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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 KO.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 III 
February 1863 March 1864 



PRIVATELY ISSUED 
1917 



COPYRIGHT, IQi; 
BY JESSIE AMES MARSHALL 



THE -PLIMPTON PRESS 
NORWOOD MASS U S A 



PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL 

CORRESPONDENCE OF 

GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 



3G550.J 



PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL 
CORRESPONDENCE OF 

GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 



From General H. W. Benham 

PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Feb. 5th, 1863 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR GENERAL: As I perceive you are still in Washing 
ton and being consulted upon war subjects, I cannot resist 
writing to you again to ask if you do not believe that the plan 
we talked of is the one of all others to save the country at 
this time, as I believe it to be the very crisis of the war. 

Hooker cannot move for about two months by any possi 
bility. If they attempt to send his forces round Jackson (or 
Lee) anywhere within 200 miles, or farther, through Penn 
sylvania to the West, the Rebels will surely know of it in 
time to send off troops to meet them, and to fortify effectually 
against them, even if some of the better generals were put in 
command on our side. There appears no strength of man 
agement on the whole line around from New Orleans on the 
Atlantic to the Potomac, and nothing can strike at the heart 
of Cottondom but that plan, and that must be arranged for 
this month if at all, or we are gone. The enlistments of the 
350,000 2 years and 9 months men will begin to expire in a 
couple of months, and although if we intend to continue 
the war to success the arrangements should now be in 
active progress to get new forces of even raw recruits to replace 
them as fast as their enlistments expire, yet still, as far as I 
can see, not a hand or a voice is raised for this purpose. And 
what can the result be in 5 or 6 months from this time, but 
that we shall have scarcely the shadow of an army, or at least 
of such an one as we have now? and if we fail in action till 
then, the government will find it impossible after that, simply 
impossible. 

VOL. Ill I 1 



2 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

But if this is done, and if well and ably managed, it can be 
carried to success, and I believe will be a fatal blow to the 
rebels and if this so appears, as I doubt not it will to the 
country, one-half at least of these trained men will re-enlist, 
while others still, will then as they would not do otherwise - 
be willing to come forward to fill up our armies. If you, as I 
feel you did do, still approve of that plan, I know you could 
carry it through. 

My case is dragging along most singularly. In the War 
Department, after trying last July to have the Judge Advo 
cate prepare charges against me, and finding he could not do 
it, they attempted to deprive me of my General s rank with 
out any even pretended reason, and to the great surprise of 
the President when he was informed that the Sec. had dis 
missed me. 

Then, after refusing me all information whatsoever as to 
the excuse for this act, through the whole year, and some 
times pretending one reason for it to one friend, and then 
another reason to another person, the President without re 
ferring to the War Department is finally induced to authorize 
the Judge Advocate General to examine my case expressly, 
promising to restore me if the report was favorable. 

And now, though I am satisfied (though from information 
I cannot use publicly) that that examination has been made 
and that it required less than one day to establish that I have 
been right, that I "have been shamefully treated," that the 
report "strong and earnest" in my favor has been before the 
President, that he expressed himself "entirely satisfied" and 
promised "immediate restoration," yet he has still been 
resisted up to this time. Though I trust that that malice and 
falsehood will yet be triumphed over. 

Should you go on duty soon and wish my services, I have 
no doubt your demand of them from the President would be 
assented to, and all my energies will be devoted to aid you in 
your duties. 

Should you see the President about this, although the fact 
might be alluded to, to him that he has promised restoration 
upon a favorable report as he said in the presence of Senator 
Sumner, yet the circumstances that I have referred to as to 
the character of the report and his satisfaction and his repeti 
tion of his promise, and his delay in the execution of it, which 
has already continued many days, I offer you only as sugges 
tions for inquiries, if you would make them, which, if answered., 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 3 

you will find as I have indicated, I am satisfied: and with 
those things admitted to you, your demand for my services 
could not be refused. ^ Tndy You ^ R w BENHAM 



From George S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase 1 

PRIVATE. NEW ORLEANS, February 5th, 1863 

DEAR SIR: The steamer did not leave yesterday as was 
expected, and now I can reply to your letter with less hesitation. 

I choose the office of "Commissioner of Internal Revenue," 
as it is termed in your letter, and will assume the duties thereof 
whenever you direct. I suppose it to be an office rquiring my 
constant presence here, and whatever its duties may be I can 
discharge them to your satisfaction. Full instructions and all 
printed information will, of course, be supplied to me. 

I sent to you Gen. Banks order respecting trade as soon 
as it was issued, and regret you did not receive it. You are 
mistaken in supposing it contemplates trade with the enemy 
of any kind or degree. Gen. Banks is utterly opposed to any 
such proceeding. The General s English is not always good,, 
and his orders not always clear. 

Do not think from my letter about Dr. Zachary that I 
intended to cast suspicion on Gen. Banks, who is not only 
[a] kind and pleasant gentleman, but also, I am satisfied, a 
thoroughly honest man. Dr. Zachary applied to me an hour 
ago for another of his Israelite friends to take a large stock of 
goods to Donaldsonville. The reason given is the same as 
before that the Dr. wants his friend s cooperation, which 
would be imperfect unless said friend pretends to be selling 
goods. I don t believe a word of it. The Doctor pretends 
to be my best friend, but I think him a humbug. I sent him 
to the General for an order and he has not yet returned. 

Notwithstanding my personal regard for Gen. Banks, I 
repeat the conviction so often expressed before, that he is 
not the man for this important place. Gen. Butler is the only 
man who is equal to the situation, and he ought to come back. 

I kept you well informed about Gen. Butler while he was 
here, and you know whatever wrong things were done by 
him. Four-fifths of the accusations against him are false. 

I shall do everything in my power to help Mr. Bullitt when 
he assumes the duties of the office. 
___ _ (GEORGE S. DENISON) 

1 American Historical Association Report, 1902, Vol. II, p. 355. 



4 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Colonel A. J. Butler to General Butler 

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 6th, (1863) 

DEAR BROTHER: Your note of the 18th this morning re 
ceived. I will not be able to leave here for 20 or 30 days. 
It will take that long to wind up they seize everything 
that comes from below, and it takes from 1 to 8 days to get 
it passed by that bullet-headed commission, but it will pay 
me something after all the drawbacks and charges. I am sat 
isfied that you will not come back, and that you will feel an 
interest in affairs, and I again repeat, the Government need 
not look or hope for any good results from this Dept., inaction 
and imbecility rule, the old officers are disgusted, and were 
you to land to-morrow the bitterest of your enemies would 

re i ice ANDREW 

From F. A. Hildreth to General Butler 

Post Office, NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 9th, 1863 

MY DEAR BUTLER: Things in this Department are, as is 
universally admitted, in a very bad way. Your canal is opened, 
and it is believed by all, secessionists as well as Unionists, that 
Vicksburg is no longer in the way of opening the river. It is 
expected that Gen. Banks will attempt to go by Port Hudson 
by going round it, entering the Bayou Lafourche at Platen- 
mine, and into the Red River and back into the Mississippi. 
But this plan is expected to be defeated by rebels by cutting 
the levee and flooding the country, which it is said is already 
done. I wish you would write me on receipt of this and tell 
me the news all you think it safe and proper to communi 
cate. What is the lowest for which I shall sell the yacht? I 
want to know the lowest and will do the best I can. 

F. A. HILDRETH 

From George S. Denison 

Custom House, NEW ORLEANS, Collectors Office, Feb. IQth, 1863 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, LOWELL, MASS. 

DEAR GENERAL: Come back to New Orleans. 

The new troops and your old regiments, equally, will hail 
your return with joy. You have even more friends than when 
you left. 

A great work is to be done here. It can be accomplished 
only by you. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 5 

A great name is to be gained, you alone deserve to win it. 
I shall remain here in an important office, and the happiest 
day of my life will be the day when a steamer arrives with 
you on board. 

Very Respectfully, Your friend and obdt. servant, 

GEORGE S. DENISON 



From General Butler 

Quarter- Master General s Office, WASHINGTON CITY, February llth, 1863 

Brig. Gen I. MEIGS, Quartermaster Gen l. U.S.A. 

IN the matter of the extra freight to the shippers of certain 
merchandise from New Orleans, retained by the Quarter 
master at Boston, I desire to put before you the following 
statement of facts, to the end that these persons who put 
their property as ballast on board U. S. Transports may not 
be required to pay more than their Bills of Lading and con 
tracts called for as justly due. 

A large number of sailing vessels were at New Orleans 
discharged of troops and cargo, but entitled by the terms of 
their charters to be sent back in ballast, to the place of Charter, 
either New York or Boston. 

Now, in New Orleans there was no ballast, and the only 
ballast to be had was at Ship Island, thirty hours distant for 
steam vessels, and an average of five days for sailing vessels. 
The only ballast to be procured there is white sand, to be 
brought alongside the vessels in small boats. This would 
cause great delay and large expense of demurrage, as well as 
cost of unloading and carrying away the sand at the port of 
debarkment. 

Let me illustrate by a given case. The Steamer "Missis 
sippi" is at New Orleans with a "swept hold." She is char 
tered at $1500. per day. She must have ballast, say 250 tons. 
To go to Ship Island and have sand brought along side in 
small boats will take at least 10 days; to discharge the same 
sand and haul it away will take four more. Thus it will cost 
the Government $21,000, to ballast and discharge the ship with 
sand, to say nothing of the cost of taking the sand aw r ay, or 
the average delays of getting it, if it storms at Ship Island. 
Now, if I can get some merchant to ship 400 Hhds. of Sugar in 
the "Mississippi" as ballast, which can be received in two days 
at most at the wharf where she lies, and discharged in two 
more, the Government will save $15,000 by the difference, 



6 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

even if it gets nothing for freight. But by employing a party 
to get the ballast, see to its shipment, and take charge of the 
business, as a ship s broker, and agreeing to let him have all 
he can get over a given sum, say five dollars pr. Hhd. for his 
trouble and expenses of loading, the Government in the case 
given will save $2000 more. 4000 Hhds. at $5.00. Say in all 
$17,000. 

Acting upon these opinions in pursuance to my report to 
the Secretary of War, of May 16th, 1862, I bought sugar with 
my own money, and had it shipped as ballast in some of the 
transport ships which were to return in ballast, and that 
sugar, if the transaction was not assumed by the Government, 
was to have allowed a reasonable freight. 

Besides, I authorized and ordered contracts made with 
merchants for their merchandise, and had it put on board as 
ballast in several transport ships, allowing the party employed 
as ship broker to have fifty per cent for this trouble and expense. 

These contracts were made in the most perfect faith by the 
merchants, and the money retained by the Government over 
and above the price fixed by the Bills of Lading should be 
refunded to them. 

The freight in every instance to be paid to the Government 
was at the rate of five dollars per Hhd., which has been paid 
and is not asked to be refunded. Freight on the first of Jan 
uary last for sugar from New Orleans to New York was $2.50 
per Hhd., so that the Government, if they pay back the excess, 
will still retain double the present rates of freight. Trusting 
that this act of justice will be done, I am, 

Most fully, Your Obedient Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. U. S. Vols. 

Decision Bk. No. 2, p. 259 

Q. M. General s Office, Feb. IZth, 1863 

RESPECTFULLY referred to the Secretary of War, with a 
recommendation that upon this statement from General 
Butler in regard to the shipment of sugar from New Orleans, 
all the freight retained by the Quarter Master beyond the 
bill s lading, be paid to the consignees. 

M. C. MEIGS, Q. M. Gen. 
Approved : EDWIN M. ST ANTON, Sec. of War 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 7 

From General Butler 

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 11, 1863 

Memorandum to accompany the accounts filed in the War 
Department, in the matter of the Item of $59,855 taken from Sam I 
Smith & Co. Bankers. 

This money was seized from Smith & Co. upon the belief 
that it was either the identical money taken from the United 
States Mint by the rebel superintendent, or else gold exchanged 
by him for silver which was paid out by the Canal Bank after 
the fleet passed the Forts, and by Smith concealed by being 
packed up in the rear of the vaults of his Banking House. 

By agreement with Mr. Smith, the questions of this seizure 
were submitted to a Commission composed of Gov. Shepley, 
Dr. Mercier, President of the Louisiana Bank, and Thomas I. 
Durant, Esq., a leading lawyer of New Orleans. A protracted 
hearing was had, and full examination of evidence by counsel 
in behalf of the claimants, and report made that all but two 
pkgs., containing $50,000, be returned to Smith & Co., which 
was done. But as to the $50,000, that should be held by the 
United States subject to the disposal of the Government at 
Washington. This report was forwarded to the Secretary of 
the Treasury (see my letter enclosing same). 

In the absence of funds to pay the troops, some of whom 
had been six months without pay, upon the decision of the 
commission, this with other monies were turned over to the 
Pay -Master Mayor Hewitt to pay the troops, and his 
receipt taken. When the money came for payment of the 
troops, this amount was replaced in my hands by the pay 
master, and is now held for the use of the United States. 

Smith & Co. are both active rebels, and have never returned 
to their allegiance. They have threatened to hold the Gen 
eral making the seizure personally responsible for this amount, 
and he only desires such order may be made as will, if the 
United States receives the money, relieve him from personal 
responsibility. All of which is respectfully submitted. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. U. S. Vols. 

From President Lincoln 

Executive Mansion, WASHINGTON, February 11, 1863 

Whom it may concern 

MAJOR GENERAL BUTLER, bearer of this, visits the Mis 
sissippi River, and localities thereon, at my request, for ob- 



8 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

servation. The Military and Naval Commanders whom he 
may meet will please facilitate his passage from point to point, 
and make him as comfortable as possible during his stay with 
them respectively. I will thank them also to impart to him 
such information as they may possess, and he may seek, not 

inconsistent with the Military service. A T 

A. LINCOLN 

From George S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase 1 

PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL. NEW ORLEANS, February llth, 1863 

DEAR SIR: Enclosed is General Orders No. 14 in part 
concerning Plantation supplies, etc. Also, copy of contract 
between T. P. May, an intelligent and progressive planter, 
and white laborers to be employed by him in raising cotton 
and sugar. It is a great experiment, and Mr. May is the man 
to succeed in it. He is a young man at heart an Aboli 
tionist, and his plantation is one of the finest in Louisiana. 

My late announcement of the commencement of military 
movements was premature. Everything moves very slowly 
here. The movement has not actually commenced however. 
A force under Weitzel will advance up the Teche. Another 
force will advance westwardly from Plaquemine on the River. 
The two forces will meet at New Iberia or St. Martinsville. 

Buta la Rose is a lake or wide bayou between Plaquemine 
and St. Martinsville, and at this point is a rebel battery and 
fortifications. This will be reduced by the Plaquemine force 
aided by gunboats. 

After the junction of the two forces at or near St. Martins 
ville, a force of 3,000 or 4,000 will be detached and accompany 
the gunboats up the Atchafalaya bayou to Red River near 
its mouth. The gunboats to be used are those built by Gen. 
Butler of very light-draft, and iron-clad. You will under 
stand the above statement by reference to the Rebel map I 
sent you. 

Affairs here are not in a prosperous condition. Great dis 
satisfaction exists in at least some portions of the army. 
Even Gen. Banks new troops to some extent, and Butler s 
old troops to a man, would hail Butler s return with enthu 
siasm. Banks policy seems to be conciliatory and hesitating. 
He seems afraid of responsibilities. General Butler is utterly 
fearless. Several desertions have occurred, by soldiers who 
wish to be taken and paroled, but this is kept secret here. 

1 American Historical Association Report, 1902, Vol. II, page 358. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 9 

It is my opinion that Government has made exchanges too 
easy. It would be better to allow no exchange of prisoners. 
Then we would not hear of disgraceful surrenders or of 
desertions by men sick of the service. In this and other 
respects the war should be made sharper and more earnest. 
The greater advantage of exchanges as now permitted is in 
favor of the Rebels, and the disadvantage is our own. Our 
men will not so easily surrender and rarely desert if they know 
they must endure, for the rest of the war, the privations and 
discomforts of the Confederacy. Now they have every in 
ducement to do both. 

Gen. Banks seems to me to be no judge of men. He selects 
honest subordinates for the most part but his staff are, 
generally, green, inexperienced of little ability and one 
or two of them are fit objects of ridicule. Conciliation, ineffi 
ciency, inexperience, and hesitation characterize all proceed 
ings. There is no use in such criticism, however, when the 
President himself sends here as his private correspondent a 
vulgar little scoundrel like Dr. Zachary who takes bribes, 
and whose only object is to make money. 

Personally I like Gen. Banks exceedingly, but a Northern 
man needs six months experience here in order to be efficient 
in this peculiar country and among its peculiar people. Gen. 
Butler has that experience, and his return would at once change 
everything for the better. 

The nine months men are dissatisfied and demoralized. I 
think Butler could not only remove such feeling, but make 
most of them re-enlist. Whatever Butler did, pleased and 
satisfied the Army, because they had confidence in and ad 
mired him. This is not at all true of Gen. Banks. 

The sooner Gen. Butler comes back the better it will be. 

In one respect there is a very disagreeable condition of things 
here. A host of speculators, Jews and camp-followers, came 
hither in the track of Banks expedition. They have continued 
to arrive, and every steamer brings an addition to the num 
ber. Each expects to be a millionaire in six months. They 
have few scruples about the means of satisfying their cupidity. 

I regard them as natural enemies, and in our constant war 
they are generally worsted. The whole crowd, and Dr. Zach 
ary among them, with eager expectancy like wolves about to 
seize their prey, await the advent of the new collector, who is 
a good-natured man, and supposed to be easily imposed upon. 

I think that spies, intriguers, dishonest speculators, and 



10 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

liars are more abundant here now than any where else in 
America. It seems as if everything must be accomplished by 
intrigue and management. It was not so three months ago. 

In troublous times like these each man of merit has opin 
ions proclaims them defends and sustains them, else 
he is, politically speaking, a "trimmer." I told Gen. Banks so 
the other day. I am not familiar with Banks political history. 
Was he ever a Trimmer? Perhaps he is a conservative! To 
a friend of mine Gen. Banks the other day declared himself 
to be neither a pro-slavery nor anti-slavery man. What is he 
then? 

I do not know, Mr. Chase, anything about your feelings 
toward Gen. Banks or any one else, but write always my own 
opinions without reference to those of others. 

(GEORGE S. DENISON) 

From Judge Turner 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, D.C., Feb. nth, 1863 

Major General BENJ. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL: I have the honor to enclose another interrupted 
rebel communication from New Orleans, to a Montreal paper, 
for your perusal. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

L. C. TURNER, Judge Advocate 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

NEW ORLEANS, January 15, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

THE advent of 63 to many a lacerated heart in New Orleans 
tended but to re-open afresh the bleeding wound caused by 
the departed memory of those held near and dear. And to 
renew an indescribable suspense on the part of parents, wives, 
and sisters, to learn the probable fate of those whose absence 
on the recurrence of the holidays detracted much, if not all, 
from its pleasures. And so general seemed to be the feeling 
of gloom that the New Year s day of 1863 must form a repul 
sive chapter in the social history of New Orleans, and offer a 
sad contrast with past years, when the desire of surpassing 
on the part of the hostesses was only equaled by their lavish 
hospitality, and the hearty welcome extended to their guests. 
A happy reaction was however felt towards the close of the 
day, 1st when news of a Confederate victory at "Snyder s" 
Bluff commanding the entrance to the "Yazoo" river- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 11 

was received, and the congratulations of the evening by far 
surpassed in earnestness those of the morning, and while it 
checked the appetite for "food for scandal," offered enthusi 
astic and agreeable hopes for the ultimate safety of Vicksburg. 
Indeed, the year has so auspiciously begun for the Confed 
erate forces that while receiving daily accounts of the progress 
of events in the Mississippi Valley, scarce a dark cloud has 
overcast their progress, and this leaves the closing of the second 
week in 63 amongst the most important and favorable in the 
history of the C. S. On the 3rd, news of a daring and success 
ful attack on Galveston, Texas, by the Confederates, reached 
here. And although news of the affair may have already 
reached you, yet judging a detailed account, as learned from 
a participant, to be of interest to you, I herewith forward it. 
At about 2 o clock on the morning of the 1st, four (4) ordi 
nary river packets, with cotton bales serving as bulwarks, 
emerged from the adjoining bayou, and made direct for the 
U. S. "Harriet Lane," (since arrived in Mobile), which, to 
gether with some 4 or 5 other vessels of various capacity, 
but most formidable armament, served as a protection against 
an attack by sea. Commodore Renshaw, having had pre 
vious notice from Gen. Magruder, of his intention to hazard 
the recapture of Galveston, was duly prepared, and having 
steam up, and guns shotted, at once made preparations for 
resistance. This flagship (a remodeled N. Y. and Brooklyn 
Ferry boat, but carrying the heaviest and most formidable 
armament), the " Westerville " -10 guns, was, on signalling, 
immediately "put about," with a view of assisting the 
"Harriet Lane." Before any important resistance could 
be made, both vessels grounded at but a short interval, but 
meanwhile inflicting a loss of one of their boats to the Con 
federates, whose remaining three at once steered direct for 
the "H. Lane." On their nearer approach, so effectually did 
their sharp shooters play their part from off the cotton bales, 
that scarce a gunner lived sufficiently long at his post to serve 
his piece. The Confederates gradually nearing to boarding 
distance, were enabled to ply their work of destruction with 
more terrible effect. On touching, grappling irons were im 
mediately attached by the boarding parties on both sides of 
the doomed vessel, when with a terrific yell the indomitable 
Texans sprang aboard, and so terrible was their work of 
retaliation for the firing without previous notice of Galveston 
by the Federal forces, that out of a crew of say 120 men, but 



12 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

9 escaped to tell the tale. Commodore Renshaw, on realizing 
his perilous position on board the "Westerville," exhibited 
prudential valour, and determined on the destruction of his 
boat, little anticipating such a disastrous event as the loss of 
his own life. As, time having been allowed for the crew to 
escape, a quick match was by mistake applied to the maga 
zines which contained at the time some 40 tons of gun 
powder, and as the unfortunate man who committed the 
mistake was about stepping into the last boat with Commo 
dore Renshaw, the explosion took place, immediately engulfing 
her living freight of 12 souls into eternity. The balance of 
the formidable crafts, acting on the Golden Rule of No. 1, 
hoisted a white flag (as learned from Gen. Magruder s official 
report), under the protection of which they ignominiously 
made good their escape to New Orleans, each vying with the 
other for the credit of first informant. Thus Texas has again 
won for herself those laurels which the community has reluc 
tantly withdrawn from her on such testimony as was offered 
by some 150 or 200 refugees (from justice in all probability). 
Sam Houston and Col. Hamilton. And since her soil is once 
more freed from the invader, a people having no superior in 
bravery will look to its future sacredness and safety. 

Southern dates to the 10th instant have been received in 
forming us of a severe and bloody battle at Mumfreesboro, 
Tenn., and claiming a decided victory over Rosecrans, with 
a computed loss of from 20 to 25,000 men. As very meagre 
particulars are as yet to hand, it might be imprudent to an 
ticipate the result. The more so, as from your late files of 
Northern papers you will be better able to form an idea as 
to the extent of the disaster. Should one have taken place in 
favor of the Confederates, too much importance cannot be 
attached to it by them. As it is universally admitted that this 
last act must form the closing scene in the Mississippi drama, 
and by the failure of which Vicksburg and Port Hudson must 
still prove the "stumbling blocks" towards the re-opening of 
the navigation, it will place Sherman and Grant in a very un 
pleasant, not to say hazardous position, and force McClellan 
to avail himself of the Yankee prerogative of flight to a safer 
vicinity than that of Vicksburg. Of which prerogative advices 
inform me that he has already availed himself, thus facing 
conclusive evidence of a Federal disaster at Mumfreesboro. 
Recent arrivals from the Eastern interior of La. bring news of 
the entire evacuation of that section of the state, bordering 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 13 

on Texas, and including the parish of Lafourche, by the 
Federal troops. But heartrending must be the feelings of 
the despoiled, on beholding the desolation that followed in 
the train of the spoiler, and to find their once happy home a 
perfect scene of desolation. 

The suppression of the National Advocate an arrant 
Union organ and withholding the reasons therefor from 
the public, would seem to intimate that the freedom of the 
press still remains limited, and subject to the dictates of the 
commanding General. While a fine of $25. imposed on an 
artist, for painting the portrait of Gen. Beauregard which 
by the way, can be purchased throughout the south for 25 
cents ! forcibly reminds the people of New Orleans that they 
still remain prisoners of war, and as such must patiently sub 
mit to the "Powers that be." Although the secesh element here 
anxiously await and pray for their speedy deliverance, yet the 
majority here so far become philosophers as to yield a forced 
obedience to surrounding circumstances, at the same time 
evincing a willingness to render all honor "to whom honor 
is due," of which Gen. Banks will receive a due and liberal 
allowance, in the event of his adopting a more lenient policy! 

Much and general inconvenience is felt owing to the lack 
of facilities granted by the U. S. authorities for ingress to the 
C. S. lines. And in this connection I may mention that But 
ler s last dodge has just come to light, wherein it has leaked 
out that in granting free transportation within the C. S. lines 
to registered enemies to the U. S., their ultimate destination 
was to have been "Ship Island" -an unenviable place 
of banishment, which has become renowned in connection 
with the Ball and Chain, since the advent of Butler! but 
owing to the timely and fortunate arrival of Gen. Banks, the 
departure of the unfortunate confiding was happily prevented. 

A significant and noteworthy change has taken place in 
our money market, in that U. S. Treasury notes have fallen 
from their elevated position, at which they commanded 10% 
premium to 4% dividend, and even at the latter reasonable 
figure are hastily rushed off for the city corporation "shin 
plasters." Bank notes and city railroad car tickets are only 
picayune circulating medium ! 

From President Lincoln 

Executive Mansion, Feb. 15th, 63 

THE PRESIDENT requests the honor of Gen. Butler s com 
pany, at an informal dinner this evening at 6 o clock. 



14 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Shepley 

State of Louisiana, Executive Department, NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 20/63 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

DEAR GENERAL: I thought a few confidential lines in which 
I could tell you unreservedly the true state of affairs here might 
not be uninteresting to you. The true feeling among the 
Union citizens was expressed by Judge Morgan yesterday, 
when he said, in presence of Judge Peabody and myself, "I 
tell you there can not be found one solitary Union man in 
Louisiana that does not desire the return of Gen. Butler." 
You can believe this to be the case when even Dr. Cottman 
and Julian Neville are said to pray for your return. Banks 
has done nothing with his troops as yet, I don t believe he 
will. The universal feeling here in military and civil circles 
is that there is less security and less strength here than before 
the Banks expedition arrived. 

Banks has taken into his secret service Jacobs, Nay, Der- 
rickson, and id genus omne. Their employment has been to 
try to rake up something against your administration. 

A retired corn-doctor, Jew, by the name of Zachary, is here 
as a spy, said to be directly under the appointment of the 
President, but the intimate associate and confidential advisor of 
Banks. One of his employees has approached various per 
sons with the assurance that if they could communicate any 
information that would tell against Gen. Butler, it would be 
highly appreciated by Gen. Banks. The Christ killers, as 
Andrew calls them, have it all their own way. 

I have been remaining here in the hope of your return. 
I have about abandoned the hope that you will consent to 
come. When Clark and Brown see you they can tell you all 
the particulars about the state of things here. 

They go home to-morrow. The Delta having been sup 
pressed and the Ora started by Gen. Banks, everything seems 
to be done with a view of making it uncomfortable to those 
who were here with you. There will not be many of your old 
officers left in the service long. The Secesh humbug Banks, 
and then turn round and laugh at him, and sing out to each 
other "Let the Union slide, Banks"!! For my own sake, and 
for the good of the cause in the South West, I wish you would 
come back. But whether there are any laurels to be plucked 
by you here, or whether you would like to come without the 
command exclusively of all the troops here, you can judge 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 15 

best. I shall not stay here this summer if I can help it. Under 
present auspices some one else could be of more service to the 
government. Your -old command here are greatly delighted 
with the attentions and favors bestowed upon you at the 
North. 

Wherever you go, you will have the best wishes of the 
"New England Division," and the hearty and fervent sup 
port of those whose pride it has been to serve under your 

command. v ~ ^ c 

i ours, G. i . SHEPLEY 

From Salmon P. Chase to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: Today Mr. Stan ton showed me the orders 
to you to resume command of the Department of the Gulf, 
and told me that he was quite willing to strike out the second, 
which directs that the operations against Port Hudson shall 
be continued under the command of Gen. Banks, leaving to 
you the determination as to what direction they can be best 
promoted, and also so much of the first as directs you to pro 
ceed to your Dept. by the River. 

It does seem to me that without the first of the modifications 
you ought to resume your post at once and that with it you 
ought most emphatically to do so. Mr. Flanders today ex 
pressed himself in very strong terms as to the necessity of 
your return, and every letter I receive from New Orleans is 
in the same key. 

I am your friend because I have ever found you bold, manly, 
and patriotic; your friend because I flatter myself you are 
mine; your friend especially because you have well and faith 
fully served our poor country, poor, yet how rich. As your 
friend, allow me to say that you cannot rightfully or wisely 
withhold yourself from the true post of duty at this time, 
and that this post of duty is in New Orleans. 

Go to New Orleans, General, and the sooner the better. 
Keep every speculator far from you, whether kinsmen, 
acquaintance, or strangers. Give your great administrative 
and executive abilities wholly to the great work of rejuvenat 
ing society in your Department after opening the Mississippi. 
Your countrymen will never forget your service, and it will 
be to your own remembrance and consciousness its highest 

recompense. ,-, .., , 7; 

Faithfully yours, S. P. CHASE 



16 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From William L. Burt to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 26th, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: Upon our arrival here I delivered per 
sonally the letters intrusted to me, and also, as you requested, 
urged action upon various of the Senators and Members. 
Some I found had an intimation of what you disclosed, but 
they were all certain that it was not possible that such a result 
should come at this late day. 

Senator Wilson does not think it possible to get the legis 
lation now and at this late hour, but he will propose in vari 
ous ways to push it. Mr. Gouch says his committee will in a 
day or two lay before the President (and the public) eviden 
ces of sufficient strength to warrant a movement by him for 
something besides a promotion of Gen l. Me. 

The committee on the conduct of the war have had him 
(Gen l Me.) before them for the past two days, and at my 
writing the session is still going on all with favorable results. 
This is the move proposed to meet the danger you found. 
Whether it will or not remains to be seen. 

We have made no progress as yet for Texas or for anything 
looking that way. We have no modification of the "Order," 
and no explanation of why or wherefore it is as it is. 

It seems to me that all things here indicate that we are 
losing ground, that is, those who have the earnest prosecu 
tion of the war at heart certainly nothing looks encouraging 
for us. 

Sec. Stan ton told a friend yesterday that General Butler 
was ordered to New Orleans and General Banks to Texas! 
I trust not, but if so I hope the first General will object suc 
cessfully. We can never go there with Gen. Banks and his 
ideas, to say nothing of his Staff and their ideas, if they have 
any, and live it through. 

The army of the Rebels would be better for some of the 
Texans they think there is a little hope of a Negro Enlist 
ment Bill to-day, as the war offices have winked favorably at 
it; still, the Committee hardly feel yet permitted to act, as 
somebody may change his or their minds, and then it would be 
a mistake. When will all this world find their proper limits, 
and let men with brains manage what it is not necessary 

to have lost? Txr 

WILLIAM L. BURT 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 17 

From George S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase 1 

PRIVATE. NEW ORLEANS, February IQth, 1863 

DEAR SIR: The military movements lately in contemplation, 
have, I think, been given up. This opinion may be incorrect but 
is based upon the best information I can gather. The authori 
ties attempt to maintain great secrecy in all their steps. All 
the contortions of the Sybil are presented without any of her 
inspiration. Thus far, except in preparation, the accomplish 
ments of Gen. Banks amount to nothing. It is my opinion 
that a grand attack direct upon Port Hudson is intended. If 
so, it may come off in four or five weeks, and I should think 
the chances of failure and of success will be about equal. 

I do not think Gen. Banks favors the enlistment of negroes. 
There has been some trouble about Butler s three regiments, 
because most of their officers are colored, and the New Eng 
land soldier could not consent to present arms to a colored 
officer and treat him with necessary respect. The good sense 
of the negroes themselves would have obviated this difficulty 
if Gen. Banks had followed their suggestions. They presented 
to him a petition asking that the three Regiments be brigaded 
together, and not be mingled with the other troops, but, as 
they have often requested, be assigned to some post of danger 
where they might be able to establish a good name for them 
selves. This request had not been granted. 

The 4th. Reg t. Native Guards, authorized by Gen. Banks, 
is nearly full. I understand he has permitted a Fifth to be 
raised. But this is nothing compared with what can and 
should be done. Gen. Banks seems to be much guided by his 
West Point Officers, most of whom, for some reason or other, 
have prejudices against negro troops. Gen. Phelps is a dis 
tinguished exception. I am glad to see his nomination as 
Major General. Except Gen. Phelps, no officer in this Depart 
ment came near Gen. Butler in ability. And this was the real 
ground, I believe, of their disagreement. The Department 
of the Gulf was not large enough for two such men. Each 
was of too emphatic character, too self-willed and determined 
in opinion, to get along well with the other. The fortifi 
cations built by the Rebels about the city are being strength 
ened and guns mounted on them. We never used to think 
the recapture of the city possible, defended by only a few 
thousand men and Gen. Butler. 

1 American Historical Association, Report Vol. II, p. 360. 

VOL. Ill 2 



18 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I used to have great admiration for McClellan, based on 
opinions formed among the rebels, who always spoke of him 
with respect as well as of Buell. Gen. Banks is regarded 
by them as a gentleman. This is not a good sign. But they 
hated Lyon, and hate Rosecrans and Hunter and Butler and 
Phelps, and all who do not believe in conciliation. They like 
to be conciliated. 

The Department of the Gulf is too big a machine to be 
run by any one except B. F. Butler. I am afraid from late 
accounts that he is not to return here. Perhaps Mr. Seward 
is hostile to him. 

This is less a Union City now than when Gen. Banks came 
here. There is more manifestation of disloyalty than at any 
time during the Summer. And the reason is that no punish 
ment, or insufficient punishment, follows offenses. It won t 
do, you know, to be hard on a gentleman for exercising his 
constitutional right of abusing the United States. Judge 
Peabody of the Provisional Court, is also Provost Judge. Judge 
Peabody is a mistake. As Provost Judge, he is only a small 
magistrate. A man throws up his hat and hurrahs for Jeff 
Davis in the street. Judge P. fines him five dollars. An en 
thusiastic rebel does not repent that price for so great a privi 
lege. Butler would have sent the offender to Fort Jackson, 
and neither he nor any acquaintance of his would have com 
mitted the offense again. 

The policy of conciliation, in whatever form, is useless, 
absurd, and hurtful, and whoever adopts it may justly be 
accused of expecting a nomination for the Presidency. I 
expect Mr. Bullitt on Sunday, the 1st of March. We shall 
work well together, and nothing shall be wanting on my part 
to make the management of the Custom House as efficient as 

heretofore (GEOBGE S. DENISON) 

From J . A. Griffin to General Butler 

PRIVATE. BATON ROUGE, Feb. Z6th, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I came up to this place the other day 
from your city of New Orleans. I say your city, for I find 
you are the man they all swear by in that village both sides, 
one swearing by you, the Loyalists, and the other side about 
you, the Rebels. But I think with the loyal people you are 
more popular here than in New England, and it would seem 
with good reason. You have taken good care of these people 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 19 

when they needed care; whereas, in the North, we are thus 
far able to take care of ourselves. But I find the soldiers are 
very anxious for your return to this department. It is true 
of the men whom Gen. Banks led hither in as strong sense 
as of your old soldiers. They seem to be profoundly and sin 
cerely attached to you, and I find my own welcome in this 
camp arises mainly from a knowledge which some of the offi 
cers have that I am a friend of yours. Among others of your 
friends whom I have met here is Dr. Kellogg, who from the 
circumstances referred to above has been most kind to me, 
and has shown me everything that is to be seen besides enter 
taining me at his quarters in this town of poor hotels. But 
the Dr. is not satisfied with his present position, and will not 
be unless you return here. A young man of 28 years is his 
superior, and pretty insolent at that, I judge, and having none 
of the experience or knowledge of the country and its dis 
eases which Dr. Kellogg seems to possess. The Dr. feels very 
much as you would, in old times, acting as Junior counsel 
with Manett as Senior. If you don t return, I hope, as the 
Dr. seems to desire, that he may be appointed Surgeon in 
the regular army. 

Gen. Grover seems to be quite unpopular here. He never 
sees his men. He keeps at his quarters, or, if he rides out, rides 
away from the field where the soldiers encamp. But his orders 
seem to be singularly lacking in wisdom. They are obviously 
emanations from the same source as these extraordinary con 
cessions to rebellion which Gen. Banks has so recently issued, 
to the surprise of everybody who has any other than rebel 
blood in his veins. The rebels hover near the confines of this 
town. A fight, at any time, may come off here as well as at 
Port Hudson, and the results, no man can venture to predict. 
If Gen. Banks with his great army holds what you left him, I 
think the country ought to be satisfied. It may have to be sat 
isfied with much less. 

I shall return by an early steamer after this, to the North. 
If you have any orders for me to execute when I land at New 
York, send your commands to my address at the Astor House. 

Yours truly, J. A. O. GRIFFIN 

P.S. Major Green is up here looking after two fellows, one 
named Johnson and one Lachane, both from New York, who 
seem to be spies sent by somebody to find out, if they can, 
anything against your administration of affairs here in this 



20 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

department. Such is the statement Major Green makes to 
me, and asks that I append it to this letter, I have, of 
course, no personal knowledge on the subject. But I hear 
from the officers that three men are here for apparently no 
other purpose than that supposed or known by Major Green 
to be their mission. 

From D. K. Carter to General Butler 

NEW YORK, Feb. 26th, 1863 

DEAR SIR: I arrived in this city from Washington Saturday 
eve. When I left there was no apparent change in executive 
quarters touching your affairs. The day following your depart 
ure, in a conversation with the Secretary of War, he acknowl 
edged that your proposition in reference to the command of 
the Department of the Gulf would be adopted, and that in 
reference to it he and the President were agreed, and Seward s 
opposition would be overcome. 

I was confidentially told by one who knows, that you had 
been unanimously elected to the Commander-in-Chief by the 
Union League throughout the United States, 400,000 strong, 
and that means would be found to bring this finding before 
the President soon. 

I shall in a day or two proceed from here to Ohio. Should 
be glad to hear from you at Chicago. 

Sincerely yours, D. K. CARTER 

From General Butler to Henry Wilson 

LOWELL, Feb. Z&th, 1863 

MY DEAR SIR: I have read a sketch of a debate in the 
Senate in which you were kind enough to express confidence 
in the rectitude of my official action. 

There was an allusion by Mr. Davis to the plate and furni 
ture of a person in St. Louis taken by me. I understand that 
Alexander Brothers is the party meant. He escaped from 
New Orleans, and went to St. Louis without taking the oath 
of allegiance, under a pass procured by the intervention of a 
professed Union man, whom I have since ascertained to have 
been a scoundrel, whom Brothers alleges to have bribed to 
get the pass for him. Brothers was one of the rebel Provost 
Marshals, having in charge the city, by whom the immense 
destruction of property was made on the arrival of our fleet. 

Brothers plate and furniture was taken possession of by 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 21 

my order, and was turned over to Gen. Banks Quartermaster 
when I left the Department of the Gulf, and I have his receipt 
therefor. 

I especially thank you for your offer to have an investiga 
tion. I am ready at any and all times. I cannot of course 
answer newspaper paragraphs and slanders, but Mr. Davis, if 
he is an honest and just man, can be satisfied upon every point 
by simply asking me by letter. If he will not do this, but will 
persist in slandering a public officer without inquiry from a place 
given him by the secession of better men than himself, which 
he could never have got without that fortunate occurrence, then 
he is simply the scoundrel and thief he would fain have me be 
lieved. Breckenridge was at least a gentleman, and there does 
not seem much to choose in loyalty between the former and 
present incumbent save that the first was a courageous traitor. 

Most truly yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Salmon P. Chase 

LOWELL, Feb. 28th, 1863 

MY DEAR SIR : I have to thank the spirit of friendship which 
dictated your letter of the twenty-fourth. 

I would I could see my way quite clear to follow the coun 
sels of one who can so well advise, and who would so truly 
direct me in so far as the truest friendship demands. 

You strongly advise me to accept willingly the command 
of the Department of the Gulf upon the terms set forth in the 
project of an order from the President, as proposed to be 
amended by the Secretary of War. 

Deep respect for your opinion leads me to attempt to direct 
your thoughts carefully to the position offered me by the 
Order, to see if our minds may not be brought to the same 
conclusion from an examination of the subject from the same 
point of view. Let me premise, however that I think I can 
divest myself of all personal considerations in the matter, 
and be governed solely by those which tend to the public 
service, because the very offer by the President of a return to 
the Department of the Gulf is of itself a most complete per 
sonal vindication, and entirely satisfies any personal wish I 
could entertain on the subject of my relief from that Depart 
ment, and if in the course of the point I present I speak of 
myself, I beg you to read simply an impersonation of a pro 
posed command of that department. 



22 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

The proposed amended order offers: 1st. The command of 
the Department of the Gulf. 

2nd. That as soon as the river shall be opened, Gen. Banks 
shall be sent to Texas with a sufficient force. 

What service then can be done under this order? 

I can reach New Orleans the first of April. 

There are 50,000 effective troops in the department exclud 
ing negroes, but of these thirty -five thousand are nine months 
men, whose term of service will expire in ninety days from the 
day of my arrival; troops collected under enormous bounties, 
not for war but for money; men counting the days until their 
term of service expires, as did the three-months men in the 
summer of 1861; actually in the latter part of their time, 
chalking up on the side of their barracks thirty marks, and 
rubbing out one as each day was got rid of that intervened 
between their return, and at last at noon rubbing out a half 
mark as the time dragged slowly away. The same kind and 
worse troops from the nature of the case than those who 
marched home from the first Bull Run, with the enemies 
cannon thundering in their ears as they went; the same kind 
of troops to whom Washington issued his severest orders 
against plundering; the same kind of troops of whom Jackson 
shot six for deserting him in the face of "savage enemy"; 
they claiming by a construction of law only security against 
the fact that their time had expired; officers without hope 
but of speedy disbandment; without ambition except soon 
and safely to get home, that they may elsewhere obtain per 
manent and honorable service. 

I need not and do not make personal application of these 
remarks to the very men in the department of the Gulf, but 
merely enumerate these psychological facts resulting from 
the operations of the human mind in men enlisted for a short 
and now just expiring term of service. This is simply history 
teaching by example. These are the infelicities of short 
enlistments. 

Without stopping to enquire who perpetrated the enormous 
blunder of sending two thousand miles away forty thousand 
of these useless troops, at an expense at a low estimate of 
three hundred dollars each for transportation down and back; 
say, twelve millions of dollars, a sum which for all the use it 
has been to the Government had better been thrown in the sea. 
Let us see how they are to be got back. Where is the trans 
portation to come from? Is not the Commanding General at 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 23 

New Orleans simply to be resolved into a magnified transpor 
tation agent, to send home this force in the meantime. If he 
allows their term of enlistment to expire, then he has simply 
so many mutinous mobs on his hands to be controlled and 
guarded by the rest of his force. It is useless to say these men 
will re-enlist there if they re-enlist at all, as doubtless many 
of them will, it will not be till after they have come home to 
visit their wives and sweethearts, and to tell Othello-like their 
"hairbreadth escapes by blood and field." But where is the 
transportation to come from? There has been already one 
investigation over the frauds in getting them out there. Is it 
a pleasant prospect for a Commanding General to think he 
must be liable to another in getting them back? Can not, 
ought not a General to have other and grander objects of con 
templation in the service to his country than these? Especially 
when he has seen all this brought upon the country against 
his remonstrance, without his aid, and largely by his removal 
from a post of duty which you now urge him to re-occupy. I 
will do it if ordered, or take the consequences, but I do not 
think that this command is one to be taken by consent, nothing 
ought to come but discontent, disquiet, disgust, and disaster, 
and if anything else does come it will only be a good fortune 
w r hich could be had once in a lifetime. I see how it would be! 
I should be left with only the brave troops with which I spent 
the last summer at New Orleans, to try the fate of another 
epidemic season with our constitutions unfitted by previous 
exposure; our blood decarbonized; our energies unstrung by 
inaction and hopelessness. 

Let us revert for a moment to the second part of the order, 
"that Gen. Banks is to be sent to Texas with a sufficient force 
when the river is opened." Where is that sufficient force to 
come from? Certainly I would not be the means of sending 
these nine months troops five hundred miles farther away, 
and there are no others in the Department save enough for 
garrison duty, of its various posts from Pensacola to Galveston. 

You may say, enlist the negro. True, I had high hopes 
from the enlistment of the negro. I enlisted my third regi 
ment of Native Guards, colored, in fourteen days, a thousand 
strong. But something has happened in the Department of 
the Gulf which has changed all that. What it is I do not 
know. I resolutely disbelieve all newspaper stories as a 
foundation of action, but certain it is that General Banks has 
been there more than five times fourteen days, and has not 



24 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

filled up his first regiment of colored men. Certain it is that 
many things have changed there beside the change of Gen 
erals. They even shoot at the Commanding General with 
air-guns now, so that he will soon realize Carlyle s description 
of the French "Citizen, King the Great shot at, but not yet 
shot," -with an air gun. 

If I am not misinformed, it will take months to restore in 
the negro in Louisiana that reliance upon the Justice, that 
confidence in the power, that appreciation of the good will, 
and that trust in the good faith of the Government of the 
United States which he had on the 15th day of December 
last. Quarreling with officers, men willing to fight the common 
enemy because they are not white, was unknown at that date; 
depriving energetic and accomplished officers, to whom the 
commissions of the President had been given by his order, 
and to whom the faith of the Government was pledged by their 
commissions, because their ancestors, more or less remote, 
were part of African descent; to allow one portion of the 
troops armed for the defence of the country to contumeliously 
insult another, because of their color, when all have equal 
rights, arms, uniforms, and so far as had been seen, equal 
courage, was unheard of in the Department of the Gulf in 
1862, and in my judgment such acts as are reported to have 
transpired in that department since will tend more to dis 
courage and hinder the enlistment of colored men than months 
of true justice can remedy. The negro, whether the equal of 
the white man or not, knows when he is treated fairly, and 
appreciates an injustice quite as enduringly as if of a lighter 
color. Your horse even knows when he is whipped without 
fault on his part and because of his rider s ill-temper or caprice. 
No one asks the negro to be admitted to our battles upon 
social equality, but it is asked, and all just men must concede 
to him, equality of right, nay the superiority even, which 
courage and conduct gives the brave man upon the battle 
field, and lastly that equality that an honorable death gives 
to all in the grave. How can we expect the black man to 
stand up against the white rebel when we allow him to be 
insulted by our own soldier because he is white ? 

I feel deeply upon this subject, my friend, and I may write 
sharply, but for one, I never will ask the color of the man who 
exposes his life to protect mine upon the same battle-field in 
defence of the honor of my country. 

Whether the negro will fight or not, let the chosen legions 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 25 

of the first Napoleon vanquished by the half-armed insurgent 
of San Domingo answer. 

What may have been the debasing influence upon his cour 
age by his association with white man I cannot say, but I 
must not forget that he is a slave only because his ancestor 
was a captive of war, ay, and in a hand-to-hand conflict too 
of a chieftain who made war upon his tribe. Can the sons 
of the tobacco-bought mothers of Virginia say as much? 
Whether the negro will fight, let the second last Napoleon 
answer by his acts in hiring them to do what the veterans of 
the Crimea cannot do whip the Mexicans. 

Pardon this digression. The negro won t fight, however, if 
he is not justly and fairly treated and I do not think it is 
just or fair treatment to "induce" him to go back to work on 
his master s plantation for three dollars per month, when as 
a skilled mechanic he can get forty elsewhere. 

I have adverted to these matters in order that you may see 
how my mind has been balanced in weighing my duty to the 
country as to going back to New Orleans. I believe time, a 
long time too, can only repair the mischief that has been done 
there in the mind of the negro. Kindness, justice, and a con 
tinuance of them will alone convince him that the Govern 
ment is in earnest with him, and that some political intrigue 
will not recall the man in whom he has confidence, and sub 
stitute another who will proclaim that freedom to him is a 
"purpose only" to be carried out in some future but indefinite 
time. The wrong done the negro in that department by the 
action of the Government there has a most material bearing 
in my mind upon the question of accepting the command 
of the Gulf. 

But you will answer that when the river is opened you can 
have troops enough from the army of Mississippi. 

Ah, my friend! I have tried that experiment in June last. 
I lay at New Orleans with scarcely 6000 men, and sent a force 
of four thousand to Vicksburg, counting on support from Gen. 
Halleck s army, then lying at Corinth, Beauregard having 
just then successfully retreated to Tupelo. The finest army 
of the country reported a hundred and sixty thousand strong. 
W T e begged for a few men to help us at Vicksburg because 
- s and Breckenridge s divisions had reinforced the enemy 
- but not a soldier could we get. That fine army of Gen. 
Halleck went up or down, I don t know which, do you? and 
was never heard of after. I prayed for men from Washington 



26 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

and from General Grant, and could get them from neither 
source, and why not? Because I could not command them to 
march to our relief. The country is now suffering from that 
mistake. If Halleck s army had kept Beauregard s from rein 
forcing Vicksburg, or if Halleck or Grant had sent me as 
many men as were sent to help the enemy, in either event, 
Vicksburg would have been taken, the river opened, and the 
great loss of blood and treasure now incurred to open it saved. 
I will never voluntarily put myself as a suppliant for troops 
from another department. If the Government mean that I 
shall have the troops to do anything with, let them give them 
to me at once. Or at least the order for them. But you will 
say that there are no troops to be had. Let me have those at 
Port Royal until they are ready to be moved. Let us strike 
on the Mississippi, open Port Hudson and Vicksburg. The 
generals at Port Royal will have got over their difficulties by 
that time, and the ordnance stores for which they are waiting 
will have been prepared. The siege guns which they need will 
have at least been shipped. 

Let something be done or let me see that something can 
be done except pitiful intrigues by which I am removed from 
command, and the arrow shall not leave the bow with a swifter 
flight than I into the service. But with the expectations of 
the country roused into a belief that I can achieve something 
like success, I cannot of my own will be sent into that honorable 
exile again to which Scott banished me at Fortress Monroe, 
without men, without means, and without support, as a 
punishment for taking Baltimore without his column of 
12,000 men. 

These are the views, written Currente C alamo, which in 
fluence my decision in regard to the department of the Gulf. 
Am I not right? There is one observation in your letter I 
cannot let pass without comment. You say "put far away 
speculators." Is it possible you still believe those foolish lies 
which interested and disloyal men set afloat about me, failing 
to find any other point vulnerable? I think the merchants of 
New York whose commerce with New Orleans is now drooping 
in death would desire some General there who could rescue 
it from the grave. Some one who would not permit rebel 
bankers to issue their notes irredeemable in specie and put 
them above United States legal tender notes. Oh, my friend, 
the Secretary of the Treasury! Some general capable of so 
managing his own financial affairs that it would not be neces- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 27 

sary to take with him as financial aids a speculator in the 
, and a defaulting Massachusetts liquor agent to take care 
of his finances. But enough of this. Every act of mine is 
open to investigation. I defy my enemies and trust my friends, 
no one of whom need fear for me. 

I have written plainly, distinctly, because I am writing to 
a friend, who can appreciate the very plainness of my speech. 
To a neutral or an enemy I might use the words of diplomacy, 
but to you whom I so much respect and esteem I can write 
as I feel, in the words of truth and soberness. Be assured that 
I appreciate most highly the kind action of the President in 
offering me again so high a command, and I would do any 
thing consistent with my solemn views of duty to my country 
to do him a service to show that grateful appreciation. The 
whole matter may be summed up in a word, / see no service 
to the country to come out of the proposed command unless troops 
can be given to finish the work on the Mississippi and in the 
Gulf, or the means of getting them on Mississippi River. 

The war will either go on successfully in abler and better 
hands than mine, or some crisis will come in the affairs of the 
country - like that which called me from my quiet home in 
April, 1861 when my service will be needed, which will 
find me ready. Again thanking you for your thoughtful 
kindness, believe me your friend. 

(BENJ. F. BUTLER) 

From General J. W. Turner to General Butler 

NEW YORK, N. Y., March 1st, 1863 

GENERAL: Enclosed I send you these letters I found here 
at the St. Nicholas. General Halleck is urging your being 
sent to the supreme command in North Carolina. Col. Shaffer 

is no better. Tr . r 

i ours sincerely, J. \\. IURNER 

From General Strong to General Butler 

Nos. 30 to 36 Park Place, NEW YORK, March 3d, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Que croyez vous? (as we Creoles say). 
Don t you think there s a fine opening for an enterprising 
young man at New Orleans about now? The "Star of the 
West," the "Queen do," and the "Indianola" at perfect lib 
erty to carry a flag of truce down to the Crescent City, and 
nothing but the "Essex" to fire a salute for them as they 



28 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

pass down. I think, however, that if you throw a chain 
across the Merrimac below you there that Picayune Castle 
will be impregnable. On the whole, I m pretty well satisfied 
with your present command. Called to pay my respects to 
Mrs. Banks after the dinner, and what should she do but be 
gin about her husband s troubles and the desponding tone of 
his letters. 

I sympathized and berated the Government for its shameful 
abuse of him, sending him off there in not the best of 
health, likely to fall under the wing of Yellow Jack, and finally, 
with no troops to work with. (Query How will he feel, 
about June?) 

Stopped at Frank Howe s store yesterday and met the 
Quarter Master, who was left behind to forward the last half 
of Banks expedition. He says that things are in a - of 
a fix in the Dept. of the Gulf. 

Now let me issue a "Gen. Order," which runs to the effect 
that Seward rules the country and Weed rules Seward. Me- 
Clellan will soon have a command, as he is a friend of both. 
Banks is his friend (as well as Seward s), and he will be got 
out of those swamps before the hot weather comes on. They 
will try to make him Sec. of War, and I ve no doubt they d 
like to have you go back bye and bye, as things grow darker 
and the weather grows hotter. 

I see that Shepley, Weitzel, and Nickerson are left out by 
the Senate. What does it mean in Weitzel s case? There s 
something there that you didn t tell me about. 

My kind remembrances to Mrs. Butler and the rest of the 

household. ^ ^ ^ ^ 

Yours as ever, GEO. C. STRONG 

From George S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase l 

PRIVATE. NEW ORLEANS, March 7th, 1863 

DEAR SIR: Of late my letters have been destitute of inter 
est. The reason is simple I have nothing to say. I have 
but little to say now. 

No military movements have been made. The whole energy 
of the Department is occupied, apparently, in preparations for 
a grand attack on Port Hudson. The intended expedition up 
the Teche to Red River was relinquished, as you have been 
informed. Officers recently from Baton Rouge think the 



1 American Historical Association Report, 1902, Vol. II, p. 365. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 29 

movement on Port Hudson will occur in about three weeks. 
Gen. Banks went up the River this afternoon, and many people 
in the city think the attack is to be made at once. I have not 
asked Gen. Banks any thing about it, as he evidently dislikes 
to reveal his intentions. 

My opinions concerning the management of the Depart 
ment the comparative merits of Butler and Banks the 
necessity of Gen. Butler s return, etc. remain unchanged. 
It seems to me a great opportunity has been lost. Since 
Banks arrival a large negro army might have been enrolled 
and made efficient. Gen. Banks is evidently opposed to such 
measures, though they would not have interfered with other 
operations. As it is, but one regiment has been raised. From 
twenty to fifty thousand ought now to be ready for the field 
in this Department and they alone could have cleaned out 
Louisiana. Without authority Gen. Butler raised three regi 
ments. If he had been here since the 1st. January I think he 
would have a large colored army in process of organization. 
This thing must be done, and the sooner the better. 

From what I can learn, Gen. Butler is probably not to return 
here. His presence here now would be worth ten thousand 
men. My admiration for him increases every day, as continued 
opportunities occur of comparing his command with the pres 
ent. I have certain information that if he does return, his 
brother Col. Butler will immediately depart. I have been 
engaged this week in assisting Mr. Bullitt, who arrived a week 
ago. We shall get along well together. As acting Collector 
of Internal Revenue, I have done nothing, but shall write 
you about it by next mail. Are you not going to appoint 
an assessor? 

I have just learned that all available troops have started 
for Baton Rouge. Perhaps the attack comes off soon. 

(GEORGE S. DENISON) 

From Fisher A. Hildreth to Mrs. Butler 

NEW ORLEANS, March 7, 1863 

DEAR SARAH: I just received yours from Washington dated 
from the loth to 18th ult. I write more to say we are all well, 
and that I have received yours, than because there is anything 
here worth communicating. Whether you or Harriet will get 
this I am somewhat in doubt, as I look upon the chances as 
nearly, not quite, even, that you may be on the way here. 



30 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

It seems matters in Washington are controlled still pretty 
much as we have always expected; though it seems there 
must be some shaking in that quarter. If the troops here are 
moving up the river in anticipation of an attack at Baton 
Rouge as incredible as this must seem to you, such is 
believed the actual state of things. Capt. George writes me 
that he has accepted Col. Butler s drafts on me to more than 
the amount of all the sugars, after paying the necessary 
expenses. I think worse and worse of that whole affair. I 
have written George to hold enough for my security at all 
hazards, and to make no final settlement until I am there. 

If the Gen. does not come out here I want he should write 
at once the lowest amount for which I shall sell the Yacht, 
and then I will get all I can. The small boat upon the yacht 
has been taken by order of the Deputy Surveyor, upon the 
ground that Ex-Collector Denison claims that it is his private 
property. I shall see Denison about it immediately. The 
market for sugar and cotton here advances faster than my 
ideas, and hence I never buy. If the war is not brought to 
an end in less than a year, gold will be more than twice the 
price of greenbacks. If you have any investments to make, 
buy gold, and I don t know as it makes much difference what 
you give for it, as it will continue to advance. If you have 
not started write me at once, as I shall come home in April 
whatever becomes of matters here or elsewhere. The rise of 
goods must help Read very much, and he will come out ahead, 
I think, though he has been nearly skinned alive. 

Though business is terribly dull here I could get along very 
well were it not for the terrible reflections of what has hap- 
penned at home since I came here. 1 Love to all. . . . 

FISHER 

From James Parton to General Butler 

NEW YORK, No. 5 and 7 Mercer St., March 12, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Excuse my troubling you once more. 
If you will be at home during the next ten or fifteen days, 
would it be convenient for you to give me a daily interview 
of an hour, sometime toward the close of the day, when you 
may be disposed to lounge on the sofa and talk? I would gladly 
go to Lowell, and take up my abode near your residence. All 
I want from you is that which you alone can give the rest 

1 Israel Hildreth, only son of Fisher Ames Hildreth, died February, 1863. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 31 

I must get from your friends and comrades. But the more I 
get directly from yourself the better. 

I have now collected nearly all the printed material, and 
should like to get to work in earnest. The more work that is 
put into a book the more interesting it would be. Pray let me 
hear in time. I shall not incommode you at Lowell in the 
least, as I shall make everything bend to your convenience. 

If you say, Come, you will see me straightway. 

With the highest respect, JAS. PARTON 

From Horatio King 1 

PRIVATE. WASHINGTON, March 13th, 1863 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, LOWELL, MASS. 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Enclosed is a copy of a letter which I 
lately sent to Prof. Marshall, a friend of mine, and ardent 
Union man, at Leeds, England. 

I hope it may not be distasteful to you, as I am willing, of 
course, you should show it to whom you please. 

Sincerely Yours, HORATIO KING 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25th, 1863 ^Not in chronological order] 

Prof. J. W. MARSHALL, United States Consul, LEEDS, ENGLAND 
DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 25th Oct. came duly to hand, 
and I have to reproach myself for my neglect in so long omit 
ting to acknowledge its receipt. I have also to thank you 
for a copy of a Leeds newspaper, in return, I presume, for a 
number of the National Intelligencer which I sent to you. I 
was much pleased with an editorial article upon Gen. Butler 
in the Leeds paper, and as he happened to be here at the time 
I had the pleasure of presenting it to him, and it was subse 
quently copied into one of our city papers. 

It was refreshing, after being obliged to read so much in 
the London Times and kindred English journals revolting to 
all our feelings of friendship, to peruse an article from an 
English source on the whole so just toward the United States 
and Gen. Butler in particular. 

The fact is, he is undoubtedly one of our ablest Generals, 
and if all had been like him the rebellion would have been far 

1 Horatio King, Postmaster General in Buchanan s Cabinet, and appointed by 
Lincoln as one of a board of Commissioners to settle for the States emancipated in 
the District of Columbia prior to the issue of the general emancipation proclamation. 



32 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

less successful than it has been. It is not an extravagant 
opinion to advance that at the commencement of our troubles, 
by his bold dash into and taking possession of Baltimore, he 
saved Washington. That city was reeking with treason, its 
police and a majority of its councils were in the interest of 
the secessionists, arms and munitions of war in great quan 
tities had been collected there, and everything was ripening 
for a coup de main, which, in conjunction with the rebel hordes 
in Virginia, was to place the seat of the National Government, 
with all its archives, in the hands of the insurgents, when 
they were surprised one morning to find Gen. Butler had 
effectually frustrated their plans by quietly taking possession 
of the city. He was equally energetic and fortunate in his 
expedition to North Carolina; but nowhere has it been more 
apparent that the right man was in the right place than while 
he was in command at New Orleans. His strict discipline 
saved thousands of lives. The summary hanging of Mumford 
was an act of mercy, for it operated as a solemn warning against 
all further attempts there to feed the desolating fires of treason 
by openly insulting the Flag of the Union. 

The celebrated Woman Order, I at first regarded as rather 
unfortunately worded, but I have the authority of a most 
intelligent lady, who resided in the South when the rebellion 
broke out, and remained there, most of the time in Mem 
phis until August last, for saying that it was exactly what 
was required, and that it produced the desired effect. It 
brought ladies to their senses, and taught them to see what 
they should never have overlooked, that to insult an officer 
or soldier in the manner so many of them had done was 
a pretty sure sign that they had no claim to the title of 
lady. Nor was it local in its effect. It was as potent for 
good in Memphis and throughout the South as it was in 
New Orleans. 

Of course Gen. Butler is unpopular with the rebels and their 
Northern sympathizers; but he commands the respect and 
confidence of all true friends of the Union. The flattering 
welcome extended to him recently in Boston, Baltimore, and 
other cities is proof of this; and there is the strongest desire 
felt to see him again entrusted with some important command 
where the Government may continue to have the benefit of 
his abilities. 

You will have observed that the President s Emancipation 
Proclamation has not had the happy effect its advocates pre- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 33 

dieted for it. On the contrary, its tendency, I fear, has been 
not only to intensify the hatred of the rebels toward the Gov 
ernment, but to strengthen the northern opposition to the ad 
ministration at a time when all party spirit should be ignored, 
and discourage the conservative portion of the community, 
from which the administration heretofore derived its greatest 
support in the prosecution of the war. Nevertheless, the great 
body of the people of the loyal States are united in the deter 
mination to subdue the rebellion and preserve the Union; 
and all that is needed to render them as enthusiastic as ever is 
that our armies in the field shall achieve the success which, 
under proper guidance, they will certainly accomplish. They 
believe more in hard blows against the military power of the 
South than in proclamations; and if slavery suffers thereby 
few will care; but they do not believe in making this a war for 
the direct abolition of slavery. Here is the point of difference 
between the conservative and radical abolition element at 
the North, and this difference, more than anything else, serves 
to weaken the administration in its struggle with treason. 

The number of those in the loyal States, who are at heart 
dis-unionists, is comparatively small; yet there is no doubt 
that they do great injury to the Union cause by their constant 
denunciation of the administration, by the grossest misrep 
resentation, and by giving information to the enemy. It is 
from this class that the loudest complaints come of arbitrary 
arrests, when, had they their deserts, many of them would 
long since have been hung. Ever ready to denounce any act 
of the Government calculated to restrain the liberty of rebel 
sympathizers, you never hear a word from them in condemna 
tion of the savage cruelties practised by their Southern friends 
upon all in their midst, without regard to sex or age, who dare 
to acknowledge their allegiance to the United States. Doubt 
less some arrests have been made by our military authorities 
without sufficient cause; but where one such mistake has 
occurred, hundreds have been permitted to go at large, enjoy 
ing all the blessings of the government, when they should 
have been either locked up or sent beyond the lines. If the 
government has erred in this, it is in having been too lenient 
to traitors. 

Not even known spies are dealt with as we have always been 
taught they should be, condemned and executed; but the 
extent of their punishment hitherto has been simple imprison 
ment, and this, perhaps, only for a few weeks, when they have 

VOL. Ill 3 



34 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

been suffered to depart on taking the oath of allegiance, to be 
violated as soon as taken. 

Notwithstanding the war, our public buildings here are 
approaching to completion, the work upon them never hav 
ing been discontinued. The beautiful dome of the Capitol 
is nearly ready to receive its crowning ornament, the bronze 
Goddess of Liberty, by Mills, and the west front of the Treas 
ury building, already presents a row of massive granite columns 
corresponding with those on the south side, the roof is nearly 
finished, and many of the rooms are occupied. Meantime a 
street railway has been completed within the past few months, 
running from Georgetown to the Capitol, railroad depot, and 
the Navy Yard, from the steamboat landing to near the north 
ern boundary of the city on 7th street, and from Pennsylvania 
Avenue along 14th street, also to the northern boundary near 
Columbia College. 

So you perceive, and I wish our English friends also to 
know, that we here have no idea of giving up the Union. I 
say "our English friends," for we still believe the people of 
Great Britain, as well as Her Majesty, the Queen, and His 
Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, are the fast friends of 
the United States. 

Neither they nor we have forgotten the pleasure of his 
visit amongst us; and should France, with a view to secure 
Mexico, be so unwise (which I cannot think possible) as to 
unite with the South by an armed interference in our affairs, 
it is easy to see on which side Great Britain must be. 

Very Respectfully and Truly Yours, HORATIO KING 

From Edward L. Pierce to General Butler 

PRIVATE. Custom House, NEW YORK, Collector s Office, March 19th, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I leave for Port Royal on the "Arago" 
very early tomorrow morning, to be gone about a fortnight or 
three weeks. 

Yesterday I was at Washington, and it is in consequence of 
what I learned there that I write this brief note. Friendship 
will excuse whatever of plainness there may be in it. 

The offer of the Gulf command is, I learn, still open to you, 
and your best friends are anxious that you should accept it 
at once, as they do not know how soon it may be impracti 
cable to have it continue open. They wish you to accept it 
even though you cannot have the class of troops which you 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 35 

desire, and they express the fear that if you insist on terms 
too much, your reputation may suffer somewhat, as has been 
the case with Fremont and Hay, and for your own sake they 
want the suspense ended, as they do not see where another 
opportunity so eligible is likely to occur soon. I confess that 
after what I heard I shall hear with pleasure that you are 
making preparations for departure to N. O. 

I understand that your command could be full and without 
restrictions, and where I obtained my information it was 
hoped that your acceptance would not be delayed a week. 

I found that Sumner had not kept along with your case 
since you left, having been abroad in the matters of his special 
department. But if you desire fuller information he would 
doubtless provide it, and he is always so sincere that his sug 
gestions would prove of value. 

My great desire to see still further advanced the reputation 
which you have so worthily won must be my excuse for what 
would be otherwise impertinence. 

Yours in haste, EDWARD L. PIERCE 

From Hiram Barney 

Custom House, NEW YORK, Collector s Office, March 23, 1863 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, LOWELL, MASS. 

MY DEAR GENERAL: When are we to see you in this city? 
If no more responsible or important duty is devolved upon 
you by the President, I hope you will resume the command of 
the Department of the Gulf with the purpose to deliver Texas. 
The troops destined for Texas should, I think, be raised with 
that view. The Yankees like to have an object to accomplish. 
If it is understood that enlistments for that service are to be 
taken instead of the conscription, and that they will have 
inducements, in the way of County lands, to remain there, 
there will, I think, be no difficulty in raising immediately the 
requisite force to conquer and hold all that vast country. It 
is a great work to redeem the Southwest. I am with cordial 
regards and high esteem, 

Most truly yours, HIRAM BARNEY 

From Richard S. Fay to General Butler 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, March %3rd, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I propose to go to Lowell Thursday, 
with the invoices of the Middlesex Mills, partly to see how our 



36 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

new mill looks, but more for the hopes of seeing you. I begin to 
be tired of your inactions. I expected ere this to have been able 
to address you as Secretary of War or some such title, sweet to 
us all but deserving to so few. If you have not been over the 
mills since they were renewed, perhaps you will feel interest 
enough in their success to join us there. With highest respects, 

Truly yours, RICHARD S. FAY 

From P. R. George 

NEW YORK, March 23rd, 1863 

General BUTLER 

NOTHING new. The committee leave here to-day to try to 
push your interests for Secretary of War. It is of the Tribune 
stamp, with co-operation of some others. I have but this and 
one other item of interest. You will pardon me I know. 

General Whitney came into my room this eve and said, 
"George, the General s brother is coming on here, and you 
better write the General he d better not come. He will get 
sued as sure as God, about New Orleans matters." Next me 
at table (he said) he heard two men swearing if they could 
only catch him, they had all the papers, etc., etc. It was at 
the St. Nicholas hotel. I think, General, until some change, 
some new command, or a little more time has passed, it would 
be a foolish hazard for him to come, as I fear not much hurt, 
but political spite and effort to mix you up will be attempted, 
and that you, not he, will be on trial. It will be nasty, that s all. 
You must comprehend it. A little spark sometimes makes more 
fire than it is reasonable to suppose. There is a good deal said 
one way and another, that will all burst out as soon as you cloud 
again, if you should happen to. Besides, instead of cloud, you 
may shine so bright as to dazzle. Would it be quite wise to al 
low specks, mere fly dirts on the window or flies about, even if 
it can be avoided without too much sacrifice? You will pardon 
me I know, General, for my frankness, even if you do not 
agree with me in cautiousness. P T* C 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS, March 23rd, 1863 

Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjt. Gen. 

Report in the matter of imprisonment of ALFRED LEMORE 

I HAVE the honor to report that Jules Lemore and Alfred 
Lemore were arrested as Army Contractors of the Confeder- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 37 

ate Government. One of them was ordered to answer questions 
and was ordered into confinement with punishment for con 
tumacy, but I afterwards found the evidence and did not in 
flict the punishment. When I left New Orleans he was in the 
Parish prison awaiting trial. If he is not there now, I sup 
pose he has bribed the jailor and escaped, a favorite mode of 
jail delivery in former times at New Orleans. 

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

From General Butler 

LOWELL, MASS., March 23r<7, 1863 

Hon. Secretary of War 

SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of the copy of the 
letter of Lord Lyons, relating to the claim of A. Kernahan, 
to the Hon. Secretary of State, referred to me for report. 

The claim is based upon grounds that Kernahan is a British 
subject who has never forfeited the protection of his Govern 
ment by an act of hostility to the United States. Whether 
Kernahan was born a British subject I am not informed, but 
before hearing of the matter which took place before me the 
following facts appeared. 

A. Kernahan had resided many years in New Orleans, tak 
ing part in the usual civic affairs as a citizen, and received the 
protection of the United States in his person and property, 
and was a very active sympathizer with the rebellion. After 
the occupation of the city by the United States forces, Kerna 
han, as the Agent of some rebel organization, went to Holly 
Spring and Canton, Miss., within the rebels lines, for the pur 
pose of superintending the Confederate wounded and sick 
soldiers, and especially those from Louisiana, was still in the 
service of the rebels on the 10th of Sept. 1862, and was then 
contemplating farther enterprises in their behalf. His affidavit 
denies that he was in the service of the " Confederate Govern 
ment," but does not deny that he was in the service of the 
rebels. He admits that he wrote a letter dated at Canton, 
Miss. Sept. 10th, and that letter was intercepted by the 
United States Authorities at New Orleans. A copy of that 
letter is appended hereto duly certified, and makes an entire 
and perfect case against his neutrality. 

It will be observed that the first pages speak of his employ 
ment in case of the Rebel sick and wounded before referred 
to, and the whole epistle breathes all over with inimical expres 
sions of his rebel sympathies. It might be difficult, I think, to 



38 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

explain for him such phrases as "if we are to have a winter 
campaign, Nashville will soon be a good location; at present 
the Yanks have it, but they must soon quit." "Good news 
from Kentucky, we will soon have that state." "Our news 
from Virginia is such as to give us great hopes," "The Yanks 
are all driven to Washington, and we are shelling Arlington 
Heights," "We have heavy losses, the enemy nearly double," 
"In thirty days I hope the border states will be all ours" 
consistently with the writer s neutrality. 

Even his wish that the Commanding General may escape 
the fever does not avail him in that behalf, because he only 
desires it "until some of our men can reach him." Also 
another. His postscript that "we know of three Ironclads, 
gunboats in these seas, English made," shows evidence of 
British neutrality, which now has the notoriety of "Prince 
faith." 

Indeed, Mr. Kernahan is rather above the average speci 
men of foreign neutrals- so far as I saw them in New Orleans. 
The money of Kernahan has been accounted for to the United 
States, and the tobacco & brandy were put into the United 
States Warehouses. Mr. Kernahan has forfeited all claim to 
the protection of his Government, as well as that of ours. 
Very Respectfully, Your Obedt. Servt., 

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

From General Butler 

LOWELL, MASS., March 23rrf, 1863 

The Hon. E. M. ST ANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the 
letter of Lord Lyons to the Hon. Sec y of State with enclo 
sures, relating to the claim of Louisa A. Keegan for indemnity, 
with directions to report thereon. The facts appearing before 
me were substantially these, and upon these, I based my judg 
ment. Messrs. Brummer & Co., of New York, merchants, 
made claim against the co-partnership of Keegan & McCann, 
doing business in New Orleans at 144 Canal Street, for dry 
goods sold that firm to be used in their business in Louisiana, 
that in the store occupied by them was found a portion of the 
same goods sold by Brummer & Co. to Keegan & McCann. 
Brummer & Co. claimed redress from the U. S. Military Au 
thorities, the city being under martial law, in default of the 
United States Courts. The parties appeared before the Com- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 39 

manding General, when it was admitted that a just debt was 
owing from Keegan & McCann to Brummer & Co. for goods 
so sold, some of which were then in the store, 144 Canal Street, 
New Orleans, and such debt had not been paid. But it was 
claimed that the goods now belonged to Louisa A. Keegan, a 
daughter of the senior partner of the firm of Keegan & McCann, 
who was just then said to have come to the age of twenty-one 
years, and at the time absent with her father on a voyage to 
New York and elsewhere. 

It further appeared, that the business was now carried on 
in precisely the same manner that it had theretofore been by 
the firm of Keegan & McCann in the same books. Louisa A. 
Keegan claimed title in the goods by virtue of a sale under 
the authority of Courts of Louisiana since her secession, and 
that from the act of the law of the Confederate States she had 
obtained title thereto. 

It further appeared that the large majority of the creditors 
of Keegan and McCann were in the loyal States, and could 
and did have no voice in these supposed legal proceedings, 
which indeed seemed to have been instituted for the very pur 
pose of depriving these loyal creditors of their right. No 
explanation was or could be given of the singular fact that this 
young girl, the daughter of one of the firm of small Irish trad 
ers, should have in her own right so large a sum of money, 
and be ready and able to invest it in such a business at forced 
cash sale of her father s stock in trade. 

After a full hearing, I was fully of the opinion that the whole 
proceeding was fraudulent and void as regards the creditors of 
Keegan & McCann, and that the sale was colorable, made to 
defraud the loyal creditors of that co-partnership. 

But, however that might be, even if mistaken in point of 
fact that the sale of the goods not having been made by Keegan 
& McCann themselves, but by the decree of a rebel court, 
executed by rebel Officers, that such was wholly void and 
nugatory, and passed no title whatever, and certainly not 
against the loyal creditors of the owners, that no title there 
fore passing to Louisa A. Keegan, she could make no claim 
for the goods. 

I, therefore adjudged and ordered that Brummer & Co. 
should take enough of goods of Keegan & McCann to satisfy 
their claim, which was done, the goods being sold at auction 
up to that amount. 

I have been perfectly satisfied with that decision, and 



40 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

should act upon the matter in precisely the same manner 
again. I believe whoever shall read this report will agree that 
fair equity and justice was done, and if so, that was due 
execution of the only law then in Louisiana, i.e. martial law, 
which the Duke of Wellington defines to be the will of the Com 
manding General, exercised according to the principles of 
natural equity. This certainly must be good authority for 
Lord Lyons. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your Obedt. Servt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, MASS., March 23rd, 1863 

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

SIR: Has the War Department any objections to my mak 
ing some addresses to the citizens of Connecticut & New York. 
In awaiting Orders I have not thought it right to be absent 

from home without leave. ,^ ,/. 77 

Most respectfully, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. U. S. Vols. 

TELEGRAM. WASHINGTON, March 26, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

To General B. F. BUTLER 

YOUR note of the 23d has just reached me, & to save time I 
answer by telegraph that the Dept. has no objection to your 
being absent from home for the purpose specified, if you will 
make arrangements at home to have communications from the 
Dept. forwarded to you without delay. 

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secy of War 

From William Alexander 

PRIVATE. NEW YORK CITY, March 24th, 1863 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, LOWELL, MASS. 

DEAR SIR : Can t you suggest some way in which relief can 
be got for the people of Western Texas? There were at last 
accounts some 2,000 loyal Texans, with but a scanty supply 
of arms and without powder and caps, on the Mexican side 
of the Rio Grande, waiting in vain for help from our Govern 
ment to enable them to drive off or capture the 400 secession 
troops on the other side of the river. 

Since I first saw you in New Orleans last summer, I have 
endeavored to bring every appliance to bear to get aid for the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 41 

loyal men of my state, and this moment success seems farther 
off than ever. My efforts have been made without any view 
to personal advancement, for I never have been willing, and 
am not now, to take my office civil or military from the United 
States Government as at present constituted, though I will 
do my share towards sustaining it as it is the only hope that 
we have. 

Before we had been twenty-four hours in New Orleans after 
the arrival of the so called "Banks Expedition," I came to 
the conclusion that your successor was (as Shakespeare has 
it) one of those animals whom in all languages we call fools; 
and told my comrades from Texas so; and urged them to return 
with you. Hamilton was blarneyed and humbugged along for 
several weeks, when he at last, too late for his own good, got 
his eyes open. In the meanwhile I had to remain there against 
my will, until finally my friend Mr. Stevens, of this city, con 
sented to return with me. I am now remaining here for the 
whole object of trying to get relief for Texas, and wish to try 
any and every means of effecting that end that may be feasible. 
I had hoped that when Hamilton returned from New Orleans 
to Washington he would have common cause with yourself, 
but in that I was again disappointed. In consequence, he 
has been beaten at every point. His nomination was not sent 
in to the Senate, and he is now speaking, as the phrase goes, 
"on his own hook" in Connecticut. I have no confidence in 
his being able to effect anything for Texas. 

Mr. Secretary Stanton is against us, and Gen. Halleck in 
imitation of the original genius in Swift, who, when he had 
to build a house, set to work at the top of the chimney and 
worked on gradually down to the foundation, has replied to 
the resolution of the N. Y. Chamber of Commerce, recommend 
ing that the trade of the rebel Government with and through 
Mexico be stopped by the immediate occupation of the val 
ley of the Rio Grande, that "the object proposed can be best 
accomplished by getting possession of the Mississippi river, 
and in this way separating Texas from the rebel states east of 
the Mississippi river." A General so destitute of sense as to 
give such an opinion ought for the good of his country to die 
as soon as possible, and after death should be buried in the big 
ditch he dug at Shiloh or Corinth. That ditch would form for 
him an appropriate monument. 

Enclosed I send you a review of Banks address, written by 
myself, together with two or three other scraps which may 



42 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

amuse you. Let me hear from you. Anything for me addressed 
to the care of John Austin Stevens, Esq., will be received, 
and will be preserved for me in case I should be temporarily 
absent from his house in which I am now a guest. I remain, 
Very Respectfully and Truly Yours, WILLIAM ALEXANDER 

Answer. Received but it is impossible for me to act in matter 
with the present views of the Administration on this subject. 

B. F. B. 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, March 2M, 1863 

Li. WM. H. WIEGEL 

MY DEAR WIEGEL: I have your letter of the 22nd. I had 
the one previously, but I was so situated at that time as to 
be unable to take any action upon the subject which it con 
tained. That has since passed by, and I am now at liberty 
to take such action as I choose upon your application. 

I have but one difficulty in recommending you for the 
post you seek, and that is contained by these words in your 
letter, which are, "I have been asked to tell what I knew of 
affairs in New Orleans; but they may imprison me for con 
tempt before I would say one word against any one who had 
been a friend to me." 

Now this would seem like a threat, and were it not the accom 
panying words of friendship and devotion, I should take it so. 
But as I know there is nothing that you could say of me which 
I need fear to have said, I am not disposed so to regard it. 

/ do therefore enclose this letter of recommendation; but upon 
the express condition that you shall at any and all times say 
anything that is true concerning any act of mine, during the time 
you were with me. 

You say you do not know why I withdrew my confidence 
from you. You do know the acts which made it necessary to 
have you hand me your resignation upon my staff. I was 
most sorry for that resignation, because of the necessity which 
caused it. Still, those acts were not of a kind to impair con 
fidence in any degree in your integrity. 

I will now tell you why I withdrew confidence from you. I 
was informed that you had used similar expressions to those 
in your note just quoted. If you had treasured up anything 
while on my staff to my injury, without informing me, I could 
not have you with me. If you had not, and used these words 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 43 

as giving a means of revenge for the loss of your position, - 
in either case I could not give you a position near me. 

You will remember I took you for your services to the 
cause; gave you, for a young man, high and honorable posi 
tion; loved you, because, perhaps, of that very roughness 
which made you distasteful to others, and, as you say, gave 
you my confidence. / have never known any breach of it. I 
can therefore recommend you for a new position, but be care 
ful that you justify that recommendation. 

You can do good service to the country if you will; but 
beware of the "besetting sin," and if in your new duties you 
shall do well, or if in the future you shall deserve my appro 
bation, you may be assured you will always find a friend with 

a helping hand in, ^ 

Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER 



From General Butler 

LOWELL, MASS., March 25th, 1863 

J. M. G. PARKER, Esq. P. M., NEW ORLEANS 

SIR: By direction of Major General Butler I enclose you 
D. M. Hildreth & Go s note, due 22/25th inst., which he desires 
you will collect and transmit to him in a draft, in say New 
York or Boston. 

Said note is secured by a certain box of silver now in deposit 
in the Citizens Bank, a certificate from which I enclose. 

Also enclosed please find D. M. Hildreth & Go s certificate, 
to be returned to them upon payment of this note. By attend 
ing to this without delay you will oblige the General. Please 
acknowledge receipt of this. 

Very Respectfully Yours, 

DAVID C. G. FIELD, F. C. 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 
1st Note: $3,500 

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 22nd, 1862. [Not in chronological order] 

FOUR months after date we promise to pay to the order of 
O. E. Hall & Co. 

Thirty five hundred Dollars 

Value received (Signed) D. M. HILDRETH & Co. 

No Due March 22/25, 1863 



44 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Endorsed, O. E. HALL & Co. 

2nd Certificate: Citizens Banks of Louisiana 

NEW ORLEANS, 23rd Dec. 1862 [Not in chronological order] 

REC D from Major General B. F. Butler one box for safe keep- 

TT 

ing, said to contain silver, and marked rgj subject to his order 

on the return of this certif. 

(Signed) JAMES D. DENEGRE, Pres. 
3d. Certificate 

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 22rf, 1862 
WE hereby certify that the box marked as in the margin (thus 

TT 

, sealed and stamped O. E. H., contains twenty-eight hun 



dred and ninety-six (2896) ounces of pure silver, which we 
transfer to Major General Butler to secure him in the pay 
ment of our note to the order of O. E. Hall & Co., bearing 
even date herewith, for the sum of thirty -five hundred ($3500) 
dollars, due and payable March 22/25 next. 

D. M. HlLDBETH & Co. 

Copy of receipt given to D. M. Hildreth & Co. by Major General 
Butler 

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 22, 1862 

TT 

RECEIVED of D. M. Hildreth & Co. one box marked gj , rep 

resented by them to contain twenty-eight hundred and ninety 
six (2896) ounces of pure silver, which is to be held by me as 
security for the payment of their note bearing given date 
herewith, to order of O. E. Hall & Co., for thirty-five hundred 
dollars, due and payable March 22/25. 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, March 26th, [1863] 

Committee of Citizens 

GENTLEMEN: The necessities of my position have rendered 
it exceedingly inconvenient for me earlier to reply to your 
exquisitely courteous and too kind token of approval of my 
administration in the command of the Department of the Gulf, 
asking me to fix a day when I could meet you as therein 
proposed. 

With every expression of profound gratitude for your invi 
tation to partake of a public dinner with the citizens of New 
York, allow me to suggest that, while I am waiting orders to 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 45 

join my brave comrades in the field, it would not be consonant 
with my duties to accept your too flattering hospitalities. 

To you, gentlemen, at home, bearing your share of the 
burdens and expenses of this unholy war, forced upon us by 
treason, the tendering of such an expression of approbation of 
the conduct of a public officer was fit and proper, as it was 
natural and customary, but my acceptance of it would trench 
upon a different feeling. I too well know the revulsion of 
feeling with which the soldier in the field, and occupying the 
trenches, or pacing the sentinel s weary path in the blazing 
heat, or watching from his cold bivouac for the stars, shut out 
by the drenching cloud, hears of feasting and merry-making 
at home by those who ought to bear his hardships with him, 
and the bitterness with which he speaks of those who thus en 
gaged are wearing his uniform. 

Upon the scorching sand and under the brain-trying sun of 
the Gulf coast, I have shared too much that feeling to add 
one pang, however slight, to the discontent which my fellow- 
soldiers suffer doing the duties of the camp and field, by my 
own act now, while momentarily separated from them by 
the exigencies of the public service. 

You will pardon, I am sure, this apparent rudeness of refusal 
of your most generous proposal; but under such circumstances 
I have spoken too bitterly and too often of the participation 
by absent officers in such occasions to permit myself to take 
part in one, even when offered in the patriotic spirit which 
breathes through your letter, desiring to testify approval of 
my services to the country. 

It would, however, give me much pleasure to testify my 
gratitude for your kindness by meeting you and your fellow- 
citizens in a less formal manner, interchanging the patriotic 
sympathies and hopes which belong to this sacred cause. 
Perhaps by so doing we may do something in aid of that cause. 
Whatever may strengthen the purpose, deepen the resolu 
tion, and fix the determination never to yield the contest until 
the rebellion in its root and branch, its seeds and causes, in 
its effects and designs, is overthrown and utterly annihilated 
forever, and the Government, with its Democratizing influences 
and traditional theories of equality of rights, equality of laws, 
and equality of privileges for all, as received from the Fathers 
of the Republic is actively acknowledged upon every inch of 
the United States territory, is an aid, nay a necessity, to the 
cause of the country, to prepare the public mind in its doubts 



46 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

or fears, or suggestions of compromise or hopes of peace; to 
be satisfied with anything less than these demands is treason 
to country, humanity, and God, more foul because more 
cowardly than rebellion in arms. 

Let every loyal man join hands with his neighbor, scouting 
all differences of political opinion, which must be minor to 
this paramount interest, and pledge himself to the fullest sup 
port of the Government with men and means to crush out this 
treason, and then, and not till then, am I willing to hear 
anything of political party. 

Again and again returning you my grateful thanks for the 
courtesy done me by your action, allow me to say that I shall 
be in New York during the coming week, and shall be happy at 
any time to meet you, gentlemen, and my fellow-citizens, in 
such manner as you may think fitting. 

Most respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Vols. 

Messrs. C. H. MARSHALL, E. E. MORGAN, CHARLES KING, 
RICHARD GRANT WHITE, R. H. McCuRDY, HIRAM BARNEY, 
GEO. BLUNT, SETH B. HUNT, WILLIAM ALLEN BUTLER, and 
others of the committee of citizens 

From George S. Denison to Salmon P. Chase 1 

PRIVATE. NEW ORLEANS, LA., March 29th, 1863 

DEAR SIR: My last letter gave all the important facts con 
cerning operations near Port Hudson, and stated that the 
next movement was to be up Bayou Teche under Weitzel, 
which was contemplated some weeks ago, but temporarily 
relinquished. I suppose the advancing column will be not far 
from ten thousand men, and, if successful, will penetrate to 
Red River, by way of the Teche or Atchafalaya. Troops are 
now being sent to Weitzel, and it is supposed he will start in 
about ten days. Kirby Smith is the Rebel General opposed 
to him, and was said to have 14,000 men, but is now reported 
to have only six thousand. Under the present military authori 
ties of this Dept. I have doubts about the success of the under 
taking but if Butler was here I should have none. 

In my letters to you, written soon after Gen. Banks as 
sumed command, I stated that Banks had already virtually 
failed. I now regard this failure as complete, and impossible 
to be retrieved by the present Commanding General. 

1 American Historical Association Report, 1902, Vol. II, p. 372. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 47 

Since Gen. Banks arrived this is what has been accom 
plished, viz: With an army three times as large as Gen. Butler s, 
we hold the same territory held by him. We have lost the 
steam sloop-of-war "Mississippi," the gunboat "Kinsman" 
(iron-clad), the "Hatteras" and the "Harriet Lane." Also, 
Galveston. 

Butler left New Orleans really and truly a Union City. 
Day by day have appearances of loyalty diminished. It is 
now a secession city, and matters are growing worse. But 
slavery has been re-established, and slave labor restored, and 
local police regulations regarding slaves enforced and executed 
by New England bayonets with all becoming severity. Time 
has been wasted, lives lost, money spent, and the well-wishers 
of the Government discouraged and disheartened. But the 
slave-owners are partially satisfied, and unrelenting secession 
ists make no complaints. 

Can Gen. Banks retrieve the position? Possibly in military 
operations, but I don t believe so. Certainly he never will and 
never can in social, political, and other respects. 

For all this I honestly and firmly believe Mr. Wm. H. 
Seward is responsible, and he can proudly point to the above 
results as the effect of his favorite (or favorite s), policy as 
accomplished by a "Gentleman" without opinions, who is 
"neither a pro-slavery nor anti-slavery man" -with whom 
"success is a duty"- - and who is intended to be the next Presi 
dent. This policy of conciliation, with all its attendant evils, 
is the most abominable ever adopted by a selfish political 
intriguer. 

Is it absolutely necessary that a favorite of Mr. Seward 
should be the next President? Without doubt Mr. Seward 
thinks so. 

At this important point we want a commanding general of 
the greatest energy, judgment, ability, and earnestness one 
who has opinions is not afraid of responsibilities, and who 
is not in constant fear of injuring his political prospects. Gen. 
Benj. F. Butler is the man and the only one. In two weeks he 
could restore everything, but I do not suppose he will be sent 
here, for he is too earnest a man to suit Mr. Seward, and if 
placed in a high position he might possibly become dangerous 
as candidate for the Presidency. 

I believe there is a great deal more corruption here now 
than ever under Butler, and certainly there is more inter 
ference with, and annoyance to civil officers and business men 



48 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

in one week now than there was during the whole time Gen. 
Butler was here. It is all interference but no action. As an 
illustration of this, I refer you to the following orders. 

Special Orders No. 82 (Extracts) 

Headquarters Department of the Gulf, 19th Army Corps, NEW ORLEANS, 

March 27, 1863 

11. Paragraph 14 of Special Orders No. 80, current series, 
is amended so as to require that the Hospital Tax of five 
dollars per bale on cotton shall be collected on all cotton 
brought to New Orleans. 

14. Any failure to neglect to pay the hospital taxes on 
cotton, sugar, and molasses, or the license fee on vessels, will 
subject the property or vessel to seizure and confiscation. 

13. A license fee of one dollar per ton per month shall be 
collected by the Quartermaster s Department on all vessels 
engaged in local trade in the Department of the Gulf, the 
proceeds to be applied for the benefit of the general hospitals. 

12. A tax one dollar per hogshead on all Sugar, and twenty- 
five cents per barrel on all Molasses, to be collected by the 
Quartermaster s Department, is levied upon all Sugar and 
Molasses brought to the city of New Orleans, the proceeds of 
this tax to be applied for the benefit of the general hospitals. 

By command of MAJOR GENERAL BANKS 

RICHARD B. IRWIN, A. A. General 

I also call your attention to the form of bond enclosed 
herewith marked "A." 

Under this arrangement all steamboats and vessels engaged 
in local trade have been seized or nearly all of them. The 
clause about illicit trade is of no account, and only an excuse. 
No distinction is made (so far as I can learn) between vessels 
which have been suspected and those which are above suspicion. 

Mr. Plumly has been here three or four days. I have seen a 
good deal of him and like him. I am told that Dr. Zachary 
went to Washington to get authority to trade with the enemy. 
That man did much harm here, and if he is sent back will do 

a great deal more. /^ a T^ 

(GEORGE S. DENISON) 

From Richard S. Fay, Jr. to General Butler 

172 Beacon Street, March 29th, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I was sorry not to see you in town yes 
terday as I had hoped. I am off tomorrow (Monday) for a 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 49 

fortnight, and hope, for the country s sake, that you will before 
my return be in harness again. My brother takes care of my 
office in my absence, and will attend to anything for you with 
"punctuality and despatch." If you intend disposing of any 
large amounts of money, please give him a few days notice. 
I bought the Middlesex yesterday at 290, and charged you 
with | the purchase. Should Col. Butler arrive in my absence, 
I hope you will make my excuses to him. My spring shooting 
cannot give way to anything, and I shall be back before he 

has been here long. . 7 o TO 

Sincerely yours, RICHARD S. FAY, JR. 

From "Lookout" 

NEW YORK, April 3rd, 1863 

To BEXJ. F. BUTLER the Beast, of Big Bethel Notoriety 

PERHAPS you feel flattered at the demonstration of a party 
of thieves and abolition fanatics who greeted you at the 
Academy of Music, and listened to the egotistical jargon about 
what you have done, and you would do, and what you wouldn t 
do with the South, but many of the crowd went from curiosity 
to see the Bully and Braggart, the most adroit thief in America, 
and the defamer of the fair sex, the Boston lawyer, the great 
Conqueror who never saw a battle, but once ordered an 
engagement and took good care to keep his lecherous carcass 
out of the way thinking he might be disabled from a chance 
of robbing the people some day. 

It has been thought best to let you breathe a little longer, 
as a sudden despatch would cause you too little suffering, but 
there is yet a good place for your case wear your steel armor 
and put it on when you go to bed sometimes you will be 
with your old friend the Devil before you are aware the 
steel armor notwithstanding so j 

From E. K. Crouch 

75 New Canal St., NEW YORK, 4th April, 1863 

To Major Gen. BUTLER 

SIR: When you said on Thursday that the 290 was built 
by 290 merchants, you made use of a Heraldism. "7" have 
to inform you that it does not take "290" bribed merchants 
to find means to build a craft like the "Alabama." I have 
also to inform you that 290 was merely Laird s number for 
the vessel. 

VOL. Ill 4 



50 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

And if you "want" to be convinced of these facts you can 
refer to any Liverpool house. The times now are so pregnant 
with facts that if / were you I would not draw from my imagi 
nation for them. Nee temere, nee timere. 

E. K. CROUCH 
P.S. I enclose my card. E. K. C. 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, April 9th, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

EDMUND K. CROUCH, Pork and Beef Packer, No. 75 New Canal 

St., NEW YORK 

SIR: Yours of the 4th is rec d, in which you advise Maj. 
Gen. Butler if you were he, you would, or would not, do so 
and so. 

I am instructed by the General to say that as you attempt 
to advise him what to do, if you were he, he would if he were 
you, stick to "packing pork." 

Respectfully, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major Gen. Vols. 

By D. C. G. FIELD, Sec y. 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, April 6th, 1863 

Rev. BARON STOW 

MY DEAR SIR: I hasten to answer your note on the day of 
its reception. Though personally unknown to you, I was 
taught to know and reverence you almost thirty years ago by 
my pastor, teacher, friend, Rev. Enoch W. Freeman. Nothing 
could give me greater pleasure than to do anything consistent 
with public duty to do you a favor. You yourself shall judge 
Laurason s case as I remember the facts. 

Laurason came from Europe, where, I have been told, he 
was in the Confederate or State Service in the purchase of 
arms (but of this I have no sufficient evidence), sometime in 
the winter of 1861, February, I think, and then took active 
part in behalf of the rebellion. 

He was a member of the Committee of Public Safety, which 
spent more than a million dollars, mostly charitable funds, 
left by McDonough and Fintre to the poor and orphans of 
New Orleans, and filched from them for the purpose of fortify 
ing New Orleans against the United States. But this was not 
"the head and front of his offending, it had this extent and 
more." 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 51 

There was an association in New Orleans known as the 
"Southern independent rights association," its members bound 
together by horrid oaths to resist unto death all and every 
attempt to have Louisiana come back (into the Union). The 
business of this association was to act as a sort of vigilance 
committee to hunt out Union men; to drive them away by 
violence: to confiscate their property, and to hang them if 
they did not at once obey their behests. 

They were also, by the terms of these articles of agreement, 
to exercise a careful supervision over the officials of the Con 
federate States, and see to it that they in no degree were too 
merciful or remiss in their duty in punishing those who were 
friendly to the Union. This body sat in secret, acted in secret 
committees in defiance of the laws of the Confederacy even, 
and arrested, punished, and destroyed whomsoever was 
denounced to them. Of this gang Soule was a prominent mem 
ber, and Laurason was Secretary, and after New Orleans was 
captured Laurason burnt the records of the association, so 
that their doings need not be known to the United States 
authorities. For this, amongst other things, I imprisoned 
Laurason, ought he to be discharged? If you, a loyal 
gentleman, think so, I will defer to your judgment and recom 
mend his discharge. 

With many grateful thanks for your kind appreciation of 
my endeavors in the service of the country, believe me, 

Most Truly Yours 



From General Butler 

BELVIDERE (LOWELL), April 27th, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

Rev. BARON STOW 

DEAR SIR: You can make any disposition you may think best 
of my letter stating the facts in Laurason s case. He is no 
worse or better than many hundred others of equal intelligence 
who are doing almost the same, certainly like things, with him 
self, and the Government permits them to go unpunished. 

For the late Rev. Mr. Freeman I have the most undimin- 
ished love and respect. For two years he was a member of 
my mother s family; my only sister was baptized by him as 
a member of his church; by his influence I became a student 
at Waterville College instead of a pupil of West Point. If he 
had faults of character I never knew them, to me he was in 
place of father at the age when fatherless boys need one. I 



52 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

was accustomed, therefore, to love those he loved, and to be 
guided by him in all things until his untimely death, which, 
taking place at the close of my first collegiate year, had a 
marked effect on my future, which then was a hope on his 
part that I should follow his footsteps whether for good or 
evil time can alone determine. 

Pardon me these details, but they are calling back the mem 
ory of one very dear to me, and one who held you very dear, 
and taught me to regard you as his friend. 

I thank you for your kind allusion to the speech, would it 
were worthier. If it shall aid in bringing the country to look 
upon this rebellion as the thing it is, it will have done all that 

might be asked. ^ T/ m i ~r> -& T> 

Yours Very Truly, B. F. B. 

From Alexander Hamilton 

NEW YORK, April 6th, 1863. 68 West 19th St. 

Major General BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I take the liberty to suggest the con 
servative importance of having your powerful address put 
into circulation, in pamphlet form, that the intelligent readers 
of our community may have an opportunity to peruse, with 
careful deliberation, the cogent and logically statesmanlike 
views you have presented, with such great force, as a vade 
mecum for public consideration. 

In your instructive demonstration, you have exhibited the 
reliable elements of a national platform, for the review of the 
past and the basis of a judicious comprehension of the entangle 
ments of our present condition, while you have demonstrated 
the necessity of an united and energetic action as essential 
to command and to direct the imposing exigencies of approach 
ing portentous events. 

In your illustration of the very delicate problem of the 
future, you have cleared away many of the dark clouds which 
have, heretofore, shrouded the prospect of a successful termina 
tion of our difficulties, in almost inextricable embarrassment. 
The position you have assumed is full of manliness, loyalty, 
and conservative wisdom, presenting to the reflecting people 
of the South, as well as the patriotic population of the North, 
the strongest argumentative inducements for the necessity 
and absolute importance of giving to the government our 
fullest confidence and unlimited support. 

The project you have proposed for an harmonious re-con- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 53 

struction of the Union, by counter state revolutions, is not 
only perfectly practicable but is of easy execution, and through 
it we may entertain reasonable hopes that your federal antic 
ipations may be soon realized. If the painful experience of 
the past has not taught to the South the sad lesson that they 
are contending in a cause of sheer desperation, totally and 
entirely inconsistent with their best and permanent interests, 
their situation is most deplorable, being merely a melancholy 
effort to keep up a rebellious government, a miserable com 
bination of political aspirants who have wantonly usurped 
power, through false issues and representations, for the enjoy 
ment of selfish monopolies arising out of despotic abuses. 

The time may not be far distant, when, through a proper 
sense of their forlorn condition, the people and the military 
spirit of the South may rouse to the necessity of throwing off 
all allegiance to the confederate rulers, and then, through state 
revolutions, seek to become honorable, equal members of the 
federal organization, subject, of course, to the very afflicting 
changes incident to the insane war of secession. 

There is, nevertheless, an absolute necessity, if we desire 
to entertain and promote the faithful consummation of any 
such happy event, that the Northern public, without distinc 
tion of party, should show itself truly and energetically united, 
that the South may have confidence in the prospect of the 
future, and that foreign selfishness, hypocrisy, and duplicity 
may contemplate, through the vista of the drama, that the 
vitality, energy, and indomitable enterprise of the United 
States cannot be imposed upon, nor insulted, with impunity. 

In connection with the re-publication of your address, the 
complimentary introductory remarks of the Mayor should 
be given, as an able, judicious, honorable demonstration of the 
honest, patriotic feeling of our municipal community. 

With sentiments of the highest respect for your public 
services, I remain, with much esteem, 

Your obt. servt., ALEXANDER HAMILTON 

From Count Adam Gurowski 

WASHINGTON, April 6th, 1863 

Major General BUTLER 

DEAR GENERAL: I kiss your hands very fervently for your 
great speech. Patriotism, manhood, broad statesmanship, 
fearlessness, and the noblest civism pour from every word. 

Yours very truly, GUROWSKI 



54 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
From Colonel J. H. French 

NEW ORLEANS, April 8th, 1863 

Col. S. H. STAFFORD 

COLONEL: General Shepley has just read the enclosed, and 
suggests that you had better enclose it to Gen. Butler at Lowell 
and let him give his judgment on the matter; perhaps he might 
prefer that it should not be noticed. 

He also suggests that the paragraph I have marked might 
be construed into disrespect for the present. 

Truly Yours, J. H. FRENCH 

From S. H. Stafford 

BATON ROUGE, April \lth, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

AT the suggestion of Gen. Shepley I forward you the en 
closed. Please do with it as you deem best. I have got sick 
and tired of the infamous attacks on you in the World, and 
think it high time they were stopped. I know they do not 
injure you in the opinion of right thinking people, but they 
nevertheless pain your friends, who know better. As to the 
"marked paragraph," * I do think any one with a skin not too 
thin for ordinary wear can find fault with it, and if Banks 
skin is so tender it is not my fault, I didn t make it. There 
are more persons than poor I, that are dissatisfied with the 
administration of the Dept. of the Gulf, and the whole army 
here is praying for your return. 

Every word in the papers is caught at and discussed, and 
the wish being father to the thought, the slightest indication 
of your coming is hailed with joy. I but express the wish of 
the whole army here, except of course the Staff, when I say 
that if you can return here without yielding in any degree 
your dignity, that we know you won t do, for our sake and the 
Union s sake, come. 

Respectfully and Truly Yours, S. H. STAFFORD 

I saw Gen. Banks before writing the enclosed, and asked his 
permission to answer the attack, to which he replied he had 
no objection. 

1 The "marked paragraph" is the last paragraph of Col. Stafford s letter of March 
31st, 1863, on p. 56. This paragraph, excepting the first sixteen words, has been cut 
out of the original, probably because General Butler did not want Colonel Stafford s 
criticism of General Banks published. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 55 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

BATON ROUGE, March 3lst, 1863 

SIR: In the New York World of the llth instant an article 
appears attacking Major General Butler, and making charges 
against Gov. Shepley and Col. French. As my name appears 
in it, and it there said I knew of the truth of the allegations, it 
is due to myself that I should notice it. Having served under 
General Butler in two different departments since the com 
mencement of the war, and having had opportunities of know 
ing him, I cannot allow so infamous an article to stand 
unanswered. 

In August last, the time mentioned, I was Deputy Provost 
Marshal of New Orleans, acting independent of the Provost 
Marshal, taking my orders from and reporting to the Major 
General. 

One of my specials having reported to me that there were 
suspicious movements of schooners, and that he believed 
improper passes were issued and contraband goods passed out 
of the lines, as was my duty I reported it to the General 
without a moment s hesitation he directed me to see to the 
matter, and gave me an order, with plenary power, to search 
and detain all vessels suspected, whether they had a pass from 
himself or any one else, and to bring before him any one, no 
matter who, who was found engaged in any contraband trade 
directly or indirectly, and if any officers were found favoring 
such movements they would be severely dealt with. Under 
that order I set detectives at work including my informant, 
but failed after most diligent efforts to find any truth in the 
statements. I never knew of any goods going across the lines 
to the rebels, or of any contraband trade going on, or that 
Col. Butler, Col. French, or any other official were engaged in 
any such transactions. 

