 
having been sent forward, but this delay will make it an un 
profitable one. Fisher need not come out here, indeed he 
must not. 

But why do I talk of this. If the news is true, we are all 
required to look a sterner reality in the face than has yet been 
done. This war must then be carried on as one of extermina 
tion until any white man not a United States soldier, or 
openly and fully acting with the Government, is exterminated. 
Indeed, I don t see but we must fight for our own existence. 
It is coming a "Military Dictator." God grant the man 
may be one of power and administrative capacity. Let it 
come the man has not developed himself yet but he 
will in the field too, before long. The day of small expedi 
ents and small men is getting by. Well, an empire is the 
repose as it is the ripeness of nations. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 273 

I only wish they would recall me from this place impor 
tant enough no doubt but only Lieutenancy, something too 

much of this Yours, B. F. BUTLER 

P.S. You will see, dearest, by the signature how much the 
mind wandered away from the thought of writing you. I 
do kiss you and love you, but let me do so without wounding 
me. BENJ. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 9th, 1862 

Rear Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT, Commanding Western Gulf 
Blockading Squadron 

MY DEAR ADMIRAL: A week or two since there were immi 
nent threats of attack upon New Orleans. I believe now that 
has been put off till about the middle of October, when the iron 
clad fleet in the Yazoo will be finished. This my information 
gives as the settled plan. The Government should give us one 
of the new iron-clads to end these hopes of the rebels. 

I have now an expedition up river under convoy of the 
"Mississippi." The "Essex" is here, not at the mouth of 
Red River where she is needed. 

I will be able, I think, to aid you at Mobile; at any rate I 
will see you within the next ten days. It would be impossible 
to spare the "New London" on the Lake. I am causing a 
crew to be enlisted for the "Calhoun." We shall need her 
also to be just as we would be in event of an attack. 

My advices are such that I shall quarantine "Pensacola" 
no longer, although it was fortunate I stopped the "Rhode 
Island." The health of the City is improving. You will 
hear fearful news from Washington, but I hope it is not so 
bad as it looks. 

You will be pleased to hear of the promotion of Lieut. 

Weitzel to Brigadier General. ^ 7 - . , 

I ruly your friend, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. C. 
From General Butler 

Head Quars. DepL of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 9th, 1862 

ORDERED 

THE Provost Marshal General will proceed to Carrollton 
and take possession of any and all captured property, espe 
cially horses and mules, and turn over the same to the Chief 

VOL. II 1 8 



274 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Quarter Master at New Orleans. He will take the horses of 
any Officer or soldier not entitled thereto by regulations as 
captured property. 

Any Officer throwing any obstacle in the way of the prompt 
execution of this order, or not disclosing, when called upon, 
the existence of such property, will be reported for investiga 
tion, and if found guilty will be dismissed from the Service. 
Any enlisted man so acting will be arrested by the Provost 
Guard and brought to New Orleans for punishment. 

The Provost Marshal General will cause this order to be read 
to each corps which may be called into line for that purpose. 

From the Assistant Secretary of War to General Butler 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, September 10th, 1862 

GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs me to transmit 
herewith a copy of a letter dated the 9th instant, received 
from the Department of State, together with a copy of the 
translation of the Spanish Minister s communication, to which 
reference is therein made. 

In view of the complaints alleged by the Minister from 
Spain against the administration of the quarantine laws at 
New Orleans, the Secretary of War requests that you will, as 
early as practicable, submit to this Department full explana 
tion of the questions involved, and at the same time, as sug 
gested by the Secretary of State, consider "the expediency of 
allowing the Spanish tobacco ships mentioned by Mr. Tassara 
their clearances as soon as may be compatible with the public 

Very Respectfully, Your obedt. Servant, 
P. H. WATSON, Assistant Secretary of War 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, September 9, 1862 
[Not in chronological order^ 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to transmit a translation of a com 
munication which has been received at this Department from 
His Excellency, Mr. Tarsara, the Minister from Spain, pre 
ferring complaints alleged by Spanish subjects against Major 
General Butler s administration of the quarantine laws at 
New Orleans, and to call your attention to allegations in 
effect of a capricious discrimination to the prejudice of Spanish 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 275 

vessels trading at New Orleans. This Department does not 
doubt that Major General Butler is acting with perfect justice 
and impartiality; but it is bound to acknowledge that the 
Spanish Government seems to be acting in a very conciliatory 
and liberal spirit towards the United States. I will thank 
you, therefore, to transmit a copy of Mr. Tassara s communi 
cation, together with a copy of this letter, to Major General 
Butler, and to ask him for such detailed explanations of the 
subject as will enable me to give a full and satisfactory answer 
to the Spanish Minister. 

I would submit also, for General Butler s or General Shep- 

ley s consideration, the expediency of allowing the Spanish 

tobacco ships mentioned by Mr. Tarsara their clearances, as 

soon as may be compatible with the public health. I am, sir, 

Your obedient servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD 

From the Acting French Consul 

TRANSLATION. NEW ORLEANS, Sept. IQth, 1862 

Major General BUTLER, Commanding Army of the Gulf 

SIR : I do my duty in addressing you in behalf of Mr. Dubos, 
one of the editors of the Compilateur and a French citizen. 
Mr Dubos has written me a letter in which he excuses himself 
for the wrong he may have done you or your government, 
saying that he had no idea that you would take in such a 
serious manner some articles written in the style of the 
"Vanity s Fair" in New York, and that he never had the 
intention to attack the politics of the U. S. Government. 

I do not mean to defend the right Mr. Dubos may or may 
not have to publish these articles, but I come to solicit your 
generosity in behalf of a Frenchman who is more imprudent 
than culpable, and would be seriously punished if he was to 
lose his liberty on account of his imprudence. 

Most Respectfully, Your Obedt. Servt., 

FAUCONNET, Acting French Consul 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. I4th, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

Hon. WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State 

SIR: I have the honor to enclose to the State Department, 
in obedience to orders, copies of newspapers with translations 
of objectional articles marked, and to certify to the Depart- 



276 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ment that I have caused the paper to be suppressed and the 
writer of the articles to be imprisoned, one Francis Dubos. 

He is a French citizen who has come into this country 
within two years, and feels himself competent to instruct us 
in our political and national relations. I have judged other 
wise, and have put him out of harm s way for the present. If 
any representations are sent to your Department, the facts 
are all before you. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your obdt. Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From Merchants of New Orleans 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 10, 1862 

To Major General BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf 

THE undersigned, merchants residing in New Orleans, being 
informed of the arrest of Mr. Chas. Heidsick by your order, 
respectfully beg leave to bring to your knowledge how sorry 
and grieved they are to see this gentleman in so painful a 
position. 

They take the liberty, General, of informing you that they 
have always known Mr. Heidsick, who for many years is 
doing business in the United States, as an honorable man, 
deserving in every respect the sympathy and esteem of all 
persons acquainted with him. 

Mr. Heidsick is a Frenchman by birth, belonging to one of the 
most respectable families of France, his reputation of integrity 
and honor is well appreciated by our whole community. 

In the opinion of the undersigned, Mr. Heidsick is incapable 
of committing intentionally an indelicate action, and he would 
be the last man to infringe or violate the obligations of neutral 
ity imposed upon strangers towards the Great American 
Republic at this critical moment of its political troubles, when 
said strangers are so liberally tolerated in this country. 

Under these considerations, General, permit us to ask of 
you respectfully to extend your clemency on the fate of Mr. 
Chas. Heidsick. We know, General, that when sincere none 
apply in vain to your clemency. Pardon, General, Mr. Heid 
sick. History will record with your glory the numerous acts of 
your generosity you have so often bestowed on so many per 
sons during your passage in this great but unfortunate city. 

S. PLAYSON, T. BAILEY BLANCHARD, JR., P. A. SIVANLER, 
A. CARNERE, PAUL JUGE, fils, PAUL JUGE & TARRY 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 277 

Answer: Write Mr. Play son that H. will be released on his 
getting a first boat, and not returning until the close of the 
war. B. F. B. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. Wth, 1862 

MY DEAR SARAH : I wrote you a long letter yesterday by the 
"Ocean Queen," but as she goes by Pensacola this may reach 
you first. My health continues good save that I am afflicted 
as was Job with sore boils, which are the plague of the Country, 
while the annoyance of the Country is "red ants." You saw 
none of them to speak of. 

The "Relief" has not yet made her appearance. Nor the 
" Saxon." There need be no different course about the " Saxon " 
than in any other business. She was retained in the Govern 
ment service so long as she was serviceable. Then a suitable 
number of days were allowed her to return home. Those 
were used in indispensable repairs, and she was run up the 
coast until a change of military operations rendered it no longer 
profitable. If there is any reason to believe that an untrue 
account has been rendered, send the facts on which the belief 
is based and I will investigate it. If the Government pro 
posed to give four hundred and fifty dollars a day fee to go 
anywhere, I think the owners were not wise in not accepting 
the proposal. It is more than she is worth any where. 

I am very glad to get your letter by Strong s vessel. He has 
arrived here in good health and spirits. Your letter gave me 
some life about the future. It breathed more of hope and 
cheerfulness. Our future may be cheerful, but Oh, my country, 
what for thee. It seems as if the devil has entered into strategy 
of all of us. 

Washington again besieged. Our work all to do over again. 
Let it be well done this time. I m anxiously waiting the 
news. Why will not the Administration send for the Army 
of the Gulf, and let us whip out those Rebels in Virginia? 

I suppose you will get frightened about sending Blanche. 
I do not know what to advise. Will do so when I can hear the 
news. I do kiss and embrace you dearly. Adieu. 

HUSBAND 



278 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 10, 1862 

Dr. W. N. MERCER, Pres. Bank of Louisiana 

SIR: I have carefully examined the memoranda of resolu 
tions passed by your board of Directors and submitted to 
me, on the subject of drawing against the specie of your Bank 
now not in its vaults. 

The proposed arrangement, if carried out in good faith, 
would re-assure the standing of the Bank, save its stock 
holders from loss, and benefit the currency of New Orleans. 
With these views I consent to it on behalf of the United 
States Government. I have the honor to be 

Your obdt. Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 10, 1862 

Major General HALLECK, Commanding Armies of the U. S. 

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that on Saturday, 
the 7th, a regiment of Partisan Texas Rangers, under the 
command of Major Walles, ambushed a detachment of the 
advanced Pickets of the 8th Vermont Volunteers at the Bayou 
Des Allemands, 32 miles from Algiers, on the railroad when 
they were coming down to Algiers for provisions, and wounded 
a number of them. The Guerillas then proceeded to the 
Bayou, and by means of abuse of a Flag of truce to which 
they induced an answer, and then seized the bearers and put 
them in front of their column of attack, caused a surrender of 
the remainder before the supporting force could reach them. 

These supports were detained by the unfortunate accident of 
running an ox upon the track, which broke up the train and 
wounded several of the troops. Still, I cannot approve of the 
conduct of the pickets in not holding out and making a contest, 
as they would have been immediately supported. Emboldened 
by this success, this Cavalry force made their appearance on 
the West River Bank, some thirty miles above the city. I im 
mediately ordered Col. McMillan to take a portion of the 21st 
Indiana Regiment and 9th Conn, and land below them, and 
asked Commodore Morris to send a gunboat up the Mississippi 
to cover the landing in case the enemy should be supported by 
artillery, which request was promptly complied with. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 279 

The movement was admirably executed, and resulted in 
hemming in between the river and the swamp the entire 
body of Guerillas. 

Upon being called upon to surrender, they fled from their 
horses into the swamp, and were then pursued by our men, 
who succeeded in capturing some forty prisoners, including 
several officers, 250 horses with their equipment, which could 
not be taken into the swamps. 

The enemy lost 8 killed and wounded. This Guerilla force, 
which has been the terror of all that part of the country, has 
been thus thoroughly disposed, dismounted, and disorganized. 

I will endeavor as soon as I get reinforcements to organize 
an expedition which shall relieve the Western part of Louisiana 
from the presence of any force of enemy. 

I am convinced that all attempts upon New Orleans are 
abandoned for the present, and that the enemy await the 
finishing of the iron-clad boats which they are making near 
the mouth of the Yazoo River. These they expect to finish 
by the middle of October. I am 

Very truly Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, D.C., September llth, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding at 

NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

SIR: The Secretary of War directs me to transmit to you 
the enclosed copies of a correspondence which has taken place 
between the Minister of Spain and the State Department, 
touching your action in regard to the house of Messrs Aven- 
dano Brothers, at New Orleans, and to request such explana 
tions as will enable the Secretary of State to answer the 
complaint in question. 

Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

P. H. WATSON Assistant Secretary of War 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

TRANSLATION. Legation of Spain, WASHINGTON, 26 August, 1862 

[Not in chronological order]] 

Hon. WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State of the U. S. 

THE undersigned, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister 
Plenipotentiary of H. Catholic Majesty, has the honor to call 
the attention of the Honorable Secretary of State of the 
United States to the facts which are related in continuation. 



280 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

A Confederate steamer being captured in Berwick Bay, 
coming from the Havana, there were found on board of her 
some letters addressed to the Spanish house of Avendano 
Brothers at New Orleans, one of them containing invoices of 
goods sent in consignment, but not for account of said house, 
by different vessels, and a bill to their order for some hundred 
dollars. 

A few days after this event above cited occurred, Messrs. 
Avendano received a note from General Butler saying that he 
wished to see them. One of the individuals of the house 
went to him, and General Butler showed him the letter of 
which mention has been made, the bill and two others sec 
onds for value of 1900 sterling pounds, on London, requir 
ing payment of the amount. 

The representative of Avendano s house assured him that 
it had nothing to do with those bills, because they did not 
know, even by name, the persons, by whom they were drawn, 
but his protestations served no purpose unless to enrage the 
General, who insisted on his pretentious under penalty of 
imprisonment in Fort Jackson, &c., directing at once that he 
should be kept under arrest, and next ordering an officer to 
take possession of the correspondence which should be found 
in the counting house. 

In this state of things, Messrs. Avendano instructed a lawyer 
to see General Butler, and cause him to understand the injus 
tice he had done against them. The General admitted that 
the bills and even the goods pointed out by the invoices were 
not in fact the property of these gentlemen, but added he 
- the gains they must have made by the exportation of cotton 
and importation of arms must have been so much augmented 
that they may consider themselves very fortunate if they are 
not compelled to pay a larger sum. 

In face of this violence, there was no remedy but to yield, 
and Messrs. Avendano, fearing to become the victims of an 
outrage, signed a bill of exchange to the order of General 
Butler for the value of 1900 pounds or $9000 dollars. Then, 
and then only, was the arrested partner, who had meantime 
been at large on bail, set completely at liberty. It should 
still be added that the head of the house, Don Peregrim Aven 
dano, not yet knowing to what he might not be exposed, judg 
ing from the past oppressions, resolved to go to the Island of 
Cuba, as in fact he has, abandoning his business. 

The undersigned deplores the necessity under which he is 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 281 

placed of complaining so repeatedly of the proceedings of the 
Military Authority at New Orleans in regard to the subjects 
of her Catholic Majesty. The exaction of which Messrs. 
Averidano have been the subjects is a new and odious arbitrari 
ness, and the charge informally specified against them cannot 
be anything else but a pretext to cover it up. 

The Spanish Government has no need to repeat that it 
withdraws its protection from those of its subjects who break 
the laws of neutrality in the contests in this country. But 
besides, vague asseverations are not sufficient to prove an 
offence, especially in particulars such as the violation of a 
blockade, which frequently bears its punishment with it, and 
which, even when established, cannot yet palliate such down 
right injustice as that mentioned. 

The Government of the United States is therefore under 
obligation to make restitution of the sum of $9000, extorted 
by violence from Messrs. Avendano no less than of the cor 
respondence, which the said house was also compelled to 
deliver, being in addition responsible for the damages and 
indemnities which the case requires. 

The undersigned does not question the proper disposition 
of the Government of the United States to give effect to its 
protection of Spanish subjects residing in this country, but 
in the presence of facts of the nature of those which are tak 
ing place at New Orleans, such protection seems to be null or 
insufficient, and such abuses demand urgent remedy. 

The undersigned avails of this occasion to reiterate to the 
Hon. W. H. Seward the assurance of his highest consideration. 

GABRIEL G. TARSARA 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, 9th, 1862 

Senor Don GABRIEL GARCIA TARSARA 

SIR: The note which your Excellency addressed to me on 
the 26th of August, during my absence from this city, has only 
just now been received. It prefers a complaint by your Gov 
ernment made in behalf of the Spanish House of Messrs. 
Avendano Brothers, at New Orleans, for severities and exac 
tions alleged to have been committed there by Major General 
Butler while in the military command of that city. More 
especially it alleges that, without sufficient cause or grounds, 
General Butler exacted of the aforesaid house, under threats of 
violence, a bill of exchange for 1900, equal to nine thousand 
six hundred dollars. 



282 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

This complaint is a very grave one. The President, of 
course, is not prepared to believe that it is justly made. You 
may, however, without hesitation, assure your Government that 
an investigation of it will be made with the least possible delay, 
and that ample redress will be promptly given if Major General 
Butler shall fail to justify his proceedings in the transaction. 

The Government is above all things desirous to direct its 
proceedings in suppressing the present insurrection in such a 
manner as to do no wrong to individuals, and especially to the 
subjects of friendly nations. The present seems to be a proper 
occasion for me to inform you that Brigadier General Shepley, 
who some time ago was appointed Military Governor of Louisi 
ana, has now assumed that office and is charged with the con 
duct of civil affairs in that State. 

It may some time happen that difference of opinion may 
arise between this Government and of Spain upon the merits of 
complaint made by the subjects of Spain against the American 
authorities, or complaints made by citizens of the United 
States against the authorities of Spain. In view of such a 
possibility, I beg leave to suggest the expediency of establish 
ing a joint commission for their settlement, to be composed of 
Commissioners mutually agreed upon by the two Govern 
ments. A similar proposition has been made by the United 
States to Great Britain, and it is understood that there is a 
probability of its acceptance. 

I avail myself of this occasion to offer to you renewed 
assurances of my highest consideration. 

WILLIAM H. SEWARD 



From Mrs. Butler to F. A. Hildreth 

LOWELL, Sept. llth, 1862 

DEAR FISHER: I wish you would write me a line if you are 
to be away some time. I wish to know if you have my box of 
pictures, and also if you have forwarded my letters that were 
aboard your ship, as I wrote you to do in a note sent to the 
St. Nicholas. The box I wish brought home. Major Ladd 
called yesterday, and offered to take the children on to George 
town. If he could have waited a day longer I should have 
sent them with him. 

There is a letter here to you from Mr. Butler. He writes 
of being recalled and Dix sent in his place. He writes confi 
dently as though he felt sure of it from the information he 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 283 

has got, but he has received no order, and I think he is mis 
taken in his conclusion. I do not think he will be recalled 
while there is danger of an attack. When that is over, the 
chances are that he will be. He sends regards to Capt. George, 
and is very desirous to see and have a long talk with him. I 
wish you would write me how long you are likely to be in 
New York. The danger is over, and the children ought to be 
at school. I could join you there and send them forward if 

you think it advisable. ^ /r ,. . , o 

Affectionately yours, SARAH 

From Major Bell to General Butler 

NEW YORK, Sept. llth, 1862 

GENERAL: In the present distracted state of affairs here at 
the North, there seems very little chance for immediate 
assistance for those of you at the South. Indeed, you can get 
no one to listen to you at Washington on account of the terror. 
A very few days will undoubtedly set matters to running in 
the other direction, and so soon as that is done you will have 
no want of troops. In the meantime, you must do as you always 
have heretofore done, take care of yourself and of those who 
ought to assist you. There have been nonsensical rumors 
that General Dix, and General Cadwallader, were to super- 
cede you. There is nothing whatever in this that a reason 
able man can discover. They are mere newspaper rumors. 
The entire people here are with you, great and small and of all 
complexions. I believe that they would be glad to see you at 
home to take general command, but for that and for no less a 
purpose. So said Mr. Chief Justice Bigelow, speaking from 
his heart. The condition of the country is lamentable beyond 
expression, party feeling quite as bitter as ever, and a general 
distrust of everybody and everything the rule. Defeats only 
seem to make this distrust more fearful. If a change does not 
speedily come over us the result will be fearful. Nothing can 
be done for you here, you have already done everything for 
yourself. If any fool shall remove you it will be your gain 
every way, but there is no danger of that. 

I have had the pleasure of seeing Mrs. Butler twice since 
my return, and found her well and happy though a little 
anxious. Your place looks to-day like Paradise. Personally 
I was never so well as at the South, for I have had a miserable 
time since I got home with each particular bowel and inward, 
but am pulling up and hope soon to start on my return. 



284 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I found here Capt. Clark and old Shaffer, who are full of 
good news. Please to present my regards to the staff and 
believe me, General, 

Your obliged friend and obdt. servt., Jos. M. BELL 

From Dwight Foster to General Butler 

Sept. 11, 1862 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have wished for some time to send 
you a line to congratulate you upon the success you are meet 
ing with, and the constantly augmentative fame you are 
winning in your military department. All classes of men and 
all shades of opinion unite in your commendation, and the 
very attacks made upon some of your orders by the enemies 
of the Union greatly promote you in the affections of your 
country -men. 

I have watched your entire course and read all your printed 
orders and proclamations with the greatest satisfaction, and 
I think you have been equally felicitous in disposing of the 
she adders and the rich rebels, who have by their money 
sustained the rebellion and the negro militia of Louisiana. 

I do not know what trials or even reverses may be in store 
for you, as enough of calamities just now are falling upon us 
in every direction, but the past is secure, and the record of 
your military and political administration as Dictator in New 
Orleans, for such in fact you have been, will be one that you 
and your children must always read with pride and unalloyed 
satisfaction. 

It won t do you any good to know that these are my senti 
ments, but it is a pleasure to me to express them and to sub 
scribe myself, 

Very respectfully, and Faithfully your friend, 

DWIGHT FOSTER 

P.S. You are fortunate indeed to be out of the atmosphere 
of suspicion, recrimination, and mortification which has for 
some time enveloped every General commanding in Virginia. 

General Butler s Reply to Foregoing Letter 

MY DEAR FOSTER: I see in your note the same kind hand 
that shook mine so warmly when we parted at the "Beloy 
House," and left your cloak to cover me from the cold rains 
of spring. Believe me, I never forget a friend or an enemy, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 285 

and if the exigencies of public service in the apparent dis 
crepancies of politics may keep our paths apart, yet the remem 
brance and love for your kindness is among the warmest and 
purest thoughts of my life. Your promise is most valuable, 
and with it I know I must have the good opinion of the patri 

otic and just. a/r . . 7 /. . , 

Most truly your friend 

From John Clark to General Butler 

NEW YORK, Sept. llth, 1862 

DEAR GENERAL: We arrived yesterday. We found public 
affairs in the saddest condition; Pope beaten and banished, 
and the people following leaders whom they fear. But you 
will know all this from so many sources, it is not worth while 
for me to trouble. 

We telegraphed for Major Bell last night, and he is with us 
this morning. His advice was needed. He tells me as I 
had learned the fact from another source that Johnson and 
Bullett were working for the negro men and for the negro 
men alone. 

Andrew was re-nominated yesterday. He will be re-elected. 
Sumner will try hard for the Senatorship, but he will find 
opponents in his own party. 

Maine has elected a Democrat to Congress. 

I find, among those I talk with, little of what we call pa 
triotism. The leaders of "the Party" are selfish. 

I shall be in Boston in a day or two, and shall from direct 
observation strive to learn something of our political condi 
tion in Baltimore. 

Major Bell and Col. Shaffer have written fully on the chief 
matter in hand. 

Fletcher Webster has been killed and buried. 

It is a gratifying thing to hear sensible men of all parties 
discuss you. You are greatly praised. I shall ask Mrs. Butler to 
request that you be not vain. j^ ^ JQHN 



From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 13, 1862 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 71 

As in the course of ten days it may become necessary to 
distinguish the disloyal from the loyal citizens and honest 
neutral foreigners residing in this Department: 



286 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

It is ordered, that each neutral foreigner, resident in this 
Department, shall present himself, with the evidence of his 
nationality, to the nearest Provost Marshal for registration 
of himself and his family. 

This registration shall include the following particulars: 

The country of birth; the length of time the person has 
resided within the United States; the names of his family; 
the present place of residence, by street, number or other 
description; the occupation; the date of protection or certif 
icate of nationality, which shall be indorsed by the Pass 
port Clerk, "Registered," with date of register. 

All false or simulated claims of foreign allegiance, by native 
or naturalized citizens, will be severely punished. 

By command of MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER 
GEO. C. STRONG, A. A. G., Chief of Staff 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 13, 1862 

MY DEAREST WIFE: Again, you see, I am writing you. 
You will say what a constant correspondent. My health, of 
which you will make the first inquiry, is quite good. Were it 
not for the boils and "prickly heat," described to you in my 
last, I should say very good. 

We have no news from home directly since the 30th. Your 
last was dated the 27th. We have daily telegrams that Wash 
ington and Cincinnati are taken through secession. What 
can be doing up there unless all their telegrams are false. We 
can hardly tell what to think. We have Pope s despatch 
claiming a victory on the 30th. We have Davis appointing a 
day of thanksgiving for victory on the same thirtieth. "It s 
a muddle." Indeed, I think the only safe place is New Orleans. 
They have given up all hopes of attack here for the present. 
Have withdrawn their forces, substantially, and left us to 
ourselves. I am growing very uneasy, and shall soon follow 
them and ship all that remains of them out of the state. 

I have heard nothing of the Steamer "Relief" yet. She 
must be now out 20 days. Nor of the "Saxon." 

I am sure you had better not come out here till the first of 
October, and then I shall be glad to see you if you are in 
good flesh. Not otherwise, as you will run down even during 
the Winter. Seriously, lovingly, with every kind thought, 
hope, and wish, I would be .very happy; very, very pleased; 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 287 

very, very content; very very much solaced to have you come 
if you are only happy, contented, pleased, solaced. I cannot 
endure to see you unhappy, that operates on me, and from its 
effect I make you more and more unhappy. 

I would indeed I were at home at once, if only this war was 
going well. I hope for the best for my country. But these 
reverses are hard to bear. 

Phelps goes home by the Steamer. He has given his horse, 
epaulettes, sash, and spurs to Weitzel. 

Strong starts on a little expedition tonight. I hope for his 
sake it will be successful. He hopes to win his spurs. 

Kiss the children ride on horseback. My rides are not 
to be at home. I wish they had recalled me. Be happy, do 
not muse on unpleasant topics. Goodbye, dearest wife, with 
a thousand kisses by HUSBAND 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 13th, 1862 

Hon. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of Navy 

SIR: I send enclosed herewith the communication referred 
to me by Commodore Morris. 

I need not tell you that I do all in my power to prevent 
either pillage or plunder. The boats were sent to obtain sugar 
for the Commissaries of this Department, a matter not sub 
ject of criticism by Lieut. Roy. 

The tenor of the whole communication is so remarkable that 
I forward it to the Navy Department with the indorsement 
made by me at the time of its receipt. I have the honor to be 

Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

U. S. Gunboat KATAHDIN, Miss. River, Sept. llth, 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

Commodore H. W. MORRIS, Commanding Naval Forces 

SIR: I was overhauled yesterday by Lieut. Commd g 
Lowery of the "Scotia" while at Bonne Carre Point, and 
directed by him to follow on as convoy of their transports of 
the U. S. Army. 

Upon arriving at Donaldsonville this day, the transports 
landed at the upper part of this town, landed a party of troops 
and commenced receiving on board sugar and other merchan- 



288 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

dise. A few hours later I received positive information that 
a company of these troops had entered a large mansion situ 
ated near the landing of the Steamer "St. Maurice," had pil 
laged it in a brutal manner, and carried off wines, liquors, 
silver plate, and clothing belonging to ladies. I am informed 
that several of the soldiers were drunk from the use of the 
liquor and wine thus appropriated. This house was inhabited 
in the morning. During this time the "Katahdin" was at 
anchor with her big guns trained upon the shore over the "St. 
Matahda," and to be used for protection. 

I respectfully request instruction if the guns of the "Katah 
din" are to be used for the protection of the soldiers upon a 
marauding expedition, and if I am to use them in the protec 
tion of drunken, undisciplined, and licentious troops in the 
wanton pillage of a private mansion, of wines, plates, silk 
dresses, the misses and female apparel, to say nothing of the 
confiscation of sugar, which I believe to be without proper 
and lawful reasons therefore. 

I confess, Sir, that I blush to report that while the troops 
of the "St. Maurice" were thus engaged in this unsoldierly 
and ungallant, not to say disgraceful operation, I opened my 
fire upon Guerillas hovering in the rear, apparently occupied in 
preventing such acts of the U. S. troops. 

I feel quite ready to place the "Katahdin" and her guns 
under the fire of an enemy. I am desirous of encountering 
enemies and of injuring them in every manly way, but I 
cannot further prostitute the dignity of my profession, as I 
conceive I have done to-day, without an earnest and respect 
ful appeal to your authority. It is disgraceful and humiliat 
ing to me to be ordered on guard duty of soldiers employed in 
pillaging ladies dresses and petticoats, and I respectfully 
request that I may be relieved from such service. 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

T. A. ROY, Lieut. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 13th, 1862 

Lieut. ROY, Comdg. U. S. Gunboat "Katahdin" 

LIEUTENANT: The Commanding General directs me to 
say that he had referred to him the paper sent by you to 
Commodore Morris. Upon that paper the General made the 
following endorsements : 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 289 

"The acts of the troops in pillaging (if true) are without 
palliation or excuse. Certainly no more to be justified than 
this improper bombastic and ridiculous rhodomontade of a 
Sub. Lieut, of the Navy. 

"BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Com." 

Sept. 13th, 1862 

and caused the same to be sent to the Secy, of the Navy with 
a letter of which the enclosed copy is sent you for information. 
I am, Sir, 



Respect f ullyy Y our Obt. Svt., 
WM. H. WIEGEL, 1st Lieut. & A.D.C. 

From Richard S. Fay, Jr. to General Butler 

BOSTON, Sept. 14, 1862 

DEAR GENERAL: I returned yesterday from an absence of 
a fortnight and find your letters of 20th and 1st., introducing 
Mr. Bonfanti and advising drafts, also a letter from Col. 
Butler advising your draft for $50,000, and requesting me to 
transfer his balance in my hands to your credit, which I have 
done in conformity to the amount of $20,174.32. I charge 
your drafts : 

Sight 1,200.00 

5% Specie and premium 29,212.50 
Sights 25,000.00 

50,000.00 
Mr. Bonfanti 8,470.00 

$113,882.50 

If you can do so without much difference, it would be 
much more comfortable to me if you will draw (large sums) 
at 10 days or even 3 days sight. My return yesterday was 
fortunate, as it taxed my credit pretty sharply to raise $75,000 
in a morning, my money being lent at 7 to 10 days notice. 

My father had lain down under the load and noted one 
draft for non-acceptance. I enclose to Col. Butler to look 
over and hand to you a memo of your acct. to date. You will 
observe that I have consolidated your two accts. by paying 
into your business acct. the dividends, etc., I had collected. 
Bal. to your Dr. $63,716.72. You have, as you will see by 
referring to this and my previous accts., been credited with 
cash and charges of every description, including 12% prem. on 
$60,000, gold, on the merchandise assumed by Government. 
The profits on this merchandise, after paying these various 
charges, at present stand in my hands as agent for the Govern- 

VOL. II 19 



290 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ment, and I should be glad to be relieved of its custody. The 
dept. is, however, in no apparent hurry for a settlement, and 
I shall not propose making one until you are ready. I enclose 
you a copy of your letter to me of June 1st, which I think will 
convince you of the injustice of the tone taken in your letter 

of . Unless words are to be used to conceal wishes, I can 

not conceive any other interpretation than the one I acted 
upon when I went to Washington, and simply asked Mr. 
Stan ton and Genl. Meigs to take their choice. Furthermore, I 
can assure you, it required all my efforts and the strongest 
assurances of Fox and Mr. Hooper as to my character and 
position, to prevent your shipments being served as those by 
the "Black Prince" from Ship Island were. Your drafts 
would have had to take care of themselves but for my urgent 
and peremptory insisting that I would accept neither Q. M. 
receipts nor vouchers for the merchandise, and nothing but 
the fullest agency in the disposal of the property. 

The prices of mdse. seem very low today; they were enor 
mous at the time, and pay a very large profit on the cash. 
You will observe the auctioneer s commission charged at 2j%, 
this is the rate always charged the U. S. Should the business 
be decided within reasonable time to belong to you, the charge 
will be 1%, and the difference will be refunded. The auction 
eers, H. Harris & Co., are the best and wealthiest auction 
house in Boston, and their skill and character is quite sufficient 
assurance (when backed by their acct. sales) that you have not 
been "wronged" in the disposition of the mdse. You see I 
rather harp on that word, though I do not believe you meant to 
apply it to me. 

I must tell you a good story of Lunt, though a long one. 
My uncle, I. S. Fay, my father, and myself have supported 
the Courier through the summer for the sake of having a 
paper professing our principles kept afloat. It has cost us 
about $500.00 apiece. A few days since, my uncle sent Lunt 
an article calling for the most energetic support for you at 
New Orleans, which Lunt refused to print. A day or two 
after he copied from a New York paper a paragraph rather 
ridiculing you, upon which my father wrote a remonstrance 
(for publication) squashing the paragraph and appealing to 
Lunt not to publish and lend sanction to such stuff. Lunt 
answered very shortly and impertinently in the third person, 
declining to publish the article, or to be dictated to in his 
choice of matter for his paper. I cannot do better than give 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 291 

my father s answer verbatim: "The Editor of the Boston 
Courier s note is rec d. Mr. Fay has filed it with some other 
documents in his handwriting, and docketted it *a new way 
to pay old debts. 

We are waiting with intense interest for news from Mary 
land. Newspaper correspondents have been driven away, and 
there has been no definite news from either army for three 
days. How I wish we were back at the old place. By every 
rule of strategy the enemy has made a very bad move, and 
ought never to get back into Virginia. But in this war no 
rules hold, and their dash and celerity may be too much for 

US again - Sincerely yours, RICH. S. FAY, JR. 

By the way, you signed your draft for $50,000, Maj. Genl. 
etc. I have no funds of yours in that capacity. Please con 
firm it as "individual" by letter. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. I4th, 1862 

Brig. Genl. M. C. MEIGS, Quartermaster General 

GENERAL: It will be absolutely essential for the operation 
of this Department this Autumn and for the safety of the city, 
if we are to be attacked through the Lake, that we have two 
or three light-draught steamers fitted out to go outside in the 
sea if necessary, and sufficiently shallow to run up the Bayous. 
Besides their capability for carrying troops, they should carry 
some guns as a protection, with canister, against the ambush 
of Guerillas in the canebreak, and to protect landing. If you 
will cast your eye upon the map of the part of Louisiana west 
of the river, and so down the coast, you will see the perfect 
network of bayous, lakes, rivers, and inlets which cover the 
country and render every part accessible by water, indeed 
in no other way. Now, all these bayous have this remarkable 
condition in common; at the mouth of each is a bar, leaving 
but 4 or 5 feet deep of water, while inside there will be ten to 
thirty feet. 

To meet this state of facts (the Navy has no boat that 
draws less than 7 feet when loaded, so that they are useless 
for service), I have taken two steamers (river), and am so 
altering and strengthening them for service desired. They 
will draw when loaded about 4 feet of water, and I shall come 
then with power enough to resist any Guerilla attack. The 



292 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

expense with new boilers for one will be in the neighborhood 
of twelve thousand dollars. 

There is another difficulty under which we labor; these 
are high pressure boats, which advertise their approach three 
miles, so that it is impossible to capture anybody or to get 
any supplies that can be moved or got out of th way. 

I desire, therefore, a light-draught, low pressure boat that 
can burn hard coal. Such a one I find here in the "Nassau," 
and if she is suitable in other respects I desire authority to 
purchase her. I shall take her until I get a return from this 
note, and endeavor to do so with privilege of buying, deducting 
her use. 

The exigencies of public service in my judgment clearly 
call for the expenditure. She will cost in the neighborhood of 
$40,000, less, perhaps. Any delay with the necessary altera 
tions will embarrass it much. An early answer is requested. 

I have the honor to be v r j- < o 

Your obedient servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 
By General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sep. 14, 1862 

ORDERED 

THAT the Commanding General having learned that the 
farther imprisonment of Mrs. Phillips may result in injury to 
the wholly innocent, directs her to be released if she chooses to 
give her parole that in nothing she will give aid, comfort, or 
information to the enemies of the United States. 

By command of GENERAL BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 14th, 1862 

D. T. WALDEN, NEW YORK 

SIR: There is referred to me from Genl. Shepley your letter 
in regard to Philip E. Walden, with the enclosure of a letter 
from M. Mudget. 

It is painful to address a brother on a brother s wrongful 
acts. I felt it my duty to make a pretty severe example of 
Philip Walden. He was the head and front of the robbery of 
the U. S. at the New Orleans Custom House. He furnished 
both brains and knowledge to guide the acts of imbeciles. 
Born a northern man, in the employment of our Government, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 293 

he betrayed his birth, his education, his country, exhibited 
ingratitude, and plundered her property at the same time, 
and when called on by me he refused to give information by 
which the country might recover some portion of the plunder, 
apparently relying in his northern relation for protection. I 
have .sent him to Fort Jackson at hard labor, because I see 
no reason why his country shall support his idleness. I feel 
that if I have erred at all towards him it has been in leniency. 

The Collector of the Port will give you in detail, if you will 
apply to him, the mischief he has caused. 

While I sympathize with your feelings as a brother, I know 
your justice as a man will applaud my course. I have the 

honor to be, v ~, . 

Your Got. servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 
From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 14th, 1862 

Brig. General L. THOMAS, Adjutant General 

GENERAL: I enclose the somewhat anomalous application 
of Major Holbrook, Commanding the 7th Regiment Ver 
mont Volunteers, with a copy of the General Order complained 
of. It will be seen that I only give the result of official re 
ports, so that I do not feel personally touched by the matter 
or manner of the communication. 

Of the conduct of Major Holbrook there is no complaint; 
being Field Officer of the day of the Post, he was not in the 
action. 

If consistent with the rules of the service to inquire into 
the resume of the Commanding General of the events of the 
action, I should be glad to have it done, for if the Regt. has 
been unjustly treated it could give no one more pleasure than 
myself to see it righted. 

As there has been some rivalry of feeling, I do not think 
that it would be best to detail a Court from the Officers of the 
Regiment at Baton Rouge. I may further say that I suggested 
to Major Holbrook that he might select his court of Inquiry 
from any of the officers here, not of that Brigade. I have the 

Very Respectfully Your obdt. Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



294 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

CAMP WILLIAMS, LA. 

General LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant General, WASHINGTON 

GENERAL: In justice to the regiment which I have the 
honor to command, the 7th Vermont Vols., I find myself under 
necessity of calling for an examination into the statement 
made by the Major General Commanding the Department in 
Orders No. 62, dated Aug. 15th, 1862, which is calculated in 
my opinion to bring unmerited disgrace upon the regiment 
and the State from which it comes. 

I respectfully request that a court of inquiry may be 
assembled as soon as convenient to investigate and report 
upon the battle of Baton Rouge, and the part taken in that 
engagement by my regiment, with the view that justice may 
be done to it and the service. 

Regretting exceedingly to find myself compelled to ask for 
the scrutiny of a victory which should fill all generous hearts 
only with gratitude and pride, I have the honor to be, Sir, 

Very Respectfully Your obdt. Sevt. 
W. C. HOLBROOK, Major Comd g 7th Regs. Vt. Vols. 

Endorsements to Major Holbrookes Letter 

Hd. Quars. 5th Brigade Dept, of the Gulf, CAMP WILLIAMS, LA., 
Sept. 2, 62 [Not in chronological order] 

Received Sept. 1st 1862, and respectfully forwarded to 
Adjutant General s Department, Washington, D.C. 

N. A. M. DUDLEY, Act. Brig. General 

CAMP PARAPET, LA., Sept. 2nd, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

It is much to be regretted that a regiment in this quarter 
should be compelled to defend itself against unmerited dis 
honor from its Commanding General, as well as against the 
enemy and extraordinary exposure and disease. But I con 
cur with Major Holbrook in the necessity of an investigation 
into the facts connected with the battle of Baton Rouge by a 
Court of Inquiry, with a view of doing justice to the 7th 
Vermont Vols., and to the service. 

J. W. PHELPS, Brig. General 
The General Orders No. 62 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 295 

From Governor Holbrook 

State of Vermont, Executive Department BRATTLEBORO, Sept. 12, 1862 

[[Not in chronological order] 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL: I have your note of the 25th ultimo in which 
you remark that you "Have had occasion to treat the 7th 
Vermont with great severity." 

I have to say in reply, that, as at present informed, I fear 
that you have also treated that regiment with great injustice, 
and the State of Vermont with at least marked disrespect. 

I feel obliged, therefore, to demand of the War Depart 
ment an immediate Court of Inquiry, to investigate and 
report upon the part taken by the 7th Vermont Regt. in the 
recent engagement at Baton Rouge, and your charges against 
the Regt. made in your General Order No. 62 of August 
15th, 1862. 

I am sorry, General, to be obliged to write this letter, but 
I hope that I may not find that my former confidence in you 

has been misplaced. D .,. 77 

Respectfully yours, 

FREDERICK HOLBROOK, Governor of Vermont 

Endorsement: 

GOVERNOR: I shall be most happy to have any Court of 
Inquiry upon the conduct of the 7th Vermont Regiment. 
My General Order was made up from official sources, and I 
believe to be correct. I have no disrespect for the State of 
Vermont, and can have shown her none. I must, moreover, 
do what I conceive my duty, and if in so doing I have for 
feited or shall forfeit your esteem it will be a source of lasting 
regret. The Vermont 7th did break, did fire into the 21st 
Indiana, and did not go to their succor. It pains no one 
more than myself to write this, and I have now joined them 
to a fighting brigade to give them an opportunity of redeem 
ing themselves. If they do, no one sooner than myself will 
give them their due. I call attention to the tone of your note. 
Would it have been worse had the Court reported against me? 
Respectfully Your obt. Servt., B. F. B. 



296 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From the Acting French Consul 

TRANSLATION. NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 15th, 1862 

Major General BUTLER, Commanding Army of the Gulf 

SIR: I have to inform you of some acts of violence, and I 
may add pillage, committed by U. S. Soldiers at the domicile 
of two Frenchmen in the Parish Plaquemines. 