Had I known of such things and failed to put a stop to 
them I would have been derelict in my duty, or proved myself 
too weak to be entrusted with the position I held. The article 
says "I (the informant) attempted to send documents to 
Washington by order of Col. Stafford, with all these facts, 
which papers were intercepted by General Butler, and those 
parties who gave the information were imprisoned." Now 
this is false. I never ordered anyone to send documents of 
any kind to Washington. A person who was confined in the 
Parish Prison while I was sheriff prepared some communi- 



56 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

cations, one to his father and the other to an influential friend, 
for the purpose of procuring his pardon from the President, 
and desired, if he could not be released without, that a special 
agent should be sent on from Washington to investigate his 
case, and at the same time inquire into certain allegations of 
corruption which he made against Col. French. Seeing nothing 
in this at the time except an effort on the part of a prisoner 
to effect his release by recriminating upon others, I for 
warded the letters. They were not intercepted, but reached 
the parties addressed by due course of mail, nor was any 
attempt made to prevent their transit, to my knowledge. I 
was inquired of by Gen. Butler in the presence of Gov. Shepley 
as to those letters, he having been informed that they con 
tained grave charges which ought to be investigated, and 
reproved me for not bringing such charges to his notice that 
the proper action might be taken, stating that it was due to 
himself and Gov. Shepley, who had just promoted Col. French, 
that charges of such a character should not stand against one 
of his officers untried. An investigation was then instituted 
by Gen. Butler, in which I took no part, my duties being 
at the time quite onerous, as I was preparing to leave the 
city in command of my regiment, and shortly afterwards I 
took the field, returning to New Orleans only occasionally on 
business. 

In all my intercourse with Gen. Butler, which in my posi- 
tion, was to a great extent g H STAFFORD 

From Honorable George S. Boutwell 

WASHINGTON, April IQth, 1863 

Major General BUTLER, LOWELL, MASS. 

MY DEAR SIR: When I read your speech I expected to go 
North in a day or two, when I hoped to thank you for your 
timely and great aid to the country. I have been kept here 
till now, and I can only indicate by letter my grateful feelings 
for timely and bold words. 

I have been urging Mr. Sumner to take as bold a stand in 
the matter of English aid to the Rebels. I fear that he is not 
quite ready to take the only safe position. If England believes 
that she can send ships to sea to prey upon our commerce 
under the confederate flag and escape war, we shall be driven 
from the ocean. If we say that the presence of more pirates 
on the ocean through her agency will be followed by war, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 57 

England will see to it that piracy under the Rebel banner is 

Very Truly, Your obdt. servant, 

GEO. S. BOUT WELL 



From Salmon P. Chase to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, April 10, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Your speech in New York was grand; 
and I must add my note of admiration to the multitude 
already apparent to you. 

I did not reply to your last; l for I supposed your mind made 
up, and am not inclined to urging with men of your mould. 

That I read your letter with a sad heart is what you may 
readily imagine. Much of your reluctance to resume command 
I could readily understand, but why you should allow that 
reluctance to govern your action I could not understand. The 
times allow no room for hesitation founded on mistakes of 
other men. New Orleans needed Butler; and Butler ought to 
have gone, no matter how disagreeable or even disadvantageous 
the position had been made without his fault. Butler ought 
to go now; for New Orleans needs him more than ever. Deni- 
son s letters 2 fill me with distressing apprehensions, unless a 
man of your decision and energy takes command. 

Your friend, S. P. CHASE 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, April 23d, 1863 

Dr. SPENCER, Medical Purveyor Dept. of the Gulf 

AT the request of the colored man, Jordan, I address you, 

that he may have a deed of emancipation in form, as he is in 

fact emancipated. 

Under General Order, as to concealed weapons, he is entitled 

to his freedom, and being the slave of a noted Rebel (Syme), 

he is free under the Acts of Congress. 

You will do this man, who has done good service to his 

country, an act of justice, if you will attend to this matter, 

and will confer a favor on 

Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Vols. 

1 Gen. Butler s letter to S. P. Chase dated Feb. 28th on p. 21. 

2 See Denison s letters of Feb. 5th, Feb. 12th, Feb. 26th, Mar. 7th, Mar. 29, 1863. 



58 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Simon Cameron to General Butler 

LOCHIEL, PENNSYLVANIA, April 23rd, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have delayed writing to you a long 
while in the expectation of meeting you somewhere, so that I 
might more fully express my thoughts and feelings. 

No explanation has ever been made to me of your sudden, 
and to the world, unexpected recall from New Orleans, in 
the midst of your usefulness and after your unprecedented 
labor and successes. I believed for a long time that you 
were to be offered the War Department or the command of 
the army of the Potomac for I never dreamed that your 
services were to be lost to the country when everybody 
believed you to be the only man in arms who had been equal 
to the position in which Providence had placed him. 

It seems that you, like a very few others, were so much in 
advance of your following as to be equal to the wants of your 
country. This is your misfortune, but you are young enough 
to make all men sing your praise for it, and wish they had 
believed in your coming at the right time. 

I live here quietly, within 2 miles of Harrisburg on the 
direct route from New York to Washington whose cars 
start every morning and evening from Jersey City. Can t 
you stop with me sometime soon? Or will I have to go to 
Boston or New York to see you? The better way would be 
for you and Mrs. Butler to come here, and we will leave the 
ladies together while you and I spend a week in our coal region. 

Fix your own time. v ,. . , . 7 c ^ 

Your friend, truly, SIMON CAMERON 

Remember, the next President will be a military chieftain, 
and may save his country or destroy it. 

From Colonel Andrew J. Butler to General Butler 

NEW YORK, April 9,7th, 1863 

DEAR BROTHER: I should have been on before but have 
been waiting for something to turn up on the Rappahannock, 
but the rains have prevented. There will be a fight or a foot 
race there this week without fail, and I am anxious for it to 
come off. 

I wish you would send Gilman to take charge of the filly 
home, as I have no one to trust with her; he will find me 
either here, "Metropolitan," or at No. 28 West 14th Street, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 59 

where we take rooms on Thursday next. I will not be on until 
I hear from the race. 

Banks is trying to make a little capital on the Teche. Cheap 

though Yours, ANDREW 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, April 27th, 1863 

Hon.S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury 

MY DEAR SIR: I have delayed thanking you for your very 
complimentary letter, because I had hopes of meeting you, 
as the newspapers alleged you were coming to New England. 
I am glad you like the speech. It was an attempt on my 
part to demonstrate that I had acted upon a theory during the 
war, and not from caprice with a "change of base" upon every 
change of circumstance. By giving the steps by which my 
own mind was led to its several conclusions, I hoped that the 
minds of others might thereby find "stepping stones" for 
change of political ideas always difficult to those of fixed 
ness of purpose and solidity of character. 

It grieves me to think you should misunderstand me so 
much. You say "you will not argue with me," as you are not 
accustomed to do so with men of my mould. My dear sir, 
no man can be more easily and surely influenced by argu 
ment from a friend than myself. I may be differently affected 
by the representations of enemies. If you knew how much I 
stand alone in the land you would at least give me your sym 
pathy. All past political associations broken up, no new ones 
formed; idle at home, no prospect of serving my country in 
the cause to be useful to which I had given up everything; 
eating unearned bread which I have never done before; asked 
a hundred times a day, "when are you going into service?" 
or "why are you unemployed?", until I have almost isolated 
myself from my friends and neighbors to avoid the annoying 
questions; disgraced in the eyes of the country and especially 
in the eyes of foreign nations by the action of my Government, 
and all this too with not the poor relief of uttering a single 
word of explanation or complaint because I will not by act of 
mine embarrass the Government in this contest by a shadow s 
weight all are hardly to be born with patience by one who 
is not overstocked with that good gift, as you may have heard. 

I have thought of resigning my commission. It prevents 
my earning anything for myself and is useless to the country, 



60 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

but I have forborne so to do because I am flattered to believe 
myself of consequence enough to make such a step a source 
of exultation to the enemies of the country. I have therefore 
refrained, and allowed it to be understood by such people 
as have chosen so to understand it that I was withdrawn from 
the Gulf by my own consent, and am now at home of my 
own motives, but consistently with self-respect it is of grave 
consideration how I can retain it much longer in this manner. 
But, say you, why treat me to a list of your supposed 
grievances? Simply because you allow me to speak in confi 
dence and friendship, and so must bear the burden you have 
undertaken, until wearied you shall shake it off. It is so 
pleasing sometimes to relieve oneself where one hopes for 
sympathy, besides - 

"The flesh will quiver where the pincers tear, 
The blood will follow where the knife is driven" 

Specially, however, to show you how much my situation and 
feelings, did I allow them to overbalance my matured judg 
ment, urge upon me the acceptance of the command at New 
Orleans. Pride, personal gratification, triumph over my 
smaller adversaries here and there, and vindication to the 
world (if the world cares a copper about the matter), all press 
me not only to accept but apply for that command. Your 
advice and wish are added. Nothing but the firmest con 
victions could make me withstand such pressure. 

The campaign is substantially over in the Southwest if no 
more troops are to be sent there. True, Banks is marching 
into the Opelousas Country with 25000 men, doing that pre 
cisely and no more than Weitzel did last October with 4000, 
but cui bono, so far as Port Hudson is concerned? Except to 
do, after frittering away the four winter months, the same 
thing which was reported to General-in-Chief in October last 
as desirable to be done, the only answer to which was recall 
and an immediate attack ordered to be made on Port Hudson, 
which however has never come within seven miles of being 
made. 

The nine months men are about to come home. They have 
mutinied and burned Pensacola, and refused to serve with 
colored troops, who are superiors in discipline to some of 
them. 

I am not blaming Banks. I have no right to criticise my 
superiors who have sent him there, and are now conducting 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 61 

the campaign, and mark me! I do not do it, but I suppose I 
may state, if I cannot help make, historical facts. 

I have one comfort left me. I am a young man. With fair 
play, I have twenty good years in my constitution yet, and 
during that time I will not forget the men who deserve to be 
remembered. I do not understand our plan of carrying on 
war, although I have never written a treatise on either the 
laws of nations or the art of war in any of its branches, for 
what education I have has been by reading a few good books, 
not by writing poor ones, still I may venture to assert that I 
cannot see the use of five or six little armies who never co 
operate with each other considerably too large for garrisons 
and quite too small for armies too little to move too 
large to lie still; enough to swallow up men, less than needed 
for effective action; too large to afford to lose them as garri 
sons of posts, which by the rules of war are supposed to be 
captured after their resistance has cost the enemy enough for 
the outlay, and yet so small as to keep us in constant trepi 
dation lest they be overpowered. 

We have an army too large for a garrison at Fortress Mon 
roe (1), another at Suffolk (2), another at Williamsburg (3), 
another at Newbern (4), another at Hilton Head (5), another 
(much too large but not large enough) at New Orleans (6), 
amounting in all say to 75,000 men, besides leaving garrisons 
at all those places sufficient within the definition I have 
given of the use of a garrison. I do not object to expedition 
ary corps, far from it what I do object to is that we never 
get through with an expedition. Now the expedition to Port 
Royal was well enough, but why not get through with that 
expedition, garrison the place if thought best, and come away? 
The expedition to Newbern was well enough, but why not 
garrison the place or destroy it and come back? The expedi 
tion to Suffolk was for some good purpose doubtless but 
why not come away now? Why stay at Williamsburg except 
for the purpose of feeding the insane men and idiots of the 
South who are not in the army? For what purpose are all these 
troops scattered about? Why keep us constantly in hot water 
lest either at Blackwater, Coldwater, Newbern, or Hilton 
Head we should have an expeditionary army crushed by a con 
centration of rebel forces acting on an interior line? Why have 
more than one Washington to defend? Is not one enough? 
Are we not frightened enough and often enough about that 
one? Has it not cost us enough without attempting to hold 



62 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Washington, N.C. What are we there for? If to cut railroad 
communications, send forces enough to do it, and then come 
back. Is it to prevent smuggling? Holding Hatteras and Fort 
Macon, we hold the whole North Carolina coast save Wil 
mington, which somehow we cannot blockade. Are all these 
detached armies to give a chance for the Union men at the 
South to rise? Have we not got over that absurd idea yet? 
Specially when we make these very armies so small that 
the few (very few) Union men who can be found are quaking 
with fear lest the Union Armies should be overcome, and they 
given over to the tender mercies of their Southern brethren. 
I suppose that for 18 months we have kept from 15 to 18,000 
men at Hilton Head for the purpose of affording a refuge to 
the Union men of South Carolina to revolutionize the state. 
Would one not rather make a masked ball out of "Angel s 
visits" than such an attempt, and yet what else have we 
been doing there? We never have had men enough there for 
an attack either upon Savannah or Charleston, and five thou 
sand would have sufficed for a garrison with the fleet in the 
harbour. Why have 10,000 men stood there idle for 18 months? 
Send out expeditions, take places, garrison them or destroy 
them. Let the men come back to go again unless, as in case 
of New Orleans, you mean to make the place a base of opera 
tions, and if so send an army made up out of these surplus 
garrisons, if you have no other of strength sufficient, make its 
campaign, defeat or be defeated do something and get 
through. 

Let me illustrate what I mean. Make up an army from the 
surplus men at Fortress Monroe, Suffolk, Norfolk, Newbern, 
Hilton Head, and New Orleans. Concentrate them on Port 
Hudson, take it, if men can do it, or let it alone. Get your 
men on board transports go to Mobile, take it if you can. 
Garrison it or destroy it. Go to Charleston with men enough 
to cooperate with the Navy and to take that or let it alone. 
You will then have an army mobilized (I mean no pun on the 
word Mobile), which can go somewhere and do something. 
Indeed, if one of your garrisoned posts like Newbern or Hilton 
Head was besieged, you have a moving and moveable concen 
trated force that you can at once send to its relief and punish 
the enemy. 

Such an army accustomed to move, to embark and disem 
bark, men finding their places at once on board transports 
to which they were accustomed, would hang like a black cloud 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 63 

over the Southern horizon. Learned to know each other and 
their officers, divested by their very movements of all surplus 
luggage, carrying their provisions and ammunition with them 
without difficulty, striking a series of effective expeditionary 
blows as this war has not seen, their operations conducted 
with celerity and secrecy because of this mobility, a perpetual 
threat to every place to be reached by water, going from point 
to point with resistless power, as far as the garrisons of southern 
cities were concerned, and wherever it went would and 
should be power and terror. With an accompanying fleet 
both under one head there would be need of but small 
garrisons in the Southern cities held by us. Any force strong 
enough to prevent a coup de main would be sufficient. In 
deed, such an army would be ready to relieve Washington if 
by disaster it found itself besieged, capable of being brought 
there with more celerity via the Potomac or Annapolis than 
a rebel army could be marched thither from Richmond. Alas! 
I have dreamed of such an army, but I suppose it is not to be. 

Now, before we strike a blow by an expeditionary corps, 
months of preparation of men, hurried chartering of insecure 
transports, provisions for civil government of the places to be 
taken, commissions and the civil officers copied by rascally 
clerks, orders to transport captains, confidential communica 
tions to foreign agents secretly in the interest of secession - 
all tell the rebels, trumpet-tongued, the destination of the 
expedition, so that preparations can be made to worst it, and 
generally successfully, except perhaps in the case of the last 
expedition to New Orleans, which I believe was taken by 
Banks without difficulty, notwithstanding his destination was 
known to Davis weeks before it started. 

Under our present plan, if we should capture Richmond, 
Savannah, Charleston, and Mobile, we should have no soldiers 
east of the mountains at all except frittered away in the attempt 
to hold these places and their surroundings. Concentrate an 
army for expeditions. Concentrate armies to march on given 
points not more than three in all, but let them be over 
whelming. Above all, let us have one pitched battle in this war. 
This will be War. Have you thought upon this fact that 
neither side has yet risked or offered a general engagement? 
All the contests have been intended only as movements upon 
isolated positions or divisions of the opposing army, but in 
which the whole force has not been engaged or intended to be 
engaged by the attacking party. 



64 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I do not except Shiloh or An tie tarn. The first Bull Run 
came nearer to a general engagement in intention than any 
other, and yet that by the plan was to be and by the execu 
tion still more was only a partial engagement. In what War 
save this did "Reserves" mean a force not to be brought into 
action on the same day with the aggressive corps? Does the 
word not now rather mean Preserves? Did not Napoleon send 
all his reserves into action as soon as the fight showed where 
they could be best employed, either to aid or sustain the 
attack? I forget the name of the battle, but remember the 
fact that with some 100,000 men engaged, he said to one of 
his marshals as the last corps d armee went into action, "Hus 
band your men! I have but two regiments of the Old Guard 
left." 

Perhaps the disappointment of the country at the Bull 
Run defeat has determined the course of our battles, but so 
is the fact. We have risked nothing, and we have gained 
nothing but delays. Nothing was ever greatly gained with 
out something was greatly risked. 

It is well for the Rebels to decline an engagement in which 
all is staked. A general engagement lost and the victory 
followed up being destructive to them, but for us, who could 
not have been harmed save in pride or in the damage to the 
reputation of some general more quickly "than by slow de 
cay," is it not wonderful that we have not offered a general 
engagement? 

A millionaire may risk a hundred thousand dollars on a 
throw of a die, where a man who had only three would be 
mad so to do. 

You will be glad, I doubt not, that I do not write oftener, 
since when I do write I am so tedious but Dogberry says, 
"were I twice as tedious as I am I could bestow it all on your 
highness"; but I write this for you alone, and therefore I 
have spoken with a freedom which would not be justified 
otherwise. 

Permit me to congratulate you upon the eminent success 
which has attended the finances of the Government under 
your administration. It is admirable; but was it greatly won 
without the courage greatly to risk a failure? Believe me, 
Most truly Yours, (BENJ. F. BUTLER) 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 65 

From General Butler 

CONFIDENTIAL. LOWELL, April 27, 1863 

Hon. DAVID K. CARTER, Chief Justice, 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

MY DEAR CARTER: I saw our friend Capt. George and 
learned from him the subject of your conversation in New 
York. He was, as he is toward all his friends, enthusiastic in 
his praises of you. Your bold activity, energy of purpose, 
and untiring devotion to the service of the country, was the 
subject of his commendation. 

Now I yield to no man in appreciation of your good quali 
ties, and cordially assent to all he says relating to yourself. Will 
you, therefore, write me confidentially and at length from 
your interview, the political situation as it appears at 
Washington? 

What of the military? Are we to have any change of ad 
ministration? Advise me please as fully as you know upon 
all the matters that I ought to be advised upon. And be 
sure that your communications will be in strictest confidence, 
and be valued and appreciated as they should be by, 

Yours most sincerely, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

P.S. Did you receive a package of the speeches? B. 
From General Butler 

LOWELL, April 29^, 1863 

Hon. SIMON CAMERON 

MY DEAR SIR: I am most grateful to you for your note of 
kind remembrance, which came to hand yesterday. 

I wish I could accept your very cordial invitation to be with 
you at Lochiel. But I fear it will hardly be within my powers 
to spend any time at present away from home. I much desire 
to meet you and interchange views upon the subject men 
tioned in your note. 

When can you be at New York and at what hotel? I will 
meet you there upon notice if possible, and that means with 
me a good degree of certainty. Mrs. Butler bids me send her 
regards and thanks for the invitation so kindly extended to 
her, and hearing me read this note says ask Mrs. Cameron 
here. Of course I will, but I dare not hope she will come so 
far, and I therefore have offered to meet you half way. 

If you will come and bring Mrs. Cameron to Lowell we will 

VOL. Ill 5 



66 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

be most happy, and will show you how we make all the 
Yankee notions for the manufacture of which Lowell is the 
headquarters. 

Now, do come; it is no farther from Lochiel to Lowell than 
from Lowell to Lochiel. And besides, you are not "waiting 
orders." Be sure to let me hear that we shall meet in some 

Way * Most Truly Yours, B. F. B. 

From the Secretary of War 

Adjutant General s Office, WASHINGTON, April ZSth, 1863 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER, U.S.V. 

GENERAL: With reference to the question of precedence of 
rank in which yourself and General Dix and Banks are con 
cerned, which was brought up by you some weeks since in 
conversation at the War Department, I am directed by the 
Secretary of War to request you to submit, in form, the point 
made, with such remarks as may seem proper to you, at your 
earliest convenience. The army register is now in course of 
preparation, and its publication will be delayed until this 
question of rank can be settled. 

I have the honor to enclose, herewith, copies of the letters 
of appointments issued from this office, also extracts from the 
nomination and confirmation records in the case. I am, 
General, Very respectfully, ^ Mt gemjjrf> 

JAS. A. HARDIE, ^4^. Adjt. General 



From General Butler 

LOWELL, May 1st, 1863 

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

SIR: I have the honor to restate in writing the points of 
fact of law, and of form, which were stated to you personally 
in presence of the President, by force of which I claim to be 
Senior Maj. General of the active list in the service of the 
United States. 

The conclusions deduced from them were assented to by 
you, and you determined that, if the facts and dates were 
found to be correctly stated, I should have in the "Official 
Register" the place to which my actual rank entitles me. 

You will do me the favor to remember that the apology 
then given for not earlier claiming my right, "that I had always 
been serving alone on the frontier line of the rebellion, and 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 67 

therefore questions of seniority of rank did not become of 
importance," was deemed sufficient. It was further added 
that there never had seemed to me time to contend about 
personal rights, while actively engaged in establishing National 
ones. 

The only Major Generals whose rank can be possibly in 
collision of seniority with mine are Generals McClellan, of 
the United States Army, whose letter of appointment directs 
"he shall rank as such from the 14th of May 1861; General 
Fremont, of the U. S. Army, taking rank by the same words 
of his letter of appointment May 14th, 1861; General Banks, 
U. S. Vols., taking rank May 16th, 1861, and General Dix, 
U. S. Vols., taking rank May 16th, 1861, both by like words in 
their letter of appointment. 

Each of the Officers was appointed long after the date which 
they may claim rank from the words of their letters of appoint 
ment. That is to say: General Banks, appointed June 5th, 
1861; General Dix, appointed June 14th, 1861; General 
McClellan, appointed July 24th, 1861; General Fremont, 
appointed July 24th, 1861. Neither of the officers could of 
course accept their appointment or take the oath of office 
until after its date. I received my letter of appointment on 
the 16th day of May, 1861, the letter being dated that day 
giving me rank as of that day. 

My acceptance of the appointment & oath of office was 
on the 18th of May, 1861, and I was assigned to the command 
of the Department of South Eastern Virginia on the 20th of 
May, and actually took command on the 22nd of May, 1861. 

All these dates and facts appear on the records of the War 
Department. So that it will appear that I was appointed Maj. 
General of Volunteers, and actually in the service of the 
United States in command of a Department two weeks before 
any letter of appointment issued to any other Major General 
of the U. S. Army of Volunteers, and more than two months 
before any Maj. Gen l. of the U. S. Army was appointed ajter 
the rebellion. 

My Commission was given me, as I was most kindly 
informed by the President, in consideration of meritorious 
services performed in the service of the United States, in com 
mand of the Dept. of Annapolis, to which I was assigned April 
27th, 1861, by Gen l Orders from the War Department. 
Orders No. (12) of the Series 1861. At this time Generals 
McClellan and Banks were drawing their salaries as Officers 



68 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

in their respective Rail Roads. Gen l Dix was attending to 
his private avocations at home, and General Fremont was 
taking care of his personal interest in Europe. Therefore, 
you will do me the favor to recall to mind that w r hen you 
suggested in the presence of the President, that it was to be 
inferred that by giving Generals McClellan and Fremont ap 
pointments on the 24th of July, 1861, to take rank May 14th, 
two days before the actual date of my appointment May 
16th, the President must have intended to give them senior 
ity of rank, I answered with some warmth that if the Presi 
dent, after giving me my Commission on the 16th of May with 
so many flattering commendations for having won it in the 
field, more than two months after intended to give others 
seniority of rank over me, I would at once settle all questions 
of rank by resigning a Commission thus disgraced, and appealed 
to the President to say if such was his intention. The Presi 
dent thereupon replied, with his accustomed sincerity and 
straightforward integrity both of word and action, that he 
had no such intention, and that indeed he knew nothing of 
these dates, save that he did know that "he gave me my Com 
mission the first of anybody." 

There is no regulation of the Army which precisely covers 
this case. The 5th paragraph of the Regulations of 1857, 
which were those in force when these appointments were 
made, would hardly seem to cover it. That enacts "when 
Commissions are of the same date the rank is to be decided 
between Officers of the same Regiment or Corps by the Order 
of Appointment. " All the Maj. Gen ls. must be of the same 
Corps if such term can be applied, and if so then the Order of 
Appointment settles conclusively the point in my favor. The 
same paragraph further enacts "between Officers of a differ 
ent regiment or Corps. 1st. by rank in actual service when 
appointed"; if so, that settles the point in my favor, because 
I held rank as Brig. Gen l. in the actual service of the U. S. in 
command of a military Department when appointed. Sec 
ondly, by former rank in the Army or marine Corps. Thirdly, 
by lottery among such as have been in the military Service of 
the United States. But these provisions are only applicable 
to the cases of Generals Banks and Dix, whose appointments 
give them rank at the same day, May 16th. 

As between Generals Dix, Banks, and myself, however, the 
matter is conclusively settled by Order No. 66 of the series of 
1861, which provides that "The commissioned Officers of all 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 69 

Vols. organizations, no matter whether established under the 
authority of a state or of the U. S., will be regarded as having 
been commissioned on the day when mustered into service of 
the United States, and will take rank in their respective grades; 
will be entitled to pay and be obeyed and respected in their 
several positions from that date." I was mustered into the ser 
vice of the United States more than twenty days before any 
other General now in the active service of the United States. 

As the advice and consent of the Senate is only a confirma 
tion of the appointment by the President, of course the action 
of that advisory body does not affect the "Order of appoint 
ment" or the date from which seniority is to be reckoned. 

The effect of the muster into the Volunteer Service of the 
United States, upon questions of precedence in rank of Offi 
cers as above claimed, was settled by the action of the War 
Dept. in the case of Col. Birge, 13th Regt. Conn. Vols., sub 
mitted by myself from Dept. of the Gulf by letter dated 
October, 1862, to which and the answer of the Department, 
settling the rights of Col. Birge, I beg leave to refer as entirely 
decisive of the matter in the Volunteer service. 

Now, as by the several acts of Congress and the General 
Orders and regulations of the War Department, the rank of 
the Officers in the Army and Volunteers are put upon precisely 
the same footing, save in one particular, when their Commis 
sions are of the same date, and they are serving in the same 
corps or at the same Post, and as I have shown that my letter 
of appointment, which is de facto the Commission when con 
sented to and advised by the Senate, is senior by two months, 
how can it be that Gen l. McClellan and Fremont, not ap 
pointed till more than two months afterwards, can take pre 
cedence in seniority of rank to me? 

The President has power to do many things, but it has been 
said that even "an act of parliament could not make one s 
uncle his aunt." How then can the President make a junior 
officer a senior officer in the same grade? I grant that the 
President can put the junior in command of the senior, but it 
took an act of Congress to enable the President to do that. 
But there is no act of Congress which has or can settle senior 
ity of rank otherwise than as the Almanac, taking note of the 
lapse of time, has settled it. 

As questions of seniority now are only useful in points of 
etiquette, and service upon Court Martials, this discussion is 
relieved of much of its individual consequence, but as a right 



70 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

won in the service of the Country, an honor to be prized, I 
know you will commend me if I insist with pertinacious firm 
ness upon its complete acknowledgment. I have the honor 

Most truly, Yr. Obedt. Servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen 1. U. S. Vols. 

From James Parton to General Butler 

NEW YORK, May 1st, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have just received the package con 
taining your letter of April 27th, the slip of questions, the 
letter of Harper and Butler s, and a copy of the speech. 

The speech is the speech of an honest man and faithful 
servant. I have read it with pleasure and instruction. It is 
highly interesting to me to learn how these things looked to 
a Democrat in the year 1860. So exclusively had I consorted 
with people of opposite opinions, that you and Major Bell 
are almost the only democrats of recent times with whom I 
ever conversed five minutes. 

With regard to the Messrs Harper s letter : It has been taken 
for granted that the book is to be published by the Mason 
Brothers, to whom I first communicated the project, and who 
have from the first encouraged it. They can do as well with 
it as anybody and I am peculiarly bound to do all I can for 
their interests, as they have ever done for mine. They were 
original Butler men: you have no where warmer friends than 
they. 

A Jew in military buttons, speaking English with a Ger 
man accent, presented himself in my town the other morning. 
He has been your clerk, and has now left you in search of better 
employment in Washington. He says that on his arrival here 
he was met in the street by a partisan of the virtuous Ben Wood, 
and taken by him to Ben Wood, and to the World office, 
and that efforts were made to pump him to your injury; which, 
as he says, he resisted with the virtue of a Roman; but, at 
the same time, insinuated to me that he "could and he would." 

My impression was that he is not an ornament to his sex, 
and that his virtue was not of the best pattern. I fear you 
have been too good to him. Bear in mind, however, that 
these are mere impressions: he said nothing very improper, 
and I would not do a poor devil an injury. I was once a poor 
devil myself. I have a feeling for that persuasion. I men 
tion the incident only for the Ben Wood part of the story. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 71 

"// I look into the Delta!" As if one column of it could 
escape me! No, Sir. It is immensely interesting. 

I congratulate Mrs. Butler and all her flowers upon this 
enchanting Spring weather, and remain 

Very truly yours, JAS. PARTON 

From Colonel A. J. Butler to General Butler 

6th May, 1863 

DEAR BROTHER: I am confined to my room with a N. O. 
fever, and am quite unwell. I wrote you to send Gilman 
here after the filly, why don t he come? 

Just received a letter from Geo. dated Monday night; he 
don t think Hooker has as easy a road as he imagined before 
he started. The d - Dutch all ran away as usual. 

Butterfield thought Hooker might win last night, but we 
will only have positive results telegraphed. 

In pain, Yours, ANDREW 

Answer whether you will send Gill out and when. Direct to 
28 West 14th Street. 

From Caleb Gushing to General Butler 

PRIVATE. WASHINGTON, May 1th, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL : The defeat and repulse of General Hooker, 
as it seems to be supposed, will be followed by changes at 
Head Quarters. I understand, on good authority, that the 
President is hesitating between you and General Banks to 
take the place of Mr. Stanton. It is said also that General 
Halleck cannot remain in his present position. I am here 
for a fortnight. I do not know that it is possible for me to 
do anything to serve you; but if anything occurs to you, pray 
suggest it in all the freedom of assured friendship. 

Yours, C. GUSHING 

From Benj. F. Flanders 

NEW ORLEANS, May 9th, 1863 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, LOWELL, MASS. 

DEAR GENERAL: Loyal people here all long for General 
Butler. There is no head here, or rather there are three heads, 
and such heads! 

The head of the state wags at ease as usual. The judicial 
head, Secretary Seward s provisional court, takes care that 



72 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

traitors are not hurt, and fattens on loyal spoil. The mili 
tary head is itself good and pure enough, but every brain 
attached to it is foul with corruption. 

A secessionist remarked the other day, "Butler s men 
robbed us, but these fellows steal, damn em!" 

French has resigned, but still hovers here over the pulse of 
plunder. 

Bullitt, "permits " and shamelessly shares outrageous specu 
lations in all directions. His has proved an awful appointment, 
and Mr. Chase must remove him or this Custom House will 
bestink the whole country. 

If you were in command here, a state government for Louisi 
ana, loyal and free, would be in operation in ninety days. 
Under present auspices, our future is full of uncertainty. 

What courage can we have when an army officer can publicly 
tear up the American flag and go unhung, and for aught that 
appears, unrebuked? 

But Unionism increases in quantity and quality, spite of 
all discouragement, and Union men are to-day more bold and 
determined than ever, though they are in doubt as to which 
side the government is on in this rebellion. 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

BENJ. F. FLANDERS 

From Caleb Gushing to General Butler 

PRIVATE. WASHINGTON, 9 May, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I have additional information to this 
effect. The President s first choice is yourself, next Halleck. 

I do not advise that you come here. I am told it would not 
be desirable. It is suggested to me to counsel that some friend 
of yours, having the same relation to you that Mr. Weed has 
to Mr. Seward, should confer with Mr. Weed. 

The gentleman who suggests these things to me has such 
means of information as to lead me to make the communica- 

tion to y u Yours, C. 

From General Butler to Caleb Gushing 

PRIVATE. LOWELL, May 12th, 1863 

MY DEAR SIR: Both your notes of the 9th & 7th came this 
morning. 

It will be needless to thank you for your kind care of my 
interest. Between friends all that is best understood. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 73 

Is Mr. Weed in Washington? 

Capt. George, and Fisher A. Hildreth, who comes nearer 
my sense keeper than anybody else, will meet Mr. Weed in 
New York, at the Astor, any day he will be there and I am 
notified. 

I fear lest what you have named may be true. Who can 
satisfy the expectations of the country? Advise me what you 

think ought to be done. v 7 T> -,-,- 

Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From Caleb Gushing to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, 15th May, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I have yours of the 12th. Mr. W. is 
expected here to-day. If he arrives, I will telegraph, "He is 
here." 

Mr. Stanton desires to displace General Hooker and appoint 
General Heintsleman to command on the Potomac and Rap- 
pahannock. General Halleck desires the command. Every 
body desires to have Mr. Stanton superseded. 

All the newspaper talk of early advance or offensive action 
on the part of General Hooker, is either an impudent men 
dacity or stupid credulity. The army is greatly reduced by 
the late campaign, and by the discharge of two years and nine 
months regiments. It requires time to remount the artillery, 
and to supply arms and parts of arms, thrown away by the 
retreating infantry in vast quantities. 

Possibly, General Lee may conclude to stand on a shorter 
radius and inner circle somewhere between Fredericksburg 
and Richmond, but it is equally possible that he may assume 
the offensive. 

In that, the attitude here is at present expectant only, with 
great confusion of counsels at Headquarters. 

I think G. and H. would be fit persons to see W. 

Yours, C. GUSHING 

From Caleb Gushing to General Butler 

WASHINGTON. May 15th, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: Hooker did commence to advance part of 
the troops across the river, and they were ordered back by 
Halleck. So I hear on good authority. I impart my informa 
tion, also, that Halleck desires to take the place of Hooker. 

Yours, GUSHING 



74 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Bradford R. Wood to General Butler 

Legation of the United States, COPENHAGEN, May IQth, 1863 

DEAR SIR: I am under obligations to yourself, and some 
one else, for your admirable speech in New York. I endorse 
it most fully, and I cannot understand why it is that you, 
who so fully reflect the opinion of all loyal Americans, and 
who have vindicated your ability to command, are not in 
command. I am glad to find my own views in respect to 
the Constitution sustained by you. In March last, I wrote 
the very gentleman who introduced you to the Mayor, at the 
meetings, to the effect that before this war we could go no 
farther than the Constitution permitted, and that was to 
exclude slavery from the territories, prevent the forming of 
any more slave states, making freedom national and slavery 
sectional, and that this and its abolition in all other parts of 
the national domain was about all the Constitution then per 
mitted. But when the South rebelled; and as far as they were 
concerned, abrogated the Constitution, forfeiting all rights 
under it, the Republican principle of abolition obtained ju 
risdiction over the slaves of every rebel and over every rebel 
slave state. This to me seemed very plain. I could not before 
the rebellion be actively an abolitionist in a free state, what 
ever I might be in a slave state ! for the Constitution inhibited 
it. But I could be, and was, a Free Soiler. Since the rebel 
lion, the Constitution and all our traditions not only permitted, 
but as I think enjoined abolition against every disloyal slave 
holder and every disloyal slave state, and had it been strictly 
enforced there never would have been so much disloyalty at 
the North. Such was the substance of my views on that sub 
ject. Rumor says I am recalled; for what I know not, nor is 
it of much consequence. It is enough that I can, I think, do 
some little in the future to inaugurate a Government that will 
reflect the opinions of the loyal, honest, and true men in our 
country. 

If I mistake not the signs of the times, men s minds are 
now being turned that way, and it behooves all to see that 
they are not cheated by politicians, by trade and political 
rogues. You will see by this that I was a Freesoiler, and a 
democrat. As a member of the loyal Congress, I understood 
the whole Texas swindle and went for the Wilmot proviso, 
and I know that the South used the Northern democracy to 
control public opinion in Europe in their favor. Nearly all 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 75 

the foreign missions were filled, either with Southern men or 
men with Southern principles. The bare suspicion that my 
friend, Gen. Dix, was unsound to the South, or that he would 
act independently, twice shut him out from a foreign mission. 
With my renewed thanks for your speech, I remain, 

Very truly, Your obdt. Servant, 

BRADFORD R. WOOD 

It is believed here that your removal from New Orleans 
was caused by the intrigues of France, and the prejudices of 
England. You may depend on this, that Palmerston and Louis 
Napoleon are one. B. R. W. 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, May %Qth, 1863 

Committee from MEMPHIS 

MESSRS. : I am glad not to have to apologize for not accept 
ing your most flattering invitation to meet my fellow-citizens 
of Tennessee in mass meeting on the 6th of June next. Being 
at home, awaiting orders from the Government, such a trip, 
however personally desirable and pleasant, is an impossibility. 

That I sympathize most deeply with my Union fellow- 
citizens of Tennessee need not be told. To the border States 
this war is a terrible reality, coming to your doors with all its 
horrors and devastations. It is to you as were the frontier 
wars of France, aided by the savage foes to us a century ago. 

Your devotion to the Union, the cause of civil government 
and equal rights, is like gold seven times tried by the fire. 

May God speed the day when that devotion shall be rewarded 
by the restoration of peace, the action of constitutional law, 
untrammelled by military necessities, and that prosperity 
which our whole country before enjoyed, and which by His 
blessing will soon again be ours. I have the honor to be, 

Most truly Yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

J. Y. LOWENEY, D. G. JOHNSON, JOHN PARK, A. C. KET- 
CHUM, of the Committee from Memphis, Tenn. 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, May 21sf, 1863 

MY DEAR Miss WINTHROP: I am grieved at not being able 
to confirm your impression that there exists a photograph of 
our lamented Theodore taken at Fortress Monroe. I never 



76 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

heard of such an one, and there were no facilities at the For 
tress for taking such a photograph. 

I have been informed and believe that Col. Wardrop has 
recovered his sword. And while I make no doubt that the 
Col., whom I know very well, would be glad of any token 
from the relatives of his deceased friend, I think there is no 
occasion on your part to suppose that he has suffered any loss. 

The commendations you are pleased to express upon my 
services in the cause for which you and yours have sacrificed 
so much are very dear to me. 

I had learned to love Theodore s brave and gentle nature; 
to be inspired with his enthusiastic love of country; and to 
think with him upon the causes of our troubles, and if in any 
degree my endeavors have come up to the high standard of his 
thoughts, I am indeed fortunate. 

Pray never again for a moment think it an intrusion to 
write me. I lost my sister as I left college, and her corre 
spondence which was the guide of my early life. Your note of 
kind regard brings back solemn but sweet memories of her, 
which soothe and almost gladden moments, which are all the 
time we can snatch from the rough cares of life. 

Mrs. Butler sends her kindest love to you, and regrets that 
as yet the closer friendship of personal acquaintance has not 

been formed. , , . 7 v -o TT> T> 

Most Truly Yours, B. F. B. 

From John Chamberlain to General Butler 

NEW YORK, May 22nd, 1863 

DEAR SIR: I am now living in New York, doing business 
at No. 35 Cedar Street, family has moved here, we came here 
last October. But I have not made any money since we moved 
here, only a living, but I am very anxious to branch out and 
do something. I am exceedingly happy to hear of your vic 
tories, and your success to fortune. Now with your great 
influence you have, I want you to do some business for me, and 
I will doubly pay you for it. I want you to assist me in getting 
a permit to open a store in Norfolk, Virginia, to ship goods 
from here, and to sell there such goods as the government w T ill 
allow me to sell, and if you can get the permit for me, it will 
help me I know, and perhaps be the means of making a for 
tune for me. I can get all the influence you want if you need 
any from Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, 
and if necessary I will come immediately to Washington, - 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 77 

only telegraph to 35 Cedar Street. Please attend to this at 
your earliest convenience, as it is very important that I should 
get the permit as soon as possible. Please excuse me for tak 
ing this liberty. I remain your true friend, and shall be exceed 
ingly happy to hear from you soon. 

Yours with respect, JOHN CHAMBERLAIN 

Answer. Gen. Butler has no influence which could possibly 
aid Mr. Chamberlain in what he proposes. 

Respectfully, yours, B. F. B. 

From Colonel Shaffer to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, May Z6th, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I have just arrived here this evening, 
have seen no one, yet there is something in the wind. Seward 
arrived in New York last evening, this morning the Herald 
comes out for Banks for Sec. of War, and the Times squints 
that way. This is Seward s work. Those papers were friendly 
to you, but by some oversight they have been allowed to 
drift away into the interest of Seward s faction. The article 
in the Herald should be answered by a leader in some other 
New York paper, something like this, "Who shall be Stanton s 
successor, Butler, Banks, McClellan, etc., are mentioned. Let 
us see what each has done to warrant their appointment." 
Then pitch in and show what you have done and what each 
of the others have done, then wind up by saying that Butler 
is the only one. Bell and Clark should be kept at this kind 
of work, and a couple of New York papers got into our inter 
est. An article might also appear showing that Seward is 
running Banks. In short, some judicious man must take 
hold of the newspapers. In haste, 

Your friend, J. W. SHAFFER 

P.S. I have just seen a couple of friends, they insist that 
Seward is arranging for fair weather with you. I don t believe 
it, yet it would possibly be good policy to do nothing or say 

nothing to offend Seward s friends. . , T ^ 

Friend, J. W. S. 

From Colonel Shaffer to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, May 2Sth, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Clark and Turner have started for the 
East. I will remain here for some days and see how things 



78 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

look. There are two interests here, both for you. 1st., those 
that hate Stanton, they want you for the purpose of getting 
Stan ton out; this class is Chase, Blair, Bates, and most of the 
outsiders. 2nd class, is those that desire to make you the com 
ing man, Chandler, Wade, Carter, etc., lead this class; they 
are in favor of getting you West for two reasons, 1st, because 
they say they want you to be associated with and make 
reputation among Western men, as they will have the control 
to a great extent of future operations (not military). 2nd, 
these men are not yet ready to fight Stanton. I believe this 
is the way your friends stand. Judge Carter to-day told me 
that he was asking that there be made a big department with 
Hd. Q. at St. Louis, with a view of giving you control of all 
the Mississippi Valley, and that Stanton was extremely anxious 
that it should be done, in fact he (Stanton) was doing all he 
could for it, but that the President wanted time to consider. 
Now my conviction is, that did not Mr. Lincoln expect and 
want you here he would have yielded at once to above plan. 
He told a friend of mine to-day that he was waiting to get a 
place big enough for you, that he could put you in it. I have 
arranged for an interview with him to-morrow, and will let 
you know the result. I told Clark the result of my interview 
with Cameron, and what he agreed to have done. I also told 
him exactly how Seward stood, and what is necessary to put 
that right. My information in regard to Weed and Seward 
comes mostly from Whitely of the Herald, he is certainly 
devoted to your interests, and is well posted. Whitely says 
Mr. Lincoln wants you for Sec. of War, and that Seward objects 
only on the ground of foreign relations, and that if proper 
means are used Seward can be persuaded to withdraw his 
objections, etc. Now, I don t state this as my opinion, but 
as the opinion of those who appear to be your friends here. 
I have to be very prudent to prevent the impression that I 
am here by authority, and I tell all hands that I have not any 
other than the common interests of the country to serve. 

I feel deeply the necessity of what I wrote you the other 
day being cared for. I will not be able to get to Chicago in 
time for the convention, as I think I had better remain here a 
few days more, then go to New York, and from there to Penn 
sylvania, and get a case worked up for Cameron and his 
friends to present to the President, and if by the time I get 
West something is not done, I will start the Ills, papers agoing, 
and try the effect of that on Stanton. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 79 

You must get some of your solid New England men to go 
to New York and raise a breeze there. I am confident that 
all that is wanted is time to make things come around right. 

Truly your friend, J. M. SHAFFER 
From P. R. George to General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of N. England, June 7th, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Your speech at the Military was a 
very happy one, and no danger in it. Still, I tremble every 
time I see a notice of your speaking. If I knew of an assassin 
about Louis Napoleon, and he should persist not only in allow 
ing him about, but actually would improve all occasions to be 
where he was, even when it was not absolutely necessary, I 
should think he was foolish, and so would you. A single speech 
may be the knife that contains the death. Speeches of public 
men are the assassins they bear about with them. 

One speech more and only one, and that out West, is all you 
should make, all. I doubt either the wisdom or the necessity 
of your coming to Concord the 17th. It is too near a view. It 
bears upon its face, "Demagoguing for the Presidency." It 
will bear that construction by your enemies. Many of your 
sincere friends doubt its wisdom. They say "it may be safe 
enough," perhaps it is well enough, etc. I hope to come to 
Lowell this week to see you. You could write a letter declin 
ing for fear of misconstruction of your motives. Misjudged 
motives you may well fear. The enemies bullets at the same 
time count, lead, not logic, deeds, not threats, acts, not talk, 
etc. You can string a month of adjectives that will sound 
well in a letter. Take upon yourself Caesar s modesty, and 
thrust by the crown though it be tendered thrice. 

I am sick, numb. In the future can bring you but little 
except brains. When will Fisher return from New York? I 
am gaining, but slowly. My difficulty was a tendency to a 
paralytic shock. Make my best regards to your wife and 
family. 

It looks to me as if the chances are sufficiently alive. Yours 
certainly have as much red heat on as any other person s. It 
is well enough to stop at Upham s. Gilmore s, or Perley s, 

would have been better. 

P. R. GEORGE 



80 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From John W. Turner to General Butler 

NEW YORK, June 7th, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I have been ordered to report to General 
Gilmore for duty, who is going to try his skill in the "Depart 
ment of the South." 

General Gilmore anticipates only a temporary stay in his 
new Department, and in asking for me, it was taken into 
consideration as affecting my relationship with you, and he 
desired me to state this to you, as the Secretary seems not to 
have followed the formalities of service in not issuing the 
order relieving me from your staff. 

From all I can gather, I stand as being temporarily detached 
from your staff. I am too old a soldier, though, to believe in 
any temporary order. It is not in the nature of military affairs, 
a thousand exigencies may arise to prevent the establishment 
of the old order of things. I therefore regard my returning to 
duty under your orders as something only that may happen. 
Feeling this, I may be excused if I express myself as if this 
separation was final. 

I have much to remember you for, in the consideration, 
kindness, and courtesy you ever exhibited towards me while 
connected with your staff; the manifestation of such feelings 
went far to encourage me in my labors when dispirited by a 
terrible climate and contending against obstinate difficulties. 

I cannot help but think you conceived the true spirit when 
you held the Heads of your Department responsible for their 
particular sphere of action. Looking only to the results, I 
cannot help but feel myself that such was the freedom under 
which I labored that whatever shortcomings there may be in 
my department, I alone am responsible. 

Another rule of action which seemed to govern you, and a 
correct one, in my estimation for strength, and success, was 
the defence you always made for those serving you. It is an 
armor to every subaltern. 

While I regret I could not have labored on under your 
guidance, I accept the change which takes me into active 
duty with satisfaction, for I feel that I had no right in these 
times to be idle. Remember me kindly to Mrs. Butler. I am, 

General > Yours Sincerely, JOHN W. TURNER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 81 

From Fisher A. Hildreth 

NEW YORK, June 9, 1863 

DEAR BUTLER: I should have written had I not expected 
every day to start for home. Read is so very sore that it is 
impossible to move him just yet, though I am not stopping 
here on that account. I am trying the best I can with Whitney 
& Hatheway to help to let the " Relief " to the navy, & hope 
to succeed, but am not confident. But I am determined to 
stay until I can or can t. 

Your staff, as of course you know, is disbanded, and went to 
different parts of the country. There is nothing left you now 
but to run for Governor unless the Cabinet breaks up, & per 
haps not then. I think you had better run if you can be 
almost sure of an election, not otherwise. 

Fernando Wood got up his meeting under the approval & 
direction of Thurlow Weed. This may seem strange to you, 
but it is true. At the time of the meeting Wood was in & out 
continually, conferring and consulting with Weed. To con 
trol & allay the excitement of these peace Democrats is another 
"necessity" of Seward to President Lincoln. Seward will 
continue to rule, he is an astute intriguer & full of resource. 
He has been smart enough to control Lincoln thus far, & I 
think will be to the end. 



From Captain A. F. Puffer to General Butler 

NEW YORK, June 9th, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I regret that I am positively compelled 
to tender my resignation of the appointment you were kind 
enough to honor me with in New Orleans. 

I need not mention the urgent reasons that necessitate this 
step, for you already know and I am sure appreciate them. 
But I cannot forbear telling you again that the necessity of 
troubling you, as I have on several occasions, with my affairs 
has caused me inexpressible pain, or of assuring you that the 
months I have waited for justice to be done you have abated 
in nowise my unwavering confidence in your future preemi 
nence. I am sure it is but a question of time, and if I could 
I would wait until doomsday, and you should never hear a 
word of impatience from me. But it is no longer possible, and 
I am now obliged to do something for my support. 

Your many kindnesses to me encourage me to ask the aid 

VOL. Ill - 6 



82 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

of your influence to procure for me some such position in the 
public service as my abilities will enable me to fill. 

I have thought that I should like to get authority to raise 
a colored regiment either here or in New England, believing 
that with the prestige of my position on your staff, and with 
your countenance and sanction, the negroes would flock to 
the standard and rally around your name as they would not 
to any other, unless it be that other symbol of freedom, 
Fremont. 

Pardon me, General, if in this I seem presumptuous. I am 
sure I do not mean to be. It is the result of my opinion that 
the poor and oppressed of whatever color, wherever you are 
known, believe in you as their champion. 

In tending my resignation I beg you will believe me when I 
say that the friendship and distinction with which you have 
honored me have been fruitful of more happiness than I had 
ever before known, and will always be my greatest pride. 

From Captain A. F. Puffer to General Butler 

NEW YORK, June I2th, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

DEAR GENERAL: If anything could possibly enhance my 
gratitude and affection for you it would certainly be your 
generous letter and act of the 10th instant. 

I believe I can show my appreciation of it in no better way 
than by accepting the proffered loan, perfectly satisfied that I 
shall be able to repay it by the means which you so kindly 
promise. To make your kindness available, however, I am 
obliged to return the draft with the request that you will 
rectify the oversight of non-signature. 

You desire me to be perfectly frank, General. Let me tell 
you what I could not bring myself to mention before. I did 
not tender my resignation until I had been actually obliged 
to borrow money for my current expenses. Do I need to assure 
you, General, that that tender of my resignation was one of 
the severest sacrifices I have ever been called on to make? I 
have no higher ambition than the close personal connection 
with you I have enjoyed the past year, and so long as I feel 
that the association is agreeable to you I shall never resign it. 

Among all your abler and more powerful friends, General, 
I will yield to no one in devotion and fidelity to your person 
and interests. 

I have written thus frankly, and with a demonstrativeness 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 83 

unusual to me, because I know I shall be understood, a sat 
isfaction so great that I think I have mentioned it before. 

Please remember, General, that in nothing can you so much 
contribute to my happiness as by giving me opportunities to 
serve you in any way. I have the honor to remain, 
Very truly Your friend and servant, 

A. F. PUFFER 


From William Alexander to General Butler 

PRIVATE. NEW YORK CITY, June 10th, 1863 

DEAR SIR: I am satisfied that there is still a chance for an 
expedition to Texas if you will consent to take command of 
it. Of course the State, with the exception of El Paso and 
perhaps Fort Davis, which can be best managed by the 
Commandant of New Mexico, must be made into a separate 
military department. 

I can assure you that if you will go in for the movement, 
no matter how small a force may be assigned you, and will 
land at or near the mouth of the Rio Grande, you can make it 
a brilliant success. As the yellow fever visited Montonnoys 
and Brunsville last season, they will probably be exempt this 
time. At all events, the prospect for Western Texas is better 
as regards health than that of New Orleans. 

The movement of Gen. Sam Houston for the restoration 
of the Republic, coupled with the fact that the Mexican Lega 
tion has withdrawn, has alarmed (and not without cause) the 
Secretary of State. The opposition both from him and the 
Secretary of War must now cease. I beg you to give this 
matter your serious and early consideration. If you choose, 
you can, I am satisfied, have a chance. You can restore to the 
Union a State in average equal to six and a half of New York, 
and which will at once be divided into two, and a few years 
later may be divided into five. If I could only see you here, 
and talk over matters with a map, I have no doubt that you 
would not hesitate. 

Have you seen the article in Wilkes Spirit of the Times of 
June 6, headed "the Republic of Texas"? 

A reply directed to the care of John Austin Stevens, Esq. 

will reach me. I remain, T/ ,- 77 v 

Very respectfully Yours, 

WILLIAM ALEXANDER 



84 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From James Parton to General Butler 

NEW YORK, June llth, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: No; you are not remiss, you are very 
attentive and obliging. 

If Mr. Glenn has something interesting or valuable to tell 
the public, let him by all means fire away. Two witnesses 
are better than one. Nevertheless, I shall be glad to have 
the first hearing. Be it as the fates ordain. 

It seems to me that it will not be best to revive the bitter 
ness of the Andrew controversy. To give a complete history 
of it would require 40 pages, and would shew you to have 
been substantially in the right. But can I spare so much space, 
or half as much, for such a matter, in a book of 5 or 6 hundred 
pages, that can be packed with things far more interesting and 
important? I think it will be best to say enough to indicate 
the truth, that the Governor was wedded to his "system," 
and had a strong antipathy to hunkers, and was much under 
the influence of his secretary; picturing you as intent on the 
business in hand, brushing aside obstacles, trying to come to 
an understanding with his Excellency, but being under a full 
head of steam all the time. It would be a pity to prolong the 
quarrel, which, growing out of the nature and constitution of 
the two disputants, could never end. And, after all, the chaos 
at Washington was the occasion of the difference. So, let me 
touch it lightly unless the gentlemen are still restive and 
belligerent. In that case, I will give the whole. 

We thank you for your hospitable intentions toward us. 
At present, we are nailed here; I, to my desk; she to the crib 
of a sick child. I can well imagine how enchanting your hill 
must be in the glory of June. Gladly would see it, and admire 
Mrs. Butler s flowers. 

Pray give our best regards to her, and accept those of Mrs. 
Parton, who is much your friend. I, of course, remain 

Very truly yours, JAS. PARTON 

Still harping on my daughter, England! I cannot wonder 
-but oh, what revenge could equal that of restoring the 
Union! Could the aristocracy long survive such a tremendous 
strike? 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 85 

From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. LOWELL, June llth, 1863 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Sec. of War, WASHINGTON 

GENERAL FREMONT has published his argument upon the 
Question of Rank. If to do so is not in contravention of 
order No. 151, series of 1862, have I leave to publish mine? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. U.S.V. 

From the Secretary of War 

BY TELEGRAPH from WASHINGTON, (2.10 P.M.) June IZth, 1863 

To Major Gen. BUTLER 

GEN. FREMONT forwarded a printed argument, but any 
publication of it is without the permission or knowledge of 
the department. It is not perceived in what manner a pub 
lication can aid or influence the decision of the question at 
issue, & the department cannot sanction any such publication. 

If any other party desire to put his views in print rather 
than manuscript, he may do so for the use of the board. 

EDWIN M. STANTON, Sec y of War 

From the Secretary of War 

BY TELEGRAPH from WASHINGTON, June 15th, 1863 
[Not in chronological order] 

To Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

GENERAL FREMONT states that his argument to this depart 
ment on the question of rank was not published by his author 
ity, but as publication has been made you are at liberty to 
make your own argument public if you desire so to do. 

EDWIN M. STANTON 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, June 15th, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

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

I HAVE received your telegram in relation to Gen. Fremont s 
publication, and now wish to prevent what seems to be a mis 
apprehension. I alluded to the publication of Maj. Gen. 
Fremont of his argument in the New York Herald of the 
llth instant, which is now being extensively copied and com 
mented upon by the press, not to his presenting his arguments 
for the use of any board of office. 

My own judgment quite coincides with that of the Secre- 



86 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

tary of War when you say that "it is not perceived in what 
manner a publication can aid or influence the decision/* and 
you will do me the favor to observe that through no act of 
mine has the matter gone to the public. But the difficulty is, 
my position not being correctly stated by General Fremont, 
he asserting that I rest my rank on the supposed intention of 
the President instead as is the fact on the actual priority of 
commission (as I have had the honor to state, his bearing date 
in July and mine in May 1861), I am made to appear to the 
country as pressing an absurd, and as is proclaimed an im 
modest claim to rank to which I have no shadow of title. 

Thus I am injured in feeling and reputation by the publi 
cation, and my cause prejudged from ex parte statements by 
my brother officers who may sit upon the tribunal to which it 
shall be referred. 

I think the department rightly refuses the publication upon 
my part, and I obey its laws and orders, but am left to infer 
that Gen. Fremont disobeys general orders No. 151, Series of 
1862 to my injury with impunity. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. General 

P.S. While writing the above I have received by telegraph 
the kind permission of the Department to publish the com 
munication. My judgment is not changed by the fact that 
General Fremont cannot keep his letters out of the news 
papers. I can mine, if I choose. 

Very Respectfully, B. F. B. 

From the Secretary of State 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, June llth, 1863 

Maj. Gen. BENJ. F. BUTLER 

SIR: The Prussian Minister, Baron Gerolt, having recently 
called the attention of this Department to the claim of the 
owners of the ship "Essex," which formed the subject of his 
note of the 27th of March last, of which a transcript accom 
panied my letter to you dated the 1st of last April, I will 
thank you to furnish me, at as early a period as may be con 
venient, with such explanations of the circumstances com 
plained of as it may be in your power to make, in order that 
the request of Baron Gerolt for a definite disposition of the 
case may be complied with. I have the honor to be, Sir, 
Your obedient servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 87 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, June 22, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

Hon. WM. H. SEWARD Secretary of State 

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a note 
from the Department of State enclosing note of Baron Gerolt, 
Minister resident of the King of Prussia at Washington. By 
a mistake in my office the papers were filed away as finished, 
while they were in fact unanswered. I have a very vivid 
recollection of the facts relating to the "Essex" because of 
most troublesome investigations and proceedings which grew 
out of it. 

On the 17th of September the Custom House authorities 
reported to me, through my Provost Marshal, that a large 
quantity of Bullion and plate was being shipped on board the 
"Essex," some of which was known to be the property of most 
violent and outspoken enemies of the United States, for the 
avowed purpose of putting it beyond the seas to aid the rebel 
cause in buying ships and munitions of war. From a hearing 
of the case there seemed to me probable cause to believe the 
truth of the information, and I therefore directed the Acting 
Collector to refuse a clearance of the ship until the matter 
could be examined, and such coin and plate as were clearly 
intended for use against the United States by their enemies 
could be taken out, and the ship, which I supposed at that time 
to be an honest trader, could then sail with the great bulk of 
her cargo and passengers. Here let me premise, however, 
that from the course the affair took I became convinced the 
Capt. and the Acting Prussian Consul were parties to the 
shipment of these goods, and were endeavoring by every means 
in their power to aid the enemies of the United States. 

The Prussian Consul, the only one accredited, had raised a 
Battalion and joined the rebel army, and was at that time and 
is now a General in their service. The Acting Consul, Mr. 
Kruttschnidt, was his business partner. The firm were large 
subscribers to the Confederate loan for defence of New Orleans, 
and Mr. Kruttschnidt was nearly related by marriage, as I 
was informed, to the Rebel Secretary of State Benjamin. 

Therefore every motive of relationship, business connection, 
and interest would array the Acting Prussian Consul against 
the United States. I immediately entered upon investigation 
of the facts alleged against portions of the cargo of the "Essex" 
in person, so that there might be the least possible delay. 



88 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

While engaged in that investigation, I received the letter of 
the Acting Consul, the original of which I enclose marked "A," 
believing at that time that the shipment was an honest act 
on the part of the Capt. 

I answered it as per copy marked "B," hereby annexed. 
Having satisfied myself that certain packages ought to be 
detained at least for investigation more extended than could 
be given to it while the ship was being detained, I made a list 
of some six or seven packages that in my judgment should 
not be sent out of the country for the purposes for which I 
had been informed these were now being transported. To my 
surprise, the Captain refused to deliver up any of these pack 
ages, alleging as a reason that the shippers might hold him 
responsible. To relieve this difficulty, I caused the shippers 
to be sent for, and procured from them orders or personal 
application to take some of the disputed packages off the ship. 
But the Capt. then refused to permit the shippers to take their 
own goods, unless all the duplicate bills of lading could be given 
up. This was a refusal without condition, as the Capt. knew 
that some of the duplicate bills of lading had been sent to the 
Consignees at Liverpool, and could not be given up. 

In the meantime a demand had been made upon me for 
$500 in gold per day during the time the ship should be in 
port. On the 23d. of September a communication was received 
from Mr. Kruttschnidt, Acting Consul, the original of which 
is hereto annexed marked "C." In this communication the 
Consul justified the refusal of the Master of the Ship, made 
claim for $500 per day damages, suggested that I should use 
force to take the disputed packages, enclosed a protest of the 
Master, and then proceeds to explain to me the meaning, 
intent, and force of my orders and the Acts of Congress. 

Not feeling that I needed or desired instruction from an 
"alien enemy" upon these topics, I replied as per copy hereto 
annexed marked "D." I declined to use force to retake the 
cargo because I was not yet fully satisfied as to the facts alleged, 
secondly because it seemed to me that a military order from 
Head Quarters of a garrisoned city and port were sufficient 
"force major" to justify the compliance of the Captain with 
out actual manual force, and lastly because the very use of 
violence would have been the subject of complaint on the 
part of those who were endeavoring, as I believe, to compli 
cate as far as possible the action of the Military Authorities. 

The citation of the Acts of Congress or of my orders could 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 89 

have no bearing upon the questions, because the packages 
were seized olio intuitu. As bullion to be applied to the pur 
chase of arms, clothing, munitions, or ships of war, they were 
liable to seizure by the well-settled law r s of war. I contented 
myself, therefore, with informing the Master of the "Essex" 
that he might sail at any time after he placed the disputed 
packages in the hands of the Custom House Authorities, 
and proceeded as rapidly as possible in the investigations. 

I also append a letter to the Custom House Authorities of 
one of the shippers in relation to the refusal of the Capt. to 
allow the shippers their goods, marked "E," and also copy of 
my letter to the Acting Consul thereupon, marked "F," and 
the reply of the Acting Consul, marked "G." 

Pending these proceedings, on the first of July certain of 
the passengers of the "Essex," finding that she would not 
sail, applied for their passage money to be refunded, but the 
Captain would not refund that, and that led to an application 
to the Provost Marshal and a farther correspondence between 
the passengers and myself and the Acting Consul, copies of 
which marked "H." "I." "K." are appended thereto. Mean 
while, having finished the preliminary investigations, and 
having determined that certain packages were not proper to 
be shipped, such packages were taken out of the ship and the 
others released from detention. She sailed at the convenience 
of her master. There seems to be great stress in both the claim 
of the supercargo and the note of Baron Gerolt based upon 
the fact that this bullion was put on board with the knowledge 
of the Custom House officer, but that officer was not placed 
there to prohibit bullion from being shipped if for a proper 
and lawful purpose, but to prevent breaches of the revenue 
laws, therefore his assent or dissent, not knowing the illegal 
use to be made of the property, can have no effect upon the 
questions raised. 

In all this matter there was the most strenuous endeavor 
on my part to treat the case with forbearance and courtesy, 
which if it had been met by corresponding efforts all annoy 
ance and trouble might have been saved. 

The claim as made is a most preposterous one in amount 
if anything was suffered, and is of that class of claims that 
are brought against the Government in the hope that by claim 
ing too much a compromise may be offered by which more 
than enough can be got. I have the honor to be 

Your obedient Servant, (BENJ. F. BUTLER) 



90 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

June 15th, 1863 

To Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to request permission to visit Wash 
ington in the week preceding the first day of July, if not in 
consistent with public service. 

My child at school at Georgetown, at the Academy of the 
Visitation some three years, comes home at that time after 
her school festival, which I desire to attend. 

Your Obedient Servant, 
(BENJ. F. BUTLER) Maj. Gen. 

From Colonel J. W. Shaffer to General Butler - 

FREEPORT, June \th, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I arrived home on Sunday, and am 
sorry to say that I am very unwell, but hope by keeping quiet 
a few days to be all right. I found your letters forwarded from 
Washington, here. The letter enclosing one from Gov. Shepley 
has not turned up; I would like much to see it. The most 
sagacious of my political friends think that a place in the Cabi 
net, as matters now stand, would be the worst thing that 
could happen you, all hands appear to agree that you are 
the only man that can possibly be made available, and that a 
position in the Cabinet would class you with those who are at 
present looked upon as an administrator that has failed. I, 
however, don t share that feeling. I still believe that if you 
could be put at the head of war department at any time before 
the election that you could do enough to satisfy the people 
that something substantial could be expected. I leave Monday 
next for Springfield, and will spend some time there and in 
Chicago. I got the speeches you sent me, but too late for the 
convention. I am, however, making good use of them. Dr. 
Cottman was hurting Banks more than anyone I came across; 
he was talking to everybody, and I heard of him frequently in 
Washington as having said that he took back all that he had 
ever said against you, and prayed that you might be put at 
head of affairs. I talked with him considerable, and, whatever 
his motive may be, he was doing good work. I will hold my 
self ready to go anywhere you may advise or that you think 
can do any good. I wish you would write and make any sug 
gestions you think would be of any use to me. I will write 
you from Springfield. ^^ ymrffimdt j w g HAFFER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 91 

From General Strong to General Butler 

ST. HELENA ISLAND, S.C. June \th, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I know not when this will go North, 
but as I am a few miles distant from Hilton Head, and steam 
ers can slip away to New York without my knowledge, I will 
pen you a word now. 

You see that I have the advantage of Napoleon, for I am 
in command of St. Helena whereas Bony was a prisoner. I 
have here the 9th Me., 3rd N. H., 76th Penn., "Les enfants 
Perdus" (independent battalion from New York), and a com 
pany of Serrell s engineer regiment. Why a crowd of "lost 
children" (they have just arrived on this island) should follow 
me around and even name this camp after me, is an important 
question in a moral point of view. This is considered a health 
ier point than Hilton Head, and it is the intention to make 
it ultimately the Hd. Qts. of the Dept. I expect to remain 
here but a short time, as my business here is only to get these 
troops into fighting trim. Hunter didn t appear to like being 
relieved, but tried not to show it. Foote and Dahlgren have 
not yet arrived. Dupont gave us an entertainment the other 
day on board the "Wabash." The "Fingal s" capture was a 
good thing. She is not much injured, and she steamed up to 
this island yesterday. She will be a valuable auxiliary. I 
suppose the enemy will prepare for another attempt on Charles 
ton, knowing that Gilmore has come here. 

We don t let even our Colonels know as yet that anything 
is proposed, but there ll be a make or break somewhere very 
shortly. Please don t know anything about it from me. Col. 
Montgomery (of Kansas notoriety) with 1500 darkies is stirring 
up the Carolinians and Georgians most thoroughly in his 
ubiquity. We have no news later than the 9th, and therefore 
do not know who holds Vicksburg, Port Hudson, Rich 
mond, or Washington. You may imagine that we are some 
what anxious for the arrival of a steamer. Was not a little 
amused two days since to hear a New York gentleman say 
that Gen. Butler had set up a magnificent carriage, etc. in 
14th Street (he referred to the Col., and the carriage that 
was presented to Mrs. Butler), and insisted for some time that 
he was right and that you were not in Lowell at all. My health 
is not perfect but I feel better than when I left New York. I 
want to see the result of this effort and then, if possible, get 
away from here. Turner is Chief of Staff at Dept. H d. 



92 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Quarters. We went up to Folly Island where Vodges com 
mands, and took a look at the Rebels on Morris Island. 
They are very saucy and fire (artillery sometimes rifles) 
whenever they see a half dozen of our men together at the 
upper extremity of Folk Island. A large side-wheel block 
ade runner ran ashore the other night under both their guns 
and ours. We got 40 pieces of muslin out of her for the hos 
pitals, the Rebels also got something from her. The two 
parties met in row-boats near the wreck the other night, 
both looking for plunder. Fred received his orders from 
New Orleans (accepting resignation), and with it an auto 
graph letter from Banks, full of palaver, remembered their 
intercourse in New Orleans with much pleasure, etc. Banks 
don t know him from Adam. The same old story that 
charms voters. It certainly amused Fred. His "last" is, that 
if somebody doesn t come down pretty quick with some 
thing handsome, he shall go to Ben. Wood. My kindest 
regards to Madame and the rest of the family (both military 
and civil), and please keep me posted on any very important 

Sincerely Yours, GEO. C. STRONG 

Parton ought to inform the public in some way that the 
History will be out in the autumn, & that this one by Glenn 
isn t authentic. 

From Colonel Andrew J. Butler to General Butler 

NEW YORK, June 20th, 1863 

DEAR BROTHER : My man Wager keeps too full of whiskey, 
and he goes to Port Royal next week. Can you spare Field? 
If yes, send him at once. He is the only sober accountant I 
know. 

If he cannot come, say so by telegraph so that I can engage 
one here and get him acquainted with the books before George 
goes. I will not get closed up under two or three months. 

Have just got returns from the "Albert Adams"; will get 
out whole after all the bad luck at Galveston. 

Yours Truly, ANDREW 

From Captain George A. Kensel to General Butler 

Rosecrans Division Camp, near MURFRESTON, June 23rd, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Here I am at last in my new quarters 
with the army of Gen. Rosecrans, satisfied, of course, as 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 93 

every soldier should be with any change of station, but by no 
means pleased with such change. My eighteen months 
intercourse with yourself and staff I shall never forget, and I 
live on the hope that some day ere long we may be reunited; 
and if I may judge by the state of affairs in Pennsylvania and 
Maryland, that day is not far distant. Your friends in this 
army are legion, and I have heard it often said, "For God s 
sake give us a man at Head Quarters who has force and pluck 
to carry out his designs without fear, favor or affectation. 
Give us General Butler." The Generals of this army are 
particularly your friends, as most of them were at Corinth 
when we were in New Orleans, and they received your orders 
through the kindness of Beauregard, who always commented 
on them with a threat of dire vengeance which he never carried 
out. 

We have a magnificent army here in good condition, but 
for some reason or other we remain in statu quo, no move. 
Our scouts last night report Bragg s army falling back, pos 
sibly true. 

I have written to Bell and John Clarke, but as yet have 
received no replies. Now, General, if certain things happen, 
recollect I must be with you; that family you had a year ago 
can t get along well without the Artillery. Remember me 
kindly to Mrs. Butler and the boys, and believe me ever 
sincerely attached. GEQ A 



From Alexander Bullock to General Butler 

WORCESTER, loth June, 1863 

MY DEAR GENL. : Thanks for your note of the 20th. Before 
receiving it I was vexed to hear, from some of our Worcester 
men, that your carriage was in waiting for me on the 17th, 
for I had sent off my letter 36 hours in time. But excuse the 
mails. 

I am sorry to hear that the Gov. was in any sense petulant. 
How unlike him! But then remember that you spoiled his 
temper as long ago as 62- 63. That is chargeable to you - 
to have changed the temper of a public man. Account to me 
for it sometime, if you can. 

So it is not "Virtute" but personal, and you the cause. 
Have I you or not in this? 

Yours faithfully, ALEX. BULLOCK 



94 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General John W. Turner to General Butler 

HILTON HEAD, N.C. June 25th, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: The Department of the North under the 
new regime is delving away, it has much to overcome, and 
much to contend against in a small way, comparatively 
speaking. The natural features of the country are great auxil 
iaries to its defences, one man being capable of holding his 
own against five. It is a kind of half alligator, half mud 
turtle operation that we are engaged in. We have the reliable 
facts that the enemy are reduced to the minimum for defence. 

Were it not for the impassable swamps and divers streams 
which intersect these islands in all directions, prohibiting the 
deployment of any respectable sized body of men or their 
advance over half a mile in any one direction, I would hope 
much from the chances of making a square and fierce fight. 
But this is denied us, and we are driven to pegging away in a 
manner that only becomes "regulars." We are receiving many 
deserters from the enemies camp, from whom we make up 
pretty reliable data as to the disposition and strength of the 
enemy. They seem to be prosecuting your friend Lovell again 
with all the pertinacity becoming Southern tyranny. He is 
under trial again at Charleston with charges against him of 
selling the city of New Orleans to Gen. Butler for $500,000. 
I could not help thinking how long you would have struggled 
as you did without transportation, without anything, at Ship 
Island, with half a million locked up in your military chest, 
keeping for this contingency of buying out Lovell. I have 
become quite familiar in leaving C. S. off my name. Col. 
Eaton of New York says they will leave a latch string out for 
me when I get ready to come back. 

Strong is organizing a division of five thousand men with 
which to gather laurels. Matters seem mixed about Wash 
ington. My kind regards to Mrs. Butler. 

Yours truly, JOHN W. TURNER 

From General Strong to General Butler 

ST. HELENA ISLAND, S.C. June 29^, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I know not when this will go North, 
but having a moment wherein to write I proceed to pen a 
word. Steamer "Arago" arrived to-day with dates to 25th 
instant. If we are to gain any advantages on the Mississippi, 
which is not yet certain it appears as if they were to be 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 95 

counterbalanced by the panic in Penn. The pressure seems 
pretty strong in favor of McClellan. If he is restored, I think 
the Government may, as Uncle Abe says, "jest shet up house 
keeping altogether," for he will ultimately assume the reins 
of Government, being forced into it by his friends for purposes 
of their own. Nous verrons. 

The Signal officer reports Dahlgren arrived, a few minutes 
since, at Hilton Head. He and Gilmore have every incentive 
to press matters Charleston ward. It is given out here that 
no movement is contemplated at present, but you ll soon hear 
something "drap." I have a very good command now (and 
they ll have work to do) composed of Brabban s Battery 
(Regulars), 3rd R. I. Battery, "Les enfants Perdus" (Bat 
talion), 7th Conn. (Battalion), 48th N. Y. Regt., 9th Maine, 
3rd N. H., 76th Penn., 2nd S. C. (negroes, Col. Montgomery), 
and Governor Andrew s 54th niggers. 

Rather singular that I should have Gov. Andrew s reputa 
tion in my keeping, for he staked it on the success of this 
Regiment. Col. Montgomery caught one of his men (day 
before yesterday) who had deserted. Called him up yesterday 
morning at six and asked him if he had anything to say in his 
own defence. "Nothing." "Then you die at half past nine." 
Montgomery quietly reported the matter to me afterward 
verbally closing with, "I accordingly shot and buried him 
at that hour." We need cool things of that kind in this 
climate. 

My health is pretty good now. Busy with Brigade drills, 
etc. My regards as usual to Madame and the rest. 

Very Truly Yours, GEO. C. STRONG 

If you were Secretary of War now I would advocate, all things 
considered, the restoration of McClellan, for you could manage 
him and make something out of it "for a rainy day." 

From Edward L. Pierce to General Butler 

BEAUFORT, PORT ROYAL, July 2nd, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Yesterday I read the article on "Our 
General." It is very interesting, and I should think that a 
good deal was omitted which ought to be recorded. You will 
find yourself alluded to in the August number in an article on 
the Freedmen at Port Royal, which I have sent to the Editor. 

I arrived here on June 9th. I have been attending to my 
duties since, making one official visit to points occupied in 



96 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Honla. I have seen and talked with many people, and by all 
sorts and all ranks I hear the wish expressed that % you should 
come here. And when the other day I heard that General 
Strong had arrived, I thought it might be the precursor of 
your coming. I know there is another place where you could 
be more useful to the country, displacing two other men, the 
position of one of whom is unknown to the Constitution, but 
as I do not see the immediate prospect of that being done, I 
wish you could come here. It seems too bad to have you idle 
at Lowell when so much is going on in which you ought to 
bear a part. From what I read, it would seem that opposi 
tion to the Government, and that of a violent kind, was again 
organizing. This would not have occurred had there been 
decision, energy, and power shown. A very good spirit pre 
vailed in the North two months ago, but nothing was done to 
sustain it. There seems to be no business foresight capacity 
in directing the war, no providence in anticipating the expira 
tion of terms of service by fresh levies. 

Through all this I hope you are well, though I know you 
cannot be happy. Final victory is assured to us. There are 
resources and virtue enough for this in the end, but God only 
knows through what calamities this mismanagement is first to 

C*f\ T*T* V 11^1 

Yours Truly, EDWARD L. PIERCE 
From General Butler 

LOWELL, MASS. July 13, 1863 (Received 1.10 P.M.) 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

MUCH mischief is done by the publication of the names of 
drafted men in the newspapers in advance of the official noti 
fication. Drafts are evading without any liability to the penal 
ties. Would suggest that no publication be permitted. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General 

Official Records, Series 3, Vol. Ill, p. 485. 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, July 14, 1863 

Major-General BUTLER, LOWELL 

I THANK you for the suggestion contained in your telegram. 
Instructions have been given the Provost-Marshal-General to 
correct the mischief at once. DWIN M 

Official Records, Series 3, Vol. Ill, p. 487. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 97 

From David Dudley Field 

NEW YORK CITY, July 15, 1863. Received 1.50 P.M. 

His Excellency, A. LINCOLN, President United States 

WE must have more military force and a military head for 
New York. Let me recommend the appointment of General 
Butler to this Department, and the giving him an ample force 
to suppress the riot here, and to suppress it everywhere. Any 
delay is hazardous. D D 



From William C. Bryant and Others 

NEW YORK, July 21, 1863, 4 P.M. [Not in chronological order] 

His Excellency, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President United States 
WE beg to urge upon you the adoption of the policy recom 

mended in Mr. Field s letter of Sunday, forwarded by Mr. 

Blake. That will indicate the authority and prestige of the 

government, while it will greatly lessen, if not entirely abate, 

the opposition to the conscription. 

GEO. OPDYKE, WM. C. BRYANT, HORACE GREELEY, HENRY 

J. RAYMOND, D. D. FIELD 

From John Clarke to General Butler 

29 Dover Street, BOSTON, July \5th, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: It was my purpose to have called 
at your office this morning; but though I have the face of a 
blackguard, I had not the face to execute my purpose. The 
black rim round my left eye throws such savagery of expression 
into my countenance that I am sure, if I presented myself, 
you would order me away. They say that it is always darkest 
before dawn; if that be true, I must be near amendment: for 
the cloud is as dark now as it can be. 

It strikes me that these riots in New York and in this city 
are affairs planned. The breaking into gun-shops, the assaults 
on armories, and the attacks on the drafting agents, show this. 
I see that Governor Seymour, in his speech to the mob in New 
York, promised a suspension of the draft. This is yielding 
and weakness, and is fatal. Firmness now is all that can save 
the commercial cities. 

But my only purpose to-day was to explain my non-appear 
ance, as there was a quasi understanding that I was to see you 
on Courier matters. I shall do this, the moment I am fit to 

I )* COOT"! 

Very truly your obedient servant, JOHN CLARKE 

VOL. Ill 7 



98 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From J. Ladd 

WASHINGTON, D.C. July 19th, 1863 

FRIEND BUTLER: You will recollect that, when I last saw 
you at your house, the subject matter of Senator Wilson s 
feelings toward you came up. I have had a long and confi 
dential conversation with him to-day, and amongst other 
things he mentioned you in terms of strong commendation. 
After conversing with him of your position in public office, 
he asked me if I knew how you felt towards him. I then assured 
him that you had the best of feeling for him, and he would 
always find you ready and willing to cooperate with him in 
any and every thing that would pertain to the good of the 
Government and the country. He made the remark that you 
would, if nothing happened, be a formidable candidate for 
the next Presidency. Now, General, let things work, do not 
try to hurry them in the least, and I have faith that all will be 
right. I come in contact with men in the army from all parts 
of the country, and you are mentioned in terms of commenda 
tion for the Presidency. I am also in company with people 
who are visiting Washington, and I have some chance to get 
at the feelings and sentiments of the different states. Do not 
let any past friends hurry up matters, let the growth be slow 
and strong, and at the proper time we will have the cards so 
laid that we can gather strength. I am, General, yours in 
truth and confidence, hoping to hear from you and of your 
self, I remain with great respect, j ^ 

From James F. Oram to General Butler 

NEW YORK, July 20tfz, 1863 

DEAR SIR: I take the liberty of writing you a few lines for 
information concerning yourself while you had command of 
New Orleans. About two weeks ago a friend of mine and my 
self had a dispute about your transactions while you were in 
command. The affair arose out of your hanging men in New 
Orleans. I claimed that you had acted impartially, not only 
did you order Mumford to be hung, but also did order Union 
soldiers to be executed for stealing. My friend bet me that 
you never hung but Mumford. Please answer this, and state 
whether he was the only man hung by your order. I wrote to 
the Sunday Times for information, and he answered that he 
did not recollect, but that you had acted very tyrannical, and 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 99 

had committed acts that were uncalled for. By answering the 
above, you will much oblige yours, 

JAMES F. ORAM, 40 Beaver St., NEW YORK CITY 

July t5th, 1863 

Answer. I am directed by Major General Butler to send you 
in reply to your inquiry a copy of the order directing the 
punishment of two men for divers burglaries, which was duly 
executed. 

From J. K. Herbert to General Butler 

Sherman House, CHICAGO, July 11th, 1863 

DEAR SIR: On looking about among the politicians here I 
find that there is more activity here than elsewhere in reference 
to prospective politics. 

Hon. E. B. Washburne is making a business already of com 
mitting men to Grant for the Presidency. 

He is wealthy, shrewd, in earnest, determined that Grant 
shall be the man. I hear good men say he will go into a nom 
inating convention stronger than Lincoln went. 

They are trying to get Grant in command of Rosecrans 
army & his own too, with perhaps additional reinforcements - 
send him across to the Atlantic and eastward on Richmond - 
hoping thereby to make him irresistible in a Nominating 
Convention. 

If the administration see the joke, they will see to it that 
he does not get an opportunity. But if Grant & his western 
friends can do this thing they will / am not misinformed 
they are bending every energy for the enterprise. 

The P. O. keeps the Tribune almost if not altogether for 
Lincoln s renomination. Judge Drummond, Judge Higgins, 
& some other good men of former days are for Lincoln, I learn. 
Judge Higgins came to my room last night and stayed till 
midnight. I learned the Lincoln policy here by heart. I 
mean the notions of men who would renominate & who they 
are. 

Dr. D. Brainerd, a former strong Democratic politician, 
will be one of the Com. men here. He is all right. But he 
tells me men here are for Grant or Lincoln generally, and 
"cannot be tied to" as we want them. 

Men who work and are of much account are apt to talk 
some Western man. Well, I don t fear the result in any case 
except Grant s, nor that one much; but it spoils the good 



100 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Committee timber considerably. Brainerd is a Butler man, 
& one of the best in the state. He thinks we can get a good 
Com. by looking it up. 

I had a talk with the Tribune folks about Mo. They wanted 
you there instead of Schofield. I told them to talk it up, and 
the east would take up the cry I d warrant, & I see in the 
Tribune yesterday morning a little article on the subject. I 
send you a paper & one to a friend in Boston to have the Boston 
papers take it up. 

I tell you Grant is going to be in the way in the West, & 
especially if he takes any more Vicksburgs, such for example 
as Mobile or Savannah, or Richmond, & because they are 
crowding him, other men ought to be at work. 

I am getting the run of the thing in my Diary pretty closely. 
The League is large in Illinois. About 800 councils & 100,000 
members now. 

All the strong men of the state are in them. There are fears 
entertained that Trumbull & other leading politicians will 
not take a bold stand since Burnside s row with the Times. 
They all backed down, you know. 

I think I shall have an instructive diary when I get around. 
Your most obt. servt., J. K. HERBERT 



From Doctor Thomas Cottman 

WASHINGTON August 2nd, 1863 

To Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, LOWELL 

DEAR SIR : Permit me to introduce the bearer, Mr. McLearn, 
who has come on to Washington in consequence of the Quarter 
Master General s requiring him to disprove engagement in 
illicit traffic. A new code of ethics, to prove a negative; no 
positive charges being made. Mr. McLearn is the agent of 
Mr. Hamilton, the owner of the Steamer "St. Maurice." 
The steamer was used by the government last summer, and 
turned over to Judge Morgan, the attorney for Mr. McLearn, 
in the fall. By a certificate in the Quarter Master General s 
office, Col. Shaffer declares that he has not settled with Judge 
Morgan (in consequence of Morgan s absence on a visit to 
Washington) until it became necessary for him to hand over 
his books and papers to his successor. As Mr. McLearn s 
attorney was obtaining no satisfaction from the department, 
it was deemed advisable for McLearn to come on and see 
what was the matter. On his arrival here, he finds it neces- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 101 

sary to prove that the boat was not engaged in illicit trade. 
Col. Hodge, who has been attending to the business here, 
tells me that the War department requires him to furnish other 
proof than that which is patent to every sensible man of your 
turning her over to her owners and ordering Col. Shaffer to 
settle for the time she was employed by the government, 
which would not have been done if there was anything wrong 
about her. Allow me to recommend Mr. McLearn to your 
consideration and kind offices. 

We have to regret and mourn the death of the gallant and 
chivalrous Gen. Strong, whose gentlemanly deportment as well 
as deeds of valor have endeared him to the hearts of all true 
Americans. I was very sorry not to have been able to attend 
his funeral, which I most certainly should have done had I 
have known in time to have reached New York, the day and 

-r\ I o f*f* 

Very Respectfully, Your obdt. Servant, 

THOMAS COTTMAN 

From J. G. McLearn to General Butler 

NEW YORK, August 4th, 1863 

DEAR SIR: Will you have the kindness to forward me, 
care of Wm. S. Hodge, Washington, the certificate you promised 
me in relation to the steamer "St. Maurice." I enclose a 
copy of about what I desire. 

I shall be saved much delay, General, if you will furnish 
me with the document. Dr. Cottman s letter to you (and 
which I gave you here) fully explains the reasons of my seek 
ing the certificate. Hoping soon to hear from you, I am 

Yours respectfully, J. S. McLEARN 

Endorsed: I certify that when I handed over the steamer 
"St. Maurice" of New Orleans to her owners, on October 
1862, there were no charges against her for illicit traffic or col 
lusion with the Rebel Government. Tl F R 

From General Weitzel to General Butler 

NEW ORLEANS, August 5th, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I received your letter of last March 
on the night before the attack on Camp Bisland. Since that 
time I have been constantly engaged. To-day, through the 
negligence of the Quarter Master s Department in not furnish- 



102 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ing me transportation, I have a few moments to spare. I am 
very much obliged to you for your interest in having me con 
firmed. I had been quarreling for you ever since you left, and 
was pleased to see that you were fighting for me. Not a word 
is mentioned here now derogatory to your administration, 
except that the most bitter secessionists wish to God you were 
back. They say they always knew what to do when you 
ordered anything. This is entre nous, of course. Banks makes 
too many promises, you prophesied this to me. 

With regard to our military operations, I suppose you are 
perfectly posted. Our campaign against Port Hudson com 
menced in last April, as you know, immediately after we had 
somewhat organized and straightened out the raw material 
that Banks brought with him. We moved against Taylor, 
and through somebody s mismanagement, failed to bag him 
as we ought and easily could have done, chased him 56 miles 
above Alexandria, destroyed his fleet, and took 2000 prison 
ers. Interfered with bringing supplies to Port Hudson, opened 
communications with Grant, via the Atchafulaya, and then 
having, as we thought for at least two months disorganized 
Taylor s forces, we pitched into Port Hudson. Would have 
taken it on the day the first attack was made if all had done 
their duty, and finally got it by pertinacious pummeling and 
out-digging the Rebels. The fall of Vicksburg expedited the 
matter. I have since then reoccupied the Lafourche country, 
and my brigade has gone into summer quarters. I have gained 
credit in the campaign, and this pleases me because it will 
please my friends. Gen. Banks promised me a furlough a 
month ago, to take effect as soon as my troops went into 
summer quarters. I have not had a furlough in four years, 
my father has died since that time, I have been constantly on 
duty in these troubles since Jan. 19th, 1861. No one in the 
Department has such a strong claim. He has given furlough 
to one General who has been in the Department five months, 
and to another who has been in the Department seven months. 
There are seventeen Generals here now. He says I cannot be 
spared yet; this is all very flattering. I am now on board to 
dispose of the troops in the Department so as to secure the 
navigation of the Mississippi as far as Natchez, and to gen 
erally improve the defences of the Department, and make 
additional ones against the Rebels and foreign enemies. I 
am promised a leave next week. You must have felt highly 
pleased at the glorious defence of Fort Butler at Donaldson- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 103 

ville by 125 of our invalids. They drove off 2500 Rebels, 
killed more than their own number, wounded nearly twice 
as many, and took more than their own number prisoners. 
Forts are beginning to tell in this war. I was sorry to see that 
Strong was hurt. You ought to tell Strong not to be too rash. 
I am afraid that is his fault. It must make you feel good to 
see your youngsters of your staff, Strong, Weitzel, etc. getting 
the credit of dealing to the Rebels the same sort of blows you 
gave them here. I hope you feel satisfied that we have not 
forgotten your teachings. I hope and prayed that you would 
be sent to New York City to touch up those copperhead rioters 
there. Can t your people up there send us an invoice of copper 
heads to fill up my New York regiments? We d like no better 
fun than to flatten them out. We re all good democrats, too. 
But I tell you, to see one s friends shot down around him, 
opens one s eyes. Hubbard, Allen, - - Lull (a brave fel 
low), and scores of your old command gone under. Some of 
the bravest and best men that ever lived. Your whole com 
mand at Port Hudson praying and begging to have you there, 
and all proud of having belonged to your old army. The 4th 
Wisconsin, 6th Michigan, 21st Indiana, 12th & 13th Connecti 
cut, 75th New York, 8th New Hampshire, always where the 
tough work was. Some now reduced to 150 effective men. 
The rest of the old division within supporting distance. I 
have applied for a leave of absence for twenty days, with per 
mission to apply for an extension of forty days, to the War 
Department. I understand that I am to get the extension 
clause approved of here, if practicable. If I get what I applied 
for, and to which I think I am entitled, I intend to come up to 
Massachusetts and see you and Bell and the rest of them. Will 
you please tell Major Bell that I received his letter under fire 
at Port Hudson, and was much pleased to hear from him, and 
that I will write him some of these days, and that if he would 
write me every day I would be happy, very happy to hear 
from him, but to be sure not to growl and get despondent as 
he did in his last. 

Will you please present my sincere regards to Mrs. Butler, 
and with the best wishes for your welfare, I remain, 

Yours Truly, G. WEITZEL 

I forgot something. Col. Hamlin (son of the Vice President), 
commanding officer of one of the negro regiments in Ullman s 
brigade, says I was told by two officers that I could gain no 



104 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

promotion in this war, because I declined to command those 
negro regiments in the Lafourche, while you were here. He 
has gone home on leave, or I would immediately prefer charges 
against him. G W]aTZBL 

From Duncan Sherman & Co. 

Office of Duncan Sherman and Company, Bankers, NEW YORK, Aug. llth, 1863 

Major General BENJ. F. BUTLER, LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS 

SIR: At the time of the secession of the State of Louisiana, 
Messrs. H. W. Conner and Son, of the City of New Orleans, 
had in their keeping the following securities belonging to us : - 
viz, 

one Bond of the State of Arkansas, L. 225, No. 257, and notes 
of the following parties: 

M. Gordon, $2501.50 

J. D. Parker, 2000 

Francis Webb, 3450. 

W. D. Brown, 1050. 

E. D. Farrar, 1600 

Scruggs, Donegant Co., 1950. 

Louvet McCall, 2250 



$14,801.50 

We are informed that these were seized and confiscated by 
the Confederates, and lodged in some one of the New Orleans 
Banks for safe keeping, and that on your assuming the ad 
ministration of that Department you took possession of all 
such deposits for the benefit of the concerned. 

May we ask you kindly to point out what steps we should 
take in order to recover our property. We have the honor 

Your Obdt. Servant, 
DUNCAN, SHERMAN, AND Co. 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, Sept. klh, 1863 [Not in chronological order]] 

Messrs. DUNCAN SHERMAN & Co., Bankers, NEW YORK 

GENTLEMEN: Your two letters of August llth & 28th have 
been received. I was absent on a journey when the first one 
came to Lowell. 

I ordered all the notes and other property in hands of the 
several banks in New Orleans sequestered by the Confed 
erate States to be held by them to be delivered upon order of 
the Commanding General. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 105 

The money deposited by the Receivers of the Confederate 
States I sent to the Treasurer of the United States, and it is 
now deposited there for the benefit of those who may have 
claim to it. I think your notes will be found in Citizens 
Bank in New Orleans, as that was the bank wherein most of 
the business of the receivers was done. 

The returns of all the banks as to the property sequestered 
in their possession were left on the files of the Department of 
the Gulf when I was relieved of its Command. 

Respectfully Yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From Colonel A. J. Butler to General Butler 

llth August, 1863 

DEAR BROTHER: I have just learned ("for certain") that 
Mr. Lincoln has this day sent an agent to England with im 
portant despatches for our Minister, of which Seward knows 
nothing. 

The agent is an acquaintance of mine, and he believes that 
the results from the trip will prove the downfall of Seward. 
There are important things being discussed in W. I wish you 
would start Sumner off if you can t go yourself. 

Hadn t you better, somehow, say to the country what you 
said to me, to use the negro to make peace as well as war. 
Somebody has got to take the lead in the settlement of this 

matter ANDREW 

From Lewis D. Campbell 

HAMILTON, OHIO, August 23rd, 1863 

Hon. HENRY WILSON, NATICK, MASS. 

DEAR SIR: We are anxious to get General Butler into 
Ohio if we can. He would accomplish much with our democ 
racy if he would come. 

Will you please forward the enclosed letter to him so that it 
will reach him soon. You may add a line, if you please, stating 
who I am. 

We shall beat Vallandingham but we want to beat him 
terribly so that all persons in Ohio may be warned for all 
time that traitors can expect no quarter here. In haste, 

Yours truly, LEWIS D. CAMPBELL 

August 31st 

I find these letters on my return this evening from Maine. 
It would be of great value to the cause of the country if you 



106 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

can go to Ohio. Our friends in Maine want you to make one 
or two speeches for them; if possible I wish you would do so. 

H. WILSON 



From Colonel T. B. Thorpe to General Butler 

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 15th, 1863 

DEAR SIR: The death of General Strong has filled me with 
deep regret and sorrow. He was the last person I saw in New 
York when last in that city, or rather he was one of the last 
outside of my own family. He told me of his contemplated 
trip to Charleston, and expressed his gratification that if you 
took the field you were to have him again on your staff, which 
afforded him great satisfaction. 

I have been looking with interest for the announcement of 
Parton s book. I have no doubt it will be a valuable addi 
tion to the history of the times. Your friends are moving in 
New York and elsewhere quietly but effectually to bring your 
name out for President, though the movement has not assumed 
a general character. I know enough of the parties supposed 
in it to appreciate their earnestness and power, and their 
wishes cannot be overlooked; in fact they form this very day 
that powerful middle or rather powerful minority that generally 
has to be consulted to make a lasting peace. However much 
in times past military glory may have carried popular favor, 
and however potential it still is, yet the public demand now 
something more than military they have got too much of 
war and war men, and feel that a man is now needed who 
possesses administrative power, has a will of his own, and a 
clear idea how to use it. Such a man, General, I think they 
have in you, and my impression is that the public mind must 
in the multitude of aspirants finally settle down upon the true 
hero of New Orleans. I think this pens the warm feelings 
which are entertained for you among the laboring classes of 
people here, and among, in fact, the great mass of people. 

I see indeed many persons who were politically and person 
ally opposed to you when you were here who would now rejoice 
to see you return. They feel the advantage of some decided 
mind. 

Whenever the active military operations of our armies cease, 
and our soldiers are only necessary for the purpose of holding 
places, then must come the most difficult part of our national 
difficulties, the final adjustment will be the test of our capacity 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 107 

to recover a nation, and in this struggle, General, I trust you 
will take your true position, for it would be a curse to the 
country if you were by jealousy and enmity of people in power 
kept from your true position as a civil and military leader. 
In these sentiments I find I am most cordially sustained by 
all the young and active thinkers I met with last May and 
June in Washington and Norfolk. Please remember me to 
Mrs. Butler, Mrs. Parker, and believe me your obdt. servant 

and obliged friend, rn T> m 

r>. IHORPE 



From George F. Carman 

District Collector s Office, First Collection District 
of New York, PATCHOGUE, Suffolk Co., Aug. 11th, 1863 

Maj. Gent. BENJ. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL: I trust you will pardon the liberty I take in ad 
dressing you when you discover the motive. 

Your patriotism and the noble service you have rendered the 
Nation have secured you the admiration and gratitude of 
every loyal heart throughout the country, and in no place 
have you more sincere admirers than among the loyal of 
Suffolk County. It is therefore but natural that we should 
feel jealous of your good name But to the point one 
Isaac Homan, a merchant of New Orleans, now in this place, 
openly charges that during your administration in that city 
he did "ship goods to the Rebels with your consent, paying 
you one-half of the profits." I am fully aware that you can 
not afford to kick at every cur that barks at you, still this is 
an open and direct charge which may be traced to its source 
without difficulty. We feel it our duty to notify you in order 
that you may assist your friends in defending you from such 

o 4- 4- o f> k* c 

Yours respectfully, GEORGE F. CARMAN 

Answer. Isaac Homan is a liar, and the truth is not in him if 
he asserts that he or anyone else ever paid me any sum what 
ever for the privilege of shipping goods anywhere. The only 
sum ever paid to my knowledge to any person for a permit for 
the shipment of goods was a clerk s fee of two dollars for a 
pass. The sum was exacted of everybody, whether he had 
goods with him or went alone, to cover the expenses of the 
Provost Marshal s office, where we had to employ 5 or 6 clerks 
for the use of those persons wishing to do business and to travel. 
This expense ought not to be a tax on the United States, 



108 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

and therefore the excise of two dollars was levied every 
dollar of which has been accounted for to the Government. 

Since I have returned to the north, I have learned that there 
have been such cases as these. A dishonest consignee, wishing 
to steal the money of the New York merchant who consigned 
him goods, would enter in his accounts a sum say 3 or $5000 
as paid to me for a permit, and when called upon for a voucher 
would say that of course I never gave vouchers for such w r rong, 
and so he would pocket the same. 

I suppose Isaac Homan was one of those, or else he is one 
of those circumcised rascals who have brought so much trouble 
on the South as well as the north, like Benjamin and others. 

Permit me to thank you for the interest and friendship 
which has prompted your interference to protect me from 
calumny. I cannot protect myself, no man ever could. Pre 
cisely the same charges were made against General Jackson in 
New Orleans, and a German Jew & Vincent Nolt published a 
book in which the charge is made that the cotton bales were 
taken not for breastworks but for speculation. I was absent 
on a journey when your kind note was received. 

Yours truly, B. F. B. 

From Major Alexander Hamilton 

Head Quarters 1st Division National Guard, 
State ofN.Y., NEW YORK. August 29, 1863 

Major Genl. BUTLER, U. S. Army 

GENERAL: The glorious intelligence of the fall of Sumter 
& the probable speedy reduction of Charleston, leading the 
mind of the loyal public to turn to you as the regenerator of 
that pestiferous community gratefully remembering the 
honor you conferred upon me early in the war by inviting me 
to join your military family, & having now I trust completed 
the arduous duty which has been confided to me as acting chief 
of Staff to Major General Sandford, I tender to you my feeble 
services in any capacity and with any rank it may be in your 
power to confer upon me. 

You know the hearts of my family & myself have ever been 
with you, as well as their voices, and their hands when oppor 
tunity occurred, so that you will not, I hope, consider this 
obtrusive in one who only seeks to serve his country and do 
his duty. 

Should you require it I will enclose such testimonials as 
have been presented to me, & will respectfully refer you to 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 109 

the newspapers and General Orders of these days so late of 
dishonor to New York, but from which she has now arisen. 

With my respects to Mrs. Butler & the members of your 
military family, I have, General, the honor to be, 

Very Resp. & faithfully yours, 
ALEXANDER HAMILTON, 
Major & A.D.C. to Major Gen. Sandford 

From General Butler 

MY DEAR HAMILTON: As soon as I get a command it will 
give me great pleasure to have you with me. 

I will see to it that you are not neglected w r hen I am not by 
the Government. 

From Captain George A. Kensel to General Butler 

Head-Quarters Twentieth Army Corps, STEVENSON, ALA.. Aug. 30th, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: The telegraph brings rumors to-day 
of the probabilities of your being assigned to command near 
Charleston, to straighten up and put in smooth running order 
that rebellious little piece of our country, and I write this to 
remind you that a small portion of the old staff is out here 
roughing it in the west, and waiting very anxiously for the 
trumpet to sound which will recall him to his old place near 
you : however I am, or whatever position I may attain, when 
ever you wish my services you may command them, and I 
will fly to the execution of any order you may give; would to 
God we might all have met again in the same family circle 
as in time past, but our little number has been sadly stricken 
by the loss of poor Strong. He died as he wished to, I believe, 
the death of a true soldier, and his record, though brief, 
was such as to make even his country proud of him. Capt. 
Davis wrote me an account of the funeral, which must have 
been very impressive. Our old staff, General, seems to me to 
be a good deal like fishes out of water, flung up high and dry 
on the beach, and anxiously waiting and hoping that each 
coming wave will restore them to their native element ; Turner 
at Charleston undoubtedly is looking for you; Shaffer ready 
at any moment to charter more ships to carry offending English 
men from Charleston to their native shore; Davis and Clarke 
almost at your elbow; Bell also, and Kensel farthest off, 
though most anxious, all ready to put Charleston s forts in 
shape, either to repel foreign invasion or domestic insurrec- 



110 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

tion. But I will not trouble you farther, knowing the many 
letters you have to read daily. 

Make my kindest regards to Mrs. Butler and love to all 
the staff. When you feel so disposed I shall be delighted to 
hear from you. I remain very sincerely, My dear General, 

Yours to command, GEO. A. KENSEL 



From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. LOWELL, MASS. Sept. 1st, 1863 

Hon. JAMES C. CONCKLIN, SPRINGFIELD, ILL. 

DESPATCH inviting me to Springfield received. Just returned 
from a journey. Should be glad to meet my brothers of the 
Northwest upon the momentous questions of the present 
future. 

Rebellious states exist only by the surprise or weakness of 
the parent government. Compromises are impossible save 
between equals in right. Reorganization or reconstruction is 
alone useful where various parts are to be left out. Amnesties 
are for individuals, not organized communities. 

Therefore, prosecute the war, bring every part of the country 
into submission to the laws of the United States, then there 
will be no place for rebellion, no parties for compromises, no 
occasion for reconstruction, and clemency may be shown and 
amnesty offered to individual citizens who deserve it. Is there 
any other way to restore the Union? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From Colonel J. W. Shaffer to General Butler 

NEW YORK, Sept. 2nd, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I arrived safely this morning and will 
start West to-morrow evening. I received a letter from my 
wife saying that her eyes were worse, and that she had con 
cluded to come East and have something done with them. 
I will remain at home long enough to visit Springfield and 
Chicago, when I will return to New York with Mrs. Shaffer. 

I was this morning shown a private letter to Maj. Wagstaff, 
of the city, from Forney, saying that Mr. Lincoln intended 
issuing a Proclamation granting a General Amnesty to all 
Rebels (except certain leaders who would be exiled or pun 
ished here) upon condition of their laying down their arms 
and returning to their allegiance, and that his Proclamation 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 111 

of Emancipation must stand or fall as the Supreme Court of 
the United States may decide, etc. etc. 

The names of Forney and Wagstaff must be kept secret, as 
it would embarrass Wagstaff, he being at present on confi 
dential terms with Forney. I wish you would get Wilkes 
Spirit for this week and read an article entitled "The New 
Democratic Party"- -it strikes me as a good move. 

I think you had better accept the first good opportunity 
to open your batteries. Kind regards to Mrs. Butler and family. 

Truly Your Friend, J. W. SHAFFER 

From Frankly n Taylor 

BY TELEGRAPH, PHILADELPHIA, September Qth, 1863 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

WE have obtained written permission from the President. 
Please come at earliest possible moment. Answer. 

FRANKLYN TAYLOR, Continental Hotel 

Answer. Please enclose the permission. Hope to be in Phila 
delphia by Saturday night or Monday morning. 

B. F. BUTLER 

From Estwick Evans to General Butler 

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 12th f 1863 

DEAR SIR: I came here a few weeks since to "beard the 
lion" -the copperhead editors, "in his den." Do me the 
favor to peruse it. Every sentiment of my heart and soul is 
for the country. 

In my next number, Oct. 1st, if I can hold out, I shall an 
nounce you for the Presidency, as the only thorough man in 
the country. 

Mr. Lincoln desires an end to slavery, but I think he would 
accept peace short of this, and this would be ruin to the 
country Civil War in the North and W r est. I will see the 
country sunk before slavery, now, shall be retained. 

Very truly Yours, ESTWICK EVANS 

From Estwick Evans to General Butler 

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. Uth, 1863 

DEAR SIR: I wrote you on the llth instant. I think, on 
reflection, that I will not announce your name until after the 
Pennsylvania election, early next month. 



112 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Whatever may be my personal partialities, etc., etc., for 
you, I shall bring you forward for your patriotism, talents, 
energy, and, more than all, for your thoroughness, a term I 
used in my last letter. I fear Mr. Lincoln, my next choice, 
would, with all his abolition proclivities, yield to the copper 
heads and Southern intrigues. 

I pray you, sir, stand to your guns. You will. Like your 
self, I was not an abolitionist, but now I am till all is blue. I 
trust you will adhere closely to your stand and standpoint 
without a fraction of variation. The salvation depends on 
your ground being carried out. 