I enclose you hereby copies of letters which have been 
addressed to me, in the hope that you will order inquiries to 
be made on these facts, and to do justice to the complaints of 
these Frenchmen. Accept, General, the assurance of my high 
consideration FAUCONNET, Acting French Consul 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 15th, 1862 

M. FAUCONNET, Actg. Consul of France at NEW ORLEANS, LA. 
SIR: I have sent your letter to Col. Mafford in command at 
the Turo Building, with the following endorsement: 

"Let the persons guilty of this outrage be at once arrested 
and the affair investigated. If found guilty report them to 
me for exemplary punishment." I have the honor to be, 

Your Obdt. Servt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From Adjutant Colonel Charles Paine 

NEW ORLEANS BARRACKS, Sept. 15th, 1862 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comd g. Dept. of the Gulf 

GENERAL: I send with a Corporal and guard three of the 
slaves who escaped from a plantation down the river last 
night among the party fired on by Dr. Knapp s patrol when 
eight were wounded. One of the negroes had a double barrelled 
shot gun, the only one in the party on their arrival here. The 
party also had three cane knives. Neither barrel of the gun 
has been fired for several days, both being covered inside with 
unblackened rust of some thickness. One barrel is not loaded, 
the other is loaded. 

I also send Dr. Knapp and those of the patrol whom he 
selects. Considerable time has been occupied in sending for 
the patrol men. I remain, General, 

Respectfully Your Obdt. Servant, 

CHAS. J. PAINE, Adj. Col. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 297 
From F. H. Knapp 

U. S. Barracks, Monday, Sept. Uth, 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

General WEITZEL 

DEAR SIR: Last night 28 negroes, armed with guns and 
knives, clubs, etc., tried to pass the guard which was com 
missioned under your orders. Some of these negroes were 
wounded, and have been taken into barracks, and Col. Paine 
has had one arrested as a prisoner as I was passing up this 
morning. He has now detained me here while he goes up to 
see Gen. Butler for further orders. May I beg you, for God s 
sake, to repair at once to see General Butler while he is there, 
and if I have done wrong have me paroled until I can get a 
hearing. I feel conscious of being innocent of any wrong. 

I am already under many obligations to you, and your atten 
tion will much oblige, 

Your obedient Servant, F. H. KNAPP 

Endorsement on Foregoing Letter 

Maj. General BUTLER 

WHAT shall I do in this case? By your permission and 
authority this armed police was organized. What shall be 
done with the negroes? Shall they be turned out to the patrol? 

Very respectfully Your obdt. Servt., 
G. WEITZEL, Brig. Gen. U. S. Vols. and Asst. Mily. Com. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 15, 1862 

MY DEAREST WIFE: How can you say I have not written 
the two last mails. No steamer (with one exception, and then 
I sent the letter but the stupid orderly neglected going to the 
boat to meet her before she left) has gone from here without a 
letter. 

I have already written on the subject of your coming out 
very fully. If you come, bring Nina with you. No, that 
would bring Read, and I have no desire for him. You do not 
say a word about your own health. I trust it is improving. 

Goodbye, I must write two letters more before steamer 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 



298 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
From the Secretary of War to General Butler 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, September 15, 1862 

GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs me to inform you 
that he has been advised by the Secretary of State that the 
Dutch Minister has invited Mr. Amedie Conturie to receive 
the articles, other than the $800,000 in coin, seized at his house 
by the military authorities of New Orleans; and to request 
that you will accordingly, cause the same to be delivered to 
Mr. Conturie. 

Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, 

P. H. WATSON, Asst. Secretary of War 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 29^, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: In reply to your favor of the 15th inst. I have the 
honor to state that all the matters have been delivered to 
Mr. Conturie except those that have been delivered to their 
owners and the matter adjusted, I believe, to their satisfac 
tion. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your Obt. Servt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. Gen. Commdg. 

From the Acting French Consul 

TRANSLATION. NEW ORLEANS, Sept. I6th, 1862 

Major General BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf 

SIR: I do not intend to make any claim against your Gen 
eral Orders No. 71, concerning foreign subjects; it is evident 
that order is one of those authorized by the public safety and 
the present circumstances. However, allow me to tell you 
that it seems to me not practical, on account of the short 
time you grant and the enormous number of French residents 
here; for my part it would be impossible for me to deliver to 
the thousands of French citizens here the required certificates 
in the time allowed. The French law does not require of French 
subjects in foreign countries to have their names registered 
on the books of the French Consulates, they may be away 
any length of time, still they remain French subjects unless 
there is proof to the contrary; the protection of France covers 
them everywhere and always, and that protection can never 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 299 

be refused as long as they retain their citizenship. Especially in 
this country of liberty and justice, where the foreigner had so 
seldom occasion to make use of his nationality, the French in the 
South as well as in the North of the United States never thought 
it necessary to be inscribed on the Consular books; before this 
impious war, the register of the Consulate had 50 names, now it 
contains from 300 to 400. Now, from this number there is a 
great distance to 15000, and I must repeat it is impossible for 
me to do my part of the duty you call for in Order No. 71. 

Neither do I understand at all the reason why the time to 
comply with this order runs out on the day when the Con 
fiscation Act begins, although the latter concerns only the 
American & adopted citizens, and you can without trouble 
find out the names of those on the public registers. 

If, therefore, General, you think it necessary to have your 
order carried out, I wish you would give me more time, that I 
may be able to satisfy all the French subjects in this city, 
and for those who have yet papers in their possession, as pass 
ports, certificates of birth, etc., to take those papers as certif 
icates of their nationality. 

Allow me in the same time to call your attention on the oath 
of allegiance forced upon the foreigner who may be obliged to 
claim of the authorities, either a right or some favor. Although 
the forms of the two oaths have been sufficiently established 
in your orders No. 40 & 41, still I believe you will understand, 
as I do, the moral impossibility of the first and the legal 
impossibility of the second, although at some other time the 
latter has been accepted by certain officers of the militia in 
order to let them remain neutrals, and to serve only in such 
capacity as you have seen yourself at the time of your entrance 
into this city. I should be happy, GenL, if taking notice of 
my remarks, you would consent to abolish any kind of oath 
from foreigners, or to modify it in such a manner that it will 
really be one of honest neutral foreigners. I remain, 
Most respectfully, Your Obdt. Servt., 

FAUCONNET, Act g French Consul 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. IQth, 1862 

A. FAUCONNET, Acting Consul of France 

SIR: The Commanding General directs me to reply to your 
favor of the 15th inst. that the matter therein contained has 



300 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

been referred to Gov. Shepley, with a request for an investiga 
tion of the matter. 

In reply to your favor of this date, the Commanding Gen 
eral directs me to say that the United States Government 
never compels impossibilities, and that such time as is neces 
sary for the delivery of the certificates will be allowed. I 

have the honor to be v , -,> . 

Your obedient servant, 

A. F. PUFFER Lieut. A. D. C. 
From General Butler 

Headquarters of Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 16th, 1862 

M. W. BENACHI, Greek Consul 

SIR: In accordance with instructions contained in a letter 
dated August 22nd from the State Department, and the exhibit 
connected therewith, sugars which were the property of Messrs. 
Covas and Megroponte are released from all claims of the 
United States, so far as this Department is concerned. 

As the sugar during the detention has risen from 3 to 9 
cents a pound, I am happy that the detention has caused 
great gain instead of loss. I have the honor to be 

Very Respectfully, Your obdt. Servt., 
BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From Walter G. Robinson 

Mechanics and Traders Bank, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. IQth, 1862 

M aj. Gen. BUTLER, Comd g Dept. of the Gulf 

SIR: The 23rd of Sept. is rapidly approaching. My posi 
tion, and that of the directory of this Bank, is one of very 
great embarrassment, representing as we do large interests 
both North and South (the former you will have seen by the 
list of New York Stockholders furnished you), and fear that 
any voluntary act would jeopardize the coin and securities 
now within the Confederate lines. 

The Mechanics and Traders Bank have, as you are aware, 
$250,000 in coin in the Confederate lines, $511,000 City Bonds 
in the hands of the State Auditor, deposited in conformity 
with law, to secure the redemption of its circulation. The 
Bank holds $237,720 in bonds or notes of the Confederate 
States, $336,833 in bonds of the State of Louisiana, and bills 
or Notes discounted amounting to upwards of $700,000, the 
payment of which is mainly dependent on parties now in 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 301 

and adhering to the Confederacy. It is impossible for me to 
determine what action will be taken by the Confederate 
authorities, and it would be peculiarly hard that by any act 
of mine the interest of parties in the United States and Europe, 
holding stock in this institution, should be rendered liable to 
seizure and confiscation. 

I gave my parole on the 23rd of June in obedience to order 
No. 13. The oath then administered was of serious import. 
It has been respected, and will continue to be observed by 
me, as has every Order emanating from authority since the 
occupation of the city save the one to which your attention is 
now called, and which under the circumstances of the case it 
is hoped will not be enforced. An early answer with your views 

Very respectfully Your most Obedt. Svt., 

WALTER G. ROBINSON, Prest. 

From General Butler 

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 17, 1862 

(Brig. Gen. M. JEFF THOMPSON) 

GENERAL: Lt. Wiegel of my personal staff is accredited to 
you with a flag of truce, for the purposes indicated in my letter 
to you of this date. Please speed his return as early as con 
sistent with public duty. I have the honor etc. 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. Ylth, 1862 

Brig. Genl. M. JEFF THOMPSON, Commanding, etc. 

GENERAL: Your flag of truce, accrediting Capt. Shaw with 
a letter and enclosures relating to an exchange of prisoners, 
was duly entertained yesterday. Your authorities are wholly 
misinformed upon the subject of those enclosures. 

I have never refused the exchange of prisoners paroled or 
otherwise held. Enclosed find a copy of my Genl. Orders upon 
this topic, and the orders issuing from the proper officers of 
my command. 

On the contrary, my action has been taken without waiting 
for an official copy of the General Cartel, which I have not 
yet received. I have, indeed, applied informally to a bearer 
of the flag of truce with Mrs. Clark upon the subject. 

It would be exceedingly inconvenient and expensive to 
both parties to transport the prisoners held here and by you 



302 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

for exchange to Vicksburg. If there is no objection to it, I 
would propose that the prisoners be delivered at a more con 
venient point. If an exchange is effected, I would propose to 
place the prisoners at any point on the lake or river after ten 
days from date, on a day designated that would be most 
convenient. 

The prisoners held by Gen. Taylor on the West bank can 
be sent to Donaldsonville or Bonne Carre, or such other point 
as he may prefer, or Vicksburg. Will you please name a day 
and place for the exchange as soon as other arrangements are 
perfected? 

May I ask you the favor to send back with my yacht some 
wounded men which the want or possibility of transportation 
rendered it indispensable to leave upon the occasion of the 
late visit of a reconnoitering party to Pontchatoula. 

I have sent Lt. Wiegel of my personal staff to receive them, 
and have allowed Capt. Blount, of the late Actg. Brig. Genl. 
Allen s Staff, now a prisoner of war here, to go over with your 
flag in exchange for Capt. Thornton, who is of the same rank 
and wounded. The other wounded men will be considered in 
exchange. I have the honor to be, 

Your Obdt. Servt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 17th, 1862 

Brig. Gen. M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Commdg. 

GENERAL: In another communication of this date I have 
proposed to you arrangements of an exchange of prisoners in 
courteous answer to your note, which I take leave to call 
attention was written me by your Adjutant General, without 
the apology of your absence, which I afterwards learned by 
the captured correspondence between you. 

There is, however, a grave difficulty in the way of a general 
exchange of prisoners so far as this department is concerned. 
Genl. Taylor, in a letter received this date, of which, from 
accident, I regret I am not able to give you a copy, has in 
formed me that having captured a hundred and thirty-six 
of the 8th Vermont Regiment he purposes, upon various pre 
tences set forth in his letter, to except them from the cartel 
of exchange, and farther threatens, in certain contingencies 
therein set forth, to take the lives of ten of them by lot. I 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 303 

send you a copy of my reply to this extraordinary 
communication . 

You will see, General, at once that, consistently with my 
duty to the men entrusted to my care, I must see to it that 
not a hair of their heads is touched unjustly or wrongly, while 
I hope and trust that General Taylor will reconsider his, as it 
seems to me, ill-judged determination. I shall be under the 
necessity of holding the prisoners (while) I have to await Genl. 
Taylor s action in the premises. 

That Genl. Taylor may have some personal feeling because 
of the deprivation of some property upon his plantation, taken 
by my men, and for the loss of his father s sword, which was 
found buried for safety under a barn in the city, I can readily 
understand. But that his "private griefs" should incite him 
to forget his duty as a soldier, and do so great a wrong after 
full reflection, I shall not believe unless constrained by the 
fact. Meanwhile I make no threats of retaliation, but deem 
it my duty to remain in position to protect the lives of my men 
and the honor of the United States. 

When I can be officially assured that all, every one of the 
men, belonging to the Army of the Gulf, held by Genl. Taylor, 
or who have been captured from this Army, will be returned in 
exchange, I will send forward every prisoner of war I hold 
who desires to be exchanged in accordance with the propo 
sitions contained in my communications of this date. I have 
the honor to be, 

Your Obt. Servt., BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 17, 1862 

Brig. Gen. M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Commanding General 

GENERAL: More than a year and four months ago a de 
tachment of the U. S. Army was in some manner captured in 
Texas, and are now held as prisoners of war there at a place 
called "Camp Verde." Of this fact I have information, 
but of their numbers and regiment I have not the precise 
information, but I believe about 300 men. 

As these prisoners are a part of the troops in this Depart 
ment of the Gulf, I conceive it my duty to request that the 
prisoners of war may be forwarded to some convenient point 
for exchange. 

If this matter is within your province, General, will you 



304 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

communicate this note to the proper parties, so that some 
early action may be taken in the premises. I have the honor 

Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. 17, 62 

DEAREST: I must write a little, for a week has passed 
without sending a letter, and I believe you wish one from 
home as often as that, if I can write pleasantly; otherwise 
none at all. I will do the best I can, write when, I, alas, when! 
I can cease to speak of myself, that is the best and all I can 
do. Major Bell talks as though he should not go back. Your 
letter by him says he will return immediately, and that I 
I must on no consideration think of returning with him. No 
one here believes that you will be recalled at present. Major 
Bell thinks there is nothing to keep you there. True, as it 
is now, but with reinforcements that Department is the most 
important in the country. If you are recalled, the chances are 
you will have less power than when you started for Ship 
Island. What is the reason that Major Bell does not intend 
to return? Is there no other but that he thinks you will come 
home? 

Judge Abbott met Webster the other day, and asked him if 
it were possible that you had sent for Griffin to take the place 
of a man like Bell. He thought you could not have a worse 
man about you, reckless and unprincipled, with just ability 
enough to be dangerous. He wondered that Hildreth was 
not with you, a man true as steel to his friends, and whose 
judgment and truth were undoubted. I wrote you this to 
show you the opinion of one man, though you do not think 
him your friend, of Mr. Griffin. You may have reasons for 
wanting him, as he belongs to the Abolition party, that others 
have not thought of, but no such man as he is to be compared 
to Bell. I write what he said about Fisher only to finish his 
conversation. I have learned well enough how repugnant he 
is to you, and that he can only be of use through other per 
sons. One other reason why I write of Griffin is that there 
are several other men who report that you have sent for them, 
and are on the point of starting. Dean has gone, Farrington, 
Eastman, Clemence, etc. The first one was never your friend. 
The others are auctioneers. Good for their business, but just 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 305 

as well if somebody else had sent for them. Clemence sent 
word this morning that he should go in a fortnight, and would 
like me to go with him. But I have strict orders not to go. I 
could not take that voyage if you do not want me to go. As 
I have no expectation you are coming home, I wait with doubt 
and impatience for your next letter. I have seen Capt. George 
but three times I think since my return. Fisher, too, has been 
away most of the time. I sent for Fisher yesterday to come 
and see me; he has just returned from New York and will 
take the children back to Washington tomorrow. Blanche 
is not well today, or they would have started this afternoon. 
I told Fisher I would like to see Capt. George and hear what 
he had to say these days. He said it was not much use. He 
thought George had no heart to think and plan, that he, 
George, said no matter what was done, there would always be 
Jackson raised just above you, a spectacle for public comment 
ready to topple you down as fast as others could build; that 
you did not see it, and if you did you were reckless about it, 
and would always have him with you or ready to spring for 
ward and grasp the power that others had helped to raise to 
the disgust of all who felt any interest. I know how vexed 
he would be if he knew I wrote this. But no one will tell you 
anything of this kind but me, and I know it will do no good, 
and had better be silent and write nothing. 

Affectionately yours, SARAH 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 18, 1862 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 73 

I. ALL transfers of property, or rights of property, real, 
mixed, personal, or incorporeal, except necessary food, medi 
cine, and clothing, either by way of sale, gift, pledge, payment, 
lease, or loan, by an inhabitant of this Department who has 
not returned to his or her allegiance to the United States 
(having once been a citizen thereof), are forbidden and void, 
and the person transferring and the person receiving shall be 
punished by fine or imprisonment, or both. 

II. All registers of the transfer of certificates of stock or 
shares in any incorporated or joint-stock company or asso 
ciation, in which any inhabitant of this Department, who has 
not returned to his or her allegiance to the United States 
(having once been a citizen thereof) has any interest, are for- 

VOL. II 20 



306 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

bidden, and the clerk or other officer making or recording the 
transfer will be held equally guilty with the transferrer. 
By command of MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER 

GEO. C. STRONG, A. A. Gen. 

From General Shepley 

State of Louisiana, Executive Department, NEW ORLEANS, LA., 

September 19th, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
communication of September 2, inclosing copies of several 
communications addressed by the Department of State to 
the diplomatic representatives of Great Britain, France, and 
the Netherlands, growing out of the relations between the 
military authorities and the consuls of those countries at New 
Orleans. I have advised M. Conturie, the consul of the Neth 
erlands, that the $800,000 in coin taken from his possession 
by General Butler, would be restored to him or to the agent of 
Messrs. Hope & Co., or to the Citizen s Bank of Louisiana, 
whichsoever of them he might designate. Copy of my letter 
to M. Conturie is herewith transmitted. As the diplomatic 
correspondence transmitted to me contains a statement that I 
should be directed to invite M. Conturie to resume his con 
sular functions, and also that I should be directed to cause to 
be restored the $800,000 seized by General Butler, I have 
taken the liberty to act upon these communications without 
awaiting any more specific instructions from you or from the 
Department of State on this subject. I shall endeavor in my 
intercourse with the foreign consuls in New Orleans, as far as 
possible, to avoid any causes of irritation tending to embarrass 
the Government in its relations to foreign powers. With 
great respect, I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient servant, 
G. F. SHEPLEY, Military Governor of Louisiana 

Official Records, Series 3, Vol. II, Page 623. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 19th, 1862 

Hon. WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State 

SIR: I have the honor to report to you the following facts: 
C. McDonald Fago, a British subject, resident many years 

in New Orleans, is about to make claim to the property of 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 307 

Wright & Allen in New Orleans, which has been taken posses 
sion of by the IT. S. authorities here under the following state 
of facts. 

Wright & Allen are Cotton brokers who claim to have prop 
erty outside of New Orleans of two millions of dollars. They 
are most rabid rebels, and were of those who published a 
card advising the planters not to send forward their crops of 
cotton for the purpose of inducing foreign intervention. 

Soon after we came here, they mortgaged their real Estate 
here, consisting of a house, for $60,000, to planters in the state 
of Arkansas, and there sold the equity, together with their 
furniture for, $5,000 to Mr. Fago, paying about four thousand 
five hundred dollars per annum interest on the property and 
to receive nothing. His only payment, however, was by his 
own note in twelve months, which was sent to their friend the 
planter in Arkansas. 

Wright & Allen were then openly boasting that they would 
not take the oath of allegiance to the United States, and were 
encouraging others to refuse and stand by Secession. In order 
to divest themselves of the last vestige of visible property 
upon which the confiscation act could take effect, having given 
to the widow of their deceased partner, an Irish woman, a 
note or notes for three thousand dollars, they then sell her 
their plate for that amount, and then have it shipped under 
another name to Liverpool. 

A large number of others are following their examples, and, 
indeed, all the property of New Orleans is changing hands into 
foreigners and women, to avoid the consequences of the con 
fiscation acts. 

Believing all this to be intolerable, I have resolved to make 
this a test case, and have seized this property, and intend to 
hold it where it is until the matter can be submitted to the 
Courts. 

Mr. Fago has sent to Washington to have this property 
given up as a test case. If the course of authority here is 
interfered with in this case, it will be next to impossible to 
maintain order in this city. This Mr. Fago has first had a 
large amount of sugar belonging to his brother, an aid to 
Governor Moore, given up to him by the decision of Reverdy 
Johnson. Emboldened by this experiment, he proposes to 
try once more. If successful, I should prefer that the Govern 
ment would get some one else to hold New Orleans instead of 
myself. Indeed, Sir, I beg leave to add that another such 



308 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Commissioner as Mr. Johnson sent here would render the city 
untenable. The town got itself into such a state, while Mr. 
Johnson was here, that he confessed to me that he could 
hardly sleep from nervousness from fear of a rising, and 
hurried away, hardly completing his work, as soon as he heard 
Baton Rouge was about to be attacked. 

The result of his mission here has caused it to be under 
stood that I am not supported by the Government, that I 
am soon to be relieved, that all my acts are to be overhauled, 
and that a rebel may do anything he pleases in the city, as 
the worst may be a few days imprisonment, when my succes 
sor will come and he will be released. 

To such an extent has this thing gone that inmates of the 
Parish prison, sent there for grand larceny, robbery, etc., in 
humble imitation of the foreign consuls have agreed together 
to send an agent to Washington to ask for a Government 
Commission to investigate charges made by these thieves 
against the Provost Marshal, by whose vigilance they were 
detected. 

Alexander the Coppersmith, by his cry "Great is Diana of 
the Ephesians, the institution of slavery is in danger," did me 
much harm in Louisiana, from the effects of which I am just 
recovering, and the only fear I now have is that, if the last 
accounts are true, Mr. Johnson will have so much more nervous 
apprehension for his personal safety in Baltimore than he had 
in New Orleans, that he will want to come back here, now 
the yellow fever season is over, as to a place of security. 

I have done myself the honor to make this detail of the 
case at length to the State Department, so that all the facts 
are before it upon which I act. The inferences from those 
facts must, from the nature of testimony, be left to my judg 
ment until the Courts can act authoritatively in the matter. 

Another reason why I have detailed these facts with such 
minuteness is that in the reports of Mr. Johnson furnished to 
the Consuls to be read here, every fact is suppressed which 
would form a shadow of justification for my acts, and ex parte 
affidavits, (by those) accused by me of a fraudulent transfer 
of large amounts of property, are the sole basis of the 
report. 

True, by that report more than three-quarters of a million of 
specie is placed in the hands of one Forstall, a rebel, a leading 
member of the "Southern Independent Association," a league 
wherein each member bound himself by a horrid and impious 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 309 

oath "to resist unto death itself all attempts to restore the 
Union." A confrere of Soule in the Committee of the City 
which destroyed more than ten millions of property by fire, 
to prevent its coming into the hands of the United States 
authorities, when the fleet passed the forts. 

I beg of you, Sir, to consider that I mention the character 
of this report, not in any tone of complaint of the State Depart 
ment. If it is necessary to suppress facts, to impugn the 
motives and disown the acts of a Commanding Officer of the 
Army in the field, or to publish to those plotting the destruc 
tion of the Republic, that he has had all control of public 
affairs in New Orleans taken from him and transferred to a 
subordinate, because of the harshness of his administration, 
as was done in the despatch to the Minister of the Nether 
lands, even if the facts is not true, I bow to the mandate of 
"State Necessity" without a murmur. I have made larger 
sacrifices than this for my country, and am prepared for still 
greater if need be, but I only wish to make them when they will 
be useful, and therefore have pointed the effect of the Com 
mission Report and despatch upon a turbulent, rebellious, 
uneasy, excitable, vindictive, brutalised, half-foreign popula 
tion, made mad by exaggerated reports of the victories of their 
fellows, the fall of the National Capitol, the invasion of the 
North, and excited to insubordination by the double hope 
that either by the success of the arms of their brethren, or the 
interference of the National Executive in their behalf, they 
shall soon be released from the Government which has ever 
held the city in quiet order or unplundering peace. Awaiting 
instructions, I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From the Acfg Consul of Prussia 

Consulate of Prussia, NEW ORLEANS, 19th Sept., 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Department of the 

Gulf, NEW ORLEANS 

GENERAL: I have made two attempts to see you at your 
office, yesterday and the day before yesterday. I was over 
three hours in attendance without being able to obtain admit 
tance. My object was to see you in behalf of the Prussian 
ship "Essex," and I have now the honor to address you on the 
same subject. 



310 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

On the 16th inst. the master of the "Essex" applied at the 
Custom House for a clearance, which was refused him, at 
first without assigning any reason; but subsequently, on my 
addressing a note to the Collector, Captain Klatt of the above- 
named vessel was informed that his vessel was detained on 
account of several packages of plate and specie which were 
shipped on board of her. 

The "Essex" took in cargo on a general permit, and I do 
not see that by her receiving on board said plate and specie 
the revenue laws of the United States, nor the more recent 
regulations governing the intercourse of foreign vessels with 
this port, nor any of your own orders, issued up to the 16th 
inst., have been infringed, but nevertheless the "Essex" 
has now been detained three days at a considerable expense. 

I take the liberty now, General, to request you to allow the 
"Essex" to obtain her clearance without further delay, or 
otherwise to inform me of the cause of the difficulty, so that I 
may take steps to aid in removing it if possible. I remain, 

General, With much respect, v . , j. 

Your most oodt. servt., 

J. KRUTTSCHNIDT, Acting Consul for Prussia 
From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 19th, 1862 

The Prussian Consul 

SIR: Your note in relation to the ship "Essex" was received 
by me this evening. I regret that the necessary press of busi 
ness, a part of which an endeavor to speed the "Essex," 
prevented my seeing you. 

It is perhaps not the fault but the misfortune of the "Essex" 
that contraband articles have found their way on board her. 
She has been necessarily detained while these are sifted out. 

I shall be able to dispatch her as soon as she has landed 
certain parts of her freight, which I will designate. I do not 
think that the master of the ship has intended any wrong. He 
will get the list of goods to be landed in the course of the day. 

Respectfully, Your Obdt. Servt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 311 

From General Butler 

UNOFFICIAL. Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, 

Sept. 19, 1862 

General THOMPSON 

GENERAL: An unfortunate and untoward occurrence took 
place on board the yacht wherein your officers and mine were 
sailing across the lake, which I deeply regret. 

Major Shaw, who was assaulted in an insane somnambulic 
fit by one of my officers, according to the report of my aid, 
Lt. Puffer, conducted himself with the utmost propriety, cool 
courage, and as a high-toned gentleman. For this allow me 
through you, General, as I have done personally, to thank 
him, and assure you that the affair instead of slightest fault 
to Maj. Shaw reflected on him the greatest credit. 

Lt. Wiegel, the young officer who was the unhappy cause of 
the affair, declares it unwittingly done, has made the most 
ample apology, and feels the deepest contrition. 

I need not say how much I regret that anything should have 
accidently happened to make more unpleasant than necessary 
the trip across the lake. 

Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. 



From General M. Jeff. Thompson 

PONTCHATOULA, LA., Sept. %Ist, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Major General BENJ. F. BUTLER, U.S.A., Commanding U. S. 
Forces, NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

GENERAL: Your note of the 18th inst. by Lieut. Puffer, 
U.S.A., marked "unofficial," was promptly delivered. I am 
sorry that you should have thought the incident important 
enough to claim your attention, and at the same time I thank 
you for your actions in the matter. I know so well how young 
gentlemen will act when turned loose by their superiors, that I 
should have laughed at the parties had it been reported, first, 
to me. 

I will simply ask you to caution Lieutenant Wiegel that if 
he has not a good "whiskey head" he had better beware of the 
"critter," for in these war times it is dangerous to be off one s 
guard. Lieut. Wiegel s apology was perfectly satisfactory to 
Major Shaw, and your explanation is more than satisfactory 
to me. 



312 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I must also thank you for your excuse of my "thoughtless 
ness" (through my nephew s inexperience) in the style of the 
letter by the Flag of Truce under Major Shaw. 

Respectfully, Your obt. servant, 
M. JEFF. THOMPSON, Brig. Gen. Comdg. 

General Butler s Testimony on Sugar "Speculations" 1 

THERE is one subject which it is due to myself I should say 
something about. I have heard something about "sugar 
speculations by the commanding general." I desire to make a 
statement upon that subject. On the 16th of May, or about 
that time, I was in New Orleans, and had twelve or fifteen 
transport ships which were under charter at so much a day, or 
so much a month the United States to find them in ballast 
to get home again. Now, be it known, that there is not a 
stone in all that part of Louisiana which we occupied to throw 
at a dog; and it will not do to put mud into a transport vessel 
for ballast, because the earth would settle to the bottom, and 
the water come to the top, and wash about and make trouble. 
The only way to ballast these vessels was to send them to Ship 
Island, where there was no wharf for a ship of any draft of 
water to load at when it got there; and the only means of 
giving her ballast was to wheel white sand into boats, take 
the boats alongside of a vessel, and then hoist the sand on 
board; and it became a question of importance to me how 
these vessels were to be ballasted. 

In the meantime, the guerillas were going about all through 
the country advising the planters to destroy all their cotton 
and sugar, telling them it would be confiscated by the United 
States if they did not destroy it. To put a stop to that, I 
issued a general order saying that all such stories were lies; 
that if the people would bring their cotton and sugar into 
New Orleans it would have safeguard and be bought. But 
there was another misfortune. I had in all $75, and that would 
not go a great ways in buying cotton and sugar. I had no 
quartermaster at that time, he had not got down, and no 
quartermaster s funds, and the entire funds of the expedition, 
so far as I know, were the aforesaid $75. I went to a banker, 
who had known of me in happier times, and agreed to borrow 
of him $100,000, giving him drafts therefor, as I used it, on 

1 From Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, Part III, 
Pages 360-362, 37th Congress, 3rd Session, Senate Report No. 108. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 313 

my private banker; and with that money I caused to be bought 
sugar, rosin, turpentine, etc., enough to ballast these vessels, 
and for a large vessel 200 tons of ballast would be required. 
To illustrate the advantage of this: take the steamer "Mis 
sissippi," for instance; I had her there with a swept hold; 
if I had sent her to Ship Island for sand, it would have taken 
her thirty hours to get there, call it a day, which would 
be $1,500; then it would take ten days to put 250 tons of sand 
on board of her; that would be $15,000 more. It would 
have taken four days to have got the sand out of her after 
she had got at the wharf in New York, besides the expense of 
carting it away from the wharf, which would have cost a 
great deal. So that it would have cost at least the sum of 
$20,000 to get her home in ballast. Now, I gave five dollars a 
hogshead for the sugar; the quartermaster at New York 
complained that it took two days to unload that sugar, and 
that it cost more to unload it than they could get for it. He 
did not think that by not putting in sand I had saved some 
$1,200 freight, in addition to saving $20,000, which I would 
have had to pay. 

By Mr. ODELL 

Question. "You chartered the vessels to deliver them back 
in New York?" 

Answer. "Yes, sir; at so much a day or month, to be deliv 
ered in ballast in New York. I bought $60,000 worth of sugar, 
and tar, and turpentine. At the same time I wrote to the 
War Department, stating exactly what I had done, stating 
that I had no right to use the money of the United States to 
make these purchases, and even if I had the right, I had no 
United States money to use. I wrote that I had used my own 
money, but that the government could take the property I 
had bought, and sell it for the benefit of the United States, if 
they chose, provided they would answer my drafts here. If 
they did not choose to cover my drafts, and would inform my 
agent of that fact, he would take care of the property for myself 
and pay the drafts; for I had bought the sugar at two cents 
and half per pound, when it was selling in New York at six 
cents; and tar at three dollars a barrel, when it was selling in 
New York at thirty-eight dollars. One would therefore sup 
pose that I would be willing to take the property if the gov 
ernment did not want it. Being the agent of the government, 
however, and paid for my time, I had no right to do that. 



314 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

"The government let my drafts go to protest for non- 
acceptance, while the matter was getting settled, but finally 
concluded to assume the business and paid my drafts. They 
took the tar and turpentine for their own use; they had no 
occasion to sell that. The shipments of sugar that went to 
Boston alone paid to the government, after all expenses, the 
sum of $17,550.16, and the freight upon it was $12,436.32. 
So it paid a net profit to the government. 

"As this matter may be brought up some time hereafter, 
when things are not as fresh in the mind as they are now, I 
make this statement with your leave, for the purpose of placing 
these facts upon the record. I can say that I would have given, 
if I had been allowed the chance for the speculation, $100,000 
for the profits." 

Question. "Did you consign this property to your private 
banker in Boston?" 

Answer. "Yes, sir, of course, for I had nobody else to con 
sign it to. I consigned it to my agent so that he could have 
the property to pay the drafts. The government, so far as 
they were concerned, let the drafts go to protest, and my 
friends had to raise the money to pay them." 

Question. " Was all the property bought and shipped through 
your agency not shipped on your account, and sold on account 
of the government? " 

Answer. "All the property bought and shipped by me, or 
through my agency, was shipped not on my account, but for 
the government, if they chose to take it." 

Question. "And the government did take it?" 

Answer. "Yes, sir. I had two views in purchasing it. One 
was to ballast the government transports; and the other was 
to let the people there know that if they brought their cotton 
and sugar to New Orleans they could sell it." 

From Richard S. Fay, Jr. 

BOSTON, Sept, 19, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR GENERAL: I send you herewith a complete statement of 
the operations as ordered shipped by you before June 1st., also 
a memo account with the U. S. which I have not entered in my 
books, the net sum $17,550.16 standing to credit of "Sales." 

You will observe that I have charged the account with cost, 
commissions to A. J. B. for buying, premium on gold, and 
every other possible item of cost, all of which are credited to 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 315 

your account. The profits, $17,550.16, 1 hold as Agt. for both 
parties in the transaction, and do not propose to pay it to 
either without their mutual consent. 

Truly yours, etc., RICH. S. FAY, JR. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. I9th, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to forward the enclosed report to the 
State Department for information as an exposition of some of 
the difficulties with which I have contended here. The city 
is in a very excited condition and sufficiently uneasy, but I 
think I shall have no trouble. 

As the day on which the Confiscation Act goes into opera 
tion, approaches, the uneasiness and disquiet is more apparent, 
but all will be held firmly, calmly. I believe all danger of 
outward attack has for the present disappeared, and as soon 
as the weather is less oppressive I propose to take the offensive. 
I have the honor to be, ^ oftrfferf Smmt> 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 
From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 19, 1862 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 74 

I. IT having been made to appear to the Commanding Gen 
eral that upon marches and expeditions soldiers of the United 
States Army have entered houses and taken therefrom private 
property, and appropriated the same to their own use: 

It is therefore ordered, that a copy of General Orders No. 
107, current series, from the War Department, be distributed 
to every commissioned officer of this command, and that the 
same be read, together with this order, to each company in this 
Department, three several times at different company rolls. 

II. It is further ordered, that all complaints that private 
property has been taken from peaceable citizens in contra 
vention of said General Orders No. 107, be submitted to a 
Board of Survey, and that the amount of damage determined 
shall be deducted from the pay of the officers commanding the 
troops committing the outrage in proportion to their rank. 

By command of MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER 
GEO. C. STRONG, A. A. G. 



316 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Commodore Henry W. Morris 

U. S. Sloop PENSACOLA, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 20, 1862 

Major General BENJ. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the 
Gulf, NEW ORLEANS 

GENERAL: I have just received the Telegraph from Col. 
Dow to you, which you have sent me, and I herewith 
return it. 

I had not heard the report of nine rams having left "Mobile," 
and I place but very little faith in it. 

I have directed all the coal vessels below to move up and 
anchor above the Forts. My reason for this was that some of 
the rebel vessels, which had been fitted out at Nassau (N. P.), 
had made their appearance off Havana and other parts of the 
coast of Cuba, and I apprehended that some of them might 
come in at the S. W. Pass and capture or destroy the coal 
vessels, as they were unprotected there. 

Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 
HENRY W. MORRIS, Commodore and Senior Officer 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 20, 1862 

MY DEAR SARAH: I write by the "Matanzas" which sails 
this morning. There is on board of her a box containing 
photographs, which I trust will arrive safe. The "Saxon" 
came yesterday. Her cargo is not worth the freight. Every 
thing remains quiet here save the excitement about the Con 
fiscation Act, which goes into effect in three days. The "ladies " 
of New Orleans are in great trouble now about their property, 
and taking the oath. They literally swarm upon me. The 
health of the city remains admirable. We have had one case 
of yellow fever about two weeks ago, a passenger that slipped 
by the quarantine. Such sanitary measures were taken, how 
ever, as to check its spread. We have had no other. Every 
body well that you know, and all the command getting well. 

I have raised two regiments of the "chosen people of colour," 
as Genl. Jackson terms them. Genl. Sherman is here, and has 
taken Phelps place. General Arnold is here also from Pen- 
sacola, Gen. W T eitzel, Shepley, and Dow, so you see I have 
Brig. Generals enough. 

Tell Fisher to write me how he has received sugar, and if in 
funds. I may want to draw on him for 150 thousand dollars. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 317 

Fisher must not think of coming out here at present. There is 
too much for him to do at home. The oats are not worth the 
freight. They have been too long on the way. However, I 
should keep them awhile. 

Your letter containing photographs was received. I re- 
enclose it, and will wait for the pictures. You seem to take 
pride in the fact that yours is the saddest face ever seen. 
Why do so? Why not the gayest the happiest? It is a 
poor compliment to a live husband and a family of lovely 
children that a wife has a sadder face than a specimen widow. 
From that face one would think that I treated you like a 
brute, that your children were ungrateful, your home cheerless 
and gloomy, your relatives had deserted you, and that even 
peace of conscience was denied you. Why then express the 
very contrary of all the facts which surround you? It does not 
add to your own happiness, because I never supposed you 
were a person who made a luxury of woe. Why then so sad? 
You have much if not everything to make you happy. Come 
now, put on a cheerful face, smile and come down here, and 
make me happy with the merriest face that ever was seen. 
Why does not that "little puss" Blanche write me? 

How shockingly everything has gone on in Virginia. How 
it is going on, I know not now. The Government don t seem 
to have the energy and determination of mice. However, I 
must criticize only to you. Seward has played me a scurvy 
trick by writing to the Consuls that Genl. Shepley was ap 
pointed Military Governor here because of displeasure of my 
"harshness" here. It is not true, because I asked Shepley to 
be appointed, as you know. I have written Mr. Seward a 
letter which if he desires I will publish. 

Yours, Adieu, BENJ. F. 

From the Acting Consul of Prussia 

Consulate of Prussia, NEW ORLEANS, 23d Sept., 1862 

Major Genl. B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Department of the Gulf 
GENERAL: Captain Klatt of the Prussian ship "Essex" 
handed to me yesterday the order issued under your authority 
by the Collector of this Port, asking for the delivery of certain 
specified packages laden on board his vessel, and informed me 
at the same time that he refused compliance. 

You are no doubt aware that the Bills of Lading for the 
packages in question, signed respectively on the 9th and 15th 



318 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

inst., are in possession of the shippers, and in order to hold 
the vessel harmless and to avoid complication in Liverpool, 
her port of destination, it will either be necessary that the Bills 
of Lading be returned to the Captain, on delivery here of the 
packages, or that the same be taken from his vessel by force. 

In your note addressed to me on the 19th inst., receipt of 
which I have the honor to acknowledge herewith, the said pack 
ages are declared to be contraband, and [in] this connection I 
would beg leave to observe that by the sixth section of the Con 
fiscation Act, they would only become such after the 23d, or per 
haps have become such after the 18th, by the operation of your 
general order N*o. 73. [There] existed, therefore, on the 15th 
inst., no cause for the detention of the "Essex." 

I have now herewith to hand you the protest entered by 
Captain Klatt against the detention of his vessel, and of which 
I shall also forward a copy to the Prussian Minister at 
Washington. 

The "Essex" is at great daily expense. She claims damages 
to the extent of $500 in gold per diem, and it is therefore of 
importance to bring this question to an issue either in one way 
or another, and begging that you will give it your early con 
sideration, I remain, General, 

Very respectfully, Your obdt. servt., 
J. KRUTTSCHNIDT, Acting Consul of Prussia 

P.S. Captain Klatt requests me to state that he wishes it to 
be distinctly understood that the non-compliance on his part 
with your order should only be attributed to his desire to guard 
himself against difficulties in Liverpool, and to no other motive. 

J. KRUTTSCHNIDT, Act. Consul 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 23d, 1862 

To the Prussian Consul, NEW ORLEANS 

SIR: I have received yours of the 23rd, containing protest. 

The ship "Essex" has been at liberty to depart since the 
date of the Collector s letter to you. If the Captain choose to 
lay here longer, he does it at his own risk and expense. 

I suppose it is within the province of a military Com 
mander to determine for himself, and upon his own respon 
sibility, what he may judge the necessity of his position will 
allow to be shipped from the port under his command. I have 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 319 

exercised that discretion, and I do not require any interpre 
tation of my orders from the Acting Prussian Consul to govern 
my action. 

I take leave to call your attention that the only Prussian 
Consul accredited here is in command of rebel forces in the 
field, while his wife remains in this jurisdiction. 

While I have endeavored and shall endeavor to interfere 
as little as possible with any acts, either of commerce of your 
countrymen or official acts of yourself, as I have endeavored 
to extend to you every courtesy, I am not a little surprised 
at your action in regard to ship "Essex." I shall not use force 
to take the obnoxious packages out of the "Essex" because I 
believe that very force would be made a subject of complaint, 
but I repeat what I have already said, until the master of the 
"Essex" deliver these packages to the Customhouse officer, 
the ship cannot sail, and if she remains, as he is now doing, it 
must be at his own risk and peril. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From Lieutenant Colonel Shields 

Headquarters, BATON ROUGE, LA., September 23rd, 1862 

To the Commanding Officer, U. S. Forces, 

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA 

SIR: I am instructed by the Commanding Officer, C.S.A. 
of this district to send, with aflag of truce, the son and daughter 
of General Clarke, now a wounded prisoner in your hands, and 
to request safe conduct through your lines, and permission to 
visit their father in New Orleans. Mr. Farrar, a nephew of 
the General s, accompanies the children. I am, Sir, 
Very respectfully, Your obedient Servt., 

THOMAS SHIELDS, Li. Col. Commdg. Post. 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. 62 

DEAREST: I received your letters yesterday by Mr. Bon- 
fan ti. He called in the afternoon to deliver them, and came 
again to pass the evening. Mr. Webster and his wife happened 
to be here, and Mr. Morse had met the gentleman in the cars, 
and called to see him in the evening. I gave them coffee and 
fruits, brandy, and cigars; while they were at the latter left 
them alone. During this time Mr. Bonfanti said some things 



320 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

to Mr. Webster that I will write you, though I had thought 
to leave this subject alone. In your letter to me you write 
of being recalled; this I expected, but not yet. While there is 
danger of an attack, as it is believed there is, you will be 
retained. When that danger is over, I think you will be super 
seded. There are several reasons why I have expected this, 
some of them I have written to you during the summer, they 
were not likely to make a change while the climate was obnox 
ious. There may be some difficulty in the way even now that 
will prevent it, for you are much thought of; but the chances 
are you will be recalled and sent somewhere else. This gentle 
man said to Webster and Morse that there was something he 
would like to say to Mrs. Butler, or have said to her, that she 
might write it to the Gen l. He would like to have spoken 
to you about it, but as he was situated did not feel at liberty 
to do so while he was with you. He says that Col. Butler has 
done, and is doing you vast injury, that he is utterly hated, 
and all his deeds are reflected on you. He is willing his name 
should be used in the communication, as he greatly likes you, 
and does not like to see you injured from such a cause, without 
at least your being made aware of it. All these things I have 
heard here, from Boston men and merchants through the 
summer, of the fact I was well assured before I left New Orleans, 
that he is of vital injury to you. And that you cannot stand 
under that burden there, though it overwhelms you in a differ 
ent form, any better than you could at Fortress Monroe. A 
more obnoxious person to invest with power could not be found. 
The Government will never leave him there, to deal with the 
Confiscation Act. I know you will say this is prejudice and 
ill-feeling on my part. I cannot help it. I write my own con 
victions and the words of others. You think you control him 
and know his acts. On the contrary, though subservient to 
your face, he controls where he wishes, insults and overbears 
everywhere. This subject does not trouble me personally as 
it has done, and if you now concluded to live together here 
after, I think I should not much mind it. All that I can suffer 
these two years have exhausted. It is only a question how 
far you are willing to suffer in estimation and position for his 
advancement. If you are satisfied, let others wince, it is 
no great matter. I would not have you now alter one thing 
from mere regard to my wishes. 