As to the people of color all by and by, I shall not be 
very particular. They shall be protected in all rights under 
the common law person, property, etc., and treated kindly 
and generously: not driven from the country, but advised to 
emigrate, and liberally encouraged to do so; but they must 
never have anything to do with the ballot box. With high 
consideration and every regard, EsTWICK EvANS 

From Salmon P. Chase to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: This note will be handed you by Judge 
Howe, a democrat of the right sort, as well as a gentleman of 
best esteem. 

He will represent to you the wish entertained by our Ohio 
folks to hear from you, and will tell you how great good you 
may do by attending and addressing a mass meeting to be 
held at Dayton on the 1st of October. I have no doubt it 
will be a vast assemblage, and I earnestly hope you will go. 
You can do great good, besides affording great gratification 
to multitudes, who want to see the man who ruled at New 

Orleans. Go and fail not. v s - j a T> r^ 

Your friend, S. r. CHASE 

From Lewis D. Campbell to General Butler 

HAMILTON, O., Sept. 14, 1863 

DEAR SIR: I write this to introduce to you Hon. Judge 
Howe, a war Democrat of this city and one of our most 
respected and influential citizens. He goes east to make an 
effort to have you attend a few of our mass meetings in Ohio, 
and especially one in this city (25 miles north of Cincinnati, 
in the heart of the Miami valley) on the 30th inst. He will 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 113 

explain to you the importance of your complying with the 
request if possible. 

Our people are intensely excited, and regard the result of 
the pending election equal in importance to that of a battle 
between the Union and Rebel armies in the field. It is not 
to be concealed that Ohio is in some danger. The Vallandig- 
ham party are making super-human efforts which must be 
counteracted. 

I assure you that you could not do the country a better 
service than to make a brief visit to Ohio, where you will find 
thousands and tens of thousands of your admirers to greet you. 
Very truly Your fr., LEWIS D. CAMPBELL 

From General Butler 

WASHINGTON, D.C. Sept. 18, 1863 
The Hon. Secretary of War 

APPLICATION has been made to me by Hon. P. H. Morgan, 
of New Orleans, in behalf of the New Orleans and Bayou 
Mail Company, for a statement of the facts and circum 
stance of the taking and use by the U. S. forces in Louisiana 
of the steamers "Laurel Hill" and "Iberville" in May, 1862. 

When the U. S. Army arrived in New Orleans, May 1, 
1862, these steamers were found by me in charge of the naval 
forces. The boats were lying at the piers, one of them, the 
"Iberville," not in repair. 

Transportation being of urgent necessity for the purpose 
of the expedition up the river to Vicksburg under command of 
General Williams, I called upon the Admiral commanding to 
turn over these boats to me, to which he consented, and for 
which I gave him my receipt. I caused the boats to be put in 
repair, and they were used continually from about the middle 
of May, 1862, in the transportation service of the United 
States in the Quarter-Master s Department, till the 16th day 
of December, 1862, when they were turned over to Col. Hola- 
bird, Chief Quarter-Master of the department under General 
Banks. 

The boats were very large, capable of transporting 1500 
men with their provisions for sixty days. 

The use of the boats was never paid for by my order, while 
in command. I was informed and believe the boats were saved 
from destruction by the rebels by the exertions of those having 

them in charge. -r, 

(BENJ. F. BUTLER) 

VOL. Ill 8 



114 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General John W. Turner to General Butler 

MORRIS ISLAND, S.C., Sept. 18, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: It is with an intense satisfaction that I 
can say Fort Wagner is "ours." You who can appreciate 
what it is to achieve an end, long struggled for, can feel with 
me. And more imperative did our obligations become not to 
weary in our efforts till we had rescued the spot where we had 
seen so many of our comrades fall. 

Our operations here present the anomaly of taking the bull 
by the horns because we are weak. We can burrow up to a 
place, which double our numbers would doubt over contending 
for in open field; and there also can be such a state of affairs 
as will render powerless a place of the enemy s without possess 
ing it, such are we rendering Charleston, in fact is about 
so now. 

The possession of Cumming s Point gives us a clean sweep 
of the whole harbor. All her wharves are now at the mercy 
of my guns. 

John Bull will find it of very little profit, after taking the 
chances of the gaunt let of the fleet, of getting a 200 pound shell 
in the hull of his vessel while unloading his commodities at 
the wharf of Charleston. To hold Charleston would require 
20,000 men, while the Confederacy would feel her loss no more 
than she does to-day. Sumter is a picket post of the enemy, 
that is all that is left of her. The result of Rosecrans opera 
tions will affect us greatly, and we have everything to hope 
in that direction from our latest accounts. 

Grant and Banks seem to be pondering over deep-laid 
schemes. I think them on the important arena of operations, 
and when I think of it, the greater does the injustice to you 
become in my opinion. 

It was of right your field, and I shall ever deem it unjust 
that you were not allowed to reap the reward. 

I hope Mrs. Butler is well; present my kind regards to her. 

We begin to take heart now that summer is over, a sniff 
of a cool breeze that we catch occasionally rejuvenates us at 
least ten years. I am, General, 

Very Sincerely, 

J. W. TURNER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 115 

From James Parton to General Butler 

NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have just seen H. G. He will gladly 
see you any day except Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, when he 
is either at his farm or at church. 

He says the best way is for you to dine together somewhere. 
He is a restaurant man, with no establishment, and cannot 
therefore ask you to his house for that purpose. But he will 
meet you at Delmonico s, Maison Doree, or at your hotel, 
whichever you may prefer. Please let me know the day. 

I told him nothing of the object in view. And how you will 
manage to do it, I cannot conceive. The chastest virgin 
may have desires may be tormented with desires, but she 
will not confess them even to herself. However, you know 
mankind, and will know how to shape your course. 

If I might express, I should say: 1. Senator from New 
York. 2. Secretary of the Interior. 3. Governor of 
New York. Newspaper advantages, always. To beat the 
World and Times is, naturally, an untiring purpose with the 
editor of another paper. 

But H. G. is a naturally disinterested man. He is really 
generous, and would sacrifice himself for the cause. Still he 
is human, and has been most grossly treated by Seward. 

I should think it better for you to have him alone. I men 
tion this because he seemed to take it for granted that I 
should be of the party. The dinner should be rather good, 
for he likes a good dinner. I think all men do who seldom 
have one. He drinks no wine. So no more at present from 

Yours very truly, JAS. PARTON 

From General J. B. Kinsman to General Butler 

Willard s Hotel, WASHINGTON, Sept. mh, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: A part of the delegation from (Mo.) 
arrived on Saturday, and the balance this morning, eighty in 
number, also the one from Kansas, headed by General Lane. 
Judge Carter went to the War Department with a few of them 
Saturday for a little preliminary talk, and says he feels posi 
tive he shall win this time. 

One of the committee, Mr. Silano, formerly of Massachu 
setts, has just left me to go up stairs where the delegation is 
in session; he says they have but one thing to ask of the Presi- 



116 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

dent, and if he grants it they shall be satisfied to go directly 
home, and that is for him to send you to them. 

The Judge does not seem to think Blair favors your going, 
but says the President and every one of the Secretaries shall 
come out this time, and he will know where they are. This is 
in the morning, and I will write you again this evening or to 
morrow morning. ^ ? T T> -f 

Yours truly, J. B. K. 

From General J. B. Kinsman to General Butler 

Ten o clock evening. Willard s Hotel, Sept. Z8th, 1863 

THE committee of nine, one from each Congressional Dis 
trict, was selected this morning out of the delegation to draft 
an address to the President, and the Secretary took it down in 
shorthand and has just been reading it to me, in which they 
set forth their grievances, asking the President to remove 
Schofield and send you to St. Louis. The delegation has 
unanimously accepted it, and tomorrow they will send to the 
President to see when he will receive them. 

Stanton has informed the Judge that he desires it, and shall 
do all he can for it. Bates will strenuously oppose it, and I 
think it hard to tell how it will go; at any rate it will take two 
or three days before anything can be known with certainty. 

The delegation are terribly in earnest. I am glad you are 
not here. I think it is much better that you are in Massa 
chusetts, as they are so rampant. 

I shall write you to-morrow, and the Judge says he shall 
put a note into my letter for you. He is very desirous that 
you go to Ohio and to Pittsburg. J B K 

From General J. B. Kinsman to General Butler 

Willard s Hotel, WASHINGTON, Sept. 30th, 1863 

THIS morning at ten o clock the delegation went to the 
President by appointment and presented this address which 
they had printed, making twelve pages (I will send you to 
morrow). At first the President was repellant, but after a 
while he hesitated, and has taken their petition under con 
sideration. The delegation are very hopeful, but from all I 
can learn Schofield was a pet of the President, and although 
he is a failure and he knows it, he is slow to give him up, and 
is as likely not to as he is to relieve him, and the delegation 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 117 

are thoroughly in earnest and determined that he shall take 
some action in the matter. 

There are men here from other Western States, and they 
say that if he does make the change ///., Miss., Ind., and 
Iowa will be very seriously affected. 

Senator Sherman of Chicago and Judge Carter, I hear, 
just left; they both go to the President in the morning on this 
matter. Sherman has been sitting on a commission of inves 
tigation in St. Louis for some time past, and is thoroughly 
aroused in the behalf. I am to see them to-morrow after they 
return. 

Carter has not written your note yet, as he intended. He 
and Sherman here desire that you shall make one of your 

speeches in Ohio. v / T -o i^ 

Yours truly, J. B. K. 

From Colonel H. Haupt 1 to General Butler 

CAMBRIDGE, Oct. 1, 1863 

GENERAL: You have a very warm friend and admirer in 
Rev. R. McCurdy of Washington. He is a D.D. and LL.D., 
warmly interested in National affairs and influential in politi 
cal circles, particularly in Kentucky and other border states. 
He regards you as the most available candidate for the Presi 
dency, and is working to secure the nomination. 

I have requested that a full set of photographs with de 
scriptions be sent to you. I have no doubt they w T ill prove 
interesting. 

I expect another free fight this winter with Gov. Andrew. 
His course in reference to me has been in violation of good 
faith, and is infamous. I expect to ask an investigation and 
show him up. 

The condition of my affairs in Mass, prevented me from 
accepting a commission unconditionally; the only condition 
I made was that whenever a suspension of active operations 
would permit I should be permitted to protect my property 
and defend my reputation in Mass. Stan ton would agree 
to no conditions, and I would not accept without. I offered 
to serve in the management of the railroad as a civilian with- 



1 Chief of construction and transportation in the United States Military Rail 
roads . . . from May 28, 1862, to September 14, 1863, being promoted September 5, 
1862, to the rank of brigadier-general of volunteers for services in operations against 
the enemy during the campaign of the Army of Virginia; but he declined the appoint 
ment. "Officers of the Army and Navy who served in the Civil War," p. 323. 



118 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

out pay. Stanton, probably at the instance of Andrew who 
was with him at the time, tried to force me to accept a com 
mission. I refused, some strong language was used, and I 
told the Secretary that if he was not satisfied that I should 
serve as a civilian he could relieve me altogether. I was 
relieved. 

The condition of military railroad affairs in the west is 
such that our operations cannot be successful, the railroads 
can forward neither troops nor supplies. Confusion reigns 
supreme, and Stanton is responsible for the whole of it. Hal- 
leek urged him more than a year ago, and repeatedly, to give 
authority to remedy defects and correct abuses, but he would 
not do it. Inefficiency characterizes both the War and Navy 
Departments. As a civilian, I have a right to think and to 

say what I think. v 1 TT TT 

Yours truly, H. HAUPT 

From General Butler to Salmon P. Chase 

PRIVATE. LOWELL, October 6th, 1863 

DEAR SIR: Since I saw you I have been reflecting with 
some care upon the subject of the future of Louisiana. 

Its importance grows upon me. If that state, by a change 
of her Constitution, abolishing Slavery and forbidding the 
payment of the Confederate Debts of all kinds forever by 
the act of her own people, can ask readmission to the Union 
the first of any, the question which of all others is the most 
dangerous one now open will be settled forever. 

The President says "the Proclamation if valid will stand," 
but if invalid in the opinion of the present Supreme Judges, 
what then? Its effect and purport must be embalmed in the 
Constitutional law of the several seceding States, and then 
the question will never come before that tribunal, or if it does, 
will never affect those who are freed by its utterances. 

If Louisiana shall first come into the Union in the manner 
I have described, all the rest will follow. If North Carolina 
asks first to come in, even with hands dripping with the blood 
of Union soldiers, although she may never have repented by 
a change of heart, or have done "works meet for repentance," 
or even have said, "I have sinned against Heaven and in Thy 
sight," she will be received, and the fatted calf killed, and thus 
the keynote furnished for all the rest. That Louisiana will 
come all in good time I doubt not, but early, prompt, energetic 
action is needed. In view of this most desirable end, I am 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 119 

tempted to say to the President that if he desires this thing 
done, I will go to New Orleans with a view of bringing about 
such result. I point him to the representations sent under 
my administration there to the last Congress as an earnest 
of what may be done. ... I suppose that the President will 
be unwilling to take so decided a step in favor of the radical 
party in Missouri as to send me there even if he removes 
Schofield, and I desire always to disembarrass him as much as 
possible wherever I am concerned. This is the personal em 
barrassment. If he should remove Schofield, and then, after 
the urgent request made for me, should appoint another 
without giving me anything else to do after my long idleness, 
such treatment would give color to the foolish reports that 
are in circulation that I am kept out of employment because 
of some supposed rivalry for the succession, and that would 
be most annoying and unjust to him; or give evidence to 
another report that I am not employed because of some 
supposed personal dereliction of duty, which would be equally 
unjust to me. This of course would leave me but one remedy, 
and that would be to tender my Commission to the Presi 
dent, thereafterwards be at liberty to act in self -vindication, 
but I usually decline to take the defensive. In consenting to 
go to New Orleans I swallow pride and feeling to a great degree 
for the sake of the country and its cause, and for the purpose 
of not being in any way in opposition to the administration, 
which has enough load without even the feather weight of 
mine. 

I w T ill not close this note, which I have marked confidential, 
without calling your attention to the remark you made to me 
that the Currency could not stand six months more of the 
present expenditures. For mercy sake do not say so again, 
for such is the confidence of the country and its business men 
in your knowledge of workings of finances and the state of 
monetary affairs, that the very knowledge of your thought 
would bring its own verification. Upon you rests the expec 
tation of the Nation in its financial affairs, and I have no doubt 
that the utterance of the thought you gave me made on 
"Change" would cause a loss of confidence in the public stocks. 

Excuse this epistle in its length and suggestions. From 

Most truly Your friend, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 



120 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Salmon P. Chase to General Butler 

On the Cars. October 9th, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I take a moment in the cars just to say 
to you that I saw the President today and talked about you. 
He seemed, and I doubt not is, entirely kind; and I think it 
very probable that you will go to New Orleans, if to go is 
agreeable to you. He suggested only two difficulties, possible 
conflict of authority with Gen. Banks, and the hostility of a 
certain part of the so-called union population. My impression 
is that Hahn, one of the members of the late Congress, is not 
favorable to your return. Flanders, the other member will 
probably be in Washington soon. He will be favorable. 

Your friend, (SALMON P. CHASE) 

I much desired that you should go to St. Louis in fault of 
something better for you and the country; but the President 
will not remove Schofield. 

From J. K. Herbert to General Butler 

City Hotel, NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 14, 1863 

DEAR SIR : We made the trip out in ten days could 
scarcely have had a more pleasant voyage. 

The Texas Ex. is at some point about 20 miles from New 
Iberia, called Vermillion bayou. It is not moving. Col. 
Holabird just now told me they were going to send some men 
by water to cooperate with the force already gone, and that 
they would be landed this side of Galveston some place 
possibly at Sabine Pass again, as he took pains to say emphat 
ically that they had "positive information that it is still fea 
sible." The transports are taking on coal & water for ten 
days. 

I am not changed in any opinion I entertained in New 
York as to the time when the enterprize will succeed. 

No frank man that I have met has any confidence in it. 
Many expect the whole force out there will have to return. 
The force is estimated variously from 20-40 thousand 
probably 20 to 25 thousand, I think. 

The Rebels have about as many, it is said, and are en 
trenched (?) fifteen miles from our front. If so, then I predict 
another Port Hudson. 

Banks was out there, and returned the night we landed - 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 121 

Monday. Gen. H. has seen him he talks confidently & 
cheerfully. I have not spoken with him yet myself. 

I shall seek him tomorrow and get what I can out of him. 

I have the Tribune on my shoulders, after the fashion of 
the letter, a copy of which I enclose, and which I will have 
covertly reach Banks ear. 

Oct. 16th [Not in chronological order] 

I WAS interrupted here. I saw Banks yesterday morning. 
He came into his parlor we shook hands I said, "I hope 
you are very well, General." He made no reply, but looked 
so stiff I thought I would apologize a little for being there. I 
said, "I have no specific business, General, I only called to 
pay you my respects." He still said nothing. I then said, 
"Well, I guess we will get to Texas this time without fail." 
He then said, "Had you nothing to say to me?" in a very 
cold, forbidding manner, and I, with an emphasis that could 
not be mistaken said instantly, "No, sir." He understood by 
my reply that I knew he meant to insult me, & that I didn t 
care a - . He walked out of the room at once without 
saying a word, not even "good morning." 

This is a faithful, literal report of our interview. From the 
intimacy of last winter between B. and myself it was not only 
quite proper but necessary civility for me to call on him at 
his house in the manner I did. 

No one knows of it here except Major Plumly, whom Banks 
asked in my hearing to come into the parlor with him. I shall 
pay no attention to it, mention it to nobody unless I hear 
of it from Plumly or Banks. 

Banks, I am satisfied, will never conquer Texas. He may 
manufacture another Port Hudson, and glorify himself for 
taking it, but he will postpone the taking of it until some time 
next May. 

If it be possible, come down here yourself, if not send Hooker, 
or a better man if you know him. 

Banks is issuing rations to bet. 60,000 & 70,000 men to-day. 
About 5,000 of those, I am told by officers are Banks men - 
the balance Butler men. An officer told me yesterday that 
if you were to ride along the 19th Army Corps they would 
"nearly go beside themselves." 

There is a general quarrel here Bowen (P. M. Gen.) is 
north representing one party Ex. M. C. Flanders represent 
ing another I have not got into the merits of the row yet. 

Gen. H. is going to make a speech to-morrow night in the city. 



122 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

He thinks of remaining here a month now, and we take 
quarters here to-day, I suppose in some unoccupied house. 

I do not see much use of being here unless we can have a 
change of commanders, hence, if you go to Missouri and 
Kansas, I think I shall want you to send for me. I have told 
you that I want to make some money, in a legitimate way, of 
course, but I want to make some. If I could come out there 
and rove a little amongst the Northwestern politicians I think 
I could make myself serviceable. But you know best. 

If there is a chance of getting Texas occupied before a nomi 
nating convention is called, why then this is my field of course. 
But that cannot, or at least I am confident will not be under 
Banks. 

A Brig. Gen. said to me yesterday, "Banks will never con 
quer anything if he does go to Texas he will only occupy 
some point & then crow about it why he has had fifty or 
sixty thousand men in La., and given up all but 10 or 12 
Parishes that Butler had conquered, so that not more than 
that amount of territory is to-day occupied in the state. If 
the Gen. Govt. could only know the kind of machine B. is, 
they would be infamous not to remove him immediately. 
He has no idea here except one that is who shall be nomi 
nated for the Presidency in 64. He tells nobody, not even 
his Generals, what his plans are, because when he fails to exe 
cute them he wants no one to know it so that he may publish 
flaming Bulletins that "the object of the En. has been fully 
accomplished," and in the same strain much farther the same 
Gen. proceeded. 

You know him well he was here when you were here, & 
has recently been North. 

If you will write me to New Orleans, care of Gen. Hamilton, 
I will get it without fail & be obliged. I shall be on the qui vive. 

Faithfully yours, J. K. HERBERT 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, October 15th, 1863 

Capt. JOHN DE PASS, 388 Canal Street, N. Y. 

CAPTAIN: I have received your communication about Sam 
Smith. I quite agree with you he ought not to be trusted at 
all. A rascal in peaceable times, a rebel in these times, he will 
play false to the government where ever employed. He should 
never have been suffered to get out of prison. 

Yours Truly, B. F. B. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 123 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, MASS., October IQth, 1863 

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

DEAR SIR: Lieut. Col. Henry Finnegan has been known to 
me many years. No man s reputation for courage and energy 
stood higher than his before the war, and it had been tested. 

At New Orleans he behaved with the most determined 
bravery in making the arrest of a most noted ruffian, "Red 
Bill," who, charged with seven murders, had hid himself in 
a swamp, where Finnegan went after him alone. For his 
bravery, fidelity, and good conduct I promoted him to a 
Lieut. Colonelcy of a colored regiment. 

He had been dismissed from that command without trial, 
without a hearing, without a Court, without right, as I believe. 
I w^ould trust my life to his courage sooner than to any man I 
know. 

Pray give him a hearing, and I will answer for it he will 
show the same courage that he did at Bull Run, at Biloxi, at 
Pontchatoula under General Strong, who speaks of Finnegan 
in the highest terms in his official report. 

Most respectfully* Your obedient Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, MASS., October 21, 1863 

Hon. S. P. CHASE, Sec y of Treasury, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

MY DEAR SIR: Your note written in the cars of the date of 
October 9th, given to Mr. Camp, was mailed the 13th, and 
being missent reached me yesterday. 

I am grateful for the interest you take in my affairs. As 
you do not mention that you received it, I presume at the date 
of writing you had not mine of October 6th. In that I 
explained at some length my views about affairs in Louisiana, 
and as it is to be hoped that the epistle has before this reached 
you, I will not trouble you with an iteration of the matter 
therein explained. 

I am much obliged for the President s kind remembrance of 
me. He has always treated me with distinguished kindness, 
but I am still unemployed. The objections to sending me to 
New Orleans that he makes are untenable, I believe. 

If he gives Banks the state of Texas for a Department I 



124 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

certainly cannot interfere with him. Banks can have Sabine 
Pass for a depot of supplies, or Galveston, or Brownsville, or 
Corpus Christi, or Matergarda. I can assure the President 
that Banks will never be in my way if he has started on his 
Texas Expedition overland. 

Geographical Military Departments were devised by Presi 
dent Adams the younger to keep Scott and Gaines from 
quarrelling, and as the device succeeded in keeping those 
belligerents apart, there need be no fear that Banks and I 
shall quarrel. 

Indeed, there has not been such active and hearty coopera 
tion in this war so far by different Department Commanders 
as to lead to the inference that Commanders of different 
Departments are likely to interfere with each other much. 
Witness: Patterson and McDowell; Wool and McClellan; 
Pope and Fremont; Hooker and Dix; Grant and Banks; 
Burnside and Rosecrans; Halleck and Butler at Vicksburg, 
et id omne genus. Only make two Departments, and we shall 
be as separate as two tigers in two cages. 

As to the other objection, the so-called Union men will 
object to me, I answer that every true Union man will welcome 
me. Even Doctor Cottman is ready now to call for me, at 
least he says so. 

To show you that Mr. Hahn is all things to all men, and 
would gladly welcome the powers that be, I enclose to you an 
extract from a private letter to me by a friend who did as much 
for Mr. Hahn s election as anybody, containing a report of a 
conversation had by him with Mr. Hahn. The remarks spoken 
of were in Mr. Hahn s New York speech. 

Do you not think that Gov. Shepley, my life-long friend, 
would cooperate with me quite as well as with General Banks. 

But if, as the President states, Banks was originally designed 
for Texas why not let him go there? I am no beggar for 
place, and specially as against Genl. Banks, who has never 
yet done anything, which depended upon himself, but dis 
aster. Witness, Shenandoah Valley; Cheat Mountain (See 
Pope s Despatch); march to Alexandria (let the poor Union 
men given up to destruction by the abandonment of the county, 
and the captured convalescents of Brasier City, with $2,000,000 
of stores and guns, testify) ; two useless and murderous assaults 
on Fort Hudson, surrendering the day after the news of the 
surrender of Vicksburg reached that beleaguered post, and a 
loss in the seige of ten thousand men; Sabine Pass; and last 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 125 

and not least the utter failure in recruiting the negro, where 
with a million dollars expense and nine months time, and the 
full power of the Government, he has not as many men enlisted 
by himself as he found enlisted when he went to the Depart 
ment in four months time, without a dollar s expense to the 
country, unauthorized by the Government, and only sanc 
tioned in November after it was all done. But something 
too much of this. 

If Grant goes into Rosecrans Department, as is rumored, 
who will take charge of Mississippi River and keep it open? 
I had begun when I was removed upon a scheme for that pur 
pose, founded on the early French and Spanish experience 
against the Indians, which will sometime have to be carried 
out by somebody. I should like to explain this matter to the 
President, but am ashamed to come to Washington any more 
without his desire. There is another matter of vital interest 
to the country, about which I have a scheme, but much too 
long to write. The proclamation for 300,000 will bring no 
men by volunteering. We shall be obliged to resort to the 
draft, and that must be popularised. That, too, may be done, 
and without any resort to Congress. Now, I have determined 
to offer no more advice where it is not asked or desired. Would 
you? I call you to witness that the movement of half of 
Grant s Army to the Potomac, of which I spoke to you at 
Washington in July, as I advised, would have been wise. Has 
not the event shown? What has that Grand Army done 
since? What could it do in the heat of the summer? But I 
fear you will think this letter is now too long to be read. 

Most truly Your friend, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From J. K. Herbert 

23 Dauphine St., N. ORLEANS, LA., 23 Oct., 1863 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, LOWELL, MASS. 

DEAR SIR: We are now setting our faces toward Texas. 
A large force is already embarked for the Texas coast. Banks 
is going himself, I believe. Nothing very positive can be 
stated now things are in a formative state. Next mail I 
will write at greater length. 

The mail is already closed, but I must try to get half a dozen 
letters in. I met Gen. B. at a select dinner party at the house 
of Mr. Durant yesterday. At his entrance I was caught - 
Judge Whitaker & I were standing together B. shook hands 



126 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

with the Jud. & then reached to me I could not cut him 
there & so took his hand but on leaving I did my best bow 
to each lady in the parlor shook Mrs. D s hand & then 
shook hds. with each gentleman in the room shook them 
all around B., and quit with Mr. D. at his side, & turned my 
back on him without speaking to him. Whether anybody else 
noticed it or not I do not know, but B. certainly did. 

Gen. H., Gen. B., & myself were the only mil. gentlemen 
there. I was glad that I reed, more than my share of atten 
tion, & observed that whenever I caught B s face he was 
staring at me. 

I hope Gen. H. will get a letter from you soon cheering him 
up and reminding him of our schemes. He is not going with 
the force at present. He has become convinced that it is best 
to keep out until it is made a certainty that a foothold is 
obtained. 

Banks is very confident. He is, through my Plumly man- 
oeuver that I think I explained to you, almost completely in 
the hands of the Texans, they think for the present. My faith 
is not so strong. He is extremely anxious to save his bacon, 
and he has learned the only salt for him success. I have 
never seen him so active. 

Gen. H. is very much pleased. Banks got some very 
severe, sarcastic cuts at dinner yesterday from Durant, Whit- 
aker, Judge Howell, & others. I chuckled inwardly, & said 
good inaudibly. 

If you can have Col. Davis, of the 1st Texas Cav., made a 
Brig. Gen. you will serve a worthy man a good, strong friend 
of yours and a brave soldier. He is now acting Brig. His 
promotion would be an offense to certain prominent individ 
uals here, as it would be deserving. Set Carter to work. 

I must go on board with my letters it is 11 P.M. boat 
sails 8 A.M. been so busy last night & to-day that I could 
not write more. 

We have good news from Pa., Ohio, Ind., & Iowa. Only 
reed, it to-night. Let us hear from you please. Write to 
N. O. & it will find us. 

Your most obt. servt., J. K. HERBERT 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 127 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, MASS., October 23d, 1863 

Captain THORNTON, Gen. SHEPLEY S Staff, 
NEW ORLEANS, LA. 

MY DEAR CAPTAIN: I send you herewith a copy of some 
correspondence had between me and General Jeff Thompson 
and the War Department. 

In your absence I have endeavored to do all I might to make 
good what I know you feel as an honorary obligation to General 
Thompson. 

You need not thank me for so doing, because it is only 
what you would do for me in like case. 

My love to General Shepley, and say to him as he knows I 
never write unless I have something to say, that I shall have 
something to say to him in a few days. 

Very truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Depot of Prisoners, JOHNSON S ISLAND, near SANDUSKY, OHIO, September 28th, 1863. 

[Not in chronological order] 

Major General BENJ. F. BUTLER, U.S.A., 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

GENERAL: About this time last year the fortunes of war 
placed in my hands a Captain Thornton of your command, 
wounded and a prisoner of war. You will remember that I 
sent Capt. Thornton, on parole, back to New Orleans in your 
yacht. 

I promised Capt. Thornton that if I was ever captured I 
would notify him of my whereabouts, that he might return 
the favors which he thought I extended to him. I do not 
think that Capt. Thornton is under any obligations to me, 
as I simply acted towards him as I have to all gentlemen who 
have been so unfortunate as to be captured by me, but in con 
formity with my promise I would like to let him know that 
I am here, and as I do not know his address, and understand 
ing at the time that he was a personal friend of yours, I hope 
it will not be presuming to request you to forward him this 
letter, let me know his address, or otherwise let him know 
that I am at this prison, as may be convenient or agreeable to 

Yours Most Respectfully, 
M. JEFF THOMPSON, Brig. Gen. M.S.G. 



128 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

LOWELL, MASS., October 6th, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

To the Officer Commanding Depot of Prisoners at 
JOHNSON S ISLAND, near SANDUSKY, OHIO 

SIR: Enclosed please find an inserted note to General M. 
Jeff Thompson, now, as I am informed, a prisoner under your 
charge. If not inconsistent with the regulation of your depot 
please deliver it. You will read it if agreeable to you, and will 
learn therefrom that Gen. Thompson showed great kindness 
to wounded officers and soldiers that fell into his hands, and 
I beg leave to speak for him all the indulgence and liberty 
which can be shown him consistent with your discipline. 

Please inform me if Gen. Thompson is destitute, so that he 
cannot supply himself with any little comforts that would 
alleviate and accord with his situation. 

Most Truly Yours, B. F. B. 

LOWELL, October, 6th, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

Brig. Gen. M. JEFF THOMPSON 

GENERAL: Your note addressed to me received to-day. 
I will forward it to Capt. Thornton, now on Brig. General 
Shepley s staff at New Orleans, as you request. 

I retain a lively sense of the courtesy and urbanity with 
which you conducted operations when in command opposed 
to me in Louisiana, and desire again as before to thank you 
for your kindness to Capt. Thornton in sending him home 
wounded, by which kindness I have no doubt his life was 
saved. 

Although an outlaw by the proclamation of those whom you 
serve, for acts which no one knows more surely than yourself 
were untruly reported and unjustly construed, I will endeavor 
to have your imprisonment lightened or commuted if possible. 

I have therefore taken the liberty to forward a copy of 
your communication to the war department, with a note of 
which the enclosed shows the contents. 

Sympathizing with you that the fortune of war has made 
you a prisoner, yet you will pardon me when I add that I am 
glad that the enemies of my country are deprived of the ser 
vices of so effective an officer. 

Respectfully, Your Obdt. Servant, B. F. B. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 129 

LOWELL, October 6th, 1863, [Not in chronological order] 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to enclose to you a copy of a note 
received from Brig. General M. Jeff Thompson, whom I knew 
in command of the forces immediately opposed to me at Pon- 
chatoula, on the northern side of Lake Ponchartrain, when I 
was in command in the Department of the Gulf. The origi 
nal I have sent as requested to Capt. Thornton, of Brig. Gen 
eral Geo. F. Shepley s staff. 

Captain Thornton, a most valuable soldier and efficient 
officer, was grievously wounded with at least seven bullet 
holes through his clothes and various parts of his body in the 
attack on Ponchatoula in September of last year, under the 
command of the late lamented Maj. Gen. Strong, then of my 
staff. Captain Thornton was left in the hands of the enemy, 
and received of General Thompson every care and kindness, 
and at my request was sent to New Orleans upon his parole. 
This courteous consideration on the part of General Thompson 
I have no doubt enabled us, with the blessing of Heaven, to 
save Captain Thornton s valuable life. Gen. Thompson is 
now a prisoner at Johnson s Island, near Sandusky, Ohio. 
If not inconsistent with public service, I most earnestly ask 
that Gen. Thompson may be released upon his parole. While 
I can testify to the uniform urbanity and courtesy with which 
all the operations of General Thompson were conducted, I 
am most decidedly of the opinion that the kindness which he 
showed to Capt. Thornton alone should entitle him to every 
possible consideration. 

That kindness was not alone given to the officers, but the 
wounded men spoke of his treatment with the utmost grati 
tude. I found him a troublesome enemy enough, but his 
humanity, which was in contrast with the conduct of Gen. 
Taylor, leads me to ask this favor for him at the hands of the 
Government. 

As I am not much in the habit of asking leniency for rebels, 
I trust the War Department will take it as a guaranty that 
this is a proper case for the extension of every indulgence. I 

Most respectfully, Your Obdt. Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. 



VOL. Ill 9 



130 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Depot of Prisoners of War, JOHNSON S Is., near SANDUSKY, OHIO, 
October 12th, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

Major General BENJ. F. BUTLER, U.S.V., LOWELL, MASS. 

GENERAL: Your kind letter of the 6th inst. was received on 
the 10th, but a violent headache has prevented me from 
answering it until now. I am very much obliged to you for 
the interest you take in my welfare, and thank you for your 
unsolicited and flattering application to the U. S. War Depart 
ment in my behalf, and I am also grateful for the complimen 
tary manner in which you speak of my conduct as an officer. 

Should the U. S. War Department proffer to "parole" me, 
I will cheerfully accept it, not so much for the restricted liberty, 
that it will give, as for the purpose of showing to the people 
of both Governments that the stories that have been told 
about my being a Guerilla, etc., are false, and that with all 
the eccentricities and peculiarities that have been imputed 
to me, I have not forgotten to be a gentleman; and also that 
Capt. Thornton and various other officers, who are under 
the impression that they are under obligations to me for 
similar favors, may feel that their Government has shown a 
disposition to reciprocate for them. 

You say that "no one more surely than myself" knows that 
"the acts" for which my Government blamed you "were 
untruly reported, and unjustly construed." What your inten 
tions were, when you issued the "order" which brought so 
much censure upon yourself, I of course cannot tell, but I 
can testify, and do with pleasure, that nearly all of the many 
persons who passed through my lines, to and from New Orleans 
during the months of August and September 1862, spoke 
favorably of the treatment they had received from you, and 
with all my enquiries, which were constant, I did not hear of 
one single instance of a lady being insulted by your command. 

Thanking you again for your kindness and compliments, 
and hoping that your Government will soon conclude to "let 
us alone" I am 

Most Respectfully, 

Your Obdt. Servant, 

M. JEFF THOMPSON, 

Brig. Genl. M.S.G. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 131 

Head Quarters Hoffman Battalion, Depot Prisoners of War, near SANDUSKY, OHIO, 

\<ith Oct., 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

Major General BENJ. F. BUTLER, LOWELL, MASS. 

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your letter with enclosures to Gen. Thompson, and to inform 
you that I delivered the same to him. 

With this, you will receive the reply of Gen. Thompson. 

I will further state, that I endeavored to find out his neces 
sities, as delicately as I could. 

He stated that his wants here were supplied by our Govern 
ment satisfactorily so he did not suffer, that Missouri was 
in such a condition that he did not like to call on friends there, 
as they were Union men, and it might place them under sus 
picion of their neighbors. He also said that in case he should 
be paroled, he hardly knew what means of support he could 
obtain, except from some persons of unquestioned loyalty. 

I have no doubt myself but a small amount of money would 
be a great favor to him, even though he will not say so. 

Very respectfully, Your obdt. Servant, 
W. S. PIERSON, Lt. Col. Com. Hoffman Battalion 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, MASS., October 23re?, 1863 

Lieut. Col. W. S. PIERSON, Commanding Depot of Prisoners of 
War, SANDUSKY, OHIO 

MY DEAR SIR: Thanks for your promptness in delivering 
my note to Gen l Thompson, and your answers to my enquiries. 

Please find enclosed fifty dollars which you will hand to 
General Thompson. 

He need not know from whence it comes unless he should, 
as you hint, think that it may compromise the reputation for 
loyalty of some of his Union friends for him to receive it. In 
that case, or upon your own judgment, tell him to take it 
freely, as I have no fear of any question of my loyalty or 
motives. 

If General Thompson has any scruples, tell him to take it 
as a loan to be paid either to me or to the Union soldier who 
may have the misfortune to be in his hands hereafter and in 
need. We will fight all the better for it on both sides if we ever 

Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER 



132 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Lieutenant Colonel Pierson 

Head Quarters Hoffman Battalion, Depot Prisoners of War, near SANDUSKY, OHIO, 

Oct. 08th, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER, LOWELL, MASS. 

GENERAL: You will find herewith note from M. Jeff Thomp 
son. I will tell him some day who sent it. 

Yours Respectfully, 
W. F. PIERSON, Lt. Col. Hoffman Battalion 

From General Jeff Thompson 

Depot of Prisoners, JOHNSON S ISLAND, OHIO, Oct. Zlth, 1863 

[Not in chronological order] 

Lt. Col. W. F. PIERSON, U.S.A., Commandant 

COLONEL: Your note of yesterday, informing me that an un 
known friend had left with you Fifty Dollars for my use, was 
received a few moments ago. You will please convey to this 
kind friend my sincere thanks, and assure him that no human 
being shall ever need help long if I have it in my power to 
assist him, and certainly no brave soldier, though he may be 
my country s enemy, shall ever want where I shall be in com 
mand, or have the ability to provide for him. I have been 
and will continue fighting in this War from a sense of sacred 
duty to my native South, but I cannot and will not believe 
that such duty calls for actions unbecoming a gentleman, 
and will continue exercising the kindness which I have here 
tofore extended to all of the enemy who have fallen into my 
hands, the more readily now that I have seen the return of 
"the bread that I have cast upon the waters." 

I will not fail to enquire who my kind friend is, that I may 
let whatever unfortunate prisoner I may assist know whose 
"bread" he is eating. Y<mn ^ Regpeetfullyi 

M. JEFF THOMPSON, Brig. Genl. f M.S.G. 
From General Butler 

LOWELL, MASS., October 23d, 1863 

THOMAS L. RYAN, CARLYLE, ILL. 

MY DEAR RYAN: I got your note of inquiry about our late 
friend, Major Genl. Strong, this morning. 

In this bereavement, which sinks all distinctions of rank, I 
mingle my grief with yours over the loss of our friend. You 
forget him as your commanding officer, but remember him as 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 133 

the true friend, always kind, always just. I do not think of 
the subordinate, but the almost brother to me. It is too true. 
General Strong, chafing under the enforced idleness which his 
position on my staff called for, volunteered to go to the Depart 
ment of the South with Genl. Gilmore, and there led the assault 
upon Fort Wagener of the 18th of July, was wounded in the 
thigh by a piece of a shell, was brought to New York, and died 
from lockjaw from his wounds on the 30th of July. On that 
day a Commission as Major General was issued to him by the 
President. I attended his funeral on the first of August. So 
passed away our friend, leaving us the bright record of his 
virtues untarnished by a single sin. 

Your grief for him, Ryan, is as touching and sincere as I 
know your relations were kindly and pleasant. 

Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From J. K. Herbert 

23 Dauphine St., NEW ORLEANS, 29 Oct., 1863 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER, LOWELL, MASS. 

DEAR SIR: Nothing of any importance to communicate, 
but a mail goes to-morrow, and I send a word. The Texas 
Ex. is "three days gone" -Banks is along, & Holabird, 
with McClure in H s. office it is ten or twelve thousand 
strong and will most likely be heard from by Sunday or 
Monday. 

Gen. H s. nose begins to bloom a little again, but I do not 
see him drink. I am sorely afraid he is seduced by the fair 
words of Banks and Plumly. 

I can get no favors out of Banks or his household, I think. 
I have an arrangement with King & Pennock of Pittsburg that 
I think you know of. 

The order, a copy of which I send you, is published and 
violated for friends, and used as a snubbing machine for those 
who are not favorites. 

I wish you would enclose the enclosed copy of the order to 
Judge Carter, and ask him to get a proper permit from Stanton, 
or the proper officer in Washington, for King & Pennock and 
their representatives to travel between New Orleans and any 
part of the Texas coast on Govt. transports, and carry on a 
legitimate trade under the Treas. Dept s. restrictions. 

I would like exceedingly to ride over the Dept. here that 
way, and it seems they expect it to be done. Unless I can 



134 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

get back to first principles so, I am going to be dished in a 
fine enterprise. 

I also wish you would ask your brother to drop Plumly a 
line directing him to serve me in any way he can. 

He says, now, he will, but I know he does not mean to 
do it. 

Stanton, I think, knows King & Pennock, and furnished 
them facilities with Grant last winter. Let the pass, if it is 
obtained, be sent to me here. They will be here soon, I think. 
Stanton better not know that I have anything to do with it. 

We don t get but one paper here each mail that of the 
day the steamer sails. What is the news? How goes the sly 
war? I see the Herald is for Blair for Speaker & for Lincoln 
for re-election. 

I hope everything is running lovely. Has anybody made 
anything out of the Kansas-Missouri Com.? Hahn, here, is 
running some private machine for Lincoln, he told me; but 
he did not tell me just what. It is in reference to reorganizing 
the state. A few days will develop it, he said. I send you a 
paper containing a proclamation for an election that waked 
the snakes terribly here the other day. You will under 
stand it. 

My regards to Col. Kinsman. Tell him I want him to copy 
his diary and send me the copy. I am 

Faithfully yours, J. K. HERBERT 

From General M. Jeff Thompson 

JOHNSON S ISLAND, near SANDUSKY, OHIO, October 31st, 1863 

Major General BENJAMIN B. BUTLER, U.S.V., 
LOWELL, MASS. 

GENERAL: I sent to my sister your letter to me and several 
others that I thought would be interesting to her, and I find 
that, for the gratification of my personal friends, she has let 
them be published in the St. Joseph, Mo. newspapers, and 
that they have been copied into the New York Herald and 
other papers of general circulation. 

I assure you this publication was made without my knowl 
edge or consent, and I hope you will pardon those who have 
inadvertently given publicity to our private correspondence ! 
at the same time, I will not deny that I feel pleased that your 
flattering opinion of me has been made public, as your request 
of the War Department was not granted, whereby it would 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 135 

have been made public, for I feel proud of your complimentary 
remarks on my official conduct. I remain, 

Most Respectfully, Your Obdt. Servant, 

M. JEFF THOMPSON, Brig. Genl. M.S.G. 

From the Secretary of War 
BY TELEGRAPH from WASHINGTON (Nov. 2), 1863. 10 A.M. 

To Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

You have been assigned to command at Fort Monroe. 
The Secretary of War directs you to repair there immediately. 
Acknowledge receipt. ^ ^ 

E. D. TOWNSEND 

LOWELL, November 2nd, 1863 

Telegrams 

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Adjt. Genl. 

TELEGRAM announcing Assignment to Fortress Monroe 

received. 

B. F. BUTLER 

LOWELL, Novbr. 2nd, 1863 

OILMAN JONES, SUNCOOK, N.H. 
COME at once to start on duty. 

B. F. BUTLER 

LOWELL, Novmbr. 2nd, 1863 

Capt. R. S. DAVIS, BOSTON, MASS. 

NOTIFY Bell, Kinsman, Lieut. Clarke, to be ready to leave 
Wednesday. B p 



LOWELL, November 2nd, 1863 

Capt. A. F. PUFFER, A.D.C., NEW YORK 

BE ready to leave for duty. Shall be in New York Thursday. 

B. F. BUTLER. 

LOWELL, November 2nd, 1863 

Col. J. W. SHAFFER, FREEPORT, ILL. 

AM ordered to Fortress Monroe. Meet me in New York 

Thursday " B. F. BUTLER 



136 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From S. C. Pomeroy 1 to General Butler 

NEW YORK, ST. NICHOLAS, NOD. 2nd, 1863 

MY DEAR SIR : While at Washington lately, as suggested when 
I last saw you, I had a long conversation with Secretary Chase, 
who fully endorses our views of the policy suggested by you of 
bringing the state of Louisiana back into the Union. 

I also saw the President, and urged this measure upon him 
for an hour. I do not feel at liberty to write what he said, but 
can state in general terms that he seems to entertain the 
kindest feelings towards you. He read me his reply to the 
Mo. Delegation, where he speaks approvingly of you, etc. 

I must now say only what is my inference from all heard : 
1st. Mr. Seward, and perhaps some others, oppose your going 
again to New Orleans. 

2nd. The President has determined to give you a command. 
3rd. To follow out my plan,, as urged for Louisiana he is 
willing for you to try it in North Carolina. 

It only remains for you to decide to go. Of course there is 
no other object in North Carolina for you to go there for. 

It is not a department in a military sense, such as you ought 
to have. But in a political sense, and as being able to settle 
there even the great conflict of opinion now likely to ruin us, 
I hope I may advise you to go. I tried to get a more promising 
field. But if you can do there what you hoped to do in Louisi 
ana, the results will not be less gratifying. Always your friend 
and glad to see you, I remain, 

Cordially yours, S. C. POMEROY 

From General Edward W. Hinks 

Head Quars. Rendezvous for Drafted Men, CONCORD, N.H., Nov. 3, 1863 

General B. F. BUTLER, U.S.A. 

GENERAL: Allow me to congratulate you upon your assign 
ment to a command, and to express my wishes that success 
may attend you in the future, as it has attended every effort 
you have made in behalf of our country in the past. 

If your command gives promise of active service, I shall 
be pleased to share in it, if agreeable to you, as soon as my 
duties are concluded at this post. I am, general, with respect, 

Your obi. serv /., 
EDW. W. HINKS, Brig. Genl. 

1 Republican Senator from Kansas. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 137 

From General Butler 

MY DEAR HINKS: Nothing could give me greater pleasure 
than to have you with me. If I have active service I shall 
call for you. We started together and began the war; I hope 
we shall be together to finish it. 

Yours truly, B. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

LOWELL, November 4th, 1863 

His Excellency Governor ANDREW 

DEAR SIR: The Messieurs Sawyer of Fitchburg desire my 
opinion from experiment and observation of their "solid case 
cannister." I had it in use in the Gulf, and have the most 
decided opinion upon its merits. The parts of excellence are: 

1st. Quite double the range of ordinary cannister, and that 
range capable of increasing by elevation of the piece. 

2nd. Wider spread of the filling, and greater velocity. 

3rd. Capacity of being thrown from any rifle as well as 
any smooth bore of the same calibre without injury to the 
rifling. 

4th. The cannister itself is as against troops quite equal to 
a solid shot. 

If I can get the solid case cannister I will use no other. 

Respectfully yours, B. F. BUTLER 

From Benjamin T. Flanders to General Butler 

PRIVATE. WASHINGTON, D.C. November 6th, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I have done my best to have you sent out 
again to the Department of the Gulf. I have had the aid of 
Mr. Chase, than whom, I find, you have no warmer friend. 
I am pleased to find also that Mr. Stanton is your friend. The 
President likes you and believes in you, but he still has confi 
dence in the capacity of Banks, and this is what s the matter. 
I regret exceedingly that I cannot await your arrival here.l|I 
sail from New York to-morrow. Your friends in New Orleans, 
that is, every real loyal man there, and some others, will be 
disappointed in your not being sent there. 

Very respectfully, BENJAMIN T. FLANDERS 



138 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From John D. Kellogg to General Butler 

NEW YORK, Nov. Wth, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: The enclosed extract is submitted not for 
the purpose of intelligence, but rather to correct any wrong 
impression which it seems intended to convey. The great 
body of the people here are fully impressed with your great 
administrative and executive ability, which wa s so brilliantly 
displayed while you were in command of the Department of 
the Gulf; but of no place is this more perfectly true than of 
the city of New York. 

The fling at the "Big Bethel" action is done to justify, or 
rather to cover a secret motive on the part of the writer, to 
injure your rapidly-increasing popularity. You are probably 
aware that the journal which thus causelessly assails you has 
the fame of another distinguished general to defend, and does 
not hesitate to strike any rising man who seems to be in his 
way. 

Your first efforts in Eastern Virginia will form an important 
epoch in the history of this great rebellion, and the high order 
of military talents, and practical civil ability, brought to bear 
upon all questions submitted for your action, without instruc 
tions from Washington, will ever mark that event as one of 
the most important of the whole war. Time will vindicate 
your character from the secret designs of all such enemies as 
have not the candor to speak of what they would accomplish 
covertly. I know there is an organized interest in this city to 
assail and break down any man who cannot be used to pro 
mote their own selfish purposes. The journal from which I 
take this paragraph is the recognized organ of that select 
class of assumed and self-appointed leaders, and the Presi 
dency is the prize to be played for; and, in turn, for the last 
year, nearly every General in the army has been the object of 
attack as circumstances for the moment required, but the 
General has been all the time faultless, ever brave, ever ready, 
and still rising! 

We all hope every facility will be placed at your command 
in your present important position, and if the administration 
will promptly second your efforts we feel confident of an early 
and a glorious result. I know all that is wanted is the oppor 
tunity to vindicate your splendid genius from all such assaults, 
and to elevate you still higher in the estimation of your country. 

I hope it will fall to your lot to take Richmond, and to 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 139 

thus restore the "old Dominion" to her true position in the 
Union, and so hoping you will believe me 

Yours Very Truly, 
JOHN D. KELLOGG, 18 Thompson Street 

Nov. \1th, 1863 

Answer. I thank you for the kind interest you take in my 
welfare. I was not in command of the troops at Big Bethel. 

I wish to God I had been. v rr i T> T? T> 

Yours Truly, B. F. B. 



From Mrs. Butler to Mrs. Heard 

FORTRESS MONROE, Tuesday Nov. Ilth, [1863] 

COL. SHAFFER affirms that only young men are fit for sol 
diering; middle-aged men, used to the comforts of home, feel 
deprivations too keenly. He looks forlorn, no wonder; it is 
beginning life with a camp chest, and tin candlesticks. I half 
decided to stay at Washington for the wedding, but it was a 
delay of four days, and then I must come alone. All things 
considered I gave it up. I called on Mrs. Lincoln; she was out, 
the President gave us admittance and frankly told us, after 
looking at Blanche, that we had a very handsome daughter. 

From there I w r ent to see Florence, and to settle arrange 
ments for Blanche to return to school. Florence is fleshy and 
well content. From there to see Miss Chase, not at home. 
Miss Netty came on with us, a part of the way from New 
York, and was very voluble about the wedding and her school. 
Blanche was better pleased on acquaintance and would not 
now object to the school. 

We took the pleasure boat, "Carrie Martin," at Washing 
ton, and came down the Potomac. This is a little steamer 
kept for the use of the President and Cabinet, and loaned to 
us by the Secretary of War. We thought it would be delight 
ful, but dear me, when we got into the Bay, it was tossed 
about like a nut-shell, and by no means a seaworthy craft. 
We were all sick. Blanche had teased herself along, she may 
stay till Christmas. 

Sister Blandine could not take her in music before that time. 
I may send her back sooner. When we arrived, the usual salute 
was given, the gentlemen went on shore. I thought we might 
have an invitation to Mrs. Gen. Foster s, as so many had 
claimed our hospitality when at the Fortress before, but no 



140 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

courtesy was offered. At evening two rooms were engaged 
at Willard s, a most forlorn little hotel, where we slept, the 
floor was soft compared to the bed. Mr. Butler had sent 
forward to Genl. Foster that he would buy or receipt for the 
furniture, and save him the trouble of moving and us of fur 
nishing the Government House. 

When we came in the next morning we found the house 
quite bare. Mrs. Foster was finishing the last packing, and 
would be ready to leave very soon. We stepped into a vacant 
room and ordered a fire (the morning was quite chilly), and 
waited there till they left. Dirt, dirt, dirt, and a house to 
furnish. These Army people have a way of scuffling in and out 
of houses peculiar to themselves. I know of no parallel but 
Mrs. Ames. Dirt before and behind them. I have a horror 
of it, and told Stephen to wipe up the dust from the floor 
where we sat. My skirts were full of it. A carpet had been 
pulled up and the dust remained. It is a curious thing that I 
have got this house to clean and furnish again. The Fosters 
were not pleased that we came. But as Mr. Butler had not 
desired the place, there was no occasion for incivility to us. 
Mrs. Foster stepped in a moment before she left, but not a 
word of apology or regret at the forlorn look at things. When 
I saw Capt. Kensel, he said, "Mrs. Butler, you can hardly like 
the look of things." I answered, "You know, I am not ac 
quainted with the usages of the Army; in civil life it would 
look a little strange." Yesterday we rode on the beach, 
Blanche and the Genl. on horseback, Capt. Clark and I in 
a buggy. The day was very fine, the drive delightful. We 
rode four miles up the beach, smooth and firm as a floor. 

When I was here before we did not venture where the beach 
is firm, but were obliged to plunge along through the sand 
where the horse could hardly pull us along. 

The officers quarters are furnished with secesh furniture, 
and a quantity packed in the Fort is overhauled for our use. 
We shall be settled in three or four days more, plainly but 
comfortably. Moving and cleaning old furniture are not agree 
able pastimes. Poor people roving about the country are 
obliged to change their abode very frequently. When we are 
better off we shall settle down and enjoy the comforts of life. 
Fisher will leave to-morrow. 

Mr. Butler goes to Newbern on Wednesday. I should go 
with them, but I cannot bear the thought of going round 
Point Hatteras. They will be gone about a week. Some of 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 141 

the staff think Head Quarters should be at Norfolk half of 
the time. If so, I may have to furnish another house. 

I do not like this place, never did. I should like the children 
to come while we are here if there should be an opportunity. 
We miss them very much. Fisher goes this afternoon. I shall 
drop this in the mail, as he stops at Washington. 

I keep scratching on, really I have nothing further to 
say, only this is a doleful place and home is better. 

Blanche still hangs on. I urged her off with Fisher, but 
another week and so on. I have an idea we may not stay here 
long. Dear love to the children. 

Very affectionately, SARAH 

From the Secretary of War 

WASHINGTON, A 7 ot?. 13, 1863 

To Major-General BUTLER 

THERE is an urgent necessity to provide in your depart 
ment a suitable depot for rebel prisoners of war, without any 
delay. I beg to recall the subject to your attention, and ask 
you to take immediate measures to establish a depot at such 
point as you may deem suitable in your department, and in 
form me how soon you will be ready to receive prisoners of 
war, and in what numbers. 

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

From General T. F. Meagher 

Williams Hotel, WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 13th, 1863 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commdg. 
FORTRESS MONROE 

MY DEAR GENERAL: My friend, Brigadier General Charles 
K. Graham, has just stepped in to pay me a visit, and informs 
me he wrote you the other day, begging you to be so good as 
to apply for him to be assigned to a post under your com 
mand. I feel very great pleasure in adding (to his own) 
my cordial request that you gratify him by having (if practi 
cable) his wishes in this respect complied with at an early day. 

General Graham has seen severe work with the army of 
the Potomac, first of all, as Colonel of the regiments of the 
Excelsior Brigade; and, subsequently, as Brigadier General 
commanding the Pennsylvania brigade, in Kearney s old 
Division, with which he fought at Chancellorsville, and, last 
fall, at Gettysburg, where he was badly wounded and taken 



142 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

prisoner. He has not sufficiently recovered from the effect of 
his wound to undertake a command in Eastern Tennessee, 
which was offered him by General Foster, the campaign in 
that Department promising to be one of unremitting labor and 
exposure. Nor does he desire to return to the army of the 
Potomac, since he would be unpleasantly situated in being 
ranked by an officer he feels and believes to be his inferior. 
This, of course, I take liberty of mentioning in a friendly way, 
so that you may perfectly understand his desire of being 
assigned the post he has designated in his letter to you. 

You will, be assured of it, find in General Graham a 
thoroughly reliable and efficient officer, and an accomplished 
and high-toned gentleman. I cordially recommend and sup 
port his application to you, therefore, and begging you will 
be so good as to consider it most favorably, and secure his 
services. I remain with sincere regard, 

Very faithfully your friend, 

THOMAS FRANCIS MEAGHER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va. and North Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

Nov. 13th, 1863 

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

SIR: I have the honor to request that Brig. Gen l. Charles 
K. Graham be ordered to report to me for duty. I make this 
request believing that Gen l. Graham will be of great service 
in this Department on account of his early service in the Navy. 

I have the honor to be, v 7 . 

1 our Obedient servant, 

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

TELEGRAM. Headquarters, Department of Va. & North Carolina, Nov. 13, 1863 

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

TELEGRAM received. Will leave to-morrow morning to 
select a Depot in accordance with our conversation. The 
rebel papers say that the U. S. Prisoners are about leaving 
Richmond to be distributed through several prisons of the 

South - B. F. BUTLER, 

Maj. General, Commdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 143 



From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va. & North Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

November Uth, 1863 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secy, of War 

SIR: After the conversation I had with you in the War 
Office, in which Hatteras was suggested as a depot of prison 
ers, upon reflection there were certain disadvantages which 
occurred to me, among which was the difficulty of transpor 
tation and supplies, requiring sea-going steamers or otherwise 
conveyance through part of the country which might be 
intercepted by the enemy. In the haste with which it is 
necessary to determine the question, I made all possible 
examination of the points in the Department under my com 
mand advantageously to be occupied for such a purpose, and 
have determined that SewalPs Point, lying opposite Fort 
Monroe, about 3f miles across the Roads and two miles from 
the Rip-Raps, upon the whole was the best site which could 
be selected for the purpose. It is healthy, easy of access, dry, 
having a large growth of wood upon it, lying immediately in 
the path necessary for exchange, abounding in excellent water 
to be had by digging, and immediately under the guns of our 
Fleet in the Roads, and indeed almost if not quite under the 
guns of our Fort. The soil belongs to disloyal men, with, I 
believe, a single exception, who is willing to rent his farm, 
consisting of 250 acres, for one thousand (1000) dollars a year 
with the buildings thereon. There are buildings on the pro 
posed tract sufficient for hospital purposes. 

There is a small earthwork upon it erected by the rebels, 
fitted to resist a land attack, which might be made the Head 
Quarters of the local garrison. There is an area of one mile 
by 2J miles between two creeks which will enable guards to 
be posted so as to render escape difficult, and bordered on the 
other side by the sea, so that there will be sufficient ground 
on which all prisoners may be put which we are likely to cap 
ture. In one of the creeks there is a depth of some ten feet 
of water, in which there is a wharf already erected at which 
vessels can lie in all weathers. 

The disadvantages of the location are the possibility of the 
re-capture of Norfolk by the rebels in order to reach the prize 
of releasing their prisoners, and the difficulty of strictly guard 
ing the land side line of the depot. But balancing these diffi 
culties with the advantages, my opinion inclines very strongly 



144 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

in favor of the selection of the spot. The expense of guarding 
will be more than compensated by the economy of transpor 
tation, and the ease of access and the feasibility of delivering 
prisoners for exchange or otherwise. 

Therefore I shall be ready to receive any prisoners you may 
send within ten days so far as having storehouses and guards; 
provided you shall approve of this selection. If you do not 
so approve, please notify me by telegram. 

I have also examined the points of land on which Forts 
Clark and Hatteras are situated, and I can be equally ready 
by the time prescribed to receive prisoners there, where there 
can be neither possibility of escape or expense of a large guard. 
The disadvantages there are bleakness, unhealthiness, and 
cost of transportation, but in the winter transportation may 
be carried on by the Dismal Swamp Canal and the Sounds by 
Roanoke Island. To do this it will be necessary, however, to 
place as large a force along those canals to prevent interrup 
tion as it would to guard SewalPs Point. 

In my telegram I asked for the detail of Brig. Gen l. Hinks 
for Commandant of the Depot. I know Gen l. Hinks effi 
ciency and activity, because he was with me in April, 1861, 
then a Lieut. Col. in Militia, and while his many wounds 
prevent him from very laborious field duty, I know of no man 
better for this particular purpose. Gen l. Hinks services are 
substantially lost to the country where he is in command of 
a conscription camp in Concord, N.H. Awaiting instructions, 

Very respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va. & North Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

November Uth, 1863 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secy, of War 

SIR: Finding that the A. A. Gen ls Office, which is a small, 
temporary wooden building near the Commdnt s Quarters, is 
too small even for clerks and the dispatch of business, I directed 
the addition of some twenty feet to be made so that I might 
save, among other things, the employ of several orderlies in 
transmitting papers to different offices in different buildings. 

Major Stewart, the Engineer in charge of the Fort, kindly 
called my attention to the Army regulation Par. 51, which 
requires the sanction of the Secretary of War for the altera- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 145 

tion of any building within f mile of the Fort. A very proper 
and salutary regulation in time of peace, but I think wholly 
inapplicable in time of War. But wishing to relieve his fears 
of breach of the regulations, I respectfully make application 
for your approval of this act, and it becomes more necessary 
because of the celerity of my Quarter-Master Department. 
The building was up before the vigilance of the Engineer 
discovered it was about to be erected, and we must pull it 
down at nearly the expense of erecting it in order to preserve 
the regulation unbroken. 

May I ask, therefore, that you will sanction the erection, 
as the building is in the same form, an addition to and part 
of another building erected under the supervision of the 
Engineer. I suppose it will not offend the regulation in that 
regard. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va. and North Carolina, FT. MONTIOE, 

November 15th, 1863 

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

SIR: I have the honor to return a communication directing 
Private Goodwin to report to Washington for examination in 
order to an appointment in the colored troops. It will be seen 
by the communication which I return with the endorsement 
thereon that Goodwin is now in confinement in the guard 
house, awaiting sentence of a Court Martial, so that he can 
not very well be sent forward for that purpose. 

Perhaps there can be no better commentary than this case 
upon the policy of selecting men for Officers without the ap 
proval of their immediate commanding Officers and of the 
Commander of the Department. I take leave, therefore, 
respectfully to ask that no further appointments be made to 
office in the colored and loyal troops in this Command with 
out the applications passing through this office. Of course I 
do not desire to limit the selection by yourself or the President 
in any manner, but simply to aid in guiding that selection so 
that you may not be deceived. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Your obedient Servt., 
GENERAL BUTLER, Maj. General Commdg. 



VOL. Ill 10 



146 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. Headquarters, Department of Va. & North Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

November 15th, 1863 

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

IF you will send me two (2) Regiments of the Invalide 
Corps, I will be ready in ten (10) days for any number of 
prisoners you may wish to send me. I desire to have Brig. 
Gen. E. W. Hinks ordered to report to me immediately to take 
charge of the preparations for and charge of the prisoners. 

This is on the supposition that neither tents or barracks are 
to be used for the prisoners; if required, I can erect the one 
and make requisition for the other. I will report in full upon 
the place selected and the reason for selection to-morrow by 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 
From the Secretary of War 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 1863 

To Major-General BUTLER 

YOUR report in regard to place for confinement of rebel 
prisoners has been received, and on consultation with the 
general-in-chief, it is believed to be inexpedient to select either 
Sewall s Point or Hatteras for the present. Therefore, all 
action in the matter is suspended. 

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

From General Butler to Salmon P. Chase 

Headquarters, Department Va., & N. Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, 

November 16th, 1863 

MY DEAR SIR: I venture to enclose to you an application 
to me made by William Smith of the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad, whom you so well know, to take out grain from 
Northumberland and Lancaster Counties, Virginia. I can 
see no possible objection to granting it under the restrictions 
issued unless there is some objection arising from Treasury 
regulations of which I am ignorant. Upon a suggestion from 
Department I shall grant the permission sought. 

Yours truly, B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Cmdg. 

P.S. Please return the enclosures. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 147 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., November 16th, 1863 

W. PRESCOTT SMITH, Esq., BALTIMORE 

MY DEAR SIR: I have forwarded to Mr. Chase the letter 
you sent me in regard to the grain in the Counties lying between 
the Potomac and Rappahannock River, together with a letter 
of approval, suggesting that I should grant the request if 
there were no objections arising to it in this Department. 

Truly Yours, B. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. Headquarters, Department of Va. & N. Carolina, FT. MONROE, 

November 17th, 1863 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secy, of War 

SIR: Flag of truce boat just in. Richmond papers of 17. 
- Union prisoners are being sent away from Richmond. - 
4000 to Danville, and others to Atlanta and Columbus. 
News from Charleston to November 16th. Firing ceased at 
11 A.M. Firing from Gregg and Cumming Point and from two 
Monitors continued up to that time. No other news. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. Headquarters, Department of Va. & N. Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

November 17th, 1863 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secy, of War 

I AM informed and believe that the Rebels will give us a 
man for every man we send them, up to the number they 
hold. Shall I put them in question, or interfere about it 
any way? B R BuTLEKj Ma j. Gen . Commdg. 



From the Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON, November 17th, 1863 

Major-General BUTLER, FORT MONROE 

THE whole subject of exchange of prisoners is under di 
rection of Major-General Hitchcock, to whom, as commis 
sioner of exchange, that branch of the service has been 
committed. He will be glad to have any idea or suggestion 
you may be pleased to furnish, but there should be no inter 
ference without his assent. 

It is known that the rebels will exchange man for man and 



148 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

officer for officer, except blacks and officers in command of 
black troops. These they absolutely refuse to exchange. This 
is the point on which the whole matter hinges. Exchanging 
man for man and officer for officer, with the exception the rebels 
make, is a substantial abandonment of the colored troops and 
their officers to their fate, and would be a shameful dishonor 
to the Government bound to protect them. When they agree 
to exchange all alike there will be no difficulty. 

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

Official Records, War of Rebellion, Series 2, Vol. VI, page 528. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va. & N. Carolina, FT. MONROE, 

November ISth, 1863 

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

SIR: In the limits of a telegram and for the public eye it 
was impossible to explain my full thought on the subject of 
Exchange of Prisoners. I believe there was some misunder 
standing upon the questions involved when I telegraphed, and 
your answer, with the sentiments of which in every word I 
concur, convinced me that I was right in my belief. 

No one will go farther in exerting every power of the Govern 
ment in protecting the colored troops and their Officers than 
myself. And if that is the question which prevents exchange, 
and we stand before the country upon that question, I have 
not a word farther to urge. But I fear that is not the point, 
or at least it is not now understood by the country that it is 
upon the pledge of the country s honor that all men, white or 
black, who fight for us, shall be protected, that we now feel 
obliged to let our fellow-soldiers starve, if such shall be the 
inhumanity of the Rebels. 

I ought to premise, perhaps, why I interfere where it is 
not specially within my command. Believing that I could do 
something for the good of the service, I take the liberty of 
making the application, and with your leave shall continue 
to make suggestions wherever and whenever I think the Gov 
ernment may be aided by so doing, although not strictly called 
upon so to do, to complete my routine of duty. 

I am informed and believe that the Rebel Authorities will 
exchange every Officer and Soldier they now hold in custody, 
whether colored or not, upon receiving an equivalent number 
in rank from us. Indeed I can put no other interpretation 
upon the letter of Robert Ould, Esq., Agent of Exchange in 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 149 

Richmond, of October 20th, referring to a letter of a previous 
date. I have forwarded copies of all the correspondence so 
that you can refer to it. If there is any interpretation to the 
contrary, it is not made apparent to the country. And the 
Government, for all that appears from the correspondence 
between the two Commissioners, are now suffering our soldiers 
to be starved to death upon the proposition of inequality in 
the computation and value of paroles. If you will examine 
the correspondence, it will be seen that the whole question 
turns upon that point not a suggestion is made that color, 
caste, or condition has anything to do with the dispute. It 
would seem that the discussion had grown sufficiently acrimo 
nious to have lost sight of the point of dispute, as we know 
many discussions do. I do not mean to impute blame to any 
party, because I am not sufficiently informed, nor have I the 
authority so to do, but simply to suggest a remedy. I assume 
that we have in actual custody some 26,000 prisoners against 
13,000 that the Rebels have. Now then, why may not Ould s 
proposition be accepted, and we exchange man for man, offi 
cer for officer, until the Rebels stop if then every prisoner 
they hold has been exchanged, then the question of color does 
not arise, and our men will have been relieved from starva 
tion up to that number. But if the colored prisoners 
and their officers shall not be produced by the Rebels for 
exchange, we shall have 10,000 of their men upon whom to 
work both retaliation and a reprisal to the fullest extent, to 
wring from the Rebels justice to the colored soldiers. It is 
not necessary to argue this point, its statement is the argument. 
This action not offers and correspondence will place the 
Government right before the country, and if then the negro 
prisoners, whether civilians or soldiers or their officers, are 
kept in prison or maltreated, the world will justify us in 
reprisal and retaliation to any extent. 

I believe that this exchange will be made by the rebels from 
information derived from various sources, and specially from 
J. W. Monfort, agent of the State of Indiana, who has gone 
to Washington, and from whom you can learn the facts that 
lead to my belief. 

Without suggesting any blame upon the part of the Agent 
of Exchange, would it not in fact seem to be that such a state 
of feelings has grown up between himself and the Rebel Agent, 
that without doing anything which would impute wrong or 
detract from the appreciation of the efforts of General 



150 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Meredith, this might be done as if outside of either Agent. 
This is submitted for consideration with single desire to re 
lieve the soldiers, now in condition to enlist all our sympathies. 

I can make these suggestions all the more freely, as I have 
this evening to arrange the affairs of this Department in North 
Carolina, and can have probably no personal part in the 
matter. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, 

Yr. Obdt. Servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From James Parton to General Butler 

NEW YORK, 658 Broadway, Nov. 18, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL COMMANDING: With this goes, at 
length, a copy of the Book. The publishers were about to 
send a dozen copies, but I advised them to wait till they could 
send such as had a picture of the bust, which Mr. Brackett 
has been on; and of which we are in daily expectation. A 
thousand copies have been bound without it, all of which are 
sold in advance. For the second thousand, which are already 
printed, the bust will probably come in time, as I have in 
formed Mr. Brackett that we are ready and anxious to receive 
it. Everything promised well for the sale; there appears to 
be a general desire to see the book. The abuse of the Herald 
would alone suffice to make the public prick up their ears. 

The papers tell us that you are at work in the old way. I 
have myself heard bad accounts of affairs in your Department. 
A Boston publisher, who traversed the whole of it a month 
ago, brought back word that the insolence of the Secesh in 
Norfolk was riling to the Union temper, and that the general 
look of things about Fortress Monroe was untidy and un- 
soldierlike. He, also, said that there was a general expecta 
tion in the department that "Old Ben Butler," as he dared to 
style you, would put things straight. Why "old"? I con 
tinually hear of old Ben Butler. Perhaps it is from the simil 
arity to old Ben Franklin. 

H. G. is sot. He will not talk of the subject. He said a 
good thing the other night. He said that if he had been 
president in 1861, he should have sought out the man that 
had the biggest brain in America, whether a military man or 
not, and made him lieutenant-general with full powers. Good, 
said I; but the very man presented himself, and was cast 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 151 

aside Gen. B. F. B. He then, with curious inconsistency, 
said that war was a trade, and it would never have done to 
have given the supreme command to a lawyer. Such is man. 
I fervently wish you the most eminent success in your new 
sphere. And so, with my best wishes for Mrs. Butler s hap 
piness at the Fortress, I remain, 

Most truly yours, JAS. PARTON 

From Captain R. S. Davis 

Hd. Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Nov. 2(M, 1863 

A. R. Admiral S. P. LEE, Comd g. N. A. Block g Squadron, 
U. S. Flag Ship MINNESOTA, off NEWPORT NEWS, VA. 

ADMIRAL: I have the honor to inform you that a despatch 
has just been received from Brig. Gen 1. J. J. Wistar, Commd g 
at Yorktown, in which he states that the enemy meditate 
an attack on his lines. The intention is, if the attack is made, 
to throw a force on the rear of the enemy, either on the James 
or York Rivers, in which case it will be the greatest conse 
quence to have the assistance of the Navy. 

General Butler being absent at present in North Carolina, 
must be my excuse for signing this Official communication. 

I remain, Admiral, -DOT^IT- j A A n 

R. S. D., Major and A. A. G. 

From D. Heaton 

PRIVATE. BEAUFORT, N.C., November ZSrd, 1863 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: I was very much gratified at the interview, 
although limited, which I happened to have with you on your 
recent railroad trip from Morehead City to Newbern. 

My greatest regret was that I could not have a more extended 
opportunity to converse with you in reference to various 
matters of vital pecuniary as well as political interest to the 
Government. 

As it was, I separated with the conviction that your well- 
known acquaintance with political science, together with your 
eventful military experience in the great drama now being 
enacted, would enable you to pursue such a policy as must 
result in great good to the country. 

After saying this, allow me to allude, briefly, to some matters 
of much moment in regard to trade and commerce in North 
Carolina. 



152 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

You will doubtless have applications ere long to favor the 
introduction of cargoes of goods through Hatteras Inlet 
direct to Newbern. Should this happen, I trust that such 
requests may not be complied with, for the following reasons: 

First. That much controversy has already been had in 
relation to the policy and practice of introducing large car 
goes of goods by way of Hatteras Inlet under the plea of 
"military necessity," when no such necessity existed, and when 
upon the contrary it was palpable that said cargoes were 
brought in exclusively for speculative purposes. 

Second. That passing directly through to Newbern unless 
from some actual and apparent military necessity tends to 
weaken, greatly, the force and moral power of the blockade. 

Third. That when one party is allowed this liberty, various 
other parties earnestly claim and assert the same right and 
privilege. 

Fourth. That an ample supply of goods for the Army, 
Navy, and citizens can at all times be introduced by the old 
and regular established Port of Beaufort, declared to be open 
by the President s Proclamation. A water communication (as 
well as railway) from Beaufort to Newbern can soon be opened 
inside of the blockade by Cone Sound, so that the facilities 
for transportation of supplies will be very good. On this point 
I have conversed with Admiral Lee, and he approves the sug 
gestions made. 

Other reasons can readily be given in relation to this matter, 
if necessary, but enough for the present. 

In relation to that matter of the printing presses, I will 
say to you that it was expected at Washington City that 
such of them as had been abandoned or captured would be 
placed in my possession as Treasury Agent. 

I am very confident that by giving the one at Newbern in 
the hands of an energetic and intelligent practical printer, 
all the military printing needed by this department can be 
done with more dispatch than at present, that a handsome 
income can be turned into the National Treasury and a sound 
Union paper published. 

You see and know the want of a paper. It really seems 
strange that we have not had one before. In case one is 
established, errors may be committed in its management and 
those who do not appear to appreciate the potency of the 
press may doubt the policy of the experiment, but you readily 
comprehend the matter in all its moral, social, and political 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 153 

bearings. Gen. Peck has already taken the matter under 
advisement, and given directions to have the presses alluded 
to placed under my control, with the understanding, of course, 
that the necessary military printing shall be done. 

I do not propose to have any control over the paper intended 
to be started, but will see that the press here is rented to a 
sound Union man. 

I submit these items to your present consideration, and will, 
from time to time, make further communications as the pub 
lic interest may seem to require. 

While on the cars you frankly asked my sentiments with 
regard to Maj. Genl. Peck. Allow me to repeat, earnestly, 
what I then said, that I consider him to be a man intensely 
devoted to the government and the Union, that he looks upon 
the rebellion as a crime of the blackest character, and that as 
a public man his firmness and integrity are beyond reproach, 
that he may not fully be indoctrinated with the policy of 
immediate emancipation, but that he will most faithfully and 
resolutely carry out the various proclamations of the Presi 
dent, and that I believe he will ere long occupy your own posi 
tion as to the proper course to pursue with slavery. I must 
say, frankly, that I should regret to see Genl. Peck leave 
North Carolina. 

With the warmest wishes that your advent into this Depart 
ment may be crowned with complete success, I am, 
Very respectfully, Your obt. servt. 
D. HEATON, Supg. Spl. Agt. Treas. Dept. 

From Lord Lyons 

WASHINGTON, November 23, 1863 

Hon. WM. H. SEWARD, Sec. of State 

SIR: I am informed that Mr. James A. Gray, a British 
subject, who was a passenger on board a vessel called the 
"Ella and Annie," which has been captured on charge of breach 
of blockade, is detained as a prisoner on parole by Major 
General Butler at Fortress Monroe. 

I shall be much obliged if you will cause inquiry to be 
made concerning this matter, and if you will do me the honor 
to acquaint me with the result. 

I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, Sir, 
Your most obedient, humble servant, LYONS 



154 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., & N. Carolina, FT. MONROE, 
November 26th, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secy, of State 

SIR: James A. Gray, who claims to be a British subject and 
who has resided, according to his own statement, 15 years in 
Georgia, was taken on board the "Ella and Annie," a block 
ade runner, and landed at Beaufort, N.C., came here with 
Mrs. Nickols and desired to be sent to Georgia. His baggage 
being examined, was found to contain a quantity of dress 
goods, which he said were for his wife and family there. On 
examining his papers, he had a large number of letters directed 
to persons in the South giving them information as to block 
ade running, and other information hurtful to the United 
States. I caused the letters directed to himself, found upon 
his person, to be examined, and a synopsis of their contents 
to be made. I also found that he carried out a large quantity 
of Confederate bonds, which he sold in Holland, and that his 
correspondent in Liverpool was the house of Fraser Tren- 
holm & Co., who are known as the Head Quarters of blockade 
running, and are acting as Agents of the Confederate Loan. I 
also found a letter from James McHugh to him while at Cork, 
Ireland, engaging him to enlist sailors for the Confederate 
iron-clads. I also found Invoices showing a large amount of 
cotton in the Confederate States, some thousand bales to his 
order. 

It is impossible to convey by synopsis the hostile tone of the 
whole correspondence, but there is sufficient to convince me 
that he is a dangerous enemy, and was intending to carry 
through our lines the same correspondence and information 
with which he was endeavoring to run the blockade when 
captured. Therefore I have turned him over to my Provost 
Judge for punishment and imprisonment if he finds sufficient 
in the accusation against him. 

Gray desires leave to apply to Lord Lyons, and I forward 
this for information to the Department, that you may be able 
to meet the application. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, 

Your Obedient Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, 
Major General Commanding 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 155 

From Mayor Collins 

Mayor s Office, PORTSMOUTH, VA., Nov. 25th, 1863 

Mayor JOHN F. SMITH, Provost Marshal, NORFOLK, VA. 

SIR: In reply to your communication of the 24th instant 
(per Roche) respecting a servant and child, I would state 
that I sent a communication to General Barnes on the subject, 
which I have not as yet received any answer to. 

The status of the slave in this district, according to the 
President s proclamation, is undisturbed. Therefore a loyal 
person claiming the services of servants owned by him has a 
legal right to said services. 

The question is rather unpleasant, but must be met until 
we can alter the laws of the state. 

Very respectfully, Your obdt. servant, 

DANIEL COLLINS, Mayor 

Office of the Provost Marshal, NORFOLK, December 2nd, 1863 
[Not in chronological order]| 

G. H. JOHNSTON, Capt. and A.A.G. 

I RESPECTFULLY call the attention of the Brig. Gen. Comdg. 
to this case. It appears that the Mayor of Portsmouth has 
officially remanded to servitude a fugitive from slavery. I 
am informed that the mother is in much distress about the 
child. The parties are all in Portsmouth. I am, Sir, 

JOHN F. SMITH, Mayor and Provost Marshal 

From Mayor Collins 

Mayor s Office, PORTSMOUTH, VA., November 17th, 1863 
[Not in chronological order] 

Brig. General JAMES BARNES, Commanding 
Department of Virginia 

SIR: There is a subject of importance which I desire to 
call your attention to, and hear your views. President Lin 
coln has excepted this section in his Emancipation Proclama 
tion. Now, the question is, has a loyal person the right to 
hold persons as slaves in this section, or, how far will we be 
permitted by the military authorities to execute the laws 
of Va.? 

I will candidly confess the slave law is odious to me, it is 
the law, and when a loyal person claims the services of their 
servants under those laws I see no way to evade the law as it 
exists. 



156 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

The subject has frequently embarrassed me, and the only 
way I can avoid it is by the interposition of the military. 

I am satisfied that the Legislature will take early action on 
the laws of Va., and so alter them as to recognize the status of 
the negro. I have attempted to avoid this question, but find 
it impossible, and therefore ask your opinion. 

Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 
DANIEL COLLINS, Mayor 

From General Butler 

Ed. Quars. 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, 

Dec. \Mh, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

Brig. Gen. BARNES, Comd g District of Norfolk 

GENERAL: I have examined with care the two communi 
cations made through you to me by the Mayor of Portsmouth. 
I do not think that it is my duty to return the slave to any 
party. First, because when Virginia seceded from the Union, 
in my judgment all her laws, acts, and ordinances went out 
with her, and cannot be set up until they are re-enacted, in 
any portion brought under the authority of the U. S. Secondly, 
it is to be presumed that all persons are free, or have taken 
advantage of military protection, within the lines of the 
United States in this Department, and I know of no authority 
vested in the Mayor to sit in judgment by any law upon that 
question. Thirdly, there is no person in Portsmouth who has 
not been, directly or indirectly, implicated in the Rebellion, 
who has ever come to my knowledge, with a single exception. 

The President s Proclamation of Dec. 9th determined that 
no party who has been so directly or indirectly implicated in 
the Rebellion, can have any property in slaves, and, therefore, 
you will direct the Mayors, both of Norfolk and Portsmouth, 
to cease and wholly refrain from interfering with the personal 
liberty of anybody upon the ground of slavery or involuntary 
servitude, until further orders. I have the honor to be 
Very respectfully, Your obt. servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From E. W. Evans 

CHICAGO, Nov. 25th, 1863, Waterville College 

MY DEAR GENERAL BUTLER: Recruit, Ben. Butler, 1834. 
I am happy to jump over 30 years (some little time), and hail 
you to-day again in command after your splendid manifesta- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 157 

tions in New Orleans (Before I write further, I would like 
to learn what the devil was the reason you ever left New 
Orleans) . 

But in a word, General, I write to-day to say that the 
whole Northwest (that is, every loyal man, woman, and child) 
swear by you. All pray for you, and all throw high their hats 
at your name. This may be worth something to you to know, 
coming as it does from private life, and God knows there is 
not much flattery about me. I hope you will take this evi 
dence as reliable, and amid the detractions on both sides the 
Atlantic. Know you, my old classmate, that in addition to 
our approval of every word and deed of yours, we suspect that 
whatever may be the want of brains elsewhere, the vacancy 
is not under your hat. So God speed you, and know you 
that no man rejoices more than the undersigned at your 
policy again, when the country can, in these latter days, 
receive the benefit of yourself and your experience, and good, 
well directed determination to put down rebellion. And now, 
goodbye again for 30 years, if you say so, though I should 
be only too happy to see you or hear from you; but anyhow, 
God bless you Ben, no, no, General, I must, really I can t 

think 30 years has past. T7 1 ^ TX7 ^ 

Very truly, E. W. EVANS 

P.S. Alas, alas, since beginning to write this letter, a gentle 
man has called at my office for me to help him get a pension 
for Mrs. Farr, of Lowell, who was in your office for a while, 
whose husband was most accursedly murdered by the Rebels, 
after his surrender, when on General Blount s staff. You have 
seen the items of his death. He had surrendered as prisoner, 
when a rebel stepped up to him and discharged a load of buck 
shot through his body, and he after died in greatest agony. 
Oh, doubly damn the South! Where is the vengeance of 

Heaven? v 

Yours, E. W. EVANS 



From General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, VA. November 28th, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

MY DEAR EVANS: Not quite 30 years since we met, but 
long enough too long. I need not tell you how much your 
kind appreciation cheers me. Strangers, and yet enough of 
the "class-mate" to make you an interested observer. I would 
I could be quite sure that some little partiality has not col- 



158 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ored your view of my acts. But it is more pleasant to believe 
the other way, and I suppose I shall be obliged to so do. 

Alas! poor Farr. A good-hearted, not energetic good man. 
You will hear before long that the vengeance of Heaven has 
lighted on one Guerilla at least. If Mrs. Farr has any diffi 
culty about her pension, send papers to me. 

Let me hear from you, and I will reply as I have time. I 
send you by this a picture of a bust which I believe is the 
best likeness I have, which will show you how time has dealt 

Yours truly, B. F. BUTLER 
From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va. & N. Carolina, FT. MONROE, Nov. 26, 63 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secy, of War 

SIR: I find great clashing of orders between the Middle 
Department and this Department in regard to passports. I 
would correspond with General Schenk and endeavor to 
arrange a policy were he not about to leave. The Middle 
Department is the natural complement to the Department of 
Eastern Virginia. The eastern shore should be attached to 
this Department, almost from necessity. I wish that so much 
of the Department, at least, of the Middle Department as 
lies below Fredericksburg, should be annexed to this Depart 
ment. Baltimore is our base of supply and transportation, 
and in case of any movement, which I hope will soon be made 
from this point, it becomes almost imperative that we should 
have that part. 

By the annexation the rival claim of officers for this com 
mand will easily be settled, and the War Department will do 
me the favor to indicate the General they would like to have 
put in command of Baltimore. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Yr. Obedient Servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From S. M. Felton 

The Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railroad Co. PHILADELPHIA, 

November 27th, 1863 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: Allow me to congratulate the country on you 
once more being called into active service. 

I esteem it a fortunate thing that we shall once more have 
the benefit of your active and vigorous mind at work, and I 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 159 

know you will let no opportunity pass without pushing this 
wicked rebellion to the wall. 

This note has a double object, first, what I have expressed 
above, and second, that I may say a word for Gen. Wistar 
who is in your department. If you knew him personally it 
would not be necessary for me to say a word in his behalf. 
He is a man with whom personally I have no connection. I 
have met him but once, but then I formed a high opinion of 
his ability and patriotism, which has been but confirmed by 
subsequent accounts I have heard of him. I know from 
mutual friends a good deal of him. He has brains and zeal 
and true devotedness in the good cause in which you and I 
have labored from the beginning. His health is not good. 
He has been three times wounded in battle. He is brave as 
a lion and a good disciplinarian, and from this cause has some 
enemies who may seek to injure him in your estimation. 

I write this entirely without his knowledge, and simply 
because I believe him to be all I have represented. 

Yours truly, S. M. FELTON 

From General Butler 

MY DEAR FELTON: I thank you for your kind appreciation 
of my poor services. I assure you I entertain a most lively 
sense of yours to the country in April, 61, when it needed a 
man to take responsibility. I have the advantage of you, - 
I do know General Wistar personally. He served under me 
in 1861 at Fortress Monroe. While I am grateful at your kind 
mention of General Wistar, I do not need it to know my man. 

Yours Truly, B. F. B. 

From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. Headquarters, Department Va., & N. Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

November 27th, 1863 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secy, of War 

CAPT. STEVENS is endeavoring to enlist a regiment of loyal 
Virginians; he finds great difficulty if they are to be carried 
out of this Department. 

Am I authorized to pledge that they shall not be carried 
out of Virginia and North Carolina? In case I cannot fill up 
the regiment, shall I have authority to draft? 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Commanding 



160 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From the Secretary of War 

BY TELEGRAPH from WASHINGTON, 940 A.M., Nov. 30th t 1863 

[Not in chronological order] 

To Major General B. F. BUTLER, Comd g. 

IN reply to your telegram of the twenty-seventh (27) inst., 
respecting Captain Stevens Regiment, received in the absence 
of the Secretary, he directs me to say that it is not deemed 
expedient to make any pledge to loyal Virginians that they 
will not be required to serve out of Virginia or North 
Carolina. If you have occasion for their services you are 

authorized to draft them. A 

JAS. A. HARDIE, A.A.G. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Nov. 27th, 1863 

Brig. Gen. GEO. W. GETTY, Comd g. at 

PORTSMOUTH, VA. 

IT having been represented to the Commanding General 
that the Dismal Swamp Canal needs repairs, as well for the 
preserval of the property of the Government in that work as 
to render it possible for military operations, you are there 
fore directed forthwith to cause the same to be repaired under 
the direction of the Government Agent in charge of the Canal, 
R. T. Edwards, Esq. You will have carefully audited accounts 
of the expenditure of the work forwarded to these Head 
Quarters, together with a report from Mr. Edwards, so that 
the work may be a charge upon the Treasury Department to 
which it properly belongs. I am, 

Very respectfully Your Obt. Servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Nov. 27th, 1863 

Major General JOHN J. PECK, Comm dg Dist. of 

North Carolina, NEW BERNE, N.C. 

GENERAL: The Commanding General directs that Isaiah 
RespresSy ex-Mayor, be arrested, his Tobacco confiscated, and 
both he and his Tobacco sent to these Head Quarters, where 
his case will be adjudicated. I am, Sir, 

Very respectfully 9 Your obt. Servant, 
By command of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER, 

R. S. D. Major and A.A.G. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 161 

Testimony of Isaiah Respress 

WASHINGTON, N.C., November %Ist, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

Personally appeared before H. S. Olcott, Special Commissioner 
of the War Department, Isaiah Respress, a native of the 
United States, 58 years of age, residing at Washington, 
N.C., who being duly sworn doth depose and say: 
I AM engaged in no business at present. I was formerly 
Mayor of Washington, N.C. I have traded a good deal to 
the West Indies. My returns have been sometimes in sugar, 
salt, and other products, and sometimes in foreign and Ameri 
can gold and silver. Last summer I went frequently to New- 
bern. While there I was offered a large quantity of Confed 
erate and North Carolina bills by officers and soldiers, which 
was captured by the Third New York Cavalry on the raid to 
Warsaw and Rockey Mount. 

A private named Horn, in Capt. Jocknicks company in 
the 3rd N. Y. Cavalry, who was acquainted with me, told the 
soldiers that I would purchase the bills, and this was what 
sent them to me, I believe. I concluded to purchase if I could 
buy it at such a rate as would enable me to make a profit on 
the operation. I bought between $20,000, and $30,000 in all, 
at prices ranging from 5 to 10 cents on the dollar. I bought of 
a Corporal or Sergeant $10,000 in one lot in my room at the 
Gaston House. A Lieutenant was with him, and told me the 
money belonged to the other, that he had nothing to do with 
it. The bills were of all denominations from $5 s to 100 s. 
I do not know the names of either of the men. I don t think 
I should recognize either if I should see them. I paid the Cor 
poral (or Sergeant) $1000 in "green backs," and agreed to 
pay $100 more in case the money should all prove genuine. 

I have never been called upon for the other 100 dollars. 
Another lot of $6000 was purchased for me by Mr. Curry of the 
Gaston House, of a soldier. He gave him my draft on Phila 
delphia for $300 for the lot, being at the rate of 5 cts. on the 
dollar. I bought another lot of $1,500 from a non-commis 
sioned officer one day in the sitting-room of the Gaston House. 
There were many persons present. The man made no conceal 
ment of the transaction. Another lot of $1,000 I bought of a 
merchant named Smith, who does business on Pollock or Cra 
ven Street, in Newbern. I don t know where he got it from, 
but suppose he got it as I did from soldiers. I paid the money 
to persons outside our lines to settle my debts. I sent $4,000 

VOL. Ill II 



162 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

of it to my lawyers in Richmond, Judge Crump, Nance and 
Williams, and to a lawyer at Raleigh named Henry W. Miller. 
Some of the money was invested for me in 2000 Ibs. of chewing 
tobacco, which has recently been sent to me from Richmond by 
the underground railroad. I don t know how it came. I have 
got word from friends outside that cotton and naval stores have 
been engaged for me. I have a permit from the Agent of the 
Treasury Department to send the articles to Beaufort, N.C. 
whenever I can manage to get them through the lines. I 
thought it was better to send the Confederate bills through the 
lines than to keep them inside, for in this case they would be 
withdrawn from circulation and benefit the Confederates. 

In return for one of my ventures to the West Indies, I 
received about $1,100 in Spanish doubloons. I frequently 
carried some of these in my pocket as "pocket-pieces." I 
never had more than ten at one time about me, I think. This 
was when I went to Beaufort last summer. I don t recollect 
selling any to officers of cavalry. I may have done so. I 
think I sold a few to different persons as pocket-pieces. 

I have had a spell of sickness since the war broke out, which 
has impaired my memory a good deal. It is not near so strong 
as it was three years ago. I bought one lot of $1200 in North 
Carolina bills in Newbern at the rate of 25 cents on the dollar. 
I think the trading was done through one of the clerks at the 
Gaston House. This is all that I bought in Newbern, I think. 

ISAIAH RESPRESS 

Endorsed: Attention is called to the fact that Respress 
replies that he has a permit from Treas. Agent to take property 
through the lines. B. F. B. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters DepL Va. & N.C. FORT MONROE, Dec. 23d, 1863 

[Not in chronological order]] 

Major BELL 

I REFER to you the papers in the case of Isaiah Respress, 
for buying Confederate Money stolen from our soldiers, know 
ing it to be stolen, and also in buying tobacco, cotton, and 
naval stores with it at Richmond, to be smuggled through our 
lines. The tobacco is here. Make process both against the 
man and the tobacco, punish the one and confiscate the other 
if found guilty. By command MAJ QEN BuTLER 

H. C. C. Capt. & A.D.C. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 163 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Nov. 11th, 1863 

Brig. Gen. J. J. WISTAR, Comd g at YORKTOWN, VA. 

DEAR SIR: Your letter to the Asst. A. Gen l. and the 
endorsement upon my note by the hands of Captain Clarke 
are received. I am very sorry that from the tone of your note 
it is to be inferred that you supposed that some sort of censure 
founded upon the newspaper paragraph was intended for 
you. I assure you that nothing of the sort would be done, 
founded upon such authority. I only followed my invariable 
practice that whenever any complaint is made of the conduct 
of an Officer under my command, to immediately inform 
him of it and of his accuser, so that the Officer may have an 
opportunity of explanation before any action is taken. This 
is but just. I am glad to see your explanation, which is entirely 
satisfactory, and to learn that you so heartily concur in the 
policy of the Government, and my own with regard to the 
negroes who come under our care. I did not for one moment 
suppose that a pupil of the lamented Baker could intention 
ally return to his master or mistress a slave boy of tender years. 
There is a much more serious offence involved in the action of 
the Officer who permitted, without leave from Head Quarters, 
the official endorsement to be published as the subject of a 
newspaper paragraph. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From Mrs. Butler to Mrs. Heard 

FORTRESS MONROE, Friday, Nov. 11th [ 63] 

DEAR HARRIET: We returned last Tuesday from a tour 
of North Carolina. You will be ready to exclaim that without 
any justifiable cause I should again dare Hatteras. I was 
weary of the sight of cleaning and furnishing. Blanche was 
teasing to go, the weather is settled and mild, so that I gave 
general orders to the servants what to do for a week, and 
started without more ado. This was Blanche s first voyage. 
I hoped she would take after her father, and would escape 
seasickness, but she seems to be her mother s own daughter, 
and droops at the first roll of the vessel. We landed at Beau 
fort, the same marshy, sunken, sandy look that most southern 
towns have. We did not land that night. In the morning 



164 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

we took the cars for Newbern, thirty miles distant. All the 
remainder of the week we were sailing up the Pamlico and 
Albermarle Sounds, touching at the little towns we have 
taken and fortified at great labour and expense, that are of 
no earthly use but oblige us to feed and take care of the inhab 
itants. Little villages many miles asunder, they were taken 
merely to give eclat to Gen. Foster. The only place worth 
taking was Wilmington, and that we have not got. A de 
scription of one will answer for all. 

One long street, over-arched with elms (bare of foliage 
now), short streets crossing it, with tumbled-down looking 
buildings on the outskirts, some few good-looking houses 
along the streets; but more a story and a half high, worn 
and ancient, little yards in front with pretty shrubs, that would 
hide the decay in summer-time and give a look of freshness 
and beauty to these flat, uninteresting places. 

We were at Beaufort, Newbern, Little Washington, Plym 
outh, Roanoke Island, and out by Hatteras Inlet. You can 
trace it out on the map for the children. North Carolina 
seems to be all water. Mr. Crane will start for Lowell to 
morrow, and offers to bring anything I may want. If you 
have the dress made I wish you would send it. 

You did not buy the purple cloak; was it gone? The white 
one has not the silk border round the edge that was on the 
one I wish. What did you pay for it? I have not heard a 
word from home but Benny s dear little letter; it must have 
been great trouble for him to write it out so nicely. He must 
try again, and Paul, too, must send Mother a letter. 

The day has been rainy, a part of it, but very warm. There 
are some roses blooming in the garden. 

Mr. Butler thinks he will go to Washington in a week. If 
he does, I shall take Blanche back to school. We have Parton s 
book. I fear it is a failure. How would you like to come out 
here with the boys sometime this winter? 

From the Secretary of State 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, D.C., November %7th, 63 

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to communicate a copy of an informal 
Convention concluded on the 23rd inst. between the Secre 
tary of State of the United States and the Envoy Extraor 
dinary and Minister Plenepotentiary of His Majesty the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 165 

Emperor of the French, on the subject of the exportation of 
certain tobacco; and I will thank you to give such orders 
from your Department as may be necessary for its execution. 
I have the honor to be, 

Your obdt. Servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD 

Nov. SQth, 1863 

BY direction of the Secy, of War, the within papers are re 
ferred to Major B. F. Butler, for his information and guid 
ance so far as they may affect the military authorities of his 

Dept> H. W. HALLECK, Genl. -in-Chief 

Informal Convention between the Secretary of State of the 
United States, and the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Pleni 
potentiary of His Majesty the Emperor of the French, on the 
Subject of the Exportation of Certain Tobacco 

WHEREAS, by an Executive order, bearing date the 10th 
inst., a copy of which is hereunto annexed, the President of 
the United States has authorized the exportation of certain 
tobacco, it is hereby agreed that the exportation of such 
tobacco firm, within limits under blockade, shall be governed 
by regulations consisting of the following articles. 

Article I 

The vessels adapted to the employment shall be neutrals 
exclusively. They shall be French as much as possible, 
although foreign vessels of other nations may be employed 
by the French officers to assist in the operation. 

Article II 

The French Minister engages that the only tobacco to be 
removed is tobacco purchased and paid for prior to the 4th of 
March, 1861, and is in quantity about six or seven thousand 
hogsheads. 

Article III 

For the purpose of preventing any fraud, the charter party 
shall include express mention that the vessels freighted shall 
be under the immediate orders of the Commander of the 
"Tisiphone," in everything that will bear upon the relations 
and communications to be maintained with the shore, as 
well as for the labor made necessary for loading. Mr. de 
Marivalt will, for this purpose, be authorized to detach on 



166 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

board, if he shall judge it to be necessary, a guard of armed 
men, who shall be victualled under the care of the merchant 
captains, to whom the amount of the rations shall ulteriorly 
be re-imbursed in kind. 

Article IV 

The pilots taken by the merchant vessels ascending to City 
Point, shall, on their arrival, be placed at the disposal of the 
Commander of the "Tisiphone," who will take measures 
needful to send them back in the same capacity on vessels 
going down, or as passengers on board of flag of truce vessels. 
In that case it will be proper to settle in advance with these 
pilots a compensation which shall be allowed them daily 
during their sojourn on board. It should be arranged that 
said passage shall be effected on the transmission of a pass 
issued by the French Commander. 

Article V 

It shall be formally stipulated in the charter party that 
the vessels ascending or descending James River shall not 
communicate with any one soever save the Federal cruisers, 
to whom they will have to show their clearances, and on their 
departure shall return directly to France, to such port as 
shall have been assigned to them. 

Article VI 

The vessels selected by the Consul of France for account of 
the Imperial Government shall carry whatever be their nation 
ality from their arrival in the Chesapeake until their depar 
ture, the French flag at the foremast head. 

Article VII 

The steamer which shall tow the tobacco barges will carry 
the same flag in going to and fro. 

Article VIII 

To accelerate the loading, a gang of forty laborers shall be 
recruited at Norfolk, and placed at the disposal of the Com 
mander of the "Tisiphone," who will distribute them among 
the vessels that are loading, according to the wants of the hour. 
In case their number should be insufficient, and where it would 
be of advantage to join to them some of the crew of the "Tisi 
phone," the parties loading shall be held to pay them daily 
wages, on the same footing as to the other laborers. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 167 

Article IX 

The said laborers, considered as forming part of the effective 
crew of the "Tisiphone," shall in no case communicate with 
the shore. 

Article X 

The people of the United States and those of some of 
the Southern States having interrupted their relations, and 
the progress of operations requiring that communications be 
opened between the Commander of the "Tisiphone" and New 
York, there shall be conceded from City Point to Fortress 
Monroe, and thence to New York, passage by the flag of truce 
to the officers of the Imperial Navy, provided with orders 
from Mr. de Marivalt. 

Article XI 

It is well understood that any intercourse between the 
crews of the vessels and the inhabitants of Virginia is rigor 
ously interdicted. 

Article XII 

The chartered vessels will take, on leaving New York, 
independently of their ballast and provisions a quantity of 
staves, or other wood for dunnage necessary for solid stowage 
of their cargo. 

Article XIII 

In case some vessels should not be able from their draught 
of water to get up to City Point to load, they will complete 
it by dropping down to Harrison s Bar, where they shall be 
placed under the control of a French officer. 

Article XIV 

The administration of the Custom House at New York 
shall receive from Washington instructions, that the clear 
ances of the vessels employed be not on its part the subject 
of any difficulty. 

Article XV 

The vessels chartered by the French Government shall be 
towed, or, as the case may be, convoyed by a French vessel-of- 
war from the mouth of the James River to City Point, and in 
like manner in descending. 

In case where one or several of these vessels shall not find 
a turn at the mouth of the river, and that a steamer is about 
going up, if it can not tow or convoy them itself, it will advise 



168 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the French Commander of their arrival, so that he may go to 
seek them. 

Two French Gunboats will be detailed to attend to this 
service. 1st The Corvette "Tisiphone," Commander de 
Marivalt, 2nd Gunboat "Grenade/ C. A. Reynaud. 

Article XVI 

The time within which the tobacco may be removed in 
pursuance of the privilege granted by the order is five 
months from this date. 

Done at Washington this twenty third day of November, 

j Qf?Q 

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, HARRIE MERCIER 
From President Lincoln 

Executive Mansion, WASHINGTON, D.C., November 10th, 1863 

[Not in chronological order] 

IN consideration of peculiar circumstances, and pursuant 
to the comity deemed to be due to friendly powers, any tobacco 
in the United States belonging to the Government either of 
France, Austria, or any other state, with which this country 
is at peace, and which tobacco was purchased and paid for by 
such Government prior to the fourth day of March, 1861, 
may be exported from any port of the United States, under 
the supervision and upon the responsibility of naval officers 
of such Governments, and in conformity to such regulations 
as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State of the United 

States, and not otherwise. A 

ABRAHAM LINCOLN 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FOBT MONROE, Nov. 28th, 1863 

Major General JOHN J. PECK, Comd g. District of 

North Carolina, NEWBERN, N.C. 

GENERAL: I am instructed by the Commanding General 
to inform you that he has made the following endorsement 
in the case of the schooner "Alice L. Webb" which he sends 
for your information. 

November ZSth, 1863 

THERE appears no evidence to convict either Dibble or Bell 
of an intention of running the blockade. But there is strong 
evidence that the schooner was carried over to the enemy. 
But Mr. Dibble is so peculiarly situated with a business partner 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 169 

and brother in the Confederate lines close by him, and is so 
exposed to temptation, that no more permits must be given 
him to trade, nor must he attempt to trade in this Depart 
ment directly or indirectly, upon the penalty of being sent 
out of the Dept., and confiscation of his goods. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C. FORT MONROE, Dec. 5th, 1863 

[Not in chronological order] 

Maj. Gen. JOHN J. PECK, Comd g District of No. Car., 

NEWBERN, N.C. 

GENERAL: The Commanding General directs me to request 
that you will order that James C. Dibble of Newbern has 
thirty days in which to settle up his business therein. The 
Commanding General also desires that you will order Dibble 
to turn over to the Agent of the Treasury Department the 
farm which he, Dibble, had undertaken to work. I have the 

honor to be, ^ -,. 

Your obt. servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 
From J. C. Dibble 

NEW BERNE, N.C., December 16th, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

SIR: Your order issued through Gen. Peck, allowing me 
thirty days from the 9th instant to close up my business and 
leave the department, and commanding me to turn over to 
the Agent of the Treasury, the plantation I "had undertaken 
to work," was duly received. 

I will state for your information that I was negotiating for 
the renting of a plantation with a gentleman living within our 
lines, and a loyal man, at the time I received your first order, 
but had not consummated a bargain when I left for Fort 
Monroe. 

After my interview with you I abandoned the idea of rent 
ing, but I have no power to turn it over to any one. 

Immediately after returning from Fortress Monroe, I re 
duced the price of my goods, and have been sending them off 
about as fast as the force in my employ can handle them. 
My stock, however, is large, and I can dispose of them within 
the time allowed only by making sacrifices which I would 



170 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

gladly avoid. I shall however unless the time is extended dis 
pose of them at whatever sacrifice. 

It will, however, be entirely beyond my power to settle up 
my business in the time named. I have debts due me at 
nearly every trading point in the Department, so scattered I 
cannot possibly see the parties. Again, I have supplied a 
good many poor citizens and refugees with small amounts to 
enable them to support their families. They can only pay in 
small instalments without bringing distress upon their families, 
which I can not think of doing. 

Under these circumstances, I have to ask permission to 
leave my books and papers with my bookkeeper to close up 
what I may have unsettled at my departure. Under present 
circumstances, nothing could be more congenial to my feelings 
than to leave the Department at once. You may be assured 
I shall lose no time in preparing to leave at the earliest possible 
moment. 

Had you understood the nature and extent of my business, 
I believe you would have named a longer time. In fact, I 
believe the whole proceedings are based upon erroneous 

Very Respectfully, Your obt. Servant, 

J. C. DIBBLE 

From J. C. Dibble 

NEWBERN, N.C., December 23rd, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

SIR: I wrote you a few days since asking permission to 
leave my books, papers, and book-keeper to close up any 
unsettled business I might have at my departure. 

It requires my constant personal attention in the disposition 
of my goods, so that I have not nor cannot, until the goods 
are disposed of, give much attention to settlements and col 
lecting. This branch of the business has been materially 
retarded by indisposition of my book-keeper, who is now too 
unwell to go to the office. My present arrangement is to dis 
pose of everything in all of next week, but the time intervening 
between that and the 8th Jan. is too short to close up my out 
standing business. I have important business to settle in dif 
ferent parts of the Department which require my personal 
attention. And, if not inconsistent with the public interest 
and the progress of the war, I would like two weeks additional 
time to devote to settlements and collections exclusive! v- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 171 

I have short notice of the "Spaulding s" sailing, and may not 
have an opportunity of sending this through by Gen. Peck. 
Very respectfully your obt. servant, J. C. DIBBLE 

Answer. On the 22nd day of January, then, in accordance 
with your request for that extension of time, you will leave 
the department without further application to me. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. 



From the Secretary of State 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, 28th Nov, 1863 

To Major General B. F. BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE, 

VIRGINIA 

GENERAL: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter 
of the 26th instant, relative to the case of James A. Gray, 
and I will thank you for more specific information about the 
time that he retired in the south, and whether he had returned 
to England so as to renew his allegiance to Great Britain. I 
am, General, YQUT Obedieni Servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., & N. Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

November SQth, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

Hon. WM. H. SEWARD, Secy, of State 

SIR: I acknowledge your letter of the 28th inst., contain 
ing a request for more specific information in relation to 
James A. Gray. 

Gray states, upon his examination, that he had resided in 
Georgia for 15 years, that his wife and family still reside there, 
that he left the South, running the blockade, about the 10th 
of July, that he was captured in returning on board the "Ella 
and Annie" sometime in October, that his purpose was only 
that of a visit, his letters all showing an intention of returning 
to his home in Georgia, where he had property to a very large 
amount. 

Since I wrote the Department, he has had a full hearing 
before my Provost Judge, for whose conduct of the case he 
expressed the highest gratification, and was sentenced to two 
years imprisonment at hard labor in Fort Norfolk for smuggling 
contraband intelligence into the South, a crime which, I sup 
pose, is one irrespective of nationality. 



172 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I also enclose for your information a synopsis of the con 
tents of letters found in his possession. I have the honor 

Very Respectfully, Your obedt. Servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 

From the Secretary of State 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, 2d Deer., 1863 
[[Not in chronological order3 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE, 

VIRGINIA 

GENERAL: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter 
of the 30th ultimo and its accompaniment, relative to James 
A. Gray, and to thank you for the information thus imparted 
to me. I am, General, 

Your obedient servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD 

From the Secretary of State to General Butler 

State Department, WASHINGTON, November mh, 1863 

SIR: I have the honor herewith to enclose an unsealed offi 
cial communication addressed by Count Giorgi, the Minister 
Resident of Austria accredited to this Government, to W. 
Hanewinkel, Esq., Austrian Vice-Consul at Richmond. It is 
very important that this communication, which relates to the 
exportation from Virginia of tobacco belonging to the Govern 
ment of Austria, should reach its destination with the least 
possible delay, & it has been left open in order that the insur 
gent authorities may examine its contents. 

I will thank you to forward the letter by the first flag of 
truce boat, with such explanations as you may think necessary 
to insure its speedy delivery to Mr. Hanewinkel. I am, Sir, 
Your Obedient Servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va., & N. Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

November 29th, 1863 

The PRESIDENT 

SIR: I send you a copy of the record of the trial and sen 
tences of privates Leach, Donnelly, and Flynn, who were to be 
executed on Monday. The time for which execution I have 
extended two weeks. The concluding reason with me in the 
cases of Donnelly, and Flynn, to order the execution was that 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 173 

they were substitutes who had received their hire with appar 
ently a deliberate intention of deserting. In the case of Leach, 
I was also led to approve the sentence because this was the 
second time he had deserted. As after the judgment of the 
Court Martial the cases had lain before General Foster for some 
time for his action, and as he had left them without any 
endorsement, I felt some delicacy in carrying the sentence 
into effect; therefore it is submitted to your judgment. The 
proceedings and findings are correct in point of form. I have 
the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 
B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commdg. 

From General Butler 

CONFIDENTIAL. FORT MONROE, VA., November 29, 1863 

Hon. DAVID CARTER, WASHINGTON 

MY DEAR CARTER: I am most sorry you did not come down. 
I wanted to see you about the exchange of prisoners. It is a 
matter of vital importance. I am most deeply annoyed by 
the articles in the Herald and Tribune that I am in any way in 
opposition to the Secretary in this matter. I was laboring 
for his benefit. Now, the fact is, that an exchange can be made 
for negro troops and all until you come to the slaves actually 
enlisted from the rebel lines. The exchange of those involves 
a question of property by claimants of their own citizens 
against the Rebel Government, which that body cannot now 
afford to deal with. Therefore Ould, the Rebel Commissioner, 
had to say No when Meredith put the question to him, "would 
he exchange all." I know whereof I affirm, my dear Carter, 
when I say this. So certain am I of this that I am willing to 
risk this guaranty. If the Secretary of War will put at my 
disposal from Point Lookout one thousand or five hundred 
rebel prisoners, and I do not return to him the same number 
of our soldiers prisoners held by the rebels, and some negro 
soldiers or officers too, I will pay from my own pocket to the 
Government the cost of their transportation forward and 
back, provided if I succeed the Secretary will let me go on until 
I am stopped by the refusal of the rebels to exchange. Now, I 
make this to you as a friend of the Secretary a warm and 
true one, as I know you are, and for the purpose of relieving 
him from an embarrassment before the country brought on 
by the misconceptions and personal feelings of his subordinates. 



174 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

If he could see and understand this question as I do I am sure 
he would agree with me. I am not permitted as a man of 
honor to state to him or to you the grounds of my belief 
but I do believe. No jot or tittle of the honor of the country 
shall fall in the transaction. On my head be it if it does. You 
must not show him this note, as it is written for your eyes 
alone. I am anxious to relieve him from the pressure, which 
in my place I see more of than any other, of the condition of 
these prisoners. It is strange, but would the Secretary think 
that my proposition would be put by General Meredith so 
that it should succeed when all his had failed? It was not in 
human nature. 

Mrs. Butler sends regards, and desires to see you and Mrs. 
Carter here. R BUTLER 



From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. Headquarters, Department of Va. & N. Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

November mh, 1863 

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

AFTER carefully examining the subject, I am convinced 
that by offering a small bounty, not exceeding $10.00 per 
man, to colored recruits, that more than the expense can be 
saved in the time of recruiting, and the facilities of getting 
men from the rebel lines. Please authorize the expenditure. 
We have raised a full company of cavalry in three days. The 
1st company of colored cavalry. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

By the Secretary of War 

BY TELEGRAPH, WASHINGTON, Nov. 29^, 63 

To Major General BUTLER 

I AM directed by the Secretary of War to say in answer to 
your telegram of this date that you are authorized until 
further orders to pay a bounty not exceeding ten (10) dollars 
per man for colored recruits in your Department. You will 
report the number of recruits to the Provost Marshal Genl., 
who has charge of the fund from which the expenditure will 
be paid, and also to Major Foster, Chief of the Bureau for 
organizing colored troops. 

By order of the Secretary of War 

JAS. A. HARDIE, A.A.G. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 175 

By the Secretary of War 

BY TELEGRAPH from WASHINGTON, Nov. 29/63 

To Maj. Genl. BUTLER 

THE Sec y of War directs me to inform you that leave to pass 
through the lines of the United States forces requires the sanction 
of this Department, and that the exercise of that power by De 
partment commanders has been attended with much evil. You 
will not, therefore, give permission to any one to pass the lines, 
or to go or come by flag of truce boat, without the previous per 
mission of the Secretary of War, and will revoke any permission 
you may have given. " 



Ry 

JAMES A. HARDIE, A.A.G. 

By the Secretary of War 

BY TELEGRAPH from WASHINGTON 7.30 P.M. Nov. 30th, 1863 

To Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

THE order of yesterday was not intended to prevent you from 
carrying into effect any sentence of expulsion from our lines of 
persons disloyal or hostile to the Government. It applies only 
to persons who seek voluntarily to cross the lines for their own 

By order of the Sec y of War 

JAS. A. HARDIE, A.A.G. 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, November SOth, 1863 

The Secretary of the Treasury, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
communication of the 19th instant, and to state, in reply, 
that the authority heretofore given Major General Foster, 
commanding the Department of Virginia and North Caro 
lina, is extended to Major General Butler, his successor in 
that command, and that the certificates and requests of that 
officer will be regarded as sufficient authority for shipments 
of goods to points within the Department commanded by 

him. Very Respectfully, Sir, v n , 7 , 

Your Obedt. Servant, 

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

Respectfully forwarded for the information of Major General 
Butler, Commanding Department of Virginia and North 

Per order of the Secretary of War 

E. M. CANBY, Brig. Gen. A.A.G. 



176 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General W . F. Smith to General Butler 

CHATTANOOGA, Nov. 30th, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I received a few days since a very pleas 
ant letter from Mr. Fay, written long ago, telling me what I 
was very glad to hear, that you were once more called to 
duty, and speaking of your very kind remembrance of my 
request to be with you when you should be restored to your 
proper place. I am very thankful to you for not forgetting 
me in the matter, and should be glad above all things to join 
you but for a moral obligation I am under to remain with 
Gen. Grant, who has urgently requested my promotion. 
Though I have small hopes of his success in the matter, yet I 
feel all the same toward him, and as he has expressed a strong 
wish for me to remain here, I reluctantly give up the chance of 
getting East to remain under him. I trust, however, Gen., 
that a year more may see you selected for a position which 
will demand an iron will and great abilities to bring order out 
of the chaos that will follow the peace, which I trust is now 
near us. We have had a most magnificent victory here over 
Bragg, who was posted in the strongest position I have ever 
seen an army in, and one which he had fortified to his heart s 
content. Two columns are now moving on Longstreet, and 
if Burnside only holds out there will be little left of the Rebel 
General s command in three or four days. 

Yours Very Sincerely, WM. F. SMITH 

From General Butler 

Ed. Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Nov 3Qth, 1863 

W. S. CLARK, BALTIMORE, MD. 

MY DEAR SIR: No one can know better than a gentleman 
of your intelligence that the Government of the United States 
does not war on Religion. It is our boast that here all Relig 
ions are tolerated. The teachings of the Gospel would have 
ended this Rebellion before it began. 

Be assured that you shall have every co-operation on my 
part in sending South such Religious Books and articles of 
pious reverence as you may deem proper. I trust they will 
be received in the same spirit in which they are sent. Let 
them be directed to my care. 

Yours truly, B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 177 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Nov. 3Qth, 1863 

Hon. S. J. BOWDOIN and L. H. CHANDLER, Counsel for J. J. 
WOODBRIDGE, now prisoner at NORFOLK JAIL 
SIRS: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the 
petition of Woodbridge enclosed in your letter to me of to-day. 
I have no doubt an appeal lies to the Civil Government to 
revise the action of the Provost Court, and it is a power which 
has been frequently exercised by me, and if the facts set forth 
by Woodbridge in his petition were the only ones in which 
Judge Bell acted, the propriety of his action might be ques 
tioned. But I am informed by the Revenue Officer seizing 
the Village Belle" and believe, that she contained a false 
bulkhead, fitted up with apparatus for concealing contraband 
goods, and especially spirituous liquors, and in which spiritu 
ous liquors were concealed. I further understand this smug 
gling is a second offence with Woodbridge. If these facts 
shall appear, and you can ascertain them from your client 
you will advise with him whether he will press his appeal. If 
after such advice you desire it, I will revise the case and give 
such judgment as it warrants. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Your obdt. servant 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., & North Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, 

December 1st, 1863 

G. V. Fox 

MY DEAR SIR: I see by the news from New Orleans that 
my friend, Actg. Master Sturges, of whom I spoke to you, 
who is on board the U. S. Str. "New London," has captured 
the "Dashing Wave," going into the Rio Grande. This is the 
blow on which you promised him a Lieutenancy. Please let me 
have the pleasure of communicating to him that he has it. 

Very truly, Yours, B. F. B. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C. FORT MONROE, Dec. 1st, 1863 

Brig. Gen. GEO. W. GETTY, Comd g at PORTSMOUTH, VA. 

GENERAL: You are directed, whenever Gen. Wild or Gen. 
Barnes for any purpose see fit to send an organized body of 

VOL. Ill 12 



178 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

troops through your lines, to allow them to pass, unless their 
passing will interfere with military operations in your immedi 
ate command, and in such case you will report the refusal 
at these Head Quarters. I am, General, 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From Colonel J. W. Shaffer to General Butler 

NEW YORK, December 2nd, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I have had a long interview with the 
Colonel, 1 and I believe he is decidedly better; his spirits are 
good, which, you know, is half the battle he is willing to 
quit all business and do anything that is thought best. I see 
him again to-day, and I think my trip will do good. 

The pistols for 20th New York cavalry were shipped 16th 
Nov., and delivered to Captain James, Quartermaster, where 
they are now, as I have seen B/L signed by him. There is a 
big ring connected with these gunboats, at the head of which 
is Greeley. Wiard has been in Washington, and came home 
this morning with a flea in his ear, having run against my 
report in the War Office. Graham has shipped carriages, 
launches, etc., for Foster, and has been looking around await 
ing Wiard s return. He (Graham) says that the parties here 
talked to him as if there was no doubt about the boats being 
accepted, etc. I should have at once smashed the whole thing, 
but upon reflection I concluded that, all things considered, if 
the boats could be altered, machinery put in the hold, etc., 
and the boats completed in time at a fair price, we had better 
take them. I consequently gave Graham full power to accept 
them, if in his judgment they could be and would be made to 
answer in every respect the purpose for which we needed boats, 
and in good time and at a fair price. If not, he had full power 
to purchase such other boats as in his judgment could be speed 
ily transformed into gunboats. I told him to show this order 
to Mr. Wiard, and I thought he would have things his own 
way. Graham has, I think, good judgment, and the result of 
my trip will be to change the boats at Wiard s expense to suit 
us, and give Mr. Greeley to understand that we cannot allow 
the government to be cheated. I return to-night to Washing 
ton, and will remain there a couple of days unless you telegraph 
me to hurry back. 

1 Andrew Jackson Butler. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 179 

Now, General, the more I think about that speech of yours 
the more I incline to the opinion I gave in my last letter. As 
I said, you should however know best what to do. Chase 
has his men hard at work. The Collector of this port is to be 
changed for Opdyke, all that can be is being done to strengthen 
Chase. I will write to-morrow from Washington. 

Truly Your Friend, J. W. SHAFFER 

By General Butler 

Bead Qrs. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 2nd, 1863 

Rev. HORACE JAMES, NEWBERN, N.C. 

REV. AND DEAR SIR: Please send your Requisition for the 
Mill. I will take the course which you suggest. I am satis 
fied that it is a matter which the United States should furnish, 
and in this Lieut. Col. Biggs, my Quarter Master, agrees with 
me. I observed that you had not enclosed a pass, but I have 
already forwarded you a dozen. 

You will receive my order in a few days in regard to colored 
recruiting and negro affairs, which I wish fully carried out. 
By Command of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 

H. C. C., Capt. and A.D.C. 

From Fisher A. Hildreth to General Butler 

LOWELL, December 3rd, 1863 

DEAR BUTLER: Peter Powers, Esq., called on me last night 
to learn whether some friends of his could probably get per 
mits to take goods into your Department. I was not pre 
pared to give him much information about the matter. He 
then told me that Mrs. Moore, a protege of Senator Wilson, 
had a permit from the Secretary of the Treasury to take goods 
down there, establish a saw-mill, take goods from there, and 
do almost anything she pleased. That she had gone to For 
tress Monroe to see you, that she might get your good wishes 
in the matter, though she already had her authority from 
Secretary Chase. Now, that there is something in this I have 
no doubt. How much I should like to know. That Mr. 
Chase gives permits in other Departments is certain, for the 
Pierce Brothers have a permit from him, or by his authority, 
to do business in Banks Department, to take out butter, sugar, 
etc., etc. 

Now, if Mr. Powers friends, or others, desire to do business 
in your Department, must they apply to you or to Washington 



180 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

for permits? How is the privilege of doing business obtained, 
and from whom? 

Mr. Carlos Pierce, I expect, has gone to see you, probably 
has arrived at the Fortress before this. If he thinks there is 
a fair opening he will try what he can do. He is an honorable 
man, and would not attempt to do anything unauthorized. 

FISHER 

From Colonel J. W. Shaffer to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, December 3rd, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I have just returned here from New York 
and find matters here gloomy on account of Meade s getting 
back to his old quarters. I called on Watson as soon as I 
arrived to see what the news was, he was very much out of 
patience with Meade. I told him to send us the troops and we 
would certainly do something; he said he wished to God we 
had them. I am confident Meade will go by the board, and 
there is some talk that Hooker will be brought back. I take 
it that in the change that most likely will be made we can t 
be any worse off than we are at present. My candidate for 
Speakership will have a very hard road to travel, but I still 
hope we may carry him through. I will see Carter to-night. 
I have a full budget of political news for you, which I will 
reserve until I get home. You have hosts of friends here. 

Your friend, J. W. SHAFFER 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 3rd, 1863 

His Excellency Governor PIERPONT, State of VIRGINIA 

GOVERNOR: I have received your letter, in which you offer 
Commissions to Officers of the 1st Colored Cavalry Regiment 
which I am raising. I shall be very happy to recommend com 
petent persons to you for Commissions, but I am not informed 
of the policy of the Government in that behalf. This is the 
first offer of a Governor of a slave state to Commission Officers 
of a Colored Regiment. I will forward it to Washington. I 
thank you also for your suggestions relating to disloyal per 
sons doing business. I will see to it that their cases are most 
thoroughly attended to. I have the honor to be, 

Yours truly, B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 181 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., & N. Carolina, December 3rd, 1863 

Hon.E. M. ST ANTON, Sec y. of War 

SIR: I take leave to report that Governor Pierpont has 
kindly offered to commission the officers of the 1st Colored 
Cavalry, and to select such men as I would recommend. I 
applied a few days since to the Department for power to 
appoint officers of such regiments as I should raise, and issue 
Provisional Commissions in the manner it was done in Louisi 
ana by myself and General Banks. To that application I 
have received no reply. I am opposed to the policy of allow 
ing Governors of States to have anything to do with the colored 
troops, as well as white ones. 

I have believed it was best that the forces of the United 
States should be U. S. Troops, not New York, Massachusetts, 
or Pennsylvania troops. You may remember that it was on 
this point I had some trouble with my now very good friend, 
Governor Andrew. I should think it best that the President 
should commission all officers of colored troops, and if the 
rapidity of recruitment should throw a press of business upon 
the Adj. Gen l s Office, Provisional Commissions could be 
issued by Commanders of Departments until the averages 
could be brought up. I particularly request that no more pro 
motions to officers in colored troops in this Department should 
be made without prior information from these Head Quarters, 
as an order for promotion has already come down here for 
promotion of a man who is in the guardhouse for drunkeness 
and desertion, and he desires me to let him out for the purpose 
of taking his commission, with the promise that he will not do 
so again. 

I am happy to report that the recruiting of colored troops 
is going on very successfully. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From F. Morton to General Butler 

NORFOLK, December 4th, 1863 

DEAR SIR: You are fully aware that the safety of the citi 
zens of Norfolk and Portsmouth are wholly devolved upon 
yourself, and that we as a people look to you for succor in this 
time of need. It is very evident that the negroes intend to 



182 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

make war with the helpless women and children of these two 
cities, and that very early. They say there is not white soldiers 
enough to put them down (and such you know is the case). 
Do, Gen., attend to this matter, and send them away as fast 
as possible, to avoid farther trouble. We have become a 
loyal people, and will look to our Government for protection. 

Very respectfully yours, F. MORTON 

From General Butler 

December 6th, 1863 

F. MORTON 

IF you do not die until the negroes hurt you, if you behave 
yourself, you will live forever. 

Respectfully, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va., & N. Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

December 4th, 1863 

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

SIR: I beg leave to call your attention to a marked portion 
of the article, upon exchange of prisoners, in the Richmond 
Enquirer of Dec. 2nd. You will see by it that I was at least 
right upon the point that the exchange of colored troops is 
not the matter of controversy which prevents the exchange 
of prisoners. And if it were possible to have a personal con 
ference with the Secretary, it would be easy to Convince him 
that an exchange of prisoners is possible, with honor to our 
selves and protection to our colored troops. I have the honor 

Very Respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 5th, 1863 

Brig. Gen. SLOUGH, Comd g at ALEXANDRIA 

GENERAL: I send you enclosed a letter signed by Miss 
Jennie Small. The envelope is adapted to smuggling infor 
mation. In it are certain indications which may lead you to 
trace the writer. I also enclose you a letter directed to Miss 
Jennie Small, post-marked Fort Monroe. Now, if you will 
have the letter put in the Post Office at Alexandria, and your 
detective watch for the person who calls for it, you may be 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 183 

able to arrest her. Please return the contraband letter to me. 

I have the honor to be, v 7 . 

Your obt. servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 



By General Butler 

Hdgrs. Eighteenth Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, FORT 

MONROE, VA., December 5, 1863 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 46 

THE recruitment of colored troops has become the settled 
purpose of the Government. It is therefore the duty of every 
officer and soldier to aid in carrying out that purpose, by every 
proper means, irrespective of personal predilection. To do 
this effectually the former condition of the blacks, their change 
of relation, the new rights acquired by them, the new obliga 
tions imposed upon them, the duty of the Government to them, 
the great stake they have in the war, and the claims their 
ignorance and the helplessness of their women and children 
make upon each of us who hold a higher grade in social and 
political life, must all be carefully considered. 

It will also be taken into account that the colored soldiers 
have none of the machinery of "State aid" for the support 
of their families while fighting our battles, so liberally pro 
vided for the white soldiers, nor the generous bounties given 
by the State and National Governments in the loyal States, 
although this last is far more than compensated to the black 
man by the great boon awarded to him, the result of the war 
- freedom for himself and his. race forever ! 

To deal with these several aspects of this subject so that as 
few of the negroes as possible shall become chargeable either 
upon the bounty of Government or the charities of the benevo 
lent, and at the same time to do justice to those who shall 
enlist, to encourage enlistment, and to cause all capable of 
working to employ themselves for their support and that of 
their families, either in arms or other service, and that the 
rights of negroes and the Government may both be protected, 
it is ordered: 

I. In this department, after the 1st day of December, 
instant, and until otherwise ordered, every able-bodied colored 
man who shall enlist and be mustered into the service of the 
United States for three years or during the war shall be paid 
as bounty, to supply his immediate wants, the sum of $10. 
And it shall be the duty of each mustering officer to return to 



184 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

these headquarters duplicate rolls of recruits so enlisted and 
mustered into the service on the 10th, 20th, and last days of 
each month, so that the bounty may be promptly paid and 
accounted for. 

II. To the family of each colored soldier so enlisted and 
mustered, so long as he shall remain in the service and behave 
well, shall be furnished suitable subsistence, under the direc 
tion of the superintendents of negro affairs or their assistants; 
and each soldier shall be furnished with a certificate of sub 
sistence for his family as soon as he is mustered; and any 
soldier deserting, or whose pay and allowances are forfeited 
by court-martial, shall be reported by his captain to the 
superintendent of the district where his family lives, and the 
subsistence may be stopped, provided that such subsistence 
shall be continued for at least six months to the family of any 
colored soldier who shall die in the service by disease, wounds, 
or battle. 

III. Every enlisted colored man shall have the same uni 
form, clothing, arms, equipments, camp equipage, rations, 
medical and hospital treatment as are furnished to the IT. S. 
soldiers of a like arm of the service, unless, upon request, 
some modification thereof shall be granted from these head 
quarters. 

IV. The pay of the colored soldiers shall be $10 per month, 
$3 of which may be retained for clothing. But the non 
commissioned officers, whether colored or white, shall have 
the same addition to their pay as other non-commissioned 
officers. It is, however, hoped and believed by the com 
manding general that Congress, as an act of justice, will in 
crease the pay of the colored troops to a uniform rate with 
other troops of the United States. He can see no reason 
why a colored soldier should be asked to fight upon less pay 
than any other. The colored man fills an equal space in ranks 
while he lives, and an equal grave when he falls. 

V. It appears by returns from the several recruiting officers 
that enlistments are discouraged, and the Government is 
competing against itself, because of the payment of sums 
larger than the pay of the colored soldiers to the colored 
employes in the several staff departments, and that, too, 
while the charities of the Government and individuals are 
supporting the families of the laborer. It is further ordered, 
That no officer or other person on behalf of the Government, 
or to be paid by the Government, on land in this department, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 185 

shall employ or hire any colored man for a greater rate of 
wages than $10 per month, or the pay of a colored soldier and 
rations, or $15 per month without rations, except that me 
chanics and skilled laborers may be employed at other rates, 
regard being had, however, to the pay of the soldier in fixing 
such rates. 

VI. The best use during the war for an able-bodied colored 
man, as well for himself as the country, is to be a soldier: 
It is therefore further ordered, That no colored man, between 
the ages of eighteen and forty-five, who can pass the surgeon s 
examination for a soldier, shall be employed on land by any 
person in behalf of the Government (mechanics and skilled 
laborers alone excepted). And it shall be the duty of each 
officer or other person employing colored labor in this depart 
ment, to be paid by or on behalf of the Government, to cause 
each laborer to be examined by the surgeons detailed to 
examine colored recruits, who shall furnish the laborer with a 
certificate of disability or ability, as the case may be, and 
after the 1st day of January next no employment rolls of 
colored laborers will be certified or passed at these head 
quarters wherein this order has not been complied with, 
and are not vouched for by such certificate of disability of 
the employes. And whenever hereafter a colored employe 
of the Government shall not be paid within sixty days after 
his wages shall become due and payable, the officer or other 
person having the funds to make such payment shall be 
dismissed the service, subject to the approval of the President. 

VII. Promptness of payment of labor, and the facilities 
furnished by the Government and the benevolent, will enable 
colored laborers in the service of the Government to be sup 
ported from the proceeds of their labor; therefore no subsist 
ence will be furnished to the families of those employed by 
the Government at labor, but the superintendent of negro 
affairs may issue subsistence to those so employed and charge 
the amount against their wages, and furnish the officer in 
charge of payment of such laborers with the amounts so 
issued, on the first day of each month, or be himself charge 
able with the amount so issued. 

VIII. Political freedom rightly defined is liberty to work, 
and to be protected in the full enjoyment of the fruits of 
labor; and no one with ability to work should enjoy the fruits 
of another s labor, therefore no subsistence will be permitted 
to any negro or his family, with whom he lives, who is able to 



186 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

work and does not work. It is, therefore, the duty of the 
superintendent of negro affairs to furnish employment to all 
the negroes able to labor, and see that their families are sup 
plied with the necessaries of life. Any negro who refuses 
to work when able, and neglects his family, will be arrested 
and reported to these headquarters to be sent to labor on the 
fortifications, where he will be made to work. No negro will 
be required to labor on the Sabbath unless upon the most 
urgent necessity. 

IX. The commanding general is informed that officers 
and soldiers in the department have, by impressment and 
force, compelled the labor of negroes, sometimes for private 
use, and often without any imperative necessity. 

Negroes have rights so long as they fulfill their duties: 
Therefore it is ordered, That no officer or soldier shall impress 
or force to labor for any private purpose whatever any negro; 
and negro labor shall not be impressed or forced for any 
public purpose unless under orders from these headquarters, 
or because of imperative military necessity, and where the 
labor of white citizens would be compelled if present. And 
any orders of any officer compelling any labor by negroes or 
white citizens shall forthwith be reported to these head 
quarters, and the reasons which called for the necessity for 
such order be fully set forth. 

In case of a necessity compelling negro or white labor for 
the purpose of building fortifications, bridges, roads, or aiding 
transportation or other military purpose, it shall be the duty 
of the superintendent of negroes in that district to cause 
employment rolls to be made of those so compelled to labor, 
and to present said rolls as soon as the necessity ceases to the 
assistant quartermaster of the district that the laborers may 
be paid; and the superintendent shall see that those that 
labor shall have proper subsistence, and may draw from the 
commissary of subsistence rations therefor. Any officer 
offending willfully against the provisions of this order will be 
dismissed the service, subject to the approval of the President. 

And no negro shall be impressed into military service of the 
United States except under orders from these headquarters - 
by a draft which shall equally apply to the white and colored 
citizen. 

X. The theory upon which negroes are received into the 
Union lines and employed, either as laborers or soldiers, is 
that every negro able to work who leaves the rebel lines 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 187 

diminishes by so much the producing power of the rebellion 
to supply itself with food and labor necessary to be done 
outside of military operations to sustain its armies, and the 
United States thereby gains either a soldier or a producer. 
Women and children are received because it would be mani 
festly iniquitous and unjust to take the husband and father 
and leave the wife and child to ill-treatment and starvation. 
Women and children are also received when unaccompanied 
by the husband and father, because the negro has the domestic 
affections in as strong a degree as the white man, and however 
far South his master may drive him he will sooner or later 
return to his family. 

Therefore it is ordered, That every officer and soldier of 
this command shall aid by every means in his power the 
coming of all colored people within the Union lines; that all 
officers commanding expeditions and raids shall bring in with 
them all the negroes possible, affording them transportation, 
aid, protection, and encouragement. Any officer bringing or 
admitting negroes within his lines shall forthwith report the 
same to the superintendent of negro affairs within his district 
so they may be cared for and protected, enlisted, or set to 
work. Any officer, soldier, or citizen who shall dissuade, 
hinder, prevent, or endeavor to prevent or hinder any negro 
from coming within the Union lines; or shall dissuade, hinder, 
prevent, or endeavor to prevent or hinder any negro from 
enlisting; or who shall insult, abuse, ridicule, or interfere 
with, for the purpose of casting ridicule or contempt upon 
colored troops or individual soldiers, because they are colored, 
shall be deemed to be and held liable under the several acts 
of Congress applicable to this subject, and be punished with 
military severity for obstructing recruiting. 

XI. In consideration of the ignorance and helplessness 
of the negroes, arising from the condition in which they have 
been heretofore held, it becomes necessary that the Govern 
ment should exercise more and peculiar care and protection 
over them than over its white citizens, accustomed to self- 
control and self-support, so that their sustenance may be 
assured, their rights respected, their helplessness protected, 
and their wrongs redressed; and that there be one system of 
management of negro affairs: It is ordered, that Lieut. Col. 
J. Burnham Kinsman, aide-de-camp, be detailed at these 
headquarters as general superintendent of negro affairs in 
this department, to whom all reports and communications 



188 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

relating thereto, required to be sent to these headquarters, 
shall be addressed. He shall have a general superintendence 
over all the colored people of this department; and all other 
superintendents of negro affairs shall report to Lieutenant- 
Colonel Kinsman, who is acting for the commanding general 
in this behalf. 

All the territory of Virginia south of the James River shall 
be under the superintendence of Capt. Orlando Brown, assist 
ant quartermaster. All the territory north of James River 
shall be under the superintendence of Capt. Charles B. Wilder, 
assistant quartermaster. The District of North Carolina 
shall be under the superintendence of the Rev. Horace James, 
chaplain. 

Each superintendent shall have the power to select and 
appoint such assistant superintendents for such sub-districts 
in his district as may be necessary, to be approved by the 
commanding general, such appointments to be confirmed by 
the commanding general. 

The pay of such assistant, if a civilian, shall in no case 
exceed the pay of a first-class clerk n the Quartermaster s 
Department. 

It shall be the duty of each superintendent, under the 
direction of the general superintendent, to take care of the 
colored inhabitants of his district, not slaves, under the actual 
control of a loyal master in his district (and in all questions 
arising as to freedom or slavery of any colored person, the 
presumption shall be that the man, woman, or child is free 
or has claimed protection of the military authorities of the 
United States, which entitles the claimant to freedom); to 
cause an accurate census to be taken of colored inhabitants 
in his district and their employments; to cause all to be 
provided with necessary shelter, clothing, food, and medicines; 
to see that all able to work shall have some employment, and 
that such employment shall be industriously pursued; to see 
that in all contracts for labor or other things made by the 
negroes with white persons the negro is not defrauded, and 
to annul all contracts made by the negro which are unconscion 
able and injurious, and that such contracts as are fulfilled by 
the negro shall be paid; to take charge of all lands and all 
property allotted, turned over, or given to the use of the 
negro, whether by Government or by charity; to keep accurate 
accounts of the same and of all expenditure; to audit all 
accounts of the negroes against Government, and to have 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 189 

all proper allowances made as well to the negro as the Govern 
ment; and to have all claims put in train for payment by the 
Government; to keep accurate accounts of all expenses of 
the negro to the Government, and of his earnings for the 
Government; to see that the negroes who have wrought on 
land furnished by the Government on shares shall have their 
just portion, and to aid in disposing of the same for the best 
good of the negro and Government; to make quarterly returns 
and exhibits of all accounts of matters committed to them; 
and to hold all moneys arising from the surplus earnings 
of the negro over the expenditures by the United States, for 
the use and benefit of the negroes, under orders from these 
headquarters. 

XII. It appearing to the commanding general that some 
of the labor done by the negroes in this department remains 
unpaid some for the space of more than two years, although 
contracts were duly made by the proper officers of the Govern 
ment for the payment thereof whereby the faith of the 
negro in the justice of the Government is impaired and the 
trust in its protection is weakened: It is ordered, That each 
superintendent shall be a commissioner, to audit all such 
accounts, procure evidence of their validity, make out accurate 
pay-rolls and return the same, so that they may be presented 
for adjustment to the proper Departments: Provided, however, 
That no sale of any such claim against the Government shall 
be valid, and no payment shall be made of any such claim 
except in hand to the person actually earning it if he is 
within this department or to his legal representative, if 
the person earning it be deceased. 

XIII. Religious, benevolent, and humane persons have 
come into this department for the charitable purpose of 
giving to the negroes secular and religious instructions; and 
this, too, without any adequate pay or material reward. 
It is therefore ordered, That every officer and soldier shall 
treat all such persons with the utmost respect; shall aid them 
by all proper means in their laudable avocations; and that 
transportation be furnished them whenever it may be necessary 
in pursuit of their business. 

XIV. As it is necessary to preserve uniformity of system, 
and that information shall be had as to the needs and the 
supplies for the negro; and as certain authorizations are had 
to raise troops in the department, a practice has grown up of 
corresponding directly with the War and other Departments 



190 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

of the Government, to the manifest injury of the service: It 
is therefore ordered, That all correspondence in relation to 
the raising or recruitment of colored troops, and relating to 
the care and control of the negroes in this department, with 
any official organized body or society, or any Department or 
Bureau of the Government, must be transmitted through 
these headquarters, as by regulation all other military cor 
respondence is required to be done. 

XV. Courts-martial and courts of inquiry in relation to 
all offenses committed by or against any of the colored troops, 
or any person in the service of the United States connected 
with the care, or serving with the colored troops, shall have 
a majority of its members composed of officers in command 
of colored troops, when such can be detailed without manifest 
injury to the service. 

All offenses by citizens against the negroes, or by the negroes 
against citizens except of a high and aggravated nature 
shall be heard and tried before the provost court. 

XVI. This order shall be published and furnished to each 
regiment and detached post within the department a copy 
for every commanding officer thereof and every com 
mander of a company, or detachment less than a company, 
shall cause the same to be read once, at least, to his company 
or detachment; and this order shall be printed for the informa 
tion of the citizens, once at least, in each newspaper published 
in the department. 

By command of MAJOR GENERAL BUTLER 
R. S. DAVIS, Major and Assistant Adjutant-General 

War of the Rebellion, Official Records, Series III, Vol. 3, pp. 1139-1144. 

From Henry C. Deming to General Butler 

PRIVATE. WASHINGTON CITY, December 6th, 1863 

MY DEAR GENERAL: It was my full purpose to visit you 
at Fort Monroe upon my arrival at Baltimore upon Friday 
last, but I found a telegram there informing me that Ethe- 
ridge, the copperhead clerk of the last house, had interposed 
such captious objections to the credentials of the Connecticut 
members-elect, that it would be necessary for me to be in 
Washington forthwith if I wished to participate in the organ 
ization of the house. 

I have no doubt that there is a conspiracy upon the part 
of this treacherous officer to omit the name of Union members 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 191 

from the roll, and thus give the offices of the house to the 
Democrats. Thanks to the telegram, I have been enabled to 
summon our Secretary of State to Washington, and to correct 
the alleged informalities in the commissions of our delegation, 
but Minnesota, California, and Kansas are beyond its reach 
in season for this emergency, and the members from these 
states will be excluded from voting for Speaker by the tech 
nicality assumed by the clerk. 

My purpose in writing now is to say that if the matters 
upon which you wished to see me have not become obsolete 
by this delay, I w r ill come down to your Head Quarters as 
soon as these questions of organization are settled. In the 
event of my coming, I should be happy to bring with me my 
colleague, Mr. Brandegee, who is anxious to form your 
acquaintance. 

With my most respectful compliments to Mrs. Butler, in 
which Mrs. Deming unites, I am 

Very truly and respectfully your friend, 

HENRY C. DEMING 

From General Butler 

MY DEAR DEMING: To see and converse with you is never 
obsolete. Come as soon as you can, and bring your colleague 
with you. You can leave Washington at 3 o clock and be at 
Fortress Monroe before breakfast, leaving Fortress Monroe 
at 5 o clock if business presses you. Get to Washington at 
10 A.M. 

Perhaps Mrs. Deming will come with you, and see Mrs. 

Yours Truly, B. F. B. 
From Hiram Barney 

Custom House, NEW YORK, Collector s Office, December 7th, 1863 

Major General BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE 

MY DEAR GENERAL: In familiar conversations with General 
McDowell at his own house and mine, when he was last in the 
city, we discussed the merits of operations in North Carolina 
with maps in hand. I mentioned, as well as I could recollect, 
what I said in my letter to you in relation to a conversa 
tion which I had with him while coming from Washington. 
He expressed some concern lest his opinions on the policy of 
attempting much in North Carolina, while Lee remained with 



192 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

his army in Virginia, should be misunderstood and after 
we parted I received the enclosed letter from him. 

I do not see much in it which is at variance with what I 
wrote you excepting perhaps less inclination than I thought 
he had to work in that Department. His idea that we ought 
to go against the armies instead of the rebels is a military one 
which I suppose no one would dispute. I think it fair, how 
ever, to us all that McDowell s letter should go to you. I am 

Faithfully, Yours, 

HIRAM BARNEY 

From General Butler to Hiram Barney 

Dec. 11, 1863 

I HAVE telegraphed Major General McDowell to come and 
spend Sunday with me, to talk over state of the country and 
see if we can get together. Thanking you for your kindness 

and suggestions, I am m 7 -r> T? T> 

Truly yours, B. F. B. 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Sunday Evening, December, 1863 

MY DEAR MR. BARNEY: In view of what you inform me 
you have written to General Butler, I fear he may be under 
some misapprehension as to my views and wishes in the 
matter of serving in his department. 

What I said to the Secretary was, if the service in the 
department of Virginia and North Carolina was the best he 
could do for me, to send me there; but that I had from the 
first been uniformly opposed to all operations on the coast 
except what was barely necessary to aid in enforcing the block 
ade. That to be a mere commandant of coast guard was not 
attractive to me, and to have more force than what would be 
necessary for this purpose was and had always been against 
my judgment. 

I said that the closing of Wilmington was the only opera 
tion I thought this department offered, and that this would 
require a large force, larger than I could see would, or could, 
be furnished. 

You were right in saying I have a great respect for General 
Butler s high qualities and abilities, and a sincere sympathy 
for him in all his operations, but I think he will be glad to 
know my antecedents and my present opinions with respect 
to the operations in the district he commands. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 193 

If you think General Butler may have received an impres 
sion at variance with the foregoing, I think it would be well 
to inform him, for I have a horror of being in a false position. 

I regret the papers, containing the opinions I have hereto 
fore submitted in relation to operations south of the Rappa- 
hannock, are mislaid, and that I cannot show them to you 
to-night. I will do so as soon as they come light. 

Please make my excuses to the young ladies and believe me, 
Yours sincerely and truly, JIM McDowELL 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va. & N. Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

December 7th, 1863 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secy, of War 

SIR: I was informed, upon the return of the flag of truce 
boat from Richmond, that the small-pox had broken out 
among our prisoners there as it has among our negroes here. 
We are beginning to get it under here. The flag of truce boat 
is able to return to-day, and there seeming to be an immedi 
ate exigency, I have deemed it expedient to send the enclosed 
note to the rebel Commissioner of Exchange, which will explain 
itself. 

The telegraph not working between here and Washington 
any faster than the mail, I could not communicate with you 
before sending. I trust my action in the premises will be 
approved. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respy., B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, Dec. 8, 1863 
[Not in chronological order] 

Maj. -Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Commanding, etc., 
FORTRESS MONROE, VA. 

GENERAL: I am directed by the Secretary of War to inform 
you that your action in regard to supplying vaccine matter 
for the use of the Union prisoners at Richmond is approved 
by this department. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
JAS. A. HARDIE, Assistant Adjutant-General 



VOL. Ill 



194 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
From Mrs. Butler to Paul Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 7th, [1863] 

DEAR PAUL: I am sure you want to see me this cold night, 
as earnestly as I desire to look at you. I fancy you are all at 
the table in the library, talking, drawing and reading, or 
knitting little mats with gay-colored worsted. 

We are not very lively. Blanche is writing to Florence while 
I am writing to you. The walls of the Fortress shut us in like 
a prison; and it is gray and cold as December, so cold we have 
not been out these two days. I think if you were here we 
should be a little gayer. Day before yesterday we went 
over to Norfolk, and came home worried to death. Norfolk 
is an old town, the buildings mostly of brick, the pavements 
uneven and broken, we were sadly jolted and shook riding 
over them. We went through the town and out to see the 
fortification, then crossed the ferry to Portsmouth, and went 
all through the Gosport Navy Yard. The rebels tried to 
destroy it, but the docks were so splendidly built of stone and 
solid masonry, the buildings of brick and iron, that they could 
neither burn or blast them altogether, but they injured a 
great deal that will take a long time to repair. Blanche looked 
on every side for a mocking-bird. We found two in a cage, 
hanging in the door of a house on the outskirts of the town. 
The owner said they would sell one, but we concluded to be 
sure of a fine singer and look further. 

What is the reason Harriet does not write? We have not 
had a line from her since we left home five weeks or more ago. 
If any one is coming, send that piece of brown braid for 
Blanche s dress, to bind where the buttons have cut. You 
must make out a letter, Paul, but do not work too hard at it. 
A few lines will answer to tell me what you are doing and how 

much you love me. AJf .. . 7 ^ f 

Affectionately, MOTHER 

From General Butler 

Ed. Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 7th, 1863 

Brig. Gen. GEO. W. GETTY, Comd g Division, 

PORTSMOUTH, VA. 

GENERAL: The Commanding General directs that you send 
a Section of Battery and a Squadron of Cavalry, under the 
charge of an energetic Officer, to Elizabeth City, to report to 
Brig. Gen. E. A. Wild, and ask that you carefully watch the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 195 

movements in that direction. I send you Gen. Wild s letter 
and Gen. Barnes s letter to these Head Quarters for your infor 
mation. I am, General, 

Most respectfully, Your obt. servant 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 7th, 1863 

His Excellency Governor ANDREW, State of Massachusetts 

GOVERNOR: My attention has been called to General Order 
No. 28, Series 1862, of the Executive of Massachusetts, under 
these circumstances. 

That Order provides that recruits enlisting in three years 
regiments will be discharged whenever their regiments are 
mustered out of the service. Now, the 23rd Reg. was mustered 
into service taking date Sept. 28th, 1861, of course to be mus 
tered out Sept. 28th, 1864. In the summer of 62 large numbers 
of recruits joined the regiment, as they claim under said Order 
No. 28. They now claim that they are to be mustered out with 
the regiment, having less than a year to serve, and that there 
fore if they re-enlist they are entitled to the bounties of three 
years men, having less than a year to serve. As the question 
involves one of the Orders issued from your Head Quarters, I 
have determined to submit it for your advice before I ask direc 
tion of the War Department. I send enclosed a copy of the 
Order furnished me, which please return. Awaiting reply. I 
have the honor to be, 



B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g 
From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C. FORT MONROE-, Dec. 8th, 1863 

Brig. Gen. GEO. W. GETTY, Comd g Division 

PORTSMOUTH, VA. 

GENERAL: Your communication is just received. The 
Commanding General instructs me to say that hereafter no 
movements of troops will be made through your lines without 
information being furnished you. The Commanding General 
believes that sufficient supplies have been forwarded to Eliza 
beth City for the present: but should you learn that supplies 
are needed you will forward them. This movement was made 
for a temporary purpose, and will probably soon return. I am, 

Very respectfully, Your obdt. servant 



196 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Dec. 9, 1863 

Col. JAMES B. FRY, Provost Marshal, General 

I FORWARDED to you a requisition for twenty-thousand 
(20,000) to pay the bounty to the colored troops. I have 
heard nothing of it since. 

For want of it, my pledge to the troops is failing, and recruit 
ing is hindered. Please send me the money or inform me why 

it cannot be sent. T> T* T> n* n 

B. F. BUTLER, Major Gen. Comdg. 

From the Secretary of State 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, December 9th, 1863 

Gen. BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE 

SIR: I have the honor, at the request of Baron von Gerolt, 
the Minister of Prussia accredited to this Government, to 
enclose herewith a sealed communication addressed by him 
to Mr. Wm. Hanewinkel, Vice-Consul of Prussia, at Rich 
mond, Virginia, which he desires may be forwarded to its 
destination by the first flag of truce boat. I will thank you to 
cause the Baron s wish to be complied with. I am, Sir, 

Your obedient servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C,, FORT MONROE, Dec. 9th, 1863 

Mr. HEATON, Supervising Special Agent, Treasury Department 
SIR: By examining the form of oath which you administer 
in North Carolina, you will see that it does not conform to 
the Treasury Regulations, the most important word being 
left out, to wit "Loyal." You require the applicant to say 
that he is in all respects "true": the Treasury Regulations 
require him to say that he is in all respects "loyal and true." 
Loyalty is all we want. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From Robert Dale Owen to General Butler 

Office of the American Freedmens Inquiry Com., No. 143 2nd Ave., 
corner of East 9th St., NEW YORK, December IQth, 1863 

MY DEAR SIR: Yesterday Dr. Howe and myself returned 
from an expedition into Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri; 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 197 

and to-day our colleague, Col. McKay e, read to our Commis 
sioner your General Order No. 46 of date Dec. 5th. 

I am instructed by the Commission to express to you the 
unqualified pleasure and satisfaction which its appearance has 
afforded us. Disappointed as we have been that the Secre 
tary of War, though he expressed to us in general terms his 
approval of the plan of organization proposed in our pre 
liminary report, over-run probably by other business, has not 
authorized us to carry it out, we should be reconciled to its 
postponement did but the other Generals, commanding in 
the Department where refugee freedmen are found, adopt for 
their protection and improvement a system so comprehensive 
at once and so effective as that which you have embodied in 
your order. It will contribute more than any other similar 
document issued since the commencement of the war to the 
solution of one of the hardest problems that has arisen in the 
course of it. 

May I ask that you will kindly cause to be sent to us (address 
as above) twelve copies, if you can spare them, of the order 
in question? 

In case you should see fit to place them in the hands of your 
Superintendents, we send you a few copies of our report. I 

am, my dear Sir, ^ .,, - 77 T ^ -^ ^ 

f aithfully Yours, ROBERT DALE OWEN l 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 13th, 1863 

[Not in chronological order] 

ROBERT DALE OWEN, Chairman of American Freedmen s 

Inquiry Association 

MY DEAR SIR : I thank you for your too flattering commen 
dation of my Order. My only hope was that it might add 
something to the rights of the negroes, their employment, 
their control and recruitment. That it has given satisfaction 
to the Committee, and yourself, is its highest praise. 

According to your request I take leave to send you enclosed 
herewith twenty copies. If more are needed they can be 
easily furnished. Believe me, 

Yours truly, B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

1 Robert Dale Owen, Representative from Indiana, Minister to Italy in Pierce s 
Administration. Editor. 



198 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From H. S. Olcott 

Office of the Special Commissioner of the War Department, 93 Franklin Street, 

NEW YORK, December Wth, 1863 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. Dept. of Va. and N. C. 

GENERAL: If I had had anything favorable to report rela 
tive to the commission with which you charged me, the 
proposition to Secretary Stanton through Mr. Watson, you 
would have heard from me a week ago. But the fact is, I 
found Mr. Watson so crowded with business that he could not 
even read my brief of the Hunt case, nor give me a half hour 
to talk about it. He said that he was satisfied to take what 
ever action I recommended and so he did. I rapidly stated 
your views respecting our prisoners and the proper cause to 
ensure their relief. He said he and the Secretary thought dif 
ferently; that our men could do no better service to the 
country than to lie in Richmond; for, practically, they are 
keeping 40,000 to 50,000 rebel soldiers hors du combat; and, 
further, that you were in error in supposing that the proposi 
tion came from our side to exchange all for all. Something 
more of an irrelevant nature was said, but it is not worth while 
to repeat it; the main point is that Mr. Watson does not wish 
to interfere in the matter. 

I pray you to accept my hearty congratulations for the issue 
of order about negroes. It places you where you deserve to 
be as a deep-thinking, practical statesman. We have had 
orders upon orders, treatises, speeches, letters, and debates 
from all our publicists; but the great question of the day 
has never been so boldly, dexterously handled before. 

Will you please say to Major Bell that the Dept. take so 
much interest in the Hunt case that they want me to go to 
Fort Monroe, when the charge and specifications are ready, 
to look them over and give Major B. any suggestions which 
may seem necessary. He will therefore be so obliging as to 
let me know when he is ready. I have taken and am taking 
some more affidavits in the case and they will be transmitted 
forthwith. 

My secretary is now at Syracuse looking for more evidence 
in the case of the third cavalry raid. 

I telegraphed you to-day that I have found you a secretary. 
He comes well-recommended, and will no doubt suit you. I 
engage him at $125 per month (and one ration) so as to give 
you a margin of $25 to increase to as reward for fidelity. I 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 199 

always like to have this chance myself, for I believe in paying 
a fair price for fair service. With much esteem, 

Yours respectfully, H. S. OLCOTT 



From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 13th, 1863 

[Not in chronological order] 

Col. H. S. OLCOTT, 93 Franklin St., NEW YORK 

DEAR COLONEL: Mr. M cCready is your man. NotMcCurdy. 
I don t believe a purer man in connection with this War lives 
than R. H. McCurdy. 

Mr. Foster, the Agent of the Union Steam Ship Co. Boston, 
the owners of the "Mississippi" and "Merrimac," can give 
you the information you desire. 

I do not know Foster s first name, but a letter so addressed 
will reach him. My brother, 12 Wall St., if his health is suffi 
cient, can give you some information if you will call on him 
and show him this note. 

I have to thank you for sending me Mr. Davenport, who 
seems to be efficient in his business for which he is engaged. 
He is now writing this note from my dictation. I have the 

honor to be, T7 ,/. 7J v 

Very respectfully Yours, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 
From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 15th, 1863 

[Not in chronological order] 

Dr. SALMON SKINNER, BROOKLYN, N.Y. 

DEAR SIR: Some charges were brought to my notice in 
regard to Mr. McLean, and his conduct of things in North 
Carolina. 

I have detained him here to await a report of those charges. 
As soon as they are ascertained, he will be sent forward. I 
assure you no wrong will be done him. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

B. F. B. Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



200 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Uriah Thomas 

3rd Special Agency, Treasury Department, NEWBERN, N.C., Dec. IQth, 1863 

[Not in chronological order] 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding Dept. of Va. 9 and 

N. C. 

GENERAL: The Supervising Special Agent directs me to 
transmit to you the accompanying papers received from 
Lieut. Hunt, Dep. Provost Marshal, of Newbern, and taken 
by him from the valise of a certain (so-called) Col. J. T. E. 
McLean ; and to say that the paper purporting to issue from 
the Treasury Department at Washington has every appear 
ance of being a forgery and -without authority. 

He also directs me to say that the said McLean is known to 
him to be an arrant imposter and swindler; that by false rep 
resentations at the Treasury Department he has obtained 
consideration; but that he (Col. Heaton) has written to H. 
A. Risley, Esq., Supt. Special Agent for the 2nd Agency, 
requesting him to expose his character and pretentious to the 
Secretary. 

Colonel Heaton is also informed that this McLean has 
shipped a cargo of liquors and other contraband articles direct 
to Newbern, claimed to be also under some special authority 
from the Treasury Department. The Revenue officer at this 
harbor is directed by the Sup. Special Agt. to take possession 
of the same immediately upon its arrival, as such authority, 
if issued, has been based upon false representations. 

The temporary illness of Col. Heaton prevents him from 

Very respectfully Your obdt. Servant, 

URIAH THOMAS, Asst. Special Agent 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. 18th Army Corps Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, 

Dec. 2Ist, 1863. [Not in chronological order] 

H. A. RISLEY, Supervising and Special Agent, Treasury 

Department 

DEAR SIR: I have arrested a Col. McLean for defrauding 
the United States by false permits and breaking Treasury 
regulations, and have him here ready for trial, awaiting in 
formation from your office. 

I enclose some papers found in his valise, which Col. Heaton 
says are either forgeries or improperly obtained. Please 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 201 

examine them and return at once. Awaiting your answer, 

Very Respectfully, Your Obt. Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 23, 1863 

[Not in chronological order] 

Mrs. LOTTIE A. McLEAN, BROOKLYN, N.Y. 

MY DEAR MADAM: I have received your letter and hasten 
to answer it. 

I thank you much for the opinion which you seem to have 
entertained of myself and my services, and I do not mean to 
do anything to forfeit them, but I must do my duty. 

Your husband, Col. McLean, came into this Department. 
Grave charges are made against him by the Special Agent of 
the Treasury Dept. What was it my duty to do? To detain 
him until those charges can be investigated, and forward the 
investigation by every means in my power. 

I have done so. Had I desired to be either vindictive or 
cruel, or stony-hearted, I should have thrust him into close 
confinement, but I have ordered simply that he shall not leave 
Old Point, and he is boarding unmolested at the only hotel 
at the Point. If he is innocent, as I trust he is, no harm save 
a temporary detention will happen to him. If guilty, that will 
be ascertained by a fair trial, and such action taken as it is 
in my bounden duty. 

From a letter of your father written to him, which has been 
forwarded to me, it would seem that that gentleman has not 
always had the confidence in him which he must have had 
when he gave him his daughter. 

The charges do not affect specially his character for loyalty, 
or the fact that he is a Union man. The question turns on his 
probity and obedience to the laws. Both he, and yourself if 
you desire, shall have a full opportunity to meet all matters 
alleged against him. I was surprised to hear by your letter 
that he left home to be absent only two or three days, because 
in his application to me he desired to be permitted to go into 
permanent business at Newbern, which must have entailed 
a much longer absence. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obi. servt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 



202 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From the Secretary of the Treasury 

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, December Wth, 1863 

Hon. WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State 

SIR: I have the honor of replying to your letter of Novem 
ber 16th, enclosing a communication from Lord Lyons with 
other papers, concerning the refusal of the military authorities 
in Norfolk, Va. to renew the certificate of Chas. A. Smith, a 
British subject, doing business in that place, on the ground 
that there was "no authority to grant permits except to citi 
zens of the United States." 

The "Internal Trade Regulations," of Setember llth 
require, (Sec. XXXII) that "Applicants for permits to ship 
to any port or place affected by the existing blockade, but 
occupied by U. States forces, must present with their applica 
tion a certificate from the Department of War, or Department 
of the Navy, either directly or through a duly authorized 
officer, that the articles are required for military or naval 
purposes, and a request that the transportation of the same 
may be permitted." On receiving such certificate and request, 
this Department orders its Collectors or Surveyors to permit 
the transportation requested. 

In a previous case of this same Chas. A. Smith, referred to 
me in your letter of Sept. llth, he already had his certificate 
from the military officer, and his difficulty was with the Col 
lector, in Baltimore, who required him to take the oath of 
allegiance. I then directed the Collector to dispense with it 
on certain conditions. In the present case you will see that I 
have no right to interfere with the action of officers of the 
War Department. 

I return the papers in the case. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient Servant, 
S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury 

From Secretary Stanton to Secretary Seward 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, January 2Qth, 1864 
[Not in chronological order] 

The Secy, of State, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

SIR: The Secretary of War instructs me to transmit to you 
the accompanying copy of the report of Major General Butler, 
to whom was referred your letter of the 28th ultimo, enclos 
ing copy of a note from Lord Lyons of 23rd same month, 
regarding the complaint of Mr. Charles A. Smith, an alleged 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 203 

British subject, that he had been refused a license to trade at 
Norfolk, Virginia. I have the honor to be, 

Your obdt. Servant, 
ED. R. S. CANBY, Brig. Genl. A.A.G. 

Endorsements: Mr. Gapen Will you please give me the 
date of a letter from the Secy, of State in relation to the refusal 
of the military authorities at Norfolk to give Mr. Charles A. 
Smith, "facility to trade." About 12" to 20" Nov. 

Dec. 28", 63, and sent Gen. Butler for report Dec. 31, 

GAPEN 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 
From General Butler 

Head-Quarters 18th Army Corps, Department of Virginia & North Carolina, 
FORTRESS MONROE, Jan. 18th, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to report in relation to the case of 
Capt. Charles A. Smith, a late British subject, who complains 
that he has not been allowed a permit to trade, referred to 
me at the request of the honorable Secretary of State. 

Mr. Smith has lived in Norfolk since 1840, almost a quarter 
of a century, has been a very violent and bitter secessionist, 
my report says rabid, is thoroughly identified with the people 
of the South, and had no intention of retaining any hold upon 
the protection of Great Britain whatever until he found it 
convenient in this War. 

If not less bitter in his denunciations of this Government, 
I may be called upon not only to prevent him from trading, 
but to compel him to leave this Department. I have the 
honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. 

From President Lincoln 

Executive Mansion, WASHINGTON, December 10, 1863, 10.25 A.M. 

Major-General BUTLER, FORT MONROE, VA. 

PLEASE suspend execution in any and all sentences of death 

in your department until further order. 

A. LINCOLN 

Official Records, War of Rebellion, Series 2, Vol. VI, page 683. 



204 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VIRGINIA, December \\th, 1863 

Hon. T. STEVENS, House of Representatives 

I SEE that Dr. Thos. Cottman is applying for a seat in the 
U. S. Congress. I send you enclosed a fac-simile copy of the 
Secession Ordinance of Louisiana, which I captured in New 
Orleans, which will show that Dr. Cottman signed the Ordi 
nance of Secession. After you have used it as evidence, please 
return it to me, as I value it highly. 

Truly Yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. U. S. Vols. 

From General Butler 

PRIVATE. Headquarters 18th Army Corps. Dept. of Va. & N.C., FORT MONROE, 

VA., Decb. 11, 1863 

WENDELL PHILLIPS, Esq., BOSTON, MASS. 

MY DEAR SIR: Please find enclosed a copy of my Order 
relating to the negroes. Have you read the message and proc 
lamation? The Administration has put the negro, his liberty, 
his future, into the hands of the Supreme Court. God help 
him if he have no other refuge! And yet no one seems to see 
the point, at least so far as I can see from the newspapers. 
Will Congress arouse to the question? 

I have marked this "private," because I have no business to 
discuss such affairs, but I may say as much to an earnest man. 
Truly Yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of Virginia & North Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

VA., Dec. llth, 1863 

Brig. Genl. L. THOMAS, Adjutant General, U.S.A., 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
a communication from the Adjt. Genl. Office, of date Dec. 
7th, directing me to report by what authority Lt. Wm. J. 
Ladd, 13th New Hampshire Vols., was appointed Asst. Com 
missary of Musters of Gen. Getty s command. 

In answer I beg to refer to a communication of same date 
from the A. G. O., authorizing me to relieve from duty as 
Ast. Commissary of Musters Lt. Wm. L. Horton, 24th Mass. 
Vols., Par. 2 Gen. Orders 48, W.D.A.G.O.C.S. gives the 
authority to appoint somebody, and Lt. Ladd, 13th N. H., 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 205 

seems a proper person, & as much a regular officer as Lt. H. 
of Mass. Vols. just relieved. 

New Hampshire is the next State on the North to Mass., 
and I understand their volunteers are on an equal footing. 

In addition, I have been informed that Maj. Gen. Foster, 
while in command of the Department of North Carolina, 
received written authority from the War Department to 
appoint volunteer officers where regular officers were not pres 
ent, or where the interest of the service would not permit of 
their being detailed for such duty. This authority is on file 
at the Head Quarters in N. C., and I have sent for a copy of 
the same to be kept on file here. 

From General Butler 

Head-Quarters 18th Army Corps, Department of Virginia & North Carolina, 

FORTRESS MOXROE, Dec. 19th, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

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

SIR: Having received an order from the Adjutant General s 
Office relieving Wm. L. Horton, 24th Mass. Volunteers, from 
his position as Asst. Commissary of Musters, I appointed in 
his place Lieutenant Ladd, of the 13th New Hampshire Vols., 
as being the most suitable person, and as I supposed in accord 
ance with Gen. Order 48 C. S. I received a letter, dated the 
7th, from the Adjt. Genl s Office, asking me to report upon 
what authority I made the appointment. I replied, under 
date of the llth, a copy of which reply is hereunto annexed, 
setting forth the authority given to my predecessor, Gen. 
Foster, in exception to paragraph 1st of General Orders No. 
48 Current Series, to make an appointment of a volunteer 
instead of a regular officer to that position, which I suppose is 
the point in controversy. 

I believed that authority not to be personal to Genl. Foster 
but to the Commander of the Department, and therefore 
acted upon it. I received to-day a copy of my Gen. order, 
with an endorsement thereon that the appointment will not 
be recognized at the Adj t Genl s Office. 

I desire that the order will be renewed in the favor of the 
present Commanding General of this Department, in the terms 
set forth in my letter of December 14th, and the attention of 
the Adjutant General s Office is called to the matter. I have the 

Very Respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

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



206 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Depi. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. \Zih, 1863 

Brig. Gen. E. A. WILD, Comd g Colored Troops, 

NORFOLK, VA. 

GENERAL: Your communication to Brig. Gen. Getty of Dec. 
4th, as well as Gen. Getty s reply, has been forwarded to these 
Head Quarters. 

The Commanding General directs me to inform you that 
he considers the tone of your communication very improper. 

I am, General, T/ ,<. 77 , , 

Very respectfully your out. servant 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 12//i, 1863 

Hon. FRANCIS P. BLAIR 

DEAR SIR: In obedience to the verbal order of the Presi 
dent of the United States, given in your presence, I have 
directed the Officer in charge of the Flag of Truce Boat to 
bring down Miss Gaston and Miss Manly whenever they pre 
sent themselves at City Point. 

Truly Yours, B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. Headquarters, Department Va., & N. Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

December llth, 1863 

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

MR. JAMES CLARKE brings authority to be passed through 
the lines. He has taken the ordinary Oath on landing here. 
He declines taking the oath set forth in the President s procla 
mation, on the ground that he cannot conscientiously sustain 
the proclamation. Shall I send him South, to add one more 
to those who will not consent to bring back the South to the 

TT * 

B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commandg. 
From Wendell Phillips to General Butler 

BOSTON, December 13th, 1863 

DEAR SIR: Your note of the llth has just reached me, and 
I thank you heartily for it. I took just that view of the mes 
sage at Augusta last Thursday but have yet found no one 
to sympathize with me. I was beginning to ask whether I 
mistook or exaggerated the danger when your note came. I 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 207 

shall speak on these points in New York soon, and press the 
objection you allude to, as well as that the plan leaves the 
large landed proprietors of the South still to domineer over 
its politics, and make the negro s freedom a mere sham. Until 
a large share of those estates are divided, the aristocracy is 
not destroyed, neither is any fair chance given for the develop 
ment of a system of free labor. 

Of course your communication shall be strictly confiden 
tial. I recognize the etiquette of your position. 

Yours faithfully, WENDELL PHILLIPS. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 13th, 1863 

LEWIS TAPPEN, NEW YORK 

DEAR SIR : I am obliged for your very complimentary notice 
of my services to the country, and am happy that Gen. Order 
No. 46 meets your approbation. I trust it will be a frame work 
around which free colored labor may be organized in the future. 
I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your Obt. Servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Com g. 

From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. Head Quars. Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, 

Dec. Uth, 1863 

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

I HAVE much to do with the Eastern Shore, Accomac and 
Northumberland Counties. I am now trying men for murder 
committed there. I could obtain a large number of recruits 
for my colored regiments from there, had I the authority. 
Please either annex those counties to this department, or give 
me leave to send a recruiting party there if judged best for 
the service. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

December Uth, 1863 

Col. HOLT, Judge Advocate General, U. S. Army, 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

I HAVE some 203 deserters in this Department, principally 
substitutes. Cannot these men be tried by a Military Com- 



208 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

mission properly organized? A Court Martial is an exceed 
ingly unwieldly machine to do this work. Maj. Andre, the 
spy, was tried by Military Commission. The Act of Congress 
puts spies and deserters on the same footing. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

TELEGRAM. Headquarters, Department of Va., and N. Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

December llth, 1863 

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

GENERAL WISTAR with my approbation sent out an expedi 
tion to Charles City Court House, on the James River, to 
capture the enemy s force stationed there, and I have the 
pleasure to forward his report of its complete success. What 
adds to the brilliance of the achievement is that it has been 
accomplished during a terrible storm. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va. and North Carolina, FORT MONROE, Dec. lth, 1863 

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

I HAVE a number of cases where the sentence of Court Mar- 
tials have been approved, where deserters have been sen 
tenced to hard labor. There is no proper place in which to 
execute that punishment in this Department, especially for 
the length of time, three and five years. The Wardens of the 
State Penitentiaries, either of Mass, or N. Y., would be glad 
to receive these convicts, as persons under long sentences are 
profitable to the State. Shall I order, in all cases where the 
sentence is for a year or more, the execution of the sentence 
in either New York or Massachusetts, and forward the nec 
essary papers of commitment in the execution of the sentence? 
I have the honor to be, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 15/63 

Mrs. JOHN W. PARKER, NORFOLK 

MADAM: I have no power to permit anybody to go across 
the lines on their wish. I have power to send parties across 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 209 

the lines against their wish. Your application must be made 
to the Secy, of War. 

If you have taken the Oath of Allegiance, and will forward 
me that, I will make an application to the Secy, of War to 
permit you to go across. If you don t take the Oath, I may 
have to send you away. 

The flag of truce boat goes up every week. I take leave to 
assure you I should be very glad to do anything in my power 
for a relative of Admiral Farragut, whom I so much love and 
respect, and if loyal I will urge your request with every power. 
If not, I may have to send you away, but with the condition 
that you shall not return during the War. I have the honor 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, VA., Dec. I5th t 1863 
Secretary of War 

I DESIRE to send my Chief of Staff to the War Office on some 
matters of important business. B F B 



From the Secretary of the Treasury 

Treasury Department, December loth, 1863 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding at 

FORT MONROE 

GENERAL: On examination of section 32 of the enclosed 
regulations, you will observe that duplicate invoices should 
accompany the certificate and request of a military officer for 
a permit to ship goods, required for military purposes, to a 
port or place affected by the blockade. This regulation has 
not, hitherto, been complied with, single invoices only hav 
ing been sent. 

As this practice is productive of some inconvenience, I am 
directed by the Secretary to request that you will, hereafter, 
cause the rules to be observed by all applicants within your 

Respectfully Yours, 
M. B. FIELD, Asst. Sec. of Treas. 



VOL. Ill 14 



210 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Va. and N.C., 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 16, 1863 

Mrs. M. A. BURRELL 

MY DEAR MADAME: I wish that I could flatter you with 
any hope that Gen. Banks expedition will relieve your hus 
band, Col. Burrell, who is also my valued friend, from impris 
onment; but I have none such. I will bear, however, the 
matter in mind, and see if he cannot be made the subject of 
special exchange. 

No man can feel more keenly than I do the hardships my 
fellow-soldiers suffer as prisoners, and I take leave to assure 
you I have done everything that lies in my power to meet the 
difficulty, but have failed. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Your obt. servant, 

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

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 16th, 1863 

Rev. HORACE JAMES, ROANOKE ISLAND, N.C. 

MY DEAR SIR: You will see that a mistake has been made 
by the writer in Order No. 46, by the corrected copy which 
is forwarded. I had supposed that I had only organized the 
duties which had devolved upon you without any organiza 
tion. As soon as we find the workings of it, for no legislation 
is good except it is founded upon experience, we will endeavor 
to get out a code of instruction under it. 

I enclose your requisition for the saw and grist mill, and when 
you get it, and the bills, we will take measures to see that it 
shall be paid for. 

In regard to your suggestion that the Quarter Master will 
not be able to load and unload vessels promptly, where sol 
diers are not needed in the field details can be made, and "where 
there is a will there is a way." 

No Quartermaster will find it either for his profit or con 
venience to attempt to get in the way of the execution of 
that order by delaying the business of his Department. If 
the Quartermasters that are there cannot do their business, I 
have plenty of men who can. 

Let Major Jameson forward to me such certificates and 
vouchers as he may, and I will take his matter into 
consideration. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 211 

I should be glad to confer with you personally when your 
duties will permit. Apply to me for any aid you may need at 
any time. 

I have recommended that you be appointed Quartermaster, 
in order that you may have power to receive and disburse 
funds, and to stand upon an equality with the other superin 
tendents of negro affairs. I have the honor to be, 

Very truly yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From Colonel J. W. Shaffer 

WASHINGTON, Dec. \th, 1863 

To Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

CONNECTICUT recruiting not allowed, most everything else 
is allowed. Hope to get Accomac and North Western and 
prisoner exchange business. Be home Friday morning. 

J. W. SHAFFER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, 18th Army Corps, Department of Virginia and N.C., 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 16th, 1863 

Adjutant General of the Army, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

THE three enclosures herewith are respectfully returned. 
The Order No. 383 returned with them has no application 
to the subject, except to show that they ought to be acted 
upon at Washington. They are applications for leave of 
absence to visit Washington. The Commanding General has 
some appreciation of the effect of General Orders. He will 
grant leave of absence whenever it is in his power, and when 
in his judgment he deems it best. He believes he ought to 
have power when he deems it necessary to send an Officer to 
Washington. 

General Orders, however, have determined otherwise, and 
to those I bow with every deference. Therefore, when leave 
of absence is asked of me to visit Washington, I forward them 
to the Adjutant General s office, or to the Secretary of War if 
I desire to add any special commendation. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 



From General Butler 

Head Quars. DepL Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. IQth, 1863 

Messrs. W. W. G. OLIVER AND Co. 

I HAVE examined your application to me for protection and 
aid from the Military Department, to recover and bring within 
the lines of the National forces products of the Confederate 
States which are claimed to be owned by you therein, and which 
you say you can place at or near my lines at points con 
venient for transportation, and also that I will aid in its trans 
portation by the use of the transportation of the Army, when 
it is not otherwise employed, upon full compensation being 
paid for its use. I have also received the certificate of the 
Superintending Agent of the Treasury for this Department, 
in which he recommends that such facility shall be afforded. 
I assume, therefore, that the proposition is within the Treas 
ury Regulations of the United States, and I see no objection 
to aiding you as proposed. I will therefore, if not inconsist 
ent with the other exigencies of the service, afford you aid and 
protection in bringing your property within the lines of the 
Army, and protection to it while it is being forwarded to such 
ports in the United States as you may designate, provided 
that before a permit is granted for its exportation from the 
Insurrectionary District, certificates shall be furnished that 
you have complied with all the rules of the international Reve 
nue and other regulations of the Treasury Department. I have 

the honor to be, rr ,^n^r ?j 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g 
From General Butler 

Head-Quarters 18th Army Corps, Department of Virginia & North Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 16, 1863 

Hon. P. H. WATSON, Asst. Sec y of War 

SIR: Upon consultation with Col. Olcott about Strout s 
matter, it occurs to me that as most of his acts were com 
mitted before the Fraud Acts of March 3rd 1863, he being 
arrested on the 16th of March, he may be amenable to a 
Provost Court as a citizen in the employ of the Government, 
and acting falsely and fraudulently to his employer, to wit, 
the Government. If so, and he can be tried by a Provost 
Judge in the Provost Court of this Department, in which I 
have a very able Judge, strict justice will be done to him, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 13 

and that speedily. A Court Martial is a very unwieldly, 
troublesome, expensive, tedious, and sometimes inconclusive 
process, its members exposed to various influences which 
cannot be brought to bear upon an upright Judge, who knows 
and respects his position as Judge, to which he is accustomed. 

I have no doubt of the matter myself, but it is a matter of 
some importance. Please suggest it to Mr. Whitting, Solicitor 
of the War Department, and, if you think best, to Judge Holt, 
so that if any revision or appeal is made to that Department, 
we may not find that we have proceeded "in ops conscilliae." 

So much time will be saved and so much more satisfactory 
result w^ill be arrived at, that I am myself very much in favor 
of this course. 

I was accustomed to try in the Department of the Gulf, 
and I see by the papers that it is still the custom to try much 
more considerable cases with very great severity of punish 
ment before that court, and there has been no disturbance of 
that process, or of those records, by any revising Officer. 

While this point is being examined by you, we will lose no 
time, because the Prosecuting Officer will be employed in the 
necessary preparations. 

Col. Olcott concurs in these views, and I would send him 
to Washington to represent them could I afford the time. 
Awaiting your reply, I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

BEXJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Genl. Comd g. 

From Colonel J. W. Shaffer to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 17th, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I had expected to leave this evening, but 
your despatch orders me to remain until Saturday. I cannot 
well explain in a letter the answers I received from Stanton to 
my request. The Connecticut matter he is opposed to. I 
was generally successful. 

After we got through our business talk, he asked me to give 
him my notion of the exchange business, and I assure you 
I spoke my mind freely, and after I got started I went into 
other matters. When I got through he told me he would 
telegraph, relieving Meredith, and that he would give Accomac, 
etc., and send you all the rebels prisoners, and that I should 
call and see him to-morrow (to-day) morning. 

I called this morning, and he told me he had sent Gen. 



214 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Hitchcock to consult with you, and that the addition to your 
Department could not be made to-day, but would be soon, 
etc. I thought I discovered a slight backing down, he swore 
by God that you would and should have more troops. This 
like the rest may be modified when he cools off. I am spend 
ing my time seeing how many men are satisfied with the 
Proclamation. You are right, the reaction is beginning. 
Lincoln, I hear, is scared; has been inviting radicals to see 
him for several days, but most of them hang back. The 
Missouri delegation are hard on him. 

Schofield is here, and will not be sent back. I think that 
Rosecrans will be sent there. 

Please have the boys take a carriage to wharf Sunday 
morning, that Miss Florence Hildreth may ride to the house. 

Truly Yours, J. W. SHAFFER 



From General Hitchcock 

Hd. Qrs. 18th Army Corps. Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, 

December 17th, 1863 

Maj. Gen. BENJ. F. BUTLER, Comdg. Dept. Va. and N.C. 

GENERAL: You are instructed and authorized to take 
charge of the matter of exchange of prisoners at City Point, 
and the prisoners at Point Lookout, at Fort McHenry, and 
at Fort Norfolk, are put under your charge for that purpose, 
and such others will be sent to you from time to time, upon 
notification to the War Department, as may be thought 
advisable. 

You are herein instructed not to make any exchange which 
shall not return to you man for man, officer for officer of equal 
rank, with those paroled and sent forward by yourself, regard 
ing of course from motions of humanity in the earlier exchanges 
those officers and men on either side who have been the longest 
confined. 

Colored troops and their officers will be put upon an equality 
in making exchanges as of right with other troops. Colored 
men in civil employment, captured by the enemy, may also 
be exchanged for other men in civil employment taken by 
our forces. 

You are permitted in conducting the question to waive 
for the present the consideration of the questions of parole 
and excess, now pending between the Confederate belligerent 
authorities and this Government, leaving them untouched as 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 215 

they stand until further interchange of views between those 
authorities and yourself. 

In conducting this delicate, and perhaps difficult, matter, 
you will see to it that in no degree the protection of the Govern 
ment is withdrawn from colored soldiers of the United States, 
and the officers commanding them, and that in no respect, so 
far as results from your action, the honor or dignity of the 
Government shall be compromised. 

Brig. Genl. Meredith is ordered to report to you and will 
be relieved from further duty as Commissioner of Exchange 
under your orders. 

The conduct of the Flag of Truce and the necessary trans 
portation to carry out these instructions are placed at your 
disposal. 

You will report as often as practicable to this Department 
your action under this letter of instructions, and for further 
instructions. I have the honor to be 

Very respectfully, Your obdt. Servant, 
E. A. HITCHCOCK, Maj. Gen. and Com. of Exchange 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 17th, 1863 

Major General HITCHCOCK, Com. Exchange 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

GENERAL: I am much obliged for your thoughtfulness, 
which has given me the requisite instructions. It might have 
created some difficulty. It was one I had not foreseen. I had 
supposed that my Commission and appointment would be a 
sufficient guarantee for what I might undertake to do. I 
have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. 18th Army Corps Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 17, 1863 

Brig. Gen. MARSTON, Comd g. at POINT LOOKOUT 

GENERAL: I send you enclosed an official copy of an extract 

of my letter of instructions from the Secretary of War. 

You will therefore cause to be prepared descriptive rolls 

and the necessary papers for eight hundred (800) prisoners 

for exchange. I desire that you will select those that have 

been longest in confinement substantially. 



216 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

The "City of New York" will call for them on Monday 
morning. I wish them ready to embark at that time. I there 
fore send you this order in advance, so that you may be 

Respectfully your obedient servant, 
From Blanche Butler to Paul Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, VA., Dec. 17th, 1863 

DEAR PAUL: The box of your letters came day before yes 
terday. We were delighted to hear from you all, and the notes 
were all very nicely written. Hattie and Bennie have im 
proved very much in printing and spelling, your writing is 
much better. 

Tell Aunt Harriet that everything is right, and mother is 
very much pleased with the satin skirt, it is trimmed very 
prettily indeed. There are to be two parties here Christmas, 
one is a mask ball, I believe, would you not like to go to it? 
Ask Aunt Harriet to describe one to you if you do not know 
what they are. Florence will be here on Saturday. We thought 
that she would enjoy passing the Christmas holidays better 
away from school. Col. Shaffer is now at Washington, and 
will bring her down when he returns. 

Yesterday Gen. and Mrs. W^istar came down from York 
Town to spend the day, and they finally decided to pass the 
night with us. About | past 6 a telegram came for the Genl., 
stating the bakery at York Town was on fire, and that they 
feared they should not be able to save the ordnance buildings 
(three in number) filled with powder and shell, from destruc 
tion. The Genl. was in perfect agony, he could not have 
reached Y-T before ten o clock, and by that time the build 
ings would have been blown up, so he was obliged to content 
himself and hope for the best. At ten, another message came, 
saying that they had "all blown up, and that the shells w T ere 
bursting," which they continued to do during the night. Of 
course all the windows in the town were shaken out by the 
explosion, and these shells flying in all directions must have 
caused great destruction. 

Father had sent for Genl. Wistar to come down to see about 
some prisoners, and it was the first night that he had been 
away from his command for eight months, he thought it 
quite hard that he could not have been there on that night of 
all others. Some of the men behaved nobly. One officer 
stood on the blazing roof of an ordnance building striving to 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 217 

put out the fire, with hundreds of pounds of powder beneath 
him, ready to explode, and a sentinel who had his leg frac 
tured by a shell, was found in the morning keeping guard 
standing on his knees. This was a great fire, Paul, and we 
could hear the explosion here, although York Town is 28 
miles distance. 

You must write soon again, and your letters will do for 
Christmas presents. Love to Aunt Harriet; tell her that 
mother is going to send for her and the children soon. 

The Russian Fleet will be anchored near here this winter 
in Hampton Roads, and she can have plenty of almond-eyed 
Russians to talk to. 

Be a good boy. Write soon, and accept a kiss and a letter 

Your sister BLANCHE 
P.S. Excuse haste 

From General Butler 

Head-Quarters 18th Army Corps, Department of Virginia & North Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 17, 1863 

Hon. E. M. STAXTOX, Secretary of War 

SIR: I am sorry to report that a very disastrous fire broke 
out in Yorktown in one of the hospitals, communicating thence 
to the bakery, within the Fort, and thence to the Ordnance 
building, which blew up, scattering the shell and fixed ammuni 
tion all over the Terreplein of the Fort, where it continued 
exploding during the night. A very high wind rendered all 
efforts to extinguish it unavailing. 

All the buildings are more or less injured by the several 
explosions. Two of the service magazines were set on fire and 
exploded. Fortunately, w r e have suffered no loss of life, and 
but few wounded. 

The soldiers and officers behaved on the trying occasion with 
great gallantry. On the conduct of some of them I will make 
honorable mention as soon as a detailed report is made. Most 
energetic measures will be taken to repair damages, and to 
supply the loss of ammunition which is not very great, as a 
large portion of the Ordnance stores, consisting of shells taken 
from the enemy, were not available. 

This has drawn my attention to a state of facts existing 
at Old Point, which I desire your authority immediately to 
remedy. A large wooden building, used as a Naval Ordnance 
storehouse, containing many tons of Naval Ordnance Stores 



218 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

and fixed ammunition, stands immediately among the build 
ings, just outside of this Fort. Its situation, in event of fire 
in this neighborhood, as it is surrounded by wooden build 
ings, is very completely, correctly, and graphically described 
in the report of Capt. Farquhar, Chief Engineer, which is 
herewith appended. 

I see no reason why these Ordnance Stores should not be 
at once removed to Gosport Navy Yard, where they are even 
more easy of access than here, and which, in its present con 
dition, could not be very much injured by an explosion. 

There are plenty of buildings there that can be easily 
fitted up for that purpose, and if authority is given me, with 
directions to the Naval Officer to remove them, I will em 
ploy a sufficient force to have the evil at once removed. Or 
perhaps, a building might be made at Newport News, or the 
Rip Raps, for that purpose. At any rate, it should not be 
where it is. 

I have forwarded a copy of this report to the Secretary of 
the Navy, for his information. 

I think the evil a great one, the danger not remote, and the 
necessity for action immediate. I have the honor to be, 
Very Respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

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

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 17th, 1863 

Major General JOHN J. PECK, Commanding Dist. of N.C. 

GENERAL: Mr. Edwards of New York, a merchant there, 
engaged in manufacturing paper from reeds and other fibrous 
materials, is desirous of gathering the reeds in your District 
within this Department. 

I have examined this testimonial, and am satisfied of his 
probity and business faculties and capacity. 

He is to gather the reeds, paying such fair sum for the 
material as shall be shown by experience ought to come to 
the United States, for the benefit of our negro colony on Roa- 
noke Island. 

I wish you to afford him facility for the transportation of 
the product, upon such returning Government transports to 
New York as may be going, he having engaged to pay a fair 
price therefor which will be settled at the . . . 

Any other aid or facility you can afford him, not inconsist- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 219 

ent with your duties, I doubt not will be advantageous to 
the Government. I have the honor to be 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, 18th Army Corps, Department Va., & N. Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, December 17th, 1863 

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

SIR: Permit me respectfully to call your attention to a 
very considerable improvement, and at the same time saving 
to the Government, that may easily be made at this Fortress, 
and an addition to its efficiency in defence, by the introduction 
of gas for lighting it. The works may be got in either of two 
ways. I can find a responsible contractor who will put in the 
works, and all the fixtures and pipes, at his own expense, 
keeping an accurate account of the cost thereof, upon the 
condition that he may sell the gas to those that use it, and to 
the Government for its offices at the price that it sells for in 
the city of Boston, if he can have the contract privilege extended 
to him for ten years with the proviso that at any time during 
the ten years, or at its expiration, or whenever the Govern 
ment shall wish to annul the contract, they can do so by tak 
ing the gas works at their cost and ten per cent interest for 
the time, after deducting all expenses of carrying on the same. 

Or, the gas works may be paid for out of the saving of the 
Post Bakery, which belong, in form, to the post, although in 
fact to the various Regiments who have at times been stationed 
here, and a portion of the Army of the Potomac that were here 
on their way to the Peninsular. Those savings now amount 
at the present price of flour to over seventeen thousand dollars. 

I do not believe that gas works need cost over twenty 
thousand dollars. The Government would make a large sav 
ing in the issue of candles in the public offices, and the case 
ments could easily be made much more defensible by properly 
arranged gas lights. The parade ground, which is now, on 
cloudy nights, so dark that it is impossible to distinguish 
friend from foe, can be lighted, and the light-house may have 
a far more brilliant illumination at the price which is now paid 
for lighting the same imperfectly. I have the honor to be, 
Very Respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



220 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, 18th Army Corps, Department Va., & N. Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, December llth, 1863 

To Brig. Gen. E. R. S. CANBY, Asst. Adjt. Gen., 

WASH., D.C. 

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
the papers in the case of A. B. Tripler, referred to me from the 
War Department. I have a remembrance of this case, the de 
tails after this lapse of time have escaped my recollection, but 
they are more impressed upon my memory than usual from 
the fact that I attempted to befriend Mr. Tripler, supposing 
him to be an honest man, which supposition w^as not correct. 

Tripler obtained passes, copies of which are here, to go 
with his schooner across Lake Ponchartrain from New Orleans 
into the rebel territory, and to carry the cargo named; but 
upon examination it was found that he was smuggling large 
quantities of contraband goods outside of his permit. 

I had many hearings in person with Tripler, in his endeavor 
to persuade me that the goods were not subject to seizure, 
but the facts were too apparent, and the case too flagrant. 

I remember one particular fact. He asked me for leave to 
take over a package of shoe thread, to allow the neighborhood 
shoe-makers to make shoes for the women and children, and 
his pass said, "one case of shoe thread." When his schooner 
came to be examined, he had a box of shoe thread, tightly 
packed, about four feet square, and containing enough to have 
sewed all the shoes in the Confederacy. His object was ap 
parent, as the Rebels had a Shoe-Manufactory, at Jackson, 
upon the railroad, which came within eleven miles from where 
he could land with his schooner. 

I therefore ordered them confiscated and sold, and the pro 
ceeds paid into the Provost fund, which I have no doubt was 
done, or being done when I was relieved from the Command 
of the Department of the Gulf. 

The Provost Marshal, Lt. Col. Jonas H. French, now of 
Boston, Mass., can furnish every detail if required. I have 
the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 



From General Butler 

Headquarters, 18th Army Corp, Department Va., & N. Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, December Ylih, 1863 

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, Asst. Adjt. General, 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
the papers referred to me, enclosing the letter of Mr. Labitat 
of Havana. 

The facts are briefly these. I was informed that Mr. Labitat 
had eighty thousand rifles and pistols at Havana, which had 
been got there for the purpose, undoubtedly, of being smuggled 
into the Confederacy. To prevent their going into the con 
federacy, I entered into negotiations to buy them for the 
L T nited States, all of which I mentioned in my letter to the 
War Department, a copy of which I enclose, and directed Mr. 
Labitat, or his Agent at Havana to send me a sample of the 
various arms he had to sell, which he did. 

Owing to delays, they did not reach me until the early part 
of December, and while awaiting examination and trial by 
my Ordnance Officers, I was relieved from command, and I 
left the pistols and the rifles, which in passing it may be said 
did not come up to his description, in my office in New 
Orleans, when I turned over my command to my successor, 
since which time I know nothing as to what has become of 
them. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your obdt. Servant 

B. F. BUTLEB, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept, Va. & N.C. FORT MONROE, Dec. llth, 1863 

Major Gen. JOHN J. PECK, Comdg. District Nor. Car., 

NEWBERN, N.C. 

GENERAL: At the earliest practicable day you will please 
have forwarded to these Head Quarters such affidavits as you 
can procure in Newbern and elsewhere in your District, rela 
tive to alleged smuggling of goods by Mrs. Van Slack (formerly 
Mrs. Campbell) through our lines, and such further evidence 
of her bad character as may be attainable. She is now under 
arrest awaiting her trial by the military authorities. 

It is probable that Bales Hamilton & Co., Sutlers, have docu 
mentary evidence in the case, and that they as well as many 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

of our Military and Naval Officers can testify as to facts within 
their personal knowledge. I am, General, 

Very respectfully, Your Obt. Servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., & N. Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, 

December \lth, 1863 

Hon. G. V. Fox, Asst. Sec y. of Navy 

DEAR Fox: Is my friend Sturges now Chief Officer of the 
"New London," late in command of her, made a Lieut, yet? 
If he is, I wish you would order him to report to me as Port 
Captain. Very ^^ Your Friend) B R BUTLER 



From General Butler 

Headquarters, 18th Army Corps, Department of Virginia & North Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 18th, 1863 

To JOHN M. FORBES, Chairman of the Executive Committee of 
the Society for the Promotion of Recruiting among Freedmen, 
BOSTON, MASS. 

DEAR SIR: When I left Boston, your Committee assured 
me that at any time when I could find a place in which they 
might aid me in recruiting, by giving me those things which 
the Government did not provide for soldiers, I was to call 
upon your Society for their aid. That occasion has now 
arrived. You will see by Gen. Order No. 46, a copy of which I 
enclose to you, that I have directed the Superintendents of 
Negro Affairs to provide shelter and clothing as set forth in 
Article XL Now, there is a large amount of clothing necessary 
for women and children, either new or second-hand, specially 
underclothing of warm description, to supply the families of 
those who have enlisted with us here, for the very rapidity 
of the enlistments has brought a burden upon us which we 
cannot at once answer. As soon as it is possible to get the 
matter organized, I think the labor of the negroes, with the sav 
ings of their earnings, will be sufficient to meet these expenses, 
but at present we are not able so to meet them. I am very 
anxious to fulfill my part of the contract to the negroes, who 
by their readiness to enlist are fully up on their side. If, 
therefore, your society will procure, or purchase as large 
amounts as possible of clothing such as I have indicated, and 
send it to my care, marked on behalf of the negroes, I will 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

see to it that proper accounts are kept of it, and that it shall 
be well distributed, and I have no doubt that in this way 
much more aid to recruiting can be given them than by an 
equal expenditure in any other. I promised to write your 
Committee my ideas of the wants and necessities of the negro, 
but I have put forward a system in Gen. Order 46 which it is 
hoped will meet those wants, and a perusal of that Order, 
copies of which I take leave to enclose, will substantially ex 
haust any thought of mine upon that subject. I have the 

honor to be, T/ . 7 

Very truly yours, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 



From the Assistant Secretary of the Navy to General Butler 

PRIVATE. WASHINGTON, December I8th, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: I am very much indebted to you for the 
consideration of the case of Jones. I think his wife s interest 
is not so much to get him out of confinement as to get him 
into a battle, and I reckon you will give them all a chance 
during the winter. I think I shall be down in our boat dur 
ing Jan., with the Admiral s wife and mine. The Russians 
will leave here next week, and winter at Fort Monroe. Your 
friend Sturges did not capture the "Dashing Wave," but if 
he will get the recommendation of the Admiral in command 
for Lt., he shall have it without further ado. I hope you will 
strip the country within the limits of your command of darkies 
for our army and navy. The Rebels will never give in whilst 
they have slaves to work for them. When we get the major 
ity out of their hands, they will collapse sudden. 

Truly yours, G. V. Fox 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 18th., 1863 

Brig. General GETTY, Commanding Exterior Line 

GENERAL: The representatives of the Committee of Camden 

County and Ballyhead Military Station in Virginia are referred 

to you. 

I will ask your report upon the possibility, with the force 

you have, of affording permanent protection to them as is 

requested. 

If it can be done with reasonable certainty that we can 



224 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

hold a line which shall include the six counties, East and 
North of the Chowan River, I should be glad. 

In the meantime, instruct our officers in the neighborhood 
to afford all possible protection to the peaceful inhabitants. 
Let no seizures be made without a receipt being given, and no 
arrests, unless parties are forwarded to your Headquarters 
for investigation. 

I send the Committee of the inhabitants back to you, who 
will explain to you their difficulties. They claim that they 
are peaceful, and wish to be loyal, but of course we ought not 
to administer the oath of allegiance to them until we can pro 
tect them. In any event, we will try to have protection against 
personal violence, whether they are loyal or disloyal. 

A report to me at your earliest convenience will be thank 
fully received. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully Yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 18, 1863 

Messrs. J. A. BUCK AND Co. 

GENTLEMEN: Under the Act of Congress there is no such 
appointment as Dept. Sutler or Division Sutler. I will give 
you permission to bring such goods into the Dept. as you 
desire to sell, not to include spirituous or intoxicating liquors, as 
the good of the service may permit. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yours, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From Horace James 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, VIRGINIA, 

Dec. 18, 1863 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: On reflection, I am decidedly of the opinion 
that no native white inhabitant of Roanoke Island possesses 
at once the capacity and integrity to work shad fisheries for the 
government and the interest of the negro. The White island 
ers had rather not see our colony succeed. A northern man 
whose heart was in the movement would do better. I could 
put him into communication at once with parties both white 
and colored who would aid his work and supply all his needs. 
The negroes perfectly understand the modus operandi of the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 225 

shad fishing, and only need some one to "boss the job," bring 
seines, salt, boats, et cetera. 

At Plymouth, which is also an excellent place for this fish 
ing, Major Elijah Willis, formerly Mayor of the town, and 
as good a Union citizen as is left there, used to follow this 
business, and did so by permission last season. 

Aaron Gaylord, a very capable black man of that place, 
knows all about it also. A person going from the north for 
that purpose could easily superintend operations at both 
those points, they are so accessible to one another. 

Reeds are not abundant, or large, at Roanoke Island, but 
in the swamps that line Roanoke River they grow profusely. 
But here it is more difficult to obtain them in quantities on 
account of the presence of guerillas. They are cut with a 
sharp hook on the end of a pole, tied in bundles the size of 
one s body, from 8 to 12 feet long. The negroes cut and deliver 
them at the Plymouth landing for $2.50 per cord. I have the 

honor to remain, General, T7 /. .,, - 17 

Very faithfully yours, 

HORACE JAMES, Chap, and Supt. 
From General Butler 

Headquarters, Dept, Va., and N. Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

Dec. 18^, 1863 

Col. MOORE M. FALLS, BALTIMORE, MD. 

SIR: Excuse my troubling you about a small matter, but 
I think it brings disgrace upon your line. 

Two Union Officers escaped from Richmond and traveled 
across the country into our lines. One was badly wounded 
in the eye, of course without clothes, and without money. I 
clothed them, so as to make them decent to appear in Wash 
ington, and sent my Aide-de-Camp to ask your clerk to give 
them a state room on board the boat, which he did by our 
paying for it, which we did. 

I know that you will not think that your line will make 
money by the operation. I have the honor to be 

Very respectfully, Yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

December I7th, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

Brig. Gen. LOCKWOOD, Comdg. at Baltimore 

GENERAL: The Comdg. Genl. of this Dept. directs me to 
request your kind offices in behalf of the bearers of this com- 

VOL. Ill 15 



226 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

munication, Captain Anderson and Lieut. Skilton, who have 
just escaped from long confinement at Libbey Prison. 

It is necessary for them to proceed at once to Washington. 
Will you be good enough to furnish them transportation from 
Baltimore to Washington? I have the honor to be, General, 
Your obdt. Servant, A. J. PUFFER, Captain & A.D.C. 

From General Butler 

December ISth, 1863 

Brig. General BARNES, NORFOLK 

THE City of Norfolk has been in darkness long enough, 
waiting for the action of the enemies of the country. The 
mere fact that at this day they have taken the Oath of Alle 
giance, is no reason why the military necessity of having the 
city lighted should not be carried out. You will therefore, for 
military purposes, seize the gas works and their fixtures, and 
use the most energetic measures to put the thing in operation 
forthwith. I will send you to-morrow a competent man to 
take charge of it. 

BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, M aj. General Commanding 

From H. A. Risley 

Commercial and Coastwise intercourse with and in states declared in insurrection, 
Special Agency, Treasury Department, WASHINGTON, D.C., December ISth, 1863 

B. H. MORSE, Asst. Spl. Agent 

SIR: In relation to getting the products of the country out 
from insurrectionary Districts, the printed circulars of the 
Secretary, and the regulations, are quite explicit, and will 
furnish you, I think, ample instruction. The Treasury Depart 
ment, or its officers or agents, will not interfere with any 
action of Gen. Butler in the matter. The section of country 
you refer to is under military control. The blockading squad 
ron, under direction of the Navy Department and military 
authorities, are charged with enforcing the Blockade, and 
whatever in the way of getting out products by way of Fortress 
Monroe is satisfactory to them viz, Gen. Butler and Admiral 
Lee will not be interfered with by this Department. 

Whatever of the products of the country are shipped by 
way of Beaufort, N.C., will be under the supervision of Col. 
Heaton, Supt. Spl. Agt. at Beaufort, who will grant the neces- 
sary authority on application. ^^ respecifully ^ 

H. A. RISLEY, Supt. Spl. Agent 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 227 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, 18th Army Corps, Department of Va., & N. Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, December 18th, 1863 

Major SAMUEL BRECK, Asst. Adjt. General, 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

MAJOR: In answer to your inquiry as to the occasion for 
reporting Joseph M. Bell, Major and Asst. Adjt. General 
appointed Nov. 7th, 1863, as an Aide-de-Camp upon my staff, 
I have the honor to reply, that at the time of Major Bell s 
appointment I asked the Secretary of War in person, and he 
called upon Col. Hardie at the time that he might be noti 
fied of it, for permission to assign Major Bell to any duty which 
I thought he was best fitted for. Now, Major Bell is Provost 
Judge, and the best one in the United States within my knowl 
edge. I believe that that Officer, sitting in the place of the 
Commanding General, to investigate cases which his time and 
other duties will not permit him to do, should be a staff Officer 
and in the relation of Aide-de-Camp, and therefore I announced 
him as such, in order that as Asst. Adjt. General he might 
not be supposed to have other distinct duties. 

I have only further to add that the announcement was 
highly gratifying to Judge Bell, who would not have accepted 
the position if he had supposed that it was to take him from 
the duties for which he is fitted, and I have the honor to 
request that you will be kind enough to state why you ask me 
the question. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From Henry Wilson 

Senate Chamber, Dec. 18th, 1863 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: I have to thank you for your humane orders 
in regard to colored troops. God bless you for what you have 
done and are doing for the cause of a wronged and despised 
race. In this work of freeing and elevating the African race 
in our country, you are writing your name in letters of living 
light. As time dims the glory of battle-fields, these deeds of 
liberty and humanity will grow brighter. 

Capt. Perrin, of Mass., desires a position in colored regi 
ment. He is a Boston man, has had in a New York Regt. 
considerable experience. If you think him worthy I hope you 



228 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

will favor him. I fear he drinks, and caution you to look to 
that. Can you give a Captain s commission to Capt. Rich L. 
Shelley? He was in the British Army came to our country 
- came out early in Aresell s Regt. resigned, was made 
Capt. on Lane s staff, then went on to Gen. Smith s staff - 
then was with Gen. Ord then went out of the service was 
the Capt. of a company of U. S. soldiers and engaged in the 
Riot fight in New York, and was commended by the Report 
of the Police Commissioners and Generals Brown and Canby. 
He is not in the service, and wants a company of colored 
cavalry. He is a man of intelligence. Let me know what 

you can do Yours truly, H. WILSON 

From General Butler 

Dec. 22, 63 

MY DEAR WILSON: I will endeavor to take care of Capt. 
Perrin in the manner you suggest. As you want a friend, I 
will inform him through yourself. I thank you for your kind 
confidence and its expression as to my act in behalf of the negro. 
I hope soon to see you in Washington. 

Yours truly, B. F. B. 

From General Butler 

CONFIDENTIAL. Hd. Qrs. 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Va., and N.C., 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 19, 1863 

Commander BOUTELLE, U. S. Coast Survey Office, 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

MY DEAR BOUTELLE: You will find enclosed a letter from a 
dear friend of yours in Richmond. I am informed by the 
bearer that Miss Van Lieu is a true Union woman as true as 
steel. She sent me a bouquet, so says the letter carrier. 

Now, I much want a correspondent in Richmond, one who 
will write me of course without name or description of the 
writer, and she need only incur the risk of dropping an ordi 
nary letter by flag of truce in the Post Office at Richmond, 
directed to a name at the North. Her messenger thinks Miss 
Van Lieu will be glad to do it. 

I can place my first and only letter 1 in her hands for her 
directions, but I also place the man s life in her hands who 



1 This letter is filed January 18, 1864. General Butler used the signature "James 
Ap. Jones," and addressed Miss Van Lieu as "my dear Aunt." 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 229 

delivers the letter. Is it safe so to do? Will Miss Van Lieu be 
willing to either correspond herself or find me such a corre 
spondent? I could pay large rewards, but from what I hear 
of her I should prefer not to do it, as I think she would be actu 
ated to do what she does by patriotic motives only. 

I wish therefore you would write me, confidentially and 
as so much is depending, in the strictest secrecy, what you 
think of the matter. Of course you will readily see that I 
can furnish means by which a very commonplace letter on 
family affairs will read very differently when I see it. 

Truly yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. IQth, 1863 

To the Senior Paymaster of the District of N. C. 

MAJOR: There seems to have been an error in the payment 
of Thos. Stafford, Co. "A," 24th Regt. Mass. Vols., now con 
fined at Fort Macon at hard labor. By sentence of Court 
Martial he forfeited all pay and allowances after the 26th of 
Sept. 1862. 

All dues to him before that time should be paid him, and the 
proper rolls made out. While we deal out punishment to him 
on the one hand, we must deal out justice to him on the other. 

I have the honor to be, T/ ,,. 77 ^ 

Very respectfully, Yours, 

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

Headquarters, Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 19th, 1863 

MICHAEL STAFFORD, 35 Maiden St., BOSTON 

SIR: Your letter of Nov. was received to your son Thos. 
Stafford, Co. "A," 24th Regt. Mass. Vols. 

You are quite right in supposing that I w r ould see that 
justice was done to your son. It shall be done. But the diffi 
culty is, that you labor under misinformation from him, and 
if the falsehoods in his letter to you are any indication of his 
general character, he w T ill not get punishment enough. 

I have had the matter investigated. It appears that your 
son was tried by Court Martial for insubordination and drunk 
enness, found guilty, and sentenced to hard labor at Fort 
Macon, with forfeiture of pay and allowances for the remainder 
of the term of enlistment, which sentence was approved by 



230 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Major General Foster. But even that severe punishment 
seems not to have brought him to a proper sense of his duty, 
as you will see by the report of the Commander of the Post 
who has him in charge, a copy of which I forwarded to you, 
that on the 26th of Feb. he assaulted a negro, and on the 
27th of June refused to do his duty, and had still to be further 
punished. 

So far, justice has been done. But there has been one in 
justice done him. By the terms of his sentence he forfeits all 
pay and allowances during the remainder of his term of enlist 
ment. That is, from 26th of Sept. 1862. He has a right to 
his pay prior to that time, and the balance due up to the 26th 
of Sept. will be ordered to be paid him. I have the honor 

Very respectfully, Yr. obdt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From John H. Rice 

House of Representatives, WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. Wth, 1863 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

SIR: Mr. L. J. Morse, a constituent of mine of Bangor, Me., 
desires a license to build a mill and manufacture lumber at 
Beaufort, N. C., and at one other point within your lines. 
He is a man of intelligence, integrity, energy, and great busi 
ness experience and capacity. 

I am told the matter is entirely within your discretion, and 
by granting his request you will favor him and greatly oblige, 

Very truly, your obedient servant, 

JOHN H. RICE 

Mr. Morse is my neighbor. I know him well and he is a first- 
class, A No. 1 man. I hope you will grant his request. 

H. HAMLIN 

From General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 13rd, 1863 

I SHOULD be happy to have any intelligent practical lumber 
man come down here and establish lumber mills, and will aid 

him in any way possible. 7 ^ i? TJ 

Truly yours, BENJ. F. BUILER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 231 

From the Assistant Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON, CITY, D.C., December IQth, 1863 

Major General B. F. BUTLER 

GENERAL: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your con 
fidential letter of the 16th instant, in relation to the constitu 
tion of a court for the trial of civilians who have been engaged 
in frauds upon the Government. 

In accordance with your request, I submitted the question 
to the Judge Advocate and Solicitor, with the result indicated 
in a note from Mr. Whiting saying: "The Judge Advocate 
General and myself concur in recommending that Hunt 
should be tried by a Military Commission of not less than three 
members." They think that military offenders should be tried 
by a Court Martial, violators of police regulations by a Provost 
Judge, and all other offenders by a Military Commission. 

The Secretary of War remarked that as the Judge Advo 
cate and Solicitor had given an opinion adverse to the juris 
diction of a Provost Judge, in this case it would be well enough 
to follow their recommendation, although there need be but 
little apprehension of his reversing any decision against swin 
dlers on the ground of incompetency of the tribunal before 
whom they may be convicted. 

The telegrams have been handed to Col. Shaffer herewith. 
Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

P. H. WATSON, Assistant Secretary of War 



From General Butler 

Head-Quarters 18th Army Corps, Department of Virginia & North Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 19th, 1863 

Gen. JOHN J. PECK, Comdg. Dist. of N. C. 

GENERAL: I have the honor to enclose to you three passes 
with their endorsements, and ask you to investigate and 
report by what authority a Sergt. and Pro. Mar. on Roanoke 
Island grants passes for trading beyond our lines with the 
enemy s country. I do not find that Pasquotank County is 
included in any trade district or supply district. Had not 
both the sutler who sells the goods there and the Pro. Mar. 
and the Commander of the Island better be brought you 
for examination? Or perhaps you will go down there and in 
vestigate it. What is the use of blockading Wilmington and 



232 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

supplying the rebels through Roanoke Island? I have the 

>e> Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

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

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va. t FORT MONROE, December 19th, 1863 

JOHN M. FORBES, Chairman, c&c., BOSTON, MASS. 

DEAR SIR: I am pleased to acknowledge the receipt of your 
letter of the 16th inst. I have already expressed my opinion 
to the Secretary of War in favor of what you proposed. 