Your coming home will give me so much pleasure we shall 
never think of quarreling with the reasons, be they ever so 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 321 

unjust. Mr. Bonfanti says you are looking very well and in 
excellent spirits. He thinks there will be no attack made on 
the city. Is it not rather imprudent to go out alone after dark? 
I think I would not run that risk; a man stabbed in the night 
is but a sorry object. I felt compelled to write what this man 
said, but I am in no mood for writing, but in any mood I am 

Always affectionately, yours, SARAH 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. 62 

DEAREST: I must write a little this afternoon, though I 
sent you a letter this morning. Capt. George has just called 
on his way to New York to look after the unfortunate vessel 
with Fisher, who is now there, that was freighted for New 
Orleans. He is full of suggestion as usual, but only a minute 
of time. He thinks you had better not come north without 
asking leave of the President, that there is no place so impor 
tant as the one you now hold in the estimation of the country, 
hardly second to Washington, and on no account to make 
any move that will risk your withdrawal from that Depart 
ment, there are enough ready to spring into it. Yet if. you 
could come to Washington and plead your own cause for 
reinforcements, you would have great influence. But that you 
cannot do while the town is threatened. Halleck, as you know, 
is appointed Secretary of War. McClellan is reinstated as 
Commander-in-Chief on the Potomac. You know how friendly 
they are likely to be to you. George has not altered his mind, 
and says there is but one man who has the power and will to 
aid you, and the last he fears you have lost by neglect. I do 
not think so, for the person he means is troubled, and would 
like an ally, if he could find one on whom he could firmly rely. 
And he likes you. Pope goes to the North West. Washington 
is panic-stricken, and is so afflicted, every few months, the 
only man who has steadily pursued one course is the one I 
speak of. George says this is a crisis, and you ought not to 
move much until it is over. Be content and glad to be still. 
Hundreds among the middling people about Washington say 
if you were leader we should not be in the condition we are 
now. But see you not, you want a firm friend, who is in power. 
The regulars are holding most of the power, but they prefer 
their own. You must look for aid elsewhere. Your Depart 
ment is second only to McClellan s. I should prefer your 

VOL. II 21 



322 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

position. You may partly succeed in getting reinforcements 
through the influence of the regular officers in your command. 
George says it would be very well to cultivate Gen l. Sherman 
thoroughly, that he is an able officer, very able, whether suc 
cessful or not heretofore, and that you will find him all you 
desire. About your arming the free blacks there is a little 
question. A few who are disposed to find fault say you are 
doing the same thing for which Phelps was withdrawn. George 
Pearson says you will find them treacherous. Major Bell 
informs me they are as white as any person, and that he has 
a great mind to write a little article to that effect. But it 
would be better it should be editorial, if it s done at all. I 
will tell him so when I see him. George says the country is 
in too terrible a struggle to mind anything about it. Clemence, 
I hear, is going out to you. He has said some ill-natured 
things. I am sorry you asked him to go, but no matter; he 
will serve you while it answers his interest. Treat him well, 
but do not trust him deeply. He is selfish and envious. As 
soon as this vessel is repaired, she will be sent to New Orleans. 
She was built for a tug-boat, and perhaps is just what you want. 
(I shall never remember to ask the name!) If so you will be 
glad of her arrival. George says you ought to have the " Saxon " 
with two or three guns mounted ready for your own use; that 
nothing would tempt him to stay in such a town without a 
vessel of that sort. I am writing you what he says, because 
you have sometimes thought his suggestions good. He further 
says the wisest thing a man can do, who has any means afloat, 
is to convert it into gold, and never let go of it till this war is 
over. I have written part of this letter almost in the dark. 
I write very rapidly of late, and no longer think how it looks. 
By the time this is sent away I shall think, ah! I forgot to 
write so and so, and have to begin again. In this letter I have 
not so far said one word of home, children, of what we are 
doing or thinking. But I think of you always, and write this 
today that you may get the views of others to compare with 
your own, and work them into use if they are worth it. The 
children are well. Everything looks fresh the peaches and 
pears are ripe. If you were here to eat them I should be happy. 
But I shall see you soon either here or there. 

Yours, SARAH 

The pineapple plants arrived today, looking very well. The 
gardener says they require seventy degrees of heat in winter. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 323 

Do you love me any these days, I wonder or have you too 

much to think of? rr ~ ,. , 7 c, 

Very affectionately yours, SARAH 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 23nZ, 1862 

MY DEAR WIFE: Who shall say I do not take pains to write 
you; here I have tumbled out of bed at reveille to send this 
note by the mail to say I am in good health, except the before 
mentioned "sore boils and prickly heat." 

The "Saxon" has got here after a 26 days passage. We are 
expecting a new mail in this morning. We are without news 
since the 6th. We have instead the most extravagant rumors, 
but we are used to them. Bell has not got back yet, and Kins 
man, who took his place as Provost Judge, has worked himself 
quite sick. Strong is well. I have not got the pictures yet. 

Today is the last day before the Confiscation Act goes into 
effect. The oath of allegiance has been taken by almost every 
body in the city they have taken it to save their property, 
but with very wry faces. The women have all had to "come 
up to the scratch." Elegant phrase, that last, isn t it? I am 
called time is up. The mail must go, so a thousand kisses, 
a hundred embraces, one hug like a bear to you. 

Adieu, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From Hon. S. P. Chase to General Butler 

Treasury Department, Sept. 23, 1862 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I am delighted by your great success 
at New Orleans. You know, of course, that all I can do to 
promote it will be most gladly done. Happily you are less 
oppressive in your demands on the Treasury than any other 
of our Generals in important positions. I wish you could 
have men enough to move up the Mississippi and clear it out. 
What a crown to your achievements that would be! 

When General Halleck came here the President requested 
him to call on me about the financial measures necessary to 
the prosecution of the War. I told him that the most impor 
tant in my judgment were, 1st, the substitution of an active, 
energetic, fearless general for McClellan in the command of 
the Army of the Potomac, then stranded on James River, 
and 2nd, the opening of the Mississippi. Another, less vitally 
important financially, seemed to me equally important polit- 



324 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ically and militarily, that was the prompt advance of Buel s 
Army into East Tennessee. The first was not done; the 
second was not done; the third was not done; and today the 
Treasury is almost thirty-six millions behind, and almost with 
out resources, except Treasury notes of which the faculty to 
issue only fifty-six millions remains, and customs which supply 
about $200,000 per day. The bonds on which our chief reliance 
must necessarily be placed the 5-20 sixes cannot be negotiated. 

But we have something else defeat before Washington 
poorly compensated by the expulsion of the rebels from Mary 
land; Ohio and Indiana menaced; military stagnation through 
out the South, with danger of expulsion from the points gained 
on the Atlantic Coast; Tennessee nearly lost and Kentucky 
nearly over run. Was there ever anything like it? 

Mr. Denison writes me in your praise. He says your ad 
ministration is eminently successful, and that you are getting 
on admirably with your free colored regiments; enlisting with 
out much enquiry into the status prior to enlistment. This 
is well. You must anticipate a little the operation of the Proc 
lamation in New Orleans and Louisiana. The law frees all 
slaves of rebels in any city occupied by our troops and pre 
viously occupied by rebels. This is the condition of New 
Orleans. Is it not clear, then, that the presumption of freedom 
is in favor of every man only to be set aside in case of some by 
clear proof of continuous loyalty? 

Yours faithfully, S. P. CHASE 

From Jonas H. French to General Butler 

Provost Marshal s Office, NEW ORLEANS, LA. Sept 24*A, 1862 

GENERAL: This morning two Spanish Transports attempted 
to go to sea as is customary, my River Police went on board 
to examine their passports. They refused to allow them to 
examine the passports saying the passengers had been 
passed by the Spanish Consul and that was sufficient. They 
claim, both of them, to be men-of-war, and that my police 
had no right on board. 

The Spanish Vice-Consul has just left me in a very excited 
state of mind because I told him his vessels could not go to sea 
until the passports had been examined by my officers, as is 
the rule of the office I thought it was proper you should 

know the facts. T7 ,/. 77 

Very respectfully, 

JONAS H. FRENCH, Provost Marshal Genl. La. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 325 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 24th, 1862 

To Captain Commanding Spanish War Steamer 
"Blasco de Gar ay" 

SIR : Having reason to believe that some escaped prisoners are 
attempting to leave on board Spanish Transport, the names of 
two have already been found on the list, and knowing it was 
without the knowledge of the Spanish Consul and of yours, upon 
consultation with your Consul I desire to ask that you will per 
mit one of my detective officers, in company with one of the 
officers of your ship, to examine the passengers on board the 
transport, so as to detect the escape of unworthy prisoners. 

I ask the supervision of one of your officers in order that I 
may not interfere with or infringe the Spanish jurisdiction over 
your national vessel, or, if this would seem to you objection 
able, any other means be taken by which the same object be 
accomplished. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From Jose Manuel Dias de Herrera 

NEW ORLEANS, September <teth, 1862 

Major General BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf 

GENERAL: Having taken notice of the contents of your 
kind letter of this date, I do not object in the least that the 
person by you appointed be without character of police, but 
only to identify the parties that you manifest, will go on board 
of the Spanish transports, accompanied by one of my officers, 
who will order the delivery of criminals on board found. 

I renew, General, my thanks for your kind and courteous 
letter, and beg to assure you that the Spanish flag will never 
protect but those parties to which the civilized nations, by 
the right of abetting, afford protection. 

The person named by you may call on board the "Blasco 
de Garay" this afternoon at 4 o clock, to be accompanied on 
board of the transports by one of my officers, in one of my 
boats, for the above mentioned purpose. With the highest 
sentiments of regard, I am, Genl., 

Your most obedient Servant 

JOSE MANUEL DIAS DE HERRERA, Capt. of Frigate, 
com g Spanish War Steamer "Blasco de Garay" 



326 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 24^, 1862 

Major General H. W. HALLECK, Commander in Chief, Armies 
of the U. S. 

GENERAL: Having been informed that a small force of the 
enemy were repairing Manchac Pass, and that the troops had 
been withdrawn from Pontchatoula, 48 miles north of the city, 
the Headquarters of Jefferson Thompson, I directed Major 
Strong, my Chief of Staff, to take five companies of men to 
complete the destruction of the bridge and the repairs, if 
any, and by a division of his forces endeavor to secure the 
person of General Thompson and to destroy his supplies. 

Owing to the heavy draught of water of our boast, as set 
forth in Major Strong s report herewith enclosed, it was 
found impossible to carry the plan as originally proposed. 

But Major Strong, not to be baffled, determined upon an 
attack, and in open day at the head of 112 men made a march 
of ten miles upon the Headquarters of a General who was 
collecting forces to attack New Orleans, drove away a light 
battery of artillery supported by 300 infantry, took and 
occupied the town, destroyed the telegraph and Post Office, 
captured the despatches, possessed himself of the General s 
presentation sword, spurs, and bridle as trophies (our officers 
do not plunder Generals Quarters of shirts and stockings), 
burned his supply train of twenty cars, and returned at his 
leisure, inflicting treble loss upon the enemy in killed and 
wounded. 

I beg to commend this to the Commanding General as one 
of the most daring and successful exploits of the war, equal in 
dash, spirit, and cool courage to anything attempted on any 
side. Major Strong and his officers and men deserve great 
credit. It may have been a little daring, perhaps rash, but 
that has not been an epidemic fault with our Officers. I have 
the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. [24], 1862 

DEAREST: Major Bell came today with his wife and Capt. 
Clark. They sail for New Orleans on Saturday. Major Bell 
must have said he would not return because he expected you 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 327 

home. There is now no thought of removing you. I think 
you will get reinforcements and finish your work in the Gulf. 
Their call today was very pleasant. They could not stay for 
dinner, but I gave them a very nice lunch. I wrote you a 
long letter yesterday that I intended to send by Major Bell, 
but I feared that what I wrote might trouble you, and I shall 
not send it. I felt a little hurt because you did not seem to 
care much about my coming. Write me again, and tell me you 
would not like to be there through the winter without me on 
your own account; and then I shall feel that you want me. 
Do not leave me in doubt about this, because the voyage will 
be so hard, if I think you are a little indifferent about my 
going. Remember this, and pray attend to it kindly. Blanche 
left me yesterday for Georgetown again. Fisher waited four 
days for her though in great haste to get to New York and 
Baltimore. His vessel is at the last place. She will have to be 
repaired, and will not be sent to New Orleans. The pictures 
are all brought back. I shall go to Boston tomorrow to get 
copies, and will forward them as soon as complete. Blanche 
was sick for several days. Do not paint the picture of myself 
that I sent you. It was taken soon after I came back, I am 
not so thin now. I am sorry I sent it, so sad looking as it is, 
you will not like to see it. Do you not think Blanche s are 
pretty, the last three I sent you? I have your letters of August 
7th, 10th, and 15th, with mine enclosed. Dr. Martin will 
write you to send for him. Do not do it unless you have 
already. I am not pleased with him altogether. 

The President has issued a Proclamation of Emancipation 
to take effect next January. There will be some growling, but 
the people will bear it now. Fisher thinks your course just 
right, neither too fast or too slow. He was very anxious to 
see Major Bell before he started, but could not find the time. 
He thinks Major Bell the most reliable and honorable man you 
have with you. I hope while you remain in the War he will be 
with you. Would it not be well to give W - - another place 
if you could make one for him; for he gives but little help or 
strength to you, and make an opening for Major Bell. He 
does not aspire to military fame, but of course would like a 
regular place on your staff, and a truer friend or better coun 
sellor you can hardly find. Fisher has been to see Carney 
that if your drafts arrive before the sugar he may be ready 
to meet them. He asked me how you came to write about his 
going to N. O., as he had never written to you of doing so. I 



328 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

told him I had spoken of his going with Peirce. Bonfanti 
drew on Fay by your order for a hundred thousand more or 
less. I suppose there can be no mistake about it. Pray write 
me as often as you can. We cannot but feel dreadfully dis 
appointed that you are not to come home, though it would be 
disapproval if the Government removed you. I would have 
gone with Major Bell but for your prohibition. Now I must 
wait till the equinoctial storm is over. That may be the 
middle of October, or even later. 

Write me often, and pleasantly as you can. You see I am 
improving, as I would not send you what I wrote yesterday 
for fear it should grieve you. I hope we may both forbear, 
till we are of one mind in everything. As we are, I will believe 
in thinking much of each other. With great desire to see you, 
Most affectionately your OWN WIFE 

From G. S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase 

PRIVATE AND UNOFFICIAL. NEW ORLEANS, Sept. IMh, 1862 1 

DEAR SIR: Your kind letter of the 8th inst. reached me 
yesterday. I showed it to Gen. Butler, as you gave me per 
mission to do. The General requests me to present to you his 
kindest regards. He is satisfied that Slavery must be abol 
ished, and he will do his part at such time as he thinks proper. 
He humorously remarked that his colored Brigade was of 
about the complexion (upon the average) of the Vice-Presi 
dent . He says that after properly organizing and drilling 
them, he believes they can march triumphantly from here to 
Kentucky. To-morrow the first Regt. receives arms and 
joins the army. The second is fully enlisted, and is being 
drilled. A third will be organized, but the General has arms 
for no more. His order says none are to be received but those 
who have received freedom through some recognized legal 
channel, but these are of three classes, viz: those who have 
received freedom from their owners. 2nd. Those who are 
made free by the present military courts, 3rd. all who come 
in from the enemy s lines. You see this includes almost all 
colored people. Gen. Butler will manage this matter wisely 
and well. 

Gen. Butler does more work than any other man in Louisi 
ana. Every thought seems to be given to the interest of the 
Government, and his powers of endurance are remarkable. 

1 American Historical Association Report 1902, Vol. II, p. 315. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 329 

No other man could fill his place here. His popularity among 
Union men is great and increasing. As I told you in a former 
letter, it is to be regretted that his brother does business here, 
but I do not think the General is interested in his speculations. 
He learns everything and forgets nothing. He comes in con 
tact with the best minds in the State, and is equal, or superior, 
to them all. 

During the week ending last night the number of people 
who have taken oath of allegiance is very great. Every place 
where the oath was administered was thronged. Secessionists 
can be tamed, and Gen. Butler can do it. I should say three- 
fourths, at least, of the citizens have taken the oath, and yet 
not a threat was made against such as should not take it. I 
have reason to believe the General will be very severe toward 
those who persist in calling themselves loyal to the Southern 
Confederacy. I think he will confiscate their property and 
remove them beyond the lines. 

Notwithstanding Federal reverses, the Union feeling 
develops itself satisfactorily, and many have really ceased 
to be secessionists. 

The Prussian ship "Essex" has on board many cases of 
plate and bullion shipped by rebels. Gen. Butler directed me 
to grant no clearance to the ship until the cases were landed. 
The ship has been waiting for a clearance three days, but will 
(probably) land the cases soon, when there will be no more 
trouble. 

Since I have been here, two small vessels have cleared for 
Pensacola with Gen. B s permit. Admiral Farragut may 
perhaps complain of these vessels, for one or both ran into 
rebel ports, or were captured by the enemy. At any rate, 
they did not reach Pensacola. The Navy seized the Prize 
Schooner "Emma" at Ship Island, sent by me to New York. 
I had put iron on her to complete cargo. She was released and 
continued her voyage. 

The business of the Custom House goes on very satisfac 
torily. The Mr. Flanders I spoke of is not the one you know, 
but his brother, and is not perhaps a proper person for Sur 
veyor. He is a proper person for Clerk to perform the duties 
of Deputy Surveyor, and for this office I have nominated him, 
the office of Surveyor, being included, I suppose, in my posi 
tion as Special Agent and Acting Collector. 

[GEORGE S. DENISON] 



330 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. Wth, 1862 

Capt. JANUARY & Lieut. PERKINS 

GENTLEMEN: Your letter of the 25th inst. to Capt. Davis 
has been handed to the Genl. Comdg. for consideration, and he 
directs me to say that the reason for keeping you in close con 
finement is that he has received a communication from Genl. 
Taylor, of Confederate service, saying that he will not exchange 
the prisoners he has belonging to the Eighth (8) Vermont Vol 
unteers. It therefore rests with your own officers when you 

shall be released. n , - A/r ^ -r> 

By order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 

FRED MARTIN, Lieut. & A. D. C. 
From Rear Admiral Farragut 

Flag Ship HARTFORD, PENSACOLA BAY, Sept. 26, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR GENERAL: I wrote you by the "Clifton," and sent 
word to you by General Arnold about Fort Gaines, but we 
appear to be as much out of the way here as in Yucatan. 

I hear nothing from you, and until the arrival of the "Ten 
nessee" yesterday we had heard nothing since the "Clifton." 

I wish to establish a mail twice a week between New Orleans, 
Ship Island, and Pensacola. I will send, on any stated days 
that you may establish with the Postmaster, to Ship Island 
for our mails for this place. I know we have a large mail at 
New Orleans for the vessels here as well as my official mail, as 
I have only received two or three letters from the Department. 
I sent some powder to Ship Island for the use of the Army and 
Navy: it went in the "Rhode Island" to New Orleans, but as 
she had the fever on board, it had to be left at Ship Island. 

Do let me know your intentions towards Fort Gaines. Have 
you the troops to spare to attack it in the rear, landing in the 
Sound? 

I see by my letters that the Department rather throws cold 
water on the attack, but I think now is the time to create a 
diversion in their forces at the North, where they appear to 
be managing about as badly as could be expected from the 
worst instead of the best Generals in the country. 

Do let me hear from you, for I will be ready in five or six 
days for anything as far as my force goes. 

Your most truly, D. G. FARRAGUT, 
Rear Admiral, Comd g. W. G. BVg. Sqdn. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 331 

From Juan Callejon 

TRANSLATION. NEW ORLEANS, Septbre. 27th, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf 

SIR: I have seen this day your endorsement on one of my 
certificates, and see by it that you consider that a person 
born from Spanish parents loses the right of nationality as 
Spanish subject, after residing here 30 years. 

After Riquelme, the accident of being born in a foreign 
country does not force a person to renounce to the nationality 
of his or her parents, the common right considers the nation 
ality transmitted from parents to children. 

I hope, General, that you will consider this, and give the 
orders which will be right and just, and will be generous 
towards number of old ladies and unhappy people who never 
mixed in the politics of this country. 

Most Respectfully, Your obedt. Servt., 

JUAN CALLEJON 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. Wth, 1862 

Senor Don JUAN CALLEJON, Consul of Spain 

SIR: The Commanding General directs me to reply to your 
favor of this date that he finds it impossible to agree with 
you on the question of nationality therein contained, and for 
this reason, that if the children born here of Spanish subjects 
are not citizens of the United States, then the continued issue for 
generations are not such citizens, and consequently the United 
States would never be able to claim the progeny of foreigners 
as citizens of this Country. I have the honor to be, 

Your Obt. Servt., A. F. PUFFER, Lieut. & A. D. C. 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 27th, 1862 

General T. W. SHERMAN, Commanding Division, &c. 

GENERAL: If the slaves spoken of in your communication 
of the 25th came away voluntarily with the troops from Baton 
Rouge, I do not see how they can be returned. Certainly not 
Mr. Walker s, who is not a loyal citizen, but is confined, on 
his parole, to his plantation, having just been released from 
Ship Island, where he was sent for having used seditious Ian- 



332 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

guage. Mr. Walker was the Editor of the Delta, the leading 
secession newspaper of the south. 

By order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER, 

Very Respectfully, Your Obdt. Servt. 

GEO. C. STRONG, A. A. Genl. 

From W. Newton Mercer 

No. 144 Canal Street, Sept. 26th, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Major General BUTLER, Commanding 

SIR: You have probably inferred from our various conver 
sations that I have not taken an oath of allegiance to the 
Confederate States, or have been a member of any society or 
public body in New Orleans or elsewhere in the Confederacy, 
and that since your arrival here I have maintained a strict 
neutrality. 

In pursuance of your order No. 76 I will make a faithful 
return substantially if not minutely correct of all my prop 
erty here except about $3,000, the greater part of which is in 
gold, that I have reserved for an emergency. I mention this 
to you now to avoid misapprehension. 

Your order referred to exempts those only who have taken 
the oath of allegiance, but I cannot think you intended to 
include those in my situation, as claiming to be enemies of 
the United States. 

Such an interpretation is in my opinion at variance with 
the act of Congress as well as with the Proclamation of Presi 
dent Lincoln. I have the honor to be, Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, W. NEWTON MERCER 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 27, 1862 

Dr. W. N. MERCER, N. ORLEANS 

SIR: I have your note of the 26th Sept. In my judgment 
there can be no such thing as neutrality by a citizen of the 
United States in this contest for the life of the Government 
as an officer I certainly cannot recognize such neutrality. 
"He that is not for us is against us." 

All good citizens are called upon to lend their influence to 
the United States all that do not do so are the enemies of 
the United States. The line is to be distinctly and broadly 
drawn. Every citizen must find himself on the one side or 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 333 

the other of that line, and can claim no other position than 
that of friend or enemy of the United States. 

While I am sorry to be obliged to differ from you in your 
constructions of the act of Congress, and the Proclamation of 
the President, yet I cannot permit any reservation of property 
from the list or exception of persons from the requirement of 
Order No. 76. It may be and I trust is quite true that by no 
act of yours have you rendered yourself liable to the confisca 
tion of your property under the Act and Proclamation, but 
that is for the military or other Courts to decide. You, how 
ever, will advise yourself with your usual care and caution 
what may be the effect, now that you are solemnly called upon 
to declare yourself in favor of the Government by contuma 
ciously refusing to renew your allegiance to it, thereby indu 
cing from your example others of your fellow-citizens to remain 
in the same opposition. 

I am glad to acknowledge your long and upright life as a 
man, your former services as an officer of the Government, 
and the high respect I entertain for your personal character 
and moral worth; but I am dealing with your duty as a citizen 
of the United States. 

All these noble qualities, as well as your high social position, 
render your example all the more influential and pernicious, 
and, I grieve to add, in my opinion more dangerous to the 
interest of the United States than if, as a younger man, you 
had shouldered your musket and marched to the field in the 
Army of the Rebellion. v 

JL OUTS) etC 

From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. 28th, 62, Sunday 

DEAREST: I have been on the sofa nearly all day; not feel 
ing well at all. Yesterday we took the children to Boston to 
get their pictures and show them the Aquarial Garden. It 
was very fatiguing, that and the bad smell in the rooms at the 
Aquarial has made me nearly sick. The children were delighted 
with the monkeys, fishes, and Commodore Nutt. Major 
Bell and Capt. Clark are on their way to New Orleans. I 
ought to be with them. I hope your next letter will show a 
little more interest about it. It leaves a soreness of feeling 
when you make but little account of passing the winter with 
out me. But let that pass, you will be glad to see me sometime. 

Your friend, that you wrote to Fisher you would like to 



334 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

have a long chat with, was here on Friday. I will endeavor to 
give you the conversation and his views of your present posi 
tion and prospects. I think your position satisfactory, and 
would not venture dangerous experiments. The Secretary of 
War pushed it to an issue. Halleck refused to obey the order, 
and the President decided he must not be interfered with. 
Stanton submitted and kept his place. McClellan has been 
deposed only to be reinstated with stronger power, and propped 
securely with Halleck. The President was obliged to yield 
this or the rebels might have taken Washington. Pope was 
defeated, if his report is true, because other Generals neglected 
to reinforce him where he had full right to expect it. He is 
driven into exile, and disgraced, while McClellan is reinstated. 
It is said privately that some of the Generals of the Potomac 
waited on the President, and informed him there could be no 
safety for Washington unless McClellan was restored to the 
command. The President yielded to the pressure. As soon 
as the rebels were driven out of Maryland, the President issued 
the Proclamation for Emancipation. (Can anyone tell why 
they were not broken to pieces, scattered, and captured?) 
There was but one s day s fighting of any note, and that simply 
to show how the two opposing leaders could handle their men; 
it was tolerably warm work for a while, but each was afraid to 
stake all on the issue; if they had it is more than likely Lee 
would have pressed us to defeat. Night came on, and Lee 
with his force recrossed into Virginia. The President s Proc 
lamation of Emancipation was made directly on the heels of 
this as a concession to the Abolitionists, after restoring 
McClellan. So far there has been no great demonstration 
made about it. Those who desire it are in doubt it may prove 
but a dead letter. All may be quiet on the Potomac for 
another year for aught that can be done to move them if this 
Proclamation does not please the Generals, so that the odium 
is incurred, if there is any attached to it, without the chance 
of any benefit to arise from it. This has shook Seward s 
power; the President now leans on Chase. He is the man 
serenaded. But in spite of this, Seward is so wiry and capable, 
so much of a statesman, that if anything goes wrong he will 
get the power again, and be all the stronger for a momentary 
defeat. McClellan, as you will see, is the military man for 
the Democratic party. Seymour of New York runs in opposi 
tion to Wadsworth for Governor. There is much expectation 
that he will win. He is also thought of by civilians as a check 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 335 

to McClellan, in the Democratic party. That would be better 
for you, as he is a friend of yours. By this you will see that 
both rings there are filled. In the Republican party, Fremont 
is the man. A move was made to give him fifty thousand 
men (He would be in condition then to enforce a great deal). 
But they were not successful in getting their wants carried 
out. There is one opening for you, if you would think it advis 
able to venture on such dangerous ground. I think you have 
thought something of it, though not perhaps to work through 
the same avenues it has been suggested to me would be the 
best. You could write to the President, offering in your 
Department to carry out his Proclamation according to his 
wish. His Proclamation incites to insurrection which will 
lead to fearful horrors. You can offer to organize insurrection, 
arm the negroes, use them as infantry, and of our soldiers 
make flying artillery and cavalry, to make a distinction 
between them and the blacks. To do this you want reinforce 
ments, more staff officers, such as they have perfect confidence 
in, a Flag Officer who is ready to cooperate with the Fleet, so 
that if they pour their whole army upon you you may have 
transportation for your men and assistance from their guns. 
The Rebels could hardly remain quiet at Richmond if such 
work was progressing in the South West. The armies both 
North and South might be obliged to move. If you wish to 
offer your services to the President to carry out his Proclama 
tion, there are two channels through which it could be done. 
Pierce is an intimate friend of Charles Sumner. Write what 
would seem best to you to Sumner and Chase, and a line of 
endorsement of Pierce as the man who has your confidence. 
If you are willing to hold by Seward, who will yet get the power 
again, the man who thinks so highly of him is ready to be 
your messenger to him, and you could not have a better one. 
This would give Seward the chance to carry out the President s 
views, and give him once more the ascendency. Your friend 
thinks he would assent, and carry it through to the satisfac 
tion of those engaged with him. You know how much your 
friend admires him, and would rather work with that party 
than the other. But not unless there is a feeling of perfect 
confidence and good will between you and Seward, as nothing 
short of that would answer. Your friend looks upon this 
as an almost desperate chance, but the only one beyond your 
present position. If you carry out the abolition views, and 
build up a power that way, it would place you at the head of 



336 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

a party, though the powers whose orders you execute might 
not anticipate or desire such a result. At present you are 
outside of all parties. And perhaps that is the best and most 
honorable place you could be in, in a crisis like this when the 
bitterness of party seems likely to destroy the country. But 
if you wish to sway or direct the movements of a party, these 
hints are offered for your deliberation. You can think over 
what effect a letter from you to the President of the kind sug 
gested would have, and do what you think best when you have 
well deliberated. For it is a fearful thing to arm these negroes 
and put them in their master s houses. Nor can there be 
any certainty they will prove effective as soldiers, or that 
our people will fight with them. I have received your letter 
wherein you speak of Mr. Seward and the letter you have sent 
him. I hope you will not find hereafter that you have acted 
unwisely. But that closes that side of the question. Your 
friend will be sorry you are in open opposition, for there 
is a powerful conservative party in New York that will give 
him great strength, and he has served you well in times gone 
by. Is the breach too great to be repaired? Do not widen it 
more than you can help. But let that go, every man must 
judge for himself. There may be a natural antagonism on 
your part, and if so you could never work well together. If 
you could have held together at this hour, you and he acting 
in concert could wield immense power. Sumner and Chase, 
I believe, are agreeable to you. It is not certain the abolition 
party can prevail. The Democratic party, and all the Mili 
tary with McClellan at their head, offer a very formidable 
opposition. If you volunteer in this and fail you lose utterly, 
and make yourself an object of odium, now and perhaps in 
time to come. If it should prove successful, you might be 
regarded as the redeemer of down-trodden humanity. There 
is but a step sometimes between a crown and a gibbet, and in 
days like these one cannot tell to which his labours will lead. 
The papers report the Commissioners of Peace are on their way 
from the South. Would it were possible. This life of anxiety 
is wearisome. I do not like to send this until I have seen your 
friend again, as I cannot be sure I have rightly expressed what 
was desired. But you will see and easily comprehend what 
would be of use to you if not clearly expressed, and will act as 
you judge best after careful deliberation. If you write to the 
President, ask for an officer to be sent down for the confisca 
tion work in whom they have perfect confidence. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 337 
From Mrs. Butler to General Butler 

Monday morning, LOWELL, Sept 29, 62 

DEAREST: Your letters of Sept. 15th and 20th came this 
morning. How can you write such letters in answer to those 
I send you! Cold, half -defiant, and leaving a feeling of depres 
sion that overpowers me no matter how much I strive against 
it. If you do not want me, for mercy s sake say so, and do not 
wound me further. You may not be aware how much the 
tone of your letters has changed. In every letter I have 
asked, begged, to know if you wished me to come, and when! 
After telling me three times not to come, the only permission 
I have received is this. "// you can appear so and so I shall 
be glad to see you." I shall be as God wills, and circumstances 
compel, subject to the same feelings as other people. But 
these are not reasons for or against seeing me, whether I am 
more or less merry. Be willing to make some effort on your 
own part to lift the weight that oppresses me, and see if I do 
not appreciate it. If life looks more inviting in that fair clime 
without me, say so; your letters have hurt me, I cannot bear 
it, nor the manner in which you have asked me to come. 

I have a long letter, two-thirds written, suggested by your 
friend George, of what he thinks would be your best, and as 
he says your only opening for you now to gain a place in the 
future. He was unwilling to write himself it involves such 
serious consequences. My business is to write you what I 
hear and leave it to your own discretion how to use it. Soon 
as I have seen him to know if I have written what he desires, 
I will send it, or what would give me greater pleasure, take it 
to you if I felt assured I was truly welcome. I am as always, 

Affectionately yours, SARAH 

From Jacob Barker 

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 29, 1862 

Major Genl. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: The Bank of Commerce has paid, under the 
last arrangement with Gen. Butler, $26,000.00 in Treasury 
Notes. It has on hand the further sum of about $20,000.00, 
and expects in the course of the day to have a sufficiency to 
pay the balance due for the $50,000.00 in gold purchased. 
Therefore, Genl. Butler can draw as fast as he has occasion, 
for the amount on hand. 

A check for $5,000.00 in gold has been received. The Bank 

VOL. II 22 



338 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

would like to have a farther amount of gold, also information 
of what is to be done with the three boxes of silver marked 
"Saml. Smith & Co.," received on Saturday, 27th inst. 
Very respectfully your obt. servt., 

JACOB BARKER, Cashier 

From Jacob Barker 

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 30th, 1862 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: Some days since you mentioned to me your 
intention of informing me by letter when and to whom you had 
sent the report of the commission in relation to the $50,000 
in gold detained from Messrs. Sam l Smith and Co. I shall 
be very much obliged by your doing it at your earliest con 
venience, as I am particularly anxious to close my agency in 

that case 

Very respectfully your obt. servt. , JACOB BARKER 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, September 30, 1862 

MY DEAR SARAH: I enclose your three letters received to 
day since I wrote you this morning, also one from Blanche, 
enclosing the sweetest picture of Bennie and some very good 
ones of herself, which I will have embalmed in procelain. How 
can you think Hildreth is repugnant to me? I have never 
felt so or thought so. I have turned all Andrew s business 
into his hands, and I have not the smallest trouble with Fay 
either on that account. How can you say Bell is not going 
back? I never heard or dreamed that he would not return. 
On the contrary, I am expecting him hourly. 

How long is it that Abbott has been such a friend of mine 
that his advice is to be taken in my affairs. Griffin in place 
of Bell has never entered my brain or his. Griffin asked me if 
I could serve him, and I told him I would if I could. 

Dean returns on the next boat he is only here to collect 
some claims, and goes home. I hope you will write me more 
hopefully next time, if indeed this does not pass you on the 

road home. v T> - 

Yours, BENJ. F. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 339 

Bill from Rudolph T. Lux 

NEW ORLEANS, Dec. Z7th, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Hon. Major General B. F. BUTLER debtor to 

RUDOLPH T. Lux, Painter on porcelain, etc., Cor. oj 
Customhouse and Johnson St. N. O. 

DELIVERED on the 22nd of Dec., 62, following likenesses 
painted on cups of porcelain, and saucers decorated, etc. as: 

1. Miss Blanche, Mrs. Butler 

2. " do " do. 

3. Gen. Shepley 

4. " Weitzel $250.00 

5. Major Bell Rec d on acct. 100.00 

6. " Strong do. from Mr. But- 

7. Col. Stafford ler, Esq., on the 

8. Capt. Haggerty 23rd of Dec. 40.00 

9. " Puffer Balance 110.00 

10. Little Benny Deduct 25.00 
twenty five dollars each 85.00 

P.S. For a little redress on the pictures of Mrs. Butler respect 
fully required. L. 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 1st, 1862 

Brig. Genl. T. W. SHERMAN, Comdg. forces at 

CARROLLTON, LA. 

GEN.: Your communication with regard to the 65 Negroes, 
more or less, belonging to the estate of Mr. Walker, said to 
have been taken at Baton Rouge for purpose of digging in the 
trenches, and then to be returned to their owner, has been 
received, and the Com. General wishes me to say that though 
the Messrs. Walker or neither of them are loyal citizens, yet 
those negroes who desire to return may be sent back to the 
plantation. o ^ MAJ QEN BuTLER 



From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 1st, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: In obedience to requirement of the Despatch of the 
Department of the 10th and 18th ultimo, which reached me 
by the same mail, enclosing communications from Spanish 
legation (in translation) dated the 28th of June, the 7th and 
26th of August, respectively, directing me to report fully to 



340 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the department all the facts and circumstances connected 
with the arrival and departure of the Spanish ship "Cardenas" 
and the U. S. ship "Roanoke" at the port of New Orleans in 
June last, "and also full explanations of the complaints involved 
in the communications of the Spanish Consul and others of 
the administration of the Quarantine laws of this department," 
I beg leave to submit the history of such administration, and 
especially in regard to the "Cardenas" and "Roanoke," 
"Pinta" and "Marie Galante." 

Let me premise, however, that the question so far as these 
vessels or any others are concerned, except for the purpose of 
reclamation and complaint, have long ceased to be of practical 
importance, as the "Cardenas" has made one trip to Cuba 
and back since the occurrence complained of, and the "Pinta" 
and "Marie Galante," Spanish transports for tobacco, have 
loaded and gone home, I had supposed entirely satisfied with 
their treatment at this point. 

When New Orleans was captured it was found in the utmost 
possible filthy condition, because of the troublesome times. 
The contractors upon all the streets and canals had utterly 
neglected to comply with their contracts for cleaning and puri 
fying the streets, and the filth was indescribable. 

In view of this most alarming sanitary condition of the city 
and the approach of the epidemic season, after consultation 
with the most eminent local physicians, who would give their 
advice, some refusing to give an opinion with an apparent 
hope "that the pestilence would do what their rebel arms would 
not do drive us out," and acting with the advice of my 
medical staff, I took the most energetic measures to purify 
the city itself from all possibility of engendering disease. 
Believing at the same time that the yellow fever was no more 
indigenous to New Orleans than the sugar cane, but must be 
imported or propagated as that is by cuttings, and that a 
firmly administered Quarantine, guided by science and honesty 
of purpose, discriminating as regards cargoes and cleanliness 
of ships, would effectually keep out the scourge of the city 
prayed for as Ally of the rebellion, I ordered Quarantine to 
be enforced with these discriminations not a "procrustean 
period of Quarantine to all" a vessel loaded with hides 
and wool, the absorbents of the malaria with a filthy hold, 
reeking with dead and putrid organic matter, loaded at an 
infected port, infected hands, sown thick with the seeds of 
disease, only waiting for time and the warm sun to develop 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 341 

them into a plague, was not put on equality as to time with a 
steamer for passengers, kept clean and sweet as a mercantile 
necessity to procure business, laden with flour, tight casks of 
salted provisions and round shot and shell which would not 
be likely either to absorb or generate contagion. 

Again, the length of time which a ship and cargo had been 
exposed to the danger of the contagion had much to do with 
the Quarantine. A ship belonging in an infected port, loaded 
there, her cargo either the product or the manufacture of 
that port, her crew acclimated and therefore indifferent to 
sanitary regulations and appliances, required to be kept under 
Quarantine longer to watch the probable development of the 
disease and to await the operation of purification, than a 
vessel loaded at a northern port, where the frost insured 
health in this regard, and which had merely touched at a 
port inflicted with yellow fever, and held communication with 
the shore under the restriction imposed by fears of unaccli- 
mated Officers and crew. 

These and kindred considerations, which will readily suggest 
themselves to your mind, were the controlling guide to the 
very intelligent medical officers who were in charge at Quaran 
tine, as they were to report upon the necessity and length of 
detention of vessels. We, however, always determined to 
err, if at all, upon the safe side, holding ever the far greater 
importance of the lives of a great city and an army committed 
to our charge, than the possible danger of any commercial 
adventure from detention. 

I need not assure you, Sir, that the questions of "National 
ity" never entered into our thought in the exercise of our 
judgment and power except in one possible relation. 

We could not help looking with a little less care to and 
holding under advisement a little less time a vessel of a Nation 
proverbial for the neatness of their ships and goods as com 
pared with one who enjoys an unenviable reputation the other 
way. With these and upon these bases have the Quarantine 
and health laws been administered at New Orleans up to the 
first day of October. 

I can point with a reasonably justified pride to the result 
as an explanation and a vindication of my acts and adminis 
tration in this particular. Pardon me if I add that I claim for 
this triumph of science, integrity, firmness, and skill of my 
medical staff, by which thousands of lives have been saved, 
and by far the most dreaded foe driven from the city of New 



342 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Orleans, as much credit as if by the disposition of my troops 
we had won a victory over the less deadly but hardly less 
implacable enemy in a conflict of arms. 

Up to this date there have been no malignant or epidemic or 
virulent fevers or disease in New Orleans, and its mortality 
returns show it to be the most healthy city in the United 
States. In one regiment, the 13th Conn., a thousand strong, 
quartered in the Custom House since the 15th of May, but 
one man was lost during the months July and August. 

His Excellency, Mr. Tarsara, the Spanish Minister, is most 
grievously misinformed when he says to the Secretary of 
State that the salubrity of New Orleans is no better than that 
of the Island of Cuba. Our Quarantine has been more per 
fect than Blockade. We have had serious cases of fever at 
the Quarantine only 75 miles from us, and but a single one at 
New Orleans, and this one at once justifies and illustrates our 
sanitary regulations. 

The U. S. Steamship "Ida," having touched at Nassau 
only, and no disease having been reported as existing there at 
the time of her departure, she was permitted to pass up by 
the health officers after fumigation and other precautions. 
The day after her arrival in the city one of her passengers on 
shore was taken sick and on the sixth day died, an unmistak 
able case of malignant yellow fever. The most stringent 
measures were taken to isolate the disease. Everything that 
touched or was about the deceased was buried, acclimated 
persons only were allowed to do the sad offices. The house 
in which he died was most thoroughly purified, and by the 
blessing of "Him who holdeth all in the hollow of his hand" 
the pestilence was stayed. 

The steamer was ordered at once below where she is under 
going Quarantine. Even while I write this the English Consul 
reports the British Brig "Volunteer" to me at the mouth of 
the river out of provisions, her officer on board with medical 
supplies and other aid. 

I have thus given to the Department a full explanation of 
the "complaint" involved in my administration of the Quar 
antine laws. Upon the other branches of the inquiry relative 
to Spanish steamer "Cardenas," I am most happy to report. 

As to the Spanish "Cardenas," let me observe that she 
did not come to me in such a manner as to command the 
highest degree of courtesy or respect. The "Cardenas" left 
Havana on the 31st of May, after epidemic yellow fever had 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 343 

made its appearance there, bringing many passengers, a large 
portion of whom were rebels who had been in Havana buying 
arms and munitions of war for the Confederates, having on 
board to bring her up the river two pilots who had success 
fully conducted vessels through the blockade. 

She ran past the Forts without stopping, which was per 
mitted, for she was mistaken for the United States Steamer 
"Connecticut" then hourly expected, which mistake caused 
the "Connecticut" to be fired at when she made her appear 
ance and attempted to go by without reporting. 

The "Cardenas" then loitered up the river till near night 
and, without coming up to the usual place of landing or report 
ing to the harbor-master, came along side a wharf some three 
miles below the usual places of steamboat landing, and put 
on shore her passengers without passports being examined, or 
any report to any person, so that many obnoxious persons 
escaped into the city, and the Provost Marshal has never 
been able to ascertain the character of all the passengers. 

Will it be pretended that any captain of a Spanish steamer 
is so ignorant as not to know that such conduct is in the 
highest degree improper in landing passengers at a military 
Post? 

Mr. Tarsara says well "that no difficulty was made about 
the landing of the passengers from the Steamer/ True, be 
cause they and their luggage were surreptitiously landed miles 
below the usual landing place without the knowledge of any 
person friendly with the United States, but evidently with the 
knowledge of the Secessionists, because the Captain says in 
his protest that "crowds invaded the vessel as soon as she 
made the wharf." 

She was ordered back to Quarantine, but many frivolous 
excuses and delays were interposed by her officers until a most 
peremptory order accompanied by a threat was given, which 
she obeyed. 

After a proper Quarantine the "Cardenas" came up not 
thirty days, but one precisely such as was thought sufficient. 
I do not understand Mr. Tarsara s notions about reciprocity 
in Quarantine. He seems to insist that if we require a long 
Quarantine at New Orleans, the Governor General of Cuba 
will require an equally long Quarantine at Havana. But what 
need of a Quarantine at all against epidemic yellow fever in 
a port where it is already raging in its most virulent form? 
What possible reciprocity of Quarantine could there be between 



344 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Iceland and Vera Cruz? I have endeavored to make Quaran 
tine a sensible not a senseless regulation. 

It is complained, however, that the U. S. Steamer "Roan- 
oake" suffered a shorter detention at Quarantine than the 
"Cardenas," and that she sailed from Havana on the day 
after. This is an uncandid way of stating the fact. The 
"Roanoke" sailed from New York, went into the harbor at 
Havana, stayed there less than 24 hours, and held little or no 
communication with the shore. Her Captain reported her 
at the Quarantine station as direct from New York. Was 
there any reason for so long a Quarantine for her as for a vessel 
loaded in Havana? 

When the "Roanoke" was about to sail for New York on 
her return trip from New Orleans, a large number of Spanish 
persons were desirous of taking passage in her for Havana, and 
engaged passage accordingly. Upon application to the Span 
ish Consul for a bill of health, as the purser of the "Roanoke" 
informed me, the Consul or Vice Consul told him that as "I 
had quarantined the Cardenas, the Consul would not give 
the Roanoke a bill of health, but would report that New 
Orleans was afflicted with epidemic fever unless I would 
permit the Cardenas to come up, and if so, a clean bill of 
health would be given." 

The effect of, and motive for, this conduct was obvious. If 
the "Roanoke" went to Havana and carried her passengers, 
she would take away this business from the "Cardenas." If 
she carried such a bill of health as to put her in Quarantine 
at Havana, no New York passengers would sail in her, so that 
she must lose one or the other lot of passengers. This seemed 
to me so unjust that I sent for the Consul for an explanation. 
I understood his explanations to be exactly what the purser 
of the "Roanoke" had informed me had been told him. 

It is proper here to remark that I have been since assured 
by the Spanish Consul, for whom I really entertain a high 
respect, that his conversation was misunderstood by all parties, 
neither understanding the other s language. 

I told the Consul at that time that any retaliation upon the 
"Roanoke" for any supposed wrong done by me to the "Car 
denas" ought not to be permitted. That if he slandered the 
health of the City of New Orleans, by giving any report that 
epidemic yellow fever existed here when he knew it not to be 
the fact, preventing trade and commerce coming to this port 
by such false reports, that I would certainly send him out of the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 345 

city to Havana, and report his conduct to the Captain Gen 
eral, as the nearest Spanish Authority. And in that event, 
this I most assuredly would have done. That the bill of health 
of the "Roanoke" must be such as required by the laws and 
his instructions, precisely as if nothing had been done to the 
"Cardenas." 

To this (as he was interpreted to me to say) the Consul 
replied that he would not give a clean bill of health to the 
"Roanoke" because it was now past the first of June, and 
whatever might be the health of the city, in fact he must re 
port it unhealthy. Further, that if I still held the "Cardenas" 
under Quarantine, he would write to the Captain General of 
Cuba not to send any more vessels here. 

To that I replied that he would give my compliments to 
the Captain General, and say that until the yellow fever season 
was over he could do me and the city no greater favor than 
to prevent vessels from coming here. I then put in writing 
and gave the Consul my claim that he should give a bill of 
health to the "Roanoke," required by the laws and regula 
tions of his government, regardless of my treatment of the 
"Cardenas." The interview here ended. 

The bill of health, however, which was given to the "Roan 
oke" was such (although the city was perfectly healthy) that 
her officers did not dare to sail to Havana, lest they should be 
held to Quarantine there, in a city where the small-pox and 
yellow fever were both raging, and was in consequence obliged 
to discharge her Havana passengers and pay back the passage 
money. 

I take leave to observe upon a remark of Mr. Tarsara, the 
Spanish Minister, that I had not the authority to send out of 
my lines the Spanish Consul for so gross a dereliction of duty 
that in the first place I should have done it if the occasion 
had called, and that secondly I knew of no law, National or 
municipal, that requires the Commander of a captured city, 
occupied as a military Post, to keep any person in it, Consul 
or others, who are deliberately working to render the place 
untenable, by keeping away supplies or provisions from it 
through false reports. 

I wish, however, again to say, the subsequent conversation 
through a more intelligent interpreter in his understanding of 
English has convinced me that Mr. Callejon, the Consul s, 
remarks were misinterpreted and mistaken by me as mine 
were by him. These subsequent explanations have, I believe, 



346 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

established the most cordial relation between us. I have 
also learned that I have done Mr. Callejon an injustice in 
another respect, in supposing him, as I was informed, to be 
a Spanish merchant. Such I am now assured is not the case, 
but he is a soldier who has won honorable distinction in the wars 
of his own country. 

In Mr. Tarsara s letter of complaint it is alleged that I 
have permitted the French brigantine "Maria Felicia" and 
English schooner "Virginia Antoinette," and other vessels, to 
come up without the same length of quarantine as the "Car 
denas." These facts it is said will convict me of "capricious 
discrimination against Spain in favor of other European 
Nations." There is no reason given why I should be possessed 
of feeling which would lead me thus to discriminate. Indeed, 
if I permitted my indignation and sense of wrong as regards 
the manner in which my Government has been treated by 
other Nations to influence my official action, I assure you, 
Spain would not be the Nation toward which those feelings 
would find most active operations. On the contrary, I have 
felt that the conduct of Spain has been most friendly, espe 
cially taking into view the wrong done her by some of the citi 
zens of the United States in the invasion of Cuba. No Rebel 
privateers have fitted out from her ports. I have not known 
that any of her islands have been made Arsenals or Naval 
depots for the Confederacy, and I have yet to be informed of 
any discrimination made by her between our armed vessels 
and those of our enemy. I have ventured to say this much 
because in weighing one s acts motives are specially to be 
looked at. 

I beg to refer you to the reports of my Medical Director, 
Dr. McCormick, for the history of the objected cases taken 
from the Quarantine Records, which I believe will in every 
case justify the action taken. 

Perhaps, however, the two cases of the "Marie Felicia" 
and the "Virginia Antoinette" deserve a word of comment, 
as they illustrate the animus with which our Quarantine has 
been conducted. The "Marie," having an acclimated crew, 
had been loaded at Havre and only touched at Havana with 
out landing, was detained only long [enough] to examine her 
present condition as to health, presuming that she contained 
no latent disease or malaria, which would lose its virus or 
develop itself by time. The "Virginia," having only touched 
at Havana, was without passengers, and laden wholly with 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 347 

loose salt, a powerful disinfectant in itself, one might as well 
quarantine a barrel of chloride of lime. And yet permitting of 
this schooner to come up after 20 days absence from this 
port, is brought forward as evidence of "capricious discrimina 
tion against the Spanish Government." 

I have also appended the letter from the Captain of the 
Spanish war vessel, the "Pinta," which will show the manner 
in which our Quarantine has been conducted, and that his 
only complaint is that I have not obeyed some law of Louisiana 
regulating time of Quarantine. 

Mr. Tarsara, in his communication of the 28th of June, 
wishes the Secretary of State to require me "to treat the 
Consuls of foreign nations with more consideration, and that 
I must refrain from expressions which are not suited to give 
security to trade or maintain friendly relations between the 
authorities of the Island and those of the United States." 

It will be seen by examination of the letter of the Com 
mander of the "Blasco de Garay," hereto annexed under date 
of August 13th, that there is the complaint that my acts do 
not come up to the profession of friendship and the courtesies 
of my language. I have therefore appended all of the more 
important of my correspondence with the Spanish authorities 
here, so that the Department may see whether either in the 
manner or matter of that correspondence there is anything 
which should be a casus belli between two otherwise friendly 
nations. 

That I answered somewhat sharply the letter of the captain 
of the "Blasco de Garay," who seized the occasion in replying 
to a note wherein I offered him assistance and courtesy to 
read me a lecture on my duties, I admit I thought and still 
think I was justified in so doing. 

A nation may be friendly and its Consul quite the reverse, 
as witness the late Prussian Consul, who is now a General in 
the Rebel Army, for which he recruited a battalion of his 
countrymen. 

When, therefore, I find a Consul aiding the rebels, I must 
treat him as a rebel, and the exceptions are very few indeed 
among the Consuls here. Bound up with the rebels by mar 
riage, commercial and social relations, most of the Consular 
offices are only asylums where rebels are harbored and rebel 
lion fostered. 

Before I close this report, which pressure of public duties 
has delayed till the departure of the mail on the 6th October, 



348 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

allow me to repeat that with the blessing of God, to whom our 
most devout thanks are daily due for His Goodness, the fell 
scourge, the Yellow Fever, has been kept from my Command 
and the City of New Orleans till now, when all danger is past 
by firm administration of sanitary and Quarantine regulations, 
in spite of complaints and difficulties, and if any acts need jus 
tification I point to the results as an unanswerable vindication. 

I have the honor to be v , -,- . c 

Your obedient Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 
From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 2nd, 1862 

Capt. G. V. Fox, Asst. Sec. of the Navy 

MY DEAR CAPTAIN : I think the enclosed application could be 
granted with advantage to the interests of the United States. 

I have in one or two instances allowed wrecking to go on to 
prevent irreparable mischief. 

I wish you would put the matter in competent hands, so 
that the whole might be controlled. There is an immense 
amount of property belonging to the United States which 
might be saved if promptly attended to during the present 

low stage of water. I am, T/ 7 v . . , 

Very truly, Your friend, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 
From the Assistant Secretary of the Navy 

PRIVATE. Navy Department, November 17th, 1862 
[Not in chronological ordeiQ 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have your letter of October 2nd, and 
its enclosure for Mrs. F. of the carte de visite of the General, 
commanding the department of the Gulf. She thanks you 
for the remembrance which will be more valuable than the 
purchased one occupying a place in her album. I also received 
your letter about raising the wrecks in the lower Mississippi, 
and delayed answering it to ascertain if certain parties who 
contracted to raise the "Varuna" were going to comply with 
their contract. I am satisfied that they are not, and there 
fore the question of raising that vessel is open unless the 
Father of waters has closed it. 

With regard to some of the other vessels, there are two 
owners. Take for example, the ram "Manassas," owned 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 349 

mostly by parties in Boston, seized, enlarged, fitted, and 
mailed by the Rebels, and sunk by Smith. If she is raised, 
who takes her? I know of no person in the country so compe 
tent to handle these questions as the General in whose Depart 
ment they lie buried, and therefore advise you to contract on 
the spot for the saving of this property. If, after raising, any, 
especially the "Varuna," can be used for Naval purposes, the 
Government ought to have the right to take them by open 
sale or some other fair, reasonable methods. 

The Secretary of the Navy is of the opinion that you ought 
to take measures to save as much as possible of this property 
to the Government. It cannot be done by contract here as 
parties competent to undertake it are entirely ignorant of 
the surroundings. 

I am very glad to find that the complaints against your 
administration have been dissipated by the vigor and success 
of your Government, civil and military. Lee fought your 
battles frankly and manfully, commencing at a dinner at 
Fort Monroe, given by General Dix to Reverdy Johnson and 
his New Orleans friends. 

Lee, being a Southern man, gave weight to his opinions. I 
hear not a word now, except "looting," as the English call it, an 
amusement that all soldiers indulge in. The Rebels in Mary 
land and Kentucky took everything they wanted, and in return, 
oh, refinement of abstinence, offered Confederate scrip in 
payment, besides all kinds of brown paper shin-plasters. 

I think McClernand will be down your way near the last 
of December, and if you and Farragut can open the Mississippi 
as far as the Red River, and block that leaky place, we shall 
be able with our Mississippi squadron to keep that big river 
open to commerce, and New Orleans will rise from its lethargy. 
My opinion is that neither you or Farragut have a sufficient 
force to attack Mobile, and I have written so to him. We shall 
be along that way with iron-clads during the winter, and then 
make short work of it. You ought to have and will shortly 
have more troops, as the occupation of Texas, and most par 
ticularly the Rio Grande, is imperative. Every vessel we seize 
there is released by the courts, and the enormous trade carried on 
can only be turned into legitimate channels by military occupa 
tions up the river. I have begged for troops for this object. 

In military matters here, we are quiet but expectant. The 
luxurious army of the Potomac, petted to bursting, is no match 
in celerity of movements to the famished, freezing, soldiers of 



350 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Lee. Legs win more battles than fighting. At Bull Run one 
of our soldiers was found dead with seventeen pounds of 
Congressional documents and a History of Ireland in his 
knapsack. 

Whence did you surmise that Farragut was to be relieved? 
We never heard the rumor here. The hero of that unequalled 
dash, despising the great obstacles, gave us victory, glory, 
and New Orleans, and is not to be forgotten or removed except 
at his own pleasure, and probably not even then. If he is 
with you, I beg that you will assure him that we never heard 
of any such rumor this way. Wishing you every success, my 
dear General, in your arduous position, I remain, 

Truly your friend, G. V. Fox 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. Id, 1862 

J. KRUTTSCHNIDT, Esq., Prussian Consul 

SIR: I enclose to you a letter showing that a portion of the 
freight shipped on board the "Essex" will not be allowed to 
be taken off by the owner, by the Capt. of the ship. From the 
acts of the Captain, it would seem as if he desired not to go 
to sea, but to put himself in opposition to authorities here. 

I have now removed all obstacles to his going to sea except 
such as he gets in his own path. 

Please return me the enclosed letter which I want as a 
voucher, and state to me what now prevents the "Essex" 
sailing. I have the honor to be, ^ Qm gff ^ 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, M aj. Gen. Commdg. 
Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 3rd, 1862 

W. C. GRAY, Esq., Dy. Collector, Custom House 

SIR: Your communication of 2nd inst., desiring us to take 
from the ship "Essex" three cases of plate marked Rankin 
Gilmour & Co., and deliver same to you immediately, is to 
hand this morning, and in reply we beg to state that the Capt. 
refuses to deliver the same up to us without the production of 
the Bills of Lading, and two of the set having long since been 
mailed to England, we are unable to comply. We are, Sir, 

Your most Obt. Svt., 
HAYTON RANKIN, JNO. G. ROBINSON 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 351 
From J. Kruttschnidt 

Prussian Consulate, NEW ORLEANS, Sd. Oct., 1862 

M aj. General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf, 
NEW ORLEANS 

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your 
note under yesterday s date, enclosing a letter addressed to 
you by three passengers of the Prussian Ship "Essex," viz: 
Charles Witz, Honore Mason, Hambling asking for return of 
the passage money paid by them. 

Mr. Kahl, supercargo of the "Essex," requests me to state 
that in view of the particular circumstances his vessel is 
placed in, he is ready to refund f of the passage money paid 
by the said three persons who wish to relinquish their voyage 
in his vessel. 

Mr. Kahl informs me, however, at the same time that Cap 
tain Klatt of said vessel has received an order from Provost 
Marshal General Jonas H. French to refund the total amount 
of the passage money to several persons who engaged passage 
by the "Essex," but he is not able to say if they be the same 
as those mentioned above. The Captain of the "Essex" has 
not complied with that order. 

I return herewith the letter referred to me and remain 

Very respectfully, Your obdt. Servt., 

J. KRUTTSCHNIDT, Acting Consul 

From the Acting French Consul 

TRANSLATION. NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 3, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf 

SIR: Some new facts of violence, by negroes in the service 
of the United States, committed on a Frenchman, have just 
come to my knowledge. 

Mr. Justin Coulon lives at the plantation Hop kins, Gentilly 
road. Last Wednesday evening, October 1st, about 20 negroes 
belonging to the camp near that place broke through his 
fence, to steal fruits of his orange garden, when Mr. Coulon 
presented himself to make them leave, but found himself 
assaulted from all sides, especially by three of these men, his 
life being in great danger, the negroes being armed with 
bayonets. 

It was very lucky for him that he could use a stick of wood 
to defend himself, still he got hurt on his face and hand. 



352 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

This is, General, the second time that one of my country 
men received such treatment. It is the more serious on account 
of the attempt of robbery, with armed hands. 

I am sorry that I have to request their punishment accord 
ing to your Order No. 60, but a terrible example seems to me 
necessary; I am sure it is the only remedy to save the popula 
tion from such assaults. Accept, General, the assurance of 

^ FAUCONNET, Acting French Consul 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. Uh, 1862 

To M. THE CONSUL OF FRANCE, Representing his Majesty the 
Emperor NAPOLEON 

SIR: Your complaint that certain negroes have stolen 
oranges of Justin Coulon, a French subject, the stealing of 
the oranges shall be carefully inquired into, and I will so far 
exercise my authority as to pay for the oranges on being pre 
sented with the bill at the market price. 

In the meantime the matter shall be carefully inquired into. 
I have the honor to be, 

Your Obdt. Svt., BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 4th, 1862 

MY DEAR SARAH: The "Saxon" goes home tonight, so that 
I will write you, although the slow coach will not get home so 
soon probably as the next mail. 

I am well as a man can hope to be here. All are well. Wiegel 
has "gone to the bad," and I have taken his resignation. 
Haggerty will go if he drinks any more. I have told him, and 
shall not let up again. 

I am getting ready for offensive operations, and so are the 
enemy. Beauregard has gone to Charlestown. My negro 
regiments are getting on finely. So are my white regiments. 
The city still continues healthy to a marvel. 

I send by today s boat a little present for Mother. I bought 
it at a discount for the price of old silver from a Jew. I 
shall close up all business arrangements in which I have 
interest as soon as possible. What do you think, Shepley 
has made Weitzel pay him one-half of his salary for his 
(Shepley s) assistance as major, even while he was in Wash- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 353 

ington. Weitzel, you know, is poor, and has a mother to 
support. 

My dear Sarah, don t write me any more of those sad letters 
such as the three last, write hopeful, loving, joyous letters 
that come to me like a blessing. You will not regret it. Per 
haps, however, you are already on the road here. I expect 
you daily if so, this letter will be lost. Bring with you, if 
you get this, four pairs of drawers, merino (39 inches), 4 
merino shirts, and my dressing gown and cap. I am having 

some shirts made here. Goodby. ^ 

Yours, BENJ. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS 1 

Commodore MORRIS, Commdg. Naval Forces at 

NEW ORLEANS 

SIR: Is there any objection to my chartering the ferry boat 
"Frank Mumford" until she is needed by Government? To 
be put and kept in repair until called for. 

If you have no objection on the part of the Navy, I will 
make a charter without prejudice to the claims of either 
Department. 

Respectfully, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, October 4, 1862 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 79 

IN accordance with the terms of the cartel recently negotiated 
between the Major General Commanding this Department and 
Brig. Gen. Tilghman, of the Confederate Army, all prisoners of 
war, registered at these Headquarters for exchange, will be sent 
by steamer to Baton Rouge, La., on the 8th October instant, 
leaving New Orleans at 10 o clock, A.M., of that day. 

Those officers, the terms of whose surrender permitted the 
retention of their side arms, will be allowed to take with them 
their swords only, but in no case will permission be granted 
to purchase arms of any description to carry beyond the 
lines; nor will any supplies be taken, further than the apparel 
actually worn at the time of their departure. 

By command of MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER 
GEO. C. STRONG, A. A. G., Chief of Staff 

1 Placed in the Letter Book between letters of October 6, 1862, and October 11, 1862. 
VOL. ii 23 



354 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Richard S. Fay, Jr. 

BOSTON, October 6th, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR GENERAL: I credit you with Middlesex extra divi 
dends collected from the Life Office $1,010. I have yours of 
25th, and feel amply reassured by your expressions of confi 
dence on my care of your business interests. I have sent you 
since the letter you acknowledge on the 14th, a complete 
statement of your own account, and on the 19th a detailed 
account of operations under the order of the Secretary of War. 
I wish you would write me an order to pay Col. Butler s 
over-drafts out of your funds. By his orders I turn his balance 
over to your account whenever it amounts to any considerable 
sum. The next day, the chances are, he draws heavily, and in 
case of his or my death I should have a very poor account to 
show. I shall write you more fully from my own house to-night. 
Faithfully yours, RICHARD S. FAY, JR. 

October 8th 

I HAVE some hay in New Orleans on my own account, some 
with Col. Butler, and some with A. Montgomery. I hope if 
your horses eat it, you will allow me a fair price for it. Other 
wise I shall have to declare another extra dividend at the 
Middlesex to pay my debts. 

Governor Andrew says no more Mass, troops shall go to 
you, but I hear, though, Tho. Chickering s Regiment is to go 
as soon as it is filled. 

I hope the late victory at Corinth will open the way up the 
river to you as soon as you are reinforced. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 6th, 1862 

Wm. DILLON, Esq. 

SIR: I extended to you every facility for recovering your 
property so long as you showed yourself an honorable man, but 
after you had denounced a man as having defrauded you and 
sold you, and afterwards, when I was dealing with him, certi 
fied to his character as an honest man, I decline any further 
interference in your matters. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient servant, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 355 
From J. Kruttschnidt 

Prussian Consulate, NEW ORLEANS, 9th Oct., 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf, 
NEW ORLEANS 

GENERAL: I have had the honor to address you on the 4th 
inst. in reference to the "Essex." On the afternoon of that 
day 2 packages, marked "Geo. Green, Son & Co., Liverpool," 
shipped by Robt. Clark of this city, were by your orders taken 
away by force from on board said vessel, and on Monday 
following, the 6th inst. Captain Klatt was informed that the 
other obnoxious packages could remain on board, and that no 
further obstacles were in the way of his obtaining a clearance: 
the "Essex" was cleared accordingly at about noon on the 
6th inst. 

I now beg leave to hand you the protest of the "Essex" 
(supplementary to the one under date of 22nd ult.) against 
her detention and the forcible taking away of the 2 packages 
mentioned above. 

I regret this occurrence, but hope that the Prussian Minister 
at Washington, to whom I have forwarded all the papers 
relating to the "Essex," will have no difficulty to effect a satis 
factory settlement of this question with the Government at 
Washington. I remain, General, 

Very respectfully, Your obdt. servt., 

J. KRUTTSCHNIDT, Acting Consul 

From G. S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase 1 

PRIVATE AND UNOFFICIAL. NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 10th, 1862 

DEAR SIR: I have received your official letter of Sept. 
22nd., enclosing letters of Mr. Barney and Mr. Norton, 2 and 
asking information whether any portion of shipments to this 
port reach the enemy. My official reply, dated yesterday, is 
correct so far as it goes, but additional facts exist, proper to 
be stated only in a private letter. 

Ever since the capture of this city a brisk trade has been 
carried on with the rebels by a few persons under military 
permits, frequently with military assistance, and, as I believe, 
much to the pecuniary benefit of some of the principal mili- 



1 American Historical Association Report 1902, Vol. II, p. 320. 

2 Possible reference to letter of Sept. 6, 1862, Sidney S. Norton to Hon. William 
Barney. 



356 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

tary officers of this Department. I have suspected it for a 
long time, and spoke of it in my private letters to you of Aug. 
26th and Sept. 9th. On the 5th October, your regulations of 
Aug. 28th reached me/ I immediately stopped all trade with 
the enemy, and as this brought me in contact with the per 
sons who have been conducting the trade, I acquired much 
information. Almost all the information to be given in this 
letter, has been collected this week. 

A brother of Gen. Butler is here, who is called Col. Butler, 
though he occupies no position in the army. Government 
officers, citizens, and rebels, generally believe him to be the 
partner or agent of Gen l. Butler. He does a heavy business, 
and by various practices has made between one and two 
million dollars since the capture of the city. Gov. Shepley, 
and especially Col. French (Provost Marshal), are supposed 
to be interested, but these officers I believe to be entirely 
under control of Gen l. Butler, who knows everything, controls 
everything, and should be held responsible for everything. 

There are two channels of trade with the rebels the 
River and Lake Pontchar train. River trade must be conducted 
by steamboats. There are eight or nine river boats here, all 
seized and now in the hands of the military authorities. Col. 
Butler has used these boats as he pleased for carrying up and 
bringing down freight. I had no control over them, and 
could not know what was transpiring, for the military authori 
ties controlled them, with whom I had no authority to inter 
fere. Troops were at Baton Rouge and below Vicksburg, and 
it was to be supposed the boats were used for public, not 
private purposes. Of late, frequently, one or two infantry 
companies would accompany a boat taking up cargo and 
bringing back produce. This service was unpopular with 
officers and men, who enlisted for the benefit of the country 
and not of speculators. I say no more concerning the river 
trade, except that it has been constant and sometimes active. 

Of the trade across the lake, I have more accurate and 
more information, because there are no government vessels 
there, and it was conducted with schooners. Shortly after 
arriving here, I learned that large quantities of salt had crossed 
the lake to the rebels, and supposing it to be smuggled, took 
measures to stop it thenceforth. Two weeks later, a schooner 
loaded with 1,000 sacks salt [[started] to cross the lake. I 
directed the inspector to seize the vessel, and immediately 
called upon Gen. Butler, and requested a guard to be put on 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 357 

board. This was about 9 o clock at night. He appeared indig 
nant at the attempt to take salt to the enemy ordered a 
guard on board the vessel and ordered the immediate 
arrest of the Captain and shippers. The next day I had an 
interview with Provost Marshal French, who told me it was all 
a misunderstanding. The shipper had a permit for 500, but not 
for 1,000; that the shipper and captain were released the ves 
sel unladen and released also. I told him he had no authority 
to release my seizures, but it was now too late to help it. 

After this but little trade was done until six or eight weeks 
ago, when Gen. Butler gave a permit to a rebel to ship four 
large cargoes, much of which was contraband, across the lake. 
I immediately called upon the General, who said that it was 
the policy of the Gov t. to get cotton shipped from this port, and 
for that purpose to trade with the enemy. In the conversa 
tion he left upon my mind the impression that this course 
was approved at Washington. I then had entire confidence 
in Gen l Butler, and my letter of instructions had directed me 
to consult with him frequently. For the last two months 
trade has been active across the lake, nor had I any authority 
to stop it, until the arrival of your regulations on the 5th 
Oct., as above mentioned. 

The following statements are made to me by various persons : 

One man says that he took over 600 sacks salt just before I 
arrived, and was gone six weeks. Gen l Butler gave permit. 
Two dollars per sack was paid for permission to take from New 
Orleans. He sold 400 sacks to Confederate army at $25. per 
sack, and was permitted to sell the other 200 to citizens at 
$36. per sack. He did not own the cargo, but received one- 
fourth of net profits. He cleared $2,000. The owners cleared 
$6,000 good money. 

Dr. Avery, Surgeon 9th. Reg t. Conn. Vol., states that he 
accompanied an expedition to Pontichoula, just north of Lake 
Pontchar train, about three weeks ago. A skirmish ensued 
he was taken prisoner and taken to Camp Moore. He saw a 
large quantity of salt in sacks there, lying by the railroad. A 
rebel officer said to him, "We bought that salt from Col. 
Butler. We paid $5. per sack for the privilege of shipment 
from New Orleans. To-day that salt goes to Richmond for 
the army. To-morrow or next day another cargo will arrive. 
The army get their salt from New Orleans. The Yankees 
"will do anything for money." Dr. A. was subsequently 
released, and is now in this city. 



358 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Capt. Corn well, Co. A. 13th Conn. Reg t., was stationed 
with his company at the mouth of New Canal for about three 
weeks, ending last Saturday. He states that the first schooner 
going out was laden with large am t. of contraband articles 
some medicines, including 80 gals, castor oil. It had Shepley s 
permit. He sent his 2nd. Lieut. (Kinney) to Gen. Butler who 
said, "Go to Gov. Shepley, and ask him if he does not know 
that these articles will go right into the hands of the enemy." 
Gov. Shepley said, "Return to Gen. Butler and say that I 
consulted him before giving this permit." Whereupon Gen. 
B. said, "Well, let it go, since Gov. S. has granted a permit." 
The same thing happened two or three days afterward, when 
Gen. B. received the messenger, and at once wrote on the back 
of the permit, "Gov. Shepley s passes must be respected." 
Capt. Cornwell now wants to go home. 

The inspector of Customs at the New Canal is very sick, 
and therefore I cannot get his statement at present. 

Mr. Clark applies for permission to trade with the enemy 
on large scale, and states that he made the arrangement by 
Gen. Butler s consent. I let his vessel leave in ballast, taking 
bond in double the value of the vessel that she would be 
returned into my custody within 20 days. He had a letter 
from Gen. B. which I caused to be privately copied, and 
also a letter from Col. Butler. Both are enclosed here 
with, marked "A." 

Don D. Goicouria (of the firm of D. D. Goicouria and Co., 
New St., N. Y.) has been here four months and has made 
about $200,000. He asks to continue trade with the enemy, 
authorized by Gen l. Butler. He has taken two thousand 
sacks salt to the confederate army. He made an arrangement 
with Gen. Butler and Benjamin (Rebel Secretary of War) to 
take salt to the enemy, bringing back cotton in exchange at 
the rate of ten sacks in one bale of cotton. He goes North 
next steamer, and will apply to Secretary of Treasury for per 
mit to continue the trade. He has rec d here 200 bales cotton. 
His salt goes to the Confederate Army. He says Col. Butler 
told him that he (Col. B.) had sent North 8,000 hogs, sugar of 
his own, worth in N. Y. $800,000 or $900,000. Besides salt, he 
has taken to the enemy large amount of other goods. In his 
interview with you he will be able to tell you everything about 
trade with the Rebels if disposed to do so. 

A Roman Catholic Priest, from Bay St. Louis, told me 
yesterday that in his vicinity Salt was selling for $3.50 per 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 359 

gallon or $25. per bushel, and Flour at $55. per barrel (A 
Sack of salt contains about 4 bushels). 

Mr. Lloyd 1 applies for permit to trade. He states that Gen. 
B. granted him permit, to take effect whenever he pleased, 
and offered him gunboats and soldiers. He declined such aid, 
preferring to make arrangements with Confederate authorities, 
which are now completed. That he promised to bring hither 
5,000 bales cotton and sell them to Gen. Butler, at the market 
price. He insinuates that there is a further understanding 
between himself and Gen. Butler, but declines stating what it 
is. His agent s name is Burden, and his application (with 
list of cargo) is enclosed herewith, marked "B." 

Another application comes from Wm. Perkins, and is en 
closed herewith marked "C." 

R. H. Montgomery s vessels were stopped by me in New 
Canal on the 5th October. His permit from Gov. Shepley 
and list of cargo is enclosed herewith marked "D." 

All the vessels crossing the lake since Sept. 23rd. have 
had Gen. Shepley s pass. The inspector has furnished a list 
of them with their cargoes, which list is enclosed herewith, 
marked "E." 

After receiving copy of your regulations, I told Gen. Butler 
that this trade gave aid and comfort to the enemy without 
benefit to the Gov t. that it demoralized the army dis 
gusted loyal citizens and degraded the character of the 
Gov t. He smilingly assented said it ought to be stopped 
- that he didn t see why Shepley granted such permits 
and that he was going to visit Ship Island, and when he returned 
would see me about it again! 

The stringent blockade enhances prices in the Rebel States, 
and is a great thing for the military speculators of this Depart 
ment and their friends. I know of 5,000 sacks being sent 
to the enemy, and I think more than 10,000 have been sent. 

I suppose your regulations (28th. Aug.) equally apply to the 
portion of the State within our lines as well as to that under 
insurrectionary control. That supplies can be sent anywhere 
to a loyal citizen for his own use, but not to sell to rebels, and 
that I am to control the whole matter. If I mistake, please 
inform me. 

Most of this trade can be stopped, but I believe the present 
military authorities are so corrupt that they will take all means 

1 Possibly the Richard Lloyd who wrote to Gen. Butler June 6th and June 17th, 
1862 (filed June 17th, 1862). 



360 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

to make money. The amount of goods smuggled from this 
point to the enemy has been trifling. Gen. Butler has always 
been kind to me, and our personal relations are upon the most 
pleasant footing. He has great ability, great energy, shrewd 
ness and activity, and industry, but he can never acquire a 
character here for disinterestedness. Many officers and 
soldiers want to go home, not wishing to risk their lives to 

make fortunes for others. /r , o T\ \ 

(GEORGE S. DENISON) 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, October llth, 1862 

M . FAUCONNET, Acting Consul of France. Representing H. M. 
THE EMPEROR OF FRANCE 

SIR: I had the pleasure to find on my return to this city the 
report of Col. Stafford of the 1st Regt. of Native Guard (free 
colored), which with the accompanying evidence in relation 
to Abadie I have the honor to inclose with the request, they 
being original documents, that they shall be returned to me 
after your perusal. 

If the evidence is correct, it would seem that the outrage 
was on the part of Abadie on my colored soldiers, who are to 
be protected from the insults of all persons, whether neutrals 
or others. 

If you choose, you will submit the evidence to Mr. Abadie, 
and if then he or you desires, I will order the parties before a 
Military Commission to be tried for such offences as may be 
found against them, and will mete out such punishment as 
may be due to the party found by such Commission to be in 
the wrong. 

Meanwhile, may I ask you to warn your countrymen against 
the prejudices which they may have imbibed, the same as 
were lately mine, against my colored soldiers, because their 
color and race is of the same hue and blood as those of your 
celebrated compatriot and author, Alexander Dumas, who, I 
believe is treated with the utmost respect in Paris, so that their 
prejudices may not lead them to interfere and provoke con 
tests, which may be the subject, perhaps justly, of complaint 
from yourself to me. I have the honor to be 

Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 361 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, October 12, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to report the facts and circumstances 
of my General Orders No. 55 in answer to the complaints of 
the Prussian and French legations, as to the enforcement of 
that order upon certain inhabitants of New Orleans, claimed 
to be the subjects of these respective Governments. 

Before discussing the special and personal relations of the 
several complaints, it will be necessary in a general way to 
give an account of the state of things which I found had existed, 
and was then existing, at New Orleans upon its capture by 
the Federal Troops, to show the status of the several classes 
upon which General Orders No. 55 takes effect. 

In October, 1861, about the time Mason and Slid ell left the 
city upon their mission to Europe to obtain the intervention of 
the foreign powers, great hopes were entertained by the rebels 
that the European Governments would be induced to inter 
fere from the want of a supply of cotton. This supply was 
being had to a degree through the agency of the small vessels 
shooting out by the numerous Bayous, Lagoons, and creeks 
with which the southern part of Louisiana is penetrated, 
eluded the blockade, and conveyed very considerable amounts 
of cotton to Havana and other foreign ports, where rams and 
munitions of war were largely imported through the same 
channels in exchange. Indeed, as I have before had the 
honor to inform the Department of State, it was made a con 
dition of the very passes given by Governor Moore that a 
quantity of arms and powder should be returned in proportion 
to the cotton shipped. 

The very high prices of the outward as well as the inward 
cargoes made these ventures profitable, although but one in 
three got through in safety. 

Nor does the fact that so considerable quantities of cotton 
escaped the blockading force at all impugn the efficiency of 
the blockading squadron, when it is taken into consideration 
that without using either of the principal water communica 
tions with the city through the "Rigolets" or the "Passes" 
at the Delta of the river, there are at least 53 distinct outlets 
to the Gulf from New Orleans by water communication by 
light-draught vessels. Of course, not a pound of the cotton 
that went through these channels found its way North unless 



362 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

it was purchased at a foreign port. To prevent even this 
supply of the European manufactures, became an object of 
the greatest interest of the rebels, and prior to October 1861 
all the principal cotton factors of New Orleans, to the number 
of about a hundred, united in an address, signed with their 
names, to the planters, advising them not to send their cotton 
to New Orleans, for the avowed reason that if it was sent the 
cotton will find its way to foreign ports and furnish the in 
terest of Europe and the United States with the product of 
which they are most in need . . . and thus contribute to 
the maintainance of that quasi neutrality, which European 
Nations have thought proper to avow. 

"This address proving ineffectual to maintain the policy 
we had determined upon, and which not only received the 
sanction of public opinion here, but which has been so promptly 
and cheerfully followed by the planters and factors of the 
other States of the Confederacy," the same cotton factors 
made a petition to Governor Moore and General Twiggs to 
"devise means to prevent any shipment of Cotton to New 
Orleans whatever." 

For answer to the petition, Governor Moore issued a proc 
lamation forbidding the bringing of cotton within the city 
limits under the penalties therein prescribed. This action was 
concurred in by General Twiggs, then in command of the 
Confederate forces, and enforced by newspaper articles pub 
lished in the leading Journals. 

I have appended the exhibits of proclamation of the Gov 
ernor, the order of General Twiggs, the petition of the Cotton 
Factors, and an article on the subject by one of the most 
widely circulated Journals, in papers marked "A" & "B," 
wherein the whole matter is fully set forth. 

This was one of the series of offensive measures which was 
undertaken by the mercantile community of New Orleans, 
of which a large portion were foreigners, and of which the 
complaint of Order 55 formed a part in aid of the rebellion. 

The only cotton allowed to be shipped during the autumn 
and winter of 1861 & 1862 was by permits of Governor Moore, 
granted upon express condition that at least one-half in value 
should be returned in arms and munitions of war. In this 
traffic, almost the entire mercantile houses of New Orleans 
were engaged. Joint stock companies were formed, shares 
issued, vessels bought, cargoes shipped, arms returned, immense 
profits realized, and the speculative and trading energy of the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 363 

whole community was turned in this direction. It will be borne 
in mind that quite two-thirds of the trading community were 
foreign-born, and now claim exemption from all duties as 
citizens and exemption from liabilities for all their acts because 
of being "foreign neutrals." 

When the expedition, which I had the high honor to be 
intrusted to command, landed at Ship Island, and seemed to 
threaten New Orleans, the most energetic efforts were made by 
the State and Confederate authorities for the defence of the 
city. Nearly the entire foreign population of the city enrolled 
itself in Companies, Battalions and Brigades, representing 
different Nationalities. They were armed, uniformed, and 
equipped, drilled and manoeuvered, reported for service to 
the Confederate Generals. Many of the foreign officers took 
the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States. The Brigadier 
General in command of the European Brigade, Paul Juge a 
naturalized citizen of the United States but born in France, 
renounced his citizenship and applied to the French Govern 
ment to be restored to his former citizenship as a native of 
that country at the very time he held his command in the 
foreign legion. 

The Prussian Consul, now General Reichard of the Confed 
erate army, of whom we shall say] more in the course of this 
report, raised a Battalion of his countrymen and went to Vir 
ginia, where he has been promoted for his gallantry in the 
rebel service, leaving his commercial partner, Mr. Krutt- 
schnidt, now acting Prussian Consul, who has married the 
sister of the rebel Secretary of War, to embarrass as much 
as possible the United States officers here by subscriptions 
to "city defense funds," and groundless complaints to the 
Prussian Minister. 

I have thus endeavored to give a faithful and exact account 
of the state of the foreign population of New Orleans of the 
fifteenth day of Feb., 1862. 

In October, 1861, the city had voted to erect a battery out 
of this "defence fund," as will appear by exhibit extract of 
the Delta Newspaper marked "C." On the 19th of February, 
1862, the City Council by vote published and commented 
upon in the newspapers, placed in the hands of the Confed 
erate General Lovell fifty thousand Dollars ($50,000), to be 
expended by him in the defence of the city. This resolution 
is appended from a published newspaper copy marked "D." 

It will therefore clearly appear that all inhabitants of the 



364 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

city knew that the City Council were raising and expending 
large sums for war purposes. 

On the 20th of the same February, the City Council raised 
an extraordinary "Committee on Public Safety" from the 
body of inhabitants at large, consisting of sixty members, for 
the "purpose of cooperating with the Confederate and State 
authorities in devising means for the defence of the city and 
its approaches." This will appear from exhibit marked "E," 
a published newspaper copy of the resolution raising such 
committee. 

On the 27th of the same February, the City Council adopted 
a series of resolutions: 1st. recommending the issue of One 
Million Dollars of the City Bonds for the purpose of purchas 
ing arms and munitions of war, and to provide for the success 
ful defence of the city and its approaches. 

2nd. To appropriate Twenty-five thousand Dollars for 
the purpose of uniforming and equipping soldiers mustered 
into the service of the country. 

3rd. Pledging the Council "to support the families of all 
soldiers who shall volunteer for the war." 

This will appear more at large in the published newspaper 
copy on the resolutions, marked "F." 

On the 3rd of March, 1862, the City Council authorized the 
Mayor to issue bonds of the city for a million of Dollars, 
and provided that the Chairman of the Finance Committee 
might pay over the said bonds to the Committee of Public 
Safety appointed by the Common Council of the City of 
New Orleans, as per resolution No. 8930, approved 20th of 
February, 1862, in such sums as they may require for the pur 
chase of arms and munitions of war, provisions, or to provide 
any means for the successful defence of the city and its 
approaches. And at the same time authorized the Chairman 
of the Finance Committee "to pay over $25,000 to troops 
mustered into the State service, who should go to fight at 
Columbus or elsewhere under General Beauregard." This 
will appear by Exhibit marked "G," of the published news 
paper copy of the doings of the City Council. 