If we get the men into the United States Service, in my 
judgment it does not matter much where they come from, 
and therefore I asked permission of the Secretary of War to 
allow me to enlist negroes for the Mass. Quota, the $325. 
bounty to be paid to me to constitute a fund for their families, 
out of which they might be supported. 

I think that sum received, both for those with and without 
families, would be sufficient to take good care of their families 
with during their absence. 

I could not permit, while I am offering $10. only for recruits, 
in this Dept. the states to come here and offer extra bounties. 
That would put a stop to recruiting. 

I can recruit all the negroes there are here for ten dollars a 
head, but who is to take care of their families after they have 
been recruited? I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Va. and N.C., 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 20, 1863 

DAVID KELLY, ALLEGHANY Co. POST OFFICE, PENN. 

SIR: Your letter has been received. The law of Congress 
is imperative, as it at present stands, that no more than $10 
per month can be paid to colored soldiers. 

I do not think it is just, more than you do. I have done 
all I can to have it altered, as you will see by reading my 
General Order 46, which is enclosed herewith. I have the 
honor to be, y ^ respeci f u i ly yourSy 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 233 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Va. and N.C., 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 20, 1863 

HENRY M. BOWDEN, Clerk of the City and County Courts, 

NORFOLK, VIRGINIA 

SIR: Your note is received. I should be very glad to trans 
fer the business of oath taking from my Provost Marshal s 
Office to yours. We are preserving the evidence, which will 
be ultimately filed in your office, I doubt not. But the diffi 
culty is, you ask that it shall be transferred to you as a source 
of revenue to your office. 

I do not suppose you desire the additional burden put upon 
you without an additional profit, but I cannot throw even the 
smallest tax in the way of those who are willing to return to 
their allegiance. 

If you desire to do the business without additional compen 
sation, I will communicate with you upon the subject. I have 

the honor to be, T7 ,/. 17 v , , 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 
From General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, VA., Dec. 20th, 1863 

The PRESIDENT 

THESE women, Mrs. Bruce, Mrs. Chase, and Mrs. Hutchin- 
son, are here. We have ordered that nobody passes North 
without the oath of allegiance. They refuse to take it. Shall 
they go North? I await instructions and detain the boat for 
them. Please answer. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 

From General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, December %Qth, 1863 

Major General HITCHCOCK 

You mentioned when here that you did not believe any 
Officers and Seamen were confined in Fort McHenry in irons. 

Please inform me of the result of your investigation, that I 
may send up & release ours at Richmond held there for 
retaliation. B R BuTLER> Ma ^ Gem Comdg. 



234 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

December list, 1863 

Commodore LIVINGSTON, GOSPORT NAVY YARD 

I HAVE an opportunity to send north for good mechanics in 
wood and iron work. How many of such kind would you like? 
BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Maj. General Comdg. 

From General Butler 

December list, 1863 

Captain GOODWIN, NORFOLK 

You will use your whole force if necessary, to do with the 
utmost promptitude and despatch any work that Gen l. Graham 
may order upon the "Brewster." 

BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Major General Comdg. 

From General Butler 

December %Ist, 1863 

Brig. General GETTY, PORTSMOUTH 

TELEGRAM received. General Wild has left South Mills for 
Currituck County, and has sent back his Cavalry. I would 
forward a strong force of Cavalry to co-operate with him. 
That, I leave to your judgment, however. He has two Regts. 
of Infantry. You are empowered to order a boat from General 
Graham, Commanding Naval Brigade at Norfolk. 

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

From General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, VA., Dec. 21^ f 1863 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

I WISH authority could be given me to appoint a Volunteer 
Officer Commissary of Musters in this Department. A regu 
lar officer has been sent me as Chief Commissary of Musters, 
Capt. Josiah H. Carlisle, Capt. in 2nd Artillery, in above 
request, thus taking away a good Artillery Officer, and putting 
him where a man of business only is wanted. I wish that he 
might be relieved, and Capt. Fred Martin, 1st. Loyal Vir 
ginians, be appointed. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 235 



From General Butler 

Headquarters, 18th Army Corps, Department of Va. and N. Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, December %lst, 1863 

Hon. WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State 

SIR: I find by Richmond papers that at a meeting of the 
tobacco brokers in Richmond it was, among other things, 
unanimously resolved that the Confederate Government be 
requested not to permit any tobacco to be shipped by the 
French Government, because the United States Government 
had made it a condition that all the tobacco owned by 
French subjects had been purchased prior to March 4th, 
1861, while, as the meeting resolved, to their certain knowl 
edge all the tobacco had been in fact purchased since March 
4th, 1861. 

I am inclined to give more credence to this story because 
there was a Frenchman in New Orleans, claiming to be an agent 
of the French Government, purchasing tobacco during the 
summer of 1862, which I suppose will appear at Richmond to 
be shipped through our lines to France as a part of the tobacco 
purchased by the French Government previous to March 4th, 
1861. I have also information, from a source upon which I 
rely, that Monsieur Paul, the French Consul, was, when he 
passed through our lines, the bearer of letters and despatches 
from the Confederate Government, or its officers, to Parties 
in Europe. 

I do not desire any use to be made of this information save 
this, that I may have authority to search Monsieur Paul, 
the French Consul at Richmond, and his baggage, according 
to the usual rule, when he passes through my lines. We can 
then make certain of the fact, one way or the other, and apolo 
gize if we are wrong. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



From the "Daily Richmond Sentinel 9 

December nth, 1863 [Not in chronological order] 

AT a called meeting of the Richmond Tobacco Trade, held 
at the Tobacco Exchange on the 12th irist., the President in 
the chair, Capt. William T. Shepard was appointed Secretary 
pro-tern : 



236 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

The Committee appointed at a meeting of the trade on the 
10th inst., made the following report, which on motion of John 
James, Esq., was received and adopted, viz: 

The Committee appointed by the Richmond Tobacco Trade, 
at its meeting on the 10th instant, have the honor to report 
that they sought and obtained an interview with his Excel 
lency, the President of the Confederate States, and through 
him with the Hon. J. T. Benjamin, Secretary of State, on the 
subject of certain publications in the Richmond daily news 
papers, on the 5th inst. relating to the French tobacco in the 
city of Richmond. 

The Committee were most cordially and respectfully re 
ceived, and were informed by his Excellency, the President, 
and Mr. Benjamin, that the publications aforesaid do not 
contain the facts in relation to the French tobacco, but that 
the Confederate States Government neither could nor would 
make any objections to the removal of any tobacco, within 
the limits of the Confederacy, belonging actually to the French 
Government, if done under certain restrictions, viz: to be 
cleared from a Confederate Port, and not to touch at any port 
in the United States. 

They were informed, also, that under the arrangement 
entered into between the Confederate States Government and 
Monsieur Paul, the Agent of the French Government, no 
tobacco other than that belonging to the French Government 
would be permitted to leave the Confederacy. 

Respectfully submitted, 
SAM L J. HARRISON, Chairman 

Richmond, December l%th 1863 

On motion of T. D. McKinney, Esq., the following resolu 
tion was unanimously adopted, viz: 

Resolved, That inasmuch as the publication of the order 
of the Federal Government of the United States, on its face, 
seems intended to convey the idea that the tobacco shipped 
by and for the French Government was bought and paid for 
prior to the 4th March, 1861, and such not being the case, all 
of the tobacco having been bought since that time, the facts 
shall be made known to the world by this publication, and 
that the Chairman of the meeting be requested to send by the 
different steamers leaving the Confederate States for foreign 
ports a copy of the daily papers containing the above facts. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 237 

On motion, ordered that the proceedings of the meeting be 
published in all the daily papers of the city. 

JOHN CASKIE, President 
WM. T. SHEPPARD, Secretary pro tern. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. Va. & N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 21st, 1863 

Maj. General PECK 

A REPORT has been made to these Head Quarters that the 
Provost Marshals in your district are in the habit of charging 
one dollar for permits to come from Newbern here, under a 
mistaken construction of General Order No. 40 from these 
Head Quarters. The true intention of the Order is only to 
charge persons going entirely out of the Department, as for 
instance from Newbern or Hatteras direct to New York. 
People coming via Fortress Monroe should not be charged as 
if they go further than here. They pay for their passport here. 
Very respectfully, Your Obt. Servant, 

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

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Va. and N.C., 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 22, 1863 

Brig. Gen. LOCKWOOD, Comd g Middlesex Dept., 

BALTIMORE, MD. 

GENERAL: I find great difficulty from the system of passes 
in your Dept. As it is, no man can come from Baltimore to 
Fortress Monroe without a pass from you, thereby putting 
it to your judgment who shall come into my Dept., instead 
of to mine. As the boats touch only at Fortress Monroe, 
where we are prepared to take charge of any amount of passen 
gers short of fifteen thousand without notice, I have no fears 
of any improper person coming down here. I desire, there 
fore, that there shall be some alterations in your regulations, 
so that at least gentlemen having my passes shall go and 
return, and that my Officers shall not, as they have in one or 
two instances, lose their connection through having to report 
at your Provost Marshal s office before going on board the 
boat. I should be happy to respect your passes at any and 
all times, and will so give orders. 

To come to Fortress Monroe is the only direction in which 
passes are required in Baltimore. Men can go through to 



238 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Washington, or any part of Maryland, or the Eastern Shore, 
without passes, where they can much more easily communi 
cate with the enemy than by any possibility at Fortress Monroe, 
and I am about to see why a distinction is made of this Depart 
ment. Hoping to confer with you fully upon this subject. I 
have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Va. and N.C., 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 22, 1863 

Brig. Gen. MARSTON, Comd g. POINT LOOKOUT, MD. 

GENERAL: I rec d a note from the Col. Com dg the Post 
that eight hundred rebel prisoners were at my disposal, accord 
ing to the order sent you on the - - inst. 

After these men have been paroled and are ordered to go 
South for the purposes of exchange, I desire that you will give 
them an opportunity of taking the Oath of Allegiance and 
going North or remaining, and going South and being 
exchanged. 

Have read distinctly to them each, in squads, so that they 
may understand it, so much of the President s Proclamation 
as relates to their pardon. 

The object is that no rebel prisoner shall go South who 
desires to take the Oath. But the offer must not be made to 
them until they are paroled and ready to go South, in order 
that they may not seem to take it under duress. Please see 
that they understand it. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obdt. servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From D. Heaton to General Butler 

NEWBERN, N.C., December 22nd, 1863 

DEAR SIR: I wish to introduce to you Uriah Thomas, Esq., 
Assistant Special Agt. of the Treasury Dept. for North 
Carolina. 

An urgent invitation having been received to-day from H. 
A. Risley, Esq., the Treasury Agent at Washington, to meet 
him for mutual consultation at your Head Quarters, Mr. 
Thomas readily goes in my place, as it would be imprudent 
for me to attempt the trip just now, in consequence of recent 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 239 

illness. I should certainly have responded in person had I 
deemed it at all advisable. 

You will find Mr. Thomas, however, well-posted as to the 
condition of commercial as well as other matters in this Dis 
trict. He will converse with you and Mr. Risley freely and 
fully, and I sincerely hope the meeting may result greatly to 
the public interest. 

Conscious of unremitting attention to the multiplied duties 
of this agency for the past six months, I cannot but believe but 
what a clear understanding of what actually has been accom 
plished must meet with approval. 

I hope soon to have the opportunity to give you, personally, 
a statement of the condition of things when I first arrived here. 
I mean in relation to supplies and commercial matters. 

I have met thousands of needy and destitute men, and 
besides endeavoring to aid in providing supplies in limited 
quantities and safely, I have never suffered an opportunity 
to pass without instilling the necessity of an unflinching devo 
tion to our Government. 

Excuse this digression. Mr. Thomas is a gentleman of high- 
standing and intelligence in Minnesota, and you will find him 
in every way worthy of your confidence. 

Very Respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

D. HEATON, Sup. Spl. Agt. N.D. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Va. and N.C., 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 22, 1863 

CHARLES W. BUTTS, Esq., NORFOLK, VA. 

SIR: Upon the reception of your petition in behalf of your 
clients Bidgood and others, I immediately referred the same 
to Maj. Jos. M. Bell for a report of the facts as they appeared 
at the trial, and have the honor to forward a copy of his report. 

The evidence certainly puts a very different phase upon 
the offences of these men from that stated in the petition. 

It seems that they organized a riot, broke into a negro s 
house, beat his wife with a table leg and carried him off, an 
old man, into slavery, lying about it by saying that they were 
going to carry him to the Yankees; and you claim that these 
men are the most respectable citizens of the country. 

If these facts were true, and I must take them to be true upon 
the report of the Judge, I only regret that he did not add a 
ball and chain as part of the punishment. 



240 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Lawlessness, by even "the most respectable people of the 
country," must cease within the reach of the military authori 
ties of this Department. 

The deplorable ignorance of these criminals sufficiently 
justifies Judge Bell in the leniency with which he regarded 
their crime, one of the highest known to any law, and so far 
from intending by any action of mine to lighten their punish 
ment, I am much tempted to add to it, that they shall be kept 
in imprisonment at hard labor until Steve Williamson, their 
victim, is returned from slavery, and you advise with them 
whether it will not be more for their comfort and convenience 
to have Williamson returned to his home before the three and 
six months expire, to which they are sentenced by Judge 
Bell, as I take the question under advisement whether after 
their term of punishment expires they shall not be held as 
hostages for his return. 

I have examined the question with reference to the plea 
you set up of the pardon in the President s Proclamation. If 
I could see any evidence that these men did this as any act 
directly or indirectly in aid of the Rebellion, except perhaps 
too remotely, all riots and kidnapping may be said to be in 
aid of that great crime, it would seem to me that they might 
come within the terms of that pardon. But, as far as I am 
advised, the pardon does not reach them. I therefore return 
you your petition with the enclosures, directing that you make 
the report of Judge Bell and this letter a part of any applica 
tion to the President for pardon of the offences of your clients . 
I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obdt. servt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. ComcTg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 22nd, 1863 

Major B. FOSTER, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dist. of N.C. 

MAJOR: Your package with affidavits has been received, 
supposed to contain the money of Private Chollar, 21st Conn. 
Vols. Upon being opened by me in the presence of my Asst. 
Adjt. Gen., it was found to contain but $3.70 instead of $274.70 
which it was marked. 

Your affidavit contains no satisfactory explanation of how 
the exhibit became separated from the papers of the com 
mission which it should have accompanied. Nor is there any 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 241 

mention of any complaint by you of any loss of your own 
money, which you say lay side by side with the sealed pack 
age in your trunk. 

Why a thief should stop to unseal a package to take out 
money, when he could take that which lay beside it unsealed, 
is a question which will require investigation. 

You give no account of the whereabouts of the proceedings 
of the Military Communications. You have forwarded no 
copy of the letters upon this subject. 

You w T ill send to this office, all such papers as may be within 
your possession or power of control. Indicate to the best of 
your knowledge where any other papers may be found that 
will throw light upon this subject, and such further explana 
tions, evidence, and facts as you may deem proper, before 
further action is taken. 

In the meantime you will carefully refrain from drawing 
any pay or money allowance until this affair is investigated. 

I have the honor to be, T/ 4f 77 

Very respectfully, 

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

December 22nd, 1863 

Captain G. V. Fox, Asst. Secretary of the Navy 

FLAG of Truce went up on Friday. Has not returned yet. 
I do not believe any Richmond paper of the 19th has been 
received in the United States. Certainly none which could 
have got to Philadelphia. I don t believe the story. It is 
from Philadelphia. BENJ R BUTLBR> 



From General Butler 

December Wnd, 1863 

To the PRESIDENT 

PRIVATE WM. H. BLAKE, Battery "E," Penna. Artillery, is 
under sentence of death by hanging for murder. In my judg 
ment a very deliberate one. He will not be executed without 
further orders from you. The records were forwarded on the 
19th inst. to Col. Holt. 

BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



VOL. Ill 16 



242 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 12nd, 1863 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

I AM a good deal disturbed by the situation of a Naval 
Ordnance store house among wooden buildings at this Post, 
to which I called your attention in a recent report. 

It is not common prudence to permit it to remain in its 
present condition. Please give me information about it. 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. Va. & N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 22d, 1863 

Brig. Gen. GEO. W. GETTY 

THE Maj. Gen. Commanding directs me to say, in reply 
to your communication of the 18th inst. that every person 
who desires to take the oath may be permitted so to do, but 
the oath by no means proves loyalty. A man cannot be con 
sidered truly loyal without the oath, and he may be a rebel 
with it. You will therefore let only those pass our lines who 
you are satisfied are truly loyal and well disposed. I have the 

Very respectfully, Your Obt. servant, 
From J. M. Forbes 

BOSTON, Dec. 22nd, 1863 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE 

DEAR SIR: Your favor of the 18th addressed to me is re 
ceived this morning, but it contains neither the General Order 
No. 46 which you refer to, nor the memo, of clothing desired. 

At our committee meeting to-morrow your communication 
will be laid before the General Commanding. We are just now 
much occupied in helping to fill the quota of Mass, by raising 
a cavalry regiment of blacks. Cannot you help us by sparing 
a few of your light weights, upon our helping you to take care 
of the families which prove such heavy weights? 

We find no great difficulty in getting negroes, but it seems 
absurd to take men from their well-paid industry and com 
fortable homes in the free states, when our state bounties 
could get men accustomed to the Southern climate and afford 
relief to their suffering families. 

The great difficulty in bringing the men here is that once 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 243 

out of the military lines we cannot control them, and the land 
sharks steal them away for their bounties. The true thing 
would be to let us enlist them in the rebel districts. 

We need the help of your influence at Washington to do this 
unless you can, under a military necessity, send us a trans 
port-load of negroes, who have signed an article before leaving, 
and can be landed at Long Island! I suppose this might be 
irregular, and need some straining of the letter of the law, 
but perhaps you will take the responsibility. With great 
respect, I am, your ML ^ j M FORBES, Chairman 



From General Butler 

December 25th, 1863, WASHINGTON 

I DID not intend to send a list of the clothing, but did intend 
to send orders, which I have directed. 

The Secretary of War, after my most urgent solicitations, 
has directed that I shall not allow any negroes to enlist out 
side of my department. T i v T> T? T> 

Truly Yours, B. F. B. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, 18th Army Corps, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 23, 1863 

Hon. ROBT. OULD, Commissioner of Exchange of the Confederate 

Authorities 

SIR : I enclose two papers, the contents of which will explain 
themselves, and perhaps you will be able by forwarding them 
to relieve the anguish of an afflicted family. I have the honor 

Very Respectfully Your obedient servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va,, and N.C., FORT MONROE, 

Dec. 23rd, 1863 

Captain GRANSEVOORT, Senior Naval Officer, 

NEWPORT NEWS 

CAPTAIN: I send Brig. Gen. Graham to bring to your atten 
tion the matter of the detention of the "Flag of Truce," of 
which I telegraphed you last night. 

I much desire that you will send out a gunboat to reconnoi- 



244 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

tre while I will send up another boat under "Flag of Truce." 

I have the honor to be, T/ , f 77 

Very respectfully ; 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 
From J. W. McDonald 

December 13rd, 1863 

Com. H. Y. PURRIANCE, Lt. Inspector 5th District 

SIR: I received on board this day a colored man from the 
Rappahannock river. This man states that there are some 
fifty cavalry lurking about Lancaster and Northumberland 
Court Houses, picking up deserters and conscripting. There 
is also a large quantity of pork and cattle constantly being 
taken to Richmond, Va. Wheat and corn are also taken to 
the same place. 

He states that a large quantity of salt is being made about 
Deep Creek by James R. Ball and H. Dallman, at Belle Isle, 
and Robert Mitchell at the head of Deep Creek. All these 
works are on Deep Creek, Rappahannock River. James Webb 
has a ferry near Carter s Wharf; also another ferry is kept at 
Union wharf. These ferries have scows built large enough to 
carry several loaded wagons at a time. The Rebel cavalry 
previously spoken of, appear in the uniform of the United 
States in order to deceive Union People. This man further 
states that there are many men hiding in the woods from the 
cavalry company. There is also a large amount of grain in 
the above-named counties, sufficient to supply Lee s rebel 
army. There are several tanneries near Fairfax C. House. 
Sam l Downey keeps one and another is kept at Union Village. 
The scows are kept closely concealed when any gunboats are 
in sight. There is a large amount of fine-cut ship timber at 
Mordica Creek, a little above Deep Creek. There is a quan 
tity at Chase s mill, which in up Mordica Creek. 

The colored man helped to cut the timber, and he is familiar 
with Richmond, Lancaster, and Northumberland Counties. 
He says he will act as a guide to any force that may be sent 
into these counties. He is at present on board of the Smith s 
Point Light Vessel. 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 
J. W. McDoNALD, Keeper of Smith s Point Light Vessel 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 245 
From J. M. Forbes 

BOSTON, December 23rd, 1863 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE 

MY DEAR SIR: Your favor of the 29th has been received 
to-day, and with yours of the 18th laid before our Committee, 
who have placed in the hands of A. Endicott, Esq., the sum of 
$2500 to be invested in cloth or clothing, and forwarded to 
you for the use of the colored soldiers families. 

They have also appointed Judge Russell and Hon. Oakes 
Ames a committee to confer with Governor Andrew as to what 
can be done in the way of using our bounties out of the state, 
and then to wait on Secretary Stanton and yourself in the 
hope of effecting some arrangement for enlisting a part of the 
Massachusetts quota in the slave states. 

I enclose a private sheet, having some matter bearing on 
questions interesting to you, and with great respect. 

Your obdt. Servant, J. M. FORBES, Chairman 

From Richard S. Fay, Jr. to General Butler 

PRIVATE. BOSTON, December 23rd, 1863 

DEAR GENERAL: Mr. J. Wiley Edmands has just been in 
here to ask my introduction (which I told him was entirely 
unnecessary) to induce you to do what you could to get a 
letter and some money to his son, Major Edmands, now a 
prisoner at Richmond. The Major is a very gallant lad of 
about 20, and said to be a capable officer. 

The Middlesex make up with about $200,000 profit, and 
divides 10%, which I have collected and placed to your credit. 
I have petitioned the Legislature for permission to increase 
capital to one million, and think we shall increase to $750,000 
the coming spring. My father and his family have gone to 
Europe for 2 years, which gives me a good deal of extra work 
and confinement. I invested your gold in Montreal City 
Bonds, of which I will give you particulars in an account cur 
rent I propose to send you Jan. 1st, at which date I shall also 
credit you $1000 on our gold. 

I live in the hope of being able to get down to see you this 
winter. It is cold as Greenland to-day, and I envy you the 
warmer climate. I am not quite sure if Mrs. Butler is with 
you. If she is, pray remember me to her, and believe me as 

Sincerely yours, RICHARD S. FAY, JR. 



246 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va., and N. Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, 

December 23rd, 1863 

Hon. SALMON P. CHASE, Secretary of Treasury 

SIR: The friends of our prisoners at Richmond are con 
tinually sending on money to them either in greenbacks or 
gold. When that arrives at Richmond, it is changed by the 
Confederate authorities into Confederate money, and turned 
over to the prisoners. 

The rebel Government appropriate the gold and greenbacks 
to their own use. Now, you have some two million of the Con 
federate money which was captured on a Mississippi steam 
boat, in the United States Treasury. I wish you would send 
me a few thousand dollars of them, which is of no use to the 
United States, and while it lies in the vaults of the Treasury 
serves to keep so much Confederate money out of Circulation, 
according to the proposition of Davis message, and is entirely 
useless. 

I will change the amount according to the latest Richmond 
quotations, ten or twelve to one, as the case may be, for the 
gold sent to be forwarded to Richmond to the prisoners, and 
will return the proceeds to the Treasury of the United States. 
I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servt., 

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

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., & N. Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, 

December 23rd, 1863 

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

SIR: I have received a letter by your direction from General 
Canby, in regard to General Order No. 46, directing me that 
the Engineer Officer at this Fort is not to be disturbed by 
reason of anything in that Order. There has been no occasion 
for any disturbance of the Engineer Department in conse 
quence of Paragraph 5 of that order, which I wish to call your 
attention to. Of course you cannot desire that the Engineer 
Officers of the Department should pay more for labor than the 
price at which it can be procured; and at the present time 
there is a great surplus of colored labor which can be procured 
at $10 per month and rations. You will perceive by the Order 
that I have made provisions for skilled labor at a higher rate, 
so that in practice the Officer has only to certify that a given 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 247 

laborer is a skilled laborer, in order to employ him at any 
rate of wages which his conscience will permit. 

At this Post the substantial employment of the Engineer is 
building Fort Wool at the Rip-Raps, late Fort Calhoun 
which was begun in 1819, and will not be finished during your 
life or mine. 

Not a gun is yet mounted upon it, and it maybe well doubted 
whether the millions spent upon it will not be wasted, because 
the granite blocks of which it is composed have never been 
submitted to the test of the immense weight and power of the 
modern projectiles. Immediately upon the issue of my Order, 
almost every Officer of the Staff in this Department, who had 
favorite negro laborers in his employ at very high rates of 
wages, became alarmed and seemed determined to keep them, 
and therefore arose the cry, " Great is Diana of the Ephesians." 
There is at least one negro employed in the Engineer Depart 
ment at a cost exceeding the rate fixed by Congress, who has 
been so employed for at least thirty (30) years, and I found in 
my Quarter Master Department almost seven hundred (700) 
negroes employed to do the work which I think could be done 
with three hundred (300). Now, if you desire that I should 
attempt to correct any of the abuses of the Department, I 
beg leave to suggest that whenever complaints of my action 
come to you from officers of the Staff Department, or others, 
you will do me the favor to ask for a report on the complaint, 
and then I shall be only too happy to most cordially submit 
to your judgment. Be assured that I will see to it that nothing 
happens to the Engineer Department here which shall impair 
its usefulness or efficiency. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. %^th, 1863 

Hon. ROBERT OULD, Commissioner of Exchange, of the 
Confederate Authorities 

SIR: I have the honor to enclose to you an official copy of 
the authority conferring upon me the duties of Commissioner 
of Exchange of Prisoners, so that we may be able to establish 
official relations upon the subject. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Your obedient servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



248 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Confederate States Agent Ould 

Confederate States of America, War Department, RICHMOND, VA., 
December 27th, 1863 [Not in chronological 



Maj. Gen. E. A. HITCHCOCK, Commissioner of Exchange 

SIR: I have this day received from Maj. Gen. B. F. Butler 
a copy of a communication to him, signed by yourself as com 
missioner for the exchange of prisoners, in which it is stated 
that by the authority and orders of the IT. S. Secretary of War, 
Maj. Gen. B. F. Butler was appointed "special agent for the 
exchange of prisoners of war at City Point." 

You are doubtless aware that by proclamation of the Presi 
dent of the Confederate States Maj. Gen. B. F. Butler is under 
the ban of outlawry. Although we do not pretend to prescribe 
what agents your Government shall employ in connection 
with the cartel, yet when one who has been proclaimed to be so 
obnoxious as General Butler is selected, self-respect requires 
that the Confederate authorities should refuse to treat with 
him or establish such relations with him as properly pertain 
to an agent of exchange. The proclamation of President 
Davis forbids that General Butler should be admitted to the 
protection of the Confederate Government, and he cannot 
therefore be received under a flag of truce. Accordingly, I 
am directed by the Confederate authorities to inform you that 
Maj. Gen. B. F. Butler will not be recognized by them as an 
agent of exchange. 

Respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

Ro. OULD, Agent of Exchange 

Official Records, War of Rebellion, Series 2, Vol. VI, page 768. 

From Colonel Shaffer 

FORT MONROE, VA., Dec. 24th, 1863 
Adjutant General 

SECRETARY OF WAR S despatch, announcing Averill s return, 
received. The despatch assigning Point Lookout, Accomac, 
and Northampton to this Command was received. General 
Butler left yesterday for Point Lookout, will return to-night. 

J. W. SHAFFER, Col & Chief Staff 

From William T. Webster to General Butler 

LOWELL, December 24^, 1863 

FRIEND GENERAL: The quota of Massachusetts Volunteers 
is being very slowly filled. About 400 out of the 3300 for 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 249 

Boston have been raised, Lowell has raised one-half of her 
number. The towns on the Cape are worse off than any other 
part of the state. Brought up on the sea, every available man 
has enlisted in the Navy. But one conscript from Barnstable 
county went to the war. The rest were exempted as disquali 
fied, two or three paid commutation. They are willing to 
raise a large amount of money in addition to State bounty, 
equal to from $50 to $100 per man. Their agent has been to 
see Gov. Andrew, who approves of the agent s plan, which is 
something like this. The men are not on the Cape. Money 
can be raised for recruiting purposes and placed in their 
Agent s hands, who furnishes the men and takes the money. 
He has been to see Hildreth and myself, and wishes to ascer 
tain whether or not negroes from your vicinity can be supplied 
to make their quota. 

Gov. Andrew says that whatever men can be obtained there 
shall be counted for the town obtaining them, and be furnished 
the state bounty as if enlisted here. I don t know whether 
this is practicable, or how it will affect your recruiting. 

The State will pay the bounty. No towns will pay the re 
cruiting agent. Probably $100,000 extra can be had for 1000 
men in addition to bounty. Would the bounty enable you to 
get men, that otherwise would not enlist? In one view it is 
tantamount to offering a bounty to men to enlist, where now 
you can pay no bounty. 

The bounty might constitute a fund to take care of the 
families of those who enlist. Gov. Andrew is raising a Negro 
Cavalry regiment of 1200 men. The enlisting negro could go 
into that, or join any old regiment. 

I promised the Agent that I would write to you. He says 
that he opened the scheme to the Governor, and he approved 
of it and will give it his aid. Can it be done? Will you allow 
it to be done? What is the best way to do it? 

The men must be raised in some such way. They are not 
there to be drafted or to volunteer. I told these men that I 
should have a reply by Tuesday. Please give this matter 
some attention. 

Your family, the part at home, are well, except that on 
last Saturday and Sunday Harriet had another of her pleurisy 
fit of pains, such as Blanche remembers. Mrs. Webster went 
up to the house and stayed a night or two, and brought her 
on to her feet again. 

Your boys were at my home on Thanksgiving, and I believe 



250 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

my boys repay the visit by spending Christmas with them. So 
expect to hear of broken glass and china ware. 

Doct. Edson returned on Monday last. 

Col. Sawtelle is in the office, and says that he is getting well 
very fast, and desires to be remembered by you whenever a 
chance offers, or you want him. George Webster starts this 
afternoon. ^^ ^^ WM T WEBSTER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 24*/z, 1863 

Hon. ROBERT OULD, Commissioner of Exchange of the 

Confederate Authorities 

SIR: I send by Major Mulford, Asst. Commr. of Exchange, 
502 Prisoners of War from the Confederate Army from Point 
Lookout. All I believe serviceable, and substantially those 
longest there in confinement. I offer them for delivery at City 
Point upon condition of receiving the same number of men 
held by your authorities as Prisoners of War from our Army, 
leaving all questions of difference in controversy between your 
authorities and my Government for the present in abeyance. 

I have made personal examination of the condition of the 
Prisoners of War of the Confederate Army now in prison at Pt. 
Lookout, and beg leave to assure you that they are as well 
cared for and in as comfortable a condition of good health, 
and as well fed, as the soldiers in our Army. I will send you 
in my next communication the statement of the Sergeants, 
Confederate Prisoners, who have charge of the several Cook- 
Houses upon that subject. 

I do not mean to say that their ration is as large as our 
regularly-issued ration, because of their state of entire inac 
tivity. But it is in every respect of the same quality as 
those issued to the men guarding. 

If you have any doubt of it, upon an examination of the 
condition of the men I send you, and upon hearing their 
statement, please suggest what in your judgment should be 
done further in their behalf. I have made this examination 
and statement to you in order that you may be able to satisfy 
the friends of the prisoners who may be disturbed by the 
unfounded reports of ill-treatment and cruelty suffered by the 
prisoners at Pt. Lookout, in like manner as our people are 
excited by what I hope are like groundless stories of ill-usage 
and starvation suffered by our soldiers in your hands. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 251 

I find there are some of the wounded from Gettysburg, 
and some have been sick that are convalescent, and some so 
far disabled by sickness that while they may be sent forward 
for exchange they will probably be of no use or further service 
in the field. 

Men without arms and legs and debilitated by sickness are 
certainly unfit to bear the necessary hardships incident to a 
condition of Prisoners of War. Besides, they encumber our 
hospitals. As upon examinations I did not think it proper to 
order them into the Prisoners Camp with wounds freshly 
healed, and health hardly restored, and perhaps as the hope of 
seeing their friends might have a beneficial influence upon 
their health, therefore I suggest that in the next transport I 
send up as many of those as are entirely able to bear the 
exposures of travel without probable danger to their health, 
and that in exchange you will return to me an equal number of 
our soldiers that may be in like condition. 

As it may be inconvenient and prejudicial to their health 
to transship these invalids on either side, I will have men put 
upon a separate boat, upon which there shall be nothing but 
provisions for them, and will direct that the boat be put at 
your disposal at City Point to carry them immediately to 
Richmond, and bring back those that you shall give in 
exchange. 

Of course you will transfer, if you think best, the Master 
and crew of the boat to the Steamer "New York," which will 
accompany them, and will remain at City Point, and put your 
own Master and Crew on board until the boat is returned. 

I need not suggest the necessity of care that the boat, 
which is but a hired transport, shall receive no damage while 
in your charge, for which my Government will be responsible. 

And I further suggest whether the same means of avoiding 
transshipment might not be a convenience, and facilitate in 
making further exchanges of well men as well as invalids. 

I also send four Officers, lately captured at Charles City 
Court House, and a Surgeon. One in exchange for Capt. 
Irvine, who was sent down by last boat, one at his urgent 
request, suffering from injuries, and two others for whom you 
will forward me my Officers of equal rank. 

I send these though lately captured, because I have no 
Officers short of Johnson s Island, and I wish to avoid delay. 
Also a number of other prisoners whom I understand were 
exchanged long since, but by some oversight were not forwarded 



252 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

until now, I trust such oversight will never happen again. I 
have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yr. Obt. Servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 

From General Butler 

Head-Quarters 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Va. and North Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 25th, 1863 

Brig. Gen. MARSTON, Comd g POINT LOOKOUT 

GENERAL: You will prepare five hundred Confederate Pris 
oners ready to be shipped as soon as the boat arrives, with 
the least delay possible. 

These men are to the extent that the number will permit 
to be convalescents, wounded men so far recovered as to be 
able to travel, being careful to put no one on board whose 
health can by any possibility suffer from the exposure of the 
journey. 

I send this by my Chief Quartermaster, Col. Briggs, who is 
accompanied by Lt. Col. Taylor, Chief Commissary, who will 
be able to consult with you upon their respective Staff Depart 
ments, under your command. I hope to be able to send for 
the men on Monday. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. 18th Army Corps, Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, 

December 25th, 1863 

Brig. Gen. MORRIS, Comd g FORT McHENRY 

GENERAL: I have been informed that there are certain Con 
federate Prisoners captured by the Navy, or by the Army, in 
irons in Fort McHenry under your charge. I do not credit 
the information. If there are any such prisoners who have 
been put in irons within ninety days last past, or being put in 
irons previously, are now, or have been in irons within ninety 
days last past, please inform me officially by whose order they 
were put in irons, for what offence, or supposed reason, how 
long they have been in irons, or, if released, by whose order 
and when. 

Careful and distinct answers to these queries, and any 
other information you may have upon the subject, is needed 
by me as the basis of a representation to the Confederate 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 253 

Authorities in regard to the retaliation on their part for a 
supposed confinement in irons of certain prisoners under your 
command. An early attention to this, that it may reach me 
by Monday to go to Richmond, is desired. I have the honor 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From the Assistant Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, D.C., December 25th, 1863 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE, VA. 

GENERAL : Herewith I send for your information nine letters 
seized at the time of the arrest of Johnston, and in relation 
to which I telegraphed to you within a few days. 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

P. H. WATSON, Asst. Sec. of War 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. Va. & N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 25th, 1863 
Mrs. M. A. TlMBERLAKE, NORFOLK 

YOUR note in regard to your house is received. You have 
forgotten to state one important fact which will be quite 
material in examining your case. That is, whether you are 
loyal to the Government of the U. S. If you are so, I cer 
tainly will see to it that justice is done you in regard to your 
house; if you are not, you will see that I am debarred by the 
Order No. 49, a copy of which I enclose, from even hearing 
your request. Meanwhile, I will refer your matter for inves 
tigation and report. I have the honor to be, 

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

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. Va. & N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 25th, 1863 

Colonel KINSMAN, Supt. Genl. Negro Affairs 

THIS will introduce to you Mr. Tatem, a gentleman who 
comes here from N. J. as Agent of the "Society of Friends," 
who are endeavoring to alleviate the condition of the negroes 
at Yorktown. At their request I have pretty much given up 
the charge of that colony to them, but I find it necessary that 
we should exercise a little more supervision over it. 

Hear Mr. Taiems statement on the subject, and take such 



254 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

measures as may be necessary in the premises. You will need 
to see Gen. Wistar, and will no doubt have his hearty co 
operation. I have the honor to be 

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



From General Butler 

Headquarters, 18th Army Corps, Department Va., & N. Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, December Z7th, 1863 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: On Thursday last, in compliance with your order by 
telegram, I went to Point Lookout, made a full inspection of 
its locality as a Prison Camp, the means of retaining the 
prisoners within and defending it from any attack without, 
and also the condition of the prisoners there confined, and 
made inquiry into the general administration of the affairs in 
that district. 

Immediately upon receiving your suggestion of possibility 
of rescue, I sent the army gunboat, "Gen. Jessup," to report 
to General Marston, and also a very efficient light Battery. 

I am advised that Point Lookout is one of the best situa 
tions, and with sufficient capacity to retain and control all 
prisoners that we have, or are likely to have, in our hands. 

It is entirely defensible owing to its situation, with much 
less than the present force guarding it, against the attack 
of the whole of General Lee s army. 

I found the prisoners well-fed, perfectly well sheltered as 
regards tents, and sufficiently clothed. I send appended a 
memorandum of a conversation, reduced to writing by my 
phonographic clerk, and afterwards sworn to by the six Con 
federate prisoners who were Sergeants of the Cook houses. It 
will be observed that their statement is a complete answer to 
all slanders against the management of the prisoners. 

I found that the internal administration of the post had 
been very satisfactorily carried on by Brig. General Martson, 
who deserves great credit for his efficiency and economy. 
But I think the external arrangements are exceedingly 
expensive. 

All the supplies, whether Quartermaster s or Commissa 
ries , are furnished from Washington, so that bread and forage 
are first to be carried by Point Lookout to Washington, and 
then brought back, and delivered at Point Lookout. 

That necessitates the running of a steamer daily between 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 255 

Point Lookout and Washington. I shall take leave to alter 
the arrangement as to supplies and furnish the supplies 
directly from Baltimore or New York, to be landed at Point 
Lookout without any trans-shipment. 

I also propose that the steamers of the Bay line, running 
between Baltimore and Fortress Monroe, as they pass Point 
Lookout each way on their route, shall stop there for mail 
matter and passengers, so that communication between that 
Point and Washington will be twice as frequent as at present, 
and every day between Fortress Monroe and that Point, and, 
that, too, without any additional expense to the Government, 
and the saving of the steamboat upon the Potomac. 

I have written to the Postmaster General so to arrange the 
mails. This will relieve the services of one steamer plying on 
the Potomac River. 

I find that there has been the sum of $65,000 in cash saved 
from feeding the prisoners, over and above the allowance. I 
propose to use such portion of that fund as may be necessary 
for the purpose of furnishing facilities of transportation in 
exchange of prisoners, which are now chargeable to the 
Quartermaster s Department. 

I have taken five hundred prisoners from Point Lookout 
and sent them to City Point by flag of truce, as opening of 
exchange, and I expect to be able to telegraph you by the time 
you receive this report of the success of the experiment, and 
I will then report at length the correspondence between Mr. 
Ould and myself upon the subject of exchange. 

I have sent none away that did not desire to go. I am in 
formed that large numbers of the prisoners would volunteer 
in our service if thought proper, and to that I see no objection. 
I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., Dec. 11th 1863 

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

Is there any objection to my enlisting as many prisoners as 
may desire to do so, after they know they can be exchanged 
either in regular or volunteer force of the United States, or 

that of any State? T> -o -D ^ n j 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



256 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 



From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va., & N. Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, 

December 27th, 1863 

Hon. M. BLAIR, Postmaster General 

SIR: As you are aware, the Bay Line own steamers convey 
ing the mails daily each way between Baltimore and Fort 
Monroe. These steamers pass directly by Point Lookout, 
which is 72 miles from Fort Monroe. In order to get daily 
communication between that Point and my Headquarters, 
the prisoners there having been put under my charge, I shall 
make arrangements to have the boats of that line stop there. 
Point Lookout is now supplied with postal facilities by a mail 
Steamer down the Potomac, which runs down one day and up 
the next. If you will arrange the mails to go via Baltimore, 
and the Bay Line there can be mail communications between 
Point Lookout and Washington twice as often as at present, 
and that too without any extra expense of transportation 
between Baltimore and Point Lookout, and the expense of 
the Mail Steamer down the Potomac can be saved. 

The passengers going by the Bay Line would more than 
compensate the line for the expense of stopping, and they will 
have time to make their connections. Early consideration of 
this matter as is convenient will oblige, 

Very Respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Head-Quarters, 18th Army Corps, Department of Virginia & North Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 27, 1863 

Col. Jos. HOLT, Judge Advocate Gen. of the U. S., 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

COLONEL: I send enclosed herewith papers in the case of 
Edgar Burroughs, late Major in the Confederate Army, who 
has been tried by Military Commission and found guilty 
capitally. As the case is one of great importance, and involves 
a very important question necessary to be at once decided, I 
pray leave to call your special attention to it. 

In my revision of the proceedings, I have carefully stated 
the facts in evidence, so that you will need but read the revi 
sion to arrive at the questions raised. I have put a mark so 
that you can easily turn to that part of the record. May I 
ask yours and the President s early attention to this matter, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 257 

as I am informed that I may be troubled from Richmond 
upon it. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servt., 

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

From General Butler 

Secretary of War December ZSth, 1863 

I HAVE twelve Brig. Gen ls. in this Dept., and about seven 
teen or eighteen thousand effective troops. Another one has 
just been sent me this morning without application. 

I should like permission to relieve such as I do not need. 
BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., & N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 28th, 1863 

MADAM : Col. West reports to me that you have been appro 
priating to your own use articles furnished for the helpless and 
insane under your charge by the charities of the benevolent 
people of the North. 

The articles taken from you are such as have been furnished 
by the Government and Sanitary Commissions. 

Taking that to be so, and I must take it upon the report of 
my officer to be so, your age only protects you from the sever 
est punishment. A man or woman plundering the insane and 
helpless can have no excuse before God or Man. 

You will be sent by the lines with only the wearing apparel 
and furniture which of right belongs to you, and Col. West 
will be charged with the execution of this order, which will be 
published for the information of all concerned. I have the 

honor to be, rr ,/, 77 ^ 77, 

very respectfully, Yr. oodt. servt., 

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

Headquarters, Department Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. ZSth, 1863 

To the Officer Commanding Forces 

SIR: I am informed that certain persons claiming to be 
friends of the United States and a portion of the military 
forces of the United States, having been recruited in North 
Carolina, have organized themselves at Barcoes Island; lower 
end of Camden County, and that they are there in an unor 
ganized manner without officers, and making excursions into 

VOL. Ill I/ 



258 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the country making captures and doing acts that should only 
be done by regular military organizations. 

Please investigate the matter thoroughly, and report to 
me the exact condition of these men. If they or any of them, 
enlisted in the forces of the United States are there without 
Officers, have them sent to the forces to which they belong. If 
there is any Officer in charge, have him report to these Head 
quarters at once through the Commander under which he 
has acted. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yr. obdt. servt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

Secretary of War December mh, 1863 

FLAG of Truce boat in with 520 returned prisoners. Further 
exchange stopped after sharp debate in Rebel Cabinet. Major 
Mulford will bring despatches by noon to-morrow. No news 
of interest from Charles town or the West. 

BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Maj. General Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va. t & N. Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, 

December 28th, 1863 

Hon. P. H. WATSON, Asst. Sec y. of War 

REFERRING to my telegram of this date, in regard to the 
steamer "Burnside," I enclose a copy of an informal contract 
drawn up between an authorized officer of this Department 
and Mr. Norman Wiard, of New York. I think it covers all 
that we desire in that class of boats and ordnance. 

I have thrown the agreement into form, and enclose you a 
copy which, if you sign, Mr. Wiard will be prepared to sign, 
and the whole matter will be bound. 

In regard to the time, you will see the agreement is not of 
much consequence so far as the "Burnside" and "Foster" are 
concerned, but it is w^ell enough to have it signed to hold Mr. 
Wiard. As to the "Reno" and "Parks," if it suits you, please 
sign it, and of the date of 7th Dec., and forward it in duplicate 
for Wiard s signature. 

I send you a copy of a report to-day to show the use we can 
make of these gunboats. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 259 

From General Butler 

Eon. Sec. of War December 28th, 1863 

ACTING upon the instructions sent me from the department, 
I forwarded to City Point 505 prisoners, officers and soldiers, 
accompanied by a letter proposing an exchange of all the pris 
oners actually held in custody, holding in abeyance all other 
questions relating to the subject between this Government 
and the Rebel authorities, upon the belief that a fair, honor 
able, and just proposition of exchange of prisoners actually 
in custody would be accepted, leaving other questions of differ 
ence to be adjusted by other negotiations. With this in view, 
I was careful that nothing should appear in my note which 
could be made either a cause or pretext for offence. The result 
has been that 520 prisoners of war held by the Confederates 
have been sent back in exchange, and the information afforded, 
being at the Assistant Agent of Exchange, by a letter from 
Robert Ould Confed. Comm r of Exchange which is enclosed, 
- which asserts in substance that unless the U. S. give up every 
claim which they have made in behalf of their soldiers who are 
prisoners of \var, consent to sacrifice the colored soldiers this 
Government has enlisted, turn over their officers to the cruel 
punishments imposed by the pretended law of the Confederate 
Congress, and last, and much the least, consent officially that 
the person to whom the Government has entrusted the com 
mand of this Department shall be executed immediately upon 
capture, and that he and all officers serving under him shall 
be excluded from all the benefits of the laws which regulate 
civilized warfare, and from even the privilege of communi 
cation by Flag of Truce, for such is the tenor of a procla 
mation from Jeff Davis under which they shelter themselves, 
that no exchange can be effected, while our soldiers, prisoners 
in their hands, are to be maltreated, starved, ironed, or hanged, 
as suits their caprice. There is but one way, it seems to me 
to meet this question, and that is by the sternest retaliation. 

From Horace White 

U.S. Senate, Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia, WASHINGTON, 

Dec. <i$ih, 1863 

THE accompanying bill is respectfully submitted to the 
attention of Maj. General Butler, with the request that he 
will favor Senator Wilson with any suggestions that may 
occur to him regarding the same. 

HORACE WHITE, Clk. Com. on Mil. Affairs 



260 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
From Colonel J. M. McChesney 

Headquarters, Sub-District of the Pamplico, WASH, N.C., December 29^, 1863 

Major General J. J. PECK 

GENERAL: Captain J. W. Denny, Chief Provost Marshal 
of this District, informs me that certain charges have been 
forwarded to the Comdg. General against Capt. N. N. Wheeler, 
Post Quarter Master at this place, in which it is asserted that 
Capt. Wheeler is disloyal, and that he is in the habit of sending 
articles beyond the lines of the United States at this post. 
In regard to the first charge, I would state that I believe that 
Capt. Wheeler is a truly loyal man. 

To the second, that nothing could be sent through the lines 
here without being detected by my pickets, and they have 
such orders as would prevent Capt. Wheeler sending anything 
out, should he desire to do so, and, furthermore, without I 
have some proof in the matter, I must believe the charges 
are entirely without foundation. I am, General, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

J. M. MCCHESNEY, Col. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. Va. & N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 29, 1863 

Major General J. J. PECK, Comdg. District of Nor. Car., 

NEWBERN, N.C. 

GENERAL: Your letter enclosing your General Order No. 
46 is received. I trust that I have made up the unintentional 
omission in not speaking of the brilliant affair first mentioned 
in the Order. You will see that we have been doing likewise 
at Charles City Court House. I am waiting for a detailed 
report before issuing a General Order, thanking Col. West s 
Command. I have taken the liberty to forward your Order 
to the Northern press. Please present my personal thanks to 
Lieut. Whitney, 85th New York Vols., for his gallantry and 
coolness, and ask him if he would like a Captain s Commission 
in the Colored Troops. I have the honor to be, 

Your Obt. Servant, R. S. D., Maj. & A.A.G. 
(By command of Maj. Gen. Butler) 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 261 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. Va. & N.C., FBT. MONROE, Dec. ZQth, 1863 

Brig. Gen. E. A. WILD, Comdg. NORFOLK, VA. 

GENERAL: Send out an officer and ten men with a wagon, 
and bring in the property of such colored persons at Mr. 
Tatem s as desire to have it brought in. Affix a copy of this 
order to your order, and the officer by virtue thereof will 
order to report forthwith to me any person who interferes 
with the execution of this order. Choose an officer of firm- 
ness and discretion for this service, and let him leave with 
Mr. Tatem a certificate describing the property taken, and 
why it was taken, and who is the claimant of the property. 

By command of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 
Your Obt. Servant, R. S. D., Major & A.A.G. 

From General Butler 
Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 29^, 1863 

Col. BIGGS, Chief Quarter Master 

I HAVE examined the communication of Capt. R. C. Webster 
as to the occupancy of certain buildings in Newbern for the 
use of his Staff Department, and also his correspondence with 
the special Agent of the Treasury, requesting permission from 
him to take and use the buildings. 

The whole correspondence seems to me to proceed upon a 
mistake of rights and duties. All property in the Rebel States 
occupied by our forces is to be taken first for the use of 
the Army in its several Departments if needed, and of that 
necessity the Officers of the Army are the only judges. When 
any property is not needed by the Army, it is to be turned over 
to the Treasury Agent, and in that case only. If afterward 
any of that same property is needed by the Army, it is to be 
retaken because of the necessity which requires it, and not 
because of the permission of the Agent of the Treasury. These 
Agents are to ask the Officers of the Army w r hat they will 
turn over of the property seized and held by the Army to the 
Treasury; not the Officers of the Army to ask the Agent what 
of the property captured the Army may be permitted to use 
for military purposes. Therefore, if a building or any other 
property captured and held by the Army is needed for mili 
tary purposes, it will be taken whether it may be at the time 
in the hands of the Treasury Agent or not. Of course, I do 



262 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

not mean by this that any Officer shall take anything not neces 
sary for military use, and if he misjudge upon the question of 
necessity you will listen to any complaint concerning any 
abuse in your Dept. in that behalf. 

Any collision with the Treasury Department would be espe 
cially undesirable, because we are all servants of one Govern 
ment, striving, it is to be presumed, to do each his duty in his 
respective sphere. 

A light examination and reflection upon the Act of Congress 
authorizing the appointment of these Agents would, it seems 
to me, prevent all danger of such collision. The Act provides 
solely that the Agents shall gather up such captured, aban 
doned, and scattered property as the Army does not want, 
and return the proceed thereof into the Treasury. And the 
Treasury Agents have no other rights and duties, and I am 
sure that the Hon. Secretary of Treasury would claim no other 
for them. You will forward this note to Captain Webster for 
his guidance, and ask him to hand it to Maj. Gen. Peck, 
Comd g District of North Carolina, for his information. 

Respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 29th, 1863 

Brig. Gen. JAMES BARNES, Comd g at NORFOLK, VA. 

GENERAL: I have received your communication of the 24th 
Dec. to A. T. M. Cooke, Esq., chairman of the stockholders 
meeting of the Norfolk Gas Company, covering the letter of 
Mr. Cooke to yourself relating to the taking of the Norfolk 
Gas Works by the Military Authorities of the United States, 
and beg that you will forward him this communication in 
reply. Mr. Cooke claims for the Gas Light Company that they 
possess very valuable works, for which they now claim large 
compensation from the Government; that the majority of 
the stockholders have duly conformed to the requirements of 
General Order No. 49, and that the Company were about put 
ting the works in order when they were taken by the Govern 
ment for military purposes in violation of the constitutional 
rights of the Stockholders. 

It will be observed, first, that until within a few days a 
majority of these stockholders have acknowledged being and 
been known as having been in rebellion against the Govern- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 263 

ment of the United States, and having endeavored to over 
throw that Constitution about which they now so glibly talk, 
and have only just now taken the oath of allegiance to that 
Government which they have sought to destroy, in conformity 
to the requirements of a Military Order. And even now, 
under these peculiar circumstances, with the oath fresh in 
their mouths, in a communication from the stockholders to 
the Agents of the Government, with their claims of new- 
fledged rights frequently repeated, the word loyalty or alle 
giance to the Government never finds place. They say they 
have conformed to the requirements of General Order No. 
49. That Order requires of them nothing, and more than one 
of them have said, as I am informed and believe, that they 
took the oath to save their property, and that they claim not 
that they are loyal, but that they have taken out a protection. 
Such men, loyal with lip service only, so far as I am concerned, 
have few constitutional rights which I feel much inclined to 
respect. When they become loyal in heart as on lip, and 
speak of taking the Oath of Allegiance to their Country not 
as a requirement but as a duty, it will be time enough to dis 
cuss their constitutional rights. If their property is as val 
uable as they claim it, why have the Company left it to go to 
ruin for many months, without any attempt on their part to 
put the gas works in operation and light the city? Did their 
rebellious proclivities overcome even their love of gain, so 
that they were willing to sacrifice their property rather than 
to aid the United States by lighting it, in protecting their 
city from the robber, the burglar, and the incendiary? Is it 
not true that they have refused the Military Authorities of 
the United States, more than once, to light the city, and con 
tinued in that refusal until after they were informed that the 
works were to be seized upon for that purpose, and the Govern 
ment had incurred expense in that behalf? I should be quite 
inclined as an act of justice to promise in the future monthly 
average rent equal to what they have received for the past 
nine months, as a compensation from the Government for the 
use of their works. 

Their Chairman talks of the economical management of 
the Company as compared with the prospective management 
of the Government, and he certainly ought to be quite satis 
fied if he is assured from the Government the same rent which 
he has received under his own management. 

Exactly what will be done is this. The works will be put 



264 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

in repair more economically by twenty per cent than the esti 
mate which was made for the Company for the repair of the 
works. They will be carried on efficiently and economically, 
so that the City of Norfolk will be fully lighted, and its peace 
and quiet in the darkness of the night be assured, until it is 
made certain that in case of an attack upon the City of Nor 
folk, the Rebel proclivities of the owners will not leave the 
city in darkness as a means of impairing the defense made by 
the United States forces; and when the owners have by their 
works and not by their lips convinced the military authorities 
that they can rely upon their loyalty for aid in repelling an 
invasion of the Rebels, and keeping up of the works to aid us 
in that behalf, then and not until then will the works be 
returned to their custody. 

In the meantime, accurate accounts will be kept of the re 
ceipts and expenditures, and the excess of profits, which no 
doubt will be considerable, will be paid to those who are loyal, 
in the sense of the word as understood by loyal men. You are 
at liberty, General, if you please, to cause this communication 
to be published for the information of other citizens, if any in 
Norfolk, who stand in a like case. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 29, 1863 

To ARNOLD HARRIS, Lieut, in the Marine Artillery and 
Ensign in the United States Navy 

LIEUT.: You will take the armed steamer "Brewster," in 
the United States service, and make an attempt upon the 
shipping in the harbor of the town of Wilmington, using your 
best exertions to destroy all property there afloat, and in 
case you are fired upon, return the fire, although you may 
endanger the town. As that port has been closed for more 
than two years against all lawful trade, there can be no ships 
in the harbor which are not either enemy s property or ships 
of those who are aiding that enemy by running the blockade, 
and in either case are subjects of lawful destruction and 
warfare. 

Much in the success of this expedition depends upon your 
coolness, firmness, energy, and determination. 

It may be, that you may be unsuccessful, or after a partial 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 265 

success, captured. In that case you will be entitled to every 
consideration of good treatment by a brave and honorable 
enemy, because of the very daring of your attempt. If cap 
tured, and exposed to any maltreatment or injury, either in 
yourself, officers, or crew that may be captured, show your 
letter of instructions, and inform your captors that I have many 
men, officers, and soldiers of the Confederate Army and Navy 
within my camp of prisoners at Point Lookout and Fort Nor 
folk, and that I will execute the strictest and sternest retalia 
tion for any injury you or your men shall receive, except in 
honorable warfare, and I think the Confederate authorities 
will have no doubt but that I will keep my word. I have the 

honor to be. T7 ,- 77 ^ , . 

Very respectfully, Your obi. servt., 

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



From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va., & N. Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, 

December 29th, 1863 

Act. Rear Admiral LEE, Commanding, <fcc., 
Off NEWPORT NEWS 

ADMIRAL: I have sent down the army gunboat "Brewster," 
under command of Ensign Harris, detailed to me for service 
under my command, and the "Spaulding," under command of 
Brig. Gen. Graham, for the purpose of making an attempt 
upon the shipping and blockade runners in the harbor of 
Wilmington, and if necessary upon the town. 

Of course the success of this enterprise will depend upon 
the boldness of the attempt, the rapidity of its execution, and 
it is not unattended with serious risk; all of which has been 
weighed. 

I propose that the "Brewster" shall attempt to run in past 
the batteries at Fort Caswell, under the guise of a blockade 
runner. She will then proceed up to the town and do the work 
for which she is prepared. More effectually to disguise her 
from the enemy, I wish you would cause some of the blockad 
ing fleet to chase her in upon a favorable opportunity, to 
be sought for and designated by General Graham. The 
"Spaulding" will lay off for the purpose of rendering her assist 
ance upon her return, or her boats crews, in case she is lost. 

I have directed Ensign Harris to pay special attention to 
the iron-clads within the harbor, if there are any there. 

The crew all know their destination, and have volunteered 



266 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

for the service, and I believe it is not otherwise known outside 
of some member of my personal Staff. Of course I need not 
add a word of caution as to the necessity that the expedition 
shall remain a profound secret. 

Please aid Gen l. Graham and Ensign Harris in any way 
that is possible, covering his return with your guns if prac 
ticable, and affording him every means of relief. I have the 
honor to be, y ery Respeci f u u y ^ Yr . Obt. Servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

December 30th, 1863 

COLONEL HOLT, Judge Advocate General 

I BEG leave to call your attention to the case of James 
Thompson, Co. "I," 3rd Penn. Heavy Artillery, who has 
been capitally convicted in this Department, and proceed 
ings forwarded to Washington on the 18th of Sept. last. He 
has cumbered our Guard-house ever since. Besides, the sus 
pense is more cruel than a capital punishment. 

BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Maj. General Comdg. 

From General Butler 

December SOth, 1863 

Capt. GOODWIN, Quartermaster of NORFOLK 

THOMAS CUNNINGHAM, one of the pilots of the "Merri- 
mac," who by his skill enabled her to sink the "Congress" 
and "Cumberland," is not to be dealt with by the U. S. or 
by its officers, and is to be furnished with no facilities in this 
Department without my orders. We do not mean to give a 
premium for treason. 

BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., Dec. SOth, 1863 

The PRESIDENT 

JACOB BARNES was sentenced to imprisonment for life by 
Gen. Order No. 37 from these Head quarters, which sentence 
was approved by me Nov. 24th, for desertion. I now believe 
that he simply acted under a misapprehension of his duty, 
being a German not understanding his duty. 

Please permit me to remit his sentence if he returns to duty 
and re-enlists during the War. I suppose I have the power now 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 267 

to do so, but the papers are in Washington. This is the first 
time I have ever asked you to pardon anybody. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. Va. & N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 30th, 1863 

A. R. Admiral S. P. LEE, Comdg. N. A. Block dg Squadron 

ADMIRAL: I have the honor to forward for your information 
the following extract from a letter received from Maj. Gen. 
Peck, dated Newbern, N.C., Dec. 26th, 1863. 

"After many delays, the 200 pdr. is mounted. Gen. Wessels 
reports that the ram is as great a mystery as ever in spite of 
all his efforts for clearing up the contradictory rumors. My 
own impression is that the ram has no engine, is not planted 
yet, and will not be ready for some months. It is supposed 
to be near Halifax." I have the honor to be, 

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

From General Butler 

Head Quarters 18th Army Corps, Gerd. Department of Virginia & North Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, Dec. 30, 1863 

To Ad. Master WM. WRIGHT, Comdg. U. S. Steamer "Mystic" 
SIR: A note has been handed to me in these words: 

U.S. Steamer MYSTIC, Off YORKTOWN, VA. 

This pass must be signed by Maj. Genl. Butler and not by 
command of Maj. Genl. Butler. 

By order of ACT. MASTER WM. WRIGHT 
Comdg. U. S. Steamer "Mystic," Ex Officer 

The usual mode of conducting the business of this Dept. is to 
have the passes signed by my command by an Officer of my 
Staff, the Pro. Mar., and Admiral Lee recognizes that course 
of business. Will you either report to him or me why you 
do not recognize it. 

I am as much responsible for that signature as my own; 
and perhaps, while you are reporting upon this subject, you 
will explain why I am to notice a letter signed by an "Ex 
Officer," when you will not respect a pass signed by my com 
mand. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

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



268 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Bruce 

HARTFORD, December 31, 1863 

Major General BENJ. F. BUTLER 

SIR: Will you permit me to call your attention to the case 
of C. B. Dibble, now located as a trader at Newbern, N.C. 

He has sent me copies of your recent order, which gave him 
30 days in which to close up his business there and leave the 
department. This would cause him both a pecuniary loss arid 
damage him in the esteem of all Union men. 

I would therefore ask in his behalf an extension of the time 
for winding up his affairs, within which he may be given a 
chance to clear up to your satisfaction all charges upon which 
the above order was based. I am confident that he can do this, 
as since the rebellion commenced his record as a supporter 
of the Government is clear fitting out three clerks who 
volunteered from his office in N. Y., and paying a bounty of 
twenty-five dollars each to all who volunteered from his native 
town (Granby, Conn.) under the President s call last year for 
600,000 men. I know Mr. Dibble to be true, loyal, and hon 
est, and that he would neither himself or permit others for 
him, do anything whereby the rebels would gain assistance, 
comfort, or information. I am, General, 

Yours Very Respectfully, Gen. B. BRUCE 

State of Conn. Executive Department, NORWICH, Jan. 4^/64 

To Maj. Gen. BUTLER 

I AM personally acquainted with the writer of the within 
letter, who was Quartermaster General of Conn, in 1862, 
and cheerfully say that there is no gentleman in the State 
whose character for integrity stands higher in my estimation, 
or whose word or recommendation I would receive with less 
hesitation than his. 

WM. A. BUCKINGHAM, Governor of Conn. 

From General Butler 

December 3lst, 1863 

Acting Quartermaster General Colonel CHARLES THOMAS 

VESSELS with bills of lading to Newbern, N.C., for the 
Govt. can be transporting various products, the property of 
negroes and others from North Carolina, on their return with 
profit to the United States. Is there any objection to their 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 269 

being re-chartered by private individuals for that purpose, 

after they have fulfilled their contract with the Government? 

I am informed such objection is made by the Quartermaster 

at New York. ^ ^ , , . ~ 

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



From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., & N. Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, 

December 31st, 1863 

Hon. E. M STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to report that General Wild was 
despatched by my order upon an expedition with two Regts. 
of Colored Troops into the North Eastern Counties of North 
Carolina. 

Our navigation on the Dismal Swamp Canal had been inter 
rupted, and the Union inhabitants plundered by the Guerillas. 

General Wild took the most stringent measures, burning the 
property of some of the officers of Guerilla Parties, seizing the 
wives and families of others as hostages for some of his negroes 
that were captured, and appears to have done his work with 
great thoroughness, but perhaps with too much stringency. 
The effect has been, however, that the people of Pasquo- 
tank, Currituck, Camden, Perquimous, and Chowan Counties 
have assembled, and all passed resolutions similar to those 
which I enclose, which were passed by the inhabitants of 
Pasquotank County, and three of the counties have sent com 
mittees to me with their resolutions. 

These resolutions are signed by 523 of the inhabitants of 
the County, the average vote being eight hundred. Every 
prominent man, I am informed by the committee who pre 
sented the resolutions, that has not signed them has left, and 
gone across the lines. The Guerillas have also been with 
drawn from these counties, to the relief of the inhabitants. 

I have promised the Committees of the several Counties 
that so long as they remain quiet, keep out the Guerillas, 
and stop blockading running they shall be afforded all possible 
protection by us, and be allowed to bring their products into 
Norfolk and receive goods in exchange, until I can get suffi 
cient force organized to make it safe to throw my lines around 
them. I have further informed them I shall not require the 
oath of allegiance from them. 

I think we are much indebted to General Wild and his negro 
troops for what they have done, and it is but fair to record that 



270 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

while some complaints are made of the action, authorized by 
Gen l. Wild against the inhabitants and their property, yet 
all the committees agree that the negro soldiers made no 
authorized interference with property or persons, but con 
ducted themselves with propriety. 

I find between some of the Officers in this Department in 
command of white troops a considerable degree of prejudice 
against the colored troops. In some cases, impediments have 
been thrown in the way of their recruiting, and interference 
has been made with them on their expeditions. 

This I am investigating, and shall punish with the most 
stringent measures, trusting and believing that my action will 
be sustained by the Departments. I shall take leave, there 
fore, to report for dismissal such as in my judgment, upon 
investigation, are not fit for the service. 

The negro troops, to have a fair chance, ought to have first- 
class officers, for from their habits of obedience and discipline 
they are more apt to depend upon their officers than are white 
soldiers. 

I beg leave to enclose a copy of General Wild s report, and 
also the original proceedings of the citizens of Pasquotank 
County. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant, 

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

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

ELIZABETH CITY, December Ytth, 1863 

To JOHN Y. ELLCOTT, Capt. of Guerillas 

SIR: I still hold in custody Mrs. Manden and Mrs. Wicks 
as hostages for the colored soldier taken by you. As he is 
treated, so shall they be : even to hanging. By this time you 
know that I am in earnest. Guerillas are to be treated as 
pirates. You will never have rest until you remove your 
present course or rejoin the regular Confederate Army. 

ED. A. WILD, Brig. Gen. of Vols. 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, Dec. 31, 1863 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

SIR: The Secretary of War directs me to acknowledge the 
receipt of your communication of the 27th instant, and to 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 271 

express his gratification at the satisfactory condition of affairs 
at Point Lookout. 

The measures which you have adopted and propose to adopt, 
as stated in that communication, are approved by the Secretary. 
Very respectfully, Your Obt. Servt., 

ED. M. CANBY, Brig. Genl. A.A.G. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 31st, 1863 

Brig. Gen. BARNES 

I RESPECTFULLY return to you the papers in the case of 
Lieut. Henry M. Day, 1st U. S. Colored Troops, with reference 
to your endorsement of the propriety of trying his offence by 
Court Martial. The high respect I entertain for your opin 
ions induces me to furnish you with the information of the 
course of action I prescribe for myself in these cases. When, 
either from personal knowledge or examination by myself, or 
by confession, the fact of the guilt of an Officer is ascertained , 
whatever may be his rank, I order his appropriate punish 
ment. And it may be to be dismissed from the service, subject 
to the approval of the President. A Court Martial is only of 
use to ascertain the facts in regular form, and after, the revis 
ing Officer, the Comd g General in this case, in reality fixes 
the punishment. 

What can be the necessity of the slow action of a Court 
Martial when the fact is already ascertained to the satisfac 
tion of the Comd g Gen. beyond the possibility of a doubt? 
In any case where there could be the possibility of a dispute 
as to evidence, I should send the facts to be ascertained by 
the Court Martial, for I would never punish any man without 
a hearing, except upon his own confession, unless he in fact 
confesses by flight. I think the necessity of prompt and deci 
sive action in the very lax condition as to sobriety of many of 
the Officers in your command, would be of more advantage 
than any possibility of it to be derived from the regular but 
slow action of a Court Martial. I have already pardoned three 
of these offences and dismissed two, and propose to go on until 
Officers in the uniform of the United States shall not debase 
themselves below the meanest of their command by drunk 
enness. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 



272 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., & N. Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, 

December 31st, 1863 

Hon. SALMON P. CHASE, Secretary of Treasury 

Sm: The commander of the Revenue Cutter "Phillipp 
Allen," captured the schooner "Village Belle" from Balti 
more, fitted up with secret apartments for the purpose of 
smuggling whiskey into this Department from Baltimore. He 
seized her, and sent her for condemnation to Baltimore. I 
arrested the owner of the cargo, and had him sent for six months 
at hard labor to Fort Norfolk. 

I learn that by an order of your Department the "Village 
Belle" has been released. Since her release, we have dis 
covered other secret compartments, fitted to contain whiskey 
and containing it. 

I pray she may be reseized and ordered for condemnation. 
I pray that Capt. Slicer, who first seized her, may be ordered 
to reseize her, and that she may be condemned. I have the 
honor to be, y ery Resped f uUy9 y r 0bdL Smi ^ 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. Va. & N.C., FORT MONROE, Dec. 31st, 1863 

Colonel ROBERTS 

I DO myself the honor to enclose a communication from 
Gen. Wild in relation to the loan of the Post Band. Unless 
there is to be some special occasion for it, I should be very 
glad to oblige him. 

I will send a boat to carry them over. Of course I should 
not send them away against your wish, but this is the anni 
versary of the freedom of the blacks. 

By command of the MAJ. GEN. COMDG. 

From President Lincoln 

Executive Mansion, WASHINGTON, January 2, 1864 

Major-General BUTLER 

SIR: The Secretary of War and myself have concluded to 
discharge of the prisoners at Point Lookout the following 
classes: first, those who will take the oath prescribed in the 
proclamation of December 8, and issued by the consent of 
General Marston, will enlist in our service. Second, those 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 273 

who will take the oath and be discharged, and whose homes 
lie safely within our military lines. 

I send by Mr. Hay this letter and a blank-book and some 
other blanks, the way of using which I propose for him to 
explain verbally better than I can in writing. 

Yours very truly, A. LINCOLN l 

From General Daniel Butter field 

NEW YORK, January kth, 1863 

Major General BUTLER, Comdg. etc. FORTRESS MONROE 

DEAR GEN.: The secessionists here have adopted a new 
dodge to save themselves the necessity of recognizing you 
while they avail themselves of your courtesy to communicate 
with their friends and relatives in the south. They address 
their letters to the Commanding General at Fortress Monroe, 
and thus imagine that they follow in the wake of their proto 
type, Jeff Davis, refusing to recognize you while they smuggle 
their letters through under an intentional act of discourtesy. 
I learn this accidentally. It may be made out of whole cloth. 
You will know of course. If you receive letters omitting your 
name and enclosing letters for the north, take it for granted that 
they are from parties feeling as I have stated. It is perfectly 
well known that you command there, the omission of your 
name is excusable if the parties are ignorant of the fact, but no 
one in N. Y. or Baltimore can possibly be without this knowl 
edge, so it has been so often published and so widely known. 
I write hastily, and know you will appreciate my good mo 
tives in posting you on this little shabby trick if it exists. It 
will be entirely superfluous for me to suggest any measure to 
you who know as well how to deal with rebels north or south. 

Very truly and sincerely, yours, 

DAN L BUTTERFIELD, Maj. Genl. 

I am home on a short furlough the ladies ask to be remem 
bered to you. 

From the General in Chief 

War Department, Adjutant General s Office, WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. Uh, 1864 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. Dept. of Va. & N.C. 

FORTRESS MONROE, VA. 

GENERAL: I am directed by the General-in-Chief to inform 
you that the 2nd Mass. Heavy Artillery is now fully organized, 

1 Abraham Lincoln, p. 70. 
VOL. in 1 8 



274 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

and that the third battalion, now in Massachusetts, has been 
ordered to report to you, to be disposed of as you may think 
most conducive to the interests of the service. I am, General, 
Very Respectfully, Your Obdt. Servant, 
THOMAS M. VINCENT, Asst. Adjt. Gen. 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. FORT MONROE, VA., 5 January, 1864 

Brig. Genl. WISTAR, Comdg. at YORKTOWN 

I REC D from Gen l Sedgwick the following telegram : 
"A despatch from General-in-Chief directs such coopera 
tion with you as I can give. I will be ready to do so on 
Sunday, the 7th inst., by vigorous demonstrations on my part, 
unless the weather should render it impossible." 

I am about sending the following reply: "Can you not 
make it to-morrow without regard to weather? I hope to 
strike the point Sunday morning at 6 o clock." 

Is that right, or shall he move Sunday? My reply to him 

awaits your answer. -r> & -D ** n n j 

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

From Mrs. Thompson to General Butler 

ST. Louis, Jan. 6th, 1864 

DEAR SIR: Trespassing upon your valuable time with feel 
ings encouraged by your kindness in trying to get a parole 
for my husband (Brig. Gen. Jeff Thompson), also your liber 
ality towards him, I address these lines to you, hoping they 
may meet your approbation and especial attention. Do not 
think me presumptuous. I feel it a duty I owe my children 
and self to appeal to one in whom I repose the utmost con 
fidence as well as hope of success. I paid a visit to my sister 
in New Orleans, in November. She told me "you were a kind, 
humane gentleman, and relieved the orphans and poor of 
that city after the surrender, that you were calumnated and 
slandered very much by persons who did not know you." I 
should have remained there, but my sister being a Religious, the 
Community do not permit seculars to live with them. I saw 
the General there and obtained a parole of honor, came here. 

I wish to request of you a permit to visit Mr. Thompson 
either at Johnson s Island or Point Lookout, where he is placed 
under your care. I wish you to obtain it from the Secretary of 
War if necessary, for me, and send it to me as soon as possible. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 275 

I have written to him, but he does not understand my situa 
tion at the present time. I have more influence with him when 
I can speak to him than by writing. His ambition led him 
into the S. Army. I am sorry he ever entered it. I am pecul 
iarly placed here, his pretended friends are not mine, and being 
a stranger here, have none of my own. 

My little boy is with me, and we must live, pay our board, 
and have a support. Some of the citizens of St. Joe took the 
house I lived in from me, and one of my children is with Jeff s 
sister. I have been round to get sewing here. The river being 
frozen, there is none to be had, no sale of goods in the stores. 
I have been called by half a dozen names for fear persons might 
be arrested for being seen conversing with Mrs. Jeff Thompson. 
My husband is slandered to my face if I ask for assistance 
from Southern people. You have no idea how difficult it is 
for me to get along, so he must resign and take care of his 
family or we must be sacrificed. For this reason I am desir 
ous to see him and make some arrangements for my family 
before he goes South again. If you can give or get me a per 
mit, do so; it will be an act of charity to me, not assisting the 
S. Cause. One more request, with the permit, send me trans 
portation there and back, as I have no means wherewith to 
travel, no friends to assist. The Southern people are not 
very friendly with me, I am too "Union" and to the Union 
my husband is a "rebel." Please do what you can for me, 
and show this letter to no one, it is for you alone. 

Write to me in answer to this, receive my thanks and a 
grateful heart. My earnest and fervent prayers for your tem 
poral and spiritual welfare. With sincerity and respect, I 

Yours respectfully, EMMA C. THOMPSON 
From General uller 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 6th, 1864 

Brig. Gen. G. MARSTON, Commd g District of St. Mary s 

GENERAL: Information having been received here that a 
small cavalry force of the enemy is roaming about the Counties 
of Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland, and Lancaster, 
Virginia, collecting conscripts, deserters, horses, mules, meat- 
stock, and grain, and sending the same to Richmond and the 
Rebel Army. The Major General Commanding this Depart 
ment commands that you cross the Potomac with such force 
as you may deem necessary, and can be spared from other 



276 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

service, and with the aid of the gunboats at your command 
effect a landing in the above named Counties, capture or dis 
perse any hostile force you may find there, seize and fetch 
away the negroes, live-stock, tobacco, and grain of Rebel 
owners, and also the boats used in carrying men and supplies 
across the Rappahannock. 

The grain, boats, and other property which you cannot 
fetch away, you are authorized to destroy. It is to be hoped 
that large quantities of wood and cattle for the use of the 
prisoners may be thus obtained. 

Respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From the Secretary of State 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, 8 January, 1864 

To Major General B. F. BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE 

GENERAL: Your letter of the 21st ultimo, stating that you 
had reason to believe that M. Paul, the French Consul at 
Richmond, had carried despatches through your lines for 
insurgent agents abroad, and requesting authority to search 
him in future, was duly received. In reply I have to acquaint 
you that the views of this Department upon the subject have 
been communicated to the Secretary of War. I am, General, 

Your very obedient servant, 

WILLIAM H. SEWARD 

From the Secretary of State 

Department of State, WASHINGTON, 8th Jan y, 1864 

The Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: This Department received a letter from Major General 
Butler, under date the 21st ultimo, in which he states that he 
had reason to believe that M. Paul, the French Consul at 
Richmond, was the bearer of communications to the insurgent 
agents abroad and requests authority to search him and his 
baggage when he passes through his lines. In the present 
state of the relations between the United States and France, 
it is not deemed advisable to comply with this request. Meas 
ures will, however, be taken towards compassing, informally, 
the object which General Butler proposes to accomplish by 
the search referred to. I have the honor to be, Sir, 

Your obedient servant, 

WILLIAM H. SEWARD 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 277 

From General Butler 

Head-Quarters 18th Army Corps, Department of Virginia & North Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, Jan. 8, 1864 

Brig. Gen. G. MARSTON, Comdg. POINT LOOKOUT 

GENERAL: The within copy of an Order received by me 
from the President, is sent you for your information and 
guidance. 

You will enlist from the Rebel prisoners under your command 
all those who may desire to enlist in the service of the United 
States, either in the Army or Navy, and you will release all 
such as reside within our lines as in your judgment you may 
think proper and safe so to do, upon their taking the oath of 
allegiance and the parole as prescribed in Gen. Order No. 
49. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

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

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C. FORT MONROE, Jan. 9th, 1864 

Brig. Gen. G. MARSTON 

You will cause every prisoner at Point Lookout to answer, 
taking his answer after he has heard them all. 

First Do you desire to be sent South as a Prisoner of War, 
for Exchange? 

Second Do you desire to take the Oath of Allegiance 
and Parole, and enlist in the Army or Navy of the United 
States, and if so in which? 

Third Do you desire to take the Oath and Parole and be 
sent North to work on public works, under penalty of death 
if found in the South before the end of the War? 

Fourth Do you desire to take the Oath of Allegiance and 
go to your homes, within the lines of the United States Army, 
under like penalty if found South, beyond those lines, during 
the War? 

You will adopt the form set forth in this book, and let each 
signature be witnessed, causing the Oath and Parole to be 
read to each man. The questions to be propounded to these 
men alone and apart from any other Rebel Prisoner Jan. 
llth, 1864. 

THE book mentioned herein will be forwarded in a few days. 
Truly yours, B. F. B., Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



278 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

By General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. Qth, 1864 

General MARSTON 

I WAS driven back by the storm, and obliged to put into 
Cherry Stone, where I lay till last night for want of coal, which 
is my apology for not sending the boat immediately back for 
your raid. I send the "Geo. Washington," which is the most 
commodious boat I have, to report to you. Send her and the 
"Commerce" back as soon as you get through with them. I 
also send you the "Jessup," that you may have a gunboat of 
your own, which is convenient in a joint land and naval 
operation, also commissary supplies for 300 men for 30 days. 
By command of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 
H. H. C., Capt. and A.D.C. 

An Anonymous Letter 

NEW YORK, Jan. 9, 1864 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

A MR. JOHN H. BAKER of the city of Brooklyn has just 
returned from North Carolina by the way of Fortress Monroe. 
He says that he has a big thing there if he is not stopped by 
that Dam Rascal Genl. Butler, who will get his deserts before 
long. He says that you imprisoned the Mayor of Washington, 
N.C., who is a loyal man, and his friends mean to take care 
of you, and that he will lend a helping hand. Baker spent 
most of last winter in N.C., and says that he was a great deal 
within the rebel lines, and that the timber is obtained within 
these lines and sent to a certain point, when they take his 
goods in return pay, and what cost him $110 he got $1000 in 
return. He joins in with all those rebel sympathizers, who 
appear to have an extreme hatred against you. What these 
plans are I do not know or can I find out. He has been a 
secessionist from the commencement of the war, and he will 
do anything to help them and make money himself. His 
operations now are to get lumber and pay for it in goods 
shipped from this post, whether contraband or not will make 
very little difference to him. This is written that you may 
know what is going on in your department, and the informa 
tion can be readily obtained on the spot. He is from his feel 
ing a dangerous man, and he would betray any movement that 
is going on, for which he could get paid. It is better that you 
say nothing about this letter, but put a watch on him, as it 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 279 

is likely he will return by the way of Norfolk, or he may take 
vessel and go to Newbern. 

From Colonel Jourdan 

Head Quarters Sub District of Beaufort, MOREHEAD CITY, N.C., January 24, 1864 

[Not in chronological orderj 

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 9 

Capt. GEO. W. BARTLETT, Provost Marshal, 

BEAUFORT, N.C. 

CAPTAIN: You are hereby ordered to take charge of Mr. 
John H. Baker, and proceed per steamer "Spaulding" to 
Fortress Monroe and deliver said Baker to the Provost Marshal 
at the Head Quarters of the Major General Commanding the 
Department; after which you will return to this Sub District 
with all possible despatch, and report in person to these 
Head Quarters. 

By command of J. JOURDAN, Col. Commanding, 
HENRY M. CONNELLY, Lieut. & A.A.D.C. 

From Governor Pierpont 

The Commonwealth of Va., Executive Dept. ALEXANDRIA, VA., Jan. 9th, 1864 

Col. FRY, Provost Marshal, U. S., WASHINGTON, D.C. 

SIR: I am somewhat astonished to hear from you verbally, 
through Gen. Foster, that there has been no draft ordered in 
Accomac and Northampton Counties, Virginia. There have 
been enrolling officers there for more than a month and I have 
received a great deal of information of one kind and another 
in regard to the enrolling and drafting in that country. It 
occurs to me now that this work may be going under the direc 
tion of some departmental Commander. If so, I hope you will 
arrest it at once. 

I know of no law for a department Commander to order 
and conduct a draft, and it is high time that these irregulari 
ties should be checked. They are doing great mischief. I am 

Yours, etc., F. H. PIERPONT 

P.S. For information on the subject, address Capt. Graham, 
Drummondtown, Accomac County, Va. He is Provost 
Marshal of those counties. 

Jan. 14, 1864 

Endorsements: Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War. 
All I know of the case is that Gen. Butler has been fur- 



280 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

nished by order of the Sec. of War with blanks for making 

JAMES B. FRY, Provost Marshal Gen. 

Jan. 14, 1864 

Respectfully referred to Maj. Gen. Butler, by order of the Sec. 
of War JAMES B. FRY, Prov. Mar. Gen. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 9th, 1864 

Major GIBSON, Senior Paymaster 

MAJOR: I have had a number of complaints that the men 
under my command have been sent many miles to meet Pay 
masters under your charge, in order to get their pay, and this, 
too, since I called the matter to your attention. The next 
instance of such conduct coming to my knowledge I will order 
you and the Paymaster offending both to be dismissed from 
the service, subject to the approval of the President of the 
United States. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

By General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 9th, 1864 

Maj. Gen. JOHN J. PECK 

GENERAL: The General Comd g directs me to order you to 
see to it that the sale of all intoxicating liquors, wine, and 
ale is stopped, and that anybody who offends is punished by 

fine and imprisonment. TT TI r /> j A r> n 

H. H. C. Capt. and A.D.C. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 9th, 1864 

Capt. SEABROOK, 1st N. Y. Mounted Rifles 

TOOK a horse said to be worth $300 from Red River Farm, 
near 30 miles from Norfolk, claiming to be the property of 
J. W. Slade. Capt. S. will report and send forward receipt of 

Quarter Master for the horse. D ,,.77 

Respectfully yours, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 281 

From Thomas E. Gridley to General Butler 

KNOXVILLE, PA., Jan. IQth, 1864 

DEAR SIR: I will consider it a great courtesy and kindness 
in you if you will grant my request, viz., I wish to engage in a 
permanent mercantile trade at Newbern, I wish to do an 
honorable business, and on the account of health would much 
like to go South. As to loyalty and position I respectfully 
refer to you his Excellency, Governor A. G. Curtin and Adjt. 
Gen. Russell. Hoping to hear from you favorably soon, I 

Yours respectfully, THOMAS E. GRIDLEY 
Answer January 13th. No objection. B. F. B. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. IQth, 1864 

ELIZABETH T. UPSHUR, FRANKTOWN, VA. 

MY DEAR MADAM: I have read your note in relation to 
sending colored troops into Northumberland County. If I 
could believe for a moment any of the consequences would 
follow which you detail, it certainly would not be done. Ex 
perience, however, has shown that colored troops, properly 
officered, are less aggressive than white ones in the places 
where they are quartered, from the fact that they have been 
accustomed from their childhood to give up their wills to the 
wills of those who are over them. 

You are entirely mistaken and misinformed as to what was 
done at Elizabeth City. I have had the Committees from four 
Counties, Pasquotank, Currituck, Perquimous and Chowan, 
here, and their universal testimony is that the negro soldiers 
did nothing but what they were ordered to do. 

They committed no acts except under the order of their 
officers. That we had to burn the houses and carry away the 
families of the Guerillas is most true, but it was done under 
orders. I have yet to learn of a single outrage by a colored 
soldier committed upon any one of the people of Norfolk or 
Yorktown, and there are three Regiments at one place and 
four at the other. I can bear the same testimony of the 
negro Regiments, camped near Fortress Monroe, and if I send, 
the negroes to the Eastern Shore it will be because of the 
outrages reported to me of the white troops there stationed. 
Therefore calm your fears. 



282 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I will hold myself responsible that no outrage shall be com 
mitted against any peaceable citizens. 

Very respectfully Yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., January 10, 1864 

Lieut. T. P. ROBINSON, 5th Penn. Cavalry, PORTSMOUTH, VA. 

I HAVE your note, and only ask you for your own sake as well 
as your old father and mother s, who love you as you love 
your wife and child, to live up to the pledge you make therein. 

Think, whenever asked to drink or take liquor, of them all, 
and being assured that safety lies only in total abstinence 
you are safe. Tml Fow ^ BENJ p BuTLER 



From Governor Pierpont 

ALEXANDRIA, Jan. 11, 1864 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE, VA. 

SIR: I was so unwell when I left Norfolk that I could not 
call on you with any comfort to myself. I regret that I saw 
much there which gave me great dissatisfaction. I have been 
laboring since the rebellion broke out in Virginia to re-estab 
lish law and order in the State, at such points as were res 
cued by the Federal arms from Confederate dominion. 

The Government I represent is the government of the State 
of Virginia, as recognized by the President of the United 
States and both Houses of Congress. 

In June last, civil government was established in the cities 
of Norfolk and Portsmouth, by the election of all the civil 
officers known to the laws of the state. The corporation, and 
County Courts were established, and a judge elected for the 
district court. These courts have jurisdiction of all civil and 
criminal business. 

The secessionists, as a matter of course, resisted in every 
way they could the establishment of civil courts under loyal 
jurisdiction, especially as all parties who instituted any civil 
suit had first to take an oath to support the Constitution of 
the United States, and the restored government of Virginia. 
They much preferred going into a Provost Judge s Court, 
where they had no such oath to take; and in this and all other 
ways defeat the restored government, if they could. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 283 

During the summer and autumn I had succeeded, as I sup 
posed, through your predecessor, in breaking up this inter 
ference of Provost Marshal and Provost Judge with civil 
matters. 

But I found, when at Norfolk last, your officers had more 
fully than ever opened these courts, and were intermeddling 
with the civil authorities of the cities in a most licentious 
manner. They had one man immured in the cells of a felon s 
prison, and a guard over his house, because (and for no other 
reason) he was not able to pay a large debt to a New York 
creditor. The Provost Marshal issued an order to the tax- 
collector, ordering him not to sell some personal property 
levied on for taxes. 

While I was there, he sent to the jail and took out two parties 
who were charged with a felony or misdemeanor, and awaiting 
their trial before a civil court of competent jurisdiction, and 
released them. I have understood since I left that he had 
notified the Mayor to remove the man who collected the stall 
fees in the market, asserting that he was going to collect them. 

I see by the papers of those cities that the Provost Judge 
is trying cases called "ejectment," and rendering judgments 
for possession in five and ten days. The clerk of the court in 
Norfolk informed me that they were sending to his office for 
copies and abstracts of deeds, with a view to selling real estate 
for debts. 

Aside from public policy, I need not remind you that this 
Provost Marshal and Judge can make no sale of personal or 
real estate for debts that will pass any title. That due process 
of law spoken of in the Constitution of the United States, by 
which alone a man is to be deprived of his property, never 
meant, and never will mean, the process directed from a 
Provost Judge s court executed by a Provost Marshal. 

But this proceeding has nothing in it to suppress the rebel 
lion, or render the army more efficient, but, upon the contrary, 
its very tendency is to keep up the rebellion, to exasperate 
Union men as well as rebels, and mix everything in inextri 
cable confusion. The proper course, to be pursued by the 
commandant of a department situated as Norfolk and Ports 
mouth are, is so plain that there need be no clash or 
misconception. 

The civil authorities will attend to administering the civil 
and criminal law as heretofore; the military attend to every 
thing that has for its object the rendering of the army efficient 



284 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

and well-disciplined; in the correction of soldiers for miscon 
duct, in cases of conflict between soldier and citizen, I have no 
objection to the military taking cognizance. 

All police regulations to prevent smuggling and giving liquor 
to soldiers may be proper subjects for the military police. 
But as to collection of debts, the trial of citizens for offences 
against citizens, and the rights of real estate, and interference 
in the collection of State and city taxes, and the collection of 
stall fees in the market, the military cannot, and ought not to 
have anything to do. 

I have written you fully and plainly my views on this sub 
ject, hoping that you will take the same view of the subject 
I do. I shall demand that the interference of the Provost 
Marshal in the cases above alluded to be investigated, and if 
found a mere wanton exercise of power, I shall demand his 
punishment. 

Desiring to cultivate the best understanding with you, and 
hoping that we may work together in harmony in the great 
cause of suppressing the rebellion, and restoring peace and 
order to our beloved country. I am, 

Yours etc., F. H. PIERPONT, Governor 



From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jany. 15th, 1864 

[Not in chronological order] 

His Excellency F. H. PIERPONT, Governor of Virginia 

SIR: I have received your letter in relation to the subject 
of the interference of the military with the civil Government 
of Norfolk. Premising that no one can be more anxious than 
myself that the Civil Government of Virginia should have 
every power, and exercise every right, and that every man 
shall be protected under the law, I will content myself at pres 
ent with saying that many of the facts suggested in your note 
are new to me, and some of them the first time brought to my 
notice, and that I will cause immediate investigation to be 
made, and will apply the proper remedy if in my judgment 
any wrong has been done. Of one thing I am certain, you 
must have been misinformed. No man appears before my 
Provost Court who has not taken the oath of allegiance, in 
any capacity except as a criminal, and my instructions are 
that no debts shall be collected save against those who are in 
rebellion against the United States, in favor of loyal citizens, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 285 

and where the property might escape from the honest creditor 
by reason of confiscation. I propose in a few days to call the 
attention of the Legislature to the City Government of Nor 
folk and Portsmouth, and shall ask your aid, if it becomes 
necessary, to see to it that there is some Civil Government 
in those cities. 

The difficulty I find is, that there are all the civil officers 
know T n to the law and none of the Government. I have issued 
an order, a copy of which I enclose, to get the data upon 
which to found such representations, and as soon after the 
20th as may be, I shall bring the matter to your attention. 
I desire to work with you in every harmony to restore Civil 
Government. In regard to the stalls in the market, I have 
only directed an interference to prevent a collection by the 
City Government of a year s rent in advance, which would 
virtually close the market and stop the supplies to my troops. 
And I know you will at once recognize the necessity and propri 
ety of my action in that regard. Inviting most cordially 
through you any information which you may have in regard 
to the working of any measure or the acts of any officer which 
may be supposed to be detrimental to the interests of the 
Government, I remain, 

Very sincerely, Your obt. servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Com g 

From H. B. Anthony to General Butler 

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: I received your letter relative to Capt. 
Lawrence, and called at the War Department, where I saw 
Mr. Watson, the secretary being absent. I had mislaid the 
letter, but I stated its contents to Mr. Watson, who said that 
if you really wanted that or any other appointment on your 
staff, you had only to intimate it to the department. A note 
from you to the Secretary would settle it, but I was not suffi 
ciently possessed of your views to be able to say how much of 
your letter was from a willingness to oblige Capt. Lawrence, 
and how much \vas your own wish on the subject. 

Yours very respectfully, H. B. ANTHONY 

I am glad to see that while we are discussing questions you 
are settling them. Besides that, yours is the best way. I 
think you are generally ahead of us. 



286 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, De$t. Va., 

Jan. 12, 1864 

Hon. ROBERT OULD, Commr. of Exchange, 

RICHMOND, VA. 

SIR: It is reported that you have stipulated if evidence is 
provided that the Officers and Crew of the steamer "Emily 
and Arrow," captured about May 5th, 1863, were in the employ 
of the Quartermaster Department when captured, the Officers 
and men can be released from close confinement, in which we 
are informed they are, and treated like other Prisoners of War. 
I enclose the evidence of the fact for your information, and 
respectfully ask that you will inform me if the Officers and 
Crews of such boats can or are to be treated as Prisoners of 
War. I have the honor to be, 

Very respy., Yr. obdt. servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Commanding 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Dept. Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. I2th, 1864 

Hon. ROBERT OULD, Commissioner of Exchange, 
RICHMOND, VA. 

SIR: Your note addressed to Maj. General Hitchcock in rela 
tion to the appointment by the Government of the United 
States of a Commissioner of Exchange is returned. 

This Government claims and exercises the power of ap 
pointing its own agents to represent its interests, irrespec 
tive of any supposed sanction by the Confederate Authorities. 

No right of declaration of Outlawry by those Authorities 
of any Officer or Soldier of the United States can be admitted 
or for a minute regarded by the Government of the United 
States, as it certainly will not be by the person upon whom 
such intimidation is attempted. 

I am instructed to renew the offer, leaving all other ques 
tions in abeyance, to exchange Man for Man and Officer for 
Officer of equal rank actually held in custody by either party, 
until all Prisoners of War so held are thus exchanged. I take 
leave to express the hope from humane considerations to those 
confined as Prisoners of W ar on either side that this offer will 
be accepted. 

I am further instructed to inform you that unless the Flag 
of Truce sent forward under the sanction by the Command- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 287 

ing General of this Department is recognized and respected 
by your authorities, all further communication between this 
Government and the Confederate Authorities by Flag of 
Truce must cease, however much the loss of its ameliorating 
influence upon the rigors of what ought to be a civilized war 
fare is to be regretted. But the responsibility of such deter 
mination must be left with whom you represent. I have the 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Dept. Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. I2th, 1864 

Hon. ROBERT OULD, Commr. of Exchange, RICHMOND, VA. 

SIR: Enclosed please find receipt of Roll and certificate of 
thirteen men claiming to be Master Mate and Seamen in the 
Confederate States Navy, captured at Accomac, Va., who 
were said to be in irons at Fort McHenry, and because of 
whose confinement certain Officers and Sailors of the United 
States Navy in the hands of your authorities were put in irons 
in retaliation. 

It will be seen in the certificate that they have been received 
by me at Fort Norfolk, and are therein treated as Prisoners of 
War, and are not in irons. One of the men captured at the 
same time made his escape from McHenry. 

I need not call your attention to the necessity of striking 
off the irons from these men whom you hold thus in retaliation. 
Please advise me that it is so done, that I may inform the 
friends of the prisoners. I have the honor to be, 

Very respy., Yr. obdt. servant, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Commanding 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, Adjutant General s Office, WASHINGTON, January 11, 1864 

[Not in chronological 



Major General B. F. BUTLER, U. S. Volunteers, Comdg. 
Department of Virginia <fc No. Carolina, FORT MONROE, 
VIRGINIA 

SIR: By direction of the Secretary of War, Brigadier Gen 
eral Lockwood, Comd g Middle Department, has this day 
been instructed to send to you in irons Beall and his party, 
some fourteen in number, now held in confinement in irons 



288 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

at Fort McHenry. The Secretary directs that on receipt of 
Beall and his party you cause their irons to be removed, 
preparatory to an investigation of their cases which you will 
order, and that as soon as the irons are removed you immedi 
ately send notice of the fact to the rebel agent of exchange. 
Acknowledge receipt. I am, Sir, 

Very Respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servt., 
E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant General 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Depl. Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. llth, 1864 

Hon. ROBERT OULD, Commr. of Exchange, 

RICHMOND, VA. 

SIR: In compliance with previous arrangements, fifteen 
civilians are sent up for exchange for a like number of civil 
ians held as prisoners by your authorities. 

Please receive them and return the men for whom they are 
sent forward. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yr. obdt. servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. llth, 1864 

Maj. Gen. F. SEIGEL 

GENERAL: Your communication of the 4th of January was 
not received by me until the 9th owing to my absence from 
the Department. 

I should be very glad of your services, and if I had a com 
mand which I could give you at all commensurate to the 
respect I have for your soldierly qualities, I would apply for 
you at once. If, as I hope, in the opening of the campaign 
more troops are assigned to me, you may be sure I will not 
forget you. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From H. A. Risley to General Butler 

BALTIMORE, Jan. llth, 1864 

GENERAL: I intended to pay my respects to you in person, 
and talk over Accomac and Northampton Co. matters, and 
some others arising in the agency under my supervision em- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 289 

braced in your department. But I shall be obliged to defer it 
until next week. 

I send you a copy of letter rec d from keeper of Light House 
Point, near the mouth of the Rappahannock, which throws 
some light upon matters about which we have conferred. 
Hoping soon to see you, I am yours with great respect, 

H. A. RISLEY, Sup. Spl. Agent 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. DepL Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. IZth, 1864 

Brig. Gen. E. A. WILD, NORFOLK 

GENERAL: You will order the 10th United States Colored 
to break up their camp at or near Craney Island, and proceed 
to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Head Quarters at Drummond- 
town, there to replace the present force, relieving all officers 
and soldiers on duty there, except the Provost Marshals. 

A copy of this order will be given to the commanding offi 
cer of the Regiment, so that the officers in command there will 
be relieved and report with their troops to Gen. Lockwood. 

The officer in command of the 10th United States Colored 
will caution all his officers that there must be the strictest 
diligence and vigilance, that no outrages of any sort are com 
mitted by his troops, for both he and his officers will be held 
personally responsible by me if any such are committed. 

The inhabitants there fear greatly the quartering of negro 
troops in their midst. I depend upon him and the good con 
duct of his troops to correct that misapprehension, for I assure 
both him and them that the most summary punishment will 
be visited upon them for any breach of discipline, especially 
any that shall affect peaceable men. The Commanding Officer 
will immediately take measures to recruit his Regiment to the 
fullest extent. He will give receipts to all loyal men who have 
taken the Oath prescribed by the President s Proclamation, 
for any slave which may be recruited. He will report to me 
immediately any deficiency in his Officers, incompetency, or 
any vacancy that may exist, that the one may be taken notice 
of and the other filled. 

He will call upon the Quarter Master for the necessary trans 
portation and report to these Head Quarters the execution of 
this Order. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

VOL. Ill 19 



290 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
From P. H. Whitehurst 

NORFOLK, January 12, 1864 

Maj. Genl. B. F. BUTLER 

DEAR SIR: I saw in the Portsmouth Old Dominion of this 
morning the extract of a speech made by Mr. Brownly, of 
Portsmouth, in the House of Delegates of restored Govern 
ment of Virginia, in which I think he misrepresented yourself 
and the Military Government in this department, and hope 
you will not think he spoke the sentiments of the Union 
people of this district, and particularly of this city. 

Having been born and raised here, I believe I know the opin 
ions of the people as well as any one in the district. My brother 
represents the City of Norfolk in the Senate, and know he 
does not entertain any such views as advanced by Mr. Brownly. 
Your course generally has met the most hearty approval of 
the Union party, particularly in relation to the colored popula 
tion, the only course in my opinion that can put down the 
rebellion. 

I and nearly all my family, which is very numerous, are 
slave-holders. y&fy Resped f ullyy p H WHITEHURST 

Reference, Genl. Barnes 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

January 13th, 1864 

J. L. DOZIER, E. H. BEAZELEY, and others, the representatives 

of a sect calling themselves "Christians," in Norfolk and 

Portsmouth, who petition to be excused from taking the oath 

of allegiance and doing military duty 

GENTLEMEN : I have read your petition to General Barnes, 
setting forth your objections to swearing allegiance to any 
earthly government, in which you therein establish, to your 
own satisfaction, three points. 

First. That government, although an evil, is a necessary 
one. 

Second. That for a time it is permitted to exist by the 
wisdom of Jehovah. 

Third. That the time of its existence at which a period is 
to be put to its existence is not yet come. 

Therefore (you) ought to swear allegiance to the Govern 
ment of the United States. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 291 

First. Because, although an evil, you admit it to be 
necessary. 

Second. Although an evil, you admit that it is permitted 
by the wisdom of Jehovah, and it is not for His creatures to 
question the wisdom of His acts. 

Third. You only claim to be excused when Jehovah s gov 
ernment is substituted, which period has not yet arrived. 

I have the honor to be 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
B. F. BUTLER, Major-General, Commanding 

Official Records, War of Rebellion, Series 3, Vol. IV, page 29. 



From R. S. Fay, Jr. to General Butler 

BOSTON, January 13th, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: I have yours of 9th, and thank you for 
your attention to Mr. Coolidge s 6 letters, which was most 
gratifying to his family. 

My present idea about Middlesex stock is to divide 50% 
in stock, making the capital $750,000. It will then be in the 
same relative basis of capital and production as the Wash 
ington & Salisbury, and I do not want to make the stock 
larger or we shall be at a disadvantage as compared with them. 

I am meditating some cotton operations in Tennessee, for 
which I require the confidence of Genl. Hurlburt in my integ 
rity and good faith, rather than any credit, as the operations 
are of a confidential character. I can find no one here who 
knows him, and it has occurred to me that as a brother officer of 
the same rank, a letter from you saying simply that I am a 
man of good position and character and whose word may be 
trusted would not be inappropriate. Should you see no objec 
tion, and can find time to send me such a letter, you will do 
me a favor. I shall soon have to make a new arrangement 
with Wendell l and Perry, 1 and must pay them more. We are 
making too much money to be able to afford to change our 
organization at present, and the great profits which are being 
made by men of their skill and capacity make it only just to 
increase their compensation. 

Your management of the Exchange matter is watched with 
intense interest here, and if you succeed in carrying it through 
effectively it will be the greatest possible feather in your cap. 

1 Manufacturing and selling agents for the Middlesex Company. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I saw your brother a few days since, he says he is much better, 
but looks dreadfully pulled down. 

Sincerely, yours, RICHARD S. FAY, JR. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars, Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. I7th, 1864 

[Not in chronological order^ 

Maj. Gen. S. A. HURLBURT, Comd g 

GENERAL: Richard S. Fay, Jr., Esq., of Boston, a gentle 
man at the head of one of the most prominent manufacturing 
companies of our State, has been known to me for years for 
the highest integrity and business capacity, in whose dealings 
and undertakings the utmost confidence may be placed. Mr. 
Fay is of pecuniary ability, he may answer any engagements 
assumed. 

Understanding he may have some business in your Depart 
ment, I desire specially to commend him to your favor. I am, 

Very truly yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From H. L. Dawes 

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jany. 13, 1864 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE 

DEAR SIR: You may have observed my vote against lay 
ing upon the table Fernando Wood s resolution of investiga 
tion into your official conduct at New Orleans. It is due to 
myself, although of no consequence to you, that I should say 
that my vote was influenced by no desire to make the slight 
est charge against your official conduct, but solely by a 
determination to shrink from no investigation asked, let it 
come from whatever quarter and in however objectionable 
a shape. I am, 



From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 13th, 1864 

To Senior Naval Officer Comd g Potomac Flotilla 

SIR: I have given permission to Wm. Hopkins, his agents 
and servants, to get out the produce in Northumberland and 
Lancaster Counties, Va., and to go up the bays and creeks for 
that purpose. He has also the permission of the Secretary of 
the Treasury. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 293 

You will observe the conditions on the back of this permis 
sion, a copy of which is enclosed herewith. I wish you would 
please furnish him every facility as to passing your guard 
boats, causing his vessels to report to the Revenue Officer on 
your station going to and from. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 13th, 1864 

Brig. Gen. WM. BIRNEY, U. S. Vols. 

GENERAL: Your communication in regard to Southron s 
slaves is received. You may send them to Point Lookout with 
their effects, from thence to be forwarded to Fortress Monroe 
by the boat which will return after Gen. Marston finishes his 
expedition. Direct them to the care of Lieut. Col. Kinsman, 
Superintendent of negro affairs. In regard to the occupation 
of the house, I see no objection to it if it becomes necessary 
for a Hospital, but for that I refer you to Gen. Marston, in 
Command of the District if it is in St. Mary s County; other 
wise I have no control over it. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From F. A. Hildreth to General Butler 

LOWELL, Jany. 13, 1864 

MY DEAR BUTLER: I shall start for New York to-morrow 
morning, & shall remain there about a week. What shall I 
do with the tobacco? 

I expect Harriet will start for the Fortress some day next 
week. I shall meet her at New York, unless she finds some 
one to go directly through with her & the children. Lauretta 
and Mrs. Read go with me. All well. 

Truly yours, FISHER A. HILDRETH 

From A. J. Butler to General Butler 

NEW YORK, Jan. 13th, 1864 

DEAR BROTHER: A thousand thanks for your kind letter; 
it is the first thing that had any heart in it (except mother s) 
that I have seen for a long time. 