It was to this fund, in the hands of this extraordinary 
Committee, so published with its objects and purposes, that 
the complainants subscribed their money, and now claim 
exemption upon the ground of neutrality, and want of knowl 
edge of the purpose of the funds. 

It will be remembered that all the steps of the raising of 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 365 

the Committee to dispose of this fund were published, and 
matters of great public notoriety. That the fact that the 
bonds were in the hands of such an extraordinary Committee 
should have put any prudent person on their guard. 

That all the leading Secessionists of the City were sub 
scribers to the same fund. 

Will it be pretended for a moment that these persons 
Bankers, Merchants, Brokers who are making this com 
plaint, did not know what this fund was, and its purposes to 
which they were subscribing by thousands of dollars? 

[Had] Mr. Rochereau, for instance, who had taken an oath 
to support the Confederate States, a banker, and then a Colonel 
commanding a body of troops in the service of the Confed 
erates, never heard for what purposes the city was raising a 
million and a quarter in bonds? 

Take the Prussian Consul, who complains for himself and 
the Mrs. Vogel whom he represents, as an example. Did he 
know about this fund? He, a trader, a Jew famed for a bar 
gain, married the sister of the rebel Secretary of War, the 
partner of General Reichard, late Prussian Consul, then in 
command of the Confederate army, who subscribed for him 
self, his partner, and Mrs. Vogel, the wife of his former part 
ner, thirty thousand Dollars, did he not know what he was 
doing when he bought the bonds of this "Committee of Public 
Safety"? 

On the contrary, it was done to aid the rebellion to which 
he was bound by his sympathies, his social relations, his 
business connections, and marriage ties! But it is said that 
this subscription was made to the fund for the sake of the in 
vestment. It will appear, however, by a careful examination, 
that Mr. Kruttschnidt collected for his principal a note 
secured by mortgage in anticipation of its being due, in order 
to purchase twenty -five thousand dollars of this loan. See 
his letter to Mrs. Vogel. Without, however, descending into 
the particulars, is the profitableness of the investment to be 
permitted to be alleged as a sufficient apology for aiding the 
rebellion by money and arms? If so, all their army contract 
ors, principally Jews, should be held blameless, for they have 
made immense fortunes by the war. Indeed, I suppose another 
Jew one Judas thought his investment in the thirty 
pieces of silver was a profitable one, until the penalty of 
treachery reached him. 

When I took possession of New Orleans I found the city 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

nearly on the verge of starvation, but thirty days provisions 
in it, and the poor utterly without the means of procuring 
what food there was to be had. 

I endeavored to aid the City Government in the work of 
feeding the poor, but I soon found that the very contribution 
of food was a means faithlessly used to encourage the rebel 
lion. I was obliged, therefore, to take the whole matter into 
my own hands. It became a subject of alarming importance 
and gravity. It became necessary to provide from some 
source the funds to procure the food. They could not be raised 
by city taxation in the ordinary form. These taxes were in 
arrears to more than a million of dollars. Besides, it would 
be unjust to tax the loyal citizens and honestly neutral for 
eigners to provide for a state of things brought about by the 
rebels and disloyal foreigners related to them by ties of blood, 
marriage, and social relation, who had conspired and labored 
together to overthrow the authority of the United States, 
and establish the very result which was to be met. Further, 
in order to have a contribution effective, it must be upon those 
who had wealth to answer it. 

There seems to me no such fit subjects for such taxation as 
the Cotton Brokers, who had brought the distress upon the 
city by thus paralysing commerce, and the subscribers to this 
loan who had money to invest for purposes of war, so adver 
tised and known as above described. 

With these conditions, I issued General Orders No. 55, 
which will explain itself, and is annexed marked "H," and 
have raised nearly the amount of the tax therein set forth. 

But for what purpose? Not a dollar has gone in any way 
to the use of the United States. I am now employing 1,000 
poor laborers as matter of charity upon the streets and wharves 
of the city from this fund. I am distributing food to preserve 
from starvation 9707 families, containing "Thirty-Two Thou 
sand and Four Hundred and Fifty souls" daily, and this done 
at an expense of more than Seventy Thousand Dollars per 
month. I am sustaining, at the expense of Two Thousand 
Dollars per month, five asylums for widows and orphans. I 
am aiding the Charity Hospital to the extent of Five Thousand 
Dollars per month. 

I beg leave to call your attention to the exhibits marked, 
"I and K," attached hereto. These are synopses of the 
weekly returns of my Relief Committee that distributes the 
food. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 367 

Before their Excellencies the French and Prussian Ministers 
complain of my actions upon foreigners at New Orleans, I 
desire they would look at these exhibits, and consider for a 
few moments the facts and figures set forth in these returns 
and in this report. They will find that out of 10,490 families 
who have been fed from the fund, with the raising of which 
they find fault, less than one tenth (One thousand and ten) are 
Americans, nine thousand four hundred and eighty, foreign 
ers. Of the thirty-two thousand souls but three thousand are 
natives. Besides, the Charities at the Asylums and hospitals 
are distributed in about the same proportions as to foreigners 
and native born, so that of an expenditure of near $80,000 
per month to employ and feed the starving poor of New 
Orleans, seventy-two thousand goes to the foreigners, whose 
compatriots loudly complain, and offensively thrust forward 
their neutrality when ever they are called upon to aid their 
suffering countrymen. 

I should need no extraordinary taxation to feed the poor of 
New Orleans if the bellies of the foreigners were as active with 
the rebels as are the heads of those who claim exemption thus 
far of this taxation, made and used for purposes above set 
forth upon the grounds of their neutrality. I find Mr. Roch- 
ereau & Co., the senior partner of which took an oath of alle 
giance to support the Constitution of the Confederate States. 
I find also the house of Reichard & Co., the senior partner of 
which, General Reichard, is in the rebel army, the junior 
partner Mr. Kruttschnidt, the brother in law of Benjamin, 
the rebel Secretary of War, using all funds in his hands to 
purchase arms, and collecting the securities of his correspond 
ent before they are due to get funds to loan to rebel authori 
ties, and now acting Prussian Consul here, doing quite as 
effective service to the rebels as his partner in the field. Mr. 
Vogel, late partner in the same house of Reichard & Co., now 
absent, whose funds are managed by that house. Mr. Paesher 
& Co. Bankers, whose clerks and employees formed a part of 
the French Legion, organized to fight the United States, and 
who contributed largely to arm and equip that corps. And a 
Mr. Lewis, whose antecedents I have not had time to investi 
gate. And these are fair specimens of the neutrality of the 
foreigners for whom the Government is called upon to inter 
fere, to prevent their paying anything toward the Relief 
Fund for their starving countrymen. 

If the representatives of the Foreign Governments will feed 



368 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

their own starving people, over whom the only protection 
they extend, so far as I see, is to tax them all, poor and rich, 
a dollar and a half each for certificates of nationality, I will 
release these foreigners from all the exactions, fines, and 
imposts whatever. I have the honor to be 

Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, October 12, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: In obedience to the request of the Department by 
letter of Sept. 18th, that I would report "all the facts and cir 
cumstances which are the subject of the complaint of Mr. 
Tarsara, Spanish Minister at Washington, concerning the 
action of the United States Authorities in relation to the 
house of Puig Brothers, Spanish trader of this city, I beg 
leave to submit the following: 

My police and detective officers received information from 
the most reliable sources that the house of Puig Bros, had 
been and still was carrying on the nefarious traffic of supply 
ing the rebels with arms and munitions of War from Havana, 
and for that purpose one of the partners was a resident 
of Havana, to ship the contraband articles which the other 
received and distributed here. 

Acting upon this information, a seizure of the House was 
ordered, together with their books and papers, for the purpose 
of obtaining at the same time evidence of the facts and secu 
rity for the appearance of the parties, one of whom had ab 
sconded at the moment. The books and papers show the 
most conclusive evidence of the criminal complicity of the 
House in breaking the neutrality laws in every possible form. 

The resident partner here had just taken refuge on board 
the Spanish vessel of War, "Blasco De Garay," and upon 
inquiry for him there, his presence was denied. I beg leave in 
this connection to call the attention of the War Department, 
and ask that the attention of the Secretary of State, and 
through him the Spanish Minister, may be informed of the 
fact that a Spanish man-of-war lying in this harbor, is made 
the fraudulent asylum of criminals, protecting them from 
justice and trial. 

How far such conduct can be justified by the Comity of 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 369 

Nations I have a very decided opinion, and certainly, if not 
otherwise authoritatively advised by the War Department, 
upon the repetition of such conduct, I shall order and enforce 
the absence of the offending vessel from the harbor. 

Being made aware of these facts, and of the place of refuge 
of the criminal, as will appear by the affidavits of the Messrs. 
Cabezas and Calleja (copies of which are hereto annexed), I 
did not choose to pursue the investigation of the case of an 
absconding criminal in his absence, when he was putting me 
at defiance on board of a man-of-war of a friendly power. 

Therefore, when the Spanish Consul made application for 
an explanation of the causes of the seizure of the House of 
Puig Bros., as soon as I was ready to go on with the trial, I 
replied that "I would continue the investigation if he would 
bring Mr Puig before me." 

This I did because I was assured that the Spanish Consul 
knew of and connived at the place of concealment of Puig, 
and I did not wish to involve myself with the Spanish Authori 
ties in attempting to take Puig from his place of refuge on 
board of the man-of-war by force, but rather if he thought him 
self innocent that he should come forward. I believe that if 
Puig desired in good faith to have an investigation which 
would establish his innocence, that he would come forward, 
and I did not believe that it would be decent to my own self- 
respect, to try the question of Puig s guilt with the Spanish 
authorities by correspondence, while they concealed the crimi 
nal, so that if found guilty, he would be beyond my reach. 

I observe that Mr. Tarsara makes it a matter of complaint 
that my note to the Spanish Consul was by the hand of one 
of my Adjutants. I am not aware of any exaltation of rank 
in a Spanish commercial agent which obliges a Major General 
of the U. S. Army to answer his communications by his own 
hand; besides, there being some ten Consular agents here, 
who are continually writing letters upon the most frivolous 
subjects, as well as those of graver importance to me, answers 
in person have become a physical impossibility, specially 
taken in connection with the voluminous correspondence 
entailed upon me by the complaints of their several ministers 
which I am obliged by courtesy to answer with my own hand. 

To estabish beyond cavil or doubt the deep-dyed criminality 
of the "most respectable House of Puig Bros.," I enclose 
herewith a certified copy of a receipt given as lately as Novem 
ber last to a rebel Custom house officer by that House, for the 

VOL. II 24 



370 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

delivery of many arms and many pounds of powder and lead, 
imported by that "most respectable House of neutral Spanish 
subjects," but in fact army contractors of the Confederate 
States. 

Unless the United States are to lose their manhood alto 
gether, I trust I shall not be called upon to allow to pass 
unchecked this nefarious traffic under the high-sounding plea 
of "Highly respectable House of Neutrals." 

As to the insinuated charge in Mr. Tarsara s communica 
tion, that anyone in this Department has interfered with 
the official correspondence of the Spanish Legation with the 
Spanish Consul at New Orleans, "all the facts or circum 
stances" I have to report on such complaint are that it has 
not the slightest foundation of fact. 

After many weeks of delay it happened that one of my 
detective officers, having had his integrity overcome by the 
atmosphere of fraud and iniquity with which the rebels and 
their agents, such as Puig Bros., had surrounded New Orleans, 
was detected in the act of criminal embezzlement, for which 
prompt punishment was meted to him. This seemed to give 
favorable occasion to one of Puig s clerks to make a claim for 
loss, which I had reason to believe fraudulent, and I so char 
acterized it in a communication to the Spanish Consul, which 
he has not forwarded to his Minister, or which, if he has so 
sent, has not been sent to the Secretary of State. 

I will remark, from that time I have heard nothing of that 
claim. Certain it is, if the claim was a just one, the Clerk had 
more valuables in his principal s house than had the mer 
chants themselves. 

Perhaps it may not be in opportune to remark further that 
through his Consul Mr. Puig has subsequently asked leave to 
come on shore from his self-imposed imprisonment on board 
the man-of-war, and at the last I knew of him he was at liberty 
on his parole awaiting trial. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

UNITED STATES vs. PUIG BROTHERS 

EDWARD CABEZAS, being duly sworn, deposes and says: 
that he has resided in New Orleans for the period of one year, 
and that he is acquainted with one of the members of the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 371 

above-named firm, to wit: Majin Puig, and the other member 
of the firm is now absent in Havana. That during the time 
a blockade was established and existing over the port of New 
Orleans by authority of the United States, the said firm were 
engaged in violating said blockade to wit: In loading and de 
spatching from the port of New Orleans the schooner "Major 
Farewell," which said schooner made three voyages, and upon 
her return brought arms and munitions of war. Deponent 
further states that he has heard the aforesaid Puig say that 
he had a contract with the Confederate Government to bring 
in arms and powder for the use of said Government. 

Deponent also states that said Puig is now on board the 
Spanish man-of-war now at anchor in the Mississippi River. 

Further, deponent says not. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand the 5th 
day of July, A.D . 1862. EDWARD 



M. CALLEZA being sworn, says: that he has examined the 
correspondence seized in the office of Puig Brothers, and that 
the greater portion of the same is in Spanish, and that one 
bank and one ship, besides those mentioned in the affidavits, 
were engaged in violating the blockade. 

In witness thereof I have hereunto set my hand the 5th 
day of July, A.D. 1862. 

Sworn to before me, this fifth day of July, A.D. 1862. 

JONAS H. FRENCH, Provost Marshal District N. 0. 

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 18th, 1861 
[Not in chronological order] 

Delivered to Messrs. Puig Brothers & Co. as follows viz. 

430 Pineapples 408 Kegs Powder 
59 Bun. Bananas 5 Casks " 

250 " Plantains 3 Cases 

49 Cases Muskets 6 Muskets 

3 Kegs Nitre 184 Bars Lead 
8 Swords 40 Sacks Coffee 

Received from Inspector J. O. Brien the above articles. 

PUIG BROTHERS 

110 Boxes tin 453 Bars Lead 

PUIG BROTHERS per F. ELOISQUE 



372 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From J. L. Pinot 

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. nth, 1862 

To Major General BUTLER, Commanding Department of 
the Gulf 

GENERAL: Yesterday morning, when I had the honor to 
present you my humble respects, you asked me if I remembered 
the circumstances under which I presented myself before you 
in August last to ask the pardon of Mr. Chas. Heidsick, who 
was arrested and sent to prison for infringing the laws of the 
United States in crossing from the enemy side your military 
lines, to come to New Orleans in violation of your inilitary 
orders, and what is become of the order of pardon and release 
you then granted? 

The facts and circumstances of that affair, General, are too 
solemnly graved in my memory to be ever forgotten. My 
friend, Mr. S. Plussan, a merchant of this city, well-known 
by you, having been informed that Chas. Heidsick, his friend, 
had been arrested and sent to prison by the military authori 
ties of the United States, prayed me to approach you in order 
to ascertain what could be the offence committed by his friend, 
and in the same time to inquire if he could be released under 
a security to be furnished by Mr. Plussan? 

You received my demand, General, with your accustomed 
urbanity and kindness, and you immediately called Mr. 
Moses Greenwood of this city, who had been conjointly, with 
ten other persons, permitted to proceed with a steamer under 
a flag of truce to Mobile to bring back to New Orleans a cer 
tain quantity of barrels of flour, for the population there 
much in need of. 

This gentleman stated in my presence that Chas. Heidsick, 
disguised as a Bar-keeper on board of said vessel, came from 
Mobile to New Orleans. You also asked of Mr. Greenwood if 
he knew the social position of Mr. Heidsick and what it was? 
His answer was that Mr. Heidsick was a Frenchman and a 
rich dealer in wines. 

The proof adduced to me was that as bearer of letters from 
a Mr. Porte of Mobile, acting there as Vice Consul, Mr. Heid 
sick had crossed again your military lines in coming from Mo 
bile to New Orleans on board of a schooner, in ordei to bring, 
as he stated, letters to the French Consul in New Orleans. 

All these facts [werel also stated to me by the French Con 
sul here, and the friends of Mr. Heidsick have told me that he 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 373 

does not deny these facts, but that he contends that he is 
innocent of all offences whatsoever, and he never injured or 
caused prejudice to the Government of the United States in 
any manner whatsoever. 

In presence of such evidence I remained confused, and I 
had nothing to say but to implore your clemency, General, 
in favor of Mr. Plussan s friend. 

I then returned in painful thoughts and apprehensions of 
Mr. Heidsick s ultimate state, knowing well that under such 
circumstances, according to the usages of war and the laws of 
nations, the prisoner s life was at your mercy, but knowing 
also that your generosity and clemency has been so largely 
extended in New Orleans to so many unfortunate persons in 
grave circumstances, the hope that you would pardon Mr. 
Heidsick never abandoned me; and that very day I took 
the liberty to write to you in favor of the prisoner. The next 
day I went to see you; you promised to take my demand in 
consideration, and a few days afterwards Mr. Plussan received 
from you an order which released Mr. Heidsick from prison 
under the condition that he should leave the country for France. 
This order, together with a letter received from the French 
Consul who had it from France to the address of Mr. Heid 
sick, was sent him by Mr. Plussan. 

It appears that Mr. Heidsick, instead of availing himself of 
your generous pardon, thought proper to remain in prison. 
What is his purpose and his intentions I desire not to know 
them, but I am certain that the unfortunate man is uncon 
scious of his position. If, however, in the name of humanity, 
General, please not to revoke your kind order. The day is not 
far when Mr. Heidsick will be happy to avail himself of it in 
recognizing the fallacy of his pretensions. I remain, General, 
with a profound respect and great consideration, 

Your most obedient servant, J. L. PINOT 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, October 13, 1862 

J. CALLEJON, Esq. Consul of Spain 

SIR: I enclose this anonymous communication, believing 
it due the representative of a friendly Government. 

Will you return it to me with a report as to the truth of 
the information contained. I am, 

Your Most obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



374 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

New Orleans, October 5th, 1862 [Not in chronological order^ 

DEAR SIR: As you have done me some good I will return 
good to you. 

Are you aware that the "Blasco De Garay" is violating the 
Neutrality laws? The steamer is crowded with rebel passen 
gers who have gone on board without permission, without 
having taken the oath of allegiance. 

I will call your attention to M. M. Delain Eustis, brother of 
George Eustis. He is bearer of important despatches; and 
a gentleman by the name of Mr. Grailhe, a gentleman of high 
standing, very rich, he leaves behind his wife, who resides 
corner Royal and Main Streets. He is a rabid Confederate, 
and both have been concealing themselves for the last three 
days on board the ship. Mr. Eustis has received those des 
patches by a young man who crossed the lines four days ago. 
He is with his wife and children. 

There are besides twenty families making altogether 60 
passengers. 



From Juan de Callejon 

TRANSLATION 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf 

GENERAL: Although it is not customary to pay the slightest 
attention to the anonymous communications, I wish to inform 
you that I have seen on the "Blasco de Garay" some persons, 
well acquainted with her commander, and who left for Havana 
with a passport from the authority of this City & also from 
my office; if those you have mentioned were amongst them, I 
did not know it, but it is not strange if they have asked the 
Commander of the said ship for protection, as no man-of-war 
in the world would refuse protection to a man in political 
trouble, although you may think different it cannot offend 
the neutrality of the Government. 

It is different with common criminals, and the noble and 
charitable anonymous correspondent might have informed 
you also that a police officer came at night to my residence to 
tell me that a murderer was secreted on board the "Blasco 
de Garay," and that I got out of bed and gave the necessary 
order, and the officers of the steamer gave all the assistance 
required. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 375 

The social manners of the Captain and officers of the "Blasco 
de Garay " have made them many friends in this city, but whose 
feelings have no relation to political affairs, but it is not strange 
that this anonymous correspondent is mistaken in seeing only 
criminals in the numerous families who wish to leave, and will 
do so at the last extremity. God may grant you many years. 
JUAN DE CALLEJON, Consul of her Spanish Majesty 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 13th, 1862 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I am grieved to be obliged to bring before the notice 
of the War Department the conduct of the several Spanish 
Vessels of War lately in this Port, to wit, the "Pinta," "Marie 
Galanti" and "Blasco de Garay." 

I am informed and believe that each of these vessels took 
on board for Cuba passengers, not only Spanish born but 
citizens of the United States who had been concerned in the 
rebellion, and who, against the orders of the Commanding 
General, conveyed themselves and their effects away from the 
Department on board of these national Vessels of War. 

I have claimed the right to search them for criminals other 
than rebels, and after much difficulty the privilege was ac 
corded on board the first two ships. My police found there 
many passengers without passes who were not Spaniards. 

The decks of the "Blasco de Garay" were literally covered 
with passengers selected with so little discrimination that my 
detective officers found on board as a passenger an escaped 
convict of the Penitentiary, who was in full flight from a 
most brutal murder, with his booty robbed from his victim 
with him on board this Vessel of War. 

Now, if the Spanish Government are going into the passen 
ger carrying business by their National War Vessels, which I 
cannot believe, as it would be unjust to private speculative 
enterprise in this branch of trade, I desire to be informed of 
the fact officially through His Excellency the Spanish Minister, 
so that I may subject these Vessels to the same regulations as 
other passenger carriers, otherwise I would desire the Com 
manders of such Vessels checked in this practice. I have the 
honor to be, 



BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 



376 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From the Acting French Consul 

TRANSLATION. NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 13, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf 

SIR: I received your favor of the llth with the enclosed 
papers, and return them hereby, after having taken copies. 
The letter of Col. Stafford makes me think of certain fables of 
the good Lafontaine, and appears to me as a most precious 
piece, worth keeping. In noticing the manner in which he 
made the inquiries by your order, I am surprised to find that 
he only questioned the accused, and that the plaintiff has not 
even been called to make his deposition. It may be that Mr. 
Abadie is, as Col. Stafford calls him, "a low Frenchman," 
but it appears to me that he might be heard & believed as 
well as Sergeants Mandeville and Bondreux; the testimony of 
the Doctor who examined him, as also of the Irishman who 
was present, might have been taken. Besides, if Abadie takes 
my advice, he will accept the decision of a regular court, on 
condition that Col. Stafford, whom I except for reasons which 
you will appreciate, be not a member thereof. I see not what 
relation there can be between this affair and Mr. Alexander 
Dumas. What you call prejudice of race and color certainly 
does not exist in France, but they respect and treat equally 
those who have enjoyed the benefit of liberty and education, 
but it does not follow that one can see without fear and submit 
to assaults which are and will be committed by poor beings, 
who were slaves, and are now at once elevated to the rank of 
free men and citizens, and will abuse their freedom. Relating 
to my countrymen, it may be that they are sometimes too 
prompt in their impressions, true or false, but you will concur 
with me that they ought to be excused if they fear the social 
revolution which is going on now and of which a terrible 
example has been seen on the plantation Millandon. Accept, 
Sir, the assurance of my high consideration. 

FAUCONNET, Act g French Consul 

From General Butler 

Head Qls. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. I3th, 1862 

M. FAUCONNET, Acting Consul of France, at 

NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

SIR: The Comdg. Genl. directs me to inform you that he 
has laid the case of M. Abadie before the Military commission, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 377 
of which Col. Stafford is not a member. I have the honor 

to be> Your OUt. Servant, 

A. F. PUFFER, Capt. & A. D. C. 



From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. Uth, 1862 

Col. PAINE, Comdg. 2nd Regt. La. Vols., U. S Barracks 

COLONEL: The French Consul complains that two horses 

belonging to Mr. Martial Crottes have been seized from a 

pasture near Chalmette. 

The Comdg. Genl. desires you to see to it that a proper 

receipt for the horses be given to Mr. Crottes. I have the 

honor to be, T ^ ^7 -,. 

Y our Goat, servant, 

A. F. PUFFER, Capt. & A. D. C. 
From the Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, D.C., Oct. \th, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding at NEW ORLEANS 
GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs me to transmit to 
you the enclosed copy of a note from the Legation of France, 
addressed to the State Department, with copies of the papers 
which accompanied it relative to two lots of printing paper 
belonging to Charles Harisse, seized by our orders, and also 
in regard to certain acts which are represented to have been 
committed by orders of Federal authorities on a plantation 
belonging to French citizens, about thirty-three miles above 
New Orleans. 

The Secretary further instructs me to request that reports 
be made to this Department in each of these cases. 

Very Respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

P. H. WATSON, Assistant Secretary of War 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, November 21, 1862 [Not in chronological order^ 

Honorable WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State 

SIR: In the case of the complaint of Messrs. Castillo and 
Harisse of the 16th of September, to the French Consulate, 
and referred to me from the State Department, I have the 
honor to report that as soon as the necessary vouchers could 



378 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

be obtained the paper taken was paid for, to the satisfaction 
of the owners, and the enclosed receipt given in duplicate. It 
could not then be done because it was not until by the mail 
which brought the complaint that the evidence arrived by 
which it could be determined whether the papers were dutiable 
or not. The complaint was unnecessarily and groundlessly 
made by one of the partners, while negotiations were going 
on with the other. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully your obt. servt., B. F. BUTLER 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 18th, 1862 

REC D. of E. M. Brown, Lt. Col. 8th Vt., four thousand, 
seven hundred and fifty-two dollars and thirty-seven cents 
(4,752.37), as payment in full for five hundred reams of print 
ing paper for the use of the Daily Delta office, it being the same 
lot of paper taken from the Custom House in the 13th day of 
Sept. by order of Maj. Gen. Butler. 

CASTILLO AND HARISSE 

From G. S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase 1 

PRIVATE AND UNOFFICIAL. NEW ORLEANS, October 16^, 1862 

DEAR SIR: My last letter was in reference to trade with 
the enemy. 

After Gen. Butler s return from Pensacola for the purpose 
of discussing the matter, Gen. B. asked me to his house, where 
I met also Gov. Shepley. In a long conversation I stated to 
them fully my own views, and it was understood that there 
should be no more trade with the enemy that no supplies 
of any kind or in any quantity should pass into the insurrec 
tionary districts, not even supplies for loyal residents of such 
locality, because Guerillas would in most cases take away such 
supplies for their own use. 

Gen. Butler and Gen. Shepley each said, however, that he 
had given one permit to cross the lake, not yet carried into 
effect. The goods were bought and vessels loaded, but that I 
had stopped them. It was insisted that these vessels should 
be allowed to proceed. I said that the permission of the Sec 
retary ought first to be obtained. 

The next morning Gen. Butler sent me the list of cargo for 



1 American Historical Association Report 1902, Vol. II, p. 326. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER -S79 

the vessel, on the second leaf of which was endorsed his request 
that she be allowed to proceed. Gen. Shepley sent me a note 
to the same effect in regard to the other. A copy of the list 
of cargo, with Gen. Butler s original endorsement on second 
leaf, is herewith enclosed, marked "A." A copy of the list of 
cargo of second vessel, with Gen. Shepley s note, is herewith 
enclosed, marked "B." 

It is inexpedient that I should have a controversy with the 
military authorities, and I let these two vessels go, with the dis 
tinct understanding, however, that nothing more was to go out. 

Gen. Butler s permit was to Judge Morgan, a good Union 
man, who has lost much by the Rebellion. 

Gen. Shepley s was to one Montgomery, who has previously 
taken over, among other things, 1,200 sacks salt. Gen. S. 
says he granted this permit at the earnest solicitation of Mr. 
Bouligny, formerly in Congress from this state, but now in 
Washington, and that Montgomery told him Bouligny was 
part owner of the cargo with him (Montgomery). 

I think there will be no more of this trade. Gen. B. has 
always carried out (so far as I know) the wishes of the Gov t. 
when distinctly made known, and I believe he will fully carry 
out (in future) your views respecting this matter. 

Gen. B. has more brains and energy than any other three 
men in New Orleans. He does an immense amount of work, 
and does it well. He knows and controls everything in this 
Department. I regret that it was necessary to write my last 
letter or rather, that the statements therein made were 
facts. Besides, no other officer appreciates, like Gen. Butler, 
the importance of freeing and arming the colored people - 
and he is not afraid to do it. All the pro-slavery influence in 
this State cannot change him in this matter. 

When Weitzel s expedition (spoken of in a late letter) goes 
out, Gen. B. will send the 1st Colored Regiment right into the 
heart of the section of the country to be taken. They will 
move nearly west from here, on the line of the Opelousas Rail 
road. I think they will do a great work. The expedition is 
expected to start in about two weeks. Late New York papers 
indicate the adoption of some plan for getting out cotton 
from Rebeldom. I hope it will not be done by means of trade 
with the enemy, which is objectionable for many reasons. 

It will benefit the enemy ten times as much as the Govern 
ment it demoralizes the army, who imagine themselves 
fighting for speculators offices will be interested, directly or 



380 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

indirectly in the trade, and they and other speculators will 
wish the war prolonged for the sake of great profits the 
Rebels will not keep their engagements nine cases out of ten 
- the rebels are terribly in want, and now is the time to deprive 
them of supplies. There are other objections besides those 
enumerated. 

The greatest distress prevails in insurrectionary districts all 
around us. The Guerilla system injures Rebels more than the 
Government, and the people are becoming heartily tired of it. 

[GEORGE S. DENISON] 

From General Butler to Mrs. Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, October 16, 1862 

MY DEAREST WIFE: What a dear, petted, spoiled child it is! 
Never contented unless fed with bon bons and kisses ! Why, I 
wrote as plainly as I could that I was lonely, sad without you, 
and you must come, come, come. You may send me that 
letter if you please as an example of my foolish fondness. You 
ungrateful girl, you. I will have it framed as a warning to 
all fond husbands. True, I said I wanted you to lay aside all 
care and be fat and rollicking as possible, and poor little wife 
said I didn t want to see her unless she was fat. Now, then, I 
have sent a steamboat for you, one of the best in the service, 
The "McClellan," armed, so there is no fear of capture, a 
most experienced captain, a crew, and most neat and safe 
ship. Will that do? Ah! give me a kiss and be quiet. 

The "Dean" brings this to you, and you will get ready to 
come by the "McClellan" from New York. She can be heard 
of at the Quartermaster s office. Maj. Strong has written for 
the madam to come by the same boat. Be sure to come now. 
Bring me from Burbanks and Chase s some embroidery that 
I have there, which I have paid for, also a piece of cloth, blue 

for a coat, and some blue-black velvet for trimmings, silk 
for lining, and buttons. I will have the coat made here. Also 
bring me linen enough for a dozen shirts, and fine linen cambric 
enough for some wrought bosoms. I have a dozen here starv 
ing for the work, so be sure and bring them the material. 
You may add something of the kind for yourself. I rather 
like linen chem - Ahem ! Send to Bent and Bush to make 
me a nice cap. They can do it with blue-black band. I want 
four pairs fine merino drawers, and six fine merino undershirts 

39 inches will do for the waist. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 381 

Where is my speech and the rest of the pictures? Bring 
yourself at once. Mind that now! Bring me some pears and 
some grapes. There never was such a God-forsaken country 
for fruit. Bring anyone with you you like to do Mrs. 
Read or anybody else. Read has sold out his sutler s interest 
here, so I suppose he will not want to come. Won t George 
come. I should be glad to have him, and we will make a week 
or two here very pleasant for him. I would give more to see 
Fisher than anyone I know if he can possibly leave. I have 
drawn on him very heavily, but he has funds to meet it. He 
may get his sugar so that he can come out in one boat and go 
back in the next. Wiegel has resigned and gone home. He has 
been worthless since he came out, from homesickness. Maj. 
Bell got here yesterday, and I got your political letter very 
well indeed, but requires more time to be carried out. I am 
happy if I am thought outside of both parties. It s easy enough 
to get into a party but hard to get out honorably. 

You will come, won t you? Then, dearest, dearest, we won t 
plague each other any more! You know you love me very 
much. I know it too you can t cheat me. You know that 
I love you too much for a man of forty to love a wife, so have 
done with all badinage and truly sincerely do come to 

Your BENJ. 

From John T. Ryan 

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 10, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

To Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Department of 
the Gulf 

SIR: I received information that Alexander Brothers, a 
merchant of this city, and President of the Home Mutual 
Insurance Company, left here previous to the occupation of 
the city by the United States troops, and concealed his silver, 
etc., in the vault of the Home Mutual Insurance Company, 
situated at the corner of Natchez alley and Camp Street. 

I have information that in his residence on Camp Street 
near Julice remains all of his furniture, etc., and without an 
agent to take charge of the same, that the furniture of Thomas 
Hunton, a lawyer of this city, who has left the city for the 
Rebel lines, is stored in the residence of said Brothers. My 
informants, Hetty and Charles Scott, slaves of said Brothers, 
also state that their master declared that he would forfeit all 
of his property before he would take the oath of allegiance to 



382 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the United States, and was in the habit of using incendiary 
and seditious language against the government and disre 
spectful to the Major General Commanding, and has been in 
the city subsequent to his departure but returned to the enemy 
on the 25th of July. I remain, 

Your honor s most obedient humble servant, 

JOHN T. RYAN, Special Officer 



From G. W. Killborn 

Provost Marshal s Office, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 17, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf 

SIR: I have taken action in regard to the enclosed matter, 
and have the honor to make the following report. 

I found the box of silver plate belonging to Mr. Alexander 
Brothers in the vault of the Home Mutual Insurance Co., which 
I took away and placed under guard. I have also seized his 
house and furniture, and stored the furniture said to belong to 
Mr. Thomas Hunton, and stand in said house, and have placed 
the same under guard. The negroes also remain at the house. 

The information I gain from the negroes is as follows: 
That about two days before the U. S. Fleet came up, this Mr. 
Hunton left with his Regiment, and that Mr. Brothers accom 
panied them some miles out on the Jackson R. R. and came 
back in about three days. About the middle of May he again 
went into the Confederacy and remained some six weeks, 
and then returned. 

On the 25th of July he sailed on the "St. Matanzas" for 
New York on a pass which he stated (as the negroes say) that 
he paid $500. for. AJ1 of which is respectfully submitted. I 

have the honor to be, Sir, v , ? , 

/ our obedient servant, 

G. W. KILLBORN, Dep. Pro. Marshal 
From Admiral Farragut to General Butler 

Flag Ship HARTFORD, PENSACOLA BAY, Oct. 17, 1862 

DEAR GENERAL: I have received your note and the requi 
sition for Ordnance, etc. The light thirty-twos I have taken 
from the "Potomac," and send you by the "St. Mary s," 
and there are three howitzers in New Orleans. 

I enjoy excellent health, and so does the Squadron gen 
erally. I shall be ready to go ahead at Gaines the moment 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 383 

you can furnish the troops. Do you think you can send any 
down to Galveston or any other port on the coast of Texas? I 
had a Gun Boat out yesterday from the North, the "Aroos- 
took," but she brings no news. 

Major Strong has sent two gentlemen over to see me in 
reference to the cattle captured by the Gun Boats, by which 
capture we lost a valuable officer and a sailor. I can see no 
use of our vessels up the river, if we are to permit passes from 
both Rebel and Federal authorities to stand good. The only 
way I see for these people to do is to make known their busi 
ness before hand. 

The cattle are passed over the river, and no one knows 
where they are going, but as soon as they are caught by either 
party they are intended for the party that catches them. This 
may be a very honest transaction, but it is one that will cause 
great difficulty if permitted. 

My orders are very stringent, "to allow no trade with the 
blockaded country." I am told that large droves of cattle are 
passing the river for the Rebels, and told to look after them; 
when I catch them, I am told that it is all wrong, they are for 
us or for New Orleans. I wish you had a Prize Court at 
New Orleans to decide these cases and the validity of these 
claims. 

As the officers in the "Mississippi" made the capture, I 
shall leave it to Capts. Smith and Ransom to accept a ransom 
and release them or not; but in future, unless the convoy is 
made known and asked for, they will be considered "bona 

Very truly and respectfully yours, 
D. G. FARRAGUT, Rear Admiral, Comdg. W. G. B g. Squad. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Octbr. 19th, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of de 
spatches from the Department enclosing communication from 
Lord Lyons to the State Department relating to the case of 
Dacres. 

James Dacres had applied for a passport to pass the military 
lines of this Department into the Confederacy. That had been 
refused him. He made no claim that he was a British or other 
subject. He was known to be in active sympathy with the 
rebels. 



384 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

His present claim, of that he could not get a passport be 
cause of the oath which he supposes to be required of for 
eigners, is an afterthought, precisely as he admits his claim 
of British protection to be. Upon refusal, he expressed his 
determination to go at all hazards, and in company with two 
or three other persons attempted to escape across the lines. 
He was arrested in the attempt. His pockets contained many 
communications from the rebels here to their friends, which 
he was taking out in direct violation of orders. 

After his arrest, he showed his guilty knowledge and pur 
pose by stealthily putting his hand in his pockets and throw 
ing these communications into the mud, from whence they 
were taken by the officer of the Guard. After a full hearing of 
the matter in person, I have ordered him into confinement 
until further orders. This I feel to be within my power and 
duty, and I have seen in his letters no statement why I should 
alter these orders. 

In relation to Mr. Dacres complaints of his place of con 
finement and the shelter afforded him, permit me to say that 
he has the same shelter, the same food, the same climate, and 
the same exposure to disease, and no more, as the troops that 
guard him. 

I believe him to be a dangerous man at large, but I will 
release him and put him on board an English Ship of War if 
he can be carried to that country whose protection he claims. 
I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully Your obedient Servant, 

MAJOR GENERAL BUTLER, Commanding 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 19th, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I had the honor to receive the communication of the 
Department enclosing a letter from Lord Lyons in the case of 
Martin Fallon. 

Fallon was an overseer of a plantation near Baton Rouge, 
was arrested as he says, and released upon his parole by the 
officer commanding the expedition, he, Fallon, claiming to be 
a British subject. He then went out, as I am informed by 
evidence, into the field, and despatched a negro to give infor 
mation to a neighboring Guerilla Camp, which it was our 
purpose to surprise, of the approach of my troops. He admits, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 385 

in his communication to Lord Lyons, that he conversed 
With the negroes in the field upon the subject, and cer 
tain it is that one of them went. Fallon claims that he did 
not send him. But how long is it since British subjects, 
overseers of plantations, have been so familiar with the ne 
groes under their charge? General Williams examined his 
case at Baton Rouge, was satisfied of his guilt, and referred it 
to me. 

On examination, and upon Fallon s own story, I was satis 
fied, and sent him to Fort St. Philip for safe keeping, where 
he enjoys the same treatment, the same climate, the same 
shelter, and the same food that the Union Troops do. I have 

the honor to be, ^ r / ^ 1 7 . 

Your Obedient Servant 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 
From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 20th, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

DEAR SIR: I enclose the report of Capt. Haggerty, of my 
Staff, of the execution of the order of the State Department 
for the delivery of the property seized by my order from the 
Consul of the Netherlands. Enclosed find the Consul s receipt 
on the back of the Communication from War Department, 
and a list of the articles counted in tin box, together with 
certificate of the state of the tin box at the time it was taken. 
The Consul confesses himself satisfied, as I am informed, that 
he has received back all that belongs to him. I have the honor 

Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

NEW ORLEANS, October 1st, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

GENERAL: In compliance with your order to me of Sept. 
22nd, based upon a communication from the War Depart 
ment dated Sept. 4th, 1862, to you, which I hereto transmit, 
I have the honor to report: that on the morning of Sept. 
23rd, 1862, I delivered to Amadie Conturie of New Orleans, 
Consul of the Netherlands at the Master s office in the Custom 
house, one hundred and sixty kegs marked "H & C," said to 

VOL. II 25 



386 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

contain five thousand Mexican Silver Dollars each, making 
the sum of Eight Hundred Thousand Dollars. 

Also one tin box sealed, marked "Prean & Conturie," con 
taining valuable papers, an inventory of which was taken 
there and then by said Conturie, taking at the same time 
his acknowledgment for the coin, endorsed on said com 
munication, and his receipt for the contents, which I herewith 
transmit. 

On the following day, Sept. 24th, 1862, by your order I 
received from said Conturie a keg, supposed to be one of said 
one hundred and sixty, and weighing two hundred and eighty- 
nine pounds (289) , and gave him in exchange therefor an open 
keg containing Mexican Silver dollars which weighed Three 
Hundred Twelve and one half (312|) pounds. I have the 
honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

P. HAGGERTY Capt. & A. D. C. 

From Amadie Conturie 

RECEIVED, New Orleans, Sept. 23rd, 1862, of Capt. P. 
Haggerty, A. D. C. to Major General Butler, and by direction 
of Brig. Gen. G. F. Shepley, Military Governor of Louisiana, 
One Hundred and Sixty kegs marked "H & C," and said to 
contain each Five Thousand Mexican Silver Dollars, making 
in all Eight Hundred Thousand Mexican Dollars, and one 
tin box containing valuable papers, sealed. 

AMADIE COUTURIE 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, July 30, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

I CERTIFY that I found a tin box (such as used by bank 
ers) unlocked with only two common strings around it. The 
box was marked No. 91 on each end, and on front was 
printed, "Prean & Conturie." The above described box was 
on the Commanding General s Table without any note of 
explanation. WM< R WlEQEL> lgt UeuL & Af ^ c> 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 387 

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 23rd, 1862 

INVENTORY of articles in tin box marked "Prean & Con tune." 

1 package marked K. & K. $ 1640 " 

1 " "1660 " 

1 " Banknotes " 28.50" 

1 " Insurance policy " 208.00" 

$3536.50" 
1 Package Seals 
1 Deeds & Papers 

1 " Consular Commission & Exequator 
1 " Portfolio 

AMADIE CONTURIE 



From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 21, 1862 

To the Eon. E. M. STANTON, Sec y of War 

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge a despatch from the 
Department dated Sept. 11, enclosing copies of correspond 
ence between His Excellency, the Minister of Spain, and the 
State Department, touching my action in regard to the House 
of Avendano Bros. 

I seek by return mail to give such statements of facts as 
will enable the Secretary of State to answer fully upon this 
point His Excellency the Minister of Spain. 

The house of Avendano Bros, has been established in New 
Orleans so long that its members have become an integral 
part of the population, in interest, in feeling, and in social 
ties. Before the breaking out of this rebellion, its members 
never thought of seeking the protection of Spain. But since 
this rebellion all has changed, and now the Spanish Consul 
claims that persons thirty years of age, born of Spanish parents, 
who have lived here from their birth, and their ancestors before 
them, are still Spanish subjects, and is issuing certificates of 
nationality accordingly, so that this city has become almost 
entirely depopulated as to citizens, except of free persons of 
color, who singularly claim the protection of our Government 
where so little has been heretofore done for them. 

The house of Avendano Bros, has been largely engaged in 
running cotton through the blockade, and importing arms 
and munitions of war. 

As I have had the honor to inform the State Department 
in a communication in relation to the complaints of the Prus 
sian Minister, and to which I beg leave to refer the Hon. 



388 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Secretary for a full development of the condition of things 
here in this behalf, no cotton was allowed by the Confederates 
to be shipped unless arms and munitions of war were returned 
in the proportion of one-half. Avendano Bros, shipped largely 
under this permission, and have been engaged in breaking 
every law of neutrality and national hospitality that can be 
well conceived. 

Somewhere about the 10th of May, I captured the Confed 
erate steamer "Fox," which had been seized by the Confed 
erates from her Union owners, and turned into the service 
employed in running the blockade (She made three trips 
thus). She had on board a cargo of arms, powder, lead, quick 
silver, acids for telegraphic purposes, chloroform and morphine 
for medical stores, to the amount of $300,000 or thereabouts 
all of the greatest necessity to the rebels, and had run into 
the Bayou La Fairche on the west bank of the Mississippi, 
from which bayou she might, if she thought proper, run 
to Vicksburg. She had, besides, the invoices, letters of ad 
vice, bills of lading, bills of exchange, and other evidence of 
the transactions of many of the mercantile houses of New 
Orleans. 

The letters of advice, bills of lading, and invoices, show the 
nature of the transaction between these parties and their 
correspondents at Havana. The bills of exchange were the 
product of the shipment of cotton, less the proportion invested 
in contraband goods. Among them were the bills of exchange 
payable to the house of Avendano, the first having been for 
warded by some other conveyance, but still unpaid, and these 
bills of exchange were for one-half the proceeds of the cargo 
shipped, the other half being invested in munitions of war. 

This vessel also carried a mail containing, among other 
things, the official correspondence between the Rebel Com 
missioner Rost, which I forwarded to the State Department, 
and the Rebel Ordnance officer in Europe, relating to his 
movements there, which I forwarded to the State Department 
as well as other important letters which developed the nature 
of the business carried on between this port and the mis 
called neutral ports Havana and Nassau. Upon personal 
examination, I had no doubt that the house of Avendano 
was largely interested in, or the consignors of, the major part 
of the cargo of the "Fox," and in order to put a stop to this 
traffic, which could still be carried on through the fifty-three 
openings into the Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana, I called upon 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 389 

the house of Avendano, and upon personal examination they 
did not deny the part they had taken in the traffic. 

I required them therefore, having captured in bulk one- 
half the fruits of this illegal traffic, and having captured the 
other half thereof in the shape of a bill of exchange, to pay 
over the other half, being the bills of exchange. This they 
did, and received the bills of exchange and papers showing 
the nature of their business, regarding that as a light punish 
ment for their crimes. 

Because of other like transactions which have since come 
to my knowledge, the senior partner has escaped to Havana, 
but the house is still carrying on business here, and are the 
consignees of the steamer "Cardenas," which has been the 
cause of so many breaches of our Quarantine laws and so many 
complaints of the Spanish Minister. 

Avendano sent a rebel lawyer, who had refused to renew 
his oath of allegiance to the United States, to me to make 
some representations of the matter, and to argue certain legal 
questions. In answer to some suggestions as to the amount of 
fine, I told him that Avendano might think himself well off 
if he lost no more of the profits of his infernal trade. 

This, it will be observed, was about the 19th of May, and 
no complaints are made of it for three months, until embold 
ened by the success of the complaints of the Commissioner 
here, which has done more to strengthen the hand of secession 
than any other occurrence of the South West since my advent 
in New Orleans, and the Commissioner of which Commission 
now, as I am ready to prove, acted as the paid attorney of 
rebels in making claims against the United States, from re 
tainers taken because of his acting here in his official capacity. 

This Commission, I say, emboldened these new complaints 
of my action by mercantile pirates and maurauders, who 
supplied arms and powder to traitors, and are only saved from 
consequence of treason because they have not given their 
allegiance to the country that had given them protection, and 
enabled them to accumulate fortunes, advantages they believed 
their own governments could not give them, and so preferred 
to live under ours, but not to assume their proper obligations. 

They should have been hanged, they were only fined. 

His Excellency, the Spanish Minister, seems to think that 
running the blockade carries its own punishment with it; but 
this is not a case of running a blockade merely, but is the 
case of an importer of arms, of an army contractor for the 



390 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

rebel Government, and this draft which the House of Aven- 
dano has paid, and the money been used for the support of the 
troops of the United States in this Department, is only one 
half of the proceeds of a single adventure of the House of 
Avendano in breaking the laws and aiding the rebellion, 
the other half being returned to the Confederates in arms and 
munitions of war. 

I aver to the Secretary of War, upon my official respon 
sibility, that without the aid furnished by foreign mercantile 
houses in New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah, and Charleston, 
as I am convinced by the most irrefragible evidence, this 
rebellion would have wholly failed to arm and supply itself, 
and the most active agents and the most efficient supporters 
have been these same quasi foreign houses, mostly Jews, and 
their correspondents, principally in Havana and Nassau, who 
all deserve to receive at the hand of the Government as much 
reprobation as the Jew, Benjamin Slidell, Mallony, or Fleyd, 
and only the strong repressing measures which have been 
fearlessly and energetically taken in this Department have 
prevented the supply from still going on here, as it is in 
Charleston, South Carolina. 

Tempted by the immense profits, urging the war on in order 
to realize these profits, these foreign adventurers have done 
everything they could to sustain the war and to inflame the 
passions of the people against the United States; and then 
reiterated complaints of my actions, and the howl in Europe 
and elsewhere set up by them at my every act have simply 
been the result of the disappointment of those who desire that 
some action may be taken by the Government which will 
reopen to them a most profitable trade, which I have closed by 
means, against the measures of which complaint has been 
made, and as to which the Hon. Sec t of State has been pleased 
to say, redress will be made if I fail to justify my acts. 

I have stated my grounds upon which my actions proceeded, 
and the purpose for which it was taken. Of course, to do this 
work could be of no personal (benefit) to myself, and only 
entailed great and severe labor. 

It was dictated by a sense of duty and upon full and thorough 
examination I have failed to see any reason why it (should) 
not be persevered in. But I respectfully submit that it adds 
not a little to the already everlasting labor of this Depart 
ment to be continually called upon, months afterwards, to 
investigate and report upon acts which were within the scope 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 391 

of my jurisdiction in the fair exercise of the discretion of a 
Military Commander, and for which I should be called to 
account not by letter of a Foreign Consular agent on the 
ex-parte statement of a Spanish smuggler, but by the Comman 
der in Chief of the Army, or the President of the United States, 
to whom I am as ready to account for my every action as I am 
to my Country and my God. I have the honor to be, 
Very Respectfully Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From Acting French Consul 

TRANSLATION. NEW ORLEANS, October 21, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Army of the Gulf 

SIR: I have the honor to hand you enclosed a copy of a 
complaint addressed to me by an old French resident, Mr. 
Francis Bougere, who has in one day been deprived of every 
thing he possessed. 

As Mr. Bougere has already, in pursuance of my advice 
and assisted by my official intervention, taken some steps 
before the Military Governor, without any result, I take the 
liberty to bring this complaint of a French subject officially 
to your notice, informing you in the same time that a copy of 
these documents will be sent to the Minister of the Emperor 
in Washington. Accept, Sir, the assurance of my high 
consideration, FAUCONNET, Act g French Consul 

From the Acting French Consul 

TRANSLATION. NEW ORLEANS, October 21, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Army of the Gulf 

SIR: One of my countrymen, Lucien Duclos, has been 
arrested for passing the lines without a pass, and has been 
brought to the prison of the Custom house, where he has 
been confined for the last 12 days. According to the informa 
tion which I have received, I find that this young man has not 
been guilty of any bad intentions, but is ignorant. I therefore 
ask you to make inquiries on his account, and, if possible, to 
give him his liberty. Accept, Sir, the assurance of my high 
consideration. FAUCONNET, Acting French Consul 



392 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, October 3rd, 1862 
[Not in chronological ordeiQ 

GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs me to transmit to 
you the enclosed copy of a communication addressed by Sam. 
G. Ward, Attorney, of Boston, to the Secretary of State, and 
by him referred to this Department, complaining of the recent 
seizure of certain Rail Road iron, which was held by his agent 
in New Orleans as security for Messrs. Baring Bros. & Co. of 
London. 

The Secretary desires that you will institute such investiga 
tion as the case seems to require, and report to this Depart 
ment at your earliest convenience. 

Very Respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

P. H. WATSON, Asst. Sec. of State 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. list, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR : I have the honor to report to the Department, in answer 
to the communication of the 3rd instant, that the railroad iron 
pledged to Messrs. Baring & Bros, was taken for the repairing 
of the Opelousas Railroad. I am informed by my Quarantine 
Master, by his report endorsed on the back of the letter of the 
Department, that we shall be able to get along without it, and 
that it has been released. If necessary to take any, it will be 
taken and a receipt given in the usual course of Business. I 
have the honor to be, Ymr ^ -^ Sm , a ^ 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 
Endorsement referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Office, Chief Quartermaster Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. Ylth, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

I HAVE the honor to report that in my absence Col. Turner, 
Acting Quartermaster, thinking that the Government might 
need the iron, served a notice on the parties not to dispose of it, 
but to hold it subject to his orders. We have been enabled to 
repair the Rail Road without using any of this Iron, and the 
parties have been notified that they are at liberty to dispose 
of it in any manner they see fit. ^ ^^ gffw|frf) 

J. W. SHAFFER, Col. & Chief Quartermaster 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 393 
From Mrs. Butler to Mrs. Heard 

(NEW ORLEANS), Oct. 21, 1862 

DEAR HARRIET: We are here safe and comfortable, sick 
five days out of eight. Mr. Butler was rejoiced to see me, 
and says it is the first time we have been so long apart since 
we were married, and it shall be the last. He feels more 
helped and sustained by me than anyone else, though he will 
not always hear to me. He is not so thin now as he was a 
month ago, but the climate has told upon him. He does not 
look so alive as he has before, but the cold weather may bring 
back the old fiery look. I have written a very long letter to 
Fisher, which I should like him to read to you, as have not 
time to go through it again, and it will tell you the appearance 
of things here. Mr. Butler has sent to his mother a service of 
silver, four pieces, he bought it by weight. There has been so 
much talk, I would not say much about it if I were her, for 
envy makes people bitter. Read this to her, and leave it to 
her own discretion. There is nothing to conceal, but envious 
minds will not believe so. You need not read her all the letter. 
In fact, I do not know if it is worth speaking of it at all. Mr. 
Butler has also sent by the "Saxon" a cup and saucer and 
plate with his picture painted on them no doubt you have 
them before now. One of these days I shall find something 
handsome for you. There will be a great many things sold at 
auction before long. Re-inclose and send back my letters 
from Mr. Butler that you have received since I left. He says 
he sent for linen for shirts. Send out a piece and enough for 
bosoms of a finer quality. He wants the nuns to work them. 
Put them in some old trunk or buy a cheap one, and two or 
three pretty looking calico dress-patterns, also his dressing 
gown. If you happen to be in Boston, buy enough black silk 
like my dress for a sash. Fisher I think will come out. Perhaps 
you might find a sash ready made. I am so tired writing eight 
pages to Fisher that there is nothing in this letter, and now I 
must write to Blanche. Dear love to the children, and relatives. 

Most affectionately, SARAH 

From Admiral Farragut to General Butler 

Flag Ship HARTFORD, PENSACOLA BAY, Oct. 21, 1862 

DEAR GENERAL: I received your communication by the 
"Sykes," and am delighted to see such a boat. She is the very 



394 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

thing we ought to have for the sound, only we would want 
several of them. 

You are asking a great deal, General, when you ask for the 
"Calhoun" to go with your expedition, for she is the only 
Gun Boat we have that can run up the Sound to Grant s 
Pass; but I will send her in hopes that thereby we will get the 
force to attack Fort Gaines the sooner. As to Lieut. Cook, 
I do not see how I can spare an officer. I have nothing but 
youths now for officers in all the vessels. They are diminish 
ing daily, sometimes by my sending them home for cause, 
and sometimes they take them away from me. 

The Senior Lieutenants of the vessels are now all in com 
mand, and the young men as 1st. Lieutenants are just pro 
moted, and scarcely one of them 21 years of age, with but 
little experience. I have, however, ordered the two officers, 
Cook and King, to report to you for temporary duty on the 
steamers you are fitting out. 

I do not know what detains the "St. Mary s." We put the 
guns into her in an hour on Sunday, when she called for them. 

I hope you will soon be ready for the attack on Fort Gaines. 

Yours truly, D. G. FARRAGUT 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. DepL of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 22d, 1862 

To Major General H. W. HALLECK, Comdg. in Chief, U.S.A. 

GENERAL: I enclose herewith copies of a correspondence 
between myself & the Confederate authorities upon the sub 
ject of exchanging prisoners. I am informed that the Con 
federates claim that the men which I received back are not 
exchanged, and cannot return to duty until a published list is 
made by the respective Genls. 

Is that the construction of the Cartel agreed upon by Genl. 
Dix & D. H. Hill? I have the honor to be, 

Your Obdt. Svt., BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 22nd, 1862 

Hon. S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury 

SIR: I have taken the liberty to address you directly upon 
this matter which seems to be more appropriate to the Treas 
ury than to the War Department. As you are aware, from 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 395 

the time that I came here I have endeavored in every possible 
way to open trade in cotton through the rebel lines. I have 
supposed that this was consonant with the wish of the Govern 
ment. Owing to the peculiar action of the Confederate au 
thorities, I have not been able as yet much to succeed. The 
difficulty has been, as I believe, not so much with the Confed 
erate authorities as in the peculiar relation they find them 
selves with their own people. They instructed and advised 
their people to burn their cotton, and those who did do so will 
not now permit their more prudent neighbors to ship that 
which had not been destroyed, at an enormous profit. These 
difficulties are gradually being smoothed over. I think now 
that the trade can be opened, but am in doubt as to the inter 
pretation of your Treasury Circular. 

As early as the 29th of July I forwarded a communication 
to the Commanding officer at Mobile, a copy of which is en 
closed. That communication has since been forwarded to 
Richmond, and formally sanctioned by the appointment of 
Commissioners by the Confederate Government. Shall I 
get out the cotton on the basis proposed? Of course, I shall 
let all cotton come out under the arrangement which may 
offer before I hear from the government. 

I desire a reply, therefore, by return mail. While this letter 
is being copied, I have received from Admiral Farragut the 
enclosed instructions of the Secretary of the Navy. Whether 
these have been had upon full consideration of the subject 
set forth above, I do not know. If literally carried out, they 
would starve the neighboring country, and would greatly 
embarrass us here for supplies of lumber, wood, naval stores, 
and fresh provisions. We have to get these through the rivers 
and over the lakes in exchange for provisions. I do not mean 
to make this a matter of favoritism; that is not the way the 
war is carried on here. I desire but to carry out the policy as 
I supposed of the Government, and administer to our neces 
sities. I have no personal wish on the subject. It becomes, 
therefore, of the utmost importance to know exactly what the 
Government desires, and I need not assure you that I shall 
govern myself with strictness by its directions. 

Acting under this same policy, I allowed the "West Florida" 
to go out to Sabine Pass, having cleared for Matamoras with 
a cargo not contraband of war for the purpose of bringing 
cotton from Texas. She belonged to a loyal citizen, and in 
order that there might be no mistake, I gave the permit, a 



396 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

copy of which is enclosed. The "West Florida" has been 
detained and sent to Pensacola. You will remember that I 
published a correspondence with the Hon. Reverdy Johnson 
upon this subject of cotton, and I learned that it had been 
approved by the State Department through a letter to General 
Shepley, Military Governor. May I ask your intervention 
to have the "West Florida" released, whatever may be the 
decision of the Government as to her proceeding on her voyage. 

You will see that by the form of the letter it was to go to the 
Admiral for the purpose of preventing all misunderstandings. 
It is impossible to overrate the importance of this question of 
obtaining a supply of cotton to the Northern manufacturers, to 
say nothing of the effect on European powers ; infinitely of more 
importance to get the cotton for sails and tents than whether 
A or B loses or gains in the exchange of commodities. 

Being purchased in this manner prevents the Jews from 
gathering up all the gold in the country to exchange it with 
the Confederates for cotton. The day of cotton-burning is 

past. I have the honor to be, 1/r i \r 

Most truly Yours, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 
Enclosure referred to Foregoing Letter 

Navy Department, Sept. 21, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Rear Admiral D. G. FARRAGUT, Commanding Western Gulf 
Blockade 

SIR: Hereafter you will allow no vessel to import or export 
merchandise at any port of the blockaded country. New 
Orleans is the only port open for general traffic within the 
limits of the Western Gulf Blockading Squadron. 

You will not regard what are called "permits" from any 
officer except the Secretaries of the Treasury, War, or Navy 
as authorizing the ingress or egress of any vessel in violation 
of the blockade. 

There must be no favoritism or license given to any one or 
more of our countrymen to traffic within the blockaded region, 
or to import or export merchandise. That would be justly 
considered as evasive of the blockade and in bad faith. 

No officer of the Army or Navy is authorized to grant per 
mits, and you will seize all vessels engaged in illegal traffic. 

Such vessels as under the authority of the War or Navy 
Departments may be engaged to carry supplies to the Army 
or Navy will take no return cargo. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 397 

The blockade is intended to interdict all trade whatever with 
the country blockaded during its continuance, and should be 
rigidly enforced. I am, 

Respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

G. WELLES, Secy, of the Navy 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 22nd, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: The much-mooted question whether white men can be 
found able, competent, and willing to do the work heretofore 
supposed to be peculiarly and solely adapted to negroes, is being 
practically answered in this department. Since the exodus of 
many of the slaves from the plantations, the planters are hiring 
white labor from this city to get their sugar crops, at such prices 
as to stop the recruiting of any regiments almost entirely, as 
will be seen by the official report of Col. Paine of the Second 
Louisiana, a copy of which is herewith enclosed. I have the 
honor, etc. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, October, 1862 

SPECIAL ORDER No. 441 

IT appearing to the Commanding General that the sugar 
plantations of Brown & McMamms have been abandoned by 
the late owners, who are in the rebellion, are now running to 
waste, and the valuable crops will be lost as well to the late 
owner as to the United States if they are not wrought, and 
as large numbers of negroes have come and are coming within 
the lines of the Army who need employment, it is ordered: 
That Chas. A. Weed, Esq., take charge of said plantations, 
and such others as may be abandoned along the River between 
the city and Fort Jackson, and gather and make these crops 
for the benefit of the United States, keeping an exact and 
accurate account of the expenses of each. 

That Mr. Weed s requisitions for labor be answered by 
the several Commanders of Camps for laborers, or in scarcity 
of Contrabands that Mr. Weed may employ white laborers 
at $1.00 per day for each ten hours labor. 

That for any stores or necessaries for such work the Quarter 
master or Commissary Department will answer Mr. Weed s 
approved requisitions. 

That said Weed shall be paid such rate of compensation 



398 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

as may be agreed on, and that all receipts of whatever nature 
from said plantation be accurately accounted for by him, and 
that for this purpose Mr. Weed shall be considered in the 
Military Service of the United States. 

By Command of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 
GEO. C. STRONG, A. A. Gen. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 23, 1862 

Hon. SALMON P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury 

SIR: I forgot to report to you at the time that of the $50,000 
in gold which you forwarded me so kindly to replace that 
which I borrowed of the banks to pay the troops, I was only 
obliged to use $25,000. And I have forwarded to New York, 
to the order of Pay Master, Maj. Locke, $25,000 in coin. This 
was put to his credit, and may be returned to the Treasury. 
This matter is of some importance with gold at its present 
premium. 

I have thus far managed the financial affairs of my Depart 
ment so that the United States have not paid one dollar for 
the support and relief of the 32,000 people I am now feeding. 
For an exhibit of their numbers, condition and nationality, 
please examine the slip enclosed. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, (BENJ. F. BUTLER) 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 23d, 1862 

Mr. FAUCONNET, Acting Consul of France 

SIR: I am in receipt of your letter enclosing the complaint 
of Francis Bougere, and as without waiting for my decision 
or action the Acting Consul of France has seen fit to forward 
the papers to Washington, I shall forward my reply to the 
Dept. of State direct. I have the honor to be, 

Your Obdt. Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 24^, 1862 

Hon. WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State 

SIR: I forward herewith a letter from the Acting French 
Consul enclosing a memorial from one Francis Bougere, mak- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 399 

ing large claims against the United States for negroes and 
other property. Upon the receipt of the memorial, as you 
will see by the endorsement upon it, I ordered an immediate 
report to be made by Col. Thomas, who commanded the 
expedition complained of, of all the facts and circumstances. 
It will be seen by his report, which I doubt not is correct, that 
there is no claim against the United States from Mr. Bougere 
for anything, and that his assumed neutrality, like most of the 
neutrality in this Department, is simply a cover for most bitter 
hostility. 

I was somewhat surprised to find a claim made for negro 
slaves as property, by a French citizen, for I had believed 
that the Code Civile forbids the acquisition of such property. 
The statement made by Bougere that he acquired all these 
negroes since 1848 is not true. The French Consul did not 
call on me except in the manner which you see, and I enclose 
to you my answer. 

I trust this report will enable the State Department to meet 
any claim that may be presented. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From the Secretary of State 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, 7th Nov., 1862 
[Not in chronological order] 

To Major General B. F. BUTLER, NEW ORLEANS 

GENERAL: I have received your latter of the 24 ult., with 
the accompanying papers, relative to the complaint of Francis 
Bougere, claiming to be a Frenchman. No representation 
upon the subject has been received from the Legation of 
France here. If any should be addressed to the Depart 
ment your communication will, it is believed, probably afford 
the means effectually to meet it. I am, General, 

Your very obedient servant, 

WILLIAM H. SEWARD 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 24, 1862 

To the Hon. JOSEPH HOLT, Judge Advocate Genl. of the Army 

SIR: I have the honor to enclose the record of the trial of 
Gonzales before a Military Commission for murder. The 
testimony discloses ample grounds for conviction, and it 



400 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

seems to me a proper case for prompt punishment, but I 
understand I must have the sanction of the President before 
I proceed to execution, which otherwise I should do at once. 

Besides, a point is taken against the jurisdiction of the 
Military Commission because the offense was committed before 
I arrived in this Department, but I do not see how that fact 
outsets the jurisdiction. Here is a crime, here is the criminal, 
and here is the power present to punish the crime. Why 
should not that power be exercised? 

I was assigned to the Department of the Gulf, including the 
State of Louisiana, months before I got here, and theoretically 
the Department was under my command as it was actually 
within the limits of the United States. I have approved the 
proceedings, findings, and sentence of the Court, to be carried 
into effect hereafter awaiting instructions. I have the honor 

Very Respectfully Your obdt. Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 24tfz, 1862 

M aj. Gen l. H. W. HALLECK, Commander in Chief 

GENERAL: While I have the honor to report a reasonable 
degree of health on the part of my troops through the summer, 
and an entire absence of epidemic here, I think it would be 
well, in view of the coming summer, to change the regiments for 
the coming season, and for that purpose it will be necessary 
to begin now, to prevent disarranging the service. I find 
those necessarily left on the lines at Carrollton suffering greatly 
from the malarious swamp fever to which the debilitating 
effect of summer predisposes them. To my astonishment, 
and against all theory, the regiment of acclimated Louisianans, 
which I have recruited here, and one of the most healthy I 
had when in Barracks, sent there, supposing them able to 
resist the effect of the malaria because of their acclimatization, 
have suffered from the swamp fever the most considerable of 
any, much more than the fresh troops the seventy -fifth 
New York, which I brought from the healthy lands of Pensa- 
cola and placed in the same locality. 

I have the honor to report two regiments of native Guards 
(colored) organized and mustered into the service, and one 
takes the field to-morrow. 

I have organized an expedition consisting of a Brigade, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 401 

five regiments of infantry, two Batteries of Artillery, and four 
Comp. of Cavalry, under the Command of Brig. Gen l. Weitzel, 
to move upon the Western Bank of the Mississippi through 
Western Louisiana for the purpose of dispersing the forces 
assembled there under Gen l. Rich d. Taylor. 

I propose at the same time to send round some light-draught 
steamers which I have been fitting for the service by protect 
ing their boilers and engines with iron coverings, so as to pre 
vent possibly the recurrence of the dreadful accident which 
occurred on the "Mound City" steamer by the penetration of 
her boilers by shot, and mounting them by light guns, to attack 
some Batteries on Berwicks Bay, to penetrate the waters of 
the Bay and tributaries, and cut off the supplies of cattle for 
the Rebel Army from Texas via Opelousas and New Iberia, 
and to act in conjunction with Brig. Gen l. Weitzel. At the 
same time, I push forward columns from Algiers, consisting 
of the 8th Vermont Vols. and the first regiment Native Guards 
(colored), along the Opelousas Rail Road to Thibodeau and 
Brashier City, upon the Railway, for the purpose of forward 
ing supplies to Gen l. Weitzel s expedition, and to give the 
loyal planters an opportunity to forward their sugar and 
cotton to this city. I can easily hold this portion of Louisiana, 
by far the richest, and extend the movement so far as sub 
stantially to cut off all supplies from Texas to the country 
this coming winter by this route, if I can receive only rein 
forcements. Please therefore send me New England troops. 
The newspapers assure me that there are thousands waiting 
in Massachusetts. Letters from their Officers are received by 
me begging that they may come to this Department. Of course, 
I have a preference for Massachusetts troops. Those that I 
have here behaved very well. I trust that they may be sent 
to me. I should be glad if General Weitzel should be able 
to move upon Texas, and would suggest that an appropriate 
base of operation would be through Galveston, which I have 
just learned has surrendered to the Naval force of the Union. 
But I have hardly got a regiment which I can spare, to hold 
it, although I propose to send one. Not that I anticipate an 
immediate attack upon New Orleans, nor that I fear it unless 
I am forced to receive the debris of the South Western wing, 
after the defeat of Bragg, by General Buell, when, if I weaken 
myself here, I may invite attack from such sources. 

Rear Admiral Farragut is very desirous that we should 
make a demonstration on Mobile, or at least Fort Morgan, 

VOL. II 26 



402 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

to save the necessity of the large blockading force off that 
port. I think 3000 men more would do it successfully, but 
again I have not the men to spare, and to do those things 
which I think of more immediate necessity. 

I have as yet received, with the exception of sixty men, 
no recruits from the North for any of my old Regiments, some 
of which have been eighteen (18) months in service, so that 
my regiments appear much larger in number than they are 
in effective strength. I am sorry to report the very sudden 
and serious illness of Brig. Gen l. Arnold, who was stricken 
with paralysis while attending a review on Saturday, from 
which I think he will not recover sufficiently to resume his 
duties for some months. 

I was happy to receive the commendations of the General- 
in-Chief of the action of Maj. Strong at Pontchatoula. The 
illness of General Arnold and the wide-spread districts over 
which my troops are disposed makes it necessary that I 
should have another Brig. Gen l. Allow me to recommend 
for promotion Maj. Strong, my Asst. Adjt. Gen l., Lieut, in 
the Ordnance Corps, who graduated the second in his class 
at West Point in 1857, and also has been in the service ever 
since. I know no one more competent, and certainly none 
has shown better conduct and gallantry. 

I have been obliged to lose his services a part of the summer 
through his illness brought on by over-exertion, in preparing 
this expedition to New Orleans, but I think he has manfully 
recovered and reestablished his health. May I ask your kind 
offices to recommend to the President the appointment as 
one eminently fit to be made. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 25, 1862 

To the Hon. EDWIN E. STANTON, Sec y of War 

I HAVE received the enclosure of the acting French Minister 
in regard to the capture of the "Tennessee." 

The "Tennessee" was a steamer belonging to the house of 
Chas. Morgan & Co., of New York, actually in the possession 
of one Harris here, a rebel, was used, as I am informed, in 
attempting to run the blockade, was captured by the Navy 
under the French Flag, and I am not certain but an English 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 403 

one. At least, it had pretended French and English owners. 
It was sold after the city was actually invested, and while 
we were preparing an attack upon the forts, the cotton 
which had been placed on board to run the blockade having 
been landed before the fleet arrived off the city. 

English and French flags have been used very liberally here 
to cover all manner of property, and generally most used by 
them who have the least right to them. I at once forwarded 
the communication from the Acting French Minister to Rear 
Admiral Farragut, and I enclose his report. The Steamer is 
now in the service of the fleet as a tender to the squadron. 
The Army never had any and now claims no interest in her. 
I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your obdt. servt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Flag Ship HAHTFORD, PENSACOLA BAY, Oct. 17, 1862 
[[Not in chronological order^ 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Com g Dept. of NEW ORLEANS 

SIR: In reply to your letter desiring to learn all I know of the 
capture of the "Tennessee," I have to state that perhaps no 
vessel is better known to the blockading force before New 
Orleans than the "Tennessee." 

She has been blockaded and watched for many months, 
during which time she has been frequently down to the 
"passes" loaded with cotton, and ready to run the blockade, 
and has been as frequently compelled to return. 

When I captured New Orleans I found the "Tennessee" 
lying at the wharf with a French Flag hoisted somewhere on 
the vessel, indicating that she belonged to a French subject, 
but her antecedents were too well-known to me to regard any 
such evidence of ownership, as I knew that if any such trans 
fer had been made it had been done within a very short period 
of time, and during the blockade, which, according to my under 
standing, is contrary to all law. 

There is scarcely a vessel or piece of property belonging to 
the rebels that has not been so transferred since the capture 
of New Orleans. 

Very respectfully, Your obdt. servant, 
D. G. FARRAGUT, Rear Admiral Com g 

Western Blk g. Squadron 



404 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 25th, 1862 

Brig. General NEAL Dow, Commanding PENSACOLA 

GENERAL: I was very much surprised and grieved, and the 
public service was considerably interfered with, by your 
detention of the "St. Mary s." Indeed, it would have been 
better for the service to have lost the "Creole" than to have 
suffered the delay. The steamer was sent to Pensacola for 
special service, with written orders under my own hand, for 
the utmost despatch, and in such case the boat must never be 
interfered with. It has been informally reported to me that 
your expedition was sent for furniture up the Blackwater. 
If that was necessary for the comfortable occupation of your 
quarters, of course I should not seriously object, but the fewer 
of such expeditions the better. 

I cannot permit the shipping of furniture or other articles 
North by any officer for his own use. Such taking of private 
property, whether belonging to rebels or others, comes under 
the order of the War Department, No. 107, a copy of which I 
send you, and is there denominated "plundering." If in your 
judgment any property should belong, or does belong, to 
the United States, and can be better disposed of North than 
here, and should be properly shipped and sold, you will take 
the same course I did with the bells captured at New Orleans, 
- send it to the United States Quarter Master at Boston or 
New York, to be disposed of on account of the Government, 
but upon no consideration, and under no pretence, upon the 
private account of an officer. I must of course submit these 
matters with these instructions to the discretion of an officer 
as high in command as yourself, not doubting that it will be 
properly used. 

I have put the "Sykes" as a despatch and mail-boat to run 
between Pensacola and here in order that there may be fre 
quent and regular communications between Pensacola, Ship 
Island, Fort Pike, and this point. You will see to it that she 
is used for no other purpose. Her regular days of sailing from 
here will be Wednesdays and Saturdays. Her time should 
regularly be thirty hours. You will appoint such hours for 
leaving Pensacola as will best enable her to make her return 
trip, and that hour must not be interfered with after being 
appointed except to save life, or. from the necessity of the 
public service in case of attack. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 405 

I am informed that a quantity of pitch was taken under my 
permission from Pensacola and brought here. It was necessary 
for the use of the Navy. This is claimed by one Harrison, who 
was engineer or employee of the Rosin Oil Works at Pensa 
cola. He has two hundred barrels of pitch there secreted 
somewhere in the woods. You will find him at once, and 
cause the pitch he has to be delivered at the Navy Yard, 
turning it over to Rear Admiral Farragut, asking his receipt 
therefor. Please inform by return of the "Sykes" if this 
can be done, because otherwise I must send pitch for the use 
of the Navy on the next trip of the "Sykes." 

Lt. Col. Dyer has forwarded me, without your approval, 
an application for the resignation of the Adjutant of his 
Regiment, accompanied by charges as a reason for his resig 
nation, that he was drunk on duty. An honorable discharge 
of an officer, consequent upon acceptance of a resignation, is 
the adjudication of the Commanding General that he has 
faithfully and properly served his country, and is entitled to 
her thanks, her honor, and her rewards. How could Col. 
Dyer believe that such discharge could be granted to a man 
who deserved dismissal from the service? I have therefore 
ordered Adjutant Nowland to be dropped from the rolls, 
assuming the statement of Col. Dyer to be true, as it seems 
to be made in a friendly spirit, and as no other reasons for the 
resignation are forwarded by him. 

I wish you to make me a full report in detail of the transac 
tions which led to the detention of the "St. Mary s," the cause 
of the detention, and of the orders that caused it. I have the 

Very respy., Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From Colonel J. W. Shaffer to General Butler 

Office Chief Quarter Master, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, 
Sunday, Oct. 26, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

GENERAL: I have the honor to report "St. Mary s" off. 
I detained her about one hour. The cause of this inexcusable 
blunder I will call and explain. The individual making it 
will never make another for me. I had flattered myself that 
everything that had been entrusted to me connected with 
the expedition had been promptly done. Consequently I 
feel deeply this infernal blunder. 

J. W. SHAFFER, Colonel & Quarter Master 



406 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, LA., October 25th, 1862 

Rear Admiral FARRAGUT, Commanding Gulf Blockading 

Squadron 

SIR: I had the pleasure to receive your despatch announcing 
the great favor you have done me in detailing Officers King & 
Cook to the command of my boats. They go off to-morrow 
morning, and I trust will be in Berwicks Bay on Monday. 
The expedition to Donaldsonville started to-day. As soon as 
we get through with this little job I will send over the same 
troops and light-draught steamer to cooperate with you. I 
think I will spare a Regiment & some pieces of Artillery to 
hold Galveston if that will be sufficient. I have not sufficient 
information as to the number of troops required for that pur 
pose. I never was more astonished in my life than on receiving 
your letter about the pitch. The history of the transaction is 
this. Some person came to me and asked for a permit to bring 
over his property on shore. It never occurred to me that it 
was pitch or anything that you would want; and the permit 
was a general one. There are, however, two hundred Bbls. 
more pitch left in Pensacola which I will order seized and 
brought to you at the Navy Yard, and if it is reported to me 
by General Dow that this cannot be done, I will see that suffi 
cient for your use is sent from here. Please indicate how 
much pitch and how much rosin you want by the return of the 
"Sykes." When, by any act of mine, I paralyze the operation 
of the Navy, I paralyze my own right arm, and it has been a 
source of grief to me that you should even think for the days 
you are waiting this reply that I knew anything of this trans 
action. I send you by the "Sykes" 20 Bbls of rosin which I 
seized at Fort Pike. I can forward you tar and pitch from 
here if you do not get the pitch I have mentioned. I have 
ordered the "Sykes" to act as a despatch boat between this 
Post, Ship Island & Pensacola. She runs about fourteen miles 
an hour, and as she was fired into three times by the Blockading 
Squadron, and dodged the shells, and the Capt. does not like 
to repeat the experiment, if you will give her a number that 
she may carry at night and distribute it among your Squadron 
we shall save accidents. I don t blame the Officers for shoot 
ing. After the fate of Preble I would not let anything pass me 
if I were they. You know I believe in shooting when any 
body attempts to run past. As she is a Despatch Boat, may I 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 407 

ask that your Officers shall not detain her, because I wish for 
all our sakes that she should make regular trips. She will 
leave here every Saturday and Wednesday afternoon at 4 
o clock, and on corresponding days from Pensacola at such 
hour as may give her the best despatch. I think if you will 
give her your mail I can manage with the Postmaster so as to 
give you more frequent communication with the North than 
in any other way. 

Mrs. Butler, who has come out, sends her best regards. She 
has a right lively recollection of many kindnesses from your 
self & Officers of your command. 

Very truly, Your Friend, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Neal Dow 

Head Quarters, District of West Florida, PENSACOLA, Oct. 31st, 1862 

[[Not in chronological order] 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL: I immediately, on the receipt of your order of 
the 25th, relating to pitch, caused explanations to be made, 
and the result is that a quantity has been found in a hole in 
the sand. It was run in, warm, and is very much mixed with 
dirt. I have communicated with the Admiral on the subject, 
and shall have it melted and dipped off into barrels, free from 
foreign matters. 

The quantity is not yet ascertained, nor do I know the 
quality but shall probably be informed of that to-morrow. 
I hope there will be as much as the Admiral will need. 

Very respectfully, NEAL Dow, Brig. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 25, 1862 

To the Hon. E. M. STANTON 

I HAVE the honor to report that I have forwarded on the 
Steamer "Catawba," under the charge of Capt. Puffer, certain 
discharged soldiers, three insane men, and three clergymen of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church. I have directed the three 
clergymen to be turned over to the care of the United States 
Marshal at New York, subject to the order of the War 
Department. 

The insane men Capt. Puffer will take with him to Wash 
ington, and deliver to the "Soldiers Insane Asylum." 

One of the clergymen, the Rev. Dr. Leacock, preached a 



408 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

sermon on the 29th of Nov. 1860, which was afterwards 
published and run through four editions of about 30,000 
copies. I enclose the vital extracts. You will see that it 
was highly incendiary in its nature. He is an Englishman 
born, but I believe has been naturalized in this country; at 
any rate I have his written admission that he does not claim 
British protection. He has been in New Orleans about six 
years, and I think has been an emissary of the British Gov 
ernment. And the Rev. Mr. Fulton is a clergyman who 
was for a considerable time a private in the Rebel army. 
And the Rev. Mr. Goodrich has been an active and violent 
secessionist. 

All these men refused to take the oath of allegiance, and 
though the Military Governor of Louisiana, Genl. Shepley, 
ordered that they should read the service adopted by the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, including 
the prayer for the President of the United States, they have 
neglected to obey the order, and though warned of the conse 
quences of disobeying the order, they have still contumaciously 
refused to obey it. I think them much more mischievous in 
this city than they would be as soldiers in arms in the Confed 
erate Service. And I send them to Fort Lafayette, so that 
they will at least be out of mischief during the remainder of 
the war. 

The only excuse they have to make to me in personal exami 
nation is that the Diocesan Bishop, I believe the Right Rev. 
Warrior Bishop Gen. Polk, has prescribed a different form of 
service, and that they are therefore canonically obliged to dis 
obey the orders of the authorities here. 

Any other information about this, if desired by the Depart 
ment, will be forwarded if directed. I have the honor to be, 

Very respy., Your obdt. servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, October 25, 1862 

To the United States Marshal in NEW YORK 

CAPTAIN PUFFER of my staff is directed to deliver into your 
hands three clergymen, Rev. Dr. Leacock, Rev. Mr. Fulton, 
and Rev. Mr. Goodrich, secessionists, rebels, and enemies of 
the United States. 

I have reported these cases to the Secretary of War, and 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 409 

you will retain them subject to orders of the War Department. 
I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, October 25, 1862 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 85 

THE Commanding General has examined the doings of the 
Court Martial whereof Major Peck was President, with care. 
While there seems to have been a good degree of discrimination 
in weighing the evidence, and the proceedings are reasonably 
regular, yet it is apparent that the Court, in the sentences and 
punishments, were entirely regardless of their duty. Offenses 
that should have been punished with death, or the severest 
prison discipline for life, have been given the farcical punish 
ment of two or three months confinement and a small fine. 
Sleeping on post by a sentinel in face of an enemy, an offense 
justly punishable with death, as the safety of a whole army 
may depend on his vigilance, is punished by "three weeks 
confinement in a guard tent." Going to sleep in his quarters 
by an officer of the guard is punished by loss of one month s 
pay and a reprimand from the Commander of the post, and 
this officer recommended to the mercy of the Commanding 
General because of his ignorance. Striking and violent abuse 
of an officer by a soldier has had a short term of imprisonment 
and a small fine, less than would have been given by a civil 
court for an ordinary assault and battery. Perhaps this may 
be accounted for by the fact that the members of the Court 
knew exactly how much a man ought to be punished if he 
abused one of them. Other officers, of a different and proper 
appreciation of their own position and merit, would have come 
to a different conclusion. 

The sentences of the Court, as a rule, are a disgrace to every 
officer composing it. The Court Martial of which Major 
Frank H. Peck is President, is dissolved. 

By command of MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Capt. and A. A. A. G. 

From Mrs. Butler to Mrs. Heard 

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 26th, 1862 

DEAR HARRIET: A vessel goes out this afternoon; no more 
for a week. The weather is quite cold; we have fires all over 



410 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the house. Yesterday Mr. Butler and I dined with four of 
the Staff who are keeping Bachelors Hall. They gave us a 
very nice dinner, and on the whole it was quite pleasant. We 
expect Fisher soon as he receives news that he is to come. 
The articles sent home, including Mrs. Read s ring, were 
bought of a Jew Broker, and cost twelve hundred dollars, 
bought just as you would buy them of a broker in Boston, 
Mrs. Butler s silver at the same place. This I write only be 
cause we had spoken of it, and I thought you might like to 
know. Of course, you would make it no subject of conversa 
tion to anyone else. Maria has gone into a very fine house, 
Harry has left us and gone to her. The things that Mr. Butler 
sent for in his letter to me, get together if you can and send by 
Fisher. If there is room in the trunk, put in the box that 
contains my muff and mufties. It will be cold enough for 
furs. I should like well enough a few yards of bright ribbon 
to give to the servants, or a gay handkerchief to tie over their 
heads, but you need not trouble much about it. I cannot 
write you much to interest today, for I seem to have my head 
more than full about matters, that I will write to you of when 
I get them arranged. You have the steam on by this time. I 
hope you are all well, and that you will manage to make it 
cheerful and pleasant. I shall be glad to hear how Lote s 
affairs progress. Fisher was better pleased with it than he 
would have been with the other, of the same name, though he 
says he knows nothing about this man. But he is a pleasant 
person, and I hope for Lote s sake it will be all right. I hope 
you have already written, and that I shall get a letter in the 

course of a week. v . ,. . G 

Your affectionate SISTER 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 27, 1862 

Maj. Gen. HALLECK, Com g in Chief 

GENERAL: In my despatch of inst., I have the honor to 
report to the Commanding Genl. the departure of an expedi 
tion under Brig. Genl. Weitzel into that part of Louisiana which 
lies west of the Mississippi river. I enclose Genl. Weitzel s 
despatch, showing his operation so far. 

This is sent by hand of Capt. Puffer, of my staff, by whom I 
also forward a map of that part of Louisiana, which, though 
not strictly accurate, will give you a very good idea of the 
country through which operations are being made. I have 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 411 

explained to him verbally the proposed action of the expedi 
tion, and, if you desire, by the aid of the map he may make it 
clearer than I can by writing. I trust you may find him a 
gentleman of such intelligence as to make clear the difficulty 
to be encountered, and the necessity to] the expedition 
for light-draught steamers for the numerous bayous. 

I hope that on Tuesday morning, the 28th inst., some of 
these steamers, two of them iron-clad as far as boilers are con 
cerned, will be in Brashier City. We have opened the railroad 
as far as the point marked Bouttee station. The enemy have 
a force at this point where the Bayou Des Allemands is crossed 
by the railroad. I have the honor to be, 

Very respy., Your obdt. servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 27, 1862 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Sec y of War 

SIR: While Brig. Gen. Neal Dow was in command at Fort 
St. Philip he took great pains and evinced much zeal in rais 
ing the chain, which was used by the Confederates to prevent 
our passing the forts. 