You say, why don t you go south? if I make any change, 



294 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

it will be for the hills of New Hampshire. I wish you would 
tell your folks to close up that tobacco. There is a little excite 
ment in it, and I do want to see the figures, although it makes 
a terrible loss, and send Field, who is in Lowell, the memo, 
to close by. 

I spent last week with Mother; one week more and she would 
have killed me with kindness. God help and prosper you. 

ANDREW 

P.S. I drew the paper you spoke of when we last met, and it 
is directed to you. 



From H. J. Moore to General Butler 

FORTRESS MONROE, VA., Jan. 14, 1864 

GENERAL: During a visit to Beaufort, N.C., last summer it 
was suggested to me that there was great need felt of a saw 
mill, to supply the market, both there and at the North, with 
hard pine lumber and having had considerable experience 
in business, my friends advised me to engage in it. Accordingly, 
I applied to Col. Heaton, Special Treas. Agent for that dis 
trict, for a permit to erect such a sawmill. 

This permit was granted me Nov. 30, allowing me to erect 
the mill, but restricting me to sawing lumber for domestic 
purposes; stipulating expressly that I must not ship any 
lumber technically known as ship timber. 

Being prevented by circumstances not within my control 
from laying the subject before you, I have proceeded to act 
on Col. Heaton s permit, and now have in process of erection 
a mill capable of sawing not only lumber for domestic pur 
poses, but well arranged to turn out ship timber of any size. 

This mill is situated on a point of land about three miles 
from Morehead City, known as Crab Point. 

I am especially desirous, General, of obtaining from you 
permission to ship all kinds of lumber to market. I should 
wish, of course, to serve Government first, whenever the prod 
ucts of the mill were needed for its purposes. But I fail to see 
the reason why ship timber should be excluded from my permit. 

I would also most respectfully request you to allow officers 
in that Department to afford me such facilities as are needed 
in towing vessels in and out of the harbor and in minor matters 
of transportation for myself in prosecuting this enterprise. 
They are such as I cannot obtain without such officers co- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 295 

operation. I also desire to be instructed by you as to the 
amount of taxation for which I am liable. In purchasing this 
mill, the owner added a five per cent government tax in his 
estimate, which I paid. On the arrival of the mill at More- 
head, the Collector demanded six per cent, for which I have 
given bonds, pending the decision of the question. Shall I 
pay this additional tax? 

Awaiting your order on the above subjects, I remain, General, 

Your very obedient servant, 

H. J. MOORE, Beaufort, N.C. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONBOE, VA., 14 Jany. 1864 

P. H. WATSON, Asst. Secy, of War 

I SHOULD like two hundred (200) of the best condemned horses 
in the Corral in Washington to be sent here for the use of the 
negro regiments in this Department. Also leave to use those 

which we have here. r>-r<-r> n/r n n j 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Virginia, & North Carolina, 
FORTRESS MONROE, January lth, 1864 

lion. P. H. WATSON, Asst. Secretary of War 

SIR : Herman Wiard of New York, proposes to furnish three 
steamboats, with their equipment and ordnance Stores, for the use 
of the Army in this Dept., in accordance with the memorandum 
of a contract wiiich I forwarded to the Department some days 
since. I believe such boats will be of use to the service. Will 
you please order an inspection of them by the Authorized Board, 
and if the report be satisfactory order them to be purchased. I 

have the honor to be, T/ n , f 77 ^ 

Very Respectfully, Yours, 

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

TELEGRAM. FORT MONROE, VA., Jany. 13, 1864 

To the PRESIDENT 

I RESPECTFULLY ask permission to visit Washington upon a 
personal business, to adjust some accounts, to get some vouch 
ers and evidence in a suit commenced against me, which I 
cannot obtain without personal attention. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major General Comd g. 



296 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From George S. Boutwell 

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15th, 1864 

Major Gen. BUTLER, Com d g. FORTRESS MONROE, VA. 

MY DEAR SIR: On the day succeeding our interview at New 
Hooper s, I called upon Secretary Stanton, and he at once 
accepted your suggestion that the correspondence in relation 
to prisoners might be published, and stated that he would send 
it to Congress on the following Monday. 

I have not seen Mr. Stanton nor heard of the correspond 
ence since that interview. Whether he has changed his pur 
pose or forgotten the circumstances I cannot say. When I 
can see him without making it a special matter of inquiry I 
will endeavor to ascertain the facts. There is nothing of 
interest in this city. 

Most Truly Your Friend and obdt. servant, 

GEO. S. BOUTWELL 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Dept. Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. I5th, 1864 

Major General E. A. HITCHCOCK, Commissioner of Exchange, 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

GENERAL: Allow me to recommend the release of Gen. 
Thompson, and the two gentlemen he mentions, on parole not 
to take up arms until exchanged by us. 

I do it in consideration of the extreme kindness and courtesy 
shown by him in saving the lives of a valuable Officer and 
men when in command near me in Louisiana. 

Please telegraph if I may give the order when he comes to 
Point Lookout. I have the honor to be, General, 

Very respectfully, 
B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 15 Jany.. 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secy, of War 

WHEN shall we expect you here to go down to Newbern? 

I will go down with you, and will make you as comfortable 
as possible. The weather is very delightful. 

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



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 297 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C.. FORT MONROE, Jan. 15th, 1864 

Major Gen. JOHN J. PECK, Comd g District of 
North Carolina 

GENERAL: You will instruct your Provost Marshals to col 
lect the one per cent tax on permits for all goods landed at 
Morehead City for the purpose of sale or trade, other than 
family supplies. 

Also please to suggest to Col. Heaton whether it is not his 
duty to collect the five per cent Revenue tax on all goods 
landed at Morehead City. I am informed that there is a smug 
gling operation going on by landing the goods at Beaufort, 
and then passing them over into Morehead City, and avoid 
ing the duties. This cannot be known to Col. Heaton or he 
would have taken notice thereof. Beaufort is an open port, 
but all goods going out into the country must pay the proper 
Revenue taxes. I have the honor to be, 

Most respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 15th, 1864 

Brig. Gen. BARNES, Comd g at Norfolk 

GENERAL: I forwarded you the letter of Miss Chase as 
a specimen of a number of requests I have had that Capt. 
Johnson your Asst. Adjt. Gen. may be retained in Norfolk, 
because of their appreciation of his soldierly qualities, his 
true Union sentiments, and gentlemanly conduct. 

But Capt. Johnson being your Asst. Adjt. Gen., I wish to 
take no steps to deprive you of him, therefore I submitted the 
question to you. I know all this has been done without the 
knowledge of Capt. Johnson. If you desire him to stay, and 
upon conference with him will suggest in what way that stay 
can be made pleasant to him, I should be glad to co-operate. 

I am sorry to say that while I appreciate the compliment 
paid in declining to give the advice sought by my endorse 
ment of Miss Chase s letter, I am obliged to receive it only as 
a compliment, not as a fact. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Com g. 



298 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 



By General Butler 

Hdqrs. Eighteenth Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia and N. Carolina, 

FORT MONROE, VA., January 16, 1864 

GENERAL ORDERS No. 10 

To correct a misapprehension which seems to exist with 
the officers of this command as to their powers and duties in 
taking property for military purposes, and their accounta 
bility therefor; to afford just protection to peaceable and 
quiet citizens from unauthorized and lawless acts, and to 
enable them to obtain speedy redress and remuneration there 
for, if found loyal; to allow the taking, in an orderly manner 
only, such property and material as may be necessary and 
useful for military purposes, or to deprive the enemy thereof 
if likely to fall into their hands, or if found in the hands of 
those in rebellion or aiding the enemy; to give full force and 
effect to the example whenever it is found necessary to punish 
summarily offenses by the destruction of the property of 
offenders, it is ordered: 

I. That private property of a peaceable inhabitant shall 
be seized only when needed for the use of the troops, either 
for shelter, transportation, fuel, or food, or from known ene 
mies, to be turned over to the agents of the Treasury. 

Secondly, it may be taken or destroyed in order to deprive 
the enemy thereof, when in danger of falling into his hands, or 
to prevent its use by the enemy. 

Thirdly, it may be destroyed as a summary punishment for 
offenses such as discharging a musket by a citizen from his 
house upon a body of troops, or setting poisoned food before 
soldiers, or murder within a house, or using the house and 
property to secrete murderers, or as a rendezvous for felons, 
and the like. 

In each of these cases the act can be done only by the order 
of a commissioned officer, in command of an army expedition, 
separate detachment, or post. 

II. It has been brought to the notice of the commanding 
general that there is a reluctance on the part of officers seizing 
property, either as a military necessity or upon orders, to give 
to the party claiming certificates showing such seizure, there 
by leaving themselves liable to the imputation of having carried 
away property which they have not in fact taken, and exposing 
the United States to claims sometimes unfounded and always 
exorbitant. There should be no hesitation in giving such cer- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 299 

tificate. It does not add to the responsibility of the officer, 
but, on the contrary, is a protection both to himself and the 
Government. No officer should do an act which he is not 
willing to certify having done. It is therefore the duty of 
every officer taking any property from any peaceable citizen, 
whether loyal or disloyal, to give a certificate to the party, 
claimant, or person from whom it is taken, containing an accu 
rate inventory of the property, the time when and place where 
and person from whom taken, with the name, regiment, and 
company, as the case may be in full, of the officer actually 
making the seizure, whether that seizure is made upon that 
officer s own responsibility or under orders from his superior, 
and to make a report of the same to his immediate commander. 
Such certificate should also state whether the property 
taken is that of a loyal or disloyal citizen, to the best of the 
information of the captor. 

III. In case it becomes necessary, for military purposes, 
to destroy any houses, buildings, or other property, a certifi 
cate stating the cause of the act should be given by the officer 
making the order or doing the act to the person claiming, or 
it should be affixed to the nearest prominent object, if practi 
cable, and in each case a report made to the immediate com 
mander of the act done and of the certificate given. 

Any officer taking property of a citizen for any purpose 
whatever, whether loyal or disloyal, without giving such cer 
tificate to the claimant, or destroying any property without 
such certificate, and reporting the act as above provided, shall 
be deemed to be and held guilty as for unauthorized and cause 
less plunder and embezzlement of the property taken, or for 
an unjustifiable destruction of property, as the case may be. 
In such cases the commanding general will not too much 
invoke the aid of a court-martial in punishing the offenders. 

IV. Cases of difficulty have arisen where the negroes, for 
merly slaves, joining the troops of the United States, on 
marches and expeditions, with intent to come within our 
lines for protection, bring with them property of their former 
masters. 

While the theory adopted by some officers that all the 
property in the rebel States belongs to the negroes, because it 
is the product of their labor, is theoretically true, yet it is not 
such a truth as can be made the foundation of Government 
action. Therefore negroes, while they are to be induced to 
join our marches and expeditions, are not to be allowed to 



300 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

bring with them any other than those personal effects which 
have belonged to them, or such property as the officer com 
manding may order. 

If it becomes necessary to take means of transportation 
from their masters, it is to be receipted for by the officer in 
command, as in other cases, stating the purpose for which 
such transportation is taken. 

V. Competent officers make good soldiers; efficient officers 
can prevent outrage and plunder on the part of their men. 
All officers will be held strictly responsible for the acts of their 
men, and will be held to make good all plundering by the 
troops under their immediate command. 

In punishing the offenses of plundering, the inquiry at 
these headquarters will be, not which men did the act com 
plained of, but who was the immediate commander of the 
men liable for the outrage. 

VI. All property seized as above provided must be ac 
counted for or turned over to the quartermaster or provost- 
marshal, to be taken upon their accounts, or the officer 
under whose command it is taken will be held liable for 
embezzlement. 

By command of MAJ. GEN. B. F. BUTLER: 
R. S. DAVIS, Major and Assistant Adjutant-General. 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. XXXIII, Page 549. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Virginia, & of North Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, 

January 16th, 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: I have the honor to return the papers transmitted to 
me in relation to the case of Mrs. A. E. Fuller, whose house 
was taken for military use in New Orleans. The history of 
the transaction is this. Mrs. Fuller, a loyal lady of the North, 
owns a house in New Orleans, upon which some persons 
there made claim. At the request of Mr. Jacob Barker, her 
Agent, I interfered to get him possession of that property, and 
made special exertions, because Mrs. Fuller was well known 
to me, and her brother and family were among my intimate 
friends, to protect it. It was taken possession of and occupied 
by an Officer from the 7th of November, (1862) to the 16th of 
December, (1862), when I turned over the command of the 
Dept. to General Banks, and up to that time the house was 
better for the occupancy, and not a scar was upon it, or a 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 301 

single injury inflicted. What has happened since I only learn 
from the papers submitted to me. It was not used during the 
time for a Cavalry Hospital, for I had no cavalry in that neigh 
borhood. I see from the papers submitted to me that it was 
returned on the 27th of June 1863, very much injured. 

It will be seen that under my administration it was occupied 
forty (40) days, under the administration of General Banks 
was occupied one hundred and ninety three (193) days, there 
fore the Honorable Sec y. of War will judge of my surprise, 
if I could be surprised at anything that might happen in the 
Department of the Gulf since I left it, to read the endorsement 
of Gen l. Banks that the occupation of the house occurred 
during "my" administration, and was one of the many cases 
of which he had no knowledge, and could not approve, for the 
reason that the use of the property was not authorized by 
"him," and that no record of such authority is to be found in 
the Department, when the very paper on which the endorse 
ment is made by Gen l. Banks shows the fact forty (40) days 
of the occupation was under my administration, and one 
hundred and ninety three (193) days under his. That no 
record of it has been made, is doubtless true, and as little 
singular. But the want of method and system in his own 
administration should not be charged to my account. There 
fore, these papers are respectfully returned to the Secretary 
of War, with the assurance that I will see that Mrs. Fuller is 
paid for the forty (40) days occupation by the military, by 
my order, without injury to the property, whether or not 
Gen l. Banks will see my neighbor and friend Mrs. Fuller 
paid for the one hundred and ninety three (193) days occupa 
tion of her property, under his administration, wherein it was 
returned to her greatly damaged. Any further information 
which is desired of me in the case will be most cheerfully 
given. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 
From General Banks 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, 19th Army Corps, OPELOUSAS, LA., May 5th, 1863 

ENot in chronological order] 

Mrs. ANNIE E. FULLER, WATERTOWN, MASS. 

MADAME: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your letter referring to the condition of your house in New 



302 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Orleans. I have been absent from that city for many weeks, 
and the Quartermaster having charge of that class of prop 
erty has also been absent on duty at Washington. He has 
recently returned. I will make immediate inquiry into the 
condition of the house described, and will aid you in any way 
in my power. 

Doubtless the Government will reimburse you for any injury 
you may have sustained by the occupation of your premises 
for Hospital purposes. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient Servant, 
N. P. BANKS, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From Captain J. W. McClure 

Office Chief Quartermaster, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, June 27, 1863 

[Not in chronological order]] 

THE property of Mrs. A. E. Fuller is hereby released; she 
having shown me satisfactorily of her loyalty through Jacob 
Barker, Esq., her agent. The property is turned over to Mr. 

J. W. McCLURE, Capt., & Asst. Qr. Mastr. 
From General Banks 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, 19th Army Corps, NEW ORLEANS, July 24fA, 1863 

[Not in chronological order] 

Mrs. ANNA E. FULLER, WATERTOWN, MASS. 

MADAME: I am directed by the Major General Commdg. 
to inform you, in reply to your letter of March 12th, that 
you do not state where the house referred to is situated, nor 
the time that it was occupied as a hospital. Without the 
information it will be impossible to do anything in regard to 

the matter. T/ ^7/1^ rn. ^ o 

Very Respectfully, Yr. Obdt. berw., 

G. NAMAN LIEBER, Maj. & A. A. A. Gen. 
From P. T. Conners 

University Hospital, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, October 21s/, 1863 

[Not in chronological order] 

I HEREBY certify that on the 15th of November, 1862, 
when attached to the Regular Artillery Battalion, Capt. R. 
C. Dungda, 1st U. S. Artillery Commanding, I found a build 
ing occupied for Hospital purposes, which was so used at the 
time of breaking up of the Battalion February 5th, 1863. 
P. T. CONNERS, Asst. Surgeon, U.S.A. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 303 



From Jacob Barker 

NEW ORLEANS, October 31st, 1863 
[Not in chronological order] 

THIS is to certify that I have the care of Mrs. Annie E. 
Fuller s property in New Orleans during her absence; that 
her house on the upper side of St. Charles Street, near the 
La. Avenue, was taken possession of by the Military Authori 
ties of the United States on or about the 7th of Nov. 1862, 
and occupied many months as a Hospital for the Cavalry 
force stationed in the neighborhood; that when thus taken 
possession of, the house and outbuildings and gardens were 
in good condition, and when restored in June 27th, 1863, the 
whole was in a very dilapidated state, the gas fixtures greatly 
injured, the locks and a door taken away, the garden, house, 
outbuildings, and yard left open, the house taken possession 
of by idlers, and the garden by goats. 

JACOB BARKER 

The UNITED STATES 

To Mrs. FULLER, Dr. 

For Rent of residence for Hospital purposes, situated on Dryade Street, 2nd door 
below Louisiana Avenue, in the Dept. of the Gulf, from the 7th of Nov. 1862, to the 
27th of July, 1863, being 8 mos. and 20 days, at $40 per month. 



From Governor John A. Andrew 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Department, BOSTON, November 23rd, 1863 

[Not in chronological order] 

Major General N. P. BANKS, NEW ORLEANS 

I BEG leave to introduce to you Mrs. Eugene Fuller, whose 
husband was a son of the late Hon. Timothy Fuller, and 
brother of the Countess Ossoli (Margaret Fuller). Mrs. 
Fuller has gone to New Orleans for the purpose of looking after 
her affairs there, and has lost time by being sent from one 
official to another to no purpose. Her house in New Orleans 
having been injured by the soldiers, and a portion of the rent 
remaining unpaid, and having already lost by the war, her 
means are so reduced as to be insufficient for her comfortable 
support. If you will advise Mrs. Fuller in the matter, I shall 
consider it a favor, and I have the honor to remain, General, 

Respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servant, 

JOHN A. ANDREW 



304 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 
From Surgeon R. H. A. 

Medical Director s Office, Headquarters, Dept, of the Gulf, December 16th, 1863 

[Not in chronological order] 

THE property of Mrs. Fuller was seized during the admin 
istration of General Butler. There is no written authority on 
file in this office to use the House for a Hospital. I believe the 
statement of Dr. Cowen, U.S.A., and Mr. Barker. I would 
recommend that Mrs. Fuller be paid for use of house up to 
date June 27th, 1863. 

R. H. A., Surgeon U.S.A. Med. Dirctr., 

Department of the Gulf 

From General Banks 

Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, NEW ORLEANS, December 16, 1863 

[Not in chronological order] 

THE papers enclosed of Mrs. A. E. Fuller are respectfully 
transmitted to the Secretary of War. There is no doubt of 
the loyalty of this lady, or of her statement as it regards her 
property, but occurring during the administration of General 
Butler, no record of the facts, or of the orders upon which it 
was taken, is to be found in this Department. 

This is one of the very numerous claims which I do not like 
to approve, for the reason that the use of the property was 
not authorized by me, and that no record of such authority is 
to be found in this Department. They are subjects properly 
to be referred to a commission, with authority to make judi 
cial investigation and decision as to the rights of claims on the 
Government, and this paper is referred for this purpose. 

N. P. BANKS, Major General, Commanding 

Endorsed: Respectfully referred to Maj. Gen. Butler for such 
information as he may be able to give. 

By order of the SECRETARY OF WAR 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va., & No. Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

January Wth, 1864 

Hon. P. H. WATSON, Asst. Secy, of War, 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

DEAR SIR: As you are ex-officer Chief of Ordnance, at 
any rate interested in having things done that ought to be 
done, I apply to you in the present difficulty. As you are 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 305 

aware, we are endeavoring to arm some light-draft gunboats 
for the protection of the inland waters and to stop smuggling. 
For the boat service we want some short Ballard rifles, some 
pistols and cutlasses. We made requisition on Gen l. Ramsey 
for them, and he kindly informed us we could not have them 
unless for cavalry. The information was so like that which 
used to be furnished me by General Ripley that I looked to see 
if his name was not signed to the letter. 

The arms are wanted for boat service. The boats have been 
bought and equipped at great expense to the Government, 
and the proper small arms are now wanted for their efficiency. 
The question is a plain one, shall all the expense the Govern 
ment has been put to be thrown away for want of proper arms ? 
I enclose a new requisition which covers what I want. May I 
ask your efficient aid in seeing that it is got through at as 
early a day as possible? I have the honor to be, 

Most Respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servt., 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Commanding 



Copy of Requisition 

500 Carbines, Ballards or Sharps. 
500 Carbine Slings. 
500 Carbine Swivels. 
500 Carbine Cartridges Boxes. 
500 Carbine Cartridges Boxes Belts and Plates. 
500 Cap Pouches. 
300 Cutlasses. 
300 Belts for Cutlasses 
200 Navy Revolvers. 
200 Cartridges Box for Navy Revolvers. 
200 Cartridges Box Belts. 
110,000 Cartridges for Carbines. 
40,000 Cartridges for Navy Revolvers. 



From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. IQth, 1864 

GEO. D. POOL, JNO. J. GRANDY, G. W. BROOKS 

GENTLEMEN: I have received your letter proposing the 
following questions to me, and asking an answer. 

First. "Your general policy towards this section, if the 
people remain quiet and peaceful?" 

Answer. To let you alone, except to furnish you every facil 
ity to get family supplies, and to market your provisions 
within our lines. 

VOL. Ill 20 



306 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Second. "Whether raids will be permitted or not in the 
future, and if permitted, how to be conducted?" 

Answer. There will be no raids permitted within your 
County, unless some act of hostility to the United States is 
committed by some person therein. And when ordered, 
private property of peaceable citizens will not be destroyed 
except from military necessity and in punishment for the 
crimes of the owners. 

Third. "What will be required of those Rangers who lay 
down their arms and remain at home?" 

Answer. Nothing except to take the Oath of Allegiance and 
Parole to the U. S., and remain quiet thereafter. The certif 
icate of that oath will protect them provided it is kept in 
good faith. 

Fourth. "What will be required of those parties hereto 
fore engaged in contraband trade, who wish to remain at 
home?" 

Answer. They can remain at home after having taken the 
Oath of Allegiance. 

I have put the requirement of the Oath of Allegiance to 
the parties heretofore in arms, and engaged in contraband 
trade, and thus aiding the rebellion, because those are the 
terms of the President s Proclamation. Amnesty is granted 
them on the condition of their taking the oath. I do not require 
the oath of those who have been peaceable citizens, until I 
can throw around them my lines and afford them protection. 
Amnesty to those actively engaged in the rebellion is pardoned 
for the crime to which the Oath of Allegiance is the title. 

In regard to the case of Major Rogley, he may be permitted 
to remain at his home so long as he remains quiet, upon tak 
ing the Parole annexed to General Order No. 49, a copy of 
which I enclose. From his peculiar relations and situation 
the oath is not required. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., January 16th, 1864 

JOHN J. HACKETT Esq., NORFOLK, VA. 

MY DEAR SIR: I am pleased to acknowledge my obliga 
tions to you for a copy of your "Notes and Criticisms on 
Shakespeare." 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 307 

Whoever elucidates the text of that great Poet, whose writ 
ings have been not irreverently said to be next to the Holy 
Scriptures, "a well of pure English, undefiled," confers an 
obligation on all who speak and write the language. 

I was annoyed that my public duties prevented my attendance 
upon your representation of Falstaff, in accordance with your 
polite invitation, and I hope to find leisure for that pleasure on 
Saturday evening. Renewing my thanks both for the Book 

and the invitation, I am, jr w i \r 

Very Truly Yours, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 
From Tappan Wentworth to General Butler 

LOWELL, Jam/. 17th, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Nothing of interest had transpired 
since my return, and politics at present are at a dead calm. The 
opinion generally prevails that Mr. Lincoln will be renomi- 
nated, and the quiet public seems to have accepted it as a 
fixed fact. The movements in Pennsylvania and New Hamp 
shire indicate some concert and activity on the part of his 
friends, and efforts will probably be made in other States. 
The condition of things is a disappointment to the Powers in 
Mass. In a conversation with the Collector at Boston a short 
time since, it was plainly perceptible that the sentiment in 
Lincoln s favor was annoying him. 

Mr. Bullock says he will make a stand this fall, but this I 
think will depend much upon his friends. He is constitution 
ally timid, thinks his chance uncertain, and fears to hazard 
anything. I think his chance a good one if the present incum 
bent could be disposed of the present year, but the delay of 
another twelve months may be fatal. 

I reported the doings of the National League at our Council, 
and gave a short relation of what I saw at the Fort and at 
Norfolk, not omitting the story of Pat. O Fallon, and was 
pleased to find that every allusion to you "brought down the 
house." 

Your published orders are read by everyone at the North,, 
and are a subject of comment in the cars and elsewhere. You 
have the good fortune to suit the Northern sentiment in these 
issues at the Fortress equally as well as in those at New Orleans. 
The Book too, is doing you good. The criticisms of the ladies 
will not displease you. I was in company with several, a few 
evenings since, two of whom had read the Book, and spoke of 



308 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

it as highly interesting, and on its being said that Mr. Parton 
made entertaining books they quietly rejoined that they were 
more than pleased with your orders and proclamations, they 
were so graphic and so easily to be comprehended. I think it 
no mean praise that ladies and learned professors agree in 
judgment upon such papers. 

I have seen all of your folks since my return save Mr. Reed. 
His wife told me he had derived much benefit from his journey 
to the Fortress. There are two members of the old sixth Regi 
ment desirous of serving under you. The first, Charles E. 
Poor, was a sergeant in Co. H. for the three months service, 
first lieutenant in the nine months , now wishes a captain in 
one of the colored regiments. My partner, Jewett, represents 
him as an officer, one w^ho is always on duty and in his place. 
He commanded Co. C. (the phalanx) in a fight in your present 
department, and is reported to have behaved gallantly. In 
my judgment he is worthy of the position, and will make a 
fine officer. The other is Reuben P. Charters, was a private 
in Co. H., served his time, and enlisted in Light Battery A, 
Capt. Porter, for 3 years, where he has filled the office of 
corporal and sergeant, and has again enlisted in the same 
Corps for 3 years. He says he would like a second lieutenant s 
position in the colored cavalry, seems he knows all that can 
be known in the light battery service, and could readily adapt 
himself to the cavalry. Mr. Jewett thinks him a good soldier, 
and he appears earnest, and would doubtless acquit himself 
well. I hope you may be able to find them both places. If 
you can appoint but one, Poor is the ablest man, one of whom 
it is said "He is never sick." 

Mrs. Heard, I hear, will soon be with you. Please present 
my kind regards to Mrs. Butler. 

Truly your friend, TAPPAN WENTWORTH 

From General Butler 

Head Qrs. DepL Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jany. 17th, 1864 

Hon. DANIEL COLLINS, Mayor PORTSMOUTH 

MR. MAYOR, DEAR SIR: I am in receipt of your communi 
cation in regard to the returns to be made by your City Officers. 
I had a conversation with the Mayor of Norfolk, and supposed, 
but it seems wrongfully, that the two cities lying side by side, 
under the same State laws, had the same officers. But it seems 
they are different. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 309 

If you will do me the favor to have the Order which has been 
sent you given to the proper Officers, so that I may get full 
information of the condition of your City Government, I 
shall have attained all I desire, my object being simply to get 
the proper information so that I can shape my action accord 
ingly. At present you see how much in the dark I am in regard 
to the state of affairs, and therefore unable to co-operate with 
you, or to aid you in any way. 

My principal object is to get the exact state of the revenues 
of the city. Hundreds of your people are calling for aid to 
relieve them from cold and hunger. Until I can ascertain 
what the city is doing for them, through what organization 
aid can be given them, without subjecting me to imposition 
and wrong, I can organize no system for their relief. 

I desire also to aid you if necessary in collecting taxes for 
this and other proper objects, believing that your whole tax 
system is now in such disorder as to be incapable of being 
enforced. I pray you do not allow your people to be influenced 
by any rumor. I by no means seek to suspend the operations 
of Civil Government, but on the contrary to aid it in its effi 
ciency, if I find, as no doubt I shall, that the Civil Govern 
ment wishes to co-operate with me. I have some money which 
belongs to the City of Portsmouth, in justice to be expended 
there. I desire to have it expended intelligently and economi 
cally. And the same in regard to the City of Norfolk, and if 
you will ask the Mayor of that City you will find that my 
whole conversation with him, which took place in the presence 
of Mr. Tazwell Taylor, was in relation to city expenditures, 
and the objects for which the expenditures were made, and, 
by curtailing those expenditures, to find funds to meet other 
pressing wants. 

Assure your people that I have no present intention of mak 
ing any suspension of Civil Government, and shall not do so 
if I find, as I have no doubt I shall, that that Government is 
willing and ready to aid me in the common object, which is 
the safety and welfare of the city. I will give the extension 
of time you desire. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 



310 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va., & No. Carolina, FORT MONTIOE, 

January 17th, 1864 

Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief 

SIR: I received this morning the enclosed communication 
from Col. Spear, commanding the exterior line near Norfolk. 
I reported some time since to the War Department the action 
of Brig. Genl. Wild, to which this is in relation. Were this 
the act of General Pickett simply, I should readily know what 
course to pursue, but it is evidently the act of the Confederate 
Government. Private Jones, Co. "B," 5th Ohio Volunteers, 
was evidently taken from among the prisoners of war at Rich 
mond and turned over to General Pickett for this purpose. 
Therefore it seems to me to be a subject for the action of the 
Government, not for the action of a commander of a Department. 
The strongest evidence that this is the action of the Con 
federate Government which I have is the fact that we have no 
Ohio troops in the Department upon whom vengeance could, 
have been wreaked in this way. 

This action may be as well met now as any time. Our 
Government has suffered its officers and men to be outlawed 
for doing their duty. It has suffered its prisoners to be starved 
without retaliation, and now hanging is superadded. I state 
the fact, I do not presume to offer advice. I have also the 
honor to enclose a letter from Col. Hinton to me, upon this 
subject. I have the honor to be, 

Most Respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Headquarters, U. S. Forces, Near PORTSMOUTH, VA., Jan. 16th, 1864 

[Not in chronological order^ 

To Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commdg. 

Dept. Va. & N. Carolina 

GENERAL: Pardon me for addressing you direct in an 
Official Communication, but the nature is such that I deem 
it prudent to do so, and send the document by an officer as 
"Special Messenger." As soon as the information relative 
to the hanging of the unfortunate man reached me, I at first 
could not believe it, and directed Col. Smith to send out at 
once and ascertain the truth of the statement, the result of 
which is conclusive (see doc. marked "B"). The body is now 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 311 

in my possession, and I shall have it properly buried in my 
enclosure at 2 o clock P.M. to-day, unless otherwise instructed 
by the Commanding General. 

Relative to the statement of the citizens of Pasquotank 
County (marked "A"), most of them are known to me, and 
those I know to be loyal I have marked (*) in red ink; the 
balance are what they term here neutral. The original pla 
card, a copy of which is enclosed, is in my possession subject 
to your order. 

Trusting that my action in the case may meet with approval, 
and respectfully requesting information relative to the burial 
of the body, by return messenger, I have the honor to remain, 

with high respect, ^ L ,. 

Your obedient Servant, 

SAMUEL P. SPEAR, Col. Commanding Division 

Headquarters, North Carolina, PASQUOTANK COUNTY, Jan. 13th, 1864 

[Not in chronological order] 

General GETTY 

DEAR SIR: We, the subscribers, regret to say that there 
was found this morning a dead man and still hanging in our 
neighborhood, as the enclosed slip, which was found pinned 
to his back, will show you by whom it was done. We have 
made a suitable box, and buried him near the place he was 
found hung. Should his friends wish to get his body, they 
can get it by applying to any of the subscribers. 

We trust that you will not attach any blame to any of the 
citizens of the neighborhood, as we were entirely ignorant of 
any of the circumstances until we found the body; from all 
we can learn he was brought across the Chowan River to this 
place, and as soon as the men who had him in charge had 
hung him, they \vent back. 

J. D. STOCKLEY,* WM. N. COPAGE, WM. WILLIAMS,* JAS. 
M. WHITE,* WILSON SPENCE, N. T. TEMPLE, JAMES FORBES, 
NEWTON C. JONES,* WILLIAM CARIEN, WRIGHT BROTHERS, 
JOHN T. WILLIAMS* 

Headquarters, DEEP CREEK, VA., January 16th, 1864 
[Not in chronological order] 

Col. S. P. SPEAR, Commanding Division 

COLONEL: According to instructions, I sent out a company 
of Cavalry under command of Capt. Allman; they proceeded 
to South Mills, and sent a detachment of 13 men and a Lieut, 
to the Turn Pike gate, where Samuel Jones, of Co. "B," 5th 



312 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Ohio Regiment, was executed. He was hung on Tuesday, the 
12th. One Mr. Williams, living near by, on Wednesday made 
a coffin, cut him down, and buried him in the field opposite. 
Capt. Allman was instructed to bring the remains in, which 
he has done, and I send them in ambulance to these Head 
quarters for your disposal, also a pair of hand-cuffs which were 
taken from his wrist, which are rather ugly things. Nothing 
further of interest to report. 

Very Respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servants, 
M. B. SMITH, Col. Commdg. Deep Creek, 
CHAS. P. GARDNER, Capt. & A. A. A. Gen l. 

Notice 

HERE hangs Private Samuel Jones, of Co. "B," 5th Ohio 
Regiment, by order of Major General Pickett, in retaliation 
for Private Daniel Bright, of Co. "L" 62nd Georgia Regiment 
(Col. Griffins), hung Dec. 18th, 1863, by order of Brig. General 

Wild. A . 

A true Copy 

SAMUEL P. SPEAR, Col. Com. Div. 

Headquarters, Department N. C. Forces, MURFREESBORO, No. CAROLINA, 

January 15th, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

To General B. F. BUTLER, Commdg. at 

FORTRESS MONROE 

GENERAL: Enclosed I send you a copy of a letter addressed 
by Brig. Gen. Wild, of the U. S. Army, to Capt. Ellcott, of 
the 66th Regiment, North Carolina State Troops. From the 
general tenor of the letter, and from the fact that it is endorsed 
to an officer of my command, I am induced to believe that Gen. 
Wild intended his threat against "Guerillas" not to be applied 
to the officers and men of my command. The 66th Regiment, 
of North Carolina State Troops, which I have the honor to 
command, was organized under authority obtained from the 
Governor of the State, and its officers are regularly commis 
sioned by the Governor. With this explanation, I desire to 
know whether it is your purpose to pursue the policy indicated 
in Gen. Wild s letter to Capt. Ellcott, 1 in the event if it should 
hereafter capture any of the officers or men of my command, 
or are they to be recognized and treated as other prisoners of 
war. I have captured a goodly number of the officers and men 

1 See General Wild s letter, page 270. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 313 

of the IT. S. Army and Navy, and have uniformly treated them 
as prisoners of war. I desire to treat those I may capture 
hereafter similarly, but as a matter of course I shall be guided 
in the future in my treatment to your men by the answer I 
receive to this letter. I desire further to call your attention 
to the fact that the ladies whose names are mentioned in 
Gen. Wild s letter, are, as I am informed, still held in close 
confinement in the city of Norfolk. I want to know whether 
it is your purpose to hold these ladies as "hostages" for a 
soldier legitimately captured. I shall be pleased to receive a 
speedy reply to this communication. 

Respectfully Yr. Obedient Servant, 
JAMES W. HINTON, Col. Comdg. N.C. State Forces 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 26th, 1864 

[Not in chronological order] 

Lt. WM. J. MANDEN, and Mr. PENDES WICKS 

MESSRS.: In answer to your application in regard to your 
wives, held as hostages by Gen. Wild for the treatment of his 
colored soldier Samuel Jones of the 5th U. S. Colored. Upon 
a full examination I have determined: 

First. That as no difference was made between Jordan and 
Daniel Bright on account of color, one being hanged in retalia 
tion for the other by the Rebel authorities, the case pre 
supposed by Gen. Wild when the hostages were taken in the 
persons of three women, that some different treatment would 
be meted out to his soldier, because his color not having 
arisen, the order given by him for execution of the women in 
retaliation will be revoked. 

Second. I will return the women to North W T est Landing, 
with a copy of this note as direction to the Officer there; that 
upon your placing yourselves in his hands in their stead, to 
be treated as prisoners of War, unless some outrage not jus 
tified by civilized w r arfare is perpetrated by the men of your 
commands, the two women Mrs. Wm. J. Manden and Mrs. 
Pendes Wicks will be delivered to their friends. 

I take leave to assure you that nothing has been done to 
them to annoy, insult, or injure them, except the detention, 
as I have no doubt they will inform you when you see them. 

I am compelled to require your presence and detention 
instead of your wives on account of further threatened retail- 



314 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ation made by the men of your Regiment upon the soldiers 
who may be unfortunate enough to fall into their hands, and 
in order that the transaction may assure you and your people : 
First. That we will not permit outrages upon our men 
without swift, severe, and stern retaliation. It is for your 
friends therefore to make the choice. Daniel Bright, who was 
executed by Gen. Wild, was a deserter from the 62nd. Georgia, 
was wrongfully enlisted in the 66th North Carolina, was en 
gaged not in warfare, but in pillage and murder as a Guerilla, 
was duly tried by Court Martial, sentenced, and hanged, and 
the execution of Private Jordan*, in retaliation for that act, 
w r ill be made the subject of other and different measures from 
any that relate to yourselves and your treatment. I have 
the honor to be, ^ respectfully yourg> 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 
From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 11th, 1864 

[Not in chronological order] 

Col. JAMES W. HINTON, Com dg N.C. State Forces 

COLONEL: Your letter per Flag of Truce of date of Jan. 
15th was received, enclosing a copy of a letter of Brig. Gen. 
Wild s to John Y. Ellcott, Capt. of Guerillas. I am glad of an 
opportunity to state to you the exact policy which I propose 
to pursue in carrying on the war now raging between the 
Confederate Authorities and my Government, because upon 
that subject there seems to be a wide misunderstanding. Per 
haps the easiest way to elucidate it, will be an explicit state 
ment of what I do not mean to do. 

First then I do not mean to conduct the war like a 
fish woman in Billingsgate, by calling hard names, such as 
"Brute, Beast" etc. 

Second. I do not mean to carry it on by any futile procla 
mations of outlawry against any soldier duly authorized and 
commissioned for doing his duty. 

Third. I do not mean to carry it on by threatening, when I 
am beaten, to take to the woods and organize Guerilla forces. 

Fourth. I do not propose to carry it on unless my troops will 
obey my orders. And if they do not, while I am in command of 
them, I shall not afford them protection. 

Again. I do mean to carry on this war according to the rules 
of civilized warfare as between alien enemies. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 315 

To apply, then, the principle to the case you mention of 
the action of Gen. Wild. Gen. Wild found Daniel Bright, a 
deserter from the 62nd Georgia Reg t., carrying on robbery 
and pillage in the peaceable counties of Camden and Pasquo- 
tank. He was further informed, and believed, that being such 
a deserter he and his company had refused to obey any order 
emanating from you, or the Governor of North Carolina, 
because you had frequently ordered the squad, of which he 
pretended to be one, across the Chowan River, and they had 
refused to obey. 

These facts appeared to the Court Martial before which 
Daniel Bright was tried, and in my judgment brought him 
within the strict meaning of the term "Guerilla." If these 
facts are true, and they are known to you if they are so, the 
fact that he was a member of a Georgia Regiment, being shown 
by the placard put upon the body of Private Jordan, who was 
hanged in retaliation for him, it is quite clear that he met his 
fate according to every rule of warfare; and the murder of Jor 
dan in pretended retaliation for him will be met in such a way 
as becomes the Government which I represent. 

If Ellcott and his men had refused to obey your orders and 
to march as they were directed, but remained in a peaceable 
county, against the will of the inhabitants, plundering and 
burning, as they were doing, and as we were informed they 
were doing, they also deserved a like fate as Daniel Bright, by 
every rule of civilized warfare. But if your men are met in 
the field, in the usual duties of soldiers, under your command, 
or that of any other duly qualified officer, carrying on war in 
any form that war has been carried on by any Christian 
nation, except the English against the Chinese, they will be 
treated whenever captured as prisoners of war, and all the 
more tenderly by me because they are North Carolina troops, 
most of whom I believe are unwillingly in the service of the 
Confederate Government. Gen. Wild s threat was only against 
"Guerillas," and those are the men coming within the de 
scription which I have given, and you can easily determine for 
yourself whether your Regiment as organized does come within 
that description. If not, they fear nothing worse than impris 
onment. If they do, it will be more convenient for them not 
to get into our hands. 

I leave it to your own good sense whether the kind of war 
fare carried on for the past year in the Counties of Camden, 
Carrituck, Pasquotank, and the neighboring Counties, tends 



316 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

either to set up the Confederate Government among the 
nations of the earth or overthrow the Government of the 
United States: and if it does neither, whether such a warfare 
ought not to be stopped by the most stringent measures. I 
have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. llth, 1864 

[Not in chronological order] 

Major THOMAS W. LYONS 

PERMISSION is hereby granted to Major T. W. Lyons to 
get wood in and around the Little Wycomoes River, and to 
convey the same to Point Lookout. The terms upon which 
the wood is to be disposed of to be agreed upon hereafter. 
The Commander of the Potomac Flotilla is respectfully requested 
to give Maj. Lyons every facility. I have the honor to be, 

Most respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From Levi Hayden 

Office of the N.Y. Submarine Engineering Co., 108 Wall St., N.Y., 

13th January, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Major General BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE 

SIR: As you were absent from Head Quarters on my return 
from North Carolina, I beg to report that I ascertained from 
Mr. D. Heaton, Superintendent and Special Agent of the 
Treasury Department, at Newbern, that no permit to cut 
timber can be granted save under order from the Secretary of 
the Navy, endorsed by Rear Admiral Lee, such an order I 
am now endeavoring to obtain. 

The cord-wood cutting, which you requested me to examine 
into, has been thoroughly canvassed. Capt. Cook, Asst. 
Quarter Master at Newbern, has given to me every facility for 
its accomplishment, he showed me that the locality in the 
rear of Newbern, and on the line of the Railroad, has become 
exhausted, being too expensive from the distance of transpor 
tation. Capt. Cook recommends operating on the north side 
of the river, nearly opposite the city, of course a guard will 
be necessary to hold guerillas in check. Capt. Cook will speak 
of the matter, when he sees you, as he expects shortly to do 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 317 

at Newbern. When the locality is determined upon, I think 
that I can arrange to have a large quantity cut for the Govern 
ment, at a fair price. 

I shall be happy to afford any further information on this 
or any other subject interesting to the Government or yourself. 

Respectfully your obedient servt., 

LEVI HAYDEN 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. DepL Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 17th, 1864 

HEATON 

WILL Col. Heaton please inform me by what regulation 
no timber can be got in North Carolina except by order of the 
Secretary of the Navy, endorsed by Admiral Lee ? 

Respectfully yours, B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From D. Heaton to General Butler 

NEWBERN, N.C., January 23, 1864 
[Not in chronological order] 

SIR: Yours of the 17th inst. has been received. 

You ask me "by what regulation no timber can be got in 
North Carolina except by order of the Secretary of the Navy, 
endorsed by Admiral Lee?" 

This question, as put to me, assumes, as I understand it, 
that no timber can be got in this state except by an order as 
above indicated, and that I have sanctioned the same. 

I desire to say to you that whoever has represented or stated 
to you that no timber can be procured in this state only on 
such a requisition, has uttered to you that which is false. 

I know of no regulation preventing timber from being 
procured here, but I have taken the view for some months 
that it was manifestly against the public interest to allow good 
yellow pine, adapted exclusively for ship building purposes, to 
be cut, indiscriminately, by private parties. 

Having received information that this particular descrip 
tion of timber was quite limited within our present military 
lines, I have deemed it proper to decline complying with the 
request of various private parties from different sections of 
the country to cut, saw, & export it. 

While I have done this with the conviction that the War & 
the Navy Department ought to determine under the circum 
stances when it is proper to allow this description of timber to 



318 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

be taken, I have given several permits allowing large privileges 
in the way of procuring timber for house building & house fur 
nishing purposes; also for several other highly-useful objects, 
such as the manufacture of staves, shingles, veneering, &c. 

There is an abundance of timber for such purposes, & a 
most liberal latitude is given to loyal & responsible persons 
to obtain the same. Wood can also be readily procured in 
large quantities. 

The only authorities given up to this time to procure ship 
timber have been to M. S. Bradley, Esq. & John H. Baker, 
Esq.; the authority given to the first party was founded upon 
recommendation of a substantial character. Mr. Baker, to 
whom the other authority was issued, made application to 
me for it as early as the month of June last, & having reason 
to regard him as a gentleman of high standing for loyalty & 
responsibility, I complied with his request. 

Both of these authorities, however, gave the parties the right 
to procure ship timber by purchase from loyal persons only, 
& containing distinct stipulations that what they did procure 
should be tendered to the proper navy agents at New York. 
Mr. Bradley, at great expense and trouble, has shipped one 
cargo to New York, but Mr. Baker has not shipped one foot. 

I have given no person any authority to take ship timber 
from abandoned or public lands, and from the fact of the 
scarcity of the article & the danger & difficulty in getting it 
out within our present military lines, I have deemed it a duty 
to suspend the issuing of authorities of this character. 

I do not hesitate to say to you that I regard this as the cor 
rect policy until our lines are extended more security afforded. 
When this is done, as I trust it will be done speedily, then the 
kind of timber in question can be thrown open to all loyal 
parties. 

I do not dispute for one moment your military right or that 
of General Peck to take & appropriate for military purposes 
just w r hat you may deem necessary of the kind of timber 
referred to, but under existing circumstances I believe the 
true course has been taken. 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 
D. HEATON, Supt. Spc. Agt. Trea. Dept. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 319 

From General Butler 

January Ylth, 1864 

THOMAS L. PAULSON, Chaplain 1st R. E. S. M. Vols., 

DRUMMONDTOWN, VA. 

IN reply to your letter, I have the honor to say that no 
man will preach in Drummondtown or elsewhere in this depart 
ment unless he has taken the oath of allegiance. 

Call the attention of the Provost Marshal to this. Let the 
churches fill their pulpits according to their usage. 

If the present clergymen do not take the oath of allegiance, 
send them to me. I have the honor to be, 

Your obdt. Servant, B. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler to Miss Van Lieu l 

NORFOLK, VA., Jan. 18th, 1864 

MY DEAR AUNT: I suppose you have been wondering why 
your nephew has not written before, but we have been uncer 
tain whether we should be able to send a letter. The Yankees 
steal all the letters that have any money in them through Flag 
of Truce, so that we thought we would wait until we got a safe 
chance. 

I am glad to write that Mary is a great deal better. Her 
cough has improved, and the doctor has some hope. Your niece 
Jennie sends love, and says she wishes you could come north, but 
I suppose that is impossible. Mother tells me to say that she 
has given up all hopes of meeting you, until we all meet in 

Yours Affectionately, JAMES AP. JONES 
From General James Barnes to General Butler 

Head Quarters Norfolk & Portsmouth, NORFOLK, VA., Jany. 18, 1864 

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your communication of the 15th inst., on the subject of retain 
ing Capt. Johnson in his present position as A. A. G. 

1 The above letter is what Miss Van Lieu read on opening the envelope. When 
acid and heat were applied the following was found to be the real message: 

MY DEAR Miss: The doctor who came through and spoke to me of the bouquet 
said that you would be willing to aid the Union cause by furnishing me with infor 
mation if I would devise a means. You can write through Flag of Truce, directed to 
James Ap. Jones, Norfolk, the letter being written as this is, and with the means 
furnished by the messenger who brings this. I cannot refrain from saying to you, 
although personally unknown, how much I am rejoiced to hear of the strong feeling 
for the Union which exists in your own breast and among some of the ladies of Rich 
mond. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully Your obedient servant, 



320 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

I do not see any difficulty in the matter if he be approved of 
by you. The office he holds is not of the personal staff, and 
therefore I should not be at liberty to take him with me even 
if I had any position which I could open to him. 

By a reference to Gen. Orders War Dept. No. 212, dated 
Dec. 23, 1862, par. Ill, you will see that "The Assts. Adjts. 
General of Divisions and Brigades will hereafter remain per 
manently attached to the commands to which once assigned, 
and will not be considered as part of the personal staff of the 
General on whose recommendation they were appointed." 
Capt. Johnson will therefore remain in his present position 
unless removed by special order. 

Without previous acquaintance with him, I have found him 
ever since my arrival here a very able officer in this depart 
ment, attentive to all his duties, and well versed in orders and 
regulations. Of exemplary habits, he is at all times ready 
for any duty which may be required of him, and I most con 
fidently recommend him to you. 

I assure you, General, that that part of my endorsement 
upon Miss Chase s letter which you are disposed to consider 
complimentary, was quite sincere. Very Respectfully, General, 

Your most Obt. Servt., 
JAMES BARNES, Brig. Gen. Comdg. 

Answer by General Butler 

Jany. 18, 1864 

WOULD have yielded to your taking J. with you, but am glad 
to retain him. Can t see how the order quoted applies to J s 
case, as you did not have a brigade when in command of 
Norfolk. 

From Colonel J. W. Shaffer to General Butler 

Hd. Qts. Department of Va. & N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 19th, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: Sanborn leaves this evening for Balti 
more and Washington. I send you a despatch received from 
Stanton, which will explain itself. 

We are getting along very smoothly, insist on getting entire 
control of exchange matters, and have it in writing from Secy., 
and after you get this paper show it to Mr. Lincoln that there 
will be no misunderstanding thereafter. I would suggest 
that it won t pay to have much of a fuss with Pierpont s 
crowd. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 321 

I send you a proposition for raising Regt. heavy artillery in 
North Carolina. The wrong file of Southern paper was sent 
you, I send right one. Make Stanton change Taylor and make 
Clarke, Commissary. 

Talk over the question of raising a big force in event any 
thing else fails to go to Richmond. If you can get two or three 
regiments of cavalry, do. Peck writes for more cavalry, and 
more is wanted here. I sent you a private letter from Peck, 
thinking that it might contain something you would want to 
know. 

Tell Stanton he may have General Wistar for Weitzel. 
Wistar ranks Heckman, and if he will give us one good sub 
stantial, common-sense man, he can have Wild. I wish Wild 
was elsewhere; he has no common-sense and does harm! 
Better have him away if no one comes in his place. I wish 
you would see Senator Wilson, and ask him for me to see that 

Dr. Barnes is confirmed. ^ T ^ r a 

Yours, J. W. SHAFFER 



From General I. J. 

CIPHER. Office U. S. Military Telegraph, War Department 

THE following telegram received at Washington, 4.15 P.M., 
Jan. 20, 1864, from Norfolk, Va. Jan. 20th, 1864. 
Maj. Genl. BUTLER, Care of Secy, of War 

TELEGRAM received. A small cavalry force under discreet 
officers instructed not to ask direct questions, but to exhibit 
anxiety for capture of horses and negroes, went out last night. 
They were directed after passing New Kent to incline towards 
the W T hite House, if they decided to go further at all. 

My care being identical with that expressed in your telegram. 

I. J. WISTAR, Brig. Genl. 

From F. H. Pierpont 

ALEXANDRIA, VA., January 20th, 1864 

Hon. Sec. War, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

SIR: In addition to the two orders of Gen. Butler which I 
submitted to the President on Saturday last, in regard to the 
banks and civil officers of the City of Norfolk and Portsmouth, 
I desire to call your attention to further orders and regulations 
of his in that Department, which I think tend to the oppression 
of the people and subversive of good government, and in no 
way to the suppression of the rebellion. 

VOL. Ill 21 



322 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Gen. Butler has issued an order requiring all merchants 
taking goods into his department to pay one per cent on the 
cost. All persons going to and coming from Old Point and 
Norfolk pay one dollar for pass (except State Officers and Mili 
tary Officers and soldiers), and three dollars on all vessels 
clearing at Old Point. This money goes to the fund to support 
the Provost Marshal s Office. 

This collection of money I conceive to be wrong and oppres 
sive on the people, without reference to the fact that it is not 
paid into the treasury of the U. S. They pay now five per 
cent on all the goods that are taken there, into the U.S. Treas 
ury, and five per cent on all the produce sent away. Also, all 
the licenses to the U. S. assessed under the internal revenue 
laws. Now, to burden them with one per cent more, one dollar 
for pass each way, three dollars for clearing all vessels, is more 
than ought to be done. But in addition to all this, there is 
the Provost Marshal with his Provost Judges Court, who are 
taking cognizance of all civil and criminal causes from eject 
ment, to getting drunk in the city. I was informed that they 
had rendered judgments and execution for large amounts of 
money, w T ere seizing and selling property; they had seized one 
man and confined him for some time in the felon s cell in jail 
because he did or could not pay a large debt to some N. York 
creditor. The clerk of the County Court informed me that 
they had been sending to his office for deeds and abstracts 
of real estate with a view to selling. I saw notices in the city 
newspapers there of cases of ejectment, judgment, and pos 
session ordered in five or ten days. I wrote to Gen. Butler 
calling his attention to this mischievous abuse of power, 
stating that this Provost Marshal and Provost Judges Court 
could not sell property, real or personal, for debt on a judg 
ment and execution rendered by them, that would pass any 
title to the property sold. That it was only mixing matters 
in greater confusion, and asked him to abolish the Court. 

He replied by saying. "My instructions are that no debts 
shall be collected save against those who are in rebellion against 
the United States in favor of loyal citizens, and where the prop 
erty might escape from the honest creditor by reason of 
confiscation. 9 

This is an excuse that I had not expected from a lawyer 
of Gen. Butler s standing. There is a County and Corporation 
Court, a Circuit Court, and the U. S. District Court, all in the 
City of Norfolk, all of which are accessible to all persons who 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 323 

will take the proper oath. By the laws of Virginia any person 
in rebellion is declared a non-resident of the state, and an 
attachment will issue on a proper application in one minute 
after or at any time between the institution of the suit and 
judgment, and the attachment is a lien from the time it goes 
into the Sheriff s hands as to real estate, and from the time of 
levy on personal estate, so there can be no possible excuse 
for this Provost Court, except it be to charge five or ten per 
cent for the collection to go into the hands of the Provost 
Marshal s fund. But this Provost Marshal takes cognizance 
of all the petty offences in the city which properly belong to 
the Mayor and Civil Magistrates, and levies fines from one to 
five dollars. In addition to this, he has the handsome income 
from fines for selling and smuggling liquors, which range 
from $50 to $800 each, just as the parties are able to pay. This 
all goes to support the Provost Marshal s Office. 

While I was in the city of Norfolk, about the 28th of Dec., 
there were two men confined in jail for felony or misdemeanor, 
under warrant of a justice. The Provost Marshal sent and 
took them out, and sent them before the Provost Judge. 
No witnesses were sent; the Provost Judge released the men, 
and set them at liberty. The Provost Marshal issued an order 
prohibiting the sale of property belonging to a secessionist, 
executed by the collectors of revenue for taxes. He threatened 
to arrest and imprison the Mayor, and declared his intention 
to break up civil government in his command. These acts 
were followed by orders from Gen. Butler to the civil officers 
to report to him the amount of their salaries, etc. After Gen. 
Butler s subordinates have done everything to intimidate, 
worry, and disgust the civil officers, to discourage them from 
discharge of their duty, he then declares them of no account. 

Another act of Gen. Butler s I will mention, which is a 
gross assumption of power in my estimation. He has issued 
orders for enrolling and conscripting all the white men in his 
district able to bear arms. I have no objection to the Presi 
dent of the United States, through his Provost Marshal Gen 
eral conscripting the people of Virginia, when in his opinion 
it ought to be done under the act of Congress. But I have a 
most decided objection to Gen. Butler on his own account, 
and without authority of law, assuming such prerogative, 
and executing such delicate trust. The people in Gen. Butler s 
district in Virginia have paid all the internal revenue to the 
U. S. which has been assessed, as much so as the City of Boston, 



324 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

and in addition have paid five per cent into the Treasury of 
U. S. on all goods brought in and the same on all produce sent 
out. They have furnished more troops according to popula 
tion than any people in the U. S. But they have been mostly 
black. They claim to be put on the same footing with Mary 
land and Kentucky as to conscription. 

What I claim and respectfully ask, without going into detail 
for the reason therefor, is this - 

1st. That Gen. Butler is not allowed to interfere with the 
banks of the State. 

2nd. That his order requiring civil officers to report amount 
of salaries etc. to him, be revoked. 

3rd. That the one per cent on merchandise, one dollar on 
passes, three dollars on clearing of vessels, be abolished, and 
that nothing be allowed for that service. 

4th. That the Provost Marshal s Court in the state of 
Virginia, for the collection of debts and the trial of all civil 
causes by the same in regard to real and personal estate, be 
abolished and prohibited. 

The reason of this is so apparent that I do not feel like 
making further argument in the premises. It is Gen. Butler s 
duty to attend to the army and its discipline. There is no sort 
of use for a Military Government in Norfolk or Portsmouth. A 
sensible, honest Provost Marshal is all that is needed. Two 
companies to guard the commissary stores is all the army that 
is wanting. But as to giving place to more Brigadiers and 
officers, military, I am not going to raise questions or find 
fault on the subject, but the path of duty is so plain that if 
the military will only attend to their own business, and let 
the civil officers attend to theirs, there can be no difficulty - 
and all will work in harmony. 

I have never attempted to invade a single right of a mili 
tary officer, but [have] been willing for the sake of peace to 
yield much. Yet I don t intend to give up all the civil rights 
of the people without a struggle. I am, 

Yours etc.,F. H. PIERPONT 

War Department, Jan. 25, 1864. 

Endorsed. Official copy, respectfully referred to Maj. Gen. 
B. F. Butler, Comdg. Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, 
for his information. B 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 325 

From William B. Allison 

House Rep., Jany. 21, 1864 

Maj. Gen. BENJ. F. BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE, VA. 

SIR: I will thank you to send me, if entirely convenient, a 
copy of speech made by you early last year at the Academy 
of Music, N.Y. I cannot close this letter without saying that 
in my judgt. the people of this country appreciate the fact 
that you are one of the very few men in this country that 
fully appreciate the magnitude of the contest in which we are 
engaged, and the remedies that should be applied to those who 
seek to destroy our good government. I am, 

Very Respectfully, Yours, WM. B. ALLISON 

From General B. F. Butler 

January 22nd, 1864 

Mr. S. P. CHASE, Sec. of Treas. 

SIR: The cargo of the "Village Belle," of which I wrote to 
you as having been seized by Capt. Pierce of the Revenue 
Service, has been condemned. An effort will be made by rep 
resentations to you to have the cargo released. In my judg 
ment a great wrong will be done to the necessary discipline of 
this department if the cargo is released. Indeed, I have your 
note saying it shall not be released. I have the honor to be 
Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Brig. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va. & North Carolina, FORT MONROE, 

January 22nd, 1864 

Hon. P. H. WATSON, Asst. Secretary of War 

SIR: The steamer "City of New York," running as Flag of 
Truce boat in the Bay and up the James River, has been em 
ployed by the Government from the 2nd of July, 1862, to the 
22nd of April, 1863, at six hundred dollars per day, and earn 
ing $176,400 during that time. From April 22nd, 1863, to 
Dec. 1st, 1863, at four hundred dollars a day, earning $85,600, 
making $262,000 earned up to December 1st, 1863. For some 
unknown and unexplained reason, her charter was not renewed 
until December 1st, 1863, with the accruing clause to the 
Government. If it had been, she would have made for the 
Government in the time between forty and fifty thousand dol 
lars. She was then put in at a valuation of $150,000. Before 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the War, I am informed that she could have been bought for 
$46,000. 

Why she should have been put in at the enormous price of 
$150,000 is a mystery. She has now earned for the Govern 
ment only $6,575, which is not a flea bite upon her valuation. 
I directed that she would either take $250. a day or be dis 
charged. The owners say she shall not work for the Govern 
ment at that price. I did this without knowing her previous 
history. I still think she ought to be discharged, unless, what 
is manifestly just and right to be done, she is seized by the 
Government and her owners allowed to get what they can upon 
the seizure. They are clearly not entitled to more than thirty 
or forty thousand dollars, possibly fifty, on the boat. Had I 
the power, I would settle the matter without much trouble, 
but as it is referred to you, please advise me at once what to 
do with her. I inclined very strongly to the seizure. She 
has paid for herself under the government almost twice. If 
the Government can do nothing, and the owners choose to take 
her away, I propose to order two other boats of them that are in 
charter by the Government to be discharged also. I think these 
men have made enough out of the Government, not to throw 
themselves in our faces this way. You will observe that this 
charter was renewed at New York. Would it not be well to in 
quire why the officer in New York left out of the charter the 
accruing clause. If a Quartermaster in this Department is inter 
ested in the sale of an old horse, by which the Government may 
not lose more than ten dollars, you discharge him summarily, 
and rightly; but if a Quartermaster at New York refuses to do 
what is ordered to be done for the Government, by which the 
Government loses some fifty thousand dollars, we hear nothing 
from it. Please direct me by telegram. I have the honor to be, 

Very Respectfully, Yr. Obedient Servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

New York. From July 2nd, 1862, to April 22nd, 1863, 294 days @ 

$600 pr. day, $176,400 

From April 22nd, 1863, to Dec. 1st, 1863, 214 days @ $400 pr. day, 85,600 

Approximate earnings under old charter $262,000 

New York. From Dec. 1st, 1863, to Jan. 1st, 1864 (deducting time lost) 

31 days at $400 pr. day $12,400 

Value $150,000 and 33% profit for 1 mon. $ 4,125 

Running expenses estimated at $1,700 per month 1,700 5,825 

Approximate Amt. accrued to Govt. under new charter $6,575 

Repairing from Feb. 14th, 1863, to June 6th, 1863, and steamer "State of Maine" 

was substituted for her during that period. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 327 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 22nd, 1864 

Dr. HENRY MARTIN, Surgeon U.S.A. 

DOCTOR: Knowing that I have prohibited the importation 
of whiskey into Norfolk, I am surprised to find that it has 
passed under your inspection under the name of "spirits of 
corn," "spirits of frumenti." 

I am not a very good Latin scholar, but I am not to be 
cheated that way. Another certificate made in that way will 
meet with very severe action. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From J. C. Thompson to General Butler 

THOMPKINSVILLE, STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., January 22nd, 1864 

DEAR SIR: I have information from a source that I deem 
reliable that Mrs. J. Tyler (widow of Ex. President Tyler) 
was let through our lines last summer at the time several 
hundred women and children were sent over by Flag of Truce 
from Baltimore and Fortress Monroe. She then took with 
her six or seven large travelling "two-story" trunks from this 
Island. 

Although told by her brother-in-law, D. L. Gardener, she 
could not get them through, she said there would be no diffi 
culty, as she was well acquainted with General Dix. 

Her Secession Ladyship, having reached Dixie and no 
doubt disposed of her wares to good advantage, runs the block 
ade to Nassau and thence back to Staten Island, where she is 
now staying with her mother at the house of D. L. Gardener, 
her brother-in-law. Gardener is one of our secession sym 
pathizing Supervisors, who with his sympathizing associates 
raised $75,000 on the credit of the people, and applied it to 
keep men from going to the war. 

I apprise you of the course Mrs. T. has pursued, so you may 
be on the lookout should she again attempt to slide through 
by using or abusing the friendship of officials. I will keep a 
sharp lookout for her movements, and advise you if she again 
starts for Dixie. 

Have written to Gen. Dix to know if he recollects of passing 
her over. If he answers you, I shall post him how she returned. 
If he did not allow her to go, some one else has, and I am 



328 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

determined to find out and expose her. The easy virtue of 
some of our folks is truly astonishing. 

Yours truly, J. C. THOMPSON, 
Dept. Provost Marshal, Richmond Co. N. Y. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 22 Jan., 1864 

Brig. Gen. MEIGS, Provost Marshal Genl. 

I HAVE a quantity of horses selected at the Cavalry Depot 
for this Department. They have been waiting because the 
river was frozen. It is now clear of ice. 

Please have them sent down at once. It is of the last neces 
sity that I should have them. B F B TLER 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 23rd, 1864 

Brig. Gen. MARSTON, Comd g POINT LOOKOUT 

GENERAL: I am informed by the Quarter Master here that 
every foot of lumber required at Point Lookout from this 
Point has been sent. Will you report to me at once if I am 
incorrect, so that I may take order with the men who have 
deceived me, and if you are incorrect will you punish those 
who have misinformed you. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, your obt. servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 23rd, 1864 

Capt. JOHN CASSELS 

THE Provost Marshal will turn over to Bernard Kohn one 
hundred ($100) dollars of the money taken from him, taking 
his receipt therefor, and will then give Kohn a receipt for 
the balance, saying that when Kohn came through the lines 
the money was found upon his person after his representation 
that he had none. The money to be filed until the close of 
the war, and then to be submitted to the proper authorities 
for adjudication. % command of MAJ GEN . BuTLER 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 329 
From A. J. B. Hutchins 

NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, January 23rd, 1864 

Statement concerning Mrs. - , GEORGE W. LANE, and Major 
MORSE, special Treasury Agent, District of Virginia 
ABOUT June 1863, Mrs. - - came to Suffolk, Virginia, and 
was brought before Major Smith of the 112th New York S. V., 
who was the Provost Marshal of that place. 

Mrs. - - represented that she was from the vicinity of 
Chowan River, North Carolina, that she came through the 
lines to make arrangements to dispose of 1200 bales of cotton 
that belonged to parties near Chowan River, North Carolina, 
who are loyal at heart to the United States Government, said 
cotton would be sold for ten dollars per 100 pounds, provided 
goods could be returned for one-half the cotton bought, and 
the remaining half in Federal notes. 

Major Smith gave Mrs. - - permission to go to Norfolk, 
Virginia, as Suffolk, Virginia, was about being evacuated. 
About July, 1863, Brigadier General Naglee took command of 
the District of Virginia and about the same time Captain - 
became acquainted with Mrs. - - and finding her without 
funds, he placed her at the National Hotel, and paid what 
bills she incurred until October 1863, when Brigadier Gen. 
Naglee went to Washington, D.C., and Captain- -accom 
panied him. About that time, Mrs. - - took quarters at 
Mrs. Brown s house at Bute street, Norfolk, Virginia, where 
she became acquainted with Major - , Paymaster District 
of Virginia, who took charge of Mrs. - - and he is still keep 
ing her up to this date. 

Captain George H. Johnston, being aware of the circum 
stances connected with Mrs. - , communicated the facts to 
Major Morse, Special Treasury Agent upon his arrival at this 
place. He called on Mrs. - , and after learning of the loca 
tion of the cotton near Chowan River, North Carolina, Major 
Morse went to Baltimore, Maryland, and in company with 
George W. Lane, proceeded to Washington, D.C., with a letter 
to Secretary Chase, from Mr. Hoffman, collector of the port 
of Baltimore, Md., recommending that they be allowed to 
buy and bring inside the lines, said cotton near Chowan 
River, N.C. 

Secretary Chase referred Major Morse and George W. Lane 
to Mr. David Heaton, Special Treasury Agent at Beaufort, 
N.C. 



330 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Major Morse and George W. Lane arrived at Norfolk, Vir 
ginia, on Jan. 15th 1864, sent for Mrs. - , and proposed to 
her that she should go through the lines and make arrangements 
to have the cotton for a certain price brought to a certain 
point, to the amt. of five hundred thousand ($500,000) dollars, 
promising to remunerate her for the trouble and comply with 
the terms of giving one-half in goods at the point the cotton 
was taken from, and the remaining half in Federal notes. 

They promised to see her again January 16th, 1864. Major 
Morse and George W. Lane went to Beaufort, N.C., equipped 
with a letter from Mr. Hoffman to David Heaton, and a bond 
signed and witnessed for one hundred thousand dollars ($100,- 
000), to insure the government of the 5 per cent duty, thereby 
endeavoring to make it a legal business. 

January 20th, 1864, Major Morse and George W. Lane 
returned to Norfolk, Virginia, and said they were entirely suc 
cessful in their arrangements about the cotton while at Beau 
fort, North Carolina. 

George W. Lane has gone to Baltimore, Md. He will return 
in a few days to this department, and in order that he may be 
here on official business, he is making arrangements to raise 
the iron steamer "Forbes" that is sunk near Cape Henry, 
Virginia. But his real business is to get some twelve hundred 
(1200) bales of cotton near Chowan River, North Carolina. 

Mrs. - - is on Nebraska street, near Union street, Norfolk, 
Va., and is very anxious to go to her home in North Carolina, 
and it is probable she will soon make a move in that direction. 

Very Respectfully, A. J. B. HUTCHINS 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA. 23 Jan., 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON 

A TABLE-SERVANT of Jefferson Davis has come within our 
lines. I have examined him, and think him truthful & reli 
able, & his information of sufficient consequence to send him 
to you. He reports, & I believe him, the rebel Vice-President 
Stephens having fled to Europe without the knowledge of 
Davis. The boy s name is James Pemberton. I send by mail 
minutes of a hurried examination. 

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



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 331 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, January 26th, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

I SEND you enclosed a marked copy of the Richmond Exam 
iner. May not the article about Vice-President Stephens 
confirm the story of James Pemberton whom I sent you? 
I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully your obt. servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 24^, 1864 

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant General U. S. Army, 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

GENERAL: I had the pleasure to receive your letter of the 
15th of Jany. inst. Before its receipt, however, I had a con 
versation with Dr. Winslow, and I trust have adjusted matters 
in the future so that he will not be interrupted with. The 
trouble had been that the Dr. has been denounced regularly 
as a disunion man by his neighbors. I think you must have 
been misinformed as to anything done by Colored Troops, as 
no Colored Troops have ever reached Hertford; although the 
acts of others have been bad enough. Hertford is not within our 
lines, but I am trying to extend our protection around it, having 
had a very satisfactory interview with the citizens of Pasquotank 
County. I am very much obliged to you for your kind expres 
sions of opinion as to my administration in New Orleans. 

I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From Miss Van Lieu to General Butler 1 

January 15th, 1864 

DEAR UNCLE: I was very glad to get your letter. I had not 
heard from you for so long. I had written by Flag of Truce 



1 The above letter is what Gen. Butler read on opening the envelope. When 
acid and heat were applied the following was found to be the real message: 

DEAR SIR: It is intended to remove to Georgia very soon all the Federal pris 
oners. Butcher s and baker s to go at once. They are already notified and selected. 
Quaker knows this is true. Are building batteries on the Danville road. This is from 
Quaker. Beware of new and rash counsel, beware! This I send you by direction of 



332 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

and by private boat, but did not get a reply, which made me 
very unhappy. I am glad to know of your love. If we don t 
agree on the question of war I am sorry, but we love one 
another. I took my little children down. Betty was - 
much; she is a right large girl. She inquires about you. Betty 
is the only one that remembers you. I am very uneasy about 
Jamy. He is in Tennessee with Longstreet. The last letter 
I had he was well, but had endured great hardships. Please, 
Uncle, enquire for him, and see if he has been taken prisoner, 
and do what you can for him, for I hear how badly they treat 
prisoners in Tennessee. Please write at once and tell me if 
you can learn anything of him. He is your own nephew, 
and you ought to take an interest in him, and I know you do, 
not minding the difficulties you have had. He is very kind 
to me. Now, Uncle, you know that I am getting on very well, 
but I could not have things as I do if Joe had not given me his 
money before he went. I would not care about living if it 
was not for my children. If anything happened to him - 
He is healthier than he was when he worked in the store. S. 
and her family are all well. She has lost her youngest child 
about months ago. - - He talks very loud, but is out of 
the army. I think he is the very one that ought to be put in. 
She would be better off without him. I am very sorry to 
hear that Aunt Mary is so sick. I hope she will soon be better. 
There is a doctor here, I think could cure her. It is Doctor 
Waring. I have heard of some cures of the same disease. 
Good-bye, my dear Uncle. God bless you and all yours. I 
will always remember your kindness and dear Aunt Mary s. 
Your affectionate niece, ELIZA A. JONES. 

From Governor Gilmore to General Butler 

State of New Hampshire, Executive Department, CONCORD, Jany. 25th, 1864 

SIR: Your telegram, informing me of a respite granted to 
Private William H. Stearns, 10th N. H. Volunteers, has been 
received, and in behalf of his friends I thank you for the 
same. 



all your friends. No attempt should be made with less than thirty thousand cavalry, 
from ten to fifteen thousand infantry to support them, amounting in all to forty or 
fifty five thousand troops. Do not under-rate their strength and desperation. Forces 
could probably be called to action in from 5 to 10 days, twenty-five thousand, mostly 
artillery. Hoke s and Kemper s brigade gone to North Carolina. Pickett s in or about 
Petersburg. Three regiments of cavalry disbanded by General Lee for want of 
horses. Morgan is applying for a thousand choice men for a raid. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 333 

As I am informed, Stearns for several years prior to his 
enlistment had been a workman in the mills at Manchester, 
this state, that his relatives mostly reside there, and that he 
has a very respectable woman for a wife, and also one child, 
in whose behalf this application is made. 

That he deserted in the fall of 1862, and afterwards came 
to see his wife and child, to whom he is represented as being 
much attached, and after that probably went to Canada, 
though that is supposition. 

I wish to make no apologies for desertions occurring at the 
present time. Their iniquity and punishment are well under 
stood, but at the time Stearns deserted they were not gen 
erally regarded in the light in which they now are, and very 
severe punishment had, I believe, been but rarely inflicted 
prior to that time. I would suggest, therefore, that mercy 
may be shown him, and I would respectfully ask that as light 
a punishment may be inflicted upon him as the good of the 
service will permit. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obdt. Servant, 

J. A. GILMORE, Gov. of New Hampshire 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, January 15th. 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: There have been delivered for Special Exchange or 
otherwise since last September, by the Confederate Authorities 
at City Point, a number of Officers and men amounting to 
about seven hundred and fifty (750) men, including the five 
hundred (500) delivered to me on the 26th of December. 

There has been no declaration of exchange of any prisoners 
since September, and all these prisoners by the cartel, as I 
understand, are waiting to be declared exchanged, in the 
Parole Camp at Annapolis or elsewhere. Upon looking over 
the course of the officer of exchange in this matter, I find that 
from time to time Declarations of Exchange have been made, 
and therefore I propose to declare all prisoners held by the 
Confederates, and delivered by their Agent at City Point to 
our Agent of exchange up to this date, exchanged. 

The operation of that Declaration, as I understand it, will 
be only to allow those who have been in fact exchanged, and 
delivered to us as such, to be put in the service instead of 
remaining at the Parole Camps or at home. I should have 



334 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

asked instructions upon the matter had I not supposed that 
this was simply in the course of official business. It will and 
can have no operation upon any pending question, or any 
other force than simply to release the men already exchanged, 
and allow them to be sent into the Army of the United States. 
Trusting that you will approve this, and will answer your 
approval by telegram. I am, 

Very respectfully, your obedient servt., 

B. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Office Commr. of Exchange, FORT MONROE, Jan. 25th, 1864 

Hon. ROBERT OULD, Agent of Exchange, RICHMOND, VA. 

SIR: I have the honor to return the accompanying papers 
for more definite information as to the whereabouts of the 
parties inquired for, as the endorsements merely state that 
they are not in prison in Richmond, which is but a vague reply 
to send to their sorrowing and anxious friends. I trust you 
will endeavor more fully to inform us where these men are, if 
in the hands of your Authorities. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Yr. obt. friend, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From R. S. Fay, Jr. to General Butler 

BOSTON, Jan. 26, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: I have your letter of 17th, with its very 
kind enclosure to Gen. Hurlburt, for which I thank you very 
much. The Committee on Manufactures has received my 
application for increase of capital very pleasantly, and I think 
there will be no difficulty in declaring 50% stock dividend. 

I have just returned from New York, where I have spent 
most of my time with your brother. Though in pretty good 
spirits and confident, he is a very sick man, and I have been 
urging him with all my might to go home and leave his business 
to Richardson and me. I fear it is of no use, however; he 
goes into something new as fast as any old matter is settled. 
I hope Col. Shaffer will bear in mind the forage voucher for 
$20,000. It is a most flagrant case of neglect, and very hard 
upon us. 

I think Middlesex almost too high at 320 to take any for 
you unless you decidedly wish it. I have let Perry, M. North, 
and some overseers have most of what I bought at that price. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 335 

I have 20 shs. left, which are at your disposal. We are talking 
of a small hosiery mill in connection with our neighbor Barry, 
the largest importer and domestic commission house in that 
line. Also of a small cotton mill, of which scores are for sale, 
to be ready for the first opening. If anything conies of either 
you shall have a chance. Please present my best regards to 
Mrs. Butler, and believe me always, 

Yours faithfully, R. S. FAY, JR. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 26fA, 1864 

Col. HENRY WILSON, U. S. Senate 

DEAR SIR: I have the 2nd Mass, heavy Artillery here. When 
they arrived with twelve Companies, the Adjt. Gen. of Mass. 
desired, by telegraph, to know if two more Companies would 
be acceptable. I immediately answered that they would be, 
and when in Washington I saw the Sec. of War, and asked him 
for permission to have them raised. I supposed that he sup 
posed that they would be raised upon precisely the same terms 
as other new recruits, and entitled to precisely the same 
bounties, no more, no less. He gave me permission to have 
them raised, and gave an order to have them entered on the 
Provost Marshal General s books, and permitted me to tele 
graph to Adjt. Gen. Schouler that they would be authorized, 
which I did. 

By a letter received from Adjt. Gen. Schouler, it seems 
that it is now understood that these are raised for "Special 
Service," and are not entitled to the same bounties as other 
new recruits. 

The service for which they are raised is not "Special" but 
general, and no distinction should be made, or, as I believe, 
was intended to be made, by the Sec. of War, between them 
and other recruits, for the reason that they were raised for 
"Special Service." And I repeat, they were to receive the 
same bounties as other recruits. This was my understanding 
and it was his understanding, which I have no doubt he will 
at once recognize. I see no occasion for misunderstanding, 
and I believe if you call upon him, and show him this note, 
if there is any misunderstanding it will be promptly corrected. 
If not, the matter will stand upon his order. I have the honor 

Very respectfully, your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 



336 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. ISth, 1864 

His Excellency JOHN A. ANDREW, Gov. of Massachusetts 

SIR: I have examined the note fromAdj t. Gen. Schouler to 
my Chief of Staff in relation to the two companies of Heavy 
Artillery. I have asked Senator Wilson to present a note to 
the Sec. of War on the matter, a copy of which I beg leave to 
enclose for your Excellency s information. 

I trust there will be no misunderstanding which by any 
possibility can injure the soldiers. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Jany. 26^, 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR : I telegraphed you at some length about the conversion 
of the Point Lookout Hospital to other uses, and I stated all 
the reasons that I could state in a telegram. I got an answer 
through General Canby, that the Surgeon General reports 
that it cannot be spared. There are accommodations there 
for quite a number of patients, say fifteen hundred, possibly 
more. There are less than one hundred Union men patients. 
There is a guard to guard it numbering almost as many as the 
patients. One quarter of these patients should be sent to 
their Regiments were it not that they are needed to make a 
show of sickness. I have got in my Department Hospital 
accommodations for more than one-half of my entire command 
were it wounded to-morrow. I can take every patient from 
Point Lookout and keep them at Fortress Monroe, at the 
McClelland and Chesapeake Hospitals, and have Hospital 
buildings for colored troops, because I have a sensible Medical 
Director and Medical Staff. I have the honor to repeat in 
regard to the Hospitals what I did in regard to the Engineer, 
"Great is Diana of the Ephesians." 

You did me the honor to say, when I last saw you, that you 
never knew a Department Commander that was willing to give 
up any troops that he once got in his possession, and I asked 
if you ever knew the Chief of a Staff Department to give up 
anything that he once got in his possession, and I trust you 
will answer the one as I answered the other. With gold at 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 337 

160, I think a little pains should be taken to save the United 
States a thousand dollars a day expense to feed one hundred 
men, we had better board them at the Continental. We do it 
at less expense, and, on an average, they are not more debili 
tated than the dandies we feed there. I speak not without 
knowledge, for I have been through this Hospital, and seen 
these men. Having done my duty in putting before you the 
facts, it remains for you to make such application of them as 
your good judgment will dictate best for the public service. I 
have the honor to be 

Very respectfully, your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 26 January, 1864 

Sec. of War 

CAN you send me Baker s Cavalry? If so, how soon can 
they be landed at Yorktown? 

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

From C. A. Heckman 

BY TELEGRAPH from GETTY, Dated Jan. 26, 1864 

To Maj. Genl. BUTLER 

I MADE a Cavalry reconnoissance to Pig s Point. They 
found no signs of any Rebels, & the citizens say there has been 
none in that section of the country since this evacuation of 
Suffolk. The squadron returned to Camp this A.M. at 5 o clock. 

C. A. HECKMAN, Brig. Genl. Comdg. 

From Robert Quid 

Confederate States of America, War Dept., RICHMOND, VA., Jan. 27, 1864 

Major General E. A. HITCHCOCK, Agent for Exchange 

SIR: All of the deliveries at City Point have been mutually 
declared exchanged up to Sept. 1st, 1863. Since that date 
there have been several deliveries, the number on each side 
generally corresponding. If there is any excess it is generally 
on our deliveries. 

On the 1st of February I shall declare all officers and sol 
diers who have been delivered at City Point at any time prior 
to January 1st, 1864, exchanged. You can make a similar 
notice as to those who have been delivered you. 
Respectfully, your obt. servant, 

ROBERT OULD, Agent of Exchange 

VOL. Ill 22 



338 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Dept. of Va. & N.C., FORT MONROE 

Gen. OULD 

WILL you send for our officers from distant points, Texas 
and elsewhere? I have complaints that none but officers 
from Richmond can be exchanged, which embarrass action. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 27 Jan., 1864 

Gen. WISTAR, NORFOLK 

BAKER S Cavalry will reach Yorktown by water to-night. 
Be prepared for them. Answer receipt of this. 

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

From Colonel Appleton 

Headquarters, 9th Regt. C. d A, PORT HUDSON, LA., January Zlth, 1864 

Capt. A. F. PUFFER, A.D.C. Gen I. Butler s Staff 

CAPTAIN: Your very welcome letter of the 10th inst. came 
to hand yesterday evening. This morning I reported to Gen. 
Andrew, Commdg. the Corps d Afrique, the contents of the 
letter, and added that it would be for my personal advance 
ment to be under Gen l. B. He asked me if Gen. Butler 
promised to give me a Brig. Gen. Commission, to which I 
answered "No! not at present," leaving an implication, I 
am aware, perhaps hardly authorized. The Gen l did me the 
honor to state that my chances here for such a Commission 
were good, and that he did not see why he should lose a good 
officer for the sake of Gen l. Butler s or any other Department, 
and that an officer s preferences in the matter he should not 
consult. He further informed me that I might put in my 
resignation, but that he should disapprove it. I shall immedi 
ately put in my resignation, and it will be disapproved. I 
shall then send it on to friends at Washington, and move 
"Heaven and Earth" to effect my cherished desire of being 
with the General. "Where there is a will there is a way," 
and my "will" is strong enough in this matter. He, Gen. 
Andrew, told me if the General had made me a promise of 
immediate advancement that he should consent. I shall 
write to-day to Hon. Vice-President Hamlin and Hon. John 
H. Rice, M. C. of our district. I write this in great haste for 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 339 

the boat which leaves this forenoon from New Orleans. Please 
present my respects to the General. Hoping soon to be with 
you. I am, W{ih ^^ respec ^ y r QUi ^^ 

JOHN F. APPLETON, Col. 9th Regt. C. d A. 



From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 11th, 1864 

DAVID CREAMER, Esq., Asst. Assessor, 4th Division, 

4th District, Va. 

DEAR SIR : I acknowledge the receipt of your circular letter, 
directing me to make out and return a list of my income for 
taxation from Internal Revenue. 

I have no desire to escape or evade that taxation, and 
therefore shall not refuse to furnish a list when called upon by 
the person to whom I am authorized by law to give it. I am 
a citizen of Middlesex County, Mass., away from thence for 
what I hope is a very temporary purpose, not liable, and per 
haps not likely to be at Fortress Monroe when the tax would 
be collectable; with no property upon which it might be 
levied except my personal wearing apparel and the horses 
and arms which I use in the service of the Government, and 
the few dollars balance of my pay which is not yet expended. 
Therefore it would seem that I am not amenable to taxation 
here, but shall be obliged to answer the call from my assessor 
at my home. I have no income here except my pay, which is 
duly taxed before I get it. It would be impossible for me to 
make an approximate statement of the income derived from 
my property in Mass., as that has been for almost three years 
past wholly managed by Agents, and without returns from 
them and an examination of their books, as much of it con 
sists of bonds, uncollected interest money, and dividends upon 
stocks, for w r hich I have no returns, it would be impossible for 
me to make an approximate statement. 

I trust that you will see that my declining to send the list 
you require is from no want of respect to your office, or your 
self, or any desire to evade proper taxation. Allow me also 
to call your attention to the fact that if I had such intent, 
while I remain in this District where martial law is predomi 
nant, and I am the executor thereof, it would be exceedingly 
difficult for you to collect the tax in the Civil Courts. I merely 
mention this to show that I should be taxed in Mass., where I 



340 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

have property which is amenable for any process to answer 
taxation. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 
, B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 



From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 27th, 1864 

Brig. Gen. WILD 

You will collect nothing on permits. The fund already col 
lected will be turned over to Lt. Col. Whelden. 

The 5 per cent Internal Revenue Tax is collected at the 
port to which the goods are sent under a form, a copy of which 
is enclosed. Make no tax for taking the Oath of Allegiance, 
and we have nothing do to with administering any other 
concerning Treasury regulations. We do not want any Custom 
House Officer, and don t believe we want much of a City Gov. 
I agree with you they are expensive and troublesome. All 
matter of permits will be regulated at these Head Quarters, 
save that you will approve or disapprove all applications made 
to you, and forward them here for revision in the form hereto 
fore used. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Wistar 

CIPHER. BY TELEGRAPH from NORFOLK, January 17th, 1864 

To Major General B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. 

IT will be impossible to disguise the significance of the 
subject of your telegram any longer. Can you move forward 
all the other Cavalry by way of Newport News at once, with 
instructions to stop at Clark s Farm below Yorktown? 

I will go up Friday morning whether court finished or not, 
seeing you by the way. It cannot now be delayed. 

Please order the Commissary to fill Yorktown requisition 
if any by tomorrow s boat. I mean hard bread. 

I. J. WISTAR, Brig. General 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 341 

From General Wistar 

CIPHER. BY TELEGRAPH from NORFOLK, January %lth, 1864 

To Major General B. F. BUTLER, Commanding 
WILL see you Friday on my way up. Can you fully make 

up the agreed number of cavalry by Saturday night at 

Williamsburgh ? 

It is two fair day s march from Newport News. If so, 

Monday is my day. L j WISTAR) 



From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 13 Jam/., 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

The PRESIDENT 

TELEGRAM in regard to Private Kerns, 3rd Pa. Arty, received. 
Your former order has prevented the execution of any 
person in this Department since it was issued, and will do so 
until revoked. There are two murderers here under very 
aggravated circumstances awaiting execution. 

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

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 26 Jan., 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

His Excellency A. LINCOLN, President, 

WASHINGTON CITY 

YOUR despatch was received; all executions have been 
stayed until further orders from you. 

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

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Jany. 28lh, 1864 

Col. J. HOLT, Judge Advocate General 

COLONEL: The records and Court Martial have been 
received. The President telegraphed me that no person who 
has been sentenced to death should be executed until further 
orders. The order was therefore issued, suspending all execu 
tions. There have been some men tried since that order, and 
the sentence approved, and acting under the spirit of the 
President s telegraph, I have not carried a sentence into 
execution. 

All sentences of death are under my order to be executed 
within forty-eight hours after the sentence is read to the 



342 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

prisoner. That sentence is not ordered to be read to the pris 
oner until the time and place are fixed for his execution, so 
that there would seem to me to be no propriety in noting any 
thing of the President s order upon the proceedings I approve. 

No man has been pardoned or respited by the President, 
because the record has not been forwarded to him, so that I 
can make no record of any action of the President because 
none has b een taken. 

I must do my duty under the law, which is to approve or 
disapprove of the sentence, and to carry it into effect unless 
the President interferes. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Dept. Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 28th, 1864 

Mrs. JOHN H. B. LATROBE, BALTIMORE, MD. 

MADAM: Whether it will be possible to grant your request 
in regard to your occupying a tent with the gentleman you 
name is questionable, as other dispositions will be made at 
Point Lookout during the stay of the prisoners here. If he 
chooses to be loyal and take the Oath of Allegiance and go to 
your home and remain there during the war, he will have an 
opportunity. 

I will, however, forward your note to the Commanding 
Officer there, and will call his attention to your wish, and trust 
that he may be able to gratify you. You may write your 
son whenever you please, and send him anything for his com 
fort until further public notice. 

I thank you very much for your kind mention of me. I 
am so often called a "Brute and a Beast" that it seems some 
what singular that a Southern lady can remember any polite 
ness of conduct. I have the honor to be, 

Very respy., Yr. obdt. servt. , 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Commanding 

From Robert J. Stevens and W. Whitelock & Co. 

BALTIMORE, 28/A of January, 1864 

THE undersigned for themselves and agent require permis 
sion to purchase and remove to loyal states from the counties 
of Hyde, Tyrell, Bertie, Washington, and North Carolina, the 
produce of the county, say corn, rosin, cotton, tar, flaxseed, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 343 

&c., and also with a view of paying for the same with the priv 
ilege of shipping out to those counties, under such restrictions 
as may be imposed, family supplies, not contraband. 

This produce, at the present time, we think is liable to be 
seized and applied to the support of the Rebel Armies, and 
therefore it is the policy of the Government it should be 
removed within our lines. The money which in any case might 
be applied to its purchase would to that extent tend to weaken 
the Rebel currency, and thus indirectly aid the authorities 
in the suppression of the rebellion. The vessels in proceeding 
out and returning would enter Albemarle Sound either from 
the ocean or by the route of the canal from Norfolk, or both, 
as the authorities might determine to grant permission. 

They are prepared to enter into such bonds as may be 
required that they are loyal, and will conform to the restric 
tion which the permission may impose. 

ROBT. J. STEVENS, W. WHITELOCK & Co. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 28 Jan., 1864 

Brig. Gen. GRAHAM, NORFOLK 

TOBACCO kept on the lines for the purpose of being smug 
gled across is property within the first section of Order No. 10, 
to be taken possession of and a receipt given therefor, because 
it is of use to the enemy. 

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

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 28 Jan. 1864 

Col. WEST, YORKTOWN 

HAVE any men of Baker s cavalry arrived? 

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

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 28 Jan., 1864 

Gen l. D. H. RUCKER, WASHINGTON 

WHERE is the rest of Baker s Cavalry? But three hundred 
and eighty men have arrived. When shall we have the rest? 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



344 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Thomas Richardson to General Butler 

12 Wall Street, NEW YORK, January 28th, 1864 

GENERAL: I feel that I ought to express to you my feelings 
in regard to your brother s health. He seems to have lost 
strength very rapidly the last few days. I wrote Col. Shaffer 
of the Col s, request day before yesterday, asking him to come 
here. I trust he received the letter, and is now on his way. 
If not, I hope he will take the first opportunity consistent with 
his official duties to come. 

I repeat the wish which I have before expressed, that you 
could see your brother. Ought not his family to be apprised 
of his failing health ? You will please excuse my anxiety in re 
lation to your brother, but no man living has so strong hold on 
my friendship. I hope he may yet be spared for many years, 
but I do think he is failing. With kind regards, I remain, 

Yours, THOMAS RICHARDSON 

P.S. Your brother has rooms at the "St. Denis" hotel, cor. 
llth street and Broadway. I am with him. T. R. 

From B. T. Ames to General Butler 

DRUMMONDTOWN, VA., January 29th, 1864 

DEAR SIR: At the suggestion of Capt. Graham, Provost 
Marshal of this place, whose debtor I am, I furnish you with 
a brief statement of facts that you may see how heavily your 
49th order, &c. bears upon me. 

Unfortunately for me, when the war commenced my prop 
erty was about equally divided one-half here, consisting in 
a few servants and 164 acres of land, the other portion was 
in the south, and consisted in a few hundred dollars, one 
servant, one horse and carriage, house, property, library, &c., 
to the amount of three thousand dollars. 

My family, consisting of a wife, two daughters, and ser 
vant, were in the south when hostilities commenced. On the 
21st day of May, 1861, we obtained permission of Commodore 
Stringham (who treated me very kindly) to pass to this place, 
where we have been ever since, and our conduct has been 
observed by your officer above named. 

I, Sir, in early life had the benefit of military instruction, 
and since this unhappy struggle commenced I have had sev 
eral positions offered me, both while south and since I arrived 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 345 

home, but have not accepted, nor have I been in military ser 
vice of any kind since 1848. 

I have never been a politician have not cast but one vote, 
which was for Bell and Everett for the Presidency, for the 
last seven years. Now, Sir, if this excites your surprise, allow 
me to allay it by saying I am a Minister of the Gospel, and 
have enough else to attend to. 

Finally, my servants are all gone, and consequently my 
few acres are comparatively valueless already I am poor, 
and my helpless family are upon me. 

Now, Sir, if complying with your order is the means of los 
ing my property in the south, I know not what will stay me 
and my family of females while I am in the evening of life, 
unless we can find shelter in that Being in whom we have 
exhorted others to trust. 

This is submitted with the full intention of abiding your 
decision. I am dear, Sir, ^ Mi ^^ B T 



From General Butler 

January 29^, 1864 

YOUR case is a hard one. I wish you could have said your 
sympathies and wishes were not with the South. In that case 
I might have made an exception, but looking carefully through 
your letter I can find nothing which shows a spark of loyalty. 
I, then, can only say you must take your case as you have 

made ll Very respectfully, B. F. B. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 29 January, 1864 

Sec. of War 

WHERE is Baker s Cavalry? 281 men of it landed at York- 
town two days ago, the rest have not been heard from. 

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

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 29 January, 1864 

Hon. H. WILSON, PORTSMOUTH 

PLEASE come and see me to-morrow. Show this as an order 
for transportation on the boat to and from this point. 

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



346 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 29th Jan., 1864 

Maj. Gen. AUGUR, Comdg. Defences of Washington 

Two hundred and eighty one (281) of Baker s Cavalry came 
down to me for picket duty. These are without tents. I am 
anxious therefore for the rest, who have the tents. When 
will they come? 

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

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. SOth, 1864 

H. S. CONOVER, Esq., MARLBOROUGH, MONMOUTH COUNTY 

DEAR SIR: If you will send, direct to me a requisition in 
the form following, to ship two hundred barrels of cider to 
Norfolk, and say where you desire to clear from, you shall 
have it without paying anything handsome, except that you 
will inform me, giving me names and dates, and certain evi 
dence of the charge you make, that some officer of mine in 
Norfolk has received fifteen hundred dollars for shipping a 
cargo of goods. I shall want all the particulars. I don t care 
to use your name. I want to know who knows the fact. I 

have the honor to be, Tr . 77 

Very respectfully yours, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

Jany, 1864 

Permit. I desire to ship two hundred barrels of cider from 
- to Norfolk Va., and would request a permit so to do from 
Major General B. F. Butler, Comd g. Dept. Va. and N. C. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 16 Jany., 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Col. WEST, Comdg. at YORKTOWN 

I AM informed that there is some regulation in the York 
River which forbids the oyster catchers from taking their 
oysters from the deep water & piling them up in the shallow 
water, to be there taken by the vessels loading. 

Please examine and report to me, after conference with the 
Naval Officer, what, if any reason exists for such restrictions, 
and the exact state of the regulations on this point. 

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



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 347 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 30th, 1864 

Rear Admiral LEE, Commanding N. A. Blockading Squadron 
SIR : I should think that oystering might be permitted with 
safety up the Nansemond as far as the Ferry or Hollowing 
Point, as far up the James on the south side as Barrel Point, 
and about two miles above Newport News on the north 
side. 

All permits will require that oyster boats shall have nothing 
on board but provisions, and no whiskey exceeding one gallon, 
and any person found smuggling or communicating with the 
enemy will forfeit the boat or vessel, and be imprisoned not 
less than six months at hard labor, with ball and chain. I 
have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From Lieutenant Colonel Charles M. Wheldon 

Head Quarters, District of Virginia, Provost Marshal s Office, NORFOLK, VA., 

Jan. 30th, 1864 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER 

SIR: The schooner "Lewis Clark," Capt. L. S. Bowen, 
endeavoring to-day to proceed to Fortress Monroe with a 
clearance signed by Col. J. W. Shaffer under your order, was 
stopped by the guard ship "Wyandot," and compelled to 
return to this place for a pass from this office. Is this a 

Very respectfully, Your bdt. Servant, 
CHAS. M. WHELDON, Lt. Col. and Provost Marshal, 

District Va. 

Answer to Col. Wheldon 

January 31st, 1864 

IT is not necessary that she should have a pass from your 
office if she has a clearance from these H. Q. 

By command of GEN. BUTLER, 
H. C. CLARKE, Capt. and A.D.C. 

Answer to Captain of "Wyandot" 

January 31st, 1864 

IT is reported that the schooner "Lewis Clark" was detained 
by you and ordered back to Norfolk because it had no pass 



348 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

from the Provost Marshal at Norfolk. She had a clearance 
from these Head Quarters, which is all that is necessary. 

By command of GEN. BUTLER 
H. C. CLARKE, Capt. and A.D.C. 

From Count Gurowsky to General Butler 

(Confidential of course). WASHINGTON, January SQth, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: You will be astonished and probably 
disgusted to find a chap as I making to you suggestions, and 
nevertheless I dare to beard such a lion as you. 

The future of the country, nay of this whole continent, is 
deeply, nay fearfully, intertwined with the coming presiden 
tial election. Energy, brains, comprehensiveness, farsighted 
ness, prompt and clearsighted decision, broad organizing and 
administrative capacity, are among the paramount requisites 
in a future president. But not an atom of those qualities 
can be discovered in Mr. Lincoln, not even by any most 
powerful microscope. 

I know somebody who masters them all, and besides he 
masters great many other qualities. 

Whatever be the dirty activity of the politicians, I never 
theless rely upon the sound sense of the masses, and hope that 
in the last hour the people will go for the ablest man, provided 
that man accomplishes some brilliant action, and accomplishes 
it in the nick of time. 

The whole present administration will not help any one to 
carry out some thing bold, dazzling, and decisive. 

The army of the Potomac is to begin operations early in the 
spring. It is to be supposed that Lee will draw to him all the 
available forces. Then a lightning-like blow dealt from For 
tress Monroe on Richmond, putting you in possession of the 
nest of the rebellion, transforms you into an irresistible favor 
ite, and a candidate for the Presidency. 

Of course Lincoln and his advisors will never put you in 
possession of sufficient means for such a coup, and still less 
would they assent that you should deal it. 

Therefore if possible and possible it ought to be for 
such fertile brains as are yours you ought continually, 
slowly, but uninterruptedly increase your forces and resources ; 
do it daily and hourly, and justify it by reasons plausible and 
palatable to our rulers. 

When the hour comes, strike the blow without letting out 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 349 

your secret. Report to the rulers when half way before 
Richmond telling them that no minute was to be lost, that 
you took the responsibility, as any delay even the shortest 
- would have been fatal; etc., etc., etc. 

You know better than I, that if the administration would 
wince and smart to find Richmond in your hands, on its shoul 
ders the people will carry you into the White House. 

This people and this continent must be rescued from the 
curse to have Mr. Lincoln re-elected. A great action, a great 
bold action, and Lincoln chances vanish as a nightmare. 

Yours truly, GUROWSKY 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., January 30, 1864 

RICHARD S. FAY, JR., BOSTON, MASS. 

DEAR SIR: I have already said to you that I will take one- 
half of all the stock you may buy in the Middlesex Company. 

If you think best to buy, buy; if you think best to sell, sell. 
I don t know what effect the fifty per cent dividend will have, 
but I should think it was not much too high at 320, consid 
ering the price of gold. 

I am glad you intend helping my brother out in his business, 
during his illness. If you will aid him in his pressure I will 
be much obliged to you. In regard to the certificate which 
is needed from Col. Shaffer, the Colonel has gone to New York 
sick. You will be able to hear from him there. 

Yours Truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jany. 31st, 1864 

T. T. CHOLLAR, Esq., NEW YORK 

SIR : I am informed by Mr. Jared Chollar of Pomhet Landing, 
Conn., that you are a brother of the late Ferdinand D. Chollar, 
private in the 21st Reg t. Conn. Vols., Co. K, and that his 
mother is also in New York. 

Ferdinand D. Chollar died at the Balfour Genl. Hospital, 
Portsmouth, Va., November 27th, 1863 of chronic dysentery. 
He left two hundred and seventy-four and 70/100 Dollars. 
A lawyer in Norfolk endeavored to obtain this money as com 
pensation for services rendered to Chollar, before Gen. Butler 
assumed command of this Department. On learning of the 
case, Gen. Butler examined it, and allowed the lawyer ten (10) 



350 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

dollars, all that his services entitled him to. The balance, 264 
70/100 dollars, is therefore held by the Comd g Gen. in trust 
for the relatives of the deceased. If your mother will send 
to Gen. Butler a receipt for the money, and a certificate from 
a Notary Public or Justice of the Peace establishing her iden 
tity with the mother of said Ferdinand D. Chollar, Private 
Co. K, 21st Reg t. Conn. Vols., deceased, a check on New 
York for the above amount will be forwarded to her address. 
I have the honor to be, 

By command of MAJ. GEN. BUTLER 

Your obt. servt., 
A. F. P. Capt. and A.D.C. 

From General Butler 

Head Qitars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 3lst, 1864 

Col. J. JOURDAN, Commanding BEAUFORT 

COLONEL: You will take immediate measures to stop all 
trading at Newport Barracks, or the village in that neighbor 
hood, except in very small amounts, sufficient for the immediate 
necessity of the neighborhood. I am informed that large 
quantities of contraband goods go through that point to the 
Rebels. I shall depend upon your vigilance to see to it that 
that trade is stopped. 

I have been called upon by the War Department to recom 
mend for Brevet, Colonels commanding Brigades, and I am 
inclined so far to send in your name as one. I have the honor 

tO be, T r ,/. 77 

Very respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 3lst. 1864 

Hon. THADDEUS STEVENS, Member of Congress 

DEAR SIR: I see that Col. Field, the claimant for a seat in 
the House from Louisiana, makes loud professions of never 
faltering loyalty. Ask him if in the New Orleans Delta, between 
the 26th of April and the first of May 1862, he did not publish 
a card, stating in substance that some persons had slandered 
him by saying that he had gone on board a Yankee gunboat, 
a part of Farragut s fleet, when lying in the River; but that 
his known character for loyalty to the South should forbid the 
imputation from being believed by any person who knew 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 351 

him. There is such a card extant in the files of the Delta. 
If he had claimed repentance, I would not have brought up 
this reminiscence against him, but as he claims faithfulness, I 
think it but fair he should be put upon explanations. I have 
the honor to be, Very respect j utty ^ your obt smi ^ 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. ComcTg. 

From General Butler 
Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Jan. 31st, 1864 

JEFFERSON COOLIDGE, Esq., BOSTON, MASS. 

DEAR SIR: I have the sad satisfaction of forwarding to 
you a memento of your brother, who died in the service of his 
Country. Permit me to mourn with you his country s loss. 

I have the honor to be, T7 ,,. 17 

Very respectfully yours, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. ComcTg. 
From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 31 January, 1864 

Brig. Genl. WISTAR, Comdg. at YORKTOWN 

I THINK the purpose of that forced march is fear of a raid 
into the counties between the York & the Rappahannock, under 
Gen. Mars ton. 

To-morrow I send you a Mr. Fay, a refugee from Richmond. 
Another detachment of Baker s Cavalry is on the way. 

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

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 31 Jam/., 1864 

Brig. Genl. CHAS. K. GRAHAM, NORFOLK 

\YiLL you do me the favor to call on me at your earliest 
convenience, for the purpose of correcting a misunderstanding. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. FORT MONROE, VA., 31 Jan., 1864 

Brig. Gen. LOCKWOOD, BALTIMORE 

CAN you find me in Baltimore a plan of Richmond? I may 
want it some time or other, and have not one. My sending 
to buy one would cause remark. 

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



352 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Colonel J. M. Shaffer to General Butler 

Metropolitan HOTEL, NEW YORK, Jan. 31st, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL: I have just returned from a visit to the 
Col. He is a very sick man, and I don t think he will live 
through the Spring; yet he is very confident he will get well, 
and says as soon as he gets better he will go to Baltimore and 
have you meet him there, but he wont go to the Fort, and he 
thinks you had better not come to New York to see him. He 
is very anxious to know whether you have received a couple 
of letters he wrote you some days ago. I told him I had not 
heard you speak of receiving any letters. He is extremely desir 
ous of receiving a letter from you, and he says if you would 
only drop him a few lines every week it would do him good. 
I have arranged to see him to-morrow again, and will write 
you as soon as I can thereafter. 

I am very unwell, and when I left him on Friday I was 
nearly crazy with pain in my head, and I had not force enough 
to get up to the office to see Jim. 

If you will write me immediately on receipt of this, I will 
get it, and any suggestion you have to make in regard to the 
Col. I will see carried out. 

I will try and get around to-morrow and see what is going 

on in the world. 7 ^ r- j T i\/r o 

Truly Your Friend, J. M. SHAFFER 

If Major Mulford succeeds in getting my man, Capt. James 
Gait of 111., out of Libby, and he should need money or any 
thing else, I wish you would supply his wants. Mr. Wilson in 
my office will tell him where to find his brother, who is in Ben- 
nington at present. J. M. S. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Dept. Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 1st, 1864 

M aj. General E. A. HITCHCOCK, Commdr. of Exchange, 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

GENERAL: I have treated the papers that you speak of in 
your letter of the 23rd rather as the debris of the exchange 
business, which was to be passed through informally. 

At present I am awaiting an answer to my proposition from 
Mr. Ould, having had no official answer in regard to matters 
arising before I took charge; we stand in this way. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 353 

As Commissioner of Exchange I send forward such inquiries 
and formal papers as are necessary in the course of business. 

Commissioner Ould has returned answers by formal en 
dorsements. 

I thank you for your courtesy, and will only add that I am 
endeavoring so to manage business as to avoid any personal 
collision, to maintain my personal respect and the honor of 
the Government. 

I don t mean to make difficulties about personal matters. 
When a difference arises, it will be a perfectly distinct one 
which will justify me in taking the issue. 

If you will have the kindness to forward me the papers 
mentioned in your note, I will see the proper disposition made 
of them. They were sent to you while I was absent in the 
course of office business. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yr. obdt. servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 



From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 1st, 1864 

His Excellency JOHN A. GILMORE, Gov. of NEW HAMPSHIRE 

DEAR SIR: By the construction of the law, to which I yield 
the readiest obedience but not my assent, although I have the 
power of carrying into effect the sentence against Wm. H. 
Stearns, 10th New Hampshire Volunteers, directing him to 
be executed for desertion, I have not the power to remit any 
thing. I must either execute him or discharge him; therefore 
your application will need to be made to the President of the 
United States, and Private Stearns will not be executed until 
after the result of that application is known. I have the 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MOXROE, Feb. 1st, 1864 

C. B. DIBBLE, Esq., NEW YORK 

SIR: The grounds upon which I judged it my duty to pro 
hibit your doing business in North Carolina were because: 

First. Your brother and partner in business, so far as any 
public notice goes, was engaged on the Rebel side in like 

VOL. Ill 23 



354 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

business, and therefore you were under very great temptations 
to send goods across the lines, having peculiar facilities, he 
being very near you. 

Second. That your vessel, loaded with goods, had been put 
ashore under very suspicious circumstances. 

Third. I had many complaints of the fact that you were 
dealing with the Rebels, in relation to goods furnished by you 
to them. 

Fourth. As you are reported to me, and as you are adver 
tised by your Northern friends, to be a merchant prince who 
had made four hundred thousand dollars by your trade, an 
amount which would satisfy a reasonable man s avarice; and 
as the trade is a special and limited one in North Carolina, I 
concluded that you at least had had your share in that trade, 
and might give way possibly to a less fortunate man. 

Putting all these reasons together, I was forced to the 
conclusion that as the trade could only be by special permit, 
it would be better to permit that trade to those who were not 
embarrassed by the relations and suspicions which are attached 
to yourself. If the trade were an open one, to which all would 
have a right, I freely admit that I did not proceed so far in the 
investigation as to convict you beyond a reasonable doubt so 
as to take away your permit as for a conviction of crime. 

But being a limited one, I thought the evidence against 
you was sufficient to my discretion and judgment, and there 
fore I gave the direction in regard to your business which 
I did. The same reasons, therefore, you will see at once, 
would apply to your doing a commission business down there, 
because when sending your vessels with your goods on Com 
mission to your correspondent, your Captain may run them 
ashore for the Rebels to capture them, as he did the last time; 
or your correspondents may transfer them to your brother 
within the Rebel lines, as you are supposed to have done; 
or your correspondent may carry on the business of smuggling 
goods through the lines, which you are accused of having the 
means and the knowledge how to do. 

You will therefore see that it is best that you should conduct 
your business enterprises in another quarter, where you will 
not be supposed to be under the same temptations and sus 
picions as in North Carolina. And if your business success 
in North Carolina was due simply to your business capacity, 
capital, and energy, the fact that you can meet with the same 
success in other quarters will be the best answer to the accusa- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 355 

tions made against the manner of your trade there. I have 
the honor to be y&fy respect -f u u y ^ Y our obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Cm. 

By General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 1st, 1864 

In the matter of MARGARET NEWTON, and the further execution 

of the order of Brig. Gen. WILD to take possession of her 

property as a military necessity 

MRS. NEWTON having submitted her title to the property 
to the Major General Commanding, it appears that the house 
in which she resides, and the subject of the Order, is vested, 
one undivided half in Mrs. Newton, by several deeds of trust, 
and the other undivided moiety invested in her infant child, 
the daughter of Courtney A. Newton, her late husband, a 
private in the Confederate Army, who died in March last, 
of wounds received while fighting against his country, at the 
battle near Sharpsburg. It appears that Mrs. Margaret 
Newton has taken the Oath prescribed by the Proclamation of 
the President. Without discussing the question, whether by 
the Act of Congress in regard to confiscation, and the Procla 
mation of the President and the expiration of the sixty days 
after the 21st of June, 1862, there was any power of inheritance 
in that property by the heir of Courtney A. Newton, it is suffi 
cient to observe that Margaret Newton has an undivided 
estate, which, if she were loyal, would entitle her to possession 
against all the world. 

She having taken the Oath, it must be presumed under 
the Proclamation of the President that she is restored to her 
present rights of property. The question then presented itself, 
whether there is such a military necessity as would justify 
the taking of the house of a person of known loyalty for the 
the purpose indicated by the Order of Gen. Wild to wit: a 
residence for himself and military family. 

A military convenience is to be carefully distinguished from 
a military necessity. While the Comd g General would have 
no difficulty in taking the houses of persons of known disloyalty 
for the convenience of his Officers and his men, nothing but 
an urgent necessity would justify the taking of houses from 
loyal persons. For example, were his officers and men without 
shelter in an inclement season, the Commanding General 
would feel justified in taking the buildings of loyal persons for 



356 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

that purpose, or if they needed hospitals; but that would be 
upon the belief that a just claim would accrue to the owner 
from the United States. 

But the Comd g General does not believe that Gen. Wild 
in this case would for himself take such a building for his 
personal use and that of his Staff, and subject the United 
States to a valid claim for the full rent thereof. Therefore, 
as it seems to the Comd g General, if the property in this 
instance were so taken, such a valid claim would exist in favor 
of Mrs. Newton, so far as any facts have been presented. 

The General has no hesitation in setting aside the Order of 
Gen. Wild in this behalf, who no doubt ordered the property 
taken upon the supposition that the sole title was in Courtney 
A. Newton, the husband, who had forfeited all rights to it 
by his rebellious acts. Of course this determination can have 
no effect upon the claims of the United States and of Mrs. 
Newton, to be settled under due process before the proper 
Courts. A copy of this determination and Order is furnished 
Mrs. Newton for her information. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 2 Febry. 1864 

Gen L GRAHAM, NORFOLK 

I SEND to you Dr. Ritchie, on his parole, to make complaint 
of the manner in which he was treated. I know you will feel 
as I do. The most strenuous efforts shall be made to bring 
to punishment those officers, for I do not much blame the men 
who suffered such things to be done. It was directly in face of 
Order No. 10, current series, which my officers shall find is 
not a dead letter. Make the most stringent investigation, 
restore what property you can find, if any, and report to me. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. 18th Army Corps Dept. Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, 

Feb. 2nd, 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: In obedience to your telegram, I enclose the "corre 
spondence between the United States authorities and the 
Rebel authorities on the exchange of prisoners and the different 
propositions connected with that subject," so far as they 
have come from my office. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 357 

My reports and letters of instructions you have in the office 
at Washington. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

One enclosure containing following letters 

Maj. Gen. Butler to Robert Quid Dec. 7th, 1863. 

Maj. Gen. Butler to Robert Quid Dec. 25th, 1863. 
Maj. Gen. Hitchcock to Major General Butler Dec. 17th, 1863. 

Maj. Gen. Butler to Robert Quid Dec. 25th, 1863. 

Maj. Gen. Butler to Robert Quid Dec. 25th, 1863. 

Robert Quid to Major Mulford Dec. 27th, 1863. 

Robert Quid to Major Gen. Hitchcock Dec. 27th, 1863. 

Maj. Gen. Butler to Robert Quid Jan. 12th, 1863. 

Maj. Gen. Butler to Robert Quid Dec. 25th, 1863. 

Maj. Gen. Butler to Robert Quid Dec. 25th, 1863. 

Maj. Gen. Butler to Robert Ould Dec. 25th, 1863. 

Maj. Gen. Butler to Robert Ould Dec. 25th, 1863. 

Robert Ould to Maj. Gen. Butler Dec. 9th, 1863. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 2nd, 1864 

Mrs. Admiral FARRAGUT 

MY DEAR MADAM: I had read copies of the proceeding in 
the Provost Court before I approved its action in the case of 
Zantzinger and Co. Please say, as you take interest in them 
that all I desire to see are their accounts as merchants, of 
when and how they came by the identical barrels of liquor, 
with the marks and price, after the manner of merchants, that 
were made the subject of seizure. This their books and in 
voices can supply beyond a doubt, and it is a question not of an 
ability but willingness to give me the facts. Anything else 
I don t care to hear. That, I should be very glad to hear, 
and will listen with all patience to its most minute details. 
Truly yours, B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g, 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 2nd, 1864 

Brig. Gen. WISTAR, Comd g YORKTOWN 

GENERAL: If you will detail a Court Martial I will order 
the detail to be appointed. I have pursued that course with 
Gen. Getty and others, for the purpose of having a central record 
office in my Judge Advocate office, by which means we can 
get at information in case of an application for pardon, and it 
has been a convenience. In regard to a Provost Judge, I 



358 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

have no doubt of your authority to appoint one, but I know I 
have, and to save all questions I will appoint such a person for 
Provost Judge as you may suggest. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. tnd, 1864 

STEPHEN B. TAYLOR, Esq., BALTIMORE, MD. 

DEAR SIR: Your letter of yesterday has come to hand. I 
will have the matter of your complaint investigated forthwith. 
If Mr. Miles has anything on board his schooner other than 
in his manifest, I have large bonds to answer. 

Truly yours, B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From A. J. B. Hutchins to General Butler 

NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, Feb. %nd, 1864 

GENERAL: George W. Lane is at this place with a map of 
the Chowan River and vicinity, with the location of cotton 
marked on said map. 

Fifteen thousand (15,000) dollars has been invested in two 
schooners capable of carrying each four hundred bales of 
cotton, and it is determined upon that said schooners shall be 
sent to the Chowan River by way of Hatteras Inlet, but at 
what particular time it has not been decided. 

There is a blockading vessel stationed at Hatteras Inlet, 
and it is proposed to insure the government with the 5 per 
cent duty with a bond for one hundred thousand (100,000) 
dollars, thereby endeavor to make it a legal transaction, and 
with said bond some letters, and if necessary a few thousand 
dollars pass the blockading vessel at Hatteras Inlet. I shall 
be notified when the schooners shall start for North Carolina, 
and will report. 

Mrs. - - sent through the Federal lines a letter concerning 
the cotton. Major Morse saw the letter before it went, and 
advised her to send it. I am, General, 

Very Respectfully, A. J. B. HUTCHINS 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 359 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. Znd, 1864 

Hon. S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury 

SIR: If you will send me one hundred thousand dollars ($100,- 
000) more Confederate money, I think I can dispose of it to 
the benefit of the Government. 

I have the honor to be, T7 , , 17 v , . 

Very respectfully Your obt. servt., 

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

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. Znd, 1864 

Hon. E. M. ST ANTON, Secretary of War, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

SIR: I have asked James Jackson and C. Barker Raine, 
citizens of Petersburg, Virginia, and refugees who left on 
Saturday, to hand this note to you for the purpose of stating 
to you the matters about which I have conversed with them. 

Their information as to army matters is not important save 
that a number of troops are being sent to North Carolina, but 
upon the disposition of the people and the state of things in 
the Confederacy I think they will give you a vivid and truthful 
picture, and are entitled to consideration. 

I have the honor to be 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 2nd, 1864 

General GRAHAM 

CAPT. LEE S report returned. He says nothing as to the loss 
of the enemy or the second Engineer being not found. Had not 
the report better be rewritten, and state those facts, as well as 
the disabling of the Engineer, as he stated there to me. 

Very respectfully yours, 
B. F. B., Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 2 Febry. 1864 

G. V. Fox, Asst. Sec. of Navy 

WHEN are you to be here? I want to see you very much 
about one or two things. One is about timber. 

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



360 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

FORT NORFOLK, VA., 2 Febry. 1864 

Col. A. H. BUTTON, Comdg. at NEWPORT NEWS 

How many effective men have you in the 3rd N. Y. Cavalry 
to march to-morrow? 

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

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 2 Febry. 1864 

Col. BUTTON, Comdg. NEWPORT NEWS 

ORDER every able-bodied man of the 3rd New York Cav 
alry, to march to Williamsburg, with picked horses from the 
whole number at camp, as early as possible to-morrow morn 
ing, encamping at the church 6 miles this side of Yorktown 
to-morrow night; take with them only tents and working uten 
sils and two days rations. Next morning send forward an 
officer to Col. Spear, and ask him to designate a camping ground 
near Williamsburg. 

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

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 2 Febry. 1864 

Brig. Gen l C. A. HECKMAN, PORTSMOUTH, VA. 

CAN you not make it 350? How soon can you have them 
at Portsmouth ready to embark, with picked horses, taking 
from those who have gone home? 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

CIPHER. FORT MONROE, VA., 2 Febry. 1864 

Brig. Gen. WISTAR, Comdg. YORKTOWN 

How is the water at Bottom s Bridge? Have you heard, 
or any other information? Send by boat. Why can t the 
5th Penn. come by water to Yorktown at the moment wanted? 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 361 

From General I. J. Wistar 

TELEGRAM. YORKTOWN, Feb. Id, 1864, 11 P.M. 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER. 

GENERAL: Enough of Bottom s Bridge remains for one 
wagon to pass at a time. Market carts cross it daily. One- 
half (longitudinally) is interrupted by the removal of alternate 
planks. 

There is a good ford about fifty (50) yards below the bridge 
at low stages of the stream. I cannot get direct information 
of its present condition, but think it must be practicable. I 
can get no late information of Long Bridge 7 miles below or 
should prefer it, as presenting less danger through the tele 
graphic communication by York River R. R. To cross at the 
"James" or Forge" bridge would be a longer route, and 
would give sufficient alarm to Chapin s farm, via Charles City 
C. H. where they are now doubtless wide-awake. 

I have a man who will undertake to cut the telegraph 
between Meadow Station and Richmond at one o clk. A.M. on 
any given morning, with 36 hours start. He belongs to llth 
Pa. Cav., & is a Virginian enlisted in Gloucester Co. Col. 
Spear says "trust him." When I open the matter fully to him 
I will promise him $250 if successful. I shall send 200 Infan 
try, under Lt. Col. Perry, 139 N. Y., with 12 hours start, to go 
through the woods and get in rear of the New Kent Picket, 
which I am in strong hopes of accomplishing. I shall then 
take twenty picked infantry of same party up, behind as many 
cavalry men, and endeavor to do the same at Baltimore 
roads, but have not much hope of success there. 

If it fails, there is nothing for it but a rush on Bottom s 
Bridge, where there is a picket of about 20 men, occupying a 
log house at the further end of the bridge on the left hand side, 
and 200 or 300 more on the hill about a mile beyond, when we 
must either surprise or race with the telegraph, if the plan for 
cutting it fails. 

From the moment of our appearance at the bridge (suppos 
ing we stop the picket at the Baltimore roads) I estimate it 
will require the enemy to get to Meadow station, wake up the 
operators at both ends of the line, communicate the message, 
signal it by lanterns to Battery No. 2, and get its garrisons 
in fighting condition, &c., &c., If hours. We ought to be there 
by that time, distance eleven miles. 

If we fail to do that, we must dash by or around the battery 



362 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

in two or three columns. They only have (9) nine guns there 
in the three batteries, & I think the shooting of the Richmond 
Battalion at 6 A.M. will be bad if they try to fire on all at once. 

If the only additional cavalry you can send will be the 5th 
Pa., they might as well come by water to Yorktown as not, 
provided they can all come at once, & I have timely notice. I 
now have 400 Cavalry at Gloucester C. H., after two rebel 
companies near there. 

The exercise will benefit their horses which are good, but I 
should have timely notice in order to concentrate, in readiness 
to go right on upon the arrival of the 5th Pa. If I succeed in 
a timely concentration & start I am not much afraid of any 
thing except the York River telegraph. Only one thing is 
absolutely certain, & that is that we can t accomplish anything 
worth while without some risk, and that we can t do it if we 
don t try. 

Yours very respectfully, I. J. WISTAR, Brig. Genl. 

From General Butler to General Wistar 

Headquarters, Department Va., & N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 3rd, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: Yours of this morning s boat is re 
ceived. Find more than one man who can cut telegraph wire, 
and offer each a large sum, say $500 for doing it. 

5th Pennsylvania will be with you (350 sabres) to-morrow 
at two o clock. I have thought of Saturday in my own mind 
for the movement. What say you? 

Palmer writes me that the whole of Pickett s Division is 
before Newbern. Not quite correct. All but one Brigade is. 

You can converse freely with Haggerty upon this matter if 
you need any other than written communication with me. 

You now have all I can send you. I have sent the 21st 

Conn, to Beaufort to aid Palmer. v , 7 

Yours truly, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 
From General Butler 

Head Quars. DepL Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 3rd, 1864 

Brig. Gen. PALMER, Comd g NEWBERN, N.C. 

GENERAL: Your despatch by the hand of Lieut. McVey 
was received at a quarter to one o clock. He seems to have 
made all diligence to get here. I send to Morehead City the 
21st Conn, by the "Spaulding." That is the only infantry 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 363 

Regiment which I can spare at the present time. Major 
Bates, Lieut. McVey, and Col. Ripley return with her. 

I need not say to you, hold on at any event. If the attack 
turns into a siege, we will be there in the rear to take part 
in it. 

I have notified Admiral Lee, so that he may make such 
Naval dispositions as he sees fit. I will also forward by tele 
graph the substance of your despatch to the Commanding 
General of the Army. 

The force given as opposed to you is exaggerated. Two 
regiments of each Division of Lee s Army, Hood s Brigade of 
Early s Division, and one Brigade of Pickett s Division, is 
all that is before you. 

They do not amount to more than eight thousand men, and 
your force, with plenty of provisions and ammunition, would 
seem to be amply sufficient. If fully necessary, you might 
concentrate from either Plymouth or Washington all the force 
which could be spared. I have the honor to be 

Very respectfully yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



From H. A. Risley to General Butler 

Commercial & Coastwise Intercourse with and in States Declared in Insurrection, 

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 3rd, 1864 

GENERAL: I sent Mr. Henry McKay down to the counties 
of Accomac and Northampton to gather some desirable infor 
mation, and to give instructions to Local Special Agents and 
Traders. I desire to have consultation with you, either in 
person or by letter, in relation to those two Counties. All the 
Virginia Coast is under blockade, but there being no foreign 
trade to or from the East shore and no danger of difficulty 
with foreign powers from the domestic trade carried on there, 
it is not believed that these Counties are to come under Regu 
lations VIII and XXXII. Suppose you require all merchants 
there to report to you, and get their authority to trade counter 
signed or approved as provided in your General Order 39. 
They pay the 1% if you require it, on their shipments; some 
practicable mode being adopted, if it can be, to save them the 
expense and delay of a journey to Fort Monroe each shipment? 

Mr. McKay will talk this over with you. I will endeavor 
to see you or write you at greater length about this and the 
sale of captured and abandoned property, at an early day. 



364 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

You will oblige me by giving Mr. McKay any necessary facility 
in prosecuting his journey. ^ ^^ ^ 

H. A. RISLEY, Sup. Sp. Agent 
From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 3rd. 1864 

Brig. Gen. WILD, Comd g NORFOLK 

GENERAL: Col. Geo. F. Sawtell of Mass, is hereby appointed 
Superintendent of the labor of prisoners in this District, and 
will employ them in such way upon the streets or public build 
ings, and for the benefit of the Government, as he may from 
time to time receive directions. He will take charge and care 
of such as he may take from the prisoners for that purpose, 
will have a suitable place prepared for their confinement in 
custody, and feeding, and will be responsible for their safety. 
The Provost Marshal will detail him a suitable guard for that 
purpose, and you are requested to furnish him every facility. 
His requisitions will be forwarded directly to these Head 
Quarters. The several officers who have prisoners in charge 
will furnish Col. Sawtell with the rolls of their prisoners, and 
such as he may direct will be turned over to him. I have the 

honor to be, T7 ,/. 77 7 , 

Very respectfully, your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. ComcTg. 
From General Butler 

Head Quars. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 3rd, 1864 

His Excellency HORATIO SEYMOUR, Governor of NEW YORK 

SIR: I enclose copies of the various papers received by me 
in relation to John Ryan alias James Dixon. I had examined 
his case before I received your note, upon an application, a 
copy of which is enclosed. From respect to your application, 
I have had the case re-examined, and am convinced that 
Ryan is not a case which calls for executive clemency. His 
offence is the most aggravated known to military law, an 
attempt to murder his superior officer. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 365 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 3rd Febry. 1864 

P. H. WATSON, Asst. Sec. of War 

WE desire very much that the requisitions for our cavalry 
should be filled. 

We have been writing and writing to the ordnance office 
for them, but either there or in the transportation office there 
is a hitch. May I ask you to have the matter attended to at 
once? We can get men faster than we can get arms. 

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

From General Butler 

CIPHER. FORT MONROE, VA., Febry. (3), 1864 

Maj. Gen. HALLECK (Operator send same message to Secretary 

of War) 

DESPATCH from Gen l. Palmer, rec d at 1 to-day, says his 
outposts are attacked and driven in by a force which he thinks 
to be 15,000 men. I suppose it to be 8,000, two regiments 
from each Division of Lee s army having been sent down to 
N. Carolina. I got the information reliable yesterday. I have 
sent a regt. to reinforce Col. Jourdan at Morehead City. 
Now is the time if ever for Gen. Meade to move. The roads 
are practicable. That will relieve N. Carolina at once, and 
leave a movement for me of which I spoke to you. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Eighteenth Army Corps, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, February 3, 1864 

Major Gen. H. W T . HALLECK, General-in-Chief 

SIR: I send you inclosed a copy of a report received from 
Brigadier-General Palmer at 1 o clock to-day, and also a report 
formerly received, having already sent you by telegraph the 
substance of the report to-day. 

I have sent forward the Twenty-first Connecticut about 
400 men to the aid of General Palmer, which is the only 
infantry regiment I can spare. General Meade could relieve 
General Palmer at once by making a movement. I can move 
with 6,000 men, to-wit, 2,000 sabers and 4,000 infantry, with 
two batteries of artillery, at any moment, from Wllliamsburg 
in the direction I indicated to you in conversation. The roads 
are practicable. There are no troops in Richmond save the 



366 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

City Battalion. Pickett s division has but one brigade in 
Petersburg. I do not believe that Lee has 20,000 men in front 
of Meade, because it is thoroughly understood that Meade is 
in winter quarters. Why can t Meade move on Friday? They 
are fortifying the road that runs from Richmond in the direc 
tion of Danville. They began on Monday with 5,000 negroes, 
which they have impressed under their new law of Congress. 
Please advise me upon all these points, and whether I can get 
any aid for North Carolina in case the attack turns out a 
siege. I am certain that two regiments from each division of 
Lee s army have gone south over the Petersburg road, besides 
all of Pickett s division except one brigade at Petersburg. 
I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General Commanding 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, Page 506. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 3 Febry. 1864 

Hon. Secretary of War 

I SHALL be ready to move on Saturday. Can Meade move 
at fl ii? 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, February 3, 1864, 4.30 P.M. 

Major-General BUTLER, FORT MONROE 

GENERAL MEADE is at Philadelphia, sick. Your telegram 
has been referred to the General-in-Chief for answer as to 
whether the army can move. 

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, Page 506. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA. 3rd Febry., 1864 

Brig. Gen. I. J. WISTAR, Comdg. at YORKTOWN 

GEN. PALMER writes me that Newbern was attacked again 
by a force of 15000 men on Monday morning at 8 o clock. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 367 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 3rd Febry., 1864 

Maj. Gen. PECK, SYRACUSE, N. Y. 

NEWBERN has been attacked. Perhaps that will shorten 
your leave of absence. 

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

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 3 Febry., 1864 

Col. BUTTON 

You will get ready to embark the infantry force under your 
command upon the arrival of the "Spaulding," which will 
be in the course of the afternoon. Take ten days rations. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 3 Febry., 1864 

Admiral LEE, Flag Ship "Minnesota," off NEWPORT NEWS 

I HAVE further information that one of your gunboats, the 
"Hull," is aground another one is under repairs. Perhaps 
you w r ould like to send some aid to the boats in the Sound. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 3rd Febry., 1864 

Brig. Gen l. GRAHAM, NORFOLK 

WHAT time to-morrow will the "Brewster" be ready? 

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

From General Butler 

CIPHER. FORT MONROE, VA., 3 Febry., 1864 

Brig. Gen. WISTAR, Commdg. at YORKTOWN 

I THINK Saturday. Haggerty has gone to you with a letter. 
I guess we shall be able to raise the siege of Newbern here. 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 



368 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General I. J. Wistar to General Butler 

YORKTOWN, Feb. 3, 1864 

GENERAL: Your note of this morning by Major Haggerty 
is received. 

In saying Friday in my telegram I mean to concentrate on 
that evening at the lines to march there on Saturday at 
10 A.M., and strike the blow at R. on Sunday morning at 6 A.M. 

If Gen. Meade cooperates he should be moving at this mo 
ment. If he has no accumulation of supplies at his front, and he 
probably has not, it will take him some time to make an ear 
nest movement, and a detected & understood feint is worse 
than nothing. 

I have, however, made my calculations without expecting 
anything from him, and whatever he may do will be a gain. 
About 6,000 men went South through Richmond at the end of 
week before last, and on last Monday week 2,000 others, coming 
from the South, passed through R. to replace them. Those 
6,000 men, with what have been drawn from the Appomattox 
line and the Blackwater, & possibly a few previously in obser 
vation in front of Newbern, are, I suspect, about what is in 
front of Gen l Palmer. 

One Brigade at least of Pickett s is at Chapin s farm, & part 
or the whole of another is at Richmond & Hanover Junction. 
His artillery is at Chapin s & Richmond, & perhaps Petersburg. 
I know of some at both the two first-named places. 

It is a great risk to send men to cut the telegraph, lest if 
taken they should confess in their ignorance, under the sup 
position that it would exonerate them from the character of 
"spies." If they did, the enemy could draw but one inference. 

I think, however, I could find two to send unknown to each 
other. They will start to-morrow night. 

How are we to know whether they cut it properly or not? 
Of course they will say so. I mean in reference to the payment 
of reward, for I shall act as though I knew the telegraph to 
be unharmed. 

My Surgeon-in-Chief has telegraphed for (20) twenty new 
stretchers, which I hope will come on tomorrow s boat (Thurs 
day). I am, rr n 9 r< >; 
Very Respy, Gen I, 

Your obt. s vt., 

I. J. WISTAR, Brig. Genl. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 369 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., February 3, 1864, 6 P.M. 
Major-General SEDGWICK, Comdg. Army of the Potomac 

I AM directed by General Halleck to telegraph you directly 
in regard to possible cooperation in a movement which I 
desire to make. Some 8,000 of Lee s army have gone into 
North Carolina, or perhaps more, and are now attacking 
Newbern. Can you make a forward movement which will 
draw Lee s troops from Richmond to your front? Can that 
be done as early as Saturday? Telegraph to what extent you 
can move. B R BuTLEK> Major-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, page 502. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., February 4f/z, 1864 

Major-General HALLECK, General-in-Chief 

DESPATCHES from Brigadier-General Palmer, at Newbern, 
dated 2d February, at 5.15 P.M. The post of Newport, between 
Newbern and Beaufort, is expected to fall. Colonel Jourdan 
still holds Morehead City, but may have to evacuate and go 
to Fort Macon. The naval gunboat "Underwriter" has been 
surprised by the enemy and blown up near Newbern. The 
railroad is probably cut off between Newbern and Beaufort. 
The river is still open. Palmer has 3,500 men under his 
command. They have provisions for 6,000 for ninety days. 
I will endeavor to reenforce Newbern by a company of heavy 
artillery, which is the arm they will need. I telegraphed Major- 
General Sedgwick as you desired, but have received no answer. 
I still think the enemy s force is not more than 8,000. May 
not the movement I suggested when I saw you be the best 
way to relieve Newbern? I await instructions. 

B. F. BUTLER, Major-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, page 511. 

From General John Sedgwick 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, February 4th, 1864 

Major-General BUTLER, Commanding, FORT MONROE 

YOUR despatch of last evening is received. The only troops 
sent from Lee s army on the Rapidan to North Carolina are 
two brigades of infantry and one or two regiments of cavalry, 

VOL. Ill 24 



370 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

numbering in all between 3,000 and 4,000 men. No portion 
of Lee s army is in Richmond, unless some of the troops men 
tioned above have been stopped there. The information upon 
this head is exact and positive. Two brigades of Pickett s 
division have been sent recently from James River or the 
vicinity of Richmond to North Carolina. Lee s army is in 
my front, on the Rapidan,Hhe advance corps of the two armies 
being from three to four hours march apart. The condition 
of the roads and the present state of the weather render an 
attempt at a flank movement impossible. The Rapidan in 
my front is so strongly intrenched that a demonstration upon 
it would not disturb Lee s army. 

JOHN SEDGWICK, Major-General, Commanding 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, page 512. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, February 4, 1864 

Major-General SEDGWICK, Commanding Army of the Potomac 
DESPATCH received. 

B. F. BUTLER, Major -General, Commanding 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, page 513. 

From General Butler 

Office of Commdr. of Exchange, FORT MONROE, Feb. 4sth, 1864 

Hon. ROBERT OULD, Agent for Exchange, 

RICHMOND, VA. 

SIR: I have the honor to call your attention to the case of 
Thomas Hill, a citizen of the United States. He was living 
in West Union, Doddr ge Co., West Va., and was captured 
April 30th, 1863, while building bridges for Government use 
by order of General Roberts: he has been offered frequent 
paroles of Richmond by the Confederate Authorities, but has 
refused them: he will accept no protection but that of the 
U. S. Government: he is now liable to conscription by the 
Confederate Government, and is not a subject for Exchange. 

This Government is willing to exchange a Confederate 
citizen for him; if you should not accept of these terms, why 
should we not imprison a Confederate citizen as hostage for 
him? I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, yr. obdt. servt., B. F. BUTLER, 

Major General Commdg. & Commr. of Exchange 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 371 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 4, 186-1 

M. S. ISAACS 

SIR: Your letter in regard to the report of Gen. Graham s 
expedition, in which it was said that five Jews were captured, 
trying to run the blockade, inquiring of me why I have speci 
fied the religion of these contraband traders, and commenting 
upon the act as if I wished to make invidious religious dis 
tinctions, is received. 

The manner in which the phrase got itself into the tele 
graph reports was very simple. The report of the return of 
the expedition was made to me, and as it was made I dictated 
portions of it to the telegraph, using the words of the Report, 
so that it was in fact done without thought on my part, and 
only in the course of business, as I should have mentioned any 
other fact reported to me by my subordinate when reporting 
to my superior. 

But since my attention has been drawn to it by your com 
ments, and others of the press, I really do not see any reason 
for changing the phrase. It was meant when used to designate 
nationality, although not religion, as one would say five 
Irishmen, five Germans, or five Italians. I have always con 
sidered the Jews a nationality, although possessing no country. 
The closeness with which they cling together, the aid which 
they afford each other on all proper and sometimes improper 
occasions, the fact that nearly all of them pursue substantially 
the same employment so far as I have known them that of 
traders, merchants, and bankers, the very general obedience 
to the prohibition against marriage with Gentiles, their faith 
which looks forward to the time when they are to be gathered 
together in the former land of their nation, all serve to show a 
closeness of kindred and nation among the Hebrews, and a 
greater homogeneity than belongs to any other nation, although 
its people live in closer proximity. So that while I disclaim 
all intention of any reflection upon their national religion, 
which was the foundation and typical of that of the Christian 
world, and holding to the doctrines of Christianity with rever 
ence for the Savior, no one can stigmatize all Jews, yet one 
may be reasonably permitted, in speaking of that nation, to 
suppose there may be in all the Jews of the South, two of 
whom certainly are in the Confederate Cabinet, at least five 
who might attempt to carry on a contraband trade. 



372 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Because it may be reverently remembered that when the 
Savior aided by omniscience undertook to choose twelve con 
fidential friends from among that nation, he got one that was 
a "thief and had a devil." I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, yours, 
MAJOR GENERAL BUTLER, U.S.A. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Feb. Uh, 1864 

Hon. S. P. CHASE, Secretary of Treasury 

I see a report in the newspapers that you are about to 
declare Newbern a free port. That can only be done by allow 
ing free entrance into Hatteras Inlet, and when a vessel is once 
inside it has two hundred miles of inland navigation, bordered 
by the enemy s shores, from which to choose a point to land 
its goods for smuggling purposes. 

To blockade that inland navigation effectually would take 
more vessels than the blockade at Wilmington. 

Newbern is now besieged by the enemy. Having charge of 
its military defence, I must respectfully protest against such 
a declaration. As no vessels drawing more than eight feet of 
water can go over the swash at Hatteras, such declaration 
would be mocking so far as foreign trade is concerned. 

Every man now who loves the Union better than smuggling 
gets a permit to trade, and have a Rail Road from Beaufort 
to bring his goods to Newbern. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 4 Febry. 1864 

Hon. G. V. Fox, Asst. Secretary of the Navy, 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

YOUR telegram received. Glad to see you on Saturday. 
The rebels are besieging Newbern. Have captured and blown 
up the gunboat "Underwriter." She was surprised. Flusser 
with the rest of the fleet was going to the relief of Newbern, 
and was at the mouth of the Neuse River last night. 

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



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 373 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 4 Febry. 1864 

Brig. Gen. GRAHAM 

COME on here. BENJ R BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Com. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 4 Febry. 1864 

Brig. Gen. GRAHAM, NORFOLK, VA. 

PUT all provisions on the "Brewster" she can carry. Make 
all despatch in getting her ready. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Com. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 4 Feby. 1864 

Col. JONES FRANKLE, Comdg. at FORT NORFOLK 

WHICH is your ablest and best company? How many men? 
How soon can they be ready to embark? 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Com. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of Va. & N.C., FORT MONROE, VA., Feby. 4th, 1864 

Brig. Genl. WISTAR, Commdg. Expeditionary Division, 

YORKTOWN, VA. 

MY DEAR WISTAR: So far as I can see, everything is done 
that can be done within our means for the move on Richmond. 
Therefore we are to go forward to endeavor to dp the services 
proposed; 1st, to relieve our prisoners who must otherwise, it 
seems to me, of necessity be starved. Lee is already asking 
his soldiers to live on half rations, can he give more to our 
soldier prisoners? 

2nd. To destroy the public buildings, arsenals, Tredegar 
Iron works, depots, railroad equipage and commissary stocks 
of the Rebels, and thus cripple their resources. 

3rd. To capture some of the leaders of the rebellion, so 
that at least we can have means to meet their constant threats 
of retaliation and hanging of our men white and black. If 
any of the more prominent can be brought off, I believe a 
blow will be given to the rebellion from which it will never 
recover. 

There is one point and one only upon which I have not 



374 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

consulted with you fully as I could wish, and that is why I 
have marked this private, because of its delicacy. If you live, 
I have every confidence that all will be done that can be done 
for the success of your expedition, all that courage, coolness, 
comprehension, and skill can do, but if misfortune meet you, 
what then? Have you subordinates that can fully take your 
place? Have they been so fully instructed in our plans as to 
escape confusion? Should not at least three officers of every 
separate detachment be instructed in the objects and aims of 
that force, with orders to carry them out in the event of one 
falling or two? 

Do you desire me to send you anybody as second in com 
mand in case you are disabled by shell explosion or acci 
dent? If so, name him. To you shall be the honor of the 
execution of the enterprise in any event. Trust me with the 
utmost confidence in the matter, and I will give you whatever 
I can that you desire. 

Finally, may God preserve you in an undertaking which 
promises so much for the cause of the country if successful. 

We can have no aid or cooperation. I have telegraphed to 
General Halleck to order Meade s Army to make at least a 
feint, and have rec d in reply a request that I would "tele 
graph myself to General Sedgwick for cooperation," but I am 
not commanding General of the Army, and Sedgwick will not 
obey me. I have telegraphed to Sedgwick, however, asking 
him, as Newbern is besieged, if he can give me aid and relief 
by a threatening demonstration on Richmond, and if that can 
be done Saturday, but have received no reply. "Another man 
from England" might diminish the daring of the achievement, 
and therefore our plan may not be indispensable to success. 

Your idea to march on Saturday is the correct one. If this 
weather holds, we must not lose it; you will be in time exactly. 
The barometer now promises fair, dry weather, the colder the 
better. Success attend you is the earnest prayer of yours 

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

From General I. J. Wistar to General Butler 

YORK-TOWN, VIRGINIA, Feby. bth, 1864 

GENERAL: Accept my grateful and sincere thanks for your 
letter of today, just received by despatch boat, and for all 
your manifold kindness and consideration ever since I happily 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 375 

came a second time under your command. A thousand false 
impressions have been removed from my mind, and it shall 
be a business of my life to assist friends in doing what you will 
not except by the slow testimony of actions and services 
- do for yourself, viz. remove similar ones from the minds of 
others. 

Respecting a suitable second in command, the matter is 
too important to be left to me. You should and will decide. 
I will only remark in that connection that Col. West and Col. 
Duncan command my two infantry brigades, and I have every 
confidence in both. To-morrow night I shall go with them, 
map in hand at Williamsburg, over every detail and every 
contingency. 

Col. Spear is thoroughly instructed and cross examined by 
me already. On Saturday morning I shall call the Cavalry 
Colonels and Cavalry Officers of the striking detachment, and 
go over everything. I have some guides, and have despatched 
two men unknown to each other tonight to cut the wire between 
Meadow Station and Richmond on Saturday night, between 
dark and midnight. Lt. Col. Perry, of 139th N. Y., with 200 
Infantry, starts at 10 P.M. Friday evening, with a good guide 
to get in rear of the New Kent picket at (9) P.M. Saturday even 
ing. At 2 same night we make the attempt to surprise 
Bottom s Bridge, with the hope of striking Richmond at 5 
A.M. following. If the principal cavalry officers are brave, the 
thing must succeed. 

I believe I dare not leave the supporting force in position at 
Bottom s Bridge unless the circumstances of the moment 
justify my accompanying the Cavalry from there. Such is 
not my present intention. 

I have weighed it well. In the confusion of the moment, 
even if I were present, we should have to depend on previously 
instructed detachment commanders, while if an accident hap 
pens to the infantry and I not there to remedy it, Fortress 
Monroe and its dependencies are left entirely uncovered and 
without troops. 

I ought now to inform you of the provision left to local 
defence. 

1st. 150 effectives of 16 N. Y. 26 Arty, and one battery of 
field Artillery (two-thirds manned) and five heavy guns in 
the new citadel (unfinished) at Gloucester Point, a strong 
place. 

2nd. 100 of same with 50 provost guard and one-half of a 



376 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

four gun light battery (half manned) at Yorktown, with say 
200 convalescents and sick, besides teamsters, &c., Capt. 
Brooks, Provost Marshal, a good officer in command. 

3rd. 550 effective of N. Y. Arty., with one section of first-rate 
light Artillery and eight guns in position at Fort Magruder (a 
strong place) and its line of redoubts, besides some sick and dis 
mounted Cavalry, and one or two good officers acquainted 
with the field and sweep of the guns. Fort Magruder contains 
good water and some accumulation of rations and ammunition, 
not much of the latter enough I think. 

They should hold out for some days against any moderate 
force with light guns, and it will take a good while for them to 
bring down any other kind. 

If I and my troops meet with an accident, there should be 
a good officer sent there until you can reinforce. I really have 
no misgivings whatever, but regard such as a most remote 
possibility. 

I hope and verily believe that I have forgotten nothing, 
and that every possible contingency has received consideration. 
Accidents may mar anything. We may stumble in Richmond 
on 10,000 men going to or returning from Newbern, but we have 
a fair right to expect as many accidents for us as against us. 

One last request. If you hear favorably from me, will you 
quiet the anxiety of my wife by a telegraphic line to care of 
Robert Toland, 1213 Spruce Street, Philadelphia. 

With renewed and heartfelt thanks for your uniform kind 
ness, and not the least of them, this opportunity given me, 
- permit me to call myself your 

Attached friend, I. J. WISTAR 

P.S. On Sunday morning at 5 o clock pray for our country 
and for me. I. J. W. 

From General H. W. Halleck 

WASHINGTON, February 5tk, 1864, 9.30 A.M. 

Major-General BUTLER, FORT MONROE, VA. 

GENERAL SEDGWICK is very positive that only 3,000 or 4,000 
men have been detached from Lee s army. You will adopt 
such measures in regard to North Carolina as you may deem 
best, calling on the admiral for such naval assistance as you 
may require. R w HALLECK, General-in-Chief 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33. page 518. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 377 

From General Butler 

Secretary of War FoRT MOSHOB, February 5, 1864 

DESPATCH received from Newbern, dated February 3. The 
enemy have retired on Kinston. Newbern is relieved. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major -General, Commanding 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, page 518. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of Va. & N. Car., FORT MONROE, VA., Feb. 5, 1864 

Maj. I. E. MULFORD, Asst. Commissioner of Exchange 

MAJOR: You will proceed with Flag of Truce to City 
Point, turn over the prisoners and letters to the Confeder 
ate commissioner, inform him that I have waited as long as 
self-respect will permit without an answer, and that commu 
nications must cease at this point unless I am answered that 
it can be carried on consistently with the honor of my 
Government. 

You can also say to him that all the letters to Gen. Hitch 
cock are kept by me unanswered. That I am willing to have 
a full and frank interchange of opinions and views upon the 
subject of exchange, and will meet him for that purpose. I 
have authority to deal with the whole matter, and if there is 
any fault in the present cartel it should be amended. From 
this out we shall deal with their men, our prisoners, as they 
deal with ours. I am ready to treat, but not a blanket more 
than our men have will their men get, if we stop. Inability 
to get them will not be an excuse. In other words, say respect 
fully but firmly that we will either treat as becomes civilized 
men or administer the law of outlawry. Upon their heads be 
it. I have waited long enough. Of course you will say all this 
unofficially, and not in a spirit of unkindness or threat, but 
simply as a determination to which we must come and which 

Respectfully, BENJ. F. BUTLER 
From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 5 February, 1864 

H. A. RISLEY, Special Agent, Treasury Dept., 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

IT is absolutely necessary I should see you about matters 
of trade on the Eastern Shore and other matters. 



378 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Take the boat and come here prepared to spend Sunday with 
me. Present this upon the boat as your order of transportation. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 5 Febry., 1864 

W. H. SMITH, BALTIMORE 

BETTER to see the Asst. Secretary of War, Dana. He has 
ordered Miles to stop. 

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

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 5 Febry., 1864 

Provost Marshal MESSINGER, at PORTSMOUTH, VA. 

WHY is the Bank Commission interfered with in their duty, 
and by whose order is that folly committed? 

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

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 5 Febry., 1864 

Capt. MESSINGER, Provost Marshal, PORTSMOUTH 
YOUR explanation about the banks is satisfactory. 

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

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 5 Febry., 1864 

Brig. Gen. WISTAR, Comdg. at YORKTOWN 

PLEASE destroy the paper of information which you will 
receive by the boat, after you have read it. There are names 
in it that ought not to be risked by accident. I have a copy 

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

FORT MONROE, VA., 5 Febry., 1864 

Col. FRANKLE, Comdg. at NORFOLK 

FORTY (40) rounds of ammunition. Your orders sent 
through Gen. Wild this night mail. 

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



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 379 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 5 Febry., 1864 

Comdg. Officer, FORT NORFOLK, VA. 

You will embark Co. G. of your command on board the 
"Foster" immediately upon her arrival. 

See that they have at least six days provisions. They will 
report to Gen. Palmer at Newbern, N. C. 

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

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 5 Febry., 1864 

Comdg. Officer at FORT NORFOLK 
GET two companies ready. 

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

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 5 Febry., 1864 

Brig. Gen. WISTAR, WILLIAMBSURG 

HAVE you received telegraphic despatch sent to you this 
afternoon to Yorktown? Please answer. 

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

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 5 Febry., 1864 

Major T. M. VINCENT, A.A.G., WASHINGTON 

SINCE last report and up to Monday last one hundred and 
sixty-one men have reenlisted. 

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

From H. Haraszthy to General Butler 

NEW YORK, Metropolitan Hotel, Feb. 5tk, 1864 

DEAR SIR: You will pardon the liberty I take in address 
ing you, being a total stranger; but I consider it my duty to 
draw your attention to the dangerous consequences which may 
attend your brother, Col. Butler s, exposure to this change 
able climate. His health is not improving, and I fear that if 
he remains here it may cost him his life. 

When I arrived from California, and found him failing, I 
tried to persuade him to leave at once for a milder climate, 
Cuba, or some other island. My persuasion was of no avail. 



380 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

The Colonel, not thinking that he is so ill, believes that a few 
days will make it all right. I have no confidence in his phy 
sician, he pretends to cure him with homeopathy. I believe 
the Colonel s life can only be saved, for some time at least, by 
his immediately going into a milder climate. I intended to 
see his physician, but was told by Mr. Richardson and Capt. 
Allen that he will not give an answer to any of them, even 
insults them, asking them what right they have to question, 
they not being relatives. None of the above named gentlemen 
could induce the Colonel to leave for a milder climate, so I 
believe the only remedy is to write to you. He will listen to 
you, and take your advice. Mrs. Butler is too distant to 
arrive in time to influence him, even if we telegraphed her 
at once. I take a sincere interest in Col. Butler s welfare; he 
is an old friend, a neighbor, and it was at my suggestion that 
he settled in Sonoma. Our families are on the most intimate 
footing. I would consider it a neglect of duty as a friend not 
to do all in my power to serve him, and his family. Being a 
stranger to you, I may here state that I can have no object 
but pure friendship to inform you of the situation of your 
brother. I am a Californian, and am sent here as a delegate 
to Congress from the Vine Growers of California, to see that 
the internal revenue tax on wine is modified by Congress, 
that this enterprise be not crushed in its commencement. 
Holding the largest vineyard in California, I readily undertook 
this long voyage. Finding the Colonel worse on my return 
from Washington, I have determined to write to you. Of 
course, the Colonel is unaware of this. I would suggest to 
you to write to his physician, demanding a straight answer. 
As his brother, you have a right to know what is his opinion. 
He is Dr. Gray (I do not know his Christian name), No. 18 
East 20th Street, New York 

Very respectfully, Your obdt. Servant, 

A. HARASZTHY. 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters Dept. of Virginia & N. Car., FORT MONROE, VA., 

February 5th, 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

I SEND enclosed for your perusal the information I have 
acquired of the enemies forces and dispositions about Rich 
mond. The letter commencing "dear Sir" on the first page is 
a cypher letter to me from a lady in Richmond with whom I 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 381 

am in correspondence. The bearer of the letter brought me 
a private token showing that he was to be trusted. 

There are not now in Lee s army or about Richmond thirty 
thousand men. I can get no co-operation from Sedgwick. 

Forty thousand men on the South side of the James would 
be sufficient for the object of taking and permanently holding 
of Richmond. The roads have been good up to to-day. You 
will see that the prisoners are to be sent away to Georgia. 
Now is the time to strike. On Sunday I shall make a dash with 
six thousand men, all I have that can possibly be spared. If 
we win, I will pay the cost; if we fail, it will be at least an 
attempt to do our duty and rescue our friends. 

Newbern is relieved, and I believe permanently. I have 
marked this "private and immediate" so that it shall at once 

come into your hands. ,- n ^ , -,- 

Respectfully, Your obedient Svt. 

P.S. Since writing the above, Sedgwick telegraphed me as 
follows 

Head Quarters Army of Potomac 2 P.M. Feby. 5, 1864 

Maj. Genl. B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. 

A DESPATCH from the General-in-Chief directs such direct 
co-operation with you as I can give. I will be ready to do so 
on Sunday the seventh (7th) inst. by vigorous demonstration 
in my front, unless the weather should render it impossible. 

J. SEDGWICK, Maj. Genl. 

I have answered as follows, 

Head Qrs. FORT MONROE, Feby. 5th, 1864 
Maj. Genl. J. SEDGWICK, Comdg. Head Qrs. Army of the Potomac 

CAN you not make it to-morrow without regard to weather? I hope to strike 
the point Sunday morning at six (6) o clock. 

B. F. BUTLER Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

So we may get some co-operation. All the better we will 

do our duty. -D -n T> 

B. F. BUTLER 



Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Jany. 25, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

DEAR SIR: It is intended to remove to Georgia very soon 
all the Federal prisoners. Butcher s and Baker s to go at once. 
They are already notified and selected. Quaker l knows this 

1 A good Union man whom I know. B. F. B. 



382 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

is true. Are building batteries on the Danville Road. This 
from Quaker. 

Beware of new and rash council. Beware! This I send you 
by direction of all your friends. 

No attempt should be made with less than thirty thousand 
Cavalry from ten to fifteen thousand infantry to support 
them, amounting in all to forty or forty-five thousand troops. 

Do not underrate their strength and desperation. Forces 
could probably be called into action in from five to ten days, 
twenty-five thousand, mostly artillery. Hoke s and Kemper s 
Brigade gone to North Carolina. Pickett s in or about 
Petersburg. 

Three regiments of Cavalry disbanded by Gen. Lee for want 
of horses. Morgan is applying for a thousand choice men for 
a raid. 

Feb. 4th, 1864 

Gen. Well my boy, where did you get that letter from? 

Miss Van Lieu gave it to me. I stayed with Miss Van Lieu 
for a week before I came away. Miss Lizzie said she wanted 
to send you a letter, and I said I would bring it. Miss Lizzie 
said you would take care of me. I left there last Saturday 
night. Miss Lizzie told me what to tell you. 
Gen. Well, what did she tell you to say? You need have no 
fear here. 

She told me to tell you of the situation of the Army. Mr. 
Palmer got all the information he could for you. Lee has got 
about twenty-five thousand men, there are about fifteen 
thousand men at Petersburg. The City Battalion and two 
companies, Maryland companies, are at Richmond and 
about eighteen hundred or two thousand at Chapin s and 
Drury s Bluff. 

Mr. Palmer said there were two Brigades gone to North 
Carolina about a week before I left. He found out though, 
just before I came away, that one of them had stopped at 
Petersburg. The two Brigades that went were Hoke s and 
Kemper s. He thought that what available force could be 
got into Richmond in four or five days was from twenty-five 
to thirty thousand men. He said to say to you that Richmond 
could be taken easier now than at any time since the war 
began. He thought that it would take about ten thousand 
infantry. 

Gen. Miss Van Lieu says something in her letter about 
Quaker? 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 383 

There is a man there goes by the name of Quaker. That is 
not his name, but he says he does not wish anyone to know his 
name he does not wish to be known by any other name. 

They are sending off the Federal prisoners to Georgia. Mr. 
Palmer said he had understood that Lee was there in Rich 
mond, in secret session there but he said that was not reliable. 

Lee has about twenty-five thousand available men. Miss 
Van Lieu said not to undervalue Lee s force. Quaker said his 
plan to take Richmond would be to make a feint on Peters 
burg. Let Meade engage Lee on the Rappahannock send 
two or three hundred men and land them at the White 
House on the other side of Richmond, so as to attract atten 
tion then have ten thousand Cavalry to go up in the even 
ing and then rush into Richmond the next morning. 
Gen. - - How did you get through? 

Mr. Holmes got a man to bring me to guide me he 
paid him one thousand dollars in Confederate money and 
he brought me to the Chickahominy and left me there. He 
fooled me I came across the river I got a boat. 

I don t think there are any men on the Chickahominy - 
or only a few Cavalry. There are none nearer than Lee s 
Army. At Chapin s Farm there is about a Regiment. He told 
me to tell you that Drury s Bluff is the strongest point he 
said you must come around Richmond on the other side. 

Morgan is applying for a thousand men. The papers say 
he is going to make a raid into Kentucky. I don t believe that, 
though, for if he was the papers would not say so. 

Miss Van Lieu said that all the women ought to be kept 
from passing from Baltimore to Richmond. She said they did 
a great deal of harm. She also said that there was a Mrs. 
Graves who carried a mail through to Portsmouth. She hoped 
you would catch her. The last time she brought a mail into 
Portsmouth she came in a wagon selling corn. 

From General John Sedgwick 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, February 5th, 1864, 9 P.M. 

Major-General BUTLER, FORT MONROE 

YOUR despatch received. I will make the demonstration 

JOHN SEDGWICK, Major-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, page 521. 



384 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 6 Febry., 1864 

Maj. Gen. JOHN J. PECK, St. Nicholas Hotel, NEW YORK 
NEWBERN is relieved. 

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

From General John Sedgwick 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, February 6th, 1864 1 P.M. 

Major-General BUTLER, FORT MONROE 

THE movement commenced early this morning. The artil 
lery opened at 11 A.M. The firing still continues. How are 
matters progressing with you? 

JOHN SEDGWICK, Major-General, Commanding 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, page 530. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., February 6th, 1864 

Major-General SEDGWICK, Commanding Army of the Potomac 

A MOVEMENT commenced this morning at 9 o clock. Shall 
strike Sunday morning at 5 o clock. Keep up demonstration 
until after that time. Lee has but 25,000 troops. Perhaps 
it will do to press him on Sunday afternoon in earnest. 

B. F. BUTLER, Major-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, page 530. 

From S. P. Chase to General Butler 

Treasury Department, February 6th, 1864 

GENERAL: Your letter of the 4th instant is received, and 
your protest against the opening of the port of Newbern will 
be communicated to the President. 

The idea which has been entertained will doubtless be 

abandoned. v , 77 

1 ours respectjulty , 

S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury 
From General Butler 

Headquarters, Dept. Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 6th, 1864 

Brig. General G. MARSTON, Commdg. at POINT LOOKOUT, MD. 

GENERAL: Put the four books which I gave you into the 

hands of Lieut. Norcross. Have every prisoner, one after the 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 385 

other, sent before him or some other officer, and there alone 
have each of the four questions contained therein asked each 
prisoner, and have his name recorded under one or the other. 

I am informed by Lieut. Norcross that this has not been 
done. Why has it not been done before, according to my letter 
of instructions? 

Let there be no mistake give him or any other officer 
whom you may detail with him the four books. Give him an 
orderly, by which he may bring before him every prisoner in 
camp, as fast as he can. Have the Oath administered to each 
one by him that chooses to take it. 

Report to me if this Order is in process of execution exactly 
according to its terms. I have the honor to be, 

Very respy., Yr. obdt. servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Commanding 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 6th, 1864 

Maj. General JOHN A. Dix, Commanding Dept. of the East 

GENERAL: There is a man named J. T. E. McLean con 
fined here under charge of attempting to defraud the Treasury 
Dept. at Newbern, N. C. The principal and in fact the only 
witness against him is one Levi Faustenburg, a Russian living 
at 31 East Broadway, New York. He was first summoned by 
letter, and declined to come. The judge advocate of this 
Dept. then applied to the Provost Marshal at New York, 
who replied that he had no power to compel the attendance 
of the witness. If possible I wish you would be good enough 
either to induce or compel him to report here. I have the 
honor to be, General, 

Very respectfully, Yr. obdt. ser., 
B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, Febr. 6th, 1864 

Capt. J. T. BUTLER, Provost Marshal, 18th Dist., 

SCHENECTADY, N. Y. 

MY DEAR CAPTAIN: I have taken an early opportunity to 
answer your inquiries. My grandfather s name was Zephaniah 
Butler. He was born in Woodbury, Conn. He had brothers, 
Benjamin and Silas. His father s name was Malachi. I do 
not know what the names of any of his sisters were, but my 

VOL. Ill 25 



386 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

oldest aunt, father s sister, who died at the age of 82, some 
twenty years ago, was named Susannah. It is quite probable 
that my grandfather might have had a sister Susannah, from 
whom the name came. 

As my grandfather left Connecticut somewhere about 1759, 
more than a century ago, and his brother Benjamin with him, 
and settled in Nottingham, and had no communication with 
the Connecticut part of the family since, I am not able to give 
further information. I should be much pleased however, to 
have you trace the connection. 

Truly Yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, February 7th, 1864 

Major-General SEDGWICK, Commanding Army of the Potomac 

DESPATCH received. All has gone well with us up to the 
time when movement went beyond line of telegraph. I have 

not heard since. - -n IT n / 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General. 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, Page 532. 

From General John Sedgwick 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, February 7, 1864, noon 

Major-General BUTLER, FORT MONROE, VA. 

THE operation is still going on. We have made an attack 
on our extreme right. We lost 200 in killed and wounded 
last evening at Morton s Ford. 

JOHN SEDGWICK, Major-General. 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, Page 532. 

From General H. W. Wessell 

PLYMOUTH, N.C.. 12 M., Feb. 7th, 1864 

Comdg. Officer, NORFOLK 

SIR: I have just received information that a formidable 
expedition is preparing near Halifax for the possession of this 
river, which it is supposed will be completed in a few days. 
A heavy force both of Cavalry and Infantry (said to be from 
Lee s army) is assembling, with flat boats to carry forty or 
fifty men and one gun. 

I feel no doubt as to the fact, and believe it should be 
promptly met, and with great numbers. They will not make 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 387 

this attempt without an almost certainty, so far as this present 
force is concerned. The gunboats are all at Newbern and 
Washington, except the "Seymour," and army boat "Bomb 
shell," both small and slightly armed. The demonstration 
on N. Carolina is evidently serious. 

Respectfully., Your cibdt. Servant, 
H. W. WESSELL, Brig. Gen. Vols. Comdg. 

Please forward this to Dept. Head Quarters, H W W 

The absence of gunboats from this place will be known at 
once, and perhaps hasten movements. I am inclined to 
believe that the enemy s gunboat near Halifax is not ready. 

Headquarters, NORFOLK, Feb. 8th, 1864 

RESPECTFULLY forwarded. The contents have already been 
sent by telegraph. EDW A WJLD> Maj Qen 



From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 7, 1864 

Rev. JOHN ALDEN SPOONER 

I AM sorry that my message was not delivered as I gave it. 
I was informed that you were sick, and had been sick for 
several months at home. A large number of the sick and 
wounded have been transferred to Point Lookout. I there 
fore said to Mr. Cross that if you were likely to be sick for any 
length of time it would be better for you to resign your posi 
tion, because there was a necessity for a chaplain there, and 
that if you were a true servant of your Master, rinding your 
self in the way of the spiritual interest of your parish, you 
would resign, and that I wished him to say to you that if you 
resigned for ill-health, and that afterwards you recovered your 
health, I would endeavor to have you appointed there or some 
where else. 

This action on your part of course involved no neglect but 
simply a misfortune. I said I wished him to tell you this 
kindly and informally, not officially, as he seemed to be a 
friend of yours, because I did not wish there should be any 
official communications, that if you, with a reasonable pros 
pect of not being able to do your duty in the service because 
of ill-health, still continue to hold on to your position, and 
thus deprive your charge of sick and wounded of all spiritual 



388 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

assistance, such course would be sufficient evidence to me that 
you were not a true servant of your Master, and therefore it 
would become my duty to displace you. Now, I submit to 
you whether this action of mine was not following out the rule 
laid down by your great teacher "Do as you would be done 
by"? Again, "that the laborer was worthy of his hire." 
Again, "that the penny was given so that the man that came 
in at the llth hour," but he was not sick. Again the com 
mand, "feed my lambs." 

Very respectfully, yr. obdt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va. and N.C., Feb. 7th, 1864 

C. S. HENRY, DRUMMONDTOWN 

DEAR SIR: I enclose you a commission as local Special 
Agent of the Treasury. I want you to consult with the Prov 
ost Marshal and see that the business is done in your counties 
as it is done here. All the machinery of Special Agents must 
be done away with. They are only applicable, as you will 
see, in parts of the country between the military lines of the 
United States and the military lines of the enemy, a sort of 
neutral ground, called supply districts. They are to protect 
the Government, special agents to examine the loyalty of 
persons. All the persons in your counties are loyal, or if they 
are not, if you will let me know, they shall be so or leave. 
Therefore, it is a portion of the state coming within Section 
8 and 32 of the Regulations. All goods that come into those 
Districts must have permits from these Head Quarters, in 
exactly the fashion that they come into Norfolk, for I see no 
reason why the eastern shore of Virginia should be upon one 
ground, and the District of Norfolk upon another ground. 

This is precisely the course taken in Norfolk. I asked this 
commission for you in order that you might be able to take 
charge of abandoned property, and have full power for the 
benefit of your charge, the negroes, and while you do your 
duty to them you can also do your duty to the Treasury. I 
have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 389 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 7th, 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

IN obedience to your order I report in regard to Isaiah 
Respies, ex-Mayor of Washington, North Carolina. 

A simple statement of the facts will settle all necessity of 
examination into his sanity. 

When on an ofBciaJ tour of inspection in Nov. in Washing 
ton, it came to my knowledge that a raid had been made by 
the 3rd New York Cavalry, in which the contents of the vaults 
of the Tarboro Bank were captured, to the amount of a num 
ber of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that certain of 
the citizens of Washington had been buying the money of the 
soldiers, and it was alleged that certain of the officers had been 
embezzling it. Among the citizens was indicated Isaiah Respies. 
I sent for him, took him on board the boat, and while going 
down the river examined him personally as to these facts and 
circumstances. He admitted that he had bought about twenty 
thousand dollars of the money of soldiers. He denied knowing 
who they were, said they went into a private room at the 
hotel, and there made the bargain. I asked him if he had not 
heard that this money was stolen on a raid. He said he had. 
I asked him if he did not know that the very money that he 
was buying was not stolen on this raid by the soldiers; after 
some hesitation he admitted he did know it. I then asked 
him to account where the money was, as it was not likely that 
Confederate money was passed within our lines. 

He undertook to account for it. He said that he paid 
four thousand dollars of it to his Counsel in Richmond. I 
told him then I wanted the whereabouts of the remainder. 
He said that he had invested a portion of it in some tobacco. 
I asked him where the tobacco was. He said it was in his store. 
I asked him where he had invested it in tobccao. He said in 
Richmond, through a friend. I asked him how he got the 
tobacco through our lines. He said it came by the "under 
ground railroad." I then sent and ordered the tobacco seized 
as part of the proceeds of the stolen money. 

I asked him how he came to buy the tobacco. He said that 
he had a permit to trade. I asked him to show me the permit 
to trade, and afterwards he did so. I asked him if he did not 
know that he had not a permit to trade in the Rebel lines. 

He said he supposed it would be all right if he could get 



390 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the tobacco through. I then asked him more particularly 
how he got the tobacco through. He said it was brought to 
a friend s house near our lines, and brought across the river 
at night. I told him I thought he ought to be punished: 
First, for buying stolen property knowing it to be stolen, and 
Secondly, for trading with the enemy outside of the lines in 
violation of the Treasury Regulations. 

He then claimed that he was a very good Union man, and 
had been tried for his life for his love for the Union in Rich 
mond, first being sent to Raleigh and afterwards to Richmond, 
where he was tried. That he took part of this money to pay 
his Counsel, and that he had been acquitted : and he claimed 
great consideration from me because he was so tried. I told 
him if he had been convicted it would have been some evidence 
that he was a good Union man, but as he had made a Confed 
erate Judge believe that he was a good Confederate, it was a 
case in point against him. 

This examination was reduced to writing shortly after by 
Col. Olcott, and made the foundation of subsequent proceed 
ings against Respies. 

Respies is no more insane than I am, except insanus fame 
auri. I think he would sell his master for thirty pieces of 
silver. 

I have tried too many cases and set up too many defences 
of insanity in criminal cases not to have some judgment in 
the matter. He deserves his punishment, but I will discharge 
him from further imprisonment if for no other reason than 
that for which the unjust judge granted the widow s suit, 
because Respies friends "by continual coming weary me." 
I have the honor to be 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

Evidence in matter of Schr. SAMPLE, owned by Isaiah 
Respies, and her Cargo 

BENJAMIN BRAGG Sworn. I am Captain of schr. 
"Sample." I first took charge of her at Bath Creek. Isaiah 
Respies of Washington engaged me to take charge of her. 
She had clearance for Beaufort. The papers were put into 
my hands by her former Captain, D. W. Midgitt, the clear 
ance was to proceed from Beaufort to Washington in ballast. 
Midgitt left the vessel. Mr. Respies asked me to take charge 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 391 

and go to Pantego and load with shingles for Beaufort. He 
said I would have no difficulty. I had no clearance to Pantego. 
Mr. Respies said the permit to go from Washington to Beau 
fort in ballast was sufficient to go to Pantego up the Pungo 
River (permits marked "A" & "B" shown to witness). Mid- 
gitt gave me permit marked "B." He said the two papers 
marked "A" & "B" would be sufficient. He did not tell me 
where he got permit "B." He said if I showed permit marked 
"B" it would be sufficient to show she had been in this busi 
ness. We went up the Pungo 22 miles. The shingles were 
brought to her in flat-boats. Could not get up any higher with 
the schooner. There is water enough, but the channel is very 
narrow. The schooner and shingles belong to Mr. Respies. 
The schooner was seized in Beaufort by Capt. Bartlett, Prov 
ost Marshal. I do not know as it is safe up the Pungo River. 
Guerillas are there once in a while they passed through 
about the time we were there. 

HARDY S. TAYLOR Sworn. I live up the Pungo River 
on a creek named Pantego Creek. Am one of the hands on 
schr. "Sample." Capt. Bragg hired me. Have made two 
trips on the "Sample," once with Capt. Midgitt. I went on 
board with Capt. Midgitt at Pantego Creek, and came to 
Beaufort. We went back from Beaufort to Pantego Creek. 
The schooner went to Bath, then she came back to Pantego, and I 
went aboard with Capt. Bragg. Capt. Trewhart owner of 
Pantego Mill, claims the shingles. He said he sold them to 
Mr. Respies. He delivered them to the schooner on flat-boats. 
Once in a while guerillas run up there. Their general residence 
is in Hyde County. They are about Leachville. I am rather 
scart of them myself. I am afraid they would conscript me 
if they could catch me. It would be unsafe for vessels to go 
up to Pantego if the guerillas were not a little dubious of U. S. 
forces they are some afraid of them. I had no permits or 
passes to go from Pantego to Beaufort. A man might carry 
information of plans and proceedings within Federal lines to 
parties up the Pungo, and they would be glad to take it at 
Richmond. 

JOHN A. HEDRICK Sworn. I am Collector of the Port 
of Beaufort. I hold an appointment as permit officer. I am ap 
pointed by President of the U. S., confirmed by the Senate and 
countersigned by Secretary of the Treasury. I am instructed 
to give permits or clearances for vessels from this Port to any 
point within the Trade District. The instructions are contained 



392 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

in a pamphlet from Col. Heaton and approved by Maj. Gen. 
Peck. It is an appendix to the local rules, issued by Col. 
Heaton and approved by Secretary of the Treasury. Under 
those instructions I have given permits to go up the Pungo 
River, but not recently. I don t think I have given a permit 
to go up the Pungo River within a month. / don t like to give 
permits above Wade s Point, for I have heard the Rebels were 
up the Pungo River. My instructions from Col. Heaton 
before referred to, would authorize me to give clearance up 
the Pungo River if any one called for it, but no one has called 
for a clearance above Wade s Point. // any one called for it 
I should give clearance up the Pungo River. Col. Heaton gave 
me special instructions not to permit vessels through Roanoke 
Marshes, north side of Hyde County, at the Alligator River, 
but those instructions are revoked, and he told me I might permit 
vessels there now. I have given no clearance for schooner 
"Sample" to go up the Pungo River within a month. I think 
I have not within two months given Capt. Midgitt a clearance 
for the schr. "Sample" to go up the Pungo River. I am sure 
he has had no such permits in a good long while. 

Question by Col. JORDAN. I remember telling you I never 
permitted vessels to go above Wade s Point. 

Questions resumed by Chf. Pro. Mar. The clearance marked 
"B" has the top torn off, containing place and date of signa 
ture. I usually take up old permits expired. The one marked 
"A" I gave Feb. 11. Do not know why I did not take up the 
old one. Some who have clearances never come back. A 
transfer of a clearance or permit is not permitted. He can 
get papers endorsed over at Custom House. I have not had 
instructions within two months from Col. Heaton not to per 
mit vessels to go above Wade s Point or up the Pungo. I am 
governed very much by what I know of the place. If I think 
proper to give permit I give it, if not, I do not. 

ISAIAH RESPIES Sworn. I am the owner of the schooner 
"Sample." Capt. Bragg is master of the "Sample," employed 
by me and acting under my orders. I last saw the vessel here 
at Washington four or five months ago. Some three weeks 
ago I understood the "Sample" was lying at Bath. At that 
time Bragg came here to see me with Midgitt Midgitt was 
then owner, but he said he couldn t pay me for her and I took 
her back. When I engaged Bragg to go as master on the 
schooner, I told him to go to Bath and take the vessel and pro 
ceed to the shingle landing at Pantego and get a load of shingles 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 393 

and go to Beaufort. I asked Midgitt if the papers were all 
right, and he said they were all right. I did not look at the 
papers. I think Midgitt said the papers were at home or 
about the vessel. Midgitt lives near Bath. I supposed he 
had papers to go up the Pungo River. If I had not supposed 
so, I would have got papers from Mr. Ritch here, to go up the 
Pungo River. Mr. Ritch is the local Treas. Agt. at this place. 
I bought the shingles two years ago from Capt. Trewhart at 
Pantego. He had them there for me. I did not tell Capt. 
Bragg that the papers to go in ballast from Beaufort to Wash 
ington were sufficient to go up the Pungo. I knew nothing 
about the papers, and saw none, and only knew that Midgitt 
said the papers were all right. 

ROBERT MUXROE. I am Capt. of schooner "Marinah N." 
I had a clearance from Mr. Ritch, special agt. at Washington, 
to go up the Pungo River with my vessel after shingles. It 
was dated Feb. loth, 1864. I went up on the permit to Pantego 
Creek, to its mouth. I stayed about 15 or 20 minutes and 
turned and came back. I saw Rebel pickets with guns, and I 
did not think it was safe to stay there long. I consider it 
dangerous to go to that Point. I went up once before and 
received notice that they were going to burn my vessel, and I 
left. I don t think any man who is loyal to the U. S. can go up 
the Pungo River safely, if the folks know he is loyal to the U. S. 
Some of the people there have armed themselves for their own 
protection forty of them have done so. 

U. H. RITCH. I am local Treasury Agent for Washington, 
N. C. I am under Special Orders from Col. Heaton, and 
Rules and Regulations, Treasury Dept. There seems to be 
nothing specially laid down regulating permits to vessels. I 
have no special instructions in regard to where vessels may go. 
I think I should feel authorized to permit vessels to go up the 
Pungo River and the Alligator River if any one called for such 
permits. The five permits to purchase and sell I obtained 
from the men who held them. I think it very strange that the 
names of the vessels permitted are not on the permits. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 8th, 1864 

Ordered 

THAT Isaiah Respies, having been tried before a Confederate 
Court and Jury at Richmond for disloyalty to the Confeder- 



394 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

ate States, and having proved to the satisfaction of that tribu 
nal that he was well-disposed to the Confederate States, and 
not disloyal to them, so that he was acquitted, and afterwards 
having come within our lines, and upon his own confession 
being shown to have brought a large sum to wit: twenty 
thousand dollars of the money of the Tarborro Bank, of United 
States soldiers, knowing it to be stolen either from the bank 
[or the United] States, and having confessed that with that 
money he bought tobacco at Richmond, and smuggled it 
within our lines contrary to the Treasury Regulation, and hav 
ing upon such confession been sentenced to six months impris 
onment, and it now being represented to the Commanding 
General that said Respies is an old man and hardly responsible 
as knowing right from wrong to such a degree as to raise doubts 
to his sanity, the remainder of his term of imprisonment is 
remitted, although there can be no doubt of the justice of the 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. General Commanding 
From George S. Boutwell 

WASHINGTON CITY, February 8, 1864 

Maj. Gen. BUTLER, Comdg. etc., FORTRESS MONROE, VA. 

MY DEAR SIR: I enclose a copy of the National Republican, 
which contains an article, entitled "Suggestions concerning 
the further prosecution of the War," written by me, and, of 
course, in the line of my thoughts. The article was not offi 
cially inspired as some of the northern journals have suggested. 
I do not write upon terms with anybody. The leading idea, 
that we should abandon all thoughts of going to Richmond 
over the country and take possession of James River, is an 
old view which I tried to impress upon the President more 
than a year ago. His answer was that the line of the railroad 
from Richmond to Petersburg was fortified, very strong, etc. 
My answer to that is that the line is too long to admit of its 
defence without the use of twice the force necessary to menace 
it from one terminal to the other, if a lodgement were made 
above the mouth of the Appomattox. I hope the time is not 
distant when you will be put in command of an adequate 
force and the trial made. 

Yrs. with the highest regards, 

GEO. S. BOUTWELL 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 395 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 8th, 1864 

T. T. CHOLLAR, 76 Chamber Street, NEW YORK 

SIR: The Commanding General directs me to forward to 
you, for your mother, the enclosed check for two hundred and 
sixty-four and 70/100 (264.70) dollars, the property of your 
deceased brother, F. D. Chollar. Please acknowledge the 
receipt of the check. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient servant, A. F. P. 

From Simon Cameron to General Butler 

LOCHIEL, PA., February 8, 1864 

DEAR GENERAL; Your letter of the 15th did not reach me 
till the 28th, and since my return home I have not been well 
enough to say when I can make you a visit. But I will try to 
come some time before this month ends. A sudden illness in 
Mrs. Coleman s family will prevent her from joining the 
party, and Mrs. Cameron thinks she cannot leave home, so 
that I will probably be alone. 

Very truly Yours, SIMON CAMERON 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 8th, 1864 

Brig. General MARSTON, commanding POINT LOOKOUT 

GENERAL: Please report to me how long the Chaplain of 
your Post, Mr. Spooner, has been absent from his duty on 
account of sickness or otherwise. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Yr. Obdt. Servt., 

B. F. B., Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, Febr. 8th, 1864 

A. HARASZTHY, Esq., Metropolitan Hotel, NEW YORK CITY 

DEAR SIR: I feel very grateful for your kind letter in regard 
to my brother s health. Although personally unknown to 
me, I have often heard him speak of you as a neighbor and a 
friend in terms of respect and love which your present letter 
fully justifies. I am indeed alarmed about him, but I think 
he is not able to go to a warmer climate. I shall adopt your 



396 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

suggestion and write to his physician for a full detail of his 
case. With sentiments of highest respect, I am 

Very Truly Yours, BENJ. F. BUTLER 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 8 Febry. 1864 
Secretary of War 

DESPATCH boat from Newbern just in. Gen. Palmer reports : 
"Everything is going on well in this District. The losses by 
us in the way of public property are too trifling to mention. 
We have lost some few good officers and men killed, wounded, 
and prisoners." BENJ R BuTLER> Maj _ Gm _ Comdg . 



From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 8 Febry. 1864 
Hon. Sec. of War 

OUR expedition, organized as stated in my despatch, left 
Williamsburg at 10 o clock on Saturday. 

Arrived at Bottom s Bridge, within 12 miles of Richmond, 
at the time indicated, at 2| o clock Sunday morning, but found 
the enemy posted there in a strong force, continually receiv 
ing accessions from Richmond by rail. Waited till daylight, 
then found they had - - Regts. of Infantry, 1 of Cavalry, & 
4 Batteries of Artillery, the bridge taken up, and all the fords 
effectually obstructed. 

An attempt was made gallantly to charge over one of them 
by a detachment of 1st New York Mounted Rifles, under 
Major Wlielan, with a loss of 9 killed & wounded. At 12, 
the Infantry supports arrived within 7 miles, having made a 
march of 40 miles in 27 hours. Gen l Wistar says that with 
the Infantry he could have forced the position, but as the enemy 
had received some intimation of the approach of the expedi 
tion, the delay had defeated the main object, which was a 
dash at Richmond. 

Our forces then returned to New Kent C. H. Were followed 
by the enemy, who made an attack, but were handsomely 
repulsed with loss on their side. 3rd New York were under 
Col. Lewis, assisted by one piece of Belger s Battery. 

Our forces are returning at their leisure unmolested. The 
Cavalry have arrived at Williamsburg to-day about 3 o clock. 
Thus it will be seen that the Cavalry in less than 50 hours 
have marched more than 140 miles. Flag of Truce boat is 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 397 

just in from Richmond, bringing the Examiner of Monday 
morning, which contains this sentence, "Some days ago a 
report was obtained by the authorities here from a Yankee 
deserter, that the enemy was contemplating a raid, in consid 
erable force, on Richmond. The report obtained cons stency 
from a number of circumstances, & impressed the authorities 
to such a degree that a disposition of forces was made to antic 
ipate the supposed designs of the enemy." 

I will telegraph farther after examination of the papers. It 
will be seen that conveyance of intelligence has been the cause 
of want of success. Everything else succeeded as was deserved. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General H. W, Halleck 

WASHINGTON, February 11, 1864 [Not in chronological order3 

Major-General SEDGWICK, Army of the Potomac 
IN your telegram of the 7th instant you say: 
"One result of the co-operation with General Butler has 

been to prove that it has spoiled the best chance we had for 

a successful attack on the Rapidan." 

The President directs that you report what this "best 

chance" was; what "successful attack" was proposed; when 

it was to be executed, and how it has been spoiled by your 

co-operation with General Butler. 

H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, page 552. 

From General John Sedgwick 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, February 12, 1864 
[Not in chronological order] 

Major Gen. H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief 

IN reply to your telegram of last evening, I have to state 
the best chance for a successful attack on the Rapidan lay in 
the fact that not more that a brigade or a brigade and a half 
w T as holding the works at Morton s Ford; that the nearest 
re-enforcements (not counting the brigade or brigade and a 
half holding the works at Raccoon Ford, which could not be 
removed without abandoning that part of the line) were from 
5 to 6 miles off (two brigades back of Somerville and Robert 
son s Ford); that the other posts of Swell s corps were from 
10 to 12 miles off, and Hill s corps as far off, if not farther; 
that the appearance of our troops at Morton s Ford, on the 



398 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Rapidan, was a complete surprise, and if 1,000 or 1,200 men 
had rushed to the enemy s works at that point they could have 
been carried, and if the whole army could have been on the 
river, with the artillery and ammunition and other fighting 
trains ready to follow up the taking of the works at Morton s 
Ford, Lee s army would have had to fight without the advan 
tage of the strong position of the Rapidan, rendered vastly 
stronger by intrenchments. In other words, gaining the 
intrenchments at Morton s Ford, with the whole army to follow 
it up, would have turned his intrenched position of the Rapi 
dan and its appendages. Second, the condition of the roads, 
country, and weather during the time that co-operation with 
General Butler was proposed and executed was such as to 
render the secret and rapid movement of this army impracti 
cable. Third, the despatch from General Butler received 
Friday night requested that the demonstration by this army 
should be made the next day (Saturday), and without regard 
to the weather; it stated that he hoped to strike his point 
Sunday morning at 6 o clock. The demonstration, to be in 
time for General Butler s purpose (and it was made for no 
other object), could only be effected by using the two corps 
nearest the Rapidan the First and Second, without bring 
ing in their detached brigades, picket guards, &c., and by 
leaving their camps standing, with guards, &c., and sending 
parts of two divisions of cavalry to make demonstrations on 
the Rapidan above and below, by which the operations would 
be prolonged through Saturday. Fourth, the requirements of 
General Butler, just stated, rendered it impossible to take 
advantage of a surprise at Morton s Ford if one should be 
made, since the army could not be got to the river in time, if, 
indeed, it was practicable to get it there at all. Fifth, the co 
operation with General Butler spoiled the chance for a success 
ful attack by giving the enemy proof that we could surprise 
them at Morton s Ford, and by indicating to them what they 
should do, by a new arrangement of troops and new defensive 
works, to prevent a repetition of it. They have already thrown 
up a new rifle-pit close to the ford. A mere cavalry reconnais 
sance last fall caused them to extend the intrenchments on 
the Rapidan up Mine Run several miles. A similar reconnais 
sance at an earlier day toward their left caused them to intrench 
the crossing of Blue River, and make other defensive disposi 
tions. Sixth, in my telegram to you of the 5th instant I stated, 
"Demonstrations in our front at the present time may, how- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 399 

ever, spoil the chances for the future." The conditions of a 
successful attack, so far as they relate to the condition, posi 
tion, and sense of security of Lee s army, existed already. 
The conditions relating to the state of the roads and the 
weather, which rendered it practicable to move this army 
secretly and rapidly to the Rapidan, did not exist, and until 
they did no plan of attack could be prepared with any view 
to its execution, nor could any time be proposed for its execu 
tion. It was believed, however, that the opportunity would 

JOHN SEDGWICK, Major-General, Commanding 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. XXXIII, Page 553. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department of Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 8th, 1864 

M aj. Gen. PECK, Commanding District 

of NORTH CAROLINA 

GENERAL: I send you a copy of the Richmond Examiner, 
with Pickett s report of his attack upon Newbern, and also 
the Petersburg account of why he did not succeed. 

I wish to call your attention to the statement that one of 
our negro soldiers was hanged. If there is any foundation for 
it, send out a Flag of Truce and ask Gen. Pickett if it is true. 
If so, report to me. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., 8 Febry. 1864 

Brig. Gen. WISTAR, FORT MAGRUDER 

DESPATCH rec d, I think you did right in not attacking 
the bridge. Flag of Truce boat just in. The Richmond 
Examiner of to-day says, "A Yankee deserter gave information 
of the attack." Find out who has deserted from your com 
mand. The enemy were prepared for you. You could have 
beaten them, and I don t know but beaten them into Rich 
mond, but it would not have been war. 

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



400 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From the Secretary of War 

WASHINGTON, February 8th, 1864 10.45 P.M. 

Major-General BUTLER 

THE order relieving Captain Farquhar is revoked, as you 
desire. You will return it to the Adjutant-General. Your 
telegrams announcing the result of your expedition have been 
received. Its failure, through the treacherous disclosure of a 
deserter, could not be effectually guarded against, and, while 
regretting the want of success, I am glad the enterprise has 
not suffered disaster. Perhaps there will be better luck next 

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, Page 541. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, February 8th, 1864, 10-55 P.M. 

Secretary of War 

I HAVE sent the following telegram to the President and I 
duplicate to you in order that you may urge my request upon 
him: 

Hon. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States 
AFTER much preparation, I made a raid on Richmond to 
release our prisoners there. Everything worked precisely as 
I expected. The troops reached Bottom s Bridge, 10 miles 
from Richmond, at 2.30 o clock on Sunday morning, but we 
found a force of the enemy posted there to meet us, evidently 
informed of our intention, none having been there before for 
two months. They had destroyed the bridge, and fallen 
trees across the road to prevent the passing of the cavalry. 
Finding the enemy were informed and prepared, we were 
obliged to retire. The flag-of-truce boat came down from 
Richmond to-day, bringing a copy of the Examiner, in which it 
is said that they were prepared for us from information received 
from a Yankee deserter. Who that deserter was that gave 
the information you will see by a despatch just received by 
me from General Wistar. I send it to you that you may see 
how your clemency has been misplaced. I desire that you will 
revoke your order suspending executions in this department. 
Please answer by telegraph. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 401 

Despatch received from General Wistar 

PORT MAGRUDER, Feb. Stk, 1864 
Major-General BUTLER 

PRIVATE WILLIAM BOYLE, New York Mounted Rifles, under sentence of death for 
murder of Lieutenant Disosway, was allowed to escape by Private Abrams of One 
Hundred and Thirty-ninth New York, the sentinel over him, four days previous to 
my movement. It is said he also told him that large numbers of cavalry and infantry 
were concentrated here to take Richmond. During my absence the commander here 
has learned that Boyle reached Richmond, and was arrested and placed in Castle 
Thunder. Boyle would have been hung long ago but for the President s order suspend 
ing till further orders the execution of capital sentences. Abrams is in close custody. 
Charges against him went forward a week ago. 

I. J. WISTAR, Brigadier-General 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General, Commanding 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, page 144. 

From General Butler 

FORT MOXROE, VA., 9 Febry., 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

SHALL I send a flag of truce boat up with women and 
children? I have a large number in & about Norfolk that I 
want to get rid of. If so, I will do it on Wednesday the 17th 
inst., and will telegraph notices to Baltimore, Washington, 
Phila. and N. Y. papers. 

Please answer whether I shall make the declaration proposed, 
that all prisoners released by us have been exchanged so they 
may return to duty. BENJ R ^^ Maj 



From C. H. Foster 

NEWBERN N.C. Feb. 10, 1864 

Lt. HENRY T. SCHROEDER, A. A. A. GenL, FT. MONROE, VA. 

SIR: During the recent attack upon Newbern about forty 
men of Co. "F." 2d. N. C. U. Vols., were captured by the 
enemy near Bachelor s Creek. Two or three of them subse 
quently escaped, and report that a massacre of the entire 
number of our men (2nd. N. C.) taken, was contemplated. 

I am advised to write you requesting that immediate meas 
ures may be adopted, if not already too late, to prevent the 
execution of these soldiers. But very few of them, if any, 
are amenable to the rebels as deserters, under the most lib 
eral concession of belligerent rights; not one instance having 
occurred within my knowledge of the enlistment into this 
Regiment of any man who had taken upon himself the obliga- 

VOL. Ill 26 



402 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

tion of an oath of military service under the so-called "Con 
federate" government. I found in my recruiting conscript 
deserters and other refugees, fleeing from the rebel army, 
that no man whom I received, had ever formally and strictly 
become a Confederate soldier. Some, it is true, had been 
pressed in, and had actually though not voluntarily been in that 
service. 

I fear that these fearful rumors of bloody punishment may 
be in some part if not wholly true. To save delay I write thus 
directly to your Head Quarters, in the hope that prompt action 
may be taken by Gen. Butler. 

The captives were all regularly enlisted in the Regiment, 
and properly mustered into the United States service. The 
protection of the Government has been solemnly pledged to 
them. I did not move one step in recruiting until I had the 
recognition and approval of Maj. General Peck, who explicitly 
permitted the enlistment by me and my agents of conscript 
deserters. This permission was given in writing, and is now in 
my possession. 

Begging your prompt attention to this matter, I have the 
honor to be, 



Respect f ull ^ Y r. Obdt. Sent., 
C. H. FOSTER, Capt. 2d. N. C. U. S., Vols. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Dept. Va., & N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. IQth, 1864 

W. E. BOND, J. I. CARMEN, Jos. F. WAFF 

GENTLEMEN: In answer to the inquiry proposed by you as 
a committee from the citizens of Chowan County, N. C., I 
respectfully answer to the first, viz: First. "What will be 
the policy pursued towards the citizens of Chowan if they 
continue peaceable and quiet, abstaining from all acts of 
hostility?" 

Answer. That if the inhabitants of that county remain 
peaceable and quiet, abstaining from all acts of hostility, aid 
ing blockade runners, or concealing guerillas, they will not be 
interfered with by the troops of the United States, as we have 
no occasion to go into any parts of the county where no acts 
of hostility are committed against the Government. 

Second. To the second question, viz : " Will expeditions be 
projected into our county, and if found necessary to make 
them, will peaceable citizens and private property be protected 
and respected?" 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 403 

Answer. That unless some portion of Chowan Co. is occu 
pied by some forces or signal parties of the Confederates, or 
some parties hostile to the United States take refuge in that 
county, no expedition will be sent therein, and if it becomes 
necessary to send expeditions there the private persons and 
property of peaceable citizens will be protected, and the expe 
ditions be conducted on the principles laid down in General 
Order No. 10. current series, a copy of which is hereby 
enclosed. 

Third. To the third question, viz: "Was not the order 
requiring and enforcing the oath of allegiance designed to 
apply only to persons embraced within your pickets lines?" 

Answer. That as the Government of the United States 
cannot throw in fact its protection around the citizens of 
Chowan, they are excused from the corresponding obligation 
of actively expressing their allegiance to the Government 
which might endanger their safety from the enemies of the 
United States, and therefore the oath of allegiance will not be 
required of the citizens of Chowan Co. unless they are brought 
within our lines. 

Fourth. To the fourth question: "Cannot trade with Nor 
folk be opened and allowed to the people of Chowan; and on 
what terms and under what restrictions?" 

Answer. That trade may be carried on with Norfolk under 
the same provisions as those given to the citizens of Pasquo- 
tank Co., as expressed in a letter given to them, a duplicate of 
which is addressed to this Committee. 

Fifth. In answer to the fifth question: "Cannot servants 
who have left us be prevented from returning; or at least 
be restrained from unnecessary offensiveness and actual 
outrage to feelings or property of their former owners?" 

Answer. I have the honor to say that the negroes who have 
left the Co. will not be allowed to return unless by stealth, and 
if upon returning in such manner they outrage the property 
or persons of their former owners, it is hoped that they will 
be arrested and held by the citizens of the Co., and information 
sent to these Headquarters in order that they may be sent for 
and punished. 

Sixth. The sixth question is a more difficult one, viz: 
"Can our citizens be permitted to fish with seines and nets on 
Albermarle Sound and on the Eastern side of Chowan River, 
and on what terms and under what restrictions?" 

Answer. It is understood by the Commanding General that 



404 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

fishing with seines and nets in the sounds and rivers affords a 
large quantity of provision for the inhabitants of that part of 
N. C. The difficulty is therefore that that provision thus 
obtained may be stored in large amounts, and tempt raids 
there by the Confederates to the destruction of the peace of 
the county, requiring an armed force to be sent there to meet 
those raids on our part unless we quietly permit supplies for 
the rebels army to be drawn from that source. Now, this is 
entirely irrespective of the good faith of the inhabitants of 
that county, for if they accumulate provisions with the intent 
to use them in their families, they may be taken from them 
justifiably under the laws of the war to support the rebel 
armies. 

These circumstances surround the use of the waters adjoin 
ing Chowan Co., with difficulties, and by means of our gun 
boats any use of the waters may be very easily prevented, but 
the Commanding General desires, as is the policy of his Gov 
ernment, to extend every facility to the peaceable and quiet 
citizens of every part of the county to support themselves, and 
these facilities, so far as it can be done without injury to the 
success of his troops in the field, will permit fish to be taken 
by seines and nets in the waters adjoining the Co. of Chowan 
on the East Side of the Chowan River and the Albemarle, so 
long as no Confederate or N. C. State troops shall come into 
that county, and provided further that no one citizen shall 
salt or cure more than ten barrels of fish for his own use, and 
there shall be no greater accumulation at any point within 7 
miles of each other than 100 barrels of fish so cured, and at 
no point any such accumulation be made more than 1 mile 
from navigable waters of at least 4 feet draft. As this per 
mission is given wholly in deference to the wishes of the citi 
zens of Chowan County, and for their use and benefit, and 
without any possible good to the United States except 
in taking care of its citizens and with very possible harm 
if it is abused, the utmost good faith will be required of the 
citizens to carry out in the same spirit of fairness as it is per 
mitted, this business of fishing, and any abuse of this 
privilege or infraction of its terms will be most severely dealt 
with as a breach of trust of confidence. 

Seventh. The seventh and last question: "We would farther 
represent to Major General Butler, in behalf of our fellow 
citizens, that during the progress of this dreadful conflict we 
have been exempted to a great extent from the presence of 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 405 

troops in our midst, and as we conceive the locality to be 
devoid of military importance, we sincerely hope and trust 
that Maj. Gen. Butler may not order its occupation by any 
of the troops under his command," is answered in the answer 
to the first question and in the general spirit of the answers of 
this note. 

The Commanding General desires to call the attention of 
the Committee and others of the citizens of the Co. to the fact 
that if their action is characterized with good faith and true 
desire to preserve the peace of the Co., there will be no pos 
sible difficulty, and trouble can only result from the acts of 
bad men who either from hostility to the United States, or 
from love of gain, will hazard the interests of their fellow 
citizens, and such men must be watched and restrained by 
the organized action of the citizens of the county, who have 
their own peace and quiet in their own hands. I have the 
honor to be, y&fy respect f utt ^ Y r. Obdt. Sent., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, Feb. llth, 1864 

Brig. Genl. I. J. WISTAR, YORKTOWN, VA. 

Do you provide for the fishing above the point in your 
arrangements for the oyster trade? I will wait till I see you 
before deciding. BENJ R RUTLER) 



From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. llth, 1864 

Hon. GEO. S. BOUTWELL, M. C., House of Representatives, 

WASHINGTON, D. C. 

MY DEAR SIR: I have read the article in the Republican 
with pleasure. 

I have been since June 1863 an advocate of the south side 
of the James route to Richmond. I have never yet been able 
to understand why, if supplies and men can be landed with 
greater facility than at Acquia Creek, without opposition on 
the James within 20 miles of Richmond, with a water carriage 
which allows them to be brought from New York without 
transshipment to a high, dry, cultivated land (as) that lying 
between me and Richmond, I therefore ought to land at Acquia 



406 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Creek and march over a land route intersected by five rivers 
- 150 miles, necessitating a land carriage of supplies that 
distance for the purpose of getting within twenty miles of 
the swamp side of Richmond. Until I am instructed on this 
point by the forthcoming work on military science by the 
General-in-Chief of the Army, I shall remain unconvinced of 
the superior feasibility of the present route to Richmond. 
Very truly, yours, B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va. & N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. llth, 1864 

Hear Admiral S. P. LEE, Commanding 

SIR: I received your note of the first inst. in regard to the 
supplies of lumber for the Navy Dept. I have made investi 
gation and am assured that we can supply within the next 
three months the amount required. 

I am using every means in my power in North Carolina on 
the Eastern Shore, and here, to get up the supplies. Saw 
mills have been purchased, and competent men have been 
employed and set to work as a means of revenue in carrying on 
negro affairs, and my superintendent of negro affairs, Col. 
Kinsman, assures me that, no untoward accident preventing, 
the required amount can be supplied. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yr. obdt. servt., 
BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

By General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. llth, 1864 

Captain GREGORY 

The evidence we have against Col. McLane is the forged 
permits of the Treasury Department in his possession, which 
he admits he procured. Maj Gm BUTLER 

From John F. Gray to General Butler 

NEW YORK, February llth, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: You have doubtless been steadily 
advised of your generous brother s situation, but, as his 
sufferings draw so near their close, I think it my duty as his 
medical advisor to write you direct and preclude the possi 
bility of misinformation. 

Colonel Butler was already far advanced in a hopeless 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 407 

consumption when he first came under my care, in September 
last, but I entertained some little hope from his great natural 
strength of constitution and from his temperate habits, that 
we might by diligent application of remedies procure a truce 
and save him for a year or two. As you know, the effort was 
a failure in all aspects. 

The only service I have been able to render him, of any 
value, is of a moral kind; sympathy, earnest attention to his 
symptoms, and the consolation of friendship. He is worthy 
of the best hearts of earth and Heaven. 

Yours most faithfully, J X OHN F. GRAY 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, Feb. llth, 1864 

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

MY only brother died at N. Y. this P.M. It may be doubtful 
whether I shall be able to leave to attend his burial. If con 
sistent with the public service, please grant me leave to do 
so. I will arrange it so as to be away from my post not more 

than three days. T> T> TIT n n j 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, Feb. llth, 1864 

THOMAS RICHARDSON, St. Denis Hotel, or 12 Wall St. N.Y. 

TELEGRAM rec d. Is my Mother notified? How long a 
time will it be possible to postpone the burial? At what time 
is it now intended to take place? 

The earliest hour I can be in N. Y. is ten on Saturday 
morning. I may not be able to get there until Saturday 
evening at 6. Will telegraph to-morrow whether. 

B. F. BULTER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. De-pi, of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Feb. llth, 1864 

Secretary of War 

UPON the claim of Lazerac De Forgeret Fils for brandies 
taken for hospital use at New Orleans, I have the honor to 
report that the amount of brandy claimed was taken by my 
orders as Commander of the Department of the Gulf, was duly 
received by the Medical Director, and was accounted for on 
his returns, and in so far should be paid for by the Government. 



408 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

But when the brandy was taken it was claimed to be the prop 
erty of Wm. E. Leverick, a resident of N. O., an enemy of the 
Govt. The present claimants were never heard of until after 
I left N. O., and I don t believe would be now if I were there 
in command. 

Putting under a foreign name is one of the thousand fraudu 
lent dodges to make claims against the U. S. It is for the 
Department to say whether it shall succeed. 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters Eighteenth Army Corps, FORT MONROE, February 12, 1864 

Major-General HALLECK, Commanding the Army 

GENERAL: I have the honor to forward to you with com 
mendation the report of Brigadier-General Wistar of his bril 
liantly and ably executed movement upon Richmond, which 
failed only from one of those fortuitous circumstances against 
which no foresight can provide, and no execution can overcome. 
By the corruption and faithlessness of a sentinel, who is 
now being tried for the offense, a man condemned to death 
but reprieved by the President was allowed to escape within 
the enemy s lines, and there gave them such information as 
enabled them to meet our advance. This fact is acknowledged 
in two of the Richmond papers, the Examiner and the Sentinel, 
published the day after the attack, and is fully confirmed by 
the testimony before the court-martial, before which is being 
tried the man who permitted the escape. I beg leave to call 
your attention to the suggestion of General Wistar in his 
report, that the effect of the raid will be to hereafter keep as 
many troops around Richmond for its defense from any future 
movement of the Army of the Potomac as we have in this 
neighborhood. I have the honor to be, 

Your obedient servant, 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General Commanding 

From General I. J. Wistar 

YORKTOWN, Feb. 9, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Maj. R. S. DAVIS, Assistant Adjutant-General 

MAJOR: I have the honor to report the following opera 
tions of the forces under my command, undertaken with a 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 409 

view to the surprise and capture of Richmond, and incidental 
results. 

All the infantry and cavalry placed at my disposal by the 
General Commanding, being about four thousand of the former 
and two thousand two hundred of the latter, were suddenly 
concentrated behind my lines at Williamsburg after dark on 
the evening of the 5th instant, together with Hunt s and Bel- 
ger s light batteries. 

The infantry, consisting of three white regiments, brigaded 
under Col. R. M. West, First Pennsylvania Light Artillery, 
and three colored regiments under Colonel Duncan, Fourth 
U. S. Colored Troops, moved thence at A.M. on the 6th, 
carrying on the person six days rations in the knapsack, and 
seventy rounds of cartridges, forty in the boxes and thirty 
in the knapsack. 

The cavalry, being detachments of five regiments under Col. 
S. P. Spear, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, moved two hours 
later. Colonel Spear was directed to arrive at Bottom s 
Bridge, twelve miles this side of Richmond, by 3 A.M. of the 
7th, surprise it, and move on rapidly to Richmond. A picked 
company under Captain Hill, First New York Mounted Rifles, 
with selected horses, was placed in advance to ride down the 
three pickets at New Kent, Baltimore Cross-Roads, and at 
the Bridge. Arrangements had been previously made to have 
the telegraph wire between Meadow Station and Richmond 
cut between dark and midnight of the 6th. By these means 
it was hoped to surprise the enemy s Battery No. 2, on the 
Bottom s Bridge road near Richmond, and occupy Capitol 
Square in that city for at least two or three hours; detach 
ments previously detailed and carefully instructed breaking 
successively from the main column, on entering, for various 
specific purposes. Of course, the success of the enterprise was 
based upon the sudden and noiseless surprise of the strong 
picket at Bottom s Bridge, without which it would be impos 
sible for cavalry alone to pass Battery No. 2. Colonel Spear 
reached Bottom s bridge, a distance of fifty-one miles, ten 
minutes before the time designated, but found the enemy 
there in strong force, with infantry, cavalry, and artillery. 
They received notice some sixteen hours previously, and had 
during that time been vigorously making preparations. The 
bridge planks had been taken up, the fords both above and 
below effectually obstructed, extensive earthworks and rifle- 
pits constructed, and a strong force of troops brought down 



410 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

by the York River Railroad, by which large accessions were 
still arriving. 

The darkness prevented an attack till morning, when a 
detachment of the New York Mounted Rifles, under Major 
Whelan, made a gallant but unsuccessful charge on the bridge 
by the only approach a long causeway flanked on either 
hand by an impassable marsh. The enemy opened with canis 
ter, first checking and then repulsing the charge, with a loss 
to us of nine killed and wounded and ten horses killed. All 
our men were subsequently brought off, as well as the saddles 
and equipments. The river was reconnoitred both above and 
below for some miles, but at every possible crossing the enemy 
was found in force with newly placed obstructions. 

Our infantry had marched, on the 6th, thirty-three miles, 
arriving at New Kent Court-House at 2 A.M. on the 7th. 

It is the obvious fact that a small force in this vicinity, 
actively handled, can and should hold a much superior force 
of the enemy in the immediate vicinity of Richmond inactive 
except for its defence. I have the honor to be, Major, with 
great respect, y om obedimt serva ,nt, IsAAC j. WISTAR, 

Brigadier-General Commanding 

From General Butler to General Wistar 

Headquarters Department of Virginia and North Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, 

Feb. 12, 1864 

REPORT approved. The operation was skilfully and bril 
liantly done. It gives the Commanding General renewed 
confidence in General Wistar as a commander of a division. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General Commanding 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, Feb. llth, 186-t 

THOS. RICHARDSON, Esq. St. Denis Hotel, NEW YORK 

I WILL endeavor to be at the 5th Avenue Hotel at 10 o clock 
Saturday morning. The funeral had better take place Sunday 
morning, the remains put in such burial case as may be taken 
to Lowell or California, as Mrs. Butler may prefer. Please 
have every arrangement made that propriety would suggest. 
Please have a tomb in which they may be placed temporarily. 
BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 411 

From C. G. Hammond to General Butler 

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Co. General Supt. Office, CHICAGO, 

Feb. 12, 1864 

DEAR SIR: Mr. Parton has cleared away the fog & left 
you standing forth a character to be admired & honored by 
every patriot who is for putting down this infernal rebellion 
in the only way possible, war, stern unrelenting war. 

May God bless you & keep off the gloved hand of the Sec 
retary of State which so unnecessarily, not to say wickedly, 
neutralized so much good sown at New Orleans. Had it not 
been for that, there would be little to hope for there now. 

May God bless you and give the Amn. people an opportu 
nity to cast their suffrages for your elevation. 

Most respectfully Yours, though a stranger, 

C. G. HAMMOND 

From General Butler to Mr. Hammond 

Feb. 15/64 

MY DEAR SIR: For your kind words of sympathy and 
encouragement please accept my warm thanks. The good 
opinion and wishes of the truly loyal and patriotic are suffi 
cient rewards for my services and antidotes for the poisonous 
calumnies with which the rebels & their sympathizers sought 
to deter my action in the path which my judgment has marked 

out> Yours truly, B. F. B. 

From Major Pfenning 

FORT LEAVENWORTH, KA., Feb. 12, 1864 

Major Genl. BUTLER, FORTRESS MONROE, VA. 

GENL. : I take this opportunity to drop you a line of encour 
agement. I am an officer in the U. S. Service, and have been 
for nearly three years, and have served in Kansas & Md., and 
think I know something of the spirit of the rebellion. 

Since your celebrated woman order in N. O. I have taken a 
great interest in you and your movements, and have wished 
for your success. In my humble opinion you are the only 
General that has fully appreciated this rebellion, and taken 
the proper steps to suppress it. 

I have seen enough to convince me that kindness is lost 
upon the brutes, and when any one takes an active step in 
the right direction he has my warmest sympathy. You are 



412 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

the man, and accordingly I tender you my gratitude and 
respect. In my humble way I have tried to imitate, and think 
I have succeeded. I can not write all that I would say, enough 
that in me you have an ardent admirer and well wisher. 

Could I see you President I would be satisfied, and would 
be willing to sacrifice all hopes of preferment, & do not yet 
despair. 

At any rate we are doing our duty, and history will, I hope, 
do us justice. With sentiments of the highest respect I am 

proud to submit myself v 77, 

/ our obdt. servant, 

B. S. HENNING, Major 3d Wis. Cav. 
From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 13th, 1864 

Brig. Gen. WEITZEL, CINCINNATI 

GENERAL: Not having heard from you I suppose there must 
have been some mistake, and I write respectfully to inquire 
whether you would desire to renew the former relations between 
us. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yr. obdt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 13th, 1864 

M. S. ISAACS Esq., NEW YORK 

SIR: I am in receipt of your note of February 9th, and am 
very glad to have my opinions corrected by one who apparently 
understands so well the condition of the Hebrews as a nation, 
and of their faith as a religion. I admit that my experience 
with men of the Jewish faith or nation has been an unfortu 
nate one. Living in an inland town in Massachusetts prior 
to the War, I have met but few, and since the War, those that 
I have met have been principally engaged in the occupation 
which caused the capture of those which has occasioned this 
correspondence, and you yourself will admit that that mode 
of making their acquaintance has not been a favorable one. I 
refer to Mr. Memminger as the other member of the Confed 
erate Cabinet. I have been informed that Mr. Malloney is 
also of the Jewish faith or nationality. I acknowledge the 
fairness of the hit in regard to Maj. Gen. Polk, and Davis. 
They are both members of the Christian Church, upon whose 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 413 

services I attend. I should be much obliged to you for the 
detail of facts which you have offered to furnish, for, finding 
my impressions incorrect upon any subject, always desire to 
be enlightened. 

Although the letter to you was not written for publication, 
yet I have no objections to its being published. I have the 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From Colonel J. W. Shaffer 

FORT MONROE, VA., February Uth, 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 
THE following telegram has just been received from General 

W i ^ f^ ^ i* * 

YORK/TOWN, February 14, 1864 
Col. J. W. SHAFFER, Chief of State 

Two escaped Union officers have reached my pickets from Richmond. They 
report 109 more on the road. A general delivery of one prison-house was effected by 
digging a tunnel under the street. General Dow could not stand the fatigue of the 
trip, and consequently did not come. My cavalry are in motion, scouring the Peninsula 
to cover the escape of the rest. Several colonels, among them Colonel Streight, are 
on the road, but the path is hard. L j WISTAR> Brigadier-General 

J. W. SHAFFER, Colonel and Chief of Staff 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, page 559. 

From General Butler 

FORT MONROE, VA., February Uth, 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

TWENTY-SIX of the escaped prisoners have arrived within 
our lines up to to-night. We have sent cavalry patrols up the 
Peninsula as far as the Chickahominy to pick up all we can. 
Have sent an army gunboat up the James and Chickahominy 
Rivers for the same purpose. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General, Commanding 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, page 560. 