He succeeded in raising a number of fathoms, of the value 
of $4,000 or $5,000, which has been received by the Quarter 
Master here. For this he makes a claim for salvage as appears 
by his letter, a copy of which is enclosed. 

I incline to the opinion that salvage cannot be allowed in 
such case, as the services of the officer belongs to the United 
States. But not wishing to prejudice the case of an officer so 
high in command, so earnestly made, I have forwarded it to 
the War Department that it may be passed upon there. I 
have the honor to be, 

Very respy., Your obdt. servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 

Enclosures referred to Foregoing Letter 

Head Qrs. District of PENSACOLA, Oct. IQth, 1862 
[Not in chronological order]] 

Maj. Geo. C. Strong, A. A. G. 

MAJOR: W r hile I was in command at Fort St. Philip, I took 
a good deal of pains and devoted personal attention to recov 
ering the great chain with which the rebels obstructed the 



412 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

river. I succeeded in recovering about forty tons, worth some 
$4,000 or $5,000. I sent them to New Orleans, where they 
are now. Will you be so kind as to call Gen l Butler s attention 
to the matter. I thought I should be justly entitled to salvage, 
and I leave the matter entirely to him, promising to be con 
tented with whatever he shall think right about it. But I 
hope that he may give order that I shall have salvage, of such 
a percentage as he may think proper. 

Very respy., NEAL Dow 

Head Qrs. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 10, 1862 
[Not in chronological order^ 

Brig. Gen. NEAL Dow, Commanding U. S. Forces at 

PENSACOLA, FLA. 

GENERAL: I am directed by the Major Genl. Commanding 
to acknowledge the recpt. of your letter of Oct. 10th, in rela 
tion to the recovery of a chain cable at Fort St. Philip, and to 
acknowledge that the part recovered has been received at 
New Orleans. The Genl. acknowledges your personal atten 
tion and zeal in recovering, but is inclined to the opinion that 
no allowance for salvage can be made, as the recovery was 
but your duty to the United States. However, not wishing to 
prejudge your claim, he has forwarded it to Washington with 
a copy of this note. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully Your obdt. servt., 

FRED MARTIN, Lt. & A. D. C. 

From G. S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase * 

PRIVATE. NEW ORLEANS, October 27th, 1862 

DEAR SIR: Gen. Weitzel left here three days ago, with 
five Regiments Infantry, four companies cavalry, and two 
batteries. Their destination was Donaldson ville, about seventy 
miles up the River, where the Rebels were posted in force. 
I have just learned from a Captain of a transport, who has 
returned from there, that the landing was effected successfully. 
Considerable skirmishing took place, when the Rebels retreated, 
leaving a few killed and wounded, and also leaving two hundred 
prisoners in our hands, who were paroled and released. The 
rebels retreated to Napoleonville (south of Donaldsonville), 
where it is supposed they will make a stand. The 1st (colored) 
Regiment and 8th Vermont left here yesterday, marching in 

1 American Historical Association Report 1902, Vol. II, p. 327. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 413 

a direction nearly due west. Two days ago, gunboats started 
for Berwick s Bay, to take possession there. All these move 
ments are parts of one and the same plan. I informed you 
many days ago of the departure of a portion of the fleet to 
attack and capture Galveston. They accomplished the object 
without loss. Gen. Butler will soon send a Regiment to occupy 
the town and Island. 

Seventy-three refugees from Texas have just arrived here 
from Matamoras, about one-third of whom are Germans - 
the remainder Americans. At my request, Gen. Butler is 
organizing them into a company for Govt. military service. 
Judge Davis, from Texas, is now here, and will receive author 
ity to enlist and organize a full Texas Regiment. There will 
be no difficulty about this, as besides the company here 
three or four companies can be raised in Galveston. There 
are hundreds of refugees in the vicinity of Matamoras anxious 
to join the army, for whom Gen. Butler will send a steamer. 
You saw Judge Davis in Washington. He is well and favor 
ably known in Texas. 

Everything appears to be going on well. 

Your regulations of Aug. 28th throw upon me great labor 
and responsibility. I have informed you of my action and 
opinions in the matter, and would like to know if I have made 
any mistake. 

I know of but one fault to be found with Gen. Butler. He 
has (in my opinion) been altogether too willing to permit his 
friends to make fortunes. 

I hope you have completely recovered from your illness, of 
which mention was made in the New York papers. 

(GEORGE S. DENISON) 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 28^, 1862 

Rear Admiral FARRAGUT, Commanding Western Blockade 

Squadron 

MY DEAR SIR: I am always disinclined to make complaint 
of the action of any officer, especially one of your squadron, 
but I think I must submit to you the enclosed report and 
correspondence, because it is right that the Quarter Master 
at Ship Island, Lt. Ring, should have some voucher so that 
he may not be at the personal loss of the value of the cattle 
mentioned. 



414 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Upon request, Captain Guest should have had the cattle; 
but I don t think that upon reflection Capt. Guest would 
desire that the Qr. Master should be at the personal loss, as 
he must be if no receipt is furnished. I have the honor to be, 

Your respl. servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Office Chief Commissary of Subsistence, Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS 

To Major Gen. BUTLER, Com g Dept. of the Gulf 

GENERAL: I have the honor to enclose herewith the cer 
tificate of Lt. Aaron Ring, 13th Me. Vols., setting forth the 
facts of the seizure of six beef cattle, for which he was respon 
sible, by Capt. Guest, U.S.N., of the U.S.S. "Owasco," and a 
letter of Capt. Guest in reply when called upon for receipt of 
the cattle. 

These cattle were sent to Ship Island by my direction, 
being obtained at considerable expense, and sent over there 
with much trouble and labor for the use of troops stationed in 
that island. 

The extenuation offered by Capt. Guest, that he thought 
them wild cattle, appears ridiculous in the face of the fact that 
some 13,000 troops occupied the Island for three or four months, 
and were for most of the time suffering for the want of fresh 
beef; moreover, it is not likely that expeditions would have 
been sent off, as was done, to visit neighboring islands for the 
very purpose of procuring cattle for the troops, not wild cattle 
but animals left there to graze, when beef cattle were roaming 
around on Ship Island. That the cattle were not in the lines 
of the command is very probable. The grazing on Ship Island 
at best is very scarce, and to have kept them within the 
limited lines of the two companies would have been to have 
kept them to starve; and what dangers were there to appre 
hend when our own naval vessels were in the vicinity for the 
protection of public property? 

It is a fact that we are feeding negroes and vagabond males 
and females who misbehave in New Orleans; why we are doing 
so is not for me, a subordinate officer, to question. It is done, 
though, with a due accountability for every thing so expended, 
and I do not understand why this is a warrant for the forcible 
seizure of public property by Capt. Guest to hand over to 
persons in no manner connected with either Army or Navy. A 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 415 

distressed condition of his own case might justify him in the 
taking of public property in this manner, but to be accounted 
for afterwards to the responsible officer. 

It appears to be a wanton act when Capt. Guest admits 
that his own crew did not want it, nor get any of it, and when 
called upon for the proper receipts tells the public officer who 
is responsible to his Government for that property, that he 
may charge it to "profit and loss." 

I submit this to you, seeking redress for Lt. Ring and exemp 
tion if possible from having stores, gathered at no small pains 
and labor for the use pf your army, thus forcibly taken and 
used for no purpose connected with the operations of this 

command. I am, T/ v -LJ* 

Very respy., Your obdt. servant, 

JNO. W. TURNER, Col. & Chief Commissioner, 
Dept. of the Gulf 

U.S.S. OWASCO, SHIP ISLAND, llth Sept., 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

HENRY RUST, Col. Comg. Post at Ship Island 

DEAR SIR: I have just received your letter of this day 
making an inquiry of me in reference to some beef cattle 
killed by my crew on the eastern end of this island. It is true 
that a boat s-crew from this vessel did kill six beef cattle on 
the upper end of Ship Island one day last week. 

I am not sure they killed cattle belonging to the Army, as 
I have been told there are or were a number of wild cattle on 
the island, and if they did belong to the Army, my men did 
not know it. The facts in the case are these: Capt. Wood- 
worth of the "Jackson" brought some sheep here from Pen- 
sacola for the use of our vessels. The sheep escaped from the 
pen, and when my men went in quest of them, were stopped 
by your pickets. 

I was therefore obliged to get under-way and to land my 
men outside of your lines. I told them to look for the sheep, 
and kill as many as they could, as I considered them lost. 
They saw the sheep but could shoot none. They saw cattle 
and killed six. 

You will permit me to observe that if all the cattle of the 
island belong to your Qr. Master s Dept. he has no security 
for them whatever, as any one may land and take them away 
without his knowledge, and being so far beyond your lines 
and control my men very naturally concluded them to be wild, 
especially as they were seen with the lost sheep. 



416 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

As the Supply Steamer was here at the time, my people 
did not require the beef, so I distributed it among the mer 
chant ships whose crews have no chance to get fresh beef. 

I had the pleasure, dear Col., of sending you a quarter of 
beef, little thinking I might be giving you your own. I hope, 
however, you found it very tender. As the United States is 
now feeding every negro that chooses to come to us, and all 
the vagabonds male and female who misbehave in New Orleans, 
you perhaps agree with me that the lucky accident which gave 
a hearty meal to the loyal crews of our merchantmen is not 
to be regretted. 

The Quarter Master will have to charge the beef to "profit 
& loss," especially the latter. In future I shall confine my 
riflemen to mutton, when they land on Ship Island, lest they 
might by chance find an Army beef amongst the wild cattle. 

I am, dear sir, jr T7 L ,. 

Very respy., Your obdt. servant, 

JOHN GUEST, Comdr., U. S. N. 
From Rear Admiral Farragut 

Flag Ship HARTFORD, PENSACOLA BAY, Nov. 6, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

SIR: Your communication in relation to the Beeves killed 
at Ship Island by order of Lieut. Comdr. Guest was received, 
and I called on that Officer for an explanation of the same, but 
his letter to me is nothing but a repetition of the one to the 
Comd g officer at Ship Island, viz: that he did not know that 
they belonged to the Army, and therefore directed the pay 
master not to receipt for them. But he has gone home under 
orders of the Dept., and as he acknowledges to have killed 
the Beeves, and given the Beef away, I will give the Quarter 
master a certificate of the same. 

Very respectfully, Your obt. Servt., 

D. G. FARRAGUT, Rear Admiral 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, October 28, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

StR: I have the honor to enclose to you a translation of a 
letter from one Labitat. I think it is one requiring some 
investigation. It is evident to me, these Arms being in Havana, 
that if we do not get them the Rebels will. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 417 

Therefore I have written the enclosed answer, which will 
at least give me time to hear from the War Department. I 
will either undertake to have the matter investigated and a 
contract made, if authorized, or I will afford every facility to 
any gentleman of the Ordnance Department who may be sent 
here for that purpose. I can communicate almost weekly 
with Havana. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your Obedt. Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

TRANSLATION. HAVANA, Oct. 2Ist, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER, NEW ORLEANS 

I HAVE by mistake put a letter in the mail of the steamer 
"Roanoke," for New York, to your address, in which I made 
you a certain proposition, therefore to repair my error I 
hereby address you this letter. I suppose you will receive the 
other some time later. 

I informed you, General, that I can furnish you with ammu 
nition of war. I have $80,000 in muskets, also rifles, with 
sword bayonets. If you wish anything, you may give me an 
order which will be filled at once. I shall require a credit on 
London or France for the amount. Those muskets will come 
to $23, to be delivered at any port in the United States you 
may direct. I should prefer if you answer my letter in the 
French language. 

I understand the business, having been an officer in the 
French army, and have furnished the French army with arms 
also. I am a nephew of Gen l. Labitat. Hoping to hear from 

you soon, I remain, v , , T T 

Your Obt. Svt., JNO. LABITAT 

Cotton will do as well as specie in exchange. 
From General Butler 

Head Quarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 28, 1862 

M . LABITAT, HAVANA 

SIR: I would be glad of your muskets and rifles provided 
they are of such quality as would suit my soldiers. The price 
seems quite high, but I suppose that would not be so material 
an objection as want of good quality. Will you have the 
kindness to send me by the first steamer from Havana a sample 
of each gun, and a contract saying what number of each you 

VOL. II 27 



418 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

will deliver at this port, and the price, the arms to be in per 
fect order and equal to sample. I shall then have a basis upon 
which I may close the contract. 

It would be preferable to pay for the arms in exchange on 

Paris. I am, Sir, v ,,. 

Your oodt. Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 
From R. W. Shufeldt 

U.S. Consulate General, HAVANA, October 28^, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding U. S. Forces Gulf 
Dept, &c. 

SIR: It has been the subject of complaint on the part of 
parties interested in vessels visiting the Port of New Orleans 
- under the Spanish flag that they have been submitted 
to quarantine & other restrictions not placed upon vessels 
coming from the port of Cuba under the Am. flag. 

I am indisposed to believe that any such partiality has been 
shown, altho it has frequently been here made the theme of 
the press, and the topic of conversation, at the instance, 
therefore, of a highly-respectable merchant of this city, the 
owner of the steamer "Pajaro del Oceano," about to be dis 
patched to N. O., I take the liberty of calling your attention 
to the subject, remarking, as I can from personal knowledge, 
that our steam packets have always been received in the 
ports of Cuba with uniform liberality, and that even during 
the past years our men-of-war and our merchant vessels have 
received a courtesy and a protection for which we have looked 
in vain from other nations than Spain, from whom we thought 
we had a better right to expect it. 

Believing that you are as anxious as I am to cultivate the 
little friendly feeling we find abroad in our present crisis, I am 
sure that any cause of complaint which may reach you from 
the Master of the above steamer or any other Spanish vessel 
will receive your favorable consideration. 

In view of the great importance of maintaining the health 
of N. O., I do not venture to make any suggestions in regard 
to the quarantine regulations of that Port. I can only say 
that the Health authorities of Havana are now issuing clean 
bills of health, about which they are exceedingly careful, & I 
believe Havana to be as free from epidemic as it ever is in any 
season of the year. I have the honor to be with great respect, 
Your Obedt. Servant, R. W. SHUFELDT, Consul Genl. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 419 

From General Butler 

Headquarters DepL, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 28, 1862 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to call your attention to the enclosed 
extracts translated from the Diario of Havana, in confirmation 
of my reports in regard to Spanish vessels of war transporting 
passengers; also the fact that the Spanish War Steamer 
"Blasco de Garay" has taken from this port over a million 
dollars in specie. It will be seen that while I am forbidding 
their leaving the city without passes, the Spanish men-of-war 
are taking away both. I desire instructions whether this is 
a breach of national courtesy and hospitality; and I should 
allow no Spanish vessel of war to come above the Forts until 
I receive instructions from the Department. I have the honor 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt. 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

THE Prensa of the 15th announces the arrival of the "Mari- 
galanti" from New Orleans, with over 200 passengers (refugees) 
and Government tobacco. 

The Diario of the 16th, noticing the arrival of the refugees 
in the "Marigalanti," remarks, "It is a satisfaction to us to 
think that circumstances have made the Spanish Flag the 
first to give aid and shelter to the citizens of Louisiana, while 
they have been suffering from the calamities which accompany 
civil war." 

The Diario closes by the remark that the emigration from 
New Orleans, which it hopes will augment, will doubtless be 
very beneficial to the interior of the "ever faithful Isle," and 
that the authorities of the island seem to so regard it, as they 
afford all needful protection to those that seek their aid. 

The Prensa of the 17th announces that the Spanish Frigate 
"Cortes" has left St. lago de Cuba for Porte au Prince, where 
it was reported that she would remain fifteen days. The 
Prensa has no knowledge of the object of her visit. 

The Prensa, mentioning the arrival of the Spanish War 
Steamship "Blasco de Garay" from New Orleans, says she 
had on board over a million of dollars in gold, entrusted to 
her Commander, and that the money has been deposited in 
the various banks of Havana. The Prensa understands that 
the Command, of the "Blasco de Garay " declined to receive the 



420 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

usual percentage allowed for the transportation of specie in 
war vessels, and that the emigrants from this city by that 
vessel, in testimony of their gratitude to Don Manuel Herera, 
the Comd., for his generous conduct, have tendered him a public 
dinner. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 29, 1862 

Hon. E. M. STANTON Secy of War 

SIR: I have the honor to enclose the report of my Medical 
Director and the Surgeon of the Quarantine Station in regard 
to the action of Mr. Pierce, Consul at Matamoras, who it 
would seem needs some instructions in the way of his duty. 
He gives clean bills of health when epidemic is raging. 

We have thus far succeeded, in the Providence of God, by 
the most strenuous exertions in keeping all pestilence away 
from the city, and the enclosed communications will give 
some idea of the difficulties under which we labor. I have 

the honor to be, T7 v , ,, 

Very respy. Your obdt. servant 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Commanding 
Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Consulate of the U.S. of America at MATAMORAS, Oct. 3, 1862 

[Not in chronological order^ 

I, CONSUL of the United States of America for the port of 
Matamoras, Mexico, do hereby certify that the schooner called 
the "Planet," of Nassau, N.P., of the registered burden of 
seventy-six tons, whereof J. Chander is master, navigated by 
six men and having on board twenty-five passengers, being in 
all thirty-two are persons on board cleared this day from this 
port for New Orleans. I hereby further certify that in this 
port and vicinity and among the shipping thereof good health 
prevails without suspicion of plague, yellow fever, or any con 
tagious or pestilential disease whatever, in either an epidemic 
or sporadic form, and that no disease has existed either in the 
place or among the shipping for the past . . . weeks or 
months. 

Given under my hand and seal of this Consular office, the 
day and year above written. 

L. PIERCE* JR., U. S. Consul 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 421 

Medical Directors Office, Head Qts. Dept of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 25th, 1862 

[Not in chronological order]] 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, U. S. Army, Comdg. Dept. of Gulf 

GENERAL: I herewith enclose to you the bill of health for 
the schooner "Planet" from Matamoras, Mexico, and a copy 
of the letter of Dr. J. A. G. Fisher, the Quarantine physician 
at the station below New Orleans, dated October 20th, 1862, 
giving statements of some of the passengers of the schooner 
"Planet." 

On the 16th September, 1862, the Mexican schooner "lical- 
tipec" arrived from Matamoras, Mexico, having a clean bill 
of health from the U. S. Consul at that port. The schooner 
had on board six U. S. soldiers escaped prisoners from the 
rebels. On the 21st of September, Dr. Fisher reported that 
Pat C. Spark of the 8th Infy., who came as a passenger on the 
"licaltipec," was taken sick with yellow fever, and on the 
27th September Dr. Fisher reports that this man had died the 
previous day (the 26th Sept.), black vomit having set in, thus 
proving to be an unmistakable case of yellow fever, still this 
vessel had a clean bill of health. 

Again, on the 16th October, 1862, the schooner "Planet" 
arrived here from Matamoras, having enclosed a clean bill 
of health from Mr. L. Pierce, Jr., the U. S. Consul at that 
port, although this vessel had 93 passengers on board from 
Texas, who stated to Dr. Fisher that yellow fever in an 
epidemic form existed at Brownsville at the time of their 
departure. 

This has been the second case of a vessel arriving from 
Matamoras with a clean bill of health from Mr. L. Pierce, 
Jr., the U. S. Consul, while it is a well-known fact that a severe 
epidemic of yellow fever existed during this season along the 
whole coast of Texas and Mexico. 

Very Respectfully, Your Obdt. Servant, 

CHARLES McCoRMiCK, Medical Director, Dept. of the Gulf 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, October 2Qth, 1862 

GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs me to transmit to 
you the enclosed Copy of a communication addressed to this 
Department by the Consul General of Switzerland, with the 
request that you will report the facts in relation to the alleged 
sequestration of 22 Hogsheads of Sugar, claimed to be the 



422 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

property of Messrs. Steiner & Marioni, citizens of Switzerland, 
resident at New Orleans. 

Very respectfully, Your obedt. Servant, 

P. H. WATSON, Asst. Secretary of War 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 25th, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: The sugar mentioned in your communication of 
October 29th, having been found in one of the bonded ware 
houses of the supposed Confederate Government, was held 
by the Custom House Officers until investigation could be 
made, as will be seen by the enclosed report. It was long 
since returned. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

November 26th, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

General BUTLER 

GENERAL: The Collector reports to me this sugar was 
returned to this firm some time since, it having been in one of 
the bonded warehouses, and for a time held by the Custom 
House authorities. It was never sequestered. 

Respectfully, J. H. FRENCH, Provost Marshal General 

From Honorable S. P. Chase 

Treasury Department, Oct. 29th, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

MY DEAR GENERAL: The sincerest interest in you prompts 
this letter. You have done so much and so well, and have 
been personally so just in your action and expressions towards 
myself, that I cannot endure the thoughts of your suffering in 
the present poor opinion as well as in the esteem of the govern 
ment through the imputed faults of others. 

So many and seemingly such well-founded charges against 
your brother, Col. Butler, have reached me and other mem 
bers of the administration, as well as the President, that I feel 
bound to say to you that in my judgment you owe it to your 
self not to be responsible, even by toleration, for what he 
does. Many do not scruple to express their conviction that 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 423 

you and some other of your officers are concerned in his specu 
lations. Mr. Denison alone of all who have written from New 
Orleans has repelled the idea of your participation, and even 
his faith, though he expresses the greatest admiration and 
regard for you, seems to be shaken in this respect. 

I do not presume to suggest any line of action to you. Your 
own good sense will advise you better than I can. 

It is said that Col. Butler s gains amount to between one 
and two millions of dollars. 

Mr. Denison s last letter transmits two permits, one from 
yourself and one from Gov. Shepley, for trade with the enemy, 
or rather within the rebel lines. This is expressly forbidden 
by act of Congress as well as by Regulation. I am glad to 
have his assurance that no more such permits will be granted. 
All intercourse across the lines should be confined to military 
purposes. 

I shall look anxiously and hopefully to the result of your 
expedition up the river. I hope it may add a new laurel to 
your crown, as well as prove of essential service to our cause. 
Mr. Denison gives the most interesting and promising accounts 
of your colored regiment experiment. The only error is that 
the experiment is begun too late. Long ago we should have 
received every recruit willing to take arms for the Union 
in the rebel states, whether black or white, putting them in 
proper organization, and save as far as possible our labor in 
the loyal states. The drain in consequence of the neglect of 
this simple device of prudence upon our labor, and especially 
our unskilled labor, is frightful. This alone will account for 
augmented prices of all articles produced by labor. 

Yours cordially and faithfully, S. P. CHASE 



From General Butler to Salmon P. Chase 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, November 14th, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

MY DEAR SIR: Your kind and welcome note was received 
with mingled emotions of pleasure and pain pleasure from 
the friendship which so conspicuously shows through every 
line, and pain that you, a friend, should think I would permit 
the wrongs which you sketch to be done not only with my 
knowledge, but with my sanction. My brother has been in 
deed engaged in commercial adventure in New Orleans, and 
has been successful. I know and cannot be mistaken that he 



424 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

has been no more successful than many others. I believe 
that every transaction has been legitimate mercantile opera 
tions. I have aided him in no way officially. On the con 
trary, I have avoided it, and have aided him far less than 
I have strangers, so far as all matters of official action were 
concerned. I have aided him to capital and credit by the use 
of my name at the North, and drawing on my bankers where 
I had some means before this war, but very little now. I 
have aided him in no other way. I believe this is a legitimate 
course toward a brother. I have not heard, nor do I believe, 
that he has done anything which in any way interferes with 
the Army of the Gulf or with the department. Certain it is 
that he has supplied the army with nothing or bought anything 
from it that was not sold at public auction. 

That his acts have been misrepresented is most true, and 
in nothing more than in the extent of his transactions, you 
say you have heard his profits were two millions !!. Why 
he shew me his balance sheet the 1st of October, and his 
entire transactions were only rising eight hundred thousand 
dollars, a large portion of which was in buying sugar here at 
nearly the same price it sold for in New York, sometimes 
higher, and depending upon the difference of exchange 12 or 
15 per cent for his profits. 

How much he has been able to gain you will conjecture. 
I have not asked him, nor do I believe he knows. That he 
most carefully bought for the Government, to send home under 
my direction, some sixty thousand dollars worth of sugar and 
naval stores, upon which the Government doubled the money, 
and in payment of which my drafts were suffered to go to pro 
test, is most true, but for that he has never yet received one 
cent. I asked him to ballast some Government transports, 
which would otherwise have to go to Ship Island for sand, and 
the Quartermaster at Boston repudiated his contracts, although 
thousands of dollars were saved to the Government. A loss 
was thrown on him by the repudiation, and his name brought 
into disrepute by the action of Quartermaster s Department. 

These are all the acts he has ever done for the Government, 
and these are the results. I have determined, however, that 
no appearance of evil shall exist to rob me of the fair earnings 
of a devotion of life and fortune to the service of my country. 
I have therefore asked Col. Butler to close up his business and 
go away from New Orleans, so as to leave me entirely untram 
melled to deal with the infernal brood of slandering speculators 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 425 

who have maligned me because I will not allow them to plunder 
the Government. 

I would desire that every high officer of my command, 
every quartermaster, commissary, Gov. Shepley, General 
Weitzel, Sherman, or other officers, might be interrogated as 
to any act of Col. Butler in his business, and I am willing he 
should abide the result of the answer. 

I have managed the affairs of this department as I would 
have done my own, and that I have been successful before I 
entered the service of the country in accumulating a compe 
tency for myself is the best guarantee that I know how to 
manage my own affairs, and I point with a just pride to the 
records of the commissary, quartermaster s, and treasury for 
the justification of my administration less by more than 
ten dollars to one as compared with the Port Royal expedition, 
which was just about the same size. And much less than 
any other expedition of the equal size. 

Besides, I have fed more than thirty thousand whites and 
ten thousand blacks for more than five months, and have put 
into the Treasury of the United States more than three quarters 
of a million of dollars. 

I have a right to say this to a friend, and take the privilege 
to do so. As to the matter of the passes of merchandise to 
get cotton, I have fully informed the department upon that 
subject. It was brought to the notice of the State Department 
and approved, and submitted to Hon. Reverdy Johnson at the 
time, and approved by him, and this was the only evidence 
I had it was wrong until I got your note. 

Certain it is that by allowing some provisions to go across 
the lake to the starving people there, we have caused an insur 
rection at Jackson, Mississippi, against the Confederate Gov- 
ernment, because they would not allow the cotton to go out 
to pay for them. Upon examination of the "regulations of 
the Treasury," however, the most stringent rules in conformity 
therewith were adopted. 

My experiment of arming the free negroes is succeeding 
admirably. Two regiments are already doing service in 
the field in guarding the Opelousas Railroad, and are doing 
it as well as any soldiers can. That they will fight I do not 
doubt. I am much in need of reinforcements not to hold 
this place, but to do anything with service to the country. I 
can take Mobile if I have 10,000 men to do it with, aye, I will 
try with seven. I have now scarcely 10 thousand effective 



426 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

men in the department, and I could not have moved as I have 
were it not for my negro recruits. 

You will find enclosed the order, No. 91, that I have issued 
in regard to the property in the Lafourche county. I will 
get a million of dollars worth of property, at least, for the 
Government, if some commissioner is not sent down here to 
give it up. Mr. Johnson s visit here cost the Government 
$405,000 in gold, which has been since sent out to pay for 
army clothing for the Rebels. It is all told in my despatches 
to the War Department. Do pray send me some men. I will 
take Texas if you will send any men. I have not 2000 now in 
the city of New Orleans, nor five within striking distance. 

From G. S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase 1 

PRIVATE. NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 14/A, 1862 Not in chronological ordeiQ 

DEAR SIR: Four days ago General Butler showed me the 
letter he had just received from you, concerning the specula 
tions of Col. Butler, and trade with the enemy. In my opin 
ion it was the right method of effecting a desirable object. 
The General pleased to talk to me confidentially. He says 
that his brother s gains have been less than Two Hundred 
Thousand that he has done only a legitimate business - 
that without being interested he assisted his brother at first 
with his (the Gen l s) credit and that Col. Butler will close 
his business as quickly as possible and go home. He also said 
that some of his officers had engaged in speculations, but only 
in a proper manner. 

For one thing Col. Butler deserves credit. Many sugar 
plantations were abandoned. Col. B. bought the standing 
crop of a large plantation for $25,000, hired negroes at a fair 
rate per day and will make a thousand hogsheads of sugar 
this year from this one plantation. I say he deserves credit, 
as being the first man bold and enterprising enough to under 
take the raising of a large crop of sugar by free labor which, 
a little while ago, was slave labor in opposition to the South 
ern idea, long established, that Sugar and Cotton can be suc 
cessfully raised only by compulsory labor. I lately visited this 
plantation, which is a few miles below the city, and never saw 
negroes work with more energy and industry. This single 
experiment refutes theories which Southern leaders have 
labored, for years, to establish. The crops of four or five 

1 American Historical Association Report 1902, Vol. II, p. 329. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 427 

other plantations down the river, and some above the city, 
were subsequently purchased by other persons, and are con 
ducted with the same success. The abolition of Slavery, by 
whatever means accomplished, instead of destroying will 
increase and invigorate labor. 

I think there will not again be any ground of complaint 
against Gen. Butler for his toleration of speculators. Nothing 
objectionable has been permitted since the receipt of your 
regulations of August 28th. He is a man not to be spared from 
the country s service. I suppose he was a pro-slavery man 
before the war, but he has since become the opposite. And 
nearly all real Union men from the South are Anti-Slavery, of 
whom Hon. A. J. Hamilton is a good representative. 

The expedition to the Lafourche has been entirely successful. 
The whole country from here to Berwick s Bay, and up as 
far as Donaldson ville, is in our possession. There was a short, 
sharp fight, and the undertaking was accomplished. Gen. 
Butler s gun-boats did not reach Berwick in time to cut off 
the retreat, having got aground on the bar, and so the 
greater part of the enemy escaped. 

These gunboats are four. Gen. Butler made three of them 
out of old river boats iron plated them with plating designed 
for rebel gunboats, and, drawing but little water, they are of 
great service. 

The inhabitants of Lafourche are thoroughly subjugated, 
and express a desire for peace on any terms. They take the 
oath of allegiance voluntarily. The negroes everywhere flocked 
to the army, as to their deliverers, and many of the plantations 
were entirely deserted. Gen. Butler says they are free forever, 
but he has ordered them (I understand) back to their planta 
tions to work there for proper compensation. This is the only 
method of providing for them at present. The situation of 
this country (Lafourche) is such that it is not probable the 
rebels will ever regain it. It is much to be regretted that 
Gen. B. has not more troops here. With 25,000 more, he could 
accomplish great things. If the enemy is attacked from the 
South, he will no longer think of invading Kentucky and 
Missouri, but turn southward to protect the Gulf states. 

The two colored regiments guard the railroad from here to 
Berwick. They have done well, and accomplished all that 
has been given them to do. About one year ago, the colored 
Regt. was ordered out to escort the Yankee prisoners through 
the city, though the order was subsequently countermanded. 



428 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

A few days ago, a company of the same Reg t. marched into 
the city, having under guard about twenty guerillas, whom 
they had captured. It seemed a just retribution. 

The company officers of this first Reg t. are educated men, 
and each speaks at least two languages. Gen. B. will soon 
give his colored troops a chance to show themselves. He 
designs attacking Port Hudson, a strong position on the river. 

The third colored Reg t. is full, and will soon be in the field. 
I urged upon General B. the propriety of arming all the able- 
bodied negroes in Lafourche, for they would willingly consent 
to it. He is undoubtedly in favor of it, but has not arms. He 
has collected in the city smooth-bore muskets enough for three 
more Reg ts., but his supply will then be exhausted. This will 
be six colored Regiments. I fear the Government will not act 
decidedly, as to the army of negroes, until the rebels take the 
wind out of our sails by arming them for the Rebel side. 

The Rebels have found a new supply of salt. It is on an 
Island formed by a bayou, half way between Vermilion Bay 
and New Iberia, which island is called Petit Anse on the map 
I sent you. It is forty or fifty miles west of Berwick, and 
about ten miles inland, but the Bayou is navigable for Gun 
boats. The supply of salt is large, and wagons are hauling it 
to Mississippi and Alabama. Gen. Bulter will take measures 
to destroy the works at once or as soon as possible. 

Texas refugees have, at different times, reached this city. 
I proposed to Gen. Butler that a Texas Reg t. of mounted 
rifles be organized, at the same time suggesting the method of 
doing it. He adopted the plan. Judge Davis, of Corpus 
Christi, is selected as Col., and Mr. Stancel (Inspector in this 
Custom House) as Lieut. Col. The first company is mustered 
in, composed entirely of refugees, and two more are 
started. They will go to Galveston, where many persons will 
join and a steamship will be sent to Rio Grande, to bring 
off the refugees who are at, or near, Matamoras. A full regi 
ment can easily be raised. Perhaps the news rec d. here of 
the expedition to Texas under Gen. Banks, will interfere with 
the plan, but I hope not. 

The whole country west of the Mississippi can be subjugated 
in one campaign. Should this be accomplished, the Southern 
Confederacy would never be formidable, in case of its inde 
pendence being established by foreign interference, or by 

other means. fr < & T\ \ 

(GEORGE S. DENISON) 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 429 

By General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. SOth, 1862 

Col. THOMAS 

SIR: You will take every means to open communication 
between Bouttee Station, Thibodeaux, & Bayou des Alle- 
mands by telegraph. Lieut. Smith goes out for this purpose. 
Be sure and get communication between yourself and me at 
once, and report frequently, push on with all vigor to make a 
junction with Gen l. Weitzel, leaving a sufficient working party 
at the bridge with Col. Stafford. I shall send forward the 
Companies of his regiment now employed in guarding the road, 
and supply their places with the 2nd Regt. Native Guards 
(colored). I have no report from you as to the condition of 
the bridge at Des Allemands. Send to me for whatever you 
want, but send a report how long you are to be in repairing 
the bridge. What is the condition of the road between Des 
Allemands and Lafourche? General Weitzel will desire you 
to hold Thibodeaux, and therefore I am pressing forward 
Col. Stafford. I desire to impress upon you once more the 
necessity of the most energetic measures in repairing that 
bridge, and the thing that will do most for it will be in 
opening the telegraphic communication with me, so that I 
can send forward workmen and supplies if necessary. Every 
thing is quiet here, and no news from the North. I have 

the honor to be T/ .- 77 v -, -,. 

very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

By command of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 



From General Butler 

Head Quarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 30, 1862 

Brig. Gen. WEITZEL, Com g Reserve Corps, THIBODEAUX, LA. 

GENERAL: I have received your report of the 28 & 29th 
inst., the last enclosing a list of killed and wounded. I cannot 
speak too highly of the admirable conduct of your troops, and 
your own brilliant success in the expedition. 

I have pushed forward the opening of the road as vigor 
ously as possible. Col. Stafford left Wednesday afternoon, 
with timber sufficient, as he said, to repair the bridge at Bayou 
des Allemands, and he assured me that he would be able to 
do it in two days or three at the outside. I have directed Col. 
Thomas by the same messenger to push forward the bulk of 



430 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

his regiment as fast as he can repair the track, and to join 
you at Thibodeaux. Your requisition shall be filled and for 
warded at the earliest possible moment. 

Buchanan was to have made his attack on Tuesday at 
Berwicks, with what success of course I cannot say as yet. 
We were delayed three days by a most terrific storm which 
disabled the "Diana," but I have got her in working order, 
and she has gone round. 

I have ordered over the Second Native Guards (colored), 
who will hold the road while Stafford pushes on to Thibodeaux. 
I sympathize with you in the matter of the negroes. By 
the Act of Congress they are clearly free, still you must not 
encumber yourself with them. Make them stop at Thibo 
deaux, from whence, when we get cars running, we can 
transport them to Algiers if necessary. If they pillage, of 
course we cannot help it. It is one of the necessary evils fol 
lowing this system of labor, and the rebellion, as far as I 
can see. 

Everything is quiet here. We have had no arrivals from 
the north. Through secret channels we learn that Bragg has 
evacuated Kentucky. The elections in Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
and Indiana have been in favor of the Democracy, so secesh 
reports; but with this we have nothing to do, as I suppose it 
will not affect the prosecution of the war. 

Push in to Brashier City as soon as possible, to be able to 
act in conjunction with Buchanan. I have a despatch from 
Col. Holcomb at Donaldsonville. He reports everything quiet 
there. The "Essex" has gone up there. 

Very respy. Your obdt. Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major Gen. Commanding 
By WM. S. G. GREENE, Lt. Q. A. D. C. 

From Rear-Admiral Reynaud 

TRANSLATION. Naval Division of the Gulf and North America. Office of the Admiral. 

NEW ORLEANS, October 3Ist, 1862 

Major General BUTLER, Commanding at NEW ORLEANS 

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge reception of 
the passes which you sent me, and am obliged to you. 

I have received also your gracious letter which enclosed 
them, and I regret much that I have to decline your amia 
ble proposition, as I cannot accept the invitation of Mr. 
Butler until I have the honor to receive the visit of the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 431 

General Commanding. I have the honor, General, to be with 

Your most obedt. Servant, REYNAUD 
The C outre Admiral, commanding in chief the naval 
division of the Gulf and North America 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 31, 1862 

The ADMIRAL Commanding the French Naval Division of the 
Seas of the Antilles and of South America 

MONSIEUR: Will the Admiral honor General Butler by 
indicating at what hour and at what place it will be his pleasure 
to receive an official visit from the Major General Command 
ing, and allow the General to present to the Admiral the mem 
bers of his Staff. 

General Butler takes liberty to make his regretful apologies 
to the Admiral, that the pressure of official business connected 
with the movements of his troops now in progress has rendered 
the performance of the duty and pleasure of paying his respects 
to the Admiral impossible until this moment. 

From Rear- Admiral Reynaud, 

TRANSLATION. NEW ORLEANS, October 31st, 1862 

Major General BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf 

GENERAL: In reply to your letter of yesterday evening, 
and which I received this morning, I shall have the honor, if 
convenient to you, to receive the General Command g. on 
board the "Catinat" this afternoon at 3 o clock. I am with 

respect, General, v , ,. ^ 

Your obedt. Servt., REYNAUD 

The Contre Admiral Commanding Naval Div. of Gulf, &c. 
From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS. Nov. 1, 1862 

To the Hon. E. M. STANTON, Sec y of War 

SIR: I have the honor to enclose a copy of correspondence 
between the French Consul and myself in relation to certain 
blankets which the necessities of my command require me to 
have. 

The tone of the letter of Count Mejan is insufferable; but 
I have taken no further notice of it than that shown in my 
letter. I suppose the matter will be made a subject of cor- 



432 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

respondence with the State Department, and I have forwarded 
this correspondence for information. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respy. Your obdt. servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

TRANSLATION. NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 31st, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Com g Army of the Gulf, 
NEW ORLEANS 

SIR: I have just been informed that by virtue of an order 
issued by the Provost Marshal General, Col. French, and 
approved by you, ten bales of blankets belonging to Messrs. 
Barriere Bros., French merchants, residing in this city, have 
been taken away from the custom house, where these goods 
were stored, without even informing the owners thereof. 

This arbitrary act is more than an attempt against the prop 
erty of the French citizen, it is flagrant violation of a trust 
confided to the good faith of the United States under the flag 
floating over the Custom House, and placed under the pro 
tection of the Head of the Custom House Administration. 

In the midst of your important occupations the gravity 
of this fact was without doubt not presented to your mind, 
and I hope these remarks will be sufficient to induce you to 
order the restitution of the goods thus illegally seized. 

If a violation of a trust is by itself not justifiable, it is the 
more so by the fact that Messrs. Barriere Bros, have not been 
advised of what was intended and accomplished. 

All the important importers are interested in this question. 
The commerce cannot exist without security, and how can 
business in New Orleans, already so dull, take a rise, which 
was formerly characteristic of this city, if one is exposed to 
see his goods, confided to the Custom House, seized without 
notice, without reason, or right. Already Messrs. Barriere 
have been victims of a seizure in their stores in Canal St., a 
seizure executed under a promise of early payment, which 
has been delayed until the time when the war should be over, 
which delay is admissible, as it might be only the result of a 
contract between both parties, and Messrs. Barriere are not 
willing to submit to this. 

I beg you therefore, General, to order the restitution of the 
goods seized from the Depot of the Custom House, and belong 
ing to Messrs. Barriere Bros., as well as the immediate pay- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 433 

ment of those which have been taken from their store by order, 
if I am right, of the Surgeon General of the Army. Please 
accept the assurance of my high consideration. 

Count MEJAN, Consul of France 

Head Quarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 1, 1862 

Count MEJAN, Consul of France 

SIR: I have your letter of Oct. 31 in regard to the taking 
by the United States authorities of the blankets of Mr. Barriere 
& Co. Mr. Barriere has misinformed and misled you by the 
statement that they were taken without information to him. 
The Medical Director of the Department had need of the 
blankets for the sick in Hospital. The sudden appearance of 
cold weather and the delay of steamers from the North had 
rendered the supply insufficient. 

It became, then, a necessity that blankets should be pro 
cured. Mr. Barriere had almost the only blankets of which we 
knew. The Medical Director called upon him and desired to 
purchase the blankets. He refused to sell them unless he 
could be paid money in hand at an exorbitant price. He was 
informed that the money would soon be paid at fair price. 
He then peremptorily refused to sell. Therefore, yielding to 
the inexorable law of necessity, I directed the blankets to be 
taken for the purpose indicated for military purposes, and 
should have done the same thing had they belonged to the 
most loyal citizen of the United States. 

I know of no treaty or obligation of national courtesy that 
requires the French citizen to be put, in time of war at least, 
upon any better or different footing than the citizen of the 
Government in which he finds himself, in regard to matters 
of trade, commerce, and property. I do not now advert to 
rules which may govern military service. A receipt was given 
Messrs. Barriere & Bros, for the blankets as soon as an account 
of them could be taken, in form given to loyal citizens of the 
United States, as a voucher by the Gov t. and in the usual 
course of business. I would have directed a payment to be 
made to him at the earliest possible moment. But I am now 
hindered from so doing from the tone and demands of your 
letter. You do not demand payment you demand restitu 
tion of the article. This last will not be acceded to. The 
blankets are now covering sick and wounded soldiers, whose 
interest I must care for before those of commerce, which of 
course lie more near the heart of a commercial agent. 

VOL. II 28 



434 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I beg leave to suggest to the French Consul that words of 
characterization of my acts, such as "arbitrary and flagrant 
violation of trusts," are not worthy a place in a correspond 
ence between himself and the Chief of this Department. The 
act was not arbitrary, otherwise than all acts necessary for 
military purposes are so. The taking of the blankets for 
military purposes was no violation of trust. The United 
States Government was responsible for them before they 
were taken; the same Government is responsible for them 
now. 

I trust and believe that these objectionable expressions in 
the note of the French Consul were inadvertent, and I need 
not say they will not be repeated in official correspondence 
with me. 

The authorities of the United States have endeavored to 
forward the interests of commerce almost to the exclusion 
of other matters, and that the commerce of Louisiana has not 
been fully opened to the world is not the fault of the Federal 
Government. Their safeguard has been given it, their pro 
tection afforded, and that safeguard and that protection has 
in no just sense of the term ever been violated. I am grieved 
that the French Consul has chosen to take this course upon 
this matter, as now the necessary correspondence with the 
authorities at Washington will delay Barriere Bros, in getting 
their pay for the blankets, which I should have been glad to 
have given them had I felt at liberty to do so after the French 
Consul s communication. I beg leave to say to the French 
consul, as an evidence of the necessity which compelled me 
to take the blankets, that they were of so poor a quality that 
had I any choice left me I would neither take them or purchase 
them. Brought to Havana for the purpose of being imported 
into the rebel states through the blockade, as I am informed 
and think I am able to prove, they were only saved by the 
vigilance of our cruisers from being now in the rebel cause, 
toward which the proclivities of the Messrs. Barriere Bros, 
are as well-known as in their former trade with the rebels. 

Still, having been brought here since the opening of the port, 
I should have overlooked the purpose for which they were 
originally taken to Havana, and pay for them if the French 
Consul had left me at liberty to do so. I have the honor to be, 

Very respy, Your obdt. servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major Gen. Commanding . 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 435 

Head Quarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 5, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

Count MEJAN, Consul of France 

SIR: I enclose you the report of Dr. McCormick, my Medi 
cal Director, upon the subject of the blankets of Messrs. 
Barriere and Bros, for your information. It will be seen 
that the Messrs. Barriere might have had their pay if they 
desired it. I have the honor to be, 

Your obdt. Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



Medical Director s Office, Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, 

November 4th, 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

Major General BENJ. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of the Gulf 

GENERAL: In obedience to your instructions I report that 
on Tuesday, 28th of October ult., I called on Messrs. Barriere 
Brothers to purchase some blankets for the Medical Depart 
ment of the Army, most urgently necessary for the health, 
and in some cases even the lives of the soldiers of your Army 
and although I had frequently made purchases for the Army 
in years past from these same gentlemen, and always hereto 
fore received from them most cheerfully what I might need, 
and paid them subsequently after a longer or shorter credit, 
to my great surprise they positively refused to let me have 
the blankets I so urgently needed except upon paying cash 
before delivery, and not having the money on hand and not 
having been able to find the requisite number of blankets 
elsewhere, I was compelled to seek the advice of Col. French, 
Provost Marshal General, and yourself, or else to permit the 
sick confided to my charge to suffer greatly, many of them 
even unto death, by failing to procure these blankets. 

In a conversation with Mr. Barriere since, in my office and 
in the presence of my steward, he, Mr. Barriere, admitted 
his knowledge of me as a government agent and our former 
transactions, and his entire satisfaction with me in all our 
previous business affairs. 

The collector sent Messrs. Barriere Brothers a verbal 
instead of written notice in reference to the seizure of his 
blankets. Before and since taking these blankets, in the most 
emphatic manner I reminded Mr. Barriere that the Govern 
ment did not want his goods without paying for them. 

In conclusion, I beg leave to say that I gave him a certifi- 



436 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

cate in accordance with orders of War Department dated 
July 22nd, 1862, upon which he will receive payment. 

Very respectfully, Your obt. Servt., 
CHARLES McCoRMiCK, Medical Director and Purveyor 

Department of the Gulf 

From M. Mithoffas 

PARISH OF JEFFERSON, Nov. 1st, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commdg. Gulf Dept. 

SIR: The importance of the subject must be the excuse for 
my addressing you. 

Meeting Mr. Theo. Soniat yesterday, he requested me to 
ascertain whether the authorities would allow him to take his 
crop off with hired labor. He admitted not having taken the 
oath. It would be impossible for him to get pecuniary assist 
ance or even labor without your permission, and nearly all 
the other plantations in my neighborhood are in the same 
situation, even if having taken the oath. I do not know 
what your policy in regard to this state of affairs is, or what 
the government intends to do, but wish to save as much as 
possible to the government, and the time to do so with the 
sugar crops has arrived. In South Carolina, the crops were 
saved for govt. account at very heavy expenses. I would 
propose to do so at a certain percentage-account, of which all 
the expense for labor, feeding, managing, should be paid, and 
the clear surplus might be subject to a future decision of the 
Government, if the owner is disloyal, and to a loyal owner at 
once. The amount of percentage would depend on the facili 
ties granted by you to employ the contrabands, to be paid for 
their labor, and fed out of the above percentage, which, in 
such an instance, I would be willing to do for 25%. This would 
relieve the government of supporting the contrabands, would 
teach them that hereafter they must support themselves, 
induce men to try to raise their crops with hired labor, and be 
beneficial all around. Not knowing whether anything of this 
kind of arrangement would receive your approbation, I have 
not tried to ascertain whether the planters would consent, but 
doubt not that the loyal ones would. The disloyal ones, if not 
agreeing, a provisional seizure might be necessary. 

Being lately engaged in superintending the building the new 
levee between Carrollton and the Parapet, under the super 
vision of Capt. Bailey of 4th Wisconsin V. Regt., a force of 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 437 

about 300 contrabands have been organized and employed, 
and the levee will be finished in about one week. It strikes 
me that this force might be profitably and usefully employed 
for the object of saving sugar crops to the amount of 800 to 
1000 Hhds., and 1500 bbls. of molasses, on some such terms 
as above mentioned, before the 1st January. If anything can 
be saved out of the percentage it should go to the benefit of 
the manager. In securing the sugar crops, female contrabands 
can be employed to nearly half the force. 

Submitting the above to your consideration, I have the 

Your obedient Servant, M. MITHOFFAS 
From General Butler 

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 1, 1862 

W. N. MERCER, J. W. LAFEYE, J. D. DWYER 

GENTLEMEN: The Merchants Bank has $8,000 in gold and 
some $6,000 in local bank notes, with a small note circulation 
of $10,678.75. Those notes are presumed to be in the hands 
of the poorer classes, and their redemption in city notes or 
other current funds would greatly benefit the holders with 
out damage to the bank. 

The U. S. hold in the hands of Lieut. Field $5,705 of the 
notes of the Merchants Bank, of denominations above $5, - 
and are consequently entitled to a privilege on the assets of 
the Bank. 

Now, in order to pay off both the above specified claims, 
you are here authorized and requested to dispose of the $8,000 
in gold, and use that and the local bank notes in liquidation 
of the said circulation. 

The manner of withdrawing the small notes is left to your 
own good judgment. 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER 

By General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, November 1, 1862 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 88 

I. No person will be arrested as a slave, by any Policeman 
or other person, and put in confinement for safe keeping, 
unless the person arresting knows that such person is owned 
by a loyal citizen of the United States. 

II. The Inspector and Superintendent of Prisons is author- 



438 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ized to discharge from confinement all slaves not known to be 
the slaves of loyal owners. 

By command of MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER 
GEO. C. STRONG, A. A. G. 

From Mrs. Butler to Mrs. Heard 

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 2nd, 1862 

DEAR HARRIET: I have only ten minutes to write you a 
line, as we did not intend to write by this vessel, as she usually 
stops at all the blockaded Ports. This time the Captain sends 
me word she will go direct to New York. Therefore I must 
write to say we are well, but I shall not be able to think of 
anything further I may wish to say till after the mail has 
gone. As you know, I am always obliged to call back the 
servants after they have got to the foot of the stairs. Yes 
terday was All Souls Day. The custom here is to dress graves 
with flower images, and lighted candles. We drove to several 
cemeteries. One could hardly judge what the effect might 
be apart from the crowd, but it looked a gay scene for a grave 
yard. Tomorrow there will be services, and I suppose the 
same adornments will still be there. Mr. Butler bought yes 
terday three oil paintings, and a bronze clock. I thought he 
paid high for them, for this place where so much will soon be 
sold at auction. Three hundred dollars for all. I do not 
know if they will be sent home directly or not. Before this 
reaches you Fisher will have started. The pistol-case was a 
mystery till I explained it. No wonder my letter read oddly 
to Mr. Butler. I could think of a dozen things if I had more 
time, but must wait for next mail. Tell the children I want to 

kiss them ever so much. A 

Affec. SISTER 

From J. M. Fortenberry 

COLUMBIA, Miss., Nov. 2, 1862 

To Mr. D. C. STANLEY 

DEAR SIR: I wish to inform you that if you could make any 
arrangements with the authorities in N. O. or any person to 
barter salt and provisions for cotton, myself and neighbors 
will deliver the cotton at any point named. We are in a tight 
place, and something must be done, as the military authorities 
have entirely overlooked the wants of a starving country. 

Please give me a decisive answer by return mail, and oblige, 

Yours etc., J. M. FORTENBERRY 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 439 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 2, 1862 

To Brig. Gen. WEITZEL, Commdg. Dist. of the Teche 

GENERAL: Your despatch of November first is received. 
As I informed you in my last, I have sent forward both Regi 
ments of Native Guards (colored) to guard the road. I have 
no doubt that before this reaches you Col. Thomas and Col. 
Stafford will have reported to you. They will receive your 
orders. We had already taken measures about the organiza 
tions of the management of the Opelousas R.Road. Of course 
there will be no more difficult subject for you to deal with than 
the negroes. By the Act of Congress, independent of the 
President s proclamation, having come from rebel masters 
into our lines, in occupation of rebel territory since the passage 
of that act, they are free. But the question recurs. What 
shall we do with them? While we have no right to return them 
to their masters, as such, it is our duty to take care of them, 
and that can include employment. Put them as far as pos 
sible upon plantations, use every energy to have the sugar 
crop made and preserved for the owners that are loyal, and 
for the United States when the owners are disloyal. I am 
working the plantations along the river below on this plan. 
Let the loyal planters make arrangements to pay their negroes 
$10. a month for able-bodied men, $3. to be expended in 
clothing, and so in proportion. Disembarrass your Army of 
them as much as possible. Especially will this be necessary 
in the case of Col. Stafford s Command. 

I have information more or less reliable that there were 
about 8000 troops at Port Hudson, Pontchatoula and Camp 
Moore, about equally divided among the three, on the 27th 
of October. My impression is that they have gone North. 
Bragg is undoubtedly badly beaten, and is in full retreat. 
There has been no battle since the 9th at Perryville, up to the 
16th. We have Northern dates to the 16th. Nothing new on 
the Potomac. I enclose you some of the latest newspapers 
with this despatch. In regard to disarming the people, every 
disloyal person must be disarmed. And I do not mean by 
loyalty "lip service." And we must leave force enough to 
take care of any rising of the negroes. I think you had better 
see the more intelligent of the negroes in person, and assure 
them that all acts of Congress and laws in their favor will be 
carried out to them with the same effect if they remain on the 



440 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

plantations and the work, as if they came into camp. And 
caution them that there must be no violence to unarmed and 
quiet persons. 

You had better send back a train of extra Artillery and 
Cavalry horses and mule wagons to Algiers on a march, 
without waiting for the Rail Road. A small guard will be 
sufficient. They will probably have to strike the river road 
at Bonne Carre, but of that your knowledge of the topography 
of the country will give you the best direction. I need not 
assure you that I am taking every measure to open railroad 
and telegraphic communication. Capt. Kensel, who is pres 
ent as this despatch is written, is only aVaiting transportation 
to forward the Ammunitions. I think the gunboats had better 
press up to Franklin, and capture or destroy some boats that 
are building there. Of that you can tell better when you go 
forward. I wish to disengage McMillan s Regiment as early 
as it can be dispensed with, if at all, to hold Galveston. It is 
under advisement to build a Fort at Donaldsonville, at the 
junction of the Bayou and the river. We have thirty two- 
pounders here with which we can arm it. That will make a 
station easily held on the coast half way between here and 
Baton Rouge. I think a work about on the plan of Fort 
Macomb, with casemates only to flank the drawbridge, would 
be the better plan. Please advise me on the subject. 

We have flaming reports of salt works at New Iberia. If 
practicable, will it not be better to reach them and destroy 
them? But that I leave entirely at your discretion. That por 
tion of Louisiana lying West of the Mississippi River will be 
constituted a military district under your command, to be 
called the district of Lafourche. Headquarters wherever you 
may be. Col. Thomas writes me that the cars will pass to 
Lafourche to-day. Report to me early what rolling stock you 
find at Brashier or along the road. I think the iron howitzers 
at Raceland had better be sent here unless you have need of 
them. Your attention is directed to the practicability of so 
fortifying Brashier as to hold it with the aid of a gunboat, 
with a small force. Please report upon this subject. Is any 
fortification practicable at Thibodeaux or Terrebonne? Noth 
ing else occurs to me of interest to communicate. 

By Order of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER, 
GEO. C. STRONG, A. A. Gen., Chief of Staff 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 441 

From General Butler 

Head Qts. Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 3rd, 1862 

Rear Admiral FARRAGUT, Comdg. Western Gulf Blockdg. 

Squadron 

SIR: I enclose to you a communication from L. Garrison. 
It would appear that the matter should be investigated, but 
I have not the means to do so. I have the honor to be, 
Very Respectfully, Your Obdt. Servt., 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

NEW ORLEANS, October 30th, 1862 [Not in chronological ordeiQ 

Major G. C. STRONG 

DEAR SIR: On the 15th instant, Mr. Cosma Morgan, a 
loyal citizen of the U. S., obtained from General Butler, by you, 
an order for the release of his lugger, called "Liberty," which 
had been captured a short time previous at Ship Island by 
the gunboat "Jackson." He presented the order to the com 
manding officer of the frigate "Vincent," who placed him in 
possession of the lugger, but on the arrival, just at the time 
of the gunboat "Jackson" from Pensacola. The officer in 
command objected to it stating that the said order was not 
a proper one, and advised Mr. Morgan to return to New Orleans 
and get from the commanding General a letter or order 
addressed to Admiral D. G. Farragut to that effect. Antici 
pating that you will grant him the necessary order and protec 
tion in the premise, please to accept my thanks for this and 
past favors. ^ Respectfully, Your Obt. Servt., 

L. GARRISON 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 3rd, 1862 

Rear Admiral Farragut, Com g. Westrn. Gulf Squadron 

I HAVE information more or less reliable that the "Orieto," 
which ran the blockade, is now being fitted up as a privateer, 
and is about to run out from Mobile. For God s sake do not 
let this be done. I have the honor to be, 

Very respy. Your obt. sevt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major Gen. Commanding 



442 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From the Assistant Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON, D.C., November 4th, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding at 

NEW ORLEANS 

GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs me to transmit to 
you the enclosed copy of a communication received from the 
State Department, on the subject of the arrest and imprison 
ment by your order of J. J. Burrowes, a British subject, to 
gether with a copy of the letter of Burrowes to the British 
Consul at New Orleans which accompanied it, and to invite 
your attention to the suggestion made by the Secretary of 
State in the premises. 

Very Respectfully, Your obedt. Servant, 

P. H. WATSON, Assistant Secy of War 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, 30th Oct., 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

To the Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to enclose a copy of a letter from J. 
J. Burrowes, a British subject at New Orleans, to M. Coppell, 
the Consul there, relative to the arrest and imprisonment of 
Burrowes by order of Major General Butler. The case has 
been submitted to me by Mr. Stuart, Her Britannic Majesty s 
Charge d Affaires, who desires that as much clemency may be 
shown in the matter as the public interests may allow. If 
satisfactory assurances shall be received from the prisoner 
that he will not violate the obligations existing upon all per 
sons, by committing fresh offences, it may be deemed expedi 
ent to release him from custody. I have the honor to be, Sir, 
Your obedient Servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 15th, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

To Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a com 
munication from the War Department, dated November 4th, 
1862, in relation to the arrest and imprisonment of J. J. Bur 
rowes, a British subject, with enclosure. 

J. J. Burrowes was Captain of the "British Guards" and 
presided at the meeting at which the Company voted to send 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 443 

its arms and uniforms to Beauregard, and he was thereupon 
ordered to leave the city. He returned, however, and I found 
him in expression of rebel sentiments, and aiding in shipping 
plates from New Orleans in contravention of orders. For 
these reasons I ordered him into confinement. I have read 
his letter. Portions of the statement in which he says I called 
him a coward and a rebel are a mistake. What did happen 
was this. I asked him if he was a man that had borne arms 
against the United States. He replied that he was. I told 
him that I should send him to confinement. He then said he 
was a British subject. I told him it was cowardly to act as a 
rebel and then claim British protection. 

Desirous to yield to any intimation of the Hon. Secretary of 
State, I have forwarded to Mr. Burrowes a parole, a copy of 
which is enclosed, upon signing which he will be released finally 
as he has already been temporarily, and for certain purposes 
connected with the health of his family, upon the intercession 
of a British Consul. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully Your Obt. servt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 5th, 1862 

Count MEJAN, Consul of France 

SIR: I return you enclosed some letters apparently from 
your consulate, which were captured, being surreptitiously 
passed through our lines. This mode of communication need 
not be taken by the representative of a nation toward which 
I desire to exercise every courtesy. 

If the French Consul has occasion to send into the lines of 
the enemy any proper communications, relating to the business 
of his consulate, if forwarded to these Head Quarters they 
will be sent at the earliest opportunity. This will prevent all 
miscarriages and examinations. I have the honor to be, 

Your obdt. servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major Gen. Commanding 

From Hon. Reverdy Johnson 

WASHINGTON, November 5th, 1862 

Governor SHEPLEY 

MY DEAR GOVERNOR: I am much obliged to you for yours 
of the 23rd October, just received. 



444 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I shall now be able to find who the officer was, referred to 
in the Tribune article, and will then write to the General. It 
is possible (I hope the fact is so) that no such statement was 
made by either of his staff. That it was not made by Maj. 
Bell, I am satisfied. He called to see me, and I aided all that 
I was able in effecting what he said was important, an increase 
of the General s force. I think I have reason to complain 
that the General should give credit at all to representations of 
others, in regard to my feelings towards him. He saw enough 
of me, I had supposed, in New Orleans, if he had not known 
me before, to be satisfied that I would never directly or in 
directly assail a person in his absence. If I had had cause of 
grievance with him he would have been apprised of it by myself. 
I am glad that I had not; on the contrary, as I said to him in 
a parting note, I felt obliged by the courtesy he showed me 
during my stay in the city. 

Truly Your Friend, REVERDY JOHNSON 



From Colonel J. W. McMillan 

BRASHIER CITY, Nov. 5th, 1862 

Gen. GEO. C. STRONG 

SIR: After innumerable difficulties we arrived here two 
days too late last Saturday night. But as the Northern 
element of the Rebel army is most valuable to them, so it 
seems is the Northern wind, for we found the Bar so com 
pletely stripped as to show only about six feet water, while 
all of our vessels drew more. Genl. Weitzel frightened the 
Rebels terribly, and they will scarcely make a stand this side 
of Franklin, and I do not think they will there unless reinforced, 
as they say they will be, from Vicksburg, which I greatly 
doubt. Day before yesterday the gun-boats went up the 
Teche to Pattersonville, and drove away the "Cotton" and 
shore batteries. The "Kinsman" fought splendidly, and came 
out with 54 shot holes in her one through her magazine. 
I lost three killed Navy none one died since. She will be 
in fighting order tomorrow. Lt. Wiggins deserves big promo 
tion. No man in the Navy has fought more determinedly 
while suffering such damage to ship or boat. All did well, 
but as the "Commodore s" report will show, Wiggins was 
conspicuously brave among the gallant, Fard accompanying 
him. Col. of the 8th N. H. will be at the burned bridge over 
the boat today. I will have boats in readiness to cross Weitzel 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 445 

as soon as he arrives. I have some Rebel sugar in R.R. Depot. 
Have not heard of any cotton burnt or unburnt. The Teche 
is obstructed but can be easily cleared I think. It is said there 
are from four to fourteen steamboats in it. Capt. Fuller com 
mands the "Cotton" and fights her well, but she is so badly 
used up she will hardly fight again. 

The Rebel planters would be glad to be loyal citizens if they 
were not deterred by the political vagabonds in the Rebel 
army. All begin to think slavery must go if Jan. 1st finds 
them in rebellion. 

The gun-boats at 4 o clock P.M. have just returned from 
the obstructions on the Teche, where the Rebels are building 
a dirt fort, and seem determined to make a stand for a fight. 
The "Calhoun" lost three seamen. No other casualties, I 
believe. Their works can be easily turned or passed entirely, 
and Franklin reached without passing near their forts. The 
iron-clad of the "Kinsman" is splendid, turning a 32-lb. shot 
fired at a less distance than 1000 yards. The Rebels have 
added to their stock of artillery. They have 20 pieces of Field 
Artillery of all classes. They will sink the "Hart" and 
"Cotton" after mounting their guns in the Fort. Health 
good. I have the honor to be, 

Your very obt. servt., 
J. W. MCMILLAN, Col. Com. Vols. 

From the Assistant Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, Nov. 6th, 1862 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding &c., at N. O. 

GENERAL: The Secretary of War instructs me to forward 
a translation of a communication from the Minister of France, 
relative to a claim of Messrs. Gautherin, of New Orleans, grow 
ing out of your prohibiting them from exporting lumber, and 
to request that you will report to this Department the reasons 
for your action in the premises. 

Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, 

P. H. WATSON, Asst. Secretary of War 



446 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 15th, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War, 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the 
communication from the War Department of Nov. the 6th, 
enclosing a translation of the communication of the French 
Minister relating to some lumber not permitted to be shipped 
to Havana by the House of Gautherin and Co. Owing to the 
blockade of the river above, and the interdiction of traffic 
across the Lake by the Treasury regulations, lumber has 
become very dear and scarce in New Orleans. Large quantities 
being needed for roofing the Custom House, to render it hab 
itable as the citadel of New Orleans, as well as to protect the 
United States from many thousands of dollars loss, and also 
for replanking the wharfs and levees, which had been burnt by 
the rebels as a military necessity, I forbade the exportation of 
lumber to Havana without permission from these Headquar 
ters. I was specially induced to this because the materials 
of a rebel gunboat, all sawed and fitted, which was uncom 
pleted at the time of our coming here, had been secretly shipped, 
as I afterwards learned, for the purpose of being constructed 
elsewhere. This was done through the agency of a foreign 
house, the Agent of which had gone to Havana. I therefore 
ordered no more lumber to be shipped from New Orleans 
without permission from these Headquarters. The necessity 
of which Orders I trust will be seen. 

M. Gautherin & Co. s lumber came under that General 
Order. I forbear entering into the question of their title, 
although I believe the lumber which they had bought belonged 
to the Confederate Government, because when it becomes 
necessary to the U. S. to use it that question can be examined. 

I am led, however, to remark upon one phrase of the Hon. 
Minister of France s communication, that Messrs. Gautherin 
& Co. were highly respectable French citizens of New Orleans. 
. . . Gautherin has run away, and the other two partners 
have [been] confined, awaiting trial for supplying the rebel 
army with half a million worth of cloth in a transaction closed 
on the 22nd day of June last, while they were enjoying the pro 
tection of the United States. 

The particulars of that transaction will be found in my 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 447 

despatch of the 13th of Nov. to the Hon. Secretary of State, 
relative to the $405,000 spirited away from the Bank of New 
Orleans. I have the honor to be very respectfully, 

Your obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 

From President Lincoln 

Executive Mansion, WASHINGTON, Nov. 6th, 62 

Maj. Genl. BUTLER 

MY DEAR SIR: This morning the Secretary of the Treasury 
read to me a letter of yours to him. He read to me at the 
same time one from Mr. Denison (I think), at New Orleans. 
I was much interested by the information in one of them 
that some of the planters were making arrangements with 
their negroes to pay them wages. Please write to me to what 
extent, so far as you know, this is being done. Also what, if 
anything, is being done by Mr. Bouligny, or others, about 
electing members of Congress. I am anxious to hear on both 

these points. T . 

Yours truly, A. LINCOLN 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 28th, 1862 

[Not in chronological order] 

To the PRESIDENT of the U.S.A. 

DEAR SIR: I am exceedingly obliged for your kind note 
inquiring for the success of our experiment in attempting the 
cultivation of sugar by free labor, and am happy to report it 
is succeeding admirably. I am informed by the Government 
Agent who has charge that upon one of the plantations, where 
sugar is being made by the negroes who had escaped there 
from into our lines, and have been sent back under wages 
with the same negroes and the same machinery by free labor, 
a hogshead & a half more of sugar has been made in a day 
than was ever before made in the same time on the planta 
tion under slave labor. 

Your friend, Col. Shaffer, has had put up to be forwarded 
to you a Bbl. of the first sugar ever made by free black labor 
in Louisiana, and the fact that it will have no flavor of the 
degrading whip will not, I know, render it less sweet to your 
taste. The planters seem to have been struck with a sort of 
judicial blindness, and some of them so deluded have aban 
doned their crops rather than work them with free labor. I 



448 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

offered them as a basis a contract, the copy of which is enclosed 
for your information. It was rejected by many of them 
because they would not relinquish the right to use the whip, 
although I had provided a punishment for the refractory by 
means of the Provost Marshal, as you will see, preferably 
imprisonment in darkness on bread and water. I did not feel 
that I had a right, by the military power of the United States, 
to send back to be scourged, at the will of their former and in 
some cases infuriated masters, those black men who had fled 
to me for protection, while I had no doubt of my right to 
employ them, under the charge of "whomsoever I might choose, 
to work for the benefit of themselves and the Government. 
I have, therefore, caused the negroes to be informed that 
they should have the same rights as to freedom, if so the law 
was, on the plantation as if they were in camp. And they 
have in a great majority of instances gone willingly to work, 
and work with a will. They were at first a little averse to going 
back lest they should lose some rights which would come to 
them in camp, but upon our assurances are quite content. 

I think this scheme can be carried out without loss to the 
Government, and I hope with profit enough to enable us to 
support for six months longer the starving Whites & Blacks 
here, a somewhat herculean task. 

We are feeding now daily in the City of New Orleans more 
than 32,000 Whites, 17,000 of which are British-born subjects, 
and mostly claiming British protection, and only about two 
thousand of whom are American citizens, the rest being of 
the several Nationalities who are represented here from all 
parts of the Globe. 

Besides this, we have some ten thousand negroes to feed, 
besides those at work on the plantations, principally women 
& children. All this has thus far been done without any draft 
upon the treasury, although how much longer we can go on is 
a problem of which I am now anxiously seeking the solution. 

I take the liberty to enclose to you a synopsis of our reports 
of the Relief Commission, published weekly, which may be 
interesting upon this topic (the synopsis only shows the free 
colored before the war). Of course, our operations are mostly 
yet unorganized, and without that completeness necessary 
to insure success, but I hope to get them in such form that they 
will work. The operations of Gen l. Weitzel in the Lafourche 
Country, the richest sugar-planting part of Louisiana, have 
opened to us a very large number of slaves all of whom under 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 449 

the act are free, and large crops of sugar, as well those already 
made as those in process of being made. I do myself the 
honor to enclose to you the Order that I have made to meet 
this state of things (Order No. 91), to protect the rights of 
the United States and of all concerned from the rapacity of 
swindlers & speculators, and the effects of disloyalty. All 
this portion of the country are rapidly returning to their 
Allegiance, and the elections are being organized for Wednes 
day next, and I doubt not a large vote will be thrown. 

I found Dr. Cottman to be one of the candidates in the 
field, but he had voluntarily signed the Ordinance of Secession 
as one of the Convention which passed it, and had sat for his 
portrait in the Cartoon which was intended to render those 
signers immortal, which was published and exhibited here in 
the shop windows, in imitation of the picture of our Signers of 
the Declaration of Independence, and as the Doctor had never 
by any public act testified his abnegation of that act of sign 
ing, I thought it would be best that the Government should 
not be put to the scandal of having a person so situated elected, 
although the Doctor may be a good Union man now. So I 
very strongly advised him against the candidature. It looked 
too much like Aaron Burr s attempt to run for a seat in parlia 
ment, after he went to England to avoid his complication in 
the Mexican affairs and his combat with Hamilton. It is but 
fair to say that Doctor Cottman, after some urging, concluded 
to withdraw his name from the canvass. Two good uncondi 
tional Union men will be elected. I fear, however, we shall 
lose Mr. Bouligny. He was imprudent enough to run for the 
office of Justice of Peace under the Secessionists, and although 
I believe him always to have been a good Union man, and to 
have sought that office for personal reasons only, yet that 
fact tells against him. However, Mr. Flanders will be elected 
in his District and a more reliable or better Union man can 
not be found. 

But to return to our negroes. I find this difficulty in pros 
pect many of the planters here, while professing loyalty, 
and I doubt not feeling it if the "Institution" can be spared 
to them, have agreed together not to make any provision this 
autumn for another crop of sugar next season, hoping thereby 
to throw upon us this winter an immense number of blacks 
without employment and without any means of support for 
the future, the planters themselves living upon what they 
make from this crop. Thus no provision being made for the 

VOL. II 29 



450 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

crop, either of corn, potatoes, or cereal, the Government will 
be obliged to come to their terms for the future employment of 
the negroes or to be at enormous expenses to support them. 

We shall have to meet this as best we may. Of course, we 
are not responsible for what may be done outside of our lines, 
but here I shall make what provisions I can for the future, as 
well the cereal and root crop as the cane. We shall endeavor 
to get a stock of cane laid down on all the plantations worked 
by Government, and to preserve seed-corn and potatoes to 
meet this contingency. I shall send out my third Regt. of 
Native Guards (colored), and set them to work preserving the 
cane and roots for a crop next year. It cannot be supposed 
that this great change in a social and political system can be 
made without shock, and I am only surprised that possibility 
opens up to me that it can be made at all. Certain it is I speak 
the almost universal sentiment and opinion of my Officers 
that Slavery is doomed. I have no doubt of it, and with every 
prejudice and early teaching against the result to which my 
mind had been irresistibly brought by my experience here, I 
am now convinced: 

1st. That labor can be done in this State by Whites more 
economically than by Blacks and Slaves; 

2nd. That Black labor can be as well governed, used, and 
made as profitable in a state of freedom as in slavery; 

3rd. That while it would have been better could this eman 
cipation of the slaves be gradual, yet it is quite feasible 
even under this great change as a governmental proposition to 
organize, control, and work the negro with profit and safety 
to the white, but that this can be best done when under mili 
tary supervision. Of which, allow me to say, I do not desire 
the charge. 

I must close by apologizing for this very long and discursive 
letter, but I am consoled by the thought that it is entirely at 
your option to read as much of it as it pleases you to do. I am, 
Very truly, Your friend & Servt., 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 



From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 6, 1862 

Rear Admiral FARRAGUT, Com g West n Gulf Bl k g Squadron 
SIR: I am pleased to return to you a copy of Lt. Comg. 
Buchanan s report of his operations at Berwick Bay. I am 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 451 

sorry to say that, owing to the storms and delays necessary 
and unnecessary in moving our fleets, we were not able to 
get there three days sooner, where we should have infallibly 
bagged the whole Rebel party. Now as it is we must do the 
best we can. 

We are proposing to go further, and may yet be employed 
some days upon this matter. I will keep you informed of all 
further operations. I have the honor to be, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major Gen. Commanding 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

U.S.S. CALHOUN, off BRASHIER CITY, Nov. 4, 1862 
[Not in chronological ordeiQ 

Major Gen. BUTLER, Com g Dept. of the Gulf 

SIR: I have the honor to report that we arrived off here 
on the night of the first, but unfortunately too late to stop the 
rebels from crossing. We had a great deal of difficulty in 
getting over the Bay, and felt the want of our light-draught 
vessels very much. The day the "Kinsman" arrived I crossed 
in her and tried to get the "Estrella" over, but she grounded. 
I came up to the south of the "Hart," which we chased but 
could not catch, and got the "Estrella" and "St. Mary s" 
over the next day, and the following day the "Calhoun" came 
up with the "Diana." 

The night of our arrival here we chased the Rebel gunboat 
"Cotton," but she got away from us by her superior speed. 
The same night we captured the Rebel steamer "A. B. Seger." 
She is a small boat about the size of the "Fancy Natchez," 
and is very useful. Yesterday I went with all the gunboats 
up Bayou Teche, and found the enemy about fourteen miles 
from here posted above the obstructions they had sunk in 
the Teche. 

We engaged them for two hours and drove them off as we 
also did the "Cotton." The "Kinsman" bore the brunt of 
it, and received fifty-four shells in her upper works and hull, 
and had one man killed, a soldier of the 21st Indiana, and five 
wounded. The pilot, John Bellino, had his leg badly shattered, 
and died to-day from the effect of amputation. Capt. Cook 
in the "Estrella" received three shots, and had two soldiers 
of the 21st Indiana killed whilst working the guns, and one 
badly wounded. The "Diana" received three shots, but had 
on person hurt. She will have to be hauled out, as her stern 



452 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

is shot away. I received eight in the "Calhoun," but fortu 
nately received no material damage. 

Capt. Wiggins fought his ship nobly. He was in such a 
position that he received the fire from all the artillery on shore, 
and at the same time had the "Cotton" playing upon him. 
He, however, drove the artillery away, and put several shots 
into the "Cotton." The whole Rebel force was there, num 
bering between three and four thousand men, with seventy 
field pieces. 

We hear to-day we did them a great deal of damage, and 
that the "Cotton" is sunk. They had thrown up a mud fort 
this side, but evacuated on our arrival. We tried to remove 
the obstructions, but could not succeed. But I think that 
when General Weitzel arrives, so as to protect us from the 
sharpshooters on the banks, we can do so. I keep running up 
and down all the time so as to keep the river clear of the 
obstructions. 

We can make all our repairs here, and I will have the "Kins 
man" ready for service to-morrow. The "Diana" is getting 
timber out for Col. Thomas to repair the bridge at Bayou 
Boeuf . The enemy destroyed about a thousand hhds. of sugar, 
a lot of molasses, and also burnt 98 cars and three engines. 

I send requisitions for ammunition for the three gunboats 
which we want very badly, as we fired away a good deal yes 
terday, and I expect to have a good deal more firing to do, and 
also for some blouses and shoes for the men who have been 
shipped. It is absolutely necessary that they should have 
some clothing, and I hope that you will order the Quarter 
Master to furnish it. We have got all the steamers above us, 
but I am afraid they will burn them. 

The officers and men behaved splendidly. The "Cotton" 
is iron-cased, and did some splendid shooting. She mounts 
one long 32 pdr. 4-24 pdrs. and 2-6 pdrs. rifled guns. The iron- 
casing on the "Kinsman" and the "Diana" turned the shot 
beautifully. Capt. McLaughlin, who was on board the "Cal- 
houn" with his company, went on shore with his men, and 
tried to get opposite the "Cotton," but before he got up to 
her she had left. If she has not been sunk we will get her yet. 

I shall send the coal schooner back as we do not want her, 
there being plenty of coal here. 

Nov. 5, 1862 

I HAVE just returned from another trip up the Teche with 
the "Estrella." I had three men killed by a shot. The 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 453 

"Cotton" was there. They had a battery on each bank, but 
we succeeded in driving them all off. I can do nothing until 
Gen. Weitzel arrives. They are now strongly posted at the 
obstructions, and although I can drive them off, I cannot work 
at them. We want some more ammunition now badly. I 
think the "Cotton" is casemated, as our shell glanced off. 
We had him on fire once. We could plainly see our shot strike 
him; but he fights bow on. I am, 

Very respy, Your obdt. Servant, 
THOS. McKEAN BUCHANAN. Lieut. Commanding 

From Mrs. Butler to Mrs. Heard 

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 6, 1862 

DEAR HARRIET: Your letter enclosing one from Mr. Butler 
came by the "Potomac" three days ago. She goes out again 
tomorrow and takes the mail. You did not open Mr. Butler s 
letter as I told you to do. I hope you will the next one, as he 
has written for various things to be sent to him. He sent out 
the "McClellan" almost exclusively for me, by this time she 
is on her way back, with Mrs. Strong and Mrs. French as 
passengers. But I am not sorry that I did not wait. I would 
not like to be in New York to make the passage again. I was 
out this morning for half an hour s drive. The weather has 
changed suddenly from summer heat to not extreme cold, but 
so chilly that my fingers tingle through the gloves. I wish 
you were here and the children too for three months, but that 
cannot be; I should never dare to have them make the passage, 
nor could they bear the heat of spring. Poor Benny, when will 
he get his present? I will hunt for him one of these days. 
I really seem to have no time, and yet I have nothing to do. 
Is Paul helping you to take care of the other two, and setting 
them an example how to behave at table. I wish he would 
learn to write, and send me a letter sometimes. Would it be 
too much trouble for you to give them lessons in spelling some 
times after tea when the evenings are long? They learn more 
rapidly in this way than in any other. If you can do this, and* 
give Paul a rubbing twice a week with the wash with less of 
the soda, I should like it very much. If there is anything 
you wish to cut up or change in the house that we did not speak 
of, do it as you think best in any way you like, either of mine 
or Blanche s. Mr. Butler would be glad to go home; I think 
he is tired and half homesick, yet he would struggle for his 



454 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

place if any attempt was made unfairly to dispossess him. The 
rumour is again afloat that Fremont is to be sent to Texas, 
that is in Mr. Butler s Department. Gen. Weitzel has made a 
successful move about sixty miles out from New Orleans. 
It is opening further into the cotton and sugar countries. I 
hope Fisher has my letters to come out, and is already on the 
way. The articles Mr. Butler wrote for were embroidered cuffs 
and collar and a cap which he had ordered at Burbank & Chase, 
and he will perhaps need the new shirts that were left at home. 
But if Fisher has started and you have not opened the letter I 
shall write about it again. Several of the ladies and gentle 
men belonging here have called, and all of our own officers. 
Headquarters is a place where you see much company and get 
great attention, but one gets very weary talking to strangers, 
who almost always have some interest they wish your influence 
to advance. Dr. Edson s charity would find ample scope in 
this town, but I think he would be shocked it the wickedness, 
not of one people, but of both north and south. Our people 
are prompt to imitate their vices. Give the family, Dr. 
Edson s, my regards. Dearest love to the children and yourself. 

Your affectionate SISTER 

I wrote Fisher eight pages giving reasons for his coming 
when I first arrived. Of course he has got it and is on his way. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 6, 1862 

M. SHUFELDT, Consul Gen. U. S. at HAVANA 

SIR: I have received your note, and am obliged to you for 
its kindly suggestions, and the interest you take in the affairs 
of this Department. I can best inform you of my whole action 
in regard to the Quarantine laws, which have been relaxed 
because the frosts have settled all the questions of epidemic, 
by enclosing a report made to the Secretary of War upon the 
same subject, with the accompanying exhibits. You can make 
use of such portions of the report as you please among our 
Spanish friends at Havana. 

I believe the entente cordiale now exists between myself and 
the Spanish authorities except upon one subject that of 
carrying passengers upon National vessels. I shall not permit 
this to be done hereafter. I have the honor to be, 

Very respy., Your obdt. servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 455 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, Nov. Glh, 1862 

Brig. Gen l. WEITZEL, Commanding District of the Teche 

GENERAL: Your despatches of the 5th of November have 
been received, as also your telegram of this evening. I am 
directed by the Maj. Gen l. Commdg. to reply. 

These suggestions as to the field works at Donaldsonville 
will receive consideration. It will be necessary to make a 
Battery at Martin City, Berwick s Bay, or perhaps a field 
work; upon this subject he will confer with you. 

In establishing the Military District of the Teche, he was 
aware that at the moment you did not occupy it except by 
your boats, and he gave the name in compliment to your skill 
and gallantry as it was undoubted you would soon be in occu 
pation, and in putting the very large forces under the command 
of so young a General, he designed to show a mark of confi 
dence in your discrimination and judgment. If it would be 
more desirable to yourself, he will change the name to the 
District of Lafourche. 

That you should have declined the Command is the occasion 
of regret, arising most of all from the reasons given for so doing. 
As they are comprehended, they resolve themselves into two - 
First, that under your command are put two Regiments of 
Native Guards (colored). And you say that in these organi 
zations you have no confidence. As your reading must have 
made you aware, General Jackson entertained a different 
opinion upon that subject. It was arranged between the 
Commanding General and yourself that the colored regiments 
should be employed in guarding the Railroad. You do not 
complain in your report that they either failed in this duty in 
that respect, or that they have acted otherwise than correctly 
and obediently to the commands of their Officers, or that they 
have committed any outrage or pillage upon the inhabitants. 
The General was aware of your opinion that colored men will 
not fight. You have failed to show, by the conduct of these 
free men so far, anything to sustain that opinion and the 
General cannot see why you should decline the command, 
especially as you express a willingness to go forward to meet 
the only organized enemy with your own Brigade alone, 
without further support. The Commanding General cannot 
see how the fact that they are guarding your lines of communi 
cation by Rail Road can weaken your defense. He must there- 



456 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

fore look to the other reason, stated by you for an explanation 
of your declining the Command. 

You say you cannot command these negro Regiments. Why 
not? The reason must be found in these sentences of your 

report : 



You say that since the arrival of the negro regiments at 
that place you have seen symptoms of a servile insurrection. 
But as the only regiment, that has arrived there, got there as 
as soon as the rest of your command, of course the appearance 
of such symptoms is since their arrival. Have you not mistaken 
the cause? Is it the arrival of a negro regiment or is it the 
arrival of United States troops, carrying by the Act of Congress 
freedom to this servile race? Did you expect to march into 
that country, drained as you say it is by conscription of all 
its able-bodied white men, without leaving the negroes free to 
show symptoms of servile insurrection? Does not this state 
of things arise from the very fact of war itself? You are in a 
country where now the negroes outnumber the whites two to 
one, and these whites are in rebellion against the Government, 
or in terror seeking its protection. 

Upon reflection, can you doubt that the same state of 
things would have arisen without the presence of a colored 
regiment? Did you not see symptoms of the same thing 
upon the plantations here upon our arrival, although under 
much less favorable circumstances for a revolt? 

You say that the prospect of such an insurrection is heart 
rending, and that you cannot be responsible for it. You are 
in no degree responsible for it. This responsibility rests upon 
those who have begun & carried out this war, and who have 
stopped at no barbarity, at no act of outrage upon the citi 
zens & soldiers of the U. S. You have forwarded me records 
of a pretended court-martial, showing that seven men of one 
of your regiments, who enlisted here in the Eighth Vermont, 
who had surrendered themselves prisoners of war, were in 
cold blood murdered, and, as certain information shows, were 
required to dig their own graves. You are asked if this is not 
an occurrence equally as heartrending as a prospective servile 
insurrection. 

The question is now to be met, whether, in a hostile, rebel 
lious part of the State, where this very murder has been com 
mitted by the militia, you are to stop in the operations of the 
field to put down servile insurrection, because the men & women 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 457 

are terror-stricken. Whenever was it heard before that a 
victorious Gen l. in an unsurrendered province stopped in his 
course for the purpose of preventing the rebellious inhabitants 
of that province from destroying each other, or refused to 
take command of a conquered province lest he should be 
made responsible for their self-destruction? As a military 
question, perhaps, the more terror-stricken the inhabitants 
are that are left in your rear, the more safe will be your lines 
of communication. 

You say there have appeared before your eyes the very facts, 
in terro