From Colonel J. W. Shaffer 

Headquarters, FORT MONROE, VA., February \th, 1864 

Brig. Gen. E. R. S. CANBY, War Department, 

WASHINGTON CITY 

GENERAL BUTLER went to New York to attend his brother s 
burial, by permission of the Secretary of War. Will be back 



414 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

to-morrow night or Tuesday morning. The routine of this 
department is conducted by the chiefs of the different branches 
of his staff. 

General Peck, being next senior officer in the department, 
and being at Newbern, N. C., could not, if ordered off, have 
reached here before General Butler s return. Everything is 
perfectly quiet in the department. 

J. W. SHAFFER, Colonel and Chief of Staff 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, Page 560. 

From General I. J. Wistar 

YORKTOWN, February 15, 1864 

Col. J. W. SHAFFER, Chief of Staff 

PROBABLY none of these prisoners recaptured had crossed 
the Chickahominy. Robertson s cavalry and Holcomb s 
Legion cavalry are both the other side of Chickahominy for 
that purpose, besides the infantry. There is no enemy this 
side, except Hume s scouts, who keep off the main roads and 
know every path. My cavalry is out after the prisoners, and 
have been since they first came here. It must go by detach 
ments, of course, having to come back for forage, of which the 
country supplies none. If one-fourth the escaped prisoners 
get in it will surprise me, in the face of the regularly-organized 
and long-prepared plan to prevent it. Fifteen have already 

I. J. WISTAR, Brigadier General 

War Rec., No. 1, p. 566. 

From H. Hamlin to General Butler 

WASH. Feb. 15, 1864 

DEAR SIR: We learn that you have been authorized to 
make proposal for the exchange of Brig. Genl. Neal Dow and 
others, for certain rebel officers. 

Allow us to say that any effort which you shall make will 
be regarded as a personal favor to us. And if you will read, 
seal, and forward the enclosed note to Genl. Dow you will 

Yours truly, H. HAMLIN, L. M. MORRILL 
Answer by General Butler 

Feb. 15/64 

YOUR note enclosed to Gen. Dow will be sent forward. 
Every effort will be made to procure his release. 

Yours truly, B. F. B. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 415 

From General Butler 

Office Commdr. of Exchange, FORT MONROE, February 15th, 1864 

Hon. ROBERT OULD, Agent of Exchange, RICHMOND, VA. 

SIR: It has been reported to me that Capt. Edward E. 
Chase, 1st R. I. Cavalry, who was captured in Va. about eight 
months since, and until lately confined in Libby Prison, has 
been sent along with two other commissioned officers, by order 
of your authorities, to Salisbury, N. C., and sentenced to 
hard labor in the Penitentiary at that place, in retaliation (it 
is said) for the treatment of three Confederate officers in 
Missouri. 

I have therefore to request that you will at once inform me 
if such is the case, and if it should prove true, that you will 
take the necessary steps to have this officer relieved from such 
indignities, as there are no Confederate officers in our hands 
subjected to similar treatment. I have the honor to be, 

Very respy. Yr. obdt. servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commdg. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. I5th, 1864 

Chas. A. RAYMOND, Esq., Paymaster Gen Is. Office 

DEAR SIR: I have read your paper upon the subject of the 
Public Schools at Norfolk, and many of its suggestions strike 
me with great force. I am about inaugurating some school 
system there, and would like your services. Please show this 
note to the Asst. Sec y. of the War, Mr. Watson, and ask him 
for me that you be detailed to me for this purpose of organiz 
ing a school system in my Department, where we are now 
spending a very considerable amount of money without much 
order, and I have no doubt that he will send you to me. I 
have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yr. obdt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From Colonel J. W. Shaffer 

Office Commdr. of Exchange, FORT MONROE, Feb. 15th, 1864 

Brig. General G. MARSTON, Commdg. at POINT LOOKOUT 

GENERAL: A large number of our prisoners have escaped 
from Richmond, many of them have arrived here. We learn 
that a general delivery of the prison at Danville has taken 



416 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

place. All this will encourage the Rebel prisoners in our hands 
to make like attempts to escape. 

The Commdg. General therefore directs that you be more 
vigilant, if possible, than ever, in guarding the prisoners in 
your hands. I have the honor to be, 

Very respy., Yr. obdt. servt., 
J. W. SHAFFER, Maj. & Chief of Staff 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Feb. loth, 1864 

Brig. Gen. L. THOMAS, Adjutant General U. S. Army, 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
a communication from your office of Feb. 13th, calling atten 
tion to the following cases. 

First Communications and enclosures addressed to Rear- 
Admiral Lee by Lieut. Commanding J. V. Gillis, in reference to 
seizure of a sloop having a pass from General Viele, while 
attempting to run the blockade. Referred March 25th, 1863. 

Second Communication from Lord Lyons, relative to case 
of John D. Smith, who represents that although a British 
subject he is debarred from prosecuting his business as a 
merchant in Norfolk, Virginia, in consequence of his refusal 
to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States, but who it 
is contended renounced his allegiance to his native country 
by having made an affirmation of fidelity to the Common 
wealth of Virginia. Referred May 19th, 1863. 

Third Note of Count Mercier, relative to the claim of 
Louis Aubry at Ferry Point, Va. 

Fourth Communication from Lord Lyons, relative to the 
claim of Mr. Alexander Nicol, a British subject, for compen 
sation on account of the pillage of his property by Federal 
Troops at Kingston, North Carolina. Referred June llth, 
1863. 

In reply, permit me to state that a communication dated 
A. G. 0., Washington, Nov. 30th, 1863, in relation to the first 
three cases, was received Dec. 2nd, 1863, and returned with 
the following endorsements. 

December llth, 1863 

Respectfully returned. The only one of these papers re 
ferred to within of which any record can be found on the 
books at the Head Quarters is the note of Count Mercier. I 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 417 

enclose copy of the report of Gen. Barnes, showing disposition 

made of the same. T> T> n/r - n n j 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Hdqrs. Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, FORT MONROE, February 16th, 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: Colonel McCreery, of Michigan, one of our escaped 
prisoners, will hand you a despatch, and give you such 
information about our prisoners fare and treatment as will 
demonstrate the necessity of retaliation if I do not succeed 
in starting the exchange which I hope to do. 

Yours truly, BENJ. F. BUTLER, 

Major-General, U. S. Volunteers 

P.S. Allow me to call your attention to an article in the 
Richmond Examiner sent herewith. 



Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

(From the Daily Examiner, Friday morning, February 12, 1864) 

SOME extremes of abasement there are to which our Gov 
ernment will not degrade this Confederacy. For example, we 
shall be slow to believe that it would ever ask an officer bear 
ing a Confederate commission let us say Judge Ould to 
meet on terms of equality and to treat about exchange of 
prisoners with a negro colonel of a Massachusetts regiment. 
If President Lincoln should signify that he is ready to permit 
a new negotiation to be entered upon with a view to exchange, 
provided we send our commissioner to settle the terms with 
Frederick Douglass or with Colonel Pompey, on the part of 
the other belligerent, we presume that our Executive would 
decline. At any rate, our soldiers now in Northern prisons 
would feel bitterly humiliated by the thought of their freedom 
or captivity depending on such a negotiation. No; we do 
not believe that the Government of our country will ever 
bring us down to this. 

But the Legislature of Virginia is not of our opinion. There 
is no depth of degradation, it is said, that they are not willing 
and eager to plunge us into in "secret session." No wonder 
it was in "secret session" that some person or persons, to us 
unknown, have moved and advocated, and carried through 
both houses of the Legislature, a resolution in the nature of 

VOL. Ill 2J 



418 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

a petition to the President, requesting him to accept as Fed 
eral agent of exchange, not even the mulatto Frederick, or 
the wretched runaway slave Pompey, but a person whom the 
President has officially proclaimed "a felon deserving of 
capital punishment," "an outlaw or common enemy of man 
kind," "a criminal who, wherever he shall be caught, is to 
be executed by hanging." Such is the language of the procla 
mation of Mr. Davis, dated 23rd of December, 1862. 

And still another odious calumny hovers over and darkens 
this bad affair. It is given out that the President has almost 
invited the strange action of the Virginia Legislature. We 
hope that this is incredible. Here is a wretch not only de 
nounced as a felon by our own Government, but blasted by 
the unanimous execration of the whole world, and even by all 
decent persons of his own nation, and the enemy s Govern 
ment, for that very reason, and with no other object than to 
bully us and humiliate us and compel us to eat dirt, demands 
that he and no other is the person we shall treat with in such 
a momentous affair. The Confederates themselves are to 
rehabilitate his character and be his vouchers and security 
as an honorable man. It is the most audacious and insolent 
attempt yet made to force us to acknowledge ourselves crimi 
nals and rebels, who have not even the rights of belligerents. 
And now we are to be told that the President has even signi 
fied his wish to be requested to belie himself and contradict 
himself and acknowledge that he had committed an act of 
empty presumption, in denouncing so illustrious a "major- 
general" as a felon and enemy of the human race! 

Official Records, War of Rebellion, Series 2, Vol. VI, page 958. 

From General Butler 

Vermont and Boston Telegraph Company, February 16th, 1864 

To Hon. E. M. STANTON 

I DESIRE leave to visit New York on private business. 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. GenL 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Feb. 16th, 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: On the Flag of Truce boat which came in on the 27th 
of January I received the enclosed proposition from Commis 
sioner Quid, in relation to the attendance by their own surgeons 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 419 

of the prisoners who were sick on either side. That communi 
cation was addressed to General Hitchcock, and of course 
ignored my appointment in the matter of exchange. As there 
has never been any complaint on the part of the Confederate 
prisoners of war in our hands that they have not received 
proper surgical and hospital treatment, and as no pretence has 
been raised by the Confederate authorities to that effect, and 
as on our side we have received less complaint of the treat 
ment by the rebels of our prisoners in hospitals than elsewhere, 
and so, as I have occasion to know the treatment in the hos 
pitals by the rebels of our soldiers, prisoners in their hands 
having been reasonably proper and sufficient, I was induced 
to look with some care for the motive which should require at 
this time, this proposition from Commissioner Quid. 

Acting under what I believe to be your instructions, what 
ever proposition looking to more than the ordinary routine 
of matters carried on by Flag of Truce would not have been 
received or acted upon. Of course, therefore, I did not for 
ward it; but supposed that it had been properly addressed. 
It seemed to me that it was a proposition intended to put us 
in the condition of admitting that our treatment of their 
prisoners was similar, and required like remedies to meet the 
case as their own, or, in other words, that we were to admit 
to the world that there was a necessity for them to send their 
surgeons to take care of their sick soldiers in our hands, an 
admission I would be very slow to make. 

The second part of the proposition, that these surgeons 
might act as Commissaries in delivering food, money, clothing, 
and medicines forwarded for the relief of the prisoners, not 
being accompanied by any offer to retract the order of rejection 
of all supplies furnished either by corporate bodies, Sanitary 
Commission, States, or the Government, and as Commis 
sioner Ould has over and over again assured the Assistant 
Agent of Exchange that all private relief was duly forwarded 
for distribution, and as our own men and officers are now 
acting as Commissaries of distribution in the rebel camps 
for such supplies as are in fact forwarded, there was another 
motive for this paper than that w r hich appears upon its face. 
Again, this paper came to me at the same time with the 
information that the Virginia Legislature were discussing, 
and about passing, and as I am now informed, have passed, a 
Resolution requesting the Confederate authorities to recog 
nize the Agent of Exchange appointed by the Government, 



420 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

and knowing as I do that this action was taken by the Vir 
ginia Legislature because of the pressure brought to bear upon 
them from the supposed ill-treatment which their prisoners 
would receive and were receiving at my hands, and taking also 
in connection with the fact that to relieve that pressure 
every newspaper in the Confederacy was publishing reports 
of how well the Confederate prisoners in our hands were 
treated, it seemed quite certain that this proposition was 
made: 

First. For the purpose of having this Government weaken 
its position in regard to sustaining the present Agent of Ex 
change by adopting what on the first blush appeared to be a 
humane measure sent through other channels than through 
me, precisely as the Confederate authorities weakened their 
own position by refusing to negotiate with me, by having 
treated with me in regard to vaccine matter, while they repu 
diate me as an Agent of Exchange. 

Secondly. For the purpose of getting an acknowledgment of 
the country and for use abroad, that because of my neglect of 
their soldiers in our hands there was some need that their 
own surgeons should be sent to them. 

Thirdly. To be able to answer the pressure which is now 
bearing upon them to have the exchange go on, by suggesting 
to their frightened brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers, 
that the sick in our hands would now have the treatment of 
their own Confederate surgeons, and thereby relieve the Con 
federate Government from the pressure to have the Exchange 
go on, and to recede from the position taken by them. 

Some further action should be had by Commissioner Ould 
on behalf of this Government in regard to the exchange, that 
this proposition shall not be even considered, because I know 
that its consideration will weaken the position of the Gov 
ernment, and that if we can hold to the position taken by us, 
which is justified by the prisoners themselves in Richmond, 
and which justified itself to the world, that the infallible result 
will be that we shall get such terms as are honorable to us in 
this matter of exchange, as against the Confederates. 

If no action is based upon newspaper reports, and if news 
paper men can be kept from interfering with the exchange 
for purpose of their own self-glorification, I believe that within 
the week I shall have personal conference with the Confed 
erate Commissioner upon all these subjects, and arrange most 
of them satisfactorily, provided nothing is done which shall 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 421 

weaken the belief that unless exchange is effected the sternest 
and severest retaliation will be marked out. For I have no 
doubt that if that measure of retaliation which I suggested 
was now being carried out, instead of the first three hundred 
and fifty prisoners having just arrived at Point Lookout after 
months delay, that the exchange would go forward in such 
manner as to give us every soldier, black and white, that they 
have in their hands. 

Upon the proposition as to surgeons, however, I will confer 
with Commissioner Ould, and report further, and in the mean 
time, I beg that no further action will be had by the 
Government. 

I wish further to add that I understand that Mr. Fulton s 
statement in regard to his communication with Commissioner 
Ould must be taken with some grains of allowance. I have 

the honor to be T7 , 71 T , 

Very respectfully, Your out. servt., 

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

Headquarters, Dept. Va., and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 16th, 1864 

Hon. ROBERT OULD, Commr. of Exchange, RICHMOND, VA. 

SIR: Private Wm. J. Boyle, 1st Regt. N. Y. d. Rifles, was 
tried and convicted for murder of the Acting Provost Marshal 
in October last. For humane motives the sentence was not 
executed. He made his escape by colluding with a sentinel 
about the 5th inst., and as we learn by the papers has reached 
Richmond. As this man is a murderer duly convicted, it is 
believed the Confederate Authorities will not desire to retain 
him, as a murderer is defined to be an enemy of all mankind. 

I am willing to offer to give you any private soldier we hold 
of yours in exchange for Boyle. 

I enclose General Orders No. 37, containing the record of 
Boyle s trial and conviction. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yr. obdt. servt., 
B. F. BUTLER, Major General Commanding 

From John Wilson to General Butler 

CONFIDENTIAL. CHICAGO, Feby. Wth, 1864 

GENERAL: I pray you, excuse me, a stranger, in thus ad 
dressing you; my motive is my apology. 

As preliminary, permit me to state that more than two 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

years ago I addressed a letter to a young friend in Orleans, 
suggesting that the admirable manner in which you managed 
affairs in Louisiana was conclusive that you were the man 
specially fitted to guide the Ship of State, after Mr. Lincoln s 
term closed; and all subsequent experience has deepened that 
conviction. The next five years will be the most important 
era in the history of our country. To reorganize the Govt., 
effectually crush out this infamous rebellion, root and branch, 
the pacification of discordant and conflicting elements conse 
quent upon it, will require consummate wisdom, pure patriot 
ism, and unyielding firmness; in fact, all the elements that 
w r ere found necessary to the formation of it at the close of our 
Revolutionary struggle, and perhaps in a higher degree. 

It is very apparent that Mr. Lincoln has not these elements, 
and that his rule will have been played out at the end of his 
present term, and therefore his re-election would be prejudi 
cial to the best interests of our country, if not destructive to 
its liberty. 

With many of my fellow-citizens, and without prejudice to 
other prominent statesmen, I believe you have the necessary 
qualifications to guide the National affairs in any crisis, and 
therefore desire you as our Standard Bearer, in the approach 
ing Presidential Campaign. The preferences of some gentle 
men are for other distinguished men, and we have agreed to 
strive harmoniously for our respective candidate, leaving the 
determination of "the man" to a National Convention, if 
such a body can be obtained, uninfluenced by Executive 
obligations or dictations. Of course my hope is, and efforts 
are, and will be, that you will be the candidate. 

These remarks are merely prefatory to the real object and 
intent of this letter. 

You have seen the movements of the Germans in New Jersey 
in your favor, and very little effort, I believe, will induce per 
fect union and concert of action among them, throughout the 
country; and this, of course, will have a powerful influence, 
if not a conclusive effect on the nomination and election. 

Genl. Siegel is the idol of his countrymen; and his banish 
ment has embittered vast masses of them against Mr. Lincoln. 
Those of them who are friendly to Mr. L s re-election find this 
a serious objection, and will leave no measure untried to have 
him placed in active service. Thus far, every effort made to 
that end has proved unsuccessful; and I believe that it is a 
foregone conclusion, by the existing powers, that he shall 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 423 

remain in retiracy. A movement, however, by you, to effect 
this object, will bind the Germans to you by adamantine 
chains; and if it be perfectly proper on your part, and the best 
interests of our country will be secured, or will not be preju 
diced thereby, I earnestly request that in the most public 
manner possible you ask the proper authorities to detail Genl. 
Siegel for active service, under your command, in your 
Department. 

If there is anything improper in this request, anything in 
any manner discourteous, I apologize most fully for it, and 
assure you such is not my intention. My only object is, at 
present, to secure to our country the services of a brave and 
accomplished officer, who is certainly competent to do more 
than organize the gallant yeomanry of Pennsylvania; and, if 
possible, through this means, in the future, to elevate to the 
Presidency one who will be an honor to his country. 

Please acknowledge the receipt of this letter; and if you 
apply for Siegel s transfer to your Department, advise me of 
it by telegraph, that it may at once be published. If you 
apply, simply please say "Your request complied with," giving 
the date. If the application is refused, say "Request complied 
with, refused," or "granted," -as the case may be. My 
residence is No. 5, Park Row, Chicago, my post-office box 
No. 3858. 

General, I assure you of the high consideration with which 

I subscribe myself, ^ . / / T r 

Your sincere friend, JOHN WILSON 

P.S. Being a stranger to you, it is proper for me to say, that 
I was Commander of the U. S. Gen. Land Office under Fill- 
more & Pierce, & afterwards Commander of the Lands of the 
Ills. Centl. R. R. Compy. I refer you, also, to Senators Harlan, 
Grimes, Howe, Doolittle, Ramsay, Trumbull, Hendricks, Lane, 
Pomeray, or to Secys. Stanton, Welles, Chase, Usher, P. M. 
Gen. Blair, or Atty. Genl. Bates. 

From C. S. Henry to General Butler 

Head Quarters 4th Dist. Supt. Negro A/airs, EASTVILLE, VA., Feb. 16, 1864 

GENERAL: On my return here I found your letter of the 
7th (with the enclosures) respecting the Special Treasury 
Agency, which you have procured to be assigned to me. 

I immediately wrote to Mr. Risley acknowledging the 
receipt of the appointment, and promising to do the best I 



424 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

could in discharge of its duties. By the way, I perceive the 
appointment purports to be subject to the approval of the 
Secretary of the Treasury. No such approval is endorsed or 
attached to the commission sent. If it be necessary (it should 
be) I would thank you to let me know. 

I have had the pleasure to meet Major White and to deliver 
to him your note of introduction. I like him. He seems to 
me a man of energy, decision, and discretion. We have estab 
lished an entente cordiale which I trust will be somewhat 
more cordial than that between Napoleon III (?) and Queen 
Victoria. Further and more particular consideration and con 
ference will enable us to determine how the Provost Marshal- 
ship and the Treasury Agency can be so conducted as to 
carry out your views. I should be glad to have a little more 
detailed information of the system adopted in regard to Nor 
folk, to which you refer in your letter; and perhaps you will 
give it to Major White, who is on his way to your Head 
Quarters. 

With the highest consideration, I am, General, 

Most respectfully, Your obt. Servt., 

C. S. HENRY 

Answer by General Butler 

STOP all trade stores and permits to purchase. All special 
agencies save your own are, I believe, revoked in your District 
by the Treasury, and you are to take care of captured and 
abandoned property. The system established at Norfolk is a 
simple one, everybody can buy what they wish everybody 
must have a permit to sell; no goods can be brought in or 
taken out of the District without a permit and one per cent 
tax. The indorsement of Mr. Chase is not necessary; if he 
does not approve he will cancel. 

Yours truly, B. F. B. 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 17th, 1864 

Maj. Gen. JOHN J. PECK, Commanding Dist. of No. Car. 

GENERAL: Send a Flag of Truce to the Rebel forces, and 
notify them that if the members of the North Carolina Regi 
ment who have been captured are not treated as prisoners of 
war we shall have to enforce the strictest retaliation, and that 
I hold two Colonels, two Lieut. Colonels, two Majors, and 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 425 

two Captains, as hostages for their safety. But say also to 
General Pickett, that I have refrained from putting these men 
in close confinement, because I do not believe the story that 
any harm is intended to the officers and men of the 2nd North 
Carolina Regiment. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obdt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Feb. 17th, 1864 

Col. JOSEPH HOLT, Judge Advocate General, WASHINGTON 

COLONEL: I send the case of Private Abrams, who is con 
victed upon satisfactory evidence of having suffered Boyle 
the murderer to escape, knowing him to be a murderer, and 
knowing that an expedition was about to start for Richmond, 
and that it was Boyle s intention to go within the enemy s 
lines, where he gave the information that defeated our plans. 
May I ask the promptest possible revisal of the case, and that 
the President s attention may be called to it so that a prompt 
example may be made. A higher military crime cannot be 
conceived. I should have had him shot within twenty-four 
hours had it been within my power. I have the honor to be 
Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From the Secretary of War 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, February 17th, 1864 

Major General B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. Dept. of Va., and N.C. 

GENERAL: By direction of the Secretary of War, I have the 
honor to transmit herewith a copy of the Additional Regula 
tions of the Treasury Department for trade with States de 
clared in insurrection, dated January 26th, 1864, also a copy 
of an Additional Regulation, dated Feb. 2nd, 1864. I am, 

Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

JAMES A. HARDIE, Asst. Adjt. General 

From Colonel J. W. Shaffer 

Hdqrs, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, February 18, 1864 

Brigadier-General HECKMAN, GETTY S STATION 

WE have been compelled to send Third New York Cavalry 
to North Carolina, leaving but two regiments on the Penin- 



426 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

sula. I had hoped that you would be able to relieve Ledlie s 
brigade when you received One hundred and eighteenth and 
One hundred and thirty-ninth (New York) Infantry and 
Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry. If, however, you do not con 
sider your position safe, we will try and send you part of 
another regiment of cavalry. 

J. W. SHAFFER, Colonel and Chief of Staff 

War Rec., No. 1, p. 572. 

From General Butler 

Head-Quarters 18th Army Corps, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, Feb. IQth, 1864 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: Upon the matter of the Declaration of Exchange of 
prisoners, I have the honor to report that following what I 
believed to be the ordinary routine of the business of exchange, 
and in order that the equivalent of our men might be put 
into the field to meet those received from us by the Confed 
erates, I made the Declaration of Exchange. It is in "ipsis- 
simis verbis" so far as applicable, with the other Declarations 
of Exchange heretofore made, copies of some of which I here 
unto annex in proof of this assertion. This Declaration, it 
will be observed, only affects those men actually delivered 
at City Point. 

The Confederate Commissioner, acting as I believe under 
the exact provisions of the cartel, has declared exchanged 
those who have been delivered to him up to the first of Jan 
uary, as will appear by the paper hereto annexed. 

I could, and can see no reason why we should not declare 
those so delivered, exchanged. I am unable to see any hidden 
secret or malign influence that it can have upon any pending 
question, I am unable to find a single good reason against it. 
I find it exceedingly difficult to argue a question where there 
seems to be but one side. When in my former note to the Hon 
orable Secretary of War I spoke of seven hundred and fifty 
men, I spoke of the number of individuals and not of the 
number reduced to privates, and the letter of Maj. Gen. 
Hitchcock, which would seem to contravene that number, is 
not too ingenuous. The objection made in that letter that 
"the Declaration would have admitted defence if you had 
extended it to a number precisely corresponding to the number 
delivered by yourself, according to the 5th article of the cartel, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 427 

supposing that instrument operative," is exactly met by the 
case in hand, because since the last Declaration of Exchange 
only Special Exchanges have been made by delivery at City 
Point, of man for man, equivalent for equivalent, so that when 
the Declaration of Exchange states that all who have been 
delivered at City Point up to a given time, since the last 
Declaration of Exchange, it is saying the precise number which 
have been exchanged. 

To the statement in the letter of General Hitchcock, that 
"the Declaration should have set out the grounds of it," I 
answer the universal practice of the office has been not to do 
so, and this would seem to be a hyper criticism on his part, 
because I made the Declaration, and not himself, as it is made 
precisely as he makes such declarations. 

Again, it is said that "a proper list should have been fur 
nished of those declared to be exchanged, for announcement 
from the Adjt. Genl. s Office for the information of all con 
cerned, and Mr. Ould should have been furnished a list of 
those delivered to him." To that, I answer that such lists 
have not been announced heretofore, and such has not been 
the practice (See Gen. Orders No. 134, Series 1862, and 
Nos. 10, 117 and 167, Series 1863). And as to the delivery of 
a list to Mr. Ould, I answer that it has been done, and no 
man has been delivered to him without a list, and he knows 
who has been delivered to him without any telling him a second 
time, and he makes no objection on that account. 

As to making the "announcement by a list, for the infor 
mation of all concerned," if that means the officers and men 
who would be returned to duty because of the Declaration of 
Exchange, each one of those will be likely to remember what 
time he escaped from Libby Prison, and Belle Isle, and each 
one of those will know whether he was delivered at City 
Point, and when. Therefore the announcement of the day, 
prior to which all who have been delivered were exchanged, is 
sufficient. 

I pray the Secretary to examine, as covering this whole 
matter, my Declaration of Exchange, and the copies of the 
General Orders heretofore annexed. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 



428 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General E. M. Canby to General Butler 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, February 19/A, 1864 

GENERAL: The Secretary of War instructs me to transmit 
you the enclosed copy of a letter of the 18th instant, received 
from the Secretary of the Navy, informing him of the seizure 
by the Revenue Steamer "Hercules" of the schooner "Ann 
Hamilton," having contraband articles on board, not named in 
her manifest, furnished with a pass from you and the Assistant 
Secretary of the Treasury, to enter the Great Wicomisco; 
and to advise you that complaints have reached this Depart 
ment of other vessels under permits granted by you, which 
have been engaged in contraband trade. 

Very Respectfully, Your obt. Servant, 

EDWARD M. CANBY, Brig. Gen. A.A.G. 

Enclosures referred to in Foregoing Letter 

Navy Department, February \lth, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Hon. E. M. ST ANTON 

SIR: Referring to my letter of the 18th instant, I have the 
honor to inform you that the schooner "Ann Hamilton," 
mentioned in the letter of the Provost Marshal General of 
Maryland, therewith enclosed, has been seized at Point Look 
out, by the Revenue steamer "Hercules" and U. S. schooner 
"Wm. Bacon," and sent to Washington as a lawful prize. 
The schooner had a pass from Major General Butler and the 
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, to enter the Great Wico 
misco, at this very time in possession of the rebel cavalry. She 
had on board 50 sacks of salt, four boxes concentrated lye, and 
$15,299.50 in Southern money, not entered on her manifest. 

Very respectfully, etc., 
GIDEON WELLES, Secy, of the Navy 

Navy Department, WASHINGTON, Feby. 18, 1864 
[Not in chronological order] 

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

SIR: I had the honor to inform you yesterday of the seizure 
of the schooner "Ann Hamilton," at Point Lookout that 
vessel being then on the way from Baltimore to the Great 
Wicomisco, under a permit from General Butler, for purposes 
of traffic. 

Genl. Butler has, it seems, given similar permits for similar 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 429 

purposes of trade in other parts of the insurrectionary region 
under blockade and unopened by Proclamation. One of these 
was given to the steamer "Princeton" on the llth inst., to 
proceed through the canals and the waters of Albemarle 
Sound and Chowan and Roanoke rivers, for the purpose of 
getting in exchange for family supplies the products of the 
adjacent country. I herewith enclose a copy of the permit, 
in which it is stated it is given in accordance with certain 
additional Regulations for Commercial Intercourse with and 
in States declared in insurrection. 

Acting Rear Admiral Lee very properly declined to pass 
the steamer through the blockade lines, or at least suspended 
action until the Navy Department could be communicated 
with. I approved his course in the matter, and instructed him 
that vessels could not pass beyond the lines of blockade for 
traffic, or to interchange commodities, as the additional Regu 
lations referred to were not understood to authorize permits 
to be given for that purpose. 

The rules of blockade cannot be set aside or disregarded in 
the desire to promote trade and intercourse. We cannot 
extend privileges to our own citizens to traffic within the lines 
of blockade, and deny them to citizens of other countries. 

The "Princeton" seems to be a similar case to that of the 
"Ann Hamilton," excepting that there appears to have been 
a disposition to abuse by the latter vessel, the privilege pro 
posed to be extended to the owners, by carrying cargo not 
enumerated in the manifest, also upwards of $15,000, in 

Southern funds. T/ ,/. 77 

Very respectfully, etc., 

GIDEON WELLES, Secty. of Navy 
From General Butler 

Feb. 23, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Hon. E. M. ST ANTON, Sec. of War 

I HAVE received from the Asst. Sec y. of War, Mr. Dana, 
copies of the papers in relation to the schooner "Ann Hamil 
ton," and forwarded to him a detailed report of my acts in 
that behalf, and also a duplicate to the Sec y of the Navy, 
because I desire it understood that there was nothing done in 
regard to this vessel or any other that was not in accordance 
with what I believe to be sound policy, and which I see has 
been substantially adopted by the Treasury Department in 
the New Regulations which have just reached me officially 



430 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

from the War Department. If the Sec y will do me the favor 
to read the report to Mr. Dana, a copy of which with the 
papers is annexed, he will observe that every safeguard pos 
sible was thrown around the permit, that a bond of $20,000 
was taken that nothing should be done that could by any 
possibility injure the United States, and that the cargo was 
limited to those things which could not benefit the armies of 
the Confederate States, and that no money was found on board 
except Southern money, the keeping of which in circulation in 
Northern States I have yet to learn is not a benefit to the 
Confederate States. Indeed, if I could I would send every 
dollar of it, Confederate and Bank note, into the Confederate 
States without any return. Much more if I could get corn and 
pork for it. In my report to the Asst. Secy. I have asked for 
directions as to the policy to be pursued hereafter, and I need 
not say that it has only to be indicated to be strictly followed. 
But it is to be remarked that unless either family supplies or 
Southern money is sent into the Confederate States, it will be 
impossible to get cotton or any other product out of the Con 
federate States within the meaning of the Treasury Regula 
tions Sec. 51-54. That to get such products out is desirable 
seems to be determined by the Treasury Regulations, and if 
it were not, the law just passed by the Confederate Congress 
prohibiting all exporting of cotton, tobacco, turpentine, and 
other products, under the severest penalties, would show that 
they regard such exporting as injurious in the highest degree, 
and that they mean to hold these products as a basis for their 
currency, and as a means of supplying munitions of war, and 
not have them dissipated in supplying the needs of their citi 
zens. The last clause of Gen. Canby s letter is "that com 
plaints have reached this Dept. of other vessels under permits 
granted by you which have been engaged in contraband 
trade." I desire to answer that I have given but a single 
other permit to any vessel, and that to the steam propeller 
"Princeton," which now lies in Norfolk harbor awaiting the 
action of the Sec y of the Navy and Treasury upon the ques 
tion whether she shall sail; so that no vessel under my permit, 
except the "Hamilton" whose case I have just discussed, and 
the "Princeton " which never has left Norfolk or sold a dollar s 
worth of goods, have received any permit from me. That com 
plaints will be made is most true, and I have only to request 
the Dept. that when any such complaints are made they will 
be forwarded for a report, with the assurance that all action 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 431 

can be justified in intention however erroneous it may be in 
judgment. BENJ> R BuTLERj Ma ^ Gen ^ Com dg. 



From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. Wth, 1864 

Hon. G. V. Fox, Asst. Secretary of the Navy 

SIR : I have had the honor to make a report to the Assistant 
Secretary of War, C. A. Dana, which I duplicate for your 
information, in relation to the schooner "Ann Hamilton" and 
her permit to trade in the Counties of Lancaster and North 
umberland and the Little Wicomisco River. A brief history of 
the transaction is this. A gentleman of undoubted loyalty 
and of high character for probity stated to me that there 
was a quantity of corn and other products of the country in 
the Counties of Northumberland and Lancaster between the 
Potomac River and the Rappahannock and near the first, that 
some of it was already the property of loyal men, who had 
been driven from there. Others the property of peaceable 
citizens there; that there was considerable distress in that 
part of Virginia for want of ordinary family supplies, that it 
was substantially neutral ground, although at that time it 
might be considered within our lines, but not occupied by 
either party permanently, save as raids were made into it, and 
such things carried off [as] were supposed to benefit the raiders 
on either side; that as the Rebels were depending upon this 
portion of Virginia for supplies, it might benefit the Govern 
ment to have the provisions which would supply their army 
taken away, even by substituting such things as could not 
facilitate Army supplies. 

He presented me satisfactory permits for this purpose and 
endorsements from the Treasury Department. Yielding to the 
views thus expressed, and believing it would be best to get out 
such provisions in every way, and determined to ascertain if 
that Peninsula was occupied by the enemy, I sent an expedi 
tion there under the command of General Marston, who de 
stroyed or brought away all the stores that seemed to belong 
to the Government. But that expedition found no force 
there, and of course allowed a large amount of provisions to 
remain in the hands of private citizens. I then granted the 
permit, a copy of which is hereto annexed, to Mr. Hopkins, 
permitting him to take not exceeding ten thousand dollars 9 
worth of such goods as might be of use to families, and could 



432 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

be of no substantial benefit to an Army, upon his giving bonds 
in the sum of twenty thousand dollars, that not more than 
fifty dollars worth of those should be sold to any one person 
within any thirty days, so that this should be a mere matter 
of family supply, and that he might bring out corn and other 
products of the country, paying for them with Southern money 
only, supposing that the more the Rebels had of that currency, 
the worse they would be off. I guarded the permits, as you 
will see, in every way possible. I made it for the interest of 
all parties that the business should be properly conducted. 
Whether this transaction would have any effect upon the 
blockade did not escape my attention, but supposed and still 
suppose [the blockade] could and would apply only to such parts 
as would, could, or should be or ever had been entered by for 
eign vessel, and I felt quite clear in my mind that Little Wi- 
comisco River and the branches of those counties were not such 
ports of foreign entry. I supposed the Potomac Flotilla was 
only to prevent the smuggling of goods into the Confederacy 
to aid them, and not with any reference to a foreign blockade, 
indeed that portion of the Potomac River [is not] within the 
President s Proclamation of Blockade as I understand it. 

I believe Mr. Hopkins employed one Miles as his Agent to 
go there, because of his knowledge of that country, and, I 
suppose, independently of the question of his supposed loyalty. 
A very proper selection if he knew the country well, and was 
not supposed to be too loyal, because I doubt if either you 
or I went there to trade, and announced ourselves, we should 
meet with the greatest courtesy or highest success. Indeed, 
if I had occasion to make a negotiation in the infernal regions, 
I should not employ a saint as an ambassador. But I believed 
and still believe that it was so for Hopkins and Miles interest 
not to defraud the Government, that they were so far hedged 
in by bonds and penalty, and that it was so much to their 
interest to behave well, that there was no danger that the 
Government would come to harm in the transaction, but rather 
would be benefitted, and the Rebels injured. The matter was 
being carried out in the utmost good faith, as I believe, when a 
certain Stephen B. Taylor of Baltimore, who knew nothing of 
the safeguards or checks thrown around the transaction or its 
purposes or objects, put a publication in the newspapers, 
concerning it, being urged thereto, as I am informed and believe 
by personal hostility to Hopkins, to whom he is a large debtor, 
and takes this manner of cancelling his obligations. There- 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 433 

upon one McPhail, who I believe signs himself as Provost 
Marshal of Maryland, made certain allegations against Miles, 
all of which may or may not be true. They do not affect the 
transaction, as Miles is but the Agent, and since objection 
has been made to him, all parties interested have offered to 
withdraw him now, upon the vessel going to the mouth of the 
Wicomisco. Having due clearance from Baltimore, she was 
seized by Commodore Parker and sent up to Washington for 
confiscation. If anything can be found on her not on her mani 
fest, or any evidence of ill-faith or wrong intentions or acts 
other than is stated in the permit, I should be very glad that 
she would be confiscated, and would have every party con 
nected with her punished. But if nothing can be found except 
what is in her permit, in good faith and according to the 
enterprize she is on, I think it quite unjust that she should be 
detained and her owners put to expense. In such case it is 
certain that the vessel should be discharged and turned over 
again to her owners. Whether the enterprize shall be permitted 
to go on depends upon what is the policy of the Government in 
this behalf. 

Upon this subject I desire specific instructions. If the Gov 
ernment desires the Rebels to retain all their resources, I will 
carry out that policy. If it is desired that according to my 
best judgment their resources should be got away from them, I 
will try and do that. But if every meddling puppy who chooses 
to write newspaper articles is allowed to interfere with my 
acts in my Department, I can do nothing. I find that New 
Treasury Regulations from 51 to 54 have just been published, 
in which it is claimed that it is desirable that all the products 
and stores in the Rebel States which can be got out into the loyal 
States under certain restrictions shall be, and various provi 
sions are therein made for such action, and Commanders of 
Military Departments are requested to aid the Treasury owners 
of such property in that behalf. I have tried so to do. Is that 
desirable? Are the means, modes, and methods of this to be 
put to my discretion? Are the Agents that I employ to be 
subject not to any scrutiny of their acts, for that is expected, 
but to the interference of those without authority. I wish to 
profess the most thorough willingness to take any course 
with these matters that is desired, only, when a course is taken, 
I desire to be let alone. There is another question to which I 
wish to call attention, and that is whether the blockade applies, 
so far as foreign Governments are concerned, to the inland 

VOL. Ill 28 



434 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

waters of Albermarle, Pamlico, Cr oaten, Roanoke, and Cumtuck 
Sounds, to the river running into them, no foreign trade ever 
having been carried on within these Sounds; or whether they 
are to be considered as inland waters to be guarded for revenue 
purposes, and to prevent smuggling to the enemy, but not in 
reference to the international rights arising out of the blockade. 
It is difficult for me to see what right any foreign nation has 
to interfere with the trade which might spring up between the 
loyal inhabitants on Roanoke Island and the loyal inhabitants 
in Tyrell County, North Carolina, or how any international 
questions of a blockade can arise because of that trade. I 
have further to say that I shall allow no more permits for any 
body to do anything in the way of trade outside of my picket 
lines without they bring me an order from the Secretary of 
War, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Treas 
ury, so that I may be certain that all three of these Depart 
ments have agreed as touching that thing, and that neither 
will interfere to stop the enterprize before it is concluded. 

Awaiting instructions as to what is the policy to be pursued, 
I have the honor to be 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Feb. 19th, 1864 

Hon. WILLIAM WHITING, Solicitor of War Department, 

WASHINGTON, D.C. 

DEAR SIR: Can there be any doubt that in an exclusively 
military district, where there is no pretence of any civil author 
ity within a garrison, that cases of civil rights necessarily 
arising must be heard and determined by the Commanding 
General, acting usually of course through his Staff Officers, 
who hold Provost Court? I wish you would give me your 
opinion upon this subject, as it seems I ought not to sit quietly 
by and see one man in Fort Monroe swindle another out of 
large amounts of money without in some way interfering, 
because the wrong is done by device instead of force. I have 

the honor to be, T7 , j. 

Your obedient servant, 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 435 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Dept. Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 2Qth, 1864 

Col. W. HOFFMAN, Commissary General of Prisoners 

COLONEL: Your letter of the loth inst., in regard to furnish 
ing boxes of eatables and clothing to prisoners is received. In 
the course of the negotiations for the supplying of comforts 
to our prisoners this state of facts has obtained. 

First. That the Rebel Authorities receive all provisions 
from whatever source sent to the prisoners. Then, because 
of accusations of the late Commr. of Exchange, Gen. Meredith 
published in the newspapers that these provisions were em 
bezzled for sustenance for Gen. Lee s Army, they refused to 
receive any boxes, either from our Government or from State 
Governments. 

Then, because the Sanitary Commission and various benevo 
lent individuals indulged their patriotism by labelling their 
boxes, "To our starving Soldiers in Richmond," "To our 
brave defenders in Libby Prison," the Rebel Authorities refused 
to receive all boxes sent to our prisoners. At my intercession, 
however, Mr. Quid, the Confederate Commissioner, then agreed 
to receive boxes from private sources, i. e., from the friends 
and families of our prisoners. But after the five hundred 
prisoners were exchanged from Point Lookout, and reported 
that by your order boxes of provisions and clothing were not 
delivered to Confederate Prisoners there, Mr. Quid refused, 
owing to a cry arising in the newspapers at Richmond, that 
he was furnishing our prisoners with their boxes, while the 
Confederate prisoners were deprived of their boxes, to permit 
any boxes to be sent to our men under his charge, unless I 
would assure him that the Confederate prisoners under my 
charge received their boxes. As I had long since been taught 
the rule, "Do as you would be done by," this seemed to me 
eminently just, and I therefore gave an Order to General 
Marston that the boxes containing nothing contraband or 
hurtful, sent from private sources, might be delivered to the 
prisoners, and informed Mr. Quid by the last Flag of Truce 
boat of that fact, and received his assurance, through the Asst. 
Agent of Exchange, that the boxes sent by the friends of our 
prisoners should be delivered to them. 

I agree fully that the delivery of packages to prisoners causes 
the commander of camps a great deal of trouble. The question 
certainly gives me a great deal of trouble, but I undergo that 



436 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

trouble cheerfully, and would if it were twice as much, in order 
that our prisoners may get even smaller alleviations for their 
sufferings than those which they receive from their friends. 

I have conversed with many of our prisoners on this subject, 
and they say that many of the boxes received from their friends 
have been almost a source of support to them, and they were 
complaining loudly of the Confederate Government because 
that source of supply had of late been substantially cut off. 

The last number of prisoners that escaped left on Monday, 
and the assurance that Mr. Quid sent me was given on the 
same day, and they had not heard of the resumption of the 
delivery of packages; but they have no doubt it has been 
resumed. I agree with you fully that the Rebel prisoners in 
our hands are abundantly fed, but I suppose that when you 
and I were at school we were abundantly fed, and our stewards 
at that time hardly thought it an imputation upon their 
feeding because we received boxes of sweetmeats and cakes 
from home. Pardon me, but I look upon this matter, so far 
as the Rebel Prisoners are concerned, pretty much in the same 
light. But with our soldiers in their hands, it is a matter, as 
I am instructed, of almost entire subsistence. 

In the meantime, therefore, I desire to have, and shall 
have the delivery of packages made in accordance with the 
views herein contained, unless specially directed to the con 
trary by the Secretary of War, for I cannot ask the Confed 
erate Commissioners to deliver boxes to prisoners from their 
friends while I refuse to deliver the boxes from their 
friends to their prisoners. Whenever the time comes for our 
Government to retaliate upon these men for the wrongs done 
to our prisoners, I assure you it shall be done in a much 
more explicit and telling manner than by withholding boxes 
and provisions from their prisoners sent them by their friends. 
In the meantime, I do not permit anything to come from the 
Confederate Government, or from State Governments of the 
Confederacy, for the support of their prisoners, for that 
would be an implicit admission that we were not supporting 
them sufficiently. 

And, therefore, when Governor Vance, of North Carolina, 
forwarded through Commissioner Quid a draft for nine thou 
sand dollars, in favor of the Governor of New York, to be by 
the Governor of New York expended for the benefit of North 
Carolina prisoners in our hands, I obtained such draft, and still 
do retain it, and have notified Mr. Quid, unofficially, and shall 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 437 

hereafter inform him officially if such relations ever exist be 
tween us, that the United States does not select the Governor 
of any State to take care of its prisoners of war, or allow any 
one else to so select any one of them, however much they may 
respect such officers, in their appropriate sphere, and that if 
Governor Vance, or the Governor of any other State, desires 
to have money expended for the benefit of prisoners, that if 
the same privilege is given ours we shall have no objection to 
such expenditure, provided it is done through the Agents of 
the United States Government, and not through any corre 
spondence between the Governors of States. 

I would also call your attention to what I think will be neces 
sary to be done further in this direction, to wit: that the Con 
federate prisoners be allowed to purchase such things as they 
may desire to wear, eat, or drink, intoxicating liquors alone 
excepted, with their own money or that furnished them by 
their friends. And I would like to have your views upon this 
subject. 

I also desire to ask your attention to these views, because 
if they influence your judgment as they have mine, I trust we 
shall make a uniform order to all the prisoners held by me,, 
that they shall be allowed to receive boxes from their friends, 
and buy with their own money a reasonable amount of things 
which they may need. Awaiting an interchange of views, I 

Very respectfully, Yr. obdt. servant, 
B. F. BUTLER, Major General & Commr. of Exchange 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Feb. ZQth, 1864 

Hon. G. V. Fox, Assistant Sec. of the Navy 

I SUPPOSE it would be etiquette for me to address the Sec 
retary of War, and thence have him address you upon the sub 
ject of this communication, and did I not know that you have 
the good of the service at heart, and would see the matter the 
same as myself, I should do so. I sent the steamer "Express," 
an armed Government transport under charge of Capt. Clapp, a 
very judicious officer, whom I propose to make a Field Officer, 
to recruit for my Colored Regiments. He landed at Piney 
Point, where his steamer was seized and detained for some days 
until the negroes could all be hidden by the acting master of 
the steamer "Sophronia," one of the Potomac Flotilla and his 
recruiting officers, insulted by a Mr. Massett, one of the officers 



438 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

of the "Sophronia" and also by one Provost who was an 
acting master in the " Anacosta." This last man attempted to 
discourage enlistments, and the "Express" was delayed until 
a large portion of the object of the expedition was frustrated, 
and from the conduct of the officers the object is apparent. 
I do not understand why the officers of the Navy should be 
allowed, upon any pretense whatever, and especially inferior 
officers of the Navy, for none of the superior officers do it, 
to interfere with the United States transport commanded by a 
United States Army officer, the superior of the officer inter 
fering. Were it not that I have endeavored to cultivate, with 
every officer of the Navy, the same kindly relations that I 
should hold towards yourself, and perhaps partly because of 
those relations, I should be inclined to try strength between 
one of my armed transports and these Commanders, and let the 
responsibility come where it would. 

I pray you examine carefully these reports, and then have 
these officers disciplined. 

The recruits that I was endeavoring to get were for the 
Colored Cavalry, whose efficiency and usefulness you yourself 
saw. 

I shall not trouble you with those citizens of St. Mary s 
County that interfered with my recruiting officer. I will give 
them a lesson which shall be quite sufficient, but while I 
punish the citizens, I pray you to see to it the Navy officers 
who encouraged them to interfere shall be also punished, and 
I wish further that you would give orders to the Naval Com 
manders never to interfere with any Army boat that has one 
of my commissioned officers aboard of it. I am responsible for 
him and his acts, and I cannot allow any inferior officer to 
judge over my head, and allow my expeditions wherever they 
may be sent to be interfered with by Naval officers. It is these 
interferences of petty officers, without sense and a little au 
thority, which created the animosity which I have found exist 
ing between the Army and Navy in this Department, and which 
I have endeavored to correct, and in doing which, I desire 
your aid. 

Between myself and Admiral Lee those difficulties cannot 
exist. He knows his rights and duties and I know mine, and 
we have no trouble; but it is the under officers, particularly 
of the Potomac Flotilla, that need discipline. They have lain 
dormant so long in the River near the Maryland shore that 
they have caught the tone of the Maryland Secessionist, if 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 439 

they were ever loyal, which these specimens were not. I 
should be very glad to be informed what course has been 
pursued towards these officers of whom I complain. I have 

the honor to be, T7 .,. 77 v i. 

very respectfully, 1 our obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 



Reports referred to in Foregoing Letter 

PINEY POINT, MARYLAND, February 15th, 1864 
[Not in chronological order] 

D. E. CLAPP, Captain and Recruiting Officer 

SIR: I have the honor to report that on Monday, Feb. 
15th, 1864, I came on board the U. States steamer "Express," 
then lying at the wharf at Piney Point, St. Mary s County, 
Maryland, with a number of colored recruits. There were then 
on board several citizens for the purpose of getting certificates 
for the colored men, and while I was in conversation with 
them several Naval officers came on board, and one of them, 
Mr. Massett, Master s Mate on board the U. S. Schooner 
"Sophronia," of the Potomac Flotilla, turned to a colored man 
standing near and asked him if he had enlisted (or was going 
to be a soldier). He said, "Yes, sir." He then asked him 
about these others, calling them by name, to know if they 
were going also. I did not hear the answer. He, Massett, 
then said, "What in hell did you leave your master for, as good 
a one as you had? If I was in battle I would like to have all 
four of you in a row for breastwork. You are not worth a 
damn for soldiers, but would make a good breastwork to stop 
bullets. My advice for you is to go back, as you have a first- 
rate master. What do you say?" The colored man replied, 
"No, sir, I guess not." 

He, Massett, then said, "If I were in your master s place, if 
any of you ever came back I would shoot you." He also made 
remarks unbecoming an officer or a gentleman in reference to 
those engaged in recruiting, and used other insulting language 
towards the colored recruits as he passed off the steamer. I 

am, Captain, D ,/. 7/ v 

Respectfully Yours, 

NATHANIEL H. GREEN, Lt. 1st Va. Col. Troops 



440 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

U.S. Schooner SOPHRONIA, Off Point Piney, MARYLAND, Feb. I6th, 1864- 

[Not in chronological order] 

(Capt. CLAPP) 

SIR: Yours of the date (16) is received. In reply to which I 
am compelled to say that I cannot permit your steamer (the 
"Express") or any one belonging to her to leave this anchor 
age until I am instructed so to do by the Commanding Officer 
of the Potomac Flotilla, whom I have notified of the matter in 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servant, 
JAMES TAYLOR, Actg. Master Comdg. 
U.S.S. "Sophronia" Potomac Flotilla 

From Captain G. P. Edgar to General Butler 

Head Quarters, Dept. of Va. and North Carolina, FORT MONROE, Feb. 20, 1864 

GENERAL: I have the honor of enclosing a letter from Major 
General Lew Wallace, which explains itself. Also please 
notice a letter of his to Chicago, and an account of the "Siege 
of Cincinnati" from the Atlantic Monthly. These papers show 
more clearly than I could by many words the character of a 
beloved and faithful friend, and, in my humble judgment, as 
able a General as the Western Campaigns have yet developed. 
I am, General, y^ respect f u ii y> Yo ur obdt. Servant, 

GEORGE P. EDGAR, Capt. and A.D.C. 

Enclosure referred to in Foregoing Letter 

CRANFORDSVILLE, Feb. llth, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Capt. S. P. EDGAR 

DEAR SIR: Yours of the 1st at hand. Came back from 
Indianapolis this morning, and found it waiting me, hence the 
delay in answering. 

I am sincerely obliged to you for the interest you manifest 
in my affairs. 

As to the place mentioned, Chief of Staff, of course I would 
accept it, and be grateful. But as Gen. Butler would have to 
make application in my behalf, honor requires me to inform 
him of my status at Head Quarters. You will, therefore, 
please submit to him the following extract from a letter of 
2nd January, addressed to a friend by Mr. Speaker Colfax. 

"I had a talk with the Secretary of War a few weeks ago 
about Gen. Wallace. He said he was willing to give him a 
command, but Halleck and Grant dissented, why, he did 
not state." 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 441 

You will also say to the General that, by letter lately received 
from Senator Lane, I have information that Gen. Halleck 
denounced me to the President as incompetent, in consequence 
of which the latter declines giving me a command. 

From these statements, frankly made, Gen. Butler can con 
clude what opposition is likely to arise to his application: if 
he is yet disposed to make it, and succeeds, I will willingly sub 
ordinate myself to him, and serve him with whatever zeal and 
ability I possess. 

As to the negroes, say to him that under no circumstances 
shall mere personal pride stop me from rendering every service 
in my power. Fe ^ ^ y our friend, 

LEW WALLACE, Maj. Gen. 

From General Butler 

Hdqrs. Dept. Virginia and North Carolina, FORT MONROE, February 20, 1864 

Maj. Gen. JOHN J. PECK, NORTH CAROLINA 

GENERAL: I have received the inclosed from Admiral Lee. 
Of course, if you desire to sink the light boats for obstructions 
in the river, sink them, because I do (not) mean to cripple 
you or to interfere with your judgment as to means of defense; 
but I believe Plymouth is as safe as Fortress Monroe, provided 
you keep from being surprised. I don t believe in the iron 
clad arrangement, and if you cannot deal with her from the 
point we visited together with your 200-pounder Parrott I 
shall be very much surprised. I do not think your danger, if 
any, lies there. The possibility of capture lies in this, or at 
least this is the way I should undertake to capture Plymouth 
if I had that iron-clad and was at Halifax: I should get plenty 
of barges and launches and come floating silently down in the 
night, land just above your obstructions, and seize your fort, 
with the 200-pounder Parrott, before your sleepy sentinel woke 
up, and then bring down my iron-clad, keeping your navy 
below by means of your fort and Parrott. 

At Halifax, the rebels are preparing a sort of naval flotilla 
of barges, and I (have) no doubt for this purpose. "Fore 
warned, fore-armed." I would suggest one of your smallest and 
quickest steamboats above the obstructions far enough to give 
the alarm, with a wide-awake man on board. I have the honor 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

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

War Rec. No. 1, p. 580. 



442 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From Charles R. Train to General Butler 

FRAMINGHAM, Feb. 2lst, 1864 

MY DEAR SIR: I owe you an apology for the abrupt manner 
in which I took my departure from your military family. 
Compelled to return from the South by way of New York, I 
was intending to return to Fortress Monroe, and explain to 
you why I could not remain, but your own arrival in New 
York, and the state of my health, determined me to return 
home, as I did not at that time wish to intrude upon you. 
My declination was based upon reasons purely domestic, but 
which could not be overcome. For your kindness in extending 
me the invitation, and while with you at Fortress Monroe, I 
shall ever be profoundly grateful. I did not find affairs in 
Gen. Gilmore s Department as prosperous as I had anticipated. 
The siege of Charleston will be productive of no useful results, 
while one and fifty millions of dollars and many lives have 
been expended, a costly mode of enforcing a blockade. The 
quarrels between him and his officers are interminable, and 
may continue, for aught I see, until every volunteer officer is 
driven out of his department. 

Brigadier General Gordon would, I think, be very glad to 
exchange his position there to a command in your department. 
I believe him to be a most faithful and efficient officer. 

The community here are much annoyed as you were 
chagrined at the failure of the Richmond expedition. It is 
conceded to have been the best timed and planned of any ex 
pedition yet started, and as it seems to have failed, everyone 
is disappointed. The remark continually made is, if that 
had succeeded, Butler would have been the next President, 
and nothing could have prevented. I hope at no distant day 
to have the whole history of the expedition, private and 
public. 

I have forwarded by Adams Express the papers concerning 
the Tarboro raid. I visited the camp of the 3rd New York 
Cavalry, but could find no evidence that was not already 
taken by the Special Commissioners in the affidavits furnished 
me. Colonel Mix was absent on sick leave. The affidavits 
are very wide apart in their statements of facts, much of the 
statement is hearsay, and I do not believe the public service 
would be promoted by a trial before a Court Martial, or Mili 
tary Commission. 

I have not made a formal report, as I did not know that 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 443 

under the circumstances it would be proper. If you desire it, 
and will return the papers, I will do so. 

If I can be of any use to you whether here or at Washington 
in any matter, please command me at any .time. With the 
kindest regards for yourself, Mrs. Butler, and family, I remain 

Yours very truly, CHAS. R. TRAIN 



From Joseph A. Buck to General Butler 

NORFOLK, February 22nd, 1864 

DEAR SIR: I wish to make a statement of facts. For several 
years I have been more or less concerned with Mr. P. H. White- 
hurst, and on the breaking out of the rebellion we had consid 
erable unsettled business, but were always friends, as a proof 
of which I will relate a circumstance to show how we both 
stood. At that time he had a contract with the Government 
in the name of Mr. R. P. Lovell, his son-in-law, for dried apples, 
in which I had no interest. The Navy Department sent an 
order for a lot to be delivered at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, 
New York. He could not ship them from Norfolk to New 
York, because the Rebels would not allow anything to be 
shipped there he shipped the apples to me in Baltimore to 
be forwarded to New York. 

I shipped them on a schooner, and before the vessel sailed 
General Trimble s celebrated order came out and some one 
told him I was shipping apples to New York. He sent a 
guard and arrested me, and told me if the apples were sent he 
would hang me to the first lamp-post, though he did not know 
the apples were for the Government. The vessel did not sail 
until you arrived at Baltimore. Though I had no interest in 
the apples, I paid the freight and expenses to New York, 
and waited until I could see Mr. W 7 hitehurst for the settle 
ment of same. As soon as this place was evacuated, or nearly 
so, say on the 20 May, 1862, I shipped to Mr. Whitehurst 
some goods, and ever since that time have been interested 
with him in business in Norfolk, sometimes myself in Norfolk, 
and sometimes in Baltimore. On my last visit, I left Balti 
more on the 2nd of January, 1864, to go to the sea beach to 
attend the wreck sale of the schooner "E. C. Knight," for the 
purpose of purchasing the lumber and bring same to Norfolk, 
but the Government sent an Agent to the sale who bought it. 
Some days after the sale I called on the Quartermaster (Capt. 
Goodwin) to try to charter two vessels we had then in 



444 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Norfolk, that were suitable for the purpose, when the Quarter 
master told me he wished to contract with some party to get 
the lumber to Norfolk or at least to the water on this side of 
the beach, and asked me if I knew Capt. S. A. Caffee (I told 
him I had seen him), and said he had been told he was the 
best man he could get. He asked me how he could get word 
to him. I told him he was in town, as I had just seen him. 
He requested me to go and tell Caffee that he wished to see 
him. I went and saw Capt. Caffee, and went with him to the 
Quartermaster, who made an arrangement with him to have 
the lumber hauled over the beach, and to furnish a pilot for 
the barges; after which I applied to the Quartermaster for the 
privilege to take on each vessel 100 sacks of salt, 10 bbls. 
flour, 5 bbls. molasses, 2 barrels sugar, 2 bags coffee and 1 box 
tobacco. This application was on the 13th January. The 
Quartermaster referred the application to the Provost Marshal, 
whose clerk endorsed it, oath taken and license obtained, the 
Provo signed it, and handed it to the clerk, who handed it to 
me. I asked him who I should take it to, so as to take the goods 
down and sell them, he said that was all, that every officer in 
the Department would respect it, that all I had to do was to 
get down as soon as I could and sell the goods, get the lumber 
and come back, this being repeated in hearing of the Provost 
Marshal. I went and loaded the vessel as per application and 
started. When the vessels arrived at the Rail Road Bridge, 
the guard took the papers and told them to proceed to the 
Locks, where if it was all right, the Captains would receive 
the papers again. It being a calm time the vessels did not reach 
the Locks that evening, and the tide being contrary, they both 
anchored where during the night they were taken possession 
of by a guard ordered by Provost Marshal and brought to 
Norfolk, where they arrived about the 20th January and were 
detained, waiting trial until the 30th, making seventeen days 
at the expense of twenty dollars per day for the two vessels 
lost to us, when Judge Stackpole gave a verdict releasing vessels 
and goods. I left to show the clerk where the vessels were to 
remove the guard, but before I got to them I was met by a 
clerk who handed me an order to appear at the Provost Mar 
shal s office forthwith. I immediately went and waited near 
two hours, when the Lieut, came the Colonel ordered him 
to send the case immediately to the Provost Court, where I 
and several witnesses appeared from time to time on the charge 
of having in my possession goods that were suspected of being 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 445 

Government property. Having shown the bills and the lots 
of each party who were suspected, and having the parties them 
selves in Court several times, and urging the Judge to give us 
a hearing, he sent a note to General Wild saying that there 
was no criminality resting on me, as I had purchased the goods 
without seeing these articles and had shown the parties of 
whom I had bought them. 

Yet on the 18th of February General Wild hands back to 
me, or rather instructs his clerk to do so, all our applications 
to ship from Norfolk, and on the 20 Judge Stackpole held 
Court and the parties all appeared that had sold the goods to 
me that was suspected of being Government Goods, and 
all showed satisfactorily, save one, where or how they came by 
the goods. He says he thinks he could have found the party 
if he had had notice at the time, but as it has been a month, 
he does not know that he can find who his man bought it of. 
After this I asked the Judge if that cleared me. He said it 
did, and that he had given me a certificate to that effect some 
days since. I then made inquiry of a friend what was the 
reason I could not get a permit, who told me that there was 
a cloud hanging over me. I immediately addressed a note to 
General Wild, saying that as our applications had been returned 
disapproved, and I had been informed that there was a cloud 
over me, and as I was conscious that I could prove as good a 
character for loyalty, honesty and truth as any man in the 
Department, Civil or Military, would he in justice inform me 
what was necessary to remove the cloud, at his earliest con 
venience. Up to this time I have not received any answer. 

I respectfully refer the above to your favorable consideration 
and beg to be placed on equal footing with others. 

Yours Truly, JOSEPH A. BUCK 

Endorsed by General Butler 

Head Quarters Department Va. and North Carolina, February 24^, 1864 

RESPECTFULLY referred to Brig. Gen. Wild, to know what is 
the objection to Mr. Buck. By command of Major General 

Butler< H. C. CLARKE, Capt. and A.D.C. 



446 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

From General Wild 

Headquarters Norfolk and Portsmouth, NORFOLK, VA., Feb. 28, 64 

RESPECTFULLY returned with reference to Page 2, line 
11. These goods were ostensibly sent for the use only of a 
gang of workmen and their families!! engaged on the ocean 
shore, where there ought to be salt enough for their limited 
purposes. In effect, they were to go beyond our lines, to a 
neighborhood noted for disloyalty of the worst form (guerillas) ; 
between which point and Richmond there would be no obstacle 
to the transportation of every pound. And these invoices 
would pay richly for the trouble. Also with a reference to 
Page 2, line 3 et seq. Buck knew well enough the character 
of Caffee, a guerilla himself, and brother, brother-in-law, 
uncle, and cousin, to several other guerillas. Buck could 
easily surmise what sort of a gang of workmen Caffee would 
get together. Yet he was ready to place in their hands such 
invoices of goods as these. 

Also with a reference to Page 2, line 19, etc., etc. Buck 
has done business enough here to know that he could not 
travel all over the Department on the word of a Provost Mar 
shal s clerk; nor on a mere certificate that he had taken the 
Oath : that the permission from the commanding officer, which 
he had to get for every one of his imports and exports, was 
vastly more necessary for trading over the lines. 

Also with reference to Page 2, line 31. Judge Stackpole s 
verdict released vessels and goods from confiscation, but did 
not allow them to resume the voyage. Buck then for the first 
time came in to ask for that permit. It was disapproved at 
once. 

Also in reference to Page 3, line 3: This relates to large 
quantities of old junk that Buck tried to export, containing 
brass, copper, etc., etc., stolen from Navy Yard, etc. Also 
with a reference to Page 1, line 24, Buck here admits a fact, 
which Whitehurst denied and confessed again half a dozen 
times in as many minutes, when questioned by me. Buck 
had a large quantity of old junk, rags, cotton, and staves to 
export. Finding all his permits retained until the question of 
theft should be settled, he brought in Peter Whitehurst to 
his aid, who in three different applications tried to export 
Buck s goods. These were identified by the harbor police in 
spite of Whitehurst s repeated assertions and angry protes 
tations. Shifting of permits and invoices from one party to 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 447 

another is inadmissible in these troublous times; and should 
subject both parties to a stoppage of all further privileges. 
Thus Buck s case grew worse with Whitehurst s help. I made 
up my mind that Buck s acquisitiveness was much larger than 
his loyalty or his rectitude. Moreover, I learned that his part 
ner in Baltimore, Denison, has been from the first a known 
secessionist, active in word, if not in deed. This I gathered 
from the confessions of Peter Whitehurst himself. 

I therefore enclosed all the papers in the case, Feb. 12th, 
and forwarded them to Major Robert S. Davis, A.A.G. They 
returned with this letter of transmittal: 

Provost Marshal s Office, Headquarters Dept. Virginia and North Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, Va., Feb. IQth, 1864 
Brig. Gen. WILD, Commanding etc. NORFOLK, VA. 

I AM directed by the Major General Commanding to return to you the enclosed 
applications of Buck and Co., and to state that the disposition of them is left entirely 
to your discretion. Your decision in the matter will be final. I am, General, Very 
respectfully, Your O bdt. Servant, JOHN CASSELS, Captain and A.D.C., 

Provost Marshal 

I at once decided to disapprove all Buck s permits for the 
future that he is too slippery for this department that 
he should be at liberty to sell out at his leisure and should 
have permission to return to Baltimore, and indulge his 
trading propensities in a safer field. I shall follow the same 
course with Peter Whitehurst. 

Respectfully submitted, 
EDWARD A. WILD, Brig. Gen. Comdg. 

Endorsed by General Butler 

Headquarters Dept. Va. and North Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, March 12, 1864 

APPROVED, but do not let them sell the stolen "junk." 

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

From James Parton to General Butler 

N. Y. Feb. 22nd, 1864 

MY DEAR GENERAL: A copy of the book has gone to M. 
Goncet; also one to Gen. E. T. Thompson, at your request. 

I have a little information for you. Mr. Hamilton, who has 
been for the last year correspondent in New Orleans for the 
N. Y. Daily Times, has just returned. Before leaving New 
Orleans, he wrote a private letter to the Editor of the paper, of 
20 pages, giving a true statement of the state of things in that 



448 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

city which he could publish or not, as he thought best. 
The substance of it was that the people of New Orleans, both 
Unionists and secessionists, were utterly dissatisfied with the 
rule of Gen. Banks, whom he represented to be a petty despot 
and totally unequal to the situation, vacillating, weak, and 
without ideas. He also said that the universal wish of the 
people was for your return, and that no class desired it more 
than the incurable secesh. They say that from you they 
always could get an answer, and knew what they had to expect, 
and could make permanent arrangements for the future, as 
they could rely on your word. From him they get smiles, 
politeness, and palaver, but nothing that really helps them 
out of their difficulties. 

From the same source I learn why no such letter as this can 
get into the Times. Raymond is busy, night and day, in writing 
a history of Lincoln s administration. His object is France. 
He wants the French mission, which, says my informant, he 
is to have if Lincoln is re-elected. 

All this comes direct from the lips of the correspondent 
mentioned above. He adds that Raymond, in his haste to 
get into his book, neglects the paper entirely. 

Those Germans will be the death of us. The copy is not all 
in the printer s hands even yet, though it is nearly. Every 
thing possible has been and is done to hurry them. The printer, 
however, is close upon their heels, so that the book is mostly 
stereotyped. 

The large edition has now sold 11,000, and still goes well. 
It is decidedly the most successful book of the season. 

With our regards to Mrs. Butler, we both remain, 

Very truly yours, JAMES PARTON 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va. and N,C., FORT MONROE, Feb. %%nd, 1864 

Jos. MERREFIELD, Esq. 

SIR : You are desired to come to this Point at once to attend 
an investigation now being made here consequent upon your 
complaint to the President of the United States in relation to 
my acts. Enclosed you will find an Order for transportation 
from Baltimore to this Point. Mr. Worley is here, but denies 
having given you the information contained in your complaint 
to the President. Pass enclosed. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Yours, 
B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commanding 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 449 

From General Butler 

Headquarters, Department Va. and N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 22n<2, 1864 

Brig. General MARSTON, Commanding POINT LOOKOUT 

GENERAL: I am informed by the report of Capt. Clapp that 
the guard of two sergeants and eighteen men that I ordered at 
eight o clock in the morning to report on board the "Long 
Branch" to Capt. Clapp, did not report at eleven o clock, and 
he knowing my desire for haste, went away without them. 

Is it possible that your staff cannot move eighteen men in 
three hours? If so, I should advise that they be removed. 

I saw you go and give the order in person, so that I know it 
is no fault of yours. Capt. Lawrence s performances do not 
come up to the high encomiums you pass upon him, and have 
injured any prospects he might have had for a command in 
the new Regiment. I shall want it under a commander who 
can move it faster than that. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Yr. obdt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Commdg. 

From General John J. Peck 

Hdqrs. Army and District of North Carolina, NEWBERN, N.C., February 23rd, 1864 

Maj. Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. Department of Virginia and 

North Carolina 

GENERAL: Your letter of the 20th has just reached me, and 
I agree with your views except in one particular, viz: I don t 
believe in the iron-clad. Hitherto it has been a question of 
iron and time. A communication from General Wessells of 
the same date as yours settles the matter in my judgment. 
His spy has just come in from Halifax. He came from Wil 
mington, and 25,000 pounds of iron was on the same train 
for this identical gun-boat. The general writes that other 
parties from near Garysburg, who have not seen the boat, 
confirm the reports of the shipment of iron. He adds the 
following: "In view of the possibility of such a monster 
coming down, it would be well, I think, to procure the hulks, 
if practicable, and cause them to be sunk in suitable places." 

Admiral Lee gives no authority for the light boats, but I 
will send a copy of your letter to General Wessells for his 
guidance, and as his authority to sink said boats when the 
necessities of the defense require it. I will send an officer of 
the quartermaster s department to your headquarters for any 
old hulks that can be spared. 

VOL. Ill 29 



450 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Commanders Davenport and Blake have just called to say 
that the latter leaves to-morrow with the "Eutaw," which I 
regret very much. Doubtless the admiral will supply her 

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, 

JOHN J. PECK, Major-General 

Official Records, Series I, Vol. 33, Page 589. 

From E. R. S. Canby 

War Department, WASHINGTON CITY, February 23rd, 1864 

Major Genl. BENJ. F. BUTLER, Comdg. Dept. Va. & 

N. Carolina, FORTRESS MONROE, VIRGINIA 

GENERAL: The Secretary of War instructs me to transmit 
herewith the copy of a letter of the 18th instant, addressed 
to this Department by the Secretary of the Navy, objecting 
to the granting of permits by you to vessels to be engaged 
"with and in States declared to be in insurrection," for traffic 
or interchange of commodities, in accordance, as stated in 
said permits, "with certain additional Regulations for Com 
mercial Intercourse"; and expressing the opinion that "the 
additional Regulations referred to were not understood to 
authorize permits to be given for that purpose." 

In this opinion, the Secretary of War concurs, and has 
directed that you be so advised. 

Very respectfully, Your obedient Servant, 

E. R. S. CANBY, Brig. Genl. A.A.G. 

From General Butler 

Ed. Qrs. Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Feb. 23rd, 1864 

The PRESIDENT of the United States 

SIR: I have to apologize to you for the long delay in report 
ing my action in relation to the complaint of Gov. Pierpont of 
E. Virginia. It took so long to get the proper returns from 
the various officers in the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, 
and they were so imperfect, and it took so much time to col 
lect and put them in order so as to give results, and it was so 
difficult also to find time to give personal examination thereto, 
that I have failed till today to get opportunity to report as 
fully as I wish in regard to the action of the civil and military 
Government in this Department. 

With your leave, I will first discuss the specific complaints 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 451 

of Gov. Pierpont, and then will call your attention to some of 
the consideration of policy for future action. 

The first complaint is Order No. 40, which requires the 
payment of one per cent upon merchandise brought into the 
Department, a copy of which order is appended. I found it 
necessary to employ large numbers of officers, soldiers, clerks, 
and messengers, at great expense to the L^nited States, for the 
purpose of watching, guarding, and regulating trade in their 
insurrectionary districts, and to prevent smuggling. I found a 
large portion of my time and that of one member of my staff 
employed in investigations regarding it. Now, it seemed to 
me but just that, as this trade was carried on, emolument of 
parties engaging in it was usually very profitable, that its 
expense should be paid by them and not by the Government 
and therefore issued the order that one per cent should be paid 
upon it to defray its expense. As an ordinary rule of political 
economy, it is true that a tax upon trade is a tax upon the 
consumer, but it is only the rule where trade in course of time 
and with full competition has found its strict level, but it is 
not true as applicable to the limited and special trade carried 
on in this insurrectionary district of a speculative character,, 
with a percentage not founded upon any exact ratio between 
the supply and the demand. Therefore this tax is borne by 
the trader and not by the consumer, and thus falls where it 
should; but as a large share of the expense of the trade to 
the Government must be borne by the United States, from the 
fact that its officers and soldiers must necessarily be employed 
in taking care of it, a fund must accumulate, although I have 
endeavored to employ civilians in the Provost Marshals office, 
and other offices, and pay them from it as much as possible. 

In regard to the permits it was important that some restric 
tions should be had upon persons going into and coming out 
of the Department for their own pleasure, otherwise my officers 
would be overrun by applications for permits and passports 
by the pleasure-seeking, idle, and curious. Indeed, I have 
had an application while in Command of this Department to 
allow excursion steamers, bringing thousands of that class, to 
come here on pleasure trips, as a matter of speculation on the 
part of the party getting up the enterprize. But when informed 
of the necessary outlay for permits to come in and go out, the 
speculation was abandoned as a non-paying project. 

Governor Pierpont was misinformed when he said there was 
a passport fee required for going to or from any place in the 



452 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Department. Such was never required, but only a fee when 
the applicant was coming in or going out of the Department. 
This required the administration of the Oath of Allegiance, a 
record of the parties named and description, and a pass, and 
the fee was little enough; but that permit fee has since been 
abandoned because it was sometimes found to act erroneously 
on those coming into the Department, to see their friends and 
relations in the army. But Governor Pierpont says that this 
import of one per cent is a "tax which cannot be collected." 
It is not obligatory upon anybody. Nineteen-twentieths of 
all the trade is in the hands of non-residents of the Depart 
ment. If these non-residents do not wish to pay the tax, they 
need not ask for permits to trade. They ask facilities of the 
United States, and they are simply told that they can have 
them for what it cost the United States to furnish them. They 
ask the United States to guard and protect their trade in the 
special manner, and we ask them to pay for that special guard 
and protection. Precisely as if they should ask that their 
goods should be carried on a Government transport, we should 
ask them to pay for the transportation. Governor Pierpont 
says that the money thus received goes to the fund to support 
the Provost Marshal s Office. 

That unfortunately is not true in its full extent, because 
the Provost Marshals and most of their assistants are United 
States Officers, and soldiers, and must be paid in another 
form. What then is to be done with the money? It will 
be paid into the Treasury of the United States in form as 
well as in fact, if the President so directs. But there are special 
expenses to which the United States is put in occupying large 
towns, and the feeding and care of citizens for which no appro 
priations have been made and which must be paid by the 
Quarter Master s Department by Special Order from the 
Commanding General, so that in fact the expenditure is 
entirely under his direction. 

Now, I found the streets, wharves, and squares of Norfolk 
in a most filthy, ruinous, and disordered state, so much so 
that life and limb are not safe upon them to the wayfarer, 
and in the coming summer, pestilence must ensue like the 
yellow fever of 53 unless large expenditures are made in 
cleansing and purifying them. 

I found the fire department entirely disorganized and its 
material out of repairs and useless. 

The city was unlighted for months, and the Gas Company 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 453 

being largely disloyal had refused to put their works in opera 
tion, so that it was impossible to properly guard or police it. 
Without discussing at present the rights and duties of the City 
Government in this behalf, but finding them utterly powerless 
to remedy this state of things, it seemed to me both necessary 
and just that as these streets, wharves and squares were used 
by traders who have no interest in the town, who are here 
only for temporary and speculative purposes, and are contrib 
uting nothing in the way of taxation for its support, that the 
fund should be used as far as it would go for the cleansing and 
repairs of the streets and furnishing the city with fire engines. 
I am therefore using that portion of the fund which comes 
from the trade of Norfolk and Portsmouth for that purpose. 
I have already lighted the city, after having made large out 
lays for the repair of the gas-works, which will be returned to 
me from the proceeds of the gas, and am employing my con 
victs who are sentenced to hard labor in cleansing the streets 
and repairing them, furnishing tools and supplies for that 
purpose from this fund. Why do I not leave this appropriate 
work to the city authority? I beg leave to answer that in 
another portion of my report, and content myself now with 
saying that I will prove hereafter that the City Government 
is powerless for these purposes. Now, will Governor Pierpont 
or anybody else say that the one per cent tax collected in the 
manner and from the persons I have mentioned and expended 
judicially as I have indicated, is wrong or oppressive on the 
part of the United States or its Officers towards the Citizens 
of Norfolk? The next subject of complaint on the part of 
Governor Pierpont is in regard to the action of my Provost 
Court and Provost Marshal, who, he says "are taking cogni 
zance of all civil and military causes from ejectment to getting 
drunk in the city." 

I am sorry that Governor Pierpont is not more accurate in 
his statements or in his information. It is quite true that I 
received a letter from him making inquiries upon the subject 
of civil jurisdiction of the courts, and I replied to him, as he 
admits, "that my instructions were, that no debts should be 
collected save against those who are in rebellion against the 
United States, in favor of loyal citizens, and where the prop 
erty might escape from the honest creditor by reason of con 
fiscation." I could further have told him that no other civil 
suits would be entertained by the Provost Court except in 
cases wherein the Military authorities of the Department are 



454 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

in some way called upon to protect loyal citizens from wrong, 
or being thrown upon the United States for support generally 
through persecution of some semi-rebel creditor who has 
taken the Oath of Allegiance, or as he phrases, it, has 
"taken out a protection" for his property, and then brings 
suit in the corporation court against some true Union man, 
who has been struggling on aiding the Government, while the 
plaintiff was in rebellion. 

Besides, as it is necessary to keep a military guard in Nor 
folk, as it was until a very recent period, and perhaps is now, 
to prevent rebel sympathizers from murdering Union Officers 
in the streets, so it is necessary in my judgment that there 
should be a wholesome fear of the Provost Court to prevent 
the same rebel sympathizers from oppressing true Union men 
under the form of not too well-established law. Until very 
lately I doubt if a jury could have been found in Norfolk 
whom it would have been safe to trust upon a question in 
dispute between the "hated Yankee" and that boastful but 
now rather crest-fallen individual who begins every statement 
by, "I was born in Virginia, Sir." 

To the remark of Governor Pierpont that whenever debts 
are collected a commission is taken by the Provost Court, the 
readiest and most just reply is that it is untrue. To the further 
statement that all fines imposed in that Court go to support 
the Provost Marshal s Office, I can only say that that is an 
equally wide departure from the truth which can only be 
accounted for in Governor Pierpont, it would seem to me, by 
the proverb "that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth 
speaketh," because on the only occasion upon which the Com 
mander of this Department has had the honor of receiving a call 
from Governor Pierpont, His Excellency made an application 
to him to buy the supply of coal necessary for making gas for 
Norfolk from His Excellency s coal mine, which he recom 
mends in the highest terms. But as I had already made a 
contract for a supply from Pickton, I looked too coolly on the 
proposition, and therefore, perhaps, "hinc illae lacrimae" and 
this, may I be allowed to say in passing, is the only coopera 
tion I have received from His Excellency in aid of crushing 
the Rebellion. To the specific accusation of Governor Pier 
pont against the Provost Court, I have appended the report of 
the Judge, who is abundantly able to take care of himself. 
Another complaint of His Excellency Governor Pierpont is in 
these words, "Another act of General Butler s I will mention, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 455 

which is a gross assumption of power in my estimation. He 
has issued orders for enrolling and conscripting all the white 
men in his district able to bear arms." The answer to this 
charge is, First, that the order for enrolling was given by 
direct authority of the President of the United States, through 
the Secretary of War, and to the War Department. I leave the 
adjustment with Governor Pierpont of the assumption of power. 

But there is one statement of Governor Pierpont, as a reason 
why no enrollment of white men should be permitted in Vir 
ginia, too remarkable to be allowed to pass without obser 
vation. He says the people in General Butler s District have 
furnished more troops, according to population, than any 
other people in the United States, but they have been mostly 
black. "They (the people not the blacks) claim to be placed 
on the same footing as Maryland and Kentucky as to conscrip 
tion." There has been a recruiting force of several men for 
six months in that portion of Virginia in Gen l. Butler s Dis 
trict, comprising most of Governor Pierpont *s dominions, and 
they have not yet been able to recruit of loyal white Vir 
ginians a single company, and I desire to bear testimony to 
the zeal and efficiency of the recruiting officers. And further, 
in regard to the black troops of which more than four thou 
sand (4000) have been recruited in this Department, thus 
speaking well for their patriotism, the only aid in that behalf 
received from the white men of Virginia has been that 
every master that could make decent pretence of loyalty has 
been besieging my recruiting officers for three hundred (300) 
dollar certificates as payment from the United States for the 
black men they had recruited. And the only assistance in the 
recruitment received from the State Government by the Com 
manding General was a polite offer by the Governor to furnish 
commissions to the officers of the black troops which the United 
States Government raised in Virginia, a proposition which I re 
spectfully referred to the War Department, for myself declining 
to take either coal or commissions from the Governor. 

Governor Pierpont further asks that General Butler be not 
allowed to interfere with his banks of the State. True it is 
that the Generals who preceded me in command of this Depart 
ment, acting in accordance with Governor Pierpont s notions, 
did not deem it their duty to interfere with the banks of the 
State, and the consequence has been that months after the 
possession of Norfolk and Portsmouth by the Federal troops 
the banks of those cities sent away to Richmond many hundred 



456 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

thousands fofj dollars of their assets to support the rebellion. 
My only interference with the banks thus far has been to order 
a Commission to examine into the condition of the savings 
banks, and endeavor to rescue something from the remainder 
thereof to relieve the white poor of Norfolk and Portsmouth, 
for whose support the Government has expended sixty thou 
sand ($60,000) dollars annually, and I succeeded so far so 
well in that regard that my Commission have found about 
thirty thousand ($30,000) of funds belonging to the poor which 
had been hidden with the purpose of forwarding to the Con 
federacy. If the President could yield to the request of Gov 
ernor Pierpont, however, I will not interfere with the banks 
of Norfolk and Portsmouth, and will allow the remainder of 
their assets to be forwarded to the Confederacy, if such shall 
be the policy. 

Another, and perhaps the gravest charge made upon the 
military authorities of this Department, because Governor 
Pierpont twice recurs to it in his communication to the War 
Department, is "that I have interfered with the Government 
of the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth by ordering the offi 
cials of those cities to make returns to me of their receipts and 
expenditures." In that regard, the head and front of my 
offending hath this extent, no more: and it is the waiting for 
these reports which have so long delayed the answer to the 
complaints of Governor Pierpont, perhaps the best justification 
of the circumstances which led to it, and a short detail of the 
result as seen in the condition of the reports of the official of 
that city. The City Government of Norfolk and Portsmouth 
have been in operation since June, 1863, with a full corps of 
officers, and, as I have said, the streets were uncleaned and 
unrepaired, the city was unwatched to such extent that incen 
diary fires were of frequent occurrence and indeletable, the 
fire engines were out of repair and useless, the wharves and 
bridges ruinous, the schools unopened, and the poor, whether 
black or white, unfed and uncared for, save that they were 
clamorous at the Commissaries and Quarter Masters of the 
United States for fuel, provisions, and clothing, which appeals 
we were obliged to answer. At the same time, I observed that 
every occupation was taxed, and excise put upon every busi 
ness so that a poor woman could not keep a few boarders for 
her support without paying twenty dollars for a license, a 
negro could not drive a hack without paying ten dollars, a 
farmer could not sell a bushel of potatoes without paying ten 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 457 

cents, and every stall in the market was rented for one dollar 
per year, all of which burdens seemed to come directly upon 
the very poorest class, and were brought to my notice because 
a widow woman complained to me that she was fined twenty 
dollars before the Mayor s Court for boarding five Union offi 
cers without a license. This led to an inquiry into the sources 
of revenue of these cities, and I found that they received sub 
stantially no revenue except from imposts for licenses. As I 
could see no evidence of any expenditure by the City Govern 
ment, as care of the city came upon the United States, I thought 
it my duty to ask for returns of how much money was received, 
and what was done with it. 

You will see that I did not take the course which Governor 
Pierpont has done with my officers, and charge upon the city 
officials without knowledge that its revenues must be imper 
fectly expended, but ask for report and information. These 
returns have exhibited some remarkable statistics, to which 
I beg leave to call your attention. The entire receipts of the 
City of Norfolk for the six months ending January 1st, 1864, 
were $13,241.20 of which was received, 

From licenses to traders $7,536.99 

From hacks and drays 900.36 

From rent of stalls in market 1,750.30 

From clerk of market for hucksters 1,344.60 

From fines and cost of petty offences tried by Mayor 852.45 

From fees from harbor masters from oyster boats 110. 25 

$12,494.95 

From sales of offal from streets 135.00 

From taxation of real and personal property 611.25 

$13,241.20 

Thus it will be seen that out of the total receipts of $13,- 
241.20, $12,494.95 was a tax upon the actual necessaries of 
life, in the shape of licenses to do business and fines upon the 
poor, and $611.25 only of taxation upon the property, while 
the United States was called upon to expend over $20,000 in 
the same time to support the white poor of that city. 

But the expenditure of this sum is quite remarkable: 

Expended in streets $2,821.35 

of which 

For labor, mostly to master of hired negroes 2,751.05 

For watch pay roll 3,696.06 

For incidental expenses of City Government 563.70 

For expenses of committee to Washington 300.00 

For salaries of officials besides fees 4,934.40 

$12,245.21 



458 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

Thus it will be seen that of the $13,000 expenditures, $12,000 
has been paid for the salaries of the City officials and laborers 
of high and low degree, and their incidental expenses, and that 
$1,346.06 has been expended for the poor, and $30 for all other 
city purposes. 

The returns from the City of Portsmouth exhibit a still 
more remarkable state of finances. 

It appears that the total receipts, exclusive of fees received 
and appropriated by the City officials in the City of Ports 
mouth, for the six months ending Jany. 1st 1864 is $2,635.02, 
of which 

Received from licenses of traders, hucksters and markets $2,170.21 

Received from fines by Mayor 318.38 

Received from taxes on real and personal property $60.00 

While the total expenditures for all city purposes other than 
salaries and office expenses of the City Government, including 
$135.69 J for the support of the poor is, $1285.59; while the 
amount of salaries of City officials necessary to make these 
expenditures is $2500.00, making it necessary to pay more 
than two dollars to expend one, although it is but fair to say 
that owing to the want of revenue more than one-half of the 
salaries are still due. 

It will be seen by examination of the condensed returns 
annexed hereto that the largest item of expenditures in both 
cities was for the watch, which now the military patrol renders 
utterly useless, but the watch is still kept up upon the theory 
of having been elected for one year they have a vested right 
and cannot be discharged. It will also be observed that it 
requires a salary of four hundred dollars per year for an alms- 
house keeper to expend one hundred and thirty dollars and 
sixty-nine and one-half cents. 

It is but just, however, to many of the good and true men 
who hold the offices in these cities, that this extraordinary 
state of things is not to be attributed to them but to the power- 
lessness of a Civil Government in a disturbed state of society 
to enforce an observance of its ordinances, and to administer 
the Government except where the burden falls on the poor 
and helpless, whom at the same time it is powerless to protect. 

The large portion of the property owners are either in rebel 
lion, and their property in the hands of the United States for 
confiscation, or they are absentees, or they are property holders 
of real estate only, and the taxes have been so irregularly 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 459 

assessed and the Civil Government so uncertain in its powers 
that the attempt to lay any considerable tax is futile and 
unproductive, as no one fears a lien on his property which is 
thus created; and it is therefore because of the fact that the 
United States holds so large a portion of the property in Vir 
ginia, not subject to taxation, that I have thought it but just 
that the Government should bear a portion of the burden of 
the care of the city, the means to do which have been sup 
plied by the one per cent taxation upon the trade I have herein 
discussed. 

The question, therefore, which addresses itself strongly to 
my judgment, and to which I wish to call the attention of 
the President is whether the United States should permit 
thirty thousand ($30,000) dollars to be taken from the poorer 
classes of Norfolk and Portsmouth in the shape of licenses, 
fines, and fees for the purpose of paying for the working of 
City Governments which have no power to do anything except 
to draw their salaries of its officials, and in Portsmouth not 
enough to do even that, while the United States Government 
is at the same time expending more than double that sum for 
the poor of the cities from which it is taken, and in taking care 
of the Fire and Police Departments, and school for the black 
children, the white going without, would it not be well for the 
Commanding General to submit to the citizens of these two 
cities the question whether, so long as it is found necessary to 
maintain military occupation of their cities, they will set 
up and maintain any Civil Government. In Elizabeth City 
Co., and in Princess Anne Co., outside of Norfolk and Ports 
mouth, there is none other than military government, and it 
is difficult to perceive why the loyal citizens of those counties 
are not as well taken care of and protected as the citizens of 
Norfolk and Portsmouth. 

It will be observed that I have not touched upon the taxa 
tion for the support of the State Government, which is also 
mainly derived from licenses. That is a subject upon which I 
will not extend observations unless Governor Pierpont desires 
me so to do, in which case some results may be obtained 
which may render the benefit of the State Government of 
Virginia to its loyal citizens as questionable as are these of 
the City Government of Norfolk and Portsmouth. 

In conclusion, permit me to say that I am glad that the com 
plaint of Governor Pierpont has given me an opportunity to 
bring to the notice of the President these details of adminis- 



460 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

tration, which necessarily intrude themselves upon and must 
be dealt with by the Department Commander, but with which 
I should not otherwise have thought proper to trouble the 
Chief Executive. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comd g. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Feby. 23rd, 1864 

Hon. A. LINCOLN, President of the United States 

SIR: A letter was received by me from the Acting Attorney 
General of the United States, intimating that if it was a proper 
case you would issue a special pardon for Cincinnatus W. 
Newton of Norfolk, one of the electors of Jefferson Davis, 
whom you have decided to be within the exceptance of the 
Amnesty Proclamation. Mr. Newton, as you are aware, is a 
brother of General Newton of the U. S. Army, a brave and 
loyal soldier. Mr. Newton has remained quietly at his home, 
since the evacuation of Norfolk, and has committed no act, 
so far as I am informed, either of open or secret hostility to 
the United States, and has taken the Oath of Allegiance. I 
believe his character in all respects but for loyalty to be un 
blemished. If you should think it a proper case for special 
pardon, I believe the exception of clemency in this would 
have a beneficial effect, and would feel obliged if you would 
forward the papers to me. As I have used the strong hand in 
Norfolk for the wicked and rebellious, I think it will have a 
good effect to show them that the good and repentant will also 
be taken care of by the Government. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Feby. 23rd, 1864 

Hon. EDWIN H. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: The despatch of the Secretary of War was received in 
regard to a Mr. T. H. Vanderhoof, and his removal from North 
Carolina by my order, some days since. It would have been 
at once answered had it not been for the raid of the enemy, 
which had prevented up to this time my getting a formal report 
from the officers from whom I received the information on 
which my action was based. 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 461 

This will excuse the delay, which the Secretary will do me 
the favor to admit rarely happens in answering orders, and I 
am not now able to furnish the particulars but from memory, 
the causes of my order. 

Mr. Vanderhoof made accusations against one of the officers 
of the Army of the Department of North Carolina, which were 
carefully investigated and turned out to be malicious and 
apparently groundless and without foundation; that this act 
had been more than once repeated; and that Mr. Vanderhoof 
had been stirring up strife and difficulty among the officers 
and citizens in that District. The last complaint, however, 
was made by Vanderhoof anonymously, through a member of 
Congress, so as apparently to shield him from the consequence 
of this information. I had sent for Vanderhoof as a witness, 
but the report and the investigation established so overwhelm 
ingly the entire loyalty and propriety of action of the accused, 
and were accompanied with such statements in regard to Mr. 
Vanderhoof, that I concluded that his presence in the Depart 
ment was not of advantage to the armies of the United States. 
Of course, this was the only question that I could determine 
in regard to him, because, not being a citizen of North Carolina, 
he had no right there if his business was in the slightest degree 
detrimental, and therefore I directed that he should no longer 
remain in the Department. If the Secretary desires, I will 
continue the investigation, and cause a report to be made of 
the other facts and evidence to him, but I suppose this was a 
case where what was done to Mr. Vanderhoof would be damnum 
absque injuria, of which he would have no right to complain. 
As I do not know Mr. Vanderhoof, and have acted only on the 
information of others without minute personal investigation, I 
have no pride of opinion in the case, and shall not take it to 
heart if the Secretary should see fit to send him back, though 
I think such action would not aid us. I have the honor to be, 
Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From T. H. Vanderhoof 

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 4, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

DR. SIR: It becomes my duty as a loyal citizen to lay 
my case before you in its proper light, as I am a persecuted 
man without a just cause. My business while in Newbern, 



462 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

N. C., was making Cypress Shingles, and am also interested 
in the lumber business, of which I have the proper permits 
from the Agent of the Treasury Department so to do. I have 
never while in North Carolina been engaged either directly or 
indirectly in the buying or selling of any goods with any person. 
I was ordered to report to Gen. Butler which I did. And he 
said to me that he would have to detain me as a witness, but 
on the 27th of Jan. he ordered me to leave the Department, 
without letting me know what I was charged with. If I have 
done anything to deserve this treatment I have nothing more 
to say, and if not, I wish to pursue my business in Newbern, 

N C * T am Yours Truly, T. H. VANDERHOOF 

From T. H. Vanderhoof 

66 Park Ave., BROOKLYN, March 6, 1864 [Not in chronological order]] 

Major Gen. B. F. BUTLER, Comd g Dept. of Va. & N. C. 

DR. SIR: I have just received word from you through the 
Secretary of War. I did not go to him out of any disrespect to 
you, but as I was denied the privilege of seeing you, and was 
hurried off that afternoon from your place, I went to Wash 
ington and there got a member of Congress to introduce me to 
the Secretary of War, and I laid my case before him and asked 
him to write to you to find out what I had been sent out of 
the Dept. for. 

In April last I was appointed Superintendent of Contra 
bands at Washington, N. C. by Col. H. C. Biggs, Chief Quar 
termaster, and while there in the discharge of my duty the 
information came to me through the teamsters and others that 
carted the stuff out, that the Quartermaster was sending it 
out to the lines and receiving sealed letters. I went and saw 
the man that brought the letters, and he gave them to Mr. 
Houghton, Chief Clerk of the Quartermaster. After getting 
this information, I went to Newbern and laid the whole sub 
ject before Col. Biggs, and he said that I must prefer the 
charges over my own signature, and I done as he ordered me 
to do, and it seems hard that I should be punished for doing 
what my officer said was my duty as a Government officer. 

I have a copy of the charges and what the men was willing 
to swear to, and if you would like to see them I will send 
them to you, and I think that when you read them you will 
say that what I done was right. But as for doing anything to 
excite citizens or interfere with officers, I have never done it, 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 463 

but have went on with my own business of which I gave bonds 
to the Treasury Dept. and have taken an oath to support the 
administration and its proclamations. Every dollar that I 
am worth in this world is invested down at Newbern, and hope 
by your permission to be allowed to return and pursue my 
business. Hoping to hear from you soon, I am, 

Your obedient Servant, T. H. VANDERHOOF 



From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. of Va. and N. C., FORTRESS MONROE, Feb. 23rd, 64 

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War 

SIR: On my return from Point Lookout, I found your note 
of inquiry through Col. Hardie as to Mrs. Morris having ob 
tained a pass from these Headquarters to cross our lines, and 
to take with her some baggage. It is quite true that I gave 
Mrs. Morris the pass to cross our lines. It is also true that she 
is the wife of Capt. Morris, a signal officer of the Confederate 
Army, and that she had availed herself of the pass with her 
children, and their personal baggage, all of which was duly 
examined before she left. The Secretary will do me the favor 
to remember that when in Washington, for purposes which I 
then stated to him, and which it would not be best to repeat 
here, I asked and received his permission to allow Mrs. Morris 
to go across the lines, and I believe the service of the United 
States has been, and will be helped by the permission. I 
have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, Your obt. servt., 

B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

From Colonel R. A. Alger 

Head-Quarters 18th Army Corps, Department of Virginia & North Carolina, 

FORTRESS MONROE, Feby. 23d, 1864 

Maj. Genl. B. F. BUTLER, Comdg. Dept. Va. & N. C. 

GENERAL: Obeying instructions from the War Depart 
ment dated Washington Feby. 14th, 1864, for the purpose of 
circulating throughout the rebel armies and communities 
the President s Amnesty Proclamation, dated Dec. 8, 1863, I 
have the honor to request that an officer be detailed at your 
Headquarters to superintend the general management of the 
business, and also one commissioned officer for each military 
district in the Dept. be detailed, who shall report to and 



464 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

carry out the instructions of the first-named officer for the 
above purpose. 

I have also the honor to submit the following plan of opera 
tions for your approval. 

Each officer appointed for this work shall see that on all 
occasions of expeditions, raids, or reconnoissances into the 
enemy s lines, a sufficient number of men are detailed for the 
purpose of distributing the proclamation broadcast among 
rebel soldiers and people, and in the highways and byways, 
and he shall also employ scouts to carry the document within 
the enemy s lines and distribute it as effectually as possible. 

I have also the honor to request that the Comdg. Genl. 
will, as often as practicable, order cavalry or other troops on 
raids with the object of disseminating the proclamation among 
the rebel soldiers and citizens. I have the honor to be, General, 

Your Obedient Servant, R. A. ALGER, 
Col. 5th Mich. Cavly., Special Commissioner 

From General Butler 

Hd. Qrs. Dept. of Va. and N.C., FORTRESS MONROE, Feb. 2M, 1864 

To the PRESIDENT of the United States 

JARED D. THOMPSON, who had made application for a 
commission in a negro regiment, lately went to Washington 
as an advocate for Col. Nelson, who is now under examination 
upon charges. On his return, Thompson was retailing a sup 
posed conversation alleged to be had between the President 
and himself, which tended to weaken the authority and under 
mine the discipline of the Commander of this Department. 
One of the versions of this story was that the President had 
determined to remove the present Commanding General in a 
few days, another version is the one contained in the annexed 
papers. Believing that I possessed the confidence of the Presi 
dent, and conscious that I had done nothing which could 
justly cause the loss of it, I did not and do not believe the 
story told by Thompson. 

I therefore sent for him and after hearing the story as he 
detailed it, I informed him that I could not believe that the 
President had made to any stranger such remarks about one 
of his Department Commanders, that the reason given for 
putting me in command because of public meetings, when 
the President did not believe me suitable to a command, so 
totally beneath the dignity of a great Ruler and Statesman 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 465 

was so improper as wholly to challenge this belief and that 
I should be obliged to deal with him as a person who was at 
once slandering the Commander-in-Chief and undermining 
my authority. Thompson then desired to be put under Oath, 
and made the annexed statement which I forward for the 
President s information. My only desire is that the President 
will say that this supposed conversation did not take place, 
so that I may properly punish this retailer of slander, and I 
hold him awaiting the answer, although the probability is so 
strong as to amount to moral certainty, yet acting judicially I 
think that I ought to make the matter more than morally 
certain before final action. I have the honor to be, 

Very respectfully, B. F. BUTLER, Maj. Gen. Comdg. 

Voluntary Statement of Jared D. Thompson of 
New Haven, Conn. 

Feb. 23, 1864 [Not in chronological order] 

I, THE said Thompson, do say that in company with Mr. 
Lincoln, Postmaster of Brooklyn, N. Y. I called one day last 
week upon the President, for the purpose of presenting to 
him some considerations touching the case of Col. John A. 
Nelson, late of the Dept. of Va. and N. Carolina. 

Mr. Lincoln of Brooklyn accompanied me at my request, 
he having no knowledge of Col. Nelson, and knowing nothing 
of him except by reputation, and from such examination of 
Col. Nelson s case as he had made. 

It was urged upon the President by us that Col. Nelson, 
having been kept under arrest the length of time prescribed 
by the Act of Congress of July, 1862, that something decisive 
ought to be done in the matter. 

After some conversation on the one side and the other, the 
President said, "Well then, from what you say, gentlemen, I 
think you agree with me that General Butler is not fit to have a 
command." I cannot now state to what the President s lan 
guage just recited was responsive, or what immediately led to it. 

The President also said, "I did not give General Butler a 
command until the people at the North held public meetings 
asking me to do so, and I think, Mr. Postmaster, that you 
yourself held such meeting or meetings in your District." 

Mr. Lincoln and myself both understood the President s 
language alike, for Mr. Lincoln spoke of it to me after we left 
the President. 

VOL. Ill 30 



466 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

The interview was abruptly terminated by the announce 
ment of some other person or persons. The President, I think, 
agreed to consider the matter, and we withdrew. 

I have incautiously repeated the conversation that took 
place upon that occasion, in public, and being called before 
General Butler and interrogated by him as to said conversa 
tion, he expressing his disbelief of the fact that the above 
language was made use of by the President on that occasion, I 
deem it my duty, in justice to myself, to make oath to the 
truth of the foregoing. JARED D THOMPSQN 

FORTRESS MONROE, VA., Feb. 23d, 1864. Subscribed and sworn to before me, P. 
HAGGERTY, Maj. & A.D.C. 

From Captain C. B. Wilder 

FORTRESS MONROE, February %th, 1864 

Major General BUTLER, Comdg Dept. Va. and N. C., 

FORTRESS MONROE, VA. 

GENERAL: I have the honor to state such wants as I deem 
essential to the successful prosecution of our plantation opera 
tions, and the comfortable support of the surplus population 
in our hands without any obstruction. 

1. The liberty to take possession of all rebel abandoned 
plantations in this District, about which there is no question; 
and to refer all doubtful ones to the General Superintendent or 
Provost Judge, the burden of proof to rest with the objector, 
all to be used for the Government, and at the best possible 
advantage, and all to be reported to the General Superintend 
ent, as required in General Order No. 46, or oftener. 

2. The privilege of selecting such assistants and laborers, 
and securing such tools and seeds as are necessary, also the 
use and control of a wagon train, and the use of a hundred 
condemned horses. 

3. The privilege of buying of the Government or elsewhere 
at cost or appraisal all the forage, seeds, and subsistence 
stores that are needful; also of purchasing such old wagons, 
carts, ambulances, and harness and tools, as have become un 
serviceable; to loan or sell to those who work the farms. Also 
to sell the surplus productions of the farms that are not neces 
sary for consumption. 

4. The privilege of locating the surplus contrabands where 
they can be most advantageously used and cared for. 

5. The privilege of keeping, as heretofore, a small supply of 



LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 467 

such necessary articles as the colored people need and can pay 
for at the time of purchasing or when crops come in. 
All of which is respectfully submitted. 

Capt. C. B. WILDER 

From General Butler 

Head Quarters, Dept. of Va. & N.C., FORT MONROE, Feb. 25th, 1864 

Col. WEST, Comdg. at YORKTOWN, VA. 

COLONEL: I send you by Mr. Frazer, a refugee from Vir 
ginia, an order for a small force to be sent on board a gunboat. 
If Capt. Babcock will assist Mr. Frazer in procuring some to 
bacco of his near West Point I think the cause will be bene- 
fitted by so doing. 

It occurring to me that while doing this we might also ac 
complish one or two other matters of importance, I would call 
your attention to the following suggestions and statements: 

There is, residing just opposite the White House at Indian- 
town, a Mr. Evan Bradbury, who is the chief man of the place, 
an Indian by descent, who has befriended several of the escaped 
officers from Richmond on their way to our lines. The five 
who reached me yesterday were hid by him for three or four 
days. Mr. Bradbury acted as guide for General Keys up the 
Peninsula, but was never paid for his services. He was after 
wards taken by the Rebels and imprisoned in Castle Thunder 
for seven weeks, but for want of real proof against him was 
released by the Rebel authorities. Of course he and his fellow- 
townsmen, many of whom are Unionists, are obliged to keep 
on good terms with the authorities of Virginia and of the Con 
federacy, and we should do nothing to compromise them. 
Mr. Bradbury, however, I desire to see, and wish you would 
send there and have him arrested. This should of course be 
done so as not to excite suspicion among the Rebels, but I 
desire that the officer whom you send in charge of the party 
making the arrest should say privately to Mr. Bradbury that 
I wish to see him upon a little business, and that the arrest 
is made only to lull all suspicion. 

There is also residing near Elthan a gentleman whom I 
believe to be a true Unionist, and one willing to serve us, 
named Hill. I desire also that he should be arrested and sent 
to me. The same instructions apply to his case as in that of 
Mr. Bradbury. Mr. Frazier will act as guide for you, or direct 
you to Hill house. 



468 LETTERS OF GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER 

There is, still further, a negro named John Caffey residing 
at Perkins Bay, six miles above Bigelow s, on the other side 
of the river (near Gloucester), who also acted as a guide to 
some of our escaped officers. This man lives almost directly 
in the pathway of the gunboats, and has lost some of his prop 
erty, such as his oyster boats, etc., by reason of them. 

I desire you to send him or rather to give him